Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fire Prevention in Rentals A Hot Topic of Discussion

Concern over the frequency of fires in rental units and the impact on tenants' lives led to the Vancouver-Clark County Fire Department holding a workshop on fire prevention in rentals. 

Most common causes of tenant fires are related to tenant carelessness such as (a) stove burners left on (b) smoking (c) candles. 

At the very least, rental owners can require that tenants carry renters' insurance. They can also ban smoking in units.

Monday, October 26, 2009

LED Lighting a Good Alternative to Incandescents for Apartment Complexes

LED Lights are coming out of the dark!  According to the latest issue of Multifamily Executive magazine, light-emitting diodes or LEDs are just as energy-efficient as compact flourescent light (CFL) without  hazardous materials like mercury.  A 7-watt LED bulb can replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb and lasts 20 times longer than an candandescent and up to 6x longer than a CFL bulb.

LEDs are appropriate for common spaces and hallways, structures and interior use.  Read More > > >

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Act Now! Oregonians Have Until Nov. 19th To Take Advantage of Taxpayer Amnesty

Taxpayers with a tax deficiency and flying under the radar of the Oregon Department of Revenue were given a break when Governor Kulongoski signed Senate Bill 880 on July 15, 2009. The new law created a voluntary tax amnesty program for Oregon individuals and corporations with tax deficiencies resulting from unfiled or underpaid tax returns. The program's goal is to provide incentives to delinquent taxpayers to move forward, resolve their outstanding tax obligations, and provide for future compliance with state tax laws. Eligible taxes include corporate income and excise tax, personal income tax, inheritance tax, and Lane and Tri-Met Transit District self-employment taxes for all tax years prior to 2008.

The deadline for filing is November 19, 2009.
Read More > > >

More About Miller Nash Tax Group

Leading Economic Index Posts Another Gain

In a report issued today, the Wells Fargo Economics Group reports that the Leading Economic Index increased for the sixth straight month in September in the latest affirmation that the economy has shifted gears from recession to slow recovery.
The LEI has posted gains for six straight months and suggests the recent recovery will likely continue.
Along with low short-term interest rates, a key driver of the gain in the LEI is a recovery in consumer expectations. So far, expectations are recovering faster than consumers’ assessment of the present situation. Recovery in consumer spending will require improvement in the present situation as well.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Since 2006, Thousands More Portland Area Apartments Become Smokefree

A recent Portland/Vancouver renter survey conducted by the Smokefree Housing Project projects that the number of rental units covered by a no-smoking policy increased by 13,000 rental units from 2006 to 2009. A total of 22% of tenants surveyed reported that smoking inside their units was prohibited. Among other things the study found:
  • 76% of renters say they rarely or never experience secondhand smoke in their homes, up from 70% in 2006
  • 75% of all metro-area renters prefer a smokefree environment 
  • 50% reported they would choose a rental community with a no-smoking rule even if they had to pay more or compromise on things like location
  • The 2009 study reconfirmed findings from 2006 - renters with incomes of less than $35,000 were just as likely as those with higher incomes to reject the idea of living next door to tenants who do smoke
Effective January 1, 2010 a new law in Oregon will require landlords to disclose their smoking policy to tenants in rental agreements.

Information on smokefree housing is available from http://www.smokefreehousingnw.com/, a partnership between the American Lung Association in Oregon and the health departments of Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas and Clark Counties.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oregon Jobless Rate Eases from 12% to 11.5% in September

The Oregon employment Department reports September showed a gain of 1,500 jobs in September for professional and business services to lead a significant increase in hiring. See details.

MSN Article Points To Portland's Coolness Factor in Drawing Renter-Aged Youth

Last week MSN published a story highlighting the experts' rankings of Portland as a Youth Magnet city and commented on the residential market.

"For the mobile youth of today, home is often where they make it. But with unemployment at a five-year-high nationwide, recent college graduates and other young workers need to carefully weigh the fun factor with the job market before deciding where to make their new home."

Recently, Portland's buy-to-rent ratio put it #1 in US cities where it makes more sense to rent than to buy, which is great news for apartment owners.

To see the full MSN article, click here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

HFO Brokers Announce Multifamily Apartment Sales Totaling $2.5 Million in NE Portland and Beaverton

PORTLAND, Ore.-- HFO Investment Real Estate, a Northwest real estate investment firm with headquarters in Portland, Ore., has arranged the sale of the 38-unit Highlander Apartments in SE Portland for $1.62 million. The buyer used a HUD loan to finance the purchase and a planned major upgrade at the property. The buyer was RCD Acquisitions of Irvine, CA and the seller was Carlson Trust of Portland. HFO Investment Real Estate brokers represented the parties.

The 6th Avenue West Apartments located in Beaverton have sold for $900,000 or $56,250 per unit. Constructed in 1967, the low-density complex consists of 16 large 2-bedroom units. The buyer was C.A. LLC of Portland, Oregon and the seller was E. Lang of Portland, Oregon. HFO Investment Real Estate brokers represented the parties.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

HFO Again Named Top Corporate Philanthropist by Portland Business Journal

Portland, OR – HFO Investment Real Estate, a Northwest real estate investment firm with headquarters in Portland, OR, is pleased to announce it has been named by the Portland Business Journal as a top Corporate Philanthropist for the second year in a row.

"We’re pleased to be recognized for corporate giving but we couldn’t do it without our clients” said partner Greg Frick. HFO’s corporate giving program provides for a charitable contribution to be made for the closing of each transaction.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Experts Offer Tips for Eliminating Crime at Your Rental Property

What are some of the best ways to address on-site apartment safety? This month's Multifamily Executive magazine provides a step-by-step guide on how to rid your property of crime at a price you can afford.

Read More > > >

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How multifamily may be affected by the proposed high performance green building policy

The EnergyTrust of Oregon invites you to give your multifamily properties a competitive edge in the marketplace by attending an innovative seminar series connecting real estate and industry professionals with green industry leaders.

On Tuesday, November 17th: How Multifamily Could Be Affected by the Proposed High Performance Green Building Policy.  This event is presented by Vinh Mason, Policy Analyst, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

Learn about Portland’s proposed High Performance Green Building Policy; specifically, how multifamily properties—which are classified as commercial buildings—fit into the legislation. The policy is designed to improve environmental performance while strengthening the local economy and keeping buildings affordable in the long-term.

Date: Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Time: 8-10 am

Umpqua Bank Innovation Lab
3606 SW Bond Avenue
Portland OR 97239

To register, contact Meredith Rizzari, multifamily account representative at 503.523.4822 or e-mail Meredith.Rizzari@csgrp.com.

Wall Street Journal: Portland 4th Top Youth Magnet City

Renters ahead! Need more reasons to feel good about apartment investing? More young people aged 18-29 (mostly renters) continue to move to the Portland area, as evidenced by a story in today's Wall Street Journal. Youth magnet cities gain a cultural allure and labor market edge.
"A 'symbol of west coast hipness,' Portland has continued to draw migrants throughout the recession." Wall Street Journal.
Portland is cited for its "staying power" among youth, a haven for artists, musicians and outdoor enthusiasts.

The paper consulted six experts consulted about what 10 cities will emerge as the hottest, hippest destinations for highly mobile, educated workers in their 20s when the economy gets moving again - here are their picks based on a range of things from economic diversity to lifestyle.
  1. Washington DC
  2. Seattle
  3. New York
  4. Portland
  5. Austin
  6. San Jose
  7. Denver
  8. Raleigh-Durham
  9. Dallas
  10. Chicago + Boston
"Where young adults settle is no small thing. People 18 to 29 are the most mobile age group, and their past migration patterns have defined the future of regions, from the long rural exodus of the 1900s to the Silicon Valley boom of the 1990s. Youth-magnet cities gain an enviable cultural allure and a labor-market edge."

Read the full story online > > >