Could you use $50,000?

Enter to win the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices $50,000 Sweepstakes today! One lucky winner will receive $50,000 and a consultation with Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of the hit HGTV show, Fixer Upper! Visit www.50KFixUp.com

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices $50,000 SweepstakesMust be a legal resident of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 years or older to enter. Void where prohibited. Limit of one entry per eligible person, per day, until 5:00 p.m. ET on June 15, 2015. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. You do not need to be a homeowner to win. To enter and read full official rules, visit www.50KFixUp.com.

 


Portland Metro Weekend Events: May 29-31, 2015

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PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR MAY 29-31, 2015

 

FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS

FRI-SUN MAY 29-31 (through June 9) See a giant design made from 20,000 flowers during Festival of Flowers in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

PORTLAND CITYFAIR & FIREWORKS

FRI-SUN MAY 29-31 CityFair has carnival rides, exhibits, a food fair, beer, fireworks May 22, and CountryFest concert May 31 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

STARLIGHT PARADE

SAT MAY 30  Join 325,000 spectators at the Starlight Parade, or wear a costume and run past them in the Starlight Run 5K that begins at Lincoln High School track.

BEER RUN

SUN MAY 31 A ticket to Beer Mile includes a beer before you run, a beer after, an official race t-shirt, and an after-party with live music at Ecliptic Brewing.

PAINT THE STREET

SUN MAY 31 Paint the intersection at Yamhill Street & SE 9th Avenue, or just enjoy the street musicians, artists, kids’ activities, and BBQ at Crafts & Drafts Street Fair

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

FRI-SUN MAY 29-31 (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

FRI-SUN MAY 29-31 (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 MAY 30-31 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 MAY 30-31 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.

FARMER’S MARKET AT VANCOUVER MALL

SAT-SUN MAY 30-31 The newest open air farmers market in Vancouver, Washington. Offering local farmers, small businesses, specialty crafters & local food vendors the opportunity to enjoy the neighbors. Activities for the kids & live entertainment most weekends in the Westfield Mall parking lot near Macy’s.

OPEN COCKPIT DAY

SAT MAY 30 View historic aircraft, Climb into the cockpit of specialty airplanes and get a pilot’s perspective from the controls. Try your hand at the flight simulator lab, Vintage British cars & motorcycles on display. Pearson Field Education Center

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
San Andreas
• Aloha
• Club Life
• Gemma Bovery
• Heaven Knows What
• I Believe in Unicorns
• Results
• WarX2


This Week in Real Estate: May 26, 2015

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Good morning!

The topic dominating the headlines This Week in Real Estate are the surging construction start numbers in April. In addition, there is an overwhelming sense of pride and responsibility about being part of one of the most significant companies in the world…Berkshire Hathaway. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week of May that influence our business:

* ​​Construction Numbers Highest Since 2007, Crushing Expectations. Construction started on new U.S. homes sprang up 20.2% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million. That’s the biggest monthly percentage gain in more than 24 years and the highest level since November 2007, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. “The April data also strengthens the view that the weakness in February and March was largely transitory and likely caused by harsh weather conditions,” Robert Wetenhall, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a research note. Starts for single-family homes rose 16.7% to an annual rate of 733,000, the fastest pace since early 2008, while starts in buildings with at least five units jumped 31.9% to a pace of 389,000. Full story… http://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-starts-surge-20-in-april-2015-05-19

* Total Loans in Foreclosure Fall to Lowest Level Since 2008. Black Knight Financial Services, a Fidelity National Financial company, released its “first look” at the housing data from April reporting that foreclosure starts were down 22% from March to April, falling to a level of 73,500. That total is also down 7% from a year ago. Additionally, national inventory of loans in foreclosure continued its decline toward pre-crisis norms, falling roughly 25.5% from last April to 1.51%, the lowest it’s been since January of 2008. Black Knight notes that there was a slight seasonal increase in April delinquencies, up by 1.46%, which pushed the national rate up to 4.77%. That’s still low by post-crisis historical standards, and down 15.04% from last year at this time.
Fully story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33975-black-knight-total-loans-in-foreclosure-fall-to-lowest-level-since-2008

* Ellie Mae Report Shows Continued Transition Into Purchase-Driven Market. As interest rates slowly tick up, purchase originations are now again outpacing refinance originations, according to a new report from EllieMae. Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report for April, which is derived from a “robust sampling” of approximately 66% of all mortgage applications that were initiated on Ellie Mae’s Encompass mortgage management solution, showed that 52% of mortgage loan originations were purchases in April. Refinance originations made up 47% of the total originations for the month of April, marking the first month since December that purchases outpaced refinances. Overall, conventional loans made up 64% of all originations in April, according to Ellie Mae’s report. FHA loans made up 24% of the total, followed by VA loans made up 9% of the total, and “other,” which made up 3%. Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33973-ellie-mae-report-shows-continued-transition-into-purchase-driven-market

* Yellen: If Nothing Changes, Expect Higher Interest Rates This Year. As predicted by many economists, the Federal Reserve is indeed considering raising the Federal Funds Rate later this year, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said Friday. In a speech on Friday Yellen said that the Fed is seeing widespread economic improvement and expects that improvement to continue. And if the economy improves as expected, she believes it will be “appropriate” for the Fed to raise the Federal Funds Rate this year. “If the economy continues to improve as I expect, I think it will be appropriate at some point this year to take the initial step to raise the federal funds rate target and begin the process of normalizing monetary policy,” Yellen said. “To support taking this step, however, I will need to see continued improvement in labor market conditions, and I will need to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back to 2% over the medium term.” Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33981-yellen-if-nothing-changes-expect-higher-interest-rates-this-year

* Berkshire Hathaway: The Largest, Most Powerful Public Company in the U.S. The Forbes Global 2000 is a comprehensive list of the world’s largest, most powerful public companies. This year’s Global 2000 companies hail from 61 countries. Berkshire Hathaway ranked 5th behind China’s four biggest banks making Berkshire Hathaway the only non-bank to finish in the top 5 and the largest U.S. company.
Full story… http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/mutualfunds/the-worlds-25-biggest-companies/ar-BBjhgQC#image=BBjrSBW|21​

I hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend. I encourage you at some point today to intentionally pause, remember and give thanks to all the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

Have a productive week!

Jason

 


Portland Metro Weekend Event Planner: May 22-25, 2015

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PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR MAY 22-25, 2015

 

PORTLAND CITYFAIR & FIREWORKS

FRI-MON MAY 22-25 CityFair has carnival rides, exhibits, a food fair, beer, fireworks May 22, and CountryFest concert May 31 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park

MEMORIAL WEEKEND IN WINE COUNTRY

SAT-MON MAY 23-25 More than 150 wineries in the Willamette Valley are open for tastings and tours on Memorial Weekend in the Wine Country

BROADWAY MUSICAL: MAME

FRI-MON MAY 22-25 (through June 14) Mame is the story of a free-spirited bohemian who becomes guardian of her nephew, and together they create a life of adventure, hardship, and laughter, at Lakewood Center for the Arts. Discount tickets $19

BURLESQUE REVIEW

FRI-SUN MAY 22-25 (through May 30) See the best variety acts of the famous Storefront Actors Revue (including Cooking with Power Tools) at The Babes are Back in The Sanctuary at Sandy Plaza. Discount tickets $13

CIRQUE VERSION OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND

SAT-SUN MAY 23-24 The Wonderland Circus is a legendary adventure featuring acrobats, jugglers, dancers, and musicians at Albert Rose Theatre. Discount tickets $13

PORTLAND BALLET SPRING CONCERT

SAT-SUN MAY 23-24 Portland Ballet’s Spring Concert includes excerpts from Sleeping Beauty, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux, and new works at Lincoln Performance Hall.

THE LITTLE MERMAID

FRI-SUN MAY 22-25 The Little Mermaid, who longs for life above the sea, soars into the air with a touch of circus performance, a dash of vaudeville, and a dance collective. Northwest Children’s Theatre

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

FRI-SUN MAY 22-25 (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

FRI-SUN MAY 22-25 (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 MAY 23-24 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 MAY 23-24 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.

FARMER’S MARKET AT VANCOUVER MALL

SAT-SUN MAY 23-24 The newest open air farmers market in Vancouver, Washington. Offering local farmers, small businesses, specialty crafters & local food vendors the opportunity to enjoy the neighbors. Activities for the kids & live entertainment most weekends in the Westfield Mall parking lot near Macy’s.

CLARK COUNTY WINE TOUR & TASTING

FRI-MON MAY 23-25 This is the weekend to get a preview of summer wines produced in the previous year or two. Be the first to taste the wines you’ll be drinking all summer! Participate in our 2015 Memorial Weekend Passport! Print out our Passport, collect six stamps, and be entered to win one of 14 gift cards! Clark County Wine Country

DR. SEUSS MUSICAL

SAT-SUN MAY 23-24 See a family-friendly version of the smash hit musical Seussical, featuring the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and Gertrude McFuzz, in Vancouver WA. Discount tickets $9

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
Poltergeist
• Tomorrowland
• Aloft
• Chocolate City
• The Farewell Party
• Sunshine Superman
• When Marine was There


This Week in Real Estate: May 18, 2015

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Good Morning!

This Week in Real Estate, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun predicted existing home sales will reach their highest level since 2006. That years sales total was the second highest ever on record. ​Below are a few of the highlights from the second week of May that influence our business:

* ​​Existing Home Sales to Finish 2015 at Record Level. Existing home sales are expected to finish the year at their highest level since 2006, the National Association of Realtors’ economic forecast forum revealed at its 2015 Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. In the most recent existing-home sales report, sales surged to their highest annual rate in 18 months, showing a promising beginning to the spring homebuying season. Total existing home sales jumped 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February – the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million). “Sustained job growth and interest rates below 4% have been the catalyst behind the improvement in sales,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR. “Housing supply needs to increase measurably to meet the pent-up demand for buying,” said Yun. “To put it in perspective, there were 37 million more people in the U.S. last year compared to 2000, yet existing-home sales that year were higher (5.2 million) than last year (4.9 million).”
Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33912-existing-home-sales-to-finish-2015-at-record-level

* Housing Affordability Posts Solid Gain in First Quarter. Lower interest rates and home prices contributed to a solid boost in nationwide affordability in the first quarter of 2015, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released Thursday. “The past two quarters have seen an improvement in affordability as mortgage rates remain low,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Eighty-five percent of the metropolitan areas measured experienced an increase in affordability.” In all, 66.5 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of January and end of March were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $65,800. This is up from the 62.8 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the fourth quarter.
Fully story… http://www.nahb.org/en/news-and-publications/Press-Releases/2015/may/housing-affordability-posts-solid-gain-in-first-quarter.aspx

* U.S. Residential Loan Originations Increase 17 Percent in Q1 From a Year Ago. According to RealtyTrac’s Q1 2015 U.S. Residential Loan Origination Report, which shows that 1,551,865 loans were originated on single family homes and condos in the first quarter, down 6 percent from the previous quarter but up 17 percent from a year ago. Total dollar volume of loans originated in the first quarter was $377 billion, up 32 percent from a year ago. Refinance originations represented nearly $256 billion in the first quarter, 67.8 percent of total loan origination dollar volume, and purchase loan originations represented $121 billion, 32.2 percent of total origination dollar volume. “A dip in interest rates early in the year combined with lowered mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans breathed some life back into the refinancing market in the first quarter,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.  Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/realtytrac-reports/q1-2015-u-s-residential-loan-origination-report/​

* Metro Home Prices Maintain Steady Growth in First Quarter 2015. Stronger demand amidst lagging inventory levels caused home prices to accelerate in many metro areas during the first quarter of 2015, and the number of areas experiencing double-digit price appreciation doubled compared to last quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The number of rising markets in the first quarter was mostly unchanged compared to the fourth quarter of last year, when price increases were recorded in 85 percent of metro areas. Fifty-one metro areas in the first quarter (29 percent) experienced double-digit increases, a sharp increase from 24 metro areas in the fourth quarter of 2014. Thirty-seven metro areas (21 percent) experienced double-digit increases in the first quarter of 2014.
Full story… http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2015/05/metro-home-prices-maintain-steady-growth-in-first-quarter-of-2015

* More Millenials Renting, But Just as Many Want to Own. Those are the two findings of an Urban Land Institute commissioned survey of Americans age 19 to 36 discussing their housing preferences and finances. Millennials, loosely defined as people born in the 1980s and 1990s, are the largest customer segment since the Baby Boomers. At an estimated 75 million to 80 million, millenials account for a quarter of the U.S. population. The trouble for the housing industry is that millenials have abstained from buying a home for longer than previous generations did at their age. “The millenials are telling us they want to own a home eventually, no different from the aspirations of their parents or grandparents,” said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae. “But they’re not in a hurry. They still need some income rebuilding.”
Full story… http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2015/05/13/survey-more-millennials-renting-but-just-as-many-want-to-own/

Have a productive week!

Jason


Portland Metro Weekend Event Planner: May 15-17, 2015

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PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR MAY 15-17, 2015

 

OREGON WILDERNESS CONFERENCE

FRI-SAT MAY 15-16 Oregon Wilderness Conference begins with a free family-friendly party at Keen Footwear at 5 p.m. on Friday, with live music, games, and food. Saturday includes a full schedule of workshops and featured speakers.

LIVING HISTORY DAY

SAT MAY 16 See historic and current military vehicles, uniforms, and equipment, and meet historians at Living History Day at Camp Withycombe.

LAKE OSWEGO HISTORIC HOMES TOUR

SAT MAY 16 The Oswego Heritage Council Historic Home Tour features five historic homes within walking distance, starting at Oswego Heritage House in Lake Oswego.

PIONEER FAMILY FESTIVAL

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 Pioneer Family Festival has a carnival, pony rides, BMX & skating competitions, aerosol-can art show, and food vendors in Oregon City.

HALF MARATHON & FITNESS EXPO

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 The free Health and Fitness Expo is Friday and Saturday at Oregon Convention Center, followed by the Rock ’n’ Roll Portland Half Marathon on Sunday.

PORTLAND SATURDAY MARKET

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 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

THE LITTLE MERMAID

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 The Little Mermaid, who longs for life above the sea, soars into the air with a touch of circus performance, a dash of vaudeville, and a dance collective. Northwest Children’s Theatre

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 (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

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 (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

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 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

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 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.

FARMER’S MARKET AT VANCOUVER MALL

FRI-SUN MAY 15-17 The newest open air farmers market in Vancouver, Washington. Offering local farmers, small businesses, specialty crafters & local food vendors the opportunity to enjoy the neighbors. Activities for the kids & live entertainment most weekends in the Westfield Mall parking lot near Macy’s.

VANCOUVER SYMPHONY SEASON FINALE CONCERT

SAT-SUN MAY 16-17 The VSO ends its season with the iconic Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 and welcomes guest artists Juanjo and Tolo Mercadal, clarinet as guest artists. Skyview Concert Hall

DOZER DAY

SAT-SUN MAY 16-17 Dozer Day is like going to a fair only our rides are real heavy construction equipment. Kids hop in the driver’s seat and actually drive dozers, excavators and other heavy equipment with a professional operator at their side. Clark County Event Center

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
Mad Max: Fury Road
• Pitch Perfect 2
• Good Kill
• Animals
• I’ll See you in my Dreams
• The Film Critic
• The Connection
• Every Secret Thing
• Where Hope Grows
• Bombay Velvet
• Forbidden Films
• Our Man in Tehran
• Know How
• One Cut, One Life


This Week in Real Estate: May 11, 2015

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Happy Mother’s Day!

This Week in Real Estate rental rates continue to climb making buying more attractive. Will the April jobs report answer the question of when the Feds will increase interest rates: June or September? ​Below are a few of the highlights from the first full week of May that influence our business:

* ​​More Consumers Positive on Housing, But Not Quite Ready to Leave the Sidelines. The spring and summer home buying season has gotten off to a stronger start, reflected in some of the improvement in consumer housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. The share of consumers who intend to own rather than rent their next home rebounded after a two-month slide. Meanwhile, home price growth expectations strengthened to the strongest pace since last October. “sWhen we consider both the continued caution of consumers and the positive start to the year, we believe that these results support our expectations that 2015 will be a year of modest growth in housing activity,” Duncan said. Full story… http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2015/6248.html

* 4 Percent of All U.S. Single Family Home Sales in First Quarter Were Flips. According to RealtyTrac’s Q1 2015 U.S. Home Flipping Report, 17,309 single family homes were flipped – sold as part of an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period – in the first quarter, 4.0 percent of all single family home sales during the quarter. The average gross profit for completed flips in the first quarter was $72,450, up from $65,290 in the previous quarter and up from $61,684 in the first quarter of 2014 to the highest level going back to the first quarter of 2011, the earliest where data is available. “The strong returns for home flippers in the first quarter demonstrates that there is still a need in this recovering real estate market for move-in ready homes rehabbed to more modern tastes, particularly given the dearth of new homes being built,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. The challenge for flippers in 2015 will be finding inventory to flip. Full story… http://www.realtytrac.com/news/real-estate-investing/q1-2015-u-s-home-flipping-report/​

* The Cost of Renting vs. Buying? If you are renting and think you can’t afford a home… THINK AGAIN! Renting will cost you 30.1% of your income compared to buying a median home at 15.3% of your income. Full story… http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2015/05/08/do-you-know-the-cost-of-renting-vs-buying-infographic/

* April Jobs Report Comes in Below Expectations. Employers added 223,000 jobs in April according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below consensus expectations of 228,000. This pushed the three month average below replacement levels, and based on Federal Reserve comments before, means employment probably won’t be pulling forward expectations for a rate hike. “The strengthening in overall hiring is in line with our forecast for a moderate rebound in economic activity, though not quite the bounce-back we saw a year ago, as the economy is facing more than just transitory headwinds. With today’s report, we are comfortable with our call for a September liftoff in the fed funds rate.” Full story…
http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33829-april-jobs-report-comes-in-below-expectations

* Housing Regulator Extends Mortgage Modification Programs Through 2016. The director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said that the companies would extend for another year the deadline to participate in a pair of programs meant to help struggling borrowers. Fannie and Freddie had been set to stop allowing modifications under the programs at the end of the year, but both will participate in the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) through December 2016. FHFA Director Melvin Watt said that the FHFA wouldn’t extend Fannie’s and Freddie’s participation in HAMP again, and that he didn’t expect for there to be another extension of HARP after 2016. Full story…
http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2015/05/08/housing-regulator-extends-mortgage-modification-programs-through-2016/?mod=WSJ_Real+Estate_BLOGSDEVELOPMENTSFEED&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wsj%2Fdevelopments%2Ffeed+%28WSJ.com%3A+Developments+Blog%29

Have a productive week!

Jason


Portland Metro Weekend Event Planner: May 8-10, 2015

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PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR MAY 8-10, 2015

 

MOTHER’S DAY FLOWER SHOW

FRI-SAT MAY 8-9 Mother’s Day Show and Sale is a rhododendron show and sale at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. 5801 SE 28th Avenue in Portland.

MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH

SUN MAY 10 Take Mom to the Portland Zoo for a lavish Mother’s Day Brunch. Does not include or require zoo ticket.

MOTHER’S DAY 5K WALK

SUN MAY 10 Attend a reception at Castaway, take a 5K Reigning Roses Walk through NW Portland to honor your mother, and celebrate afterward at this charity event.

MOTHER’S DAY DANCE SHOW

SUN MAY 10 A ticket to Seasons of a Woman includes homemade food, drink, and a one-act dance representing the seasons a woman experiences in her life by The Soul Dance Company at Lenora’s Ballroom. 12PM and 5:30PM.

MOTHER’S DAY CRUISE

SUN MAY 10 Portland Spirit offers brunch and dinner river cruises boarding in Portland or Cascade Locks in the Gorge.

MOTHER’S DAY DANCE SHOW

SUN MAY 10 A ticket to Seasons of a Woman includes homemade food, drink, and a one-act dance representing the seasons a woman experiences in her life by The Soul Dance Company at Lenora’s Ballroom. 12PM and 5:30PM.

MOTHER’S DAY RESTAURANT EVENTS

SUN MAY 10 OpenTable lists restaurants that offer special brunch, lunch, and dinner menus on Mother’s Day. Also see the Mother’s Day brunch list by the Oregonian.

MOTHER’S DAY HALF MARATHON

SUN MAY 10  Hippie Chick Half Quarter & Half Marathon is preceded by a kids’ race and followed by a breakfast at Hillsboro Ballpark. 14 miles.

MOTHER’S DAY TEA & DESSERT AT POMEROY FARM

SAT MAY 9 Join us in the Gathering Place as we celebrate mothers with a lovely afternoon tea. Our seasonal menu will include assorted tea sandwiches, scones, desserts and two varieties of tea. Pomeroy Farm, Yacolt.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

THURS-SUN MAY 6-10 Varekai is Cirque du Soleil’s new show that features a magical forest inhabited by whimsical and enchanted creatures. Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

CRAFT SHOW SALE

SAT MAY 9 Shop from 200 artists and craft makers at the Crafty Wonderland Super Colossal Spring Sale at the Oregon Convention Center.

DOGGIE DASH WALK/RUN

SAT MAY 9 1.5 or 2.5 mile untimed walk/run that begins and ends at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, with vendor booths, live music, children’s activities, food for sale, and canine contests.

PORTLAND SATURDAY MARKET

SAT-SUN MAY 9-10 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

WHISKEY FESTIVAL

FRI-SAT MAY 8-9 WhiskeyTown features whisky tasting, cocktails, restaurant food, and live entertainment in tents at NW 17th & Front Avenue.

BELGIAN BEER FESTIVAL

FRI-SAT MAY 8-9 Try Belgian offerings from 40 breweries, vote for your favorites, and eat at Cheers to Belgian Beers at Metalcraft Fabrication.

PORTLAND’S RIVERS: CONTEMPORARY ART VIEWS

FRI-SUN MAY 8-10 (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

FRI-SUN MAY 8-10 (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 MAY 9-10 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 MAY 9-10 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.

FARMER’S MARKET AT VANCOUVER MALL

SAT-SUN MAY 9-10 The newest open air farmers market in Vancouver, Washington. Offering local farmers, small businesses, specialty crafters & local food vendors the opportunity to enjoy the neighbors. Activities for the kids & live entertainment most weekends in the Westfield Mall parking lot near Macy’s.

LILAC DAYS

FRI-SUN MAY 9-10 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
Hot Pursuit
• The D Train
• 5 Flights Up
• I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
• In the Name of My Daughter
• Maggie
• Noble
• Preggoland
• Saint Laurent
• The Seven Fire
• Sister Code
• Skin Trade
• WarX2


Meet the Brokers Who Joined Us in April

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate is a popular destination for real estate brokers these days! We’re very pleased to introduce our newest team members:

Noah Deal – Bend

Mark Hughes – Clark County Northwest

Iraida Hermann – Lake Oswego

Diana Piel – Clark County Northwest

Sherry Boice – Clark County Northwest

John Luhta – West Portland

Sarah Marie Quinn – Florence

Diane (Jessica) Maskosky – West Portland

Tom Smith – Lake Oswego

Tucker Trefzger – Bend/Sunriver

Natalya Oreste – East Portland

Andreas Gehring – West Portland

Are you considering a career in real estate? Making a move to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the 2014 Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year, may be a wise decision. From our complimentary Mentor Program to our intensive Broker Excellence training, we provide the support you need to grow your business and deliver excellent service to your clients.

Click here to learn a little about a career with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate or email careers@bhhsnw.com to schedule an appointment.


Determining the Best School District to Buy a Home In

 SchoolBusinNiceNeighborhoodsmby Bryn Huntpalmer

Purchasing your dream home in Oregon or Washington involves more than just the open house walk-through. Even if you find the perfect space for you and your family, you may need to do more investigating. School districts and communities are really important things to consider before making an offer on a home. But, how do you go about making wise decisions regarding these things without knowing anyone nearby to ask?

When purchasing a home, it’s a good idea to spend just as much time checking out school districts as it is looking at the ensuite. Even if you don’t have school-age children, the school district your new home is located in can drastically affect your resale value and can influence prospective future buyers. Here are some easy ways to find the very best school system in which to buy a home.

Check Out School Digger & Great Schools

To start, get online and begin researching schools near where you’d like to move. Whether you’re headed to Portland, Oregon or you’d like to look at homes near Vancouver, Washington, you should familiarize yourself with School Digger.com and Great Schools.org. School Digger has been used by over forty million people and gives you access to public school rankings for free. All you have to do is get on the website and select your state. Once you have selected your state, a list of school districts will appear. From there, you can see the average standard test score, the student to teacher ratio, and the percentage of students eligible for free lunches.

Great Schools is really similar and reviews private schools in addition to public ones. On this website, you can see school ratings on an interactive map and can read real reviews. By using these simple tools, you can begin to get a good idea of the best school district to buy a home in.

Ask Your Real Estate Agent

Agent on White PorchReal estate agents are your best friends when looking for a new home. Agents are extremely knowledgeable regarding school districts. While looking at homes, get comfortable with your agent and don’t hesitate to ask questions. “Your first conversation about schools should be with your real estate agent,” moving.com explains, “who can provide information on local neighborhoods and the choice of schools your children might attend, whether public or private.”

Utilize Social Media

These days, everyone is taking to Twitter to live-tweet the Oscars or ask about the best double stroller for their toddler. Why can’t you reach out to total strangers and ask about school systems? It may sound silly, but reaching out to other parents on social media may surprise you. To find out about different school districts, ask questions in a parent group on Facebook or use hashtags to find relevant topics on Twitter.

Although this is a fun way to learn about different areas, make sure to consider all of the opinions you come across and use this information to simply add to your own more in-depth research.

Ask Future Neighbors

It may seem old school (pun intended), but going door to door and asking questions is an efficient and candid way to find out about your prospective neighborhood. When looking for your perfect home, it’s suggested that you visit those living next door and ask questions. So while I don’t recommend canvassing a neighborhood, you can go on a casual walk around the ‘hood and ask anyone you happen to see out while you’re there.

In addition to finding out about the school district, you’ll also learn about local crime and other community events. If you don’t end up learning any information, you’ll at least have met a new friend to wave to when you get home after a long day at work.

Visit Different Schools

BooksAppleOnce you’ve done a lot of research and have dwindled your list down to a few areas, it’s time to hop in the car and visit. Most schools are more than accommodating and welcome visitors. Just look up the phone number for the districts you’re interested in and ask if you can spend an afternoon observing.

Andrew J. Rotherham on behalf of TIME explained that he and his wife visited some different schools while finding the best fit for his kids. What they learned surprised them! “our sit-in approach quickly eliminated the most coveted public school near our house because its administrators forbid classroom visits except during the comically inept tours the schools gives.” While on the tours, take notes and check-in with your partner afterward to talk about your findings.

Try to relax, you will eventually determine the best school district to buy a home in and can move forward with your home purchase. Fingers crossed you’ll become a Portland resident in no time and you’ll relax knowing your kids are receiving the best education possible.

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About Bryn Huntpalmer
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas, where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize and nurtures her HGTV obsession. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Decor and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker, Scary Mommy, About.com and on her personal blog Her Own Wings. For home design information and tips check out Modernize!

Note: This is a guest post and the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate.


This Week in Real Estate: May 4, 2015

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Good Morning!

This Week in Real Estate ​consumer optimism is reported to be at it’s second highest level since 2007​. Below are a few of the highlights from the week ending May 3, 2015 that influence our business:

* ​​Consumer Sentiment at 2nd Highest Level Since 2007. U.S. consumer sentiment rose in April according to The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final reading. The index was 95.9 up from the previous month’s reading of 93.0. Consumer sentiment in April was at its second highest level since 2007, and was higher than the average level during the last five months than anytime since May 2004. 37% of all consumers expect personal-financial gains – the greatest share since April 2007. 58% of consumers reported favorable home selling conditions, the highest proportion since May 2006. Full story… ​​​​http://www.marketwatch.com/story/as-consumer-sentiment-perks-up-the-question-of-spending-looms-2015-05-01

* Pending Home Sales Increase in March for Third Consecutive Month. Pending home sales in March continued their recent momentum, rising for the third straight month and remaining at their highest level since June 2013. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.1 percent to 108.6 in March from an upward revision of 107.4 in February and is now 11.1 percent above March 2014 (97.7). The index has now increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months and is at its highest level since June 2013 (109.4). Full story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/04292015_pending_home_sales.asp

* It’s Official: The First Quarter Saw a Refinance Mini-Boom. A continually low-interest rate climate led to borrowers refinancing at an increased rate in the first quarter, according to a new report from Freddie Mac. Freddie Mac’s quarterly refinance analysis for the first quarter of 2015 found that 63% of the single-family loans originated in the first quarter were refinances, compared to approximately 52% for the full year 2014, according to Freddie’s data. In addition, approximately 27% of borrowers increased their loan amount when refinancing in the first quarter compared to 17% during the same time period in 2014. “We estimate that borrowers who refinanced in the first quarter will save on net more than $1.4 billion in interest payments over the first 12 months of their new loan,” said Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac deputy chief economist. Full story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33745-its-official-the-first-quarter-saw-a-refinance-mini-boom

Have a productive week!

Jason