What do I need to know before I purchase a home?

We get asked all the time “What do I need to know before I purchase a home?” Whether you are a first time buyer, a seasoned purchaser or looking for investment property this information is for you!

1. Hire a professional! We are here to help you acquire a wonderful place to call home while making a smart investment. We’ll always put you first.

2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. We have many trusted lenders. Working with a good mortgage professional and getting approved puts you in the driver’s seat when you find the house you want. Your credit, down payment, employment, assets and liabilities will be reviewed and you will discuss the loan that makes the best sense for your financial situation. (For cash buyers, be prepared to show proof of funds.) Give us a call for a list of excellent local lender options.

3. Location, location, location – these are the top 3 things in real estate for a reason. You can always improve your home, but you cannot always improve your location.

4. Have a little extra money available – make sure your earnest money, down payment and closing cost funds are available. Be sure to budget money for inspections and any repairs or cosmetic updates you would like to make before you move in.

5. Make the commute – make the drive a few times at different times of day so there are no surprises after you move in.

6. Check the utilities! Call the local utility companies and ask for the high, low and average costs for the last year.

7. Talk to the neighbors – you will be surprised how candid the neighbors will be if you ask them what they think of the neighborhood and area. If you are uncomfortable doing this alone, ask us to join you!

-Melody & Natalie

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Winter Preparations!

The City of Tualatin recently published a Winter Preparation list that we found helpful. Thank you to Kathy Kaatz and the Tualatin Today Newsletter team!

As our neighbors to the east continue to recover from the most recent catastrophic storm, Hurricane Sandy, we are reminded just as any other natural disaster teachers, preparedness is key to weather survival. Will you be prepared for winter? Winter is near and although no one knows what winter will bring … it doesn’t hurt to be ready. Here are some tips for preparing for our upcoming winter weather!

  • Winterize your irrigation system.
  • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze. To the extent possible, weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors and storm windows, or thermal-pane windows.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Learn how to safely thaw frozen pipes.
  • Learn how to shut-off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Make sure you have a battery powered radio (for listening to local emergency instructions) in case there is a power failure, and have extra batteries.
  • Take extra precautions when driving during winter weather.
  • Flooding – if you live in an area that has a tendency for flooding – check out your City’s website for flood preparation information.
  • Listen to weather forecasts regularly, and check your emergency supplies whenever a period of extreme colds is predicted.
  • Create an emergency preparedness kit with at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your home and office. Kits prepared for vehicle road travel and winter weather evacuation go-kits are also advised. Don’t forget your pets needs too.
  • Make a plan and practice the plan with your family and those depend on you.

Happy Holidays!

-Melody and Natalie

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Find Us on Facebook

Go ahead, "like" us now!We’ve made the jump into social media and we hope to earn your “like” just as we have earned your business, referrals and friendships.

Go ahead, take a second and “like” us now!

Warmly,

Natalie and Melody, Your Get Moving Team

 

 

 

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The Pumpkin Patch: An Oregon Specialty

One of our favorite memories of fall from our childhood is carving pumpkins but before you carve you must choose the BEST pumpkin. Here are a few of our favorite patches around the area.

For one of the most scary corn mazes around check out The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island. Once you have found your way out of the maze make sure to take a FREE hay ride and pick up an ear of two of some of the best corn around but don’t forget the pumpkins!

Baggenstos Farms offers you a great selection of pumpkins AND yummy hand cut french fries, made from their own russet potatoes (they are a potato farm after all). Politics aside, you’ll love their corn maze this year, the 5 acre maze is dedicated to the Presidential Election!

Fir Point Farms is a great place for the little members of your family. They will love the horse rides, hazelnut house (picture a ball pit but with hazelnuts) and corn maze just for them. Oh and they have a great selection of pumpkins too!

Happy Fall and Happy Carving!

-Natalie and Melody

So Many Pumpkins So Little Time

 

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The Lovely Ladybug

Have you heard? The ladies of the Get Moving team have a wonderful steam cleaner for our client’s use. Cut down on the time and money you would spend cleaning your home from top to bottom.

Whether it is your first deep clean before moving in, or your last deep clean to get your home ready to sell.. This little machine will make the job easy (and dare I say… Fun!?).

Effective, eco-friendly and cute!

 

Contact the Get Moving team to reserve the Ladybug today. We will gladly deliver and show you how it works. Happy cleaning!

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Renting vs. Buying (Hint: buy!)

Had enough with security deposits, roommates, and paying someone else’s mortgage? Making the decision to say adios to renting can be a scary one, but it doesn’t need to be! A colleague turned us on to this great chart and calculator detailing the savings a homeowner is able to make once they own. To check out the graph highlighting the savings made when buying- Click Here.

 

Once that has your wheels turning, use this calculator to see just what you’re paying in rent now, and what sort of savings YOU can look forward to if you buy- Click Here.

We would love to spend some time with you going over what these numbers mean for you in today’s market. With low home prices, and low interest rates, now is a great time for you or someone you love to take the plunge! We look forward to hearing from YOU.

-Melody & Natalie

The Get Moving Team: Melody and Natalie

 

 

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Totally Awesome Total Market Overview

Whether you are in the market to buy or sell- we think that this tidy little Total Market Overview is a GREAT way to see what the market is doing in your area. Below is the overview for Northeast Portland (one quick peek, and you will see that this area is on fire!). One huge thing to point out before you dive in to the numbers- INVENTORY! Low low low. Six months of inventory is considered a “balanced market”. Northeast Portland has an average inventory of 3.7 months! Low inventory and low interest rates mean increased demand and decreased supply.

click to enlarge

What does this mean for you? A great time to sell! And a great time to get a smoking deal purchasing a home, before inventory gets any lower.

For a full Total Market Overview, email Natalie at Natalie@getmoving.com. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss just what these numbers mean for you!

-Melody & Natalie

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Need more sun?

Need more sun? Natural Light Skylights installed these solar tubes at my house. We are LOVING them! To brighten up your owndark spots, Call Mark Slick at Natural Light Skylights 503.245.7069. Priced at about $800 each. -Melody

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Record low interest rates, yes please!

For weeks, interest rates for 30 year fixed rate mortgages have been hovering around 4%. Ask Melody if this is reason to celebrate, after entering the industry in the 80′s when rates were at (gulp!) 11%, and she may just slap you silly. Well, not really. But maybe. For those who may not know the significance of adding a percentage or two to your interest rate, consider this..

At the peak of the market in 2007, when folks were buying for top dollar, flipping, selling, buying, and sleeping real estate, rates for a 30 year fixed mortgage were as low as 6.27 in March, and as high as 6.96 in August. The numbers for 2011 are 4.34 and 5.26 respectively. So, what happens to your payment on a purchase of $200,000, $300,000, $400,000 with this change in rates, you ask? Quite a bit-

You buy a home for $200,000, put 10% down and finance $180,000. At the 2007 low of 6.27% (Source: HSHAssociates.com), your payment would be about $1,318.95. With this years low rate of 4.34% (Source: HSHAssociates.com. Some sources show even closer to 4.0%, but we will use this to be conservative), the payment would be $1,103.33. That is a difference of $215.62 a month ($2,587.44 a year!). Using the same considerations on a purchase of $400,000, with 10% down, and financing $360,000, at the low of 2007 the payments would have been about $2,637.93. With today’s rates, financing $360,000 would make the payment about $2,206.67. That is a difference of $431.26 a month ($5, 175.12 a year!). That is huge when you consider that difference is not money going to your principle!

We are interested in helping you not only find the home of your dreams, but also to make sure that you make a sound investment. We pride ourselves on developing long lasting relationships with our clients, and feel that it shows in the level of loyalty our clients show us. If you think you’re ready to take the plunge, or just want some more information on the market, give us a jingle! :)

-Melody & Natalie

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U.S. Moves Toward Home ‘Rentership Society,’ Morgan Stanley Says

Since 2004, the U.S. has seen a significant decilne in homeownership rates. At a time when loans are tough than to secure and foreclosures continue to be a reality for many Americans, desire for rental options is on the rise. The face of the average American renter is changing, from young adults in apartments, to families looking for nice comfortable places in the suburbs to call home. Many people are seeing this as an opportunity to purchase long terms rentals. To read more Morgan Stanley’s position on the shift towards a “rentorship society”, click here.

With an ornery stock market, low interest rates, an abundance of low priced short sale and bank owned homes, and rentals in high demand, we are finding that many of our clients are interested in purchasing rental properties. Interested in this venture? With years of experience managing our own rental properties, established relationships with property management companies, and a thorough understanding of the housing and rental markets, look no further than your Get Moving team to get you there.

-Melody& Natalie

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