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Real Estate in the Year of the Dragon

New Year resolutions aren’t for everyone, but maybe you decided that 2024 was the year you dabble in a little real estate? 2024 is the year of the Dragon, according to Chinese horoscopes, and that means it’s time to get bold with your buying and selling goals!

Rates are dropping, and that’s going to have a significant impact on reviving the market from its seasonal slump.

I know I sound like a broken record, but hear me out: you can refi out of higher rates if you buy at a less than ideal time for interest rates. But the competition picking back up will have permanent consequences, as far as what it means for how much you have to pay for a house. Heightened competition also means that all of those buyers who have been on the sideline, waiting for this moment, will spring into action at a time not super convenient to you and your wallet.

If you are the type to casually browse what listings are hitting the market, you’ll have noticed that there’s not too many of them. We are still in a housing deficit, so this is a guaranteed ripple effect for PDX, and surrounding areas.

I can talk real estate until the cows come home. If you’re thinking, “What would happen if I decided to buy/sell now…” and wondering if your realtor and friend, Stephanie Lundin, would be receptive to digging into that idea, the answer is, Yes. Yes, bring me your questions and concerns and hypotheses and life goals, and we’ll figure out if the time is right for you. And where you can go from here!

Ridwell Recap

Why yes, I’m still talking about Ridwell, and if you know me, you’ll know I’ll bang this eco drum forever. But Ridwell is POWERFUL, my people. We’re just now starting to see substantial data supporting the very real impact Ridwell is having, both locally and on a national scale.

Take a look at these staggering stats, and I’m hoping that these can convince some of you to give Ridwell a try. I’m sure there’s at least three of you that are still hoarding styrofoam after the holidays, and I have some free trial codes to give out, so let’s get vibing on recycling, right now!

Winter To-Dos in the House and Garden

This is a extra special “winter tips” edition, as we’re on the cusp of another big ice storm! We received some snow a few days ago – coupled with gusty winds that knocked more than a few trees into homes (eek!) – and a bunch of folks lost power for DAYS in Portland and surrounding neighborhoods (double eek!), but it’s not quite over, yet. So here’s some last minute, very important check-off tips for winterizing your home and garden for the next 48 hours…

  • Protect your pipes! Insulate exposed pipes and disconnect hoses to prevent freezing and potential bursting. Turn off and insulate all exterior faucets, and allow all interior faucets to slowly drip during the coldest parts of the storm, to keep water flowing.
  • Clear your gutters! You can prevent ice dams and water damage by keeping your gutters debris free.
  • Stuck inside during a winter storm? What a great opportunity to get together with your family, housemates, and pets and go over your emergency kit and plan. Check/replace flashlight batteries, ensure you have emergency blankets, sleeping bags, socks, hats, gloves, and refresh any water stores you keep in reserve. Make sure everyone’s on board as to where emergency supplies are, and give everyone their own tasks to check off the list to make things easier!
  • Keep your vital electronics charged, including any battery bricks for back-up.
  • If your furnace stops working, check your condensation drain (small black box with usually a clear tube heading outside the home in some cases). Your high efficiency furnace will dump water in your basement if your pipes freeze OR just stop working altogether until you unfreeze it.
  • You know I’m worried about your cats, right? Make sure your domestic kitties are safely inside, and if you have outdoor-only kitties (hands up if you feed a feral or two), you can easily make or purchase a safe, warm shelter, and ensure they have fresh and unfrozen food and water. Lastly, if you’re headed out, please tap the car hood or honk your horn, on the off chance a cat is seeking warmth in the interiors of your recently used car. I care about your dogs, too so don’t forget their paws can get frostbite, so take precaution! 
  • Stranded in your vehicle during a winter storm? Let’s hope this never happens – but also, never forget a few years ago when folks were stuck for hours, many of them choosing to walk home in the snow drifts rather than sit in a freezing car overnight. If you MUST be out during a winter storm, keep a close eye on weather advisories, let a friend or relative know of your travel plans and destinations, and keep an emergency kit IN YOUR CAR. This could include food (granola bars, etc), water, emergency lighting, cellphone chargers, warm insulated clothes, blankets, sleeping bags. And if you end up truly stranded? Run your engine for 10 minutes each hour to heat the car and charge your phone, but keep the window slightly cracked to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Stay with your vehicle. Tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna if you feel especially remote or stranded, and keep moving your arms and legs for circulation. Don’t leave your car unless you can help it, you’re much safer that way.

I’ve always said that there’s something fun going on in Portland year ’round, and there’s plenty of reasons to leave the house in January. Check out Urban Nest’s recs for the month…click the image above for the full Picks!

My holidays were excellent – and I hope yours were, too! I spent loads of time with my partner’s family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I hadn’t been back to the Midwest in ELEVEN years, and because we were already out that way I got to revisit my home town in Indiana, right on Lake Michigan. Boy, I sure didn’t appreciate the unique beauty of Michigan City like I can, now. And it was really joyful to reconnect with old friends, check out my hometown haunts, drive by my old house, and relive some high school memories. Seeing my besties’ kids that I’d never met was a highlight – they’d all had Covid babies, lol – and it filled my heart to brimming. 

As much as I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, it’s always so nice to come home and appreciate the comforts of my own bed, pets, and community. 


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