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It’s that time of the year!

It’s that time of year for many, graduation! How does that relate to real estate? For those newly empty nesters, it may mean that it is time to downsize. Many of the condo buyers I have worked with over the years were in this very same position. One of the common dilemmas they each face is if they are able to go from a 3,000—4,500 square foot home , down to a 1,300—2,000 square foot condo. Now the one thing many are giving up is a spacious yard…sometimes this is a blessing in disguise. Many decide they are ok spending more time on the golf course and less time pulling weeds!

Adjusting to smaller spaces. The one thing I always ask potential buyer’s is where do they spend their time in their current house? The most common answers…the kitchen, the family room and the master bedroom. This my friends is a condo! Do you really need that 3rd and 4th bedroom? Do you really need that 1500 square foot
finished basement that rarely gets use? What most people find is that they can easily adjust to the smaller spaces and what they really enjoy is the new benefit of more time to be doing what they enjoy and less time slaving over a large yard.

Another added perk to condo living… nearby restaurants! While many of you may enjoy your time in the kitchen, after years of trying to figure what to cook for your family every night, it is nice to have the option to just go down an elevator and walk to you favorite eatery!

Another thing I see with those that choose to downsize, selling the big home in the suburbs and buying two smaller condos. Many buy a condo in the downtown area and possibly a second in areas like Palm Springs or Scottsdale Az. Now this may be a luxury for many, but as the kids leave home, many are ok with having a little more “Me Time”.

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
You can set up condo tours with Brad by calling him at 503-896-8856

Portland Condominiums & Lofts

Brad Golik is a condo specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources in the Pearl District. You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856 or at pdxluxcondos@gmail.com

Nice…with knowledge!

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Yesterday morning I was at a coffee shop reviewing new condo listings that just came on the market. I noticed that the lady next to me was looking at my laptop watching what I was doing. After not too long, she asked me if I was a real estate agent. I said that I was…and then she unloaded with a recent experience she had had in buying a condo. The woman, whom I will call Jan, told me she had such a frustrating experience with the agent she had used. To make matters even worse, this agent also happened to be an agent that was referred to her by a friend of hers. As I dug a little deeper to how this agent was referred, it turns out the friend referred her because she was a very nice person! Now I have been in this business for almost 15 years and the one thing I can say is there are MANY nice people in the business. But, I can also say that many of these same people are not agents that I would hire knowing what I know! Jan told me that it was very frustrating during the searching period because this agent knew very little about the condominium market. She said she spent so much time walking around buildings looking for lockboxes…and this was her first clue that she did not deal with condominiums very often. The second thing that she said was frustrating was that whenever she asked her about the pricing of a condo they looked at, the standard answer was “It seems fairly priced!”

This is a very typical situation that I see all of the time in the Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown. Many buyers may get referred to an agent that a friend suggest…maybe an agent they had used or heard about out in the suburbs. The condo market is very different than dealing with homes out in Lake Oswego or Tigard. I have often written on the importance of working with a specialist. If I were selling a home in Lake Oswego, you can bet that I would want to use an agent that sells there often and knows the pricing and other aspects of selling in that area or at the very least, someone that is VERY good with marketing! Same goes with condos and lofts. I have often said to sellers that a typical agent cannot just flip on a switch and be great at marketing to condo buyers when 99.5% of their time they are marketing to buyers of suburban homes…in several different areas!

One of the reasons you hire an agent is for their expertise and knowledge, or at least it should be! An agent can be nice, but they also need to know what they are doing. Being nice is fine but when it comes to negotiating, that agent needs to be tough and always put their clients best interest first and not “cave” with another agent that is tougher with negotiating! When the time comes for a person to sell their condo, a condo specialist is even more important! Having an agent that is constantly marketing to condo buyers is important. Hiring an agent that spends most of their time marketing to buyers looking in Tigard, Gresham or Wilsonville may not be the best way to go…even if that agent is a very nice person!

Jan said the last straw was when she got to closing she was surprised that she had to pay a Move-in/Move-Out fee that was close to $400 and also was shocked to find out she had to pay a 1 time capital contribution fee equal to 2 months HOA fees… 2 things her agent never mentioned because she did not know about. (this is disclosed in the HOA documents) I felt bad for Jan but it is something I see all of the time.

Every week as I look at new listings, as I was doing in the coffee shop, I am amazed at the number of new listings that come on the market that are listed by agents that don’t deal with condominiums. The one thing that always amazes me is I never get a postcard or an email about their condo listing! As a condo specialist, I make sure that every agent that deals with condos and lofts gets a video about my new condo listing. Why? Because I know that the other agents that deal with condos often have their pipelines filled with CONDO buyers!

I enjoyed my conversation with Jan and in the process met a new friend over a cup of coffee! In time, hopefully Jan will refer me to a friend. But hopefully, it will not be because I am nice. Hopefully it will be because I am nice…with knowledge!

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources in the Pearl District. You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856

Hot listing of the week!

Give me a call if you would like to tour this beautiful loft in Portland’s Pearl District!

503-896-8856

A few Portland penthouses!

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Yesterday I viewed a penthouse that just came on the market. The unit, #1102 at The Gregory, is listed at $2,350,000. This unit is 2400 square feet and includes a wrap-around terrace that adds living space. With two bedrooms and a spacious den, this unit is very open and great for entertaining. The kitchen has been remodeled and the light gray palette throughout this unit makes it very inviting. I think the price, at $2,350,000 is right about where it should be because unit #1202, directly above, sold last October for $2,400,000. At the time, I thought the buyer paid a little too much for that property. Given the cost of the remodel in unit #1102, and the square footage being just slightly less, I think the $2,350,000 asking price is reasonable.

In the $3,000,000 and up market, two units stand out. The penthouse at The Strand, Unit #1301, is $3,550,000. You can check out this unit at www.PortlandPenthouse.com. (Click on the feature penthouse button)  I believe the price is still a little high. It was just re-listed with a new agent and unfortunately, the previous agent had it priced ridiculously high in August of 2017 at $4,200,000. I believe this will be one of those times when an overpricing will eventually hurt the seller in the long run… and is no fault of the current agent. While I believe it should be priced closer to $3,250,000, the listing is at least in the ballpark. In the end, I am guessing this one should sell closer to $2,950,000 to $3,050,000. This unit features a huge rooftop deck, but because of the nearby freeway noise, the future owners will probably use the lower decks more often.

The third penthouse to compare is one I had briefly mentioned when it came on the market back in February. It is #1502 at The Elizabeth. I really like this penthouse unit. With two levels and a very open floor plan it has a lot to offer, and it better at $3,300,000…down from its original price of $3,650,000. This unit scores high in style and while the listing agent is a little generous in saying it has a “chef’s” kitchen, it does have the potential to be even more stunning than it is already. This is a building that I like and know very well. I thought the $3,650,000 was very high but I believe that the buyer who buys this beautiful Portland penthouse, somewhere between $2,900,000 to $3,100,000, will be getting a truly beautiful penthouse at a reasonable price!

If you are a buyer that is in the market for one of Portland’s beautiful luxury condominiums, please give me a call and we can set up a tour to go and view some of the stunning units that are on the market right now.

 

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources. You can best reach him at 503-896-8856 or at pdxluxcondos@gmail.com

Condo of the week…The Casey!

Welcome to the condo of the week. This week we feature one of the best in the Pearl!

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856 or at pdxluxcondos@gmail.com

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Win…Dinner on us! Follow me on Instagram…or my blog!

Follow us on either Instagram ( #pearlcondos ) or on our condo blog ( TheCondoPulse.com ) and get your chance to win a $100 gift card to Brix Tavern in the Pearl District! Winner will be drawn the end of April…don’t miss out on a chance to dine at one of the Pearl Districts “Favorite” places to eat!

 

Redfin…A sinking ship?

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How long can investors continue to be patient with money losing Redfin? That is a hard question to answer. But one thing is clear, the recent announcement that Redfin is cutting its commissions is truly a sign of the struggles that this company is having. The reality is that Redfin was losing money in its old model, now they think they can turn the ship by reducing its commissions more? This will affect their bottom line even more. Last year Redfin lost money, $15,000,000 on revenue of $370,000,000. They have lost money every year since inception! If the Redfin model was working, and their customers were happy with the service, they would not reduce their fees, would they? To me it is sending out a loud and clear message…this is our last ditch effort to survive!

I have written about Redfin in the past and maybe I am giving them more print time then they deserve. Redfin still has a market share of less than 1% (.71% to be exact) I believe that one of the reasons that the Redfin model does not work is the quality of their agents. It is funny to me how they tout how they can save their client’s money on commissions but they never mention the values lost because of the agents lack of experience in negotiating. Most Redfin agents are not what I would call solid and knowledgeable agents. In fact, it is very much the opposite.

Redfins newest marketing campaign “1% listing Fee” is deceptive just like much of their previous marketing. You will NOT be able to sell your house for 1%! Redfin still needs to pay the buyer’s agent 2.5%. So a more accurate and honest ad campaign would be a *3.5% Listing Fee” but that does not look as great to potential sellers as the 1% does.

Most savvy home sellers would prefer to pay a slightly higher fee for a quality agent that will spend more money to market their home then what Redfin will spend. They will also pay more for an agent that has EXPERIENCE! Experience in how to market the home, experience in negotiating and experience in getting things closed smoothly.

In the end, more often than not, it gets back to the old saying “You get what you pay for”. I know personally, If I were going to sell my house, I know MANY agents that I would pay more to sell my home than have Redfin do it because a lower commission.

Remember, it is all about your net proceeds!

Here is a little blurb from a previous post!

 

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…and another!

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Condo of the week…The Elizabeth!

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Check out The Elizabeth here: Elizabeth condos for sale

Have an interest in one of Portland’s stunning penthouse units? To see the new penthouse listing at The Elizabeth, priced at $3,650,000, call Brad today to set up a private viewing of this unique space.

Brad Golik is a condo specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources. He can be reached at 503-896-8856 or at pdxluxcondos@gmail.com

Economic News

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Both PPI and CPI came in hotter than market expectations this week, posting up .4% and .5% on the headline prints, respectively. Looking at an annualized basis, PPI (price at the producer level) is up 2.7% on headline, and up 2.2% at the core. CPI (prices at the consumer level) is up 2.1% on headline, and up 1.8% at the core. Overall, some stronger results on inflation, keeping expectations for more acceleration throughout the rest of the year steady on pace. Although the markets still need to see more data ahead for further confirmation, levels in the sectors remain steady in place. Maybe more importantly, they are right in line with the Fed’s 2% inflation mandate, thus leaving them right on track for another rate hike at the March meeting.

Retail Sales for January came in softer than market consensus, posting a .3% loss. If we strip out autos and energy (core), we see a .2% decline. Important to also note that there was a revision to the initial level for December, taking a previously reported +.4% gain down to unchanged from the previous month. The release for January will certainly have its affect, most likely pulling back GDP in Q4 2017 to a lower level.

Housing Starts surged in January, posting up 9.7% to a 1.326mln unit rate. The release is higher from an upwardly revised 1.209mln unit rate back in December. January starts by region show increases of +45.5% in the Northeast, +10.7% in the West, and +9.3% in the South. The only decline came from the Midwest, falling 10.2%. Looking at Building Permits, we also saw a strong level for January, up 7.4% to a 1.396mln unit rate. Permits continue to suggest that the starts rate will continue to drift higher in the coming months.

So, after what has been another wild ride this week, we think it’s safe to say that we are all looking forward to the long 3-day weekend as the markets are closed on Monday! While we received a little bit of relief in Friday’s session that was favorable for the bond market, we are not out of the woods just yet. To really get bond market technicians “comfortable” again that a high yield has been put in place, the 10yr would need to see a close back around ~2.68% or lower, which we know, sounds like a lifetime away from current levels. That close would fundamentally shift the trend back in favor of the Bulls over the short- to medium-term outlook, and would be a very nice move lower in rates. From a technical perspective, we are setting the short-term trading range for the 10yr at ~2.80-2.94%, and those are the extremes you all should be watching. Rally one day, sell-off the next. It’s the pattern that we still need to be prepared for with the amount of volatility that remains in this marketplace. For now, the bounce back to some better rates/pricing to end the week is definitely one to “put a ring on,” taking full advantage of what’s in front of you.

As we look ahead to next week, the calendar is much lighter with the only data highlights being those of the FOMC Minutes and Existing Home Sales, both releasing on Wednesday. We will also have more Treasury supply in the form of 2, 5, and 7yr note auctions starting on Tuesday.

On a different note, we are starting to see more condos being listed on the market. If you are a buyer that has been patiently watching the market, give me a call to go tour some great condos!

 

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources, LLC and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com . You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at pdxluxcondos@gmail.com