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
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.
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.
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
Come see this bargain in person
8627 N. Seward Ave., Portland, Or
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.
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
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.
Most home buyers need to transfer money to the escrow company to complete the down payment the day before closing. The common way to do that is with a "wire transfer" – an electronic transfer from the buyer's bank to the escrow company.
The escrow company will send "wire transfer instructions" to the buyer to send to their bank well in advance of the transaction. The instructions consist of routing and transit numbers, account numbers and lots of other numbers and information to be sure the money gets to the right account at the escrow company.
The fraud begins when the escrow company sends an email to the buyer with new wire transfer instructions, except it's not really from the escrow company (even though it looks like it is). The email has actually comes from a criminal who has hacked the buyer's email account. If the buyer gives their bank the "new" instructions, the money is transferred to the hacker's account, usually in a foreign country and impossible to recover. .
Escrow companies almost never change wire transfer instructions. If you received such a communication, call your escrow officer directly.
I often hear people say they'd like to buy a house,"but everything's so expensive now." It's true that median sale prices of detached homes in Portland are around $300,000, but there are plenty of nice homes for less, sometimes a lot less.
Yesterday a friend was amazed at a listing I showed him for a very nice 1120 SqFt 2-BR condo – $150,000. It had granite & stainless upgraded kitchen & bath, two decks and is in a very attractive neighborhood. My penciling some numbers showed you could probably buy this home for mortgage payments of less than $1400, and if you didn't have a lot of other debt (like huge car payments or whopping credit card bills) you would likely qualify if you made about $55,000.
So don't let the "everything's so expensive now" trap keep you from buying now. The place to start is with a good lender, and I'd be happy to introduce to a great one.