Thursday, September 27, 2012

High School Options in Vancouver

The schools in SW Washington are one of the great parts of living in Vancouver.  While most people know about the quality of the "standard" schools, not as many know about some of the magent programs available offer a more specialized educational experience.  Here are a few of the opportunities available:

  • Vancouver School of Arts and Academies - located at the historic Shumway Middle, VSAA has been providing an art focused education to middle schoolers and high schoolers in the Vancouver School District since 1996.  You can read more about the school on their website:
  • Vancouver iTech - this magnet emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in its curriculum.  It uses problem solving and critical thinking to prepare students for real world situations.  Admission to the school is lottery based, intended to mirror the overall demographics of Vancouver School District. iTech Website 
  • Clark County Skills Center - a joint program with 8 school districts, the CCSC provides practical training in areas such as health/medical, construction, engineering, criminal justice, hospitality, and many other fields.

Knowing the education options available is one of the ways I help educate buyers, particularly those moving to Vancouver from outside the area.  If you are looking for a home in SW Washington and want to work with an agent that will make the process simple, give me a call!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Making Money While Your Kids Are in School

According to the US Department of Education, the average college tuition at a public school has increased 41% over the last ten years, and 18% for a private school.  Based on 2010-2011 tuition rates, it would cost over $70,000 for a 4 year degree at a public school and over $120,000 at a private school...and this isn't even including room and board.

These are daunting figures for most parents, but there is a way to not only limit your costs but also make a long term investment while you kids are in school.  With today's low-mortgage rates and property values, it many areas it is cheaper to buy than to rent.  An alternative to overpriced meal plans and throwing money away at room and board might be purchasing a home near the school you child attends and renting out extra bedrooms.  At minimum, you may be able to allow your child to live "rent-free." Or, depending on the market, you might actually make a little money that can help pay for books and tuition.

After graduation, you can either keep the property as an investment, or sell the property and defer any gains through a 1031 exchange and purchase another investment property.  If you have a child attending one of the many colleges/universities in Portland or Vancouver, give me a call and I can help you work through the numbers to decide if this is a good investment plan for you, as well as help you find the right property to meet your needs.  As always, my goal is to make the real estate process as simple as possible!

-John Blom

Monday, September 10, 2012

5th Annual Taste of Portland

This Thursday the Hasson Company is proud to be one of the presenting sponsors for the 5th Annual Taste of Portland.  The Taste of Portland features 25 local restaurants and caterers sharing their culinary art to benefit the Oregon Association of Realtors HOME Foundation, a non-profit community organization that helps make home ownership a reality for those at or below the median income level.  The Oregon Golf Club is hosting the event.

You can buy tickets online at  In addition to lots of great food, there will also be a silent auction.  Don't miss a great opporutnity to enjoy some of the best cuisine Portland has to offer and benefit a good cause.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Open Sunday 9/9 from 1 to 3 PM - Hollywood Gem

This beautiful home in the heart of Portland's Hollywood District will be open Sunday from 1 to 3 PM - stop by and check it out!  Click on the flyer below for more details on this exceptional listing.

Friday, August 31, 2012

50 Things I Love about Vancouver - #1 Multi-Use Paths

School might start next week, but the weather is good and there is still time to get outside!  Whether you're running, riding a bike, or just going out for a casual stroll, Vancouver has a number of great multi-use trails for you to enjoy. Here's a few of my favorites:

1.  Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway - The Burnt Bridge Creek trail runs 7.7 miles along the greenway created by the BPA power lines, across SR-500 and through Leverich Park, all the way to Lakeshore Ave.  There is parking available at both trail heads, as well as several parks along the route.

2.  Padden Parkway Trail - Running from NE 162nd Ave/NE Ward Rd to NE 55th ave, the Padden Parkway Trail covers 5.5 miles.  Looking for longer trip?  At 117th Ave you can head north on our next trail...

3.  Highway 503 - Not quite a complete trail, this is a mix of asphalt trail and sidewalk that runs for 7 miles north of Padden Parkway up to Battle Ground.  When combined with the Padden Parkway Trail, this creates a 25 mile loop perfect for a long bike ride.

4.  Salmon Creek Gateway Trail - The shortest of the features trails, the Salmon Creek Trail starts at Salmon Creek Regional Park (NW 117th St and Highway 99) and follows Salmon Creek for three miles to NW 36th Ave, just south of NW 139th St.

This is the first post in what will eventually be a list of 50 Things I Love about Living in Vancouver.  I had the idea for this series while riding on one of Vancouver's many multi-use trails, so trails got the #1 spot.  The list is in no particular order (I haven't even written out the whole list - so I will just be writing as things come to be). If you think I have missed something, add a comment and let me know!  Be sure to check back in a couple days for #2...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Portland Metro Market Report

The RMLS released their market trends for July 2012 today.  Here are the highlights from the Portland Metro area -

  • Pending sales rose 23% over July 2011
  • Year-to-date average sales price increased 2.5% over last year
  • Average days on the market dropped from 149 in 2011 to 120 this year
  • Inventory increased 3.9 months of supply in June to 4.6 months in July.  Inventory between 4 and 6 months is considered a stable, healthy market.

There is an abundance of information available for consumers today...let me help you simplify all the data to make smart financial decisions when buying or selling a home.  If you are buying/selling a home, I'd love to help guide you through the process into your new home.

Oregon - 503.212.2322
Washington - 360.977.8329

Licensed in OR and WA

SW Washington Market Report

The RMLS Market Action for July was released today.  Here are the highlights from SW Washington -

  • Average sales price in July rose 7.6% over July 2011
  • Closed sales grew 6.5% over July 2011
  • Average sales price year to date is stable compared with last year
  • Inventory remained unchanged at 5.4 months
Homes that are priced well are selling quickly and with mortage rates still incredibly low, now is a excellent time to make a move.  The market trends all summer indicate we have hit the bottom of the market and prices are starting to rise.

Whether buying or selling, my objective in every transaction is to simplify the process for my clients while helping them make wise, long-term financial decisions.  If you'd like a better real estate experience, give me a call today!

OR - 503.212.2322
WA - 360.977.8329