Portland Real Estate Cafe Blog

Why Invest in Commercial Real Estate?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 at 2:47pm. 90 Views, 0 Comments.

Many people look at investing in multi-family property as a way of creating wealth.  Real Estate Investors often start with a duplex or maybe even a 3-4 unit property.  Anything from 1-4 units is financed as residential properties, usually requiring 20-25% down payment.   However, a commonly overlooked alternative is to invest in 5+ units, which would require commercial financing.

Why should you consider this?  One important reason would be for the increased cash flow.  Often you can find a 5-8 unit property for the same price as a 4-unit.  Of course, there are a lot of factors to consider.  You will still need 20-25% down.  Heavily weighted in the commercial lending process is the Property's Net Operating Income, the viability of the…

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Art Event in Sellwood-Moreland

Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 1:28pm. 119 Views, 0 Comments.

After almost 30 years volunteering at the Portland Art Museum's Rental Sales Gallery, Bev Levy started ReSale Art, an art consignment shop in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood and it's sister ecommerce website www.ReSaleArt.com, to provide Northwest art collectors like herself a place to purchase and sell gently used pieces by Oregon artists. Bev's art consignment store is one of the many creative shops and boutiques within walking distance on Milwaukie Avenue that contributes to Sellwood's creative motif that extends throughout the entire neighborhood.

New items are added to her gallery daily and include art created in a wide range of mediums, of all styles, sizes, and price levels. With such an extraordinary selection, there's a piece bound to

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Keller Williams Family Reunion 2014: The Shark Week for Realtors

Monday, February 10th, 2014 at 5:10pm. 281 Views, 0 Comments.

Once a year, excited Keller Williams Realtors from all over the country come together to exchange strategies as to how to continuously grow into their Real Estate potential. It's called Family Reunion and is like Shark Week for Realtors. (Just remove the sharks, replace ocean water with coffee, fear with ambition, fish with homes, relocate to Phoenix, and reschedule for February, that is.)     Stoked? You bet we are. Participating in events like Family Reunion allows us to form valuable connections with other respected Realtors from other cities. Allied business partner referrals and reciprocity are key elements of our business model. So when Realtors refer individuals relocating to our fine city of Portland to Portland Real Estate Cafe, they can be…

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Portland Real Estate Market - A Look Ahead

Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 2:52pm. 153 Views, 0 Comments.

It’s January, so it must be time to predict what will happen in the coming year.  I’m game to share some of my recent observations about the Portland real estate market along with some discussion about the implications for 2014.

The past two years have been great for our market.  We entered 2012 with an average home price in Portland* of $286,000.  Two years later, the average home price in Portland is now $350,000.  Approximately 8,800 homes sold in 2011, and 3,000 more homes sold in this past year.  Sellers have been on a great run.


Will this trend continue for 2014?  Inventory in our market remains low.  There were approximately 7,500 active listings in Portland on the first of the year, and almost 1,300 closed sales in the second half of

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Oleson Road to Close for 8 Months During Bridge Replacement Project

Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 9:27am. 155 Views, 0 Comments.

A bridge replacement project is in the works on Oleson Road in the Raleigh Hills area. The project will replace the current 60 foot timber bridge over Fanno Creek with a new 100 foot bridge to include sidewalks, bike lanes, landscaping, street lighting, and drainage. The new bridge will be 7 to 8 feet higher. Yearly flooding on this road is the reason for this work.

The project will begin in late January with removal of trees and shrubs within public easements, followed by the demolition and removal of an 8-unit apartment building on the west side of Oleson Road in February.  This demolition will also include removal of a retaining wall currently holding back Fanno Creek.  Once this occurs, it will naturally create a larger wetlands. Bidding for the

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Flipping Investment Properties Seminar Recap

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 8:22pm. 147 Views, 0 Comments.

Thank you to all of you who participated in our recent Investor Seminar: Flipping Investment Properties! For those of you that couldn't make it, here's a recap: 

We kicked it off with an update on market trends in the inner Portland neighborhoods which illuminate a trend in the $250,000 and below price threshold, also referred to as Low End. Recent market evidence suggests that prices have begun to crest, showing signs of weakness within the Low End segment.  The Low End segment important to watch as it is often a leading indicator for the wider market.  Anyone engaged in flipping / renovation projects should keep a close eye on these trends to effectively gauge the market environment.  Price discipline and skill in the acquisition phase of a project can…

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New FHA "Back to Work" Program Offers Loans to Those Coming Out of Hard Times

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 at 8:35pm. 119 Views, 0 Comments.

I recently attended a seminar and learned about a new FHA mortgage loan program called Back To Work - Extenuating Circumstances.  It is specifically geared to help those people who lost their homes and/or had their credit damaged due to negative impact events.  

One of the biggest examples of an extunating circumstance would be the recession.  It caused a dramatic fall in values and was totally beyond the control of any particular individual.  This may have caused a short sale or foreclosure.  Other circumstances could have been a major illness or loss of a job, which may have left a homeower no financial option other than to sell their house and become a renter.  And after time, these individuals may now be back on their feet and want to think about

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6 Reasons Why to Buy a House in the Winter

Monday, January 13th, 2014 at 3:44pm. 158 Views, 0 Comments.

Just because it is winter doesn't mean your house hunting should go in hibernation mode. Rise above the Winter House Hunting Hibernation Hype!!! Here are six big advantages Homebuyers have by buying a house in the winter:

Why to Buy A House in the Winter in Portland

1. Fewer Buyers, less competition.  Many families put their home hunting on hold to avoid moving schools mid year. Supply exceeds demand, bringing home prices down. Also, it is less likely to have multiple buyers competing for the same home.

2. More attention from Lenders, Vendors, and other Real Estate Professionals. Winter is the “slower” season for real estate professionals. Working with fewer clients simultaneously, they will be able to devote more time to your search and may have more flexibility to work around your

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Current and Future Real Estate Investors: New Series of FREE INVESTOR SEMINARS Begins in January!

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014 at 11:15am. 160 Views, 0 Comments.

Happy New Year, Cafe Friends!  We continue to receive questions from individuals who are currently, or would like to become investors in real estate. In response, we are launching a new series of FREE INVESTOR SEMINARS, designed to provide you with expert advice from Industry Professionals, a description and overview of the current Portland Real Estate Market, and practical knowledge of how you can leverage real estate investing to increase your financial health in 2014.

Background:  In 2013 we helped 14 investors buy and sell their investment properties. This included single family houses, duplexes, four-plexes, and a largemulti-unit apartment complex. We helped investors with various wealth  generating strategies, including buy and hold, improve to

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Should you Describe you home as "REMODELED" in the MLS when you bring it to Market?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 2:40pm. 187 Views, 0 Comments.

It sounds better than "updated," and it may come with an unexpected and unintended cost: a higher property tax bill.  Ouch!

What is the difference between these two terms, often used interchangeably?  What started this inquiry were the remarks describing a new listing that I had just showed to my client.  It said the kitchen had been remodeled.  Well, it seems that once the County saw these remarks, they did not hesitate to reassess the home as well assessing for  back taxes for the past 5 years.  Wow!!!  

Property Tax BillI talked to a great appraiser at the County who spent some time explaining.  She said that updated means cosmetic fixes, like carpet, counters, hardware, fixtures.  But if replacing the counters or cabinets affects the plumbing in any way and a

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