Top 10 Top 10 Real Estate Lists

Why it is that we’re drawn to “Top 10” lists in general is a matter we can leave to the psychologists. Suffice it to say that the lists are a staple on the supermarket tabloids and they’re all over the web. I admit they get more than their share of my own attention, even when my curiosity about a list’s subject matter is negligible. It’s probably because they’re quick to skim through and agree or disagree with…

Since they are so pervasive, it occurred to me that there might be something to learn if we could determine which ones that deal with real estate topics get the most attention. Northwest real estate didn’t have its own area-focused Top 10 real estate lists—but for the whole country, I guessed there could be hundreds (there were).

There turned out to be a lot of ads mixed in with the ones that were legitimate; but after 15 or so minutes of deep internet research, here’s what registers as—

The Top 10 […]


What is it with Real Estate and Threes?

When you go searching for the latest Portland real estate news online, as likely as not you will find the lion’s share is dominated by advertisements (not to complain: I advertise, too) and the current Portland Metro area listings. There is rarely any true Portland real estate news as such—since what’s ‘new’ is principally the arrival and departure of the latest batch of homes in the northwest for sale.

All the other nuggets of Portland Metro area real estate “news” are actually news’ first cousins: features about real estate—most of which deal with the age-old verities of the field rather than anything that is truly up-to-the-moment new. The other day, while hunting down the latest Portland Metro area real estate goings-on, as usual, our national Realtors’® web site kept coming up. This is not unusual, since our organization is one of the most active trade organizations in the country, quoted […]


Home Renter Mindset

You’d think that the single most influential factor governing a potential Portland Metro area home buyer’s decision on whether to buy now or hold off would be the ongoing bottom line—that is, the amount of an anticipated monthly mortgage payment.

Maybe not.

The New York Federal Reserve argues otherwise. Not just a little bit otherwise; “dramatically” otherwise.

To cut to the chase (and that’s a good idea, for reasons that we’ll get to later), what is more likely to impact that decision—especially for those who are currently renters—is the size of the down payment. It follows that Portland Metro area home renters are more likely to be encouraged by any relaxation of down payment requirements than they are to be discouraged by a rise in mortgage interest rates (with the resulting increase in the monthly payment).

Upon reflection, the Fed’s finding isn’t so surprising. The slow-motion economic recovery and stall in wage growth has made it tougher […]


Simplistic Staging

You might think that professional home stagers in Portland are intent on aiming for the kind of look that would draw oooohs and ahhhhhs if it were featured in Good Housekeeping or Better Homes and Gardens. In fact, you’d likely be more on-target if the magazine you thought of was actually RealSimple. In case you haven’t been near a newsstand lately, that’s the top-selling magazine “about simplifying your life.”

RealSimple (“Life made Easier”) has articles like “31 Pro Tips to Control your Clutter” and “Get Organized for Fall: systems in place, stress in check.” If you are planning to have a Portland home for sale anytime soon you could do worse than picking up a copy—if for no other reason than to check out its editorial slant: Less is more. Open space attracts. Simplicity rules.

        Today’s home stagers in Portland (and just about […]


Selling Your Home during the Holidays

Selling your home during the holiday season may sound like a less than ideal game plan, but there are some advantages now present only at this time of year. It’s true that some extra effort may be called for, but it can be worth the endeavor: there are several factors that make showings at this time of year particularly promising.

The first advantage is the flip side of the greatest disadvantage: the slowdown in real estate activity we usually expect over the holidays. That relative paucity of active prospects means fewer showings, so the number of times you’ll be called upon to put your Portland-metro area property in peak condition will be smaller. The other side of that disadvantage? The showings we do expect will be to particularly motivated buyers. If they are interrupting their own Christmas and New Year’s activities to go house hunting, they probably mean business. And it’s also likely that they are motivated by a timing deadline. This makes those showings especially promising.

Another positive […]


Mapping Out the Real Costs of Building a New Home in Portland

If you are considering buying a new home in the Portland Metro Area, it might have occurred to you that building your own could be another option. Even if you aren’t one who has always dreamed of designing your own new home with exactly the features you want (and none you don’t), the idea might seem worth exploring—particularly when the reasonable asking prices for some of today’s Portland area “land-only” listings make for tempting daydreaming…

The fact is, few have actually mapped out the cost of building their own new Portland home for a number of reasons. The most obvious one is that to project anything like an accurate cost, you would have to know its features—in other words, design it (or have it designed). But short of hiring an architect, you can begin to appraise some of the major cost considerations to factor in when building a new home:

  • Once you have selected a local contractor, you will find yourself asking him for an estimate of today’s average price per square foot. That will only be useful for a ballpark estimate (certainly […]

Island Homes for Sale at Fire Sale Prices (just not here in Portland)

imagesThe good news is, yes, you read that headline correctly: there are drop-dead gorgeous oceanfront island vacation homes on sale for you right now—this summer! The bad news, however, (depending on your vacation and travel plans) is that these homes for sale aren’t as convenient (geographically speaking) as some others.

They are in Greece. There’s always a catch, isn’t there?

CNNmoney’s website reported last week that the recent escalation in Greece’s financial trouble has produced a notable increase of interest from foreign investors.  Reports indicate that prices are discounted anywhere from 30% in the most popular islands to as much as 50% in less relaxing places. Like Athens.

Alexandros Moulas, who is an Athens-based associate at the global property firm Savills, says that buyers are mostly from Europe, but also the Middle East and Asia. So why not add Pacific Northwest buyers to the pack? We like vacation homes, too!

There are reasons why Portland locals might consider a Greek investment property, aside from the travel benefits. A Greek island home, for example, can be a […]


Low Credit Score? Still Buy Your First Portland Home!

They really ought to teach this stuff in school: real-life, day-to-day economics. Portland youngsters out on their own for the first time are usually left to trial and error when it comes to mastering things like how to lay out a personal budget or use credit advantageously. Or even how to go about selecting a bank, or opening a checking account…

So when it comes to buying their first Portland home, it’s very common for newcomers to put off confronting the whole daunting issue. When you’re still new to your career, tackling a purchase involving years’ worth of income channeled through a maze of unfamiliar procedures is easy to put off. But when the delay stretches well past the point in their financial lives when it would be clearly advantageous to own rather than to continue renting, it’s the same thing as throwing hard-earned cash overboard.

They really ought to teach this stuff in school! That having been said, here is a broad-brush, very basic rundown of the lay of the land aimed at first time Portland […]


Portland Empty-Nesters—Sizeable Group of Prospective Buyers

One strategy for selling your Portland home is to recognize the segment of the general public most likely to appreciate its inherent features, then be sure your sales approach will appeal to them. That doesn’t mean you will turn your back on all the other groups of buyers, of course—but it does mean you will make a deliberate effort to be especially sensitive to that group’s preferences, and highlight the features that are most likely to top their wish lists.

When the Target Audience is Empty-Nesters…

The majority of current Portland empty-nesters belong to the baby boomer generation. They are somewhere between 50 and 68 years of age, and there are about 75 million of them in the U.S.—nearly a quarter of the population. Empty-nesters are parents who currently don’t have any of their kids living with at home. Most empty-nest buyers are looking for a permanent address to settle down in as they hit their later years. The question is, what features make a home most desirable to empty nesters?

Moderate Space

What can be slightly tricky […]


Portland Green Homes Demonstrate Altruism and Practicality

Whether we see it as evidence of the advance of a wider green homes movement or simply of rising environmental consciousness, Portland green homes are becoming properties with a distinct marketable sales advantage. What were once viewed as altruistic gestures practiced by only the most dedicated preservationists are going mainstream—and at a rapid clip. The National Association of Realtors® recently found that 70% of those surveyed believe eco-friendly features add value to a home. In other words, the practical advantages of ‘going green’ are becoming more and more evident to prospective buyers.

For sure, one reason for the increasing popularity of green homes in Portland is a growing and sincere concern about sustainability.

But there’s also another reason: a growing and equally sincere desire to save cash!

There are in fact a number of practical reasons why green homes save their owners money—

  • Tankless water heaters are one example of a technology that’s been around for a while, but which is now gathering popularity. The engineering is based on the fact that constantly storing and re-heating of a volume […]