How does this year compare to years past in relation to home ownership trends? Windermere’s Chief Economist takes a look at how things have changed (or stayed the same) over the years. Can you guess what decade since 1890 saw the greatest number of homeowners? Tune in to find out!
This week Matthew Gardner analyzes the latest Case Shiller Home Price Index numbers and explains some of the lesser known (yet, still important) aspects of the report. We continue to experience a very active market here in the Portland area. If you have specific questions about your area, please contact me!
This week Windermere’s Chief Economist analyzes the June report from the National Association of Realtors. Matthew also updates his housing forecast for 2020, so tune in for all the details! Questions about your neighborhood? Just ask!
When remodeling your kitchen, it’s important to keep in mind how you use it. Is there one cook or many? What appliances do you use the most? What do you dislike about your current design? Is it where everyone gathers at parties and holidays? All of these considerations will ultimately have a big influence on your final layout.
But there’s something else that’s been an enormous factor in kitchen layouts since the first half of the 20th century. It’s a standard design for kitchens favored by homeowners, interior designers, and chefs alike: the work triangle. For anyone considering a redesign of their kitchen, these guidelines for designing a more efficient workspace should be considered when you are discussing the project with your architects, contractor, or designer.
Your kitchen basically has three main work areas: the sink, fridge, and stove. By arranging them in a triangle shape, you have a flow of traffic that is uninterrupted and allows you to pivot from prep station to cook station to food storage.1
When the work triangle layout was originally being designed, women spent about half of their days in the kitchen. Back then, kitchen tools were often across the room from the stove or sink, and many kitchens were a haphazard assortment of furniture and shelving placed around the perimeter of the room. Armed with research from motion savings and time-motion experiments, a psychologist and engineer named Lillian Moller Gilbreth (fun fact: she couldn’t actually cook!) rearranged the room, replacing furniture with countertops, cupboards, and drawers, and moving utensils and storage closer to the stove. This redesign ultimately saved homemakers from aching backs and tired feet by making it easier to reach what was needed and reducing the number of steps needed to get around the kitchen.2,3
To ensure maximum efficiency while preparing food, follow these recommended design guidelines:
These tips are intended to ensure none of the workstations are too far away — which decreases efficiency — nor so close that you’re feeling squeezed or restricted in your movements.
Modern designers now refer to work “zones” in the kitchen. All utensils used with the stove, such as spatulas, tongs, and baking sheets, are kept in the cupboards next to it or in an open container on the countertop. The sink area contains supplies to wash food and dishes, plus cutting boards and a knife rack for slicing, dicing, and paring.6
Keep the items you use the most closest to hand, and tuck less-utilized tools and appliances in cabinets or the pantry. For example, you may use spatulas, knives, and a cutting board quite often, and your cookie sheets and cookie cutters less frequently. Unless you’re a major baker, of course; then you would have all your baking tools grouped together, near the oven, and easily reachable.
Consider adding a second sink devoted exclusively to food prep. That will keep your other sink clear for dirty utensils and for filling saucepans or the kettle. Rinse utensils, pans, and dishes as you go to make cleanup a bit easier on yourself.
Use labels or clear containers so you don’t have to open every tin or container to figure out what’s in it.
Sharpen your knives! A sharp knife is faster to use and actually safer than a dull one.
While the efficacy of the work triangle has been proven over the years, there are some flaws that are becoming more obvious as technology and family life evolve. For one, this design assumes that you only have three workstations in your kitchen. It doesn’t account for an extra sink, or a cooktop separate from the oven, or a countertop microwave. Plus, it maximizes efficiency for one cook. Get two or more people in there, and your kitchen can become a bit chaotic, with people running into each other or lack of enough counterspace. All these things should be considered when you’re designing your new kitchen.
The kitchen is often called the heart of the home, and tearing it out to upgrade and update can feel very stressful and challenging to some. Be sure you pay attention closely to your current workflow, what does and does not work for you in your current kitchen design, and what other activities take place there. Select an architect or designer who can achieve your desired aesthetic while keeping the work triangle in mind, and you’ll end up with a happier and more efficient heart.
 Architectural Digest
 Kohler, “The Work Triangle: Design for Living”
 Express Kitchens
 Kohler, “Efficiency in the Kitchen Begins With Geometry”
 The Pampered Chef
Top image courtesy of Adobe Spark
Article courtesy of Mark Ruhl, Mortgage Express
This week Windermere’s Chief Economist looks at the comparison of how consumers feel about buying and selling now as compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic. Our area remains incredibly desirable, with low inventory and high demand. If you have any specific questions, please let me know!
This week, Windermere’s Chief Economist takes a look at several aspects of the housing market as we continue to adjust to the “new normal.” As to Portland specifically, we are seeing numerous properties selling with multiple offers and an influx of out-of-town buyers. Take a look below and please reach out with any questions or comments!
This week Windermere’s Chief Economist discusses buying trends (or lack of!) by Millennials. Interesting information inside!
This week Windermere’s Chief Economist tackles one of the biggest questions on our minds…. are things getting back to “normal?”
How were we able to sell this townhome in 8 days during the COVID 19 shutdown?
In Real Estate, things don’t always go as planned. We are used to that. But facing an international health crisis and the closing of our state was something that brought challenges that we had never encountered before.
Our client had accepted a new job out of state and needed to sell his townhome. We had a plan in place before the shutdown, but our initial strategy had to be adjusted. His new job was waiting, he had secured a new residence, and the moving van was scheduled. The sale had to go on. But it had to happen safely.
Here’s what we did:
My trusted partners for home preparation staggered their visits so that no one crossed paths. Everyone wore face masks, gloves, and adhered to strict safety guidelines. We were able to have the townhome painted, professionally cleaned, minor repairs completed, and landscaping freshened up within a few days of my seller’s departure. Now that it was ready, how could I best present this property online if perhaps no one would come and see it?
I had originally thought that the entire townhome didn’t require staging. Often times with smaller properties, we stage the main living area and the master bedroom. However, as home shopping rapidly switched to “virtual,” we needed to adjust our plan. Staging the entire home offered it life, personality and warmth. The before and after pictures below capture the difference! Our stagers provided a completely touchless experience, and our photographer entered on her own to take the photos.
Just before market date, we placed a sanitizing station at the entrance of the home stocked with protective shoe covers, masks, gloves, and alcohol wipes. In addition, we implemented clear protocols that all agents who showed the home would pre-screen the buyers for any symptoms of illness and follow stringent touchless showing guidelines.
Tensions were high as we went live on the MLS on April 17th. It had been one month since the “Stay Home, Save Lives” order was in place. We didn’t know what to expect, but we knew that we had done the best we could, as responsibly as we could, for both our client and for the public.
Within 8 days the townhome went pending, and successfully closed with no delays!
I have always said that in Real Estate one has to listen, adapt, adjust and perform. We are grateful to all of those who helped us meet this enormous challenge, and provide a happy ending for our seller!