Inventory Up Stats

Very interesting stats just came out about available homes on the market per buyer. Which could speak to what will be happening in 2019.  Whether it is attributed to the general economy, or the fallout of 2 straight seasons of smoke in the valley remains to be seen. It is most likely a combination of both.

Ashland has seen a 30% increase in the total available homes on the market, and a 20% decrease in the number of buyers over the year. This has resulted in a jump in the available homes per buyer from 2.6 a year ago, to 11.7 at the end of January 2019.

Nine of the reports MLS areas saw an increase in the available homes per buyer, while 4 areas saw a decrease. Overall across Jackson County there has be a 50% increase in the number of homes available per buyer over last year. The current numbers show a fairly stable market. So at this time it is neither a buyers’ or a sellers’ market.  But if the trend continues, we could be headed into a buyers’ market.

Graph and diagram, chart for data illustration

The 6th month trend of sales price to original listing price has been decreasing. This will be seen by an increase in the number of price reductions that are happening in the market. We are seeing that pricing homes trying to lead an appreciating market is no longer a workable strategy.

At this time there has not been a noticeable decline in average sales prices. But we are also keeping our eye out for that.

On the up side, there has been a small increase in the number of pending sales. And a decrease in the number of days on the market.

2019 will prove to be an interesting year.

 

Sellers Home During Showings

I have been showing houses for years, and have shown hundreds of people thousands of house. And in that time, I have learned and observed many things.

There are a number of things a seller can do to make their house show better, and just as many they can do to make it show worse.

In my opinion, the worst thing a seller can do is be home during a showing.  I have seen over and over sellers getting in their own way with all the best of intentions. I get it too. Who knows more about the house than the seller. Who better can point out the little details that make this home special.  It is a huge investment for the seller, and they are definitely invested in the process. It is just important to know when the best thing they can do is to step out for a walk at just the right moment.

Here’s the biggest reason why. Buyer’s are uncomfortable when the seller’s are there. They already feel a little weird about walking through someone else’s house, opening their cupboards, flushing their toilets, etc….  So when the seller is lurking, 95 times out of 100, they will try to get out of the house as fast as possible without being rude. And the other 5 times, they feel overly trapped by politeness listening to the seller regale stories of how the grandkids used to play in the creek, etc…  But even when they make the connection with the seller, the house gets blurred in the background.  And that isn’t what a seller truly wants. Unless they have listed the house  as a ploy to make new friends. lol

I understand that some houses are complicated. Unique features that might be missed by a prospective buyer. Or complicated rural property with questions about property boundaries, well production, etc…  Instances like those, I have seen how having the seller’s around is beneficial. ON THE 2ND SHOWING. Buyer’s need to be able to feel themselves in a place, and that is a personal space equation most of the time. And if they don’t have a chance to do that during their 1st impression, they won’t be back for a 2nd one.

via GIFER

A good buyer’s agent knows how to give the buyer’s the appropriate amount of space, while pointing out things that might be less than obvious. (And of course keeping track of the seller’s personal property). I personally know a buyer is serious about a house when they sit down on the couch and view the home from there.  This will NEVER happen when the seller is home.

Worse yet, I’ve actually heard stories of sellers being at open houses, or showings, pretending to be other buyers of the home. They walk through talking the place up…what a great value it is…and how they are going to try to go put an offer in on it right away.  Thank goodness I don’t think this has ever happened to me. And I know my sellers would never do this.

I believe this is part of the reason I have been so successful over the years. I try to never rush anyone. These are huge decisions, and everybody has their own pace at going through them. I’ve seen people make the decision in 5 minutes, and others that take months.

So please…if you are selling your home..give the buyer and their broker the courtesy of being able to take their time, and progress at their pace. Even if you are the kind of person who wishes the seller was their to hear their stories, and answer their questions, most buyers aren’t. Go with the odds.

 

Statistic Geeking – How Low is Too Low

Every once in a while, I fall down a statistical rabbit hole. And today was one of those days.

I had another agent who was trying to figure out how to explain to their client about why the low offer they wanted to submit was not really a good use of anyone’s time. As a buyer’s agent, I am always wanting to get the best deal I can for my clients…and will negotiate my tuckus off to do the best I can for them.

However, after years of experience and a knowledge of statistics, I know that some offers are just too low to even get a response. So the buyer wastes time, their agent wastes time, the seller’s agent wastes time, and the seller is insulted and has their time wasted.

So today I ran some actual statistical probabilities on what the chances are a low offer will be accepted. Using mean, standard deviation, T-tables and the internets….this was my conclusion.  Of course this can change as the market changes…so this is for Josephine County for July of 2018. Sample size of 119 sales…so significant.

Sellers mindset in our market is they have to decide to lower the price, they don’t accept low offers.

So the average sales price to list price was 96.98%. However the sales price to original list price was 94.61%.

There is a 33% chance that an offer at 96.98% will be accepted, but only a 9% chance that an offer of 94.61% would be accepted. Even though that is the average overall from the original listing price.

So deeper down the hole.  Here are the probabilities.

At 92% of asking price the odds of acceptance are 4.5%

At 87% of asking price the odds of acceptance are .27%

at 82% of asking price the odds of acceptance are .006%

at 78% of asking price the odds of acceptance are .0001%

So when looking to make an offer anywhere below 90% of asking price, the odds are so long!!!!!

As I council my clients….I want them to know that it isn’t me who wants them to pay more for the house. The best deal I can get them is what I want. But when I say an offer is too low to be considered, I now have some statistical background and facts to back that up.

Thanks for falling down my rabbit hole if you got this far.

Talent, Oregon- Not So Hidden Gem Anymore

Used to be that when one couldn’t afford Ashland, that they went to Talent…so they were close to Ashland. While it is cheaper, it is hard to find a house there. And anymore, it just isn’t that much cheaper.

Looking at statistics in Talent, Oregon. There are currently 13 houses for sale with a median asking price of $335,000. 19 houses are under contract with a median price of $298,500. And in the last year, 76 houses have sold with a median sales price of $289,000.

My interpretation of those number is a market that is rapidly appreciating. Or that sellers are feeling the market is hot, and testing the prices.  When you have a day on market of less than one month, and only 2 months worth of housing stock available, it is the logical conclusion to see what the market will really bear.

Those ratios show a market that is short on listings.

Of the 13 houses on the market, over half of them have been on less than a month. So it is a little early to tell if the sellers will be getting their increased asking prices or not.

This is just one of the many micro-economic areas in the Rogue Valley.

I specialize in analyzing property values.

So right now if you are looking to sell a home, if it is priced right we should be able to sell it pretty quickly for a fair market price.

Anywhere in Jackson County, send me your address and I will get back to you and help you determine the value of your home.

When Organized Chaos Just Becomes Chaos!

When organized chaos just becomes chaos!

Here are some simple ideas for a clutter free life…

There’s a reason real estate agents always advise home sellers to remove all clutter when selling their homes: The difference is remarkable. The clutter-free home often looks like a new one entirely, and homeowners even wonder how their home could look that good. You don’t have to wait to sell your home to make it look better. Plus, clutter can physically and mentally stress us out. By breaking your decluttering down into five-minute sessions, you can slowly conquer your clutter.

Put a stop to the endless piles of paper: Pick one place for incoming papers, and don’t put them anywhere but that spot until you can sort and file them. Make at least one day per week that you commit to sorting and filing.
Everything should have a home: Pick up five things and find places for them every day. These should be things you actually use, but which don’t have a good spot to live.
Do you love it?: Take everything out of a drawer, evaluate it and sort it into three piles: stuff that really goes in the drawer, stuff that belongs elsewhere and stuff to ditch. Only touch it once! Don’t think, just quickly sort it.The pile it goes in is where it stays.
Feeling indecisive?: Create a “maybe” box. When you’re organizing, you often know exactly which items you want to keep and which you can trash or donate. But there are always a few malingering items haunting you. Things you just don’t know where to put. Put them in the “maybe” box and pull it out every six months to re-evaluate. If you didn’t miss it, send it on!
Keep it going: After you’ve decluttered, don’t just immediately get more. It is so much easier to acquire than get rid of things. Instead, put yourself on a temporary buying pause of any non-essential items. It feels good! After that make a list of any non-essentials you really want with a date next to it. Check the list in 30 days and if there are any you still really want, go for it!

Resolved to Living More Sustainably?

While we are on the subject of resolutions, if you are resolved (see what I did there?) to make your home a more green and sustainable one, there’s no better time to incorporate energy-saving measures than during the cold months. Here are five simple things you can do to make your house more efficient…

#1 Install a Programmable Thermostat
The advice is usually to turn down the temperature during the winter, but wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to a warm house?

Programmable thermostats let you pre-set temperatures and schedule when the furnace goes on and off. If you use them correctly you could see up to $180 in savings each year.  More sophisticated devices like the Nest learn your daily routine an automatically adjust temperatures based on your habits. We got a NEST at our house a couple of years ago. I like it, even though it turns the heat on about 30 minutes too early in the morning for me. It wants the house to be of a comfortable temperature for when I get out of bed, but makes the room too warm to sleep in.  Maybe some day I’ll figure out how to fix that.

#2 Install Ceiling Fans
Fans move cool and hot air around your living space, allowing you to turn the temperature down in winter and raise it during summer. During the wintertime, you can reverse the fan’s direction to clockwise to keep the warm air moving down. Plus you can hang your clothes on them for a winter air dry. (Okay…that was a joke)

#3 Eliminate Air Leaks
Use a door draft stopper and caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows to cut down on the cold air coming in.  I actually have the worst door ever for this. I’ve got to get someone out to fix it. We took the weatherstripping off when we had our house painted. However, the weatherstrip was installed wrong because the door jam need to be completely re-done. I just talked to a contractor today get him on the schedule to come fix that.

#4 Use Power Strips
Did you know that many of your appliances use electricity whether they are on or not?Standby power is electricity that’s being used by things like TVs, computers, appliances, and phone chargers, even when the devices are in stand-by mode or even off.

Plug electronics, chargers, and appliances into power strips and switch them off when you’re not using the devices. You could save up to $200 per year! Or you can buy outlets with a remote control that allows you to turn the whole outlet off.

#5 Change Your HVAC Filter
If you change your filters monthly, you may lower your energy bills by 5 to 15 percent. Plus stop that annoying wheezing sound they make when they get dirty.

Simply put, dirty, clogged filters make the HVAC system work harder.
The savings can be substantial if you keep your filters clean as the average household spends approximately $2,200 on heating and cooling costs every year. Getting the HVAC system regular yearly maintenance is also beneficial.

Ashland New Plays Festival December 2017

 

The Gift of New Stories: Ashland New Plays Festival from Ashland Sneak Preview

The 501c3 Files

By Adam and Sophia S.W. Bogle

 

Imagine you lived in the time of Shakespeare. Would you have supported that unknown (and sometimes controversial) playwright? Thank goodness someone did or we probably wouldn’t be here in Ashland today. Whether we attend the Shakespearean theater here or not, this town is run on plays. It goes without saying that the old world plays will always have their place here because they are constantly being reinvented for modern audiences. But what about new stories for our current time? You will be happy to know that the Ashland New Plays Festival (ANPF) is providing an oasis for modern playwrights right here in Ashland. They started in 1993 and have become a major play development resource on the west coast.

The main event for ANPF is a one week festival that happens in October. This highlights the four best plays selected out of the hundreds of submissions that ANPF gets from all over the world. The process starts this month by gathering together the play readers. How would you like to be the one to find this new Shakespeare?

My mom came to stay with me one year and to keep busy she became a reader for ANPF. She had been in theater all her life so she really enjoyed the chance to connect with other people in this way. You see, being a reader isn’t just about reading the plays, you also get to meet the other readers to discuss the plays and vote. They need about 50 volunteer readers to get this job done and it must be fun because most of them return year after year. I remember my mom getting so excited about the plays, both the good and the bad. She was very thorough in her assessments, writing copious notes in the margins. (She used to teach English too.) The live readings at the Festival were a wonderful way to celebrate all that hard work.

The ANPF is dedicated to helping their playwrights succeed beyond the October festival. One of the ways they do this is by partnering with other west coast regional theaters. Many of the playwrights go on to have their plays produced in other theaters across the country.  Meredith Friedman, one of the winners from 2015, has her play, The Luckiest People, being produced next March in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s 29th season. Some of them are even produced at our own Oregon Shakespeare Festival such as Destiny of Desire by Karen Zacarias which is coming up in 2018.

I know you may not have heard of these playwrights yet, but that’s what is so exciting about it all! I know that Kyle Hayden would agree. This is his third season as the ANPF artistic director. He sat down with me at Cafe 116 to tell me about ANPF and I was most impressed with his passion for making sure that these written works are given life on the stage. Kyle had a lot to share with me about the creation of plays and at some point in our conversation, he said something that just made me stop and think: Plays are not movies. Ok, this seems super obvious, and I might have just glossed over it too. But he went on to explain that what it means is that plays demand something of their audience that movies cannot. Going to a live theater is a chance for us to put down our little blue screens and be a part of the live creation of art. It is a literal “con-spiracy” in that the audience is breathing together with the actors on the stage. And that is why the ANPF is so important. It is bringing us some fresh air!

While Ashland New Plays Festival is a great incubator for the future of theater, its success depends greatly on the theater lovers of today to make it happen. You can’t go back in time to support Shakespeare but there is bound to be a new Shakespeare someday. With your help, we might just find them through the Ashland New Plays Festival. For more information go to www.ashlandnewplays.org.

 

Sales to List Price in Southern Oregon

Different areas in the country have different ways of negotiating sales prices.

For example, in the Bay Area recently, the listing prices have been artificially low to encourage bidding wars. So List to Sales price can be way over 100%

I have heard of other areas that list the houses high, knowing it isn’t uncommon to take 75% of the list price.

So it is important to know the area and the norms when working on negotiating.  So your expectations are set appropriately.

Our market typically sees all home sales occurring between 95-100% of asking price.

The breakdown for 2017 for houses in Jackson County between $200-400,000 is this:

0-30 days         99.36%        1450 houses sold
31-60 days       98.06%         337  houses sold
61-90 days       97.78%         180  houses sold
91-120 days     97.74%         122  houses sold
120+ days        97.39%          169  houses sold

Note that in that price range, almost 65% of the houses sold in the first 30 days.  So in a competitive price point, one needs to be ready to make an offer quickly. Which might get you thinking about what it looks like on the upper end of the market.  Interestingly enough there is statistically more negotiation rooms in the upper price ranges.  This is how it breaks down for houses priced over $800,000

0-30 days         98.16%         31 houses sold
31-60 days       97.97%          5  houses sold
61-90 days       98.58%          5  houses sold
91-120 days     92.09%          7  houses sold
120+ days
        94.00%         24  houses sold

So think about that.

A house priced at $300,000 that has been on the market for 100 days statistically will sell at $293,000 or $7,000 less than asking price.

A house prices at $1,000,000 that has been on the market for 100 days statistically will sell at $921,000 or $79,000 less than asking price.

And just because I recently ran the numbers, one more set of stats.

Ashland between $300-500,000 sales price.  Or the “affordable” Ashland homes.

0-30 days          99.02%       62 houses sold
31-60 days        98.39%       25 houses sold
61-90 days        98.49%      16 houses sold
91-120 days      99.43%      12 houses sold
120+ days         99.34%       20 houses sold

Happily Ever After with FOTAS: May 2017

The 501-C-3 Files

by Sophia and Adam Bogle

Happily Ever After with FOTAS

This month we have a special guest writer who has a personal story to share about Friends of the Animal Shelter, FOTAS.

Have you ever had a rescue animal? If you have, then you know that there’s something different about them. I have a long running belief that trials in life bring us additional strength and understanding, and rescue animals do nothing but solidify this idea. It seems to me that knowing hardship, in the way rescue animals do, makes them appreciate a loving home much more than any pet you might buy from a breeder or pet store.

Seven months ago my rescue cat, who was the most dog-like cat you’ve ever met, passed away. I had rescued her when she was about the size of a potato (coincidentally named Po). I got her when I was 21 and she had been with me through all of the ups and downs of a large part of my life. Losing her was really hard and so it took about six months before I felt like I could even consider another pet, Even then I was still approaching the decision with great trepidation.

So one day I wandered into the Jackson County Animal Shelter to check out a couple of the dogs that were currently up for adoption. After taking one of the “interview” walks that day, my attention was captured by a dog that I saw standing on a picnic table. He was ignoring the other dogs in the outdoor run, and instead was watching the volunteers intently as they worked. I was immediately drawn to his calm, intelligent demeanor. I just had to take him out next.

When I arrived at his pen, he was the only dog sitting calmly on his cot while the other dogs were bouncing and barking and generally behaving as I’ve known dogs to behave. He caught me staring at him and let out a single, low bark that was inarguably him saying, “Hey! I see you looking at me”. The instant we got done running around and playing outside, I called my girlfriend and asked her quite frantically how quickly she could get there. I sounded like someone who found the last Tickle Me Elmo hidden on a back shelf (way back in Christmas 1996). My trepidation was gone. I didn’t waste a second and started filling out the paperwork: I knew she’d love him.

Since that day, life has been amazing. He has been the single most well behaved dog I’ve ever met, and he continues to convert one “not a dog person” after another. Of course he is still part puppy and does his fair share of puppy chewing on the wrong things, but apparently love is blind. I’ve always cynically laughed when I read the line “happily ever after” because my realistic mind tells me that life is an assorted mix of the good and the bad, but since that day, I feel like I’ve been living exactly that: “happily ever after.”

I feel I owe my happiness to FOTAS. The amount of hours they dedicate to the Jackson County Animal Shelter every month really could never be fully comprehended and appreciated, but we can sure try. If you wander into the shelter some day looking for a new friend, pay attention to the people walking the dogs, changing beds or cleaning up messes, you are probably looking at a FOTAS volunteer. Give them a smile. They deserve our attention and our thanks.

FOTAS has been supporting the programs of the Jackson County Animal Shelter since 1990. Their vision is for all adoptable animals there to find a loving home. They work to improve the quality of life for the Shelter’s animals, promote spay and neuter programs, and facilitate outreach and educational activities about the humane treatment of companion animals throughout Jackson County.

If you are inspired to give some time or a financial gift (no gift is too small) just go to FOTAS.org. We can’t all adopt a new pet everyday, but working together we can all help deserving pets find their perfect match so they too can live happily ever after.

Talent Maker City: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead!

Ashland Sneak Preview

501c3 Files

By Sophia and Adam Bogle

Talent Maker City: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead!

I met Ryan Wilcoxson at the ScienceWorks Mini Maker Faire last year. (Which is coming up again September 23rd so mark your calendars!) He was at a booth where they were handing out paper airplane designs and promoting their enigmatic-sounding project: Talent Maker City (TMC). What could this name possibly mean? Were they from a city where talent was created? Was it a subdivision of Talent where they made things? Was it some virtual reality place on the internet? It turned out that my second guess was the closest.

The idea of Talent Maker City is based on creating a “makerspace” facility in Talent. A makerspace is a physical location that offers classes, training, equipment and support for creative endeavors that all have to do with making things, from creating products, to getting experienced

guidance in prototyping an invention. A place where you can learn to fix a lamp, create a new line of tech gadgetry to sell or create your own artwork.

Creating a makerspace is only part of it though. The reason it is called Talent Maker City is because it represents a paradigm shift for the whole city of Talent. The maker city concept has the potential to make small cities thrive through supporting open innovation and creative

entrepreneurship. While makerspaces exist in many big cities. Choosing to create this in a small city requires more effort but also has the potential to have a bigger impact. It can support and sustain the local maker economy and build a more connected, more successful, thriving city that

supports the whole Rogue Valley and beyond.

I went to their open house on April 11th to find out more about it and was amazed at how many people showed up and also at the level of enthusiasm. We did a sort of “window shopping” session on “What do we want this to look like?” and I just remember that everyone wanted it to

be a beautiful space that would encourage collaboration and someone mentioned having a rooftop bar. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

The origin story for Talent Maker City goes back to 2016 when Talent planning commissioner, Allison French and local artist Karen Rycheck discovered the Etsy MakerCities Summit (etsy.com). Through a happy synchronicity it happened that all in the same day they got the approval of Talent mayor, Darby Stricker and then brought Ryan on board (who was doing

woodcraft in his garage) and so they decided to apply to get in. Weeks later they found out they were one of only 13 cities chosen out of 126 to be included so they went off to New York to find out more and create an action plan.

Now, almost exactly a year on from the group’s sojourn back east, Talent Maker City is working with the City of Talent to build the makerspace facility as a core attraction of their upcoming Gateway Project development and they are moving full STEAM ahead! Pun intended. S.T.E.A.M. Stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Even without having the physical makerspace yet, TMC is offering summer STEAM camps for middle-schoolers through Rogue Community College and the Phoenix-Talent School District. The camps have already begun to fill up so check it out soon! Stop Motion Animation, Rube Goldberg Machines and Renewable Energy are just a few of the ones available.

TMC has also launched what will be a year-round series of diverse maker workshops, from a live bronze pour demonstration to a hands-on udder-to-cheese goat chèvre class in conjunction with Pi Creamery in Talent. More maker workshops are in the works! If you have a suggestion for one, contact them!

Are you a Maker, Entrepreneur or Teacher? Do you want to help Southern Oregon become a vibrant ecosystem for creating economic innovation? Get involved! Go to TalentMakerCity.org and click the contact button to let them know what your interests are. Together we can create an environment that encourages the kind of boot-strap creativity and entrepreneurship that can only be described as Oregonian.