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June 21, 2018

Thinking of a Tiny Home for Retirement? Here's What to Look For - 2

Tiny house

#3. Easy storage.

As with the bedroom, having a loft for storage sounds convenient but will still need to be accessible via a ladder or stairs increasing the chance of a fall. Closets and other storage areas that you need to access daily should be readily accessible. Built-in drawers beneath beds and sofas are usually the most clever way to add storage to tiny homes.

Tiny house

#4. Accessibility.

Think 5 to 10 years down the road; will what is practical now still be practical then? You might be flexible and agile now, but in five years, those extra stairs or ladders may be impractical. Consider wide doorways and low threshold showers to accommodate wheelchairs if necessary.

Whether you design and build your tiny house or find one ready-made and move-in, keeping these four features in mind when searching or building will help you find the home you really want.

Start searching tiny homes now

Call me today to get your personalized list of homes that meet your search criteria and price


Image by Flickr | Alicia Chenaux

Posted in Buying
June 21, 2018

Thinking of a Tiny Home for Retirement? Here's What to Look For

Even though baby boomers are not downsizing in record numbers like they use to in generations prior, there are still those looking for smaller homes, more convenient layouts, and prime locations. Many of these retirees are even looking into the tiny home movement. Now, while 300 ft.² may not sound like an attractive possibility, there are some things to look for when considering a tiny house as your retirement home. Certain design features can actually make these homes safer and more comfortable, specifically for downsizing retirees.

Here are four things to look for when considering a tiny house is your retirement home.

tiny house

#1. A main floor bedroom.

Most of these tiny houses have loft bedrooms to maximize the space and go higher rather than wider, but this isn't practical for retirees. Most people in their 60s and 70s are looking for single-story properties without a lot of stairs if any. Nobody wants to go up and down a  ladder as it can increase the risk of falls and strain on joints. Finding a tiny home with a single level floor plan that accommodates the bedroom as well as everything else can be doable all for around 400 ft.².

Tiny house shower

#2. A full bath.

Trying to maximize space in 300 ft.² can be tricky especially if you want a full bath but most of these homes come equipped with a raised toilet for comfort and a walk-in shower for safety. Try to look for a shower that has a 36 x 36 and standing shower, which is the same as a full-size home. Grab bars in the bathroom can also be a safety feature as well as slip resistant flooring.

Read On...


Image by Your Best Digs

Posted in Buying
June 19, 2018

Is it Ever a Good Idea to Sell an As-Is to a Cash Buyer?

Is it Ever a Good Idea to Sell an As-Is to a Cash Buyer?It's a trade-off, that's what it is. Sure, you can sell your home as is, right now, no questions asked, here's cash for your house and you can walk away. That appeals to a lot of people, but is it the best way? You know, in my opinion, it all comes down to what you need and your situation in life.

I've had people with inherited homes or homes that they phone for a while and rented out only to discover the renter is completely trashed the home. Maybe it's an elderly owner and they just don't have the time, energy, or resources to fix it up. Maybe it's someone that inherited a property and the home was the home of a hoarder, where everything is piled high to the ceiling. The idea of trying to eliminate that trash is so overwhelming that the owner would rather just get rid of it then worry about fixing it up for a few extra dollars.

Related: What to do with unwanted property?

Now, that being said, that's the reason you would sell to a cash buyer. If you don't want to put any money into the property, you don't have the time to deal with it, nor do you have the energy to deal with a real estate agent, multiple buyers, staging, and all that, selling to a cash buyer might be a good idea. But, I will preface it by saying this, this situation is rare. I try to tell all of my sellers that by going for the highest possible profit, especially in this hot market, almost all sellers can gain a substantial profit. You can always list the property "as is" and then if any buyer request you do something, you can consider it at that time. Cash homebuyers make a great option if you want to be completely hands off and walk away but understand that they will probably lowball you. You're probably going to be getting anywhere from 75% to 90% of the value of your house and if you are okay with that, it's perfectly fine.

External Resource: Tips to Setting Up, Staging and Selling Your Home

There really is no illegal scam here. It's about selling you have immediately, for cash, and walking away, no questions asked. Most cash buyers will not ask you to fix up the property, Holloway the junk, or do any repairs. They simply want to buy your property for a lower price than you could sell it if it was completely fixed up, staged, and near market value.

Related: Should you sell your house on Craigslist?

So is it ever a good idea to sell and as is property to a cash buyer? If all of the figures lineup and it's just not something you want to deal with, a cash buyer might be ideal. But, you also never know if you can sell as is through a real estate agent and get a little bit more profit on the backend.

If you are questioning whether you should sell your house as is to a cash buyer or considering listing it on the market give us a call. We can run some numbers and see what best fits into your budget and your current situation.

What's Your Home Currently Worth?

Posted in Selling
June 13, 2018

Is a Subway Portland's Next Big Thing?

Is a Subway Portland's Next Big Thing?We have the MAX and lots of transit options but now city planners are considering a subway system. At a recent meeting of the Portland planning and sustainability committee, they talked about a conceptual proposal for a subway tunnel linking downtown across the river. But don't get too excited, this plan is far from reality and it could take anywhere from 30 to 40 years before it becomes a reality. Other projects aimed at increasing efficiency of downtown infrastructure are likely to be implemented before that. 

For the current time, city planners are considering including extending MAX lines to other cities like Vancouver and Oregon city as well as remodeling Portland's famous steel bridge. All of this is due to the fact that the city's population continues its upward trajectory and more riders are looking for public transportation downtown. There are a lot of brainstorming ideas going on with city planners and they're not only planning for today, but for the next 50 years as well. So as of subway in our future? Possibly, but don't hold your breath.


Posted in News and Media
June 11, 2018

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.

Ask yourself some questions. Do we really need to upgrade every tech item when the latest thing comes out? Do we reward hard work with gifts? Do you really need to upgrade or replace things that aren't necessarily broken? It's important to question all of the things you bring into the house to determine if it's a necessity or just a want.

Keep things that spark joy. Decluttering doesn't mean you have to get rid of everything because many things you have, even those without an actual sense of purpose, may just bring you joy. But other things, like something that you bought at a home goods store that you really don't care about, probably should be on its way out.

Take your time. This isn't something that has to be done in a weekend. It shouldn't feel like punishment or a chore. Remove the excess so that you can appreciate things that you want to keep. Going extreme may find you remorseful later on.

Eliminate the "just in case" idea. Don't keep things just in case you might use them at a later date. If you haven't used something for six months it may be time to get rid of it. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean seasonal and holiday items, but if you haven't worn an outfit for at least a year, chances are you'll never going to wear it.

Decluttering is not just organizing. Decluttering means literally getting rid of things, not just organizing all the things you already have.

Stick to one room at a time. You can easily get overwhelmed when you think of the entire house at once. Start with one room at a time and don't just move things from one room to another.

In one out one policy. Try to adopt this policy where if you bring something new into the house it's time to get rid of something old. This keeps your closets, kitchen appliances, and decorating items down to a minimum.

Whether you are looking to sell your house or not, decluttering does so much for your life. Amazing how freeing it feels and not only do you feel good emotionally, but your house looks better too. Remember, anytime you're considering selling your Portland or Vancouver home give us a call to find out what it's worth today.

Posted in Selling
June 6, 2018

Downsizing? Baby Boomers Certainly Are Not.

Quite possibly the biggest housing issue we're having in this country right now is the baby boomers are not downsizing. According to a new article in MSN Money, baby boomers are holding onto their homes rather than downsizing to smaller properties. They're changing the economic expansion. The oldest baby boomers are now in the early 70s and previous generations usually downsizing to condominiums, small apartments, or townhouses, but many economists are seeing baby boomers are not downsizing and instead, holding onto their properties.Baby boomers are not downsizing

This is probably adding to the inventory shortage facing many homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers. Baby boomers are healthier and working longer than previous generations. They simply are not ready to sell their properties and look for a retirement option. Others just don't want to deal with being a homebuyer again.

Economists assume that there was an expectation as baby boomers moved into retirement, a surge of new homes will hit the market, but that has not happened. It's pinching the real estate market because those over 65 have the highest homeownership rate of any generation. Nearly 80% of seniors own their homes, compared to just 35% of Americans under the age of 35.

Many baby boomers intend to stay through retirement and keep their home as their last property. This means that nearly 33 million properties will stay off of the market, a significant amount considering 5.5 million existing homes were sold last year alone.

Baby boomers are simply working longer, they're waiting to downsize till their 80s, and many of their kids are simply still at home. More than one-third of adult children between the ages of 18 and 34 are still living with her parents. This makes it difficult for parents to sell and move somewhere else, especially in expensive markets.

Whether you're planning on buying, selling, or staying put, for all of your real estate investment in buying and selling needs, contact our office. We work throughout the Portland real estate market including Vancouver and South cities.

Posted in News and Media
June 4, 2018

Best June Events in Portland 2018

Best June Events in Portland 2018

Flower show

June 7 - 8, 2018
3 miles NE

The Portland Rose Society’s Spring Rose Show at the Lloyd Center Mall is billed as America’s largest and longest-running rose show. Held in June & September.

CityFair & fireworks

June 8 - 10, 2018
0.5 mile east

CityFair has fireworks on May 25 at 9:50 p.m., carnival rides, exhibits, beer, a food fair, and music concerts at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. No pets. Dates in 2018: May 25 - 28, June 1 - 3 and 8 - 10.

Fruit beer festival

June 8 - 10, 2018
1.3 miles NE

Buy a ticket to try two dozen fantastically fruity beers and ciders outdoors at Portland Fruit Beer Festival at 7th Avenue & E. Burnside Street.

Adult party at OMSI

June 9, 2018 (7 p.m., VIP 6 p.m.)
1.2 miles SE

Enjoy samples of tequila from distilleries with sweet and spicy appetizers at Tapas & Tequila in the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) for age 21+.

Scandinavian festival

June 9, 2018
6 miles SE

Celebrate summer solstice with games, traditional dancing, Scandinavian crafts, food, a beer garden, and a 2 p.m. Maypole raising followed by dancing at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival at Oaks Park.

Renaissance fair

June 9 - 10 and 16 - 17, 2018
21.2 miles south

Mingle with medieval knights, jesters, peasants, and artisans at the Oregon Renaissance Faire in Canby.

Dinner on a farm

June 9 - Dec .1, 2018
multiple locations

A ticket to Field & Vine’s Farm Dinners Series includes a six-course dinner with wine, beer, and entertainment at various farms and vineyards.

Food tasting

June 14, 2018 (4:30 to 8 p.m.)
1 mile north

Sample innovative food products from vendors who are graduates of the “Getting Your Recipe to Market” program at Time to Market Trade Show at the Food Innovation Center of OSU. Free.

Berry festival

June 15 - 17, 2018
15 miles south

The Berry Festival at Lee Farms features food (pies, shortcake, milkshakes), farm animals, and kids’ activities that require a wristband (bounce pillow, hay maze, hayride, slide, barrel wagon ride).

Father’s Day run

June 16, 2018
9.1 miles NE

The family-friendly Grateful Dad Half Marathon and 10K/5K/kid-run begin at Kliever Memorial Armory and go along the Columbia River, followed by a breakfast and a beer garden with Grateful Dead music.

Taste of Tigard

June 16, 2018
10 miles SW

Buy a tasting “passport” in advance or simply buy from local food and beverage vendors at the Taste of Tigard at 12345 SW Main Street in Tigard. The live music begins at noon. Free entry.

Pride festival & parade

June 16 - 17, 2018
0.5 mile east

Portland Pride Festival includes food vendors and exhibitors both days at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Portland Pride Parade begins 11 a.m. Sunday at NW Park Avenue & W. Burnside Street (map). Free.

Father’s Day restaurants

June 17, 2018
Portland area

OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Father’s Day.

Hot-air balloon festival

June 22 - 24, 2018
13 miles SW

The Festival of Balloons has balloon launches at 5:45 a.m., glowing balloons Fri. & Sat. at dusk, a craft show, carnival, vendors, food, soccer tournament, beer garden, and a Sunday car show at Cook Park in Tigard.

Lavender festival

June 23 - 24, 2018
20 miles SE

Clackamas County Lavender Festival has vendors, live music, lavender ice cream & lemonade, and U-pick lavender at Oregon Lavender Farm in Oregon City.

People in the street

June 24, 2018
Located 4 miles north

Walk, bike or roller-skate on 9.5 miles of streets when most cars are banned for North Portland Sunday Parkways. Nearby parks offer activities & music. Free.

Beer & music festival

June 30, 2018
0.5 miles NW

Portland Beer and Music Festival promises unlimited samples of 50 craft beers, wines, and spirits, with food vendors, a DJ stage, and a live music stage indoors at the Tiffany Center.

Events brought to you by Events12.com

Posted in Portland
June 1, 2018

Fewer Pending Home Sales in April - What Does This Mean?

According to the National Association of Realtors, fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in April than in the previous months. The home sales index fell 1.3% in April after rising for two consecutive months. The index has slowly shifted downward from a year ago and has grown more intense. Listings in April have declined 6.3% over the last year.

But that's national, what about domestic? A relatively healthy job market has led more Americans to look for homes, but on the flipside, the housing shortage and rising mortgage rates are putting homeownership out of reach for many people. Home prices are rising at more than double meaning that many first-time homebuyers are being forced into lower downpayments adding to mortgage insurance and more starter homes, of which there are few. Pending sales over the past year have fallen in most places around the country except the south. New construction is just not keeping up with the supply shortage. Builders are facing pressures from rising land values and tax assessments and because there's just not as many construction workers, there are higher costs for labor and building materials.

So what does this mean for Portland buyers?

While we're not quite into the summer season yet, spring is definitely here and there are more homebuyers on the market than there were three months ago. This means that competition is strict, and home prices are going for over market value. All the more reason to use a real estate agent that is very familiar with the market and micro-neighborhoods around Portland. Our team is proficient in short sales, distressed borrowers, first-time homebuyers, and investors, making us a well-rounded real estate team to find the right home at the right price. Competition is strict out there but mortgage rates are still relatively low. If you plan on buying, it's best to do so sooner rather than later.

Posted in Market Reports
May 28, 2018

Should You Make Your First Home an Investment Property?

Home prices across the country have hit historic highs and people are beginning to feel that these prices might just push them out of the market. With that in mind, should one of your first homes be considered an investment property?

Should You Make Your First Home an Investment Property?I think that all real estate should be considered an investment. Real estate in general, whether you plan on renting it out or living in it as your primary residence, is clearly an investment in your future and in your assets. Buying a home means you can actually use the asset while it is gaining equity for you. I know that many new homebuyers want their dream home right off the bat, but instead of finding the perfect home first, consider using your money to invest in a property that might give you cash flow income for years to come. Here are some basics to buying an investment property is your first home rather than your dream home.

More of a guarantee.

Young people, millennial's, and those just out of college probably have a lot of student loan debt. Couple that with car loans, credit card debt, and any other loans, and you'll find that more money is going out and being invested. This is why buying an investment property works so well. You can live in the home, use the asset, and still gain equity while paying off the mortgage.

The market is great.

The demand has outpaced supply for the past few years but you can take advantage of this as a new homeowner. By purchasing a distressed property or fixer-upper, you could do your own repairs and raise the value of your home to eventually sell above market value.

Great loans.

FHA and USDA loans are perfect for first-time homebuyers, especially on investment properties that don't need a lot of work. Buying a rental property with one of these loans means that they provide an immediate source of income or pay off any outstanding debt and save even more money in the long run.

Whether you choose to live in your investment property or not, starting off slow and investing in a property that may not be your dream home just yet, can help you toward a bigger down payment on a larger home later.

Give me a call and I would be happy to offer a list of investment properties ideal for first-time homebuyers, rental income properties, or what to look for throughout the Portland real estate market.

Posted in Buying
May 24, 2018

Economists Say You Should Sell Your House Before 2020

The market is really good right now. The real estate market in many major cities across the US is pretty balanced or in favor of sellers. I recently listed a home and it had three offers the first day. This is the kind of activity that sellers want to see, but are buyers benefiting? Economists Say You Should Sell Your House Before 2020

In many places across the US, supply is down and home prices keep going up. California is one of the toughest places to buy right now because of short supply and rising home prices. Buyers are feeling the pressure to lock in a deal quickly, waiving inspection reports, and doing everything they can to make the most appealing offer possible, which may not be in their best interest.

In a recent survey of more than 100 real estate experts and economists, half of them predict that the next recession could begin sometime in 2020. But some positive news is that that's actually later than the previous panel's prediction of 2019. This panel of economists carried out by the Wall Street Journal, says that our economic growth right now is the second longest in US history so statistically, it should end around 2020. The more late cycle fines are starting to emerge and 59% of private-sector economists forecast this type of recession close to 2020.

Until that time, home prices will increase another 5.5% to a median national value of $220,800. Affordability is really the issue here. The less affordable homes in major metropolitan areas become, the fewer new homebuyers will come on the market.

The monetary policy will be the deciding factor for this recession. The Federal Reserve could prompt slower growth if it raises short-term interest rates too quickly. Housing experts also included a trade policy, stock market correction, and a spike in inflation. Which means that the housing market likely won't be the cause of the next recession but it will have an impact on the real estate market.

So, bottom line, if you're thinking of buying or selling, do so in the next couple of years. We don't know what the future will hold but it's a good time to lock in a great rate on a home that you can find now. Waiting two years may backfire on you. But, I'm sure I will have some information in an upcoming blog post. ????

Posted in Selling