Portland Metro Highlights

Season Greetings!

The end of the year brings no greater joy than the opportunity to express to you season's greetings and good wishes. May your holidays and New Year be filled with joy.

For the Latest Portland Real Estate Market Highlights - check out the Market Action Report & Neighborhood Stats below.

In the event you or someone you know is thinking about selling or buying a home, give me a call at 503-319-5684 or email arnett@realtytrust.com to discuss current market activity and conditions.
Great Gift Ideas for Home and Family

For Coffee Table Fun:

The "Underwater Dogs" Photo Book

Who knew that dogs have such mesmerizing expressions when they're swimming underwater? These fantastic shots by photographer Seth Casteel have won rave reviews worldwide. The book contains more than 80 photos and would be an entertaining gift for virtually anyone.

Price Range: Around $12 for hardcover.

For the Creative Mind:

The Makey Makey

It's a little hard to describe, but the Makey Makey lets the user transform anything into a computer keyboard. Use a potato as a computer mouse, for example, or play video games by stepping on pieces of foil. According to the positive user reviews, kids and young adults like this as much as their elders think they should. :)

Price Range: Around $50.

For the Mindful Relaxer:

The Do Good Hammock

People rave about the comfort and coolness of these colorful hammocks, handmade by the Mlabri people in Thailand. Using traditional weaving skills to make hammocks has helped the Mlabri establish some independence and an economic foothold after their nomadic jungle lifestyle fell prey to deforestation and warfare a few decades ago. Each extra-wide hammock is made with 3 miles of soft cord and can hold up to 400 pounds.

Price Range: Around $195.

For the Wine Lover:

Stemless Aerating Wine Glasses

Simply swirl these ridged glasses to aerate wine and unlock its aroma without having to wait for a bottle to breathe. According to the seller, this process can also reduce the amount of alcohol that enters the bloodstream by up to 30%.

Price Range: Around $20 for a set of four glasses.

And because where there is wine, there are often wine stains...

The 'Chateau Spill' Red Wine Stain Remover

Created using classic Kiwi ingenuity, this biodegradable wine stain remover is safe to use on both white and colored fabrics - and according to user reviews, it actually works.

Price Range: Around $10.

For the Traveler:

The Push-Button Inflatable Neck Pillow

People love the fact that this neck pillow deflates down to a small carrying size, and users give it high marks for comfort and post-sale customer support. It pumps up within 30 to 60 seconds via a manual button pump (no batteries required).

Price Range: Around $25.

For the Beer Drinker:

Bottle Opening Pint Glass

Two bottle openers are built right into this classic style pint glass - one on the side, for pop top bottles, and one on the bottom that works for twist tops. This is a fun gift for the person who appreciates carbonated beverages, and it's dishwasher-safe.

Price Range: Around $12 per glass.

For the Misplacer of Eyeglasses:

The Owl Eyeglasses Holder

Hand carved by Fair Trade artisans in India, this ornamental wooden owl keeps eyeglasses from getting lost or ending up underfoot. There's also a peacock version, along with several other unique designs on the Uncommon Goods website.

Price Range: Around $24.

For the Would-Be Dog 'Trainer':

Bad Dog® Glass Tumblers

Image courtesy of UncommonGoods.com

These whimsical pint glass tumblers help dog owners celebrate the challenges of training Fido, with a cute pooch doing exactly the opposite of the command he's hearing.

Price Range: Around $35 for a set of four glasses.

For the Cat Lover:

The Cat Crib

Finally, something that might keep the cat off of the furniture! The Cat Crib creates a cozy space for cats to nest below the seats of chairs and underneath small end tables.

Price Range: Around $22.

When Home Is the Outdoors:

The Picnic Backpack

Getting away from it all is easier with an over-the-shoulder backpack that comes with everything needed for a picnic for two. The inner pocket is insulated to keep food hot or cold, and a handy exterior pocket contains plates, silverware, cups, napkins, and even a wine bottle opener.

Price Range: Around $48.

The Uncommon Goods website also sells a Sunset Wine Tote (a wine-only version of the Picnic Backpack) for around $40. Both have received very good user reviews.

Just for Fun:

The Land Shark

Image courtesy of UncommonGoods.com

If you're stumped on a gift idea for that special someone who needs something truly unique (or who just loves sharks), this two-piece lawn ornament is likely to bring smiles - and it certainly fits the category of 'not your typical present'. :) Each one is handmade in Arizona by artisan Chris Crooks, and the line is highly rated by users.

Price Range: Around $180.

Or, if you're just looking for a stocking stuffer...

The Hog Wild Unicorn Popper

Yes, it looks ridiculous - but this inexpensive toy gets rave reviews, and adults appear to enjoy it too. (The balls can cover long distances without hurting anyone, so they're good for home play and office cubicle warfare.) It comes in many other varieties, including penguins, reindeer, and sharks. Not for children under 3 years old.

Price Range: Around $10.

Note: Links to online shopping sources are included for efficiency's sake, but most items are available at various locations, including non-online stores. This is not intended to recommend any particular shopping resource. Item graphics courtesy of Amazon.com, Jet.com and UncommonGoods.com.
What the lawyers make us say: The information here is not presented as expert legal or financial advice. Please use your best judgment and consult professionals when necessary.
Recent Market Highlights
Market chart icon

- U.S. home prices rose 5.5 percent year-to-year in September, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is around 4 percent. It's widely expected that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates by around .25% in mid-December.

The October Pending Home Sales Index rose 1.8 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Note: Housing statistics based on closed sales typically reflect market conditions of two or three months ago. To find out what's going on right now in your local market, please contact me directly.

Contact Me for Market Information
Are you curious about your home's current market value, or do you have a question about home buying? Just reply to this email, or call me at (503) 319-5684.
Links that Make Life Easier

Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not... these are assorted links that come in handy:

'Take A Five' Productivity Helper
This brilliantly simple website creates web page tabs that self-destruct after the number of minutes you specify. (In other words, a 5-minute social media break is less likely to turn into an hour of watching cute cat videos.)

Match-Up Worksheet Maker
Make your own printable word-concept match-up sheets for learning with kids at the Teacher's Corner website, which has many other fun educational resources.

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream Frosting
Lighter and less overwhelming than many cream cheese icings, this might just be one of the best frosting recipes out there.

The Lighter Side

You have to admire the optimism of this little dog following his athletic pal into a massive hedge! It's a valiant effort, but.... :)

Click here or on the image to watch the video on Youtube.

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Are you thinking of buying or selling a home in the next year, or could you use some remodeling advice? Even if you just need the name of a good service provider, please remember that I'm always here to help you. I welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and associates with my expertise and recommendations.
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