Financially, Which Remodels are Best?

Not necessarily the best for quick return (important if you're selling in the next year or so), but the best value in the long term.  HouseLogic's "8 Most Financially Savvy Home Improvements are here


Posted on August 21, 2016 at 10:35 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Even a “minor” kitchen remodel is Portland is $20,000, so….

the question is how to do it so the value holds up for the long run.  


Here's HouseLogic's list of the seven "Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You'll never regret"

The $20,000 figure is from the 2016 "Cost vs. Value" report* that shows costs in Portland for 27 popular remodels .  It's for a "minor" kitchen remodel, (a "major" is $61,927 and an "upscale" $122,359).  It also estimates how much each project will return in short-term sale price. The "minor" kitchen remodel will increase your short term sale price by $23,197 – 11% over your cost, so a pretty good investment.  The "major" adds $48,371 and the "upscale" $87,667, but neither returns more than their cost.  Still, if you're going to live in the house for many years, there's no dollar value on the enjoyment you'll get from the new kitchen.  The report has figures on 26 other remodels.  Want a copy?  Let me know and it's on its way.  

Posted on August 15, 2016 at 3:37 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What to Do About that Annoying (house/car/business/neighbor).

"That house down the street has 3-foot tall weeds all over the front yard"

"That car has been parked there for weeks"

"The business on the corner is so noisy I can't sleep"

"The neighbor's dog barks all day and night"

"I don't think that apartment being built over their garage complies with code"

In the City of Portland, there is a place to file a complaint for all these issues and more.

Click Here for a list of the right phone numbers for each of these issues, and many others. You can also file a complaint on line for almost all.  

Personally, I've only filed one complaint like these.  It was for a home under construction that had stopped the building process and let the weeds get 3-4 feet high.  I filed an on line report and in two weeks they had been mowed.  

Beyond removing an irritation to living, some of these things actually affect the value of all the homes in your neighborhood.  So among other things, you're protecting your home's value when you file a legitimate complaint.  

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 10:35 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Thinking of cutting down that tree?

Sometimes trees die or outlive their location.  It's unfortunate, but true.  But before you fire up the chain saw, be sure to check with your city.  Many require permits and there are fines for cutting without.  City of Portland permit is $25 but the fine can be $1,000.  Also consider leaving the whole job to a professional.  This is one of those jobs that may look simpler than it really is.  

Posted on June 12, 2015 at 9:33 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Portland Home “Revamp” Makes Houzz

The current "This Week on Houzz" features "Paint and pluck revamp a Portland ranch house"See the before and after photos and the owner's comments here,

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Buy a Home for a Home Improvement Project? Most Do !


Hard to believe people would buy a home so they could jump into a remodel?  OK, it does have something to do with the age of the home It's maybe not surprising that nearly three in four who purchased a home built before 1921 did; but nearly one in three who bought a new home (built since 2009) did too.  More than half of all home buyers started a home improvement project withing 90 days of purchase. 

Remodeling the kitchen was most popular (47%), with bathroom a close second (44%). (From National Association of Realtors)

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 1:35 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Inspection | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

How do Portland Homes & Homeowners Compare?


Compared to the rest of the US, more Portlanders have three vehicles and two or more full baths, but fewer of us have air conditioning.  Eliot Njus has just posted an interesting graphic with these and several other interesting statistics about the characteristics of Portland homes and homeowners in

Posted on July 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

A Remodeling Project (or Two) will NOT Increase Your Home’s Value. Here’s the Proof.


The best reference I know (short of an actual bid from a local contractor) for remodeling cost and how it affects the value is Home Remodeling magazine's bi-annual issue on the subject, available free here.

It defines every remodeling job.  For example a mid-range bathroom remodel is described as:

"Update an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile surround; new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid-surface vanity counter with integral sink; recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; vinyl wallpaper"

Then it gives you an estimate of what that will cost, in every major metropolitan area of the county (the link is to Portland, OR), AND how much of that cost you will likely recover when you sell.   In addition to Mid-Range, many projects also present an Upscale version. 

You'll notice that not a single remodeling project will return more than its cost.  The best is 91.5% return on a minor kitchen remodel.  Of course the monetary return on investment is not the only reason to remodel.  If your kitchen was top drawer by 1960 standards, you will get daily joy from one that's upgraded.  If you're ready to sell, bringing a kitchen or baths up to date will also make your home sell faster, if not for more money than you put into it. 

Take a look at the chart.  I think you'll find some surprising numbers.  Let us know with a comment on this post

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,