Home Life

The March Edition

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friends, good news: Spring officially arrives next week, which means it's time to air out, clean up, and check off our spring maintenance list - and get our yards ready for summer entertaining!

1. Portland Eats: There's still time to enjoy Portland Dining Month! Try a few new-to-you spots and be sure to make your reservations at participating restaurants using OpenTable to support Oregon Food Bank. (We think it's the perfect way to reward yourself after a conquering the below lists and projects.)

2. Spring Clean: we know some people love spring cleaning; and others, well, not so much. To help make the process easier, here are some great articles to bookmark for future reference: cleaning and organizing closets and storage spaces, how to price used furniture, and a spring cleaning checklist for your home.

3. Spring Maintenance: it's time to roll up your sleeves and get through the seasonal home maintenance checklist. It's a great time to change your home's air filters, check your roof, and - grab your work-gloves! - clean the gutters. 

4. Homes for Sale: The market is starting to heat up with inventory. Thinking about selling or buying in 2018 or 2019? Give us a call. We're here to help whether it's sorting out a short or long-term timeline to meet your homeownership goals.

And speaking of help, that leads us to... 

5. Are you a Facebook user? We are too - and we just created a special Facebook Group for our friends! We'd love for you to join us for weekly insights from Claire and the PGR team, via videos and articles, as they share their experiences in and around the Portland-area real estate market. (And yes, please answer those anti-bot questions to join!)

If you're thinking about buying a home or investment property, please let us know!
We're always excited to help people set and reach their real estate goals.

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Did You Buy a Home in 2017?

Did you buy a home in 2017? If so, congratulations! One of the perks of home-ownership: you’ll have several great tax deductions this year! You may be able to write off portions of your mortgage payment, your interest, insurance, property taxes, and mortgage insurance, to name a few.

If you bought a home with a Paris Group Realty agent in 2017, we recently sent you a final settlement statement for your real estate transactions from the year. You, or your accountant, can use this to document deductions - and lower your tax burden! If you have questions about your deductions or if you have not received your letter yet, please reach out to us. We're always happy to help!

Wish to better understand home-related tax deductions? Here are a few articles worth referencing as you prepare taxes:

Want someone to double-check the boxes? I’m happy to recommend several great accountants who can help you maximize your tax deductions this year. 

As a reminder taxes are due on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Good luck!

If you're thinking about buying a home or investment property, please let us know!
We're always excited to help people set and reach their real estate goals.

Planning to buy your first home in 2018 or 2019? Come to our First Time
Homebuyers Session on Thursday, 3/1/18. Click for details & RSVP today!

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The February Edition

February is finally here! To celebrate, we're heading into off to our neighborhood's Winter Lights Festival celebrations tonight. Here's what else we're looking forward to this month.

1. Tax Prep: maybe not much look forward to, but worth getting ready for instead of scrambling in March or early April. If you bought a home in 2017, don't forget to review what deductions you may be eligible for when filing. If you bought a home through us, you should receive a letter soon with tax information. (Quick reminder: the Tax Bill recently passed does not affect 2017 taxes.)

2. Mid-Winter Getaway: while escaping to a sunny tropical location may not quite be in the books, a weekend escape always feels good this time of year. We think a visit to the Coast or Willamette's Wine Valley is in order for a change of scenery.

3. Super Bowl: Ok... truth be told, we're looking forward to gathering with friends, the food, and the commercials. Here are two recipes you can easily whip up regardless if you're hosting or need to bring a something to share this Sunday. These Crispy Chickpeas remind us the ones at Oven & Shaker, with a generous serving of salt flakes and rosemary; a delicious Salsa Verde Queso (don't forget the chips!); or if those don't float your boat, here are 50 more ideas.

4. Save the Date for our First Time Homebuyers Session! Our team will be hosting a session on Thursday, March 1, from 5:30- 7p, to review the home buying process here in Portland, tips to get ready loan applications, and how we work alongside our clients to help them find the right home for their lifestyle. Please RSVP so we can save you a seat!


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Beat January's Chilly Blues

Happy New Year! 

As we put away the holiday decor and reclaim all the space in our living room, and return to our regular schedule, here are five items on our list this month.

1. Home Energy Scores: We shared this update on our Facebook page in December, but definitely wanted to remind you about this new ordnance. Single family home sellers in Portland will now be required to include a Home Energy Report Score when listing. We'll write more about this and offer examples of scores later this month, but for the time being, please visit the City of Portland's website for details or give us a call. 

2. Rainy Day Activity: Have you visited the Portland Art Museum recently? It's currently hosting a great exhibit featuring LAIKA, a local film company, that made Kubo & the Two Strings, Coraline, ParaNorman, and Boxtrolls. It's a great option for a rainy day or if you're looking for something to do while your home is hosting an open house.

3. Winter Prep: If you haven't already prepped your home for winter weather and checked off your seasonal maintenance list, now is a great time to get it done before the rain returns.

4. Snow Safety: Should we get more snow (how awesome was that Christmas Eve gift from Mother Nature?!), please remember to clear the sidewalk in front of your house to help your family, friends, and others safely pass by. Rather not shovel? There are a few other options to keep in the garage, like salt, a sand/gravel mixture or clean cat-litter, in case we get more snow.

5. Say "No" to Cabin Fever: There are a lot of events happening this month, like Chinese New Year celebrations and OMSI's Bourbon & Bacon Fest 2018, as well as plenty of great wet-weather (local) hikes. A few of our favorite calendar resources: Thrillist, Portland Monthly, and Oregon Hikers. If you rather stay cozy while perfecting the art of Hygge, find a great book to enjoy in front of the fireplace (or visit one if needed).

What are your plans this month? Any favorite activities?

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Our Favorite Things : Holiday Edition

Aside from cozying up in front of a fireplace, sipping on hot cocoa - or a glass of red wine - and staring at the Christmas tree, here are some of our favorite holiday activities:  

"I love keeping Christmas day simple and spending it eating Chinese food and going to a movie. It use to just be my husband and me, but I think the appeal of a low-key holiday has spread to our friends. Now a lot of us meet to see a movie together, which is even more fun!" - Britta Scwartz, Broker

"Matt and I trek up to Christmas Mountain with friends, drink hot chocolate and traipse around in the snow until we find our tree. Then we cut it ourselves, and haul it home to decorate. I love making our family recipe of rooskies [recipe below]. My favorite book is an old, beat-up Christmas book my parents got us when we were little. It was scratch and sniff - that doesn’t work anymore - and it makes me smile when I pull it off the shelf to read to my nieces and nephews." - Claire Paris, Principal Broker 

"My favorite holiday activity is probably getting together with friends for an ugly sweater bar crawl, and sometimes being able to see family who don’t live in Oregon. I also love New Years!" - Deanna Cintas, Broker

"My favorite holiday actives are checking out Christmas lights and different places that are done up for the holidays - grabbing cocktails at the Benson, going to the Grotto, Pittock Mansion, or seeing the tree at Pioneer Square are just a few. I also love watching the Christmas ships at Salty’s! My favorite holiday tradition is spending Christmas Eve at my sister’s house with family. We all get together for some holiday cheer, dinner, and gift opening before heading to mass. I always love making sure the Hallmark Channel Yule Log is on the TV in the background." - Kate Ray, Lead Transaction Coordinator

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family and loved ones.


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Finiding Home : Jasmine

"Finding Home" is a collection of interviews with our team, friends and clients about adventures in buying their first home, remodeling lessons, and other discoveries of owning a home.

Jasmine, PGR's Transaction Coordinator, shares why compromising on a house's size in a preferred neighborhood made perfect sense to her thanks to a fantastic layout and yard.

1) How did you know you wanted to buy your home?
We bought in 2012 when inventory was very low. This was the nicest house we could afford in the neighborhood we wanted to be in. I knew it was the one because it had a wide open yard for gardening and ADU. Plus the house has a fantastic layout for an 825sq/ft house and a big kitchen to tie everything together. 

2) Was there a trade-off you felt was necessary to make to purchasing your home?
It is smaller than we would like, but the location makes it worth it.

3) Any surprises you discovered *after* moving in?
No unfortunate surprises in our situation. We did put in radon mitigation a few months after purchasing, but not a huge surprise for St Johns.

4) Anything else you'd like to share about your home?
The house was a flip by Portland Development Group so there wasn’t much to fix. Originally built in 1908, the house was brought down to the studs and everything redone, so that was part of the appeal. We added an ADU not long after buying it and we hired a contractor for that. It was a great experience!

Thank you, Jasmine for sharing your home adventures with us!

Would you like to share your home search adventures, remodeling tales, or how you made your house a home with us on our blog? Send us a quick note and we'll be in touch! We'd love to hear from you!


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Light the Candles & Deck the Halls

We're kicking off December with a hot cocoa in one hand and an umbrella in the other while holiday window shopping on Alberta... and we wouldn't want it any other way.

1) Holiday Hygge: Hygge, in a simplest translation, is a super cozy feeling, which is perfect for the holidays. We found two articles that best describe it. One containing DIY projects for the home or to make as gifts - also ideal if you're trying to keep your own or visiting kiddos busy during a rainy afternoon. Not feeling crafty? We understand; the other article contains great hygge gift ideas (BTW zero judgement if you gift yourself any of the items... like the blankets... or a wreath... or some candles...).

2) Holiday Happenings: Expecting company this month and want to avoid cabin fever? We hear you loud and clear. We found a few calendars and activity guides you may want to bookmark for future reference: Portland Monthly's Holiday Guide & Mt Hood Activity Guide; Travel Portland's December Event Calendar; and Thrillist's Portland Holidays & Christmas Guide.

3) Holiday Spirits: Our very own Chelsea McAllister has an incredible Tres Leches Eggnog recipe you'll want serve at your holiday gathering. 

Be sure to follow us here on the blog and on Instagram as we share a few of our favorite holiday activities and recipes throughout the month.

IN OTHER PGR NEWS: Join us in St Johns tomorrow (12/3) from 1-3p for an open house at a darling 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home. Can't make it? Give us a call to schedule a walk-thru.

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Finding Home : Heather

"Finding Home" is a collection of interviews with our team, friends, and clients about adventures in buying their first home, remodeling lessons, and other discoveries of owning a home. 

Today Heather, PGR realtor and Claire's sister, shares why her home was "The One," a discovery made 10 years after purchasing, and why a finding a great floor plan ranks high when searching for a home. 

1. How did you know you wanted to buy your home? 
As soon as we walked in our house, I knew we needed to make an offer. The open floor plan, great location near Mt. Tabor, room to grow and ability to renovate all sealed the deal. 

2. Was there a trade-off you felt was necessary when purchasing your home? 
No trade-off as it was purchased 17 years ago. However, there are always trade-offs today at any price range. 

3. Was there an unfortunate surprise/issue you discovered *after* moving in?
The biggest surprise we discovered after living in the house almost 10 years were the two cesspools in the backyard that needed decommissioning.

4. How did you fix it?
We've done an extensive amount of work on our house and for every project we have hired contractors to do the work.

5. Would you have changed your mind about the purchase if you had known this would've happened?
No, there are very few repairs that would steer me away from any house. I think finding a neighborhood, floor plan, and layout is much harder than facing any needed repairs or work. 

Thank you for sharing your story with our readers, Heather!


We have a few homes on the market: a 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom ranch home in Southeast Portland's Powellhurst neighborhood; 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom bungalow in Milwaukie, OR; and a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom Tudor home in Gladstone, OR. Click the links for details. Interested in touring one? Give us a call!


Would you like to share your home search adventures, remodeling tales, or how you made your house a home with us on our blog? Send us a quick note and we'll be in touch! We'd love to hear from you!

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Getting Ready for Holiday Guests

The holiday season is officially upon us, which means the March of Guests is about to begin. Whether it's for a party, an open house, or a long weekend, we're sharing a few tips to help get your home holiday-ready this season.

1. Signature Scent: Skip the candle and create a scent that suits your home perfectly. Here are four scents you can simmer on the stove as you get ready for visitors - or to help you relax.

2. Stock Up: Get your fridge and pantry ready for the holidays by stocking up on delicious - and practical - goods. Need some ideas for last-minute snacks? Here are 10 great ideas for when a neighbor drops by or to quickly recharge after an outing with visiting family. 

3. Set the Stage: Not quite ready to haul out the boxes and bins full of holiday decor? Or wish to keep your decor minimal yet welcoming? We hear you loud and clear. Here are 10 simple ideas to get your home holiday guest ready.

Have your home on the market during the holidays? A simple wreath on the door, a mat to wipe wet shoes, and a standing coat rack in the entryway's corner will help potential buyers feel welcomed during an open house.

4. Schedule It Out: A packed agenda can feel overwhelming for some visitors, but having a general plan for a group outing or two helps prevent cabin fever from hitting your home. Bonus points if you post it on the fridge for all to see. Not sure where to start? Here are a few of our bookmarked pages: Portland Monthly's weekly events update, Williamette Weekly's calendar, Red Tricycle Portland for family-specific activities, and Oregon Live's holiday event guide. Need a holiday cocktail? We'll check out Eater PDX for a few ideas.

How do you get ready for holiday house guests? Have an annual tradition? Please share below!

IN OTHER PGR NEWS: We have a few open houses coming up this weekend! Check back here tomorrow for details, or visit our Facebook page and Instagram feed for updates!

3746 SE Washington, Portland OR (click for details)

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Halloween Edition

We asked our team about their favorite neighborhoods to trick'or'treat. 

"Mine! I live in Piedmont and I’m pretty much just pitching my neighborhood to encourage trick or treaters since I love handing out candy and seeing all the creative costumes." - Britta Schwartz, Realtor

"Laurelhurst!" - Chelsea McAlister, Licensed Assistant

"I think the best neighborhood to go trick or treating in is the one you live in. Great neighborhoods come from neighbors knowing each other, and trick or treating gives you a chance to say hello and introduce yourself to neighbors you’ve seen walking around, but have maybe never met. " - Brigette Robinson, Realtor

"We always trick or treat in our neighborhood, South Tabor.  There are tons of kids out and about.  The kids usually head out in with a gaggle of friends and neighbors and everyone is home to give out candy.  Once we tire out of trick or treating, we come home to hand out candy to the later crowd which is always fun to see the costumes." - Heather Paris, Realtor

"I imagine Alameda or Grant Park would be an awesome neighborhoods for trick or treating." - Kate Ray, Lead Transaction Coordinator

"St. Johns!" - Jasmine Deatherage, Transaction Coordinator

"I haven’t personally trick or treated in a while, but I’d say Alameda and Irvington would be fantastic trick or treating neighborhoods." - Claire Paris, Principal Broker

Have a safe and spooktacular Halloween!