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April 8, 2024

The 5 Best Kitchen Appliance Brands

Whether you are selling, renting or just looking for the best appliance for your needs, one thing is for certain... they don't make them like they used to. I saw a Facebook post yesterday where someoneone was asking about the best refigerator and someone responded, "One for the 1970s". Isn't that the truth? When our grandmother's refigerators can outlast US! The 5 Best Kitchen Appliance Brands

But, whether you're a novice cook or a seasoned chef investing in high quality kitchen appliances can truly elevate your cooking experience. With a plethora of brands offering products it can be challenging to select the best ones. To assist you in making a choice lets delve into five kitchen appliance brands known for their designs, reliability, and performance.

Leading Kitchen Appliance Brands

1. KitchenAid

KitchenAid is widely recognized for its excellence in the world. Renowned for their stand mixers KitchenAid offers a range of appliances that combine style with functionality. From blenders and food processors to coffee makers and toasters KitchenAid designs products for both amateurs and professional chefs. Their focus on durability and versatility ensures that their appliances become fixtures in any kitchen. Moreover KitchenAid demonstrates its commitment to innovation through features such as temperature control in their ovens and powerful motor performance in their mixers.

2. Breville

Breville has positioned itself as a leading brand, in creating top-performing kitchen appliances. Emphasizing innovation and user friendly design, Breville consistently develops products that streamline cooking tasks while improving outcomes.

Breville offers a variety of machines equipped with technology that allows users to prepare high quality beverages in the comfort of their homes. They also offer ovens featuring cooking functionalities and versatile food processors to cater to a range of kitchen requirements. The stylish and contemporary designs of Breville appliances add a touch of sophistication to any kitchen setting.

3. Vitamix

When it comes to blending Vitamix is the choice recognized for its durable blenders that deliver exceptional performance. Whether you're whipping up smoothies, soups or sauces Vitamix blenders mix ingredients to perfection. What sets Vitamix apart is its emphasis on notch craftsmanship and engineering quality. Each blender undergoes testing for durability and dependability. Furthermore Vitamixs dedication to sustainability is evident in its products that minimize waste and support eco friendliness.

4. Wolf

For individuals in search of premium kitchen appliances, Wolf stands out as the brand favored by enthusiasts. Specializing in end equipment Wolf combines precise engineering, with design elements to create masterpieces. In terms of kitchen appliances Wolf is renowned for its ranges, cooktops, wall ovens and ventilation systems that offer both luxury and exceptional performance.

When it comes to striving for perfection in the kitchen brands like Wolf offer features such as stacked burners for cooking control and convection steam ovens for culinary results. Using Wolf appliances empowers home cooks to hone their skills and create restaurant quality dishes with ease.

5. Cuisinart

Moving on to Cuisinart they have been at the forefront of innovation in the world for years. Renowned as a trailblazer Cuisinart is celebrated for introducing state of the art appliances that streamline cooking processes and elevate dining experiences. From their griddlers to multicookers Cuisinart offers a range of appliances tailored to diverse cooking needs. What sets Cuisinart apart is their commitment to innovation and affordability. The brand consistently incorporates cutting edge technologies into its products while ensuring they remain within reach of consumers across budget ranges. With Cuisinart appliances home chefs can unleash their creativity in the kitchen.

I contacted Bill Gassett, owner of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. He has been selling real estate for almost forty years and has excellent advice. Here is what Bill told me.

"When selling a home, improvements can dramatically impact its salability and return on investment. The kitchen is one of the most vital areas in any home, so you should consider investing in it.

One area that can impact your kitchen is appliances, such as stainless steel. I recommend going with stainless steel as an optimal choice. It is what the majority of buyers want. When making selection decisions, it's always best to go with what the masses want. For example, you wouldn't want to choose white, as it is the least favorite choice.

The price point of your home will also influence the type of appliances you select. For example, if you have an upper-end home, you would want a double oven and cooktop rather than a basic slide-in range.

 

Making decisions with a kitchen is crucial, so always lean on local experts for guidance."

In essence having high quality kitchen appliances is essential for cooking enthusiasts. The top five kitchen appliance brands highlighted. KitchenAid, Breville, Vitamix, Wolf and Cuisinart. Stand out due to their emphasis on quality, innovation and reliability. Whether you're whipping up a meal on a day or hosting a dinner party these reputable brands offer the tools needed to showcase your culinary talents and achieve exceptional results in the kitchen. So why not elevate your cooking experience with appliances from these esteemed brands today?

Posted in Homeowners
April 1, 2024

What Are Your Options With Your Home When You Get A Divorce?

As you navigate the complexities of walking through the divorce process, you are sure to run into challenges. In the emotional turmoil, there are also legal complexities and decisions on what to do with the family home that can complicate the process. For many couples, the home represents more than just a physical space but also many years of memories and emotional attachment. When facing divorce, it's crucial to explore your options regarding the family home with clarity and understanding. There are several potential paths to consider during this trying time.What Are Your Options With Your Home When You Get A Divorce?

 

What Are Your Options With Your Home When You Get A Divorce?

Selling The Home

The most straightforward option in this situation is to sell the family home and divide the proceeds between both parties. This is an approach that provides a clean break and allows each spouse to move forward independently. If this is in consideration, it is essential to consider market conditions and any outstanding mortgage balance. You will want to collaborate with a real estate agent who can help you navigate the selling process efficiently which will ensure a fair sale that meets both parties' needs.

Buying Out Your Spouse

If there is a spouse that wishes to stay in the family home then they have the option to buy the other's share of the property's value. This usually involves refinancing the mortgage to remove the departing spouse's name from the loan. This option can provide stability but it is crucial to assess whether the remaining spouse is financially able to afford the mortgage and other expenses independently. Seeking the right guidance from a financial advisor who can help clarify if this arrangement is feasible.

Bill Gassett of Maximum Real Estate Exposure shared some essential considerations when buying out your spouse.

"The first step in a buyout is understanding your property's worth. I always recommend getting two independent appraisers and averaging the two results to determine the current market value.

Both spouses also need to know the state's laws where they reside. Property division may be influenced by whether you live in a community property or equitable distribution state.

The final consideration is understanding your finances and how they will be settled. Your options include refinancing the mortgage, using a home equity loan, or using personal savings.

 

These significant decisions are often worthy of consulting with a finance professional."

Turning The Property Into A Rental

It may be that neither spouse is ready to sell and renting out the property can offer a temporary solution. This can provide both parties with additional time to assess their long-term housing needs. Renting out a property requires careful. management and maintenance which is why you need to establish clear rental agreements and responsibilities to avoid conflicts down the line.

Co-Ownership

We reached out to Bob Jamison, Tuscana Properties, for his advice for homeowners:

"Co-owning the family home can be a great option for divorced couples who can maintain an amicable relationship. This will allow both parties to retain a stake in the property while providing stability. This can be especially important if there are children involved.

However, co-owning a home will require great open communication, mutual respect, and a willingness to cooperate on financial matters and property maintenance. It will be very important to consult a legal advisor who can help establish a comprehensive agreement to safeguard both parties."

Mediation

Mediation and collaborative law offer alternative dispute resolution methods that prioritize cooperation and mutual agreement. In these processes, divorcing couples work with trained professionals, such as mediators or collaborative lawyers, to negotiate property division, including decisions regarding the family home. By fostering open dialogue and exploring creative solutions, mediation, and collaborative law can help couples reach mutually beneficial outcomes while minimizing conflict and litigation costs.

The Children's Needs

When there are children involved then the decisions about the family home must take that into account and prioritize their well-being and stability. When you maintain a sense of familiarity ten you can continually help the children adjust to the changes brought by divorce. Factors such as school districts, proximity to parents, and emotional attachment to the home should inform decisions about housing arrangements. Consulting with a child psychologist or counselor can provide valuable insights into addressing children's concerns and ensuring their emotional needs are met during this transition.

The Financial Implications

There can be significant financial implications to divorce and these are particularly surrounded by the housing arrangements. Before you make any decisions about the family home, you want to conduct a financial assessment. Consider every factor like the mortgage, property taxes, maintenance costs, and future housing expenses. Working with a financial planner or accountant can help you understand the short-term and long-term financial implications of each housing option. This will help you make an informed decision that will align with your financial goals and priorities.

Emotional Considerations

There are a lot of emotional challenges during the financial and logistical aspects of divorce. The family home holds sentimental value for both spouses and it can represent many shared memories and dreams. It is normal for there to be a wide range of emotions including, grief, anger, and uncertainty.

In Conclusion

Navigating housing decisions during divorce requires careful consideration of various factors, including financial implications, children's needs, and emotional well-being. Whether selling the family home, co-owning the property, or exploring alternative arrangements, prioritizing open communication, cooperation, and mutual respect can facilitate smoother transitions and foster a sense of closure. By approaching the process with empathy and understanding, divorcing couples can lay the foundation for a new chapter of their lives with confidence and resilience.

Posted in Homeowners
March 25, 2024

6 Tips for Eco-Friendly Living in Portland

Going green is not only about recycling, plastic, and garbage selection. It is a serious topic that requires a change in living habits. Although you hear myths about green living that make people believe they are contributing to slowing down climate change, some good habits can really make all the difference.

Check out the 6 tips for eco-friendly living in Portland, and find out why it is one of the top green cities in America.6 Tips for Eco-Friendly Living in Portland

1. Recycling

Nearly everything we use in our day-to-day living can be recycled. If you have ever heard anything about pollution, you know that garbage is one of the top dangers that the planet faces. Everything we throw away is left to decompose in nature if not sorted or recycled. That process can sometimes take hundreds of years if it happens at all. If the items are recycled, on the other hand, they are turned into secondary materials and later reused to make new products. That process in turn saves energy, conserves natural resources, and protects our environment.

2. Skip Out on Using Plastic

On thing our family tries to do is skip as much plastic packagin as possible. Plastic bags and bottles take a hundred to four hundred years to decompose. Yikes. And still, many people all around the world use them daily and throw them away after one use. Thus, tons of plastic bags, bottles, and other trash end up in the sea and ocean mammals—think straws and turtles. That is why turning to the usage of cloth bags can help. Cloth bags not only last longer, but they can be reused over and over again. If you do use plastic or paper bags, consider reusing them as well.

3. Donate

If you have household items, clothes, or other consumer goods that you don't need anymore, don't throw them away. Instead, give them away to local charity organizations where someone else can reuse them. This counts for the relocation process, as well. If you can't decide what to do with the things you don't want to move into your new home. Don't hesitate, and donate them. That way, you won't only help someone else out, but they make your relocation eco-friendly.

4. Save on Electrical Energy and Water

Reduced usage of electricity will have a positive impact on lowering greenhouse gas emissions. That is why you should listen to some of these eco-friendly ideas:

  • Switch off and unplug your electronic devices when you aren't using them, and avoid standby modes on your computer.
  • Shut off your lights when you are out, and replace regular light bulbs with LED ones.
  • Avoid using large energy users like desktop computers, clothes dryers, and ovens. Switch to laptops, air dryers, and microwaves.
  • Don't waste water on car washing or watering your garden, and be economical while washing your dishes, having a shower, or brushing your teeth.

5. Food You Eat

If you have considered your eating habits and wondered if they have any impact on ecology and your environment, they do! A healthy lifestyle and sustainable living have a lot in common. That's why we recommend the following:

  • Eating less meat and more fruit or vegetables can reduce carbon dioxide emissions since making animal-based products causes higher greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Organic food is eco-friendly.
  • Buy from local producers.
  • Avoid throwing food away.

6. Transportation

Reduce driving your car to a minimum. Instead, start riding your bikes, walking, or using public transportation. On the other hand, when you drive, try to use the optimal speed of 50mph, as it reduces harmful gas emissions, and nature will be grateful for that.

If these tips for eco-friendly living in Portland, OR made you think about changing at least some of your habits to going green, we reached our goal. Explore the best of Portland today. 

Posted in Portland
March 18, 2024

8 Great Ways to Market Your Home (That You May Never Have Thought Of)

When it comes to marketing a real estate property being creative is key, in a market. Here are 8 innovative and varied approaches presented as if they were shared by real estate agents each offering their unique and laid back perspective.

1. Utilizing Art for Open Houses8 Great Ways to Market Your Home (That You May Never Have Thought Of)

"One strategy that has worked well for me is teaming up with artists for open houses. It's a arrangement; artists get to showcase their creations adding a special touch to the property. We host an art exhibit within the house attracting art enthusiasts who may not have otherwise visited. This creates an experience transforming the property from another listing into a local cultural hub for the day.” Marcus Brown

2. Developing a Property Story Podcast

"I've delved into podcasting about the properties I represent. Each episode delves into the propertys history, its uniqueness or even any intriguing ghost tales associated with it. It's a way to connect with buyers and foster a deeper bond, with the place. Moreover this content easily spreads on media platforms reaching audiences beyond what traditional advertising could achieve." - Niagara Homes, Jerry Hendriks

3. Utilize Augmented Reality, for Virtual Home Staging

"We've recently adopted reality (AR) applications that enable buyers to visualize the property with various furnishings or different wall colors. It's one thing to describe it it's another to showcase it through their smartphone. This technological approach has garnered interest from the tech younger demographic who value the innovative way of experiencing home viewings." - Mike Akkus, Cliffside Park Realtor

4. Host Community Events at the Property

Transforming the property into a community point for a day or an evening has proven to be highly effective for me. Whether it involves an event, a school art exhibition or a small concert it sparks conversations within the neighborhood and attracts visitors. It's not about selling a house; it's about selling a sense of community and lifestyle. People are more likely to consider buying when they can envision themselves as part of a community.

Real Estate expert Bill Gassett of Maximum Real Estate Exposure weighed in with his expertise.

One of the better and more unique marketing tips for selling a home is to use a "Google this address" sign rider. If you have a robust digital marketing presence, it is the perfect opportunity to remind potential buyers how to find the best information.

Doing this search, they will often see several things. The first page will likely contain some of the most visited websites, such as Realtor.com and Zillow.com. When an agent has done an exceptional job with their photography and listing descriptions, buyers will be right where you want them.

Even more powerful is that if you have a blog or a dedicated webpage created specifically for the listing, it will often land on the first page. Have you done a YouTube video? The same thing applies.

For agents who have a strong internet presence, this is the perfect way to showcase that skill. If nobody else has done it in the local market, it will make you stand out as an agent."

5. Incorporate a Scavenger Hunt During Open House Events

"To enhance house events I've introduced scavenger hunts where attendees search for features or interesting facts about the property. This encourages them to explore and creates an memorable experience. This strategy works well for properties, with attributes or hidden treasures that might otherwise go unnoticed."
Brad Erickson, Park City Realtor

6. Collaborate with businesses to run promotions

"I've had great success teaming up with nearby businesses to market my listings. For instance a local eatery could offer a deal, for attendees of a house. This not encourages people to come but also fosters stronger community connections and boosts visibility for both the property and the local establishments.” Linda Edelwich, Glastonbury CT Realtor

7. Utilize drones for photography and virtual tours

"Aerial photography and virtual tours using drones provide a perspective on a property that traditional photos can't match. This is especially effective for properties with grounds or breathtaking scenery. Moreover drone footage creates engaging content for media drawing in views and shares that enhance the propertys presence.” Team Tackney

8. Turn the property into an escape room experience

"To make an open house unforgettable I turned a property into an escape room challenge. Participants had to solve puzzles related to the homes features in order to 'escape.' It was a hit, among homebuyers sparking conversations among attendees. It's a way to showcase the propertys amenities and leave a lasting impression.”. Bob Jamison, Tuscana Properties. Sponsoring sports teams or events can be a way to increase visibility, for your property. Whenever the team plays your property gets a mention, which helps keep it in the eye and create a community connection.

Creating time lapse videos that showcase your property throughout the seasons is an approach I've taken. It captures the transformation of the home from spring blooms to winter coziness offering buyers a connection and a glimpse into their future life, in the house..

There are plenty of great ways to market a property with the right agent and the right strategy. Try implementing some of these today.

Posted in Selling
March 11, 2024

Top 10 Home Improvement Projects that Don't Pay Off

Top 10 Home Improvement Projects that Don't Pay Off

Improving your Portland, OR home through renovations is an excellent, and necessary, way to make your home feel like a home. Choosing whether or not to add a master suite addition instead of rebuilding the bathroom comes down to personal preferences. The game changes when you are planning on selling your home. Saving money on renovation work and controlling the cost of selling becomes crucial to getting the most out of your investment. Real estate talk centers around a seller's return on investment and the ROI percentages vary depending on who is doing the estimating.

Continue to read to find out the top 10 home improvement projects that don't pay off and the ones that do.

1. Don't Put on an Addition

When searching for high ROI values avoiding big-ticket reconstruction projects is a good rule of thumb. The cost of home additions or major remodels is seldom worth it in dollars in the end. Additions and major remodeling projects are excellent for improving the comfort and utility of a house but aren't great at producing monetary returns.

Do Paint 

Instead of spending tons of money and months of work moving walls and building a home addition, grab a paintbrush. Painting is the least expensive and most effective way to make a good impression. Repairing holes in the walls and painting the interior with neutral colors doesn't add a lot of monetary value, as it also doesn't cost much either. Expect ROI values of over 150% for interior painting and 80% for the exterior.

2. Don't Reconstruct the Foyer

Similar to other big-ticket remodels, some small remodels don't fare well on ROI value. Specialty models like creating a mudroom or adding a grand foyer might look nice to some, but turn some buyers off. Many buyers don't have a vision of what an entryway consists of, and it is hard to guess what their vision is.

Do Replace the Front Door 

On the other hand, the entrances to your home can be significantly enhanced by replacing the doors or windows. Garage door replacement can get returns up to 95% of the cost at selling time. Front door replacement is another ROI winner. If you have the time and patience to strip and refinish an older, but solid, front door, you can do even better.

3. Do't Remodel the Kitchen

A perfectly outfitted chef's kitchen can be fantastic as it is functional, but remodeling one with ROI in mind comes up a couple of ingredients short. Due to the necessity of moving mechanical systems during the remodeling, kitchen renovations are pricey. Worse, your return on investment could be as low as 55%.

Do Update Fixtures 

If your kitchen is in desperate need of help before selling, focus on the little details. Cheap renovations often go a long way toward increasing your home's value without breaking the bank. Instead of remodeling a worn-out kitchen, you don't spend tons of money replacing the lights. Your best bet is to look for relatively inexpensive, but attractive, items while avoiding extravagance.

4. Don't Rebuild Bathrooms

Everyone loves a brand-new bathroom, though new bathrooms don't guarantee a sale. Bathroom remodeling suffers the same troubles as kitchen remodels, with an ROI value of 55%.

Do Update Faucets and Lighting 

Similar to the kitchen situation, spend a few dollars on updating the plumbing and lighting fixtures. Avoid demolition and replacement of tile work, but replacing moldy-looking tile grout helps. Don't forget the new paint.

5. Don't Install Expensive Pools

Many potential buyers scroll past home listings with unground pools, especially in a colder climate, trying to sell someone a long list of pool maintenance chores can be a daunting task. Besides ROI values of 50%, buyers will look for a functional backyard. Build your pool when you have found your forever home, as well as other big-ticket renovations.

Do Add a Patio or Refresh the Deck 

Building a patio or deck will return around 66% on your investment, they are good selling points and may be the difference between selling quickly or slowly. They cost far less than an underground pool. Decks and patios are in lousy shape and are definitely on a buyer's con list. If your deck needs some attention, look at refreshing it with new deck boards instead of a total replacement if at all possible.

6. Don't Replace the Siding

Spending thousands of dollars replacing the exterior siding might not be the best use of your money to make that first impression positively stand out. If your siding is in good shape, consider painting it or simply power washing it unit it shines. Always fix any holes or damage, but a bit of refreshment might be all it needs.

Do Add a Stone Veneer Instead 

If your house needs a new look to sell, leave most of the home's siding alone and replace part of it with a stone veneer instead. Popularized in the 1950s, the look still sells. It is inexpensive to install, and stone veneer improvements can realize 92% ROI.

7. Don't Add Extra Storage Spaces

Closet space and storage space areas are nice to have, but the trouble with spending money on renovations to increase storage spaces to gain a return is that everyone, including your potential buyer, has a different idea of what storage should look like and how it needs to function.

Do Work on Downsizing 

Save your money trying to impress buyers with tons of storage options by making it appear your home has adequate storage space. You can achieve this by downsizing or removing excess items before it goes to market.

8. Don't Install Expensive Landscaping Features

Outdoor kitchens, ornate gazebos, extravagant water features, fountains, and putting greens are all on the "no" list when it comes to a good return of ROI. What you have as far as current landscaping goes might need a bit of refreshing, but that is where it should stop to get the most bang for your buck.

Do Focus on Inexpensive Curb Appeal Instead 

If you have already replaced the garage door and added a stone veneer, you are more than halfway done. Before the first day on the market, mow the lawn, power wash the walkways and trim the hedges. Make sure that you have significant cracks in the concrete repaired. To make a notable impression, consider hiring a reputable lawn care service to get your yard looking its best. Returns of 80% and more happen when sellers focus on curb appeal over major expensive landscaping projects.

9. Don't Buy the Latest Fixtures

When you have decided to upgrade your bathroom and kitchen plumbing and lighting fixtures, expensive, trendy faucets and lighting can sell for well over $1,000 each. The ROI on these expenses however is zero from a buyer looking for something more traditional. Save the guesswork and the cash you can spend on something else by finding lesser-priced options.

Do Install Good-Enough Fixtures Instead 

Faucets and light fixtures can be found in any price range. Except for some specialized functions, they all do the same thing. If your kitchen and bath needs new equipment, aim for products in the $100 to $200 range. These fixtures are priced reasonably and provide functional attractiveness.

10. Don't Replace Mechanical Systems

If your furnace doesn't work and your roof needs replacement, then those take priority when needing to be replaced. When repaired, HVAC, plumbing, electrical infrastructure, water heaters, and other unseen systems don't add home value. However, they can bring down the value if they aren't operating properly. If you can sell your home without having to replace mechanical systems, you will have more money in your pocket when you move out.

Do Keep Up on Maintenance Tasks 

Neglected maintenance tasks will be discovered quickly by the buyer's home inspector. Instead of spending hard-earned cash on replacing systems, spend that money on keeping your home's existing systems in top shape. Cheap, easy, and high ROI fixes include the following:

  • Replacing worn-out door knobs
  • Cleaning out the rain gutters
  • Repairing sidewalk cracks

Interested in figuring out home improvement projects that are worth the bang for your buck? Use this guide to the top 10 home improvement projects that don't pay off in terms of ROI and home projects that do. Explore the best of Portland today. 

Posted in Homeowners
March 7, 2024

7 Fun Day Trips For Families to Enjoy From Portland

Family travel doesn't have to be complicated. You don't have to pack overnight bags or deal with the hassle of booking expensive nightly stays at hotels. Instead, you can just jaunt for the day. Embrace day trips with your children in Oregon, as there is so much to offer that you can go on one—or all—of these day trips from Portland. We selected a few of our favorite day trips from Portland that are all easy to access from the metro area and are perfect for a quick family getaway or a romantic escape. What are you waiting for? Pack a cooler with some snacks, grab your sunscreen, and make sure your camera is charged before you hit the road.7 Fun Day Trips For Families to Enjoy From Portland

Continue to read to find our top 10 day trips for families to enjoy in Portland, OR.

1. Oregon Coast Day Trip

The weather when enjoying the Oregon Coast can be hit or miss, but Oregon-born residents won't mind a little rain when they are building sandcastles, chasing down seagulls, or racing the tide. Cannon Beach is the perfect destination for family day trips from Portland, whereas Seaside has on-the-sand playgrounds and a carousel. 

2. Hood River Day Trip From Portland 

Hood River is better known for grown-up activities, but don't let that deter you from the plenty that there is to entertain the whole family on this fun day trip from Portland, OR. Catch some of the local ice cream joints and hikes in the area. You can also opt to hang out in Hood River where you can watch—or join—kitesurfer skim across the water in the Columbia River Gorge, or browse some cute shops downtown.

3. Catalana Cellars Day Trip 

This kid-friendly visually stunning place is where parents can taste wine and kids can explore the grounds. Just outside Canby, a half-hour drive from Portland, Villa Catalana Cellars is modeled after 12th-century Spanish architecture, so you feel like you are getting a European vacation without leaving Oregon. The estate is open on Saturdays, the perfect place for the next Portland day trip. There is a rare plant nursery, olive groves, and even a bocce court on the grounds.

4. Silver Falls Day Trip

The largest state park in Oregon includes many hiking trails for all levels of the profession, and some even go behind waterfalls! That will get the kids excited to exercise! Some trails do get rather steep and slippery and aren't ideal for little children. The state park even has a playground.

5. Neskowin Ghost Forest 

Two hours from Portland, the Ghost Forest in Neskowin appears at low tide—then disappears again as the tide moves in. Beneath the beach, there is a petrified forest of Sitka spruce trees, which can only be explored when the water pulls the sand away. Plan on taking your family an hour before low tide to make your way to the beach in time to give this fun day trip in Oregon its justice.

6. Mt. Hood Day Trip

Mt. Hood is a volcano near Portland, OR—don't worry, it isn't active. When visiting Mt. Hood, we recommend taking a short hike on one of the many amazing trails for every comfort level, skill, and age. A few kid-friendly trails on Mt. Hood are Old Salmon River Trail near Rhododendron, OR, Lost Lake, and Little Zigzag Falls.

 7. End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center 

Take your family to explore the world of pioneers with an interactive center! You will get to see an introductory 30-minute "Bound for Oregon" movie, then explore some hands-on exhibits such as candle-making, pioneer crafts, and the Henderson farm at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. 

Interested in the fun to be had outside of Portland, OR? From tons of outdoor activities and sightseeing to family-friendly interactive activities, you and your family will find that these day trips from Portland can be a reprieve from city life, bringing you closer to one another with new memories made. Explore day trips outside of Portland today.

Contact Your Portland Realtor. 

 

 

Posted in Portland
March 4, 2024

Best Bakeries in Portland 2024

Start your daily routine off on the right foot with a fresh pastry from one of the many outstanding bakers in Portland, OR. If you are searching for a loaf of fresh-baked bread, a buttery croissant, or something more decadent, then we have compiled a list of brilliant local bakeries that have you covered.

Continue to read to find the best bakeries in Portland, OR.

Best Bakeries in Portland 2024

Ken's Artisan Bakery 

338 NW 21ST Ave, Portland, OR 97209

Locals and visitors alike adore Northwest Portland's Ken's Artisan Bakery for its organic bread and picture-perfect pastries. To learn the hidden secrets of a perfect loaf, settle down with a mug of Stumpton coffee, a flaky Oregon croissant made with local berries and hazelnut cream, and a copy of owner Ken Folkish's James Beard Award-winning book, "Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza." If you want to try what's been deemed one of the best pizzas in the world, add the bakery's sister shop, Ken's Artisan's Pizza, to your itinerary.

New Cascadia Traditional Bakery 

2502 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202

Dedicated gluten-free bakery Cascadia Traditional Bakery could fool the staunchest wheat lovers with its chewy, artisan bread, doughnuts, and boiled bagels. Explore nutritious flours like teff, millet, amaranth, and hazelnut meal while munching on chocolate brioche, cinnamon raisin toast, or pumpkin pie galettes. If you are interested in exploring more of Portland's gutless-free dining scene, this should be your first stop.

Champagne Poetry Patisserie

3343 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214 

Champagne Poetry Patisserie's technicolor maximalist approach to baking is not a gimmick, and you will be able to buy a perfect, classically made croissant or macaron. Experience the chewy, gooey goodness of a pandan mochi cookie, or a fluffy, jiggly Japanese pancake, all while sipping some bubbly. One of the many reasons this French-Asian bakeshop has quickly become one of Portland's best bakeries is for the diverse menu options in both sweets and drinks.

Little T American Baker 

2600 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202 

Little T is a rustic-themed bakery that serves tasty, seasonal pastries and its signature double-long baguettes at its trendy Southeast Division Street location. Pair a fresh mozzarella and tomato sandwich on a house-baked baguette with a Jacobsen Sea Salt-dusted brownie for a top-notch lunch out in Portland.

Bakeshop 

5351 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213 

The James Beard Award-Winning book, "Good to the Grain," pioneered whole grain baking to home bakers who never considered the use of flours like amaranth and kamut capable of making flavorful and delicate pastries. Bakeshop's mission is to create delicious cakes, muffins, breads, tarts, and cookies without compromising nutrition. That doesn't mean reserved or boring, as the baked goods are decadent at best. One of the signature, must-try desserts on the menu is the burnt Basque cheesecake that became so popular it has to be pre-ordered.

Bella's Italian Bakery 

9119 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97266 

Located in the SE Portland neighborhood of Lents, Bella's Italian Bakery is the place to go for traditional focaccia, handmade cannoli, and other classic Italian baked goods. Inspired by a family deli, the owner, Michelle Vernier, created this space that prides itself as a neighborhood shop where you can stop for a morning espresso, a freshly baked pastry, a glass of wine, or a sandwich.

Oyatsupan Bakers 

16025 SW Regatta Ln, Beaverton, OR 97006

If you find yourself ever in Beaverton, a suburb of Portland that has become a culinary hot spot, a stop at Oyatsupan Bakers is a must. After spending 25 years baking for a large, corporate Japanese baking company, Hiro Horie opened up his own traditional Japanese bakery. Heavily influenced by the Northwest flavors, sweet and savory pastries are masterfully created, a favorite being kare pan (Japanese curry bread,) or jiggly Japanese cheesecakes, and whole loaves of fluffy shokupan (traditional Japanese milk bread).

Interested in the allure of Portland's best bakeries? This master list is only the top of the iceberg in the world of bakeries in Portland, OR. Utilize this guide to get access to a plethora of treats, and search the streets and neighborhoods of Portland, OR to find the best bakeries hidden in corner shops. Explore the best of Portland today. 

Posted in Portland
March 1, 2024

Best Outdoor Recreational Activities in Portland 2024

When you are in Portland, OR it is vitally important to take advantage of the excellent summer weather. The nicer months in Portland are the summer months and that is why we curated a list highlighting the best summertime outdoor activities.

Continue to read to find 10 of the best outdoor recreational activities in Portland, OR.

Best Outdoor Recreational Activities in Portland 2024

 

10. Concerts in the Park 

Make sure you pack a full picnic basket, blankets, and chairs, and spend time with family and friends when enjoying a free concert this summer at the park. Concerts typically take place in July and August, all in different parks littered throughout Portland. Visit the website to see updated information about concert schedules, and to see all of the Portland parks offering free concerts throughout the summer. Free concerts are available any night of the week.

Why We Recommend This: Attending a free concert in the great outdoor parks is the perfect way to spend an agreeable summer evening. Remember that the temperatures drop after dark, so make sure to check weather updates and dress accordingly.

9. Float the Sandy River 

Floating the river is a relaxing pastime and fun at the same time. Floating the Sandy River may take a minimum of 2 hours, though it can take up to 4 hours. When you are floating the Sandy River, plan to start at Dabny State Park and pull out and the Lewis And Clark State Park. You will have to bring some change for parking. Other good items to bring include water, snacks, and a dry bag to protect your cell phone.

Why We Recommend This: Floating the Sandy River is a satisfying way to spend a hot summer day in Portland, and we recommend you stay safe better than sorry by wearing a life jacket.

8. Visit Forest Park 

Forest Park is Portland's very own magical enchanted forest, well known for being the largest urban forest in the country located within the city. Forest Park itself encompasses more than 5000 acres full of dense trees, rivers, waterfalls, and bridges. There are over 40 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, which are mostly wide and well taken care of, a great destination for runners and bicyclists. Located just 10 minutes from Downtown Portland and the Northwest Hills, allowing a reprieve from the city to appreciate Oregon's beauty.

Why We Recommend This: Forest Park is a 5,000-acre park in the heart of downtown Portland, and we recommend it for its vast size to research where you want to go before your visit.

7. Springwater Corridor 

If trails and exploration are your thing, then Springwater Corridor is your next best adventure. The Springwater Corridor is a multi-use trail that runs from SE Ivan St. in Portland to Boring, OR. The trail is currently 14.2 miles one way. The Springwater Corridor connects tons of Portland's parks including the Tideman Johnson Nature Park, Beggars-tick Wildlife Refuge, I-205 Bike Path, and the Leach Botanical Garden among many others. These parks are the best places to access the trail, making it ideal for walkers, joggers, bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs, making it all-inclusive.

Why We Recommend This: Springwater Corridor is an extensive trail system running through Portland and other surrounding cities, and to get the full experience, we recommend you rent a bike and plan to spend a few hours enjoying the trail.

6. Blue Lake Regional Park 

Blue Lake Regional Park is a large recreational park twenty minutes from Downtown Portland, and inside the park, you can find plenty of things to keep you busy. There is an exciting splash pad for kids that opens any time it is over 70 degrees. Near the spray ground, you can find a sandy beach on the man-made lake there, Blue Lake. There is a section of the lake that is marked off for swimming, and in the Blue Lake Region, you can find a playground, picnic tables, a Frisbee golf course, an archery ranch, and a nature area.

Why We Recommend This: A day at Blue Lake Park is the perfect way to spend a warm day, and if you are planning to visit this location more than once during the summer, buy an annual pass to save money.

5. Oaks Park 

Known as being one of the oldest, continuously operating amusement parks in Portland, Oaks Amusement Park was built in the 1900s with a collection of classic entertainment and smaller thrill rides. The park is tucked away between the Willamette River and the Sellwood neighborhood, with a location that provides a secluded, country feel. The amusement park is surrounded by large grassy picnic areas overlooking the river and Portland's Southwest river shore. This park is also home to the Multnomah County Fair which takes place every early summer.

Why We Recommend This: Oaks Park is full of rides open and going through the summer months, where miniature golf fans will find the best mini-course in Portland.

4. Multnomah Falls 

This Colombia River Gorge is much-photographed and is considered to be one of Oregon's biggest tourist draws. Many beautiful hiking trails at Multnomah Falls lead to the face of the mountain, and a bridge that crosses the waterfall offers good vantage points. The nearby Multnomah Falls Lodge provides refreshments and a resting place for weary hikers.

Why We Recommend This: Multnomah Falls is the largest waterfall west of Mississippi, and we recommend gaining the full experience by visiting during the week to avoid crowds.

3. Wilson Pool 

Part of the Portland Parks and Rec program, the Wilson Pool offers affordable swimming throughout the year with open swim sessions. You will find two outdoor pools, with one lap pool and 6 lanes and a diving board, while the other is a family leisure pool featuring a 170-foot current channel with a vortex. There is a little frog slide, zero-depth entry, a water play structure, and a 114-foot-long water slide. Families can enjoy a day together here playing in the sun and pool.

Why We Recommend This: A Visit pool is a great method of cooling off during a hot summer day, and we recommend you do so with snacks and drinks.

2. Oregon Zoo

Spending a day at the zoo with your children is a favorite pastime when it comes to family activities. Located above the city in Washington Park, the Oregon Zoo is home to 1,000+ animals, with exhibits mimicking the environments on all seven continents. The zoo's main lawn is a popular live music venue with a broad range of evening concerts during the summertime.

Why We Recommend This: The sprawling Oregon zoo is a must-visit during the summer months, and we recommend the train ride kids will love and parents can relax on to take a break from all the walking.

1. International Rose Test Gardens 

If you are a fan of flowers, then we recommend visiting the International Rose Test Gardenswhere you can enjoy a stunning view of the city and Mt. Hood amongst terraced gardens. The gardens give trial runs to various rose hybrids before being introduced into the mass market, with over 8,000 plants representing more than 400 different species. This garden is sure to have at least one rose type that captivates you.

Why We Recommend This: The International Rose Test Garden is a stunning garden in Downtown Portland we recommend visiting between June and August, though it is important to note not to pick any of the roses, as it is against the law.

Interested in spending your summer exploring the best of Portland? From outdoor trails to immerse yourself in the stunning nature of Portland to venues and live music, there is something for everyone in Portland.

Contact Your Portland Realtor. 

Posted in Portland
Feb. 26, 2024

Spring in Portland, OR—10 Fun Things To Do

There are many songs devoted to cities in the springtime, and the City of Roses is mistakenly overlooked. Portland, OR in the spring is as lovely as it gets. With spring, the promise of warmer and longer days is in play, as well as picnics in the park, bright Saturday mornings at an outdoor cafe, and city streets with new blooming trees. It isn't hard to see why so many locals eagerly welcome spring in Portland with open arms.There are many songs devoted to cities in the springtime, and the City of Roses is mistakenly overlooked. Portland, OR in the spring is as lovely as it gets. With spring, the promise of warmer and longer days is in play, as well as picnics in the park, bright Saturday mornings at an outdoor cafe, and city streets with new blooming trees. It isn't hard to see why so many locals eagerly welcome spring in Portland with open arms.  There is no shortage of things to do in Portland any time of the year, but spring adds an extra ounce of beauty the other seasons don't compare with. Read on for some great things to do in Portland in the spring.  1. Appreciate the Cherry Blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park   The Tom McCall Waterfront Park is beloved by both locals and visitors alike for good reason. To see the cherry blossoms, you will want to head toward the Steel Bridge, the area being called the "Japanese American Historical Plaza at Tom McCall Waterfront Park" but Portlanders call it the Waterfront Park. 100 Akebono cherry trees line the waterfront, gifted by the Japanese Grain Importers Association in 1990. This spot gets busy during the spring season, and it is recommended that you go early if you want photos without crowds.  2. Check Out the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival   If you have had dreams of frolicking through never-ending fields of tulips, you can't miss out on the ultimate Portland in spring experience—the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival! The 45-minute drive outside of Portland is well worth arriving at the doorstep of the beautiful farm. To make the most of your visit, visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival during peak bloom, with peak times during the year varying from year to year. The first few weeks of April are a safe bet.  3. Visit the Japanese Garden   If you can't afford to make it to Japan this year, the Portland Japanese Garden is the next best thing. Portland's Japanese Garden is often referred to as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan—reason alone to check this site out. This garden has something beautiful to offer every year, but there's something exceptional about springtime.  4. Visit the PSU Farmers Market   A favorite way to start an early Saturday morning is by visiting the PSU Farmers Market, where you can pick up fresh fruits and veggies, stroll around aimlessly, or grab breakfast at the PSU Farmers Market—the Pine State Biscuit stand is a favorite with a mile-long line to show for it. If nothing else, it is a good time to explore, giving off a feeling of European living by picking up fresh, local, and seasonal fruits and veggies to kickstart the week.  5. Explore the Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden   The Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden is a sight to behold and the spring season is when they shine—the garden comes alive with pops of color. There are seven acres for visitors to explore. The best time to visit is April and May when the flowers hit peak bloom.  6. Check out the Duniway Park Lilac Garden   The Duniway Park Lilac Garden is a lovely piece of Portland in the spring because it is tucked into a serene green space that removes you from the hustle and bustle of city life. This is a local gem that is seldom shared. This lilac garden has 225 lilac plants with more than 125 varieties, with one clear standout being the large Japanese Lilac Tree that blooms in June. The best time to visit for lilacs is late April to early May.  7. Take a Hike at One of Forest Park's Many Trails   What better way to enjoy spring in Portland than a close-up and personal with a hike? Head into Forest Park, the largest urban park in America, and pick from the 80+ miles of trails. From relatively moderate for children to join in on the hiking fun to harder trails for pros, there is something for everyone in the beautiful nature of the park.  8. Picnic at Mt. Tabor Park   Portland is only one of two American cities within an extinct volcano within city limits. The view of downtown Portland from Mt. Tabor is incredible, especially during the spring and summer months, as it is the clearest. Bike over to Mt. Tabor for a picnic during the warm summer months. Pick up a pizza from Apizza Scholls, considered one of the best pizza places in Portland.  9. Wine Taste at the Gorge   This well-worth 45-minute drive from Portland is worth it when venturing into the magical world of Oregon wines. There is nothing better than sipping away all stress and responsibility with a chilled glass of chardonnay on a Saturday afternoon in the springtime. Walk the beautiful blooming vineyards with a glass of fresh-pressed red.  10. Whale Watch on the Oregon Coast   The Oregon coast is renowned for whale watching year-round, but the winter and spring months are when these big beauties shine. Visiting in late March will increase your chance of seeing whales. Whether it is a burst of water you see from the shoreline or the large tail that breaks the surface to make for a memorable experience.  There you have it! We hope you enjoyed this quick list of things you can do in and near Portland come springtime. Explore the best of Portland today. 

There is no shortage of things to do in Portland any time of the year, but spring adds an extra ounce of beauty the other seasons don't compare with. Read on for some great things to do in Portland in the spring.

1. Appreciate the Cherry Blossoms at Tom McCall Waterfront Park 

The Tom McCall Waterfront Park is beloved by both locals and visitors alike for good reason. To see the cherry blossoms, you will want to head toward the Steel Bridge, the area being called the "Japanese American Historical Plaza at Tom McCall Waterfront Park" but Portlanders call it the Waterfront Park. 100 Akebono cherry trees line the waterfront, gifted by the Japanese Grain Importers Association in 1990. This spot gets busy during the spring season, and it is recommended that you go early if you want photos without crowds.

2. Check Out the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival 

If you have had dreams of frolicking through never-ending fields of tulips, you can't miss out on the ultimate Portland in spring experience—the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival! The 45-minute drive outside of Portland is well worth arriving at the doorstep of the beautiful farm. To make the most of your visit, visit the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival during peak bloom, with peak times during the year varying from year to year. The first few weeks of April are a safe bet.

3. Visit the Japanese Garden 

If you can't afford to make it to Japan this year, the Portland Japanese Garden is the next best thing. Portland's Japanese Garden is often referred to as one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan—reason alone to check this site out. This garden has something beautiful to offer every year, but there's something exceptional about springtime.

4. Visit the PSU Farmers Market 

A favorite way to start an early Saturday morning is by visiting the PSU Farmers Market, where you can pick up fresh fruits and veggies, stroll around aimlessly, or grab breakfast at the PSU Farmers Market—the Pine State Biscuit stand is a favorite with a mile-long line to show for it. If nothing else, it is a good time to explore, giving off a feeling of European living by picking up fresh, local, and seasonal fruits and veggies to kickstart the week.

5. Explore the Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden 

The Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden is a sight to behold and the spring season is when they shine—the garden comes alive with pops of color. There are seven acres for visitors to explore. The best time to visit is April and May when the flowers hit peak bloom.

6. Check out the Duniway Park Lilac Garden 

The Duniway Park Lilac Garden is a lovely piece of Portland in the spring because it is tucked into a serene green space that removes you from the hustle and bustle of city life. This is a local gem that is seldom shared. This lilac garden has 225 lilac plants with more than 125 varieties, with one clear standout being the large Japanese Lilac Tree that blooms in June. The best time to visit for lilacs is late April to early May.

7. Take a Hike at One of Forest Park's Many Trails 

What better way to enjoy spring in Portland than a close-up and personal with a hike? Head into Forest Park, the largest urban park in America, and pick from the 80+ miles of trails. From relatively moderate for children to join in on the hiking fun to harder trails for pros, there is something for everyone in the beautiful nature of the park.

8. Picnic at Mt. Tabor Park 

Portland is only one of two American cities within an extinct volcano within city limits. The view of downtown Portland from Mt. Tabor is incredible, especially during the spring and summer months, as it is the clearest. Bike over to Mt. Tabor for a picnic during the warm summer months. Pick up a pizza from Apizza Scholls, considered one of the best pizza places in Portland.

9. Wine Taste at the Gorge 

This well-worth 45-minute drive from Portland is worth it when venturing into the magical world of Oregon wines. There is nothing better than sipping away all stress and responsibility with a chilled glass of chardonnay on a Saturday afternoon in the springtime. Walk the beautiful blooming vineyards with a glass of fresh-pressed red.

10. Whale Watch on the Oregon Coast 

The Oregon coast is renowned for whale watching year-round, but the winter and spring months are when these big beauties shine. Visiting in late March will increase your chance of seeing whales. Whether it is a burst of water you see from the shoreline or the large tail that breaks the surface to make for a memorable experience.

There you have it! We hope you enjoyed this quick list of things you can do in and near Portland come springtime. Explore the best of Portland today. 

Posted in Portland
Feb. 12, 2024

5 Portland Cafes & Carts for Juice, Smoothies, and Wellness Shots

portland juices

The new year marks a fresh start to develop healthy habits and boost one's immune system. Juicing, whether for a cleanse or to supplement your daily meals, can be a fantastic way to zap your system with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Smoothies have been a great meal replacer for those unsure what to eat, but looking for something that will kick-start that brain power to get through the day.

Continue to read to find the top 5 cafes and carts for juice, smoothies, and wellness shots in Portland, OR.

1. Drink Mamey 

1615 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97211

Drink Mamey (mom-ayyye), the new Black-owned juice shop on NE Killingsworth, has a wellness, sustainability, and social justice focus, starting as an online business last year. Drink Mamey has exploded in popularity amongst the locals, serving drinks like the oft-ordered, blue-hued Majikal drinks, made with pineapple, mint, and E3 (blue-green algae). The slightly spicy, citrus-forward This Will Make You Feel Good is another hit, with pineapple, orange, turmeric, ginger, lemon, and pepper. Some of Mamey's coolest drinks are the simplest, like the savory Just Celery juice. Some juices go for $12, while a filling smoothie goes for $8.

2. Canteen 

2816 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214

The outside of the Canteen's location is painted black, and its interior is bright and sunny, where the team churns out bright and summery beverages year-round. Canteen slings juice, smoothies, a trio of shots, and ultra-colorful bowls. On warmer days, a Summer Breeze of pineapple, apple, cucumber, lime, and cilantro is a bright and refreshing fix, while the Hawthorne—comprised of apple, carrot, parsley, lemon, and ginger—is an evergreen option. The Canteen has seasonal offerings, like a pumpkin, almond butter, macaroni, and banana smoothie that is available in the fall.

3. Kure Juice Bar 

408 SW 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97205 

Regional juice bar chain Kure PDX features a mix of drinks that are sure to leave you feeling better in a pinch. The menu ranges from sweet, tangy, fruit-focused smoothies like Lush Life—pineapple, banana, kale, ginger, orange juice, blue-green algae, and dates—to green drinks like a creamy Kid Kyoto, a combination of matcha, avocado, dates, coconut oil, and yogurt. Kure's newest smoothie addition called the Sparkle Pony contains a medley of dragonfruit, avocado, pineapple, dates, and coconut yogurt. The shop also sells meal replacer shakes and shots as well as the smoothies it is famous for.

4. Moberi 

4220 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97217

The bike blender system that appeared on an episode of Shark Tank is no longer a central part of the business model, Moberi is known for its top-notch acai bowls, smoothies, and servings of gussied-up steel-cut oatmeal designed to make healthy food feel fun. The drinks are often named for '90s cartoons and shows, like The Captain Planet—with kale, hemp seeds, banana, mango, ginger, apple juice, and almond milk—or The Fresh Prince of Brazil—with acai, strawberry, banana, goji berries, and apple juice. There is a Moberi location in each of Portland's quadrants.

5. Rose + Lincoln Juicery 

3340 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

Hawthorne-based Rose + Lincoln offers juices and smoothies in cups, jars, bottles, and growlers, and visitors simply can't go wrong with any of the juices on the menu. Those looking for recommendations can try the Lucky 7, with pineapple, peach, lime, mango, orange, and raspberry, or the citrus-forward Knock Your Socks Off juice, a balance of citrus with ginger and cayenne. The wintery weather might call for a Warm + Cozy, blend of red and Granny Smith apple, orange, ginger, and cinnamon served warm or cold. Cafe beverages change with the seasons and the Rose + Lincoln gives the option of gifting bottles of juices.

Interested in spending a day touring Portland's juice cafes? From seasonal-only beverages to meal-replacement shots, and smoothies that will hold you over until dinnertime, Portland is home to some of the coolest wellness-based shops in the Northwest Pacific. Explore the best of Portland today.  

 

Posted in Portland