Tag Archives: Oregon houses

Should You Upgrade To USB Electrical Outlets?

Image result for usb outlet"

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

Image result for christmas retail traps

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

Image result for preparing home for resale

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?

Image result for thinking

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!

Downsizing To A “Smart Home”

Image result for smart home

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!

White Walls? Positive or Negative?

Related image

Fresh, crisp white walls have always been popular, but keep in mind that all whites are not the same. Depending on the natural light that flows into the room as well as the interior lighting used at night, the color white can change from warm and inviting to cold and stark.

Here are three points to consider before painting your walls white.

1.     Avoid that sterile hospital look
White is associated with cleanliness, which is why many kitchen and bathroom walls are painted white. However, white walls paired with white trim and white cabinets can seem boring and sterile. Creating some texture on the walls with paintable beadboard wallpaper can increase the visual appeal of the room.

2.     Classic, formal and refined
The age of your house as well as its architectural style may create the “need” for white walls. For example, houses that are decorated with antiques and more formal furnishings often draw attention to the interior decor by having a neutral white background. Ultramodern houses with dramatic architectural lines and curves also appear more prominent against simple white walls.

3.     White expands spaces
White walls make rooms appear larger and lighter. Small bedrooms, baths and closets can benefit from this optical illusion. It’s also valuable to keep white in mind when you’re getting your house ready to sell and want to make the best impression on potential buyers.

For more information please call, email, or text.

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!

Are You Looking To Update Your Interior Surfaces?

Image result for quartzite interior design

The trendy styles for countertops, flooring and walls were revealed at The International Surface Event trade show this year.

It was reported that “Geometric designs, increasingly refined faux-hardwood porcelain tile and luxury vinyl-tile floor coverings were prevalent.”

Whether you’re updating your drab interiors for your own enjoyment or redecorating your home for resale, here are some highlights to consider.

Patterned tile: Increasingly popular choices for kitchen floors and bathroom walls are graphic encaustic (or inlaid) tile and arabesque mosaic tile.

• Quartzite: “The great thing about quartzite is it comes in so many colors, so a lot of it looks like marble, but it’s much stronger,” according to the National Stone Institute. “It’s good for countertops.”

• Faux wood: Selected for its easy maintenance and lower cost compared with natural hardwood, the wood look is available in materials such as laminate, porcelain and vinyl.

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!