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!
Last week I wrote about two new Portland penthouses that came on the market. Today I toured the one priced at $1995,000 and I must say I was pretty impressed. This penthouse condo at The Elizabeth was stunning! While East facing, you would expect fantastic views of Mt. Hood, which this place delivers. Being in the NE corner of the building also gives you great views of Mt St. Helens and Mt. Adams. Back to the interior… this unit is only 300 square feet larger than the penthouse we wrote about last week (and $200,000 cheaper!) but the unit feels so much larger and less cramped. The layout of this Elizabeth Loft penthouse just flows very comfortably and while it is officially a two bed room unit, the owners of this penthouse are using the spacious second bedroom as a theatre room. This brings up my only negative of this wonderful penthouse….a 45 inch TV in the media room? Give me a 70 inch screen and this becomes a tough choice to say no to!
The owners of this penthouse obviously have very fine taste in their furnishings (which are for sale) which one almost has to look past when viewing this unit because it is so beautifully done. The first thing I noticed when I walked in is the elegant dining area with the crystal chandelier and then the wall of windows looking east to an amazing view. As you walk into the well appointed kitchen not only do you get those great views to the East, but also the mountains to the North.
For those buyers that need more bedrooms, the media room could easily be converted back to a second bedroom and in fact, a third bedroom/ Den could be added if needed. Of the current penthouses on the market right now, hands down, this unit is by far the one that impresses me the most.
If you are a buyer and would like to set up a tour of this beautiful penthouse, give me a call today. (I don’t believe this one will stay on the market too long!) We can also set up a tour of other available units so that you get a real good understanding of condos in this price point. If you are in need of more space, don’t overlook two available units at Waterfront Pearl. Two penthouse units at Waterfront Pearl offer over 3,000 square feet. One offers river views while the other has fantastic city views.
Brad Golik 503-896-8856
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
We all know that the Portland condo market has picked up and is doing well. How about the upper end condo market. Currently in Portland, there are eight penthouse condos for sale in the price area of $1,000,000 and higher. From a penthouse at Pacifica Tower priced at $950,000 to the “still on the market” penthouse at the Envoy priced at $2,495,000. In addition to the penthouses on the market, there also a couple lower floor units in the +$1,000,000 market such as a 13th floor unit at The Henry priced at $1,475,000 and a very steeply priced 10th floor condo at The Casey priced at $1,999,000. I say steeply priced because at nearly $2,000,000, I expect to be looking over nearby buildings…not looking into them. If I were going to spend $2,000,000 for a luxury condo, I think your dollars could be more wisely spent on unit #901 at Waterfront Pearl. This unit offers a spacious 3185 square feet with 3 bedrooms and a large extra room that could be an ideal theatre room, something you don’t often get with condo living. In addition, you are almost sitting on top of the Willamette River so views are pretty amazing!
In the last couple weeks, a penthouse unit at The Gregory was listed at $1,999,500 and sold in under a week. Yes, there are buyers out looking in this price range! When buying a penthouse condo in Portland, make sure that you are working with an agent that knows the market. If you are looking for a beautiful Portland penthouse condo, like the penthouse that just came on the market yesterday at The Meriwether, call me today and we can begin the process of not only finding you a great penthouse, but also negotiate you the very best price. When you work with me not only will you get a great tour of all the available penthouse condos, you will also get good advice as to the history of each unit and why they may have been on the market for so long or why one may sell quickly when others will not.
I am in the condo market everyday. I work hard to know the pricing in this market. This is something you will not have if you are selecting one of the luxury agents in Lake Oswego for example! And when it comes to selling one of Portland’s luxury condominiums, nobody offers a better condo marketing program in the + $500,000 condo market!
Portland Condo Sales
2013 was a good year in the Portland condo market! For owners of Portland condominiums, you saw you values come back after a long downturn in the market. For those who bought a new condo in 2013, many of you were able to pick up some very good values and take advantage of the very low rates that we have seen through-out the year. For me it was a very good year as I got to meet some of the most amazing clients that I was so fortunate enough to meet. In any business, when you have the opportunity to meet really good people and include them into your circle of friends, it just doesn’t get any better. So, to all that I was able to work with in 2013… I say Thank You!
And now for some numbers!
December was actually a pretty busy month in the condo market. Sales actually jumped 10% from the previous month as we saw 52 sales in the area that we focus on which includes Downtown, The Pearl District and South Waterfront. For the year, sales jumped 62% from the previous year. We had 978 sales in the + $200,000 market, over 376 more sales than in 2012!
Leading the way in number of sales once again was Waterfront Pearl which recorded 7 sales in December. To refresh you memory on this project, it was completed at the peak of the market. Instead of selling the units, they went into the rental market. Currently, as leases come due, the units are being sold again. If you have not seen these condos at Waterfront Pearl, it is worth taking a look at as they offer some of the best views in the city! If you would like a tour, give us a call ( 503-896-8856)
As we now see the prices of condos trending upward, many owners will now start to think about selling their unit. If this is the case with you, we encourage you to give us a call as we would love to interview for the job. What makes us different is our total commitment to offering you the best condo marketing available in the city! Time and time again the National Association of Realtors has discussed how their studies show that better photographs help sell homes at a higher price. At the very minimum, make sure the agent you hire is willing to spend $100 to $250 on professional photos. If it were me selling a condo for, say $600,000 and the agent wasn’t spending $200 on quality real estate photos ( especially knowing that the agent will make somewhere around $15,000 ) This person would NOT be my agent!
As an agent, part of my commission is for the purpose of marketing. I have always believed in spending more on my marketing than typical agents. The reason is simple… you are paying me to market your condo and get it sold!
This week I was at a coffee shop in the Pearl and was sitting outdoors while doing a little work. While checking emails, a lady at the table next to mine, after seeing some real estate marketing on my table, asked if I was a realtor. After I said yes, she told me that she lived in a nearby building and that she had a friend that was thinking about selling their condo. Naturally, I asked if her friend had an agent selected to sell it? She said that she was thinking about using one of the “Building” agents. What she meant by this was that she was talking to one of the “on site” agents that works for the developers. She mentioned that she was going to use them because … in her words, “They really know the building!” It turns out that this agent also lived in the building.
While speaking with this very nice lady, it was interesting because she kept asking me some very good questions. One of the first things she asked me was whether it was really important or not to really know the building? My answer was NO! As a condo specialist, I make it my business to really understand and get to know each building but when selling a condo it is way more important to know how to market that building. With that said, I got out my tablet and showed her what I meant. I asked her to think like a buyer and then asked her a few questions. When we did some searches I pointed out many of my websites that showed up in those searches. I also pointed out that when we did some searches in regards to her building, this other agent that “really knows the building” was no where in site. More importantly, none of her listings showed up either! This is not uncommon with the onsite agents at these newer buildings. You will not find one of them that shows up with high rankings on Google or Bing. Most of these onsite agents don’t do a very good job of marketing. Part of the reason is that they typically don’t have to as the developer pays for all the marketing for new sales. When it comes to using one of these agents for resale, they are not the best choice for selling your condo.
Agents that specialize in selling condos (some…not all) spend much time, energy and money to insure that they show up on Google and Bing because that is where condo buyers are looking. I personally have many websites that show up because that is how I get my clients listings in front of buyers. When a buyer knows they like the Metropolitan, they will do some research on the building. They will check to see what the amenities are, what the HOA fees might be. This is where my listings show up. In front of serious buyers! You will never find an “onsite” agent show up here nor will you ever find their listings. You can read more about whether you should hire an onsite agent on one of my websites at : Should I hire an onsite agent to sell my condo?
You have many options to look at when selling your condo. To me, the most important two things to look at when hiring an agent to sell your condo should be that the agent is a strong negotiator and second, they should have a strong marketing program that focuses on condominium buyers! How well you know the building does NOT put buyers in front of your listing!
If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft in the future, or know of someone who might be, please keep us in mind. We would love to sit down with you and share our very unique marketing program with you. Feel free to visit us online at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
I recently participated in answering a question on “Trulia Voices”. In this posting, I mentioned something about how most real estate agents try to be “all things to all people”. I am not a believer that this is an effective way to run a real estate business. You cannot possibly know everything in every area, this is why I choose the route of being a specialist in the condo and town home markets in Portland. If I were to buy a house in a certain area, I would want to work with an agent who is a strong negotiator and one that knows the area and pricing well. If I am buying a luxury home in Lake Oswego, I think I would be better served by working with an agent that specializes in that area and that price range. I don’t believe that an agent that is working all over the city can overnight become an “expert” in that area and have a good grasp on pricing for that area. The same holds true for the condo and loft markets in Portland. While an agent may be very good in the Lake Oswego and Dunthorpe luxury home market, it does not mean they would be the best choice to sell your luxury condominium! I feel this especially true in the condominium markets where you don’t have yard signs and much of the marketing is dependant on the internet.
If you are hiring an agent to sell your condo, it is very important that they have a strong internet presence in a broad array of the searches that condo buyers do. For example, a buyer is thinking about buying a condo at The Casey or The Metropolitan and does a search to check out what are the amenities at these buildings and what are the HOA fees. I can pretty much guarantee that the agents who are usually working in Lake Oswego, will not show up on these searches and neither will their listings! As someone who specializes in this area, I make sure that I do show up in these searches… and more importantly, that my listings (YOUR CONDO) shows up on these searches!
Everyday I see new condo listings come onto the market that are listed by agents who do not specialize with condos and each time I think “I wonder if their sellers knew there was a better way?”
If you are looking for a better way for your condominium to get the exposure it deserves, give us a call and we will sit down with you and show you our full marketing program for condominiums. We believe it is second to none and we would be thrilled to share it with you!
Visit us at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com or call us at 503-896-8856
Yesterday, like most Tuesdays, I was out and about looking at new condos on the market. I came across a new penthouse listing and went to the brokers open house for that listing. Two things really stuck out with me after viewing this penthouse condo at Bridgeport. First, you will often hear me talking about the importance of doing a good job of marketing when it comes to high end listings. One thing I have not talked much about, that I think is very important, is service! An agent is paid a commission to do a service for a client. Marketing is a huge part of this service. Also huge…and part marketing is SELLING the unit to every potential buyer and agent that you get in front of! I bring this up because I was blown away yesterday when I went to this brokers open yesterday. I was not blown away by the condo itself, while very nice. I was blown away by the fact that the listing agent said 2 words to me the entire time I was there. The 2 words that were uttered to me as I was getting ready to walk out the door was “Cool huh?” And maybe you could consider it that only one word was really said to me because “huh” really isn’t a word is it? Anyway, the point here is that the listing agent barely acknowledged that I was there… more importantly, she did not make any attempt of selling me on why I should bring potential buyers to come look at the unit! This is the whole point of going to a brokers open. As a listing agent, I want to SELL every agent that walks through the door on the many great benefits of why they should bring their clients to see the listing. It is also a way of trying to create some urgency and competition among the real estate agents. Not only did the agent not say anything to me about the penthouse unit, there were no marketing pieces either. As I left the building, one more bit of service would have been appreciated… a simple “Thanks for coming” by the listing agents co-worker that was at the front door, but that did not happen either. Not a word as I left. I couldn’t help but feel frustrated as I left this listing. Service is a part of marketing. If the initial service of having a brokers open to try to sell people on the unit failed, what will the rest of this agents marketing be like? I think I have a pretty good idea.
If you have read many of my blog posts, you probably know by now that marketing is a huge part of what I do as a condominium specialist. Why is this? Well for one thing, there are no yard signs with condominiums. The internet is where condo buyers go to search for a condo or loft. Yes my frustration as I left this listing was the fact that I didn’t have the listing. My frustration burned from the fact that I could do so much more for the seller than saying just 2 words…. ( make that 1 word) to an agent that showed up to a brokers open and is there for a reason.
In the beginning of this blog post I mentioned that there were two things that stood out about this listing… #2 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS…are you kidding me?
**Please read a previous post on what we have to say about photographs for listings!**
How were Portland condominium sales last month?
Answer: Very Good!
Sales for Portland condos and lofts jumped 107% over sales from February where we recorded just 28 sales in the +$150,000 markets that include The Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront condominiums.
Leading the way with the most sales once again was The Encore condominiums in The Pearl District with 4 sales for the month and new to the mix… condos for sale at Waterfront Pearl! Waterfront Pearl also recorded 4 sales as they emerge from being a leased property to new condo sales. Following in 3rd place was Atwater Place down in South Waterfront. In all, 58 sales were recorded in our target area and of those sales, 35 were below $500,000 and 23 were Portland condos priced above $500,000.
A question I often get asked is “How much is it to buy a 2 bedroom condo in the Pearl District”? To give you a more accurate number, it needs to be pre-qualified a little with… it depends! To get into a “Grade A” building, which most of the high and mid rise buildings are, last month a 2 bedroom unit at The Pinnacle sold for $480,000. There was also a 2 bedroom unit at the Lexis condominiums that sold for $415,000. The Lexis is in my opinion, a little lower quality building and should be priced a little bit lower. So, you can get into a 2 bedroom condo in the Pearl District for under $450,000, but it also depends on certain things, like which building it’s in, does it face directly into another building etc.Sometimes a unit just gets under-priced, like a 2 bedroom unit that was priced at $399,000 and went pending immediately. If you can move just a little distance from the Pearl District, you can find 2, 2 bedroom units for sale at Benson Tower for under $450,000. Another option might be Portland Plaza on 5th. While an older building than Benson Tower and The Eliot, it does offer a good amount of square footage for the money!
How were sales in the upper end of the market? Again, very good! In the $1,000,000 market, 2 sales happened. One was an 1820 sq. ft. penthouse at The Encore that sold for $1,125,000. Waterfront Pearl recorded 3 sales that were sold at $690,000, $815,000 and $915,000.
As we move through April, we should see a pretty active market with inventory levels still very low! There are currently 105 condos in a pending status including the beautiful penthouse at The Metropolitan that we wrote about last month. Priced at $2,249,000, in my opinion…about $200,000 too low, it went pending in 16 days. As I mentioned when I last wrote about it, it was one of my two favorite penthouses on the market. It is in a premium building, in a premium location and deserves a premium price especially when compared to the other penthouses on the market!
If you are in the market for a Portland condominium or loft, call us today to set up a tour of available units. If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft, let us show you one of the most unique and extensive marketing programs in Portland!
Remember, if you are thinking about buying or selling a Portland condominium, it doesn’t cost you to work with a condo specialist… it pays!
Metropolitan penthouse is on the market!
Today, 2 new Portland penthouses came on the market! The first is a penthouse at The Waterfront Pearl. The second is a beautiful penthouse at The Metropolitan! Two very different units…and 2 very different prices! First, the penthouse at Waterfront Pearl. This is the second penthouse at Waterfront Pearl to come on the market recently. The other one was unit 1001A that came on the market in January and is listed at $1,049,000. The new listing is penthouse #1002 priced at $1,099,000 and features 1703 square feet of living space. Between the two listings it really comes down to the views. 1001A has river views mostly to the East and North. Unit 1002 has a little more panoramic river views looking Northeast, East, South and then city views toward the Southwest. If you are in the market for a penthouse condo, I would suggest adding them both to your “must see” list.
The other penthouse that is now on the market is unit PH3, one of the penthouse condominiums at The Metropolitan. PH3 at the Metropolitan is an exceptional penthouse property, in fact, I would list it in my top 2 of luxury condos on the market right now…. The other is the penthouse at The Westerly that we had written earlier about. PH3 offers sensational city views and is located in the heart of the Pearl District. Enjoy all that the Pearl District has to offer while living at the top of the world… at least this is what it feels like as you tower over surrounding buildings and enjoy the panoramic views.
This penthouse unit is very spacious with 3245 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 and a half baths. The floor plan is very open and livable. The finishes are some of the best in the city. The only downside, if you even consider this a downside, is that it comes with only 2 parking spaces. If you are a big car buff/ collector, you may be more excited by the 4 parking spaces offered by the penthouse at The Westerly. If you like elegant living in a spectacular building in the middle of everything that the Pearl District has to offer, the penthouse at The Metropolitan is calling your name!
If you would like to tour the above mentioned Portland penthouse condominiums, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856. Brad is a condominium specialist at Windermere and owner of http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
** The Penthouse #1115 at The Edge in the Pearl District just reduced the price $50,000… now listed at $979,00 **
** The Penthouse #802 at Pacifica has sold. After several price reductions from it’s original pricing, it sold for $700,000**
** The Penthouse #708 at Bridgeport is now Pending after 255 days on market. After it’s second substantial price reduction (this time $50,000) it went pending at the listing price of $799,00, down $100,000 from it’s original listing! Stay tuned for final sales price**
We encourage you to work with us, someone who is “In” the condo markets everyday!
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