Radon: Take Action

As January comes to a close, I want to take advantage of the fact that January is Radon Awareness Month. This is important as you buy or sell a home, but it’s also important simply as a human who lives in a contained environment. Whether you are buying or sell or not, you should test your house for radon.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is given off by granite boulders. These boulders are buried deep in the ground. You can’t see them, so you don’t know if they are there or not. This is why everyone should be doing radon tests.

I first became concerned about radon when I read an article in a local newspaper about 20 years ago. A resident of my neighborhood, in the Lake Grove section of Lake Oswego, died of lung cancer. He had been a non-smoker. After his death, his wife checked their home for radon and discovered elevated levels. It was the likely cause of his death.

It’s estimated that 20,000 deaths in the US each year are caused by radon exposure. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after cigarette exposure.

While some parts of the metro area are known for elevated radon levels (the Alameda Ridge is Northeast Portland is often referred to as Radon Ridge), radon can be found in Lake Oswego. I sold a house in Village on the Lake a number of years ago and radon was found. It was a lake-front house.

In Oregon, radon is fairly common in the northern Willamette Valley. This is a result of the Great Missoula Flood that occurred thousands of years ago. A huge ice dam formed in the area of what is now Sandpoint, Idaho. It contained a lake that went deep into Montana. When the ice melted it released a huge flow of water and debris that came across Eastern Washington, dug out the Columbia River Gorge, and came to rest in the Willamette Valley. This flow contained granite boulders that, today, are the primary source of radon in homes in this area.

While there is no known safe level of radon, it can be measured. The test is simple. You can buy a test at most home improvement stores. You set two canisters in your house for several days, then mail them off to a lab, and you get emailed results within about 10 days. It’s been awhile since I’ve done it this way, but I believe it costs under $100. Or you can hire a professional. This costs about $150. They set a test box into your house for 2 days and you get same day results.

Correcting radon is usually under $2000. Not super expensive.

My point here is that it’s easy to do. Realtors in Oregon are trained to make radon testing a part of the home inspection process. But do the test for the benefit of yourself even if you aren’t selling.

I hope you find this information helpful. Here’s to going into February living in the safest and healthiest home possible.

Dianne

Market Activity January 16-22, 2023

It feels to me like the market is really picking up. Multiple offers are happening again on well-priced houses. The inventory remains low, but it will pick up steam as we head towards spring.

Last week in LO there were 10 new listings, 7 of which sold fast and are represented here as pending sales. There were 13 houses that went pending, and 1 closed sale.

See below for RMLS data.

New on the Market January 16-22, 2023

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSq. Feet
44 Eagle Crest #23Condo$229,90011798
47 Eagle Crest #18Condo$249,99921932
16250 Pacific Hwy #75Condo$419,000321593
16880 Tracy AveDetached$539,900311080
16019 Terry AveDetached$674,900321344
573 2nd StCondo$1,200,00022.51659
2126 Wembley PlDetached$1,795,00043.53603

Pending Sales January 16-22, 2023

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSq. FeetDOM
86 Kingsgate Rd #63Condo$265,00022849156
3808 Botticelli StCondo$349,5003212243
12826 Boones Ferry RdCondo$463,70022.5118273
258 CervantesAttached$559,90032.523123
18350 Pilkington RdDetached$565,0003212902
1141 Devon LnDetached$750,00022.5193217
791 4th StDetached$879,000321568240
1466 Nelson CtDetached$1,149,00043/53169137
913 Sunny Hill DrDetached$1,250,00063.541967
853 E AveDetached$1,999,00033.52839109
4938 Park Bluff PlDetached$2,495,00044.54046167
17688 Upper Cherry LnDetached$2,685,00043.5504067
3917 Southshore BlvdDetached$5,200,00034.5+.550830

Closed/Sold January 16-22, 2023

AddressTypeList PriceSold PriceSq. FeetCDOM
1612 Lake Front RdDetached$950,000$945,000183151

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.

Adapt and Learn

When I started in Real Estate 35 years ago, our sale agreement was one page, legal size, and there were few, if any, supplemental forms. If something additional needed to be added, like a home inspection, I took out a blank addendum and wrote it up myself. Over the years many, many forms have been added. The sale agreement is 11 pages long and there are about 100 supplemental forms.

Realtors are not attorneys, so it’s a good thing that we no longer write our own addendums for things like home inspections. However, we do have to know the forms inside and out. We use them and we need to be able to explain what they mean. This requires a lot of continuing education. Now, add to the mix that an entire new set of paperwork is being rolled out.

Signing Official Document

The forms that we have historically used were developed by Oregon Real Estate Forms, OREF. This entity primarily consisted of the two largest Realtor Associations in the state: Portland Metro and Eugene.

Now the Oregon Association of Realtors has developed a new set of forms. The old ones are not being retired, instead we will have 2 complete sets of forms to use and both are acceptable. This means that Realtors need to be training and learning about these new forms. There are pluses and minuses to both. I also think it’s likely that eventually one will dominate and my prediction is that it will be the new forms.

I am very proud to say that Linda and I have both been training for the past 2 months to become knowledgeable about the new forms. I think we are positioning ourselves to give the best service possible to our clients. I also want to give a shout out to Oregon First. Our company started this training, and went in depth with it, from the get go.

So, Linda and I are adapting and learning. It really is exciting and it feels good to know that we are positioning ourselves to give you the best experience possible when you buy or sell a house. We are here to be of help!

Dianne

Market Activity Jan 2-8, 2023

So exciting to be starting another new year in real estate! I’ve been seeing tulips in the stores and enjoying that feeling that spring is around the corner.

While there are not yet tulips in our yards, there are houses coming on the market and selling. Last week in Lake Oswego we had 3 new listings, one of which sold quickly and is reflected here as pending. We also had 5 pending sales and 5 closed sales.

Please see below for RMLS data.

New on the Market Jan 2-8, 2023

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSq Feet
16250 Pacific Hwy #57Condo$384,000221305
30 Condolea DrCondo$450,000221420

Pending Sales Jan 2-8, 2023

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSq FeetDOM
16439 Lexington CtDetached$740,00022156352
1141 Devon LnDetached$750,00022.519325
4361 Albert CircleDetached$795,00042.52282118
17920 Meadowlark LnDetached$1,200,00042.5275810
13052 Knaus RdDetached$1,400,00043302623

Sold/Closed Jan 2-8, 2023

AddressTypeList PriceClosed PriceSq FeetCDOM
3433 McNary Pkwy #806Condo$324,900$308,300113649
1475 Cornell StDetached$799,000$640,0001599103
1310 Lee StDetached$789,900$730,000234491
2350 Southshore BlvdDetached$996,000$926,000223652
13017 Knaus RdDetached$1,898,000$1,595,0004690148

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.

Rising Interest Rates, What Does it Mean?

I want to talk about the elephant in the room, rising interest rates. Just yesterday the Federal Reserve raised the Federal rate by .5% to between $4.25 and $4.5%.

The Federal Reserve Rate is the rate set by the Federal Reserve to dictate the cost of money when banks borrow from one another. If the banks are paying more for money, it just makes sense that the increase gets passed along to the consumer. That is how banks make money. It’s why they are in business.

I do think that the increased cost of mortgages is having a impact on the real estate market. Higher interest rates make homes less affordable. Is this going to cause a housing decline? In a word, no.

From what I have been hearing the current situation is likely short term

Several months ago I listened to a Bloomberg podcast that featured 3 economists. The consensus was that the inventory is so low, that the demand for housing will keep the real estate market strong.

At the beginning of the Great Recession, in about 2008, builders pretty much not only stopped building, but they also stopped laying the ground work for new neighborhoods. Coming out of the recession, in about 2014, the home building industry rebounded, but there were about 6 years of missing inventory and they just simply have not caught up, even to this day. To meet our population needs, Nationwide, we should be building 3,000,000 new housing units per year. These are houses, condos, and apartments. We have only been building 1,300,000 per year: not even half of the population need. It is going to take decades to catch up.

Economics is all about supply and demand. With the demand high and supply low, that supports housing values.

Interest rate forecast according to the NAR

The other source of some interesting information was a Brian Buffini class that I took on Monday. It featured Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. Their discussion included several key points:

  • Government regulations put into affect after the Great Recession tightened up the mortgage lending industry so that people actually had to qualify for their loans and prove credit worthiness and employment stability in order to get a mortgage. In other words, people can afford to make their payments.
  • There is usually a 2% margin between the Federal rate and the mortgages rates. There is an anomaly happening where the spread is currently 3%. This means that the Federal rate can increase without there being an increase in the mortgage rates.
  • Mr Yun predicts that 2023 will see interest rates come back down within the year to under 6%
  • Mr Buffini predicts that 2023 will be flat with little or no home appreciation. However, he thinks that in 2024 the housing market will rebound with as much as 10% appreciation.

Here are my thoughts. It remains a great time to buy a house. With houses taking longer to sell, people who are selling are more negotiable. For a buyer, that means addressing repairs within the sale and negotiation on the price when you make an offer. For people wanting to sell, the inventory is still very, very low. Yes, it will take 30-60 days, but your house will sell and you likely continue to have a great deal of equity.

I have to say that no one knows for sure. These are simply thoughts shared by people with some knowledge and whose opinions I respect.

As always, thank you for reading the blotter.

Dianne

Market Activity Dec 5-11, 2022

As 2022 winds down, we here at the blotter hope you are enjoying the cool, crisp air and all of the activities of the season.

Lake week in Lake Oswego there was 1 new listing, 7 properties that accepted offers and went into pending status, and 6 sold/closed sales

See below for RMLS data.

New on the Market Dec 5-11, 2022

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathSquare Ft
2424 Greentree RdDetached$729,00032.51944

Pending Dec 5-11, 2022

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSquare FeetDOM
38 Cervanes CirCondo$244,50021.591231
5 Goya StDetached$680,00042.5258639
1310 Lee StDetached$719,90032234491
1261 Wells StDetached$1,550,00043.543168
13017 Knaus RdDetached$1,738,00043.64690148
13258 Amber PlDetached$1,799,90044.5373554
732 Ellis AveDetached$2,195,00042.53482101

Sold/Closed Dec 5-11, 2022

AddressTypeList PriceClosed PriceSquare FtCDOM
3 PericlesDetached$725,000$725,00026172
6450 Frost StDetached$775,000$787,00022163
5045 Greensborough CtDetached$899,900$835,0002107112
1454 Glenmorrie DrDetached$1,350,000$1,350,00033457
5996 Suncreek DrDetached$1,450,000$1,445,00035960
285 Berwick RdDetached$1,950,000$1,950,00025603

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.

2022 Tinseltown Trolley

December 9th, 10th, and 11th, you’ll have the opportunity to ride the Tinseltown Trolley.

The Trolley line runs from State Street North along the Willamette shore to the South Waterfront and then back again. The entire ride lasts about 45 minutes. The Trolley runs mostly during the summer, but it is brought out for one weekend in December to celebrate Christmas.

The Tinseltown event features games, sweet treats, caroling, lights, and a special visit from Santa.

Reservations are required. Adults cost $20 and children 12 years old and younger $17. To make a reservation, go to www.loparks.org or telephone 503-675-2549. For more information, click here.

Linda and I are hoping that you are enjoying the holidays!

Dianne

Market Activity November 21-27, 2022

Last week in Lake Oswego we had 3 new listings, one of which sold fast and is represented here as a pending sale, 5 properties move to pending status, and 7 sold/closed homes.

See below for RMLS data.

New on the Market November 21-27, 2022

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSq Feet
5857 Carman DrDetached$575,00021972
1125 C AveDetached$1,499,000432574

Pending November 21-27, 2022

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSq FeetDOM
44 Eagle Crest Dr #41Condo$274,9502190814
11 Summit Ridge CtAttached$435,00022.5157660
17050 Tualatin StDetached$749,0003319051
1451 Greentree CircleDetached$950,00043.523286
13248 Rogers RdDetached$1,125,00053.53107118

Sold/Closed November 21-27, 2022

AddressTypeList PriceSold PriceSq FeetCDOM
246 Ridgeway Rd 17BCondo$344,000$351,3007536
236 Ridgeway Rd 16ACondo$360,000$353,0009144
1728 Boca Ratan DrAttached$509,000$601,00014852
72 TouchstoneDetached$929,900$865,000390828
4051 Virginia WayDetached$999,000$1,020,000190349
5677 Charles CircleDetached$1,225,000$1,165,000296297
707 Lake Shore RdDetached$2,950,000$2,600,0002992112

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.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Here in Lake Oswego, the annual Christmas Tree Lighting is quite the celebration. This year it is happening on November 25th from 3:00-8:00. This is the 58th year that this even has taken place.

The event takes place at Millennium Plaza Park, 200 1st Street in downtown LO.

Starting at 3:00 vendors will be set up to sell holiday crafts and foods, there will be visits with Olaf and Cham-bear, as well as an ice-carving demonstration. Escorted by the LO Fire Department, Santa will arrive at 5pm and be available for photos until 8:00. The LO Police Department will be on hand to help children write letters to Santa. They will also have a mailbox set up to mail the letters. The tree lighting is scheduled for 6pm.

All in all, it will be a great way to kick off the season. For all of the details on this event, click here.

Market Activity November 7-13, 2022

We are officially in the “holiday” season. The market has dramatically slowed down with just 6 new listings in Lake Oswego last week. 2 of those listings sold quickly and in this report appear as pending sales. We had 5 properties go pending, and 7 sold/closed properties.

See below for RMLS data.

New on the Market November 7-13, 2022

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSq Feet
44 Eagle Crest Dr #41Condo$274,95021908
219 Cervantes #219Condo$325,000221100
3855 Rivers Edge DrDetached$1,450,000433101
310 Chandler PlDetached$2,995,00043.53866

Pending Sales November 7-13, 2022

AddressTypePriceBedroomsBathsSq FeetDOM
4 Touchstone #105Condo$210,000229843
201 CertantesCondo$325,00021.5124732
16678 Inverurie RdAttached$810,0004226661
643 4th StDetached$925,0002214533
3056 Wembley Park RdDetached$1,350,00042.526115

Sold/Closed November 7-13, 2022

AddressTypeList PriceSold PriceSq FeetCDOM
6 Cervantes CircleCondo$255,000$248,00091214
18150 Bryant RdDetached$750,000$770,000146811
4673 Lakeview BlvdDetached$895,000$899,00020294
5524 Koderra AveDetached$1,275,000$1,170,0002957113
1685 Fernwood DrDetached$1,425,000$1,400,00025924
1098 Chandler RdDetached$3,995,000$3,800,000400332
12790 S Fielding RdDetached$4,995,000$4,900,0009124432

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.