Oregon Mortgage Payment Assistance Program Accepting Applications

Oregon was one of 17 states to receive money from a special fund to help states hit hardest by the recession. Oregon Housing and Community Services created the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative (OHSI). This program is designed to help at least 5,000 Oregon homeowners pay their mortgages up to one year, or up to $20,000, whichever comes first. The application process is open until January 14th http://www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org/

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Energy Saving Tax Credits Ending Devember 31st

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and looking forward to a great Holiday Season! It seems every year gets shorter, passing too quickly. Remember to make time to hug the ones you love.

And speaking of time passing, some of those tax credits for energy-saving home improvements will be expiring the end of this year. I came across an excellent article that I thought might be of interest;

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Election Season upon Us…And a Lot is at Stake!

I try and keep political issues out of my blogs. I don't think folks are interested in having my personal views foisted upon them. I do however cover political issues as they affect real estate, and in so doing will share my opinion. And welcome you sharing yours with me. This particular blog may not seem directly related to real estate. But then again, there may be no bigger issue, having a greater impact on the real estate market in the long term.

I'm talking about the shrinking Middle Class, and its weakening purchasing power. This upcoming election, and the next few elections, in my opinion will determine if we will rebuild the Middle Class or see it further erode and compress.

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Reading The Tea Leaves

As everyone probably knows by now, the housing market is linked to employment numbers. As Americans go back to work, the number of foreclosures will decrease, inventory will shrink, and home prices will stabilize. But when analyzing job numbers it takes a discerning eye to separate the wheat from the chaff!

How confusing! Reported last Friday, 54,000 jobs lost in August and the unemployment rate increases from 9.5% to 9.6%. And how does Wall Street react? By going up in value over 100 points! What did investors see that others may have missed?

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Important Information for VA Home Buyers and Owners!

VA buyers can purchase a home and finance energy efficiency upgrades to the home right up front! Home buying Veterans can finance up to $3,000 based on documented bids, or up to $6,000 provided the increase in payment does not exceed the likely reductions in monthly utility costs. Above $6,000 is subject to value determinations of the improvements by the VA appraisal process.

Veterans who already own a home can refinance their existing VA loan and add the same energy efficiency upgrade costs outlined above, to their loan.

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Should I lower the Price of My Home?!

I get this question a lot. You have a home on the market and it's just not moving and you're looking at reducing the price. Many homeowners feel price reductions are a Realtor's main (only?) strategy in getting their home to sell. If a house isn't selling, it's got to be price...right?!

Many times it is. Sometimes it's not. The question about reducing the sales price after a home has been on the market for a while is a complex one. Price can cure a lot of marketing challenges, including helping a home sell more quickly. The art is finding the right balance, between price and 'home chemistry,' to maximize your profit.

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