Portland Housing Market – Nov ’15

The cost of living in Portland is going up, which means, so does your monthly income from investment properties.

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According to The Portland Business Journal, Portland ranked No. 78 out of the 106 markets studied for purchasing power, determined by using a market’s average salary, adjusted for cost of living. Portland’s housing market is more affordable and has a long cost advantage over other West Coast cities like Seattle and San Francisco.

This affordability is likely contributed to strong economic performance. The Portland Metro ranks No. 23 for average pay, No. 24 in job growth with an average five-year-growth rate (1.2%) and pay (1.9%) exceeded the averages for all 106 cities compared in this study.

The affordability of Portland’s commercial sector has attracted many new companies in the tech and healthcare sector from cities like San Francsico and New York to take advantage of the low rents. Many people are moving to Portland looking for homes in areas where the cost of living will produce long-term gains on their home.

According to the article, here are the top five fastest-selling neighborhoods if you are looking for a good investment property:

1. Forest Heights
2. Ladds Addition/Hawthorne
3. Piedmont/Concordia
4. Foster/Powell
5. North Tabor/Hollywood District

November Events

There’s more to do in our beautiful city than just feast on turkey in November. From wine country to the Civil War, here is my November Event Calendar.

Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival Nov 7th
Wordstock-Banner
Portland’s Wordstock is a literary arts book festival that will be held at the Portland Art Museum on Saturday, November 7th. This event builds community around literature through author events, workshops, a book fair and more. The festival will include author discussions and activities for readers of all ages, an extensive book fair, pop-up readings and concerts, a beverage garden and local food trucks.

For more information and to purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.

Northwest Filmmakers Festival

The Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival presents features, documentaries and short films by independent Northwest film and video makers. The offerings are chosen from more than 400 entries by a prominent member of the independent film community. Past judges have included local luminaries Gus Van Sant, Matt Groening and Todd Haynes. Founded in 1973, the festival attracts more than 6,000 attendees annually.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Wine Country
Thanksgiving Nov 27 – 29
Wine
During Wine Country Thanksgiving, more than 160 wineries and tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley open their doors for special tastings and holiday festivities over Thanksgiving weekend (Friday-Sunday), offering an opportunity to visit some of the region’s small, family-owned wineries that aren’t usually open to the public. Meet winemakers, enjoy specialty food pairings and live music, all while savoring the region’s acclaimed wines.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Civil War Game – Ducks vs Beavers in Eugene Nov 27
Football
The in-state rivalry that I anticipate will be more grueling than any Black Friday crowd, and quite possibly, more entertaining than watching two people fighting over the last stereo on sale at 4AM. The Civil War. The Beavers roll into Eugene to face the Oregon Ducks. The Beavs have not won this matchup for eons, and maybe it’s their time….or maybe it’s not. Both teams have been tried and tested this season, and this could be the game that sends the winner to the Rose Bowl to compete for the PAC 12 Title. The Ducks are the more dominate team, but if I were a Beaver fan, I wouldn’t skimp out on the drive to Eugene. The opportunity cost of could be the experience of a lifetime. It’s college football. Anything can happen…

Thanksgiving Day Parade
2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade poster
Don’t forget to watch Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Fall is the perfect time to tackle many outdoor home maintenance projects that have been lingering on your to-do list. For example, this time of year is a good time to touch up the paint job on the exterior of the home. Chipping or blistering paint is a sign that the paint film is failing and no longer protecting the siding of the building.

For more fall maintenance home tips from Bob Vila, click here.

Portland Housing Market – Oct ’15

Rents keep skyrocketing; now is the time to buy!

Image Credit: NextPortland.com

The construction boom in Portland has pushed rents to an all-time high. According to The Oregonian, developers have flocked to Portland to build high-end apartments, causing rents to skyrockets. Owning a home has never been more affordable than now.

For example, sustained rent increases in a once affordable Southeast neighborhood (near 126th and Ankeny) with character and known for being a little gritty is pricing out the working class. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for those who brew coffee, pour beer or fix bicycles to live in this beloved neighborhood they’ve called home for a long time.

According to The Oregonian, despite 22,000 new apartments coming on line in the metropolitan area since 2012, more than half in Portland proper, vacancies remain practically non-existent.

If it seems like Portland’s residential real estate market just keeps getting hotter, that’s because that’s exactly what it’s doing.

Demand is very strong and interest rates continue to remain historically low. The biggest challenge a buyer faces today is somewhat low inventory but on the rise and with lesser competition from other buyers with fall upon us. Multiple offers are commonplace for well-priced homes in good condition at below $600,000 in the metro area.

If you’re a renter and feeling the burden of these rent increases, now may be the perfect time to consider buying. Call me today so we can discuss your options.

Sip Your Way Through Fall in Oregon Wine Country

The fall is the perfect time to experience the beauty of Willamette Valley wine country. The rich colors of the season and even richer flavors in the red wines bring a nostalgic feel for all things autumn and harvest festivities. Here is a list of the happening vineyards this season.

Winter’s Hill Fall Release Party October 17th

You are invited to join us for our semi-annual Wine Release Party. This is your opportunity to sample the new release wines, and meet with the Gladharts to learn more about the estate property, the winery and the wines. Wine Releases includes: 2014 Pinot Gris, 2014 Pinot Gris Reserve, 2014 Pinot Noir Watershed, 2012 Pinot Noir Block 4, 2009 Pinot Noir Reserve.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Youngberg Hill Harvest Celebration October 17th

Join us for our annual harvest dinner to celebrate another great year growing pinot noir in the Willamette Valley on Youngberg Hill. It will be a four course dinner paired with old and young wines to relish under the stars (weather permitting).

CLICK HERE for more information.

Autumn Harvest Dinner at Moraine Winery Oct 24th

As fall settles on the hills, we have much to be grateful for: a unique Oregon summer, a bountiful crop and everyone engaged from close or afar in another spectacular harvest. Join us for a four-course dinner prepared by Chef Mike Delaney.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Pumpkin Carving at Keeler Estate Vineyard

It’s getting spooky at Keeler Estate Vineyard…Bring the family and join us for a Pumpkin Carving Party!
Popcorn Bar and light appetizers provided. Meat & Cheese plates available for purchase. We will provide carving pumpkins, carving utensils and stencils! Happy Halloween!

CLICK HERE for more information

Take a Trip to Penner-Ash Wine Cellars

For sweeping views and a relaxing time sipping wine in the country side, visit one of my favorite vineyards, Penner-Ash Wine Cellears. Try their 2013 Estate Pinot Noir. This wine combines black cherry, exotic Asian spice and wood vanilla aromatics that lead to a savory and broad palate of wild berries, cola and dark chocolate.

CLICK HERE for more information about Penner-Ash

October ’15 National Market Update

Why the fall is a great time to buy a home

1. Less Competition
According to HousingWire, fall historically sees a decline in buyer demand that results in a willingness to negotiate among summer’s remaining sellers. However, in a seller’s market with conditions like limited inventory like we are experiencing in Portland, buyers shouldn’t expect big discounts in asking price. Buyers should be ready to make a decision and be prepared to make a solid offer in timely fashion.

2. You get more attention from your Realtor
According to HousingWire, homebuyers who are conducting their search during the fall could enjoy additional attention from their Realtor as the busy summer selling season slowly dwindles. Likewise, service providers such as mortgage lenders and title companies are experiencing a lighter workload and can often respond more quickly to your questions and inquiries.

3. Better deals and year-end tax breaks
Even buyers who missed the summer rush still have time to purchase and file for homestead by the end of the year. According to HousingWire, when tax time comes around, homeowners should remember to take advantage of the tax breaks such as:
• Mortgage Interest Deduction
• PMI and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Deduction
• Prepaid Interest Deduction
• Property Tax Deduction
• Energy-Efficiency Upgrade Deduction

If you are thinking about selling this fall, give me a call. I’m happy to help or answer any questions you may have.

Portland Housing Market By The Numbers – Sept ’15

Snapshot of Home Sales for Portland Metro:

Information from the RMLS Market Action Report for July 2015

Sept Snapshot

What do these numbers mean? The Portland Metro area is a Seller’s Market. Real estate activity saw increases across the board compared to last year.

Notable Statistics:

  • The average sales price set a new high this summer from the previous peak in August 2007 by almost $3,000.
  • The median sales price in June 2015 jumped $18,000 to $320,000 from its peak in July 2007 of $302,000.

Call me today for a FREE Market Analysis of your home. Let’s find out what it’s worth in today’s market.

September ’15 National Market Update

Continue to Rent…or Buy? That is the Question

GreedyThe picture on the left is a sign of the times. In May, this sign made headlines when a disgruntled passerby expressed how disgusted they were with the landlord who was asking $1,550/month in rent for a single bedroom unit located a block away from the trendy Mississippi Ave area in North Portland.

Here we are, four months later, and the market data continues to suggest that buying remains a better bargain than renting for one BIG REASON:

Low Interest Rates
Relatively low interest rates are making homeownership attractive to perspective buyers. In August, Bankrate.com reported an average rate for a 30-year fixed was just 4.19%, and a 15-year fixed averaged just 3.43%. These low rates help keep monthly mortgage payments low. Renters can’t take advantage of this monthly financing. According to Zillow Real Estate Research, renters can expect to spend 30% of their income on rent, while buyers can expect to spend 15% of their monthly income on a monthly mortgage payment, which contributes to a long-term investment. . Even if mortgage interest rates were to reach 6% next year, home buyers should still expect to spend 30% or less of their income on mortgage payments.

Take the current median home price in Portland of $318,000 for July 2015 with 20 percent down payment and a mortgage of $254,400, the payment for a 30-year fixed loan is $1,160.19 per month (excluding property taxes).

Renting is more unaffordable than ever, while purchase affordability is near an all-time high. If you are currently renting, but are entertaining the thought of owning, CALL ME TODAY. I’d love to help you find your dream home.

3 Things Every Portlander Must Do This Fall

There’s nothing like Fall in the Northwest. The days are still nice but begin with that invigorating morning chill. The falling leaves change to brilliant oranges, reds, and golds signifying summer’s wave goodbye. Pumpkin spice lattes on the way to work, college football, bonfires, Honeycrisp apples at the farmer’s market… It’s the perfect time to be out and about. Here are a few fun things to do in Portland this Fall:

1. Day or Night Trip to Sauvie Island
Sauvie Island’s 26,000 acres of U-pick farms, fresh produce stands, pumpkin patches, corn maizes and some incredible bird watching opportunities are a must this time of year.

Bella Organic Farm is a great spot featuring an intricate corn maze opening September 5th. The Pumpkin Patch opens September 26th, which begins a month-long pumpkin fest selling pre-picked and u-pick pumpkins through November, and free hay rides take you to and from. During October, the hay rides and mazes turn haunted at night for Halloween thrills. They also have wine tastings onsite after teaming up with Buddha Kat Winery to bring you the first winery on the island! Bella Organic Farm makes for a great family outing as there is something for everyone this time of year.

Aerial view of this year’s maze – RIP CITY honoring the late Jerome Kersey

2. My Big Fat Greek Festival
The best festival of the year takes place in October, The Portland Greek Festival at The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in SE Portland. This year’s 64th annual festival will be October 2-4 featuring authentic handmade crafts, food, pastries, music and dance from the homeland. It started as a bazaar to help pay the mortgage off on the new church building back when they relocated in 1952. It’s become a beloved Portland tradition and a wonderful opportunity for members of the Greek church to share annually with over 15,000 guests from the Portland Metropolitan area their beautiful Greek Orthodox faith and their cherished cultural traditions.

3. Invigorating Hike through Forest Park
If you really want to experience the beauty of Autumn unfolding in Portland, take a hike through Forest Park up to the Pittock Mansion viewpoint. Play hooky one afternoon and hike the Wildwood Trail that Henry Pittock himself built. It’s a moderate, 3.8 mile hike that starts from the Lower Macleay Trailhead and ascends almost 1000 feet to the Mansion. (Hike #8 on THIS MAP). The path is shaded with huge trees and great for jogging too. Breath in the fresh air and watch thousands of leaves fall to the ground. Pack a lunch and rest on the Mansion’s lawn overlooking downtown Portland with Mt Hood in the distance.

If you’re an early bird, take a morning jog to watch the sunrise. The fog hangs beneath the viewpoint during this time of year, and it hides part of the city. It’s eerie but beautiful. Bring coffee or stop by Blue Star Donuts on your way up to have breakfast with a view.

Credit: Pittock Mansion’s Facebook Page

Here’s Your Chance to Visit Pittock Mansion

In my possession, I have passes for FREE admission that includes a guided, or self-guided tour, and the current exhibit. If you send me the name and number of someone who is actively looking to buy or sell a home, I will mail you two passes (worth $20 in value). The first three people to act on this offer get passes. I only have six up for grabs.