Today I am listing a beautiful penthouse at Pacifica Tower! Enjoy floor to ceiling windows in this corner unit. One of the best floor plans available at Pacifica Tower. Located in the NW corner of the building, this unit offers panoramic views of the Willamette River, Portland’s West Hills and the twinkling city lights. This home features two very large bedrooms and two decks!
If you are in the market for a condo in this price range, give me a call to set up a private showing of this fantastic penthouse.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties with a focus on the high end of the market. If you are looking to buy or sell, call Brad at 503-896-8856.
So you’ve decided that you are ready to sell your condominium. The next step is deciding what real estate agent you should use to help you sell it. One thing I see happen over and over again are the seller’s using the same agent that helped them buy the unit originally. Is this a good or bad idea? You are thinking that when you bought the unit, the transaction was reasonably smooth so you want to use the same agent. Again, is this a good idea or bad? The answer… it depends!
The factors you should consider when selling your unit are very important because buying is very different than selling. One of the most important factors is whether or not the agent is a condominium specialist or not. Should you hire an agent that is not a condo specialist? My answer is NO! And the reason is simple… these agents just do not know the condo market! Most important, and this is a big one, their day to day marketing does NOT cater to condo buyers. As a condo specialist, my marketing is targeted to condo buyers EVERY SINGLE DAY! This is IMPORTANT! A typical agent can not just flip a switch and fill their pipeline with condo buyers. Typically, they spend one day in Beaverton and the next in Lake Oswego. It is very hard to be an expert in the entire city. Actually, it is impossible! That is why I specialize. So I can be the best that I can be and truly understand my market.
Knowing your market is very important for a listing agent. What I see often from agents that do not spend time with condos, is a lack of understanding of pricing. I will be honest, if you were looking to sell a house in the Alameda area of Portland… I am not your guy! Why? Because I don’t understand the market as well as someone that works that area. Pricing can be substantially different in that area by being 1 to 2 blocks off of certain streets. Same goes with condos. I get calls all of the time from “suburb” agents trying to pick my brain on pricing because they know I have done a lot of condos and know the market. Do I like to get these calls? Absolutely not! It is very frustrating to see a seller put their trust into an agent that does not understand the market. To make it even worse, I go crazy when I see that same agent get the listing and don’t use professional photos to market the condo! It happens EVERYDAY, and it is usually because the seller was comfortable with the agent when they bought the place. So is this the right agent to list and sell your condo? Definitely not.
If you have read my blog for any length of time, you have probably heard me say “Any agent can sell your place…but at what price?” This is so true. I am a firm believer that good marketing makes a difference. It works for NIKE, Coca Cola, and Johnson & Johnson. Why do they continue marketing like they do? Because it works! Buyer’s are willing to pay more for something that is presented in a nicer way. Same can be done in real estate. If you can make a sub par listing look better than it is, you will get more people through the door. If a lazy or cheap agent does not pay for professional photos, the chances are the condo will not look as good as it could and it will lead to less people coming through the doors to look at it and in turn, the seller will get lower offers.
Now let’s say that original agent also does a fair amount of condos. All I need to say here is look at the previous paragraph! Marketing matters!
As we settle into 2015, let’s take a look back at 2014. For the state of Oregon, prices were up about 7% for the year. In the condo market, in the main downtown, Pearl and South Waterfront areas, the number of sales were down to 755 sales compared to 2013’s 978 condo and town home sales.
In the Pearl district, a new building began to take shape ( see: Overpriced Cosmopolitan ) and is the first new project, other than apartments, to take place in a long time. The biggest surprise of 2014 in my mind has to be the interest rates. If you can recall, last year all of the experts were calling for much higher interest rates for the coming year with most predicting 5% to 5.5% by the end of the year. The facts…. Rates on the 30 yr closed at 3.875% for the year end. As you may have heard me in the past when I mentioned that you could replace all of the economist with all the weatherman in the world , nobody would ever know! Well “they” were way off this last year! The next chart shows you the projected appreciation for the next several years. As you can see, they were off a little in their 2014 appreciation projections!
While condo sales were down for 2014, luxury condos priced $1,000,000 and higher were up for the year with a 25% increase in the number of sales over 2013. While the number of sales for 2015 is expected to be higher, the appreciation is predicted to slow to the normal 3 to 5% range. Which building had the most sales in 2014? Well this was an easy one…Waterfront Pearl led all buildings with sales as they continued to convert the building back to ownership condos from rentals. Encore came in second as that building finally sold out it’s new construction project.
What should we expect from 2015? Stay tuned and check back here often to be updated in the Portland condo market!
If you have plans to buy or sell a condo in 2015, remember it pays to work with a condo specialist! Call Brad Golik and let him assist you with all of your condo needs!
Certified Condominium Specialist
Cosmopolitan on the Park
Since my last post on The Cosmopolitan, my tune on the project has changed dramatically! Why is this?
Several things actually. First and foremost is pricing!!! This project is almost like a tale of two cities. You have the city of $600 a square foot and then the city of insane pricing of $700 to 1199 a square foot!
When I wrote my first post on this project it was directly after the Cosmopolitan had their grand opening. After the first week and a half they had 32 sales, which is pretty typical with the euphoria of any new project. As of Monday morning of this week….they are at just 33 sales!
Let me start with my main issue and that is their pricing… It is higher than the new building Insignia in Seattle! Seattle’s condo prices have always been higher than Portland’s and I know that condo market very well up there. The first tower of this dual tower project is only 60% sold after a year and a half of marketing. This is a building that offers stunning Elliot Bay views. Speaking to my fellow www.Condo10.com friend and condo specialist Jim Stroupe of the Stroupe Group, he said the downtown condo market in Seattle is being driven by Amazon (a downtown headquartered company) that will be bringing in over 50,000 jobs to the downtown area. My point here? Isignia has not been a huge sellout ( only 60% of tower 1), even with the awesome amenities being offered (see tour below) and the downtown job force. In addition, many of the sales at Insignia have been Chinese investors, something we don’t have a lot of in Portland.
The Cosmopolitans pricing up to about the sixteen floors for two bedroom units is very high in my opinion, but above the sixteenth floor it just gets ridiculous! When Insignia, which I believe will be a superior building, is selling for $700 to $800 a sq. ft and The Cosmopolitan jumps to over $800 a square foot for the NE 19th floor unit, something is wrong! On the SE corner units the pricing is at $1,507,000 for unit #2015. This is $850 a sq. foot! And it quickly jumps to over 900 a sq. ft. Pricing from the 19th floor jumps $88,000 per floor! Crazy!
For comparison sake, if you go back a year and a half and look at Portland’s best, most expensive condo sales, you only have 2 condos that sold in the $800 a sq. ft. range and one of those was the penthouse at 937 which was $805 sq. ft. The penthouse PH3 at The Metropolitan sold for $690 sq. ft.! Most of the top 20 sales were in the $500 to $700 range…and these are some of the best units in some of the best buildings like The Metropolitan, The Casey, 937 and The Henry!
My second issue with this project is the marketing of the project itself. I believe it has been very thrown together and not very well thought out. The developers have not been overly agent friendly (they are paying buyers agents 1% less than Insignia is paying the agents in Seattle) They have not presented this project in the most professional manner. They currently do not even have a website up and running that shows buyers what they are getting for their overpriced units. Going back to Insignia (who has hired the Mark Company to do their marketing) they show buyers in many ways what they are getting, from aerial views from each floor to a video like tour http://www.insigniabybosa.com/#/tour . These are things that should be done before you start selling a multi million dollar project! I would be much more inclined to drop down $1,500,000 if I could get a visualization like this instead of just a few samples in a showroom. Once again Hoyt has chosen to use their in house sales force. In addition, they are forcing buyers to get pre-approved with an individual at Wells Fargo… who, as I understand, happens to be married to the Sales manager at The Cosmopolitan… no conflict of interest here?
What am I doing with my clients? If they are looking at units in the $500 to $600 a sq. ft. range I think that is marginally ok to make a purchase because if the market runs up, they will eventually be at market price…a risk though. Anything that is above $700 a sq. ft… I will be telling them to wait or I will find a unit at The Metropolitan,937, The Casey or one of the other very nice buildings in town. Here is a thought. Instead of paying $1,950,000 for a 1773 sq. ft. non -penthouse unit at the Cosmopolitan, you could spend $1,700,000 for a penthouse at the Waterfront Pearl that has great water views and night city light views and 3300 sq. ft.! One more thing to add here. The developer is asking $3,757,000 and $3,883,000 for the 2 penthouses with amazing 28th floor views. If you remember a while back, the penthouse at The Westerly that was priced $1,000,000 less, had the most spectacular views in the city (4 mountain and city view) and it didn’t sell at that price!
Bottom line….In my opinion, this building is way overpriced and I will be telling my clients…and others to wait. They will have to bring their prices way down! For those who have already put down earnest money, I feel bad because there are no escape clauses in the Hoyt Street in-house contracts that allow for them to bail if the developer reduces prices. I especially feel for those 6 buyers out of 33 who paid $800 to $1000 a sq. ft. With any luck if the developer does reduce prices maybe, just maybe if they have a heart, will reduce your prices as well!
For me personally, this is a tough situation because I believe with correct pricing I could easily sell $10,000,000 to $15,000,000 of this project and it would put me in a nice situation when the project closes in mid 2016. Instead, I would rather protect my clients best interest! I believe that if buyers held tough, over time the developer MUST reduce the prices to something in the realm of Portland condo pricing!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist in Portland and has sold condos in both Portland and Seattle.
You can find him at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
The other day I was at meeting with many other fellow real estate agents and overheard one of the agents talking to a group of other agents. Here is what she said: “I am so tired of people not considering us as professionals and viewing us 1 step above a car salesman!” I found this to be very interesting and only supported a belief that I have, and that is the fact that many agents are not very professional! As I looked at this person, one thing instantly came to my mind. Here she was at a “professionals” meeting and she was wearing jeans and looking anything but professional, as were about 3/4 of the agents there.. ( Have you ever watched House Hunters on HGTV? Many times you will see the same thing!) The second thing that came to my mind was the fact that I had just taken my car for an oil change at the Cadillac dealership. While there, I noticed the salesman. Every one of them had a suit and tie on!
The point I want to touch on here is if you want to be considered a professional, then act like one. No, wearing a suit does not make you a professional, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. The funny thing about the real estate business is that you have many different types and quality of real estate agents. The true professionals (usually dress everyday like they may meet a potential client that day) make a point to learn the business. They understand contracts, learn strong negotiation skills, have strong marketing skills. In other words, they take the time and make the effort to become a true “Professional”. Last week I went to view a million dollar condo for a client. I was pretty shocked when I showed up to see the listing agent in jeans who was trying to sell a million dollar condo. Again…a suit does not make you a professional but come on people. You want people to consider our profession as professional, start acting like it. You do have cultures within companies like Nike and Intel where it is appropriate to dress more casual, but we are not Nike and Intel.
There are over 8,000 real estate agents in the Portland area. Many more are becoming agents because they think it is an easy profession to make money in. (and they will soon learn how wrong they are.) Many of these agents are part time agents ( though you will NEVER hear that from their mouths!) It is very difficult to be a professional at anything unless you are giving it a majority of your time and you are spending that time to improve your skills.
If you are a seller or a buyer of a new home… hire a professional! If you are looking to buy or sell a condo, I would love the opportunity to interview for the job! If you are in the suburbs and looking for a “Professional” agent, give me a call and I will gladly direct you to a true professional.
Here is my take on professionalism in the real estate business. Professionals are good at what they do and they are worth every penny they charge! The ones who are not, and I believe that is a majority, can cost you plenty in a transaction.
It pays to hire a true professional!
Portland Condominium Specialist
Here is a partial list of condo sales from downtown, Pearl to South Waterfront:
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
Portland Penthouse Watch
What is happening in the upper end of Portland’s condo market? Let’s start by looking at the top 5 most expensive condos in Portland that are currently listed. The most expensive, at $2,495,000, The Envoy penthouse. This beautiful penthouse has become like an old friend…because it has been on the market for so long now we have come to know it well. While certainly a unique property, this condo seems to be cursed or it is just the fact that it seems to always be priced just above the market as it has consistently chased the market down.
In the number 2 spot, is one of my favorites and priced at $1,995,000, unit #1405 at the Elizabeth. Listed in late April, this special unit features killer views to the East as well as north to Mt St. Helens. If you are in the market for a luxury condo in Portland, this one deserves a look! Give me a call and we can set up a showing as soon as possible.
In the number 3 position is a penthouse we wrote about in mid April when it came on the market. With it’s price reduced $250,000 since that time, now priced at $1,950,000, this penthouse located on 14th street still seems to be priced high in my opinion. With about 300 square feet less than our number 2 penthouse, this unit just seems to live much smaller. And while boasting an 800 square foot terrace, the noise levels next to the freeway prohibit any relaxing times with peace and quiet. Also, when paying over $1,900,000, most buyers will not like the fact that owners at the two buildings next door look down on this property!
In the number 4 spot, Unit #1001 at Waterfront Pearl. Earlier this year, I had written about the unit directly below this unit, #901, it recently sold for $1,650,000. Unit #1001 is now on the market and listed for $1,759,000. While a spacious unit with over 3100 square feet, it does have one slight negative for this price point and that is the privacy could be a bit of an issue for some as the building next door does look directly into this unit. With that said, it does have fantastic river views, in addition, when you stand at the windows of this unit you feel that you are standing right on top of the river! In addition to the 3 bedrooms a den and 3.5 baths, this unit has a large room that would be perfect for a large media room!
At #5, this penthouse unit at Park Place, offered at $1,650,000 offers a wonderful outdoor living area. While the living area itself is nice, it does not come with a ton of the “Wow” factor.
In addition to Portland’s most expensive penthouse condos, I did want to mention a unit that I think represents value and is also a very nice unit. This is the new listing at the Casey, unit #1501. If spectacular views are what you are after, look no further! If you are in the market, give me a call soon and we can set up a showing of this beautiful unit. This is a unit that I think will sell reasonably quickly and one of the reasons I think this will happen, other than the great views, another unit in this building is priced a quarter of a million higher than this unit, and while the other unit is slightly bigger, the 15th floor views will win people over! I also believe the pricing of the other unit will actually help the sale of unit #1501.
So there you have it. Some of Portland’s best penthouse condominiums on the market today! Again, if you are in the market to buy one of Portland’s finest penthouse condominiums or one the fits more into your budget, call Brad Golik today. It does not cost you anything more to work with a condo specialist!
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.
Recently I was asked by a fellow Realtor why I spend so much money on my listings. My answer was simple… I told her “because they pay me to MARKET their home!”
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you will know by now that I am a huge believer in doing a great job of marketing. You have also heard me say that “Any agent can sell your condominium… but at what price?” Everyday I see new listings come onto the market where I see that the agent has done a less than professional job of marketing someone’s condominium listing. To me, this is a big frustration as I still do not understand why? Sometimes the sellers choose the agent who helped them purchase their condo, sometimes sellers are referred to an agent (often to agents who rarely sell condos and do very little marketing). You have often heard me say that a real estate agent who does not pay for professional photos on a million dollar listing does not deserve to “Market” a million dollar listing! (Honestly, I feel the same about $250,000 listings as well) Today a new listing came on the market that was priced over $950,000. The listing agent did not use professional photography! I have a buyer that wants to see this particular building and is in this price range. I had to tell my client to disregard the photos and that we should still take a look at the unit. If they were just judging the unit by the bad photos, they may have never looked at this unit!
In past postings on my blog, we have played a game called… guess the $1,000,000 condo! Today we are going to do it again… just to make a point! Below are two links to 2 different condo listings. Although one is on a Windermere site, it is not a Windermere agent ( we do not want to disrespect the agent by posting their name). When you click on these links, do not look at the text, only the photos. Which one has better photos? Which one makes you want to see the listing? Which one looks like a million dollar condo?
Which one looks like a million dollar condo? Well if I’m being honest, neither of them do. Which is really too bad for the one that is because it is a nice unit. As for the $305,000 studio condo, It may not look like a million dollar condo either but we do everything we can to make it look like a million… including professional photos!
If you plan on listing your condo in the future, give Brad Golik a call to see a full marketing program that will be designed just for YOUR condo!