Should buyers & sellers purchase a home warranty?

Home Warranty

Should buyers & sellers purchase a home warranty?

Quite honestly, home warranties are a great idea.

When we’re selling a home, it’s something we use as a value proposition. We market the home warranty to potential purchasers. During the transaction, a home warranty can help with inspection or repair negotiations.

Recently we had an inspection on one of my listings where the inspector found that the furnace was functional but it was near the end of its useful life. In lieu of replacing the $3500 furnace, the seller offered the buyer a home warranty. If something goes wrong in the near future, for a service fee of $60, the buyer will have the furnace repaired.

What is the cost of a home warranty?

A one year home warranty will cost approximately between $400-$500 depending on which company and add-ons you choose. They’re definitely worth the money.

We purchase one every year for our house. Our oven stopped functioning so we filed a claim with the home warranty company. They weren’t able to repair it due to it’s age (they couldn’t find the parts to repair it) so they purchased us a brand new $1200 oven.

Our buyer specialists search for homes that offer complimentary home warranties as it provides additional protection for the buyer. However, if we cannot find a home where the seller is offering a home warranty, we suggest for our buyers to purchase one themselves.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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Neighborhood Expert

Neighborhood Expert

Do you need a neighborhood expert to sell your home?

No. Anyone can go to Google and get all the facts they need about a neighborhood.

Will a real estate agent marketed as the “neighborhood expert” be able to provide information to a purchaser that’s not available online?

There’s so much information on the internet, I don’t feel that hiring a neighborhood specialist is necessary. In my experience, neighborhood specialists are Realtors that market to specific sellers in a specific area. I believe a Realtor’s true value lies in their negotiation skills and ability to use the internet obtain market information.

Has the Internet been a positive influence on the real estate market?

Absolutely. We have better informed consumers and skilled agents that have the ability to serve a larger population.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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WHAT IS RADON?

WHAT IS RADON?

Should we be concerned about radon?

Radon is a gas that can be in the soil. It’s the number one leading cause of lung cancer after smoking in the US. Also, reports have shown that one in four homes in the Portland area has an elevated level of radon.

What tests are available for Radon?

Since Radon is located in the soil, it can come up through a crack in your foundation. Do-it-yourself tests are available for purchase at most hardware stores. You would collect the samples and send it to a lab. Also, professionals can perform a test for less than $200.

Would a do-it-yourself & professional test yield the same results?

I would recommend starting with a do-it-yourself test. Carefully follow the directions and if your lab results show Radon, I would recommend hiring a professional to complete a test. The professional will collect more data than the standard do-it-yourself test. Also, if their test reveals levels of Radon that requires mitigation, they can give you a bid to remove the gas from your home.

Do homebuyers perform Radon tests?

Although, it’s not common knowledge to the average homebuyer, we recommend our clients to test for Radon as it’s prevalent in our area.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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The USDA Farm Bill

The USDA Farm Bill

What do homebuyers need to know?

The USDA has a loan program that allows homebuyers to purchase properties in designated rural areas with zero down payment. The population must be less than 20,000 to qualify per the 1990 census.

Which of our local areas may qualify for USDA loans?

Some of the local towns that currently qualify for USDA home loans are Cornelius, Damascus, Forest Grove, Newberg, Sherwood and Wilsonville.

Is there a downside?

I think it’s a fantastic program. It’s been around for quite a while. It’s one of the very few lending programs that allow for zero down loans. If you are interested in living in one of the areas that qualifies for USDA financing, I think it’s a great program.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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Home Buyer Trends

Home Buyer Trends

How does the current home buyer trends compare to 2013?

It’s been fascinating to watch. Last year was the year the first-time home buyer and investor. Low interest rates coupled with appreciating home prices made sense for existing home owners to stay put while it gave an opportunity for investors & first-time homebuyers to enter the marketplace.

This year, as prices have been appreciating, we’ve seen current homeowners selling their existing homes and moving up.

Will the “move up” market impact price?

Absolutely. With the influx of homes on the market, it has created more of a demand which we feel indicates that the prices will continue to increase.

Will this be beneficial for higher-end or lower-end homes?

It seems to be more beneficial for higher-end homes as homes over $500k are starting to sell.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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Why Buy a New Home?

Why Buy a New Home?

One of the biggest reasons to purchase a new home is to ability to build a custom home. You’ll get exactly what you want.

If you purchase a new home in a planned community, you’ll be able to enjoy the amenities the neighborhood has to offer such as parks, playgrounds etc. Also, new homes are usually more energy-efficient.

Are newly-built homes a better buy from a price per sq/ft standpoint?

We’ve done research in the past and we have found that generally new homes purchasers get more sq/ft for their money.

Is it better to buy an older home because they could be more solidly-constructed? New homes are built faster and have a reputation for not being as solid as older homes.

No, I don’t think so. We’ve heard about the problems of older homes that are excessively energy-efficient which can cause inadequate airflow exchange with the exterior of the home. In my opinion, technology has improved over the years which leads to better innovations in building practices.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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Drone Photography & Real Estate

Drone Photography & Real Estate

How can a drone help sell a house?

Real-estate photographers are using drones to shoot aerial shots of residential properties. It’s all about the online presence of the house. To provide buyers with a better digital representation of the property, we use drones for exterior photography. This gives the buyer a clear picture of the exterior of the home, neighborhood etc.

The drone is like a bird, you’re getting a bird’s eye view of the property which is something that isn’t available from Google Earth. Drones can fly as low as ten feet and as high as hundred feet to provide the bird’s eye view of the property.

Is there a certain kind of property that would benefit from drone photography?

When we first discovered drone photography, we considered it something for higher-end homes and estates. Now, we feel like it works for all houses without regard to size or price.

How would you arrange for a drone to take pictures of your house?

There are real estate photography services available for hire. Although there’s some question as to the legality because it’s for commercial use.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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New Homes vs. Existing Homes

New Homes vs. Existing Homes

The home building industry is picking up. This means buyers have more of a selection of homes from which to choose. Why would someone buy a “used” home, if there are newly-constructed homes available which may offer additional amenities or less of a chance of future repairs?

I don’t know if new homes necessarily always offer more than existing homes. I’ve seen plenty of five to ten-year old homes that offer as much as a newly-built home or an older home that’s beautifully remodeled with all of the latest amenities.

New home builders offer a one-year warranty but you warranties are availabile for purchase on existing homes as well. It’s important to remember that a new home’s mechanical systems have not been tested daily by a family of five. Things can still break.

Should we buy an existing home over new home?

There are purchasers who prefer new construction over existing construction. We are able to satisfy both of those preferences in the current market. However, there are three distinct advantages to buying an existing home.

The first advantage is resale. Future resale values are more secure in established areas where values have already been set. When builders build a forty-unit subdivision, it’s possible they could decide to “fire sell” the remaining properties which could affect values.

Another advantage is lot size. Lot size tends to be a smaller with a newly-built home.

Lastly, I would like to mention charm. Some purchasers find older homes more charming than newer construction.

Is financing the same for new and existing homes?

Financing is the same as long as the home has already been built. Custom-built homes financing programs may vary.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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Portland- Top Moving Destination

Housing Costs: Reason why Oregon Was the Top Destination Last Year

One reason Oregon was the top destination last year among people moving state-to-state, was housing costs.

Oregon is affordable compared to other areas. If we’re strictly talking about home prices, medium sales price in Portland at the end of 2013 was $265,000. For comparison, Seattle was around $310,000, Los Angeles around $500,000 and San Francisco around $640,000.

Are there any signs that the housing cost in the Portland will catch up with the more expensive cities?

As the numbers show, we are affordable in comparison to other major metropolitan areas. Our guess is that Portland will appreciate at the current rate.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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What is a Boomerang Buyer?

What is a Boomerang Buyer?

A “Boomerang Buyer” is someone who lost their home due to foreclosure or short sale but could be back in the market to buy another home.

Are there many boomerang buyers out there?

There are literally millions of ex-homeowners who lost their homes and may qualify to buy a home again.

How much of the factor could the boomerang buyers be in the housing market recovery?

There are a millions of potential purchasers which could have a very significant impact on the market. In fact, FHA has introduced the “Back To Work Program” to assist these buyers. The program allows buyers to obtain an FHA insured loan in as little as 12 months after a short sale or foreclosure as long as they can prove it was due to a qualified hardship.

If you’ve had a short sale or foreclosure over twelve months ago and you are thinking about purchasing a home, contact a Realtor and Mortgage Broker to see if you qualify.

Tune in to KXL‘s “Experts on the 19′s” every Monday morning at 6:49AM and 8:49AM and listen to real estate advice from Portland’s Real Estate Advisor, Rick Sadle.

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