With tougher markets come opportunities. The condo market has slowed down and we have seen many, many price reductions…and not just one or two reductions, but four, five and six price reductions! There are a few that stand out for me right now that I think represent good buying opportunities. And because some of these have been on the market for so long, the chance to buy lower than it’s current listing price could be very high. In the higher end of the market, a penthouse that I have discussed multiple times is unit #1301 at The Strand. This is a beautiful waterfront unit that has great river, mountain and city views! The downside of this unit… many agents have tried to sell the large rooftop deck as a selling feature. Truth is you are almost level with the nearby bridge traffic and the noise is pretty loud. With that said, put a water feature and some music on the deck and I believe it becomes usable. The current price on this penthouse is down to $1,995,000 , reduced from last month where it was at $2,350,000. ( if you remember, this penthouse was originally priced over $4,000,000) At $1,995,000 you are at $615 a square foot. This is getting pretty low for any penthouse unit. I recently mentioned a penthouse sale at The Elizabeth…it sold for $551 a foot, an extremely low price for a penthouse of it’s caliber. If you are looking for a large unit (3242 sq. ft.) The Strand is one worth looking at.
In the lower price points there are also some good opportunities for buying opportunities. One example is unit #515 at The Elizabeth priced at $750,000 for a 2bed/2 Bath with 1562 sq. ft. A similar unit just went pending at $765,000 and an identical unit ( just four floors higher) went on the market $115,000 higher at $865,000!
In the sub $500,000 market you will see more turnover but you can still find some good values in the lower price points. If you would like to get out and view some condos, give me a call.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with LUXE Christie’s International Real Estate You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com.
Opportunities… PART 2
As I finished up my blog post earlier today, a new listing came on the market in South Waterfront for $2,500,000. This 22nd floor unit has 2349 square feet and has had a few new very nice touches added…new kitchen, wine room and general updates. What do I think of the $2,500,000 price tag? Well, it’s next door neighbor is on the market for $1,000,000 less at $1,495,000 and it is only 160 square feet smaller. If you want an opportunity, you could buy that one for $1,495,000…or a little less, add a brand new high end kitchen, add a very nice wine room and make some additional updates and you would still be under $2,000,000! What is the only advantage of the 2.5M unit? I would say having the St. Helens and city view are more desirable. So are those views important to you?
Here is an alternative ( shameless plug here) I have a penthouse listing at The John Ross next door. It is in the NE corner…most preferred. It is 2699 square feet, so larger. It is 359 sq. ft. larger (equivalent to a 14×25 room) It is on the 27th floor so 5 stories higher. This is important because if something were built on the nearby OHSU property, your chance of loosing views of the Tillicum Crossing Bridge are less if you are 5 stories higher. Not only does it have an amazing Mt. St. Helens view, it also has an awesome Mt. Hood View! To add even more value to John Ross #2703… it has been in litigation for some time now (cash only buyers) and litigation has ended. What have we seen time and time again when this happens? Prices jump up in these buildings when litigation is resolved.
So you could also do an amazing kitchen in this unit ( there is a huge open area to make a much larger kitchen than the other two units) And do all of this and still be well under $2,000,000. The other option, you buy it and move in because you don’t need to do much because it is very nice and move in ready!
If you would like to tour Atwater Place 2206 and 2200 as well as John Ross #2703, give me a call today! 503-896-8856
If you want to capture top dollar on the sale of your condo, why not hire an agent who cares enough to do everything he or she can to get your place seen by as many buyer’s as possible. I simply refuse to cut corners when it comes to marketing your condo or loft. I often tell people “Any agent can sell your condo…but at what price?”
Whether it’s soda, beer or tennis shoes…marketing is so important. But, it’s not just selling these products, it’s selling them at a premium to other similar products by giving them a perceived higher value. Real Estate is no different! With real estate marketing it’s so important to start with great professional photos, after all, photos are the foundation for most of your other marketing such as print media, listing websites and video. And great photos should be something that teases the buyer’s and makes them say “I HAVE to see this property, it’s beautiful!” And when buyers see high quality marketing, they will often associate the listing as being a higher quality property.
Quality vs Quantity – More marketing is not always better marketing. 360 degree photos are something a lot of agents use today. To me, this is giving away too much information to the buyer. A potential buyer may see 1 or 2 little things that turn them away from visiting the property, one they may actually have loved had they seen it. Marketing is all about getting the buyers to a property. It is also about giving the property a higher perceived value so that they are more comfortable in paying a higher price.
You have many choices when looking to hire an agent. Why not hire an agent who gives you great marketing for your listing. After all, you are paying an agent to market and sell your listing! Why not hire an agent that cares enough to spend the money it takes to do the job right?
Brad Golik is a 15 year real estate veteran with a specialty in the Portland condominium markets. You can reach him at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com or at 503-896-8856
Amazing panoramic views that will take your breath away!
For a private showing of this beautiful penthouse 26 floors above it all, call me at 503-896-8856.
This is question I have gotten several times in just the last week. In fact, I get questions about Vista frequently.
Three words…Priced too high!
When The Cosmopolitan went on the market, it was a very different market. Buyers were paying a premium, and they knew it! They were hoping at the time that the hot market would continue and that the values would catch up to the the prices they paid. They were lucky because that is what happened. Today, not the case! The condo market has slowed a ton. Last month, of all listings in the Pearl, over 50% of those listings had to reduce their price. Days on market for higher end condos is now over 100 days! For many penthouses that have been on the market, we have seen multiple price reductions…not just one!
So, when I say that the Vista penthouse units are priced too high, I would like to support my comments. When The Cosmopolitan came on the market, I was very critical about the new building. The fact was that while I did like many things about the new building, I just had issues with the pricing. With the Vista, I believe that some of the lower priced units are in line with the current market. The penthouse units are a whole different story. For one, they are not like the cosmo penthouse units and do not deserve similar pricing. They are very linear and do not offer the floor to ceiling windows and views that you find in The Cosmopolitan. This is a big one because this is something buyers really like. In addition, look at the floor plans below. There is a stark difference between the amount of windows in The Cosmo compared to that of the Vista. In my opinion, this is why they are not selling! Also, the developers are asking 27th and 28th floor prices (The Cosmopolitan) for 19, 20 and 21st story units. I must say, I got a little giggle each time I saw the adds for Vista that asked “Ever wonder what the views are like from the Penthouse? My immediate thought was … ya, like the views from the 21st Floor at the Cosmopolitan that were priced at $875 a square foot…not over $1250 a foot! And to be honest, I do not believe that the Vista penthouse views are as good as the 19th – 21st floors at The Cosmopolitan.
The below floor plan is from the Penthouse #2815 at The Cosmopolitan. It offers panoramic views to the east with Mt. Hood and to the south with stunning city views!
Now lets take a look at the Vista penthouse on the South side #2108 currently priced at $3,216,000 . It is very clear when you look at them side by side the difference in the amount of windows/walls. Which is going to offer the better and more panoramic views…hands down it is Cosmopolitan #2815! In addition, #2815 is seven stories higher which adds tremendous value ( and if you remember, Hoyt put a premium of about $88,000 per floor above the 20th floor in the Cosmo).
Now lets take a look to the East. In most buildings, having an east view of Mt. Hood gets a premium. But, when your views are out of windows like shown below from Vista #2108…is it worth it?
Options! If you are in the market for a Portland penthouse, you have options. Unlike when the Cosmopolitan went on the market, a buyer has many more options then at that time. Back then, inventory was very low. In addition, condos are staying on the market longer and we are seeing many price reductions. If you are thinking about a penthouse purchase in Portland, here are a few good options:
1st: Pinnacle #1403 $2,488,000 – While you will be slightly lower being on the 14th floor, I believe your views are really much better. With #1403, you get true floor to ceiling windows with exceptional views to the south and the nighttime city lights. This unit was recently remodeled so you are getting everything brand new just as if you were buying at Vista! Like the Vista penthouses, this one offers 2600 square feet.
2nd: This is a penthouse that I like a lot… The Elizabeth #1502 $2,950,000 Another unit with many floor to ceiling windows looking to the West Hills and the city lights to the south. This 2-level penthouse has tons of character. With 3443 square feet, it is much larger than all six of the Vista penthouses and compares more closely to #2815 at The Cosmo which has 3131 square feet. This one has been on the market for awhile now after several price reductions… and you might be able to pick it up for an even lower price.
3rd: While this Portland penthouse is not in The Pearl District, it does deserve mention… #1301 at The Strand $2,395,000 – This 13th floor penthouse offers spectacular river, marina and city light views! Offering 3220 square feet with walls of windows, this unit offers some of the best daytime and nighttime views! If you can put up with some “white noise” from the rooftop deck, it offers stunning views…see below!
In closing, I just want to say I am a fan of any new condo building in the Pearl District or any other area of downtown Portland. With any luck we will get other developers looking at our great city with plans to build something that is uniquely Portland. As for Vista, sales have been much slower this time around. As I mentioned, there are some reasonable values at Vista…just not at the penthouse level! I do not believe that the designs, layouts and views are worthy of the $2,821,000 to $3,335,000 pricing.
Brad Golik is a condo specialist with Christie’s International Real Estate and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
The market has noticeably slowed down, especially in the condo market. Are there deals to be had moving forward? Yes!
Everyone always wants the best value when they are buying a home and in this market, here is the best way to purchase a home/condo at a discount to the market. Now keep in mind this is only my opinion, but moving forward, I believe you will see some clarity in what I am saying.
When something is priced right, you will most likely not get a “deal” on that home as it will most likely sell in a reasonable timeframe. Where will you get a deal? You will find your best deals in homes or condos that were originally overpriced. In the condo market this usually happens for one of two reasons. First, there are some agents who “Buy” listings. In other words, they tell the seller a higher price than the true value in order to get a listing over a competing agent. You have heard me say it before and I will say it again… this is a bad way of doing business that certain agents use and in the end, it hurts sellers. After sitting on the market with no offers and no showings, the listing agent tells the seller they need to drop the price. ( Usually down to where it should have been priced!) Usually, and unfortunately, the seller will keep that agent even though he or she told them they would sell it at the higher price.
The second reason they are overpriced is the agent is not experienced in an area or type of sale. I see it often in the condo markets where an agent just does not understand condo pricing.
Now, back to finding deals in the market! What happens often in this type of market is an overpriced home will sit on the market and go through several price reductions, often blowing right through the floor of where it should have been priced originally. A couple examples of this in the upper end of the condo market:
A unit that I like very much is a penthouse in the Pearl District that is listed at The Elizabeth at $2,950,000. A different agent had this listed previously at $3,650,000, a number I thought was way high! ( and I know this because I sold another penthouse in the building a year earlier for $2,350,000.) My original thought was what could I sell my previous listing for if I put it back on the market. I was thinking $2,700,000 to $2,900,000. Mine was slightly bigger and all on one level, a positive in my book! This is about where I thought the other unit should have come on the market. I believe that if it would have come on the market at the correct pricing, it would probably have sold by now. Now, after months on the market, and multiple price reductions, it will start to get some lower offers… again, this is where you can get some deals in this market! If I am representing a buyer on this property, I truly believe they will now be able to get the property for well under what should have been the true value at around $2,900,000. The best part is you can find these deals in all price ranges, not just the upper end of the market. A buyer with some patience, and that keeps his or her eye on overpriced units will be rewarded in the end. Overpriced units will go through several price reductions and sell for less than they should have!
Oh, I said a couple examples above didn’t I? If you are a penthouse buyer l looking for a deal… here is one I have talked about before, several times actually.
If you read my last blog post, you may recall me talking about a penthouse at The Strand that had reduced it’s price to $2,995,000. In my post, I mentioned they would probably start seeing the sharks circling and offer $2.6. Well since that posting, the listing has been reduced once again, this time down to $2,699,900. Now don’t get me wrong, this is a nice penthouse unit with some really nice views but it is at a point where someone is going to get a good deal on this beautiful penthouse! Had this penthouse been priced even close to reality when it was originally listed, it would have sold at a much higher price ( remember, the market was much stronger a year and a half ago)
No matter what your price point is, remember, there are condos out there that are overpriced! Keep an eye on these units and when the time is right…go in and make a low offer and you just might get a great deal!
For those of you who already own a condo and are thinking about selling…please use this as an education to the negative effects of overpricing!
Brad Golik is a condo specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com you can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
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
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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