Our Top 10 Values & Principles

When looking for a realtor Greensboro to help with your property search, it’s important that you can trust that they have your best intentions at heart. This is why we would like to share our values and principles. Bella Casa Real Estate Group is growing, has established an exceptional reputation, and is successful because we believe in lofty values and basic principles which define us. Here is an overview of what we aspire to be and practice:

1. We are Ethical

We are legally squeaky-clean. We are not looking to see how close we can get to the line without transgressing it; we are trying to see how perfectly we can meet the legal requirements in the letter of the law and in the spirit of the law.

We uphold high ethical standards. We are Realtors® because we belong to the National Association of Realtors®. We belong to NAR because we subscribe to a carefully delineated Code of Ethics for our practice. At the core of the NAR Code of Ethics is the Golden Rule. We also want people who will uphold the highest level of business ethics, exceptional standards of conduct, and employ the industry’s best practices.

We are committed to impressive levels of customer-centric service. Genuine service is first an attitude. The best Realtors® understand that those who always put the client first and work for their interests will be the most successful, benefit financially, and enjoy longevity. Reputations are built and destroyed based on the quality of customer service.

2. We are Professionals

That is more than a statement of our work; it is a statement of our character. The most basic expression of a professional is exhibitting wisdom in self-control. You choose to do only what is good and right, not what you may want to do or say under pressure. If you cannot control your emotions, reactions, attitudes and provocations for the purpose of doing good, then you will not achieve what is possible.

3. We Value Independence and Autonomy

We all need a hand up and we all benefit from the united resources of experience, education, and the gifts and talents of each other. That is why we are a cooperative and share generously with each other. But we do so as those who have grown up and developed our own businesses according to our own designs. Some people always want someone else to give them more and do things for them. People who are dependent by nature and satisfied looking to others to take care of them do not fit our business model. We each function independently and autonomously. As such, we can choose to cooperate, not because we can’t be successful on our own, but because we see the value we can realize from cooperating with like-minded professionals.

4. We Value Cooperation

We formed a cooperative! Our Realtors® are gracious and generous. We foster a culture of sharing and helping. We collaborate when there is greater value together than we can know on our own.

5. We are Colleagues Who Practice Collegiality

We are not hierarchical and so our cooperation is based on shared values and commitments. We make progress through consensus. What may distinguish us is what we earn and accomplish. We respect each persons right to become what he or she imagines.

6. Creativity

Everyone is unique in some ways and many of us reflect different perspectives. We encourage our brokers to think outside the box, to explore fresh ideas, and create their own unique identities. In no way are we a cookie-cutter brokerage of conformists.

7. Reputation

Our reputation is the most valuable asset we have. A good reputation can take a life-time to build but can be destroyed in a day. See how a reputation management company could help you keep track of it, for example by supplying asking for review templates so that you can encourage good reviews from your customers. No amount of money (or any its benefits) is worth the loss of our reputation. Carelessness and compromise are dangerous; the love of money above all else is deadly.

8. Accountability

If you are independent and autonomous you are accountable. No one else takes that responsibility for you. You live with your consequences, good and bad, and you experience the satisfaction of the fruit of your efforts. When we are wrong we admit it. It is better to learn from something than to assign blame. It is better to apologize and make appropriate amends than to argue and dispute a failure.

9. Integrity

Integrity means that our values, our standards, our commitments, and our morals are fully integrated into our full person. It is not an act, an image, nor is it a manipulation or a deception. You are what you aspire to be. You are for real, genuine, and sincere. Hypocrisy usually cannot be hidden forever.

10. Generosity

We contribute to the communities which allow us to become successful. Professionals are giving people. We value the efforts of all who work to create a better lives and communities. We are active in our churches, local government commissions and task forces, we support local charities and non-profits. We are members of service clubs and business and community associations. We sponsor a wide variety of community events. Our Realtors® support our Annual Realtor® Auction each October.

Bella Casa is a professional cooperative of Realtors® serving home buyers and sellers in Sherwood, Newberg, McMinnville, SW Portland, and surrounding areas. We are free to conduct our practice with cutting edge creativity and the finest personal service. And we are truly local-envisioned and developed in and for Yamhill County. Our brokers sell every type of property, from niche wine country bed & breakfasts to buildable lots in town, from starter homes to gated communities. We offer in-depth information for home buyers and home sellers, market statistics, and more. Take a look around and let us know how we can help you buy or sell McMinnville real estate, Newberg real estate, or anywhere else in Yamhill County. Put our passion and expertise to work for you!

How Bella Casa got started…

“Sometimes you just have to create what you want to be a part of!” – Geri Weitzman

It was early spring of 2007. There were tremors in the housing markets of California, but no one here worried much about it. Joni and I lived through the February 9, 1971 San Fernando earthquake in Southern California but we never expected anything like that when we moved to Oregon. California is home to earthquakes, even in their housing industry. Their prices routinely grow sky-high, and then get shaken back down to the ground. We’ve learned to ignore it as an inevitable event. Little did we know, within 4 months of our inception the mother of all quakes would shake the nation’s housing industry.

Randy, Joni, & Amy - 5 years ago

So much for foresight and good judgment! But if we lacked understanding about the size of the sub-prime quake, we did not lack vision and direction for what we knew would be the brokerage of the future. The colonial era of brokerages was past, and the new era was to be built upon a new model, one we called a Professional Cooperative.

We began on the 15th of March, 2007, with Mary Jo, Tanya, Joni, Amy, Randy, and Mary. Soon Rena, Olya, and Grace made the move. By March 15, 2008, our first anniversary, Robin joined us as our 30th Realtor® making us the largest brokerage in McMinnville, and among the top three for size in the County. But while size may be a commentary on the attractiveness of our model, alone it may only mean we put on a better party!

Our goal has always been to be the brand of choice for our area, the greater Yamhill County area, one of the most beautiful places on the earth! We are accomplishing this with a sterling reputation, which we value more than gold and the highest level of competent service available for our clients. Since the past is the best predictor of the future, we are very optimistic!

Join us this Thursday, March 15th at our McMinnville office open house and 5th anniversary celebration!  Stop by between 4-7pm.

20950 SW Vineyard Lane in McMinnville

20950 SW Vineyard Lane
McMinnville, OR 97128

Breath taking views and true dual living possibilities on this gorgeous 11 acre property! Remodeled since 2007. Main level includes full kitchen, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, living room and dining room. Lower level has a separate entrance, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom and living area. Decks, gardens, forest, usable land, desirable vineyard area just 10 minutes to McMinnville. Well suited for hobby vineyard, gardening and organic farming. Large greenhouse with water and electricity, and areas with deer fencing. Two wells; one with 3000 gallon tank and one with a 1500 gallon tank. New HVAC in 2009; Lower level kitchen cabinets in 2008. Refinished hardwood fl00rs.

3 bedrooms
3 bathrooms
2944 square feet

MLS #11302633
Offered at $485,000

For a more information or a private tour of Vineyard Lane, please contact Joni McCreith at (503) 310-5613 or via email at joni@thebellacasagroup.com.  Search for all Yamhill County real estate.

Kitchen
Living Room
Master Bedroom
View from Deck
Garden Shed
View
The McCreith Team

This property is offered by The McCreith Team
www.themccreithteam.com

13235 SW Fox Ridge Rd. in McMinnville

13235 SW Fox Ridge Rd.
McMinnville, OR 97128

Enjoy 360 degree views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, valley, Coast range and McMinnville city lights. Beautiful home in a perfectly peaceful setting.  Separate but attached 1500 square foot living quarters with 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom would be perfect for in-laws or guest quarters.  Part of the property is leased for Christmas trees. Large barn for animals and shop with attached garage for RV parking.

3 bedrooms
3.5 bathrooms
2397 square feet

MLS #11609174
Offered at $849,900

For more information or a private tour of Fox Ridge Rd., please contact Robin’s Performance Group at (503) 437-4892 or via email at robin@thebellacasagroup.com.

Living Room
Kitchen
View
Barn
Mountain View

Robin's Performance Group

This property is offered by Robin’s Performance Group
www.robinsperformancegroup.com

1551 NW 8th St. in McMinnville

1551 NW 8th St.
McMinnville, OR 97128

Updates since 2006 include: roof, gutters, interior lighting, FA/HP/heat&cool, HW heater, storm doors, French doors with screens, vinyl windows, plumbing, carpet, laminate, shower doors, elevated toilets, main bath remodel, refrigerator, dishwasher, electric flat cooktop, fence, hot tub, carport, “2” sump pumps seller’s choice, diamond steel wheel chair ramp. Can be restored to 3 bedroom.

2 bedrooms
2 bathrooms
1782 square feet

MLS #11039520
Offered at $149,900

For more information or a private tour of 8th St., please contact Grace Allen Harding at (503) 550-1299 or via email at grace-5@comcast.net.

Kitchen
Living Room
Master Bedroom
Back Yard
Grace Allen Harding, GRI, ABR, ePro

This property is offered by Grace Allen Harding, Principle Broker.

Open House Sunday July 17th in McMinnville

1933 NW Penny Lane
McMinnville, OR 97128

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY, JULY 17TH 1-3 pm
COME TAKE A LOOK!

Immaculate inside and out!  There is absolutely nothing to do but move in and start enjoying this lovely home.  Open and spacious kitchen, dining and family room.  Formal living room w/ gas fireplace.  Covered Patio in back yard.

3 bedrooms
2.5 bathrooms
1668 square feet

MLS# 11032607
Offered at $249,900

For more information please contact Robin Martsolf-Hubbard at (503) 435-8164 or via email at robin@thebellacasagroup.com.

Kitchen
Living Area
Bedroom
Back Yard

Property offered by Robin’s Performance Group
www.robinsperformancegroup.com

Monthly Market Action Report

View the full April 2011 Portland Metro Market Conditions Report with all graphs.

Randy McCreith, Principal Broker

Sales professionals are by nature optimistic; they have to be! After four years of a housing depression, those who remain in the industry are either insane or are buoyed by their internal optimism. “Improvement is just around the corner” is what drives us and our survival means much better opportunities in the future. We will be all the wiser, we have gained an education in things we never thought we would need, and there will be less competition with a higher percentage of true professionals as colleagues. “How much longer could this possibly last?” is a question which can only be asked by one who believes in a better tomorrow.

The numbers in the attached report and below are deflating nonetheless. We noted a couple of months ago that 2011 looks like another lost year for new construction. Now the resale numbers look flat at best as we approach the center point of the traditional selling season. A few said from the beginning of this that recovery might not come until 2012 but we thought they were crazy. If we had believed them we might not be here today.

However, looking at the charts give us just enough hope to keep-on-keeping on. When you look particularly at the 4 year chart for closed sales it is clear that we are doing better than post-meltdown 2009. We have to get past June to evaluate the numbers with last year because of the tax credit rush at this time last year. The Affordability Index (a quarterly report) remains extremely attractive at levels not seen in a decade. The median and average sales reports for this year show that we are getting sales at higher price points and this matches our anecdotal evidence of more showings and some sales in price ranges we have not seen in a long time.

Here is a quick summary:
Comparisons of this April with April 2010:

  • 17% fewer closed sales
  • 33% fewer accepted offers (pending sales)
  • 34.2% fewer new listings
  • Median price down 5.2%
  • Average price down 8.4%
  • It was expected that closed sales and pending sales would be lower than one year ago when the final month of the $8,000 tax credit was skewing the numbers (33% lower for accepted offers points to the surge of offers at the deadline on April 30, 2010). Although we wish we could see a greatly improved market this year, even with that consideration, this year’s performance is poor.

Year-to-date 2011 vs. ytd 2010:

  • 6.6% fewer closed sales
  • 19.7% fewer accepted offers (pending sales)
  • 30.9% fewer new listings
  • Median price down 10.4%
  • Average price down 8.1%
  • Clearly we are seeing that 2011 is not an improved market compared with this time last year.

Month-to-month: Comparing April to March of this year: Pending sales and closed sales are down only slightly while median and average prices are actually up modestly.

The rate of sales for current inventory
has remained stable at 7.2 months not because sales are better but because new listings are down 34.2% from a year ago, and many sellers have thrown in the towel on trying to sell. Still, less supply is better for price stabilization.

At Bella Casa Real Estate Group…
We have re-tooled and reworked our strategies for a completely different market- the real world. Our optimism continues to motivate us to get the job done. 194 homes sold last month in the areas we normally sell. In spite of the odds, one of those sales could be yours in the next month. People have to sell and buy for a large variety of reasons; all you need is one buyer for your property. For buyers, you continue to have the best opportunities since the 1990s. Don’t miss it waiting for the ‘bottom.’

We are glad to assist you anyway possible and we greatly appreciate your referrals to friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers and colleagues. We cannot control the marketplace, but we can control the level of our expertise, service, and knowledge which we promise to put to work for you and those you know.

Best regards,

Randy

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

McMinnville (19th & Hwy 99)           Newberg (College & Hwy 99)
207 NE 19th Street, Suite 100                700 E 1st Street, Suite 100
McMinnville OR 97128                              Newberg OR 97132
503-437-9005                                              503-538-2085

Buy. Sell. Be Happy.

Who We Are

We are Yamhill County’s most experienced, high-achieving, and successful real estate brokerage. We are real estate specialists in luxury properties, rural properties, equestrian properties, new construction, and residential and commercial properties. Contact us for a free customized home value analysis.

Market Action Report

View the full Portland Metro Market Conditions Report with all graphs.

Randy McCreith, Principal Broker

Market Conditions…

When comparing early 2011 with early 2010 we have to remember the 2010 numbers were inflated by the tax credit which expired at the end of April. In hindsight, virtually all of the first time home buyers last year bought before the end of April to gain the $8,000 gift from the tax payers. Sales submarined after that for the rest of a very bad year. With that said we are tracking better than in 2009 and are following the good pattern of 2010 even if the sales numbers are 10-15% lower than a year ago. What looks disappointing is not as bad as it appears.

The economy continues to promise a hand-up while providing a blow to the head as we attempt to do so. Oil is that new blow to the head which affects costs in all aspects of our markets. It is tied to all the uncertainty and conflict around the globe and is providing the first substantive look at inflation. Some believe this will usher in the inflation which has been expected for years because of all the US borrowing and spending. Unemployment seems to be moving in the right direction (slowly) and this is welcome, but then Standard and Poors foretells that because of our national debt the US credit rating will soon drop to a level not seen since the declaration of war against Japan in 1941. Many Americans already know what it is like to have ones credit strained to the limits, and credit scores plunging making it all the more difficult to get money in time of need. Now their government is forced to face similar woes. It is no wonder that the ‘recovery’ continues to be characterized as a series of fits-and-starts. When I am asked daily what the prognosis is for the housing markets this year, ‘fits-and-starts’, is the best answer I can give!

New construction will suffer another dismal year. Apart from a few custom homes and a one-spec-home-at-a-time for production builders, we are seeing no real improvement at a time when the activity for the year should be in process. The west coast has a new housing rating of 17 in a system where ‘negative’ is measured when the rating falls below 50.

What should we do with all of this bad news? We do what Americans have always had to do in tough times- we adapt to changing times, we work harder and smarter, and we persist and persevere like the pioneers who settled the difficult west. We have always been an optimistic people and that motivates us. We have faced much greater threats in our history and came out the better because of them. There is reason to hope for better and we work for the fruit of our labor in due season. In a time of famine the worse decision is to not plant the crop for the next harvest because of the deflating odds of success. Americans stare reality in the face and without fear figure out how to build a better tomorrow for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We know how to do this; we have been doing it for hundreds of years.

For our clients, we have to apply this to the task of selling our properties. Instead of focusing on the losses, we focus on the future purchase possibilities because of the same market conditions. We sell bad- but we buy well. There is a lot of adjusting of personal values and future plans right now and that is good for the future, a kind of course correction. For our buyers, they get to reap exceptional rewards now but they view the future with more sober plans than ever before. The unemployed are starting businesses in a time like this; those who have lost much are rebuilding a better way. In our industry, many of the less professional Realtors®, mortgage brokers, and builders are gone, and while that in no way applies to everyone, these cleansings of the systems bode well for the future.

One school of thought is exceptionally negative, another is optimistic; most of us are caught in between reality, hope, and fear. We have so little control over anything but we can control what we will do about it. We keep our hand to the plow and prepare for a better time.

I have attached the Market statistics for March for your review. Note also that we post actual sales of properties each week and add many articles regularly to our blog from industry experts to keep our clients informed. Do not hesitate to call us directly with questions or issues. We are trying to stay out in front of understanding all this and in seeing trends and preparing for them.

Parting thoughts…

And for your partnership, we are grateful. Referrals from your friends, neighbors, families and co-workers are much appreciated. We work exceedingly hard for any sales, with buyers or for our sellers. We promise great service and expertise. Your patience and trust in us during this frustrating era is valued by us more than you can know and more than we have opportunity to express.

Best regards,

Randy

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

McMinnville (19th & Hwy 99)           Newberg (College & Hwy 99)
207 NE 19th Street, Suite 100                700 E 1st Street, Suite 100
McMinnville OR 97128                              Newberg OR 97132
503-437-9005                                              503-538-2085

Buy. Sell. Be Happy.

Portland Metro Market Conditions

Randy McCreith, Principal Broker

March 21, 2011

View the full Portland Metro Market Conditions Report with all graphs.

This monthly market analysis is a commentary and commentators have much more latitude than pure journalists. With that in mind, I want to give a quick update on the numbers in the monthly report and then comment on other market conditions beyond the numbers. Regardless of the cable channel you watch for news and commentary, half the people cheer in agreement and half the people jeer at the ‘liar’. I expect no better treatment!

The Numbers…

Improved closed sales and pending sales in February confirm we did have a good start to this year. Looking in the first chart of pending sales, you will see that we are tracking a bit better than 2009, but worse than 2010 which was artificially improved by the tax credit. Inventory is lower than the past years (good for sellers) but this seems to be caused by seller reluctance to list their homes, rather than by the rate of sales (not as positive).

Our average sales price and median price is down between 8-10% from a year ago. Definitively now, our prices in the Portland metropolitan area on average are where they were in 2004 (this is amazing). The good and the bad! This seems to well illustrate a continuing condition where we get encouraging and discouraging information mixed. Sales numbers may be improving but values continue to drop. We long for the days when the good news becomes predictable and a trend.

I often get asked about market conditions beyond sales statistics. Stay tuned for upcoming posts about the three most common questions I receive and my usual responses.
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker

Bella Casa Real Estate Group
503-310-9147 Cell
randy@thebellacasagroup.com
Bella Casa Blog
207 NE 19th Street, Suite 100
McMinnville OR 97128
866-281-6653 Fax

New Market Action Report for January 2011

I suppose the best news for January’s Market Action Report is the Affordability Index which factors in many issues related to purchasing real estate (inventory, interest rates, prices, etc.). Likely not a surprise, we have the most affordable conditions since the Index was begun in 2003. A median income can currently purchase significantly more than the median price of a home; 66% more.

Solds and Pending Sales are about the same level as last year when we had a good start to a bad year, but this year we are doing so without the artificial support of the Federal Tax Credit program. Unfortunately, our prices continue to fall. Instead of prices being on average where they were in mid-2005, we are now back to mid 2004 levels. Inventory is high with the Portland average at 11.3 months to sell the current properties at the current rate of sales. In our area the numbers are higher: Yamhill County is an astounding 17.5 months and Washington County averages 13 months.

Anecdotally, we have seen 3 very busy months with increased buyer activity including offers or ‘almost offers’. It takes a long time for buyers to make decisions to buy, the transactions are grueling and lengthy, and the risk of a sale-fail is still high. But buyers who can buy, still a small number, seem ready to buy. My opinion is that the interest rate which increased a full percentage point since early December is responsible for kicking them into gear.

Predictions for the housing market for the coming year are full spectrum. There are more positive reports about the economy than we have seen in well over 3 years, but there are serious concerns enough to fill anybody’s fear tank. We have a tough year ahead but one I think will move us all in the right direction. The lending industry, the financial industry, and the housing industry have, we trust, been chastened to return to proven fundamentals for protecting and building value. If it is time for you to buy or to sell, we promise to apply the lessons learned and to help you make the wisest of decisions for your future. See also the attached first article of a series on  Lessons We Have Learned Through the Tough Times.

Best regards,

Randy

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