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Blog posts about Fixers & Investments


Real estate deals are not all happy faces and roses.  They don’t all end with giant smiles of families on the front porch with a rainbow arching overhead.  Sometimes, deals are tough.  They are tough because multiple parties are involved with different personalities.   During a recent transaction where I found myself biting my tongue, hitting my head on my steering wheel in frustration and walking with a cloud of anxiety over-head, I decided to hit Powell’s Books.  Yep.  I went to a book store.  Sounds ding-birdish I know..  Who tries to make sense of a real estate deal by purchasing a SELF HELP BOOK?  I do.  I also drank a lot of booze during this deal, but that is another story. I bought The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown.  I will say here in front of all of you that it is insanely amazing and will  likely transform my life once I fully absorb and practice what she’s researched (you may want to... More


I didn’t think it was possible but an awesome veteran and a rock-star lender got this first time home buyer into a sweet little fixer with NO MONEY DOWN! Chris has a good eye for design and plenty of muscle for putting sweat-equity into it, but he was short on cash. This house had good bones but hadn’t been touched by much more than 90 years of tobacco smoke. Getting it to meet VA conditions was a big challenge and caused some delays but a great handyman to do minor repairs and an oil-tank decommissioning contractor willing to be paid out of escrow got my guy into a charming little house on a quiet street in a great NE location. There is hope for first time home buyers, even in this insane market. More

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Congratulations to our client, Rick, and his daughter, Allyson, for landing this cute home in the Hollywood neighborhood.  Although not as “polished” as some of the remodeled houses we looked at in the same price-range, the house is in good condition, has a great floor plan, and is in a superb location — close to parks, restaurants, shops and Allyson’s school!  Rick’s ability to look past some of the more dated finishes allowed him to scoop up the house below the listed price, without that dreaded competition from other buyers. It seems that many of today’s buyers are heavily influenced by a home’s cosmetic features and finishes.    However, we like to encourage our clients to pay as much, if not more, attention to the overall general condition and “bones” of a house.    Updating finishes are not always as daunting as they may seem and can sometimes be fun!  More importantly, if you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease, you, like Rick,... More


Years ago I worked at this breakfast spot in Southeast called Zells.  Awesome breakfast if you’ve never been.  We had a million regulars, some good and some terrible, but we all had our favorites.  Mine was this eccentric older woman named Connie who came in once a week and sat in window seat.  She always came towards the end of the day when the rush had ended, and she’d order a portabella scramble with wheat, sub fruit. We figured out we both lived in Kenton and talked a lot about that.  At the time, I was just getting my real estate license and she was thinking about selling so she asked me to come over and have a look.  Every year for 4 years she had me come over and look at the house for one reason or another.  Finally this year, she decided it was time to move on.  It became a family affair.  I was listing it,  my best friend Shoogs got the... More

On to greener pastures… 


This past year we’ve had several clients buy property out by Sandy, Oregon.  With Portland getting so crowded and traffic insane, more and more people are talking about getting out of the city.  This client was doing a giant loop around NW Oregon everyday.  She lived at 97th and Prescott, works in Tualatin, drives to Damascus to feed her horses every night, then back to Prescott.  By the time she got home at night it was almost 8pm, totally exhausted.  She finally decided to live out her dream of buying a horse farm. We started off our adventure visiting every rural horse property between Newberg and Sandy.  The drive was beautiful but the properties themselves were super weird.  People just do what they want in the country.  Nothing is up to code,  there’s lots of hoarding, lots of run down crappy houses with tweaky neighbors, etc…  Her standard got lower and lower as she realized she might have to settle for something not so great... More

Way to start off the New Year! 


A couple years ago I sold Cori and Brian’s house in Kenton and moved them a few streets over in Kenton.  They were awesome clients and we’ve since become friends.  Their twin girls are a few months older than my daughter, and Cori always drops off bags of clothes and keeps my kid dressed.  Her parents, John and Lori, needed to find a house close to them to help out with the girls.  We saw everything on the market between Kenton and St. John’s but kept coming back to this grandpa ranch.   It wasn’t love at first sight but it was love at 3rd sight.  It was a brutal repair negotiation, but they hung in there and are getting keys today.  I love this family!  Congrats Lori and John. More

A Business Built on Referrals 


I just want to take a second to thank all of you who have sent me business this past year.  It means the world to me when you refer me to someone you know is looking and I can’t thank you enough.  It keeps me busy, keeps food on the table, and I’ve made lots of new friends this year.  So thank you thank you thank you!!!!  I have the best clients in the world.  Special thanks to Natalie and Kayla for sending me your brother Chris.  He was super cool and his new house is the envy of all first time buyers. More

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Talyer and Derek have been keeping their eye on the market for a couple of years looking for their next home. They have 2 boys who are growing up fast and have lived for several years on a pretty busy street in the Clinton neighborhood. They have been craving a quiet street and wanted to stay as close to possible as their current home. They decided to keep their home on the busy street as a rental (smart cookies!) and buy a cosmetic fixer to make their own. With an architect in the family and a short term plan to rent the new house until they are ready for the renovations, this family was able to invest now in their next home now while prices are still going up at a nice clip in the Portland metro area. Hats off to these buyers for being creative and thinking long term. Thinking long term with real estate is just so rock solid. It’s not sexy, it’s... More


Rima just closed on her third investment property!  This one is a sweet triplex in the Fernhill Park area and she got a great deal by patiently WADING (through some stinkers!) and WAITING (until some of the Summer’s buying frenzy had passed).  She positioned herself nicely to jump when the right property came up.   We were able to show her the triplex within hours of it hitting the market.  She acted quickly and was able to scoop up this property without competition. Now is a great time to purchase investment properties given the HIGH demand in Portland’s rental market and the historically LOW interest rates.  There are serious financial wins to be had for investment buyers — Kari and Erika can help you find them!   More

Lath and Plaster 

Lath and Plaster- built to last

If you want to experience a dust storm and epic mess- remove lath and plaster from your walls. It is a commitment once you start breaking the plaster off the walls. I personally think lath & plaster is a good material providing sound proofing and quality craftsmanship. Check out the Lath & Plaster ad I found in a 1955 advertisement from Better Homes magazine. Compliments of the dirty attic we cleaned.  I had the first hand experience removing lath and plaster during my renovation. We only removed the necessary areas to prepare our home for a new kitchen and bathroom. Get ready to get your hands dirty. But be careful! Be prepared. You will want to use appropriate gear to protect your lungs. You may need to test for asbestos and it is likely there is lead base paint on the walls. Not every dump site will allow your dumpster to dump lath and plaster. If your lath tests positive for asbestos there are precautions... More