Portland Metro Highlights
June Market Update

  • Portland continues to see strong real estate activities.
  • Closed sales at 3,302 showed an increase of 26.5% over 2,617 closings posted in June 2014.
  • Pending sales of 3,605 topped last June's 2,965 by 21.6%
  • New listings of 4,280 bested last June's 4,078 by 5.0%
  • June inventory decreased to 1.6 months and total time on market decreased to 44 days.
  • Prices continue to rise in 2015. June average sales price rose 5.8% to $347,900 and median sales price rose 7.1% to $300,000
(Note:  For further details check out the RMLS Market Action Report).  

In the event you or someone you know is thinking about selling or buying a home, give me a call at 503-319-5684 or email arnett@realtytrust.com to discuss current market activity and conditions.
These New Countertop Materials Are Worth a Look

Dekton by Cosentino

Dekton is a man-made composite of porcelain, quartz, and glass, compressed under extreme heat and pressure. The result is an ultra-compact material that is resistant to heat, abrasion, and UV light.

Dekton kitchen countertop
Dekton kitchen countertop

Pros:

- Very resistant to thermal shock (extreme cold and heat).
- Color will not fade in sunlight.
- Very resistant to scratching and staining.
- Manufacturer continues to add color and finish styles (23 so far).
- Can be used for exterior and interior surfaces.
- Does not need to be sealed.

Cons:

- Requires a knowledgeable installer.
- Matte finish may not suit all tastes.
- Consumer Reports reported in June that Dekton cracked when a heavy pot was dropped on it. (Dekton responded that improper installation may have been at fault.)

Cost: Starting at around $60 per square foot installed, similar to the cost of quartz and granite.

Here's a link to a Dekton photo gallery.


Neolith by TheSize

Neolith is an ultra-compact material made of natural clays and feldspar that is often grouped into the 'porcelain' category by style bloggers, although technically it is not a true porcelain or ceramic. It comes in a huge variety of looks ranging from glossy marble to textile, wood, and iron. Countertops can be installed in slabs that are just 12 mm thick.


Neolith kitchen countertop
Neolith kitchen countertop

Pros:

- Very resistant to heat, cold, and moisture.
- Relatively easy for installers to handle due to lighter weight and thin slabs.
- Can sometimes be installed over existing materials.
- Can be used for exterior and interior surfaces.
- Very resistant to scratches and staining.
- Many styles to choose from.
- Does not need to be sealed.

Cons:

- Not yet as widely available as more traditional options since it ships from Spain.
- Fewer contractors have experience installing them.

Cost: Starting at around $55 installed, but can go much higher (into the hundreds of dollars) depending on the type of project and location.

Click here to visit the Neolith website.


Thin Porcelain Tile (TPT)

Large-format thin porcelain tile is finding its way from Europe into homes throughout the U.S. While porcelain tile is nothing new, the large-format thin versions - often called 'technical porcelain' - now come in dimensions of up to 5 by 10 feet, making them a versatile option for slab countertops, walls, and floors.

Porcelanosa tiles on floor and wall
Porcelanosa porcelain tile makes a striking floor and wall surface as well.

Pros:

- Experts say that it is 30 percent stronger than granite.
- Available in many colors, finishes, and textures, such as leather and wood.
- Very resistant to heat and cold.
- Non-porous.
- Can often be installed over other surfaces.
- Does not need to be sealed.
- Suitable for floors and walls as well.

Cons:

- Fewer contractors have experience installing the large slabs.

Cost: Starts at around $60 per square foot installed.

Click to see Porcelanosa's Porcelain Tile Inspiration Gallery.


Engineered Quartz that Looks Like Concrete or Marble

Many people who love the look of concrete or marble countertops are held back by the fact that they are prone to staining. Now makers of engineered quartz are producing versions that mimic the look of concrete and marble, in an attempt to give consumers the best of both worlds.

Caesarstone quartz counters with appearance of concrete
Caesarstone 'Concrete' style engineered quartz

Pros:

- All the durability and strength of engineered quartz.
- Styles can closely resemble the materials they mimic.
- Typically less expensive than marble or concrete.
- Pattern and color run through the entire slab thickness.

Cons:

- Some may decide that the look is not close enough to the real thing, especially when it comes to concrete.

Cost: Engineered quartz starts at around $70 per square foot installed. Marble and concrete typically start closer to around $120.

Click here to see Caesarstone quartz 'concrete' styles (first three samples).
Click here to see Silastone quartz 'marble' styles.



Countertop Shopping Tip

If you are considering Dekton, Neolith, or thin porcelain tile, ask how mitered edges will affect their appearance. Porcelain patterns are glazed on the slab's exterior and can be lost if an edge treatment removes the outer layer. Dekton and Neolith retain interior color but can also lose exterior patterns. While the final effect may be negligible, it's good to know what to expect.


Countertop Information Links

Here are two helpful resources you can use the next time you or someone you know is researching countertop materials:




(What the lawyers make us say: The information in this newsletter is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Please always consult a qualified expert before making decisions based on this content. Nothing in this article is meant to be taken as expert legal or financial advice.)




Recent Market Highlights


Market chart icon
- U.S. home prices rose 4.2 percent year-to-year in April, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report . They rose 6.3 percent year-to-year in May, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is in the low 4-percent range.

The May Pending Home Sales Index rose 10.4 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors ®.
Contact Me for Market Information
Are you curious about your home's current market value, or do you have a question about home buying? Just reply to this email, or call me at (503) 319-5684.
Links that Make Life Easier

Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not... these are assorted links that come in handy:

Rover.com Dog Boarding Network
This website allows dog owners throughout the U.S. to connect with local dog lovers who will watch or board their dogs.

A Marble Countertop Lookalike Minus the Maintenance
Quartzite (a natural stone, not engineered quartz) is another material that looks like marble, but is easier to maintain.

123Notary.com
If you need a mobile notary on short notice, check this nationwide site for someone in your area. Information includes how much insurance the notary carries.

Lava Stone Countertop Photos
Lava stone is one of the most expensive countertop materials, but it comes in eye-popping shades and is extremely durable.

Add the Best, Drop the Worst
Practical advice on how to drop bad habits and build great ones, from personal development blogger Steve Pavlina.





The Lighter Side

Skateboarding cat


Could this be the coolest cat ever? See how Didga the rescue cat spends the afternoon at the skate park showing the kids how it's done, complete with Go Pro footage.

Click here or on the image to watch the video.

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Are you thinking of buying or selling a home in the next year, or could you use some remodeling advice? Even if you just need the name of a good service provider, please remember that I'm always here to help you. I welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and associates with my expertise and recommendations.
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