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Featured Listing

For Sale: $155,000

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Monthly Newsletter from Galand Haas

Lane County Real Estate

RMLS Most Available Data For This 2015 Reporting Period

FEBRUARY HIGHLIGHTS

Lane County saw strong pending sales and new listings posted this February. The 368 pending sales fared 21.1% better than January’s 304 and 44.9% better than the 254 offers accepted in February 2014. It was the strongest February for pending sales in Lane County since 2007, when there were 399. New listings fared similarly well—the 467 postings were 4.0% ahead of January’s 449 and 33.0% ahead of last February’s 351. Closed sales (206) cooled from both January’s 216 (-4.6%) and last February’s 214 (-3.7%), but remain up for the first two months of the year compared with the same time period in 2014.

Inventory in Lane County rose to 5.9 months in February, and total market time increased to 121 days.


AVERAGE AND MEDIAN SALE PRICES

Comparing the average price of homes in the twelve months ending February 28th of this year ($235,900) with the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending February 2014 ($227,200) shows an increase of 3.8%. The same comparison of the median shows an increase of 3.4% over that same period.

We Have Buyers Looking For These Homes

Eugene/Springfield

Fixer priced up to $150,000

Eugene

3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, 1700+ SF, single level or master bedroom on main level, priced up to $350,000

Eugene, Springfield, and Surrounding Areas

Riverfront property, 3+ bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, single level home, priced up to $600,000

March 2015

The 7 Best Home Improvements for $500 or Less

When it comes to upgrading our homes, there seems to be a never-ending list of things to do. There are the upgrades we’d love to make, like buying new furniture or replacing countertops. And then there are the things we have to fix, like inefficient appliances or a leaking roof. But there are a whole range of inexpensive improvements that don’t take much effort but can go a long way toward increasing your enjoyment of your home—and adding to its value too.

Here are 5 such upgrades you can make for less than $500.

1. Increase curb appeal

Even if you’re not planning on selling your home, curb appeal is important. For you, that might mean pressure-washing the driveway (rent one for about $100 per day), repairing broken stairs, or updating your mailbox (anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on style). Sometimes upgrading curb appeal is simply a matter of spending time in the yard and getting your hands dirty by edging the lawn, trimming hedges, or pulling weeds. To keep costs down, plant perennials that keep their greenery all year long and invest time in maintaining your garden tools so you don’t have to purchase new ones.

2. Fix the front door

Your front entrance can say a lot about your home. Upgrading to a high-end fiberglass door can cost more than $1,000, but you can get a whole new look for a lot less simply by adding new hardware and a fresh coat of paint. Installing a new doorbell (kits cost about $50 to $100) or updating the lighting (anywhere from $25 to $100) are also inexpensive fixes that can add instant appeal to the front entry. Pair your newly painted door with a clean doormat ($20) or fresh pot of flowers, and you’ll have a whole new entrance for under $500.

3. Repair interior walls and paint

If your walls are a standard height, it’s easy to make simple repairs like patching holes or sanding. It’s also fairly easy to prime and paint your walls, which can instantly upgrade the look of any room. You’ll need to buy paint and primer (most brands start around $30 per gallon) plus painter’s tape, brushes and rollers.

Painting can get complicated and expensive if you need to repair a significant amount of drywall, remove mold, or have really tall ceilings, so always consult a professional if you feel you might be in over your head.

4. Update lighting and change bulbs

The lighting fixtures in your home are like jewelry on an outfit—they can instantly add pizzazz or look dated. Switching out a chandelier or sconce is a fairly easy, budget‐friendly project. Shop big-box stores for inexpensive pendants, or ask about floor sample sales at retail outlets. Plan on spending at least $200 for a large fixture, about $100 for a bathroom vanity light, and $100 or less for a wall sconce. If you’re on a tight budget, consider using the fixtures you already have but updating them with a coat of spray paint, a new light shade, or a dimmer switch. To make sure you’re really adding value, switch to energy efficient bulbs like LEDs (about $7 for a 60W equivalent) or CFLs (about $9 for a 60W equivalent) bulb. Although both are more expensive than an incandescent bulb, they last longer and require less energy.

5. Install new toilets

Your motivation for buying and installing a new toilet may be for aesthetic reasons, but newer toilets can also save you money. Toilets installed prior to 1995 use as much as 6 gallons of water per flush; newer WaterSense models use as little as 1.2 gallons.

Over time this can represent thousands of gallons of water you won’t have to pay for. Additionally, older toilets are more likely to leak, wasting even more water and money. A slowly running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water a day. Replacing a toilet (about $100‐$200) isn’t hard for an experienced DIYer. But call the plumber if you have other leaks in the bathroom or kitchen; getting them fixed will save you water and money.

6. Maintain your mechanics

Just like maintaining a car, regularly having your appliances and mechanical devices inspected and tuned up can save you lots of money in the long run. Major repairs or replacements can run into the thousands, but a simple check up might be as little as $100. Ask your serviceperson to let you know about any special customer care programs. Sometimes long-term customers are rewarded with free inspections or discounted servicing.

7. Monitor energy usage

There are many smart-home devices on the market aimed at letting you get to know your home habits and helping you save money on energy or utility costs. Devices like Iris (Comfort & Control kit is $80) can help you regulate the temperature of your home and alert you to any unexplained changes. Add-on devices like the Utilitech Water Leak system ($30) can alert you to water leaks. Ultimately these devices help you save money on your energy and utility bills and keep you from expensive repairs down the line.

Read more at msn.com | The 7 Best Home Improvements for $500

 

Bamboo Slat Accent Wall

Install this bamboo accent wall in just one weekend. Josh shows you how. (01:00)

Read more at diynetwork.com | Bamboo Slat Accent Wall

 

Orange Glazed Blueberry Scones

Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 6 to 12 scones
Level: Intermediate

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached flour, plus more for rolling berries
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in chunks
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Orange Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 oranges, juiced and zested
Directions

1. n a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; mix thoroughly. Cut in butter using 2 forks or a pastry blender. The butter pieces should be coated with flour and resemble crumbs.

2. In another bowl, mix buttermilk and egg together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix just to incorporate, do no overwork the dough.

3. Roll blueberries in flour to coat, this will help prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the scone when baked. Fold the blueberries into batter, being careful not to bruise. Drop large tablespoons of batter on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until brown. Cool before applying orange glaze.

Orange Glaze

To prepare Orange Glaze: combine butter, sugar, orange zest, and juice over a double boiler. Cook until butter and sugar are melted and mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and beat until smooth and slightly cool. Drizzle or brush on top of scones and let glaze get hazy and hardened.

Read more at foodnetwork.com | Orange Glazed Blueberry Scones

Compiled from Google, 2015

 

Quote of the Month

 

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."

- Sir Winston Churchill

 

British Statesman, Prime Minister, Author, Nobel Prize Winner

 

Photo: www.values.com

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