Innovative Metro Brokers Elizabeth Wren Shiffler and Tatiana Xenelis Pound the Pavement with Car-lite Housing Info

Portland Afoot

Wren Shiffler shares Portland Afoot neighborhood information with a Kenton resident.

Wren and Tatiana, two Prudential Northwest Properties Metro branch Brokers with a keen interest in selling “car-lite” housing, have partnered with local non-profit Portland Afoot to share helpful information about area neighborhoods.

By hand-delivering a two-page publication featuring an area’s WalkScore, access to Zipcars, nearby bike shops, bus frequency, bikeways, and other helpful information, the two are spreading the word about sustainable/low-impact living and meeting local residents and homeowners.

To learn more, or to suggest which area they should focus on next, contact Wren at wrenpdx@gmail.com or Tatiana at tatianapdxrealtor@gmail.com.

Click here to read more.

 


Is a reverse mortgage good for elderly homeowners?

Is a reverse mortgage good for elderly homeownersA reverse mortgage is an increasingly popular option for older Americans to convert home equity into cash. Money can then be used to cover home repairs, everyday living expenses, and medical bills.

Instead of making monthly payments to a lender, the lender makes payments to the homeowner, who continues to own the home and hold title to it.

According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, the money given by the lender is tax-free and does not affect Social Security or Medicare benefits, although it may affect the homeowners’ eligibility for certain kinds of government assistance, including Medicaid.

Homeowners must be at least 62 and own their own homes to get a reverse mortgage. No income or medical requirements are necessary to qualify, and they may be eligible even if they still owe money on a first or second mortgage. In fact, many seniors get reverse mortgages to pay off the original loan.

A reverse mortgage is repaid when the property is sold or the owner moves. Should the owner die before the property is sold, the estate repays the loan, plus any interest that has accrued. Consult your tax advisor to see if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

To learn more, please call 503-906-8990 or click here to visit the Columbia Mortgage website.

[Columbia Mortgage license MB38233]


Warren Buffett Says Single-Family Homes Are Now Very Good Investments

In this February 27, 2012 interview on CNBC, Warren Buffett responds to the question: If he was a young individual investor with the option of buying his first home or investing in stocks, what would he do? He responds, “If I knew where I was going to want to live the next five or 10 years I would buy a home and I’d finance it with a 30-year mortgage, and it’s a terrific deal…”

His comments on real estate begin at the 5:13 minute mark in the interview below.

We agree, single-family homes are a great investment now. If you would like to discuss home ownership opportunities, please contact a Prudential Northwest Properties agent today or search for available homes on our website at www.prunw.com


How Do You Spot a Foreclosure Rescue Scam Artist?

With foreclosure rates high, homeowners all over the country are struggling to secure their finances and save their home. Unfortunately, this means that foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are on the rise as well.

So how do these scammers move in? Many companies say they can get a change to a loan that will reduce the homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment. Others say they’re affiliated with the government, or the lender, and many even offer a money-back guarantee. These con artists often claim they can ‘save’ your home, often pretending that they have direct contact with your mortgage servicer. They ask for a fee, or require you to make mortgage payments directly to them, and then they disappear with your money.

And how do they find distressed homeowners? Some watch for public foreclosure notices in newspapers and online, or check public files at local government offices, and then send personalized letters or make phone calls directly to the homeowner. Some place ads online or on TV and let the homeowners come to them.

Here are a few different commonly used tactics that scammers use to lure in distressed homeowners.

The Rent-to-Buy

Companies or scammers who use the rent-to-buy scheme tell the owner to surrender the title to their house as part of a deal that allows them to stay there as a renter with the promise that they can repurchase the property later.

The Counselor

The company or scammer tells the homeowner that for a fee, they’ll negotiate a deal with your lender to reduce your mortgage payments or to save your home. Often, they claim to be attorneys or represent a law firm.

Bait-and-Switch

In this type of scam, con artists give homeowners documents to sign to get an additional loan, which they claim will make their loan current. Usually somewhere hidden in the document is information surrendering the title of the home to the scammers in exchange for a rescue loan.

The Auditor

Here, an “auditor” offers to have an attorney or real estate expert review your mortgage document to determine if your lender complied with the law. They ask for an upfront fee and then disappear. These scam artists often call themselves forensic loan auditors, mortgage loan auditors or foreclosure prevention auditors.

So how can you tell if you are dealing with a foreclosure rescue scam artist? Keep an eye out for the following warning signs:

Beware of anyone who:

– Asks you to pay an upfront fee in exchange for counseling or loan modification

– Pressures you to sign papers immediately

– Asks for payment by wire transfer or cashier’s check

– Claims they will buy your home from you so you can repurchase it over time

– Tells you not to contact your bank, lender or lawyer

– Asks you to make mortgage payments to them, instead of your lender

Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company, and never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call 503-906-8990 to speak with one of the trusted mortgage consultants at Columbia Mortgage. To learn more, visit www.columbiamortgage.net.

License #MB38233


Prudential Northwest Properties Joins HomeServices of America

We’re thrilled to be the newest member of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. What does this mean for Prudential Northwest Properties? It means the best just got better!

By joining forces with HomeServices, we are unmatched in our ability to serve the needs of our real estate professionals and the thousands of home buyers and sellers that put their faith in us. Our name stays the same. Our leadership stays the same; and it’s a win-win for all involved. It’s a great day for Prudential Northwest Properties!

HomeServices of America family

To learn more about HomeServices, please visit their website at www.HomeServices.com.


Kudos to our Yamhill County real estate professionals

In 2011, we helped more people buy and sell homes in Yamhill County than anyone else.

Yamhill County Real Estate Stats

Kudos to our McMinnville, Newberg and Sherwood teams, and a sincere “Thank You” to the folks in Yamhill County for trusting the committed professionals at Prudential Northwest Properties with all your real estate needs. We’re proud to earn your business!

Click here to contact a Yamhill County real estate professional today.

 


Big thanks to Karla & Craig LaRowe and their supportive volunteers

A big “Thank You” to Clark County Northwest’s Karla LaRowe and her husband Craig for their generous donation to Transitional Youth of the net proceeds from their Movie Movers retail clearance sale on Sunday. Thanks also to our super volunteers who supported the efforts at the Hazel Dell sale: Lorre Jaffe, Cheryl Williams, Deanna & Torre Bryson, Teresa Litman, and Marjorie Summers. We appreciate your heart for helping our local homeless youth!

To learn more about Transitional Youth, visit www.TransitionalYouth.org.


Our Metro Brokers Pitch In @ SCRAP

The Prudential Northwest Properties team at our Portland Metro branch is a community-minded group! Every month they volunteer to help out at SCRAP, a local creative reuse center in NE Portland.

Beth and Tim Help SCRAP

Prudential Northwest Properties Brokers Beth Hamilton and Tim Knight help sort at SCRAP

If you’re interested in joining the Metro volunteers, please contact Ally Knapp at 503-281-4040.  Way to give back, Metro!

 

 


©2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc. Equal Housing Opportunity.