Generally.  The concept of title to land, i.e. its “ownership”, is fairly obvious, just like ownership of a vehicle, personal property, or other tangible and intangible assets.  Similarly, evidence of title, e.g. the deed, is generally understood.  What can become complicated, however, is “how” title should be held. And what is the significance of selecting one form of ownership over another?

Continue reading “Holding Title To Oregon Real Estate”

Some good news from the latest RMLS™ Market Action letter. New listings for May 2017 reached 4,388, which was 5.9% higher than May 2016, at 4,144. This number doesn’t top the 5,182 new listings for May 2008, but then again, maybe that’s a good thing. For those who remember the Bad Old Days, 2008 was the beginning of the end for the real estate market; it was not until September 2012 that housing prices finally began to increase, after a hiatus of exactly five years, i.e. September 2007 was the apogee for housing prices, before they fell over the Abyss. Continue reading “Analysis Of The Portland Metro Residential Market – May, 2017”

Scales of JusticeWhy Boundary Disputes Arise. Over the past several years, it seems that boundary disputes have been on the uptick. One reason for this is that as we have come out of the depths of the Great Recession, many builders, rather than constructing large subdivisions, are doing what is called “in-fill”, i.e. cherry picking smaller parcels of land located in pre-existing neighborhoods.

The result has been that undeveloped parcels between previously improved properties, are being partitioned or subdivided into one or more lots, for residential construction. Frequently, this unused land has not been surveyed for many years, and meanwhile, the abutting neighbors have established, with fences, shrubbery, and construction, their own “lines of occupation” which may or may not conform to the legally descriptions in their deeds. Continue reading “Understanding Adverse Possession In Oregon”

Question Mark (2)BackgroundOn October 7, 2015, the City of Portland amended its Code to address what it believes is a shortage of available housing units for rent.  What is unique about this move is that it is directed not only at Federal or State subsidized rentals, but all rentals, whether they fall into the category of “affordable housing” or not.  Continue reading “Is Portland’s New Renter Protection Ordinance Unlawful “Rent Control”?”

iStock_000010654155SmallOregon Administrative Rules 863-015-0250 (Professional Real Estate Activity Records) and 863-015-0260 (Records Retention) are the primary regulations governing a broker’s record keeping and retention responsibilities.

Under these rules, when buyers use promissory notes as earnest money, the Oregon Real Estate Agency historically expected that when redeemed, the physical note would be appropriately marked “paid in full” or “redeemed”, or similar words to that effect, and returned to the buyer. A copy of the redeemed note was then retained in the broker’s file. Continue reading “Oregon Realtors® – Tips for Redeeming Promissory Notes in Paperless Transactions”

Chart02The RMLS™ Market Action Report just came out. Link is here. The Portland-Metro stats for November 2014 continued to show steady growth in almost all sectors, with the exception of new listings, which were down 2.7% from the same period last year. Inventory remained stubbornly low (see chart below). Continue reading “Portland-Metro RMLS™ Stats For November 2014”

iStock_000010654155SmallIn The BeginningWhen OREF came into existence, circa 1997, the goal was to develop uniform state-wide real estate forms for use by Realtors® throughout Oregon.  After all, with only a few geographic differences [e.g. where areas were on wells vs. public water, or where areas had onsite septic systems rather than public sewers], the nuts and bolts of residential real estate transactions were virtually identical. Issues such as earnest money, down payment, closing, etc., were pretty much the same across the state. Continue reading “Professional Inspection Protocols For Oregon Realtors®”

foreclosureLest folks believe we’re experiencing a gradual decline in the number of foreclosures Portlanders are experiencing, the answer is a resounding “No!”  According to a May 15, 2014 Portland Business Journal article, foreclosure activity has “skyrocketed.”  However, reviewing other online reports, some folks believe that the foreclosure numbers are improving.  They can’t all be right – and they aren’t. I have developed some graphics showing the actual statistics as provided by First American Title Company.  Attached are the following: Chart for 4Q_2013; Chart for 1Q_2014; and Chart for 2Q_2014. The evidence is unmistakable: Foreclosure activity for the first half of 2014 is continuing to rise dramatically. Here are the numbers:

Continue reading “2014 Q1 and Q2 Portland Metro Foreclosures – Dramatic Increases”

M.J.When I was young – yo that many years ago – marijuana was the forbidden fruit.  It was illegal under state and federal law.  Getting busted could mean a criminal charge.  Slowly the legal landscape changed, first in the nature of the sanction, i.e. a ticket for small amounts, and eventually today, permissible as a recreational drug in some states, and with a “medical” marijuana card (wink, wink) in others.  But even with society’s gradual acceptance, the weed is not without controversy and confusion.  Part One of this article explains some of the issues, and Part Two (ab0ve) addresses some FAQs. Check out the following link here, and and find out why marijuana is the toke of the town.  [Note: If Adobe says you need “permission to run,” right click on your mouse to select “run this plug-in.”]

Multiple Offers

Being a Professional vs. Acting Professionally. The term “professional” appears to have lost some of its luster today.  While it used to be that the definition found at “a type of job that requires special education, training, or skill,” was the commonly accepted usage, it seems not to be the case today. Today, if you get paid for doing something, you are a professional. Think, professional boxer, professional athlete, professional hit-man, etc., etc.  But, again, there is still a disconnect. For example, being a “professional” is not the same as acting professionally.  We’ve all seen examples, not only among Realtors®, but lawyers, doctors, CPAs, and so on: Professionals acting unprofessionally.  And while it isn’t always easy to define, most of us know it when we see it. Continue reading “Hallmarks of Realtor® Professionalism”