Southern Oregon Real Estate News

Oct. 31, 2018

Helpful Tips for Oregon in the Fall

Looking to do a little home improvement... make sure you get the most for your money!

How to Buy Antique Furniture 

Perhaps you just bought your first home and you want to fill it with one-of-a-kind furniture that will be loved and admired for years to come. Many people turn to antiques because they love the idea of including pieces of furniture with history or an interesting story behind it in their home. However, do you know the right way to buy antiques? There are some things you should keep in mind when antique shopping to ensure that you purchase quality pieces at a good price. Here are our best tips for buying antique furniture.

Frequent local antique shops, vintage stores and markets

The best way to educate yourself about antiques and find deals is to talk to the experts. Find local antique and vintage shops, or even flea markets, and learn about the items they carry. Even if you're not there to buy quite yet, most shop owners and vendors will be open to telling you about their pieces because you could be a customer at a later date. 

Starting up a rapport with antique experts in your area is also a good way to find a deal on antiques. If the shop owner of an antique store gets an item in that they know you'll love, they might call you and let you know before anyone else; and if they really like you, they might just give you a discount. 

Look for markers of good craftsmanship

At some point, you will want to do some in-depth research if you're interested in buying antiques from certain eras. For instance, dovetails on a piece of furniture is a sign that it was made in the 17th or 18th century. Long dovetails indicate even better craftsmanship. No dovetails means that it was probably made in a factory. 

Another important factor to look at as a marker of quality is the hardware. Is the hardware on drawers and doors original? Also, check whether the drawers slide out well. All of these small details are indicators of good craftsmanship and quality. 

Is there a manufacturer's stamp?

Many antiques have a stamp, usually on the bottom, from the manufacturer. Or it might include the signature of the craftsman. These markers can give you lots of information about where the piece was made and how old it is. 

Only buy pieces in good condition

Even though these pieces of furniture are old, they should still be in good, working condition. Scratch marks and other scuffs are fine and unavoidable in most cases, but you should never buy a piece that is damaged. If the overall frame is not in good condition, it will be very expensive to repair. Or if you find a chair or sofa with good bones but torn or dirty upholstering, think twice before you buy it. Reupholstering is difficult to do on your own and expensive to hire someone else to do. Always keep your eye out for pieces that are structurally sound and in overall good condition.  

Know what you're looking for if you buy online

It's become increasingly popular to buy antiques online. Many people use eBay or Etsy. However, you definitely need to know what you're looking for if you choose to buy online. You should be a little more educated than the average person about antiques because you won't get a chance to see or touch these pieces in person. Look for online shops with stellar reviews, and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with the seller. Ask questions about the pieces you're interested in and get to know the seller a bit. Keep in mind that buying online usually comes with hefty shipping costs. So make sure it's worth it to make an online purchase rather than going to a store. 

Do you have any advice or stories about shopping for antiques? We'd love to hear from you!

 

Make a Pet-Friendly Space

 

Hazard-proofing

Take a look around your house with fresh eyes to reveal a myriad of dangers to animals. The most common to watch out for are:

  • Anything that could choke or electrocute. Tuck away wires and looped cords, and keep pulls for window blinds short.
  • Food and medications should be sealed away and out of reach, even from determined cats, which can climb up high.
  • Trash cans are a huge temptation for curious pets! Be sure yours closes with a tight lid.
  • Monitor your greenery, as some plants, including lilies, mums and aloe vera, are toxic to pets. Check inside and out for these plants, and research a new plant before you buy it.
  • Household cleaning products, fertilizers, pesticides and antifreeze all are toxic to humans, let alone your pets. Keep them in a secure place away from sniffing noses.
  • Be sure window screens are sturdy and correctly installed to stop falling felines.

Inside the home

Fido and Tabitha have needs of their own just as you do, and they probably need a bit of space designated just for them.

  • Give your pets a bed, a water source and some toys to create their own area.
  • Consider giving them access to the door so they can run outside at their leisure; a well-exercised pet doesn't get into trouble or bug you all night.
  • Put the litter box in an area that has some but not too much privacy so your pet feels comfortable using it.
  • Decorate inside with sturdy furniture fabrics and hardwood floors that will withstand wear and tear. Carpet can trap germs your pet brings in, so vacuum it twice a week. Stains are always easiest to remove fresh, so get on them quickly!

Careful eats

The Food and Drug Administration has your furry friend at heart; it's best to follow its suggestions for storing and serving pet food:

  • Dry food should be stored in its original bag and then placed inside a food-grade plastic container to keep away pests. Don't use a trash can, which can leach chemicals into food over time.
  • Use a small cup to scoop the food out of the bag; do not use the food bowl.
  • Store wet food in the refrigerator.

Special care for pets

Some animals require more special care than cats and dogs do. Small animals are deceptively high maintenance and often are given to children as "starter" pets. But they need the most specialized care and demand the same amount of attention as dogs and cats. Always do your own research on any animal you adopt for your home.

The best thing you can do for your pet is provide a comfortable home with loving company. Attend to their needs and they are sure to stay happy and healthy and live a long time. Enjoy the love!

 
 

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Posted in News
March 9, 2018

A New Housing Bubble Forming…Not Before 2024!

A recent report by CoreLogic revealed that U.S. home values appreciated by more than 37% over the last five years. Some are concerned that this is evidence we may be on the verge of another housing “boom & bust” like the one we experienced from 2006-2008.

Recently, several housing experts weighed in on the subject to alleviate these fears.

Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac Chief Economist

 “The evidence indicates there currently is no house price bubble in the U.S., despite the rapid increase of house prices over the last five years.”

Edward Golding, a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center

 “There is not likely to be a national bubble in the way that we saw the first decade of the century.”

Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics

 “There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”

Bill McBride, Calculated Risk

 “I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble.”

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices

 “Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”

A recent article by Teo Nicolais, a real estate entrepreneur who teaches courses on real estate principles, markets, and finance at Harvard Extension School concluded that the next housing bubble may not occur until 2024.

The articleHow to Use Real Estate Trends to Predict the Next Housing Bubble, looks at previous peaks in real estate values going all the way back to 1818. Nicolais uses the research of several economists. The article details the four phases of a real estate cycle and what defines each phase.

Nicolais concluded his article by saying:

“Those who study the financial crisis of 2008 will (we hope) always be weary of the next major crash. If George, Harrison, and Foldvary are right, however, that won’t happen until after the next peak around 2024. 

Between now and then, aside from the occasional slow down and inevitable market hiccups, the real estate industry is likely to enjoy a long period of expansion.”

Bottom Line

The reason for the price appreciation we are seeing is an imbalance between supply and demand for housing. This has created a natural increase in values, not a bubble in prices.

Posted in News
Feb. 23, 2018

The Mortgage Process

Posted in News
Jan. 27, 2018

Housing Statistics - December 2017

Posted in News
Aug. 24, 2015

Tour Medford Real Estate and Sample Local Wines

Sample wine on Medford real estate.Explore Southern Oregon’s vineyards and wineries with Wonders of Wine, a locally-owned wine tour company located in Medford. Tour company founder and guide Jodie grew up in Napa Valley before moving to Southern Oregon and importing her love and knowledge of wine. Now she shares her experiences with wine enthusiasts during weekday, weekend and themed tours. She specializes on visiting wineries not far from lovely, rural Medford real estate and encourages guests to visit again on their own if they’re lucky enough to live locally.

Jodie picks you up from your home or hotel and takes you on a wine lover’s dream adventure through the hills and vineyards of Oregon. In your vehicle you’ll find snacks and cold water and she’ll share stories and educational information with you while you drive through the valley from winery to winery. Her tours are crafted with care and every stop is distinct. Once you arrive, she’ll give you space to taste and explore.

Southern Oregon wine tours with guides like Jodie are one of the many reasons to live and play in Medford. For more information, visit Wonders of Wine’s Facebook page.

Wonders of Wine is located at 1250 Biddle Rd., Suite G in Medford, Oregon near historic Medford real estate. Call (541) 690-8361 to book a tour.

Posted in News
Aug. 23, 2015

Medford Property Owners Get Their Bread at Artisan Bakery Cafe

Medford property owners love fresh bread.Not every town in the world can boast a great bakery, but Artisan Bakery Café is one of the reasons Medford is such a delicious place to live. Artisan Bakery Café is the only full-line bakery in Southern Oregon and it’s the home of weekly coffee chats between old friends and the occasional donut dash. Locals are known to visit the bakery on certain days of the week to stock up on their favorite breads and take them back to their Medford property: Mondays are for Multigrain, Tuesdays are reserved for Artisan Black, Wednesdays smell like Focaccia, celebrate Thursdays with Jewish Egg and toast the end of the work week with Cinnamon Chip Swirl.

Artisan Bakery Café bakes sourdough loaves every weekday morning and specializes in all kinds of baked desserts and gluten-free foods. Try their giant cookies, raspberry bars and yellow frosted cupcakes.

If you’re in town for breakfast, try a Savory Quiche with your Snickers Espresso. For lunch, try the Mealy Marissa sandwich: sliced turkey breast on a bed of greens, topped with Havarti cheese, dijon mustard and cranberry conserve. Yum!

Artisan Bakery Café is located near downtown Medford property at 1325 Center Dr., Suite 106 in Medford. To find out what’s in the ovens, call (561) 245-3500. For more information, visit Artisan Bakery on the web.

Posted in News
Aug. 22, 2015

Explore Near Your Medford Home With Rogue River Trips

Go rafting near your Medford home.Nature’s beauty is truly in abundance near any Medford home. There are many opportunities to get out and enjoy some fresh air, explore this beautiful area, and try new things. One such adventure worth taking a look at is a trip with Rogue River Journeys. This company offers both rafting and kayaking trips and has been in operation since 1989. These rafting trips are truly memorable and offer stellar, experienced guides, the best equipment, and delicious regionally sourced food.

Many different trips are available to Medford home owners and all other interested guests. Most adventures are three or four days long and include a cozy combination of camping and lodging. Shorter half day and full day trips are also available. If none of those sound like a good fit, all are welcome to call and inquire about a custom trip. Be sure to schedule a trip early, as spots fill up quickly, especially in the summer months. July and August are the warmest months in this part of the country, and therefore fill up the fastest. This is a wonderful way for residents new and old to explore more of this area, as well as a grand expedition in which to take out of town visitors. Check out Rogue River Trips for more information.

Posted in News
Aug. 21, 2015

Choosing a Realtor

Jacksonville, Medford and Ashland Real Estate is starting to reflect the economic recovery. Prices are on the rise and interest rates are still low. With more homes being sold, it’s important to choose your representation wisely. Here are some ways to save money, save time and feel good about the process of buying or selling a home.

Most agents are Realtors. Realtors are members of one of the largest professional associations in the U.S. Boards of Realtors require continuing education, high ethical standards, arbitration in case of disputes and more.

Real Estate is customer service and statistically, if the customer has a good experience, they will tell three people about it. If the client has a bad experience, they will tell eleven. Your Realtor knows that in an Internet-driven world, reputations can travel quickly.

Ask yourself:

  • Does your Realtor call you back?
  • Is your Realtor able to answer or seek answers to your questions in a timely manner?
  • Is your Realtor resourceful in using his/her imagination to meet your needs?
  • Would you recommend your Realtor to friends and family?
  • Does your Realtor listen to your needs and desires?

There are few transactions more personal than the buying and selling of one’s home so it’s important to feel comfortable with your Realtor. It’s often a relationship than can last well beyond that first-time encounter.

 

Posted in News
May 22, 2015

Budget Ways to Help Sell Your Home

Selling your home in today’s market can seem like a challenge, especially if your home could use some tender loving care. But what if you just don’t have it in your budget to invest thousands of dollars into a remodel? For many cash strapped homeowners this is the dilemma that keeps them awake at night. Rest easy, there are many small projects that you can do around the house that will increase your home’s value without breaking the bank. Let’s take a look at 10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value:

  • Landscaping – By spending just a few hundred dollars on grass seed or replacement sod, new flowers, bushes, and or trees any homeowner with a shovel and some elbow grease can dramatically improve their homes curb appeal over a long weekend. For inspiration check out HGTV.com.
  • Wash Instead of Paint – If you can’t afford to paint the home how about giving it a good wash? With a ladder and an extension brush any homeowner can give their home’s exterior a thorough scrub down. Don’t forget to wash the screens, windows, and gutters while you’re at it. When you’re done outside move inside.
  • Paint the Trim and Front Door – Another way to revitalize your home’s exterior is to paint just the trim and front door two items buyer’s eyes are naturally drawn to when driving by your home. Just be sure the paint is a good match to the base color and you avoid embarrassing drips.
  • Clean the Floors – If you can’t afford new flooring consider steam cleaning carpets, washing or waxing laminate, hardwood or linoleum floors, and cleaning the grout on tile floors. Have a hole or permanent stain in the carpet? Consider replacing the flooring in just that room by talking to your local flooring vendor. Be sure to ask about large remnants (left over materials from larger jobs that may fit smaller rooms).
  • Re-Caulk Plumbing Fixtures – Over time caulk, the silicon that protects surfaces from water seepage around plumbing fixtures, can discolor, tear, or degrade. Stripping this material out and replacing it with a fresh bead of silicon is an inexpensive way to improve both bathrooms and kitchens. Caulk now comes in different grades and colors so be sure to shop for a product that is appropriate for the job and matches your décor.
  • Pressure Wash Sidewalks and Driveways – Over the year’s dirt, dust, and grime works its way into the driveways and sidewalks of every home. The good news is that a few hours with a pressure washer can turn back the clock on these surfaces. A word of warning while it might be tempting to use the same device to wash your home, don’t, the high pressure stream can easily peel the paint off your home (not a good selling point).
  • De-Clutter the Home – A home packed full of furniture, clothing, collections, exercise equipment, and or memorabilia can cause a home to look much smaller than its actual size. So have a garage sale, rent a storage unit, or start making trips to the landfill but be sure to whittle down your home’s contents to a manageable size.
  • Fix the Small Things – Every homeowner keeps a list of the small projects that they never seem to have time to complete. Now is the time to jump on those projects. Need a gentle reminder? Replace light bulbs throughout the home, fix holes in doors or walls, grease squeaky cabinets or doors, clean the gutters, fix leaking plumbing fixtures, and changing the air filters would be a good start.
  • Update Lighting Fixtures – You can spend a fortune on lighting fixtures but you don’t have to. Consider selectively changing lighting fixtures that date the home, exterior garage lights, bathroom lights, or bedroom lights for instance are all great choices.
  • Deep Clean the Home – A deep cleaning isn’t just straightening up or rearranging the dusty bunnies, no, it’s a no holds barred war on dirt. Starting from the highest point in the home clean every single surface, yes, you will have to move furniture, clean out closets, and lift up the couch but the results will be well worth the effort.

Improving your home’s value doesn’t always have to mean taking out a second mortgage. Sometimes small projects can improve the value of your home in big ways. So roll up your sleeves, put on your gloves, and have fun!

 

Posted in News
April 30, 2015

Private Money Financing

Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to learn more about private money lenders as well as close a couple of transactions using them. Private money real estate lenders are generally used in place of traditional lenders when the buyer has either less than perfect credit or other situations keeping them from being approved by traditional banks. Other reasons to use a private lender is if the subject property is not able to be financed by a traditional lender.

Private money lenders generally are looking for a larger down payment anywhere from 25-50% and will in most cases charge a higher interest rate sometimes as high as 8-10%. I have found a couple of solid private money lenders that I am comfortable referring to people. For more information please contact me.

 

Posted in News