Real Estate Blog

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This week on Phil and Bob Raise the Roof, we chat with Ashley Offensend of Evergreen Homes about building a home from scratch. Turns out you can’t just start by breaking ground. A good plan, a good builder, and a good land choice make all the difference.

You may remember Ashley from previous blog posts such as Leveraging relationships: A turnkey solution for building your new home. He's one of our very favorite builders, and you can learn more about him and his business, Evergreen Homes, at

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You're going to have to do some regular repairs and maintenance on your home-it's just a fact of home ownership. So that you're not caught unprepared, it's a good idea to keep a budget and set aside some funds for when the following repairs inevitably come up.

 1. Light switches: Beyond your typical light bulb replacements,the wiring can occasionally go bad in a light fixture, causing it to be unresponsive when you turn the light on. An electrician can fix it quickly for around $100.

 2. Gutter maintenance: Over time, the weight and weather will be too much for your gutters, causing them break away from the home and require fixing. It's possible to fix them yourself, but it will typically cost up to $400 to have them fixed professionally.


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Hillsboro Farmers Market 
232 NE Lincoln St, Hillsboro, OR 
Sundays, April 30-October 29, 10AM-2PM

Irvington Farmers Market
NE 16th between Broadway and Weidler Sundays
June 4-October 29, 10:30AM-2:30PM

King Portland Farmers Market
NE 7th & NE Wygant
Sundays, May 7-November 19, 10AM-2PM

Lents International Farmers Market
5843 SE 92nd Ave.
Sundays, June 4-October 29, 9AM-2PM

Milwaukie Farmers Market
10723 SE Main St., Milwaukie
Sundays, May 7-October 29, 9:30AM-2PM

Montavilla Farmers Market
7700 SE Stark
Sundays, May 7-October 29, 10AM-2PM 

Tigard Farmers Market
8777 SW Burnham St., Tigard
Sundays, April 23-October 29, 9AM-1:30PM

Vancouver Farmers Market
6th and Esther Streets, Vancouver
Sundays, March 19-October 29, 10AM-3PM

Woodstock Farmers Market

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Budgeting for buying a home can be difficult enough when you’re just weighing mortgage options and a purchase price. But there are many other factors that go into the cost of home ownership. Some of them are one-time expenses that you’ll pay during the home buying process, while others will be recurring costs for as long as you own the home.

Closing costs
There are several smaller fees that add up to a rather large sum when you’re going through the closing process—loan fees, attorney fees, underwriting fees, and more. They typically add up to 2–5% of the purchase price. For a $300,000 home—roughly the national median—that’s in the neighborhood of $10,000, so be sure to budget for it.

Your lender will require an appraisal, and the

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No matter how much time you spend on researching and educating yourself about your home purchase, it’s hard to cover every detail. Here are a few tips for avoiding rookie mistakes with your first home purchase.

 1. Save as early as you can: Even if you think you’re years away from buying your first home, try to start saving for your down payment. It makes a huge difference in your monthly payments, and helps avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance.

 2. Be thorough with mortgage shopping: There are countless resources out there that can help you get the best terms for your mortgage. It may seem like a lot of work to shave less than a point off your mortgage rate, but it’ll save you thousands in the long run.

 3. Consult a skeptic: You’re likely to

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One of the best perks of owning your own home is having the space and privacy of your own porch. It’s the ideal place to relax and spend time with family during the summer months. Here are some suggestions for getting your porch back in shape after the winter.

Cleaning and maintenance
Start by removing the dirt and debris that has probably accumulated on the deck throughout winter and spring. Then give it a good inspection—and replace boards and nails as necessary— before using a cleaning solution to give it a thorough cleaning.

Consider your seating options
What’s the main purpose of your porch? Is it for kicking back and relaxing? Hang a hammock and you’ll have the perfect place for an afternoon nap. More interested in entertaining? Invest in some

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SHOW ME THE MONEY!  On this week's episode of Phil and Bob Raise the Roof, we invite our very first special guest James Adair from the PDX Home Loan Team to tell us how to approach the lending process and what to look for in a lender. 

Check back in tomorrow for part 2, where we share outtakes from this episode on Phil and Bob Raise the Roof Podcast Episode 6.1: Lending Horror Stories. 

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Jon Bell wrote an interesting post in this past week's Portland Business Journal that highlight the underlying or root cause of the run-up in both home prices and rents.  

The average Portland home price is roughly 44% higher than the national average, and the average apartment rent is a whopping 150% higher than the national average. That's right sports-fans, by this metric, rents are 3 times more inflated than home prices. No wonder there has been so much recent discussion about rent-control, and new legislation designed to help tenants.

The recent landlord ordinance is in effect as long as Portland remains in it's current "Housing Emergency (declared in 2015 and extended, currently through Fall 2017). Jan Bell's April 7 article in the

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