Three Great Oregon Vacation Destinations

One of the most beautiful areas of the United States to vacation in is the state of Oregon. Oregon sits in the Pacific Northwest and is home to a beautiful coastline, plentiful forest land, and the amazing Columbia River. There are also some great cities to travel to in Oregon too, including Portland, Bend, Salem, and Lincoln City. Here are three great places to visit when vacationing in the state of Oregon.

Portland

The city of Portland is the state of Oregon’s largest city and offers more to do than any other community there. Among the many things to do there are wonderful shopping opportunities, great restaurants, a world class zoo, a number of well respected public gardens, close proximity to the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood, professional sports teams, and much more. The city is also within a short one to two hour drive from the beautiful Oregon Coast.

Cannon Beach

With some of the most rugged oceanfront beauty on the west coast, the Cannon Beach area has long been one of the most popular coastal destinations in Oregon. There are a number of small communities in the area that provide for some great opportunities for relaxation. The beach itself at Cannon Beach offers a number of opportunities for activities including beach combing, sunbathing, swimming, and general fun in the sun.

Bend

The community of Bend is located in Central Oregon and is a very popular holiday destination. It is conveniently located very near to multiple ski resorts, river rafting destinations, wilderness areas that are great for hiking and other activities, volcanic rock formations, and more. The warm summer weather is what attracts most people to Bend, but the attractions and things to do are what keep them coming back year after year.

For those that enjoy the great outdoors, there are few better places to head to than the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. The state of Oregon sits north of California and south of Washington State, and features some great landscape and scenery combined with some wonderful weather. For anyone looking for a great vacation destination, the state of Oregon has a wealth of things to offer and would make a great choice.

Oregon Celebrates – 150 Years of Southern Oregon Vacations!

Oregon is proud to be celebrating 150 years of Statehood in 2009. There is a fierce sense of independence and a true love of outdoor adventure that thrives in Oregon. The Oregon state motto is “She Flies with Her Own Wings”. Oregonians are proud of their natural history and the many scenic wonders that can be visited anywhere in Oregon. The Oregon Trail entered in the Northern corner of the state, but eventually a new trail was blazed into Southern Oregon and the Rogue Valley. The Applegate Trail led the pioneers into a lush, green, and fertile valley full of opportunity and abundance.

The original settlers of the Rogue Valley were the Takilma Indians. They made their homes among the tall evergreen trees and near the fresh water of the Rogue River. Salmon and blackberries were staples in the diet of the Southern Oregon Tribe. Other natural resources were the abundant wildlife, roots, tubers, and berries that grew easily in the perfect climate. Then came other settlers, hunters, trappers, miners and farmers. Once again, the new comers were drawn to the Valley of the Rogue River.

Now in the modern day, along with the continued wealth of native food sources, Southern Oregon showcases unbelievable sites and opportunities to gather family and friends together in the great outdoors. Many trails of the Rogue National Forest lead to secret water holes at the bottom of a cascading mist, or they follow along feeder creeks of the Rogue River through old growth forests. Trails might even circle around the largest Ponderosa Pine Tree in the world! There are rumors and evidence of the Mother Lode along every trail. If the gold fever has struck your family, head out on a hike along the Rogue River waterways and bring your gold pan along for some fun. Outfitters love to show you their favorite spots for striking it rich!

Fishing on the Rogue River has always been a world class affair. Salmon, trout, steelhead, and even deep water sturgeon can be found and caught along the Rogue River. There are many reputable guides in Southern Oregon that offer fishing trips for a small group or family. Along with baiting the hook, your guide will spin many tales and tell a few stories that may have been handed down the trail 150 years ago! Reputable outfitters take pride in pointing out both historical and geographical features that make Southern Oregon so unique.

If your thrill is in adventure, then rest assured you no longer have to cross a river in a covered wagon on a wooden, platform ferry! Oregon has come a long way in 150 years and the whitewater rafting and inflatable kayaking is superb. There are remnants of mining operations, stories from trappers, rustic wilderness lodges, Summer Camps that echo the long ago Native American songs, and old ferry lines no longer used, but still visible to the trained professional. Choose an experienced river rafting outfitter for both a safe and adventurous whitewater trip and you will drift through the timeless canyons that speak to the oldest stories, that can truly paint a picture in your mind of an all but forgotten time.

Oregon has many reasons to celebrate the 150 years of Statehood. The profound beauty, pleasing climate, promise of striking it rich or perhaps catching the big one, and perfectly planned whitewater rafting trips will provide ample opportunity to sample the best of Southern Oregon. Make plans for a Southern Oregon vacation in the Rogue Valley in 2009, and discover why the pioneers chose to settle here. Don’t forget to wish Oregon a Happy Birthday while you’re at it!

The Oregon Probate Process: Getting Started

In my estate planning practice and in my estate administration practice I am asked the same questions: “What is probate?” and, “Why does it have to take so long?”

Usually when people tell me they want to avoid probate, they mean that they want to avoid having their estate administered through a court process, whether or not the person has a will. The exact definition of probate is not that important. Essentially, the administration of a probate estate (if there is a will) or intestate estate (if there is not a will) is the legal process for gathering a deceased individual’s property; paying off the deceased individual’s creditors; and passing any remaining assets to the individual’s heirs (if there is no will) or to his devisees or beneficiaries (if there is a will).

The process is more appropriately called estate administration, but since people tend to consider both of these processes as probate, I will continue to use that term throughout this post. The probate process generally consists of three time periods: (1) commencement; (2) administration; and, (3) closing. This article will address commencement and events leading up to commencement.

1. What property makes up my probate estate?

Before discussing commencement it’s important to figure what makes up a probate estate. Any property that is owned by the decedent on the date of his death and that does not automatically transfer to a named individual will be included in your probate estate. For example a bank account with payable on death beneficiary will pass automatically to the named beneficiary, without probate. Additionally, property owned by a trust created by the decedent will not be a part of the decedent’s probate estate since the decedent did not technically own the property at the time of his death.

Common probate property includes real property, stocks and bonds, vehicles, bank and brokerage accounts, and various items of personal property.

Retirement accounts and life insurance generally are not probate property since they typically have named beneficiaries. However, if a beneficiary is not named, or dies before the owner/insured, then the owner/insured’s estate is typically the default beneficiary.

2. Is full blown probate necessary?

Full blown probate proceedings may be unnecessary if: you have a small enough estate when you pass away; you only own assets that have payable on death designations or are owned jointly with survivorship rights; or, you have transferred your property to a trust.

In Oregon, if a decedent’s estate consists of real property valued under $200,000.00 and personal property valued under $75,000.00 then small estate proceedings may be used to transfer the decedent’s property to his heirs or beneficiaries, if he has will. The process is relatively easy and much less expensive and time consuming than a full probate. An attorney is probably necessary to ensure that the various statutes are followed. People often ask me, “Can I use a small estate affidavit if my dad’s house is valued at $300,000.00 but it has a $150,000.00 loan encumbering it?” The answer is no because the limits are based on gross values, not net values. Since the gross value of the real property is in excess of $200,000.00, probate is necessary.

Husbands and wives frequently own their homes, bank accounts and other property as “husband and wife”, so when the first spouse dies, the surviving spouse will be the sole owner of the property. No probate is necessary. When the wife dies probate probably will be necessary to transfer the property to her kids or other named beneficiaries.

As another example, assume that after husband died wife transferred her house to a revocable living trust. She maintained a brokerage account with $78,000.00 in her name with her children as the payable on death beneficiaries. She also had a savings account with $5,000.00 that she forgot about and never transferred to her trust but that account does not have a payable on death beneficiary.

When she dies, can her children utilize the small estate process? The answer is yes. Although her overall estate consists of personal property over $75,000.00 the amount subject to probate is well under that threshold since the brokerage account transfers directly to the named beneficiaries and her house is owned by her trust.

Small estate proceedings will need to be utilized to transfer the savings account to the wife’s heirs but a full blown probate is avoided.

3. Probate is necessary; what’s next?

Assume that wife had a will and her daughter is named as personal representative. She will be responsible for administering her mother’s probate estate. Her father passed away a few years ago and the daughter has two brothers.

At this point she may have a vague understanding of her mother’s estate and has searched for a will, trust and other estate planning documents. If she’s lucky, her mother followed her attorney’s advice and placed the original documents in a safe or safe deposit box.

Since probate is a complicated and confusing process, daughter will need an attorney to help her navigate the probate waters. She can use any attorney that she feels comfortable with.

At her initial appointment with her attorney she will bring the will, her mother’s death certificate, various documents identifying her mother’s property, and her siblings’ contact information. She may also bring in information concerning any creditors of her mother’s estate (credit card companies, unpaid medical providers, and etcetera). Based on the information provided, the attorney will draft a petition for probate or a petition for administration of an intestate estate depending on whether or not a will exists.

Generally, the individual named as personal representative in the will petitions the court to administer the estate. What happens if a will does not exist, or the personal representative does not want to serve and there’s no named successor? The court gives preference to a surviving spouse, then a child or the nearest next of kin.

If there is no surviving spouse and no next of kin, then, in the event the state has provided public assistance to the decedent, the Director of Human Services or Director of Oregon Health Authority may appoint an attorney to serve as personal representative if the decedent does not have a surviving spouse or next of kin. The Department of Veteran Affairs falls next in line; followed up by any other person. These are merely statutory preferences. The individual still needs to qualify as personal representative.

4. The petition is filed, what happens next?

The petition is essentially a request to the court to admit the will filed along with the petition for probate and to appoint the individual named in the petition as personal representative. Notice of filing the petition will have to be given to various government entitles, to the decedent’s heirs, to the beneficiaries named in the will, and other interested persons. These individuals will have the opportunity to object to the appointment of the personal representative and to request future pleadings from the attorney representing the personal representative.

In the future, I will discuss what happens once the petition has been filed and the initial steps associated with administering Oregon estates.

© 3/18/2014 Kevin J. Tillson of Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.

***This article is informational only and the circumstances surrounding your case or legal matter are unique. This article does not constitute legal advice and should in no way be relied upon without consulting with a licensed legal professional.***

Great Out of the Way Places in Oregon

Oregon is often one of those places that everyone knows is out there but very few ever consider visiting on a vacation. Perhaps this is because the weather is so unpredictable. While it’s true that a day in Oregon can incorporate snow, hail, rain, wind and 90 degree temperatures (all within an hour), that is simply part of its charm! Believe it or not, there is quite a bit to see and do in the middle state on the Pacific West Coast.

If you are thinking about visiting Oregon, you are probably looking at Portland. Portland is Oregon’s largest city and has quite a varied population. Eugene is the other major metropolitan area, located a couple of hours outside of Portland on the I-5 corridor. Both have quite a lot to offer tourists, but consider the following locations as well:

Newport: Newport, located on Oregon’s savage and beautiful coastline is a hidden gem for tourists. This is the perfect place for people who want to get away and spend some time snuggled next to the Pacific. Walk into town for some world famous clam chowder and visit some of the quirky shops. At one time there was a shop dedicated one hundred percent to cats-cat toys, cat themed home items, etc. Newport is also home to the Newport Aquarian-a world renowned oceanic exploration zone. This is the aquarium that Keiko called home before being flown on to Iceland. It is also home of one of the country’s premiere Shark Tanks!

The Southern Oregon Coast: South of Newport you will find a string of eclectic and beautiful tiny towns. Stop in at any one for a taste of small town charm! Burgers at the Main Street Diner in Reedsport are a must eat as is a stop at the now famous Sportsmann’s Cannery in Winchester Bay! Many people believe that the Oregon coastline surrounding these towns is well suited toward the generation of wave energy. Take a drive along the 101 and find out why!

Bend. Bend is located in central Oregon and is a great place for people who want to go hiking in a desert valley and go skiing-all in the same trip! Bend is growing quickly and is starting to compete with Portland and Eugene as far as population epicenters go. For some of Oregon’s great wildlife and hiking, consider taking a weekend getaway in Bend or in any of the small towns that surround it!

Oregon is considered by many to be a hidden gem (and most of the residents of the state enjoy the “hidden” part of that statement) of a vacation spot. Outdoors enthusiasts especially love Oregon because it has hiking, fishing, biking, skiing, hunting, sailing, climbing and other fun outdoors activities. For those who prefer the city life, Portland offers skyscrapers and a concrete paradise while Eugene is famous for its earthy reputation. No matter what you’re looking for (short of tropical temperatures and weather conditions), you’ll find it in Oregon!

Considering a Second Home or Vacation Condo on the Oregon Coast?

If you’re at that stage in your life when you’re currently considering a second home or vacation home the Oregon coast may be the perfect location. There is nothing quite like it. Nestled between chilly Washington and sunny California is the rocky and beautiful coast of the state of Oregon. Seen in numerous movies and especially its famous landmark, Haystack rock, the Oregon coast is filled with Sea lion caves, beachcombing opportunities, beautiful views, rock ledges, and crashing ocean waves. The Oregon coast is a little quieter than California but not as cold as Washington. Depending on the time of year the waves can be higher and provide a spectacular seaside view. There are dozens of hotels and resorts speckled along the Oregon coast but if you’re considering living here this is an excellent location for a second home or a permanent vacation spot.

The Oregon coast area has some beautiful locations from Astoria to Brookings on the California border. Right in the middle is the beautiful town of Florence. The Pacific coast Highway (101) runs along the Oregon coast from the tip of Washington all the way down to southern California. Along this stretch of famous highway are small villages and towns offering great little tourist attractions and eye-catching activities. Some of those events include stunning golf courses and wild Sand Dune rides. Near Florence Oregon are the famous Sand dunes and you can rent a Dune buggy or quad at any time year-round. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, be a tourist for the day and enjoy all the beautiful shops and quaint restaurants in Newport and Lincoln beach. Cannon Beach and Seaside offer a great location for any second-home or condominium. The famous Haystack rock is also located in Cannon Beach.

While there are dozens of opportunities for tourist along the Oregon coast, the naturist is also pleased with the abundance of state and national parks. The Siuslaw National Forest is one of the largest national forests in Oregon and encompasses more than 630,000 acres. It’s located just east of Yachats and Florence. If you’re looking to beach comb or to take pictures of beautiful lighthouses, Heceta Beach is a great location. There are dozens of lighthouses dotting the landscape along the coast.

The Oregon coast is a beautiful place for a second home or vacation home. There are many retirees that are coming to this area because of the slower pace of life and cost of living. A single family in Florence Oregon can range anywhere from $90,000-$250,000. This is very reasonable for those that want to second-home or retire in this area. There are also many options for condominiums along the coast which can range in price from $40,000-$140,000. The cost of living, the ease of lifestyle, and the gorgeous landscape all make a few Oregon coast of fantastic place to live permanently or for that desired vacation.

Oregon Kokanee Fishing – Best Lakes and Angling Techniques for Landlocked Salmon

Kokanee fishing is a growing sport in Oregon, where these frisky salmon aren’t as big as chinook and coho reared in the ocean but are so plentiful that many lakes offer bonus bag limits because there are so many to go around.

In 2010, Ron Campbell set the new world with a 9-pound, 10.72-ounce kokanee he caught at Wallowa Lake in northeast Oregon.

Wallowa Lake has long been Oregon’s best lake for very large kokanee. These landlocked sockeye salmon grow to sizes resembling their ocean-going kin, rather than the pan-sized fish found in most kokanee lakes.

Where to Catch Kokanee in Oregon

Besides Wallowa Lake, Oregon has a handful of favorite kokanee lakes. Several of them have “bonus” bag limits of 25 kokanee per day in addition to limits of other game fish.

One of the most consistent kokanee waters in Oregon is Odell Lake near Willamette Pass, off Highway 58 roughly mid-way between Bend and Eugene. The kokanee here aren’t big, but anglers with even modest experience stand a chance at reaching the 25-kokanee limit.

While kokanee numbers fluctuate from season to season in most locations, other Central Oregon lakes and reservoirs that often have excellent kokanee fishing include Wickiup Reservoir south of Bend and Suttle Lake near Sisters, which also have 25-kokanee limits. Elk Lake has the same bag but kokanee there tend to run small.

Also in Central Oregon, Lake Billy Chinook near Culver no longer has a 25-kokanee bag but still has excellent angling. Other favorite waters in this area are Paulina and East lakes in Newberry Crater, Crescent Lake near Odell Lake, Haystack Reservoir between Madras and Redmond and Lake Simtustus near Warm Springs.

In Western Oregon, a great kokanee fishing spot is Green Peter Reservoir near Sweet Home in the Cascade foothills, a short drive from Willamette Valley towns including Albany. Green Peter has a 25-kokanee limit and anglers who learn the reservoir can reach it when the bite is on.

Timothy Lake, a popular rainbow trout fishery southeast of Portland, also has a separate 25-kokanee limit and at time produces good catches. East of Salem, Detroit Reservoir anglers include kokanee and other landlocked salmon in their trout limit.

In Southeast Oregon, Lake of the Woods and Fourmile Lake, near each other in the southern Cascades between Klamath Falls and Medford, both have good kokanee populations and 25-fish limits in addition to reliable trout fisheries. Also in the region, Miller Lake near Chemult and Heart Lake between Klamath Falls and Lakeview offer kokanee fishing. Miller has a 25-kokanee bag but the kokanee tend to run small here.

How to Catch Kokanee

First off, perhaps the most useful tool an angler can have is a fish finder. This allows them to pinpoint kokanee schools, both their locations on the lake and their holding depth. Without a fish finder, the best advice is to inquire locally and watch for concentrations of boats.

The most popular way to catch kokanee is by trolling.

Trollers employ small, brightly colored lures to entice a strike. Various spoons, spinners and hootchies all work well. Stock a mix of lure types and colors, including fluorescent shades, as kokanee preferences can change by the hour.

When trolling, most anglers pull their lures behind dodgers or gang-style blade sets to help attract kokanee, a flashy, schooling fish. Also, it’s fairly standard practice to put a piece of bait on the hook. Popular baits include white shoe-peg corn, maggots, shrimp, prepared baits or a small piece of nightcrawler. Some anglers also add prepared scents. Some anglers use rubber snubbers in an effort to blunt the force of the hookup because kokanee have soft mouths, but not all kokanee fishers believe this is productive.

Early in the season, kokanee often can be found near the surface. As warmer weather arrives, kokanee dive deep and trollers use lead weight or weighted lines to reach their quarry. Many serious anglers instead use downriggers, allowing them to more accurately target kokanee schools and then fight frisky fish on light tackle without as much weight.

Another very effective way to catch kokanee is by jigging for them with brightly colored metal lures. These jigs often are worked by anglers in a anchored boat, dropped vertically to the level of holding schools. Jig the lure upward and let it flutter among the fish. Kokanee usually grab it on the drop.

Jigs also can be cast toward shallow schools, which often are marked by jumping kokanee. Pitch the jig toward the fish and retrieve it in an erratic motion that includes pauses to let the jig flutter while it sinks.

Bait fishing can also be productive, using many of the same baits trollers use. Some anglers use a combination of baits, known locally by such names as the “Wickiup Sandwich.”

Occasionally, anglers will have success fly fishing for kokanee, especially early in the year when these zooplankton eaters will turn a focus to aquatic insect larvae closer to shore.

How to Find the Best Oregon Wineries

How do you find the best Oregon wineries? This is a hard question to give a definitive answer to since at best it is a subjective question that people will have different answers for. You can decide which wineries in the state are a must for you to visit by deciding what kinds of wine you like and how much you are willing to spend, as well as how deep your appreciation for fine wine goes. Concerns over sustainable agriculture can also be a factor. Here is a brief guide to the various areas where wineries in Oregon are found:

Columbia River Gorge. Located some 60 miles east of Portland, this region includes the Columbia Gorge American Viticultural Area as well as part of the Columbia Valley AVA. Covering an area of 40 miles, the area is host to 13 Oregon and 18 Washington wineries as well as 26 Oregon and 24 Washington vineyards. The types of wines produced in the area include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah.

Willamette Valley. Undoubtedly, this is where many of the best Oregon wineries can be found. The Willamette Valley is the biggest wine producing area in the state, with its AVA running 150 miles long and 60 miles wide. The Valley is divided into six smaller AVAs, each of which has its own unique climactic and geographic characteristics for growing grapes, including the recently approved Chehalem Mountain AVA and the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA. There are more than 200 wineries in the Willamette Valley, spread over 12,000 acres of vineyards. Although this area produces many types of wine including Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, the Willamette Valleyhas become most famous for its cool-climate Pinot Noir.

Eastern Oregon. The greater part of the area of the Columbia Valley AVA lies in Washington state with only a small section in Oregon that stretches from the Dalles to Milton-Freewater. The area is 208 miles long and 185 miles wide, and has some 29,000 vineyard acres with 50 wineries. The most popular wine varieties produced in East Oregon includes Riesling, Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer.

Southern Oregon. Found in the southeast end of the state, the Southern Oregon AVA stretches 125 miles from the south of Eugene to the border with California and 60 miles wide at its widest. It encompasses the Umpqua Valley and Rogue Valley AVAs. The area is home to 17 wineries and 120 vineyards spread over 3,000 acres. The prominent wines produced in Southern Oregon include White Riesling, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Tempranillo.

You can use the above guide to find which area produces the type of wines you are interested in tasting. Once you ve decided on a particular area, there are a variety of online resources you can use to narrow down your search further until you find the wineries you want. For example, each wine producing area has its own official site with a directory of the wineries found there. You can also use tourist sites that post user reviews of the various wineries to help you find the best Oregon wineries to visit.

Bend Oregon Luxury Homes

Bend Oregon is a great place to live! There are currently 85 homes listed for sale in Bend over $1,000,000. For purposes of this post we are saying a luxury home is:

1) Over $1,000,000. 2)3,000 square feet or larger. 3) Has triple car garage or larger 4)Built prior to 1990. 4) Connected to Bend City sewer. We did not count residential acreage which will be covered in another article.

The most expensive home currently for sale in Bend is listed for $6,000,000. It is a European Chateau in the gated community of Broken Top. It has over 10,000 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 7 baths and a 4+ car garage. It includes an 800 square foot wine cellar and it sits on a one acre lot over looking several fairways.

The second most expensive home for sale in Bend is located in the luxury golf course community of Pronghorn. It is listed for $3,950,000. It features: 1) 5,579 square feet. 2) 5 bedrooms. 3) 4.5 Baths. 4) Triple garage. 5) Small guest house.

There have been 34 luxury homes sold in Bend within the last year. The most expensive home sold was listed for $3,475,000 and sold for $3,000,000. It featured: 1) 4 bedrooms. 2) 6 baths. 3) Triple garage. 4) Premier membership in the Club at Pronghorn. It was on the market for 331 days.

The second most expensive home sold was on Awbrey Butte in Wyndemere subdivision. It was situated on a 1.35 acre lot that I had sold to the owners in 1998 for $195,000! Nice return on investment! It featured: 1) 5,214 square feet. 2) 3 bedrooms. 3) 4 baths. 4) Triple garage. 5) Views of the Deschutes River and Cascade mountain range. It was on the market for 611 days. It was originally listed for $2,650,000 and sold for $2,200,000.

Bend is a wonderful place to live. It has all you could want and recreation opportunities are abundant. You can mountain bike, hike, raft, fish, to rock climbing, cross country skiing and down hill skiing, snowmobiling and sightseeing.

The weather features moderate days and cool nights. We are at a high altitude so our night time temperatures and 30 to 40 degrees cooler than our daytime temperatures. Evenings are cool so you always want to carry a jacket or sweater.

Precipitation averages less than 12 inches and over half falls between November and February, often as snow. Thunderstorms provide most of the light summer rain. Snowfall averages 33.8 inches and rarely accumulates to more than 5 or 6 inches and it does not stay on the ground very long.

The city and county is good about plowing the streets first think in the mornings. Seldom are slick roads a problem. Heavy snows of 20 plus inches only occur once every twenty years.

Central Oregon has more sunny days than anywhere else in the state. Bend is know for its year round sunshine! Common weather includes sunny days, cool nights and low humidity.

The average luxury home for sale in Bend is listed at $1,715,001 and has been on the market for an average of 175 days. Several homes have been on the market for over a year. If you are in the market to buy a luxury home in Bend now is a good time to buy. Prices are down and there is a good selection.

Taking a Scenic Tour of Oregon

With its eastern edge in the prairies and its western edge on the coast, Oregon offers a truly unique chance to see the beauty that makes up this incredible country. If you enjoy traveling by car and exploring the countryside, there is no nicer state to visit.

Oregon has dozens of beautiful and fascinating scenic routes available to travel, many of which are steeped in rich cultural heritage. The following are only a few of the routes that are available for exploration.

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

Ancient volcanic activity and glacial movement formed a network of over 150 lakes through central Oregon. The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway passes through Deschutes National Forest and takes travelers on an eye widening adventure. Visit Lava Cast Forest or take a walk and explore the Newberry Crater. With camping, water sports and many other activities available, there is something for everyone along this picturesque byway.

Historic Columbia River Highway

Taking a walk in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, the Historic Columbia River Highway offers visitors the chance to explore the land far more easily than in days gone by. Starting in Portland, Oregon you will travel through small towns, enjoy the view at places like Chanticleer Point, experience a variety of thrilling waterfalls and take a trip through time at the Gorge Discovery Center and Wasco County Museum.

Mt. Hood Scenic Byway

With a range of geological wonders to please any traveler, the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway takes travelers through the last leg of the Oregon Trail. Visitors explore valleys and a temperate rainforest, and get to see three of Oregon’s most amazing natural wonders: the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, and Mt. Hood. The year-round skiing available at Mt. Hood makes this is a great destination for the active snow-loving adventurer.

Outback Scenic Byway

Although teachers drill students about the harshness of the long prairie trek across America, nothing can compare to seeing it yourself. The Outback Scenic Byway takes travelers across the rough and rugged land through which pioneers struggled in their voyage westward. With volcanic craters and lava flows to explore and Old Perpetual, Oregon’s only geyser, it is easy to see how powerful nature can be. Towering 2500 feet above the valley floor and the byway, Abert Rim is the largest geological fault in America. Fort Rock is another memorable landmark that makes the Outback Scenic Byway one of the most fascinating passages through the state.

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway

For those who love the sea, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway gives visitors to Oregon the chance to explore the coastline through a series of small towns filled with museums, overlooks, historic bridges and of course lighthouses. Places worth stopping include Astoria, where Lewis and Clark finished their westward journey and wintered before returning home, the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, which contains a museum and is open to the public, and the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which is filled with both indoor and outdoor exhibits filled with aquatic life.

West Cascades Scenic Byway

Offering some of the best up-close views of Oregon’s waterfalls, this 220 mile long byway gives visitors an alternative to the usual route between Eugene and Portland. The West Cascades Scenic Byway passes through stunning old-growth forests with many walking trails available for your viewing pleasure. Winter visitors can enjoy stopovers at places like the Breitenbush Center, which offers the chance to soak in a natural hot spring.

Corvallis Oregon Real Estate – 5 Steps To Buy Your Perfect Home

There are many ways you can go about finding your perfect home, the Corvallis Oregon Real Estate market has not taken a major hit like many other cities that are comparable.

Here are some stats for Corvallis in the month of July:

The average days on market for homes has gone done from 135 to 133. As far as listings goes, the numbers went up from 536 this time last year to 565 this year.

As far as homes sold this month last year at 77 to this year at 47. And on top of that the time if takes to sell the current inventory nearly doubled from this time last year of 7 months to today’s number of 12 months!

So as you can see the Corvallis Oregon real estate market has slowed down from this time last year. Some professionals say that the summer months are traditionally slow here, but you really can’t judge market conditions on what time of year it is.

So keeping all these stats in mind you have to know how to find a fair deal and still get the home you’ve always wanted.

Here are 5 steps to follow to get you there easily…

First, get yourself fully approved. Regular pre-approvals don’t fly anymore.

Find a local lender who you can sit down in person with you.

You want to deal locally because they understand the Corvallis area and know of loan programs that might be of extreme benefit.

By extreme benefit, I mean, local programs that will help with closing costs or any other expenses relating to your loan. Sometimes you might even be able to find 100% financing options that most lenders and Realtors will say “don’t exist”.

Second, make sure your are 100% set on a specific area to live.

Do this by educating yourself and familiarizing yourself with the school districts, the neighbors and what’s going on in the neighborhood at different times in the day.

Doing so will narrow down your search for homes and keep you from wasting time.

Third, you have to get a real estate agent that specializes in Corvallis specifically.

You will be able to tap into the resources they have for this area. This will allow you to find significant discounts and hidden area’s for you and your family.

Fourth, don’t be afraid of doing some repairs yourself.

A house that just needs some drywall work or a small paint job can sometimes be the perfect home.

Many of the homes in Corvallis don’t have major issues unless you are looking to buy a home in the historic area’s or near OSU.

And if your real estate agent is well connected he can usually refer someone who will do the work for very little.

On top of that sometimes there are local programs that will pay for your repairs, especially in the Benton county area’s. They offer this as a way to improve neighborhood area’s over time.

And finally, be ready to jump!

When a deal seems really good, don’t let it sit to long.

Everybody wants a good deal, but the only person who will actually get it is the person who makes the decision to take action.