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Take a Tour of 3774 NE Alameda St!

by Portland Realty Team

This is an architect designed home prominently displayed in heart of Alameda. One owner since 1937! Inlaid hardwood floors, fireplace, coved ceilings, built-ins, leaded glass, central AC, hardwood floors on first and second floors. Den, sunroom, large bedrooms, formal living and dining rooms, 2 car garage, oversized lot, patio courtyard w/brick BBQ, cosmetically dated, but no deferred maintenance. Basement could be a great family room! Walkable distance to Beaumont Village shops and restaurants! Buyer to Verify All. Info Deemed Reliable Not Guaranteed.

Home Staging: Does It Make a Difference?

by Portland Realty Team

It seems to be universally accepted that home staging will help your home sell faster or for the best price—it’s been the common practice in the real estate business for a long time, and on the surface it seems like a no-brainer. Of course potential buyers will be more interested if a home is properly decorated, right?

That’s not necessarily true, according to a recent academic study. The study surveyed 820 homebuyers by showing them one of six virtual tours of the same property. In some instances the home was decorated with traditional furniture and color schemes, while in others more eccentric furniture and colors were used. In other tours there was no furniture at all, just empty rooms.

The overall results of the study were that staging is unlikely to increase a home’s sale price, and that staging isn’t quite as important as everyone believes.

Of course, real estate trends vary greatly from market to market. If you have questions about staging, talk to your trusted real estate professional.

Happier Hardwood Floors

by Portland Realty Team

Hardwood floors make for a beautiful, stunning addition to your home. However, they can bring new cleaning and maintenance challenges that aren’t present with carpet. Here are some tips for simple, efficient, and thorough hardwood floor cleaning.

Make the job easier Place mats on either side of your exterior doors and always remove your shoes before entering your home—and make sure your guests do the same. Protect the floors by placing felt (or similar) protectors on the feet of your furniture, and use area rugs to designate play areas for the kids. This will reduce extra dirt, dust, and floor scratches.

Weekly cleaning Sweeping with a standard broom will remove some dirt and dust, but not as much as a mop, wipe, or broom that’s been treated with a dusting agent such as a Swiffer. You could also invest in a vacuum that is designed for hardwood floors. Just be sure that the vacuum won’t leave scratches!

Deeper cleaning Regular sweeping will remove most dirt and dust, but occasionally you’ll need to give the floors a deeper cleaning to remove the dirt and grime that builds up in your floors’ seams. Use a wood-cleaning soap to thoroughly mop your floors, but make sure the mop isn’t sopping wet—you don’t want to leave standing water.

Spots and scuffs Most of the marks that occasionally show up on your floors, such as scuffs from rubber soles on boots and shoes—can be wiped away with a rag or very fine steel wool.

Don’t Forget About Homeowner Tax Breaks

by Portland Realty Team

One of the many perks of homeownership is big tax breaks. So whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or getting help from a professional, it’s important to take advantage of those breaks!

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Before buying a home, a standard deduction may have made the most sense when you prepared your taxes. But homeowners can deduct the interest portion of their mortgage payments, and the earlier you are in your mortgage, the greater the percentage of each payment that goes toward interest, so take advantage right away!

Home Office: There are specific criteria that have to be met in order to deduct home office expenses, but it can lead to a very large deduction. In general, your home office has to be used specifically for business purposes. Check with a tax professional to see if your home office qualifies for a deduction—it’s a little extra work, but can make a big difference in your tax responsibility.

Calling In A Professional

by Portland Realty Team

Renovating your home can be a stressful and expensive endeavor. How much should you spend? Who should you trust? Who’s the best contractor/architect/designer/etc. in town? If you find yourself asking these questions as you consider a renovation, you may want to consider a renovation coach.

Expert opinions Renovation coaches are a recent trend in home remodeling. Think of it as a project manager for your home renovation—someone who is great at working with contractors and vendors, and at keeping things running smoothly and moving forward as your renovation progresses.

Worth the investment? Renovation coaches can handle projects of any size, and can be involved as much or as little as you like. They’re especially useful for managing bigger projects that involve several vendors and contractors, but they can also be helpful in simply recommending the best and most reputable companies for your specific project. If you don’t know who to hire to remodel your kitchen or basement, a renovation coach can be a huge asset.

Finding the right coach There’s currently no national directory or association for renovation coaches, but it’s a fast-growing profession and chances are there’s a great one in your area. Take to the internet to find some coaches in your area—Houzz and Google are a good start. Vet several candidates and reach out to past clients to find the coach that can help you get the most out of your renovation.

Instant Home Makeovers

by Portland Realty Team

Not every home makeover has to be a major project that lasts days, weeks, or even months. There are a ton of quick touch-ups and fixes that can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your home, even though you can finish the project in less than an hour.

A new mailbox: Chances are you’re still using the same mailbox that came with your home. But giving your mailbox a fresh coat of paint—or even replacing it entirely—is pretty painless, and it instantly upgrades your home’s curb appeal.

Declutter: Less is usually more. Go through your home and consider all the stuff that you haven’t used in years. If it’s no longer serving a purpose, sell it, donate it, or throw it away.

New hardware for your drawers: Painting kitchen and bathroom cabinets can be a big undertaking—drop cloths, tape, washing brushes and rollers, etc. But you can change out your drawer hardware in just a few minutes—all you have to do is pick out the new fixtures.

What are your tips and tricks for adding a little pizazz to your home?

Three Ways to Ease Your Fears About Making a Move

by Portland Realty Team

With low inventory in many markets throughout the country, many homeowners are afraid to sell their homes because they’re concerned that they may not be able to find a new one. This can be a real problem, but if you are seeking to sell—whether to upgrade or find a new neighborhood—there are a few ways to combat the low inventory.

Look to buy first In most markets it is a real mistake to put your home up for sale before you start looking for your new property. Identify the geographic area where you are interested in buying. Even if you don't see anything on Zillow, it doesn't mean you can't or won't find the right home.

Think outside the box Be proactive! Keep in mind that there are probably many people like you who want to make a move but are afraid as well. Have your real estate agent send a letter to the neighborhoods in the geographic areas where you want to live. The letter should be heartfelt and personal while announcing that you are ready to buy a home in that neighborhood. You could find a home to buy that may not even be currently listed or for sale.

Protect yourself legally Each state varies in how the purchase process is conducted. Talk to your real estate professional about adding a clause in the purchase contract for the home you are selling that will enable you to not sell the home if you cannot find a suitable home to buy.

Refinancing: The Right Move?

by Portland Realty Team

The federal reserve recently raised interest rates, and if you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), it may be a good time to consider refinancing your home. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether your should refinance, so here are a few of the main considerations.

How long does your introductory rate last? Most ARMs have a fixed rate for the beginning of the mortgage. This is an introductory period (usually 3-10 years) when your rate will remain constant before it can be adjusted. If you have several years left in your introductory period, you can monitor interest rates for a while before making a decision. But if the intro rate is ending soon, it’s a great time to explore refinancing at a fixed rate.

How long are you staying? If you plan to sell your home soon—especially if you’re still on a fixed introductory rate—there’s not much motivation to refinance. But if you’ll be at your home indefinitely, you should consider your refinancing options. You could eliminate the stress of not knowing what your future mortgage rate and payments will be.

What’s your loan balance? The change in your mortgage payment will of course be determined in part by your remaining balance. If you owe $100,000-$200,000, a new interest rate may not greatly affect your monthly payment. On the other hand, if you owe $500,000, a change in interest rate could lead to a much higher payment.

Other factors The previous items are just a few of the factors that should go into a decision about refinancing. Changes in income and your current credit score should also be considered, so be sure to weigh your options and make an educated decision.

Five Maintenance Resolutions for Your Home

by Portland Realty Team


We may be a little removed from New Year’s Day, but it’s not too late to make some new resolutions for your home.

 

  1. Start a home repair slush fund: Things in your home are going to break and need to fixed. It’s just a fact that comes with home ownership. Rather than letting expensive repairs take you by surprise, start planning for them. Set aside some money each month that you can eventually draw from when an appliance breaks or unexpected.

 

  1. Inspect your fireplace: Even if you have a gas fireplace, you should still inspect the valves and ceramic logs yearly to ensure that everything is operating safely and correctly. If you have wood fireplace, hire a certified chimney sweep to do the job.

 

  1. Maintain your garage door: Garage doors are big and heavy, and that puts a lot of stress on the hinges and tracks that are use to open and close the door several times a day. A regularly scheduled $50 inspection could save you hundreds or thousands in the long run.

 

  1. Tune up your furnace: Regular furnace inspections will help identify minor problems before they turn into major ones. Also, set reminders to replace your furnace filter.

 

  1. Clean your coils: The No. 1 refrigerator maintenance task should be cleaning the condenser coils. They can get clogged with hair and dust, reducing your fridge’s efficiency. Have you cleaned yours lately? You can hire a professional to do it, but it’s also an easy do-it-yourself job.

 

Is there anything you like to do in caring for your home?

Exciting News For Our Neighbourhood!

by Brittany Hassell

Yellow: Car access

Orange: New construction

Purple: Existing Houses

Blue: NE BHG Office

Green: Trees

We have some exciting news! They have started work on what will become a Natural Grocer and also 10-15 mom and pop shops. The expected construction schedule is about 18 months. This is wonderful, as our neighbourhood will benefit from a grocery store anchor tenant and many other small business attractors. It will also give more drive-by and walking exposure to our new Better Homes and Gardens NE office! Hurray!!!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 40

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Portland Realty Team
Better Homes & Gardens
5136 NE Garfield Ave
Portland OR 97211
503.484.8739