I still can’t believe I…

Remember where you keep your passport!

Here is a tip that I hope you never have to take advantage of… We went to Europe in September. A little over a week before we left I started getting all the stuff gathered that I would l need for the trip. I ALWAYS keep my passport in the same place – always well except for this time! Tore the house apart, couldn’t find it anywhere. Yes, I was very mad at myself! There are numerous online options and at that point, cost wasn’t the biggest issue. The biggest issue was: will these companies really get it done when they say they will? What we ended up doing was going to the Federal website, filled out all the forms, drove to Seattle, got there early, waited in long lines AND got my replacement passport that day, and it cost about $265.00. Yes, I wanted to kiss the ground as we walked out of the office.  My passport is now where it’s supposed, and it is staying there!!!

Posted on November 13, 2018 at 10:37 am
Sally Baker | Posted in Homeowners |

RMLS Market Action Report

Market Activity
Interested in the latest real estate stats in Portland? Last month’s numbers are in. Click HERE.

Posted on November 7, 2018 at 8:39 am
Sally Baker | Posted in Portland Real Estate, real estate market activity |

It all started with…

Be safe!
A female co-worker of mine recently had a creepy experience with someone that came through an open house she was hosting. It was uncomfortable and somewhat scary for her, and it made her think about just how vulnerable she was. I have to say that generally speaking, I don’t think much about my personal safety. I like that I feel that way, but I can’t help but wonder if sometimes I’m not as careful as I should be??? I am also now more aware of car and house break-ins because of the Next Door website. So what is the answer? I certainly don’t want to always be looking over my shoulder, but I do want to be realistic and take precautions when it’s appropriate, and I hope you will too!!! Do you have something to add to the conversation? Leave a comment!

Posted on November 6, 2018 at 4:37 pm
Sally Baker | Posted in Portland Neighborhoods, Portland Real Estate |

You might have heard of a Walk Score, but did you know…

I am constantly amazed by how much information there is out there! Here are a few websites (and apps) that can be helpful when you are buying or selling a home or just want to know a little more about your neighborhood or the city you live in:

Walc is an app. If you want to take a leisurely stroll in a neighborhood you can check it out before you step out your front door.

Walkscore:  this site gives you not only your home’s walk score but your bike and transit score as well. I use it all the time!

Greatschools.org: you have a chance to read school report cards with reviews from teachers, parents and students.

Mylocalcrime.com: Pull up any recent local crimes from vandalism to car break ins.

Gravy is an app that gives you the rundown on events from rock concerts to church suppers.

Last but not least – Portlandmaps.com: If you’ve never been to this site you just have to go. You will find specific information about permits, crime, taxes and more for the City of Portland!

Posted on July 14, 2018 at 11:25 am
Sally Baker | Posted in Home Maintenance, Homeowners, Portland Neighborhoods, Portland Real Estate |

Recent real estate market activity

Interested in the latest real estate stats in Portland? Last month’s numbers are in. Click HERE.

These are published from the RMLS Market Action Report. If you have questions, send me an email or give me a call, and let’s chat!

Posted on July 7, 2018 at 11:27 am
Sally Baker | Posted in Portland Neighborhoods, Portland Real Estate, real estate market activity |

Zestimates: Don’t get me started!

Well, it would be an exaggeration to say Zillow is the bane of my existence, but it’s kinda true! Sometimes their Zestimates are high, sometimes they’re low, and sometimes they get it right. Pretty reliable, huh?

Here are a few things that come into play:

  • Zillow has never been in your house. They don’t know if you just spent $100,000 on a kitchen remodel, have the original kitchen, or did a little sprucing with paint and formica.
  • They pull some of their data from the tax records which are often inaccurate. So, they might not only have the wrong amount of square footage BUT again, they haven’t been in your house so is the basement finished or a leaky mess with low ceilings??
  • I recently had a client whose Zestimate was more than $200,000 over what the house actually sold for in this really hot market. Also, I recently sold a wee little house for more than $40,000 over the Zestimate.

So what does all that mean? Zillow definitely serves a purpose, but that being said, I would never take their word for what a house is worth, and you shouldn’t either. If you want to know more, you should talk to a real estate agent that comes to your home and compares it to current comparable houses in your neighborhood. That is my job, and I would like you to call me, of course.

Posted on June 30, 2018 at 11:25 am
Sally Baker | Posted in Homeowners, Portland Real Estate |

Yikes! It’s almost tax time!

As I’m sure you know 2017 brought us new tax laws. If there has ever been a time that you want to talk to your tax consultant preemptively it is now. Of course everyone’s tax situation is different but a couple things that affect real estate are:

  1. The final tax bill has a limit on deductible mortgage debt of $750,000 for new loans taken out after 12/14/2017.
  2. The final tax bill allows an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 for the total of state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes. The limit applies for both single and married filers.

Again, be sure talk to your tax preparer so you understand how the changes affect you!!

Posted on March 14, 2018 at 4:29 pm
Sally Baker | Posted in Homeowners, Mortgages, Portland Real Estate |

Portland’s Home Energy Score

I have mentioned that as of the first of 2018 the City of Portland is requiring that you have a Home Energy Audit prior to putting your house on the market. I decided to have an audit done on our house to be more familiar with how the process works.

The scoring system is from 1 – 10 with 10 being the best. If you live in an older home, especially if it is large, the likelihood of getting a score over 4 is probably low.

The cost seems to be in a range of $150 – $300 depending on the size of the house and the company you use; and, it will probably take between 45-90 minutes.

IF you have done any upgrades such as: insulation, new furnace, water heater, new windows it is helpful to let them know upfront. Also, for instance, if it’s something they can’t see – like insulation – having a receipt to substantiate it could be necessary. Additionally, they will suggest some things that you might do to increase your energy score.

IF you are thinking about selling your house OR would just like to have one done for your own edification, give me a call. I am certainly no expert, but we can talk it through, and I can help point you in the right direction!! By the way, we got a 5 and are making a few of the inexpensive changes they suggested!!

Posted on March 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm
Sally Baker | Posted in Green Living, Home Maintenance, Homeowners, Portland Neighborhoods, Portland Real Estate |

RMLS’ market stats

RMLS’s latest Market Action is out!

Interested in the latest real estate stats in Portland? Last month’s numbers are in. Click HERE.

I would love to hear from you! Send me an email or give me a call, and let’s chat!

Posted on February 28, 2018 at 4:30 pm
Sally Baker | Posted in Portland Neighborhoods, Portland Real Estate, real estate market activity |

Who doesn’t love a transformation?

One of the very best parts of my job is visiting people that I helped find a home. Not only do I get to catch up with what they’re doing and find out how much they love their house – I get to see what they’ve done to the house to make it home.

In this case, my buyer bought their house in 2013 and completely redid the kitchen and bathroom. They didn’t stop there; the next project was gutting the upstairs and transforming a large, modest bedroom into a fabulous master suite. The entire space is custom including the cabinetry in the bathroom and bedroom. Now, instead of just a bedroom there is a deluxe bathroom, built-in desk and cabinets and a skylight. In addition to how much this adds to the livability of the home it was a very wise investment.



Posted on February 21, 2018 at 4:28 pm
Sally Baker | Posted in Homeowners, Portland Real Estate, Remodeling |