Local Flavor + Holiday Wishes For You!

Wow! A newscaster said yesterday that we are experiencing the biggest snow event since 1964!  For those of you who tune in to the Blotter from out of state, I am attaching a few photos so that you can see what we are talking about. Dianne has posted some for your amusement as well. We usually focus on real estate pretty much exclusively in our Blog, but with this kind of excitement, we can’t resist giving you a little local flavor.

Real estate is happening in Lake Oswego however, as you can see from Monday’s Activity Report.  I experienced an inspection last week in a foot of snow… before it REALLY got going : )  But that is another story. For now… here’s what life in Lake Oswego has been like-

Main roads are kept pretty passable with mostly packed snow, and are sanded regularly (Oregon does not use salt), but side streets, especially hilly ones, are let’s say…  invigorating! Kids who have been out of school an extra week this Winter Break are sledding everywhere. Lots of folks have bagged their aspirations of mobility as evidenced by the feet of snow burying their cars on the sides of many roads.  Others who are able and so inclined have headed for Mt. Hood where skiing is incredible, and road crews are always ahead of the curve. Trees laden with snow and ice have released some of their burden in the form of limbs in yards and on roadsides. But hey… it’s pretty!

Christmas has taken on a completely different tone this year.  Instead of filling the malls, people gather in kitchens around batches of cookies. Fireplaces are the center of many homes where friends, family and a variety of hot beverages and toddies complete the picture.  The uptick in Internet shopping in the area has kept UPS busy all over! This year is definitely one we will never forget.

Dianne and I would like to take a moment to wish you the very best of the Holiday Season. Whether your beliefs are Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist,+++ or you simply harbor a fondness for Santa, this is a season of hope and love which we all can share. We also want to say thank you to our clients who’ve trusted us with their real estate needs this past year. We are grateful for your business, your loyalty, and your faith in us. We look forward to the New Year ahead, and want to wish you and yours every happiness. Thank you for reading the PropertyBlotter!

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays.

Snowapalooza 2008

I wrote a post about the rainy season in Oregon not too long ago, so I was trying to avoid writing something about the past ten day’s snowfall. I mean, don’t we have anything more significant to talk about than the weather? But this has gotten to be too big of a deal not to mention it.

Snowfall in the Portland area happens, but it is light and some years, rare. We get so little snow that it only takes and inch or two to shut down schools. Most years it is comical how easily people in the Portland area will use a dusting of snow to create a good excuse to take the day off and go sledding with the kids. And snow at Christmas, well that is nearly always wishful thinking. Be careful what you wish for….

In the past 10 days we have had about a foot of snow and half an inch of ice. It is amazing. The temperatures have been below freezing for days in a row. It feels more like North Dakota than Lake Oswego. Well, maybe 12 inches is baby stuff for someone from North Dakota, but for us, it’s truly an event. It’s Snowapalooza 2008.

I am posting several photos that were taken in my yard. I am also posting a photo of my 20 year-old son’s friends who showed up at my house early in the event for some midnight barbequing. Oh to be twenty and so enthusiastic!

Temperatures are supposed to get up into the 40’s and 50’s over the weekend. So this will all soon be just a memory. In the mean time we are living in a winter wonderland.

Market Activity Report for December 15-21, 2008

It’s Christmas, there is a foot of snow on the ground, and, yes, the market is slow. It is very typical that during the two weeks that kids are out of school and families are gathering, that the market creeps along. I believe the market will pick up when the holidays are over. In the mean time, here is your market activity report for December 15th to December 21st.

NEWLY LISTED (December 15 —December 21, 2008)

Address List Price # Bedrm. # Baths Total SF Prop Type List Date
4 TOUCHSTONE $184,900 3 2.1 1,350 CONDO 12/18/2008
3190 DUNCAN DR $304,900 3 2.1 2,401 DETACHD 12/16/2008
17100 BRYANT RD $425,000 3 3 2,032 DETACHD 12/17/2008
4280 CHAPMAN WAY $469,000 3 2 1,947 DETACHD 12/15/2008
815 10TH ST $539,900 3 2 2,190 DETACHD 12/19/2008
4004 MELISSA DR $598,950 3 2.1 2,840 DETACHD 12/17/2008
12424 SW 22ND AVE $999,900 5 4.1 4,771 DETACHD 12/15/2008

PENDING SALES (December 15 —December 21, 2008)

Address List Price # Bedrm #l Baths Total SF Prop Type List Date CDOM
4000 CARMAN DR $144,000 1 1 767 CONDO 10/30/2008 226
5142 ROSEWOOD ST $339,900 4 2.1 1,784 DETACHD 9/22/2008 232
1971 PARK FOREST AVE $549,000 4 2 2,180 DETACHD 12/8/2008 13
13915 SUNDELEAF DR $998,000 4 3.1 4,090 DETACHD 10/1/2008 797

SOLD (December 15—December 21, 2008)

Address O/Price # Bedrm Total Baths Total SF Prop Type Close Price CDOM
4 TOUCHSTONE $124,900 2 2 984 CONDO $93,000 60
44 EAGLE CREST DR $154,900 3 2 1,085 CONDO $145,000 31
801 NORTHSHORE RD $879,900 4 3 2,144 DETACHD $925,000 6

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.

Open Houses for December 20th and 21st

I salute the brave Realtor who is hosting the only open house promoted for Lake Oswego on the RMLS this weekend:

41 Hillshire Dr, a detached home with 2670 square feet. Built in 1983, it has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. it will be open this Sunday, December 21st, from 1:30 to 3:30.

Have a lovely weekend. Stay safe and enjoy the snow.

Code of Ethics

While having lunch with friends recently one woman was telling us about the difficulty she had with some of her co-workers. I guess there was a good deal of gossiping and even some back stabbing that went on behind people’s backs. My initial reaction to her story was dismay over her situation and then personal gratitude that I don’t work in such circumstances. And then it occurred to me why I don’t have that sort of work environment. It’s the code of ethics! As a Realtor, I must adhere to a code of ethics that requires fair dealings with other Realtors. I simply am not allowed to say bad things about them. It then occurred to me that the general public probably doesn’t know about the Realtor Code of Ethics. At this time of year, when our thoughts are turned to family, friends, and religious celebrations, it seems appropriate to tell you about the Code of Ethics.

In order to be a Realtor in the State of Oregon you must agree to adhere to the Code of Ethics. Both the Oregon Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors require abiding by the Code of Ethics. It is possible to be a real estate agent without being a Realtor, but it is not possible to be a Realtor without meeting the requirements of the Code of Ethics. A Realtor is required to take training on the Code of Ethics every 4 years to make certain that he or she remembers and is familiar with this code. What is it? In a nutshell, it pretty much boils down to the golden rule. Be fair and honest in all of your dealings with clients and with other Realtors, just as you want them to be fair and honest in their dealings with you.

The Code of Ethics is actually a rather beautiful document. The Preamble begins “Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization.” It is well written, well thought out, and something that can be applied to life as a whole. Besides the Preamble, there are 3 sections: Duties to Clients and Customers, Duties to the Public, and Duties to Realtors. Each section contains guidelines for fair and honest business practices, honesty in advertising, as well as professionalism and protection when dealing with the public. This code serves as a promise to the public that when dealing with a real estate agent that is a Realtor you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all of your dealings. How cool is that? Don’t you wish every profession had a Code of Ethics? I do.

Not all real estate agents are Realtors. So when choosing a professional to help you to buy or to sell a home, be certain to find out if they are a Realtor. If they have the Realtor designation, you can gain assurance that your transaction will be handled by someone who adheres to the Realtor Code of Ethics.

If you’d like to read the Code of Ethics, here is a link to the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors where a copy is available: click here.