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Remodel & Renovate in Portland : Real Estate Advice

  • All913
  • Local Info68
  • Home Buying370
  • Home Selling68
  • Market Conditions37

Activity 23
Tue Feb 16, 2016
Jillblouis answered:
I am about to complete a 3000k duplex in Texas. All new floors, granite counters in the kitchens and master baths, new appliances (whirlpool stainless steel), some new light fixtures, hvac grills, plugs, new 100% plumbing fixtures. Will be about $60K at the end of the day. ... more
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Wed Mar 25, 2015
spencerburtonforportland answered:
I'm an independent stone mason
i cover uneven or cracked old concrete with cut and mortared flagstone. It comes out beautiful.
I started a new project today covering an old uneven and cracked concrete steps and walkway with variegated bluestone.
Spencer Burton
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Tue Nov 11, 2014
John Connor answered:
I think it would be worth it because people want to see it in good condition. Having a cracked tile floor is not going to look good and not sell fast at all. I think that would be the best way to sell your house fast as well as for a decent price. ... more
0 votes 19 answers Share Flag
Wed Nov 5, 2014
Janine Ward answered:
If you are planning to be in the house another 5 years, I would recommend looking into the costs of removing the wall for your current livability, but plan to have it reinstalled for a more traditional layout when you sell. You might be surprised, the costs could be worth it for your happiness while you live there! ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Thu Aug 15, 2013
Misty Fisher answered:
When there is a remodel the assessor calls that an "exception event" which allows them to increase your assessed value based on the improvements. This only happens if it reaches a value threshold of 10,000 for improvements done in one year or a total of 25,000 for improvements done over 5 years. But even this gets complicated. The "value of the exception" is based on how much increase in market value the assessor thinks it created then they apply a property ratio (which changes depending on the year and the market over all). The property ratio is probably around 55% to 60% this year.

So the new dressing room would have to increase the market value of the property by over $16,000 in order for them to add 10,000 to your assessment. Anything lower will not reach the exception event threshold for an increase.
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Thu Aug 15, 2013
Misty Fisher answered:
When your taxable value approaches the level of your market value, your tax is calculated using a different (lower) tax rate - 1.5%. They call this being in "compression," and it usually happens when your taxable is around 85% of your market value. Your tax bill will reflect the whichever calculation is lower (market value x 1.5% or taxable value x current tax rate - this is excluding bond measures which never change). Therefore getting a reduction in your market value can save you money even if you don't get it reduced as low as the taxable value.

If the assessor's market value is truly out of line with reality, it might be worth appealing your value. The procedure is outlined on the county website. The deadline to file an appeal is December 31st, but you will need to pay your tax bill to avoid penalties, then they will send you a refund if you get a reduction. Before going that far, you should call the assessor's office - if your market value is truly that far out of line, sometimes a non-confrontational conversation with the assessor will get you a reduction. This approach might not be "radical" but it will save you money. It also saves the county money by streamlining the process.

Understanding your tax bill and deciding if it makes sense to appeal your value is not very straight forward. I will be happy to discuss it with anyone who wants help. Feel free to call me at 503-544-4894.
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Mon Aug 5, 2013
Tom Inglesby answered:
The first place to start is getting a value for your property and talk to a lender to see what you can afford or with a refinance of your project getting a new loan with a possible lower interest rate. Then go look at homes to see what you like and can afford. Remodeling is a large step and a project that can take months and are you ready for that? Then get a couple of estimates for the remodel. I currently am remodeling my home and have a contraction back ground and I am a trade ally of Energy Trust so I have taken many of the new energy courses. The parking lot might not bother you but is it buildable like for an apartment or high rise or town homes that would then be looking in your back yard. You can find zoning information at and see what your house and surrounding property is zoned for now and if any property it touching commercial then it is pretty easy to get a variance and get a zone change because the city wants higher density housing. I am currently working with some past clients now and they are getting estimates to do a complete remodel or take the house down that they inherited. The market was hot this spring but it has slowed down a little due to the increase in interest rates and the normal late summer slowdown.
I would be happy to come over and give you an evaluation of your current property. Thanks, Tom Inglesby, Broker, RE/MAX
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sun Jan 13, 2013
Wayne Pruner answered:
I've done 2 of these conversions. This is not an easy or cheap task. A permit is required. The bedroom needs an escape window. If you put in a stove, you will need new fire walls. Your zoning may not allow it. Don't buy the house based on being able to rent out the basement. And...having a renter living in YOUR house, is not ideal. ... more
1 vote 3 answers Share Flag
Mon Nov 26, 2012
Tom Inglesby answered:
I know a home planner that probably would be less expensive and then have a contractor bid it for you. He designs many additions and is reasonable. email me and I will pass on his name. Tom Inglesby ... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Wed Sep 12, 2012
The Stephen FitzMaurice Team answered:
It depends on the basement. I've helped two home owners seal their basements in the last year and one ran 10,000 and the other ran 4,000, so it just depends on your situation.
0 votes 11 answers Share Flag
Sun May 22, 2011
David Burnham answered:
Talk to your roofer. They may be willing to do the work, then submit the bill to the title company that is doing the refi and get paid out of the proceeds. This way you can get the work done before settlement and the roofer should be relatively comfortable that they will get paid.

I have had contractors willing to submit bills to title companies for payment out of the proceeds before, so if the one roofer is not willing, you might have more luck with someone else.
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0 votes 14 answers Share Flag
Sun Mar 13, 2011
Dave Sutton answered:
It is NEVER a mistake to ask the Planning Dept. for a permit. Believe me if you don't need one, they will be the first to tell you.

It lets your listing agent answer the question that's CERTAIN to come, "Was the remodel done with permits?" with "YES". That's much more to your advantage than "I don't know", or "Nope". ... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Tue Feb 1, 2011
Lana Lavenbarg answered:
I would say your safest bet is to go to get the permits and if they say you dont need them get it in writing - that way you have what you need and it wont be any bodies guess work.
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Wed Dec 15, 2010
Rick Leforce answered:
Depending on the licensed contractor, you may actually get a better bid for new home construction services or home renovation by having several bids or estimates when doing a housing rehab project. Basically taking the first estimate is to have no baseline to compare construction costs when shopping for bargain pricing on remodeling services. ... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Wed Jul 21, 2010
Brad Fix answered:
Hi as others have said the county only does appraisals on a random basis 6 to 7 year. they also look at building permits. but in the climate we are in right now the chances of having an increase in property taxs is not as big of an issue as in the past as prices overall are going down not up. so this might be a good time to make some inprovement. As the county is going to have a hard time supporting a valuation increase unless you are doing some major remodel in fact it might be worth your while to get a CMA for your home and see were you are and if it is a lot less that your assest value it might be worth paying for an appraisal you might be able to fight with the county to lower your valuation. good luck and enjoy a new deck thanks Brad ... more
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Thu Jun 24, 2010
June Lizotte, Retired Broker answered:
Keep in mind, Multnomah County and specifically City of Portland has very specific regulations pertaining to ADUs. For instance, one example some basements won't qualify as spaces to be converted if there is limited ceiling height. there will be specific limitations specific to any given property...Check with the prevailing entities first to save yourself some grief.

In any regard...You will also have to qualifty for permits for mechanical, plumbing, electrical depending on the scope of the work to be done.

Keep in mind this important expensive detail: Projects that increase impact on the city infrastructure will be subject to System Development Charges...a one-time fee based on new use/ increased use of the property..THIS CAN GREATLY Increase your project budget. Check with the City of Portland BEFORE planning your project (where this SDC fee applies) To view costs please try this link to view their handout of costs/fees of SDCs
There is more information at the Portland Bureau of Development Services...I think this is the web address You can get all the phone numbers and information you need there. I hope this helps. My advice is to check with City/County BEFORE you start...weigh the costs both of construction materials, labor and of all Permit and Develpment fees, and so much more.

Best to you,
June Lizotte, Principal Broker
June Lizotte Real Estate
Providing REAL Service
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Fri Sep 18, 2009
June Lizotte, Retired Broker answered:
My 2 cents is that you should spend that 25K and get another place if you have money to invest . There are great prices right could find a plex or you may want to just find a single family home and then You can continue to rent out your current place entirely (are you close to a university to get some roommates in there? -as one idea) and the rent for that will likely make it feasible for you to find some place where you would have no renters under foot but still have the benefits of the investment as well as your own privacy.

If you need assistance regarding your real estate pursuit I'm happy to discuss the possibilities with you.

June Lizote, Real Estate Broker
Providing REAL Service
Prudential NW Properties
6400 SE Lake Rd., Suite 200
Portland, OR 97222
... more
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