Blog Buyer Live Timbers & Thorns Games from your own Living Room

Live Timbers & Thorns Games from your own Living Room

By Scott Shoji, September 9, 2019

A hearty congratulations are in order to my client, Joel! He recently completed his purchase of a condo in the Civic Condominiums.

Joel came to me as a Living Room referral when I first made the move to Living Room Realty. We spent the next few years touching base until the time was right for him to fly out and take a look at some condos that he was interested in. He was coming from Arizona, had a REALTOR® in his family, and was hoping to go with VA financing in his purchase. Joel works in logistics, and if ever there was someone who was made for that industry, it is him. He was perhaps the most organized client I have had and was on top of things before they even came on my radar. When he flew into town for a week, we toured over 30+ condos in the close-in Portland area. New, Old, Large, Small, Parking, No Parking, Converted Apartments, New Construction…we saw it all. So when it came time to make an offer, Joel was ready, able, willing and informed. We went into contract on a home that was a converted building off of NW Overton. It was small, quaint, and charming. The downside…not VA approved. Thankfully Joel had enough down to switch to a conventional route. We made an offer, went into contract after some negotiations, conducted our inspection, and were ready to finalize the sale.

A quick word about condos. The most important thing I can emphasize is an evaluation of the condominium documents to determine the financial health of the HOA, the potential or existence of any special assessments/litigation and how the building as a whole is holding up through the years. Does the HOA have a plan to replace systems as they get older? Have they budgeted for those in their reserves? Are they conducting an any reserve study to forecast these items. Other big items are, what type of financing are you using? VA? FHA? Conventional? It matters. A condominium building has to be FHA or VA approved to use that type of financing. If it isn’t, it can change, but the lender has to work with the HOA and it could take several months for that approval to happen. Most Sellers do not want to wait that long, so it behooves a Buyer using either type of financing to know the pros and cons of what happens when they find a property that may or may not be approved for them.

During our inspection of the condo docs, we discovered the HOA had to take out a loan to replace a failed fire escape and a special assessment was passed on to the owners of each unit. There was roughly $10,000 to pay off for this assessment. We began to negotiate having the Seller address that as a part of moving forward with the transaction. Then the appraisal came back…$10,000 under our agreed contract price. We debated whether to appeal the appraisal or not with some new information or not, but ultimately it was too much of a risk for Joel to take on and he decided to walk away from the property.

Within a day, another unit had come on his radar and the best part of it was the building was VA approved at the Civic Condominiums. Joel had left town already, but he had checked out the area it was in prior to leaving town and asked me to do a Facetime walkthrough of the unit with him. Technology proves it’s worth once more. With the building being VA approved, this allowed Joel to get a rate of almost a 1/4 percentage lower than a convention rate, allowing him to up his purchase price, in a newer, larger condo. We came in with a strong offer, put it under contract, and things moved rapidly from there. Joel officially closed yesterday and I had the honor of handing him the keys to his new home and got to watch him see it in person for the first time. This is the stuff I work for and is what makes what Ido more rewarding than anything I could imagine. Now he can sit back, look out his window overlooking Providence Park and take in a Timbers or Thorns game from the comfort of his living room.


Congrats Joel, I hope you truly enjoy your home in Portland. Welcome to the City!



Civic Condominiums  Providence Park Entrance Civic Condominiums

Scott Shoji

Broker | OR


Hello! My name is Scott Shoji and I am a licensed Oregon Real Estate Broker. I began my journey into Real Estate in 2005 specializing in new development mixed-use buildings & condos in Portland’s urban core. I was part of the sales teams for the Eliot Tower and The Westerly while at Debbie Thomas Real Estate, gaining first-hand knowledge of how a high-rise building is constructed from the ground up. Seeing all phases of the design, build, and sales process for condominium development helped frame my knowledge of the condo market. I am very familiar with most condo buildings in Portland and have published extensive market research on them for years. Before joining Living Room Realty, I worked with a top producing team that eventually became a boutique brokerage based out of the South Waterfront. This opportunity allowed me to expand my knowledge of not only the residential buildings in the area, but the ethos and vision of the community. I unequivocally loved being a condo owner and living in the heart of Downtown Portland where I took advantage of walking to farmers’ markets, concerts, festivals and food carts. Now living in a single-family home in the west-side suburbs of Portland, I enjoy watching my daughter ride her bike and my wife attempt to weed our garden. I feel like I can truly speak to the different experiences that each can offer and relate to buyers and sellers no matter what lifestyle they choose. I am a California transplant, having trekked North to earn degrees in English Literature & Business at the University of Oregon. (Go Ducks!) I have lived in Oregon on and off since 1996 and permanently made Portland my home in 2005. It is the love of this city that has welcomed me into its quirky arms that fuels my desire to help others find the same. Why Portland? The seasons! Leaves changing colors, the crisp winter air, lush green forests that convince you of another adventure. A thriving food scene where every other corner celebrates an up-and-coming chef, barista, or brewer. There is something so very accessible about Portland that charms and endears me. It feels intimate and easily accessed for a “big“ city. Where walking and cycling are embraced as popular modes of transportation and you are a short drive from the ocean, mountains, rivers and forests. What are you doing in your free time? You can usually find me artfully dodging or skillfully kicking rubber balls in my adult Dodgeball and Kickball leagues. I try and keep youthful at heart and these leagues help with that. Otherwise, I can be found tackling my untamable garden, improving my photography skills, or hiking the Pacific Northwest with my wife, Chelsea, and daughter, Elora and son, Auryn. Favorite Place Traveled To? This is probably a tie between Mürren, Switzerland, a picturesque mountain town deep in the Swiss Alps where I proposed to my wife, or Cambodia, where I experienced one of the most vibrant cultures traveling with my brother and sister. What can always be found close to you? A cup of black coffee and my computer. Why Real Estate? I have always loved the feeling of home. It is both a sense of place and a feeling of comfort. I find immense enjoyment in being able to help people find their home, whether that is handing over the keys to that very first home purchase, or helping someone take the next steps in life by selling the place that memories were made in. Not many careers can give that sense of satisfaction at the end of the day.
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