My Must-Do Things When Moving Into A New House

The last few days have been busy for me.  My family and I just moved into our new home sweet home!  We are over the moon excited!  And this made me think of the three things I have done or will be doing this week.

1) Change the locks

This one seems like a no-brainer.  You just bought your new home and the previous owner gives you one key to the house.  Really?  ONE key?Key.jpg

Obviously, there are other keys out there…

If you feel handy, you can go to Home Depot and get yourself a new lock.  We are not that kind of handy in my family, so I call a locksmith and use this opportunity to ask for all the locks to be re-keyed (think garage door and back door).

2) Change your mailbox lock

Did you just get ONE key for your mailbox too?  I thought so!

This one works a bit differently.  I know some people change the lock themselves… but your mailbox may be considered USPS property, in which case, the U.S. Postal Service should be the one changing the lock… as long as you ask for it!

You may make a formal request by going to your local post office.  They then inform you once the lock has been changed and you can go pick up your keys.  In the past, they have asked for a proof of ownership and the service was free; I will know soon if things have changed as I am heading to the post office tomorrow for my mailbox.  I will have up-to-date details on this!

3) Meet the neighbors

And now for the fun part: meet your neighbors!  Grab your kids, pets etc…  Go knock on doors as a family and introduce yourselves to your new neighbors!  Feel free to bring a little bag of homemade cookies (for example) to mark the occasion, but this is only if you want (or can! – considering that you may still have most of your stuff packed).

Three things…

… to do when you move into your new home

… for peace of mind

…  although I know there will be many more things I will be doing in my new house (starting with cleaning it and getting my closets and cabinets organized!)  😉

Welcome home!


Top 3 Light Displays In Portland This Season

Looking to get in the holiday spirit?  What better way than the holiday lights!  It is this time of year where lights go up and nights sparkle with colorful displays of holiday decorations!

Our family has its favorites; here are our top 3 this season!

#1: Zoo Lights (Nov. 27 to Jan. 3, 5pm to 9pm)

H_ZooLights-lawn-2015The Oregon Zoo Lights is a tradition that started back in 1988.  It is today a very popular attraction and you may want to consider buying your ticket in advance!

Good to know: there are “value nights” Monday through Thursday offering reduced admission, and discounts for Zoo members and Trimet users.  Make sure to check out these offers here.

#2: Winter Wonderland (Nov. 26 to Dec. 27th, closed Dec. 7th)

Winter Wonderland 2015This show is known as the “Largest Holiday Light Show of the Mississippi” and this 23rd edition is no exception.

The best part for us is that it is a drive-through light show: play some holiday music on the car radio, pack some hot chocolate and marshmallows and you have yourself a memory maker!

Times vary based on when you visit:

  • Sunday-Thursday: 5pm-9pm
  • Friday and Saturday: 5pm to 11pm

Make sure to visit their website for all pricing details, hours and special events!

#3: Peacock Lane (Dec. 15th to Dec. 31st, 6pm to 11pm)

This event is free to the public.  (Most of) the homeowners on Peacock Lane love to decorate their homes for the holidays!  Some do it with the help of professionals, some do it all on their own.  The result is a beautiful display of about a dozen homes oozing of holiday spirit!Peacock Lane

Peacock Lane is located between SE Stark St. and SE Belmont St.; it is one block East of SE 39th.  You may drive your car through the neighborhood but it is best appreciated on foot.  Also, know that three nights are reserved for pedestrians only: Friday Dec. 18th, Saturday December 19th and Sunday December 20th.

Organize your visit by checking their Facebook Page  and/or Twitter feed, as they will have the most up-to-date info.

So, which one will be your family favorite this holiday season?



Why I chose John L. Scott

Today, I posted a formal announcement of my joining the firm John L. Scott on my Facebook page.

When it comes to real estate companies, there are many choices for a Real Estate Broker to chose from.  So why did I choose a regional firm when there are many other firms out there that may have a more recognizable name and might be nationwide?

Because real estate is first and foremost a people business.  J. Lennox Scott, Chairman and CEO of John L. Scott says it best: “Our business is Real Estate, but our company philosophy is living life as a contribution. It’s the core of who we are as a company.”  This translates into one of our core values: “It’s about the possibilities in our clients’ lives”.  No two clients are alike, no two needs, dreams or goals are the same.  As Real Estate Brokers, we are first and foremost consultants and educators for each of our clients.  In an era where real estate data is readily available to everyone who knows how to use a smart device, we help our clients make sense of the local market, navigate the buying or selling process and help them reach their real estate goals.

Because, as a professional, I want to work with a Company that will offer my clients the best tools to search and find their new home, to sell their house at the best possible price, in the best possible time, and to monitor the market with real time data sourced directly at the Multiple Listing Service.  How does John L. Scott achieve this?  Two examples: 1) For one, JLS has developed exclusive and trademarked marketing tools and systems to optimize the marketing of its clients’ listings because it is THAT important; 2) JLS has developed what I consider the best mobile app on the market; The GPS Home Search App 3.0 is ideal to help you keep a finger on the pulse of the market (pun intended)!  JLS prides itself in staying ahead when it comes to technology and marketing strategies to best serve its clients and they deliver.

Because when it comes to real estate, local knowledge is paramount.  I firmly believe that to bring value to your clients, you need to know your local market.  I have lived in the Rock Creek / Bethany/ Cedar Mill / Forest Heights area for ten years now (with a short detour by Colorado to keep things interesting).  I have seen this area change with price dipping in the recession and bouncing back up, and grow with new construction.  It is a dynamic market, close to major employers (Intel, Nike), highways (26 and 217) and convenient to downtown!

So what’s not to like?  John L. Scott, a regional independent company, with over 80 years of proven history of excellence in the markets it serves, has it all: local, expertise, excellence.  And that is why I chose John L. Scott.

– Marie