Sunday, December 2, 2007

Buena Vista Homes to Auction 248 Homes in Portland

Buena Vista Homes has decided to auction off 248 homes on December 15th and 16th. Bids are starting at $69,000. This may make it more difficult for other builders or resale listings on new homes to sell. It is a great opportunity to buy brand new construction at a highly discounted rate. Here's a link to more info...

Call me if you have any questions! 503-927-3663

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Latest from the National Association of Realtors

'Roulette Economy' of 2007 Is Almost Over

2007 has been a year of challenge; 2008 will be a year of opportunity for serious buyers and for REALTORS®,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told a packed house at the NAR Conference Tuesday. What Yun characterized as “the roulette economy” of 2007, fueled by subprime greed and then buyers’ fear, is almost over. With a favorable economy, pent-up home demand, and Wall Street “fessing up to its losses and cleaning up its underwriting,” 2008 will be a healthy market for serious buyers, he said.Home prices nationally have declined by some 1.5 percent in 2007, which is "no big deal" after years of rapid appreciation, said Yun. In addition, he noted, there are still many markets such as Utah, North Carolina, and Tennessee that are appreciating and may even be undervalued.

Remind Clients That Markets Are Local

“REALTORS® have to educate their clients that all markets are local and that problems in a few areas aren’t meaningful," he said. "A national picture of the real estate market is just about as valuable as giving a national high temperature for the day." Yun also noted that while the credit crunch slowed deals in 2007, much of the pain is being felt in the subprime area, while other mortgage sectors are stabilizing. Subprime constitutes only about 10 percent of mortgage loans, but accounts for some 40 percent of current foreclosures. Going forward, proposed federal legislation that would increase FHA loan limits should help moderate-income buyers, said Yun. Yun expects GDP growth of 2.8 percent and job growth of 1.1 percent in 2008. Inflation should also remain under 3 percent, and interest rates should rise only slightly, he predicts. “For buyers who are into home ownership for the long term, housing still remains the best investment,” he concluded.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Architectural Heritage Center

I am a proud member of the Architectural Heritage Center here in Portland. They have amazing exhibits featuring salvaged historic old house parts and sponser many great events. If you are at all interested in Portlands' historic or architecturally significant homes check out their newsletter and become a memeber!

And if you have an older home to buy or sell remember to ask an expert! Visit the AHC website and call ME!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Buyers: Don't Wait Too Long!

Historically, the interest rates of today are extremely low. Back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, interest rates of 9-12 percent were common. But today, interest rates are substantially lower. With that said, though, interest rates are starting to creep up. So if you wait too long to take advantage of the great rates available, you may end up paying more than you need to for a home.
For example, a lot of sellers made the mistake of waiting for the market to peak before listing their home. However, many of them waited too long, and by the time they listed, the selling market had already started its decline-hence the high inventory. As a buyer, every day you wait to buy a home is another day for the interest rate to rise. So even if you wait for a seller to lower their price by $10,000, if you take a mortgage rate that’s a percent higher, the amount of money you save on the home’s asking price is meaningless because you’re paying more than that amount in financing fees.
Think about it. If you were to buy a car and only look at the monthly payments and not the overall cost of the car, people would say you were being na├»ve. The finance fee definitely impacts the price of the car, just as it impacts the price of your home. So since prices are down, act now. While you’re waiting for home prices to decline further, your finance charges will continue to rise.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Here Come the Buyers!

Just in the last week I have received several calls from buyers ready to start looking. Every single one of them was putting off looking for property, knowing that prices have been dropping. Nobody wants to miss out on those low interest rates either, which we know will go up eventually, so now seems to be ideal in every way.

I have to admit I was suprised especially after hearing comments from other agents saying that it seemed as if all the buyers just disappeared. I haven't had any brand new leads for about two weeks (that's a long time for the amount of business I usually do). I was starting to worry, myself. I'm usually pretty optimistic about the local market since things are still moving.

So just like that people are deciding that the tables have turned just enough to get serious about buying. I got a mixed group of leads, too. Investors looking for rentals, first-time buyers and seasoned buyers looking for another primary residence.

This is of course good news for sellers because even if they've had to drop their price, many listings have not had any offers in months. Now maybe more of them will at least get something acceptable on the table.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Top 10 Reasons To Buy NOW!

1. Selection, selection, selection. Regardless of the price range a buyer desires, there are plenty of houses from which to choose. Just a few years ago the resale inventory dropped below 5,000 units. A buyer was forced to make compromises if they were going to locate the home of their dreams. There is a great selection of attached homes, condos, and townhouses. You can find large lots, small lots, and a lot that will accommodate your boat or RV. There are lots of options in this market.

2. No Bidding Wars. In 2005 we had one client that made an offer on ten homes. They lost the first nine to the 'feeding frenzy' that existed. Other buyers bid the properties up substantially from the original listing price. There were escalation clauses where buyers authorized their agents to outbid other offers by thousands of dollars. There is no competitive bidding in this buyer's market.

3. You can make an offer. A few years ago when you made an offer, the only question was how high above the list price could the buyer reach in hopes of being the best offer on the table. Today the sell price list vs. price ration is about 96%. A seller will not be insulted if you 'make them an offer they can't refuse'.

4. Patience is tolerated. In the hot seller's market that existed everything was rushed. Find a house before other buyers did. Hurry up and make the offer. Today a buyer can take their time. Look at several homes and think about your decision for a few hours.

5. Due diligence is welcomed. In this market a buyer is encouraged to obtain a home inspection, termite inspection, and appraisal. In 2005 many buyers waived these contingencies in order gain an advantage with multiple offers.

6. There are plenty of specs. In the not too distant past buyer had to 'play games' if they wanted a new home. There were lotteries and waiting lists in order to obtain new construction. Some buyers slept in their cars in order to get to the head of the lines. R.L. Brown estimates that builders have thousands of specs ready for immediate occupancy.

7. Repair requests are welcomed. After a buyer completes a home inspection, they are allowed to submit a repair request to the seller. In the past a seller might insist the home was sold 'as is'. Many times, there were back-up buyers waiting for a primary buyer to upset the seller whose home was increasing in value almost daily.

8. Few, if any investors. It is estimated that one third of all sales in 2005 were to investors. These non-owner occupied buyer caused the market to inflate and affordability to decline. Mortgage fraud became commonplace. It's a great time to buy without having to compete with hundreds of prospective landlords.

9. Location, location, location. Today's buyers can find homes closer to work. In the past buyers flocked to outlying areas in order to find affordable homes. In this market, reasonably priced homes are within biking or walking distance to schools, rapid transit lines, and relatives.

10. Real Financing is available. The 'wink, wink' zero down, no doc, adjustable, sub-prime loans are gone. Fixed rates are back. FHA financing, first time homeowner bond programs, special loans for teachers, and police officers are back in business. It's a great time to buy real estate!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Zillow's numbers show slight price-drop

U.S. home values have declined slightly on a year-over-year basis for the second consecutive quarter, according to numbers tracked by home valuation site site's online analysis measures national values as well as those in 46 metropolitan areas, including the value of all homes in an area, not just those sold.Only the Pacific Northwest is largely bucking the decline. Four of the top five highest-appreciating metropolitan areas are located in Washington State or Oregon. Areas with the most depreciation are on the Gulf Coast of Florida.Zillow for the first time has compared what the "average" American home (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,500 square feet) is worth in 46 metropolitan areas. The price is highest in various California cities, with Santa Barbara's typical home value topping the list at $816,022. The most affordable typical homes are in the Midwest and South, with Tulsa, Okla., posting the most affordable value at $97,059. 5 highest-appreciating metro areas (year-over-year):

Corvallis, Ore.: 17.26 %
Grand Junction, Colo.: 16.57%
Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, Wash.: 12.03%
Bellingham, Wash.: 11.68%
Portland-Salem, Ore.: 10.72 %5

Metro areas that lost the most value (year-over-year):

Sarasota-Bradenton, Fla.: -15%
Punta Gorda, Fla.: -12.43%
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: -11.83%
Pittsfield, Mass.: -8.62%
Reno, Nev.: -8.5%
REALTOR® Magazine Online