Archives: Real Estate

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Lender Beware: Make Sure That Your Deed of Trust Covers Latecomer Fees

In a recent Washington State Court of Appeals case, a developer of a residential subdivision built sewer facilities to serve its project, and was entitled to latecomer fees for building more than what it required. Other developers, who received the benefit of the sewer facilities, would be required to pay latecomer fees to reimburse the … Continue Reading

Land Use Permits Post-Koontz

The United States Supreme Court decisions in Nollan v. California Coastal Commission and Dolan v. City of Tigard determined that the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution (the “Takings Clause”) requires heightened scrutiny for land use permit decisions that condition approval on an exaction of property. In those cases, the Court held that a unit of government may … Continue Reading

Proposed Option for All Appropriate Inquiries to Mitigate Environmental Liabilities in Flux

To avoid the potentially staggering environmental cleanup liabilities under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and the Oregon cleanup statute, a prospective landowner or tenant must have conducted all appropriate inquiries (“AAI”) into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent with good commercial or customary practice. Because the Oregon … Continue Reading

NW Housing—Are Prices Cooling?

Nationally and around Seattle, the leaves are falling off the trees, and sellers are dropping their listing prices for homes on the market. The Seattle Business Journal notes that 32 percent of sellers had to reduce the listed price when no buyers offered the initial asking price in September. More recent October data indicates that the normal seasonal … Continue Reading

SEC Proposed Rules for Crowdfunding May Be Used for Real Estate Investments

Although not specific to real estate funding or lending, some activity and commentary indicates that fund-raising for real estate investment is likely to be active in crowdfunding. Click to read the SEC discussion about real estate loans’ being included as an incentive for increased small-business lending. Click to read local comments about crowdfunding in the Daily Journal of … Continue Reading

All-Cash Institutional Buyers Taking More Distressed Homes in the SFR Market

The national foreclosure and data tracking website RealtyTrac reports that a significant portion of distressed homes are now being purchased by all-cash institutional investors. According to a new report, in markets where houses continue selling for less than $200,000, buyers owning ten or more SFRs (Single-Family Rentals) accounted for 14 percent of all purchases in September.… Continue Reading

Appraisals in Real Estate Transactions

Appraisals are often used in transactions involving either a loan by federally regulated lender or a purchase by a public body that must pay fair market value. Since 1989, the requirements for an appraisal and the education and experience requirements for certified and licensed appraisers are largely a matter of federal law, even though the … Continue Reading

Convention Hotel: Big Boost, Low Taxpayer Risk Guest Article by Elisa J. Dozono MERC Commissioner and Miller Nash partner. Tourism is one of the engines of our region’s economy, and conventions fuel that engine. We can increase the prosperity conventions bring to our community if we build convenient and accessible hotel rooms adjacent to the Oregon Convention Center. Read Elisa’s full article … Continue Reading

Portland Housing Prices are Up More than 12 Percent, But Not Back to the Boom Level

The Portland Business Journal reports on the latest Case-Shiller home price numbers for Portland. We are still climbing, but not at the accelerated rate of several other cities, where record prices have reached above the 2006-2007 peaks. The Portland metro area actually fits right in the national composite profile right now.… Continue Reading

Oregon Amends Prospective Purchaser Statute

SB 476A is one of few environmental bills that the 2013 legislature passed. The bill amends the prospective purchaser agreement statute (ORS 465.325) in the following ways: (1) Requiring the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) to specifically notify potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”), who have previously entered into an agreement with DEQ, of any proposed consent … Continue Reading

Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District Gives Oregon Developers New Hope

As reported in this blog yesterday, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a decision on June 25, 2013, that expanded the rights of land owners and developers under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the Court held that the Fifth Amendment, which requires just compensation when … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Issues Major Ruling (No, Not Those Rulings)

Lost in the media’s attention on affirmative-action, voting-rights and same-sex marriage cases, the United States Supreme Court issued a significant decision on unconstitutional takings on June 25, 2013, in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District. In that case, the issue before the Court was whether the Nollan/Dolan takings analysis can be applied when a permit is … Continue Reading

House bidding wars: Home Buyers vs. Big Cash Investors

This national story in the New York Times might explain the local jump in prices noted in the FTGU Blog I posted on June 4, 2013. All cash, no inspection contingencies, and $100,000 above asking? It appears investment funds, and even REITS seeking better returns, are now active bidders in the traditional single family market in some … Continue Reading

Portland/Vancouver House Price Gains in the Top 5

The Portland Business Journal reports on the latest Case Shiller index. Given the limited supply of new building and anecdotal bloom of new “For Sale” signs in my own neighborhood it sure feels like people are jumping back in for housing.… Continue Reading

PCS Nitrogen Inc. v. Ashley II of Charleston: Prospective Purchasers Beware

On April 4, 2013, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued the first appellate decision interpreting the “bona fide prospective purchaser” (“BFPP”) defense. The BFPP defense exempts certain qualified individuals and entities from the stringent federal environmental cleanup liability imposed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) . . .… Continue Reading

Buyer Really Beware

A Washington Court of Appeals had harsh words for the sellers of a house who concealed rot damage and did not disclose the defect to the buyers, calling their acts reprehensible. Yet in Douglas v. Visser, decided on February 25, 2013, the court ruled that the sellers were not liable for these acts, were entitled to … Continue Reading

City of Portland Releases Draft Comprehensive Plan

The City of Portland has just released a draft of its proposed comprehensive plan update, which is intended to guide development in the city for the next 20 years. The City’s current comprehensive plan is more than 30 years old. When completed, the new comprehensive plan will implement the Portland Plan, which was adopted by the City Council … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Reverses Inverse-Condemnation Award Against ODOT

In an inverse-condemnation case that will almost assuredly be appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court, the court of appeals recently reversed a Linn County Circuit Court decision to award landowners almost $4 million against the Oregon Department of Transportation (“ODOT”). Hall v. ODOT, No. A146386 (Oct. 3, 2012). The plaintiffs own a 25-acre parcel of real … Continue Reading