Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your Home

Spring is now well and truly upon us here in the Bay Area. After the flurry of storms and a particularly wet winter, it is delightful to see hills covered with wildflowers, bare trees full of foliage and verdant green everywhere.

It is also time to get our homes in shipshape condition for the summer. Here’s a handy spring cleaning checklist for around the home and in the yard.

Spring cleaning checklist - guttersRoof, rafters and gutters Clean out leaves and twigs left by the recent storms from your gutters. Check that the downspouts are properly connected and clear. Look for any broken or missing shingles. Check the frames of any skylights. Get a roofer to fix any damages.

Air-conditioning and heating vents – This includes a change or cleaning of filters as well as the air vents. Check the outside unit to ensure it has clear drainage, and trim away any plants or bushes around it.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – Check that these are working, and be sure to replace the batteries.

Carpets – The warm weather is a good time to get the carpets steam cleaned and shampooed. Make sure you choose a time with a few sunny days for the carpets to dry out.

Attics – This is a good time to venture into attics. Check for signs of seepage or mold as well as rodents and insects. If there are windows, let in the air and sunlight. Be sure to do this on a dry and sunny day.

Crawl space air vents – Take a walk around the house and check the crawl-space air vents and netting for any signs of tear or damage. If any, it is important to fix these to keep rodents and little critters out of the crawl space.

Fences and decks – After the wet and stormy winter this year, all the woodwork in the yard – from fences to decks needs special attention. Nail down loose boards, and replace broken or rotten ones. Also, promptly treat decks for any mold and mildew as these could quickly spread to the house.

Spring cleaning checklist - power washingDriveway and walkways – Power washing is a great, low-cost way to restore the driveway and walkways to a brighter, cleaner look. Fix any loose pavers or bricks and fill in the cracks. If you notice extra unevenness caused by the ground lifting in any area, it might be a good idea to call in an arborist and check if the roots of any nearby trees are the problem.

Flower beds, hedges and lawns – De-weeding in spring is very important for all areas of the garden. Treat the soil with fertilizers and spread new mulch. Spread grass seed on the lawns to spur growth in any bald patches and fertilize. Prune all trees and bushes to encourage new growth.

Sprinklers and drip irrigation systems – Test all sprinklers and drip irrigation pipes for signs of damage or leakage. Replace any broken sprinkler heads or cracked pipes promptly.

Read more about spring cleaning do’s on the following websites:

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/get-your-house-ready-for-summer

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/05/16/12-must-do-home-maintenance-tasks-for-spring

March 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

March 2017 Almaden Valley real estate market update… The Almaden Valley real estate market continues to heat up along with the temperature. The number of single family homes sold in March was up 8% from February (27 as compared to 25), while the number of homes under contract was up to 39 as compared to 27 over the same time frame – a whopping 44.4% increase! Sellers are starting to come back on the market as well – we saw an almost 21% increase in single family listings in March (29) as compared to February (24).

Comparing March 2017 to March 2016, we can see that the Almaden Valley real estate market continues to grow. The number of homes that sold in March 2017 (27) is up 17.4% from the number that sold the same time last year (23). The number of homes under contract did drop a bit last month – 39 in March 2017 vs. 43 in March 2016, for a 9.3% decrease – but this decrease could very well be due to the fact that inventory in February 2017 was down significantly from February 2016, while sold listings were dramatically higher this same time period. In other words, there simply weren’t enough homes to support the demand.

The changes in price per square foot bear out this theory. In January 2017, price per square foot was $517. In February, price per square foot increased to $549. In March, price per square foot jumped to $612, indicating buyer competition for a limited inventory of available homes.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, give me a call!

March 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market

Almaden Community Center Spring 2017 Catalog

The Almaden Community Center Spring 2017 catalog is here!

Almaden Community Center Spring 2017Almaden Community Center Spring 2017 Activities

Coming up at the Almaden Community Center this Friday, March 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm is a free family movie evening. For more details about this event, call 408-268-1133.

Regular classes in art, music and dance begin the first week in April. Classes include ballet, hip hop, guitar and more. Sports activities like futsal, soccer, tennis and basketball begin at the same time. Additionally, there are enrichment activities for kids like Digital Computer Animation and Little Medical School. Registration has just begun. Hurry up and grab a spot in your favorite activity!

Almaden Community Center Summer Camps

Is your child interested in comic book design or in being an eco-explorer? Or perhaps she would like to be a young inventor. The Almaden Community Center Spring 2017 catalog includes a schedule of exciting summer camps and activities. Spread out from June through August 2017, there are a host of diverse and exciting day-long and half-day camps for children to choose from.

In addition to various sports camps, there are camps for technologically inclined children including Lego engineering, robotics, mobile app development, aeronautics and more. Camps for art enthusiasts include origami, photography, gardening, cooking and others. Your child can also learn to be a spy, train to be a super hero, or enter the magical world of Hogwarts – there are camps for those adventures, too!

Registration for summer camps is now open. Scholarships are available for select programs. For more details and to register, call 408-268-1133 or visit www.sjregistration.com. You can also view the complete Spring 2017 catalog here: https://issuu.com/sjparksandrec/docs/almaden_community_center_c7523a461121e5

February 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

February 2017 Almaden Valley real estate market update… The real estate market for single family homes in Almaden Valley has continued its post-holiday season recovery, driven primarily by a healthy buyer demand. The number of homes sold increased almost 79% from January to February 2017, and the number of homes under contract increased almost 56%. This growth appears to be fairly in line with what we would expect this time of year.

Price per square footage is similarly edging upwards, from $517 in January to $549 last month.

Despite the healthy buyer interest in Almaden Valley real estate, sellers seem to have been a bit slow to put their homes on the market last month. The number of homes offered for sale increased a modest 4.3% from 23 in January to 24 in February 2017. It also represents a decrease from the same time in the preceding three years. It is a great time to put your home on the market!

February 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market

La Foret – End of an era or new beginnings?

La Foret – End of an era or new beginnings?

La ForetIf you want to have another celebration dinner with French cuisine and fine wines in Almaden Valley, make reservations soon. La Foret is slated to close next month, and Almaden will miss its favorite fine dining restaurant.

Nestled amidst lush forest in a historic building in the New Almaden area, this quaint restaurant was touted as a place for special celebrations. La Foret has served up exquisite French delicacies for 38 years. But now owner and chef John Davoudi is retiring. To savor the gourmet flavors of lobster tail, quail or a rack of lamb, French style and crafted by Davoudi, head to La Foret by March 26, 2017. That’s the last planned day of service.

But there’s still hope… the restaurant is up for sale! In an emotional message to his patrons on social media, Davoudi thanks all guests who celebrated their special occasions and created memories there. “We can’t thank you enough for all your kind words about our restaurant. We are looking forward to handing off the torch to the next qualified person to carry on our time-honored tradition of hospitality in New Almaden and commitment to excellence. Therefore, we are currently listing this restaurant and property for sale.”

If you are a restauranteur, this could be a great opportunity. Almaden residents would undoubtedly be greatly appreciative. To find out more, visit http://www.laforetrestaurant.com/

January 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

January 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update…

The January statistics for Almaden Valley real estate show that the market volume is experiencing a healthy post-holiday upswing.

The number of new single family home listings on the market almost doubled from December according to Trendgraphix, and the number of such homes that went under contract increased by 20%.

Compared to the same time last year, the number of new single family homes that were for sale increased almost 10%, the number under contract are up a dramatic 200% and the number of sold listings is up over 8%.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, give me a call and I’ll show you how to make the most of the current Almaden Valley real estate market!

January 2017 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market

Williams Elementary Auction Dinner – March 3, 2017

Enjoy an evening of dinner and dancing and help raise money for Williams Elementary!

Williams Elementary Auction DinnerTickets are on sale now for the Williams Elementary Auction Dinner, a gala event to be held at the Corinthian Grand Ballroom on March 3, 2017 from 6pm to 11pm.

Several popular events will be auctioned off, like Mother-Daughter Tea, Mom’s Night Out, and an exclusive pizza party for kids at the California Pizza Kitchen!

Besides these, the live auction includes Principal for the Day for your child,  Santa Cruz and Napa Getaway Weekends, an exclusive Sushi Party, and the opportunity to win your own parking spot at school!

Deadline for purchasing tickets is Friday Feb. 17. You can purchase tickets at the Williams School Office or online at: http://www.williamscommunity.com/auction/.

Super Run 5K at Almaden Lake Park

Super Run 5K at Almaden Lake Park – Saturday, February 18, 2017

Super Run 5KThe San Jose Super Run 5K kicks off at Almaden Lake Park on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8:00 am.

Don your cape and be a superhero for the day! Run, volunteer, or invite your friends to this fun event while supporting your favorite charity.

The Super Run is a series of superhero themed national running events. It partners with non-profit organizations to raise funds and create awareness for their causes.

You can purchase Super Run 5K tickets at http://sanjose.eventful.com/venues/almaden-lake-park-/V0-001-000561394-1

Charitable organization the walk supports include The Children’s Heart Foundation, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Playworks, to name a few. To learn more about the Super Run 5K and the charities they support, go to http://thesuperrun.com/

Almaden Valley Youth Opportunities January 2017

Exciting Almaden Valley youth opportunities this month at the Almaden Library and Leland High!

Almaden Valley youth opportunitiesBrain Maps – A Stimulating Workshop for Kids

Almaden children, ages 7 and up, will learn all about brain-mapping in this creative and engaging workshop at the Almaden Library on Tuesday January 31 at 4:00pm. This play and learn event will start off with some fun quizzes about the brain, and then kids will learn about personality and the different lobes of the brain. Thereafter, they will create their own brain maps by drawing on beach balls! For more details, visit https://events.sjpl.org/event/brain_maps_6922

Build a Bot at Leland High

The annual Build a Lego Robot Day at Leland High is coming up on Saturday January 28. Conducted by the school’s FRC (FIRST Robotics competition) Team 604, also known as Quixilver, this workshop introduces students ages 6-14 to the basics of programming and designing robots. The workshop will be held in two sessions from 10-11am and 11:30am-12:30pm.

Earlier this academic year, the Leland Robotics team won the Chezy Champs Robotics competition at Bellarmine College Preparatory in an alliance with Spartan Robotics, Citrus Circuits and Presentation Invasion. Way to go, Leland Robotics! Keep up the good work. For more information, go to http://sjusd.org/leland/

Finding the Perfect Neighborhood for You

Finding the Perfect Neighborhood for You… 

Finding the perfect neighborhoodThe New Year is often a time for changes and new beginnings. For many, that means a new home in a new neighborhood. As exciting as this may be, choosing the right neighborhood requires a lot of thought. Here are some things to think about when finding the perfect neighborhood for you.

Evaluate your requirements

If you have kids, a friendly suburban neighborhood close to schools may be right for you. Or, if you spend long hours at work and would like to cut the commute or socialize after hours, staying closer to the city might be just the thing. Whatever your situation, start with a needs assessment that includes a checklist of must-haves and must-avoids.

Think about your lifestyle

If you are tired of living in the city, moving to the suburbs may be appealing, or vice versa. But think carefully about your needs. Do you need to hit the stores regularly, dine out, be close to the freeways, or perhaps be near medical facilities? Give it serious thought ahead of time to save yourself a lot of inconvenience later.

Consider your finances

You’ve just found the perfect neighborhood, but can you really afford it? Budget-wise there is a lot to consider besides just the mortgage. Look at taxes, upkeep costs, commute expenses, and any other recurring costs which may add on. The perfect place may not be so perfect if it causes a strain on your resources.

Crime and safety

While considering neighborhoods, safety is of utmost importance. Spend some time researching the crime rate of an area. For a crime map, go to www.crimemapping.com. Find out if the area has a Neighborhood Watch group, and talk to friends or colleagues that live nearby.

Research schools

If you have kids, considering schools is critical. Even if you don’t have school going kids, a good school district increases the potential value of your home and any rental prospects. To research schools, go to www.greatschools.org. If you’re considering a new home within Santa Clara County or the Almaden Valley in particular, almadenvalleyrealestate.com has a couple of good resources as well: http://www.almadenvalleyrealestate.com/almaden-valley-schools/ and http://www.almadenvalleyrealestate.com/almaden-homes-for-sale/.

Visit the neighborhood at different times

Visit the desired neighborhood at different times of the day and week to get a better perspective. For example, drive through during rush hour to check out traffic, and late at night to see how well the street is lit up. You can also learn a lot about a neighborhood through social networks like Nextdoor.com.

Talk to neighbors

Talk to prospective neighbors to find out more about the area. They are the best resource. At the same time, you can also assess if you would be comfortable with them. Nothing can mar the charm of a new home as undesirable neighbors. If they are unfriendly and unapproachable or leave their home and yard unkempt, these may be some tell-tale signs to watch out for. Messy neighbors could adversely affect your lifestyle as well as the future value of your property.

Think of the future

Try to picture yourself and your family a few years down the line. A change of residence is a long-term thing. If the prospective neighborhood will not meet your needs a few years ahead, think again. Finally, close your eyes and picture yourself actually living there. Does the thought make you smile? Do you like the neighborhood overall? Your instinct will give you the answer.

You can find more on choosing a new neighborhood in this guide found on RISMedia. And when you’re ready to buy, give me a call!