Where to live in Portland -

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.

March 22, 2017

The Demand for Homes with Multiple Master Bedrooms is on the Rise

The Demand for multiple master bedrooms on the rise

There are many homeowners looking for luxury homes with multiple master suites, spurring a small yet lucrative and growing market for more relaxing space.

There are several reasons why today’s buyers are searching for homes with multiple master suites. The most popular one may surprise you though, married couples searching for separate his and hers bedroom suites. Couples who have been married a number of years or who have conflicting work and sleep schedules are looking for homes that allow each person their own sleeping oasis.

A shared bed is thought to promote intimacy and closeness in couples, but in some situations this is not always the case. If the couple has very different sleeping habits and one person’s sleeping habits are being disrupted, then sleeping in the same bed can put added strain on a relationship.

Maybe one person in the relationship needs complete quiet and dark while the other needs some background noise; or one person needs to get up early while the other is a night owl who has no demand to get out of bed before 7:30. These things can cause one or both people in the relationship many nights of poor sleep that can take even bigger tolls the longer it goes on.

       [Related:  5 Ways to Decorate Your House Like a Wealthy Person]

Some say that separate bedrooms can re-kindle and re-spark the romance, with better rest and an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” approach. Some celebrity couples have begun to adapt this lifestyle such as Kim and Kanye.

As mentioned earlier, there are other reasons buyers are searching for more than one master bedroom. There are many young home buyers with young families that search for homes with multiple masters in order to care for aging parents or other relatives. This is commonly referred to as the sandwich generation. They have parents that are in need of downsizing and being near to someone who can help them with medical needs. These couples don’t want to give up their bedroom to mom or dad, but want them to feel comfortable and at home like they have their very own space to claim as their own.

       [Read More:  5 Simple Tips to Make Your House Look Like a 5-Star Hotel]

Another reason for the demand in more than one master is adult children living at home longer. College students are returning home after graduation to save money while trying to find their way in the world as well as kids living at home during college or just living at home while trying to launch into a career. A second master allows adult children to have more privacy and you to retain a bit more sanity when they have their own space.

Yet another reason for two masters is a growing trend of hosting guests in style. Many people who constantly host friends and family members in their home as overnight guests are looking to offer a little more. Why have just a guest room when you can offer a guest suite? This allows for more privacy and comfort for both parties making your guests’ stay more pleasant and less stress

More and more builders are offering homes with multiple master suites to suit the needs of the buyer.  The best way to find the perfect luxury home with two master bedrooms is with an experienced luxury real estate agent. Thank you to our guest post author this week, DenLin Properties. Image original by Theilr - Flickr with permission



Posted in Buying
March 21, 2017

How Much are Homes in Beaverton?

How Much are Homes in Beaverton?

Home prices in the Portland area have dramatically increased over the last five years pushing many residents outside the city limits. Places like Beaverton, Tigard, and Wilsonville are becoming very popular with families and those that may work in Portland but to slip outside the city.

This market report is for March 2017. If you are viewing this report in another month, contact our office to find out what home prices have done since this report.

The median sales price for a home in Beaverton is about $345,000. This averages out to about $200 per square foot. The median rent is currently $1700 per month. This is about average on mortgage payments. The median list price, however, is much higher. It's about $425,000 with the median close price closer to $315,000.

The average days on the market is between 15 days and 32 days. If the home is priced correctly, staged properly and is available to buyers, they can sell fairly quickly and Beaverton.


Some the higher-priced neighborhoods throughout Beaverton include Oak Hills, Cedar Hills, and neighborhoods closer to Highway 26. Some of the highest appreciating Beaverton neighborhoods include communities along Baseline Road, West Slope, communities along SW. 160th Ave., City Center, and those along SW. Canyon Rd. and Canyon Drive.

As of the publishing of this post, the median home value was around $400,000. 36% of properties fall between $280,000 and $420,000. Less than 1% of the homes fall over $1 million. Less than a 4% of the homes are under $140,000.

42% of homes are single-family properties, about 10% are townhouses, and about 40% are small apartment buildings or complexes. The majority of homes and Beaverton are two or three bedroom layouts.

Some of the best schools around the Portland area are in Beaverton. The Bethany, Scholls Heights, and Oak Hills are the three top elementary schools with a rating of 10 out of 10. For middle schools, the international school of Beaverton, and the Highland Park middle school and the highest ratings. In high schools, the school of science and technology and arts and communication high school as well as the international school of Beaverton, all receive the top scores for academics and education in Beaverton.

For more information on home values in Beaverton or for buying or selling any type of property in this area contact our office today.

Posted in Market Reports
March 13, 2017

The Anatomy of the Purchase and Sale Contract

When planning to make an offer on a home your real estate agent will provide a purchase and sale agreement. These are also available at your local library but in more generic forms. A real estate agent really should be the one to help analyze all the details of a purchase and sale contract. This is, however, an actual, legal contract. If it is not done up correctly, it could leave the seller and/or the buyer liable.

It's important to know that this is a legal document. It has been drawn up by attorneys representing both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction. It must be signed after all addendum's or contingencies have been completed as well. For instance, if the offer has a contingency that the buyer can conduct a home inspection before completion, this must be completed before the contract can proceed.Anatomy of a purchase and sale contract

The purchase and sale contract is slightly different for every state but there are some basics that are similar regardless. Here are some of the basics and details to purchase and sale contract and what is required from both the buyer and the seller.

Buyer and seller's names.

The contract should state exactly who is buying the home and who is selling the home. If both husband and wife or any partners for that matter are listed on though title of the house or the deed, they must be listed as the seller. If both the husband and wife were partners are purchasing the property together, they also both must be on the purchase and sale contract. This also needs to include their legal name. If they go by something else, this has to be their legal name, which is found on the government issued identification.

The property address and description.

The purchase and sale agreement must state the actual address and legal description of the property. This legal description is usually on the properties title. A simple address may not be enough. There has to be real property behind that address, which is usually in the form of Metes and bounds, survey or factional designation. These descriptions will probably already be drawn up from a lawyer unless the property is brand-new. In this case, the developer or builder should have the proper legal description.

[Page 2]


Posted in Buying, Selling
March 13, 2017

The Anatomy of the Purchase and Sale Contract 3


Other details that must be included are:

Title and escrow insurance company.

The contract must include information about the buyer and seller's title company. The purchase and sale will include an agreement that the seller will provide a clear or marketable title ownership to the buyer.

Identification information.

Not only does the purchase and sale agreement state who is buying and who is selling, but they must include an address for both and information on identification for both the buyer's agent and the listing agent.

The closing costs.Anatomy of a purchase and sale contract

Unless otherwise stated in an addendum, closing costs are expected to be paid as follows: the seller must pay all existing loans, liens, and related costs affecting the sale of the property. The seller must compensate any listing agent on their commission, complete any leased items that remain on the property and a title insurance policy. There are other details to various closing costs that may also be included. The buyer must pay transfer fees, deed of trust recording fees, association transfer fees, homeowners insurance, buyers settlements fees and any buyers loan related or lender required expenses.

Taxes and assessments. Also included final closing should be the current year's property taxes, any existing tenant leases or rents, association or maintenance fees and any other fees that should be prorated as of the date of closing. This can get rather confusing so it's important to have knowledgeable escrow and real estate agents to differentiate between all of these fees so you understand exactly what you are paying at the time of closing.


Even though these are the basics to a purchase and sale agreement, most offers will also include any contingencies. This could be an inspection contingency, financing contingency, title contingency, appraisal contingency or a home sale contingency. These are conditions that must be met in order for the sale to close. Most buyers will have an inspection completed, verify financing, have the home appraised, and get title insurance. These are the most standard contingencies. If the buyer needs to sell their own home before completing the sale, that would be a home sale contingency. In hot sellers markets they are rarely accepted not uncommon.

Additional addendum's. An addendum, also known as a writer, is any additional request from the buyer to the seller that is not already included in the original purchase and sale agreement. This could be a variety of things so if you're wondering how to add certain details to a purchase and sale agreement, this is where an addendum would come into play.

This might sound confusing and there are a lot of factors to a purchase and sale contract but there are all important in protecting the agents, escrow and title officers, loan officers and of course, the buyer and seller. If you have questions on any of these details please contact us at any time. Want to make sure that our buyers and sellers understand the logistics and specifics to a purchase and sale contract. If there's anything you don't understand throughout the process don't hesitate to ask. We want you to feel confident about your purchase and satisfied with the results.

Posted in Buying, Selling
March 13, 2017

The Anatomy of the Purchase and Sale Contract 2


Purchase price.

The purchase and sale agreement will also state the purchase price or offer that the buyer is presenting to the seller. This may or may not be the asking price or the list price that the seller has requested. For instance, if the seller listed the property at $400,000, the purchase price would be what the buyer is offering. This could be over the list price, at list price, or under. But this is the price that the buyer is willing to pay for the property.

Earnest money.Anatomy of a purchase and sale contract

When purchasing property, buyers need to put down earnest money to hold the sale of the property. This shows sellers that the buyer is serious enough to put real money behind the offer. On average, earnest money deposit's can be anywhere from 1% to 5% of the offer price but can be as little as $500. Legally, buyers can also offer other means of funds or equivalent goods the earnest money deposit but this is highly unusual, uncommon, and rarely accepted.

The closing date, expiration, and possession date.

This can be on the same date or, closing can happen two or three days after the final signing. This is the date that the sale will be closed or, the agreement will expire on that date. If the deal is not close by this date and there is no extension offered, the deal is actually terminated. This is very unusual and most transactions shoot for this date as the closing date to satisfy both the buyer and the seller. Any other changes to the state must be agreed to in writing. Possession of the entire property is to be given to the buyer at closing unless a different time of possession is agreed-upon on a separate occupancy agreement. This may or may not be attached to the existing purchase and sale agreement. For instance, once the property closes, sellers may request that they receive three days beyond closing in order to pack up and move out. Any of these details must be agreed on by both the buyer and the seller.

Items included.

Sellers are often surprised as to what needs to stay in the home. Items that are fixtures or anything attached to the structure by nails, screws or other permanent fasteners are legally required to stay with the home. This includes lighting fixtures, light bulbs, ceiling fans, mirrors, any heating and cooling equipment, plumbing fixtures, doors, windows, window treatments, carpet, hardware, built-in kitchen appliances, gas fireplaces and doors, security systems, garage door openers, swimming pools or hot tubs and their equipment, awnings, permanently and stored outdoor kitchens, fencing, landscaping, mailboxes and outdoor lighting. If there is anything else to be included or excluded, it must be written at this time. The seller is free to not include anything with the purchase but, if it is not on this list and the buyer wishes to excluded, it must be stated at this time.

[Page 3]

Posted in Buying, Selling
March 9, 2017

2017 Portland March Events

Cannon Beach Wine & Food Festival  Mar 9-12

Spanish Guitar Performance  Mar 10

Luck of the Irish Show  Mar 10

Portland Women's Expo  Mar 11

Winter Blues Festival  Mar 11

St. Patrick's Day Parade  Mar 11

LEGO Convention  Mar 11-12

St. Patrick's Day Family Festival  Mar 17

Vancouver Brewfest  Mar 17-18

Hot-Rod Show  Mar 17-19

TechfestNW  Mar 23-24

Tulip Festival  Mar 24-Apr 30

Cider Tasting  Mar 25

Whale Watching Week  Mar 25-31

Scooter Party  Mar 31-Apr 3

Posted in Portland, Things to Do
March 7, 2017

FHA Makes it Easier to Qualify for a Home Loan

We're always on the lookout for new mortgage rules, changes in anything that will help potential home buyers. These new rules by Fannie Mae may allow more borrowers to qualify for a home loan or mortgage. This change is aimed at credit-worthy lower income and minority homebuyers.FHA Makes it Easier to Qualify for a Home Loan

 Fannie Mae recently disclosed in a press release that "for the first time, income from a non-barware household member can't be considered to determine an applicable debt to income ratio for the loan." This means a qualified buyer can get what's considered a Home Ready mortgage with down payments of little is just 3%. FHA is still at 3.5%. Normally, borrowers take the entire household income or the person who's actually taking out the mortgage. But these new rules state that even a non-borrower, such as a family member that lives at the house, can be used to qualify for a new mortgage. [Source]

To get this type of mortgage a borrower will need to complete an online education course called Framework. This course is $75 and was created by the Housing Partnership Network.

You need to check with me if you qualify for these Home Ready mortgages. Later in 2015, new guidelines will be incorporated in order to screen and qualify mortgage applicants easier.

Eligibility is also keyed to certain the low-income census tracts. This means that multigenerational households, which are on the rise, will benefit from this type of mortgage. In 2012, a fifth of Americans were living in multi-generational households. That's a double the number from 1980. In minority households, this is very common as the primary family, relatives and borders live together and create the household income.

This only works for families but businesses as well. This helps first-time homebuyers get into the housing market and play an important focus on housing policy. 14% of households that have a mortgage have an income earner of significant income living in the same household. This means that the lenders and Fannie Mae can take all household income into account when applying for a home loan. Many first-time home buyers will be able to buy a larger home to accommodate their multi-generational family. However, credit history, ranking and reports still is extremely important.

For more information on the Home Ready program please contact our preferred lender at any time. We have different programs, options and plans that can fit a wide myriad of different situations.


Posted in Finance
March 7, 2017

How to Come Up With a Down Payment

Coming up with a down payment for your first home may seem difficult but there are several ways to get that down payment. If you're going for an FHA loan you may not only need 3.5% of the value of the house. A conventional may need up to 20% but check with your loan officer on the type of loan and exactly how much you'll need to put down. Here are some ways to come up with a down payment.

How to Come Up With a Down Payment

#1. Down payment assistance programs.

There are numerous programs to help first-time buyers. These programs are available in just about every county and city across the country. There are requirements however for eligibility, credit history, and housing requirements but often times these down payment assistance programs can help with up to 3% of the purchase price of the home. This would leave you with just .5% needed for a down payment on an FHA loan.

#2. Sell something.

Often times selling something or having a garage sale with big-ticket items can really help you get the money you need for a down payment.

#3. Sell taxable investments.

Consider cashing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other taxable investments. It's better to cash out these than IRAs or 401(k)s that really will help in retirement. Plus, cashing out those investments can come with stiff penalties.

#4. Ask for help.

Many first-time homebuyers can receive a gift of up to $10,000 tax-free. This cannot be alone, however, because lenders don't want to see you take on any more debt in order to buy the house. You may be able to get help from friends or family.

#5. Ask your employer.

Many companies or universities and even state or local governments have specific programs to help their employees with down payments. Check with the human resources department and if you are applying for a new job you might ask your employer to include down payment assistance as part of your compensation package.

For more information and ways to save for a down payment for your first home feel free to give me a call at any time.

Posted in Finance
March 6, 2017

Americans are Spending Half Their Income on Housing

It is recommended that homeowners spend no more than 30% to 35% of their income on housing. This means either in rent or a mortgage payment including principal, interest, taxes and insurance.Americans Spending Half Income on Housing

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University reported that the cost of rental housing has pressured a rising proportion of US families since the housing bust in 2007. More than one in four renters consume at least half their family income on housing and utilities.

Any more than about 30% could be a burden to some family's income. However, it's a difficult trade-off because there are daily financial dilemmas including paying rent or buying groceries.  2.3 million more families could face pressures that leave them close to being homeless.

So what is the answer to this?

If American families can pull together enough to purchase a home they would at least be building equity that they could draw from in cases of emergency. However, if the current credit limits or income levels are not adequate, this leaves families forced to rent. More than 30% of renters in states such as California, Florida and New York say that half of their income goes to housing and utilities. Average hourly wages have just over 2% in the past year according to the Labor Department but rental prices have increased nearly 4%.

Portland is also quick to follow as many people moving in and around the city are spending a lot in housing, more so in downtown where additional fees for HOA or condo association fees are required. In some cases, these can be up to 25% of their monthly mortgage payment.

This also plays a role for those that own the properties being rented. If they cannot lower their rental fees they may find themselves with vacancies leading to potential foreclosures or forced sale.

There are options and the government has programs that could be available to you in your area. It's best to talk to a reputable lender you feel comfortable with and trust when it comes to managing your housing. If you plan on buying this year, talk to your lender about how much you're currently spending and if saving for a down payment is in your future.

Call us today to learn more or to get in touch with our lender. 


Posted in News and Media
March 3, 2017

Oregon Jobless Rate at Lowest Point in at least Four Decades

Oregon unemployment fell to 4.3 percent last month, its lowest point in at least 41 years. That's how long economists have been calculating employment figures using comparable methodology.

The state's economy is enjoying one of its longest sustained upcycles in history. The Oregon Employment Department said January was particularly strong in construction; transportation, warehousing and utilities; financial activities; the information sector; and health care.

Oregon's jobless rate is now substantially below the national rate of 4.8 percent. The Oregon Employment Department said the only other time the state had a sustained period of joblessness below 5 percent was the mid-1990s.

Still, growth has slowed in recent months, and the employment department issued revised figures that show growth in the last quarter of 2016 was only two-thirds as fast as originally estimated. Wholesale trade, government jobs and manufacturing all performed less well than prior data suggested.

Just two sectors lost jobs in January - manufacturing, and mining and logging, both of which were once Oregon economic stalwarts.

A broader measure of Oregon's employment picture, the U-6 or "underemployment" rate, was 9.6 percent in January. That's down from 9.8 percent in December and 10.5 percent a year earlier. That rate also is near its lowest point on record.

Article Source.

Posted in Communities, Portland