Home Remodeling

Finding Home : Heather

"Finding Home" is a collection of interviews with our team, friends, and clients about adventures in buying their first home, remodeling lessons, and other discoveries of owning a home. 

Today Heather, PGR realtor and Claire's sister, shares why her home was "The One," a discovery made 10 years after purchasing, and why a finding a great floor plan ranks high when searching for a home. 

1. How did you know you wanted to buy your home? 
As soon as we walked in our house, I knew we needed to make an offer. The open floor plan, great location near Mt. Tabor, room to grow and ability to renovate all sealed the deal. 

2. Was there a trade-off you felt was necessary when purchasing your home? 
No trade-off as it was purchased 17 years ago. However, there are always trade-offs today at any price range. 

3. Was there an unfortunate surprise/issue you discovered *after* moving in?
The biggest surprise we discovered after living in the house almost 10 years were the two cesspools in the backyard that needed decommissioning.

4. How did you fix it?
We've done an extensive amount of work on our house and for every project we have hired contractors to do the work.

5. Would you have changed your mind about the purchase if you had known this would've happened?
No, there are very few repairs that would steer me away from any house. I think finding a neighborhood, floor plan, and layout is much harder than facing any needed repairs or work. 

Thank you for sharing your story with our readers, Heather!

IN OTHER PGR NEWS:

We have a few homes on the market: a 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom ranch home in Southeast Portland's Powellhurst neighborhood; 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom bungalow in Milwaukie, OR; and a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom Tudor home in Gladstone, OR. Click the links for details. Interested in touring one? Give us a call!

 

Would you like to share your home search adventures, remodeling tales, or how you made your house a home with us on our blog? Send us a quick note and we'll be in touch! We'd love to hear from you!

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Finding Home: Claire

Over the next few months, we're sharing stories from our team, friends, and clients about adventures in buying their first home, remodeling lessons, and other discoveries of owning a home. 

1. How did you know you wanted to buy your home?
My brother and I had been looking for a year. It was 2001 and a seller’s market, which meant properties sold quickly and for over listing price. We were looking for something we could fix up. Andy and I walked into the house and it was a wreck: blue walls, weird wall paper, dirty carpeting and more. We saw past all of that to the built-in bookcases and china hutch, the hardwood floors, and the fantastic layout. We were sold.

2. Was there a trade-off you felt was necessary to make to purchasing your home?
Our budget was low, so we’d already agreed to compromise on condition. But this house could be fixed up and look beautiful.


3. Any lessons learned while remodeling?
I had my mom layout the kitchen perfectly and we went to a discount cabinet store (long before Ikea was here!). They didn’t have one of the cabinet sizes my mom had instructed us to buy. I figured if I added the inch and a half the cabinet that was in stock to another cabinet, it wouldn’t make any different in the length of the cabinets, so why not? I didn’t realize my mom had centered that particular cabinet so the stove began past the windowsill. So instead, the windowsill was broken with the stove.

It was a small error, but it was a big lesson in paying attention to the details. Every time I go in my kitchen, I think about it.

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We have THREE open houses this weekend! Two in Gresham and one in Portland. Click to preview a lovely ranch-style home with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (Gresham; listing price: $310k)a well-maintained 3-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom ranch-style home (Gresham; listing price: $269,900), and a sweet 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom bungalow in Portland's North Williams neighborhood (listing price: $375k).

Would you like to share your home search adventures, remodeling tales, or how you made your house a home with us on our blog?
Send us a quick note and we'll be in touch! We'd love to hear from you!

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facebook // instagram // pinterest // twitter

 

Five on Friday: How To Have a Private Mortgage Insurance Removed

We realize talking about home financing isn’t a super sexy conversation, nor is it nearly as exciting as awesome landscaping ideas or great neighborhood bars. But before you click that little “x” to close this window, hear us out. This topic is worth exploring because it may save you some cash on your monthly mortgage payment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah. We thought that might get your attention.  

First, here are two important terms to help with this slightly-more-interesting-then-a- snail-race financial conversation.

  • LTV: Loan-To-Value is a percentage calculated from the loan amount divided by the purchase price. So, if you put down 15% when buying a home, in simplest terms for this discussion, your LTV would be 85%. And - here’s the important part! - this number decreases over time as you pay off your mortgage loan. This value decrease is a very, very good thing.
  • PMI: Private Mortgage Insurance is what a lender will require you to have for your loan if you put less than 20% down on a home.

Here are five ways you may qualify for a lower Loan-to-Value (LTV) thus having your Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) removed from your monthly mortgage balance - and giving you a reason to pop the champagne. 

1. If you are getting ready to buy a home, if you place a down-payment of 20% or more, you may not be required to have PMI written into your loan terms. Each lender has different guidelines, so it’s worth asking about their PMI requirements.

2. Prepay your mortgage loan, aka make extra payments on your mortgage, to build equity in your home.

3. If you remodeled your home or completed a major home restoration project, it’s worth have your home appraised. You may discover the remodel/restoration decreased your LTV.

4. If your neighborhood – or area – has seen an increased value, request a home appraisal.

5. Once your home’s equity reaches 20%, you can request to have your PMI removed (YAY!) – and once it’s below 78%, your lender should remove it if you’ve met all their requirements per the loan and the Homeowners Protection Act.

Have questions? Give us a call!

And a quick heads up: we're hosting two open houses this Sunday, 6/11/17: a beautiful 1930s one-bedroom condo in the NW District (open house: noon to 1:30p at 2743 NW Thurman #4, Portland 97210) and the other, a 3-bedroom in the hopping Woodstock neighborhood (open house: 1:30-3p at 6523 SE 84th Ave, Portland 97266). Visit our homepage for links and details. You won't want to miss these! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.