Grants Pass, OR Real Estate News

By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
January 2010 Homes For Sale in Grants Pass, Oregon The following results for the month of January 2010 for Grants Pass were compiled from records of single-family residential homes listed with the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service. This inventory may be misleading when you consider all of those people who have either withdrawn their homes temporarily from the market and/or all those who are waiting until the market gets stronger before they attempt to list their Home For Sale. January 2010 Grants Pass Real Estate Statistics Number of Homes Sold: 33  Number of Homes Actively on the MLS: 563 70 Are Short Sales 43 Are Foreclosures 83 Are New Listings for January   *The Number of Homes that are Actively on the MLS are Located in the Following Areas: West Hills 50                     ...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Happy Groundhog Day! Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on February 2. It is held in the United States and Canada. According to folklore, if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day fails to see its shadow, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If on the other hand, the groundhog sees its shadow, the groundhog will supposedly retreat into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks.[1] The holiday, which began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries, has its origins in ancient European weather lore, wherein a badger or sacred bear is the prognosticator as opposed to a groundhog.[2] The holiday also bears some similarities to the medieval Catholic holiday of Candlemas.[3] It a...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Vacation In Grants Pass Jail - Grants Pass, Oregon Visitors enjoy this area so much that it is only appropriate that special tourist rates be made for those who end up in the Josephine County jail. Back in 2004, the sheriff began billing inmates for room and board, but the collection of these charges became too expensive so it was canceled. Now Sheriff Gil Gilbertson is looking into charging $60 per day and contracting with the Utah company Pay to Stay to collect the fees on a percentage basis.  Very soon now this may be in effect. We want people to vacation here and to stay out of our jails.  Not even William Shatner can get a "Priceline" deal cheaper than that.
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Are You Missing the Boat?  BethAnn Long of Spokane, WA  got me thinking today about those Agents who decide to jump ship and leave their present day real estate offices for another office.  Some Broker/Owners might perhaps interpret this action as a two-timing Realtor whore.  I have different thoughts on the matter. I have practiced real estate for over 10 years and I have hung my license with two franchises, and now with my own independent real estate office.  One of those franchises was a local Pacific Northwest Franchise and the other was a National Big Box Franchise.  After the first three years in business, I left the Pacific Northwest Franchise for personal reasons.  The Broker hired a "Prima Donna" who behaved badly, and I couldn't stomach the way they catered to this Agent's eve...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
First Time Homeowner Tax Credit For those of us with clients qualifying for the $8,000.00 First Time Homeowner Tax Credit, we need to remember that if the home is converted to a rental within 36 months, the $8,000.00 must be repaid. For existing homeowners, there is no requirement that they sell their current home to be eligible for the $6,500.00 tax credit, but they are not eligible for the credit if they use the new home purchase for a rental. If we suspect this will be the case, we need to make them aware of this fact.
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Rogue Community College Offers Scholarships.  Rogue Community College is offering a new scholarship to help Southern Oregon students pay for college. To apply for the Rogue Ambassadors scholarship, high school students must have at least a 3.5 GPA. Those eligible seniors who start at RCC directly following high school graduation will get half their tuition covered the first year.  If students continue to have a 3.5 GPA or better, RCC will pay for all their tuition the second year. Rogue Ambassadors will also be required to complete some sort of service project within the community. Applications for the Rogue Community College Scholarships will be accepted from February 1st through March 31st, 2010.  The applications can be found at RCC's website starting in February.
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Oregon e-Waste Recycling - Grants Pass Oregon.  It was a busy day in Grants Pass Oregon on Thursday.  A recycling tent was set-up, ready to accept Oregoninan's electronic waste.  The first year of recycling electronic waste in Oregon brought in more than anyone expected, approximately five pounds per person for a total of 18.9 million pounds. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality e-Waste Recycling Program Manager Kathy Kiwala said Thursday that residents have always been good recyclers, often leading the nation, but this was way beyond their expectations.  An average of 3.3 pounds per person, or a total of about 12 million pounds of electronic waste was collected the first year. Kiwala said more than half the waste was TVs, apparently due to the switch from analog to digital broadc...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Toyota Takes A Hit! Toyota stock is taking a hit right now because of sudden, uncontrolled acceleration. This problem has been there for several years now, and up until recently, Toyota has denied that is was anything other than floor mats making the accelerator stick. It is reminiscent of the real estate market in the fact that the problems have been there for a long time, but because of a false inflation it has been able to sustain itself until the bubble finally burst.  Which only shows that you can cover up a problem for so long before it bites you. Fortunately for both of us, our business is certain to rebound.  When Toyota corrects their problem, they will again be strong. Real estate will be stronger than ever in the future, because corrections and stop gaps will be in place to p...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Procuring Cause - Abandonment & Estrangement.  Today, I participated in a webinar regarding the topic, Procuring Cause.  It's an interesting topic and one that certainly most of us will encounter at one time or another throughout our real estate career.  "Procuring Cause", as defined by the National Association of Realtors, is "the uninterrupted series of causal events that leads to a successful transaction."  In plain English, it's the method to determine who rightfully deserves a real estate commission for bringing about a sale.  Two primary reasons for arguing Procuring Cause is Abandonment and Estrangement.  In real estate terms, they are defined as follows:  Abandonment:  Characterized by some lack of contact by the agent with the buyer for some period of time. Estrangement:  The c...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Rogue Valley Humane Society - Grants Pass, Oregon Marriage in the Dog house starts at the Rogue Valley Humane Society.           Diane and Kenway Mead will be married on Saturday, January 30th at the Rogue Valley Humane Society. The couple met on the Internet while playing on a cribbage site when she lived in North Carolina and he was in Vancouver, Washington.  When they finally got together, first they fell in love, and then they found Grants Pass, Oregon and fell in love with it! They moved here, and then fell in love with the Rogue Valley Humane Society! The couple donates over 40 hours a month to the Rogue Valley Humane Society and will be getting married at the facility. The Rogue Valley Humane Society is located at 429 Northeast Scenic Drive in Grants Pass.  Their phone number is ...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Tomb Of The Unknowns - Arlington National Cemetery Were you aware that the guard must change every half hour, twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year? To be guard at the Tomb Of The Unknowns; the guards must meet size requirements, and commit to two years of service to guard the tomb.  The guards live in military barracks under the Tomb Of The Unknowns.  They cannot drink any alcohol while on or off duty for the rest of their lives.   After two years of service, they receive a wreath pin to wear on their lapel.  Only 400 pins are being worn at present, and if they ever in their lives, break the many conduct rules, they must surrender their wreath pin. The training to be guard is very monk-like, as they can't even watch T.V. for their first six months. All of their time is spent s...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
It's a Matter of Life and Death!  Sounds like a serious matter, but that is definitely not the case here.  Let me explain... One of the agents in my office allowed me to listen to a voice-mail she received from one of her clients the other day.  This seller has had their home on the market for many months with few showings and no offers.  I have seen the home and it is way over-priced.  I have heard this agent advise this seller regarding this fact on many occasions, to no avail. On this particular day, the Seller was trying to decide if he should reduce the price of the home, or take it off the market and rent it.  In his voice-mail, he asked for this agent to call him back right away to discuss the situation...  "as it was a matter of life and death." Now, I don't know about you, but ...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
BAMA BAILOUT BACKFIRES? Used vehicle prices are up! How well do you think the "cash for clunkers" program really worked now that we're well past it? We can already see what the affect the shortage of those trade-ins has made in the automobile market.  Sixty percent of those vehicles that the U.S. Government has destroyed would have been re-sold! Maybe they didn't get the best gas mileage, but three or four out of every five of them were good, serviceable, and dependable vehicles that would have helped a lot of families!  There are a lot of people who would have been able to get many good years of service out of them. When you take that many quality vehicles (over 450,000) out of circulation, and just destroy them, you create a terrible shortage!  This is turn creates a greater demand an...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Ballistic or Bi-Polar?  Agent Gone Whacko!  The other day, I received a phone call from a fellow Realtor.  The tone of the conversation was threatening and definitely not nice.  At times, I almost felt like I needed a suit of armor to ward off the attack!  This is not the first time I have had an encounter with this Agent.  So, I suppose I halfway expected the crazy behavior.  I couldn't help but wonder, was this Agent simply going ballistic or perhaps suffering from something much more clinical, such as Bi-Polar disease.  No offense to anyone who suffers from this disease (I have a family member who does).  But, without being properly diagnosed, the dramatic mood swings and hyper-sensitivity might be construed as crazy behavior.  As I tried to keep things calm and reasonable, this pers...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
We've Got To Hold On! Is the fear of loss prompting short-sales and foreclosures? I hear some homeowners say that they could probably hang on to their homes, and make the payments, but realizing that the homes' value is so much less than what they owe; why bother? People are motivated by two main factors; a hope for gain, and a fear of loss. In the current mortgage situation, the hope for gain that normally is so critical in home ownership is not presently there.  Kind of like paying the remaining balance on a dead horse. Has a lot of the housing crisis been due to the fact that the homeowner feels they were "conned" into too high a rate by unscrupulous lenders? It's easy to sit back and judge these people who are considering dumping their current home just because they are "upside down...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
GPS Units CAN GET YOU KILLED! - Southern Oregon In late 2008, we moved to Southern Oregon, and right away I purchased a new GPS Unit, which I felt would not only help me get around in a new area, but also when I entered the real estate profession. In most cases, the GPS Unit has been accurate to within a mile, but sometimes it's just plain nuts! The danger in relying on GPS Units lies in traveling across our vast mountain ranges to the Pacific Ocean or Northern California. Just last week some businessmen just about got stuck for the rest of their lives on Happy Camp Road, which runs between Happy Camp, California and Cave Junction, Oregon.  They were following the driving directions from their GPS Unit.  The directions were accurate, but it certainly couldn't forecast several feet of sn...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Indoor Winter Fishing - Northern Minnesota An adventure in Northern Minnesota.  Minnesota has over 12,000 documented and named lakes.  Leach lake is one of the largest, and I had a great adventure there a while back. It was a sunny but bitter cold day and I went with friends in their truck out on the frozen lake.  We passed a car with two long poles lashed across the top and protruding about ten feet past the front and rear bumpers.  I inquired as to their use and was told that if the car broke through the ice, the poles would catch the edges of the hole long enough for the occupants to escape. This unnerved me slightly, as the vehicle I was in had no such poles, (later that day, that particular car drove off an open area in the ice where the poles couldn't catch anything and, well, nee...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Chase Away the Winter Blues!  Home buyers have much to look forward to in 2010.  Low interest rates, low home prices, and more importantly, the extended and expanded home buyer tax credit.  Now, for a limited time in 2010, the $8,000 home buyer tax credit will be available to first-time home buyers and certain current homeowners will also be eligible for a $6,500 credit. Who can claim the credit?  "First-time home buyers" who purchase homes between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010 are eligible for the credit.  To qualify as a "first-time home buyer" the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase. For current homeowners purchasing a home during the same time frame, they are also eligible for a tax credit, so long as the home...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Sellers Should List Homes Early in 2010.  Selling a home in the dead of winter might seem ill-advised, particularly considering the state of the economy, but some experts think that making the decision to wait until spring to list a property could be a mistake.Government incentives will likely have a big impact in 2010, with many buyers determined to sign a contract before the April 30 tax credit deadline."This year, we're anticipating sales will peak earlier," says Nicole Hall, editor in chief of Lendingtree.com, an online mortgage comparison service.  "The best time to get your house on the market will be February or early March, and maybe even earlier if you want to avoid competition."  Traffic on real estate Websites begin to rise right after the New Year, says Ken Shuman, spokesman...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Imagination Village - Let your Creativity Go!  This past week, Grants Pass Oregon Evergreen Bank CEO, and Imagination Village Creator Brady Adams announced he will be stepping down as CEO of Evergreen Bank.  The iconic figure in Southern Oregon is making a career change. Former Oregon State Senator, Senate President and Evergreen Bank CEO, Brady Adams is stepping down from his bank position to focus on community development projects.  In an open letter to the community in Thursday's Grants Pass Daily Courier, Adams says he will continue to work with the bank, but wants to spend more time on civic improvement.  Brady noted his health problems, but also thanked the community for their support and friendship through projects like "Bearfest", the "Shoe Tree" and "Imagination Village." IMHO,...
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