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July Market Action 2020 Stats!

Road sign of Lovejoy street

July Residential Highlights New listings (4,236) increased 6.8% from the 3,966 listed in July 2019, and increased 15.8% from the 3,658 listed in June 2020.

Pending sales (3,656) increased 21.9% from the 2,998 offers accepted in July 2019, and increased 0.1% from the 3,654 offers accepted in June 2020.

Closed sales (3,391) increased 15.2% from the 2,944 closings in July 2019, and increased 25.2% from the 2,709 closings in June 2020.

Inventory and Total Market Time Inventory decreased to 1.2 months in July. Total market time held steady at 42 days.

Year-to-Date Summary Comparing the first seven months of 2020 to the same period in 2019, new listings (23,430) decreased 12.0%, pending sales (18,904) increased 0.7%, and closed sales (16,434) decreased 2.8%.

Average and Median Sale Prices Comparing 2020 to 2019 through July, the average sale price has increased 3.7% from $458,300 to $475,400. In the same comparison, the median sale price has increased 4.5% from $408,000 to $426,500.

My Newest Listing!



Welcome home! Lovely 1 level 1950's Ranch with hardwoods, 1 1/2 bathrooms, air conditioning & cheerful large sunny yard with fresh landscaping & covered deck. Only blocks to the fun: New Seasons, food carts, University/Northgate/Columbia Parks, & all that Vibrant St Johns/N Portland has to offer. Updates include newer roof, stainless steel appliances, Nest thermostat, & side fencing with security feature. All appliances included. 90 Bike score! *3D tour available for viewing remotely.

Check out the amazing Matterport tour here:

And more photos here!

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Latest Market Action Report June 2019

June Residential Highlights Pending sales saw the sole gain this June in the Portland metro area. At 3,083, pending sales rose 0.8% compared with June 2018 (3,059) despite decreasing 6.3% from last month in May 2019 (3,292). New listings, at 4,281, fell 5.2% short of the 4,515 new listings offered last year in June 2018 and 12.7% from last month in May 2019 (4,902). Closed sales performed similarly, ending 6.4% under the 2,946 closings recorded in June 2018 and 7.2% below the 2,969 closings from May 2019. Inventory rose slightly to 2.4 months in June. Total market time decreased to 42 days in the same period. There were 6,735 active residential listings in the Portland metro area this June. Year to Date Summary Activity is mixed so far in 2019 compared with 2018. New listings (22,599) are up 2.4%, while pending sales (15,956) are down 2.1% and closed sales (13,842) are down 4.8%. Average and Median Sale Prices Comparing 2019 to 2018 through June, the average sale price has increased 0.7% from $453,400 to $456,700. In the same comparison, the median sale price has increased 1.8% from $400,000 to $407,000.

February Market Action 2019

Activity in Portland was mixed this February, but some gains were seen compared with last month. Closed sales, at 1,726, rose 19.0% ahead of the 1,451 closings recorded last month in January 2019, but fell 4.4% short of the 1,806 closings recorded last year in February 2018. Pending sales (2,208) fared similarly, ending 5.5% under the 2,337 offers accepted in February 2018 but rising 8.0% over the 2,045 pending sales from January 2019. New listings, at 2,444, fell 3.4% short of February 2018 (2,530) and 19.8% short of January 2019 (3,048). This was the coolest February for new listings in the Portland metro area since 2014, when 2,354 were put on the market.

Oregonian Article Making the Rounds


Latest Market Action Report

Data from RMLS of Oregon

September Residential Highlights Cooler numbers came to the Portland metro area this September. New listings (3,606) fell 1.0% short of the 3,644 new listings offered last year in September 2017 and 14.4% short of the 4,214 new listings offered last month in August 2018. Similarly, pending sales (2,471) decreased 9.5% from September 2017 (2,730) and 10.5% from August 2018 (2,760). There were 2,272 closings in September, a 14.6% decrease from September 2017 (2,660) and a 23.4% decrease from August 2018 when 2,967 closings were recorded. September saw inventory rise to 3.1 months, with total market time rising by five days to 45 days. There were 7,082 active residential listings on the market in the Portland metro area in September.

Year to Date Summary Activity so far in 2018 is mixed compared to 2017. New listings (34,440) are up 2.6%. Pending sales (24,161) are down 2.8% and closed sales (22,983) are down 3.5% for the year so far. Average and Median Sale Prices Comparing 2018 to 2017 through September of each year, the average sale price rose 5.8% from $428,800 to $453,800. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 5.3% from $379,900 to $400,000.

News_Events Graphic

NAR Economist Looks At The Current Housing Market


NAR economist Yun looks at the housing market 10 years after the Great Recession

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A full decade after U.S. housing markets were crushed by the so-called Great Recession, which led to a major crisis that saw thousands of homes foreclosed upon, things have improved drastically since then. Home values have risen to record highs in many markets, well above pre-recession levels, and foreclosures have fallen to historic lows.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, said that lending and regulatory reforms have also helped to prevent a new housing bubble from forming, in spite of concerns from other experts.

“Over the past 10 years, prudent policy reforms and consumer protections have strengthened lending standards and eliminated loose credit, as evidenced by the higher-than-normal credit scores of those who are able to obtain a mortgage and near record-low defaults and foreclosures, which contributed to the last recession,” Yun said. “Today, even as mortgage rates begin to increase and home sales decline in some markets, the most significant challenges facing the housing market stem from insufficient inventory and accompanying unsustainable home price increases.”

But even though inventory continues to be a problem, Yun says that overheating markets are likely to slow down soon. He said that many of the fastest growing markets are seeing prices rise due to insufficient supply rather than strong buyer demand. He added that markets such as Denver and Seattle are already showing signs of slowing down, but said that any fall in home sales is probably going to be connected to supply shortages and price increases.

“The answer is to encourage builders to increase supply, and there is a good probability for solid home sales growth once the supply issue is addressed,” Yun insisted. “Additional inventory will also help contain rapid home price growth and open up the market to prospective home buyers who are consequently—and increasingly—being priced out. In the end, slower price growth is healthier price growth.”

According to Yun, new construction grew by 7.2 percent year-over-year in July, but that’s still not enough to address the inventory shortages. One problem is that builders are struggling with costs, he said.

““Rising material costs and labor shortages do not help builders to be excited about business,” Yun said. “But the lumber tariff is a pure, unforced policy error that raises costs and limits job creation and more home building.”

Yun also thinks existing home sales will fall by around 1 percent to 5.46 million this year. However, he says home value appreciation should remain strong in most markets, rising by about 5 percent on average. Overall home sales should also grow in 2019 due to an increase in supply and moderate price growth, Yun said. he forecasts that existing home sales will rise by 2 percent in 2019, and home prices will rise by 3.5 percent.

How To Unclog Household Drains


So there you are, minding your own business while having a shave over the bathroom sink, when you see it. The water. It’s not draining. And your sink is threatening to overflow. You turn off the faucet and consider your options. Option 1: You freak out and start screaming. Option 2: You find a useful blog much like this one and learn how to handle a drain clog on your own.

Your Basic Clog-Clearing Toolkit

Depending on the age of your home and the type of pipes in your plumbing system, any of these items may be useful to keep around the house:

Rubber gloves. There’s a lot of fairly gross stuff that could be causing your clog. You really don’t want to touch that. Trust us on this.
Pipe wrench. When your sink trap is the source of the clog, this is all you need.
Bucket. Buckets are good for many things, including bailing out tubs and keeping clogged drains from dripping all over when you take them apart.
Hand plunger. These tiny plungers are great for sinks and tubs. Make sure you have caps for any double sinks in your house to help you create a strong vacuum..
Manual auger. When the going gets tough, or your drain is clogged a little bit deeper than a plunger can handle, sending an auger into the pipe can help you get things moving again. The longer the auger’s line, the further you can reach. Some are even made to hook to a power drill, giving you a little extra torque.

What’s not on this list, you may notice, is a chemical drain cleaner. There are several reasons for this. First, chemical drain cleaners can also cause pipes to corrode from the inside. When that happens, bits of rust can break off over time and cause a really hard clog that’s impossible to remove on your own. Secondly, if you do need to call in a pro, or you get fiesty and want to give the drain another go, the standing water will be caustic. You seriously don’t want that.

Time to Get To the Drains!

Clearing a drain is a pretty simple process. You can approach most drains in this order:

Step 1: Remove any drain covers or plugs.
Step 2: Use a flashlight to look inside the upper part of the drain. If you see hair or other debris plugging the way, put on gloves and pull it out. For stuff that’s really stuck, try a pair of needle nose pliers to get a better grip.
Step 3: If you don’t see anything immediately clogging the drain, open the trap and clear it out with a burst of water from another faucet that doesn’t drain using that particular trap.
Step 4: Nothing in the trap? Take the manual auger and feed it into the drain with the trap still detached, going into the wall. You’ll be flying blind here, so go slow and easy. Keep feeding the line until you meet the obstruction or run out of line. When you do find the clog, you will be able to punch a hole in it by rotating the feed line rapidly. Once the feed line moves smoothly, withdraw it from the drain line.
Step 5: Put everything back together and test the drain line by running the water again.

Did you succeed? If so, hooray!

If you still have standing water, you have a few options. You can plunge your heart out in hopes that you can move the clog along. You can also try repeating the steps above in case there is a clog deeper in the drain that you just missed.

This technique will work for most types of household drains, though those encased in cement or that drain up from a basement are a lot more complicated and will probably require a pro to unclog.

Drains can be incredibly frustrating to clear. Take your time and be thorough, that way you don’t have to keep going back into the drain.

September Calendar of Events Portland


The Loan Estimate Form Turns Oranges Into Apples


See full article here:

Shopping for a house can be stressful, but choosing a loan has the potential to be just as bad. There’s a lot to know, a small window in which to figure it all out and a 30 year commitment to a loan product that might just not be right for you for to worry about. All in all, it might be easier to remove your own inflamed appendix than to pick a mortgage.

The Loan Estimate Form and You

If you’ve already been to see one or more mortgage bankers or brokers and received a Loan Estimate form that explains your loan options, grab those now. If not, you can follow along with this dummied up copy provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This is definitely a blog that needs some real life props.

There are a lot of things to see on this form, but it’s a million times easier than the form that was its predecessor. The goal with the new Loan Estimate form was to make it more accessible for more people and, hopefully, easier to compare apples to apples. Let’s see what’s in your orchard.

The Big Question: What’s This Loan Cost?

One of the most important variables for many buyers is the monthly cost of their home loan. After all, the monthly payment is immediate and pressing. If you can’t make it, you have nowhere to live and bad things happen. Check out these items to figure your immediate costs:

Monthly Principal and Interest. You can find information on your monthly payment on the front page of the Loan Estimate form. Under the “Loan Terms” section, you’ll find the “Monthly Principal and Interest” line. That’s the base payment for your loan — and if there’s a big, fat “No” next to it, this is always going to be the base payment for your loan, until you sell, refinance or pay it off.

Balloon Payment. Two lines down is the “Balloon Payment” option. You want this to say “No” unless you have a plan to pay the loan off before the balloon hits. A balloon payment is an amount of money you still owe on the loan when the term is up. So, if you have a loan that has payments calculated like it’s a 30 year loan, but the balloon is expected in five, you essentially have to pay 25 years worth of payments all at once when that five year term is up.

Projected Payments. Pop on down to the section called “Projected Payments.” This section breaks your payment down into more parts. Not only is your base payment included, you’ll see a line for mortgage insurance and escrowed items (usually this includes taxes and homeowner’s insurance). If there’s a planned change in your loan payment, like the removal of mortgage insurance, your “Projected Payments” section will have more than one column for payment information. You’ll read this left to right to see how your payment changes over time.

Estimated Taxes, Insurance and Assessments. The escrowed items are detailed in this section. Normally, that’s one month’s worth of taxes, homeowner’s insurance and HOA fees.

Cash to Close. You’ll probably have to bring some money to closing. You’ll find out just how much on the very last line of page one. You can find the details on this figure on page two, but we’re going to skip that for now.

Comparing Your Tree Fruit

On page three, you’ll find one last set of very important numbers for comparing your loan offers. It’s even labeled “Comparisons.” This section will help you understand the long-term differences over the loans that you’re considering. If loan one will cost you $50k over the first five years and loan two costs $60k in the same time period, it’s clear that in the long run, the first loan will do you better. But let’s say you’re not as interested in the long run as you are in the now.

Right now, you have a small down payment and you’re trying hard to hold on to as much cash as possible for emergencies. Back on page one might be the better place to look for your answers. It’s possible that the loan that’s cheaper in the long run costs a great deal more in cash to close. In that case, you may want to take the more expensive long-term loan and plan to refinance after a few years.

While you’re on page one, go ahead and compare those payments. Do both estimate forms include mortgage insurance or escrows? If so, it’s an easy side-by-side comparison. If not, you’ll want to look at the principal and interest payment, and find out what the average taxes and insurance cost in your market so you can estimate how much extra to hold back each month so you can pay those yourself.

How ‘Bout Them Fees?

The elusive page two includes details on your closing costs. This is everything from loan origination costs to prepaid items like your portion of the current year’s taxes. All of this stuff, when added together, end up on the last line in the right-hand column. That’s your cash to close.

If you’ve rolled any of those fees into your mortgage, you’ll see those appear next to the line that says “Closing Costs Financed…” Asking your mortgage professional for a couple of different Loan Estimate forms with and without fees added to your mortgage can help you decide whether it makes financial sense to pay for those items now or finance them over time.

It’s a pretty handy form, really.

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