Tuesday | Broker Tour

Today I’m featuring two company listings that will appeal to different buyer segments. Both are sharp & move-in ready, and represent a fine value for their respective markets.

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3705 NE 114th | 2 BR | 1 Bath | 1 Car garage | Mint Parkrose Cottage | $189,900

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3551 SE Harold | 5 BR | 3 Bath | 2 Car, attached | Reed College, Mid-Century Ranch | $519,000

Please contact me about seeing either of these fine homes,  or if you’re just contemplating a home sale or purchase.  It all starts with an initial conversation and a plan.

Monday | Transportation | Random & Mindless

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My everyday bike is a Maruishi road bike I bought in Madison, WI, about five years ago from a client who ran a bike shop.  I planned to buy something new, but as I was looking around the store I found this 20+ year old rebuilt,  with a name I never heard of.  I test rode it  and it was like putting on a pair of comfortable shoes. No new bike for me!  The only change I’ve made as a Portlander is adding the Pacific Northwest-requisite fenders.

Today, I finally got around to researching the company a little. I can’t find much except a site primarily in Japanese. Fortunately for me, there is enough English that I can check out their new product line:  http://www.maruishi-cycle.com/

Friday | Urban Living

This past week I’ve seen a number of articles and headlines that center around a common theme, and it ties in nicely with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative.

We know obesity is an epidemic. We know that most suburban developments are car-centric and pedestrian-hostile.  Ironically, while the exodus to the suburbs for the past 50 years was to provide a better quality life to families – it has made many Americans unhealthier, car-dependent, and stuck in traffic for countless hours a year.

Fortunately, I am able to live in a “20-minute neighborhood” – as do many in Portland. Unfortunately, many do not.  On Wednesday, the Oregonian featured a nice article about the 20-minute neighborhood concept.   Portland’s Bureau of Sustainability and Planning is developing a test neighborhood in a typical suburban neighborhood, with the goal of turning it in to a true 20-minute neighborhood. Click here to read the article. Let’s hope it becomes a successful model for our region.

I was also introduced to a new term this week: slumburbia. It’s a good opinion piece from the New York Times, and I bet the term will stick.

If you’re like me, you’re encouraged by the direction we’re headed – frequently impatient, but encouraged nonetheless.

Giant traffic jam

Thursday | International Destination

Many of us know someone, or know someone who knows someone, who owns property in higher-profile foreign destinations – such as Mexico and Costa Rica. In fact, hundred of thousands of North Americans already own property outside the U.S., and the numbers will only increase.  I plan to feature both established and up-and-coming destinations.  I will only write about countries that place no restrictions (or limited – such as a fideicomiso in Mexico) on foreign ownership.

This week it’s Ecuador!

Atacames

Atacames is located on the Pacific coast, less than 400km from the Quito, Ecuador’s capital. It’s a small beach town popular with vacationers from Quito and nearby Columbia. A good friend of mine and real estate agent owns a condo on the beach, so if you’re want to check things out this is an affordable way to go; we can connect you with a reputable broker in the area as well.  More popular cities for North Americans are Cuencas and Salinas; most foreign buyers are from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Here’s a view from the balcony. I can send you more pictures and full details if you’d like.

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Homebuying basics

  • New construction average is <$90 per square foot,
  • Cost effective way for Americans concerned about outliving their retirement assets,
  • No restrictions on foreign ownership,
  • No Multiple Listing Service; hire reputable agent  (I can refer you, just ask),
  • Transactions are still mostly cash, as in many destinations.

This is intended as just a very brief overview, and of course is not intended as legal advice.  Real estate transactions can be especially complex outside the United States, as customs and laws vary from country to country. As a member of FIABCI (the International Real Estate Federation), I can connect you to skill professionals worldwide. FIABCI has members representing the entire real estate spectrum, and we’re passionate about the world of international real estate. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.

If you have any destinations you’d like me to feature, please email me at steve@sagepacificliving.com or call +1.503.490.4116.


Wednesday | Stats Day

Metropolitan Sales Areas
What’s Your Market’s Median Home Price?

Click on your metropolitan statistical area to get the latest quarterly median home price for your market, and its percentage change from the previous year.

This housing data is provided by the Research division of the National Association of REALTORS, last updated November 11, 2009. I’ll post it again when the next update is released.


View Metropolitan Sales Areas in a larger map

Tuesday Broker Tour

The weather was perfect today – nearly 60 and blue skies – and I saw some equally nice listings. The two I’d like to feature have great walkscores, and represent nice mid-priced and move-up priced homes.

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The first is an Alberta Arts townhouse, classic on the outside and a modernist’s delight on the inside. Great details include reclaimed wood floors and recycled concrete floors, exposed beam ceilings, and modern kitchen & baths. These are Earth Advantage certified to boot!

Three units | 3 – 4 BR | $364,900 – $384,900 | 1304 – 1310 NE Roselawn, Portland | Walkscore 83 | Listed by Destination Realty.

These are easy to show so please call me to arrange a tour.

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This Colonial Heights restored home is Buyers’ Market priced. Built in 1924 and beautifully restored, it has details for the modern buyer – first floor owner’s suite, updated gourmet kitchen, and all the finishes you expect in this era home. Originally priced at $1.19MM. This one really leaves a nice lasting impression.

5 BR | 3+ Baths | $849,900 | 1735 SE 23rd, Portland | Walkscore 86 | Listed by C21 Peninsula. Broker owned.

Please contact me if you’re contemplating to take advantage of fine home opportunities such as this.

phone +1.503.490.4116 | steve@sagepacificliving.com

The Slippery Slope of Cup Holders?

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When I was growing up cars did not have cup holders. Sure, you could buy the type that hung inside the car door, but they were flimsy and really didn’t work once the car was moving!

Fast forward thirty years. The number of holders are cited by your car salesperson along with cylinders and horsepower. Today – drinking, eating, texting, talking on the phone, make up application, shaving, reading, and even watching DVDs are common.  Did the introduction of the initial distraction make the rest easier?

That there is national conversation about what to ban while driving should be the most alarming.  Do we ban texting? Talking on hand-helds but allow hands-free? Ban all cell phone use? Make exceptions for officials conducting vital business?

In Oregon, laws were recently enacted that ignored the data but enable us to feel like we took action. Hand-held devices were outlawed (with some exceptions), while hands-free devices remain legal – despite the body of evidence that it’s the phone call itself that is most dangerous.

So, now we can expect legislation to be tweaked and enhanced when we all know the answer.

Only driving while driving should be legal.