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
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 $2,600,000 to $2,800,000. 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 $2,800,000 to $3,000,000, 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday I listed a condo at KOIN Towers Fountain Plaza. With the “New and Shiny” buildings we have recently seen, like The Cosmopolitan, it’s nice to be able to go back in time a bit and revisit buildings like KOIN Tower. At the end of last year I sold a unit at KOIN/Fountain Plaza on the 27th floor for $1,750,000. It was a large unit with spectacular views. My new listing, just one floor below, and again, it provides some of the best views in the city! This northwest corner unit offers sensational sunset views to the west, amazing Mt. St. Helens and Mt Adams views to the north and Willamette River views to the northwest. This 1950 square foot unit has wonderful open spaces…and those amazing views! The best part of all, at $929,000, you are getting this for under $500 a square foot! Now remember, 26th floor views at The Cosmopolitan went for over $1,100 a square foot! OK, now the KOIN Tower is NOT The Cosmopolitan, but it represents luxury at a good value!
I believe we are at the beginning of a major transition in the KOIN building. Many of the original owners are gone and a newer, more thrifty demographic is buying in. There are not many condo buildings being built right now (The Vista) and I can see moving forward, many buyers recognizing the potential and value in a building like KOIN Tower/Fountain Plaza.
While current owners at the KOIN have not really participated in the run up of prices the last 10 years, buyers today will find a high quality building with unmatched views and will benefit tremendously moving forward. The area around KOIN Tower is also improving with several hotels with new restaurants, and a high- end grocery store. I cannot really think of a better time to buy at KOIN/Fountain Plaza than right now. To set up a time to see unit #2604, give me a call and be ready to be wowed by some awesome views! If you would like to tour this fantastic unit, give me a call today!
Video at: Aerial KOIN Tower
Brad Golik is a condo specialist at LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources, LLC. You can contact Brad at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
We have not seen many new penthouses come onto the market lately in the Pearl District but we should see a nice one come on by the end of this week and it is in one of my favorite buildings, The Elizabeth. This 15th floor Elizabeth penthouse will be priced at $3,650,000 (so I have heard) and offers 3,443 square feet of living space. If you are in the market for a beautiful penthouse in the heart of the Pearl, give me a call and be one of the first to see this unit!
I mentioned that The Elizabeth is one of my favorites and the reason behind that is that it is a building with a ton of details and character! John Carroll, the developer, does some of the best designs in the city and is a developer that actually spends the money for the extra touches that set his buildings apart from the others. Recent development in the Pearl, including Hoyt Properties Vista, seem very vanilla in comparison with not much thought about the architectural aesthetics involved. Even now, as Carroll introduces his newest project, The Dianne, touches of quality design can be seen, even on this building that has been built to house those wanting to rent instead of buying.
Last night as I drove by the Dianne, I noticed that even the lighting on the building gave it a dramatic look that we have not seen in the last several developments in the Pearl. Like buildings before, such as The Gregory and The Elizabeth, you see touches of detail that often get eliminated by most developers that try to squeeze every penny from the development. On the Elizabeth, you notice many details when you walk around the building starting with its trademark entry doors. Then you notice the tremendous amount of the wrought iron designs all around the building that give the Elizabeth its character. These were a tremendous extra cost to the developer that he could have avoided and increased his profits. Instead, this developer choose to make a lasting impact on a great neighborhood that also has much character. For that, I say thank you to developers like John Carroll!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com. You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
As many of you know by now, Pearl District Properties has shut it’s doors. I am still in the Pearl District and now at Total Property Resources!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist working in Portland’s Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront.
If outdoor living is important to you, here is a condo that is a must see! This Pearl District loft has 2 decks, the first on the main level, while not large, it does offer enough space for the BBQ and it’s close to the kitchen. The second deck offers enough space for both a sitting area and dining area and has views of the Freemont Bridge as well as the city lights to the South. Kick back and enjoy your outdoor time with a glass of wine and a comfy fire! To see this beautiful, 2 level unit at Streetcar Lofts, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856
How were the numbers for condominiums in 2017? Stay tuned as we will be posting year end numbers on Portland’s condo, loft and townhome markets!
Brad Golik is a condo specialist and can be found at his new company Total Property Resources. You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com Visit his awesome website at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com .
I have recently received a few emails asking why I have not written anything about the new Vista North Pearl. The answer, I guess, is that nothing seems to be too exciting about the project. And, not that it matters, but I have not had to deal with nasty emails from the sales manager at Hoyt Properties, who did not like my opinions on the Cosmopolitan!
So, what are the differences in the two projects? Well let’s start with the Cosmopolitan. Contrary to what the sales manager said to me “I thought you hated this building!”, I NEVER said I did not like the project. What I DID say is that I did not like the pricing. (Great for the developer…not so great for the buyers). As it turned out, because of the low inventory levels at the time, they were able to capture those high prices. Again, the timing in the market was “perfect” for the developers. How about this time around with the Vista? Well, the market has changed and Hoyt will not have such an easy time selling units at excessive prices. As of the middle of last month, Vista had 95 units available (out of 153) or 38% of the units sold. Keep in mind, the Cosmopolitan was being marketed as the nicest condo building in town. Vista, from what everything I have heard, will be a notch below that of the Cosmopolitan in terms of finishes and the building as a whole.
Let’s start with the most popular corner, the SE corner, which was the first to sell out in the Cosmo. For comparison sake I will use units on the 14th floor. The Cosmo pricing for the SE corner on the 14th floor was $649 a square foot. The pricing for the Vista is 780. Now, a look at the NE corner 15th Floor (1517) in the Cosmopolitan was sold at $620 a square foot. The 15th floor unit at Vista (1506) is being offered at $750 a square foot. While the market eventually did catch up to the excessive prices at the Cosmopolitan, I don’t believe that the Vista prices should be selling at a premium like the Cosmopolitan. Units on the west side are pretty equally priced to that of the Cosmo.
Finally, let’s look at the penthouse units. At the Cosmopolitan, the range was from $950 a square foot to $1200 for the top floor 28th floor penthouses. For Vista, the range is $1052 to $1247. Let me repeat this one fact, the Cosmopolitan penthouses were being marketed as the best in the city in Portland’s most luxurious building! In addition, the top floor at the Vista it is only 21 stories. What is interesting here, if my memory serves me right, is that the units at the Cosmopolitan (floors 20 –28) were given a minimum premium of $88,000 per floor! At the time of this writing, I don’t believe that one of the six penthouse units at the Vista is pending. I cannot say that I am surprised. I would never pay anything close to what the penthouse units sold for at The Cosmopolitan. The Cosmopolitan is a superior, more elegant building (pitched as the nicest in the city) and there is no way prices at the Vista should compare! Again, this is just my opinion… or maybe not just my opinion. Ask any of the residents at the Cosmopolitan above the 21st floor and see what they say?
I am sure I will continue to get the cold shoulder from the developers’ sales manager…but am I wrong? I don’t believe so. Let me be clear. This is not personal but simply my professional opinion. As someone who understands condo pricing, I write about what I believe to be true and it might not always match the opinions of others, and that is OK!
There are things I like about the Vista. If you read my blog about the Cosmopolitan, one of the negatives noted was that many of the units had a very high ratio of hall space to usable space (many units were 12-14%) This is not the case with the Vista. Almost all the units are in the 4-8% range with the exception of the D4 Plan, the 08 stack) as it came in about 13%. In this case, you have a unit that is 1435 square feet and the unit has about 194 square feet of hallway space.
The Vista floor plans also provide MUCH more space to walk around the end of your bed in the master bedroom, a problem in many of the units at The Cosmopolitan. Another highlight of the Vista is its large deck spaces.
All in, I believe the Vista will be a nice building. As for the prices? The market will, in the end, determine the final prices. As of now, the lower units seem a little high and the penthouse units, I believe, are way too high.
If you are looking to buy at the Vista or would also like to look at other buildings, I am a condominium specialist and would be happy to show you available units. If you are thinking about selling in the near future, I encourage you to go to http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com/marketing and learn a little about our approach to selling your condo!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties. He can be reached at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See aerial Drone footage of the Vista location within the Pearl District at http://www.VistaPortland.com
When writing a blog one must be knowledgeable about their subject material. The blogger must also put themselves out there when offering opinions and realize that they will not always be right. I often try to share my opinions on pricing and will be the first to admit when I am wrong. This would be the case regarding a comment I made in a post a few weeks ago. Just to clarify things, I was wrong on my guarantee, not my opinion of the price! At that time a new penthouse came on the market for $3,250,000. My comment was that this unit was way overpriced and I “guaranteed” we would see some price adjustments. Well we did not! And in fact, the unit is now pending.
After I made this comment, I checked with some friends in the business as to what they thought the pricing should be. Almost every one of them was thinking the same thing…or very close to it. The first comment was that it was Benson Tower, which is not really comparable to Portland’s nicer buildings such as The Cosmopolitan, The Metropolitan or The Casey, to name a few. Not one of those agents believed that it was worth more than $1000 per square foot. (about $2,600,00) let alone the $1257 per square foot listing price. For one, the neighborhood does not justify the pricing. It is not The Pearl District which always gets a bit of a premium. Second, that area of downtown has deteriorated the last few years. While this unit does feature fantastic outdoor space, the living room area is very small. One of the other issues that I also feel is important is the quality of the other units in a building. No other $1,000,000 + units have sold in the Benson Tower. Last week a 26th floor unit came on the market at $1,400,000, possibly trying to ride the high priced coattails of the penthouse. I believe this unit should be priced well below two of the units for sale at The Henry that are larger and priced below $1,300,000… probably closer to $1,000,000 at best. The point here is that it is easier to get a higher price when you have other units that support the upper end of the market. It’s tough when you don’t. The other issue, the “elephant in the room” is the homeless situation. No building has been affected more than Benson by the bottle drop a block away (maybe Elliot). In my opinion, while most condos got decent appreciation over the last 4-5 years, because of the decrease in safety in this general area, owners at Benson won’t see that appreciation that others have seen.
Overpricing a unit can have negative effects on it’s sale. In the case of the penthouse priced at $3,250,000, I believe that the buyer may not have been educated enough on the Portland penthouse and luxury condo market. It is possible that the agent does not understand this area of the market as well. While we don’t know the offer was on this unit, what we do know is that if the buyer paid anything over $1000 per square foot…he or she paid way too much! There is absolutely no way any unit at Benson Tower should have pricing anywhere near some of the premier buildings in town. Remember, this is a building where the finishes are far below those of other buildings and you have to haul your garbage down the elevator. Not an ideal situation for someone that is spending $3,000,000! There are many top floor penthouses in town that deserve a premium price to others…this is not one of them!
This posting helps emphasize the importance of working with a specialist. You may have heard me say this before but it is very important. If you are buying farmland in Dundee or a waterfront home in Lake Oswego, it is important to deal with an agent who understands that market. While every agent will probably tell you they understand every market, the truth is, unless you are in it every day, it is difficult to do so. I believe that the days of a real estate agent trying to be all things to all people in all areas are gone. An agent who takes the time to learn a specific area of the market will be far more valuable to a buyer or seller and the example used above helps prove that fact.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. Brad works with luxury condo buyers and sellers in Downtown Portland, South Waterfront and The Pearl District. If you are looking to buy or sell…work with a pro!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist in downtowns Pearl District and South Waterfront. It does not cost you to work with a specialist…it pays!