Real Estate in Astoria
The Astoria, Oregon Real Estate News Source

My blog is moving

Posted In: . By Jeremy

In my continuing efforts to stay ahead, I've relaunched my blog on a new platfrom. The only change will be the new address,


What's an absorption rate you ask? Absorption rates are another way of looking at supply and demand in our market, or how long it will take for the market to "absorb" the inventory. Most Real Estate Professionals will calculate absorption rates in months, however I like to use weeks. To me it's easier to wrap your head around 7 weeks instead of 1.7 months, but either way the number has the same meaning. What do they matter to the consumer? If you were selling your home, and the absorption rate indicated a much higher supply in your area than other parts of the County, then you'll need to make your home stand out even more to capture the few Buyers out there. For Buyers, it becomes less critical unless they're undecided on which area they will purchase a home. The higher the supply, the more inventory and the more likely they'll be able to satisfy all their criteria and likely have an improved bargaining position. I calculated absorption rates for most of Clatsop County, and included residential homes for sale only.

For reference, many experts have said that a 6 month or in this case 24 week supply is a balanced market. I'll also caution you that in a small market such as ours here on the Oregon Coast, taking small snapshots can be misleading at times.

Absorption Rates, in # of weeks.

Astoria: 70.08

Gearhart: 82.25

Warrenton/Hammond: 50.62

Seaside: 326.59

Cannon Beach: 108.70

Clatsop County Overall: 91.87


Courtesy of Clatsop MLS


Worst MLS Photo of the Day

Posted In: . By Jeremy

This nice home features a.......... street.

courtesy of Clatsop MLS


I received this cruise ship schedule for those coming to port in Astoria. While the flood of folks coming off the ship and invading our small town can cause some small inconvenience for us locals, the economic benefits FAR outweigh the minor troubles. While a ship is in port, down town Astoria is buzzing and there's not an empty table at any eatery in town.


There's a house back there some place.

Courtesy of Clatsop MLS.


A quick look at the real estate market here in N. Clatsop County, more specifically Astoria, Oregon. I believe we're looking at the market continuing to improve as we move into spring, likely the rate will be dependant on what rates do.

In the last 30 days, the area of Astoria:

Active- 85

Sold- 4

Under Contract- 10

Back on Market- 4

Expired- 20


The Clatsop County map system or GIS is something I use daily. You can access specific tax lot information and maps are your leisure. Searching can be a bit tricky, until you learn to master the map & tax lot key. A great exercise is to search by owner name, and examine the record of your own property. That gives you an idea of what is published online, and where to look for it. When trying to find the owner of an Astoria home, or specific info on a neighboring property the GIS website is an awesome tool.


Real Estate in Astoria's worst MLS photo of the day...

Courtesy of the Clatsop MLS


Interest Rate Update

Posted In: , . By Jeremy

According to rates have climbed slightly as of late, they show 30 yr. fixed at 5.94%. Still a great rate, and expect rates to continue to climb as we move into spring.


Worst MLS photo of the day

Posted In: . By Jeremy

Gee, that's a nice...... tree?

courtesy of Clatsop MLS


Market Update

Posted In: , . By Jeremy

Here's some up to date stats on the market in Clatsop County. It includes Astoria and the rest of the county's homes for sale.

Period 1.1.08 - 2.18.08:

New- 132
Pended- 45
Sold- 27

Same period 2007:

New- 125
Pended- 49
Sold- 37

Same period 2006:

New- 106
Pended- 59
Sold- 52


The Axmen Commeth

Posted In: , . By Jeremy

Over the course of thirteen episodes, AX MEN follows four logging crews through a season in the remote forests of northwest Oregon. Plagued by mechanical failures, relentless weather--including a hurricane that ripped through the area--and violent and unpredictable terrain, these brave men risk their lives retrieving the very timber we depend on to build our country. Snapped cables, runaway logs and treacherous machinery are among the many dangers that threaten their lives and safety everyday. Anything and everything can go wrong on these sites and the price of even the simplest mistake can mean death.

Premieres Sunday, March 9th at 10pm on the History Channel.

I can't tell you how excited I am to see the new History Channel show "Axmen", featuring many loggers from the Astoria, Oregon area. I personally know many of the guys that work for JM Browning & Gustafson Logging, so I'll definitely have my DVR set.


This is an interesting development in the Youngs Bay area of Astoria. Could this mean some new Bay front condos? I'm guessing not likely, but not a bad investment for the future when the revitalization of Astoria continues 'round Smith Point.

The Bayshore Apartments, a 99-unit complex at 1400 W. Marine Drive in Astoria, OR, has sold for $3.85 million, or approximately $39,000 per unit. Bayshore Apartments Oregon LP purchased the four-building complex from a joint venture of Gryphon Enterprise LLC and the McCardle 1991 Family Trust.

Completed in 1971, the property has two three-story buildings and two four-story buildings comprised of 47 one-bed/one-bath units, 48 two-bed/one-bath units and four three-bed/one-bath units. It sits on three acres along Young's Bay and had a reported vacancy rate of 6% to 8% at the time of sale.
Courtesy of Co-Star News


Power Of Video

Posted In: , . By Jeremy

Recently, I began to notice the trend of user produced video was moving beyond You-Tube and Myspace and into main stream Real Estate. There's several companies that are starting to provide a video service, similar to what many of us have used for 360 virtual tours. I've dabbled a little myself, but I don't have a production quality video camera (although that will soon change.)

Fast forward to this week. I have some clients looking to relocate to the Astoria area from the Rockies, and they have a few specific requirements. I've emailed every property that fits their base criteria as they come on the market, and even thought we'd found the right one. After a quick plane ride to the Oregon Coast, my client quickly learned the difference between a few quality photos and reality when it comes to Astoria homes for sale. Recently I emailed a new listing, and it sparked some interest with my clients, but only as much as a handful of photos could. I offered to shoot a little video, and was upfront about the fact I'm not Steven Spielberg but would do my best.

I went to both preview the property as I had not showed it, and shoot some video footage as well as take additional pictures. I put the short video clips together and uploaded the movie to Google Video. This allowed my clients who were a thousand miles away to get a first hand perspective of the property, both inside and out. Needless to say, a plane ticket was immediately purchased and travel plans were made to see this particular home.


I think the biggest problem with foreclosures is the the borrower thinks as soon as they get behind that it's to late. That is in fact far from the truth. There's probably several Astoria area homes for sale right now for the simple fact the owner is getting behind on payments or is behind. In my experience as a Real Estate Professional, most borrowers get into a pickle and just give up. This has led to Loss Mitigation Consultants becoming more and more popular. You see, the Lender still looses after a foreclosure is complete and the property re-sold. First, it takes several months after the borrower is in default for the bank or asset manager to get legal possession and ability to sell the property. While this is going on, the lender has to maintain the property to protect their interest. Of course the lender incurs additional fees in the sale, and an additional fee to the asset manager for coordinating the whole event.

Instead of going down the path towards ugly foreclosure, it's advantageous to everyone to work out a compromise. The bank wants monthly payments made to them, not to own Real Estate. And the borrower gets to keep their home and any equity in it. Six lenders including Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide Financial, Chase, WaMu, Well Fargo have extended an olive branch to delinquent borrowers. Instead of giving up once they fall behind in making their monthly payments, these lenders are offering terms to modify the original loan terms to keep the borrower in the house and the lender from having to foreclose. It's the best possible outcome in this situation.


While curb appeal gets buyers to look at your home, the first thing a prospective home buyer does is take a breath when inside your Astoria home. The trick is to use wide appealing, mellow scents- Like the smell of fresh baked cookies or vanilla. You'll want to avoid very strong odors including certain spices.


Interesting article about Ikea's new venture selling flat packaged, "some assembly required", energy efficient homes in Northern Europe. Proponents say the pre-engineered homes produce less waste, can be built faster and more energy efficient than traditional home building techniques.

Locally on the Oregon Coast, Columbia Pacific Homes LLC distributes a similar product manufactured by Pacific Modern Homes, Inc. Panelized construction isn't new, but can be very cost effective from my research. The biggest benefit I can see in Astoria and the surrounding area is the time savings in the number of days to go from poured concrete foundation to weather tight home. I've heard in as little as two weeks by a crew familiar with this type of construction.


Nice bathroom huh?


The change in the real estate market here that began Jan. 2nd has been incredible. It might just my business, but the attitude of Buyers seems to be better and more confident in the market. I thought I might pull some stats from the Clatsop MLS to back up my theory, but the numbers are to the contrary. I only pulled solds for the 97103 zip, which includes not only the city of Astoria proper but also Knappa, Svensen, Olney, Walluski, Lewis & Clark, Youngs River and John Day.

Residential Solds for 97103:

November '07- 20

December '07- 15

January '08- 5

One thing to keep in mind is there's a 30-45 day lag in activity from contract to close. So, the low number of closed transactions in January would coincide with the very slow and storm ravaged December. My instinct tells me that February will be much better and the action we're seeing now will result in the number of closed transactions increasing in the next few months.


With all the competition amongst Astoria homes to snare an elusive buyer, I'm surprised at some of the tactics being employed. In the spirit of educating my clients and the public alike, I' thought I should compile a list of tips to help you avoid having your home sell once it's been listed for sale.

- Pick a list price not substantiated by fact and professional analysis, but based on the dollar amount that affords you that Mexican cruise and new Caddy.

- Close every door and window in the house while deep fying seafood and smoking a pipe. The resulting aroma will surely leave a lasting impression with potential buyers.

- If you have a dog, encourage it to take care of business all across the yard and don't clean it up. Especially if Buyers would have to walk in the yard to see part of the house.

- Paint each room in the house a different shade of either lime green, pepto pink or burnt orange.

- When preparing for a showing, leave the dirty laundry on the floor and the clean laundry on the couch.

- Ask your neighbor is he'd like to store that cherry Trans-Am in the front yard while he's replacing the engine. Better yet, while he parts it out. Bonus: use it a yard art.

I could go on, but I won't divulge all my secrets up front.


I read this late last week, but didn't have time to check it's accuracy until today. The fact that the Super Bowl superstition not only predicts the rest of the years stock market performance, but does it with over 80% accuracy is amazing. I'd wager that any financial advisor with a success rate that high is soon retired. Now we just need to find the indicator for the housing market here in Astoria...


Fed Slashes Rates

By Jeremy

Fed Cuts Rate .75

The Federal Reserve just made the largest single rate reduction in over 20 years.