While Ernest was on a half-work half-vacation in Palm Springs recently, he took the better part of a day to meet with his Realtor there for lunch, a tour of two million dollar homes, and took some time to learn about what was happening in the real estate market in the Coachella Valley. Ernest and Scott own properties in the valley and worked with, of course, the best of the best when they purchased a few years ago. Ernest wants you to know that Jennifer Kovalenko (contact information at the bottom of this article) is the best Realtor in the valley. She knows about every community in every town, she knows about the ins and outs of the HOA’s; even the current up and comings regarding HOA assessments and more. Jennifer talked Ernest into buying into a area in a town he was steadfast against and it has been one of their best real estate investments ever. Ernest wholeheartedly endorses Jennifer as the best realtor in the valley. And I have to say, for Ernest to say that, it is a serious recommendation.
While at lunch Ernest and Jennifer talked about what was happening in the real estate market there right now... trends, etc. In the previous article Ernest explained what was happening in the Seattle marketplace and was surprised that the same things weren’t happening in the valley. As mentioned in that article, what happens in California jumps over us and lands in the Seattle market and then trickles down to us here in the Portland Metro area. But, what was happening in Seattle three months ago was just about to hit us and the market shifted due to concerns of a recession, high gas prices, increased cost of living and then the sharp increase of interest rates. Therefore, what was happening in the Seattle real estate market will not trickle down here. Ernest will reach out to Christopher up there before the next article in three months and give you an update!
As an investor, Ernest watches the valley’s real estate market closely, just like he does here for you - his friends and clients. He has noticed in the valley that over the past four to six weeks that there have been more price reductions on listings...when previously this was not happening at all - period. He brought this up to Jennifer over their sushi. She explained that sellers have gotten greedy seeing and hearing about the red hot market over the past three years with multiple offers, limited days on the market with sale prices going multiple thousands of dollars over list and have overpriced their listings against their Realtor’s advice. Then, after the property has sat on the market for 10-14 days they have seen their error in judgement, realized they should have taken their Realtor’s advice and reduced the list price to market standards. She pointed out when the price was reduced the property(ies) Pended and Sold within market standards.
Furthermore, she said that more homes were coming on the market than in the past three or so years and that it was uncommon for this to happen at this time of the year. Jennifer said that she has discussed this with her peers and the general consensus is that the market is shifting into more usual common times. During the first quarter this year there has been about 600 to 700 homes on the market about every week but now it has increased to approximately 1,600 and before The Great Covid Shuffle (if you don’t know what that means, let me know in in a text or email and I’ll explain) there were around 3,500 to 4,000 homes on the market at this time. What everyone is concluding there in the valley that the market is shifting.
At the start of the year Ernest said that every quarter he’d go to a different market in the US and abroad to look at homes. When Ernest started this in the first quarter he went to Seattle and looked at condo’s that would be in the “first time buyer’s” price range; mid $300,000’s to mid $400,000’s. This time he wanted to see what a million or a little more in purchase price would provide a buyer. So, after lunch in the 114 degree heat Jennifer and Ernest took off to the two Country Clubs to look at homes priced at $1,100,000.00.
The first million dollar listing toured was in Mission Hills Country Club. Ernest had toured the county club earlier that morning to see if it was a place he and Scott would be interested in joining. Ernest reports that while the club was nice, it was not anywhere close to providing what the $75,000.00 initiation fee should
be. Back to the house...
Jennifer said that it was considered a 1990’s Mediterranean build. Ernest just thought it was really big, dated, every corner was bull- nosed, all the rooms were huge and the ceilings very high in all the rooms. Ernest thought that it would cost a fortune to bring to current standards, and then the furniture to furnish it would be ginormous. While it offered a beautiful pool and was in a fantastic location on the golf course, the interior of the house simply wasn’t his style. And, again, Ernest was brought back to the feelings of his buyers and totally “got” what it means when you just don’t “feel” it when shopping for a home. Jennifer said that the home was overpriced to the tune of $100,000.00 and would not suggest a full price offer.
Then Ernest followed Jennifer over to The Springs Country Club. Ernest said he was “sold” driving up the lush, beautifully landscaped guard gate house with a beautiful fountain. Then they entered the country club and all of the homes were low slung 60-70 era mid-century “ranches” Most of the homes are duplexes and there were about 8-12 in a pod with a shared pool in the middle. Pride of ownership was in abundance!!!!
The home she showed Ernest was an impressive remodel with gleaming marble floors, an office off the sequestered primary bedroom with a huge walk in closet with a wall safe. The foyer was the type and size that insisted on a medium sized round table with a huge crystal vase in the middle with a huge flower arrangement directly placed under a sparkling chandelier.... At least that is what Ernest said he would do. The living/dining room was a large rectangle with a huge fireplace in the middle of the room flanked by large sliding floor to ceiling windows looking directly out on the golf course. There was even a walk in from the family room wet bar abutting into the living/dining room that served as the divider to where the living room stopped and the dining room started. And, the community pool was directly next door. Oh! Let’s not forget the outdoor cooking area and wood burning fireplace with views of the Santa Rosa Mountains. Ernest said that if he and Scott were in the market like they will be next year, this would be the home they would buy. Jennifer again said, it was overpriced by $100,000.00. She said that the monthly furnished rent during the high season could be as high as 15k a month!
For the last home, Jennifer took Ernest to the recently studs out remodeled club house. It was like walking into a five star high end luxury hotel! The entire facility was remarkable. Then he met the Membership Director who told him that 43% of the membership were LGBTQ+ and that there were a signification number of members who have moved out of the county club but kept there membership there. SOLD!! And the initiation fee was only $10-15k. Yay!!!!!
In closing, Ernest asked Jennifer if she saw any trends like he discussed when he was interviewed after his trip to Seattle, anything out of the ordinary as compared to Portland and/or anything coming down the pike. Jennifer didn’t think there was. Everything was happening in the valley is “normal”, just like Portland. Inventory is increasing slightly, prices while appreciating are not appreciating at the totally stupid rate that they have been over the past 2 years, while on a good priced home usually in the lower price ranges of $500-$600k there are multiple offers in a short amount of time going above list price but not the $150k over list price just a month to month and a half ago and the higher priced homes, if priced well, are selling at list in two to three weeks. In summary, the valley’s real estate activity is just like the greater Portland Metroplex.
If you are thinking of investing in the greater Coachella Valley please reach out to Ernest for Jennifer’s contact information. He wholeheartedly believes she is the best Realtor in the entire valley!!!!
Of course, Ernest is never too busy for you or your referrals! Even when he’s out of town, the Cooper Realty crew is busy working with all of Ernest’s residential buyer and seller clients. Please, let us know if we can help a friend, coworker, or family member, or even your neighbor—that Ernest and Cooper Realty can help!
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Cooper Realty’s amazing Realtor and Social Media Manager recently asked all of us here at CR to write a brief about our favorite neighborhood in or around Portland.
I’ve been the tardy one. Reason being; there are so many wonderful areas in and around Portland, that due to my fantastic job, I get to explore and be a part of with my buyers and sellers.
Therefore, I took a walk down memory lane and came to the conclusion that while Scott and I are blessed to live in The Alphabet District, which is a walkable, and eatable (is that a word?) my favorite neighborhood is The Pearl District.
I loved that I could walk out the front door of my building and what wasn’t there????? Starbucks was right across the street. There was a gourmet restaurant in our building. Our gym was two blocks away. Scott had to walk ½ a block to on the streetcar. Scott once commented to me (we lived on the 6th and 7th floor of the building) that because he worked on the 6th floor of a building downtown, that he lived the majority of his life six stories in the air. Safeway was four blocks away. Whole Foods was several street car stops up the street. There was a park adjoining our building’s property line. I spent many an afternoon, when not working, sitting in the grass reading or working on needlepoint. Another sweet memory is the friends we had in our condo building. We moved in as one of the building’s first residents along with a very small group of people. Imagine living in a 125 unit plus building with only four or five other neighbors….it was odd for a while. Anyway, we became the “adult dorm” even to the extent of having keys to each other’s homes. Need a stick of butter???? Don’t have it. Go upstairs or downstairs to one of our friends condo’s, not home? Well, we’d just go in and borrow, leave a note and replace it later. We are still close to several of our old “dorm” mates. The only reason we moved was we had a 1,500 SF loft with no bedroom (no privacy) and no patio(we couldn’t BBQ) and Scott wanted a house. And you all know, when Scott’s happy, we’re all happy!!!!! LOL!!!!!
So, Rachel, I’d have to say The Pearl. And, it might just be because of the fond memories of friends and family………
Although named after a insane asylum that moved over a century ago, Hawthorne Boulevard isn't a crazy place to call my favorite in Portland. At one end, an iconic bridge frames the Willamette River, where my favorite relay race, Hood to Coast, has a major team exchange of runners. At a few blocks into town at SE 9th, Helium Comedy Club features headliners like Greg Proops, Aisha Tyler, and Doug Benson. Heading up between 12th and 20th is one of Portland's most distinct mini-hoods, Ladd's Addition, with its diagonal streets, a central rose garden, and homes of various styles under a rich elm tree canopy. Those elms require annual inoculation from disease - poor trees!
At 30th, the Boulevard begins a 20-block stretch of small and large retail stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, liquor stores and weed shops. My personal favorite place for breakfast in the whole city is Cup and Saucer at 36th - the Tofu Scramble with their garden sausage is so tasty - and I'm not even vegetarian (side tip: get the vanilla scone along side). For lunch, a slice of pepperoni pizza and a beer at Oasis Cafe at 37th is a great small lunch. And for dinner and a show, McMenamin's Bagdad is a perfect place for their High Pasta and a first-run movie. You'll find everything on your list at Freddie's at 39th, but if you park on top on a clear day, you'll get a great view of Mt. St. Helens (where my grandpa took me to watch the explosion in 1980!) And I could spend hours at Powell's on Hawthorne - it's got every bit the heart of the downtown location with out all the... downtown.
Between 39th and 50th, the Boulevard shows signs of change. New apartment buildings and evolving properties have seen some long time businesses close to make room for larger apartments and taller development. And right at the intersection with 50th is the Sapphire Hotel - a cocktail bar in the bar of a former hotel. The Boulevard is beautifully framed to the east end by Mt. Tabor - one of 32 volcano cinder cone buttes in the metro area! Trimet bus number 14 makes frequent stops from end to end, and into downtown.
My very favorite neighborhood in Portland is the one that I both live and work in- Nob Hill. Growing up in the West Hills suburb of Portland, we attended Temple Beth Israel on 19th and Flanders and would spend Sunday afternoons grabbing lunch on 23rd and exploring all of the shops. I’ve lived in Nob Hill since 2012 and love the fact that there are so many great restaurants and bars and places to go within such a short walk. Living here I’m never at a shortage of things to do or places to go, and the fact that I can walk to the office is definitely an added benefit!
The Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood is an old farming community that was settled by pioneers, from the Oregon trail in the 1800’s, who were eager to take advantage of the Donation Land Claim Act. Powellhurst-Gilbert lies about 10 miles east of the city center and is incredibly diverse. There are an abundant mix of restaurants offering foreign cuisine and it is home to the Fubonne Shopping Center; the self-proclaimed largest Asian shopping center in Oregon! Powellhurst-Gilbert is in the David Douglas School District and has low crime relative to the rest of Multnomah County. The neighborhood has a community garden and 4 city parks that total over 21 acres. Powellhurst-Gilbert is adjacent to the over 600 acre Powell Butte Nature Park and also claims 23 acre Kelly Butte Nature Park as it’s own. Division, Powell & Holgate Streets feel very urban, but most of the area is residential space. People who live here have easy access to the city, yet still enjoy quiet streets and a slower pace.
Multnomah Village has been one of my favorite neighborhoods even before I moved to this small pocket of Portland. This community-oriented village, formed in the 1910s around a former depot of the Oregon Electric Railroad, offers the old look and charm with newer shops and restaurants. The "Village" lies between SW 45th Ave. in the west, SW Capitol Hill Rd. in the east, SW Vermont St. in the north, and I-5 in the south. This suburban area offers walking trails through the neighborhood including Gabriel Park that offers a dog park, tennis courts, skate park, and beautiful trails that lead you with a creek to the shops on Multnomah Blvd and Capitol Highway. At "First Friday" you can enjoy special events and late hours for eating and shopping. Village staples such as O’Connor’s, offering live music, and Marco's Café are both known for their locally sourced ingredients. If you are looking for a friendly recommendation of a must read novel, Annie Bloom's Books never disappoints. Medley Café and Tea House and Prosperity Pie Shoppe both offer great breakfast, brunch and lunch with gluten free options. If you walk down capitol highway you can explore all the gift and craft shops with a few twists. Eventually you will end in front of the Multnomah Arts Center that offers the community with a range of sports, activities and classes. If you decide to bring your furry friend to explore, you can go get a slice and a pint at the Lucky Labrador Brewing Company. You can really get a feel for this neighborhood and its inhabitants by coming to Multnomah Days scheduled for August 19, 2017, which is a large block party with special activities and booths.
An important part of making an offer includes determining how much to offer for your earnest money deposit. The earnest money is offered to the seller as a sign of good faith and proof that the buyer has skin in the game. It reinforces to the seller that the buyer making the offer on their home is serious, and will complete the purchase once the offer has been initiated and all contingencies like inspections and appraisals have been satisfied. This earnest money deposit is customary and should be weighed seriously before submitting your offer since the seller may be able to keep your deposit money if you pull out of the deal for a reason that isn’t allowed under the purchase contract.
In Portland, the earnest money amount is typically between about $3,000 and $10,000. Cooper Realty recommends not going above $10,000 because that will take you out of small claims court if there is an earnest money dispute between the buyer and seller. Technically the earnest money amount can be as small as a penny- for the contract to be legally binding there must be some “consideration” attached. However, offering a more substantial earnest money deposit shows the seller that you are serious about purchasing the home.
The amount of earnest money you are offering is part of your down payment- think of it as a pre-payment of your down payment. So if your total down payment is $50,000 and you are providing $5,000 in earnest money, at closing you will pay the balance, or $45,000. During the transaction the earnest money sits in escrow, the neutral third party to the transaction, so that it is in safe, impartial hands until it is distributed at closing.