As you may already be aware, things are really heating up and housing inventory is scarce to non existent in many areas and price ranges. According to the Regional Multiple Listing Service Market Action report in April, Portland’s real estate activity continues to blossom. Both accepted oﬀers and closed sales earned “Best March since 2007” honors. Additionally the average price in the first quarter this year was $290,300, up 15.3% from first quarter 2012, when the average was $251,700. In the same comparison, the median increased 16.6% from $212,000 last year to $247,100 in the first quarter of 2013.
We watch the market daily, so we can be sure to keep our buyers and sellers aware of how to create a winning strategy. We’ve been incorporating some changes here at the Kerri Sells Portland Homes Team, in order to stay ahead of the rapidly changing real estate market. We have partnered with a Portland area specialist to assist with finding buyers the perfect home, helping us to connect them with sellers, before they are listed. We are working with several buyers desperately looking for homes and would like to ask who do you know that is thinking about selling a home in the Portland area?
National sources including Money Magazine, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America all state that the housing market is back, and they are all adjusting original projections of of appreciation upwards. This is good news for sellers in the Portland area with rates approaching the double digits in some close in neighborhoods.
Additionally mortgage rates continue to be at historic lows, with projections to increase above 4% by the end of the year. It is less expensive today to own a home than it was in the height of the market in 2006. In fact a $400,000 house at 2006 mortgage rates of 6.5% would have a monthly principal and interest payment of $2528.27, versus the same home today at $300,000 with a 3.5% interest rate, costing $1347.13 a month. This is a savings of $1181.14 every month, just about half the monthly payment making housing much more affordable than in the past.
If you are interested in finding out more information about how your home is comparing, please contact us for a no obligation consultation.
Many of my colleagues ask me “why do I spend so much of my time volunteering in the REALTOR organization?” My answer is simple; I’m committed to excellence and professional development of myself and others. I feel that it is my responsibility to give back and raise the bar throughout the industry that has afforded me so much in my life. I enjoy learning how to navigate through all of the ups and downs that come with working in real estate, and how to work with others for a common goal in protecting and serving our clients. The REALTOR Association exists to protect private property rights and to serve the consumer with a professional and ethical experience when buying or selling a home, and I take that very seriously.
In my 8 1/2 years as a REALTOR, I’ve served on several boards including; the local and state Women’s Council of REALTORS chapters, and as a founding member and Chair of the Oregon REALTORS Young Professionals Network. I’ve also served nationally for the Women’s Council of REALTORS as a steering committee member for the past two years, as a member of the National Association of REALTORS Federal Housing Policy Committee for two years, the Young Professionals Network Sub Committee since 2012, the GREEN Designation Advisory Board since 2012, and this year I was appointed to the Global Business Issues and Alliances Committee. Serving on these boards and committees has given me the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most successful professionals that the real estate industry offers, and it is truly an honor.
In addition to helping me to grow personally and professionally, I’ve also earned referrals for business through these networks, which has accounted for over 50% of my business production since the beginning of my career. My involvement has been a win win for my role as a mother, a business owner, a leader in my community, and with my clients and colleagues. It’s easy for me to justify my somewhat unexplainable desire to be a leader, with all of the benefits that I’m awarded through my commitment to being an excellent REALTOR!
The real estate market across the country has gained speed as the economy improves, and employment rates rise. The National Association of Realtors forecast for 2013 is that we are heading towards normalcy, with healthy price appreciation, and an increase in new and existing home sales. Another great sign of improvement is the distressed market has decreased from a high in 2010 & 2011, accounting for one third of the market. In 2012 distressed property sales were down to 25%, and they’re expected to decline to single digits by 2014. Interest rates remain low for now, although inflation will undoubtedly put pressure on both rates and home prices.
This is in line with what’s happening locally in our Portland neighborhoods, as well. According to the Regional Multiple Listing Service Market Action our inventory was down to 3.6 months at the end of 2012, the lowest we’ve seen in almost 7 years. In many close in neighborhoods, there is less than 30 days of inventory and multiple buyers for each home. With affordable prices and low interest rates, more buyers, and sellers who are looking to move up, are realizing they can get into their perfect home for the same monthly payment they are currently paying.
Could this be your window of opportunity to get into that perfect home? Are you thinking about moving up to that bigger house, and not sure the timing is right? I firmly believe that 2013 will be the year that real estate turns around. I’ve talked to more buyers and sellers in the last two weeks than I have in the past 2 months, and there is optimism in the air. If you or someone you know is thinking that this is the year to fulfill your real estate goals, we specialize in getting homes sold and would love to assist with your success!
I’ve recently had a handful of sellers question me about what it is they’re getting when hiring a REALTOR to sell their home. It was a little hard to answer at first, as there are many things that could come up and several pitfalls that a good sellers agent can help you avoid. Communication is key to ensure a successful relationship with the agent you choose to list your home. This will help to create a smooth process from the time you sign the listing agreement, through the offer negotiations, all the way to closing and moving day.
When working with your agent to prepare your home for sale, you should consider working with someone who can offer staging advice, and tips on how to get your home “show ready”. You should also be certain that your agent has knowledge of the market in the your area, and can provide comparable market information about what you can realistically expect your home to sell for. There are three things that cause a home to sell; price, condition and location, location location!!! You want to be sure your agent is proactive in providing you with up to date market information so you don’t end up chasing the market down with multiple price reductions.
In many close in Portland neighborhoods we have very low on inventory, which is creating multiple offers in some cases. The overall prices are up 5% from last year, and with interest rates still low, the time has never been better to sell. If you or someone you know has considered selling a home in the past few years, this is a good conversation to have with your REALTOR. They can help you make educated decisions on what is best for your individual situation.
Stay tuned for more tips on hiring the right REALTOR to sell your home.
I’ve been honored this year to participate on the NAR GREEN Designation Advisory Board. This is one of the most high minded and committed groups that I have had the pleasure to work with. Each of these individuals are passionate about the real estate industry, as well as the environment and sustainable living, which is one of my core values as a human being.
It’s very exciting to make a difference in our industry, and I take that responsibility very seriously. It is critical that I make a difference in moving our country towards more sustainable living practices. This directly effects our families health and well being, as well as the future of our planet. I have an amazing opportunity to educate My friends and clients on the benefits of building and re-modeling homes to be GREEN.
A GREEN home translates into saving on utilities, safe indoor air quality, less waste in our land-fills, and water conservation, to name a few. Most importantly making conscious GREEN choices will insure that our children have a healthy planet to raise their families for generations to come.
How does this relate to selling real estate? It is a proven fact that GREEN homes are selling at a higher premium, and a shorter time, not to mention the annual energy savings that benefit the new home owner.
GREEN living and education is a true passion of mine and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to make a difference in this area. Being from Portland, Oregon, I offer a unique perspective on what living GREEN looks like, as we pioneer the sustainable movement here in P town.
For the second year in a row the number of Emergency Food Boxes requested through the Oregon Food Bank have topped 1 million.
“Unfortunately, requests for emergency food stubbornly continue to climb,” said Janeen Wadsworth, interim CEO of Oregon Food Bank. “Unemployment isn’t the only driver of this unprecedented need. Underemployment and limited benefits have forced people with jobs to seek emergency food. And the high cost of food, gas, utilities and rent makes it even more difficult for families to cover basic expenses.”
These community partners are currently teamed up to Keep Hunger From Haunting The Neighborhood this Holiday Season. Now, thru November 14th these businesses are working to gather canned food items for the Oregon Food Bank.
Waffle Window 2! in NE Portland serves up Belgian Waffles with a Portland Twist With a variety of waffles from sweet to savory anyone can find a waffle that will satisfy from choices such as the Bacon, Brie, Basil and the Blueberry cheesecake. This is a place to enjoy waffles at the peak of crazy delicious-ness! You can also enjoy these tasty treasures at the original Waffle Window in SE Portland.
Bernie’s Southern Bistro is other of NE Portland’s local treasures. Bernie’s offers diners delicious southern cuisine in a casual, romantic setting. Guests can enjoy a great $4 menu during Happy Hour in addition to the full menu with specialties such Fried Green Tomatoes and Blackened Catfish.
SaySay Boutique, is a local business that showcases small and independent designers from Portland and around the world. Check out their unique collection of items seven days a week at their location in the heart of downtown Portland or shop at your convenience in their online store.
Our efforts to keep the cupboards in Portland stocked with food would not be successful without the support of our community and the great people who run these businesses. Together we will Keep Hunger From Haunting the Neighborhood This Holiday Season.
While preparing your home for sale it is important to focus your time and energy as you move from room to room on things that will maximize your efforts. This is especially important if your home has small spaces.
The first thing you want to consider is creating an environment that buyers can feel at home in. As they walk through the door can they imagine doing so everyday? One simple way to ensure that buyers can envision their family in your home is to reduce the presence of your own. If you have a large number of family photos displayed now is the time to start packing them way. This doesn’t mean you should leave your walls void of any personal touches but limiting the number of family photos can give the buyer the mental space to see their loved ones enjoying the space.
Creating illusions of a larger space in a small room is another way to effectively prepare your home. In small bedrooms it is always a good idea to make sure the furniture is the appropriate size for the room. Eliminating extra furniture will create more floor space and the illusion of a larger room. It is also important to avoid patterned fabrics on the bedding or window coverings as these can draw the attention of the eye and make a room appear cluttered or smaller than it is. For a small room the closet appearance is critical. An overstuffed closet can make the room seem smaller than it actually is. Adding a closet organizer or packing away season clothes will allow a spacious and organized closet to add a feeling of space.
Color will be your best alternative to creating a larger looking bathroom. Using pale, cool colors will reflect light giving the space a bigger appearance. Using vertical lines on the walls will also create a larger looking space by pulling the eye upward.
Finally, using mirrors throughout the home will create the feeling of added space. Large wall mirrors will act as a room expander if placed properly and can add space and warmth to a small room with otherwise limited lighting.
Do you have tips that you have used to create a larger feel to a small space? Please feel free to share your ideas.
Your Portland, Oregon Real Estate Information Guide
With Kerri and her team, you will get a positive, helpful partner for buying or selling a home:
We are education based, and take pride in being “in the know” about the latest real estate trends in Portland. In addition to many designated real estate courses that we’ve completed, we are proud to be a part of the Earth Advantage network. It is a personal mission to raise awareness throughout the community on issues that impact our local and global environment. We believe that the real estate industry is positioned to be the driving force of the green movement, and we are passionate about this evolution.
Thinking about relocating? We’re able to connect you anywhere in North America through our extensive network of elite real estate professionals including; Keller Williams Realty, REALTOR Young Professionals Network, and the Women’s Council of REALTORS. Let us know how we can help with all of your buying, selling or investing in real estate. We are happy to assist with your real estate success.
Please contact us at your earliest convenience if you or anyone you know is thinking about buying, selling or investing in Portland. We would love to help you and your friends. You can rest assured that you have experienced real estate experts on your side – and now, at your fingertips.
We look forward to the opportunity to earn your business.