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September
13

Best Home Security Upgrades

Home Security TipsMaking your home secure is rarely a one-and-done project, but it should be a top priority. As technology advances and criminals develop new techniques, it's important to regularly upgrade your home's security features. This can prevent break-ins, protect your loved ones and property, and give you peace of mind. If you're wondering where and how to start, the following suggestions by our brokers will help you take the right steps to protect your home against intruders.

  • Video Doorbell
    Simple to use, easy to use, and immediately obvious to anyone who approaches your door, video doorbells are a popular home security option. The doorbell has a camera, speaker, and microphone, so you can see, speak to, and hear visitors through an app on your phone or tablet, no matter where you happen to be. You can receive notifications and a live feed from your front door when someone walks by or presses the bell. When buying a video doorbell, look for two-way audio, high-resolution video, infrared night vision, and motion sensing.


  • Smart Cameras
    If you're worried about the security of your backyard, side alley, or garage, smart cameras can provide peace of mind. They come in a range of sizes, capabilities, and prices, with most having speakers and mics. The cameras connect straight to the Wi-Fi and can be controlled and viewed remotely using a smartphone app. Indoor options are smaller and more discreet and a great option if you want to keep an eye on the inside of your home. Features you'll want to look for in a smart camera include a wide field of view, audio recording, motion detection, and high resolution.


  • Alarm System
    A smart alarm system is another great security upgrade to consider for your home. There are many options available, from a range of battery-powered sensors you affix to your windows and door to motion sensors for hallways, rooms, and landings. The system will send you a notification if any movement is detected while it's armed.


  • Smart Lights
    Smart lighting combines convenience and enhanced security, but it isn't an obvious intrusive device. The Wi-Fi-enabled LED lightbulbs are simple to install and can be controlled from a smartphone app. You can dim the bulbs, choose their color, and turn them on or off – manually or on a schedule. To make things a little less predictable when you're away, you can set the system to light up at a random time and make it look like someone's home. Smart lights can also be linked to smart cameras, motion sensors, and alarms for enhanced security.


  • Solid Doors
    Most burglars use the door to gain entry into a house. It's also easier to carry valuables out the door. If your doors are weak and flimsy, a well-placed kick or slam could be enough to allow someone inside in seconds. Some of the best security doors are made of metal or solid core wood. Avoid hollow-core doors or those with a lot of glass. You can also reinforce your door with a barricade or a strike plate installed with 3-inch screws for greater strength.


  • Door Locks
    While you're at it, conduct an inspection and change your locks if they're damaged or easy to pick and bump open. This is also important if you have extra keys floating around with friends or strangers. Re-key your locks or replace them with smart locks. Smart locks communicate with your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, allowing you to lock and unlock your doors from anywhere. Traditional smart locks have a number pad or touchscreen, and then some rely on an app on your phone to handle the locking and unlocking functions. When buying a smart lock, it's important to know whether or not it can also accept keys.

  • Secure Windows
    Windows are also common entry points for intruders because they're often left open, and the latches aren't always effective. To improve the security of your windows, install key-operated levers or locks. Some other ideas to burglar-proof your windows include burglar bars, reinforced glass, shatterproof glass, sensors, and cameras. Prickly bushes can also help make your windows less desirable and harder to access.

Bonus Tip: Make sure to lock down and hide your Wi-Fi network, rename it, install anti-virus protection, create a strong password, and install a firewall. You don't want to leave your security system or smart home gadgets open to cyberattacks.

Are you in the market for a new home with smart security features? Contact us today, and we'll be happy to show you beautiful and secure properties in the Pacific Northwest. We can also provide expert advice and help you find the best value if you're looking to improve your home's security before selling.

June
29

Gutter Maintenance Tips for the Summer

Gutter Maintenance

Knocking out a few simple tasks this summer will help ensure you don't run into any unexpected problems caused by poor gutter maintenance. This may include leaks, damage to your insulation, siding damage, and more. Don't let this happen to you! Follow these simple tips, and you'll be ready for whatever Mother Nature brings. 

  1. Remove Collected Debris
    If it's been a while since you've performed any gutter maintenance, a lot of leaves, sticks, and other debris may have accumulated in there. Start by putting on a pair of thick gloves and pulling out debris by hand. This is the first step to ensuring water has a clear path to flow off of your roof and out the downspouts. This allows it to move safely away from your home, so it doesn't cause damage. 
  1. Check for Nests
    Birds often like to make their nests in gutters since it offers them a high perch that is relatively undisturbed. By summertime, the babies have usually flown away, making now a great time to remove the empty nests from your gutters. Just be sure to check carefully for any signs of life before pulling them out. If you notice babies are still living there, consider leaving them undisturbed and checking back in a few weeks. 
  1. Clean Off Your Gutters
    Now that you've removed the large items from your gutters, use a gentle abrasive cleaning product or soap and water along with a scrub brush to give the inside of your gutters a thorough cleaning. This will allow you to remove any moss, mold, or algae built up inside your gutters. If you notice areas where there's a lot of growth, pay attention. This could be a sign that you have a drainage problem. 
  1. Check for Damage
    Once your gutters are clean, you'll be able to tell if there are any damaged areas you need to address. Carefully check all of your gutters for holes that need to be filled, areas of rust, or anything that's sagging or askew. You can typically fix sagging gutters by pulling them upward using a pair of pliers. If you notice any sections of your gutter that are extremely rusty, consider replacing them. 
  1. Repair Any Leaks
    As you're checking for damage, there's a good chance you'll come across some leaks. This often happens when there are visible holes or areas that are buckling. You can also check for smaller leaks along the cracks and seams by using a hose to run water through the gutters. Watch out for any areas where water comes out before it reaches the downspout. You can effectively fix most gutter leaks with a waterproof sealant, like silicone caulking. Depending on the type of damage, you may also use some metal flashing and attach it using roofing cement. Once the repair has dried, run water through again to make sure it's sealed. If not, you'll want to call in a gutter professional to take care of the problem. 
  1. Visually Inspect Your Roof
    Since you're already up on a ladder, take a moment to visually inspect your roof. Keep an eye out for loose shingles, which can cause leaks. If your gutters haven't been maintained for a while, this may also cause water to pond on your roof, leading to additional problems. Catching issues early can help you get them fixed before they become a much bigger deal. For safety reasons, avoid getting up on the roof yourself. If you notice any potential issues, call a professional roofer to come out and take a look. 
  1. Install New Equipment
    If you've been thinking about installing new downspouts or gutters, the dry season is the perfect time to take on this project. You may also want to consider installing gutter covers. This upgrade prevents leaves and debris from falling into your gutters. While it will take some effort to install, you'll love how much it cuts down on your future gutter maintenance! 

Whether you're planning to stay in your home for the long term or you're thinking about moving soon, our brokers encourage you to keep up with basic maintenance tasks. This will help ensure your home maintains its current value and its curb appeal. 

We're here to help. Your dream home is waiting for you, so don't wait. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started.

June
7

Upcycle Your Furniture With This Guide

Upcycle TipsUpcycling has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with more people looking for ways to reuse materials and save money. It is a great way of transforming unloved, outdated, or unused pieces of furniture into something fresh, unique, and perfectly suited for your space. The good thing about upcycling is that no previous skills are required, and there are really no limits to what you can create. Upcycling is not just a cost-effective way of breathing new life into your old furniture, but it's also a great way to expand your creativity and reduce your impact on the environment. Our brokers have put together their top tips, which will help you create your ultimate upcycling adventure.

  1. Choose Your Furniture Piece
    The first step in your upcycling adventure is to choose what you want to upcycle and the purpose you want the improved piece to serve. You may have some old furniture lying about in the house that needs a new look, or maybe you've seen something in a thrift store or garage sale that would be perfect with a little creativity. Either way, you want to make sure the piece can easily be upcycled at just a fraction of the price if you bought it new.


  2. Make Sure the Piece is Structurally Sound
    It's important to look beyond the surface or the idea you have in mind when choosing a piece of furniture for your upcycling project. You don't want to spend time on something that will become useless or fall apart the next day. Look at the joints and structure of the piece before you buy or start the transformation. Good bones are important for extended use.


  3. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
    Be imaginative when you see old pieces. Almost every item can be an upcycling opportunity, no matter how it looks on the surface. Something might look ugly at first glance, but you have to look past the flaws to find the potential. 


  4. Plan Ahead
    Whether you're upcycling a small stool or a complete dining set, you can definitely help yourself by preparing ahead of time. Have an end goal for your project and ensure you have all the tools and supplies needed to do the job. Give your piece a quick wash, sand it down and wipe it to get a smooth surface and get the perfect finish. Paint might hide many problems, but if your furniture has dents, holes, peeling paint, or scratches, these will be visible when painted over.


  5. Don't Get Carried Away
    While it's exciting to get started on transforming your furniture, you'll end being frustrated if you bite off more than you can chew. Choose something simple, like a small table that needs painting, and don't rush.


  6. Paint and Make Perfect
    If you're not after that distressed furniture look, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in breathing some new life into your furniture piece. If your piece looks old and dated, a little sanding and paint may be all that you need to achieve a unique and stylish addition to your home. Make sure you use good quality brushes that give good coverage and don't leave bristles in your work.


  7. Get That Distressed Look
    Old dressers, drawers, cabinets, or cupboards are ideal for distressed looks if that's your style. Sand down the furniture and use chalk paint for a matte or chalky finish. Chalk paints are also great for covering a dark stain. Once you've applied the paint, sand the surface for a distressed look that will add character to the piece. Target the areas that would see the most wear and tear, like the edges.


  8. Try Stenciling
    Stenciling is an easy step to full personalization. It's a way to get creative and add a personal touch to your furniture. You can find stencils online or designs yours if you have the right equipment. Use a stencil brush to stamp your creativity onto the furniture piece and add a coat of wax for protection. Don't worry if your work doesn't turn out as expected, you can always stencil or paint over it again.


  9. Don't Forget the Little Touches
    Perhaps you've decided to upcycle a piece of furniture that has knobs on it. Replacing the knobs with some creative pieces can make a huge difference to your piece. You can use anything from door knockers to big keys or just any piece that catches your fancy. And even though you're going to replace your knobs, it's good practice to remove the old ones to make sure your paint job is a clean and smooth as possible. It will also save time if the new ones are smaller and there's a space with no paint.

If you're planning to sell or buy in the area, our team can help make the process easier for you. Contact us today.

March
15

Helpful Tips for Arranging a Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall Tips

Few things personalize your house as much as the displays of artwork on the walls. As our brokers take you on tours, let your imagination soar and envision how you can make the space your own with your personal collection.

As much a work of art as the pieces they contain, the process of creating a gallery wall may seem daunting. But by following some basic guidelines, the display you design will be a wonderful visual focal point.  

  1. Gather Inspiration 
    Before you begin, seek ideas from magazines or online platforms. As you see layouts you find aesthetically pleasing, make note of the elements you like the most. Collect photos so that you can examine them later for details. You'll find a variety of options from symmetrical to asymmetrical, small groupings of three items to ten or more, rigidly themed to eclectic. The choices are yours based on what you find attractive.  

  2. Curate your Artwork 
    As you are curating your pieces, remember that you are not restricted to paintings and photographs. Clocks, mirrors, and shadow boxes of meaningful items can breathe life into the exhibit, expanding the texture and flavor of the display. You can coordinate disparate items by putting them in matching frames if that is the style you prefer.  

  3. Determine the Location
    Did we say wall? We should probably have said walls. You are not limited to one space by any means. You can hang artwork down a stairway or behind the table in the dining room. The goal is to create a home where the colors, furniture, and architecture blend into a cohesive environment. You may find beautifully designed homes in which the artwork carries your eyes around corners and from one room to the next.  

  4. Consider Color and Scale 
    In considering the groupings within your collection, pay close attention to the overall color schemes and the sizes of each object. If you have several prints or paintings, for example, that are all from a similar color palette, grouping them in the same display will create a harmonious well-ordered feeling to the entire room. But gallery walls are meant to be a bold invitation to look deeper into the artwork, so if your taste runs more to wildly different colors and styles, that's OK. Just remember to anchor them together in some fashion, such as matching frames, to avoid a haphazard appearance. It is important to remember scale when you are matching artwork to your furniture. Neither should overshadow the other. The same holds true to the array itself. It's all about maintaining balance.  

  5. Measure Carefully 
    It's important to know the exact amount of space you have available before you map out a final arrangement. It's a good idea to place furniture and lighting before you measure. You don't want your perfect design hidden by a lamp or the sofa. Think about whether other focal points will detract from the vision you wish to create. Fireplaces, big-screen television sets, and sometimes even windows can draw the eye away from your gallery wall. Make certain that your arrangement works around these larger items.  

  6. Create a Mock-up 
    Once you have a plan in mind, it's time to test your layout. Begin with the largest item. This is your anchor piece. Work smaller pieces around it. If you have a particular look that you found in your initial research and you want to mimic it, arrange your pieces accordingly. If you prefer your own design, now is the time to try it out without risking unnecessary nail holes in the paint. If you look at one designer's ideas, you'll find very strict guidelines, such as avoiding putting the largest piece in the dead center of the display. The next article you read will have a lovely picture of a large painting encircled by smaller pieces. There are no rules other than the ones you chose to follow. When you're happy with the pattern, you may find it helpful to take a picture of your final layout to use as a reference as you hang the objects. Make a paper template of each piece and mark where the nail hole should go. Tape the templates to the wall. Nail through the marks and strip away the paper. Hang your collection, and voila! Your gallery wall is complete.  

Looking for the perfect home to decorate with your favorite artwork? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain, and we'll be happy to lead the way.  

March
9

Bakeries in Portland for Pi Day

Portland Bakeries

Sunday, March 14th is Pi Day, the annual celebration of the mathematical constant. While you could solve some math equations to celebrate, another option is to enjoy a slice of the dessert that shares its name. 

Our real estate agents are in favor of the second option. If you agree, you might see us at one of these awesome bakeries and pie shops in the Portland area on March 14th!

  1. The Pie Spot - 521 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR 97232
    The folks at The Pie Spot got their start selling pies at local Portland street fairs and farmers markets in 2009, and their tasty offerings took off in a big way. They now have two brick-and-mortar locations in the city, including this 24th Ave. hot spot just minutes from many Portland homes for sale. They offer amazing pies, both sweet and savory, specializing in meal-sized hand pies and seasonal specialties like brown butter pecan, blueberry ginger, and brandy apple crumble.

  2. Pacific Pie Company - 1520 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
    Have you had Australian pasties? They're tasty, savory hand-held pies that might contain any number of fillings, and man, are they good. Pacific Pie Company is Portland's leading purveyor of these savory Down-Under favorites, and they offer options for every meal. Go ahead and grab a green chili, egg, cheddar, potato pasty for breakfast, or maybe a spinach and feta pasty for lunch. Better yet, get both, and follow it up with a beef and mushroom stout pasty for dinner. Yum.

  3. Petunia's Pies & Pastries - 610 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
    Try to rid yourself of any preconceived notions you might have about vegan and gluten-free baked goods. At Petunia's Pastries, everything on the menu is vegan and gluten-free. And you know what? If they didn't tell you ahead of time, you would never know. Everything in this hip, adorable bakery is absolutely delicious, from the breakfast pastries to the cheesecake. And, of course, the pies or to die for. Their menu rotates seasonally, but rest assured, they always have multiple pie flavors on deck, and you can't go wrong. 

  4. Lauretta Jean's - 3402 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
    You'll find every dessert under the sun at Lauretta Jean's, but the pies are, without a doubt, the stars of the show. Bourbon pecan, key lime, heirloom apple, chocolate cream, tart cherry—you name it. They're known around town for having the butteriest, flakiest, most delicious crusts around. Plus, they serve breakfast, lunch, coffee, beer, and wine. What else could one possibly need?

  5. Sizzle Pie - 624 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
    The pizza is definitely a type of pie. Maybe the best type of pie. And as it happens, Sizzle Pie has become Portland's favorite spot for pizza, so much so that they've grown to include half a dozen locations throughout the city. The downtown spot on Burnside is still our favorite, though, and whether you're looking for a whole pie or a quick slice, you're sure to be satisfied. Sizzle Pie is also famous for making one of the best vegan pizza pies around. 

  6. Wilde Pies - 2036 S Vermont St, Portland, OR 97219
    Every pie is unique at Wilde Pies. Every pie is custom-made from scratch and either readied for pickup or delivered right to your door. They offer plenty of classic pies available year-round, like apple, pecan, lemon meringue, coconut cream, and pumpkin. But others—like strawberry rhubarb, cranberry gingersnap, and fresh peach—are made using local, seasonal ingredients, so get them while you can! Vegan, gluten-free, and Keto-friendly options are available, and special requests are welcome. 

  7. Baker & Spice - 6330 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97239
    Founded in 1998, Baker & Spice is one of Portland's best bakeries, hands down. They make pies of practically any kind you could think of, including sweet pies, savory pies, hand pies, full-size pies, and specialty pies for any holiday or occasion. Of course, if you prefer to order an entire pie and take it home with you, you could hardly be blamed. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Portland. It's truly a one-of-a-kind place to call home, and our team is ready to answer any questions you may have about finding your dream home in the Portland area. 

February
22

Renovation Ideas Even Your Pets Will Love

Renovation Ideas for Pet OwnersAre you one of the more than 100 million people in the United States who own either a dog or a cat? More and more, pet owners are thinking about their furry friends when planning home renovations, and it's easier than ever to incorporate pet-friendly features as part of larger renovation projects in your home. And it's not just your pets who benefit! Many of the most popular pet-friendly renovations can also save floor space, help keep your home cleaner, and enhance the look of some of the most frequently used rooms in your home. Our brokers have the details on some popular pet-friendly features that you can incorporate into your next home renovation project.

  1. Add Feeding Stations and Storage for Pet Items When Updating Your Kitchen
    Thinking of updating your kitchen cabinets or adding an island for increased counter and storage space? Consider incorporating a pet feeding station into your design plan. A feeding station makes it easier to keep your kitchen clean and keeps you from accidentally kicking pet bowls when walking through the kitchen. Make sure to incorporate some extra storage space near the feeding station to store food and other items for your pet. In addition to keeping things clean, built-in feeding stations will also save floor space in your kitchen.

  2. Pet Bathing Stations Make Bath Time a Breeze
    Bathing pets can be a real challenge, especially if you have a large dog or an older pet. Many homeowners are now incorporating pet bathing stations, with bathrooms and mudrooms the most popular places to put them. You can create a smaller bathing station specifically for your pet, with a spray nozzle and plenty of room for bathing supplies. If you don't want to add a dedicated bathing station while renovating your bathroom, consider a walk-in shower with a handheld showerhead to make it easier to keep your pet clean.

  3. A Mudroom Is a Great Choice for Pets and Kids Alike
    When shopping available homes for sale, you may have noticed an extra room in some homes near the foyer or the door that opens to the home's backyard. Commonly known as mudrooms, these rooms are ideal for cleaning off muddy paws and shoes without tracking dirt through the rest of the home. A mudroom is also a great place to keep the supplies that you'll need to take your pet for a walk and the toys that your pet loves to play with when they are in the yard. A mudroom can be as small or large as you like. The key is simply to build your mudroom near the door that pets (and kids) will use most when coming into the house from outside.

  4. Cat Highways Are a Perfect Addition for Your Feline Friend
    Cats love to climb, so adding a "cat highway" is a great way to encourage your feline friends to play and get some extra exercise. You can buy a cat highway that's ready to install from your favorite pet supply store or create something new yourself. The key is simply to give your cat safe, sturdy spaces to climb around the house. By keeping the bulk of your cat highway above eye level, you also save floor and wall space that can be used for other needs.

  5. Add Ramps on Outdoor Stairs to Help Older Pets
    Many older dogs, especially if they are larger breeds, can have trouble getting up and down the stairs that lead into your home. Even for younger dogs and smaller breeds, limiting how much they use stairs can help save wear and tear on joints. Adding a ramp to outdoor stairs is a simple solution that can help with the health of your dogs, and it's easy to incorporate a ramp when you're updating your deck or patio. Even if you're not undertaking a larger renovation project, it shouldn't be too difficult to add a ramp to your existing stairs.

  6. Create Dedicated Sleeping Spaces for Pets
    Every pet should have its own space for sleeping, but pet beds and crates take up valuable floor space. They're also not always the most pleasant thing to look at aesthetically. Just like with feeding stations, you can incorporate built-in pet beds into a wide variety of home renovation projects. You can even put them in multiple rooms! Create a stylish, cozy place for your pet to sleep, and save some space in the process.

Still searching for a home that both you and your pets will love to call your own? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the area.

February
15

11 Home Organization Apps You'll Enjoy Using

Home Organization AppsWith so much going on these days, even the most organized people can become overwhelmed when it comes to maintaining a home and family. Luckily, today's technology can help make it a little bit easier. With so many productivity apps on the market, you can really leverage your smartphone to help you make it through the day. We were talking home organization tips with some of the owners of these homes for sale and we heard so many great recommendations for innovative home organization apps. 

  1. Evernote
    This award-winning app is essentially a cloud-based notebook. Use Evernote to take notes, make to-do lists, or save drawings, photographs, or other media. Best of all, you can access your content from any device or location. The app offers a free version that sets data capacity limits, or you can purchase a paid plan for more storage.

  2. Sweepy
    Staying on top of chores is one of the most tedious aspects of homeownership, but with apps like Sweepy, it's really not so bad. Sweepy allows you to enter chores into the app, prioritize them, assign them to family members, and maintain a calendar of activities. With Sweepy, every one can simply open up the app and quickly see what chores need to be done. 

  3. Todoist
    When it comes to to-do lists, few apps can compete with Todoist. This organization app helps you maintain complete control over your projects and goals. With an emphasis on mental well-being, the app was created to help you transfer your tasks from your head to your mobile phone and is great for any busy family.

  4. Cozi Family Organizer
    This useful organizer app has an incredibly simple interface and is made specifically for "crazy busy families". With Cozi, you can see the calendar for each family member, share grocery lists, and even post notes. It also has a built-in recipe planner to make dinner a breeze. Best of all, this app is completely free!

  5. 24me
    This award-winning app is more like a personal assistant that can really help make your day more productive. One of the best parts about 24me is it's incredibly easy to use. The app features a calendar, to-do list, and a notepad, so you can keep track of all your home cleaning and maintenance chores in one place. The app also automatically organizes your schedule and sends personal reminders to keep you on track.

  6. Time Timer
    If you're struggling with time management, then it might be worth checking out Time Timer. This super simple app features a visual, colorful timer that can be set with a swipe of a finger. The app allows you to set multiple timers for the various tasks throughout your day. The end result: complete transparency about how you're spending your time.

  7. Jour 
    One of the most important aspects of home organization is maintaining mental well-being. Jour is less of a notebook and more of a journal that promotes mental health. Jour helps you track your feelings on a day-to-day basis and offers therapeutic techniques to help improve your mood. With so much going on in our day to day lives, it's important to monitor your mental health.

  8. S'moresUp
    Looking for an app to help make parenting a little easier? Give S'moresUp a try. This app lets you track your kid's chore progress, assign rewards, track savings, and even schedule play dates. S'moresUp actually makes chores more fun, and really can help you to stay on top of your kid's activities.

  9. Happy Plant
    Do you frequently forget to water your plants? You won't any longer if you download the Happy Plant app. This app combines plant care with gamification in a way that will help you remember to give your plants the love they need. The app also lets you upload pictures of your plants and create cool time-lapse videos that show them grow over time.

  10. YNAB
    If your organizational struggles are related to finance, then a good budgeting app might be just what you need. We recommend YNAB (You Need A Budget). With a personal finance smartphone app, your budget will travel right along with you. This budget app will not only help you reach your financial goals, it even integrates with Amazon's Alexa, so you can get real-time verbal updates on your progress.

  11. Productive
    Keeping your home organized starts with building good habits, which is why we recommend Productive. This app is focused on helping you build life-changing routines through reminders and schedule planning. Not only does Productive let you enter goals, it allows you to measure your progress on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

Our real estate agents are experts at home organization, and they love using smartphone apps to help plan their day. Contact us today for more recommendations on how to keep your home organized!

January
25

11 Tips for Upgrading Your Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Upgrading Tips

At one time, kitchen appliances were considered primarily functional. They brought a new level of convenience to households, but style-wise, most designs were pretty limited.

Today's appliances have become equal parts, time savers, and decor statements. Keep your kitchen looking modern with these tips from our brokers for upgrading appliances. 

  1. What Is the Born-On Date?
    Nothing lasts forever, and that's certainly true for appliances, no matter how expensive or advanced they are. Don't hold your breath, hoping your 10-year-old dishwasher can hang on. It may still be operational but most likely running at a sub-par performance. Know the average lifespans of appliances and make plans to replace them when the time comes.

  2. Repair or Replace?
    Uncertain whether a repair is preferable to a replacement? Experts recommend the 50-50 rule of thumb. If an appliance is more than 50 percent through its expected lifespan and repairs would run more than 50 percent of buying new, then go with a replacement.

  3. The Price Is Right
    Appliances are major purchases, so even if you've included them in your budget, you want to get the best value for your dollar. According to home improvement guru Bob Vila, stores want to clear out the old inventory when new models come out. Shop for dishwashers in September and October, refrigerators in May, and ranges/ovens in January. Holidays are also good times to watch for sales.

  4. Go Green
    When it comes to appliances, green is more than just a color. As appliances continue to become more energy-efficient, newer models can help preserve the environment and save you money on your utility bills. Check an appliance's Energy Star tag, which displays its Energy Star rating along with annual estimated energy use and cost.

  5. Mix and Match
    In the past, have your kitchen appliances been replaced piecemeal? Unfortunately, not all products share the same lifespan. As a result, they often end up being replaced at different times. The clashing styles cause an imbalance that throws the look of the whole kitchen off. If possible, it's best to replace all your appliances simultaneously for a coordinated appearance.

  6. Check the Warranty
    Before you purchase a new appliance, be sure to check out the warranty. If you're choosing high-end appliances, it may be worth the investment to buy an extended warranty that will cover potentially costly repairs. 

  7. Style and Substance
    The days of basic white appliances are in the rearview mirror. Of course, vintage is always in style, so you can certainly get hip, retro-styled designs. Stainless steel is high on the popularity list, but a color is also an option. Benjamin Moore has chosen Aegean Teal as the Color of 2021, while Pantone offers two: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating, a lemon yellow. Black, red, and brown are other good choices.

  8. Lifestyle Choices
    Do you love spending hours in the kitchen with Food Network how-to videos running on your iPad? Maybe you're a working parent who wants quick but healthy ways to feed your family. If your kitchen isn't compatible with your lifestyle, the net result is frustration. Consider the role you want the kitchen to play in your life and design accordingly.

  9. The Sounds of Silence
    No one wants to yell to be heard over a noisy dishwasher or clunky range hood. Even when working properly, older appliances are much louder than today's models that operate with barely a hum. Stop letting those annoying sounds drown out your latest Netflix binge.

  10. Higher Education
    Has your home become "smart?" Innovations such as voice-activated assistants like Alexa and programmable thermostats make it easier to manage your home, even when you're not there. Smart appliances let you keep an eye on what's in the oven or make extra ice when company's coming, all from an app on your phone or tablet.

  11. Lay of the Land
    A kitchen's layout and placement of appliances are intertwined. Maybe the original builder ended up putting appliances where they fit, rather than where they actually made sense. Between the current range of sizes, styles, and installation possibilities, it's much easier to create a logical flow more conducive to efficiency. 

Whether you're the owner or buyer of Portland homes for sale, we provide friendly and experienced assistance. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.

December
14

Gift Board Games from these Portland Shops

Board Game Shops

Our brokers are hard at work this holiday season, helping motivated buyers in the Portland area find the homes they want. But everyone should slow down during the holidays and spend time with loved ones – and often, searching for the ideal holiday gifts is a part of the enjoyment.

Here's a holiday tip: Board games are having a renaissance!

Yes, with more people spending time indoors, board games are a fun and fast-paced alternative to a computer or video games that everyone can take part in. And there truly are games for everyone, from children of all ages to adults looking for a more sophisticated experience.

While some games only get played once or twice, others have real staying power. They can even form the backbone of a new family tradition. If you're hungry for something new on game night, you're in luck: The Portland area is replete with shops where you can explore board games, card games, and RPGs.

Let's take a look at some of the most popular places to buy and play games:

  1. Versus Board Games – 12551 Southwest Main Street, Tigard, OR 97223
    Tigard homes for sale are some of the best around, and Versus Board Games is just one of the many delightful reasons why. Here, you'll be swept into a veritable wonderland of board games, Lego sets, Dungeons & Dragons, 2D and 3D puzzles, graphic novels, and toys. Versus maintains plenty of used games in great condition so that you can start your collection off right at an affordable price.

  2. Finnegan's Toys & Gifts – 820 Southwest Washington Street, Portland, OR 97205
    Found a short walk from some of the top dining and shopping in Portland, Finnegan's Toys & Gifts is conveniently situated in the Stevens Building. It dazzles visitors with a wondrous assortment of classic toys for all ages and interests. In addition to a full selection of board games and puzzles, you'll also find activity books, art supplies, cars and trucks, dolls, costumes, and STEM toys.

  3. OC Geeks & Games – 1656 C Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, OR 97045
    Located in the Southridge Shopping Center, OC Geeks & Games calls itself "the Home of Tabletop Gaming in Oregon City." Dedicated to board games, collectible card games, role-playing games, and miniatures, it is more than just a store. Its goal is to build a vibrant and inclusive gaming community for players of all ages. Free Family Board Gaming Day takes place regularly. All this and it's convenient to Oregon City homes for sale, too.

  4. Cloud Cap Games – 1226 Southeast Lexington Street, Portland, OR 97202
    Not far from Portland homes for sale is Cloud Cap Games, the perfect place to get a running start learning some of the most popular games around. It rents board games and holds lessons in playing Magic: The Gathering or the Pokemon collectible card game. The staff will be glad to introduce you to party games, family-friendly games, or whatever else your heart desires.

  5. The Portland Game Store – 922 North Killingsworth Street, Portland, OR 97217
    The Portland Game Store boasts a slew of traditional board games as well as mind-bending challenges like Warhammer (40,000 and Fantasy), Blood Bowl, Crisis Protocol, and Malifaux. It also has 80 board game titles for rent, just right for enjoying a marathon week of family entertainment. Magic: The Gathering aficionados should look at the buy list to trade in their old cards for cash.

  6. Red Castle Games7160 Southeast Foster Road, Portland, OR 9720
    Red Castle Games provides a formidable library of games and plenty of rare and in-demand singles for collectible card decks. Locals can enjoy next-day delivery on their orders or get walk-up curbside service. The Red Castle Games staff also teach teamwork, empathy, and storytelling for students aged to up 17 years old with their online-only D&D Academy.

  7. Guardian Games – 345 Southeast Taylor Street, Portland, OR 97214
    Guardian Games will spark your imagination with its array of fun and creative games. Taking its stock from the best publishers, including independent game creators, its range of games is one of the biggest in Portland. Collectible card game tournaments are held monthly, and shoppers are encouraged to try games out. There's even space to work on your miniatures or convene your role-playing group.

With a vibrant culture, strong economy, and some of the best dining and shopping, the Portland area is a place you'll be happy to call home. To find out more or get started, contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain.

November
2

Local Art Galleries to Explore in Portland

Portland Art Galleries

Did you know that National Go to an Art Museum Day takes place every year on November 9th? Thousands of art museums around the world participate in this special day, and every year features a different, unique theme. The Portland area has long shown strong support for local artists, with a huge selection of local art galleries that showcase talented artists from Portland and beyond. Now is a great time to visit some of Portland's best art galleries and museums. Our brokers have the details on 6 amazing places to view art around Portland for National Go to an Art Museum Day this year.

  1. Pearsons Art Gallery – 20890 S Hwy. 99E, Portland, OR 97045

    Start your tour of art galleries near Portland homes for sale with a trip to Pearsons Art Gallery, which features a truly unique collection of art that you won't find anywhere else. Pearsons Art Gallery is all about wood carvings, statues, sculptures, centerpieces, and so much more to decorate your home. If you're looking for a custom-made piece of art that you'll be proud to display in your home, this is a great place to visit. There are tons of pieces available pre-made in the gallery, and the owner (and artist) can also create custom pieces to suit your needs.

  2. Village Gallery of Arts – 1060 NW Salzman Rd., Portland, OR 97229

    A Portland non-profit with a commitment to showcasing the work of local artists, the Village Gallery of Arts has been a hub of the Portland art scene for more than 50 years. This is a fun place for any art lover to visit, with fantastic local art on display and a wide variety of community classes available to help you create art of your own. The gallery here features exhibits from Portland-area artists working in various media, with work from more than 100 local artists on display.

  3. Froelick Gallery – 714 NW Davis St., Portland, OR 97209

    You never know what you might find when you visit the Froelick Gallery, and that's part of the fun! Froelick Gallery has been a popular Portland art spot for more than 25 years, with rotating exhibitions from a diverse group of artists. Much of the work you'll see here was created in the Pacific Northwest, with a sprinkling of work from artists in Tokyo, as well. The gallery is open by appointment and accepts walk-in visitors if you happen to arrive when someone is present to let you into the gallery.

  4. Caswell Sculpture – 903 E Historic Columbia River Hwy., Troutdale, OR 97060

    Owned and operated near Troutdale homes for sale by the husband-and-wife team of Rip and Alison Caswell, Caswell Sculpture is a must-see for anyone who loves bronze statues. The Caswells have traveled around the world to find inspiration for their art, and much of their work is based on nature. The gallery also features a fascinating collection of photography and bronze sculptures of people, both famous and obscure. There are even sculptures of university mascots, which you can find both in the gallery and on the grounds of some famous local universities.

  5. Portland Art Museum – 1219 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205

    When you're in the mood for the classic Portland art experience, start your journey at the Portland Art Museum. With more than a century of experience displaying local art, the Portland Art Museum is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest. When you visit, you'll find an extensive collection of new exhibitions, long-term collections, films, and educational programs. Tour the expansive museum at your own leisure, or enjoy a guided tour from one of the friendly, knowledgeable staff members at the museum.

  6. Three Rivers Artist Guild – 613 7th St., Oregon City, OR 97045

    With a commitment to showcasing the work of Oregon City artists, the Three Rivers Artist Guild is your source for great art near Oregon City homes for sale. Three Rivers Artist Guild features exhibit rotations that vary with each month, so there's always something new to see. The strong commitment to local artists means this is an excellent place to see work from emerging artists who haven't had their work displayed in other galleries. Each month features work from 30 to 40 new artists, so be sure to check back often to see all that the Oregon City art scene has to offer.

When you call Portland home, the region's vibrant, legendary local art scene is always just a short trip from your front door. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/13/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/13/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 8:34:57 PM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:57:18 AM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 9:11:22 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 9:04:16 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Bain may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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