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8 Major Steps You Will Take When Buying a Home

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

With mortgage interest rates continuing to hover at historic low levels, the number of people buying homes continues to increase. If you fall into this category, here are just a few tips from "Realty Times" about purchasing a home.

There are eight major steps you will take when you buy a home and each one is as important in its own way as the last.

Make your wish list -- Decide where you want to live and how many bedrooms and baths you'll need. Consider lifestyle -- condominiums offer shared amenities, with little responsibility. Single-family homes offer more space and privacy, but they also require more exterior and yard maintenance. Consider buying a fixer-upper for a reduced cost so you can remodel it to suit your needs.

Get preapproved -- You can prequalify yourself on the internet, but it takes a lender looking at your personal financial information to get prequalified. Your income, credit scores, revolving debts, obligations such as child support as well as the type of loan you choose will influence how much home you can buy. Other factors such as the down payment, interest rate and terms (30-year fixed or an adjustable rate) will determine what you can afford in monthly payments.

Hire a real estate professional -- Armed with a sensible price range, you're ready to hire a real estate expert to help you find the right home. Your real estate professional should be expert in the area where you want to live and familiar with the type of home you want to buy. Your agent should have house-by-house experience in the neighborhood you want so she or he can advise you.

Select your home -- No home is perfect, so don't let minor flaws influence you. Think long-term. Which available home best suits the needs of your household now and in the years ahead? Consider the amount of space, the floorplan, privacy, entertaining options and potential upkeep. Don't buy more than you need or can comfortably afford.

Make an offer -- Your offer should reflect current market conditions. If a home has been on the market a long time, you can ask the seller for a price reduction, but if it's new on the market, the seller is unlikely to comply. Sellers are more likely to respond to how much you love the home, than all the reasons why you don't think it's worth the asking price. Ask your real estate professional for advice on how to negotiate.

Get an inspection -- A home inspection is a professional third-party opinion of the home's condition. The inspector will point out the age of systems, and large and small repairs that are needed, so you'll know what you're facing as the next owner. Don't sweat small cosmetic flaws. Concentrate instead of high-cost items to replace such as air conditioners and roofing.

Get an appraisal - The bank appraisal determines market value to the lender. The appraiser will use comparables of similar homes that have recently sold. If the home doesn't appraise for the purchase price, the bank will refuse to make the loan unless you renegotiate with the seller. If it appraises for the asking price, the lender will move toward closing.

Go to closing -- Once final negotiations are complete, the parties to the transaction meet at the escrow office. This could be a title company, real estate attorney, or other closing agent customary in your area. All paperwork is signed by both parties. The lender pays the seller, minus any liens against the home such as the seller's mortgage. Once all the disbursements have been made, you get the keys to your new home, according to your agreement.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



2511 Garfield St

Price: $435,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    ½ Baths: 1    Sq Ft: 3908

Spacious custom home w/ tree views! Beautiful 3 levels offer amazing treetop views from lg private master ste which occupies entire upper level. Grand KIT w/ very lg cook island, eat-bar, cherry cabs, corian counters & Wilsonart lam flrs that lead t...
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Market Activity for May 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

May home sales in the Eugene and Springfield area were strong.  This indicates a continuation of a strong Real Estate market in our area.  The one thing to note is that the majority of the activity is in the lower price ranges of $400,000 and below, with the market under $300,000 certainly remaining the strongest.  Unlike other parts of the country, the Eugene and Springfield area contnues to be a tough market in upper price ranges.

May Residential Highlights

Closings were strong this May in Lane County! Closed sales, at 411, represented a 28.8% increase over the 319 closings posted in May 2014 and a 7.6% increase over the 382 closings posted last month, in April 2015. The last May when there were more closed sales was in 2007, when there were 429 closings posted for the month. At 41 closed sales for the month, Florence posted more closed sales than any other May since 2007, when RMLSTM started keeping a separate record.

Pending sales (552) cooled 0.9% from April’s 557, but showed a 19.7% increase over the 461 offers accepted in May 2014. Similarly, the 672 new listings were 2.2% below the 687 new listings offered in April but 2.8% better than the 654 new listings offered in May 2014.

Inventory in Lane County decreased slightly to 3.3 months in May. Total market time decreased to 82 days in the same period.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing 2015 to 2014 through May of each year, the average sale price rose 2.8% from $230,100 to $236,500. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 2.9% from $207,500 to $213,500.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



4181 N Clarey St

Price: $210,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 1    Sq Ft: 1350

Beautiful home inside and out! On almost 1/4 acre featuring privacy hedges, flower & vegetable garden, large fenced backyard, huge covered patio, RVP + hookup, 2-car garage, carport, shop with wood rick, & tool shed. Living room with fireplace opens...
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Is This the Beginning of Another Housing Bubble?

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

I am oftened asked if our current Real Estate market is the beginning of another housing bubble.  The answer is complicated, but here is a recent article written by one of the economists for the National Association of Realtors that addresses our current national Real Estate market.

This spring buying season is off to a strong start—in fact, prices are going up faster than they were just a few months ago, according to nearly every recent metric. So does that mean we’re in a bubble?

Nope, that’s just what happens when demand increases faster than supply. After all, existing-home sales were up 9% year over year in March, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Inventory is also increasing, but not as fast as sales, resulting in a tight supply getting even tighter.

An equilibrium level of supply on the market is considered to be six to seven months; supply has been under five months since December. Looking at every quarter since 1988, when supply was under five months, prices rose 8% year over year on average. When supply was in the equilibrium range, prices went up only 4% on average.

The median existing home price in March was $212,100, up 8% over last year, according to the NAR. The median list price in March on realtor.com® was $220,000, which was up 11% over last year.

During the peak years of the housing bubble, from 2003 to 2005, the data on supply versus price appreciation looked very similar to what we are seeing now. But there are key differences, which is why I’m confident that on the national level, this is no bubble.

Here’s why, this time, the price increases should stick:

The level of the current price appreciation is not like the bubble. Prices went up 7% and 12% in 2012 and 2013, respectively, as the market corrected for too-severe price declines in the prior years. Last year, the appreciation level moderated. Even factoring in the one-time bounce from the prior overcorrection, median prices have grown less than 8% on a compounded annual basis over the past three years. Median prices, by comparison, grew 10% on a compounded annual basis from 2002 to 2005, without any bounce from a prior decline.  On an inflation-adjusted basis, we are 30% beneath the peak set in 2005.

Likewise, relative to rents or incomes, median home prices are not “unhinged” from long-term averages. The price-to-rent ratio is similar to the rate in the mid-1990s. It was 35% higher in 2005. The price-to-income ratio is now where it was in 2001, and it was about 30% higher in 2005.

During the housing bubble, we saw both prices and sales grow to historical levels fueled by a rapid expansion in mortgage financing. We are clearly not experiencing record sales or record mortgage originations now.

As a result, we are not seeing vacancies increase like they did at the end of the bubble. In 2005, vacancies started to rise before sales and prices reached their peak as a result of flipping activity and overleveraged speculative investing. On the contrary now, vacancies have slowly trended back to more normal levels.

So, today’s higher prices are only to be expected as the economy improves and first-time buyers gradually return to the market. Eventually, those higher prices should encourage more owners to list their homes and builders to start construction on new housing—which in turn should solve the problem of supply.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 


4181 N Clarey St

Price: $210,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 1    Sq Ft: 1350

Beautiful home inside and out! On almost 1/4 acre featuring privacy hedges, flower & vegetable garden, large fenced backyard, huge covered patio, RVP + hookup, 2-car garage, carport, shop with wood rick, & tool shed. Living room with fireplace opens...
View this property >>


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This Month in Real Estate June 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Afternoon!

The Real Estate market in the Eugene and Springfield area continues to be strong.  With increasing numbers of homes sales, this market is well above where it was in May-June of 2014.  The largest problem with our local market is the lack of inventory in the price ranges below $250,000.  This is the price range where the strong demand exists. In our local market the upper price ranges, those home $350,000 and higher still can see a much more sluggish market with far fewer buyers.  Nationally, home sales have dipped, but just like in the Eugene and Springfield area, prices continue to escalate. With mortgage interest rates remaining in the sub 4% ranges, look for this exact trend to remain for the rest of the Summer months.

If you are considering selling your home, this is the time. Higher prices, lower inventory and high demand can make for a great opportunity.  For buyers, the home choices can be tough, but new homes are hitting the market daily and you just have to be on top of your search efforts.  A great way to do this is to go to the web site www.forhomeinfo.com.  You can do a live home search here and you can also set yourself up with the home alert system that notifies you every time a home meeting your search criteria hits the market.  This can give you the competitive edge you need in this market.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!


185 Crest Drive

Price: $315,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 2     Sq Ft: 2500

Lovely updated gem in SW Hills! Hillside location surrounds you w/ serene tree views. Sunlight floods in through numerous windows. 2-story vaulted LR w/ pellet stove insert & loft overlook mahogany flr+trim & slider. Enjoy beautifully landscaped fen...
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The Best Source to Get an Accurate Value on Your Home

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Many of you seem to rely on Zillow as your primary source for information in regards to your home value.  Yes, Zillow and their "Zestimate" are the #1 consumer tool used to figure out property values.  The "Zestimate", is an easy tool to use, but the truth is that the accuracy of this Zillow report may be wildly inaccurate.  The problem is that many homeowners believe that the "Zestimate" is an honest and fair assessment of their homes value.  The truth is that in most cases this is just not reality.  I find that occasionaly Zillow's home value has some accuracy, but here in the Eugene and Springfield market area, the majority of the time, the "Zestimate" is way off base.  Many times the Zillow values can be as much as 20% off of true value.  This presents a problem, because many homewoners are basing decisions on selling, refinancing, etc. based on a value that may be extrmely inaccurate.

Here is my advice!  Don't rely on Zillow for anything other that just a general ball park idea of your homes value.  There are many factors that go into getting an accurate value report on your home.  Your homes location, condition, floor plan, amenities, etc. are all factors that a "Zestimate" cannot take into consideration.  These are all factors that can only be establsihed by a professional Real Estate agent visiting your home and doing a market analysis.  If you are needing an accurate look at your homes value, this is really the only way that you are going to get it.

If you are just wanting to keep on top of your homes value and you are not needing extreme accuracy, there is a local online service that is set just for Eugene and Springfield home values.  Like the "Zestimate", this is online and automated, but the overall accuracy is heads above Zillow.  Just go to www.forhomesellers.com and enter in your homes information.  A complete online value report will give you a look at your homes current market value.  The cool thing about this site is that it automatically issues a new and updated report and e-mails it to you every month.  

If you are wanting or needing an accurate look at your homes value, please contact me.  With a 20 minute visit to your home, I can provide you with a very accurate assessment of value.  As a part of my client service this is FREE of charge and there is absolutely no obligation.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



649 ST ANDREWS LOOP
 

Price: $495,000    Beds: 5    Baths: 4    ½ Baths: 1    Sq Ft: 5568

Outstanding value at $88 per sq ft - Hardwood flooring, granite counters, travertine tile, hickory cabinets, two walk-in closets, solid core 8ft doors, creek views, next to Emerald Valley Golf Resort. Too many high end amenities to list...
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Market Activity for April 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

The Real Estate market in the Eugene and Springfield area just continues to heat up.  An improving local economy and the fear that mortgage interest rates are going to begin to increase are fueling this market.  With high demand and home inventories remaining low, this is a tremendous opportunity for anyone thinking about selling their home.  If you fit into this category, then you may want to start doing your research.  A perfect way to do this is to get an online evaluation of your homes current market value.  You can easily do this by going to the web site www.forhomesellers.com.  The information that you receive from this site will give you a good indication of what your Eugene/Springfield area home vlaue is.

Lane County saw increased real estate activity across the board this April. Pending sales, at 557, showed a 56.5% increase over the 356 offers accepted in April 2014 and a 18.0% increase over the 472 offers accepted last month. In fact, this represented the strongest April for pending sales in Lane County on the RMLSTM record.


Closed sales, at 382, similarly outpaced last April (294) by 29.9% and last month (341) by 12.0%—the strongest April for closings since 2006, when there were 394 posted for the month.

New listings (687) increased 15.7% over last April’s 594 new listings and 19.7% over the 574 new listings offered in March 2015. The last April with as many new listings was in 2010, when there were 691.

Inventory in Lane County decreased to 3.4 months in April, with total market time decreasing to 95 days in the same period.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Prices have been higher in 2015 than in 2014. Comparing each year through April, the average sale price rose 5.2% from $225,200 to $236,900. In the same comparison, the median sale price rose 5.6% from $203,100 to $214,500.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



185 Crest Drive

Price: $315,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 2500

Lovely updated gem in SW Hills! Hillside location surrounds you w/ serene tree views. Sunlight floods in through numerous windows. 2-story vaulted LR w/ pellet stove insert & loft overlook mahogany flr+trim & slider. Enjoy beautifully landscaped fen...
View this property >>


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Best Time to Buy a Home - By the Numbers

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!


Not a day passes without someone asking me if they should buy a home now or wait until the market slows down and homes are more affordable.  This is an easy question to answer, because we still have affordability and we also have historic low mortgage interest rates that won't be here for ever.  The following is a recent article from "Realty Times", that talks about our current market and addresses the home purchase question.

Right now, buyers have the best of both worlds -- home prices have risen, but they're still below the bubble of 2005, and mortgage interest rates are just above record lows. Yet, many buyers are still waiting for a sign that it's the right time to buy.

Should you wait for prices to go down or for lower interest rates? We advise that you do neither. The price of a home is fixed, so it makes sense to wait for prices to go lower, but you may not realize is that prices have to drop significantly to beat a minor fluctuation in mortgage interest rates.

Home prices have been rising for the past five years, sometimes in the double digits. Between January 2014 and January 2015, home prices rose over six percent. If sales continue at the current pace, it's more likely that the home you don't buy today could be more expensive later.

In the time you wait for price reductions, you could effectively build equity, or ownership in your home. Few homeowners keep a loan for 30 years anymore. People change jobs, get divorced, move up, downsize, refinance and have other reasons for not keeping their original mortgage. So the time is now.

So let's look at a few what-ifs and see when it's best for you to buy a home. Using round numbers, on a $200,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4.00 percent, your monthly payment starting May 2015 will be $955. At seven years, the average length of time that most buyers occupy their homes today, you'll pay $52,898 in interest and the remainder of your loan will be $171,738.


If you wait around and interest rates go up, you'll be paying more monthly, plus you won't build equity as quickly. At 4.5 percent, your monthly payment will be $1,013 and you'll pay $59,828 in interest. Your loan remainder is higher - $173, 692. A half a point increase in interest will cost you $58 more per month, $6,930 more in interest, and you'll end up with $1,954 less in equity.

If your home dropped 5% in value and you were able to get a loan for $190,000 and 4.5% interest, your payment would be $963, a difference of $51 less per month than if you'd paid $200,000.

But what if you're wrong and prices go up by five percent? At $210,000 and 4.5 percent interest, you'll pay $1064 per month, $62,820 in interest, and the remainder on the loan will be $182,376. That's a difference of $109 more on your monthly payment and $9830 more in interest, plus you'll lose $10,638 in equity.

Why not buy now when both prices and interest rates are lower?

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



649 ST ANDREWS LOOP
 

Price: $495,000     Beds: 5     Baths: 4    ½ Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 5568

Outstanding value at $88 per sq ft - Hardwood flooring, granite counters, travertine tile, hickory cabinets, two walk-in closets, solid core 8ft doors, creek views, next to Emerald Valley Golf Resort. Too many high end amenities to list. Less than 2...
View this property >>


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This Month in Real Estate May 2015

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

I am asked frequently the question as to, "when is the best time for me to sell my home"?  The answer to this most times can vary and is always subject to supply and demand.  When supplies are low and demand is high, (sellers market), this is always the best time to sell. Right now in the Eugene/Springfield home market, the demand is high and the inventory is low.  In fact right now, we are at 3.4 months of home supply.  Remember, anything less than 6 months is a sellers market.  On top of this, we are continuing to enjoy the benefits of historic low mortgage interest rates.  The combination of high demand, low inventory and low mortgage rates has also put our home market on a sharp rebound in home values.  So, not only is there demand, but your home value is most likely much higher than where it has been over the past several years.

Beware!  As all markets do, this current market won't last forever. In fact my prediction is that when mortgage interest rates begin the spiral upwards, the housing market will flatten quickly. This means that demand will taper, there will be higher inventories of homes for sale and this may put pressure on home prices in our area.  We could actually see home values decline again.

For this reason, if you are thinking about selling your home now or within the next several years, my advice would be to act quickly.  Get your home on the market now while the conditions are extremely favorable. If you wait, you just may miss your opportunity for a home sale at a strong market value.  Chances are that we won't see another market like we have right now for many years.

Video Link: This Month in Real Estate

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING

3097 Summit Sky Blvd

Price: $699,000     Beds: 4     Baths: 4      Partial Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 4338

Elegant upper end home on 1.06 acres in SW Hills! Maple hardwood flrs, granite, travertine, 3 suites, 2 fireplaces, 2 balconies, family rm, library/office, formal dining, bonus rm, media rm. Gourmet kitchen with cherry cabs, wine fridge, dbl ovens, ... View this property >>

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Make the Most of Your Home's Drive-Up Appeal

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!


If you currently have a home on the market for sale or if you are getting ready to put your home on the market, the way your home appears on the outside is extremely important. Now that Spring is here and Summer is not far away, the way your home appears outside will have a huge impact on the kind of interest you get in your home. A home with neat, attractive and well kept landscaping will not only get more interest, but it will sell for more money. Here is a blog post from "Realty Times" that adresses curb appeal.

You've probably heard how important curb appeal is when you're trying to sell your home. The first thing buyers look at when they pull up to your home is the big picture -- the house, the yard, the trees, the flowers. It's the impression that counts, and all it takes is one thing to ruin the effect -- a cracked walkway, dead branches in the trees, leggy bushes.

As you look around at all the things you need to fix or update to sell your home, it can be overwhelming. Many sellers struggle with the costs, the decisions, and the time it takes to market their homes. Since most landscaping isn't permanent, you may think it's not as important as other projects that need to be done, but you should strongly consider putting it in the marketing budget.

You can do some of the work yourself or you can get help. But here are five jobs you can do that help you make the most of your home's drive-up appeal.

1. Get rid of anything dead. Dead leaves, flowers, and trees do nothing for your curb appeal. Snip it, rake it and bag it. As you finish, you'll see blank areas. Fill these in with fresh flowers, small bushes, potted plants or yard art. No Gnomes or flamingoes need apply.

2. Cut and weed the grass. If you mow your own lawn, make sure it's freshly mowed every week. Pull or spray weeds so the texture of the grass will be more pleasing.


3. Replace or hide leggy bushes. Nothing makes a front entry look more dated than bushes with longer legs than torsos. Pull them out and replace them, or if it's more expedient, plant boxwoods or other small bushes in front. You can also cover a lot of blank areas with mulch, wood chips or gravel.

 
4. Improve both hardscapes and softscapes. Decorative stone, tile, brick, concrete or wood can add a lot of appeal to the softer elements such as flowers, plants, grasses and ground cover. Landscaping doesn't have to end at the porch. Bring color and vitality to the entry with potted plants and flowers.

5. Light the way. Landscape lighting doesn't have to be expensive. Lanterns to line the walk, or the occasional uplight for the trees can have a glamorous effect on the exterior of your home. Lighting provides security as well as spotlights what you want to call attention to -- a beautiful tree, a flower bed or an architectural element of the house.

If you're not sure where to begin, go to your local landscape supply with a sketch or photo of your home and ask for ideas. Explain that you're selling your home and you need help with curb appeal. You may get a lot of free advice that's really helpful.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!

 


88428 Partridge Ln

Price: $749,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 2    ½ Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 3942

Secluded riverfront estate on 4.65 acres! Fish from your own backyard on 300ft of Mckenzie river frontage! Beautiful mountain views surround you on the manicured grounds. Main home features updated kitchen with Dacor 36” duel-fuel range, large...
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Real Estate Activity Rising in Lane County

by Galand Haas

Good Afternoon!

The Real Estate Market in the Eugene and Springfield and surrounding area continued to rise in March. This is a coninuation of an escalating market that has been taking place here for well over 6 months now.  Here is what March 2015 home sales in the Eugene/Springfield and surroundings areas looked like.

Real estate activity kicked into action this March in Lane County. Closed sales led the way—the 341 closings were a 30.2% increase over the 262 closings recorded in March 2014 and a 65.5% increase over the 206 closings posted last month. The last March there were more closings in Lane County was March 2007, when there were 347. Pending sales (472) bested March 2014 (367) by 28.6% and February 2015 (368) by 28.3%. New listings, at 574, showed a 10.4% improvement over the 520 new listings posted last March and a 22.9% increase from the 467 new listings posted in February 2015.

Inventory in Lane County decreased to 3.7 months in March, with total market time decreasing to 106 days.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing the average price of homes in the twelve months ending March 31st of this year ($237,900) with the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending March 2014 ($228,800) shows an increase of 4.0%. The same comparison of the median shows an increase of 3.9% over that same period.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!



2074 Lake Isle Dr

Price: $199,000     Beds: 2     Baths: 2     Sq Ft: 1389

Light and bright condo overlooking the water! In the premier Island Lakes Condominiums, this condo has pond views from every room on North side. Enjoy a beautiful community featuring a pond surrounded by a stunning landscape of fountains, flowers, a...
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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 453

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