Who Doesn’t Love A Picnic….Especially When You Don’t Have to Do Anything?

I have always loved the thought of going on a picnic.  What I haven’t loved is the thought of planning it and packing all the stuff to go and do it.  It’s probably why I’m soooo obsessed with this week’s hot spot of the week’s Instagram Feed – Picnics With Elegance

Picnics With Elegance is the brain child of it’s founder the beautiful Kelly.  She loves making people feel special and has a background in non-profits and event planning.

It doesn’t matter what you are celebrating there is a picnic choice for you.  Here’s a few of the ways you can celebrate with a picnic:

  • Bridal Shower
  • Baby Shower
  • Birthday Parties
  • Engagements
  • Anniversary
  • Weekend Brunch with Your BFFs
  • First Date

Now I know what you’re thinking we live in Oregon so a picnic is going to be seasonal or what if it looks like it might rain?  Never fear Picnics with Elegance has a portable, weather proof pod for those types of days.

I know you’re wondering what exactly is included in a picnic right?  Here’s some of what you can expect:

  • One stop shop for the perfect picnic
  • Event Set Up
  • Table Decor
  • Place Settings
  • Floral Arrangements
  • Food
  • Take Down
  • Personal Hostess
  • Cell Phone Pictures
  • Personalized Touches

So what do you need to do?  Provide a date, time and theme.  They do have add ons available at an additional charge.

Packages start at around $250.00 and a picnic is typically 1.5 to 2 hours in length. Be sure to check out their website for more detailed information.

So my only question is how are you going to use a picnic to celebrate?

 

 

 

I’ve Got a Shoe Problem and Gimres Is My Friend……

Ok, I’m not going to lie, I have a shoe problem.  Like most girls I LOVE shoes.  During the winter months you can find me in my Converse and in the summer I’m in either Olukai flip flops or Birkenstocks and this month’s business of the week helps with my love for these two brands of shoes since they carry both.

When I moved to North Plains 10 years ago, my then boyfriend, now husband introduced me to Gimres.  Finding an amazing shoe store isn’t one of the things that is typically on your radar as far as something new to find when you move, however it is one of the small things that allows you to feel like you’re part of your new community.

So why do I love this shoe store so much?  One reason is that it is the oldest family run shoe store in the Western United States.  They have served the Hillsboro community for 124 years.

Another reason that I love them is that they are knowledgeable and willing to help you find the right shoe for you.  One example is that my husband has a specific style of Ecco brand shoes.  We were having a hard time finding them, and Gimres helped us find them online and ordered them from the company for us.

If you are looking for a great pair of shoes go visit Gimres.  They are located at 256 E. Main Street in Hillsboro.

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.

You’re Ready to Move-Up to Your Next Home, but Where Do You Start?

As a first time seller, or a seller who hasn’t sold a home in many years you may be wondering where to start.  You may believe that you find a Realtor® sign a contract and put a sign up in the yard then wait for the offers to come rolling in.  You certainly can use this approach however, if you receive and accept an offer quickly you will only have 30-45 days to get packed up and ready to move, all while going through the transaction process, and that can be STRESSFUL!

I know you’re wondering what can I do to help reduce some of the stress during the home selling process?  Here are a few ways that I help my clients to reduce some of the stress of selling their home.

  1.  Meeting with them two to three months before they are ready to put their home on the market.  At this time we discuss the time frame of when they would like to list their home and set a target “Go Live” date.  During this meeting we discuss any improvements if any that they are considering doing to determine if they are worth it.  Often sellers know that they need new carpet but decide that they won’t install it because the buyer will want to choose their own.  The reality is that this can lead to lowball offers because the buyer’s see that the home needs new carpet and start to wonder what else hasn’t been taken care of in the home so they offer a low price to offset those costs.  Being able to say home has new carpet in the listing is always beneficial.
  2. I look at your home through the lens of a prospective buyer.  We talk about what items you should remove from your walls and pack as you prepare for your move.  Buyers need to be able to see themselves living in your home.  They often have a hard time doing that with family photos out.
  3. I help you “stage” your home with items you already own, and if needed will add in some neutral decor items to help your home “pop”.
  4. I discuss the benefits of a pre-listing inspection with you.  You bring in a home inspector and have them do an inspection on your home just like they would for a buyer during the transaction process.  This allows you to know up front if there are any major issues with your home that would come up in an inspection, and gives you the opportunity to address them prior to listing your home, or to determine how you will proceed during the transaction process.  Keep in mind that anything you learn during this inspection will need to be disclosed.
  5. I recommend that you start packing things that you do not need now such as seasonal clothing items that you won’t be needing.  It’s also a great time to determine what you want to take to your new home, and the items that can be donated or thrown away.  This also takes some of the packing pressure off of you because you’ve already started.

Once your home is “camera ready” it’s time to bring in the photographer and prepare to list your home.  Depending on the location, size of your home/lot I do bring in a drone for drone photography.  These photos can provide a potential buyer with a great view of the neighborhood and if you are on a large lot allows them to see just how big the lot is in comparison to other homes in the area.

I know that not everyone has the opportunity to take time when listing your home so I hope that these tips will help if you find yourself in a position that you need to list and sell your home fast.