DINKs Report from Portland

by James & Miel on July 27, 2008 · 0 comments

Hi All,

We have spent the last few days cruising through Oregon and haven’t been able to let you know what’s going on. So, here is an update on what we’ve been up to.

Right now we are in Portland helping Miel’s sister and brother-in-law move. They ended up selling their small one and a half bedroom in two and half weeks – great for this market. They moved into a larger – and more expensive three bedroom in a different part of town. Their mortgage payments have increased, but since they’re expecting their second child, they felt they needed the extra space. They also anticipate living there for the next twenty years.

The other big news – at least for us non driving DINKs – is that gas prices are very, very high. We borrowed my mom’s camper – while the mileage isn’t bad, it does have a massive tank. At $4.05 a gallon, filling the darn thing costs a cool $80 to fill. Doing any kind of serious driving can quickly empty your pocket book. In this case, we’re a bit behind the curve because everybody knows that gas prices are outrageous. We just don’t feel it on a regular basis, because we’re not motorized.

Oh – we almost forgot, we’re also looking into a couple of investment opportunities when we’re in Portland. The first is that we’re considering picking up a piece of real estate here sometime early next year. At this point we don’t have the parameters well defined or a clear vision of how the project will make money, but we know that we want to be in Portland for the long term, so this at least provides some focus.

The second opportunity we’re considering is buying shares in Umpqua Bank, a regional savings and loan that has expanded substantially over the last ten years. Since the entire banking sector has been beaten down, the stock is currently yielding a 6.2% dividend, and if the fundamentals are strong, could have an upside of 200 percent. The ticker symbol is UMPQ, and the stock is currently selling for $12.34 per share.

Best,

James and Miel

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