Monday, December 30, 2013

Oregon, 2014. Bring on the new laws

Here we are at the last Monday in 2013. Garfield would be happy. No more Mondays for the rest of the year.

Looking over the news this morning it seems that everyone (the news organizations, not the people) are focused on what we can and can not do (or can do but with perhaps a higher penalty for getting caught) in the new year. Here's a recap of what's making the news in Oregon:

Oregon's minimum wage is going up by 15 cents per hour to $9.10. In a state that doesn't do tip crediting (minimum wage can be as low as $2.13/hr as long as tips make up the rest of the salary to meet minimum wage) this is a big deal for restaurants and those who have tipped employees. The up side is that we still have restaurants and bars, and they seem to be doing quite fine here.

It's going to be more expensive to smoke. Cigarette taxes are going up by 13 cents to $1.31. This next year we'll also see e-cigs become state controlled as well. There's a lot that will need to be done, but this will be the next thing the state controls. If you do smoke, doing so around minors can have another impact on your wallet as smoking with minors in a car will now carry a fine as well. Sadly this is only a secondary offense, which means the officer will need to pull the person over for something else as well.

One big one will be distracted driving. The fine for talking on a cell phone can double, up to $500 if the judge decides it's warranted. This really should be talked about as distracted driving, not just talking on a cell phone, but in Oregon the law only talks about the use of a cell phone or texting device for two way communication. Coming in the future may be true distracted driving laws that include things like eating, putting on makeup, or other things that aren't pertinent to driving a vehicle.

PTSD will now be considered a medical condition treatable with medical marijuana.

Educational Institutions, both public and private, are barred from asking for social media passwords. This one is a disappointment as the original bill was supposed to prevent employers from seeking social media passwords as well, but while working through the system the bill got dumbed down. Hopefully in the next year the senate and house can fix this to defend freedom of speech and prevent employers from asking for these things.

Pertaining specifically to home, The Willamette Valley Protected District will limit Canola production and only allow for OSU to research Canola through 2019. Not the full out ban that people were hoping for, but it does greatly limit the ability for anyone to grow canola and limits the possibility that it will invade the other crops that it can cross pollinate with and destroy the value of those crops.

Every year there are hundreds of new laws that take effect. Often many don't pertain to us on a daily basis, but it's good to at least look through the new laws and understand how these laws will affect you. Government is for the people, by the people, but only if the people take part.

To read up on the new laws, you can visit the Oregonians website here:

of visit the state website here which will list the bills, the laws, the original and adopted text:

Monday, December 9, 2013


The mid-Willamette Valley hasn't seen this kind of weather in over 30 years. As I sit looking out at 9th street I feel like I'm living in Bend, Montana, or Canada (eh?) not Corvallis. Because I'm planning on doing some additional winter driving, and the threat of freezing rain I'm getting my snow tires put on, so as I wait and watch the hustle and bustle of Les Schwab I am reminded how unprepared we are in this area for weather like this.

The water at Les Schwab was off this morning. Their pipes in the building didn't freeze, it was the main at the street that froze. The city came in and thawed it out, so now they're running again, but it's just a reminder that things we don't expect can and will happen.

I worry about people and their houses too. Being a Realtor I'm concerned with the investment that you've made in your home. Are you taking care of your home and managing your investment properly?

Outside the home:
Gutters cleared of debris?
Vents closed up (only during extreme cold temperatures)!
Drain lines cleared?
walkways cleared?
Overhanging dead branches removed?

Under the home:
Pipes insulated?
Flooring insulation?
Vapor barrier in place and properly laid down?

Inside the home:
Windows insulated/covered
Door seals properly maintained? Do you see light through doors or window cracks?
Thermometer and furnace working properly?
Doors to unused rooms open?
Water dripping and/or cabinets open

Once we start to that out:
Open up the vents under the house.
Check your crawlspace for water.
Listen for running water.
Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear and draining.
Check your attic for moisture.
Check your hose bibs, laundry, and any other outside faucets for drips (or worse breakages!)

These are a few things that you can do to help ensure that your investment is properly maintained. Keep your home maintained and you will enjoy your home more while you live there, and get a much higher sales price when you sell. When you have questions or concerns about your home, give me a call!

Shawn Tucker
Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Oregon
Keller Williams Realty Mid-Willamette
1121 NW 9th St
Corvallis, OR 97330

Visit my website:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's the end of 2013?

Here we are, at the end of 2013. Did you buy your home in the past 5 years after the downturn in the market? Have you owned your home for 30 years? Are you somewhere in between?

Wherever you fall, are you curious about the market value of your home? I am offering a free market analysis of your home, where it would list at in the market today, and what you could do to increase that value. Send me an email or give me a call and let's talk. 

How much is your home worth in today's market?

Friday, November 30, 2012

You get what you pay for...

And when you use Craigslist, you definitely get what you pay for.

Don't get me wrong, craigslist is a wonderful tool that really has no equal when it comes to advertising and getting your property, be it real or personal, on the web. Need to sell an old lawn mower, throw it up on Craigslist. The garage sale of the internet will take all ads.


Unfortunately, that's ALL ads. Scammers, phishing, Nigerians trying to make a buck or anyone else. They're all there. With the advent of email came spam. With craigslist, we have to be ever vigilant that the scammers aren't going to take advantage of us. Typically when you look at ads on craigslist, you can often times tell that something isn't right. The ad may use British English, or dropping "the" "on" "an" or "a"are all good indicators of someone overseas trying to bilk you out of money.

However, there are other ways that people scam on Craigslist as well. Most recently we have seen people posting houses listed for sale, either through other Craigslist ads or simply stealing photos and descriptions from the MLS and posting them as "for rent". They then will tell you they're out of the country, and need you to send the money to them somewhere, go to Western Union, or send them money some other way. This does not happen if it's a legitimate sale! You will more often than not have to fill out an application to rent, call and talk to the person who is renting the house, or talk to a local property manager. NEVER send money if you haven't met with someone to show you the house first!

Most recently, I heard of someone who had posted an ad looking for a place to rent. The person who was looking was contacted by a "real estate agent" who had a place to rent. The problem was, the person who was claiming to be a real estate agent wasn't. The house for rent was managed by another property management company.

We need to be ever vigilant when dealing with posting or replying to ads placed on Craigslist. Before replying to an ad, think about the quality of the ad. Is it legitimate, or is there something that just "isn't quite right?" If you are contacted by someone, are they asking you to send money or receive money before looking at a property or before sending you an item? Are they asking you to receive money via some form and send money back to them?

Be aware of what you're looking at, and what you're clicking on. Hover over links before clicking and see what URL the link is actually taking you to. It may say, however does it really go there?

As I said, craigslist is a great tool for finding advertising for properties or other products to buy locally, but if you REALLY want to see what's on the market, look at my website and do a specific property search for properties that interest you, rather than everything that is thrown up on Craigslist. Visit to search for properties you'd like to see, and give me a call for more information on anything that you might find.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac support

For those who are dealing with the fall out from Hurricane Sandy, there may be a little help for some:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans have forbearance for those affected by natural disasters.

Those who have been dealing with the wrath of the storm, or other natural disasters may be able to get help from Fannie and Freddie. Look into in some more and find out what your options may be.

Monday, October 29, 2012

"union" scammers ripping off Realtors

One would think that I'd be on the "union" scammers do not call list. After going through this before with and, previously and who knows how many others, after one of their people reported me on ripoffreport with a false report, one would think they'd steer clear of me.

They didn't.

I did receive a call last week from someone on the east coast who did a little searching around and found my posting and information. I'm glad she did. I only hope that her friend can get her money back from these people or at least cancel the charge from her bank.

This time around a very nice woman called as "the union rep" for Oregon... She sounded very nice, and very innocent of the true scam. I do feel bad for her.

She had me speak with one of the managers in their call center. He tried telling me that the american union resource center is not related to workforce united and that workforce united stole their website design... stole website design 2 years before was created?

They call representing unions, however no unions use their website. Their website is only links (poorly made links) to other websites, e.g. New York Times, Sacramento Bee, etc. RSS (automatic) news feeds. Nothing on their website is content generated by them or anyone else with ties to their organization. Their website has HUGE gaps in place where other organizations should be. If you look you see Realtors, but hardly any other companies. I don't know why, but Realtors are their main target.

If you get a call from, please look at their website a bit more before falling for their scam. They'll do what they say they will. You pay them money and they will drop your photo and information on their website. Don't expect to get calls from anyone in a union however. Save your marketing dollars for legitimate uses or just donate the money to a worthy cause that you'd have spent on their website. We'll all be better off when scams like this are gone.

Update 10-2014: new url for this year is and is also linked to

Update 6-2016: It looks like they're still at it. I received a call a few months ago about a new union website, but here's a new twist,, or Same layout, same look, same scam, but now they're targeting veterans instead of unions.