Should I Rent or Buy in Portland?Zillow economists say Buy!
Rent in Portland is growing at TWICE, yes TWICE, the national average, reports Zillow.How does the cost of renting compare to buying?You better sit down.Homeowners will spend about 21% of their monthly income on their new mortgage, while renters will cough up a whopping 31%!Zillow also reports, that as of May, the average rent in Rip City tipped in at $1,629 per month.
Is it better to Rent or Buy in Portland? The rental market is currently skyrocketing. Zillow recently reported that local renters will spend an average of 31% of their monthly hard earned cash on rent alone. Homeowners will spend drastically less, at only 21% of their monthly income going toward their new mortgage.
This year has been particularly hard on renters.Many have seen monumental 30%+ rent increases and no-cause evictions, while developers capitalize on the sizzling hot Portland real estate market.In an effort to give voice to the disenfranchised, members of the local community have organized to form the Portland Renters’ Assembly.Their prominent goal is to enact a rent control policy, a tool used in some cities that sets a cap on the amount that a landlord can raise rent.
Real Estate is a solid investment – Portland home values are expected to increase almost 6% in the next year. Home values rose nearly 7% from 2014 to 2015.
Cost Analysis might show that you are paying more in rent than you would on your new mortgage. Not sold?Try out Trulia’s awesome Rent vs. Buy Calculator.Plug in your rent and the value of the property that you are eyeing; and, voila, Trulia spits out an instant comparison. It’s an approximate figure, of course, but come out of the clouds and get some concrete numbers under your feet!
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are set up to bolster first-time homebuyers by requiring only a low 3.5% down payment. And, they recently lowered the insurance premium, making your monthly mortgage payment even lower.
The Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) offers an assortment of assistance programs for first-time home buyers.To lower your monthly mortgage payment and create more disposable income, ask about the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC).
Break Even in 1.2 years –
Many first-time home buyers get nervous at the initial investment that comes with securing a mortgage.So, in a more apples to apples approach, Zillow analyzed the costs, transaction fees, inspections, insurance ect. of buying a new home in Portland.That amount was then compared to the true cost of renting, including rent and deposits.Considerable line items, such as future home-value appreciation, tax breaks, and rent growth, are factored in as well. The analysis shows that, when buying, the “breakeven point” in some areas is as low as 1.2 years.
A qualified realtor can assist you in securing a loan officer, scoping neighborhoods and home values, and evaluating where the local market is headed. For more information, contact the team at Home Sweet Home Realty.
GREAT NEWS! Have your down payment matched!The Home Buyer’s Assistance program in Oregon has been extended until 2022 for residents looking to save for a new home.
The Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative website explains this amazing home buyer’s assistance program:
“every dollar saved by a participant is matched by the Initiative, typically with three dollars for every one dollar saved.IDA participants can then buy a home, get education or training, start or develop a small business, do certain home repairs, or buy equipment to support employment”.
The Home Buyer’s Assistance program in Oregon has been extended until 2022 for residents looking to save for a new home. This amazing program offer down payment assistance to Portlanders.
Portland is bursting at the seams with exciting new restaurants, shops, apartments, and PEOPLE! But, the quality of life has remained consistently, well, GREAT! City leaders and community members have been teaming up to ensure that the future of the city stays on course with the standards that everyone has come to expect and appreciate.
Coffee isn’t the only thing on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days. Portlander’s are pooling together and taking an active role in our city’s growth. The Portland growth plan aims to nurture our “micro” communities. Image courtesy, Sean Savage.
Currently, the city is updating the Growth Scenarios Report, which forecasts expected distribution of future growth, as well as the benefits from infrastructure investments identified in the Citywide Systems Plan (CSP) and Transportation System Plan (TSP). This information, coupled with community input, allows the city to refresh the grand finale, 2035 Comprehensive Plan.
So, what kind of growth can we expect in Portland?
Well, the statistics from the Growth Scenarios Report show that in the next 20 years, there will be roughly 142,000 new jobs to support 123,000 more households.
What’s the Strategy?
Portland’s unique mix of urban amenities, chummy, locally-owned businesses, and gregarious neighborhoods have been nurtured by the city’s “Centers and Corridors” growth management strategy.
“By focusing growth in vibrant centers and along bustling corridors, the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan helps us reduce carbon emissions, gets people closer to jobs, provides more affordable housing, and creates demand for stores and restaurants. It also makes better use of our existing infrastructure like streets, transit systems, parks and pipes.” –portlandoregon.gov
Hot Spots To Keep Your Eyes On:
1. The hot new Williams Corridor in Northeast Portland. This vibrant area is also the location of our new office. Come visit Home Sweet Home, located at 4555 N. Williams Ave!
2. Interstate Corridorrunning through Northeast into North Portland. This home for sale at 1606 N. Holman St. is located in one of North Portland’s best neighborhoods, Arbor Lodge.
3. Woodstock Blvd in Southeast Portland.
What about jobs?
Outside of the “Centers and Corridors” strategy, the city is focusing major job growth in the industrial areas of Portland, with sensitive attention being given to environmental concerns.These warehouse and heavy manufacturing jobs support a balanced economy by providing decent wages to the non-college educated population.
According to the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA), which monitors and sets strategies for land use in conjunction with employment goals, Portland is on track in meeting their 2035 target.
Portlander’s give their take on life here and the Portland Growth Plan.
A vote is tentatively scheduled for mid July to recommend the draft Comprehensive Plan to City Council. The Recommended Draft will head to Council in August, opening the next period for public comment.
Summertime or anytime, the question comes up – What should we do with the kids today?Do they need some exercise, some mental stimulation, or just some straight up silliness?Ok, maybe that’s us needing some silly!
There are so many reasons why we HEART Portland.Reinvigorate your own spirit, and delight in connecting with your little ones by exploring all the kid friendly FUN that our city has to offer.
Take the kiddos to try out one of the zany new flavors at Salt & Straw, the delicious artisan ice cream parlor in Portland. Image courtesy, Kelly Sue DeConnick
TOP 10 KID-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES – PORTLAND
Salt & Straw –
Ok, so we are shamelessly including Salt & Straw on the list so the parents can have an excuse to indulge in their sweet tooth.This local artisan ice cream chain has become a beloved fixture.Part of the fun is sampling and then choosing one of the extreme flavors.Oddball variety today: Koi Fusion’s Kimchi and Rice.
Oregon Zoo –
Monkeys or Elephants? This is the first question we always ask when stepping inside the zoo, and making a beeline toward one of our favorite exhibits.Kids and adults alike, love animals!And while, we don’t love seeing them in cages, the educational opportunity that the zoo offers is unparalleled.
This epic park covers over 5100 acres!But, to condense that a bit for wee little legs, here is one hike worth mentioning.The Lower Macleay Trail is a great trail for families. It offers a few different turn around points, the first being the Stone House, the second would be to loop back on the Wildwood Trail; and the longest option takes you all the way to the Audubon Society, or further still to the famous Pittock Mansion.
North Clackamas Aquatic Park –
Slip and slide down one of two huge water slides at this 400,000 gallon indoor aquatic park.The large pool is surrounded by a kiddie area with smaller slides, hot tubs, and an area for swim lessons.When you dry off, conquer Steel Mountain, a 29-foot rock climbing wall.This is probably the best aquatic park in the Portland metro area!
So much awesome under one roof! Waterslides and a kiddie pool area, kids love the Clackamas Aquatic Center. Image courtesy, Eli Duke
Portland Children’s Museum –
Designed for ages 0-12, at the Portland Children’s Museum, kids learn life skills and critical thinking.But, don’t worry!The “learning” is disguised in fun, hands-on, brain buster challenges. Our favorite exhibits are the Clay Studio and the Outdoor Zany Maze. Get over there soon, this June is hero’s month!
Oaks Amusement Park –
How about some old-fashioned roller skating? Or, remember choosing the prettiest horse on the carousel to ride? And, there’s probably not a person alive who doesn’t LOVE bumper cars! This old-timey amusement park has every thing from a ferris wheel to barkers enticing you to knock down a pyramid of milk jugs for a prize.Hey, don’t forget to bring the kids too!
Round and Round and up and down, your little ones will have a blast at Oaks Amusement Park. Image courtesy, Kelly Sue DeConnick
Pick-Your-Own Farms –
Strawberry picking is at it’s finest right now at Bella Organic Farms. (June 8 – 14th).Call ahead for seasonality, but the farm regularly grows raspberries, marionberries, and blueberries.Stop by in the fall for the Pumpkin patch and haunted corn maze. Or, check out these other U-pick options:Jossy Farms or Smith Berry Barn in Hillsboro, or Kruger Farms near Beall Organic Farms on Sauvie Island.
U-pick farms are a great way to get outside and enjoy the fruits of mother nature. Image courtesy, Various Brennemans
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry–
Wow the kids by taking them inside a real working Navy submarine, where they can peer through a periscope and touch a torpedo!Afterwards, visit the famous Kendall Planetarium. From the bottom of the ocean to the stars in the sky, The OMSI takes you around the world and back again.This summer, catch Ripley’s Believe It Or Not exhibit, running from now through September 7.
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Image courtesy, Jon Seidman
Jamison Square –
This is the hot spot on hot summer days in the Pearl District in downtown Portland.An architectural beauty, the fountain cascades cool water over rows of stairs where families like to sit and splash.The shallow tidal pool is great for kids of all ages.Dog lovers are also known to frequent this area.
A huge percentage of Portland homes were built mid-century or are pushing the centennial mark.There is even a current grass roots campaignto “save the historic homes”.Many feel that the old charm is what Portland is known for.But, no matter which side of the debate you are on, if you are planning on owning a home here, chances are that your distinguished domicile needs a little pampering.Hey, we all deserve to age gracefully!
Outlining a few key projects from the start, will help in maintaining the comfort, cost, and beauty of your home.Let’s keep that investment working for you for years to come!
TIPS When Starting Any Home Improvement Project:
If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, Portland offers a number of thorough and knowledgable Home Inspectors.
Be sure your Contractor is Licensed and Bonded in Oregon
Always ask for References
Do your research on materials and options ahead of time
Always ask for a FREE estimate
Ask about ENERGY STAR efficiency products and rebates
Be sure to research proper permitting for DIY projects
After purchasing your new home, contact the Energy Trust of Oregon for their free home energy audit.
NW Natural will perform a once a year inspection on any gas appliance
Hard Wood Refinish –
It’s like winning the lottery!Many home buyers are overjoyed to tear up old carpet anddiscover a beautiful original wood floor beneath.Original wood floors in old Portland homes are usually a solid and sturdy oak, which offer history and character.Roughly 95% of these homes have oak or a mix of oak and fir throughout.Oak, being your true hardwood, is best used in high traffic areas; fir, a softwood, is preferred for bedrooms and hallways.The beauty of this amazing discovery is that it can probably withstand a good sanding and refinishing job to bring it back to life.Most oak floors can sustain about 3 sandings before the tongue and groove begin to show.
Thinking of Refinishing or installing hardwood? Know your options and find a professional in the area with great references. Image courtesy, Will Keightley
But before you DIY this one, please note a few things…
Water & Catalytic Water Based Polyurethanes are stronger, dry faster, and have less odor and there is minimal color change over time.
The Oil Based Polyurethanes coatings are about 30% cheaper, take much longer to dry and cure, has a strong odor, and the color will darken and yellow some over time.For these reasons, this type of coating is not recommended for occupied homes.
All hardwoods Will Dent, ding, and Scratch
Check the hardness of the wood : a hard wood can last well over 10 years, while a soft wood will look worn in 3.
Types of wood: Oak, Fur, Maple, Cherry, Walnut, Bamboo, Quark.The list goes on and on.
Exterior Siding and Paint –
The gorgeous vintage homes around town can be a blessing and a curse.Over the years, quick fixes were applied to the exterior of some homes.In fact, the original wood siding, usually fir or cedar, is sometimes buried three layers below the surface!
Around a hundred years ago through the early 1960s, lead paint and other products like cement-asbestos siding were applied to sides of homes.Left intact, these products do very little to no harm.However, should you wish to see your siding in all its original glory, or simple choose a brand new exterior material, license professionals may be needed.The EPA has mandated an abatement program that requires the careful removal of any flagged substance and the capture of its harmful dust particles.
Current Siding Options:
Cedar Flares or Shingles – This is the highest price option, but offers the natural, unbeatable appeal of real wood.
Wood Siding – Needs proper prep and painting, and can last 20 – 25 years. Offers a more natural look than cement board.
Cement Board (Hardy Board) – This option is fairly inexpensive.It needs proper prep and painting, and can last a whopping 50 years!
Vinyl – This is the least expensive option. Vinyl cannot hold paint well, so you are stuck with that particular color.
Stucco – Offers a natural appearance that can be molded, stained, or painted.
Whichever option you choose, a contractor or professional installation company is recommended.
Hot Water Heater –
Check the age of your hot water heater and examine the area for any leaks.If there is water leaking from the tank, chances are, it needs to be replaced.
A new hot water heater can cost anywhere from $500 – $1000, and will last around 7- 9 years.
Sewer Scope –
Having a sewer scope performed is recommended before buying a home in Portland.Although it may vary in jurisdiction across Oregon, in Portland, the homeowner is responsible for the integrity of the line leading from their home to the curb or property line.
A professional sewer scope inspection take approximately one hour to perform, and will cost around $100 for a single family home.And, the inspection can often be negotiated as a part of the Buyer’s Repair Addendum / Request for Repair during the inspection period. Your inspection will determine if a quick fix or spot treatment can easily be performed.Your inspector will then give you recommendations as to when to recheck and service the line again in the future.In more drastic cases, a failed inspection would usually require replacing the old line with an entirely new line of ABS piping.Pricing would then depend on the length of the line to be replaced and any obstructions such as driveways, landscaping, or retaining walls.
Gas Furnace: –
If properly serviced, a good furnace can last 20 – 25 years.Smart homeowners will have a regular service call performed each year. Besides the age of a furnace, factors like square footage, direction the home faces, number and age of windows, type of insulation, number of people in the home, and climate and humidity will all play a roll in the effectiveness of your furnace.
When a buying an older home, it may be beneficial to have an inspection performed.Technicians will examine the homes ductwork, insulation, electrical service and wiring, piping, filters, grills, etc. before making their recommendation.
Energy Trust of Oregon currently has an incentive program running for home owners who replace their old furnaces with those that are ENERGY STAR Efficient and EPA approved.
Add Insulation into the attic, seal any cracks.Apply weather stripping to doors and windows.These tricks will drastically reduce your energy bill.
NEW Windows –
New windows can add a whole new level of style and panache, and will help an old home feel clean and fresh.Say goodbye to paint chipping, noise, cold air seeping in and out, and high energy bills.New windows even work to prevent fading in your wood floors, rugs and artwork.They are easier to open/close, clean, and lock.
New windows can improve the look and energy efficiency of a Portland home. Image Courtesy, Gord Webster
But beware shoppers, all windows are NOT created equal. The quality of the glass and framing system can affect their life and efficiency. Be sure to research and ask questions about the number of glass panes used, the type of filling between those panes, and the number of coats applied to the surface of the panes.There are also pros and cons involved with the material you choose for the frame.Options include composite, aluminum, vinyl, fiberglass, wood and wood covered with an aluminum or vinyl. A solid choice upfront will last 20 years, and offer a huge savings in energy efficiency.For more information on selecting windows, click here.
New Roof –
Replacing a roof can be a somewhat costly endeavor, running between $5000 – $8000.But, depending on the material and quality that you choose, can last 15 – 50 years.
Wood Shake or Cedar Shingles – 15 – 25 years
Composite – 15 – 35 years
Tile or Metal – 30 – 50 years
A Roof Certification is helpful in buying and selling properties. They are usually good for around 3 years, and run approximately $300. To help maintain the life of your roof, clean the gutters regularly and investigate companies that offer gentle cleaning methods to remove moss and algae.
Acclaimed restaurants with organic farm to table ingredients, an unsurpassed craft beer community, a reputable food carts culture with authentic flavors from around the world make up the dynamic culinary scene that’s been marinating here in Portland, Oregon.
There’s Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Lebanese, Polish, Mongolian, Peruvian, Cambodian, Bosnian, Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles, Creole, and New York Bagels.Gluten Free options abound, and restaurants offering full vegetarian, Paleo, or vegan menus can be found in every region of Portland metro.The brunch scene is a phenomenon that has even warranted it’s own Portlandia episode. The dark quirky taverns and upscale lounges serve artisan cocktails that include house distilled liquors, and bitters in flavors like rhubarb and Jamaican Jerk. While the extreme coffee culture here allows snobbish sippers the opportunity to spend an hour or more discussing beans and chemex apparatuses with their local barista.It’s true, that this West Coast town is a gastronomical force to be reckoned with.
In the spirit of memorable meals, our Realtors Dish and reminisce about their favorite dining experiences and delectable dishes:
Kelly Stafford –
Mortons: A cajun style Ribeye and a dirty Martini. What more does a girl need?
Veritable Quandary: great patio for the summer, I have had the best salad and Creme brûlée of my life here. A Portland Classic!
Ravioli with Lemon & Fromage Blanc at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland. Image courtesy, Ruth Harnup
Tasty n’ Sons: It doesn’t matter what else is on the menu, because its all about the polenta with poached egg and sausage ragu. YUM!
Boke Bowl, Boke Bowl, Boke Bowl, go see why you need to eat at Boke Bowl.
Luda shares her family’s favorite restaurant.
Luda Mayzus –
Nicholas Restaurant (Lebanese on SE Grand). Nothing fancy here. My family loves My children love their freshly baked pita bread, saffron rice, hummus, falafel with yogurt dip, and beef kebabs! If there is no dinner, we get a take out and they are so happy. That is why it is my favorite restaurant!
Tammie is no stranger to indulgence at a Portland favorite, Zell’s.
Tammie Ellis –
Zell’s: Hands down Zell’s on 12th and Morrison is the best breakfast in town. The lines on the weekend proves how great the food and service is. It is always a great time to visit Zell’s for breakfast or lunch but I love to start a lazy summer day off with a stop at Zell’s. If I get really lucky, the menu will have the delicious crunchy French toast topped with seasonal fresh berry crème fraiche mixture. YUMMY!!!!
Scones at Zell’s, a favorite brunch spot in Portland. Image courtesy, eyeliam
Caldera Public House : This might be the best known secret in town for an after work stop with friends. A cold adult beverage, crazy great food, and a patio canopied by trees that you can escape the day and just breath. I highly recommend a visit on a warm summer night, you will not be disappointed.
Ryan has a taste for top-notch sour beers.
J. Ryan Conklin
Por Que No: I applaud any restaurant with shirts that simply say, “I love tacos.”
Por Que No in Portland, always a line out the door.
Cascade Barrel House: Excellent food and award winning sour beers.
There Be Monsters: Good food and a generous happy hour.
Do you have a 4-Legged member of your family?If you are living in Portland or thinking of moving here, there’s no time like the present to explore all of the incredible pet-friendly options that the city has to offer.Here are some fun ways to pamper your pooch or kitty.
Drinking and Dining – PETS ALLOWED!
There’s nothing better when the sun comes out in Portland, than kicking back on a patio and tasting the floral, hoppy, or bitter suds from a local craft beer.Better yet, compliment that selection with house cured sardines, or some french onion soup stuffed mushrooms.But, let’s face it, no one likes having to leave before the apps are served, just to let the dog out. So, bring him with you!Portland has many great pet-friendly establishments to enjoy.
Enjoy one of the many dog-friendly patios throughout Portland, Oregon.
It is against the health code to bring your pooch indoors.All pet-friendly establishments provide outdoor seating areas for you and your pet.
Be sure to bring your leash.
We have to first give a nod to the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company.They have 4 locations in or around Portland that are all canine friendly.We’ve listed them and others below:
North Portland –
Leisure Public House – 8002 N Lombard St., (503) 289-7606 – Six sidewalk tables available.
Northeast Portland –
Puppy lovin at Tin Shed Garden Cafe in Portland, Oregon. Get your Doggie Bandana at Tin Shed to help fund the Pixie Project, a Portland non-profit animal adoption center.
Tin Shed Garden Cafe – 1438 NE Alberta, (503) 288-6966, Every Tuesday evening (after 3pm) from now through June 2015 is Dog Lovers Night. Doggies receive a free meal with the purchase of one human meal.Right now they are raising funds for the Pixie Project, a Portland non-profit animal adoption center, by selling doggie bandanas. All proceeds going to the Pixie Project. If that wasn’t enough, these mushy hearted individuals give any pup 50% off their meal if they’re wearing their doggie bandana! Thanks Tin Shed!
Lompoc 5th Quadrant – 3901 N Williams Ave, (503) 288-3996, Covered and heated patio.
Lompoc Oaks Bottom – 1621 SE Bybee Blvd., (503) 232-1728, Only 2 tables available for pets.
Hedge House Lompoc – 3412 SE Division St, (503) 235-2215, Covered Patio with outdoor heaters available.
Northwest Portland –
Great Dog-Friendly patio at 21st Ave. Bar and Grill in NW Portland. Bring your dog and sample one of theirs! Try the IPA Beer Brat or the Pork Brat covered in “21 sauce” and caramelized onions. (Image Courtesy of 21st Ave. Bar and Grill)
Oregon’s biggest pet and people celebration, the Doggie Dash, happens each Spring, at the Waterfront Park in Portland.This huge pet-friendly fundraiser, organized by the Oregon Humane Society, is in it’s 28th consecutive year. (2015)The streets will be blocked off to make room for live music, food and drink booths, a Biscuit Challenge, and more!Runners and Walkers have options of a 1.5 or 2.5 mile run/walk. For information or to sign up check out http://www.oregonhumane.org/doggiedash/
Each Fall the crafters over at Lucky Labrador Brewing Company hold Dogtoberfest, a dog washing extravaganza event with proceeds going to Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital. The 2015 event will be on Saturday, September 20th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dogtoberfest happens each fall, and is a time to give back to the community. Proceeds go to the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital. “Wash some dogs, and raise some money.” (Image Courtesy, Lucky Labrador Brewing Co.)
Need a Pet Hotel?
There’s no reason Buster shouldn’t feel welcome.We’ve selected some of the best pet friendly hotels for housing your furry friend while visiting Portland.
$ – Econo Lodge Port of Portland – 9520 N.E. Sandy Blvd, (503) 252-6666
$$ – Shilo Inn and Suites Portland – 1506 NE 2nd Ave, (503) 736-6300
$15 non-refundable pet fee per night. Refundable deposits are $75 for 1-7 nights and $150 for 8+ days. Allows two up to 40 lbs for an additional
$$ – Holiday Inn – Portland Airport –8439 NE Columbia Blvd., (503) 256-5000, $20 non-refundable pet fee per night.
$$$ – The Hilton – 921 SW Sixth Ave., (503) 226-1611, $20 non-refundable pet fee per night. Maximum Weight: 75 lbs
It’s crucial to find a realtor who knows the area, and will listen to your wants and needs.A good realtor is fast and responsive, can price a home accordingly, and negotiates like a bulldog.The bottom line is that you want to feel confident that you’ve gotten the most out of your dollar, and that there won’t be any unwanted headaches down the road.Select someone from the start who you’ll want fighting from your corner.
8 Tips for Selecting a Portland Realtor :
The number one question that you should be asking is: “How many homes did you close in the past year?”You should also ask to see examples.Some realtors will even be able to provide references of past clients.This will give you an idea if they are successful, and if they are experienced in your type of transaction.Also, you’ll want to know how long they’ve been doing business. Five years or more is a good measuring stick.
Choose a Portland area realtor who is skilled at handling your type of transaction, from REO to commercial investments. Image courtesy: Jeff Turner
2. Local Knowledge, Facts, Figures,Track Record:
If you are a buyer, a good realtor should immediately be able to rattle off a portfolio of prospective properties that will fit your needs.Some will even be able to get you in to a showing that day.
If you are a seller, you’ll want to see examples of properties they’ve successfully sold in the past year that are similar to yours in size, price, and location.Also, how many days were these homes on the market?The key to selling homes quickly is to price them properly right out of the gate.Find a realtor who is up to speed on comparables and appraisals.A home that sits unsold on the market, could mean another month of mortgage eating away at your savings.
Finally, both buyers and sellers will want to compare the listing price to the final sale price in completed transactions.This will give you an excellent indicator of whether your realtor has quality negotiating skills.
3. What kind of Commission do they require?:
While most realtors stick to the typical commission rate in their area, everything is negotiable.The typical commission rate in the Portland Metro area is 6%, which is paid by the seller and split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.However, some brokerages offer a total of only a 4% commission rate to list a seller’s property.This means that the buyer’s agent would collect 2.5%, and the seller’s agent receives 1.5%.With properties in Portland easily bringing in $300,000 and over, this could mean the difference of thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars in your pocket!
A knowledgable realtor will price your home correctly from the start, to ensure a quick sale. Portland, Oregon Image courtesy: American Advisors Group
What kind of a marketing campaign will they run?A marketing campaign for a listing can include the following: professional photographs, video tours, listings on real estate websites, advertisements in local newspapers and industry magazines, open houses (frequency?), social media, and signage.
5. Accolades, Reviews and Awards:
Take a look at their online reputation on consumer review sites like Google +, and Yelp.You can also check to see if they’ve won any awards in their field by checking their professional profile on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, and Realtor.com.
6. Customer Service:
As you are interviewing your potential realtor, take note if they are actively listening to your needs.If the broker works with a large agency, find out who will be the main point of contact, and is this someone you will be able to work with?Also, how many active clients do they service at one time?
7. Communication and Response Time:
Ask about their response time.Your realtor should always call you back within 24 hours, and a great realtor will respond within a few hours. If you are the buyer in a hot seller’s market like Portland, sluggish communication could prevent you from landing your dream home.You’ll want an agent who responds quickly and in the means that is most convenient for you, whether it be text, email, or carrier pigeon.
8. Credentials and Specialization:
Even realtors who have been in the business for decades make mistakes.There are so many constant changes in the industry from zoning to REO transactions, that education can outweigh tenure when securing the deal.That is why it’s important to look at those little letters behind a realtors name, and find someone certified in handling your unique situation.
CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Realtor has completed additional training to garner this high designation.
ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Realtor has completed additional training with focus on representing buyer-clients.
SRS (Seller Representative Specialist):This designation is awarded by the Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB) for meeting set educational requirements, professional standards, experience and performance.
CRB (Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager) Realtor has completed advanced educational and professional requirements.
SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist): Realtor has completed training specific in servicing buyers and sellers over the age of fifty.
ALCs (Accredited Land Consultants): Realtor is a highly qualified expert in land transactions.They have completed the LANDU education program and adhere to a code of conduct, all reviewed by the REALTORS® Land Institute
CPM (Certified Property Management) – These individuals are experts in real estate management.
CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) –Realtor has completed extensive training to receive this global standard for professional excellence.
When moving into a new town or neighborhood, your family and their well-being come first. Greatschools.org gives Portland schools an overall rating of six out of ten.So, if you do have children, it’s very important to find a home in a school district on the higher end of the spectrum.There are plenty of quality schools offering a wide assortment of teaching styles and curriculum, so take some time in locating one where your child will be successful and can truly thrive.
You’re probably wondering:
“What questions should I be asking when choosing an Elementary School or High School for my child?”
This article sheds light on those questions, and you’ll also find statistics on local Portland schools rankings, class size, and more.
Do you feel confident that your child’s school is giving them the best education possible? (Image courtesy – Phil Roeder)
What kind of learner is your child, ie. do they have a dominant learning style?
Does he or she need extra support?
Does your child need more structure to stay focused?
Does the school offer field trips, hands on projects, and do they use visual and other learning aids regularly?
Learning clusters allow for discussion and thought processing to occur. Children can help each other master issues. Many elementary schools are introducing technology, like ipads, early on. (Image courtesy – Brad Flickinger)
What is the schools educational approach or learning philosophy?
Is the school well-rounded offering the arts, languages, physical activities, and are they “wired” for online access and learning?
What are your child’s specific interests, and will this school be able to engage those interests?
What kind of after school programs/clubs/sports are available?
What kind of advanced placement or dual-credit courses do they offer?
What is the class size?
Will this school help your child feel confident and build upon their strengths?
Does he/she work well in groups?
Find a school that makes learning FUN! (Image courtesy – adwriter)
Aesthetics and Logistics:
How convenient is the location?
Does the school feel warm, inviting, and creative, or does it feel cold and institutional?
How does the school approach grades, homework, and discipline?
How well is the communication between teachers and students, and teachers and parents?
What is the graduation rate?
We’ve broken out some of the top rated schools in the Portland area by region, so that you can narrow in on your search for a top notch education. Included is the Oregon School Rating, which is a metric from 1-5 that is given by the state of OREGON based on standardized testing scores and other factors.(2014 Statistics)
How to Read This List:
School Name –
Grades Taught / Oregon School Rating (1-5) / Ave. Class Size
Peninsula Elementary School – 8125 N. Emerald
K-8 / 4 / 20
The Portland Village School – 7654 N Delaware Ave.
K-8 / 4 / 24.2
Trillium Charter School- 5420 N Interstate Ave.
K-12 / 3 / na– Student Teacher Ratio 20:1
A lottery enrollment takes place end of March.
Roosevelt High School – 6941 N Central St
9-12 / 3 / na
This school is known as being one of the most ethnically diverse high schools in the state of Oregon.
Alameda Elementary School – 2732 NE Fremont St.
K-5 / 4 / 26.6
Irvington Elementary School – 501 North Dixon St.
K-5 / 4 / 22.7
Roseway Heights School – 7334 NE Siskiyou St.
K-8 / 4 / 23.1
Sabin School – 4013 NE 18th Ave.
PK-8 / 4 / 24.3
Laurelhurst School – 840 NE 41st Ave.
K-8 / 4 / 25.9
Beverly Cleary School – 1915 NE 33rd Ave.
K-8 / 5 / 26
Beaumont Middle School – 4043 NE Fremont St.
6-8 / 4 / na
Grant High School – 2245 NE 36th Ave.
9-12 / 4 / na – Student Teacher Ratio 25:1
Advanced placement courses available.
Benson Polytechnic High School – 546 NE 12TH Ave.
9-12 / 4 / na – Student Teacher Ratio 20:1
Bronze national ranking. Students test at or above the state average.Focus on a self selected curriculum in Health Science, Industry and Engineering, or Communications Technology.
Abernethy Elementary School – 2421 Southeast Orange Ave.
Also known as the Buckman Arts Focus Elementary School, with an innovative arts-integrated curriculum. Their stated goal is to “challenges the whole child–nourishing the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and artistic development of each student”.
Maplewood Elementary School – 7452 SW 52nd Ave.
K-5 / 4 / 24.5
Woodmere Elementary School – 7900 SE Duke St.
K-5 / 4 / 23
Winterhaven School – 3830 SE 14th Ave.
K-8 / 5 / 28.9
Creative Science School – 1231 SE 92nd Ave.
K-8 / 4 / 27.4
Students are encouraged to be independent thinkers, to ask questions, and be problem solvers.
Creston School – 4701 SE Bush St.
K-8 / 4 / 18.4
Mt. Tabor Middle School – 5800 SE 58th Ave,
6-8 / 4 / na
Cleveland High School – 3400 SE 26th Ave.
9-12 / 4 / na– Student Teacher Ratio 22:1.
Students are offered International Baccalaureate course work and exams.
Franklin High School – 5405 SE Woodward St.
9-12 / 4 / na– Student Teacher Ratio 22:1.
Advanced Placement® course work and exams available.
Emerson Charter School -105 NW Park Ave.
K-5 / 5 / 24
Forest Park Elementary School – 9935 NW Durrett St.
K-5 / 5 / 26.7
Skyline School – 11536 NW Skyline Blvd.
K-8 / 4 / 21.1
Westview High School – 4200 NW 185th, (Beaverton School District)
9-12 / 4 / na– Student Teacher Ratio 23:1.
Advanced Placement® course work and exams available.
Ranked #9 Top High School in the state of Oregon by US News and World Report.
Liberty High School – 21945 NW Wagon Way, (Hillsboro School District)
9-12 / 4 / na– Student Teacher Ratio 23:1.
Advanced Placement® course work and exams available.
Ranked #16 Top High School in the state of Oregon by US News and World Report.
Bridlemile Elementary School – 4300 SW 47th Dr.
K-5 / 5 / 25.8
Stephenson Elementary School – 2627 SW Stephenson St.
K-5 / 5 / 27.5
Ainsworth Elementary School – 2425 SW Vista Ave.
K-5 / 4 / 24.7
Capitol Hill School – 8401 SW 17th Ave.
K-5 / 4 / 25.4
Hayhurst Shool – 5037 SW Iowa St, Portland
K-8 / 4 / 41.1
Gray Middle School – 5505 SW 23rd Ave.
6-8 / 4 / na
West Sylvan Middle School – 8111 SW West Slope Dr.
6-8 / 5 / na
International School of Beaverton – 17770 SW Blanton St.
(Beaverton School District)
6-12 / 4 / na– Student Teacher Ratio 25:1
Ranked #1 Top High School in the state of Oregon by US News and World Report
Lincoln High School – 1235 SW Salmon St.
9-12 / 4 / na– Student Teacher Ratio 25:1
Ranked #5 Top High School in the state of Oregon by US News and World Report
Wilson High School – 1151 SW Vermont
9-12 / 3 / na– Student Teacher Ratio 24:1
Ranked #8 Top High School in the state of Oregon by US News and World Report.Advanced Placement® course work and exams available.
If you are looking to relocate, contact Home Sweet Home Realty. Our team knows Portland and the surrounding areas. We look forward to finding the best fit for you, by assessing your needs and putting your family’s happiness first.
Your property manager should work for you, without hand holding or prompting.
A quality property manager will have answers to your questions, know the rental laws of Portland and the surrounding areas, and intercept problems before they arise.Findinga PM that is trustworthy and reputable is imperative whether you operate an investment portfolio or a single rental property.
What They Do:
Determine Rental Price
Advertise and Fill Vacancies
Communicate to Your Tenant on Your Behalf
Arrange for and Oversee Repairs
Maintain Integrity of Property
Selecting a good property manager is crucial when protecting your investment. Image courtesy, Turkeychik
12 Questions You Should Be Asking When Choosing a Property Manager:
Ask for referrals from other property owners in the area.
Make sure the company is Local and Legit.Are they licensed in the state of the property that they will be overseeing, and/or are they close enough to the property to be available?
Experience counts!How many years have they been in service?Have they handled properties similar to yours in the past?
Look at the numbers. How many employees do they have?One expert says that a good rough number to judge by is that, a trained employee should be able to handle 30-40 units.
What do they charge?Property managers usually charge between 7 – 15%.Reputable companies in Portland charge on average 10%. However, it’s important to specify if that 10% is charged based on the rents that are actually collected, versus what could be collected.Do you want to pay 10% on a unit that hasn’t been filled?Chances are, probably not.
How often will they conduct formal inspections of the location?Depending on the type of tenant, whether commercial or residential, this could be a make or break issue in maintaining the integrity of the property.This is something that you will want to come to agreement upon upfront.
What’s the overall plan?How will they attract and keep quality renters for you?What is their fee for placing a tenant?This is why reviewing their plan for placing and maintaining quality tenants is crucial.These fees can add up if there is a lot of turnover.Remember that everything is negotiable, so set parameters that you and the PM can agree upon.
What kind of long term calendar items do they have in place to keep your property well-maintained?
Maintenance, collecting rents, inspections, should all be on the agenda of a quality property management company. Image courtesy, Kevin Dooley
Will they handle maintenance issues?Customarily, a property manager will utilize their own list of vendors and use their own authority to repair damages.These repairs will be paid for out of a reserve fund, up to a certain amount, to repair damages.You as the client can set this limit; it usually falls between $250 – $350.More severe and costly repairs will require a consultation between you and the property manager.There is also a standard fee charged of 10%, on top of the invoice, each time a repair is made.
Performance and Communication. Check their references.A good property management company should be able to supply you with 3 different references with whom you can check out their strengths, weaknesses, and success stories.This will also give you an idea of the kind of communication and customer service that you can expect from them.
Facts and Figures.You should feel as though there is a high level of transparency, as this is your investment.Is the company utilizing PM software that will produce reports on collections, fees, maintenance, and taxes?
Finally, when can they deliver?Set a date each month in which you will receive collected rents and reports.
HSH Property Management is located in Oregon City, and specialize in 4-20 unit multifamily projects and investor portfolio management. However, there is no project too small!