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“The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with One Step.” –Lao Tzu

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

Dear Shanon, What should I know before we get started?

Guiding people on their new path in life is the best part of my career! Whatever past situation you are moving from, buying and selling a home is opening a door to a new chapter. Before you start opening random doors, here are some questions I am asked every day that you might want to consider as you embark on your Real Estate journey.


Should I Buy Now Or Wait Until Next Year?

As you look at building your future, the benefits of owning a home are endless! With flexible, low-cost loans and programs out there – you can easily turn your home ownership dreams into reality and fast track your savings for retirement.

What Will It Cost If I Wait To Buy My Dream Home?

Though you may have to give up your sushi or cool it on the coffee runs to make it happen, here’s a breakdown of how you can quickly build equity over the next month, year, and 30 years.

What do I need to get pre-qualified for a home?

Provide your Mortgage Loan Consultant with the following information and documentation so they can assess your debt-to-income ratio, projected monthly mortgage payments, and affordability.

For all borrowers:

· Driver’s license

· 2014 & 2015 W2s

· Pay stubs for the last 30 days

· Two most recent monthly checking and savings statements

· 401k/IRA/Pension/Stock

If you currently own real estate, are self-employed, have social security/disability income, or have pension/retirement income-you will likely need to provide additional documentation. Talk to your favorite Mortgage Loan Consultant for more information and they will help you assess your financial situation and goals so you’ll know what price range to shop in for your new home.


How much is my home worth?

Many factors determine the market value of your home. Yes, market value. Ask your favorite Realtor to conduct a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) that pulls data on Active, Pending, and Sold properties from the last six to twelve months. This report will help you gauge your competition, see what price range is enticing Buyers to make offers on, and ultimately view what your neighbors and/or other similar properties are selling for. Keep in mind your Realtor needs to physically view the property to assess the condition, neighborhood, improvements, and more. Also, remember appraisals are likely going to be a part of the process to ensure the property is sold at a fair value for both parties.

What improvements and repairs should I make to my home before listing?

The majority of today’s buyers want homes that are turnkey, with minimal effort required in major remodels or repairs. If it is broken, then you should fix it. Clean it from the inside out. That means boxing items you do not use anymore or donating them to a local charity. Purge items you know you will not be taking with you on your next chapter. Detoxing is hard, but it will feel good! Then go through and clean the house so it smells good and feels uncluttered. Make sure your curb appeal is simple and nice by laying down mulch, a new doormat, and pretty flowers. Your Realtor can give you additional tips on staging and prepping your house so it shows to the greatest advantage on day one on the market.

How is the market?

Nationally, we are seeing a resilient economy encouraged with industrial production & retail sales up both 6%, and inflation pressures remaining modest with consumer prices climbing 2% in June. Locally, the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service reports that we have seen prices increase in Medford over last year by 2% in East Medford (avg. price $255,000), 9% in Southwest Medford (avg. price $224,000), 11.7% in West Medford (avg. price $155,000), and 19%in Northwest Medford (avg. price $197,500). East Medford’s median price range fell slightly short of Talent at $268,500, Jacksonville at $369,000, and Ashland at $393,500. Median price ranges are based on data from January 1-June 30, 2016. Overall, in Jackson County, we have seen a 4.2% increase in prices over last year with the median price in our area at $234,550 compared to the median-priced home at $225,000 in 2015.

As you take those first steps toward a new path, be sure you have answered these questions so you are confident in your decision as you start this exciting new chapter. Talk to your favorite Realtor and Mortgage Loan Consultant who can help you customize a plan to fit your short and long-term financial goals. Also, make sure you have those critical conversations with loved ones so you have additional emotional support on your new journey. You will then be ready to close the old chapter and open the new one in as little as 45 days-how exciting!

Shanon Pewtress

Real Estate Broker, Licensed in the state of Oregon

Published August 16, 2016

Shanon holds an MBA in International Business, has consistently received Top Realtor and President awards each year at John L. Scott (the Rogue Valley’s #1 firm), and loves writing in her “At Home with Shanon” column that has been delivered to 47,000+ homes in Medford since 2014, has appeared on the Real Estate Radio Show and was also featured on A&E TV network’s Real Estate Reality TV show.



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