Rural Industrial Property in Lane County

I remember the days of the mills’ hard-working saws piercing the air of the Mohawk Valley.  Not long ago, when it was warm and your windows were open, you could hear the saws’ whine in the night.  Now, but for an occasional car, or lonely coyote’s wail, the night is quiet.

The disappearance of saw mills isn’t unique to the Mohawk Valley.  It has been happening all across Oregon, with the peak number of mills after World War II at over 1500, fewer than 80 mills remain today, statewide.  In the boom years, lumber and related industries made up more than 10% of Oregon’s economy; there were over 70,000 well-paying jobs, and families could have a good life with a single wage earner.  When I was a kid you could earn $15/hr. at many of the mills around Eugene Springfield.  Advance  the clock forward to now and I’m not so sure you can easily find those $15/hour jobs, and things are much more expensive.  Now there are only 25,000 timber and mill jobs left in Oregon, and the pay is merely average.

Weyerhauser’s 21 mile private railroad ran through the Mohawk Valley, starting at the mill off 42nd street and terminating in the former town of Wendling, east of Marcola.  Remnants remain of the old railroad that was last used in 1987.  Across from the Riverview Market on Marcola Road, Hayden Bridge has stood since about 1900, when it was moved from Utah.  It’s hard to imagine moving a giant bridge that long ago, but I guess our ancestors were ingenuitive–people were still using horses for transportation back then.  The bridge, while historical, has fallen into disuse.  Occasionally, when it’s hot out, you’ll still find local kids using it as a diving platform for the chilly McKenzie River beneath.  You can also spot the above-grade gravel railroad bed running through the Mohawk Valley if you look carefully.

Hayden Bridge was moved here from Utah in 1901.

Hayden Bridge was moved here from Utah in 1901.

This forlorn mill site in the Mohawk Valley is one victim of our recent economic downturn.  The buildings have stood for a long time and how much of their lumber went into the building of our great state, no one will ever know.  Most recently, for 20 years until 2007, it gobbled up peeler cores and transformed them into studs, posts, and stakes.

Old mill site in the Mohawk Valley, Oregon

The area where the Mill sits, off Old Mohawk Road, was previously called Yarnell, being named after one of the early owners of surrounding land.  Yarnell now exists only as a reference on historic maps.  The Mohawk River was the original method of getting logs to mills.  Subsequently, Southern Pacific and later Weyerhaeuser, used to run log trains regularly, and there was a siding and spur near the mill site.  Sidings are a parallel set of tracks which allow trains to pass, and spurs are a dead-end set of tracks serving a facility.  Old maps also show two log ponds to the east of the mill, but they are now filled.  Operating mills rarely use log ponds any more, but in the past they were used to store, clean, and move logs; newer technologies make ponds no longer necessary.

Yarnell had a covered train bridge, crossing the Mohawk River, built in presumably the late 1800’s.  Weyerhaeuser is thought to have removed the cover and rebuilt the bridge around 1961.  Remnants of the old bridge remain, but are on private property.  The main automobile bridge was also covered at one time.  This bridge stood from 1916 to 1958 and has been replaced by a modern structure

Near where Old Mohawk Road now runs.  Looking north towards Coburg Hills.  Ca. 1910

Near where Old Mohawk Road now runs. Looking north towards Coburg Hills. Ca. 1910

Interestingly, there’s a very long history of lumber milling in the Mohawk Valley.  The image is from the first survey done in the area, in 1855.  Present at that time was a mill race, dug from the McKenzie River, servicing the old Scott Mill.  Little record remains of the Scott Mill, but presumably it was fed by logs floated down the McKenzie or dragged by oxen down the Mohawk Valley.  Part of the main channel of the river appears to have changed to the old mill race and can be seen here.

1855 survey of the Mohawk Valley, Oregon, showing mill race.  (Emphasis added.)

1855 survey of the Mohawk Valley, Oregon, showing mill race. (Emphasis added.)

Mill sites are the most common uses in RI zoning, Rural Industrial, which is fairly rare.  RI zoning allows for industrial uses and pursuits in otherwise country type property.  Some of these old properties are distressed or industrial/commercial short sales, which is also uncommon.  I have done commercial short sales and they have their own unique process that’s different from residential short sales.  Short sales occur when the sales proceeds are short of (less than) the required amount to pay off the bank loan(s).

As with any industrial or commercial real estate purchase, previous uses are important.  If a lender is involved, the buyer will almost certainly need a level one or level two environmental report, and they’re a good idea even if there is no lender.  Environmental Site Assessments are common and give you a base-line idea of what went on.

Determining value on industrial properties can be a challenge.  It likely will have the most value to an owner-occupant.  Uses that require zoning changes are difficult in Lane County, which means the highest and best use is likely similar to its previous use.  Appraisers will arrive at a value by reconciling the three approaches to valuation:  comps, income and replacement value, but this may be different than what an arms-length willing buyer may be willing to pay.

I, for one, hope the old mill is purchased and reopened.  People need jobs and Oregon has a lot of sustainable trees.  If you are a buyer or user of commercial or industrial property in Oregon, please contact me.

Oregon forests are sustainable.

Oregon forests are sustainable.

Dowtown Springfield Oregon

Downtown Springfield the new hotspot?  Maybe so.

Commercial property is interesting.  Changes in rules & regulations or changes in traffic patterns can make the once lively die; or the slow and out of the way into the next hot spot.  At one point in time, Sixth and Seventh streets in Eugene were part of Highway 99 which ran from Mexico to Canada.  Properties along those streets were prime real estate, but that began to decline with the construction of I-5 in the early 1960’s when much north-south traffic bypassed Eugene entirely.

Similarly, the downtown core area of Springfield used to be the center of town and the most desirable place to be, but this was decades ago.  What started the decline isn’t precisely clear, but increased ease of transportation and building of satellite shopping centers or malls didn’t help downtowns.  At one point in time, downtown Springfield was the Gateway Mall of its day, and when I grew up here, the Gateway area was merely wet grasslands, laying fallow, bathed by the noise and exhaust of I-5.  Time shows us nothing if not that things change.  Gateway is hot.  Downtown Springfield is on its way back up.

Mayor Christine Lundberg in her 2013 state of the City speech was very positive on Springfield’s possibilities and progress.  She even joked that she’s looking forward to having a Logger Lager at the soon to be opened Planktown Brewery.

Probably the start of the Wildish Theater project in 2001 marked the beginning of Springfield’s renaissance.  The 284 seat theater took 5 years to complete at a cost of some 3.2 million dollars.  LTD opened it’s highly visible and cool looking transit facility in 2004, which gave the area a further boost.

Jim's Landing in Springfield is awaiting a new use

Jim’s Landing in Springfield is awaiting a new tenant

Three downtown bars had their liquor licenses pulled and closed in 2010, which was said to improve things.  One of the bars, Jim’s landing, had been in business since 1934 and there was always a bar in that location since the construction of the Fry and Rankin building in 1911.  There was also a real estate office in the same building–hmm–sounds like a good idea to me.  Neither I nor anyone I know thinks the closing of Jim’s Landing was a good idea.  However, the area is on its way up, even if the wheels of progress are sometimes indiscriminate on what they roll over.  The spot is for lease, and I’d be glad to show it to you if you have interest.

Washburne Cafe in Springfield, Oregon

Washburne Cafe in Springfield, Oregon

The Washburne Cafe opened kitty-corner to Jim’s Landing in 2010.  The brainchild of Karen Hageman, a longtime area builder, it has a cool urban feel to it.  I had breakfast there this morning  and will definitely come back.  The building was originally the Springfield Armory, built about 1921.

The Plank Town Brewery is a couple of doors down from The Washburne.  The target opening date was last Fall, but they seem to be running a little behind.  Plank Town is on the ground floor of the IOOF Building, which was built in 1907 for $10,995.  The Oddfellows still occupy the second floor.

Planktown Brewery, Springfield, Oregon

Plank Town Brewery, Springfield, Oregon

Is this the genesis of the next Barmuda Triangle or Whitaker?  Time will tell, but Downtown Springfield is on its way up.

Historic Oddfellows Building, Springfield, Oregon

Historic Oddfellows Building, Springfield, Oregon

Springfield Oregon Short Sale

This short sale at 3285 S Redwood Drive in Springfield, Oregon shows what kinds of affordable housing you can still find, even in today’s rising real estate market.  It’s 3 bedroom and 2 baths, with over 1,400 square feet.  It was listed at 179K.  It’s MLS # 12535420  If you’d like more information, please contact me.  While this one is gone, there are other great buys out there.

MLS 12535420

3285 South Redwood Drive, Springfield Oregon

VA Mortgages for Home Buying

Home purchase with a VA loan are surprisingly easy and a good deal.

Home purchase with a VA loan are surprisingly easy and a good deal.

VA mortgages are some of the best deals around.  Whether refinancing or buying a home, the rates and terms are hard to beat.  This cute home in Eugene Oregon is being purchased with a VA loan by a veteran, whom I’m working with as his Realtor, and interest rates are in the three percent range, which is cheap money in my book.  As a general guideline, debt (PITI) costs around $5/1,000 at these rates, so a 100K loan is around $500/month, as a budgetary figure.

What’s the catch?  Well, you need to be a veteran, and meet some requirements.  But, if you qualify for a VA loan, and if you can find a Realtor and lender that are familiar with VA purchases and mortgages, it’s remarkably simple for the home buyer.

What are the requirements for eligibility for Federal VA loans?  The VA determines your eligibility.  Because it’s the Gov involved, as you might imagine, there’s a fair amount of paperwork and acronyms, however you’ve probably endured worse.

The starting point is your DD 214, the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.  You can apply for your DD214 electronically or on paper using SF 180.  The DD214 is used as documentation for your COE, Certificate of Eligibility.  Your lender may be able to check your COE on line, with results generated in real time.  You can also apply for your COE using form 26-1880.  Get your COE and you’re golden, so to speak.  Meaning your lender can issue you a prequalification or preapproval letter and you’re ready to start shopping for a house.

Generally, the following allows you to be eligible for a VA loan:

  • Service between 1940 and 1980:  active duty service 90 days wartime or 180 days peacetime.
  • Service after September 7, 1980:  generally requires 2 years active duty.
  • National Guard or Reserves:  6 years guard/reserve service .
  • Widower or Widow:  If your spouse died on active duty or as a result from a service connected cause.  You need to be unmarried, unless you’re 57 or older.
  • If you were discharged other than honorably, further work-up by the VA will probably be needed.

This is not an exhaustive list of VA loan eligibility requirements, but is a general guideline.  The VA determines loan eligibility.

The Federal VA guarantees the loan but a bank actually issues the loan.  Depending on your level of benefits, the VA guarantees the loan up to 25% of the loan amount.  Currently the maximum guarantee is $104,250 for a maximum loan amount of $417,000.  It is possible for loans greater than this amount, but they may require down payment of 25% of the amount over $417,000.  Loans under $417,000 generally do not require a down payment.

The ODVA, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, is an actual lender to veterans for home purchases, in distinction to the Federal VA, which merely guarantees the loans.  ODVA doesn’t charge a funding fee, but does require mortgage insurance if the LTV (loan to value ratio) is greater than 80%.  Federal VA home loans do usually require a funding fee but don’t usually require mortgage insurance.  ODVA has their own underwriters who may be willing to loan if your credit is below 620.  Both ODVA and the Federal VA home loans are great programs, and which one to go through is best left to you and your banker.

The Federal VA has a level of entitlement, and normally, if you’ve never had a VA loan or paid off your previous Federal VA loan, you’re eligible for full entitlement.  If you’ve had a short sale or foreclosure on a VA loan you may eligible for only partial entitlement.  To be eligible for Fed VA loans, the following timelines apply:

  • Bankruptcy        2+ years ago
  • Short Sale         2+ years ago
  • Foreclosure       2+ years ago.

Your credit usually has to be 620 or above.  The Federal VA per se has no credit requirement, but the secondary market, to which loans are sold, does.  It still may be possible to get a VA guaranteed loan if your credit is lower than 620, but these are case by case, and your lender will have the most information on that.

Usually, the Federal VA charges a funding fee, often quoted at 2.15% of the loan amount.  The 2.15% is actually for first time use with zero down payment.  The funding fee on subsequent use rises to 3.3% on zero down payment.  With 5% down payment, the funding fee drops to 1.5% and with 10% down, the fee is currently at 1.25%.  (Guard members not otherwise qualifying generally pay 0.25% more.)  The funding fee is typically rolled into the loan.  However, if you receive or are eligible to receive payments for a service related disability, this fee is usually waived. You’ll need form 26-8937 for this.  The amount you are disabled (%) doesn’t matter–the fees are waived.

Closing costs are NOT covered by your VA loan.  However, you and your Realtor may be able to build them into the offer and have the seller pay for them.  For instance, if closing costs were $1,000 on a house priced at $100K, you might offer $97K with seller to contribute 1K in buyer closing costs, prepaids and fees.  Seller contributions to closing costs (concessions) are limited to 4% or less of the purchase price.  Usually VA buyers have to come up with little or no out of pocket cash to buy a house.

You will typically need a job, 2 or more years in duration, or other source of income to be eligible for a VA loan.  Disability payments usually qualify for this.  Unlike other loans, the VA looks more at residual income than DTI (debt to income ratio).  Residual income is what’s left after the bills are paid, including utilities, on a sliding scale, based on the number of people in the household.

High debt ratios (DTI) don’t automatically disqualify you from federal VA loans.  For income to be counted, it must be acceptable (legal) in all 50 states.  For instance, even though marijuana is legal in some states, including our neighbor to the north, it’s not legal in all states, so can’t be counted towards income.

If your loan application is marginal with respect to residual income or DTI, the following compensating factors may help you get a loan:

  • sizable down payment.  5% is considered sizable.
  • excellent credit history,
  • conservative use of consumer credit,
  • minimal consumer debt,
  • long term employment,
  • significant liquid assets,
  • the existence of equity in refinancing loans,
  • little or no increase in shelter (housing) expense
  • military benefits,
  • satisfactory home ownership experience
  • high residual income
  • low debt-to-income ratio
  • tax credits for child care, and
  • tax benefits of home ownership.

You’ll pay typical closing costs except the following, which VA won’t allow you to pay:

  • Escrow fees or charges (typically $200 to $400 dollars, depending on the deal size)
  • Document preparation fees
  • Loan preparation fees
  • Conveyance fees
  • Postage or mailing charges
  • Loan application or processing fees
  • Truth in lending disclosure statement preparation fees
  • Tax service fees

Fed VA Loan FAQ:

Q:  Can I use my federal VA loan for a manufactured or mobile home?

A:  Yes, if it is de-titled (not personal property), on its own permanent foundation, and on its own land.

Q:  Will a mobile home in a park qualify?

A:  Minimum requirements are the mobile home to be on it’s on its own land, so if you were renting a park space, the answer would be no.  If you own the lot in the park, the answer is, yes, it should.

Q:  Can a pre-HUD mobile home (prior to June 15, 1976) qualify for a VA loan?

A:  I don’t think so.  Minimum VA requirements tend to mirror HUD standards, and it would not be FHA/HUD financeable.

Q:  Will a single wide mobile home qualify for a VA loan?

A:  It may be difficult to find a lender that can write the loan, but as I read statute 36.4207, the answer is yes if it’s at least 10′ x 40′.

Q:  Does a mobile home need tie downs to qualify?

A:  The conventional thinking is yes.

Q:  Can I use my VA Benefits for a condo loan?

A:  Yes, if it’s greater than 400 square feet, and it’s a VA approved project .

Q:  Will I need insurance for my condo even though the project has casualty insurance?

A:  Yes.  You will probably need a “walls-in” policy.  Many, if not all, types of loans require a “walls-in” policy on condos, so this isn’t unique to the VA.

Q:  Can I use my VA benefits to buy a single family rental house?

A:  No.  VA loans are only for use in financing your primary residence.

Q:  After I’ve lived in the house a year, can I use it as a rental?

A:  Yes.   You will need to sign a document saying you will use the house as your principle residence for one year.

Q:  How about a duplex, triplex or four-plex?

A:  If you are going to live in one of the units, then yes they should be VA eligible.  If you are not going to count the rental income as part of your loan, you might even be eligible for zero down payment.

Q:  Are there standards a house must meet to be eligible for a VA loan?

A:  Yes.  Dwellings must meet Minimum Property Requirements, generally similar to HUD standards. Your Realtor or lender should know the standards.  Dry rot, wood-ground contact and bare wood are typically problems that must be fixed.

Q:  Can my spouse co-sign for the loan?

A:  Yes.

Q:  Is a termite inspection required?

A:  Not in Oregon, but they are still a good idea.  States with a moderate to severe termite infestation probability (TIP), all but the northern most states, do require a termite inspection.  If the appraisal comes back with evidence of pests or dryrot, an inspection will be required.

Q:  Will a special appraisal be needed?

A:  Yes.  VA requires an appraisal from a VA Certified appraiser.  The appraiser will follow guidelines and requirements acceptable to the VA.

Q:  Who pays for the appraisal?

A:  Usually the borrower.  There are certain circumstances in which the borrower is not allowed to pay for an appraiser, such as when a lender orders a second appraisal to challenge value.

Q:  Is an appraisal required for a VA refinance?

A:  Not if the existing loan is VA.

If you are a veteran and thinking of buying a home in Lane County Oregon, I’d be pleased to assist you.  Feel free to contact me.

McKenzie View Drive Real Estate

Photo of McKenzie View Drive

McKenzie View Drive: January 2013

McKenzie View Drive is a desirable location, but with only 50 or so houses, there usually isn’t much real estate activity.  Lately, that’s changed and we have had quite a bit of activity on McKenzie View.  McKenzie View is an interesting street, running between Eugene and Springfield, Oregon.  At only 6 miles long, it hugs the base of the Coburg Hills in between the Mohawk and McKenzie Rivers, and is very picturesque.  McKenzie View starts just north of Armitage Park and the historic Coburg Railroad Bridge, constructed in 1887, and moved it its current location in 1907.

Just before McKenzie View dives under I-5, is the Armitage Park Boat Ramp, providing access to the McKenzie River, renowned for its beauty and fishing.  Armitage park provides year round camping and also has the distinction of being one of the area’s few off-leash dog parks.  Almost every time I go by it there are dogs and their owners out having fun.

Growing up in Eugene, as kids we’d talk about Mt. Baldy for some odd reason.  It’s a weird bare patch in the Coburg Hills, visible to most of Eugene and Springfield, looking north..  It’s to the southeast of the KEZI towers.  Mt. Baldy was originally called Richy’s Butte, apparently named after a mentally challenged person, who lived in a shack and rolled rocks down the hill.  The area by Mt. Baldy was first homesteaded around 1850 by John Cogswell, who built one of Lane County’s first frame houses; log cabins were the norm back then. While Mt. Baldy in the Coburg Hills is a large example of a bare spot in the landscape, several other prominent bald spots also occur and are visible from McKenzie View; soils are thin in these areas and they only support lichens, moss, grass and maybe a little brush, but no real trees, hence they appear bald from a distance.  Mt. Baldy is accessible from McKenzie View, but only through private property.  The Coburg Caves, a popular climbing spot, are nearby Mt. Baldy.

1853 survey showing Mt. Balday and Cogswell homestead.

1853 survey showing Mt. Baldy and Cogswell homestead.

Wildlife is common in the Coburgs and along McKenzie View.  It’s not difficult to see turkeys, deer, and the occasional bobcat.  Rare, but present, are bear, coyotes, foxes, porcupines and cougar.  There are nesting pairs of Eagles which are seen a few times a year and commonly seen are osprey.  One osprey lives on a telephone pole to the west of Hill Road.

Turkey Pic

Tom turkey in the Coburg Hills

Wild life of a different sort may also be found along McKenzie View Drive.  About a mile in from the Coburg side is Nudie Rock, which is a nude bathing beach.  When the weather is warm, it’s easy to find its location–just look for the flock of cars parked by the north side of the road.

Perhaps there’s something inspiring about the McKenzie River.  The initial meeting to form Nike happened in the late John Jaqua’s house on McKenzie view.  At one point, McKenzie View Drive housed another Nike heavyweight and one of Eugene’s most famous citizens:  Bill Bowerman.  Mr. Bowerman has passed on, so I can no longer ask, but I think it was at his house on McKenzie View that Mr. Bowerman used his wife’s waffle iron to create the waffle running shoe, which put Nike on the map.

Houses with valley views and river views are common, and they often fetch high prices.  Part of McKenzie View has a Eugene mailing address and is in the Eugene School System, and part is in Springfield.  McKenzie View is makes for a nice drive, if you want to get out of the city, and if you have questions on real estate, please contact me.

Purchasing or selling country property in Lane County is far more complex than for urban properties.  A good realtor familiar with rural property around Eugene Springfield can be an invaluable resource for you.  If you have questions about real estate, please contact me.  You can search listings here.

Columnar basalt above I-5 near McKenzie View Drive, Eugene, Oregon

Columnar basalt above I-5 near McKenzie View Drive, Eugene, Oregon

KEZI Towers (left) and Mt. Baldy, Coburg Hills, Eugene Oregon (right)

KEZI Towers (left) and Mt. Baldy, Coburg Hills, Eugene Oregon (right)

Historic railroad bridge on Coburg Rd., Eugene OR,

Historic railroad bridge on Coburg Rd., Eugene OR,

Historic railroad bridge at intersection of Coburg Road and McKenzie View Drive, Eugene Oregon

Historic railroad bridge at intersection of Coburg Rd. and McKenzie View Dr., Eugene Oregon

Sunset over McKenzie View Drive, February 2013

Sunset over McKenzie View Drive, February 2013

MeKenzie River from McKenzie View Drive.

McKenzie River from McKenzie View Drive.

Eagles live in the Coburg Hills.  (c) Robyn Hine.  Used with permission.

Eagles live in the Coburg Hills. (c) Robyn Hine. Used with permission.

Commercial lot for sale: Marcola Oregon

92166 Lot for sale in Marcola Oregon

92166 Marcola Road:  Lot for sale in Marcola Oregon

This lot in the town of Marcola, Oregon is a listing of mine.  Marcola is in the Mohawk Valley about 10 miles from Springfield.  Not surprisingly, you take Marcola Road to get there.  The lot has an interesting and unusual zoning:  RC.  RC zoning is Rural Commercial, which allows for commercial development (stores, business and the like) in areas outside of an Urban Growth Boundary, which describes Marcola.

In days gone by, Marcola, Wendling, and Mabel were bustling communities with hundreds, if not thousands, of residents.  There were several operating lumber mills and other ancillary businesses.  Mabel and Wendling are gone, and remain but as spots on a map.  Marcola is still here but mostly as a bedroom community of Eugene, Springfield or Sweethome.  With our higher gasoline prices, people drive less and perhaps it’s time for a renaissance of commercial activity in bedroom communities.

The town of Marcola is close to the very popular Shotgun Creek BLM area and the shooting range on McGowan Creek Road.  The address for the commercial lot for sale is: 92166 Marcola Road, and the MLS number is:  13651566.  If you’d like more information, please contact me.

2013 Foreclosures in Eugene Springfield Oregon

So what’s up in 2013 with foreclosures in Eugene Springfield?  I get asked that question often.  The short answer is:  the supply of foreclosures, actively for sale, is low and foreclosures are still a good value.

Why is the supply of foreclosures in Eugene Springfield down?  Changes in 2012 made Oregon essentially a judicial foreclosure state, which has backlogged the rate of foreclosures.  The Oregon Supreme Court is currently considering the MERS issue, so things may change.  Non-judicial foreclosures averaged perhaps 6 months to complete.  Judicial foreclosures are closer to a year or more.

When I last looked at foreclosure rates in 2010, they comprised 18% of Eugene Springfield sales.  In the last 30 days, they comprised only 8% of sales.  Short sales went up to 12% from 8%, 2012 vs. 2010, though.  Foreclosures plus short sales are sometimes said to be “distressed sales.”  The rate of distressed sales in Eugene Springfield is around 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 sales.

Foreclosure and Short Sales in Eugene Oregon

Foreclosure and Short Sales in Eugene Oregon

Every foreclosure is a tragedy for the former homeowner.  Staying in the house as long as possible is sometimes the goal, and understandable.  From a societal viewpoint, however, getting the foreclosures rapidly done with is thought to be good.  While the roots of the housing crisis go back to 1992, the Great Recession of 2008-2009 was lead by the tanking of the real estate market; its normalization must also occur, and we’re nearly there.  In fact, real estate prices in Eugene Springfield have trended up for the last few months.

House prices in greater Eugene Springfield Oregon

House prices in greater Eugene Springfield Oregon

Shadow inventory is often discussed by foreclosure pundits.  Shadow inventory is real estate owned (REO) by banks, GSEs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), the VA or HUD that isn’t actively for sale.  Some think intuitions manipulate the market through shadow inventory.  I think those people listen to too much talk radio, and there are legitimate reasons for shadow inventory, such as fixing up the house, clearing title issues, or insufficient resources to handle the large numbers of foreclosures.  Estimates of shadow inventory in the U.S. as a whole vary widely from perhaps 750K units to over 2 Million.

So, how does the inventory of foreclosures look in Eugene Springfield?  Foreclosures aren’t going away anytime soon.  I looked at the last 10 months stats from RMLS and there were about 282 closed sales, so we’re consuming say 28 per month.  There were 25 actively listed, but over 200 owned (8ish months’ supply) and over 200 in the process of judicial foreclosure (for say, 16 months’ supply).  So there are still plenty of foreclosures in Eugene Springfield that will be coming on the market in the upcoming year(s).

Eugene Springfield Foreclosure (REO) inventory

Eugene Springfield Foreclosure (REO) inventory

People often think that if they know about a vacant house that’s in the process of foreclosure that they or a realtor can contact the bank and get them a deal.  Sounds good, but doesn’t work that way.  When the bank or GSE is ready to sell, they typically list them with a Realtor who puts them on MLS.  Getting through to a bank on a house in the process of foreclosure is virtually impossible.

Sold Foreclosures in Eugene Springfield Oregon

Sold Foreclosures in Eugene Springfield Oregon

Another misconception is that banks just want the house off their books so a low ball offer is a good idea.  When I looked at the foreclosure stats, they sold in half the time as a non distressed listing and for over 99% of listing price.

If you are interested in foreclosures please contact me.

Country Property in the Mohawk Valley Oregon

This nice country home in the Mohawk Valley features solar power.

This nice country home in the Mohawk Valley features solar power.

This nice listing of mine is in the Mohawk Valley, Oregon, and it recently sold.  For those of you who haven’t been out there, the Mohawk Valley runs north east of Springfield to and beyond the little town of Marcola.  It’s picturesque and relaxed.

The house is on 3 acres, is clean and pristine, and has neat stuff associated with country property, like a chicken coop, a pasture, a shop , a woodshed and a greenhouse.  It also has solar power, which is a feature you don’t often see around here.  It’s also close to town, keeping those commute times and gas dollars low.

It’s RMLS # 12401459, located at 90470 Marcola Road, Springfield, Oregon.  It was reasonably priced and sold quickly.  If you’d like more information, on other country properties, please contact me.

Santa Clara, Oregon, Custom Home

There are some great buys out there in real estate.  We’ve probably gone past the low point in our Eugene Springfield real estate market, and prices have been trending up.

This Santa Clara custom home, on Berry Lane, was a listing of mine, and it recently sold.  It was cheaper than replacement value; at over 2,900 square feet it was priced at $309K.  Construction cost on the structure alone is around $125/SF, more or less.  It’s a custom home on a very quiet cul-de-sac.

Let me know if you’d like to see it, or others like it.


Berry Lane in Eugene Oregon is picturesque.

2010 Distressed Property Stats: Lane County

With all the interest in short sales and foreclosed properties in Eugene – Springfield, I decided to take a look at the sales statistics for 2010.  Normal, non-distressed, sales comprised about 3 out of 4 sales in Lane County.

Bank owned properties, also called REO (real estate owned) and foreclosures, were a little more common than 1 in 6 sales in Lane County.  Short sales were 8 % of last year’s sales, or fewer than 1 in 10.

With distressed sales making up 1 in 4 sales in Lane County in 2010, it still makes them far more frequent than in years past.  It was and still remains a buyers market in Eugene and Springfield, Oregon.

1 in 4 Sales in Lane County were Distressed in 2010