Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

Bajohns99, Home Buyer in Vernon, Portland, OR

Why is the REALLY NICE In-Fill housing so expensive in North\Northeast Portland?

Asked by Bajohns99, Vernon, Portland, OR Mon Jun 29, 2009

My question - How do I get a better price on one of the fancy new infill houses on the east side?

Want to move from East County but ouch! None of those 'skinny' houses for me! I want class and style so I look at the infill homes that appeal to me and the prices are horrendous! I can find a great reproduction that fits into the neighborhood, but they are asking $325-$350K for less than 2000 sq ft and $350-$500K for anything larger. Vintage Foursquares and Bungalows are wonderful! A couple of builders have homes with gorgeouse tilework and elaborate kitchensand baths! BUT, some of the neighborhoods are a little sketchy and the builders seem a little greedy and don't seem to care that their "really, really nice" house is about $100K higher than the surrounding homes. In a better neighborhood, $450K is not unusual. I'm happy that builders going with quality homes rather than the ugly 'skinny' houses, but in this market, why would builders even list homes at these prices

Help the community by answering this question:


Why are the "REALLY NICE" homes expensive? Because they're REALLY NICE. You get what you pay for. If you want "class and style", you'll have to pay for that. If you want to live in one of the more desirable neighborhoods, well you'll have to pay for that. Really nice tile work? That costs. It costs the builder quite a bit of money to hire professional tile artisans, ones who are able to do really nice work and not just "get the job done". That costs. Vintage homes are wonderful and well built vintage recreations are wonderful. They're also expensive. It's much easier for a builder to just throw up a quick house and not worry about the details, but then you end up with the lower quality properties...no "class and style". Elaborate kitchens COST! Do you have any idea how expensive granite is? Or stainless steel appliances? Expensive. If you'd like high end features, you'll have to pay a higher price. It's very simple. Are the builders greedy? Maybe some are, I don't know. Why would the builder "even list homes at these prices"? Because they're SELLING homes at these prices. Or should the builder decide to take less just because it would be easier on you.

Do you realize that home builders are in business? They're not taking hundreds of thousands of dollars of risk and spending thousands of man hours just to do a good deed and build beautiful houses that they can sell for rock bottom prices. No, builders are in the business of making money! Just like you are. I assume you've negotiated the highest salary possible, right? Why? Because you work hard and feel like you deserve it. Well that's what builders are doing. They work very hard and take on a ton of risk. Then they try to make a PROFIT by selling their houses at top dollar. That's called capitalism. That's how the US economy works. The market dictates price. If these homes don't sell, the builders will be forced to lower the prices. If you're not seeing lower prices, that simply means the homes are selling at their current "horrendous" prices. Apparently other buyers do not see the prices as horrendous.

Would you rather own a Mercedes or a Kia? Both do the same thing. They get you from point A to point B, but only one of them does that with first rate "style and class". Alas, Mercedes cost quite a bit more than Kias, though. Why? Are you equally offended by that? Or do you feel like you should be living in the lap of luxury while paying food stamp prices?

Sorry to be harsh, but I just simply don't understand the "it costs to much" whine. If it costs to much, don't buy it.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 29, 2009
This is an old post but these homes are selling and what builders have to pay for lots and tearing homes down can cost $250,000 or more so when you buy for $600,000 that is really not to bad and you get an energy efficient home with a heat and electric bill for $110 a month. Tom Inglesby, Broker, RE/MAX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 17, 2013
Well it depends how ticked off the neighbors are. Those skinny outhouses take away all of the neighbors surrounding privacy and tank everyone's home prices. Some neighbors do their best to drive the prices straight through the floor. It is a lot of money for a house with no yard, no privacy, no basement and often built on really crappy lots. The paint usually peels in the second year, soon it becomes a rental.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 17, 2013
Buyers want the old classic feel but cannot afford to fix up an old house. A new house costs a little more up front but you are not remodeling for the next 10 years. They really are not that expensive if you were to take an old house do all the stuff to make it like new it would cost even more if you were to hire a contractor to do the work. Think about new electrical, new plumbing, new roof, gutters , kitchen and baths, insulation, new windows, new porch a garage, fresh paint job in and out just to mention some of the things that an old house needs. The infill houses don't compete with the fixers because the buyers just don't have the extra money or time know how. When priced right or when a good offer comes in the buliders will take a hard look at the numbers because today a good buyer that can qualify is one great buyer. I have been working N and NE alot recently and I would love to represent you if you are looking to buy.
Good Luck,

Tom Inglesby, Broker
RE/MAX Equity Group inc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 29, 2009
All things are negotiable. I've seen quite a few higher end properties list at the highest price, but the SOLD price is $50,000 off the original list price. Sometimes people (builders included) price high with the thinking that if a 'less then list' offer comes in, they've buffered the price.

This market is amazingly bi-polar. From one extreme to the other. Houses sit and sit, while others fly off the shelf. Some listings are priced right -- some are extremely out of price for the market.

The thing to remember is "it's negotiable" . . . and if it's not -- MOVE ON! There's quite a few house on the market now = inventory is high.

There WILL be a bank release of FORECLOSED properties in July! The flood gates will be open. Remember, you heard it first from me!

I agree, I don't like that skinny houses either!

If you're not working with an agent, please feel free to contact me.

Carla Muss-Jacobs, Broker/Owner
EBA Portland, LLC
Exclusive Buyer Agent
Web Reference: http://www.EBAPortland.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 29, 2009
Hi B: also, keep in mind that not all homes are priced correctly in this market. As Tommy indicated, those priced to sell ... DO SELL! But, there is lots of "fishing" going on in our marketplace. It appears that you are looking for new construction? If so, you often pay a premium for brand new and you might also consider some of the re-sale properties. I would suggest the help of a professional agent who can help you run the numbers, research the comparable properties and keep an eye peeled for a deal (or at least a reasonably priced home).
Janeese Jackson, Principal Broker
Real Estate Resource
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 29, 2009

As Johnny Logic mentioned, the really nice homes are priced accordingly. One tidbit I would like to throw out there: In any market, buyer's or seller's, the best homes that are considered a bargain sell quickly, usually within a few days of being on the market. Your best bet would be to contact an agent who specializes in the eastside who is familier with it's ever changing inventory. This way as soon as one of theses "deals" pops up, you'll be ready to act on it and get into the neighborhood you want to be in. I focus my business on Inner NE and I've seen some great deals at different price points sell in a matter of days because they were priced to move. Give me a call @ 503-880-0580 and I would be happy to keep you posted if I find something that meets your criteria.

Happy Hunting,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 29, 2009
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