South Hillsboro and the Street of Dreams

South Hillsboro and the Street of Dreams

I was able to find a spare couple of hours to stop by the Street of Dreams on Realtor Day. It was a super comfortable 1258 degrees outside that day...

It just happens to be in Hillsboro this year, and there is a very good reason for that location.

What was once a large 1400 acre tract of farmland (known as the historic Ladd-Reed farm) is now "South Hillsboro", the largest master planned development in Oregon history.

Dual-agency: Using the Listing Agent to Buy a Home

Dual-agency: Using the Listing Agent to Buy a Home

Dual-agency.

This is a divisive term in the world of real estate.

Some agents will happily represent both the buyer and the seller on a transaction. Some agents are vehemently against it and believe there is no way to adequately and fairly represent both parties. Other agents will only consider it in non-multiple offer situations. Other agents foam at the mouth and bend over backwards to try to find "double-ended deals". 

As long as it's allowed, I think it will always be up for debate. But, the most important thing that I always keep in mind is: what's best for the client(s)?

Rent-Back: What It Is and Why Sellers Ask for It

Rent-Back: What It Is and Why Sellers Ask for It

Otherwise known in the Portland metro market as the "Agreement to Occupy After Closing", rent back is a very common part of real estate transactions. 

What is Rent-back?

If a homeowner would like to sell their home, but needs time after closing to vacate the property, then they ask for rent-back.

After the home has closed and the buyers become the new homeowners, they also become landlords as the previous homeowners become tenants. (Is this confusing yet?)

Grab Bag Real Estate Blog

Grab Bag Real Estate Blog

While I probably have about a million things I could write about, I'm suffering from a bit of writer's block, or maybe it's exhaustion, which could really amount to the same thing!

So this blog is going to be more of a string-of-consciousness, here's what I've been seeing lately, kinda article.

It includes a small rant about real estate photography, a shout out to those that can do this job and look amazing in their super business-y attire, and a recommendation for an awesome Dog Rescue!

So this blog is going to be more of a string-of-consciousness, here's what I've been seeing lately, kinda article.

When Are House Prices in Portland Going to Go Down? - Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

When Are House Prices in Portland Going to Go Down? - Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

About 10 months ago I wrote my most popular blog article that was all about trying to do the impossible - predict when housing prices would fall.

So, in the interests of self-interest, I figured I'd do a follow up. Hey, if everyone liked the first one, then why not take advant... er, I mean, why not provide even more valuable information to the discerning public?

Cesspools and Septic and Sewers OH MY!

Cesspools and Septic and Sewers OH MY!

A few days ago, while driving to meet a client, I noticed water barreling out of a manhole cover. Soon after, I heard that Portland area residents were issued a warning to avoid the Willamette River due to sewage overflow. Then yesterday I showed clients a property in Milwaukie that is actually on a cesspool. I've sold properties with septic tanks before, but that was a first.

I think this definitely calls for a blog about sewer lines. This isn't typically a fun subject, but let's take the plunge anyway. I promise it won't be a waste of time.

But, you might want to grab a stool, this could take a while. Ooh, I'm so punny!

What Rising Mortgage Rates Mean for Buyers and Sellers (in the Portland metro)

What Rising Mortgage Rates Mean for Buyers and Sellers (in the Portland metro)

It's not surprising that interest rates are starting to rise. We just haven't seen significant increases in a while because of a little event that happened around 2008.

But now, since the start of 2018, the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages has climbed 50 basis points (that's 0.5% in finance parlance). It looks like sub 4% rates are a thing of the past. Sub 5% rates might soon be a thing of the past.

If mortgage rates continue to rise, which seems fairly likely, then affordability is going to further erode. And, this is happening during a serious housing shortage all around the Portland area.

What does it all mean for prospective buyers and sellers?

Bethany Area Homes

Bethany Area Homes

Bethany and the nearby surrounding neighborhoods are very popular right now. Good schools, quiet neighborhoods, and plenty of shops and restaurants make it a desirable area to live. It's also close to Hwy 26, Hwy 217, and the Max, so there are options for a relatively quick jaunt to downtown Portland. There are some great established neighborhoods, and new ones being built as we speak.

All of these things mean that buying a home there will cost a little more than other areas on the west side of town. But, that doesn't mean there aren't options!

Here are 8 current listings under $550,000 that will only semi-break the bank. And they are all detached, single family homes.

Time to Diversify: How to Become an Investor in Portland Area Housing

Time to Diversify: How to Become an Investor in Portland Area Housing

You’re fully funding your IRA, 401K, and/or other long-term investment accounts. You've got emergency funds in savings and maybe a little more. Maybe you’ve got a 529 started for your kids, or you play around a little bit with trading stocks. You also might already own a home which is building equity as you pay down your mortgage and home values rise.

But, is all of this enough to hit your savings, retirement, education, and “fun money” goals?

If so, go forth and vacation!!!

If not, let’s talk about diversifying by entering the seemingly scary, but not impossible to take advantage-of, world of real estate investing.

Portland East Side vs West Side - The Great Debate

Portland East Side vs West Side - The Great Debate

The joke is that Portland is divided into 5 quadrants. (Get it, 5 QUADrants. Hardy, har!) But, the only thing that matters to Portlanders is - which side of the river do you live on?

The only time any of my home buyers wonder if they should find a home east or west of the Willamette is when they're moving in from out of town. Just about anyone that lives in Portland, or the surrounding suburbs, already has definitive opinions about which side is "best". Meaning, of course, which side is best for them. 

I could say something very Realtor-ish, like, "I enjoy both east and west Portland equally for their diverse differences. Really, I do!"

Where's the fun in that, though? Of course I have a preference. However, I'm not going to tell you where I fall in the great debate! You're just going to have to guess which side I like more after reading my blog.