Buyer Resources

Why You Should Choose Park Place Real Estate To Represent You

For most families, choosing a new home is the biggest financial decision they will ever make. There are many complicated decisions involved in choosing your new home. To protect your interests and assure that you make the best possible decisions, it's important that you have an agent on your side who is an expert in the local real estate market. As your agent, our focus is on getting you the best possible home at the best possible price. We will work hard not only in finding you potential new homes to see, but also in keeping you informed of everything that takes place. As your agent and a top expert in Portland and its surrounding communities, we'll negotiate the best prices and terms for you and answer all of your questions as they arise. We'll be representing you, not the seller. This assures that our experience and expertise in the local market will be used in your best interests during the negotiation process.

  • Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria. This includes not only those listed on the local multiple listing service, but also many un-listed properties that we find through our local contacts and affiliations.
  • Guide you through the entire process, from finding homes to look at, to getting the best financing, to making sure you don't pay too much for your new home. As a real estate expert in this area, we help people negotiate and make home purchase decisions every day. We can help you avoid costly mistakes.
  • Answer all of your questions about the local market area. Not just about homes for sale, but about schools, neighborhoods, the local economy and more.

Let us help you find your dream home and assure your best interests are protected throughout the entire process. Feel free to call or e-mail us with any questions you may have at any time. Fill out this form and we'll get back to you right away.

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Relocate To Portland

People considering relocating to the Portland area will be interested to know that the city has been proclaimed as North America's "Best Big City," according to Money Magazine. They will be taken aback at the incredible natural beauty of the area and will vastly enjoy the bustling local scene, sumptuous dining and myriad of activities that are all effortlessly accessed thanks to Portland's famous light-rail system.

The Portland area offers a clean, green and friendly metropolis, with lots to do and even more to see. Portland is blessed with tall trees, snow-capped mountains, lush green fields, gently flowing rivers, clean water, moderate climate and bountiful flower gardens. Although people living here may disagree on what to call Portland- the City of Roses, the City of Homes, the City of Bridges, the City of Parks -- all agree it is a city populated by friendly people and surrounded by breathtaking beauty.

Relocating business professionals will be excited by the well educated and stable work force and an economy that is diverse and growing. The region's high quality of life makes it easy to attract workers to the area and keep them here. The metropolitan area is strategically located, with easy access to West Coast markets and beyond.

Relocating families will be impressed with Portland’s metropolitan area which has more than 37,000 acres of parks. Recreational opportunities are limitless. Playing fields are available for soccer, volleyball, baseball and football. Tennis courts, swimming pools, gardens, picnic grounds, jogging paths, golf courses and river beaches offer endless opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Many of the city and state park facilities offer tours, field trips and other activities. There’s also camping, hunting, fishing, mountain climbing, sail boarding, water and snow skiing, hiking, rock climbing, white water rafting and bicycle touring.

Wherever you go in Portland, you’re never far from an art house cinema, performance space or gallery. You're never more than five minutes from a brewpub or gourmet coffee shop, and always just a puddle’s jump away from a farmers' market, park or garden. It’s easy to find your way around Portland's vibrant arts and cultural scene. All the mainstays of a major city are here – the symphony, ballet, opera, visiting Broadway shows – plus a thriving scene that makes room for the imaginations of Portland's resident playwrights, choreographers and composers.

Foreclosures & Short Sales

in conditions or timelines aren’t met. Every contract can be unique. The possibilities for contingencies are virtually endless, however, some of the more commonly used contingencies would include:

What are short sales?
A short sale is when a home is sold for less than what is owed to the bank by the current owner. A short sale can only occur if the lender or lenders agree to release their lien rights to a property in exchange for proceeds from the sale which are insufficient to cover the total remaining balance of the mortgage. Even under the best of circumstances, buying a short sale property will usually take longer than a typical real estate transaction. Be aware that most short sales will not close in the customary 30 days or less. Remember that you're not only having to get approval from the seller, but the lender must also agree to the discounted price. Commonly, your offer will be reviewed by several processors, an asset manager and ultimately the mortgage loan investor for approval which will add time - sometimes even 2 to 3 months.

Are foreclosures and short sales a bargain?
It's sometimes presumed that any foreclosure or short sale must be a good buy and a possibility for easy money. This isn't always true. You have to be prudent about buying a bank owned home or short sale if your only intent is to make money. While it's true that a bank is often eager to offload their inventory promptly, they are also looking to minimize any losses. There are many short sale or foreclosure opportunities which have the potential to make money, and many of our clients do very well buying and selling foreclosures. Still, there are also many short sales and foreclosures that are not good buys and not likely to turn a profit. When pondering what to pay for a bank owned or short sale property, we will help you carefully analyze comparable sales in the neighborhood and be sure to take into account the time and cost of any repairs or remodeling.

Learn About Loan Pre-Approval

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or have purchased many homes, obtaining a mortgage is a critical part of purchasing a home. It's true that in today’s lending environment the documentation required to obtain a loan has increased significantly. However, being proactive in providing this to your lender will position you best when submitting an offer for the home which works best for you.

Getting pre-qualified for a loan is a quick way to determine what type of home or property is within your price range. Knowing this helps us determine which properties to show you, and it helps you make the best use of your time. Prequalification is based on income and debt information provided verbally to a mortgage professional, and is not a commitment to borrow or lend money.

Getting pre-approved for a loan represents a commitment from a lender that they will grant you a mortgage loan. Receiving a pre-approval letter involves verification of your financial position including credit, income, assets and liabilities. Taking this step can help facilitate the purchasing process by reducing the length of time it takes to close the transaction, and has the potential benefit of putting you in a stronger negotiation position with the seller. In today’s market, offers received by a Seller without a pre-approval letter are not taken as seriously as ones which do. We highly recommend having a pre-approval letter in place from your preferred lender when you are ready to make an offer on a home.

Park Place Real Estate has developed strong ties with many reputable mortgage lenders in the area and will assist you by pairing you with one best suited to fit your lending needs.

One of our preferred lenders is Finance of America.

Market Snap Shot

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Your market report will be updated monthly for as long as you subscribe to our service! These updates are absolutely free with no strings attached. Search for homes, look for active real estate listings in your area on an interactive map, or research the area’s market history by reviewing inactive listings.

You can also review the area’s average pricing information, review area home and property listing details including size, amenities, number and types of rooms and a whole lot more!

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Contingencies In Contracts

In real estate a contingency is common and written into almost every contract. Contingencies are clauses in a contract that give either the buyer or seller a way to get out of the contract if certain conditions or timelines aren’t met. Every contract can be unique. The possibilities for contingencies are virtually endless, however, some of the more commonly used contingencies would include:

Financing. Contingencies that depend on the buyer being able to obtain financing are very common.

Home Inspections. Probably the most common type of contingency is the “contingent upon satisfactory completion of inspection”. There are any number of specific types of inspections for which a contingency might be included in a contract. Some of the more common would include inspection by a qualified home inspector for hidden defects, radon tests, sewer line inspections, pest inspections, water and sewage system inspections, inspections dealing with the presence of mold, etc.

Appraisal. It’s not unusual for a buyer to have a contingency that requires an appraised value at or above purchase price. Since lenders will nearly always want an appraisal performed too, sellers usually don’t have a problem with this.

Remember, just like everything else in real estate contracts, contingencies are negotiable. In drafting your offer to purchase a home or piece of property, we will ensure that you are comfortable with all contingencies included in your contract and help you determine if it is appropriate to add additional ones as well.

Have Your Home Inspected By A Licensed And Experienced Home Inspector

One of the most important steps when purchasing a home is to have the home inspected by a licensed and experienced home inspector. Home inspectors are trained to test the heating, electrical and plumbing systems in addition to many other components of the home. We have worked with dozens of inspectors over the years and can provide you with a list of some of the ones we felt performed well for our clients in the past. Ultimately, you will be the one to decide which inspector is right for you. When interviewing a home inspector, ask the inspector what type of report format he or she provides. There are many styles of reports used by property inspectors, including the checklist, computer generated using inspection programs, and a narrative style.

We recommend that you are present during the entire inspection if possible. This helps you to understand the condition of the home and the details of the report.

At the end of the inspection your inspector may provide a summary with a question and answer period. Use this opportunity to ask questions regarding terms or conditions that you may not be familiar with. A good inspector should be able to explain the answers to your questions. If for some reason a question cannot be answered at the time of the inspection, the inspector should research the question and obtain the answer for you. For instance, if the inspector's report states that the concrete foundation has common cracks, be sure to ask, "Why are they common?" The answer you should receive will be along these lines: common cracks are usually due to normal concrete curing and or shrinkage. The inspector's knowledge and experience is how the size and characteristics of the cracking is determined.

After receiving a written copy, take the time and become familiar with your report. Digest the report completely and understand the condition of the home you are about to purchase. After all, it is most likely one of the largest investments you will ever make.

In addition to a traditional home inspection, there are many other possible inspections which may be appropriate and recommended by us. We will carefully evaluate your particular needs and provide you recommendations on other possible inspections that will benefit you.

Learn About Radon Radioactive Gas

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. You can't see radon, smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home.

Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.

Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. It can get into any type of building — homes, offices, and schools — and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.

We strongly urge you to have the home you are purchasing tested for radon during the inspection contingency period. Testing is the only way to know if radon is present and if you and your family are at risk.

If radon is found during an inspection, there are ways to remedy the situation. There are several proven methods to reduce radon in your home, but the one primarily used is a vent pipe system and fan, which pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it to the outside. This system, known as a soil suction radon reduction system, does not require major changes to your home. Sealing foundation cracks and other openings makes this kind of system more effective and cost-efficient. Similar systems can also be installed in houses with crawl spaces. Radon contractors can use other methods that may also work in your home. The right system depends on the design of your home and other factors. If radon is found during the inspection period, the inspector can identify which system will be the best for your home.

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