Thursday, September 11, 2008

Free Fall Friday - 5219 SE Belmont St now $999k

Sent in by a reader:

"There's a pretty interesting house on Belmont Street on the lower slopes of Mt Tabor (5219 SE Belmont). MLS# 8088100.

It was purchased in June 2004 for $1.14 million. It's been listed several times since then, first (without a sign, but on the MLS) for something like $1.85 million, then a long period where I think it started at $1.5 million and dropped by degrees. I didn't keep track of the exact numbers. This summer there was an "estate" sale, and the lawn turned brown, a bad sign because the owner was a Willamette Week "Hydro Hog" in 2006 ( who disparaged his neighbors' brown lawns. Now I see that the owner since July is Deutsche Bank Trust which seems to have "paid" $1.3 million for it. Is that a foreclosure? [Yes, that means that was the loan balance and nobody bought it at auction so it went back to DB.]

It's for sale for $999,000, I went through it in 2004 and I'd say it's a lot of house for a million dollars. The current listing really sells it short, as It's formally known as the "Blaine Smith House" and was designed by Ellis Lawrence, a renowned Oregon architect who founded the School of Architecture at U of O and designed many of the buildings on campus. It was a lot better deal in 2004, though, as a historic property tax exemption ran out last year and the taxes went from $2,900 to $19,500, the assessor's Real Market Value being a whopping $1,735,990.

Schadenfreude bonus: The last owner was apparently a mortgage broker."

Trulia lists it as a 7 bedroom, 5 1/2 bath and 6700+ sq ft on a 27,000 sq ft lot, so yeah it is a lot for $1,000,000. It also has 3 kitchens I believe, which I guess is handy if you're hungry and don't want to walk a 1/4 mile to the main kitchen.

It's a beautiful house on a huge lot, I just wouldn't want to heat it. Or water the lawn.

Thanks for the tip Tom, keep them coming everybody!

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Anonymous said...

Unless it has been recently updated or remodeled, I wouldn't want to spend the money for doing that either. It would cost a small fortune. Interesting that the bank bought it back for more than the original sales price.

Annie said...

It wasn't that long ago that my parents' house on Prune Hill (Camas) was valued at $899,000--and it's NOT a mansion--it's a very large, comfy 3 bedroom with a view.
It's a little weird to think about that house 2 years ago being comparable to this huge Portland beauty now.

bearlee said...

What do you think your folks' house is valued at now?

Anonymous said...

"it's NOT a mansion--it's a very large, comfy 3 bedroom with a view."

IMO "a very large, comfy 3 bedroom with a view" worth 900 grand *is* a mansion. From the sound of it, it might even be a mcmansion.

John said...

Hardly. I live in a 2400 sq ft 2 bedroom condo that is worth around $1 million. It is hardly a mansion. Price does not determine it.

Wikipedia says:
a "real" mansion is normally designed by an architect to the exact needs of the clients, is significantly larger (typically, a minimum of 6,000 square feet), and contains many more features and creature comforts; however, the house does not need to be this size to be considered a mansion[citation needed]. It may just simply contain many of the features that come with a mansion.

Annie said...

~ Bearlee

Well! According to my mother, it hasn't dropped in value at ALL (since the tax-man hasn't said so). I don't get what she's so proud about anyway; they massively overpaid for a depreciating "asset" that the taxes keep going up on.

"Okay... yes mom... you live on Prune Hill. Yes, it's so very beautiful how you can see Ft. Vancouver fireworks from your front porch."

If you ask me, given that Vancouver and Camas have depreciated sooner and faster than Portland, I'd say the place would bring around $500,000.

The really funny part about this is that the only reason they moved up to Vancouver/Camas was because Portland was getting too expensive to live in.

bearlee said...


So they are paying higher taxes just to say they live in a million dollar home?!?!?! Heck, I'd check the comps (everyone knows a realtor, don't they?!?!) and have that tax assessor over ASAP just to knock my tax bill in half. But, then again, some of us have money to burn?!?!

Maybe ignorance is bliss for the folks? Are they in good cardiac health? Maybe the shock would send 'em to SWMC?

Annie said...

~ Bearlee

Well, if you buy the "your home is your greatest asset" line, then equity feels like money in the bank. By having the higher assessment, they get to feel like they have a net worth substantially higher than it really is.

Of course, you and I know that your house is only worth what you can sell it for NOW, not what the tax-man says or what the assessor for the re-fi said back in early 2007.

Anonymous said...

john, i take it you've never been to prude hill.

Kate! said...

Too bad Fort Vancouver doesn't have fireworks anymore so you can't watch them from the deck. And it is really too bad all those homes were built where my dad would take me as a kid to watch shooting stars when it was all fields and orchards or when we would load up the car with the family to park and watch the fireworks ourselves. I know... I know... I would rather fill in with homes than sprawl out (thank you Portland and your urban growth boundary) but seriously.

Mortgage Brokers in Vancouver said...

Is the house still for sale? I have a client looking for a property like this. I hope it is still available.

victoria real estate said...

No, it is already been sold. Just look for another property that your client will like.

display homes Victoria said...

Too bad that this property was already sold. This is the kind of property that my client prefers to buy.