Tag Archives: home for sale

Be Aware Of These Home-Buying Fees

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In addition to a down payment, here are some other expenses home buyers need to be aware of. According to WorkableWealth.com, “Just because you’re spending hundreds of thousands on a home doesn’t mean you should be comfortable throwing thousands of dollars at fees.”

Be sure to ask your lender or Realtor® any questions you have concerning the fees you’re being charged. In addition, your real estate agent may be able to help you negotiate the cost of some of these home-buying expenses.

Home inspection: Inspectors will look for any signs of structural issues, mold and leaks. They also assess the condition of the roof, gutters, HVAC, water heater, plumbing, electrical system, and more.

Appraisal: Mortgage lenders require an appraisal report to ensure that the property is worth the sales price agreed upon by the buyer and seller.

Loan application: Thelender will charge fees for running your credit report and processing your application. Be sure to ask for an itemized list of these charges.

Mortgage loan origination fees: These upfront costs, which are associated with underwriting and funding the loan, are quoted as a percentage (typically 0.5 to 1.5 percent) of the total amount borrowed.

Private mortgage insurance (PMI): Lenders generally require buyers to put down at least 20 percent of the purchase price of the home. Otherwise, PMI is required to protect the lender if the buyer should default on the loan. The PMI should be automatically canceled once the buyer reaches 78 percent of the loan-to-value ratio.

Tax service: This fee ensures that the seller’s tax payments on the property are up to date and that the buyer’s payments are correctly credited.

Property survey: This report outlines the boundaries, dimensions and major features of the property.

Title services: Title companies charge fees to cover the title search, notary costs, government filing fees, and more to ensure the buyer receives a clear title to the property.

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!

Should You Upgrade To USB Electrical Outlets?

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Not Your Parent’s Electrical Outlet

The last time your home’s electrical outlets had a significant redesign was 50 years ago, when, for safety reasons, the three-prong outlet became standard for use with all major appliances. That surprised look on three-prong’s face that we’ve all grown accustomed to has been transforming, as USB ports are built into more electrical socket designs to accommodate the multiple devices we need to charge every day.

When USB wall outlets first started showing up, they were mainly in airport terminals and hospitals. Now you often find them in hotels and even your favorite coffee bar. Chances are, you’ve plugged a device into one somewhere in recent years. They’re so easy and convenient when your phone or tablet’s battery runs low. So why haven’t you upgraded any of the electrical outlets in your home with them?

Why Haven’t You Made the Switch?

Maybe you haven’t upgraded any outlets to USB yet because you think it involves getting an electrician to your house and that’s always costly!
Maybe you wonder if you really need to install USB outlets because you’ve already invested in a charging station that you placed in the most useful spot in your home.
Maybe you heard USB outlets constantly draw power even when they’re not in use.
Or maybe wall warts, power strips, adapters, and a bunch of dangling charging cords just don’t bother you.

Whatever your reason, here’s why it’s time to upgrade to USB outlets in certain places in your home:

You don’t need an electrician–if you’re the DIY type. You can change an outlet to a new USB receptacle in under an hour. The cost to upgrade will only be your time and about $25 per receptacle.
You don’t need that charging station anymore. A USB wall outlet is a better long-term solution and aesthetically, these slim and sleek new outlets just look better.
You can be expect a USB outlet to be more energy efficient than a charging station. Although USB outlets do draw a very small amount of current when not in use, you can buy one with a switch and easily turn off power to the outlet until you need to plug in a device.

Check This Before You Make the Switch

USB receptacles have a bit more to their backsides than do the standard three-prong receptacles. Follow these steps* to check that the outlet you plan to switch has a junction box that can accommodate the larger size:

  1. Use a voltage tester to check that electricity is present in the outlet. A red light on the voltage tester indicates “hot” to show the outlet has an electrical current. Watch a few how-to videos if this is your first time using a voltage tester.
  2. Next, cut off power to the room where you’d be replacing a socket via the main circuit breaker panel. To be extra safe, or if you are not sure which breaker controls which room, always turn off the power to your whole home.
  3. After turning off the power, use the voltage tester on the outlet again to ensure the current is off. The voltage tester green indicator lights up if the power is off. Then remove the outlet’s faceplate and unscrew the receptacle from the junction box.
  4. Check that the junction box for the outlet you are upgrading has about 3 inches of depth to it to fit the bulkier USB outlet. If you have an older home you may have slimmer junction boxes. Repeat steps for every outlet you want to switch. If any of the junction boxes are too small, you can either not upgrade that outlet, or call an electrician.

*If you have doubts about your electrical DIY skills, stop now and call an electrician. Better to stay safe, and keep in mind that USB wall outlets are safe when installed correctly as well.

Pro tip: You cannot switch a GFCI outlet for a USB one. USB outlets do not have built-in GFCI capability.

The Best Places for USB Outlets

Now that you know these new USB receptacles can fit in at your house, it’s time to consider all of the places where switching an outlet makes the most sense. Here are rooms where upgrading to USB works best:

  • Bedrooms on nightstands where sleeping gadgets lie.
  • Kitchens next to countertops but not for switching GFCIs.
  • Living rooms by entertainment areas or near tables by a chair.
  • Guest rooms by nightstands or nearest to the sleeping area.
  • Home offices near to desks, or see “Gadgets” section at end of article for another idea.
  • Garages by tool benches or sturdy shelves, but only buy USB outlets with port covers here.

Unfortunately, for now, you can’t add USB outlets outside on a porch or patio, even if your outdoor outlet has an insulated metal cover. That’s because the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires outdoor electricity outlets to use GFCI. If you have an enclosed porch, where the outlet is high off ground level, you could consult an electrician. But it may be better to simply wait for the next innovation to come along.

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!

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!

Home Flipping Can Be Highly Profitable

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During the Great Recession (2007-09), many properties lost equity as the housing market began falling. Short-term investors then started buying up properties that had fallen into foreclosure in order to flip them at a profit.

By contrast, flipping houses in today’s seller’s market is all about buying fixer-upper properties, making improvements and then reselling them to millennials and other first-time buyers.

Since the data firm CoreLogic first began tracking quarterly statistics on home flipping in 2002, the highest rate of home flipping as a percentage of all residential properties sold occurred during the first quarter of 2018 at 11.4 percent.

This upward trend continued last year with a higher rate in the fourth quarter than any previous fourth quarter – reaching almost 10.9 percent of all home sales. This marked the culmination of 12 consecutive quarters with residential flipping rates increasing on a year-over-year basis.

While flipping rates as a percentage of all homes sold vary widely across the U.S., the numbers tend to be highest in the Sun Belt. Eight of the top 10 metro areas are located in the southern half of the country: Birmingham, AL; Memphis, TN; Tampa, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Camden, NJ; Phoenix, AZ; Palm Bay, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Lakeland, FL; and Atlanta, GA.

Most of the metros where flipping has the highest rate of return on investment (ROI) are in areas that have a significant number of older homes to flip: Detroit, MI; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Cleveland, OH; Akron, OH; Baltimore, MD; Buffalo, NY; Wilmington, DE; Toledo, OH; and Milwaukee, WI.

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, -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!

The “booming” 55+ residential real estate market

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Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, were the radical hippie generation, known as “flower children.” Think Beatles, Haight-Ashbury, Rolling Stones, and Woodstock. “Don’t trust anyone over 30” was the mantra of this trendsetting generation that continues to leave its mark on society by redefining what it now means to grow old.

Due to a popular marketing twist, newly retired baby boomers are being rebranded as “active adults.” No longer known as senior citizens, they are seeking a fully independent lifestyle community with a wide range of fitness and social opportunities, according to REALTOR® Magazine.

Many active adult communities offer: ranch homes or ground-level condos, fitness centers with dance studios, walking trails, arts and crafts studios, indoor/outdoor pools and spas, dog parks and other pet-friendly amenities, and features that will accommodate physical and mobility issues in the future.


 

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, -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!



Home Staging: Buyers Want To See Your Home At Its Best

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A 2018 survey from Home Staging Resource found that 85 percent of staged homes sold for 6-25 percent more than homes in the same market that weren’t staged. According to the National Association of Realtors®, the three most commonly staged areas are the living room (83 percent), kitchen (76 percent) and master bedroom (69 percent).

Consider these home-staging tips.

Living room: To eliminate dark shadows and enhance the decor, brighten up the room with chic lamps. Remove oversized furniture and arrange the rest in conversational groupings. When it comes to accessories, go for symmetry, which is most pleasing to the eye.

Kitchen: Clear everything off the countertops except for a pretty bowl of fruit or another decorative item. Pare down the dishes, utensils and appliances in your cabinets and drawers to make these storage areas look bigger. Scrub dirt, grime and stains from walls, cabinets, backsplashes, and floors. Clean and organize the pantry. Store trash cans in the garage.

Master bedroom: Consider replacing a king bed with a queen or full size to increase the available floor space. Pack up more than half of the clothes in the closets and then place remaining items on matching hangers. Store jewelry and other valuables in a safe spot. Be sure an attractive, neutral-colored comforter is the focal point of the room.

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

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

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

Direct 503.380.9634, Email- rachel@rachelsheller.com

View ALL available Houses on the market on my website rachelsheller . com

Licensed in the State of Oregon and Washington

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

7 Tasks To Do After Moving Into Your New Home

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The safety and security of your family, guests and pets are the most important reasons to complete these tasks as soon as possible after moving in.

1. Change the locks and the garage door entry code. You have no idea how many of the former owner’s neighbors, friends or relatives have a key or know the garage code.

2. Hide an extra key in a combination lock box. Burglars know all of the usual spots where people hide keys such as under a flower pot or in a fake rock.

3. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If there aren’t any or they look dated, make sure to install new ones.

4. Check the temperature on your water heater, especially if you have young children. The safest and most eco-friendly setting is 120° F.

5. Make sure there’s a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and one on each additional floor.

6. Check motion lights and other security lights to make sure they have working bulbs.

7. Locate the main gas and water shut-off valves. Find the circuit box and label all of the breakers.

Five Star award recipient 2011-2018 honoring the top 7% of real estate professionals in Oregon.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

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

Oregon First, Realtors

Direct 503.380.9634

Email- Homesforyou@frontier.com

View ALL available Houses on the market on my website

Licensed in the State of Oregon

***I’M ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP YOU AND YOUR REFERRALS***