According to the latest real estate statistics from RMLS, the Portland metro area saw a decrease in average home sale price, down to $448,900. Median sale price in the Portland metro area also went down, to $391,400. The number of days homes are on the market increased by 4, now up to 57 days. This indicates that prices are slowly decreasing and inventory is slowly increasing.
Here’s our checklist of home maintenance tips to give you a jump start on Winter and keep your home in tip-top shape. And be sure to check the rules in your city or town to see what homeowners are responsible for during snowy days!
Rake and compost fallen leaves to prevent slips.
Check and repair entry stairs and railing.
Inspect and replace outdoor lighting.
Shovel snow and add salt to walkways as needed*.
*Note: In Portland, the sidewalk in front of your property is considered homeowner responsibility. In other words, if someone were to slip and fall due to unmoved snow, the homeowner would be held responsible, not the city.
(Scroll down for exterior and interior home maintenance lists...)
Exterior Home Maintenance:
Seal any cracks in walls or foundation.
Update or repair weather-stripping.
Clean leaves and debris from gutters.
Cover and insulate hose bibs.
Protect or move outdoor furniture.
Remove and clean window screens.
Cover air conditioner.
Store seasonal yard tools.
Interior Home Maintenance:
Protect indoor flooring by adding an interior entry mat to collect outdoor water and debris.
Check and replace smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned.
Check and repair attic insulation if needed.
Check and repair caulking around doors and windows.
Insulate pipes near windows and doors, or other unheated areas.
Reverse ceiling fan to turn clockwise (this pushes heated air down, as opposed to up).
Keep the thermostat at 55 degrees or higher when away from your home to prevent pipes from freezing.
When you have your home listed for sale, it can be a bit overwhelming. Most sellers aren’t sure how to prepare for home showings or open houses. To help give you a better idea, we’ve compiled a list of how to prepare your home (and yourself!) for home showings:
1. Keep your home clean and tidy. A buyer’s first impression is important, and nothing detracts from a good impression more than an unkempt house. Before your home goes on the market, deep clean it (or hire a professional cleaner) and then tidy up before any home showings. Make sure beds are made, toys are put away, and no dirty dishes or laundry are visible.
2. Remove clutter and unnecessary items. Your home should be clutter-free for home showings. Buyers won’t be able to picture their own belongings fitting into the house if the space is already filled with too much stuff. Box up all unnecessary items and store them out of sight.
3. Create an inviting space. When a buyers walk into your home, they should feel welcomed. The more comfortable they feel in the house, the more likely they are to want to live there. To create an inviting space, be sure to turn on lights, open curtains, and leave the heat or A/C on prior to showings. If you want to set your house apart from others, you can also create pleasant smells by baking cookies or heating cinnamon in a pan right before an open house. Just make sure the scent isn't too overpowering because that can backfire!
4. Make sure pets are removed or crated. We love pets, but not everyone does! Make sure your pets are secured prior to showings by either removing them from the home, or crating them. Remember that putting your pet in a closed room will prevent buyers from seeing that room and should be avoided.
5. Leave the house prior to potential buyers arriving! This is the most important way to prepare for a home showing. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in the house, and if you (and/or your family) is there, they won’t be able to see it as their potential new home.
It can be difficult to leave for showings, particularly if you have small children at home, but it doesn’t have to be boring! Here’s a list of things to do around Portland that are sure to keep your little ones entertained.
Want more tips? Contact us! We're always happy to answer any questions you may have about the home selling process.
Preparing your home for the cold Winter months ahead can be fast and simple! One of the first things you should do is to winterize the exterior of your home to prevent your pipes from freezing. Make sure to disconnect your hose from your hose bibb on any exterior faucets. To do this, unscrew the hose attachment and let the water drain from the hose bibb. Once you’ve done that, insulate the hose bibb to prevent pipe freezing. You can purchase products specifically for this (like a frost-proof hose bibb) at places like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Alternatively, you can use something simple from around your house like a small towel or rag to insulate your exterior faucet. Just make sure it’s secured around the bibb and won’t fall off. Check out our video showing you exactly how to disconnect your hose from your outdoor faucet here!
Want more home maintenance tips? Contact us or check out our YouTube series on 5-minute home maintenance tips throughout the year.
There are several differences between condos, townhouses, and co-ops, the largest being that co-ops are not considered “property”, whereas condos and townhouses are.
When you own a townhouse, you own the interior of your unit, the exterior walls outside your unit and land that your unit occupies, but not the common areas. When you own a condo, you own the interior (walls in) of your unit, but not the exterior walls, land, or common areas.
With a co-op, you own “shares” of the building equal to the value of the unit you occupy, but not the unit itself or any part of the building, structure, land, or common areas.
Another difference is that townhouses and condos are often part of a homeowner’s association that manages the common areas, and may also manage the exterior maintenance of the structure, in exchange for HOA dues. HOAs are often run by property management companies, which are also paid for through the HOA.
Additionally, with townhouses and condos, you may sell your unit of your own accord, to whomever you choose, without approval from the HOA. In other words, you are not subject to any restrictions on who you sell to. Also, with townhouses and condos, you can often make interior improvements without approval from the HOA.
(keep scrolling to learn about co-ops!)
With co-ops, on the other hand, you usually pay a higher monthly “maintenance fee” to the co-op board (all of the share owners), that go towards maintenance, repairs, and taxes. Additionally, co-ops are subject to many restrictive rules when selling your shares (all new owners or renters must be approved by the board), and you must get board approval before making any changes to your unit.
Another significant difference between townhouses and condos verses co-ops are that the latter do not qualify for traditional home mortgages. A co-op would require a loan to purchase shares, rather than a mortgage to purchase property (such as a condo or townhouse).
It’s important to know the difference between these three types of housing, so you know what your individual responsibilities are, as well as what type of loan you may qualify for to purchase.
Purchasing a co-op is often a more complicated process than purchasing a townhouse or condo, so it’s important to plan accordingly if you plan on going that route. Note, however, that co-ops are not very common in Portland, and are found most frequently in New York city.
Have more questions? Contact us! We're always happy to answer any questions you may have about your different home purchase options.