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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.

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.

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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:

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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
Nov. 12, 2018

What We Can Learn from Buyers to Help Sell Your Home

What we can learn from today's buyers

Every year the homebuyer Survey comes out with valuable information for agents and sellers. If we don't know what buyers want, how can we set ourselves up for selling success? Let's take a look at what the National Association of Realtors has to say about their annual survey and those who have purchased and sold homes. The most recent version in 2018 became available just this month. This information is based on a 129 questionnaire mailed to a random sampling of over 155,000 consumers who purchased a home between July 2017 and June 2018.

In 2017, first-time homebuyers constituted 34% of the market but this year that rate had dropped 1% to just 33%. However, the highest percentage of first-time buyers was in the Northeast at 45% and the lowest was in the West at just 29%. So what can we learn from this information?

First of all, 44% of buyers went to the Internet as their first step in the home buying process. This means that the online listing information and photos need to be amazing. Half of the homes purchased were in a 15-mile radius of the buyer's previous residence and 7% of homebuyers began the process of going to a bank or mortgage company. We usually suggest getting pre-approved through a lender before looking at homes, but we also understand that's just not the reality these days.

Buyers will use multiple resources of information to look for a home. 93% typically use the Internet and 86% will use a real estate agent in conjunction with the Internet search. Only 13% of buyers now indicate that they use newspaper ads as an information source for real estate and just 3% said that they get their information from the television. When it's all said and done, over 50% found the home they purchased online. And 89% of those who use the Internet to search purchased their home through a real estate agent.

Read More: 4 Things the online property listing won't tell you

Print media, however, is not totally dead. Yard signs are the third most likely source of information leading to the home that was purchased but it has shrunk to an insignificant number.

So what can we learn from this? Your online listing needs to be amazing. Your agent needs to take professional photos and really write up an ad that will inspire the buyer to learn more and to visit the property. How do you do this? By using an experienced and seasoned real estate agent or team to list your property. Many amateurs or newbies just don't understand what buyers are looking for these days, so having an experienced agent to market and advertise your listing online is really the key to getting the right buyers through the door and offers on the table.

For more information or to schedule a free listing consultation give us a call today.

Contact Me Now to Get Started

Read More: 

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Posted in Selling
Nov. 7, 2018

Right to Root Taking Over the Albina Neighborhood

Right 2 Root taking over AlbinaDid you know that Portland Oregon is one of the least racially diverse major US cities? Portland is nearly 78% Caucasians and only 5.7% African-Americans according to a recent census data. Because of this, a team of local community organizers, architects, and designers have developed the Right 2 Root initiative that lays out a blueprint for creating community assets, housing, and commercial space throughout Portland. Their first neighborhood to undergo this initiative is the Albina community. The community organization feels that this neighborhood can serve as a model to help reinvest in and restore communities that may be pushing out other cultures.

This initiative is designed to help Portland's diverse cultures create new places to express that culture, investor jobs, education, business opportunities and basically just have more opportunities to live better lives.

This initiative was born out of local sociologist and policy expert Cat Goughnour along with help from community members and input from the Center for Public Interest Design, the Portland State University, and Salazar Architect. These communities and companies are offering a holistic solution to housing and economic issues. It's basically flipping the typical top-down planning process on its head. We want to look at the impact of gentrification throughout communities and plan sustainable neighborhoods for all types of cultures and ethnic groups.

Portland is well known as being smart, innovative, and "hipster" in the city already does a lot of work to benefit our outdoor needs and our cultural diversity, but Albina's long history of disenfranchisement and displacement has gone too far. This community has faced centuries of struggle from significant discrimination, redlining, and restrictions and this initiative is designed to offer more urban renewal and development lead displacement.

Albina is located just northeast of downtown across from the Willamette River and was originally a company town controlled by the Union Pacific Railroad. It was annexed by Portland in 1891 but African-Americans were pushed out of other areas into Albina and after World War II, large-scale development and urban renewal programs displaced and decimated many African-American communities

The proposals go beyond housing and present a new series of public structures for the neighborhood that could rebuild the community and provide health and educational benefits. They plan to offer nearby community resources and a large commercial campus with daycare centers to provide centrally located childcare and new community spaces that emphasize safety.

You can read more about Right 2 Root on the Curbed Website

Posted in Communities
Nov. 5, 2018

Happy Valley is Oregon's Fastest Growing City

Did you know that Happy Valley, first incorporated back in 1965, is one of the fastest growing and most popular communities throughout the Portland Metro area? It's population last year was just under 22,000 residents and its growth since 2010 tops out at a whopping 46%. In the late 1990s, Happy Valley became one of Oregon's fastest growing cities even though it was hit one of the hardest during the foreclosure crisis. Since then, it has bounced back with a vengeance.Happy Valley is Oregon's Fastest Growing City

Currently, the median sales price for a home in Happy Valley is at $508,000. That's approximately $197 per square foot. The median rent is also some of the highest in the metro area at $2400 per month.

Happy Valley Market Update

The real estate giant Zillow poses Happy Valley is actually a cold market or what would consider a buyers market. This means that there are a lot of properties for sale and with the home index value of $513,000 and a 5.5% increase over last year, we feel this is actually a pretty balanced market.

The highest appreciating neighborhood since 2000 includes those around SE. 145th Ave., Sunnyside Road, city center, and SE. Spring Mountain Dr. The median home values sit between $520,000 and $515,000. The majority of homes for sale in Happy Valley are between $415,000 and $552,000. Less than 4% are under $100,000 in less than 1% are over $1.4 million. Total appreciation since 2000 has increased by nearly 94%. That's great news for homeowners that have stayed in their homes for at least 10+ years and now are planning to sell.

Because we are heading into the fall and winter season, the days on the market statistic has increased slightly over the last couple of months. We are currently at 72 days. But that's just over two months on the market. This means we have an absorption rate of less than three months, and a balanced market has an absorption rate of six months. This absorption rate means that if no more listings hit the market today it would take less than three months for all the properties to be sold.

Currently, there are about 180 properties for sale in Happy Valley, down 4% from last month and down 5% from last year.

Whether you are buying or selling, the Happy Valley market is great right now. I often tell buyers that fall is a great time to consider purchasing real estate because you have less competition and more breathing room to decide on negotiations. In a hot real estate market, buyers need to make quick reactions, so now we can sit back, and really make thoughtful, informed decisions on real estate contracts and negotiations. Whether you are buying or selling give us a call today.

Search all Happy Valley Homes for Sale

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Posted in Market Reports
Nov. 2, 2018

Should We Be Worried About Another Housing Bust?

Should We Be Worried About Another Housing Bust?

I've had a few people ask me about the real estate market and if we are looking at signs of another housing bust? Rates for home loans declined over the last few months as bonds caught a bid, offering some breathing room for homebuyers. Currently, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage average 4.83%, down three basis points. The 15-year rate average 4.23% but both are sliding. Home prices rose at the slowest pace in nearly 2 years in August and several analysts hope a more moderate pace of price increases will bring market conditions back into equilibrium. Currently, we have an absorption rate of fewer than two months in many hot markets across the country. A balanced market is about six months of inventory, so many markets across the US are still looking at hot markets.

But, home prices have risen faster than income growth over the past five years and this combination of low housing supply and increased demand drives home values even higher. However, economists don't seem to be too worried about the national housing market. Home prices have outpaced income by about 34% since 2012, driven by economic expansion. However, this percentage is less than half the pace between 1997 and 2006, prime combinations for the housing crash. For the most part, homes are still affordable in several markets across the US. Places like San Francisco and Los Angeles, home prices are naturally higher but in outlying areas and suburban neighborhoods, homes are still affordable for the most part.

Yes, housing is unaffordable for some people but that doesn't necessarily mean we are in a housing bubble. Attributes of a classic housing bubble are missing. These include lax mortgage lending standards and rapidly rising mortgage rates.

Mortgage default rates have fallen to 3.68% for a single-family home, not as low as pre-recession levels but still much better than the peak of 11.53% in 2010. While most of the nation is not facing a bubble, many metro areas across the US may have seen some of the highest prices ever. For instance, the Portland and Vancouver area comes in at #5 is one of the top cities in danger of a housing bubble. #1 is the San Francisco area. And Seattle is on that list as well. But, California has five of the top eight spots. For example, in San Francisco, a family earning the median income for the area needs to dedicate at least 70% of income for their mortgage. That's a lot of money going towards housing.

So advice for buyers: demand is still there with low supply and this means that prices are just going to keep getting higher. If you are looking to buy in a city where prices are high and competition is fierce, you have to time the market right, come to the table prepared, and have the right agent making negotiations for you.

Whether you're ready to buy or sell, give our team a call. We have expert negotiators for both buyers and sellers throughout the Portland and Vancouver area.

Posted in News and Media
Oct. 29, 2018

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.

#1. Increase your storage space.12 easy ways to add value to your home

If you're tired of dealing with clutter and not enough space, it's time to put up some shelves. You can put shelves under staircases, in a basement, in a closet, and drawers under the bad, or just about any place that is a non-currently non-usable. Do you have a space on your wall that is just blank and ugly? Time to add shelves. You can pick up some pretty inexpensive shells that most big-box stores.

#2. Add a wireless security system.

Traditional wired security systems can be bulky and expensive but many of the new systems are more affordable. Simply installing a Ring doorbell to your front door can add value and security to your house.

#3. Add a crown molding.

Crown molding can make any room look more elegant and it's not an expensive upgrade.

#4. Upgrade kitchen appliances.

Now, if you do this all at once it's a huge expense, but little by little you can replace kitchen appliances until everything matches and looks updated.

#5. Consider painting the floor.

Instead of ripping out the flooring and read doing it all, you might try repainting old floors either old concrete or wood floors for a new look.

#6. Update cabinet hardware.

This is a very cheap fix that can really add a new fresh look to the kitchen.

#7. Replace a faucet.

New faucets and kitchens and bathrooms can make it look so much more up-to-date. There are several designs to choose from and if you're trying to match things, this could be a good way to pull the entire theme together.

#8. Add fresh caulking around your tub and toilet.

If you can't remember the last time you recall your bathtub, it's probably overdue. This is an extremely cheap fix and it can not only secure and waterproof your bathroom but it can really bring up bright, fresh look to the room.

#9. Repaint the front door.

You could replace your front door but this can be an expensive update. Just a little bit of TLC by refinishing it, repainting it, and adding new hardware can make a world of difference.

#10. Add lighting outside.

Adding lights on a walkway to the exterior of your home can improve the properties curb appeal and the safety of your house.

#11. Update the kitchen backsplash.

Maybe you've never had a backsplash or you want to add something new. Updating and replacing the backsplash can add an entirely new look to an old and outdated kitchen.

#12. Add ceiling fans.

Not only will a ceiling fan reduce energy costs, but they come in so many attractive finishes and designs now that you can really change the look of a room simply by replacing the fan.

Read More: 

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Posted in Selling
Oct. 26, 2018

Why is Fall a Good Time to Buy Real Estate?

Why is Fall a Good Time to Buy Real Estate?

There are 1,000,001 articles out there about why fall is a good time to buy a house.… Or summer, or spring, or winter. So which is it? Is there really a good time of the year to buy a house?

Let's break the seasons down; homeowners typically like to buy and sell when kids are not in school so they don't have to interrupt the school year. While this works in a perfect world, this isn't always the case. However, there tend to be more homes on the market in spring and summer and the inventory tends to die off a little bit going into fall. Demographics also make a huge difference when it comes to inventory. Southern states have their busiest season in the fall and winter when things cool off a little bit. Of course in the northern states, you'll have snow 2 to 3 feet on the ground, not to inductive to having people browse your home and the neighborhood.

This is why fall may actually be a perfect time. In most climates around the country, fall is fairly mild. It may be one of the only times of the year that many states are hovering around the same temperatures anywhere from 40° to 80°. Even throughout the Midwest, the few weeks of fall seem to be the most pleasant and comfortable. A.k.a. a perfect time to browse and to her homes.

But there are other reasons besides the climates that fall might be a good time to consider buying. There are simply fewer buyers competing for the same home. If you bought the same home in the spring, you may have 2 to 3 buyers or more all competing and submitting multiple offers for the same house. You may have to increase your offer price or at other incentives to get your offer accepted or even looked at. Summer means that many of those homes that sold quickly in the spring are now still sitting on the market. This could be for a variety of reasons. Either the home is mispriced, there something wrong with the home, or the homeowners are just inflexible and unreasonable. By the end of summer, many of these homes will probably have been sold, typically for less than their original asking price

Sellers are motivated in the fall because they want to close before the end of the year. If the seller wants to take advantage of a gain or loss during this tax year, they may want to sell before December 31. This means sell and close, not just have an accepted offer. The holidays also motivate sellers. Nobody likes to have a staged home while they are trying to decorate for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays. They're trying to get the home sold quickly so this is an advantage for buyers. Buyers can offer a little less than the asking price because the sellers realize they need to get rid of the house.

More Reasons to Sell in the Fall

Any inventory left over from summer or even spring is likely going to priced far under market value. This is great news for buyers, maybe not the best news for sellers but again, sometimes homeowners have no choice as to when they need to sell.

So, you can see there are a lot of benefits to buying a home in the fall. However, one piece of advice I would suggest, if you're planning on buying a home within the next month, do it quickly. Just like sellers, buyers don't want to have to be moving during the busy holiday season so whenever you do write up an offer, be considerate of the closing date. Try to pick a date that works for both the buyer and the seller considering the holiday season.

How long will it take to sell a home in the Fall?

Ready to buy? Let me send you a complete list of homes and real estate that match your search criteria and price throughout the Portland or Vancouver area. Let's take a look at some of the great deals that might be on the market and how we can get you moved in before the end of the year.

Contact Me Now to Get Started

Posted in Buying