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We all know that buying a home is a smart financial decision. Sometimes renting might seem “right” but it’s important to realize how much further your money will go if you own your own home. Many people are paying the man, and unfortunately the man is charging quite a bit here in Portland! 

What the rental market means for tenants: more expensive rent! Prices are quickly rising and you’ll never see that money again. 

What it means for owners: now is a great time to buy. Whether yore spending the money to live in the home or purchasing it as an investment for later, it’s a solid option to buy in today’s market. 

Never hurts to chat with a lender and see where you stand! 

  

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The Oh-So-Historical John Palmer House

Last week I had the pleasure of touring the John Connor house on Mississippi Avenue. If you’ve strolled through the Missippi Historic District you know it is a remarkable area..This Victorian home’s construction began in 1890 by John Palmer, a builder who settled in Portland. After a few short years his wife died so Palmer decided to sell the home. Lotta Hoch, an opera singer, bought the home in 1908 and she and her husband completed the property by adding a sun porch and bathrooms on the east side of the home, a vernanda, and a basement level. The details throughout are breathtaking! The Turkish themed bathroom, the butler’s living quarters, the wall paper and chandeliers, almost overwhelming.

The property is for sale right now and is priced at a pretty $1,500,000. Seems like a bargain for such an amazing piece of history. I tried to snap a couple quick cell phone shots (they do NO justice, shown below), but if you want the real scoop click the link that says “View report” to see the listing on RMLS. It’s definitely worth a look!

Listing: View Report

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Terra, the oil tank hunting earth dog

A common inspection during real estate transactions is an oil tank search. The other day I got the pleasure of meeting Terra, a talented dog who works for EcoTech. 

Oil tanks were used in old homes as the fuel for the heat source. They were placed in the ground or sometimes in basements and contained the oil that helped to ignite the heating system. 

Oil tanks are no more! Homes now days are heated with gas or electricity. This is because the oil is not only costly, but it’s also not too great for the environment. After some aging occurs the tanks have been known to leak and contaminate the surrounding soil. 

When pending to purchase a home, we recommend oil tank searches to our buyers as a protection to them. EcoTech is often the company we call, and they have a shining employee over there that just can’t be ignored! 

Meet Terra, the underground storage tank sniffing dog! Terra has been trained to sniff out buried tanks so she serves as a professional woman-dog, a companion, and as EcoTech’s right hand lady for years to come. She is so impressive! Blows my mind how one can be so sweet, so smart, and so dog!

  
Check her out on Facebook under EcoTech LLC. 

What is Escrow? Portlandia’s take vs. The Dry Version.

PORTLANDIA’S ESCROW SUMMARY:

Watch this! Maybe it isn’t the best description ever, but Portlandia’s view is indeed quite entertaining. Click the link: The S-crow

WHAT IS ESCROW, REALLY?

An escrow is a deposit of funds, a deed, or a similar instrument by one party for the delivery to another upon completion of a condition or event. In a real estate transaction, escrow is a neutral account led by an escrow officer by which all interests of each party to the transaction are protected.

To open escrow a buyer and seller agree on terms (this is when an offer is accepted) and establish conditions for the transfer of property ownership. The third party, the escrow officer, is there to help see that the terms are met prior to closing and prior to the transferring of ownership.

Escrow can hold any money or documents necessary for the sale to happen, for example earnest money or deposits for rent back periods, sale agreements, etc., and assists buyers and sellers to sign closing and loan documents as needed. Once you are pending to purchase a property, you are in escrow!

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You’re invited to our free Home Buying 101 Class

Hi everyone,

Thinking of buying a home and want to know if the time might be right for you? Come learn the ins & outs of buying real estate from start to finish in our Home Buying 101 class. We’ll break down the main steps and talk about everything from financing options to what the expect during the inspection period.

The class is free and dinner is provided. Let me know if you’d like to attend!

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Check out the Oregon Bond program! You could qualify for an incredible rate on a mortgage.

Have you heard of the Oregon Bond Program?

Created to help first time home buyers get into properties at affordable prices, The Oregon Housing and Community Services Residential Loan Program (a mouthful, I know) offers below market rate loans to qualifying buyers.


Want to know if you can get in on this action? Qualifications below. 

1.) You must be a first time home buyer or have not owned a home in the past 3 years to qualify

2.) You must occupy the home

3.) Your household income must be below the application limit

4.) No duplexes or ADUs are eligible for purchase

5.) Your purchase price must be below the application limit

6.) You can’t own other residential property at the time of closing

7.) You can’t use more than 15% of the area for business purposes

Download the pdf here: WM_OregonBond

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Seems simple enough, right? I am certain there are many people who could utilize this program and unfortunately do not. Are you thinking of buying a home in the future? Meet with a lender ahead of time to talk about your options and what to plan for. I’m always happy to connect you with a qualified mortgage expert in your area- just say the word! 

*The informational sheet provided today is courtesy of Julee Felsman, lender with Equity Home Mortgage*

Hello world!

Hi everyone!

Thanks for taking a minute to stop by my blog. I’ve always wanted to provide my friends, family, and clients with valuable information they can use while living in, planning to sell, or preparing to buy the American Dream, a home.

We all have life long goals and a huge one for me was always home-ownership. Even when I was a little girl, I had plans for how I would save for my future home, how I would decorate it, how I would use it to entertain my friends, and what kind of family I would raise inside it.

Come senior year in high school, living in Salem, Oregon and attending Sprague, I decided it was time to dip my toes in the water and test out the industry. I got a job as an advertising assistant for two amazing realtors who were experts in the area and had years of experience behind them. I worked for Rick and Ande Hofmann at RE/MAX equity group two days a week and my primary job was cutting and pasting advertisements of listings and sending them to clients to let them know how we were marketing the homes.

It wasn’t rare that my job would take much longer than needed because I would get caught up reading ALL of the verbiage on pages of property advertisements. When I say all of the verbiage, I mean all of it. I would open at page one and read about every single property until I made it to the end of the Homes & Land magazine. It quickly showed me that my interest was not a light concept, I really, truly wanted to know more about Real Estate.

After about a year of helping with the ads, Ande assigned me a few new jobs. Eventually I was learning more and more about what happens behind the scenes for Real Estate Agents. I would help prepare Comparative Market Analysis reports to show potential sellers what value they might get, I would help close out files and prepare thank you notes for cooperating agents, helped plan events, organized a roster of listing information to have it readily available at all times, marketed homes, and was there to provide overall support to Ande on her busiest of days, helping with anything and everything I was able to do.

While working with Rick & Ande at RE/MAX in Salem I was also attending community college for a degree in business. Eventually my time came and I had to transfer to Portland State. I fought the idea of leaving for about a year because of how much I loved my job, but eventually school got the best of me and my time was running short. I had to get a job in Portland so I could remove the couple hour commute from my routine and move forward with my life in Portland. I interviewed with several agents and ended up accepting a position as an Office Manager for Karoline and Wick Ashley at RE/MAX equity group in NE Portland.

We are now the Ashley Realty Works team. I am a licensed broker, office manager, listing coordinator, and transaction coordinator for our team and I’ve been with the Ashleys for 3 years. We added a buyer’s assistant, Jess Priest, and we now feel like a family- helping each other as much as we can, leading each other on, and constantly growing and improving together. I’m working on my 9th year in the industry and I wont be going away any time soon!

The team! Pictured left to right: Jess, Wick, Karoline, Stephanie
The team! Pictured left to right: Jess, Wick,     Karoline, Stephanie

Half of my heart is in Salem, my hometown, and half of my heart is here in Portland. The purpose of this blog? To be able to provide valuable information and fun real estate tid-bits to the ones who are anywhere in between!

Thanks for following along! 

-Stephanie Fox

Licensed broker in the state of Oregon