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Check back often for new posts, updates on events and local activities and advice on buying or selling Portland real estate, condos, homes and properties.

Dec. 10, 2018

Page 4 - Home Values and Outdated Staging to Avoid

10 Ways Your House Could Feel Outdated

There's something to be said for timeless decorations and furnishings. Sometimes an old hutch, family heirloom, or memento, as to the charm and design of an entire room but there are also things that are simply outdated and there's not much you can do about it but replace it altogether. If you're looking at updating your house, either for sale, or you're just tired of living in the past, these are 10 things that make any house feel outdated.

Simple Decluttering Tricks to Give Your Home a Refresher

Simple Decluttering Tricks to Give Your Home a RefresherThe minimalistic approach is the newest trend in home design but it doesn't mean we have to get rid of everything. Decluttering a home, whether you are selling or not, can make you feel much better, open up your life a little bit more and make the entire house feel a lot fresher. There are some simple tips to decluttering your house.


4 of the Worst Home Improvement Projects for Return

If you're planning on or remodel or home improvement project the last thing you want to do is start with some projects that just don't offer you the best rate of return. You don't want to put more money in then you're likely to get out so by doing a little bit of research ahead of time, you can be ahead of the game, essentially, with finding some of the best projects instead.

8 Ways to Improve the Look of Your Home Fast!

When it comes time to list and sell your Portland home you may need to conduct some home improvement renovations or updates in order to compete with your competition. Buyers are looking for the best home for the cheapest price, and there are some ways you can improve the look of your home quickly and inexpensively.

3 Hidden House Issues That Could Be Affecting Your Home's Value

If you are planning on selling your home within the next six months you are probably wondering what you can do to maintain its value, increase its value, or simply not lose its value. Prices in the Portland real estate area are going up tremendously but if you have some issues with your home, it could damage the value. Whether you're planning on staying in your home or selling within the next year, make a checklist of these three items to verify that you're not losing the value of your home.

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Posted in Selling
Dec. 10, 2018

Page 3 - Best Home Staging Tips for Portland Sellers

3 Major Rules of Home Staging

Home staging is no longer a fad or something that very few homeowners do to sell their home anymore. Most homeowners are doing everything they can to set up, stage and present their homes in the best possible light for potential homebuyers. If you're planning on selling your Portland area home, you've probably already done a little bit of research when it comes to home staging. While there are hundreds of articles, blogs and reports out there you can listen to, it really comes down to three major points or rules. By following these three simple rules, okay, maybe they're not simple because you actually have to do something, but, if you do follow these rules, chances are you're going to get more people through the door and more potential offers on the table.

Simple and Timeless Staging Tips When it's Time to Sell

Staging your Portland Home to SellSimple and Timeless Staging Tips When it's Time to Sell

If you are planning to sell your home in Portland you might know that there are slightly different tricks and tips to keep in mind when staging for today's buyers. While all home buyers like a clean and organized home,  buyers are looking for something a little bit unique.

5 Easy Landscaping Tips to Wow Buyers

Whether it feels like it or not, spring is certainly here and we are seeing a lot less cooler days even though the sun has been playing hide and seek with us for several months. If you're planning on selling your home this spring or even summer, you're probably considering starting on the outside and working in. When it comes to staging your home you don't want to neglect the outside. The curb appeal is often the first impression many buyers see before purchasing your home. If the outside looks great, the inside is sure to follow.

6 Ways to Make Your Home Seem Bigger

I'm not necessarily talking about deceiving buyers or even anyone enters your home. But, if you wanting to make a small space look larger there are little tips, tricks and sneaky ways to do so. It will be very clear to buyers that the home is a certain size, but with the addition of a few little tricks, you can make the space fill larger and more inviting.


Posted in Selling
Dec. 10, 2018

Page 2 - Best Home Improvement Staging and Prep When Selling

Valuable Staging Tips When Selling Your Portland Home

Although we are licensed real estate brokers and perform most all and sometimes far beyond what a typical Realtor might do, there are some tactics you, the seller, can take into your own hands to ensure you have showings and ultimately an offer.

Because I cannot be in your home at all times, it’s up to you to set up your home in such a way to make it easy for short notice showings.

10 Tiny Adjustments that Make Buyers Say WOW About Your Kitchenmake your kitchen look bigger

The kitchen is probably one of the most prominent rooms in the house in which buyers are drawn to. It's important to make this room shine as much as possible. This is more than just clearing off the counters and wiping down the floors; it takes a little bit of finesse to really make your kitchen stand out from all the others the buyers may be seen. Here are 10 quick fixes that will make your kitchen pop.

7 Small Things to Change to Make a Big Impact in the Kitchen

It seems there are a lot of people updating their kitchens these days. Whether it's for selling, staging, or you just can't stand it anymore, changing kitchen items and materials are very popular as I was in Home Depot yesterday and there was literally a line in the kitchen design center. So it got me thinking about how people can make little changes in their kitchen that really make a big impact.


Posted in Selling
Dec. 10, 2018

Best Home Improvement Projects When Selling Your Home

We always want our sellers to have the most valuable information when staging, prepping and selling, which is why we've compiled a list of our favorite and most important home selling/staging/and cleaning tips out there. Pick your favorite or read them all... they will give you countless ways to make your home the most amazing listing on the market.

How Much will Actual Home Renovations Cost?

Oh, the budget! That thing that's usually always inaccurate. Many homeowners are starting their own renovations as we head into spring, whether it be for selling a home or just their own enjoyment. But the budget is that tricky thing that you can set ahead of time, and promptly blow through before you know it. So many people want to know the actual price of things and it makes sense! Why wouldn't we want to know what we're actually paying out? Well, with a little research we can almost plan for the most accurate budget possible on 4 of the top renovation projects out there.stagint

12 Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Home

We're always looking for ways to add value whether it's to ourselves with the pedicure, manicure, or great new haircut, or our home. Even if you're not selling your house, adding value is something that not just improves the value monetarily wise, but it makes you feel good when you look around a clean and highly valued home. If you're looking to update your house a little bit, here are 15 easy ways to add value and style to your house.

Is Your Home Move-in Ready or Needs Updating?

If you're planning on selling your Portland home, our real estate agent will verify whether the home is move-in ready or it needs some updating first. If you're looking to get the very most profit from the sale of your home, and who isn't, then you'll need to do some preliminary maintenance and check up on your home before listing in marketing the property.

Living in your home for some time can make you blind to a lot of the maintenance issues that homebuyers will see right away. To get around this issue it's best to have a trusted friend or even your real estate agent to tour the home pointing out any issues that buyers might notice immediately. Buyers don't want to make a mental list of all the items that need to be fixed as soon as they move in. The more move-in-ready you make your home, the more attractive it will be to potential homebuyers.


Posted in Selling
Dec. 5, 2018

Don't Make These 4 Real Estate Closing Mistakes

Don't Make These 4 Real Estate Closing Mistakes

The closing process happens when you finalize all the documents and paperwork necessary for buying real estate and all deeds are recorded and funds are dispersed. This closing can only happen when every notch falls into place and there are a lot of notches! So, there's a chance that something can fall through. You're dealing with a lot of involved parties when buying property, the title and escrow company, several real estate agents, buyers and sellers, appraisers, inspectors, and lenders. So, for everything to come together it can be challenging. And... you don't want to sabotage that sale. So here are 4 things that can ruin your closing.

#1. Insufficient closing funds.

Your lender should give you a good faith estimate as to exactly how much you'll be paying for the property in terms of closing costs, actual purchase price, down payment, and any other fees. If for some reason you don't bring the amount of closing costs needed to the table, the property cannot close. It's important to be preapproved for a loan before finalizing any closing documents. A buyer and a seller may need to cover some closing costs such as the title search, home inspection, or any prorated homeowner association dues or taxes. This can add up to several thousands of dollars to bring to the closing table and if for some reason either party does not have those funds, it can cause a major glitch in the closing process. Be sure to contact your lender and know exactly what you need to bring to the table at closing.

#2. Renters or tenants in the property.

If you lease your home while you are trying to sell it you now have other people involved. Let's go back to that list of people involved in the process and add another one, tenants. Make sure your lease agreement provides enough time for renters to move on before closing so that it's not an awkward eviction situation.

#3. Pests.

Most homeowners will have a home inspection completed before final closing but if you are unable to prove that your home is been treated for pests or do something seriously wrong with pests or pest damage, buyers may back out of the deal and ruin the closing situation. Many contracts are drafted with contingencies that allow the buyer to inspect the property before finalizing the sale. Make sure you have completed anything and everything on the home inspection report contingency before finalizing documents.

#4. Any additional liens on the property.

Before selling a property you have to be the sole owner of the property or the one allowed to sell the property and if you have any unpaid bills from delinquent property taxes, homeowners association dues, or even additional mortgages, it could put a major glitch on your closing. Title searches will make sure that any liens found in public records are completed before closing, but if things are found at the last minute, it could really terminate or at the very minimum, delay the closing process.

As a seller, and even as a buyer, finalizing these documents before being called in by escrow to sign is really the key to a smooth and stress-free closing. Good communication with your listing agent and the buyers lender can make sure that all of these loose ends are tied up so that you don't have a huge surprise at the closing table.

More on Closing

How Much Money to Bring to Closing

What Happens When Sellers Attend Closing Without Enough Money?

Contingent on Offer or Subject to Closing?

How Much are Closing Costs and Fees?

Posted in Buying
Dec. 3, 2018

Buying a House Without Seeing it First

The real estate market in Portland may be different than let’s say, Florida or Hawaii. When some parts of the country go into their busy season, we slow down and fall and winter start to press down on us. But that doesn’t mean people stop buying and selling homes. If you relocate, have a family change, or just need a bigger or smaller house, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.. you need to move on.Buying a House Without Seeing it First

 But what if you’re moving here from overseas or a different part of the country and you have to buy a home sight-unseen? How is that even possible? Do people do that? How do you really know what you’re getting?

Most people start their real estate search from the comfort of their own home online. If you come across a property you love while searching it may mean finding a trustworthy agent to help you jump in and buy the property sight unseen.

The key to buying a home without physically walking through it is to find a very reputable real estate agent with experience in helping clients buy properties without being physically present. Upon finding an agent don’t be afraid to ask right off the bat about their experience in these types of sales and describe the process and services they offer to buyers for a sight-unseen transaction.

A great agent will pay close much attention to detail.

They have the challenge of describing the property to someone who is not there. This can be a big benefit as the more details you know about the property the better prepared you are in making a decision to buy. You may end up getting more information on a home in a sight unseen transaction than a traditional one. Make sure your agent offers to take a video tour of the home and pictures of every room and things that may need fixing or updating as well as the surrounding land and views. Sometimes a real estate agent will be able to Skype or have a live video interaction with you as they tour the home and you can ask questions while they walk through the property for you.

Inspect the Home (Via a Home Inspector)

After showing you a video and pictures of the property you have fallen in love with have your realtor suggest a qualified home inspector in the area with attention to detail. Inspectors that have dealt in sight unseen real estate sales will take pictures of every area they inspect as well and report back everything in great detail because they are aware of the importance of finding every issue and making sure to communicate it clearly. Again this is a great benefit as you may end up with a more careful inspection than you would typically receive in a traditional sale.

Having the wealth of video and pictures will also allow you to look through the home several more times and really know that you do love the property. This isn’t an option with walking through the home physically because one look is what you get. What a benefit to be able to watch a video over and over again to make sure you didn’t miss anything and be sure you want to buy.

Buying a home in Portland or Vancouver without physically seeing it does seem a bit risky, but with a trustworthy agent and an inspector on top of their game, it doesn’t have to be. If you are looking at houses online don’t wait until you can visit a property you love because it may not be for sale when you get here.

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Posted in Buying
Nov. 28, 2018

Portland Ranked at Top Relocation Destinations

Back in 2017 - Oregon was on top too! "Oregon ranked second in the country in 2017 as a destination for people who moved into a new state, according to tracking statistics released by moving company United Van Lines."

But now, Portland has ranked among the nation's top moving destinations, which really isn't any surprise to us Portlandians. According to Updater, a moving app that ranked the top 15 moving destinations of 2018, Portland came in at #12. The top five moving destinations in the Portland area include the Pearl District, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Vancouver, and downtown Portland.

Americans migrate to the states in the New England area, the southeast, and the West Coast primarily. Outbound migration is distributed across the states for multiple regions and Updater analyzed over 1 million anonymous households. More people were moving out of California, Alaska, New York, and a couple of Southern states where most people are moving into Washington Oregon, Idaho, and some of the Southeastern states. The entire state of Oregon got the top 10 inbound states for migration.

But how is this affecting real estate?

The median sales price in Portland is about $417,000 with the median rent at $2000. We've seen this number gradually increase with a huge spike around March and April of this year. However, going into the fall and winter season we are seeing the market cool off just a little bit. There's not as many bidding wars and know all cash offers from developers, which gives a lot of hope for first-time homebuyers. There might be a couple of multiple offer situations on a below market priced house, but most people are marketing at the correct price right now, so buyers and sellers are both satisfied.

If you're considering moving to Portland, give our office a call. Our team specializes in helping folks buy and sell homes and condominiums throughout the Portland Metro area including parts of Vancouver Washington and South into Tualatin and Tigard.

5 Moving Expenses you should know about

Best place in Portland to Retire

Nov. 26, 2018

Portland's Winter Concert Line-Up

Portland's Winter Concert Line-UpSummer concert series move over… It's time for the winter concert series and Portland pulls no punches when it comes to scheduling and organizing some of the best in the business. The December to Remember series has something for everyone so let's just take a little look at what's coming up in December and throughout the winter in the Portland concert series.

The Dandy Warhols -  is coming to the Crystal ballroom on Saturday, December 1 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $20.

Matt & Kim – this electro pop duo is touring on Tuesday, December 4 at the Crystal ballroom at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $38.

Metallica – coming to the Moda Center on December 5 at 7:30 PM. You can try resellers but they are currently sold out.

Alice Merton - is coming to the Crystal ballroom on December 8 at 8 PM. Tickets are less than $24.

Ezra Furman – at the Aladdin theater on December 11 at 8 PM. Tickets are $14-$16.

Young the Giant is coming to the Crystal ballroom on Thursday, December 13 at 8 PM.

Death cab for cutie – is coming to the Crystal ballroom on December 12 at 8:00 PM.

Ellie King is coming to the Crystal ballroom on December 5 at 8 PM. Tickets are about $30.

Cake – coming to Doug Fir Lounge - on December 13 at 9 PM.

Frankie Simone's Holigay Spectacular - This eclectic show is coming to Mississippi studios at 9 PM on December 15. Tickets are just $15.

Tenacious D is rocking the Crystal ballroom on Saturday, December 15 at 8:30 PM.

John Legend: Legendary Christmas at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Wednesday, December 19 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are between $70 and $150.

Ural Thomas and the Pain - this legendary soul singer is coming to the Doug Fir Lounge on Friday, December 28 at 9 PM.

Calpurnia – this the low rock indie band is taking over the Crystal ballroom on January 4 at 8:30 PM.

Elton John is rocking the Moda Center on Saturday, January 12 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are currently sold out but you can try resellers at the RoseQuarter.com.

Check out more with Oregon Live.com | Ernst Vikne [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted in Things to Do
Nov. 18, 2018

Showing a House Around Thanksgiving

An open house... a showing on a holiday.. who are these people!? Do people really buy real estate on a holiday?

Surprisingly yes. Showing a House Around Thanksgiving

So how are sellers supposed to deal?

Well, believe it or not, I've had buyers that were just in town for the Thanksgiving holiday and needed to look at homes THAT DAY. Sometimes you can't help it and I get that. But what can buyers do? Here are some ideas for selling around the Thanksgiving weekend. 

An open house the Sunday after Thanksgiving?

There is actually some effectiveness to having an open house held the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Typically buyers are milling around without a lot to do other than eat leftover turkey for the third time or bug their relatives. But, if people are moving to an area and they happen to be visiting during Thanksgiving, this weekend is a great opportunity to host an open house. This might be a lot to undertake for some sellers, but if you'd like to try the opportunity of nabbing those buyers in town for just this weekend, holding an open house might be ideal.

What about buyers that want to see your house on Thanksgiving?

Here's what I tell all of my homeowners that have their house listed during the holidays. It can be stressful, yes, but I also think buyers are gracious enough to understand that you are having a holiday at your house. If at all possible, perhaps have Thanksgiving dinner somewhere else or at another relatives house so that your house can remain clean, uncluttered, and unoccupied. Then buyers can browse your home in peace and quiet, without feeling like they are interrupting a private family moment.

What if it's a holiday you don't know about?

Some homeowners may celebrate holidays that the general public or most of America may not. In this case, buyers are simply unaware that you might be having a holiday occasion at your house and should be gracious enough to reschedule, especially if it's not a public holiday.

What about staging?

I don't know about you but pumpkins, fall leaves, and the general ambiance of fall decoration just screams warmth an invitation. So, having a few decorations put up in a tasteful way is not distracting, but actually welcoming. Going overboard on any type of decoration even if it's very neutral any time of the year, is just too much for buyers to take in.

Remember, if you have homebuyers browsing your home during a holiday season there probably serious. Those that are out are seriously looking and they may have deadlines in which they need to move by so by offering them a showing, even if it's inconvenient for you, usually means they're serious about homebuying at this time.

It's really up to you whether you choose to open your home during the holiday season or this Thanksgiving weekend to buyers. It's important to have a good line of communication with your real estate agent so that when buyers agents call-in for showing, we can really talk through the reason for the showing, the inconvenience, and if the buyers are serious.

So, don't worry about selling your house this weekend, do the best you can, plan ahead, and remember the end goal… To sell your house.

Read More:

November Buying in Portland

Selling around Thanksgiving for a Fast Closing

Thanksgiving Events 2018

Posted in Selling
Nov. 14, 2018

2018 Portland Thanksgiving Day Weekend Events

2018 Portland Thanksgiving Day Weekend Events:

Activities by PDXPipeline.com

Posted in Things to Do