Portland, Oregon

Living in Portland, Oregon


July 2, 2010

Bull Mountain, Near Tigard, Offers Privacy, Luxury and Convenience

Located on the western edge of the city of Tigard, Bull Mountain is a community that generally features bigger established homes on larger lots.

Some of the larger older lots have been sold and redeveloped into subdivision with more homes and smaller (comparably speaking) lots. Single family homes can sell for well over $1,000,000 but average just over $320,000. Bull Mountain real estate is some of the most luxurious in all of  the Tigard area.

Bull Mountain has a rural feel to it. It has a very good mix of newer developments and old farm houses scattered across the hill. I say hill because Bull Mountain is only a mountain by name. It is a rather large hill, upwards of 715 ft at the top, and can provide some breathtaking views of the Tualatin valley. Many seasonal farms (christmas tree, pumpkin patches, berry stands) lie to the western and southern faces of the hill.

(picture of Baggenstos Farms)

Life on Bull Mountain can provide privacy and quietness of rural life with the convenience of being close to shopping, food and freeways. Bull Mountain has quick access (less than 5 minutes) to shops, grocery, pharmacy, coffee shops, restaurants etc.. to the east towards Tigard.

With Scholls Ferry Rd (OR210) to the north and highway 99E to the south, access to from Bull Mountain to major highways is a short commute. From Bull Mountain to downtown Portland, is just over 20 minutes and traveling to the airport would generally take about 40 minutes.

Bull Mountain is part of the Tigard-Tualatin School district which has the 3rd highest district ranking (per schooldigger.com) for enrollment over 5000 students.

While most of Bull Mountain lies in rural Washington County, a small portion actually is located within the city limits of Tigard. The city of Tigard has tried in the past to annex most of Bull Mountain as it included in its master plan boundary. The residents in the community of Bull Mountain formed FOBM (friends of Bull Mountain) to help stop the annexation measure. Many of the same residents tried to incorporate Bull Mountain into its own city, but that measure failed as well. Only time will tell what happens with the Bull Mountain area.

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Rich Peralta exp realty portland realtor

Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Greater Portland area. He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com

Originally posted by Rich Peralta on www.findmyoregonhom.com

Share This Post
June 19, 2010

Portland's Ankeny Hardware Offers Old-School Service

Upon entering the hardware store on SE 11th and Stark, I thought, "This place isn't going to have what I need!"  I've built homes, remodeled, even  added a studio apartment in the basement of a house once, so I'm no stranger to visiting the big box store 3 times a day for months.  Ankeny Hardware surprised me though. The showroom is about 1,200 square feet, less than the size of one isle at a box store, but behind the desk the workers have access to 1.3 miles of shelves and 35,000 different items.

They had what I thought I needed and, even after I begged them to just give me what I asked for, they calmed me down and made sure I got the right item, which ended up being something totally different from what I originally wanted, and a much simpler solution.  That's not the kind of customer service I'm used to, where you're told what aisle it might be in by some kid who just graduated high school.  I guess  being open for 110 years helps you accrue some knowledge.  The owner, Norman Chusid, has been working at that store since 1962 and is the 3rd generation to own the store.  He says, "We sell things that we would be proud to use.  The other guys can sell the junk."

I hope Ankeny Hardware stays open for a very long time, because if I have to listen to another Bett Middler song while I pick out deck screws I'm going to kill myself, so please give them a shot.

1134 Southeast Stark Street
Portland, OR 97214-1337
(503) 234-6110

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Loren Castillo is a recruiter and career coach with eXp Realty in Portland, Oregon.

Loren Castillo

Posted in Featured
Share This Post
June 19, 2010

5 Great Reasons to Buy a New Home Today!

Lately, it seems like all we hear about is how bad the economy has gotten, and how awful the housing market has become.  This is a tough time to sell a home. Bad news travels fast, as they say, and it sells a lot of ads for the media.  What you don't hear is that this is actually a great time to buy a new home. Prices have not been this low in years, and interest rates are still near record-lows.  Here are a few important factors to consider:

  1. Your future is going to be expensive. Financial experts suggest that to retire, you'll need to build up enough in savings and investments to generate yearly income of 70% of your pre-retirement income. That's a tall order and a reason to start amassing some serious capital NOW while it is less expensive to assume.
  2. This is a buyers market.. But not forever. Right now the supply is still greater than the demand which means there are more homes for sale then the normal amount. This is good for the purchaser because there is more to choose form,  the sellers are move eager to sell and you can get the best deal for your money.  History shows that it will not always be that way and the market will swing back. The time to buy is now.
  3. House prices tend to rise over time, so a house is one of the best investments you can make. Home prices in the U.S. have risen three percent to six percent a year for the past 20 years.  That trend is likely to continue. So if you buy a home now, you've put your capital in a safe investment where it is likely to grow in years to come.
  4. You'll be buying a piece of real property rather than putting money in a landlord's pocket. Right now you can purchase a home for close to the same amount you pay in rent. But there won't be any more rent increases when you own your home... Even better  you get great tax breaks for homeownership; the biggest is reflected in the house payment you make each month since, for most homeowners the bulk of that check goes toward interest. And all that interest is deductible.
  5. More resources to help you purchase a home today. Rates are great for FHA with 3.5% Down and Conventional hovering with 20% Down. Buying prior to year's end secures a tax incentive for the entire year.  mortgages interest and prepaid. Plus any Tax credits available is real money in a buyer's hand after filing taxes!!

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Loren Castillo is a recruiter and career coach with eXp Realty in Portland, Oregon.



Share This Post
June 15, 2010

Jane's Happy Client Stories

Selling your home in these crazy times can feel almost like winning the Lottery! We have some happy sellers here!!  Jake and Darla were worried about how long it would take for their home to sell in the slow market of 2010, but,  lo and behold, it sold for full price in just 5 weeks!  They did all the right things…..

  • They had it showing beautifully, thanks to meticulous attention to detail
  • They made it easily available for buyer viewings
  • Their pricing was realistic, given market trends
  • Last, but not least, they chose the right Realtor to work with!!

Of course, there’s always a little luck involved in attracting the perfect buyer.  The buyer for this home had been looking for a year, having viewed close to 100 homes.  This one grabbed him immediately. Sold!!

And why did it so instantly appeal to him?  An interesting undercurrent was the fact that the buyer had been through intense surgeries over the past several years to repair his heart. Essentially, it was a miracle for him just to be alive. The seller’s special line of work involves cardiac imaging.  She put her home on the market in order to be able to move across the country to attend a specialized institute that deals with arrhythmia technologies, allowing her to specialize even more with heart stressed patients.  Quite the coincidence!!! I speculate that the vibes in the home spoke to our buyer!

Needless to say, Jake and Darla are beyond excited to be moving on with their lives, and it was, as always, my sincere pleasure to do my part.

Thanks for reading! If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in the Portland area, please give me a call. I would love to be your Realtor!

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Jane Lee 503.636.5060 jane@portlandpowersearch.com

Share This Post
June 11, 2010

Top 5 Money-Making Home-Remodeling Tips

[caption id="attachment_1621" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="This is what we call a "cosmetic fixer""][/caption]

For most of us, our home is probably one of the biggest investments we'll ever make. In the past, it was possible to sit back casually and watch our equity grow with little or no effort. These days equity is not given, it must be earned. We can no longer count on the market and Buyer demand to propel our homes toward higher values. It is time to get proactive. It is time for home improvements!

Depending on the age, size, and location of your home, there may be any number of potential improvements. However, there are a few upgrades that will almost certainly increase the value of any home. Remember, most home-buyers are looking for a home they can move into quickly and easily. They don't want to deal with the hassle of remodeling...so if your house is outdated or missing key features, they're likely to keep looking. As a homeowner, you have the opportunity to make those key changes at your own pace, so that the potential future buyer won't have to. With that in mind, here are the Top 5 home improvement areas you'll want to focus on.

1. The Kitchen: The FIRST thing buyers look for in a house is a great kitchen. Your kitchen may not necessarily make you, but it can definitely break you. Wood paneling, wallpaper and brown appliances will induce projectile vomiting from today's buyers. Seriously...I've seen it happen. Start with upgrading appliances, then move on to walls, cabinets and counters. Don't worry about moving walls around unless you have a large budget and you're sure it makes sense relative to the potential sale price down the road.

2. Deck/Patio space: Outdoor living and entertaining space is a big priority for many buyers. If you have a deck or patio already, make sure it looks its best. If you don't, give it some serious consideration. Even something as simple and inexpensive as rock or concrete pavers can make a huge difference.

3. Siding Replacement: While not a particularly exciting project, siding is a big deal, especially if you've got worn out vinyl or damaged wood siding. Try upgrading to a cement fiber product. It comes pre-painted and lasts longer than anything else. Buyers will see that your home has the mark of quality and credibility before they even open the front door.

4. Window Replacement: Windows are easily taken for granted...by owners. Buyers will notice if they are outdated, inefficient, or damaged.

5. Landscaping: Do not underestimate the value of curb-appeal. If your home doesn't look good from the street, many buyers will never even see the inside. A tastefully designed yard, even a modest one, will go a long way toward making a good first impression. Lose the garden gnomes...I know, I know, I love them, too...but not everybody has such good taste.

Here's a crucial tip: When considering remodels from an investment perspective, you would be wise to consult a local real estate professional who knows your market. You DO NOT want to go overboard on expenditures if your market doesn't support a commensurate price increase.

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Rob LeRoy is a Seattle real estate agent and social media marketing coach with eXp Realty.
Posted in Featured
Share This Post
April 28, 2010

Important Questions to Ask Your Lender

The mortgage loan process can seem intimidating, complex and confusing, so I thought I might take this opportunity to share some good questions to discuss with your lender when applying for a home loan. Just print this page and take it with you when you meet your mortgage professional!

General Mortgage Questions:

  • What kind of fixed-rate and adjustable mortgage loans available?
  • How long can I "lock-in" the financing at the current interest rate and what is the lock-in policy?
  • Is a float down lock available in case rates drop after I have locked-in?
  • What are the other fees a lender may charge me in conjunction with my loan?
  • Are funds for a second mortgage available?
  • Is there a pre-payment penalty clause? This involves extra charges for paying off the loan before maturity. About 80% of all mortgage loans are paid off early.
  • What is the "grace" period?
  • How late can a monthly payment be made before a late charge is assessed?
  • What will happen if a payment is missed?
  • If you sell your house, will the new buyer (if he/she qualifies) be able to assume your mortgage at the same interest rate?
  • Do you have to pay "points" to get your new mortgage? Usually lenders charge points for the cost of giving you a mortgage loan. A "point" is 1% of the loan.
  • Will the lender require mortgage insurance?
  • Is the loan serviced locally or is the servicing sold?
  • What will the total closing costs be?

Questions on adjustable rate mortgages:

  • How often will the interest rate be adjusted?
  • Is there a maximum limit on each rate change?
  • How often will the monthly payment be adjusted?
  • Is there a ceiling on payment adjustments?
  • Can the term of the loan be extended?
  • What is the maximum rate that can be charged over the life of the loan?
  • Is there any potential for negative amortization?
  • What is the annual percentage rate?

There is no reason to be afraid or intimidated by the process...just make sure you work with someone who inspires your confidence...and ask the right questions!

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Share This Post
April 20, 2010

Villebois Featured in Ultimate Open House Tour

This weekend marked the annual Ultimate Open House and New Home Tour, hosted by the Home Builders Association.  The tour, designed to kick-start the buying season,  featured homes across the Portland metro area, including several in the Villebois community of  Wilsonville.

"The Ultimate Open House is the best new home shopping event of the year and offers astute home buyers an ideal way to obtain a comprehensive, convenient, first-hand look at Portland’s new home market,” said Dave Nielsen, the chief executive officer of HBA. “There is a wide array of homes to appeal to people’s personal taste, lifestyle, location requirements and budget. Additionally, we have incorporated a number of high performance homes that are Energy Star® and Earth Advantage® certified that will appeal to Portland’s passion for green-built homes.” Read More...

Thousands of Portland-area residents turned out to view the many homes held open over the weekend. In case you missed it, go ahead and give me a call to schedule a private tour. I specialize in the Wilsonville, Oregon area, and the Villebois community in particular.  My schedule is flexible, so give me a call and we'll set up a time that works for you!

Written by Bob Weaver at eXp Realty in Wilsonville, Oregon. Bob is a veteran real estate agent, specializing in the Greater Portland, Oregon real estate market,  including the Wilsonville, Villebois, and Charbonneau areas.

Posted in Featured
Share This Post
April 2, 2010

Agent Spotlight: Rich Peralta

Some background on Rich Peralta:

Exuberant father, eXp Realty agent and big fan of life in Portland.

I've prepared some quick details to help you decide whether to read further. After all, the point of the bio page is to help you, the consumer, interview me without all the mess of actually meeting me in person, right? I'll do my best to impress you right away so we can begin the process of finding your new home!  I am originally from Santa Barbara, California...judge me harshly, if you must, but not all Californians live up to the negative stereotype.  My professional background is in marketing project management, and I have been focused on residential real estate for the past 3 years. Not exactly a grizzled veteran, I admit, but I know what I'm doing. Plus, I have a great team behind me here at eXp Realty. In a larger sense, working with me is really working with all of us.
  • I love dogs. One of the many reasons I chose to live in Portland was its evident community affinity for dogs and dog-people. Around here, you can take your dogs just about anywhere...not just parks. Quite a few local shops and restaurants are also happy to have them. They don't necessarily let them sit right at the table (usually under)...but still.
  • I have a daughter who is amazing and beautiful in every way...like all daughters. I'm not saying she's better or cuter than yours, but she is. See?
  • I love real, down to Earth people. Though I tend to think of myself as a pretty simple guy, but I can always find happiness in the thought that I am a real person, always trying to better myself. I think that's really what sets Portland apart from so much of the world- The people. Everywhere you go in the Portland area there are kind, interesting and genuine people who you can actually stop and have conversations with. It's the coolest thing... They're all just so nice!
  • I love working in real estate. When I first moved to Portland, my wife and I tried to do it all by ourselves. We searched for homes and neighborhood information on the internet...we bounced from site to site, trying to figure out where to look. It was a lot of work. That's why, when I got into the business I decided to make it my goal to simplify the buying process as much as possible, especially for prospective buyers relocating from other areas. Now, with the help of eXp Realty's fantastic web presence, I have the ability to really make a difference for people. I pride myself on being able to turn an otherwise stressful, time-consuming ordeal into a fun, exciting and streamlined process that my clients can actually enjoy, rather than fear.
  • Oh...one more thing. I love to play dodgeball. I bet you don't know any other real estate agents who will tell you that!
So there you have it...a little about me. If you like what you've read, I invite you to call me any time. So much of this business is about personal relationships, so it is crucial to find a Realtor you can connect with. If you think we'd work well together, call (text ok too) me  at 503.961.2181, or e-mail me at rich@exprealty.com

Originally posted by Rich Peralta on www.findmyoregonhome.com
Click here for more information on Portland real estate!
Share This Post
March 17, 2010

Green City, USA - Portland ranked #1

As far as Green Cities go, Portland is ranked #1 according to a study conducted by the Business Courier of Cincinnati.  Their study was took 43 major metro areas and ranked them using the ACBJ "Green City Index.    Covering 20 categories of a city’s “greenness,” looking at everything from, use of public transit, green jobs, travel time along with air and water quality, Portland, Oregon comes out on top.

Click below to see more details or to see how other cities stacked up against Portland;


Rich Peralta is available to answer your real estate questions or set up a customized home search for you.
Just email him at Rich.Peralta@exprealty.com or call/text 503.961.2181.
Orginally posted by Rich Peralta on www.findmyoregonhome.com

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Posted in Featured
Share This Post
March 16, 2010

5 Important Facts About Portland Short Sales

[caption id="attachment_1623" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Know the truth about short sales"][/caption]

It can be awfully tempting to get excited by the draw of a great deal. There are certainly enough people out there these days going on and on about them, especially in the real estate world. In particular, the hype surrounding short-sales and foreclosed, bank-owned homes has reached a fever pitch recently.

So, What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is, essentially, an agreement between a bank and a troubled homeowner to sell their home for less than the amount of the loan, in lieu of a foreclosure. This is becoming more common as market prices are falling below the current mortgages held by these struggling owners. The bank, rather than dealing with the expense and hassle of actually throwing somebody out on the street, decides to be "nice" and let them off the hook for a reduced amount, assuming a buyer can be found who is willing to pay a price deemed acceptable by the bank. Hypothetically, this is a good deal for all parties:

The Seller can get out from under the financial burden of a sinking ship and, hopefully, begin the road to economic recovery. The credit stain of a short-sale is far less severe than that of a foreclosure. I've heard of people qualifying for new home loans in as little as two years after a short sale, rather than the 7-10 years following a foreclosure.
The Buyer can get themselves a new home with a discount of anywhere from 10%-50% off of what the Seller originally paid.
The Bank can dispense with a troubled asset and put some much needed capital back into its coffers.

All of this can and does happen, though it is not nearly as simple as you would like to think. In fact, most of the time it is a ridiculous quagmire of pointless red tape, mixed signals, and limitless frustration. Here are a few fun facts that I thought should be shared.

5 Fun Facts About Short Sales

1. Short sales are anything but short... The average short sale purchase takes anywhere from 60-120 days from the date of "mutual acceptance". The Seller has to agree to the initial offer (mutual acceptance), but it is the Bank who really calls the shots, and they can be...difficult* to get answers from. They will commonly take weeks or months to even acknowledge the Buyer's existence, much less respond to an offer. If they don't like an offer, they'll probably just ignore it. If they do like it, it may still take weeks to negotiate inspections, closing details, etc.
* nearly impossible

2. There is no guarantee... It is entirely common for Buyers to wait for weeks and weeks with no response whatsoever, only to find out that the Bank either A) never saw their offer, or B) got a better one and took it. This puts buyers in the unfortunate position of simply hoping that their offer gets accepted...especially those buyers who are buying a place to live, rather than as an investment. I commonly find myself having to explain this reality to prospective clients..."If you need a place to actually live and have any kind of set timeline in place, you should really just forget about a short sale. There are other factors to consider besides the price..."

3. Banks aren't as motivated as you think... Between tax write-offs for losses, Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) covering those losses, and Government bale-outs, the Banks aren't in any particular hurry to change their behavior or do any favors. Sure, to the outsider it would make sense for the Banks to cut whatever deals they could with struggling homeowners. It seems like common sense...stop the bleeding, put some money back into circulation, slow the accelerating depreciation of home values, etc. Good for everybody, right? Unfortunately, many of the banks are being rewarded for their greed and failure, rather than common sense and good business practices.

4. You don't really know what you're getting... Though this one tends to apply more to foreclosed, Real Estate Owned (REO) properties, it is pretty common with short sales. Unsurprisingly, people who are about to be kicked out of their homes tend to be a little disgruntled. They are not always inclined to leave the place looking clean and nice, the way it looked in the pictures the listing agent took 6 months earlier when they still thought they could cover their losses. (That one might be a little inside, but if you've ever looked at a short sale listing online, then in-person, you'll know what I mean.) Generally speaking, the condition of the house will depend largely on whether or not it is still occupied. If the Sellers are still living there, it will probably be in pretty good condition, or, at the very least, in whatever condition they are accustomed to keeping it. If the home has already been vacated, watch out! It is quite common for the vacating Sellers to take whatever isn't nailed down...and sometimes the nails themselves. If you've ever seen the History Channel show "Life After People" you'll know that it doesn't take long for a structure to deteriorate in the absence of maintenance. Plumbing and wiring problems, leaks and pest issues are all very common. With an ordinary listing, the sellers will continue to maintain the property, even after vacating. Sellers of short sales usually have much bigger problems...

5. The sellers are real people... This is one that is very significant to me, personally, but is one of those things that buyers would prefer not to think about, like how many people have died in that cute 100-year old craftsman they’re so excited about. Oh, how ironic. I opened up a section on sympathy and sensitivity with a joke about dead people… Welcome to the complicated world of Rob LeRoy. But I digress… When considering the purchase of a short sale, it is important to be mindful of the fact that your “great deal” is someone else’s lost dream. Sellers of distressed properties are usually normal, kind and productive people who have fallen on hard times via job-loss, divorce, or illness…sometimes all three. Remember that these are commonly desperate people who just want to move on with their lives with what little remaining dignity they can salvage. Please don’t take advantage of that. If it’s a short sale, sure, you might be able to haggle down the price a little. At that point it is the bank’s money, after all. Often, though, a homeowner will try to sell before they are totally underwater. In these cases, they have little-to-no room to negotiate much of anything. I would urge prospective buyers to be as sympathetic as possible. Sure, I know…it’s just business. I guess…but that’s just not the way I want to live my life or treat the people in it. I guess that’s why I’m not a Republican.

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Rob LeRoy is a Seattle real estate agent and social media marketing coach with eXp Realty.
Share This Post