Betsy Ballantyne
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I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and know this area like the back of my hand. I currently live and work in the North/NE Portland area but serve the greater Portland area. My love of homes and working with people is what brought me to this career. Prior to my career as a real estate agent, I received my Bachelors in Psychology from The Evergreen State College and went on to work in social services.

I worked primarily with abused and neglected children in a residential setting. After about five years in the field I grew restless and needed a change. So in 2006 I got my real estate license and have been helping buyers and sellers reach their goals ever since. Many might think the leap from social services to real estate is a big one when in fact it is not.

Helping people through the purchase or sale of a home can be very stressful and often I find myself applying the same psychology to real estate as I did in social services. I pride myself on being a full service real estate agent and will provide nothing less than the best to my clients.

read more › There are 95 officially recognized Portland, Oregon neighborhoods. Portland has active and involved neighborhood associations that are concerned with livability and community, which separates Portland from other cities and makes it stand out as a desirable city to live in! Portland neighborhoods are also unique in offering great amenities within walking distance. Even the outermost reaches of the city are easily accessible by bus, Max or even Streetcar! Portland neighborhoods exude a neighborly vibe that is all too uncommon in many American cities.

read more › The Senate bill that finally passed the House by a 259-167 vote extended a number of federal tax code provisions that are important to homebuyers, sellers, builders and real estate professionals. For huge numbers of financially distressed owners of homes with underwater mortgages, this was the biggest issue in the entire fiscal cliff debate. Thinking about buying or selling a home this year? Congrats! Below are seven tasks you can accomplish now that will help your chances of home buying or selling in 2013! 1. Handle your credit issues.

read more › This graphic shows median sales prices, average times on market, and appreciation/depreciation by area (Tigard, North Portland, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, etc.). For most of 2012 we have seen little if any appreciation, however, this graphic is showing us that most areas are now seeing appreciation and some high numbers at that! Also, Days on Market.

read more › The Realtor Multiple Listing Service (RMLS) of Portland did a breakdown of the entire Portland areas' short sales, bank owned and regular listings and how they compare. It shows that of those listings, how many actually sold. For short sales this is valuable information. I often have clients ask me how long short sales take. You know, one day we will look back and think, "why didn't I care more when interest rates were so insanely low?!" I bet people who purchased in the 80's who dealt with interest rates around 15% would appreciate our 3.84%!

read more › What a beautiful weekend we had here in Portland! When the weather gets this way it really makes me want to get outside as much as possible and it even makes me contemplate working out. Here's a list of all the upcoming Running Events in Portland for the rest of 2012. My husband saw this comment on the website Reddit in response to a Nokia game called Snake. Check it out and have a little laugh on me! Happy Friday! I once avoided small talk with a real estate agent by hiding under my bed (I couldn't be bothered to leave the house).

read more › I love this time of year when my tulips start blooming but what's even better is checking out the Tulip Festival at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. It's hands down one of the best photo opportunities around. This year they have 40 acres of tulips and daffodils. On top of that they have daily events. An interesting story was published last week by NPR and ProPublica regarding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As many people know, a handful of banks agreed to carry out mortgage principle reductions for those who owe more than their homes are worth.

read more › Homeowners insurance tends to be one of those things that people think about after the fire burns the house down or the flood heavily damages the home. Doing a little extra research when you are beginning the home buying process can potentially save you and your family a lot of heartache down the road. Oh, I'll never forget how glorious the time was when I did my taxes after having bought our first home. As I left my accountant's office I felt this weird sensation on my face. What are the most popular mortgages you offer?

read more › I've talked about this before but it's one of those posts that bares repeating. When tackling home remodeling projects, you'll find some projects pay off more than others at times of resale. Remodeling Magazine, in conjunction with REALTOR Magazine, recently released findings of its annual Cost vs. Value report for 2011-2012, revealing which remodeling projects. The North Portland area around N. Williams and Fremont has seen a lot of change over recent years. With the addition of many new shops, restaurants and bars; the area rivals its neighbor N. Mississippi.

read more › Once upon a time, Portland homebuying was a much less dramatic affair then it is today. The house hunt was fun, if suspenseful, and then there was another exciting whirlwind of inspections, closing and moving in. Today, though, as soon as buyers get the gumption to jump off the rent vs. buy fence, they find. It doesn't always have to be about real estate! New Years is just 4 days away and if you want to do something and avoid sitting at home watching the ball drop on tv, here's a few ideas. FYI, my favorite is definitely the Stormtroopers vs. Klingons Party!

read more › So let's see. I have a Fred Meyer card, a Safeway card, and a Walgreen's card. At one point I believe I had a handful more but I never really used them or saw any benefit from them. But wouldn't it be cool to have a rewards card for local businesses? I just stumbled upon. In the past I was surprised by a few clients that I had gotten who wanted to purchase a home for their child to live in while attending college. It's a pretty good idea when you consider the low prices and interest rates because even after the student graduates, that home that is located near.

read more › Have you ever noticed all the acronyms that real estate agents have after their names? Ever wondered what those meant? There are so many acronyms used in real estate, either in listings or after agent's names. I have a few myself but have chosen to not use them after my name because I assume people. Do you know that the City of Portland will reimburse you for part of the cost when you plant a tree in your yard? Go here to see how to get your Treebate. I am a planner by nature. I like to make lists and be organized.

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