Anti-Californian sentiment has reared its ugly head in Portland, Oregon where home prices are apparently spiraling out of control.
An article in The Oregonian points out that “no Californians” stickers are being slapped on real estate signs throughout the city.
One realtor, Lori Fenwick, noticed the sticker (which looks like a no smoking sign but with the map of California in the crossed out circle) on one of her for sale signs and took to a real estate group on Facebook to see if others had experienced the same.
She soon found out that another three agents had seen the stickers in the PDX. One agent who discovered the sticker on one of his listings said the house eventually sold to a man from New York.
In another instance, Fenwick found that someone had covered her name with the phrase, “STOP THE BUBBLE.” She pointed out that while they’re entitled to their opinion, the signs aren’t free.
As you might expect, she chalks it up to rising home prices and limited inventory, which is the perfect recipe for bidding wars and intense frustration.
And while both agents acknowledged the fact that they work with plenty of California buyers, they noted that buyers are coming from other places too.
It just so happens that California sits right below Oregon, making it geographically convenient. Oh, and home prices in Oregon are a lot cheaper than in many parts of California.
My California Native Perspective
For the record, I’m a native of Los Angeles, California so I need to stand up for my state here.
Interestingly, I know a couple that recently purchased a home in Portland by way of California. They actually moved from Los Angeles to Dallas first (back when home prices were originally silly high), and then to Oregon a year or so ago.
While it might be frustrating for would-be buyers in Portland, I’m sure existing homeowners and those selling their homes have absolutely no problem with Californians making offers.
Additionally, it’s a bit ironic that they’d complain about Californians when we ourselves are a melting pot consisting of folks from all 50 states (including Oregon) and countless countries the world over.
If you walk around LA and ask random strangers where they’re from, more often than not the answer will be some place other than California.
You can’t really fault Californians for looking for affordable housing elsewhere if it’s out of reach at home, especially in a great city like Portland. And don’t forget we are the ones who have to move our families.
Imagine if everyone native to California slapped “Californians Only” stickers on the real estate signs? Or only allowed cars with California license plates on the congested freeways?
Ultimately that’s not how life works, and owning real estate is a privilege, not a right. Sadly, many places are extremely popular and thus very expensive, but that’s the nature of supply and demand.
And as noted earlier, I’m sure the folks who already own homes are thrilled to receive out-of-state bids for their homes. Or to see their property values surge, allowing them to pull equity via a cash-out refi.
Just think back to a few years ago when no one would touch real estate with a ten foot pole. I bet they would have welcomed a Californian with open arms. And there’s a good chance that Californian wasn’t originally even from California.
Instead of blaming others for the high cost of real estate, maybe take a step back and determine if buying makes sense at the moment. This could be a sign to wait it out. Or move to Idaho.