Things to know before moving to Eugene, Oregon!

Things to know before moving to Eugene, Oregon!

View of Eugene, Oregon from Skinner Butte Park

 

Thinking about moving to Eugene, Oregon?  Read about some of the history, and learn why Eugene is a special place.

 

This historic 100 acre park is named after Eugene Skinner, the founder of Eugene, Oregon. Eugene Skinner was the first Euro-American settler of the southern Willamette Valley.

 

Skinner Butte Climbing Columns. Old quarry that was abandoned in 1930’s. Rock was used in Eugene for building roads, foundations, and grave markers.

Outdoors & Sustainability-

Moving to Eugene, Oregon will give you many opportunities to stay active.  In 2013, Eugene was awarded Gold Level Status for being a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.  With miles upon miles of bike paths and bike-friendly streets, Eugene makes if very easy to bike to wherever you need.  With 23 distinct neighborhoods, and a variety of housing options, Eugene offers easy access to all businesses and services throughout.  Eugene also continues to strive to bring its citizens a robust public transit system to help with their carbon footprint and city congestion.  Eugene rests in between 2 Buttes, providing those who live here, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, prime for breath taking panoramic views and plenty of photo opportunities.  Go Fishing or Rafting on the Willamette River, play Golf at the many courses and clubs located here, and enjoy the bustling downtown and shop the many local boutiques and businesses.

The Eugene Saturday Market is a weekly market in a park features wares by 200+ local artisans, plus food vendors & live music.

Agriculture & Food-

Since the time of the migration through the Oregon Trail, the Willamette Valley has been known for its fertile soils and green scenery.  Agriculture is booming all along the West Coast, and Eugene, Oregon is no exception!  Some of the leading crops in the Willamette Valley are hazelnuts, grapes for wine, and vegetables.  Eugene is the home to numerous farms and vineyards, allowing its citizens some of the tastiest treats, sweets, bites, drinks, and spirits around.  When you move to Eugene Oregon, you will have no shortage of options when it comes to restaurants,local wines, local brews, and coffee from local roasters.

 

Art & Science- 

Many college students move to Eugene, Oregon to attend the University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences.  Eugene is home to the Oregon Bach Festival, the Eugene Symphony, the Hult Center for Performing Arts, Eugene Science Center, and several Museums.  Rich with history, culture, and diversity, Eugene, Oregon is a desirable destination for many.

 

Family-Friendly-

Many families move to Eugene, Oregon because Eugene is a family-friendly town.  Kids have many safe options to play, learn, and grow here.  There are lots of traditions here in Eugene, but none are as deep set as going to the local baseball field to watch the Eugene EM’s play a game.  Sluggo the mascot makes sure the kids are laughing and having a memorable time.  Eugene has many city parks sprinkled throughout all urban areas, hundreds of miles of hiking trails to hike or bike, and lots of opportunities to fish and camp.  Local farms with activities and kid-friendly restaurants.  Eugene also has a children’s museum and learning centers all to keep them curious and entertained.

 

Jobs, Business Start-Ups, Technology & Innovations- 

In 1964, the Nike running show was created here, and the rest is history!

Many people move to Eugene, Oregon because they seek the freedom to grow their ideas into a thriving business.  Eugene offers a network of professionals that are geared towards tech, business, economics, and marketing.  Home to many tech start-ups and incubator/accelerator programs, many come here to make their dreams a reality.  In 2012 the Eugene, Oregon metro area was nicknamed ‘The Silicon Shire’.  Eugene, Oregon is home to a thriving technology sector.  In 2015, the region’s rapid growth led to Eugene being named one of “The Next Top 10 Cities for Tech Jobs” by Fast Company magazine.  One of the most famous start-ups from Eugene, Oregon was of course, Nike.

 

 

Top Employers-

UO was founded in 1876, the institution’s 295-acre campus is located along the Willamette River.

The top employers of this area are; University of Oregon, Peace Health, Lane County, Eugene 4J School District, Springfield School District, and the City of Eugene.

PeaceHealth is a non-profit health care organization that operates ten hospitals in the Western United States.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historic Traditions-

“Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it” -Steve Prefontaine

When you live in Eugene, Oregon, you learn quickly that there are some deep-rooted traditions that are evident from the many innovations that have came from here.  Eugene, Oregon is the host to some of the most elite athletes in the world.  Known as ‘Track Town USA’, Eugene lives up to its name.  The historic Hayward Field is located in the heart of Eugene and the University of Oregon.

Steve Prefontaine:  This track has graced some of the best, but none more iconic to locals and the world, than Steve Prefontaine.  In honor of his memory, Eugene hosts The Prefontaine Classic every year.  Given Eugene’s long history with sports, Eugene is also host to the Olympic Track and Field Team Trials, bringing in millions in revenue to the city and state.

 

Local Housing Market & Statistics-

In 2015, United Van Lines released its Annual Mover’s Study and found that Oregon was the top destination.  In 2016, more people moved into Oregon than moved out.  Livability.com ranked Eugene one of the top three places to live in Oregon.  With so many desirable angles to Eugene, Oregon, it’s no wonder that so many people seek to live here.

 

 

Click here to contact me for your up-to-minute market stats and active listings in this area!
9 grants and programs to help you buy your first home…

9 grants and programs to help you buy your first home…

Money issues often stand in the way of home ownership. A survey by rental service Apartment List found that 80 percent of millennial renters want to buy a home, but most say they can’t afford to. What you may not realize is that many first-time home buyer programs and grants offer financial help, and you may be eligible for various types of assistance.

Here are nine first-time home buyer programs and grants designed to help you land a great mortgage and get a place of your own.

1.  FHA loan
In an FHA loan, the Federal Housing Administration insures the mortgage. The FHA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA’s backing offers lenders a layer of protection, meaning that your lender won’t experience a loss if you default on the mortgage. FHA loans typically come with competitive interest rates, smaller down payments and lower closing costs than conventional loans.
If you have a credit score of 580 or higher, you could be eligible for a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price. If your credit score is lower than 580, you still might qualify for an FHA mortgage, but the down payment would be at least 10 percent of the purchase amount.


2.  USDA loan
While not well known, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a home buyer assistance program. While the program focuses on homes in certain rural areas, you don’t need to buy or run a farm to be eligible. The USDA guarantees the home loan. There may be no down payment required, and the loan payments are fixed.
Applicants with a credit score of 640 or higher typically get streamlined processing. With a credit score below 640, you still can qualify for a USDA loan, but the lender will ask for extra documentation about your payment history. Keep in mind that there are income limitations, which can vary by region.


3.  VA loan
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps active-duty military members, veterans and surviving spouses buy homes. The VA guarantees part of the loan, making it possible for lenders to offer some special features. VA loans come with competitive interest rates and require no down payment. You aren’t required to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), and a minimum credit score isn’t needed for eligibility.
If it becomes difficult to make payments on the mortgage, the VA can negotiate with the lender on your behalf.

4.  Good Neighbor Next Door
The Good Neighbor Next Door program, sponsored by HUD, provides housing aid for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers.
Through this program, you can receive a discount of 50 percent on a home’s listed price in regions known as “revitalization areas.” Using the program’s website, you can search for properties available in your state. You must commit to living in the home for at least 36 months.


5.  Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored entities. They work with local lenders to offer mortgage options that benefit low- and moderate-income families. With the backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, lenders can offer competitive interest rates and accept down payments as low as 3 percent of the purchase price.
Fannie Mae also provides home ownership education for first-time home buyers through its “HomePath Ready Buyer” program.

6.  Energy-efficient mortgage (EEM)
An energy-efficient, or “green,” mortgage is designed to help you add improvements to your home to make it more environmentally friendly. The federal government supports EEM loans by insuring them through the FHA or VA programs. The key advantage of this mortgage is that it lets you create an energy-efficient home without having to make a larger down payment. The extra cost is rolled into your primary loan.
Some improvements you can make include installing double-paned windows, new insulation or a modern heating-and-cooling system.

7.  FHA Section 203(k)
If you’ve run the numbers to see how much house you can afford and have determined a fixer-upper is best for your budget, the Section 203(k) rehabilitation program may be a good fit. This type of loan, backed by the FHA, takes into consideration the value of the residence after improvements have been made. It then lets you borrow the funds you’ll need to carry out the project and includes them in your main mortgage.
The down payment for a 203(k) loan can be as low as 3 percent.


8.  Native American Direct Loan
Since 1992, the Native American Veteran Direct Loan program has helped Native American veterans and their spouses buy homes on federal trust lands. The VA serves as the lender. If you’re eligible, you won’t be required to make a down payment or pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).
This first-time home buyer loan also offers low closing costs and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

9.  Local grants and programs
In addition to the various programs provided by the federal government, many states and cities offer help to first-time home buyers. Before buying a home, check your state’s or community’s website for information on housing grants and programs available in your area.
You also might consider contacting a real estate agent or local HUD-approved housing counseling agency to learn more about programs in your area that might apply to your situation.

 

Search for great homes, in the area you love, for the price you want!

Cottage Grove,  Junction City,  Springfield,  Eugene,  Veneta,  Yoncalla,  Florence

 

 

A Team built for Success…

 

Ask the right questions…Expect the right service

Having a good working relationship with your lender is crucial. Your Realtor and your Lender will need to work together as a ‘team’ to ensure a smooth transaction.

Make sure that you have a lender that is knowledgeable and takes the time to explain what this will cost YOU out-of-pocket. There are always more expenses to consider, and you don’t want to be surprised in the middle of a negotiation or at closing.

Working with a Realtor that is knowledgeable in negotiations, and has the connections needed to facilitate all the moving parts of a transaction for a successful sale, is the other missing piece.

As a consumer, ask the right questions of your ‘Real Estate Team’. You should expect open communications, research, validations, problem-solving, networking, negotiations, and professional service from your ‘Team’. Know what to expect in the process. Ask questions when you don’t know. Your Team of professionals should be eager and willing to help you through this process. Know that you are part of this team as well. Being prudent, cooperative, and open minded helps you set realistic expectations. Managing your emotions and trusting that your team is there to represent your interests in the best possible way, will enable you to limit your stress, and hopefully enjoy the process. Be confident that you picked the right professionals, because you asked the right questions ahead of time!

Contact me!  I’m always here to help, and you’re always welcome here. I’m never too busy for your referrals!

New Law! Help for the First Time Home Buyer Down Payment

Exciting News for First Time Home Buyers!  Oregon just passed House Bill 4007!  What does this mean for you?

 

 

 

April 1st, 2018, House Bill 4007 was passed by the Oregon House of Representatives, to help First-Time Home buyers with a down payment assistance program.  This allows first-time home buyers in Oregon to start a savings account for the purchase of their home, which can be deducted from state income taxes.  This can really help those who need some assistance making their dollars stretch and work for them by offsetting taxes.  Some basic perimeters to this bill goes like this;

  • Save up to $5,000 each year individually
  • Save up to $10,000 each year as a couple
  • Add to their account for up to 10 years

Click here to download a copy of “First-Time Home Buyers Savings Account” (FTHSA) House Bill 4007.

Planning and prep work are your best defense as a First Time Home Buyer!

Saving up for your first home can be difficult.  First-time home buyers face many obstacles in today’s market.  The competitiveness in pricing, speed of the market, cost of student loans, and credit card debts can make it very difficult to save for the down payment, and other out-of-pocket expenses, that you can count on needing when buying your first home.   Understanding your credit, loan options, home buying process, the local market, and all of your out-of-pocket expenses is crucial to prepping and planning for your future venture.  Making contact now, and building a relationship with a Realtor that is knowledgable, and has the connections and resources you’ll need to keep you on the right track, will give a leg up for when you are ready to jump in!

Click here to set up an appointment with me for your “First Home Success Plan” consultation!  We will discuss your needs, wants, goals, compose a plan that makes sense for you, and get you the referrals you need to make this dream a reality.

When you buy Real Estate, you become rooted in that community.  Your property taxes helps with the services provided within it.  You become part of the economy and the fabric of what is community.  The pride of ownership within one’s community is what built this nation and what continues to make this nation thrive.

 

My mission as a Realtor, is to help build better communities and economies through home ownership and community outreach.  I would love to help you get started on your plan to Home Ownership.

 

First Time Home Buyers – Interest Rate is Rising

You don’t have to have stellar credit to get a good home loan, but the better it is the more money you will keep in your pocket!

Watch my video to learn how your credit is weighted, and how you can make a plan to get your credit scores higher.

There are many methods to helping you pay down your debt, and each individual needs to take an honest look at their finances.  You must know what you are spending, where your money is going, and what is on your credit report.  Put your expenses into categories. 

  1. Find out where you spend the most, and start making adjustments.  If your biggest bill, other than your rent, is food…learn how to shop in bulk and cook at home.  Chart your savings and add that up at the end of the month.  Use that savings to pay extra on your debts.  This can add up to thousands at the end of the year.
  2. List your debts according to interest rates, not balances, and pay the highest rated card off first.  Once this high interest card is paid off, roll over that monthly payment into the next on the list (in addition to your regular monthly payment of that card).  Keep doing this and soon you will be making a huge payment on each card, and paying off much faster.
  3. Once you pay a card off…don’t close the account!  You want credit on your report for paying that balance down to zero.  The credit card companies still have to report to credit bureaus and this looks favorable on your report.
  4. Consider calling all of your credit cards and asking them to increase your limit.  Do not use it…just use this adjustment to make your debt-to-income ratio look better.  You want about a 30% ratio for best results
  5. Always pay on time!  Paying on time has the biggest weight on your credit score.
  6. If you have no credit, get some!  Apply for some department store credit lines.  Use the card and pay off within 2 months.  This will give you a positive report, and help build a history for you.  Research credit cards and open lines of credit that report to the credit bureaus TWICE a month, and pay that card TWICE a month.  This is a way to really make your points shoot up, as you are able to get twice the positive reports coming in to your credit.  This can help in a hurry!
  7. Stop spending Money!  No big purchases, eat at home, shop wisely, cut out wants and focus on needs, and learn to spend time…not money.

Soon you will find that you will have pride in your decisions, you will have a steady goal to work towards, you will spend more time with your loved ones…and soon…you will be a HOME OWNER!

Every story is different, and I’m always here to help.  Let’s talk today, and get you started down a path of home ownership!

Tiny Homes…Big Issues?

Tiny Homes…Big Issues?

Tiny Homes have stirred up some Big Issues.  Learn more about how we move forward from here.

Tiny House living is intended to reduce our carbon footprint, and to assist in today’s growing housing crisis.  As the market gains momentum, so can the divide among many to realize their dream of home ownership.  Some people are being priced out of he market, making Tiny homes seem like a good idea.  Many issues have came to light when it comes to the sale and construction of Tiny Homes.  Many issues surround this topic, and it might not be as cut and dry as you might think.  Tiny Homes...Big Problems?

Real Estate and the issues that surround it are as political as they come.  Making sure that all people are represented and given opportunities equally is what I love about being a Realtor the most.

Watch this video to learn more about the Tiny Home, Big Issues.

Tiny Homes...Big Problems?

Check out this local organization that is building a Tiny Home Community @ squareonevillages.org/emerald

See how Springfield Oregon is leading the way in Lane County!

50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act

In the month of April, Oregon will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.  Take this opportunity to learn about the history of our State and segregation.  Celebrate the resistance that changed communities and the Nation.

http://www.ohs.org/events/?event_type=All+Types&audience=All+Audiences&series=Fair%20Housing%20Act%2050th%20Anniversary&location=All+Locations

“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Ready your home…’FALL IS COMING’

FALL!  My favorite time of year!  The air gets cool and crisp, the leaves turn beautiful shades of reds, purples, and golds.  Simmering crock pots fill your home with comfort, and Football is ready to be played!  Summer is a great time to be out on the go, but now, you realize your home needs a little TLC!  No worries, here’s a quick list to get you started;

  1. Pressure wash your exterior and sidewalks
  2. Inspect your roof (professionals recommend twice a year) and inspect for bubbled shingles, moss build up, etc.
  3. Clean out your gutters.
  4. Have your furnace inspected and cleaned by a HVAC professional.
  5. Spruce up your landscape.  Prune shrubs and bushes.  Make sure that all vegetation is clear from touching your home.  The less entry points for insects and rodents the better.
  6. Ready your Lawn.  Aerate and apply organic compost now to make your lawn healthy in the Spring.
  7. Tend to your garden.  Many crops are happy and successful in cool weather.  Research your area to find out what plants and vegetables are ready to be planted.  If you don’t want to continue your garden, till and plant a crop cover.  When spring comes, you can till those into the soil and have a happy garden in the spring.  A little work now, makes Springtime less of a chore.
  8. Renovate your deck.  Apply a fresh coat of paint, put out some colorful planters of cold weather plants or vegetables. 
  9. Upgrade your patio furniture.  If you can’t afford new, simplly clean and paint the existing furniture.  Add some outdoor pillows for a pop of color and you”ll have a great space!
  10. Check your home for air leaks.  Inspect the doors and windows.  Install new weather-stripping where needed. This is the cheapest way to save energy, and money, for the cold winter months that follow.

Curb Appeal! Decorating and Staging Tips to Sell

Once you’ve decided to put your home on the market, you’re looking to sell quickly for the best possible price. One tactic that can help sell your home faster is staging. At first, staging may seem like a real estate term that doesn’t actually mean anything. Isn’t staging just decorating? Well, not exactly…

 

Appeal to the masses 

Your home is likely decorated to your tastes. It could be colorful and eclectic, or rugged and industrial. But when you’re staging your home, rather than appealing to a specific decorating sense, you want to furnish your home in a way that appeals to everyone-and more importantly, doesn’t turn anyone off who just isn’t into your personal style.

Tone down the personal flourishes

Buyers want to be able see themselves in a home and imagine how they’d make it their own. Unfortunately, that means less of your own style as you’re preparing for your move. Cut down on family photos, bold artwork, and unusual furniture. Do some major decluttering so the buyer can see all the space and storage opportunities. It may be sad to start removing the items that make your house a home, but it’s an important part of the process.

Mass appeal doesn’t mean “boring”

Your staged home can still be colorful, just stay away from extremes. If you paint, stick to whites, grays, or neutrals. Add flourishes of color with window treatments or accent furniture, but try to choose items that will appeal to both genders.

 

Call a Pro

There are likely several staging companies in your area. If you need a recommendation, reach out to your trusted real estate professional.

Here is a quick video note from Trisha;

Surprise! These things effect your home’s value too…

Some the features that increase property values are obvious-like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you have not have realized can affect property values.

  1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.
  2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walkfrom popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.
  3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.
  4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.

The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers-many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollarChatting with Trisha;

 

Avoid these two mistakes!

We all know that searching for and viewing potential homes is the fun part of the home-buying process. The not-so-fun part? The mortgage.

But if you don’t pay attention to the details, your mortgage can end up dragging down the enjoyment of your new home and cause some major regrets. Here are a few mistakes to avoid to ensure that you love your mortgage terms as much as your hew home.

Don’t find your home first: Shopping around for the best mortgage rate should be the first step in the home buying process. You may even want to talk to a mortgage broker a full year before you plan to buy. It’ll give you time to get your affairs in order to qualify for the best rate, could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and you won’t feel rushed to accept an unattractive loan because you’re worried you’ll miss out on your dream home.

Don’t forget your real budget: There’s often a big difference between what a lender says you can afford and what you can actually afford. Your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t include the money you spend on hobbies, or the cost of commuting to work, or maintenance and utility costs. Really sit down and examine your spending before committing to the loan amount the lender is offering. You won’t enjoy your home nearly as much if it’s eating into your favorite hobbies.

Chatting with Trisha;