Handshakes & Lawsuits

[dropcap character=”F” color=”gray”]In the ‘good ol’ days’ people may have initiated the sale with a handshake, but history shows that those friendly intentions often ended in bitter court disputes. For as long as real estate has been bought and sold in Oregon, there have been real estate lawsuits.

Well over a hundred years of real estate agency law and practice evolved to react to litigation, minimize risk, reduce fraud, and prevent and resolve conflicts. Your property is one of your most significant investments. Remember, whenever much money is at stake, fraud, temptation, and unethical compromise are nearby dangers. Which is why it’s of utmost importance to find yourself the best attorney possible in case anything goes awry.

A real estate agent’s main responsibility is to help reduce your risk, keep you well informed, and guide you through a proper purchase or sale.

Our greatest value to you is not when things go well, but when things go wrong or obstacles are faced, or when uncommon issues arise. [space10]

Protection from Lawsuits

Oregon is not a ‘buyer beware’ state. It is a full disclosure state. Sellers who do not disclose all that they know about their property risk a lawsuit for withholding material facts. This can result in financial loss and in some cases the nullification of the sale.

But we don’t want buyers to ever be put into that miserable situation. We will do everything we can to prevent such a later surprise. This means you the buyer must seek to know as much about the property before closing. While we are prohibited from performing your due-diligence, we will guide you in yours. We will also keep our trained eyes open for issues. A good inspector is indispensible and your curious and suspicious mind will also assist you in preempting issues that could later result in a lawsuit.

Your Loyalty, Our Faithfulness

In due time, we hope to make a trade with you. If you will commit to working loyally with us, we will commit to working faithfully with you. We have a lot to offer but in order to commit our time and resources completely, we need to know that you will make your purchase with one of us.

The selection of a real estate agent is important and personal. We are eager to be interviewed and happy to assist you freely. But when you are comfortable, let us know that we are ‘hired’ to be your agent.

Additional Resources

  • The Oregon Buyers Property Advisory is a tool produced by the Oregon Association of Realtors® (OAR). It is a comprehensive and informative guide for issues one should consider when purchasing. We can help you understand much of this, help you think through what is relevant, and assist you to perform thorough due-diligence.
  • The Oregon Real Estate Agency Disclosure Pamphlet is produced to comply with Real Estate Agency law. It explains the relationship between an agent/broker and the client. You have rights and can expect important affirmative duties from your agent. We have representation responsibilities to you in addition to providing you with excellent service. The Real Estate Agency (REA) is an agency of the State of Oregon charged with protecting consumers and policing agents. Much good information can be found on their web site.

Get to know the Bella Casa Real Estate Brokers


Published 09/11/2017

We Bought a Foreclosure

A year ago now my husband and I bought a foreclosed home. It was our dream property, we had fixed up a few homes before so we were ready to dig into this project. While I would never wish we had done this, I do wish that I was more prepared for what we have encountered. Here are the 5 top things that we learned about a foreclosed home.

1. Be ready for a home that has delayed maintenance– The former owner was doing all he could to keep his home and was not able to keep up on all the maintenance projects that needed to be done. For instance, apart from refinishing the basement and repainting the interiors, the former owner was also about to opt for HVAC repair perhaps with the help of professionals who could provide quick Furnace and AC Repair. Honestly, it is alright–it is understandable that there was so much on his plate that it took him some time to finish everything.

2. Get a thorough inspection– While we knew that there were issues, many of them were much worse than we expected. We bought it as is and have had quite a few projects go much different than expected. At first, we thought that only the air conditioner had problems, but that was not it. Even the furnace was acting up, which led us to consider contacting inspection and repair personnel who could do the work quickly. That is when we were suggested by those in the know to look for Mac-Vik Plumbing & Heating Affordable Heating Services–they are known to offer repair services related to a furnace in Denver and nearby locations.

3. See if there is a possibility of getting a home warranty. We had the oven go out right after we closed and some major issues with the furnace. So, as you can imagine, this wasn’t ideal, and we needed to get the issues resolved as soon as possible. We decided to look at something like this review of furnace repair in Memphis, to see if we could find a similar company here that could help us with it. Thankfully, we were able to. Issues like these only increase the need to obtain a home warranty. It is very inexpensive and can save you lots of money in the long run.

4. Look back at the before pictures occasionally. It helps to see how far you have come in making it the home of your dreams. Always looking at the to do list that keeps getting longer can feel overwhelming.

5. Enjoy it– It can be easy to get overwhelmed in the projects to make it so that you don’t enjoy your home. Take some time to just sit back, smell the roses and dream a little bit. You will find that you will be happier and more content to slowly nip away at the projects at hand.

While purchasing a foreclosure can be overwhelming at times, it is also a fun and exciting adventure. You get to put your mark on the place you call home and there is nothing more than the pride you feel looking at making your dream come true. It is also a pretty good investment with a pretty good return.

Published on: Mar 18, 2014

Are You Ready to Buy a Fixer Upper Home?

When looking for the perfect home many people wonder if they would be better off buying a fixer upper home, This could be a great savings of money and a great way to build equity. There are several questions that one person should ask themselves before they make this leap. Here are just a few of these questions to ask…..

1. Count the costs– Have contractors go through the home with you and help you determine the cost of the repairs that are needed on the house that you are wanting to purchase. Make sure that you are really getting a good deal on the property when you include the cost of the repairs. Also make sure there is a little money set aside for the unexpected.

2. Do you have the time?- It takes a lot more time then most people imagine in order to do the necessary repairs. Are you having to take time off of work to do the repairs? Are you willing to live in a little bit of mess while the project is going on?

3. Do you have the skills?- Are you able to do most of the work yourselves or with the help of friends and family or are you going to have to contract it out and have contractors do the work for you? While having contractors do the work for you can make the work go faster, it can also make your budget get larger. Like if you worked with Custom Decks builders, for example, to add another dimension to your back yard and to increase the value of the property. But would result in a greater expense.

4. Get that home inspection.- It is very important to get a thorough home inspection so that you know whether your repairs are major structural or just cosmetic. Make sure the house inspector looks at all the crucial systems in the house such as foundation, plumbing, electrical and structural just to name a few. Remember to make sure that you get a respectable inpector in your area to do the work. If you’re unsure how to find one, check out this link on a number of the syracuse inspector firms available in that area, or look for similar ones for your area. And, if you’re unsure about how to go about such inspections and what they entail, you can learn about a Foundation inspection at CenTex. Also, make sure you get all the items in writing so that you can make sure to a lot for these items in your offer on the house.

5. Do you have a vision?- are you able to envision what it is going to look like when it is finished. There is nothing worse than working hard without direction. This is also helpful when it comes to planning your budget for these repairs.

Like we said, these are just a few things to look at when you are thinking of purchasing a fixer upper property. Your realtor is the best resource when it comes to this situation.

Published on: Feb 12, 2014

4 Tips to Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

By: G. M. Filisko

Published: March 11, 2010 on houselogic.com

By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that home ownership will fit in your budget.

1. The general rule of mortgage affordability

As a rule of thumb, you can typically afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. If you earn $100,000, you can typically afford a home between $200,000 and $300,000.

To understand how that rule applies to your particular financial situation, prepare a family budget and list all the costs of homeownership, like property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if applicable, as well as costs specific to your family, such as day care costs.

2. Factor in your downpayment

How much money do you have for a downpayment? The higher your downpayment, the lower your monthly payments will be. If you put down at least 20% of the home’s cost, you may not have to get private mortgage insurance, which costs hundreds each month. That leaves more money for your mortgage payment.

The lower your downpayment, the higher the loan amount you’ll need to qualify for and the higher your monthly mortgage payment.

3. Consider your overall debt

Lenders generally follow the 28/41 rule. Your monthly mortgage payments covering your home loan principal, interest, taxes, and insurance shouldn’t total more than 28% of your gross annual income. Your overall monthly payments for your mortgage plus all your other bills, like car loans, utilities, and credit cards, shouldn’t exceed 41% of your gross annual income. However, if you have consistent debt from things like frequent medical bills due to illness, it’s not wise to go by this plan, especially if you’re falling into debt. At this point, finding a new house should be put off, unless you have special help with medical bills with something like a GoFundMe page.

Here’s how that works. If your gross annual income is $100,000, multiply by 28% and then divide by 12 months to arrive at a monthly mortgage payment of $2,333 or less. Next, check the total of all your monthly bills including your potential mortgage and make sure they don’t top 41%, or $3,416 in our example. Depending on your profession, you can get different kinds of loans, some more suitable that others. Another example, looking at fifth third bank physician loans may be a great way to lend money if you’ve just finished medical school and need some money, whether that be to pay off debts or otherwise. They would factor in your student debt and take it into consideration. This wouldn’t be a feasible lending route if you’re a full-time teacher and have been for the last 5 years though. If that is the case, you might be better off using a money lender, like this money lender in city hall. Finding what works for you is key.

4. Use your rent as a mortgage guide

The tax benefits of homeownership generally allow you to afford a mortgage payment-including taxes and insurance-of about one-third more than your current rent payment without changing your lifestyle. So you can multiply your current rent by 1.33 to arrive at a rough estimate of a mortgage payment.

Here’s an example. If you currently pay $1,500 per month in rent, you should be able to comfortably afford a $2,000 monthly mortgage payment after factoring in the tax benefits of homeownership. Sometimes life circumstances can change and subsequently affect your ability to make your payments, in which case you may want to consider investigating short term loans bad credit to help you out with this.

However, if you’re struggling to keep up with your rent, consider what amount would be comfortable and use that for the calcuation instead.

Also consider whether or not you’ll itemize your deductions. If you take the standard deduction, you can’t also deduct mortgage interest payments. Talking to a tax adviser, or using a tax software program to do a “what if” tax return, can help you see your tax situation more clearly.

Published on: Dec 9, 2013

Stay Credit Smart

When you are looking to buy a home whether now or in the future, it is important to be a smart consumer. It is important to know a few things about credit, you and how it affects the ability to purchase. As having a good credit score is an essential part of buying a home, for example, it then comes as no surprise to find that some people may choose to get online payday loans in Colorado (if they live in an around this state). This way, it may make it possible for some people to be able to purchase their dream home. Here are a few things you should know about in order to have a good credit report.

1. Make sure you regularly get a copy of your credit report, usually about once a year. If there is something on there that shouldn’t be, then you can quickly fix it so that it does the least amount of harm. There are several credit agencies from which you can get it , Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are the most prominent companies.

2. Know your credit score. The number on your credit score translates to what kind of interest rate you will get. the higher the score the better the interest rate, whether on a house purchase, buying a new car – from somewhere similar to Wichita Ford – or even on your credit cards.

3. Make sure that every time you apply for credit the information is the same and complete. Consistency is the key to smooth transactions and less headaches!

4. Live within your means. Set a budget and live within it. This is the best way to not over extend yourself credit wise.

5. Use credit wisely. A little bit goes a long way is a great motto when it comes to using credit. It is best to have a little bit of credit, too much can reduce your credit score.

6. The early bird catches the worm. Pay your bills on time or even early. Paying late can have a detrimental effect on your credit score. If you already have a bad credit score, but are looking for ways to borrow money, you might want to consider taking out an installment loan. Installment loans allow you to make repayments in more manageable, regular collections. For more information, read how they work over on arcct.com.

7. Keep the balance low, or better yet, pay it off every month! If you have a very high balance you are carrying, it looks like you are leaving beyond your means and might be a higher credit risk.

8. The more you apply for credit, the more hits your credit report gets, the lower your credit score will be. It can also look like you are living on too much credit if there is too much activity.

9. If you find you are spiralling out of control with your credit, consider speaking to a credit counselling service. They can help you reassess your options and figure out a plan of action for you.

These ideas and more can help you keep your credit score good, or take it higher, thus helping you to qualify for the loan you want and purchase the home you want!

Published on: Dec 5, 2013

Create a Home Emergency Preparedness Kit

By: Wendy Paris

Published: August 28, 2009 on houselogic.com

Preparing and keeping a fully stocked home emergency preparedness kit could be the key to your family’s safety if disaster strikes.

First, make sure important papers are in order

If a flood destroys your home, you could spend weeks or even months just trying to re-create the essential documents you’ll need to get back on track. Even if it’s not destroyed then it can still take weeks for people like ServiceMaster of Lake Shore (https://servicemasteroflakeshore.com/water-removal-services-chicago/) to remove all of the water. That’s why it’s critical to have backups of important papers, including the deed to your house, proof of insurance, medical records, passports, social security cards, and a list of personal contacts. Keep one copy at home in a portable case and another offsite in a safe place. And while you’re at it, use the opportunity to check whether your insurance is up to date. “People often don’t know what their homeowners’ insurance policy covers, and most don’t cover flooding,” points out Bissell. Find out what hazards your area faces, and make sure you’re protected against them.

Tailor a preparedness kit to your personal needs

Humanitarian organizations and government aid agencies offer guidelines for creating an emergency preparedness kit. But along with the basics like food and water, it’s important to have what you need for your particular situation. It may also be worth getting an emergency first aid kit and getting some training from somewhere like Coast2Coast First Aid and Aquatics to ensure you’re ready for any accident that could take place. You may not need extra blankets in southern California, but you do need escape ladders in case of wildfire. And you’ll want extra extra blankets to survive a winter power outage in Maine.

Think about what you need for the safety of your house, too. Knowing where to find the main electrical and water shutoffs-and having the right wrench to turn them-can make the difference between a house that weathers the storm and one that experiences catastrophic flooding or fire.

A basic emergency preparedness kit

FEMA recommends you keep a “grab and go” bag with these items in case you need to evacuate:

Water: One gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation; double if you live in a very hot climate, have young kids, or are nursing. Bottled water is best, but you can also store tap water in food-grade containers or two-liter soda bottles that have been sanitized. Factor in your pet’s water needs, too.

Food: At least a three-day supply of nonperishables and a can opener. Pack protein, fruit, and vegetables, but make sure they’re in a form you actually like-it’s bad enough not to have access to fresh food without also having to subsist on nothing but canned tuna. Include treats like cereal bars, trail mix, and Tootsie Rolls. Store food in pest-proof plastic or metal tubs and keep it in a cool, dry place.

Flashlights and extra batteries: “Candles are not recommended because there are many house fires caused by candles left unattended,” says David Riedman, a public affairs officer with FEMA.

First-aid supplies: Two pairs of sterile gloves, adhesive bandages and sterile dressings, soap or other cleanser, antibiotic towelettes and ointment, burn ointment, eye wash, thermometer, scissors, tweezers, petroleum jelly, aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever, and stomach analgesics such as Tums, Pepto-Bismol, and a laxative. (All those Tootsie Rolls can be hard to digest.)

Sanitation and hygiene supplies: Moist towelettes, paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and plastic ties. You might also want travel-size shampoo, toothpaste/toothbrush, and deodorant.

Radio or TV: Keep a portable, battery- or crank-operated radio or television and extra batteries to remain connected in case the power goes out, as well as an extra cell phone charger. You can buy a good emergency radio online from the Red Cross.

Plastic sheeting, duct tape, and dust masks: In case you need to seal your home or shelter from airborne contaminants. You’re able to find masks like these on this Surgical Mask Canada based site, on the same store you can also find other protective equipment and supplies you may need for a number of emergencies, such as emergency blankets, disinfectants, fire starting kits and more. If you haven’t got these items prepared in your disaster kit, then you should at least know where you’re able to purchase them from on short notice!

Extra items: A whistle to signal for help, a favorite toy or other comfort items for kids.


Update your kit as your needs change, and replace food and water approaching its expiration date. You might pick a specific time each year to check, such as before hurricane season in the south or after Thanksgiving if you live in the north.

Published on: Jul 23, 2013

When Can I Get a Mortgage Again?

Our friends at Pacific Residential Mortgage recognize that many of our friends, neighbors and customers have had life events resulting in bankruptcy, short sale, or foreclosure. If someone has had the unfortunate experience of one of these difficult credit events, does that put home ownership out of reach? Bad things can happen to good people, so Pacific Residential Mortgage offers a product line of loans for folks who’ve experienced difficult credit events.

If you’re wondering, “Can I ever buy a home again?”  the answer is YES!



Published on: May 2, 2013

Beware of Unpredictable Market Corrections

We all understand that prices appreciate, sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly. Most industry watchers do not think our housing markets will appreciate very quickly for the next several years. Most of us in the industry prefer slow steady improvement to a roller coaster type of ride. 5% appreciation per year sounds good enough.

So is there any reason to hurry? Yes, because certain price ranges and types of properties can go through a quick correction. If certain sectors were unnaturally depressed, then we might see buyers come back in the market at higher prices because the intrinsic value is there and the future risk is low. Vineyard properties seem to be such an example. Plantable ground has not sold well for over 5 years, but the future of our wine industry keeps getting brighter. In 2012, we had a number of sales at amazing prices, as if we never had the depreciation we all assumed was there. This is a correction which can be sudden and shocking. With a correction, the opportunity is lost and the regret is severe.

What We Are Here For…

Too often Realtors® are viewed as “just sales people getting customers to purchase our wares”. For some reason, buyers think their relatives, the New York Times, or some distant infomercial guru, knows more about local conditions in real estate than we do. The reality is that we do not have customers; we have clients for whom we work. We are not selling a product line for a company; we are working for clients and advising them how to achieve their goals with less risk and better reward. What our clients buy is their decision, not something we are pushing. We get paid when they achieve their goal regardless of the choice. We advise clients based on our industry knowledge, our depth of experience, and hard data from the local markets. One of our greatest frustrations is watching clients make bad decisions because someone out there thinks they know more than we do. We are not perfect but we are expert in what we do.

Could something worse befall us economically? That answer is always, “yes”. However, without speculating on what we do not know, the current data, and our experience, tells us that this is an historic opportunity for buyers that soon will be gone perhaps for a generation or more. If you are going to buy real estate, do it now; we do not believe you will regret it. Of course, get good advice on the particular property and guidance in avoiding serious mistakes.

Meet Our Realtors®  |   Articles for Home Buyers  |  Articles for Sellers  |  Local Market Conditions

Best regards,

Randy McCreith, Real estate brokerRandy

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



Published on: Apr 10, 2013

Why it is Time to Buy Now

It is time to buy real estate; many other wise people have already scooped up the best values in the marketplace. Failure to buy now means you may miss historic opportunities.

Everyone wants to buy low and sell high.

In reality, the masses buy when prices are going up, and they sell when prices are dropping. Of course, this is backward. However, ‘market timing’ is a challenge. No one can forecast the future with certainty, but I think it is safe to say that now is a good time to believe we are at the very bottom and starting to move up. If you are uncertain about whether it is the right time to buy a property, you can take the advice of an expert real estate agent. A professional can provide you with a list of homes for sale avondale jacksonville fl or near your locality to choose from, depending on your budget, loan approval, and other requirements.

Moreover, here are a few reasons why this could be a perfect time to buy a property:

ï‚ · The price is very low! Real estate gurus always advise investment buyers to buy at 30% under market value (a no brainer). This is rarely realistic, these kinds of properties are usually impossible to find and to secure these you also must have a pile of cash. Today prices across the board are at least 30% under the market value of 5 years ago! During these occasions, it’s beneficial to look for real estate in cities like San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Dallas, etc., since these cities might offer a huge margin of growth. While probing for more information, you might want to check out https://dreamingofdallashomes.com or other similar websites to learn details related to lifestyle, cost of living, job market, and real estate.

ï‚ · Interest Rates are rising! Read the Buyer Advisory #1 which explains why interest rates must rise with an improving market and a strengthening economy. Nothing affects your power to buy as much as a low-interest rate. For 40 years we have been paying interest rates routinely in the 8-12% range; at the highest in the early 1980s, the mortgage rates were almost 21%. Low prices are good, low interest rates are even better. So before the interest rises, it could be better to buy property either to use or as an investment. If interested, you can look for properties online by going through real estate websites similar to https://bernardrealestategroup.com/oregon-zip-code-map/.

ï‚ · Sellers are motivated now! Sellers have been locked up in their property for too long and have pent up demand to sell and move on. That motivation and intense pressure will soon be alleviated and sellers will exact revenge on buyers when they take hold the market power. I remember the irrational demands of sellers in the height of the market in 2006-2007; it was not pretty! Buy now while you have generous opportunities.

Meet Our Realtors ® | Articles for Home Buyers | Articles for Sellers | Local Market Conditions

Randy McCreith, Real estate brokerRandy

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

Published on: Apr 9, 2013