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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.

July 10, 2019

August Events in Portland Oregon

Iranian festival

August 3, 2019
Portland Iranian Festival has live music, dance, Iranian food, a fashion show, traditional arts and crafts, calligraphy, carpets, and books at PSU Park Blocks (1914 SW Park Avenue). Free.

Catholic festival

August 3, 2019
St. Stephen’s Festival includes a bake sale, food, a beer & wine garden, an art show, a craft fair, games for kids, and sacred music at St. Stephen Catholic Church.

Japanese festival

August 3, 2019
 (3 to 9 p.m.)
Obonfest commemorates ancestors with Obon dance, lanterns, children’s booths, Japanese food, beer, and sake at Oregon Buddhist Temple. Free entry.

Sangria party

August 3, 2019
 (3 to 8 p.m.)
Enjoy a tasty drink made with wine and fruit, with live music and small plates of food for sale at the Summer Sangria Partyat Hip Chicks do Wine in June, July, and August.

Fremont Fest

August 3, 2019
Fremont Street is closed from 42nd to 50th for Fremont Fest, including a 10 a.m. parade of pets and kids on bikes, music stages, a kids’ zone, and 125 vendors. Free.

Cold coffee festival

August 3, 2019
Sample coffee and vote for your favorite, hear live music, and shop from food vendors at Cold Brew Fest in Esther Short Park, Vancouver, WA. Children younger than age 12 are free.

Steam-engine festival

August 3 - 4, 2019
 (begins July 27)
Watch a parade of vintage tractors, trucks, and automobiles at 1:30 p.m. each day; take train and trolley rides; see steam saw milling, tractor pulling, and machinery demos; and visit a blacksmith, country store, and flea market during Steam-Up in Brooks.

Steam-powered festival

August 3 - 4, 2019
 (begins July 27)
The Great Oregon Steam-Up has live music, a quilt show, farm-equipment demonstrations, kids’ activities, a daily 1:30 p.m. parade of vintage tractors, trucks, and automobiles, and admission to 14 historical machinery museums at Powerland Heritage Park near Salem

Green living fair

August 3 - 4, 2019
Learn about sustainable lifestyles, renewable energy, organic gardening, small-scale farming, and green construction at Mother Earth News Fair in Albany.

Concerts in the square

August 6 - 27, 2019
 (Tuesdays from July 9)
Hear concerts at the popular Noon Tunes Summer Concert Series in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Free.

Concerts in Newberg

August 6 - 27, 2019
 (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.)
Family-friendly Tunes on Tuesday presents a different band each week and has food and wine vendors outside Chehalem Cultural Center. Bring chairs. Free.

Concerts on Main Street

August 7 - 28, 2019
 (Wednesdays from July 10)
Hear local musicians play a wide variety of music at Music on Main next to Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (on SW Main Street from Broadway to Park Ave.). Video (1 minute). Free.

Short film winners

August 9, 2019
The 48 Hour Film Project gives teams 2 days to make short films. See the best results at Clinton Street Theatre.

Vancouver Brewfest

August 9 - 10, 2019
Vancouver Brewfest has locally brewed beer, wine, cider, food, live music, and craft vendors at Esther Short Park for age 21+. Repeats in April.

Garlic festival

August 9 - 11, 2019
Elephant Garlic Festival has garlic-flavored foods, arts & crafts, and live music in North Plains. No pets. Free.

Spiritual music festival

August 9 - 12, 2019
Beloved Festival is an “open-air sacred art and music festival” with 53 music acts, an all-night Saturday dance, a vendor village, a yoga pavilion, and a sacred fire in Tidewater.

Dinner in the country

August 9 - Dec. 14, 2019
 (also July)
multiple locations
Dinners in the Field features “stunning wines of Oregon over a six-to-seven course dinner expertly prepared by Field & Vine chefs using ingredients sourced straight from the host and surrounding farms.”

African festival

August 10, 2019
 (12 to 8:30 p.m.)
Celebrate Africans living in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States at the Pan African Festival with live music, dance, a fashion show, food, and health & wellness activities at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Free.

Glamorous party

August 10, 2019
 (5 to 10 p.m.)
A ticket to A Gatsby Summer Evening includes a complimentary drink from the cash bar, ballroom dance performances, and live big-band music for dancing at Director Park. Dress code.

Alberta Street Fair

August 10, 2019
Alberta Street Fair focuses on local products, artists, crafts, and foods. It includes an 11 a.m. kids’ parade, a kids’ corner, two beer gardens, and three stages of entertainment on on NE Alberta Street (from NE 10th to 30th Avenues). Free.

Reptile show

August 10, 2019
See frogs, snakes, geckos, and other exotic creatures at Portland Metro Reptile Expo, with educational tables and vendors at the Holiday Inn on Columbia Boulevard. Held in January and August.

Car & motorcycle show

August 10, 2019
 (9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Check out 350 show cars, trucks, motorcycles, and military vehicles at Salute To Veterans Car & Motorcycle Show, with bands and food vendors at Washington County Fair Complex in Hillsboro. Free.

Fossil festival

August 10, 2019
Learn about fossils at Northwest Fossil Fest, which features lectures, displays, kids’ activities, and entry to Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals. Free.

Vegan festival

August 10 - 11, 2019
VegOut: Portland Vegan Beer & Food Festival promises food vendors, speakers, local bands, DJ music, and vegan-friendly clothing, skin-care, and artwork at Holladay Park. Children age 12 and younger are free.

Run for beer

August 10 & 17, 2019
location varies each month
The untimed 5K Fun Run is on sidewalks and park trails, followed by a free beer and live entertainment.

Bike or walk the bridges

August 11, 2019
Portland locations
Bridge Pedal is a 5-mile walk or a 3 to 18 mile ride with stunning views from atop Portland bridges. Register early, and bring a helmet. No dogs or skates.

India Festival

August 11, 2019
Experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of India at India Festival, with performances, food, and vendors in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Free entry.

Lents Street Fair

August 11, 2019
Lents Fair has live music, food, craft vendors, a kids’ area, a chicken beauty pageant, and the Belmont Goats in the SW corner of Lents Park, plus a walk on closed neighborhood streets. Free.

Girl-power musical

August 11 - 18, 2019
Matilda the Musical is about a girl who dreams of a better life and dares to take a stand to achieve it at Lakewood Center for the Arts in Lake Oswego.

Hillsboro farm dinner

August 16, 2019
 (5:30 to 9 p.m.)
The $95 Farm Fresh dinner features locally grown food, wine, and live music in Hillsboro for age 21+.

Barbecue and tractor pull

August 16 - 18, 2019
Banks Bar-B-Que Truck and Tractor Pull has tractor & truck pulls, BBQ sandwiches, a beer garden, a parade (Sunday at 11 a.m.), and a combine demolition derby in Banks. No pets.

Adult soapbox derby

August 17, 2019
Watch adults in bizarre gravity-powered vehicles race downhill at Mt. Tabor City Park to win awards at the annual PDX Adult Soap Box Derby. No dogs. Free.

Night market in Beaverton

August 17, 2019
 (also July 20)
Beaverton Night Market promises a family-friendly event with 55 vendors of ethnic food and crafts, plus performers from around the world at The Round. Free.

Bigfoot festival

August 17, 2019
Oregon Bigfoot Festival promises Bigfoot exhibits, special presentations, guest speakers, food carts, merchandise vendors, and carnival-style games at Glenn Otto Park in Troutdale. No pets. Donation.

Farm festival

August 17, 2019
The Heirloom Tomato and Garlic Festival has live bluegrass music, tomato and garlic tasting, fruits and vegetables for sale, craft and art vendors, and kids’ activities at Northwest Organic Farms in Ridgefield, WA. Free.

Air and vehicle show

August 17, 2019
See airplanes, cars, motorcycles, and military vehicles at Wings & Wheels, which includes a half marathon, a street dance, music, food vendors, a beer garden, and kids’ activities at Scappoose Industrial Airpark.
Wine tasting in Forest Grove
August 17, 2019
 (4 to 9 p.m.)
27 miles west
Forest Grove UnCorked features local wineries, artisan distilleries, micro-breweries, fine arts, and live music on Main Street in Forest Grove for age 21+.

Distillery tasting

August 17 - 18, 2019
Meet the makers of locally crafted spirits and buy cocktails or bottles at Summer Spirits Fest in Ankeny Plaza (2 SW Naito Parkway) for age 21+. Free admission.

Hot Sauce Expo

August 17 - 18, 2019
Portland Hot Sauce Expo has hot & spicy food vendors, craft beer, eating contests, and a Chihuahua beauty contest Sunday at 2 p.m. in OMSI bridge parking lot.

Wine tasting

August 17 - 18, 2019
Multnomah Village Vine & Dine promises “25 superb NW wine and food stars” offering wine tastings paired with sweet and savory bites in the lower parking lot at Multnomah Village.

Evenings at the zoo

August 20, 2019
 (5 to 8 p.m.)
Admission to Oregon Zoo is only $5 after 4 p.m. on Twilight Tuesday, with live music, games, family activities, food carts, beer, and wine beginning 5 p.m. Held June 18, July 16, and Aug. 20, 2019.

Relay to the Pacific Ocean

August 23 - 24, 2019
Hood to Coast Relay is a 199-mile relay of 12,000 runners from Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge. Portland to Coast Walk Relay is a 199-mile relay of 4,000 walkers from Portland. Both end at an ocean party.

Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival

August 23 - 25, 2019
Drink wine, listen to jazz, and shop from arts and crafts booths at Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival [sound] at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA.

Small-town beer festival

August 23 - 25, 2019
Sample beer, cider, and wine from 23 breweries at the Boring Beer Fest, with live music, games, food, entertainment, and a family day (Sunday) in Boring.

Camera show

August 24, 2019
Rose City PhotoFair includes vendors of vintage and modern gear at Jackson Armory.

Fruit beer festival

August 24 - 25, 2019
Buy a ticket to try two dozen fantastically fruity beers and ciders outdoors at Portland Fruit Beer Festival, which also has food vendors at 7th Avenue & E. Burnside Street.

Dahlia Festival

August 24 - Sept. 2, 2019
View 400 floral arrangements of dahlias indoors, 40 acres of dahlias outdoors, and dahlia growing and arranging demonstrations at the Dahlia Festival at Swan Island Dahlias in Canby. Free.

People in the street

August 25, 2019
Walk, bike, or roller-skate on miles of streets when most cars are banned for Sunday Parkways on the Green Loop (downtown & inner SE), with activities and music along the way. Free.

Hawthorne Street Fair

August 25, 2019
Hawthorne Street Fair has vendors, family activities, beer gardens, and live music on the sidewalks of SE Hawthorne Boulevard (from 31st to 38th). Free.

Car & boat show

August 25, 2019
Collector Car & Classic Boat Show is spread over three locations in Lake Oswego. Saturday has boats, Sunday has boats and cars. Free.

Adult party at the science museum

August 28, 2019
Ciderfest promises “food, drink, and science fun” at The Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) for age 21+. Tickets are available either with or without cider.

Arab Festival

August 31, 2019
Enjoy Arabic music, dance, poetry, food, art and crafts at the Arab Festival at Oaks Amusement Park. Free.

Pearl District art festival

August 31 - Sept. 2, 2019
Art in The Pearl features 100 booths of fine art as well as music, food, and hands-on art activities along NW 8th Ave in North Park Blocks. Free.
Posted in Things to Do
July 8, 2019

Top Home Buying Financial Advice From the Experts

Top Home Buying Financial Advice From the Experts

Planning on buying a house? Getting your finances in order ahead of time is a wise move but there are so many details when it comes to buying a home. Doing your research will put you ahead of the game and help win over the competition.

10 Ways to Stick to a Financial Plan

Whether you're planning on buying a home this year or just want to gain some financial freedom, making, creating and sticking to a budget and financial plan does take some will power and discipline. But what do you do when you want to cheat?

How to Consolidate Credit Card Debt and Save Money

Consolidating credit cards – Ridding yourself of the stress If you have been using credit cards as per your choice, you may already have fallen deep into debt. So, what now, when you already have incurred quite a lot of debts? What are the options which may be helpful enough for you to solve the credit card debt issues? Though there are different debt relief options, like that of credit card debt settlement, consolidating credit cards, credit card debt management and so on, you will have to try and change your spending habits.

How Much Money Do I Have to Put Down to Buy a House?

One of the biggest questions you want to be answered when considering buying a home is how much money you'll need to put down. By putting a larger down payment, it can reduce your monthly mortgage payment and protect you from any additional costs, but what happens if you just don't have the money? Downpayments and earnest money deposit do work in tandem. In earnest money, the deposit is the initial money that holds the property for you.

What's the Difference Between an Earnest Money Deposit and a Down Payment?

They are similar but are definitely different. One you give toward the beginning of the process, the other at the end but both go toward the purchase. Read more about the difference here.

Is Cash for Houses a Legitimate Thing?

What's up with all the "cash for your house" signs around? Is this a legitimate thing? How can you compete with investors and all cash offers? 

Should Your Family Co-Sign on a Home Purchase?

Have you been asked by a family member to co-sign either on an auto loan or bigger yet, a home loan? This is a huge undertaking and you are responsible if they don’t pay so are there any other options? Usually, the single biggest challenge for new homebuyers is coming up with the down payment, closing costs, and earnest money deposit’s. This is why FHA loans are so popular with first-time homebuyers as they only need 3 1/2% down payment. But, that 3 1/2% can be a financial gift from a family member making the co-sign option nonexistent. They are also more lenient as it relates to credit to qualify. But, even if an FHA option is not the best, there are other options and co-signing.

Outdated Mortgage Advice to Forget

Buying a home is probably one of the biggest purchases you'll ever make and signing all of those loan documents can be scary but it's important to understand some mortgage truths as there is a lot of information out there and it might not be accurate. Even things that worked in 2018 may not work in 2019. So let's debunk some of the myths and filter through some of the outdated mortgage information.

The Hidden Cost of Homeownership

Becoming a homeowner, especially for the first time, is one of the most exciting ventures you can have. This is the largest purchase you'll ever make and once you're in a home of your own, it will feel satisfying and secure, but that doesn't mean that you're off the hook when it comes to home maintenance and additional fees that come along with homeownership. Not only do I want to help our buyers find the right home and be satisfied with their purchase, but I want them to be aware of any additional fees and costs that come along with that homeownership. For this reason, here are five hidden costs to homeownership.

How to Avoid the Fixer-Upper Pitfall

As everyone now knows (thanks, HGTV!), putting some elbow grease into a home can result in some serious equity! Fixing up a home can be very advantageous … but “can” is the key word. Each scenario has to be looked at individually, and very carefully. I’ve seen everything from buyers purchasing, fixing, and flipping at a huge profit, to homeowners dumping time and money into homes that at the end of the day cost them money. Obviously very frustrating! How does one avoid the pitfalls? While there isn’t an easy answer, here are some thoughts:

Being Pre-Approved for a Home Loan is the BEST Way to Get the House

Remember that a pre-approval when getting a home loan makes you a quality home buyer. Most home buyers think that all they need is a pre-qualification (PQ) letter. Not so. PQ letters you can find online and fill them out yourself. Most lenders freely hand out a PQ without doing a diligent check. A pre-approval confirms that the lender did check your ability to buy and is willing to lend you the money, a strong statement when there are other offers.

 

Contact Me Below to Get in Touch with a Lender in Our Area

Posted in Finance
July 3, 2019

Does the Highest Price Offer Always Get Accepted?

The real estate market in Portland is on fire right now. There are a lot of homes and condominiums to buy as well as a lot of buyers on the market. We've seen a few homes sell for over asking price and multiple offer situations. Because of this, buyers often ask if the highest price offer will naturally get accepted.Does the Highest Price Offer Always Get Accepted?

The short answer is no. There are so many other terms and details to a real estate purchase and sale contract an offer that the highest price doesn't necessarily mean the best offer.

Take for example a recent transaction we had. Our seller has listed their home for $425,000. It was a popular home in the Beaverton neighborhood and because of the great schools, we had multiple offers. Within the first week, we had six offers on the table. Four of them were over asking price and two of them had escalation clauses. These escalation clauses can be included from a buyer stating that the buyer will pay over asking price up to a certain amount over the highest priced offer in incremental chunks. For instance, one of our escalation clauses came in stating that the buyer will pay up to $15,000 over asking price in a $3000 increments over the highest offer. So if an offer came in at $430,000, this buyer is willing to pay $433,000, $3000 over the highest asking price up to $440,000. Naturally, our sellers assume this is the best offer but with more careful consideration, this offer with an escalation clause also included contingency, which means that the buyer needed to sell their own house first before agreeing to buy this house. To the offers were full asking price without contingencies or escalation clauses and one of them waived the home inspection.

We ended up going with an offer for $430,000 with no contingency, no inspection addendum, and the buyers were already preapproved for financing. They didn't need to sell another house and were ready to move in within 30 days. We gave up going for the higher price for the better terms.

Of course, the seller has the ultimate decision on which offer to take, but in going over all the details, this one made the most sense. Sure, we want our sellers to get the very most out of their home, but if frustration, contingencies, and roadblocks or obstacles prevent a quick sale, this can of far outweigh simply accepting an offer for a little bit less money.

For more answers to your real estate questions feel free to give us a call at any time or start your online search here for free or contact us for a listing consultation. 

Can I Make an Offer on a Pending Sale?

How Easy is it to Compete with Multiple Offers?

Posted in Buying
July 1, 2019

Can the Seller Be Present During a Buyer's Inspection?

Does a does the seller or homeowner have to leave the property when the buyer conducts the home inspection?Can the Seller Be Present During a Buyer's Inspection?

There is no law that requires sellers or homeowners to leave their property during an inspection. While this might be the legality behind it, the social aspect of it is quite different. Even if a buyer has their own buyers agent and a homeowner has their own listing agent, it's pretty awkward to have the seller or homeowner hanging around the property or the buyer and inspector critique and inspect every detail. It's more common for sellers and homeowners to leave the property for the 2 to 4 hours that buyers and inspectors need to carefully inspect the property. It can be a little bit anxiety-inducing and could cut the inspection short if the seller is consistently hanging on the buyer, injecting their own information, or constantly adding their own advice or information about the property. 

Now, it could be a benefit as well. Every buyer and seller is different so some buyers love having the seller on-site to answer questions about a remodel or addition or just provide additional information that the buyer and inspector just wouldn't know without the seller's input.

So what happens if the buyer and the inspector show up and the seller won't leave?

There are several ways to go about this and it depends on the buyer's agent and the listing agent. Each situation is unique so often times we have called the listing agent to ask if the seller wouldn't mind leaving the property for a couple of hours so that the buyer doesn't feel awkward or uncomfortable asking the inspector certain questions.

Sometimes the buyer's agent will also be on site and may distract or occupy the seller or homeowner for a while so that the buyer can ask the inspector whatever information or questions they want.

More: 5 Signs you've hired the wrong inspector

Usually, it comes down to communication. If you have a great buyers agent, and the listing agent wants to work well with the buyer's agent, often times you can come to an agreement fairly easy.

What if the buyer wants the seller to be there.

Again, it comes down to communication. If the buyer wants the seller to be on-site to answer certain questions, that also is a simple question to the homeowner themselves.

You can also glass the home inspector if they prefer the seller to be on site or their experience with having a homeowner on-site during the inspection. Every situation is unique and buyers and sellers along with their agents need to communicate and work together so everyone is happy.

More: The most common problems found in home inspections

Posted in Buying
June 27, 2019

Oregon's Largest Master Planned Community Coming to Hillsboro

Reeds Crossing is set to be Oregon's largest ever master-planned community located in Hillsboro. Hillsboro, the fastest growing city just west of Portland and home to just over 100,000 residents is creating a new master-planned community called Reeds Crossing. Located in South here is parole near the Tualatin Valley highway and Aloha's giant Harvey the rabbit statue, this new community purchased by Intel's Hillsboro D1 X facility used to be owned by the sisters of St. Mary. When complete, this over 460-acre development designed by San Diego-based Newland Communities will feature over 4000 homes, townhouses, and single-family properties with real estate starting at around $300,000.Reeds Crossing Portland

This is the largest planned development in the history of Oregon. Hillsboro is home to major companies like Intel, Nike, and Tektronix and between 2010 and 2016, Washington County produced just 71 new units for every 100 new households, many of which were these highly paid tech workers and medical professionals. It only makes sense to work on something that can accommodate rapid growth.

Reeds Crossing's first model homes are currently available and the rest of the development will be completed in phases with an apartment complex, and Elementary school, town center with restaurants and grocery stores, daycares and coffee shops. The entire project has a completion date of around 2026. When all of the pieces are in place it should feel like a regular neighborhood without the cookie-cutter image of many other instant communities.

The goal is authenticity. Even though it's a planned community and everything is planned far in advance, developers hope that integrated multi-functional designs will create a unique look, design, atmosphere.

Homes will be "solar ready" featuring natural areas, the community will offer five wetland acres lush with native trees and will offer a 23 acre Greenway with bike lanes, trails, and outdoor activities. The development is geared to attract about 40% of buyers from the baby boomer age bracket and a quarter each for millennial's and generation acts. This is a community that the developer say they will be working on it for years to come. They want to build a community not just get in, throw up some houses and leave.

If you'd like more information about Reeds Crossing please give us a call today.

Posted in Communities
June 26, 2019

10 Great Questions to Ask When Buying a House

10 Great Questions to Ask When Buying a House

Buying a home can be exciting and a little scary at the same time. You want to get the best deal and you want a home that you're going to love for years so in doing so, here are some common questions you might want to ask yourself.

#1. What's my budget?

This really should be the number one question all homebuyers ask themselves and it's not just a surface question either. You should sit down with a mortgage lender or officer to determine exactly what your budget is before looking at homes. There's nothing more discouraging than finding a home you love only to discover later that you can't afford it.

#2. Why is the seller leaving?

You may not get an honest answer but it's an important question to ask. Is it because of a job relocation or major life event? How motivated is the seller when it comes to negotiating? You want someone that's going to work with you and not just stubborn enough to sit on the market until they get exactly what they want.

#3. What's all included in the sale?

This might seem obvious but you'd be surprised at how many buyers show up after closing and realize the seller has taken things that the buyer thought should have stayed. Ask about appliances, curtains, and anything that is permanently attached to the house. Plus, you can ask to keep anything in the house if you want. Love that homeowner's couch? You can always write that into the contract and see if the seller will bite.

#4. Has the house had any major renovations or additions?

This should be on the seller's disclosure form but it's an important question to ask nonetheless. Your inspector should be able to see if the house has had additional renovations and any remodeling, but it's important to ask so that you can be aware of those and make sure they've had permit strong.

Read More: What happens when the inspection shows unpermitted work?

#5. How old are certain appliances and features of the house?

As the roof recently been replaced? How old are the appliances? Does the furnace get service often? These are questions that will definitely affect your bottom line once you move in. Is every appliance on its last leg, chances are you'll have a big bill to replace all of these things once you move in. So it's important to understand the age of all of these major appliances in the house.

#6. How long has the house been on the market?

Your real estate agent should be able to tell fairly quickly how long the home is been on the market but the longer it's been on the market the warier many buyers become. Also, the longer it's been on the market the more motivated the seller. The homeowner may be more flexible on price, contingencies, and terms but it's important to understand why the home hasn't sold as well.

#7. What are the neighbors like?

Take a stroll through the neighborhood to see if you like the atmosphere. Talk to other neighbors about the vibe. Are there dogs that bark incessantly, or is there a neighbor with junky cars in the driveway?

#8. What is the commute like?

In looking at a lot of homes some buyers realize they have traveled quite a ways away from where they originally wanted to live. It's important to realize your commute routes, commute times, and how far away you are from shops and restaurants that you generally like to visit.

#9. Are there any health or safety hazards?

Is the home in a flood zone? Will you need additional homeowners insurance? Is it an older home that may have lead paint, radon, or mold? The home inspector may suggest having additional testing should the home appear to have any of these additional safety hazards.

More: The most common problems found in home inspections

#10. How much are other homes in the neighborhood?

Are you buying the most expensive home in the neighborhood? You might be okay with that and then again, you might not. Your home will not increase in value and appreciation as much as the others. Your home may be bringing up the values on everyone else's not the other way around. This might be okay, but it's important to know that.

Read More: Top Advice for Home Buyers

Ready to get started looking at homes? Start your online search here for free or contact our office at any time to schedule a consultation or for more answers to any of your real estate questions for Portland in the Vancouver area.

Posted in Buying
June 19, 2019

Are Owner Financed Homes a Good Idea?

There are several ways to obtain a home loan either through a bank, credit union, or mortgage broker but there are also alternative options for those with less than perfect credit or have had issues getting financing through a traditional route. An alternative form of financing is considered owner or seller financing or owner carryback.Are Owner Financed Homes a Good Idea?

Owner financing means that the properties owner/seller participates in financing the buyer's purchase of the property either partially or the entire loan itself. The owner acts as the bank and sets up interest rates, payment plans, and payoff amounts.

This type of financing becomes more prevalent when sales in a particular area slow down and sellers are motivated enough to try just about every avenue. If the seller doesn't need the full cash upfront, let's say, to buy another house, owner financing might be a great option for buyers. It could be a good incentive as owner financing might be a little more lenient than bank financing but the owner still has to take the risk just like a typical lender.

It's important to have a real estate attorney draw up the proper paperwork. This is one of the biggest issues that many owner financing situations may have. It's important to draw up all of the paperwork legally and have it notarized and signed. This protects both the buyer and the seller.

Using owner financing is not necessarily less expensive, however. Interest rates may be higher and there are real estate attorney fees as well as real estate commissions to think about. But owner financing is a great option for borrowers that may not meet certain criteria for traditional lending.

Drawbacks to this type of financing could include the seller still owning the property while the current buyer is paying off the mortgage. "A typical problem for the buyer is if the seller does not own the property being sold free and clear of any mortgage or trust deed and the buyer cannot get a loan to pay off the existing loan, the buyer runs the risk of obtaining a loan from the seller and taking title subject to the existing loan in place." [source]

Seller problems can arise when the buyer can only qualify for a loan up to a certain dollar amount and this loan needs to be in the first secured position to be sold. The seller may agree to loan the buyer the balance of the home sales price by a promissory note secured by a second mortgage on the home. If the seller is in the second secured position and the buyer defaults on the first loan, the seller must keep the first loan current if they have their own mortgage on the property.

The most common problem arises from owner financing when the seller's loan becomes due for payment. Buyers could make claims that there are problems with the home not originally disclosed and back out on the loan at the last moment.

Owner financing can be a great option but there are a lot of caveats and things to consider before agreeing to owner financing. It's not necessarily a bad idea and for certain situations, it can be a great option for both buyer and seller. But, before agreeing to any owner financing it's important to discuss the terms and options with a real estate attorney.

For more information or referrals to a real estate attorney contact our office today. 

 

Posted in Finance
June 17, 2019

How Much Legal Information Can a Realtor® Provide?

You may have had a real estate agent in the past say, "I'm not allowed to give legal advice, but…" And wondered where the discrepancy comes in and why the ruling on legalities versus real estate agents is so blurred. Well, it really shouldn't be. Lawyers, who are also real estate agents, can give legal advice but a real estate agent that is not a lawyer cannot. So where's the line on legal information or legal counsel?How Much Legal Information Can a Realtor® Provide?

Real estate agents can be extremely vulnerable when it comes to getting sued so saying the right thing and doing the right thing or not doing something is really a fine line that real estate agents and Realtors need to follow closely. Even the smallest mistake could end up costing a lot of money for the agent, tarnishing a reputation, or losing your license. Real estate agents can give basic advice on the property, construction information, materials, and current market conditions, but they can't give legal advice on how to make a decision on certain legal actions and this fine line can be blurred if the agent is not careful.

Each state has its own set of real estate laws and real estate agents help is not legally required for most transactions even though agents can help with many processes and responsibilities that border on legal action such as preparing the home purchase and sale contract. In some states, a lawyer is allowed to prepare these documents as well, perform a title search and close the deal without any help from a real estate agent, even though they may charge more.

Attorneys are paid by the hour, and this can be very expensive. Real estate agents charge a one-time listing fee or buyers commission, which they will receive once the deal closes. It's usually a set percentage of the sale price. As a buyer or seller going through an attorney could cost you a lot more depending on how much information you need and how often you use them.

So what's considered legal advice?

According to real estate law, no other individuals such as paralegals, law students, and real estate agents are legally permitted to give legal advice on a real estate law. Those that do are technically breaching ethical and legal provisions. Only lawyers are authorized to practice law. So what are agents and not allowed to give?

Real estate agents cannot explain potential legal outcomes of any dispute or lawsuit, they cannot evaluate legal issues and advise the client, they cannot file a lawsuit for you, they cannot make arguments in court on your behalf, and they cannot draft any legal documents including contracts. Any contracts or addendum's written up during the process have already been approved and authorized by the legal board for that state. They cannot redraft any additional documents.

Real estate agents that do any of these things risk losing their license, suffering fines, losing their potential commission, and even getting sued themselves.

So as long as the agent does not provide any legal information only general knowledge or public information, all parties should be in compliance. Real estate agents can pretty much answer anything a buyer or seller will want to know but once it gets into legalities or lawsuits, it's time to bring in a real estate attorney.

Read More: 4 Things Your Realtor® Should Be Doing For You

Posted in News and Media
June 10, 2019

3 Creative Tips About Buying Your Dream Vacation Property - 2

This is continuing how to buy your dream vacation home in the Portland or Vancouver area.

3 Creative Tips About Buying Your Dream Vacation Property

If your home has enough equity that allows you to buy a vacation home outright you may be able to use a portion of it to make needed renovations or remodel once closing is complete.

If you already have favorable terms on your primary residence you may not want to refinance and start all over. However, if the current market rate is lower than what you have on your primary mortgage, refinancing that first mortgage and acquiring cash may be one of the best options.

There are a lot of tax advantages for owning a second home as well depending on what type and exactly how it's used. Owning a vacation property is a little bit different than an investment property unless you plan on renting it out for more than half the year. Differences in an investment property versus your own vacation property can adversely affect the taxes you owe on the property and the type of insurance required.

Page 3

Posted in Buying
June 10, 2019

3 Creative Tips About Buying Your Dream Vacation Property - 3

What if you use a tax-advantaged retirement plan to buy the home or make an initial down payment?

3 Creative Tips About Buying Your Dream Vacation Property

This path can be a little bit risky and can incur penalties. If you are getting the finances from a traditional IRA or 401(k) before age 59 1/2 you may need to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty. It's important to understand how much capital you'll need to finalize the transaction on the vacation property and if it could generate rental income. You might consider using it as an Air B&B which can generate revenue when you're not using it. Finding a way to make the homes equity work for you is really one of the benefits of home ownership and using your own equity to finance additional properties that can generate income or simply be used as a second home is really a smart way to invest the money you've already earned.

If you're looking for a specific type of home throughout the Portland, South Portland or Vancouver Washington area give us a call. We can talk through some numbers and find out the best financing options, you can meet with one of our lenders, and I would be happy to offer some potential properties in the area that might meet your search criteria and price.

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Posted in Buying