Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Laurel Rd west of 92634
Located in Knappa, Oregon, which is just about 20 minutes from Astoria! With 2.46 acres there is plenty of room to build a home and have a large yard and/or gardens. The largest lot in the neighborhood! For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Mark Popkin 503-440-4200 or Natalie Dyroff 503-791-3436.
Maggie Johnson Rd adj to 92790
Located in Knappa, Oregon, which is just about 20 mintues from Astoria! A quaint little town with lots of wildlife to look at! This property is 1.18 acres. For more information email email@example.com or contact Mark Popkin 503-440-4200 or Natalie Dyroff 503-791-3436.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
712-720 1st Ave Seaside, OR 97138
Beautiful Victorian building currently being used as a 4 unit multi-dwelling. 4 blocks to the Pacific Ocean and 2 blocks to downtown Seaside! Zoned C3. Includes 3 bedroom main unit, 2 bedroom unit, 1 bedroom unit with store frontage and a studio apartment! Good rents for all! For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Mark Popkin 503-440-4200 or Natalie Dyroff 503-791-3436.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
It's that time of year again. When went home today, there they were on my doorstep....new phone books. So what does one do with the old phone books they have? The easy thing to do is just toss it in the trash. Since I am very in to recycling, I have been looking for the usual dumpster the City of Astoria places for the community, as a phone book recycle drop station.
But....it's not there this year! So I went ahead and called Western Oregon Waste to see where it is, or will be. They informed me that because of the disappointing low turnout last year, the City of Astoria and Western Oregon Waste have made arrangements for us to place our old books in the curb side recycle boxes. Same goes for businesses. I think the curb side recycle is great, and wanted to share with you the how easy recycling is these days. Being able to drop your phone books in there now, is a plus! Our office has already done the transfer. I too have cleaned out my home.
If you are curious about your local recycle system, it only takes a minute to call. For people who live in our county, here is the web site http://www.westernoregonwaste.com/
So remember to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It has been made so easy for us to do these days!!
Monday, April 07, 2008
It was about sandals. Evidently in 1938 an archaeologist, while digging in a cave near Paisley, Oregon found more than 70 pairs of sandals crafted by warp and weft from sagebrush. They were estimated to be 10,000 years old, making them close to the oldest known artifacts in America, similar to those found of the Clovis people in New Mexico. This week, new carbon dating indicates that extracted human DNA is at least 14,300 years old, making the Paisley, Oregon, cave the oldest known human community on our continent.
During my peaceful moment, I was reminded again of my enjoyment in being an Oregonian. My mind wandered through time and space, and I saw those ruddy people living amidst the amazing vistas of our state eking out their existence. Like them, I was a member of a long chain of appreciative residents. Soon I would be leaving for work. My sandals would take me to the office. There I would be, tucked against the majestic Columbia River, flowing, as it did in past days, down to the sea.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
These times with their continual mostly-negative economic news seem to be increasing the stress level of many people I meet. I see it in my office among the agents and support staff and among my friends. Of course, I have little contact with younger people who are generally idealistic and who don't remember those halcyon days, nor do I fraternize with the religious who are gladdened by what may be viewed as the approaching of the end of days. There may still be joy in Mudville, but I don't sense it anywhere in my community.
What does a person do then to be happy? In the past it was often suggested that one avoid reading the newspaper or that one shouldn't study the Dismal Science, Economics. Instead, it is good to immerse oneself in other activities like art, science, light reading, travel, gardening, or community service. Then there was always sports, television or religion to take one's mind off of life's exigencies.
For me, blogging has become such a diversion. It is creative, self-absorbing and it doesn't really cost anything. I have even developed contact with others who I have met through this venue. Today it is pouring rain.. What do you expect? It is March and I live on the Oregon Coast. It is a good day to stay indoors around the non-existent, and if I had one, energy-inefficient fireplace. It is not gardening weather and I don't have to drive through traffic to Home Depot to buy an expensive bag of manure. No camping or fishing trip is in order either, thus I don't have to be depressed by crowds, noise, parking fees, license fees, costly supplies or $4.00 gasoline. Here I am in front of the screen, in tune with my voice, away from it all, enriched by my creativity and completely distracted from the big, bad world. Whoops, there goes my cellphone. Lee
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Today I feel the burden of responsibility more than at any other time in my life. Not only because I am a student of history do I have a sense of concern, but also as a sixty-two year old, do I tend to look with less optimism at life than I did as a younger man when death was so far in the distance and when I knew less of the human condition. All that being said, what do I do and what do I say to those around me for whom I have a sense of responsibility and leadership?
It is easy to say that it is fun and interesting to sit on the sidelines and watch those in power do their best to right the ship in order to avoid a Depression or worse events, since there is little else to do because it is beyond the little man's control. It is easy to prognosticate what could have been done or what should be done on economic subjects that are so complex and beyond my understanding. Watching and waiting, or ignoring and hoping is what a cow might do with its life, especially when it is already at the stockyard.
Using one of my sister's favorite expressions, it is a good idea to be proactive. She may have learned this concept at a young age growing up in our family. She learned how our father smelled the dangers of Naziism and took steps to engineer the moving of our extended family out of harm's way. This was a time when many others just watched the events unfold, ever hopeful, and then were ultimately led to the slaughterhouse. Now I am not saying I think that disaster is imminent, it is just that survival in nature requires insight, cunning, and luck. Those who fail to recognize that and depend on passivity and faith, religiously perish. I do not have a list of suggestions for those who matter to me. Is it time to buy Euros, invest in foreclosures, pay off debt, stockpile vegetables, or buy a gun with plenty of bullets?
All I know is that the air smells differently, the problems seem almost insoluble. Even though there are short-term aids, the leadership seems frightened of an impending storm, and that scares me. I know there is always a crack in the fence for those who look for it. The question for me today is whether there is a safe haven. It wasn't simple for my father to choose and plan a new life in America for his family. He had the strength to plan. I wonder today whether the direction for myself and those I care about is to think about planning. There is an old expression, "Either moo or move." Lee
Monday, March 10, 2008
Then I read Blanche Evans' March 7th article in Realty Times which listed the opinions of reputable housing crisis prognosticators. For the most part, the article described a grim picture and an ominous future with references to the Great Depression of 1929. Other than a few geographical exceptions, real estate was overvalued throughout America and due for a great correction, the most overvalued location, Bend Oregon, from where I am writing today. Likewise, new construction was due for a big hit as well, with sales according to NAHB to be off 22%. With such dire predictions, I went into survival mode and decided to reread passages from a favorite college text of mine, William Leuchtenberg's Perils of Prosperity hoping to find a better understanding of how to survive financially in the wake of crisis. Likewise I reviewed the events of the Panic and subsequent depression of 1893-1897. The same theme reoccured. Poor financial planning, deficit spending and amazing greed spelled the demise for millions of people who had little direct involvement or had shared in the blessings of the time.
Of course policymakers today understand the past. Fed chairman Bernanke has repeatedly confirmed his commitment to do whatever is necessary to prevent the downward spiral of housing, which could lead to massive unemployment and fortunes lost.
What seems to be the best hope for avoiding a catastrophe is creating the spin that the worst is over. We have hit bottom, and that this is really a great time to buy. In this way consumer confidence is bolstered and the trend is reversed. Banks make lending easier, FHA bails out subprime loans, and investors are given incentives to back real estate securities and, like the post depression song, happy days are here again.
Alexander Pope in Essays of Man wrote, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast, Man never is, but always to be blest." It seems like fabricating optimism in our world of great marketing is a preferable alternative to turn the economic tide than participating in some new war. Many argue that the Spanish-Ameican War was our saving grace in 1897 and that the beligerencies in Europe and WW2 did more to resolve the Great Depression than all of FDR's New Deal.
There is a lot to say for optimism. Scientists have even isolated a place in the brain where optimism resides. I have more confidence in it today than in political solutions. Give Pope, poetry and the spin doctors a go at it. What's there to lose?! Lee
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Monday, March 03, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
This week I read several articles about scams as a result of the housing crisis. The first concerned itself with people who preyed on distressed homeowners by offering, at a fee, to negotiate with the lender to save the property from foreclosure. In the end, some homeowners either lost the property anyway or were milked for a service which could have been done for free with a simple phone call to the lender. In some cases the scammer actually ended up with the deed.
Likewise I enjoyed an article by Ralph Roberts, a renowned real estate agent and author, who listed a series of new and innovative ways in which sellers were funneling money back to buyers in order put home purchases together without regard to lender disclosure or, in some cases, state regulations. The result was that some people were able to buy homes who otherwise couldn't qualify, but the lender was duped. It is easy to take the high moral ground against such activities in which allegedly innocent parties are duped. Yet, it is worth mentioning, people are continuously taken advantage of legally as well. What is to be said to those people lured by flowery letters offering teaser interest rates on loans, especially on credit cards, and then later shocked when the small print of a subsequent letter revealed that the borrower was now subject to usurious rates? Were these people not also, to some degree, scammed? Of course those with power rationalize that such loan offers are a result of good marketing and included full disclosure. In fact, the product offered even fulfilled a demand in the marketplace. Such actions are viewed as good business, whereas other similar actions outside the legal system are considered sneaky and a scam. These devious ideas can be refined and often become legal once those in power find a way to make a buck on the idea.
It is difficult to sort out the knights from the dragons, the innocent from the guilty, the gullible from the stupid. This economic time is really no different from any other. Perhaps this housing crisis reminds us, in some poignant way, that there have always been those that are fed snake oil and those that feed it. Like the barker at the sideshow says, "Step right up, ladies and gents, see for yourselves." Lee
Friday, February 29, 2008
Excellent Gearhard location and ready to build. Level building site across from golf course and close to ocean beach. One of a kind with Gearhart charm.
For more photos & info go to AREA Properties website.
Contact Laurie Duey @ 503 791-6518 or Sandy Calvert @ 503 791-2682.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
I generally don't buy this position. Many recent books describe the bubble mentality. People were caught up in the idea that real estate would continue to go up, develop an equity position and be able to sell for a tidy profit or refinance when necessary. The frenzy to take advantage of making money in real estate led to inflated prices. Also builders continued to build, flooding the inventory with larger more expensive homes. Higher prices began to make fewer people qualified and those that could buy, had already. The result was the inevitable burst.
The candidates depicted the victims like they were the disenfranchised from the "Dust Bowl" era. Actually a recent study showed that most foreclosure "victims" are either investors walking away from excess inventory or homeowners who had jobs, but were upside down in their home they had put no money of their own in anyway, and felt it was financially smarter to give the home up.
The idea of preventing the foreclosures through federal financial incentives or extending the time for a plan to be worked out sounds admirable and full of social consciousness. However it is worth remembering that banks actually are also winners in this scenario. This will ostensibly slow down their losses on the resale of the foreclosed properties. As property owners are bailed out, the increasing inventory will diminish and falling prices will begin to stabilize and maybe even prices will increase as less lower priced distressed properties are on the market.
Increased prices benefit only those few who can afford them and we are back where we started. Most people are so mired in debt or earn such a low wage, that home ownership becomes increasingly challenging, especially in light of tougher lending practices.
Both candidates seemed to cater in their debate to the less fortunate but, in reality, are more receptive on the subject of the housing crisis to the "special interests" of builders, banks, real estate people and financial speculators. Wouldn't it have been a hoot if a candidate had said "Wow, Isn't it wonderful that the price of something is falling. If it only comes down some more, maybe you will be able to share in the American dream of home ownership. Your wage and 50 cents will buy more than a ride on a bus!" Lee
Thursday, February 21, 2008
This topic spurred lively debate at our Tuesday morning Area Properties staff meeting and also brought an interesting perspective from a blog reader, Steve from Massachusetts. Most of my agents are suspicious of dual agency, sense its pitfalls and, in the past several years, have represented either the buyer or seller, but not both. They asked how can one effectively advance the positions of two of opposing forces? Likewise the question was raised whether the agent in the Montana case had disclosed his intention and obtained permission to represent multiple parties? It was assumed that this was not done and therefore, more than anything, evoked the ire of the losing bidder. Steve from Massachusetts contributed that agents in Massachusetts represent sellers only and disclose that information to buyers. He reminded me that single agency avoids the issue. Therefore the agent has no particular duties to buyers aside from honest and fair dealings unless otherwise hired by them. It reminded me of the old days in Oregon before dual agency when buyers felt totally without representation.
In the Montana case, as I read the article, the court narrowly sided with the plaintiff. The court felt it was not enough to sit on the sidelines or do nothing adverse while the forces duke it out. Rather, agency means taking an active role in promoting your client's position. This the court felt was not possible when representing competing clients on the same property. This, of course, says the same conditions are true when an agent represents a buyer and a seller on the same property. Even though dual agency is allowed, it is limited in scope and contradictory in nature. How many consenting sellers and buyers understand that maybe half a loaf isn't really bread at all? Lee
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Cute and cozy! 2 bedroom like-new home with custom finish throughout. Single garage & professionally landscaping.
Contact Laurie Duey @ 503 791-6518 or Sandy Calvert @ 503 791-2682
Monday, February 18, 2008
New Listing on 39th Street at the Cannery loft condo development. Unit number 304 is located right on the river walk featuring fantastic river views. Must see to appreciate. More information on our website, http://www.areaproperties.com/listman/listings//l0041.html
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
1886 8th Street Astoria, OR
Charming Cottage style 2 bedroom home on south slope of Astoria. Offers fenced yard, garage, new roof, and off street parking. Many nice interior upgrades to this home including laminate flooring and pellet stove in the living area.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Please call our main phone number: (503) 325-6848 for our usual fast and courteous service! We will connect you with an agent or answer your questions. Thank you!