Real Estate Blog

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The November 2014 RMLS Market Action just came out, and while some may notice that pending and closed sales declined, prices stayed even, and inventory increased compared to October, focusing on the month-to-month change is misleading. November performance drops off from October almost every year. We think it more instructive to compare November 2014 to November 2013.

Last month pending sales (2,091) increased 14.4% from November 2013 (1,827), and closed sales (1,937) increased 6.4% from November 2013 (1,821). Those are big numbers. Furthermore, the average sale price rose 5.6% and the median sale price rose 6.3% compared to November 2013. The average sale price for the first eleven months of 2014 was up 7.2% and the median sale price up 7.5% compared to

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Portland Commercial Real EstatePortland draws investors from all over the West Coast. From Vancouver, BC to San Diego, California, investors have been targeting Portland real estate for many years, and there are many good reasons to invest in the Portland real estate market. With the market in recovery mode and low interest rates, the Portland real estate market is full of opportunities.

Portlanders are looking at lower home prices in some areas due to the recession, which has given investors an upper hand. Add to that one of the lowest rental vacancy rates in any major US city, and you can see why Portland has become a focus.

Portland's Rental Market Is Hot

The demand for Portland rentals is astounding and the Portland market has adjusted. Despite sales being up, there are

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Portlandia, take note.  Portland is becoming a popular destination for a larger segment that just those youngsters looking for the ideal place to retire.  Maybe it's Karma that our city with early adopters for hybrid cars and "green" or high-performance buildings, with an ethos for bikes and public transit instead of cars is also in the region of the country that some climate experts believe will be least impacted by global warming. Impacts of Global Warming- Migration to Pacific Northwest

Whether it's severe storms, drought, interruptions in the water supply, flooding and rising sea levels, heat waves, or other related consequences of rising global temperatures, it appears that Washington and Oregon will be relatively unscathed.

To read more about this study, check out the story at OPB, or Cliff

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As you probably already know, working with real estate investors continues to be both my personal passion and professional specialty. Recently, I was honored to be asked to speak on the topic by Bank of the West and Lawyer's Title at an upcoming investor seminar. It'll be a great introduction to investing in multi-family real estate. Please see invitation details below.   Would you be interested in attending? Or know of anyone else that would find this investor seminar helpful? - Ellen
    You're invited!                                        Why Invest in Multi-Family Real Estate? An Investor Seminar sponsored by Bank of the West and Lawyers Title
Thursday, October 16th,
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Oregon pumpkin patches and corn mazesIt's that time of year again! Here's a list of Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes in Oregon. So bundle up the kids and plan your day of harvest festivities!

  • Fazio Farms Corn Maze 8433 NE 13th Ave Portland OR 97211 503.289.2020
  • The Corn MAiZE at The Pumpkin Patch 16525 NW Gillihan Rd Portland OR 97231 503.621.7110
  • Portland Pumpkin Farm 16205 NW Gillihan Road Portland, OR 97231 503.621.9545
  • Plumper Pumpkin Patch and Tree Farm 11435 NW Old Cornelius Pass Rd Portland OR 97231 503.645.9561
  • Kruger's Farm Market 17100 NW Sauvie Island Road Portland, Oregon 97231 503.621.3489
  • Willamette Valley Fruit Co. Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch 2994 82nd Avenue NE Salem, OR 97305 503.362.8678
  • Pumpkin Funland at Rasmussen Farms 3020 Thomsen Road Hood River,
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Core Logic Market PulseCore Logic's Chief Economist Dr. Mark Flemming's "Welcome to the New Housing Normal" in the latest Market Pulse gives great explanatory structure to the market that seems to be emerging in the Portland Real Estate market.  Many cities are now showing more acute signs of a faltering recovery.  These trends eventually show up in Portland.  Housing activity in July was noticeably softer than the preceding months; perhaps we're already seeing signs of the emerging "normal" market in Portland.

Fleming credits pent up supply and demand constraints for the recovery slow-down.   There are three underlying conditions impacting the new normal supply of homes for sale:

  1. The shadow inventory that accumulated after the financial crisis has been sold off,
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Home prices across the U.S. slowed sharply to a single-digit pace in May on a year-over-year basis, said the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index survey released Tuesday. The 20-city price index increased 9.3% from May 2013 to May 2014. Portland beat the averages, rising 10.01% . On a month over month basis the 20-city composite increased 1.1% from April 2014 to May 2014, and Portland increased 1.19% from April to May.

 07-2014 Portland Case-Shiller Report

Portland has risen 29.53% since the low-point in March 2012. Increases in home prices have eroded housing affordability both nationally and in Portland. Portland home prices, however, are still below the four percent long-term trend line, so fears of another bubble seem misplaced. Assuming that mortgage rates remain low we think

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  1. You should remain in the house that you have bought for at least a few years. Given the transaction costs of buying a home, you may end up losing money if you sell sooner, even in a rising market.
  2. Make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. Make sure the facts are correct and any problems that you discover are fixed at least a few months in advance.
  3. Buy a home that you can afford. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a home about two and one half times that of your annual salary.
  4. If you cannot put down 20%, you may still qualify for a loan. If you qualify, there are a variety of public and private lenders who offer low interest mortgages with a small down payment.
  5. Strong school districts are top priority for many home buyers.
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The U.S. Senate passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act last month and President Obama signed it into law on Friday, March 21st. The bill caps flood insurance premium increases and allows taxpayer-subsidized, below-market insurance rates to be passed on to homeowners in flood zones.

The legislation offers its greatest relief to owners of properties that were built to code but were subsequently found to be at a greater risk of flooding.

Another provision allows sellers of homes built before flood insurance risk maps were drafted to pass subsidized policies on to the people buying their homes.

For more details, Read the full article here

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There have been a number of factors that have contributed to the decline in home sales lately. Low inventory, severe winter weather, and rising prices caused home sales to fall to their lowest monthly level in February since July 2012.

Closed sales declined 0.4 percent in February according to the National Association of Realtors. That was the sixth decline in the past seven months. The severe weather most likely kept buyers from attending open houses, and rising prices kept sales lower than usual.

There are signs the market could be changing. More people have decided to sell their homes, and sales have picked up in the South and West. Also, despite sluggish sales, home prices are continuing to rise. Just in the past year, median home prices have

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