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Not always right!

When writing in a blog, it is sometimes difficult because you put yourself out there to occasionally be wrong. When I get feedback from readers it is often appreciated. It is not always positive, but that is ok! After my post the other day about the $2,975,000 unit that I felt was actually under priced, I got an anonymous email from someone that wanted to call me out on a comment a made a short time ago about a unit right down the block I thought was overpriced. That particular unit was another one of the iconic townhomes on 11th that was priced at $1,899,000. That unit was recently sold for $1,850,000…a number I still think was too high. Remember, this townhome had a neighbor that sold about a year ago (with virtually the same high end finishes) for $1,390,000. Do you really believe the market is up 33% in that time span? It’s not! But let’s take a closer look.

11th st townhome

The listing agent did get a good price for the seller but this opens up a whole different issue because the agent also represented the buyer. While it could be said that he got the sellers a good price for their unit, the buyers, who he was also representing, overpaid! I am not a big fan of agents representing both sides in a transaction. Have I done them before? Yes, but it is with full and absolute disclosure. Do you think this agent told the new buyers it was overpriced? Now the market value is what someone is willing to pay. I agree with that but, buyers come to us for guidance and our experience and knowledge in pricing. You cannot be telling one party it is a great selling price and then at the same time be telling the buyers it is a good purchase price. As an agent, my duty to the seller is to get them the very best price that I can. In doing so, I will not put my integrity at risk just to get both sides of a transaction. This is where a good agent must step away from both sides of a transaction and focus on his or her duty of getting the best price for the seller. To be fair to the other agent, maybe this agent did disclose to the buyer that they were overpaying for the unit and they were ok with it. Do I believe that the agent said to the buyers “This unit is priced over 33% from it best comp that sold a year ago and the market is certainly not up 33%”.  I doubt it seriously.

I do not have a problem with an agent handling both sides of a transaction when something is reasonably priced and full disclosure has been made. When something is selling at 33% over its best comp…that is a whole different story.

As a buyers agent, I would not have advised my clients to pay over $1,750,000 for this unit( still over 26% from comp). If the buyers loved it and were ok overpaying for it, this is ok as it is their choice.  But if they are receiving guidance from an agent whose main responsibility is to maximize the sales price for the seller…? I wonder what that same agent would have thought it was worth working as a buyers agent only for someone? Unfortunately, it is sales like this that will mislead inexperienced agents into false pricing. The next thing you know is we will see some agent trying to price one of these single units for $2,000,000!

As for the person that wanted to call me out for being wrong, that is ok! It is people like you that keep me on top of my game so I actually appreciate you and thank you for your comments. I will not always be right but you will always get my honest opinion. Also keep in mind though, it is always good to have a good understanding of the whole picture before making comments, and this is something I always work towards. So in closing, yes, I still think 617 was in fact, overpriced!

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Not everything is overpriced!

Recently, in my blog post you have read about my comments on the Cosmopolitan. You have heard me say that it is overpriced and that it has raised prices on many resale units that are hitting the market.  One of those is the richly priced penthouse at the Elizabeth selling for a whopping $1000 a square foot ( and yet only 14 floors above the ground!. At least for $1000 a foot at the Cosmopolitan you are getting a 26th floor view that helps jusify it’s pricing in comparison…sort of! In the land of overpriced units, I wanted to touch on one listing that I think is underpriced! That’s right, I said underpriced in this market. This unit is one of the iconic brownstone like townhomes on 11th. The one that I like is the double unit #633 and #637 priced at only…$2,975,000! Now I know this is still a pretty big number but lets look at the numbers.

Pearl District

#633 Is a double unit offering 3,888 sq. ft. ( and for you Asian buyers, that 888 is a pretty good sign, right!) With this much square feet and priced at $2,975,000, the price per square feet is only $765! This is $304 a sq. ft less than the Casey penthouse priced at $3,499,000 and $235 a sq. ft less than the Elizabeth penthouse priced at $3,299,000. Add the Cosmopolitan into the mix and you have an absolute steal! The one thing I will say about the double unit townhome priced at $2,975,000 is that none of the other units mentioned, Cosmopolitan included will have better finishes! Hands down, this Jeffrey Lamb designed unit is far superior with substantial custom work throughout! The money spent on the unique and high quality custom finishes, including iron, stone, glass, stainless steel and a 2.5 ton travertine clad swinging door is something you are not likely to see anywhere else. Now some of you may be saying that the other units are higher up and have views. Well let me tell you this, I get a fair amount of buyers that do not like being high up in a high rise and do not put value on that. Some of these same people put more value on space. I also tend to put much value on quality, something your not going to get in a new high rise unless you do your own custom finishes. If you were to do that at the Cosmopolitan, you will be talking $1500 a sq. ft.

Pearl_District_Townhomes

In this market you will not hear me make many comments about a unit being underpriced but in my opinion, this one is! When it first came on the market it got an offer in several days and that offer fell through. I don’t believe this unit should stay on the market long at this price. If you are a person that is not interested in a view and prefers a more neighborhood feel, this may be the right place for you. If you are in the market for one of  the Pearl Districts finest homes with some of the finest finishes, give me a call today and we can set up a tour of this unique place.

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. You can find him at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and http://www.Condo10.com . Give him a call at 503-896-8856.

Elizabeth Penthouse for Sale!

Yesterday I went and toured a number of  new listings in the Pearl. One of them was one that I had mentioned in a previous blog post, a penthouse listing in The Elizabeth. When I wrote about it the first day it came on the market, my comments were that it was way overpriced. This may have been a little premature now that I have seen it in person! At the time, I was basing it on the fact that it is a NW corner, not a SE or NE corner. The deck while reasonably spacious, looks into, not over 937. It is in The Elizabeth, not The Metropolitan, The Casey or the new Cosmopolitan. And finally, when I looked at the pictures of the unit, which were/are terrible, they did nothing to suggest that this was a $3, 299,000 listing! More on the photos later.

After viewing the unit I am changing my price opinion, if anybody cares. On a scale of priced rightfairly overpriced to way overpriced, I am adjusting my opinion to fairly overpriced from way overpriced.  Why the change? When you walk into this unit it is stunning! You get something that the unprofessional photos don’t give you, a little bit of the WOW factor. This is a big reason you may have heard me talk over and over about great pictures. The agents current photos do absolutely nothing in terms of me saying “Wow, I have to see this place!”

Elizabeth Penthouse

Now the reality of the pricing. While this unit is stunning when you walk in, part of the wow factor comes from some of the owners furnishings and their sense of style, which is very nice! But, once you take away all of the beautiful furnishings, it would be hard for anyone to walk in and envision a $3,000,000 price tag. (which is $300,000 less then asking) At $3,000,000, you are looking at $909 a square foot. $900 a square foot puts you on about the 24th floor of the new Cosmopolitan. The 14th floor at the Cosmopolitan comes in around $650 a square foot. Now obviously, you would not price the Elizabeth penthouse in the $650 a square foot range because it is a penthouse, so there is a premium to factor in. Now, rumor has it that the seller’s of the The Elizabeth penthouse are selling because they bought two units to combine on the 23rd floor of the Cosmopolitan, which sells for about $850 a square foot! So, they were willing to pay more to be on a higher floor? Why do you pay more to be on a higher floor? The two biggest reasons are that you get better views and the second is that the chances of your views getting blocked by a new building are much lower. The chances of getting your views blocked at The Elizabeth at some point in time are very real because it is only on the 14th floor. Does it deserve a price per square foot of $1,000? No way! Does it deserve $850? If I am the buyers agent, I would be pushing for something in the $800 to $850 range in today’s market.

If I were the listing agent and trying to maximize my clients value, I would be giving them the very best marketing available so that they could try to achieve  a premium price over the true market value! This starts with GREAT PHOTOS and great marketing that give the listing the wow factor before a buyer ever walks in the door. Photos that make the buyer say “Wow, I have to see this place!”

If you would like to view this penthouse unit or any other unit, call Brad Golik today to set up a tour. Brad is a condo specialist doing business in the Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront. If you are thinking about listing your condominium, call Brad and see why he believes that great marketing can play a big roll in the price you get when you sell your Portland condominium!

Can condo buyer’s find deals in this crazy market?

The answer is YES! Many times throughout the year I will see condos come on the market that may not be priced correctly. Most of the times it is because the agent does not know the condominium markets well and do not know how to price them correctly. Sometimes they over price them, sometimes they under price them…and create good buys for a buyer! This weekend. An example of this happened. It was at a very high price point, but still a good buy for the new owners! Last week I wrote about a couple of new listings that were coming to market. One was one of the beautiful townhomes on 11th. It was the combined unit that I thought would be priced at about $3,200,000 to $3,500,000 ( I believe I said low to mid 3 Million range). The agent that got the listing is a well known luxury agent that is known for high end homes, not condos. The listing came on the market at a surprising sub $3,000,000 price ( $2,975,000).  As I said, YES, buyer’s can find deals in this market! 11th st townhome To me, this shows a good example of working with a specialist. While the above…not mentioned agent, has a decent reputation for higher end homes in the west hills, this agents expertise is not in the condo market. I am not sure why the owners selected the agent but I have my suspicions!  Some agents will try to sell their companies “wide global reach” in a sales pitch to get a listing in the high end of the market. To me, this is a little bit of smoke and mirrors because of the internet. With the internet, an agent with a good bit of knowledge of marketing on the internet, can easily get their listing “worldwide”. Keep in mind, condo specialist market to condo buyer’s everyday and maintain a pipeline of qualified buyer’s. Sometimes local, sometimes international. The point I want to make here gets back to today’s topic: Finding deals in this market. As long as you have agents that do not fully understand the condo market, you will always be able to find a deal because those agents will not always understand how to price a unit. Many don’t understand the difference between being on the west side 3rd floor vs 13th floor on the east side. Some don’t understand the difference from having a protected view vs an unprotected view and many of the other issues that come into play when pricing condos. Bottom line if you don’t want to be one of those seller’s that is creating a great buying opportunity for a buyer, make sure you interview a condo specialist!

More inventory!

I recently wrote about the Portland penthouse market. When I last wrote, inventory was very low as it has been for sometime now. Just recently we are starting to see a few more things come on the market. In the Portland penthouse/ Luxury condo

market a few more are coming to market. Not on the market yet, but coming soon will be the beautiful #1602 penthouse at The Casey. Priced at $3,499,000 with 3273 square feet ($1069 sq. ft.), this unit is certainly priced at The Cosmopolitan price levels.  Also coming to market soon is another one of the iconic Pearl District townhomes on 11th. Unit 637/635 is a combined unit that will be offering over 4,000 square feet and I am guessing the pricing here will be somewhere in the low to mid $3,000,000 range. This is the second of the Pearl District townhomes to recently come to market. The other was 617 11th that is priced at a pretty steep $1,899,000 and still on the market.

Portland_Penthouse_July

With this said…it is time for all of us to come to terms with prices, they are going up! Earlier I wrote about the effects of the Cosmopolitan prices. The Cosmopolitan is now 68% sold at prices I have said seem to be pretty inflated. But, because of the lack of inventory, people are taking the bait and swallowing it whole! This in turn is causing seller’s in the resale market to increase their prices. Now this is certainly good strategy…to a point. $650 to $800 a sq. ft at the Elizabeth are not unrealistic numbers. $1,000 a sq. ft…not so much! And a word of advice to seller’s. If you are going to try and capture a premium price on your unit… make sure, at the very least, your agent does professional photos! Again, as many of you have read before, this is a huge pet peeve of mine.

Now, two condos that were previously the two highest priced condos in town look to be bargains, like http://www.FountainPlazaCondo.com with 3873 sq. ft, priced at a VERY reasonable $579 a sq. ft.  Or the Eliot Tower unit, priced at $2,388,000 or $555 a sq. ft. Hey, why not save a $1,000,000 and pick up an additional 500 to 1000 square feet of living space?

The best way to find out the true value of these units is to call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856 and go tour these units. If you are in the market for a new Portland luxury condominium, Brad is the go-to-guy for luxury condominiums in Portland, Or.

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Top 5 Portland Penthouse Condominiums

A couple times a year I like to write about the state of the Portland Penthouse market. I thought today would be a good day because of a new Portland penthouse that just went on the market yesterday. A while back you may have seen a graphic I had on the blog showing you the average price per square foot of the top 30 most expensive condos sold in 2014. If you can recall, the average price per square foot of those units was $579 per foot. Now this was not only penthouse’s but all condos priced above $1,000,000. In talking about Portland’s penthouse market we must start with the most expensive. That would be the 2 28th floor penthouse condo’s at The Cosmopolitan priced at $3,883,000 and $3,757,000. While very nice, I don’t believe our market supports a $1,199  price per sq. ft. (see last weeks comparisons to the Seattle Penthouse unit). Coming in at #2 is our newest penthouse to the market priced at $3,299,000. This 14th floor penthouse in a 10 year old building is, well… just flat out overpriced! With 3,300 square feet of living space it is priced $1,000,000 higher than our number #3 and #4 penthouse condos that have much more square feet ( 4377 & 3834).  How can that be you ask? Our #3 Penthouse is #1601 at the Eliot. This beautiful condo offers 1,077 more square feet and is only priced at $2,388,000. And for what it is worth, this penthouse has been on the market for 11 months at this price so it is not like they are giving it away! Penthous in Portland Our #4 condo is actually not a penthouse but deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as other Portland Penthouse condominiums. On the 27th floor of KOIN Tower, this unit offers some of the most stunning views in the city. Mountain views, river views and city views. ( see the views at http://www.FountainPlazaCondo.com ). This unit also has it’s own large gym! What is interesting here is that condos #3 & #4 have much more protected views than that of the $3,299,000 unit at #2 on our list. What is the value of a protected view? At only 14 floors it is easy to say that the future views could be impaired more easily than some of our higher up penthouses. Why is this unit priced so high? It is hard to guess why. The listing agent is not a condo specialist, this may have a little to do with it? The owners may have chosen the price by trying to play off of “The Cosmopolitan Effect” that I wrote about in an earlier post. “If the Cosmopolitan is selling at $1200 a sq. ft than we should be able to get $1000 a ft” At #5, our old favorite at  The Envoy. Still on the market and still priced at $2,249,500. I have said it before on this one, it will take a very specific buyer for a sale to happen here. The other option…a drastic price reduction! There you have it, the top 5 penthouse condominiums in the Portland market. If you would like to view any of these units just give me a call and we can arrange a showing. Give me a call at 503-896-8856 Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com Disclaimer: Pricing opinions of Brad Golik are just that…his opinions! More often than not, Brad will not say a unit is overpriced or not. ( If a seller is trying to push for a higher price a little…good for them!) But, when something is priced way out of wack like a few recent listings, Brad may run the risk of voicing his opinion. ( yes he is running a risk because if something sold at a silly price he would look like an idiot for saying it was priced too high!). He is however, willing to take on that risk!    (In the case of the Cosmopolitan, only time, and resale will tell!)

Penthouse Condominium at Marshall Wells

When people think of the Pearl District, often they think about living in one of the iconic town homes on 11th ( see last week’s blog post). Others think about a new shiny high rise like the new Cosmopolitan while others think about a cozy loft style condo in a building like Marshall Wells, Irving Street Lofts or Avenue  Lofts. If you have been thinking about one of these loft style condos in the heart of the Pearl, now is your chance!

Penthouse- Marshall Wells

Coming to the market tomorrow will be a beautifully done penthouse loft at Marshall Wells. The owner of this spacious loft (2771 square feet) spared no expense in creating a wonderful living space in this historical building. From it’s designer kitchen to the beautiful chandeliers, this one is a “Must See”!

Priced at $1,399,000, it is reasonably priced in the low $500 sq. ft. area. (remember, this is entry level at the new Cosmopolitan).  For those looking to downsize from a larger house, the 2771 square feet makes for an easier transition.

If you would like to see photos of this beautiful loft, please visit http://www.MarshallWellsLoft.com and click on the photo gallery button. When you are ready to take a look, give me a call at 503-896-8856

Brad Golik is a certified condominium specialist in Portland and works primarily in Portland’s Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown. If you are thinking about selling, Brad has simply one of the best condo marketing programs in Portland.

Brad is a founding member of http://www.Condo10.com

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Believe me when I say it is priced high!

Sometime ago, in one of my blog post, I wrote about the fact that I will always deliver my honest opinion. Sometimes that does not make everyone happy. Sometime it might be a seller in a building with an overpriced unit in a building in which I might have made comments about. Others include developers such as those who are selling The Cosmopolitan. As we speak, The Cosmopolitan continues to sell units at prices I have said to be very inflated. I have gotten my fair share of nasty emails for some of my comments and that is ok…because, as I stated earlier, you will ALWAYS get my honest opinion and I will not buckle because of what others ( or their lawyers) have to say.  I believe the reason the sales continue (about 60% sold) over there are simple, a lack of inventory in the market has made people nervous about being able to buy something  so they jump in with both feet. When I work with buyer’s the one thing I will always tell them is to think about the resale of that unit in the future. For those buying at The Cosmopolitan, and are buying there because that is where they want to be and don’t care about the price, or resale. I would say to enjoy your unit and the building. It will be a great place to live! For those that have concerns about resale, especially in a changing market, hear me out! In previous blog post I have made comparisons to the Seattle market because I feel it is the most like ours, except more expensive. Inventory levels in Seattle are even worse than ours currently. For those of you who may have not been onboard with comparisons I have made in the past, let me SHOW you! For comparison sake, I will be comparing to Bellevue Towers. In my opinion, a slightly higher quality building in terms of amenities and views with quality of each being pretty close. Let’s compare: Bellevue Towers vs The Cosmopolitan Cosmopolitan 28th Floor Top Floor at Cosmopolitan Now, for those of you that know The Cosmopolitan will be a nice building with nice amenities, here is what you get at Bellevue Towers. Top Floor Penthouse To me, these comparisons are pretty alarming. If the market turns ever so slightly in a downward trend, it will not be a good situation for owners. The reality of the Bellevue Towers pricing is that it is market pricing… not hype adjusted! And if you need more convincing on the higher end. Compare  the Penthouse at The Cosmopolitan. 3236 Squre Feet , 28th Floor priced at $3,883,000. Now compare it to a PH on the 41st Floor of Bellevue Towers…click here to see what you get! http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/500-106th-Ave-NE-Unit-4105_Bellevue_WA_98004_M15387-66117?row=4 Wow! So let’s review. The penthouse in Portland is smaller (167 sq. ft.) has nice views but not the spectacular views that the Seattle penthouse has and…. it is priced $533,000 MORE! This is why I am concerned! Brad Golik of Pearl District Properties is a condominium specialist in the Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown. If you own a Pearl District condominium and would like to know the value of your condo in todays market, get a FREE market valuation at http://www.PearlDistrictCondominiums.com

Portland Condo Inventory Levels…Still Low!

Starting to see a little more inventory come into the market this week. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a little more supply for buyer’s to choose from! While the very low inventory is very good for seller’s right now, A healthy market is a more balanced market. While we may not see Inventory jump from 1.8 months to 6 months anytime soon, 3 to 4 months would sure be nice!

Over the years, much of my business has been built on referrals from happy home seller’s and buyer’s. I am very appreciative of this and feel very honored whenever one of my clients sends new buyer’s or someone who needs to sell their condo.

With that said, I am also very happy to help a friend or a client when I can. A client of mine recently invented a new and fun wine aerator. You may have seen his recent ad in “The Pearl “ magazine. Now, I know MANY of my past clients are big wine drinkers, as well as the many people who reside in the Pearl District and all over Portland. If you want to try out this great product, check it out at http://www.TriBellaWine.com. I have tried most of the aerators out there and I think this is the best wine aerator out there for what I would call the 3 F’s….Form, Function and Fun!
TriBella AeratorFor those of you thinking about buying a new condo, give me a call. For those looking to sell, well I still believe I have the best condo marketing program in Portland and would love to show it to you if you are even just thinking about selling!

Not so fast!

Last week I mentioned what I called the “Cosmopolitan Effect”  and how it was raising the bar for resale properties around the Pearl. In that blog post I mentioned that one of the signature town homes on 11th, priced at $1,899,000, came onto the market…and went pending in 3 days! Well, the seller’s are not carrying their bags of money to the bank just yet! The deal fell out of escrow and it is now back on the market.

A little about the property… #617 11th is a spectacular property featuring 2,698 square feet of upscale living right in the heart of the Pearl. This home features 2 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, a library ( large enough to be 3rd bedroom) a spacious family/TV on the Mezzanine level, a large rooftop deck and a 2 car garage.

Pearl District

For those who might be selling their large suburban home, this could be the perfect transition to downsizing without giving up some of the space that is needed.

If you would like to tour this beautiful Pearl District town home, give me a call today and we can set up a tour of this amazing space!

As for the market in general, we are still battling with the lack of inventory. We have buyers in many upper end levels so if you own a condo in the Pearl, and are thinking in any way of selling, please give us a call today. For an instant assessment of your condo’s value, please visit http://www.PearlDistrictPrices.com

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