Tag Archives: oregon homes

5 Business Books That Motivate

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If you’re finding yourself in a end-year slump, these top-rated reads are sure to keep you motivated all the way through the end of the year.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
In his newest book, Cal Newport addresses the challenge of remaining focused despite the constant distractions of this modern age. His insight teaches you how to train your mind and master your work ethic once and for all.

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
Why do some groups seem destined for greatness? Daniel Coyle dissects the ins and outs of the most successful teams on the planet. You will find actionable steps you can implement in your work environment to inspire success.

Great At Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More
As a clear, data-based guide to on-the-job success, Morten Hansen’s latest book provides seven practices linked to high performance. His thoughtful advice will help you integrate them into your own life.

Brave Leadership: Unleash Your Most Confident, Powerful, and Authentic Self to Get the Results You Need
In this empowering read, Kimberly Davis delivers an engaging and influential guide to overcoming personal obstacles, so you can become a courageous and confident leader.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
If you work with a team, this guide is invaluable. Formerly of Google Ventures, Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz recorded their proven method for creating a comprehensive solution to a business problem in just five days with the right team.

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!

Tool Safety For DIYers

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Tackling DIY projects can be satisfying, just make sure you don’t end up in the hospital. Porch.com analyzed data from ER visits and found that ladders caused the most injuries for DIYers, followed by hardware (nails, screws, etc.), lawn mowers and power saws. The report also found that more people were hurt using cleaning agents than chain saws. Remember: “No matter how modest your home improvement project may appear, exercise caution and focus at every stage.”

Consider these tips from the safety consulting and certification company Underwriter Laboratories:

·         Use the “4-to-1 rule” for ladders: For every four feet of height, the base should be one foot away from the wall.

·         Protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles when operating power tools, and avoid wearing bracelets, watches or loose-fitting clothing.

·         When painting inside, ensure proper ventilation by opening windows, using fans and wearing a respirator mask. Take breaks often to get away from the fumes.

·         Be aware of where other people (and pets) in the household are at all times, and keep your work space clean and well-lit.

·         Know your limits. If you don’t feel comfortable with a specific tool or project, call a professional rather than risk getting hurt.

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!

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!

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!

What Can Cause A Closing To Be Delayed?

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The good news is that 76% of housing contracts close on time, according to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors®. Of the 24% that were delayed, 20% closed on a later date and only 4% were completely canceled.

Most of the factors requiring a delayed closing were related to obtaining financing (35%), problems with the appraisal (25%), home inspection/environmental issues (16%), and title/deed questions (9%).

Oftentimes, the buyer’s and seller’s agents are able to solve these closing issues by renegotiating who pays for specific items in the closing costs or by adding a home warranty provided by the seller.

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!

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!