Home Buying

Home Buying Latest real estate news from Windermere Chief Economist Mathew Gardner Would you believe lumber prices are up 52% from a year ago?  That and more here
Home Buying Improved Housing Forecast from Natl Assoc of Realtors National Association of Realtors is changing their 2019 Mortgage rate forecast to 4.5% (down from earlier 5.5%) and home price forecast up 2.9% (up from 2.2%.  Full story here  
Home Buying What are the Benefits of Owning Real Estate Besides Your House? Here’s my answer to that question just asked on Quora Owning your house is the biggest and best benefit. It means you can paint the bathroom whatever color you want, remodel the kitchen, plant what you want in the yard, and on and on…all for your personal comfort and enjoyment. If you have a mortgage, […]
Home Buying What’s a Faster Return on Investment: Renting or Flipping real estate? Here’s answer I wrote recently to that question on Quora:   I’d guess flipping shows the greatest short-term potential, but as with most investments return is related to risk, and there is certainly risk in flipping. For example, what if in the remodel process you discover something not in your original estimate? What if the […]
Home Buying I’m proud to be a small part of Windermere Foundation’s $2.2 million 2017 grants. Here’s where it all went…
Home Buying The Best Mortgage Information comes from? 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.  […]
Home Buying Winter issue of Windermere Living is here In the winter issue of Windermere Living, we highlight some of Maui’s top spots and adventures. We also go behind the scenes with celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis, who reveals her top five tips for cooking pasta. And don’t miss the new Destination GPS, which spotlights some of the vibrant communities where Windermere has offices. And […]
Home Buying Home owners #1 complaint – should have bought bigger home We continue to buy ever larger homes, now average 2700 SqFt (up 1,000 from 1973).  41% of renters wish they’d bought.  Full details here.
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Home Buying Triple your down payment money – free ! 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 […]
Home Buying First time buyer? Ask me about a no-down payment mortgage.
Home Buying So you want to downsize? If you’re like me and my wife, you have a lot of “stuff” (for lack of a more pleasing word) that will simply not fit in a downsized home.  I frequently help  buyers who want a garage only to store “stuff”.   The time-tested method is, of course a “garage sale”.  But they are subject […]
Home Buying 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.  
Home Buying 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 […]
Home Buying 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 […]
Home Buying 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) […]
Home Buying Property Tax Schedules & Who Pays Who on Sale 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  
Home Buying What to Do About that Annoying (house/car/business/neighbor). "That house down the street has 3-foot tall weeds all over the front yard" "That car has been parked there for weeks" "The business on the corner is so noisy I can't sleep" "The neighbor's dog barks all day and night" "I don't think that apartment being built over their garage complies with code" In […]
Home Buying We just got approved for a mortgage, now we can buy the new car! NOooooo !! ALL lenders have the right to do a second credit check (and confirm employment, etc) just before funding.  If you buy the new car after approval (or run up your credit card balance, or anything else that raises your monthly payments) you have changed your debt to income ratio.  An acceptable ratio was one of […]
Home Buying Is Oregon’s Economy Improving? Yes, and Here’s Why 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
Home Buying 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. […]