Each quarter, I get to dive into all things real estate in the Sunnyside neighborhood to send this email out for all of us to check out what’s going on in home sales, rentals, renovations and repairs.
It will come as no new news to anyone who has been attempting to move into this or nearby neighborhoods that this is a rather popular place to live and be.
Where to start, I’ve learned, when it comes to each new phase of raising kids or dealing with a challenging real estate market is to tap into the web. In the case of real estate in a tight market, that’s a web that isn’t on Craig’s list, doesn’t show up in newspaper listings and is all about people knowing people in the best of ways.
Whether or not you ever sell, buy or refinance a house in the Sunnyside neighborhood, Jarrett Altman of Neighborhood Works real estate and Melissa Guthrie of Mortgages Direct are great people to know. After watching them do what they do for many years now, I know why. They have a web of great quality connections deeper than most of the rest of us could ever hope to have in the world of finances, quick repairs, short and long term rentals and, of course, lots of house sales know how very specific to this part of Portland.
The nicest thing is, you don’t have to be shy about checking in with them with questions that might not lead to an immediate project for the two of them. If all you need is the name of someone who can build you a fence, fix your roof right quick or clean out a crawl space, Jarrett likes to help the people who help her find more work to do in the neighborhood (keeps them close by for when she needs them most). You can make a quick call or send an email for a contractor referral, she really doesn’t mind, is happy to help and knows more great people to work with than you can imagine.
Melissa has access to all the various loans and refinancing packages that are available to the big loan houses and can let you know (without a bunch of slick brochures or heavy pitches) what you qualify for. She works for just a few clients at a time and handles everything herself so you don’t fall through the cracks or get treated like a just one more account number.
What they can both do with ease that takes the rest of us much longer, is that balancing act between this fee and that fee, this factor and that factor to help figure out what really is a better package. Sometimes the seemingly more expensive house/loan is actually the less expensive house/loan for reasons you and I would have to spend hours calculating and Melissa and Jarrett just know from experience.
Here’s my favorite reason to know Melissa and Jarrett. It’s the house offer that gets accepted that is less than the highest offer made because the financing is more secure and the connections between the real estate agents such that everyone is confident the deal will go through, smoothly, with repairs made and concerns addressed.
In a neighborhood where inventory is low and multiple offers the norm (especially on those coveted “affordable” Sunnyside houses around $350,000), the only thing just as good as a month-to-month lease that allows you to wait for the right house and then jump quick, is really great people to work with while you sort it all out.
Here’s one more thing Jarrett can now help us all sort out . . .she just completed an accessory dwelling unit class and is a wealth of knowledge on what’s possible in your back yard if you are wanting a studio or a mother-in-law cottage. Development fees on these units are currently waived by the city of Portland so now’s a good time to be asking questions and making plans.
Asking questions and making plans, that’s what Jarrett and Melissa are all about. Having a great web connections we can all benefit from is exactly what our Know Your Neighbor post and web site links are for.