Portland Metro Events Weekend Planner: April 17-19, 2015

 HappyEarthDay copy
PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR APRIL 17-19, 2015

 

EARTH DAY

SAT APRIL 18 The 16th annual Earth Day event, presentations, exhibits, activities & entertainment. The Oregon Garden

EARTH DAY CELEBRATION

SAT APRIL 18 Volunteers celebrate Earth Day by planting native trees and enjoying the EcoFair with free children’s activities and live entertainment. Salmon Creek Greenway

HARDY PLANT SALE

SAT-SUN APRIL 18-19 Plant and art sale run by Hardy Plant Society of Oregon. Portland Expo Center

PET FAIR

SAT-SUN APRIL 18-19 Shop for supplies, see a pet fashion show, play with pets, or even adopt. Portland Expo Center

SING ALONG

SUN APRIL 19 Sing along with popular singing groups at Singin’ in the Square. Pioneer Courthouse Square

ARTHUR MILLER PLAY: THE PRICE

THURS-SUN APRIL 16-19 (ends April 26) The Price is about two estranged brothers who unearth long-buried resentments in the attic of their deceased father at Morrison Stage. Artists Repertory Theatre

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

SAT-SUN APRIL 18-19 (ends July 11) This exhibit interprets Portland’s rivers and their influence on the city through paintings, prints and multimedia works. Pittock Mansion

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

SAT-SUN APRIL 18-19 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

PORTLAND SATURDAY MARKET

SAT-SUN APRIL 18-19 The nation’s largest weekly open-air arts and crafts market. Stroll down row upon row of unique creations made by the people who sell them. Old Town

VANCOUVER FARMER’S MARKET

SAT-SUN APRIL 18-19 You’ll discover fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden. Over 250 Vendors! Downtown Vancouver, 8th & Ester St.

LILAC DAYS

SAT-SUN APRIL 18-19 Each year in the spring, the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens hosts Lilac Days to celebrate the beauty of lilacs in bloom. Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
Monkey Kingdom
• Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
• Unfriended
• Child 44
• Alex of Venice
• Beyond the Reach
• The Dead Lands
• Felix and Meira
• Monsters: Dark Continent
• Mr. X
• The Road Within
• True Story


Spring Maintenance 101: Home Recovery from Winter Weather

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With spring here, it’s time to get outside (inside too!) and make sure every corner of your home is in tip-top shape. Here’s a checklist of tasks to tackle in the coming days and weeks.

Inside the House:

• Check the basement for water damage: Water can seep in through foundation cracks and other exterior crevices. Check the basement for a musty smell, water stains, and damp surfaces. If you find signs of water damage, walk around your house and check for cracks and crevices in the foundation.

• Inspect and repair sump pump: Test your sump pump and clean out any debris. If your pump runs on electricity, it’s smart to have a backup, battery-powered system for it. In the event of a power outage, you don’t want your sump pit to overflow.

• Clean air-conditioner and HVAC filters: In-wall air conditioners are pretty straightforward: Pull the filter out of the unit and spray it down. For HVAC systems, turn off the system; then locate the service panel to find the filter. If it’s reusable, rinse it, dry it and put it back. If not, replace it.

• Clean dryer vent and exhaust ducts: Unplug the clothes dryer, disconnect the hose from the vent in the back of the dryer, and clean out lint from both the hose and the vent using your vacuum cleaner’s crevice tool.

Outside the House:

• Check for signs of termites and other pests: Get outside and check for telltale signs of termites, which can cause serious damage to your home’s infrastructure. If you see insect wings, mud tubes or damage to wood on or around your home, contact a termite professional for an evaluation.

• Inspect and repair siding and peeling paint: Take a walk around the house to assess the entire exterior. Fix or replace damaged siding (or call in a pro to handle it). Strip peeling paint and replace it with a new coat.

Man cleaning the gutter• Clean gutters and downspouts: Time to get up on a sturdy ladder and clean the gutter system that runs along the perimeter of your roof. Gutters are there to catch water runoff from the roof, but they also catch leaves and other debris that lead to clogs. Also, make sure downspouts are positioned correctly,  to direct water away from your house. They should point about six feet away from the side of the house.

• Locate and fix roof damage: While you’re up near the roof, check for loose or buckling shingles and replace them. If you’re uncomfortable, hire an expert to climb up to get a better look.

• Fix cracked pavement: Winter’s elements can wreak havoc on concrete. Head to your local home improvement center to buy a concrete repair system.

• Check for window damage and replace caulking: Check windows from the outside to determine whether there’s any damage to the caulking, which seals out water, air and other elements. If any of it is loose or peeling, remove it and replenish with fresh caulk.

• Repair and seal the deck: Assess the damage your wooden deck has sustained throughout the winter (snow, ice, rain, cold temperatures). Locate and repair loose nails and screws, loose boards and wobbly stairs and railings. Hose down the deck, let it dry and then protect with a stain or sealer.

Article courtesy of ApartmentTherapy.com


This Week in Real Estate: April 13, 2015

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Good Morning!

​Following a strong finish to the first quarter This Week in Real Estate offers every reason to be excited and optimistic for a huge Q2 and Q3 selling season. Below are a few of the highlights from the first full week of the second quarter that influence our business: ​

* Solid Real Estate Growth Predicted Through 2017. The real estate industry is expected to remain on a sustainable course of solid growth for 2015 through 2017, according to a new three-year forecast from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate. The outlook is based on a survey of 43 of the industry’s top economists and analysts representing 32 of the country’s leading real estate investment, advisory, and research firms and organizations. “Almost all U.S. real estate participants would be very pleased if the future unfolded as predicted by the ULI consensus forecast,” says William Maher, ULI leader and director of North American strategy for LaSalle Investment Management in Baltimore. “The forecast represents almost the perfect combination of strong economic and property market fundamentals, combined with an orderly wind-down of monetary stimulus. Although the potential exists for progress to be hampered by obstacles such as economic downturns, foreign crises, interest rate spikes, or oversupplies, real estate pros predict three more years of smooth sailing for U.S. real estate,” he says. Full story…
http://uli.org/press-release/uli-real-estate-consensus-forecast-april-2015/

* MBA: New Home Purchases Jump 17% in March. Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 17% relative to the previous month, the March Mortgage Bankers Association’s Builder Application Survey said. “Overall, applications for new home purchases during the first quarter of 2015 increased 20 percent relative to the first quarter of last year. Continued strength in builder applications raises the likelihood that housing starts will be strong over the next few months,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “Although the March employment report showed a smaller net gain in jobs, job openings are up, wages are beginning to increase more robustly, and mortgage rates remain low, all of which contribute to stronger housing markets,” said Fisher. Full story…
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33508-mba-new-home-purchases-jump-17-in-march

* Mortgage Credit Eases, Applications Rise. The latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) report from the Mortgage Bankers Association says that mortgage credit availability increased in March. Based on data from Ellie Mae, the MCAI rose 121.4, an indicator that mortgage credit is loosening. A finding under 100 means that lending standards are tightening. “All four component indexes of the MCAI increased last month: jumbo, conforming, conventional, and government,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist. “Although credit remains tight by historical standards, this increase in availability, coupled with low rates and job market strength, should lead to stronger home purchase activity this spring.” Full story… ​
http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/mortgageadvice1/item/34230-20150410-mortgage-credit-eases-applications-rise

* Overview of Changes to RESPA/TILA Disclosures. ​August 1 will be here before we know it. On that date the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule integrating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosures and regulations will go into effect. The final rule integrates existing disclosures with new requirements from the Dodd-Frank Act to improve consumer understanding of the mortgage process, aid in comparison shopping, and help to prevent surprises at the closing table. Below are links to Highlights of the New Rule and a very good webinar hosted by the National Association of Realtors. This is a significant change to the closing process that we will all want to be very familiar with. Please be on the look out for training opportunities.
http://www.realtor.org/articles/overview-of-changes-to-respa/tila-disclosures
http://www.ksefocus.com/billdatabase/clientfiles/172/4/2265.pdf
http://www.realtor.org/webinars/nar-respa/tila-march-webinar

Have a productive week!

Jason

 


April Gardening Tips for the Pacific Northwest

Spring in the Pacific Northwest is the ideal time to be planning our summer garden bounty and getting container-grown perennials into the ground. Make the most of the warm days ahead by setting out starts and planting cold-hardy vegetables in April.

Pacific Northwest landscape designer and garden writer Genevieve Schmidt shares gardening tips we should tackle in April.


Portland Metro Events Weekend Planner: April 10-12, 2015

Sweepstakes
PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR APRIL 10-12, 2015

 

BRIDGE TO BREWS RUN

SAT APRIL 12 Run or walk the 8K/10K over the Fremont bridge and to a post-race party at Waterfront Park with beer tasting and live music. Waterfront Park

AUTO PARTS SWAP MEETS

THURS-SAT APRIL 9-11 1500 vendors of automotive gear around two miles of racetrack. Portland International Speedway

FRI-SUN APRIL 10-12 Largest on the West Coast, with 3500 vendors inside and outside. Portland Expo Center

ORCHID SHOW

SAT-SUN APRIL 11-12 Largest orchid show in the Pacific Northwest, see thousands of blooming orchids on display and for sale. Ambridge Event Center

TOUR HISTORIC HOMES

SAT APRIL 11 Get renovation ideas by visiting 7 restored, historic homes on the self-guided Old House Revival Tour. Portland Metro Area

ARTHUR MILLER PLAY: THE PRICE

THURS-SUN APRIL 9-12 (ends April 26) The Price is about two estranged brothers who unearth long-buried resentments in the attic of their deceased father at Morrison Stage. Artists Repertory Theatre

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

SAT-SUN APRIL 11-12 (ends July 11) This exhibit interprets Portland’s rivers and their influence on the city through paintings, prints and multimedia works. Pittock Mansion

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

SAT-SUN APRIL 11-12 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

SAT-SUN APRIL 11-12 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

PORTLAND SATURDAY MARKET

SAT-SUN APRIL 11-12 The nation’s largest weekly open-air arts and crafts market. Stroll down row upon row of unique creations made by the people who sell them. Old Town

VANCOUVER FARMER’S MARKET

SAT-SUN APRIL 11-12 You’ll discover fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden. Over 250 Vendors! Downtown Vancouver, 8th & Ester St.

BLACKLIGHT RUN

SAT APRIL 11 Unique night 5K fun run focused less on speed and more on UV Neon Glowing fun with friends and family. Clark County Event Center

KLINLINE POND KID’S FISHING DERBY

FRI-SAT APRIL 10-11 The park will be full of fun with sponsor booths set up for kids to get their faces painted, do arts and crafts, learn about the environment, test their archery skills, and visit with therapy llamas. Klinline Pond & Salmon Creek Park

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
The Longest Ride
• Ex Machina
• Clouds of Sils Maria
• Desert Dancer
• Freetown
• Lost River
• Kill Me Three Times
• Rebels of the Neon God
• The Sisterhood of Night


This Week in Real Estate: April 6, 2015

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Good Morning!

This Week in Real Estate ended with a weaker than expected March employment report. The result? The lowest mortgage rates in two months. Below are a few of the highlights from the first few days of April that influence our business:

* New Indicator Says Housing Is Healthy, Downturn Unlikely. Nationwide said on Tuesday that the overall housing market is healthier than at any time since 2001, the earliest point for which data is available and that data suggests there is little reason to fear a national housing downturn over the next year. The insurance and financial services organization unveiled a new housing market indicator, the Leading Index of Health Housing Markets (LIHHM). Nationwide calls the LIHHM “a data-driven view of the near-term performance of housing markets based upon current health indicators for the national housing market and 373 metropolitan statistical areas.” The company says the index focuses on the entire housing market rather than merely projecting house prices or home sales. The indicator is calculated using local level data in four categories, employment, demographics, mortgage market, and house prices. Full story…
http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/03312015_housing_market_health.asp​

* House Prices Record Annual Gains, Expected To Rise In The Future. The recent release by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) shows that its measure of house prices, House Price Index – Purchase only, rose by 5.1% on a 12-month seasonally adjusted basis in January 2015. This marks the 36th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Over this nearly three-year period, house prices have risen by 20.1%. Similarly, the recent release from Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Case-Shiller indicates that their measure of national house prices, the House Price Index – National, rose by 4.5% on a year-over-year seasonally adjusted basis. This is the 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases in the house price index. Over this period of more than two-and-a-half years, house prices have risen by 22.1%. Full story…
http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/04/house-prices-record-annual-gains-expected-to-rise-in-the-future/

* The March Jobs Report. The U.S. economy added 126,000 jobs in March, ending a streak of 12 straight months of job growth exceeding 200,000, a level of job creation that hasn’t been seen since a 13-month run back in 1994-1995. The unemployment rate in March remained unchanged at 5.5%, while a broader gauge of underemployment that includes workers who have part-time jobs but would like full-time work ticked down to 10.9%, the lowest level since August 2008. The positive news reported last month notwithstanding (CPI), this labor report will give the Fed pause as it considers the timing of interest rate increases (FOMC). The weakness of this report raises the probability that the much anticipated Fed action increasing interest rates will be delayed. Full story… ​
http://www.npr.org/2015/04/03/397189016/march-employment-report-expected-to-show-continued-job-growth

* Mortgage Rates Officially Hit 2-month Lows After Jobs Data. Mortgage rates scored a major victory on Friday at the expense of the labor market. Recent examples of the Employment Situation Report have been surprisingly strong. That presented major problems for rates in February and March as it ramped up expectations for a Fed rate hike. But those expectations have come crashing down in the past few hours. The report wasn’t just moderately weaker, it was the biggest month-over-month drop in well over a year. There’s always a risk that rates will move higher, but days like today suggest that such a move is, by no means, a foregone conclusion. Full story…
http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/450267.aspx

* Buy Like Buffett: A Love Story. Below is a link to a video played at the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Convention earlier this month. Forbes produced the video telling one couple’s love story through Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. brands ending with a BHHS sign in front of the house the couple purchased. It is very cool how Forbes linked all the various Berkshire Hathaway companies ending with real estate. ​https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EIM4d_GgBs​

Have a productive week!

Jason

 

 


Portland Metro Events Weekend Planner: April 3-5, 2015

HappyEaster
PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR APRIL 3-5, 2015

 

EASTER IN THE PEARL DISTRICT

SAT APRIL 4 Families follow a map to collect free treats in shops, do art projects, win prizes, and hear music in Jamison Square. Pearl District

RABBIT ROMP AT THE ZOO

SAT APRIL 4 Candy-egg hunts by age group every 15 minutes, bunnies to pet, bunny crafts, and games. Oregon Zoo

EGG HUNT AT THE DAIRY

SAT APRIL 4 Children from 3 to 5 and from 6 to 8 hunt for candy and prizes. Alpenrose Dairy

EASTER CRUISE

SAT APRIL 4 Portland Spirit offers brunch and dinner river cruises boarding from Salmon Street Springs Fountain. Portland Spirit Cruise Ship

NW LARGEST GARAGE SALE & VINTAGE SALE

SAT APRIL 4 Formerly “Portland’s Largest Garage Sale,” this event sports a new name, but still more than 600 indoor sellers. Portland Expo Center

BEER & WINE FESTIVAL

SAT-SUN APRIL 4-5 80 Northwest beers, wines and spirits, gourmet food, chocolate, cheese, and chef seminars. Oregon Convention Center

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

SAT-SUN APRIL 4-5 (ends July 11) This exhibit interprets Portland’s rivers and their influence on the city through paintings, prints and multimedia works. Pittock Mansion

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

SAT-SUN APRIL 4-5 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

SAT-SUN APRIL 4-5 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

MASTERWORKS PORTLAND: EL GRECO

SAT-SUN APRIL 4-5 The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum

FORT VANCOUVER DRESSAGE

SAT-SUN APRIL 4-5 Dressage shows provide testing opportunities that measure the progress of horse and rider in the discipline of dressage. Clark County Event Center, Jack Giesy Arena

VANCOUVER FARMER’S MARKET

SAT-SUN APRIL 4-5 You’ll discover fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden. Over 250 Vendors! Downtown Vancouver, 8th & Ester St.

COLUMBIA DANCE PRESENTS

FRI-SAT APRIL 3-4 This classical ballet story, set to Tchaikovsky’s lush score, has inspired Artistic Director Jan Hurst to fill the stage with selected excerpts from Act I and Act II. Royal Durst Theatre

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
Furious 7
• 5 to 7
• Cheatin’
• Effie Gray
• Lambert & Stamp
• SBK the Movie
• Woman in Gold


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices $50,000 Sweepstakes – Enter Today!

The Fixer Upper program and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices are teaming up to offer viewers a chance to win a $50,000 “Good to Know” prize package including a consultation from Chip & Joanna Gaines, hosts of HGTV’s Fixer Upper series!

To enter and for complete details, please visit www.50kFixUp.com. Sweepstakes ends June 15, 2015.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices $50000 Sweepstakes

No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 5:00 p.m. ET on June 15, 2015. For full official rules, visit www.50kFixUp.com. Sponsored by BHH Affiliates, LLC, 18500 Von Karman Avenue, #400, Irvine, California 92612.


This Week in Real Estate: March 30, 2015

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Good Morning!

As the first quarter of 2015 comes to an end, it is safe to contend that Q1 2015 compared to the same time period the prior year is much more favorable leading into the peak selling season of Q2 and Q3. This Week in Real Estate covers a wide spectrum of topics from consumer confidence to new construction sales to the ever pending interest rate increase. Below are a few of the highlights from the last, full week in March that influence our business:

* February new-home sales highest in seven years. Builders signed contracts on more homes in February 2015 than any time since early 2008 according to the Census Bureau and HUD. February seasonally-adjusted annual new home sales topped out at 539,000, up 7.8 percent from a healthy 500,000 in January. Full story…
http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/03/new-home-sales-surge/​

* Mortgage applications rise 9.5 percent from one week earlier. Stoked by the lowest interest rates in several weeks the volume of applications for mortgages to both purchase and refinance homes increased by the largest percentages than at any time since early January. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 9.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. The Refinance Index increased 12 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier to its highest level since January 2015. Full story…
https://www.mba.org/2015-press-releases/mortgage-applications-increase-in-latest-mba-weekly-survey-x89405

* 5 quotes from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s speech at the San Francisco Fed on Friday. Janet Yellen offered a cautious message on the prospect of interest rate increases in a speech this week, saying the central bank expects to begin raising rates this year and then proceed gradually after that. Here are five key quotes from her prepared remarks. Full story… http://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2015/03/27/5-quotes-from-janet-yellens-speech-to-the-san-francisco-fed/

* U.S. consumer sentiment at 93.0 in March vs. 92.0 estimate. Consumer optimism reached a 10-year peak of 95.5 in the first quarter of 2015, its highest level since 2004. “While there is a widespread expectation that interest rates will begin to rise later in the year, few consumers anticipated that the size of the increases will dampen their credit sensitive purchase plans.” Full story… http://www.cnbc.com/id/102540745?__source=mnd|news|&par=mnd

* Rising rents are finally forcing Millennials to buy houses. Expect the open-house crowds to skew a little younger during this year’s spring homebuying season. Millennials made up 32 percent of the U.S. housing market in 2014, up from 28 percent two years earlier, and have pulled ahead of the older Generation X as the largest segment of buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors. About 5.2 million renters say they expect to purchase a house in 2015, up from 4.2 million a year earlier. The U.S. rental vacancy rate hit a 21-year low at the end of last year, according to the Census Bureau, giving landlords leverage to charge more. Full story…
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-25/millennials-start-shift-to-homeownership-as-rents-soar

Have a productive week!

Jason