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Jane Smith Realty's Blog

Jane Smith Realty


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28lb Spring Chinook - right in the city !

by Jane Smith Realty

On Thursday I was sitting in a freinds boat in the Columbia looking at Mount Hood and catching fish, and I was thinking how very lucky we are (again) to live where we live.

I caught a nice fish that day and part of it has hit the barbeque every night since.  And I cant think of another American city where I could sit in a boat right in the city limits and catch world class fish.  See the video.

Portland offers so much close buy - world class fishing, world class skiing including America's  largest lit ski area and America's only place to ski year round.  We also are only 1.5 hours from the Oregon coast and cities such as Cannon Beach.

Its amazing to me that I can be there fishing, and also working talking on my cell phone and emailing an offer via my TREO to another agent too ! 

Untitled from Rob Levy on Vimeo.

100% Loans Are Still Out there!

by Jane Smith Realty

I was chatting recently online with a group of Realtors I belong to called the CyberStars and we were discussing a much overlooked down payment assistance program I have been using in our market in Portland, Oregon.

This progam is called the Nehemiah Charitable Model and uses funds from charitable sources for downpayment assistance for persons who qualify.  The program can be found at and there is a tutorial there as to how it works.

Nehemiah is an FHA product in that all loans must comply with FHA/HUD rules, but there are many great points such as.....

  • Gift funds up to 6% of the final contract sales towards your downpayment and/or closing costs
  • Gift funds for both first time and repeat homebuyers
    (Nehemiah charges a nominal processing fee that may be paid by the seller, homebuyer, or lender.)
  • Gift funds for both new construction and resale homes
  • No repayment of gift money
  • No income or asset limits
  • No geographical restrictions

My preferred lender - Shawn Headlee with Columbia Mortgage is very familiar with these loans as we have done several, so if you think you can use this program to purchase a house in our current market, which is a great time to buy, then give us a call.

Selecting the Best Neighborhood for You!

by Jane Smith Realty

You may have grown up in the Portland area and know exactly where to buy your first home or maybe you are downsizing and have had your next location in mind for awhile.  Perhaps you are relocating and have heard of many popular communities or neighborhoods.

If you are lucky, you will find the location of your dreams right away.  However many home buyers find themselves debating between several neighborhoods determining strengths and weaknesses for each. If on a budget or with children, it is often schools, commuting and finances that dictate location the most.

Here are some suggestions from the  Home Buying for Dummies Book.

1)  Prioritize your needs.
Buying a home on a budget means trade-offs.  For the neighborhood you dream of it may mean purchasing a smaller home.  You must decide what factors are most important to you!

2) Talk to people who live in the neighborhoods.      

People living, working and playing in the community will have the most insight into pros and cons.  The Rob Levy Team recommends taking a day or two to walk or at least drive around the neighborhood at a few different times of day.  See how far the closest gym, park, freeway and coffee shop is.

3) Get the Days-on-Market (DOM) statistics from our team.

DOM statistics show how long the average house takes to sell in an area.  (Ask a team member about this, if a property has been listed by two agents back to back it may only reflect the current listing's DOM.)  Quick sales often indicate strong buyer demand which should make you feel good about the neighborhood you are investing in.

4) Get help from a professional.

This is where we come in!  Home Buying for Dummies suggests speaking to a REALTOR®, lender or appraiser to compare the upside potential of home values in each neighborhood.

In the end, only you know what neighborhood will be best for your family.  There are no guarantees with "up-and-coming" neighborhoods, but the more you put into your community the more you will get out of it.  If you have plenty of time to scope out the area before you buy maybe take a Sunday drive through some different parts of town.  You may be surprised the many secret great finds around town.  The Office of Neighborhood Involvement has reported there are more than 90 neighborhood associations in Portland!

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3