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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. 15, 2019

Sellers Disclosure for Portland Real Estate

When it’s time to list your Portland real estate or home you’ll need to fill out a sellers disclosure form stating everything that you are well aware of with the home.Sellers Disclosure for Portland Real Estate

A seller’s disclosure is a document in which you’ll need to be as honest as you can be about the home and the property. If you know of any damage, flooding, major repairs or renovations, lead paint, or any other issues, you must disclose them on this form.

What type of things do I need to disclose?

Just about anything you can think of that a buyer may want to be aware of before purchasing the home. Has there been any flooding? Has the home had any pastor termite damage? As the roof been replaced? Is any of the paint in the home lead-based?

While this is just a small sampling, you do need to disclose everything you know about the home. If you purchased the home before 1974, chances are there will be lead-based paint in the home whether or not you put it there. At this point, if you are unsure, simply state that you don’t know. If anything happened prior to you moving in and you are unaware of it, you simply state that you don’t know. Anything that you are aware of from the previous seller’s disclosure when you purchased the home, will need to be disclosed though.

If you are an investor and you purchased the home to rent out, you may not be aware of any issues that have happened. Remember, this is disclosure with everything that you personally know. If you don’t know it, you simply state ‘I don’t know’. At that point is up to the buyer’s discretion whether to investigate further or take you at your word.

Caution: if you deliberately falsify anything on the seller’s disclosure that could potentially harm the buyer in the future and there is proof that you did know it, you could be liable for a lawsuit. So, it’s best to disclose everything that you know up front and honestly.

For more information on Portland’s specific seller’s disclosure or to consider listing your Portland home, please contact me anytime. I would be happy to offer you a free market analysis on your property, home, investment rental, or condo anywhere in the Portland Metro area.


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Nov. 11, 2019

Thanksgiving in Portland

Portland’s Thanksgiving Events 2019

Portland’s Thanksgiving Events 2019

Thankfulness is all relative. One person can be thankful for something that another finds miserable; and vice versa. But in this constantly changing world, we should find something to be thankful for every day. It brightens our spirits and helps our emotions; not just stress-wise but physical as well.

We used to have great Macy Day Parades but they have recently pulled out sponsorship. That's okay because there are a lot of other great events and places to enjoy and eat on Thanksgiving this year. 

Jupiter Hotels Holiday Movie Sleepover – at the Jupiter Hotel Northeast on Thursday, November 28 at 4 PM is the new movie sleepover at the Jupiter Hotel. Book a room for 4 to 8 people in the genre film you prefer and Movie Madness will have a selection of movies created to your taste when you check-in. Tickets are just $60-$80.

On Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving is the start of the second annual Harvest Market and the holiday and Christmas bazaar, the largest Christmas and holiday Expo in the country. Happening at the Portland Expo Center, enjoy over 1000 booths of local vendors, ornaments, gifts, and decorations. This is truly something to put on your calendar happening Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sundays 10 AM to 5 PM. Adults are only $7 with discounts for seniors and kids 12 to 17 or three dollars and under 12 are free. Visit the Expo Christmas bazaar.com for more information.

Where to Eat:

All Thanksgiving Events


Andina Thanksgiving FOOD AND DRINK

Thurs Nov 28, 1-8 pm


 Thanksgiving Cruise FOOD AND DRINK

Thurs Nov 28 at 11:30 am and 4:30 pm


Dig a Pony Thanksgiving MUSIC

Thurs Nov 28 at 8 pm


Thanksgiving Dinner THANKSGIVING

Thurs Nov 28 at 11 am-8 pm


Verde Cocina's Thanksgiving FOOD AND DRINK

Thurs Nov 28 at 11 am at 1:30 and 4 pm


Thank you to PortlandMercury.com for the list of great dining options!


Everyone truly should find something to be thankful for. Remember, any time you would like to make Portland your permanent home or to find a new house and sell the old anywhere in the Portland area please give me a call today.


Posted in Things to Do
Nov. 6, 2019

5 Strategies for House Hunters

Want to hunt for a house like an expert? These five insider tips are great ways to look for the best house compiled by real estate agents and professional home investors.

#1. Think strategically.5 Strategies for House Hunters

In order to get the right house in a hot market you must be diligent and good at negotiating. There's always a way to gain an advantage over your closest competition. Talk to a real estate agent that specializes in purchasing homes during a competitive market. In order to get your dream home you want to pull tax records of sellers to get information to use on a personal note. This letter allows you to understand more about the property, why the seller might be moving and how to appeal to them in order to get them to accept your offer over anyone else's. Secondly, use social media to your advantage. You and your real estate agent can use social media to get the word out on the exact type of home you are looking for in order to be there first. You might be privy of a great listing before it's even hit the market.

#2. Investigate the neighborhood.

If you're looking for a home in a particular neighborhood, talk to neighbors that might be out watering their lawn, neighbors that could be having a garage sale etc. You can also find out neighbors that may want to move but have it pulled the trigger yet or find out a little bit more about the other neighbors in the area, the neighborhood in general and if they know any inside scoop on other neighbors considering selling.

#3. Use specific pricing negotiation.

You have to come up with the right pricing strategy in order to make an offer in a competitive market. Try to place an offer with an uneven number at the end rather than a '5' or a '0'. If it's a competitive market and you know that the seller will receive several offers consider only going $1000-$5000 over the asking price in a unique way. For instance: if the property is listed at $225,000 consider making an offer for $227,957. It's unique, odd and yet it might be the right offer to get the attention you're looking for.

#4. Be a great home buyer.

Be the homebuyer that that seller wants to love. Homeowners are generally more likely to accept an offer from buyers that they like than ones that will try to underhand them or lowball them on an offer. When you view the home you might see something i that you would also like as well so mention that in your personal letter. For instance: "I see you have a lot of pictures of Paris. We love Paris and can't wait to go back." However, you want to be genuine so find a connection that you might have with the seller in order to appeal to them in a different way.

#5. Be flexible.

Keep an open mind when looking at homes. It may be hard to see the big picture with an outdated kitchen or bathroom these might be ideal places to get a bargain. Senior citizens tend to take care of their homes a little bit better so even though you might have pink Formica in the kitchen and a baby blue toilet in the bathroom doesn't necessarily mean the home is in disrepair; it simply needs a little bit of updating. Also, many homebuyers will not give these types of homes a second look so you may have the deal right there.


For more information feel free to contact me at any time. I'd love to talk with you about several of my own personal success stories, strategies and negotiation tactics that help my home buyers get the right home in the right neighborhood.


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Posted in Buying
Nov. 1, 2019

3 Unique Ways to Sell Your House

It may seem impossible to compete with other real estate listings in the same neighborhood, especially if you feel your home is worth more. But there are unique and unconventional ways of selling a property. If you've done everything else to list your property including hiring a local Portland real estate agent, market your home online, create a listing with the local MLS, and have the necessary key box and real estate signs in the front yard, here are some other, less known tactics that might work to get your home sold. (These work especially well if your home has sat on the market for some time.)

Create an unconventional ad. 

In a national MSN article a real estate agent "had a client enraged almost as soon as she acquired the listing, which was for a 5500 ft.² home that had been on the market for a year and a half with another agent. The agent immediately placed a quarter-page advertisement in the local newspaper that was utterly devoid of nearly all practical or typical information. The headline said "private compound" and the rest only square footage and "two separately deeded parcels, full tennis court." Even the newspaper saleswoman asked her, "who would put an ad in the paper like this?" The following day, the agent receives 33 phone calls. Within a week, she had two offers on the table. One came from a woman who lived in the neighborhood and had been househunting for two years. She said it represented just what she'd been looking for."

Read more: What NOT to Do When Staging Your Homeunique real estate signs

You never know what is going to strike someone's fancy when it comes to purchasing a home. Taking that extra step and making a bold move may pay off in more ways than one. Creating an ad that strikes engagement, uniqueness, and the unknown may offer more phone calls, more looks and eventually a buyer.

Talk with your agent about a group open house.

Open houses are expected when it comes to listing a property but who shows up? Usually neighborhood looky-loos and nosy neighbors. Instead, conduct an open house with other agents that have listed properties in the same neighborhood within walking distance if possible. Speak to those agents about coordinating a group open house one Saturday afternoon. Create a postcard with a map that allows the agents, visitors and potential buyers to travel from one home to another offering snippets of information on each home. You might even contact local direct sale vendors or artisans to have a small booth in the home or out on the lawn showcasing their wares. This truly can be a unique community affair and with proper advertising, you're sure to get a lot of traffic.

Don't underestimate the power of the Internet.

In addition to simply listing your home on the local MLS and popping a sign in the front yard, enlist the authority of the Internet by promoting your listing on social media, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and make sure those beautiful photos of your home are scattered across Pinterest. If you're not going to take the time to take photos that can be seen across the world, then there's no point to utilize the power of the visual Internet.

Read more: Can a Buyer's Agent be a Listing Agent?

Of course, hiring a great agent that not only knows the market but the neighborhood that your listing and, can make a world of difference when it comes to selling your property, at the right time for the right price. Call me today for more information on listing your Portland home or real estate and how we can use unconventional methods to get your home sold quickly for as much profit in your pocket at the market can bear.

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Posted in Selling
Oct. 28, 2019

Who Pays for What in a Real Estate Transaction?

In a real estate transaction there are a lot of fees and costs involved but different parties pay for different things. For instance, your lender may pay for title insurance or may ask the buyer to pay for it. And then there are things that sellers pay for, can be asked to pay for, or are required to pay for depending on the state and the requirements for the county and how the real estate transaction and the contract is written up. Generally, here is who pays for what in a real estate transaction.

BuyerWho Pays for What in a Real Estate Transaction?

Buyers are generally expected to pay for the following items:

  • Title insurance premium
  • Notary fee
  • Document preparation
  • Home inspections
  • Tax proration from the date of acquisition
  • Applicable transfer fee
  • Loan charges submitted by the lender
  • Interest on the new loan from the date of funding to 30 days prior to the first payment date
  • Change of record fees
  • Home warranty
  • City transfer or conveyance tax
  • Recording charges for documents


Sellers are generally expected to pay the following items:

  • Real estate agent commission
  • Deed document preparation
  • Documentary transfer fee
  • Loan fees required by the buyer's lender
  • The payoff of existing loans
  • Interest accrued to lender being paid off if necessary
  • Judgments and tax liens
  • Tax proration
  • Unpaid homeowners dues
  • Title insurance premium if necessary
  • Recording charges
  • Bonds or assessments if applicable
  • Delinquent taxes if applicable
  • Notary fees
  • Escrow fees

These fees typically get bound into the overall closing costs required to be paid by buyer, seller, both, or each. Depending on how the contract is laid out. In VA loans and some USDA loans, the sellers are required to pay the majority if not all of the closing costs, even those that would typically be paid by the buyer in a conventional loan situation. The buyer and seller should both receive an estimate of all of these fees and know exactly how much to bring to closing if necessary or how much is going to be wrapped up in the cost of the loan.

For more information on who pays what in a real estate transaction feel free to give us a call. We can help explain all real estate terms and situations and help you buy or sell throughout the Portland Oregon real estate market today.


Posted in Buying, Selling
Oct. 23, 2019

How to Budget for a Home Renovation

Home renovations are not cheap and you're probably wondering how you're going to afford, budget, and pay for a remodeling job. Knowing how much you have to spend on renovations before you start the project can put you ahead of the game but like everything else, most people tend under budget for remodeling or renovation projects.How to Budget for a Home Renovation

Most of the time a budget you have in mind may not get you as far as you think. If you are remodeling a kitchen for $30,000, you might realize after looking around that those upgraded cabinets and hardware literally could take up the entire $30,000. According to the Houzz Report, 46% of homeowners ultimately spent be on their budgeted amount for a home renovation.

Most homeowners are surprised by how expensive products, materials, and labor can actually be. And of course, the higher-end materials and appliances you choose, the higher your budget needs to be.

Before coming up with a budget shop around so you have an idea of how much things cost. You might love those really ornate cabinets but when you find out they cost $10,000 more than simple, standard cabinets, you might go back to a more traditional look.

If your renovation project involves a part of your home that hasn't been updated in a while, you might have other issues such as plumbing, dry rot, mold, mildew, leaks, or wiring issues. You might assume that a new countertop will be about $5000 but when you take into account labor costs, potentially relocating outlets, and of course, one thing always leads to another, your $10,000 budget goes fairly quickly.

Most homeowners don't want to take on additional debt to fund home updates. 85% of homeowners tend to leverage their cash or savings but with cash, it can be difficult to accurately budget from start to finish. You might get halfway through a remodel and run out of money.

For many homeowners, financing could get the project completed faster. You can take out a home equity loan, refinance, or a line of credit. Remember, this will increase the value of your home so pulling money out of your house only to put it back in makes wise financial sense. A HELOC, or a home equity line of credit, can serve as a revolving line of credit allowing you to borrow and pay off the amount as you need it. The preapproved limit is set by the lender based on the equity in a home.

You also have to consider labor costs. Are you going to be doing a lot of the work yourself or hiring out? A lot of homeowners choose to complete the demolition projects themselves and allow professionals to take over the installation. In this case, find where you can cut corners so that you can spend your budgeting dollars where you really want to.

So, first things first, figure out the type of renovation you want, shop around, get a good idea of labor, installation costs, and materials and then set a budget and then set that budget 10% higher than where you think you need to be. Trust me… You don't want to be stuck halfway through a project only to find out you'll need more money.

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Posted in Finance
Oct. 21, 2019

5 Secret Tips to Selling Your Portland House


The market is great in downtown Portland but there are sellers that have their homes sitting on the market way longer than they have to. Combat those issues before they start by setting up your listing correctly from the beginning. If you are a seller and have been on the market for way too long, use this checklist to determine if you’re making some of these vital mistakes.5 Secret Tips to Selling Your Portland House

  1. You’re used to living in your home so many items, eyesores, and much-needed repairs go unnoticed possibly for years. If you’re unsure if your home needs some TLC or just a good cleaning, hire a professional to go over the entire home with a fine-tooth comb. You may be surprised to find out those wood blinds are dustier than you think, the stair railing has a gunky layer of some sticky substance, and the walls really do need to be washed.
  2. In addition to cleaning, minor repairs and tasks are things that stand out to buyers. Anything that would deter a buyer or make them think, “oh, I’ll have to take care of that right away” is something that you’ll want to take care of now. Leaky faucets, sticky doors, clogged drains, shoddy caulking work, and chips in the paint are often overlooked by sellers as something they’ve learned to live with. Buyers will certainly make note of these things though.
  3. White walls do nothing for buyers these days. If your entire home is filled with white walls and a 1980s Oak trim, it may be time to add some color - although don’t go overboard. Bright or bold colors can also look like a project to buyers but white walls certainly don’t add much character or warmth. Keep things neutral by using a warm tone throughout the house and possibly different shades in bedrooms and bathrooms. Avoid dark colors in small rooms and touchup ceiling paint with a bright white just in case any such from candles has left lines along the support beams.
  4. Decluttering doesn’t mean put everything in the garage. We’ve all heard the tactic to de-clutter and move out a lot of things in closets, pantries and bedrooms but that doesn’t mean shoving everything into the garage. Buyers will look at the garage and realize there may not be enough room in the house for all of their stuff either. It might not be a bad idea to rent a storage locker just until the home sells to keep any items that you’re planning on packing and moving anyway.
  5. While your home is on the market it’s not yours. It’s time to put away all of the pictures, family memorabilia, personal collections, and any political or religious icons or decor. You are staging for the masses now, not yourself. You need to appeal to any type of buyer and if you’re unsure if your home meets the standards, ask a real estate agent to walk through your home giving tips and advice.

In fact, that’s exactly what I will do for you. Be those fresh eyes on your home to determine what needs to be fixed, upgraded, changed or repaired to get the best response from potential buyers. Call me today and let’s do a free listing presentation on how we would market, list and sell your Portland real estate.

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Posted in Selling
Oct. 21, 2019

Tech Savvy Home Buyers and What they Look For


In a world of technology, it's no wonder that home buyers are looking for the home buying process to be on the cutting edge of technology also. Homebuyers and sellers are increasingly tech-savvy and looking for ways to make the transaction less painful, their lives easier and their experience more personalized.Tech Savvy home buyers and what they look for

This means it's going to take real estate franchises more than the e-sign functionality for signatures or CRM for a full pipeline to draw in and impress potential clients. It's time for real estate to think about where technology is headed and ensure the greatest experience possible for homebuyers and sellers.

Give them what they want, what they REALLY REALLY want. As an agent, you know how your clients are using your website or mobile app and what they're searching for. They might not always know what they want and request information to everything so they can search themselves. Give them that but also pay attention to what they do but don't vocalize.

For instance, they may say they only like ramblers, but you may notice they're checking out raised ranches. Or maybe they say they love older homes, but you see that they've been checking out new construction.

It's your job to analyze the information that the online portals deliver. This is what will set you apart from the portal and create that personalization your client is looking for.  Use technology to your advantage to serve your client best.

More: The 7 Upgrades That First Time Home Buyers Want

Make an impact by blending knowledge from different sources. Look beyond your sphere of influence and look outside the box when evaluating technology tools. Look at other industries to get ideas of what has worked or maybe what hasn't.

There's so much technological innovation happening outside of real estate that can be used. Austin Allison, a former real estate agent, is a good example with the company, Dotloop. He noticed services like Google Chat and AIM and just knew there was a way to make real estate transactions happen in real-time and much more painless.

Think mobile. It's true that they're are already so many wonderful mobile apps to use currently, but mobile innovation is only gonna knock our socks off more and more as time goes by.

It should be no surprise that very soon most of the home buying process can be done entirely on a mobile device from search to close.

Some great mobile ideas for real estate include GPS apps that can locate properties and send clients information about them and their surrounding areas or apps where a client can enter search criteria and it will alert you when you're near a property that meets that criteria.

They key with mobile apps is to take your time and only introduce one to your business and clients when it's REALLY ready. You don't want clients to have a bad experience and then go with someone else.

Be educated. As an agent, make sure you're always educating yourself on current technology and evolving with the times. Always think about how the entire real estate experience happens for you and your clients. Your expectations will always be evolving and you need to see how technology can meet those for first, your client, and then you.


Posted in Buying
Oct. 18, 2019

Can a Buyer See a Home Without Being Pre-Approved?


Being in this business for years I've seen and heard a lot of excuses on why not to get preapproved for a home loan. Even if you're buying a house with all cash, you need to have some sort of financial proof that that's the case. Otherwise, many sellers will not let you look at their home if you're not preapproved for a home loan or have proof of all-cash.Can a Buyer See a Home Without Being Pre-Approved?

There have been buyers that have challenged me on this topic saying that other agents will in fact let them look at homes without being preapproved. And while that might be the case, it also could be wasting everyone's time. Without knowing how much you can afford and if you are even prequalified, it can be almost impossible to get access to sellers homes much less get an approval on an offer.

As a buyers agent is my job to ask questions and find out as much is possible about your current financial situation in order to give you the best service I can. Some of the most common questions I ask first-time buyers or those looking to hire a buyers agent are:

  • Have you already signed a buyers agreement?
  • Are you ready to purchase a home today?
  • Do you have a home to sell?
  • Are you currently renting?
  • Is your lease up or do you have a few months left?

If the answers to these questions seem timid, defensive, and rude, chances are they're probably not ready to buy a house. When working with the buyer we want to make sure you're serious about buying a home. There's a right way and a wrong way to do things and as your agent, I want to give you full attention and assist you in your home search but that means you must be prequalified to purchase a home ahead of time. Again, most sellers will not let you even into their home and tell you are prequalified or have proof you can purchase the property.

Read More: Major Benefits of Using a Buyer's Agent

As I said, there's the right way to do things and if you want to be on the up and up, get seller's attention, and get the best service from your buyer's agent, we absolutely must prequalify you ahead of time.

I can get you prequalified today with a local and trusted lender. It takes only minutes and is absolutely free to the buyer. Why wouldn't you be preapproved if you are serious about buying? Give me a call today and let's get the process started.

Posted in Buying
Oct. 14, 2019

A Buyer's Agent for 2019

What is so important about a buyer's agent? 

A Buyer's Agent for 2019

I posed a question to friends and family about how they bought their first or subsequent home and whom they used. Nearly all said they used the help of a buyer's agent. Here's what they said:

"I was moving out of town and had a friend contact a buyers agent in the town to which I was moving. My friend and the agent when to look at houses and then reported back to me. We decided on our home that we have lived in for almost 10 years now. We had the papers faxed to us and didn't see the house until we drive up in the van. Our buyers agent really helped us find the right home. " -Linda L.

"Buyers agent. You need an advocate who can explain what you should be considering and helping to navigate you through the process." - Mike L.

The same agent to buy and sell, then buy our next home! We used her for everything and trusted her advice and navigation through it all. With over 25 years experience, she knew the market, not us." - Melissa T.

We used an agent that we met when she taught a free 'buying your first house' class. No regrets! Always use an agent who lives int he area you're buying in so they know the neighborhood."  - Kim T.

"We used an buyer's agent and was very pleased with his level of dedication, detail and expertise during the process. Our buyers agent did a wonderful job helping us in a super competitive market. He understood the speed at which we had to view the homes and make our offers. He worked really hard for us and we love our home!"  - Megan E.

"A buyer's agent - no regrets!" - Beth W.

This is just a small sampling of random folks that have bought a home with a buyers agent. Several said they were agents at the time so they used themselves or a close relative. But when it comes to the best service for your money and your home, trust a buyer's agent. We work only for you and it costs you nothing. Don't waste your money and your time... call me today!

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Posted in Buying