My Staged Homes Portfolio

Please click Liz's Staged Homes Portfolio to view my staging portfolio

It doesn't matter the price or location, with over 30 years in the Real Estate Industry, my staged homes sell quickly and for a higher price, often inviting multiple bids.

Staging is part of my business plan to market homes. Please call me if you are considering selling your home so we can start planning on how to help you make the most money on your investment.

Buyers Looking For Homes - Inventory Is Limited

 

We are still experiencing a strong Seller's Market in Portland Metro and Clark County areas because inventory remains limited. I have seen some homes languish on the market however, which means there's evidence that buyers are becoming more discerning in what they will purchase. 

This is why my pre-listing walkthrough appointment is helping my clients focus on what's important to buyers as they prepare their homes for sale. And then add my staging and marketing efforts, and we have a recipe for success!

Spring Maintenance

It feeIs like spring is in the air! The first day of spring is March 20th and Daylight Savings ends Sunday March 13th.

As a Realtor, I suggest to my clients to do an early spring exterior walk around their home as preventative maintenance is less costly than repairs. Some of my clients opt for a home inspection every few years to find issues not always visible. This is especially important if you have EIFS or Oriented Strand Board (OSB) siding.I work with some great contractors and vendors, so feel free to let me know if you need any referrals.

  • Do you have moss growing on any roofing surfaces? Are your gutters full of leaf and pine needle debris? 
  • Do you have any siding, trim, or other areas that need to be painted?
  • How’s your deck surfaces look? Are they holding the stain/sealant or looking weathered?
  • Do you have any soil erosion issues?
  • Are concrete pads, driveways, or walkways cracking and/or showing areas of non-support or being lifted from tree roots? 
  • Any earth to wood contact on fencing, decks, the trim or siding on the house? Are any plants or trees touching the house or overhanging the roof and need to be trimmed back?
  • Is your crawl space dry?

I have looked for a good web site for monthly and annual maintenance suggestions and got to admit this site is good:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2013/10/08/keep-your-house-in-tip-top-shape-an-incredibly-handy-home-maintenance-checklist/

 

 

Owning a Home is a Good Investment Again

For the first time in years owning a home is seen as a good investment.  A recent Gallup poll shows 30% of Americans are favorable to investing in Real Estate which is up from 19% in 2011. In fact, it's seen as a better investment than stocks, bonds, saving accounts and even gold for long term gains.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/168554/americans-sold-real-estate-best-long-term-investment.aspx

The Federal Reserve is expected to hold the Federal Funds Rate steady until the spring of 2015, which means interest rates should remain low the remainder of this year. It is a good idea to refinance now and consider purchasing this year.

New Changes in Flood Insurance

Don’t let your flood insurance policy lapse! New changes on the horizon!

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) changes via the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012:

  • Starting October 2013 Flood insurance rates will be adjusted to reflect true risk. (Note: There is a new Bill before Congress that would extend the Biggert Waters Reform Act requirements another 4 years.)
  • Flood maps are being redrawn all over the country.

When people buy a home, one of the fees a lender charges is for a flood plain search (approximately $90). The Buyer knows right away if the home they are purchasing will require flood insurance as part of the loan.

The lender will hire an outside company who determines if the home being purchased is in a flood zone, either now or, using new mapping, sometime during the life of the loan. They will provide the flood certification to the lender at the time of purchase.

If currently in a flood zone, or determined to be in the future through new mapping, Lenders will be sending out notices of these changes.

Here is FEMA’s web site with additional information;
http://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-reform-act-2012

The NFIP was created by Congress in 1968 to provide flood insurance to homeowners in response to private insurance companies not covering flood disasters. NFIP is managed by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).

1/1/13 “Fiscal Cliff” Bill as it relates to Real Estate

  • The Mortgage Cancellation Relief Act was extended to January 1, 2014. In essence, debt forgiveness of loan(s) secured by your home used to buy, build or substantially improve your primary residence via short sale, modification, or foreclosure will more than likely not be subject to taxation. 

There are exclusions: There is a debt relief cap ($2million/$1million married and filing jointly), dates for qualified debt exclusions, specific rules if debt(s) qualifies for income tax exclusion, etc. Investment property debt is not included in this act and may be taxable.

Always consult an accountant and attorney before signing a final agreement on any debt relief settlement.

  • Mortgage Insurance Premium Deduction for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013
  • Energy Efficiency Tax Credit of 10% (up to $500) was extended through 2013 for homeowners who make energy improvements to their existing home.
  • Capital Gains Tax remains at 15% for individual tax returns of up to $400,000 in income/joint returns of up to $450,000. Above those amounts, capital gains tax increases to 20%. The $250,000/$500,000 capital gains exclusion for the sale of a principal residence every two years remains in place.
  • Estate taxes went from 35% to 40% for estates over $5 million individual/$10 million family estates. Estates below these thresholds are exempt from estate taxes.

Additional information