1. Make sure you are READY

Making a commit to OWN a home is a big deal! It is one that takes a lot of planning, courage and maintenance. Many young people buy a home that they can afford and that fits their needs for RIGHT NOW – which is OK. Just make sure when doing so you are making plans for the future, you want to be able to make a return on this investment – if/when you decide to sell in 3-5 years. Make sure you think all the details over and over – and then maybe one more time!

  1. Know your finances

Buying a home will most likely be the largest purchase you will ever make in your life. So, in order to do that – you definitely need to understand and know your finances. Your salary, current expenses and spending habits will be a huge factor once you meet with your lender. Remember, your mortgage won’t be your only expense when buying a home – there will be costs like […]


Home Searches Include This Elastic Parameter

Once a home search gets underway, even prospective buyers who hadn’t hardened up the prices they were aiming for begin to hone in on a target range. Even a cursory excursion into the Portland listings forces the issue. Anyone who is at all serious about finding a new home sees the correlation between the listed asking prices and ‘how much house’ is available in that range. In most cases, lower prices denote features that are, for one reason or another, not very popular. Higher prices can mean the opposite: top-of-the-line quality… (or an overly optimistic seller).

So once a home search has narrowed the field to the Portland offerings that meet at least the minimum physical requirements, the lower number of the price range is established. If a realistic family budget shows more to spare, more expensive possibilities can be explored. But first, it’s also a good idea to make at least one revision to those budgetary assumptions, because there’s one area where the actual costs of home ownership can […]


Portland Metro Area Mortgage Rates Projected to Rise Sooner Rather than Later

imagesNow that we are deep into July, with summer in full swing, there might be vague thoughts running through your mind about some potential real estate moves—but certainly not until the fall. Right now all most of us are thinking about is whether another chilled glass of summer-something-or-other is in order. Mortgage rates and what the folks in Washington might be doing to affect them are not exactly top of mind on an idyllic July afternoon.

However, if you’ve been paying attention to any newscasts long enough to reach the economic stories they throw in toward the end of the broadcasts, you may have an inkling that conditions are about to change. And the evidence does suggest that mortgage rates in Portland and surrounding areas face a likely increase come fall. If you’re among those considering buying or selling a home in Portland this year, now should be the time to stop “thinking”and start “doing”.

Exhibit A for that proposition comes from one Michael C. Fratantoni, who happens to be the Chief Economist of […]


Explore Portland’s Waterfront Park

It’s Spring!  Let’s go for a walk.

Let’s walk through Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Downtown Portland and run up a clean grassy hill, past folks playing Frisbee or picnicking while gazing out at the Willamette River and the east side of the city.

Let’s walk past a seafood restaurant resting on the river and order fish and chips and a soda while we enjoy the sights of the city— and the sight of the lovely lady sitting across from me.

Let’s take a walk past the moorings used for anchoring the ginormous boats during the Rose Festival; a festival which reminds us why this amazing city is called the City of Roses.  Let’s keep moving through the park, past the bridges that crisscross the city and make travel from East to West Portland a breeze.

Let’s walk past friendly bearded gentlemen playing acoustic guitar while people dance. I never saw the sixties, but I imagine this is what the sixties were like.

Let’s walk past the fountains, where children play in the summer, business men and women enjoy their lunch breaks, tourists stop to take […]


When to Buy What: How to Find Bargains Year-Round

Close your eyes and picture this:

It’s the third Friday of November-1am, parking lot full of mini-vans and soccer-mom mobiles, bundled up shoppers shrouded in fleece are lined up at the locked doors of any major retailer in America- all determined to just save a few bucks. That’s right- it’s Black Friday. Quick open your eyes- it sounds more like a horror film doesn’t it?!

I get it- these days it is almost embarrassing to admit to paying full retail price for major purchases like home electronics or appliances. And why should you? There are TONS of ways to save all year long! From “members only” discount shopping sites like (a personal fave) to discount retailers like or TJ Maxx, consumers today have so many ways to avoid paying full retail all without waiting in a parking lot in the middle of the night!

According to a few recent studies (Decide Inc, Wall Street Journal and, consumers can actually be strategic all year long as they plan their purchases to get the most bang for their buck. Additional reports from AARP and LifeHacker […]