Hero Image

Our Blog

How to Find the Best Neighborhood for You When Moving

When it comes to what’s important when buying a home, one of the age-old phrases you hear is “location, location, location”. That old adage still holds true today. Unless you’re buying a multi-million-dollar custom built home chances are you can find a home with a layout and design comparable to something you’ve seen in another area.

Whether you want to be located close to work, school, certain attractions, nightlife, dining, shopping, or any other number of things, location is one of the most important considerations when buying a new home. So how do you go about finding the best neighborhood for you and your family?

One of the first things you should do is make a list of which qualities you want and don’t want in a neighborhood. This includes factors like noise, the age of the neighborhood, the average age of the residents who live there, and much more.

Be sure to visit each neighborhood you are considering both during the day and at night. Make sure there aren’t any unexpected surprises or that you don’t feel uneasy. Don’t be afraid to cross neighborhoods off your list and start from scratch; you don’t want to settle for something you won’t be comfortable living in.

Talk to other people who live in the neighborhood and ask the local police department for crime statistics. Check out test scores for the nearby schools and be sure the area will work for you for at least five to seven years. Check out the home values in the area and the commute times for private or public transportation. Look into the local property tax rates and evaluate other cost of living factors.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to one of two neighborhoods you’ll be ready to start looking at individual homes. Harcourts NW Oregon Realty Group at 503-455-4050. We can help you find the right home in the right neighborhood.

Four Tips for Financing Your First Home

Buying a new home for the first time can be somewhat intimidating, but it’s also very exciting. Thankfully you aren’t the first home buyer to ever go through the process, and there are plenty of tips you can brush up on to make the process simpler and more efficient.

1. Check Your Credit

Like it or not, your credit score is one of the most important factors in qualifying for a home loan. The days of having to pay for your credit report seem to be over. There are plenty of sites that will allow you to review and monitor your credit report and score for free.

Check for mistakes and report them if you find any. Learn more about how to make positive changes to your credit score and implement them. Allow yourself plenty of time before you are actually ready to buy so your credit score can go up which will save you money.

2. Have Documents Ready

When you apply for a mortgage you’ll need documentation of your income and taxes. Many lenders require two recent paycheck stubs as well as your W-2s for the last two years and your tax returns and past two months’ worth of bank statements. Having these ready to go can save you time and avoid having to come back later.

3. Get Pre-Qualified

Decide how much you can afford to spend even before a mortgage lender lets you know how much you qualify for. You can calculate your debt-to-income ratio and add in your down payment to see where you stand as far as what you can afford. A mortgage lender can pre-qualify you which means you won’t have to do it individually for each house you are interested in.

4. Determine Your Down Payment

It can be difficult to come up with a significant down payment. Many states allow you to take out an assistance loan which is both interest and payment free and forgivable after five years. These are actually more like grants and can be a great help to first-time homebuyers. Speak with your lender for more information.

If you’re a first-time homebuyer in the Silverton, Oregon area, contact Harcourts NW Oregon Realty Group at 503-663-8423.


Many folks were severely impacted by the market crash in 2008 +. One of the major impacts was on those folks who owed more on their homes than the market would pay. Some did "short sales" (bank settles for less than owed), some went in to foreclosure, and many just "rode it out". With our current market moving from a Buyer's market to a Seller's market, as well as a shortage of inventory, values are increasing. Now is a good time to contact our office, and ask for a no cost or obligation market analysis to determine the value of your property. You may now be in a position to finally "get out" of the home your in, and into your dream home, or even downsize if that is your game changing plan. Remember please--there is NO COST OR OBLIGATION to get the information you are seeking. We look forward to helping you !


Welcome to Episode 1 !


Here is where you can find some of the "inside" info as to what is happening in the real estate market, tips for preparing your home for sale, new financing tools, and more.

A little background first, as we start our new real estate blog. NW Oregon Realty Group has been in business in Silverton, OR since 1994. We started in Ginni Stensland's Victorian home at the corner of 2nd and Main. We then moved to our current location when we purchased the building at 119 N Water St . Most of the original agents are still with us ( a few have retired), and we have added additional agents for a current total of 15. They are all full time professionals dedicated to aiding their Seller's and Buyer's through the process of either Selling or Buying.

We have been fortunate to have attained the Number 1 market share position in the Silverton, Mt. Angel market for many years.

We have kept up with the use of current tech tools: website/mobile website/QR Codes/Instant 24/7 Hotlines/Virtual Tours, and more in order to better serve our Seller's and Buyer's.

Tune in to our Market Watch (now that introductions are over) for some up to date real estate info. We might even throw in a "true life" real estate story from time to time for your amusement.

Thanks to all of our past, and current clients and customers. We so appreciate your business and on going referrals !

Till the next time,

Connie Hinsdale
Principal Broker/Owner
NW Oregon Realty Group