Dec. 13, 2017

Portland Holiday Guide

Looking for Holiday Cheer? We have you covered...



Friday - Monday

November 21st - January 1

Take The Train To Christmas Town


You now have an excuse to drive the family an hour east to board a train that transports travelers from the Columbia River Gorge’s foremost drinking town, through the winter wonderland of Mount Hood’s northern slope, and up to Parkdale. It’s the closest thing we’ll ever get to a Polar Express experience, only this one involves craft breweries at both ends of the journey if you so choose to include them. On second thought, maybe leave the kids behind.

Cost: $37-$65 for children 2-12, $47-85 for adults, depending on cabin selection



Friday - Saturday

November 24 - December 30

See The Lights At The Grotto


Though it’s technically a Catholic sanctuary that famously disallowed Portland Public Schools choirs from singing secular holiday songs during its annual Christmas Festival of Lights, it’s still a magical experience regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof. Just pretend you’re at a wedding and ignore the proceedings like you always do, right?

Cost: $6 for children 3-12, $10 for seniors 65+ and military, $11 for adults


Friday - Sunday

November 21- December 31

Travel South For Christmas In The Country


Head down to the Oregon Garden in Silverton for ice skating, artisanal holiday goods, Christmas karaoke and enough mulled wine and beer from Salem’s Gilgamesh Brewing to make it fun.

Cost: $3-$45 depending on activities


Friday - Tuesday

November 24 - December 26

Take A Drive In Winter Wonderland



December 16

Put On Your Santa Suit

Not quite as epic as it’s infamous NY-based brethren, Portland’s SantaCon is still one hell of a fine excuse to throw on a Santa suit, get tipsy and dance your weekend away at a handful of Pearl District and Old Town bars and clubs.

Cost: $10 (but bring more money for drinks)



December 17 

Celebrate Chanukah!

This free event for families with children aged 0-12 will surely get you in the festive spirit. It’s also a great opportunity to learn how to create a menorah, make sufganiyot, or how to play dreidel. There will be dancing and singing, story time, and a play area.


December 12 - 19

Menorah Lighting

Want to observe the holiday in an expedient manner? You’ll easily make it home in time for dinner and baby bedtimes with Chabad of Oregon’s five minute menorah lighting at Director Park. This free event, now in it’s 34th year, takes place every night December 12 through 19 from exactly 5:30-5:35 pm. Want to celebrate a little longer? Join the First Night Celebration, which features music, food and children’s crafts from 4:30-6 pm.



December 31

Where To Ring In The New Year

2018 New Year’s Eve Celebration @ Bare Bones Cafe! | No Cover & Free Champagne Toast at Midnight!

DJ Anjali & The Incredible Kid’s 2018 New Year’s Eve Dance Party Extravaganza @ Melody Ballroom | w/ Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, Savila & Dholi

Portland New Year’s Eve 2017-2018 Celebration w/ The Motet @ Revolution Hall | 7-Piece Funk Powerhouse, The Future of Funk, Soul (Win Tickets, $80+)

New Year’s Eve w/ Fruition & The Lil’ Smokies @ Crystal Ballroom | Champagne Toast, Soul, Blues, British Invasion, Bluegrass, Stringband (Win Tickets, $70)

Midnite New Year’s Eve @ Pure Space in Portland’s Pearl District | Featuring SKAM Artist DJs Fergie DJ, DJ Christyle, Light Show, Projection Clock & More!

New Year’s Eve 2018 @ Dig A Pony DJ – Dance Hard, Kiss Soft NYE w/ Maxx Bass, Lamar & Special Guests

Ring in 2018 at Portland’s Most Famous New Year’s Eve Party Champagne Ball in Downtown! | 17 Bars, 3 Dance Floors, Black Tie, Toast & Count

Holiday Tea @ Pix Patisserie | Formal & Fun, All Inclusive Menu, Sweet & Savory Snacks

Celebrate 2018 w/ Pix Patisserie’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza Chocolate Buffet | Mousse, Cake, Meringue, Beer & More!

Barrel Room Presents Old Town Portland’s Largest New Year’s Eve 2018 Celebration! | Champagne Toast, Two Stages, DJs, Dueling Pianos w/ Liz Fohl and Steven Ramirez

Tony’s AM Gold Seventies Soft Rockin’ 2017 / 2018 Portland New Years Eve @ Tony Starlight Showroom | Featuring Hits from Elton John, Neil Diamond, Carol King & More!

Cruise into 2018 w/ Portland Spirit’s New Year’s Eve Party! | Champagne Toast, Live Music w/ The Bylines & The Doc Watson Jazz Trio, Snacks & More!

New Years Eve Celebration @ Goodfoot Pub & Lounge | The Quick & Easy Boys (downstairs), Soul Stew DJs (upstairs)

The Dinner Detective in Downtown Portland | Largest Murder Mystery Dinner Show In The U.S., Saturdays, Everyone’s Suspect


Posted in Community
Nov. 20, 2017

7 Expert Moving Tips To Make Your Winter Move Fast and Easy


Winter is a great time to buy a home — there’s less competition, so that often means you can get a better home for a cheaper price. Talk about a happy holiday!

But moving in the winter? Not so great. 

There are definitely challenges that go along with packing up everything you own and moving it to a new location in the dead of winter — especially if you live in an area with extreme winter weather.

But it’s not impossible! Here are seven expert moving tips to make your winter move fast and easy (and have you settled into your new place with a nice, hot cup of cocoa before you know it):


1. Keep an eye on the forecast

This one should go without saying, but if you’re planning on moving during the winter months, it’s extremely important that you keep an eye on the forecast.

Winter weather can be unpredictable, and snowstorms can hit with little warning. Check the forecast once a week in the month leading up to your move. The week of your move, check every day.

If there’s a significant amount of snow forecasted – the kind of snow that could close roads or make driving unsafe – consider postponing your move date until after the snow passes. The last thing you want is to get stuck on the side of the road with all of your belongings in the back of a truck. Might not be often in the Portland Area, but it could happen!


2. Confirm with your movers (and then confirm again)

One of the best things about moving during the winter is that it’s a slow time for moving companies — which means a better deal for you on your moving services.

But if you do hire movers (or rent a moving truck), it’s super important to make sure you confirm all the details (like the day, time, and location) of your move. You should plan to confirm the appointment a week before and then check in the day before your move to make sure there’s no winter weather that will keep things from going as planned.

You don’t want to get stuck in a house with no heat or electricity, waiting hours for movers who have the wrong time. Make sure you reconfirm.


3. Hire a babysitter and/or petsitter

Moving in winter is tough.

But you know what makes it tougher?

Having a bunch of children and/or pets running around.

If you’re a parent (or a pet parent) do yourself a favor and hire a babysitter and/or pet sitter for the day. This will save you a ton of time and stress. Instead of trying to keep track of your children or four-legged friends as you lug boxes through the snow, you can focus on the task at hand, which will get you through the move (and into your warm home) faster.


4. Start your move as early as possible

Not only do the days get colder in the winter — they also get shorter.

Because there’s fewer hours of daylight during the winter, you’ll want to get your move started as early as possible. That way, if you run into any speed bumps along the way, you still have daylight hours to figure things out.

Even if you’re not a morning person, get started early. A winter move can be tough, but a winter move in the dark is even tougher.


5. Protect your floors

If there’s snow on the ground or if it's a downpour outside, that means when you move, you’re going to get snow on your shoes and water or mud all over your nice, new floors.

You don’t want damaging your floor to be the first thing you do when you move into your new home. If you move on a snowy day or the ground is wet, lay down plastic tarps to protect the flooring before you start moving things in.


6. Make sure the heat is turned on in your new place…

Before you move, make sure you’ve switched your utilities and the heat is turned on in your new place. The last thing you want to do is arrive and find you have to spend the first night in your new home bundled up because you have no heat!


7. But turn it off during the move

That being said, turn your heat off during the actual move. As you move things in and out, all the heat will escape through the door, which will not only make it cold inside, but will also stick you with a hefty energy bill.

Moving in the winter can be a challenge, but with these tips you’ll be moved and snuggled up by the fire in your new home in no time!

Posted in Buyer Tips
July 11, 2017

The simplest three investments you may be overlooking

Have I caught your attention yet? Good point, I haven't inked anything so far. Let's jump in. 


Invest! That's what brought most people to this blog post, youre thinking I may unlock the three secret investment strategies that's going to launch your investment career to the next level, and I just might.....


 Invest in your loved ones. "Here he goes", your thinking with an eye roll, getting all sappy on paragraph number two. But really, before you click over to your instagram feed, hear me out. I have no doubt, been guilty of spending too much time at my computer, on my phone, or both at the same time while my kids ask questions and tell me about their day. Now there's definitely a time for work, but also a time to put work away and begin to invest in your children's lives. Along with your investment in your children, invest in your marriage or your relationship. For those of you living the single life without kids, I'm glad your getting sleep, but your not off the hook. Invest in the one's you cherish the most. How will this improve your real estate investing? That's what were on this site for, right? When you teach your kids the value of investing, you instill a character trait that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Include them at an early age in your neighborhood drives. Teach them the value of hard work while working along side of them in your flip or running the numbers on a project. Success is best shared, and when you begin to invest in your relationships and your closest friendships, you'll share your real estate success with true companionship for many years to come. Invest in your loved ones, your ROI with this type of investment is infinite, and that my friends is a very nice return!


Invest in people. Have you ever picked up the phone to pay a bill, call a business or  talked with a total stranger on the other line and started be asking how their day is going? I'm talking about using the name they answered with and asking how they were before going off on your rant or business at hand? You'll be amazed at the level of service that you get in return, and while that is not my intent when I ask, it is an added benefit. Have you thanked your contractor for all his hard work on your projects recently? Have you ever written a check to cover an expense that really wasn't your responsibility? Do you recognize members of your team in public, and praise them for their efforts? Customer service seems to be a dying term in my humble opinion, and real estate, like most other businesses are people driven. Treat people kindly, go out of your way to provide customer service, praise your team, connect with your investors, and step out of your way to interact positively with everyone that you come in contact with. When you focus on people and not money, you'll be amazed at the results! Invest in people, and your team building and relationship cash flow will be extremely positive in a very short amount of time, and who doesn't love positive cash flow! 


Invest in your education. Real estate investing is glamorized by our reality television shows.  With a simple search on social media, you can find a distressed house that looks beautiful again. The stars of these reality shows make the flip game look like their growing money on the Benjamin tree (Ben Franklin is on the $100 bill. Your welcome), after all its just finding a contractor and buying a house, right? Wrong! Real estate investing requires education.. Can you do a double period to drive home a point? A first class education,  you'll receive, one way or another. You'll spend time up front with books, blogs, podcasts, ride-alongs (this is what we call a shadow or mentor program in the fire service), local meetings, classes and more just to begin to learn the ropes. Now I know what your thinking, people who have plenty of book smarts don't necessarily make the best real estate investors. I believe your right, but education is king. Now the other side of the track, perhaps you'll be educated by jumping in and losing money, or dealing with lousy tenants, or making mistakes that cost you valuable time. Either way, you'll educate yourself. So do you want to be book smart or street smart? I suggest both. Invest in your education, this is your appreciation play for you personally. You'll be much more valuable in real estate investing once you decide to make this investment, and that's appreciation you can take to the bank!


Simple concepts I know, but far too often we tend to lose sight of the items in our life that we truly need to be investing in. Here's to successful investing in every aspect of your life!

-Jeff Wallenius 

Posted in Investing
June 18, 2017

The BEST Way To Be "Superdad" For Your Children During Their Home-Buying Experience

So your kid is out there looking to buy a house. 

You think to yourself, “I know she’s not a ‘kid’ anymore…”

But…she’s still your kid.

It’s hard to just stand by and watch. You want to step in and make sure she doesn’t make a mistake, or spend too much. 

You can’t believe the prices of houses she’s looking at. You felt like the prices were high when you bought your first home, and now…now they’re just crazy. Who can afford these prices? 

Everything she’s looking at are absolute money-pits. You feel like most of these houses are basically tear-downs.

And you’re pretty sure the agent she’s working with is just in it for the money…

Pushing her to make a quick decision.
Pushing her to go to the highest price she can afford.
Pushing her to make a decision before you chime in.
Pushing you away…so you can’t chime in and stop your daughter from making a mistake.

You have every right to feel this way

You’re a dad. You’re there for your kids, even once they’re an adult. 

You’re there to help pick up the pieces if they fall. But, better yet…you’re there to help avoid pieces ever falling, and needing to be picked up.

And you’re right…

Real estate prices are higher than when you bought your first home. (And, yes, prices were high back then. It’s all relative.)

Many of the homes your kid has to choose from probably do need lots of work. Even the best of them might not be as nice as what you’re able to own and afford. 

And, maybe the real estate agent is being “pushy” with your kid. 

Annnnd…maybe the agent is pushing you away. Keeping you at arm’s length…

They have a right to feel this way

You aren’t the real estate agent’s client. Their duty is not to you. Your child is their adult client. And they also have a duty to protect them. Even from you (harsh as that may sound)…

Unfortunately, many dads (and, to be fair, many moms, too) have set the precedent.

Dads can be deal-killers. And not in the heroic you-saved-the-day kinda way.

Sometimes agents come across as being pushy, but are just expressing a need for urgency in a fast-moving market. 

Sometimes agents seem to be “pushing the price up”. It would seem to be for their own benefit from the outsider’s point of view. But it could just be a reality their client needs to deal with. If they don’t go higher in price (even over asking at times), they won’t get the house they are going after. Or any house at all, for that matter.

Sometimes an agent may seem to be ignoring how much work a house needs. That might be because the house is a good deal as-is, or it’s the best location, or just as good as a buyer in that range can expect to find and afford.

Dads tend to swoop in during the moments of decision…coming to see a house their child is about to make an offer on…the house their kid fell in love with. 

Dads don’t tend to be around for the entire process, and see every house their child saw along the way. Nor are they privy to every conversation they had about the market.

Buying a house is a process

Finding a house to buy is a lot of sifting through houses you don’t end up buying. 

It’s a process of getting to know the inventory. Getting a feel for how the market is moving. How quickly other buys scoop things up. Making tentative low offers, and being beaten out by higher ones. Watching prices go above asking…or not. Seeing how few great houses there are to choose from, and being ready to pounce when you come across the “perfect” one (warts and all). 

And often enough, buyers want to swing their dad by the “perfect” house to get dad’s opinion, blessing, and approval. (Plus, they’re also just excited to show dad the house they found and want to buy!) 

That’s when dads often swoop in, without benefit of the entire process, and cast judgment down upon the house, the neighborhood, the market, and the agent(s)…and put the brakes on. Hard.

It’s usually with all the best intentions. And it’s undoubtedly meant to be good advice.

As a dad, you want to make sure your kid doesn’t make a mistake they regret. And the easiest way to do that is to give riskless advice

“I wouldn’t buy this house. It needs too much work. It’s way overpriced. Wait. Wait for the market to get better. Wait for a better one to come along. Wait and save some money so you can afford a better house.”

Basically any advice but, “Buy this house! And buy it now!”

Because, advising your child not to buy a particular house, can never be proven as bad advice. It’s riskless. No mistake can be made. No pieces need to be picked up. They can’t get hurt if they don’t buy it. 

Or can they!?!?!

Don’t get in the way

As much as you may not believe it at times, kids listen to their fathers. 

Especially adult kids. 

Especially on big decisions. 

Even more so if dad has some skin in the game…like help with the down payment or closing costs. (Which is pretty common.)

Sometimes kids listen simply because they don’t want to make a decision and risk hearing, “I toldja so! Shoulda listened to me!”, the minute there’s an issue with the house.

And listening to dad’s advice can sometimes get in the way of getting the best house they could have, because someone else scoops it up while they hem and haw. And now they have to wait for the next needle in a haystack of a house to come along. If ever.

Or, eventually they have to settle for a house they like less when their back is against the wall of time, because they’re at the end of their lease, or they’re closing on the house they’re selling.

Once time is against them, all hope of negotiating the best deal is pretty much out the window.

That doesn’t mean don’t be involved

You should care. 

And if your child wants you involved, you should be involved. Your perspective and advice can be helpful.

Believe it or not, most real estate agents will welcome your involvement. If your help, involvement and opinion are along for the ride, for the entire ride.

It’s best to be involved from the get-go. Go through the entire process with your child and their agent.

You may not want to go see alllllll of the houses they see in-person, or on-screen, but it’s important. 

If you don’t, you lack a full picture and handle on the market that they build over time. 

You don’t have to, of course…but then, you can’t just swoop in with your Superdad cape without feeling like you’re fighting your archenemy Superagent. And it’s a silly fight because you’re both trying to protect the same person.

You should both be protecting your child from potential pitfalls…not from each other.

Posted in Buyer Tips
June 11, 2017

Self Directed Retirement Fund Options

David Moore’s turn to “WOW” you with his extensive knowledge. Funding an investment opportunity might be easier than you think. David explains your options here…

Posted in Investing
June 9, 2017

National Homeownership Month

Are you aware that June is National Homeownership month? Probably not. Because you’re too busy working to afford the home you live in, whether you rent it or own it.

Why should you care?

If you poke around and read anything you can find about it, you’re being urged to recognize and celebrate the benefits of homeownership. That seems kind of a weird thing to ask you to do. Do you really have the time or care? What’re you supposed to do, throw a party? Sit alone and contemplate it? Invite some friends out for coffee and chat about it? You’ve got to figure that the people who actively promote it probably have their reasons and motives for pushing it. (You know, like real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and the government.)

It makes you wonder…

Why do they push it, other than to make money? 

Is it really the “American Dream”? Or is it just a packaged ploy? 

Is it all it’s cracked up to be? What about all the people who were recently hurt by the housing market and getting in over their heads? 

What about the economy and jobs? What about making enough money to even afford a house?

And, what about all the headaches and worries that come with homeownership?

Are you being sold on something unachievable, or not even all that desirable?

Maybe you shouldn’t own a home

OK, first off…

Homeownership is not for everyone. There always seems to be this push to increase the percentage of homeowners. It gets wrapped in reasons why it’s good for you, your community, the country as a whole…maybe even the whole universe. Pushing to increase the percentage of homeownership for the sake of statistics and percentages is wrong.

Lots of people shouldn’t own a home. Maybe some people shouldn’t even be allowed to own a home even if they qualify financially. That’s what leads to problems, because it’s a responsibility not everyone can handle. Besides, if everyone owned property it wouldn’t be as special. As coveted. As much of a dream. So, if you do question whether homeownership is “worth it”, maybe it isn’t the worst thing. Maybe you shouldn’t own a home.

It’s easy enough to let the people who really want to own property, and believe in the value of it, own all of the real estate. Just don’t buy any…

Let them enjoy the “pride”

One of the catch phrases you’ve probably heard is, “There’s pride in homeownership.” That’s kind of the cover-all reason given as to why more and more people should own their own homes. You can’t entirely diminish the fact that there is pride and value in owning real estate. There is. Nor can you entirely diminish the actual benefits of ownership, like building wealth, tax incentives, and not throwing money out the window and building someone else’s wealth.

But there’s certainly an inability for some people to buy real estate. Some people will never achieve homeownership. And there’s certainly risk and worry involved. Not everyone can handle that. It’s certainly understandable that lots of people shy away from buying real estate so soon after the real estate bubble burst, and the slow recovery. Some people are still recovering financially. Some people watched their parents struggle and worry, only to lose their home. 

But for those who can and do own real estate, there is pride. And there’s appreciation. Because while not everyone should own real estate…at least now everyone can.

You get to choose, not be chosen to own land

It used to be only a select few who could own land. Now almost everyone has the right to own property…if they want to and have the ability. This isn’t the feudal system where there are only a handful of Lords who’ve been granted a piece of land to look after by a King. (Side note: Do you think any Lords ever questioned the value of owning land?) You can choose to be the lord of some land. You just have to want to, and be financially qualified to. While you don’t have to be “chosen”…nobody’s giving it to you either. So, if you can financially afford to, there should be some pride and appreciation in owning a little (or large) piece of this planet, with a “castle” to call your own. So, when you do decide to buy some real estate, you should enjoy the pride, appreciation, and respect for the right and privilege to do so. You are essentially choosing to be your own land Lord. There are places in this world you still can’t. So, imagine that. Imagine not having the choice. 

Is it worth you recognizing and celebrating?

With all that in mind, is National Homeownership Month more meaningful to you? Does it put homeownership in an objective light? Is it appealing to you? Does it make you want to own real estate? Does it make you want to own more real estate if you already own some?

Don’t get swept up in the hype of homeownership month, or anyone just trying to persuade you of the benefits of homeownership, no matter what month it is. The best way to figure out if you should be a homeowner is to speak with a serious, objective real estate agent. One who takes counseling clients more seriously than pushing the pride of homeownership, just so they can make a sale.

Give us a ring if you’re looking for some good, objective counsel. We’d love to be part of that round table.



Posted in Investing
June 5, 2017

Portland Summer Events

Portland is pulling out all the stops this summer with festivals, music and of course the city's internationally acclaimed culinary scene.

If you're ready to make the most of long, sunny days and pleasant evenings then please check out these local options happening this summer



All Summer Long:

Portland Soccer: Timbers and Thorns:

Soccer City, USA! With a fervent following, every Portland Timbers and Thorns match has a festive atmosphere that's enjoyable whether you're a sports fan or not.

Tickets and schedule can be found @


Baseball in Portland:

Listen up, sports fans! Portland and nearby Hillsboro offer not one, but two local baseball teams pitching nothing but good times. Take your pick between the collegiate Portland Pickles or the minor league Hillsboro Hops for an excursion to the ball park.

Tickets and schedule can be found @ Hops Tickets and Pickles Tickets


Farmers' Markets:

With the city’s DIY-everything atmosphere, love of all things local and proximity to amazing agricultural regions, Portland’s farmers’ markets are in a league of their own. In the past two decades, these open-air marketplaces have increased from a handful to more than 40 around the metro area.

Schedule and maps can be found @ Farmers' Markets


Free for All:

Portland parks offer plenty of free fun any time of year, but Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free for All program ups the ante, offering over 250 free events from June to September. The entertainment at parks across the city includes free movie screenings, concerts and even rock climbing.

More info can be found @ Movies, Concerts, lunch + Play!




The Portland Rose Festival, which celebrated its centennial in 2007, offers three weeks of family events, spanning late May and early June. Highlights include the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, the Starlight Parade, a family carnival in Waterfront Park, dragon boat races, concerts and ?reworks.

Schedule can be found @ Rose Festival



Portland’s version of the World Naked Bike Ride is the largest one in the world. In 2014, 10,000 cyclists took to the streets in this free, clothing-optional nighttime trek through the city. 

More info can be found @



Every summer, fans of folk, rock, world music and more stake out spots on the amphitheater lawn at the Oregon Zoo for the Oregon Zoo Summer Concerts, more than a dozen performances from some of the hottest, most diverse acts performing today.

Line up and schedule can be found @



Portland Pride, the city’s annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community celebration, features a parade, live entertainment and family events at Waterfront Park.

More info and schedule can be found @



Pre-concert picnics on the lawn at Reed College are a standing tradition among the enthusiastic followers of the annual Chamber Music Northwest concert series, which runs from late June to late July. Since it was launched in 1971, the festival has grown into one of the most successful chamber music events in the nation. 

Schedule and lineup can be found @



Twenty minutes from downtown Portland, the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts features art demonstrations, an art show and juried craft show with 120 booths, wine, beer, food and entertainment.

More info can be found @ Lakewood Center for the Arts



The Portland International Beer Festival draws more than 150 brews from at least 15 countries to a beer garden setting in the Lloyd District’s Holladay Park.

Tickets and more info can be found @




The Waterfront Blues Festival — the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi River — rocks crowds on the riverbank in Waterfront Park and on the water itself with five days of top national acts, as well as spectacular fireworks on July 4.

Schedule and line up can be found @



Pre-concert picnics on the lawn at Reed College are a standing tradition among the enthusiastic followers of the annual Chamber Music Northwest concert series, which runs from late June to late July. Since it was launched in 1971, the festival has grown into one of the most successful chamber music events in the nation.

Schedule and lineup can be found @



Craft breweries from around the United States bring more than 80 beers to the Oregon Brewers Festival, the largest gathering of independent brewers in North America, held in downtown Portland’s Waterfront Park.

More info can be found @



Founded in 1981, the three-day Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is the now the West’s largest and oldest free celebration of jazz and blues. Held in Cathedral Park beneath the historic St. Johns Bridge, the scenery is almost enough to steal the show.

More info can be found @



The PDX Pop Now! festival highlights as many as 50 local independent artists at a single venue over the course of two days. The volunteer-driven nonprofit behind the festival also produces an annual compilation CD of local music.

More info can be found @



Every summer, The Big Float celebrates the river that runs through the city with a flotilla of inner tubes and inflatable toys and a beach party just south of the Hawthorne Bridge in downtown’s Waterfront Park.

Schedule and more info can be found @



This celebration of all things Scottish features dancing, piping, drumming and fiddling, traditional food and the “heavy events,” which include the caber toss and the Portland stone — a 96-pound rock hurled by only the brawniest athletes. The Portland Highland Games are held just east of Portland in Gresham.

More info can be found @



Portland’s DIY culture is alive and well, and you can catch it in all its vibrant blacks and whites at this annual gathering of underground media connoisseurs. The Portland Zine Symposium is a free, two-day event includes workshops, panel discussions and tables of people buying, selling and trading zines.

More info can be found @



Gather up the family and head to Pioneer Courthouse Square for free movies and popcorn under the stars on Portland’s “largest outdoor screen.” Catch Flicks on the Bricks four consecutive Friday nights, July through August.

Schedule and more info can be found @ Flicks on the Bricks



Since 2002, Pioneer Courthouse Square has celebrated summer with two free lunchtime concerts every week in July and August. The popular Noon Tunes Concert Series showcases the best in regional and local musical talent each Tuesday and Thursday from noon-1 p.m.

Line up and schedule can be found @ Noon Tunes




Since 1999, the Pickathon Indie Roots Music Festival, a celebrated six-stage folk festival at the lush Pendarvis Farm just outside Portland, has attracted headliners like Feist and Andrew Bird while establishing itself as the nation’s greenest music festival.

More info can be found



Established in 2001 to showcase local musicians and bring in national acts, MusicfestNW features two days of concerts on two stages in downtown’s Waterfront Park. For the first time this year, the festival partners with Project Pabst to bring an A-list roster of performers to Rose City. 

Tickets and line up info can be found @



Enjoy Portland’s temperate summer nights with Top-Down Rooftop Cinema. Film screenings, along with performances from local bands, cocktails, beer and barbeque are offered six Thursday evenings in a row atop the Hotel deLuxe parking structure.

More info can be found @



Gather up the family and head to Pioneer Courthouse Square for free movies and popcorn under the stars on Portland’s “largest outdoor screen.” Catch Flicks on the Bricks five consecutive Friday nights,  July-August.

Schedule and more info can be found @ Flicks on the Bricks



Since 2002, Pioneer Courthouse Square has celebrated summer with two free lunchtime concerts every week in July and August. The popular Noon Tunes Concert Series showcases the best in regional and local musical talent each Tuesday and Thursday from noon-1 p.m.

Line up and schedule can be found @ Noon Tunes



Fearless grown-ups hurtle down an extinct volcano in homemade vehicles during the PDX Soapbox Derby. It could be a recipe for disaster, but, instead, it’s a beloved annual event held in Mt. Tabor Park, which offers spectacular views of downtown. Spectators bring their own beer and cheer on the fastest — and kookiest — gravity-powered cars.

More info can be found @



The Providence Bridge Pedal is an annual bike ride across Portland’s bridges cements Portland’s bike-friendly status, as a total of 10 bridges partially close to cars, affording bicyclists rare views and a choice of relaxed rides ranging in distance from 14 to 36 miles (23-58 km).

More info can be found @



The Hood to Coast is the world’s largest running relay race, stretching 200 miles from the top of Mount Hood to the Pacific Ocean in Seaside. The overnight event culminates in the West Coast’s largest beach party and draws more than 12,000 runners and walkers annually. The race fills up months in advance, but there’s no charge to watch the dedicated and costumed runners make their way down the mountain and onto the beach.

More info can be found @

Posted in Community
June 2, 2017

4 Reasons People Don’t Invest In Real Estate (and how Turnkey Real Estate Beats Them All)

You would be hard pressed to find people who would tell you investing in real estate is a bad idea. Of course there are pro’s and con’s, risks and rewards; but in general, investing in real estate is creating wealth for many. In fact, an article in PR Newswire reveals that 89% of all investors have interest in putting their money in real estate. While a similar study from PR Newswire revealed that 80 percent of U.S. investors surveyed believe a real estate portfolio is one of the best financial legacies they could leave for their family. With 94% of investors who have invested in real estate in the past plan on investing again.The stats go on and on, showing the long (and short) term benefits of including real estate in any responsible portfolio.

But even amid the staggering support of this low-risk investment strategy, there are still those who don’t participate. Jeff and I have had many conversations with investors looking to start building their financial portfolio using real estate and we’ve found several revealing reasons why  investors haven’t taken the plunge:



We’ve watched the shows on HGTV and the DIY channel. Go buy a fixer-upper, make it look beautiful and flip it for profit. Seems easy…right? And fun! You start mulling it over and think “I can do that”. But the moment you turn your TV off, reality sets in. Where do you start? In its simplest form, the 5 major steps in cash flowing or flipping a property is Find, Assess, Fund, Rehab and Flip/Rent. Countless real estate experts provide programs, books and memberships showing you how simple it is to be successful but… let’s get real, it can be overwhelming. On top of that, you are competing against those same experts who have the resources and know-how to Find, Assess, Fund, Rehab and Flip/Rent the very properties they tell you to find. The learning curve can be steep and many mistakes can be made. In fact, you’ll find most of these experts admit that they themselves made many mistakes before finding their stride.

How Turnkey Real Estate Investing beats “Lack of Knowledge”

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” as they say. Turnkey Real Estate Investing frees you from needing to do all of the initial heavy lifting as it relies on the Real Estate Experts to do their job and handle nearly all 5 steps of real estate for you. By relying on the knowledge of the experts, you can simply be the investor by purchasing properties prepared for you, at wholesale pricing. If you’re looking to be a real estate “Investor” and NOT a real estate “Developer”, then turnkey investing may be right up your alley. North Peak offers a large inventory of turnkey ready properties nationwide to satisfy the investor living inside of you screaming to come out.


While there are a variety of ways to invest in real estate for little to no money down, these opportunities more often than not, involve processes that most people won’t do. Your other option is to go the more traditional route of purchasing a property yourself, rehabbing the property and then selling the property. Each one of these steps require money. Either your money or money from a third party such as a hard money lender, charging rates and points that only get more costly every day your property isn’t sold. I recently spoke with a flipper in my area who has been sitting on a completed project for nearly 10 months. That’s 10 months of mortgage payments cutting into his profits forcing him to potentially put a tenant in the property and take the home off the market. Not a bad strategy actually, if that was your plan. But my buddy is flipping in the Northwest where prices are high enough the home flipping is favored over cash flowing.

Now, I don’t want to sound like a complete Debbie-downer here; greater risk comes with great reward as long as you keep winning. But many investors have a finite amount of money to work with that could be tragically lost on their very first try if costly mistakes are made.

How Turnkey Real Estate Investing beats “Lack of Capitol”

Can you say 20%? Nearly all turnkey real estate investment opportunities can be purchased with 20% down, with many of these cash-flowing properties selling for as little at $60,000. In this example you only need to come up with $12,000 to own a tenant occupied property with instant month-to-month cashflow. No purchasing dilapidated homes. No rehabbing. No hard-money lenders. No mortgages payments. Just 20% and you’re collecting rent checks with your tenant covering the mortgage for you. In theory, a real estate investor with $100,000 could purchase 5 turnkey properties using the 20% down method. If each property was cash flowing $250 per month after expenses, then the investor is enjoying a cash-on-cash ROI of 15%. Not bad. Seems too simple? Well my friend, that’s why its called “Turnkey.”


In the book “The ABCs of Real Estate Investing” by Ken McElroy (a highly recommended read by the way), one of the chapters discusses the topic of how to find potential investment properties in your area. While this chapter is very insightful, it also exposes the insane amount of time you could spend on simply finding a potential property in the first place. One particular recommendation in this chapter is “driving for dollars” meaning you drive around your local area during your free time on weekends and evenings looking for properties that fit the profile of a potential investment opportunity. While this is only one of several ways to find properties, it is one that is recommended go in tandem with one or more other strategies such as direct mailers, billboards, networking and a variety of other options.

While there are people who do put in the time to find properties themselves, most people would rather invest their free time in other ways. Does this mean you’re lazy? Nope. It may mean life is happening when you’re not working and you can’t use that time looking for investment deals. Kids in sports? Have a hobby? Want some quality of life? These reasons and more are what cut into your house hunting time and are perfectly legitimate.

How Turnkey Real Estate Investing beats “Lack of Time”

We’ve spoken with many investors who spend so much time making money, that they don’t have much time left over to invest in real estate from a traditional standpoint. They know they want to own property but need an easier “in” to property investment solutions that require a minimal time requirement. Turnkey Real Estate Investing is designed for these people. Initial purchasing of Turnkey Real Estate is cost effective and simple with a qualified management company overseeing your investment every month. In fact, most Turnkey Real Estate Investors only need to work with North Peak for a handful of hours as compared to days, weeks or even months using other, more traditional investment routes.

On top of that, all North Peak properties are managed by the actual investment property developers in their respective markets, not third party management companies. To understand the significance of management companies, check our blog article “How Management Companies Make or Break Your Real Estate Investment ”.


Risk is no laughing matter and is a real factor that prevents investors from “taking the leap” in real estate. Consider the three previous elements collectively and you’ll find many would-be real estate investors paralyzed and overwhelmed, leading to a lack of confidence in assessing the risks involved to make a confident, well informed decision.

How Turnkey Real Estate Investing beats “Lack of Confidence”

It’s good to have options, but too many options typically leads to “analysis paralysis”. Turnkey Real Estate Investing is designed to take out decision making options that are best left to experts such as finding great investment homes, rehabbing them “just right” and finding qualified tenants. With Turnkey Real Estate Investing things are simplified for the investor, leaving them with only a handful of factors to consider such at property location and potential return-on-investment (ROI). North Peak makes it even simpler by connecting investors with qualified developers all over the country who meet specific quality standards to ensure your new investment properties is well taken care of.

How North Peak Investments can help you:

North Peak Investments is an asset-based investment firm that specializes in real estate related opportunities nationwide. North Peak Turnkey is a subsidiary of North Peak Investments specializing in the representation and reselling of Turnkey Real Estate Investment opportunities at no cost to the investor. We are committed to the education and success of each turnkey investor to ensure they keep coming back to us for all of their real estate investment needs. To get a more information about all the investment opportunities that North Peak has to offer including funding and equity opportunities, please visit our site at

Posted in Investing
March 25, 2010

6 Reasons your Agent wants you Pre-Approved before showing you homes

Ever had an agent deny to show you a home because you weren’t pre-approved for a mortgage? It’s not because they’re mean, or they don’t value your business… it’s actually because they’re looking out for your best interests.

Lets face it, shopping for a home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage is like walking into a grocery store without a wallet. You may have the desire to buy, but you lack the ability. Lets cover some basics...


What is a mortgage pre-approval?

In a nutshell, a mortgage pre-approval is written assurance from a lender or broker that you're able to borrow money to purchase a home up to a certain amount. It's based on the income, employment and asset documentation you supply at the time of application, in conjunction with your credit history. So let's look at the 6 reasons you should get pre-approved.


1. It carries more weight than a pre-qualification.

A pre-approval differs from a pre-qualification. With the former, the lender has actually checked your credit and verified your documentation to approve a specific loan amount (usually for a particular time period such as 30, 60 or 90 days). A pre-qualification can be useful as an estimate of how much you can afford to spend on your home, but it’s a less accurate indicator of your ability to purchase. A pre-approval always carries more weight.

2. You'll know how much house you can afford.

Getting pre-approved before you begin house hunting allows you to know how much house you can realistically afford. Knowing this narrows down the options and makes the selection process more efficient. Not to mention, it protects you from the unpleasant surprise of realizing the home you fell in love with doesnt fit your budget.

3. It adds clout to your offer.

In many markets, homes attract more than one offer. If the sellers are weighing one offer against another, they may lean towards the one accompanied by a pre-approval letter. Thats because pre-approvals instill confidence that the buyer is financially capable of purchasing their home.

4. It could increase your negotiating power.

In addition to strengthening your offer when compared to buyers who haven’t taken this step, getting pre-approved may give you the upper-hand when negotiating the price. If the homeowner is eager to sell, they may be more willing to accept a lower offer from someone they've been assured is financially capable of purchasing their home.

5. It saves time.

Obtaining a mortgage is a lengthy process. Getting pre-approved ahead of time shortens the time between contract to close - this way you're ready to proceed with finalizing the mortgage once you've found the home you want to purchase.

6. Without it, most agents wont work with you.

Think about it: when you hire an agent, he/she will invest countless hours showing you homes over the course of your house hunt. If you were in their shoes, wouldnt you want assurance that your hard work would lead to a favorable outcome for both you and your client?

Posted in Buyer Tips