Archive for the ‘Rental Market’ Category

Home Ownership at 19 Year Low

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Despite the strong sales we’re seeing here in the Portland real estate market and higher than average appreciation rates combined with interest rates still at historical lows, we’re still seeing an overall decline in the U.S. for home ownership and part of that is due to the fact that 1 in 3 Americans currently has some sort of debt in collections.

There are additional contributing factors, like recent college grads having high school loan debt, housing prices climbing and tighter restrictions on lending. I suspect however there is also some growing concern among potential home buyers about the U.S. economy in general causing them to hold off on owning a home.

It really is a shame to see this as owning a home is by far a more financially stable position to be in, the majority of the time, than renting. With renting, you’re just throwing your money away every month adding to someone else’s investment portfolio rather than your own.

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High Density Urban Building Practices, Encouraged by Local Governments, Not So Popular

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

This one was posted up back in January by OregonBusiness.com citing a CFM Strategic Communications survey conducted in Portland back in December that shows Portlander’s aren’t real fond of the local governments push for high density construction (essentially, focusing on condos, townhomes and apartments rather than single family residential homes).

A whopping 46% of respondents, which were the overwhelming majority in this section, felt focusing on condos and apartments instead of single family residences (detached residential homes) was the wrong direction for government with the same percent of respondents not agreeing that these high density projects save local governments money in infrastructure costs.

Hmmm…I’m not a huge fan of high density building either, I mean, if that’s your thing and you enjoy close quarters living, be my guest, it’s just not my cup of tea; but to say it doesn’t save money on infrastructure? Seems to me it would? Would it not?

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Micro-apartments growing in popularity, could you handle only 300 sqft (or less) of living space?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

The Japanese have been doing it for a long time now, building and living in tiny apartments that are only a few hundred square feet, all the way down to around 200 square feet and that way of thinking is catching on here in the states as well. OregonLive.com posted an article on micro-apartments , specifically the Freedom Center Complex in Portland’s Pearl District, citing a renter, Paula, that has moved to Portland and is renting one of the tiny 286 square foot studio apartments while building a home in the Portland area.

Other developers are also considering similar projects as these tiny living spaces are becoming more and more popular. In New York Mayor Bloomberg is even breaking the cities rules by actually setting up a competition for architects to design micro-apartment buildings with the prize being the permission to build one.

As the rule goes with Real Estate in general, the lower the square footage the higher the price per square foot (and vice versa) and these small apartments are no exception demanding a significantly higher price per square foot than the larger, albeit still small, one bedroom apartments.

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Scammers renting out bank owned homes? REO Realtors and renters beware!

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Apparently there is yet another new scam occurring in the foreclosure market: scammers that rent out REO homes

According to the article linked above from the SeattleTimes.com, Freddie Mac’s online fraud prevention site has posted information about a new scam circulating where a scammer takes out an ad on Craigslist advertising a home for rent that is much cheaper than other similar homes in the area (if it’s too good to be true…). The scammer goes so far as to change the locks on the home and remove the Realtor lockbox, asks the renter for cash deposits (or money orders/cashiers checks) then hands over the keys. And if the prospective renter is savvy enough to ask about the for sale sign in the yard (assuming the scammer hasn’t removed that too), the answer, “we tried to sell it, gave up and decided to rent it, sign will be gone soon”.

Sweet. Really? Yet another scam. Great.

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Rental market getting pricey, yet another reason to buy; if you’re not one of the reasons rental prices are rising

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

With the real estate market in a distressed state for the last five years generating a ton of foreclosures and short sales, those former home owners still need a place to live, which has been steadily causing the rental market to heat up. As the Oregonian, on their online outlet OregonLive.com, reports the vacancy rate is a tiny 3.63% and rents have increased an average of 6.1% since the same time last year. Another reason cited for the rise in rental rates and decline in vacancies is more and more young people are living by themselves which has lent to a 30% rise in rates for studio apartments over the last two years! That’s huge!

Early in the article it pegs the average one bedroom rental at $774/month then later pegs the average Portland rent at $831/month. This of course brings me full circle back to real estate as I’m NOT a believer in renting (but I am a believer in owning rentals) and that’s not just because I’m a Realtor, it’s because renting is a waste of money. Of course, if you know your next living space will be temporary and fairly short term, then heck, yes, rent (I would, and I don’t like renting anything). However, if you know you will be in the area for a number of years, credit is reasonable and you have a stable job, that same $831/month can get you into any number of homes available out there for up to around $185,000 at current rates and the down payments are still small (and in rural USDA areas, like Sandy, Estacada etc there are STILL ZERO down loan programs folks). So why are you still renting? You pay $X/month every month and get nothing, zero, zip in return when you move where as when you buy, historically, at the very least will get most of what you paid out of pocket back when you sell the house (or, often, more!) essentially meaning you lived there for free, or made money living there…a heck of a lot better then renting!

Of course, there’s always the risk that we can end up back in the market that we have been in for the last five years and you lose money instead…however, that loss is only “realized” if you sell. If you stay, make you’re payments and weather the storm of a troubled market, you’ll likely do fine selling it down the road or you could make that home you’re first rental when you’re ready to move.

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Even with the real estate market heating back up, rentals are still in high demand, prices rising…another reason to buy a home!

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Vacancy rates in rental properties across the Portland metro area are falling and thus the rental rates for properties are increasing; this is in spite of the housing market recovery as typically when home ownership is on the rise, naturally rentals would be on the decline (as those renters become home owners). The thing is with foreclosure and short sale numbers being just astronomically high over the last few years those previous home owners still needed a place to live and thus the rental markets heated up; seems they’re still increasing now and this is inline with current market stats because though we are in recovery mode, we’re still seeing high foreclosure and short sales rates; they are declining, but they’re still high and thus still turning owners into renters.

If however you have not [recently?] owned a home and are renting, it may be time to ditch that idea of flushing money down the toilet every month (sorry, but that is my opinion of renting) and get in on the recovery and become a home owner.

By now, hopefully, you should know who to call for assistance there too!

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