Portland, and the east side especially, has seen a dramatic increase in population and popularity over the past decade. For those planning to buy or sell, you’re sure to encounter stiff competition and several hurdles that need to be cleared along the way. Whether you’re staging a home for the local market or using a temporary living solution while house hunting, look to our full-service and reasonably priced Portland storage.
With this in mind, we wanted to do even better than this for our local customers. We talked to Rachel Freed, co-owner of Urban Nest Realty, a boutique agency with two offices, about real estate in East Portland and the entire east side.
Looking to Buy a Home in Portland?
“Portland has been a ‘hot’ market for quite some time now,” Freed explained. “I started in the business 15 years ago, and I have seen bidding wars throughout that entire time.” Location seems to be the driving factor in selling and buying a home, but Freed said that the Portland market is stronger than ever—in fact, it stayed strong even through the recession. “If a beautiful vintage home, fully renovated and upgraded, came on the market in the closer-east side neighborhoods, we would still see multiple offers.”
Freed was able to articulate why Portland has achieved such popularity: “We are what’s called a livable city, meaning that there are many little neighborhoods with their own main streets filled with shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and movie theaters.” As a result, much of the city’s demand comes from convenience: “People can live in their little ‘hoods’ and not have to go out of them to have full quality of life. We have, at least on the east side, avoided suburban sprawl. We are also a relatively small city with good public transportation and great bike-ability. Once you’re here, it’s definitely hard to leave.”
How to Prioritize Your Wish List: Dream Homes vs. Dream Neighborhoods
Freed explained that buyers’ needs and requirements cover a dynamic range: “Some buyers I work with are looking for new construction, which brings with it energy, efficiency, and brand new systems. Other clients are all about neighborhood and being walking distance to a coffee shop or a grocery store, while others simply want the classic Portland bungalow and will trade other things for built-ins, hexagonal tile floors, and leaded glass.”
Looking to Build?
Buyers looking to build homes in Portland might encounter space-related troubles, but Freed offered some helpful advice: “For folks looking to build the best thing to do is look for a lot, usually within an existing neighborhood, that has never been built on. You could also look for a house that is so rundown that the value is in the land, not the structure. This would be considered a tear-down and would be a good location for a new home.” Building a house is a lot of work, but the city provides a list of necessary forms and permits to acquire throughout the process.
Looking for an Updated Home?
East Portland is a great place to start. Freed explained, “People in Portland’s close-in eastside spend a lot of time and energy renovating their homes.” Before buying a home that you plan to remodel, however, check your neighborhood’s historic status. Freed elaborated, “For the most part, it is fairly easy to get permits for home remodeling projects, although some historic districts like Northeast Irvington or Southeast Ladd’s Addition require properties to be restored, not remodeled, which adds to the cost and limits a homeowner’s options.”
What about Sellers and Current Homeowners?
If you’re selling your Portland home in the near future, Freed has some sage advice and helpful tips to offer: “There’s no question that the more updated our house is, the more enticing it will be to prospective buyers. If sellers are looking to ‘add value’ to their home for a future sale down the road, I suggest they start with updating a kitchen and bathroom and/or adding a second bath if there is only one.”
If you’re not planning to sell your house for a couple years, Freed warned of some speedbumps you might encounter: “Insulation is a hot topic these days; starting in January of 2018, all homes for sale on the market will be required to have an energy efficiency score as part of the listing information. That means homes that have increased insulation and Energy Star appliances are likely to get a better score and subsequently sell for more money.” It’s in your best interest to get ahead of this process before the legislation goes into effect, so take the time to update your home to the necessary standards.
In need of a quick fix to get your home market-ready? Freed suggests updating surfaces, such as kitchen and bathroom countertops, repainting the interior, and refinishing floors or cleaning carpets—“basically giving the house a little face lift before we put up the For Sale sign.”
What about Local Business and Commercial Real Estate?
Urban Nest Realty offers a wide range of real estate services that help serve mixed-use development and local real estate expertise of all kinds. “We are also a full-service agency and offer rental placement assistance through Arrive Portland and commercial real estate services for small business owners through Urban Nest: Workspace Commercial Realty.” At the same time, this comprehensive knowledge of the local real estate market is just what home buyers need, especially those who are interested in a livable community.
What to Expect from the Best Realtors
Everybody has slightly different priorities and tastes when it comes to their homes and business locations, but everybody is part of the same local market. That’s why the best realtors, like Urban Nest, know local real estate inside and out, but they can also leverage that knowledge to best fit your personal real estate goals. Freed left us with this value statement, “We are experienced agents with a focus on educating and informing our buyers and sellers so they are able to make the best decisions they can before, during, and after each transaction. We are low- to no-stress with the goal of helping everyone in whatever timeframe makes sense to them. What drives us is providing excellent service to each and every client.”