Friday, August 30, 2013

cheating the goals?

I am a believer in goal setting; measureable, achievable with some effort, and including a deadline.  It is said, that measured goals, over which you have control, will be achieved.  So measuring rain fall and hoping for more (or less) doesn't fit that scenario. Measuring weight loss or income (if you are self employed) or square feet gardened, do fit.

For me, the accountability, or measurement is key, really key.  Daily measurement is best as the goal is kept top of mind. I have a weight loss goal, set in early June, to be achieved by August 31 (tomorrow).  Yesterday, I was within four ounces of my goal.  Mind you, I weigh myself on the same scale at the same time in my daily routine.  Four ounces in two days seemed reasonable.  But...I knew I'd be watching foot ball at a sports bar last night (not usually a low calorie place).

So this morning, I hop out of bed and promptly weigh myself; not my usual weighing time.  ta da!  I weigh a whole eight ounces below my goal!!!  Wowie, hooray!  Not really.  Because, even though the number on the scale said what I wanted it to, I cheated.  I know I cheated.  The real reckoning will be when weigh myself at the proper time.  I'll let you know...

Do you ever cheat yourself?  How does it feel?

 p.s. I also have some rebel in me.  If I'm not careful, I'll rebel against my own goal.  Who am I to tell me what to do?!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Portland's Summer Housing Market

That bump in interest rates hasn't had much of a slowing effect on the housing market.  We are seeing a wee bit of seasonal slowing, as expected in July and August.  My theory is that in summer, a certain percent of buyers, sellers and agents are on vacation at any given time.  Of course things slow a tad.

Statistically, prices have continued to rise, market times are shorter than previous months, and inventory dropped a bit. The volume of sales has slowed slightly.

The median home price for the first seven months of this year up 13.7% over the same period in 2012 to $261,000.

Closed sales increased 10.2% compared to June 2013. and showed an increase of 40.2% over the closed sales in July of 2012.  Pending sales decreased 2.4% compared to June 2013, but showed an 15.4% increase over July 2012.

The number of days a house is on the market  decreased from 70 days in June 2013 to 63 days in July of 2103.  Yes, many houses are selling in their first few days on the market; houses that have it all - condition, price, location and preparation.  But with 63 days being the average, you know plenty of houses are still taking months to sell.

And inventory; measured by how long, at the current rate of sales, it will take to sell all the houses on the market, has bumped along, from 2.5 months in May 2013 to 2.9 months in June 2013 and now to 2.8 months in July 2013.  Contrast this to July of 2012 with 4.6 months of inventory and July of 2011 with 7 months on inventory.

If you've been thinking of selling, now is a pretty good time.  Rising prices and a shorter market time sound like a seller's dream.

Full Market Report Here

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Yep.  Rats are a reality if you live in Portland's urban neighborhoods.  Yes, even the spendy, prestige neighborhoods. 

Rats are smart, persistent and flexible.  They are attracted to a really wide variety of food sources.  Rats live in a variety of places, but prefer dark areas safe from predators.  Think sewers, crawl spaces, dense bushes or thickets.

Portland's aging sewer system attracts many rats.  A broken sewer line can give rats easy access.  As a matter of fact, rat holes, and a slight depression in the yard are tell take signs of a broken sewer line.  Most often the rat holes will be along the sidewalk:

This is one of many holes I see on my dog walks.  There is a corresponding hole on the other edge of the sidewalk.
I recently saw this huge hole by a pretty busy commercial area:

Holy Cow!  I half expected a nose to poke out while I was taking the picture.

What is to be done?  It is all about making your house and yard less attractive to rats..

 First and foremost, fix your sewer if is broken.  There are many reasons to fix the sewer, rats are a darn good one.  Call me if you want a referral for a good sewer company who can scope the sewer and look for breaks and holes.

Don't put large amounts of food down your garbage disposal,  Or better yet, don't use your garbage disposal.

Don't feed the birds and the squirrels.  Feeding wildlife means all sorts; including rats, possums and raccoons. Stop it.

Don't feed your pets outside.

Pick up dog poo from your yard and keep any dropped fruit to a minimum.

If you are still doing any back yard composting, be sure to do so in those sealed tumbler barrels.

Be sure crawl space accesses are screened over, allowing for air flow, but not animal traffic.

Taking these steps will go a long way toward discouraging the rat family from hanging out at your place. 

And yes, for those of you who have known me awhile, I have some rather hilarious rat stories including "When I had a rat in my car" and " The time Guido brought a rat in the house".  I'll be glad to share those stories if you ask.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Waverly Commons Comes Together

The old Waverly School sat on a nice piece of ground bordered by SE Brooklyn, SE Woodward, SE 36th, and a few houses buffering SE 35th. 

The project is a planned development of larger houses, each with some yard, and a generous common area between the houses.  There are 18 sites, two of which are attached units, making a total of 20 homes being built.

The whole project was pre-sold, meaning none are available on the open market.  Buyers/owners went through a lengthy (about two year) process.  To date, three are complete and occupied, with one being ready any day now.  About half the sites are under construction or finished, some foundation forms waiting for concrete, other homes being completed.

This is one of the attached units.  Public records show a purchase price of $519,335.  Check out that wonderful upper deck.


Owners of these homes are getting a wonderful, quiet neighborhood location (once the construction is complete) with great proximity to all that SE Division and Clinton offer, close to sought after Cleveland High School.  While I'm guessing the process has been long and at times frustrating, this project looks like a gem.