Portland Metro Weekend Events Planner, Feb. 27-March 1, 2015





FRI-SUN FEB 27-MAR 1 (through March 5) 

Celebrate Chinese New Year with lion dances, martial arts, cultural scenes, kids’ activities, and lantern viewing at Lan Su Chinese Garden. Lan Su Chinese Garden


FRI-SUN FEB 27-MAR 1 Portland Jazz Festival features 80 performances by local acts and jazz legends, and many are free. Various Portland Locations


FRI-SUN FEB 27-MAR 1 (through March 7Oregon Ballet Theatre performs the magical and romantic fairy tale Cinderella. Keller Auditorium


SAT FEB 28 Sample ideal pairings of beer from 18 local breweries and spirits from 12 Oregon distilleries at the inaugural Brewstillery Fest at StormBreaker Brewing.


FRI-SUN FEB 27-MAR 1 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum


FRI-SUN FEB 27-MAR 1 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more


FRI-SUN FEB 27-MAR 1 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum


SAT FEB 28 The Rocky Horror Picture Show is shown on the screen and “actors” perform along with the movie, complete with costuming, make up, props, and all your favorite dance numbers! 10PM Kiggins Theatre in Vancouver


SAT FEB 28 Experience live theater and take a lantern-lit journey with a Park Ranger. Peek into the past with costumed interpreters performing historical vignettes of a night at Fort Vancouver. 7PM, Reservations required. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

• The Lazarus Effect
• Maps to the Stars
• ‘71
• My Life Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn (documentary)
• Everly


This Week in Real Estate, Feb. 23, 2015


Good Morning!

While the FTC completed its review of the Zillow acquisition of Trulia this week, allowing the transaction to close, the legal maneuvering just begins. The issue of syndication dominates the headlines again for This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few of the highlights from the third week in February that influence our business:

*  Battle of the Portals: ListHub to end syndication agreement with Trulia early; Zillow group fires back with restraining order. On Thursday Move Inc., operators of realtor.com, announced its listing management service, ListHub, will end its syndication agreement with Trulia as of next week. Zillow announced Friday it has filed for a temporary restraining order on that move to keep listings going to Trulia. “This action is a result of the completion of Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia this week, and the upcoming dissolution of ListHub’s syndication relationship with Zillow this April,” stated ListHub’s general manager Celeste Starchild. On Friday Move Inc. issued the following response to Zillow’s temporary restraining order: “What a difference two days make! On Wednesday, Spencer Rascoff (Zillow CEO) was celebrating the ‘liberating moment’ when ‘we announced we were parting ways with News Corp,’ and how they ‘were really freed from the constraint of being reliant on a competitor for listings,’ listings he (inaccurately) described as ‘inferior.’ Today, they say that the ‘sudden’ loss of those listings is ‘an incredible hardship for agents and consumers.'” Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33011-zillow-group-launches-legal-fight-to-keep-listhub-listings-on-trulia

* Mortgage rates move higher on strong jobs report. Freddie Mac released this week the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing average fixed mortgage rates moving higher amid a strong employment report. Regardless, fixed-rate mortgage rates still remain near their May 23, 2013 lows. “Mortgage rates rose last week following strong economic data,” says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist, Freddie Mac. The economy added 257,000 new jobs in January after robust increases of 329,000 in December and 423,000 in November. Full Story… http://freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com/press-releases/mortgage-rates-rise-for-second-consecutive-week-otcqb-fmcc-1176375

*  Fed appears to hesitate on raising interest rate. The Federal Reserve is not sounding like an institution that is ready to raise its benchmark interest rate in June. “You can almost hear a little hesitation in the committee,” said Zach Pandl, senior interest rate strategist at the investment firm Columbia Management. “They sound confident on the economy, but nervous on pulling the trigger on rate hikes.” The economy is growing strongly, and the statement the Fed issued after the January meeting was its most upbeat since the end of the recession in 2009. That optimism has since been reinforced by the government’s latest jobs report, released this month, which estimated that strong employment gains at the end of 2014 continued at a healthy pace in January. Many officials were concerned that raising rates prematurely “might damp the apparent solid recovery,” potentially forcing the Fed to reverse course.” Full Story… http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/business/economy/fed-january-policy-making-meeting-minutes.html?_r=1

*  Realtors applaud FAA proposed rule to allow commercial drone use for real estate. Under the new FAA proposal, drones that weigh less than 55 pounds would be able to fly up to 500 feet above the ground at speeds up to 100 mph. Drone operators would have to obtain a special unmanned operating certificate, and follow a handful of restrictions, including keeping the drone within sight, and avoiding hazards like restricted airspace, people, airports, and other planes. “Today’s action does not authorize widespread commercial use of unmanned aircraft. That can only happen when the rule is final,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said. “In the meantime operators must go through the current process for a waiver or exemption to fly.” Full Story… http://www.inman.com/2015/02/16/proposed-drone-rules-applauded-by-nar/

Have a productive week!

Home Organization 101: Top 7 Tips for a Show-Ready House


Selling your house and having troubles keeping it clean for showings? Make life easier with these top 7 tips to keep your home organized in the midst of chaos!

1) Put it Back

This is the simplest tip and the one that, if it’s the only tip you follow, will render your house “clean enough.” Rethink the storage locations of the things you hate putting away the most. For example, move the most used dishes directly above the dishwasher so they get put away with more ease.

2) Keep it Local

A sharpie in the freezer to mark those bagged leftovers, pens and a notepad by where you plug in your iPhone, laundry detergent with clothes, dishes stashed near the sink, the extra set of sheets stored underneath the mattress. Even if the place you put it seems crazy (jewelry in the kitchen, vitamins by the front door), if it works for you and it gets put back, work it. It’s your house.

3) Chuck It!

Some stuff, as much as you love it and think it’s ridiculously beautiful and useful, is just not working for your life. As hard as it is to admit that there isn’t a place in your life for that fully-equipped wicker picnic hamper or hand-painted teaset that you’ve never used, getting rid of these things can have an enormous affect on your cleaning routine. Let your home have more room to house the things you actually use and feel a lot less guilty.

4) Create an Outbox

Place unnessecary items in an “Outbox” and subconsciously work through the anxiety of getting rid of it. After about a month or so, it’s easier to make a rational decision about what to do with it.

5) Quality over Quantity

Life can get a lot simpler when you start to cut down on quantity of items purchased. For example, having only two sets of high-quality sheets—one for the wash, one for the bed. It feels good to have less to store, and higher quality items are more likely to get used.

6DiningRoom_WhiteShelving) Priority Spots

Concentrate on keeping one thing clean in each room, making the rest of the room feel clean, thereby spreading to the surrounding areas. That may mean keeping the bed made, the coffee table clear, the desk free of papers and the bathroom sink wiped.

7) The Landing Strip

It’s not only a place to put down the mail and your keys, but it’s also a launch pad to put items that will be used the next day. This way you may be less likely to rip apart the house looking for your phone or wallet. Home clean home is home sweet home.
Article courtesy of ApartmentTherapy.com

This Week in Real Estate, Feb. 15, 2015


Good Morning!

Six weeks into the new year the topic of conversation in This Week in Real Estate….Consumer Confidence. Below are a few of the highlights from the second week in February that influence our business:

* Consumers’ positive financial attitudes a good sign for housing. The number of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home rose three percentage points to 67%, according to the results of Fannie Mae’s January 2015 National Housing Survey. The share of consumers who believe now is a good time to sell a home similarly increased to 44%, tying an all-time survey high. The January data saw more people looking to buy a home than rent – 66% of those survey said they would buy if they moved, while the share of those who said they would rent dropped five percentage points to 29%. “Consumers are as positive about their personal finances at the start of 2015 as they have been since we launched the National Housing Survey in 2010,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. Full Story…

*  Deloitte consumer spending index hits a 51-month high. The Index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending. “The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index increased in January, hitting a 51-month peak,” says Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s senior U.S. economist. “The increase is due to positive contributions from all four components of the Index. The sharp drop in unemployment insurance claims is in line with a steady recovery in the U.S. labor market and augurs well for continued increased consumer spending. Additionally, January gas prices decreased 41% from this time last year, to a national average of $2.12 per gallon. That translates into an extra $994 in consumers’ pockets annually.” Full Story…

*  Consumer confidence at highest level in over a decade. Two recently released reports reveal that the American public is starting to feel much better about the U.S. economy. The University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers  showed that consumer optimism reached the highest level in the past decade in the January 2015 survey…Consumers judged prospects for the national economy as the best in a decade, with half of all consumers expecting the economic expansion will continue for another five years. The anticipated strength in the overall economy has been accompanied by more favorable income and employment expectations. Full Story… http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2015/02/10/consumer-confidence-at-highest-level-in-over-a-decade/

* Purchase applications suggest rising new home sales. “On the strength of an improving labor market and low interest rates, January new home sales were up nearly 30 percent from December,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said that based on this volume, which is not seasonally adjusted, it estimates that new home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 units. On an unadjusted basis MBA estimates that 39,000 new homes sold in January, up 39.3 percent from 28,000 new home sales in December. Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/02122015_mba_new_home_sales.asp


Have a productive week!

Portland Metro Events Weekend Planner, 2/13-2/15

Chocolate-Valentine-Wallpaper copy

FOR FEBRUARY 13-15, 2015



SAT-SUN FEB 14-15 Monster Jam is the most exciting form of family motorsports entertainment on the planet. Sat @ 2 pm & 7:30pm; Sun @ 2 pm. Moda Center


FRI-SUN FEB 13-15 (daily FEB 5-21) Northwest Film Center’s annual showcase of new world cinema. Various Portland Locations


SAT FEB 14 Foster Row celebrates Valentine’s Day with an evening of music, open studios, and libations! 6-8PM. Foster Row, SE Portland


SAT-SUN FEB 14-15 Saraveza Bottleshop & Pasty Tavern to put forth a selection of insanely delicious and innovative beers for Valentine’s Day Weekend. 11AM-10PM Saraveza Bottleshop in N. Portland


SAT-SUN FEB 14-15 Northwest Children’s Theater & School presents the world premiere of a stage adaptation. 12PM & 4PM; Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center


FRI-SUN FEB 13-15 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum


SAT-SUN FEB 13-15 Oregon Children’s Theatre follows a Siamese cat who thinks he’s a bird. Sat @ 2PM & 5PM; Sun @ 2PM. Portland’s Newmark Theatre


FRI-SUN FEB 13-15 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more


FRI-SUN FEB 13-15 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum


SAT FEB 14 Re-creating the memorable WWII USO dances, the Friends of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is hosting a Hangar Dance fundraiser at Pearson Air Museum on Valentine’s Day. 7 PM. Pearson Air Museum


SAT-SUN FEB 14-15 The 27th Northwest Flower & Garden Show provides imagination and inspiration with its magnificent showcase of gardens big and small, over 110 free seminars, a big line-up of exhibitors in the marketplace and more. Washington State Convention Center


  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • The Last Five Years
  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • Old Fashioned


Our steady growth continues

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate is a popular place to be!

We are very proud to announce the BHHS-Sealrecent addition of these real estate professionals to our BHHS family:

Nancy Hoover – Bend

Gary Otremba – Bend

Kevin Kamakani – Bend

Kathleen McDonald – Bend

Amy Welborn – Lake Oswego

Beth Thompson – West Portland

Joe Maye – Florence

Alisa Frazier – Columbia Tech Center

Kathy Frisbie – Columbia Tech Center

Gwen Moore – Bend

Michael Kennedy – Portland Metro

Are you ready to take your career to the next level? Consider a move to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the 2014 Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year.

From our complimentary Mentor Program to our intensive Broker Excellence training, we provide the support you need to grow your business.  Click here to learn a little about what’s important to us and how we help our brokers create long-term clients while building lasting careers. Email careers@bhhsnw.com to schedule a confidential meeting.

This Week in Real Estate, Feb. 9, 2015


Good Morning!

This Week in Real Estate….more jobs added than expected and mortgage rates back to 2013 levels….are you prepared to seize all the opportunities in front of you?

Below are a few of the highlights from the first week in February that influence our business:

* New Study Finds Price Premium for Solar Homes. A study conducted by a team of researchers, led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Berkeley Laboratory, found that homebuyers are willing to pay more for homes that have installed solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. The research estimates a price premium of approximately $4 per watt of PV installed. For a typical PV system, the research team found that this translates into a price premium of $15,000. The research also examined the difference in price premium between newly built and existing homes. The estimates indicate a small, but statistically insignificant, difference between new and existing residences with PV systems. For new homes, the estimated premium was $3.58/watt, while for existing homes the premium was $4.51/watt. Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/02/new-study-finds-price-premium-for-solar-homes/

* Experts got a pleasant surprise Friday morning as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the U.S. economy added 257,000 jobs in January beating estimates. The strong start to 2015 in the labor market will be received as encouraging news at the Federal Reserve which has signaled that the economic recovery may be strong enough to begin raising interest rates as early as its scheduled June meeting. Below target inflation and economic developments overseas have opened the door to the possibility of a later liftoff but today’s employment report will be a positive note in the deliberations. Many experts believe this job report does not put enough pressure on Fed rates for it to raise them. “The Fed wants to see much more wage growth,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, told CNBC on Friday. “We’re still well below that…This keeps the Fed patient in terms of how they do lift off going forward.” Full Story… http://www.cnbc.com/id/102405104?__source=mnd|news|&par=mnd

* Homebuilding: The Job Revival That Will Surprise in 2015. Housing-related employment got a jolt in January. The number of residential construction workers rose 12,500, a gain of 1.8 percent, the biggest one-month jump in percentage terms since 2002. Other trade categories related to housing jobs also showed strength. Specialty trade contractors, who’ve been in short supply, increased by 7,600 to the highest level since 2009. Wood products manufacturers added 4,100 employees, building materials stores another 3,700. Architectural and engineering employment, which includes home designers, increased by 7,800 to the highest level since 2008. Full Story… http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-06/home-building-the-jobs-revival-that-will-surprise-in-2015

* Falling Mortgage Rates Fuel Buying Activity. Mortgage interest rates rolled back to 2013 levels this week. The 30-year fixed-mortgage averaged 3.59% this week, down from 3.66% last week. A year ago this time, it was as high as 4.32%, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Mortgage applications for FHA loans spiked last week in the midst of lower FHA mortgage insurance premiums, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Both purchase and refinance activity are up, signaling a higher demand for housing. Buyers are refinancing, and they’re choosing FHA loans to do so. Refinance applications using FHA loans increased 76.5% after the drop in mortgage insurance premiums. FHA purchase applications increased 12.4%, according to the MBA. Full Story… http://www.realtor.com/news/falling-mortgage-rates-fuel-buying-activity/​

Have a productive week!

Rainy Season Landscaping: Attract Buyers to Outdoor Spaces


Rainy season doesn’t have to mean diverting buyers’ attention solely to indoor features.
Highlight the vibrant greenery of the Pacific Northwest to showcase your yard’s Winter usability.

Landscape features to consider

Covered patio. To create an entertainment area that’s protected from the rain, add a patio cover to your deck. Awnings may also work, but they are more likely to be damaged in storms. Once you have a covered area, add a patio heater to draw even more guests outdoors.

Rain gardens. Adding a rain garden to your property will attract wintertime wildlife to your garden, providing you with an opportunity to see beauty even in the darkest, coldest time of the year. Furthermore, rain gardens are an environmentally conscious way to handle the heavy winter rainfall endemic to the Pacific Northwest.

Selecting plants that shine in the rain

Oregon and Washington gardeners can create a beautiful wintertime landscape by selecting plants that will attract the eye even on cloudy days.

Here are a few suggestions:
Astilbes. These are perennial shrubs that produce feather-like flowers in the summer. As fall and winter come on, these flowers dry into intricate stalks, which add vertical interest to any winter landscape. Astilbes flourish in the clay soils that are common in the Portland area. Furthermore, they love waterlogged soil, so they thrive alongside ponds or rain gardens.

Ferns. Ferns often stay green all winter long in the Pacific Northwest. For instance, sword ferns’ arching fronds can provide a beautiful green feast for the eyes throughout the coldest months. Licorice fern is another cheerful choice for winter landscape design, as they break their dormancy in the early winter, sprouting out fresh new growth just after the New Year. Planting a few ferns along your front walk will draw visitors to your door.

Ornamental grasses. Ornamental grasses are like the exclamation points of the winter garden—their fuzzy seed heads bob and sway in winter storms. Grasses add texture and height to an otherwise bland design.

Bamboo. Bamboo is actually a grass that loses its leaves in the spring. In other words, bamboo will bring lush greenery to your garden throughout the winter. However, landscape designer service experts recommend planting bamboo cautiously, as this is one plant that can spread very quickly. If you want to plant traditional bamboo canes directly into the earth, you’ll need to install three-foot-deep barriers to prevent underground roots called rhizomes from spreading. (This is not true for clumping bamboo species, which are less aggressive.) Alternatively, you can plant bamboo in containers. This is a great approach to adding privacy to your winter landscape—designer ceramic pots with good drainage can be massed to create a “wall” of bamboo.

Don’t let buyers track in the mud

Finally, outline high-traffic zones where you (and potential buyers) are likely to tromp. Place pavers or stones in these areas so as to reduce the amount of mud that’s tracked into your home.

Portland Events Weekend Planner, 2/6-2/8

FemaleHikerInForestOnLog copy

FOR FEBRUARY 6-8, 2015



THURS-SUN FEB 5-8 See the newest vehicle models at the annual show, plus take in family and educational activities. Oregon Convention Center


SAT FEB 7 Confluence Project presents Lillian Pitt, Pacific Northwest Native American artist, and multicultural artist Bill Rutherford for an exhibit and workshop on making masks from clay. Doors open at 11 a.m. to view masks; presentation 1 p.m.; workshop 2-4 p.m. Pearson Air Museum (Vancouver)


SAT-SUN FEB 7-8 The largest sportsmen’s show west of the Mississippi & undoubtedly the region’s most anticipated annual event for outdoor adventurers and sportsmen of all ages. Portland Expo Center


SAT-SUN FEB 7-8 Carlos Kalmar directs the Pacific Youth Choir, Portland Symphonic Choir and various soloists in Orff’s work. 7:30 PM Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall


SAT-SUN FEB 7-8 Northwest Children’s Theater & School presents the world premiere of a stage adaptation. Saturday @ 12PM & 4PM; Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center


FRI-SUN FEB 6-8 (ends April 14) Documents the Holocaust through the perspective of Anne Frank. Oregon Jewish Museum


SAT-SUN FEB 7-8 (ends Feb. 15) Oregon Children’s Theatre follows a Siamese cat who thinks he’s a bird. Sat @ 2PM & 5PM; Sun @ 2PM. Portland’s Newmark Theatre


SUN FEB 8 Finalists perform, then three top candidates in each category of piano, strings and brass/woodwinds/percussion will be chosen for scholarship prizes. 1-3PM. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra


FRI-SUN FEB 6-8 (every day, various times & locations) Park guides lead nature hikes to explore the forest, stream ecosystems and natural history of the natural area. Tryon Creek State Park & more


FRI-SUN FEB 6-8 (through April 5) The Masterworks Portland series commemorates the fourth centenary of the death of El Greco (1541-1614). Portland Art Museum


SUN FEB 8 Participation help raise awareness for Operation Warm Heart; proceeds benefit families in financial crisis pay heating bills. Pre-registration required online through Feb. 7. 8:30 AM start time. Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver

         • Jupiter Ascending
         • Seventh Son
         • The Spongebob Movie
         • Ballet 422


This Week in Real Estate


Happy February!

As we close out the first 31 days of the new year more positive news with respect to the two key drivers of the real estate business: unemployment and interest rates headline This Week in Real Estate. Below are a few of the highlights that influence our business from the fourth week of 2015:

* U.S. unemployment benefit applications plunge to 15-year low. Weekly applications dropped 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000. That is the lowest level since April 2000. It is also the biggest decline in two years. Employers added almost 3 million jobs last year, the most since 1999. Most economists forecast growth will top 3 percent in 2015 for the first time in a decade. Full story…

* A more robust year for housing in 2015. A strengthening labor market, low interest rates, improving mortgage availability and growing pent-up demand will help to significantly boost single-family housing production in the year ahead and move the housing recovery to higher ground, according to economists speaking at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Accelerating economic growth and employment gains are the primary factors that have helped consumer confidence jump back to pre-recession levels, according to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. Full Story… http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/01/a-more-robust-year-for-housing-in-2015/

* Mortgage rates shoot past recent lows; 3.5% getting more prevalent. Rate sheets moved well past recent lows and back to levels not seen since May 10th, 2013. For the knife-catchers out there, today is the best day in more than 20 months. The specific result today is the greatly-increased prevalence of 3.5% as a conforming 30-year fixed quote for top tier scenarios. Full Story… http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/430712.aspx

* Boomerang home buyers are coming back. RealtyTrac estimates 7.3 million so-called “boomerang buyers” will return to the U.S. housing market over the next eight years. With the economy gaining momentum and hiring picking up, many foreclosed on homeowners are in a position to buy again. Homeowners can recover from foreclosure in as little as three years, but seven years in the “conservative” amount of time it takes to rebuild a credit score. That means many homeowners who lost their homes in 2007 should be able to qualify for a new home loan this year. More than 500,000 people will fit this description in 2015. The number jumps to 1 million next year, peaks at 1.3 million in 2018. Full Story… http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/27/real_estate/boomerang-homebuyers-foreclosed-return/index.html

Have a productive week!