Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Monocle

Yesterday I got a monocle! Not really a monocle like in the pictures, but one nonetheless.

I got tired of putting on reading glasses every time I needed to be able to read a contract, or a book, or a recipe card. I couldn't even shop without putting glasses on and off!

So I got one contact lens.

Currently I wear it in my left eye, and am warming up to it slowly. It feels a little bit odd, like seeing only half the world at a time, but I'm told you get used to it. (for the record, I tried bifocal contact lenses in both eyes, and that was even worse)

If all else fails, watch for some swinging new glasses on a permanent basis!

Another Heartwarming Story from the Windermere Foundation

I received this from our Foundation Director in Seattle. How wonderful that we get to do this for people! I'm so proud to represent the Johnson office on the Board.

Greetings from the Windermere Foundation,

Last week I received a call from a mother who was looking for help with her rent. She explained to me that if she lost her apartment she would be homeless and would never be able to afford the move-in expenses IF and when she found another apartment. As you can imagine, she was very concerned not only for her sake but for the sake of her two children. She explained that she had called over a dozen social service agencies only to hear, “Sorry, we can’t help you, we are out of funds.” With each social service agency suggesting she call another, her fear began to deepen. Luckily, the Windermere Foundation was able to provide financial assistance, via the children’s school counselor, and the family was able to remain in their apartment.

Every Windermere Realtor contributes a bit from every transaction. We give to many larger local organizations such as New Avenues for Youth and The Community Warehouse.
If you know someone who needs help, please let me know. We do things as simple as providing shoes, coats, and school supplies, or paying for field trips.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I seem to do everything in streaks. A knitting binge, or a cooking extravaganza, or a book fixation. Then I taper off and ignore for a while, and do something else to the exclusion of all else.

Lately I've been into the recipes of my youth, and am actually sort of thinking about a cookbook of my mother's bar cookie recipes. They are "to die for," if you like that kind of food. Stay tuned for free samples.

Meanwhile, I was looking up the book babes, after reading the article in the Oregonian this morning. One thing led to another, and I was reminded of Calvin Trillin. His book about the death of his wife was one of the finest books I've ever read. It can be read in one sitting, and I highly recommend it!

I added it to my goodreads list this morning.

About Alice About Alice by Calvin Trillin

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of my favorite books - a beautiful love story. I've shared this book so many times that I've lost it. (I think Chrissy had it last)

View all my reviews.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

White Rock, BC

Who's my reader? Is it you, James?

Send me an email! caryperk(dot)windermere(dot)com. I miss you!!!


love my shoes?

Are You a Hiker? A Knitter? A Witch?

If you are, you might be looking for like-minded people to meet with. has groups of all kinds just waiting for you to join them.

If you want to do something, learn something, go somewhere, or make some new friends, there are lots of groups with open membership where you can just join in!

Like pugs? Book clubs? Hiking? Speak Danish? Drive a Hybrid? Like cooking and recipes? The list goes on and on.

I'm going to the Real Estate meet-up events. I like the Bake for Hope group...
and I have a friend who might like the Christian motorcycle group!

What a fun new way to find interesting people and things to do!

If you take a moment to peruse the website, you might get all sorts of ideas! I did!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Birthday Boy

Bean turned one on Valentine's day. I went to the dog boutique to get him some sort of dog cupcake, and they had a dog cookie decorating contest going on - so Bean and Boomer got Valentine's cookies. He obviously enjoyed it! (Peter had his own celebration in Eugene)

Bean also got a new collar to wear on game days.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Portland's Commercial Real Estate Scene

If occupancy rates are high, it's a landlord's market, right?
Not in Portland, Ore.....

Sort of good news here -

How the $789 Billion Stimulus will help me buy Portland Real Estate

I ran across this article and liked her quick synopsis - and thought I'd share it here. Dawn Lind is with Mortgage Trust in Portland.

"We are obviously in an incredibly financially challenging time. The government is adding and revising to the last stimulus bill to further help our economic life. The latest is that it is now a $789 billion dollar package that has more tax cuts and spending programs that are anticipated to spur on our economy. It’s a “wait & see” plan.

The first time home buyer tax credit is now at $8000 or 10% of the value of the home. It affects first time home buyers who have purchased a home from the beginning of 2009 until the end of November. If the home is sold within 3 years that money has to be repaid. There are income limitations to individuals earning $75k and couples that earn $150k. The details have not been all hashed out yet so expect to hear more about this.

Perspective: Even though the media is crying about the unemployment rate being so high (7.6%) keep in mind that 92.4% of Americans have work. In 1980 unemployment was at 6.3% and minimum wage was a mere one dollar an hour!** For Oregon, the minimum wage adjusted in January to $8.40 an hour.

For those who have multiple rental properties Fannie Mae changed their guidelines back to the 10 maximum that it was before October of 2008. They realize that investors play a key role in the housing recovery and want to help where they can. Keep in mind that if this applies to you they are being much more stringent on the loan to value.

This is the year for opportunities! Make the most of what you have and remember that we will get through this… "

** corrected by a reader...Actually, the minimum wage in 1980 was $3.10. (thanks!)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Calculate your Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint Calculator

If you are appalled, as I was, then you can do something about it.

The link takes you to Terra Pass, where you can purchase offset coupons to help you (and your planet) feel better.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Tour Day

Tuesdays are Tour Days! If I don't have a new listing on tour, I'm out seeing what's new on the market.

There are so many good reasons to tour religiously.

1. You see the inventory as soon as it hits the market.
2. You get to understand pricing and value (and when a house is badly priced)
3. You get a chance to network with other Realtors and
4. Free food. I don't tour for the food, but if there's something good, I enjoy the perk! (I'll also let you know what they had to eat at all my stops)

I plan to post videos rather than still photos in the future. But I'm waiting until Valentine's day, when I think I'll be receiving a new camera (hint, hint) and then my videos will be less jiggly.

So for now, still photos of the homes I saw on tour today.

2763 NW Westover, priced at $1,375,000.

Loved the detail in this kitchen. Dark counters and striped backsplash.

We loved that they tiled the interior of the shelves with mini mosaic tiles to match the mantel.

Great carpet, and they edged all the rooms in black. They also used the same treatment on the stairs - it looked as if there was a custom runner. Very nice!

Great black and white bathroom with a lime green ceiling! So cute - an idea worth remembering!

Best view from a closet! Kim's closet has a very striking view, and in it hangs a framed, yellowed article from Willamette Week, written years ago, naming her closet the best view from a closet in Portland. We're afraid she's been one-upped! So don't tell Willamette Week!

Bottom line on the house? Small-ish kitchen, good, large bedrooms, nice remodel, room for improvement in the basement. Huge view deck, and the house will be great for entertaining!
Food: Very fancy valentine's chocolates and pastries!

Next stop: The Benson. 1500 SW 11th, unit 1001 priced at $495,000.

This unit is pretty compact, but it has 2 bedrooms and a den, so I had to see it. That's a lot of good rooms for 1004 square feet and for the price. There's a nice little pop-out in the corner behind the dining and the view and light from this SW unit make it especially nice.

This unit was nicely decorated, and was cozy and inviting, But the building's halls are long and un-inviting. The location isn't for everyone and parking for guests isn't fabulous. But for someone looking to downsize, and walk to PCC for an occasional class, (they have a deal for Seniors, all you downsizers!) or to the cultural offerings in Portland, this is a nice unit.
Food: cheese & crackers, sandwiches

Next I went to 2563 SW Talbot, priced at $625,000.

By this time it was snowing pretty steadily. The stairs were slippery and the listing agent was delighted that I'd braved the weather. (I'd heard some tours in the West Hills were cancelled)

This house has lots of stairs to the front door, or stairs down from the street above. I came up from the bottom and it wasn't bad at all!

The living room has space for a grand piano and tons to spare! You could smell that the hardwood floors were newly refinished! But the house was pretty much still in its 60's and 70's wrappings. Floral wallpapers and a plain jane kitchen will need to be addressed, as will some bathroom upgrades. But it felt solid as a rock.

The master bedroom had gorgeous details, with fireplace, windows and built-in shelves. And there was a gorgeous view of the snow falling.

I think this house is perfect for a family who wants the West Hills, but doesn't have a huge budget. With some TLC and sweat equity, it will be a lovely property. Not much yard, but if the kids are a little older, or for a couple it could be just the thing!
Food: cinnamon rolls and cookies

I only got to three houses before I had to pop up to my listing on Upper Cascade for an impromptu showing. At which point it was snowing heavily (especially at the high elevations) so I drove home carefully and finished the day on my home computer.

Watch this space on Tuesday evening or Wednesday for your tour of the new listings in Portland's West Side Market.

For details on any of these listings, just visit or leave a comment.
if you know of a first time homebuyer who wants to be on HTVG, have them give me a quick call...i have a connection.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Busiest day in Real Estate in MONTHS!

Friday, February 6, 2009

From My Desk to Yours

A latte, a bowl made from a roll of tickets, (filled with notepads) a picture of Cam, a Pacifica candle, an iPod shuffle and my computer...this is the desktop in my home office.

What's on your desk?

Be Green!

Creating a Green Home

Learn what constitutes a green new home or a green remodeling project. You will gain valuable insights to apply to your home through visual presentations of actual projects that illustrate green building concepts. Hands-on investigation of various green building products will offer you a glimpse of the options available to make effective changes in your home.

March 12th
6:00PM - 8:00PM
Earth Advantage National Center
16280 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd.
Portland, OR 97224 March 14th
9:00AM - 11:00AM