Portland, Oregon

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March 1, 2010

Wilsonville's Villebois Village Center Grows

I have been excited to watch the development of the Villebois community.  The following is an excerpt from a recent press release from the developers, Costa Pacific Communities.

"Costa Pacific Communities recently began construction on the Village Center in its award-winning master-planned community, Villebois, in Wilsonville, Ore."

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="490" caption="Villebois: Wilsonville's Newest Urban Village"][/caption]

"Based on the intimacy and character of traditional European villages, the bustling Villebois Village Center will be a pedestrian-friendly mix of condominiums, row homes, plazas, apartments, green space and boutique shops and services. The Village Center will include approximately 650 new homes constructed by Costa Pacific Communities as well as several buildings that will feature ground-level retail space with residential above. "

"Two of Costa Pacific Communities' newest housing products currently under construction in the Villebois Village Center include the Carvalho Condominiums and the Seville Rows. With direct access to the heart of the community, these new homes offer a carefree lifestyle in both three-story townhome-style and one-level flat designs. Ranging in size from 1,291 to 2,321 square feet, the two home styles boast distinct two bedroom floor plans that feature flexible living space with loft areas and bonus rooms that can be used as additional bedrooms. Homes are priced between $320,000 and $580,000. "

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400" caption="Carvalho Condominiums @ Villebois"][/caption]

"It's always exciting to see the vision become reality," said Costa Pacific CEO Rudy Kadlub. "You know you have a great plan when the more you build, the better the place looks."

"Additionally, the Village Center will be home to Piazza Villebois - a lively plaza and dedicated community space for residents to sit and enjoy their morning coffee or spend hours chatting with old friends. Piazza Villebois will also be a location for popular events such as live musical entertainment, a local farmer's market and other seasonal festivals. With funding from an EPA grant for rainwater management, permeable paving stones line the Piazza and Promenade, connecting the Village Center to the rest of the Villebois community. "

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="588" caption="Villebois Village Center"][/caption]

"The sustainability aspect of the Village Center doesn't stop at its pavers - all of the homes constructed at Villebois are Earth Advantage-certified and more than 90 percent of the materials from the previous buildings on-site have been recycled. Costa Pacific Communities was also careful to preserve existing trees and incorporate native plants into the landscaping throughout the 42-acre community. This unique juxtaposition gives Villebois the distinctive feel of an established, mature neighborhood, yet it offers the modern-day conveniences and amenities today's sophisticated buyers desire. "

"Villebois also gives residents access to more than 160 acres of parks, playgrounds and open space, perfectly suited for enjoying nature and cultivating a true sense of community. A greenway winds through the community and a regional trail system - which includes Tonquin Trail, a 19-mile path linking Wilsonville, Tualatin, and Sherwood, Coffee Lake Wood Trail and the Villebois Greenway Trail - connects Villebois to the surrounding area. The community is also located near Graham Oaks Regional Park and just a few short miles north of Champoeg State Park."

Many of the homes and park systems have already been completed, so there is plenty to see and do. If you would like to take a look at the current site, or get some information on the upcoming Villebois developments, give me a call any time at 503.705.3098, or e-mail me at bob.weaver@exprealty.com.

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

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Feb. 16, 2010

Spring is Coming to Wilsonville!

Wow, time is really flying by.   I just looked up and realized it was February,  my favorite month.   My hometown, Wilsonville, is busy preparing for Spring and all of the wonderful activities it brings. On the Willamette river, boats are going into the water at Wilsonville docks.   Charbonneau and Langdon Farm Golf Clubs are drying out their courses,  with some great tournaments planned.

What is  happening in Wilsonville real estate?

  • 20 homes sold in Wilsonville since  January 1st.
  • First time home buyer credit extended until April 30th, with closings allowed through June 30th.  Now is the time to get out there and find your new home and get that great tax break!
  • A new area of Villebois has opened for sale. (call me for details!) NW Oregon's premier urban village is really starting to take shape, with beautifully landscaped green areas, parks and tree-lined avenues.
  • Wilsonville Meadows prices are still holding up.  Even in this tough market, the popularity of this wonderful community has helped to keep it's value strong and steady.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="404" caption="Langdon Farms golf course"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="392" caption="Villebois Village Center"] 

 

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[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="436" caption="Wilsonville Docks"][/caption]

Check out Portlandpowersearch.com to see what is on the market in Wilsonville and the Greater Portland area.

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.

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Feb. 14, 2010

Tired of people looking down on you?

...Come live it up and be King/Queen of the mountain in your beautifully updated house with a large private backyard in Bull Mountain Heights.

SOLD FOR $383,700

Do you want a home in desirable neighborhood but don't want to live in a fishbowl? And a yard that can fit more than 4 people in it at one time?  Along with kitchen, bath , flooring and numerous other updates?  And you want all that for under $400,000?

Well, this gorgeous home has all of that!

A large flat backyard has mature landscaping, not to mention the old growth behind the home provide a privacy  to gather and play.

The recently updated kitchen, baths and flooring throughout means you don't have to worry about remodeling anything for quite a while. Granite Counters and travertine tile backsplash capture the beauty of the kitchen with overlooks the nook and the great / family room.  Huge main level bonus room could have many different uses; Media room, play room, office, 4th bedroom, etc...
For information, pictures & a virtual tour on this home go to http://13948sw159thterrace.epropertysites.com/

I am always available for questions or to talk about your real estate search.
email: rich.peralta@exprealty.com
cell/office: 503.961.2181
www.findmyoregonhome.com

Posted in Featured, Tigard
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Feb. 14, 2010

Turning Renters into Buyers, Portland is in the Top 10 on Forbes List

Portland cracks  the Top 10 cities that Forbes thinks is prime for renters to turn into buyers.  A few of the reasons why Portland makes the list is the cities developmental constraints, a high quality of life and the spread between what you end up paying while renting versus spending on a mortgage is at a 15 year low.  Couple that with good inventory of homes, good prices and great interest rates, Portland is prime real estate.

Another very good point that the author makes is that the want to buy and time to buy is a lifestyle decision that only the individual can make.  Just because it may be a good time to purchase instead of renting, your personal situation and desire to own real estate has to be right as well.

Here is the link to the entire  article from Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/21/buying-versus-renting-lifestyle-real-estate-homes.html?partner=email

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 503.961.2181
www.findmyoregonhome.com

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

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Feb. 11, 2010

SOLD! A Sundeleaf home in the Uplands neighborhood of Lake Oswego

Designed by Richard Sundeleaf in 1952, this home has views of three mountains and an easement for lake access.

It boasts a new studs-out remodel in the kitchen, formal dining room, library, 4 bedrooms and 3 and 1/2 baths.  Five fireplaces (one in the master bath) will warm you as you move from room to room and four skylights will brighten each step you take.

Once outside this spacious ranch style house with daylight basement, in the 2/3 acre  private backyard, you can entertain in many spaces with four decks and a firepit all fully fenced.
View Larger Map

Uplands is one of the only neighborhoods in Lake Oswego where you can walk to all three schools; Uplands elementary, Lake Oswego Junior High and Lake Oswego High school.   A very convenient  location within Lake Oswego, Uplands is bordered by the Oswego Lake Country Club to the east, Iron Mountain Park  to the south and east, Boones Ferry to the west and Country Club Rd to the north.  Living in Uplands puts you very close to downtown Lake Oswego, access to I-5, 217 or the 43 and only minutes to downtown Portland.

[gallery link="file"]

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 503.961.2181
www.findmyoregonhome.com

Posted in Featured, Lake Oswego
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Feb. 10, 2010

Getting In on the Ground Floor, Single-Level Homes in Wilsonville

If climbing up and down stairs many times in a day is your thing, there are many homes available for you.

But if you want to truly live on the ground floor, than single level homes are your only option.

For some, its the pain of steps.  Others its the worry about safety.  But more people are just plain sick of having to take stairs to get to the next room.  Whatever the reason, it seems that single level homes are in higher demand.

With single level living, you might be giving up a little space, unless you can find a larger lot that hold such a big house footprint.   Depending on price range and location, in real estate most things can come back to those two points, overall home square footage will be smaller than what you could get with a 2-3 story home on the same size footprint.  But what you give up in square footage, your knees could be thanking you some day.
At eXp Realty and portlandpowersearch.com, we can search for only single level homes in whatever neighborhood you are looking in.  And if you happen to be looking in Wilsonville, Oregon, Bob Weaver has a few homes listed that you should look take a look at.  Click on the link below or go to his website, www.wilsonvillepowersearch.com

http://findmyoregonhome.com/say-no-to-stairs-single-level-living-in-wilsonville/

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 503.961.2181

Originally posted by Rich Peralta on www.findmyoregonhome.com

Posted in Featured, Wilsonville
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Feb. 6, 2010

eXp Presentation

If you are looking at this presentation please contact Loren Castillo at 503.998.4868 to go through it together.

[iframe http://docs.google.com/present/embed?id=ddc3cd7g_245t84wnd2&size=m 555 451]

Posted in General
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Jan. 26, 2010

Claim.io Delivers the Latest in Online Branding and SEO

The Latest  in Personal Branding and Search Engine Optimization

Building brand awareness is necessary in any business, especially real estate.Claim.io is a new service designed to help you expand your brand and increase your name recognition across the entire spectrum of online social networks, resulting in a big boost for your website among search engines (SEO).

These days, with technology advancing at a record pace, keeping up with the latest tools and tricks is a truly daunting task. You are probably usingFacebookLinkedIn or Twitter to connect to your potential clients. But, how about the other 300+ social networking sites?

I have been working in the real estate industry for 6 years, and currently operate in the Bellingham and Seattle, WA areas. I’ve read all the books and attended just about every class and seminar, and there is one thing I can tell you for certain: The internet and it’s search engines are the cornerstones of modern marketing, and social media marketing is fast becoming the #1 method for optimizing search engine placement.

As one of Claim.io’s pioneering clients, I have etched my name and personal brand into over 300 social networking sites!

So, why should you care about securing your name or brand with Claim.io? Keep reading, and I’ll tell you…

Here’s what Claim.io can do for you:

  • Improve your rank on search engines. Search engine placement is the name of the game these days. Claim.io will get you noticed…a lot!
  • Eliminate brandjacking and other malicious behaviors. Ever wonder if you are the only “you” in the world? Google yourself and find out… Did you know that someone else can own your name on the internet? It’s true. Anybody can register a name on a website…Get control of your name before your competition does!
  • Broadcast a consistent message across all major social networks. This is the most important. Own your name and broadcast a consistent message across all of the social networks, with links back to your preferred website.

The Best Idea of 2010

In the world of real estate, getting ahead online takes a ton of work and technical knowledge. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy focusing on closing deals to spend much time working on our online presence. What we really need is some help, and Claim.io delivers.

With Claim.io you can “claim” your name or business, giving you control of your personal brand across the internet. For example, you could create a username of “Bob Smith” which would then be signed up to 300+ social networks, all of which would link back to your main website, providing powerful SEO for that site. That means that if someone Googles “Bob Smith” there is a good chance they will be directed to your website. But, there’s more…

This also works for just about every imaginable keyword: Bellingham Real Estate, Seattle Real Estate, King County Foreclosures, etc. You get the drift. Of course, you can always stick with your name or company name, depending on your particular branding strategy. Adding short and long-tail keywords to those 300+ profiles will help your home site come up first whenever they are searched in Google by potential customers.

I’m sure you have some questions, and that’s just fine. I’m happy to chat with you and answer your questions any time. Just e-mail me at Loren@LorenCastillo.com or click on the banner to the right!

[contact-form 1 "eXp Recruit"]

Posted in General
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Jan. 26, 2010

Top 5 Ways Portland Buyers Fumble with Fixers

[caption id="attachment_215" align="alignleft" width="300" caption=""Watch your step!""][/caption]

These days, it is all too easy for  inexperienced buyers to become obsessed with getting the "best deal".   I'm talking about  the "weekend warrior" buyer- the one who watches countless hours of HGTV shows that make it seem plausible that someone could seek out, purchase, remodel and flip a home for 25% profit in 30 minutes, or less. The "Hey, I bet I could do that, too!" type of buyer...

#1   You don't actually know how to fix stuff:

Do you know how to re-wire a circuit breaker? Have you actually done it, or just seen it on TV?  If water starts shooting across the floor after you smash the old toilet with a sledgehammer, do you know how to turn it off? Do you know how to pull up the carpet and lay down that fancy tile flooring your wife picked out at Home Depot last weekend? No? Then...

#2  You don't have the money to get things fixed:

You don't have to be a handy-man to buy a fixer. However, you definitely need deep pockets with plenty of cash in them. Fixing up a house can cost a lot of money. I mean a LOT of money. Do you know how much a toilet costs? How about a window...or a new heating system? Do you know how much it costs to pay the people who do know how to do that stuff? I've met electricians who charged by thesecond,  roofers that actually preferred to be paid in kidneys, and  plumbers whose invoices technically qualified as Crimes Against Humanity...

#3  You don't have the time to get things fixed:

So, let's say you have the knowledge, the money, or some combination thereof that you determine will make this a workable scenario. Do you have the time?  I was talking with a friend of mine recently about this. He's a professional home inspector, so he definitely has the knowledge and the money required. However, he was complaining about how he'd been working on a bathroom remodel for an entire year. A YEAR!  His intentions were pure and his plan was solid...but time just kept getting away from him.  Think about that for a minute.  A whole year of planning, anxiety, struggling to find the time...NOT being able to use the bathroom... Now think about trying to fix up a whole house.  Make no mistake, any rehab project is a serious time-suck, but a whole house is a full-time job, and then some!

#4  You can't get the bank to actually give you the loan:

These days, banks are getting increasingly antsy about loans, especially for fixers. Remember, the house has to appraise for the amount you're paying for it, or at  least the amount you're financing.  If the house is falling apart, the appraisal will reflect that. If the bank determines that the house is a potential liability, you'd better be prepared to provide solid answers to the above questions. If you can't, the bank is likely to reject your application on the grounds that you'll be too likely to get in there and find yourself over your head.  The last thing they want is to encourage somebody to default on a loan because they end up overwhelmed by the staggering realities of fixing up a crack-house.

#5  Your work  prices you above the market:

If you think you can manage the cost, effort, and time required for repairs, be careful not to price your new Valhalla out of the local market! Some clients of mine bought a house in Seattle back in early 2005. It was a nice, older home, in a pretty good area. They spent the next 6 months transforming it into a modern masterpiece, replete with stainless appliances, additional bedrooms and bathrooms, heated floors and dormer windows in the master bedroom.  They'd turned a $400k house into a $750k house. The problem was that the home was on a busy street, and the surrounding homes topped out in the mid-$600 range.  This home, in any number of other locations, could easily have sold for the $750 they wanted...but the present location brought the value down. They ended up selling it after several months for much less than their original asking price, simply because they had spent too much money in the first place. A couple of years later, I later sold a similar fixer just a few blocks up the same street. Having seen this movie before, I went out of my way to warn my client about the dangers of pricing herself out of the market by over-doing the remodel. However, she knew a lot more than I did about flipping houses in Seattle. She was from the East Coast, after all. Yada-yada-yada...same beer, different bar. She lost money...

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
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Jan. 24, 2010

eXp Realty and Being a Green Real Estate Firm

Reposted from Glenn Sanford

In my last post, The Relevance and Future Demise of Bricks and Mortar I didn’t talk about being Green, Carbon Footprints or many of the other buzz words currently circulating however that doesn’t mean that those terms and ideals have slipped through the cracks.  There are real reductions in things like Carbon Footprints by working in a Virtual Real Estate environment.

I’ll list a few of those benefits along with their financial equivalent where appropriate are below:

  • Carbon Footprint
    • Less Driving to and from an Office
      • Assuming an Office is an average of 5 miles from one’s home there is likely a savings of 10 miles per trip to the office.  Assuming having to run into the office once per day that is a savings of over 200 miles per month on your automobile.  Using the tax deductibility of 55 cents/mile as the loaded cost of driving that means that as an agent you will save an average of $110/month.  This overall deduction is based on the price of gas, oil, maintenance and depreciation related to driving however even if the true costs are 1/2 of that that is still $55/month savings or a net increase of $660 – $1320 / year to the real estate agent and staff members.  It also means fewer Carbon emissions.
      • Assume as well that a well connected agent has a decent laptop in the field as well as a Smartphone like the iPhone then there is additional efficiencies of being able to work where you are rather then being conditioned to drive back to the office for everything.
    • Eliminate the Carbon Footprint of the Office
      • Check out: http://www.thegreenoffice.com/carboncalculator/calculator/
        • I don’t know exactly how to read the final report however a 50 person office with 5000 square feet of office space and a 10,000 square foot parking lot on average creates a Carbon Footprint of 3,175.8 Global Acres, and produces by itself 282.6 tons of CO2.  In addition redundant physical costs of heating, cooling, and maintaining such a structure has a national average cost of $7065/year or at least that is the number that I pulled out of the calculator which seem on reflection not inaccurate.
  • Paperless
    • In real estate we still haven’t been able to get totally away from Paper but we are certainly making progress
      • Many offices still make multiple copies of a contract
        • One of the Agent Physical File
        • One for the Broker Physical File
        • One for the Escrow Officer
        • One for the Lender
        • Two for the Clients
          • One for the Buyer
          • One for the Seller
      • By creating a shared electronic box.net we are able to reduce the number of copies considerably
        • One file electronically uploaded (via a scanner or an efax)
        • Shared with Broker
        • Shared with Agent(s)
        • Shared with Client(s)
        • Shared with Lender
        • Shared with Escrow Officer
      • Assuming they can download in pdf format and keep an electronic copy paper is kept to a minimum
    • Ecosign / Docusign
      • As early adopters using Ecosign or Docusign can eliminate printing all together.  This is still more of an ideal but these services are coming.
  • Corporate Travel
    • We’ve talked a bit about Home Office however how do we get around some of the big ticket travel
      • Immersive Persistent Virtual Offices & Conference Centers
        • To understand the potential visit http://www.secondlife.com/
        • Though SecondLife.com is more of a Video Game then a business productivity tool (so far), the fact is that SecondLife has opened up the eyes of a lot of major corporations about the potential of working in Virtual 3D space in a similar way that we interact in real space.  Through the use of similar technology we are able to reduce the need for Corporate Travel dramatically.  We are able as a group to more effectively collaborate and develop systems and plans where systems like GotoMeeting, WebEx are left far behind in terms of true collaboration and ultimate engagement.
        • We believe that this new environment which wasn’t available to the masses of real estate agents even two years ago will radically change the culture of Work and Collaboration.
    • The reduction this year in Corporate Travel has already been significant.  We have reduced our big ticket travel by 50% through the adoption of Virtual Office strategies and we expect to drive them down even further as a % of overall expenses without giving up many of the benefits of physical travel.
    • The significant time and money savings is huge as well.  By not having to travel to the airport, parking, picking up a rental car, getting a hotel room / conference room is huge.  These translate into net real savings for eXp Realty and an increase in the financial splits to agents and staff.

As you can see there are very compelling reasons for going Green, however how one goes Green may have greater financial impact then simply going Green.  We think we have adopted strategies which will change the way brokers, agents and consumers think about Virtual Real Estate Companies.

As always do feel free to write info@exprealty.com or please also feel free to call me, Loren Castillo @ 503-998-4868

Posted in General
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