Archives: Real Estate

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NWP: Insurance Coverage Can Help Businesses Impacted by Wildfires or Hurricanes

This post originally appeared on The Northwest Policyholder, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn’s insurance recovery blog. Many Northwest businesses are being impacted by the wildfires close to home, and also by the hurricanes that have or will hit Texas, Florida and other Gulf states. Can commercial insurance help to mitigate losses from these natural disasters? … Continue Reading

Guest Feature: Portland Seeks Public Comment on Affordable Housing Bond Framework

Thanks to our friends at HFO Investment Real Estate for this important notice regarding new developments from the Portland Housing Bureau regarding the Affordable Housing Bond. The Portland Housing Bureau released a report written by the Affordable Housing Bond Stakeholder Advisory Group, which lays out a plan for how the money should be spent. The affordable housing … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Opens the Door, IRS Slams It Shut (an update to IRS: “Shea It Ain’t So!” The Ninth Circuit Opens the Door for Real Estate Developer to Defer Income Tax)

On April 7, 2017, the IRS issued Action on Decision 2017-03, confirming that the IRS would not follow the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Shea Homes, Inc. v. Commissioner, 834 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir. 2016). The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Shea Homes was widely perceived as a significant, albeit narrow, win for taxpayers engaged in real … Continue Reading

Hidden Hazards: Oregon Proposes New Burdens on Charities Seeking Property Tax Exemption

Oregon has a long tradition of narrowing the scope of the property tax exemption afforded to charities operating in the state. This tradition is alive and well in 2017, as the Oregon legislature contemplates imposing an annual reporting requirement on all charities holding or seeking a property tax exemption on their real or personal property. Under … Continue Reading

IRS: “Shea It Ain’t So!” The Ninth Circuit Opens The Door For Real Estate Developers to Defer Income Tax

In a coup for real estate developers, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the U.S. Tax Court’s approval of a real estate developer’s strategy to defer income in Shea Homes, Inc. v. Commissioner, 834 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir. 2016). The strategy appears fairly narrow, and will likely be the subject of future IRS challenges.… Continue Reading

Portland’s Construction Boom

Portland is quickly joining the ranks of American cities with the most significant construction projects. According to a report Friday from the Seattle Times, Portland now ranks seventh in the nation in the number of construction cranes—just behind San Francisco and Chicago, and ahead of larger cities ranging from Denver and Phoenix to Houston and … Continue Reading

LUBA Decision Blocks Proposed Right 2 Dream Too Move to the Central Eastside

The City of Portland has been struggling for several years to find a permanent location for the Right 2 Dream Too (“R2DToo”) tent camp, currently located at the corner of NW 4th and Burnside. An August 30, 2016, decision by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (“LUBA”) effectively blocks the latest solution. The City … Continue Reading

A Housing Price Slowdown in Portland? Not So Fast

National numbers released this morning show that home prices rose 5.1 percent year to year nationwide—although, according to The Wall Street Journal, “[p]rice growth did show some sign of slowing in the country’s largest cities.” But is this “slowing” being seen in Portland? It appears not. Housing prices in the Portland area increased 12.6 percent from June … Continue Reading

Opening the Door to Owner and General Contractor Liability Under Oregon’s Employer Liability Law

General contractors and other employers (even some owners) have greater exposure under Oregon’s Employer Liability Law (the “ELL”) to injured workers based on the recent Oregon Supreme Court decision in Yeatts v. Polygon Northwest Co. The ELL imposes liability on all “owners, contractors or subcontractors and other persons having charge of, or responsibility for,” work … Continue Reading

Lack of Evidence of Prior Use Not Fatal to Implied Easement Claim

On August 10, 2016, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a decision on an implied easement claim, finding that the lack of evidence regarding the use of the easement before the initial conveyance of the benefited property was not fatal to the claim. Dayton v. Jordan, 280 Or App 236 (2016).  In Dayton, the parties own abutting … Continue Reading

Portland’s Booming Residential Market Remains Hot

Zillow calls Portland the nation’s fourth “hottest” apartment market based upon a combination of new apartments as a percentage of total rentals (just 1.7 percent), the percentage of new apartments rented within three months (72 percent), and apartment rent appreciation over the preceding year (8.6 percent). Not to be outdone, Axiometrics ranks Portland as the … Continue Reading

Creative Way to Deal With Easement Dispute Fails

In the recent Washington Court of Appeals case of Buchheit v. Geiger, property owners tried to prevent a neighbor from crossing over their lakeside lot with an antiharassment order.  The neighbor began using the lakeside lot without the owners’ permission, by attaching a floating dock to the lot, storing personal items on it, and walking … Continue Reading

New Property Owners, Beware: Possible Shortened Time to Bring Defective-Construction Claims

The Oregon Supreme Court issued a decision on February 19, 2016, affirming a decision to dismiss a homeowner’s claim against a builder for defective construction. In Shell v. Schollander Companies, Inc., 350 Or 552 (2016), defendant, a builder, began construction on a “spec” home in 1999. When the home was approximately 95 percent complete, plaintiff … Continue Reading

Poorly Drafted Leases Can Cause Headaches for Tenants and Landlords (Part I of II)

These 10 common problem areas can easily be avoided by paying attention to details. It’s a dangerous world out there. We cannot eliminate all risks. But a well-drafted lease can minimize risk, and a poorly drafted lease can unnecessarily create serious problems for either a landlord or a tenant. Following are instances in which a … Continue Reading

Does Homeownership Still Beat Renting?

Zillow, a real estate listing and analytics company, recently looked at the “break-even” time horizon for owning a house versus renting in a number of markets across the nation. “Breaking even” means the amount of time it will take for the cost of owning a home to be equal to the cost of renting. The … Continue Reading

Leasing Restrictions in Condominiums Are Still “Use” Restrictions

We wrote about the Filmore v. Unit Owners Association of Centre Pointe Condominium case in a prior blog post, when the Washington Court of Appeals issued its decision in the case. The court of appeals ruled that, based on the language of the Washington Condominium Act, any amendment to restrict or remove a restriction on leasing condominium units … Continue Reading

Neighbor Loses Right to Use Driveway: Part II

Last year, we wrote about the Gamboa v. Clark case, in which Division III of the Washington State Court of Appeals set a high bar for proving the existence of prescriptive easements. A prescriptive easement arises when one openly and adversely uses the land of another for over ten years, usually for access, to such a degree … Continue Reading

Back in the Bubble?

It has been close for a few months, but Seattle house prices and full-on seller’s market are now confirmed in this report from the Puget Sound Business Journal. Prices are now all the way back to the 2006 peak with no indication of slowing down. In the long-term perspective, these gains may not be as extreme … Continue Reading

Millennial Myth-Busting

After years of media speculation and pundits declaring that the millennial generation is so very different and may never own a car or a house, changing all business and real estate markets, Globe.st.com shares some actual research data showing that the lull of the great recession may actually fit historical patterns. With household-formation rates back to normal … Continue Reading
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