The Seasons are Changing…

Posted on September 19, 2017 at 8:11 pm
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Design Spotlight: Wallpaper

Fearful of commitment? My listing features bold wallpaper in the main floor powder room. It is a stylish design choice to enhance spaces both small and large. For more information on this residence click here.

Posted on September 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm
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Support the Children’s Cancer Association this Sunday

Penner Ash with Chef Vitaly Paley

On Sunday, August 27, 2017, Ron and Lynn Penner-Ash, founders of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, will host the third-annual Live from the Heart winery concert series to benefit Children’s Cancer Association (CCA), whose innovative, free-of-charge programs of JoyRx leverage music, friendship, play and resources to create transformative moments of joy for seriously ill children and their families. The event takes place at Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in Newberg from 5-11 p.m, with complimentary wines and an intimate performance from singer-songwriter, Justin Townes Earle. The food is prepared by Chef Vitaly Paley.

Since its inception three years ago, Live from the Heart has raised nearly $100,000 for CCA. It was founded by Penner-Ash Wine Cellars founders, Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash. In addition, Ron currently serves as one of CCA’s board of directors. Past events pulled in talented musicians Bela Fleck and The Punch Brothers. General tickets are $125 and VIP tickets, which include a winery tour and more, are $250.

Posted on August 25, 2017 at 9:16 pm
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1800 SW Elizabeth Street | $999,000

Posted on August 16, 2017 at 10:16 pm
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Nearly 30 Years in the Making, Convention Center Hotel Finally Breaks Ground

Officials from the city of Portland, including Mayor Ted Wheeler, as well as Metro, Mortenson, Hyatt, the Schlesinger Companies and the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission and turned the ceremonial first shovels of dirt for the forthcoming Oregon Convention Center Hotel at a celebration Friday morning.

By Jon Bell, Portland Business Journal

Barry Schlesinger summed up the Oregon Convention Center Hotel project simply and succinctly at a ground-breaking ceremony this morning.

“Today’s been a long time coming,” he said.

Schlesinger, a partner and owner of the real estate-focused Schlesinger Companies, was referencing not only the nearly 30 years that it’s taken to make a convention center hotel a reality, but also to his family’s 11-year involvement in the project. His firm owns the land where the hotel will be built and is selling it to Mortenson, the construction and development company that will build the hotel.

“It took all of us working together to carry this project through the toughest real estate market I have ever seen,” Schlesinger said.

Schlesinger was one of the leaders and officials who took the stage at the groundbreaking ceremony this morning at the site, which sits just north of the Oregon Convention Center. Joining him were Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Tom Hughes of Metro, Dan Mehls of Mortenson, Karis Stoudamire-Phillips of the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission, Tom Lander of Mortenson and Kimo Bertram of Hyatt.

Each thanked long lists of people who have worked for years to bring the Oregon Convention Center Hotel to fruition. The idea for one has percolated since the Convention Center itself was built in 1989, but finances, politics and even some legal challenges kept the project from advancing.

But everything started to finally line up over the past year or two, and now, the 600-room, $240 million Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center is on its way.

“We’re standing on the shoulders of many, many people and organizations … whose leadership and persistence and dedication brought us to this important moment, ” Wheeler said.

Though today’s groundbreaking was largely ceremonial, building permits have been issued and work is expected to get underway in earnest in the coming weeks.

The project is expected to create more than 2,000 construction jobs and an additional 950 hotel and hospitality jobs.

According to an analysis posted on Metro’s website, the new hotel is expected to attract between five and 10 new mid-sized conventions each year. It could also boost annual hotel business by 70,000 to 110,000 new room nights, kick up convention-related tourism spending to $600 million a year and generate more than $10.3 million in new state and local tax revenues.

Funding for the hotel will include $60 million in bonds backed by lodging tax revenue, $4 million from Metro, $10 million from lottery funds and $165 million from Hyatt and Mortenson.

It is expected to be complete by the end of 2019.

Posted on August 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm
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4137 SW Greenleaf Court | $940,000

Posted on August 11, 2017 at 8:52 am
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U.S. Home Sales to Foreigners Surge 49% to New Record

U.S. home sales to foreigners surge 49% to new record

Foreigners are getting serious about “Buying American” real estate.

The National Association of Realtors released a report Tuesday that said foreign buyers and recent immigrants spent an estimated $153 billion on American properties in the year ending March 2017. That was a 49% increase over the previous year and the highest level since record-keeping began in 2009.

The purchases accounted for 10% of the total value of existing home sales in the U.S. The report did not include new homes.

The breakdown of sales between foreigners and recent immigrants was about 50:50.

Blame Canada

America’s neighbors to the north were one big factor behind the surge.

Canadian real estate investors nearly doubled their purchases of American homes over the period because of the relative affordability of properties in the States. Many Canadians have been squeezed out of property markets in cities like Toronto and Vancouver that have experienced rapid price gains.

Canadians were the second biggest foreign purchasers of homes after the Chinese. Buyers from China shelled out nearly $32 billion over the period, while Canadians spent $19 billion.

Trump turmoil?

Foreign buyers had to brush off U.S. political turmoil in order to make their purchases.

“The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did not deter foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.

“While the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies and steadfast home-price growth made buying a home more expensive in many areas, foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work and invest,” he said.

Location, location, location

Nearly half of all foreign sales were in three states: Florida, California and Texas.

Canadians gravitated to Florida. Chinese buyers focused on California. And Texas was the preferred state for Mexican buyers.

New Jersey and Arizona were the fourth and fifth most popular states.

The report estimated foreign buyers typically paid just over $302,000 per property, up 9% from the previous year.

About 10% of foreign buyers paid over $1 million.

Posted on July 24, 2017 at 11:12 pm
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Summer of Beer: Portland’s Best Pints and Breweries Right Now

0717 beer breakside patio qinfga

When the sun shines at Breakside’s new Slabtown brewery, the garage doors swing up.

The Classic Brewpub: Ancestry Brewing

Southeast Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood can feel something like Northwest Portland circa 2005: low-key, but with signs of imminent growth everywhere you look. Opened last summer in the ground floor of a newish condo building, Ancestry embraces all these qualities. On weekday afternoons the Tualatin-based brewery’s second site is decidedly “Sunday Funday,” with locals leafing through newspapers while sipping on one of the pub’s 23 draughts or digging into a heaping burger, while unleashed dogs sprawl in the sunshine on the sidewalk. 8268 SE 13th Ave

MUST DRINK: The Legion Session IPA, a bright, easy-drinking vision of Portland’s signature style MP

The Science Lab: Labrewatory

Taste something you love at Labrewatory? Too bad—it’s never coming back. The North Portland spot, a project from brewing equipment maker Portland Kettle Works, stocks its taps with experimental one-offs, made in collaboration with brewers from near and far. And, somewhat stunningly, the approach succeeds more often than it flops: a recent visit yielded a well-balanced farmhouse saison; a slightly spicy stout pepped up with Mexican chocolate and cinnamon, and a lovely, low-ABV yuzu sour. The décor is modern farmhouse dungeon: lots of salvaged wood and steel, with a few nods to science, including metal-ringed Edison bulbs that recall atomic particles (or, according to a friend, “bondage orbs”). 670 N Russell St
MUST DRINK: The taplist is always changing, so order whatever looks weird—say, a blond sour aged in tequila barrels and finished with Sencha green tea—and cross your fingers. RJ

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Insider Breakside’s new Slabtown outpost

The Slabtown Surveyor: Breakside Northwest

A city gets what it needs when it needs it; right now we need a perch to watch Slabtown transform. Breakside’s high-ceilinged, glossy-finished new outpost rallies this Northwest pocket’s rapidly growing population of residents and workers: when the sun shines, the garage doors swing up, bar-side talk turns to real estate, and the surrounding construction sites just seem like scenery. Meanwhile, sparkling seasonals flow—the piquant, muscular Rhymes With Blood Orange IPA, for example, packs a zip code full of citrus. 1570 NW 22nd Ave
MUST DRINK: The IPA-heavy list rarely disappoints. If it’s still on tap, try June’s Rainbows & Unicorns, a session IPA that glimmers and shimmers with pineapple and peach. ZD

The Wheatless Walk-Up: Moonshrimp Brewing

Convenience has never been a hallmark of Portland craft. But scoring a bottle of Moonshrimp is not easy even by local standards. Opened last April, the tiny two-barrel operation sells 22 oz bottles from its walk-up window on the side of a lime-green building in Southwest and only on Tuesdays. (You can also find Moonshrimp at a few select bottle shops in town.) In his defense, owner Dan McIntosh-Tolle says he likes to “see things differently.” Where others see a man in the moon, he sees a shrimp. (Hence the name.) After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, McIntosh-Tolle whipped up an addictive, adaptable gluten-free recipe using water, vegan beet sugar, and millet, yielding fruity, wine-like “ales” similar to brettanomyces—“Brett”—beers. 8428 SW 22nd Ave
MUST DRINK: The Starlight White Ale, a crisp, dry ale with slightly tangy, orange notes. —MN

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Sasquatch opened this 4,000-square-foot, 15-barrel, 22-tap expansion in industrial Northwest this spring.

The Industrial Outpost: Sasquatch Brewery and Taproom

Owner and brewer Tom Sims has been pouring classic Northwest ales at his Hillsdale brewpub since 2011. But after opening this 4,000-square-foot, 15-barrel, 22-tap expansion in industrial Northwest this spring, Sims and head brewer Mike Paladino plan a renewed assault on Portland’s beer scene, sallying forth with lagered beers, barrel-aged ales and ciders, and, soon, bottles. Clean white tiles and dark woods bestow a lively modern vibe on the space, with an outdoor patio in the works. Local artist Chris Bigalke painted a bright, wall-size mural to honor the tasting room’s best feature: its location. With the Aspen and Wild Cherry trailheads just minutes away, Sasquatch hopes to become the post-hike destination for thirsty Forest Parkers. 2531 NW 30th Ave
MUST DRINK: The Grapefruit IPA, a tart citrus spin on the Northwest classic, signaling Sasquatch’s experimental mood. MP

The Drive-By Surprise: Ross Island Brewing

In the scrum of rush hour, car commuters flow past the drab cinderblock structure just southeast of the Powell Boulevard bridgehead. That’s fine; brewmaster Carston Haney (formerly of Alameda Brewing) seems to be banking instead on Brooklyn neighborhood foot traffic. Varied locals sip his remarkably well-balanced British styles in a five-month-old taproom awash in quirk: all vintage frontiersman accoutrements and air plants. Do the mounted wooden paddles presage a coming flood of interest? 730 SE Powell Blvd
MUST DRINK With notes of chocolate and coffee, Ben’s Porter is a can’t miss. RD

The Northern Reaches: Royale Brewing & Garrison Tap Room

Hard by the train tracks down a dead-end street north of NE Lombard, in a ramshackle building that also includes a metal workshop and a theater, Royale Brewing’s industrial-feel tasting room sits snug against its 15-barrel brewhouse. Hours change with the day and the season, but Mondays can bring a flock of pedalers headed to or from the bike races at nearby PIR, with numbered racers enjoying a discount on pints of Royale’s dependable classics (a Bavarian-style pilsner, a golden Fat Unicorn pale). Five miles away, Royale’s Garrison Tap Room, abutting the Sudra and 87th and Meatballs on the main drag of St. Johns, is an indoor-outdoor spread with picnic tables and a clear-roofed patio (kids allowed outside only), the garage door–style windows open for a clear view of the sportsball on the TV and projector screen inside. 55 NE Farragut St (brewery), 8773 N Lombard St (Garrison)
MUST DRINK: The citrusy seasonal Willamette Stone Summer Ale, a cloudy wheat number with Meridian hops and just the right amount of tang MS

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A sprawling, crazy-angled cedar deck welcomes imbibers to Wayfinder Beer.

The Patio of Dreams: Wayfinder Beer

Crowds already flock to this Central Eastside brew complex from Double Mountain cofounder Charlie Devereux and the dudes behind Sizzle Pie and Podnah’s Pit—with nary a sip of house suds on tap. From the brawny tap hall’s huge, crazy-angled cedar deck and hearty roster of wood-fire-grilled comfort grub to 16 taps of German-inspired brews—it’s a hoppy pleasure palace. But by summer, Wayfinder brewmaster Kevin Davey (Gordon Biersch, Firestone Walker) finally gets to show off his own beers, primarily clean German- and Czech-style lagers as well as IPAs to start. (A pale lager and IPA dropped in early June.) “I trained in Germany ... I’ve got lager street cred,” laughs the brewer, who ran the popular lager operation Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham, Washington. “Expect to see some great traditional beers. It’ll be like a trip back to Europe.” 304 SE Second Ave
MUST DRINK: For now, guzzle a Snufflefluffagus, the brewery’s hop-dizzy “Dank IPA” collaboration with Zoiglhaus. KC

Posted on July 20, 2017 at 8:23 pm
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It’s About to Become Easier to Qualify for a Mortgage – Here’s Why

| Jun 20, 2017
 

We’re living in expensive times—when a bottle of fresh juice can run you $5, rents and home prices are soaring, and the bills never seem to stop piling up. But aspiring homeowners might soon get a break as it becomes a little easier for those with student, credit card, and car loan debt to qualify for a mortgage.

Fannie Mae plans to increase its allowable debt-to-income ratio from 45% to 50% on July 29. This means that more borrowers on the cusp of getting a loan (e.g., millennial, first-time, and lower- to moderate-income borrowers carrying more debt) could potentially qualify for a mortgage backed by Fannie.

The debt-to-income ratio is calculated by taking a potential borrower’s monthly gross income and dividing it by the borrower’s recurring debts such as monthly car payments. Lenders use this ratio to figure out if borrowers can afford to make their mortgage payments each month.

“They’re trying to make more loans available,” says mortgage loan originator Don Frommeyer of Marine Bank, in Indianapolis. “When interest rates go up, the debt ratios go up. And that limits the number of people who can buy a house.”

Fannie, which purchases and guarantees mortgages, was already granting ratios of up to 50% with certain conditions—such as if the borrowers had deeper cash reserves, underwent financial counseling, or had higher incomes. The change opens the door to borrowers with more debt who can’t meet those conditions.

Your bank might have its own debt-to-income ratios

However, not everyone will be benefit from the change. Fannie Mae insures mortgages, but it’s still banks, credit unions, and other financial entities that make the loans—and those lenders have their own criteria.

But the increased debt allowance could encourage more lenders to make changes to their debt-to-income ratios. And that could help more buyers on the brink.

“The best thing the consumer can do is ask the lender if they underwrite to Fannie Mae guidelines,” says longtime mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson, based in Laguna Niguel, CA. If they don’t, “you [might] just have to find another lender. Or maybe you push back on that lender” to see if it’ll raise the limits.

Lower debt-to-income ratios won’t help everyone

A higher debt ratio isn’t a silver bullet for loan seekers, though.

“Mortgage borrowers need to keep in mind, it’s the person’s whole application that will determine whether or not they get approved,” says Eric Tyson, co-author of “Mortgages for Dummies.”

“If you don’t have a good credit score, if you don’t have a sufficiently large down payment, it won’t change the outcome of your application.”

Buyers who can’t qualify, even with the higher ratios, should consider other alternatives.

“Most people are looking to buy at the high end of their budget. They want to qualify for as much house as they can get, partly because homes are so expensive to begin with,” says Lazerson, who is also a mortgage columnist.

“They could look for a smaller-sized property [with a] lower sales price. They could find a co-signer, someone who they trust, usually a family member or a close friend,” Lazerson says. “Or [they could] come up with more down payment money.”

Posted on July 17, 2017 at 8:11 pm
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Mid-Century Inspiration

My listing on SW Greenleaf Court was built in 1981 but was inspired by the styles seen so often in mid-century architecture. By incorporating some of the colors, furniture, light fixtures and details from that time, this property would feel fresh yet stay true to its inspiration. For more information on my listing, click here. 

Posted on July 14, 2017 at 8:54 am
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