Nine Ways to Make Your House More Photogenic

Nine good points, from today’s NY Times.  In my 14 years experience staging has two advantages for the seller: 1) higher sale price and 2) quicker sale.  Many times staging can be done with the seller’s own furniture, as with this condo I recently listed which sold for 13% over list in a week.

 

Posted on April 16, 2017 at 8:12 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Portland in Top Ten “Next Tech Havens”

This may not be a surprise to a lot of Portlanders, but our city has been included in a list of the top ten “next tech havens

So you ask, “What does that have to do with real estate?”

With new jobs comes new population – people who don’t live here today.  And those people buy things – groceries, cars, insurance, medical, accounting AND homes.  Some will rent, of course, but the gap between the cost of renting and buying in Portland has grown pretty wide, so most will buy a home. 

That adds to the number of home buyers, which already far outstrips the number of homes for sale, and keeps the  upward pressure on home prices. Last month I listed a very nice condo in Tigard and had ten offers (all over list) in the first week.  Maybe not ten, but for nice homes, multiple offers is the rule. 

If you’re one of the nine buyers who didn’t get this one, that’s hard and I feel for you. 

Of course none of us wants to live where jobs are disappearing (and home prices are going down).  If you’re a buyer and your first thought is “Yes I would.”, while that does put you in an easier buying position, you wind up buying a major asset that’s worth less tomorrow than today.  I’ve been in real estate in that kind of market and it’s not easy for buyers, sellers, or Realtors.   

Today’s market in Portland is difficult but not impossible for buyers, and at least you’re buying a major asset that’s likely to be worth more tomorrow than today. 

Posted on March 30, 2017 at 8:28 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

One More Reason Home Prices Continue their Rise

The Oregon Association of Realtors reports:

A 2016 study from Josh Lehner (Oregon Office of Economic Analysis) illustrates Oregon is currently underbuilt by 24,000 units. In other words, we need to build 24,000 units just to equalize the supply/demand curve. Until we reach a period of hypersupply, Oregonians will continue to feel the pinch of the real estate supply/demand curve https://www.oregon.gov/das/OEA/Pages/forecastecorev.aspx
Posted on February 24, 2017 at 1:35 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Hacked By RxR HaCkEr

Hacked By RxR HaCkEr

Posted on December 8, 2016 at 5:18 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Financially, Which Remodels are Best?

Not necessarily the best for quick return (important if you're selling in the next year or so), but the best value in the long term.  HouseLogic's "8 Most Financially Savvy Home Improvements are here

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Posted on August 21, 2016 at 10:35 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Even a “minor” kitchen remodel is Portland is $20,000, so….

the question is how to do it so the value holds up for the long run.  

Remodel_Works_Hughes-1

Here's HouseLogic's list of the seven "Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You'll never regret"

The $20,000 figure is from the 2016 "Cost vs. Value" report* that shows costs in Portland for 27 popular remodels .  It's for a "minor" kitchen remodel, (a "major" is $61,927 and an "upscale" $122,359).  It also estimates how much each project will return in short-term sale price. The "minor" kitchen remodel will increase your short term sale price by $23,197 – 11% over your cost, so a pretty good investment.  The "major" adds $48,371 and the "upscale" $87,667, but neither returns more than their cost.  Still, if you're going to live in the house for many years, there's no dollar value on the enjoyment you'll get from the new kitchen.  The report has figures on 26 other remodels.  Want a copy?  Let me know and it's on its way.  

Posted on August 15, 2016 at 3:37 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is this neighborhood noisy?

If prospective buyers could spend a week in a house they're thinking about buying, it would give them a good feel for the neighborhood, including how noisy (or quiet).  Now there's a tool that can help with that. Enter the address at HowLoud and you'll get a SoundScore – a 50 to 100 rating (higher is quieter) on the ambient noise level.  While it won't tell you about the neighbor who leaves for work at 5:00 AM on his Harley, it will give you a look into noise produced by trains, airplanes, traffic, commercial sites and the like.  If this "takes off" it will become similar to a WalkScore as one independent tool to evaluate a neighborhood.


 

Posted on August 11, 2016 at 1:35 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: 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 | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, 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 | Category: Home Buying, Home Inspection, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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 | Category: Home Selling, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , ,