Keller Williams Mid Willamette real estate agent

Keller Williams Mid Willamette real estate agent
Steve Frisbie is a licensed real estate agent in the State of Oregon. REALTOR®. Equal Opportunity Housing Provider. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Refinance rates are very low, should I refinance my house now?

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home?

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home? | MyKCM

With interest rates hitting all-time lows over the past few weeks, many homeowners are opting to refinance. To decide if refinancing your home is the best option for you and your family, start by asking yourself these questions:

Why do you want to refinance?

There are many reasons to refinance, but here are three of the most common ones:
1. Lower Your Interest Rate and Payment: This is the most popular reason. Is your current interest rate higher than what’s available today? If so, it might be worth seeing if you can take advantage of the current lower rates.
2. Shorten the Term of Your Loan: If you have a 30-year loan, it may be advantageous to change it to a 15 or 20-year loan to pay off your mortgage sooner rather than later.
3. Cash-Out Refinance: You might have enough equity to cash out and invest in something else, like your children’s education, a business venture, an investment property, or simply to increase your cash reserve.
Once you know why you might want to refinance, ask yourself the next question:

How much is it going to cost?

There are fees and closing costs involved in refinancing, and The Lenders Network explains:
As an example, let’s say your mortgage has a balance of $200,000. If you were to refinance that loan into a new loan, total closing costs would run between 2%-4% of the loan amount. You can expect to pay between $4,000 to $8,000 to refinance this loan.”
They also explain that there are options for no-cost refinance loans, but be on the lookout:
“A no-cost refinance loan is when the lender pays the closing costs for the borrower. However, you should be aware that the lender makes up this money from other aspects of the mortgage. Usually charging a slightly higher interest rate so they can make the money back.”
Keep in mind that, given the current market conditions and how favorable they are for refinancing, it can take a little longer to execute the process today. This is because many other homeowners are going this route as well. As Todd Teta, Chief Officer at ATTOM Data Solutions notes about recent mortgage activity 
“Refinancing largely drove the trend, with more than twice as many homeowners trading in higher-interest mortgages for cheaper ones than in the same period of 2018.”
Clearly, refinancing has been on the rise lately. If you’re comfortable with the up-front cost and a potential waiting period due to the high volume of requests, then ask yourself one more question:

Is it worth it? 

To answer this one, do the math. Will it help you save money? How much longer do you need to own your home to break even? Will your current home meet your needs down the road? If you plan to stay for a few years, then maybe refinancing is your best move.
If, however, your current home doesn’t fulfill your needs for the next few years, you might want to consider using your equity for a down payment on a new home instead. You’ll still get a lower interest rate than the one you have on your current house, and with the equity you’ve already built, you can finally purchase the home you’ve been waiting for.

Bottom Line

Today, more than ever, it’s important to start working with a trusted real estate advisor. Whether you connect by phone or video chat, a real estate professional can help you understand how to safely navigate the housing market so that you can prioritize the health of your family without having to bring your plans to a standstill. Whether you’re looking to refinance, buy, or sell, a trusted advisor knows the best protocol as well as the optimal resources and lenders to help you through the process in this fast-paced world that’s changing every day.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Chip Ross Park in Corvallis is still open for the moment....

Went for a hike yesterday up at Chip Ross Park  It's on the north side of Corvallis up at the top of Lester Avenue off Highland Drive. During the shut down for the coronavirus it is still open, for now, until further steps are needed. It's been raining the last few days so there were only three or four other groups in the park at the time we went that we saw. Everyone seems to be aware of maintaining social distancing so for now it seems to be a safe place to get out of the house and get a little exercise.

It's a nice little hike, the loop from the parking lot is just a bit over a mile and a half with an elevation uphill change of roughly a bit over 350 feet over the course of the hike. Under normal circumstances there is a trail available on the backside that gives you the ability to go all over the McDonald and Dunn forests, but they're shut down right now so it's been taped off and shut down.

Here's a view from the top it provides a great view of Corvallis. The oak trees are just starting to bud out, in a few weeks it'll be nice and green up there.

Stay healthy,


Thursday, March 26, 2020

What does the future of the real estate market look like....

Even if the market slows down right now, now might be a very good time to get a few projects done. Do you have a powder room with 30 year old wall paper you don't care for? Maybe it's time to do a relatively easy project and put an up to date coat or two of paint on it?  Do you have a front door knob that you've got to do the 30 second key jiggle to open? Door knobs aren't all that expensive and are easily replaceable. (Quick door knob rant - You may be used to jiggling the key for a bit, but few things say "lack of maintenance" on a house for sale to a potential buyer as fast as having to fight just to get in and look at the place. It can raise questioning thoughts about whether there are more issues likely to appear. Sure it's an easy fix, but many buyers are put off by potential projects, it potentially limits your buying pool a bit). The possibility for projects on an older house can be overwhelming, start with anything "broken" first then think about whether you want to  take on cosmetic stuff.

My wife and I did a bunch of projects on our last house in the months prior to going to market, after each one we wished we would have done it years earlier so we could enjoy it. Even if you aren't thinking of selling, now may be the time to do things you've been putting off so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

OSU temporarily shuts down the McDonald and Dunn research forests to recreational use due to the coronavirus concerns...

A heads up to anyone thinking about hiking around town right now, there are some closures.  OSU just shut down the McDonald and Dunn forests and their trails, so the Lewisburg Saddle and Peavy Arboretum trailheads are all blockaded. I assume Oak Creek and other accesses are blocked as well.

I'm not sure if City and County parks with hiking like Chip Ross, Bald Hill, Fitton Green and the likes are shut down yet, it wouldn't surprise me if it happens at some point.  I do believe the City has shut down playgrounds.  Some of us may have to find another outlet for exercise.  For me, worse comes to worse I start walking stairs in my house... infinitely more boring.

  Stay healthy,


Friday, March 20, 2020

Here's some info on where housing prices have gone during past recessions...

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis [INFOGRAPHIC]

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an economic slowdown.
  • The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.
  • All things considered, an economic slowdown does not equal a housing crisis, and this will not be a repeat of 2008.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Are we going to have another housing crash?

 Are we going to have another housing crash like in 2008?

 With all that is going on with the Covid virus, it's a bit of a cautious time in the real estate industry while things are shaking out. During the last real estate housing crash houses stopped selling, prices dropped (although Corvallis missed having a tremendous drop in home values for the most part - I was living in Hawaii at the time and the state really felt it as prices had nearly tripled in the 6-7 years leading up to 2008) and for areas where prices dropped dramatically many took up to 5-7 years to recover to previous levels.

 This time around we won't know until a bit of time passes, however there are many underlying fundamentals that can indicate that this could be potentially just a bump in the road in comparison to what occurred in 2008, assuming there is a reasonably swift recovery from today's virus issues. Check out the following video...


If you are considering a home sale or purchase, let's talk.  Right now homes are still selling quite well in Corvallis and the area and I'll be keeping up to date on the Corvallis and Albany area market. 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Buying a Home: Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying a Home: Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM


  • Buying a home can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process.
  • To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of some of the most common language you’ll hear along the way.
  • The best way to ensure your homebuying process is a positive one is to find a real estate professional who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher.’

Woodpeckers and Flickers are pecking on my house.... What to do?

It's that time of year again that we have birds pecking holes in our siding.  Usually the first hint that they're showing up is hearing the loud ratta-tat-tat on the chimney vents on the roof. From what I've heard, that's the males trying to impress the nearby females with the loudest possible tapping noises they can make. Usually within a few days the birds start working on the house. I don't know if it's a nesting behavior or digging for potential bugs, but over the years they can cause quite a bit of damage.

What to do?  Well, pounding on the walls or going outside to yell at them is a five to ten minute fix. Squirting them with a super-soaker bazooka is extremely satisfying (once, if you have to do it again, not so much) and works for about 10 to 15 minutes usually.

So far the best solution we've come across is balloons. You can pick them up at the dollar store for a buck each and tie them off near an area they're working on and they'll skedaddle as long as the balloons are still floating.  I don't know what it is about birds and balloons, but when I had my pet store years back I kept uncaged birds out in the open and if someone came in with a balloon all heck broke lose... birds flying everywhere. We ended up finding out you could literally hold a balloon in your hand and they'd just look at you, but the moment the balloon started floating, it was freak out time.

The balloons will typically work for a day or two, then you might have to move them. Yesterday I picked up four balloons for various spots around the house and it's been quiet since. You'll want well filled helium balloons, keep in mind when the weather is cool the helium actually shrinks in the balloon and they won't float as well, so you have to be careful if you think about adding extra string because the weight might hold them down. 

Other potential solutions, hanging CD or DVD disks on the house apparently can work. Plastic owls make a real good solution... when we lived in Hawaii the mynah birds used to come to our porch to steal the food from our dog's dish, we thought it cute at first, but those things are pooping machines. Plastic owls were found in every garden department there and it worked.  I've even heard of attaching rubber snakes to the chimney vent to keep them off it... I'd love to try that one but our roof is so steep I really don't want to get up there.  If you've found other solutions feel free to chime in on the comments.



Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Interest rates can really affect your house payment....

How Interest Rates Can Impact Your Monthly Housing Payments | MyKCMThis came through on my Keeping Current Matters  feedClick Here for the full article.  Rates really are down now compared to historical levels. The chart above is based on a 200K loan, keep in mind you'll likely also be paying some monthly property taxes and insurance along with your monthly mortgage payment.

Low interest rates can be good for both buyers and sellers, buyers save money, and sellers can more easily sell their home as higher rates can potentially scare a lot of buyers off.

Corona virus in Corvallis and Albany....

...hopefully not yet.  So far there haven't been any reports of the new coronavirus popping up in our communities, but at some point it's bound to arrive.

Last night after reading an article about the importance of hand washing, and having a hand sanitizer available when you can't wash, I thought it might be wise to pick up a bottle for in the car.  I'm pretty good about hand washing, it's the touching the nose, mouth or eyes inadvertently after an accidental exposure that are my possible concern.  Looks as though I'm not the only one... Winco, Walmart Neighborhood Market, Market of Choice, BiMart and the north Safeway in Corvallis were all out of hand sanitizers with an alcohol base.  I did pick up a small bottle this morning after the shelves were restocked.

From what I've read, for times you can't wash your hands with soap and water, they're recommending a hand sanitizer with 60-70% by volume ethyl alcohol to be effective in stopping the virus. If you decide to pick some up and the stores are out there is another option... DIY it. Apparently you can just mix isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel, one part aloe vera gel to two parts of rubbing alcohol and you'll end up with the necessary alcohol while the aloe vera protects your skin from damage from the alcohol. Do a little googling, there's a bunch of recipes, just note that the ones that recommend vodka or less than a two to one mix of alcohol to aloe might not be strong enough to do the job.

Note: I'm not trying to panic anyone, and I'm not panicky about this threat, it's not ebola (which kills 4 in 10 that get it). As of last night there are 6 deaths in the country from this virus while it is estimated that 18,000+ have died in the US from the flu so far this flu season (61,000 died two flu seasons back).  People seem to be much much more aware of this threat, and that's a good thing, because it could potentially get very bad if it gets out of control as it is more lethal than the common flu. Hopefully with everyone taking precautions breakouts will be somewhat limited.

  Stay healthy!