Portland, Oregon

Living in Portland, Oregon


Sept. 27, 2010

Beervana! Portland Happy Hour Voted #1!

Portland Proudly Wears its Crown

A new list of the best happy hour cities in the United States ranks Portland at the top.  The list of cities was created by GoTime.com and was featured on CNBC.com.  One of the reasons Portland was listed as #1  because it has one happy hour for every 724 residents compared to #5 on the list, New York City, which has "only" one happy hour for every 4,862 residents.

Hopworks Urban Brewery on SE Powell Boulevard in Southeast Portland, is one of the breweries featured on the website.  You have to try the Black Pepper & Garlic Beer Sausage and the Pint "o" Pretzels.  The sampler platter of their beers is a good way to determine which is your favorite.  My favorite is their Organic Velvet ESB.

If you are in Lake Oswego and are looking for a good happy hour give Zeppo a try.  Right in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, this Italian restaurant has a great patio for outside seating.  Their "social" hour menu has salads, burgers, chicken skewers, pasta and steak each for only $4.50.  Give the Italian margarita a try for something a little different.

One of West Linn's newer restaurants,  BJ Willys Woodfired Pizza and Cafe, is located right off Willamette Dr (OR 43) in the city of West Linn.  While their happy hour menu is not expansive, their penne with vodka sauce dish is a winner.  They also have my favorite local beer on tap, Laurelwood Free Range Red, for those times I can't make it downtown.

To see the full list of all of the top 10 cities, click here

Click here for more information on Portland Real Estate!

Rich Peralta

Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com
Originally published on Lake Oswego Real Estate.

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Sept. 27, 2010

Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Home in Portland NOW!

I recently came across this article in the Wall Street Journal.  With all of the negativity in the media about the housing market, it was refreshing to see that some journalists are seeing a silver lining.  For those of you in secure financial positions, this really is a fantastic time to buy a home. But don't take my word for it...take a look at what the Wall Street Journal had to say!

10 Reasons To Buy a Home
By Brett Arends , The Wall Street Journal

Enough with the doom and gloom about homeownership.
Sure, maybe there's more pain to come in the housing market. But when Time magazine starts running covers that declare "Owning a home may no longer make economic sense," it's time to say: Enough is enough. This is what "capitulation" looks like. Everyone has given up.  After all, at the peak of the bubble five years ago, Time had a different take. "Home Sweet Home," declared its cover then, as it celebrated the boom and asked: "Will your house make you rich?" But it's not enough just to be contrarian. So here are 10 reasons why it's good to buy a home.

1. You can get a good deal. Especially if you play hardball. This is a buyer's market. Most of the other buyers have now vanished, as the tax credits on purchases have just expired. We're four to five years into the biggest housing bust in modern history. And prices have come down a long way– about 30% from their peak, according to Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Index, which tracks home prices in 20 big cities. Yes, it's mixed. New York is only down 20%. Arizona has halved. Will prices fall further? Sure, they could. You'll never catch the bottom. It doesn't really matter so much in the long haul.
Where is fair value? Fund manager Jeremy Grantham at GMO, who predicted the bust with remarkable accuracy, said two years ago that home prices needed to fall another 17% to reach fair value in relation to household incomes. Case-Shiller since then: Down 18%.

2. Mortgages are cheap. You can get a 30-year loan for around 4.3%. What's not to like? These are the lowest rates on record. As recently as two years ago they were about 6.3%. That drop slashes your monthly repayment by a fifth. If inflation picks up, you won't see these mortgage rates again in your lifetime. And if we get deflation, and rates fall further, you can refi.

3. You'll save on taxes. You can deduct the mortgage interest from your income taxes. You can deduct your real estate taxes. And you'll get a tax break on capital gains–if any–when you sell. Sure, you'll need to do your math. You'll only get the income tax break if you itemize your deductions, and many people may be better off taking the standard deduction instead. The breaks are more valuable the more you earn, and the bigger your mortgage. But many people will find that these tax breaks mean owning costs them less, often a lot less, than renting.

4. It'll be yours. You can have the kitchen and bathrooms you want. You can move the walls, build an extension–zoning permitted–or paint everything bright orange. Few landlords are so indulgent; for renters, these types of changes are often impossible. You'll feel better about your own place if you own it than if you rent. Many years ago, when I was working for a political campaign in England, I toured a working-class northern town. Mrs. Thatcher had just begun selling off public housing to the tenants. "You can tell the ones that have been bought," said my local guide. "They've painted the front door. It's the first thing people do when they buy." It was a small sign that said something big.

5. You'll get a better home. In many parts of the country it can be really hard to find a good rental. All the best places are sold as condos. Money talks. Once again, this is a case by case issue: In Miami right now there are so many vacant luxury condos that owners will rent them out for a fraction of the cost of owning. But few places are so favored. Generally speaking, if you want the best home in the best neighborhood, you're better off buying.

6. It offers some inflation protection. No, it's not perfect. But studies by Professor Karl "Chip" Case (of Case-Shiller), and others, suggest that over the long-term housing has tended to beat inflation by a couple of percentage points a year. That's valuable inflation insurance, especially if you're young and raising a family and thinking about the next 30 or 40 years. In the recent past, inflation-protected government bonds, or TIPS, offered an easier form of inflation insurance. But yields there have plummeted of late. That also makes homeownership look a little better by contrast.

7. It's risk capital. No, your home isn't the stock market and you shouldn't view it as the way to get rich. But if the economy does surprise us all and start booming, sooner or later real estate prices will head up again, too. One lesson from the last few years is that stocks are incredibly hard for most normal people to own in large quantities–for practical as well as psychological reasons. Equity in a home is another way of linking part of your portfolio to the long-term growth of the economy–if it happens–and still managing to sleep at night.

8. It's forced savings. If you can rent an apartment for $2,000 month instead of buying one for $2,400 a month, renting may make sense. But will you save that $400 for your future? A lot of people won't. Most, I dare say. Once again, you have to do your math, but the part of your mortgage payment that goes to principal repayment isn't a cost. You're just paying yourself by building equity. As a forced monthly saving, it's a good discipline.

9. There is a lot to choose from. There is a glut of homes in most of the country. The National Association of Realtors puts the current inventory at around 4 million homes. That's below last year's peak, but well above typical levels, and enough for about a year's worth of sales. More keeping coming onto the market, too, as the banks slowly unload their inventory of unsold properties. That means great choice, as well as great prices.

10. Sooner or later, the market will clear. Demand and supply will meet. The population is forecast to grow by more than 100 million people over the next 40 years. That means maybe 40 million new households looking for homes. Meanwhile, this housing glut will work itself out. Many of the homes will be bought. But many more will simply be destroyed–either deliberately, or by inaction. This is already happening. Even two years ago, when I toured the housing slump in western Florida, I saw bankrupt condo developments that were fast becoming derelict. And, finally, a lot of the "glut" simply won't matter: It's concentrated in a few areas, like Florida and Nevada. Unless you live there, the glut won't have any long-term impact on housing supply in your town.

Click here for more information on Portland real estate!

Jane Lee is a Real Estate Broker with eXp Realty in Lake Oswego, Oregon
Jane@portlandpowersearch.com  503.806.0517

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Sept. 20, 2010

FHA Announces Changes For New Borrowers


Are you an FHA borrower?  If so, you need to be aware that HUD recently announced changed to their mortgage insurance premiums (both up front and monthly) that will go into effect for case numbers pulled on or after October 4, 2010.  A case number can be pulled once an earnest money agreement has been negotiated.

The bottom line is that the up front premium will go from 2.25% down to 1%.  However, the monthly premium will go from .55% to .85% -- resulting in  higher monthly payments.

For example: Say you buy a home with a $350,000 purchase price, 3.5% down payment

Today the up front premium would be $7,599

  • October 4th, it would be $3,377

Today the monthly MI would be $158

  • October 4th, it would be $242

I work with Ginny Schider at The Real Estate Loan Company (ginny@realestateloanco.com) and she recommends consulting with her if you think your only lower down payment option is FHA.  For example, if you are able to put down 5% rather than 3.5%, you might be a candidate for private mortgage insurance, which could lower your monthly payment significantly.

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Sept. 18, 2010

Power-Ups Now Available on Portland Bike Lanes!

Thanks to some anonymous, but incredibly awesome, pranksters,Super Mario Kart-esque power-ups are now available on some of Portland's bike lanes!  These are great for extra energy on those cloudy Monday morning commutes, or invincibility when swerving home from the pub on Friday night. Just be careful to avoid those pesky turtle shells!Looking for more information on life in Portland andPortland real estate?Click here!Rob LeRoy is a Seattle real estate agentand social media marketing coachwith eXp Realty.

Posted in Featured
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Sept. 17, 2010

Why Buy Now? Interest Rates Matter, Too!

With speculation that Portland real estate prices may continue to fall, why is now the time to buy?

The sale price of a home is not the only driving force in your decision to purchase a home.  Interest rates and closing costs are a big part of the process.  Here are two scenarios which illustrate my point.

Example #1 :

  • Buyer A is looking at Portland homes priced at $312,500.  He wants the absolute lowest price on real estate so he waits until he thinks the prices are at the absolute bottom.   Let's say next summer prices are down 10% from where they are today and he buys for $281,250.  He just saved $31,250.   But the mortgage rates go up to 6% on 30-year fixed loans. He puts down 20%, borrows $225,000 and his monthly payment (not including MIP, taxes or insurance) is $1349.

Example #2:

  • Buyer B is also looking at Portland homes priced at $312,500. She finds a home she really likes and wants to purchase today.  She puts down 20% and obtains a loan for $250,000 at 4.25%.  Her monthly payment is only $1229, and she was able to move into her new home now.  She was able to save over $43,000 over the life of the 30-year loan.  That more than makes up for the price drop but, most importantly, she was living in her new home for a year, while enjoying the tax advantages and building equity.

Looking back to see if we have missed the best time to buy, think of this; if you were to buy Portland real estate back in March or April (when the tax credit was still in effect) of this year, you would have been paying approximately 6% for your loan. The figures would still be relatively the same as above.
Very low interest rates and low real estate prices will always beat out average interest rates and very low home prices, which is why now is the time to buy!

Thanks to Ginny Schider at the Real Estate Loan Company for helping me with these figures.

Click here for more information on Portland Real Estate!

Rich PeraltaRich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Portland Metro Area.

He can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com
Originally published on Lake Oswego Real Estate.

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Sept. 17, 2010

eXp Realty Offers Free Websites and Blog Coaching

exp realty recruiting

Joining eXp Realty will get you access to our  Social Media Marketing program...for FREE!*

I am thrilled to announce the launch of my eXp Realty Premier Social Media Marketing Program.  If you're an agent that understands the turning tide of modern marketing, but don't quite know how to get started, this program is for you.  Similar to the wildly popular and truly excellent Rain Camp seminars, eXp offers all of the same tools and tricks. Plus, I'll actually help you implement all of them!

Rain Camp  teaches the latest in social media marketing strategies...then leaves you on your own to put them in place. They charge between $100-300 for a one-day seminar, knowing full-well that only about 3-5% of the agents will ever do anything constructive with the knowledge. That's how seminars work.

eXp is different. We will give you the fish AND teach you how to fish. You will have ongoing, one-on-one personal coaching from Social Media experts.

We'll help you brand yourself, both online and within your market area via:

  • Blogging
  • Top-ranked websites
  • Newsletters
  • Social media networking
  • Print media

We'll teach you how to write effective blog posts that will:

  • Help you generate new business
  • Reinforce your existing personal database
  • Help you dominate your market-niche online

We'll help you distribute those posts via:

  • Search engine optimization on personal and company websites
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN and other online communities
  • e-mail newsletter campaigns

And we'll do it all FOR FREE!!!! Your 20% company split covers all of it!*

This EXACT service usually costs an agent between $500-1000 up-front and 10-20% of their gross commissions. You are, essentially, getting a full-time marketing department. Even if you knew how to do all of it, you would have to allocate at least 1-2 full days each week to maintain this type of program. Just think about how much time you'll save, and how much MORE time you'll have to be doing what you really want and need to do: Writing contracts and closing deals!

For more information on the eXp Realty Social Media Marketing Program, as well as our Industry-Leading revenue share program,  call me directly at 206.883.6668. Or e-mail me at rob.leroy@exprealty.com

* Ask me how to qualify for the free program. Not available to all recruits.

Rob LeRoy is a Seattle real estate agent and social media marketing coach with eXp Realty.

Posted in eXp Realty Career
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Sept. 16, 2010

Portland Real Estate Market Update - August

Portland Real Estate Sales Activity for August 2010

The number of home sale closings in the Portland metro area dropped 2.2% from July to August of 2010. During that same period pending sales grew 3.6%. New listings fell 5%. At the rate of sales Portland metro area has just over 11 months worth of listing inventory*.

When comparing August 2010 to the month prior, July 2010, the average sale price increased 0.8% ($299,300 v. $297,000) and the median sale price also went up 1.6% ($250,000 v. $246,000).

A comparison of sales activity of Portland real estate in August 2010 with that of the same time frame last year (August 2009), shows that closed sales decreased 25%. Pending sales also dropped 21.7%, while new listings rose 1.3%.

Increases are seen when comparing year to date numbers, January-August 2010 with the same period in 2009.  Closed sales increased 14.7% while pending sales grew 4% and new listings grew 6%. The average sale price for August 2010 increased 1% compared to August 2009, while the median sale price stayed the same.

Market Report by Area
Year to Date Average Sales Price
Lake Oswego / West Linn                                                                         $441,500
West Portland & Downtown                                                                    $408,000
NW Washington County                                                                           $370,700
Tigard / Tualatin / Sherwood / Wilsonville                                       $304,500
Northeast Portland                                                                                    $285,100
Milwaukie / Clackamas                                                                              $263,700
Oregon City / Canby                                                                                   $260,600
Beaverton / Aloha                                                                                       $243,900
Southeast Portland                                                                                      $238,100
Hillsboro / Forest Grove                                                                           $230,800
North Portland                                                                                              $232,100
Yamhill County                                                                                             $231,600
Gresham / Troutdale                                                                                   $215,200
Columbia County                                                                                          $186,100

*Inventory in Months is calculated by dividing the Active Listings at the end of the month in question by the number of closed sales for that month.

Rich Peralta is a real estate professional in the Greater Portland area.  Rich can be reached at 503.961.2181 or by e-mail at rich.peralta@exprealty.com

Click here for more information on Portland Real Estate!

Originally posted by Rich Peralta on www.findmyoregonhom.com

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Sept. 16, 2010

Today's take on Buying vs. Renting in Portland

The Today Show on NBC had a segment on buying real estate vs renting in the current market.  They talk about the considerations, positives and negatives of the two choices.  While Portland was called out as a good city to rent in, they give a pretty balanced view on the topic.

Visit msnbc.com forbreaking news,world news, andnews about the economy

Click here for more information on Portland Real Estate!Rich Peralta 

Rich Peraltais a real estate professional in the Greater Portland area. Rich can be reached at503.961.2181or by e-mail atrich.peralta@exprealty.com

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Sept. 16, 2010

eXp Realty is the Future of Real Estate

eXp Realty is Leading the Way with the Most Powerful Online Marketing, Green Business Practices, and Virtual Technology

eXp Realty is a National real estate brokerage with an innovative business environment for collaborating, supporting agents with their listings and transactions, and an ecosystem for social interaction in and outside of the organization.

eXp Realty launched in the fall of 2009 as a leader in real estate technology and agent compensation, leaving behind the traditional brick and mortar business model and moving toward a true virtual community, with the goal of keeping agents in contact with the best innovators, ideas and technology from around the world.

Contributing to the success of eXp Realty is an aggressive growth incentive for all affiliates in the form of an industry-leading revenue share program, a large network of high-trafficked, lead generating real estate websites in major metro markets across the country, a streamlined, yet comprehensive education platform and a variety of effective, one-on-one mentor programs.

eXp Realty launched with 3 States in 2009, and now represents clients in 13 States...with additional expansion happening almost daily. The momentum is obvious and unstoppable. It is no longer a question of if, but rather when, eXp Realty will dominate the real estate industry throughout the U.S.


eXp Realty Agent Benefits

  • eXpand your Learning Potentials inside of eXp Virtual
    • 3-D Offices and Educational Platform
      • Work with other Agents and Staff, 1-on-1 or in Groups
  • eXplosive Lead Generation Programs
    • At both the Agent and Company Levels
  • eXploit our Top Web Positions in Major Metros around the Country
    • Integrated Web Solutions/SEO Team has the most Top Ranked Real Estate Websites in Major Metros around North America
  • eXpress yourself via our Collaborative Blogging Platform
    • Leap Frog the Competition and put your Services and Properties at the Top of Everyones Search
  • eXpand with us and create eXponential wealth!
    • Revenue Share to agents and brokers who help us grow both Locally and Nationally
  • Learn the latest in Social Media Marketing for real estate with one-on-one coaching!


eXp Realty Commission Splits and Tuition

  • 80/20 Split on All Transactions
    • Additional Referral Fee to be Paid on Company Generated Leads
    • $16k Annual Cap!
  • $50/month Technology Fee
    • Tech Fee Includes:
      • RealFuture CRM Client Management Platform
      • Personal In-bound Fax Line
      • Google Apps (Email, Calendar and Online Docs)
      • Box.net Online File Management
      • Web Conferencing System
      • WordPress Blog Hosting
      • Online Collaborative Blogging Platform
      • On-demand Tech Coaching
  • $25 Transaction Broker Review Fee
  • $420/year Tuition to eXp University
    • Taken out of 1st Sale Closing or 3rd Rental Transaction
    • Tuition Includes:
      • Enrollment into unlimited Classes for Training and Education
      • Access to eXp Virtual Offices a 3D Collaborative Work Environment
      • Access to eXp Faculty and Staff from all over the world
      • Top Agents, Investment and RE Gurus, Web and Social Media Facilitators available 24/7 and on Demand
  • Company Generated Leads are Split at 52%
    • Blogging Bonuses are available to make an extra 8%, maximum 60/40 Split potential
      • Each blog post is worth 2/10ths of a percentage point towards the next company lead transaction, 8% bonus Split cap
      • No Dollar Amount Limit on Blog Bonus, regardless of whether 8% means an extra $1,000 or $10,000

The eXp Realty Revenue Share Program

"I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people's efforts than 100% of my own efforts." Rockefeller, John D.

We are proud to offer the Industry's Best Residual Recruiting Revenue Share Plan. Every licensed Agent with eXp Realty is automatically enrolled in the eXp Revenue Share program and able to collect Residual Income by helping the company grow. Your potential to grow your own real estate business without having to invest in the infrastructure or take years to develop will never be more accessible. Become your own Team Leader and increase your revenue streams. Now is the time to get in on the ground-floor! There will never be another opportunity like this!

eXpansion Share: Sponsor (You) must be in good standing with the company as well as with the State where your license is held with the company.

eXponential Share: Sponsor (You) must be in good standing with the company as well as with the State where your license is held with the Company. Each level of eXponential Shares are received based on You having sponsored a minimum number of first level recruits who are also similarly in good standing with the Company and State where their license is held with the Company. In any given month that you qualify for a particular eXponential bonus share level you will also receive any lower number share levels as well in the eXponential Share program.

eXp Realty Revenue Share Chart:

eXp Revenue Share Levels eXpansion Rev Share % Min. # of Active Personal Recruits for eXponential Share eXponential Rev Share % Total eXp Revenue Share % (potential)
1   1 3.5% 3.5%
2 0.2% 5 3.8% 4.0%
3 0.1% 10 2.4% 2.5%
4 0.1% 15 1.4% 1.5%
5 0.1% 20 0.9% 1.0%
6 0.5% 25 2.0% 2.5%
7 0.5% 40+ 4.5% 5.0%
Totals 1.5% + 18.5% 20%

Click here to see our special Revenue Share Calculator. It will make your whole day! If it doesn't make you want to join right away, you're not using it correctly! Call me and I'll explain it RIGHT NOW! 206.883.6668

I know, that's a LOT of information! Here's a quick review... If you think you'd like to join our exciting new company, just click here to sign up for more information!

Top 12 Reasons Agents are Joining eXp Realty

  1. The Industry's Best Residual Recruiting/Revenue Share Program
  2. Amazing Integrated Web Solutions/SEO Group
  3. Multiple Revenue Streams and Business Planning/Accountability Workshops
  4. Collaborative Blogging Platforms - Be at the Top of Google Searches
  5. Lead Generation Programs
  6. Low Split's and Fee's
  7. Cutting Edge Real Estate Agent Tech Tools
  8. Free Website Hosting and Training to Help you Generate your OWN Leads
  9. Green, Paperless, Low Carbon Footprint
  10. On-demand training 24/7 by Top Facilitators via eXp Virtual and eXp University
  11. eXp is at the Forefront of Sponsoring Local Social Events, RE Camps and
  12. $16k Annual Cap!!!

Again, If you think you're ready to join our exciting new company, just click here to sign up for more information, or just give me a call!

Or just call me at 206.883.6668 or e-mail me at rob.leroy@exprealty.com

Rob LeRoy is a Seattle real estate agent and social media marketing coach with eXp Realty.

Posted in eXp Realty Career
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Sept. 16, 2010

eXp Agent Benefit's Package

Agent Benefits Package

Gabe Hoggarth

As an innovative and driven Web 3.0 Real Estate Company our goal is to provide the best available tools to our Agents and Teams with the support and infrastructure to use them effectively and efficiently. From a research and development standpoint we are constantly exploring the newest technologies and applying these technologies with our experience of the real worldto create a dynamic advantage for our company.

Our belief is that the best tools are simple to implements, save time and money, provide a clear competitive advantage over others in the industry and ultimately closes more deals building lasting relationships between Agents and Clients.

Below are the tools available to you at eXp Realty, success is here.

eXp apps 
Instant setup with a personalized suite of communication and productivity tools. Enjoy near limitless email and conversation storage, real time document sharing and collaboration platform, and an integrated calendar with task management and online scheduling.

If you run a team, create email groups to communicate easily, share and edit documents as a group, and give access for your team to view your calendar and schedule appointments. These tools will increase the productivity of teams and individual Agents.

eXp virtual 
A persistent virtual office and classroom with both on-demand and collaborative national training. eXp virtual is a state of the art platform never before introduced to the Real Estate industry.

We have developed the most efficient education platform for agents to securely communicate and collaborate with the companies top agents, state brokers and coaches, anytime of day.

eXp box 
Take the frustration out of working with third parties by making resource sharing as easy as sending a link. Forget difficult and frustrating FTP software. Give clients, partners and vendors more insight into your process and instant access to the most current plans, designs and files.

With eXp box spend less time managing documents and more time focused on getting the deal done. Box helps you stay in control by moving the document management process out of email and into a separate, secure workspace. We are a paperless company for efficiency, convenience and the environment.

eXp crm 
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. With eXp CRM your client information is always online and always available to access, from any computer in the world.

Setup for success with pre-loaded drip mailing campaigns and the tools to seamlessly track and collaborate with other agents and staff on specific clients and/or tasks related to you and your clients. Make life simplier with technology, not more complicated.

eXp fax 
Every agent receives a personal inbound fax line with secure delivery directly to the broker. With eXp fax and eXp box, agents can receive and view inbound faxes anywhere, anytime.
eXp host 
For agents who want to have their own WordPress blog using their own domain name the company provides free hosting.

We understand the importance of a strong web presence and and to make life easier, we offer a complete and complimentary web hosting package for all eXp Realty agents. Personal websites, .com/.net/.org if it’s online we can host it.

eXp blog 
As you may already know, eXp Realty operates some of the most visited Real Estate websites on the web and we want to feature you. As an agent you have author access to contribute blog content and brand yourself within these sites.

Generate personal leads (and at no extra cost) from our ongoing company efforts to continually position more sites to the top of the search engines for local communities.

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