With mortgages, there is no “one-size fits all”. Mortgages (and the rates) vary according to your personal situation: income, debts, down payment, credit score and so many more items. Your best source for mortgage information is a local, experienced, mortgage broker. If you don’t know one, contact me for an introduction to my preferred lender.
Fannie Mae, which indirectly finances the fast majority of mortgages in the US, recently did a study on the most influential sources of mortgage information. Here’s what they found
This shows we have a lot of smart people in this country. Almost one third relied on a mortgage lender. Slightly fewer named their Realtor. Before I get too flattered with that, a Realtor is not the best source of mortgage information. If you ask me about mortgages I’ll tell you exactly that and introduce you to my preferred lender, who is a mortgage broker. Next most often used, family and friends, may be a good source if they’ve recently financed a home purchase (but the best mortgage for you is almost certainly not the same as the mortgage your family or friend got). The best source remains a mortgage broker. The reason is that mortgages are so varied and complex (and changing) today that you have to be in the business every day to have good, up to date, knowledge of what’s available that best matches for a particular borrower. A mortgage broker has access to dozens of mortgage sources and probably works with 8-10 on a daily basis. They are the best place to find the best mortgage for you.
I just learned of a new down payment match offer from Guild Mortgage, the largest local mortgage lender in the NW. It’s really simple: you put up 1% of the purchase price of a home and Guild makes a grant of 2% so you qualify for a conventional 3% down payment mortgage. Yes, you just tripled your money. You can buy a $350,000 home with only $3,500 of your money down (plus closing costs). You could buy a nice $100,000 condo with $1,000 down. There’s even more good news in the fine print in the detail flyer my preferred lender, Kelly Parkman at Guild, gave me today
And here’s a short video of Kelly himself explaining it. We’ve worked together for five years and I’ve never seen him so excited.
Contact Kelly at 503/528-9800 or KParkman@GuildMortgage.net or contact me and I’ll help, too
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.
|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|
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
the question is how to do it so the value holds up for the long run.
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.
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.
Oregon property taxes can by confusing. Especially due dates and how they are prorated when you buy or sell. Click Here for a simple chart from our friends at Ticor Title
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.