At long last we are going to start on our backyard. For me, it was much easier making the decisions for the interior remodel than the backyard. Thankfully, we had the help of a great landscape architect, Erin Casey. Next month I’ll show you the fabulous plans she drew for us. Our backyard now has a much larger covered patio and sliding glass doors to the backyard from the dining room and master bedroom. This summer we plan to complete the patio, next summer the fence and flower beds, the summer after… the world. Below are photos from before the remodel and after – sort of the in-between stage. As you can see, we don’t have proper steps, there is gravel instead of concrete and we still have part of our grape arbor. I know it will look worse before it looks better, but I can’t wait to get started!
BEFORE THE REMODEL:
AFTER THE REMODEL:
A little while ago I featured the kitchen remodel of one of my buyers. She bought a wonderful home in NE and gutted the kitchen. After tackling that, she decided she was going to start on her bathroom. She gutted that as well and it looks just marvelous – my pictures don’t do it justice.
By the way, that is why I hire a professional photographer when I list a house!!! Below are the results plus a picture of how it looked when she bought the house. She obviously has good taste and a good contractor.
One thing I know for sure, moss on your roof is never a good thing!
If you are selling your home and you have moss on your roof, most appraisers will require it be removed before the sale closes. More importantly, it will shorten the life of your roof. So what is the best solution? I know it’s not a good idea to pressure wash your roof – it removes the granules which are there to protect the shingles. You also don’t want to scrape off the moss – you might inadvertently crack or break a shingle.
I’ve had at least 6 cases where diligent homeowners power washed their roofs and along with taking off granules – they took about 15 years off the life of the roof! I had moss on my roof and recently had it treated. The process takes awhile, the moss dies and then is washed away by the rain. I went online and did a little research. This website has a very good overview of different methods so if the time comes, you will be better informed.
As it turns out, storm water runoff is not our friend and is a major cause of pollution in our rivers and oceans. We have been taking steps in the right direction to prevent this water that is contaminated with bacteria, heavy metals and trash from being dumped directly into the river. A good example is disconnecting our downspouts. One of the next big steps is bioswales.
I watched this little video about how bioswales are able to sift out a large portion of the impurities which not only keeps our waters cleaner but saves the lives of fish and other sea life.
Evidently, Portland is ahead of the curve on this – good for us!!!
About 2 years ago a client of mine bought a great home in the Alberta Arts Neighborhood. The house had tons of potential and had been very well tended. The only problem was the kitchen and bath were original and needed some love. She did the kitchen almost right away and finished the bath not too long ago. Here are a couple before and after shots of the kitchen!!
If you're ever curious how a remodel could affect the resale value of your home, give me a call and let's chat.
Not long ago I sent a contractor to a rental to replace a light fixture. While he was there, the tenant mentioned the dryer was getting really hot. On further investigation, he discovered the long vent hose was almost completely blocked by lint. I knew that clogged dryer vents are a huge cause of fires. So yes, I got the dryer vent cleaned and kissed the ground that nobody died and the house didn’t burn down. I did a little internet search and attached some easy instructions on cleaning the hose vent and preventing the lint to accumulate in the first place. Check it out here.
As we all know, Portland is taking steps to go green. More bike lanes and better recycling options are good examples. Since spring is right around the corner, now might be the time to investigate some green gardening tips like ways to have a healthy lawn and trouble-shoot garden pests and diseases without using chemicals. You can also call Metro Recycling at 503-234-3000 for lots more tips!
Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the soil and can accumulate in buildings at dangerous levels. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The EPA recommends that all homes be tested for radon and, if the levels are above an acceptable level, install a radon mitigation system.
It is now common to test for radon during a real estate transaction. You can test yourself, and it’s relatively inexpensive. According to the EPA, a long term test is the best way to determine your exposure to radon. You can go online and purchase test kits that you do yourself OR you can call me, and I would be happy to give you the name of different contractors that test and could do the radon mitigation for you if your levels are over the recommended level.
Have you tested your home for radon?
As of January 2015 the tree code has changed for the city of Portland. It will affect trees on both public and private property. The rules are stricter but hopefully easier to understand, and there are penalties if the rules aren’t followed. The ultimate goal is to preserve our trees which affect air-quality, shade and stormwater in addition to just being beautiful. I haven’t done much investigating myself, but the city has a number of ways you can get more information. Call their hotline at 503-823-TREE or click on one of these links: Portland Trees or Portland Tree article.
We will all be getting our property tax statements soon. If you feel that the market value of your property is not accurate, Multnomah County has a Property Tax Appeal Process. I appealed my taxes once over 20 years ago. I remember it being more complicated than I expected, but I did get a slight reduction. What I do know for sure is: if you want to file an appeal for the current tax year, your petition must be postmarked or delivered by 12/31/2015 – no exceptions. For more information, you might want to check out Multnomah County’s website.