Category: buying resources

Resources for buyers.

Flood Insurance information

At the quarterly meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Realtors, we had the chance to listen to a great presentation by Christine Shirley about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP.)

Flooding concerns are a very timely subject, taking into account the hurricanes and general uptick in extreme weather. In fact, “flooding is the most prevalent and costly natural hazard in Oregon, and a component in 90% of the nation’s disasters.”

For someone considering buying a property in a flood zone, it’s incredibly important note that in order to finance the purchase with a loan, flood insurance will be required. There are quite a few factors that can influence the price of that insurance. It’s pretty safe to say that over time the price of flood insurance will continue to rise.

One huge takeaway from the presentation is that flood insurance is always transferable from the current owner to the new one. In cases of grandfathered zones and subsidized policies, this can make a huge difference in price.

Another good point is that you only need flood insurance to cover the value of the buildings being insured (not including the value of the land.) Shirley mentioned that many properties are over-insured because they are based on the price of the mortgage.

If your property is not in an official flood zone, but you have reason to worry about a flood, you can still obtain a “preferred risk” policy, which is often cheaper than the policies for flood zone properties.

Obtaining an elevation certificate is critical for figuring out how much flood insurance will be for a given property. These certificates are not maintained by any outside organizations, so the homeowner needs to make sure to retain them.

For more information about FEMA flood zones, check out

If you are considering purchasing or selling a property in a flood zone, I’d love to talk to you about all the aspects you should consider!


It just struck me that I have never posted about my preferred lenders!

Many buyers don’t realize how important your choice of lender is. At the most basic level, you definitely want to make sure you get along well with your lender. Keep in mind that you will be relying on them to support you throughout the entire financial side of your transaction.

Two vital questions to ask when you are interviewing lenders is: when are you available? Are you quick with communication? When we’ve found a house you want to offer on, it is very important that your lender can get us a pre-approval letter that is updated to reflect the amount we are offering. (We don’t want to show all our cards with the full amount you qualify for if we are offering less!) If it’s the weekend or in the evening, is your lender going to be there for you? Chances are that if you are working with someone that is just one the clock 9-5, the answer will be no.

If you give the lenders below a call, please let them know I sent you. (I don’t get any kickbacks for recommending them, I just know we make a great team– and that’s good for everyone!) In no particular order, (two on the East side and two on the West, but please note, they can do most things virtually.)


Guild Mortgage Company
cell: 503-528-9800email:
NMLS ID # 112876
825 NE Multnomah St, Suite 950
Portland, OR 97232
Jonelle Knipe
Academy Mortgage
cell: 503-475-7195
NMLS #: 94123
3 Centerpointe Drive, Suite 290
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Mortgage Loans Northwest
cell: 503-504-2979
office: 503-233-6569
NMLS Individual ID 85417
5015 SE Hawthorne Blvd Ste A
Portland OR 97215
Prime Lending
cell: 503.515.8542
fax: 886.425.0604
web site:
NMLS: 173601
4380 SW Macadam Ave Suite 260
Portland, Or 97239


Exciting changes!

I’m so excited to tell you about exciting changes in my business!

I bought a Chevy Volt, which has quite a roomy back seat. Even more fabulous, we will now be cruising on electricity! Yay for Earth-friendly comfort! The Volt can run for around 50 miles per charge on electricity. After the first 50 miles it switches to a gas hybrid engine.

I also bought a iPad Air 2 for clients to use when we are on the road. With this, we can stay connected with up to date information as we are house hunting. (This also means less need to print so many sheets of information about all the houses we look at.)

House hunting just hit a new level!




Overview: buying a house

When new clients first approach me, I often realize that they need an overview of the entire process of purchasing a home or investment property. It can seem quite overwhelming, even if you have been through the process before. Don’t worry though! That is exactly what I’m for. We will walk through each step together. (Please note, below is an overall explaination — there will be lots of additional nuances particular to different circumstances.)

  1. Our initial sit down meeting.

I invite new clients to come by my office at 205 East Olive St in Newport, Oregon. Meeting face to face allows me to get a feel of what your wants and needs are in your new home. I will give you a packet of information, answering any questions that come up as we go through it. I also have a survey that we can fill out to outline what is necessary for your home and what would be a bonus.

2. Secure funding.

Of course, if you have enough funds to cover the purchase of a home, that is the easiest way to go. However, many people need to secure a loan. The company and person you choose to provide your loan is very important for a smooth transaction. I have local lenders that I’d be happy to refer you to, just ask! Your lender will hold your hand through all of the financial aspects of buying a home.

3. Start the search!

I can set up an automated search for you on our listing service — a tool that real estate brokers use to get up to date information. Some clients prefer to look at listings on their own, just let me know your preference! Once we’ve found a few properties that you think are worth seeing in person, we’ll make an appointment to view them in person.

4. Viewing houses.

Viewing houses is really fun! We will go together to see what the spaces are like and try to imagine you owning them. I will do my best to point out great features, but I will also make sure to mention things that are potential issues to be aware of. Many available homes are older. There are some issues that are fine to live with, but there are others that could be too much to take on. I’ll encourage you to snap some photos as we go so you can recall the houses later. You’ll see that they tend to blend together after you see a few!

5.  Making an offer.

We will work together to write a really strong offer. I will caution you to keep in mind that we might have to offer on more than one house. After we send one, we will usually get a response relatively soon after. They can accept, counter, or reject it.

6. Counter offer.

Many agents send a counter offer to make the deal a bit sweeter for the seller. We can either accept the counter or send another counter back. Depending on the particular circumstance, we will decide what the best way to proceed is.

7. Mutual acceptance!

We love mutual acceptance! This means that we are officially under contract for you to buy the property. All timelines start from here. (See below for more information about this.) Closely following mutual acceptance escrow will be opened. (Escrow is a third party neutral company that holds the funds and deeds during the deal.)

8. Earnest money to escrow.

After we are under contract, you will need to send a check or wire funds to escrow in the amount of the earnest money promised. Earnest money is utilized for a few reasons. First, to show the seller that we are serious about our offer. Second, to compensate the seller for the time they have the property off the market if the sale falls through by fault of the buyer. However, if we decide to terminate the agreement during an agreed upon contingency period, you will have the legal right to get the earnest money back. (Please note that it is not automatic, the seller will still have to agree to release the funds from escrow.)

9. 10 day inspection period.

From the day of mutual acceptance, we will have 10 days to perform professional inspections and negotiate for repairs/compensation. I recommend obtaining a general inspection first, then seeing if we need additional followup inspections. As a buyer, you are responsible for paying for these inspections. I’m happy to suggest companies to perform them, schedule them, and also coordinate their entrance into the home as needed. We’ll also take some time to review the title and any other documentation that relates to the property. I will suggest that you take a trip to the county, to see if you can find out any additional information that might impact the property. This is an important part of your due diligence as a buyer.

10. Repair addendum.

Once we have all of our inspections in hand, I will write a repair addendum that lets the other side know what we would like them to address. Often this includes some back and forth negotiation.

11. Appraisal.

If you are getting a loan, your lender will schedule an appraiser to check out the property and make sure that it is worth the sales price. If it comes in low, we will negotiate with the other side to try to get them to cover the difference. However, sometimes they will not be willing to, in which case we might split the difference, or you might have to cover it.

12. Waiting to close.

After the inspection period we wait for repairs to be done (as needed) and for the loan to come through. I will be in close contact with your loan officer to make sure everything is proceeding as planned.

13. Closing Disclosure.

Due to a law, known as TRID, you’ll get your final closing disclosure from your lender at least 3 days before closing.

14. Signing.

You will sign with escrow in person. (So many signatures!)

15. Closing.

Time to celebrate — the property is yours! I will meet you there to give you keys.