I want to downsize to a condo from my remodeled SW Portland home. Are houses a better investment than condos?

Asked by Karen Marie, 97225 Sun Sep 28, 2008

I want a condo in the 937 building, but the prices are ridiculous (close to $600/sq ft). I know the neighborhood well, and this is the building (SW Corner) I want. What are the chances that the prices of these units will decrease in the next few months to make it worth it? Should we wait for the holidays or the Spring? Please look at my house (I have it on the market as corporate housing) to assess quick comparison: http://www.undomoderndwellings.com

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Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Sep 30, 2008
Keryn, In the past 3 years a condo was the best investment as investor drove the prices up and resold them before they closed ther first itme. As prices soared they have settled down and in the end a house in a prime location will be the best buy in my opinion. There are 5 units pending in 937 today and they are selling for $325+ a foot since they are 1 bedrooms and the penthouse also pending. You are right the medium sized units are about $600 a foot. The best buy is always a resale. None in there. If sales slow and the builder cannot sell out he will reduce the price and you are stuck. The best building to go into is an almost sold out building with just a few units to finally sell. The building in the first year or two usually have maintenance problems so it is good to see what happens? Some of the building down there in the Pearl came out great. I am not sure why you like this building is it because of the energy savings? You will pay more for this life style and choice. There are foreclosures that are great deals but you have to be ready to buy today. Is your house free and clear so you are not making payments and you want your rent from the house to cover your payments at the 937? You can not compare houses and condos the life styles are different. You can always wait and see where the interest rates are? For every 1/2 point increase in rates at $200,000 your buying power goes down $19,000 so these units would have to really drop allot if the rates go up 1/2 point. Buyers are going to have a harder time qualifying for a loan after Oct 1, 2008 since rates will be adjusted off their credit score. That might affect you but it could affect your buyer of your home. You presently don't have your house for sale. The house on your street has been on the market for 3 months and has reduced the price only 10% how do you compare to that house? Good Luck,
Tom Inglesby, Broke
RE/MAX Equity Group Inc.
0 votes
Cary Perkins, Agent, portland, OR
Mon Nov 3, 2008

Perhaps the sellers would like to close a few before year-end. I would recommend writing your best offer and seeing what happens. Once the election is over, things will undoubtedly calm down. I think an offer in this slow period will get some serious attention!

And then you'll know.

And you might find that you're interested in exploring hip alternatives in the detached housing market.

If I can help you, I'd love to. I'm right in the neighborhood.

Cary Perkins
Northwest 20th & Johnson
Web Reference:  http://caryperkins.com
0 votes
Janeese Jack…, Agent, Portland, OR
Sat Oct 25, 2008
Keryn: I had just one afterthought on this question that somehow I missed! I presently own 3 condos (and have owned 6 different condo/townhomes in my time as well as several detached homes) so I know condos very well and (obviously) believe in them as an investment vehicle and as a way to enjoy some "easy living"!! However, I must add that when the market cycles (and, they always do) condos do take the hit first and often come out of a slump last. That's just something you factor into your decision for your primary residence and into the numbers and qualifications for an investment property....
Janeese Jackson, Principal Broker
Real Estate Resource
0 votes
Brian Lawson, , Portland, OR
Thu Oct 2, 2008
Price reductions in a new building such as the 937 will depend on many factors; mainly pre-sales, inventory and time on the market. The green features will also add value to the building and make it more desirable. I wouldn't expect to see a bargain buy in the building for some time, unless sales drastically stall, but it may happen somewhat sooner than expected with the high inventory these days.

I agree with Tom that your best bet for a bargain, in the immediate future, would be a re-sale that has been on the market for a while. If you could compromise with another building that has similar features in the same location, you could put some extra equity into the unit to make it more unique and too your liking. In turn, it would help your appreciation and re-sale value down the road.

I would be happy to speak to you further about this, as my office has been heavily involved in condos for the past few years.

Brian Lawson
Windermere Pacific Northwest
EA STAR Certified
Web Reference:  http://www.windermerepnw.com
0 votes
John Reilly, Both Buyer And Seller, Portland, OR
Thu Oct 2, 2008
Buy the condo. What is the price of your lifestyle? Its like art. If you love it you better buy it or you may not get it.

Living in a condo in the pearl is like a pedicure for your soul. Why hesitate. Life's short. Price your house to sell and get going. All real estate in Portland goes up over time. Condos will be right back up next year.
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