Tag Archives: Oregon realty

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!

5 Home Design Trends to Be Thankful for This Year

GE kitchen appliances

his Thanksgiving, we offer thanks for family and friends—and also good home design. After all, the right style and an organized appearance goes a long way to helping sell houses.

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 & 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 Porceline, 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. 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, 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! 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.

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!

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.

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!

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!

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!