4 Things to Do in February~!

 

4 Things to Do in February to Avoid a Yucky Spring

 

 

 

#1 Make an Anti-Mud Plan

Mud may be the least of your frozen worries now, but it’s a-coming.

 

Be prepared with a remediation plan. With your yard in its frozen-tundra state, you can easily see the troublesome spots.

 

Research potential ground cover, like gravel, a rain garden, decorative rocks, or the right grass that’ll soak it up. Then you’ll be ready to execute your anti-mud plan the moment it’s warm enough — and do it in time to keep the mud at bay.

 

#2 Organize Your Cleaning Closets and Laundry Room

Before the madness of spring cleaning begins, organize (or even renovate!) your laundry room and clean closets or cupboards.

 

This will not only breathe a new life into these oft-ignored areas, but perfectly pampered cleaning stations can seriously rev up your spring cleaning motivation.

 

#3 Deep-Clean Your Entryway

Snow. Salt. Boots. Shovels. Your entryway floors, baseboards, rugs, and more have had a rough few months. Give that smallest of rooms some deep cleaning love now, before the salt crust becomes a permanent part of your entryway decor in spring.

 

#4 Hail a Handyperson

Spring and summer are peak handyperson seasons. Skip the surge pricing and the agony of waiting for callbacks by hiring someone now. At least for the indoor chores.

 

Plus, you may be surprised at what outdoor chores can be done. You’ll be spring-ready before the first flower buds

Cary Perkins,
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Posted on February 19, 2018 at 9:44 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Daily House Idea, Gardens and Landscape, House Ideas | Tagged ,

Seniors, is it time for a major de-cluttering?

 

Here's one of those grown-up topics that aren't lots of fun to think about, (like long term care) but is something we should start to prepare for as we age… what are our kids going to do if all of our stuff if we don't thin it out for them?

 

I've been there before – having to clean out my parents' home after they've died, and hating to let go of even one thing that still smelled like them.  I still have both of their bathrobes, and my mother's 25th anniversary dress, and so on.  It's so hard to let it all go, but you must in order to somehow get through it. 

 

This article by a Portland Organizer, Heather Hawkins, is a wonderful reminder of how we really owe our kids the favor of starting this process now so they don't have to throw our stuff away while greiving ….  and there are so many good recycling opportunities now that there's no excuse not to thin things out so your kids won't have to do it later.

 

If you'd like information on where to donate your items, please let me know.  I have lists of wonderful recycling opportunities so that others can enjoy your overflow.  And won't your family love you for it?

 

– Cary

 

Please enjoy the article in full below.

 

Sorry, there is no gentle headline for this kind of post. I tried: Do your children a favor and get rid of most of your stuff before you die and don’t burden them with the painful, guilt-inducing job of sorting through their childhood and feeling obligated to keep everything that reminds them of you, which is basically everything you own, but I feared it would blow up the Internet so I pared it down.

 

This sweet, touching essay by Jeremy Clarkson, a British broadcaster, completely sums it up. After his beloved mother died of cancer, he was overwhelmed to discover that she’d gotten rid of almost all of her stuff before she died to spare him from having to do it himself.

There is no single thing in the house of anyone’s mother that isn’t infused with a gut-wrenching air of sentimentality. It’s not just her jewelry or her clothes. It’s the little things as well. Her kitchen scissors, her bathroom scales, her flannel. Every single thing in each and every drawer is as impossible to discard as a first teddy bear…I’d need at least two months to go through it all. And I’d need about 4,000 boxes of Kleenex.

It was the greatest gift she could have left him.

I don’t know how long she had worked on her downsizing and the clear-out and the organisation of her things, but it’s something we should all try to do when we know the Grim Reaper is heading our way. Because not only does it spare our loved ones from the hassle of going through every single thing we’ve ever owned but it also spares them from the grief of deciding that the horse brasses and the Llardro figurines really do have to go to the tip.

(Tip = dump, by the way. I’m a big advocate of reuse, and there are plenty of donation centers and consignment shops happy to take household goods off your hands.)

I’ve helped people clear out their parent’s homes after they’ve passed, and it’s a big job. Most professional organizers offer this service, but we also help seniors get rid of clutter and extraneous possessions beforehand. We figure out, with input from their children, what will be passed down and what should go now. Photos get sorted and labeled. Furnishings and artwork that will be used by the heirs are listed out and saved with the will. Valuable items can be sold ahead of time. Other items can be donated. We work to clean out the basements and garages and drawers filled with opened seed packets and old receipts and clothing that hasn’t been worn in 30 years but is often the hardest for children to get rid of.

It’s not an easy subject to discuss or ponder, but it’s one that’s worth considering now rather than later. For another touching, funny insight on aging parents and the burden of clearing out a deceased parent’s home, I highly recommend New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast’s memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?

Heather Hawkins of Homeflow Professional Organizing helps Portland-area residents declutter, organize, downsize and stage their homes for sale. Contact her at 503-313-7164 or heather@homeflow.org. Visit www.homeflow.org for more information.

 

 

 

 

Cary Perkins,
Windermere Top Producer
Fun With Real Estate
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by Cary Perkins

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Posted on March 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Daily House Idea, House Ideas, Selling Your home | Tagged , , , ,

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

 

The camillias are in already bloom & the daffodils and primroses are popping up in my front yard  – my first sign that spring is already on its way.  After a long, dark winter, spring's bright sun and warm winds are a breath of fresh air. The only downside? All that sunshine spotlights your leaf-filled gutters, cracked sidewalks and the dead plants in last year's flower beds.

Dwight Barnett, a certified master inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors, shared this checklist to help you target the areas that need maintenance so you can get your chores done quickly, leaving you time to go outside and play in the sunshine.

  • Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
  • Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
  • Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
  • From the ground, examine roof shingles to see if any were lost or damaged during winter. If your home has an older roof covering, you may want to start a budget for replacement. The summer sun can really damage roof shingles. Shingles that are cracked, buckled or loose or are missing granules need to be replaced. Flashing around plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys need to be checked and repaired by a qualified roofer.  
  • Examine the exterior of the chimney for signs of damage. Have the flue cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep.
  • Inspect concrete slabs for signs of cracks or movement. All exterior slabs except pool decks should drain away from the home's foundation. Fill cracks with a concrete crack filler or silicone caulk. When weather permits, power-wash and then seal the concrete. 
  • Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure.
  • Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. Turn the water on and place your thumb or finger over the opening. If you can stop the flow of water, it is likely the pipe inside the home is damaged and will need to be replaced. While you're at it, check the garden hose for dry rot.
  • Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. Change interior filters on a regular basis. 
  • Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yardwork easier. 
 
 
Cary Perkins,
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Posted on January 27, 2015 at 11:22 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Daily House Idea, Gardens and Landscape, house idea of the day, Portland Oregon Real Estate, Selling Your home | Tagged , , , ,

What’s new in kitchens in 2014?

I recently had the opportunity to view a presentation by Jonathan Hopp of Neil Kelly.  He spoke to the new and exciting changes in the world of kitchens – remodeling and new construction.  My favorite reference from the talk was about the fact that "backsplashes are the jewelry of the kitchen."  It's true!  You can have a totally neutral look and then jazz it up with a backsplash, which is often easily changable if you're ready for a new look.  Read on and hear what else Jonathan has to say……

 

 

What we are seeing increasingly in kitchens is a move toward quartz materials for countertops.  The advantage of quartz is that it comes in a variety of colors and patterns.  Technology has advanced to create finishes that more closely resemble limestone and marble – which are two materials I would hesitate to use in a heavily used kitchen.  Quartz has all the inherent advantages of granite, in that it doesn’t scratch easily, is heat resistant and comes in large slabs.  The pricing is similar to granite depending on the manufacturer, but you can expect that this popular product will be on the higher end of materials and well worth the price in durability and longevity.

 

 

The back splash is the jewelry of the kitchen. Most commonly the counter material is more neutral in tone, and frequently is chosen to compliment the flooring material or blend with the cabinetry finishes.  The back splash, however, is where designers are having fun.  With literally hundreds of new products on the market, the selection is greater than ever.    Manufacturing techniques have resulted in designs that weren’t available only a few short years ago.  I think the backsplash is one of the most important elements in determining a kitchens overall look and appearance.  In rooms where everything else is neutral, the backsplash is that final item that determines a kitchen’s look.  I say, have fun with the backsplash.  There generally isn’t a large quantity, so the cost is not extreme.  When you look at kitchens you will notice how much it draws the eye.  And, unlike cabinets, or counter tops, it is an easy way to add style without spending a fortune.

 

 

 

 

My favorite product recently is the advancement in porcelain tiles.  Resembling everything from limestone to hardwood flooring, this material expands the options for durability to an entirely new level.  As with other materials, the advancements in printing and fabrication have allowed porcelain tiles to achieve a new level of design.  Sculptured surfaces and graining are just a start.  The printing and transfer techniques now add a new realism to the material like never before.  Porcelain tiles are inherently durable and can stand up to wear and tear like nothing else.  The latest trend is newer sizes such as 12 x24, 24 x24 as well as smaller mosaic blends.  No longer are we stuck with the ubiquitous 12” square tile. 

 

If you'd like advice for your kitchen, please call Jonathan for a private consultation!

 

http://www.neilkelly.com/personal-pages/jonathan-hopp/

 
Cary Perkins,
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Posted on March 23, 2014 at 8:38 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, House Ideas, kitchen ideas | Tagged , , , ,

Transform your room for less than $100

 

Remember the stenciling from the 80's?  Little country cabins and vines & hearts?  I shudder to think of some of the sponge and rag painting that used to pass for cool. 

 

 

 

Nowadays, you hardly ever hear of anyone stenciling or faux painting, and wallpaper has actually made a comeback.   When I'm touring houses, I literally swoon over some of the gorgeous papers I've seen.  Who would use a stencil when wallpaper manufacturers have made it so easy for us to add drama so simply?

 

 

 

Me!  I'm dying to use one of these stencil designs in our  master bedroom!  Every one of these photos are stenciled walls. 

 

These aren't your 80's stencils, and one can transform their room at 1/100th the cost of wallpaper. 

 

 

My client used this houndstooth pattern in her bathroom and it was fabulous~! 

 

 

Don't be shy.  Order a stencil today and transform your room for under $100!  Prices start around $13 for simple medallions and go to around $65 f0r the birch trees shown above. 

These stencils, and hundreds more, can be purchased at www.cuttingedgestencils.com.

 

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Posted on March 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, house idea of the day, House Ideas | Tagged , , , , ,

Q & A: How much is my kitchen remodel worth when I sell? 2013 Cost -vs- Value

 

Q:  We've just put in a ton of work on a new kitchen, and now it's time to sell.  How much can we actually recoup from our expense?

 

A:  Here is a link to the Remodeling Magazine Cost -VS- Value Comparison Tool.  It lists costs for all areas of the US, and you can look at moderate or fancy remodels.  It's lots of fun to figure out which improvements will give you the best return on your dollar.  It also helps you to understand that when pricing your home, you can't expect to wring every penny out of your remodel.  It will, however, make your home more attractive, and it should sell more quickly! 

 

This site compares the average cost for 35 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale. To find data for any of 81 cities:
1. Click a region on the map or choose from the drop-down list.
2. Click on a city in the map (requires flash) or from the drop-down list.
3. Click the Download button for a PDF with city data.

For more information about individual projects:
1. Click on a project name to see a description and a 3-D model.
2. Sort any column by clicking on the column header.
3. For more information on the Remodeling 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, click on any of the links listed at right.

 

Thanks to Remodling Magazine for their research on this great article.

 

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Posted on March 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, house idea of the day, House Ideas, kitchen ideas, Portland Oregon Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics, Selling Your home | Tagged , , ,

What to do with Fido?

 

 

Sometimes there is no perfect solution to providing access to the outdoors for your little furry friend.  Leaving them home alone all day while you're at work can lead to accidents.  Doggy day care can be expensive if you need to use it every day.  But some properties just don't have perfect access – a door that leads to a fenced yard, or a spot for a doggy door that is concealed from view in your everyday spaces.

 

 

This homeowner turned an ordinary closet into a warm spot for their dog to be indoors, while giving it access to the outside as well.    You can leave the door ajar when you're home, and close it when you're away.   I love that this closes it off from view and everybody is happy. 

 

 

photo courtesy of Houzz.  Designed and built by Aloha Home Builders.

 

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Posted on February 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Daily House Idea, house idea of the day, House Ideas, Portland Oregon Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Are you bold enough for a black exterior?

 

 
 
 
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Browse Bedroom Products on Houzz- For Example:

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on January 2, 2013 at 5:03 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, Front door, house idea of the day, House Ideas, Portland Oregon Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

Chirping Smoke Detector

 

You know that annoying chirp when a smoke alarm battery is at the end of its life?  It's not unusual to open up a vacant home and have the tweeting accompany your showing.

 

I think this would make it OK. 

 

Replace your flying saucer shaped smoke detector with this darling bird!  Available at Urban Outfitters for $75.

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 1:44 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, Portland Oregon Real Estate, Portland Oregon Realtor, Selling your home during the holidays | Tagged , , ,

A Spot of Color on this Rainy Day

When it’s this gloomy out, I need something sunny and bright to help me make it through ’til Spring.

 

Here are a few bright and sunshiny house photos that I’ve collected.  Any of these things would make me happy on a day like today.

 

Yellow Adirondack chairs

 

 

An amazing red rug and chairs on my porch

 

This bright orange lacquer planter with purple orchids

 

 

Funky kitchen tiles

 

 

Simply adorable pillows, especially when placed on a bright settee bench

 

 

Hurry, spring!

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 10:56 pm
Cary Perkins | Category: Beautiful Houses, Current Portland Real Estate Market Information, Daily House Idea, Decorating Ideas, house idea of the day, House Ideas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,