A Guide to Lake Oswego Real Estate and Community
Dianne,  Linda & Whitney

Brought to you by Dianne Gregoire, Linda Rossi and Whitney Gregoire, brokers with Oregon First, a professional real estate company licensed with the Oregon Real Estate Agency.

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Counter Tops 101

A recent transaction I had got me to thinking about counter tops. This was a really beautiful, high-end home. The kitchen had been recently remodeled and the information given by the seller was that the counters were granite. In the home inspection the home inspector stated that they were acrylic. Who was right? The seller was absolutely certain that they were granite in part because they had cost him about $10,000 for the material alone. I went to Contract Furnishings Mart where a wonderful man, Patrick VonPegert, was of great help to me. I am going to try to do justice to what I learned, but I also want to encourage you to do your own homework as I am not an expert.

thPatrick told me that while granite is the style that is currently the most popular, quartz is actually more commonly purchased. This is because quartz has similar properties to granite and at the lower end of the product cost it is similar in price. But quartz tops out at its maximum expense much lower than does granite. So it tends to be more affordable as a generalization.

I explained to him my delimna with the question of the counter in the home I was selling and I showed him a photo. He felt, looking at the photo, that the counter was likely granite but he then showed me an acrylic sample in his showroom that was virtually identical. I asked about the cost as evidence and I learned that acrylic counters are also expensive and the $10,000 price tag would not be evidence of the material in question. He then taught me two simple tests. The first was the temperature of the surface. Putting my hand on a granite sample and then putting my hand on an acrylic sample there was a huge difference in temprature. The natural stone is significantly colder and the acrylic was more easily compared to room temperature. The other test was dropping a quarter on the surface. The stone had a higher pitched “ting” whereas the acrylic was more of a lower pitched thud. With this new knowledge in hand I met my client at the house and put our hands to the counter (very cold) and dropped a quarter (ting). My clients response was that she loved the kitchen and the look of the counters so she was fine with them in any case.

Here is some more information and my thoughts of various counter materials. I obtained this information from the Popular Mechanics website. Pricing is suggested and subject to change.

th-1Granite
Granite is gorgeous. Materials cut straight from the earth is solid panels, then custom cut to become a seemless counter surface, they are, in a word, stunning. They come in many colors of solids, varigated, and lined. I have seem some surfaces that literally pull you in and leave you transfixed. There is a reason that they are the premium material. Having said this, they do have a down side. They must be properly sealed to prevent staining and then the seal must be re-done as needed. They need to be cleaned with stone cleaner and not with normal household cleaners. I suspect that there are lots of folks who have granite counters who don’t have a clue about the proper maintenance. They are also expensive with the cost being $75-$250 a square foot. I also have to point out two additional concerns that I have. Natural stone is a finite resource. I so hope that granite counters installed today will be still in use 100 years from now. Please, please, don’t fall pray to changing styles. I so hope that they don’t end up in landfills 20 years from now. Last, granite gives off radon. You know, that nasty stuff we test for in home inspections to prevent lung cancer. I did make an effort to find out if the amount of granite in a typical kitchen counter is a concern by asking an environmental specialist. This was years ago. He told me that the granite in the counter would have to be 10 feet thick to give off the amount of radon that hurts people. But I still think if I had a lot of granite in my home I would test for radon (well, I’d do it even if I didn’t have any granite).

Soapstone and Slate
These materials have much of the same look as granite because they too are natural stone. They have fewer color options. Soapstone is porous and must be sealed with mineral oil. Slate is non-porous and is much easier to care for. It won’t stain easily and scratches can be buffed out. Cost runs $100-$150 per square foot.

Acrylic and Polyester
These counters resist stains and scratches and are both renewable and repairable. Scratches and burns can be sanded out. Gouges can be filled. The color choices are basically limitless as are textures and edges. Cost runs $100-$200 per square foot.

th-2Engineered Stone and Quartz Composits
These counters are 90% quartz, glass, or any other materials chosen to be blended, and 10% acrylic. The color options are pretty limitless. Maintenance is reasonable. Cost runs $150-$200 per square foot. I particularly like the counters made with recycled glass. I tend to be pretty environmentally aware and the idea of materials that are both recylcled and beautiful really appeals to me.

Plastic Laminate, otherwise known as Formica
There is a reason that this stuff has been used in homes for so long. It’s super affordable and wears well with little or no maintenace beyond cleaning. It comes in hundreds of colors and options. Cost is $3-$25 per square foot.

Tile
The trend has moved away from tile, which was the counter top king in the 1990’s. This is mostly due to the issue of maintaining seems and grout, which must be cleaned and sealed regualarly. Having said this, tile is still a popular option for back splashes and smaller surface areas like breakfast bars and pantry counters. Be sure you use a tile that is rated for counters. Wall tile is typically more thin and would more easily crack. I do see a lot of tile in new construction that is under $500,000. This is particularly true in homes that have more modern design elements. Tile stylistically fits in with modern lines. As I mentioned, if you go the route of tile, be sure to properly clean and seal the grout regularly. Cost runs $3-$100 per square foot.

Wood
Wood counters are pretty unusaul. It’s more common to see wood sections in counters on areas like cooking islands or next to the stove for food prep. Wood has had a bad reputation as not being sanitary. This was debunked in 1993 by a University of Wisconsin study that showed that bacteria on wood surfaces like cutting boards will be 99% dead within 3 minutes of exposure to the wood. My bigger concern is how well it will wear. It’s a softer surface that will burn, scratch, and suffer water damage pretty easily. To properly care for it, it should be oiled every 4-6 weeks. And it’s not cheap, running $100-$200 a square foot for a well made counter.

Concrete
This is a material that I am seeing more and more of. Going back to the popularity of modern design, concrete fits right in with that trend. It can be done in a variety of colors and does have a look of stone but with more clean lines. A properly made counter will be pre-cast and fully cured and finished off sight. It should be re-inforced with wire mesh or rebar to minimize cracking. I had a home inspector tell me once that all concrete counters crack. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I think if you are considering concrete you need to decide if this will put you off or not. I have seen cracks in concrete counters. I don’t think that they usually destroy the functional use of the counter, although cracks do invite dirt. To my eye the cracks can become part of the design element. But don’t go with concrete if this may drive you nuts. Cost run $85-$100 per square foot.

There you have it, counters 101. I hope you found it helpful. My thanks to Patrick at Contract Furnishings Mart and to Popular Mechanics.
Dianne

Market Activity Sept 12-18, 2016

I love the change of seasons! All of the color in the trees and the crisp air first thing in the morning. It is really beautiful. Homes show well at this time of year as people anticipate the coming holidays. This encourages real estate activity. So while things have begun to slow down, the market is still extremely active. We had 16 homes come onto the market in Lake Oswego last week as new listings, 29 houses go into pending status, and 12 sales that closed.

Following is the breakdown for you according to RMLS:

New on the Market (Sept 12-18, 2016)

Address Type Price BR Baths Sq Ft
100 Kerr Pkwy #44 Condo $154,500 2 1.5 823
131 Oswego Summit Condo $205,000 2 2 1212
3433 McNary Pkwy #306 Condo $229,900 3 2 1344
5050 Lower Dr Detached $319,000 2 1 1375
4681 Trillium Woods Attached $595,000 3 2.5 2185
37 Hillshire Dr Detached $619,000 4 3 2809
1004 Cumberland Pl Detached $679,000 5 2 3313
5656 La Mesa Ct Detached $729,950 4 3 2748
2060 Ridge Pointe Dr Detached $799,000 5 2.5 4120
286 D Ave Attached $799,900 3 2.5 2302
154 Berwick Rd Detached $825,000 5 3.5 2880
545 Evergreen Rd Detached $829,900 3 3.5 2182
14215 Bridge Ct Detached $910,000 4 2.5 3468
3938 Edens Edge Dr Detached $1,024,999 4 3,5 3882
12819 Alto Park Rd Detached $1,199,900 4 4.5 4102
13648 Goodall Rd Detached $1,795,000 4 4.5+.5 5288

Pending Sales (Sept 12-18, 2016)

Address Type Price BR Baths Sq Ft CDOM
47 Eagle Crest Dr #35 Condo $149,900 2 1 932 6
86 Kingsgate Rd E204 Condo $165,000 2 2 938 4
76 Galen St #76 Condo $199,900 2 2 989 6
76 Oswego Summit Condo $199,900 2 2 1212 43
668 McVey Ave #64 Condo $279,900 1 1 636 60
67 Greenridge Ct Attached $355,000 3 2.5 2000 41
15711 Boones Way Detached $499,000 3 2 1973 25
261 Ash St Detached $499,900 3 2 1788 10
17 Laurel St Detached $565,000 3 1.5 3096 88
1920 Park Forest Ave Detached $575,000 3 3 2679 32
19134 Terry Ave Detached $575,000 4 2 2557 7
1590 Larch St Detached $599,000 5 2.5 2836 66
1837 Cedar Ct Detached $629,000 5 3 2625 92
19 El Greco St Detached $649,000 4 3 3030 71
13551 Southwood Ct Detached $699,900 4 2.5 3115 86
3180 Westview Circle Detached $749,000 3 2.5 2787 82
17572 Shephards Ct Detached $859,000 4 3 2983 69
2527 Palisades Crest Dr Detached $895,000 3 2.5 3738 86
13017 Knaus Rd Detached $1,075,000 4 3.5 4690 89
834 6th St Detached $1,099,900 4 2.5 2679 63
683 5th St Attached $1,178,000 4 3 2811 0
14530 Uplands Dr Detached $1,230,000 4 3.5 4080 15
19371 Riverwood Ln Detached $1,300,000 4 4.5 5034 4
462 9th St Detached $1,390,000 5 3.5 4377 27
14365 Twin Fir Rd Detached $1,439,000 4 3.5 4574 110
1814 Highlands Loop Detached $1,700,000 3 4.5 5635 224
333 Northshore Rd Detached $3,597,500 4 4.5 5150 28
1865 Palisades Terrace Dr Detached $6,900,000 4 5.5+.5+.5 8800 723

Sold/Closed (Sept 12-18, 2016)

Address Type List Price Sold Price Sq Ft CDOM
343 5TH St #3 Condo $249,000 $239,000 910 27
1543 Bonniebrae Dr Attached $295,000 $280,000 1,303 22
5060 Foothills Dr #96 Condo $305,000 $305,000 1,252 2
15422 Partridge Dr Detached $500,000 $465,000 1872 17
4050 Virginia Way Detached $524,500 $524,500 1344 1
700 Briarcliff Ln Detached $549,900 $525,000 2132 41
17486 Cardinal Dr Detached $575,000 $550,000 2327 14
49 Hillshire Dr Detached $699,900 $610,000 4,268 48
727 Laurel St Detached $875,000 $775,000 2924 84
5955 Sunbrook Dr Detached $780,000 $780,000 3110 2
13197 Thoma Rd Detached $1,495,000 $1,452,500 3560 348
2575 Summit Dr Detached $2,395,000 $2,250,000 6185 151

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer, with CDOM standing for “cumulative days on market” accounting for “refreshed” listings.

News & Notes ~ August 2016

Here are the latest/August numbers for the entire Portland area:

According to the RMLS Market Action Report for the Portland Metro Area, June, 2016:

  • There were 4,203 New Listings in August which was down 3.9% from July, and up 8.3% from August of 2015.
  • At 3,001, August Closed Sales were up 8.1% from July’s 2,776, and down 3.1% from August of 2015’s 3,098.
  • August Pending Sales (Accepted Offers), at 3,325 were up  0.7% from July’s 3,302, and were also  0.7% lower than August of 2015’s 3,347.
  • The Average Sale Price in August of $400,100 was down $7,000 from July’s $407,100, and also up around $35,500 from August of 2015’s $364,600. 

_____________________________________________________

The combined areas of Lake Oswego and West Linn  (RMLS lumps them together) for the month of August 2016 reported:

    •  452 Active Listings (July/410)
    •  229 New Listings    (July/288)
    •  162 Pending Sales  (July/189)
    •  166 Closed Sales     (July/165)
    • Average Sale Price for August: $619,600   (July/ $650,200)
      • NOTE: Higher-Priced vs Lower-Priced Homes Sales can skew the “Average” in any given month.  Lake Oswego has quite a variety, so this tends to be a less meaningful stat, generally speaking, in this niche.
    • Average Time on the Market: 59 Days  (July /45)

Market Activity ~ Sept 5-11, 2016

Last week we saw 13 New properties enter the market, 12 move to Pending status, and 13 “Closed”/Sold.

Following is the breakdown for you according to RMLS:

NEW on Mkt (Sept 5-11, 2016)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type
86 KINGSGATE RD #i204 $159,000 2 2 840 CONDO
4 TOUCHSTONE #140 $185,000 3 2.1 1351 CONDO
76 GALEN ST #76 $199,900 2 2 989 CONDO
16250 PACIFIC HWY #43 $255,000 2 2 1311 CONDO
16724 ROOSEVELT AVE $379,995 3 1.1 1270 DETACHD
31 GREENRIDGE CT $449,000 3 2.1 2002 ATTACHD
15450 KIMBALL CT $475,000 4 2 1544 DETACHD
7 SCARBOROUGH DR $754,900 4 2.1 3367 DETACHD
4265 ALBERT CIR $826,600 5 3.1 3022 DETACHD
4635 DOGWOOD DR $950,000 4 3 4327 DETACHD
716 LAKE SHORE RD $999,000 3 2 1860 DETACHD
18840 HILL TOP RD $1,195,000 3 3.1 4216 DETACHD
19371 RIVERWOOD LN $1,300,000 4 4.1 5034 DETACHD

PENDING SALES (Sept 5-11, 2016)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type CDOM
4619 LAKEVIEW BLVD #Grnd $119,000 1 1 753 CONDO 30
354 CERVANTES CIR #1C $158,000 2 1.1 912 CONDO 9
94 GREENRIDGE CT $369,000 3 2 1752 ATTACHD 6
17 ORIOLE LN $425,000 3 2.1 1800 DETACHD 3
6423 FROST ST $539,000 3 2.1 2548 DETACHD 304
950 LAKE FRONT RD $549,900 4 2.1 2112 DETACHD 34
5267 LAKEVIEW BLVD $879,900 4 3.1 3454 DETACHD 29
2639 PALISADES CREST DR $948,000 5 4.1 5615 DETACHD 7
13079 AMBER PL $948,000 5 3 3200 DETACHD 165
14112 HEATHROW LN $1,149,000 5 3.1 4828 DETACHD 133
1666 LAKE FRONT RD $1,279,000 4 3 3183 DETACHD 27
610 4TH ST $1,575,000 4 2.1 3394 DETACHD 31

SOLD (Sept 5-11, 2016)

Address Opening Price Closed Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type CDOM
14 OSWEGO SMT $165,000 $180,000 1 1 764 CONDO 6
12824 SW BOONES FERRY RD $314,999 $300,000 2 2.1 1398 ATTACHD 7
3765 LANEWOOD ST $395,000 $405,000 3 2 1482 DETACHD 3
668 MCVEY AVE #52 $450,000 $448,000 3 1.1 992 CONDO 116
4951 BILFORD LN $469,000 $485,000 2 2 1823 DETACHD 4
653 3RD ST $575,000 $520,000 3 2 1270 DETACHD 95
14 WALKING WOODS DR $550,000 $536,000 4 3 2930 DETACHD 32
2063 RIDGEWOOD RD $699,000 $670,000 4 2.1 2532 DETACHD 28
2329 STONEHURST CT $825,000 $785,000 4 3 3622 DETACHD 23
3600 SOUTHSHORE BLVD $995,000 $1,000,000 3 2.1 2117 DETACHD 5
729 3RD ST $1,061,110 $1,052,208 3 3 2748 DETACHD 0
3119 WEMBLEY PARK RD $1,100,000 $1,100,000 4 3.1 3633 DETACHD 1
877 9TH ST $1,150,000 $1,150,000 3 2.1 2762 DETACHD 0

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer, with CDOM standing for “cumulative days on market” accounting for “refreshed” listings.

Market Activity Report Aug 29th - Sept 04th, 2016

Hello everybody, I hope the start of the school year went smooth for everybody. And if you are like me, and don’t have to deal with school, then I hope that the end of summer has gone good none-the-less. There are 23 new houses on the market, 21 pending properties, and 17 sold homes.

I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of condos have gone for sale on 1st ST! It makes me curious to check out the area!

Following is the breakdown for you according to RMLS:

New on the Market (Aug 29- Sept 04, 2016)

Address Type Price Bedrooms Bathrooms Sqft
354 CERVANTES CIR 1-C CONDO 158,000 2 1.5 912
18644 SW KRISTI WAY DETACHED 349,950 2 2 1346
6 SUMMIT RIDGE CT ATTACHED 399,000 2 2.5 1750
9 ORIOLE LN DETACHED 399,830 3 3 1928
261 ASH ST DETACHED 499,900 3 2 1788
652 1ST ST CONDO 659,000 2 2.5 1986
672 1st ST CONDO 659,000 2 2.5 1986
17533 ERIN CT DETACHED 669,000 3 2.5 2943
654 1st ST CONDO 689,000 2 2.5 2140
3195 EDGEMONT RD DETACHED 699,000 3 2 1858
674 1st ST CONDO 699,000 2 2.5 2140
5037 PARKHILL ST DETACHED 729,000 4 2.5 3157
670 1st ST CONDO 899,000 3 2.5 2767
650 1st ST CONDO 899,000 3 2.5 2767
2639 PALISADES CREST DR DETACHED 948,000 5 3 5615
13079 AMBER PL DETACHED 948,000 5 3 3200
15501 DIAMOND HEAD RD DETACHED 995,000 4 3 2353
14530 UPLANDS DR DETACHED 1,230,000 4 3.5 4080
18296 MEADOWLARK LN DETACHED 1,715,000 5 3.5 5769
1976 HIGHLANDS LOOP DETACHED 1,795,000 4 3.5 4597
129 FURNACE ST CONDO 1,849,900 4 4.5 4911
1940 HIGHLANDS LOOP DETACHED 1,898,000 5 5.5 4080
16 DOVER WAY DETACHED 1,998,000 5 5.5 7475

Pending Sales (Aug 29- Sept 04, 2016)

Address Type Price Bedroom Bathrooms DOM
11 CRESTFIELD CT CONDO 129,500 1 1 3
44 EAGLE CREST DR CONDO 134,900 1 1 51
4628 LOWER DR CONDO 149,999 2 1.5 3
4000 CARMAN DR CONDO 169,900 1 1 5
71 OSWEGO SUMMIT CONDO 217,500 2 2 2
18 KINGSGATE RD DETACHED 399,900 3 2 4
14392 SHERBROOK PL DETACHED 446,000 3 2.5 4
19080 INDIAN SPRINGS CIR DETACHED 450,000 3 2 4
3351 FIR RIDGE RD DETACHED 469,000 3 2 2
3200 UPPER DETACHED 499,999 4 3 2
4960 CENTERWOOD ST DETACHED 509,000 3 2 77
4050 VIRGINIA WAY DETACHED 524,500 3 2 1
18 GROUSE TER DETACHED 549,900 4 2 82
9 SPINOSA DETACHED 595,000 2 2.5 11
32 WILBUR ST CONDO 635,000 2 2.5 5
4079 COLTSFOOT LN DETACHED 699,900 4 4 397
18183 WESTMINSTER DR DETACHED 720,000 3 2.5 57
2931 ORCHARD HILL PL DETACHED 739,100 4 2.5 100
5435 WESTFIELD DETACHED 749,900 4 3 32
4328 LORDS LN DETACHED 749,995 3 3 3
2484 MARYLSHIRE LN DETACHED 799,000 4 3.5 64

Sold/Closed(Aug 29- Sept 04, 2016)

Address Type List Price Close Price Sqft DOM
4 TOUCHSTONE DR CONDO 136,000 132,000 1351 26
3974 CARMAN DR CONDO 229,900 229,900 1107 31
16250 PACIFIC HWY #76 CONDO 299,900 295,000 1767 9
4455 GOLDEN LN CONDO 309,000 295,000 1705 71
12842 BOONES FERRY RD CONDO 345,000 321,500 1136 98
300 LAKE BAY CT DETACHED 475,000 452,000 1480 88
16041 WALUGA DR DETACHED 454,900 452,000 1982 8
18927 INDIAN CREEK AVE DETACHED 500,000 465,000 2394 27
532 2ND ST CONDO 469,900 465,000 1395 14
1419 HEMLOCK ST DETACHED 500,000 500,000 2520 28
3100 WEMBLEY PARK RD DETACHED 625,000 625,000 3060 339
13040 PRINCETON CT DETACHED 674,900 650,000 3135 32
4090 BUCK BRUSH LN DETACHED 699,000 705,000 3128 5
621 COUNTRY CLUB RD DETACHED 825,000 805,000 3385 160
884 CEDAR ST DETACHED 995,000 995,000 3120 102
356 9th ST DETACHED 1,480,000 1,230,000 3647 101
12850 FIELDING DETACHED 2,500,000 3,240,844 19444 25

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer, with CDOM standing for “cumulative days on market” accounting for “refreshed” listings.

Appraisal Crisis is Full Blown

photoWe have a crisis happening in the real estate market right now. No, you probably haven’t heard about it in the news, but you certainly may experience it if you are buying or selling a home in the Portland Metro area right now.

Here’s the back story. As robust as the market currently is, it was only a few years ago that we were in a mega recession. The mortgage lending industry tanked and the Federal government did a big over haul of the industry to prevent a similar catastrophe from happening again. In the fix was an effort to separate appraisers from lenders. There was a perception, and in many cases it was completely valid with both mortgage brokers and appraisers serving jail time, that a mortgage broker and an appraiser could falsify values in order to profit. To prevent this from happening appraisers were taken out of the lenders employment and control. All appraisals are now sent to Appraisal Management Companies (AMC). These are 3rd party companies who offer the appraisal request to their group of appraisers. So the lender does not know or have any communication with who will be doing the appraisal. It goes even further. A mortgage loan officer can not communicate with the appraiser at all.

Further challenging getting an appraisal done is the fact that the requirements to become an appraiser have gotten more stringent. Foremost among this is the requirement that an appraiser work as an apprentice under an experienced appraiser for 1-2 years before they are able to obtain full licensing and the ability to work independently. This is a burden for appraisers who are already swamped by their volume of work. It is hard for aspiring appraisers to find a mentor to apprentice with.

During the recession when the housing market slowed to a crawl many appraisers simply left the industry because it was hard to make a decent living.

Fast forward to today. We are in a housing boom. Portland is one of the hottest real estate markets in the entire country. The volume of houses being sold is tremendous, as is the market to refinance existing mortgages to lower interest rates. All of this means that just as the market has heated up, the appraisers needed to meet the demand simply do not exist.

I have been a realtor for almost 30 years. In all but the last year the normal turn around time for an appraisal has been 2-3 weeks. This allowed for an expected escrow period of 30-45 days. This issue with the shortage of appraisers is making the turn around time much, much longer. I think right now it is averaging 3-4 weeks. This in turn is making the escrow period 45-60 days.

This is taking away a major leveraging point for buyers competing to buy homes in this hot market. No longer can a buyer confidently say that they can do a quick close, which most sellers love. The buyer simply does not have the ability to promise a quick close. If a buyer is representing that they can, working as a seller’s agent I would be a bit dubious. I certainly would not discourage the buyer’s effort to do so. But I would counsel my seller client to be prepared mentally for the possibility of the closing being delayed by the appraisal.

A 45-60 day escrow period is actually a best case scenario. There are many, many transactions that are experiencing delays well beyond this. If the property is unusual the appraisal request may languish at an AMC with no appraiser choosing to do it. I have had a transaction where this was the case. The property was in an unusual location that was a mix of residential and commercial use. When an appraiser finally offered to take the assignment we were told it would take 2 months to complete and cost $2200!

I see a couple of things that need to be addressed. First, the shortage of appraisers will, I hope, be attractive to people who want good employment. It would be a great field to go into right now. Second, I predict that the cost of an appraisal will be going up. The old law of supply and demand should kick in. Bear in mind that the cost of an appraisal has been about $500 for decades. An increase in the cost seems likely. I just hope it is only by a few hundred dollars.

This entire issue will all settle out eventually. You can still buy or sell a house, just be aware that this issue is occurring and don’t stress about it.

I want to wish you a safe and fun holiday weekend,
Dianne

Market Activity Aug 22-28, 2016

We had a bit of a dip in new listings last week with just 11 properties coming onto the market. That, along with the Labor Day weekend and the start of school, really makes me feel like summer is winding down. Pending sales as well as closed sales held steady with 22 houses going pending and 21 houses closed. Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

Following is the breakdown for you according to RMLS:

New on the Market (Aug 22-28, 2016)

Address Type Price BR Baths Sq Ft
48 Eagle Crest Dr 2F Condo $279,900 3 2 1673
15711 Boones Way Detached $499,000 3 2 1973
625 10th St Detached $525,000 3 1.5 1128
4660 Wildwood St Detached $545,000 5 2 2412
1031 Oxford Dr Detached $559,900 3 2.5 2564
87 Tanglewood Dr Detached $575,000 4 3.5 2654
9 Spinosa Detached $595,000 2 2.5 2250
32 Wilbur St Condo $635,000 2 2.5 2671
16510 Maple Circle Detached $679,000 4 3 2295
8 Pimlico Terrace Detached $699,900 5 3 3120
4620 Dogwood Dr Detached $972,500 4 2.5 3613

Pending Sales (Aug 22-28, 2016)

Address Type Price BR Baths Sq Ft CDOM
47 Eagle Crest Dr #13 Condo $154,900 2 1 932 45
4000 Carman Dr #1 Condo $199,900 2 2 834 34
221 Cervantes Condo $265,000 2 2.5 1240 14
1543 Bonniebrae Dr Attached $287,500 3 1.5 1303 22
16443 Lake Forest Blvd Detached $395,000 3 2 1474 4
1248 Ash St Detached $399,950 2 1 1631 98
4291 Collins Way Detached $405,000 3 2 1482 5
4752 Rembrandt Detached $439,900 3 2.5 1655 3
17335 Ashley Ct Attached $455,000 4 3 2161 113
16287 Bonaire Ave Detached $495,000 4 3 2100 53
1935 Fernwood Dr Detached $495,900 4 3 2100 53
13142 Peters Rd Detached $499,900 4 2.5 2412 17
950 Lake Front Rd Detached $549,900 4 2.5 2112 21
510 Country Club Rd Detached $560,000 4 3 3274 105
5581 Yorkshire Pl Detached $585,000 4 2.5 3218 69
16 Independence Ave Detached $650,000 5 3 3979 65
4279 Albert Circle Detached $685,000 3 2.5 2768 45
5 Cellini Ct Detached $709,900 5 3.5 4659 178
17170 Wall St Detached $835,000 4 3.5 3446 12
1131 Northshore Rd Detached $1,249,000 4 3 3850 374
13197 Thoma Rd Detached $1,495,000 4 3 3560 348
980 Evergreen Rd Detached $2,280,000 4 5.5+.5 5644 90

Sold/Closed(Aug 22-28, 2016)

Address Type List Price Sold Price Sq Ft CDOM
47 Eagle Crest Dr #7 Condo $88,897 $90,000 932 92
366 Cervantes Cir 14C Condo $160,000 $160,000 832 2
3433 McNary Pkwy #304 Condo $205,000 $205,000 1,208 3
4000 Carman Dr #26 Condo $289,000 $210,000 836 3
45 Eagle Crest Dr #509 Condo $299,900 $285,000 1379 264
4341 Woodside Circle Condo $359,000 $360,000 1532 6
18610 Benfield Ave Detached $419,000 $432,100 1407 17
5895 Burma Rd Detached $459,900 $440,000 1,781 43
1710 Yarmouth Cir Detached $495,000 $485,500 1540 52
13379 Thoma Rd Detached $494,900 $526,000 2594 44
4951 Galen St Detached $589,900 $535,000 2543 52
4889 Hampton Ct Detached $543,000 $550,000 2206 4
22 Partridge Ln Detached $569,900 $574,900 3334 101
397 Livingood Ln Detached $590,000 $616,000 2631 2
5519 Bay Creek Dr Detached $784,900 $777,400 3415 14
15468 Boones Way Attached $800,000 $800,000 2432 44
5086 Hastings Ct Detached $849,900 $830,000 3255 18
4378 Albert Circle Detached $862,000 $862,000 3734 0
906 Cedar St Detached $950,000 $950,000 2829 247
1626 Englewood Dr Detached $1,450,000 $1,300,000 5690 14
17210 Cedar Rd Detached $1,875,000 $1,675,000 2813 165

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer, with CDOM standing for “cumulative days on market” accounting for “refreshed” listings.

Market Activity ~ Aug 15-21, 2016

Last week we saw 19 New properties enter the market, 24 move to Pending status, and 16 “Closed”/Sold.

Following is the breakdown for you according to RMLS:

NEW on Mkt (Aug 15-21, 2016)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type
38 GREENRIDGE CT $365,000 3 2.1 1996 ATTACHD
4214 WOODSIDE CIR $369,000 3 2.1 1841 ATTACHD
35 BLOCH TER $400,000 3 2.1 1987 ATTACHD
4291 COLLINS WAY $405,000 3 2 1482 DETACHD
4752 REMBRANDT LN $439,900 3 2.1 1655 DETACHD
937 COUNTRY CLUB RD $524,900 3 1 1715 DETACHD
2565 BREE CT $639,900 3 2.1 2967 DETACHD
17225 GREENTREE AVE $695,000 4 3 2718 DETACHD
17465 UPPER CHERRY LN $695,000 4 3 3856 DETACHD
4164 MELISSA DR $759,000 4 2.1 2650 DETACHD
17700 LEAFY LN $779,500 4 2.1 3666 DETACHD
14867 TWIN FIR CT $799,000 5 3.1 3641 DETACHD
18171 BRYANT RD $799,000 3 0.2 2984 DETACHD
17867 SUNDOWN CT $849,900 3 3.1 2765 DETACHD
4176 UPPER DR $869,000 4 3 2938 DETACHD
515 10TH ST $1,200,000 3 2.1 2821 DETACHD
462 9TH ST $1,390,000 5 3.1 4377 DETACHD
333 NORTHSHORE RD $3,597,500 4 4.1 5150 DETACHD
919 WESTPOINT RD $4,600,000 4 4 4795 DETACHD

PENDING SALES (Aug 15-21, 2016)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type CDOM
4000 CARMAN DR #A10 $169,900 2 2 836 CONDO 5
169 OSWEGO SMT #169 $199,999 2 2 1383 CONDO 123
217 CERVANTES / Lower $219,000 2 1.1 1204 CONDO 9
219 CERVANTES $220,000 2 2 1100 CONDO 44
54 GALEN ST / Upper $229,900 2 2 995 CONDO 32
15460 BRIANNE CT $320,000 2 2.1 1250 ATTACHD 3
5228 BONITA RD $349,900 4 2.1 2200 DETACHD 3
5432 KENNY ST $379,900 3 1 1352 DETACHD 20
668 MCVEY AVE #52 $450,000 3 1.1 992 CONDO 116
2395 GREENTREE RD $539,000 4 2.1 2832 DETACHD 17
350 6TH ST $539,900 4 2 2304 DETACHD 36
1920 PARK FOREST AVE $575,000 3 3 2679 DETACHD 7
2600 PARK RD $624,900 3 3 2240 DETACHD 5
29 HILLSHIRE DR $799,000 3 2.1 4638 DETACHD 0
2329 STONEHURST CT $825,000 4 3 3622 DETACHD 23
1172 TROON RD $827,500 5 3.1 2504 DETACHD 103
17432 KELOK RD $1,025,000 3 2.1 2884 DETACHD 33
527 10TH ST $1,150,000 4 3.1 2677 DETACHD 62
721 7TH ST $1,249,000 4 3.1 4544 DETACHD 42
629 5TH ST $1,299,000 4 2.1 2985 DETACHD 53
13012 KNAUS RD $1,825,000 4 3.2 4796 DETACHD 49
12740 FIELDING RD $2,100,000 4 2.1 3453 DETACHD 111
12850 FIELDING RD $2,500,000 9 9.2 19444 DETACHD 25
1193 FAIRWAY RD $2,998,000 5 4.2 7028 DETACHD 987

SOLD (Aug 15-21, 2016)

Address Opening Price Closed Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type CDOM
1774 RIDGECREST DR $125,000 $1,240,000 2 2 2053 DETACHD 6
79 OSWEGO Summit #79 $199,900 $200,000 2 2 1212 CONDO 3
1652 BONNIEBRAE DR $279,900 $257,000 3 1.1 1303 ATTACHD 11
5495 TREE ST $355,000 $355,000 3 1.1 1388 DETACHD 3
4841 SW DAWN ST $425,000 $435,000 3 2 1550 DETACHD 6
438 ASH ST $439,900 $450,000 4 3 2372 DETACHD 3
2132 GOODALL CT $566,500 $580,000 4 3 2577 DETACHD 4
5028 GREENSBOROUGH CT $569,900 $485,000 4 2.1 2358 DETACHD 43
6 WALKING WOODS DR $575,000 $550,000 4 2.1 2870 DETACHD 54
12140 ORCHARD HILL WAY $644,000 $645,000 4 2.1 3169 DETACHD 8
2 WALKING WOODS DR $649,900 $629,950 4 3 4116 DETACHD 76
3718 RIVERS EDGE DR $739,000 $739,000 4 2.1 2512 DETACHD 9
603 ATWATER RD $768,000 $750,000 5 3.1 3430 DETACHD 10
13596 STREAMSIDE DR $788,000 $740,000 4 2.1 3430 DETACHD 55
1175 CHERRY CIR $1,488,500 $1,275,000 6 4.1 6300 DETACHD 367
3130 DOUGLAS CIR $1,499,999 $1,499,999 4 3.1 3970 DETACHD 4

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer, with CDOM standing for “cumulative days on market” accounting for “refreshed” listings.

Market Activity Report August 8th - 14th, 2016

We’ve had a busy week!
24 new listings, 17 pending, and 21 sold!

Looks like the market has been pretty consistent. However, with school starting we may start to see a dip in activity. I knew a few of my friends are looking to buy homes in Lake Oswego, and may be encouraged to really start looking if they feel like there isn’t as much competition. Having been working with buyers as of late, I completely understand the thought process here.

Following is the breakdown for you according to RMLS:

New on the Market (August 8th-14th, 2016)

Address Type Price Bedrooms Bathrooms Sqft
4919 LAKEVIEW BLVD CONDO 129,000 1 1 753
221 CERVANTES CONDO 265,000 2 2.5 1240
15460 BRIANNE CT ATTATCH 320,000 2 2.5 1250
18540 KRISTI WAY DETACHED 329,950 3 1.5 1246
14372 SHERBROOK PL DETACHED 335,000 2 1.5 1216
43 ORIOLE LN DETACHED 385,000 2 2 1810
9 ORIOLE LN DETACHED 419,000 3 3 1928
13142 PETERS RD DETACHED 499,900 4 2.5 2412
72 TOUCHSTONE ST DETACHED 499,900 3 3 3908
1706 MEADOWS DR DETACHED 539,900 3 2 1698
19061 SW INDIAN CREEK AVE DETACHED 544,900 4 3 3070
1920 PARK FOREST AVE DETACHED 575,000 3 3 2679
18183 WESTMINSTER DR DETACHED 720,000 3 2.5 3191
2325 OAKHURST LN DETACHED 799,900 5 2.5 3627
18462 PIONEER CT DETACHED 819,000 5 3 3804
17170 WALL ST DETACHED 835,000 4 3.5 3446
5267 LAKEVIEW BLVD DETACHED 900,000 4 3 3454
1666 LAKE FRONT RD DETACHED 1,279,000 4 3.5 3183
19331 LORNA LN DETACHED 1,335,000 4 3.5 5070
4146 LAKEVIEW BLVD DETACHED 1,380,000 4 3.5 3279
548 RIDGEWAY RD DETACHED 1,560,000 4 3 2830
404 FAIRMOUNT RD DETACHED 1,595,000 4 3 3948
18332 MEADOWLARK LN DETACHED 1,675,000 6 5 6043
980 EVERGREEN RD DETACHED 2,280,000 5 5.5 5644

Pending Sales (August 8th-14th, 2016)

Address Type Price Bedroom Bathrooms DOM
75 GALEN ST CONDO 184,500 2 2 4
58 OSWEGO SMT CONDO 210,000 2 2 24
3932 CARMAN DR CONDO 229,900 2 2 131
2 SW MOUNTAIN CIR ATTACHED 299,000 2 1 32
1223 HEMLOCK ST DETACHED 422,500 2 1 118
18715 INDIAN CREEK DR DETACHED 529,900 3 2 118
4 ESSEX CT DETACHED 549,900 4 2 23
17901 STAFFORD RD DETACHED 599,000 3 2 103
17771 MARYLCREEK DR DETACHED 765,000 4 3.5 17
621 COUNTRY CLUB RD DETACHED 825,000 4 2.5 160
5340 GREYSTOKE DR DETACHED 875,000 3 3 443
18260 RIVER EDGE CT DETACHED 949,000 4 3.5 164
1300 ANDREWS RD DETACHED 1,190,000 5 3 60
862 CEDAR ST DETACHED 1,250,000 4 3.5 170
13060 KNAUS RD DETACHED 1,495,000 4 3.5 48
855 G AVE DETACHED 1,499,000 4 2.5 309
1098 CHANDLER RD DETACHED 1,749,000 4 3.5 432

Sold/Closed (August 8th-14th, 2016)

Address Type List Price Close Price Sqft DOM
47 EAGLE CREST DR #21 CONDO 149,000 138,800 932 767
86 CERVANTES CIR CONDO 158,000 158,000 912 1
3433 MCNARY PKWY CONDO 199,900 208,000 1208 5
750 1ST ST CONDO 279,900 265,000 1350 30
534 2ND CONDO 469,000 469,000 1394 62
528 2ND ST CONDO 489,900 489,900 1703 3
16913 CANAL CIR DETACHED 530,000 530,000 2525 0
30 MORNINGVIEW CIR DETACHED 549,000 543,000 2276 29
16921 KARA LN DETACHED 569,000 556,700 2382 31
171 GREENWOOD RD DETACHED 575,000 585,000 1610 11
300 4th ST ATTACHED 600,000 600,000 1731 0
1002 HEMLOCK ST DETACHED 624,990 617,990 1950 4
41 TOUCHSTONE DETACHED 669,900 653,000 3092 85
3540 UPPER DR DETACHED 659,900 65,500 2716 46
2331 DELLWOOD DR DETACHED 715,000 715,000 2746 4
737 COUNTRY CLUB RD DETACHED 799,900 750,000 3242 72
13366 BOONES FERRY RD DETACHED 875,000 825,000 3564 30
22 GREENWOOD RD DETACHED 850,000 825,000 2701 40
13084 AMBER PL DETACHED 1,199,099 1,150,000 3756 6
1255 CHANDLER RD DETACHED 1,400,000 1,400,000 3212 0
149 FURNACE ST DETACHED 1,688,888 1,600,000 3954 161

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer, with CDOM standing for “cumulative days on market” accounting for “refreshed” listings.

2016 Street of Dreams

IMG_1061The Street of Dreams is held somewhere in the metro area each August. Sometimes it is worth the price of admission, and sometimes it is not. This year it is, in spades.

IMG_1070When I go to the Street of Dreams I am looking for very special homes. This is not supposed to be a showcase of average stuff. I am looking for design ideas that are new, fresh, and functional. The sorts of things that we will see here first and that gradually become available in more average new homes. I am also looking for luxury: high-end finishes, exteptional architectural design, and locations that warrant spending millions of dollars on a house.

I am going to admit that last year’s Street of Dreams in Lake Oswego was a bit of a let down. After a hot day touring the houses I felt a big humphhhhh. Several houses were quite grand, but the master closets were small, one house had a 2-car garage, and being in LO, well, the houses were like lots of houses in LO.

IMG_1073This years tour is in an exceptional location across the street from the Oregon Golf Club in West Linn. The lots are all about 2 acres with views of vineyards and Mt Hood. Gorgeous! The price tags are also up there at around $4,000,000. But what you get for this kind of money actually feels like a value in these houses.

First of all, there are no 2-car garages here. Each houses has at least 3 car garages and several have 4. The size of the homes is 7000+ square feet with space for families, guests, and yes, perhaps an au pair or servant.

My favorite house is the Delcetto. I love this house! Built by Elite Development, 2 women builders, it is fresh and new in so many ways. The windows look to all be custom made to resemble an industrial look like you would find an a loft in Manhattan. Yet the decor is also elegant and somewhat reflective of French Country. As you enter you cross a water feature over a small bridge. As you go through the house you get to revisit the water feature when you discover it ends in a water fall outside of a basement window that would otherwise be nothing but dirt and bushes. So surprising and so pretty! This is the kind of stuff I want to find at the Street of Dreams.

IMG_1071Here are some of my take aways that I think we will see come to more average new construction:

Fixtures and finishes for things like hinges and knobs are still primariy chrome and brushed nickel. I had heard that this was going away to be replaced by brushed brass, but it is not yet at the Street of Dreams, so the change is a ways away.

IMG_1075TVs and monitors are everywhere. That’s not particularly new, except that they are being incorporated into things like bathroom mirrors. Very cool.

Kitchen counter electrical outlets that pop up and then push down to be hidden away. Simple, probably not super expensive, practical, I think this one will make its way into many homes.

Water features and swimming pools are big. Several homes had full on swimming pools. The one I liked was a pool that was about the size of a big (and I mean big) hot tub. But it wasn’t hot. It was next to a lounging deck and clearly designed for cooling off with seating all of the way around so that a family or group of friends could sit in it together on a hot day. And, of course, there is the house with what they are calling a “moat” all of the way around. It’s about 12″ wide and does go around the house. It screamed to me “clog me with leaves and invite thirsty racoons”.

IMG_1068My last comment is about the most beautiful kitchen I have ever seen. The cooking island is literally so big that it included plenty of space for food prep, a breakfast bar, and a full on bench seating/table area. It sounds over the top, but the lines of the counter and cabinets, along with the large space of the room made it feel refined and elegant.

Did I mention the wine celler with a glass ceiling that you can look down into from the hallway above? This is the stuff that dreams really are made of.

So this year I say “Go”! It’s worth the price of admission.
Dianne