Open house report 4/8/2017 and 4/9/2017

Looking to view real estate for sale this weekend in the Oregon City and Beavercreek area? The following is the full open house list, including my new listing (with many photos and details listed here) on Pebble Beach Drive in Oregon City. Contact me for more information on any of these homes, and have fun!

OPEN house report for april 8 and april 9
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New listing! Sparkling Single Level in Fairway Downs

OPEN SUNDAY 4/9/2017 12-3PM
Click on the photos to see them closer, and click here for a printable flyer.

3 bedrooms  –  2 baths  –  1,764 SF  –  2 car garage  –  .19/acre  –  $369,900

The interior is light and bright with many oversized windows and skylights. The layout is a great-room style, with the kitchen, breakfast nook, and family room overlooking the backyard. There is a gas fireplace in the family room. In addition to the family room, a separate formal living room exists with a sitting area overlooking the front yard.

Storage options abound: all closets are generously sized, the 2nd bedroom has double closets, there are 3 hall closets, the kitchen has a large pantry, there are built-in shelves in the garage, and there is a tool shed in the backyard.

The yard has a lot of sunny areas as well as cooling shade in the summer. There is a multitude of mature plantings: maple trees, butterfly bushes, hydrangeas, flowering plum, flowering cherry, heavenly bamboo, rhododendrons, camellia, yucca, iris, forsythia, spirea, ajuga, heather, and more! There is a large deck in the backyard and a front yard patio area.

Appliances are included. Free standing range, refrigerator, dishwasher, built-in microwave, and the high-efficiency washer and dryer are all included with the sale.  

Updates: the home is relatively newer (1998) and still in great shape. Fresh interior and exterior paint. A skylight was replaced. 2 toilets replaced. Carpet in hall and family room recently replaced. The kitchen can lighting was upgraded to LED fixtures.

Utilities: gas heat and hot water. Public sewer and water supply.

The neighborhood: there is a neighborhood park off of Heider. A new park is being developed on Glen Oak Road, ask the Caufield neighborhood association for details. Located about 1 minute driving time to 213, only a few more minutes to 205. Oregon City High is located about 1/2 mile away and the home is located in the Beavercreek and Ogden school boundaries. Check out all that Oregon City has to offer: a highly rated school district, a historic district including a Carnegie library that underwent an impressive $10 million expansion, multiple wineries, u-pick farms nearby, multiple farmers markets, and more! A revitalization of the Blue Heron Paper Mill industrial area and the Willamette Falls on the river is in the works—check out for more details!



House Representative Bill Kennemer speaks to the community

Last night was our monthly Beavercreek Hamlet community meeting, and our guest speaker was Bill Kennemer. Bill spoke at length about real estate issues that are important to me.

Regarding the proposal to limit mortgage interest deduction (links to the bill can be found here) he said that there is currently about 50/50 support and feels that it could pass.

Beyond limiting deductions on primary residences, a huge question exists on how this bill impacts rentals. One of the first lines of the bill states that mortgage interest deductions will be disallowed except for primary residences (which will be limited). Here is the current wording: “Disallows, for purposes of personal income taxation, mortgage interest deduction for residence other than taxpayer’s principal residence.”

My concern regarding this line in the bill is that if mortgage interest is disallowed for rental homes, those rent prices are likely to skyrocket. But those organizations who favor the bill, say that this rule doesn’t apply to rental homes – its just “second” homes (I’m not seeing clear definition on this). Even tax professionals have agreed on this interpretation.

I’ve learned over the years to be skeptical and verify information as much as possible – even when there is a broad consensus – and last night Bill validated my concern that this could impact rentals. He told me that the wording is pretty explicit in disallowing mortgage interest for deductions on anything other than primary, but that behind the scenes amendments are taking place. Some of the revisions include exceptions for rentals, and some of the revisions make it clearer that landlords cannot deduct interest. So… what really passes we won’t know for sure until it goes through.

I’m going to remain somewhat neutral on whether or not the deduction should be granted to landlords. But, what does concern me is that this could have an enormous impact on rent prices, and the public hasn’t had a chance to weigh in.

The good news out of the meeting last night was a discussion on the savings account bill for first-time home buyers. He said that this is getting bipartisan support and is expected to eventually pass once they work out all the information.

The last thought on the deduction: removing these deductions can be passed through the legislature without being voted on.

Representative Bill Kennemer can be reached at for more questions.

On preparing a Market Analysis and the importance of viewing the homes in the report

When I meet with seller clients in discussing listing their home for sale, one of the many things that we discuss is determining an appropriate listing price. I will almost always generate a report called a Market Analysis to help aid our discussions. Most, but not all, agents provide such a report (some agents just give a number, with no evidence supplied on how it was determined).

I feel that it is imperative that clients understand how the recommended price was generated.
One aspect that is rarely discussed in our industry is the importance of driving by properties that are used in the report evaluate the exterior, if the agent has not already seen them.

Yes, this adds literally hours to my process for generating an analysis. But, this gives me SO much more information than relying on the information that is in the database alone, and gives me peace of mind in knowing that I’ve done as much research as possible.

Examples of the information that I obtain from viewing the properties listed in the report: 
-I can see if any major power lines are passing through the property or over the home directly.
-I can determine how busy the road is.
-Similarly, I can determine how much road noise there is from nearby busy roads.
-I will be able to evaluate the entrance to the neighborhood.
-I can see the grade of the driveway to the property.
-I can view more closely neighboring properties.
-Sometimes the condition of the home is more evident in person. I can see paint peeling off the siding or the roof shingles peeling back.
-I can evaluate the house-to-street orientation. Is the home sitting only a few feet back street?
-I can better gauge the distance into town.
-I can view the parking better – is there a good spot for an RV?
-Sometimes the photos that the agents submit are terribly poor in quality and there is no way to know what the home looks like without seeing the home in person.

All of these factors have a tremendous impact on property values. 

For more information on the services I provide to my seller clients, please see my page outlining my Services for Sellers.

The Fed rate hike may not mean higher payments

As many of you are aware, the Fed raised interest rates yesterday.  We are likely to assume that mortgage interest rates are sharply on the rise, but this doesn’t necessarily translate into higher mortgage interest payments. This morning I received a positive perspective this morning from Anette Sieverson, a mortgage broker I’ve known with many years. Here is her take:
I wanted to send out a short update on what happened today with the Federal Reserve raising rates. I know many people think this means that mortgage rates went up .25% but that’s not the case. When the Fed raises rates it’s the overnight lending rate that banks charge each other that goes up, not mortgage rates. The Fed rate hike can indirectly affect mortgage rates but in this case, since the increase was anticipated, the bond market had already priced in the hike over the last few weeks as we have seen mortgage rates rise. Today’s Fed move, and their comments after the meeting, actually ended up being positive for the bond market and we saw pricing improve. Fed chairwoman Yellen stated that future rate hikes will be data dependent so we may not see the 3-4 interest rate hikes as was previously speculated. What the Fed hike does impact are rates on Home Equity Lines of Credit tied to Prime and borrowers with an adjustable rate mortgage will see their interest rates go up.
I hope this helps when you are talking with clients who may be concerned about mortgage rates going up.
Please let me know if I can assist in any way.

Curious about buying another home, but not sure where to start? A new class offering for you.


Here’s a new class offering! This class is going to be for folks who are thinking of selling their home and buying another, but have lots of questions about coordinating the two. Please follow this link to a downloadable pdf with more details about what we’ll cover. Hope to see you there!

I’m currently soliciting questions for this event… there is so much I can say about this topic, but want to make sure that your questions get answered. Please let me know if you have any specific topic points you think would be good to discuss!

For Sale By Owner Contracts – What You Need to Know

Often when I am discussing the merits of using a Realtor versus going it alone in a For Sale By Owner transaction, I talk about one extremely important aspect: the legal clauses of the contract. In Oregon, Real Estate Brokers have a committee called OREF (short for Oregon Real Estate Forms). These individuals gather information from all of us Realtors and law professionals such as Phil Querin (head of PMAR‘s legal council) and meet to make changes and updates to our sale agreement and related addenda on a regular basis. The documents that they provide are the forms that the vast majority of real estate professionals in Oregon use.

The sale agreement that Realtors use is currently 11 pages long. This does not include counter offers, disclosures, inspection addendums, promissory notes, etc. While this length does at times seem excessive, the clauses contained are designed to help facilitate the most fair transaction.

The following information is general, and may not apply to specific situations. Contact a competent legal professional to discuss questions as they relate to your specific situation.

In a nutshell, the OREF sale agreement is designed to do the following:

The biggest thing that the sale agreement provides to all parties are provisions in which the earnest money could be retained by the seller or refunded to the buyer. For example, if the buyer damages the property, this could be a scenario in which the seller gets to keep the earnest money. Or, if the buyer does not approve the inspection or repairs performed during the inspection, the buyer could withdraw and get their earnest money returned to them. Perhaps the property does not appraise, the buyer may have the option of terminating with earnest money refunded. The professional agreement outlines these contingencies in specific detail, so that there are much less misunderstandings about how the real estate transaction is supposed to unfold.

The professional inspection addendum (which is an optional form that not all agents decide to use) informs the buyer of the inspections available to them: whole house, radon, sewer, septic, boundary survey, lead paint, abandoned oil tank, etc.

The contract makes clear definitions on all timeframes, including differentiating between business days and regular days.

It also outlines dispute resolution processes available to all parties.

And much more. The above are just a few of the items that you will find in our agreement.

In the rare instance that a homeowner is going to sell by themselves, without a Realtor, the parties need to provide their own forms to use. Most commonly I hear people saying that they will use the Steven’s Ness legal form that can be downloaded on the internet. I reviewed the gallery of forms that the website posted for sale, and it appears that the sale agreement that the public would purchase is this one.

Note that, in comparison with the current 2017 sale agreement OREF form, the Stevens Ness sale agreement form is only one page. Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. However, I’m struggling to find many of the protections our forms committee have provided in the form that is used when you aren’t using a professional. So these are areas which you’ll need to look at very carefully if you are considering either marketing the property on your own or buying a home without representation. The money that you think you save may cost you substantially more in the long run, in both a monetary and legal sense.