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Make Your Property More Attractive for Homebuyers

Ensure a Good First Impression

Homebuyers make up their minds about a property in the first few minutes. Make sure your home makes that vital first impression. New paint does wonders. Make sure the front yard is flawless with manicured lawns and attractive foliage. Add a hanging basket or some flower pots at the door. The front door is also critical, make sure the hardware is presentable.

Make them Feel Welcome

Don’t forget buying a home is in many ways an emotional decision, so it’s important to give buyers that warm and fuzzy feeling! Keep the temperature in the home at a comfortable level. Light some candles in the bathrooms and make sure it smells nice and clean. Have fresh flowers around the house.

But don’t make it too personal

Make them feel welcome, but don’t go too far. Too much personality, for example in the form of personal possessions and family photos makes it hard for buyers to visualize living in the space.

Clear out the Clutter

Make sure your property is clutter-free for all your viewings. This will make your home look and feel bigger, and the buyers will be able to imagine how they could make the space their own. Make sure that there is a clean, logical flow through the home by getting rid of all excess furniture. Less is more.

Improve Lighting

This is another way to make your home seem more spacious. Open all your curtains and flood the space with natural light. Make sure the darker rooms are also lit. Invest in some light fixtures and fittings, and place them strategically to illuminate even the gloomiest of areas.

Decorate to Sell That House

Slap on a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color to give it that blank canvas look but do not be too sterile. Have some contrast in the trim as well as the ceiling. Neutral colors make properties appear lighter and brighter, so take advantage of this inexpensive and easy option. You may also add color with decorative window coverings, rugs, and towels.

Clean Up Your Act

Your home should be spotless. Make sure the beds are made and the countertops are free of clutter. The dishes should be put away and nothing should be scattered on the floor. Don’t forget to tidy your garden too: Cut the shrubs back, sweep the patio, and wipe down the backyard furniture.

Those Minor Repairs You Put Off

It is easy to forget things such as broken doorknobs, cracked tiles, holes in walls and damaged but buyers will notice them first thing as they are walking around your home.

Maximize Your Space

The golden rule of selling is to make your space look and feel bigger and better than what your competitors have to offer. We’ve already mentioned that lighting your home, both naturally and artificially, can maximize your assets, but getting rid of bulky furniture can also be a great way of making the most of what you have. Large pieces of furniture make a space feel smaller, so put these items into storage and dress your home with more compact pieces.

Don’t Forget Your Floors

Make the investment of improving and investing in those floors. Worn carpets and damaged vinyl floors need to be replaced, and wooden floors especially should undergo some maintenance. This is not chap by any means, but the prospect of selling your home for the best possible price will likely outweigh the cost.

Remove Pets During Showings

You do not need to remind the potential buyer that the previous owner kept pets.

Try to remove your pets from your home when you are showing the home. Having a pet in the house or yard can create complications for your agent while trying to show the house, and puts your pet at risk of accidentally getting out during the showing. There are also liability issues to deal with as well. They may react differently to stranger and it may cause them stress. All pet-related damage should be repaired prior to showing the home. Make sure to also remove all odors and stains. New visitors will notice smells when they come to view the house. This is not something you want to happen. Have your carpet and floors professionally cleaned or replaced. Pick up any messes in the backyard and have any sod replaced and other damage repaired.

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Pearl Redevelopment

It looks like the post office will be moving out of the Pearl District, creating lots of space for more shops, restaurants and dwellings! Take a look here.   Here is one of the options:

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A quick look at some Portland Real Estate Statistics

It was interesting to take a look at the inventory and sales price statistical trends over the past couple of years. If you talk to a Real Estate professional these days, something that is bound to come up over and over is the “lack of inventory.” Well… we’ve been in this trend for several years, so it seems. Take a look at this chart:

Yes – it’s true that inventory in January was crazy low – under 600, which is half of what we had this past summer. Add to that the fact that there were just under 600 closed deals in the city of Portland in January, that means we only have 1 month’s worth of inventory! The bottom line: if you are a buyer and you find something you like, don’t wait around. If you are a seller, it’s pretty likely you won’t go stale on the market, that is unless your price is out of whack or you have a very expensive home, in which case the story will likely be different.

Now look at prices over the past two years:

Although this chart makes it look somewhat flat, it really appears that we are talking about a 10% (roughly) increase over the past two years. Not outrageous, but not shabby either, from an investment point of view. I say that because that level of appreciation is well above inflation.

Questions/comments/thoughts about the statistics and the market, let us know! We love chatting about this stuff!

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Portland Real Estate Update, March 2016

It’s March! Spring is starting to show itself, Super Tuesday is here, and the February Portland Real Estate statistics have been published. What’s the news on the Real Estate front? Well, let’s talk about inventory first. Yes, a lot of people continue to struggle with low inventory – and there is a lot to be said for that, but it looks like it is improving.

For the record, these charts reflect Real Estate data in the city of Portland, not including any outlying communities.

This chart is kind of small (my apologies to your eyes) but it reveals a couple of interesting things.

1) The number of listed properties in February increased by more than 100 since January and by more than 300 since December. Onward and upward!

2) This past year the gap between the number of listed properties and the number of sold properties was the smallest ever – implying that most things are actually selling. (Graphically this is shown by the gap between the red bars and the blue line.)

Not surprising, we can see here how prices in Portland have trended upward since 2011. The increase in the Avg/Median is approximately $100K, or approximately a 40% increase in value. Not a bad return on an investment, eh?

And this graph clearly shows how Portland transitioned from a buyer’s market (where sales prices were typically lower than the list price) in 2011 to a seller’s market which continues to today.

The moral of this story? I’d say that if you are a potential seller, life is good. At least for buyers there is one bit of good news: inventory is on the way.

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Portland Open House Feature of our Website

Have you ever wondered: Where can I find a complete and up to date list of all the open houses in Portland that are scheduled for this weekend? Well – guess what! Our new website does that for you, all you have to do is go there (PortlandRealEstate.team) and click on the “Open Houses” link at the top. This is not just our open houses, this is everyone’s open house! That’s because we are certain you want a complete list, and so you should have it. Remember: for us it’s about you.

If you think you might do this more than once, simply bookmark the page PortlandRealEstate.team/Portland-Open-Houses and BOOM! You always have it. Notice that at the bottom of the page we also have some links for other open houses in the areas surrounding Portland.  Use them!  They’re there for you!

If you have other thoughts or needs in this area, we’d be happy to create something just for you. Let us know!

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What’s your next step?

Have you wondered what’s the next step for you? Do you plan on being where you are forever, or do you foresee a time when you’ll make some kind of life transition?

While it’s almost never a bad time to re-assess one’s goals and opportunities, these are interesting times. If you own a home or an investment property, chances are it’s worth a bit more than it was a few years ago. What’s your strategy?  When is the right time to take a step based on your personal goals and what circumstances will allow?

This is an incredibly valuable discussion to have with us, especially if it involves property you own or plan to own. Is it time to put retirement plans in place? Time to downsize?  Time to up-size? Helping you successfully get to your next step is what we do. Let’s talk.

Your Portland Real Estate Team.

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What’s Wonderful About Portland!

We team members at H. Dwayne Davis Group love Portland. Actually, we LOVE Portland, and we want you to feel the same. So many aspects of Portland make it a glorious place to live, and here are a few to start.

DIVERSE NEIGHBORHOODS

In the Portland area you have a choice of a huge variety of neighborhoods and communities. You’ll find your place for sure in one of these areas, with their diversity of socioeconomic ranges, lifestyles, architectural styles, community spirit, and more. There’s something for everyone, and here’s just a taste. For more about neighborhoods, check out the Portland areas section of our website.

  • The Pearl District, with its urban apartment buildings that are tall for Portland (but maybe not for other cities), within blocks of great restaurants, a multiplicity of stores and services, beautiful city parks—including one with a permanent summer wading fountain—and more. Wouldn’t it be nice to step out your door and walk just a few blocks to the completely absorbing, world-famous Powell’s Books?
  • Laurelhurst, Mt. Tabor, and other close-in Southeast and Northeast neighborhoods that center on lovely parks. These areas feature beautiful older homes, mostly bungalows, whose inhabitants are proud of their lush gardens and beautiful landscaping. Neighbors are generally happy to stop and chat with one another as they work in their gardens on summer evenings, their cats and dogs stopping by to kibbitz and say hello.
  • The Northwest, where older homes and apartments mix with newer ones. Two long commercial streets, NW 21st and 23rd Avenues, contain some of Portland’s best restaurants and stores, offering a superb urban walk-and-shop experience. Step off of the avenues, and your walk leads you to quiet residential streets.

TYPICAL LOCAL CUSTOMS AND LINGO

  • Ever heard of sun breaks? It does rain here, and Portlanders love those moments when the clouds part and the sun beams down—our “sun breaks.” There’s beauty in contrast.
  • And in related weather usage, around here it’s partly sunny—never partly cloudy. When it’s clear and you can see Mt. Hood, we say “the mountain is out.”
  • We call neighborhoods near the city center “close-in” (see Laurelhurst and Mt. Tabor above). These neighborhoods, and their homes, are highly valued because of their proximity to downtown, and for the fact that they are less dense, with more room for gardens and outdoor living. The weather here makes it perfect to grow nearly anything—thank that rain!
  • Traffic is more laid back here. Portlanders hate to honk their horns, which is considered quite rude, and often people wait too long at four-way stops in order not be seen as the aggressor making the first move. It’s charmingly polite.
  • Life is more informal than in many cities, without the kinds of class pressure often seen elsewhere. It’s okay to wear a t-shirt, jeans, and tattoos to the opera, where a sweet older woman in a mink stole will be happy to chat with you in the drinks line. Wear anything you want out to dinner. There’s a real lack of pretension.
  •  Summer is truly valued here for its sun and warmth. Many people choose “staycations” so that they can enjoy the beautiful weather, maybe taking day trips or overnighters to the coast, the Columbia Gorge, or the mountains. There’s more beauty to be found up and over Mt. Hood to central and eastern, Oregon, too, and it’s all only a few hours from home.

IS PORTLANDIA REAL?

Well, no and yes. It’s thoroughly based in reality, but enhanced for humor. You’ll definitely meet many types of Portlanders that you’ve seen on TV in Portlandia. You won’t be given a certificate with the name of the chicken you’re eating for dinner, but many fine restaurants will tell you on the menu if it’s an organic or free-range bird, and they’re proud of their sources for their food. And that’s not Portland’s real mayor on Portlandia, but here’s a secret: a former mayor, Sam Adams, plays the mayor’s aide. That’s our town!

PORTLAND TRIVIA

Pronunciations can be tricky. Here are some that will make you sound like a longtime Portlander!

  • Couch Street—pronounced “Cooch.”
  • Glisan Street—pronounced “GLEE-sun.”
  • Willamette River—pronounced “Will-AM-et.”
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Nice Works!

What a pleasure to work at a brokerage with a philosophy that supports the idea that being a good human being is also good for business. Who says being confrontational or uncooperative is the way to get things done? Not us. We know from experience that the best way to get a good deal for our clients is by negotiating from a position of knowing the facts AND being nice about it. Nice really does work! The photo below is the advertisement our brokerage took out on the back cover of Portland Monthly’s Annual Design magazine.
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Portland Real Estate Market Update

“How’s the market in Portland?” – we get that question all the time! Here are a couple of highlights:

1) Inventory continues to be very low. In fact, in the last month of 2017, the number of properties SOLD exceeded the number LISTED. (See graph) Wow!
2) Prices are not changing much. How can that be if inventory is so low? It must be due to lower buyer demand. If supply is short and yet prices are stable, then there must be a fairly even supply/demand relationship.

What does this mean to you? Well, if the market remains balanced, it means that neither buyer nor seller has an inherent advantage… which means having an expert advisor and negotiator on your side to find ways to get you the best deal possible is more important than ever!

Included here are a couple of graphs which illustrate the inventory and price dynamics for 2017 in Multnomah County. Can’t wait to see what happens in 2018!

What do you think about all this?

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The Three Best Taco Restaurants in Northeast Portland

We love fresh tacos, and Portland has some wonderful restaurants that help satisfy the cravings!! In the Northeast quadrant, there are three standouts, and here they are:

Number 3 – Stella Taco

Located on the corner of NE 30th and Alberta, Stella Taco is a great place for Happy Hour – with a great drink menu and their usual assortment of amazing Street Tacos. The sign says “Austin Style” tacos – but exactly what that means is not clear to this taco eater. That said, the taste is totally worth the trip, and we give a hearty recommendation for the Fried Avocado Taco (vegetarian)  which has slaw, vegan ranch and cotija cheese, all of which give it a punch of flavor.  And if you want an even bigger punch, lots of hot sauce is available. The margaritas are also good (shout out to the strawberry basil marg) but we’d suggest you ask for it without the salted rim.  The rita itself has a saltiness to it, and the salted rim is – in this taco eater’s opinion, a bit over the top.  Check it out at http://www.stellatacopdx.com/ .

Number 2 – Taco Pedaler

If you’re driving down NE Broadway heading west, just after it becomes a one-way street after passing NE 24th, you have to look carefully on the right hand side to see the store front with the picnic tables outside. Traffic really moves in this area so be ready! Taco Pedaler (yes, that’s actually spelled correctly!!) started life as a “trike based food cart” – get it – that’s where “pedaler” comes from?  You gotta love the play on words. Anyway, success and effort combined to allow them to open up a “brick and mortar” location in 2015. With attention toward ecology – sourcing their ingredients locally when available, and using compostable and biodegradable paper products, they also achieve fantastic flavors!  Check out the daily specials, because it’s all good. The two standouts to this taco eater are the Baja Fish Taco (mmm, spicy crema…) and for drinks, a huge thumbs up to the non-alcoholic agua frescas, which always are tasty and thirst quenching.  Find out more at https://www.tacopedalerpdx.com/ .

Number 1 – Cruz Room

The Cruz Room looks more like a bar than a place for Tacos, but once you go in and try them – WOW!  Yes, it’s true, Cruz Room actually has a full bar (unlike the others mentioned in this post), and if that’s what you want, you got it.  Lots of beer choices too.  But the big surprise is how wonderfully tasty the tacos are.  Two standouts to this taco eater are the Phuket Part Deux, with the braised chicken, coconut milk, citrus zest and peanut slaw… it’s the things that dreams are made of.  Perhaps it’s the creaminess of the coconut milk that puts it over the top.  And for vegans, this taco eater heartily recommends the Can’t Bahn Mi Love, which is so good you certainly don’t have to be a vegan to crave it uncontrollably. Beer battered lemongrass tofu, cabbage slaw and spicy mustard aioli among a few other things… and your eyes may roll back in your head after a couple of bites.

In addition to the food and drink, Cruz Room also has an outdoor patio where you can bring your canine family members, should they want to tag along. That’s certainly and added plus. Find out more at http://cruzroom.com/ .

We hope you enjoy hunting for your own fantastic Portland Taco experience!