Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Homework Series - December

Some additional quick and easy tasks to do at year's end to prepare for the new year:

  • Clean Light Bulbs and Fixtures - get as much light in your house as possible as the days grow shorter and a bit darker.  Plus you save money - dirty bulbs are thought to shed 30% less light than clean ones!
  • Evaluate Homeowner's Insurance - Call your agent to go over the type of coverage you have, how much you really need and how you can lower your premiums for the new year.
  • Pack a Home Emergency Kit - the last thing you want during the holidays is for an emergency to chill the family cheer. Prepare for power outages and weather-related emergencies with an easy to find emergency kit that includes bottled water, hand-crank radio, flashlight and batteries, portable charger for your phone, warm blankets and a first aid kit.
  • Buy Holiday Lights (after December 25th) - It's tough to think about next Christmas so soon after finishing a wonder holiday dinner and celebration, but it's a good time to think about saving on new holiday decor for the following year.  Take advantage of the year end sales!
Courtesy of

Monday, December 18, 2017

Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step

Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step | MyKCM
In 2018, we are anticipating the continuation of a market where the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale.  As you may have seen in the past few years, the Portland Oregon's competitive marketplace requires that buyers often need to stand out -especially in a multiple offer situation. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.  Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:
“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”
One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that we have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” 
Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:
  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well.
Adapted from Keeping Current Matter article Dec 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

November 2017 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for November 2017.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,387 in November 2017 vs 2,434 last November:  -1.9%
  • Pending Sales:   2,371 in November 2017 vs 2,266 last November:  4.6%
  • New Listings:   2,416 in November 2017 vs 2,080 last November  16.2%
  • Average Sales Price:   $425,000 in November 2017 vs $397,000 last November:  7.1%
  • Total Market Time: 51 days in November 2017 vs 45 days last November:  11.9%
  • Inventory in Months: 1.9 months in November 2017 vs 1.8 months last November
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   1.81 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.12 months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     1.57 months

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Four Tips Before Making an Offer on a Home

Before You Make an Offer, Here Are 4 Tips for Success!

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found it! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!
Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their Executive Perspective. Here are the 4 tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

“While it’s not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”
This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ should really take place before you start your home search process.
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

2. Act Fast

“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.” 
The inventory of homes listed for sale has remained well below the 6-month supply that is needed for a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to compete with each other for their dream homes.
Make sure that as soon as you decide that you want to make an offer, you work with me, your agent, to present it as soon as possible.

3. Make a Solid Offer

Freddie Mac offers this advice to help make your offer the strongest it can be:
“Your strongest offer will be comparable with other sales and listings in the neighborhood. A licensed real estate agent active in the neighborhoods you are considering will be instrumental in helping you put in a solid offer based on their experience and other key considerations such as recent sales of similar homes, the condition of the house and what you can afford.”
Talk with me to find out if there are any ways that you can make your offer stand out in this competitive market!

4. Be Prepared to Negotiate

“It’s likely that you’ll get at least one counteroffer from the sellers so be prepared. The two things most likely to be negotiated are the selling price and closing date. Given that, you’ll be glad you did your homework first to understand how much you can afford.
Your agent will also be key in the negotiation process, giving you guidance on the counteroffer and making sure that the agreed-to contract terms are met.”
If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, you can discuss any repairs that may need to be made with the seller, or cancel the contract.

Bottom Line 

Whether buying your first home or your fifth, having a local real estate professional who is an expert in their market on your side is your best bet to make sure the process goes smoothly. Let’s talk about how we can make your dreams of homeownership a reality!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

How Long Does It Take to Sell a Home?

Wondering how long recent listings are staying on the market? Take a look at these charts which display the number of Listings and the Cumulative Median Days on Market for Single Family homes in the respective communities.

Data based on RMLS statistics from Dec 2016 - Nov 2017, detached homes priced $300,000 - $600,000