Real Estate Information Archive


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Monday Morning Coffee: Inspiration For Today

by Liz Warren


"It's OK to build castles in the air . . .
so long as you build a firm foundation under them."

~ Henry David Thoreau


Ever dream of becoming a U.S. Senator? Want to become an anonymous benefactor of youth programs in your community? Want to rise to the top 1% of your profession? Inspirational artist D. Morgan puts it this way: "The impossible dream . . . isn't!"

So - how do dreams become reality? Once your dream becomes your passion, you can begin building the foundation that will support the eventual structure of your dream. Begin by reading and studying how others have achieved similar dreams.

For politicians-to-be, there are plenty of biographies that reveal the long road to election. For those who aspire to achieve peak earnings, mentors are plentiful. Hang out with, attend courses with, and "shadow" the real stars in your chosen field. Ask how they began their rise, how they blend their work and family, how they attract and retain clients and customers.

In most cases, you will find that the models you choose have also made hard choices. They have first adopted certain principles upon which their decisions are made. Their actions are congruent with those principles. They are not duplicitous in their dealings with others. Their "word is their bond." Their foundational character sets the tone for the structure of their dreams.

Finally, with the foundation in place - they just build. They create plans, they implement strategies to achieve those plans. They understand that their final success does not occur in one fell swoop. It is the result of many footsteps in the direction of their dreams.

So . . . go ahead and dream! Remember - destiny is not a matter of chance . . . it's a matter of choice!

Local Weather Impacts Mt. Hood Sales

by Liz Warren

It's snowing again in Welches and for a late March date, this is a bit unusual. The weather has had a rather substantial impact on real estate this year. Access into the forest service cabins in the Mt. Hood National Forest, mainly from Government Camp to Rhododendron, has been limited since the end of December when the snow has been falling at record levels.

These National Forest roads are not plowed, except for Road 10.   Many cabin owners have not been able to use their cabin this winter unless they have a good  four wheel drive with high wheel based capabilities. Of course some owners have skied or snowshoed in. At last count a local towing company said at least 200 vehicles had been pulled off of forest service roads. The snow has reduced listing activity and sales activity for these cabins over the past three months. This has also delayed many owners completing their compliance requirements for the new permit set to start January 1, 2009!

Government Camp has been buried most of the winter. Snow plows have not been able to keep up with the load.. When trekking up for a showing this winter, not only could we hardly identify the cabin from the road, snow up to it's roof nearly, but there was no way we could scale the 20 foot bank that had been snowplowed toward the front of the chalet. I can only imagine some of the damage many of these properties have suffered this year from collapsing chimneys to crushed decks and other snow related issues. Bottom line, if you don't like to shovel snow, don't even think about purchasing in Government Camp.

The lack of accessibility has also hampered the Government Camp sales except for condos.. Under the strict appraisal requirements coming from lenders these days, I doubt a lender would even consider an appraisal until the snow melts further and they can eyeball the property.

Sales statistics will tell the story soon. Stay tuned for additional updates.


New Home Valuation Protection Code

by Liz Warren

Ever hear of this? New York state attorney general Cuomo has come up with a proposal that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the companies that buy most of the conventional loans) will be agreeing to. This Code will basically protect consumers from the "conflicts" where appraisers have been pressured into "over appraising properties-inflating values" which is one of the reasons we are in this mess of the housing/foreclosure market.

The requirements of the act are: that mortgage brokers cannot select appraisers, lenders cannot use "in house" staff appraisers and lenders cannot  use appraisal companies they own or control.

This takes the conflict out of the system and protects consumers. This is also one way  states may have slipped their toe into the Federally regulated bank, savings and loan, and credit union systems that are completely monopolized and regulated by the FEDS.

Hiway 26 is Widening in the Hoodland Corridor

by Liz Warren

If you've noticed lots of BIG TREES coming down in the Brightwood area, the highway widening is beginning now. Streams of florescent tape mark  the North side of Highway 26 near Wildwood Park. Not only is the visual impact going to be huge, I feel sorry for the homeowners who have lost a major noise and visual buffer from their homes along this stretch!

This is the beginning of a summer full of road construction  and paving in the corridor from Brightwood, Welches and Rhododendron.  Locals and second homeowners will need to be armed with lots of patience this summer.


by Liz Warren

Many buyers of homes are familiar with HELOCS or Home Equity Lines of Credit. This has been a convenient way for homeowners with equity to borrow money against their homes for vacations, college expenses, home improvements, second homes, or just unexpected expenses. This convenient home ATM is going into "shut down mode" with the following big banks sending "freeze" letters out due to falling home prices in many areas of the country. Here is a list of some of the larger banks implementing this policy:


Bank of America - HELOC Freeze

Countrywide - HELOC Freeze

Chase - HELOC Freezes

CitiGroup - HELOC Freeze under review

National City - HELOC Freeze

Suntrust - HELOC Freeze

USAA Federal Savings - HELOC Feeeze

Washington Mutual - HELOC Freeze

The credit crunch is on and the impacts of this will be severe for many home sellers in our area. Our home values have not fallen as far as many parts of the country but this inconvenience will impact many second home buyers.

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Contact Information

Photo of Liz Warren Real Estate
Liz Warren
Merit Properties Group - Keller Williams Realty PDX Central
Box 131
Welches OR 97067
Direct: 503-705-3090