Summer Real Estate Breakdown
Well, let me just say that summer of 2023 has been a busier time of year than in recent memory. This makes sense, considering the first part of 2023 was a little sluggish. The pent-up buyer demand can only wait so long, and I believe that the concept of “buy now, refinance later” is really starting to sink in with Portland buyers.
Interest rates are hovering around 7%, which can be a bit intimidating – or flat out make payments unaffordable – especially for those who are new to buying homes. While you can never truly predict how interest rates will behave in a constantly shifting economy, I do feel that there is not really a “bad” time to buy. That’s what makes Real Estate more of a rewarding and safe asset…you get to live in and enjoy the long term investment you’re making, and investing in a home is one of the best ways for regular people to build generational wealth, even if you’re buying at a less than ideal time.
Now, all of you receiving this newsletter are or were already home owners, and current owners especially are finding it hard to wrap their heads around selling and buying in this market – understandable, but it’s also why there is such a lack of inventory. Even though a lot of you are wanting more space, you’re unsure how to navigate the higher rates and aren’t sure it’s worth it, which is fair, but the truth is, there is never a PERFECT time to buy, as when the rates go down, the buyers waiting on the sidelines flood the market and prices will go up quickly. This is especially true in the PDX area, where we are in a massive housing deficit…even worse than the national situation which is compounded by current home owners that WANT to sell, waiting on the sidelines until rates go down. You truly should buy and sell when it’s the right time in your life, and stop trying to “time the market”. The general take across the board is that rates will drop in the next year, and you will be able to refinance out of the higher rate.
Maybe you’ve heard the adage, “marry the house, date the rate”? That’s actually really wise advice. Many buyers are getting creative and using loan programs such as a a 5/5 arm or loan, where the interest rate stays fixed for 5 years and can then float up after that fixed term. This is a popular strategy because buyers feel that 5 years is enough to give them time to refinance before the rate will change….and the floats have limits/caps each year, too. Between not paying someone else’s mortgage, getting the space you NEED for you and/or your family to thrive, and with the market continuing to show gains overall, it’s a stable and less risky long term plan. Across the board, the word on the street is that rates WILL go down next year. I sure hope that’s true, but see my above paragraph on what to do about that (buy now refi later).
So, if you’ve been hesitant to explore moving on up, or if you have a friend, family member, or co-worker that is looking to buy their first home, I’d love to hook them up with one of my amazing preferred lenders to get this ball rolling. Whatever the situation, there’s literally zero negative consequences in seeing where you stand, and getting your finances on track to buy in the near future. Prices and competition are more favorable in this climate than they will be when rates go down, so planning and strategizing is the key to success here. It can take time to get your financials in order to be able to get a loan, especially if you are self employed, so may as well start now.
Let’s Talk Portland Real Estate
Everyone and their dog has an opinion on what’s happening in Portland Real Estate, but you know what really matters in this industry? Cold, hard facts. And facts are stats!. A long time Portland realtor and trusted peer recently posted a market summary that I felt really nailed what’s going on – so I’m sharing it with you. If you have any questions about this, I’m more than happy to help!
Summer To Dos in the House and Garden
Summer is for outdoor fun, but don’t neglect the home while you’re focused on getting the most out of the sunshine. Here’s some easy peasy suggestions for home and garden maintenance:
* Ten years ago, Central Air was novelty in Portland homes. Now – with changes in climate and increases in heatwaves (not to mention wildfires) – installing A/C in your home feels more like a necessity. If you’re lucky enough to have Central Air, it’s critical to stay on top of maintenance for the longevity and effectiveness of your cooling system. Mark your calendar for monthly cleaning of your filters, and Orbit Heating & Cooling have posted a neat guide of tips for maximizing your cooling energy during these hot, hot months.
* While you’re cleaning filters, consider your kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, and your dryer vents. Once again, this optimizes efficiency, and reduces risk.
* Check your refrigerator and freezer coils to see if they need a deep clean, and sanitize your dishwasher – this can be done by filling a bowl or glass with 1 cup of white vinegar and placing it on the top shelf, then running the dishwasher (while empty) for one cycle. You might be surprised at the results, and the best part? No elbow grease.
* If you’ve got roses or tomato plants growing in your yard, take a quick look to see if aphids have become an issue. No shame, they’re a common garden pest! But there are easy and environmentally friendly ways of dealing with them. Visit your local garden center or nursery and see if they sell ladybird or praying mantis eggs. You can leave these in the aphid hotspots, and once hatched, these friendly garden critters will make a quick buffet out of your pesky aphid problems. Nature has a way.
Summer is always hopping in Portland, and the only tricky part is figuring out which of the many rad events you’re gonna go to…click the image above for the full Picks!
What’s up with me? I’ve been gardening, obviously, and am delighted to have grown a BOUNTY of snap peas this year, yay! I also planted tons of lettuce, and it’s been so awesome not having to buy any from the store (I eat a LOT of salad, friends). It’s been a busy couple of months for listings and buyers, so I’ve been happily focused on that, and as always, personal growth and development.
Also, I want to give a quick shout out that I’ve really been enjoying Topaz Farm since it came under new management – they’re making an investment in community engagement and family friendly special events, so I encourage you to make time to take your people out to Sauvie Island this summer to get in on the fun…and pick up some delicious fresh summer produce while you’re there! My other long standing favorite is Bella Organic Farm, in case you want to check out a slightly lesser known, but truly awesome farm on the island.
Important Resources & Links
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