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This is a topic I have been wanting to write about for some time, and in fact, was asked about this on a listing appointment with a seller just this past weekend.

Lake Oswego Real Estate Love Letters

On my listings, buyers have submitted love letters.  When I have presented an offer, and on occasion when a listing agent asks for one, I too have submitted a love letter.  However, there are many buyers that are reluctant to submit a love letter.Copyright bettyjung.com

Here is a blog post from another real estate agent I know from Facebook who wrote about this topic today.  She is a Principal Broker of her own company and writes on her St. Paul Real Estate Blog. I would like to share her post rather than me trying to reinvent the wheel.

I will share some of my further thoughts at the end of this post:

Real Estate Love Letters

an offer on your home will be accompanied by a “love letter”.  There isn’t anything wrong with a love letter as long as the letter is mainly about the house and how much the buyers like the property.

Buyers could make an offer and include a letter about how much they like the house and admire the gardens and love the neighborhood. I once had a seller who accepted an offer mainly because of a love letter.

Usually, those love letters never make it to my home seller clients. I ask them if they want to see the letter and encourage them to say no. Why would I do that? Because I am concerned about fair housing violations. If a seller chooses one offer over another based on the family status of the offerer or how the buyer looks that might be a fair housing violation.

As a real estate broker and agent, I can not help any of my clients discriminate against anyone who wants to buy a house.

Usually, when I explain fair housing to my clients they decide not to view the buyer’s love letter.

Buyers who choose to write these letters should omit pictures of themselves and their families and focus on the house they are making an offer on. They may want to include personal information about where they work or what they do for a living.

When the buyers do not know the sellers they can put information in the love letter that has a negative impact.  Maybe the house is on the market because of a death or divorce or financial problems.

I meet homeowners who tell me their home should be sold to someone who will fill it with children. Choosing a buyer based on family status is a fair housing violation.

What Should Be In A Love Letter?

As Teresa Boardman explains above and correctly so, it is more important the letter you submit to a seller talks about the house, gardens etc. and why you love the seller’s home, rather than writing about yourself or your family.  I can think of several scenarios where Fair Housing might come into play with love letters being written and presented.

I am not against love letters, but in all the companies I have worked in, our attorneys have said not to write love letters.  Buyers want that extra edge, but they may not get those extra brownie points when writing a love letter.  A love letter should be written carefully, if at all.

Learn more about the Fair Housing Act here.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2018. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

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7 Simple Steps to Assess the Real Cost of a Fixer-Upper House

Do you want to purchase a fixer to hold on to as your own home? Don’t even know where to start? Making an offer may seem daunting, but this might help you figure out how much to offer for a fixer-upper.

Follow these seven steps, and you’ll know how much you can afford, how much to offer, and whether a fixer-upper house is right for you.

#1 Decide What You Can DIY

TV remodeling shows make home improvement work look like a snap.

In the real world, attempting a difficult remodeling job that you don’t know how to do will take longer than you think and can lead to less-than-professional results that won’t increase the value of your fixer-upper house.

Do you really have the skills and experience to do repairs? Some tasks, like stripping wallpaper and painting, are relatively easy. Others, like electrical work, can be dangerous when done by amateurs.

Do you really have the time and desire to do it? Can you take time off work to renovate your fixer-upper house? If not, will you be stressed out by living in a work zone for months while you complete projects on the weekends?

#2 Price the Cost of Renovations Before You Make an Offer

Get your contractor into the house to do a walk-through, so he can give you a written cost estimate on the tasks he’s going to do. If you’re doing the work yourself, price the supplies. Either way, tack on 10% to 20% to cover unforeseen problems that often arise with a fixer-upper house.

#3 Check Permit Costs

Ask local officials if the work you’re going to do requires a permit and how much that permit costs. Doing work without a permit may save money, but it’ll cause problems when you resell your home.

Decide if you want to get the permits yourself or have the contractor arrange for them. Getting permits can be time-consuming and frustrating. Inspectors may force you to do additional work, or change the way you want to do a project, before they give you the permit.

Factor the time and aggravation of permits into your plans. If you are wanting to “flip” the house, you may be required to provide any any and all permits to the new buyers.

#4 Double-Check Pricing on Structural Work

If your fixer-upper home needs major structural work, hire a structural engineer to inspect the home before you put in an offer so you can be confident you’ve uncovered and conservatively budgeted for the full extent of the problems. Get written estimates for repairs before you commit to buying a home with structural issues.

Don’t purchase a home that needs major structural work unless:

  • You’re getting it at a steep discount
  • You’re sure you’ve uncovered the extent of the problem
  • You know the problem can be fixed
  • You know the costs involved and have a binding written estimate for the repairs

#5 Check the Cost of Financing

Be sure you have enough money for a down payment, closing costs, and repairs without draining your savings.

If you’re planning to fund the repairs with a home equity or home improvement loan, get yourself pre-approved for both loans before you make an offer.

Make the deal contingent on getting both the purchase money loan and the renovation money loan, so you’re not forced to close the sale when you have no loan to fix the house.

Consider the Federal Housing Administration’s Section 203(k) program, which is designed to help home owners who are purchasing or refinancing a home that needs rehabilitation.

The program wraps the purchase/refinance and rehabilitation costs into a single mortgage. To qualify for the loan, the total value of the property must fall within the FHA mortgage limit for your area, as with other FHA loans.

A streamlined 203(k) program provides an additional amount for rehabilitation, up to $35,000, on top of an existing mortgage. It’s a simpler process than obtaining the standard 203(k).

Call me to find out about other financing that may help in your purchase.

#6 Calculate Your Fair Purchase Offer

Take the fair market value of the property (what it would be worth if it were in good condition and remodeled to current tastes) and subtract the upgrade and repair costs.

For example: Your target fixer-upper house has a 1960s kitchen, metallic wallpaper, shag carpet, and high levels of radon in the basement.

Your comparison house, in the same subdivision, sold last month for $200,000. That house had a newer kitchen, no wallpaper, was recently re-carpeted, and has a radon mitigation system in its basement.

As an example, the cost to remodel the kitchen, remove the wallpaper, carpet the house, and put in a radon mitigation system could cost $40,000. Your bid for the house should be $160,000.

#7 Include Inspection Contingencies

Don’t rely on your friends or your contractor to eyeball your fixer-upper house. Hire pros to do common inspections like:

  • Home inspection. This is key in a fixer-upper assessment. The home inspector will uncover hidden issues in need of replacement or repair. You may know you want to replace those 1970s kitchen cabinets, but the home inspector has a meter that will detect the water leak behind them.
  • Radon, mold, lead-based paint
  • Septic and/or well
  • Sewer Scope
  • Dry Rot
  • Roof Inspection

Most home inspection contingencies let you go back to the sellers and request they handle any repairs. The seller can also opt to simply back out of the deal, as can you, if the inspection turns up something you don’t want to deal with.

If that happens, this isn’t the right fixer-upper house for you. Go back to the top of this list and start again.

Source: G. M. Filisko

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low but are increasing, and there is still a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2018. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is in violation of federal copyright laws.

Have you ever walked into an open house and had that agent write an offer for you on that home?

Did you go to a builder’s new construction open house and have the builder’s agent sell you the new home?

When you called the listing agent, did you think you were getting a better deal because you had them write your offer?Copyright Betty Jung

Lake Oswego Real Estate Your Right To Have Your Own Buyer’s Agent

In all of these cases, it does not benefit you as a buyer to have the open house agent, the listing agent, or the builder’s agent assist you with your purchase.  In fact, in all of above-mentioned cases, those agents are representing the seller each and every time, and not you at all. Those agents do not have your best interests at heart but are working in the best interests of the seller.

It amazes me that many people still don’t understand agency or what a buyer’s agent is.  Most buyers are not even aware that if you are the buyer you have rights to have your own agent representing you regardless what a lender or a listing or on-site agent will tell you.

Many agents tout themselves as being a “buyer’s agent” when in fact all of us as licensed Oregon real estate agents can be your buyer’s agent.

What’s The Difference Between A Buyer’s Agent And A Seller’s Agent

Buyers Agent – has a buyer’s broker agreement/contract with you and will assist you in shopping for a home.  Your Buyer’s agent researches and previews properties that you might like, helps you get the best price and presents your offer to the seller.

The listing or selling agent, or another person holding the house open, has a responsibility to the home’s seller, builder, or another person who owns the home.

When working with a real estate agent, it is important you clearly understand who that agent’s primary client is and which party in the transaction they are representing.

My Responsibility To You

To learn more about how your interests can most effectively be protected give me a call.  I would be happy to explain the way in which I can represent you.

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low but are increasing, and there is still a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2018. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is in violation of federal copyright laws.

 

Shopping For The Best Real Estate Loan

Over 50% of home buyers don’t shop to find the best interest rate for their mortgage.

While a buyer would rarely purchase the first home they look at, they will accept the rate and terms offered by only one lender. While the borrower and the property affect the rate and terms that a lender may offer, not all lenders offer the same service, terms and rates to the same buyer.

I advise my clients that shopping around to compare rate and terms for a mortgage is a reasonable exercise considering that a half percent less interest rate could not only lower the payment but the cumulative interest that is paid while that loan is outstanding. When meeting with buyers, I am always amazed when buyers don’t shop for the best rates and fees for a mortgage.

Over the years, I have also found many mortgage brokers/lenders promise the moon but fail to deliver.  In addition, some buyers seem to think out-of-state, big-box companies with loan services, somehow offer the best products for you. Frankly, I have found this not to be true.

Many times I am asked for a mortgage broker/loan officer referral for those buyers.  Because of my years selling real estate, I have consistently worked with tried and true mortgage brokers.  It behooves a buyer to work with someone locally that I routinely work with.  I do not get a referral fee or make any money when referring my favorite and best loan officers to you.  My only pay-off is that since I have worked with them for many years, I know they will take excellent care of you and deliver what they promise to give you the best rates and loan product available. And, to get your transaction closed on time.

Equally important is hiring a mortgage broker that best suits your needs, and not doing so can derail a transaction quickly.  Being available and paying attention to your specific real estate transaction and its conditions is something extremely important.

Rates are increasing, and if you’re ready to take the plunge to purchase a new home and get pre-approved for a loan, give me a call at 503-804-9685. I will be happy to refer you to the best Portland-metro area loan officers in the business.

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2018. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is in violation of federal copyright laws.

It’s What’s Under The Hood That Matters

Recently a past client of mine made an offer on a home that was completely updated.  We knew this from what was stated in the RMLS™ listing and from looking at the house. This home had all the bells and whistles and shined with the latest decorating trends. I was a bit leery about the home’s condition because it was a “flip” and knew, as they say, ‘it’s what’s under the hood” that mattered a lot more than what we were able to see with our own eyes.https://lakeoswegorealestateblog.wordpress.com/

As I always do, regardless if the home is brand new, or looks like the home is in good condition, I recommend a full home inspection along with other inspections such as a tank scan, sewer scope, roof inspection, etc., etc.

Prepare for Home Inspection Surprises

My client proceeded to have all the necessary  home inspections and I have to say, even I was surprised with all the defects that were presented to us as a result of the inspection reports.

Oil Tanks, Sewer Blockages, Even a “Live” Animal Oy’vey

While home buyers are sometimes strapped, don’t have extra cash and are reluctant to spend money on a home they may or may not be buying, the cost of home inspections are minimal compared to keeping from making a huge financial mistake. It is the best insurance a buyer can have that the home being purchased is indeed in good condition.

During this particular transaction and as a result of the home inspections, the buyer was information of roofing issues, structural issues, electrical and plumbing repairs/improvements not up to code, siding and foundation sill rot, beams not anchored, lack of heat from vents, large foundation cracks, ceilings buckling, water pooling, to mention only a “few” of the issues.  On top of the updated “flip” deficiencies, there was an oil tank, a sewer blockage that extended the entire length of the front yard and to top it off a wild animal living and nesting in the crawl space.

Don’t Get Fooled By Shiny Objects

At first sight the house was perfect. It was exactly what my buyer was looking for in the location where he wanted. Looking at the house you would never have known there were so many problems.

During the height of our most recent “hot” housing market, buyers in many cases, especially in multiple offer situations, waived their right to have any kind of home inspection(s). I cringed when I heard that buyers were doing that, while I never recommended my clients go that route just to “win” a home.

Walking Away Vs. Negotiating Repairs

Problems with a home can derail a transaction causing buyers to “walk away”.  In this case my buyer did not continue with the purchase as the repairs were just too daunting. They did purchase another home that was “perfect” in the same area.

Buyers need to, however, understand the differences between health and safety issues, versus normal wear and tear. There are many options open to buyers when repairs are an issue. Many times sellers are willing to negotiate repairs as well. Buyers should be prepared for surprises and make a plan, with their Real Estate Broker’s help,  for those unpredictable repairs.

Inventory is tight in our Lake Oswego and Portland metro real estate market and a faulty home inspection doesn’t always have to result in not purchasing the home of your dreams. Sometimes it just takes talking through the inspection issues if the home meets all the other requirements you are looking for.

But, in any and all cases, please have those home inspections.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2018. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

 

Lake Oswego Real Estate First Time Homebuyer

Are You A First Time Homebuyer?

There’s lots to know about purchasing your first home.  I am sure you have lots of questions about Lake Oswego Real Estate and home buying.

Here’s a tip about Homeowners’ Insurance from Prime Lending:

Becoming a first-time homebuyer can be both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. There are a lot of expenses you’ve probably heard about that come with closing on your first home, for instance the down payment, closing costs and agent fees. One expense you may be less familiar with is homeowners’ insurance. Don’t get blindsided by the cost insurance might add to your financial responsibilities – take time to understand your options and get estimates before putting down a large sum on your home.

We’ve assembled a number of most commonly asked questions that first-time homebuyers ask to help give you a better sense of what you need to know when shopping for homeowners’ insurance.

How Much Coverage Do I Need? A Home Inventory Will Tell You.

Start by completing a home inventory (a comprehensive list of everything you own and each item’s value). Make a list or your possessions, describing each item, and noting the make and model and where each item was purchased. Include sales receipts, purchase contracts and appraisals if you have them. Organize your clothing into categories so they are easier to reference.

Here are some handy tips to help you organize your inventory:

  • List big-ticket items such as jewelry, artwork and collectibles
  • Take pictures of important individual items and store with descriptions
  • Describe the contents of each room
  • Save your inventory list on your computer and store it on an external hard drive or disk (you can also send it to a trusted family member for safe-keeping as well)
  • Put all the photos, lists and any other documentation (electronic or paper) in a safe deposit box

What Coverages Are Included?

Standard homeowners’ insurance policies include coverage of:

  • The structure of the home – if your home is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril (fire, windstorms, hail, lightning, theft, vandalism, explosion, water damage and riots)
  • Your home’s contents – if your belongings are damaged or destroyed, it’s typically set between 50 and 70% of your home’s structural coverage; high-value items have a cap on repair/replacement value so you may need a rider policy added
  • Liability – if someone is injured on your property, the liability portion of your insurance policy can help pay for medical, rehab, funeral expenses and legal fees in the event of a lawsuit
  • Other structures – if your detached garage or toolshed is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril (see structure of the home for covered perils), your insurance can help pay to have it repaired or rebuilt
  • Additional living expenses – in the event that you home is destroyed and needs to be rebuilt, this coverage can help pay for living expenses (hotel and food bills) while you’re displaced

Why Won’t Your Insurance Costs Be The Same As The Current Owner’s?

Many first-time homebuyers assume that they will be paying the same for insurance as the previous owner. In fact, many ask the previous homeowners how much they paid for electricity, school and property taxes, along with the insurance cost when deciding on whether or not to buy the home.

What a previous owner paid in insurance is not always a good indicator of what you’ll pay. There are some predictable and consistent factors, such as if the home is in a flood area, or in an area with many windstorms, hail or tornado claims. But, insurance companies like lenders, take into account your personal information to establish the cost; your age, credit rating, profession and other personal choices are used to determine what kind of insurance they choose and how much you’ll pay.

What Factors Can Affect How Much I Pay For Homeowners Insurance?

The following variables can impact the cost of your homeowners’ insurance premium:

  • Home features and characteristics – your home’s age, type of structure, wiring, roof, garage and more can affect your homeowners’ insurance premium. Older homes tend to cost more to insure, and those costs can depend on whether your home is brick, frame, stone or has synthetic siding.
  • Location – where your home is located can impact your premium. Proximity to a police or fire station, exposure to extreme weather (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods) or theft-prone neighborhoods all factor in.
  • Protective devices – burglar alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and deadbolt locks can lower your insurance premium.
  • Personal factors – believe it or not, being a smoker may cause you to pay more for your home insurance than a nonsmoker; in their eyes there’s a greater chance for an accidental fire. A good credit history can also lower your insurance.
  • Claims history – if you have a history of claims, you’ll pay more and if you made a claim under a previous insurance policy, like a renter’s policy, you’re not eligible for a claims-free discount.
  • Previous insurance history – factors like if you’ve never had previous insurance on a residence, have a gap in your insurance history, or if you’ve been previously cancelled by an insurance company for non-payment can impact coverage and cost.

How Can I Save Money On Insurance?

It is possible to cut the costs by making certain adjustments. Some of these are immediate solutions and some require a longer term modification.

  • Discounts – Most insurers offer a laundry list of discounts for policyholders. One of the most common is bundling; by bundling your home and auto insurance with the same provide, you’ll be entitled to a discount. As mentioned earlier, safety/protective devices can also reduce your premiums.
  • Raise Your Deductible – Raising the amount you agree to pay toward a claim before the insurance kicks will lower your premiums. However, setting it too high can come to bite you in the end if disaster strikes.
  • Improve Your Credit Score – Most insurance providers use your credit score as an indicator of how likely you are to file a claim. Studies have shown that those with low credit scores were more prone to filing claims than those who could afford to tackle replacements or repairs on their own.

Does Having Renters Insurance Help Me Lower Costs When I Buy My First Home?

Yes. In addition to the obvious protection from unexpected financial pains in the posterior such as the cat knocking down a candle and starting a fire, or the local thief who decides your TV is his – renters insurance sets you up to save money on your home or condo insurance when you buy your first home. If you show a loss-free claims history, you could be eligible for a discount. Waiting until you buy your first home could cost you up to 25% more for your home insurance as compared to if you had renters insurance for years.

How Do I Pay For My Homeowners’ Insurance?

There are two ways to pay your annual homeowners’ insurance premium. You can pay it once annually, in cash, to your insurer or elect to pay it as part of your mortgage (escrowing), one month-at-a-time. Homeowners choosing to optionally escrow their homeowners’ insurance can typically negotiate lower mortgage rates or loan fees with their lender. A PrimeLending home loan expert can help you evaluate the potential benefits of escrowing your insurance payments.

How Do I Choose A Provider?

The best advice we can give is to shop around for the rates and programs which best meet your needs. Like mortgage rates, homeowners’ insurance vary between carriers. They also vary in terms of coverage. Don’t be shy about asking friends for recommendations either, referrals are great ways to validate the quality of a provider. However you identify potential providers, be sure to get quotes from several companies and compare them.

Source: Prime Lending

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low but are increasing, and there is still a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2018. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is in violation of federal copyright laws.

Spring_in_Lake_Oswego

When Buying A Lake Oswego Home Listen to What Your Eyes See

https://lakeoswegorealestateblog.wordpress.com/

Spring Isn’t That Far Away!

Recently while showing homes in the Lake Oswego and Portland metro areas, I was reminded once again how important it is to listen to what your eyes see.  No that isn’t a typo in the headline, because often I find buyers see flaws in a home while looking, but they tend to ignore them and don’t listen to what their instincts are actually telling them.

Buyers get emotionally involved when looking for their home of their dreams.  As a real estate agent I wouldn’t want it any other way, but I feel it is also my job to point out possible issues.

Many years ago, a colleague of mine wanted my opinion along with another friend’s, who was also a real estate agent, before she purchased a home.  The house was exactly what she was looking for.  While it was in a subdivision, it seemed to be on an island of its home, surrounded by nature and a pond. I remember succinctly standing in front of the garage and looking up to my right where there was a huge hill.  Immediately I thought since the home was at the bottom of that very large hill, if there ever was a landslide, it would wipe out the house.  Even though I said that to my friend, she purchased the home.  Sure enough, many years later, there was a landslide and it not only wiped out the pond but also flattened her home.  I saw the potential danger, she saw the potential danger, but she did not listen to what her eyes saw.

Buying A Lake Oswego Home In The Winter Months

Showing houses in the rain, ice and snow recently, there were two houses I showed that both had water issues.  There was obvious mold in one home and in another home, the basement and garage also showed a lot of water intrusion. While you will have a full home inspection, and possible other inspections, if you can actually see damage, know there could be an even great problem.

Keep Your Eyes Open When Buying A Lake Oswego Home

In another situation, I had a client who wanted to see a condo in a particular complex.  I knew a lot about that complex going back many years having HOA problems and not having sufficient funds for repairs.  Through the years, the homeowners were hit with large assessments to make major repairs.  I remember this was an on-going issue with that complex, but my buyer insisted on seeing a unit there.

While showing her the property, I asked her to stop in the middle of the complex and look around.  What we saw were roofs heavy with moss and showed wear, decks had obvious dry rot, the swimming pool needed major work and there was raw siding with little to no paint or peeling paint.

Once she stopped and listened to what her eyes saw, she decided, on her own, not to purchase in that complex.

Your Lake Oswego Home Maybe The Largest Investment You  Make

Once you purchase your home, I certainly don’t want you to have any further issues, but only to enjoy your new home to the fullest. In addition to your overall due diligence, keep your eyes open, look around, and listen to what your eyes see.

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low but are increasing, and there is still a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2018. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is in violation of federal copyright laws.

Lake Oswego Real Estate New Condo Rules

The U.S. Senate passed H.R. 3700 a couple days ago, the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act,” by unanimous consent. This legislation includes reforms to current Federal Housing Administration restrictions on condominium financing, among other provisions, and is long supported by the National Association of Realtors®.

Changes include efforts to make FHA’s recertification process “substantially less burdensome,” while lowering FHA’s current owner-occupancy requirement from 50 percent to 35 percent. The bill also requires FHA to replace existing policy on transfer fees with the less-restrictive model already in place at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.Condos

NAR testified last year in support of the bill, which passed in the House of Representatives 427-0 in February.

Tom Salomone, president of NAR and broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida, praised the legislation as a significant step towards eliminating barriers to safe, affordable mortgage credit for condos.

Following is a statement from Mr. Salomone:

“Condominiums often represent an affordable option that’s just right for first-time and low-to-moderate income homebuyers. Unfortunately, overly-burdensome restrictions on condo financing have for too long put that option out of reach for many creditworthy borrowers.

“This legislation meets those restrictions head on, putting the dream of homeownership back in reach for more Americans.

“Tight inventory and rising home prices are a reality of today’s market, and mortgage credit is hard to come by. We should take every opportunity to clear the path for well-qualified borrowers to purchase a home when they’re ready, and this legislation does just that.”

Inventory At All Time Low

With housing inventory at all time lows, buyers are also looking at other options.  Now that the new FHA condo rules benefit homebuyers, you  might want to see what your options are as to the availability of condos, townhouses or an attached home.

Lake Oswego Condos

Looking for a Lake Oswego Condo?  There are currently 31 available in Lake Oswego for sale.  There are a limited number of views available when clicking on this link, but you can see them here at http://goo.gl/B7qEe2

Pre-Approval

If you are looking to purchase a condo, attached dwelling or townhouse and new to get pre-approved, give me a call at 503-804-9685 and I can help.  Remember if you found the home of your dreams today and you are not pre-approved, you might miss out on the opportunity to purchase that condo, townhouse or attached dwelling without a pre-approval letter.

 

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2016. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

Lake Oswego Real Estate Due Diligence

In the mid-70s when I first started selling real estate, the only inspection available for a buyer was a termite/dry rot inspection. In all the years after that and since, I have only sold two houses that have actually had termites, although many homes have had and still have dry rot.

PortlandRadonZIPCodeMap

Unfortunately, many of the cities and counties also did not keep records at that time. There were no well reports or Well Master, water potability samples weren’t taken, radon hot spots weren’t even on our radar, there were no landslide reports, FEMA flood zone maps weren’t available, no floor plans were on file, zoning and zoning maps were not available, cities didn’t keep permit records, there was no DEQ to decommission oil tanks or records kept, lead base paint wasn’t an issue at that time, and there were no soil samples taken etc. not to mention all the other issues that come with buying a home. There was really no where to go and get any information about anything.

What Is Due Diligence?

One of the many ways to protect yourself against purchasing a home with any major defects, is the opportunity for you to perform your due diligence within the inspection time period.

What is due diligence? After your offer has been accepted by a seller, you may order inspections, research permits and zoning, obtain hazard insurance and investigate environmental or any other factors that may affect the property.  Licensed contractors perform a home inspection, alerting you to any potential problems, but you may also need further inspections by licensed and bonded specialists for specific inspections.

Types of Home Inspections During Your Due Diligence Time Period

In addition to a full home inspection, a buyer has the opportunity to have other specialty contractors perform some of these specific inspections:

  • asbestos
  • electrical
  • exterior siding
  • fireplace/chimney
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Land Survey
  • Mold/Mildew
  • Pest/Dry Rot
  • Plumbing
  • Radon
  • Roof
  • Structural
  • Toxic/Hazardous Substances
  • Underground sprinklers
  • Underground storage tank
  • Sewer Scope
  • Well test
  • Septic/Sewage System
  • Water Potability

At the end of the due-diligence period, a homebuyer has several options.  A buyer can negotiate with the seller for necessary repairs or credits for work to be done, accept the property in its present condition or cancel the sale.

In A Hot Housing Market

Many buyers are certainly educated about the specific inspections that can be performed.  However, the reason I am writing this post to begin with is because of my concern that in this “hot” housing market we are experiencing in the Portland metro real estate areas, some buyers in their efforts to “get that house”, are waiving their right to have home inspections.  I never suggest to my buyers they do that.  In fact, some of my buyers have lost out on houses because they did not waive their right to have any/all home inspections available and miss out on their chance to perform their due diligence.

I am concerned about those buyers who have waived that right in this real estate market, who may down the road find major issues that far outweigh the price or rush to get their offers accepted.

Exercise your right to conduct home inspections. It is extremely important you perform your due diligence.

 

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate. Copyright 2008-2016. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

Lake Oswego Real Estate Using Your Tax Refund To Buy A Home

Are you getting a tax refund this year?  Will you be using the funds towards purchasing a Lake Oswego home?

49.2 Percent of Surveyed Americans Will Save Their Tax Refund

https:/lakeoswegorealestateblog.wordpress.comApril may start off with some lighthearted fools jokes, but the month turns very serious right around the 15th. As Americans work feverishly to submit their taxes by midnight on April 15, or the extended deadline this year of Monday, April 18, due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C. (Maine and Mass. taxpayers actually have until April 19, due to Patriots’ Day). Regardless of if taxpayers filed in January or wait to file in mid-April, the IRS anticipates that more than 150 million tax returns will be filed this year, and 70 percent of the nation’s workforce will happily await a tax refund from Uncle Sam. Last year’s average tax refund amount totaled $2,797 dollars.

If you’re expecting a tax refund this year, what do you plan to do with it? According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual Tax Returns Survey, 49.2 percent (the highest percentage in the survey’s history) of taxpayers plan to save their tax refund rather than spend it right away. Here are some of the most common ways people choose to use their tax refund:

Risky Spending

According to the NRF survey, 8.3 percent of taxpayers are planning for big splurges with their tax refund. Many people still like to treat their refund as a gift or free money from the government, instead of remembering that these dollars belonged to them all along. So in celebration, some taxpayers spend their entire refund on lavish vacations, expensive merchandise and/or tons of individual retail purchases. While it may feel good at the time to reward yourself — with money that was always yours — you might be putting yourself at higher risk for experiencing buyer’s remorse. After all, once it’s gone … it’s gone!

Business as Usual

On the flip side, 22.4 percent reported that they plan to simply deposit their refund into the bank and continue on with business as usual, budgeting for groceries, gas, family expenditures, car payments, household bills, etc. Think about it this way: when you return damaged or unwanted merchandise to a store and receive a cash refund, you probably don’t think of it as free cash to liberally spend on anything. You likely deposit it back into your bank, or your wallet, and use it to pay for the next necessity. Likewise, if a tax refund is treated as just what it is — a refund of your annual earnings held by the government — it will make sense for some taxpayers to just add the money to their everyday funds and continue on as normal. While these taxpayers may not experience the thrill of instant-gratification spending, they are preventing any regrets due to impulse buying.

Smart Financing

NRF CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release, “Americans this year see refund season as a time to improve their financial health by using their refunds to get ahead on savings goals, pay down debt and plan for purchases in the future. Money saved is spending potential down the road.”

In fact, 34.9 percent of the NRF study’s respondents indicated that they intend to use their refund to pay down debt. Some other popular financial-saving decisions that many taxpayers use their refund for, include:

  • Having an Emergency Fund — Making it twelve months without incurring any unexpected expenses can prove a hard feat for anyone. So using your tax refund to either start, replenish or grow your emergency fund is a positively safe and smart decision.
  • Increasing Retirement Savings — Putting money into a retirement savings account is always a good decision, as the more you save, the more financially secure you’ll be in the future.
  • Opening an Extra Savings Account — An extra savings account can become a money hero for the expected and unexpected special events in life, such as weddings, anniversary trips, senior care for aging family, etc. Don’t be afraid to think ahead and start saving money for those unique times.
  • Growing a College Fund — If you’ve got children, you might consider adding to or starting college funds. College may still be a long way off for junior, but growing a college fund now could mean the difference between him pursuing his dreams with your help, or taking up permanent residency on your living room sofa.
  • Building a Young Adult’s Savings Account — For older dependents that are earning an income, consider helping them open a Roth IRA account that will help them begin investing in their own financial future. Eligible dependents can contribute up to $5,500 dollars, or the amount of their annual income, whichever is lower.

Smart Spending

If you like the idea of saving, but you also feel like your tax refund is burning a hole in your pocket, you might find enjoy some smart spending. Smart spending includes decisions that have a high probability of leading to a more positive financial future, like:

  • Investing in a Home — I bet it’s no surprise that PrimeLending’s favorite smart refund spending idea is to use those extra dollars as a down payment on a new home. With home loan options that fit a wide range of budgets, some requiring as little as 3% down, and today’s low interest rates, it’s a great time to purchase. Check out our Why 2016 Is The Year To Quit Renting and Buy blog for more on the benefits of homeownership.
  • Taking Care of Repairs — If there are costly repairs to your home, vehicle or other lifestyle necessities, consider using your tax refund to take care of everything. You won’t regret it, especially when all of your repair worries are behind you.
  • Giving to Others — It always feels good to help others in need. Donate some of your tax refund to your favorite local charity. You’ll be helping your community, plus setting yourself up with a tax benefit for your 2016 tax return.
  • Shopping the Sales Rack — Treat yourself a little bit, but just don’t overdo it! Remember that this is your hard-earned money. So celebrate yourself with some light pampering, and allocate the rest to smart saving and smart spending.

Happy tax month! If you’re receiving a tax refund, I hope your influx of extra cash aids you in your long-term financial goals or to purchase that dream home.

Source:  Prime Lending

 

SEARCH FOR REAL ESTATE

There are links above to search for real estate.  I have a new website where you can search or you can use my mobile phone app as well. My website and mobile app provide you with access to all listings available on the RMLS™ system regardless of who the listing agent or brokerage may be. Listings are updated frequently throughout the day giving you the information you need, when you need it.

Thinking of Selling Your Lake Oswego Home?

Prices are increasing at a fast pace in Lake Oswego. Interest rates are still low and there is a huge pool of buyer demand. I have ready, willing and able buyers ready to purchase your home. If you want to know the value of your home in today’s real estate market, please call me at 503-804-9685.

Moving to Lake Oswego?

Want to know more about Lake Oswego? I’d love to be your buyer’s agent, please give me a call at 503-804-9685.

I have worked in Lake Oswego as a Real Estate Broker since 1978 and have lived in Lake Oswego since 1988 and know all the neighborhoods! The real estate market is “hot” here in the Portland metro area and Lake Oswego. I am ready to assist you with all your real estate needs! “There is no substitute for experience.”

ALL ABOUT…..Lake Oswego Real Estate Copyright 2008-2016. Betty Jung. All Rights Reserved. Use of this article, photos and images without permission is a violation of Federal copyright laws.

 

Contact Betty Jung

Betty Jung, Broker
REALTOR®
CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES, CNHSS

MORE Realty, Inc.
14945 SW Sequoia Parkway, #150
Portland, OR. 97224

503-804-9685 Cell

or email:betty@bettyjung.com

"Selling Real Estate Since 1978. There Is No Substitute For Experience!"

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