Tag Archives: rachel’s Blog

Make Realistic Compromises When You Can

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Home buyers most often begin their house hunting with a long list of must-have features. They typically hope to find their new home in the best location, at the lowest possible price and with lots of modern upgrades. Once buyers start looking at the available homes within their price range, however, they tend to make practical compromises that they know they can live with.

Location vs. square footage is often the first compromise buyers must consider. Living closer to the city center might mean buying a smaller home than what can be purchased for the same price farther out.

Buyers with school-age children tend to want a big backyard but, depending on the cost of land, they may have to rethink just how large is large enough for an outdoor play area and a swing set. One compromise might be looking for a home with a smaller backyard that’s within walking distance of a park.

The architectural style of the house is the most important feature for some buyers. Others are more willing to be flexible with the exterior design in exchange for an additional bedroom or bath inside the home.

The size of the garage or carport and whether it’s attached or detached is another feature that buyers may have to keep an open mind about in order to get a home in their preferred location.

By working closely with a real estate professional, you’ll gain knowledgeable expertise when it comes to prioritizing your list of desired features for your new home. Feel free to give me a call or email today and I can help you with this!

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!

The ROI of home improvements

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All home improvements are not created equal. The ever-important factor to consider is the “ROI,” return on investment. Here are three projects, according to the National Association of Realtors®, that add significant equity to your property, even if you have to hire a professional to do all or part of the work.

• Insulation: While adding or replacing insulation is not a glamorous project, it does pay off at resale time and can save you up to 50 percent on your heating/cooling expenses.

• Hardwood flooring: The investment in refinishing existing hardwood or having new hardwood installed will easily pay for itself at resale time. Homeowners love the look and feel of wood floors.

• New roof: “How old is the roof?” is one of the first questions potential buyers ask when viewing the outside of a property. Re-roofing your home with the newest, eco-friendly materials can increase your equity position as well as help lower your energy bills.

For more information about the ROI of specific improvements to your property, consult your local real estate professional.

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!

BENEFITS OF SELLING DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Image result for selling during thanksgiving

Each year, the holiday season seems to arrive quicker and quicker. Now that we’re officially in October, it’s time to start thinking about what the holiday market looks like.

Are you considering selling your home soon? There’s no denying that spring is one of the best times to sell your home, but there are also benefits to selling during an off-peak season. Let’s break down the benefits of selling in the last few months of the year and look at tips to get your home off the market faster.

The Benefits

Shopping, and baking, and houseguests… oh my. As busy as your holiday season can be, it may be worth it to take a year off from decking the halls to sell your home.

There’s less competition is cooler months. A large reason for seller success in the springtime is due to the warming temperatures and longer days. Both of these benefits actually create a very competitive market, so sellers listing in the cooler months will find fewer homes to compete with.

Buyers are more serious. In the spring and summer, buyers tend to shop without a clear plan to purchase because they know their options are plentiful. During the holidays, on the other hand, buyers are less likely to waste their already limited time browsing multiple homes.

Transfers are looking for housing. As the end of the year draws near, employees who need to transfer to a new city, or even a new state, will be home shopping through the holidays. These homebuyers don’t have time to wait until the spring, so time is on your side in this scenario.

Your neighborhood is decorated. With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away and Christmas shortly after that, homes in your neighborhood will be adorned with plenty of pumpkins, and later, Christmas lights or decorations. As buyers drive by, they will have the chance to experience what their own holiday festivities will look like in the upcoming year. You can also make your home festive on the inside with warm scents and colors that are welcoming to visitors.

Holiday Selling Tips

Are you ready to take the leap and sell your home? Selling in the last few months of the year can be tricky, but we have a few tips to make the process easier.

Get your finances in order. No matter what time of the year you sell, you’ll need a trusted lender to guide you through the home loan process.

Hire a reliable real estate agent. Call, email or text Rachel Sheller today to start the selling process. No matter what time of the year, she will always make time for you and your family. You are a priority and so is your future or current house goals.

Seek out motivated buyers. Request that Rachel find buyers or investors on specific deadlines to buy if you’re also on a deadline to sell. College students and military personnel are two more recommended groups that sellers target during October through December.

It might also be beneficial to price your home to sell, right off the bat. Rather than slowly dropping the price, list your home at a reasonable price from the get-go. 

Decorate… to an extent. Curb appeal should be a top priority of buyers during winter months. This means clearing out dead plants, raking leaves, and keeping gutters cleaned out. On top of yard maintenance, minimal outdoor decorations are welcome. For example, single-colored string lights and door wreaths. Large blow-up displays or overwhelming lights could distract buyers from the house itself.

This rule goes for inside the home as well. By all means, embrace the holiday spirit and decorate, but don’t clutter shelves and walls past the point of enjoyment for potential buyers. Their main focus should still be on the home, rather than your festive display.

Have photos taken of your home. When the cold winds start blowing, no one wants to begin their home shopping journey outside. Listing your home with professional photos will allow buyers to get a good idea of what your home features before ever stepping inside.

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 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!

Colorful Backyard Decorating Ideas

Image result for colorful backyard decorating ideas white table

A verdant backyard can feel heavy with dark greens and wood tones. Brighten your outdoor entertaining area with a light outdoor rug, white table, and colorful throw pillows. Colorful pots and ceramic side tables boost the patio’s light and bright vibe.

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!