The national median home price has dropped 3.5% in the last year according to the National Association of Realtors. Portland? Portland, Oregon real estate prices have increased 13.1% in the same 12 month period according to the newly released S&P/Case-Shiller! Their report tracks 20 cities, not the national market. (more…)

Using our new map search tool, I searched for homes in the downtown and surrounding areas in $200,000 increments. (more…)

New today on our main website, Property Investment Profiles for some of the high-rise condo and loft towers in the Pearl District. We’ve got eight of them up so far: (more…)

Our personal passion/affliction is old Portland homes. We’ve got four of them in our portfolio. We sold one this year and used a 1031 Exchange to purchase two more. Part of our due diligence on both included a search on to see if there were records of old oil tanks on record. Both show underground oil tanks so the red flag is thrown. That part takes a matter of seconds.

The Department of Environmental Quality oversees the recording of the decommissioning of oil tanks. There is lots of information on oil tanks on their website. The DEQ is working on setting up an online database but is not available yet. It makes it especially important for home owners to keep (and be able to find) the official record of a tank being decommissioned. The DEQ can verify each property but it has to be done on a case by case basis. (more…)

Standard disclosure involving taxes: ask your accountant.

Mortgage insurance is common when the buyer is putting less than 20% down on a property purchase. There are ways of avoiding it by taking out a second loan at the time of purchase but these loans almost always have higher interest rates than the primary 80% loan. The advantage is that the interest paid on the second loan has always been tax deductible. Mortgage insurance is not deductible. That is until 2007. (more…)

Oregon Real Estate is still looking like a sound investment. The days of high teens appreciation may be gone but experts quoted in today’s Oregonian still see 5%-8% appreciation in 2007. That means the $300,000 house you look at today could cost between $315,000-$324,000 this time next year. There is more concern regarding the condo market as there are about 16,000 units coming available in the next few years.

Winter months are good for real estate. Both buyers and sellers are more motivated. A home’s landscaping in the winter can never look like it does in May (if you have no intention of doing landscaping before listing you home, list in the winter). It’s harder to make a house shine. Sellers are selling for a reason. Buyers have to want to look at homes in less than ideal conditions. (more…)