November 2015: Real Estate Roundup

Traditions from around the globe

Evans_LanceWThe saying goes that all real estate is local, but not all homebuyers are local. According to the National Association of Realtors 2015 international homebuyers report, global buyers spent an estimated $104 billion on housing in 2014, an increase of more than $10 billion from the previous year. American real estate is extremely attractive to foreign buyers due to our attractive prices, economic stability, and well-defined property rights.

As more international buyers become a part of the fabric of American communities, they bring with them their many traditions and customs — including those that go along with moving into a new home.

Below are a few common housewarming traditions from around the globe.


Thai tradition dictates that visitors bring new homeowners three items: rice, water, and a knife. The rice and water are so that food is always plentiful and the homeowner will know prosperity, and the knife is to protect them from any evil spirits. There is also a traditional ceremony known as “Sen Wai Jour Teen,” during which the homeowner asks the “Lord of the Land” and any restless ghosts and spirits in the vicinity for protection through an offering of food and water, flowers, and incense.


Before moving into a new home, Chinese custom is to shine a light in every corner, closet and wardrobe of the house. This tells any lingering spirits know that it is time to leave and how to find the way outside.


When construction of a new home is finished, the French throw a traditional party called the ‘pendre la cremaillere,’ literally meaning ‘to hang the chimney hook.’ The phrase comes from medieval times when it was customary to invite over everyone who took part in the building of the house and eat dinner as a gesture of thanks. The food would be cooked in a large pot over a fire, where the chimney hook could be used to raise or lower the pot to heat or cool the food.


In India, it is considered lucky to move into a new house on Thursday, while Friday and Saturday are the unluckiest days to move. There is also the ceremonial housewarming known as “Grinha Pravesh,” during which, in some parts of the country, a cow is allowed to walk through the house first, bringing good fortune to the homeowners.

Buying a home can be a complicated and trying process, and Realtors have the expertise to serve clients in a variety of real estate transactions. No matter where you are from, when you are ready to buy a home make sure to contact a Realtor.

On Oct. 29, the Tri-County (NY) WCR Chapter held its sixth annual “Top Producer” event honoring 69 Jefferson-Lewis Realtors who were in the top 20 percent in terms of units sold or rented between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015. Amanda Miller, Lake Ontario Real Estate, was honored as the top seller and Sandra Rowland, Freedom Homes, as the top rental agent.

The rest of the sales honorees, in alphabetical order, were: Britton Abbey, Roger Abbey, Lois Aubin, Clifford Bennett III, Larry Boliver, Marcia Brooks, Vicki Bulger, Kent Burto, Patricia Calhoun, Walter Christensen, Libby Churchill, James Conlin, Sonia Conlin, Kathy Cook, Katherine Couch, Melanie Curley, Carole Dunbar, William Elliott, Kenneth Erb, Jennifer Flynn, Cathy Garlock, Matthew Garlock, Anne George, Joan Gerni LaLone, Lori Gervera, Marsha Gibbons, Michael Hall, Janet Handschuh, Jennifer Hebert, Les Henry, Beth Hopkins, Suzanne Krouse, Barry Kukowski, Jacqueline Ladue, Keith Lawrence, William Leepy, Donna Loucks, Lisa Lowe, Julie Lyndaker, Brenda Malone, Erin Meyer, Elizabeth Miller, Gail Miller, Gwyn Monnat, Cynthia Moyer, Rob Moyer, Lori Nettles, Bambi Norman, Lorie O’Brien, Doris Olin, Karen Peebles, Debbie Polniak, Lori Porter, Penny Price, Maxine Quigg, Randy Raso, Gayla Roggie, Nancy Rome, Jill Rosette, Jason Smith, Nicholas Sterling, Tania Sterling, John Stevens, Barry Stewart, Nancy Storino-Farney, Bernard Sturr, Janette Vander Baan, and Nancy Williams.

In addition to Ms. Rowland, the top rental honorees were: Clifford Bennett III, Ron Berie, James Conlin, Sonia Conlin, Joan Gerni LaLone, Elaine Gibeau, Nicole Lajoie, and Micah Matteson.

Lance M. Evans is the executive officer of the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Realtors and the St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors. Contact him at His column appears monthly in NNY Business.