June 11,2011

Kathy Blachard, Full Service Broker, Licensed in Oregon, foryourhomeneeds@yahoo.com  I am here to help.

by Ilyce Glink:

In the 20-odd years that I have been writing about real estate, I don’t believe there has ever been a better time to buy a home. Why? For starters, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages can be had for less than 5 percent. Recently, the 30-year rate hit 4.6 percent. If you want a 15-year mortgage, you can (for now) still get it for less than 4 percent. These are astounding rates. As Robert Fogel, a Nobel prize-winning economist from the University of Chicago, recently told me, it’s like borrowing for free. That’s how it feels to me, too: When my husband and I bought our first home in 1989, our interest rate was 11.75 percent. At this point, it seems everyone wants the real estate market to get better: • Realtors are selling a fraction of the homes they once were, taking a huge hit in income. • Builders (at least, those that are still in business) are selling about one-eighth as many homes as they were selling in 2005. • Appraisers continue to take some of the blame for the housing crisis, for over-appraising property in the boom years and under-appraising it now. Realtors say that more than 75 percent of the homes sales that fall apart do so because the appraisal comes in so far below the contract price that a deal can’t be worked out. • And homeowners are desperate for the housing market to rebound — especially the more than 25 percent who are underwater with their homes — so they can refinance or sell their homes and move on with their lives. There’s no reason you shouldn’t buy a home now and take advantage of super-low prices, historically low mortgage interest rates, and a significant supply of homes on the market. But to be successful in today’s real estate market, you need to understand that the game has changed. Here’s my list of the biggest shifts: 1. R.I.P., Big Housing Price Jumps If you want to buy a house, you have to have enough income to support the mortgage. Now, take it the next step: If everyone in a particular neighborhood earns around the same money, then all the houses in the neighborhood will be priced about the same and home values will only rise 3 percent per year. That’s about the typical raise most Americans used to get, but the decidedly old-fashioned expectation went out in the 2000s because banks told borrowers that exotic mortgages (like the infamous pay-option adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM) would allow them to “leverage up” to a much more expensive house payment. It was a payment most clearly couldn’t afford; the bulk of those loans started going delinquent within three months of closing. Now that every borrower has to have a job and some sort of down payment, and the only basic loan types available are 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, you won’t be able to leverage up with your mortgage, and housing prices will remain far more steady. In short — buy now, but don’t expect a huge pop in home prices. It ain’t going to happen. 2. Mortgage Lenders: Just Not That into You Most home buyers don’t have enough cash in their pocket to purchase a home without a mortgage. But, lenders are extremely risk-averse at the moment — so they don’t want to approve a mortgage application unless you have an extremely good FICO score (preferably 700 or higher, and at least 760 to get the best rates); you have plenty of cash in the bank (for your down payment, closing costs and a healthy cash reserve); you don’t have anything weird or amiss in your financial data. And it helps if you have another loan application approved from a competing institution. Which is to say: They only want you if you don’t really need them. You’ll also need to make sure the property appraises at or above the contracted price and the neighborhood is steady (without too many foreclosures). 3. The Best Deals Are in New Places Sure, there are amazing short sales and foreclosures out there. To find them, you’ll have to hire a great agent who really knows what he or she is doing, has connections with the foreclosure-sale (also known as real estate owned, or REO) departments of big lenders, and can help you navigate a tricky and frustrating negotiation cycle. For example, if you want to buy a HUD home (an FHA foreclosure), you’ll need a HUD-certified real estate agent who can help you make an offer at HUDHomeStore.com. But the agent may not tell you that short sales and foreclosures are often damaged properties that will require tens of thousands of dollars (or more) in deferred maintenance, rebuilding or renovating. Instead, look for a property where the seller has plenty of equity and has to sell, but is confronted with a neighborhood full of foreclosures. The seller will have to price the home to compete with foreclosures, and you’ll scoop up a property that is in much better shape and will, in all likelihood, require a lot less maintenance, renovation and upkeep. 4. Investing? Focus on Income Somewhere along the way, ordinary civilians got the idea that there were massive profits to be made in real estate, if only they could flip the properties fast enough. The problem with that strategy became apparent when the real estate market crashed, and investors (who were leveraged to the hilt) couldn’t get out of their properties in time. When you’re paying thousands of dollars for a mortgage but don’t have any income — nor hopes of a sale — it’s a fast track to bankruptcy. But now is an amazing time to buy investment property. Purchase a foreclosure or two (or up to 10, if you can find the financing), and focus on how much income you can get each month. If you buy a foreclosure in the Atlanta area for $75,000 and can get $800 to $1,000 per month in rent, that’s a terrific return on investment. 5. Time to Think Medium Term … at Minimum I’m not sure where home buyers got the idea that they could buy and flip houses every 24 months and collect a king’s ransom’s worth of tax-free profits. But those days are over. Whether you’re buying as an investor or plan to live in the property, you’ll need a 7- to 10-year plan in order to make sure you won’t lose money after factoring in the costs of sale. Even those investors who are buying bottom-feeder foreclosures and fixing them up might not be able to resell them so quickly. And if they do, they might find that lenders won’t finance their buyers. So come up with a long-term plan that will let you rake in money … while the rest of the real estate market catches up.

Mystical business opens on First Street

A new business that opened recently at 811 E. First St. is unlike any other in
town. Where Angels Play offers a conglomeration of services and products
designed to help the mind, body and spirit, from an oxygen bar and foot
detoxification stations to crystal healing and angel card readings.

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Blog: May 20th 2011

CDC Recommends Preparing for All Disasters — Even Zombies


// Normal natural disasters are floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes and being prepared for disaster means being ready for any type of emergency — including zombies. On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blogged about preparing for disaster and reminded readers that in the event of a zombie apocalypse, basic preparedness will help even if there are flesh-eaters roaming.

The CDC recommends that planning ahead for zombies is really no different than preparing for other types of disaster. The same basic principles apply.

Planning ahead for any type of disaster or emergency requires the same basic items: Food (nonperishable of course) and water (one gallon per day per person), medications (both over the counter and prescription medications), tools and supplies (basic stuff like utility knives, duct tape, radio, flashlights, batteries, etc.), sanitation and hygiene (soap, shampoo, bleach, feminine products, towels and lots of toilet paper), clothing and bedding (extra clothes for every family member, blankets), important documents (copies of birth certificates, social security cards, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, etc.), first aid supplies.

As with any other emergency, in the event of zombies you should have an emergency plan that includes evacuation plans and a safe place to get away from the zombies.

According to the CDC blog, if a zombie apocalypse breaks out, the CDC will investigate the event just like they would any other disease outbreak. CDC investigation and assistance would include “consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).” Just like any other disease outbreak, the CDC would try to determine where and how the outbreak started and would make every effort to determine how to best deal with an outbreak of zombies.

Learning the source of the infection would include discovering if a virus or toxin caused the outbreak and if there is any treatment or cure.

The CDC encourages citizens to be prepared for any emergency event–whether it is zombies or the more common hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. Emergency planning for zombies will also suffice in the event of such natural disasters but as always the CDC urges everyone to be ready for whatever might a hazard and disruption of our daily lives.

It is good to know the CDC is willing to take the time to address the concerns of the public rather than scoff at the idea of a zombie apocalypse. Even more so, anyone who is prepared to face zombies is ready to deal with whatever Mother Nature chooses to throw their way, so it’s all good.

Tamara L. Morris is certified as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and is a trained Skywarn Stormspotter through the National Weather Service. Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own articles

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blog: May 20th 2011

Read the following article. It is why I have such a love for homes. Why I got into this business. I always hoped to be able to make a “find”.

Family finds $45,000 in new home — then returns it

AP By CHI-CHI ZHANG, Associated Press        Chi-chi Zhang, Associated Press–    Thu May 19, 8:50 pm ET

SALT LAKE CITY – When Josh Ferrin closed on his family’s first home, he never thought he’d make the discovery of a lifetime — then give it back.  Ferrin picked up the keys earlier this week and decided to check out the house in the Salt Lake City suburb of Bountiful. He was excited to finally have a place his family could call their own.  As he walked into the garage, a piece of cloth that clung to an attic door caught his eye. He opened the hatch and climbed up the ladder, then pulled out a metal box that looked like a World War II ammunition case.  “I freaked out, locked it my car, and called my wife to tell her she wouldn’t believe what I had found,” said Ferrin, who works as an artist for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. Then he found seven more boxes, all stuffed full with tightly wound rolls of cash bundled together with twine — more than $40,000.  Ferrin quickly took the boxes to his parent’s house to count. Along with his wife and children, they spread out thousands of bills on a table, separating the bundles one by one. They stopped counting at $40,000, but estimated there was at least $5,000 more on the table.  Ferrin thought about how such a large sum of money could go a long way, pay bills, buy things he never thought he could afford.  “I’m not perfect, and I wish I could say there was never any doubt in my mind. We knew we had to give it back, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t think about our car in need of repairs, how we would love to adopt a child and aren’t able to do that right now, or fix up our outdated house that we just bought,” Ferrin said. “But the money wasn’t ours to keep and I don’t believe you get a chance very often to do something radically honest, to do something ridiculously awesome for someone else and that is a lesson I hope to teach to my children.”  He thought about the home’s previous owner, Arnold Bangerter, who died in November and left the house to his children.  “I could imagine him in his workshop. From time to time, he would carefully bundle up $100 with twine, climb up into his attic and put it into a box to save. And he didn’t do that for me,” Ferrin said of the man who had worked as a biologist for the Utah Department of Fish and Game.  Bangerter purchased the home in 1966 and lived there with his wife, who died in 2005.  After most of the money was counted, Ferrin called one of Bangerter’s sons with the news.  Kay Bangerter said he knew his father hid away money because he once found a bundle of cash taped beneath a drawer in their home, but he never considered his dad had stuffed away so much over the years.  “He grew up in hard times and people that survived that era didn’t have anything when they came out of it unless they saved it themselves,” Kay Bangerter, the oldest of the six children, told the Deseret News. “He was a saver, not a spender.”  Bangerter called the money’s return “a story that will outlast our generation and probably yours as well.”  “I’m a father, and I worry about the future for my kids,” Ferrin said. “I can see him putting that money away for a rainy day and it would have been wrong of me to deny him that thing he worked on for years. I felt like I got to write a chapter in his life, a chapter he wasn’t able to finish and see it through to its conclusion.”

I have always known that there was magis in attics. Well, think about it! That’s where we always find the fairies, monsters and treasures.

Come to the 5th annual Lavender festival. June 25th and 26th.  Wine tasting, Microbrews, Food and Music, crafts and fun for the kids. www.oregonlavenderfarm.com

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May 9th 2011

Finnegan’s Mill
2810 Portland Rd
Newberg,  Or 97132
The remnants of a large coast redwood have been
transformed into an ode to Oregon’s once great logging industry and a man who
for many years drew his livelihood from that business.   A 12 feet tall carving
of an old-time logger, holding a six-foot crosscut saw with his head festooned
with the felt hat typical at the turn of the 20th century, was completed
Thursday adjacent to Finnigan’s Mill restaurant. We will miss the big tree when it comes time to decorate for Christmas. Drive by and check out Newberg’s newest attraction.
Do you follow American Idol? Who is your favorite?

99W Drive-in Theater

You can enjoy an old-fashioned drive-in theatre in Newberg at the 99W Drive-In Theatre.  This theatre opened originally in 1953.  It is one of only four drive-ins left in operation in Oregon.www.99W.com
3110 Portland Road
Newberg, OR  97132
(503) 538-2738

Roger’s Landing

Come for the Memorial weekend boat races

Newberg is home to one of Oregon’s premier boating facilities on the majestic Willamette River.  This park offers expansive parking and a three-lane boat launch. From land or water, Rogers Landing is one of Yamhill County’s top recreational resources. Many enjoy strolling the docks at sunset or scanning the skies for blue heron, osprey, kingfishers, or migrating geese. Located on the river’s “Newberg Pool”, the park is especially popular with water skiers. In spring, fishermen brave the rain to catch salmon near Ash Island, just south of the park. Rogers Landing will be a key stop on the Willamette River Water Trail, a route that will tour canoers and kayakers from Corvallis to Wilsonville, with opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring along the way.http://www.co.yamhill.or.us/parks/index.asp?sel=Rogers_Landing

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May 5th 2011

“Cinco De Mayo”  nuff said. I think everyone knows about today by now.

Friday is Art Walk and Kris (Coldwell Banker) is making her famous meatballs. 5 to 9 pm in downtown Newberg. Come and say Howdy.

Thinking of trading in that old 3 bedroom for a newer 4 bedroom model? Maybe the kids are starting to move out so you can down size to a little 2 bedroom coupe? The glove compartment in the master bedroom to small for all your tires?  Sun makes you wish you had more trunk space for a garden or a pool?  Well, just give “Honest as the day is long” Kathy Blanchard a call and we will go out and kick a few doors.   503-412-8100 Coldwell Banker Professional Group 503-538-0468

The Soapy Bear  Saturdays at:

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May 4th, 2011

A Zombie Proof House

May 4, 2011
Posted by david_marine in General
in Coldwell Banker Blue Matter
From The Walking Dead series on AMC to the popular casual game Plants vs. Zombies to the book Pride & Prejudice and Zombies (which is a great read by the way), the centuries old threat of Zombies is making a comeback. And one builder has prepared quite a home to protect those who feel that a zombie takeover may be an impending reality.  Designed by KWK Promes and located outside of Warsaw, Poland, this first zombie proof house isn’t the usual compound where the earth’s sole survivors usually wait out an attack and develop a serum to cure the zombie virus. The home is actually fantastic.
It’s beautifully designed, very livable and sits on a scenic piece of property. The zombie-proofing of it is in the fact that it has only one entrance, which is accessible via drawbridge. Yes, a drawbridge.  The walls are movable and the house has the ability to completely cover all windows with slabs of concrete making the home an impenetrable fortress.  Take a look at all the photos over at All That Is Interesting and I’m sure you’ll be surprised to see just how gorgeous this place is as well as being zombie proof.  I guess you can never make a home too secure.
Photos taken by Aleksander Rutkowskiand
Source: Arthitectural
On a more serious note, at least to some:

Newberg Code Red Service

Sign Up Here

The City of Newberg uses a community alert system, CodeRED®, which allows City officials to send emergency notifications or other information considered important to Newberg and Dundee area residents and businesses.  This is a free service for all Newberg and Dundee residents and businesses.
CodeRED® allows the City of Newberg to telephone all or targeted areas of Newberg and Dundee in an emergency situation that requires immediate action, such as an evacuation, hazardous chemical spill, missing person, drinking water contamination, hostage situation, et cetera. Within minutes of activation, residents are delivered a pre-recorded message describing the situation and, if necessary, provided instructions requiring immediate action on the part of the recipient.
While CodeRED® utilizes land line phone numbers, community members are encouraged to enroll additional cell phone or work phone numbers.
If you would like to receive CodeRED® messages, you may sign up by clicking the below link. Should you at any time desire to be removed from the calling list, you may do so by completing the Opt Out form below.What should I do if I receive a CodeRED®  message?
*  Listen Carefully
*  Follow instructions
*  Don’t hang up until you hear the whole message
*  DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless instructed to do so.  (You will only tie up emergency lines.)

What should I do if I don’t receive a message?
Your area of the community may not be identified as part of the notification area and may not be affected.  In this case, you won’t receive a call even if it is only a block away.

For those who are hearing impaired, the sign up form offers a TDD ONLY option for tone delivery of emergency messages.  Messages delivered to phone numbers marked TDD will only be delivered in TDD/TTY format.

Disclaimer: The CodeRED® notification service is provided as a supplemental emergency communication method and should not be relied upon exclusively. The City of Newberg makes no warranties about the accuracy, completeness, or delivery of any information posted or transmitted by the City through the CodeRED® system. Although CodeRED® is an important tool for the City’s use in the event of an emergency, there is no guarantee that notification will reach any particular resident upon activation. The City of Newberg, its officers and employees, shall not be liable for any actions taken or omissions made in reliance on the information provide or for a failure to receive the CodeRED® notification.

Opt Out          Sign Up                     Printer-friendly version                  Send to friend
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May 3rd 2011

First Street Pub

(503) 538-4368 · 611 E 1st St, Newberg, OR 97132

Stop in for lunch. great food; pool tables; casino type games; did I mention the great food? Try the nachos, enough for 2; gizzards are tasty and not all dry and hard; biscuits and gravy anyone? Happy hour 2-6pm

– First Sundays at First Street Pub –
From the heart of Oregon’s wine country The First Street Pub in Newberg has an eclectic Open Mic Night every month on the first Sunday @ 7PM
We record many of the performances, so take a minute to browse through all the weekly playlists and featured artists…
We have a great crowd of local musicians from the greater Portland, Oregeon metro area – tell your friends that you wanna see them play at the First Street Pub!
First time artist’s get a drink special…
If you have questions just ask our host, Bart Castle  – or email us at firststreetpubopenmic@gmail.com
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May 2nd 2011

Photo Name Features
Picture Puma Abyssinian
Domestic Short Hair
Adult, Male
Picture Brutus Chihuahua
Young, Male
Picture Ruffus Chihuahua

Adult, Male

Picture Karma Labrador Retriever

Adult, Female

Picture Red Shepherd

Adult, Male

These animals are looking for a new home. You can adopt one from:

901 Brutscher St. STE D PMB 107
Newberg, OR 97132-6099

Don’t forget to come and visit Art Walk this Friday 5-9 Downtown Newberg.

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May 1st 2011

I don’t usually get in to politics and government issues with anyone but myself.  But they say on the news tonight that Bin Laden is dead. I have to say that it has been a long time coming. He caused way more heartache and deaths besides the 9/11 attacks. The service men and women that have died, the families left here while loved ones fight, the money our country has shelled out to keep our troups supplied and overseas. Good ridence Bin Laden, and let’s get our troops home where they belong.

Did you know the Newbergs  motto is: A Great Place To Grow.  I second that!!!!

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April 29 2011

Council hears grievances about ODOT bypass property dealings  

By: Amanda Newman  Published: 4/23/2011 8:00:00 AM

  The principal discussion of Monday night’s meeting of the Newberg City Council came not under an agenda item but in the public comment period, after individuals who own property in the Newberg-Dundee bypass corridor came forward to discuss difficulties they have had with the property acquisition process.
   Katherine Callahan told the council that the offer she has received from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for her property is so low that she cannot afford a comparable property. She has operated a catering business out of her home of 22 years and the specific needs of the business — two kitchens, for example — make it difficult to find a comparable home. With the amount ODOT is willing to give for her property, she hasn’t been able to find a property that will fit the bill.
   Another woman, Evelyn Randall, also shared her story with the council. She recently moved from a bypass corridor property to North Plains and said that despite being unable to find a relocation property in Newberg or the surrounding areas, she was pleased with the process … after ODOT passed her on to another entity.
   She briefly dealt with ODOT at the beginning of the process and said she was given conflicting information and the agency wasn’t easy to work with. They then passed her on to HDR, an outside agency that had successfully worked with some property owners in her neighborhood. But ODOT’s contract with HDR ended in July and was not renewed, she said.
   Local real estate agent Julie Codiga, who has been working with Callahan to find a suitable property, mentioned the cases of property owners in the bypass corridor who have similar issues dealing with ODOT. She has communicated with Yamhill County Commissioner Leslie Lewis and state Sen. Larry George (R-Sherwood) about the issues and said ODOT has given them incorrect information about particulars of Callahan’s situation.
   Callahan has received a quasi-eviction notice, she said, which goes against ODOT assurances that no one will be evicted at this point. Councilor Denise Bacon said U.S. Congressman David Wu, who represents Newberg, has received a letter from ODOT stating that the agency is not evicting anyone in the bypass corridor.
   The topic of troubles in the bypass corridor property acquisition had surfaced at a previous council meeting and members of the council expressed a desire to meet with ODOT officials and discuss the situation. Some said, however, that they wanted specific examples of issues with the process — at that point all they had to go off were rumors and secondhand accounts of property owners getting the runaround.
   ODOT representatives are tentatively scheduled to meet May 2 with the council. Mayor Bob Andrews said Monday night he would extend an invitation to Wu, George and state Rep. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) for them — or members of their staff — to also attend the meeting.
   Members of the council said they wanted to make sure Newberg citizens were being treated fairly in the property acquisition process and that ODOT wasn’t moving prematurely to evict people from their homes, particularly as construction of the bypass remains a thing of the future.
   However, city attorney Terry Mahr cautioned the council that they have no legal standing in the process — their position is purely a political one, meaning that meeting and talking with ODOT representatives is likely the best course of action.
   In the business portion of the meeting, the council voted unanimously to:
   — Allow an additional extension period for expiring subdivisions and planned developments, in light of the economy. There is already a standard extension allowed and the council passed an additional extension possibility in 2009. Developments that will soon exceed even that limit — Planning and Building Director Barton Brierley said there are four that could qualify — will have until the end of the year to apply for the additional yearlong extension.
   — Approved changes to the council rules and guidelines.
   — Approved a vision statement for the city: “Newberg will cultivate a healthy, safe environment where citizens can work, play and grow in a friendly, dynamic and diverse community valuing partnerships and opportunity.”

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