The Portland Condo Blog

Pearl Lofts

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


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


Selling?…good marketing matters!


And then this happens!

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Just yesterday I was having a conversation with two other agents who do a fair number of condo sales. The topic of conversation was the market and the consensus was that it has definitely seen a slowdown in pricing. With the increase in inventory, we are noticing a slowdown in terms of appreciating prices. In some cases, the pricing could even be slightly less than what we have been experiencing for so long.

And then this happens! Just this morning, on the MLS, a penthouse unit at The Casey went from pending to sold. The unit never hit the market. The sold price, brace yourself, $4.5 million cash! Unit #1503, is a 3667 square foot condo that faces the West Hills. Consider these numbers for a moment. At $4.5 million, this is $1227 per square foot! Let’s compare this to the recent penthouse sales at The Cosmopolitan. Now keep in mind, for comparison sake I will use the penthouse units from the 27th and 28th floors at the Cosmo. The combined unit on the 27th floor sold for $5,441,294, or $1216 a square foot. The two top floor penthouses on the 28th floor sold for $1215 and $1225 a square foot. These units are 13 stories higher and have superior views of the Mt. Hood, Mt St. Helens, the city and the Willamette River.

I will say, The Casey has always been one of my favorite buildings… but really? Is this unit worth nearly a million more than a 28th floor, true penthouse that is 13 floors higher? While the Casey unit does have around 400 square feet more space, (which does not really mean that much once you get over 3,000 square feet) the potential for having views blocked are much higher for a unit that is only 15 stories compared to a unit that is 28 stories. After all, one of the reasons people paid such a premium for these Cosmo units is the fact that the views will be protected much more by being that high up.

What is even more interesting is when we compare the sale of this unit to one that just recently sold at the Casey, unit #1602. This true penthouse unit one floor above has similar views. It has 3273 square feet and sold for $2.75million or $840 a square foot….WOW!

Contact Brad Golik at 503-896-8856 or at pdxluxcondos@gmail.com

Visit us at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com

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See Cosmopolitan views here: http://www.luxurycondosofportland.com/thecosmopolitanportland


Real Estate Photography

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Recently a friend came by my office and we began discussing real estate. This friend often reads my blog post, and in our conversation, he mentioned that I hammer on the issue of agents not using professional photos. He also said that he could not believe that there were that many agents who don’t use professional photos, knowing that it has been shown that great photos help sell homes faster and for more money. So, why not hire a professional photographer? It is hard to explain.

To prove my point, I asked my friend to pick any condo building in Portland. He looked at our inventory sheet and saw that Waterfront Pearl had more listings than other buildings, so I used that building as an example. In my opinion, EVERY listing should have great photos, especially higher-end listings. In this example I will use listings priced at $750,000 or higher. Currently at Waterfront Pearl there are 6 listings above $750,000 (they are priced from $798,000 to $1,049,000) Of these 6, only 2 of the 6 listings have used professional photography! Again people, these are $800,000+ condos for sale!

 To say that my friend was shocked is a huge understatement. His comment: “Why would someone hire an agent who does not care enough to do their best for their client?” Hmmm… where have I heard this before? Why would an agent not spend a few hundred dollars in an attempt to gain thousands more for the client? And if that agent is not spending money to do a nice job on the photos do you think they are going to spend money on doing a nice video, expensive print material or internet marketing? Probably not.

The National Association of Realtors has shown time and time again that homes listed with high-quality photos sell for more money. If you are an agent who doesn’t spend on professional photos, you might as well be telling your clients upfront that you just don’t care what their home sells for! Harsh? Maybe. True? You be the judge.

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist at LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties. If you would like to see any listed condo or loft, call Brad today at 503-896-8856.

 


New Elizabeth Penthouse Listing

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Last night I listed a penthouse unit at The Elizabeth. If you are in the market for an amazing place in the heart of the Pearl District…check out the video: http://video214.com/play/7vdRuUinppTpWTplmLajfg/s/dark

For a private showing, please call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856

 


How does The Cosmopolitan compare?

Just like many days, I start my day at Starbucks getting a cup of coffee and checking emails. Yesterday, while in Starbucks trying to warm up, I was speaking on the phone with a client about the current condo market. A very nice lady sitting next to me had heard a few things I was saying to my client and when I got off my phone she had many questions for me. No matter where you go, people always seem to like to talk real estate! This person, who I will call Sue, had many questions but the one she seemed to have the most interest in where my thoughts on the new Cosmopolitan. I did start the conversation with her explaining that I have discussed this project many times here on my blog, and it has not always been favorable. She explained to me that she was one of buyers that have now pushed the project to 88% sold. But she was insistent that I give her my honest opinion…so I did! I did start the conversation saying it was a nice building that I believe residents will enjoy for sometime. She asked me about the pricing and I explained to her my take on the pricing. When I explained that I thought it was fairly overpriced she agreed with me and then went on to explain why she bought. The current unit she was in had it’s views blocked by a new building and she wanted something with a view. She said she had been waiting for a view unit to come on the market but got tired of waiting. This is why she said she decided to pay a higher price than she felt comfortable with. I believe this is the exact situation that most of the Cosmopolitan buyers ran into. They wanted something in a nicer building and nothing was coming on the market! They did not have many options and decided to pay a higher price instead of waiting. After discussing the pricing of the building, Sue then asked me what I thought about the building. Being a future owner, I wanted to be somewhat polite and gave her somewhat of a sugar coated answer. She saw right through my answers, looked me in the eyes and said “What do you really think?” So, I told her!

I told her that early on in the design process the developer had called on many of the top condo agents to give some feedback on the project and to make suggestions as to what they thought our clients would like, which at the time I thought was a smart thing to do. There were some very good suggestions that agents made, most were not implemented. For example, large decks. This is something all condo buyers would like to have. The final build out is nearing the end and one thing I will say, VERY small decks for a majority of the owners! Other simple things were suggested. One of my suggestions, which I had seen in buildings in Seattle and Denver, was a small area on the Mezzanine level where owners could take their dogs for a walk, and do their business. This so that owners don’t have to go down to street level and worry about safety later at night. Again, it didn’t happen. Other agents had suggested a better variety of cabinetry. While Pedini is nice, it’s not for everyone. So instead of variety, the future owners were offered super contemporary with a choice of light, medium and dark! This was something Sue said she struggled with. To me, it did not seem that the developers listened to the agents much. While I was hoping for something very special, to me it is just like The Metropolitan, just a little taller. Now don’t get me wrong, I love The Metropolitan! In fact, architecturally,  I like the exterior look of The Metropolitan much more. But for the prices being paid, I was hoping for more. For something pretty special. For these $800 to $1200 a square foot prices, I was hoping for a building with more amenities like those in the Insignia in Seattle, Lumina in San Francisco , Bellevue Towers in Bellevue,WA. Or Spire in Denver. ( http://www.insigniabybosa.com/#/tour , http://luminasf.com/amenities/ ,
http://bellevuetowers.com/#building , http://www.spiredenver.com/amenities/ )
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Now, some of these nice amenities come with a price, higher HOA fees. Part of the problem with most of our buildings is that we do not build high enough. While 28 stories at The Cosmopolitan is a good start, it is still not enough to spread the cost of amenities like those at the above mentioned buildings. When you have a building that is closer to 40 stories, it is much easier to spread the cost among more owners. When I toured Spire in Denver, CO (41 stories), I was blown away by the fantastic amenities…and then I was really blown away when I saw the owners were paying about half of what typical owners in Portland’s nicer buildings were paying for their HOA fees. While there are many people that are opposed to building higher, it is what makes the most sense if people want nicer amenities and also keeping their monthly cost lower. Imagine if you will, in the location of the current Centennial Mills, a beautiful waterfront condo building much like that of Bellevue towers. Two 40 story towers that offer the most amazing views, and to be right on the river! Sit on your large deck and take in views of Mt. Hood and the Willamette River. Between the two towers, you have a spacious, park like mezzanine level where you sit by an outdoor fire sipping wine and watching ships pass by! In the summer months, you join your neighbors at the outdoor theatre to watch movies. Perhaps you are a little more active and wish to go swim laps in the indoor pool and then relax afterward in the steam room or sauna.

 

Ok, back to reality! Big, usable decks would have been a good start!

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. If you would like to tour some of Portland’s luxury condominium buildings, call Brad at 503-896-8856 or visit http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com

Portland Condo Specialist

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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!

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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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