FALL 2020 NEWSLETTER Mortgage Rates Still at Historic Lows If you have not already, now…
Summer 2021 Newsletter
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Top 10 Reasons People Choose Vantage Mortgage Group
Oregon Real Estate Market
What a wild housing market we are dealing with in the Pacific NW. We can’t recall any time in history buyers have been tested when inventory is so short and demand is so high. With things opening back up we hope there is some balance with increased inventory as it can be frustrating, especially for first-time home buyers.
Big increase since last update due to supply and demand and big $ offers. The typical home value of homes in Oregon is $437,715. This value is seasonally adjusted and only includes the middle price tier of homes. Oregon home values have gone up 15.1% over the past year.
Washington Real Estate Market
Also big increases since last update. The typical home value of homes in Washington is $503,609. This value is seasonally adjusted and only includes the middle price tier of homes. Washington home values have gone up 17.0% over the past year.
Oregon Bans Home Buyer “Love Letters”
The letters could reveal personal information about the buyers that could lead to discrimination, or even the perception of it.
Home buyers in Oregon will no longer be able to submit “buyer love letters” with their offers in an attempt to sway sellers to accept their offer over others. Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 2550 in June, which directs seller’s agents to reject direct communications from buyer to seller, outside the scope of a traditional offer.
Buyers will often include personal, heartfelt letters to sellers with their offers, telling them how much they love a home, how they can envision their family growing there, or that they see themselves hosting holiday dinners in the kitchen. The problem lies in that those letters could reveal personal information about the buyers that could lead to potential discrimination. Sellers aren’t allowed to discriminate based on protected status, such as race, gender, religion or family makeup, and a letter could open the door to discrimination, or even just the perception of it.
“The National Association of Realtors has actually advised against them, mainly because it rides a line of being perceived as violating fair housing rules or regulations,” said Paul Knighton, CEO of More Realty.
Last year, the National Association of Realtors put out guidance discouraging agents from accepting love letters from buyers, but the practice remains popular nationwide.
“An example—when a letter comes in, if it describes the family situation or circumstances, whatever that may be, or indicates or gives a clue to a religious or any other protected class, there’s always the risk that a seller could be accused of making a decision based upon inappropriate factors,” Knighton said.
Oregon is the first state to make it illegal. The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Mark Meek (D-Clackamas), is a real estate agent.
The sale should come down solely to the terms and conditions of your offer, Knighton said. He acknowledged it’s a tough market for buyers right now, but said love letters rarely tip the scales.
“You really have to put your best foot forward, make it a clean offer as possible,” he said. “The truth is, this is a incredibly strong seller’s market. There’s 0.7 months of inventory on the market. The more months of inventory, the closer you get to a buyer’s market, but right now it’s such a strong sellers market that all the buyers can do is work hard and do their best to put their best foot forward in the offer.”
Mortgage Rates Still At Historic Lows
If you have not already, now is the time to act If you may benefit in lowering your interest rate (still at historic lows). Please contact me directly anytime to discuss the market or questions and we greatly appreciate your referrals also to all that you know or hear about refinancing (and buying of course). Remember- lenders are not created equal (especially the lender that services your loan) and Vantage forces competition among the top wholesale lenders in the country to ensure the most favorable loan terms and options… with full rate sheet and recapture presentation.
Is it time to get a quote or refinance? We can run a quote for you by contacting us (thanks for your patience again) – and comparing our network of wholesale lending partners. If you don’t wish to extend loan term you can choose any fixed term between 8-30 years on conventional loans.
- If you have a 30 year conforming conventional rate around 3.75% or higher
- If you have a 20 year fixed conventional rate around 3.625% or higher
- If you have a 15 year fixed conventional rate around 3.5% or higher
- If you have a VA or FHA rate at or above 3.0%
- If you’re trying to remove PMI, or refinance out of FHA to conventional
- If you’re considering shortening your term
- If you’re considering cash-out for home improvements or debt consolidation, paying off a second mortgage, etc.
The Value of Hardscaping At Your Home
Curb appeal is one of the biggest factors when selling a home. Keeping the exterior of your home tidy and aesthetically pleasing can keep your neighborhood beautiful, encourage other homeowners to take pride in their homes, and attract more buyers if you are trying to sell.
While something as simple as a neatly cut lawn and spruced up mulch can go a long way, it can be beneficial to invest in some longer-lasting upgrades to your home’s exterior. Hardscaping, or hard surface landscaping elements, is durable, attractive, and often adds to the value of your property.
DIY or Professional
Many hardscaping projects can be tackled by an amateur do-it-yourselfer in a weekend. Others require specialized tools or skills and are best left to the pros. Consider your skills and experience, as well as your budget and time, when you decide if you want to DIY your hardscaping project or get the help from a professional.
Keep in mind that hardscaping projects are often more expensive than other landscaping due to the materials needed. If budget is an issue, you may be able to find a class at your local hardware or garden store to learn skills that can save you money. Talk to an experienced hardscaper about what materials you can use to keep your vision but save on cost.
Add some plants
You may already have some greenery growing in your yard, but being intentional and having a plan can help make the most of your space. If you are new to gardening, start by growing plants in pots or containers. Your local nursery will be able to help you decide which ones work best based on your shade or sun conditions. You can also go big by having a company install garden beds, bushes and shrubs, or trees. Don’t forget about paths, pavers, and rocks to really take your design to the next level.
Making a comfortable place to sit and enjoy your outdoor space doesn’t have to be complicated. Look for lounge chairs made of resin or powder-coated metal for a low maintenance, easy-to-find option. Add some cushions and you will soon be enjoying a nice break outside. You can also upgrade your seating area by hiring a pro to install a deck, patio, or other outdoor space.
Lighting and Landscaping
Evening is one of the best times to enjoy your outdoor space. Temperatures are often cooler and most people are winding down from a busy day. Add solar light scones, available at most hardware stores, that get their power from the sun during the day and offer a soft glow once the sun goes down. You can also look for a professional to install a powered system that highlights a particular feature in your yard or just creates a general ambiance to enjoy
That looks nice!
There are a variety of hardscaping projects to take on and they can all be fun. Browse some home interest or gardening magazines for ideas. You can even take a walk or drive around your neighborhood to get in-person inspiration from others.
Popular hardscaping projects include:
– Patios and decks
– Retaining walls
– Walkways and paths
– Arbors and pergolas
– Gazebos and other structures
– Fountains and ponds