Market Activity ~ Nov 5-11, 2012

Last week shows 15 New on the market, 12 Pending and 18 Sold.

See below for further details on last week’s Market Activity:

NEWLY LISTED (Nov 5-11, 2012)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type
13 CRESTFIELD CT $46,916 1 0.1 550 CONDO
4 TOUCHSTONE #113 $94,900 2 2 1000 CONDO
13 MOUNTAIN CIR $235,000 3 1.1 1374 DETACHD
16060 INVERURIE RD $235,000 3 2 1458 DETACHD
18807 SW KRISTI WAY $269,900 3 1.1 1256 DETACHD
1621 LARCH ST $395,000 3 2.1 3040 DETACHD
39 NOVA CT $399,900 4 2.1 2590 DETACHD
1670 FIRCREST DR $425,000 4 3 2000 DETACHD
600 MAPLE ST $445,500 3 2.1 2416 DETACHD
2302 OVERLOOK DR $589,900 4 2.1 3125 DETACHD
1015 SOUTHSHORE BLVD $638,500 4 3 3882 DETACHD
1800 NORTHSHORE RD $3,795,000 4 6.1 7660 DETACHD

PENDING SALES (Nov 5-11,2012 2012)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type CDOM
55 OSWEGO SUMMIT $64,000 1 1 721 CONDO 180
3894 BOTTICELLI ST $175,000 2 1.1 1132 CONDO 12
5055 FOOTHILLS DR A $198,711 3 2 1252 CONDO 534
44 GREENRIDGE CT $199,900 3 2.1 1996 ATTACHD 358
18409 BENFIELD AVE $230,000 3 1.1 1400 DETACHD 56
16758 GRAEF CIR $259,000 3 1 1295 DETACHD 158
5785 CARMAN DR $265,000 5 2.1 1934 DETACHD 68
2955 WEMBLEY PARK RD $360,000 3 2.1 2620 DETACHD 74
6109 SUMMER WOODS $394,900 4 2.1 2331 DETACHD 16
16746 Mellon ST $548,850 3 2.1 2724 DETACHD
13366 BOONES FERRY LN $598,900 4 2.1 3564 DETACHD 183
2180 PRESTWICK RD $1,100,000 3 1.1 2391 DETACHD 87

SOLD (Nov 5-11,2012)

Address O/Price Close Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type CDOM
16311 INVERURIE RD $199,000 $170,000 3 2 1525 DETACHD 20
209 HIDALGO ST $359,900 $333,000 4 2.1 2609 DETACHD 18
14190 TAYLORS CREST LN $389,900 $365,042 4 2.1 2577 DETACHD 20
16014 SW PARKER RD $589,950 $438,000 5 3 2277 DETACHD 149
18123 WESTVIEW DR $474,900 $441,500 3 2.1 2608 DETACHD 106
1580 WOODLAND TER $499,900 $489,900 4 2.1 2127 DETACHD 185
10 SHERWOOD CT $535,000 $525,000 4 3.1 3289 DETACHD 10
2058 SUMMIT DR $1,390,000 $1,325,000 3 2.1 3137 DETACHD 18

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

Open Houses ~ Nov 11, 2011

Ahhhhh…. Fall…. Get out and enjoy these Beautiful Open Houses!

Address L/Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Style Open
4231 WOODSIDE CIR $279,500 3 2 1943 DETACHD 1-3PM
16909 TRACY AVE $279,950 4 2 1499 DETACHD 1-3PM
36 AQUINAS ST $324,900 3 2 1606 DETACHD 1-3PM
979 DEVON LN $397,000 4 3.1 2162 DETACHD 1-4PM
39 NOVA CT $399,900 4 2.1 2590 DETACHD 1-3PM
13005 PRINCETON CT $413,000 3 2.1 2294 DETACHD 1-4PM
1429 GREENTREE CIR $459,500 4 2.1 2599 DETACHD 1-3PM
17087 Tualatin ST $564,950 4 2.1 2622 DETACHD 12-3PM
15655 FIELDSTONE DR $589,500 4 2.1 2750 DETACHD 12-3PM
5533 FIELDSTONE CT $599,500 4 2.1 3115 DETACHD 12-3PM
5088 WOODCREST LN $599,900 4 2.1 3056 DETACHD 1-3PM
18096 Pilkington RD $625,000 3 2.1 3182 DETACHD 1-3PM
1131 DEVON LN $649,900 3 3.1 3179 DETACHD 1-3PM
2065 LILLI LN $695,000 5 3.2 4112 DETACHD 1-3PM
135 MIDDLECREST RD $699,900 3 2.1 2882 DETACHD 11AM-1PM
8 DOVER WAY $975,000 6 4.2 6244 DETACHD 1-3PM
18202 BELLA TERRA DR $994,900 4 3.1 3863 DETACHD 12-2PM
112 NORTHSHORE CIR $1,650,000 4 3.1 3632 DETACHD 11AM-4PM

Out of State?

Ok, you are reading the Property Blotter, so you are probably at least considering buying a home in Lake Oswego, Oregon, which is a fantastic place to live right outside of Portland, Oregon. What Dianne and I know is that many of our readers are keeping up with the local market from out of state. We know this from our web statistics, and also because we end up working with many of you!

Recently the subject of guidelines or advice around making a purchase from a distance came up, so I thought I’d address it a bit here. The biggest point I want to make is that you need to gauge your tolerance level for trust, and go from there as you contemplate next steps. No Realtor in their right mind wants to proceed forward in a business relationship with someone who does not trust them, and you need to make sure you feel very good about a Realtor’s representation of you, and then, once you make that “trust” decision, believe in them and let them do their best for you. This is what’s best for everyone in any typical transaction.

* The first piece of advice I’d give is to make sure you have your own Realtor. You say, “Of course I’d have my own Realtor, what are you talking about?” Many people do not understand the way brokerage works in real estate in general, and in Oregon in particular. In Oregon, a Realtor can indeed represent both parties in a transaction. The potential for this is disclosed to all parties, including the Seller when the Listing is begun, and when a Buyer makes an offer it is disclosed at that time as well. If this choice is made by the Buyer (you), please just take note that the Seller’s agent has been working with the Seller to obtain the best offer possible from the beginning of the Listing, up until meeting you! Though I have participated in this kind of transaction many times in good faith, there is not that nice, clean/clear feeling of a line between the representation of the Buyer & the Buyer’s interests… and the interests of the Seller. If you are needing to feel that absolute trust that you probably are, considering your geographical distance, I’d play it safe and use your own Buyer’s agent.
* BUT, you ask, “Won’t I get a better deal on the home if there is only one agent?” The short answer is “No.” …not according to the existing listing contract, which is between the agent and the Seller alone. But… “Not necessarily” is the most correct answer, as the Seller’s agent does not need to agree to lower their commission at all during negotiations unless they’ve stated in the listing that they have agreed to do so already. Now, does it sometimes happen that a price gets lowered as a result of the agent and the Seller agreeing to modify their commission agreement with each other in the middle of a transaction? Yes. But the important thing to remember is… they may not decide to adjust price that way at all, and are under no obligation to do so. That does not mean that additional agreements between them cannot happen, but, well, enough said. You get it : )
* So, we’ve established that trust is essential between Buyer & Realtor in a long-distance transaction. The very best scenario is when the Buyer (you) can visit the home at least once before an offer is made. If you can take a week or a few days/weekend and visit, touring with your Realtor, that is optimal. If this is not possible (and technology makes long-distance choosing so much more do-able as you can review photos, tours and property information… even “Google-Earthing” neighborhoods… all online before making your decision), then the second-best thing is to make sure that you, the Buyer, are at the property on the day of Inspection (Ideally, you see it in person AND are at the Inspection : ). You have ten business days, in most instances, to inspect the property, and potentially back out of the deal receiving your earnest money back should you find something that is a “deal-breaker” for you during those inspections. The third best thing is to have a local friend (if you have one near the property you are purchasing) look at the home with your Realtor, and give you their own feedback in addition to photos and videos you are receiving, and information you are receiving from your Realtor. I had one physically disabled Buyer client in California who was unable to see the property at all during the entire process until after the deal was closed and they moved up… so “moving day” was the first actual experience of the property “in person” for this client. Did it all work out, you ask? Yes : ) Satisfaction and happiness were the result, but I made sure to include a close friend in this area during every step of the process, providing additional comfort for my Buyer client.
* “Closing” (or signing, really) can take place out of state as well if necessary. Make sure to pad your closing timeline a little in your offer to allow for any overnight shipping of documents etc, before the property can fund and record. But, some escrow companies have offices in many states, so that’s one way you can be accommodated. There are also notaries who can come to your home and help you in that way. The best scenario, of course, is when you can make it here to Oregon (in this case) to sign in the escrow office handling your transaction. I nearly always accompany my client at the closing table to be an extra set of eyes, answer questions, smooth over or have corrected any last-minute mistakes, and most importantly…. be a comfort to my Buyer clients who are making (for most) the biggest purchase of their life.

There is so much more we could talk about with regard to long-distance transactions, but let’s pick this up in another post! As always, please feel free to contact me for any help at all in your search for a Portland area or Lake Oswego home!

Very Best,
503 318 2116

It’s Spring Break! Where Teens Go in LO…

westend-bldgLake Oswego is known far & wide for its family-friendly environment and involved citizenry. The schools here are excellent, there are clubs and outlets for all kinds of interests, and of course a myriad of programs for kids of all ages.  I wanted to take a moment to highlight a terrific resource called the “McKenzie Lounge for Teens”.

bright-roomThe McKenzie Lounge is located in the West End Building at 4101 Kruse Way.  The Youth Action Council, YAC, and other generous donors have made sure that it is packed with the kinds of things teens find inviting, including: a pool table, foosball table, ping pong table, TV’s, couches, comfy chairs, bean bag chairs, video games, refreshments and plenty more.  It was designed specifically for teens by Janet Bocci, as well as YAC and parks and recreation staff members.

tablesAccording to the city’s website, drop-in hours are 6-9PM Monday thru Friday for all teens ages 12-18 who want to come and hang out with friends and/or meet new ones. After school it is open to Jr. High teens from 3-6PM for the After School Program. Since its inception in the Fall of 2007, it has hosted over 3,000 visitors, not including special events like Java Jam, LakeFest and others (figures as of November 2008).  The Lounge is also the magnet meeting place for all teen groups such as YAC, the JavaJam Planning Committee, The After School Activity Program (ASAP) and clubs from both high schools including Ping Pong Club and Reflections.

couches1The best thing about the McKenzie Lounge however, is that teens actually report enjoying it! For instance, during the election, the Lounge hosted a series of “Debate ’08” nights featuring the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates, opportunities for lively discussion, as well as food and extra credits from social studies teachers. The debate series attendance reportedly totaled 115 students, drop-in attendance is reportedly growing by 25% every three months, and teens have been quoted as saying that the McKenzie Lounge ranks right up there with Taco Bell and the video game store as cool hang-out choices.

With Spring Break upon us, upcoming activities include March Madness games and March’s Java Jam featuring two musical guests and YAC’s “Project Runway” contest.

In addition to the ongoing happenings at McKenzie Lounge, Lake Oswego offers more fun teen activities this Spring Break including: Ski and Snowboard Camp at Timberline Ski Resort, Glow-In-The-Dark-Bowling, Rock Climbing and a Portland Lumberjacks field trip. Check out the city’s website (link above) for more information!

Real Estate “No No’s”

nono1A while back Dianne wrote a post on the Realtors Code of Ethics.  I loved that post because I don’t think most people are aware of all the standards to which Realtors are held.  It really is great to be in a profession where we are mandated to treat each other and the general public with respect. That mandate then becomes a part of our culture. I notice it in the conversations I have with other Realtors.  There definitely is a flavor of deliberate respect that is not always the experience for most of us in the day-to-day “non-real estate”  wider world of affairs.

I read something in the recent REALTOR magazine published by the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors (PMAR), and written by Jo Becker of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon on subject matter along the same lines that made me think you’d find it interesting. This is regarding words Realtors may and may not use in promoting properties, and the overall guidelines of the Fair Housing Act.

HUD is the federal regulatory body with the power to enforce the Fair Housing Act.  Generally speaking, the Fair Housing Act is in place to ensure that discrimination and something called “steering”, among other things, do not inhibit peoples’ right to live wherever the heck they want and are qualified to. It is also set up to ensure that the public receives information about housing that is fair and as free as possible of inaccurate and/or unduly influencing or discriminatory language.  “Steering” is essentially trying to influence buyers to live in, or not live in, certain areas based on something other than the buyers’ own parameters for what they want in a new home & neighborhood.  Basically, a Realtor is to supply a buyer with options for potential homes based on the information a buyer supplies to the Realtor regarding their wants & needs.  A Realtor will often refer a buyer in the overall Portland area to this website: where the buyer can enter the address of any property and view all kinds of facts on a property including statistical, demographic and crime information. Buyers are ultimately choosing a home that fits their particular needs, and Realtors are there to assist with service, information and real estate expertise.

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon’s website states plainly:

The Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO) is a civil rights organization with a mission of eliminating housing discrimination through enforcement and education across Oregon and southwest Washington.

We promote equal access to housing by providing education, outreach, technical assistance, and enforcement opportunities specifically related to federal, state, and local fair housing laws. These laws protect against illegal housing discrimination based on “protected class status.”

The federally protected classes are:
race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability

There are additional state and local protected classes.

When a Realtor enters listing information into RMLS, it is scanned for potential “no no’s” that are most always either unintentional or erroneous, i.e., as the article I mention elaborates- the RMLS program may highlight the word “white” for the Realtor’s attention when it is only being used as a description for a picket fence etc.  A real human at RMLS who understands context always reviews these issues, according to the article. There is no “list” of unnacceptable words as many people believe.  It’s all about intention, and about upholding our highest societal values… as well as the law.  Some terms can seem to be either benign or on the edge but for their context, for instance, the term “Walk-In Closet” is commonly understood to describe a well-known feature in many homes.  As long as the Realtor is not trying to imply a limit on access to someone who is not ambulatory this term is not a problem. “View Property” falls into the same category as long as no one is limiting access to the “view property” to sighted individuals only. The same goes for “Mother-In-Law Suite” and “Bachelor Apartment” according to the article. Where it can become trickier is with words like “near”.  Often a house will be described as “Near shopping, transit” etc., which is OK.  What is not OK, due to implications that certain people may or may not be welcome in that neighborhood, are things like: “Near ABC Mosque” or “Close to the XYZ Church” or “Near the LMN Jewish Community Center”.  It is also not considered proper to refer to specific schools due to the potential for using this technique to promote some schools over others for the same kinds of reasons. It is generally considered all right to refer to school districts as long as this is done consistently throughout a Realtor’s listings.

The article refers to a few blatantly illegal and discriminatory statements that have evidently actually been published on a popular local online service. These are obviously examples of absolute “no no’s” and you will not see these or anything like them on RMLS:

  • “No minorities”,
  • “African Americans and Arabians tend to clash with me so that won’t work out”,
  • “Ladies, please rent from me”,
  • “Requirements: Clean, Godly Christian Male”,
  • “Will allow only single occupancy”,
  • “No children”,
  • “Christians only”.

These are all clear violations of the Fair Housing Act.  Fair Housing Act laws apply in newspapers, flyers, yard signs, verbal statements, and online advertising among other instances & places.

For questions about Fair Housing Laws visit:

or call:   503 223 8197   or   1-800 424 3247.

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.