Saturday, May 25, 2019

Helpful Flag Etiquette Tips for Memorial Day



















Millions of Americans will be displaying their flags over Memorial Day weekend, and it’s a wonderful way to show respect. Do you know the right way to do it?
Here are a few helpful reminders:
  • On Memorial Day, the flag should be at half-staff until noon; then it should be hoisted to the very top of the staff.
  • The flag should never touch the ground or the floor.
  • The stars on the flag should always be up; it’s a signal of distress when a flag is hung upside-down.
  • If you’re suspending the flag vertically, or against a wall, the stars should be to the flag’s own right, and to the left of the person hanging it.
  • The flag should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset; if it’s hung overnight, it should be lit up.
For more on flag etiquette, visit the Veterans of Foreign Wars website at www.vfw.org. Download the Federal Flag Code at www.senate.gov.
Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and take a moment on Monday to give thanks and  remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

May 2019 Homework Series




If you need help finding professionals who can assist you with this checklist, I can provide you with a list of preferred contractors and vendors!  Just give me a call at 503-956-3505.


Friday, May 17, 2019

Flow Into Spring - Plumbing Maintenance Tips



Spring is here and homeowners are sprucing up their homes to usher in the new season. In addition to house cleaning and yard work, plumbing systems can use a little spring TLC, too. Here are some helpful spring plumbing maintenance tips to share with your clients or to use in your own home:
Check the strainers in your sink, bath, and shower drain openings for holes or signs of wear and tear. Strainers can help prevent clogs, so replace them if they aren’t in good shape.
If you have a sink clog, pour several shakes of baking soda down the drain, followed by about a cup or more of vinegar. Then, carefully pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain. Repeat until the drain is clear.
When you’re spring cleaning, don’t forget your disposal! With the disposal turned on, simply pour a tray of ice cubes down it. You can also follow with some sliced citrus, such as lemon, orange, or grapefruit, to keep the disposal smelling fresh.
Clear any winter debris from your home’s gutters to keep them from clogging and potentially overflowing and causing leaks. Make sure downspouts are facing away from your home’s walls and foundation, too.
Do you know the location of your home’s main water shut-off valve? If not, take advantage of a pretty spring day to get outside and find it.
Courtesy of American Home Shield

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

April 2019 Real Estate Market Statistics

(For the past few years, I've used my photographs for the headline photos on the monthly market updates, using local area scenes in 2017 and roof tops of homes sold in 2018.  This year I'm featuring public art that can be found in our local communities.)

The following is the latest Real Estate Market Statistics for April 2019.
Click here for the full report

  • Sales:   2,409 in April 2019 vs 2,523 last April:  -4.5 %
  • Pending Sales:   3,102 in April 2019 vs 3,008 last April:  3.1%
  • New Listings:   4,210 in April 2019 vs 3,990 last April:  5.5%
  • Average Sales Price:   $445,900 in April 2019 vs $444,600 last April:  0.3%
  • Total Market Time: 53 days in April 2019 vs 42 days last April:  26.3%
  • Inventory in Months: 2.2 months in April 2019 vs 1.8 months last April
Inventory by Area:
  • NW Washington County   2.40 months
  • Beaverton/Aloha               1.16 months
  • Hillsboro/Forest Grove     1.99 months

5 Household Hazards Hidden in Plain Sight



Your health and the health of your loved ones is one of the most important factors you have to account for each day. However, even the most conscientious person can overlook some of these potentially lethal household hazards.

CARBON MONOXIDE
An odorless, colorless gas, carbon monoxide is almost impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide alarm. Prevent headaches, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, and even death from carbon monoxide poisoning by investing in an alarm for your home.

RADON 
Like carbon monoxide, radon is a colorless, odorless gas. This naturally occurring gas is the second most common cause of lung cancer deaths in the U.S., second only to smoking. The only way to know if your home has dangerous amounts of radon is by doing a radon test. You can pick up radon test kits at most hardware stores or call a local Home Inspector to have a 48-hour test run in your home.

ASBESTOS
Everyone knows that asbestos is bad for you, but many don’t realize they may have asbestos in their homes. Asbestos can still be found in ceiling tiles, floor tiles, and insulation in many homes across the U.S. When they start to degrade, asbestos fibers can get into the air and, if inhaled enough, cause you and your family to develop lung disease. If you think your home may have asbestos, have an asbestos professional inspect your home.

LEAD
Lead is most notorious for its presence in paint, but it can also be in your plumbing and other building materials. Lead is typically safe unless it's digested, making it a more dangerous hazard for young children since they’re more likely to stick potentially contaminated items in their mouths.

SMOKE DETECTORS
Smoke detectors are only effective if they’re in working order and near the fire. Be sure to test your smoke detector’s every six months.  If they are the battery operated kind, replace the batteries each year. Current standards are to have smoke detectors located in the hallway and each bedroom, and at least one on each floor (but not in the kitchen or garage).

If you're concerned about the potential presence of any of these hazards in your home, let me help you get connected with the right people to get testing done.



Monday, May 13, 2019

5 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Home


American homeowners rarely stay in their first home forever; they buy and sell several homes over the years to meet the changing needs of their family. How can you tell if it’s time to sell your current home?

1. Your family has grown.
There are many reasons your once spacious home might begin to feel like it’s shrinking. Whether it’s the birth of a new baby, the kids getting older and needing their own rooms, or your parents moving in, you may find the need for more space a compelling reason to sell.

2. Your family has shrunk.
After years of hard work, kids grow up, become independent adults, and move out. When that happens, parents are often left in a home that no longer suits their needs and takes a lot to maintain. If you find yourself in this position, congratulations! It may be a good time for you to sell.

3. You’ve changed jobs since you bought your home.
If you got a new job and your commute grew as a consequence, you may want to find a home more conveniently located.

4. Your kids are starting school.
The right home when you have a baby on the way isn’t necessarily the right home when your child is heading off to school. If the schools in your area aren’t the best, it may be a good time to sell your home and move to a different school zone.

5. Home upkeep is too much.
If you purchased your current home when you were young, you may not have accounted for how much more difficult the upkeep and maintenance would be when you got older. When it does get to be too much, consider moving into something easier to manage.

If you think it's time for you to make a change and you need some assistance, 
give me a call, 503-495-3533


Friday, May 10, 2019

Four Benefits of a 20% Down Payment


The Benefits of a 20% Down Payment | MyKCM



If you are in the market to buy a home this year, you may be confused about how much money you need to come up with for your down payment. Many people you talk to will tell you that you need to save 20% or you won’t be able to secure a mortgage.
The truth is that there are many programs available that let you put down as little as 3%. Those who have served our country could qualify for a Veterans Affairs Home Loan (VA) without needing a down payment.
These programs have cut the savings time that many families would need to compile a large down payment from five or more years down to a year or two. This allows them to start building family wealth sooner.
So then, why do so many people believe that they need a 20% down payment to buy a home? There has to be a reason! Today, we want to talk about four reasons why putting 20% down is a good plan, if you can afford it.

1. Your interest rate will be lower.

Putting down a 20% down payment vs. a 3-5% down payment shows your lender/bank that you are more financially stable, thus a good credit risk. The more confident your bank is in your credit score and your ability to pay your loan, the lower the rate they will be willing to give you.

2. You’ll end up paying less for your home.

The bigger your down payment, the lower your loan amount will be for your mortgage. If you are able to pay 20% of the cost of your new home at the start of the transaction, you will only pay interest on the remaining 80%. If you put down a 5% down payment, the extra 15% on your loan will accrue interest and end up costing you more in the long run!

3. Your offer will stand out in a competitive market!

In a market where many buyers are competing for the same home, sellers like to see offers come in with 20% or larger down payments. The seller gains the same confidence that the bank did above. You are seen as a stronger buyer whose financing is more likely to be approved. Therefore, the deal will be more likely to go through!

4. You won’t have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Simply put, PMI is “an insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.”
As we mentioned earlier, when you put down less than 20% to buy a home, your lender/bank will see your loan as having more risk. PMI helps them recover their investment in you if you are unable to pay your loan. This insurance is not required if you are able to put down 20% or more.
Many times, home sellers looking to move up to a larger or more expensive home are able to take the equity they earn from the sale of their house to put down 20% on their next home.
If you are looking to buy your first home, you will have to weigh the benefits of saving a 20% down payment vs. the time and cost of continuing to rent while you save that amount.

Bottom Line

If your plan for your future includes buying a home and you’re already saving for your down payment, let’s get together to help you decide what down payment size best fits with your long-term plan!