2nd Quarter Home Prices Rise

Is it good news, or just news?

According to the latest data from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices reported this morning, the U.S National Home Price Index increased by 3.6% in the second quarter of 2011. This is good news for this year even though nationally we are below numbers from June of last year. But that number was artificially elevated due to the federal home buyer subsidize.

As we all know, real estate is local, so click the link below to find the full report and information about your market.

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices


Posted on August 30, 2011 at 5:05 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

Tips for First Time Home Sellers in Medford

It’s a different world for first time sellers. Today’s buyers-take all bonanza is making sellers realize they need to pay at the closing table, sweeten the deal a little bit, and spend more time and money to get the home camera-ready. Dan Westbrook can help get your home ready to show to potential buyers and walk you through the steps of selling your home. Having an agent help you can releve a lot of unnecessary stress.

The measurement of the house isn’t how much you can get from the sale of the house anymore it’s from how much you enjoyed living in the house. Dan Westbrook can help get the most for your home.

Although it would be great if you could make a substantial profit from the house, it’s just not realistic. Work with your agent to price the house realistically from the beginning. Most of the interest in a house in Medford comes in the first two to three weeks of listing it. Take advantage of that with a house priced reasonably, you will be competitive from the start. How a home is priced is important a few thousand dollars could mean showing up more often in search results.

Be prepared to lose some money. Your house is worth what buyers are willing to pay and not a penny more. If you’re not prepared to lose some money you will be holding on to your beautiful Ashland home until the market recovers.

Have your agent promote your home. Reach the home’s target market. Figuring out who is most likely to be interested in your Central Point home and how to reach them is your best bet. 20-somethings live on their smart phones, QR or Quick Response codes may work best for them. Is your target empty nesters? Having a phone number where they can instantly talk to someone is best for them. Know who you want to see the house to and promote to them.

Throwing in extras is a trend in Oregon. If something is difficult to move, leave it for potential buyers, it may sweeten the deal. Clear away clutter. In smaller houses clutter can mean the difference between quaint and cramped. Kitchen and bathroom counters are often forgotten in the clearing away clutter process. You want your house to be somewhere between clutters and sterile.

Most homebuyers are lazy. The last thing new home buyers want is more chores. Make sure your house is move in ready. Make all the necessary fixes, trim the bushes and trees. You want the buyers to feel like they can move in and not spend the first weekend doing the chores you didn’t want to. Your competition is make their houses in OR move in ready, you should too.

Make your upgrades count. The biggest thing you can do to a house that will have the biggest bang for your buck is paint and replace carpet. Soft neutrals are recommended since they are easy on the eyes and have mass appeal. First time sellers in Medford can make the best out of the buyers market with these simple tips.

Posted on August 1, 2011 at 5:04 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

Mistakes Homebuyers Make in Medford

There are several mistakes that homebuyers in Oregon make and many of them pertain to their mortgage. Whether you find your dream home in Medford, the perfect property in Ashland or a home you can turn into your dream home in Central Point, nobody wants the mortgage to ruin the fantastic experience of buying a home for sale in OR. Dan Westbrook is here to help!
Here are a few tips to avoid a mortgage disaster:
Check your credit score. A bad credit score means you pay higher mortgage rates, and you want to know what to expect before getting to that point. If you check your credit a few months before applying for a loan you can change mistakes and even higher your credit score.
Don’t apply for other credit, like an auto loan or credit card. You look like a bigger risk and your rates will go up, if you’re approved at all. Wait until after the approval process is finished completely before applying for other credit.
Look at your total house payment. A mortgage payment includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance, or PITI. Some homebuyers don’t factor in taxes and insurance into their overall mortgage payment. So when deciding how much you can spend per month on your house, remember to factor in everything.
Having seasoned assets will help improve your chances of being approved for your loan. You can’t just transfer money from someone else’s account to make it look like you have money. The money needs to be in your accounts for a few months.
Steady work and income are a factor in being approved for loans. If you change jobs often an underwriter will look at how often you change and if your income is consistent. They want you to be able to make payments every month.
Get preapproved. Good preparation helps you get a good mortgage. Make sure you can qualify before you go house hunting. Look at different banks for the lowest rates. But don’t get too caught up with the game.
Don’t forget to lock in your mortgage rate. Rates change constantly and if you’re happy with the rate you have, lock it in. Don’t assume your rate is locked in until you get it in writing.
Read your new loan and mortgage documents. Make sure you understand and agree to everything you’re signing.
Follow these tips and you can be in your dream home in Oregon soon enough!

Posted on July 1, 2011 at 5:03 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

Negotiation tips for sellers in Medford, Oregon

Sellers are sick of hearing about how this is a “buyers market.” Homebuyers are demanding so much right now. Here are some tips to help you take some of the stress out of selling your home in this market.

Don’t mention deadlines for selling your house, even if you have one. Keep it to yourself. Letting others know you are in a hurry to sell gives them the upper hand. Don’t share too much information about yourself and why you’re selling either. That can hurt a potential sale. When asked why you’re selling give a vague and definite answer, and think about it before you’re asked. Don’t hint at your desire to move quickly. Don’t let the buyers know if it’s a divorce sale. That is code for buyers to give a low-ball offer because they know you need to sell quickly.

If you can’t afford the mortgage payments and that’s why you’re moving, try negotiating with the banks. They will generally work with you to lower payments when they know you are actively trying to sell the house. It’s good for the bank if you sell your house in a regular sale, so they may be willing to work with sellers in Medford, Ashland and Centennial.

Stop trying to prove that your house is worth buying. Let the house sell itself. You are attached to your house but potential buyers aren’t, yet. So try not to be there, so they can see themselves in the house rather than see you. Plus if you’re not there buyers can’t read your body language and ask you questions that could help them get a good deal on your house.

If you’re truly in a hurry to sell and you don’t have time to convince buyers that you’re not, try offering the agent an incentive. Make an offer short term, like for three weeks, and then you’re not stuck if six months down the line the sale is made.
Having a plan b is also a great idea in OR. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Expand your options rather than panicking. Renting out the house is an option. Making it known that you have a plan b will let buyers know you aren’t desperate to sell and can take your time. The buyer will know they aren’t the only game in town.
Take back some of the power in selling your house! Dan Westbrook will help you get what you deserve.

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 5:03 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

What Medford buyers desire in 2011

If you’re selling a home in OREGON then you should know what the buyers in your area are looking for this year. Buyers today want it all. Having spaces that mix indoor and outdoor living, like patios and decks, and a little luxury with high quality appliances will help give buyers what they want. Buyers want to drive a hard bargain and get a great deal.
Buyers demand a home in well-maintain condition. Buyers don’t want an unknown expense hanging over them after they move in. They would rather spend more to move in at first. Very few people want fixer uppers anymore. Buyers today only have enough money to buy the house, not buy it and fix it up. Having a well maintained house in MEDFORD will help you sell your house.
Buyers aren’t going to settle, because they known they don’t have to. They will negotiate to get a better deal. Repairs, updates, cleaning and staging will help you win over potential buyers. DAN WESTBROOK can give you a few other hints as well.
It can’t be stressed enough the buyers are very interested in outdoor living areas. Consider screened porches, outdoor kitchens and two way fireplaces. It’s a selling point if your house in CENTRAL POINT already has it.
Green features are on the top of buyers lists. Not only because it’s good for the environment but because it’s easy on the wallet. Having energy efficient appliances and triple glazed windows is a selling point.
Open kitchens interest buyers as well. Having an open kitchen in your ASHLAND home can appeal to a lot of buyers. The kitchen is becoming part of a gathering room, and blocking if off doesn’t appeal to new buyers.
Buyers are buying smaller homes and want to be able to use every inch of it. The formal rooms are disappearing. Buyers want rooms they will use all the time rather than a formal room used only a hand full of times a year.
Small touches of luxury are an affordable way to give buyers in OR the luxury they crave, without breaking the bank for you. Slightly more expense finishes give the feeling of luxury.

Posted on May 1, 2011 at 5:02 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

9 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home in Medford

Don’t just buy a house because the prize, style and size are what you’re looking for. Emotions run high when buying a home in Oregon. You can forget about the factors that make a difference in buying the perfect home for you.
The neighborhood is not always what it seems at first glance. There may be a park around the corner so you assume the area is full of kids, but when you visit the park, its young couples walking their dogs.

1. Talk to neighbors
Find out how many neighbors are homeowners. It is harder than you think to tell if people are renters or homeowners. Find out all you can about the Medford.
2. Visit at different times of day
See what goes on near your house throughout the day. Is there morning traffic that drives past loudly, are the kids playing at the park going to distract you? Is the house in Central Point exactly what you are looking for at all hours of the day, not just when you visited the house?
3. Quiz the sellers
Find out what problems they have had with the house, and if they fixed them. It’s a good idea to know what your house is prone to, like the basement floods when it rains, so you can take preventative measures. That way there are no surprises after you have bought the house in Ashland.
3.2 Get a detailed list of all home improvements, when possible.
Knowing how much the repairs cost is great for new homebuyers, you can tell if cheap materials were used, so you will know you will need to redo them sooner than expected.

4. Get a home inspection
Virtually all houses have defects, according to National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents. Some will be obvious and most will be curable. But knowing what needs fixing can help you negotiate a lower price – or at least prepare you for costs you’re soon to incur. Strongly consider getting inspections, too, for lead paint, radon and wood-eating pests.

5. Consider the view
See what the houses on either side of you look like. When you buy the house in OR you are stuck with the view. So consider if the houses are something you can look at everyday.

6. Ask for utility bills
You may adore the Cape Cod architectural style or the high ceilings and walls of glass in a modern home but the utility bills may be more than you can afford to spend every month. Also ask for the water bill, the landscaping may be gorgeous but you may not be able handle the upkeep.
7. Check with city hall
NAEBA recommends looking into the property’s and neighborhood’s zoning, as well as any potential easements, liens or other restrictions relating to your property. The seller should disclose these facts, but it’s better to be safe. Dan Westbrook should be able to help you with this.

8. Reconsider the bells and whistles
Are you sure you can live with a one-car garage, can you afford the pool. Be realistic.

9. Explore the surrounding area
You don’t want to be surprised by a strange smell from a nearby agricultural area, after you buy the house. Or be startled by the sirens from the police station around the corner. Get to know the area a little bit, if you’re moving more than just across town.

Posted on April 1, 2011 at 5:02 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

5 Steps to Home Ownership in Medford

Know what you want. Before you start looking at houses you need to decide what you want and need for your new home. Has your lifestyle changed? Does Medford fit your needs or is Central Point better for your new lifestyle, or do you prefer the schools in Ashland? The answers to these questions will help you find the perfect home.

Get a realtor. Buying and selling a home is far more complicated then you may think. Dan Westbrook can help you get through the process smoothly. You will receive information about the current market condition, and the strategies that need to be applied to negotiations. Information you wouldn’t be privy to if you didn’t have a realtor.
Choose a home. No aspect of the home buying process is more complex, personal or variable than bargaining between buyers and sellers. Deciding on a home is a huge decision, and you want to make the right one. Ask yourself if this is THE home for you. Then figure out if you can really afford the home.

Make an offer. In practice, the offer depends on the basic laws of supply and demand: If many buyers are competing for homes, then sellers will likely get full-price offers and sometimes even more. If demand is weak, then offers below the asking price may be in order. In Oregon its best if the realtor contacts the seller with the offer.
What’s next? Moving in. The sellers leave the house ready to be painted and cleaned for you, not spotless. The house is the single largest asset that most people own so Enjoy your new home in OR!

Posted on March 1, 2011 at 5:01 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

Tips for First Time Homebuyers in Medford

First time homebuyers can make serious mistakes, however with these tips and Dan Westbrook’s help you can get through buying your first home in Medford with ease.
Don’t make a frivolous offer on the house you want. The market is definitely a buyers market, but that doesn’t mean that houses in great neighborhoods are getting several offers. Put in some research to figure out what a good offer is, don’t try to shortchange the seller. Houses in Central Point are desirable, so make sure you put in the right offer so you can get the house of your dreams.

Don’t guess at how much you can afford. Ask for help, find a broker or banker, they can help you. Also take into consideration that the cost of buying a house is more than the sticker price. There are costs to owning a home in Oregon.

Not taking the neighborhood into consideration is a major mistake. Make sure to spend time in your new neighborhood before buying the house. Understand the atmosphere, and the good and bad things you will experience while living there.

Finally take the time to find an agent that works for you. Most people in Ashland don’t think you need one, but having an agent represent you during the home buying process is a surefire way to get it done quickly and correctly.

Following these easy steps can help first time homebuyers in OR get the perfect house without making a serious mistake.

Posted on February 1, 2011 at 5:01 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

Should the Medford, OR school board be in the business of land planning?

In an ongoing deal, the Medford, OR school board voted 5-1 to approve a deal that would provide them with 20 acres of land to build a future school on. The Medford School board will receive 20 acres at the corner of Hull Rd. and Stewart Ave. in Southwest Medford, and in return they will recommend that a portion of the landowners adjacent property be moved into the Urban Growth boundary.

This would drastically increase the value of the landowners property that gets included into the UGB.

An Oregon State law passed in 2007 gives school districts a strong voice in directing cities which properties get moved into Urban Growth Boundaries. Can this possibly be a good idea?

Understandably this may be a good deal for the Medford school district right now, but is it their job to do land use planning? The property to be included into the UGB would still have many hurdles to get through before final approval. So it is not a given, but it is a very strong bribe, and the landowners would have a pretty influencial proponent.

I personally don’t believe that the school board should have any voice in what land is included in an Urban Growth Boundary. They get a piece of property in SW Medford and the landowners get land that they can build a mixed use development on. All this creates is more sprawl in a very peaceful agricultural area of the Rogue Valley.

We have too many small acreage properties within the city limits of Medford that are under utilized. Now I am a strong proponent of owners land rights, but something needs to be done to incentives these owners to developing these properties and infilling and using the currently available space that we have before we go out a make more.

Who knows what will happen in the future, but this seems like a bit of bribery that does not need to happen.

Posted on January 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |

Harry & David faces threat of Chapter 11 bankruptcy?

The Medford Mail Tribune is reporting that one of Southern Oregon’s largest employer’s, Harry & David, may be looking at Chapter 11 bankruptcy. After a $57+ million dollar loss over the last 12 months and a $24+ million dollar loss over the same period the year before, the gourmet food and gift company may have to look at restructuring.

At Labor day they had over 4,600 salaried and hourly employees and hire a significant amount of seasonal employees. The article reports that they have enough cash to pay short term debts and receivables, but not long term debts. They have hired a couple of firms that deal with corporate restructuring which would indicate that they are headed in that direction.

They are a great local company that provides stable income for a great number of people in this area. These families are the ones that make this great community of Medford, OR work. They are the ones that buy the homes, the groceries and help keep the doors of other local business open.

Not to mention the huge number of seasonal employees that they hire. These seasonal jobs provide local families to work that extra shift and make ends meet during the holidays.

Lets all hope that this goes smoothly.

Posted on January 19, 2011 at 5:00 PM
Dan Westbrook | Posted in Uncategorized |