Back to Basics

With all of the gadgets and gizmos popping up daily, it is kind of nice to hear that some things are getting simpler. I’ll admit, my fancy phone has helped many a night finding places to dine and movies to see. However, I still long for my first Nokia cell phone that didn’t even have a camera (or -gasp- texting!).

So what does this (mini) shift towards a simpler life mean for American homes? According to the Wall Street Journal, people aren’t finding their money best spent on massive foyers and formal living rooms anymore. Insert large family rooms and more usable space, and voila- money well spent on the areas of your home you spend the most time in. I like it!

For more on what is so “then” and what is the “now” head on over to the Wall Street Journal article here.


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Get The Most Money For Your Home

Of course you are hoping to get top dollar for your home, and we hope so too. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to make your home appeal to the highest number of buyers. We know it can be hard to hide your favorite sports memorabilia, or your ten favorite photos of the grand-kids, but just remember that it is only temporary. Your efforts to create a blank slate will help buyers in imagining their lives taking place in your home. The sooner your homes sells, the sooner you will be in the new place you are aiming to get in to- and you can load it full of all of your favorite things 🙂 Wondering what to do next? Read on for’s 7 simple ways to get the most money for your home. Cheers! – Melody & Natalie

7 Selling Tips to Get The Most Money For Your Home


1. Photos Of Your Home Must Be The Very Best

Buyers and agents decide if they are going to look at a home based on the photos that they see online. Nine out of ten home buyers search for homes on the Internet. When the photos are not good the buyers don’t show up.

The Get Moving Team is passionate about your home looking its absolute best the second it goes on the market!

The more good photos they see online the better. On average, a minimum of 21 photos of your home will generate 4 times more leads than 6-10 photos.

The best photos are those taken with a Digital SLR Camera, Ultra Wide-angle lens, and enhanced with special photographic software by someone who really knows how to photograph a home.

2. Remove Your Personal Photos

I know your kids or grand kids are cute, but buyers need to see themselves living in the home and that does not happen when they see photos of “your” family throughout the home.

3. Best to Keep Your Favorite Sports Teams and Religious Affiliations To Yourself.

We know you are a true fan of your favorite sports team, but don’t display their memorabilia in your home. Fans of an opposing team may reject your home immediately if they see reminders of the team they like to hate. Likewise, displaying religious art and objects will brand your home as being fit only for someone with those same beliefs. You do not want to limit your market.

4. Remove The Clutter

When buyers see clutter, it may lead them to think that your home does not have enough storage for their needs.

Clutter detracts from a home, cheapens it, and is a turnoff to buyers. You are going to need to pack up or throw away all that “stuff” anyway when you move, so do it now. You would “detail” your car to get a better price if you wanted to sell it, why not “detail” you home?

Tricks 5-7..


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(Not so) Short Sales

The term “Short Sale” could not be more misleading. To those new to this term, you might think to yourself, “Here is a home in not so great condition. The price is lower than other properties I have seen. Sure, it needs a little work. I could offer full price, still have some money to clean it up, and I bet it would be a done deal!” We wish.

Short sale sold by Natalie September 2011

Yes, short sales are a way for you to find a great deal. Yes, you may have to put in a little work to get the home back in tip top shape. Yes, short sales are a real option for you as a buyer. But, you will have to be patient.

Short sale sold by Melody September 2011

So, the short and sweet explaination. Short sales are transactions that result in the bank taking less than the seller owes on the home. This makes the transaction extremely complicated as you now have the seller’s lender to try and satisfy, not just the seller (and your lender!). As you can imagine, the bank is not interested in losing money. The bank has a bottom line that they flat out will not except less than. Unless there has been a previous offer on the home that was accepted by the bank, there is no real way to know what that number is. After making an offer, you will often hear back from the seller promptly. Waiting for the bank’s consent, however, may prove to be one of your great life lessons in patience 😉 In an effort to keep things short and sweet as promised, I will recommend you visit here for a more detailed explaination of the short sale process.

Short sale sold by Natalie July 2011

Complicated stuff. But not at all impossible. We have closed short sales in a matter of weeks, and others have taken months. Understanding the process, and trusting that your agent is doing all that they can to help the process along (insert Get Moving gals here), is what will make the process enjoyable. Because after all, you are making one of the biggest and most important purchases of your life! Your home! And that is what keeps us all jazzed up 🙂

Happy Wednesday! – Melody & Natalie

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Appreciating Portland’s Population

I once sat on a plane on my way home from New York. A quick stop to transfer planes in Atlanta, and I found myself sitting a few rows back from the one and only Little Richard.

I quickly learned that the man who had muscles spilling over on to my seat was Little Richard’s body guard. After chatting about Portland, Mr. Bodyguard asked what the Population of the Portland Metropolitan area was. After five years, and many nights questioning my right to claim I am a Portland native, I finally forgive myself for the awful answer I gave. “Oh, its pretty small. I think somewhere around 200,000.” Gawh! I am still mortified when I think about Mr. Bodyguard running around Portland and realizing how little that nice girl sitting next to him on the plane knew about her home town.

So now, I will attempt to redeem myself.

There is no denying that Portland is growing. Who wouldn’t want to move to such a beautiful and affordable city? With a median home price of $249,002, home ownership is still within reach for everyone who desires to do so. And with Portland ranking in the top ten places to relocate, we better start to embrace the ever growing number of transplants. Its flattering, right? A little over an hour to the beach and the mountain, endless supply of cozy coffee shops and yummy food carts.. I’m sold!

So, just how big is Portland? Well, as of 2010 the city itself has a healthy 583,776 individuals, and a whopping 2,260,000 in the Portland Metropolitan area. Quite a bit higher than my original guess 😉

Happy Thursday!


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Creative ways to make your dreams of home ownership come true.

Free money? Yes please! Check out some of the programs available for first time home buyers, and the like (haven’t owned real estate in the last three years? You are considered a first time buyer in the eyes of the free money gods!). Below you will find an outline of some of the programs out there that can assist you in making home ownership a possibility. From low interest rates, to cash grants that can be used as a down payment or closing costs, these are great things to look in to if you are thinking about embarking on the home buyin’ journey.

The Oregon Bond cash advantage program. If you make under a certain amount, you can qualify for a 3% “cash” advantage- 3% of purchase price as a cash down payment, or towards closing costs. Or you can opt for a lower rate and no cash. Read more.. 

You may be eligible for a Federal tax credit that can help you to recoup some of the interest you are paying on your mortgage. Less money spent on taxes, means more to spend on mortgage 🙂 Read more.. 

There are other tax reducing programs, and you can find more information here.

Oregon Bankers Association has a program that can get first time buyers up to $2,000 towards closing or a down payment. Lender has to be a member of the Oregon Bankers Association. There are income requirements too- most of the programs require that you make 80% of the area median income, so for two people it is about $70-$85,000 a year. Read more.. 

Don’t see a program that fits your needs? Let us know!

Happy Wednesday!

Your Get Moving gals

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Want a way to see active MLS listings in your area- immediately?

The “myAgent by IDX” app is a free application that allows you to see homes that are for sale quickly and easily. You may refresh the map as you navigate different neighborhoods, and have updated information on the homes for sale around you. Because the “myAgent by IDX” app gets all of its information from RMLS, you can view photos, see the price, and read a description of the home. Overwhelmed by technology? We give this app an “A” for being very user friendly.

Here is where we come in. Once you download the free app, you will need an “IDX agent code” in order to get started. This will allow you to call or email us directly from the app if you find a home you just have to get inside. Dying to know the code? 5937 – your key to the 4 million active listings throughout the US!

So whether you want to go snoop homes for sale on a Sunday afternoon, or you really want to keep up on what sort of activity is going on in your neighborhood- the myAgent by IDX is the app for that 🙂

Happy Tuesday! -Your savvy Get Moving gals

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Stage your home to get it SOLD!

Getting your home ready to go on the market can be a very stressful time. But with a little bit of elbow grease, and these great tips on how to stage your home so that it appeals to the most buyers, your home can enter the market with a bang! (Oh yeah, and if you need help- WE STAGE!) Check out these tips from the Staging Diva.

Staging Diva’s:
Top 10 Tips to Turn your House into a Show Home

Sell High. Sell Fast. Sell Smart.

These 10 low cost tips will get you started on turning your house into a “show home”. This is critical because if you want to get the most money for your home and sell more quickly, you need potential buyers (and their agents) to feel it’s a “hot property”.

Even if you’re not moving, you will find these tips also make your home more relaxing and enjoyable to live in.

1. Consider the curb appeal.

Landscaping is nice, but not in everyone’s budget. At minimum, lawns should be freshly mowed, leaves raked, or snow shoveled. Consider a hanging or potted plant for the entrance. Sweep the porch, deck and all walk ways and ensure garbage and recycling are tucked neatly away from the front of the house.

Scrub your front door, porch, outside railings and steps. This is cheaper than repainting and makes a world of difference. Once the outside entrance is clean, decide if the paint really needs a touch up.

Read more…

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