Category Archives: Washington properties

Financially Preparing For A Baby

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Considering growing your family can be an exciting time. Planning ahead for the financial responsibilities of parenthood will help you avoid being blindsided by debt, so you can focus on the joy of your new baby. Here are some steps you can take to prepare.

  • Anticipate medical expenses early in the pregnancy by calculating which costs for prenatal care and labor and delivery will be covered by health insurance, and which ones you’ll be responsible to pay out of pocket.
  • Build your savings. No matter how well you budget each month, unexpected costs will arise as your baby grows. Be prepared with an emergency fund for health-related expenses and another savings account for everything else.
  • Ask friends for approximate costs of ongoing baby supplies such as diapers, wipes, formula/food, etc. Include these estimated expenses in your current budget and begin adjusting your spending habits before the baby arrives. (Safeguard this unspent monthly amount by transferring it to your savings account.)
  • Don’t overspend on baby gear. Borrow from friends or buy gently used items from children’s consignment events. Consider what’s necessary and what will fit in your living space before purchasing every gadget advertised.
  • Plan ahead for time off. If your employer doesn’t offer paid maternity/paternity leave, save extra money ahead of time to cover the income gap. Find out your company’s policy on using earned vacation or sick days for extra time at home after your baby’s birth.
  • If you are a dual-income family, calculate the cost of childcare versus one of you changing to part-time or staying home full-time. Evaluate the best fit for your family.
  • Plan for the future. Set up a life insurance policy and create or adjust your will. Start saving for your child’s education, but don’t neglect funding your own retirement in the process.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011- 2019 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.

Rachel Sheller- Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, Earth Advantage Broker, MASTERS CIRCLE, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First-Principal Broker, Washington First-Managing Broker

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View ALL available Houses on the market on my website

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

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Resist These Retail Traps

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As the buying season approached- it might be good to know how to resist these retail traps!

When it comes to profoundly understanding consumer behavior, retailers have done their research. Watch out for these strategies that stores use to get you to buy more. 

Free shipping thresholds: Be wary of offers such as “spend $50 and get free shipping.” Avoiding a shipping charge may feel like the better deal, but make sure you’re not spending money on stuff you don’t need.

Limited-time offers: You’re more likely to purchase an item impulsively if you’re worried it will be gone tomorrow. Limited-time offers capitalize on your fear of missing out. 

Price anchoring: Seeing the slashed “original” price can prompt you to think you’re saving money, even if the product is still overpriced. Take time to research similar products to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Product hide-and-seek: Some stores rearrange products frequently in hopes that you’ll scan extra shelves and add more to your cart. Stick to your list or order products online to avoid this trap.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011- 2019 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.

Rachel Sheller, Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, Earth Advantage Broker, MASTERS CIRCLE,CSA-Certified Staging Agent,Oregon First-Principal Broker, Washington First-Managing Broker

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View ALL available Houses on the market on my website

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

What Comes With The House?

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Imagine walking into your new home to find all the light fixtures, doorknobs and cabinetry hardware missing. Though uncommon, some buyers have faced this very scenario. Protect yourself by understanding the difference between permanent fixtures and personal property. 

As a buyer, you’re legally entitled to a home’s fixtures unless they are specifically excluded in the property listing. Realtor.com® describes fixtures as anything “physically affixed to a property.” Personal property, on the other hand, is anything that can be moved, such as area rugs, curtains and some appliances – most often the refrigerator, washer and dryer.

Some items end up in a gray area, which is why it’s important to work with your Realtor® and be very specific about what you’d like to have stay with the home. You can further mitigate any surprises by doing a final walk-through before closing.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011- 2019 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.

Rachel Sheller, Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, Earth Advantage Broker, MASTERS CIRCLE,CSA-Certified Staging Agent,Oregon First-Principal Broker, Washington First-Managing Broker

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View ALL available Houses on the market on my website

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

Preparing Your Home For Resale

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Does your house have a room that could deter buyers because it desperately needs improvement? If so, this space, also known as the “blooper room,” might be the difference between a speedy sale and a lengthy period on the market, reports ApartmentTherapy.com. 

Consider these common problem areas:

In an otherwise ideal home, a dated kitchen can be a significant buyer turn-off. However, spending thousands of dollars to renovate the entire space may not be necessary. Replacing dingy countertops or repainting dark cabinets in a lighter shade is an economical way to brighten up the decor.

A cramped laundry room is certainly not appealing. Remove all baskets and clothing for home showings. Add attractive open shelving to organize laundry supplies and hang up a laundry-themed poster or plaque.

Few buyers feel comfortable in a gloomy, musty-smelling basement or storage area. Painting the walls white and running a dehumidifier to improve the air quality should do the trick.

An unusually small room that leaves buyers wondering what to do with it can be considered wasted space. Be creative and try staging the room as a reading nook, an oversized storage space or a toy room for the kids. 

No matter how thoughtfully designed, adark bedroom can bring buyers to a standstill. An absence of natural light – especially in a master bedroom – is a depressing sight, and the addition of poor artificial lighting can actually make the situation worse. Instead, try strategically placing mirrors to enhance existing sunlight and make the room feel more spacious.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011- 2019 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.

Rachel Sheller, Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, Earth Advantage Broker, MASTERS CIRCLE,CSA-Certified Staging Agent,Oregon First-Principal Broker, Washington First-Managing Broker

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View ALL available Houses on the market on my website

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

HEAR YEA! HEAR YEA! Latest and Greatest Real Estate Stats For The Portland-Metro Market. CHANGE IS HERE!

CHANGE IS HERE! Take a look at the very latest real estate stats for the Portland-Metro areas. The market is slowing a bit because of the time of year (We always see a slow down after school starts), but also because the local market has been and is changing to favor the buyer more.

In Portland-Metro last month pending sales saw the sole gain in the Portland metro area. There were 2,929 pending sales, a 6.1% increase over the 2,760 offers accepted last year at the same time but falling 2.3% short of the 2,998 offers accepted last month.

Closed sales, at 2,901, decreased 2.2% from the 2,967 closings recorded in August 2018 and fell 1.5% short of the 2,944 closings from July 2019.

New listings (3,757) fared similarly, ending 10.8% lower than in August 2018 (4,214) and 5.3% lower than last month in July 2019 (3,966).

Total market time rose by five days in August to end at 48 days. Inventory held steady at 2.3 months.

Average and Median Sale Prices

Comparing 2019 to 2018 through August, the average sale price has increased 1.0% from $454,500 to $458,900. In the same comparison, the median sale price has increased 2.2% from $401,000 to $410,000.

If you have been waiting to sell! Wait no longer! Take a look at the Portland-Metro appreciation values. We are seeing 4 areas with negative appreciation, vs 3 areas last month. the market is starting to slow and show signs of change. Overall, the market is Robust and strong with an overall appreciation of +1%. That is a big change from a year ago, or just 6 months ago.

It’s a GREAT time to buy because prices are leveling off and interest rates are still low. It’s also a good time to sell as there is less competition and the interest rates are low. Interest rates have a strong affect on our market. For more information on buying and/or selling in today’s market, please call, email, or text anytime.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011- 2019 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.

Rachel Sheller, Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, Earth Advantage Broker, MASTERS CIRCLE,CSA-Certified Staging Agent,Oregon First-Principal Broker, Washington First-Managing Broker

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View ALL available Houses on the market on my website

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

 

5 DIY tips for building a deck

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An outdoor deck on your home provides valuable living and entertaining space. If you’re planning to extend your current deck or to build a new one yourself, here are five points to consider. Avoiding construction mistakes now can save you both time and money.

1.     Follow building codes and obtain permits. DIYers often think they can build whatever they want because it’s on the back of their home, but ignoring decking and railing codes can be a safety hazard. 84 Lumber warns against not filing for a city or county permit: “If your project is flagged by a building inspector, you may have to rebuild significant portions, or maybe even tear the deck down.”

2.     Choose quality building materials. A large selection of woods and treatments are available at most home improvement stores. Ask an associate for suggestions based on your budget. Depending on how long you’ll be living in your current home, maintenance-free composite decking may be worth the investment.

3.     Follow IRC specs for railings and stairs. The International Residential Code (IRC) outlines the safety requirements for railings around elevated decks and handrails on stairs. For example, the IRC says that stairs longer than four steps must have a handrail on at least one side, and it must be graspable for the full run of the stairs.

4.     Use exterior-grade hardware and fasteners. Regular nails tend to pop out as wood expands and contracts in changing weather. Exterior-grade screws, on the other hand, are less likely to come loose, but can still be removed if you need to replace a board in the future. Stainless-steel, polymer-coated and hot-dipped galvanized hardware and fasteners are some of the best options for deck-building materials.

5.     Pay attention to the aesthetic details. Be sure your deck is as attractive as it is safe and sturdy. Your neighbors will appreciate the look of a well-designed deck as will future buyers whenever it’s time to resell your house.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011-2019 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.  

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!

Downsizing To A “Smart Home”

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In 15 years, the number of people ages 65 and older will exceed the number ages 18 and younger. Living longer makes the transition from the traditional four-bedroom family house to a smaller floor plan very attractive to new retirees. And with smart home technology becoming more accessible every day, active seniors can look forward to living safely and securely for years to come.

According to REALTOR® Magazine, “a smart home is a dwelling that is equipped with electronic devices that can control the use of utilities and appliances via voice activation or a mobile app.”

All you need to transform any home into a smart home is (1) a high-speed internet connection, (2) a voice assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa and (3) a smart alarm system.

With these three basic technologies, you can play music, control lighting, brew coffee, set thermostat temperatures, monitor energy usage, and see who is at your front door, among other things.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011-2019 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.  

Rachel Sheller,Principal Broker, Realtor, CRS, ABR, GRI, SRES,MASTERS CIRCLE, Earth Advantage Broker, Diversity Specialist-HOWNW, CSA-Certified Staging Agent, Oregon First, Washington First 

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View this ALL available Houses on the market on my website. 

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington 

My business is referral based.
If you’ve enjoyed my service, please refer me!