Archive for the ‘First Time Home Buyers’ Category

What is the Current Average Home Sale Price in Your Area? Got it Right Here!

Friday, November 7th, 2014

In the last few months I’ve been switching up my real estate market tracking which previously only tracked the Portland metro and surrounding areas as a whole, lumping in Molalla with say N Portland, which shows the overall conditions in the Portland real estate market at large, but doesn’t get granular enough to help folks buying or selling a home in a given area.

That has now changed. I am now tracking, daily, each of the 13 individual RMLS markets in the Portland metro region. This still may not get granular enough for some, however being that these “areas” are defined by RMLS as “markets” it should help quite a bit.

So, home sale prices in a given area? Lets get on with it! These numbers represent all logged sales in the last week (from October 30th – November 6th):

RMLS Area 141 North Portland


Small batch of new Montage townhomes up for grabs in SW Portland/Tigard

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Checking the numbers for my market tracking today I saw a bit of an uptick in new listings for new construction in area 151 (Tigard, Tualatin, Sherwood etc) so I decided to check it out.

Looks like the “Montage” neighborhood town-homes built by AAA Properties Inc put a few more new town-homes on the market today, 4 to be precise. All 1,712 sqft, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and all but one are priced at $264,900; the “one” is $259,900 (get it while it’s hot?).

These 3 bedroom town-homes that sit just south of Hall blvd and east of Greenburg Rd, feature 9′ ceilings, stainless steel appliances, granite counters and attached garages.


Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview & Wood Village; You’re up to Bat!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Just finished the real estate market tracking report for Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale and Wood Village…This is again, only 10 days worth of data so not super reliable yet (give it a few weeks; trends and real usable data will show itself); with that said Gresham seems to be where only those looking for deals are buying as the average sale price in Gresham (and the mentioned towns in the Gresham area) are below the $200,000 mark:




East & South Side Rural Real Estate Market Report

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

I had a bit of difficulty with this one as it began it’s thus far short life as an east side only rural report (sorry west side rural folks, I won’t be doing a report for you) but there just wasn’t enough data, so I changed it up to include all east side AND south side rural. The towns included in this report are:

  • Aurora
  • Beavercreek
  • Boring
  • Canby
  • Colton
  • Damascus
  • Eagle Creek
  • Estacada
  • Hubbard
  • Molalla
  • Mt Angel
  • Mullino
  • Sandy
  • Scott’s Mills
  • Woodburn

Even with all of those towns, we’re still talking a few listings/solds etc per day at best…Of course were still coming out of the slow season, so come spring/summer the numbers here will pick up a bit, but there are enough now for trackable data.

Here’s a snippet of the report (not bad average sale prices for rural areas):


Clackamas, Milwaukie, Oak Grove & Gladstone Real Estate Market Tracking Data Ready

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Here’s the report for the Clackamas, Milwaukie, Oak Grove & Gladstone area. Even though Happy Valley and portions of SE Portland are technically the same RMLS “areas” I am doing seperate reports for those, hence they are not included in this report; just FYI.

Here’s the Clackamas, Milwaukie, Oak Grove & Gladstone Market Report.

Your Realtor, Scott McDonald

Everything. Portland. Real Estate. Blog.

First New Real Estate Data Tracking Report is LIVE! Beaverton Market

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

I’m going through these new tracking reports in alphabetical order, so the “Aloha, Beaverton & Hillsboro” one was the first completed.

I did attempt to go back to January 1 of this year, however, it would have taken me WEEKS, if not MONTHS to get all the reports updated, so I opted to start March 1 2014 with the reports so there is data in them now, just not a lot.

I’ll be posting each areas report as I complete them, so stay tuned for your areas report; for now, here’s some screen shots of the new Beaverton area one (and it’s also attached below, with some more information on these reports):



Real Estate Tracking Data & Reports: BIG Changes Coming; Area Reports, Pricing & Days on Market in Tow

Friday, March 7th, 2014

I just wanted to get an FYI out to everyone that I am currently working on revamping the tracking report as I get a lot of requests for area specific reports (people asking for my tracking reports for Happy Valley, or Lake Oswego real estate reports etc).

Additionally short sales and foreclosures have been edging ever closer to market pricing these days, often no longer the “steal of a deal” they once were and there are a lot less of them now. So, with that said, I am *considering* ditching that portion of the tracking data in favor of adding new data points like:

  • Median Sale Price Tracking
  • Average Sale Price Tracking
  • Days on Market for Pending Sales
  • Average Price Per Square Foot Tracking
  • (more…)

Scott’s Home Buyers Guide, eBook, Sneak Peak

Monday, February 24th, 2014

I’ve begun putting together a short eBook series that at this point in time will consist of the following two eBooks:

“Scott’s Home Buyers Guide” followed by,

“Scott’s Home Sellers Guide”

I should have the first of the two ready and available via Amazon towards the end of March, but it’s shaping up nicely so I thought I would put up a small sample of the book; here goes:

Triggering a Multiple Offer Situation


RMLS Portland Market Action Report for January 2014

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The January 2014 RMLS Market Action Report for the Portland Metro & Surrounding areas is out and is showing yet again the Portland real estate market has become a much more healthy and stable market. This positive outlook was market wide for the Portland area, officially, when almost a year ago back in April of 2013, NW Washington County was the last Portland Metro RMLS area to leave depreciating numbers behind; hopefully for good!

Inventory just about always slips in January (that is, it rises) and this year is no different with inventory going from 3.2 months in December 2013 to 4.1 months in January 2014 and when you look at current pending sales you can see that inventory could slip again in February.


Fannie Mae’s 3.5% First Look Program is Available

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Just got a reminder email from Fannie Mae that their 3.5% closing costs program is available again and thought it could be of interest to potential buyers out there. This is a program that offers 3.5% in closing costs assistance towards the purchase of a fannie mae foreclosed home for owner occupant buyers. I looked up how many qualifying fannie mae properties there are currently in the city of Portland alone and found 65 currently available, so once you take into consideration surrounding suburbs we’re likely in the realm of around 200 or so in the area that are eligible for this program.

You can find the programs details here, could be worth a look!

Scott McDonald


Follow Up to 10 Step Guide to Buying a Home; Part Two

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Part Two:

#6 Get Funding

This one seems a bit out of place to me, seems it should be under #3 Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval. If you choose a home then decide to figure out what type of loan etc, you may find the differences in loan programs you qualify for might eliminate that home from consideration. For instance, just a few short years ago, FHA loans were extremely popular because of the low down payment and low mortgage insurance. Now, with all the recent changes in lending FHA is becoming much less popular because the mortgage insurance is now flipped and is outrageously expensive compared to conventional loans.

So sure, you could do an FHA loan with 3.5% down, but may end up with an additional $200/month; that could easily change things up for you. And if you go the conventional route instead, now on that $350,000 home you need an additional $5,250 down to avoid the high FHA Mortgage Insurance and possibly more in closing costs as well…do you have that? Can you afford the $200/month extra?

When you do step #3 and get approved, you should know what type of loan, down payment, mortgage insurance (often financed in now by the way) etc that you’re going to go with.


Follow Up to 10 Step Guide to Buying a Home; Part One

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

In my previous post about the 10 step guide to buying a home from I found myself constantly writing my way into a new topic or rant, so I decided to dedicate a post or two to this subject and touch on those steps one at a time.

Step #1, Are You Ready to Become a Home Owner?

This one is easy; do you know you’re flushing money down the toilet every month when you write that rent check? Then yes, You’re ready.


10 Steps to Buying a Home From

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 recently put together a 10 step guide to buying a home and although some of the “steps” are a bit on the simple side, “Get a Realtor” or “Look at Homes”, once you click on the step title you are taken to a page that actually does have some good information for new home buyers.

For instance one of the more obvious steps is simply “Get a Realtor”, yet once you click on it you are brought to a page  that does have some genuinely good information that many may take for granted, but a new home buyer could find rather valuable.

Check it out here


New Listings Slipping Slightly Coming into Mid-February

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Looking at the daily market tracking for the Portland real estate market I’m seeing a bit of a dip in new listings coming onto the market for the past week. Yesterday for example there were 23 and on the 8th just 19 compared to the average of over 70 homes per day being listed; here’s that graph:




Don’t Be Surprised If Your Realtor Refuses to Show You a Specific Home!

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

When ever I’m showing property to a new buyer and meeting them for the first time I always try to find similar properties in the area so if the home I’m showing them doesn’t work out for them, I have something else to show them.

Today I was putting together that list of “similar homes” for showings I have this afternoon when I came across a listing specifically stating in the agent only remarks to “enter at your own risk” due to squatters on the premises that have been asked to leave by police, but are apparently still living there.

Not sure I myself would want to enter that home; if the people there are brazen enough to take up residence and refuse to leave who knows what they could/would do to a Realtor with clients in tow trying to see the home?


Target Security Breach and How it Could Affect Lending Soon

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last few months you’ve heard of the Target security breach that’s effected a whopping 1 in 5 people. Well an interesting question has been raised recently and that is how this breach will affect lending and the housing market in general when loan approvals start becoming loan denials due to some guy buying a new $3,000 4K flat screen on your card as a result of that breach.

The National Real Estate Post put up a video on this topic yesterday that I’d recommend taking a look at:

Your Realtor, Scott McDonald
Everything. Portland. Real Estate. Blog.

Looking for a Pristine Home in Clackamas over 4,000 SQFT? Gimme a Call!

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Just an FYI for buyers out there, if you’ve been looking for something newer, in great condition, RV parking, 5 bedrooms plus a pool table/theater great room in Clackamas with over 4,000 SQFT of space on 1/4 acre lot (in short supply these days!) I’ve got one you don’t want to miss.

I’m anticipating listing it next week, but don’t wait, if you want to see it now I can get that setup.

Give me a call,


ARM’s Trending Upward as Traditional Fixed Rates Climb

Friday, January 31st, 2014

ARM’s were one of the many issues blamed for the housing market crash in 2007 and while they were indeed a problem; they weren’t the only problem and on their own wouldn’t have been…It was the fact that they were combined with NINJA’s that wreaked havoc.

No, I’m not talking about those Ninja’s, I’m talking about these NINJA’s.

It was primarily the No Income, No Job, No Assests “No Problem!” loans (AKA, “NINJA” Loans) that led to the 2007 crash so as long as those don’t return I think we’ll have a pretty stable market going forward.


New Home Listings and Pending Sales Down For Portland

Friday, January 31st, 2014

In the last week we’re seeing a decline in new listings and pending sales in the Portland real estate market; both are gradual slips with a difference of only a handful per day, however the average is slipping.

Here’s the current graph for January for new listings:




Nationally Foreclosures at Their Lowest Level Since 2007

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

CNN Money posted up an article recently showing the lowest level of foreclosures since 2007; great news for a market still trying to find it’s feet! Foreclosures were down 26% from 2012 alone; another outstanding stat.

At the top of the foreclosure filing nightmare foreclosures affected 2.23% of all homes, while in a “normal” pre-bubble burst market is normally less than 1% and right now, nationally, we’re seeing 1.04% so we’re still up from normal, but way down from the distressed market we’ve been in for the last 6-7 years.

As a Realtor in the Portland market I can attest to the low number of foreclosures currently available. Just a few short years ago a massive percentage of my business consisted of foreclosures and the dreaded (and I do mean dreaded in regards to short sales) short sales; now it’s become pretty rare to work with either of them. Thing is, one would think after a few years of lots of short sales that they would become easier to work with; that hasn’t been the case in my experience; they seem to have become even more difficult (from a buyers perspective anyway). Previously they could be closed with relative ease (and lots of nagging) but these days seems the few I deal with go no where, and fast. With that said, I’m very happy to see the reduction.

And don’t forget, if you are interested in foreclosures I still track and post them every day on the site and in the blog; get your daily Portland Foreclosure list now!


Portland Real Estate Market – Numbers Tracking Update

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

This time of year in the Portland real estate market its typical to see a bit of a slump across the board; when it’s cold and rainy out folks just aren’t into the idea of shopping for a home. Adding to this, sellers know buyers are in short supply as well and even so, the buyers that would come through could have wet/muddy feet walking all over their floors they’re not quite as eager to be on the market during this time; so yes, it’s a bit on the slow side this time of year in most years.

This is exactly what we’re seeing in the daily tracking information for today. The total number of residential listings is flat from yesterday still pushing just barely over the 4,000 homes mark with 4,186 homes currently on the market with new home listings gently sliding off for the month. In the last two days new listing activity has been slightly up for the month, however helping to cause the numbers to slide was this last weekend which like past January weekends produced low new listing numbers.

Closings last week were almost a wash from the previous week running around 40 per day on average; just about exactly where they’ve been all month.


Cash Buyers Bumping First Time Home Buyers Out

Friday, January 24th, 2014

This morning during my usual check in’s to news and blog sites it was hard to miss this front page main article on about all cash buyers pushing first time home buyers out of the market.

Interesting to see it as a front page article and a decent read; check it out. Indeed this is something I’ve seen many, MANY times myself; buyer has seen everything on the market and is waiting for new listings, one pops up, we check it out and there’s already an offer or two on the table. We put our highest and best in (often OVER asking price and get beat on “terms” (i.e. the winning offer was likely cash).

Scott McDonald