Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

Juliawrites, Home Owner in Portland, OR

If I bought the house next door to me, could I tear the home down just to have a bigger lot?

Asked by Juliawrites, Portland, OR Mon Feb 4, 2013

Any chance the city would refuse my permit application because I didn't plan to build another house on that land? The existing home is a major, major fixer.

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Tom Inglesby’s answer
The city passed a law about 15 + years ago that homes older than 50 or 60 years old have a wait period for tearing down homes that might be historic. Check with the city. You will be surprised how much you will pay for taxes on this new lot as land values are sky rocking and you could easily pay $2000-$3000 per year to have this nice larger yard. check with DEQ and tearing it down might cost $20,000 you might call the fire department they will burn it down for free if there are no trees or power lines so this might be a good option? Your house will also go up because your lot is larger but it you keep the lot separate then you will have something to sell when you move. But enjoying a large yard is costly. Good Luck to you. Tom Inglesby, broker RE/MAX Equity Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
Call the city and ask for the planning dept.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
Sure - why not? I dont know why Portland would not like that idea!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
You should be able to accomplish the tear down as long as there are no restrictions attached to the deed for the property. But beware, demolition permits often include EPA and DEQ hazmat evaluations for asbestos and lead based paint and other contaminants. Demolition can often be more expensive than construction permits when you include the excavation, clean up, and disposal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
Linda and Stephen hit some good points.

The obvious answer is to get in touch with someone who has experience doing this work.

You are likely going to conducting a lot line adjustment.

Follow the link to information on what is needed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
As long as there is no HOA, no restrictions on land use with the county, it should be fine. Yes, I agree you'll want to adjust the taxes on the lot after you purchase.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
You would have to check with the city, but I do not see why not. It would still be two tax lots and you might want to request an adjustment in the taxes if there is no structure or improved value, once you have torn down and removed the old house. If at some time in the future, you could rebuild or sell the lot to someone else. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2013
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