Portland Metro Events Weekend Planner, 2/13-2/15

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
PORTLAND METRO EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR FEBRUARY 13-15, 2015

 

MONSTER JAM

SAT-SUN FEB 14-15 Monster Jam is the most exciting form of family motorsports entertainment on the planet. Sat @ 2 pm & 7:30pm; Sun @ 2 pm. Moda Center

NW FILM CENTER’S INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

FRI-SUN FEB 13-15 (daily FEB 5-21) Northwest Film Center’s annual showcase of new world cinema. Various Portland Locations

VALENTINE’S DAY EVENT: THE MAKING OF LOVE

SAT FEB 14 Foster Row celebrates Valentine’s Day with an evening of music, open studios, and libations! 6-8PM. Foster Row, SE Portland

MY BEERY VALENTINE

SAT-SUN FEB 14-15 Saraveza Bottleshop & Pasty Tavern to put forth a selection of insanely delicious and innovative beers for Valentine’s Day Weekend. 11AM-10PM Saraveza Bottleshop in N. Portland

JUNGLE BOOK

SAT-SUN FEB 14-15 Northwest Children’s Theater & School presents the world premiere of a stage adaptation. 12PM & 4PM; Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

FRI-SUN FEB 13-15 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

SKIPPYJON JONES, A MUSICAL

SAT-SUN FEB 13-15 Oregon Children’s Theatre follows a Siamese cat who thinks he’s a bird. Sat @ 2PM & 5PM; Sun @ 2PM. Portland’s Newmark Theatre

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

FRI-SUN FEB 13-15 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

MASTERWORKS PORTLAND: EL GRECO

FRI-SUN FEB 13-15 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum

FRIENDS OF VANCOUVER HANGAR DANCE

SAT FEB 14 Re-creating the memorable WWII USO dances, the Friends of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is hosting a Hangar Dance fundraiser at Pearson Air Museum on Valentine’s Day. 7 PM. Pearson Air Museum

NW FLOWER & GARDEN SHOW

SAT-SUN FEB 14-15 The 27th Northwest Flower & Garden Show provides imagination and inspiration with its magnificent showcase of gardens big and small, over 110 free seminars, a big line-up of exhibitors in the marketplace and more. Washington State Convention Center

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK

  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • The Last Five Years
  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • Old Fashioned

 


Our steady growth continues

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate is a popular place to be!

We are very proud to announce the BHHS-Sealrecent addition of these real estate professionals to our BHHS family:

Nancy Hoover – Bend

Gary Otremba – Bend

Kevin Kamakani – Bend

Kathleen McDonald – Bend

Amy Welborn – Lake Oswego

Beth Thompson – West Portland

Joe Maye – Florence

Alisa Frazier – Columbia Tech Center

Kathy Frisbie – Columbia Tech Center

Gwen Moore – Bend

Michael Kennedy – Portland Metro

Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Consider a move to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the 2014 Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year.

From our complimentary Mentor Program to our intensive Broker Excellence training, we provide the support you need to grow your business.  Click here to learn a little about what’s important to us and how we help our brokers create long-term clients while building lasting careers. Email careers@bhhsnw.com to schedule a confidential meeting.


This Week in Real Estate, Feb. 9, 2015

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Good Morning!

This Week in Real Estate….more jobs added than expected and mortgage rates back to 2013 levels….are you prepared to seize all the opportunities in front of you?

Below are a few of the highlights from the first week in February that influence our business:

* New Study Finds Price Premium for Solar Homes. A study conducted by a team of researchers, led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Laboratory, found that homebuyers are willing to pay more for homes that have installed solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. The research estimates a price premium of approximately $4 per watt of PV installed. For a typical PV system, the research team found that this translates into a price premium of $15,000. The research also examined the difference in price premium between newly built and existing homes. The estimates indicate a small, but statistically insignificant, difference between new and existing residences with PV systems. For new homes, the estimated premium was $3.58/watt, while for existing homes the premium was $4.51/watt. Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/02/new-study-finds-price-premium-for-solar-homes/

* Experts got a pleasant surprise Friday morning as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January beating estimates. The strong start to 2015 in the labor market will be received as encouraging news at the Federal Reserve which has signaled that the economic recovery may be strong enough to begin raising interest rates as early as its scheduled June meeting. Below target inflation and economic developments overseas have opened the door to the possibility of a later liftoff but today’s employment report will be a positive note in the deliberations. Many experts believe this job report does not put enough pressure on Fed rates for it to raise them. “The Fed wants to see much more wage growth,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, told CNBC on Friday. “We’re still well below that…This keeps the Fed patient in terms of how they do lift off going forward.” Full Story… http://www.cnbc.com/id/102405104?__source=mnd|news|&par=mnd

* Homebuilding: The Job Revival That Will Surprise in 2015. Housing-related employment got a jolt in January. The number of residential construction workers rose 12,500, a gain of 1.8 percent, the biggest one-month jump in percentage terms since 2002. Other trade categories related to housing jobs also showed strength. Specialty trade contractors, who’ve been in short supply, increased by 7,600 to the highest level since 2009. Wood products manufacturers added 4,100 employees, building materials stores another 3,700. Architectural and engineering employment, which includes home designers, increased by 7,800 to the highest level since 2008. Full Story… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-06/home-building-the-jobs-revival-that-will-surprise-in-2015

* Falling Mortgage Rates Fuel Buying Activity. Mortgage interest rates rolled back to 2013 levels this week. The 30-year fixed-mortgage averaged 3.59% this week, down from 3.66% last week. A year ago this time, it was as high as 4.32%, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Mortgage applications for FHA loans spiked last week in the midst of lower FHA mortgage insurance premiums, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Both purchase and refinance activity are up, signaling a higher demand for housing. Buyers are refinancing, and they’re choosing FHA loans to do so. Refinance applications using FHA loans increased 76.5% after the drop in mortgage insurance premiums. FHA purchase applications increased 12.4%, according to the MBA. Full Story… http://www.realtor.com/news/falling-mortgage-rates-fuel-buying-activity/​

Have a productive week!
Jason


Rainy Season Landscaping: Attract Buyers to Outdoor Spaces

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Rainy season doesn’t have to mean diverting buyers’ attention solely to indoor features.
Highlight the vibrant greenery of the Pacific Northwest to showcase your yard’s Winter usability.

Landscape features to consider

Covered patio. To create an entertainment area that’s protected from the rain, add a patio cover to your deck. Awnings may also work, but they are more likely to be damaged in storms. Once you have a covered area, add a patio heater to draw even more guests outdoors.

Rain gardens. Adding a rain garden to your property will attract wintertime wildlife to your garden, providing you with an opportunity to see beauty even in the darkest, coldest time of the year. Furthermore, rain gardens are an environmentally conscious way to handle the heavy winter rainfall endemic to the Pacific Northwest.
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Selecting plants that shine in the rain

Oregon and Washington gardeners can create a beautiful wintertime landscape by selecting plants that will attract the eye even on cloudy days.

Here are a few suggestions:
Astilbes. These are perennial shrubs that produce feather-like flowers in the summer. As fall and winter come on, these flowers dry into intricate stalks, which add vertical interest to any winter landscape. Astilbes flourish in the clay soils that are common in the Portland area. Furthermore, they love waterlogged soil, so they thrive alongside ponds or rain gardens.

Ferns. Ferns often stay green all winter long in the Pacific Northwest. For instance, sword ferns’ arching fronds can provide a beautiful green feast for the eyes throughout the coldest months. Licorice fern is another cheerful choice for winter landscape design, as they break their dormancy in the early winter, sprouting out fresh new growth just after the New Year. Planting a few ferns along your front walk will draw visitors to your door.

Ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses are like the exclamation points of the winter garden—their fuzzy seed heads bob and sway in winter storms. Grasses add texture and height to an otherwise bland design.

Bamboo. Bamboo is actually a grass that loses its leaves in the spring. In other words, bamboo will bring lush greenery to your garden throughout the winter. However, landscape designer service experts recommend planting bamboo cautiously, as this is one plant that can spread very quickly. If you want to plant traditional bamboo canes directly into the earth, you’ll need to install three-foot-deep barriers to prevent underground roots called rhizomes from spreading. (This is not true for clumping bamboo species, which are less aggressive.) Alternatively, you can plant bamboo in containers. This is a great approach to adding privacy to your winter landscape—designer ceramic pots with good drainage can be massed to create a “wall” of bamboo.

Don’t let buyers track in the mud

Finally, outline high-traffic zones where you (and potential buyers) are likely to tromp. Place pavers or stones in these areas so as to reduce the amount of mud that’s tracked into your home.


Portland Events Weekend Planner, 2/6-2/8

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PORTLAND EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR FEBRUARY 6-8, 2015

 

PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

THURS-SUN FEB 5-8 See the newest vehicle models at the annual show, plus take in family and educational activities. Oregon Convention Center

SPIRITS INTERPRETED & THE ART OF MASK-MAKING

SAT FEB 7 Confluence Project presents Lillian Pitt, Pacific Northwest Native American artist, and multicultural artist Bill Rutherford for an exhibit and workshop on making masks from clay. Doors open at 11 a.m. to view masks; presentation 1 p.m.; workshop 2-4 p.m. Pearson Air Museum (Vancouver)

PACIFIC NORTHWEST SPORTSMEN’S SHOW

SAT-SUN FEB 7-8 The largest sportsmen’s show west of the Mississippi & undoubtedly the region’s most anticipated annual event for outdoor adventurers and sportsmen of all ages. Portland Expo Center

OREGON SYMPHONY: CARMINA BURANA

SAT-SUN FEB 7-8 Carlos Kalmar directs the Pacific Youth Choir, Portland Symphonic Choir and various soloists in Orff’s work. 7:30 PM Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

JUNGLE BOOK

SAT-SUN FEB 7-8 Northwest Children’s Theater & School presents the world premiere of a stage adaptation. Saturday @ 12PM & 4PM; Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

FRI-SUN FEB 6-8 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

SKIPPYJON JONES, A MUSICAL

SAT-SUN FEB 7-8 (ends Feb. 15) Oregon Children’s Theatre follows a Siamese cat who thinks he’s a bird. Sat @ 2PM & 5PM; Sun @ 2PM. Portland’s Newmark Theatre

21ST ANNUAL YOUNG ARTIST’S COMPETITION

SUN FEB 8 Finalists perform, then three top candidates in each category of piano, strings and brass/woodwinds/percussion will be chosen for scholarship prizes. 1-3PM. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

FRI-SUN FEB 6-8 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

MASTERWORKS PORTLAND: EL GRECO

FRI-SUN FEB 6-8 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum

RACE FOR WARMTH 5K & 10K

SUN FEB 8 Participation help raise awareness for Operation Warm Heart; proceeds benefit families in financial crisis pay heating bills. Pre-registration required online through Feb. 7. 8:30 AM start time. Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
         • Jupiter Ascending
         • Seventh Son
         • The Spongebob Movie
         • Ballet 422

 


This Week in Real Estate

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Happy February!

As we close out the first 31 days of the new year more positive news with respect to the two key drivers of the real estate business: unemployment and interest rates headline This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few of the highlights that influence our business from the fourth week of 2015:

* U.S. unemployment benefit applications plunge to 15-year low. Weekly applications dropped 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000. That is the lowest level since April 2000. It is also the biggest decline in two years. Employers added almost 3 million jobs last year, the most since 1999. Most economists forecast growth will top 3 percent in 2015 for the first time in a decade. Full story…
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-unemployment-benefit-applications-plunge-133114403.html

* A more robust year for housing in 2015. A strengthening labor market, low interest rates, improving mortgage availability and growing pent-up demand will help to significantly boost single-family housing production in the year ahead and move the housing recovery to higher ground, according to economists speaking at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Accelerating economic growth and employment gains are the primary factors that have helped consumer confidence jump back to pre-recession levels, according to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/01/a-more-robust-year-for-housing-in-2015/

* Mortgage rates shoot past recent lows; 3.5% getting more prevalent. Rate sheets moved well past recent lows and back to levels not seen since May 10th, 2013. For the knife-catchers out there, today is the best day in more than 20 months. The specific result today is the greatly-increased prevalence of 3.5% as a conforming 30-year fixed quote for top tier scenarios. Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/430712.aspx

* Boomerang home buyers are coming back. RealtyTrac estimates 7.3 million so-called “boomerang buyers” will return to the U.S. housing market over the next eight years. With the economy gaining momentum and hiring picking up, many foreclosed on homeowners are in a position to buy again. Homeowners can recover from foreclosure in as little as three years, but seven years in the “conservative” amount of time it takes to rebuild a credit score. That means many homeowners who lost their homes in 2007 should be able to qualify for a new home loan this year. More than 500,000 people will fit this description in 2015. The number jumps to 1 million next year, peaks at 1.3 million in 2018. Full Story… http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/27/real_estate/boomerang-homebuyers-foreclosed-return/index.html

Have a productive week!
Jason


Portland Events Weekend Planner, 1/30-2/1

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PORTLAND EVENTS WEEKEND PLANNER
FOR JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 1, 2015

 

PORTLAND SEAFOOD & WINE FESTIVAL

SAT JAN 31 Sip Oregon Wines & enjoy fresh coastal seafood & other culinary delights at the 10th Annual Portland Seafood and Wine Festival! 12PM-9PM Oregon Convention Center

HAL HOLBROOK IN “MARK TWAIN TONIGHT”

SAT JAN 31 This one-man show has earned Holbrook a Tony and an Emmy. 7:30 PM, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

JUNGLE BOOK

SAT-SUN JAN 31-FEB 1 Northwest Children’s Theater & School presents the world premiere of a stage adaptation. Saturday @ 12PM & 4PM; Sunday @ 12PM Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center

ANNE FRANK: A HISTORY FOR TODAY

FRI-SUN JAN 30-FEB 1 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum

SKIPPYJON JONES, A MUSICAL

SAT-SUN JAN 31-FEB 1 Oregon Children’s Theatre follows a Siamese cat who thinks he’s a bird. Sat @ 2PM & 5PM; Sun @ 2PM. Portland’s Newmark Theatre

GUIDED NATURE HIKES

FRI-SUN JAN 31-FEB 1 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more

MASTERWORKS PORTLAND: EL GRECO

FRI-SUN JAN 31-FEB 1 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum

WINE TASTING: WINES FROM ITALY

SAT JAN 31 @ Noon, Liner & Elsen Wines 2222 NW Quimby St.

BREWERY TOURS

SAT JAN 31 @ 11AM Brewvana leads weekly and special van tours visiting Portland-area breweries, plus walking tours. www.experiencebrewvana.com

NEW MOVIES OUT THIS WEEK
         • Timbuktu
         • Project Almanac
         • Black or White
         • The Loft

 


4th Quarter Chairman’s Report

We are happy to announce the 4th Quarter Chairman’s Report is now available to read online. Discover where the real estate market is headed for 2015 and review 4th Quarter Market Stats for the Portland Metro and SW Washington. Special thanks to our Chairman, Bert Waugh, Jr.


This Week in Real Estate

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Good Afternoon!

Refinancing activity, positive news for housing starts, and builder confidence dominate the headlines in This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week of 2015:

* Mortgage applications rise on refinancing surge. Applications to refinance increased 22 percent from the previous week, and are now up 63 percent from a year ago. “This increase was largely due to mortgage rates dropping to their lowest level since May 2013. However, the recent reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums also played a role: FHA refinance applications increased 57 percent last week,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA chief economist. Full story… http://www.cnbc.com/id/102353506

* Confidence among U.S. home builders held steady in January, giving back very little following a sizeable jump toward the end of 2014. A monthly index of builder sentiment from the National Association of Home Builders fell one point in January to 57 from December. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment, and this marks seven straight months above 50. “Steady economic growth, rising consumer confidence and a growing labor market will help the housing market continue to move forward in 2015,” said the association’s Chief Economist David Crowe. On a three-month moving average, builder confidence in the West rose by four points to 66. Full Story… http://www.cnbc.com/id/102350914

* Builders broke ground in December on the most single-family homes in almost seven years, propelling an unexpectedly large gain in U.S. housing starts that signals construction will contribute to economic growth in 2015. ​For all of 2014, groundbreaking increased 8.8 percent to 1.01 million units, the highest since 2007. Single-family home starts, the largest part of the market, jumped 7.2 percent to a 728,000-unit pace, the highest level since March 2008. Single-family permits rose 4.5 percent to their highest level since January 2008. Full Story… http://www.cnbc.com/id/102352190

* Fannie Mae’s economists expect the economy to strengthen in 2015 and that will “drag” housing into a better cycle this year. ​The company’s forecast for the year includes a moderate acceleration of economic growth, “driven by strengthening private domestic demand, especially consumer spending, amid continued low gasoline prices, firming labor market conditions, rising household net worth through both financial and housing wealth, improving consumer and business confidence, and reduced fiscal headwinds.” The collapse in oil prices was one of the big surprises of 2014. Along with the strengthening of the dollar to decades-high levels and the softening of other commodity prices, disinflationary pressures seem to have contributed to the bond rally and the resulting drop in interest rates. Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/01222015_fannie_mae_forecast.asp

* Seattle home receives Remodel of the Year honors in National Design Competition. The Book House in Seattle has been selected as the Remodel of the Year in the 2014 Best in American Living Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders. In its 31st year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling, community and international. Full Story… http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=17085

Have a productive week!
Jason


What’s happening where you live or are thinking of buying?

Check out our latest 60-second Housing Report video updates on real estate activity and price trends in your area or an area you have your eye on. These brief videos take the most recent MLS data and create simple graphics to illustrate market activity with commentary on what the data suggests. It’s valuable information for homeowners and anyone thinking of buying or selling in our NW Oregon and SW Washington market areas.

Click here to see what’s happening in your area.

Screen shot 2015-01-23 at 4.20.24 PMOur real estate professionals have the answers to any questions you may have about the market. Click here to connect with one of our trusted brokers.