Thursday, November 15, 2018

October 2018 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for October 2018.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,440 in October 2018 vs 2,565 last October  -4.9 %
  • Pending Sales:   2,484 in October 2018 vs 2,705 last October:  -8.2%
  • New Listings:   3,100 in October 2018 vs 2,981 last October:  4.0%
  • Average Sales Price:   $453,600 in October 2018 vs $429,400 last October:  5.6%
  • Total Market Time: 53 days in October 2018 vs 44 days last October:  19.7%
  • Inventory in Months: 2.7 months in October 2018 vs 2.1 months last October
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   2.83 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.80months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     1.55 months

Friday, November 9, 2018

What Makes You a Good Neighbor?

According to's recent Good Neighbor report, you don't necessarily need to be friendly to be considered an easy person to live next to.  Sometimes, just being quiet and respectful of others' property is enough.

Trust and dependability plays an integral part in helping a neighborhood feel like a 'home' - and most people generally think positively about their neighbors. The report found that the best trait in a neighbor is trustworthiness, whereas the worst trait was seen to be someone who is disrespectful of property.

Below is an infographic displaying some of the key findings of the Good Neighbor report.

Based on the report findings, there's a 75% chance the folks you live next to consider you a good neighbor!

Adapted from RISMedia's HouseCall Blog

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Homework Series - November 2018

HouseLogic also suggests these are 6 tasks every homeowner should do in November:

1. WASH BED PILLOWS - with fall being the height of the guest season, you want your guest pillows fresh! Pop them in the washing machine and dryer for an all-over clean feeling.

2. CLEAN THE MATTRESS TOO - the guest mattress needs to be its freshest as well. Vacuum it, then wipe it down with a cloth dampened with an upholstery shampoo. Let it dry fully before making up the bed to prevent mold.

3. INSULATE WINDOWS - keep your cozy vibe inside!  Hang drapes as close to the windows as possible and keep the heat inside.  You can also add clear Velcro strips or dots to the back of the drape and attach to fasteners on the wall to help insulate.

4. STOCK UP ON SNOW SUPPLIES - while we don't get much snow in Oregon, relative to other areas across the country, it's still important to have a minimum of supplies on hand for those few snowy days.  Take advantage of seasonal sales so you aren't rushing out to compete for supplies when the weather changes.

5. TRIM TREE BRANCHES - Take precautions to prevent loose branches from hitting the roof or allowing pests to explore the roof and inside access by trimming any branches that hang over the roof top or eaves.  Keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from the house.

6. GET A CHIMNEY SWEEP TO INSPECT THE FIREPLACE - if you have a wood burning fireplace, it's time to dust off and sweep the chimney.  A professional chimney sweep will ensure your wood burning fireplace burns more efficiently and will help prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning during the winter.
Extra Tip - If you don't already have a chimney cap, this is also the time to add one to stop wild outdoor critters from crawling down it - and into your house!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Blessed, Grateful, Thankful

My husband, Scott, and I have a passion for traveling.  A dream of mine came to reality this year when Scott and I traveled to Africa for a three week vacation.

In large part, our trip was made possible due to our clients trust and support of our roles in Real Estate - my having served my clients and their referrals in buying or selling a home, and Scott providing home inspection services.  For this, we are Thankful!

Enjoy a few photos from our safaris

Monday, October 29, 2018

Just Listed - Wonderful Forest Grove, OR Home at $345,000

Wonderful home in Forest Grove, Oregon is now ready for new homeowners!
1691 sq ft,  3 Bedroom,  2 1/2 Baths
2 Car Garage
Built in 2013 - everything is relatively new!
Peaceful backyard setting looking out over private wetlands
Call today for your private showing!  503-495-3533

Features Buyers Had to Have... but Regretted Getting

One key suggestion given to Buyers as they begin their search for their next home, is to create lists of 'must have' and 'like to have' features in the home they will ultimately purchase. Buyers often believe that attractive and desireable features they see in friends or neighbors homes would be great for them too!  They may imagine having a big yard or open kitchen is just want they've always wanted - until they actually get it. 

See the article linked below for some features home buyers pined to have, but were disappointed when it turned out the desired feature wasn't all it was cracked up to be....

The One Home Feature Buyers Had to Have... but Regretted Getting

Friday, October 26, 2018

Buying a Home Can Be Scary.... Until You Know the Facts

Buying a Home Can Be Scary... Until You Know the Facts [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

Many potential homebuyers believe that they need a 20% down payment and a 780 FICO® score to qualify to buy a home which stops many of them from even trying! Here are some facts:
  • 72% of buyers who purchased homes this year have put down less than 20%.
  • 76.4% of loan applications were approved last month.
  • The average credit score of approved loans was 727 in September.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

5 Things Buyers Should Never Compromise On

When buying a home, there are some things you should never compromise on - or you'll likely regret your home purchase, according to

1. The Floor PlanIt's difficult and expensive to reconfigure a home's floor plan.  If a home doesn't have the minimum number of rooms or the flow of the main living areas you want, you should cross it off your list.

2. The School District.  You should carefully consider your neighborhood's school district, and even get a map of its exact boundaries to make sure your home is within the correct district.

3. The Neighbors.  You should pay attention to the conditino of neighboring homes.  Not only do you have to live with your neighbors on a daily basis, but they can affect your home's future resale value too.

4.  The Budget. Consider all the expenses - monthly mortgage payments, homeowner association dues, utility costs and real estate taxes - beyond the list price to make sure you'll be financially comfortable.

5.  The Commute.  Test-drive the route between your home and office to be certain you're willing to make the commute every day.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sellers - Are You 'Mentally Prepared' for a Buyers Market?

In recent years, the greater Portland Real Estate Market has faced extreme housing inventory shortages, short times for homes to be available before getting an accepted offer, multiple offers and contracts way over asking price.

It's beginning to change -

Are you, Mr. and Mrs. Seller, ready for the shifts that have begun in our local market?  What are your expectations for showing activity? Number of offers? Speed of the sale?

While the current shift isn't extreme, it is impacting the flow of real estate activity in the area.  If you are thinking about putting your home up for sale before the end of this year, here are six thoughts on 'setting your expectations' for getting your home sold.

When buyers sense a shift in the market, they take pause to see the direction it is heading. They no longer feel they need to see homes within the first hour if it going 'live' on public websites.  The 15-20 showings that we experienced on the first weekend a home became available may now happen over the first 2-3 weeks from the date of the listing.
Sellers may not receive multiple offers, or over list price offers, within a short time period. Sellers may need to seriously consider and negotiate on the first offer received as they may not receive a second offer before the first offer expires.

We've already begun to see more contingent offers being accepted by Sellers. During the hey-day of real estate activity, Sellers didn't need to consider an offer where the Buyer needed to sell their current home in order to buy.  There were plenty of Buyers who could purchase without this contingency, allowing for a shorter time to get the Sellers home sale recorded.  Now, more Buyers will want to sell first before buying their next home and will be asking for Sellers patience to allow that to happen in the same time frame.
When activity slows, and there are fewer Buyers for any one home, Buyers are less likely to submit offers that are over the current list price.

With a wildly active market, many Sellers felt they could sell their home in 'as is' condition even when there were obvious repairs needed - and they could. Slower activity will mean that Sellers will need to prepare their home to bring it closer to 'move in ready' condition.  Buyers will be looking for the best value they can find, which means the best prepared property at the lowest possible price.
Providing Seller incentives to attract Buyers may be beneficial as we head into a more normal market.  If a home is sitting on the market for 'too long', Sellers may need to begin considering providing 'extra's to attract Buyers.  In addition to ensuring the list price is well positioned in the market, some options could include providing credits toward Buyer closing costs, bonuses to co-op agents, pre-listing inspections or including a home warranty for the Buyers.
Having the right frame of mind when setting out on the process to sell your home will make it a more stress-free, manageable experience in selling.

Friday, October 19, 2018

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search | MyKCM

In today’s real estate market, with low inventory dominating the conversation in many areas of the country, it can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared.
In a recent article entitled, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind,” the author highlights some steps that first-time homebuyers can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the whole process.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search
One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.  This step will also help you narrow your search based on your budget and won’t leave you disappointed if the home you tour, and love, ends up being outside your budget!

2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?  Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like and then qualify them as ‘must-haves’, ‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help keep you focused on what’s most important.

3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood You Want to Live In
Every neighborhood has its own charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, the article suggests test-driving the area. Make sure that the area meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”

4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It
Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that would best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code, doesn’t mean that you need to tour every listing in that zip code.  An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Home Visits
Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy and documenting what you love and don’t love about each property you visit. They even go as far as to suggest snapping a photo of the ‘for sale’ sign on the way into the property to help keep the listings divided in your photo gallery.  Making notes on the listing sheet as you tour the property will also help you remember what the photos mean, or what you were feeling while touring the home.

Bottom Line

In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home.

Monday, October 15, 2018

September 2018 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for September 2018.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,272 in September 2018 vs 2,660 last September  -14.6 %
  • Pending Sales:   2,471 in September 2018 vs 2,730 last September:  -9.5%
  • New Listings:   3,606 in September 2018 vs 3,644 last September:  -1.0%
  • Average Sales Price:   $453,800 in September 2018 vs $428,800 last September:  5.8%
  • Total Market Time: 45 days in September 2018 vs 37 days last September:  21%
  • Inventory in Months: 3.1 months in September 2018 vs 2.3 months last September
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   2.68 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.98 months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     2.10 months

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Mortgage Rates on the Rise - Wait or Buy Now?

The Federal Open Market Committee recently voted for another increase to the primary credit rate.  Historically, an increase in the primary credit rate has transalted to an overall jump in mortgage interest rates as well.

As a Buyer, you may be regreting not taking action earlier to get a mortgage rate below 4%.  However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.

Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades:
Mortgage Interest Rates are Still Going Up… Should You Wait to Buy? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Though you may have missed the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

Monday, October 8, 2018

5 Popular Kitchen Trends With Great Returns

In addition to being one of the most popular renovations homeowners complete, the kitchen often nets the highest return on your investment (ROI) relative to other areas in your home.  While many homeowners give the kitchen a minor update to keep it modern, others choose a full remodel to improve the style and function of the space, enjoy it more and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Here are five current trends for kitchen remodels

Open Concept Kitchen -
1. Smart Technology.  Some of the latest kitchen appliances feature technology that allows you to control the appliances from your smart phone, save energy and work more efficiently in the kitchen.  Imagine a refrigerator that tells you when you're running out of milk, an oven that preheats on your commute home and a dishwasher that alerts you when there's a leak. It's all within reach and can save you time.

2. Open-space Concepts.  Consider removing some or all of the upper cabinets and store dishes, food and other items at eye-level. Utilize more efficient storage solutions in the base cabinets and outfit tall wall cabinets with pullout storage so you can easily view and access the items you need.

3. Touch Technology.  Activate the faucet with your elbow or the back of your hand when your hands are full or dirty. Touch technology streamlines meal preparation, makes it easier to keep your sink and faucet clean and helps ensure safer food preparation.

Kitchen Gathering Spaces
4. Comfortable Gathering Space.  Creating a comfortable seating area encourages family to hang out
together while dinner is cooking. Kids can do homework and your friends can socialize during parties.

5. Purposeful Lighting.  Take your lighting to the next level by illuminating the interiors or undersides of your cabinets. Cabinet and under cabinet lighting combine function and style to add an element of sophistication to your remodeled kitchen.

Thinking of Selling Soon?
If you are thinking of sellling and you choose to renovate, you'll receive the best ROI if you 1. Keep updates in line with the style of the neighborhood, 2. Don't over-improve the room.  Make simple upgrades to lighting, fixutres, hardware and a fresh coat of paint. 3. Update appliances if they are older.

Friday, October 5, 2018

There's an Elephant in my Tent!

‘There’s an Elephant in the tent!” – a cry we heard at a recent safari camp in Africa.  A huge elephant used its tusks to tear open the side of a tent while the guests were inside. Panic ensued, the elephant moved on and all were safe and able to continue their African journey.  The travelers were just looking to enjoy their tent and sleep well, yet they were faced with an obstacle to meeting their desires when the elephant intruded their space. 

“Elephant in the room” is a metaphor for an obvious problem or risk that no one wants to discuss. Fortunately, in the above experience, the problem was brought to the forefront! 

So, what does this have to do with selling a home?  Buyers are just looking to enjoy the homes they visit while in search of their next home to purchase.  At times, there is ‘an elephant in the room’ that may not be called out to the homeowners yet may cause the Buyer’s to continue in their search for the right home.  One big ‘elephant’ in a home for sale is Odor.  Sometimes listing agents are unsure how to tell homeowners about smells inside their homes.  Sometimes it is difficult to get feedback from showing agents on what the ‘real’ reason is for buyers to move on.  Sellers should be aware of their home’s aroma and address any issues prior to inviting Buyers inside.

Here are 5 odors that are turn-offs for potential Buyers and should be addressed by the homeowner prior to putting their home up for sale.

     PET SMELLS – dirty kitty litter box, cat or dog urine on the carpet, wet dog smell, dirty hamster cages, etc. These are often thought to be one of the most offensive smells and often very hard to get rid of.  While living in the home, homeowners either get used to, or overlook, the smell their pet leaves on the furniture or carpet but it is very present to others, especially to those sensitive to pet dander. 

     COOKING SMELLS - Strong spices, fried foods, onions, fish—they all tend to linger long after the meal is over. Some Buyers won’t be able to get further than 2 steps inside the home due to strong spice smells or burning incense. 

     PLUG-IN'S AND SPRAY AIR FRESHENERS - The use of plug-in scented air fresheners is often an attempt to mask the smell of pets, cooking or smoke.  These products can make the scent in the house even worse for people who are sensitive to smells—or allergic to the fresheners. I recently sold a single level, 1300 sq ft home that had 4 plug-in air fresheners going full blast.  During the home inspection, the Buyer, Inspector and myself were overwhelmed with the chemical mist in the air and needed to open all the windows to air the home out – and allow us to really see if a heavy dog odor was present.

     CIGARETTE SMOKE – Many Buyers feel that the smell of cigarette smoke throughout the home is a deal breaker and won’t get beyond the initial look at the home.  The thought of needing to replace carpeting, paint all the walls, change the drapery throughout the home and more become overwhelming obstacles for Buyers who are looking forward to moving into their new home.

     FUNKY ODORS – moldy or musty smells that could be caused from mold in the carpeting, rodent smells coming from under the home or unfinished basements, water issues, or staining in the attic.  The funky smell gives the impression that the home has not been well-maintained. It also causes concern from the Buyers that the smell won’t leave with the current owners and could be costly to remove.

Just like the elephant who was following his nose to find the pleasant smell of apples and oranges brought to the tent by the travelers, Buyers also buy with their noses. Make sure your home offers a fresh and inviting smell when you choose to list your home for sale.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Homework Series - October 2018

Fall is one of the most popular seasons to work on your home. Not only is the weather generally pleasant, but fall is also the time to prepare for winter. If you're looking to take on some hoem improvement projects this fall without blowign your holilday-season budget, look no further!
In addition to those listed above, here are four easy and affordable projects that will yeild big results.

Update your front door.
Your front door sets the expectation for what's inside. Update an old or worn out door with a more modern option or add a fresh, colorful coat of paint to your old door to make it look like new again.

Improve your curb appeal
Something as simple as mowing or raking your lawn can have a huge impact on your home's curb appeal. You can also do things like pull up and dispose of dead plants and branches, trim the shrubs, plant fall flowers, and pressure wash the driveway/siding.

Update your lighting.
It only takes a few years for light fixtures to start lookign dated, so bring your house back up to date with new lamps and light fixtures. Start by updating one room at a time. You'll be amazed at the difference! While you're at it, replace any old, inefficient  compate fluorescent bulbs you have hanging around with LEDs. They'll last longer and save energy.

Change the air filter.
last but not least is your air conditioner. Your AC unit did a great job keeping you cool during the long, hot sumemr and now it's time to replace the air filter.  This is not only one of the easiest jobs you can do for your home, it's an important part of maintaining the efficiency and operational capabilities of your HVAC.  If you want to go a step further, call your HVAC servicer to schedule a tune-up for your system.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Get Your Garden Ready for Fall

The weather will start cooling off soon, so now’s the time to start planning for the first frost and getting your garden ready for fall. Three things you should do to transition your garden into the fall season are listed below. 

Clean out your garden.
Make sure your perennials are ready to come back swinging next year by trimming them down as they become dormant. This will save the root of the plant. You can also go ahead and remove any spent plants from the roots up. If your garden has a mix of perennials and annuals, keep track of your garden’s layout as you go to make it easier to plan your spring planting.

Plant cover crops.
A cover crop, also known as green manure, is an organic fertilizer. Cover crops maintain the richness of the soil and protect your soil through the winter, helping you create an even better garden come spring. 

Add compost.
Organic fertilizers are becoming more and more popular. One of the best ways to get organic fertilizer is to create it yourself by composting. To compost, clean out your garden and add the plant debris to a compost pile, then mix it in with other compost material. Spread a good mix of compost over your garden in the fall to refurbish the soil and help protect the soil during the winter.

Now that the weather is cooling off, it’s a great time to spruce up your current home or to find a new house to make your own. Give me a call if you or someone you know has any questions about real estate!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Fall is here - summer vacations are now memories, children are back in school, and the pumpkins are ripening for us to enjoy this upcoming holiday season!  In the Real Estate market, the Fall selling season is typically the second busiest season for housing sales over the course of the year.  This Fall, we're seeing a bit of a shift in the Portland Metro area housing market.  Inventory is hovering around 2 - 2.5 months inventory which is still very low (in a normal market we'd see around 6 months inventory.)  This means prices should continue to appreciate at above normal levels, which many experts believe will continue into 2019.

However, two things are occurring that indicate a movement toward a more normal market.
  1. Listing supply is increasing - marginally so far, but we have moved from less than one month of inventory in some communities to over 2 months as more existing homes and new construction hoems are becoming available.  Plus, building permits are also increasing, as we're experiencing in the South Hillsboro, Cooper Mountain, Cornelius and Forest Grove areas.
  2. Buyer Demand is Softening - a recent Real Estate Broker Survey, and anecdotal input from local Realtors, suggests that buyers have grown more discerning and a level of 'pause' has taken hold in many of our surrounding cities.
What this means is that prices won't appreciate at the levels we've seen recently, nor will they depreciate.  Buyers will have more time to consider homes and possibly have the opportunity to view homes of interest a second tiem before making any decision.  More contingent offers will be accepted.  Seller will more easily be abel to move-up or move-down to a home that better suits their current lifestyles.

Returning to a normal market is a good thing.  Even thought it may feel strange after the whirlwind activity we've been experiencing since about 2013.  The housing market is not falling apart - we are just returning to a market that will be much healthier in the long run.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Where Are Interest Rates Headed in 2019?

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019? | MyKCM

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; the higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year.
Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019? | MyKCM

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.2% from this time last year and are predicted to be 5.1% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become a reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes.

Bottom Line
Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth, so don’t wait until next year! Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes | MyKCM

CoreLogic recently released their Home Price Index ReportOne of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from July 2013 to July 2018 to show how prices over the last five years have fared.
The graph below was created to show the 5-year change in price from July 2013 to July 2018 by price range.
Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes | MyKCM
As you can see in the graph, the highest price appreciation occurred in the lowest price range with 48% growth, while the highest priced homes appreciated by 25%. This has been greatly fueled by the lack of inventory of homes available at the lower price ranges and high demand from first-time buyers looking to enter the market.

Where were prices expected to go?

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).
According to the Q3 2014 survey results, national homes prices were projected to increase cumulatively by 19.5% by December 2018. The bulls of the group predicted home prices to rise by 27.8%, while the more cautious bears predicted an appreciation of 11.2%.

Where are prices headed in the next 5 years?
Data from the most recent HPES shows that home prices are expected to increase by 20.0% over the next 5 years. The bulls of the group predict home prices to rise by 31.2%, while the more cautious bears predict an appreciation of 9.3%.

Bottom Line

Every day, thousands of homeowners regain positive equity in their homes. Some homeowners are now experiencing values even greater than those before the Great Recession. If you’re wondering if you have enough equity to sell your house and move on to your dream home, let’s get together to discuss conditions in our neighborhood!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

August 2018 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for August 2018.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,967 in August 2018 vs 2,736 last August  8.4 %
  • Pending Sales:   2,760 in August 2018 vs 3,072 last August:  -10.21%
  • New Listings:   4,214 in August 2018 vs 4,048 last August:  4.1%
  • Average Sales Price:   $454,500 in August 2018 vs $429,000 last August:  5.9%
  • Total Market Time: 40 days in August 2018 vs 34 days last August:  18.3%
  • Inventory in Months: 2.3 months in August 2018 vs 2.0 months last August
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   2.40 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.39months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     2.02 months

Monday, July 16, 2018

June 2018 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for June 2018.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,946 in June 2018 vs 3,187 last June  -7.6 %
  • Pending Sales:   3,059 in June 2018 vs 3,254 last June:  -6.0%
  • New Listings:   4,515 in June 2018 vs 4,739 last June:  -4.7%
  • Average Sales Price:   $472,400 in June 2018 vs $440,600 last June:  7.2%
  • Total Market Time: 37 days in June 2018 vs 38 days last June:  -0.03%
  • Inventory in Months: 2.1 months in June 2018 vs 1.6 months last June
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   1.99 months            
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.19months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     1.31 months

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Anticipated Recession - Not Housing Crisis

Next Recession in 2020? What Will Be the Impact?

Next Recession in 2020? What Will Be the Impact? | MyKCM
Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. They also know that a recession can’t be too far off. A recent report by Zillow Research shed light on a survey conducted by Pulsenomics in which they asked economists, investment strategists and market analysts how they felt about the current housing market. That report revealed the possible timing of the next recession:
Experts largely expect the next recession to begin in 2020.”
That timing concurs with a recent survey of economists by the Wall Street Journal:
“The economic expansion that began in mid-2009 and already ranks as the second-longest in American history most likely will end in 2020 as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to cool off an overheating economy, according to forecasters surveyed.”
Here is a graph comparing the opinions of those surveyed by both the Wall Street Journal and Pulsenomics:
Next Recession in 2020? What Will Be the Impact? | MyKCM

Recession DOES NOT Equal Housing Crisis

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a recession is defined as follows:
“A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.”
A recession means the economy has slowed down markedly. It does not mean we are experiencing another housing crisis. Obviously, the housing crash of 2008 caused the last recession. However, during the previous five recessions home values appreciated.
Next Recession in 2020? What Will Be the Impact? | MyKCM
According to the experts surveyed by Pulsenomics, the top three probable triggers for the next recession are:
  • Monetary policy
  • Trade policy
  • A stock market correction
A housing market correction was ranked ninth in probability. Those same experts also projected that home values would continue to appreciate in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.  
Others agree that housing will not be impacted like it was a decade ago.
Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist, explained:
“If a recession is to occur, it is unlikely to be caused by housing-related activity, and therefore the housing sector should be one of the leading sources to come out of the recession.”
And U.S. News and World Report agreed:
“Fortunately – and hopefully – the history of recessions and current issues that could harm the economy don’t lead many to believe the housing market crash will repeat itself in an upcoming decline.”

Bottom Line

A recession is probably less than two years away. A housing crisis is not.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Homeownership Has Its Benefits

Pride of ownership is the number one reason why people yearn to own their home. You can paint the walls any color you desire, turn up the volume on your music, attach permanent fixtures and decorate your home accordning to your own taste.

Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security.  In addition to the financial benefits of home ownership, there are other benefits to owning a home versus renting. Homeownership has been linked to improved educational performance, lower crime rates, and greater health.

If it's time for you to discover the benefits of homeownership, I am dedicated to helping clients find homes they adore and can afford.  Give me a call for all Your Real Estate needs.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Home Inspection Checklist

The home inspection is one of the most critical pieces of the buying and selling process.  If you're buying, the home inspection will give you a good idea of the condition of the home you will be moving into.  If you are selling, a pre-listing home inspection may give you an idea of what to fix before your home goes on the market - taking away the chance of surprise following the buyer's inspections.

There are a few things you can look for yourself while walking through the home.  Here is a checklist from that you can use as a guide to identify specific areas of the house that you want your inspector to examine more closely.

I've been through many home inspections and can help you understand this checklist, what to be aware of during the inspection and how to negotiate after all inspections are completed.  Give me a call for all Your real estate needs.

                                          REAL ESTATE FOR YOUR WORLD

Monday, July 2, 2018

Homework Series - July 2018

Parades, fireworks, clambakes - all capture our attention when summer is in full swing. But there are some things around the home that would be beneficial to do in July.  So try to fit in a few of the 9 items below between all the fun activities this month!

  • Clean Porch Lights
  • Check safety devices (carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers)
  • Clean windows inside and out, and check window screens for holes
  • Check fences and repair or replace as needed

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Protect Your Money From Wire Fraud Schemes When Buying a Home

Protect Your Money from Wire Fraud Schemes When Buying a Home - FNTG

Great, short, video providing helpful tips about protecting your transaction from the danger of wire fraud shared by Jeff Meucci at Fidelity National Title.  If you are, or will soon be, involved in a home buying process, please pay close attention to this information.  Protect yourself and your transaction!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Top 4 Home Renovations for MAX ROI

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most Return On Investment (ROI).
  • Minor bathroom renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
  • Upgrading your landscaping or curb appeal helps get buyers in the door.  These upgrades rank as the 2nd and 4th renovations for returns on investment.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

4 Steps to Win a Bidding War

Housing inventory is tight across the country, and many homebuyers find themselves in a bidding war with other buyers.  RE/MAX has provided some pointers to help you act fast during the bidding process to gain the seller's attention.

1. Have a "Dream Team"
Having the right people by your side during the purchase process is critical to your success. Whether it is a real estate agent or mortgage loan originator, each plays an important role.  Letting my experienced team members advocate for you can mean the difference between landing your dream home or starting your home search from scratch.

2. Go with Your Gut
Don't hesitate if you like a home - make sure your offer is one of the first to be submitted. You and I should be on alert to constantly monitor homes for sale so we can get a jump on the competition. We'll research the properties before the showings to be prepared to generate an offer right after visiting the home.

3. Sweeten the Deal
Do whatever you can, within reason, to make the decision easier for the seller.  We can talk about how to position the terms of the offer to best meet your needs and accomodate the sellers desires - whether it be a quick sale, need for possession after the sale, or possibly adding an escalation clause to the offered amount. In competitve markets, buyers can be creative by offering to pay the seller's closing costs, or making concessions when the inspection report suggests repairs. Go the extra mile to make your offer more attractive to the seller.

4. Write a Love Letter
Selling a home can be an emotional process, especially if the home is filled with many years of memories for the current owners.  Send a thoughtful offer letter telling the selling what you liked about the home, a little about your family, how you will care for the home as well as they have and about the memories you would love to make there. This may hlep the sellers feel better about passing their home on to you.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Home Care Myths shares 8 top home care myths
that are a waste of your time and money.

Stone Countertops are indestructible.  In fact, stone countertops are easy to stain and scratch.  Plus, regular household cleaners and mildly acidic substances, like soda, coffee and wine can dull stone surfaces over time.

Your smoke detector's test button is foolproof.  The test button tells you the sound is working, not if the sensor that detects smoke is working. Use real smoke to check it. Light a match, blow it out and hold it near the detector. If the alarm goes off, it's working.

Gutter guards are maintenance-free.  Gutter guards may keep out leaves, but small debris can still get through. It's best to clean them every two years - or once a year if your home is surrounded by trees - to prevent damage to your gutters.

A lemon is a great way to clean a disposal.  A lemon's acidic juice will corrode the metal parts of your disposal, and coffee grounds will accumulate in pipes and clog them. The best natural cleaner is baking soda, which will clean the blades but won't damage the metal.

Mow your lawn short and you'll mow less often.  It's important to leave 1 to 3 inches of grass above the roots to keep your lawn lush. Removing more will leave your grass too weak to withstand weeds and pests. It also exposes the roots to the sun, causing the lawn to dry out.

CFLs cost too much, and are dangerous. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) aren't as expensive as you think and don't contain enough mercury to cause any harm. Plus, CFLs last an average of five years.

Trendy kitchen re-do will increase my home's value.  Home trends come and go quickly. Instead of remodeling in the latest look, try repainting with trendy colors. If you do opt for a full remodel, choose elements with at timeless style, like wood floors and subway tile.

A contractor recommendation from a friend is good enough.  Look for a contractor as if it were a job interview. Before hiring, talk to a couple of sources, check the contractor's online reviews and ask a local building inspector which contractors meet code on the properties they inspect.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

May 2018 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for May 2018.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,803 in May 2018 vs 2,896 last May  -3.2 %
  • Pending Sales:   3,201 in May 2018 vs 3,435 last May:  -6.8%
  • New Listings:   4,665 in May 2018 vs 4,388 last May:  6.3%
  • Average Sales Price:   $448,600 in May 2018 vs $423,800 last May:  5.9%
  • Total Market Time: 37 days in May 2018 vs 39 days last May:  -5.0%
  • Inventory in Months: 1.9 months in May 2018 vs 1.5 months last May
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   1.51 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.15months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     1.29 months

Monday, June 11, 2018

The 10-Year Fix

Once your home hits the 10-year mark, it's probably time for some home maintenance.  Here are nine updates your home will benefit from the most, according to Zillow.

1. Get new carpet. Replace your carpet if rips, tears, stains and odors remain, even after a good cleaning.
2. Replace the hot water tank. A water heater may not show signs before it leaks or fails, but if it's been around for 10 years or more, it should be replaced.
3. Update ceiling fans. If the fan's light bulbs seem to burn out more quickly than usual, it's time for a new one.

4. Buy a new dishwasher. You'll likely get a more energy-efficient model that'll pay for itself over time.
5. Replace the garbage disposal, The average garbage disposal lasts about 10 years because the blades become dull over time.
6. Replace the washer and dryer. The average lifespan of both appliances is eight years. Replace them before problems pop up.
7. Repaint inside and outside. There's not rule about when to repaint - it depends on where you live, humidity and other factors. But if it's been 10 years, it's time to repaint.
8. Re-caulk the tub, shower and sinks. It's a simple update that you can easily do yourself.
9. Re-glaze windows. Re-glazing old windows is easier and more cost-effective than replacing them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Homeowners & Appraisers See the Most Eye-to-Eye on Price in 3 Years

Every house on the market must be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then again to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale may be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, let’s get together to discuss this and any other obstacles that may arise.

Homeowners & Appraisers See the Most Eye-to-Eye on Price in 3 Years | MyKCM

In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 5% (or more) over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.
When prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the same neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.

March 2015 marked the first month of a three-year gap between what an appraiser and a homeowner believed a home was worth. That gap widened to 2.65% in September 2015 and had consistently hovered between 1.0% and 2.0% through November 2017.

The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last three years:
Homeowners & Appraisers See the Most Eye-to-Eye on Price in 3 Years | MyKCM
In the latest release, the disparity was the narrowest it has been since March 2015, as the gap between appraisers and homeowners was only -0.33%. This is important for homeowners to note as even a .33% difference in appraisal could equate to thousands of dollars that a buyer or seller has to come up with at closing (depending on the price of the home).

Bill Banfield, Executive VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges homeowners to find out how their local markets have been impacted by supply and demand: 
“The appraisal is one of the most important, although sometimes least predictable, parts of the mortgage process. The Home Price Perception Index is a way to illustrate the differences of opinion, and these differences affect everything from the type of mortgage a borrower can get to the expectations a seller has about the proceeds available upon sale of their home.”

Monday, May 28, 2018

6 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your Summer!

I love summer! With longer days and possibly more flexible schedules, life can slow down and allow us time to connect with friends and family. 

What are you doing to make the most of your summer?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

April 2018 Real Estate Market Statistics

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for April 2018.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,523 in April 2018 vs 2,219 last April  13.7 %
  • Pending Sales:   3,008 in April 2018 vs 3,088 last April:  -2.6%
  • New Listings:   3,990 in April 2018 vs 3,759 last April:  6.1%
  • Average Sales Price:   $436,800 in April 2018 vs $406,400 last April:  7.5%
  • Total Market Time: 42 days in April 2018 vs 42 days last April:  0.0%
  • Inventory in Months: 1.8 months in April 2018 vs 1.7 months last April
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   1.34 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.02months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     1.28 month
Inventory in Months is calculated by dividing the Active Residential Listings at the end of the month in questions by the number of closed sales for that month.