Before you even start looking online at homes, it is so important to visit with a local Mortgage Broker to determine what price range you can afford.  It is no fun to find your dream home, only to learn that you can’t afford it.  Also dealing with a LOCAL Mortgage Broker will ensure a smooth process for you.  Here is a great article with a few more Mortgage Tips-

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Festival of Trees in The Dalles, OR

Selena with our Relay For Life The Dalles Area entry for the Festival of Trees 2014This is my first year participating in Mid Columbia Health Foundation’s Festival of Trees in The Dalles, OR, and I have to say it has been a great time so far! Our Relay For Life The Dalles Area committee agreed to do a spur-of-the-moment tree with a Luminaria theme, and for our first committee tree since I’ve been in RFL, I am VERY proud of how it turned out. From the team spirit, to the handmade and hand decorated ornaments, it is a tree built as a testament to what a community or group of people can do when they put their collective minds and hearts toward one goal. It is our Light of Luminaria tree, in memory of those lost to cancer, in honor of all survivors, and in support of those newly diagnosed or going through treatment.

Please check out the Festival of Trees 2014 Facebook page at 2014 Festival of Trees, and attend the event weekend at The Dalles Civic Center. This Friday December 5th, is the live & silent auction event starting at 6:00 p.m. Then on Saturday, bring the family for the Community Open House, with free admission, starting at 9:00 a.m.

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5 Decorating Safety Tips for the Holidays

2011 Winners - The Bosticks of Dufur, OR
I don’t know about you, but I think I may still be recovering from all of the turkey, family and fun from this Thanksgiving weekend. Now that the “holiday season” has officially started, Black Friday is just a vague memory, and people are eagerly pulling out all the stops for their Christmas/Hanukkah/Yule/Kwanzaa decorating. Stores are overrun with people checking out lights, lawn ornaments, and decorations.

In this Season of Light, here are 5 Safety Tips When Decorating the Exterior for the Holidays from the National Association of Realtors.

From all of us here at Columbia River Properties, we wish you and yours a very merry start to The Season of Giving!

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Unfinished Business of the Current Congress

The elections are over. The party in power will change at the national level as well as in many states. The public should expect those currently in office to address non partisan issues in the best interest of homeowners. One such issue is the extension of the ‘Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Tax Relief Act’.

If the act is allowed to lapse as it is scheduled to do at the end of the year any debt forgiven by a lender because of a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure will be taxed as income. It doesn’t seem right that a homeowner should be taxed on money they never had. If you bought a home before the bubble burst for $200,000 and now must either sell it for $150,000 or deed it back to the lender you will be liable for ‘income’ tax on the $50,000 of debt that was forgiven. Without re-authorization of the Act the IRS will once again be ‘pouring salt in the wounds’ of those caught in the collapse of the real estate market.

Let your Congressman & Senators know you think it is only fair that the act be extended. Without the extension additional properties will remain in the ‘shadow inventory’ depressing the market values and slowing the recovery. What you read about the market in metropolitan areas does not translate to rural areas. The rural market is still very slow to recover to post crash levels.

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Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity Women Build 2014

CGHfH SignOne of the great benefits of working in the real estate field is that you get the opportunity to participate in community service events that benefit the very people you work with and are around all the time. The nurse. The postal worker. The grocery store clerk. The single parent working two jobs. Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity is one such organization that pays it forward to the people that call Wasco and Hood River Counties in Oregon, and Klickitat County, Washington, home.


So many of us take that word for granted, but each day, in each community in each county in every state, there are people who struggle to keep a roof over their heads, to keep their families safe and healthy in a house they call home. Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity, based out of The Dalles, OR, works with homeowners to rebuild/refurbish a current home, or build a new home. C.G.H.f.H. is nearly complete with their 20th build.

T ShirtOn November 1st, I had the distinct pleasure in participating in one of these builds as a volunteer.

Lynn OBrien 1 Lynn OBrien 2

The Women Build 2014 event had 18 women volunteers, the home owners and several Habitat construction volunteers on hand. From 8 am until 2 pm,  work was moving along at a steady pace to put in window sills, paint the porch roof and shed, and drywall tape and mud all of the rooms.


A Little About Habitat For Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller in Americus, Georgia. In 1984, former President and First Wife Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter took their first Habitat build trip to New York City. Their involvement brought the Habitat mission national visibility and attention. Now Habitat has helped build or repair over 800,000 houses around the world.

How Can You Get Involved

Donate to ReStore.
Join a committee.

It will change your world.

For more information, please contact Kayleen Warner, Exec. Director, at (541) 296-8817 or We have the link to the website as well, Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity, or you can check out their Facebook page at Columbia Gorge Habitat for Humanity.

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Check for Air Leaks in Windows and Doors

While we are enjoying a beautiful fall, winter is not that far away.  Now is a good time to check your doors and windows for air leaks that could be costly.  Fixing them now will keep you cozy this winter and save you money!

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Stress Free Home Closing

If it is your first time buying, or it has been a while, all of the paperwork can seem overwhelming!  From the Mortgage Brokers, to the Title Company there are stacks and stacks of paperwork.  Learn what you are signing so that you are confident with your purchase and ready to move into your new home!

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Homecoming Week



A Hero’s Homecoming-Dufur Rangers 2014 Homecoming.  The week kicks off with America Day, and there are fun activities all week leading up to the game on Friday and Parade Saturday morning.   Enjoy some of the fun with the Chili Cookoff Wednesday evening during Powder Puff Football.  For a complete list of activities visit

Thinking you might want to live in Dufur?  Check out these listing at  Visit Dufur, look at property and take part in A Hero’s Homecoming!

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Change of Colors means Change of Seasons

I woke up this m9-11-Never-Forgetorning, readied myself for the day, and then stepped outside and took a moment of silence in remembrance of Patriot Day (9/11). What greeted me was crisp, cool temps, blindingly, bright sun, and the smell of autumn leaves in the air. Fall was saying, “Hello, I’m almost here!”

With the arrival of cooler temps, football tailgating and back to school (can I get a WAHOO from all the parents out there!), now you have Fall Cleanup and Winter Prep!

Great tips from Smead for Fall Cleaning.

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Back to School in The Dalles, Oregon

Back to SchoolIt’s Back to School time here in The Dalles, and with it many parents and children are looking forward to the changing of the year and seasons. Football games and homecoming dances, new teachers and old friends, school projects and class trips. It’s an exciting time for everyone, except of course the dreaded earlier mornings!

Start your school days off on the right foot and avoid school day meltdowns with these great tips from, Starting School. Good for grade school to high school, these tips are easy to follow.

For parents of new and returning high schoolers, here are some tips geared specially toward you from the Redondo Beach Educational Foundation, Tips for New High Schoolers. Above all establish clear and routine communication with your children and their teachers. Be that parent that takes a proactive approach to making sure your child’s school year is the best it can be.

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