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PLEASANT HILL • WALNUT CREEK • MARTINEZ • LAFAYETTE • CONCORD • CLAYTON A monthly publication of Community Focus, the Concord Pioneer and Clayton Pioneer


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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

Spotlight on Walnut Knolls

Holly Kersis, Realtor (925) 381 9503 holly@hollykersis.com CalBRE #01185730

A Light-Filled Home in a Coveted Neighborhood

2157 Ward Dr. Walnut Creek Offered at $875,000 4 bedrooms / 2.5 baths / 2554 square feet / .39 ACRE LOT This light-filled contemporary style home is located in the sought–after Walnut Knolls neighborhood, just blocks from outstanding, award-winning schools, the Iron Horse Trail, gourmet restaurants, top-rated regional entertainment, and world-class shopping in downtown Walnut Creek. Additionally, this wooded location has maintained a rural atmosphere with an old-fashioned sense of community. Annual activities include holiday celebrations, neighborhood barbecues, outdoor dances with local musicians, and a community pool and park with optional membership. This home is value packed, and interest has been strong! The home features 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and is approximately 2,554 square feet of living space. The main floor features a light-filled living room with large windows overlooking the yard, wood ceilings, skylights, and a marble faced fireplace. A formal dining room also has wood ceilings and hardwood flooring. The large, eat-in kitchen has been updated with a contemporary flair, skylights,

and lots of storage and pantry space. A convenient first level half bath also has a laundry facility. The large family room has walls of warm, inviting brick and a wet bar for serving food and drinks for those Sunday football games. On the second level are 3 bedrooms with attractive vistas of the wooded setting and a full bath. Warm hardwood flooring, exterior access, and a spacious hallway create a comfortable space. The master suite has its own private level and features two rooms: one space for sleeping and another for relaxing, studying, or exercising. This versatile sunny space would also be an excellent home office or artist’s studio. There is a spacious walk-in closet and large master bath with double sinks, separate stall shower, and spacious soaking tub. Additional amenities include 2-car garage, central heat and air conditioning, and basement for storage or future wine cellar. The .39-acre lot is an oasis of relaxation, mature trees, and room to play.


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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

Discover the Possibilities with Windermere 3801 Coyote Circle, Clayton

220 Roundhill Court, Clayton

Gorgeous, tranquil setting on golf course w/views of hills & pond. 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath in desirable Diablo Ridge. Light, open floor plan w/vaulted ceilings, 2-way fireplace, sunny kitchen w/breakfast nook, formal LR, formal DR, private patio, master suite w/soaking tub, walk in closet, views. Indoor laundry, 2-car garage and refreshing community pool. $589,980

Situated on nearly an acre, this expansive, custom home is perfect for entertaining. It features over 5,000 sf of living space including 4 BR and 4.5 BA. Gorgeous chef’s kitchen, au pair, 3 fireplaces and 2 attached garages. The park-like backyard offers a sparkling pool with beach Lynne French Team entry, a built in BBQ and a fire pit. Lynne French Wonderful location, walk to down& Kelly Harrison town trails and Mt Diablo. CalBRE 01122025 & 02014355

Heather Gray CalBRE 01329100

(925) 765-3822

$1,688,000

(925) 672-8787

www.RealEstatebyHeather.com

5213 Keller Ridge Dr., Clayton Spectacular Falcon Ridge "Serenade" Model in Clayton’s Oakhurst Country Club. Gorgeous 5 bedroom + loft & 3 baths. Gourmet enthusiast kitchen w/granite. Huge great room/kitchen combo w/stone fireplace. Generous loft and master w/fireplace, Jacuzzi tub and walk-in closet. Great yard with patio, spa & grass area. A perfect 10. $989,000

Lynne@LynneFrench.com

100 Hemingway Commons

113 Hemingway Commons

Sold $575,000

Sold $558,000

Michelle Gittleman CalBRE 01745325

(925) 768-0352

JUST SOLD in Martinez

CalBRE 01939535

(925) 408-1349

RBrushaber@windermere.com

Michelle@MichelleGittleman.com

Everything I touch turns to sold

N. Roxanne Brushaber

2015 Best Real Estate Agent

“Sylvia was professional, helpful and sold our home very quickly when we were in a hurry to get moved. She gave us honest insight into the challenges we would face in the market, and we decided to use her because we liked her ‘No-Nonsense’ approach to selling our home. Her associates were great Sylvia Jones and available for help 2016 Top Producer with paperwork and CalBRE 01331733 other questions.” (925) 200-7491

Reader’s Choice Awards, Contra Costa Times We have the spring market approaching. Call me now to help you prepare your home for market, as an accredited staging professional I can stage to optimize your home to get top dollar. With my 20+ years experience I specialize in home buying & selling in Carol VanVaerenbergh the East Bay. CalBRE 01221965 (925) 683-2568

-Paige Winn

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CVanVaeren@aol.com

Area’s #1 Real Estate Office Assisting more buyers and sellers than anyone else* *Statistics based on Clayton closed sales by volume (1/2016-12/31/2016). Data by Maxebrdi

6200 Center Street, Clayton, CA 94517

(925) 673-2188 Clayton@Windermere.com


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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

Advice from the Wife Hire my Husband If you doubt your detective skills, we are more than happy to assist you in any way that we can. We would love nothing more than to help you protect your investment and bring a smile to your face. Hire My Husband Quality Painting & Home Repair, www.hiremyhusband.com, (925) 969-0133.

BY DAWSON URBAN It is always a good idea to stay on top of home maintenance and prevent a five-dollar repair from becoming a five thousand dollar repair. We have seen so many major issues with homes that could have easily been prevented with a tube of caulking and a couple of hours of sweat equity. With the odd fluctuations in weather patterns over the past few years (e.g. drought and then torrential rains), our homes need attention more than ever. Take a moment to assess your deck. Is it soft and spongy or beginning to grow organic matter? This could indicate a problem. While you are at it, check those gutters as well. Diverting rain from your roof and the siding of your home is essential to preventing costly leaks that could lead to dry rot and/or leaking inside. Assess caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows. Does the caulking look dry or brittle? Do you feel a draft or see light under your door? Don’t wait for the next storm to find out you have a problem. Let’s not forget the interiors of our homes as well. Responsible home ownership requires that you assess cabinet bases, faucets, and toilets regularly for signs of staining, dampness, or unusual wear that could lead to costly floor repairs or even a leak through your ceiling to a lower level.

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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

How to Add Curb Appeal Simple Solutions to Spruce up Your Yard BY NICOLE HACKETT Front yard landscaping is an important element of curb appeal when it comes to creating a welcoming atmosphere. Containers, flowering plants, ornamental trees, outdoor décor, and lighting complements walkways, entries, and other points of interest throughout your landscape. Containers become part of curb appeal even before plants are installed. Group three to five containers to accent a privacy wall, or use a matching pair of containers to frame a doorway. Containers accenting walkways will emphasize their curves. When choosing a container, don’t undersize the vessel. Go a little bigger than you think you need. A larger container will support more plant life and take longer to dry out. When choosing container color, match the trim of the home or use a contrasting shade. Before shopping for flowering plants, understand your needs. Do you desire a flowering accessory plant to underscore an established bush or tree? Or do you need a flowering foundation plant to soften a wall or accentuate a window? Foundation plants usually have year-round foliage and seasonal flowers. Loropetalum Burgundy has deep pink, fringe-shaped flowers and purple foliage. Abelia Kaleidoscope’s foliage changes with the seasons. The leaf color is a fresh, light green in spring and evolves into salmon as the autumn chill sets in. During the summer, creamy pink tubular-shaped flowers are an added surprise. Accessory plants are perennials used to add interest to foundation plants. Consider installing Moonshine Yarrow, with striking gray leaves and flat clusters of golden yellow flowers, to accent the foliage of a Platts Black Phormium. Or contrast the fresh green foliage of Coleonema Sunset Gold with the dark green leaves and bright magenta flowers of the Tiny Monster Geranium. Ornamental trees are a feature that some ignore, but they provide vertical appeal by drawing the eye up. Purple Pony Flowering Plum trees create foliage and flower interest. Reaching 8-10 feet tall and 6 feet wide, they are fruitless and deciduous. Crape Myrtle trees’ wide range of colors allows you to complement many different landscapes. When placing an ornamental tree, resist the urge to plant along a fence line. Install ornamental trees within the body of the landscape and accessorize with supporting foundation plants for a complete look. Fountains, birdbaths, benches, and wall grilles also can add to curb appeal. Putting a fountain in a courtyard setting or a birdbath in the shade of a group of trees is inviting. Ornate iron grilles decorate wall areas and spaces between windows. Benches can serve as a destination within a landscape. Since these features are individually chosen, they represent the homeowner and add a personal touch. Landscape lighting becomes an important element of curb appeal once the sun goes down. Walkways and pathways should be lit to lead visitors through the landscape and destination areas. Use up-lighting to accent ornamental trees and fountains. Spot lighting can illuminate the face of the home, while porch light casts a welcoming glow at the doorway. Adding curb appeal to a landscape is much more than shrubs and a layer of bark. It’s the creative touches that highlight a home and make it one of the most interesting ones on the block. Nicole Hackett is the Garden Girl at R&M Pool, Patio, Gifts and Gardens, 6780 Marsh Creek Rd. in Clayton.

Containers with colorful perennials dress up the front porch, adding dramatic curb appeal to this home.

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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

Dangers of Joint Tenancy Important Legal Consequences BY DANIEL DuREE Do you know in what form you hold title to your home? Most people do not know, but there are important legal consequences to taking title in different ways. Holding title as joint tenants can have major negative tax consequences for a married couple. Co-ownership of Real Estate as a Married Couple The landscape for joint ownership of real estate is markedly more complicated than that of the sole owner. Married co-owners of real estate most commonly hold title as joint-tenants with the right of survivorship, as husband and wife as community property, or as trustees of a jointly settled revocable living trust. Dangers of Joint-tenancy Joint tenancy is formally known as “joint-tenancy with the right of survivorship.” The major feature of joint-tenancy is that when one owner passes away, their interest automatically passes to the surviving joint-tenant(s). Because of this characteristic, property held as joint-tenants avoids the scourge of the California probate process at the passing of the first spouse (although not the second). Holding title as husband and wife as community

property also avoids probate at the passing of the first spouse. However, holding title as joint-tenants can create severe negative tax consequences for a married couple. As a married couple in California, you never want to hold title as joint-tenants. Revocable Living Trust The third common way of holding title to real estate, specifically as spouse co-owners, is through a jointly settled revocable living trust. The property is titled in the name of the spouses as trustees of their revocable living trust. This is the clearly preferred method from an estate planning perspective. Even if one of the other methods is initially used, eventually, the surviving spouse will need a trust to best pass the property to their heirs outside of probate and in the most tax efficient way possible. If you have questions about the negative consequences of holding title as joint-tenants or the benefits of a living trust, please call our office and we will be happy to speak with you. Daniel L. DuRee is a third generation resident of Contra Costa County and a licensed attorney practicing in Walnut Creek. He can be reached at (925) 210-1400 or visit www.DuReeLaw.com.

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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

Help is Online

Conservation Tips

Water-Wise Landscape

Focus on Efficiency

BY CHRIS DUNDON, WATER CONSERVATION SUPERVISOR, CCWD Many people in Contra Costa County have water-wise landscapes. Some have had them for years while others converted lawns during the drought and are new to gardening. If you have questions about watering, pruning, weed control, pests, drip irrigation, sprinklers, mulch, or anything else about your landscape, help is on the way. Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) has created an on-line forum to connect experienced gardeners with novice gardeners. The Maintaining your Water-Wise Landscape Facebook group was created to provide a forum for local residents to get and share advice on maintaining their waterwise landscapes. You can post questions about landscape maintenance, share photos of your own beautiful garden, and more. To join, go to Facebook and search for “Maintaining Your Water Wise Landscape.”

BY ANGELA HARTMAN, RUTH BANCROFT GARDEN & NURSERY Now that Northern California is out of a drought, where do we go from here? Do we re-plant lawns, take extra-long showers, and leave the water running while brushing our teeth? The answer from those who know our climate is a resounding “No!” The intense storm surges have led to green hills, full reservoirs, and the false notion that our water worries are in the past. Despite the rain, it’s in our best interest to keep conservation in the forefront of our minds and in all that we do. Chris Dundon, water conservation supervisor with the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), explains that the cyclical nature of our climate means we are bound to face another long-term dry spell, “Therefore, Californians should focus on water efficiency...including how we use water, such as not letting the water run when we brush our teeth or adjusting our sprinklers so they don’t water the pavement. Water efficiency also includes the fixtures and devices we purchase.” Dundon explains that our lawns are considered fixtures and are, “the single largest water using fixture at most homes. So, by replacing it, homeowners can save a substantial amount of water.” Choosing succulents and drought tolerant plants in your landscape will pay off this summer and for seasons to come. Replacing lawns with waterwise gardens can cut water use in half or more. Dundon says such gardens are, “…beautiful, dynamic, and can announce the arrival of a new season.” Stop by the nursery at the Ruth Bancroft Garden for an unmatched selection of drought tolerant plants. Join us for Water-Wise Wednesdays on the 2nd Wednesday of every month, 10am – 4pm, April – September. We partner with conservation experts to provide inspiration and practical tips to create your own water-wise garden. For more information about Water-Wise Wednesdays and the tours and family programs offered on these days, visit our website at www.ruthbancroftgarden.org.

Track Your Water Use For the first time ever, CCWD customers can view their water use history online. The My Water Report is a free and easy-to-use web and mobile portal that shows your water use data for each billing period. Benefits include: • Savings Recommendations • Consumption Trends • High Use Notifications • Household Comparisons • Easy to Use Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. To sign up, go to www.ccwater.com/MyWaterReport

Spring Fling Plant Sale! Water-wise plants at amazing prices.

Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2 Enjoy 15% off plants and nursery items (non-members) 20% off for RBG Members (memberships available day-of) The Ruth Bancroft Garden and Nursery 1552 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek

www.ruthbancroftgarden.org


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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

DUDUM REAL ESTATE GROUP ANGIE CLAY

ANGIE CULUM

925.207.9366

925.209.5999

CATHY BAIGENT

JANE SMITH

925.383.2734

925.998.1914

JANET POWELL

JENNIFER WATKINS

925.876.2399

925.348.8802

CALBRE 01361143

CALBRE 00820617

CALBRE 01973545

CALBRE 00851239

CALBRE 01476506

CALBRE 02017103

JENNIFER ZAK

JOHN FONDNAZIO

415.505.1290

925.817.9053

CALBRE 02007463

CALBRE 01938194

1285 DANVILLE BOULEVARD, ALAMO

263 MOUNTAIRE PARKWAY, CLAYTON

$800,000

5 BED+BONUS ROOMS, 4 BATH, 3,487 SQ. FT., 20,328 SF LOT MARTY HENDREN 925.989.0512

4 BED, 2 BATH,2,324 SQ. FT. / LET’S TALK REAL ESTATE! TERRYLYNN-N-TEAM 925.876.0966

2010 SMITH LANE, CONCORD

5149 SUTHERLAND DRIVE, CONCORD

$739,000

CALL AGENT FOR PRICE

4 BED, 2.5 BATH, 2,303 SQ. FT., 9,900 SF LOT SIZE TERESA ZOCCHI TEAM 925.360.8662

5 BED, 3 BATH, 2,263 SQ. FT., 8,500 SF LOT / REPRESENTING BUYER PETER PAREDERO 925.787.8746

1049 UPPER HAPPY VALLEY ROAD, LAFAYETTE

420 DONEGAL WAY, LAFAYETTE

$3,250,000

$830,000

5 BED, 4.5 BATH, 4,230 SQ. FT., 28,745 SF LOT JULIE DEL SANTO 925.818.5500

4 BED, 2.5 BATH, 2,025 SQ. FT., 10,000 SF LOT JOHN FONDNAZIO 925.817.9053

1692 PLEASANT HILL ROAD, PLEASANT HILL

3386 ROSSMOOR PARKWAY, ROSSMOOR

$875,000

3 BED, 2 BATH, 1,698 SQ. FT., .67 ACRE LOT SIZE JANE SMITH 925.998.1914

Distinctive Properties CALBRE #01882902

$1,895,000

WWW.DUDUM.COM

$599,950

2 BED, 2 BATH, 1,620 SQ. FT., EXPANDED SIERRA FLOORPLAN TERRYLYNN-N-TEAM 925.876.0966

FOUR LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU...


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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

ELEVATING THE ART OF REAL ESTATE... 5455 KIRKWOOD ROAD, #G8, CONCORD

$269,000

2 BED, 1.25 BATH, 891 SQ. FT. JANET POWELL

925.876.2399

3219 MT. DIABLO STREET, CONCORD

$518,000

5545 MERRITT DRIVE, CONCORD

$838,000

4 BED, 2 BATH, 2,800 SQ. FT., 16,000 SF LOT VERONICA HIDALGO 925.381.9585 4409 TYNDALL COURT, CONCORD

JULIE DEL SANTO

LAURIE HIGGINS

925.818.5500

925.876.7968

MARTY HENDREN

MARY NOEL

925.786.3398

925.890.0753

PETER PAREDERO

TERESA ZOCCHI

925.787.8746

925.360.8862

TERRYLYNN FISHER

VERONICA HIDALGO

925.876.0966

925.381.9585

CALBRE 01290985

$790,000

RS

10

E FF

CALBRE 01322819

O

3 BED, 2 BATH, 1,200 SQ. FT., .22 ACRE LOT SIZE MARY NOEL 925.890.0753

4 BED, 2.5 BATH, 2,157 SQ. FT / LET’S TALK REAL ESTATE! TERRYLYNN-N-TEAM 925.876.0966

156 LAWLOR COURT, PITTSBURG

4011 MEDFORD COURT, MARTINEZ

$470,000

$694,000

4 BED, 3 BATH, 2,049 SQ. FT., .12 ACRE LOT SIZE JANET POWELL 925.876.2399

3 BED, 2.5 BATH, 2,687 SQ. FT., .16 ACRE LOT / REPRESENTED BUYER JANET POWELL 925.876.2399

1101 FAIRLAWN COURT, ROSSMOOR

2734 OAK ROAD, #95, WALNUT CREEK

$275,000

1 BED, 1 BATH, 842 SQ. FT. JANE SMITH

LAURIE HIGGINS

CALBRE 01351308

CALBRE 00959722

CALBRE 01907345

$325,000

1 BED, 1 BATH, 638 SQ. FT. 925.998.1914

CALBRE 01166864

925.876.7968

CALBRE 00615420

CALBRE 01468657

BRENTWOOD

LAFAYETTE

DANVILLE

WALNUT CREEK

160-B GUTHRIE LANE, #3 BRENTWOOD, CA 94513 O: 925.937.4000 F: 925.937.4001

999 OAK HILL RD., #100 LAFAYETTE, CA 94549 O: 925.284.1400 F: 925.284.1411

100 RAILROAD AVE., #A DANVILLE, CA 94526 O: 925.937.4000 F: 925.937.4001

1910 OLYMPIC BLVD., #100 WALNUT CREEK, CA 94596 O: 925.937.4000 F: 925.937.4001


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CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

Feng Shui for the Home Set the Stage for Best Results BY MARIA MCCULLOUGH, FENG SHUI BY MARIA Home prices are rising. Buyers are even outbidding each other. Are you interested in taking advantage of this boom, selling your home faster, and getting the best price possible? Feng Shui can help. A properly staged home using Feng Shui principles is the way to a successful sale. Staging is all about “setting the stage” for a buyer, so when people enter your home they feel a sense of safety, comfort, and well being. Feng Shui is about creating balance and flow in your home by creating open spaces. Since buying decisions are made mostly on feelings within 3-6 minutes of seeing a home, everything you can do to make the home more appealing works in your favor. I use Feng Shui practitioner/professional home stager James Jay’s six core action steps for quicker, more successful sales. He calls them the “SECRET,” with each letter indicating an action step. Feng Shui SECRET action steps: 1) Street - “Curb appeal.” 70 percent of homebuyers do a drive by first, and this is when the 3-6 minute decision comes into play. Create a “gateway” for people to enter, using an inexpensive arbor and colorful flowers. This can also be a gated area or simply a border of healthy flowers. It gives people the illusion they are entering a special place. Put something that moves in

Leigh Klock, Realtor Senior Real Estate Specialist Accredited Staging Professional

Leigh@LeighKlock.com 831 Coachman Pl., Clayton

Coming in March

This custom California Ranch home in the highly desirable Diablo Downs equestrian development nestled at the base of Mt. Diablo, boasts 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, 2500+ sq ft. of living space and bonus art studio/office. Natural light streams through this home showcasing the exposed gray-washed plank and beam cathedral ceilings and hardwood and tile floors. The nearly one-acre homesite features expansive gardens highlighted on a recent Clayton Home and Garden Tour and offers the perfect setting for entertaining or quiet meditation surrounded by stunning Mt. Diablo views. www.831CoachmanPl.com Offered at $998,000 CalBRE# 01874255

www.LeighKlockHomes.com

925.212.5593

front of your house: a flag, whirligig, and/or fountain. Movement attracts attention and draws people in. 2) Entrance – This is “The Mouth of Ch’i,” where the energy enters your home. Make sure there is nothing blocking the entrance. Consider painting your door any shade of red, signifying protection and prosperity (plus, it’s easy to see), or black, which signifies water and the flowing in of Ch’i, the life force energy. Keep your entrance clean, uncluttered, and adorned with beautiful flowering plants. 3) Create Flow – Now that you have enticed buyers into your home, the first things they see when they enter are vitally important. The rule of thumb is to clear the clutter and depersonalize. “People buy space not stuff.” They need to see themselves in the home, so the fewer personal belongings the better. 4) Room of First Sight – Open the front door. Is the first thing you see appealing? The key is to increase the positive and diminish the negative. For example, if the first thing you see is a bathroom or an older, outdated kitchen, consider placing a plant or screen to draw the eyes away. 5) Engage the 5 Senses – This is the fun part of Feng Shui staging: • Visual - Color is the cheapest way to transform space; muted is best for sales. • Sound - Consider pleasant sounding water fountains, soft music, or wind chimes. • Touch - Bring in interesting textures with pillows or throws. • Taste - Offer treats to your buyers: a bowl of candy, cookies, etc. • Smell - Baking cookies, bread, or boiling spices on the stove makes the house smell homey. 6) Transcendental – In Feng Shui this refers to intent, visualization, and affirmations. Write your affirmations and visualize yourself signing the contract and moving on. Enjoy the SECRET to Feng Shui staging, and sell your home fast! Maria McCullough is the founder of Feng Shui by Maria (www.fengshuibymaria.com). She is a speaker and educator with over 20 years of experience, specializing in residential, landscape, and business consultations. A graduate of the Western School of Feng Shui, she has trained with author Terah Kathryn Collins, its founder.


CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

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Zillow and Realtors Why Realtors Hate (and secretly love) Zillow BY DENISEN HARTLOVE This is the age of information. Christmas shoppers eschew local businesses for Amazon and Etsy, online news sources pepper readers with reports day in and out, and home buyers and sellers routinely greet their real estate agents at the door with handfuls of data readily at hand. A quick Zillow search will give you a “Zestimate” on the value of your home in less time than it takes to say “questionably accurate market data.” But whether you’re searching for a pair of good walking shoes or an idea of what your home is worth, quality outperforms quantity every time. (No shame in surfing Zillow, by the way. We agents even find ourselves occasionally looking for that $20 million home for when our Lotto ticket is The One.) As agents, we regularly have conversations with our home selling clients about the difference between their Zestimate and the actual value of their home. The numbers are often way off - and pricing matters in marketing your home to sell. Here’s how it works: Zillow uses data gleaned from various sources, and throws in a few algorithms from afar for market data, locations and trends. In an article by Housing Wire last year, Zillow.com executives admitted

Denisen Hartlove, Realtor Local, reliable, trusted

(925) 408-7901 Lic. 01933662

Denisen@FindAHomeToLove.com

LD

SO

5513 Florida Drive, Concord 3 BR, 2 BA, 1524 sf Sold in 10 days for $620,000 with 7 offers

LD

SO

1535 Schenone Court, Concord 2 BR, 1½ BA, 1093 sf Sold in 7 days for $20K over list, 5 offers

See Yelp for more great reviews

LD

SO

1291 Peregrine Court, Concord 5 BR, 3 BA, 2961 sf Sold in 14 days for full price

"Denisen made the selling of our home an exciting, stress-free experience. She clearly explained each step of the process, provided comps that were pertinent to our home, and she was always available to answer questions." —Theresa Rode

www.FindAHomeToLove.com

their system produces a 6 percent median error rate. On the price of a coffee and a bagel at Starbucks, 6 percent is pocket change. In 2016, the average price for a Concord home with three or more bedrooms was $569,388. A 6 percent error would miss by $34,163.28 -- not an insignificant amount. When valuing your home, let us show you our chops. We take into account local data and knowledge of what’s coming soon in your neighborhood. We go through the homes, tour yours, walk the neighborhood, and talk with lenders about interest rates. We talk with other local agents about what they have coming soon, the pricing of which could affect the value of your home. Make no mistake: We love our clients to be educated about the journey we’re embarking on together. Knowledge is power. But remember quality counts, and despite those gorgeous gazillion dollar castles on a hill – local knowledge is everything. Denisen Hartlove is a Realtor with Keller-Williams Real Estate. Reach her at Denisen@FindAHomeToLove.com, (925) 408-7901.


12

CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

January Home Statistics CLAYTON

Source: www.ccartoday.com

CONCORD

Homes 2016 2017 Homes 2016 2017 New Listings 7 17 New Listings 81 76 Pending Sales 2 10 Pending Sales 65 76 Closed Sales 3 4 Closed Sales 58 59 Days on Market Until Sale 33 43 Days on Market Until Sale 32 32 Average Sales Price $701,667 $676,225 Average Sales Price $566,220 $579,776 Inventory of Homes for Sale 11 20 Inventory of Homes for Sale 74 59 Townhouse-Condo Attached New Listings Pending Sales Closed Sales Days on Market Until Sale Average Sales Price Inventory of Homes for Sale

2016 1 2 0 0 $0 1

2017 1 1 2 43 $521,000 1

LAFAYETTE

Townhouse-Condo Attached New Listings Pending Sales Closed Sales Days on Market Until Sale Average Sales Price Inventory of Homes for Sale

2016 25 21 22 25 $252,037 15

2017 32 33 25 27 $266,336 14

MARTINEZ

Homes 2016 2017 Homes 2016 2017 New Listings 14 17 New Listings 32 25 Pending Sales 8 7 Pending Sales 26 27 Closed Sales 12 6 Closed Sales 17 28 Days on Market Until Sale 76 30 Days on Market Until Sale 42 38 Average Sales Price $1,503,392 $1,579,667 Average Sales Price $532,541 $647,607 Inventory of Homes for Sale 14 19 Inventory of Homes for Sale 38 28 Townhouse-Condo Attached New Listings Pending Sales Closed Sales Days on Market Until Sale Average Sales Price Inventory of Homes for Sale

2016 2 2 1 1 $1,340,305 1

2017 11 5 1 146 $640,000 9

PLEASANT HILL

Townhouse-Condo Attached New Listings Pending Sales Closed Sales Days on Market Until Sale Average Sales Price Inventory of Homes for Sale

2016 6 3 5 45 $338,200 8

2017 7 6 1 43 $529,000 5

WALNUT CREEK

Homes 2016 2017 Homes 2016 2017 New Listings 17 18 New Listings 26 37 Pending Sales 14 17 Pending Sales 18 21 Closed Sales 17 13 Closed Sales 25 18 Days on Market Until Sale 21 17 Days on Market Until Sale 40 18 Average Sales Price $775,647 $768,615 Average Sales Price $1,086,306 $1,009,983 Inventory of Homes for Sale 10 6 Inventory of Homes for Sale 21 37 Townhouse-Condo Attached New Listings Pending Sales Closed Sales Days on Market Until Sale Average Sales Price Inventory of Homes for Sale

2016 10 6 7 15 $520,786 3

2017 7 3 5 23 $525,200 4

Townhouse-Condo Attached New Listings Pending Sales Closed Sales Days on Market Until Sale Average Sales Price Inventory of Homes for Sale

2016 33 27 24 39 $485,156 29

2017 34 25 22 27 $554,905 24


13

CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

Pitfalls of Property Mangement Protecting your Investment BY JOE STOKLEY We’ve all heard that real estate is the best investment you can make, especially here in California. But let’s say you need to move out of state for a job change or you’ve inherited an extra property. Is selling the house your only option? Maybe you’ve toyed with the idea of holding on to a property and renting it out to make a profit. The question then becomes, are you ready to become a landlord? And, perhaps more importantly, should you hire a property management company? Many property owners ask why they need a property management company at all. They imagine it’s easy enough to take care of everything on their own. Some landlords are able to successfully manage their own properties, but they quickly realize it requires specialized knowledge and a great deal of time. There are several good reasons to use a professional property manager, and you’ll see those benefits with your home almost immediately. Legal Protection The first and possibly most important reason is legal implications. The laws pertaining to property management, renters’ rights, fair housing, and discrimination are complex and constantly changing. Property managers are able to stay up to date on the legal requirements of renting out property. They take classes, attend conferences, and consult with real estate attorneys, brokers, and others who are experts in the field. Unless you have

time to become a legal expert, a professional property manager can really help you. Financial Protection Property managers also protect your financial interests. There is a lot more to managing a property than buying or keeping a house, getting a tenant moved in, and collecting the rent. You have to be prepared to act immediately when your renter isn’t paying on time. There is a specific procedure to follow when you have to use the court system to collect rent you are owed, and if the tenant really falls behind, the eviction process may be inevitable. A property manager will stay on top of that to ensure you get the rent you are due. Property Protection Handling maintenance issues is another benefit to using a property manager. If you are thinking about doing it yourself, you have to be prepared for phone calls and emergencies in in the middle of the night, over weekends, and on holidays. You have to be quick and responsive; don’t let squeaky doors and leaky faucets sit. A property manager is equipped to respond immediately, which shows the tenant that you care about the property and about their safety and comfort. Psychologically, they will be willing to take better care of the property and pay rent on time if they know you are holding up your end of the deal. Joe & Sheila Stokley are the owners of Stokley Properties, located in Pleasant Hill. Reach them at 925.658.1415, stokleyproperties.net.

“Relax, We got this!” stokleyproperties.net

PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Hambletonian,W.C. Rented in 6 Days

Over 20 years of successful real estate experience.

• 95% Retention Rate

• Thorough Tenant Screening and Placement

• Available 24/7 for Maintenance Emergencies

• 98% of Renters Pay on Time

• 18 Days Average on the Market

• Monthly and Year End Statements

• Online Rent Pay 24/7

• NARPM Member

Crestview, Martinez Rented in 8 Days

“I ONLY buy investment property where Stokley Properties can manage them for me! The team at Stokley Properties has always taken great care of me, my investments and my tenants. I am spoiled rotten!” - Katey D., Walnut Creek

925.658.1415 ext. 3 • stokleyproperties.net • CalBRE #01862445

Cape Cod, Concord Rented in 11 Days


14

CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

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15

Choosing the Right Shade Understanding the Psychology of Color When I paint green, it doesn’t mean grass; when I paint blue, it doesn’t mean sky. ~ Henri Matisse Skillful interior decorating is largely an artistic endeavor, but there’s some science involved also, and none more important than the psychology of color. “Color psychology can help you choose paint colors that create the right mood in a room, affecting not just your own feelings, but those of everyone who enters the space,” according to Debbie Zimmer, color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. “In fact, paint color is so powerful that it can influence not just our state of mind but even our physiology,” she says. The ancient Egyptians, Native Americans, and many other peoples used color to heal. In doing so, they often favored the blues and greens found in nature, colors that have an emotional association with peace, harmony, and tranquility. “In trying times, paint colors in these same hues can help calm our nerves at home,” says Zimmer. Blue, which often ranks at the top of surveys exploring favorite colors, has been shown to slow pulse rate and lower body temperature. The implications for interior painting is that blue is a terrific color choice for bedrooms but less so for dining rooms. Green, also among the most popular colors, is a little more versatile. While it too has a soothing effect, it also represents renewal, youth, and vigor. Because it is calming, green paint is a good color choice for bedrooms, and since it’s the color of many appetizing fruits and vegetables, it can work in dining rooms, too. There’s no equivocation with red. It bespeaks energy and excitement, actually raising the blood pressure and making the heart beat faster. Because red is associated with desire and passion, it’s a perfect paint color for dining rooms and adult bedrooms but wrong for children’s rooms, says Zimmer. Ironically, pink – a very light tint of red – is one of the most calming colors, and is a fine choice for a baby’s room. Yellow is a great interior paint color. Like sunshine, it imparts happiness, hope, and optimism. Studies have shown that the brain actually releases more serotonin when the eye takes in yellow – creating positive psychological vibes. Yellow can even stir our creative juices. What better color to use in a master bath or dinette to get your day off on the right foot? Orange is also a happy color. More attention getting than yellow, orange has an energy and warmth about it. Muddy shades are useful in many parts of the home, but vivid tones may appear raw and flamboyant. Zimmer’s advice: “Orange is clearly not the color of calm, so it’s best to bypass it when painting a bedroom or any other area where you want to relax.” Purple is a tricky paint color wherever it’s used, but it is the overwhelming favorite of adolescent girls, according to Zimmer. She suggests that you reserve use of this color for your daughter’s room to create a win-win situation: “Odds are, she’ll love it, and you can take comfort in purple’s proven ability to stimulate brain activity,” she says. No discussion of paint color would be complete without mentioning the “non-colors” black (the absence of light, and thus, color) and white (the confluence of all the colors in the spectrum). According to Zimmer, black is a great accent color indoors or out, imparting elegance, formality, and sophis-

tication to a paint color scheme. But don’t get carried away with it, she cautions. Too much black can be depressing. White, on the other hand, conveys peace, simplicity, and spaciousness. It can provide a crisp finish to almost any paint job by adding sharp contrast to the wall color. Used throughout a room, it can give the illusion that the space is bigger than its physical dimensions. “Color psychology should play a role when selecting an interior paint scheme, but it’s only one factor to consider,” says Zimmer. “Personal color preference should be given at least as much weight.”


16

CENTRAL COUNTY HOMES | MARCH

Your Preferred Community Lender

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Central County Homes guide for central Contra Costa homeowners and house hunters. Published by the Community Focus and the Clayton Pioneer a...

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