New Loan: You Put 1% Down and 2% Will be Gifted to You!

Program Details 
  • Our lender is giving a 2% grant to borrowers that does not need to be repaid 
  • Loan amounts up to $424,100 
  • Flexible Underwriting includes: income from non-borrower household members or rental income 
  • Condos OK
  • Must make less than $53,500 if you live in Jackson County 
  • Must make less than $47,800 if you live in Josephine County
  • Minimum 680 FICO Credit Score 
  • Homeowner education course required 
  • Not just for first-time home buyers 
Call us today for details!

4 Ways to Boost Property Value Before Sale

Selling your home is an opportunity to get back what you’ve put into your house – and hopefully more. There are certain things prospective buyers look for in a home to make their purchasing decisions. By making a few simple updates to your property, you can increase your chances of selling at a price point that makes you happy.

Clean Your Home, Inside and Out

A clean home sends the message that the property has been well taken care of, and is ready for move-in as soon as the deal closes. It also gives a good impression during home tours and walk through helping your home stand out in the buyers’ minds. Clean the inside of your home, clearing away clutter and making things look as neat and stylish as possible. Clean the outside as well, because this is the first thing potential buyers will see. Clear the gutters and pressure wash dirty siding.

Make Minor Repairs

You can make your home more appealing to buyers without spending a fortune by investing in minor repairs. Replace cracked windows or patch a leaky roof to boost property value without breaking the bank. Small repairs can go a long way toward making buyers want to make your home their home.

Focus on the Front Entrance

Spend time making your front entryway look its best. This may involve a new coat of paint on your front door, a sharp new welcome mat, planting a few wildflowers, and polishing up your house numbers. Your entryway is important in giving potential buyers a great first impression of your home, and enjoying the view from the curb.

Partner With Real Estate Experts

Sell your home quickly and at the highest possible price with help from the marketers at Expert Properties in Southern Oregon. Our expertise is at your service can help you rest assured your home will sell for what it’s worth. Contact us today for more information.





Accidental Investors

I just left the title company where our clients picked up a $61,000 check – the proceeds from selling their house. What makes this such a great story is how young and financially smart this couple has been. I first met this twenty- something couple, two and a half years ago when he was transferred here by the army; she was pregnant and they came to us looking for a rental home. They settled into a rental home in Eagle Point for $1250 month, and after renting for six months, they called us to see if we could help them buy a home. They soon found the perfect home for $167,900 and moved into it. Because he was in the army, he was able to get a VA loan with zero down giving them a mortgage under $800 a month – $450 a month less than they were paying in rent. In addition, they had a $9,000 a year tax deduction by writing off their mortgage payments, and in two years’ time they walked away with a $61,000 check. Accidental Investors or really smart young couple, you decide? 

One of our brokers is 25, married, and bought his first home at 23, which in two years is worth $65,000 more that he paid for it.  He’s a great example of either a financial wizard or Accidental Investor and he now gets to help his peers follow his path. One of his clients called him after a year of owning their home and they wanted to sell it to move to the country. He had to deliver both bad and good news to them. The bad news was that if they sold their home without owning it at least two years, they would have to pay state and federal capital gains tax on any equity they had in the home. The good news is that they had made $40,000 in equity in just one year and if they want to move at the end of this year they will most likely have about $80,000 in equity. What’s also interesting about this couple is their parents weren’t always supportive of them buying a home and they thought they should wait and save more money first. If they had waited to purchase a home, any savings would have been wiped out by the $40,000 cost increase of their home. 

Our young broker had another couple that came to him to see if he could buy a home with the goal of paying less in a mortgage payment than what they were paying in rent. They were successful, and in addition to lowering their monthly payment they have made at least $25,000 in equity; and if that’s not enough, their lot is so large they are now working with a private planner to split it in half and sell off the vacant portion for $70,000. 

Today we just completed a “value evaluation” for another young, newly married couple who bought a small two bedroom, one bath home in 2015, with a mortgage payment less than their rent and it looks like they have made about $2,275 in application for each and every month they have lived in their home. This month we close on a new home for the newly married daughter and son-in law of another broker on our team and they will soon be enjoying the world of tax deductions, sweat equity and appreciating values as well. 

All of these cases are young couples just married and making smart financial choices. Don’t you wish you were as smart as they have been when you were their age? They all have mortgage payments that are lower than their previous rent payments! They all save on their taxes by deducting their mortgage payments, and lastly, they are all making about $30,000 a year in appreciation. 

Accidental investors or financial wizards, these are all smart couples who have made sound financial decisions. We hope other young couples reading this article think twice about continuing to rent and they too can become Accidental Investors! 

Written By Graham Farran


The Tipping Point

We just posted four articles to our blog, ( from major publications – all focused on Southern Oregon. One article has Ashland listed, and another has Jacksonville listed, as the top towns in the US to visit. The other two both talk about our wine industry – one noting the awards we received from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the second stating that we are among the top 12 underrated wine regions in the world – yes, world! 

Living in Southern Oregon for the last sixteen years, I have seen great articles from Sunset, Smithsonian and the New York Times, but what’s up with the speed and frequency at which these articles are being published and all the great press Southern Oregon is getting? It makes me think about Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “The Tipping Point.” In his book, he talks about the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point. It explains how ideas, products, behaviors or places suddenly spread like viruses do. Could it be Southern Oregon has hit “The Tipping Point?”

When driving through the Rogue Valley, you can’t help but be impressed by the pace at which we are growing, from retailers to restaurants, from vineyards to tourists, from hotels to houses. 

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has reached an all-time high with a generous gift from Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. OSF continues to have sold-out crowds to all their eleven yearly plays and hosted their 20-millionth visitor in 2015. The Randall Theatre of Medford is expanding to include a second theater in Jacksonville in the Calvary Church on Fifth Street. Medford will also see the opening of the Holly Theater as it reaches its renovation goals.  So, combine our growth in live theater, our ever-exploding wine scene, and all the outdoor activities we offer and you become a great destination for both tourists and retirees. 

On the retail and restaurant fronts, we have seen the new Northgate Marketplace double in size with Home Goods, Dick’s Sporting Goods, RAM and Mod Pizza restaurant chains. We are also about to get a Cracker Barrel and a 5 Guys soon. In Grants Pass, they just got a Red Robin and their own In & Out Burger. All of this just after the Common Block restaurant opened in the Commons. What’s amazing is all the property across Hwy 238 from Northgate has sold and is being developed into another shopping center. The Medford Center is about to get a facelift and Costco has been given the go-ahead to build a larger store in Central Point.

Of course there is no stopping our wine scene as we have seen both DANCIN and 2Hawk expand and now four new wine tasting facilities have opened. Irvine Family Vineyards added a partner and opened a wine tasting facility on their 28-acre vineyard at 1614 Emigrant Creek Road in Ashland. Pebblestone Cellars, after winning many prestigious awards, has just opened a large barn-like wine tasting room facility at 1670 Pioneer Road. Schultz Wines has opened their first wine tasting facility in a completely renovated 1940’s farmhouse on their 60 acre vineyard and farm in the Applegate Valley at 755 Slagle Creek Road. Lastly, Augustino Estate winery created a treehouse tasting room along the Illinois River at 320 Brown Road in O’Brien and also acquired the Bridgeview Tasting and vineyards on North Applegate Road in the Applegate Valley.

To accommodate this growth, we are seeing new hotels popping up everywhere and new flights and services added to our airport. The Neuman Hotel group opened the Ashland Hills Suites & Hotel as well as buying the Nunan Estate to make a boutique hotel. Hilton is building another hotel in East Medford off of Barnett Road and a new riverfront hotel has been approved next to the Tap Rock in Grants Pass. It also looks like the Coquille Indian Casino and Hotel has been approved by the Federal Gaming Commission. 

Our airport is experiencing a record number of travelers and starting in April, United is flying 737’s directly to San Francisco every day instead of the Sky West puddle jumpers. In addition, American Airlines is coming to the Medford airport but the details are sketchy.

All of this growth and lack of building during the recession have led to a record low inventory of homes for sale and a shortage of rental homes with a vacancy rate hugging one percent. The single family residential market is hot and real estate prices are closing in on all-time highs. Homes priced right are going pending as soon as they are listed and we are in for a near record year in both the number of homes sold and the price at which they get sold for. 

So have we hit the Tipping Point? Is this the boiling point, the moment of critical mass where we see our small valley transform into a mecca for culture, shopping, wine and outdoor activities? The change in the air is palpable as our valley just keeps getting better.


Las Vegas – The Adult Disneyland

We just got back from a week long real estate conference in Las Vegas. We hadn’t been there in a while and I was quickly reminded of what man has built in the Nevada desert. It’s a strange combination of fantasy hotels, 5-Star restaurants or buffets, carnival rides, gambling, world class productions and live entertainment, all with a slight undertone of sophisticated sleaze. 
After being in class all day, we would choose from dozens of choices as to where to go for dinner. The first night we ate at a French diner out on the sidewalk of a Parisian Café, under a red awning. The next night, we decided to eat by an Italian canal, made to look like Venice, in a building made to look like we were outside. Next we chose an outside patio overlooking a replica of Lake Como in northern Italy, and lastly we ate at a great French diner in the Eiffel Tower about 10 floors up.
After dinner, we would walk the streets which can be as crowded as Manhattan, but instead of business suits, everyone is in shorts drinking foot long “yardsticks” – which is a Slurpee filled with alcohol.  Every other person you pass is trying to hand you a card –usually advertising a vice of some sort. At the same time, there is a stream of helicopters flying around the strip on popular tours.  We walked by high end retail stores, carnival rides, and gambling casinos trying to entice you inside.  There is a Roller Coaster on the side of the New York – New York Hotel and a Ferris wheel that gives you some great views of Vegas at night; of course each of the 20 person cars has its own bar.  If you are adventurous, you can grab a cab and see the old downtown area where the crowded Fremont Street is now covered in millions of lights which go off every hour to rock music.
If all of that is not enough to entertain you, the live shows are everywhere. Cirque Du Soleil has seven different shows they are running in different hotels, and while we were there, Britney Spears and a dozen other famous performers were headlining. On our last night, we saw Cirque Du Soleil’s Love, which is a tribute to the Beatles. I really don’t know how to describe it, but it’s a combination of technology, dance, rock music, gymnastics, acrobatics and a circus – an amazing feast for your eyes.
If you had the day off, which we didn’t, you could indulge in the many pool parties, rent a Ferrari and race it at a track, see the aquarium, shoot machine guns in the desert, swim with a Dolphin for $500 an hour, Ski on Mt Charleston, Golf, rent a dune buggy, hike at Red Rock state park, take a helicopter to the Grand Canyon, see one of many museums or sky dive indoors.
Oh, by the way, the real estate conference was great with lots of information, statistics and trends. Most markets around the country have homes increasing in value and have low vacancy rates for rentals. Real Estate markets are always local but it’s nice to see that most of the US has recovered from the last real estate recession and many markets have gained back all of the losses and more.
We learned that 10,000 baby boomers are retiring per day, which is a rate of 3.65 million a year. The benefactors are all the local markets, like ours, that attract retirees. These markets have seen faster growth in real estate values than other markets. The other interesting trend was how many homes are being built across the country vs. how many need to be built to fulfill demand. In Oregon, they projected that we would need approximately 25,000 home starts in 2016 to keep up with demand but only 2,500 were built, which is one tenth of what is needed.
The demand for rental housing is so strong it’s making it extremely difficult to rent in certain markets, including ours. Because of this, states are changing laws, or trying to change laws, that favor tenants over landlords. Oregon recently passed a law that requires landlords to give 90-day notice of any rent increase, increasing it from a 30 days’ notice. Currently, as you read this article, our State congress is trying to pass rent control laws that would limit certain rent increases.
Lastly, there was a lot of conversation about the direction of interest rates which everyone agreed is only going one direction, and that is up. It is however, a slow climb so we should still have low interest rates for the next couple of years.
Having sat in classes for hours, I did think of how lucky our local real estate market is. We’re doing a great job of attracting retirees, our rental rates don’t make sense so most renters want to buy, and we should have historically low interest rates for a few more years to come.

Southern Oregon: Five Terrific WineTasting Stops

Southern Oregon: Five Terrific Wine Tasting Stops

Article by Mary Orlin, The Mercury News

When people think of Oregon and wine, it’s the Willamette Valley — the famed chardonnay and pinot noir mecca just south of Portland — that springs to mind. But Southern Oregon boasts an appealing wine region near Medford, with more than 150 wineries producing 70 varieties of wine. If you’re planning a trip to Crater Lake or Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival, add a day or two to your itinerary and explore some wineries, too. Here are five great spots to try.

1 Dancin Vineyards: This 10-acre winery and vineyard just outside Jacksonville makes a good first stop along the Southern Oregon wine road. Named for owners Dan and Cindy, who fell in love with pinot noir, this Tuscan-inspired winery includes wine caves and a piazza, where you can sip wine and pair it with housemade pizzas, panini and more. The soulful estate pinots are a must, but don’t miss the elegant chardonnay and earthy syrah. Details: Open Thursday-Sunday, $9-$10 tasting fee. 4477 South Stage Road, Medford;

2 Quady North: We adore this cute little brick stand-alone tasting room on Jacksonville’s main street. The wines inside are serious and tasty. The winery’s name is a reference to winemaker Herb Quady’s family winery in Madera, near Yosemite. Here in Southern Oregon, he crafts small wine lots, specializing in Rhone varietals — viognier, syrah, grenache and grenache blanc — along with very tasty cabernet franc. We love the label design tattoo references, too. Details: Open daily except Tuesdays. $5 tasting fee. 55 E. California Street, Jacksonville;

3 Plaisance Ranch: Head west from Jacksonville to the Applegate Valley, which is home to a handful of boutique wine producers. At Plaisance (pronounced PLAY-zonce), the winery and vineyard take up some of the estate, the rest is used for raising grass-fed beef. But the grapes came first. Founder Joseph Ginet first planted grapes here in the early 1900s with cuttings from his family’s home vineyard in the Southern French wine region of Savoie. Now the third generation, Joe Ginet, runs the property. Plaisance is the French word for pleasure, an appropriate description as you sip a range of white and red wines, including sauvignon blanc, viognier, cabernet franc, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. We like the simple pricing structure: $25 or $30 for all reds, $20 or $25 for whites and rosé. Details: Open daily, except Tuesdays. $5 tasting fee. 16955 Water Gap Road, Williams;

4 Schmidt Family Vineyards: This is one of the grander winery tasting rooms in Applegate Valley, home to Bordeaux, Italian and Spanish grape varieties, an herb and flower garden with gazebos, a pond and walking paths meandering through the stunning grounds. Owners Cal and Judy Schmidt — he’s the winemaker, she’s the gardener — have created an inviting winery where you can sip at the tasting bar, or head out to the patio and enjoy wine with just-baked pizza and other bites. Details: Open daily, $10 tasting fee. 330 Kubli Road, Grants Pass;

5 Serra Vineyards: Scott Fernandes’ winery specializes in complex red wines grown on estate vineyards, but you’ll find chardonnay and a few rosés here, too. Grab a seat on the sunny deck and take in the gorgeous views over the 30-acre vineyard, the majestic evergreens and the Applegate Valley. Bring a picnic and your pup — Serra is pet-friendly — and stay awhile. Details: Open daily. $5 tasting fee. 222 Missouri Flat Road, Grants Pass;


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