Dave Sutton

For Smart Sellers, Bright Buyers & Intentional Investors

Congress extends tax relief for underwater home sellers

Just got word from the National Association of Realtors on key legislation affecting home sellers and investors:

“The package of tax extensions approved by the U.S. House and Senate, and headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes important provisions that will help distressed homeowners and commercial property investors with transactions made during 2014. NAR applauds Congressional leaders in both chambers for their effort to pass this legislation before adjournment.

“Realtors® strongly supported the bipartisan Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which was included in the package to prevent underwater borrowers from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a workout or after their home was sold for less money than was owed. We are grateful to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., for championing the provision.

“The legislation also includes one-year extensions of the 15-year depreciation schedule for leasehold improvements and the deduction for improvements to energy efficient commercial buildings.”

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 1:43 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Selling, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , ,

December Portland Activities & Events

New to Portland?  Old timer looking for new things?  Here's a list put together by my friends at Ticor Title

Activities –


• ZooLights

o Don’t miss this magical sight: zoo animals frolicking in the form of a million holiday lights.www.oregonzoo.org


• Winter Wonderland

o From the warmth of your car, tour the largest holiday-light display west of the Mississippi.www.globaleventsgrouppdx.com


• Christmas Fantasy Trail

o Stroll through a winter wonderland on a 1000-ft path with lights, glittering gingerbread houses, and a full-size Christmas castle. www.fantastytrail.com


• Poetry Readings

o Portland’s underground poetry scene is currently in the national spotlight.www.ifnotforkidnpa.comwww.badbloodpoetry.org


• The Unscriptables

o Performing regularly, this improv group draws big laughs putting “typical” Portland characters in puppet form. www.theunscriptables.com


• Christmas Festival of Lights

o View nativity scenes, take in one of the 150 choral performances and enjoy a range of other entertainment at the Grotto. www.thegrotto.org


Events –


• Champagne Ball – 31

o Get tickets early for this wild New Year’s party, which touts 4 rooms, 3 dance floors, 16 bars, and one epic countdown. www.champagneball.com


• Christmas Revels Show – 11-14

o Partake in a traditional winter solstice celebration, with 11 holiday performances that explore the traditions of Old Europe through music, dance, poetry, and drama.www.portlandrevels.com


• Holiday Ale Festival – 3-7

o Stay warm sampling bold and powerful ales under a heated tent in Pioneer Courthouse Square. www.holidayale.com


• Christmas Ship Parade – 5-21

o For 60 years, Christmas-light-decorated boats have paraded along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Check the website for a schedule with locations. www.christmasships.org


• Festival of the Last Minute – 18-24

o Fear not, last-minute shoppers, Portland Saturday Market has you covered: Loads of locally made gifts amass in the days before Christmas. www.protlandsaturdaymarket.com


• Hawthorne Holiday Stroll – 6

o Holiday shopping becomes a community celebration with free warm apple cider, carolers, games for kids, and stores with extended business hours. www.thinkhawthorne.com


• Holiday Half – 14

o This flat half marathon comes with views of St. Johns Bridge and ends with seasonal ale, warm food, carolers, and eggnog. www.foottraffic.us/holiday


• Jingle Bell Run/Walk – 7

o Race to the sound of jingle bells and help the fight against arthritis, the country’s leading cause of disability. www.portlandjinglebellrun.kintera.org


• Lights on Peacock Lane – 15-24

o In one of Portland’s best-loved traditions, immaculately decorated Tudors shine for two and a half weeks. Watch for pedestrian-only nights. www.peacocklane.net


• Providence Festival of Trees – 5-6

o View 100s of decorated trees created by local designers, and enjoy holiday entertainment. Proceeds benefit Providence Health & Services. www.providence.org/festivaloftrees


• ScanFair – 6-7

o Discover Scandinavia’s traditional arts, visit the Pippi Longstocking Room, and eat Danish, Norweigan, and Swedish delicacies. www.scanheritage.org


• Tuba Christmas – 13

o A great way to break up a day of downtown holiday shopping: more than 225 tubas perform jolly songs in the Square for free. www.bemerrydowntown.org


• Crafty Wonderland’s Super Colossal Holiday Sale – 13-14

o Local creativity will blow your mind at this artisanal shopping experience. Free admission and tons of gift ideas. www.craftywonderland.com


• Christmas in Dairyville – 12-14

o This complete Christmas town comes with vintage storefronts, holiday scenes replete with live animals, and 300+ decorated trees. Stroll down Storybook Lane, take in a holiday movie, and visit with Santa. www.alpenrose.com

Posted on December 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Portland Events & Activities, Portland Real Estate, Uncategorized |

Harvard says (what we already know but sometimes forget) about home buying

Nevermind all the pure joy of living in your own home, where you can decide what color to paint the kids' rooms and what to plant in the yard and hang on the walls in the kitchen and on and on…  Harvard researchers point out five purely FINANCIAL REASONS to own a home. 

Harvard’s 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home | Keeping Current Matters

Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. Last year, he released a paper on homeownership – The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent. 

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially.

Harvard’s 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home | Keeping Current Matters

Posted on August 15, 2014 at 11:20 am
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A little well-deserved recognition for a fellow Windermere Stellar broker

Who cares about another golf tournament, you say?  This one has raised over $100,000 for the Windermere Foundation, all of which supports local charities  Read More

Posted on July 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Uncategorized |

Home Price Change Comparison by U.S. Region

The data comes from the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Administration) and is for the 1st Quarter 2014 compared to 1st Quarter 2013.

Posted on June 16, 2014 at 3:33 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Uncategorized |

Windermere Foundation Donations

The Windermere Foundation raises money two ways: 1) a percentage of the sales commission from every Windermere Real Estate transaction, and 2) individual contributions by agents (yup, me too), staff and friends, including fundraising events (like our upcoming golf tournament in Portland – want to go?).

Here's a look at where $276,547 went in the first quarter of 2014

Posted on June 14, 2014 at 5:46 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Uncategorized |

To Buy a Median Price Home in Portland, You Must Earn How Much?

According to HSH.com it takes $60,307 income to qualify to buy a median price ($271,900) home in Portland.

If you don't make that much, don't give up on home ownership.  First that's a broad brush using national figures for interest rates and other things.  Working with a good local mortgage broker (ask me for a recommendation) can probably improve on that. Second, there are a lot of nice homes for less than the median price (Median is just the number for which half the home sales are more, half are less). 

As I write this (May 28) there are 26 3-bedroom Portland homes for sale priced between $190,000 and $200,000. What income is required to buy one of those? Did I say I could recommend a top notch mortgage broker?

To see what's available in Portland in any price range just let me know your price range and I'll send you the listings right away.  Want to know how much home you can buy on your present income?   Did I say I could recommend a top notch mortgage broker?

Want to know how Portland compares to 26 other metropolitan areas?  Click here

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 3:50 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , ,

What are Portland’s Hottest Real Estate Neighborhoods?

Courtesy of our friends at Chicago Title, here are Portland's 25 Hottest Neighborhoods: Number of Homes Sold, Days on Market, and Most Expensive. 

In the "Property Search" tab on my web site you can search homes by Portland Neighborhod and now you can also search by drive time.  Enter your work address and desired drive time along with other requirements (price range, # of BR, BA, etc) and you'll see all the homes for sale that meet your criteria within that drive time range.  Or if you'd rather, let me know and I'll be happy to do the search for you.

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Top Seven Trends in Luxury Real Estate

How about a bathroom mirror that turns into an LCD TV when you want?  Even the "news junkie" that I am wonders about that, but all seven are interesting

It's from Worth magazine.  Click here for the full story.

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 10:27 am
Dave Sutton | Posted in Uncategorized |

$200/month More to Buy Same House in Portland Next Year?

In proverbial "round numbers", mortgage payments on the average home in Portland next year will be about $200/month more than today if this forecast increase in mortgage rates is correct. (To check the forecasting accuracy of these sources, I looked up their January 2012 forecast for January 2013 – they were within 0.2 of today's average rates.

That's to buy at the same price.  If home prices go up 5-6% as predicted, it's even more.

To go beyond "round numbers" and see what it would cost you to buy that real Portland-area house you want today, I can introduce you to a good mortgage broker.  Between the two of us, you can see real numbers and real homes for you.  Call or text me at 503-505-9722 or @DaveSuttonHomes

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 1:38 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , ,