Stay Safe While Selling Your Home With Our Seller’s Checklist

Staying organized while uprooting your life and moving from one home to another can feel impossible. Not only are you trying to get the best financial return on your investment, but you might also be working on a tight deadline. There’s also the pressure to keep your home clean and organized at all times for prospective buyers.  One thing you can be sure of when selling your home is that there will be strangers entering your space, so it’s important for you and your agent to take certain safety precautions. Like so many things in life, they can feel more manageable once written down, so we made this handy checklist.

 

  • Go through your medicine cabinets and remove all prescription medications.
  • Remove or lock up precious belongings and personal information. You will want to store your jewelry, family heirlooms, and personal/financial information in a secure location to keep them from getting misplaced or stolen.
  • Remove family photos. We recommend removing your family photos during the staging process so potential buyers can see themselves living in the home. It’s also a good way to protect your privacy.
  • Check your windows and doors for secure closings before and after showings. If someone is looking to get back into your home following a showing or an open house, they will look for weak locks or they might unlock a window or door.
  • Consider extra security measures such as an alarm system or other monitoring tools like cameras.
  • Don’t show your own home! If someone you don’t know walks up to your home asking for a showing, don’t let them in. You want to have an agent present to show your home at all times. Agents should have screening precautions to keep you and them safe from potential danger.

Talk to your agent about the following safety precautions: 

  • Do a walk-through with your agent to make sure you have identified everything that needs to be removed or secured, such as medications, belongings, and photos.
  • Go over your agent’s screening process:
    • Phone screening prior to showing the home
    • Process for identifying and qualifying buyers for showings
    • Their personal safety during showings and open houses
  • Lock boxes to secure your keys for showings should be up to date. Electronic lockboxes actually track who has had access to your home.
  • Work with your agent on an open house checklist:
    • Do they collect contact information of everyone entering the home?
    • Do they work with a partner to ensure their personal safety?
  • Go through your home’s entrances and exits and share important household information so your agent can advise how to secure your property while it’s on the market.
Posted on October 8, 2018 at 2:05 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: City of Portland, Market Trends, Moving Tips, Open House

Are We Heading Towards a Bubble?

Are We Heading Towards A Bubble?

Posted in Market News by John Trupin 

The US housing market has been going gangbusters in recent years. Record-setting sales, record-setting home prices, and a market that has largely favored sellers, while forcing fierce competition among buyers. All of this has led some to worry that we are heading towards another housing bubble. So, are we? On Tuesday, September 25, at 11 AM PST, Windermere Real Estate is hosting a Facebook Live event where our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, will discuss this and the latest Case-Schiller housing report. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, homeowner, or just a real estate junky, tune in to see what Matthew has to say; he’ll also be taking questions from the audience. This is the first in a series of Facebook Live events with Matthew, which will take place on the last Tuesday of each month.

You can learn more and offer suggestions for future discussions by following the link to the event here.

Posted on September 25, 2018 at 9:39 am
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report

Our Pledge To You

Fall Perspectives 2018: Our Pledge To You

Posted in Perspectives by Jill Jacobi Wood, OB Jacobi & Geoff Wood 

Change is afoot. We suppose it always is, but doesn’t it all seem to come at us so much faster in today’s world? We see change all around us. Just consider, for a moment, how much technology has changed our lives thanks to innovators like Uber, Google, and Apple, to name a few. Technology has also changed the way we do real estate.

The real estate world is a complex environment that most of us only travel once every 10 years. This infrequency, coupled with the ever-changing laws and emotional toll, makes it very hard for most of us to navigate. That’s why we rely on a professional. Even those of us who live and breathe real estate every day use a Windermere agent to conduct our personal transactions.

Thanks to technology, certain aspects of the real estate process that were once difficult are now very easy, like searching for a home. Within minutes of a property being listed, it’s fed to websites all over the world for potential buyers to see. Information about neighborhoods, schools, and home values are also readily available online to help buyers make smart decisions.

There’s no doubt that real estate will continue to benefit from technology, but we’re concerned about the companies that are beginning to look at consumers less as people and more as data that can be generated and shared for monetary gain.

At Windermere, our agents don’t treat their clients like data points being fed into an algorithm; they know them on a personal level. They help buyers make one of the biggest financial and emotional decisions of their lives. They help sellers understand the nuances of the market so they can get top dollar for their home. They are experts in neighborhoods, market trends, contracts, and negotiations. They treat their clients with respect and compassion. And they care deeply about their local community.

As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Real estate is the perfect example of that. Technology will continue to change and improve how people buy and sell homes, but our pledge to you is that it will never replace what has always mattered most to us: relationships.

 

– OB JACOBI, JILL JACOBI WOOD, AND GEOFF WOOD

Posted on September 24, 2018 at 10:32 am
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Market Trends

How Zoning and Regulatory Costs Impact Housing Affordability

Posted on August 16, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report | Tagged

Oregon and Southwest Washington Real Estate Market Update

Posted in Oregon and Southwest Washington Real Estate Market Update byMatthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate 

The following analysis of the Oregon and Southwest Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The State of Oregon has added 30,400 new jobs over the past 12 months, representing a reasonable annual growth rate of 1.6%. It is clear, however, that job growth in Oregon has started to taper, with the annual rate dropping below 2% in the early spring of this year. This is no great cause for concern as the state has essentially reached full employment, which tends to slow employment growth.

The Southwest Washington market area added 5,580 new jobs over the past 12 months, representing an annual growth rate of 2.7%.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.0% in June, marginally below the 4.1% rate seen a year ago. In Southwest Washington, the unemployment rate was measured at 5.3%, marginally lower than the year-ago rate of 5.4%.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • Second quarter home sales dropped by a modest 2.8% compared to the same period last year, with a total of 17,156 transactions occurring.
  • Sales rose the most in Skamania County, which saw a 40% increase compared to the second quarter of 2017. There were also noticeable increases in Cowlitz, Klamath, and Linn counties. Home sales fell the most in Tillamook, Klickitat, Crook, Josephine, and Jefferson counties.
  • Year-over-year sales rose in 10 counties and dropped in the other 16 counties contained in this report.
  • Sales continue to be a mixed bag in the region. I am not overly concerned by the drop in sales in several counties as they are all small markets that are prone to substantial swings. Inventory remains tight and this can drag home sales lower.

 

HOME PRICES

  • The average home price in the region rose 7.9% year-over-year to $391,725. That number is 6.6% higher than the first quarter of 2018.
  • Clatsop County led the market with the strongest annual price growth. Homes there sold for 22.6% more than a year ago.
  • All but four counties saw price growth relative to the second quarter of 2017, with 10 of them experiencing double-digit increases.
  • The takeaway from this report is that, in aggregate, price growth has started to slow but remains above the long-term average.

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the region dropped by four days compared to the second quarter of 2017 and was down by 17 days from the first quarter of 2018.
  • The average time it took to sell a home in the region last quarter was 71 days.
  • Nineteen counties saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop or remain static when compared to a year ago. Seven counties saw market time rise.
  • Homes again sold the fastest in Washington (20 days), Clark (26 days), and Multnomah (26 days) counties.

 

CONCLUSIONS

The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

Housing markets throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington continue to benefit greatly from the healthy regional economy. Home sales remain solid; however, we are seeing some slowdown in prices, which I consider to be positive as affordability issues could start to taper. That said, housing inventory is still well below balanced-market levels. Sellers remain in the driver’s seat, but I am hopeful that inventory levels will start to increase, which will be a relief to home buyers. Because of this, the needle remains the same as last quarter.

 

 

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residentialmarket analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics and has more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Posted on August 10, 2018 at 10:30 am
Windermere Community Realty | Category: City of Portland, Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report

How Will the Real Estate Market Respond to Rising Interest Rates?

How Will the Real Estate Market Respond to Rising Interest Rates?

Posted on July 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report

Vancouver’s $1.5 Billion Waterfront Transformation

Vancouver’s $1.5 Billion Waterfront Transformation

downloadNo one has ever accused Windermere agents of being out of the loop. Last week’s Premier Breakfast presentation is a good example as to why. The event featured Matt Grady, Vice President-Director of Development for Gramor Development, the company that is the driving force behind Vancouver, Washington’s largest commercial, urban development to date, valued at more than $1.5 billion.

Before getting a glimpse of the property, we learned about the project’s challenging history. Matt joked that his team had to perform various “acts of craziness” in order to get the project off the ground. Without roads and with an active railway standing in the way, you couldn’t physically access the land, which delayed construction for at least 3 years.

However, nearly 32 acres and 20 city blocks of available property was eventually reclaimed. It is being transformed into a mix of retail, living and green spaces featuring 3,300 housing units, 10 park acres, 1.25 million feet of office space and 250,000 square feet of retail and hospitality space.

Matt speculated that half of the residential units being built will be condominiums, with two luxury condominium towers underway. Most likely be priced in the 1 – 3 million dollar range, the units will probably start at an average of $800 per square-foot, moving upwards to $1,000 per square-foot. More than 1,000 people have registered online showing their interest in purchasing a condominium. The first of the condominiums, 40 units within the “Residences at Kirkland Tower,” will be marketed in roughly 14 months.

Living spaces aside, the entire property is a homage to the Pacific Northwest outdoor way of life. “No project is complete without having a park,” Matt said of the picnic and sandy beach areas, trails and water features that will be highlighted throughout the project. But the triangular Grant Street Pier, dramatically jutting over the Columbia River, will be the showstopper. This project will undoubtedly succeed in meeting its tagline of being “where the city meets the river.”

Posted on July 10, 2018 at 4:06 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Market Trends

What to Expect From Property Taxes in Washington State in 2018-19

Posted on June 27, 2018 at 1:18 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Market Trends

How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing

How to Get Started in Real Estate Investing

Posted in Buying by John Trupin 

Investing in real estate is one of the world’s most venerable pathways to building wealth. When properly managed, income from renting or real estate investment trusts can provide you with the financial security to plan out the rest of your life. The conclusion is easy to envision, but knowing where to begin can be overwhelming, particularly for anyone who has never previously owned a home.

At Windermere our goal is always to improve and support our communities, so we’ve put together a few key things to keep in mind as you enter the world of real estate investment.

Know the right type of investment for you

Investing in real estate needn’t commit you to being a landlord. A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a low-maintenance way to get involved in real estate with next to none of the day-to-day monitoring required of direct property management. REITs are trusts that typically own multiple properties, and investors may purchase shares within the REIT. Typically, as the value of the property rises, so too do the values of your shares. If you’d like to dip a toe into real estate investing before diving in fully, a REIT is a great place to start.

Start with your own home

Owning the roof over your head is a basic step towards investing success. Even better, when you plan to live in the home you’re buying (rather than renting it out), you will likely benefit from lower mortgage rates and a cheaper down payment. The reasoning is straightforward – lenders see a loan to people purchasing the home they live in as an investment in people highly committed to the property.

Once you’ve owned your own house for a few years, you can look to purchase a new home to move into. By purchasing the new home with the intent to move in, you’ll be eligible to receive more favorable financing once again. After you’ve secured your new home, your first home is primed to be transformed into a rental property, and you can continue to see a return on your investment. If you’re seeking further support with buying a first, second, or third home, our website and our agents are full of information.

Cast a wide net

The best investment opportunity isn’t always going to be right underneath your nose. While there are logistical benefits to focusing locally with your investment, you may miss more profitable opportunities in another burgeoning market. Real estate is a long game, and patience tends to be rewarded. There’s no cause to rush a decision of this magnitude, so investigating other states and regions to find the property that best fits your situation is a process worth considering.

Posted on May 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends

Oregon & Southwest Washington Real Estate Update

Oregon & Southwest Washington Real Estate Update

Posted in Oregon and Southwest Washington Real Estate Market Update byMatthew Gardner, Chief Economist, Windermere Real Estate 

The following analysis of the Oregon and Southwest Washington real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The State of Oregon has added 43,700 new jobs over the past 12 months, representing a robust annual growth rate of 2.3%. Job growth picked up in the first quarter of 2018, with significant annual gains in Education & Health Services (+26,000), Leisure & Hospitality (+9,700), and Construction (+7,400). Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1%, matching the number seen a year ago and remaining in record low territory.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • First quarter home sales dropped by a modest 0.8% compared to the same period last year, with a total of 12,775 sales.
  • Sales rose the most in Tillamook County, which saw a 33% increase compared to the first quarter of 2017. There were also noticeable increases in Wasco, Hood River, Jefferson, and Crook Counties. Home sales fell the most in Columbia, Klickitat, Marion, and Yamhill Counties.
  • Year-over-year sales rose in 14 counties and dropped in the other 12 counties contained in this report.
  • Sales were a bit of a mixed bag in the first quarter, but I still believe that lower sales velocities are due to extremely low levels of inventory in the region and not a decline in demand.

 

HOME PRICES

  • The average home price in the region rose 9.9% year-over-year to $367,316. That number is 1.2% higher than the fourth quarter of 2017. 
  • Tillamook County again led the market with the strongest annual price growth. Homes there sold for 54.2% more than a year ago. That said, it’s worth noting that it is a very small market, making it prone to substantial swings in average sale prices.
  • All counties other than Hood River saw price growth over the first quarter of 2017. Half experienced significant, double-digit increases.
  • The takeaway from this report is that, in aggregate, price growth continues to trend well above historic averages.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in the region dropped by 12 days when compared to the first quarter of 2017, but was up 9 days from the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • The average time it took to sell a home in the region last quarter was 88 days.
  • Twenty-one counties saw the length of time it took to sell a home drop when compared to a year ago. One remained the same while four saw market time rise.
  • Homes sold the fastest in Washington (36 days), Clark (41 days), and Multnomah (42 days) Counties.

 

CONCLUSIONS

The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s housing market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors. Housing markets throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington continue to benefit greatly from the healthy regional economy. Home sales remain very strong and, given that inventory levels are unlikely to increase substantially in the near term, sellers remain firmly in the driver’s seat. Even with rising interest rates, demand continues to outstrip supply, so I have moved the needle a little more in favor of sellers.

 

 

 

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics and has more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

Posted on May 2, 2018 at 1:11 pm
Windermere Community Realty | Category: Finance, Market Trends, The Gardner Report