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By Lance Marrs

The list of things to do to prepare your home to sell can be long and boring. Organizing closets, servicing the furnace, cleaning gutters etc., may not be fun tasks, but they are all important things to do. As a seller, you want to present your home in the best light to generate interest with buyers.

A home that is immaculate, well maintained and thoughtfully presented will create more buzz and get you top dollar. If your home is already in tiptop shape, consider these cosmetic upgrades to kick it up a notch and create that “Wow” factor. They may require a bit more than elbow grease, but will no doubt provide you a return on investment.


1. Paint the front porch

An attractive entry matters. Painting the front porch and porch ceiling creates that first impression pop. Blue porch ceilings are traditional in the south, and are said to ward off evil spirits, but feel free to have fun with color! Adding a new fixture to the porch ceiling is another way to curate the home buying experience from the moment they walk up.


Image source: Zillow


2. Doll up the yard

Weeding and mulching are must dos. Adding colorful plants and flowers in beds or containers takes it up a level and boosts curb appeal. Lighting up a pathway with solar fixtures adds ambiance and is a safety feature buyers will appreciate.


Image source: BHG


3. Paint kitchen cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets aren’t in excellent condition, have them refinished or repainted by a professional. You can’t go wrong with white. White cabinets are elegant, timeless and make a space feel open and airy. White cabinets can really update a space as you can see in these Before & After photos on Elle Décor.


Image source: Nicole Gibbons Style

4. Buff wood floors

Hardwood floors are a desirable feature for buyers. If your wood floors look worn and dull, have them professionally buffed and polished. It’s easier and cheaper than having them refinished and your floors will look as good as new.


Image source: Pats Color


5. Neutralize the palette

Strong colors or patterns can be a turn off for potential buyers. A neutral palette inside the home is calming and classy. It enables buyers to see past distracting patterns or colors to focus on the house and its lovely features. Replace carpets that are worn, stained or not neutral in color. The same goes for strong colored tile, whether on the floor or backsplash.


Image source: Spade and Archer


6. Go stainless

Today’s buyer wants modern appliances. Stainless steel is the hottest amenity on buyers’ wish lists according to data from To instantly breathe new life into a kitchen, replace dated appliances with stainless steel.


Image source: Pinterest


When it comes to selling your home, all of the details, whether large or small make a difference to potential buyers. Making necessary repairs and deep cleaning shows buyers you’ve put care and maintenance into your home. Adding thoughtful updates will make your home more than memorable, sell faster and for more money.


Lance Marrs has more than 20 years of real estate experience and is a principal broker at Living Room Realty in Portland Oregon.


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There is something truly charming about attics. If you happen to possess one, you should consider yourself lucky! Even though they are usually small, attic rooms are cosy and easy to clean. In addition, they can be transformed in all sorts of creative ways. Here are five great ideas you could use to turn the attic space into a lovely sanctuary at home.

  1. Office Room

One of the best advantages of attics is that they are separated from the rest of the rooms at home. Thus, they can provide you with privacy and independence. The attic space would be sufficient for your computer, folders and office materials. One good trick is to pick white color for the ceiling, walls and furniture, so that the room looks brighter and bigger. In addition, pay good attention to the windows during the office cleaning. You need a good source of natural light in order to have a healthy work environment.

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  1. Relaxation room

Have you ever dreamt to have your own meditation or yoga room? You can easily transform your attic into one. Just think about all the objects that have a relaxing effect on you: candles, crystals, pyramids, plants, incense sticks – just use your imagination. Remember that it is important to keep this room clean and well aired for your breathing exercises.

  1. Home library

If you are a true book lover, you are probably suffering from lack of space for your books. The attic could turn into a lovely home library for all your books and magazines. You can buy extra shelves and even arrange books by type or author. Get yourself a comfortable sofa and a coffee table. And be careful! Once you have that cozy library ready, you might end up moving in the attic.

  1. Home movie theater

Just like book worms, cinema lovers dream of some space of their own. The attic room could be the best place for the purpose. There they can gather with friends, eat popcorn and watch movies for hours. Keep in mind that this room is likely to be quite messy! It would need regular cleaning…or at least spring cleaning.

  1. Games and crafts room

One great option is to turn the attic into a room for leisure activities. Think about your favorite games. Playing cards, chess, monopoly and all sorts of board games would be ideal for the purpose. In addition, you can bring and practice there your favorite crafts, such as pottery, knitting, jewelry making and painting (a lot of carpet cleaning here!). The attic could be your personal sanctuary for creativity and relaxation, or a place for noisy entertainment with your family and friends.

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If you’ve got your house ready to show but you’re still living in it, things will invariably end up out of place. Take 15-20 minutes and follow the checklist below to make sure everything’s in shape before you leave your house for a showing.



  • Keep all keys, mail, and documents with personal information out of sight.
  • Store alcohol and prescription drugs out of view, preferably in a locking cabinet.
  • Password protect desktop computers, lock up laptops or take with you.
  • Lock up small valuables like jewelry, watches, mp3 players, tablets, etc.


  • Remove dishes from the sink.
  • Clear counters and tables, store small kitchen appliances out of sight
  • Rinse sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets clean.
  • Store toiletries in cabinets or drawers, straighten hanging towels.
  • Place laundry in covered hampers or otherwise out of view.


  • Put toys away – have a bin at the ready for quick pick-ups.
  • Secure pets in kennels or preferably out of the house.

Tip – get into the habit of running through this list before you leave the house every morning so you won’t need to worry if someone wants schedule a tour while you’re at work.

The Portland Hollywood District is no “Hollywood” but it is glamorous in its own way. The only real connection to anything Hollywood in the district is the historic theater, ran by a non-profit and popular for showing art house films. The heart of the district is Sandy Blvd. This street has changed and grown a lot over the years, improving in all sorts of ways. Historically it hasn’t had a lot of charm, but in recent years there are tons of new shops and restaurants that pull all different types of crowds in. The Max line helps bring a variety of people through the neighborhood as well.


The weekly Farmers Market has been a favorite to many for a few years now. Located in the parking lot of Grocery Outlet as well as the surrounding streets, it is a vibrant market for the community! A brand new, New Seasons grocery store has opened  in the neighborhood along with Whole Foods. The large 24 hour Fitness is also located right in the heart of this district across from the Trader Joes, a building you can’t miss.


Real Estate is strong in this neighborhood due to its accessibility to public transportation (max line has a stop) the airport, and freeways heading all directions. Schools are strong and walkability to the library, grocery stores and good restaurants is very convenient. Hollywood /Grant Park has a variety of architecture in well-established single family homes. Prices range from 400,000 up to as high as 900,000 for the fully restored Craftsman the neighborhood is known for. Recently more apartment and condo style living have been built. Hollywood District is not a neighborhood to leave off  your list if you want great access to downtown, the airport, and a walkable path to your everyday needs as well as strong public schools!!


Susie and Duffy the Real Estate Dog

Susie and Duffy the Real Estate Dog

Susie Hunt Moran is a Real Estate Broker with Windermere Stellar and has called PDX home for over 35 years. She is a Portland home expert and can be found working all over town with her Westie, Duffy the Real Estate Dog, always loyal by her side.

Susie knows Hawthorne!

Househappy —  August 17, 2015 — Leave a comment

The Hawthorne neighborhood has one of my all time favorite restaurants in Portland. No matter what you order you are guaranteed an excellent meal at 3 Doors Down. We have been dining there since it opened 21 years ago, my 2 favorite items are their steamer clams and their penne pasta with Vodka sauce, a house specialty. It’s a must try! Not only is one of my favorite restaurants there but other great spots like Harvey’s comedy club, the Bagdad Theater, Kids at Heart, other five star resturants and of course Apizza Scholls to name a few!


If you are looking for a laugh try Harvey’s, the comedy club on lower Hawthorne. Each night different comedians put on a hilarious show while you enjoy a full meal and drinks. Another spot for a night out is the Bagdad Theater located right on Hawthorne St. The theatre just underwent a new renovation, including a new sound system and larger screen and improved seating and now is playing first run movies.


Do you have a kids birthday party to go to and still haven’t gotten the present? No problem, run over to Kids at Heart. A great toy store with toys ranging for all ages, I guarantee you’ll find a great present and still keep to a small budget, win win.

A few other places that are sure to satisfy your tastebuds include Blue Star Donuts and Por Que No. Blue Star has a variety of donuts like a lavender donut or a vegan pistachio with raspberry hibiscus.  Por que no is great mexican food with a variety of tacos and a great happy hour with yummy house margaritas.


One of the great local events of the year in the neighborhood is the Hawthorne Street Fair. It’s a free event on Sunday the 16th from 11am-7pm. Streets are closed between 31st-38th avenue, loads of vendors will be set up. Kids at Heart will be having different kid activities going on (35th ave.) There will also be beer gardens at two different locations and the main music stage will be located at 34th and hawthorne. Stop by for a fun filled day.


As you can imagine the real estate market has taken off in the Hawthorne area. With the fantastic walkability, access to downtown and the exciting urban lifestyle people are longing to live in this area. Bungalows and Craftsman are the predominant architectural styles in the neighborhood. A starter home in the Hawthorne area is $425,000 and up. At this price the home may still need some work but a little sweat equity goes a long way!!

Portland Photographer

Susie Hunt Moran is a Real Estate Broker with Windermere Stellar and has called PDX home for over 35 years. She is a Portland home expert and can be found working all over town with her Westie, Duffy the Real Estate Dog, always loyal by her side.

David joins us after a diverse leadership career with companies ranging from small startups to major enterprises. He succeeds Founder and former CEO, Kevin McCloskey. He has big plans for Househappy and has brought in some exciting new partnerships.


Houshappy CEO, David Maoungian

When considering whether or not a startup will succeed Manougian says he “looks for brand potential, a unique customer experience, a business reason for the company to exist and most of all, the talent level of the people. In the case of Househappy it met and surpassed all these areas, especially the people.”

The primary area Manougian sees as a potential industry disruptor for Househappy is the opportunity to reach the next generation of homebuyers seeking a different experience than what exists today in how they search for, buy and maintain their homes. Househappy is passionate about providing these buyers and homeowners with a more visual and personalized search along with the tools to help them manage the most important purchase most people will make in their lifetime – their home.

To learn more about David and changes at Househappy, Malia Spencer, Reporter at the Portland Business Journal, was kind enough to write about us. Click here to check it out.

We spend so much of our lives at home, so the importance of feeling happy and enjoying our time there as much as possible cannot be overstated in terms of its impact on our overall wellbeing. That’s what Apartment Therapy says in this post they’ve shared in honor of the International Day of Happiness. And we couldn’t agree more. Helping people find happiness at home is the whole reason Househappy exists!

Easiest way to get started? Make your bed. Every single day, no matter what. It sounds simple enough, but author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin says it’s one of the quickest habits you can adopt to increase your happiness at home. Start today, and click here to read the rest of their tips.

Source: Apartment Therapy