Coquine

This week we decided to treat ourselves to something extraordinary. I have had Coquine on my “must try” restaurant list since it was named restaurant of the year in 2016. It has remained one of the highest rated restaurants in town year over year and it did not disappoint.

We chose to do the 7 course chef’s menu to get the best idea of what offerings the James Beard nominee had. Everything we tried was fresh, seasonal and full of flavor. One of the biggest surprises of the night for me was our very first salad. There were fresh sugar snap peas, spring greens, black sesame seeds and toasted nori all topped with shaved Oregon wasabi. the wasabi gave a unique bite to the very crisp salad.

We continued on with a calamari salad with fresh radishes and cucumbers and a lovely piece of halibut with oyster mushrooms and herb oil. We continued on with a pasta with a rabbit ragu that was my favorite dish of the night, multiple small desserts, and the cutest candy tray.

To end the night we had to try one of their famous cookies. The smoked almond, salted caramel and chocolate chip cookie was as delicious as it sounds. It is no surprise that they won cookie of the year. You can even order these cookies in advance, or just get one to go! We will definitely be back to this incredible restaurant!

Where do you think we should try next? Let us know in the comments!

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First sale!

Last night I attended a young professionals of Portland networking event.  While this event is a great way to get my name out there and meet people who may be able to help me in my industry, I am always faced with the same hesitation when I introduce myself. 

“Oh you’re in real estate, that must be really tough right now”

“Oh real estate, why are you doing that in this market”

Truth is, real estate is going great!  Though it was a slow year in 2011 and nothing really happened for me, on paper that is.  I am happy to announce that not only did I sell my first house, I sold 2 in one day! Just goes to show that as long as you stick to your guns, good things happen!!

I am proud of my career choice and I plan on sticking to it for many many years to come!  Now I just have to get through those inspections!

April Market stats

All the stats are in for the last month, and it is almost all good news.  We see a continuing trend of stabilization in the market.  This is great news for anyone who owns their home.   Home prices will likely start to appreciate at a normal rate again over the next decade or so.  On average, homes appreciate about 2% a year.  Though the market is stabilizing it is still strongly powered by buyers.  Here is the breakdown of all the numbers, and as always, if you have questions don’t hesitate to ask. 

North Portland has an average sales price of just over 207,600.  This is a 1% increase from last month and within $500 of the average sales price at the beginning of the year.  Northeast Portland has an average sales price of $266,600 a 6% increase from March but still $15,000 down from the beginning of the year.  This is largely due to the presence of foreclosed homes with very low sales prices.  Southeast Portland has an average sales price of $206,600, a 7% decrease from last month, but still a 1% increase over the course of the year.  Rounding out the Portland statistics we have west Portland, With an average sales price of 387,000.  This is a 1% decrease from last month but still about 2% higher than the start of the year.  If you are interested in what these numbers look like for your specific neighborhood I would be happy to e-mail you. 

If you are thinking of selling your home, now is a great time to enter the market, because prices are not dropping at drastic rates, buyers are making offers on properties instead of waiting for the best deal.  The inventory is low and not many new listings are coming on the market, this will make your house stand out.

Spring Improvements

With the new season, as the weather begins to warm, it is time to start cleaning  and improving your home.  The winter months can be very hard on a home, heavy rains, strong winds, snow and hail, so pick up your tools and get ready to put your home back in tip-top shape.

1. The first thing you should do is check your roof.  After all the harsh weather, your roof likely took quite a beating.  make sure all the shingles are in good shape and there is no leaking.  If there are only a couple of small patches, replace the shingles in a small square around the damage.  If there are larger areas, replace the whole roof.  Your house will look fresh and new!!

2. You’ll want to check your lawn for dead spots.  Everyone loves a plush green lawn, so buy some grass seeds and fertilizer besides, why not take advantage of these april showers.  If you are feeling like your yard is a little lacking in personality, you can go all out with the landscaping.  Add a pond or waterfall to your yard, plant some roses or fruit bearing trees.  Set up a garden in that bare back corner of your yard.  Make your yard work for you!!  Also while you are out there, pull up all those plants growing too close to your home, it will cut back on pests that work their way into your home.

3. How is your siding??  Rain, snow and hail can have a pretty major effect on your paint job.  While painting a home is a big project and can be very expensive, it also has the biggest effect on curb appeal.  A freshly painted house is always the envy of the neighborhood, why not make it yours.  If you don’t feel like painting the whole house, try changing the trim color, even little changes can make a huge difference.

4. Put up a fence.  Fences are a great way to add value and privacy to a home.  Whether you want a white picket fence in the front yard, a tall cedar fence in the back yard, or just a simple iron fence all the way around.  They can do a world of good.  If you already have a fence, do some improvements.  They should be  pressure washed every year and re-stained every 3-5 years. Then check the fence is still secure, shake the posts a little and replace any loose or broken boards.  When shopping for fences, though they are cheap, keep in mind, no one like chain link fences. 

5.  Lastly as a completely optional, but really fun spring project, make an outdoor room.  Put in a new patio or deck, install a fire pit or build a fireplace, and buy some new furniture.  If you are really feeling crafty, build an outdoor kitchen.  No one wants to cook in a hot kitchen in the middle of the summer, so start renovating now and you can be cooking by June. 

Start these projects early and by the time the weather is warm, you will be able to enjoy all your hard work. 

Until next time, Live Lively

March Market Stats

After a couple of years of seeing housing prices constantly drop, we are finally starting to see prices level out, even increase in some areas.  When we look at the different quadrants of Portland, we start to see things more clearly. 

Market statistics for Portland, Oregon

North Portland showed an 11% increase in average sales price since last month, with a current average of $204,000.   NE Portland is the only area of Portland still showing a decrease in sales price. The average price dropped 8% to  $250,000.  SE portland took the largest jump in sales price but this is after a very large drop in sales price after December of last year.  The average sales price is 222,000, this is a 15% increase from last month.  Lastly we have west Portland with an increase in sales price of 9% and an average sales price of $392,000.  While the increase in Prices for the month is a good sign, we need to wait and see if this trend continues.  If we look back to December of last year, the average sales price is down across the board. 

Price is not the only factor in deciding the health of the housing market, we also need to consider the existence of third party listings.  3rd party listings are homes the bank has foreclosed on or put into a short sale.  These distressed sales drive down the pricing of homes and have a huge effect on the market.  The more saturated an area is with 3rd party transactions, the lower the average sales price will be. 

In north Portland 3rd party homes make up 26% of the active market place, and 36% of the homes being sold.  In NE Portland they make up 30% of the active market place and 34% of the homes sold this year.  Se Portland has the highest number of third party listings, with 42% of the active listings and homes sold.  In west Portland, only 20% of the active listings are third party but 31% of the homes being sold are.  

These numbers help to clarify the average sales prices of the different areas.  The higher the amount of third party homes, the lower the sales prices of non-third party homes. 

The last important factor to a healthy market place is the absorption rate.  An absorption rate is the amount of time it will take for the current inventory to sell.  Absorption rates are down across the board.  This means homes are selling faster and there isn’t so much inventory to pick through.  North Portland, Ne Portland, and Se Portland all have an absorption rate between 5 and 6 months which is an average decrease of 19% since last month. 

When we look at all the statistics together we see that the market is starting to get better.  Homes are moving faster and as we move into the spring buying season we have lots of buyers entering the market.  If you have any questions about your home or neighborhood please e-mail me at jlively@prunw.com

Until next time, Live Lively