Legal, Cultural, and Feminine Icon, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, passes at 87 — Leaving a remarkable impact on the United States of America

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — here in her chambers during a 2019 interview with NPR’s Nina Totenberg — died on Friday at the age of 87.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a proud advocate for women’s rights and equality; She became a legal, cultural, and feminine icon to several. On Friday, September 18th, the Supreme Court announced her passing, stating the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas. The court statement said Ginsburg passed surrounded by her family at her home in Washington D.C. 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought immensely for women’s rights in the ’70s and served 27 years on the nation’s most leading court, becoming a historic figure. She made the world a better place for women in America; In 1980, she led the fight in courts for gender equality. By law, women were treated differently from men and were restricted in what they were allowed to do, retaining them from jobs and rights. “By the time she donned judicial robes, however, Ginsburg had worked a revolution” (❡15). RBG devoted her movement to equal rights for women and men, leading to her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. One of her biggest pieces of evidence behind her fight for women’s rights was when Ginsburg wrote the court’s 7-1 opinion declaring that the Virginia Military Institute will no longer be an all-male institution. While most women would not meet the dogmatic demands to be in the VMI, they could not exclude them from attempting. “‘Reliance on overbroad generalizations … estimates about the way most men or most women are, will not suffice to deny opportunity to women whose talent and capacity place them outside the average description,’ Ginsburg wrote” (❡17). She was an unlikely leader, a rather shy woman, but her hidden intellect and attitude dominated whatever she came into contact with. By the time RBG reached her 80s, she became an icon to women all around the world. She was the star of a documentary, a biopic, an operetta, merchandise galore featuring her “Notorious RBG” appellation, a Time magazine cover, and regular Saturday Night Live sketches. She was prominent in Hollywood, as well as on the court.

Ginsburg always kept a packed schedule of public appearances, at home too. She continued to keep up appearances even after five encounters with cancer: colon cancer (1999), pancreatic cancer 10 years later, lung cancer (2018), and then a repeated time with pancreatic cancer (2019) as well as liver lesions in 2020. During that time, she held up a fight through chemotherapy, radiation, and gut-wrenching pain from shingles.

Growing up, Ruth Bader had always excelled as a student — and as a baton twirler. RBG gives all credit to her mother, who pushed her heavily as a child to succeed; Her mother unfortunately died of cancer the day before Ginsburg graduated high school. Ginsburg continued her journey at Cornell University on a full ride scholarship, where she met her husband, Martin (Marty) Ginsburg. “‘What made Marty so overwhelmingly attractive to me was that he cared that I had a brain,’ she said” (❡24). After her graduation, they married and settled in Oklahoma for his military service. There, it was hard on Mrs. Ginsburg to maintain a steady job despite her exceptionally high scoring on her civil service exam. She managed to get a job as a typist, but became pregnant and eventually lost that job. Two years later, Mr. and Mrs. Ginsburg traveled back to the East Coast where Ruth attended Harvard Law School as an academic star. The couple found themselves busy juggling their busy schedules as well as their toddler when Marty was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Ruth was left to care for a toddler and a sick husband, while also keeping up her duties as a law student with classes and exams. Marty overcame his testicular cancer, graduated, and got a job in New York while Ruth transferred to Columbia where she graduated top of her class. Undeterred by her academic achievements, the doors for law firms were still closed to women. She finally was able to get a clerkship in New York that was held at threat if she was not able to pursue her duties. In 1963, she landed a teaching job at Rutgers Law School whilst hiding her second pregnancy. Luckily, she renewed her contract before her baby was born. While teaching, she began her fight for gender equality. 

There were times where Ruth Ginsburg believed she could not do it, but it was Marty that reminded her she could. Later on, Marty Ginsburg died at home, but the next day, Mrs. Ginsburg was found on the bench, reading an important opinion she had authored for the court. “In the years after Marty’s death, she would persevere without him, maintaining a jam-packed schedule when she was not on the bench or working on opinions” (❡73). 

RBG never let anything stop her; She never stopped persevering. To the end of her tenure, she remained an extraordinary feminist. Ruth Bader Ginsburg will forever be remembered as one of the most strong and influential women to exist.

Agent Website Photos-KristaThis blog post was written by Krista Pham, our intern.

The article that inspired this piece can be found, here.

Who Doesn’t Love Tacos

I know that in our house tacos are a favorite.   For whatever reason they seem to be that one food that brings everyone together.  We love to go out for Mexican food.  It’s always a fun and festive time plus who doesn’t love free chips and guac?  Our family favorite is Margarita Factory however there are lots of great Mexican Restaurants on the Westside.  Here are just a few of our other favorites:

Amelia’s Rustic Mexican Restaurant – Hillsboro

Peppers – Hillsboro

Casa Lola Kitchen de Mexico – Beaverton

La Hacienda Real – Beaverton

El Guajillo – Tigard

I hope that you find a great new restaurant to try, and if you do please let me know how you liked it.

Let’s Talk About Forest Grove

cosmic-timetraveler-zh_ofCt2r9c-unsplashForest Grove is a beautiful small town located 45 minutes from Downtown Portland, and honestly it feels like you’ve traveled to a whole nother part of Oregon when you’re there.  Here are a few things to consider if you are looking to move to Forest Grove.

The market is different because while it started out as a small farming town it has become primarily a commuter town with the added charm of being a college town thanks to Pacific University.

        • Community contains acreage property
        • Community has access to wine country
        • Community contains single family homes
        • Community has new construction
        • Community is a great for first time homeowners
        • Community offers beautiful scenery
        • Community great location for those who love to get outdoors
        • Community has historic homes that Friends of Historic Forest Grove is working to help save
        • Some homes in Forest Grove qualify for a USDA Home Loan

There are a few challenges:



      • The average price range is $389,000.  Homes priced under $400,000 are very popular 
      • Understand that when it comes to resale some buyers will rule Forest Grove out because it is a college town.
      • Forest Grove does have quite a few amenities however if you are someone who thrives on the hustle and bustle of the city you may not enjoy the quiet peaceful environment of this beautiful small town.
      • They currently have a low inventory which means you may find yourself in a bidding war with other buyer

So what are some of the pitfalls that can occur if your Realtor® doesn’t have an understanding of the Forest Grove market?  Well you could have……..

      • Lost revenue on the sale of their home
      • Higher costs on the purchase of their home
      • Wasting precious time
      • Increased liability
      • Increased anxiety and worry
      • Wind up with a longer commute than you would like

One of the reasons I love helping clients who are looking to move to Forest Grove is the fact that I grew up and have lived in a small town for most of my life.  I understand the benefits and drawbacks of living in a small town.  I love how the community pulls together in times of need, and that they often have some of the most amazing local restaurants.  Two of my favorites in Forest Grove are Bites and Pac Thai.    In addition I have a student at Pacific University so I find myself in Forest Grove often and love keeping up with what is going on.

I know that when it comes to choosing someone to help you with the sell or purchase of your home there are many choices out there.  As a Native Oregonian I have a love for what our state has to offer from the people to nature.  I love helping people find not just a home but a community that they can put down roots.

If you have questions about real estate in Forest Grove, please feel free to comment on this blog post or send me a message through email.  I would love to help you find your next home.

Portland City Council Takes Next Step to Help with the Rental Crisis

On Wednesday, September 16th, the Portland City Council took the necessary steps to help with the current rental crisis. Administrators passed a new measure that takes a toll on landlords renting out their space: “Between now and March of next year, if landlords raise the rent, they’ll have to pay for their tenants’ expenses if they move out” (❡3). Beforehand, the rent increase was 10% or higher to apply for the relocation costs. Now, the rule will apply to a rent increase of any amount. This is good news for those who are paying rent, but unluckily for landlords, it restrains them if they need to raise their rent. 

Mayor Ted Wheeler states the purpose of this measure is to help people stay stable under the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. “Our goal is to deploy our rent assistance funds quickly and effectively so that renters are able to pay what they owe, but we can’t accurately budget these resources when rents are not stable” (❡6).

$35-million is being funded to help Portlandians pay for their rent, but it’s not nearly enough to cover the debt of what is owed. When the statewide eviction moratorium expires in Oregon, this could cause many difficulties to those who are renting.

Agent Website Photos-KristaThis blog post was written by Krista Pham, our intern.

The article that inspired this piece can be found, here.

Your four legged family members need a doctor too.

Add a subheading copy 13Let’s be honest our pets are actually just furry four-legged family members, and when they hurt we hurt.  So when we make a move one of the many things we need to do is find those furry four-legged family members their own doctor to care for them.  Whether you’ve just moved or you’re looking for a local vet this week’s local business of the week located in Forest Grove, Oregon – Pacific Avenue Veterinary Clinic.

Dr, Sid and his crew have been helping small pets and their parents since 1998.  They provide the following services to their community:

Preventative Maintenance – just like your human family members your four legged family members need those routine check ups too.

  • Surgery – let’s be honest every now and then something happens and your pet will need surgery.  With an experienced surgical team you can be certain that your furry family member will be well cared for from the start of surgery to their recovery.
  • Diagnostics – they have state of the art diagnostic equipment so should you find that Fido needs an x-ray, ultrasound, blood work or other diagnostic treatment Pacific Ave. Vet Clinic can help.
  • Pet Boarding – headed out for a vacation?  They have two separate areas to keep healthy pets away from sick ones.  Both cats and dogs will find themselves feeling comfy thanks to large windowed cages that allow cats to do some bird watching, while Fido enjoys a walk two to three times a day.  They also know that just like humans pets do better away from home with the things that they love so you are welcome to bring their favorite blanket or toy.
  • Dentistry – Yes pets need to have dental work done too
  • Cat Grooming –  I bow down to them on this one because as you know, cats can be real jerks.  Probably why they offer sedated cat grooms which can include a lion cut, brush out, nail trim, sanitary shave in addition to ear and eye cleaning.  They do not offer cat bathing and I don’t blame them.  Cats plus water is a bad idea.

They also have an online store making it easy and convenient for you to get your pet supplies. 

Kate Brown Keeps a Firm Hold on Restrictions Against Pac-12 Practices

Oregon wide receiver Johnny Johnson III is brought down as the Oregon Ducks face the Oregon State Beavers in the 123d edition of the Civil War on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

With the news of promising results from the COVID-19 rapid-response antigen tests, Governor Kate Brown has continued to stay silent on when Oregon’s major universities will be allowed to hold regular practices. Since college athletes are able to participate in individual workouts, some coaches have decided to send their athletes home. Both the Ducks and Beavers football and basketball programs have been on a steady hold.

Although the Pac-12 still has not given any indication of returning to play, fans think that November isn’t completely out of the question but no one is quite sure what factors will push Kate Brown to lift our state restrictions.

The test equipment will be distributed to Pac-12 universities by the end of September, but with the ongoing wildfires in Oregon, the governor’s primary focus is on that rather than the plan for play. While understandable, fans just want to see the Beavers and Ducks take the field again.

The Oregon Health Authority is currently working with state universities on potential plans to get teams practicing again. They’re sitting back as other conferences return to sports to see if they are able to keep athletes and communities safe from the spread of COVID-19.

While there is no plan in place for the Beavers and Ducks to return to sports, sports fans are worried they will be at a competitive disadvantage. For now, many have their fingers crossed for restrictions to be lifted and for football and basketball teams to return to practice.

Agent Website Photos-KristaThis blog post was written by Krista Pham, our intern.

The article that inspired this piece can be found, here.

Donating Materials to Promote Black Homeownership

More than 20 volunteers came out recently for a Taking Ownership PDX project to clean out a home and prepare it for renovations. (Photo courtesy Randal Wyatt via Instagram)

Randal Wyatt, a student advocate for a Portland nonprofit and hip-hop artist, was long outspoken on social justice issues when it came to his work and social media. Not far after the killing of George Floyd, Randal was flooded with messages from white people asking how they could help support Portland’s Black community. 

With a past of racism, Portland has a predominantly white population with only 5.8 percent of African Americans. Wyatt, who was born and raised in the black communities of Portland, felt the communities needed dedicated investment. “ ‘I said it was time to put your money where your mouth is,” he recalls. “Exclusionary laws have contributed to Black and Brown communities being in the hole. We need reparations, we need to be given a piece of the pie’ ” (❡2). Soon after, the idea quickly took off and turned into Taking Ownership PDX, a vehicle that collected donations for Portland’s Black community. It is a collective group of contractors, realtors, neighbors, and businesses making free upgrades and repairs to Black-owned homes. The goal for this movement is to become a nonprofit and to increase the number of Black homeowners and businesses in Portland.

Wyatt’s motive was to first develop a framework to start his project immediately. He started to take donations himself and eventually through a fiscal sponsor. He collected the names of people who might want to volunteer to help with the renovation projects and approached the first homeowner, asking if they would be interested in free home improvement. Work began in late June on the very first home and Wyatt discovered a second home in need of repairs. After working on his first project, his movement got publicity around Portland and money started coming in. “By August, Wyatt was focused full time on Taking Ownership PDX, with the support of a board composed of 13 people in real estate, contracting, architecture and social work” (❡7). 

Wyatt and Lauren Goché, a realtor for Think-Real Estate, set a goal to raise $100,000 in one month and surpassed it recently. “The community contributed in various ways: small businesses, realtors and musicians have offered donation matches; an individual sold masks and donated the proceeds; a board member baked cookies and also donated proceeds” (❡9). 

You can keep up on Wyatt’s chronicles through his Instagram account. Taking Ownership now has 47 families listed that need assistance with 13 active projects. “Wyatt plans to establish Taking Ownership as a nonprofit that not only carries out repairs for Black homeowners, but offers downpayment assistance” (❡14). If Taking Ownership can attain state funding, they will be able to help produce more Black home and business owners by providing down payments. 

The collective is fast-growing and Wyatt wants as much support as he can get for Taking Ownership PDX.

Agent Website Photos-KristaThis blog post was written by Krista Pham, our intern.

The article that inspired this piece can be found, here.


Not only does lavender smell good it’s also beautiful

soap-2726387_1920One of my favorite soothing, relaxing scents is lavender. We have several lavender plants in our yard because not only does it smell oh so good, it also provides the most vibrant purple color in our yard when it is in bloom.  Which if you’ve ever driven by a lavender field you know what I’m talking about.  And since I love lavender so much when I stumbled across this week’s business of the week I knew I had to share it with you….Suzi’s Lavender

Suzi’s family started harvesting wild elderberries and has been making all-natural healing salves since 1865.  In addition to harvesting elderberries they also harvested other wild ingredients too.  I love looking back and seeing what natural products previous generations used to help heal themselves and I know that slaves are one of the ways they used to cure some of the following things:

  •  Cuts
  • Wounds
  • Burns
  • Infections

Another great benefit to salve is that it can help with cracked fingers and heals which Suzi’s found helpful during the cold, dry Nebraska winters.  Using their knowledge they also formulated skincare products as well.

At this time Suzi has grown the business to include three families of products and they are working on a fourth.  The products are formulated to be all-natural and support all skin types and skin conditions.  My daughter who has eczema has always benefited from the soothing calm of lavender.  If you suffer from a skin condition such as eczema please consult with your physician before trying something new because while lavender has been helpful to her it may not be the case for everyone.

In addition to the salves and all natural skin care products Suzi’s also has lavender hand sanitizer, which I’m really excited to get because I don’t know about you but I’m tired of my hand sanitizer smelling like cheap tequila.  LOL.

Suzi’s is a member of the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce so while her products are available strictly online they are a local business.  I hope you find something amazing to try.

Why Aren’t Home Efficiency Scores Standard in Online Real Estate Listings?

home efficiency
Portland now requires Home Energy Scores to be included in online aggregators such as Redfin and Zillow.

 When looking to purchase anything from a home to a car, consumers rely heavily on labels and scores to understand the features and performance; That is why home efficiency scores are extremely useful to buyers and can lead to more broad conversations about home energy use. Lots of consumers in the U.S. pay their mortgages without knowing how much energy their own home uses, committing themselves to higher utility bills that they could have avoided. Informing the homebuyers at the right time could potentially push them to choose more energy-efficient options for their home before closing papers are signed. “Portland, Oregon is the best real-world example in the U.S. to date” (❡3). Some cities or states now ask for a form of energy efficiency information for the home during real estate transactions but Portland is the only city to require Home Energy Scores at time-of-listing. Portland’s Home Energy Scoring system is a 10-point scale: “1” meaning homes with the most energy usage and “10” being homes with the least. Those who use Home Energy Scores report using the scores “to target high-performing homes that need few efficiency improvements; to help calculate the full cost of homeownership; to negotiate with sellers over energy-saving upgrades to be performed before the home is sold; and to identify improvements to tackle after move-in” (❡9). High-efficiency scores make the buyer more confident in the huge investment they’re making; It also educates more people to think about energy consumption and conservation. 

The potential in seeing more Energy Efficiency Scoring programs in different parts of the U.S. looks big. After an experiment with homebuyers, ACEEE discovered that “Homebuyers who received energy use information ended up clicking on the least-efficient listing 23 percent less often and the most-efficient option 14 percent more often” (❡19). The study proves the debate that energy efficiency information should be required on real estate listings.

The usage of energy in a home makes a big impact on whether or not a buyer might want to purchase a home. It puts consideration into the cost of utilities, energy conservation, and the wellbeing of our environment.

Agent Website Photos-KristaThis blog post was written by Krista Pham, our intern.

The article that inspired this piece can be found, here.


Competing Against A Cash Buyer……


Untitled design-14 copy 21Today we talking all about buying a home when you’re competing against a cash buyer. I know that for many buyers believe  that they are going to automatically be out of the running for a home if they are up against a cash buyer but that just isn’t true. Why? Sellers need to look at what their net proceeds will be at the end of the sale. So while a cash offer may sound appealing it may not allow the seller to net the amount of proceeds that they need at the end of the sale, which can make a non-cash offer more appealing. I worked with a seller who had multiple offers on their property and for them it wasn’t about the net proceeds or about the terms it was about the offer that had the least amount demands in it.

So, you’ve finally found it. The home of your dreams. You’re ready to make an offer. You’re excited and then BAM! You get the notification that there has been another offer- and it’s all cash. What are the odds? Who the heck has that kind of money laying around? I know you may be reaching for the tissue as you see your dreams crumble into dust around you… but…. HOLD ON FRIEND. I am here to tell you that you are down, but you are NOT OUT. Let me explain. As I mentioned above it isn’t always all about CASH:

Here are the 4 biggest steps you need to take in order to be competitive against a cash buyer. Trust me on this, you’re still in the game.

#1 Make a stronger offer
Making a stronger offer is all about getting noticed. Money talks, so you’re going to have to find another way to get your foot in the door. There are several ways you can do this. First, you can offer more money than the asking price. The only thing that speaks louder than cash is more cash. Second, you can write an offer that demands less. Showing the seller that you are much easier to work with will go a long way.

#2 Write a love letter to the seller
It sounds cheesy, I know. But sometimes it works. Let them know earnestly why you love this home, need this home, HAVE TO HAVE THIS HOME. A sweet story of serendipity may win the hearts of the sellers. After all, the sellers were once the buyers too. They may hear you out.

#3 Never give up
There’s no doubt that cash buyers have a lot of power. And one of the ways that they wield this power is by skipping the banks, sidestepping a ton of escrow procedures, and making lots of demands. They know that they can usually back out of the deal easily if their demands aren’t met. And if these demands go unmet, the cash deal may fall through. So never give up. You may lose the home to a cash buyer initially, but don’t be surprised if you get a call from the sellers a few weeks later asking if you’re still interested in buying their home! It’s never a bad idea to ask to have your offer put in the back-up position just in case.

When you’re up against tough competition in the buying sector, it’s so imperative to have a good real estate agent on your side who can get your offers noticed. I know how to navigate all of these situations with ease. I make sure to talk to the sellers agent prior to writing the contract to find out if there are things that their sellers are looking for in an offer. A couple of things that sellers may be looking for are rent back, or are looking for a quick close. If that’s the case knowing that up front before writing the offer means that those items can be put in your offer which can help with negotiations later on.