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Have You Outgrown Your Home?

by Amy McLeod Group


It may seem hard to imagine that the home you’re in today – whether it’s your starter home or just one you’ve fallen in love with along the way – might not be your forever home.

The good news is, it’s okay to admit if your house no longer fits your needs.

According to the latest Home Price Insights from CoreLogic, prices have appreciated 3.5% year-over-year. At the same time, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports inventory has dropped 4.3% from one year ago.

These two statistics are directly related to one another. As inventory has decreased and demand has increased, prices have been driven up.

This is great news if you own a home and are thinking about selling. The equity in your house has likely risen as prices have increased. Even better is the fact that there’s a large pool of buyers out there searching for the American dream, and your home may be high on their wish list.

Bottom Line

If you think you’ve outgrown your home, let’s get together to discuss local market conditions and determine if now is the best time for you to sell. Contact The McLeod Group Network at 971.208.5093 or [email protected] for ALL your Real Estate needs! 

By: KCM Crew

The Only 6 Things You Need to Throw a Holiday Party at Home

by Amy McLeod Group


Pulling off a holiday party at home can seem stressful, but it's made infinitely easier if you remove a few things from the equation. Namely, the dining table and chairs. Oh—and nix the forks and knives.

No, we're not suggesting people sit on the floor and eat with their hands. Instead, skip the sit-down affair and host a cocktail party with a few key essentials, including the right glassware and serving pieces, so your soiree is headache-free.

 
 
 

Your first step in this party process is to clear some space in your coat closet or designate a spot for guests to put their things (a guest bedroom works here).

"There's nothing worse than having people drape their jackets over the backs of your sofa and chairs, because it takes away from the beautiful event you've set up," says Roxy Te, CEO and founder of Society Social.

Next up, pull out (or pick up) the following items to outfit your bar and kitchen. Then, plan to serve your party bites on a buffet—a good use for your dining table. This option is more affordable, and it gives you the chance to style a pretty vignette or centerpiece, notes Te.

Make serving guests at your fete easier with these choices—and you'll have more fun at your own party.

1. All-purpose wine glass

Nope, most of the time, you don't need red and white wine stemware—and a simple glass like this one ($3, Crate&Barrel) can even hold a mixed drink. "Unless you're serving champagne, try using one round wine glass as your all-purpose go-to at a cocktail party," says Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs Caterers. And a stem-free option is less likely to break when you pop it in the dishwasher.

2. Paper napkins

Cloth napkins are lovely—at Christmas and Easter—but paper is your pal at a casual drinks party.

"I definitely recommend paper napkins for cocktails and small bites, and suggest five per person on average," says Correale. Pick goofy sayings in bright and cheery colors, and your little stacks will become part of your party decor ($7, Sur La Table).

3. Pitcher

Everyone wants a Negroni, but mixing them up individually is a pain. Don't get stuck playing bartender, warns Te.

"Stock up with what you need, and serve the classics or a signature cocktail," she says.

Making a pitcher of spiked punch ahead saves time and makes pouring a breeze, especially in this gorgeous vessel with dragonflies ($62, Macy's).

4. Platters

Rather than put out a bunch of small bowls for snacks, choose larger serving pieces for your buffet.

Just be sure to skip heavy stoneware and go for a melamine platter like this one ($25, Williams Sonoma), which comes in four fun colors. And using platters for parties is on trend, says Te.

"I've been pulling inspiration from grazing boards, because these bountiful spreads are visually striking, and they allow guests to mingle and encourage seconds and thirds."

5. Cakestand

Along with your platters, you'll want to create height on your buffet—and that's where cakestands come in ($25, Walmart). By interspersing stands with plates below them, you'll double your offerings and create visual interest too.

6. 3-tier server


A little tower like this tiered piece ($25, Amazon) is a nice way to serve a tiny sweet at the end of your party. Arrange it ahead of time, and then place it in the middle of your buffet when the savory foods have disappeared.

Happy Holidays! Contact The McLeod Group Network at 971.208.5093 or [email protected] for ALL your Real Estate needs! 

By: Realtor.com, Jennifer Kelly Geddes


December 6, 2019 – 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
December 7, 2019 – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
December 8, 2019 – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

500 Wilco Hwy NE
Mt. Angel, OR 97362

The Mt. Angel Chamber of Commerce and Silverton Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring the annual Mt. Angel Hazelnut Festival and German Holiday Market.

The Hazelnut Fest includes a German style holiday market featuring authentic German and regional arts and crafts, Oregon wineries and breweries and foods that feature Hazelnuts. Learn more about our vendors, schedule and other fun festival events here: http://www.hazelnutfest.com.

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: facebook.com


Ten years ago, many homeowners were desperately hoping to hang on to their homes. Others were doing everything they could just to scare up potential buyers. Meanwhile, said buyers were struggling to get financing from newly skittish lenders. Ah, memories. What a difference a decade makes!

It has, in fact, been the most consequential stretch in American real estate history, one that has fundamentally altered the landscape. Cosmopolitan coastal cities are out; affordable midsize cities are in. Baby boomers and Gen Xers are no longer the dominant forces in buying, ceding that turf to millennials. Yet after all this time, it seems that home buyers still can't get much of a break, according to a new report from realtor.com®.

 
 
 

“In 2020, there will be opportunity for buyers, but in many ways the challenges they’ve faced for years are going to persist—challenges like difficulty finding the home that’s right for them, and competing with other buyers, especially in affordable price points," says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com, whose team pulled together a forecast of housing trends for 2020.

In other words: The more things change, the more they'll stay the same. A lack of homes for sale has been making things difficult for buyers since 2015, and next year, inventory could reach historic lows. And although single-family home construction is expected to increase 6%, it still won't be enough to keep up with demand.

There is a bright side, though: Mortgage rates are expected to remain reasonable, at an average 3.85%.

Let's take a closer look at the biggest factors that will shape the real estate market in 2020.

Affordability, affordability, affordability

OK, it's not as catchy as "location, location, location," but achievable price points will be key in the coming year, especially as millennial buyers solidify their position as America's main home buyers (more on that later).

Now that we've apparently hit the ceiling of crazy price growth, it seems that buyers are just over overpaying.

"Many people would prefer to live in the San Franciscos and [other] big cities, but for the right price they will make the decision to go to another city," says Hale.

Perhaps a city like, say, McAllen, TX, where sales are expected to rise 4.4% and home prices to appreciate 4% in 2020. Compare that with a 9.5% drop in sales for Las Vegas, and 1.1% decrease in home prices.

Texas, Arizona, and Nevada are expected to welcome an influx of home shoppers priced out of California. Meanwhile, would-be buyers from pricey Northeastern markets will likely head to the Midwest or Southeast. There, they can find affordable housing as well as solid, diversified economies.

Millennials mature into home buying

"The largest cohort of millennials will turn 30 in 2020—historically, that's when people tend to think of buying their first home," says Hale. The oldest millennials will be turning 39. By the middle of the year, she says, this generation will account for more than 50% of mortgages taken out in the country. Yes, that's more than all other generations, combined.

Surprised? Well, the popular notion that millennials aren't interested in settling down just isn't proving true as members of this generation, born in 1981 through 1997, partner off and start families.

"Family changes tend to drive home-buying decisions," Hale notes. "Millennials are going to be active in the housing market not just because they're just at the age when they're thinking about becoming first-time home buyers, but they're also in the age range when they're having kids."

But while they may be motivated, they'll face a lot of competition for the scarce homes on the market—from roughly 71 million of their peers nationwide.

Where are the homes?

While millennials are raring to buy, Gen Xers and boomers are pretty comfortable where they are, thank you very much. Boomers are living longer, healthier lives, and staying in their houses longer. Gen Xers often aren't quite done with raising kids or ready to retire, so except for the lucky ones trading up, they also aren't inclined to move.

Since older owners aren't quite chomping at the bit to give up their houses en masse—and with levels of new construction still low in most parts of the U.S.—there just won't be enough housing to meet the demand. And while in previous years this scarcity has driven up home prices, home price appreciation is finally flagging, with predicted growth of just 0.8%.

After the housing crash in 2008, which wiped out quite a few builders, those who remained have largely focused on higher-end developments with bigger profit margins. Although they're finally showing signs of a shift toward building more entry-level homes, faced with overwhelming demand, it will take a few years for a significant number to come to market.

How to buy a home in 2020

Those looking to buy an entry-level home will face a tough search, so they should be prepared for it to take a while—and to act quickly when needed.

"Finding a property that is right for you and snatching it up before someone else does is going to be the primary challenge," Hale says.

Those with a bit more to spend will have more to choose from, less competition, and possibly more motivated sellers.

How to sell a home in 2020

Sellers of entry-level homes should be sitting pretty, as those will continue to be the most in-demand properties next year. If anything, those sellers should be prepared to move out quickly!

Others should brace themselves for a longer wait, especially as the price point moves up. The number of existing-home sales is expected to dip 1.8% next year. Higher-end sellers should do their homework: "They might need to think about the competition and pricing their home competitively," Hale says.

Thinking about buying a home or selling your current home in the new year? Let's get together and discuss your options. Reach us at 971.208.5093 or [email protected]

By: Realtor.com, Cicely Wedgeworth

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter

by Amy McLeod Group


Below are five compelling reasons to list your house this winter.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase, and are in the market right now. More often than not, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.

Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple of years, for fear they would not find a home to move into. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. Buyers Are Serious at This Time of Year

Traditionally, homeowners think about spring as a great time to list their homes, when more buyer traffic may be out there actively searching. In the winter, however, the buyers who are seeking a home – whether for relocation or otherwise – are serious ones. They’re ready to make offers and they’re eager to move, often quickly. Your house may be exactly what they’re looking for, so listing when other potential sellers are holding off may be your best opportunity to shine.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into the premium or luxury market, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that now. Demand for your entry-level home is high, and inventory in the luxury or premium market is too.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.6% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and in your mortgage) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move On With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it’s worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Are you ready to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market this winter. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Contact The McLeod Group Network at 971.208.5093 or [email protected] to find out how much your home is worth!

By: KCM Crew

Exploring Salem Oregon: Oh Christmas Tea – A British Comedy

by Amy McLeod Group


Sat, Nov 30, 7:30 PM PST

Elsinore Theatre
170 High St SE, Salem, OR

Fans of Monty Python, Mr. Bean, and Dr. Seuss... Grab your teacups! 

Off-Broadway Comedians and 3-time IMPRESARIO Award-Winners (London) James & Jamesy present their outrageously funny and brilliantly inventive Christmas comedy classic O Christmas Tea; an astonishing show that delights the hearts of thousands every holiday season. 

When catastrophe strikes at James and Jamesy's Christmas tea party, flooding the world with tea, the friends leap into action, finding innovative and hilarious solutions to keep them afloat. Redefining immersive theatre, these masters of physical comedy-with over 20 comedy awards to their name-sweep the audience out to sea in a jolly aquatic escapade!

Event Website

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: etix.com

There is Always Something To Be Thankful For!

by Amy McLeod Group


Do you cringe at the idea of stampeding to the mall to snag Black Friday deals? Then you might embrace shopping its far saner cousin: Small Business Saturday.

This event was started by American Express in 2010—during the dregs of the Great Recession—as a way to lure shoppers back to main street and encourage folks to buy from local businesses. The idea quickly caught on. As of 2018, over 7,500 stores and organizations in all 50 states participate with deals on anything you might need to stock those boxes under your Christmas tree, and more.

 
 
 

And there's something in it for you, too: Not only are you getting deals on merchandise, you're also exposed to plenty of unique stuff that might be tougher to find on, say, a ginormous retailing website named after a river in South America. And wouldn't it be nice to give your niece a one-of-a-kind hat-and-glove set from that cute knitting shop around the corner rather than that cookie-cutter set everyone will be getting from Gap?

Here's more about Small Business Saturday, why it's good for consumers and their communities, as well as how to participate in your area. (And no, you don't need to use an AmEx card to join in on these deals.)

When is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday takes place right between two of the biggest shopping days of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That's no coincidence since its purpose is to serve as a counterpoint to both.

"The Friday and Monday events are a big deal for big-box retailers and online giants, while this day is about supporting small merchants, with an emphasis on brick-and-mortar stores," explains Kristin McGrath, editor and shopping expert at BlackFriday.com.

And the benefits of shopping this event abound: Shopping at a small business feels good, helps neighbors, and keeps the money you shell out right in your own community. In fact, studies show that for every dollar spent at a local shop, 67 cents gets funneled back into the local economy, keeping those mom and pop businesses running.

A vibrant shopping area not only makes living in your area better, it also enhances your home's appeal whenever you decide to sell your place.

What are the best Small Business Saturday deals?

Sure, if you're in need of a megasize flat-screen TV, heading to a Black Friday doorbuster at a chain store makes sense. But if you need something small for a stocking, Yankee swap, or early Hanukkah gift, going local will get you something far more special.

"Small businesses are great for white elephant gifts because you'll find plenty of unusual items that anyone would like, from coffee beans to soaps and candles," says McGrath. You can help out local shops by encouraging members of your book club, block association, or office pool to adopt a "small business theme" and buy from local shops downtown.

Lots of items on display on Small Business Saturday are not just sold locally, they're also likely to be crafted nearby, including wooden items, local clothing, and home decor accessories like pillows and artwork.

"Many jewelry designers can't get into big-box stores, so you'll find these unique wares in small local shops," notes McGrath.

American Express makes it easy to pop in your ZIP code and find participating stores in your area. Head to the Shop Small homepage, and click on "Find Small Businesses Near You." Another way to plan your shopping is to keep an eye out for signs in store windows that advertise Small Business Saturday participation.

Small merchants often advertise these special Saturday sales on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. And you might sign up for your favorite retailers' mailing list if they have one, says McGrath. And since many local farmers markets are on Saturdays, this group is a top pick for local shopping.

"The farmers market is made up completely of local merchants, makers, and crafters, so stopping by is an easy way to participate in Small Business Saturday," says McGrath.

Granted, the savings at small businesses won't be nearly as impressive as those at the big-box stores on this same weekend, but many shoppers would be happy to pay a little extra if it keeps their local community humming.

Contact The McLeod Group Network at 971.208.5093 or [email protected] for ALL your Real Estate needs! 

By: Realtor.com, Jennifer Kelly Geddes

The Best Time to Buy a Christmas Tree If You're Looking for a Bargain

by Amy McLeod Group


For many of us, the annual visit to the Christmas tree lot happens immediately after the Thanksgiving festivities—sometimes even before the leftovers are gobbled up. Buying your tree as early as possible means you'll have your pick of the inventory. But if you're trying to score a deal this year (and maybe you don't mind a tree with a few bare spots), it might be worth it to hold off on buying for a few weeks.

Mobile payment company Square teamed up with the National Christmas Tree Association to determine the best time of year to buy a Christmas tree if you're trying to save money. They analyzed the past four years of sales data from thousands of Christmas tree farmers and sellers across the country and found when prices rose—and when they fell.

Most expensive day to buy a Christmas tree

Hands down the most expensive day to buy a tree is Cyber Monday. Sales data shows that Christmas tree prices start off high on Black Friday, when the average cost of a tree is $79. By Cyber Monday, the price increases to $84.

When to buy to save a buck

Of course, Christmas trees lose their value as the holiday itself approaches. A tree for sale on Dec. 26 is practically worthless. So it stands that the cheapest day to buy a Christmas tree is on Christmas Eve.

If you're happy to go without a tree until then, you can snag one the night of Santa's visit for as little as $50, says Sara Vera, a data analyst at Square. However, if you're looking for a decent-quality tree at a reasonable price, try pinpointing the week before Christmas.

"For those that want to hold out for the best deals, we see a seasonal savings of almost 30% for those who purchase the week before Christmas," says Vera.

Location matters

Location can also dictate a Christmas tree's price. The trees you find in a lot are grown from seed, taking about 10 years to reach full size. After the firs are harvested, they are wrapped in netting and shipped to vendors across the country. So the closer you live to a tree farm, the cheaper it is to ship the trees to you, which could contribute to a tree's lower price.

Similarly, smaller trees cost less because they usually spent less time growing to maturity, says Tim O'Connor, executive director of the NCTA, which is based in Littleton, CO.

Price varies by region

Square data also shows that trees purchased in the South are the most expensive, coming in at an average of about $99 while trees in the Midwest are just $73 on average.

Prices also range depending on the variety of trees and where in your area you choose to buy a tree. In general, Fraser firs are the most expensive while noble firs are the most affordable.

Michael May, owner of Lazy Acres Farm, in Chunky, MS, says the trees grown on his farm are priced according to height. For example, a 6- to 8-foot tree ranges in cost from $46 to $60.

"The taller the tree, the more of an investment for the farmer and therefore the higher the price tag," he says.

Taking care of your tree

The average tree will stay fresh and green in your home for up to three weeks, depending on when it was cut and purchased, according to O'Connor.

So you want to select a tree that looks green and fresh with soft, pliable needles. Once you've selected your tree, ask to have a small round of the trunk trimmed off with a chain saw. This will help the tree absorb water and stay fresh.

At home, keep your tree away from south-facing windows, fireplaces, or heating ducts which might dry it out. Keep the basin in your tree stand full of water to keep the needles from turning brittle; never let the water level dip below the base of the tree.

Contact The McLeod Group Network at 971.208.5093 or [email protected] for ALL your Real Estate needs! 

By: Realtor.com, Kristine Gill 


November 23, 2019
Saturday  11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Redhawk Vineyard & Winery
2995 Michigan City Lane Northwest
Salem, Oregon  97304

Join us for wine & barrel tasting, delicious food, live music & our incredible view.

We will serving our popular Tri-Tip sandwiches, Betty's butternut squash soup, homemade sausage, smoked salmon pate, cheese & more!

Meet the winemaker, sample our current selection of wines and barrel taste a future release. 

All included with $15 tasting fee. Best deal in town! Special wine discounts during the festival!!

Events dates start on November 23,24,30 & Dec 1
Cost $15

Courtesy of Amy McLeod, The McLeod Group Network

Photo Credit: eventful.com

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Contact Information

Photo of The McLeod Group Network Real Estate
The McLeod Group Network
Keller Williams Capital City
1900 Hines St SE #220
Salem OR 97302
971-208-5093
Fax: 971-599-5229

**Disclaimer: Amy McLeod, and her team, do not initiate, process, or service mortgages.  And provide this information only as a service.  You should confirm information here with your Licensed Mortgage Lender.