Grants Pass, OR Real Estate News

By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Creating Josephine County- Southern Oregon Before Oregon's statehood, the Rogue Indian Wars were keeping the Southern Oregon settlers on constant guard. Murders committed by California and Southern Oregon gold miners against peaceful villages of Indians had the two camps fighting continually. The settlers in the area felt, and rightfully so, that they were not being adequately protected by the government. By forming a new county, there would be more protection granted by the state. George Briggs had been elected to the territorial legislature in 1855 from Jackson county, Oregon. On January 22, 1856 they passed a law forming Josephine County. George Briggs was known as the father of Josephine County.  The county was named after the first woman settler of the area. They got their increase...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
What National Geographic's Guide Says About Southern Oregon.  Jackson and Josephine County sites are included in a unique map unveiled Tuesday by National Geographic magazine and Travel Oregon.  National Geographic's Central Cascades Geotourism MapGuide - its ninth such effort worldwide - received more than 1,200 nominations for its stylized map of places of interest for tourists discovering the Oregon and Washington Cascades.  About 200 nominations made the cut. Here's a sampling of what National Geographic says is in its new Cascades Travel Guide: Ashland:  The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, outdoor activities, Mount Ashland for skiing, culture and arts - people who visit often want to move to Ashland. This vibrant community tucked in the shadow of the Siskiyou Mountains, home to Southe...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson "Stonewall" Jackson was born on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia (it is now in West Virginia).  "Stonewall" Jackson was a Lieutenant General in the CSA (Confederate States of America), and has been described by military historians as one of the "best tactical commanders in history." He received his famous nickname by his refusing to retreat and ultimate victory at the first battle of Manassas (Bull Run). The nickname came when Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., chided his own troops to re-form by shouting, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall." He was accidentally shot by his own pickets at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2nd, 1863 and he passed away 8 days later. His last words uttered in delirium were; "Let us pass over the r...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Leupold & Stevens of Beaverton, Oregon - American Made! Congratulations to Leupold & Stevens, makers of the world's best optical instruments including; rifle scopes, telescopes, binoculars, rangefinders and other top of the line products. Two years ago, Leupold & Stevens purchased Redfield, which was based in Denver, Colorado. At one time, Redfield was a premier competitor to Leupold & Stevens, but the optics line was being produced overseas, and they eventually went under due to poor investments and losing ventures.  Prior to their demise, Redfield was a quality product, and did not deserve to go under. Leupold & Stevens will be bringing the Redfield line back to life, and the products will be made in their Beaverton, Oregon plant, which employs 600 workers and is their home office. Th...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
OMG... Are You Kidding Me?!  Today, a Short Sale fixer-upper home popped up for sale on the MLS in Grants Pass Oregon.  This home is listed by a reputable real estate office in Grants Pass.  The price of the home seemed like a good deal.  While the description of the property was lacking, it wasn't totally bad.  But, when you stumble pass the first picture on MLS, you can't help but ask yourself, OMG... are you kidding me?!  Perhaps  the agent who listed this property should receive fifty lashes with a wet noodle!  Take a look for yourself, and you be the judge.  Be sure to scroll down to the last picture for a real treat!    Oh my, perhaps a little clean-up before picture day would have been nice! And it has a pool! Honey, let's start packing! What the fish is this? Lots of room for st...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
FHA Announces New Policy Changes.  Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David Stevens today announced a set of policy changes to strengthen the FHA's capital reserves, while enabling the agency to continue to fulfill its mission to provide access to homeownership for underserved communities. The changes announced today are the latest in a series of changes Stevens has enacted in order to better position the FHA to manage its risk while continuing to support the nation's housing market recovery.  Here is a summary of the new policy changes to come from FHA. FHA Announces New Policy Changes: 1.  Mortgage insurance premium (MIP) will be increased to build up capital reserves and bring back private lending.  The first step will be to raise the up-front MIP by 50 bps to 2.25% an...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
"Looking like a Fool with Your Pants on the Ground"is a catchy tune sung by 'General' Larry Platt, a 62 yr-old contestant, on American Idol's' 13th audition episode.  'General' Larry Platt (a self- proclaimed 'General' of the civil rights movement) sang "Pants on the Ground" for American Idol Judges while break dancing and strutting his stuff.   While the 'General' didn't make it past the audition, his song; "Pants on the Ground" has already gone viral on YouTube.  'Pants on the Ground' had so many Tweets and hits on YouTube within the first few days since it aired on American Idol, that CNN has said it is the first viral video of 2010.  Even Brett Favre and his teammates sang the tune after their victory game on Sunday. There is something we can learn from Larry Platt's approach to soc...
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Wildlife Images Red Tailed Hawk Replaced By Tiger Woods - Grants Pass, Oregon The Buick Corporate Hawk appeared in their commercials for many years until being replaced by the Tiger.  Maybe Buick wishes they could trade back! The hawks name was "Happy" and her home was Wildlife Images on the Rogue River in Grants Pass, Oregon. This red tailed hawk is among a lot of wild friends at Wildlife Images, a non-profit sanctuary. J. David Siddon and his wife began their venture back in the 70's as a place to care for sick and hurt wild animals and birds.  His son, Dave Siddon, is carrying on his fathers' dream at Wildlife Images, and his family includes: "Defiance"    a bald eagle, "Nubs"     a badger, "Jasmine"    an American mink, "Ted E. Bear"       a black bear,    "Augie"   an Augur buzzard...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
The Most Beautiful Active Rain Baby!  The most beautiful Active Rain baby celebrated her 1st Birthday on Saturday, surrounded by her very favorite friends and family, especially her Active Rain Grandma, Melinda Peterson.  Ellie's Big-Top Circus Birthday started off with a clown making heart shaped balloon hats and pretty flower and animal balloons, face-painting, a bouncing circus gym, ping-pong, go-fishing, milk-bottle throw, cotton candy, popcorn, and Ellie the Elephant pinata.  This little birthday girl looked like a pretty princess in her colorful tutu and flower bows.  It was a day to remember! Happy Birthday to the most beautiful Active Rain baby!  
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin - January 17, 1706 Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17th, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts.  He was one of the most influential men in the history of the United States. So influential in fact, that it is likely that if asked, a great number of Americans believe he once served as President of the United States, and indeed he could have. One quote the great scholar made that I especially like is: "Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who kept their swords." Also, this great man, as so many of our founding fathers were, was a Freemason.    Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin!
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
New Motorcycle Law For Oregon   The Oregon state legislature has decided to try to do something about the greatly increasing motorcycle casualties across the state by passing a New Motorcycle Law. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation's records from 2002 to 2008, "the number of crashes in Oregon for all vehicles decreased by 13%."  For this same period, the number of motorcycle accidents increased by almost 51%! For many years motorcycle riders under 21 years old have been required to complete a training course titled, "TEAM OREGON" Basic Rider Training.  Beginning January 1, 2011, the new bill will require new riders under 31 years of age to complete this training course, and by January 1, 2015, all motorcycle riders will be required to complete the course. Hopefully, th...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Pet Exerciser - Annoying Times Ten! We have two miniature Schnauzers and they are getting more exercise this winter than ever without us having to go out into the cold. The TV commercial for Papa Murphy's Pizza is a ringing doorbell and could not be more annoying.  It comes out of nowhere, and you don't get a chance to mute the TV, as the ring comes first.  The "boys" go absolutely nuts, barking and running around, and if you know Schnauzers then you know they are absolutely impossible to quiet down after they get started.  It takes about a full three minutes of carrying on before they calm down.  Then they'll still run around the house flinging an occassional bark over their shoulder, just in case!       One night we had six of these horrible commercials in a two-hour period.  The dogs...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Ten-Digit Dialing Comes To Southern Oregon I moved to Southern Oregon in September of 2008, and it seemed as if I took a step back in time to a more simplified lifestyle! Even the phones were easier to use.  It was not any longer necessary to include an area code when calling.  Now, we're suddenly thrust forward again, as our population is growing and we're adding new area codes, so back to Ten-Digit Dialing.       When I was growing up in Minnesota in the 40's and 50's, I picked up the phone and an operator answered, I gave her a three-digit number followed by a letter of the alphabet; and she placed the call.  Then, later on we got dial phones, like the above model.   
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Oregonians Urged to Test Their Homes for Radon.  Radon is odorless, tasteless and invisible - and it could be in your home in dangerous levels.  As part of National Radon Action Month, all Oregonians are urged to test their homes for radon, one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the United States.  "Because you can't see or smell radon, people tend to downplay the health effects and ignore the possibility that there might be a silent killer in their homes," says Radon Coordinator Brett Sherry, Oregon Public Health Division. Radon is a naturally occurring gas seeping out of the ground.  It is dispersed in the outdoor air, but it can build up to dangerous levels when trapped in buildings.  Scientists have long been concerned about the health risk of radon, but never before has there ...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Sunday Movie Matinees offered at the Grants Pass Library.  In order to present a series of Sunday movie matinees, the Grants Pass Museum of Art and Josephine Community Libraries Inc. are pooling their efforts. Showings will be in the Ben Bones Room at the Grants Pass Branch of the library at 200 N.W. C Street.  The series will begin at 2 p.m. Jan. 17. Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided by the museum for a small fee. The first movie in the series, exploring the amazing life story of painter Frida Kahlo after her marriage to famous Mexican painter, Diego Rivera, will include their journeys to America.  The film showcases the outrageous personalities that made them legends.  Kahlo was an incredible force of a woman despite the fact that her right leg was crippled by polio in ...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
Bonneville Power Administration Hires Woody Guthrie To Sell Oregon A little known fact about the BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) is that in May of 1941, they hired Woody Guthrie to promote their efforts. They wanted to promote the administration in their dam building and cheap electricity to overcome public resentment of the dam. Woodie Guthrie, (July 14, 1912 - October 31, 1967) was hired for 30 days in May of 1941, and in that time he wrote 26 songs, including "Roll on Columbia."  The promotion worked well, and the Bonneville Power Administration forged ahead to become the excellent company it is today. Woodie Guthrie (for you youngsters) was a folk singer and political activist whose work has been recorded by singers like Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and dozens of others. We're prou...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Buying a Home after Filing for Bankruptcy - The Rules.  A common question comes to mind for those folks who are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, or already have... "When can I purchase a home (or refinance) after filing for Bankruptcy?"  Here are some basic qualification guidelines for various types of mortgage loans:Conventional loans - If purchasing, after 4 years with a 680 credit score or higher.  The bankruptcy will no longer count against you after 7 years.  However, if you show delinquencies after a bankruptcy, you will mostly likely be considered in a higher risk category and could possibly still be denied a loan. If refinancing, you can refinance as a rate and term after a minimum of 4 years, but no cash out is allowed.  Rate & term refers to mortgage liens such as a first...
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By Gary Swanson
(Century 21 Harris & Taylor)
High Noon - January 12th, 1905 Born on this date; Woodward Maurice Ritter, better known as "Tex" Ritter and father of actor John Ritter. For those of you who don't remember Tex Ritter, try the singer of the theme song for the academy award winner High Noon starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Happy Birthday Tex!
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Ashland Oregon Restaurants - Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  Before setting out to watch one of the plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, make sure you have a big, hearty breakfast at one of the best Ashland restaurants near your Ashland Inn. After all, you will still have a lot of time left for some white-water rafting or wine tasting at one of the wine valley's wineries. Yes, you will certainly need a lot of energy to get you through the day of adventure, gustatory and all, in this part of Oregon. Here are some great suggestions from BBonline to start your day in Ashland, Oregon. Morning Glory Restaurant1149 Siskyou Blvd.Ashland, Oregon 97250(541) 488-8636 www.morninggloryrestaurant.com A cozy, delightful place for one of the best breakfasts you will ever have in your visit to Orego...
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By Melinda (Mel) Peterson, @TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS
(Grants Pass, OR)
Southern Oregon Film and Television - Letters From the Big Man.  The motion picture titled ‘Letters From the Big Man', written and directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Christopher Munch, wrapped here on the coast on November 2 of this year.  Makai Ohana Productions, along with SOFaT (Southern Oregon Film and Television), assisted in the production.  Utilizing a cast and crew from Los Angeles, New York City, and Southern Oregon, the production filmed on locations in the Rogue Valley, Illinois Valley, and Chetco drainage east of Brookings.  Terri-Lynn Kalhagen of Makai Ohana Productions was hired on the film as the UPM (Unit Production Manager), a key position that entailed communicating with the cast and crew, scouting local talent and locations, finding accommodations, booking flight...
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