Real Estate Investment Tip #14

Watch the Schools – You can find out valuable real estate investing information through the school system. For example, look at: http://www.greatschools.org/oregon/portland/ There are multiple sites like this that rank schools. There are sites that rank them also on how well students fare on tests in math and English (in which most informed parents will be very interested).

What does this have to do with investing? These areas are desirable to parents. And new home buyers that are also new parents will often consider this to be one of their top criteria in finding a home. The homes in these areas go up in value quickly and often sell quickly.

Contact Geoffrey Pohl for all of your real estate needs.

Outdoor Space So Attractive, Your Smart Phone Pales by Comparison

Eighty percent of homebuyers say patios and decks are “essential” or “desirable” (source: “What Buyers Really Want” from the National Association of Home Builders).

Yet studies also show that the majority of home buyers do not use their backyard. Why? Digital devices of course.

Remember the good old days when children went outside to play because there wasn’t anything else to do? And then TV came along and our moms had to turn off the TV and give us a piercing glare to send us outside. Now there are video games, smart phones and tablets all vying to keep us indoors.

The fact is – your Mom was right. It’s much healthier for all of us to spend time outside and now you own a home with outside space. You no longer have Mom to encourage you to leave your home so you have to take matters into your own hands. What can you do?

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Real Estate Myth #5: Homes with Swimming Pools are Always Difficult to Sell

False. Yes, there are higher maintenance and utility costs. Buying a home, though, is often as much of an emotional decision as a logical one. And there are ways to make a pool more appealing, such as sliding a sturdy canopy over the top which can turn your pool into a safe, walkable patio. Removing your pool before you sell may not be necessary. Rather than cater to a market that doesn’t want your home, you can cater to the market that does. And many families feel a pool adds value to the home rather than detracting. Before making decisions such as removing your pool – consult an expert. Talk with your trusted Realtor.

Tip: if you are considering buying a walkable pool cover simply search on Google for “Guide to buying pool covers you can walk on.”

Contact Geoffrey Pohl for all of your real estate needs.

8 Ways to Save For Your Downpayment

The housing market is on the upswing, the unemployment rate is ticking downward (5.2% in March, 2015) and the economy is improving. What this means is that many renters are once again eyeing the possibility of home ownership. There is one major hurdle to jump over however . . .

Your downpayment.

The median home price in Portland right now is $281,000 and the days of creative lending are, for the moment, a thing of the past. Most lenders want some kind of down payment and often the minimum required amount is 5%. If you just put 5% down on a $281,000 home that comes to $14,000 for your down payment.

Time to build up your savings account? Let’s get started.

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Top 10 Kid-Friendly Home Tips

Children. Change. Lives.

You may have seen the State Farm commercial recently with a father that says, “We’re never having kids.” Then, “we’re never moving to the suburbs.” Then, “We’re never having one of those (pointing to a mini-van).” And, of course, we see him move a little into the future after each statement and he is experiencing exactly what he said they would never experience. At the end of the commercial, he is sitting with his family of four on the couch, lights low, movie playing, everyone snuggled up together and he says, “I’m never letting go.”

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The Good News/Bad News About Flooring Options

The good news is that you have an array of options that is staggering. The raw material used to create your new floors ranges from old-fashioned hard woods to gin bottles, corn sugar, cork, bamboo and old wine barrels.

The bad news is that you have an array of options that is staggering. Trying to make a decision about which flooring works for which room can be daunting. In this article we will just have a quick overview of your choices and in later articles we will break down those choices and help you determine which flooring option work best in your situation.

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Two Heavy Hitters in Home Design – Which Will Win You Over?

When deciding on your future home, you have lots of decisions to make. But one of the most compelling decisions and the one you might want to start with is:

Modern or Traditional?

Now some might throw “Contemporary” into the mix and they would be right to do so. While some think Modern and Contemporary are the same there are some differences. But that is a discussion for a different article. In this article we want the champ and the best challenger to go head to head. And Modern and Traditional are the big hitters in 2015. (more…)

HOT Fireplace Trends of 2015

Why are fireplaces a hot topic (last pun – I promise) of conversation when buying or remodeling a home? The reason is that fireplaces are becoming the focal point of the “talking spot” within your house. Each house has an area where the family or guests gather to talk and enjoy each others company. Especially with the burgeoning technology that tends to pull us apart (cell phones, games, IPads, etc.) – more and more families are looking for technology that pulls us together. And now we have that technology encompassed in an age-old concept – the fireplace.

Courtesy of Gordon's Fireplace Shop

Courtesy of Gordon’s Fireplace Shop

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Do You Need a Real Estate Agent?

When buying a home there are 5 main questions – let’s take a look at them:

1. Do I buy a home?

After the housing crash, there are still many buying situations you will find out there from foreclosures to short sales to tighter lending standards. Do you understand your options and the advantages and disadvantages of each option? A realtor can be a great resource to walk you through the options and ultimately help you decide if now is even the best time to buy a home considering your personal situation.

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Will housing continue to recover?

Rueters recently reported that Home Depot posted its strongest-ever fourth quarter in terms of sales growth, driven by demand for home renovations, including paint, flooring and appliances. The pickup in home renovations can be explained in part by the improved financial position of many households over the past three months due to an improving jobs market and lower gasoline prices. To what is all of this data pointing?

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TurboTax of the Lending World?

Guess what is coming to Portland next? A company that claims to be able to accomplish with refinance loans what Turbo Tax accomplished with tax services.

The company is called Lenda. Mike Francis with the Oregonian reported on 02/25/15 that Lenda has just launched its service in Oregon.

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Hot Trends in 2015

What is trending in real estate this year? What has everyone talking? Let’s take a look.

In real estate, trends are slow to arrive and they often hit commercial spaces first. And though they may entice buyers and sellers, it is worth remembering that trends are just that – trends. They might stay awhile, they might not. But while they are here they certainly are appealing and create a buzz – and when selling a home a buzz certainly doesn’t hurt. In this post, we will look at the first two:

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Real Estate Investment Tip #29

Watch The Fringe. The Sellwood area, just outside of Portland, was not always in demand. However, when it came into demand, there was a very easy way to note the change – property values skyrocketed. As we watched this happen, you knew one thing for sure – the fringe areas (the ones right next to Sellwood) would be jumping up in price soon. As an investor, you want to look for areas that are overpriced. Other factors are areas close to major transportation like the new light rail in Milwaukie. Milwaukie is close to Sellwood and has a new rail system. That is definitely an area to watch.

To find out what’s planned, you can check with the local light rail, railroad or bus company to see if they will be expanding service in the area. The local town hall or planning department will also have this information. Investors use their money wisely. They look for the indicators. And even first-time home buyers can make good buying decisions using the tools of the investors. Watch here for more articles on investing.

– Geoffrey Pohl, your expert on Portland Real Estate and Portland

Real Estate Myth #2

Real Estate Myth #2: Even when the housing market recovers, home price growth will be only 4 to 6 percent per year — much less than historical average returns for the stock market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of realtors addresses this myth and helps to debunk it. Most buyers put less than 20 percent of their own money into a home purchase; this borrowing power can translate to a greater rate of return. This is how Yun explains it: Home price appreciation historically has been about 1 to 2 percentage points higher than consumer price inflation, which translates into about 4 to 6 percent per year. But this growth rate cannot be viewed as a rate of return like the stock market. The reason is that most people do not buy a home for all cash, instead making a cash down payment and borrowing the rest. The leverage this borrowing creates can magnify returns — and losses. If price growth returns to historic norms, the price growth of 4 percent can easily turn into 20 to 30 percent rate of return if the home buyer makes a down payment of 10 or 20 percent. Conclusion: make sure you understand your real return on your what you are investing (your monthly mortgage), factoring in tax advantages as well.

  • Geoffrey Pohl, expert on Portland real estate and Portland

How much is your home worth?

How much has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your area SuccessSignselling for?

There are many reasons why you might want to find out the value of your home and we at Pohl Real Estate would love to help you with an update. Even if it is not yet time to sell, knowing the value of your home can bring peace of mind and help you understand one of the most important pieces in your financial portfolio.

Take advantage of this free service by calling 503-488-5848 or e-mail geoffrey@pohlrealestate.com.

Geoffrey Pohl, offering expertise on Portland real estate and Portland

Image courtesy of scottchan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Want to Add Value to Your Home?

The Portland real estate market is appreciating so here are ten ways to increase the value of your home. Some will be easy and some more complicated but use your budget accordingly to gain the highest dollar value sale.

1. Clean and Declutter. Increase your homes inside square footage … visually that is. You would be surprised at how often this is overlooked. I  always tell my clients to pack first and commit to the sale. Removing the wall of family photos, the collections of horses or pigs or cows, and the extra furniture will go along ways towards giving it a larger cleaner look and feel.

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Has the Portland Real Estate Market Stabilized?

Being a Realtor in Portland, Oregon  sure feels like the real estate market is stabilizing.  Every month there are more and more areas and suburbs of Portland that are appreciating in value when compared to a year ago and more and more areas the Average Sales Price Percent Change are also moving into positive territory at a rapid pace. The inventory in Portland has dropped from January to July every single month and the time on market has decreased significantly as well.  All indication is yes the market is stabilized and poised for some long term steadiness rather than the sharp falls and rises that we have been accustomed to since 2008.

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