What’s a sewer scope?

A sewer scope or sewer inspection records the state of any sewer pipe from the house to the street. The footage captured during the sewer scope informs the buyer and the seller of what and where the issues are. If the sewer line passes inspection, that’s great!!. The non-pass of a scope may require repair services that range from having the sewer line completely replaced or repair the isolated part of the line. Buyers usually have a sewer scope done during the inspection contingency period when they’re purchasing a property. Price range for a sewer scopes vary from $100-$150.

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George Rogers Park, Lake Oswego

Community in Review

George Rogers Park

Lake Oswego, Oregon

George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego is an absolute oasis. The entire park is clean and well maintained with multiple restrooms and garbage cans.  The main beach area is located on the Willamette river where you can lay a blanket down for an afternoon on the water. The water didn’t get to deep in some areas, so it was nice for my 2-year-old twins and my six-year-old. I still had all my kids in life jackets just to be safe. It was fun watching all the ducks, geese, boats and paddle boarders while playing in the sand with the kiddos. I highly recommend this park for the warm summer months to relax and stay cool. If you have a lot of stuff to bring down to the beach, there are ramps all the way down, so you can bring your stroller or wagon. It’s a great beach to visit and it’s close to many cities in the Portland area.

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15 Hottest Neighborhoods in the Portland-Area

bonfire burning campfire fire

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The Portland area real estate markets have started to slow down. There is more inventory on the market then in the past, but there is still lots of competition in the lower price homes. According to the recent 3rd quarter sales data, there are 15 neighborhoods that are still hot.

Here is the list below:

  • North Aloha
  • North Hillsboro
  • South Beaverton
  • Elmonica/Amberglen
  • Rockwood Centennial
  • North Gresham
  • Minnehaha/Harney Heights, Vancouver
  • Molalla
  • South Hillsboro
  • East Mill Plain, Vancouver
  • South Aloha
  • Cascade Park, Vancouver
  • Clackamas
  • Milwaukie
  • Tigard
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The #1 Reason Listings Expire

Nothing is more frustrating to a home seller than to have their home sit on the market without an offer. Selling a home is a big decision, and an emotional one. By the time a home owner determines the time is right to sell, they are ready to move. In addition, keeping a home show-ready is exhausting, so a listing that just sits is frustrating. 

The truth is there is only one reason why a listing doesn’t sell and eventually expires…price. It’s always price. There is a price at which any, and all, homes will garner offers. Even the most run-down foreclosure will receive offers when priced low enough. Home sellers naturally want to get the best possible sales price for their home, but it’s important to be realistic. Present the home in the best possible light and offer it at a reasonable list price.  There is nothing to be gained by holding out hope for a higher offer and sellers lose valuable time by trying to do this. A listing will always get the most attention when it’s new on the market. This is the time to get create excitement and get offers. When the house is over-priced it will also be over-looked and eventually, the listing expires. 

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New Construction Builder Home Warranty

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Did you know that a builder in the state of Oregon is required by law to supply a buyer with a home warranty? The new home warranty under Oregon law is covered under (ORS 701.320).

The warranty can either be supplied by the builder or by a third-party warranty. The warranty is put in place to repair or replace faulty work or workmanship. This doesn’t include repairs from the home owners neglect.

What are included in the 1-3 year major systems of the home warranty?

  • plumbing
  • electrical
  • heating
  • air-conditioning

What is included under the structural defects?

  • Foundation
  • studs beams
  • Joists
  • This may not be limited to just these items


When you are going to be and or under contact with a builder, the home warranty will be signed prior to moving forward with the transaction. The buyer has the option of either accepting or rejecting the warranty. Most buyers chose to have a professional home inspection of the property. The inspection report is giving to the builder to “blue tape” any defects found during the home inspection. The builder can have determined amount of time to complete all the repairs found during the inspection. If you are interested in purchasing new construction home or would like a list of new home, please let me know. I am happy to provide this information for you.

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5 Things NOT to do When Staging

AGENT-CRATE-75 Things NOT to do When Staging

Staging a home for sale is the most misunderstood process in home selling. Creating the right atmosphere in the home, one which invites potential buyers to linger is much more than this. When creating the right scene, it’s just as important to know what NOT to when staging the home.
1. Neglecting the Deep Clean – A clean and fresh home is the very first step. If the home
smells like last night’s dinner and there is cat hair in the corners, regardless of what else
you do, it’s not going to sell.
2. Leaving the Clutter – Of course you’re still living in the home, but it shouldn’t
necessarily look like it.
3. Keeping Personal Photos In View – Again, the goals is to create a blank canvass on
which the buyers can imagine their own belongings.
4. Bright Colors – You might enjoy the purple wall and orange carpet, but your buyers will find them distracting. Neutral accents are always better.
5. Over Accessorizing – Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Too many candles, throw pillows or furniture will just distract attention.
Consider investing in a professional stager who can help make your home shine.

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Title Problems for Sellers

pexels-photo-259597When a property is getting ready to go on the market. The listing agent will pull a preliminary title report with his or hers preferred escrow company. Once the prelim has been received, the title company and realtor can see any liens and judgments that is attached to the property. When the home is sold ,the buyers lender and escrow company must provide free and clear title to the new homeowner. The buyer will not be able to obtain financing for the property if there is a cloud on the title.

Here are the most common liens or judgments that can cloud title:

  • Property tax liens

When a home owner fails to pay their property taxes this lien will become in first position over the mortgage lien.

  • Federal and State taxes liens

When unpaid federal or state income taxes aren’t paid that can sometimes lien the property. The most important item is to obtain a pay-off sheet from the IRS noting that the liens were paid in full. The title company will require this for recording.

  • Judgment Liens, Child Support, and Alimony Liens

This is the most common that I have seen on a sale. Multiple child support and alimony liens can attach to the property as well.

  • Contactors Lien or Mechanics Lien

This lien occurs when the homeowner hired a licensed and bonded contractor to do the work and never paid them. The contractor can lien the property for the amount that was owed.

In some cases, the escrow company can do a ‘’escrow hold back”.  Meaning that the proceeds from the sale of their home will pay off any existing liens and or judgments. Every property and client are different so it important to have an experienced agent and escrow officer that can help the home seller through this process. I personally have experienced all of them. Let me know how I can help you navigate the selling process.th

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Trends in Kitchen Lighting

AGENT-CRATE-2The kitchen has always been the most important room in the home. A warm, inviting space which invites family and friends to gather and linger over great food and conversation is all about the styling and design. Lighting is a great way to add interest and ambiance to your kitchen areas. Here are the hottest trends in kitchen lighting in 2018.
LED Lights
The advantage of LED lighting is that they are incredibly flexible and can be used in a wide variety of fixtures and locations.
Natural Materials
As in other areas of design, natural elements are headed to the lighting section. Beautiful
woods, rope, burlap and other materials are now being used in lighting fixtures to add interest and warmth.
Pendants lighting has been a kitchen staple for years, but now they are being clustered
together to become a design element of their own.
Shapes and Shine
Sleek orb-like shapes are appearing in contemporary design plans. These beautiful lights are using crystals, beads and metal to create bright, shiny pieces. Chandeliers are also becoming a common sight in today’s kitchens, adding an element of glamour to the space.
Lighting is essential for design. From warm tones to bright sparkle, the type of fixture your use will set the stage for a kitchen which suites your style and lifestyle.

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Cash is King


Cash is king or is it really? The majority of my buyers  have been all cash lately. Do they really have the advantage over an offer that is financed?  Not necessary. Many sellers have been more inclined to accept a higher offer that is financed over a lower offer that is all cash. Sellers now are deciding that it might be worth the risk in taking a higher financed offer because it comes to them all cash in the end anyways.. I know many cash buyers would tend to disagree with this, but I have found this to be true in many circumstances.

Buyers that are pre-approved with a lender prior to writing an offer have already gone through the hoops of what the under writers are needing to get final bank approval. Meaning they are already well qualified and the odds of a sale fail due to financing would be pretty minimal.

Many buyers that are all cash with all the funds in the bank are wanting to find the best deal possible deal (which is true with all buyers) but  especially with all cash buyers. So when they go to write an offer it usually is less than the asking price. The advantage to a seller with an all cash offer is that there is no financing contingency and the closing date is shorter. So if the house is sitting vacant and the seller has another mortgage on another property then a short closing date would be more favorable to the seller.

In short, cash might not look that great to a seller if the price doesn’tImage meet the bottom-line. It might be worth their time to get more money and wait longer on the closing than a lower price cash offer. 

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Out of town buyers find the perfect home in Beaverton

Many people come through my website searching for real estate all over the Portland area. I received a lead one morning and I promptly responded to their questions and started helping them with their new home search.  They are a husband and wife and they have two small girls. Since they were relocating from Syracuse, New York they wanted to find a home in the 400-500k range near Intel in Hillsboro.  So I began my search and after months of sending them properties they contacted me to go visit a listing in the Century High School District. This particular property had all the wonderful interior features that they wanted but the backyard was extremely small. In the Syracuse area where they lived prior to moving here, they have much larger plots of land.

I decided to extend their home search into areas that have larger lots. We first looked at a NW Portland home that had recently been updated. Unfortunately,  the large hills in the neighborhood wouldn’t work well for their two girls to ride their bikes and play with friends.  We saw a couple homes in the Beaverton area, but the husband was concerned with the commute from Hillsboro to Beaverton.  I recommended that they drive to and from Hillsboro during rush hour. It turned out to be only a 25-30 minute commute from this specific part of Beaverton into Hillsboro. With the commute in mind, we visited a beautiful remodeled property on Cooper Mountain. It had all the features that they were looking for but most importantly it had a wonderfully large backyard. The yard had a three tier deck from the back patio, mature fruit trees and flowers, bark dusted fenced playground for the girls and lots of green grass.

They are so excited about their new home purchase and will be sending me photos once they move in. I truly enjoy helping buyers find the perfect home that fits their family’s lifestyle. Thanks for reading my blog and please visit my client testimonials page to hear from all of my happy past clients.

Andrea Storm, Principal Broker, JMA Properties


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