Portland Metro/Tigard Real Estate News

In this forum we will offer discussions on a wide variety of subjects, but focus on Portland Metro and real estate. Hopefully our insights and experiences will inform, educate, challenge and entertain our readers week after week.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Tigard Future Traffic

The City Council on Dec. 18 declared its intention to form a local improvement district in the Tigard Triangle to upgrade streets and infrastructure. There was a meeting of the minds and it was decided that an LID would be best for facilitating traffic decisions for the future.

The Tigard Triangle is the Pacific Highway, Highway 217 and 72nd Ave where a 2002 Tigard Transportation System Plan figured out will host the majority of future traffic problems. The LID area will be outlined by Dartmouth Street to Baylor Avenue from 68th Avenue to 69th/70th avenues.

Included in this improvement plan will be sidewalks, ramps, curbs, signing and striping to support a proposed traffic signal at the intersection of 68th and Dartmouth Street. There will also be some streets that could be upgraded to full city street standards, including sewer, storm drainage, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and street trees, and placing utilities underground.

Total for all this should be between $2.3 million and $2.5 million. The resolution also lays out the proposed method of assessing property owners in the district, which is tentative and may be altered by the city at the time of final assessment.


Tigard Real Estate


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Portland Gets The Best Of The Housing Market

On T.V. there is a never ending supply of news stories about the horror that is the real estate market. Except that the P.S. of all these stories seems to be the areas and cities that seem to be weathering the storm. Portland is one of these cities. In fact, the slow down here has just brought us back down to what would considered a "normal" year.

To give you an idea of the ups and downs, in January of 2000 there was 10 months of inventory (number of months it would take to sell all homes currently listed) available in Portland. 2005 saw 2.2 months of inventory while October 2006 was 4.6. Back to present day, October of this year was back up to 8.4 months of inventory, quite the roller coaster.

Ken Gertz of Gertz Construction said he's always measured the housing market by whether his service providers are calling asking for work. When the framers, electricians and concrete specialists are begging for a gig, things are slow. That just is not the case right now.

There are many factors keeping us afloat. Our urban growth boundary limits our sprawl into adjacent rural areas. That helps prevent housing gluts like they have in Boise and Las Vegas. It also helps keep value in the homes that are already within the urban and suburban areas. This keeps the supply and demand from getting lopsided. There is also a continuing stream of people moving here from out of state, interest rates are remaining low and job growth remains strong.

All those builders who bought up land like crazy thinking they were getting in on the housing craze are now stuck. In todays market the key is to make your listing interesting, compelling and strategic. Builders now need to focus on what is selling houses right now. I personally think the move from quality versus quantity is a good one.

The main point is that housing in Portland is still a good investment.

Tigard Real Estate

The Oregonian - Southwest Weekly - Thursday, December 6, 2007 - Cover story


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

November Market Report

November Residential Highlights

For the second month in a row there was a slight decrease in inventory in the Portland metro area. At November’s rate of sales, the 14,435 active residential listings at month’s end would last approximately 8.3 months. The number of new listings dropped again, the second time since February 2006, decreasing 3.1% when comparing November 2007 to November 2006.

However, the number of transactions also continues to drop. When comparing November 2007 to November 2006 closed sales decreased 19.9% and the number of accepted offers fell 27.8%. Despite it all, sale prices appear to remain strong. Average sale price increased 6.9% comparing November 2007 with November 2006 and median sale price increased 2.5%. Average

2006 2007

Year-to-Date Trends

Comparing the period of January 2007 through November 2007 to the same time a year ago, we see a slightly different trend than we’ve seen the last couple of months with an overall 8.3% increase of new listings. However, the dip in transactions appears to remain constant, although not quite as intense as the previous two months. The number of closed sales fell 11.8% and pending sales declined 14.8%


Using the average sale prices for the twelve months that ended with November 2007 compared to the twelve months ending in November 2006, the average sale price appreciated 6.5% ($340,900 v. $320,100). Using the same formula, the median sale price also appreciated 7.0% ($288,900 v. $270,000).


Financial Advise


Most people won't inherit millions of dollars, but according to the AARP, the median amount of today's inheritance is about $64,000. While that's not enough to provide financial security for life, it's still a lot of money and requires careful planning before deciding what to do with it. So therein lays the question — if you receive an inheritance — what should you do?

Step One...Do Nothing: Remember, this is an emotional time. You may have lost a loved one, you're receiving a sizable chunk of money, and your judgment may be clouded by emotion. Rather than make a decision you regret later, take some time to step back and think. In the meantime, put the money in a money market or savings account that will keep it safe, and allow you to access when you're ready.

Check the Tax Laws: Some inheritances are tax free, but some are subject to federal and state taxes. Make sure that you diligently record everything that you inherit and the date that you inherited it. Most important, seek advice from a tax professional before you decide what to do with the inheritance — you don't want to spend money that you don't actually have. And if you need a referral to a great tax pro — just get in touch with me.

Stick to Small Wishes: Many people dream of a vacation home or taking a luxury cruise around the world. Receiving an inheritance may make those dreams seem within reach. Often, however, they're not realistic for your overall lifestyle and budget. So keep the splurging to a small gift for you or your family. Keep the big picture in mind for the rest of the money.

Invest as Usual: Don't gamble your inheritance away on a high-risk investment that doesn't make sense. Instead of thinking of it as “found money” or looking for a big score, treat it like the rest of your investments. Work with a professional advisor to determine which options and risk-level make sense, based on your entire portfolio and future plans — and feel free to contact me for a referral to a great financial pro.

Remember, even a small inheritance deserves careful planning and consideration. This isn't a time to be swayed by emotions. Talk to a professional, make a plan, and stick to it. And if you'd like to talk about your own financial strategies and plans that might allow YOU to leave a great inheritance for your own heirs, just let me know. We can review your own debt structure and financial goals, and work with other great professionals to help make that dream a reality.

Clint Elliott

NewLine Home Mortgage

1400 NW Irving #108

Portland, Or 97209

888-488-5731 toll free




Monday, December 17, 2007

Define "Improvement"

People seem to have the idea that if they put money into their home, they will certainly get it back. That is the right idea but you can't just make ANY improvement and assume it'll make money. In fact, some can actually decrease the value of your home. Money Magazine suggest putting your money in anything but...

Swimming Pools. Obviously states with a hot climate you can't find a house without one. But if you live someplace where a pool is not needed then buyers will completely avoid houses with a pool. If you live in Illinois or Oregon people only see the cost of insurance and maintenance for something you can only use 3 maybe 4 months out of the year. Parents with small kids are particularly wary.

Additions. This too has exceptions but for the most part home additions end up being eye sores. If you really need to add square footage, pay the extra for design that makes it look natural. It needs to seem as if it's always been there. You will get that money returned to you on the back end.

Trendy Finishes. As with clothes, some thing that is hot today people can be making fun of tomorrow. Although it's been said that custom wood paneling on your kitchen appliances to match your cabinets is a trend that should last a while. Generally though, when doing a renovation, sticking to classics is your best bet.

Jacuzzis. This one doesn't seem right but it turns out, not everyone loves giant tubs with jets. What everyone does love is a good shower. If you are throwing money at your bathroom try some of the new fancy shower heads.

Tigard Real Estate


Friday, December 14, 2007

What Do You Want In A Home?

While it seems quite rational to assume buyers are clamoring after the "best" house leaving the others to beg for attention, it doesn't necessarily work that way. That is because not everyone is looking for the same things. In this survey they asked buyers about specific home features and then divided up these people by demographic categories. The features include Central Air, Garage (2 or more spaces), Walk-in Closet in Master Bedroom, Cable or Satellite TV Ready, High-speed Internet Access and Energy Efficient.

74% of buyers in general found Central Air to be the import making it the most attractive feature of the 6. Naturally 91% of the people in the South found it essential while only 41% of buyers in the Northeast.

In the West 66% of home seekers require a garage but in the Northeast, where a lot of people live in big city apartments, only 37%.

Walk-in closets are a very attractive feature now-a-days but more so with those buying brand new homes. People buying older homes are looking for the charm of old architecture, knowing that closets were not big back in the day.

The same goes with Cable or Satellite TV and High-speed Internet, of course people expect that in new homes today, it's a staple.

Homes that are Energy Efficient have become a bigger deal lately with gas prices as the are. Again, those who purchase new homes expect it and those who done this before. A first time buyer hasn't gone through the process of paying utility bills yet so it's the repeat buyers who understand the importance of Energy Efficiency.

Tigard Real Estate

Today's Buyer's Rep - November 2007 - Page 5


Monday, December 3, 2007

Housing Market Will Recover

Experts are saying that the housing market will recover from it's current down turn, unfortunately it is going to get worse before it gets better. There is just too much inventory right now so when those homes start to sell off, in 2009, the market will start to perk back up. Therefore, 2008 is going to be a rough one.

Economist Jerry Johnson expects sales will be off 15 to 20 percent and the new housing construction 20 percent. People keep moving to Portland but job growth is plateauing. There is still extra inventory which will take quite some time to get rid of.

Expect to see a decline in house prices in 2008. If ever there was a time to consider a career other than real estate, now would be it. Yet economists still think we'll make it to 2009 without a recession.

Oregonian, Ryan Frank

Tigard Real Estate