Portland’s Residential Infill Project Just Passed!


Portland has recently passed a law allowing up to four homes on practically any residential lot. After almost six years since the concept was presented by a local micro-developer, the Residential Infill Project was finally approved by the Portland City Council by a 3-1 vote. The road to this approval has since been long and controversial, having been delayed, and then sent back several times. “Who knew putting people at city council, testifying, writing letters, and convincing their elected officials could change public policy?”  Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said. Five years in the making, it’s finally passed!
Through legalizing different housing types – duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and even cottage clusters – in residential neighborhoods, the Residential Infill Project (RIP) offers a solution to accessibility and affordability in Portland. Over the next 20 years, it’s predicted that the city will be able to add 20,000+ more housing opportunities across Portland neighborhoods. In addition, RIP also offers a “Deeper Affordability” option, wherein four to six homes on any lot are allowed, if at least half are available to low-income Portlanders at regulated, affordable prices.

In summary, the RIP as passed, will:

·         Remove all parking mandates from 75 percent of the city’s residential land, making home driveways optional citywide for the first time since 1973

·         Ensure an expanded and accessible range of housing options, creating a pathway to homeownership that would otherwise be unattainable for many Black, Indigenous, People of Color communities
·         Re-legalize smaller scale middle housing types in all neighborhoods, expanding access to usually exclusive, higher-opportunity areas

·         Utilize a scaled approach, letting the size of buildings adjust with the number of homes (then maximum square footage of 6,500 sq. ft. is now reduced to 2,500 sq. ft.)
·         Provide more place for Portlanders to live and address shortage of housing – a huge factor why there are escalating rents

·         Ban new “McMansions,” and discourage one-for-one redevelopments

·         Provide more opportunities to age in place, including allowing two accessory dwelling units (ADU) per lot and greater flexibility to accommodate mobility aids

·         Address the climate crisis by residential redevelopment to be more supportive of transit, biking, and walking. thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution

Formerly, Vancouver has re-legalized duplexes, Minneapolis triplexes, Seattle has passed landmark ADU reforms, and Austin has conceptualized six-plex for affordability. These measures taken by different U.S. cities may seem similar to Portland’s, but RIP is considered the most likely to create results, making the city the leader in zoning reforms. It’s actually recognized as the best low-density zoning reform in the history of the U.S.
A great victory—yet Portland remains hard at work on even bigger solutions to the housing crisis. The city is looking into a more comprehensive Anti-Displacement Action Plan as well. The law is scheduled to take effect in 2021, upon acknowledgment by the state government.

Learn more about RIP here.

CLOSED: Custom-Built Traditional in West Linn

The listing details say it all—this will be the perfect home to quarantine in! I’m so honored to have facilitated this transition for two good friends. I met Lisa years ago when I joined Women in Financial Services.  We became fast friends and she’s even my insurance agent! When she and her husband John approached me about selling their Tualatin condo and moving into this immaculate new home, I was so excited to help them through such a big transition.
We found the perfect, and can I say perfectly luxurious, traditional home right in West Linn. Immaculately kept with huge rooms and an open floor plan, soaring ceilings, and extensive hardwood floors. There’s even a built-in home theatre! It really could not get better—oh wait, unless you add an ensuite spa-inspired bathroom in the master, an upscale media room, AND a river view! I think there’s no chance Lisa and John will be bored in their new home.
John and Lisa, it was an absolute pleasure, and congratulations on your new home!

LISTING DETAILS: PERFECT HOME TO QUARANTINE IN. Custom-built traditional on a private 1/2 acre. Immaculate & high-end. 4 bedrooms, den, bonus rm, home theater, wine & exercise room. Open floor plan, high soaring ceilings, extensive hardwood floors, Granite kitchen w/SS appliances & built-in fridge, sound system, master suite w/deck & spa-like bath, 2nd bdrm suite on the main floor, upscale media rm, Nat gas generator, pond, water feature & partial river view. Near parks, boat ramp & amenities. Listing courtesy of Windermere Realty Trust.

Tax Reform and Homeowners

Lets talk about taxes.  This is one of the most asked about topics I have gotten in the past few months.  The large tax reform bill will directly effect homeowners.  As of yesterday afternoon the Senate budget committee has voted to send their version of the tax bill to the Senate floor later this week for a vote.  The House version of the bill passed last week.
The tax bill proposes big changes to the the ability for homeowners to deduct real estate taxes and decreases the amount of the mortgage interest deduction.  The Senate bill eliminates the SALT (State and Local Taxes) deduction all together, while the House bill caps this at $10,000.  The Senate bill will continue to allow taxpayers to deduct mortgage debt up to $1 million, while the House version caps it at $500,000.
Both bills also aim to change the definition of capital gains for the purpose of selling a primary residence.  The current law requires a homeowner to live in the house for 2 out of the last 5 years to qualify for the exemption.  Both the House and Senate bills increase this to 5 out of the list 8 years.
This is a moving and changing document.  Republican legislators are aiming to have the bill completed and passed by the end of the year.  The articles below give a great layout of the additional differences between the two bills and how they differ in dollars to you.