Investment Properties

Did You Buy a Home in 2017?

Did you buy a home in 2017? If so, congratulations! One of the perks of home-ownership: you’ll have several great tax deductions this year! You may be able to write off portions of your mortgage payment, your interest, insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance, to name a few.

If you bought a home with a Paris Group Realty agent in 2017, we recently sent you a final settlement statement for your real estate transactions from the year. You, or your accountant, can use this to document deductions - and lower your tax burden! If you have questions about your deductions or if you have not received your letter yet, please reach out to us. We're always happy to help!

Wish to better understand home-related tax deductions? Here are a few articles worth referencing as you prepare taxes:

Want someone to double-check the boxes? I’m happy to recommend several great accountants who can help you maximize your tax deductions this year. 

As a reminder taxes are due on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Good luck!

If you're thinking about buying a home or investment property, please let us know!
We're always excited to help people set and reach their real estate goals.

Planning to buy your first home in 2018 or 2019? Come to our First Time
Homebuyers Session on Thursday, 3/1/18. Click for details & RSVP today!

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Portland's Home Energy Score

You may have heard single-family homes for sale within the City of Portland are now required to include a home energy score in their listings.

To answer a common question: this doesn’t replace a home inspection, which the buyer pays for, prior to purchasing a home. The home energy score audit, paid by the seller, needs to be conducted prior to listing a home for sale.

Why? Per the City of Portland's website:

Home energy scores are a market-based solution for conveying previously unknown but critical information to both buyers and sellers of homes. When homeowners invest in improving the energy efficiency of their homes, those costs may be recouped as scores translate into a value that can be recognized by the market. A recent analysis that included over 20 studies worldwide of homes with green certifications demonstrated that green-certified homes sell for up to four percent higher than a comparable home.

Beyond lower energy bills and greater housing affordability, energy-efficient homes are more comfortable and livable. The indoor air quality of these homes is better, leading to healthier lives. Home energy scores afford consumers a measure of protection when making one of the biggest financial investments most people ever make. [more below]

Benefits for Owners
- Information on money-saving home improvements.

Benefits for Buyers
- Better insight into the full costs of owning or renting a home.
- Ability to compare energy costs and performance between homes.
- Knowledge of potential home improvements in advance of purchase.
- Access to additional mortgage products.

Benefits for Sellers
- Recoup investments in energy efficiency upgrades at time of sale.

Have questions? Not to worry, we're here to help answer questions and help you understand these changes - and benefits - regardless if you're a currently a homeowner thinking about remodeling, looking to buy, or thinking about selling.


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Open House: December 17

Between decking the halls and singing "fa-la-la," join us for an open house on Sunday, 12/17, from 1-3p, at this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom mid-century ranch in Milwaukie. (BTW: we're going on the record to say the front doors are pretty amazing.) Listed at $350k.


Can't make it? Give us a call to schedule a walk-thru.

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Open House: December 2-3

Join us this weekend for our open house in Portland's highly-desirable St. Johns!

From 12-2p this Saturday (12/2) and 1-3p on Sunday (12/3), come see this 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom near-by the heart of St. Johns. Thanks to bright picture windows and gorgeous hardwood floors, the open living and dining room fills with light. The remodeled kitchen, with a pantry, makes getting ready for gatherings a snap. A large backyard and multiple patios will be perfect for entertaining and relaxing throughout the warmer months. Listed at: $350k

Can't make it? Give us a call to schedule a walk-thru.

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Real Estate 101: Home Inspections

Today we're interviewing Jay Hensleigh of Associated Master Inspectors, a home inspection firm based in Tigard, OR. Jay has been an inspector since 2006 in the Portland area. We asked him to share his insights about home inspections, what buyers and sellers can expect from an inspector, and what sellers should have ready if they remodeled their home. 

1) Can you please describe what a typical day looks like for you?
My work day consists of either one or two inspections. For a typical home inspection, I’m onsite for about 4 hours, looking at the home and talking to the client and realtors. When you add in travel time to and from the office or between successive jobs, it can make for a very full day. 

After the inspection(s), I spend an additional 2-3 hours in the office to compile my inspection findings and photos, research any unique issues discovered at the home, and review and finalize the report. Given these time investments, I find it’s logistically impossible to do more than two inspections a day. When I do have two inspections in one day, I make sure to reserve time the next morning to complete the reports.

2) What is your process for inspecting a house?
In Oregon, home inspectors are required to follow and meet tightly defined rules known as the Oregon Standards for Home Inspection, which define the extent, limits, and requirement of an inspection. Within these standards, my process of performing an inspection is primarily a visual process of discovery, essentially starting at one end of the home (roof) and finishing at the other end (the crawlspace). I carry a collection of tools to help me inspect the home, including ladders, flashlights, screwdrivers, probing tools, moisture meter, various electrical testers, and a pick-hammer.

To document issues I discover, I carry a digital camera and also have my laptop on a portable stand to enter information as I move around the property. Some areas may be fully inaccessible for various reasons or my view of various areas of components may be limited by furnishings, stored items, or appliances, and these limitations are noted in the report.

I encourage my clients to attend the inspection, but to arrive towards the end of it. This allows me time to fully focus on the home. Toward the end, I meet with my client and their realtor to review my findings so everyone is aware of the more serious issues present at the home. Sometimes we walk around the home and look at any areas the client wants to see. As we wrap on onsite, payment is usually collected from the client, and I let them know when they can expect the report.

3) If a homeowner is planning a home remodel, what should they take into consideration if they decide to sell their home in the future?
The three most important considerations are permits, permits, and permits. Did I mention permits?

In today’s world, making sure you obtain permits for renovations or repairs when required is very important. If you choose to do work without permits, it’s very likely it will come up when you go to sell the house. Most buyers will ask for permits to be obtained. Obtaining permits retroactively can be very expensive and time consuming. In worse-case scenarios, you may be required to open up walls to expose work for inspection or could even be required to demolish additions.

4) What’s one tip you can share with sellers?
How about three? First, make sure all utilities are on. Having the water, power, or gas shut-off severely limits the inspection and almost always requires a second inspection visit that often results in added inspection fees and almost always delays.

Second, making sure attics, crawlspaces, furnaces, water heaters, and electrical panels are not blocked by stored items, furniture or appliances also ensures a complete inspection without delays.

And finally, please plan to be away from the home during the inspection. Your presence can slow down the inspection process and makes it difficult for your buyer to learn about your home without some sense of unease.

5) What’s one tip you can share with buyers?
Homes are a complex compilation of materials, systems, and components. Over time, materials weather, systems age, and components wear out. As a home inspector, my primary job is to alert you to health and safety issues, structural problems, and conditions that may lead to safety and structural issues, but keep in mind that the inspection is a snapshot in time. Conditions in and around the home can and do change over time. You can be your home's best ally by consistently performing seasonal and annual maintenance, and monitoring your home to catch and resolve any conditions that may lead to significant damage.

6) BONUS Q: What drew you to home inspection?
The first time I saw a home inspector in action was 1995 when I bought my first home. At the time, I was well established in a career path as a fishery biologist, but I was intrigued as I followed the inspector around the house, and later as I read the report.

Seven years later my career transition, I started working as a handyman for a property management company, which led to construction work for a local developer, which led to getting my contractor's license. While construction work was fun and rewarding, I wanted a more flexible and independent schedule, with more variety in my work tasks. I also wanted more interaction with clients. Home inspection seemed like it would meet these needs and would allow me to use the skills, knowledge, and experience I had built-up as a contractor and as a biologist. It took a little more training and testing, but soon I was working as a home inspector. I have found that indeed, it’s a great fit for me. The joy of the job is the mix of technical expertise required, camera and computer work, seeing all kinds of houses, and of course, meeting people as they proceed with the exciting, and stressful, process of buying a home.

Thanks Jay for taking the time to share your insights with us and our readers!

Follow Associated Master Inspectors on Facebook.

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Open Houses: November 19, 2017

Join us this weekend for two open houses in the Portland area!

From 10a - 3p this Sunday at a one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo nearby Portland's bustling North Killingsworth Street. This quiet courtyard condo is in a well run community, with charm galore, including hardwood floors, a breakfast nook, and private backyard. Ideal for a student, first home-buyer, or long-distance commuter looking for metro area home. (UPDATE: the open house has been changed to 1-3p.)

Also this Sunday, from 1-3p, we'll be showing off a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home in in Portland's Sunnyside neighborhood. Nestled between SE Belmont and SE Hawthorne, this single-family home is nearby all the activities while offering a serene retreat.


Can't make it during the above times and wish to schedule a walk-thru? Give us a call!

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Open Houses: November 4-5, 2017

We have some great open houses happening this weekend throughout the greater Portland area. Hope you can join us! Have questions about the homes below - or one you recently spied while out and about? Give us a call! 

Saturday, 11/4:

From 10a-12p on Saturday, at 11132 NE Morris St, Portland, this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, home with a huge yard is perfect for a first-time home buyer or someone looking to dive into investment properties. A little love and a handful of updates will make this home shine. Listing price: $250k.

New Listing! On Saturday, from 12-1:30p, at 245 W Hereford S, Gladstone, a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom Tudor home with an incredible layout, backyard, and 2-car garage. Link coming soon; call us for details. Listing price: $400k.  

From 1-3p on Saturday, at 1827 SE Regner Rd, Gresham, a 3-bedroom, 1.1-bathroom, ranch home with a private yard and recent updates, including a new water heater. NEW listing price: $250k.

Sunday, 11/5:

New Listing! From 1-2p on Sunday, at 11389 SE 35th Ave, Milwaukie, this 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom sweet bungalow with remodeled kitchen and large private yard with deck. Listing price: $300k.

From 1-3p on Sunday, at 3746 SE Washington St, Portland, an incredible 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom classic craftsman home a block away from Laurelhurst Park and nearby Belmont's restuarant scene. Listing price: $525k.

Can't make it during the above times and wish to schedule a walk-thru? Give us a call!

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Open Houses: October 29, 2017

We're hosting a few open houses this weekend! 

This Sunday, 10/29, from 1-3p, an amazing three-bedroom, one-bathroom home in the Sunnyside neighborhood, near Laurelhurst Park. Listing price: $525k. (Listing link coming soon; visit our Facebook page or call us for details!)

Also this Sunday, 1-3p, this charming two-bedroom, two-bathroom Southeast Portland bungalow with a deck and backyard ideal for entertaining. Listing price: $400k

And last, but not least, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Northeast Portland, with a large backyard. Listing price: $250k.

Hope you can join us! Questions about these homes? Wish to schedule a walk-thru? Give us a call!

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Open Houses: October 21-22, 2017

We're hosting two open houses this weekend! 

On Saturday, 10/21, 10a - 12p, & Sunday, 10/22, 1-2p, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom Southeast Portland bungalow. Listing price: $400k

On Sunday, 10/22, 3:30 - 5:30p, we're showing a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom ranch in Gresham. NEW listing price: $299k.


Hope you can join us! Questions about either home? Wish to schedule a walk-thru? Give us a call!

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Five on Friday: Portland's 2035 Comprehensive Plan

The Comprehensive Plan is a long-range land use and public facility investment plan to guide future growth and the physical development of the city. The original plan was adopted in 1980. The new plan aims to address the needs of a growing city and takes effect in January 1, 2018. 

1) What is Zoning?

  • Zoning is a way for the city to regulate development and enact its goals for the community and the environment.

2) What does that mean for homeowners?

  • Zoning will dictate what you can and can’t build on your property. For example: if your home is in an R5 Zone, it means you are allowed one dwelling for every 5000 square feet of land. Zoning will also affect the landscape around you. If your home is in an R1 zone, you might see multifamily developments being built next door.

3) How will the Comprehensive Plan affect homeowners?

  • It depends on the zone. Some areas, especially along transit corridors will see increased density, more mixed-use construction, and taller buildings. Other neighborhoods won’t be affected at all.

4) Where can I find out if my zoning is changing?

  • Here's a link the plan's map: Per the site's FAQ page: "The Comprehensive Plan Map shows a long-term vision of how and where the city will grow and change over the next 20 years to accommodate expected population and job growth." In other words, it shows the future, while the site's Zoning Map shows what is allowed today.

5) Can PGR help me better understand this?

  • Of course! Give us a call.

FYI: we have an open house this Sunday, 9/17, from 1-3p for a brand new listing. Visit us at this amazing, mid-century 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home in SE Portland; listed for $450k. Trust us. This one won't last long. You'll want to see it ASAP!


Have a fantastic day and a wonderful weekend, friends!
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