Spring Selling Season Moves into Summer

As the northwest’s spring selling season edges toward summer, the allure of vacation houses is more likely to emerge as a front burner issue. The practical rewards of having a second home as a vacation retreat—sometimes one which can also be rented out part-time—is more likely to become an action item as the summer months near.

Earlier this month, we learned about some national trends in a report that detailed the numbers from last year. The NAR® released the summary which went into detail about 2015’s vacation house purchases and the buyers who claimed them.

Prices across the nation were up significantly, which explained why the volume of year-to-year sales had slightly contracted. Even so, they were still the second strongest since 2006, with more than 900,000 changing hands. More than a third of vacation house buyers intended to use their property for vacations or as a family retreat—roughly twice as many as planned to use it for retirement. The lion’s share were single-family residences, with a quarter […]


New Year’s Frame of Mind

Along with all of last week’s New Year’s Day festivities came what you could call the New Year’s Frame of Mind: the familiar, this-time-of-year special consciousness of the passage of time. For most Portland area residents, all the other seasons come and go with everyone too busy tending to everyday affairs to pay much attention to the big picture: the progress (or lack of it) toward the major goals most everybody hopes to achieve.

It’s that New Year’s Frame of Mind that’s behind the impulse to make New Year’s resolutions. After all, there’s no such thing as ‘Fourth of July resolutions,’ or ‘Labor Day resolutions,’ even though a quick check of the calendar confirms they come once every year, too. Nope; it is the moment when the crystal globe slides down to the Times Square throng and old Father Time greets Baby 2016 that’s most likely to trigger thoughts of how preposterous it is that another whole year has gone […]


Holiday Season Magic

Last week, those of us who were out and about during the increasingly short daylight hours could take in what looked like the regular number of Portland homes decked out with the familiar holiday paraphernalia. When the weather cooperates, it can’t help but bring a smile to your face to spot the reindeer, Santas, menorahs, giant candles, elves—all the elements that help bring home the familiar feelings the season seldom fails to muster.

I bet it’s just that—the sheer familiarity—that explains a large part of why the words “Holiday Magicare no exaggeration. Sooner or later we feel it. It grabs us. The holidays are back!

This usually starts (for me at least) with a valiant attempt to reject reality. Sometime between Hallowe’en and Thanksgiving, with the first department store ad or the first notes of a carol playing somewhere in the distance, we think “OH NO! – NOT ALREADY!!!” This is the part when the ‘magic’ part of the holidays is nowhere in prospect. […]


When Santa Really Does Deliver a New Family Home

Okay, granted: a new family home won’t fit under the tree…

This year, Portland TVs have been filled with commercials that mix Santa with new

automobiles.  If you believe the ads, a number of automakers apparently offer models that will fly

like reindeer onto driveways for big boys and girls who are sufficiently nice.  One do­gooder is

portrayed stitching up Santa’s ripped tunic in an act of selfless un­naughtiness that earns him a

new sedan on the big day.

We are pleased to say we haven’t seen a National Association of REALTORS

Santa and elves flying a new home onto a surprised family’s driveway, but the idea is no more

divorced from reality than Santa’s barnful of vintage Mercedes (it looks like he loves the red

coupe best).  If you’ve never thought about shopping for a home during the year-­end holiday

season, you might be surprised to consider that in some cases this is a very fortuitous time of year

for home sales.  Aside from the few who can actually give such a fantastic gift (it actually

happens!), there are a couple of other reasons why holiday Portland metro area home sales do […]


Who, What to Tip: Holiday Guidance for Portland Metro Area Homeowners

At holiday time, Portland homeowners can count on being flooded with decisions.  For everything from the extent of front yard decorations to the menu decisions for family gatherings, more than anything, ‘tis the season for organization and planning.  Homeowners have done their best to minimize the likelihood of travel-related scheduling emergencies—never mind the weird weather patterns that make that a coin-toss.  They’ve either succeeded or failed in syncing their gift-shopping to take advantage of sales—although this year, 1-day sale announcements seem to be popping up and disappearing as fast as Whack-a-Moles.  2014’s calendar also reduced the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so there’s been less time to get everything done…
Given all that, Portland metro area homeowners can scarcely be faulted if they haven’t given a lot of thought to holiday tip giving: who, how much…the usual conundrum.  We thought we would do some current research and offer everyone some guidance, but we should warn you: we didn’t find much.
We thought the answer would lie with Dr. Wm. Michael Lynn, the tipping universe’s reigning academic expert.  In case you never suspected there […]