House Hunting with Your Kids

Y41stou are buying a house, and you have kids. The big question is do you bring them along for house hunting? If you do, how can you do it and maintain your sanity? Age is key on deciding to bring them. Newborns are easy, they will usually stay asleep in the car seat or carrier, and can easily be calmed down with a bottle or nursing. Teens and tweens are easy too, they'll want to come along to help make the decision about where they will be living and to make sure their needs will be met. Ages 6 months to 10 are tougher. Access your child's temperament. If they are ok with changes, lots of in and out of the car, boundaries and rules in houses, then they are probably ok to come along. If not, get a sitter until you are narrowed down to one or two houses. If they are coming along, here are some tips for keeping them busy, happy, and actually letting you see the house! Babies and Toddlers:

1. Use a carrier, not a stroller, to get through a house quickly

2. Have a hands off policy, even if that means parents' hands are off too.

3. Have a different toy to play with at each house.

Preschool Kids41st stairway

4. Play Eye-Spy

5. Have coloring books and colored pencils. They are easier to color with on the floor and less likely to make permanent marks on walls. Somebody should watch all the time!

6. Play House Bingo

Elementary School Kids

7. Scavenger Hunt

8. Have them give the tour- they can go through the house quickly and then come lead everyone else through. Most kids love this.

9. Picking rooms and talking about what would go where.

10. Headphones and music for quieter kids that may want to sit in the living room or on the stairs. Music is also great for kids that may be having a hard time with the move.

Tips for Everybody, including Adults

11. Snacks! Lots of snacks!

12. See 3 houses at a time, maximum.

13. Take turns in the yard playing with the kids, use your agent for this too.

14. Finish by playing at a park.

Finally, moving is a big deal for most kids, even if they aren't going to remember it in the long haul. It's an emotional experience for people of all ages, and no matter how long you've lived in your current home.

Here's how to help them deal with it.80th backyard

1. Talk honestly about why you are moving.

2. Say goodbye to the old house with a letter or pictures. It can be to the new owners, to the great neighbors, or to the house itself.

3. Take photos of your kids in their rooms and around the house before you start packing or staging the home to sell. You'll all want to remember their first room  or the terrible purple shade they talked you into painting it.

Exploring PDX Through Hiking

IMG_2190 One of my favorite activities is hiking. I love to do urban hikes, like exploring Mt Tabor, getting out to the Gorge, and traveling to do some short backpacking trips around the state, and beyond. Portland and the greater Metro area has some of the best hiking in Oregon, so I've compiled some of my favorites below. Lately (since this last fall when my daughter was born), I've been hiking most weeks with an amazing free group: Hike It Baby. Started in Portland by a new mom, Hike It Baby is open to anyone and everyone with a child (you can borrow one from a family member or friend) from birth on up! Moms, dads, grandparents, nannies, babysitter, and whole families meet up at member led hikes of all levels and lengths to get some exercise, fresh air, and camaraderie. I hope to see you out on the trail!

1. Council Crest- SW Portland- Start on Samuel Jackson Rd, and hike up a steep hill to Council Crest Park. You get a great leg burn, and a rewarding view of downtown, many bridges, and 3 mountains if its clear.

pittock mansion2. Upper McClaey- NW Portland- Hike through part of Forest Park up to Pittock Mansion. You can picnic on the lawn with another amazing view of the city and Mt Hood. Its steep, but pretty short and not as hard as Council Crest.

mt tabor



3. Mt Tabor Rambling- SE Portland- Our very own dormant volcano has 3 great official trails that start at the visitors center (Red, Green, and Blue) but I always start on one and end up switching to another, and then heading up to the summit to finish it off. This can be as chill or challenging as you would like. There is also a big set of stairs if you are needing to up the heart rate quite a bit!

wildwood 4. Forest Park Wildwood Trail- NW Portland- This trail runs 30 miles from one end of the park to the other, but you can access it at many roads and parking lots throughout the park. I like to just pick a spot and go out and back, but you can also do loops with the other trails and fire roads that criss cross the park. This gem of a park is one of the largest in an urban area in the country, and has endless areas to explore.

February Events

February can be a long month in Oregon, but here are a bunch of activities to get you out of the house. Some will even  keep you out of the weather! Support local theatre, local farmers, and the Community Cycling Center.

  • February 24: Free Admission to Portland Art Museum | 5-8PM, Fourth Friday of Every Month
  • Chinese New Year at the Lan Su Chinese Garden- Lantern Viewing February 5-6th.
  • Winter Farmers Market at Shemanski Park: Saturdays, January 7 through February 25, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., SW Park Ave & SW Salmon St. 


Buckman Farmers Market

The Buckman neighborhood in Southeast Portland has a great farmers market that runs from May through September, and isPortland Farmers Market in Buckman every Thursday from 3-7pm. This unique time is perfect for the neighborhood because it allows people to stop in after work and pick up food for the rest of the week, and weekend entertaining. In a neighborhood so close to downtown and in such a bike friendly area, having a farmers market that is accesable by bike and walking is a big plus. Check out their site, Buckman Farmers Market.  If you want to live close the this great market, check out all active real estate listings in Buckman on my interactive real estate map. [nggallery id=9]