Monthly Archives: April 2009

  • Buy Local Tip: Guitar Enthusiasts meet your new Love

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      Some time back I meet a great guy named Jiri Fercak, he’s a carpenter and makes great cabinets. I loved his work so I had him build some cabinets for me. I’ve referred him to friends and they too love his work. Now I come to find Jiri embarking on, what I will call a True Calling, Passion Project, Art... The art of making beautiful guitars. Jiri is an artist and his work is AMAZING. Here are a few pictures. His site has a slide show and will be more content over the next few weeks so keep checking in. I know it’s just a matter of time before I can say “I knew him when” Best to you Jiri. http://www.fercak.com
    • Portland how I love thee

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        So I was recently ask to send a postcard to one of my cousins for a school project. The postcard was to be from family members, it should be from the city they live in and if they could include a note about the city, weather or things they like about their city.
        I was able to find a great locale artist (www.redbatpress.com) that made postcards of the all the bridges, one of my favorite things about Portland.
        Here's what I added to the back before mailing it off. I had a great time helping with this project, Thank you Michael....

        PORTLAND:
        Parks, largest urban park in U.S.
        Ozone-friendly, recycling and alternative energy leader
        Rivers and Bridges, 10 bridges over the rivers
        Transportation, best mass transit system and only platinum rated bicycling city in U.S.
        Leafy, trees, trees everywhere!
        Affable, friendly and outgoing people
        Novel, as in it's a unique place -and- we are voracious readers :)
        Dining, world class cuisine and renowned local beverages (I wanted to put beer, wine and coffee, but this is an elementary school project)


        Tell me what city you live in and what you like about it.
      • ZIP Codes Where Housing Sales Are Increasing

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          Housing sales are improving significantly in key ZIP codes around the country where prices have moderated, according to information compiled for BusinessWeek.com by First American CoreLogic.

          ZIP codes in California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada dominated the list, but there were also ZIP codes on the top 25 most-improved sales list from the suburbs around Detroit and Minneapolis and in the metro areas of Atlanta and Chicago.

          Inventories are shrinking and prices are stabilizing in several markets, according to the survey. Here are the top 10 ZIP codes with improved home sales:

          94533, Fairfield, Calif. (Fresno)
          92376, Rialto, Calif. (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario)
          91342, Slymar, Calif. (Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana)
          92126, San Diego, Calif.
          33914, Cape Coral, Fla. (Fort Meyers)
          93065, Simi Valley, Calif. (Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura)
          95123, San Jose, Calif.
          85379, Surprise, Ariz. (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale)
          93722, Fresno, Calif. (Madera)
          95624, Elks Grove, Calif. (Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville)

          Source: BusinessWeek.com, Prashant Gopal (03/05/2009)
        • Tax credit made easy

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            I recently found a flyer that was put out by the Illinois Association of Realtors.
            It laid out tax credit in an easy to understand fashion, with bullett points.
            Here's how it read:


            The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
            2009 features an $8,000 tax credit for first-time
            buyers who purchase a home on or after Jan. 1, 2009
            and before Dec. 1, 2009.

            Details of the tax credit include:

            * The temporary credit is only available for
            home purchases made from Jan. 1, 2009 to before
            Dec. 1, 2009 and is equal to 10 percent of
            the cost of the home, up to a maximum credit
            of $8,000. (For example, a home purchased for
            $80,000 or more would qualify for the full $8,000
            credit while a $70,000 home would only qualify
            for 10 percent, or $7,000)

            *Buyers claim the credit on their federal tax return
            to reduce their tax liability. If the credit is
            more than their total tax liability that year, the
            buyer will get a refund check for the balance.

            *Only first-time homebuyers can take advantage
            of the tax credit. A first-time buyer is defined
            under the tax credit as an individual who has
            not owned a home in the last three years.
            For married joint filers, both must
            meet the first-time
            homebuyer test
            to take the credit
            on a joint return.

            *Eligible properties include anything that will be
            used as a principal single-family residence—including
            condos and townhouses.

            *There are income guidelines on the credit. Individuals
            with an adjusted gross income up to
            $75,000 (or $150,000 if filing jointly) are eligible
            for the full tax credit. The credit is phased
            down for those earning more and is not available
            for those with an income above $95,000
            (or $170,000 if filing jointly).

            *The new tax credit does not have to be repaid
            if the buyer stays in the home at least three
            years. But if the home is sold before that, the
            entire amount of the credit is recaptured on
            the sale.

            *People who purchased homes under the 2008
            $7,500 tax credit program will still be required
            to repay that credit to the government over a
            15-year period.

            Consult with your tax advisor to learn more about the tax credit
          • Just Listed – 4131 SE Grant St, Portland OR

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            • Just Listed – 1814 NE 19th Gresham OR – $113,900

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              • Why we LOVE Portland

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                  So I found some old 'Best of' I thought were nice to see.
                  I did a quick check and added a few new ones.
                  Feel free to add any you know of, I'm sure there are so much more.
                  How can you not LOVE Portland.
                  ________________________________________________________________________________

                  * Most Courteous Drivers in the Country., Auto-Vantage, Norwalk, Conn
                  * #1 Bike Commuting city in the Country., U.S.Census Bureau, 2005 commuting data
                  * #1 City for Sustainability., SustainLane 2006 & 2008 US City Rankings
                  * Best City for Seniors., Sperling's Best Places
                  * Best Eating Destination., 2007 Food Network Awards
                  * #1 City for Walking., About.com: Walking, 2006 #4 in 2005
                  * #1 City for Innovation., SustainLane, 2006 tied with Sacramento and Seattle, 2008 tied
                  * #1 City for Energy/Climate Change Policy., SustainLane 2006 & 2008 tied with San Francisco and Seattle
                  * #1 "Green" Economy City., SustainLane, 2006 & 2008
                  * #2 "Green" (LEED Certified Buildings) city in America., SustainLane 2006 & 2008 US City Rankings
                  * #2 City for Tap Water Quality., SusainLane 2006 & 2008
                  * #1 City for Knowledge Base., SustainLane 2006 & 2008, tied.
                  * #2 Fiscally Fit City (citizens' financial fitness)., Sperling's Best Places
                  * Best Domestic Airport., Conde Nast Business Travel Awards, 2006
                  * #4 Most Liveable City in the Country., Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 2007
                  * In the Top 10 Most Literate cities in the Country., Study by Dr. John W.Miller, Central Connecticut State University
                  * Most bike-friendly major city in the U.S., League of American Bicyclists
                  * #1 Access to the Outdoors., Travel&Leisure
                  * Best Place to have a baby., FitPregancy 2008, #4 in 2007
                  * Greenest city in the USA., Popular Science 2008
                  * #4 Best Housing Market in the US., Forbes 2009
                • Welcome

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                    Hello to you.
                    I will tell you I'm not much of a 'wordsmith'.
                    I'm much more of a reader.
                    I will from time to time key in on real estate information I think you should know or about a 'great find' or fun fact about the city I love, Portland.
                    But for the most part I will post Real Estate related articles and facts that I find helpful. I of course will tell you were I found it. Feel free to ask questions or post comments. I'd love to hear from you.
                    Oh, Please the Golden Rule a good one, let's stick to it here.

                    If you already know what a great city Portland is drop me a note on your favorite part of the life here. If you have yet to find out, let me have the pleasure of introducing you.

                    Let the Blog-venture begin!
                    Elena