If you own property in Multnomah County you've probably received your tax bill by now. We're hearing that some have increased, and by seemingly more them a 3% new "bond", and without any new building permit activity.
If you feel your tax bill is not correct, the information to file an appeal is here
Our friends at Trulia.com have recently designed a free interactive rent vs. buy calculator that's a good bit more detailed than others I've seen, and it's localized for any of the top 100 cities in the U.S. Here's what it shows comparing renting (at $2,000/month) vs.buying the median-priced Portland single family house ($290,000).
For renting to be the same cost as buying you'd have to be able to rent that median priced home for $1400/month. On the Trulia calculator you can slide the marker to adjust any of the items and see the buying vs. renting bars change as you do. The Trulia calculator is here. You can also use it to see how much house you could buy for any given rent before it was cheaper to rent. At $1500/month rent, it's cheaper to buy a house up to $310,000. You can also see the effect of selling at different points. The longer you stay in a house, the more the equation shifts toward buying, or the more house you can afford.
A Forbes Magazine article about rent vs. buy calculations in other cities, including the 10 "no-brainer" cities for buying and the 10 that might be approaching renting being the better choice, is here, along with the details behind the Trulia calculator.
If you're a renter who'd like to see what it would take to buy in Portland, let's find a time to explore that question together, and see what your rent today might buy. Email me at DaveSutton@Windermere.com or call or text me at 503.505.9722. No cost, no obligation.
Unless you're paying cash for the home, you'll need a mortgage. In fact, your seller will want to see either a preapproval letter from a lender, or in the case of a cash deal, proof of funds to make the purchase.
Years ago my sister gave me a "wise saying": "If you haven't considered more than one, you haven't made a choice." That's as true with mortgages as anything else.
Especially if you have not mortgage shopped in the last few years, much has changed and you may inadvertantely make a serious mistake just out of innocence of the process. The "Top Seven" mistakes are in this article
The FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Administration) chart below shows Oregon home prices have increased nearly 13% – a little more than Washington's 9.3%, a little less than California's 19.1%. If you'd like to know the current value of your home, drop me an email and I'll be happy to provide a custom Comparative Market Analysis
Here's a graphic representation of how home prices have increased compared to the same month in the previous year. (It only shows through June because this particular index uses a rolling 3-month average). While these figures are national, Oregon tracks pretty closely. The fact that the increase (not the prices just the increase) has begun to level off is further indication that we are not creating another artificial housing price bubble.
Hard to believe people would buy a home so they could jump into a remodel? OK, it does have something to do with the age of the home. It's maybe not surprising that nearly three in four who purchased a home built before 1921 did; but nearly one in three who bought a new home (built since 2009) did too. More than half of all home buyers started a home improvement project withing 90 days of purchase.
Remodeling the kitchen was most popular (47%), with bathroom a close second (44%). (From National Association of Realtors)
In today's "Seller's Market" it's tempting to think it doesn't take much to sell your home, but there's so much more to it than putting pretty pictures (I pay a professional photographer) on the MLS. It starts with defining a target buyer. Just who's most likely to buy your home? I recently listed a 3,000 square foot home, and the target buyer is a family. This was not a home for the "down-sizer" or the "empty-nester". Let's talk about how to market your home for top dollar. Here are a few more tips from the National Association of Realtors.
Compared to the rest of the US, more Portlanders have three vehicles and two or more full baths, but fewer of us have air conditioning. Eliot Njus has just posted an interesting graphic with these and several other interesting statistics about the characteristics of Portland homes and homeowners in OregonLive.com
Of course I'm biased but I've spent some time with the new Windermere iPhone app and it offers lots of tools that make home searching at least as easy as on a desktop, and in some ways better.
Just one way it's better is that after you've found several homes you want to drive by, it will optimize the route for you and display it in either map or list (with turn by turn directions) form. Saves you time and gas, too. I could go on too long, but download and then tell me what you think. Search for the "Windermere Real Estate Search App" (that will keep you from getting a similar one that's just for Spokane, WA)
iPhone only, so far