Local real estate experiences pick up

Real Estate Insider is seeing quite a bit of real estate activity in our neighborhood. Just down the street, a double lot sold almost immediately after coming on the market and is currently occupied with bulldozers busy preparing the foundation for a new home. Around the corner, a bungalow recently sold, and the new owner has completely gutted and renovated it at an amazing speed. And, at the Fourth of July barbeque at our brother-in-law’s home, we noticed two houses for sale just on their small street alone. Curious, we asked our real estate experts if the rumors are true: Is real estate picking up?

“In the past few months, we have definitely seen a pickup in the market. I define that ‘pickup’ as there are more buyers out there. The pool of potential buyers may be realizing that with record low interest rates, fewer homes to choose from and the news that, at least in some parts of the country, prices seem to be moving up, they need to get serious about looking. The price of not getting serious is maybe down the road not finding exactly the right house, and experiencing higher payments because of higher interest rates and higher prices,” said Realtor Gary Taylor of Summa Professionals Real Estate Group.

Gary Majors, a Realtor with Markram Properties LLC, agreed and compared the hot market to the last “boom” market — with one crucial difference.

“Buyers need to be aware that they will have stiff competition,” he said. “The multiple offers and final sales prices over the asking prices are reminiscent of the boom market we had in 2005-2007. The big difference and a huge benefit to buyers is that the price ranges for the same house are about $100,000 less than they were five to seven years ago. Instead of competing for homes at the top of the market, you are competing at the bottom. This bodes very well for homeowners looking for equity building over the years they occupy their home.”

That’s not to say it’s all sunshine and rainbows. Our real estate experts caution that sellers still need to price their homes correctly if they want to receive those multiple offers. Others note that the most popular homes are typically in urban close-in neighborhoods and first-time buyers in those areas need to be prepared to present their best offer to snag a home.

“What I am seeing and have experienced is if the house is listed close into Portland, e.g., Concordia, Alameda, Irvington, Sabin and the North area, and if they are priced right, there are multiple offers. First-time buyers are having a difficult time competing with offers on a good house that is in the high $100,000s and low $200,000s,” said Earline Penson, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Seal.

Penson noted that real estate right now is like the stock market — people often wait too long to jump onto the bandwagon and miss out on good deals.

Taylor concurred.

“I really do think that this is the time that people are going to be looking back at a few years from now saying, ‘I wish I had bought a place back then,’” he said.

Don’t be one of the wistful wishers. Consult your neighborhood Realtor for details about the market in your neighborhood.

Questions about homeownership? Visit, a one-stop information resource on buying a home.

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