Home Buying

Home Buying BIG House on a BIG lot in Kenton Come see this bargain in person 8627 N. Seward Ave., Portland, Or
Home Buying 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.   […]
Home Buying Home buyers: beware of wire fraud scam 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 […]
Home Buying Nice Portland Homes for less than $300,000 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 […]
Home Buying 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.  Eric Belsky […]
Home Buying 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 […]
Home Buying 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 […]
Home Buying $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 […]
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Home Buying I will not “sell” you a home !! If that sounds strange coming from someone whose favorite activity is working with people who want to buy or sell a home, let me explain. What I will do is help you find the right home for you.  When you see it, you'll know it's the one.  No "strong arm" needed from me. I write […]
Home Buying Should You Buy or Rent a Home? Or Invest in Rental Homes?   This chart is the simplest answer to both questions.  The longer you rent, the higher the cost, and while you have paid for a place to live, you have nothing to show for it but rent receipts.  On the other side, buying a property to rent has all the advantages the renting does not.  […]
Home Buying Portland Metro Short Sales and Bank-Owned Continue to Decline, as does Total Inventory The 2013 numbers for short sales and bank owned homes (both new listings and sales) are in the chart below.  Total homes for sale continues to be quite low.  At year-end 2013 there were 5,159 total listings, down from year-end 2012's 5,632.  Year-end 2009 listings total 13,019, so we currently have less than half the […]
Home Buying Mortgage Rates Up? 3.75%? Until just a few years ago, 6.0% was a terrific rate.  Then we got spoiled with a few months of 30-year fixed rates in the low 3% range.    I get a weekly "rate sheet" from a Portland credit union. Today's shows a 30-year fixed FHA rate of 3.75% "with limited fees"  Because of fees […]
Home Buying Portland Home “Revamp” Makes Houzz The current "This Week on Houzz" features "Paint and pluck revamp a Portland ranch house".  See the before and after photos and the owner's comments here,
Home Buying What’s Ahead for Real Estate in Portland in 2014? I know, the only problem with forecasting is when it involves the future, so this is not me talking, but Zillow says Portland will be the ninth hottest market in 2014.  Their story is here
Home Buying How Much Cheaper to Buy than Rent in Portland? Here’s the Answer for Your Budget   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).   ' […]
Home Buying Top Seven Mortgage Shopping Mistakes   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 […]
Home Buying Buy a Home for a Home Improvement Project? Most Do !   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 Buying How do Portland Homes & Homeowners Compare?   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
Home Buying Best iPhone App for Real Estate – Windermere !   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 […]
Home Buying Buying a House: Is Now the Time?   The real estate community is often criticized for seeming to have a Pollyanna attitude about the housing market. Many believe that the industry’s current call to 'buy now’ is nothing more than a scare tactic with the sole purpose of creating more commissions. Let’s look at whether or not that  was good advice over […]