These Are The 10 Most Beautiful, Charming Small Towns In Oregon
Yeah, big cities like Portland tend to take up the bulk of attention in Oregon. But really, it’s the small towns that dot the state that really are the heart of this place. Most of us, even if we grew up in a major metropolis have roots in smaller communities, where perhaps our grandparents taught us good, old-fashioned values, where everyone knew each other, and where we developed our sense of community. Here are several towns in Oregon that hold a special place in the state’s heart.
9 Ways to prepare for winter
Now that the leaves are falling, you know snow and freezing temperatures are soon to follow. Here are 9 good ideas that we need to get done before winter to prevent costly home repairs.
1. Prevent Plumbing Freezes – Protect your outdoor facets
A ruptured pipe can ruin your home and everything in it. Rupturing occurs when a pipe freezes and the water inside it expands. You can protect your exterior pipes by wrapping them with heat tape or add a faucet protector which can cost less than $10. Protect your interior pipes by ensuring your thermostat is never set below 50 degrees. Disconnect and drain garden hoses. If your exterior faucets aren’t self-draining, be sure to turn off the water manually at the shutoff valve inside the house so water doesn’t stand in the wall pipes. If you have an irrigation system, it’s important to make sure all the water has drained from the system before the first freeze. If you have a well make sure the pipes in the well house are insulated, or make sure there is a heat source in the well house.
2. Tune up your Heating System
Don’t wait until the first cold snap to discover the heat isn’t going to work. Turn your furnace on and make sure it runs. If you have a monitor heater make sure you have lots of heating fuel. Do not allow oil to run low – you run the risk of running out and freezing pipes. While you’re at it, don’t forget to replace the furnace filter, which cleans the air in your home.
What better way to beat the cold than the heat of a wood burning fireplace! Prep your fireplace by clearing out any debris that might be left over from last season, have the chimney cleaned once a year if you use it a lot. Lastly, be sure you screen is still in good shape to shield your flooring from any flying sparks.
4. Windows Air-Conditioners
You should not have any air conditioners in the windows. If you do, remove them and replace the windows in their proper positions.
5. Roof & Gutters – Don’t be lazy
Check your roof for loose or broken shingles. Be sure your gutters have been cleaned free of leaves, sticks and debris, so you will have proper drainage. It can be so tempting to skip gutter cleanups as winter nears. It seems like as soon as you clear your gutters, they clog right back up again. So what’s the point? Well, if it looks like you’re living inside a waterfall when it rains, water is missing your gutter system completely and it may be directed to your foundation instead.
6. Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Test your detectors to make sure they work. Replace batteries if needed. Have spare batteries available.
7. Fill in the Gaps
Finding the places where cold air sneaks into your home can drastically reduce your heating bills this winter. Cracks can be easily and inexpensively sealed with a simple tube of caulk, and it’s available in hundreds of colors to match your window panes, outside siding, and even brick. Not sure where to caulk? Look for visible cracks around:
- Window sills
- Fireplace or dryer vents
- Anywhere something inside pokes a hole to the outside
If you have a real chimney, don’t forget to close the damper to prevent cold air from billowing down and into your home.
8. Get Personal with Your Thermostat
We all know we should, but we seem to have some mental block when it comes to programming our thermostats to align with our schedules. It’s not that hard and sometimes all it takes is buying a new one that suits you. Maybe you’ll like a Wi-Fi thermostat that’ll give you a little money-saving thrill each time you swipe your app or maybe you will like the Nest Thermostat that learns your temperature likes. Top of Form
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9. Prep your yard
Your yard may take a beating this winter, but a little prep now can help your lawn be lush and green again once the warm weather comes back. Spend a few hours fertilizing and ridding your lawn of leaves now, and reap the benefits later.
Lastly, enjoy the best that winter offers in Southern Oregon. The great downhill skiing of Mt Ashland, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, a drive to Becky’s café, guided hikes at Crater Lake, ice fishing at frozen high mountain lakes, or just a reading a book by the fireplace.
While there’s nothing quite like the energy of the big city, the hectic pace isn’t for everyone, and urbanites themselves often need a respite.
But the U.S. is home to thousands of perfectly charming small towns that are great places for weekend escapes—or to settle down in. We’ve swept the country to find some of the best, whether you’re looking for a ski lover’s paradise, a historic spot that’s still near a major metropolis, or a remote waterfront retreat.
Here are a few of our favorite small towns in America.
Beautiful 2 Story Cedar home. 3 bedroom, 2 baths in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. Beautiful landscaping surrounds the entry of the home. On the main floor is the living room, open and spacious kitchen with stainless steel appliances, one of three bedrooms with a sitting area, dining area open to the living room, full bathroom and laundry closet with washer and dryer. The entry way boasts soaring ceilings with an open staircase leading upstairs where you will find a second full bathroom and two additional bedrooms, laminate and vinyl tile flooring, and newer carpet. Close to schools, shopping, park, restaurants and hiking trails.
There is nothing easy about moving but there are some wise tips I have learned over the years that can make moving much easier. I have been a Realtor for 15 years and have watched over 1,000 clients move. I’ve also helped friends, mother and grandmother, so I have seen a lot of pain but I have acquired a lot of wise ideas that made the process easier.
Whether you are moving yourself or helping a friend or family member, here are 6 tips that have made moving much easier.
Come up with a plan – Make a plan that is easy, doesn’t overwhelm you and has a comfortable timeline. Just keep it simple. Give yourself deadlines and work the plan. Life is played out in chapters and a new home or new location can be one of the best chapters in your life, so think of the benefits of the move and work the timeline of your plan.
Start Now – Start by interviewing real estate brokers and choose one that you’re comfortable with who can help you select all the vendors. You can let your Realtor be your Project Manager and help manage those vendors. Get advice from your Realtor, but you may need a list of contractors such as painters, carpet installers, gardeners, movers and estate liquidators to prepare your home for sale. If you’re selling a house you will need to know the value of your home and how much you will net before you can calculate the price of the next home you may buy. Start packing now. So many times when I bring an offer to the sellers, their first reaction is, “oh no – we need to pack!” If you pack a little each day over time it makes it a lot easier.
Get rid of your stuff – This part paralyzes some people who have a great attachment to their belongings and have assigned a sentimental value to all their possessions. You have three options with your belongings: you can move them, store them, or get rid of them. There is a lot of great help out there from Estate Liquidators. They come in, mark what you don’t want, then they sell it on eBay, Amazon, or through an Estate Sale or Auction. They take a cut but you make some money and reduce what you have to move. If you are one of those people who can’t part with your possessions and they are overwhelming you, then I suggest you store them. This can really help a lot of people who don’t want to make a decision on what to get rid of. Anything in question, simply store it in public storage. In a year, go back to the public storage and see if you really “need” anything in storage or if it’s time to sell it and use the money elsewhere.
Preparing your house for sale – Most houses I see don’t need much preparation before they sell. You do need to complete any projects that were started and not completed, as no one wants to buy someone else’s projects, but this is not the time to start major renovations. Focus on the first impression which usually entails fresh carpet (clean or replace), fresh paint (touch up or do entire walls), fresh bark, new bark on garden beds with fresh flowers at the entry. You may have to do more serious clean-up to undo smoke or pet smell, or to repair deferred maintenance that may be obvious.
Selling your home – Vacant homes are great and they can be staged with furniture that is attractive to all buyers. If you have the financial resources to go ahead and move before you sell, that’s the best way to do it. You can get a “bridge” loan that will help you buy your next house, and then when you sell your current house you pay off all or part of the bridge loan. If you’re not in a position to get a bridge loan and you are living in the house when it goes up for sale, don’t be there when your house is shown – take a walk or go to the neighbors. Buyers want to be alone to bond with the house and imagine that it’s their house. Another tip is to negotiate with the buyer to have extra time after the close of the escrow to stay in the house so you have more time to move without feeling rushed.
Moving day – Your Realtor can help provide you with a list of movers. They come in every variety. You can get movers that move you a block or across the country. Movers can simply load your boxes and move them or they can help you sort, wrap, pack, move and unpack! The more the movers do, the less you do, but it can get costly. You’ll also need to call and cancel all the utilities (garbage, cable TV, internet, gas, electric & water). You also need to call your Insurance company and cancel you home insurance but may want to change it to a renter’s policy if you are occupying after close. Lastly, go on-line and do a change of address with the post office as well as all your magazines and newspaper.
If you use some of these tips hopefully your move won’t be too painful; and, if you think you are going to have an emotional attachment to your old house you may be surprised how quickly that goes away!
But will they continue to increase?
Being so involved in real estate we look at sales numbers and home values every month, quarter and year. Sometimes the numbers go up and sometimes the numbers go down, but if you look at the numbers over a longer period of time they tell a clear story. In the last 5 years, Jackson County has seen the median price of a home increase by over 66%. The story is even better when you consider most of that price increase has come in the last three and a half years as 2011 and 2012 were flat for real estate values. Currently, homes are selling quickly, pending sales are up, and the number of homes available on the market has dropped 12.7% over last summer. To everyone’s surprise interest rates have stayed low and are still below 4%. There is a general housing shortage in Jackson County and new home starts aren’t keeping up with the demand. From 2007 – 2013, during the housing crisis, there were very few homes or apartments built in Jackson County and we’re feeling the lack of housing now. We have had population and age growth. Lots of millennials are now looking for their own housing and retirees are back in large numbers. Many who tried to retire in the late 2000’s had to wait for their equity to return in their homes and their 401K’s to return to pre-recession values. On the rental front rates continue to rise and supply is extremely limited. Homes for rent below $1,000 month are rare and have flocks of tenants competing to rent them.
Here is the Median Price of a home in 2011 compared to 2016 by area:
2011 2016 % increase
Ashland $290,000 $392,500 35.3%
Talent $178,250 $273,750 53.6%
Jacksonville $216,025 $343,450 59.0%
West Medford $87,550 $178,250 103.6%
SW Medford $151,500 $229,500 51.5%
East Medford $165,000 $260,000 57.6%
Central Point $126,850 $214,950 69.5%
White City $87,050 $170,000 95.3%
Eagle Point $133,000 $256,000 92.5%
Rural Properties $210,400 $325,000 54.5%
Jackson County Totals $147,500 $245,500 66.4%
The Housing Market the Next 5 years?
Predicting what any market will do in the next 5 years is tricky, at best, but if you look at the economic factors causing home values to increase they seem to be on track to continue.
Our current housing shortage will no doubt decrease as developers and builders catch up to demand; but that will take time, at least a few years. In the meantime, demand is increasing and homes sales are increasing. Southern Oregon is becoming more attractive to tourists and retirees and our senior population is slated to double over the next 30 years, so all of this should keep demand growing.
The US economy has been growing now for six years, and it looks like it’s going to continue to grow. My overall view of the U.S. is that we’ve recovered more strongly than any other industrial country and our medium term prospects are probably also the best of any industrial country. There are lots of concerns over a sluggish global economy and the possible results of Brexit. The great news is we live in an area that has few to no businesses involved in international trade so the global economy has very little effect on our area. Some aspects of our local economy are doing extremely well – We have a large agricultural base that is experiencing growth in the wine industry, we are one of the few areas that has banned GMO’s and now the legalization of marijuana. 40% of all the licenses issued by OLLC to grow marijuana commercially in Oregon have been issued to Jackson and Josephine County, so apparently we have the perfect soil and climate for growing pot and although we are less than 5% of our states population, we’ll be growing 40% of the pot. Our medical and retail industries are also growing with many new medical services popping up along Barnett and McAndrews, and retailers such as Men’s Wearhouse, Home Goods and Marshalls are opening soon.