Living in Portland
For all Home Buyers
Jolynne Ash and her team at DreamStreet Real Estate in Portland Oregon work exclusively as Buyers Agents and have over over 30 years of experience. You will receive expert help finding your dream home as a first time home buyer or as an experienced home buyer. Let us help you find your perfect home!
April 17th, 2013 ·
The real estate recession in the greater Portland Metro Area (Portland plus the close in suburbs) began in the Fall of 2007 after peaking in the Summer of 2007. Over the next five years the average sales price dropped from an all time high of $342,900 to an all time low of $251,700. Currently after Q1 of 2013, the average sales price is back up to $290,300. (up 15.3% from Q1 2012). If this rate continues we will have regained our entire market loss by the end of 2014.
Portland is currently experiencing a ridiculously strong Sellers market. We have only 3 months (6 months is a balanced market) worth of inventory and competition is brutal in some of the more popular areas of the City. The pent up demand is coming from all the buyers that stayed out of the market the last couple of years and are now all jumping in at the same time. Interest rates are low (3.5%-4%) and prices are rising which creates a sense of urgency. As prices continue to climb, more Sellers will once again have enough equity to sell which I’m hoping will balance the market a bit. I remember working through this same cycle in 2005, but the major difference today is that the banks are requiring stronger buyers whereas in 2005, they would finance anyone.
Short sales and bank owned properties are no longer driving the market and holding down prices. Equity sales dominate the market. The one caveat is that the housing market is recovering much faster than the local economy. Housing sales do a lot to boost the local economy through construction, but Portland does not have much buildable residential land due to the urban growth boundary.
April 9th, 2013 ·
Fannie Mae posted a $17.2 billion dollar net profit for 2012, while Freddie Mac made an $11 billion dollar profit. Back in the days of bail-out money, Fannie and Freddie received $187.5 billion from the US Treasury. All of last years profits went to pay back the US Treasury.
The big banks paid their bail out money back long ago but are still paying for the government penalties and fines from the robo-signing incedent. This is still a problem but doesn’t get much press these days. It will be a long time before I have anything good to say about the big banks.
March 31st, 2013 ·
Every year Portland Monthly Magazine does a review of all the Portland Metro area schools. While statistics are not the only way to evaluate a particular school, information is always a plus. All schools offer tours and an opportunity to meet with administration (appointment only) and a few teachers. Oregon-Public School-2013 Portland Monthly
One of my favorite parent rated school sites is www.GreatSchools.org
Schools have a significant impact on the value a home and should be an important consideration even if you don’t have children.
February 13th, 2013 ·
January 3rd, 2013 ·
Good News! As part of its fiscal cliff agreement, Congress extended the expiration of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act to the end of 2013.
Remember, the Act only applies to properties that were the owner’s personal residence for two of the last five years and it only applies to purchase money or money used to make capital improvements (not decorative changes) to the property. Homeowners facing a short sale have another year to avoid paying taxes on the forgiven debt.
January 2nd, 2013 ·
The first thing to understand is that this tax WILL NOT be imposed on all real estate transactions, a common misconception. When the legislation becomes effective on January 1, 2013, it may impose a 3.8% tax on some (but not all) income from interest, dividends, rents (less expenses) and capital gains (less capital losses). The tax will fall only on individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000 for singles and $250,000 AGI for couples filing a joint return. The tax only applies to income above the $200-$250k AGI from interest, dividends, rents, capital gains (from the sale of real estate or other investments). The average homeowner will never pay this tax which is targeted at the higher income taxpayers.
The National Association of Realtors has published a brochure explaning the various Secenarios & Examples. 3.8% Tax
October 10th, 2012 ·
My girls are now in college but one of my great Fall memories is of the trips to Fir Point Farms in Aurora every October. The farm is full of activities, games, food, hay rides, animals and of course pumpkins. It is a short 20 minute drive south of Portland on I-5 taking exit 282A. Turn left at the first light (Arndt Rd) and you will see the entrance in about half a mile on your left. Lots of parking is available.
September 6th, 2012 ·
Shopping for HUD homes is easy, you just log onto www.HUDHomestore.com and look at the listings in your area. In order to place a ‘bid’ on a HUD home you must work with a HUD Approved Agent (my team is all approved), they do not allow buyers to bid directly. The process is very different than other types of government programs but an experienced agent can explain how it works.
Here are a few highlights:
HUD will only accept offers from owner occupants during the first 30 days. Investors may bid on day 31 if the property is still available. If you bid more that the asking price (appraised value), you must have that amount in cash over and above any money you need for a down payment and closing costs. If the property has repairs noted, you must also have enough cash to pay for those repairs over and above the down payment, closing costs and any amount bid over the asking price. Properties are currently selling for more than the asking price with multiple offers.
HUD looks at the ‘net’ offer price ( bid amount minus commissions) and any closing costs the buyer asks for. They accept the highest net offer. Bids are entered by the Agent on-line and require the buyers social security number. If your bid is the winning bid, your Agent has 48 hours to get all the required paperwork including a cashiers check for the earnest money deposit to the HUD office via Fed Ex. If the paperwork does not arrive in time, the property goes back on the market. No signatures are required by the Buyer to submit the bid. However, you must be able to produce all the required documents the next business day so it is vital that they are ready prior to making an offer.
July 26th, 2012 ·
Should I Rent or Buy? When deciding whether or not to buy a home for the first time, it is essential to compare the benefits of buying versus renting. Renting provides the freedom to move when the lease expires rather than having to wait until you sell your home. On the other hand, landlords can also decide to end your lease and force you to move before you planned. Renting allows you to avoid the cost of maintaining the property and requires less cash up front; however, homeowners have the freedom to remodel as they choose. Also, renting throws away money that could be building equity.
When you own your home, themonthly mortgage payment not only pays for you to live in the house but is also an investment. Although you generally invest 3-10% percent of your own money (downpayment) and 90-97% of the bank’s money, you receive the benefit of 100% of the house appreciation each year. When you sell your house, you receive the equity that has accumulated during your ownership. Appreciation is not taxable as long as it doesn’t exceed $250k (singles) or $500k (married).
The biggest immediate benefit as a homeowner, is that you can deduct items on your state and federal tax returns. These include mortgage interest, property taxes and possibly mortgage insurance (laws change annually on this deductions). A $200,000. mortgage at 4% would save the typical buyer $2920. in taxes. That’s $243.33 per month. Assuming you obtain a fixed rate mortgage (most common) your principal and interest payment will never increase, unlike rents which are currently skyrocketing in Portland.
July 12th, 2012 ·
NBC recently (July 2012) reported that Portland has the second lowest vacancy rate next to New York which has always been number one. This is great news for landlords who are able to raise rents and still find multiple people interested.
Apartments are typically charging $200. more per month for tenants that are not willing to sign a 6-12 month lease. This makes it hard for relocating families to ‘rent’ before buying because they don’t want to put off buying a home for a full year.