Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This?

By Keeping Current Matters

Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? | MyKCM

The year 2020 will certainly be one to remember, with new realities and norms that changed the way we live. This year’s real estate market is certainly no exception to that shift, with historic highlights continuing to break records and challenge what many thought possible in the housing market. Here’s a look at four key areas that are fundamentally defining the market this year.

Housing Market Recovery

The economy was intentionally put on pause this spring in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Many aspects of the common real estate transaction were placed on hold at the same time. Thankfully, technology and innovation helped the industry power forward, and business gradually ramped back up as shelter-in-place orders were lifted.

The result? Total transformation of the market from rock-bottom lows to exceptional highs. Today, the housing recovery is being called truly remarkable by many experts and is far exceeding expectations. From pending home sales to purchase applications, buyers are back in business and homes are selling – fast.

According to the Housing Market Recovery Index by realtor.com, the market has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, and has regained the strength we remember from February of this year (See graph below):Have You Ever Seen a Housing Market Like This? | MyKCM

Record-Breaking Mortgage Rates

Historically low mortgage rates are another 2020 game-changer. Today’s low rate is one of the big motivating factors bringing buyers back into the market. The average rate reached an all-time low on multiple occasions this year, and it continues to hover in record-low territory.

When rates are this low, buyers have a huge opportunity to get more for their money when purchasing a home, something many are eager to find while continuing to spend more time than expected at home this year, and likely beyond.

Continued Home Price Appreciation

One of the key drivers of home price appreciation this year is historically low inventory. Inventory was low going into the pandemic, and it is still sitting well below the level needed for a normal market. Although sellers are slowly making their way back into the game, buyers are scooping up homes faster than they’re coming up for sale.

This is a classic supply and demand scenario, forcing home prices to rise. Selling something when there is a higher demand for what is available naturally bumps up the price. If you’re ready to sell your house today, this may be the optimal time to make your move. As Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loansnotes:

“The pandemic has not stopped the consistent home price growth we have witnessed in recent years.” 

Increasing Affordability

Even as home prices continue to rise, affordability is working in favor of today’s homebuyers. According to many experts, rates this low are off-setting rising home prices, which increases buyer purchasing power – an opportunity not to be missed, especially if your family’s needs have changed. If you now need space for a home office, gym, virtual classroom, and more, it may be time to reconsider your current house.

According to Mortgage News Daily:

“Those shopping for a home can afford 10 percent more home than they could have one year ago while keeping their monthly payment unchanged. This translates into nearly $32,000 more buying power.

Bottom Line

With mortgage rates hitting historic lows, home prices appreciating, affordability rising, and the market recovering like no other, 2020 has been quite a year for real estate – perhaps one we’ve never seen before and may never see again. Let’s connect today if you’re ready to take advantage of this year’s record-breaking opportunities.

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 1:29 pm
Erin E. Wright | Category: Real Estate Market | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Parks We Love

By Erin, Christina & Sarah

The Pacific Northwest is one of the most amazing places in the world! One of the ways we like to enjoy our neck of the woods is by visiting local parks. We curated a list of our favorites and hope that you take the time to discover or rediscover a park you love. 

  • Fairgrounds Park: I put Fairgrounds Park on my list because it is pretty close to my house but also usually not very busy. My kids love the play structure, there is a nice big area for walking and the bathrooms are usually pretty clean! – Christina
  • Paradise Point State Park: Great park to spend the day on a walk, playing disc golf, or kayaking/paddling boarding – Erin
  • Felida Park: One of my kids’ favorites because of the play structure as well as the paved path that is great for bikes and scooters. There is a nice covered area which is perfect for picnics or gatherings. This is usually a busy park, especially on Saturdays when the park hosts soccer games. – Christina
  • Whipple Creek Regional Park: This is my favorite go to park on a hot day. There are miles of trails in the shade to enjoy a cool stroll. -Erin
  • Vancouver Waterfront Park: This is usually where we pick to go when we want to skateboard or walk and take in the a nice river view, but also want easy access to food and drinks. Our household debates if the fish and chips at Wildfin’s walk up-window are the best we’ve ever had. The other new restaurants are all fabulous, although we haven’t tried them all yet. – Christina
  • Hockinson Meadows Community Park: My favorite dog park in Clark County with a cute family park and great walking trails. – Erin
  • Lacamas Park: I love nature in the middle of the city. I go here to hike and enjoy the peaceful trails. Lots of variety in landscape, with waterfalls. Picnic tables & a play structure make it a must destination for the whole family. – Sarah
  • Captain William Clark Park on the Columbia River: My favorite Columbia River Beach for a walk or to play with my dogs! – Erin

 

We’d love to hear which ones are your favorites! It’s the perfect time of year to be outdoors. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on August 17, 2020 at 5:04 pm
Erin E. Wright | Category: Vancouver Outdoors | Tagged , , , , , ,

Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

By Erin Wright & Christina Waterhouse

 

Questions to Ask and Information to Gather Before You Refinance

Low interest rates are attracting more and more people to the market, especially those who are looking to refinance their mortgages. Clients have been reaching out to us to ask if they should be refinancing their homes. Our general response is, “it depends”. There are a few questions and pieces of key information you should gather before deciding whether to refinance.

 

With interest rates at an all time low, everyone should ask, “Is refinancing a good decision for me?”

1. What is the difference between your interest rate and current interest rate?

A good rule of thumb is for the current rate to be at least .5 – .75% less than your interest rate. This rule can change greatly depending on the size of the loan though. The more money that is being borrowed, the larger the difference is going to be in both your monthly payments and your total interest paid. You can find the daily interest rate here.

 

2. How close are you to paying off your mortgage

At the beginning of a loan, most of the monthly payment is going to interest. Only a small portion of the payment goes towards paying off the principal balance of the loan. As payments continue, the amount that goes towards interest goes down and the amount that goes towards the principal balance goes up. It is worth looking at an amortization schedule to see if refinancing will save you money over the life of the loan. You can find an amortization calculator here.

 

3. Has your credit or employment changed?

Employment history, debt to income ratios, and credit scores all impact the rate you will receive when applying for a loan. Speak to your lender regarding any changes in these areas to make sure you would qualify for a refinance and see what rate you would likely qualify for. Then you can determine if it is worth refinancing.

 

4. What is the property being used for?

Properties that are used as primary residences qualify for lower interest rates than those used as investment properties (usually .5 – 1% lower). If you purchased the property as a primary residence and subsequently turned it into a rental, you might not see much of a change in your interest rate or possibly your interest rate as an investment property could be higher. Speak with your lender to see what the current interest rate would be for the specific property.

 

5. Should you refinance into a 15 year loan or 30 year loan?

If you do decide that it is worth refinancing your loan, consider looking at both a 15 year and 30 year loan. Right now the interest rate for a 15 year loan is in the mid 2% range, while the interest rate for a 30 year loan is in the high 2% range. A 15 year loan will save you a lot of money in interest over the life of the loan. This is a great way to build strong equity in your property and pay it off in half of the time.

 

As always, we welcome any questions you may have and are happy to offer advice.

Mortgage insight and references provided by: Mathew Mattila, Cascade Northern Mortgage

Posted on July 3, 2020 at 1:14 pm
Erin E. Wright | Category: Mortgage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Summer Restaurant Picks

By Erin Wright and Christina Waterhouse

The weather is heating up and Clark County is starting to open up. Vancouver has a robust food scene and with many of the restaurants re-opening, it can be hard to know where to start. We wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of our favorite places to go and eat or get a sweet treat.  All have excellent options for those with dietary restrictions!

In addition to Sushi and other Japanese foods, Sushi Mo serves cuisine from their native Korea.

 

  1. Sushi Mo – Fresh sushi is a perfect meal on a hot day! Sushi Mo is our favorite sushi spot and it is located right in downtown Vancouver. They offer the tried and true traditional rolls, along with some with creative flair. I often get a glass of white wine, an order of edamame, and 2 rolls to enjoy. They also offer an excellent presentation and there is a good chance one of the two owners will be there to greet you. It is my first choice for a meal out on a hot summer day.

Sushi Mo:  1012 Washington St Vancouver, WA 98660  360 – 953 – 8860

 

 

  1. Margarita Factory – I almost jumped for joy when Margarita Factory re-opened in the middle of May. They make the best margaritas and guacamole. When you are looking for a more filling meal, they have excellent enchiladas and burritos. If you want something on the lighter side, their Live Fit Taco Salad is a great choice! Either way, try pairing your meal with their fresh, chunky guac and their Jorgita Margarita! Yum!

Margarita Factory:  8902 NE 5th Ave. Suite 101 Vancouver, WA  98665  360 – 433 – 2557

 

 

“All of our pies are made with local ingredients- we’re regularly whipping up full-size and hand-size pecan, Apple, Pumpkin, Marionberry and Cherry pies. “

 

Simply Sweets – For that sweet tooth, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a fresh baked cookie or cupcake. Simply Sweets tops the charts for both. Their sugar cookie with butter cream frosting is a favorite among our families and clients. If you are looking for something a little different and fun, I highly recommend their hand pies. Pair that with one of their barista made coffee drinks and you are in for a sweet treat in deed.

Simply Sweets: 3100 Columbia St Vancouver, WA 98660 360 – 896 – 7321

 

 

 

 

Let us know if you go & enjoy any of these restaurants or if you have others you would like us to highlight. Enjoy! 

Posted on June 19, 2020 at 3:18 pm
Erin E. Wright | Category: Vancouver Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Real Estate and Covid-19 Part 5

 

Procedures for Real Estate, How Covid-19 has Changed the Experience of Selling Real Estate

By Erin Wright and Christina Waterhouse

What challenges do sellers face when putting their house on the market? How can sellers help create a safer environment for showings? This week we continue to focus on the challenges that are currently being faced by buyers and sellers transacting real estate and how our local market has responded to those challenges to make the process safer and easier.

 

The Seller Process During Covid-19

Selling a house is always a stressful time, add a worldwide pandemic and it can seem overwhelming. However, speaking with an agent can help increase preparedness and reduce stress.

 

Before Going on the Market

The first step is always getting the house ready for the market. Although it is fun to watch a house makeover in real time, it is best to avoid being home during this part of the process. Allow the landscapers, stagers, and photographers to focus on making the house look its best instead of maintaining social distance standards. Also, if the agent does not offer it, have the house thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by a professional right before going on the market.

 

Virtual Floor Plan

A virtual floor plan and virtual tour of a property can help limit showings to only those buyers that the home is a good fit for.

Virtual and Paperless Marketing

The house is ready for the market. Work with the agent to give as many details about the house as possible to put into the MLS. This is a great time to have room measurements and amenities added. Virtual tours and floor plans allow perspective buyers to get a good idea of the house before a showing. Have a sturdy, permanent flyer attached to the sign post in lieu of paper flyers. I love a good flyer and being able to take one, but now is not the time to have lots of hands on pieces of paper being passed out to the public. If brochures are used inside of the house for showings, only put out one at a time prior to the showing.

 

Being Prepared for a Showing

Limit showings to pre-approved buyers only. This will minimize the number of people in the home. The buyers who do see the home will be the serious ones. Try to not be home for the first five days on the market. This allows buyers easier access and makes it easier to clean when you return. Have all lights on and doors open for a showing. This minimizes how many surfaces are touched inside of the home. Be prepared for showings to take longer since not everyone in a group can see the house at the same time. The agent should be providing ample shoe covers to be used inside. Place them by the front door. The best practice right now is to have buyers use the shoe covers and take them after the showing. Single use shoe covers minimize touching. Consider placing hand sanitizer with a pump at the front door for people to disinfect upon entering and leaving the home.

Cleaning During Covid-19

Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces after a showing is a good idea when selling a home during Covid-19

 

Sanitize When Returning Home

Thoroughly sanitize common surfaces when returning home. Places to consider are cabinets, countertops, door handles, handrails, and light switches.

When first listing a home, this can be overwhelming. Consider making a checklist so the house is prepared for every showing and sanitized after. For more information on how to stay safe and what to expect as a seller in this market, please feel free to comment on this blog post or reach out to us directly.

 

 

As always, we welcome any questions you may have and are happy to offer advice.

 

Posted on June 5, 2020 at 10:35 am
Erin E. Wright | Category: Real Estate During Covid-19, Real Estate Market, Selling a House | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Come Play Bingo for a Cause!

habitat bingo

 

Looking for a fun event to do in March with the whole family? This month to give back, Erin Wright Homes is partnering with Habitat for Humanity for a fun night playing Bingo for a cause. Join us Friday, March 18, 2016 for a fun night of Bingo while helping support the Evergreen Habitat for Humanity. Games are $2 a piece and all prizes are valued at $25 or more! Complimentary snacks provided and beer and wine available for purchase. This event is family friendly, so bring your kids! Want to get even more involved? Join Erin Wright Homes for our Habitat Build April 2, 2016! We would love to see everyone there!

What: Bingo for Habitat for Humanity

When: Friday, March 18, 2016 from 6pm-8pm

Where: Clark County Habitat Store
10811 SE 2nd Ave.
Vancouver, WA

Please RSVP to Erin Wright by Wednesday, March 16, 2016 by e-mail at ErinWright@Windermere.com
or by phone by calling 360-356-1445

Hope to see you all there!

 

For more information on the Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, please visit their website at:

http://www.ehfh.org/

 

***Want to plan ahead for April’s Community Event? We will be doing a Habitat for Humanity Build with the Evergreen Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, April 2, 2016. We would love to see everyone there. This event is for people 18 years and older.***

Posted on March 9, 2016 at 1:49 pm
Erin E. Wright | Category: Archived | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Successful Pet Food Drive February 2016

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Donations from February 2016 Pet Food Drive

Thank you to everyone who donated pet food during our Pet Food Drive for the Humane Society of Southwest Washington for the February Community Event with Erin Wright Homes. Clients, friends, family, and myself were able to almost fill the back of my SUV with donations for the Humane Society. Donations consisted of both wet and dry cat and dog food. All donations were delivered directly to the Humane Society in the middle of February. The pet food that was donated will help the Humane Society care for the over 8,000 animals they care for each year.

For more information on the Humane Society of Southwest Washington, please visit their website at:

https://southwesthumane.org/about/

Thank you again everyone!

Posted on March 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm
Erin E. Wright | Category: Archived | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

* * * * * * Ending 2015 with a Celebration & Looking Forward to 2016!* * * * * *

LSP_8936

Thank you for a Successful Share the Warmth Drive 

and a Great Night at the Miracle of a Million Lights!

With 2016 already starting off with excitement and positive change, I want to take a moment to thank everyone for making 2015 a great year for me both personally and professionally. I celebrated many milestones in 2015; Winslow and I got married and started our life together, I was able to hire an amazing assitant, Jenny Vrtiska, and Erin Wright Homes was branded by the talented Megan Armand. December 11, 2015 marked a great celebration for a great year! I am so grateful for everyone who was able to come out and support Erin Wright Homes that evening and celebrate a wonderful year. I want to thank everyone for joining and for all the generous donations for the Share the Warmth Drive. I also want to thank all of my clients for trusting me with your real estate needs and for all your referrals. A special thanks to Jenny Vrtiska, Megan Armand, Simply Sweets, the Victorian Belle, and Leah Smith Photography for making the event increadibly special for everyone. Please see below for a collection of photos from the event that night. If you would like a copy of any one photo, please contact me and I can get you the full resolution version. 

With referrals already coming in for 2016, I am excited to start this year off running. If you know anyone looking to buy or sell real estate in the future, please feel free to share my information with them. Your referrals will receive the same expertise, time, and care that I have given all past clients. I am fortunate to have the best clients in the world and look forward to serving all of you in 2016.

 

From my family to yours, wishing you all a great 2016!

 

Erin Wright

 

 

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Posted on January 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm
Erin E. Wright | Category: Archived | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Local Real Estate Markets are on the Rise

By: Erin Wright, Clark County, WA Realtor

Buyer's are out in full swing in Clark County and Multnomah County. As a result of all the Buyers entering the market place, the inventory is still low and real estate prices are on the rise. 

The local real estate markets have seen low inventory over the last 2 years and they continue to remain low. When looking at all homes currently on the market in Clark County, there is 2.5 months of inventory. This indicates a Seller's Market. However, many of those homes are proposed construction and new construction. If those two categories are taken out, then there is only 2 months of inventory. For Multnomah County, there is currently 1.4 months of inventory. If you take out the new and proposed construction again, then there is 1.3 months of inventory. This low inventory with an increased number of Buyers has resulted in the listing prices of homes to continue to rise. 

Last year, the average list price of properties in Clark County in May 2014 was $384,000. This year, the average list price of properties in Clark County at the end of April 2015 was $452,000. That is an increase of 18%. In Multnomah County the average list price from May 2014 was $440,000. This year the average list price of properties in Multnomah County at the end of April 2015 was $489,000. That is an increase of 11%. 

All data for this article was gathered from Trendgraphix.

Clark County Data Provided by Trendgraphix Below

All Clark County Inventory Over the Last Year

Clark County Resale Inventory Over the Last Year

Clark County Listing Prices Over the Last Year

Multnomah County Data Provided by Trendgraphix Below

All Multnomah County Inventory Over the Last Year

Multnomah County Resale Inventory Over the Last Year

Multnomah County Listing Prices Over the Last Year

Posted on May 28, 2015 at 12:27 pm
Erin E. Wright | Category: Archived | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tacos and Taps 2015: A Huge Success

Photo courtesy of Little Fern Photography

Thank you to my clients and friends who helped make Tacos & Taps a Success in 2015! 

May 4, 2015 marked the 2nd Annual Tacos & Taps Event for the Clark County Food Bank. This year Tacos & Taps sold out weeks before the event and the night really delivered a great time with a meaningful message. Guests were able to enjoy creative tacos, great beer, and spectacular treats from local Vancouver venders all while touring the food  bank and enjoying live music. It is a great event to help promote local businesses, support the food bank, and allow our Clark County neighbors a chance to really see how the food bank runs and helps support the community.

The event this year raised $31,100 for the Food Bank, an increase of 39% from the previous year. Additionally, the event featured 5 local brewers, 8 local chefs, and 1 local baker.

I would like to give a special thanks to the people who made this event a huge success.

Breweries:

Alameda Brewing, Mt. Tabor Brewing, Loowit Brewing, Doomsday Brewing, and Beerded Brothers Brewing

Chefs:

Herb N’ Roots, South Pacific Bar & Grill, Farrar’s Bistro, Wholes Foods, Beaches Restaurant & Bar, Main Event, New Seasons, and The Grant House

Bakery:

Simply Sweets

Photography:

Little Fern Photography

Decorations:

Michael Lampson of Lasting Impressions

Entertainment:

Blues Ranch

Spornsors:

Scott Horenstein Law, Riverview Community Bank, Landerholm Law

Large Donors:

Windermere Stellar

Event Committee:

Allison Kirkland, Courtney Catt, Donna Horenstein, Erin Wright, Megan Dixon, Rebecca Bristol, Sam Clarno, and Sherri Falkner

 

To see all photos from this year’s Tacos and Taps event provided by Little Fern Photography, please click the link below.

http://proofs.littlefernphoto.com/tacosandtaps

Click the link below to see a video talking with the Director of the Food Bank and some of the vendors from this past year. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIo1HBGbyOE

Posted on May 28, 2015 at 7:37 am
Erin E. Wright | Category: Archived | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,