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:
As a little girl, I was lucky enough to go to the Seattle World’s Fair. The Space Needle and the Monorail stand out as highlights. I did some rummaging through boxes of keepsakes recently and came across a few nuggets and great memories.
One of the things I remember is touring a modular home. For whatever reason, I kept the brochure after all these years!
This is a little something from the brochure that rings even more true today: Each year, as our population grows, convenient and available land shrinks in acreage while rising in value – the dream slips a little farther away for the young. The architect behind this, Robert Martin Engelbrecht, was ahead of his time and even more timely right now! Click here to see the whole thing.
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?
Happy New Year! I could write a list as long as my arm of all the things I have to be thankful for and the things I hope for in 2016. One of the things I hope for is to see you; I’d love to catch up and hear all that’s going on in your world. I wish you a joyful and a peaceful New Year!
This is such a cool program! Awhile back a volunteer from the Portland Food Project spoke at my neighborhood meeting, and it sounded like such a great idea I decided to participate.
It is a simple concept: Neighborhood Coordinators agree to organize a small group to become Food Donors. As a Food Donor, I fill a bag they provide with non-perishable food every other month and leave it on the front porch for a Saturday pick-up. The Neighborhood Coordinators collect the full bags and leave an empty one for the next time. The food is delivered to one of 14 local food pantries. It is tax deductible and easy as pie.
Look them up online to see if you want to participate, and please ask me if you have questions. I’m just so enthusiastic about Portland Food Project.
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.
It is still a great time to refinance or buy a home or investment property!
With real estate prices continuing to climb, people that were underwater in their homes might find they are in a positive equity position now. That could mean that refinancing is a possibility and or selling might be an option. No matter what your situation, if you haven’t spoken to a lender lately, now is the time.
Give me a call if you would like a couple suggestions for a mortgage broker or if you want to find out the current value of your home.
Fast forward to month 3 of our remodel! Lots of progress made. The shell of the addition was built so we had a much better sense of how everything was going to look.
Our contractor, Tyler Dean Construction, did a wonderful job. They barely batted an eye when I asked to enlarge an already completed window opening by 2 inches so we could get a little more eastern light – the additional light is lovely, by the way.
Next up: lots of little decisions like lighting fixtures, hardware and paint colors – who knew there were so many shades of gray!! Maynard the cat was still very unhappy and threatening to pack his bag and leave. Otherwise, all went well and I'll be very excited to show you the end result.
Here are a few more during shots of the progress! If you are considering a move or a remodel, give me a call. I might just be able to help!!!
We pondered that question for about 4 years. I can make a good case for both options but, about a year ago, we finally decided to….. remodel. We wanted to add on to the back of our house which would change our very small bedroom into a medium sized bedroom, add a walk-in closet (I am still so excited about that!!) and add a study for David.
On the other side of our house, we planned to enlarge our dining room which would open up to a new covered patio. We hired an architect to draw the plans and once we began, we had a wonderful crew at our house at about 7:00 each morning.
It was really going pretty well…unless you asked our cat, Maynard, who thought he was in hell.
Below are a few photos of our progress…we were about a third of the way through here.