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Friday, January 19, 2018

Looking Back on Our 2017 Market and Making a Few Predictions for 2018

Prices rose and inventory dropped in our market in 2017. In 2018, you can expect inventory to remain low and prices to continue to rise.

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What happened in our market in 2017? What’s going to happen in 2018?

First, let’s talk about how our 2017 market did compared to 2016. 

The average sale price rose $24,000 to $287,900. The median sale price also rose $23,000 to $260,000. The bottom line is prices rose just about 10%, which was something we addressed throughout the year. In contrast, the average days on market dropped 33% to 56 days. This means if you put your house on the market, you can expect to have a very good chance of selling it within 56 days. Of course, some properties go much quicker than that. 

Looking toward the future of our 2018 market is where things get interesting. Here are a few conservative predictions.

Prices are expected to continue upward between 4% and 7%, and interest rates are expected to increase to 4.5% to 5%. Inventory, however, is expected to remain low, and there are a few reasons why. 

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you’re better off acting sooner rather than later in 2018.

First, Oregon is the second-largest moving destination in the country, which means we’ll have the continual pressure of people moving into our area and not enough homes to service all of those people. 

Second, millennials are ready to buy homes. They’ve been patient and saved up their money, and the market is ready to absorb these buyers. 

Now that we have an idea of what’s going to happen, what’s the potential of waiting to buy or sell—say—six months down the road in 2018? If you had a $250,000 mortgage and the interest rate rose from 4% to 4.5% in that six-month span, your payment for the same house would increase $162 per month. 

My advice for both buyers and sellers is to act quickly. Prices will continue to rise, but buying is still a much better option than renting. Furthermore, the rental market is crazy and the price of rentals exceeds the cost of a house payment. 

If you have any more questions about how our market will unfold in 2018 or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email. I’d love to help you.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Have Your Property Taxes Skyrocketed? Try an Appeal

If you’re upset about a significant rise in your taxes, I encourage you to appeal them. Learn how to do that right here.

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Today’s topic is all about property taxes: how they work, and how to appeal them.

Back in 1997, Oregon passed a measure which cut the real market value by 10% to start evaluations. Real market value is the value you can reasonably expect to get when selling your home.

Along with this, the assessed value of a property can only increase by 3% per year. This being the case, the values of homes have many times increased more than 3%. For example, over the last two years, they increased 10% per year. This has caused quite a variance between the assessed value and the real market value.

In most cases, the assessed value is less than the home’s actual value. In some cases, however, there comes a time when your tax man comes around and evaluates a whole section or whole area of properties at once, and the whole value may jump substantially. At that point, you’ll realize that your property taxes are going to rise significantly.

You’ll not only save money for that year but also every year thereafter.

What can you do about that? Well, you can do nothing and continue to pay the taxes, or you can appeal your tax statement. To do this, you must go to the county tax department in November and December and let them know that you wish to appeal. They’ll have you fill out a form which costs around $265 to file.

Then, between January and February, you must provide evidence to a board of volunteers which is usually comprised of normal people who aren’t tax experts. After you plead your case to them, they’ll make some type of ruling about whether they’re going to lower your taxes or keep them at the current assessed value.

It’s really not difficult to appeal. If you’re upset about a significant rise in your taxes, I certainly encourage you to appeal to lower them because you’ll not only save money for that year, but also every year thereafter. 

If you have any questions about this or other topics, I’d be glad to assist you however I can. Just give us a call or send an email. Until next time, happy holidays!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

6 Tips for Homebuyers in 2018

Are you thinking of buying a home next year? Here is a list of things you need to do first.

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Many of you are considering either purchasing your first home or a larger home in 2018. Before you get started, here are a few things you should consider:

1. Check your credit scores.
These range from 300 to 850. The higher the score, the better mortgage rate you'll get. A good score could get you an interest rate as low as 1% or 2%. That’s thousands of dollars saved every year throughout the life of your mortgage. Your credit score is very important.
2. Don’t max out your credit cards. Keep around 30% debt on your card and no more. If you can achieve that, your scores will rise considerably.

3. Don’t overspend or open new credit cards. This is one of the worst traps you can fall victim to as a homebuyer.

The higher your credit score, the better.

4. Interview at least three agents and pick the one who is best for you. You want someone who is personable, knowledgeable, and has a good work ethic and communication skills.
5. Keep tabs on interest rates. They are in the paper every day. If you have the ability, I'd also research a mortgage broker at this time. They can help research rates for you.
6. Get pre-approved before you start looking for homes.

If you get all these things in line before 2018, you'll be way ahead of the game
If you have any questions for me, give me a call or send me an email. I would love to hear from you.