Tips to buying a Portland bungalow house
Living in a nice bungalow house is a dream for many SE & NE Portland residents. A bungalow house is a popular architecture style from the American Arts and Crafts Movement in the 19th century that is known to maximize the space of a house sitting on a small city lot. With the rising prices of Portland housing market, owning one of these became an unaffordable dream for many in desirable inner city Portland neighborhoods. Bungalow style houses are still some of the most popular architectural style in Portland and bidding wars are still everywhere when a cute bungalow house hits the market that is priced right. In popular inner SE and NE Portland neighborhoods including, Richmond, Hosford-Abernethy, Sunnyside, Laurelhurst, Mt. Tabor, Hollywood, Rose City Park (and many more), a 3 bedroom bungalow house over 1,300sf above grade space ranges from $500K to $800. A $500K bungalow houses are still out there in those popular Portland neighborhoods, but expect to put in a lot of work and money. Often, they are cosmetic fixers with many additional issues including sewer damage, old roof, unpermitted improvements, foundation issues, sagging structure, and more. An outdated kitchen is the last thing you should worry about when buying a $500K bungalow house in a nice inner city neighborhood. A lot of these issues are costly fixes you will have to spread out to improve over many years. When buying a light fixer bungalow, you need to not only hire a general inspector but also a contractor or a foundation specialist to make sure all the bones are solid and to get a general idea of what needs to be fixed and how much it will cost you.
A $600K bungalow house will be in a much better shape. Often you can find a nice house with over 1,700 above grade square footage with fully remodeled interior. Some of these are beautiful. However, a $600K bungalow house may not come with everything a $700K bungalow should come with including a nice yard, a parking garage, or even a driveway. With Portland becoming more crowded every year, having an off street parking can be very nice if you live in a busy neighborhood. After all, all it takes is a really nice restaurant around the block to make street parking availability a thing of the past. With a $600K bungalow, you will see some minor issues. These are still old houses in this price range and a thorough inspection is a must. You need to make sure the foundation is solid and there are no unpermitted improvements that will cost you in the future to fix according to the City’s inspection. Maybe the underground oil tank is not decommissioned yet. Go to Portlandmaps.com to see all the permits filed since year 2000. Any data older than 2000 can be pulled at Portland Development Services.
$700K bungalow houses can be quite immaculate though. Those houses are upgraded inside and outside thoroughly and all the improvements and work have been done properly or at least should be at that price. There may still be minor issues but shouldn’t be any big issues at this price. Only problem is that not too many people can afford these.
When buying a Portland bungalow house, work with a real estate agent with some general knowledge about home construction and remodeling. It’s not just about opening doors. These are 100 year old structures that need to be sold and bought with care. Also make sure to get the radon gas measured in unfinished and finished basement and crawlspaces if you’re buying a house in NE Portland as well as some SE Portland neighborhoods. NE Portland really is the biggest hot spot for radon gas that needs adequately mitigated.