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Ready for the Spring Frenzy?!  Here’s some tips on how to BUY and SELL a home in Spring in some of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington’s BEST neighborhoods.

The normal spring home BUYING SEASON in the Pacific Northwest and also in most of the US is typically April, May and June, as many take vacations during July and August, and want to be resettled if they have school relocation concerns by August; with April being the busiest for home buying.  Check out what FORBES had to say.

 

 

Downtown Portland

 

Competing in the Spring Home Buying Market

If you’re like most people, and want to buy a home in Spring or early Summer, you’ll  need to get ready to jump on the home you want. You won’t have time to be indecisive.  When you find it, make an offer. First start by researching the neighborhoods in Portland that get your attention and spend some time dining there, meeting the neighborhood, and seeing what each area offers.  The main PDX neighborhoods are – Downtown Portland, Pearl District, Old ChinatownHollywood District, Northwest Portland/Nob Hill, Lloyd District, Mississippi/Williams, Alberta, Central Eastside, St. Johns, Division/Clinton, Belmont, Hawthorne, Sellwood – Moreland, Portsmouth, Laurelhurst, Goosehollow, Ladd’s Addition, Mt. Scott, Hosford/Abernethy, South Waterfront, Powell/Foster, Montavilla, Parkrose, Northwest, Richmond, North Portland, Brooklyn, Mill Park, Creston-Kenilworth, and East Moreland.  Click HERE to checkout what Travel Portland is saying about these neighborhoods and click HERE to check out the Portland Walking & Biking Maps.

 

Checkout the up and coming events posted in the Portland Mercury.    From ballets to brewfests, to tulip festivals to the annual parade CLICK HERE see some of Portland’s finest events coming up in this month!

 

Portland, Oregon’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park in springtime features blooming cherry trees.

 

Best Neighborhoods In Portland

Mt. Tabor

Even AirBNB says, “Check out Mt. Tabor!” https://www.airbnb.com/things-to-do/portland/sightseeing/neighborhood

With amazing shops, restaurants, yoga studios, quaint neighborhoods and more you also get hiking trails, bike, playground,  paths, picnics, Portland Park concerts & movies, and views of the city from this volcanic mount that sits in the middle of the neighborhood. Our Mount Tabor makes Portland one of only two cities in the continental U.S. to have an extinct volcano within its boundaries; the other city is Bend, Oregon. It was named by Plympton Kelly, son of Oregon City pioneer resident Clinton Kelly.

Don’t forget the excellent schools. Find your school attendance area or a school site and view the boundary area using School Locator. Read how to use the interactive map by clicking on the “Information” icon (circle with an “i” in the center).

 

 

Mount Tabor is a neighborhood of detached single-family homes. This is an older neighborhood, so most homes were built in the 1900s. You will see Arts and Crafts, Bungalows, Colonials, English Cottages, Tudors and a hand-full of modern styles.

 

 

Here’s some fun demographics to consider:

  • Average year homes built in the neighborhood:  1947
  • Percent of residents below poverty level:  7.9%
  • Percent of  neighborhood land area that is in parks:  17%
  • Percent of residents that live within half a mile of a park:  85%
  • Percent of residents that commute by bike or walking:  10.8%

 

Sellwood

Always check out Sellwoood – A neighborhood full of parks, shops, delis, picnics, farm-to-table dining, antiques, and urban gardening.  This is what Sunset Magazine had to say about this Portland neighborhood  https://www.sunset.com/travel/northwest/day-trip-portland-sellwood-neighborhood

 

 

Best Vancouver Neighborhoods

Downtown Vancouver waterfront

   Checkout the Vancouver Calendar of Events!  This Spring, across the city, a soft pink collage of cherry blossoms is lighting up the trees and dusting the streets and we all know what that means… Spring has arrived! Vancouver is starting to shake off the winter chill and getting ready for dance, photography, food, jazz, marathons, street parties, getting outside and enjoying the warming weather.

Things to know about Vancouver, Wa:  Here you’ll get everything from the artistic culture to the world class farmers market. The moderate climate and natural beauty of your surroundings make every day a pleasure to be outdoors. The friendly vibe makes for a smooth fit into the community and easy to feel like a local.

If you are relocating to the area, it’s important to choose the right neighborhood to rent or buy your home. Let’s look into some of the nicest areas in Vancouver.

 

 

East Side Neighborhoods

One of the fastest growing and most popular areas to move into is the eastern parts of Vancouver. It’s home to many amazing neighborhoods ranked highest in the city in terms of livability, education, weather, low crime, and more. Residents have great access to shops and services, and walkability in some areas is high.

 

 

Centered on the River

There are three top neighborhoods central in Vancouver, Washington. Riverview runs right by the Columbia River and is RANKED TOP 5 in Vancouver. It has low crime rates, stable housing rates, high income per capita, and lots of local amenities. Plus, you can’t beat the beautiful view of the Columbia River, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest.

Dubois Park and South Cliff neighborhoods sit just north of Riverview. Both neighborhoods have nearby access to Blandfold Canyon Nature Trail.

Vancouver Bicycle Maps click HERE

Vancouver Trail Maps click HERE

Yes, even when inventory is LOW, here’s some other tips to help you to win that offer:

 

1. Offer a higher price — within reason

Prices rise when inventory is low and demand is high. Go in with your best and final offer immediately. Offering a higher price can be tricky when you’re buying a home. You’ll need to make sure you can afford — and get — a bigger mortgage. But you also need to be able to make up the difference in cash if the house appraises below your offer. Most lenders will not approve a mortgage for more than the appraised value.

You could also offer more money upfront. “Consider making a bigger deposit. Instead of an industry standard $1,000 to bind the offer, consider $5,000,” says Schlesier. “This shows the seller you’re serious, and it may make your offer stand out.”

 

2. Act quickly, but practice patience

Landing a home in a competitive market can mean a lot of “hurry up and wait.

 

3. Be flexible on closing dates

Besides being fast on the offer, you might need to close quickly too. If your seller needs a quick closing because of a job relocation or divorce, your offer might have more weight if you can sprint to the closing table. But how can you speed up this process? Shorten your inspection time frame. Press for thorough but quick inspections.

 

4. Rent the home back to the sellers

Consider how hard it can be for a seller to sync the sale of their home with their new home’s move-in date.  If you can postpone your own move, offer to rent the house back to the sellers for a short time. This might give the sellers the flexibility they need — and a competitive edge for you.

 

5. Write a great offer letter

Many sellers, especially those who plan to keep in touch with their neighbors, care about who will buy their home. So craft a letter explaining who you are and why you love the house and neighborhood. They want to see their pride and joy go to someone they like,” says Aaron Norris, a real estate investor with The Norris Group.

 

6. Approach landlords

Here’s a think-outside-the-box idea: Approach landlords who are advertising a home for rent. Ask if they’d be interested in selling. You might be turned down, but you never know. Not all landlords want to be in the rental business. Some reluctant landlords who can’t find a tenant would be happy to entertain your offer.

 

7.  Get pre-approved by a local lender

Do move forward with local bank or a local mortgage broker. Offers that contain a local lender’s pre-approval letter usually get preference.

8. Requirements & Location

Concentrate on location, location, location, and look for homes that meet your basic requirements. Markets once dominated by foreclosures and short sales, are no longer the norm among traditional sellers at this time, but do remember that the market is cyclical, so discussing the trends with your Dwell Real Estate Agent is always a wise idea.

 

9. Hire a Neighborhood Specialist

Dwell Real Estate is local.  We’re professionals that know this city and all its neighborhoods. A well-respected Real Estate Agent who specializes in the area where you want to buy, will be a wealth of information for you. At Dwell Realty those are the only agents on our team.  Click HERE to learn more!

10. Be prepared to pay list price

Some buyers focus on how much the seller is asking instead of on how much the home is worth. Ask your agent to show you a CMA of comparable sales to determine actual value. You can’t compare values by other homes on the market because sellers can ask whatever they want. If you’getting the home you want at a price you can afford, whether you pay $1,000 more or less makes no difference in the overall scheme of things.

 

11. Give the seller something other buyers will not

There are many terms contained in a purchase offer. Negotiation is not always all about price. You can give the seller a benefit to take your offer without actually waiving your rights. Ask your agent to make suggestions for you. It could be something as small as giving the sellers an extra day to move out.

 

12. Research Tip

Being new to town, or interested in that new neighborhood that you want to purchase in, you might want to spend a few weekends exploring it before the home buying season starts in spring, and get to know the area. Do talk to people in the street and at restaurants. Use the internet to do the research. Drive the neighborhoods at different times of the day and, if you can, on different days of the week.  How are the schools in that neighborhood?  How is the traffic? Parks?

 

13. First Time Buyer

Every first-time home buyer harbors a little bit of fear inside about buying a home, whether or not it’s spring. If it pencils out right, meets your requirements, and feels right – just make the offer. Trust your gut.

Remember here at Dwell we cultivate long-term relationships with our clients and community and are here to guide you through one of the best life and investment decisions you will ever make.

 

 Here’s some tips on selling your home 

 

Colorful curb appeal

Buyers formulate a lasting first impression of houses within the first 60 seconds so make that first impression count.  Take this opportunity to complete simple tasks such as power washing the siding and sidewalks, repainting the front door or even adding a new welcome mat, and plant new flowers in the yard and new pots.  Make all welcoming!

Freshen up your closet

Now is a good time to organize all including the closets, put many of those winter items away, and show off your spring clothes collection.

Open those clean windows

Bring fresh air into your home to drastically change the mood and feel of the room. If the weather is nice, open the windows, and let the natural light brighten the room with newly cleaned blinds and curtains . If it’s a rainy day, you can slightly open the window a couple of hours before the open house, then later close it as the blinds and curtains are open to let the spring light in.

Double check for spider webs

Even if you have dusted every square inch of your home, when you open the blinds, things like spider webs that were not previously noticeable become easily seen. Walk through your home with the lighting set the way you intend it to be for a showing. This gives you the opportunity to see your home from the angle potential buyers would, and allow you to spot those elusive spider webs.

Deep clean your carpets

Your family has spent most of the winter cooped up indoors, which allows extra dirt and particles to accumulate deep within the fibers of your carpet. After the major spring cleaning has finished, deep clean your carpets to remove any subtle odors and refresh the rooms.

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

Inside and out.  Beautiful and simple arrangements from the door step, through the house, to make a home feel inviting and look it’s very best.  If those arrangements are matching or high contrasting to the curtains, bedding, and decorative pillows, that will create a much bigger WOW!

Incorporate bright, spring colors wherever possible

Consider swapping out dark accent pillows and rugs for vibrant spring-colored accents. Since colors dramatically dictate the feel of a room, bright colors add warmth and comfort to your home.  In the bathroom and kitchen consider using seasonally colored towels. In the kitchen, place a bowl of seasonal fruit on the counter instead of to-do lists and mail.

 Spring smells around your home

Flowers will do the trick, or even a soft smelling candle, but also consider baking a batch of cookies to serve your guests.  This nice touch, with your napkins matching the colors of your flowers, with be a nice inviting treat for all and will add to a smell that most all love.

Water for guests

Consider filling the sink with ice and carbonated/non-carbonated water bottles for guests during an open. Then they will be focused on the perks and selling points of your home rather than how thirsty they are, as they’re also enjoying one of your warm cookies.

Wash all windows and mirrors

Don’t forget to wash all windows and mirrors. These are often overlooked, but every window, including the ones on the front door, should be washed before a showing – inside and out.  Add sparkle and shine to your home, which are qualities you should value when preparing your home for sale. Clean windows and sunlight that bounces off your mirrors will make your residence more inviting and welcoming.

On the exit

Have a full-color photo card of your house  created with the address, highlights,  contact info, and the URL of your listing printed on it, so when they leave your home you will still be at the front of their minds.

MAY 31st  is the next Dwell Artist Reception – COME JOIN US!

This year we’re doing our Last Thursday’s a little differently, we’re not doing it anymore! Instead, we will be hosting quarterly receptions this year to showcase our beautiful artwork on the Dwell walls and the artists.  Please join us and our Dwell friends in February with a glass of wine with amazing people and art. We hope to see you in 2018!

CLICK HERE to save this FREE Event!  The Dwell Team looks forward to see you May 31st 2018 at 5:30pm – 8:30pm

The best time to buy a home is always five years ago.” – Ray Brown

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