My husband is very interested in real estate. This makes for easy dinner conversation as in the real estate world there is always something new to learn and a situation that hasn’t come up before. Over dinner one evening we began discussing the many lots in our neighborhood that are being divided into two lots and the new homes being built. We live in the Humbolt neighborhood, right next the commercial strip on Mississippi Avenue. There is a need for higher density here as there are many Portlanders want to live near an active business area and our neighborhood is especially desirable because of our proximity to the MAX line and I-5. That conversation got his imagination working and within a month we were beginning the process to build a new home on our lot.
The first step we took was to visit the city’s Bureau of Development Services. The BDS offers late hours on Thursday nights to answer homeowner questions on projects they wish to take on. Our first meeting at the BDS turned out to be filled with incorrect information. The representative we met with took a look at our lot and told us we could go through the much less time consuming and less costly process of doing a lot confirmation instead of a lot division. Come to find out after a number of visits and discussions with our design firm a lot confirmation will increase the size of our lot based on historical lot lines, but will not allow for the ability to build a second home. Lesson learned, the desk at BDS is to get answers to very simple questions and projects. The city of Portland let us know that the average time for a lot division to be completed is 9 to 12 months. Now the long process to dividing our lot begins!