My Real Estate Blog

Measure 79

10/9/2012

Measure 79 will have an impact on Oregon real estate.  For each of the links below, you might need to hold down your "Ctrl" key when you click on the link.

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What is a real estate transfer tax?

CLICK HERE to learn more about the issue.

 

What are the threats to homeowners?

CLICK HERE to see how it might affect you.

 

OR if you are the video watching type you can CLICK HERE to see the latest commercial.

Buy OR Rent?

9/17/2012

Buy or rent?

Deciding whether to buy or rent depends on several factors. Among them: where you live, how long you plan to stay in your home and how home prices compare to rents in the area. Zillow crunched the numbers to figure out how long a new homebuyer would have to own their home before it would make better financial sense to buy. It's at this "breakeven horizon" that total rental costs would exceed the total cost of home ownership. In three-quarters of the U.S., that horizon is three years or less, according to Zillow's chief economist, Stan Humphries. Of course, in some markets, like New York and San Francisco, home prices are so high that it takes much longer than that -- five years or more. In those cases, it makes more sense to rent. And the breakeven point can vary wildly within metro areas. In the Boston metro area, for example, it can range from just over two years in the town of Lawrence to a decade in suburbs like Concord and Brookline. To make these calculations, Zillow accounted for the costs associated with buying a home, including the down payment and transaction costs (such as commissions and fees), mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance costs and tax deductions, among other things. It then compared that with rental costs, including monthly payments and commissions and adjusted the numbers for inflation and forecasted home value and rental price increases. Source - CNNMoney

Breathe Easy

8/1/2012
As the temperature rises outside we find ourselves spending more time indoors. Your home is riddled with biological pollutants that wreak havoc on your health. Things we typically contribute to allergies or colds are all preventable symptoms of the effects of poor indoor air quality.

Families who decorate their home with indoor greenery and household plants report less complaints about headaches, stress, and heart/circulation-symptoms, as well as a decrease in colds. NASA did a study that found common houseplants improve over all air quality; houseplants were able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. The recommendation? Use 1 "good-sized" houseplant (in a 6 to 8 inch diameter container) for every 150 square-feet in your home.

That may sound like a lot of plants, but even adding just a few to your living space will remove multiple toxic air emissions including ammonia, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. These toxic ingredients come from unexpected places. For example, formaldehyde can release from special glues used underneath your carpet, making the playroom floor a dangerous place for your children or pets.

Ferns, Peace Lillies, Ivy and Palms are great to get started with and are some of the most effective in removing potentially harmful chemicals-including those in paints, varnishes, dry cleaning fluids, car exhaust, and tobacco smoke-from the air in your home.

Whether you are a master gardener or a "brown thumb", the health benefits from houseplants are too great to ignore. Get your green on and take a trip down to your local plant nursery for more information.

Oregon Ranks #2 in States with Fastest Growing Economies!

7/12/2012

Here's some good news!  Pass it on!

Strong GDP and population growth lead our ranking. 

 See the full report at: http://money.msn.com/investing/states-with-fastest-growing-economies

 CNNMoney also forecast last week that Medford, Eugene and Corvallis would experience 10-20% increase housing values in the next year!  See the article at:

 http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/real_estate/1205/gallery.rebounding-housing-markets/index.html

Top 10 Flowers for Curb Appeal

2/10/2012

Are you fighting a bad case of cabin fever this Winter? If so you're not alone! Dormant flower beds all across the nation are begging for some splashes of color. Here's a list of the top 10 inexpensive, easy-to-maintain flowers that will please those beds, your budget, and your neighbors.  

Curb appeal is your home's first impression to buyers and neighbors alike. It can say a lot about how you respect your home and property.

  Ask yourself these questions: How do you feel about a home with an overgrown lawn? Do you prefer flower beds that are empty and full of weeds or beds that are planted with new Spring flowers? The answers are easy! We all prefer yards that are well-kept. That includes buyers.  

When a buyer makes an offer on your home they are buying the idea of a lifestyle as much as the structure itself. This is why it is so important to start off on the right foot. You want buyers to think of your home as the perfect home with the perfect, charming yard.  

Here's are the top ten flower to include this year:  

1.  Knock-Out Roses. Traditional roses usually have a few week blooming period. And while those blooms can be fragrant and spectacular, it means limited time when the color is out. Instead opt for these high-powered performers.  

2.  Hostas. While a hosta isn't a "flower" per sae (though they do flower), it can be a perfect addition to beds that beg ground cover. They work great in shady areas and as an added bonus come back year after year.  

3.  Geraniums. These colorful flowers bloom all summer long (when you pick off dead blooms) and pack an added bonus. Their fragrant scent is a natural mosquito repellant. Geraniums come in a wide array of colors so let your creative side come out to play when choosing your hues this year.  

4.  Petunias. There are lots of colors to choose from and these growers look great in hanging baskets. Pick complimentary colors for your house. Red with green, orange with blue and so on. Keep them watered and they'll bloom well into Fall.  

5.  Violets. These low growing purple flowers are also perennials and can add a lovely border edge to any bed.  

6.  Impatiens. These little beauties are another shade-tolerant plant that looks great in beds around the base of trees as well as along borders.  

7.  Marigolds. These golden-hued bloomers are hardy. This means even those with a black thumb may have a hard time killing them! Just like their color implies, these flowers love full sun.  

8.  Vincas. These delicate little flowers can add just the touch of charm to sidewalk borders. They are low maintenance and will add color all season.

9.  Grasses. Do you need to add some height to your flower beds? Pampas and other ornamental grasses can be real statement plants. They "bloom" in a variety of colors. Just keep them away from your house since dry grasses in the Fall can be a fire hazard.

10.  Zinnias. Does your region get blistering hot summers? Do half of your plants die every year? This sun lover with bask in the heat and keep on blooming.

Once the risk of freeze is passed in your town your local home improvement stores will start offering your favorite blooms and buds for sale. Remember the simple rule of thumb that annuals are here for the season and then gone, while perennials come back year after year. When the time for planting comes to your region, give some thought to the curb appeal of your home and how plants can help you make a statement.

What Is A Home?

1/4/2012

A roof to keep out the rain? Four walls to keep out the wind? Floors to keep out the cold?
Yes, but home is more than that.

It is the laugh of a baby, the song of a mother, the strength of a father. Warmth of living hearts, light from happy eyes, kindness, loyalty, comradeship. Home is first school and first church for young ones, where they learn what is right, what is good and what is kind. Where they go for comfort when they are hurt or sick.
Where joy is shared and sorrow eased. Where fathers and mothers are respected and loved. Where children are wanted. Where the simplest food is good enough for kings because it is earned. Where money is not so
important as loving-kindness. Where even the teakettle sings from happiness.

That is home. God bless it.

~Ernestine Schumann-Heink

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