GoMomGo is so happy to have met Amanda Bryan, an Oregon real estate broker with Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield. She has a great story and is UP-TO-DATE on what is going on with Lane County real estate. We surveyed many people and asked her the hardest questions we could come up with, and because we found the answers so helpful and relevant, we decided to share them with you!
Amanda: A great way to start to figure this out is to answer these questions:
- Do you want to own a home and enjoy perks of home ownership?
- Would it benefit you to earn an average of 3% of your homes value in equity each year while doing nothing more than paying to maintain your home and paying a mortgage equal to your area's average rent?
- Are you paying more in rent than you could be paying on a mortgage?
- Are you planning on staying in the area for 5-10 years?
- Do you have a large amount in savings or access to funds to assist with a down payment/closing costs (count this as a yes if you have between $5000-10,000)?
If you answer yes to two+ of these questions and you have good credit and two+ years of consistent income, it is worth looking into. I offer these consultations for free with no pressure or obligation. I love helping people reach their goals.
GoMomGo: What sort of things makes the market a seller's market or a buyer's market? Do things like the upcoming presidential election have anything to do with that?
Amanda: A sellers market is created when the number of homes on the market does not meet buyer demand. Market demand is measured in months, meaning that if no new homes were to go up for sale it would take that many months to sell out of houses. A balanced market is about six months, and anything below leans toward a seller’s market while anything above favors a buyer. As a whole, Lane County is currently in a seller’s market with 2.8 months of inventory as of February.
As far presidential elections go…Yes and No. A couple perspectives 1) If your income is derived from an industry that could be affected drastically, then it is possible that an election year could influence buying or selling…but most often, individual people will still need to have a home to live in and job to go to regardless of the outcome of elections. I would not recommend waiting to buy or sell in a big election year unless you know it could result in losing your income or moving. 2) While elections themselves don't have a huge impact to the market in the short-term, policies created by elected officials can have a great impact on the real estate market in the long-term. As city boundaries change, property taxes shift, and public services get voted in or out, then the area income and quality of life is affected. As a homeowner, it pays to get involved and vote. As a local Director on the Springfield Board of Realtors and an Oregon and National Realtor, I advocate on a political level for bills/policies/laws/candidates that have homeowners and my client’s best interest in mind.
GoMomGo: Is there a way to get into the market with a 10K down payment? 5k? No down payment?
Amanda: Yes. Depending on your income and credit there are several programs and home-buyer assistance programs in our area to help buyers get into home with very little or no down.
GoMomGo: For people who do not know if they will stay in one area for more than 5 years, is there any merit to purchasing an investment property (vacation home or rental property) even if they don't own their own home?
Amanda: Yes, this is a more common trend in larger metro areas where home prices close to employers are way out of reach for entry buyers. Purchasing homes without the intent to occupy will fall under different lending rules, so you'll wan to be clear with your Broker and Lender…but absolutely, this can be a great way to get into the real estate market.
GoMomGo: It seems many homes are either new with tiny yards or really old with nice, big yards. Is there a happy medium in our county?
Amanda: I hear your struggle; they are out there for the right price. Depending on where in town you are looking and what price range you are in, it can be challenging to find. A service I offer my buyers is to help figure out where the homes that fit their needs are located, and what price range they need to be in to get the house they want, if it is available.
GoMomGo: What are the types of things I should consider when choosing a realtor? There are so many it's hard to tell what makes one stand out over the other.
Amanda: Realtors come in all personality types and working styles. If you want the best service it is ideal to ask for an interview before you start working together and ask for their commitment to reaching your goals together. If you don't feel comfortable talking to them in the beginning, it's safe to say it could get worse and cost you in the long run.
More of Amanda’s FAQ’s available on her website:
Check Out Amanda's Recent Client Testimonials:
“Amanda has a great personality and she treats you as if you were her personal friend. She asks the right questions upfront in order to help you find the home that’s right for you. Rather than pushing you, she is willing to walk with you until you are 100% ready. Her expertise and knowledge make home buying easy, and her addictive laugh and grace make home buying enjoyable…She is willing to guide you from start to finish and she understands urgency and execution. If you are struggling to meet timelines and documentation requirements, she will quickly learn how to resolve the issue in order to help her clients. Also, her hours are flexible and she is willing to make time at anytime.”
- from a single person in Eugene
“I knew our budget was on the low side and I was worried that no realtor would be interested in helping us, or that we would be low on their priorities. Amanda was thrilled to help us find our home no matter what our budget. She didn't pressure us to up our budget, she didn't show us houses outside our price range, and she answered all my calls and questions promptly. She scheduled all appointments and got us into our first house faster than I ever imagined possible…I am fortunate to have worked with Amanda and she is the first person I will go to in the future.”
-from a family of 3 in Eugene
“Buying a house can be daunting. Amanda was there to walk us through the inspection, the signing, and is still available today for any questions we have! Go in, talk with her, and tell her your dreams. She cares…and she strives to help you find your home you belong in, and she is a very valuable asset!”
- from a young married couple in Eugene