I love working with return clients!  After selling his Beaverton home a few years ago, Orion reached out this year ready to jump into home ownership again.  With most buyers needing to make multiple offers on homes in this intense market he was the lucky buyer to have his first offer accepted!  In reality it wasn’t luck, but great communication with the listing agent, strong terms and flexibility with the current tenant to put his offer in first place.

The townhome is designed using every inch of space, vaulted ceilings an open floor plan make this space live large, and streams in natural light throughout the day. The home has unbelievable storage space and an attached garage. The counters and gas fireplace are recently renovated with cool-toned matching granite. The private yard and fully equipped BBQ will be perfect for parties and hanging out with his 10-year-old son!

The Lake Oswego neighborhood is going to be perfect for Orion, minutes from outdoor activities and shops. I’m sure his son will love spending the day at Waluga Park, playing on the playground, having a picnic with dad, or running through the nature trails. Meanwhile, dad can use the park’s HUGE outdoor gym.
I’m so pleased we were able to close this home in a timeframe that took the stress off of Orion’s shoulders. Good luck on your move and enjoy your beautiful new home!

Price: $425,000
Bathroom: 2.5Home
Sq. Ft: 1,582

Looking to buy or sell? Get in touch!

Marissa Sainz — 512.736.6111

Annual Home Maintenance Tips

While owning a home can be super exciting, there are some really important home maintenance services that are SO often overlooked by homeowners. They all directly affect your home’s safety and energy efficiency, and staying on top of them will lower long-term costs. In today’s post, I’ll be covering major areas to pay close attention to when it comes to your overall home maintenance. Let’s dive right in! 

Check-Up on the HVAC

To keep your home’s air quality up to standard, HVAC systems should have maintenance checks annually. Especially when air quality can’t be SEEN, this can be an easy one to sweep under the rug. Dirty, or old, air filters inefficiently cycle air and aid in circulating pollutants throughout your home. These annual maintenance appointments ensure that your furnace and AC units are free of mold, dust, mildew, and outside pollutants. Especially here in Portland, as summer fires in surrounding areas have become more frequent, it’s important to have a clean and effective air filter. 

A well-maintained HVAC system can last up to 20 years! You’ll also benefit from lower energy bills, fewer future repairs, and a safer household. Save the future-you the hassle and unnecessary costs by booking your annual appointment. 

Check out Portland’s top-rated home HVAC service companies:

Maintenance of the Gutters

While gutters aren’t too hard to clean, if ignored, they can turn into a NIGHTMARE! As debris builds up and mildew forms from the constant Portland rainfall, gutters become a perfect home for critters and insect infestations. Although it’s suggested to clean your gutters twice a year, in Portland neighborhoods with heavy terrain and evergreen trees, some homes need additional gutter maintenance. Gutter covers are a great option for NW homes, preventing excess debris from getting in!

Gutter cleaning also prevents water damage and rotting of your home’s foundation and baseboards. During the rainy months, clogged gutters will overflow, spilling water down the sides of the house. If your home has a basement, keep an eye out for excess moisture and standing water — basement flooding expensive itself, but it is also an indicator of future foundation issues. Eventually, pooling water may weaken the foundation, causing disastrous cracks and settling. 

Should Gutter cleaning be a DIY project? Use extra caution when attempting to do this task yourself… ensure the ladder is standing on solid ground, otherwise place plywood under the ladder “feet” before climbing. Wear gloves when scooping debris to prevent injury from anything (critters, rocks, or thorns) under the top layer of leaves. 

Check out Portland’s top-rated home gutter cleaning services:

All Surface Cleaning

All Exterior Services

Clean Out the Dryer Vent 

No matter how diligent you are about cleaning the dryer lint tray, small particles of lint are pulled into the exhaust tubing and dryer vent with every use. When this vent is clogged, it can easily start a fire or cause extensive damage to the dryer system. Because clogged dryer vents can also trap CO2, in addition to regular cleaning, I suggest installing a CO2 detector in your laundry space. 

Monitor the Crawl Space & Attic 

After a long winter or smoky summer, who knows what’s going on in the attic! It’s so important to monitor the condition of your crawl space and attic. In rainy Portland, it’s common to discover standing water or moisture damage in these spaces. Not only will moisture affect the structure of the house, but it creates the perfect space for mold and rodent infestations. During the wet months, keep an eye out for any leaks, musty smells, and tiny rodent droppings. If you’re spooked by the attic space (I don’t blame you!) or worried about the integrity of the space, consult an attic inspection or insulation service. 

Check out Portland’s top-rated home pest control and home insulation services: 

Critter Control of Portland

Green Savers

Bottom Line

These home maintenance tasks are tedious and easy to ignore… until they’re not. Make an annual routine of checking these off your home to-do list before larger problems arise!

Big Changes to Second Home and Investment Mortgages

If you have plans to purchase a second home or invest in the near future, hold on tight!

Fannie Mae is changing the eligibility of loans by second home and investment properties. As announced on March 10th in a Letter to Lenders, the number of Fannie Mae loans allowed for second homes has been reduced to 7% (roughly half of the usual percentage).

The ability to acquire second home and investment loans will be affected by tightened credit score requirements, increased down payments, and Desktop Underwriter approval.


To refresh, Fannie Mae is a federally-backed mortgage financing entity, whose purpose is to maintain affordable mortgages across the country. Because these loans are guaranteed by the government, Fannie Mae creates security for lenders and lowers the national average mortgage cost.

The Fannie Mae amendment was mandated by the Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement (PSPA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). As of April 1st, there is a 7% limit of acquisition of second home and investment properties. Second homes must be underwritten and approved with Desktop Underwriter — an automated system that determines loan eligibility based on approval requirements. Due to these limitations, credit score and down payment requirements will likely increase. Although an official statement has not yet been made, down payments are expected to increase by 15%, and credit requirements to 620.

Even as down payments increase, this change will further raise the costs for borrowers. Penny Mac (the major buyer of Fannie Mae loans) raised second home loan charges by 2.25%, beyond a 25% down payment. For those unable to fulfill a 25% down payment, the borrower will be charged 5% of the loan amount… that’s astronomical!

Whom Does This Affect the Most?

Is anyone exempt? The only exception, as stated in the announcement letter, is for “high LTV refinance loans that are manually underwritten in accordance with the Alternative Qualification Path and delivered with Special Feature Code 840.

As the down payment requirement increases, regardless of credit score, the average Buyer may have a harder time acquiring a second home or investment loan. Although not all lenders are making immediate changes, I would expect widespread changes to be implemented very soon. If you are beginning the process of financing a second home, check in with your lender and mortgage broker regarding whether your rate is locked.

Closed! Spacious Kahneeta Ranch

This was a serendipitous closing — we found the perfect home in unexpected circumstances! My clients were ready to move out of downtown Portland and into a home that fits their family lifestyle. After bidding on a few homes and losing out, grandma’s neighbor informed us of their upcoming move to Arizona. They offered to sell my clients their home without putting it on the market which took out a lot of the anxiety of the current multiple offer situation in the market.  We were able to negotiate a fair price and a few repairs while keeping everyone happy. The home has a spacious yard for my clients’ daughters to play in and resides in a quiet neighborhood… and it’s right next to grandma!

This quaint, ranch-style home was built in 1976, although it has been renovated, still has many traditional features. The kitchen and bathroom are newly renovated with maple cabinets, granite countertops, and warm-toned Brazilian cherry wood flooring. Coming from an older home without a yard this family is looking forward to BBQs on the patio and biking in the cul-de-sac.

The Rock Creek neighborhood is a perfect fit for this family, surrounded by parks, recreational facilities, and local eateries. The home is around the corner from Bethany Lake Park — a destination for fishing, biking, and walking along the Rock Creek Trail. The girls can spend summers at the Rock Creek Rec, playing softball, soccer, and playing on the playground. With a high walking score, the family can walk to lunch at the Bethany Public House for local comfort food.

Closing this home was such a joy! As you all know, family is so important to me. It was heartwarming to find a home next to grandma, in a lovely area. Congratulations to my awesome clients!

Price: $594,500

Bedrooms: 3

Bathroom: 2 Full

Home Sq. Ft: 1,875

Lot Sq. Ft: 8,712 (.28 acre)

Looking to buy or sell? Get in touch!

Marissa Sainz — 512.736.6111

Closed! Spacious Park Avenue Condo

After sitting on the market for some time, I had the opportunity to take on the renovation and listing of this Park Avenue condo. The condo itself was spacious and modern and with attention to detail and a little love, we created a bright, inviting living space!

The condo is located in the Pearl District, along the historic North Park blocks. The lucky owner will have endless dining and shopping opportunities, right outside their front door!

I took advantage of the large, open floor plan by incorporating light wood, crisp whites, and coat-inspired patterns to make the condo feel even larger. We updated the kitchen and bathroom with a fresh backsplash, flooring, and paint. The condo is equipped with TONS of storage space, closets, and cabinets, keeping the space clutter-free. The buyer fell in love with the large, secluded balcony — how could you not?

As always, I had a blast bringing this condo to life. Finding a spacious home in the heart of NW Portland can be daunting — this is why I love what I do! Thank you to the seller and her son who trusted me and welcomed my input with an open mind. 

Listing details:

Contemporary 1 bed/1 bath condo off NW Park Ave. Includes newly renovated floors, cabinets, and kitchen backsplash. The open concept creates a spacious living space. Includes washer/dryer in unit, a private patio, bar top counter, and dining area.

Price: &225,000

Bedrooms: 1

Bathrooms: 1

Sq. Ft: 742

Are you looking to buy or sell in the Portland area? Get in touch! There are new homes hitting the market every day, and I’d love to help you find, or sell, yours!