A New Italian Restaurant in the Whiteaker- Bari Trattoria

A couple of friends and I decided to visit the latest restaurant to open in the Whiteaker, Bari Trattoria. We were seated immediately without a reservation, and the wait staff got our drinks and appetizers to us quickly. We ordered the Wood Fired Mixed Olives and Calamari for our appetizers. For the main course my friend Sheila ordered the Spaghetti Marinara with Meatballs, Chris ordered the Smoked Pork Ragu, and I ordered the Fettuccini Alfredo with Smoked Chicken.

We were all very happy with our meals, the chicken was was tender and filled with smoke flavor. The noodles were handmade in house and you could taste the difference! Keeping true to their name they have a great mixologist on staff that had several intriguing house cocktails on the menu.

They also have a great Tuesday night special that none of us had a chance to try 1 slice and a beer for $13. Perhaps the best part of the evening was when they brought out our bill, and even after the 4 cocktails we added to the meal our bill was only $82. Great food, great prices, great location! I will definitely be back! Click here for more info http://baritrattoria.com/

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 9:50 pm
Vince Casey | Category: Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Date Night at Cafe Soriah with Chef Ib

My fiance’ Erika and I decided to visit Cafe Soriah after meeting Chef Ib the owner and table side chef. We came in on a Tuesday around 6pm and were seated right away. The staff was very attentive despite how busy they appeared to be. At the recommendation of the Chef I chose the Steak Diane, a Beef tenderloin, in burgundy brown sauce with mushrooms, scallions, Dijon mustard and garlic. My fiance’ chose Souvlaki, a smaller plate of skewered marinated beef tenderloin grilled and served with tzatziki. My Steak Diane was out of this world, it reminded me of a gourmet salisbury steak. Erika loved her entree’ as well, along with her beet salad she said it was the perfect portion.

Chef Ib is dedicated to bringing the Mediterranean experience into every meal and uses lots of local fresh ingredients. If you would like to see him in action I recommend you stop by tonight! For a list of everything they have to choose from visit their website http://cafesoriah.com

Chef Ib, hard at work

Posted on May 14, 2018 at 11:13 pm
Vince Casey | Category: Reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A New Pizzeria in the Whiteaker- Wheel Apizza Pub

I visited the new pizzeria in the Whiteaker Saturday night of the soft opening with my fiance’ and her friend visiting from out of town. As many of you know Steve Mertz the creator of Tacovore is tackling his next project a New Haven pizzeria with a focus on new school craft beer. Needless to say I was excited!

When we arrived they had a similar set up to Tacovore, you get get in line to order before you sit down. The staff was very friendly and greeted us as soon as we walked in. We ordered the Kale Caesar, Cheese Polenta Cakes, and the Sausage and Pepper pizza, two of their hand crafted soda’s Erika got the Berry and I got Lemon.

We received our food right away and the pizza was served with a rustic char on the crust. It was clear that they were using higher end ingredients, and that all the ingredients were fresh with an emphasis on locally sourced products. The flavor was out of this world, I haven’t tasted pizza this fresh before. The combination of sausage and red pepper practically exploded in my mouth! I did not have a beer that night, but the shop was certainly a buzz with delight as patrons discussed pairings and beer selections. The pizzeria also boasts handmade cocktails and wine if beer isn’t your preference.

The only problem I foresee for this new restaurant is where they are going to fit all the customers when they start to get busy. It is quite a bit smaller than Tacovore, but I assume it will be just as popular. Some nights it might be easier to order take-out! Visit their website to learn more http://thewheelapizzapub.com/

The soft opening at the Wheel Apizza Pub was a huge hit

Posted on April 22, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Vince Casey | Category: Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Whiteaker Hot Spots – Bars and Restaurants

As a relocation specialist and an AirBnB host I often get asked where to go for good eats and treats. After starting to make recommendations I realized how many amazing places the Eugene area has to offer. Starting with my favorite area the Whiteaker.

The Whiteaker is a small area of town with a lot of culture, since Ninkasi moved there over 10 years ago the Whit has become a haven for bar fly’s, foodies, and beer aficionado’s. One by one the area has had new restaurants and eateries spring up and take root in this thriving cultural district.

Sam Bond’s Garage– Sam Bond’s is by far the oldest of these establishments, a true neighborhood bar it is a unique experience. It has all the feel of a neighborhood tavern, but with local artists hanging their works, and a menu that is health conscious. It is truly evolved to be more than just a pub. If you would truly like to catch the magic of Sam Bond’s go for Monday night Bingo hosted by Tom Heinl. This is a local tradition that has been carried on since Sam Bond’s has opened in 1995. Get there early around 8pm or it will be hard to find a seat. Visit http://www.sambonds.com/ for more info.

Tacovore– Tacovore is an institution of the Whiteaker. If you were to go in at 7pm Friday night you would find a line going out the door. Their commitment to fresh ingredients and innovative recipes is the secret to their success. I always get their Carne Asada tacos made with Pacific NW Grass Fed Beef, and the chips and guacamole. Their margaritas are always made with freshly squeezed limes, and 100% pure agave tequila, it’s a difference you can taste. So go ahead and treat yourself today. http://tacovorepnw.com/

Meiji’s– Where East meets Country and Western, Meiji is a unique restaurant basing it’s theme on combining eastern food themes with western charm. They have a Cowboy Karaoke night, and if you look in the jukebox you will see names such as Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. They have one of the best crafted cocktail menu’s in town. My favorite is the Bourbon and Ginger made with a house pressed gingerade. Although the menu has many Japanese themed items such as sushi rolls, miso, and Kushiyaki. I always get their famous hamburger, topped with Japanese pickles and a creamy wasabi mayo, it is my favorite hamburger in Eugene. Check out everything Meiji has to offer here http://www.izakayameiji.com/

Ninkasi– Ninkasi started over 10 years ago over a pint of what we now know as Total Domination IPA. Two friends from Eugene started Ninkasi with a dream of having a brewery that was individually owned and driven by people not products. Their dream is now a reality, and a cornerstone of the craft beer movement. If you’re going to go out for beer tonight, people travel all over just to visit Ninkasi. Learn more here http://www.ninkasibrewing.com

Blairally Vintage Arcade– Blairally is just what it sounds like, a vintage arcade with all of your favorite games from the 80’s. Such as Donkey Kong, Pac Man, Ski Ball, and Pin Ball. This is by far the most family friendly establishment I have mentioned so far, up until 9pm you can have children with you. They have ample room to run around and discover the popular games of your youth while you relax and sip on a cocktail or 2. The neighborhood always seems to show up to their 80’s night dance party every Friday night hosted by local dj’s, it’s always a lot of fun. Check here for a schedule of upcoming events https://www.facebook.com/blairallyarcade

Thinking Tree Spirits- New comer to the group Thinking Tree’s stock is rising, and quickly becoming known as one of the best places to get a crafted cocktail. Not only do they have one of the finest spirits produced in the NW, the also have Eugene Weekly’s voted favorite bartender in Eugene 2 years running Morgan Pharis. His imagination and creativity is second to non when it comes to crafting custom cocktails. http://www.thinkingtreespirits.com/

Grit– If you are looking for a special restaurant to take a date look no further. Grit has classic appeal, and a beautiful patio for the warmer months. This place has built a menu based on courses known as the fixed four (salads, starters, entrees, and desserts). As a seasonal restaurant it has a constantly rotating menu of local products. The quality however, is always the same.http://gritkitchen.com/

Whether you are looking for a relaxed place to eat, or a little bit of fun nightlife, the Whiteaker is a great spot to visit if you are looking for a new experience.

The Whiteaker has one of the most unique dining experiences on the West Coast, whether you are looking for night life or something family friendly. The Whiteaker has the right place for you.

 

 

Posted on September 23, 2017 at 12:49 am
Vince Casey | Category: Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My 10-Step Marketing Plan

In order to be successful in this competitive market you have to have a plan. To capitalize on your investment to it’s fullest potential that plan has to be educated and grounded in facts. The facts are this is a sellers market in Lane County (May 2017), but if your home isn’t marketed properly you could still be missing out on it’s full potential. Here is a fool proof plan that I have experienced a great deal of success with.

1. Listing in RMLS– When your home is listed in RMLS it automatically populates to online websites such as; Zillow.com, Realtor.com, and Trulia.com. This is a way for Realtors to view your home and buyers who are still unrepresented to find your home through personal searches.

2. Signage– Another basic building block of a proper marketing plan is a yard sign with information regarding the property.

3. Open Houses– Most agents will do at least one open house, I generally tend to do one open house a month until the property has a pending offer.

4. Pricing– This is a key strategy for any home sale, you can test the market with a higher price if you are not in a rush to sell your home, or you can price it to move quickly. I prefer to create a very educated price point, due to market trends and comparable recent sales in your area.

5. Staging– The theories on staging are numerous. Curb appeal is by far the most important component of staging in my opinion. Without it some people may not even get out of their car to see the house. Many homes show well simply being vacated and cleaned thoroughly. For a more luxurious home you may want to consider a professional stager that will fill your home elegant furniture and beautiful decor for a monthly fee.

6. Newspaper Ads– If you list with me I will always include an add in the Register Guard with your open house times listed. This will ensure that your open house will be a success.

7. Parade of Homes– There is a weekly tour of new homes on the market that is attended by the top Realtors in Lane County. If you list with me I will personally present your home at the Parade of Homes and coordinate your home to be open during the Parade hours.

8. Windermere Weekly Meetings– Here at Windermere we have a slight advantage over the competition, with 140 agents on staff we are the largest realty team in Lane County. Once a week we assemble to discuss buyer needs and new up and coming listings. Many times our listings get sold in house before they even hit the open market.

9. Social Media– One of the perks of being a member of the Eugene Area Board of Realtors is having access to their social media group. When I list your home I will post it on their Facebook page where over 800 Realtors from Lane County will have the chance to view it. as well as utilizing the Windermere Facebook page.

10. Knocking– Knocking doors is an ancient art form, but a highly effective way to communicate still. I will knock in the general vicinity of your home and let your neighbors know that your home is coming on the market and when your open house will be taking place.

 

LoopNet/Hotlinks– For all of my Commercial/Investment properties I post all of my properties to LoopNet and Hotlinks so all local and area investors will be notified of your listing.

 

Long story short, I have a dedicated plan for selling your home quickly and at top dollar, if you would like me to perform a market analysis for your home reach out to me today and I will do my best to ensure you have the right information at the right time to make a great decision.

 

Your friend in real estate, Vince Casey

 

Posted on May 3, 2017 at 12:34 am
Vince Casey | Category: Real Estate Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Guide For First Time Home Buyers

As the next generation of first time home buyers begin to venture forth into the market there are generally a plethora of questions that accompany them. In this article I will attempt to answer the most common place questions and hopefully give you the peace of mind to move forward with confidence in your home buying decision.
 
Getting Prequalified 
 
 One of the most intimidating steps for first time home buyers is getting prequalified, however, I would not entertain the idea of shopping for a new home until you do so. It can be a devastating blow to find your perfect home and then realize you’re not qualified for it.
 
Credit
 
 A credit score is a major focus on getting prequalified. In most cases there is a minimum requirement of 620 or higher. There are a few exceptions for government loan programs. You will also need to have at least 3 accounts that are verifiable, typically this is done through a credit report.
 
Income
 
 All lenders require an income of some sort. In general you must demonstrate stable income for the previous 2 years that is likely to continue. An example of this would be a salaried job that has been held for 2 years with income verified by paycheck stubs and W-2 forms. All loan programs have a debt to income ratio (DTI) calculation that includes the projected amount of the new home payment plus any other payments made periodically (car payment, student loans, credit card, etc.)
 
Liquid Assets
 
 All loan programs require the down payment and closing costs to be readily available. Several loan programs also require reserves in addition to the funds needed to complete a home purchase. The typical reserve requirement is 2 months of projected home payments. To give you an overview I wrote up 2 scenarios using our most popular models for loans, Conventional and FHA for a house that is being purchased for $250,000.
 
 Conventional: 5% down required
   – 620 credit score or higher
   – $17,500 down payment
   – $3,230 in reserves
   – $315 in other payments
   – $54,000 in annual income
 
 FHA: 3.5% down required
    – Credit score may not be required. Some lenders can go as low as 580
    – $13,750 down payment
    – $0 reserves
    – $315 in other payments
    – $47,000 annual income required
 
 FHA loans require mortgage insurance as well, so consult with your lender on the options available to you. If you have any further questions schedule a consultation with a lender.
 
Your Home Search
 
 When beginning your home search it is important to select an agent right away. Choosing to go with an agent as a buyer is an easy decision because the seller is actually paying the commission. An agent will have access to current market conditions and trends, online tools, and even pocket listings that may not even be on the market yet. Once you have selected an agent they can begin an RMLS search for you, which is a search for homes available that meet your criteria (price, number of bedrooms, location, etc.) and email them to you as they become available on the market. Once you start receiving these emails, review them in a timely manner. Currently, Eugene is a seller’s market (April 2017), which means there are very few homes on the market. So when a good property becomes available there are usually multiple bids on it within a short amount of time. Needless to say once you find a home that suits your needs you should try your best to make an attractive offer quickly.
 
Escrow
 
 Once you decide to make an offer you must be prepared to give the seller an earnest money check (typically 1% of the purchase price) and a pre-approval letter from your lender.
The seller will then either accept, reject, or counter your offer. Making an offer may make you nervous, but don’t worry because you are not locked into a contract quite yet. Once you have an accepted offer there is a 10-15 day window to get your inspection done. That is when a licensed professional comes out to look over your new home for any potential problems. An inspection usually costs about $400-$500 in Eugene, and if anything is discovered in the initial inspection report they may suggest a follow up inspection by someone who specializes in a certain area, such as a roof inspection, a foundation inspection, etc. So be sure to have a little set aside just in case, it may seem inconvenient at the time, but you may also get necessary major repairs done at the expense of the seller that will improve the value of your home for years to come. If something does happen to come up during inspection that makes you uncomfortable you can write an addendum to the original offer to have it repaired or back out of the agreement. It usually takes about 45 days to close. That timeline could be flexible depending on if any repairs need to be made and the availability of inspectors and contractors. Unless otherwise agreed upon you would get your keys at 5 pm on the day of closing. Congratulations, you are now a new home owner!
 
 
 Pro Tip- If you are ever feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of buying a new home, but it is definitely a life goal. Check out NEDCO (Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation). They have a program that will match 3 times your contribution(ex. If you save $3,000 they will match you $9,000 for a total of $12,000) and it will teach you how to raise your credit score, and lots of other helpful information on buying your first home. Please visit their website for more information http://nedcocdc.org/ .
 
Sources –
 
David Kammerer- Summit Funding 
Branch Manager/ Senior Loan Officer
davekammererteam@summitfunding.net
(541)868-1850
 
Vince Casey- Windermere RE/Lane County
Broker
vincecasey@windermere.com
(541)868-4559
 
NEDCO
 
Trendgraphix
 
RMLS

Posted on April 18, 2017 at 1:28 am
Vince Casey | Category: Real Estate Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,