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Portland Real Estate Blog
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As you know Halloween is just around the corner already. I found a fun post on Good Housekeeping that features different Halloween themed recipes to make for either a party or just for the family. There are some cute ideas that I think kids would like to help create as well. Take a look!
Everyone wants to make the most of their food and not let anything go to waste. However, there are some important things to keep in mind when you’re storing certain foods. Follow these basic guidelines to avoid food going bad too soon.
Half-used onions and garlic should be stored on their own. These, and other produce with strong odors/flavors, can affect nearby food and transfer some of the taste. You don’t want any onion flavor when you’re biting into fresh fruit, so keep these items separate.
Don’t put potatoes in the refrigerator. Refrigerating potatoes speeds up the rate at which they convert from starch to sugar. Instead, store them in a cool, dark place, like a cupboard or drawer. They should last several weeks.
Store tomatoes on the counter. The best way to keep tomatoes fresh is out in the open, such as on a countertop. They’ll quickly become mealy and lose their flavor when they’re stored in the refrigerator.
Fall may have just began, but winter will be here before you know it. The best way to have a great lawn come spring is to get started now, and here are four tips that will kick start your lawn before the snow arrives.
Aerating pulls up pellets of dirt from your lawn, giving the remaining turf room to breathe and allowing water to and nutrients to get deeper. You can rent an aerating machine if you don’t want to purchase one, or you can call a professional.
Fall is a great time to seed your lawn, because that’s when turf roots are very active. The seeds need to germinate, so once you’ve seeded your lawn, water it every two weeks or so.
Fertilizer helps your grass survive those bitter cold winter temperatures. This is your last chance to fertilize before the snow covers your lawn, so use a fertilizer that’s high in phosphorus.
Don’t feel like raking up leaves all the time? No problem—you can use them for mulch! Make several passes over the leaves with your mower, and it’ll grind them into a mulch that first serves as a barrier from the wind, and then will decompose into valuable nutrients for the grass.
It’s easy to let clutter pile up in your home, and sometimes it seems like there’s not quite enough space to store everything. However, with some clever repurposing or reorganization, you can take control of your clutter and create a more efficient living space. Here are some tips to get you started on better organizing your home.
Start stacking: If your coffee table or desk seems like mess, stack your magazines and books. Then, place flowers or candles on top of the stack. You’ve suddenly reorganized and created an attractive tabletop display.
Bring in some baskets: A shelving unit with room for small baskets is great for organizing similar items and reducing clutter. Label your baskets (try chalk!) and it’ll be easy to find specific things when you need them.
Tap into trays: All those items that have overtaken your bathroom counter? Find a shallow tray, and then use it to contain your bottles, lotions, and other bathroom products.
Our homes require regular maintenance, both to protect our personal safety and to avoid costly repairs. Here are five of the most important items you should check in your home.
1. The fire extinguisher: It’s recommended that you keep at least one fire extinguisher on every floor. You should also keep one in the garage and in the basement.
2. Staircases and banisters: A loose railing or banister could spell disaster. Regularly check your stairs and the accompanying railings to make sure they’re secure.
3. Smoke detectors: Be diligent about testing your smoke alarms (and carbon monoxide detectors) and replacing batteries. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month, and batteries should be replaced at least twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries when you adjust your clocks for daylight savings.
4. Electrical outlets: Outlets in kitchens and bathrooms should have a “test” button. It’s part of a system that prevents electrocution. Plug in a hair dryer, and push the “test” button—the hair dryer should turn off right away.
5. Water quality: If you’ve never tested your water for harmful contaminants, you can purchase a kit to test it yourself, or hire a professional.
Kelly was born in California but has spent most of her life in Oregon. She moved up to the Portland area after her husband received a job offer and fell in love with the beautiful environment Northern Oregon has to offer. She joined the Hayes Team to assist in Real Estate Sales and Marketing in 2015. She has a background in accounting, office duties, and customer service but she has enjoyed taking on different tasks and learning the diverse world of property management & real estate. In her spare time she loves to read and play video games as well as sharing her interests with her children.
Kelly provides assistance to Michelle and Kyle on the Real Estate side. She handles paperwork, coordinating appointments as well as some marketing.
We were happy to welcome her to our team earlier this year.
Home sharing websites like airbnb.com are great for getting the most out of your vacation. Home sharing often saves a lot of money compared to similar lodging arrangements at hotels, and it gives you an opportunity to be part of a new neighborhood during your stay.
The downside is that there’s a bigger chance of encountering a scam. No one wants to have their vacation ruined by a fake rental listing, so here are a few easy tips to avoid scams.
Be skeptical of photos: If a property’s photos look a little too good, ask for additional photos. Photoshop and photography expertise can hide a lot of warts.
Only book with a credit card: Scammers prefer to operate with cash. You have a better chance of recovering your money if you only book with credit cards through trusted sites like airbnb.com.
Read the reviews: Sites like AirBNB and VRBO have customer reviews for each property. Read them to ensure that the rental is as good it seems—or that it even exists in the first place.
Lindsey Pedersen hales from Portland, Oregon. She currently lives in Beaverton, Oregon with her husband and two cats. She came to the Hayes Team at McNeeley Real Estate & Property Management, Inc. in 2014 with a background in customer service and medical transcription. In her free time she enjoys thrift shopping, going to the various shops on 23rd in Portland, spending time with her husband, and crocheting.
Lindsey provides assistance to Kyle on the property management side. She handles tenant relations, maintenance issues, and finding new tenants for vacant properties.
We are very thankful to have Lindsey on our team!
You’re going to have to do some regular repairs and maintenance on your home—it’s just a fact of home ownership. So that you’re not caught unprepared, it’s a good idea to keep a budget and set aside some funds for when the following repairs inevitably come up.
1. Light switches: Beyond your typical light bulb replacements,the wiring can occasionally go bad in a light fixture, causing it to be unresponsive when you turn the light on. An electrician can fix it quickly for around $100.
2. Gutter maintenance: Over time, the weight and weather will be too much for your gutters, causing them break away from the home and require fixing. It’s possible to fix them yourself, but it will typically cost up to $400 to have them fixed professionally.
3. Drywall repairs: It’s easier than you’d think to put a hole in your walls, especially if you bump them when moving furniture. It can cost up to $300 for professional repairs.
4. Running toilet: The moving parts and valves in a toilet can wear out over the years, and you’ll want to get it fixed quickly to save on water bills and keep your bathrooms usable. It’s about a two-hour job to fix for professional plumbers, and they charge up to $150 an hour, depending on your market.
5. Tile repairs: Tile goes through a lot of abuse, and it’s not just impact from heavy objects that can damage individual tiles—years of foot traffic will also cause damage. Repair costs can vary greatly because of the cost of individual tiles, but it’s good to set aside around $200.