Market Optimism

Do you fancy yourself an electrician? Perhaps a plumber? Certainly a painter? If you are anything like me, you may think that the easiest, quickest and most inexpensive solution to your home improvement needs is you, your trusty hammer and a reliable YouTube tutorial. Over the past year the DIY industry has been in full swing as more homeowners have been tackling their own house projects. From the bathroom to the garage and everywhere in between, the yearning to correct that wonky cabinet door, replace a loose shower tile or build a backyard fence is evident and the solution clearly in your hands. Yet, homeowners have reported spending an average of $184.13 to fix their failed DIY house projects, according to a new survey from Cinch Home Services, a home warranty company.

These are the most common DIY fails, according to the survey:


If you are all right in handing over the hammer to a professional, from roofers and landscapers, to chimney and foundation specialists, I’ve amassed an extensive list of reputable (local) vendors for your every home need. Just say the word and I will happily share a contact, or several. It’s always a good practice to consult more than one vendor for ideas and pricing and never hurts to get a second opinion, aside from that of your loyal pet or significant other.

Market Update: May 2021

The strong sellers market continues to loom large. Interest rates remain at historic lows, multiple offers are the norm on well positioned homes and the average sales price ($557,900 in Portland Metro) is still on the rise. For those considering a home sale, it behooves you to take advantage of exceedingly high buyer demand and before you have any added competition in your neighborhood, with all the competition out there it is best to remain positive. Be patient and try to keep emotional decisions to a minimum – we want you to enjoy your home and your investment for years to come.

There is still a ways to go before we see an abundance of homes on the market but there are some promising signs as of late. As the economy continues to improve (along with those flush with newfound equity and aiming for new horizons), and people get vaccinated and feel more comfortable getting out, more inventory is certain to appear.

Fannie Mae reports consumer positivity regarding home-selling conditions matching an all-time high. And a survey concluded that one-in-ten homeowners plan on selling this year, with 63% of those looking to list in the next six months.

Please feel free to reach out if you’d like a custom home analysis or have any questions.

Local Artist Spotlight: Me!

For the past twenty years, I’ve been designing program logos and communication collateral for corporate events. These were created largely for business meetings and incentive campaigns that took savvy travelers to destinations around the globe. Sadly, these elaborate events came to a screeching halt at the onset of the pandemic. As a result, hundreds of thousands of livelihoods have been upturned, including my own; it will be some time before they return in full.

In the spirit of Beeple, the digital artist who recently created and sold the most expensive piece of NFT (non-fungible token) art, I’ve compiled dozens of my own creations, favorite logos from over the years. From Bora Bora to Prague, Japan to South Africa, my aim was to capture the essence of these dreamy locations within a single brand. And now for your armchair-travel-viewing pleasure. If you’ve been looking to jump into the crypto-currency arena and are in the market for an NFT, perhaps I can put my screen-savvy sons to task in getting this onto the EPH blockchain.

I understand most of you are relatively settled in your current homes. But if your friends, family members, neighbors and work colleagues have expressed any interest in seeking greener pastures, your referrals would mean the world to me.

Spring Currents

In surfing, a “hold-down” is a term for when you’re caught in a succession of breaking waves. Three, four, sometimes more waves breaking over you with little room to outmaneuver, much less take a breath. While the glistening surf may be tempting, the cost of admission can sometimes be heavy. Yet the rewards for braving the elements can be life changing.

The relentless real estate market is having a similar effect on many. Rising home prices, low interest rates and the yearning for home have created a whirlpool of anxious buyers. Nominal inventory is being met with multiple offers, cut-throat offer strategies, and over-asking sales prices, making the waters challenging to navigate. Buyers are being led to expect the multiple wave – or in this case – the multiple offer hold-down.

Yet the current swell can’t last forever. As the economy continues to improve, so too will consumer confidence. With pent-up savings and record amounts of equity, the temptation to list current homes in order to purchase larger or more attractive homes increases. It is hoped this will release new inventory, and perhaps even to catch a breath.


Market Update: March 2021

If you are itching to test the proverbial waters and need some feedback and guidance, I’ve got the surf mobile gassed-up and ready! Average sales prices, total market time and shortage of inventory continue to amaze. In comparing 2021 to 2020 through the month of March, the average sale price in the Portland metro area increased 16.6%, from $461,600 to $538,200. Inventory in months (active listings at the end of the month divided by the number of closed sales for that month) decreased to 0.8 months. And total market time (active days on market) decreased from 61 days to 37. In other words, the limited inventory is being swallowed up in less time and for ever-increasing amounts.

Low interest rates, i.e. purchasing power, continue to drive many to the market. But as rates begin to rise, price appreciation should begin to cool, somewhat. Still, it’s good to keep in mind that relative to a year ago, mortgage rates remain at historic lows which is helping to keep housing relatively affordable.


Impressions of Home

When I was seven, my family moved from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Tulsa, Oklahoma. My father got a job as an art director at an advertising agency so we packed up and braved new territory. We rented a townhome for about a year while my parents purchased a vacant lot, designed and built a custom home. As kids, my sisters and I were thrilled with having our own rooms, but were clueless as to what such a process involves. My father added a typographical address mural on the garage door, hand-built the mail box and designed a moving announcement (photos below). Lots of love and creativity that went into the home.

Years later, we added an indoor swimming pool. What sold my parents on the pool project, aside from the obvious (!), was the purported offset of utilities with a south-facing passive solar “insulator” of space, meaning the room would insulate the home with warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer. I’m sure the water bills negated any savings, but it sure was awesome!

Tragically, after we sold the home in 1987, the entire house burnt to the ground due to an unattended wood-burning stove. What’s left to this day is the same empty lot that my parents started with.

Tulsa, Oklahoma • Gilcrease Hills • 4 bed 2 bath 2250 sq ft.
Empty lot and custom home bought, designed and built for $70,000 in 1978.
Lot only currently valued at $106,000.