Baker City Realty Broker, Ann Mehaffy, was awarded Baker County “Legacy Woman of the Year,” at last weekend’s Baker County Chamber Banquet. Known for her involvement in everything Baker County, Ann’s recent recognition is well deserved. As past coordinator of Historic Baker City, a member of the Crossroads Carnegie Art Center Board or Directors, and an active member in the Ford Family Foundation,(just to name a few) Ann has a full portfolio of serving Baker.
It is this knowledge, expertise, and charismatic attitude that make Ann a wonderful person to talk with about buying or selling a home in the Baker Valley! We are proud to have such a passionate community member as a Baker City Realty broker. Congratulations, Ann!
One of the nice things about being a Realtor in Baker City is coming into contact with historic commercial properties that have such amazing stories behind them. We are currently marketing a building at 1901 Main Street in Baker that has such a history, as well as a bright future.
This building is special for other reasons: It has served most recently as a local events center, hosting town hall meetings, dances, Baker Orchestra concerts, fundraisers, holiday celebrations, company parties, Eastern Oregon Theater productions, art shows and exhibits, weddings, parties and more.
Sigmund Heilner, a pioneer Jewish merchant in Oregon, constructed the building in 1874. An immigrant from Bavaria, Heilner commanded an expedition that supplied guns to volunteers fighting an Oregon Indian War in 1856. He was involved in insurance, mining, hides, grain, wool and established the first bank and telephone system in Baker. As his business kept growing, so did the building, which encompassed not only a hotel, but a brothel of great reputation. The building still shows where a basement corner entrance (now filled in) accommodated discrete gentlemen.
The Heilner building has always been at the center of action downtown, at the intersection of Main and Court streets. Every parade, festival and rally that happens in Baker, happens in front of this building. It is a superb location!
The current owner renovated the building in 2012, bringing it up to modern codes, refinishing the first level wood floors, updating its utilities and installing a new roof. The basement, first floor and second floors are each 5,000 square feet and there’s a beautiful mezzanine above the main floor. An architect who specializes in renovating historic buildings guided the work.
- The main floor has two public bathrooms, three walk-in sidewalk display windows, an office with a huge walk-in safe, a large catering/break room, a utility room an electric closet.
- The building has two public entrances from the sidewalk and one alley entrance.
- The mezzanine has two bathrooms, an office, a dressing room and a conference room and two stairways to the mezzanine.
- The basement has one bathroom, three storage rooms and a large main room, a maintenance/shop area and one stairwell to the main floor.
- The second floor is mostly unused and has not been renovated, but it is clean and in good shape. It is wired and plumbed and ready to be hooked up for something. The top floor entrance is reachable from an exterior stairway from the street.
- The catering/break room is not a commercial kitchen but could be converted to one. For now, caterers bring their food in and use the room for preparation and serving.
The Heilner Building has lots of exciting possibilities and is priced incredibly well at $245,000. While the building no longer has dwellings, the city will permit living spaces to be constructed so it could have lofts, a hotel or up to 10 bed and breakfast rooms, most of which would have views of the downtown and/or mountains. The roof could also accommodate a “roof garden” for events.
News release: Baker City Realty adds outdoor enthusiasts, area natives to its team
Baker City Realty has hired two outdoor sports enthusiasts who are also Oregon natives, one as a Realtor and the other as an office manager in training to become a Realtor.
Bethany Micka, who grew up in Baker City and has lived in La Grande since 2011, has been hired as a Realtor. She enjoys downhill skiing, motorcycling, fishing, gardening, biking and backpacking with her dogs, home improvement projects and renovating investment properties.
Chelsea McLagan is from Bend but has lived in Baker since 2007, has been hired as office coordinator and is training to become a Realtor. She is a certified Bikram Yoga Teacher and an avid snow sports enthusiast, runner and archer.
“Bethany’s and Chelsea’s enthusiasm for outdoor recreation is a huge plus for our agency, as many people wish to relocate to Baker for its outdoor opportunities,” said Andrew Bryan, owner of Baker City Realty. “They were raised in the region, giving them insights into local property opportunities that only a native can have.”
For the past 13 years, Micka has worked as a US Forest Service dispatcher and firefighter. She holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Eastern Oregon University. McLagan has worked as marketing director and assistant operations director at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort. McLagan earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Admin from Oregon State University-Cascades.
News release: Baker City Realty hires outdoor recreationist and MBA as its latest Realtor
For more information:
Andrew Bryan, 208-484-5835
Aaron Harrell, 541-519-2738
Baker City Realty has hired an outdoor sports enthusiast and MBA as a Realtor, bringing the company’s total number of agents to five.
Aaron Harrell, a Seattle native who has lived in Baker since 2005, is an avid runner, mountain biker, hiker and skier. He lives in Baker with his wife and two children ages 3 and 5.
“Aaron’s enthusiasm for outdoor recreation is a huge plus for our agency, because many people wish to relocate to Baker because of its outdoor opportunities,” said Andrew Bryan, owner of Baker City Realty. “He’s worked in diverse fields and holds and MBA, giving our firm insights to assist our commercial customers as well.”
Harrell served in the U.S. Navy as a Chinese linguist and has worked in the information technology, academic advising, renewable energy, fitness and other industries. He holds a degree in English from the University of Washington and an MBA from Eastern Oregon University. He is involved in Young Life and the St. Luke’s Patient Advisory Council.
Traditionally, a Realtor could only represent a buyer or seller. In Oregon and a few other states, however, a Realtor can represent both the buyer and the seller. This presents some benefits and risks for all parties involved but we at Baker City Realty have successfully served as dual agents in many transactions since 2003. In fact, around two-thirds of our transactions involve dual agency real estate work – it is the norm in this area.
Realestate.com has a good explanation of dual agency. In a dual agency with a single agent, the seller’s agent who also represents the buyer is operating under a dual agency. When potential buyers who don’t have a buying agent contact a seller’s real estate agent, they can ask the selling agent to submit an offer on their behalf. In this case, the agent is acting as a dual agent. For a copy of the dual agency contract, click here.
Dual agency real estate pluses and minuses
At Baker City Realty, we go farther to help our clients, whether they are buyers are sellers. We are great listing brokers, and get properties sold, but we will also openly and freely represent all buyers, who can have access to all properties without hindrance. In other words, when a buyer needs expert advice on a property, we will always be happy to advise them.
There are some advantages to the dual agency arrangement:
• The seller’s agent is likely more knowledgeable about the property, having researched it to help the seller.
• Aside from looking after the buyer’s interests, a buyer’s agent often just serves as a middle man.
Dual agency requires some things of the agents. They must treat both buyer and seller fairly and and honestly. The dual agent must completely disclose information about the property to the buyer, but cannot reveal confidential information about the seller, including the seller’s identity if the seller wishes to remain private. The agent can’t advise the buyer on how much to offer, nor can the agent advise the seller to accept or reject an offer. In a traditional arrangement, when separate agents represents the buyer and seller, agents can and should advise their client on such things. To see the contact that described dual agent responsibilities in Oregon, click here.
Serving as a dual agent takes additional work from an agent, so what is their incentive? The transaction may proceed more quickly, since there are no other agents to serve as intermediaries. Most of all, the agent will earn a dual commission, instead of having to split it with another agent.
A dual agency real estate transaction may also work well if a transaction is fairly straightforward. However, a potential dual agent should anticipate if a transaction is complex, or if a buyer or seller are difficult to work with, and decline a dual agency opportunity in such cases. Dual agency also works well when the buyer and seller are experienced in real estate transactions.
Much of dual agency real estate comes down to the individual agent and their commitment to ethics and integrity. If they have a reputation of treating their clients fairly – disclosing what they should and keeping in confidence what they should – then an agent may provide a valuable service to buyers and sellers.
One of our jobs at Baker City Realty is to keep on top of the latest trends in the industry. So we thought this
blog post in circaoldhouses.com was definitely worth passing along. The blog is called “You Should Move To…” by Lindsey Riddell, an architectural historian with a passion for Victorian homes. She travels the country “scoping out beautiful, under-the-radar old house towns where big charm can be had for little cost” and recently visited Baker City.
She sums it up very well:
These days everyone is crazy about Portland, but I say abandon that grueling pace of life and those meagre real estate rations! Load up your wagons and head east of the Cascades where open space and tranquility abound; Why move to Oregon’s trendiest (and one of its rainiest) cities when you can live in one with four distinct seasons and just as much charm?
Riddell goes on to explain how incredible historical homes in good condition can be had for a bargain price, including folk gothic cottages, eclectic Queen Annes or craftsman bungalows of all sizes. She notes that many of the homes have sunrooms and beautifully maintained historic details like built-in bookshelves, fireplace surrounds, original hardwood floors and tile, wainscoting, tin ceilings and claw-foot tubs.
Because we’re in the local real estate industry, these truths are obvious to us, but sometimes an outsider makes the points astoundingly clear. At any given point in time, we may have a dozen or more classic, historic homes and businesses in great shape for around $100,000. Since we have an emphasis in artist relocation, this works out well, as many artists appreciate the traditional beauty of historic homes and storefronts.
Greetings! As you might notice, we have recently redesigned our Website and included a blog.
Realtors are good resources for people looking to move somewhere. We’re vested in the economic vitality and quality of life of a place and have to keep tabs on various things that have happened, are happening and will happen.
So, we hope to have occasional updates about not only Baker’s real estate market, but also about events in Baker. If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment and we’ll get right back to you. Our team of brokers is always available to help in any way.
Thanks for stopping by!