You Only Get One Chance To Make A First Impression…..

How many times in life have you heard that statement above?  Probably a million.  It’s something you think about when you go on a blind date, or go for a job interview.  You want to put your best foot forward because you know you won’t get the opportunity to do it again.  It’s the same way with your home when you are selling or are wanting to spruce it up.  You only get one chance to make your home memorable, and your front door can help.

Last month my friend and business partner, Rebecca Nelson, and I were out doing the monthly Ding, Dong, Ditch Pop-bys.  The very first home we stopped at caught our attention because of it’s AMAZING front door.  That’s right, we choose that home to drop off a succulent to because we fell in love with their red front door.

I personally like to look at the front door of your home as the place to put some personality because a fire engine red house would probably be a bit over the top, but a fire engine red front door is WOW!

So how does one go about picking the perfect front door color?  Here are a few things that you will want to keep in mind:

  1. How will it look with the existing color scheme of your home?
  2. How will it look next to brick, stone or wood?
  3. If the front of your home faces the sun you need to think about how much sun hits your front door, and choose a color that will still look fab sun faded.
  4. How will it look when it’s time to put up the holiday decorations?  Will it clash and stick out like a sore thumb?
  5. Will everyone in your family feel joy when they walk up to the front of your home or will they want to gouge their eyeballs out every time the walk up to the front door?  Being honest, you may love pink and think a pink front door would be spectacular.  Your partner or spouse may not feel the same way and a pink front door may make them cringe every time they come home.

Now that you’ve thought about those things, how do you decided what to choose.  Here are a few tips.

  1. Neutrals – a grey front door will pop against neutral paint colors.
  2. Yellow – can provide a cheery welcome and pairs well with grey.
  3. Blue – provides a calming feel when you walk up to it and pairs well with many different colors.
  4. Purple – while a bold choice it can make the entrance to your home feel regal as it’s the color of royalty.
  5. Teal Blue – the color of the ocean this color is bold without being too obnoxious.

There are many more colors that you can choose from so don’t feel as though you can only choose one of the five I’ve listed.  Whatever you choose put a swatch of paint next to your house or paint a board and put it next to your home.  Live with the color for awhile before you take the plunge.  In the end by painting your front door you’re going to make a great first impression, and may find that you love walking through your front door all the time.

You’ve Bought Your First Home Now What?

You’ve did it!  You purchased your first home, but now as you sit in your fabulous home you’re feeling a little overwhelmed because of all of the “things” that come with owning a home.  You know what I’m talking about, the maintenance, the yard work, the furnace, etc.

While this can be completely overwhelming having a quarterly schedule of maintenance items to be done can really help.  I’m going to provide. you with a few tips for each quarter of the year to help you get started:

 

SUMMER 

Remove the lint from your dryer, dryer vent and vent hose.  According to the US Fire Administration approximately 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported each year and it is estimated that they cause five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property losses.  In addition, failure to clean the dryer is the leading cause of home dryer fires in America.

Clean the exhaust fan in your kitchen.  You would be amazed at how greasy and icky they get over a year from all of the cooking that we do.

Check your dishwasher, around kitchen/bathroom cabinets and toilets to see if there are any leaks.

Seal your tile grout.

Prune trees and shrubs.

FALL

It’s time to rake your leaves and aerate your yard.

Have your trusted HVAC company come out and make sure your furnace is in proper order for the colder winter months.

Do touch up painting on the exterior and trim of your home.

Have your fireplace professionally inspected and have a chimney sweep come out.  Unfortunately I don’t think you’ll be on any adventures with Bert from Mary Poppins when they do come out.

Drain and store your hoses, and also drain your sprinkler system.  You don’t want spring to roll around and find out you have broken pipes.

WINTER

Cover your A/C unit.

Inspect your roof, gutters and downspouts after any major storms.  Left over leaves, and pine needles can clog them after major storms and create problems for you the next time it rains.

Clean the drains in your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bath tubs and showers.  It’s amazing how much hair can wind up going down the drain and start to clog things up.

SPRING

Change your A/C filters in preparation for the warmer days that are ahead.

Clean windows and screens.

Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.

Fertilize your yard

 

Keep in mind that this list doesn’t include all of the items you can do to keep your new home in tip top shape it does hopefully give you good start.

 

It’s Home Inspection Time.

You’ve got an accepted offer and now it’s time for the home inspection.  This can be a stressful time for both buyers and sellers as they wait to see what the inspector has to say, and if he finds something that could kill the deal.

As you prepare for this time it’s good to remember that the home inspector is there to tell you about the general health of the home, like your primary care doctor tells you about your general health.  If there are issues with the home that require an expert such as HVAC, roof, mold remediation the inspector should recommend that a licensed professional come out to asses the issue.

When it comes to the report a good write up will give you four main points:

What are they inspecting.

Where is it at in the home.

Why is the issue a problem.

How the buyer should consider handing the problem.

For example, in my own home purchase the report informed me that there was a duct vent from the laundry room vent that had fallen in the attic and was not property attached to the roof vent which is there to help prevent excess moisture and other problems.  As the buyer they inspector let me know that to handle this problem I needed to have the duct work reattached to the  roof vent.  It was an easy fix that my husband took care of for me after I moved in.

It doesn’t matter what the item is you should always see a what, where, why it is an issue and what you should do about it.  If it is something out of the scope of the home inspector assessing the general health of the home say cracks in the foundation, they should suggest that you get a qualified contractor or engineer to come out and assess the foundation to see if there is an issue or not.

You should also know that there are items that are not in the scope of the home inspectors work.  For example if the home were to have a pool and hot tub that would not be something that the home inspector would be looking at.  As a buyer you would want to have a pool specialist come out and tell you if the pool was in good mechanical working order.

As a seller the home inspector isn’t there to find all sorts of things to make you fix, and potentially kill the deal.  We all love our homes and think that they are in fantastic order, however when we live in them for awhile there are things that we sometimes don’t notice.

Once that home inspection is over it’s time to consider what items you want fixed and what items you can deal with and maybe fix later.  I always tell both my buyers and sellers that we ask/fix items that are of a health and safety concern, such as a leaking roof or T111 siding that is rotting at the bottom.  If the home is older you may see the inspector indicate that the home lacks GFCI outlets and recommend that they be installed.   If they recommend it for the kitchen and bathroom then yes that would fall under the health and safety items as both of those places deal with water.  However if the inspector indicates that it should be done through out the home in order to bring it up to code then I like to have a discussion with my sellers/buyers.  Codes are constantly changing and home was built to code for the time it was constructed.  Health and safety should not constitute bringing the home up to current code.  It would be costly as well as very time/labor intensive.

As you prepare for your home inspection please keep these things in mind, and hopefully it will help make the process a little less stressful.  You also might consider picking up Matt Fellman’s book Home Inspector Confidential. It provides some fabulous information from a well respected Portland area home inspector.

Time for Adventure – Trail Style

The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer, and it’s time to get out and explore.  Living on the westside of the Portland metro area you will find that you have plenty of opportunities to do just that without having to venture too far thanks to all of the local trails.  Each Monday in April I will be highlighting some of the different trails in the area as part of my hot spot of the week feature.

Today I am sharing Rock Creek Trail with you.  The trail is approximately 3.5 miles long with an additional 1.5 miles that will take you from Rock Creek Park into the City of Hillsboro.  The trail gets it’s name for a tributary off of the Tualitan River that heads towards the Tualitan Mountains to the North, and intersects with the trail west of Bethany Lake Park.

The trail goes from east to west along the Springville Creek Power Corridor.  This corridor extends from Rock Creek Blvd toward the Washington County/Multnomah County lines.  As you travel the trail you will be greeted with beautiful views of forests, wetlands, and meadows.  You will also find parks along your route where you can take a rest or let the kids play.  The trail is a popular destination for those who love to bike, run and enjoy wildlife.

In addition the trail connects to Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus as well as intersecting with the Waterhouse Trail.

If you follow the trail to the far west end you will find the Rock Creek Power Line Soccer Fields, as well as Bethany Lake Park off of 185th which has plenty of parking.  The lake is stocked with trout and you are more than welcome to fish there so long as you have a valid fishing license from Oregon Fish and Wildlife.

As you travel east along the trail you will find one of the Tualitan Hills Parks and Recreations more popular parks, Bethany Meadows Park aka Pirate Park.  It’s known for its ship shaped play structure, climbing features, sand pit and tower.  So much fun for the kids.

Finally venture to the far east end of the trail to visit Kaiser Woods Natural Area where you will be able to see wildflowers in the spring, and listen to song birds all year long.

Click here for more information on Rock Creek Trail.

Is There Anything Better Than Fried Chicken?

Fried chicken is AMAZING and it’s one of the things that I miss greatly since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  So while I am not able to go and enjoy this week’s business of the week you can – Ezells Famous Chicken.  Most of their locations are in Washington, however we are in luck that they have a location near Washington Square, and are offering take out and delivery!

The first Ezells Famous Chicken was opened in Seattle, Washington in 1984.  A family owned business where while the family has grown the founding family members are still actively involved in the business on a daily basis.  So how did they decided to open a restaurant dedicated to fried chicken?  It started when they moved from Washington to Texas and missed the chicken that they were used to.  They decided to open up a place where they could share what they love with their community.

Over the years they have developed a fan base for their famous chicken throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Their business has grown to include several restaurants as well as two mobile food trucks.

Why is their chicken so amazing?  They use 3 pound chickens that they cut into 8 pieces.  From there they marinate it for 24 hours, batter it and fry it up.  Add a side of mashed potatoes and gravy, baked beans, mac and cheese and more you just can’t go wrong.My Copy of  January 2021 Graphics  copy