Friday, February 28, 2014

Yellow means stop?!

Did you catch that article by the Oregonian's commuter reporter, Joseph Rose?  The one about how laws around yellow lights in Oregon are more restrictive than yellow lights in other states?  I truly did not know that!  It has been several years since I took the Oregon driver's test, but I don't think I ever knew that.

So here is the thing: " You see, the vast majority of U.S. states, including Washington, have what are called “permissive” rules, allowing drivers to enter an intersection during an entire yellow interval. (A violation occurs only if a driver enters after the onset of red.) Not Oregon. It’s one of only 12 states with a “restrictive” yellow-light rule, which essentially translates into “a solid circular yellow means stop and red means stay stopped.”"

I drive a bunch; most real estate agents do.  I despise being late, and am a busy gal.  This leads to frequent encounters with yellow lights.  Up until now, when I arrive at a yellow light, the question has been, " can I make it through before the light turns red?".  In actuality, the question should be, "can I stop safely?".

In the week or so since the article, I've REALLY been trying to ask the "right" question; can I stop safely?.  I am amazed how hard it is to switch my thinking.  I suppose I'm making progress, in that at least now I feel a bit guilty about making a run through a yellow light.  The yellow light question is posed so quickly, I am challenged to re-write the question?

What question do you ask at a yellow light?  And does it change as you cross state lines?

Read the full article here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A glimpse of Portland's 2014 housing market

By now, we are a solid year into the housing recovery.  Looking back a year no longer has us looking down into the cavern that was the fall of the housing market.  This time last year, we were busy, slightly shell shocked from the previous five years and a tad bewildered at once again navigating a quick and competitive market.

Today, we are a year wiser. Buyers entering the market know they'll be challenged to get their offer accepted.  Brokers representing buyers are adept at counseling their clients in the strategies of competitive offers. Sellers are starting to understand the importance of a well presented property to realizing top dollar; it must be prepared for the market; in good repair,clean, attractive and well presented. It must be easily viewable, quickly.

With the recently released stats for January 2014 we see the start to the year with 4.1 months of inventory.  At our current rate of sales, it will take 4.1 months to sell all the properties on the market. 2013 started with 4.7 months of inventory.  hmm

As expected, January 2014 saw an increase in pending sales over December 2103; 36.6% higher, and up 6.3% over January 2013.   Correspondingly, January's slight dip in closed sales is a result of December's lower pending sales.

Our market time got a tad longer in January; 96 days vs. 87 days for December 2013.  January 2013's market time was 114 days.

Our median sales price of  $265,000 in January is up 6.9% from $248,000 in January of 2013.

Good houses are still in short supply, and potential buyers are out in force.  Contrary to popular belief, Winter, as in now, is the best time to put your house on the market.  By mid-June, we can start to see some summer slowing; school is out and vacations start.  Give me a call if you are planning to sell this year and we can map a plan.  Thinking of buying?  Better get started on that loan pre-approval.

Read the full report for the Portland Area.