McMinnville Attractions, Schools, Employers

[frame align=”right” border=”1″]This information
courtesy of Beth Frischmuth,
Realtor® specializing in
McMinnville real estate.

971-237-1800[/frame] [dropcap character=”A” color=”yellow”]McMinnville has much to offer families considering a move, including a wide variety of attractions, fine public and private schools, and good employment opportunities.

As a military wife, my husband and I traveled the world during twenty years in the Air Force and lived in more than 14 cities and towns. Without a doubt, McMinnville is my favorite of all places we have ever lived! It is ideal because of its small town friendliness, proximity to Portland, Salem and the coast. Our thriving, historic community offers a variety of employment opportunities, entertainment options, schools both public and private, and medical and retirement facilities. Some of the major highlights are:

Major Companies in McMinnville

  • mcminnville oregon attractionsEvergreen International Aviation is based in McMinnville and is one of our major employers. There are numerous subsidiaries that operate under the Evergreen name but the most exciting for our community are the Evergreen Spruce Goose Museum, Evergreen Space Museum, Evergreen IMAX Theatre and the Evergreen Water Park which is expected to open the summer of 2011. Learn more about the incredible campus of Evergreen Museums.
  • McMinnville Water and Light is our publicly owned utility company and in comparison is able to provide electricity and water to our residents cheaper than all other utility companies throughout the state of Oregon. The value offered through our utility company is reliability and value. Mac Water and Light is on the job 24/7 when there are outages. They generally are able to respond to emergencies within 20 minutes because they are local.
  • Oregon Mutual Insurance
mcminnville oregon attractions mcminnville oregon attractions

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Theaters in McMinnville

  • The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum IMAX Theatre is located on Hwy. 18 and is the largest IMAX theatre in the northwest. Six stories tall and seven stories wide, “this cinematic wonder offers a viewing experience that won’t easily be forgotten.”
  • Coming Attractions Theater located on Hwy. 18 across from the medical center is a multi screen theater which offers “stadium seating, plush seats and arm rests and the entire staff is dedicated to customer satisfaction.”
  • The Moonlight Theatre located at 433 NE 3rd St. at the 3rd Street Pizza Company offers a movie, pizza, beer and other beverages and all served by a friendly staff. 503-434-9515.
  • The Gallery Theater which attracts and showcases local talent of all ages is located in historic downtown. Its mission is to operate an outstanding community theater and cultural center and enhance the quality of life through performing arts.

mcminnville oregon attractionsGolf Courses in McMinnville

  • Michelbook Country Club is a private 18 hole golf course centered in the heart of McMinnville where the genuine care of members and guests is their highest mission. In addition to the scenic Par 72 golf course, Michelbook offers a driving range, full dining room and lounge facilities, a fitness facility and private golf cart storage.
  • The Bayou Golf Course which opened in 1964 is a Regulation 9 hole and a Par 3 Course. In addition to the course, The Bayou offers a Southern style Mansion which sits on a small bluff overlooking the golf course and offers a unique atmosphere for weddings, receptions and special events. Avid golfers are also likely to want to invest in the famous skytrak golf simulator so they can keep practicing from the comfort of their own homes during the winter months, so you’ll be pleased to know that we have plenty of homes in our Michigan inventory that have the space you need for this too.

McMinnville Schools

Offering a variety of choices in both public and private education, McMinnville schools provide instruction from preschool through college. From Montessori to Linfield College opportunities abound for students of all ages.

Retirement Communities in McMinnville

Making plans for your retirement is a process that we all must complete at some point. Not sure where to begin? Once your finances are in order, you might want to take some time finalising your living arrangements, whether that be moving into a san francisco assisted living facility, or elsewhere. There are some wonderful retirement communities out there, so if you prefer living among like minded individuals of a similar age, then doing some research into accommodation options like Spring Harbor can help make your decision a little easier. Why not check out their website for some inspiration here: https://www.springharborlife.org/. Ultimately, if you intend on living out your golden years within a retirement community, then read on for our pick of some more highly popular accommodation choices. Depending on your needs, there is sure to be something to suit your own unique lifestyle.

  • FirCrest Community located on Fircrest Drive offers studio and one bedroom apartments, assisted living and Alzheimer’s care.
  • At Hillside Retirement Community, located on Hill Road, residents are able to have active and independent lifestyles with the reassurance of access to a lifetime of health care benefits including long term care if ever needed.
  • Oakwood Country Place located on S. Evans Street is a nursing home specializing in health care for the elderly.
  • Parkland Seniors’ Community located on Cumulus Ave, NE, offers a continuum of accommodations for seniors including cottages and assisted living suites.
  • Rock of Ages located on SW Rock of Ages Road is owned and operated by the Bible Mennonite Fellowship and is a licensed residential care facility.
  • Villas of McMinnville offers independent living and personal care options for seniors. Located on NE 27th Street next to Wynwood of McMinnville, their sister facility, a full continuum of retirement, assisted living and memory care are available.
  • Vineyard Heights, located on SE Hill Road and formally called Osprey Point offers both assisted living apartments and independent living retirement cottages.
  • Wynwood of McMinnville, located adjacent to Villas of McMinnville on NE 27th Street, provides personalized assisted living and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care options for seniors.

McMinnville Senior Center

In addition to retirement facilities, the McMinnville Senior Center serves the needs of our senior population through recreational opportunities and leisure pursuits. In addition, a variety of classes are offered from Yoga to computer instruction as well as travel opportunities. On-site noontime meals are available as well as meals-on-wheels for housebound seniors.

Recycling

  • WOW (Western Oregon Waste) offers curbside pick-up of trash and recycling and strives to find ways of keeping our communities and environment neat and clean.
  • Restore, McMinnville’s Area Habitat for Humanity is located on SE 1st Street. Their mission is “to serve through the re-sale of building materials, home furnishings and other goods while offering recycling opportunities for their customers, donors and environment.”
  • New to You located on 99W offers the ultimate in re-sale shopping and consignment and claims to be the best and largest in the northwest.
[stylebox color=”yellow”]Contact McMinnville Realtor® Beth Frischmuth at 971-237-1800 to learn more about real estate in McMinnville and the wonderful community that she calls home.[/stylebox]

Livability in McMinnville

[frame align=”right” border=”1″]This information
courtesy of Wendy Stassens,
Realtor® specializing in
green building and new construction.

503-560-5189 [/frame]

Putting Down Roots in McMinnville

[dropcap character=”W” color=”green”] When choosing a new community to reside in, there are many factors to consider besides locating your dream home. For instance, what measures is the city taking for strategic long-term growth? What about parks, open spaces, and kid-friendly features? Conscientious city planning, preservation, sustainability, parks, and numerous activities for children and families make McMinnville a livable place to call home.

How my family came to McMinnville is not a unique story.  Since moving here, I have heard again and again how people fell in love with McMinnville and how, after having lived in so many different places in their lives, finally chose to come home to McMinnville.  The town embraces you with such gentle grace and warmth that it is hard not to feel like you are home when you arrive.

In planning our return to the mainland from Hawaii with our one year old son in 2005, our search was more head than heart in the beginning.  We were enamored with the idea of choosing the place where we would set down roots for our new family.  Between us, my husband and I had lived in six different states and four different countries in our lives, so we had enough experience under our belt to know what we were looking for.  Our decision making matrix was complex and detailed, and we utilized it to look at places all over the world.

Eventually our path led us to McMinnville.  The bustling downtown nestled amidst rolling hills dotted with vineyards and Oak forests, small-town friendliness with amenities uncommon for a smaller town, abundant parks and activities for kids and families, planning to foster community and connectedness, and conveniently located halfway between Portland and the spectacular coast – are just a few selling features of this amazing community.

We love McMinnville and are so grateful to call this our home.  We hope these resources will help you to get to know the many amazing things that this community has to offer!

  

Fun Things To Do with Kids

  • McMinnville Community Center and Parks Department Programs: The Community Center regularly holds classes ranging from art, music and dancing to sports camps for children of all ages. These classes are changed seasonally, so check out each season’s course offerings on their website.
  • Discovery Meadows Park
  • Public Library Kid’s Activities: The library has abundant programs for young readers of all ages, including poetry contests, kid’s craft fairs, regular story times and book clubs among other activities.
  • Scotty’s Playhouse – This 3,000 sq. ft. playhouse built as a Memorial to three children who died young contains one of the largest indoor play structures in the Northwest, as well as a tot lot for younger kids and a cafe seating area for adults.  This playhouse has regular hours weekly that it is free and open to the public.
  • Tiny Tots – Tiny Tots is a safe, clean, indoor park for children ages 0-5 and their parents located in the McMinnville Community Center.  Tiny Tots is stocked with toys and equipment that promote fine and gross motor skills of young children.
  • McMinnville Aquatic Center – Dedicated as “A Pool for Everybody,” the McMinnville Aquatic Center’s mission is to “serve the diverse recreational interests of our community at an affordable cost.”  The Aquatic Center has regular family swim times, swim classes and an active Swim Club among other fun kid’s activities through the course of the year.  Check out their offerings at http://www.ci.mcminnville.or.us/city/departments/aquatic-center/
  • Yamhill County Soil and Water Conservation District and Miller Woods – The 130 acres of land which comprises Miller Woods was bequeathed to Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District by Frieda Miller in 2003.  Located just 5 minutes outside of McMinnville, Miller Woods is being developed to provide excellent educational and experiential opportunities in a truly stunning setting. It is the district’s goal to extend these opportunities to various age segments in the local and extended community. Five educational sites are currently under development. These locations will be networked together with a trail and be used to teach small groups of students information related to soils, water, wildlife, climate, and forestry. They often hold classes for children that are both fun and educational throughout the year.  Check out the calendar of educational events at http://www.yamhillswcd.org/calendar.html

McMinville’s Blueprint for Livability

For the past decade, McMinnville policy-makers, staff and citizen volunteers have been preparing the City’s long-range plan for growth. When originally drafted in 2003, the Growth Management and Urbanization Plan helped establish the City’s vision for McMinnville: A compact and livable community.

In support of the vision, stakeholders in the planning process also confirmed certain urban design principles to guide development through the City’s land use and transportation plans. These core urban design principles include:

  • preserving open space,
  • preventing commercial strip development along arterials,
  • promoting transit and pedestrian-oriented development,
  • providing for economic growth and housing opportunities,
  • strengthening the City’s historic downtown, and
  • connecting neighborhoods and land uses

For more information about the Planning Goals and Policies for McMinnville visit:  http://www.ci.mcminnville.or.us/city/departments/planning-department-documents-a-publications/

 

Preservation of Parks and Open Space in McMinnville

McMinnville has a Comprehensive plan for parks in the City which includes an emphasis on having parks within walking distance of all residential neighborhoods.  Many of the City Parks contain creeks and interesting natural environments for children to explore.  Some have running and walking trails through woods, along rivers and winding through neighborhoods.  They offer amenities such as ball fields, water features, play equipment, picnic areas and pavilions for private and public gatherings.  McMinnville has 10 City Parks and 7 mini neighborhood parks totaling 241 acres of park space within the McMinnville City limits.  Visit the Parks Department website for more information about reservations of pavilions and cookout facilities at City Parks for events. http://www.ci.mcminnville.or.us/city/departments/parks-a-recreation/

The McMinnville Transportation Plan ~ A Connected Community

In 2009 the City of McMinnville adopted a Transportation Plan for the City following a “Complete Street” concept.  This plan was designed to facilitate multimodal transportation on McMinnville streets, to enhance the opportunities to utilize alternate forms of transportation, like bicycles, pedestrian and bus travel, and to enhance the community connectivity.   For more information about the McMinnville Transportation Plan visit http://www.ci.mcminnville.or.us/city/departments/planning-department-proposals-a-projects/

Focus on Sustainability

On June 10, 2008, the McMinnville City Council adopted Resolution 2008-20, which committed the city to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to promoting sustainability.  Subsequent to this resolution they formed the “Sustainability Committee”.  The committee defined sustainability as: ‘Using, developing, and protecting resources at a rate and in a manner that enables people to meet their current needs and also provides that future generations can meet their own needs.  Sustainability requires simultaneously meeting environmental, economic, and community needs.’  – City of McMinnville Sustainability Committee.  For more information about the City of McMinnville’s Sustainability Initiative, visit http://www.ci.mcminnville.or.us/city/government/mcminnville-sustainability/.

[stylebox color=”green” textcolor=”#ffffff”]Contact McMinnville Realtor® Wendy Stassens at 503-560-5189 to learn more about real estate in McMinnville and the wonderful community that she calls home.[/stylebox]

McMinnville Food & Farmers Markets

[frame align=”right” border=”1″]This information
courtesy of Wendy Stassens,
Realtor ® specializing in
McMinnville green building
& new construction.

503-560-5189[/frame] [dropcap character=”F” color=”red”]Finding fresh, local produce and foods is not a problem in McMinnville. We have a year-round public market, a seasonal farmer’s market held in downtown McMinnville, and many local CSAs to join. Strong support in the community for local foods, wines, and craftsmen has resulted in a rich and vibrant community of growers, eaters, creators, and connoisseurs.

McMinnville Farmers’ Market

In historic downtown McMinnville since 2001, the McMinnville Farmers’ Market offers farm fresh, locally produced fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, dairy, herbs, flowers, food and craft items. There is live music and wine tasting each week, providing the perfect atmosphere for the community to gather and shop. The McMinnville Farmers’ Market is sponsored, promoted and facilitated by the McMinnville Downtown Association.

  • Located on Cowls Street between 2nd and 3rd.
  • May 26 – October 13, 2011
  • Thursdays, 1:30pm to 6:00pm

McMinnville Public Market

A four season gathering of Artistis, Writers, Farmers, Wine Makers, Musicians, Chefs, Purveyors, Hounds and Local Celebrities. The mission of the McMinnville Public Market is to serve farmers, artists, winemakers and similar by providing a dynamic, eclectic retail environment that epitomizes Oregon Wine Country. The McMinnville Public Market is a private venture but one that’s very much community and service minded.

  • Located at 845 NE 5th Street in McMinnville, OR 97128, on the corner of 8th and Alpine.
  • Saturdays 10am to 3pm

Local Foods

Slow Food Yamhill Countyslowfoodyamhillcounty.blogspot.com

Back in January 2008, a group of people interested in local food issues got together and formed Slow Food Yamhill County. Their goal is to increase awareness, availability and access to local food. For more information, e-mail Nicole at nmontesanoblack@yahoo.com or Judi at valleycreekfarm@gmail.com.

Local Community-Supported Agriculture (CSAs)

Local Community Supported Agriculture Programs (CSAs) provide the opportunity for people to invest directly in a farm and receive a share of that local farmer’s crops throughout the year. Investing in a farm can reap many benefits, plus it can help the farmer out by providing them with the resources to build on their supplies, buy equipment from companies like Costex as well as others, and give them that essential support. Below are some examples of active CSA programs in the McMinnville area.

Oakhill Organics – Dayton, Oregon – www.oakhillorganics.org

Joyfully growing vegetables & a family on Grand Island, Oregon. Casey & Katie Kulla, a husband and wife farming team started Oakhill Organics in 2006 by growing on just one rented acre of ground southwest of McMinnville, Oregon. Later that first year, they purchased 17.5 acres on Grand Island (a river island in the Willamette, just south of Dayton). They grow Oregon Tilth Certified Organic vegetables: everything from arugula to zucchini. They sell all of their vegetables within Yamhill County, their CSA program and to several fine restaurants in McMinnville and Amity. Because of this ever-growing success, they may want to think about expanding their services more by enlisting the help of places like urban-gro.com to see how their room designs for an indoor growing facility can ensure that their vegetables have the ability to grow in all weather conditions.

Growing Wild Farm – McMinnville, Oregon www.growingwildfarm.com

Andre and Sheila Jaillet have a 14 acre family farm located 7-miles south of McMinnville. They purchased the land in the summer of 2006. They aim to provide high quality food products, from annual vegetables and seasonal fruit to pasture raised meat and eggs, as well as value added products like dried tomatoes and mushrooms, and hand crafted cutting boards from oaks that have fallen and been milled from their land.

Kookoolan Farms – Yamhil, Oregon – www.kookoolanfarms.com

“A small, diversified family farm in Yamhill, Oregon, committed to organic farming practices, rotational grazing, grass-based animal husbandry, humane animal handling practices, and producing the healthiest, best-tasting, premium poultry in Oregon.”

[stylebox color=”red”]Contact McMinnville Realtor ® Wendy Stassens at 503-560-5189 to learn more about real estate in McMinnville and the wonderful community that she calls home.[/stylebox]

Enjoying Downtown McMinnville

[frame align=”right” border=”1″]This information
courtesy of Jody Purdy
Realtor® specializing in
McMinnville real estate.

971-237-1926[/frame]

Oregon’s Favorite Main Street

[dropcap character=”M” color=”blue”] McMinnville’s historic downtown area offers something for everyone: boutique shopping, gourmet fine and casual dining, cafes, wine bars, art galleries, professional offices, flats, and more.

My first visit to McMinnville was to move here.  As a freshman in college, home for the summer, I clearly remember driving into town with my mom and a car full of cleaning supplies for our new house.  The town felt like home immediately and I hadn’t even seen the historic downtown area, which is one of the biggest reasons why, over twenty years later, my family and I are still here today.

My husband and I chose to raise our family in this Oregon community largely due to the fact that McMinnville boasted a self-sufficiency we hadn’t seen in suburbs closer to Portland.   I loved that as my kids were growing up they could safely walk around downtown with their friends.  They could shop, get ice cream or a smoothie, go to lunch, and then walk across the street to the city park, swim at the aquatic center, or visit the library.  When they were out of money or ready to come home they could check in with their dad (who works downtown) and catch a ride home.

From one end of 3rd St. you can easily access the McMinnville Public Library, the McMinnville Aquatic Center, the upper city park for picnicking and playing at the Recreation Station, and the lower city park with trails, tennis courts, and covered shelters. Click on the links above for more information, a schedule of classes, and hours.

  

From the other end of 3rd St. it’s a short walk to Joe Dancer Park, located adjacent to the Yamhill River, and home to several baseball and soccer fields, walking trails, the Drew Gary Ottley Memorial Skate Park, picnicking, and play equipment.  Sandwiched in between the two ends of 3rd St. are a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, professional offices, flats, art galleries, salons, wine bars, and more.

Buy Local…a Movement, a Slogan, a Way of Life

The retail business owners in downtown McMinnville are not only community members, they are my neighbors, my friends, my colleagues, and supporting them is a mutual venture. I can buy a last minute gift at one of the several retail shops, pick up a prescription, get groceries, grab a coffee, choose from several fantastic restaurants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or relax with a friend at one of the local wine bars. I know that when I walk into one of the many shops I patronize on 3rd St. on a regular basis, I will likely see the owner standing behind the counter and that I will also be greeted by my first name. To me, that’s the kind of business that I want to patronize. Visit www.buylocalmac.com

Retail Shops in downtown McMinnville ~ a few of Jody’s favorites  

  

  • Accessory Appeal….fun jewelry, clothing, handbags, and shoes make this a must when you visit. Holly Ann, the owner, keeps a wish list for her customers so that when their spouses come in they know exactly what to buy for them.
  • Mes AmiesBeautiful clothing, jewelry, handbags, lingerie, and more can be purchased here.  The owners are quick to offer an espresso or tea while you shop and Naomi gives her honest opinion when you are ‘trying on’ clothing.
  • Found Objects…eclectic yard art, wind chimes, signs, jewelry, and wine accessories make this another necessary stop when you are visiting.  I’ve purchased several wonderful cd’s because the owner was playing them while I was shopping.
  • Red Berry…features hip clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories.  Catering to women and men, the shop also sells a line of quirky t-shirts for guys.  Stephanie offers gift certificates if you aren’t quite sure what do buy for that special someone—they make great gifts for the younger crowd.
  • La Bella Casa…the main floor of this former 1893 building is home to an array of gorgeous home décor, jewelry, baby items, candles, and much more.  If you only have a couple hours to spend in McMinnville, this should definitely be your first stop.  This store was such a success, the owner opened a shop in the Pearl District in downtown Portland.  Jennifer, Andrea, or Stacy will help you find that perfect gift and then wrap it beautifully for you.  Your next step is to then head upstairs for lunch at The Sage.
  • Third St. Books…this friendly bookstore caters to readers of every age.  The books are arranged so that you can easily find what you are searching for and if they happen to be out of stock or not carry your favorite author’s works, they will happily order it for you in a timely manner and call you at home as soon as it arrives.
  • McGrill Kitchen Shop…a great stop for the chefs, whether you are a novice or an expert.  This shop carries candy and baking accessories, cookie cutters in all shapes and styles, pans, dishes, platters, measuring devices of all kinds, and much more. If I need anything for my kitchen, this is my first (and usually last) stop.  In addition to all the culinary items they offer, they also teach cooking classes.  For a schedule of classes please call 503-474-1075.

Dining in downtown McMinnville ~ a few of Jody’s favorites

  

  • The Sage…located on the second floor of the historic 1893 building, I have been lunching here for twenty years and rarely change my order.  The large green salad with Swiss garlic dressing and a cup of the creamy broccoli soup with a side of their homemade bread is perfect to me.  When I tried, without success, to locate a cookbook the restaurant had published years earlier, the owner Don stopped in the middle of a busy afternoon to write down his famous bread recipe for me.  This is without a doubt, my favorite place to lunch.
  • Thistle…the delicious aromas wafting from this restaurant caused my husband and I to stop more than once to see if they had a table available.  To our dismay, they were booked both nights.  Reservations are highly recommended.  Over 75% of the ingredients used in the preparation of meals are local.  This restaurant has been so successful the owner saw a need to open a second restaurant called Community Plate, which recently opened its doors. I am looking forward to trying both soon. 
  • Thai Country…Dine in or take out.  This restaurant has fantastic tofu pad thai.  Everything we have tried (and we eat there often) has been both fresh tasting and delicious.
  • McMenamins…the rooftop bar is a must stop for summer and early fall lunches, dinners, and drinks as the view is incredible.  The Cellar Bar and Mattie’s Room offer live music on select weekends.
  • Kame…Delicious sushi and Japanese food abound in a quiet, upscale restaurant.  This is a great date night spot or place to meet with the family.
  • 3rd St. Pizza and Moonlight Theater…This is a favorite way for my family to spend the occasional Friday night.  The pizza is fresh and delicious, there are several local beers on tap, and the movies are always first rate.
  • Nick’s…Nick’s Italian Café has been a critically acclaimed restaurant for longer than I’ve lived here. My husband and I had dinner there for our 10th anniversary and the crab lasagna with pine nuts is still a wonderful memory.

Art in downtown McMinnville  

Every third Saturday, the McMinnville Downtown Association hosts an Art and Wine Walk.  In October, the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County also hosts the Art Harvest Studio Tour which covers all the cities in Yamhill County and includes several of the galleries on 3rd St.  Currents Gallery is a cooperative art gallery owned and operated by several local artists.  Featuring over 50 artists, their focus is on the promotion of art and education in Yamhill County.  Hidden Treasures is a custom frame shop, art gallery, and giclee printing shop.  My personal favorite is Pacific Frame and Gallery.  The owners, Noel and Leigh Ann, have spent many hours over the years helping me matte and frame the art in my home.  They’ll even suggest that I look in their pre-made frames before custom framing an item for me, a suggestion that has saved me money more than once.

Specialty Shops in downtown McMinnville

  • The Wooden Needle…when my daughter was in the 3rd grade she took a sewing class and made her own dress and bag from the fabric she selected.  This business offers sewing classes, alterations, and more.
  • Boersma’s and The Knitting Basket…these owners offer a vacuum repair shop, quilting and fabric store, and across the street have a fantastic yarn shop complete with knitting classes.  I took a class from a Master Knitter who had been knitting from the age of 7.
  • McMinnville Prescription Shop… I have always had my prescriptions sent here straight from the doctor.  I can pick them up, and then add extra purchases such as over the counter medicine, birthday cards, or even home décor.
  • Harvest Fresh Produce…An absolutely wonderful local supermarket located in the heart of downtown McMinnville.  This market boasts a deli, a meat counter, coffee counter, and full supermarket featuring fresh produce, local wine, organic and bulk foods, and much more.

Events in downtown McMinnville

There are several well-deserving galleries, shops, businesses, and restaurants that weren’t mentioned in this article.  I sincerely hope you take the time to visit 3rd Street in downtown McMinnville and draw your own conclusions on what your favorite stops and shops are.  The McMinnville Downtown Association boasts that downtown McMinnville is Oregon’s favorite Main Street TM.  I know it’s mine.

[stylebox color=”blue”]Contact McMinnville Realtor® Jody Purdy to learn more about real estate in McMinnville and this wonderful Oregon community.[/stylebox]

Ask Our Agents Yourself!

[dropcap character=”W” color=”blue”]We encourage you to learn about our brokerage from the Realtors® themselves. Our brokers are prepared to have prospective members call or email them directly. On our Meet Our Realtors page, you can find the cell phone numbers and email addresses. Please contact any or all until you are satisfied.

Consider some questions such as…

  • Is Bella Casa all it aspires to be?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses?
  • Any disappointments? Frustrations?
  • Was it difficult to assimilate into the company?
  • Ask about the corporate culture, the people, the compensation plan, the education, training and assistance.
  • Seek understanding about how decisions are made, how the cooperative works, the meetings, etc.
  • Do you have any previous experience to compare it to; what are the differences?

I trust when you hear it from the people who live it you will have confidence to make the right decision for your future.

Meet Our Agents

History of McMinnville

[frame align=”right” border=”1″]This information
courtesy of Wendy Stassens,
Realtor® specializing in
green building and new construction.

503-560-5189 [/frame] [dropcap character=”T” color=”blue”]This charming turn-of-the-century city owes its beginnings to William T. Newby of McMinnville, Tennessee, who came west during the Great Migration of 1843. He arrived in Oregon on the first wagon train. In 1853, Newby erected a gristmill at the west end of Third Street, below the present city library. Construction of this mill was the primary reason for the early growth of the city.

 

Downtown 3rd street during the late 1800’s

McMinnville was a thriving agricultural center in the early days. By 1866, it was described as the “most flourishing village in the county.” It had 300 inhabitants and, according to the Register, “five stores, three blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, one photographic artist, one silversmith, one shoe shop, two doctors, two churches, one flour mill… and no licensed beer or grog saloons.” In 1876, residents incorporated McMinnville as a town. Then in 1882, the citizens again incorporated McMinnville – this time as a city. After a heavy campaign by the McMinnville citizenry, county residents voted in 1886 to change the county seat to McMinnville from Lafayette, where it has remained ever since.

Between the years 1885 and 1912, most of the historic Third Street business structures were built. Many of the buildings from that era are still intact. Today, McMinnville continues to expand its amenities, while remaining sensitive to its history and the buildings associated with its past.

Downtown 3rd street during the late 1950’s

For more information about the history of McMinnville visit the Yamhill County Historical Society.

[stylebox color=”blue”]Contact McMinnville Realtor® Wendy Stassens at 503-560-5189 to learn more about real estate in McMinnville and the wonderful community that she calls home.[/stylebox]

When Your Brokerage Becomes Your Top Competitor

[dropcap character=”I” color=”green”]I have written a great deal about our evolving industry and the decline of large firms and national or regional brands. These realities were seminal in our thinking as we were forced to consider not becoming part of a franchise. In the 6 years since Bella Casa’s inception the data has strongly supported our conclusions that we could be more successful as a powerful local brand and better for our brokers if we were not saddled with extra expenses. In the recent housing depression, we would most certainly have failed if we had gone the traditional route!

There is one more little-known secret I would like you to think about as you consider your next career home. The declining brands are systematically becoming direct competitors of the very agents who give their money to keep them in existence! The changes stem from the fact that these behemoth organizations are suffering from declining revenues as we witness an explosion of small and local brands, and agents functioning as sole practitioners. Additionally, tough competitors raise the expectation of agents (splits and caps) so the contribution of each agent to the franchise is shrinking. The solutions for this problem are either to expand and grow numerically (something almost impossible in this market and our new age), or raise franchise fees, commission contributions, add numerous fees and expenses, or develop more income streams through affiliated businesses which the agents are pressured to use. But there is a third way to counter their financial losses…

What assets do large firms have that they can take advantage of? What is their core competency that can be put to good use to increase profits? They are big, they have enormous reach into almost every market, they have brand recognition, and they already have a significant web presence. Think like a business person; what would you do?

If I cannot grow the number of agents (the problem is that I am destined to lose more), and I cannot find more fees and income streams for them to pay, then I will find what the agents need and sell them to our own brokers, for example, someone similar to this Forex Broker who may be able to help them! Becoming part of the investment world can be a little daunting to those who are new to stock trading. However, there are some companies such as IronFX that might be able to help by giving you financial advice when it comes to the stock market and trading. What does every new agent need and all other agents want more of? Leads!

And so today, many of the national companies have become middle men in our industry. They have shifted from serving their customers to fleecing them. They use their assets to steer prospective buyers and sellers to their websites, harvest their contact information and search information in order to sell them back to their own people for referral rates we understand to be from 35% to 50% of the commission generated.

Many of us recognize that this is the business plan of a lot of internet companies. Up until the housing industry crash, there was an explosion of mortgage and real estate related companies online through which national advertising sought to glean contact information of seekers and horde internet traffic so they can sell them to Realtors® and mortgage brokers. These companies exist only online and there is little to no value added service, they just sell the leads for monthly fees or commission splits. When Realtors® buy these leads (often out of desperation), they only feed the beast which will one day enslave the real estate industry. It is free enterprise at work when entrepreneurial companies create such enterprises and we should admire their savvy instincts and initiative where opportunity is found. But when our own mother or father does it to us – is that natural and right?

The current recession has thinned the ranks of these companies because real estate has not been profitable for over 3 years. This is actually good for the national real estate companies. Real estate is their core competency and they can add true value-added services for these web travelers. The opportunity now is to buy some of these entities or create other ones and use them as stealth sites to corner internet traffic. It is also to use their own well known websites to collect valuable leads, and then sell them to the people motivated to buy them.

Real estate agents are hungry, poor, and needy. They may not be able to pay up front but they will pay if it comes out of a commission split. If I make only half of what I normally would, half is still better than nothing. Of course some will be willing to pay less up front for more leads to work with. Most often, these leads are not qualified in any way, they are just the addresses of internet surfers who have visited a real estate site.

What Should You Do?

  1. Consider carefully whether to pay for internet leads from any entity.
  2. Find out what other websites your national brand or franchises own. They may be real estate search sites (stealth sites) or mortgage related, foreclosure related sites etc.
  3. Ask about the availability of leads from your franchise company and what the costs are. How are they dispensed, as select favors or for sale?
  4. One symptom to check to see if your company practices being a middle man is this: Go to the national brand site, the corporate HQ on the internet, and search in their site, (not through google etc) to see if you can find yourself. If you cannot get to all local agents at all, or in a few clicks, then this site is being funded by you to be a competitor of yours.
  5. Develop your own systems and methods for finding leads directly and develop your own marketing presence so that anyone on the planet can find you directly. In an age of technology, you do not need the middlemen to become successful. You can be successful because of your own initiative and according to your own designs.

Meet Our Agents
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group

November 2012 Market Action Report

Dear Friends and Clients,

It has been a good year for real estate; we have nothing to complain about. Worry, well that may be a different story…

There is reason to pause and ask, What is happening? November fell silent, especially in our area, and this slow-down continues in December. Seasonal cycle? Election? Fiscal Cliff? All who could buy now did? – Perhaps a combination of all the above? I think time will tell…

Market Action Reports for November 2012

Home Sales Reports November 2012

In pending and closed sales our numbers dropped over 21% just since last month! While the numbers compared to a full year ago (2011) are still positive, instead of 43% better in October for closed sales, we are only 14% better in November (transactions which were generated in September and October). We also did not exceed the closed sales of 2009 in the 5 year purview during this month. Pending sales reveal more of the immediate mood- we are up only 2.7%, November over last November, but were up 16% October to last October. We exceeded the pending numbers every month in 2012 over 2011, but this month it was by the skin of our teeth.  This is significant.

What we have been feeling and experiencing anecdotally over the past 8 weeks is now validated by hard numbers. In Yamhill County, for example, our pending sales were actually better last November than this November. Year-to-date we have improved pending sales of 16.3%, but in November we not only screeched to a halt but had some red ink as well (down 1.5%). Whatever is going on, something troubling hit us in November after a great run from June through October.

Summary for the Portland Metropolitan Area (including Yamhill County)

  • Closed Sales (solds):

– 13.9% higher than November 2011

– Down 21% from October

– Year to date compared to 2011 YTD, 19.9% increase

  • Pending Sales (accepted offer)

– 2.7% higher than in November 2011

– Down 21.5% from October

– Year to date compared to 2011 YTD, 17.1% increase

  • New Listings (it is a good time to list your property for sale)

– Down 17.3% from November 2011

– Down 31% from October

– Down 4.2% YTD compared with YTD 2011

  • Pricing: (reflects both increased prices and more higher end sales)

– Average Sales Price: +3.9%  (another slight improvement)

– Median Price: +5.4% (another slight improvement)

  • Inventory is up to a 4.2 month supply from last month’s 3.8 mo supply

– 4-6 months is considered a balanced market

– The 5 year high was almost 20 months!

  • Market Time (days on market- DOM) is down 21.5% from last year; was 143 days now down to 112 days

What should we think???

During 2012, the nation-wide housing market experienced significant improvement. There was little else in the economy to give this expectation and not enough change in unemployment to support this kind of recovery. It happened all the same. We have been down since the summer of 2007 (2006 in some markets like California). Real Estate is cyclical. We are long overdue for a return to normalcy. Many people believe that the housing market took us down and the housing market will bring us out of this very low cycle.

While we need employment and a confident business sector to sustain recovery, there are some good things happening. In our own area we are seeing immense investment in the Hillsboro and Aloha area by Intel. Now we hear Nike is preparing for a campus–blow out expansion in Beaverton. Both bring high income jobs but also spawn healthy support jobs in the areas around them.

We are planning and preparing for a better housing market in 2013. Helping our sellers move their stubborn properties, or get out from untenable situations, or move on with their plans or their dreams, is our highest responsibility. The good that began this year, we trust will expand opportunities for sales in 2013.

It is a joy to help buyers take advantage of some of the best buyer conditions in our lifetimes. First time home-buyers are getting great and affordable opportunities. Once again, people can move out into the county without risking their retirement. People at all levels once again have good hope of building equity. New home construction will soon expand from the trickle and become profitable again. This will affect buildable lots and land.

Referrals:

In the almost 6 years Bella Casa Real Estate Group has been in existence we have grown rapidly and developed broadly. We have matured into a wonderful family of many of the finest Realtors® in our area. Our professionals and their sales achievements in the face of relentless trials and challenges have proved their business and sales acumen. The trust the public has put in us is sobering and the reputation we have built is our most prized asset. We are working on plans for significant expansion again this year and thank you for your contribution to our success. We promise a return for your trust with excellent service and the smartest protection and negotiations. Your referrals to your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers are much appreciated.

We will still have one more month of reports to analyze but in a few days we will cross the threshold into 2013. Happy New Year!

Best regards,

Randy
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653
Randy@TheBellaCasaGroup.com

October 2012 Market Action Report

Friends and Clients,

For our Bella Casa brokerage meetings this week I reviewed the sales statistics which have been very encouraging throughout 2012 (and ought to motivate us greatly for 2013). One statistic was so mind-blowing that I made a contest out of it – only 2 of 25 Realtors® even got close to the right answer. There are currently 241 pending sales (accepted offers) in Yamhill County!!! I might have guessed as many as 75 for this time of year in light of the advances in 2012, and likely 45 any other time during the past five years. This is an amazingly encouraging number.

The election is over and within a couple of months we should see if that has any effect on the housing market. Remember, the housing market has been improving for over a year without any significant help from the politicians or the economy so far. The big question mark relates to the sustainability of this progress. For this October report (pre-election) one can see that the news got better than anything we had seen in all 2012.

October Market Action Report
October Home Sales Report
October Rural Sales Report

Summary for the Portland Metropolitan Area (including Yamhill County)

1. Closed Sales (solds):

  • 42.7% higher than October 2011
  • Up 11% from September
  • o   Year to date compared to 2011 YTD, 20.4% increase
  • Highest closed sales for October since 2006

2. Pending Sales (accepted offer)

  • 15.9% higher than in October 2011
  • Up 5.8% from September
  • Year to date compared to 2011 YTD, 17.6% increase.

3. New Listings (it is a good time to list your property for sale)

  • Down 1% from October 2011
  • Down 1.5% from September
  • Down 3.3% YTD compared with YTD 2011

4. Pricing: (reflects both increased prices and more higher end sales)

  • Average Sales Price: +3.7%;
  • Median Price: +5.2%

5. Inventory is down to 3.8 month supply

  • 4-6 months is considered a balanced market
  • The 5 year high was almost 20 months!

6. Market Time (days on market- DOM) is down 21% from last year; was 144 days now down to 102 days

The Affordability Index at the end of the report is a quarterly look at the last decade in light of current buying conditions. Clearly this summer offered the most affordable conditions in more than 10 years and likely back much further than that. Considering that since the Great Depression, housing prices have doubled every decade; this is a remarkable reversal of recent history and an opportunity to get into the real estate market.

Are Prices Rising Now?

Yes, in some places for some kinds of property. According to Santa Ana, California-based CoreLogic, Portland-area home prices increased on average 4.1% compared to a year ago. In our area, there are shortages of homes in certain price ranges (typically lower ranges) and for homes in certain communities (e.g. Newberg). If the trend continues, we will see more and more price ranges begin to inch up on pricing. This is certainly better than continuing to fall.

Residential Rural Properties (view October sales):

While the good news is good for everyone, there are many clients who are not yet participating in the recovery. I am focusing on some target markets through the end of this year to help our clients understand the dynamics which continue to develop. 125 rural residential properties of all sizes (2+acres) sold in all price ranges this year so far. 32 are pending right now and another 215 are competing for a sale. At this rate of sale, only about half of the active listings will sell next year – but remember, there will be even more and new competition on the market in the New Year. Pricing, condition, and location are still crucial issues for a sale if you have a rural property.

We have seen improvement in the number of showings of rural properties this year but we still need to see more demand. Much of the demand comes from out of state buyers and as their markets improve, we will experience better sales for our rural properties. The next couple of months will be important for re-assessing salability for the coming spring and summer markets. Rural sales remain challenging for now. We are glad to provide specific information for you for the asking!

Referrals:

We are always grateful for your referrals to your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We can help buyers take advantage of excellent opportunities while they last. We are eager to market and promote properties for our sellers. We know that we offer exceptional professional services which increase the odds of a sale and a higher price. Historic buying opportunities should motivate sellers to list and buyers to pull the trigger on a purchase. Talk with us about

why that is the case and how to make an excellent purchase safely.

Best regards,

Randy

Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
Cell: 503-310-9147 Fax: 866-281-6653
Randy@TheMcCreithTeam.com

September 2012 Market Action Report

Friends and clients, there is no bad news here! The housing recovery in our local markets continues to impress us and give much needed hope as we now enter a second year of better news.

Last September (2011) was a good month for us; noticeably good. Each month since then we have witnessed improving sales numbers. By the summer, sales were quite good, better than anything in 5 years. When comparing this September to last September, remember that we are now comparing against improved numbers from a year ago, not flat or falling numbers as was the case for 5 years. It makes a difference. Also keep in mind that we have a normal annual cycle where sales ebb and flow and we expect numbers to be in seasonal decline right now. That is not bad, just normal.

Summary for the Portland Metropolitan Area (including Yamhill County)

Download Market Report

Download Home Sales Report

– Closed Sales

  • 19% higher than Sept 2011
  • Highest closed sales for Sept since 2006
  • Down18% from August (seasonal cycle)
  • Year to date compared to 2011 YTD, 18% increase at the end of the 3rd quarter.

– Pending Sales (accepted offer)

  • 10.6% higher than in Sept 2011 (bodes well for October closings)
  • Down13.8% from August (seasonal cycle)
  • Year to date compared to 2011 YTD, 16.8% increase at the end of the 3rd quarter

– New Listings (it is a good time to list your property for sale)

  • Down 2% from last September
  • Down 3.5% YTD compared with YTD 2011

– Pricing (reflects both increased prices and more higher end sales)

  • Average Sales Price: +2.9%
  • Median Price: +3.8%

– Inventory is down to 4.6 month supply

  • 4-6 months is considered a balanced market
  • The 5 year high was almost 20 months!

– Market Time (days on market- DOM) is down 20.7% from last year; 145 days on market to 115 days

By the time the next Market Action report comes out, the US election will be history. I hear many people express fear that the results of that election may undermine the recovery of the housing market and torpedo the fledgling economy. With no help from the economy or the jobs market, the housing market has been improving for over a year. How does one explain that? Regardless of which political party has been in office at any given time, there have been remarkable advances in the stock market value, jobs, and the housing markets of the past. That is not to demean the importance of good choices, to minimize the seriousness of our economic challenges, or to say that we can continue to improve without jobs to contribute substance to support a recovery. However, it gives hope that whatever the results in November, there is already reason to hope for better days ahead.

Sellers, you have a much improved opportunity to sell now if the pricing is right. We are working diligently to get the job done. For those considering a move, all we ask is for an opportunity to be interviewed by you. Our strategies and commitments will speak for themselves.

Buyers, historic buying opportunities should motivate you to purchase now. Talk with us about why that is the case and how to make an excellent purchase safely.