Portland Real Estate

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 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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Finding Home: Kate

"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 our Lead Transaction Coordinator, Kate, shares her home search adventure and discovering the perfect spot may be in an unlikely place. 

1) How did you know you wanted to buy your home?
When we went to the open house I just felt a sense that it was the perfect house. I always wanted a classic 60’s ranch and the layout was perfect. The previous owners had done a beautiful job updating the home so the work needed was minimal. But the yard... the yard won us over. 

2) Was there a trade-off you felt was necessary to make to purchasing your home? 
The location wasn’t my favorite – we’re now just east of I-205; we were living in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood just off of 60th in an apartment. But we felt we would never find that perfect of a home anywhere closer in, remotely close to our budget. Now that we live there, I realize it was a silly concern because we don’t feel far away from anything. It’s a lot quieter, the neighborhood is super friendly, and with quick access to the freeways and the Max we can get across town (or out of town) way faster than before. 

3) Any surprises discovered *after* moving in?
We just moved in this past August, so far there haven’t been any major surprises. We’ve been working through some of the issues that came up on our home inspection, which are all pretty typical for most homes – getting electrical junction boxes up to code, having the heating ducts cleaned, the furnace serviced, getting a new roof installed, replacing old appliances…

4) How did you fix them? 
We’ve hired contractors to take care of all the work, with the exception of installing the appliances – we were able to handle that.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Kate! Best of luck as you two settle into your new home!

 

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: Brigitte

We're sharing interviews with our team, friends and clients about adventures in buying their first home, remodeling lessons, and other discoveries of owning a home. Today Brigitte, one of PGR's agents, is sharing why she and her husband bought their first home, what led them to buy a new home, and what plans they have in the works for it.

1) How did you know you wanted to buy your first home? 
Our St. Johns house (which we just sold) was a tiny place, just 775sf; but I fell in love with St. Johns. I loved how walkable our community was and its many resources for families. And I love how the local businesses supported the schools: James John, Sitton, George Middle School and Roosevelt.

Painting the new home's walls (with a trusty helper). 2) Was there a trade-off you felt necessary in purchasing your first home?
We bought our first house because we could afford it. We needed to find a house with a mortgage payment of about $1400 per month, so price was our biggest consideration. We definitely took a trade-off for walkability in St. Johns verses more space, but no sidewalks, in Brentwood Darlington. We bought this house in May of 2014 and am so thankful we bought when we did.

 3) And what led you to buying your new home? (Congratulations, by the way!!)
This summer, a few weeks after our second child was born, I finally admitted our first house was too small. Our new place is in Roseway and has it has TWO bathrooms, which we think is amazing. The new house has great guts; new electrical, new plumbing and went through an earthquake retrofit. Plus there’s a finished basement with gorgeous pour concrete floors. But the entire first floor of the house was painted goldenrod yellow and the wood floors had seen better days.

We got lucky on this house purchase; we wrote the offer the Friday before the eclipse this summer. I think most people were staring at the sun rather than looking at houses.

 

 

4) Do you have plans in the works for your new home?
There are two cesspools on the property we need to decommission and there’s no grass. The previous owners were gardeners and they put in gravel paths around the house and garden beds. I am going to feel a little guilty ripping some of their garden apart, but we have two kids and a dog, and need some grass in the backyard. The backyard is also just a postage stamp - it’s so tiny! But it’s fenced so I’m happy about that.

5) Any other surprises you discovered *after* moving in?
I noticed carpenter ants at the house when I was painting a few days after close. The $375 to Columbia Pest Control stung a bit, but carpenter ants can cause a lot of damage, so I just wanted it taken care of. 

6) Any advice you wish to share with future homeowners?
With every house, there are going to be surprises as you get to know your new home, so things like this are just part of being a homeowner.

Thanks Brigitte for sharing your adventures with us! Best of luck as you and your family settle into your new home!

IN OTHER PGR NEWS:

This Sunday, 10/15, we have two open houses in Portland: a 1-bedroom/1-bathroom home in North Williams and a 3-bedroom/2.1 bathroom in Woodstock. Both open houses are from 1-3p. Questions? Wish to schedule a walk-thru? 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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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: https://www.portlandmaps.com/bps/mapapp. 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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