For Buyers & Sellers
Oregon First, Realtors® & Washington First Properties
There are numerous online resources for determining the value of a house — and they can be a good starting point. However, keep in mind that each home is unique, even if it sits in a neighborhood of similar properties. An impersonal algorithm can offer only a very general picture of its true market value.
Get the most recent numbers from the Regional Multiple Listing Service’s “Market Action” report that comes out mid-monthly and is e-mailed to all member Realtors®. This is data specific to our market, and drills down into particular cities and neighborhoods so it’s much more accurate than the national and regional reports you find in most media reports.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has continued to rise, increasing to 6.7% from 6.29% the previous week. According to Freddie Mac, the market has been unpredicable and volatile, impacting mortgage rates heavily and more than doubling the range between rates over the last year. It is important for homebuyers to shop around for lenders with such a large dispersion in mind, as buyers who lock in at a higher rate would have to pay several hundred more than buyers who lock in at a lower rate. To put current rates in perspective, the 30 year fixed rate in 2010 was 4.69% and ten years before that, it was 8.05%. If we go all the way back to 1981, the rate was a whopping 16.63%!
When considering serious remodeling projects, make sure you understand the limits of the return on your investment. Most projects aren’t going to pay for themselves unless you’re bringing the property up to buyer expectations or doing repairs the buyer’s lender is likely to require. We can help you decide which projects are likely to be demanded by the market given the price you’re seeking.
Obtaining a professional home inspection is the single most important thing a buyer can do for their protection. A professional home inspection report will provide the buyer with detailed information about the home’s physical condition, its systems and fixtures and usually note any potential future problems.
Every Oregon First listing includes a link to detailed information on schools in that area, including test scores and ratings by parents and educators. In addition, the Oregon Department of Education produces yearly report cards for all schools and districts.
Every Oregon First listing also includes a link to the property’s Walk Score, which can be a great way to learn more about the property’s neighborhood. We even have a Map function which allows you to walk the neighborhood without leaving your computer!
Useful sites and information about veterans loan programs, first time buyer classes, credit score information, how to protect yourself from loan fraud, and more.
Real estate markets across North America have seen unprecedented sales in recent years, with some homes selling in mere hours. But for the vast majority of cities across North America real estate has cooled, and sellers are encountering more ‘traditional’ markets. For those owners looking to sell in the coming weeks or months, avoid the mistakes below when selling in a slower market.