I am a young professional thinking about buying a 2 bedroom condo. Pearl District or South Waterfront. Is now good time?

Asked by Sam Chang, 97209 Fri Jan 18, 2013

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Bob Hoerner Mlo 978954’s answer
Bob Hoerner…, , Portland, OR
Wed Jan 23, 2013
I would say this is a good time to be buying, as values in and around Portland as a whole have been increasing and based on most Real Estate experts we will continue to see values moving up. Having selected the area you wish to be in I would recommend that you start by meeting with a lender like myself to be pre-approved for a purchase. My reason is that in a market like what we are now in many Realtors and Sellers want to look at offers only if they know have the approval in place.

When you are looking at condo’s some areas you will want address as you will have a home owners association which has rules that all owners agree to. Make sure you have had time to read and are aware of what it means to own a condo in a chosen building. Rules cover things like having pets, guest visiting, upkeep and care for all common areas. Have your Realtor also check if there is any ongoing legal issue that may affect your ability to get a loan or may mean HOA dues increases.

Next is the Home Owners Association Dues (HOA) which covers common area upkeep and maintenance plus taxes and management fees. As a lender we do take this into account when approving a home buyer, so if you have some condo’s in mind please bring that information in so we can be of better help to you.

Last issue is parking for your condo, meaning is a space or two included or not and if not can you purchase one. If no parking is available learn what is around the area and what monthly cost would be to have 24/7 access and no worries of where your car will be.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions or need my services.

Bob Hoerner MLO-978954
Pacific Residential Mortgage
0 votes
Brad Golik, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Jan 18, 2013
Hello Sam,

I recently answered a question very similar to yours so if you don't mind, I am going to cut & paste part of my previous answer:

As many agents have said here, yes now is a very good time to make a condo purchase! Prices have been increasing in the Pearl and will only continue to rise. As you now know, inventory is very low right now so my best advice would be to be patient to make sure you find the condo of your dreams! Don't be scared into thinking that everything will be gone and you must make a rush decision. More condos will continue to come onto the market especially as we head into spring. I specialize with condos in the Pearl, downtown and Southwaterfront and would be happy to assist you in your search for the perfect place! This past week I have had tremendous activity in my condo listings so the buyers are now out and looking... there will be competition for buyers with these low inventory levels. In being patient, you will find opportunities that come along, they always do! While prices will continue going up (nationally expected to be 3-5% this year and slightly higher for Portland) keep in mind that the banking association expects rates to be up to 4.5% by year end. This could be the difference in buying a 1 bedroom unit in the future compared to a 2 bedroom unit right now... depending on your price point and if this is of importance to you.

I would highly recommend getting out to look at units right now! Continue to look at condos and lofts as they come on the market. Look at many! When the right one comes along, you will know it! That will be the time you need to step up and make an offer.
When buying a condo I suggest working with a specialist in the condo arena. A condo specialist is in that market EVERYDAY. This person will help you understand the things you need to know when buying a condo ...HOA reserves, restrictions, rental caps, pet policies, values, values of parking spaces and storage spaces, which buildings have litigation issues and what that means to a buyer etc. Knowing what is or is not a good value will be important information for you to have when you go to make your decision. As for buying a foreclosed property, there are not many out there and there will be less as we move forward so I wouldn't count on it.

Now to compare the Pearl to South Waterfront. I would suggest taking a look at many properties in both areas. South Waterfront is certainly less expensive but that is only relevant if that is an area that you do like. South Waterfront is much less busy and the noise levels are much less but you can also hop on the streetcar and be into the Pearl in no time at all. Both locations are great and it really comes down to your personal preferences. The most important thing for you to do right now is to get out and start looking at numerous properties, after a while, the answer will become very clear to you as to where you decide you want to live. Please call me if I can assist you. Until then please visit my websites for additional information.

Best of Luck!

Brad Golik
2 votes
Brad. Terrific answer!! I am actually a buyer as well and have been looking to around... I think I have narrowed my search to the Atwater I am ok on this possible purchase but if not I would def want to speak with you... It is a tight market around there!! What are your thoughts of that building and the area??
Flag Wed Sep 18, 2013
Brad Golik, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Dec 18, 2013
I am "Really" surprised that you would post such a stupid post!
Part of being a good real estate agent starts with trust and honesty. You are trying to deceive buyers by your post. If you want buyers to go to your website...just say it!
1 vote
Heidi Corday, , Portland, OR
Thu Apr 25, 2013
Hi Sam,

It absolutely is a great time to purchase here in the Pearl District if you haven't already. I live and sell real estate in the Pearl District and have been part of several transactions on condo units receiving several offers at a time with low inventory and low interest rates... units are selling fast!

Please let me know how I can help.


Here's my facebook page as well, it's all about the living and real estate in the Pearl!

1 vote
Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Feb 11, 2013
The inventory is getting tighter by the day. Rents are up 4% this past year and they were up 12% the year before the most current article in the paper last month. There are no more short sales that drive the prices down so now we are back to normal sellers and buyers and with rates at 3.5% now is the best time to buy if you didn't buy 6 months or more ago when that was the bottom. Most of Portland has turned the corner and some areas did it 18 months ago. I have been in 7-12 offers this year on numerous new listings and the buyers are seeing the prices rise by the month. Good luck to you. Tom Inglesby, Broker
1 vote
, ,
Mon Feb 10, 2014
Hi Sam,

I too am going to cut and paste an answer from a previous posting.

Looks like you got some great advice below. I'll throw in that interest rates are fantastic right now which depending on your timing could be a factor. I have had quite a few clients buy in the Pearl recently and all of them have been happy with their decisions. Home values will continue to rise (albeit a bit slower that last year) and rates look to be on the rise. You may have missed the bottom, but I believe that given market factors now is still a great time to buy. Good luck!!
0 votes
Jean Rychlik, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jan 28, 2014
All good answers. Prices have been inching up, as well as interest rates.
0 votes
Portland Real…, , Portland, OR
Thu Jan 23, 2014
It depends what you're looking for. While South Waterfront is starting to rebound prices have skyrocketed, while the Pearl has climbed more steadily. If you're looking for a more reliable investment the Pearl is lower risk as South Waterfront is still getting its legs as a new neighborhood.

Ultimately I'd suggest it boils down to the type of livability you want. If you prefer a walkable neighborhood the Pearl is more established. If you like the ease of getting to the eastside then South Waterfront might be a better pick.
0 votes
Derek Goude, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Dec 17, 2013
I'm really surprised nobody mentioned http://www.portlandareahomesales.com/

Along the left side you can select Pearl District or South Waterfront. I use it all the time and it's super easy. The information about homes is 'unlocked' also which makes it a great tool to quickly refine your search.

At the top of the page there is a market insider tab that will show you the most current market information for that particular neighborhood. You will easily be able to decide if it's the right time for you to buy or not.

Hope this is helpful.
0 votes
davemullan, , 97220
Thu Oct 31, 2013
Hi Sam
This might seem like an odd question but did you receive a package from UPS on Monday 10/28?
0 votes
The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jun 5, 2013
Better hurry! Inventory is low and demand is super high. Prices are predicted to climb high and fast in downtown Portland over the next few years. Buy now or lose out later. I don't always say this, but today that is true.
0 votes
Rene Gillette…, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jun 4, 2013
Hi Sam,

Great question. I have lived in the Pearl area for the past 4 years and just recently moved to the South Waterfront. There are definitely pros and cons to both. It will really depend on the type of area and amenities you are looking to live around. The South Waterfront is growing and so may not have all of the benefits of walking out of your door to a plethora of options for food, drink and stores. However, it does have some things that make it a great place to invest while you watch it grow.

Like other agents have suggested, getting into different units in both locations will be the most beneficial for you to compare the two and get a feel for the locations. If you have more questions regarding my experience feel free to email me.

0 votes
Sam Chang, Renter, 97209
Thu Jan 31, 2013
Thank you to all for your answers, very helpful!
0 votes
Paul Campbell, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jan 29, 2013
I think everyone is in agreement on this one Sam! I would be happy to send you listings of properties in the area and schedule showings for you. If it is more convenient for you to search listings on your own, we have a great site at http://www.portlandpropertyfinders.com that will allow you to search by price, area, sq footage, etc.

Let me know if we can be of assistance in any way!


Marshall Rosario
Customer Service Manager
Stellar Realty NW
503-427-9233 x108
fax 503.200.2287
0 votes
Paul Johnson, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Jan 28, 2013
Hi Sam,

From an investment perspective, today is a better day to buy than tomorrow. With inventory and rates low we are at a juxtaposition of epic proportions. Now may be the best time to buy in your lifetime. You almost cant go wrong! Along with the pearl, considering the South Waterfront is smart. This area is on the verge of explosion. If you talk with commercial experts, the infrastructure is being laid for tremendous growth. If you buy there now, it is already much lower than the Pearl and has potential to grow at a rate much higher. But ultimately homes aren't bought purely for investment. You have to way your lifestyle as well. A home is where you live. It becomes the center of your life. Take your time and choose wisely. Find an agent who knows the market and has the patience to get it right on your behalf! If you'd like to chat with me, call anytime. I'll buy you a cup of coffee and we can collaborate.


Paul Johnson
0 votes
Karla Divine,…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Jan 18, 2013
Great time...inventory low but there is one heck of a deal available with large square foot and double parking....call me and we can talk about it.
Karla Divine, Prinipal Broker 503-819-6923
0 votes
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