What to Do About that Annoying (house/car/business/neighbor).

"That house down the street has 3-foot tall weeds all over the front yard"

"That car has been parked there for weeks"

"The business on the corner is so noisy I can't sleep"

"The neighbor's dog barks all day and night"

"I don't think that apartment being built over their garage complies with code"

In the City of Portland, there is a place to file a complaint for all these issues and more.

Click Here for a list of the right phone numbers for each of these issues, and many others. You can also file a complaint on line for almost all.  

Personally, I've only filed one complaint like these.  It was for a home under construction that had stopped the building process and let the weeds get 3-4 feet high.  I filed an on line report and in two weeks they had been mowed.  

Beyond removing an irritation to living, some of these things actually affect the value of all the homes in your neighborhood.  So among other things, you're protecting your home's value when you file a legitimate complaint.  


Posted on May 13, 2016 at 10:35 am
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

We just got approved for a mortgage, now we can buy the new car! NOooooo !!

ALL lenders have the right to do a second credit check (and confirm employment, etc) just before funding.  If you buy the new car after approval (or run up your credit card balance, or anything else that raises your monthly payments) you have changed your debt to income ratio.  iStock_000009005766XSmallAn acceptable ratio was one of the factors in the approval for your mortgage and if you change it by adding debt you may put yourself above the lender's limit and nullify your mortgage approval.

The safest course is to NOT take on ANY new debt after approval but before closing.  Don't buy a car, a timeshare or anything that would affect your debt to income ratio.  You've waited this long, stifle the urge buy whatever it is for another few days.  After closing, you're on your own, but don't risk your purchase by buying something now.  

Any good lender will tell you the same (but you may not have been listening).  If you'd like an introduction to a top-drawer lender who's been delighting my clients for years, let me know.


Posted on March 31, 2016 at 10:22 am
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Is Oregon’s Economy Improving? Yes, and Here’s Why

At a Windermere meeting last week we heard Windermere's Chief Economist.  

Here's the takeaway in plain English: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/real-estate-daily/2016/02/is-the-economy-going-to-be-better-this-year-brian.html


Posted on February 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Seller credits in the Portland area?

I just answered a question on a popular real estate site asking about the average amount of seller concessions for closing costs and repairs.  Here's what I wrote:

You've mixed two different things when you include repairs with closing costs.  A buyer's closing costs typically include some escrow & title fees, property taxes, and insurance.  Repair costs are the price of repairing something significant that's defective or problematic.  For example, if the sewer inspection finds a problem or if there's radon above actionable minimums.  The Portland area is very much a seller's market today.  The inventory of detached homes for sale in the entire 3-county metro area is down 28.1% from January 2015. We have only 1.8 months of inventory, which means if we continued to sell at the same rate and no new listings were added, in less than two months we would have sold everything.  When inventory is about six months, it's considered an even buyer-seller market.  What that means in terms of costs paid by the seller today is "not much", because any decent home has multiple offers, usually all over list price. In December 2015 I had a buyer write a $335,000 all-cash offer on a 2-BR 1100 SqFt home in NE Portland that was listed for $319,900.  The seller received 21 offers and sold for $400,000 all cash with no inspection contingency .   That's unusual but not unheard of.  So if you're a buyer, and the house is decent (not a fixer, or in a bad neighborhood, or wierd floor plan), expect to offer at least list, don't expect any seller credits for closing costs and repairs are certainly negotiable.  


Posted on February 9, 2016 at 5:32 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Coat or blanket to donate? I’ll pick it up !

It's the time of year when there's an even greater need for coats and blankets.  Windermere's Share the Warmth Coat & Blanket Drive is under way and my office (825 NE Multnomah St. on the ground floor) is a drop off point, BUT if it's better for you, contact me and I'll come and pick up your donation.  


Posted on November 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Portland Events & Activities, Portland Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged

What the color on your property tax bill means

Thanks to our friends at Penrith Mortgage:

 

PROPERTY TAX BILLS ARE COMING, PLEASE REMEMBER:

 

If the statement is green, the county thinks you are paying the bill.

If the statement is yellow, the county thinks your lender is paying the bill and they have sent the bill to them; no further action is needed.

 

Did you get a green statement when you should have gotten a yellow statement?

 

Not to worry… simply call your Mortgage Consultant or Lender and they will walk you through what to do.

If you got the green statement, notice that if you pay in full by November 15th, you will sa


Posted on October 21, 2015 at 2:42 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Portland Real Estate | Tagged ,

BIG House on a BIG lot in Kenton

Come see this bargain in person

8627 N. Seward Ave., Portland, Or


Posted on October 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

How Fast are Oregon Homes selling?

While the chart shows Oregon as less than 30 days, the reality is that any decent Portland home that's fairly priced will be gone in a week.  My last listing went live on MLS at 8:00 PM on a Saturday night.  We received 10 offers by Wednesday and accepted $56,000 over the list price.  

Besides the fact that the market is hot, this seller had wisely decided to have a home inspection before it went on the market, and fixed everything the inspection report turned up.  I recommend the pre-listing home inspection to all my sellers. Even if you don't want to fix everything, you get the time to generate multiple estimates for the work, instead of being presented with the buyer's bid late in the standard 10-day inspection period when you can't realistically get a contractor to show up in time to get any competing estimates. It's almost like agreeing to the highest repair estimate before you even see it.  Much better to have the time to get your own and either do the repairs or credit the buyer the amount of the lowest estimate. 


Posted on September 2, 2015 at 10:57 am
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Buying, Home Inspection, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Want to help families impacted by wild fires?

If you'd like to directly help families suffering from the current wildfire epidemic in the Northwest, this link to the Windermere Foundation will send 100% of your donation to local organizations in the area you designate or to your billing zip code: http://www.windermere.com/blogs/windermere/posts/the-windermere-foundation-wildfire-fund

 

 


Posted on August 26, 2015 at 5:29 pm
Dave Sutton | Posted in Uncategorized |

Thinking of cutting down that tree?

Sometimes trees die or outlive their location.  It's unfortunate, but true.  But before you fire up the chain saw, be sure to check with your city.  Many require permits and there are fines for cutting without.  City of Portland permit is $25 but the fine can be $1,000.  Also consider leaving the whole job to a professional.  This is one of those jobs that may look simpler than it really is.  


Posted on June 12, 2015 at 9:33 am
Dave Sutton | Posted in Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,