Tag Archives: homes on the market

Common Mistakes Buyers Make

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Here are two mistakes buyers often make when shopping for a home, according to Realtor.com®.

Not sticking to a budget
Once you’ve set a housing budget, try to avoid getting emotionally attached to a home that’s way out of your price range. Borrowing more than you can comfortably afford can lead to long-term financial problems. One rule of thumb says that your total monthly mortgage plus other debts (car payments, student loans, credit cards, etc.) should not exceed 43% of your pretax earnings.

Not comparing lenders
You can save money both in the short-term (closing costs) and long-term (interest rates) by shopping around before committing to a mortgage. You may want to begin with your own bank, but check with other banks, mortgage brokers or online lenders as well.

IT’S A GOOD LIFE!!

Five Star award Winner 2011- 2020 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!

5 Home Design Trends to Be Thankful for This Year

farmhouse kitchen

After years of normalizing neutral color palettes, for example, designers are embracing more colorful trends to showcase personality in homes. REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, staged and sold blog asked designers and stagers what home interior trends they’re most grateful for this year. Here are their top picks.

1. More colorful spaces

Goodbye, white kitchens and gray walls. More color is moving in. Homeowners favor bolder hues inside the home, not just for pops of color but also as a base color for an entire room. Paint companies have chosen variations of blues, pinks, and greens as their picks for 2020 color of the year. These colors also are being splashed on kitchen cabinets, exterior doors, and home accessories.

The paint firm PPG selected Chinese porcelain, a blend of cobalt and muted navy tones, as its 2020 color of the year. Sherwin Williams followed suit with Naval, a deep navy blue.

Behr’s top 2020 pick is a meadow-inspired yellowish green called Back to Nature.

Pinks also are catching on. HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams, the company’s offshoot brand, chose a blush hue called Romance, while Benjamin Moore chose a soft, rosy hue called First Light.

2. Luxury vinyl flooring

A design trend that’s stylish but low maintenance, luxury vinyl is enjoying popularity as an alternative to hardwood and ceramic tile flooring. Vinyl is touted as being cheaper, warmer, and softer on your feet; it also requires less upkeep than traditional hardwood or tile.

Today’s luxury vinyl shouldn’t be mistaken for linoleum and other varieties of sheet flooring. Luxury vinyl can be laid out in planks, tiles, and sheets, and it comes in trendy finishes. Luxury vinyl planks can resemble the look of hardwood and are offered in handscraped and wide plank varieties. The planks can be installed diagonally or in a trendy herringbone pattern, and they also can resemble tile and marble.

The lower maintenance of luxury vinyl is appealing to families with young children and pets. It’s a water-resistant material that works easily in kitchens and bathrooms.

3. Voice-controlled smart appliances

Alexa, Google Home, and Siri are ushering in a new and advanced era of smart-home technology. The choices are growing, too: Smart plugs, for example, cost as little as $10 and enable you to say: “Alexa, turn on the lights.” Add smart lightbulbs that can be controlled via voice assistants, as well as other appliances such as the thermostat, door locks, and security cameras. Suddenly, smart homes have become more attainable and cost-effective.

4. Statement ceilings 

Finally, a reason to look up! The homes fifth wall is commanding the spotlight In the roaring ’20s, stamped ceilings, such as those plated in copper or tin decorative sheets, were popular. But the trend faded in favor of smooth ceiling finishes. Now, the statement ceiling is back.

This time, however, paint, wallpaper, or wood moldings are the ceiling accents of choice. A statement ceiling can brighten up a space and make it memorable, says Katie Skoloff, principal designer and founder of In Site Designs, an interior design firm in Greenville, S.C. “We find the interest on a ceiling draws the eye up, and you cannot help but feel the space is there to ‘wow’ you,” she says. Wallpapered ceilings, as well as wood beams and coffered ceilings, are today’s standout options.

5. Contrasting kitchen design

Along with more colorful interiors, the white kitchen is fading in favor of a bigger statement, including tuxedo cabinetry, shiny hardware, and brass-trimmed range hoods.

Polished brass on cabinet hardware, range hoods, and appliance handles shines in otherwise white kitchens, appearing to be like jewelry for the space. Café, a hardware line for the GE Appliance brand, offers customizable options in various metals for refrigerator or oven handles. For example, soft-brushed copper handles can be added to a matted white refrigerator for a more contemporary vibe.

Contrasting kitchen cabinets, such as the tuxedo kitchen, also are gaining popularity. The trend calls for upper and lower cabinets to be painted different colors—perhaps white on top and a gray or dark walnut on the bottom. It’s essentially a way to add more visual interest to an otherwise all-white display.

An alternative—and slightly less bold—version of this trend is also taking root, such as all-white cabinets and a contrasting kitchen island in a deep blue, gray, or walnut color.

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, Washington First 

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!

Organize Your Family Schedule

Image result for family planning holiday"

Spring schedules are often filled to the brim with extra travel, sports, recitals, and school activities. Evaluate your household’s needs and choose tools that can help you stay organized.

·         Create a shared calendar. This could be a paper calendar, a dry-erase board posted in the kitchen or a digital shared calendar. This ensures that all family members know what to expect each week and can see the big picture for the month.

·         Color code your family. To organize your calendar, assign a color to each family member, and record activities in corresponding colors for quick reference.

·         Use organizational apps. Check out apps like Cozi or Wunderlist to share to-do lists, grocery lists, reminders, and more.

·         Have a weekly scheduling session. Adults and older children can gather briefly to discuss the upcoming week’s activities and any changes to the schedule.

·         Create routines. Having a predictable morning and evening routine will keep your household from feeling too rushed.

·         Schedule “free” time. Whether it’s pausing the chaotic routine for a casual dinner, an evening walk or a Saturday morning breakfast, take the time to slow down and enjoy being together.

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, Washington First 

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?

Image result for homes wonder

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!

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!

One Main Reason Fall Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy A House!

image from: H Sundholm (henriksundholm.com) on Flickr

What if your home no longer suits your needs, because it’s too big, or too small, or in the wrong part of town, or … well, there are all kinds of reasons you may want to move. Luckily, fall is a great time to buy a new house and make it into your cozy new home.

Motivated Sellers= More negotiating power

People who sell their homes in fall and winter are often in a hurry to make a sale. They want to be settled before the holidays come, or they want to get a tax break* for this year rather than next year, or they have a new job and they need to relocate. These sellers are looking to close the sale as quickly and smoothly as possible. 

When you buy in fall, the combination of motivated sellers and fewer other homebuyers competing with you for available homes means more negotiating power in your hands, which often results in a better deal. This could mean a lower sales price, seller-paid repairs or upgrades, and even seller-paid closing costs. 

Buying a home in the fall gives you the best of all worlds — lower prices and less competition but still enough inventory to find the home you want. 

If you’re serious about buying a home, doing so this fall may save you money or help you afford more than you expect. Contact me today to discuss your options before you miss out on the fall homebuying season! 

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, 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!