Christmas Storybook Land

It’s post-Thanksgiving and Black Friday, hopefully all you guys that went out shopping were safe and warm. Speaking of warm, you have probably noticed we have gotten colder now that we are starting December. So make sure to stay bundle up, cold weather means flus and such.

What’s there to do in Albany during this cheery holiday?

We have our Christmas Storybook Land that started on the 2nd of December and ends the 16th of December. It’s located 3700 Knox Butte Rd, Albany OR. The hours are Monday thru Friday 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 8:30 pm. Here you get to walk through a Christmas setting forest and see many scaled down scenes from different mother goose rhymes and more. The price of this venue is free but they are open to donations of canned food or personal hygiene items for the less fortunate.

For more details check out the site here.

If you are interested in moving to Albany OR, my contact info is on the blog.

Living and Moving with a Pet

Well some may be moving to new area, have to upgrade, or downsize. There’s a reason normally for the move. While you’re thinking what about my furry child be it a cat or dog. It’s hard living with a pet these days if you are renting. Either you aren’t allowed pets, you have to pay extra, or you get the one lucky place that doesn’t mind. But if you can’t find that magical place then comes the question that’s the hardest, what do I do?

So begins the search of a rental. You find out you have to pay extra for the pet. Extra security and extra for rent. You start thinking is it worth putting that much money in? Or you keep finding places that just say no!

So then you start thinking, do I have to find a new home for the furry family member. (I use family member because that’s exactly what they are.) And of course, you want a safe home for them that will be loving to them. They are already sensing the tension of the move. So you want to make it easy for them too. The last resort is the local shelter.

Well then, instead of renting, have you thought of buying? You can almost have the same payments as you pay for rent. It’s just making sure you are checking everything and such. Have a good lender and such who can help you out. Have a real estate broker who understands what you are looking and what you can afford after you talk to a lender.

This way you are no longer renting and have home for the whole family. Or if it’s just you and your pet, still a great thing for the future.

Also if you are buying in the city of Albany, you can only have 2 dogs older than 8 weeks old. Once you are in the outer areas, you can have more. So make sure to look up what the policy is where you decide to move.

The Safety of Albany OR

As you know Albany Oregon isn’t a big town. We don’t have our own news channel. We do though have our town newspaper the Albany Democrat Herald. That has it’s own website but they only give us so many free articles a month online. You can also follow them on Facebook where you can see headlines and such.

They have a public safety log section that includes crimes that are reported and not made into the top headlines. Which I notice are normally car accidents, drug busts, and the other harsh crimes. It basically has the smaller crimes. We have the typical thefts that most towns have. There’s no stopping that.

We have more property crime than violent crimes in our town, I’m not saying we haven’t had murders or rapes. We just don’t have as many. In 2014, we had a crime spree. A suspect murdered a woman and raped another at gunpoint. He was caught and it did shake up our town. It was hard to believe because it happens rarely.

A few weeks ago we had an armed robbery. It was hard to believe, there were hostages, and one man armed. I read the article a few times. People weren’t staying away, they watch SWAT show up. They were wondering what is going on. It’s not normal for us here in Albany Oregon. For more on that incident you can read here.

That’s Albany safety. We our incidents like every town. I feel safe here but then again I’m from Southern California. Which is a completely different area than what I’m in now.

Tips for Preparing to List your House

Being a Real estate agent, I know it’s not just about the price that sells a home. Price is just one factor, location is another, the market is a third factor but the other factor you can actually control?

Condition!

Your house will be judged for how it looks unfortunately. Something that may be fine for you, may not be for potential buyers. I will say condition is the one thing that you can control and you do not need to hire someone to stage. These are things that you can do yourself. Especially if you are worried you may need to hire someone.

Let’s start with the outdoors:

  • Keep the yard nice. Get it cut, keep it trimmed, and declutter it.
  • Also think about a new welcome mat. You may an old one that you just love, which is fine. Just put it away for your new place.
  • Clean your house numbers, it looks good but also buyers and agents can see the numbers when looking for the house. If you need ones, replace them.
  • Trim trees and bushes
  • Power wash home’s exterior, driveway, walkway, patio, and deck.
  • If the house needs painting, consider it.
  • Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.
  • Tighten and clean all door handles.
  • Clean windows inside and out.

Entryway:

  • Make sure outside light, if it has one is clean and works. Which means clean cobwebs and such.
  • Check that the doorbell works properly.
  • The door is in working order, that it opens easy and not a fight to open.
  • Once inside, make sure it’s free of clutter. Shoes, extra coats, and others are free of the area.

Every room in the house:

  • Go through your home room by room and pack up 30% of your stuff. Want it as clutter free as possible.
  • Clean wood floors
  • Clean cobwebs out
  • Make minors repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking.)
  • If you have pets, make sure to get rid of pet odors.
  • Clean all lights fixtures and ceilings.

Kitchen and Dining room:

  • Declutter counter of appliances that can be removed such as coffee maker, toast, etc.
  • If cabinets show some wear and tear, might be good to paint them. Also can replace knobs with new ones to make them look updated.
  • Make sure the counters are clean and shiny.
  • Keep garbage and recycle out of sight.
  • Make sure to keep it odor free.

Bathroom:

  • If you have a shower curtain, a new one may go a long way.
  • Keep the sink area clutter free.
  • Have personal hygiene and hair products away.
  • Check faucets for leaks, drips, or disrepair.
  • Keep shower spotless along with tubs.
  • Clean tiles and bleach, also check grout.

Make the bedroom look big:

  • Make sure kids toys are in bins and out of sight.
  • Make sure the bed looks neat.
  • Keep closets organized

Office:

  • Keep a clean desk.
  • Don’t leave clunky file cabinets around.
  • Make sure all personal and confidential is out of site.
  • If it is part of another room, make sure it doesn’t take over the function of the original room.

Basement/Laundry spaces:

  • Clean and polish washer and dryer.
  • If you have unfinished concrete floors, paint them if you want to make it cleaner.

The garage:

  • If you work in the garage and such, check the floor, if it needs to be hosed down, please do.
  • Make sure the garage is not over stuff.

All this can help you. Remember you are trying to sell your home, hoping someone will see it as their new home. You want them to be enticed.

Safety coming to Highway 20

As many of us driver’s know, highway 20 between Albany and Corvallis can be a difficult drive. Due to it being one lane on each side, not having much of an emergency lanes.

In Albany we have two ways to get into Corvallis, highway 34 or high 20. It’s preference for most drivers. Highway 34 has two lanes on each side and can get hectic also.

My preference is highway 34 because to me I feel safer. Highway 20 scares me being only one lane each side. I like having two the two lanes. Having two lanes to me means one fast lane and a slow lane. Also you can pass another driver safely with two lanes. Unlike 20 where if you try on 20, you would have to make sure no oncoming traffic was there before passing.

Also being the one way it can get a little tricky with the left lane turns from the properties along highway 20. You also get school buses having to pick up or drop off kids during the school year.

Highway 20 will be getting safety updates, to know what updates check out the article here.

Post Halloween Events summarized

It’s November 1st.

Halloween has passed. Day of the Dead ends November 2nd.

Daylight savings time ends November 6th. Which means sunrise and sunset will be an hour earlier.  We fall back and gain an hour of sleep.

November 11th is Veteran’s Day which is a Friday this year.

November 19th is the last Farmer’s Market of the year 9 am to 1 pm in Downtown Albany.

Thanksgiving is 23 days away. Meaning Black Friday is 24 (same as the premiere of the new Gilmore Girls for any of you guys that are fans).

Albany event on November 3rd is the Downtown Albany Open House. Starting from 5 pm and ending at 8 pm Thursday evening. For event details check out the event here.