Design approval for Block 20 recently happened. For more information on this project, click Block 20 http://www.nextportland.com/2016/07/13/block-20-approved/#more-8144
Also, notice of pile driving went out recently!
So how will the timing be for the release of new condos at Block 20? I do not believe they will be as favorable as they were for the developers on The Cosmopolitan. If you remember reading on my blog, Hoyt Development had the perfect storm happen for them when they released their highly priced (a majority in the $600 to $1200 sq. ft. range) units. When the Cosmopolitan was released, inventory levels were at extremely low levels…non- existent almost! They were able to capture crazy pricing because buyers had no other options. That is not the case right now in our market. Today, like everyday, I brought up new condo listings. What was most interesting to see was that there were 11 price reductions! This is something we are starting to see everyday as things have slowed dramatically. So , moving forward, it will be a different environment for the developer.
I took a fair amount of abuse from the developers about my many comments about the Cosmopolitan, most were about pricing. Did they sell out the building at those high prices? Yes! (98%) sold. Good for them and their and their profits! (maybe not so good for the owners) If you recall, my biggest fear of selling a unit at The Cosmopolitan was worry for my clients that the market could slow down or turn around and what would happen to buyers who paid such a big premium when or if that happened… Guess what? That time is here! The market has slowed dramatically. (again, look at price reductions in the market) What will happen when Cosmopolitan buyers need to sell ( job relocation etc.)? Stay tuned. I do not believe it will be a good thing for the seller’s. Another consideration is the high number of apartments that have been built in the downtown area. I feel we must be reaching a point of saturation in the rental market. When this happens, rental rates go down. For the last several years, it has been cheaper to buy instead of renting with rental prices at $2.25 to $2.75 a sq. ft. When rental rates start dropping, you will have more potential buyers going the rental route than we had before. They will be happy to sit on the sideline and let the slowdown happen and be patient before buying.
What about the pricing at the new Block 20 development? One thing I know, construction prices ( concrete, steel, sheet rock) have continued to rise. Will we see prices touching $1000 to $1200 again? I don’t believe so. Much will also depend on the finishes of the building though. Will they compare to that of the Cosmopolitan and The Metropolitan or will they be a notch or two lower?
If you have questions about Block 20 or wish to be on a waiting list for info, please give me a call. If you think there may be some interest in the new project, keep this in mind. It will be important to work with a buyers agent not associated with the developer…remember, the buyers agent works for your benefit, not the developers!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties.
If you would like see any of Portland’s beautiful available condominiums, give Brad a call to set up a viewing tour.
503-896-8856 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Today I lost a listing for being honest! One thing you will always get from me is my honest opinion. Whether it is my opinions that I write about in my blog, or my opinions in what it takes to get a condo sold for top dollar. The key words here are “TOP DOLLAR”. You have heard me say many times that “Any agent can sell your condo…but at what price?” To get the highest price in the sale of a condo, I have a pretty good feel for things that need to be done to get that top dollar. First and foremost… top notch marketing! Yes, even in a hot seller’s market it is important.
I mentioned that I lost a listing for being honest. This condo would have been priced in the 1.4M range. This particular condo had amazing river and bridge views. However, the furnishings (many antiques) were not the type that would “Wow” a buyer when they walked in the door. In fact, I believe the opposite affect would take place. I have often said, in the higher end of the market, buyers want the “Wow” affect when they walk in the door. This was a unit that had potential for a huge “Wow” factor that, with staging, I believe would have captured a very good price for the seller’s… if marketed correctly.
Telling sellers what they want to hear to get a listing is nothing new in our industry. I see it happen all of the time with agents that “Buy Listings”… in other words, they tell the seller it is worth more than what another agent said what it was worth because they know the seller will choose the agent with the higher price. Then, the condo stays on the market because it is priced too high and then the agent eventually beats up the sellers to drop the price ( the price the other agent had honestly told the seller’s) Then, because the unit becomes stale, the lowball offers begin to come in. My point here…be careful of agents that tell you what you want to hear. You should be more open to an agent that is honest and not just telling you what you want to hear just to get the listing. The listing above, well I believe the listing above will net the seller’s about $100,000 less than what it could get by staging and using good marketing. This is a lot of money! I felt so strongly about it in this case that I offered to pay for the staging.
The sellers made the comment to me that these were expensive antiques. One thing I have learned in this business is that the cost of something really has no relevance as to how it adds to the value of something. I have seen wallpaper, for example, where an owner spent a fortune and thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world… but everybody else hated it! In the unit above, I truly believe the sellers would net close to 100k more by staging this unit. In addition, the staging will help buyers focus on the beautiful unit…and take their eyes away from the kitchen! Remember the wallpaper above? Well the owners of this unit painted over the cabinets (DIY) in an un- attractive color that shows the wood grain through the paint. They also ripped out beautiful slab granite and replaced it with a inferior artificial product (blue speckled ) that is just not at the level expected for buyers in a unit like this in a building like this.
In the end, the sellers went with an agent that agreed with them and said what they wanted to hear. As a seller, do you want the most that you can get in the sale of your condo… or do you want to work with an agent that is being nice and says what you want to hear? The sellers choose an agent with inferior marketing to what I offer… and the truth is on this unit, to get top dollar, they are going to need great marketing!
I believe an agent should be nice… and tell you what you NEED to hear!
Back in March I wrote about a luxury condo that came on the market that I said was “way” overpriced. In fact. I took a little heat for my comments about that listing! This particular condo at The Casey came on the market for $1,699,901. When I ran my comps on that unit at the time the market value I had was $1,350,000. In my article I wrote about the potential problems with overpricing a unit so much. What I said what would probably happen is that the condo would stay on the market for awhile with little to no showings and then the agent would have the owner drop it $100,000. That would still not be enough so they would again drop it another $100,000. Then what would probably happen is it will get “Stale” on the market and when it does get an offer it will be a lowball offer!
Here is what actually happened with that condo:
It was originally priced at $1,699,901. After a month of no interest, the owner dropped the price $100,000. After another month had passed, and no interest, the agent had the owner drop the price another $100,000…now down to $1,499,000. After another couple months they finally got an offer ( yes a lowball offer) and it closed finally after 6 months on the market at $1,315,000, or another $184,000 off of the most recent list price!
Now I didn’t have a crystal ball that told me exactly what was going to happen, but I have been in business long enough to know that this was a classic overpricing and you could just feel what was going to happen. At the time it originally came on the market, inventory was low. While I said the market value was $1,350,000, the owner probably could have pushed the price to $1,400,000 and ended somewhere between that number and $1,350,000. While the owner, at the end accepted an offer for $1,315,000, his end number was actually worse because of his cost to carry. While it was on the market for 6 months, he still had to pay property taxes ($916/mo.) HOA fees ( $1,067/mo.) and mortgage payments ($5,000/mo.) total additional cost of $41,900 netting him an actual number of $1,273,100 before actual closing costs.
As a good listing agent, I always want to maximize the total return to the seller and I will always try to push the price for my clients. I am not an agent that promotes “SOLD in 2 days!” because that in my eyes is not always a positive! There is a fine line between pushing the price a little and overpricing a unit. In pushing the price a little, this is almost always a case by case situation depending on the listing and the timing of the market. More often than not, an excessive overpricing usually leads to a number well below the market value of where it should have sold!
The other comment I would like to make in regards to overpricing, if you are going to push the price a little, make sure that you have GREAT marketing. This starts with great professional photos and much, much more. Nothing is more frustrating then seeing a condo that is overpriced and has lousy marketing. At least with really good marketing you will increase the traffic to your listing and increase the probability of getting a better offer.
If you would like to know what the value of you condo is in today’s market CLICK HERE. Or give a call today to Brad Golik, Portland’s condo specialist! 503-896-8856
If there is one thing I have learned from writing a blog, it’s that you can’t please everybody! When I started writing my blog originally, the purpose was to give good, objective advice so that potential buyers and sellers could be assisted in making solid decisions when it came time for them to buy or to sell their Portland condominium. Over the last couple years I have gotten tremendous positive feedback and at times, not so positive feedback. Most of the negative feedback will come from someone in a building in which I made a comment that does not support a price of a listed unit in that building. ( after all, everybody would love for any unit to sell above it’s market price in their building) Earlier this year I wrote about a unit in the Casey that I thought was way overpriced. (and I am not going to mention the unit #) In my blog I mentioned that when a unit like this gets overpriced it will sit on the market with no traffic or offers. After some time the owners will drop the price $100,000 to try and get traffic. After dropping the price and still not getting traffic, the owners will drop it another $100,000. Well guess what has happened to this unit? The unit has had 2 price reductions of $100,000 each and still no sale. What has happened though is another unit in the building came onto the market that was correctly priced at $1,375,000 and it received an offer in 42 days and is currently pending. While this unit was 230 square feet smaller, and $124,000 less, it was also on the 15th floor looking due East…fantastic views! It was very fortunate for the listing agent of this unit that he was able to use the other unit on a lower floor to help sell his Casey listing!
If a buyer is out looking at condos and is a frequent reader of my blog, I feel they will be able to pick up some very valuable advice and be able to make a better informed purchase when the time is right. Again, my comments in my blog will not always make everyone happy but I think the majority will get much more of a positive experience than negative.
What looks good out there right now? Well it depends on your price point. There are still some pretty good deals being had over at Waterfront Pearl, in fact, last month they sold a considerable number of units in the higher price points. What about Penthouses? My favorite listing on the market right now is the penthouse unit #1405 at The Elizabeth…this is a fantastic unit! (and no…this is not one of my listings! ) With a recent price reduction of $100,000, I will say I was a little surprised that the penthouse unit over at Park Place sold first! That unit, originally priced at $1769,000, dropped it’s price to $1,650,000 and received an offer a month later. If you would like to schedule a time to view the beautiful penthouse unit at The Elizabeth, give me a call today and we can get it arranged.
If you are looking for a value in a luxury condo with great river views, you might want to check out unit #209 at Pacifica Tower. Because of the surrounding construction going on, this unit is priced under $600,000. You will not find anything like this unit in the Pearl for under $600,000. Not only does this unit have a spacious deck that looks out onto the Willamette River and has amazing bridge views, it also has a huge master suite…something very rare in condo living!
There are more units that are now starting to hit the market. If you are in the market for a new condo, give me a call and we can set up a tour of available units. If you are thinking about selling your condo, we truly believe we have some of the best, if not the best, condo marketing around and we would love to sit down and share with you how we are very different than the typical real estate agent out there!
Brad Golik is a Portland Condo Specialist!
Please visit: http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Sales for the month of May continued in an upward trend from the previous month by 16% for condo sales in our covered area which includes Pearl District, Downtown and NW and the South Waterfront area. In this area ( $200,000 and above) 71 sales were recorded with the highest being a Penthouse unit at Waterfront Pearl that sold for $1,650,000. Speaking of Waterfront Pearl, it recorded the most sales for the month with 9 sales brought on, I believe by their new spring pricing that was released (as well as the extra 1% that was being paid out to Realtors for selling this property over other properties!). Of those 9 sales, 8 were priced above the $600,000 price point. So if you are wondering if condos in the upper price range are selling… the answer is yes! For the month, there were 3 condos that closed for over a $1,000,000 including a purchase by my clients of a beautiful waterfront condo at The Strand. One of the others was the one I mentioned above, the penthouse unit at Waterfront Pearl. This is a unit that I had mentioned before in my blog. With 3185 square feet, this unit sold for $200,000 off of the list price. While from the outside this may appear to be a decent bargain, only the future will tell. This was a fantastic floor plan with a ton of space but the downside is the lack of privacy with the north building looking right into your unit! Typically, when prices start getting over the $1,500,000 range, buyers want more privacy for their money!
Other buildings that recorded multiple sales include The Meriwether with 3 sales, Atwater Place with 2 sales, The John Ross with 2 sales, and also with 2 sales was 937. While inventory levels still remain low, we are starting to see more units come on the market that last few weeks. For buyers, this will be a good thing to give you more options in your search for a new condo. For sellers, the lack of inventory has been a good thing and while more units are starting to come on the market, inventory still remains below the norm.
Yesterday, while picking up my open house signs that I had in front of Encore, a person came up and asked me if it was a good time to be selling. My answer was yes but I also went on to explain to him that for patient sellers, it was a good time to push the price a bit if they were not urgently trying to sell. When the market lacks inventory, especially in similar price points, you can get away with pushing the price a little. This can change quickly however when several new units come on the market in your same price range.
If you are thinking about selling your condo in the near future, give me a call at 503-896-8856 to discuss pricing, and also, options available to you from a condo specialist that you won’t get with a typical real estate agent.
One of the things that I do appreciate when writing in a blog is the feedback that I get. Some of it good and sometimes bad. I don’t really mind when I get negative comments because it is expected whenever you are giving your opinion on something. I do realize my opinion will not always line up with others. Today was one of those days where I got, not really a negative comment, but one where they did not agree with me…and that is ok! Recently in my blog, I mentioned that agents that don’t use professional photos don’t deserve to list higher end listings. This is something I strongly believe. What I believe I said was that someone who was going to make $20,000 to $30,000 to “market” a Portland penthouse listing priced at $1,000,000+ and did not spend $200- $300 for professional photos, did not deserve to have that listing. I STILL think this is true!
The person who sent me the comment said he had just seen a condo priced at $970,000 that sold in a week and did not have professional photos… and yet it still sold quickly! Well, I believe I know what unit he was talking about, and yes the photos were terrible! Yes the unit did go pending in a short time even with bad photos. Sometimes that happens. Here is my point. Why would you not do everything possible to make your listing stunning and stand out from all of the others and try for a higher price. I also believe that someone that is so tight that they won’t spend money on photos will also cut back their marketing dollars in every area like staging, print ads, internet marketing, professional graphics etc. Even though this particular unit sold in a short time, how do we not know that if it could have gotten more people to look at it had it looked more attractive online? Could great photos have gotten 3 more buyers through the doors? Could it have gotten several offers that may have boosted the price some? Personally, I prefer to do professional photos for every listing whether it’s $400,000 or a $3,000,000 penthouse! ( a good example of this is a small studio listing I just brought on the market for $305,000… www.PacificaTowerCondo.com )
The point here that I want to make is if you have the ability (and small amount of money) to make a listing beautiful and stand out from all of the others on the market, why would you not do it? I will say it again, it is a huge disservice to the sellers when an agent does not give his/her very best for the client. There are good agents out there that are professionals and truly try to do a good job for there clients. If I do happen to not get a listing over another agent, I hope it is to an agent that puts his clients first and does everything possible in terms of marketing, not only because it’s the right thing to do… it is what we are being paid to do!
Show me an agent that is not spending money for professional photos and I will show you an agent that does not care!
Brad Golik is a condo specialist working in the Downtown, Pearl Distict and South Waterfront areas of Portland.
If you are looking to buy or sell a luxury Portland condominium, call Brad at 503-896-8856 or email him at email@example.com
This week there were two new penthouse condos that came on the market. One was priced at $1,995,000 and the other at $2,200,000. Yesterday I toured the unit with the higher price. The agent is pushing the fact that it was named “Top 10 penthouses to die for” on MSN Real Estate… I however, was not as impressed. Let’s start with what is right with this beautiful unit. The architectural elements throughout this penthouse were very nice. Warm woods on the floors and ceiling gave a cozy feeling to the unit. But when paying over $2,000,000, cozy is maybe not the feeling I would want! Having three bedrooms and three parking spaces is a nice plus. The finishes in the bathrooms and kitchen were very nice. Now with what I did not like about this unit. I felt somewhat cramped in this 2,239 square foot unit. The main living area seemed very tight to me. While the kitchen was nice, it featured GE Monogram appliances instead of the typical higher end Sub Zero and Wolf appliances we are accustomed to seeing in this price point. The biggest disappointment was the outdoor living area. While the deck was a spacious 800+ square feet, it faces west directly into the 405 freeway noise! The freeway is only one block away. In addition, this is a mid rise building, and while yes it is a penthouse, you still have the neighbors next door at Avenue Lofts and Irving Street Lofts looking down onto your deck so not much privacy. At $2,200,000, my expectations in this price would be something more like the PH3 that sold at the Metropolitan last year for $2,240,000. That penthouse had 3,245 square feet and a massive deck that was pretty much on top of the world with total privacy in one of Portland’s most desirable buildings!
The other unit that came on the market was priced at $1,995,000 and away from the freeways in the heart of the Pearl District. Slightly larger with 2,550 square feet, this unit just lives much larger. While the deck space is smaller than the other penthouse, it still has plenty of space with 628 square feet with 3 mountain views and a much quieter location so that you would actually use your deck! This unit is in one of my favorite loft style buildings… The Elizabeth!
If you would like to tour either of these Portland penthouse units or any other luxury condominiums in Portland, give me a call and we can set up a tour and take a look at some of Portland’s most beautiful condominiums. If you are looking to buy a condo in Portland, OR., why not work with Portland’s condo specialist!
Brad Golik 503-896-8856
Today I went to a luncheon put on by Hoyt Street Properties that was an introduction to their newest proposed project, Park Central in the Pearl District. The Park Central high rise building will not only be the newest condominium building to come to market, it will also be the tallest. Park Central, as it is in the works now, will rise to 28 stories with the top 3 levels being the penthouse levels. At 350 feet tall, it will easily be the Pearl Districts tallest condo building to date. Plans for this new Portland high rise are lofty as it will be the most expensive condominium in the Pearl District with prices rising to over 700 per sq. ft.
Over and over again, buyers talk about the importance of outdoor living space. Park Central will not disappoint! With many homes featuring an atrium like deck space for maximizing the natural daylight. Also, your outdoor living space will be incomparable with the podium level rooftop garden area. With outdoor fireplaces and sitting areas to expand your outdoor living space from the confines of your own condo. BBQ with friends on the pleasant summer evenings 4 floors up from the hustle and bustle on the streets below. The outdoor living space on the rooftop of podium level offers a secure and comfortable space for residents to enjoy.
Today’s meeting was in part, a time for the developers to learn from agents what it is that their buyer’s want the most. With a building in the price point where it is expected to be, Park Central will have to have it all! Harwood floors throughout, high quality appliances, quality fixtures, cabinetry that is of the best quality, fireplaces and unique floor plans that will have some “Wow” factor when you walk in the door!
If you currently live in the Pearl District and think that this could be a building for you, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I can give you a good market analysis of your current condo or loft. In terms of buying a unit at Park Central, let me work to negotiate the best deal for you. Remember. The on-site agents with the developer are there to sell you a condo but they are working for the best interest of the developer. I am there for YOU! If you are currently living in a house and thinking about downsizing, I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss all of the positives and negatives of condo living! Don’t think of it as downsizing so much… how about funsizing!
Keep in mind, we are still very early in the starting phase of this project. Move in dates are still most likely two years out. The developers are still trying to gage the market on what it can afford and for what buyers want in a new luxury condominium. As a condo specialist with a focus in the Portland luxury condominium market, I would be happy to assist you along the way from when the developer begins taking pre-sale orders all the way through until move in!
The Envoy Penthouse is back on the market …. and the price has not dropped! Unit #800 at The Envoy came back on the market recently, priced again at $2,995,000 after over 700 days on the market! This is slightly higher than the penthouse at The Westerly, priced at $2,950,000 that we recently wrote about. So, if you were in the market for a Portland luxury penthouse, which one looks more attractive? I would have to say in my opinion these are the two best penthouse condos on the market right now. Clearly better units than the penthouse units available at The Eliot, The Benson and Encore.
Let’s compare just these two for comparisons sake. The Envoy penthouse does have the most square footage of any penthouse on the market right now at 5,026 square feet. But, how important is this in comparison to the square footage at The Westerly penthouse which has 3,662? I don’t believe it’s a huge selling point because most people looking to buy a luxury penthouse are downsizing from their existing 4000 to 8000 sq. ft homes. They really don’t need the massive space that they need to take care of. While the deck of The Envoy is very large, I believe the 2 decks at The Westerly offer more than enough outdoor entertaining space.
Now to me, what REALLY puts The Westerly penthouse out front are the views! People are willing to pay more money for a dead on easterly, Mt. Hood ,city view and that is what you get with the Westerly penthouse.( The larger picture above is from the deck of The Westerly penthouse!) If I am spending over $2,000,000 for any condo, it better have some of the best city views available, and this one does. Unlike the penthouses in the Pearl, this one actually looks over the Pearl and downtown Portland! The view at The Envoy view actually looks up to The Westerly penthouse and has more of a northern view… just not as desirable!
*Above photos are interior of The Westerly penthouse*
Also, of importance is that while the interior of The Envoy penthouse is spectacular (amazing kitchen), the building itself is quite old (1929) while The Westerly is a brand new building. Finally, the 4 bedrooms are nice to have at The Envoy, but probably not necessary for someone looking to downsize. Of more importance in this price category is the fact that the Westerly has 4 covered parking spaces compared to 2 at the Envoy( + 2 uncovered).
All in all, for me, the spectacular views are what makes The Westerly penthouse the winner over The Envoy penthouse. Everybody does have their own personal preferences so I would say if you are considering a Portland luxury condominium to purchase, give me a call and we can get out and take a look at all of the available penthouses on the market and you can make the best decision from that point! I do specialize in the Portland luxury condominium market so give me a call if you are ready to see some of Portland’s finest luxury condominiums!
(503-896-8856) or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Penthouse at Waterfront Pearl. Looking for a spacious condo with water views? Welcome to the newest Portland penthouse listing at Waterfront Pearl! Last night I went to an evening open house of this unit and was actually impressed with the floor plan of this unit. This penthouse condo is priced at $1,049,000 and features 2 bedrooms and a den that is currently set up as a media room. While not large in terms of media rooms, it is comfortable and makes for nice space to watch your favorite movie. The total size of this unit is 1927 square feet. What I like about this particular unit is the fact that the bedrooms are very separate from the main living spaces. The kitchen is large and features Viking appliances. While the views are pretty industrial, the positive is that this unit is fairly private and does not have an adjacent building peering in on it. The water views are great, looking to the East and downriver to the North. Traffic on the Freemont Bridge in the distance offers a moving light show of entertainment at night while the boat traffic during the day is always fun to watch.
How does this unit compare to other condos priced near the $1,000,000 range? I would say pretty favorably. Lets start with the penthouse unit #1601 at Encore. Priced at $1,196,000, the Encore unit is slightly smaller. While it does have a larger deck space, the views from the Waterfront Pearl unit are much nicer. Priced at $1,199,000, unit #1411 at The Henry, in my opinion, does not compete. The Henry condominium is essentially a 1 bedroom with den with only 1620 square feet of living space and is not a penthouse floor. Originally priced at an insane price of $1,350,000, its current price is still high especially compared to the Waterfront Pearl unit that has a superior floor plan. unit #2300 at Atwater Place, priced at $1,070,000, offers 1692 square feet but is a NW corner unit…no comparison to the direct water views offered by unit #1001 at Waterfront Pearl.
If you would like to view the penthouse at Waterfront Pearl, please give us a call. We are condo specialist with a focus on the upper end of the condo market. We will negotiate aggressively on your behalf to get you the best purchase price possible. If you would like to tour other Portland penthouse condos or other Portland luxury condominiums, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856