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Sell Your Home | 1 Posts
November
29

Your Guide to Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Holiday Home Selling

Though many homeowners associate the spring and summer months with selling their homes, listing your home during the holiday season has a few advantages over more popular times of the year.

Our real estate agents know that homebuyers searching for properties during the winter months tend to be serious buyers who are ready to make a deal as quickly as possible.

There might also be fewer homes for sale due to homeowners opting to wait until after the holidays, often due to logistical issues and personal preferences. 

Here's what you need to know about selling your home during the holidays. 

  • A Festive Atmosphere Can Make Your Home More Appealing
    Most people associate the winter months with chilly weather that practically begs for a cozy evening at home or a cheery holiday gathering with friends and family. Make sure that your home offers an ambiance that helps potential buyers see themselves creating fantastic holiday memories and retreating from brisk temperatures with their loved ones. You can accomplish this with staging and the strategic use of home accessories. For example, if your home has an open floor plan, set up a dining room table complete with a holiday centerpiece and festive place settings. In your living room, use candles to generate intimate, soothing lighting. Light a fire in your fireplace, and add a few throw pillows and blankets to ensure the space appears warm and welcoming. 
  • Your Home's Exterior Needs to Look Its Best
    With the cold weather, you might be tempted to skip tending to your home's exterior areas and focus on its interior. Curb appeal is equally important during the winter months to help your home attract potential buyers. Remove any dead leaves and vegetation, and check that your home's exterior spaces are clean. Promptly clear away snow and leaves so that your walkways are clear and safe for homebuyers to navigate. 
  • Highlight the Season
    Classic holiday decorations are a terrific way to enhance the appeal of your home and highlight its best features. Albany and Corvallis homes with simple decorations look more festive and cheerful than properties without holiday decor. The key is to focus on using elegant, universally-appealing decorations that nearly every homebuyer will love. Check that everything coordinates and stick with a less is more mentality. Set up a tree in your living room; this is an easy way to add warmth and cheer to the room. Wrap a few boxes in coordinating wrapping paper to use as "decoy" presents to better stage the area. Hang holiday lights on your home's exterior to highlight your home's architectural features. Wreaths or ribbons on your windows help draw attention to these areas and offer a traditional look that will appeal to more homebuyers. 

Selling your home during the holidays poses a few unique challenges, but following this guide will help your home look its best so that you can secure a fast sale. Ready to list your home? Our team is here to help. Contact us to get started!

November
23

Experience Albany's Historic Districts

Albany Historic Districts

There's so much history to be discovered in Albany and Corvallis, from fascinating museums to the many historic buildings which have been preserved into the present day. Albany's historic districts each offer something unique to see, including historic homes, businesses, and museums that tell the story of how the community has developed over centuries. Our real estate agents have the details on what to expect from Albany's historic districts and attractions.

Monteith District

The Monteith brothers were Scottish immigrants who moved to Oregon from Albany, NY, and played a key role in starting the city of Albany, OR, that we all enjoy today. The Monteith District, which bears their family name, is home to the Monteith House museum, which showcases the history of both the family and the community they helped start, all housed in a beautifully, authentically restored historic home.

Nearby, you'll discover the Albany Historic Carousel and Museum, the perfect place for getting kids interested in local history. The carousel is historically accurate to the period when it was first built more than a century ago and has been updated with hand-carved, hand-painted wooden animals. After the kids have had their fun riding the carousel, be sure to check out the museum and gift shop, which are located at the same site.

This district is also where you'll find some of Albany's most spectacularly designed historic churches, with the English Gothic-style United Presbyterian Church, as well as the towering spires and Carpenter Gothic design of the Whitespires Church, which was constructed in 1891. You can download a guided walking tour of the Monteith District, provided by the Albany Visitors Association, to ensure that you get to visit every interesting landmark.

Hackleman District

The Hackleman District is largely a residential district, though it is home to St. Paul's Methodist Church, the earliest church building in Albany that's still in existence today. The big highlights in this district, however, are the spectacular historic homes that were built here. The Chamberlain House, the historic home of former Oregon Governor and Senator George Chamberlain is still known as the tallest home in Albany. The Ralston House, located across the street, is known for its stained-glass windows and ornate design, while the Goltra House was the first plaster-walled house in the city.

Downtown Commercial District

The Downtown Commercial District features one of the largest concentrations of historic buildings in Albany, which is no surprise since this is where the Monteith brothers opened the community's first general store. Today, the Downtown Commercial District features historic homes and businesses built from when the community was settled in the 1840s through the early 1900s. Notable buildings include the Flinn Block, constructed in 1887, the Straney & More Livery Stable, built in 1892, along with many other buildings converted into present-day homes and businesses.

Airport District

In addition to its diverse collection of historic homes and businesses, Albany is also home to the oldest airport in the Northwest and one of the oldest in the world. First established in 1909, a few short years after the Wright Brothers' flight, the Albany Municipal Airport has been in continuous operation ever since. It's also the only airport in Oregon listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Stop by to see the historic airport, learn more about its stories, and see the classic A-4 Skyhawk fighter jet that's on display.

Ready to write the next chapter of your own history in Albany? Our team is here to help you find the perfect home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Albany area.

November
15

Corvallis & Albany Holiday Events

Corvallis and Albany Holiday

Are you ready for some festive fun just in time for the holidays? There are events coming up in Albany and Corvallis to suit every interest, from live holiday music to local shopping and fun runs. Our real estate agents have more details on some of the holiday events around Corvallis and Albany that you'll want to mark down on your calendar.

  • The Fire's Very Scottish Christmas – 1400 NW Buchanan Ave., Corvallis, OR 97330
    You certainly don't have to be Scottish to love The Fire's Very Scottish Christmas, but it doesn't hurt! This rousing performance will be coming to the Corvallis High School Performing Arts Center on December 17, 2022, at 7:00 PM, with live music, traditional dance, and songs dating all the way back to the 1300s.

  • Corvallis Community Band Holiday Concert – 4045 SW Research Way, Corvallis, OR 97333
    Corvallis is home to many talented musicians, so the Corvallis Community Band Holiday Concert is sure to be a hit this year. This annual performance features a family-friendly vibe with a mix of classic holiday tunes and new favorites. The show will be taking place on December 18, 2022, starting at 2:00 PM, and admission is free for everyone.

  • Corvallis Turkey Trot – 100 SE Fischer Ln., Corvallis, OR 97333
    Healthy fun is also on the menu this holiday season, and you don't have to wait until December to start celebrating the season. The Corvallis Turkey Trot includes a 5k run/walk, 10k run/walk, and a Little Gobblers 1k, perfect for families. Costumes are encouraged but not required at this event, which kicks off on Thanksgiving morning, November 24, 2022, at the Crystal Lake Sports Fields in Corvallis.

  • Christmas Parlor Tour 2022 – Monteith Historical District, Albany, OR 97321
    Turn back the clock to historic eras of Albany with the Christmas Parlor Tour 2022 hosted by the Monteith Historical Society. This event offers the opportunity to visit, tour, and explore some of the most interesting historic homes around downtown Albany, fully decked out for the holidays. The highlight for many visitors is the tour of the Monteith House, which is open to visitors during the Christmas Parlor Tour on December 11, 2022, in downtown Albany.

  • Shop Small, Dine Small on Small Business Saturday – Downtown Albany, OR 97321
    You don't have to travel far for some outstanding holiday shopping this year, with the Shop Small, Dine Small on Small Business Saturday event highlighting all that you can find close to home in Albany. Many of your favorite local small businesses will be offering special deals, with holiday music in the air and beautifully lit trees as you travel from one place to the next. The fun starts on November 26, 2022, with most shops and restaurants officially opening their doors around 10:00 AM.

  • Holiday Film Series: White Christmas – 170 High St. SE, Salem, OR 97301
    Some classics never go out of style, and the Holiday Film Series: White Christmas showing at the Elsinore Theatre in Salem is perfect for introducing younger family members to some of the classic films from holiday seasons gone by. This event will highlight the 1954 classic White Christmas, written by Irving Berlin and starring some of the biggest names of the time, like Bing Crosby.

Is a home for the holidays at the top of your shopping list this year? Our team is here to help you achieve your real estate goals. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Albany and Corvallis, OR, areas.

November
7

Visit Albany & Corvallis Art Destinations

Corvallis Art

If you love art, then you're sure to find some fantastic places to explore around both Albany and Corvallis. With historic theaters, amazing art galleries, vibrant arts centers, and extensive educational resources, you can easily connect with the local arts scene whether you're interested in discovering new art or learning more about how to create your own. Our real estate agents have all of the details on 6 destinations for art lovers around Albany and Corvallis.

  • Albany Civic Theater – 111 First Ave. W., Albany, OR 97321
    Few local art organizations can match the long history of the Albany Civic Theater, which has been putting on performances for the community for more than 70 years. There are some big shows coming up to close out 2022, including performances of Murder on the Orient Express and the 72nd Annual Albany Civic Theater Telethon.

  • Art in the Valley – 209 SW 2nd St., Corvallis, OR 9733
    A cooperatively owned art gallery that has been going strong for more than 30 years, Art in the Valley is a great place to check out the work of local artists in a wide variety of media. Exhibits at the gallery are updated every month, and there is a special reception for the Artist of the Month on the third Thursday of each month.

  • The Arts Center – 700 SW Madison Ave., Corvallis, OR 97333
    Whether you want to explore art created by others, attend interesting events, or sharpen your own artistic skills, you're sure to find plenty to love at The Arts Center in Corvallis. Catch up on the latest exhibits, like Through a Veteran's Lens, Natura: Sarah Ciampa, or the Emily Steele Sculpture Collection. Enjoy art classes for youth and adults, as well as monthly artist meetups.

  • Majestic Theatre – 115 SW 2nd St., Corvallis, OR 97333
    Do you want to be part of the audience or part of the show? Either way, you're sure to enjoy a visit to the Majestic Theatre, where you can find live theater, music, dance, and so much more. The team at the Majestic Theatre also offers a diverse selection of classes and lectures taught by experts in a variety of artistic fields.

  • Giustina Gallery at Lasells Stewart Center – 875 SW 26th St., Corvallis, OR 97331
    Located on the scenic Oregon State University campus, the Lasells Stewart Center is the place to be for live music, engaging educational lectures, and more. It's also home to the Giustina Gallery, which is the largest art gallery in the Willamette Valley, with a strong focus on showcasing the work of local artists, including university staff and students. The most recent exhibition, 100 Views of Oregon, is a great example of that focus on local art in action.

  • Linn County Arts Guild – 605 Main St., Lebanon, OR 87355
    If you love local art, you won't want to miss the chance to visit the Linn County Arts Guild. There are tons of classes here where you can learn new artistic skills, like Watercolor Painting with Donna Lee, the Scratchboard Art Class, and the Nuno Felting Class with Annette Riesbick. The Linn County Art Guild also welcomes the work of local artists and crafters in any medium, making it a great place to shop for unique gifts.

Ready to find your next home near all of your favorite theaters, art galleries, and arts centers? Our local team is here to help you find the right match. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Albany and Corvallis, OR, areas.

October
18

Try Local Beer at These Willamette Valley Breweries

Corvallis Breweries

Oregon's Willamette Valley is known as one of the West Coast's great wine regions. But we also have a burgeoning craft beer scene here, with exciting new microbreweries popping up all the time. 

Cool fall weather makes this the perfect time of year to savor the best local, seasonal flavors these brewers have to offer. Our real estate agents are excited to share some of their favorite Willamette Valley breweries!

  • Calapooia Brewing - 140 NE Hill St, Albany, OR 97321
    Pacific Pilsner, River Jump IPA, and Turkish Coffee Stout are just a few of the staple beers at Calapooia Brewing, a local microbrewery that traces its roots in the Willamette Valley back to 1993. Their excellent brews are served alongside mouth-watering pub grub at the brewery's cozy Albany pub location, which is shared with Vivacity Fine Spirits, a local craft distillery based in Corvallis. 

  • Deluxe Brewing Company - 635 NE Water Ave, Albany, OR 97321
    Deluxe Brewing Company can trace its humble beginnings back to a home brew kit purchased at a local brewing supply store by co-founders Howie and Jamie Howard back in 2005. Today, it's become a staple of the Willamette Valley craft brewing scene, offering signature brews like Wild Beaver Amber Lager and Sintillator Dopplebock. The 15-barrel brewery is also operated in conjunction with Sinister Distilling, and you can sample both at their Albany tasting room. 
  • The Garage - 229 3rd Ave SW, Albany, OR 97321
    There's something for everyone at The Garage, with 54 taps to choose from! Their rotating taps include cider, seltzer, mead, and of course, beer. Stay up to date on their taps with their website, which even shows how full the kegs are. Besides their tap list, they also offer an impressive cocktail menu. Pair your beverage with tasty offerings from their kitchen, like mac and cheese bites or one of their flatbread pizzas. 

  • Block 15 Brewing Co. - 300 SW Jefferson Ave, Corvallis, OR 97333
    With more than a dozen rotating taps, Block 15 Brewing Co. is one of the best breweries in Corvallis. Their IPAs, lagers, and unique barrel-aged beers are on a whole other level, and the tap room serves a great menu of fresh salads, sandwiches, and pasta. Block 15 Brewing Co. is also dedicated to keeping their brewery as local and sustainable as possible, using ingredients grown in the Willamette Valley and powering their operations with 40% solar power.

  • Sky High Brewing & Pub - 160 NW Jackson Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330
    Great beer and a fun, welcoming atmosphere are combined to create a perfect experience at Sky High Brewing & Pub. Their tasty, eclectic, and sustainable ales are always changing and evolving, but you can count on a great variety of beers to suit every palate, from bitey IPAs to rich lagers. Plus, their 4th-floor brewpub and rooftop bar offers some of the best views in town. There's no better place to watch the sunset!

  • 2 Towns Ciderhouse - 33930 SE Eastgate Circle, Suite E, Corvallis, OR 97330
    Experience all things cider when you stop by 2 Towns Ciderhouse. Their tap room offers a wide range of ciders to sample, with over 20 rotating taps. Be sure to check out their website to see an updated list of their beer, meads, cider, and hard seltzer. Plus, you can take your favorite beverages home with you, with cans, bottles, or growlers available for purchase.

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Willamette Valley. If you're looking for your dream home, our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find it in Corvallis, Albany, and the surrounding areas. 

October
7

What to Know Before a Remodel

Remodel Tips

There are a lot of beautiful homes for sale in Albany and Corvallis. If you've found the perfect home or are ready to sell your current home, but it could use a little work, then you've come to the right place. Our real estate agents know that remodeling projects can possibly add value to your home. Here are the key things they want you to know before taking on a home remodel.

  • Consider the Return on Investment
    Remodeling your home is often a wise financial choice because it increases your home's value. However, some remodeling projects offer a greater ROI than others. Kitchen remodels tend to have the highest ROI. Bathroom remodels, and exterior remodels also have a high return on investment. Remodeling a bedroom, hallway, or dining room comes with a lower ROI in most cases.

  • Upgrade Based on Neighborhood Value
    In each neighborhood, there is a "ceiling" for home values. In other words, no matter how much work you put into a home, it will never sell for significantly more than the other homes nearby. Take this into account when planning a remodel. For instance, if the average sale price of homes on your street is $250,000, spending $100,000 on an extensive kitchen remodel is unlikely to increase your home's value by a full $100,000. Consult your real estate agent for a better idea of how much your home will be worth with certain upgrades.

  • Set a Budget
    It's really easy to spend more than you planned on a remodel. The best way to keep remodeling affordable is to set a budget from day one. Then, choose materials and designs that fit into that budget. If you need to put off larger projects for later, then so be it. You can always start off with smaller projects, such as a bedroom or entryway makeover, when your budget is limited.

  • Know What You Can DIY
    DIY remodels can save you a lot of money, but you need to know what you are capable of. You should never DIY any project that involves HVAC, electrical, or plumbing work, as mistakes could prove dangerous. On the other hand, tasks like painting walls, putting down vinyl flooring, and installing new shelves are quite approachable if you have basic skills.

  • Choose Timeless Looks for Permanent Changes
    Decorating trends change quickly. So, when you are making expensive upgrades, such as installing new floors, counters, or cabinets, try to choose timeless options. You can add more trendy styles with decor like wall art and drapes. These are easier and less expensive to replace when the styles change. Homes with timeless "bones" hold their value better and are easier to sell.

  • Take Your Time
    So many homeowners dive head-first into a remodeling effort, take on too much all at once, and end up feeling overwhelmed. If you take things slower, remodeling will be more fun. Make a list of projects you want to tackle. Then, decide what order you'll tackle them in. Handle one project at a time, only moving on to the next one once the previous project is complete. This will keep you organized and will also make it easier to stay on budget.

It's amazing what a new coat of paint, some new flooring, or a few new appliances can do for a place. If you're still searching for the perfect home, don't hesitate to contact us. We'll help you find the perfect place for you and your family.

October
24

Neighborhood Halloween Safety Guide

Halloween Candy

Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year for kids and families across the nation. Due to the larger number of pedestrians and drivers, the night also has a higher risk of accidents. Our real estate agents suggest following these guidelines to ensure your Halloween is a safe, memorable night. 

  • Stay on Sidewalks and Pathways
    When traveling throughout your Corvallis or Albany neighborhood, opt for routes that allow your group to stay on the sidewalk and designated walking areas as much as possible. If you find yourself on a route without a sidewalk, make sure that you walk on the side of the road facing the flow of traffic.
  • Operate Vehicles Slowly and Carefully
    If you need to make a candy run to restock, drive slower than usual and be alert to your surroundings. Excited children may dart across the street or forget to look both ways; driving cautiously gives you ample time to stop or maneuver your car if you need to respond quickly. 
  • Cross the Street Safely
    Avoid crossing the street in the middle of the road; instead, wait until you're at a corner or designated crosswalk. When crossing, always look to the left, to the right, and back to the left to make sure that no cars are coming. Try to use a direct route that minimizes street crossings when trick-or-treating. 
  • Minimize Distractions
    On such an exciting day, it's normal for kids and adults to be distracted by fun costumes and spooky decor, along with the usual distractions like electronic devices, snacks, and beverages. Keep cell phones stored when you're walking. If you do need to check an app or communicate with your Halloween crew, safely step off the road to use your device. Never walk and use your device, as you're less likely to spot vehicles or uneven surfaces that can cause an injury. 
  • Bring a Light Source
    It's a smart idea to incorporate some costume accessory or component that ensures you and your children are illuminated and more visible to drivers. When possible, use reflective tape or fabrics as part of your family's Halloween costumes. Or, grab a few packs of glowsticks so your kids will be more visible. Consider carrying a flashlight or lantern to help you safely maneuver throughout your neighborhood. 
  • Have a Plan
    If your kids are going trick-or-treating by themselves, agree to a specific route before they head out. Make sure they understand your expectations regarding safe street crossing, behavior, electronic usage, and other Halloween activities. Let them know when you expect them to be home and guidelines concerning how often they need to check in.
  • Rethink Taking Your Pet Trick-or-Treating
    While a dog in a Halloween costume is adorable, trick-or-treating can pose a few hazards to your furry family members. Some dogs may not be comfortable around large groups of people in strange outfits, and kids may forget their manners and pet or approach your dog without obtaining permission. If you do decide to bring your pooch, opt for a short lead (around four feet) that will help you keep your dog nearby. You might also use a harness to better control your pup. Leave the retractable leash at home; these leashes can malfunction, allowing your dog access to unsafe areas. 

Keep your family safe this Halloween by following this safety guide. Ready to relocate your family to a new neighborhood? Contact us to get started.

September
27

Staging Tips for Your Home

Staging Tips

When selling your home, staging is a valuable way to make your home more attractive to potential buyers and help you obtain the highest possible price.

Our real estate agents encourage you to use staging techniques that showcase your home's strengths. Whether you're selling your house in Corvallis or Albany, the same rules apply and work to impress potential buyers. Here are some tips to help you with the staging process.

  • Remove Clutter and Furniture
    Go through your entire home and remove items that are overly personal, part of a collection, or out of season. Next, survey the remaining items for a second round of decluttering. Pack most of your small kitchen appliances away to help your counters look larger. Remove half of your furniture in each room to maximize the space of the room. While it might seem like a lot of furniture will showcase the room's size, it will actually make the space look cramped and small. Remove enough clothing from your closets to ensure there's space between each item. This makes your closet look larger and more organized. 
  • See That Every Room Has a Distinct Purpose
    Every room and space in your home should have a specific purpose; this will help homebuyers better envision themselves living in your home. Spare bedrooms can function as a guest room or home office. Turn an unused space in your garage or attic into a home workout area. Add a dining table or sectional to your deck so that buyers have an idea of how they can use your home's outside areas. 
  • Use Mirrors to Help Your Home Look Larger
    A mirror works as a neutral statement piece in nearly any room; adding the mirror will also reflect more light, helping the room appear brighter and larger. Any room in your home can benefit from this tip! You can even use a collection of small mirrors or reflective artwork if you want a more contemporary look for your home. 
  • Revamp Your Shelves
    Prior to listing your home, make sure that your bookshelves aren't stuffed to the brim with books. Instead, remove enough books from each shelf so that you have space to add a small vase or decorative item. This will help break up the bookcase so that it doesn't appear overly cluttered. The room as a whole will also appear more welcoming and inviting. 
  • Update Your Kitchen
    Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home, and it's smart to spend a little time making sure that it looks its best. If your cabinets are old and dated, consider painting them or replacing the cabinet doors and hardware. Make sure that every kitchen surface, including the inside of appliances, is gleaming. See that your kitchen has ample lighting and uses bulbs with a high wattage. More lighting is an easy way to help your kitchen look bright and inviting. 
  • Greet Buyers with an Inviting Front Entryway
    When staging, don't forget your interior and exterior entryways. For your front porch, add a new doormat and a few flower planters to ensure your home makes a stellar first impression. In your front entryway, set up a vase of fresh flowers to greet buyers and help your home smell welcoming.

Staging is an effective way to sell your home faster and potentially for more money. Ready to list your home for sale? Contact us to get started. 

September
20

How to Keep Your Yard Looking Its Best This Fall

Fall Landscaping

Thanks to rainy fall days and falling autumn leaves, it's important to remain vigilant about your lawn care during the upcoming months. Otherwise, you risk the high precipitation levels and leaves permanently damaging your lawn. Here in the Willamette Valley, fall weather brings its fair share of landscaping challenges. Whether you live in Corvallis or Albany, you're probably all too familiar with what this season can do to your yard. 

The good news is, with a few simple steps, you can keep your yard well-maintained during this season!

Our real estate agents encourage you to consider completing the following tasks to keep your yard healthy and green through the autumn months. 

  • Keep Mowing Your Lawn
    Though your grass will likely grow slower during the fall months, make mowing a part of your weekly lawn care regimen until your lawn stops growing. During your last mowing session of the season, mow the grass about half an inch high to prevent mold caused by snow and winter precipitation. When it's time to stop mowing, spend a couple of hours on lawnmower maintenance, like sharpening the blades, changing the oil, and completing any repairs, so it's ready when spring rolls around. 
  • Water Your Lawn as Needed
    Keep an eye on your lawn during the autumn months to see if it needs watering. If your lawn doesn't get an inch or more of moisture per week, make time for a quick watering session. 
  • Regularly Rake Your Leaves
    It's important to make sure that you regularly rake throughout the fall months. When leaves stay on your lawn for an extended period, they can cause excessive moisture that leads to fungi.
  • Aerate Your Lawn
    Aerating your lawn will remove soil plugs so that your soil isn't as compact; this makes it easier for nutrients to reach your grass. Fall aeration ensures that your grass is ready to grow during the spring months. 
  • Fertilize Your Lawn
    Fall is the best time for you to fertilize your lawn. Your lawn will get the nutrients it needs to survive the winter months, and when spring arrives, the nutrients will help strengthen your grass. Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer throughout your lawn. 
  • Seed Your Lawn as Needed
    If your lawn has bare patches from the summer heat or wear and tear from your kids and pets, reseed these bare spots with a grass blend that's suited to your lawn's needs. A quick-growing grass blend can help you fill in these bare areas before winter arrives. 
  • Prune Your Plants and Bushes
    Remove dead branches and old flowers from your plants and bushes. This will help keep them healthy and encourage them to produce even more blooms next year. Pruning also helps your garden look tidy during the winter months when your plants aren't blooming. 

Spending time working on your yard will ensure that your gardens and grass look their best during the fall and winter months. Want to upgrade to a home with more outdoor space? Contact us to get started!

September
12

Fall Events in the Willamette Valley

Willamette Valley Fall

There's so much to look forward to this fall around the Willamette Valley, including a busy schedule of special events for every interest. Whether you're in the mood to hunt for antique treasures, meet up with auto enthusiasts, or enjoy a classic community festival, there's an event coming up with your name on it. Our real estate agents have the inside scoop.

  • Welcome Fall Event at Maple Market – 36417 Airport Dr., Lebanon, OR 97355
    You might already be familiar with the folks from Maple Market for their upcycled furniture and home décor. They'll be holding the Welcome Fall Event at Maple Market on September 23, 2022, from 5:00-8:00 PM at their shop in Lebanon. The event will feature a fall-themed basket giveaway, along with complimentary snacks and drinks for guests. Stop by to check out all of the great fall décor at the shop, meet the people who produce it, and shop for unique handmade items.

  • The Great Junk Hunt – 2330 17th St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
    Consistently ranked as one of the best flea markets in the country, The Great Junk Hunt is a two-day event on October 24-25, 2022, at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem. Why is this market so highly rated? Start with the two large buildings packed with antiques, collectibles, vintage items, handmade crafts, and treasures of all types. Enjoy a delicious selection of seasonal cocktails along with live music while you hunt for treasures. Want the best chance of grabbing a real treasure? For a slightly higher admission price, you can get in hours early and start shopping hours before the crowds arrive.

  • Corvallis Fall Festival – 650 NW Monroe Ave., Corvallis, OR 97333
    The Corvallis Fall Festival is a fun, family-friendly annual event held in Corvallis at the scenic Central Park. This festival puts a spotlight on artists and artisans from all around the Pacific Northwest. There will be more than 180 booths featuring arts and crafts from around the region, perfect for getting an early start on your holiday shopping. You will also get to enjoy live music, plenty of great food, a young artist's marketplace, the Saturday night street dance, and an art discovery zone for the kids. This year's Corvallis Fall Festival takes place on September 24 & 25, 2022.

  • October Cars and Coffee – 1260 Price Rd. SE, Albany, OR 97322
    Arranged by the Willamette VDub Club, October Cars and Coffee is an opportunity for Volkswagen owners from around the Willamette Valley to come together and celebrate their favorite cars. If you have a Volkswagen of any year, model, size, or style, you're welcome to join this event, which will be held in Albany on October 15, 2022.

  • Albany Tennis/Pickleball Club Octoberfest – 1423 27th Ave. SW, Albany, OR 97321
    Looking for a place to flex your pickleball skills? The Albany Tennis/Pickleball Club Octoberfest event is a round-robin pickleball tournament with an exciting playoff finale to award gold, silver, and bronze medals. This weekend-long competition will be taking place on October 14-16, 2022. It's open to all pickleball players aged 12+, and registration is required in order to participate.
  • The Great Pumpkin Run – 110 SW 53rd St., Corvallis, OR 97333
    Support a great cause and have fun in the process when you participate in The Great Pumpkin Run, which will be held at the Benton County Fairgrounds on October 8, 2022. There will be 5K and 10K runs in the morning, as well as a fun obstacle course event for kids. There's also a costume contest for participants of all ages. This event supports the Home Life organization, which assists community members with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Is buying or selling a home at the top of your to-do list this fall? Let us help you accomplish your real estate goals. Contact us to buy and sell homes in Willamette Valley communities.

September
6

Plan Ahead for These Willamette Valley Winery Events

Winery Events

Local wineries are gearing up for a packed schedule of special events near Albany, Corvallis, and throughout the Willamette Valley this fall, with something to suit every taste. Sample some of the best wine that the Willamette Valley has to offer while you enjoy fun activities like rooftop yoga, live music, comedy shows, and even salsa dancing classes. Our real estate agents have the exciting details on 6 events from local wineries to look forward to this fall.

  • Yoga Retreat at the Independence Hotel – 15 C St., Independence, OR 97351
    Take a retreat from the daily grind without traveling far from Independence homes for sale when you sign up for the all-inclusive Yoga Retreat at the Independence Hotel, which starts on September 9, 2022. This event features kayaking, yoga by the river, rooftop yoga, cycling, and food and drink from the excellent Territory Restaurant. Also included in the package will be a trip to Adante Vineyard, where you'll sample some excellent wine and have a scenic yoga session.

  • Emerson Vineyards Summer Music Series – 11665 Airlie Rd., Monmouth, OR 97361
    The Emerson Vineyards Summer Music Series may be winding down for the year, but there's still one more great concert to enjoy before the calendar flips to fall. The final concert of this year's series will be a performance from the Fionnghal Celtic Trio. Enjoy it in a beautiful vineyard setting around the corner from Monmouth homes for sale on September 9, 2022, at 6:00 PM.

  • Swing & Standards at Ankeny Vineyard – 2565 Riverside Rd., South Salem, OR 97306
    In the mood for an old-school musical performance? Swing & Standards at Ankeny Vineyard will be a lovely afternoon performance on November 13, 2022. Enjoy live music from the Swing & Standards jazz band in a fantastic setting with even better wine from Ankeny Vineyard.

  • Salsa & Salsa at Cubanisimo Vineyards – 1754 Best Rd. NW, Salem, OR 97304
    Learn some new dance moves from acclaimed instructor Jason LaFontaine while you sample the latest vintages with Salsa & Salsa at Cubanisimo Vineyards near Salem homes for sale. There will also be complimentary chips and salsa provided by local businesses. This event is a fundraiser for the Women at the Well Grace House and takes place on September 25, 2022.

  • The Winery Comedy Tour – 1754 Best Rd. NW, Salem, OR 97304
    Another fun event at Cubanisimo Vineyards will be The Winery Comedy Tour, with dates on Friday nights once per month from September through December. These shows are part of a nationwide comedy tour featuring top touring comics, and there will be new comics to see each month. Of course, you will also get to sample some of the distinctive wines from Cubanisimo Vineyards while you laugh the night away.

  • Wine Club Pickup Party at Airlie Winery – 15305 Dunn Forest Rd., Monmouth, OR 97361
    Are you part of the wine club at Airlie Winery? Then you'll want to mark September 17, 2022, on your calendar for the Wine Club Pickup Party at Airlie Winery. This event will feature live music, a pig roast, and of course, some outstanding wine from Airlie Winery. All of your wine from your club membership will be packed up for you to take home after you enjoy the party with other wine club members and guests.

Searching for a home close to your favorite Willamette Valley winery? Our team is here to help you find the perfect match. Contact us to buy and sell homes in Willamette Valley communities.

August
22

Get to Know Downtown Albany

albany oregon

While downtown Albany is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it offers a vibrant present and future! Much like Corvallis, Albany's Willamette Valley neighbor, the city has retained downtown's classic charm while incorporating art, restaurants, and other contemporary features.

Our real estate agents take a look at some of the places and events that make downtown Albany a must-see location for locals and tourists alike.

  • Antiques in the Streets & Classic Car Show - Broadalbin St., Albany, OR 97322
    Turn back the hands of time at the 23rd annual Antiques in the Streets & Classic Car Show. Upwards of 50 vendors will be on hand with glassware, clothing and accessories, jewelry, and other vintage items. Get some great photos of the whole family alongside more than 100 stunning classic cars lining the streets up the Promenade to the Courthouse. When it's lunchtime, you're within walking distance of great downtown restaurants along with the farmers' market. Proceeds from this year's show benefit the Albany Fire Fighters Community Assistance Fund. The show takes place Saturday, September 10, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Albany Antique Mall - 145 SW 2nd Ave., Albany, OR 97322
    Founded in 2009, the Albany Antique Mall is still in its teenage years, but the merchandise on display dates back over the last century. With more than 25,000 square feet of selling space across two stories, the mall accommodates a fascinating variety of items to fit any interest. Furniture, books, Depression glass, and toys are just a few of the categories on display. The Vintage Boutique is the Willamette Valley's top source for vintage clothing, footwear, and accessories for men and women. Visitors from around the world stop by for incredible bargains. The mall is open daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Albany Regional Museum - 136 Lyon St. S, Albany, OR 97321
    There are many ways to connect with Albany's past in the downtown area! Albany Regional Museum is home to an array of exhibits exploring Albany's past and offers interactive elements that kids, in particular, will enjoy. Be sure to check out their website for the latest information on current exhibits. Hours are 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday.

  • Albany Civic Theater - 111 First Ave. W, Albany, OR97321​
    Living near downtown Albany means you don't have to travel far for live theater! Now in its 71st season, Albany Civic Theater has delighted theater patrons for decades. Plus, the theater allows you to buy individual tickets or take in the full season with a season pass. Evening shows start at 7:30 p.m., with matinee shows starting at 2:30 p.m.

  • Local Restaurants in Albany
    After walking around downtown, you've probably worked up an appetite! Luckily Albany has fantastic local restaurants to choose from, and many of them reside in the downtown area. With a mix of bistros and cafes, you'll have options for either a delightful sit-down or carry-out meal. Here are a few local options to get you started.  

Whether you're looking for Albany homes for sale or Corvallis homes for sale, we've got you covered. Contact us at Valley Brokers to get started.

August
9

Landscaping Ideas for Your Front Yard

Front Yard

If you're planning to put your home on the market in the Albany or Corvallis area, our real estate agents know that updating your front yard is an excellent way to help your home sell faster and look its best. Follow this guide to add valuable curb appeal to your home.

  • Start with the Basics
    Before you decide to undertake a huge landscaping project or give your home a fresh coat of paint, make sure that your front yard is clean, clutter-free, and well-maintained. A clean, maintained yard instantly appeals to potential buyers. Pick up any old toys, stray sticks, or wayward trash, as these items make your yard look cluttered and "dirty." Then, see that any garden tools or outdoor toys and accessories have a dedicated storage spot, like a shed or storage chest. Examine your front yard for anything that's broken or past due for repairs. For example, if your mailbox has a dent, fix the dent or replace it. If your gutters are broken, they should be replaced or repaired. 
  • Upgrade Your House Numbers
    House numbers are frequently overlooked as a design element by many homeowners. Your house numbers should use an attractive font and complement your home's style, color, and other exterior features. 
  • Refresh Your Front Entryway
    Giving your front entryway a makeover instantly adds more curb appeal to your home. If your door is in bad shape or doesn't suit your home, replace it with a door that helps your home make a terrific first impression. If your entryway has vinyl siding or cement, use a pressure washer to ensure that these areas are dirt-free. Add a fresh coat of paint to your front door and any trim or features in your entryway. Consider replacing your front door knob with an updated piece that complements the style of your home. Use decorative items, like doormats, potted plants, and outdoor furniture, to make your front entryway appear inviting and attractive to potential buyers. 
  • Check That Your Garage Door Works
    Before you list your home, make sure that your garage door works properly and coordinates with the rest of your home. See that it's clean, free of dents, and open and closes with ease. A garage door that looks old and worn-out will negatively impact your home's entire exterior appearance. Replace a garage door that's past its prime so that it doesn't detract from your home's positive features. If you have a garage door opener, confirm that it's programmed correctly and working properly. 
  • Add Flowers and Hardscaping
    Your landscaping is a vital element for optimizing your home's curb appeal. Start with your lawn; it should be neatly mowed, free of grass clippings, and appear healthy. If your lawn has bare patches, use sod or a fast-growing grass blend to fill them in. Next, turn your attention to your trees, shrubs, and bushes; they should all be neatly trimmed. Consider planting colorful flowers in your garden so that your home appears vibrant and welcoming. A fresh layer of mulch is also useful for helping your front yard look its best. Make sure to remove any dead plants or decaying vegetation. Now that your plants are tended to, consider adding hardscaping elements to your yard. These are especially appealing since they are low maintenance and offer a visual break from your greenery. Elements like stones and brick paths help make a visual impact. 

By making a few simple changes, you can add features to your front yard that will help your home sell. Ready to list your home? Contact us to get started!

August
1

Marathons and Fun Runs Throughout Benton County

Benton County Running

Hoping to run a marathon? Our real estate agents have a few leads!

Every year, millions of people all throughout the United States participate in a running event for charity. The two most common are marathons – where participants race to a distance of just over 26 miles – and fun runs, which are less formal and can take many different forms. No matter which of these two is most interesting to you, you will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy them around Benton County.

Most events are organized for charity, with fees the racers pay going to a good cause. 

Let's look at some of this year's marathons and fun runs around the area:

  • Superhero Fun Run and Walk – 100 Southeast Fischer Lane, Corvallis, OR 97333
    If you're eager for something fun and exciting to do near Corvallis, you're in luck – the Superhero Fun Run and Walk will be taking place on Sunday, August 20. This first-ever event, a tradition in the making, will take place at the Crystal Lake Sports Fields. As a family-friendly event, participants are encouraged to dress up in their best superhero attire and choose a pace that's comfortable.

  • Fall Festival Run – See Website for Location Details in Corvallis, OR
    With more than 40 years of history behind it, the Fall Festival Run is an event local runners look forward to all year long. The run brings its participants all through the picturesque OSU campus. Organized by a local nonprofit, Heart of the Valley Runners, the proceeds will go to support local running in all its forms. It takes place on September 25, with 5K, 10K, and Kids' Fun Run options to choose from.

  • Lebanon Explosion 5K & 1 Mile – 550 Cascade Drive, Lebanon, OR 97355
    Lebanon's Seven Oak Middle School track and field facilities will serve as the setting of the Lebanon Explosion 5K and 1 Mile. Sponsored by none other than the Lebanon Explosion Dance Team. Funds collected for the race will go directly to support the Lebanon High School dance team's trip to the Nationals.

  • Bush Park Cross Country Run Series – 890 Mission Street Southeast, Salem, OR 97302
    Salem homes for sale aren't far from the Bush Park Cross County Run Series, which takes place every Thursday throughout the month of August. Starting out from Bush's Pasture Park, one of Salem's top public parks and a botanical garden, racers will have the option of participating in a 5K, a 3K, or a kid-friendly fun run on each date. It is sure to be fun for everyone.

  • Albany Beer "Run" – 140 Northeast Hill Street, Albany, OR 97321
    Billed as "a run for the rest of us" and dedicated to "the below average athlete," attendees of this Albany event will be running about 0.3K – a fraction of the average race. Unlike most of the other events around the area, dogs are welcome at the Albany Beer "Run" as long as they are friendly and safely leashed at all times.

Contact us to discover more of all that Benton County has to offer.

July
18

Wineries Featured in the 2022 Heart of Willamette Wine Passport

Wineries Heart of Willamette Passport

A drive through the Willamette Valley reveals one of America's most productive wine regions. With more than a dozen wineries within 30 miles of Corvallis, our real estate agents are always proud of the wines our local vineyards produce. 

The Heart of Willamette Wine Passport is a great way to get acquainted with some of those wines. This passport offers an opportunity to experience 13 amazing wineries, including these local favorites: 

  • Arlie Winery - 15305 Dunn Forest Rd, Monmouth, OR 97361
    With its dog-friendly outdoor picnic area and expansive views across the Willamette Valley, Arlie Winery has a truly great atmosphere. They have great wines, too, including some exciting new releases like their 2021 dry Gewurztraminer, pinot gris, and pinot blanc. This Monmouth winery opened in its current iteration in 1997 on land that had already been growing wine grapes since the early '80s. It's the type of place that invites you to sit and sip a while.

  • Benedetto Vineyards - 14020 Orchard Knob Rd, Dallas, OR 97338
    Benedetto Vineyards was established in 2017, but the land it resides on just outside Dallas is a mature vineyard that has been producing wine grapes for generations. That land is now home to Benedetto's tasting room, and this winery has earned a reputation for producing some of the best pinot noir and chardonnay in the Willamette Valley. 

  • Cardwell Hill Cellars - 24241 Cardwell Hill Dr, Philomath, OR 97370
    Dan and Nancy Chapel purchased the land that is now Cardwell Hill Cellars in 2000 and, after years of hard work, produced their first vintage of pinot noir in 2003. Located in the shadow of Mary's Peak 12 miles west of Corvallis, the land's rich, volcanic basalt soil is absolutely perfect for growing wine grapes. Cardwell Hill Cellars opened up a tasting room in Philomath and this elegant space with a 14-foot oak bar is the perfect spot to sample their expertly-crafted wines. 

  • Compton Family Wines - 810 Applegate St, Philomath, OR 97370
    Matthew and Tabitha Compton's family-owned Compton Family Wines produces sustainably-grown Oregon pinot noir, pinot blanc, and pinot gris. Compton Family Wines operates with a focus on regenerative agriculture. That means that, in addition to growing wine grapes, their 17-acre farm is grazed by sheep, pigs, and chickens, which help create a fuller and healthier farm ecosystem. Their inviting, family-friendly tasting room is open Thursday through Sunday.

  • Fullerton Wines - 804 NW Buchanan Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330
    Owned and operated by the Fullerton family since 2012, Fullerton Wines started out as simple as it gets. From two brothers making wine in their garage, this winery has expanded to become one of the leading pinot noir and chardonnay-producing wineries in the Willamette Valley. Today, Fullerton Wines encompasses 8,000 acres and has a warm, welcoming tasting room just minutes from Corvallis.

  • Lumos Wine Co. - 24000 Cardwell Hill Dr, Philomath, OR 97370
    The land that Lumos Wine Co. currently resides on has a lot of history. A Dude ranch in the 1940s and a productive vineyard for three generations, it's now a beautiful, rustic winery with one of the best tasting rooms in the Philomath area. You can enjoy a stunning view of the Oregon Coast Range from the deck while you sip a flight of Lumos' excellent pinot noir, pinot gris, aligoté, and chardonnay. 

Contact us to learn more about living life to the fullest in the Willamette Valley, and be sure to ask our real estate agents about finding the perfect home in Corvallis or Albany

July
5

Where to Listen to Music in the Park in Corvallis and Albany

Music in the Park

In cities and towns across the country, residents are invited to bring blankets, folding chairs, and snacks to settle in for an evening of live music at their local park. 

Not only are these local concert series a great way to discover more of the talented musicians in your area – but they also provide the perfect excuse to become better acquainted with your neighbors. Both Albany and Corvallis host their own Music in the Park events each year, and our real estate agents have loved attending them. Check out the schedule for this year's concerts to see if one of these events might be of interest to you too. 

Albany's River Rhythms

River Rhythms is Albany's annual concert series, and many locals look forward to it all year long. The event takes place Thursday evenings at 7 PM in Monteith Riverpark at 489 Water Avenue NW (with a brief break on July 14 when the park hosts the local fair). Admission is free, but guests are strongly encouraged to make donations of $1 per person at the park's main gate on Water Avenue to help cover some of the costs of the event. 

This year, River Rhythms is also hosting a secondary event: Rock Out Against Hunger. This fundraising and donation drive is being run on behalf of the Fish of Albany food pantry, a non-profit that feeds local families in need. Those who attend the concerts are encouraged to donate canned or boxed non-perishable food in the donation barrels that will be on-site at each event. The pantry will also be taking cash donations at this time. This is a great opportunity to give back to your community while enjoying the talents of local artists. 

The 2022 River Rhythms schedule is as follows:

  • July 7 – Sheena Easton
  • July 21 – Blue Oyster Cult
  • July 28 – Ruthie Foster
  • August 4th – ARRIVAL from Sweden ("The Music of Abba")
  • August 11 – Eddie Montgomery (of Montgomery Gentry)

The Corvallis Community Band Summer Concert Series

If you're not in the Albany area, don't worry. People who live near Corvallis can attend the Corvallis Community Band Summer Concert Series instead. This free concert series takes place Tuesday evenings at 7:30 PM in Central Park at 650 NW Monroe Avenue. The band will play in the park's main gazebo, but guests are encouraged to enjoy the music from any location in the park. Pets are welcome, too, so feel free to bring your furry friends along if they tolerate noise and crowds well. 

Each week, the band will play a different set list of instrumental music. Check out their schedule below to see which shows you'd be most interested in attending. 

  • July 5 - Celebrate America
  • July 12 - Favorite Movie Music
  • July 19 - Rodgers & Hart
  • July 26 - Sousa
  • August 2 - The Music of John Williams
  • August 9 - Game Day
  • August 16 - "B" Tunes
  • August 23 - Celebration of Oregon
  • August 30 - Small Ensemble Performances

Both Albany and Corvallis are close-knit communities that go out of their way to bring people together. These summer concert series are just one of the ways they do this. Get to know more about this area when you contact us today. We'll gladly help you find the right property to settle down in. 

June
27

Order Something Sweet From These Willamette Valley Shops

Willamette Valley bakeries

The Willamette Valley is celebrated for its small family-owned restaurants, diners, and eateries of all kinds. Our real estate agents know well that also includes plenty of bakeries. 

Let's take a closer look at just a few of your many local options:

  • Sidekicks by Pastega – 832 Lyon Street South, Albany OR 97321
    Sidekicks by Pastega has been around the Albany area since all the way back in 1995, so they have had plenty of time to perfect both their baked goods and the coffee that pairs so well with them. You can enjoy products made from local ingredients by neighborhood bakers. It's always your choice of indoor or outdoor seating, too! Sidekicks is an ideal people-watching experience with a full menu in a historic locale.

  • Little Wuesten Cafe – 115 Ellsworth Street Southwest, Albany, OR 97321
    Little Wuesten Cafe brings the baking traditions of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland right here to the Willamette Valley. The Cafe began with a simple concept: Delicious Longbottom Coffee along with the beloved German soft pretzels. The idea was a hit, and Little Wuesten has since grown into an area highlight with all kinds of baked treats – each one using old-fashioned recipes and techniques.

  • Yuly's Bakery – 1177 Santiam Highway Southeast, Albany, OR 97321
    Welcoming Yuly's Bakery will dazzle you with its takes on traditional Spanish and Latin American baked specialties. Delight in a wide range of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors where your baked favorites are coupled with fresh fruit. Dulce de leche, churros, and a full range of others are waiting just beside your favorite cakes, muffins, doughnuts, bagels, and the rest. Don't overlook the traditional Rosca de Reyes or "King Cake."

  • Crumbl Cookies – 1705 Northwest 9th Street, Corvallis, OR 97330
    The Corvallis Crumbl Cookies location will satisfy your sweet tooth. Billing itself as the home of the world's best cookies, it provides delivery, curbside pickup, and even catering for your special events. The centerpiece of its selections is the warm chocolate chip, of course, but you'll also find fun and innovative flavors like "Nilla Bean Cheesecake" and "Kentucky Butter Cake." Many favorites are served warm, while some, like "Caramel Coconut Fudge," are always chilled for your convenience.

  • Dough Hook Bake Shop – 1970 Lancaster Drive Northeast, Salem, OR 97305
    For baked goods near Salem, you can't go wrong with Dough Hook Bake Shop. "It's time to make the doughnuts" every morning at Dough Hook, which is particularly well known for its jelly donuts. Local and fresh, with vegan options to boot, it tempts your taste buds with customized doughnut boxes and striking flavors like "Churro," "Creme Brulee," "Raspberry Lemonade," and more.

  • Le Patissier – 956 Northwest Circle Boulevard, Corvallis, OR 97333
    Le Patissier is devoted to introducing the authentic French baking tradition to the Willamette Valley. Led by the highly experienced Chef Didier, it has made a name for itself with its traditional Bûche de Noel. This popular "Yule Log" is usually made without flour and served in countries including France, Belgium, and Switzerland, as well as right here in your Oregon neighborhood. 

See for yourself why life in the Willamette Valley is extra sweet. Contact us today to discover more about the local area.

June
20

Historical Spots in Albany and Corvallis

Historic Benton County

Albany and Corvallis are both communities filled with fascinating sites, from wonderful museums to gorgeous examples of historic architecture. Summer is the perfect time to explore the historical spots in this corner of Oregon. Our real estate agents have the details for a memorable history tour near Benton County.

  • Avery Helm Historic District Walking Tour – Corvallis, OR 97333
    Get a peek into Corvallis of the past when you head over to Avery Helm Historic District, where many of the community's historic homes are located. The Avery Helm Historic District Walking Tour will take you throughout this neighborhood on a self-guided tour that highlights many of the historic properties located there. The tour is especially focused on how the community and local architecture evolved from 1870 through 1949.

  • Benton County Historical Society Corvallis Museum – 411 SW 2nd St., Corvallis, OR 97330
    The Benton County Historical Society Corvallis Museum is an excellent destination for learning more about local history, from pioneer times to the present day. It's home to 4 large galleries which showcase art and artifacts from local history. Visiting with a group? Schedule in advance to enjoy a 45-minute guided tour and learn more about the exhibits from museum experts.

  • Benton County Courthouse – 120 NW 4th St., Corvallis, OR 97330
    Originally constructed in 1888, the Benton County Courthouse has played an important role in the community ever since. It has been renovated multiple times since it was first built but still retains its historic architecture and charm. Visit for a window into the past and a look at how the courthouse still serves an important role today.

  • Albany Municipal Airport – 525 Aviation Way SE, Albany, OR 97322
    Did you know that the Albany Municipal Airport is actually one of the most historic places near Albany? Initial construction on the airport was finished all the way back in 1931, and in 1998 Albany Municipal Airport was the first airport in the state of Oregon to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The airport is still in use to this day, and in 2019 a historic A-4 Skyhawk fighter jet was added as a permanent display which you can find at the airport's entrance.

  • Monteith House – 518 SW 2nd Ave., Albany, OR 97231
    Constructed by a duo of pioneer brothers in 1849, the Monteith House is an excellent example of living history in Albany. Today, the home is maintained by the Monteith Historical Society, housing many fascinating artifacts and antiques from throughout the community's history. The home was the site of the first sermon delivered in Albany in 1850 and was where community members discussed state formation in 1856. Enjoy a guided tour, or attend one of many special events at the museum.

  • Albany Historic Carousel & Museum – 503 First Ave. W., Albany, OR 97321
    It's easy to get younger family members interested in history when you have great destinations like the Albany Historic Carousel & Museum. The carousel is still in use today, and kids love it just as much as ever. There's also a delicious Carousel Cafe located on-site, as well as a gift shop where you can find fun souvenirs.

Whether you're buying, selling, or just looking, our local team is here to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Albany and Corvallis, OR areas.

June
13

Easy Hiking Trails Near Benton County

Benton County Hiking

June is Great Outdoors Month, and it's the perfect time to take a hike! Here in Oregon's Benton County, we have endless opportunities to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. 

Our real estate agents are excited to share our favorite easy hiking trails in the Corvallis and Albany areas. These trails offer incredible scenery and are ideal for hikers of all ages and fitness levels. 

  • Bald Hill Nature Area - 6455 NW Oak Creek Dr, Corvallis, OR 97330
    About 5 miles of hiking trails wind their way through Bald Hill Nature Area, traversing prairie and oak savannas, mixed forests, and wetlands. The Mulkey Creek Trail, which stretches 2 miles between trailheads on Oak Creek Drive and Reservoir Avenue, can be hiked as a 4-mile out-and-back trail. Bald Hill Nature Area is located adjacent to the Benton County Fairgrounds, minutes from many Corvallis homes for sale

  • Chip Ross Park - NW Lester Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330
    Spanning a little over 125 acres, Chip Ross Park is a beautiful area of restored oak forest and hilltop prairies. You can enjoy sweeping views from the park's 1.5-mile hiking trail, which is just north of Corvallis. The park was designed as an off-leash area for dogs, so it's a great place to bring your four-legged friends for a hike. 

  • Beazell Memorial Forest - 37283 Kings Valley Hwy, Philomath, OR 97370
    The 586-acre Beazell Memorial Forest was donated to Benton County by Fred Beazell in 2000 and has become a favorite hiking destination for families with kids. Located in the temperate rainforest of the Central Oregon Coast Range about 10 miles west of Corvallis, the park includes an easy 3.9-mile loop trail that takes hikers through a diverse landscape of open meadowlands and lush forests.

  • Talking Water Gardens - 577 Waverly Dr NE, Albany, OR 97321
    In Talking Water Gardens, innovative wetland science has been used to transform the landscape into a natural water treatment facility. Once cleaned wastewater leaves Albany's water treatment plant, it tumbles through a series of waterfalls and weirs in Talking Water Gardens, where it is cooled, oxygenated and naturally treated before being returned to the Willamette River. There are also several easy hiking trails that meander through the gardens around Albany homes for sale.

  • Luckiamute Landing State Natural Area - NW Buena Vista Rd, Albany, OR 97321
    Made up of two parcels of land that total over 900 acres, Luckiamute Landing State Natural Area is a beautiful destination for both hiking and kayaking. The park is situated along the Luckiamute and Willamette rivers and features several easy hiking trails and paddling access. The 3-mile North Unit Loop, accessible via the North Trailhead, is a great place to start. 

  • Takena Landing Park - 656 Albany Corvallis Hwy, Albany, OR 97321
    Takena Landing Park is just minutes from downtown Albany and encompasses a lovely forest of cottonwood trees, blackberry bushes, and ivy along the Willamette River. The Takena Landing Trail (sometimes referred to as the Eagle Trail) offers an easy 3.6-mile out-and-back hike alongside the river.  

  • Simpson Park - 725 Waverly Dr NE, Albany, OR 97321
    With its shady, 3.2-mile out-and-back hiking trail, Simpson Park is a perfect place for an easy afternoon walk in a picturesque woodland setting. The park includes the ruins of a historic sawmill and is surrounded by mixed Douglas-fir and riparian woods that are home to a wide variety of bird species.

Contact us today to learn more about outdoor adventures in Benton County. 

June
6

Farm-to-Table Restaurants in the Willamette Valley

Farm to Table

The fertile soil of Oregon's Willamette Valley supports an incredible variety of local farms that produce everything from organic fruits and vegetables to poultry, eggs, and honey. As a result, we also have some incredible eateries that serve locally-sourced fare. Our real estate agents recommend ordering farm-to-table dishes from these local restaurants!

  • Frankie's Farm to Table - 641 Hickory St NW #160, Albany, OR 97321
    Locally-grown meals are the sole focus at Frankie's Farm to Table, an excellent Albany eatery that serves imaginative New American cuisine. Almost everything on their menu, from the greens in their creative salads to the beef used for their signature braised short ribs, is locally sourced. Even most of the alcohol used in their craft cocktails is made here in Oregon. It's all served up in a warm, welcoming space!

  • The Depot Restaurant - 822 Lyon St S, Albany, OR 97321
    With a seafood-focused menu, The Depot Restaurant opened in a historic former Trailways bus station in Downtown Albany in 1976. Ever since, they've earned a reputation for serving the best fish n' chips in the Willamette Valley, and although their fish is Alaskan cod (sold by a company in Oregon), all the produce served at the Depot is locally sourced. It's also a family-owned business that's become a beloved staple of the Albany area for decades.

  • Sybaris Bistro - 442 1st Ave W, Albany, OR 97321
    The eclectic cuisine at Sybaris Bistro draws inspiration from French techniques, global flavors, and the unique local ingredients available here in the Pacific Northwest. Everything right down to the ketchup is made from scratch in-house, and almost everything is locally sourced. The folks at Sybaris get their vegetables from local farms, their meat from local ranches, and the wines they pair them with from wineries right here in the Willamette Valley. 

  • Castor Kitchen & Bar - 458 SW Madison Ave, Corvallis, OR 97333
    Southern-inspired and sourced from here in the Northwest, the food at Castor Kitchen & Bar is always full of surprises. That has a lot to do with their commitment to serving farm-to-table fare, resulting in a menu that constantly changes with the seasons. Castor Kitchen & Bar also serves a great selection of local wines in their charming space. 

  • Gathering Together Farm - 25159 Grange Hall Rd, Philomath, OR 97370
    The farm and the table have never been closer together than they are at Gathering Together Farm. This beloved Philomath farm has been growing fruits and vegetables in the Willamette Valley since 1987, on parcels of land totaling 67 acres. In 2003, they opened the Farmstand, which not only sells local produce, meat, dairy, and other goods but also serves homemade lunches Tuesday through Friday and dinners Thursday through Saturday.

  • Bellhop - 150 SW Madison Ave, Corvallis, OR 97333
    Nestled in the heart of Corvallis, a block away from the Willamette River, Bellhop is a fun, funky spot that serves globally-inspired comfort food and tasty craft cocktails. Much of what you'll find on their wide-ranging menu is locally sourced, and their ever-changing specials are closely tied to the turning of the seasons. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Willamette Valley! Fresh farm-to-table food is just one of many things that make our little corner of the world special, and our real estate agents are here to help you find your dream home in Benton County and the surrounding areas. 

May
23

6 Ice Cream Shops in the Willamette Valley

Ice Cream Benton County

After a day of viewing Corvallis homes for sale and Albany homes for sale, you deserve a treat.

Thankfully, Benton County and surrounding areas have plenty of ice cream shops that your sweet tooth is sure to enjoy! 

Take another tip from our real estate agents and stop off for a frosty ice cream treat at one of these great restaurants in the Willamette Valley.

  1. Yogurt Extreme - 922 NW Circle Blvd., Corvallis, OR 97330
    It's a family affair at Yogurt Extreme, where everyone can find "happiness by the ounce." Two sisters joined forces to open a shop combining their love of frozen yogurt and passion for giving back to the community. With more than three dozen rotating flavors, such as Caramel Kettle Corn, Grandma's Apple Pie, and Irish Mint, there's always something new to try. Hours are 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily.

  2. Sugar J's Ice Cream Workshop - 134 SW 1st St., Corvallis, OR 97333
    At Sugar J's Ice Cream Workshop, they're taking a craft beer approach to everyone's favorite dairy treat. All ice cream is made from scratch in small batches for superior quality and taste. Creative flavors include After School Snackies, Brown Butter Pecan, and Cotton Candy, along with four types of vegan ice cream. Sugar J's is open noon - 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon - 9 p.m. Sunday.

  3. Hasty Freez - 655 Lyon St. S., Albany, OR 97321
    No matter how much of a hurry you're in, there's always time for a delicious ice cream cone from Hasty Freez. This old-school, no-frills stand keeps people coming back with their reasonable prices and generous portions. In addition to a large selection of cones, sundaes, and shakes, the menu features burgers and other traditional lunch items. There's a handy drive-thru window for your convenience. Hours are 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily.

  4. BJ's Ice Cream Parlor - 2705 Santiam Hwy. SE, Albany, OR 97322
    What's better than an ice cream cone? How about a whole cake? Pick out a colorful ice cream cake from the case at BJ's Ice Cream Parlor or place a custom order for a special occasion. For five generations, BJ's has been serving handmade ice cream made from fresh ingredients with no chemicals or stabilizers. BJ's is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

  5. King Kone - 1515 Salem Ave. SE, Albany, OR 97321
    If you're in the mood for the full meal deal, the hamburgers at King Kone are as popular as the ice cream. Heartier appetites love the signature King Kong, but the menu includes several different sizes and options. For dessert, choose from hard-pack or soft-serve ice cream. Dine in or use the drive-thru window for carryout. Hours are 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily except Sunday when doors close at 6 p.m.

  6. Sweet Taste Bakery - 6020 NE William R Carr St., Adair Village, OR 97330
    There's something for everyone at Sweet Taste Bakery! Located in Adair Village, this local bakery serves up fantastic blended coffee beverages along with a rotating bakery case. But, if you're going for ice cream, be sure to check out their monthly milkshake flavor. 

Life is sweet in the Willamette Valley. Learn more when you contact us at Valley Brokers for all your real estate needs.

May
16

9 Plants for Your First Garden

New Gardener Tips

When you finally find your dream home, one of the biggest benefits will be having a place to plant your own garden. 

After all, the Willamette Valley is home to many fantastic farms, and after visiting one, you might be inspired to start your own mini version with a backyard garden!

If you're new to the hobby and don't have much experience in the garden, your plants might not grow how you want. Don't worry. Here are a few easy plants to start with that will grow with just a little care and practice!

  1. Cucumbers
    The main thing to remember about cucumbers is to water them once a week - more if it's really hot. Without proper moisture, they'll still grow, but they may have a bitter taste. Other than that, just make sure they get plenty of sunlight, and your cucumbers will flourish.

  2. Sweet Asylum
    These beautiful, fragrant flowers come in snowy white as well as shades of pink and purple. Bees like them, which means they propagate well. They do best in a little sun, but they'll still grow in the shade and even a light frost.

  3. Strawberries
    The taste of homegrown strawberries beats the store-bought variety any day. Put them in a planter or a small pot, water them regularly, and give them at least six hours of sunlight per day. They'll yield their delicious, sweet fruit from spring all the way through autumn.

  4. Marigold
    There's no flower easier to grow than marigolds - and there are few that are as pretty. They'll thrive in both wet and dry conditions and can survive both heat and cold. For the best results, give them a heavy watering once a week.

  5. Tomatoes
    The main thing tomatoes need is a metal cage to support them as their heavy fruit grows. Other than that, give them direct sunlight and water them once a week, and you'll have delicious, vine-ripe tomatoes better than anything in the store. One caveat: if you plant both tomatoes and strawberries, keep them far apart. They don't grow well together.

  6. Jade
    These plants thrive on neglect. They store moisture in their leaves, so they'll survive weeks without being watered. Give them direct or indirect sunlight, or even shade, and they'll survive for years. Not only are they pretty, but they're also great for the environment, absorbing high amounts of CO2.

  7. Zucchini
    The difficult thing about zucchini is getting it to stop growing. Give it a few hours of sunlight and water it daily, and you'll have zucchini all summer, not just for yourself but plenty for your friends and neighbors too.

  8. Begonias
    These beautiful flowers come in a variety of vibrant colors. They grow well in both sun and shade. Water them every few days, and they'll grow well. They're particularly good in window boxes and porch planters.

  9. Herbs
    Most herbs are really easy to grow. Basil will thrive as long as temperatures stay above 50 degrees. Parsley tolerates a wide range of temperatures. Sage will thrive in a drought. Most common herbs are fairly low maintenance. The only one to be careful of is mint - not because it's difficult but because it grows TOO well. It grows in virtually any condition and can take over the rest of your garden unless you keep it carefully contained.

Even if you don't have much experience growing things, you can still have a beautiful, thriving garden. If you're ready to find a home in Corvallis or Albany where you can plant that garden, contact us. Our real estate agents will help you find the perfect home to meet your needs.

May
9

Stock Up on Local Produce From Pick-Your-Own Farms

Corvallis Farms

The Willamette Valley is home to so many high-quality farms, meaning there are ample opportunities to pick your own produce!

Visiting local pick-your-own farms is a favorite pastime for our real estate agents. It's not only a great opportunity to stock up on some freshly grown fruits and vegetables, but it's also a weekend activity that's fun for the whole family. Plus, it helps support our local farmers! Here are some of our favorite Oregon pick-your-own farms. Many of which are open year-round while others will be opening soon for the summer harvest!

  • Midway Farms - 6980 US-20, Albany, OR 97321
    This classic Albany farm has been a popular family destination since 1998. Midway Farms has all your favorite farm-grown fruits, and veggies, with many events throughout the year. They also have a huge farmhouse store and gift shop offering salsa, pickles, and loads of gluten-free baked goods. The farm is also unique in the sense that it's all farming is done using organic practices and eco-friendly techniques. The farm is open year-round from 10 am to 6 pm.

  • Anderson's Blues - 8793 NW Arboretum Rd, Corvallis, OR 97330
    One of the very best pick-your-own blueberry farms in the Pacific Northwest is located right here in CorvallisAnderson's Blues has over twenty varieties of blueberries available throughout the season. You Pick Season runs from July through October, and blueberries are $1.75 per pound. Containers are available, or you're welcome to bring your own. The farm is also pet friendly, so it's truly fun for the whole family. The farm is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm.

  • Fairfield Farm - 29204 Lakeside Dr, Corvallis, OR 97333
    A great place to find some of the area's freshest organic strawberries is Fairfield Farm. Strawberries are available from summer into fall for your picking pleasure, or you can buy some pre-picked strawberries in the shop. Be sure to bring your own container. Business hours are daily from 10 am to 6 pm, weather permitting.

  • Adair's Orchard -  36452 OR-226, Albany, OR 97322
    Head on over to Adair's Orchard to pick your own apples, peaches, apricots, and more. Locally owned and operated since 1972, this farm is surrounded by some of Oregon's most beautiful countryside. Don't feel like picking your own? Grab some freshly picked produce or other farm-made products from the stand. The farm is open most days from 9 am to 5 pm.

  • Kiger Island Blues 2322 SE Kiger Island Dr, Corvallis, OR 
    No sprays or pesticides are used at this great blueberry farm that focuses on sustainable farming practices. Kiger Island Blues focuses on growing Duke, Bluecrop, Elliot, Legacy, and Liberty blueberries, all of which are sold at various local stores, but you can get them straight from the source by visiting this farm. All blueberries are available to pick. Appointments can be made on their website or by calling 541-752-2787.

  • Piefer Family Farm - 2575 NE Strawberry Ln, Corvallis, OR 97330
    Stop by this family-owned farm in Corvallis for fresh strawberries in the spring, and pumpkins in the fall. Peifer Family Farm has some of the freshest produce in Oregon, and it's a great place for the kids and pets for a weekend of fresh air. The farm is usually open daily between 10 am and 4 pm.

Contact us today for more local recommendations.

May
2

Go Birding Near Corvallis and Albany

Birding Corvallis

Oregon has long been known as a haven for birds and a great place to enjoy outdoor activities. The arrival of springtime in the Willamette Valley is a particularly great time to be out in the wilderness with your binoculars and birding checklist. 

The Corvallis and Albany areas are located directly under the Pacific Flyway, and hundreds of bird species may be spotted in this part of the Willamette Valley. Our real estate agents are excited to share some of their favorite birding locations in the region. 

  • Riverfront Commemorative Park - 2 NW 1st St, Corvallis, OR 97333
    Located between the Willamette River and 1st Street in the heart of downtown Corvallis, Riverfront Commemorative Park is a prime location to spot water birds close to home. Herons are common along the waterfront, and osprey and bald eagles may both be observed hunting above the river. Colonies of cliff swallows commonly nest under the bridges, and you might also spot the rarer northern rough-winged swallow. 

  • Bryant Park - 801 Bryant Way SW, Albany, OR 97321
    A great outdoor resource in the community of Albany, Bryant Park overlooks the Willamette River and offers a variety of wooded riverside habitats. Keep an eye out for osprey nests atop utility poles in and around the river! Bald eagles are often sighted, too, as are kingfishers and various species of ducks. Bryant Park is also a popular fishing spot and features outdoor ball fields and a disc golf course. The Dave Clark Riverfront Trail passes through Bryant Park, making it easily accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

  • Mary's Peak Day Use Area - NF-3010, Philomath, OR 97370
    The highest peak of the Oregon Coast Range, 4,097-foot Mary's Peak, offers some of the best opportunities for mountain birding close to the Willamette Valley and in the Philomath area. The Mary's Peak Day Use Area, located within Siuslaw National Forest, is just 45 minutes from Corvallis. Summer songbirds like thrushes, sparrows, and warblers are common, and both mountain quail and northern pygmy-owl are residents here. The "hooting season" for sooty grouse extends from March through June, and Cascade species like Clark's nutcrackers and Gray-crowned rosy-finches sometimes show up. 

  • Jackson-Frazier Wetland - 3600 NE Lancaster St, Corvallis, OR 97330
    You'll find great opportunities to get a look at marsh-dwelling birds in their natural habitat at Jackson-Frazier Wetland. This county park just outside Corvallis features an extensive boardwalk through the wetlands, opening up the normally-inaccessible marshy area to visitors. More than 70 bird species have been spotted here, some of the most common being red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons, and sparrows. Carriers and coopers hawks frequently hunt in the area as well. 

  • EE Wilson Wildlife Area - 29555 Camp Adair Rd, Monmouth, OR 97361
    Located less than 15 minutes from both Corvallis and Albany, EE Wilson Wildlife Area spans over 1,700 acres. It's one of the richest bird habitats in the region, hosting the Willamette Valley's largest summer population of yellow-breasted chats. EE Wilson Wildlife Area encompasses woodlands, marshes, and open meadows, allowing it to host a great diversity of birds, including waterfowl and various raptor species, including owls. Vagrant species more common to the Cascade Range may also be seen due to Monmouth's proximity to the Cascade foothills.

Contact us today to learn more about outdoor adventures in the Willamette Valley, and be sure to ask our real estate agents about finding your dream home in Corvallis, Albany, and the surrounding areas. 

April
21

Brunch Spots in Benton County

Benton County Brunch

No matter if you're looking for homes in Corvallis or Albany, Benton County is a welcoming place known for its natural beauty, vibrant local economy, and plenty of restaurants full of culinary delights. One unbeatable Benton County tradition is brunch, that meal between breakfast and lunch.

Our real estate agents know that a spot of brunch is a terrific way to boost your energy before you head out for a day looking at the best local homes. You have plenty of ways to enjoy brunch in and around the Benton County area, but which one will tempt your tastebuds the best?

Let's look at some of the most popular spots for brunch in Benton County:

  • Pop's Branding Iron – 901 Pacific Boulevard SEAlbanyOR 97321
    Heading to downtown Albany for the day? Pop's Branding Iron is situated on the overpass heading into downtown and makes a great stop for brunch, lunch, or dinner. In fact, this local spot has been open for almost 50 years! Start your morning out with one of their hearty breakfast options, including many varieties of three-egg omelets. All of them are served with hash browned potatoes and toast. Or, if you're there for dinner, opt for one of their 1/3 lb burgers. 

  • Sam's Station – 1210 NW 29th Street, Corvallis, OR 97330
    Is coffee an essential part of your brunch plans? Then head over to Sam's Station for locally roasted coffee that you can pair with one of their delicious baked goods made in their in-house bakery. Be sure to check their website for their latest bakery creations or order off their breakfast and lunch menus.

  • WiseCracks Cafe – 119 SW 3rd Street, Corvallis, OR 97333
    Homemade is the name of the game at WiseCracks Cafe. There during your brunch, you'll enjoy homemade jam and house-made sauces that add the perfect flavorful touch to your meal. Located just a couple of minutes from the OSU campus, WiseCracks Cafe is a favorite among college students wanting a homecooked meal and of Corvallis families. There's even a kid's play area at the cafe for the little ones to enjoy! 
     
  • New Morning Bakery – 219 SW 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR 97333
    Everything is baked to absolute perfection at New Morning Bakery, making it a perfect stop for your brunch or lunch plans. The bakery offers plenty of pastries that your sweet tooth will enjoy, but don't overlook their savory options, like quiche! Their menu rotates based on what they have freshly baked. So be sure to stop in and see what new items the bakery is serving. 
     
  • Brick & Mortar Cafe – 222 1st Avenue West, Suite 4, Albany, OR 97321
    Brick & Mortar Cafe is ensconced in a memorable location in historic Downtown Albany. It will thrill you with breakfast and lunch backed by a full on-site bakery. Breakfast is replete with options, from hash, omelets, and eggs Benedict to crepes, pancakes, and waffles. Lunch is just as impressive: You can find sandwiches, burgers, wraps, soups, salads, and a whole slew of side dishes.

  • Sweet Waters Family Restaurant – 2830 Santiam Highway SE, Albany, OR 97322
    Bring the whole family to enjoy a fantastic morning meal at Sweet Waters Family Restaurant. They open up bright and early at 6 am every day to serve up breakfast favorites like breakfast burritos and three-egg omelets. Make sure to save room for their pie which is made at their in-house bakery. Options include cream pies, fruit pies, and even cheesecake. See for yourself why this family restaurant has been a favorite for many families in the Albany area.

Every morning is a good morning when you start your day in Benton County. Contact us to learn more about what Benton County has to offer.

April
11

Willamette Valley Biking Trails to Visit

Biking Trails Willamette Valley

Whether you're interested in moving to Corvallis or Albany, any cyclist is sure to find plenty of options to choose from here in the Willamette Valley. Cycling is one of the most popular ways to stay fit and enjoy the outdoors. Our real estate agents know within Corvallis, cyclists can discover nearly 20 miles of paved multi-use trails. You can also enjoy cycling throughout much of the community. Many roads have wide shoulders for cycling and see light traffic.

But sometimes, you want to hit the trail – the bike trail, that is. The Willamette Valley will not disappoint. Not only are the trails carefully kept and in great condition, but many of them have also even been expanded in recent years. 

Let's take a look at some of your options:

  • Bald Hill Natural Area – See Website for Location Details
    Bald Hill Natural Area is known for the Bald Hill Barn, an event venue in a picturesque, rural setting. The Barn is original to the site and has a capacity of 120 guests. Around the surroundings, you'll find paved, dirt, and gravel paths suitable for cycling.

  • Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway – See Website for Location Details
    Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway follows a trail of more than 130 miles from Salem to a point just north of Eugene, largely along the beautiful Willamette River. The ride brings you through an eclectic assortment of small towns and historic communities.

  • Decker Ridge and Benton County Backways Ride – See Website for Location Details
    Decker Ridge and Benton County Backways Ride is an ideal selection if you want a ride that both starts and ends right in Corvallis. At 29 miles in total, much of this quiet and serene route brings you through iconic Willamette Valley farmland. 

  • Buena Vista Ferry Loop – See Website for Location Details
    Buena Vista Ferry Loop tops out at 25.4 miles and will give you a new appreciation of rural life across the span of Polk and Marion counties. It curves into the Willamette River Basin and requires a quick trip on the historic Buena Vista Ferry to complete. Consider refreshments at the small town of Independence.

  • Albany Lewisberg Loop – See Website for Location Details
    When it's time for a challenge, the 40 miles of the Albany Lewisberg Loop beckon. This loop is largely backroads and can be tiring for newcomers, but it is very worthwhile. You'll see local wineries and ponds up close and may even have the chance to spot one of the Valley's beloved pond turtles.

  • McDonald-Dunn Forest – See Website for Location Details
    Just 15 minutes north of the Oregon State University Campus, the McDonald-Dunn Forest is used for a variety of ecological research tasks. It also has several trails that will take you through the rich forested areas – truly unparalleled when you want to witness wildlife up close.

  • Alsea Falls Recreation Site – See Website for Location Details
    Alsea Falls Recreation Site is beloved by families for the opportunities it provides to camp with a big group. It is also the centerpiece of the region's mountain biking scene, with a rigorous loop that rises to more than 1,500 feet in elevation during its nine-mile run.

Outdoor adventures are one of the many benefits of calling this area home! Contact us today to find out more about the Willamette Valley.

April
4

National Library Week: Corvallis-Benton County Public Library

Corvallis Library

National Library Week (April 3 to 9) is an invitation to get better acquainted with your local library. Our real estate agents know that there are many reasons why residents love calling the Corvallis and Albany area home. If you are an avid reader who is new to the area, you will love frequenting the several locations in the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library system. So before you begin your next literary adventure, here's what you need to know!

The Basics 

The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library system includes four different branches: Alsea, Corvallis, Monroe, and Philomath. Members of any one branch can borrow from any of the others with the same library card. For those who can't make regular trips to their local library, they also offer service through their Bookmobile that circulates through regions of Benton County. This includes the part of Albany that belongs to Benton County. 

The Bookmobile isn't the only thing readers will love visiting in the Albany area. Thanks to the Albany Public Library, residents of Albany have two branches they can stop at. The main location is on 14th Avenue, and their second location is in the Albany Monteith Historic District. This library system offers many of the same benefits as the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library system.

Members can borrow a variety of items from any of these locations, including books, audiobooks, music, movies, and even tools like projectors and button makers. They can also access digital content through free BookFlix, Overdrive, CloudLibrary, LinkedIn Learning, and Kanopy subscriptions using their library ID. 

For Adults 

In addition to its vast collection of books, the library also hosts many programs and resources for Benton County residents.  

Avid readers will enjoy taking part in some of the library's six different book clubs, including a graphic novel club and a club exclusively for seniors. Each group meets every month or so to discuss their latest read with other members. Discussions can get very lively, so be sure to bring your sharpest observations and theories to the table.  

If you have a free afternoon, you can try out one of the crafts in the library's online resource collection. These boredom busters will walk you through exciting crafts like marble runs, paper baskets, and even smartphone speakers. Just download and print the instructions from your computer and get to work.  

For Kids 

If you have any young readers in your life, you'll be happy to hear that the library has plenty in store for them.   

Just like adults, kids can attend a variety of book clubs to talk about what they've read with their peers. Children's clubs are divided by age: your child will be invited to the Tweens, Kids, or First Readers book club, depending on which category they fall into. In some cases, their reading level may factor into this decision.  

There are also some exciting activities available for children who are still learning to read. One of the library's most popular offerings is the Reading Education Assistance Dog program (READ for short). The program offers young children the chance to build their reading skills by reading aloud to a canine companion. Each session provides one individual child with 10 minutes of reading time with a trained dog and their handler.  

If your child isn't ready to read on their own, however, they might prefer the 20-minute story time sessions run by the library staff instead. These sessions feature fun, dramatic readings of short stories as well as songs and rhymes meant to stimulate children's developing brains. Storytime is offered multiple times a day, but families must register in advance to get a spot at each reading.  

Benton County's exceptional library system is just one of the many appealing aspects of life in this area. Contact us today to learn more about the many stunning properties we have available in this region and see if any of them might be the right one for you.  

March
29

What's the Marion Farm Loop?

Marion Farm Loop

Want to bring farm-to-table dining to your own home in Corvallis or Albany? A bounty of fruits, vegetables, and artisan foods is waiting for you just minutes away along the Marion Farm Loop. Plan your trip with this helpful information from our real estate agents

About the Marion Farm Loop

Spanning the scenic Willamette Valley from Aurora to Jefferson, the Marion Farm Loop is one of five routes operated by the Oregon Agritourism Partnership. The loop connects a network of 24 local farms that offer fresh produce and much more. Visitors can enjoy various entertaining and educational activities, including wine tastings, live music, and nature walks. 

What's in Season?

The Marion Farm Loop can be traveled any time of year, allowing for different experiences each time you go. Want to know when to get your favorite foods? Here's a look at what's in season.

  • Spring through Fall: Spinach and salad greens, table grapes, kale
  • Summer and Fall: Berries, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and garlic, cucumbers, peaches and nectarines, eggplant, tomatoes
  • Fall: Apples, winter squash, pumpkins, sweet corn
  • Year-round: Beef, lamb, honey, eggs

Places to Visit

  • Beilke Family Farm - 4925 Rockdale St. NE, Brooks, OR 97305
    Have some little ones who want to join in the fun? Beilke Family Farm features a 10-acre apple orchard that dates back to 1959, including dwarf apple trees that can be easily reached by kids. Pick your own tomatoes from 1,000 plants. The farm is open August through November, with hours from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday.

  • E.Z. Orchards Farm Market - 5504 Hazelgreen Rd. NE, Salem, OR 97305
    Donuts might not be the first thing to come to mind on a farm loop, but E.Z. Orchards Farm Market and their signature homemade donuts are trying to change that! Baked fresh every day, the donuts come in seasonal flavors such as apple cider, blueberry, and pumpkin. During the summer months, indulge your sweet tooth with their equally beloved peach and berry shortcakes. Stop by while viewing Salem homes for sale. Hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday.

  • French Prairie Gardens - 17673 French Prairie Rd., St. Paul, OR 97137
    In 1987, French Prairie Gardens started as a modest roadside stand. Less than 10 years later came the farm store, followed by a full garden center and scratch bakery. In addition to running the entire operation, the Pohlschneider family hosts lively events such as their Mother's Day Brunch and "Berries, Brews & BBQs" in June. French Prairie Gardens is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday starting March 4.

  • Honeywood Winery - 1350 Hines St., Salem, OR 97302
    While Honeywood Winery was founded by Ron Honeyman and John Wood, the name is not taken from theirs. It refers to a line from a play that describes the wine as "smooth as honey ... aged in wood." As the oldest producing winery in Oregon, Honeywood offers a full line of premium vinifera, fruit, and specialty wines. Proceeds from Honeywood's Dog Gone Wine label, including Ay Chihuahua Sangria, Poodle Pinot Noir, and Retriever Riesling, help support various animal-focused non-profit organizations. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekends.

There's always something new and exciting to discover around Corvallis and Albany. Find out more when you contact us at Valley Brokers.

March
21

Explore the Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail

Corvallis Trail

Spring has arrived in the Willamette Valley, and it's a mighty fine time to get outside and take a hike! Our real estate agents can think of no better place to do so than the Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail. 

True to its name, the Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail connects Corvallis to the Pacific Ocean. This trail spans 62 miles and offers one of the region's greatest backpacking routes. Along the way, you'll get to experience unique flora in several distinct ecosystems. 

Creating the Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail

Crating a footpath from the Willamette Valley to the Pacific was a dream of local hikers in the Corvallis area since the 1970s. The C2C Trail, as it's often called, was only made possible in the last 20 years or so. 

The C2C Trail Partnership was formed as a non-profit organization in 2003. In the years since, volunteers have put in over 2,500 hours a year to finally make that dream a reality. While the precise route remains subject to change, it currently stretches from the city of Corvallis across the Oregon Coast Range to Ona Beach on the Pacific coast.

Getting Started

The Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail begins at Shawala Point Park in Corvallis, near the confluence of the Willamette and Marys Rivers. 

Hikers are asked to register at the kiosk located at the trailhead. The first few miles of the trail follow a bike path between Corvallis and Philomath before eventually breaking off into the mountains. 

Following the C2C Trail

At a length of 62 miles, the Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail typically takes anywhere from 3 days to a week to complete on foot, depending on your fitness level and preferred speed. It's also open to bicycles; most cyclists complete it in a day or two. 

The course of the trail utilizes old gravel logging roads and Forest Service roads, as well as dirt single-track trails, bike paths, and a few sections that follow paved roads. Despite being stitched together, the trail is very clearly marked, with signage that makes it easy to follow. 

Along the way, there are 18 trailheads, 15 of which have parking areas for vehicles. These are convenient options for hikers who are hiking the trail in sections or who may prefer to hike only a smaller portion of it. 

Camping Along the Way

Over the course of a multi-day trek, it's always good to know where you'll rest your head. Fortunately, much of the Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail passes through National Forest lands, where, for the most part, dispersed backcountry camping is allowed. 

The trail also passes through some privately owned lands, and camping on private land is never allowed without permission from the landowner. As you hike, remember to keep your bearings and take precautions to avoid getting stuck on a private section of the trail after dark. 

One of the best places to camp near the trail is the Big Elk Campground in Suislaw National Forest. The campground offers potable water, private campsites, and a large hiker/biker group campsite that is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Trail Maps

A quality trail map is always a good resource to have handy when you're hiking any trail. Maps of the C2C trail are available through the official Corvallis-to-the-Sea Trail website. Several local businesses also sell printed trail maps and guide sets, including Bike n' Hike Corvallis and Corvallis Cyclery

Contact us today to learn more about the adventures that await in the Willamette Valley! If you're looking for the perfect Corvallis or Albany homes for sale, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 

March
15

Spots for Trout Fishing in the Willamette Valley

Trout Fishing

There are plenty of reasons to get excited about springtime in Oregon. From wildflowers to wine tasting, spring is the ideal time to visit the Willamette Valley. But one of the reasons our real estate agents always look forward to spring is the return of trout fishing season. 

Lakes, ponds, and rivers throughout the Willamette Valley are great places for anglers. The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife stocks trout in dozens of local waters—check out their weekly trout stocking schedule here—and stop by these local spots in Corvallis and the surrounding areas. 

  • Waverly Lake - Albany, OR 97321
    Waverly Lake is a popular stocked trout lake that draws a lot of anglers when it's stocked in springtime. It's accessible through Waverly Park, which provides ample parking and bank access. Non-powered craft like kayaks and canoes are permitted on this tiny 5-acre lake, and paddleboat rentals are available during the summer months. 

  • Marys River - Corvallis, OR 97333
    The Marys River offers a more wild trout fishing experience compared to many of the local stocked ponds, and while the fishing isn't always easy, it's one of the best places around to fly-fish. The Marys River meets the Willamette River in Corvallis and is accessible through Pioneer Park. However, there's better fishing for wild cutthroat trout farther up the river, above Philomath. The water is clearer and colder farther up, and there are several roadside pull-offs where you can fish near the communities of Harris and Wren. 

  • Timber-Linn Lake - Albany, OR 97322
    Similar to Waverly Lake, Timber-Linn Lake is a tiny lake in Albany and is accessible through Timber-Linn Memorial Park. The lake is stocked multiple times from late winter through spring. Timber-Linn Lake has walking paths along its shoreline and features a wheelchair-accessible fishing platform. 

  • EE Wilson Pond - Monmouth, OR 97361
    Located within the 1,788-acre EE Wilson Wildlife Area, EE Wilson Pond is a seasonal stocked fishing pond that is generously stocked with catchable-size rainbow trout every year. The lake is usually stocked as early as January and as late as May. Once the water warms up in summer, most of the trout will have been caught, but the lake's natural population of sunfish still offers fishing potential, especially for kids. 

  • Foster Reservoir - Sweet Home, OR 97386
    Spanning about 1,200 acres, Foster Reservoir is one of the largest lakes in the Willamette Valley area and one of the best year-round fishing destinations. Located about 45 minutes east of Corvallis, Foster Reservoir is stocked multiple times in both spring and fall, with around 40,000 rainbow trout being introduced most years. The lake is deep and cool enough that many fish survive over the winter and reach impressive sizes. Access to Foster Reservoir is available through several parks, including Lewis Creek County Park and Calkins Park County Boat Ramp

  • Walter Worth Lake - Salem, OR 97302
    Thousands of keeper-size rainbow trout are planted in Walter Worth Lake every spring, making this a great family fishing destination in the Willamette Valley. This 20-acre lake gets a few giant trophy-sized trout too, so keep a tight grip! The lake is located within Cascades Gateway Park in the city of Salem, which provides an accessible fishing dock and lots of open shoreline for bank fishing. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in the Willamette Valley! If you're looking for your dream home in Corvallis, Albany, and the surrounding areas, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way. 

March
7

Weekend Projects to Get Your Home Ready to List

Weekend Projects

Planning to list your home this spring? Now is the time to tackle those last-minute repairs and upgrades, so your home will be ready to impress potential buyers. We're not talking about major renovations, but fixing up some basic things around the house can really help shape a buyer's perception of the property. And the good news is, all you need is one weekend to put some sweat equity into your home.

If you're spending your weekends preparing your home for the market in the Corvallis or Albany area, here are some important projects our real estate agents recommend you prioritize:

  • Paint The Front Door
    The front door is the center of your home, and one of the first things buyers see both on your listing photos and when viewing your property in person. Therefore, a fresh coat of paint on your front door can give your home a shiny fresh look invites buyers to look inside. Don't forget to clean and sand your door before you paint. 

  • Reapply Caulk In The Bathroom
    Old, dirty, peeling caulking around the top or bathroom sink can be a major turnoff and can give buyers the impression that the room needs work. Worst of all, as water makes its way under old, cracked caulking, it can become a prime location for mold or mildew growth. Go through your bathroom and remove any old caulk, thoroughly clean the area, and reapply a new layer. 

  • Organize Your Garage
    The garage is often a neglected part of the home staging process, but buyers want to see a nice clean space with lots of storage opportunities. Make good use of shelving and wall hooks to neatly organize your tools, hardware, and home care materials. Your garage doesn't need to be perfectly clean, but you should make every attempt to organize it.

  • Spruce Up Your Landscaping
    Spring is almost here, which means you'll want your yard to stand out. Once weather permits, get outside and rake up any remaining leaves, tree branches, or other leftover winter debris. Come April, you can even begin planting your garden.
     
  • Add A Tile Backsplash
    A major kitchen renovation is one of the most expensive home investments. If your kitchen is looking a bit dated, adding a new tile backsplash can make a big difference. Tile backsplashes are so versatile, it's easy to try a new color or pattern. They're also fairly easy to install.

  • Install New House Numbers
    Once your home is on the market, you can expect to have a lot of visitors looking for your property. Make it easy for them by adding some new, shiny house numbers next to your front door. Choose colors or designs that match your lighting and front door. 

Preparing your home to sell can be a lot of work, but chipping away at several projects on the weekends can be very manageable. For more tips on selling your property and best practices for getting it ready to list, contact us today. 

March
3

Wineries in the Willamette Valley

Wineries Willamette Valley

Stretching 150 miles through Oregon, the Willamette Valley is legendary for being one of America's great wine regions. At the heart of the valley, is Corvallis and Albany which both offer spectacular scenery, plenty of art and culture, and some of the best wineries in the Pacific Northwest.

Spring marks the beginning of the wine season for many local wineries, and it's a great time to savor the flavors of the Willamette Valley.

  • Vulcan Cellars Wine Tasting Room - 341 SW 2nd St, Suite 3, Corvallis, OR 97333
    One of Oregon's premier family-owned wine labels, Vulcan Cellars is known for crafting extraordinary wines using locally grown grapes. Owner Juan Pablo brings more than 15 years of wine-making experience from his years in Argentina and Oregon. Vulcan Cellars Wine Tasting Room offers tasting flights, wine by the glass, and excellent charcuterie and cheese platters.

  • Fullerton Wines - 804 NW Buchanan Ave, Corvallis, OR 97330
    Fullerton Wines is another impressive local winery. It's a labor of love for the Fullerton family, who started making wine in their garage before expanding to multiple brick-and-mortar locations across the Willamette Valley. Their tasting room in Corvallis is a great place to get acquainted with Fullerton's outstanding wines. Sample a flight featuring six of the latest releases; the cost of the tasting is waived with a wine purchase over $100. 

  • Panache Cellars - 3328 Stoneboro Pl, Philomath, OR 97370
    The wines at Panache Cellars are known for being handcrafted and unique. The folks at Panache are proud to be one of Oregon's smallest wineries, where every wine is made in small batches. Their Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Rogue Valley Sangiovese are some of the best you're ever likely to taste. Panache Cellars is located in the community of Philomath, just a few minutes outside Corvallis. 

  • Tyee Wine Cellars - 26335 Greenberry Rd, Corvallis, OR 97333
    Tryee Wine Cellars is located on the historic Buchanan Family Century Farm, which has been in operation for over 130 years. Their pinot noir was named one of Oregon's best wines in 2014, and the farm offers sweeping views of the Willamette Valley. Tryee Wine Cellars is also proud to be solar-powered, and their indoor and outdoor spaces frequently cost live concerts and other events throughout the summer months. 

  • Pheasant Court Winery - 1731 Pheasant Ct, Philomath, OR 97370
    Opened in 2001, Pheasant Court Winery produces distinctive wines with big flavors. Their bold reds and dessert wines are made using Oregon and Washington-grown grapes, and you can sample them at Pheasant Court's tasting room in Philomath. The winery opens for the season during the first week of May, a little later than some local wineries, but well worth the wait. 

  • Bluebird Hill Cellars - 25059 Larson Rd, Monroe, OR 97456
    Known for handcrafted wine and beautiful scenery, Bluebird Hill Cellars is located just 20 minutes from Corvallis in the rural countryside of Monroe, Oregon. Their small-lot wines are made using a combination of traditional and modern techniques, and their Pinot noirs and Chardonnays have been awarded multiple times. Sample a selection of their wines in their Monroe tasting room (reservations required January through April) or join their wine club to get a great deal on multiple bottles. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Corvallis and Albany. It's a truly unique place to call home, and our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in the Willamette Valley. 

March
4

Spring is Around the Corner: Landscaping Tips

Spring Landscaping

With winter temperatures coming to an end, it's the ideal time to make plans for your spring landscaping. Our real estate agents know that spring offers a valuable opportunity to get your yard and gardens looking their best. Check out a few tips to rejuvenate your home's landscaping. 

  1. Test Your Soil
    Have your soil tested every few years so that you know if it's lacking any nutrients and if the pH is an acceptable level. A soil test lets you know exactly what your soil needs to provide the best environment for your lawn and garden. 

  2. Develop a Plan for Fertilizing Your Landscaping Space
    Now that you know what your soil is lacking, you can make a plan for fertilizing your grass, shrubs, trees, and gardens. Some cool-season varieties of grass thrive with fertilization during the fall months, so confirm that spring fertilization is suitable for your specific type of grass. If you determine that elements of your landscaping need fertilizing, consider using a slow-release fertilizer. This will prevent fertilizer loss due to high nutrient levels and help your soil use as many nutrients as possible. 
  1. Decide If You Need to Utilize Weed Control
    If you struggle to contain weeds, a weed control product is an effective way to get them under control. However, if you plan on seeding your lawn, you'll want to avoid applying a weed control product for at least 3 months after you seed it. Otherwise, the weed control product will also prevent your grass from sprouting. 

  2. Remove Old Debris from Your Lawn and Flower Beds
    Spring is an ideal time to remove any remaining leaves from your yard, pick up sticks and branches, and gather any other yard or garden debris. Even if you don't plan on adding new items to your garden, getting rid of this "clutter" will improve its appearance. 

  3. Apply Fresh Mulch Around Your Trees and Flower Beds
    You'll want to add a new layer of mulch around your trees and in your flower beds. Plan on adding an inch of mulch, but make sure that your mulch isn't more than a few inches thick. When mulch decomposes, it provides your soil with organic matter, decreasing the amount of fertilizer you need to use. It also helps your soil retain moisture so you have to water your plants less. A new layer of mulch instantly refreshes your landscaping so that your home's exterior looks neat and well-maintained. 
  1. Examine Your Landscaping Tools and Irrigation System
    You don't want to go through the time and expense of seeding your lawn, only to discover that your irrigation system isn't working properly. Take a few minutes now to confirm that your water hoses, watering attachments, hose connections, sprinklers, and any other landscaping equipment are in proper working condition. 

  2. Prepare for Potential Pests
    If you typically struggle with a pest invasion, it's a fantastic time to explore pest control methods. A physical barrier works well for deterring some pests, while others will stay away from your yard if you add certain plants to your landscaping. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to invest in a pest control product or pest control service

Want a home with more space for gardening? Our team has the experience you need to find your next home in the Albany or Corvallis area. Contact us to start your search!

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/01/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/01/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Thu 12/01/2022 9:42:03 PM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Thu 12/01/2022 9:46:44 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Valley Brokers may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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