Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 44

Oregon Trail School Bond Passes

by Liz Warren

Dr. Shelley Redinger , superintendent of the Oregon Trail School District sends this thank you:

More Updates On Foreclosures on Mt. Hood

by Liz Warren

Looking to purchase a foreclosure in the Mt. Hood Area? foreclosures are popping up in Welches, Government Camp, Rhododendron and Brightwood.

Foreclosure and Short Sales Info


Over the last 24 months, Oregon went from number 2 to having the 23rd highest foreclosure rate on a national basis. As of September 2008 there have been 2,344 foreclosure filings which equivocate to 1 filing for every 644 housing units. Foreclosure filings are up 26% from August 08 and up 139% from September 2007. The majority of these distressed properties are located in the greater Portland metropolitan area. 


In comparison, the state of California, which accounts for ~60% nationally of all foreclosure activity has 69,548 properties with foreclosure filings, equivocating to 1 in every 189 housing units.  Washington has 1 foreclosure filing out of every 1,383 housing units.


Below are some comments from our partners that actively work in this arena.


  • Most properties in foreclosure are so debt laden that they are reverting to the banks. 
  • An investor interested in buying a foreclosed property on the courthouse steps is not likely to get a good deal.
  • Banks have not been discounting the debt on these properties in order to sell them. 
  • It can cost a bank anywhere from $30K-60K plus, to take back a house.  This doesn’t include the cost of capital, refurbishment, marketing and sales costs.
  • So why are banks taking the homes back?
  • Some banks have been bundling multiple properties, with varying degrees of debt-to-market value ratios and selling them to large, institutional buyers.  This seems to be easier and more profitable for the banks right now.
  • In Multnomah County, who is buying foreclosed properties at this time? There are a few larger, private equity buyers and some individual investors.
  • The SE & NE corridors have the greatest percentage of foreclosed properties at an average value of $125K-225K.  However, more expensive properties are now entering the picture.
  • So where are some of the opportunities now?  Short Sales.

Short Sales - An option for those who have money & the time.


A short sale is where a property owner wants to sell their home but they have a higher mortgage debt on the property than the price they can sell the house for. First, seller and buyer must agree on a price and then they go to the lender with comparable homes sales data to support the decline in value plus a compelling story and documentation that proves the seller does not have the funds to pay off the entire mortgage due.  Sound simple?  Not really.  Short Sales on average take 90-120 days to complete if successfully negotiated.  Clients and real estate brokers should work with a professional who knows the ropes. 

Investment property owners who sell under a Short Sale agreement should be aware of the new exclusionary rule coming that will tax all or a portion of the ‘gain’ the home seller realizes from a short sale closing.




A big thanks for sharing this information Kim:

Kim Dodge at Usher Financial (503) 595.1600



Residential Sales For October on Mt. Hood

by Liz Warren

Are we glad October is over? What a wacky month! Between the fluctuating stock market and election news I am more than ready for November!  The weekend rain has done a good job of knocking another third of the leaves down for yard clean up. I am having my ususal fall back transition issues  and getting my internal clock adjusted. What the hec  am I'm doing up this early? I don't know.

So, here are the numbers! These are the sales for October for Government Camp, Welches, Rhododendron, and Brightwood:

The good news is that Government Camp had another sale over $500,000! This market has been hard hit with few sales of single family homes in the upper price range.

One forest service cabin closed this month. This segment also has lots to choose from and less buyers making it quite competitive. New lease fees are coming up this January so we will see what the increase does to inventory at that time.

Ok, it's on to November and election night is tomorrow. Hopefully once this is settled things will loosen up a bit.

Forest Service Cabin Inventory Is Up

by Liz Warren

The hidden jewels in the Mt. Hood National Forest are these forest service cabins. Scattered along rivers and creeks in the pristine Mt. Hood forest you can find these special cabins. Many were built in the 1920's and 30's as summer cabins for Portland residents.

Here is the current inventory right now. These cabins are mainly in the areas of Government Camp and Rhododendron. For additional details, send an email or call me.

Recession on Mt. Hood?

by Liz Warren

Sales for Welches, Rhododendron, Government Camp and Brightwood in September hit a total of 10 accroding to the Market Action section of the RMLS, multiple listing service. Pending sales were down 33% and our total sales hit a decline of 11.5% for the year. 

On the ground we are seeing an average sale price decline and the upper end of the market from $500,000 on up has disappeared and completely flattened. This comes from a combination of things. A massive inventory, high interest rates for jumbo loans, the credit crunch taking lots of buyers out of this market and slower economic times.

The chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun and others see a recession through at least the next three quarters. Some areas of the country have already corrected back to 2002 and 2003 pricing levels. There is no doubt about it, our area needs to make this correction too in order to reduce inventory levels.

The biggest hoop to jump through as a seller and agent is the bank appraisal. foreclosures will be used for comparables and these sale prices will quickly adjust the market downward. This is a difficult pill to swallow for many sellers who are still thinking in terms of 2004 and 2005 but reality will strike so the sooner the adjustment is made the quicker the market will equalize.

It's an incredible time to buy properties if you qualify. Rates are still very low and with the amount of inventory available it's a feast of opportunity. We are fortunate to live in one of the most desirable areas of the country with a predicted quicker recovery than most states. The increased population to Oregon alone makes this a no brainer opportunity.

Clackamas County Chages Hours

by Liz Warren

This is big news for buyers and sellers who are closing real estate transactions in Welches, Government Camp, Rhododendron or Brightwood. Clackamas County, as of November 1st of this year, will be closed on Fridays. Their new hours will be 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Thursday. So, keep this in mind if you are recording documents or going to the county with questions or getting building permits.

Classic 1927 Still Creek Cabin

by Liz Warren


One of a kind location and a one of a kind cabin. If you've ever dreamed of the perfect Mt. Hood cabin, this might be it. Original 1927 cabin with paned windows, wood floors, stone fireplace and plenty of space with great deck and steps to Still Creek on a private gated road. Ambinace plus with high ceilings, a wide open kitchen and dining area for gatherings, two private bedrooms and a bonus bunk room or play room for kids. Still Creek is one of the top ten Mt. Hood waterways. It's steps away from this cabin.

Enjoy a quick drive to premium ski areas or take a walk through the woods to hiking or mountain biking trails.

This location is very quiet and secluded compared to many. Located in the Mt. Hood National Forest on leased land.

Take a tour of this Mt. Hood Natrional Forest Cabin here

Mt. Hood: Investor Lending to Change Parameters!

by Liz Warren

If you are considering using an investor loan to purchase properties in the Mt. Hood area of Brightwood, Welches, Rhododendron and Government Camp consider this, If your lender is selling their loan to Fannie Mae they are going to add on substantial fees to your loan after December 1st. Depending upon your downpayment, these fees could be anywhere from 3 to4% and maybe even greater. Some private mortgage insurers may stop insuring investor loans altogether.

So, if you are an investor you should find your property now and lock your rate in the next six weeks and close before December 1st to insure you don't get caught with higher fees or the inability to buy at all!

Even More HELOC issues

by Liz Warren

Many buyers of Mt. Hood properties in Welches, Government Camp and Rhododendron use HELOCS to obtain downpayments and purchases of second homes and investment properties. With a pinching off of HELOC funds, this could impact sales in our area.

Do you have a home equity line of credit? Well, be sure and check if you think you do because many banks are pulling these and notifying owners after the fact. Some homeowners are writing checks on these equity lines and finding their checks have bounced even before the notification.

Housing prices are adjusting downward all over the nation. Home Equity Lines of Credit are based on home valuations. Depending upon what state you live in, the amount of your total home debt can be 65% or 75% of your home value. The "home value" is determined by a computer model the banks use.

If you read the small print of your agreement the banks have a right to pull this at any time the home value reaches a certain amount and they can immediately freeze your ability to use this line of credit.

Turmoil in the banking industry will cause even further tightening of credit for Helocs over the next 24 months as they sort out the sub-prime mess and capital issues.  Just be aware that this instrument to gain funds may not be there for a while!

Market Action for August 2008

by Liz Warren

Traditionally August is one of the most active of our year in sales. Take a look at the market action from multiple listing for the month of August.  The board of directors of the Multiple Listing Service have changed the calculation of the aveage days on market to the total market time which is now cummulative.Some agents would wait for a listing to expire or withdraw and relist as a new listing giving an unrealistic view of marketing time. This decision by the board will make more realistic figures for sellers and buyers to understand the market.

Sales for August were down 47% from the year before. Days on market will be showing up as longer due to the new cummulative amounts. August saw a total of 12 sales.


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 44




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