New Price $725,000 | Open Sunday 9.9 from 12 – 2 PM

Posted on September 6, 2018 at 10:22 pm
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The Pros and Cons of Metal Roofing

If the time has come to get a new roof for your home, you might like to consider the option of metal roofing. This important improvement project is something most long-time homeowners will eventually have to undertake, and choosing the proper roofing material should not be taken lightly. A functioning roof will protect your home from harsh outdoor elements like rain and snow and ensure its structural integrity.

Asphalt shingles are common, but the one type of covering that is catching the eye of an increasing number of homeowners is metal roofing. “Metal roofing is gaining in popularity,” reports Todd Miller, president of Isaiah Industries in Piqua, OH. It had a 14% market share in 2016, up from 11% the year before, according to FW Dodge. Only asphalt shingles outpace metal in the remodeling market.

 In terms of style and utility, metal roofing gives any other material a run for its money, but does it suit your home (and budget)? Take a look at the best and worst things about metal roofing before you commit to it.

Pro: Metal roofing lasts 50 years—or longer

Metal roofs are by far one of the most durable, typically lasting 50 years or more, says Andrew Hecox, owner of Air Capital Roofing and Remodeling in Wichita, KS.

“Rubber and asphalt shingles are fine for 15 to 20 years, but they’ll deteriorate over time, due to weather, wind, heat, insects, and rodents,” says Cedric Stewart, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties in Washington, DC. And metal won’t corrode, crack, or catch sparks and ignite into flames from a lightning strike.

“Metal roofing also doesn’t need periodic costly maintenance, like other materials,” says Lonnie Hagen of Accent Roofing and Construction in Dallas.

Con: It’s noisy

The pitter-patter of raindrops may be soothing for some homeowners, but on a metal roof, the noise factor can be a serious drawback. The good news is that there are ways to mitigate the sound—but you’ll have to pony up. Materials can be installed to reduce the drumming effect for an additional fee.

Con: Metal costs more

“Metal roofs can cost three times more than other materials,” says Hagen. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of installing asphalt shingles is $3,700, while metal roofing costs around $7,795 to install.

Pro: It’s rather stylish

Not every metal roof has to be boring brown or ho-hum gray. In fact, you have nearly the entire rainbow to choose from. You can also order metal roofing to look like wood shakes, slate, tile, or standard fiberglass shingles, says Miller. “This allows owners to match their home’s architectural style,” he notes.

Con: Extreme weather can damage metal

If you live in a place with extreme weather, you should know that metal roofs are hail-resistant—but a violent storm can still dent them, says Hecox. Your roof will protect your home, but insurance companies may not compensate you for the repair of cosmetic damage, he adds. Aluminum or copper, while stylish, are soft metals that are more likely to experience denting.

Pro: Metal can save energy … and the environment

Who doesn’t want to save on heating and cooling costs? “This type of roof reflects solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by up to 30%,” says Hagen.

And if you’re thinking of installing solar panels, having a metal roof is recommended, says Reba Haas, a real estate agent in Seattle. “Metal is the best material to have underneath panels, because it’s lighter than asphalt construction,” Haas says.

Green builders or eco-friendly homeowners will be happy to know that metal roofs contain anywhere from 25% to 95% of recycled materials and are also 100% recyclable, Hagen says.

Con: It might not fit in

You love the look, but your neighbors … not so much. There are newer home subdivisions and homeowners’ associations (HOA) that don’t allow this type of roof in their communities, so check your HOA’s bylines before you start the project.

Pro: Metal roofing is easy to install

Don’t be alarmed if your contractor does a happy dance when you say you’ve chosen metal roofing. “[It’s] lightweight and comes in panels, which can be cut to exact dimensions—all of which make installation easier than other materials,” says Hecox. And you can sometimes place metal over existing shingles, which cuts down on the costs in time and labor of removing the old roofing, he adds. Metal is also easier to install on a steep pitched roof, again, because the panels are larger than individual shingles, says Haas. That versatility makes it ideal for houses of all shapes and sizes.

Posted on July 16, 2018 at 11:10 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

3643 SW 52nd | Wilcox Estates Condo

Posted on February 19, 2018 at 10:39 pm
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4 Ways to Decorate Better Kids’ Bedrooms


Being sent to their rooms will hardly be punishment for your children If you jump on these four décor trends—from bold graphics to innovative sleeping arrangements.



The Open-Plan Storage PlanENLARGE
The Open-Plan Storage Plan PHOTO: TODD WRIGHT




EVEN THOUGH SHE’S only 18 months old, Willa Kenner has already been immersed in her fair share of high design. Metallic wallpaper adorns her nursery’s ceiling, pillows in natural fabrics are piled high and a surfing photograph by Michael Dweck hangs over the changing table. “I treated her room as any other in my apartment,” said her mother, Ashley Stark Kenner, senior vice president of design at Stark Carpets. 

Often an afterthought, the children’s room can easily be the coolest part of the house. And a “well-designed” one doesn’t have to be a Philip Johnson-worthy temple to minimalism. Simply passing on overly sweet graphics for those that are more stimulating—and abandoning old notions that baby blue is for boys and pink is for little girls—can make a big difference. 

“Monochrome décor is a big trend,” said Ashlyn Gibson, whose new book “Creative Children’s Spaces” ( Ryland Peters & Small) is out next month. “It is non-gendered, so [it’s] perfect for nurseries and uber-cool for tweens. It forms a strong palette that you can add to with pops of color.” Chelsea Reale, a co-founder of children’s interior design studio Sissy+Marley, is excited that parents are starting to embrace black and white: “It’s playful and chic and always creates a drool-worthy space,” she said. 

Other small revolutions include swapping ABC blocks for wares by Danish label Design Letters, which applies a vintage font by Arne Jacobsen to cups and storage containers, or combining investment pieces from the likes of French brand Perludi with whimsically illustrated pillows by Colette Bream.

On a practical level, this approach means that the rooms can remain functional for longer than usual. “People do not want to have a nursery for two years and then have to do it again,” said Ms. Stark Kenner, who’s now expecting a little boy. Read on for more transformative solutions that go beyond child’s play. 

The Open-Plan Storage Plan

“Children like to see their play options,” said Manhattan designer Erica Silverman, who advises her clients to use storage that offers “an easy peek into what’s inside.” It could be as simple as clear plastic bins purchased from your nearby hardware store, but peg boards from companies such as Land of Nod “are also great for hanging art supplies, play jewelry, hats and completed artwork.” Parents Sherry and John Petersik, whose forthcoming book “Lovable Livable Home” (Artisan), also endorse rescuing toys that have been banished to the bottom of a trunk; shelves like those shown here can function as a decorative feature and give kids a place to display their most prized possessions. “Pieces that mix open and closed storage are [also] great for kid-friendly living rooms,” they advise. “Rely on the concealed areas for toys and games, and use the open shelves to showcase favorite accessories.”



Beyond ‘Blue for Boys’ENLARGE
Beyond ‘Blue for Boys’ PHOTO: BEN ROBERTSON



Beyond ‘Blue for Boys’

In the book “Creative Children’s Spaces,” by Ashlyn Gibson, out next month, simple white walls provide a neutral backdrop for one boy’s sprightly collection of green objects, a refreshing palette that defies conventions. “The move away from the gender stereotypes of blue for boys and pink for girls opens up a whole world of design,” said Ms. Gibson, who suggested that parents pass on what she describes as “limiting” gender assignments in favor of “kaleidoscopic color and pattern.” 

Designers across the board agree. “We’re finding our clients want more sophisticated designs for their children’s rooms, something that they can grow into,” said San Francisco-based interior designer Steven Volpe. “Color palettes are more neutral whites and grays, or toned-down shades of gray-blue or gray-lavender.” Sasso Sidi Said, founder of children’s design boutique Dodo Les Bobos, said combinations of mustard and gray are proving quite popular as are older favorite colors. Vieux rose, she said, “is soft but not your classic baby pink.” 


Go Bold, Even For the Not-So-OldENLARGE
Go Bold, Even For the Not-So-Old PHOTO: BEN ROBERTSON



Go Bold, Even For the Not-So-Old

The wall-size jungle scene pictured here “gives a room a modern edge,” and is “more likely to keep your children enchanted,” according to Ms. Gibson. Charming illustrations cover storage bins and pillows as well, and paired with the colorful rugs, clearly announce that this is no ordinary kid’s room. For the slightly less adventurous, the industrial and interior designers of New York-based Material Lust create accent pieces with bold graphics. “We love using Rruka textiles in children’s rooms for pillows and throws at the end of the bed,” said firm co-founder Lauren Larson. “They’re incredible robotic patterns that inject high design in the simplest form.” Ms. Larson is also partial to works by Kinder Modern, for whom she and her partner recently designed a line of black-and-white children’s furniture based on Egyptian hieroglyphics; Kinder Modern’s new line of modular carpeting for kids rooms, which features interlocking geometric shapes in an array of vibrant colors, is another favorite. Don’t forget the walls, though. “We have been seeing a lot of fun wallpaper being used,” said Sissy+Marley’s Chelsea Reale. “It’s a commitment, but it finishes a room and makes a great statement.” 


Sleepover MakeoversENLARGE
Sleepover Makeovers PHOTO: LAUREY W GLENN



Sleepover Makeovers

It’s never too early to show kids how to be a good host. The Florida-based studio Tracery Interiors designed a special loft in the living room of a Cinnamon Shore, Texas, beach house as a retreat for children. But rather than install standard bunk beds, principal Paige Sumblin Schnell and the architects of Dungan Nequette decided to tuck the beds into the roof line of the house. “It creates ‘train car’ spaces for children to gather and play,” said Ms. Schnell. “Kids like something that feels like a tiny playroom that they can crawl into.” The bright aquas and greens are also gender-neutral for friends and cousins of both boys and girls.

For those with limited space, a bunk bed can create a similar effect. Dodo Les Bobos’s Ms. Sidi Said recommends the Perludi Flora in the Sky bunk bed. “It can be used as a loft bed, meaning the lower part can be used for [something] other than sleeping, like a play area where you can throw pillows and make it a very cozy space to read.”




Posted on September 2, 2015 at 11:09 pm
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Radiators That Are Outta Sight


Feb. 21, 2014 1:28 p.m. ET

Interior designer Alexa Hampton integrated radiator covers into millwork in a Manhattan library Steve Freihon

IF, LIKE ME, you sought out an older home for its character—forgoing the conveniences of new construction—you may be paying an aesthetic price for keeping warm this winter, thanks to clunky, antiquated radiators. Be they hydronic (hot water), steam or electric, these heaters are rarely pretty. My own recently purchased abode, a 1970s French country-style house in Mendham, N.J., came equipped with the bête noire of radiators, the truly unignorable baseboard variety that snakes along a wall in every room.

I considered switching to forced air heat, but such an overhaul can be forbiddingly costly and forced air has its negatives, too: It produces the driest heat, a curse in wintertime when our skin is already cracking, and the constant bluster sends dust and allergens whirling through the air. Casting my loyalties with radiant heat, I set out on a mission to find out how other people are camouflaging eyesore radiators, and whether more palatable alternatives exist.

Coverups and Cooler Heaters

If you can't beat radiators—with decorative disguises—replace them

Some interior designers, like Manhattanite Alexa Hampton, enlist custom paneling to hide conventional wall radiators. Ms. Hampton installs wainscoting around the room, incorporating heating covers that, she said, "seem like just one more piece of the millwork and disappear." Under windows where there are no radiators, designers will often replicate the covers for continuity, modifying them so they work as storage. For a ready-made, albeit less seamless solution, the Holland, N.Y.-based company Fichman fabricates stand-alone radiator covers starting at $149. They can be customized to your specifications and delivered nationally in four to six weeks.

Other designers obscure radiators by building them into banquette seating equipped with air vents or by setting up screens. Vicente Wolf, who works out of New York, has constructed low folding screens on several occasions, while Washington, D.C.-based Darryl Carter has artfully adapted window shutters to do the honors. According to Mr. Wolf, while radiator covers can make a room feel smaller, a screen can be "a less obtrusive element."

The bête noire of radiators is the truly unignorable baseboard variety.

Of course, some homeowners just choose to replace regrettable radiators with sleeker Euro-versions. Hudson Reed, a British firm with an American e-commerce website, sells powder-coated steel models that are elegantly compact, some with a depth under 3 inches. The radiators comply with American standards and arrive in three to five days with free shipping. Runtal North America, the U.S. branch of a Swiss firm, offers equally thin panel models; both companies supply radiators that double as towel warmers for a clever upgrade in the bathroom.

In the renovation of a Boston penthouse overseen by architect Richard Hardaway, radiators were concealed inside banquette seating. Houzz

When heaters are recessed into the wall—as in this California home—decorative grills are the only evidence. Studio William Hefner

Strategies for concealing baseboard radiators, which often run a wall's entire length, are relatively limited. Water-based models like mine can be recessed into the wall and the pros and cons of doing so are hotly debated. I decided to experiment, recessing my bedroom's radiator before committing to this expensive tactic throughout the house, and it's worked out brilliantly; I'm both warm and untormented by ugliness (at least until I leave the bedroom). For the sake of airflow, allow for a 2-inch gap around the perimeter of the unit; lining the cavity with a heat-reflector panel isn't a bad idea, either. To cover the opening, I commissioned laser-cut wooden grilles from Pattern Cut, an Anaheim, Calif., company. It offers 26 styles, with custom sizes available—I chose a French Moroccan look that reminded me of French interior designer Jacques Garcia's work. For lengths in excess of four feet, the grilles arrive in pieces so, unless you're the DIY type, have a professional assemble and shop-paint them for a flawless finish.

Recessing hydronic baseboard radiators into the floor is another option if you have enough clearance, and it's less involved than retrofitting under-floor radiant heat (heated tubes that run in rows beneath an entire room). "After carving out a niche in the floor and dropping the radiators down," said New York-based designer Eddie Lee, "you can put in wooden grilles stained the same color as the floor so they disappear." While dirt can fall through the grate, the benefits of freeing your wall space may be worth the awkward extra vacuuming.

Electric baseboard radiators are the biggest villains of all; they cannot be recessed and require a minimum clearance of 6 inches for fire safety, thwarting efforts to conceal them subtly. In the words of Alexa Hampton, "You either have to let those be or replace them."

Danish company Elpan-Wanpan retails minimalist electric and hydronic baseboard radiators through its U.S. distributor but perhaps most exciting for people like myself are the baseboard heaters from Thermodul. Manufactured by Hekos in Italy, they look like traditional molded baseboards. The idea is so simple it's a wonder we Americans haven't thought of it ourselves. Thermodul doesn't have stateside distribution yet but they are equipped to ship direct, and the hydronic version is fully compatible with U.S. systems.

When the sample I requested arrived, I was actually giddy.

Posted on March 4, 2014 at 12:58 am
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Spruce Apothecary

Stop by Spruce Apothecary located in Portland’s Union Way for useful Valentine’s gifts including exclusive fragrances, soaps and top of the line skincare products.

1022 W. Burnside St. Unit K, Portland, OR 97209


Posted on February 12, 2014 at 7:21 am
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5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About VA Loans

VA loans are the most misunderstood mortgage program in America. Industry professionals and consumers often receive incorrect data when they inquire about them. In fact, misconceptions about the government guaranteed home loan program are so prevalent that a recent VA survey found that approximately half of all military veterans do not understand it.

With this in mind, we would like to debunk the most common myths about VA Loans.

Myth 1: The VA loan benefit has a “one time” use.

Fact: Veterans and active duty military can use the VA loan many times. There is a limit to the borrower’s entitlement. The entitlement is the amount of loan the VA will guarantee. If the borrower exceeds their entitlement, they may have to make a down payment. Never the less, there are no limitations on how many times a Veteran or Active Duty Service Member can get a VA loan.

Myth 2: VA home loan benefits expire if they are not used.

Fact: For eligible participants, VA mortgage benefits never expire. This myth stems from confusion over the veteran benefit for education. Typically, the Montgomery GI Bill benefits expire 10 years after discharge.

Myth 3: A borrower can only have one VA loan at a time.

Fact: You can have two (or more) VA loans out at the same time as long as you have not exceeded your maximum entitlement and eligibility. In order to have more than one VA loan, the borrower must be able to afford both payments and sufficient entitlement is required. If the borrower exceeds their entitlement, they may be required to make a down payment.

Myth 4: If you have a VA loan, you cannot lease the home.

Fact: By law, homeowners with VA loans may rent out their home. If the home is located in a non-rental subdivision, the VA will not guarantee the loan. If the home is located in a subdivision (such as a co-op) where the other owners can deny or approve a tenant, the VA will not approve the financing. When an individual applies for a VA loan, they certify that they intend on making the home their primary residence. Borrowers cannot use their VA benefits to buy property for rental purposes except if they are using their benefits to buy a duplex, triplex or fourplex. Under these circumstances, the borrower must certify that they will occupy one of the units.

Myth 5: If a borrower has a short sale or foreclosure on a VA loan, they cannot have another VA loan.

Fact: If a borrower has a claim on their entitlement, they will still be able to get another VA loan, but the maximum amount they would otherwise qualify for may be less. For example, Mr. Smith had a home with a $100,000 VA loan that foreclosed in 2012. If Mr. Smith buys a home in a low cost area, he will have enough remaining eligibility for a $317,000 purchase with $0 money down.  If he did not have the foreclosure, he would have been able to obtain another VA loan up to $417,000 with no money down payment.

Veterans and Active duty military deserve affordable home ownership. In recent years, the VA loan made up roughly 13% of all home purchase financing. This program remains underused largely because of misinformation. By separating facts from myth, more of America’s military would be able to realize their own American Dream.


Posted on February 11, 2014 at 12:57 am
MJ Steen | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

Home Sales Expected to Cool After Big Year


Sales of previously owned homes finished 2013 at their highest level in seven years, but a slowdown in recent months suggests the market is cooling after two years of strong gains but it is still on an upward trajectory.



Posted on February 1, 2014 at 7:07 am
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Masu Sushi

Tucked above SW 13th sits Masu Sushi. The service is excellent, the atmosphere is hip and the food is delicious. Make sure to order a Japanista roll, made with crab, tuna and cilantro. Masu validates parking for guests in the nearby Indigo lot.


Masu Sushi

406 SW 13th Avenue

Portland, OR 97205        

Posted on January 31, 2014 at 12:06 am
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Middle-Class Homebuyers Finding Fewer Affordable Homes


Middle-class homebuyers are finding fewer homes on the market that they can afford. In 14 of the top 100 metropolitan regions, more than half of the for-sale homes this month were out of reach for middle-class buyers, data from real estate tracker Trulia show. A year ago, that was true in just eight of the leading metro areas. Rising prices, higher interest rates, flat incomes and fewer foreclosed homes for sale are combining to limit choices for the middle class.









Posted on November 14, 2013 at 7:45 am
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