It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Thanksgiving is over and now it’s time to deck the halls and enjoy the beautiful tree lighting ceremonies throughout our different communities on the westside.  While they look different this year there are still plenty of ways for you to enjoy the beauty of the season:

Hillsboro Holly Days/Light Up Hillsboro

Is  Saturday, Dec. 1.  While downtown businesses will be open please check out The Holly Days of Hillsboro site to see how you can support the local downtown businesses.  Due to COVID the tree lighting will be virtual  In addition you can also experience the fun of Light Up Hillsboro

Beaverton Winter Lights 

Enjoy several light displays throughout Beaverton during Winter Lights.

North Plains Jingle Parade

For the past 17 years residents of North Plains have enjoyed the Jingle Parade.  This year enjoy all the fun and the tree lighting ceremony at the community garden.

Forest Grove Tree Lighting

Enjoy seeing Santa and listening to carolers during the Forest Grove tree lighting event.

Please be sure to check with each city for any changes to their events due to COVID prior to attending.  I hope you enjoy all of the wonderful holiday events.

 

 

Who doesn’t love to have pretty toes?

Alright I don’t think I’ve done my own my own toes since I was pregnant with my daughter, well unless you count quarantine but desperate times called for desperate measures then.  I love getting a pedicure and prior to COVID Angel Nail Spa in Tanasbourne was my go to for years – I’m talking prior to the expansion of their salon when it was just a small little salon.

The salon is named after the owner, Angel and she is just the sweetest.  About a year or so ago they re-did the salon and expanded and it’s absolutely the most beautiful salon I’ve ever been in.  I love the crisp clean white that they choose as well as all of the sparkles.  I mean have you ever seen wallpaper with rhinestones on it?

They have always taken their time when I was there and they have so many pedicure choices that it’s hard to choose sometimes.  If you’re looking for a place to pamper your feet at then this is it.My Copy of May 2020 Graphics  (1) copy 5

Holiday Stress Got you Down?

My Copy of May 2020 Graphics  (1) copy 5OK this is one of the more stressful times of  year.  We are preparing to gather with family and celebrate the holidays, and this year it feels more stressful than others because of COVID.  It just feels like there are more decisions that need to be made. Do we travel?  Do we have people over?  Do we do holidays via Zoom?  How do we keep everyone safe?  It’s enough to make your head spin which is why taking some me time is important, and you’ll be able to do that with this week’s local business of the week, Karma Day Spa & Salon.

Karma is located in downtown Forest Grove and I first learned of about them from my friend who was my personal trainer at the time.  She had the most amazing nails so I decided to give them a try because I’m a sucker for getting my nails done.  Now they don’t only do nails friends.  They’re sort of a one stop shop for all of your beauty needs in Forest Grove.  They offer hair styling services, facials, waxing, massage, lashes/brows, spray tan and make up application

I honestly love their location.  It’s super cute and I love that it’s close to Pacific University.  There’s something about being in that quaint college town that takes me back to my own college experience.  If you are looking for a great place that doesn’t take you into downtown Portland then you really should give Karma a try.

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie……

Friends if there is one thing I love it is pasta and an amazing piece of garlic bread.  It honestly is the hardest part of having Celiac Disease for me because it means I don’t get to partake in dining at an Italian Restaurant because ya know gluten.  However my husband loves to head out without me and grab some Italian food from one of his favorite places Nona Emila in Aloha.  I honestly can’t fault him for it either because he’s a trooper when it comes to cooking and accommodating my auto-immune disease.   If you’re looking for a good Italian restaurant to grab some take out from you’re in luck.  Here are 5 of my hubbies top faves:

Giovanni’s on SW Broadway in Beaverton

Pastini in Cedar Hill – one of my faves because they do have gluten free pasta.  The pesto is AMAZING!

Mingo on SW Crescent in Beaverton

Nona Emilia in Aloha – my husband’s favorite

Brooklyn Trattoria on NW Bethany Blvd. – Portland aka Bethany

It’s my hope that you find some amazing food that you love and gives you a break from all of the cooking we’ve all been doing.

The Pandemic Boosts Portland Office Space

Businesses turn their interests into suburban markets for more space and to be closer to their employees.

In the third quarter of 2020, the amount of office space in Portland has increased compared with the previous quarter as a result of the pandemic, causing companies to reevaluate the location and space they need for their employees. In the second quarter, total office space has increased from 15.5 percent to 17 percent; The commercial real estate firm says that although this dip is abnormal, it has grown due to more companies subleasing their office space or not renewing leases. 

The nature of office work has been influenced completely by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many employees working from home and fewer workers going into the office due to social-distancing requirements. Some businesses have chosen to get rid of the office altogether, resulting in all employees working from home. 

“The trend has profound implications for Portland downtown businesses that rely on foot traffic from office workers, such as restaurants and retailers, and hotels that rely on business travelers” (Moore, 4).

The pandemic draws more attention to the suburban market for offices, leading to a renaissance of suburban-office markets. The vacancy rate for office space in the suburbs was 10.7% in the third quarter, virtually unchanged from the previous quarter – this includes Beaverton, Hillsboro, Clackamas, and Tualatin.

The trending increased interest in the suburban market has stood out for tenants interested in more space and being closer to their employees. 

Although downtown had the largest increase in vacancy rates, the three biggest deals of the third quarter were located in the downtown area. 

Tenants have leaned towards flexible or short-term leases due to the uncertainty that comes with the coronavirus and how the office market will adapt.

 

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

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

Ready for a new hairdo?

They say that anytime a woman goes through a major change in her life she changes her hair.  I know for me that’s been true to some extent.  I also know that as the holidays approach many of us want to look our best even if we won’t be attending a ton of holiday parties this year.  So last week I introduced you to my fave place to go get your wax on at and this week I’m sharing where Revival Studios will be moving to come December…..Glam House Salon in Hillsboro.

Glam House Salon was established in 2017 and provides high quality beauty services to the Greater Portland Metro area.  Hillary Lemmon is the owner of Glam House.  She specializes in advanced hair color and extensions.  She loves to see the transformation her clients make when changing up their hair.  She has been in the industry for 10 years and is always expanding her knowledge through continuing to educate herself.  Her goal is to always bring new and exciting things to the salon.  This is her dream job as she’s dreamed of doing hair and owning her own salon since she was in the third grade.  There are two other hair stylists in addition to Hillary as well as three lash artists/estheticians.  Honestly if I wasn’t already in a fully committed relationship with my hair stylist for over 10 years I’d totally get my hair done here.

Be sure to check out all of the amazing hairstyles they have created on Instagram and Facebook!

 

Do You Need to Relax?

Several years ago thanks to a Groupon I found yoga, however do not practice as much as I should.  There are so many great videos online to help you with your yoga practice, however I know that having an actual instructor help you through the flow be it in person or virtually can be so beneficial.  If you are looking for something new to add to your fitness routine I’ve got four local recommendations for you:

 

Ether & Stone

Located in Orenco Station in Hillsboro they offer classes for beginners to advanced level 2 Warrior Flow classes.  They even have yoga for kids which I think is amazing.  I know that with kiddos sitting at computer screens more due to distance learning yoga might be a great activity for them.

Pure 8 Hot Yoga

Located in Beaverton they offer both in studio and virtual classes.  They have different pricing packages that include both in studio and virtual classes or you can choose just virtual classes.  I love this option because it allows you to access the fitness program in a way that you are comfortable.

Yiwen Yoga

There studio is located in Beaverton, however due to COVID all classes are currently online.  You are able to choose to have access to the virtual classes via recording only or live interactive classes with access to recordings.

Yoga OMazing

This is where I got hooked on yoga thanks to that Groupon I mentioned.  Located in Hillsboro you are able to attend classes in person or via live stream.  I fell in love with their studio.  There are so many windows and because it is located on the second floor of the building it is in you have some amazing views, and this time of year is gorgeous because you get to see all of the leaves changing color on the trees.  Oh and if you get the chance to take a class from Cindy Stockdale I highly recommend it.

No matter what your fitness level yoga is a great practice to add into your daily life.

4 Things to Consider Before Refinancing

WB2227GED5G2VFAO3XSTVMJ5PY
This is a good time to catch a low mortgage rate. Advance Local, Shutterstock

Between politics and pandemics, mortgage rates have fallen and refinances have been booming with more room to expand.

Close to 18 million homeowners could potentially cut their mortgage’s interest rate by 0.75% or more, according to mortgage analytics company, Black Knight. That surpasses the 3 million homeowners who refinanced the first half of 2020. 

Mortgage rates decreased to a record low territory this summer and fall. “The average interest rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been under 3% since early September, according to NerdWallet’s daily rate survey” (Nerd Wallet, 3).

If you aren’t sure if now is the right time to refinance, ask yourself the following four questions.

 

1. What’s my goal?

What would you like to accomplish by refinancing? Identifying your goal for refinancing points you toward the right loan.

These are three common refinancing goals:

  • To reduce the monthly payment. For this refinance, it is quite simple Apply to a loan of the same term – another 30-year loan, if that’s what you have.
  • To pay less interest. When you refinance a 30-year mortgage into a loan with a shorter term, your monthly payments are likely to increase, but you’ll pay less interest over the duration of the loan. 
  •  To get cash. A cash-out refinance allows you to borrow more than you currently owe and take the difference in cash. Cash-out refinance is a common way to pay for home renovations.

 

2. Is my goal attainable?

Once you’ve identified your goal, figure out if it is realistic. 

If the goal is a smaller monthly payment, ask yourself how long you will remain in the home. The answer is important because when refinancing, you’ll lose money if you sell the home before reaching the break-even point. The reason for this is because when you refinance, you pay hundreds-thousands of dollars in closing costs. You want to keep the loan long enough for the savings to exceed the cost, which may take a few years. 

 

3. If the goal is to pay less interest, are the long-term savings worth the bigger payment?

If you shorten the loan term, you will most likely end up with an increased monthly payment. In case of a financial emergency, what will happen? Will you still be capable of making the monthly payment? If you have doubts, it may be safer for you to refinance for the same term as the current mortgage rather than a shorter one and pay extra principal each month. You will still have the benefit of paying it off more quickly, but you can stop making the excess payments when money is scarce. 

If the goal is to get cash: Do I have enough equity? In most cases, you’ll be able to borrow up to 80% of your home’s value, meaning that if you currently owe 70%, you will be able to cash 10% out of it. Determine your home’s current value and multiply it by 8% to determine the amount you’ll be able to borrow. Ask your lender how much you owe on the mortgage right now or check a recent statement. You’ll be able to cash out the difference between what you owe and 80% of the home’s value. 

How will the new refinancing fee affect me? Despite an adverse market refinance fee, the door remains open for refinancing. While frustrating, the fee on interest rates is too small to erase the savings that most would attain by refinancing. Fortunately, the adverse market refinance free doesn’t apply to every loan, only conventional mortgages. If you plan to refinance into a jumbo loan or a mortgage supported by the Federal Housing Administration, Department of Veteran Affairs, or the Department of Agriculture, the fee will not be imposed. Those loans accounted for about one-third of the mortgages taken in the second quarter of 2020. The other two-thirds were securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who imposed the raised interest rates on refinances by about one-eighth of a percentage point. Although, there are a few exceptions on the fees: The fee won’t be imposed on refinances of $125,000 or less, construction-to-permanent loans, or HomeReady and Home Possible mortgages, which have income limits.

The fee goes to Fannie and Freddie from the lender, and is unlikely to appear on your Loan Estimate paperwork; It is probably included in your interest rate. 

If you’re planning to refinance in order to reduce your monthly payment, the adverse market fee is important to acknowledge because the higher interest rate will push the break-even point back a few more months. 

When refinancing for a shorter term, the interest savings quickly overshadows the slight increase on rate.

If you’re attempting to go for a cash-out refinance, the goal is to get cash rather than saving money, so the fee does not impact your decision. 

 

4. Are there alternative ways to reach my goal?

While reducing your mortgage interest rate is great, there are other ways to attain your set goals if refinancing isn’t right for you.

  • To decrease your monthly house payment without refinancing, you could look for a less expensive homeowners insurance
  • If you are looking to pay less interest over time, you could pay extra principal monthly. By doing so, you could accelerate the payoff date, reducing the total interest paid on the loan.
  • Instead of a cash-out refinance, you could keep your mortgage and get a home equity line of credit or home equity loan. These loan products will most likely have higher interest rates than you can get with a cash-out refinance, but will still give the option of paying them off sooner than required.

 

After asking yourself these questions, you’ll be able to identify more confidently what decision is best for you. 

 

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

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