Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 300

Exploring Salem Oregon: Mo’s Crab and Chowder Festival

by Amy McLeod Group


Friday, January 25, 2019 - Sunday, January 27, 2019

This yearly tradition brings the flavors of the Oregon Coast to the winery with live music, Mo’s famous chowder and fresh crab to pair perfectly with our acclaimed Pinot Gris and other Classic Wines! $15

Willamette Valley Vineyards
8800 Enchanted Way SE
Turner, OR 97392

503-588-9463

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: travelsalem.com

Exploring Salem Oregon: Art Party Paint Night at 1859 Cider Co.

by Amy McLeod Group


Fun paint night for adults 21 and over, no experience required!  $40 for everything and $10 toward your tab.  The painting is “Cosmic Lighthouse.”

1859 Cider Co.
249 Liberty Street NE Ste 140
Salem, OR 97301

503-302-0289

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: travelsalem.com

7972 Waterloo St NE: Beautifully Updated Home in Bahnsen Woods Estates!

by Amy McLeod Group

Salem-Keizer OR Real Estate For Sale
7972 Waterloo St NE, Keizer, OR  97303

Appreciate the lovely Bahnsen Woods Estates neighborhood while enjoying this beautifully update split entry home! 7972 Waterloo St offers a great floor plan with 4 generously sized bedroom, 3 full baths, fresh interior paint, glowing wood floors, modern fixtures, recessed lighting and a nice sized yard for outdoor living! An impressive living room is illuminated with natural light through a large picture window and provides plenty of space for all your needs. The delightful kitchen features an abundance of cabinet and counter space, plus a dining area for causal meals or entertaining guests. Easily take the party outside – sliding doors lead to the rear deck and fenced yard. Three bedrooms on the main level including the master with two closets and a private bath. Heading to the lower level, you are sure to enjoy the spacious family room with a toasty gas fireplace, the fourth bedroom and a full bath. This space is currently used as a secondary suite. Plenty of vehicle and equipment storage in the attached 2 car garage and a detached shed. With so much to offer in quality and location; close to all Keizer has to offer and I-5 access, this beauty will not last! Come take a look today! 

The McLeod Group Network has distinguished themselves as a leader in the Salem Oregon real estate market. As a full service, real estate team - focused on working with our Seller and Buyer clients to help achieve their real estate goals!

We bring a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Salem Oregon home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why our clients benefit from our unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, focused on the Future –The McLeod Group Network will help make the most of your Salem Oregon real estate experience. With over 40 years of combined experience, you can rest assured that your real estate transaction will be handled and cared for with the utmost respect and attention to detail. Give us a call today 503-798-4001 and discover the difference we can make during your family's move.

Buying a House This Year? This Should Be Your 1st Step!

by Amy McLeod Group


In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show that you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are not in an incredibly competitive market, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores necessary to qualify for a mortgage.

If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so today. Let The McLeod Group Network help - 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com

By: KCM Crew


Come see this wonderful exhibition which features Chagoya’s deceptively subversive prints that explore issues of immigration, colonialism, the economy, the government, the commodification of art, and the recurring subject of cultural clash that continues to riddle contemporary life. Through January 27, 2019.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art
700 State St.
Salem, OR 97301

925-565-8926

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: travelsalem.com


Finally, you've done it: You've scoured the market for available homes—and then some—and found one you can't stop thinking about. It's time to make an offer!

But before you put your money on the line, take a peek around the neighborhood. We won't use a certain cliché, but there is a reason the pros emphasize location when buying real estate. You can change your house—but you can't change the neighborhood. And if your hood is on the decline, you just might have a helluva time offloading your home when you decide to sell.

A bad neighborhood isn't always obvious, though; sometimes you need to do a little digging to know if a community is worth buying in. Luckily, we've identified seven red flags that should give you pause before you sign on the dotted line.

Red flag No.1: Too many houses are on the market

There's nothing wrong with two or three listed houses on the same street. But if you see an army of "For Sale" signs, consider looking elsewhere.

"This points to illiquidity in the market and pricing pressure, which is a risk for buyers," says Alison Bernstein, the founder of Suburban Jungle, which helps families find their ideal suburb.

Of course, the hue of this particular red flag depends on the reason for those "For Sale" signs. Perhaps the neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying and longtime residents have decided to cash in. Or maybe there's a more sinister explanation, like increasing crime rates. Your agent can help you assess the situation before making any big moves.

Red flag No.2: The schools are enrolling fewer students

Schools in healthy communities should be steadily increasing their enrollment—or at least keeping the population steady, if there's no physical room to grow.

"Shrinking class sizes are a red flag," Bernstein says.

There are a number of reasons enrollment might decrease. Your local school might have a reputation for poor management, sending parents fleeing to charter or private options. Or perhaps residents are staying put as their kids grow up, leading to older neighbors and fewer close-by pals for your kids. That may or may not be a deal breaker, but it's certainly something to consider.

Red flag No.3: The area leans industrial

A nearby strip of cute boutique stores might be a nice selling point, but reconsider the purchase if the closest commercial influences lean toward the industrial.

"Be mindful of any kind of commercial influence on the block, such as close gas stations or anything that could be undesirable health-wise," says Ralph DiBugnara, the vice president at Residential Home Funding.

Any nearby industrial plants should automatically nix a neighborhood, and think long and hard before buying across from a car dealership or auto body shop, which attract a lot of car traffic.

Red flag No.4: There are lots of empty storefronts

Don't just stop at counting boutiques versus gas stations. Are the stores actually thriving, or are there lots of retail spaces for rent?

"Empty storefronts can tell you a lot," Bernstein says. "They point to less disposable income of residents than clearly there once was."

Why does that matter? Decreased disposable income indicates a neighborhood on the decline. If homeowners don't have money for dinner out, they probably don't have cash for upkeep. Shabby homes drag down property values. Meager cash flow can also lead to future foreclosures—and a foreclosed-upon home is a neighbor that no one wants.

Red flag No. 5: The Stepford style is in full force

You might love the homogenous, well-groomed suburban look (and there's nothing wrong with that!). But take a moment to examine it more closely. Are there any unique decorative doodads dotting each garden, like aluminum chickens or wind chimes? Or is the front porch furniture identical?

If all the neighborhood's homes (and landscaping) look suspiciously similar, "explore how restrictive the homeowners association is," says Susanna Haynie, a Realtor in Colorado Springs, Co. "It could be an issue."

Red flag No.6: There's no parking

Sure, the property may have a one-car garage—but where will your friends park, and where can you keep your spouse's car? If the streets have bumper-to-bumper traffic, think twice about buying in the neighborhood—especially if the home lacks a garage or carport.

"I'm always on the lookout for a lack of parking," DiBugnara say. "It's best to visit at night or on weekends to really, truly tell what will be available to you once you live there."

Unless you commute primarily by foot or bike—or you're OK spending your weekends circling the block—the neighborhood may not be a good fit for you.

Red flag No.7: Surrounding homes aren't well-maintained

A street in shambles might seem like an obvious red flag. But you also might have heard that buying the best house in the worst neighborhood is a prime opportunity for profit.

Tread lightly here: A street full of run-down homes with overgrown yards and broken fences should set off warning signals. And this has nothing to do with wealth; lower-income neighborhoods can be just as well-kept as more expensive ones. It's about pride. Neighbors with no pride in their home's appearance and upkeep decrease property values for everyone.

Plus, problems with the homes next door can indicate that the house you want might have bigger issues than meet the eye. Look at every house on the block for issues such as water pooling in the yards, or flickering porch lights.

"If there are problems such as water pipes or electrical issues, you will tend to see more than one home showing damage," DiBugnara says. Fixing these major problems "could be a major expense, hassle, or detriment to your value later on."

Ready to buy a home? Let The McLeod Group Network help - 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com

By: Realtor.com, Jamie Wiebe

How to Organize Your Kitchen Fast—Even in 15 Minutes

by Amy McLeod Group


We're willing to bet you spend a whole lot of time in your kitchen, so odds are fairly good it's also one of the most cluttered rooms in your house. Somehow, everything that doesn't have a home (and lots of other stuff that does!) seems to end up in the same space meant for cooking.

But it's a new year, so if you've vowed to finally clean up your act—and your house—we're here to help!

If the prospect of decluttering seems overwhelming, never fear. No one said you have to tackle the whole house (or even a whole room) in one go. In this weekly guide on Home Organization Made Easy, we break down this monumental task into easy, bite-size projects. Each article will tackle a particular room (starting with your kitchen), then break it down further into manageable jobs that can fit any time window you have handy. Here's how to get organized in the new year whether you've got 15 minutes—or a few hours—to spare.

Got 15 minutes?

Fifteen minutes may not seem like much time, but according to professional organizer Nancy Haworth, owner of On Task Organizing, there's actually a lot that you can get done in that small amount of time. In fact, if you can carve out just 15 minutes each day for decluttering your kitchen, you'll start seeing real results sooner than you think.


Photo by Beyond the Box

According to Haworth, 15 minutes can make a big impact on your spice cabinet—and we all have a spice cabinet that can use a bit of tidying up.

"Sort through your spice rack, and discard expired spices," she says. Most spices don't actually expire, but they do lose their flavor after about three or four years, so it's good to go through and pitch the old ones every now and then. Your cabinet will thank you—and so will your cooking.


Photo by Great Kitchens & Baths

It's also the perfect amount of time to clean out the cabinet under your sink—a place that's out of sight to pretty much everyone, so it tends to get seriously out of control.

"Remove old or never-used cleaning supplies," she says. Who needs four different kinds of stainless-steel polish anyway?

Finally, she says this small amount of time is perfect for tackling the landing spot for pretty much everything that comes into your home.

"Declutter, organize, and clear off your kitchen table," she advises. Clearing off that one piece of furniture will give your kitchen an entirely new (and much less cluttered) feel.

Got 30 minutes?

A half-hour is barely enough time to take a shower and get dressed, so how much of a difference can it make in your kitchen? Tons, according to Haworth.


Photo by Starline Cabinets

Your first project is going to be the mound of mail and paperwork that has likely taken over at least some portion of your kitchen counters. Depending on how long you've been letting it pile up (and how likely you are to pitch unnecessary papers), just one 30-minute session should be enough to clear that clutter. Invest in a mail sorter for the counter or wall that will give you a place to put everything you keep—and a way to keep it from piling up again.


Photo by Shelf Confident 

According to Haworth, just 30 minutes a day is perfect for cleaning out your kitchen cabinets, one section at a time.

Take the first 30-minute time period to straighten up your pots and pans, making sure everything has a lid, and getting rid of anything you don't use. Next, attack your plates, bowls, and serving ware, followed by cups and mugs, then bakeware, and finally your plastic items. Of course, any items that are stained, cracked, or missing a lid have got to go.


Photo by Houzz

Got an hour?

Joshua Becker, founder of BecomingMinimalist.com and author of "The Minimalist Home," says one of the biggest jobs in decluttering your kitchen is going to take you about an hour.

"The whole point of a kitchen is consuming food, so you’ve got a lot of consumables in cabinets or in an adjacent closet used as a pantry," he says. Decluttering that space is going to take some time—probably about 60 minutes.


Photo by Organization & Relocation 

He recommends you take everything out of the pantry, group like food items together, and relocate anything that doesn't belong there.

Put the food back in a way that makes it easy for you to find things, and use bins or see-through containers to keep everything organized. While you're putting things away, check dates and toss anything that has passed its expiration date.


Photo by Houzz 

Do you have another 60 minutes free? Haworth says you should use it to reconfigure all of your small appliances.

"Go through these devices—blender, mixer, coffee maker—make sure that you have all parts, and test the appliances to make sure they still work," she says.

If it's broken and can't be fixed, get rid of it. If it works, but you can't remember the last time you used it, consider donating or selling it.

These small appliances tend to take up a lot of room, and getting rid of just one or two will make a huge difference.

Got two hours?

If you have two hours to spare, Haworth says you should use that time to unload, clean, and organize your refrigerator and freezer. Remove everything, defrost if needed, clean all the shelves with warm, soapy water, and put everything back in a way that makes the most sense to you. Once again, trash anything that's expired. And yes, the forgotten leftovers too.


Photo by True Residential 

Whether you tackle your room in one whole day, or 15 minutes at a time, it is possible to declutter your space. Once you do, try to keep it that way.

Take just 15 minutes a day to access the daily damage, and put away anything that's not where it belongs. You'll be glad you did, we promise!

Contact The McLeod Group Network for all your Real Estate needs. 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com

By: Realtor.com, Whitney Coy

Exploring Salem Oregon: Tedx Salem VI

by Amy McLeod Group


Saturday, January 5, 2019 - 9:00 AM

Join us for talks and performances by community members who have ideas worth spreading, curated TED Talks, snacks, lunch, and the chance to connect with speakers, partners, and other attendees.  There will also be swag bags, and surprises!  $45-$55 entrance fee.

Salem Convention Center
200 Commercial St SE
Salem, OR 97301

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: travelsalem.com

Excited About Buying A Home This Year? Here’s What to Watch

by Amy McLeod Group


As we kick off the new year, many families have made resolutions to enter the housing market in 2019. Whether you are thinking of finally ditching your landlord and buying your first home or selling your starter house to move into your forever home, there are two pieces of the real estate puzzle you need to watch carefully: interest rates & inventory.

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for much of 2018, but they made a welcome reversal at the end of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.94% in November before falling to 4.62% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. Despite the recent drop, interest rates are projected to reach 5% in 2019.

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000).

Inventory

A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 3.9-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 81 straight months.

The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last six months.

The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, since June, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.

This is a trend to watch as we move further into the new year. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller’s market and closer to a normal market.

Bottom Line

If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to discuss the changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory and what they could mean for you. 971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com

By: KCM Crew

Why You Should Not For Sale By Owner

by Amy McLeod Group


In today’s market, as home prices rise and a lack of inventory continues, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their homes on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for most sellers.

Here are the top five reasons:

1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers

According to NAR’s 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95% of buyers searched online for a home last year. That is in comparison to only 13% of buyers looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an Internet strategy to promote the sale of your home, do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did buyers find the homes they actually purchased?

  • 50% on the Internet
  • 28% from a real estate agent
  • 7% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by putting out a lawn sign or putting an ad in the paper are long gone. Having a strong Internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale by Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interests of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 7% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they can save on the real estate commission by selling on their own, but they don’t realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe that they can save on the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent. One of the main reasons for the price difference at the time of sale is that,

“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property. The study showed that the difference in price between comparable homes of size and location is currently at an average of 6% this year.

Why would you choose to list on your own and manage the entire transaction when you can hire an agent and not have to pay anything more?

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, get together with The McLeod Group Network to discuss your needs.  971.208.5093 or admin@mgnrealtors.com

By: KCM Crew

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 300

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of The McLeod Group Network Real Estate
The McLeod Group Network
Keller Williams Capital City
1900 Hines St SE #220
Salem OR 97302
971-208-5093
Fax: 971-599-5229

**Disclaimer: Amy McLeod, and her team, do not initiate, process, or service mortgages.  And provide this information only as a service.  You should confirm information here with your Licensed Mortgage Lender.