Sell your Home for More Money

Drastically increase the amount of money you make on the sale of your home with these eight easy tips.

1) Price it below market value.
List your home below the current market value; maybe even as much as 5-10%. As a homeowner, you may be reluctant to try this approach, but the results may surprise you. This can be highly effective, create a sense of urgency and drive in even more offers and buyers than you ever imagined.

2) Brighten up the bedroom.
Bring in as much natural light into the room as possible. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned the windows in your house, now is the time–inside and out! Replace any burnt out light bulbs and bring in an extra lamp or two.

3) Clean out the closets.
Open up the closet doors, pull everything out, and get rid of 50% of the clutter. If winter has passed, pack away all of your winter clothes. When a buyer opens up the closet doors, they see the available closet space, and not an unorganized, overstocked storage area.

4) Paint the front door.
Don’t let an old, weathered door be a buyer’s focal point. Painting the front door can make a home feel more welcoming. By carefully choosing the right color, you can unexpectedly make your house stand out from the rest.

5) Enhance the landscaping.
To help give your home a boost in curb appeal, spruce up the landscaping around the front of your home. By carefully planning and doing your homework, you can achieve a nice upgrade on a small budget.

6) Stain the deck and driveway.
Staining your deck and driveway is a cost effective way to prolong the life of an area that takes a beating from the weather and heavy foot traffic. It will let the buyer know your home is properly maintained.

7) Paint the walls a neutral color.
Don’t let the color of your walls be the focal point of a room. It will be easier for a buyer to relate to a neutral wall color, and they won’t be distracted by a room that is bold or too loud.

8) Make kitchen improvements.
Kitchen improvements can yield high returns if done properly. Popular upgrades include resurfacing or replacing kitchen cabinets, adding a new backsplash, or replacing outdated countertops.

Article courtesy of garrettsrealty.com


This Week in Real Estate: May 14, 2018

According to Fannie Mae’s most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index released This Week in Real Estate, housing confidence hits a new all-time high. Below are a few highlights from the second week of May that influence our business:

* Housing Confidence Hits New All-Time High. The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) rose 3.4 points in April to 91.7, marking a new all-time survey high. The increase can be attributed to increases in five of the six HPSI components. The net share of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home was the only component that decreased, falling 3 percentage points compared to March. However, the net share who reported that now is a good time to sell a home increased 6 percentage points month over month. Additionally, the net share who said home prices will go up in the next 12 months increased 7 percentage points in April, while the net share of consumers who said mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months increased 4 percentage points. Americans expressed an increased sense of job security, with the net share who say they are not concerned about losing their job increasing 5 percentage points this month. Finally, the net share reporting that their income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 1 percentage point in April. “The latest HPSI reading edged up to a new survey high, showing that consumer attitudes remain resilient going into the spring/summer home buying season,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “High home prices and good economic conditions helped push the share of Americans who think it’s a good time to sell to a fresh record high.
* House Search Takes Many Months, But Buyers Do Not Intend to Give Up. The Housing Trends Report (HTR) is a new research product created by NAHB’s Economics team to track prospective home buyers’ perceptions about the availability and affordability of homes for-sale in their markets. 17% of adults responding to our poll in the first quarter of 2018 reported to be planning the purchase of a home in the next 12 months. A follow-up question asked that group if they were already actively trying to find a house or still just in the planning stage: 42% said their house search was in full throttle, down from the 67% of prospective buyers who said to be actively searching in the last quarter of 2017. A breakdown of first quarter 2018 results by generation shows that, of the 19% of Millennials who said to be planning a home purchase within the next year, about half (49%) are already actively engaged in the search for a home, making them the most likely generation to be currently involved in trying to find a house (and not just planning it). The poll also revealed that prospective buyers actively looking for a home are spending considerable amounts of time house hunting. In fact, more than half have been trying to find the right home for three months or longer: 51% in the first quarter of 2018 and 62% in the last quarter of 2017.

* Conventional Loan Share Reaches Decade High. NAHB analysis of the most recent Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing published by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that conventional loans accounted for 73.8% of new home sales in the first quarter of 2018, the highest share in a decade. Conventional loans financed over three-quarters of new home sales in the second quarter of 2008 before steadily falling and bottoming out at 57.3% in the third quarter of 2010. The share has steadily risen since then and has been above 71% each of the last seven quarters. FHA-loans financed 11.6% of new home sales during the first quarter of 2018, down from 12.5% in the prior quarter and from 14.8% in Q3 2017. Since its most recent peak in Q1 2016, the share of sales financed with FHA-backed mortgages has fallen 5.5 percentage points. Cash purchases accounted for 9,000 new home purchases, 5.2% of total new home sales. The aggregate 1.6% decline in the share of sales financed by FHA loans and cash was mostly due to the 1.6% rise in conventional mortgage market share.
Have a productive week.

Jason


Portland Metro Weekend Events Planner: May 11-13, 2018

PORTLAND METRO WEEKEND EVENTS PLANNER
MAY 11-13, 2018

MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH CRUISE

SUN – Give your Mom a much-needed reprieve from the chore of cooking at home to instead spend quality time with her family and friends aboard the Portland Spirit or Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler.

MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH AT THE ZOO

SUN – Treat mom to a special brunch at the Oregon Zoo this year, and celebrate with a sweet and savory spread of brunch favorites. 

RUN MAMA RUN!

SAT A fun Mother’s Day weekend run/walk through Mt Tabor Park. 10k, 5k or kid’s run. Post race activities include grilled cheese bits from Franz Bakery, Oblique Coffee, beer & vendor garden, baby boot camp & more.

REIGNING ROSES WALK

SUN Featuring a wonderful reception with mimosas, pastries and entertainment. Together, with Rose Haven guests, participants will stroll a 5k course through the streets of NW Portland, enjoying stops along the way at local NW shops. Participants are encouraged to walk with, or in honor of, a special woman in their life on Mother’s Day.

ST. JOHNS BIZARRE & PARADE 

SAT The entire six block area of the business district in the St. Johns is closed to traffic, and filled with over 90 juried craft vendors, several stages for music, great food, and tons of games and activities. It’s an amazing community event with something for everyone.

DOGGIE DASH

SAT 1.5 or 2.5 mile walk/run with a pet festival, vendors and contests. Celebrating you, the animals you love and everything that makes Puptown a haven for pet lovers. Funds raised by Dashers are used to fight animal cruelty, heal injured pets, and find homes for pets.

RUN FOR BEER

SAT All participants receive one local beer, seasonal merchandise or collector’s glassware, as well as the opportunity to partake in brewery tours, product demos, special giveaways, live music and more.

SABROSO CRAFT BEER, TACO & MUSIC FESTIVAL

SAT A day filled with craft beer, tasty gourmet tacos, Lucha Libre style wrestling and live music!

GEEK CRAFT EXPO

SAT – If you’re looking for “that” special thing to complement your geeky lifestyle, there is simply no better place to shop! Everything for sale at GeekCraft Expo is incredibly unique, limited in quantity.  

QUILT SHOW

FRI-SAT Over 300 quilts on display, vendors, silent auction, quilts for sale, build-a-block, quilts of valor, treasure hunt for kids & more.

THE SENSATIONAL SIXTIES

Through May 20  Featuring songs from Broadway’s biggest hits of the 1960s… there’s a little something for everyone.

EVITA

Through SUN  Tony award winning musical masterpiece Evita charts the young and ambitious Eva Peron’s meteoric rise to sainthood. 

RIGOLETTO

Through SUN  Powerhouse American baritone Stephen Powell returns to Portland Opera as Rigoletto—the court jester who amuses a philandering and immoral Duke.

FORCES OF NATURE: HISTORIC PORTLAND FLOODS, FIRES, ICE & SNOW

Through July 8 – Portland is known for its mild climate and beautiful natural surroundings, but the city has felt nature’s fury during its 170 year history. From a downtown submerged in water, to a waterfront in flames, to a city immobilized by ice and snow, explore how Portland residents have survived and recovered from natural disasters.

80’s VIDEO DANCE ATTACK

Every FRI & SAT – Dig out your neon mesh shirts, crimping iron and striped legwarmers to travel back to the 1980s! Classic music videos projected on giant screens complimented with a thumping sound system and light show, this dance extravaganza is sure to get the blood pumping!

PORTLAND CIDER HOUSE’S CIDER-MOSA SATURDAY

EVERY SAT – Enjoy a liquid brunch and try a variety of delicious and fun cider-mosas.

FLASHBACK DANCE CRUISE
SAT – Gather your crew & rock your best retro threads from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s!

DUELING PIANO SHOW
FRI & SAT (All Month) – The Barrel Room lays claim to the longest running dueling piano shows in Portland. The show, which at times can get a “little cheeky,” isn’t just two players banging on pianos for five hours. They boast a Vegas style, request driven, interactive show complete with bits, games, sing-a-longs, comedy and some of the best players in the U.S.

URBAN SCAVENGER HUNT
ALL MONTH  Smartphone clues lead you on a fun & engaging walking tour of the city. Clues start you in the heart of downtown at Pioneer Courthouse Square and will take you on a scavenger hunt through the Arts District, on a streetcar ride and among the famous food carts.

SHANROCK’S TRIVIOLOGY
ALL MONTH  Various Portland Locations: Triviology pub quizzes are free to play, last a couple of hours, and are composed of seven short rounds, giving teams instant gratification for their efforts. Team size can range from one to five players, with prizes for everyone on the winning team.

GUIDED NATURE HIKES
EVERY DAY – Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more.

HAUNTED PUB TOUR
All Month – This spine-tingling ghost tour explores Portland’s historic Old Town District, a vibrant area with beautiful 1800’s buildings, cobblestone streets and a wicked past.

GEEKS WHO DRINK PUB QUIZ
ALL MONTH – Anyone can grab a deck of Trivial Pursuit cards and run a “trivia night.” Geeks Who Drink’s smartass quizmasters run fast-paced, interactive and beer-soaked pub quiz events all over Portland.

PORTLAND ESCAPE ROOMS
All Month THURS-SUN – Cedar Hills/Beaverton Locations: Real-life room escape games are a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit.

 

VANCOUVER METRO EVENTS

MOTHER’S DAY DINNER & WINE TRAIN

SAT Join Moulton falls Winery and the historic Chelatchie Prairie Railroad for an evening of fun and adventure. Start out with appetizers and tastings then load up on the Chelatchie Prairie Train from the Moulton Falls crossing and enjoy an hour train ride along the beautiful Lewis river.

MOTHER’S DAY TEA

SAT The perfect way to treat the important women in your life! A delicious menu featuring three types of sandwiches, assorted desserts, scones, and of course, tea!

MOTHER’S DAY TRAIN RIDE

SAT-SUN Celebrate Mom with a train ride for the whole family. All women receive a rose to celebrate the day. The excursion runs to the Heisson area, through the tunnel, across the East Fork of the Lewis River with a stop at Moulton Station to visit Yacolt Falls.

CAMAS PLANT & GARDEN FAIR 

SAT Enjoy and explore the amazing selection of plants, trees, garden art and supplies, and much more provided by dedicated local growers and vendors. Kids’ activities, live music, fresh food, and the shops and restaurants of Downtown Camas all add to the community experience.

THE SEUSSIFICATION OF ROMEO & JULIET

FRI-SAT Shakespeare meets Seuss! A whimsical reinvention of Shakespeare’s tragic love story (in this case not so tragic!) complete with Dr. Seuss’s iconic rhyming tetrameter, creative wordplay, and fantastical machines. This fast-paced retelling is fun for all ages.

KIDS FISHING FESTIVAL

SAT Join Columbia Springs for a day of fishy fun! Kids 5-14 will be able to fish from a stocked pond and gets to take home anything they catch, along with a free fishing pole & tackle. BBQ lunch available, kids activities and more!

LILAC DAYS AT HULDA KLAGER GARDENS

Through May 13 – Each year, thousands of visitors step back in time to discover the 1880’s Victorian Farmhouse and country gardens that comprise the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens.

VANCOUVER FARMER’S MARKET

Through October 28 – Home to over 250 vendors with fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden.

OPEN SATURDAY AT PEARSON AIRBASE

SAT – Free educational experience, Flight Simulator lab, vertical wind tunnel, a glider-building station, historic airplanes on-site for viewing, collections on display, and educational programs to propel students of all ages.

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
· Breaking In
· Life of the Party
· Higher Power
· The Assassin’s Code
· Troy: The Resurrection of Aeneas
· Terminal
· The Seagull
· Mountain
· Another Kind of Wedding
· Revenge

 

Click here for movie times and theaters.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS WEEK’S OPEN HOUSES

For a monthly online listing of upcoming Portland metro events, click here.


This Week in Real Estate: May 7, 2018

Home values and employment continue their favorable trajectory as reported by CoreLogic and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. All 50 states realized year-over-year price appreciation in March while unemployment fell to the lowest rate since 2001 in April. Below are a few highlights from the first week of May that influence our business:

* Remodeling in 2017: Baths Reclaim Top Spot from Kitchens. May is National Home Remodeling Month.  Following the tradition established in recent years, the month’s first related post covers the most common types of remodeling projects performed by NAHB Remodelers during the previous calendar year.  Results come from a special question on NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey for the first quarter of 2018. The results show kitchen and bathroom remodeling continuing to duel for the top spot.  In the latest survey, 81 percent of NAHB’s remodelers cited bathrooms as one of their most common projects in 2017, slightly higher than the 78 who cited kitchen remodeling.  Previously, bathrooms had edged out kitchens in 2014 and 2015.  Kitchens then slid to the top in 2016 before the two switched positions again in the most recent numbers.  As in previous years, other remodeling jobs on the list in 2017 trailed baths and kitchens by a substantial margin.  The second tier included whole house remodeling (cited as a common project by 49 percent of remodelers), room additions (37 percent), and window or door replacement (30 percent). Although the whole house remodeling and room addition percentages were down year-over-year, they remain relatively strong compared to the rest of their post-downturn history.
* CoreLogic Reports Home Prices Up Again in March, This Time by 7 PercentCoreLogic released its Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for March 2018 Tuesday, which shows home prices rose both year over year and month over month. Home prices increased nationally by 7 percent year over year from March 2017 to March 2018, while on a month-over-month basis, prices increased by 1.4 percent in March 2018 – compared with February 2018 – according to the CoreLogic HPI. All 50 states gained value year over year in March; with Nevada joining Washington at 12.6 percent. Looking ahead, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that the national home-price index is projected to continue to increase by 5.2 percent on a year-over-year basis from March 2018 to March 2019. “Home prices grew briskly in the first quarter of 2018,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “High demand and limited supply have pushed home prices above where they were in early 2006. New construction still lags historically normal levels, keeping upward pressure on prices.”

* Modest Job Gains in April. In April, job gains increased by 164,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, the lowest rate since 2001. The average job growth was 200,000 for the first four months in 2018, higher than last year’s average of 182,000. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9% in April, after six consecutive months at 4.1%. Monthly employment data released by the BLS Establishment Survey indicates that construction rose by 17,000 jobs in April, after the 10,000 decline in March. Residential construction employment is now 2.80 million, broken down as 785,000 builders and 2 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction is 14,717 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers have added 125,500 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 818,300 positions. After reaching a peak rate of 22% in February 2010, the unemployment rate for the construction sector has been trending downwards and remains historically low.
Have a productive week.

Jason


Portland Metro Weekend Events Planner: May 4-6, 2018

PORTLAND METRO WEEKEND EVENTS PLANNER
MAY 4-6, 2018

CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA

FRI-SUN – The largest multicultural festival in the state of Oregon, held at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Enjoy, music, carnival rides, Artisan Village, live entertainment and much more!

CINCO DE MAYO RUN/WALK

SUN – Considered one of the best spring half marathons in the northwest. Post race party with live music, food, beverages and more!

DERBY DAY GRAND ADVENTURE

SAT – Enjoy watching the Kentucky Derby live and get a taste of southern hospitality with a complimentary specialty Blakeslee Mint Julep, gourmet popcorns and a white tablecloth catered lunch buffet.

SPRING ART & CRAFT MARKET

SAT – Meet the makers! 250+ artists selling their handmake goods at the Oregon Convention Center. Find fun and unique products, find the perfect gifts for the person that has everything.

SPRING GARDEN FAIR

SAT-SUN – A great place to get new flowers for your yard! A huge selection of plants, Master Gardeners on site for questions, classes available, and much more!

THE SENSATIONAL SIXTIES

Through May 20  Featuring songs from Broadway’s biggest hits of the 1960s… there’s a little something for everyone.

EVITA

Through May 13  Tony award winning musical masterpiece Evita charts the young and ambitious Eva Peron’s meteoric rise to sainthood. 

RIGOLETTO

Through May 13  Powerhouse American baritone Stephen Powell returns to Portland Opera as Rigoletto—the court jester who amuses a philandering and immoral Duke.

CLASSICAL UP CLOSE

Various Dates & Locations through May 6 – The musicians of the Oregon Symphony present 16 free chamber concerts as part of “Classical Up Close”—a unique series of chamber music performances celebrating classical music in our community. At these informal events, you’ll hear our symphony musicians perform intimate, beautiful music, and you’ll be encouraged to do all the things you might not normally do at a classical concert: take photos, tweet, text, applaud freely, and ask questions.

FORCES OF NATURE: HISTORIC PORTLAND FLOODS, FIRES, ICE & SNOW

Through July 8 – Portland is known for its mild climate and beautiful natural surroundings, but the city has felt nature’s fury during its 170 year history. From a downtown submerged in water, to a waterfront in flames, to a city immobilized by ice and snow, explore how Portland residents have survived and recovered from natural disasters.

80’s VIDEO DANCE ATTACK

Every FRI & SAT – Dig out your neon mesh shirts, crimping iron and striped legwarmers to travel back to the 1980s! Classic music videos projected on giant screens complimented with a thumping sound system and light show, this dance extravaganza is sure to get the blood pumping!

PORTLAND CIDER HOUSE’S CIDER-MOSA SATURDAY

EVERY SAT – Enjoy a liquid brunch and try a variety of delicious and fun cider-mosas.

FLASHBACK DANCE CRUISE
SAT – Gather your crew & rock your best retro threads from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s!

DUELING PIANO SHOW
FRI & SAT (All Month) – The Barrel Room lays claim to the longest running dueling piano shows in Portland. The show, which at times can get a “little cheeky,” isn’t just two players banging on pianos for five hours. They boast a Vegas style, request driven, interactive show complete with bits, games, sing-a-longs, comedy and some of the best players in the U.S.

URBAN SCAVENGER HUNT
ALL MONTH  Smartphone clues lead you on a fun & engaging walking tour of the city. Clues start you in the heart of downtown at Pioneer Courthouse Square and will take you on a scavenger hunt through the Arts District, on a streetcar ride and among the famous food carts.

SHANROCK’S TRIVIOLOGY
ALL MONTH  Various Portland Locations: Triviology pub quizzes are free to play, last a couple of hours, and are composed of seven short rounds, giving teams instant gratification for their efforts. Team size can range from one to five players, with prizes for everyone on the winning team.

GUIDED NATURE HIKES
EVERY DAY – Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more.

HAUNTED PUB TOUR
All Month – This spine-tingling ghost tour explores Portland’s historic Old Town District, a vibrant area with beautiful 1800’s buildings, cobblestone streets and a wicked past.

GEEKS WHO DRINK PUB QUIZ
ALL MONTH – Anyone can grab a deck of Trivial Pursuit cards and run a “trivia night.” Geeks Who Drink’s smartass quizmasters run fast-paced, interactive and beer-soaked pub quiz events all over Portland.

PORTLAND ESCAPE ROOMS
All Month THURS-SUN – Cedar Hills/Beaverton Locations: Real-life room escape games are a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit.

 

VANCOUVER METRO EVENTS

 

TACOS & TAPS

FRI-SAT – Enjoy gourmet taco creations and craft beer from some of the area’s finest chefs and brewers. With live music, amazing desserts, raffle prizes, beer bottle ring toss, photo booth, and lots of excitement. Supporting Clark County Food Bank.

RUN FOR BEER

SAT – All participants receive one local beer, seasonal merchandise or collector’s glassware as well as the opportunity to partake in brewery tours, product demos, special giveaways, and a special invitation to enjoy the days’ scheduled festivities: live music, food, yard games, etc.

VANCOUVER NIGHT MARKET

FRI – Uniting creativity and great art with food and inspiration. Stop by to shop local, network, and meet local business owners. An adventurous retail evening awaits!

LILAC DAYS AT HULDA KLAGER GARDENS

Through May 13 – Each year, thousands of visitors step back in time to discover the 1880’s Victorian Farmhouse and country gardens that comprise the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens.

 VANCOUVER FARMER’S MARKET

Through October 28 – Home to over 250 vendors with fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden.

OPEN SATURDAY AT PEARSON AIRBASE

SAT – Free educational experience, Flight Simulator lab, vertical wind tunnel, a glider-building station, historic airplanes on-site for viewing, collections on display, and educational programs to propel students of all ages.

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
· Overboard
· Tully
· Bad Samaritan
· Alex and the List
· The Cleanse
· The Gaurdians
· Altered Perception
· The Desert Bride
· I’m Losing It
· Racer and the Jailbird

 

Click here for movie times and theaters.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS WEEK’S OPEN HOUSES

For a monthly online listing of upcoming Portland metro events, click here.


This Week in Real Estate: April 30, 2018

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey released This Week in Real Estate, the U.S. homeownership rate is on a “sustainable upward trend” at 64.2%, just 2.1% below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%. Below are a few highlights from the fourth week of April that influence our business:

* Homeownership Rate Stable at 64%. According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate was 64.2% in the first quarter 2018, which is statistically no different from its last quarter reading. The rate of homeownership appears to be on a sustainable upward trend after reaching a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter of 2016. Compared to the peak of 69.2% in 2004, the homeownership rate is still down 5%, and remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%. On an annual basis, homeownership increased among all age groups under 55. The share of millennial who own a home increased from 34.3% a year ago to 35.3% in the first quarter 2018. However, it slipped 0.7% from a three-year high of 36% in the last quarter 2017.The homeownership rates of households ages 35-44 experienced a 0.8% increase, followed by the 0.6% gains registered by households ages 45-54. The non-seasonally adjusted homeowner vacancy rate remained low at 1.5% in the first quarter 2018, down by 0.1% from last quarter 2017. At the same time, the national rental vacancy rate held at 7%.

* Existing-Home Sales Climb 1.1 Percent in MarchExisting-home sales grew for the second consecutive month in March, but lagging inventory levels and affordability constraints kept sales activity below year ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million in March from 5.54 million in February. Despite last month’s increase, sales are still 1.2 percent below a year ago. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, says closings in March eked forward despite challenging market conditions in most of the country. “Robust gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February – helped overall sales activity rise to its strongest pace since last November at 5.72 million,” said Yun. The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $250,400, up 5.8 percent from March 2017 ($236,600). March’s price increase marks the 73rd straight month of year-over-year gains. Existing-home sales in the West declined 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.23 million in March, but are still 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $377,100, up 7.9 percent from March 2017.

* Mortgage Rates Climb to Highest Level in Over Four Years. Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey on Thursday, showing average mortgage rates continuing the upward trajectory seen in most of early 2018. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac chief economist, says mortgage rates increased for the third consecutive week, climbing 11 basis points to 4.58 percent. “Mortgage rates are now at their highest level since the week of August 22, 2013,” he said. “Higher Treasury yields, driven by rising commodity prices, more Treasury issuances and the steady stream of solid economic news, are behind the uptick in rates over the past week.” Added Khater, “Despite the increase in borrowing costs, demand for home purchase credit remains solid. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported in their latest mortgage applications survey that activity was up 11 percent from a year ago.”
Have a productive week.

Jason


Portland Metro Weekend Events Planner: April 27-29, 2018

PORTLAND METRO WEEKEND EVENTS PLANNER
APRIL 27-29, 2018

 

GATHERING OF THE GUILDS

FRI-SUN Five Portland area guilds have joined forces to exhibit and sell art and fine craft. 350 artists, live demonstrations, hands on activities & more.

82ND AVENUE PARADE OF ROSES

SAT – The parade starts at Eastport Plaza at 9:30AM and proceeds north on 82nd to SE Yamhill Street. Carnival Days at Eastport Plaza will will also take place from 10AM–3PM featuring pony rides, carnival rides, live music, clowns, face painting, food, and other fun, family friendly activities.

POUR OREGON

SUN – A wine festival celebrating Oregon wine and benefiting Make-A-Wish Oregon. We’re featuring 50 small, artisanal winemakers making great wine in every corner of Oregon.  

SIP OF SPRING

FRI-SAT – Spring beers are in bloom all over the city, and it’s a chance to celebrate by gathering with friends and enjoying a beer outside, on a farm with a view!


CERAMIC SHOWCASE

FRI-SUN – 100+ booths for gift ideas for Mother’s Day, birth­days, wed­dings, house­warm­ing and host/hostess gifts, Father’s Day, grad­u­a­tion, and par­tic­u­larly for yourself. Live music, demonstrations, drawings & more.

ROCK & GEM SHOW

FRI-SUN Over 20 dealers of minerals, rocks, fossils, jewelry, beads and more. Raffle and game prizes, kid’s area, demonstrations, and auction items.

RUN FOR BEER

SAT – All participants receive one local beer, seasonal merchandise or collector’s glassware as well as the opportunity to partake in brewery tours, product demos, special giveaways, and a special invitation to enjoy the days’ scheduled festivities. Includes live music, food, yard games, and more.

CLASSICAL UP CLOSE

Various Dates & Locations through May 6 – The musicians of the Oregon Symphony present 16 free chamber concerts as part of “Classical Up Close”—a unique series of chamber music performances celebrating classical music in our community. At these informal events, you’ll hear our symphony musicians perform intimate, beautiful music, and you’ll be encouraged to do all the things you might not normally do at a classical concert: take photos, tweet, text, applaud freely, and ask questions.

TULIP FEST

Through April 30 – Enjoy all things that make spring in the Northwest. Stroll through 40 acres of stunning beauty, experience expansive views of vineyards, distant mountains, and a few mud puddles. Fresh flowers, food, and fun for the entire family, including well behaved dogs on leashes!

LA BELLE: LOST IN THE WORLD OF AUTOMATION

Through SUN – A giant art work of a play with 100 moving parts that will engage you like no other show. Animated effects every 30 seconds with steampunk, whimsical, and dramatic finesse. This is the new Imago and they are at their best!

JAPANESE CURRENTS

Through SAT – Highlighting recent noteworthy Nipponese films, ranging from anime to jidaigeki, documentary to comedy, all while exploring issues important to contemporary Japanese society. Collectively, these selections offer a fresh take on Japanese culture and showcase the wealth of creative invention at work in Japan today.

FORCES OF NATURE: HISTORIC PORTLAND FLOODS, FIRES, ICE & SNOW

Through July 8 – Portland is known for its mild climate and beautiful natural surroundings, but the city has felt nature’s fury during its 170 year history. From a downtown submerged in water, to a waterfront in flames, to a city immobilized by ice and snow, explore how Portland residents have survived and recovered from natural disasters.

80’s VIDEO DANCE ATTACK

Every FRI & SAT – Dig out your neon mesh shirts, crimping iron and striped legwarmers to travel back to the 1980s! Classic music videos projected on giant screens complimented with a thumping sound system and light show, this dance extravaganza is sure to get the blood pumping!

PORTLAND CIDER HOUSE’S CIDER-MOSA SATURDAY

EVERY SAT – Enjoy a liquid brunch and try a variety of delicious and fun cider-mosas.

FLASHBACK DANCE CRUISE
SAT – Gather your crew & rock your best retro threads from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s!

DUELING PIANO SHOW
FRI & SAT (All Month) – The Barrel Room lays claim to the longest running dueling piano shows in Portland. The show, which at times can get a “little cheeky,” isn’t just two players banging on pianos for five hours. They boast a Vegas style, request driven, interactive show complete with bits, games, sing-a-longs, comedy and some of the best players in the U.S.

URBAN SCAVENGER HUNT
ALL MONTH  Smartphone clues lead you on a fun & engaging walking tour of the city. Clues start you in the heart of downtown at Pioneer Courthouse Square and will take you on a scavenger hunt through the Arts District, on a streetcar ride and among the famous food carts.

SHANROCK’S TRIVIOLOGY
ALL MONTH  Various Portland Locations: Triviology pub quizzes are free to play, last a couple of hours, and are composed of seven short rounds, giving teams instant gratification for their efforts. Team size can range from one to five players, with prizes for everyone on the winning team.

GUIDED NATURE HIKES
EVERY DAY – Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more.

HAUNTED PUB TOUR
All Month – This spine-tingling ghost tour explores Portland’s historic Old Town District, a vibrant area with beautiful 1800’s buildings, cobblestone streets and a wicked past.

GEEKS WHO DRINK PUB QUIZ
ALL MONTH – Anyone can grab a deck of Trivial Pursuit cards and run a “trivia night.” Geeks Who Drink’s smartass quizmasters run fast-paced, interactive and beer-soaked pub quiz events all over Portland.

PORTLAND ESCAPE ROOMS
All Month THURS-SUN – Cedar Hills/Beaverton Locations: Real-life room escape games are a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit.

 

VANCOUVER METRO EVENTS

 

KAYAK AND CANOE FESTIVAL

SAT-SUN – Attend classes and demonstrations both days of the Spring Paddle Festival at Vancouver Lake Regional Park. Free.

HOME & GARDEN FAIR

FRI-SUN – Featuring hundreds of ideas on how to make your home, yard and garden a more beautiful, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly place. It‘s a fun filled show, with activities for the entire family.

BLOOMS TO BREWS

SUN – Follow the flat course through the Woodland Bottoms just when the tulips & lilacs are in full bloom. Take in breath-taking views of the Columbia & Lewis Rivers. Relax at the biggest post party at Horseshoe Lake!

LILAC DAYS AT HULDA KLAGER GARDENS

Through May 13 – Each year, thousands of visitors step back in time to discover the 1880’s Victorian Farmhouse and country gardens that comprise the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens.

 VANCOUVER FARMER’S MARKET

Through October 28 – Home to over 250 vendors with fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden.

OPEN SATURDAY AT PEARSON AIRBASE

SAT – Free educational experience, Flight Simulator lab, vertical wind tunnel, a glider-building station, historic airplanes on-site for viewing, collections on display, and educational programs to propel students of all ages.

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
· Avengers: Infinity War
· Kings
· Adventures in Public School
· Let the Sunshine In
· Jet Trash
· Duck Butter
· Supercon
· Da One that Ghost Away
· Bhai Taru Singh

Click here for movie times and theaters.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS WEEK’S OPEN HOUSES

For a monthly online listing of upcoming Portland metro events, click here.


This Week in Real Estate: April 23, 2018

Homeowners continue to realize significant returns as a percentage of their original purchase price as reported This Week in Real Estate in ATTOM Data Solutions Q1 2018 Home Sales Report. The average home seller in the first quarter of this year realized a 29.5% return as a percentage of original purchase price. Below are a few highlights from the third week of April that influence our business:

* Small Gain for Housing Starts in March. Total housing starts increased slightly in March, led by multifamily construction strength. Starts increased 1.9% to a 1.32 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. However, the pace of single-family starts declined in March, falling 3.7% to an 867,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate, due to lingering weather effects in some parts of the nation. The three-month moving average for single-family starts remained near a post-recession high rate of construction (889,000). These recent trends for single-family starts match ongoing healthy levels of the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, now registering a score of 69.  For the first quarter of 2018, single-family starts are 7% higher than this time in 2017, in-line with forecast for modest gains. Single-family permits were down 5.5% in March, although are recording a 5.3% improvement thus far in 2018 relative to this time in 2017.

* Most States Record YTD Single Family Permits Growth in February 2018. Over the first two months of 2018, the total number of single-family permits issued nationwide reached 123,871. On a year-over-year basis, this is an 11.2% increase over the February 2017 level of 111,356. The results from theSOC are similar, single-family permits over the second month of 2018 was, 122,800 which is 10.2% ahead of its level over the same period of 2017, 111,400. Between February 2017 to February 2018, 34 states saw growth in single-family permits issued while there was no change in New Hampshire. Seventeen states, including California, recorded a growth above 11.2% but 15 states, including New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois, as well as the District of Columbia registered a decline. Idaho had the highest growth rate during this time at 53.9% while single-family permits in the District of Columbia declined by 51.0%. In the single-family sector, Texas led with 19,893 permits issued year-to-date in February 2018 and Florida was second with 13,964 during this time. Meanwhile the lowest number came from the District of Columbia with 24 permits.  The 10 states issuing the highest number of single-family permits combined accounted for 64.0% of the single-family permits issued.

* 54% of U.S. Metros Post Median Home Prices Above Pre-Recession Peaks in Q1 2018. On Thursday ATTOM Data Solutions released its Q1 2018 U.S. Home Sales Report, which shows that median home prices in 57 of 105 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report (54 percent) were above their pre-recession home price peaks in the first quarter. Nationwide the median home price of $240,000 in Q1 2018 was less than 1 percent below its pre-recession peak of $241,500 in Q3 2005, but still up 9.1 percent from a year ago. Among the 105 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report, those posting the biggest year-over-year increase in median home prices were San Jose, California (up 33 percent); Flint, Michigan (up 20 percent); Spokane, Washington (up 18 percent); Reno, Nevada (up 17 percent); and Seattle, Washington (up 16 percent). U.S. homeowners who sold in Q1 2018 realized an average home price gain since purchase of $53,369, down from an average gain of $54,000 in Q4 2017 but still up from an average gain of $45,000 in Q1 2017. The average home seller gain of $53,369 in Q1 2018 represented an average 29.5 percent return as a percentage of original purchase price, down from a 29.8 percent return in the previous quarter but still up from a 25.7 percent return in Q1 2017. Among 154 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report, those with the highest average home seller returns in Q1 2018 were San Jose, California (109.1 percent); San Francisco, California (73.6 percent); Seattle, Washington (66.0 percent); Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii (65.3 percent); and Vallejo-Fairfield, California (58.8 percent).
Have a productive week.

Jason


Portland Metro Weekend Events Planner: April 20-22, 2018

PORTLAND METRO WEEKEND EVENTS PLANNER
APRIL 20-22, 2018

 

EARTH DAY EVENTS

Get out and celebrate Mother Earth this weekend. Everything from clean up opportunities to Fun Runs and much more.

OREGON ORCHID SHOW & SALE

SAT-SUN – Billed as the largest orchid show in the Pacific Northwest. See thousands of blooming orchids on display and for sale.    

SOIREE MARDI GRAS

WED-SUN  Enjoy April in Paris at the Gala Fundraiser this year as you have fun with a great auction experience from the Alliance. Unique French properties to visit as well as beachfront in Maui, French Immersion on the Riviera, great restaurant experiences, and unique finds – these are just a few of the tantalizing items you’ll find at the Soirée auctions.

RUN FOR BEER

April 21st & 28th   

All participants receive one local beer, seasonal merchandise or collector’s glassware as well as the opportunity to partake in brewery tours, product demos, special giveaways, and a special invitation to enjoy the days’ scheduled festivities. Includes live music, food, yard games, and more.


SOUL’D OUT

WED-SUN – Various jazz, blues, hip hop artists playing in multiple locations around Portland. Check out the great line up and schedule!

TONY STARLIGHT’S AM GOLD SEVENTIES SOFT ROCK SHOW 

SAT  Tony Starlight makes an evening out of performing songs from the stalwarts of the AM dial in the 1970s. Artists like Elton John, Neil Diamond, Carole King, Jim Croce, Little River Band, Carly Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, Barry Manilow and Billy Joel.

DESIGN WEEK PORTLAND

Through SAT – Hundreds of free or low cost events and open houses, conceived and hosted by the creative community. There’s something for everyone.

CLASSICAL UP CLOSE

Various Dates & Locations through May 6 – The musicians of the Oregon Symphony present 16 free chamber concerts as part of “Classical Up Close”—a unique series of chamber music performances celebrating classical music in our community. At these informal events, you’ll hear our symphony musicians perform intimate, beautiful music, and you’ll be encouraged to do all the things you might not normally do at a classical concert: take photos, tweet, text, applaud freely, and ask questions.

TULIP FEST

Through April 30 – Enjoy all things that make spring in the Northwest. Stroll through 40 acres of stunning beauty, experience expansive views of vineyards, distant mountains, and a few mud puddles. Fresh flowers, food, and fun for the entire family, including well behaved dogs on leashes!

LA BELLE: LOST IN THE WORLD OF AUTOMATION

Through April 29 – A giant art work of a play with 100 moving parts that will engage you like no other show. Animated effects every 30 seconds with steampunk, whimsical, and dramatic finesse. This is the new Imago and they are at their best!

FESTIVAL OF PRESERVATION

Through SUN – An ambitious, eclectic range of everything from lost silents to at-risk mid-century features, shorts, and documentaries. A surprise-filled treasure trove sure to delight cinema lovers of many persuasions.

JAPANESE CURRENTS

Through April 28 – Highlighting recent noteworthy Nipponese films, ranging from anime to jidaigeki, documentary to comedy, all while exploring issues important to contemporary Japanese society. Collectively, these selections offer a fresh take on Japanese culture and showcase the wealth of creative invention at work in Japan today.

FORCES OF NATURE: HISTORIC PORTLAND FLOODS, FIRES, ICE & SNOW

Through July 8 – Portland is known for its mild climate and beautiful natural surroundings, but the city has felt nature’s fury during its 170 year history. From a downtown submerged in water, to a waterfront in flames, to a city immobilized by ice and snow, explore how Portland residents have survived and recovered from natural disasters.

80’s VIDEO DANCE ATTACK

Every FRI & SAT – Dig out your neon mesh shirts, crimping iron and striped legwarmers to travel back to the 1980s! Classic music videos projected on giant screens complimented with a thumping sound system and light show, this dance extravaganza is sure to get the blood pumping!

PORTLAND CIDER HOUSE’S CIDER-MOSA SATURDAY

EVERY SAT – Enjoy a liquid brunch and try a variety of delicious and fun cider-mosas.

FLASHBACK DANCE CRUISE
SAT – Gather your crew & rock your best retro threads from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s!

DUELING PIANO SHOW
FRI & SAT (All Month) – The Barrel Room lays claim to the longest running dueling piano shows in Portland. The show, which at times can get a “little cheeky,” isn’t just two players banging on pianos for five hours. They boast a Vegas style, request driven, interactive show complete with bits, games, sing-a-longs, comedy and some of the best players in the U.S.

URBAN SCAVENGER HUNT
ALL MONTH  Smartphone clues lead you on a fun & engaging walking tour of the city. Clues start you in the heart of downtown at Pioneer Courthouse Square and will take you on a scavenger hunt through the Arts District, on a streetcar ride and among the famous food carts.

SHANROCK’S TRIVIOLOGY
ALL MONTH  Various Portland Locations: Triviology pub quizzes are free to play, last a couple of hours, and are composed of seven short rounds, giving teams instant gratification for their efforts. Team size can range from one to five players, with prizes for everyone on the winning team.

GUIDED NATURE HIKES
EVERY DAY – Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more.

HAUNTED PUB TOUR
All Month – This spine-tingling ghost tour explores Portland’s historic Old Town District, a vibrant area with beautiful 1800’s buildings, cobblestone streets and a wicked past.

GEEKS WHO DRINK PUB QUIZ
ALL MONTH – Anyone can grab a deck of Trivial Pursuit cards and run a “trivia night.” Geeks Who Drink’s smartass quizmasters run fast-paced, interactive and beer-soaked pub quiz events all over Portland.

PORTLAND ESCAPE ROOMS
All Month THURS-SUN – Cedar Hills/Beaverton Locations: Real-life room escape games are a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit.

 

VANCOUVER METRO EVENTS

 

EARTH DAY ON THE CONFLUENCE LAND BRIDGE

SAT – Tend to landscaping needs, and eat burgers and hot dogs. Learn about the site’s indigenous plants as you walk along the Land Bridge. Enjoy Native American artist, Lillian Pitt’s works along the bridge that highlight the deep, significant contributions indigenous people make to this place.

NW’S LARGEST GARAGE & VINTAGE SHOW

SAT – A community sale with over 500 indoor booths, each set up and ran by its own seller. Shoppers can shop hundreds of sales in one location, including vintage, antiques, new and used items, and everything in between.

FRIDAY FUN NIGHTS AT KIDS CLUB FUN & FITNESS 

FRI –Themed, after hours, drop-off events for kids 4-11 years old, filled with amazing activities!

LILAC DAYS AT HULDA KLAGER GARDENS

Through May 13 – Each year, thousands of visitors step back in time to discover the 1880’s Victorian Farmhouse and country gardens that comprise the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens.

 VANCOUVER FARMER’S MARKET

Through October 28 – Home to over 250 vendors with fresh and local produce, flowers, plants, baked goods, delicious food, pet treats, and accessories for yourself, home, or garden.

OPEN SATURDAY AT PEARSON AIRBASE

SAT – Free educational experience, Flight Simulator lab, vertical wind tunnel, a glider-building station, historic airplanes on-site for viewing, collections on display, and educational programs to propel students of all ages.

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
· I Feel Pretty
· Super Troopers 2
· Corbin Nash
· Genesis
· Traffik
· Gray Matter
· Beyond the Clouds
· Khido Khundi
· Ghost Stories
· Kodachrome

Click here for movie times and theaters.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS WEEK’S OPEN HOUSES

For a monthly online listing of upcoming Portland metro events, click here.


Spring Home Staging Tips to Sell your Home

SpringHomeStagingTips

 

Spring brings the promise of a fresh start. It provides many opportunities for home staging and is a time when many buyers hone in on a home. Make your home attractive to buyers with these spring staging tips.

Fresh flowers for vibrant color

Flowers are an integral part of spring and should be added both indoors and outdoors. Freshly-cut flowers in reflective glass vases add an instant spring feeling to a home. Botanical prints and colors in yellow or light-green shades also give rooms a spring-like feel. Create bright flowerbeds to brighten landscapes and add curb appeal. Display floral paintings and décor to help spruce up properties for the season.

Natural scents

Scents have a great emotional impact on people, so it is important to integrate them into the home. Choose fragrances that evoke fresh and clean energy with aromatherapy diffusers, natural potpourri or candles. Citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit), vanilla, lavender, and freshly-cut lilac flowers are good choices. Stay away from strong synthetic smells that might bother those with chemical sensitivities.

Cleaning is essential

Every inch of the home should tell buyers that it is in tip-top shape. Windows should be thoroughly cleaned, cobwebs removed, and musty odors banished. Declutter (inside and outside) to make the property airy, light, and spacious. Avoid putting junk into closets, as prospective buyers will think the property doesn’t have enough storage.

Spruce up the back door

The back door should be as beautiful as the front to give potential buyers the same cheerful feeling they got when they first entered the home. Containers of potted bulbs on the back steps, deck table, or grassy areas near the house can be used to add color to spaces that have not fully grown in. Display a spring-themed welcome sign or door mat for a cheery touch.

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©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.