Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Black Friday today, go get your deals America! I do hope everyone had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving day. I hope your team won, I wish you and your family the best wishes of this 2016 holiday season.

I would like to thank all of the readers of this blog and all of my clients for their support, may God bless you all.

I am taking the day off, but here is a past Holiday post that still rings true today:

Originally published by Rod Sager, December 5th 2014, 

image from
I have said it before and I'll say it again; the holidays are a serious time for real estate. Anybody that is buying or selling during this time of year is very serious about real estate.

Buyers that are out in the weather during a time they could be at office parties, visiting with family, shopping for the elusive perfect gift, etc. is very committed to finding a house in a timely fashion. Otherwise why wouldn't they just put it off until the New Year?

Likewise for sellers. They would probably rather not have people tromping through their home during the holidays, when guests are over, the decorations are up, etc. Yet there they are doing just that. Maybe they just really want to sell their house?

This is a great time to buy or sell. All of the classic "looky-loos" are on hiatus while the serious contenders are still in the game. I will likely close four transactions this month and that is as many as I closed in the summer months. Don't take the holidays off, you might just get everything you want in the month of December!

As always, seller's should be mindful of the basics of presented their home to prospective buyers. This might be the year to keep half of your holiday decorations in the attic. Too much clutter can be a negative. Keep baking all those yummy holiday goodies because buyers love the smell of fresh baked cookies. Keep the walkways clear of tripping or slipping  hazards. Keep snow off the driveway and walkway.

Buyers are well advised to keep shopping during the holidays. Sellers are usually easier to negotiate with when they are busy with other aspects of their lives. At the point they have chosen to keep their home open during this month, they are motivated, whether they say so or not.

December is a win-win month for buyers and sellers so neither should shy away from the golden opportunity that December brings to real estate.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fairway Village Revisited

Fairway Village is Vancouver's largest over 55 community and still remains one of the most desirable locations for the over 55 crowd. This community is situated around a gorgeous nine hole gold course with homes ranging from the 1980s to the early 2000s and from condos to large 2000 foot single family homes. This neighborhood still fetches a bit of a premium, but I have seen 2 bed 1 bath condos under 200k and 2 bed 2 bath houses in the mid 200s. Right on the golf course will command a thick premium. I wrote about this community a couple of times over the years on my blog, "Retire to Washington", most recently last year. That article is posted below. FYI: The homes featured in this article were listings in February of 2015 so pricing has no doubt edged up a bit.

I wrote this post on Fairway Village in 2014 and felt like this was an opportunity to talk about it again. I made some modifications to the story to reflect a few positive changes in market conditions (February, 24th, 2015).

Some retirees want to stay in close to town. Services such as shopping and medical offices are nice and close making for easy access with less time and hassle. That frees up more time for the fun part of retirement living.

Fairway Village is a community built around a beautiful 9-hole par 34 golf course, in the Cascade Park area of Vancouver, Washington. The community is restricted for persons 55 years and older. There are a variety of homes in the community ranging from condominiums to large single family homes. Many wonderful single level, 2 and 3 bedroom homes are right on the golf course. The 'village' has a nice clubhouse with an in-ground pool and year round activities.

Visit the Fairway Village HOA site for more info about the community.

As a Realtor®, I always enjoy showing and listing homes in Fairway Village. It is just such a great location for retirees. Almost everything you need on a regular basis is inside a one mile radius. Quite a bit of services are well within comfortable walking distance. If you do have to drive it will be a short drive

Cascade Park was developed in the 1970s before the Glen Jackson Bridge was even built. It nearly was incorporated into its own city. As time progressed Cascade Park built eastward until it met up with 164th Avenue or Fisher's Road for the Clark County old timers. As you move east the development becomes newer topping out with homes built in the mid 90s. Fairway Village is on the far east end of Cascade Park.

What makes this location so enticing is a combination of location and neighborhood quality. Fairway Village maintained solid footing even as the real estate market struggled in 2009-2011. It is just that desirable.

164th and Mill Plain Blvd. is the hub of the East Side. Fairway Village is conveniently located at that hub. Here are some distances (linear miles) to nearby services, from the Fairway Village clubhouse.

  • 0.40 miles to IHOP Restaurant and nearby professional center
  • 0.61 miles to Village Public Storage
  • 0.62 miles to Fred Meyer (Grocery/Department store) 
  • 0.62 miles to East Vancouver Public Transit Hub
  • 0.67 miles to Cascade Health Club
  • 0.76 miles to Canepa Dental or Oasis Dental
  • 0.79 miles to Regal Cinema Cascade 16 movie theatre
  • 0.80 miles to Hwy 14 on ramp at 164th Avenue 
  • 1.03 miles to 164th and Mill Plain (a virtual cornucopia of shopping and services including, Red Robin, Target, Old Spaghetti Factory, Ross, Kohl's, Olive Garden and quite literally hundreds more)
  • 1.50 miles to Vancouver Clinic (popular local medical office)
  • 1.80 miles to Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park
  • 2.07 miles to 192nd and Mill Plain (Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, JC Penny, 5 guys and much more)
  • 3.46 miles to Camas Meadows Golf Course
  • 3.64 miles to Peach Health Southwest Washington Medical Center (Major Hospital)
  • 3.87 miles to Portland International Airport
  • 4.15 miles to Green Mountain Golf Course
  • 4.92 miles to Lacamas Lake and Lacamas Park
  • 5.25 miles to Westfield Vancouver Mall
  • 8.16 miles to Downtown Vancouver
  • 9.91 miles to Downtown Portland

I took the liberty of pulling some current listings in the Fairway Village community.


The home sits on the golf course with easy access and a great view from the backyard. This home features a spacious floor plan all on one level totaling 1469 square feet. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms


This fabulous home has nice private backyard. It is a very spacious one level home with a whooping 1636 square feet of living space. it is also a 2 bedroom 2 bath offering.

Fairway Village is really, a Fair Way place to Retire. Contact me for additional information about opportunities to own property in this wonderful retirement community.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Interest rates are going up, No really they are this time!

So now nearly every analyst is on board that the Fed will in fact need to make a move up on the short term rates. Long term yields are moving up as well. Mortgage rates are finally going to lose the Federal Government's support and rates will begin to normalize. This means that buyers have an cheap money window that is closing. Rates are in the threes and we will start to see them inch up with each meeting of the Fed. Starting in December, yes next month, were are almost certain to see the first of several incremental increases that will lead to a slow rise in mortgage rates.

Buyers, I know the holidays are looming, but now is the time for you to cash in on the biggest Christmas gift of your life, a sub 4% mortgage that will keep on giving long after the 2016 Holidays fade away.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Vancouver's Aggressive Apartment Construction, What does it Mean?

Vancouver is undergoing a major construction boom on apartments with some 800 units under construction and another 3700 in the pipeline. What does this mean for local real estate? The rental market in the greater Vancouver area has been under severe pressure as neighboring Portland has also had a huge crisis in the apartment market. That city is also pushing a fat pipeline of some 7000 units under construction and 15,000 proposed. The Portland crisis has spilled into neighboring cities like Beaverton, Gresham, and Vancouver driving demand higher here as well.

Rents were out of control for several years recently and that helped push the entry level real estate market to the brink of un-affordability. Now with some of the pressure off the rental market the housing resale market will likely settle in a bit. Frankly this is probably a good thing. As it is now, appraisers are a month out and lending may tighten a bit after the election.

Sellers in the entry level market under median ought to sell now and capitalize on a mini-peak in the sub-median market and get that mid market home while these super low rates are still in play. Renters still can buy a small house for not much more per month than the price of a two bedroom apartment. This is still a good time to buy with these low FHA and VA rates in the low to mid threes.