Showcasing Portland Neighborhoods

Showcasing Portland Neighborhoods

Showcasing Portland Neighborhoods

Bernhardt Swisstrust Appraisal Hawthorne District - Southeast Portland

Hawthorne District – This District is a tourist hot spot and the go-to place for locals to relax. Live music, street performers and old style theatres, and some 30 independent restaurants serving every type of food you can think of, and some you probably can’t, but will fall in love with once you try.

Alberta District – Funky and eclectic neighborhood in Oregon, nowhere else comes close. You can be yourself around others who are doing the same. Original personalities, original art and an atmosphere you can’t get anywhere else. Portland’s version of Venice Beach and it’s all yours.

Bernhardt Swisstrust Appraisal Portland Neighborhoods Alberta Arts-Bernhardt Swisstrust Appraiser in Portland Oregon
Bernhardt Swisstrust Appraisal Portland Neighborhoods Pearl District 250 x 168

Pearl District – “The Pearl” is home to up-and-coming millennials, and lots of artists. There is a business start-up contingency too. You will find great places to eat and lots of culture – art galleries and constant art exhibits. The Powell’s Books bookstore is now a landmark – it’s literally a block in itself!

Sellwood District – Surrounded by beautiful parks, and scenic viewing opportunities. On the weekends you’ll find folks out “antiquing” and looking to find unique treasures. Indeed, many of the old homes there are antiques themselves. Even the Sellwood Bridge is an antique.

Bernhardt Swisstrust Appraisal Portland Neighborhoods Sellwood 250
Bernhardt Swisstrust Appraisal Portland Neighborhoods Nob Hill 250

Nob Hill NW District – Abundant in parks and rich in wealth and culture. Upscale eateries and fine restaurants abound. There are Beautiful homes, mansions, condos and apartments with 95% of folks living within half-mile from a park. Hiking and biking in Forest Park is so scenic it takes your breath away.

What Happens If Your Home Divorce Appraisal Comes in Low?

What Happens If Your Home Divorce Appraisal Comes in Low?

There is a reason why homeowners sometimes fear home appraisers, particularly during a divorce, and that is because home divorce appraisals can come in lower than homeowners expect. In situations where a home divorce appraisal is part of a home sale, a lower than anticipated home divorce appraisal can potentially kill a deal. Even when there are no plans to sell the home, and one of the homeowners chooses to stay for purposes of keeping children settled in their same school, for example, a low home divorce appraisal can wreak havoc on the financial calculations made during negotiation of a divorce settlement.

Even if your home divorce appraisal comes in lower than you expected or, in some circumstances, especially during a strong housing market, is lower than the agreed upon sale price of the home, you can still recover. Here are four ways to regroup after a low home divorce appraisal.

Appeal. Even if you prepared for your home divorce appraisal thoroughly by presenting your home divorce appraiser with all of the information you had about your home, including improvements and information about the home which may not have been readily available or visible to your home divorce appraiser, you could still appeal the home divorce appraisal after completion.
Get a second opinion. Not all divorce appraisers have the same knowledge or experience. Some home appraisers are specialists in certain areas while others are not. Just as you would ask for a second opinion from a doctor before electing for open heart surgery, so, too, can you hire a second, or even third, appraiser to evaluate your home.
If you are going through a divorce, many homeowners fail to realize that it is advantageous to hire a home appraiser who is familiar with divorce issues. A home divorce appraiser will recognize and appreciate that your home divorce appraisal also gets used for purposes other than the sale of your home, including the calculation of your divorce settlement. He or she will understand the timeline of a divorce and how every delay can potentially cost divorcing homeowners money while causing unnecessary stress.

Negotiate. Especially during a housing boom where multiple bidders bid on the same property, causing a sale at or above the asking price, a home divorce appraisal may come in lower than the sale price. Since mortgage lenders want to ensure that, in the event a borrower defaults on his or her loan, that the mortgage company will be able to recover the amount of their loan, a mortgage company may be hesitant to underwrite a mortgage where the sale price is higher than the appraisal. Receiving a home divorce appraisal that is lower than a home’s sale price is often the quickest way to kill a deal. To save a deal, the seller can negotiate with the buyer to make up the difference by adding money to the purchase price or meet somewhere in the middle by contributing money as well.
Lower the home’s sale price. If a home divorce appraisal comes in low and a seller is unwilling to add money to the purchase price, a seller has the option to lower the home’s sale price so that it is in line with the home divorce appraisal. That way the buyer’s mortgage application is more likely to be approved and the home’s sale concluded. Though the seller might believe he or she is leaving money on the table, especially when a divorce is pending, the longer it takes to sell the marital home, the longer it can take to conclude the divorce proceedings, which can potentially cost the homeowners more money in the long run.
The important thing to remember about your home divorce appraisal is that it is not the final word. A home divorce appraisal is, in essence, a guideline for ensuring that a home is valued correctly, regardless if the home is going to be sold or not. If your home divorce appraisal is not to your satisfaction, remember, interpretation is subjective. That said, the best way to ensure accuracy is first to hire the most competent home divorce appraisal specialist for the job.

Want more articles on real estate Divorce Appraisals.

Call Nathan anytime at 503.349.3765 to get started and to get all of your questions answered. We look forward to talking with you and putting your mind at rest. We want to help you get through to the next stage of your life.

A More Amicable Divorce Option

A More Amicable Divorce Option

Facing a divorce is a loaded situation. It is loaded with sadness and sometimes anger, confusion, fear, disappointment, and even despair. Oregon’s divorce rate is roughly two percent higher than that of the rest of the country. If you haven’t been divorced yourself, you almost certainly know someone who has. A study by Yale’s Human Nature Lab in 2013 data concerning a sample of 5,000 people was analyzed. According to the authors, individuals with a friend who is divorced are themselves 270 percent – nearly three times – more likely to get divorced.

If you find yourself in this situation now or expect that you will be, we would like to offer you some information and some help. You might not yet have heard of Collaborative Divorce. It is defined as ‘a legal process enabling couples who have decided to separate or end their marriage to work with their lawyers and, on occasion, other family professionals in order to avoid the uncertain outcome of court and to achieve a settlement that best meets the specific needs of both parties and their children without the underlying threat of litigation.’ The process allows parties to have a fair settlement. The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (a “participation agreement”) binding each other to the process and disqualifying their respective lawyer’s right to represent either one in any future family-related litigation. Collaborative law processes also have the added benefit of being cost efficient for the involved parties.

There are many expressions that advocate for thinking things through before you proceed. “Sleep on it” and “Let cooler heads prevail” are two of them. A collaborative divorce allows you the space to do this. You don’t want to lash out or simply walk away, turning everything over to an attorney. If you and your spouse can go through this together, your chances are much higher for an amicable outcome and ending. The best scenario is that you will each get what is fairly yours. This will free you up to move on to the next and happier chapter in your life. This is especially true if there are children involved. The less trauma, the better.

We have always taken this approach with our real estate divorce appraisals. Please take a look at Divorce Appraisals, there may be some helpful things in here. Call us anytime at 971.230.4242 to get started and to get all of your questions answered. We look forward to talking with you. Dealing with sadness and aggravation and worrying isn’t a good way to live. We want to help you do this the right way and get you back out on the other side.

Home Divorce Appraisal 101: 6 Behaviors to Avoid

Home Divorce Appraisal 101: 6 Behaviors to Avoid

Selling the marital home is one of the most emotionally-charged tasks a couple must face during a divorce, particularly a contentious one. As trying as it is, there is a point during the home sale process when a divorcing couple can let go of the reins a bit and ease tensions, and that is during the home divorce appraisal.

From the moment, your home divorce appraiser accepts you as a client, he or she focuses on creating the most accurate and comprehensive home divorce appraisal possible. After doing preliminary research on your home, your home divorce appraiser will schedule a visit to your house. During that visit, it is critical that you allow your home divorce appraiser to do the job he or she is being paid to do. That means putting forth your best effort to not engage in behaviors or activities that will either prevent or interfere with your home divorce appraiser seeing what he or she must see.

As a home divorce appraiser, here are the six behaviors I recommend watching out for during your home divorce appraisal.

Arguing. If you and your soon-to-be-ex are sharing an appraisal, also called a joint appraisal, and both of you are present, do your best to be civil to each other for at least one hour so your home divorce appraiser can pay attention to the house and not the two of you. Your home divorce appraiser does not need to hear who wronged who, who slept with the neighbor, who pays the bills, who never pays attention to the kids, or dodge objects flying above his or her head. Keep in mind your home divorce appraiser is not there to appraise you. Your home divorce appraiser simply needs to see the house and take notes, photos, and measurements. Quiet is best.
Failing to control distractions. I love kids and dogs just as much as the next guy but during the home divorce appraisal process they should be kept busy elsewhere. Our equipment and process can be fascinating to children and pets alike. But, again, your home divorce appraiser needs to pay close attention to what he or she is seeing. Your home divorce appraiser also shouldn’t have to worry about Cujo biting or scratching him while working.
Lying. Here is my favorite: Don’t create a fake list of things wrong with the house that cannot be verified by the appraiser. If the walls are full of water, there are unicorns in the crawl space, or the house spins on its axis when it’s windy, get a professional home inspector to document it firsthand. Sending your home divorce appraiser on a wild goose chase only prolongs the inevitable, which will cost you more money in the long run. Let your home divorce appraiser do his or her job, and everyone wins.
Misleading. Don’t deliberately try and mislead your home divorce appraiser by providing a massively-biased CMA report of value from a realtor. Your home divorce appraiser knows how subjective a realtor’s assessment is and, accordingly, how much it can vary from realtor to realtor. In the same vein, be careful about putting all your value eggs in the Zillow basket. Zillow estimates don’t account for nearly as many factors as a home divorce appraisal does. Appraisals are the gold-standard for providing home valuations. Appraisers are highly-trained, accountable, and worry more than you could ever know about doing a credible job on your appraisal. Zillow fills a space where there used to be nothing except poorly accessed county data. Consequently, it can be useful as a preliminary tool for assessing your property. However, it is important to remember that The Zestimate is not an appraisal and should not substitute for one.
Being messy. Hoarders beware! It’s challenging to view a house if every room is crammed to the ceiling with collectibles and only a narrow path to squeeze through. You may love every one of your 200 Precious Moments figurines, but to your home divorce appraiser, they are just cluttering the space if keeping him or her from examining your baseboard heating. Especially if you’re going to be moving from your home shortly, begin packing such objects away. Or get a dumpster before your appraisal if need be. Your home divorce appraiser must be allowed to examine your home thoroughly and not have to worry about navigating an obstacle course while doing so.
Worrying. Don’t worry! I see a lot of anxious people during home divorce appraisal inspections, and I am here to tell you that anxiety is just not necessary. By worrying you are only punishing yourself. Home divorce appraisal examinations are very anticlimactic, even tedious. If you have any paperwork you want to show your home divorce appraiser, ask. Your home divorce appraiser will let you know whether it’s relevant to his or her analysis. Bottom line, home divorce appraisers are here to make your life easier. The trick is for you to let them.
Want more articles on real estate Divorce Appraisals.

Call Nathan anytime at 503.349.3765 to get started and to get all of your questions answered. We look forward to talking with you and putting your mind at rest. We want to help you get through to the next stage of your life.

How Can Your Divorce Appraisal Increase the Value of Your Home?

How Can Your Divorce Appraisal Increase the Value of Your Home?

If you think your divorce appraisal is just another piece of paper, think again. That piece of paper is worth money and potentially a lot of it. Whether as a consequence of your divorce you are selling your home now or using your divorce appraisal to calculate the value of your divorce settlement, your divorce appraisal can effectively increase the value of your home. But before you can understand how, you first need to understand why.

Your divorce appraisal is often the most recent and comprehensive document your divorce lawyer, mortgage broker, or buyer will have in their possession when determining how much money he or she will allocate to you, so you need to make sure your divorce appraisal is not only accurate but also comprehensive. To do that, you must arm your divorce appraiser with all of the information he or she will need to compute your divorce appraisal to the best of his or her ability, which will, in turn, make the process a faster one. By doing so, you will, at a minimum, save yourself money by keeping your divorce proceedings on schedule if not speed them up. Every day the process lags can cost you thousands of dollars, dollars you can use to begin rebuilding your life once your divorce is final.

The number your divorce appraiser assigns to your home will be the number off of which your divorce professionals and buyer will work, so it needs to be accurate. You can facilitate that by providing your appraiser with any previous appraisals you might have, regardless of how old they are, though the more recent the better. That way your divorce appraiser can be sure he or she is including every relevant detail in your current divorce appraisal. Also valuable to your divorce appraiser are your deed and land surveys you may have in your possession. Sometimes that information is difficult to come by and facilitating the search can save your divorce appraiser time and your money as a result.

Any improvements you have made to the home since those previous appraisals can also add dollars to your current divorce appraisal. Though big-ticket items such as a new kitchen or bathrooms increase your home’s value by a larger amount, so, too, will small improvements and improvements not readily seen by the divorce appraiser while walking through your home.

Improvements such as new electrical wiring and plumbing can increase the value of your home by a lot. New heating, central air conditioning compressors, and hot water heater, or what I like to call the “guts” of a house, are worth a lot more than new carpeting and a fresh coat of paint, although such cosmetic improvements shouldn’t be entirely discounted either. The point is every improvement can make a difference, and a few little ones can add up to a nice chunk of change. Therefore, even if you are not planning on selling right now, or you expect your divorce to drag on for many more months, even years, do not lose sight of the improvements you have made and continue to make to your home, which brings me to this.

Your divorce appraisal can highlight areas where you still can make changes to your house. Sometimes a little investment in the home before selling it or valuing it a second (or third) time can go a long way. For example, if on your first divorce appraisal you learn that you will need a new hot water heater in about six months or so, it may pay for you to install one now. In the scheme of home improvement costs, hot water heaters are not that expensive but, for starters, could prevent damage from occurring when an old one breaks and causes flooding, as well as offer a new buyer the peace of mind that such an occurrence is not destined for them, at least not in the near future. The same goes for small roof repairs.

Finally, do not forget to clean up, inside and out. Your divorce appraiser needs to see your home and how nice it is (or is not). Throw away excess junk and keep piles to a minimum. Invest in some curb appeal, even if it is a few flower pots at the front entrance to your home. All of these minor touches can improve the overall presentation of your home to the public, including the divorce appraiser. It sends a message that you have and are taking good care of your home. When you do, the figure on your divorce appraisal goes up.

Consider your divorce appraiser like a doctor of sorts. Nursing that bum knee now can possibly prevent a knee replacement later. In other words, listen to your divorce appraiser’s diagnosis. He or she might just keep you from bleeding money. Even better, is when your divorce appraiser’s advice can help make you some. The key is to read your divorce appraiser’s script, the appraisal, and then follow it. Guaranteed, you will feel much better in the morning, especially on divorce day.

Want more articles on real estate Divorce Appraisals.

Call Nathan anytime at 503.349.3765 to get started and to get all of your questions answered. We look forward to talking with you and putting your mind at rest. We want to help you get through to the next stage of your life.