Let’s Talk About Forest Grove

cosmic-timetraveler-zh_ofCt2r9c-unsplashForest Grove is a beautiful small town located 45 minutes from Downtown Portland, and honestly it feels like you’ve traveled to a whole nother part of Oregon when you’re there.  Here are a few things to consider if you are looking to move to Forest Grove.

The market is different because while it started out as a small farming town it has become primarily a commuter town with the added charm of being a college town thanks to Pacific University.

        • Community contains acreage property
        • Community has access to wine country
        • Community contains single family homes
        • Community has new construction
        • Community is a great for first time homeowners
        • Community offers beautiful scenery
        • Community great location for those who love to get outdoors
        • Community has historic homes that Friends of Historic Forest Grove is working to help save
        • Some homes in Forest Grove qualify for a USDA Home Loan

There are a few challenges:

 

 

      • The average price range is $389,000.  Homes priced under $400,000 are very popular 
      • Understand that when it comes to resale some buyers will rule Forest Grove out because it is a college town.
      • Forest Grove does have quite a few amenities however if you are someone who thrives on the hustle and bustle of the city you may not enjoy the quiet peaceful environment of this beautiful small town.
      • They currently have a low inventory which means you may find yourself in a bidding war with other buyer

So what are some of the pitfalls that can occur if your Realtor® doesn’t have an understanding of the Forest Grove market?  Well you could have……..

      • Lost revenue on the sale of their home
      • Higher costs on the purchase of their home
      • Wasting precious time
      • Increased liability
      • Increased anxiety and worry
      • Wind up with a longer commute than you would like

One of the reasons I love helping clients who are looking to move to Forest Grove is the fact that I grew up and have lived in a small town for most of my life.  I understand the benefits and drawbacks of living in a small town.  I love how the community pulls together in times of need, and that they often have some of the most amazing local restaurants.  Two of my favorites in Forest Grove are Bites and Pac Thai.    In addition I have a student at Pacific University so I find myself in Forest Grove often and love keeping up with what is going on.

I know that when it comes to choosing someone to help you with the sell or purchase of your home there are many choices out there.  As a Native Oregonian I have a love for what our state has to offer from the people to nature.  I love helping people find not just a home but a community that they can put down roots.

If you have questions about real estate in Forest Grove, please feel free to comment on this blog post or send me a message through email.  I would love to help you find your next home.

Not only does lavender smell good it’s also beautiful

soap-2726387_1920One of my favorite soothing, relaxing scents is lavender. We have several lavender plants in our yard because not only does it smell oh so good, it also provides the most vibrant purple color in our yard when it is in bloom.  Which if you’ve ever driven by a lavender field you know what I’m talking about.  And since I love lavender so much when I stumbled across this week’s business of the week I knew I had to share it with you….Suzi’s Lavender

Suzi’s family started harvesting wild elderberries and has been making all-natural healing salves since 1865.  In addition to harvesting elderberries they also harvested other wild ingredients too.  I love looking back and seeing what natural products previous generations used to help heal themselves and I know that slaves are one of the ways they used to cure some of the following things:

  •  Cuts
  • Wounds
  • Burns
  • Infections

Another great benefit to salve is that it can help with cracked fingers and heals which Suzi’s found helpful during the cold, dry Nebraska winters.  Using their knowledge they also formulated skincare products as well.

At this time Suzi has grown the business to include three families of products and they are working on a fourth.  The products are formulated to be all-natural and support all skin types and skin conditions.  My daughter who has eczema has always benefited from the soothing calm of lavender.  If you suffer from a skin condition such as eczema please consult with your physician before trying something new because while lavender has been helpful to her it may not be the case for everyone.

In addition to the salves and all natural skin care products Suzi’s also has lavender hand sanitizer, which I’m really excited to get because I don’t know about you but I’m tired of my hand sanitizer smelling like cheap tequila.  LOL.

Suzi’s is a member of the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce so while her products are available strictly online they are a local business.  I hope you find something amazing to try.

Competing Against A Cash Buyer……

 

Untitled design-14 copy 21Today we talking all about buying a home when you’re competing against a cash buyer. I know that for many buyers believe  that they are going to automatically be out of the running for a home if they are up against a cash buyer but that just isn’t true. Why? Sellers need to look at what their net proceeds will be at the end of the sale. So while a cash offer may sound appealing it may not allow the seller to net the amount of proceeds that they need at the end of the sale, which can make a non-cash offer more appealing. I worked with a seller who had multiple offers on their property and for them it wasn’t about the net proceeds or about the terms it was about the offer that had the least amount demands in it.

So, you’ve finally found it. The home of your dreams. You’re ready to make an offer. You’re excited and then BAM! You get the notification that there has been another offer- and it’s all cash. What are the odds? Who the heck has that kind of money laying around? I know you may be reaching for the tissue as you see your dreams crumble into dust around you… but…. HOLD ON FRIEND. I am here to tell you that you are down, but you are NOT OUT. Let me explain. As I mentioned above it isn’t always all about CASH:

Here are the 4 biggest steps you need to take in order to be competitive against a cash buyer. Trust me on this, you’re still in the game.

#1 Make a stronger offer
Making a stronger offer is all about getting noticed. Money talks, so you’re going to have to find another way to get your foot in the door. There are several ways you can do this. First, you can offer more money than the asking price. The only thing that speaks louder than cash is more cash. Second, you can write an offer that demands less. Showing the seller that you are much easier to work with will go a long way.

#2 Write a love letter to the seller
It sounds cheesy, I know. But sometimes it works. Let them know earnestly why you love this home, need this home, HAVE TO HAVE THIS HOME. A sweet story of serendipity may win the hearts of the sellers. After all, the sellers were once the buyers too. They may hear you out.

#3 Never give up
There’s no doubt that cash buyers have a lot of power. And one of the ways that they wield this power is by skipping the banks, sidestepping a ton of escrow procedures, and making lots of demands. They know that they can usually back out of the deal easily if their demands aren’t met. And if these demands go unmet, the cash deal may fall through. So never give up. You may lose the home to a cash buyer initially, but don’t be surprised if you get a call from the sellers a few weeks later asking if you’re still interested in buying their home! It’s never a bad idea to ask to have your offer put in the back-up position just in case.

When you’re up against tough competition in the buying sector, it’s so imperative to have a good real estate agent on your side who can get your offers noticed. I know how to navigate all of these situations with ease. I make sure to talk to the sellers agent prior to writing the contract to find out if there are things that their sellers are looking for in an offer. A couple of things that sellers may be looking for are rent back, or are looking for a quick close. If that’s the case knowing that up front before writing the offer means that those items can be put in your offer which can help with negotiations later on.

 

The Official End of Summer Doesn’t Mean Camping Season is Over Right?

everett-mcintire-W7_tcn9KuA4-unsplashLabor Day…….

It’s the mark of the official end to summer, yet I do not know about you but it certainly hasn’t felt like summer.  There was only one day trip to the beach instead of the overnight trips to the ocean or time spent out of town exploring with family.  For many I know that summer also means camping trips, and who are we kidding,  there hasn’t been a lot of that going on either.

However as campgrounds are slowly starting to open back up, and distance learning in progress that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in a few camping trips during the fall.  So, if you’re looking for a quick get away that is still close to home (just 34 miles west of Portland)  why not consider a camping trip to L.L. Stub Stewart State Park located in Buxton, OR just off of the Nehalem Hwy and near the Banks-Vernonia Trail.

This beautiful state park features (taking reservations 30 days in advance):

 

  • 78 Full-hookup RV sites 
  • 13 Full-hookup RV Horse sites with four stall corrals. Two with double (six stall) corrals MUST HAVE HORSE OR PACK ANIMAL
  • 12 walk-in tent sites with water nearby
  • 15 cabins (5 pet-friendly) OPEN –Reservation required.
  • Brooke Creek Hike-in Camp CLOSED until May 2021
  • Playground open
  • Flush toilets NO SHOWERS
  • Firewood for sale
  • Reservable Meeting Hall Facilities CLOSED
  • Universal Access: 3 sites at Dairy Creek West, 2 sites at Dairy Creek East and 13 cabins are accessible to campers with disabilities.

The park consists of 1,800 acres of hills, forest and streams with over 25 miles of trails.  There is honestly something for everyone even if you do not plan on camping overnight. Families can enjoy some quality time together at the Hilltop Day-use Area where you have the ability to head out for a hike or ride the trails from Clayhill’s horse stage area. 

In addition, the park has several multi-use trails including 6 miles of cross-country or free-ride mountain bike trails which go from an easy going ride to something that is challenging.  If none of that sounds appealing you can always take advantage of the 18-hole disc golf course that wins its way through the east side of Hilltop or enjoy the 3-hole course near the amphitheater.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 protocols are in place at this time.  The day use park is open daily, with reduced services, from 7 am – 9 PM, and restrooms are open from 9 am –  7pm.  Those services include: 

  • Depot sells ice, snacks, beverages, annual parking permits and used disc golf discs – OPEN limited hours.
  • Reduced garbage service. Pack out trash.
  • Facilities may close without notice.
  • Do not travel far to visit. Be prepared to turn around if crowded.
  • Hilltop Day Use Picnic Shelter – Now accepting reservations for Sept. 4 and after. Max 30 people; face covers required.
  • No stargazing after hours for day-use visitors

So, while the calendar may say that summer is officially over, there is still so much fun to be had.  I hope that you get the opportunity to go out and explore L.L. Stub Stewart State Park soon.

Get that heart rate up with the business of the week – Orange Theory

I do not know about anyone else but exercise has been one of the things getting me through everything that has been going on over the past 6 months.  I had started walking in my neighborhood on a consistent basis right before the stay at home orders hit.  Fast forward a few months, and I have added an online workout service too because I’ve realized I am the type of human who would rather workout from home.  I realize that not everyone is like me, and that many of you prefer the accountability that going to a gym provides which is why I choose Orange Theory Fitness as my business of the week this week.

 

I have several friends who workout at Orange Theory and I know that they love it.  They love it for the fact that the workout is HIIT based.  The Orange Theory coaches will help you through 5 different heart rate zones which are telling you when you need to push harder and when you need to pull back in order to recover and bring that heart rate back down.  They say that the goal is for you to spend 12 minutes or more with your heart rate elevated.  They call it “The Orange Zone” and it is meant to help you burn fat, burn more calories and boost your metabolism.  The exercises that will help you get into the zone are cardio, rowing and strength training.
I know you may be worried about heading out to the gym right now, however please know that they do require masks/face shields and social distancing is required while working out with them.  They have several locations on the Westside of the Portland metro area.  In addition the Orenco Station Orange Theory located in Hillsboro is currently offering 1 month free.  Be sure to check out their Facebook page for more information.