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Jan. 6, 2023



Smart home features aren’t just in movies anymore. Home sellers may consider upgrading aspects of their property’s tech before hitting the market.


Remember the Jetsons? They were a futuristic cartoon family with their own popular 1960s TV show who introduced us to some high-tech trends like flying cars, robot maids and “push-button Space Age-envisioned conveniences.” While we’re not quite there yet, plenty of “push-button” smart home conveniences have bound onto the market in recent years, helping make homes more comfortable, safe and convenient.


Using smart home technology isn't a far-fetched goal for homeowners – and there are some good details to know about how different features function, how often buyers are searching for them, and which stay or go when the sale goes through.


Common smart home features

With the right amount of research, motivation and budget, nearly any home can become a smart home. Brandon Doyle, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Results in Maple Grove, Minnesota, explains that a smart home by today’s standard is simply a house with an integrated system of technology.


“The textbook definition of a smart home is three or more connected devices,” says Doyle. “The devices can be connected to each other or to the internet and accessed remotely.”


The technology can vary, but it most commonly includes elements like:


• Voice Assistant – Voice activated software that carries out simple commands, like telling the temperature or shutting off lights. E.g. an Amazon Echo or Google Nest.

• Smart Lock – A Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled door lock that uses the tap of a finger or voice command, allowing homeowners to leave their keys at home.

• Smart Doorbell – Synonymous with video doorbell, this internet-connected device allows a homeowner to see who’s at the front door via a video feed and smart phone.

• Smart Thermostat – Also Wi-Fi enabled, this technology automatically adjusts a home’s heating and cooling settings and can also be adjusted remotely with a smart phone.

• Smart Water Meter – This technology can analyze water usage and track patterns to optimize efficiency. Some are automatic while others can be manually adjusted using a smart phone.

• Smart Garage Door– This Wi-Fi enabled device allows you to remotely check on the state of your garage door, open and shut it, or check when it was last in use.

• Smart Security System – Also known as a Smart Alarm, this is a system of window and door sensors that can be monitored and controlled through a smart phone.


Each of these components serves a modern function, but when connected to a central hub – like a smart phone or voice assistant – they can operate by simple command, becoming much more convenient.

How buyers feel about smart home technology

Today’s buyers may be used to – or even expecting – a myriad of these digital features in the homes they consider purchasing. And for the homeowners occupying their home before selling, these forms of technology certainly do offer several conveniences and peace of mind. But, according to Deaton, smart home technology isn’t necessarily a make-or-break factor for most buyers considering purchasing a home.


“Homebuyers are still looking for the basics – a certain number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and a garage. The smart home features are a bonus,” Deaton says.


While homebuyers may not require a full suite of tools that designate a property a smart home, they might be interested in individual additions. For example, buyers who previously relied on heat from an electrical baseboard system or AC from a window unit may be enamored by the idea of having an updated HVAC system controlled by a tool like a Nest Thermostat.


Doyle shares that a common practice right now with newly built homes is a “Smart Home” package. This is being seen in both the mid-range and luxury homes as a way for builders to showcase modern amenities.


“A lot of new home builders are offering Smart Home packages that might include a smart water meter or a more robust internet setup for your home network with multiple wireless access points,” Doyle says. “It’s still about location, layout and price. If there is smart technology in the home, it’s a perk but not yet a necessity.”


In Doyle’s market, he is seeing the addition of a robust ethernet network, which is hard-wired internet and alleviates the strain on Wi-Fi connections, as a major perk to today’s buyers – especially those who may be working from home. He says this feature is truly what allows a house to have one integrated ecosystem and support smart technology, today and into the future.


In which case, watch out Jetsons! With their heightened convenience and extra safety measures, real-life smart homes are here to stay.

Posted in Selling a Home
Jan. 4, 2023


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Typical of this time of year, November 2022 saw a dip in home sales – down 12% from October and down 37% year-over-year.


Although this can be considered normal given seasonal factors, the severity of the drop is best explained in the context of 2021 being an outlier for housing, coupled with a response to the fluctuating interest rates and ongoing economic uncertainty. And as new listings and home sales decline, other housing indicators point to some potential benefits for prospective buyers. This is welcome news after nearly a decade of the housing market favoring sellers.


According to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report, homes sold in November were on the market for an average of 39 days. That was four more days than in October and a full week more than in November 2021. For-sale homes sat on the market the longest in Fayetteville, AR averaging 72 days, Seattle, WA at 62 days, and Bozeman, MT at 59 days.


In another encouraging sign for buyers, there were also more homes for sale than this time a year ago. November’s 2.5 months supply of inventory was up from 2.3 in October and more than double the 1.2 of one year ago.


“We’ve been seeing a return to a more balanced market, where not just sellers are in the driver’s seat. Sellers and buyers are each able to negotiate, with neither having a built-in upper hand,” said Nick Bailey, RE/MAX President and CEO. “This is especially good news for long-suffering buyers who are still dealing with affordability issues. Buyers welcome having more choice as there are more homes on the market, and they are taking longer to sell.


“More good news for buyers: Prices are flattening and actually decreasing in some markets. Things may bounce around a bit longer, especially into the first half of 2023, but it seems like the market is shaking off the last vestiges of the 2021 overheating. Balance seems to be returning – as it usually does.”


In a recent interview with Forbes, Bailey predicted 2023 will be a better year for housing as demand for homes is still incredibly strong. Citing a recent survey conducted by RE/MAX in partnership with SWNS Media Group, Bailey noted 84% of Gen Z, 79% of Millennials and 61% of survey respondents age 77 or older plan to buy a house or condo in the next few years.


RE/MAX Gold Manager and REALTOR® Angelo Gallo, who is based in Cupertino, CA, added, “After several years of what can only be considered abnormal selling and buying seasons, it seems the nine Bay Area counties are starting to experience a more normalized market. Yes, inventory levels have increased, and sales are down, but we must ask ourselves, 'Compared to what?'


“We are now seeing the market return to pre-pandemic levels. That’s not a bad thing. Balance has returned to the Bay Area real estate market, and this is healthy for all consumers.”


Curious about how housing market in the U.S. is continuing to shift? Here’s the need-to-know data from the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report:


Home Prices Are Stabilizing

In November 2022, the median of all 53 metro area sales prices was $394,000, down 1.3% compared to October 2022, and up 3.7% from November 2021. The markets with the biggest year-over-year decrease in median sales price were Des Moines, IA at -4.2%, San Francisco, CA at -1.7%, and Pittsburgh, PA at -1.0%. Five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Fayetteville, AR at +19.6%, Omaha, NE at +12.2%, and Orlando, FL at +11.6%.


The Number of New Listings Took a Tumble

Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in November 2022, the number of newly listed homes was down 21.4% compared to October 2022, and down 14.3% compared to November 2021. The markets with the biggest decrease in year-over-year new listings percentage were Phoenix, AZ at -33.4%, Portland, OR at -32.3%, and San Francisco, CA at -29.8%. Leading the year-over-year new listings percentage increase were Washington, DC at +25.7%, Baltimore, MD at +24.7%, and Dover, DE at +15.7%.


Homes Are Selling for Less than List Price

The average Close-to-List Price Ratio in November was 98%, meaning that homes sold, on average, for 2% less than the asking price. The ratio was 101% a year ago and flat compared to October 2022. The metro areas with the lowest close-to-list price ratio were a tie between Coeur d’Alene, ID and Miami, FL at 95%. The highest close-to-list price ratios were Burlington, VT at 102%, followed by a four-way tie between Hartford, CT, Manchester, NH, Richmond, VA, and Trenton, NJ at 101%.


In the same article from Forbes, Ward Morrison, President and CEO of Motto Franchising, LLC, shared some words of wisdom for those looking to enter the real estate market now or in the near future:


“Ultimately, the key to home buying success is finding a trusted real estate and mortgage advisor that is prepared to support you in what could be the most complex transaction of your lifetime.”


Contact a local RE/MAX agent today if you’re ready to make a move.


Source: RE/MAX website

Written by


(Article not mine. Credits to the owner/s)



Posted in Buying a Home
Dec. 26, 2022


If you love to cook and entertain, check out these alternative storage solutions for helping maximize areas like cabinets and countertops.


Living with a smaller sized kitchen? Whether you’re planning a holiday gathering or simply cooking dinner with family, don’t let limited kitchen space inhibit your hosting and dining dreams.

With some ingenuity – and a few storage solutions – you can transform a smaller kitchen into a fully functioning space that lives up to chef’s standards.


Check out these tips for making the most out of a smaller kitchen.


Find gadgets that free up countertops

Minimal counter space can be a challenge for the at-home chef, and storing things like small appliances and produce on your countertops eats away at available working space. Staying organized can help alleviate stress and create the feeling of a larger, more efficient kitchen.

If your countertops feel cluttered, storage solutions like pantry bins, drawer dividers, a rotating spice rack, mountable shelves, and an over-the-sink dish drain can keep items organized – and even out of sight.


Expand your working space

Need more room to chop, dice and mince? Invest in a cutting board that covers the sink. Best of all, any mess will be an easy cleanup when the cooking is done. Or, consider adding a compact, moveable island (or cart) that can add valuable counter space and storage. In smaller kitchens, the addition of a portable island can create the experience of a 360° area.


Make seating versatile

Does the size or layout of your kitchen limit seating options? There are alternatives to a traditional kitchen table that may better fit your unique space.

If your kitchen is outfitted with built-in bar seating, you may not need to add a table. Or, if you have space for an island, consider one that can comfortably fit chairs or bar stools on its perimeter. For a more traditional table, consider a folding style that stores small and can be expanded when needed. Some may consider a table that mounts to the wall and can double as decorative space, storage, or even a home office.


Use the walls

Running out of room? Go vertical! Blank wall space presents abundant opportunity to get creative and generate storage. Consider implementing things like pegboards and floating shelves. Plus, try mounting a magnetic knife holder, adding hooks underneath cabinets to hang coffee mugs, and putting up an overhead rack to hang pots and pans.


Don’t skip out on food prep

Especially when hosting multiple guests, one of the best ways to move fluidly in a smaller space and free up appliances is by prepping some dishes ahead of time. If you have the space to store precooked components of a meal, you’ll save yourself stove and oven space the day of the gathering.


Make use of other spaces for your guests

Ever heard the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen”? This can feel especially true when cooking and entertaining at the same time.


If you’re hosting an event and don’t have a large kitchen space, avoid gathering your guests in the kitchen so you have room to finish preparing the meal. When possible, draw guests to the table or living room until the food is ready.


Source: RE/MAX website


(Article not mine. Credits to the owner/s)

Posted in Home Tips
Dec. 20, 2022


Listing a home for sale this winter? Check out these tips for creating a comfortable, safe experience for buyers.

If you live in a colder climate, you know that winter presents some challenging weather conditions, like snow and ice. And if you’re selling a home in the winter, prospective buyers won’t be ogling a freshly mowed lawn or vibrant flowers – they’ll likely be eager to get inside and out of the elements.

Have a home hitting the market this winter? Consider these tips to prepare your place for showings.

Clear walkways

Remember Harry and Marv slipping down the McCallisters' exterior stairs in Home Alone? Don’t let that be your prospective buyers.

Ahead of tours or an open house, make sure agents and buyers alike can access the property. Shovel paths and entrance points, including the driveway, doors and walkways. Then, apply ice melt products, like sand and salt, which can alleviate slipperiness – especially on stairs.

Prepare for messy footwear

Many homeowners ask prospective buyers to take off their shoes before exploring the home. But snowy or muddy shoes and boots will still mar the entry way. To prevent mess, pick up a plastic or rubber shoe tray. Some people even opt for a boot brush mat outside the door for visitors to wipe off their shoes before stepping inside.

Stage for the season

Help buyers imagine themselves living in your home by staging appropriately for the season. In the winter, consider adding cozy fixtures like knit throw blankets, refreshed pillows, and a few candles dotted about. If you’re nearing a holiday, try artfully setting the dining table to show what future gatherings could look like.

Prior to a showing or open house – in any season – it’s best to thoroughly clean the home, pare down on personal items like photos, and declutter.

Open shades for natural light

Let’s face it – winter can bring some drab weather. To maximize natural lighting inside the home, open the curtains and blinds throughout.

In addition to embracing natural light, check each room for any burnt out light bulbs and replace them with new ones.

Turn the heat up

Whether you still occupy your home or have already vacated, ensure the heat is set to a comfortable temperature. Especially in the winter, buyers are searching for a home that feels like an inviting haven.

If the home has a fireplace, clean it up (hint: hire a professional!) and follow maintenance protocol depending on whether it’s gas or wood-burning. Plus, clean and stage the mantel. Buyers will likely be more focused on the presentation of the fireplace in the winter than any other season.

Consult a real estate agent

Work with an experienced real estate agent who knows how to best position a house to sell. Not only does a listing agent market the property, conduct open houses, and help facilitate the transaction, but they also can provide the names of trusted local professionals for services like repair, staging, and more.


Source: RE/MAX website 
Article written by: LEAH CURTIS

Posted in Selling a Home
Dec. 6, 2022


Whether you’re looking for a yard for a pet or bigger closets for storage, buying a home could offer more flexibility than renting – and it can be a long-term investment. Are you ready to be a homeowner?

With the housing market balancing in many places, many people are finding that now is a great time to purchase a property of their own. Renters looking to buy are usually in the pursuit of more living space, creative freedom to decorate, and ownership of an asset that can appreciate in value over time.

Renters, are you tired of spending money each month to pay someone else’s mortgage? It may be time to consider buying a home. Here are the signs to look for.

You need more square footage

Upsizing is a common reason renters venture toward homeownership. With more heads under one roof – from children to aging parents to pets and more – an extra bedroom, in-law suite, or garage space can go from being a want to a need. Whether you find a place that has everything you want or a fixer-upper that can be turned into your dream house, owning property offers the potential of adding more space.

You’re looking for outdoor space

Having access to the outdoors – especially for those renting an apartment – has become an increasingly more important factor to prospective homebuyers. This can be especially true if you welcomed a new pet into your life recently.

The options for your outdoor spaces are much greater when you own the property, whether you want to add a fence around the yard for the dog, put in a swimming pool, or lay out a patio for entertaining guests.

You want the flexibility to customize your home

One of the many luxuries of owning a home is having the freedom to do what you please with your space. Oftentimes when renting, tenants are unable to paint walls, drill holes, upgrade aspects of the kitchen, and more. Each household functions differently, so it can be comforting to live in a space custom-tailored to your needs. If you’re handy with DIY projects or can hire professionals, your options for making a new space feel like home are endless.

You’ve saved up for a down payment

Many people start the homebuying process once they have saved up enough money for a down payment. With a budget in mind, check out available financing options (like first-time homebuyer or military housing grants) that may help determine how much you can afford.

The down payment isn’t the only cost associated with buying a home. Don’t forget to save up for additional fees associated with the process, including closing costs, a home inspection and other potential service expenses. When the time comes that you’re ready to put in an offer on a home, you’ll already have these funds set aside.

You’ve saved for maintenance, emergencies and repairs

Owning a home inherently comes with more responsibility than renting. When buying a home, it’s helpful to have money set aside for necessary repairs and unexpected emergencies. Being financially prepared ahead of time will make the inconvenience of a things like a broken appliance or leaky roof more manageable.

You’re looking for an investment (financial and emotional)

If you’re tired of renegotiating terms, paying higher rent, or moving each time your lease expires, then purchasing a home is a great solution. But in addition to peace of mind, owning a home can pose long-term financial benefits, too.

Likely the largest financial transaction a person will make in their lifetime, a home is an an investment that may, potentially, help you create generational wealth. Best of all, the money you pay each month to a landlord can be used instead to pay down your own mortgage.


If you’re done with renting and ready to buy a home, find a qualified RE/MAX agent to help you through the process.


Source: RE/MAX News

Written by



Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 11, 2022

Get the best taste of Eugene, Oregon.

Taj Barnhart Morgan wrote this blog from the Eugene Cascades Coast. 

Perhaps you've heard of the kefir-drinking, smoothie-blending, tofu-eating people who live in Eugene, Oregon. And, judging by the number of vegan, vegetarian, and farm-to-table restaurants, as well as our farmers' markets brimming with sprouts, kale, and homegrown tomatoes, it's true - we love our vegetables!

Since the 1970s, our community has been deeply invested in a radical new approach to food, from established health food stores like The Kiva and Sundance to markets like The Saturday Market to food producers like Nancy's Yogurt and Yogi Tea.

Local businesses, from Cafe Yumm to Hummingbird Wholesale, are still coming up with innovative products and approaches to wholesome eating today.

So, for a true taste of Eugene, here's a food trail highlighting our local dining legacy of sprouted, fermented, hand-harvested, organic, and local foods. Fill up on hemp, tofu, granola, and kombucha!


Begin your journey at Hummingbird Wholesale and the Stelleria Building. This environmentally conscious warehouse was designed with the community in mind, as well as accommodations for its wholesale distribution needs.

The Stelleria building, which gives off a very Eugene vibe, uses solar energy, natural daylight, and environmentally friendly cleaning practices, making it a natural hub for local healthcare and healing practitioners and eco-conscious businesses to locate home offices. A beautifully equipped start-up incubator kitchen and several community rooms are available on-site. Hummingbird Wholesale even offers bicycle delivery for smaller, local bulk orders, as well as curbside pick up for consumer bulk purchases (minimums apply); however, you will find their products — grains (including Camas Country Mill products), honey, dried fruits, nuts, trail mixes, and so on — in many of the local grocery stores.

And the first food stop on our list is located in this delightfully healthy operation: Nourish Noodle & Juice Bar. Continue on the trail to see Eugene's radical old school (organic, sustainable, farm-to-table) approach to food and, of course, to nibble!


Nourish Noodle & Juice Bar values health and offers a variety of cold-pressed juices and superfood smoothies, as well as cleanse juice packs and juice subscriptions. Small plates, noodles, and salads are also available. Enjoy "The Vegan" noodle bowl with a mushroom seaweed broth, miso, coconut aminos, truffle oil, cherry tomatoes, wake, carrots, daikon, and noodles or their "Fermented Flight" of ferments that includes Kimchi, pickled sprouts, and house-made sauerkrauts. It goes well with "Cashew Hemp Milk," which is made with cashews, hemp seed, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt.