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By David Waite | Agent in Beaverton, OR
  • Should you Buy or Sell This Year?

    Posted Under: General Area, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  October 21, 2014 9:18 AM  |  25 views  |  No comments


    "How's the market?" is one of the most popular questions that real estate professionals are asked. Nationally, home prices are still considered affordable, homes are on the market for less time, interest rates are still low and more than two-thirds of Americans say that now is a good time to buy. Here's an overview of national housing market trends.

    •      40% of Americans say that now is a good time to sell
    •      70% say it's a good time to buy
    •      Median existing home price in June was $223,300, up 4.3% from June 2013
    •      Average sales price of a new home sold in May 2014 was 319,200
    •      3.5 million U.S. Properties rose out of negative equity from 2013 to 2014 due to rising home prices
    •      In the past year, existing home and condo sales rose 11% to 5.29 million, close to the highest level in 4 years.


    If you want to know more about the local market, contact me! I'm happy to give you the scoop about our local real estate market.

  • The Perfect Portland Neighborhood for You:

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Insurance, Investment Properties  |  October 14, 2014 7:46 AM  |  60 views  |  No comments

     For the past three years, Portland Monthly has been cautiously optimistic (at best) about our city’s slow-simmering real estate market. But 2013 saw a surge of good news. Home buying is up—way up. Whether you’re a solo first-time buyer, you’ve expanded into a young family, or you’ve just sent your last kid packing to college, there’s a perfect place for you in Portland.

    Almost half of our neighborhoods have returned to the median home prices they enjoyed five years ago. In many places, crime is down. Rosy outlooks abound. Indeed, a whopping 73 percent of people who took Portland Monthly's readers survey think it’s a good time to buy—and to sell—a home.

    In light of this citywide burst of confidence, Portland Monthly magazine highlighted five Portland neighborhoods that illustrate the promise of a new era in real estate.

    •     Best Neighborhood For: First Time Home Buyers:


    Few neighborhoods saw more activity than Portsmouth last year. The average home in this almost exclusively residential patch of land north of Lombard Street was built in 1959, during a postwar frenzy that stocked the area with relatively small houses. Such homes are within the reach of our growing population of young singles and couples (61 percent of Portsmouth residents are single or unmarried). While Portsmouth doesn’t contain much commercial development (there’s a Taco Bell!), close proximity to the increasingly vibrant (and more expensive) Cathedral Park/St. Johns and Kenton more than make up for the lack. Indeed, the neighborhood’s prime location has spurred a sharp drop in median age (31). Eminently walkable (with or without strollers), Portsmouth packs in four parks, including one of Portland’s largest greenspaces, the 35-acre Columbia Park.

    Also check out: Cathedral Park (N), Brentwood-Darlington (SE)

    •     Best Neighborhood For: Families:


    This sleepy little neighborhood may not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue (it’s closer to Tigard than to downtown Portland), but for parents in search of a secure investment—and an affordable entry point inside the city—it has few rivals. Ashcreek’s snaking, tree-lined residential streets are among the safest in Portland, and kids at the local schools consistently test high in math, English, and science. The median home price is $325,000—but due to the fact that Ashcreek has some of the lowest costs per square foot of any traditional, family-oriented neighborhood in Portland, scaling up to fit a growing family is a viable option here.

    •     Best Neighborhood For: Urbanites:


    “Urban” doesn’t just mean high-rises and traffic. It can also describe a place that captures the spirit of the city. And that is just what this inner Southeast neighborhood does. Through a combination of coincidence and planning, what used to be a quiet neighborhood dominated by Craftsman homes has become one of the brightest epicenters of the city’s creative class. Coffee shops, bookstores, theaters, and yoga classes pepper the corridors of Hawthorne and Division, while an unrivaled smattering of restaurants makes it a serious tourist destination. Meanwhile, Division’s reinvention has spawned some 250 units of new multifamily housing in the past four years: a prime opportunity for those who value location and density over picket fences. Keep in mind that values here are likely to keep rising (median prices jumped nearly 9 percent over the last year), so now may be the time to jump in. 

    Also Check out: Goose Hollow (SW), Foster-Powell (SE), Hollywood (NE)

    •     Best Neighborhood For: Investors:


    It’s telling, perhaps, that Sellwood began its life as a separate city. Long after its annexation in 1893, the perception of this quaint little neighborhood with its rickety bridge was at best a quasi-suburb, and at worst a bland community of perfectly synchronized biological clocks. But these days, Sellwood has never seemed more alive. With connections to downtown and other parts of Southeast Portland via the Springwater Corridor (as well as the coming MAX line), the neighborhood has seen a flurry of new restaurants and shops, as well as a reinforced bridge. And last year, a surge in home sales brought prices back to the same level as five years ago. With houses selling faster than most parts of the city (homes here are on the market for an average of just 39 days), continued upward growth is very likely. 

    Also Check outConcordia (NE), St. Johns (N), Arbor Lodge (N)

    •     Best For: Empty-nesters:


    It’d be a stretch to call this gleaming bristle of high-rises poking out of the west bank of the Willamette the “other downtown.” But with nine 16-plus-story towers and a growing assortment of high-end stores and restaurants scattered throughout its 140-acre footprint, it may be getting closer. Indeed, this carefully manicured slice of riverfront property (technically a section of the “South Portland” neighborhood, which also includes John’s Landing and Lair Hill) was first nurtured in 1999 by urban renewal dollars, and is home for 3,000 med students, doctors, retirees, and others—75 percent without children. And with the Milwaukie-bound MAX line nearing completion and a new pedestrian greenway providing an easy commute into the central city, South Waterfront is becoming a more integral Portland neighborhood each day.  

    Also Check out: Happy Valley, Northwest Portland, Sauvie Island



  • What is Your Walk Score?

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Investment Properties  |  October 7, 2014 8:23 AM  |  53 views  |  No comments

    Walk score is a number given to an address or neighborhood based on its "walk-ability". The Walk Score algorithm awards points based on the distance to the closest amenity in each category. If the closest amenity in a category is within .25 miles, the maximum number of points area assigned. The number of points declines as the distance approaches 1 mile, no points are awarded for amenities further than 1 mile. Each category is weighted equally and the points are summed and normalized to yield a score from 0–100. The number of nearby amenities is the leading predictor of whether people walk. Relevant amenities include "businesses, parks, theaters, schools and other common destinations.

    So how does your home, or potential home score?


    90-100 Points is considered a walkers paradise where daily errands do not require a car.

    70-89 Is a very walkable score. Most errands can be accomplished by foot.

    50-69 Points is a somewhat walkable score. Some errands can be accomplished by foot but many need a car.

    0-49 Points is considered a poor walk score. Most to all errand require a car.

    Walkscore.com's mission is to promote walkable neighborhoods with the belief that such neighborhoods are one of the simplest and best solutions for the environment, our health and our economy.

    http://portlandrealestateblog.com/                                                                                                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_Score                                                                                                                             http://www.walkscore.com/

  • Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

    Posted Under: Quality of Life, Home Buying, Military Movers  |  September 30, 2014 11:45 AM  |  78 views  |  No comments

    We all know that gratitude can make you feel more appreciative, but did you know that it can also benefit your overall health? Here are five benefits of having an attitude of gratitude.

    1. You’ll be less stressed. Grateful people tend to have lower anxiety levels. This is perhaps due to the fact that being grateful helps you to maintain perspective. The next time you feel yourself freaking out about a deal or anything else in life, write down three things that you feel thankful for.

    2. You’ll sleep better. Instead of counting sheep at night, count your blessings. When you fall asleep feeling grateful, you’ll experience a better quality of sleep.

    3. You’ll have stronger relationships. When you appreciate the people around you, you build stronger bonds with them and can enjoy a more positive relationship.

    4. You’re more likely to reach your goals. Being grateful for what you have may increase your willpower, which will help you to persevere in the face of challenges. And that perseverance will help you to reach your goals.

    5. You’ll be happier. What’s a secret to happiness? It could be a grateful attitude. Taking stock of your life can help you appreciate all of the good that’s in it. And when you appreciate what you have, you’ll be happier.

    Practice gratitude today!

    Referral Maker Plan Your Business August 21, 2014

  • Top 10 Advantages of a VA Loan

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Insurance, Military Movers  |  September 23, 2014 9:22 AM  |  95 views  |  2 comments

    1.   A VA loan is a mortgage loan in the United States guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA loans are designed to help active-duty military personnel, veterans and their surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry).


    1.No Down Payment: Most home loan programs require at least a small down payment to buy a home, not necessary for a VA loan.


    2. NO mortgage insurance: Typically a lender will require a home buyer to pay for mortgage insurance if the down payment is less that 20%. A VA loan does not require a down payment, or mortgage insurance, making a VA loan very affordable upfront and over time.


    3. Ability to Shop and Compare: VA loans are neither originated nor funded by the VA. Furthermore, mortgage rates for VA loans aren't set by the VA itself. VA loans are instead offered by U.S. banks, credit unions, and mortgage lenders; each of which sets their own VA loan rates and fees, allowing the option for shopping around.


    4. U.S. Government guarantee: The federal government guarantees that a portion of the loan will be repaid to the lender even if the Veteran is unable to make monthly payments for whatever reason. Allowing VA loans to come with favorable terms.


    5. Easy to Qualify: VA loans tend to be more flexible because The Department of Veterans Affairs genuinely want to make it easier for Veterans to buy a home or refinance.


    6. No Prepayment Penalty: VA loans will not restrict your right to sell or refinance your home.


    7. Loan options: VA loans can have a fixed rate, or an adjustable rate.


    8. Funding Fee Flexibility: VA loans require a "funding fee" which is included in your loan amount, reducing cash needed at closing.


    9. Lower Closing Costs: The VA limits closing costs lenders can charge to VA loan applicants.


    10. Assumable Financing: Most VA loans are "assumable", meaning you can transfer your VA loan to a future home buyer if that person is also VA-eligible


    Want to take advantage of a VA loan? Visit Oregon's leading VA loan specialists at Oswego Mortgage


    Lori Manley MyMortgageBroker.us

  • 4 FAQ's About Home Inspections Answered

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Property Q&A  |  September 17, 2014 10:18 AM  |  93 views  |  No comments

    Below are answers to some questions often asked about home inspections.

    Q: Why should I pay to have the home inspected? It looks fine.

    A: Evan Swanson with Mortgage Trust explains it best: “With an inspection you are

    hiring a professional to come in and be an advocate for your future interest in the


    Have you gotten on your hands and knees and inched your way through the

    crawlspace? Did you peer under sinks, run the shower and all the faucets? Did you turn

    on the heater and/or air conditioner? Your inspector will. There’s a reason home

    inspections take between 3-4 hours, depending on the size of the home.

    “Inspectors will dig through every nook and cranny of the structure and test all the

    major systems to determine what possible fixes lie in store should you buy that home,”

    said Swanson.

    Q: Does the home inspection cover every potential issue that could go awry in the


    A: No. Numerous additional inspections are available to buyers, and both Caplan and

    Swanson recommend buyers talk to the inspector about what else might need to be

    inspected. Your Realtor® can also provide you a list of inspections that you can

    consider. For example, common inspections to our area include:

    ·         Sewer scope: Yes, watching footage of your sewer line as the inspector runs a tiny

    camera down the pipe is pretty gross. But, if you find roots growing through the line or

    other issues, it could save you a lot of money.

    ·         Radon: This test detects the presence of the odorless, colorless cancer-causing gas that

    inspectors are finding more and more in our region.

    ·         Underground storage tank: If it is present, buyers should ensure there are no leaks or

    other damage to the tank.

    There are a multitude of other inspections, including fireplace/chimney, asbestos, pest

    and dry rot, structural, plumbing system, and others.

    Buying a home is often the biggest purchase a household will make in their lifetime.

    There’s always a risk things will break or fail—but be proactive and mitigate that risk

    by paying close attention to your professional home inspection.

    Q: Why do I have to pay for both an appraisal and a home inspection? Aren’t they the

    same thing?

    A: Remember, the home inspector is your advocate. The appraiser is, essentially,

    working for the bank. Swanson explains: “With an appraisal, the bank is requiring you

    to hire a professional that is doing a very cursory inspection of the home. The

    appraiser’s primary objective is to value the home by comparing it with other recently

    sold homes that are similar in composition and relatively close in location. In nearly all

    circumstances an appraisal cannot be relied on to judge the condition of the home.”

    Q: Do I need to be there while the inspector works?

    A: Not necessarily. Our Realtor® experts see value in being present to meet the

    inspector. “A buyer should speak to their inspector before the inspection begins to

    express any particular concerns or relay any information they may have received from

    the seller about the property (like recent repairs or remodeling),” advised Richard

    Caplan, Windermere Stellar.

    Buyers don’t need to follow along with the inspector, but Caplan suggests it is

    important to be there at the conclusion of the inspection. “Reviewing specific issues

    (including any future maintenance recommendations or suggestions) pointed out by an

    inspector allows a buyer to actually see issues and ask about any remedies or further

    inspections needed,” said Caplan.



  • VA finally recognizes same-sex marriages!

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Oregon, Home Buying in Oregon, Property Q&A in Oregon  |  October 7, 2013 7:36 AM  |  566 views  |  No comments


    VA Recognizes Spousal Income In Same-Sex Marriages


    In Circular 26-13-18, the Veterans Benefits Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs announced new lender processing guidelines that allow the income of same-sex spouses to be considered when qualifying veterans for VA mortgage financing. The purpose of this change is to allow the benefits for same-sex married couples to be consistent with the process used for opposite-sex married couples.

    Previously, if a veteran obtained  a VA mortgage loan with anyone other than his or her opposite-sex spouse, VA could only guarantee the veteran’s portion of the loan. VA will now review applications for the home loan guaranty benefit submitted by married same-sex couples. Since state laws are not uniform on same-sex, marriages, these reviews will be on a case-by-case basis to determine whether same-sex married couples can use both spouses’ incomes to qualify for a loan.

    When processing a mortgage loan application for same-sex married couples, lenders will be required to submit the following information the the VA Regional Loan Center for the state where the subject property is located:  (1) date and state of marriage; (2) state of residence at the time of marriage; (3) state where the subject property is located; (4) current state of residence; and (5) estimated date of loan closing. The VA staff will then notify the mortgage lender if both spouses’ incomes may be applied.

    Real estate professionals may wish to share these new guidelines with same-sex married couples that wish to use VA mortgage financing for the purchase of a residence.

    For more info contact your Oregon VA specialist:

    David Waite

    503-887-5323 or waite-david@msn.com

    This blog was re-blogged from a top agent from the Maryland suburbs of Washingon DC.  Thank you Roy Kelley for the timely blog. 

    Contact Information:

    Call or Text David S Waite at (503)887-5323 for more details

    To find more properties in your area please visit my website at: http://propertyinportland.com

    - See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4213717/va-finally-recognizes-same-sex-marriages-#sthash.iSnDMiP8.dpuf
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