House Flipping Opportunities on the Rise

When you think about it, it was to be expected: the pace of house flipping activity in communities all over the country almost had to quicken. The market made it all but inevitable—in places where prices are on the rise while inventories remain tight, the conditions are right.

A “house flip” is what you call any house that sells within a year of being purchased. House flipping happens when something unforeseen occurs that prompts a buyer to change residences more quickly than anticipated, or (much more often) when the purchase is made in the first place because the buyer sees an opportunity to make a profit.

House flipping became all the rage for a while during the housing bubble of the mid-2000s, hitting a peak in 2005. Half a dozen TV series were launched that popularized the adventures of itinerant flippers, tracing their footsteps as they acquired, fixed up, then sold properties for enticingly large premiums. The best of them depicted not simply the money to be made, but […]


Capitalize on First Impressions

The way the ‘curb appeal’ phenomenon applies to a Portland home for sale is explained simply enough. Like the packaging on a store shelf item, its mission is to break through the competition—to strike a responsive chord with potential buyers.

That is the goal, but no Portland Metro area home that’s up for sale can possibly ‘bat a thousand’ when it comes to curb appeal, since buyers start out with differing mental images of what constitutes an ideal home. For some, it’s a well-kept colonial; for others, a clean-lined contemporary. Today, most house hunting begins with the online listings. Each offering is introduced via its exterior glamor shot…making it possible to form quick impressions of the whole gamut of properties for sale in Portland. Those pictures comprise today’s first pass at curb appeal—the photographic kind. For homes that pass that first hurdle, the next test is the three-dimensional, pull-up-to-the-curb experience. Making the most of that first impression can shape all that ensues.

A survey of hundreds of […]


Renovation and Home Prices

Here’s an instant spot quiz— (see what comes to mind within a second or two):

If you decide to sell your town home, if you had a crystal ball, what’s the most important detail about the sale result?  Quick! Answer!

If you’re like seven out of ten people, you were curious about the bottom line: “what price did it sell for?” Some people come up with “how long did it take?”—but usually, that’s the second or third choice (“what were the buyers like?” is another contender).

It’s hardly surprising that the closer they get to putting their own house up for sale, home prices are foremost in people’s minds. Yet most homeowners assume that the ultimate sale price will be determined by market forces outside their control. That’s sort of true, but not entirely so. Home prices aren’t set in stone. Homeowners do have a degree of control over what their property will bring—if they choose […]


Portland Open House Tips

If you are planning for your own open house in Portland, you won’t have much trouble finding good advice. Here’s a quick list of what you’ll find:

  • Don’t leave your pet behind
  • Don’t forget the yard
  • If you’re not confident in your house cleaning ability, trust that instinct (hire a pro)!
  • It’s the kitchen, stupid (really: don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink)
  • Clear out the medicine cabinet
  • Fresh bath towels


These are all sound pieces of advice   (although the medicine cabinet one should be more comprehensive: any valuable items should also be packed away). It’s why you’ll find some variation of those pointers on just about everyone’s ‘Top Ten Tips for Holding an Open House.’

There are also some open house tips that may not apply to every Portland open house, but which deserve to be in the running anyway. One good idea syncs with the last bullet point: white-out […]


A ‘Moving’ Experience

When a Portland home seller tallies the total financial impact of selling the old and then buying the new home, in addition to the closing and brokerage costs, the expense of the move has to be reckoned, too. It may seem like an afterthought, but especially for larger homes and families, it’s a cost significant enough that it bears some economy-minded preparations.

Although doing the lion’s share yourself is the surest way to bring that price tag down, it will also add a load to an occasion that’s already stressful enough. “Moving day” can prod your already surging emotional stress meter further into the red if you are trying to do everything yourself (or relying on friends). Since this is such a common hurdle, a good deal of wisdom has developed that can keep potential Portland moving day misery to a minimum. Here’s a few of our tips we’ve gathered over years of real estate work:

  1. Gather ye boxes while ye may…far ahead of time. Yes, you can certainly […]

Rainy (or slushy) Day Home Décor Inspiration

Even if you don’t pride yourself on your artistic flair, you probably have developed fairly firm ideas about what makes some Portland metro area homes come across better than others. Without even consciously thinking about it, you know as soon as you walk through a front door whether that immediate impression is strongly positive, just so-so, or sub-so-so .

A Portland home’s agreeable first impression can usually be laid to a combination of pleasing architecture, diligent maintenance, and appealing décor. Not every home in Portland has all that going for it, but there can also be a saving note: sometimes the most important impression comes from just a few minor touches—clever accents that just seem perfect.

Now that we’re wading deeper into the months when the Portland area’s bad weather days are stacking up, (especially with the recent “blizzard”) we are more likely to find ourselves with some spare time—the commodity that was so hard to […]


True Cost of ‘For Sale by Owner’ Signs

If you go down to any Portland hardware store, you’ll be able to find them. They are right there in the corner, somewhere on the rack that has all the ‘GARAGE SALE’ and ‘BEWARE OF DOG’ placards. They’re the ‘FOR SALE BY OWNER’ signs.

They cost about $8.99 ($17.98 for two). Or, it is also possible to buy a couple of “For Sale by Owner” signs online for about the same price (although getting them delivered to Portland might run extra).

No matter which way you would get hold of the signs, you should be alerted to some possible extra costs. I don’t mean ‘shipping and handling’ charges you sometimes find tacked onto other offers. These are extras that have cost other sign purchasers thousands of dollars.

Naturally, anyone who buys a ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign has decided to sell their house on their own rather than going with the crowd and listing through a Portland Realtor®


Investment Property for Dummies

Being in real estate, it’s probable that Portland investment property popups hit our screens more often than yours. Nonetheless, I bet that every Portland web user knows the phenomenon: you’re trying to accomplish something on the internet, and these ads keep bouncing up, doing their best to distract you. It seems to take more time to continually patrol your browser settings than to just X the pop-ups.

In any case, the other day while stuck waiting for something to process, I noticed the headline on one of those ads (they seem to be news items or features, but they all turn out to be ads). It showed a pretty model looking into the snout of a piggy bank under the headline, “How to Use Real Estate Investments to Cover Student Loan Debt, Car Payments & More.”

It occurred to me that this wouldn’t even make the first draft of any decent Investment Property for Dummies book (there seem to be several). […]