Real Estate 2020 Round Up
2020 surprised us all with a robust real estate market. I felt fortunate to have 17 listings, where I was able to assist sellers execute their goals. Many of these sellers embarked on a sell/buy transaction, too, which is especially exhilarating during a pandemic! I also helped 19 buyers find homes this year, and we managed to do all of this by adapting on the fly and keeping everyone involved safe.
In early 2020, I helped buyers who qualified for the Neighborhood LIFT grant - this is really meaningful work, getting first timers into homes, since homes are such an important and accessible way to create stability and equity. I'm really proud of being involved in this significant program, and hope to see more like it in future.
And I sold some REALLY gorgeous, fancy homes too, and it's such an honor to see my clients growing up and out of their homes, and reaping the rewards of their smart real estate investment moves of past, as now they can use it to leverage themselves into the future! They were able to wrangle what would otherwise be an intimidating mortgage into a manageable one by rolling the equity from their current home into their new one.
As 2020 comes to a close it's with the news that Portland has hit RECORD LOWS of inventory. You can read more about it in the latest Scouting Report (below), but let's just say that there's never been a better time to be a seller in Portland. Plus, interest rates are LOW, so, y'know, reach out if you want to go over some scenarios.
Winter Scouting & Market Report
Just when we thought inventory in the Portland Metro Area couldn't drop anymore, we've hit a new all-time low. Last month, inventory decreased to 1 month - the lowest on record. Simply put, if no new listings come on and everything currently on the market is sold, Portland would be out of houses...
Winter-Ready Your Home
Now's the time to keep your most critical eye on your home maintenance, as the rainy weather and cold temps can play havoc with your home. Here's some easy tips to keep your home in tip top shape during winter:
* GUTTERS. For goodness sakes, make sure your gutters are clear of debris, and your downspouts are also clear and directed as far away from your foundations as possible.
* Sometimes we get a freeze, and this is the season for pipes bursting. If you can, switch off water to all your outdoor faucets.
* Give your furnace a check-up. Trust me, nothing's worse than suddenly being out of heat and hot water in the middle of winter, and don't forget your furnace condensate drain can - and will - dump water if it gets frozen, so keep an eye on that.
* If you have a basement, check your interior perimeters after days of heavy rain - even if you've never had a water intrusion before. Flooded basements SUCK, so let's not have that happen in 2021.
*Stick your head into the attic to make sure the outdoor critters haven't made themselves a snug home in your attic insulation.
* If you have a shower or toilet in your basement that doesn't see much use, go run them for a few minutes to keep your pipes healthy.
See? Simple. Now you can rest easy while cozying up indoors.
Nonprofits Who Need US
Continue to support local nonprofits who are doing the actual work for justice and community care. Here's a few I'm fond of:
Black Resilience Fund: "An emergency fund dedicated to healing and resilience by providing immediate resources to Black Portlanders."
Blanchett House: "Offers food, shelter and aid to all those in need of a safe place to be nourished and restored. We facilitate the transformation of each life we touch with compassion and dignity."
The Pongo Fund: "Providing high quality food and lifesaving veterinary care for the animals of our community’s most vulnerable, keeping them safe, healthy and out of the shelters."
Recycling + Composting Tips Heading Into 2021
Did you know that our garbage service is absolutely badass when it comes to composting and recycling? In fact, it's likely one of the best services provided in the United States? The thing is, a majority of us still find it pretty confusing as to what can be recycled and how, and this leads to people either getting into the habit of recycling incorrectly, or giving up altogether. We can't have that. I'm a proud "green" Realtor, and I'm here to help guide you on how to recycle in 2021!
Before we start, get yourself a copy of the local Curbside Guide. You can print it out yourself, or have a copy sent to your home. It's a pretty comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide that you can keep on your fridge for quick reference.
Here's some more recycling and composting tips you may or may not be aware of:
1. Christmas trees! You can recycle your holiday spruce the easy way by putting it out with your regular garden waste...but it'll cost you a little extra. Why not contact a local nonprofit to pick up your tree, instead? Some of them even drop old Christmas trees in our waterways to benefit the life cycle of spawning salmon, which is pretty darn cool.
2. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about composting and what's acceptable to compost and what's not. You might be surprised that meat scraps and bones are perfectly compostable, while dog food and animal poop is not (don't be dumping your cat litter in the compost, please). Look into getting a compost bin/area set up if you can, because utilizing your kitchen scraps not only makes incredible soil for your future vegetable garden, but it also saves you money as well - you get charged extra for all the vegetable waste that ends up in your garbage bin!
3. Recycling! This is the trickier one that stumps a lot of us, myself included. DON'T go by the symbols on your waste items as a guide, because they don't apply to us here in Oregon! This is why having a guide on hand can be so helpful, to dispel all those misconceptions and bad habits. For example, we CAN recycle: glass with plastic inserts (ie: for pouring oil), we CAN recycle those plastic containers that we get our vegetable starts in, and we CAN recycle those waxy paper cartons with a plastic top, just not the lid/cap! Sorry to confirm our to-go containers go in the garbage (disposable coffee cups and lids, too). Better it lands in the right spot, than mucking up the system with "wishful recycling''.
It really sets our system back when many are incorrectly composting/recycling, but cut yourself some slack, it does take some info gathering and that's why I highly recommend putting a recycle guide on your fridge, so you can reference it often. It gets easier, I promise!
I'm so grateful I've been keeping busy - REALLY BUSY - with work! Thank you my wonderful clients for your trust and your referrals! It was a record year, and your support enables me to continue to refine and grow my business so I can continue to provide you with the utmost service. I added a Transaction Coordinator to my team this year, and she helps me keep things moving while I'm out in the field working my magic for my buyers and sellers.
I've also been trying to focus on healthy living and eating. It's almost inevitable that we'll come in contact with Covid at some point, and aside from precautions (mask, washing hands, social distancing, etc), the best thing we can do to protect ourselves is by nourishing our bodies with immunity-boosting foods, rest, and exercise. Now's also a decent time to look into possible food sensitivities, since we're a bit more in control of what we're putting in our bodies.
I still get out in nature as often as I can, and nothing beats stumbling upon a gorgeous local fungi while out in the woods!
I've really amped up my support of BLM and local nonprofits this year, and am dedicated to continuing my support!
We've all had to make sacrifices with friends and family this year, and it's good to see so many getting creative when it comes to staying connected. Once this is all over, I have no doubt we'll all appreciate the time we get with our loved ones, and take them less for granted. My family and I have celebrated our yearly traditions online, and yes, it is a tradition to torture my cats in holiday hats, wut).
Wishing you all the best in 2021, and as always, I'll be here as your tried and true Realtor.
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