Posts Tagged ‘Placer County Real Estate’

More Water Saving Landscaping Ideas

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Is synthetic lawn the answer to the water crisis? I hope not.  While high20150511_105918 (640x480) quality artificial grass has come a long ways, it is very expensive and I have been told that it will absorb pet odors.  I do not know if this information is reliable, so do your own research if you are considering adding it to your yard.  I prefer to see it used in back yards, where is is ideal around pools and for putting greens.  It still looks too artificial in my opinion to be used in front yard landscaping.  It could limit your curb appeal to future buyers.

Enough on fake lawn.  Yards are only of practical value if they have a reason to be used.  Your back yard needs a drawn or it will sit idol 99% of the time.  Instead of pools that are a huge monetary investment,  use a tremendous amount of water and require a lot of maintenance, consider adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit instead.   It will cost you a fraction of the price of a built in pool.  It requires virtually no maintenance and it looks good 12 months out of the year.  There are many models available at home improvement stores that are portable and look great.

 

Water Saving Real Estate Tips

Friday, May 8th, 2015
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Front Yard Landscaping

I recently read a quote “if the only one who walks on the lawn is the person mowing it, you don’t need it”.  I don’t remember where I read this, but it has stuck with me ever sense.  In Rocklin, we are being ordered to reduce our water consumption by 32%.  Lawns are the number one water consumers.  I’ve also read that a lawn will consume for water than a pool of the same size.  So the question is, can we eliminate our lawns without hurting our real estate values.   Yes, it takes some money; but good design can be achieved on budgets big and small.  It takes more imagination and elbow grease on a small budget, but it can be done.

If you are going to talk the talk, then it is important to walk the walk, so I am including pictures of my lawn free home.  I will do more blog posts on home remodeling.  After all, it does fit into my theme of eco-friendly real estate.  Remodeling is a form of recycling and reusing what you already have.  It uses fewer resources than new construction.  The same principle applies to purchasing re-sale homes.  Think of it as the highest form second hand shopping:  reuse.

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Halloween Homeowner Tips

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Here are a few tips for homeowners on Halloween:

1. Keep the path to your door clear of all obstacles and well lit.
2. Don’t terrorize the kids. It’s all about fun.
3. Be extremely careful with the candle in your pumpkin so that nothing bursts into flames, including a kid’s costume. Consider using a battery powered light or glow sticks.
4. Use flashlights, glow sticks or electric lights with the power cord safe and secured.
5. If you have a dog, keep it in another room and away from the door.
6. If you’re going to give candy, give only store bought and wrapped items such as chocolate bars, chips, etc. Loose candy will be thrown out by the parents.
7. Alternative giving can include pencils, erasers or stickers with a Halloween theme.
8. If you’ve spent a lot of time on your Halloween display, you may want to consider putting some sort of safe fencing around it so that everyone can enjoy it without it being trampled.
9. Halloween candy is magically calorie and fat free on Oct. 31 so feel free to use the “one for you, one for me” rule.

The Original Eco Friendly Home In Sacramento: Streng

Monday, August 12th, 2013

original strengExcerpts from an article by Ryan Lundquist from the Sacramento Appraisal Blog ,The Roof Guy Web site and comments by Valerie Romans

The Streng Brothers, Jim and Bill, built just under 4,000 homes in the Sacramento Valley between 1959 and about 1989. The majority are Carter Sparks designed mid-century modern enclaves dotting the valley: Davis, Woodland, Elk Grove, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Natomas, etc. Several of the more well known include River City Commons, Evergreen Commons, Shelfield Oaks, Willhagin Estates, Williamson Ranch, and South Overbrook.

You may be wondering what in the world a “Streng” home is, so let me break it down in a nutshell. A Streng home is a mid-century modern (MCM) home built by the Streng Brothers and designed by Carter Sparks. Strengs have a modern feel to them, lower pitched roofs, high windows, few windows in front, skylights in many cases, and they often have terrariums too. Strengs were influenced by Bay Area builder Joe Eichler.

Although categorized as mid-century modern (a.k.a. MCM, Postwar Modern, or California Modern), deserving of historic note and preservation, these homes truly were forward looking. They fit today’s “modern” lifestyle seamlessly. The Streng Bros. worked with Carter Sparks to create a home, uniquely suited to the hot Sacramento valley: interior atriums domed with tinted acrylic to block heat, exposed aggregate flooring enhances cooling, open living areas allow free flowing AC, and lots of natural sunlight without the “hotbox” effect. Moreover, these homes provide a private retreat from the hectic 21st century world, with front exteriors that are setback and substantially closed-off from the road, and back exteriors with lots of windows and sliders that tend to open into beautifully landscaped backyards and patios.

While the model with interior atriums with their exposed aggregate flooring might not appeal to everybody’s lifestyle, these homes are great investments for the Mid-Century Modern and contemporary home enthusiasts. Since they do not have as broad an appeal as traditional and Mediterranean homes, you can sometimes find deals out there. I have found that many of them suffer from poorly thought out updating and remodeling. I prefer the homes that have been updated with contemporary/modern finishes where the inside matches the outside. There are plenty of homes in the “original” condition still out there, just waiting for the right owner to put their own personal design esthetic mark on them. I have recently seen some flipped homes where traditional cabinets, trendy tile and flooring finishes have been selected that would complement traditional homes but are ill suited to the Streng homes original design. While I am not a big fan of the models with the interior atriums, (I like rocks and exposed aggregate to be on the outside of the house, not the inside), my husband had a point when he told me, if you don’t like it, then leave it for someone who would appreciate it: point well taken. There are many models without the interior atriums, that feature the sleek contemporary design and beautiful natural lighting that the Streng homes are known for. Contact me for more information on Streng and other eco-friendly homes.

WANT TO SELL FAST? ‘GREEN’ YOUR HOME

Friday, July 19th, 2013

green homeLinda Lee, president of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, is the author of this post. It appeared in the UT San Diego 7-10-13.  Just substitute Sacramento for San Diego and the same principals apply.

Home energy costs can skyrocket during San Diego’s lengthy summer and an 80 degree Thanksgiving is not unheard of. As a result, many local home buyers are looking for energy efficient or “green” homes.

Here are some simple steps you can take to make your home green:

In San Diego, making your home green can have a lot to do with conserving water. Believe it or not, putting an aerator on all the faucets in your home can cut your annual water usage in half. This simple attachment is easy to install and minimally affects the faucets performance.

Installing a programmable thermostat is beneficial, too. The numbers don’t lie — 50 percent of a home’s energy costs typically come from heating and cooling. Each degree over 78 that you set your thermostat during the summer months will save you between 3 percent and 5 percent on your energy bill. A programmable thermostat allows you to closely manage your home’s temperature. While you’re at it, consider buying a new air conditioning unit. Today’s units are as much as 25 percent more efficient than those installed 20 years ago.

Do you have a green thumb? Try landscaping. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends planting trees on the western and southern sides of your home to block the hot afternoon sun. Shade is a low-cost solution to your cooling issues.

Of course there are the typical home improvements that bear repeating: Use ceiling fans, energy-efficient light bulbs, low-flow toilets and make sure there’s a good seal around your windows. Being able to show these improvements to prospective buyers gives your home a leg up over others for sale in San Diego.

The New Normal “A Seller’s Market”

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

It feels like a Sacramento housing boom, but is it?

Published: Monday, Mar. 11, 2013: Sacramento  Bee

It feels a lot like a housing boom in Sacramento, with median home prices jumping by thousands of dollars each month.

And with memories of the last boom and subsequent bust still fresh, the hot topic among real estate professionals is whether such large price increases are sustainable or if another bubble is developing.

Sacramento home prices rose twice as fast as the national average last year, faster even than the pace set during much of the last housing boom. The median home price in Sacramento County grew 22.4 percent from January 2012 to January 2013, jumping from $152,750 to $187,000, according to tracking firm DataQuick.

Only once in the last two decades have prices increased so much from one January to the next: 2005, the peak of the last housing boom.

Big, sudden home price increases tend not to end well. The Sacramento region has, for the last few decades, cycled through successive real estate booms and busts, each larger than the preceding one.

This cycle might be different – more of a short-term correction than the start of unhealthy growth, several real estate experts said.

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I’m back

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Yes, I have been on hiatus for quite a long time.  Over the better part of the last year I have had to help my elderly mother transitions into the next phase of her life.  She had to leave her home of many years and move into a Senior Living complex.  The experience has left me little time to focus on tasks like writing this blog, but it has helped me gain insight into the housing needs of our older citizens and the process of helping them move on.

I will try to get back into the habit of listing local real estate market trends, green housing issues and remodeling stories.  This blog was originally created to help drive traffice to this web site, but it’s real task is keeping me focused and well informed.  So thank you for your patience, while I took a break and I am looking forward to getting back to the things that I enjoy.

Green Tip of the Week

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Here is some useful information on Low VOC paint.

Benefits

Because low- or no-VOC “volatile organic compound” paints have a lower odor and less impact on air quality than higher VOC-content paints, they are excellent for use in buildings where it is desirable to maintain good indoor air quality, such as hospitals, schools, homes and workplaces.

Recent EPA studies estimate indoor air quality to be 3 to 5 times more toxic than outdoor air largely caused by toxic emissions of paints and finishes. Paint manufacturers realized the need to develop paint that contains lower VOC yet maintain high levels of performance and durability ultimately causing less of an impact on air quality then the higher VOC paints.

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Why Aren’t There More Homes for Sale?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

 

Wall Street Journal  6-11-1012

This article helps explain the limited inventory phenomenon that we are seeing in the Rocklin, Roseville, Lincoln and Granite Bay real estate markets.

It’s no secret to anyone who has watched the real-estate market over the past year that the number of homes for sale has dropped sharply, especially in hard-hit markets such as Miami, Orlando and Phoenix.

Economists at CoreLogic have new evidence showing how big price declines are keeping many home sellers on the sidelines. They found that the supply of homes for sale declines as the rate of negative equity — or the share of borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth — rises.

Markets where more than half of all borrowers were underwater had enough inventory to last 4.7 months at the current rate of sales in April, below the national average of 6.5 months. Meanwhile, markets where fewer than 10% of borrowers were underwater had 8.3 months of supply.

“The presence of negative equity not only drives foreclosures, reduces the availability of purchase down payments and impedes refinances, but also restricts the ability of owners to list their homes for sale as the demand side of the market improves,” wrote Sam Khater, a senior economist at CoreLogic.

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New Listing: 2865 Gray Fox Way, Lincoln CA, 95648

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

I’m happy to present our newest office listing below. Click the “View Details” button to see the complete listing information.



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If you’re interested in learning more or seeing this property, please contact me at realtor.romans@gmail.com or call 916 5323876.