INSIDE: N Classified Marketplace, page 55 N Puzzles, page 56
GRAFTING WORKSHOP ... Master gardener Bader Kudsi will offer a free “Principles of Grafting” workshop on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. Kudsi will demonstrate several types of grafts, as well as discuss tools, timing, grafting compatibility and post-grafting care. The class includes handouts. No reservations are necessary. For information, call Master Gardeners at 408-282-3105, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday or visit http://mastergardeners.org.
WATER MIRACLE ... Frank Niccoli, landscape contractor of The Village Gardener, and Julie Orr, landscape designer of Express Garden, will present “Water Miracle: Turn Your Lawn Into a Water-Wise Garden” on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 6:45 p.m. at Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. Sponsored by Kepler’s Books and Green Making, a website for building green homes, the free talk will deal with seasonal color, insects and lowmaintenance plants. For information, visit www.keplers.com/event/ green-dream-team-panel.
LOVE THOSE ROSES ... The Peninsula Rose Society will show two films, “Love at First Sight, America’s Affair with Roses” and “Celebration of Old Roses,” at its Wednesday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. meeting. The group meets at Veterans Memorial Senior Center, 1455 Madison Ave., Redwood City. For information, call 650323-5268 or visit www.peininsularosesociety.org. N
The new, traditional-looking home, left, at 1119 Hopkins Ave., Palo Alto, is on the market for $3.298 million, reduced from $3.475 million. Below, the Wardells put high-quality materials in their Eichler at 784 Holly Oak in Palo Alto, which is reflected in the asking price of $1.675 million.
BACKYARD COMPOSTING ... The City of Palo Alto will offer a Compost Workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Anyone who attends a workshop receives a voucher to purchase a Biostack compost bin at the reduced rate of $35. For information, including location, call 650-496-5910.
TREE WALK ... Arborist Kevin Raftery will lead a free Gamble Garden Fall Color Walk on Saturday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m. to noon, meeting at the Carriage House, 1431 Waverley St., Palo Alto. For information, visit www.canopy.org.
E M 50 HO GE EN PA OP DE, I GU
HOME & REAL ESTATE PA L O A LT O W E E K LY
Not for the weak- B willed Slow real-estate market dampens zeal for fixer-uppers
by Carol Blitzer rigitte Gassee so enjoyed the process of remodeling her home in University South that she decided to do it again — and again. Only this time her intent is to buy a clunker, fix it up and re-sell it, ideally at a profit. Rosemary and John Wardell have been flipping fixer-uppers for 40 years, sometimes living in them, sometimes not. Their current home, an Eichler built in 1959, was to have been one of their last. But the current slow real-estate
market has forced both Gassee and the Wardells to shift their thinking about fixing up homes for resale — and profit. Rather than selling quickly, the Wardells’ Eichler languished on the market since last summer. In early November, they were seriously considering pulling it off for the holiday season, then bringing it back on in 2010. “The market is very different today,” Rosemary Wardell said. “When we first started doing it, the market was very solid. People had to qualify for loans. You knew what you were getting into.”
Wardell is an interior designer and her husband a building contractor. Together they fixed up and flipped eight homes, mostly Palo Alto Eichlers. “We lived in them, raised kids in them. Just as a house got done, we had to move,” she recalled. Before, the longest it took to sell a house was 45 days; a house on Clifton Court was open only one weekend. “Most of them we didn’t have any trouble selling,” she said. Wardell gets plenty of positive feedback for the home, which was (continued on page 47)
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