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IF YOUR KID HAS SPECIAL NEEDS, YOU HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS

My son is on the spectrum. ASD and SPD. So trying to buy a home was especially stressful. Not just because I was looking for certain specific things in a house and a neighborhood, but also because the whole home buying process can be a little nutty.

Long story short, I decided to become a real estate agent myself.

The way I see it, they call it ‘Special Needs’ because we have needs that are special. Not just in a house and a neighborhood, but in the way we look for a home, the way we sell the home we have, the things that make a transaction go smoothly.

And in a real estate agent.

If you’re looking to move in Oregon, give me a call. I’d love to meet and see if we’re a good match.

If you’re looking to move outside of Oregon, give me a call. There are a lot of us out there, parents with kids who come with initials after their names –– ASD, SPD, ADD, ADHD, OCD. I might be able to connect you with a real estate agent where you are who, like me, understands your needs.

You can reach me at 503-71…
Recent posts

Portland Neighborhoods: Mt. Scott Park (#2 In A Series)

When I first moved to Portland 13 years ago, I was told to stay away from this area. People called it Felony Flats. A lot of the yards had pit bulls chained up in them, next to the carcasses of dead cars and appliances. 

Oh how things change. 
It’s still one of the more affordable neighborhoods in the city, but according to Portland Monthly the median home price is now $384,999. Felony Estates, more like. 
It’s the area between SE 52nd and SE 82nd, north of Woodstock and south of Foster. (Cool fact: Foster Road was named for Philip Foster, who owned a trading post near Estacada in the late 1800s and was married to Mary Charlotte Pettygrove. Another cool fact: Foster Road was built on top of the northern fork of the Oregon Trail.)
The centerpiece of the Mt. Scott Park neighborhood is… wait for it… Mt. Scott Park.

It’s a quiet, family-friendly park (which is code for homeless people tend not to camp out in it and I can let my kids run loose there because there aren’t any places for creepy p…

Portland Neighborhoods: SE Division (#1 In A Series)

Note: This is not the definitive history, but my version, which includes maybe a little heresy, a little mythology...
Something like 45 years ago, the federal government decided to put a freeway into Portland and bought up a swath of old houses along the proposed route –– SE Division Street. Scrappy Portland citizens said “no fucking way” and managed to force the project to be abandoned, which left the government holding a crap ton of properties. The government decided to get rid of the properties and because governments are so good at turning a profit, they sold the houses for pennies on the dollar. 
The timing was perfect for hippies. San Francisco was getting pricey. So tons of them hitch hiked up north to a land where you could drive a VW bus 20 minutes in almost any direction and find yourself in a gloriously beautiful setting –– you could take a quick hike through misty woods, pluck a couple psychedelic mushrooms, and bliss out naked in a hot spring. 
Up until that point, Portl…

How The Inuit Keep Their Cool

I call this blog 'Avoiding The Snarl' because two things make both real estate and raising an autistic kid pretty tough. Anger. And complicated shit.

Put those two together and it's hard not to blow your top.

So I came across this article by Michaeleen Doucleff on NPR's site about the way Inuit people raise their kids. I intuitively do a lot of the things the article talks about and I think that's one of the reasons my son and I are so tight, but reading the article makes me realize I could do better, and not just with my son. With my daughter. With my friends. With my ex. With my clients.

Anyway, here's a link to the article. Hope it helps.

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/03/13/685533353/a-playful-way-to-teach-kids-to-control-their-anger

If you want to talk, give me a call. I promise not to yell. You can reach me by phone at 310 854 2458 or at my very fancy new email address, BrianYourFavoriteRealtor (at) gmail (dot) com.

In Which I Call Bullshit On A HousingWire Story

Did you see the headline from a couple of days ago? “It costs more to own a home than to rent one in every U.S. state.

The story talks about how using US Census Bureau data, CNBC was able to compare the median cost of renting a home to the median cost of owning a home.

Remember what a median is? A median is “the value or quantity lying at the midpoint of a frequency distribution of observed values or quantities.” In other words, if you have 1,001 houses, exactly 500 will cost more and 500 will cost less than the median home.

And this is where the methodology is screwed up. RentCafe took the same data that CNBC used and figured out that in the US, there are 73% more apartments rented than houses. And the Terner Center at Berkley took that same data and determined that “Today, single-family detached homes make up more than 62 percent of the housing stock in the United States…

So the median rental is way more likely to be an apartment, while the median home that’s owned is way more li…

Zillow, Seriously?

Zillow just announced that it’s going into the house flipping business. Wall Street loves the announcement. The stock is up more than 23%. 
But you know me. I have questions. 
The first question has to do with its current business. As far as current users are concerned, Zillow does three things: It tells you what your current home is worth, it helps you find a new home, and it tells you what the homes you’re looking for are worth.
Does this new business line support the current business model? How credible is a Zerestimate® if you know it comes from a company that wants to make money by buying your home?
They may be able to walk that line. It’s hard to know. But I’ll tell you this, there’s a good reason car dealers aren’t in the business of valuing used cars –– they leave that to Kelly Blue Book
But let’s assume the new business line doesn’t devalue Zillow’s current business line. How exactly does this new venture work?
Presumably, I go onto Zillow and see that my house is “worth” $400,00…

Well, I done did it. I switched brokerages.

Big news (for me, anyway, but you might find it mildly interesting). From now on you’ll find me at Inhabit Realty
I’m excited to be working with a company that’s more in line with my values and by that I don’t mean anything disparaging about Keller Williams. 
Inhabit is a small operation –– the plucky Bad News Bears who by dint of their courage and smarts and integrity are determined to make a name for themselves in the increasingly impersonal, digital, sales-heavy world of real estate. They –– we –– are people who drink more tea than coffee and more kombucha than tea. (Okay, bad example. I don’t drink kombucha. It scares me.)
But I do get to work with people who feel the same way I do about Portland, access to tons more relevant resources, and a logo that’s not red. 
So if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, or you know anybody who is, please think of me. Me and the not-red logo.
Thanks. 
You can reach me by phone at 310 854 2458 or at my very fancy new email address, Bri…

BUYER'S MARKET? SELLER'S MARKET? I SEE CRANKY MARKET!

If you've been paying any attention at all, you know that interest rates are rising.

This is so not news. We had 10 years where the Fed rate was effectively 0%. It was only a matter of time.

But just because you see a wave coming doesn’t mean you’re going to stay dry. 
Realtors and lenders are pretty much taking the position that after years of artificially low rates, we’re finally going to return to “normal,” which is probably true. But normal isn’t normal if you’re not used to it.

Fun with math: For every 1% increase in interest rates, the affordability of a house goes down by 12%.

What that means is if you can afford a downpayment of $40,000 and can make monthly mortgage payments of $1750.00, when rates were 3.5%, you could buy a house that’s $430,000. When rates went up to 4.5%, the most expensive house you could afford is $385,000.
That’s a $45,000 difference.

Oh, and today? According to Wells Fargo (who by the way, I'm not a huge fan of for a lot of reasons, but whatever…