Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 19, 2017

What Advice Do We Have for First-Time Homebuyers?

There is a lot that goes into buying your first home. To make things a little easier, here is my list of tips to keep in mind during the first-time home buying process.

Buying your first home can be an incredibly exciting time.

However, it also requires a huge commitment and investment, and can have repercussions in your life for years to come.

That’s why I want to share my three top tips to help first-time homebuyers protect themselves during this crucial period:

1. Know what you can afford The fact is, your mortgage is only a part of what you will need to pay when you buy a home.

Homeownership comes with other expenses as well, including closing costs, taxes, property insurance, maintenance costs, and homeowner association fees.

Once you have a clear idea of all of these items, you can compare this to your stable income and your current monthly expenses.

This way, you can figure out the kind of home you can honestly afford, without getting carried away, and without getting bogged down in debt.

2. Choose your lender wisely Choosing a lender is not something you should base only on the lowest rate.

A competent and trustworthy lender will offer you advice on how to improve your credit.

The right lender will also help you take advantage of special homebuyer programs that might benefit you.

And ideally, your lender will work with you to get pre-approval for your loan. This can strengthen your offer immensely, particularly in hot markets like the one we’re seeing around Portland.

So how do you find the right lender specifically for you?

While it can be a good idea to start shopping online, it’s often best to get recommendations from friends who have already worked with a lender, or from a real estate agent you trust.

3. Don’t overlook the details There are many details that go into buying a home, and missing any of them can be a costly mistake.

For example, I always advise buyers to get a professional inspection (this is separate from an appraisal, which the seller is likely to get).

Yes, an inspection will set you back about $300, but it can save you thousands of dollars down the line, and it can even prevent you from making a decision to buy a home that you would later regret.

A second example is understanding the fine print in the various contracts you will be signing.

If there’s anything that isn’t clear to you, talk to your real estate agent and have it spelled out.

Trust me — there are no dumb questions. The process of buying a home can be intimidating, and that’s why professional real estate agents are there to help.

These three quick tips are only the start of the things you need to watch out for when buying your first home.

If you are simply curious about the kinds of homes that are available on the Portland market right now, check out this complete listing:

And if you need more advice, or you are ready to start looking for a home, get in touch with me at (503) 748-8310. I love working with first-time homebuyers, and I can help you get to your perfect new home with minimum hassle.

Posted in Market Updates
June 7, 2017

American Real Estate vs. UK Real Estate

Recently, I helped sell my mother’s home in the United Kingdom, as I’ve always been interested in international real estate. Transactions are different in each country.


I’ve long been interested in international real estate and I have many connections with Realtors all over the world.

This month, with the help of a great local real estate company, we have sold my mother’s home in the United Kingdom, as she is about to go into assisted living. It’s been an interesting process because things are done a little differently here.

For one, the buyers are called applicants, and they are not legally represented here the same way they are in America.

“In the United Kingdom, real estate agents don’t have to be licensed.”

In the U.K., real estate agents don’t have to be licensed, and one in three transactions fail. You have to use solicitors and attorneys. The whole process takes approximately three months.

That said, my mother’s 3-bed, 1-bathroom, 1,100 square foot bungalow sold for the equivalent of about $330,000.

So, let us know if you know anyone who is interested in buying or selling a home. We can help them meet their goals anywhere in the world. We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Market Updates
May 5, 2017

What Can You Learn About Real Estate Investment at Our Seminar

We’re holding a seminar this Thursday aimed at teaching you the ins and outs of basic real estate investment.


Thursday, May 11th, we’re hosting the first of a three-part series of real estate investment seminars at 7 p.m. at our office at Keller Williams Realty Professionals on the first floor, and we’d love for you to join us.

Our own agent Michele DesCombes suggested putting on an investment seminar. I’ve always enjoyed investing in real estate over the years and helping others invest in real estate, and I was more than pleased when she came to me with the idea.

Michele wanted to do a seminar because she loves working with investors. With the rental market how it is in Portland, she also realized that now is a great time to maximize the opportunity for investment and maximize your income. Michele is partnered with Mark Irwin, an experienced lender from Directors Mortgage with a wealth of investment experience who will speak at the seminar.

“This seminar will teach you how to maximize your income.”

We’ll also talk about how to get qualified and make sure your financing is in order, the differences between active and passive landlords, how to screen your tenants, and the rest of the ins and outs of basic real estate investment.

The best part? It’s totally free. We even have a door prize. To RSVP, just click here to sign up. You can also visit our Facebook page or call us and we’ll get you signed up.

In the meantime, we hope to see you there. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be glad to help.

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 25, 2017

Have You Considered Buying Property Abroad?

This week I escaped the cold and traveled to the Caribbean. Here’s some of what I learned about buying internationally.


This week, I have escaped the cold and am coming to you from the Caribbean! I’ve been to quite a few islands, including Puerto Rico, Barbados, and many more.

I’m traveling with a group of like-minded Realtors from all over North America who are interested in helping clients purchase international property.

We have learned how to do safe transfers of large amounts of money and save people significant fees on international transfers. We’ve also learned about tax advantages, citizenship implications, and various other helpful things.

“I’d love to share some fantastic things about buying homes internationally with you.”

For example, Barbados is an English-speaking country that we have learned has quality, free healthcare and very low tax rates.

We have seen properties of all price ranges, from modestly priced homes all the way up to the luxury market. We even saw a private estate that boasts its own marina!

It’s such a pleasure to be in this part of the world, and if you or anyone you know is interested in buying internationally, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to share what I’ve learned about the Caribbean or answer any questions you might have.

Posted in Market Updates
Nov. 2, 2016

10 Things to Consider When Making an Offer on a Home

There are 10 main factors to consider when making an offer on a home. Taking into account these factors will only make your offer stronger.


When making an offer on a home, there are 10 factors that you need to consider so that the offer is as good as it can be:


Price. We tend to think of the listing price as being the proper price, but this isn’t the case. You have to think about what’s a good price for you, and what value really means to you. The key is to be flexible depending on what research your Realtor provides you.


The earnest money. This sum is normally 1% to 2% of the sales price. If we have the flexibility to put some more earnest money down, that will be looked at favorably by the seller.


The down payment. With a lot of financing, we can offer a really low down payment. The more you can put down, the stronger your offer is going to look.


The closing date. It’s important to work with your Realtor and determine what a good closing date would be for both you and the seller. If there’s some flexibility you can give to satisfy the needs of the seller, all the better.


The lender. Your pre-qualification is very important, but it’s also important who you use for a lender. Using an online or out-of-state source as your lender is a red flag for most listing agents. You have to have a good, credible source of finance.

“Sellers prefer to deal with people that they like.”


The possession date. Working out a possession date that is beneficial for both you and the seller will help enormously, especially if you need to work out a rent-back agreement.


The inspection. These are critical in ensuring that what you’re buying is a good, sound property. Sellers can develop anxiety over this process, and they want to feel that it’s done in a timely fashion. 


The appraisal. Appraisals that can be done quickly can help the overall presentation of the offer.


Concessions. You as a buyer may need to make a few concessions, such as closing costs, to close the deal. You also have to construct these carefully so they aren’t viewed negatively by the seller.


The credibility of both you and your agent. Sellers like to deal with people they like. Time and time again, we’ve seen sellers accept offers that were inferior in price to other offers simply because they liked that particular buyer better. They will also gravitate toward a Realtor that they’re comfortable with.

If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell real estate and values good representation, we’d love to speak to them. Just give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Market Updates