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20 snapshots of the Coastside Neighborhoods.

FLOWER DOWN ALSRACEN

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Neighborhoods

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COLOY MOONRIDGE CANADA

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BILL MURRAY


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423 Coronado Av. $1,395,000 198 Wienke Wy. 5BD 3.5BA Beautiful high end construction on 11,000 sf flat lot in east Miramar. Gourmet kitchen, dramatic ceilings.

$624,950 920 Railroad Av.

I BR 1BA. Original Moss Beach home close to ocean. Office could be used as another bedroom. Great views from over-garage deck.

$1,175,000 500 Bayhill Rd.

$1,549,000

3BA. Elegant 4580sf 2BR 2BA. Cottage on a 14,000+ sf lot. 4BD Built in 1904 as Arleta Park Railroad Mediterranean style home o/looking Station. Now a renovated charming 12th & 15th tees of Old Course. 1470 sq ft cottage.

“Thinking of buying or selling?

www.CoastsideRealtor.com

Call us! Our team ranked in 248isMain Street Top 1%-3% Suite 200 Northern International the top 100 of 3,600 Half Moon Bay Producers California Coldwell Banker agents” DRE #00852921

DRE #00942665

Bill Derow 650.726.8188

DRE #01372531

Juliette Kulda 650.712.2421

$839,000

Margi Miller 650.219.6953

515 Silver Av.

www.CoastsideRealtor.com Margi Miller 650.219.6953

Bill Derow 650.726.8188

DRE #00942665

DRE #01372531

5BD 4BA Bright open floor plan topped w/open beam trusses, radiant heat in maple hardwood, ocean & harbor views, media room.

$779,900

Juliette Kulda 650.712.2421

DRE #00852921

DRE #00942665

d uce red e c pri

DRE #00852921

$1,275,000

248 Main Street Top 1%-3% Margi Miller Bill Derow Juliette 200 Kulda Suite International 650.219.6953 650.712.2421 Moon Bay Producers 650.726.8188 Half

1132 Columbus

531 Terrace Av.

Quaint Moss Beach home w/ hardwood flrs & remodeled bathrooms. 3BR 2BA upstairs, 1BR 1BA downstairs, w/in-law potential.

4 BD 3 BA Beautiful w/vaulted ceilings & open floor plan. Permitted 440 sf separate bonus room, hot tub, patio, rose garden w/fountain.

DRE #01372531

www.CoastsideRealtor.com

190 Turnberry Rd. $1,149,000 5BD 3BA. Open floor plan, downstairs bedroom suite, remodeled kitchen, bonus loft and lush private backyard. Colisted w Stacy Clark (650) 270-9993.

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$249,000 630 Miramar Dr.

$1,395,000 402 Coronado Av. $1,149,000 Furtado

5BR 4BA. Ocean views. Exercise rm, sauna, hottub, media rm. Open flr plan, gourmet kitch., access to backyard.

248 Main Street Suite 200 Half Moon Bay

6,970sf downsloped Lot w Ocean & Valley views. CCWD 3/4” conn. Lot is just left of 335 EG Blvd.

Beautiful Miramar hm w 4BR, 4 full BA + office and bonus rm. Peeks of ocean from deck & kitchen. 3 car garage.

Top 1%-3% International Producers

0 El Granada Blvd

$299,000

Miramar 11,000sf lot. CCWD water, planning approval & partly through building dept for apprx 3,600sf home.

Photos by Steve Iacopi


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Š2011 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell BankerŽ is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Office Is Owned And Operated by NRT LLC. DRE License # 00313415

HMB June 2011 1


HMB HIGHLAND PARK

Light, open home, great location with garden. 4 Bed, 2.5 bath, 3 car garage $799,000.

HOUSE WHISPER

MAVERICK’S, OCEAN VIEW!

3+ bedroom 3 bath home plus extra rooms. Filtered Ocean Views for $749,000

SPACIOUS, GRACIOUS SERENITY!

Wonderful Miramar home, close to Coastal Trail, Harbor. 3 Bed 2 Bath home $850,000.

ESPRESSO YOURSELF!

Ara Croce, CRS Real Estate Broker Phone: (650) 712-1299 Fax: (650) 888-823-7453 E-mail: ara@aracroce.com

Open your door to 400 acres of open space, 3,692 SF, 4 bed, 3.5 bath $1,195,000.

Business Opportunity for Sale. Perfect for owner operator $79,000.

1-800-59-CROCE 2 June 2011 HMB


HMB

HALF MOON BAY REVIEW MaGaZine

» PUBLISHER’S NOTE DEBRA HERSHON

A house is not a home

Publisher Debra Hershon Managing Editor Clay Lambert Writers Lily Bixler Mark Foyer Mark Noack Stacy Trevenon Photographer Lars Howlett Production and Design Bill Murray Mark Restani Business Office Barbara Anderson Circulation Sonia Myers Advertising Sales Louise Strutner Marilyn Johnson Barbara Dinnsen Find us P.O. Box 68 714 Kelly Avenue Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 p: (650) 726-4424 f: (650) 726-7054 The HMB Magazine is published on the first week of every month and inserted in the Half Moon Bay Review. The entire contents of the magazine are also available in PDF format online at hmbreview.com

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our house can be many things: a money pit, an investment, a handcuff to a scary mortgage or stepping stone to a bigger and better place. Your house might not even be your house. You may rent and leave the worry of a leaky pipe or broken rain gutter to your landlord. Or maybe you are the lucky landlord. (Love that word — it harkens back to medieval days: “I am LORD of this fiefdom. Bow before me.”) Perhaps you are collecting rent from someone who now lives in the house that you so painstakingly renovated. I’m sure they are just as careful as you were with those beautiful hardwood floors and limestone countertops. But what makes a house a home? I wrote a paper about all this in elementary school and remember how happy I was to get an “A” and have my teacher read it out loud to the class. I wrote, “A house is a structure made of wood or stucco or bricks. A home is a place you live with the people you love.” I think my mother probably helped me write it. It’s true. Think about the terminology: You have a “housewarming” to make a house less of a structure and more of a home. You are a “homebody” if you are happy spending time just where you live. You get “homesick” when you are away from the place you love. Your family says, “Welcome home” not “Welcome house” because they have missed you. Since moving to the Coastside in 1985, I have lived in four different neighborhoods — Clipper Ridge, Ocean Colony, downtown Half Moon Bay and now El Granada. Out of all those places, my memories aren’t about the inside tile choices or exterior paint color or what my tax and insurance payments were each month. My memories are all about my children growing up, their birthday parties, snuggling with them in bed in the morning and just the overall sense of love and family that breathes spirit into four walls. My favorite old saying — I think this was probably the last line of my elementary school paper, so I’ll close with it here — “It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.”

HMB June 2011 3


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“Fantastic wine, fantastic olive oil, even more fantastic people.” -Yelp

barterra PREMIUM WINES OLIVE OILS GOURMET DELI FOODS SCULPTURE & FINE ART Tastings Thurs-Mon, 12:30-6 Located at the Courtyard 643 Main St., Half Moon Bay 650.712.1635 www.barterrawines.com 4 June 2011 HMB


» CONTENTS

Neighborhoods & Real Estate JUNE 2011

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In alphabetical order, we present snapshots of 20 of the Coastside’s neighborhoods.

HALF MOON BAY REVIEW MAGAZINE

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THE NEIGHBORHOODS

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arleta Park, 15 alsace Lorraine, 17 Canada Cove, 18 Casa Del Mar, 19 Clipper ridge, 21 Downtown HMB, 23 el Granada, 25 Frenchmans Creek, 27 Grandview, 28 Highland Park, 29 La Honda, 31 Lesley Gardens, 33 Miramar, 35 Montara, 37 Moss Beach, 39 Ocean Colony, 41 Pillar ridge, 42 Princeton, 43 Seahaven, 45 Seal Cove, 46

SCHOOL

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COLOY MOONRIDGE CANADA

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BILL MURRAY

On the cover

Illustration by Bill Murray

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BARGAIN HUNTING

Marian Bennett of Coldwell Banker tackles the opportunities and pitfalls of buying foreclosed properties.

Departments

7 UPCOMING EVENTS 10 SEEN IN THE SCENE 51 DOWNTOEARTH 52 SIGHTSEEING HMB June 2011 5


THE MOST ENERGY EFFICIENT SPAS MADE

1917 SOUTH EL CAMINO REAL SAN MATEO “JUST SOUTH OF HWY. 92” (650) 574-7600 COASTSIDE REPS: JOHN (EXT. 671), JOEY (EXT. 672)

3419 REGATTA BLVD., RICHMOND (888) 650-7727 3815 REDWOOD HWY., SAN RAFAEL (415) 472-7727 6700 AMADOR PLAZA RD., DUBLIN (925) 551-7100

Serving the Bay Area Since 1976 • Over 850,000 Spas Sold Review Magazine | JUNE 2009

1


» UPCOMING EVENTS JUNE

Events in your neighborhood Give a tip to a cop

6/1

The community and its finest come together from 5 to 9 p.m. at Cameron’s Restaurant and Inn. Half Moon Bay Police officers serve meals, and all tips benefit Special Olympics. Afterward, there’s a silent auction with items donated from local merchants, and all proceeds from that go to Special Olympics too. 726-5705.

An ‘Odd Couple’ flourishes again

6/3

Careless slob Oscar Madison and neat freak Felix Unger battle it out again with the company of the Pigeon sisters in Coastal Repertory Theatre’s “The Odd Couple,” running through June 25 at 1167 Main St. in Half Moon Bay. Shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays with admission from $15 to $25. 569-3266.

Chamber music redefined

6/5

Sisters Angella (violin), Lucia (piano) and Maria (cello) Ahn present chamber music with grace and style at 4:30 p.m. at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society on Miramar Beach. Admission is $35. 726-2020.

Festivity and feasting around the Holy Ghost

6/5

The Portuguese Pentecost Festival, with a somber yet joyous history-based parade to the church followed by a barbecued beef feast, silent auction, festivity and (in Half Moon Bay) a carnival, takes place in Pescadero (726-6805) on June 5 and 6, and in Half Moon Bay (726-2729) from June 10-13.

Author brings the past alive

A sparkling Fourth of July 7/4 This year’s Fourth of July on the Coastside will sparkle as usual with Coastside

holiday camaraderie and a fireworks show organizers say will be spectacular. It will begin with a pancake breakfast cooked up and served at 8 a.m. by the Half Moon Bay Lions Club and local youth in Mac Dutra Park at Kelly Avenue and Main Street. Then, grab a spot with a good view of Main Street for the annual Fourth of July Parade, which celebrates the Coastside with red-white-and-blue-decked floats, local dignitaries riding in classic cars, mounted units on horseback, lots of kids, and a bevy of local “Pooches on Parade” and their human companions. After the parade, head to American Legion Post 474 at 470 Capistrano Road in Princeton for an “oldfashioned” picnic with hamburgers, hot dogs, beverages for all ages and spirited live music. As dusk falls, find a good vantage spot near Pillar Point Harbor where you can see the skies light up with the fireworks show sponsored by the American Legion and local businesses including Sam’s Chowder House, the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and Flavor restaurant. “It’s gonna be the largest fireworks show Half Moon Bay has seen, not just in length but in complexity,” said Legion member and American Legion Coastside Fireworks Committee Chair Bob Resch. For information on the parade, call the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau at 726-8380; for information on the fireworks show call the Legion at 728-9224.

6/10

History blazes to life in the novels of author Jeff Shaara, who returns to Bay Book Company from 7 to 9 p.m. today to discuss his latest, “A Final Storm: A Novel of War in the Pacific.” With his trademark evocative historical fiction, Shaara follows up his trilogy of World War II in Europe and Africa with this volume dedicated to the war in the Pacific. 726-3488.

From fleece to fashion

6/11

The whole family is invited to an upclose look at life on the farm when Elkus Ranch holds “Sheep to Shawl” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at 1500 Purisima Creek Road. See sheep shearing, wool dyeing, corn grinding and visits to friendly farm animals and productive gardens. Reservations are required at elkusranch@ucdavis.edu.

For your four-legged best friend

6/25

Dog lovers and their best friends will get a kick out of “Yappy Hour” from 1 to 4 p.m. at Pasta Moon Gardens, 315 Main St. in Half Moon Bay. It’s where pooches and their humans can sign up for Pooches on Parade on Main Street in the Fourth of July parade, enjoy doggy camaraderie and a sip of “Pawsitively Pinot Noir.” www.poochesonparade.org.

HMB June 2011 7


Patrick J. Ryan

DRE 01044049 | Alain Pinel Realtors | Direct 650.759.2430 | www.patrickjosephryan.com | pjryan@apr.com

Half Moon Bay $2,500,000 Unobstructable views of the Half Moon Bay Golf Ocean Course and the Pacific Ocean from this 5bd/4ba eight year old home. Freshly painted, remarkable open floor plan and exquisite master suite. Formal entry, ground floor bedroom, formal dining room and butler’s pantry. Spacious great room opens to patio. This home has the WOW factor.

Pescadero $2,500,000 Enjoy this exciting opportunity to own two and a half acres of ocean front property on a level lot with approval from the California Coastal Commission to build a 4,400 sq. ft. residence with a spacious two car garage. The current A-frame cottage provides a wonderful retreat right on the water’s edge.

Half Moon Bay $1,599,000 Impeccably maintained 5bd/3ba Ocean Colony home of classic architectural detailing. Formal entry, spacious rooms, ground floor bedroom and full bath as well as a remarkable master suite. Connoisseur kitchen and family room open to the patio and large garden.

Half Moon Bay $1,575,000 Grand example of elegant and stylish English Tudor architecture located on the fifth fairway in Ocean Colony. This 4bd/3.5ba home offers two master suites, a library, formal dining and living rooms, plus a large family room and separate pub or game room. 14,700 sq. ft. lot with semi-circular driveway and expansive lawns.

Half Moon Bay $1,299,000 Enjoy the remarkable views of two fairways and ponds from this spacious 4bd/2.5ba home in Ocean Colony. This elegant Mediterranean features an expansive two story formal marble entry and granite gourmet kitchen.

Montara $1,225,000 Remarkable 4bd/4.5ba contemporary home with two master suites, plus two en suite bedrooms. Large separate office and granite/stainless kitchen. Formal entry and formal dining room includes views of hills, woods and the ocean. Stunning!

8 January 2 June 2011 2011 HMB HMB


Patrick J. Ryan

DRE 01044049 | Alain Pinel Realtors | Direct 650.759.2430 | www.patrickjosephryan.com | pjryan@apr.com

Half Moon Bay $1,279,000 This sensational 4bd/4.5ba home features an attached office or in-law space with separate address and entrance. Antique floors from a French chateau in the dining room, library and office. Park-like garden on a 16,000+ sq. ft. lot with green house, large pond, waterfall feature and spacious lawn.

Half Moon Bay $1,079,000 Custom 5bd/3.5ba home with two master suites (one on each level). Gourmet great room kitchen with granite counters boasts a temperature controlled wine room. High ceilings and open main floor rooms, crown moldings and abundant trim work, wood, stone and tile floors, built-in speakers and abundant storage.

el Granada $999,000 The BIG open floor plan of this 4bd/3ba home includes the kitchen, family room, dining room and deck. Quarter sawn oak floors, copper flashings and gutters, heated bathroom floors and professional quality appliances attest to the quality and detail of this remarkable home. Exciting master suite with private balcony.

el Granada $979,000 Nestled among a grove of redwood and pine trees on a quiet cul-de-sac, this stunning 4bd/2.5ba home also features views of the Pacific Ocean. The large granite kitchen features a breakfast bar, chef’s desk, two pantries and hardwood floors. This exciting home also features a formal dining room and a second upstairs family room or art gallery with wet bar.

Half Moon Bay $899,000 Warmth, style and elegance describe this single story 3bd/2ba home located in the gated community of Ocean Colony. The living room features a two story tall ceiling, gas fireplace and provides access through wooden French doors to a remarkable garden and patio. Several skylights and elevated windows provide an abundance of natural light in this lovingly maintained home.

el Granada $899,000 This beautiful 3bd/2.5ba newer home has been built with many green features, including an owner owned solar system, low-E Andersen windows, zoned heating system, bamboo floors and much more. Spectacular kitchen and family room great room offers forest and ocean views. High ceilings, thoughtful design and contemporary fixtures and products help provide a significant home with warmth and style. HMB HMB January June 2011 9 3


» SEEN IN THE SCENE

Bike to Work Day

Thursday, May 12 was Bike to Work day, and the Half Moon Bay Review hosted the Coastside’s only “energizer station” on the Coastal Trail across from Wilkinson School. Review staffers gave out coffee, water , snacks and free “musette” bags filled with goodies to a couple dozed passer-bys beginning at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 9 a.m. The morning was chilly and windy, but it didn’t stop the hearty cyclists — two riding all the way from San Francisco. The event was organized by the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance.

Wayne Meyer, Moss Beach

Joanne Kerbavaz, Half Moon Bay

Mary Hill, Miramar

Dave Buckley, Half Moon Bay

Monks Berkele

Gaye S Diane Hayford, Moss Beach

Tim Oldham, Montara

10 June 2011 HMB

Dwight Wilson, Moss Beach

John Meermans, Half Moon Bay

Patrick and Robin Tierney, Miramar

Zach and Wendy Connoly, El Granada

Patrick Wooliever and son Owen, Half Moon Bay

Larry D


n Bay

» SEEN IN THE SCENE

Ceremony at White Elephant Thai restaurant May 6th was a special day at the While Elephant Thai restaurant. The restaurant, which opened in December, had nine monks visiting from the Mongkolratanaram and Watbhddhanusorn Buddhist communities in Berkeley and Fremont respectively. They were there to bless the restaurant for good luck and protection, a tradition in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Also attending the event were 25 close friends and associates of restaurant owners Ali Birkenstock and her sisters Pam, Wimon and Muki. After the monk’s chant ended, also according to tradition, restaurant staff brought them food. Tradition dictated the décor of the restaurant, down to the fish-scale-like texturing of the wallpaper and to the white elephant itself, a highly respected and revered entity in Thailand.

Monks from Mongkolratanaram and Watbhddhanusorn Buddist communities in Berkeley and Fremont

Gaye Strange and Clinton Harris

Larry DeYoung, Linda DeYoung and Willa Chapman

Jeff and Amy Ramacher

Charise McHugh and Eric Shapira

Norman Birkenstock and Doug Coffee

“The Four Sisters,” owners of White Elephant: Mukda Robbin, Ali Birkenstock, Wimon Duangduen, and Pam Klingliang

Maria Reed, David Reed and Monica Hellberg

Doris Peacock and Gary Silverman

Johnathan Bernbaum, Ben Falkson and Cody Dolan

HMB June 2011 11


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Exceptional Quality & Design Half Moon Bay, California What happens when two artists meet and spend years remodeling a spacious home with the finest materials? The result is this truly exceptional four bedroom, 2 bath home in Frenchman’s Creek. This beautiful 2000+ square feet home has been completely redone with careful attention to detail, rare and one of a kind materials, and the highest quality of craftsmanship. Enjoy a gourmet kitchen, spacious master suite with dramatic spa bath, formal dining room, separate office, as well as hand stained Douglas Fir interior and closet doors, one of a kind art fixtures, custom framed windows, dramatic skylights and recessed lighting, a breakfast nook with bay windows, and a laundry room with over 100 square feet of workspace. Visit www.2072Bordeaux.com. Offered at $850,000

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Private Sanctuary Coming Soon In Redwood City, California

Hidden away on a private cul-de-sac in Redwood City, this.5 + acre compound consists of a custom quality built 2,220 square foot home, two garages, a two room bonus studio, & the perfect lot for your pool, tennis court or putting green. The main house boasts 3 spacious bedrooms, 3 full baths, formal living room with wood burning fireplace, a formal dining room

with built in brick oven, eat-in granite kitchen, an office/den with built-in cabinetry, hardwood floors, and 2 car attached garage. The second 4+ car garage at the back of the property is perfect to store your car collection, and includes an extensive workshop with built-in cabinetry. A must see! Offered at $1,275,000

Please contact us at 1-650-964-HOME or visit www.LoveToMoveYou.com Shirley Olea, CRS, Broker | shirley@lovetomoveyou.com| Dre#00418952 Ann Olea-Wijkstrom, Realtor | teamolea@gmail.com| Dre#01389021 Keller Williams Realty 330 Johnston Street | Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 12 June 2011 HMB


special

issue :

home A place to call

Coastside is a collection of neighborhoods

A

city, a town, a county is really a collection of neighborhoods. Sometimes they meld into one another so seamlessly that a passerby can’t really recognize one from another. Other times, each neighborhood is a distinct entity, separated from others by the ethnicity of its people, the geography of its boundaries or some quirk of development. Half Moon Bay and the unincorporated Coastside is one such collection of neighborhoods. Its residents are connected by a love of the land, surely. People don’t necessarily move to oceanside neighborhoods for convenience. They don’t nestle themselves into the sides of mountains because it will make for an easy commute. They do so because the pay off — sweeping vistas, contemplative ocean scenes, dramatic weather patterns, beautiful scenery — overwhelms the downside. But the Coastside’s neighborhoods, while surely connected in important ways, also hold subtle distinctions. Cañada Cove is right across the street from Ocean Colony, but they are worlds apart in terms of the feel of the communities. Miramar can feel a lot like other “suburban” Half Moon Bay neighborhoods, but its residents don’t vote in city elections. And is there any place quite like Seal Cove or Moss Beach? This month we devote considerable attention to 20 Coastside communities. This is by no means a definitive list, but we hope the pages that follow will look familiar to many Coastside residents. We want to lift the “hood” on many neighborhoods to reveal the neighbors inside. We hope to reflect the things that make each neighborhood unique and, in so doing, explain why people call each place home. — Clay Lambert

HMB June 2011 13


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14 June 2011 HMB

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N E I G H B O R H O O D :

arleta Park Local school: Hatch Elementary School, 490 Miramontes Ave, Half Moon Bay Neighborhood perk: Now that Seymour Street meets Highway 1, Arleta Park gets less traffic on its main arterial street. Recent sale: $370,000

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Sleepy neighborhood nestled by the ocean

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ids just home from school zip on scooters along the wide streets that make up Arleta Park. Many of the front yards have colorful flowers that pop out against the ocean fog creeping over the neighborhood. “I come back from work and it’s quiet — we respect each other’s privacy,” said Lupe Mendez, who moved from downtown to Grove Street two years ago. Sandwiched between the Highway 1 and the California Coastal Trail, Arleta Park is a sizable, but noticeably quiet, neighborhood made up of about 500 houses. Tall cypress trees are peppered throughout the grid of homes from Seymour Street north to the Alsace Lorraine neighborhood. Right before Arleta Park meets the coastal bluffs is a yellow, two-story home building that used to be Arleta Park station of the Ocean Shore Railroad. Tony Faial grew up in a house on Magnolia Street in LUPe MendeZ Arleta Park. He had been there since his family moved from the Azores when he was a boy. Now he lives across the street in one of the neighborhood’s classic ranch-style homes. The family came because the coastal climate is similar to his native Portugal. He’s stayed put in the sleepy neighborhood for its proximity to the beach and because he loves the Coastal Trail. On sunny weekends, when tourists flock to the coast looking for a thoroughfare to the beach, Faial must regularly redirect them several blocks from his home to Poplar Street. The traffic has decreased, he said, since Arleta Park’s southernmost Seymour Street was recently extended east to connect with Highway 1. — Lily Bixler

“I COME BACK FROM WORK AND IT’S QUIET — WE RESPECT EACH OTHER’S PRIVACY.”

HMB June 2011 15


We are now a

Mortgage Bank! • 20 Years Experience Lending on the Coast • Local 24 hour Underwriting, Docs and Funding • Local Appraisal Team • Benefits of a Direct Lender/Flexibility of a Broker • 30, 20, 15 and 10 Year Fixed • 10/1, 7/1, 5/1 and 3/1 ARMS (Interest Only also available) • FHA Approved Direct Lender • Experts in Reverse Mortgages • Approved Lender for 1st Time Homebuyer Programs (MCC) • Conforming Limits to $729,750 (expiring 09/30/11) • Jumbo Loans up to $3,000,000

Interest Rates have recently dropped. Apply On-Line or call to discuss your Loan Options!

Clark Codiga 831-460-1711 x117 888-545-1711 Toll Free clark@redwoodcapital.net www.redwoodcapital.net CA DRE License #01080159 / NMLS #256400

16 June 2011 HMB


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

alsace Lorraine School: Hatch Elementary School, 490 Miramontes Avenue, Half Moon Bay Post office: 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Things to do: Ocean View Park has the Coastside’s largest playground; the Coastal Trail and its miles of beachfront walkways; Francis State Beach offers a well-managed campground. Shopping: Downtown Half Moon Bay is a half-mile away. Recent sale: $1,490,000

The perfect dog-walking community on the Coastside

C

orreas Street resident Judy Rodrigues remembers when the Alsace Lorraine neighborhood consisted of her house and little else. The woman of Portuguese descent now has a full block of neighbors who regularly chat on the sidewalk on sunny days, trading stories along with the harvest of their backyard gardens. JUdY “I love it here,” Rodrigues said, quoting a Portuguese saying for why rodriGUeS, neighbors should remain extra friendly: “You have to be nice on your way CorreaS Street up or you’ll need help on the way down.” Having a dog is practically a necessity in this oceanside neighborhood. Valdez Avenue resident Lyndie Tanklage says walking dogs at the nearby Coastal Trail is the first step to interacting with the folks down the street. “Often we’ll see someone, but, if they don’t have their dog, we won’t recognize them,” she said. “My neighbors are happy to take care of my dogs, and I can take care of theirs. It’s a very workable community.” The nearby beach is a boon for pets of all sizes. In what other neighborhood in Half Moon Bay, Tanklage asks, can she take her dog for a walk in the morning and ride her horse in the afternoon? Along with a nearby public beach, the neighborhood also has Ocean View Park, where any day of the week, the large playgrounds draw crowds of children and their parents. Locals pride themselves on living in one of the safest areas of the Coastside. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Tanklage said. — Stacy Trevenon

“I LOVE IT HERE.”

HMB June 2011 17


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Cañada Cove

Senior park residents quick to help others

C

añada Cove may be a retirement community, but it may also be the most dynamic spot on the Coastside. The neighborhood spawned radio station (Neighborhood Radio AM 1710, which can now be heard throughout Half Moon Bay), a monthly magazine and a local public safety committee. The 360 households at the mobile-home park are among the most engaged on the Coastside, with many residents regularly attending local government meetings and chiming in on local issues. Located off Miramontes Point Road at the south side of Half Moon Bay, Cañada Cove is described by its residents as a little city unto itself. People go out of their way to be friendly and look out for each other, said Ester Hunter. “If a neighbor needs something, 14 people will help out,” she said. eSter HUnter, Hunter originally moved to Cañada Cove three years ago to CaÑada CoVe live closer to her great-grandson. Every morning she heads to the reSident community center to grab a cup of coffee and talk with whomever also comes by. Residents have plenty of activities to keep them busy. On most days of the week, people gather at the community hall tables to play games of bridges, mah jong, poker and pedro, along with weekly clubs for quilting, reading and sharing stories. Most popular of all, the weekly bingo game on Wednesday nights draws as many as 40 people, including folks from Ocean Colony and as far away as Pacifica. The community is active in civic affairs; residents can often seen at City Council meetings and at public safety meetings. — Mark Noack

“IF A NEIGHBOR NEEDS SOMETHING, 14 PEOPLE WILL HELP OUT.”

18 June 2011 HMB

School: Hatch Elementary School, 490 Miramontes Avenue, Half Moon Bay Post office: 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Things to do: Bingo games, exercise classes, board games and quilting groups; it’s just a short walk to the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, and has its own beautiful coast view. Business: Downtown Half Moon Bay is two miles away. Recent sale: $235,000


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Casa del Mar Recent sale: $550,000 School: Hatch Elementary School, 490 Miramontes Ave., Half Moon Bay Good walk: Three neighborhood trails feed into the California Coastal Trail Playground: Be sure to visit Kehoe Park on Loryn Lane Shopping: Strawflower Village is located just to the south, toward downtown Half Moon Bay.

A new generation breathes life into classic tract developments

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he original neighborhood children who buzzed about, playing on Kehoe Avenue and the streets that make up the Casa del Mar neighborhood during the 1970s and ’80s, have long grown up. The block parties of the 1970s stopped around the time the kids left home. Yet a new generation of young families has moved into the Kehoe area. Their presence is rekindling an era of lemonade SUe HeCkMan, LonGtiMe stands and neighborhood games of tag. reSident Known to many simply as Kehoe Avenue, the neighborhood west of Highway 1, just north of Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm, is a hodgepodge of about five tract house developments. It’s a classic California neighborhood perhaps best known for the verdant ditch along Kehoe Avenue that’s attracted attention from city officials over the years. You can see the ditch as nothing more than a drainage corridor, but it’s also a peaceful place where animals migrate. Sue Heckman moved to the neighborhood in 1969, when a handful of developers were busy punching out rows of cookie-cutter homes. While some homeowners have remodeled the original molds to their more modern sensibilities, in many of the homes there remains the spirit of those simpler days. For about 25 years, the neighborhood gathered in Heckman’s garage twice yearly to cast their voting ballots. It was a time for everyone to gather together, Heckman recalled. “I was always proud of my neighbors, whether Democratic or Republican, because we had very high voter turnout in this precinct,” she said. “Why do you think we had that kind of turn out?” Kehoe Avenue resident Margaret Harris asked of her neighbor Heckman on a stroll down the neighborhood’s wide asphalt roads. The women couldn’t quite decide what it was about their neighborhood that made them such good voters but they agreed Kehoe was a “very solid and stable place.” — Lily Bixler

“I WAS ALWAYS PROUD OF MY NEIGHBORS…”

HMB June 2011 19


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Preschool◦ K - 8th grade ◦ After School Program◦ Summer Camp


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Clipper ridge School: Farallone View Elementary School, 1100 LeConte Ave. at Kanoff Street, Montara. Good coffee: Try Café Mezza Luna, 240 Capistrano Road in Harbor Village or Café Classique, 107 Sevilla Ave., El Granada. Parks: There are plenty of hiking trails splintering off to both the north and south as well as east to the hills. Recent sale: $517,800

Planned as a resort, it remains quiet neighborhood

W

hen a fire erupted from hot coals left in a Clipper Ridge garage several years ago, Frank Navin ran from his home across the street to extinguish the fire with a garden hose. “I watch out for everyone,” said Navin, a retired fireman Frank naVin, retired with the slightest remnant of an Irish accent. That’s just FireFiGHter and reSident the way it is here. Whether it’s watching after an out-of-town neighbor’s dog or hauling out garbage someone forgot to leave on the curb for trash day, some in the Clipper Ridge community see Navin as makeshift neighborhood mayor. Clipper Ridge is made up of more than 200 homes northeast of Highway 1 just north of El Granada. Windswept eucalyptus trees tower over the homes on the bordering Coral Reef Avenue, like a curtain drawn to afford Clipper Ridge privacy from its southern El Granada neighbors. A short walk to Pillar Point Harbor, Clipper Ridge has the perks of beachfront living but with the sidewalks, streetlights and green front yards characteristic of a classic American neighborhood. In the 1970s, several developers built a series of tract home developments in what was meant to be a much larger resort town with a shopping mall, a school and a golf course. Those aspirations never took root and the land remains undeveloped. In fact, some of it has been protected as Rancho Corral de Tierra. When neighborhood kids tire of playing in Clipper Ridge Park — a fine park maintained by the homeowners’ association — they can romp around on the soon-to-be federal parkland. — Lily Bixler

“I WATCH OUT FOR EVERYONE.”

HMB June 2011 21


423 Kehoe Ave

Home Sweet Beach Home in HMB

Walk to Coastal Trail Open space & hill views Light filled, family home. Close to downtown HMB. 3 Bedroom/ 2 bath

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500 3rd Street

Spacious, updated home in Montara

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Bright & Open Floor plan Ocean Views and Nature ! Permitted Bonus Rooms Walk to school, beaches & Open space. 4 Bedroom/ 3 bath

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Decorative Rock, Flagstone, Soil, Sod, Sand, Gravel, Pavers, Retaining Walls, Water Feature Kits and more!

Coldwell Banker Real Estate 248 Main Street #200 Half Moon Bay DRE # 01871510

650-726-0100 650-726-4354 2119 Hwy. 1 South, Half Moon Bay Mon-Fri 7-5, Sat 7-4

For Half Moon Bay real estate and community updates... Like “HMB Property” on Facebook • Or visit my website to view local listings.

Jackson Robertson, Coastside Realtor Relocation & Previews Property Specialist Cell: 650-455-6985 | DRE# 01452757

www.HMBproperty.com 22 June 2011 HMB


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Downtown HMB

Business, history, restaurants within an easy walk

S

ome call it “downtown” Half Moon Bay. Some call the folks that live there “townies.” But by whatever name, the people who live in the comfortable, attractively maintained houses east of Main Street between the bridge over the creek at the north end of town and the fire station at the town’s south end, form the living heart of the town. Many have been here for generations. Take architect John Evans, who lives just a block off Main Street. He’s married to the art teacher at the local high school. They’ve seen their children reach adulthood in that house. And they know that when they venture out to Cunha Country Grocery for groceries, or the local theater to take in a play, or any of several denominations of churches in town, or Main Street to take in joyous holiday festivities on Fourth of July or during October’s Pumpkin Festival, it’s only a matter of a few steps to each and a few minutes before they find familiar faces. “We don’t need a car,” says John Evans. “(My wife) Larkin and I never drive.” They live in a comfortable suburban house that is relatively new, having been built in the 1940s, but John doesn’t have to ponder too long to think of neighboring families who have occupied the same house for generations. He estimates that at least a quarter of the families in the neighborhood have lived in their homes for a couple of generations. The Evanses have a truly varied slice of life within only a few steps of their front door. Just a block to the west the Pumpkin Festival provides an extravaganza of autumnal revelry and Halloween fun every October. There’s a carnival at the I.D.E.S. Hall every year during the Portuguese Pentecost Festival. At Christmastime, Half Moon Bay lights up with sparkling holiday cheer. Every weekend in the spring and summer JoHn eVanS, there is a local farmers market where growers bring fresh produce. And doWntoWn HaLF during the quieter times of the year, there are restaurants, shops and the Moon BaY reSident local library. Surrounding the area to the north and south are verdant fields planted with crops, and, just a little further to the west, the Pacific Ocean keeps the temperature moderate and the air fresh. And friends are everywhere. “It’s impossible to walk around without running into someone you know. There’s that neighborhood feeling,” said John Evans. “You can’t walk to town and not find someone you know to visit with.” — Stacy Trevenon

School: Alvin S. Hatch Elementary School, 490 Miramontes Ave. Post office: 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Historical landmarks: The Estanislao Zaballa House (bed and breakfast with a little local history museum, built 1863) 326 Main St.; the Community United Methodist Church (chapel built 1872) 777 Miramontes St., the I.D.E.S. Hall (built 1928) 731 Main St., Greek revival building now City Hall (built 1904) Main Street and Kelly Avenue. Recent sale: $525,000, east of Highway 1.

“YOU CAN’T WALK TO TOWN AND NOT FIND SOMEONE YOU KNOW TO VISIT WITH.”

HMB June 2011 23


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Half Moon Bay Veterinary Hospital

215 El Granada Blvd.

$775,000

Awesome ocean and harbor views from this home located in the hills of El Granada. The main level has 3BR, 2BA in about 1500SF, the lower level has a ďŹ nished guest area with full bath and kitchenette in about 600SF, plus additional basement storage. This is an older home, but has been nicely maintained and is a pleasure to show.

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small animal medicine and surgery Quality, comprehensive veterinary care to the Coastside Community

719 Main street, Half Moon Bay 726-9061

Mon. through fri.: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., sat.: 8 a.m.to 4 p.m. and by appointment 24 June 2011 HMB

BILL MAHAR 42 N. Cabrillo Highway Half Moon Bay bmahar@apr.com www.bmahar.com 726-8776


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

el Granada

A quirky pattern of residential streets leads to the top of the world

F

or 22 years at the El Granada Post Office, window clerk Judy Larson has watched families grow up as a town evolves. “Like most communities, it has gone from very rural, where kids played outside, to now when, I’m afraid, you don’t see kids playing outside any more,” she said. She’s seen it change from dirt streets that were “mostly empty lots, trees and fields” to sidewalks and mostly comfortable family homes. From the post office window, she looks out to the one-block “thriving downtown.” She can almost see to Pillar Point Harbor, where commercial boats and residential yachts bob in the gentle swell, seafood restaurants run a brisk business and the cries of gulls fill the air. And those paved streets wind like ribbons, sometimes confusingly, up into the eastern hills, from which the comfortable houses command sweeping views of the ocean stretching away into obscure fogbanks. If you prefer to hike, Quarry Park trails snake JUdY LarSon, through trees and up hills, offering challenges that are rewarded with PoStaL CLerk breathtaking views. Alongside those contemporary homes are one-story bungalow houses with redwood roofs, built in the Craftsman style of the early 20th century circa 1910 to 1925. Those were days when the town was known as “Granada” and mail was received in a hotel before the arrival of a new post office changed things. “That’s why we have such an odd name,” Larson said. They recall days before non-native eucalyptus trees invaded, took root and now, towering over houses, shade many of the streets. From the post office window, Judy Larson sees it all. “Halfway between Silicon Valley and San Francisco, we’re still one of the closest places to the country,” she said. — Stacy Trevenon

“WE’RE STILL ONE OF THE CLOSEST PLACES TO THE COUNTRY.”

School: El Granada Elementary School, 400 Santiago St., El Granada, CA 94019 Post office: El Granada Post Office, 20 Avenue Portola, El Granada CA 94018 Things to do: Surfer’s Beach, where fledgling surfers learn their sport on gentle waves; Pillar Point Harbor, full of restaurant fishing businesses and boats, the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club where adults and teens learn to sail, Quarry Park hiking trails that lead to spectacular ocean vistas from high in the hills. Business: El Granada Hardware, 85 Avenue Portola, El Granada, offers hardware, gardening tools, sandwiches and a spot for residents and their dogs to meet; right around the corner is a video store and thrift store; Art Attack, a block off Avenue Alhambra, is a quirky wonderland of antiques and curious objects to enhance home and garden. Recent sale: $889,000

HMB June 2011 25


Stephanie’S Ocean View ReStauRant (formerly Fog City Pizza)

Serving Casual American Food for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Beer and Wine Available 7 am to 9 pm, 7 days a week 1400 Main Street, Montara 650 728 5672

see full menu at: StephaniesOceanviewRestaurant.com

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Please bring this coupon. Dine in Only. In the Strawflower Shopping Center, Half Moon Bay Phone: 650.726.6610, Fax: 650.712.1484

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Open Daily 4 am - 1pm Breakfast and Lunch served all day House made pastries and bagels

HOMESTYLE MEXICAN FOOD

Spanishtown Mexican Restaurant and Market

Families Welcome - Food Available To Go Banquet Catering for up to 1000 People 515 Church Street, Half Moon Bay 726-7357 Open Daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

26 June 2011 HMB


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Frenchmans Creek

Quiet development a respite from impersonal city life

F

renchmans Creek residents bubble over when talking about their home. “There’s a sense of neighborhood,” said Bonnie Dunham, who had lived all around the Coastside before her marriage brought her here, where she is content. “When you walk around, people say hello. There’s neighborliness and friendliness.” “Everyone knows you by name,” said Straw Hat Pizza owner and Frenchmans Creek resident Kia Vakili, pausing during an evening stroll with his wife, Aki. “The neighbors are very nice to each Bonnie dUnHaM, FrenCHManS other. There are no problems whatsoever.” Creek reSident This small but contented enclave of homes consists of a network of small winding streets, without sidewalks. Designers wanted to emulate an intimate European feeling. The homes are vaguely ranch-style, comfortable without being immoderately sized, and surrounded by lush green lawns and blooming flowers. Come the holidays — Christmastime or Halloween, a much-loved holiday in Half Moon Bay — those homes sparkle with light, jack-o-lanterns and other imaginative and creative décor for the particular holiday. The enclave was built beginning in the early 1970s, and includes a day park featuring a playground with kids’ play equipment and lawn space for picnics, built under the auspices of Ocean Colony with help from residents. Among its better-known residents was noted local artist Galen Wolf, who made his home in the hills behind the houses. But the biggest feature of this neighborhood is the creek that curls around it on the south side, sparkling with fresh and clean water. Dunham sighs with delight as she contemplates the creek. “Ah, the creek!” she said rapturously. “It’s like looking out on another world and being immersed in a part of nature.” — Stacy Trevenon

“WHEN YOU WALK AROUND, PEOPLE SAY HELLO. THERE’S NEIGHBORLINESS AND FRIENDLINESS.”

School: Hatch Elementary School, 490 Miramontes St., Half Moon Bay Post office: Half Moon Bay Post Office, 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 What you’ll see: Tasteful yet modest homes with beautifully manicured yards, delightfully decorated for holidays Neighborhood gem: The clean, sparkling creek bordering the development Recent sale: $782,500

HMB June 2011 27


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Grandview Nearest school: Half Moon Bay High School, Lewis Foster Drive, Half Moon Bay Post Office: 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Parks: California state beaches to the west Shopping: Strawflower Village, almost one to the south. Last sale: $475,000

Neighbors host block parties, hike together The Grandview Boulevard neighborhood, on the north end of Half Moon Bay, can be considered a world onto itself. The main drag, with four side streets, comes to life during Christmas season and that is just one of the occasions when the neighborhood comes together. “I know about six houses put up lights,” said neighbor John Smith. “We have some people who drive by to see the lights.” Perhaps that sets the tone for the rest of the year. JoHn SMitH, GrandVieW “We have a lot of block parties,” Smith said. BoULeVard reSident “Of course, everything depends on the weather.” There are also plenty of birthday parties. The biggest kick Smith gets out of his neighborhood is what’s to be found at the end of the street. With undeveloped land on the horizon, many in the neighborhood walk down to the end of the street for a quick neighborhood hike. “It’s a great neighborhood,” Smith said. “Everyone here is very close.” Smith has seen lots of changes in the neighborhood since moving to the Coastside from San Francisco 34 years ago. “It was very quiet back then,” Smith said. “Now, a lot of tourists come by.” The only downside to living in that neighborhood is the close proximity to Highway 1. “A lot animals run loose toward the highway,” Smith said. “Kids on their bikes when they are young get there. It’s very dangerous. Some people drive way too fast on Highway 1.” All the neighbors have learned to adapt though. Smith loves his neighborhood. “It’s a nice, quiet neighborhood,” Smith said. “We are very happy to be living here.” — Mark Foyer

“WE HAVE A LOT OF BLOCK PARTIES. OF COURSE, EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON THE WEATHER.”

28 June 2011 HMB


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Highland Park

Peaceful neighborhood is only minutes from retail center

F

red Whelen remembers when Terrace Avenue was a dirt road and the Highland Park neighborhood a work in progress. Locals called the road something different after steady winter rains. “We called it Hogwalla,” he said. The road was paved in the mid-1980s, following the passage of a bond measure. For Whelen, it was an easy vote to cast. Fred WHeLen, “We were all sick of the mud,” he said. terraCe aVenUe reSident One incident that stands out is the day his son stood in the mud, wearing his rubber boots for so long that, when he tried to get out, he was stuck. He fell into the mud, face first. “There was nothing on his back,” Whelen said. Much has changed since those days. More houses have been built, but the neighborhood continues to have a family feel to it. His neighbors include his brother-in-law in one house and daughter in another. “We look after each other,” Whelen said. “We get to know everyone here. It’s like a little community.” For the families with high school-aged children, the neighborhood is perfect, as it’s adjacent to Half Moon Bay High School. The kids end up on Highland Park, walk through a little trail and enter the high school grounds by the baseball field. There’s no need to drive them to school, fighting the traffic to get onto Highway 1. “I just love that location,” said Christine Olivero, who has lived with her husband and children in the Highland Park neighborhood since 1993. “We love being very close to the high school.” Getting to school on a rainy day is another matter. For the most part, Olivero’s two older daughters, now in college, walked to school in the rain. There were times they were driven. With all the lots filled, Olivero has gotten to know nearly all the neighbors. While some have lived in their residence for a long time, other houses seem to turnover fairly often. “I like our neighbors,” Olivero said. “There are a lot of families here.” — Mark Foyer

“WE GET TO KNOW EVERYONE HERE. IT’S LIKE A LITTLE COMMUNITY.”

School: Half Moon Bay High School, Lewis Foster Drive, Half Moon Bay Post Office: 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Parks: California state beaches are just to the west of Highway 1 and provide ample opportunity for exercise. Shopping: Strawflower Village is a halfmile to the south. It’s anchored by a grocery store and includes a drugstore and a host of mom-and-pop retailers. Recent sale: $725,000

HMB June 2011 29


Cooking for Friends 422 Pigeon Point Rd, Pescadero 29+ acres overlooking Pigeon Point. 3 bed 3.5 bath. 3500 sq. ft. home. Large two story garage. Great for privacy or entertaining. Offered at $5,950,000 www.lighthouseview.info Frank Vento, Realtor Accredited Buyer Representative ABR, Dolphin Real Estate 1700 South El Camino Real #200, San Mateo, CA 94402 (650) 888-9900 www.frankshomesearch.com

Spanish Paella Hawaiian Luau New England Lobster Bake Weddings • Graduations • Corporate

Richard Poncini 650.740.8726 | www.cookingforfriends.net

Coming in the July magazine … 206 Laguna Dr, La Honda • 1,100 sq. ft. – 2 beds/1 bath • Sunny, private location

$399,000

• Surrounded by woods • Hiking trail almost at front door

Read all about local merchants — who they are, how long they’ve been in business, why YOU should shop with them! July is our annual Business Commerce edition and we will be featuring profiles and photos of our local businesses.

www.530WurrRoad.com

530 Wurr Rd, Loma Mar • 3,000 sq. ft - 4 beds/3 baths • 5-acre horse property

$1,399,900

• Walk to trails, Great climate • Remodeled & Turn-key

Gail Hafelfinger, CRS Broker Associate, Lic #01338252 8865 La Honda Rd, La Honda, www.gailhafel.com 1700 S. El Camino Real #200, San Mateo, CA 94402 650-996-5354 (direct) / 650-638-1634 (fax) 30 June 2011 HMB

Are you a local business and would like to be included? Call the Review TODAY at 726-4424. The final deadline for inclusion is Friday, June 10!


N eighborhood :

La Honda

Vibrant town hidden in the hills

L

a Honda was supposed to be a temporary home for Robert White and Laila Selk. But when the big-city couple moved to the backwoods town, they were awestruck. Their first week in town, they didn’t have to meet the neighbors — instead, the neighborhood came to them. Locals dropped by to welcome them to town; two people immediately invited them over for dinner. The couple, now in their 19th year living here, said they quickly learned that behind La Honda’s — Laila Selk, La Honda resident solitude and serenity is actually a town built on a vibrant little community. “I grew up in the suburbs, where no one knew each other,” White said. “I was astounded that there were communities that have remained this way.” A long drive from any large shopping area, many La Hondans say they adapt by planning ahead and relying heavily on each other. More than other towns, locals here depend on asking each other for the occasional cup of sugar, tool or piece of machinery. White, a professional physical therapist, said he gives free treatment to one neighbor in exchange for help repairing his truck. He gives the same deal to another fellow down the street for helping out with plumbing problems around the house. With one son now in his teens, Selk and White say they’ve never had to actually hire a babysitter. They’ve just asked friends down the road for a favor. Originally a lumber and ranch community, La Honda in recent years has drawn many top professionals from Silicon Valley and academic institutions. The town has among the best recreational facilities in the area, which makes it a draw for horse-riders, cyclists, bikers and hikers. Since its founding in the 1930s, the local homeowners’ association, the Cuesta La Honda Guild, has devoted about a quarter of its revenues toward recreation. Today the area has its own playground, basketball, tennis courts, horse ring, community center and the largest public pool on the Coastside. Selk says she is still amazed that she never really noticed La Honda when she was younger and would head over Highway 84 to the beach. “I drove here countless times not knowing this little slice of heaven was here,” she said. — Mark Noack

“I drove here countless times not knowing this little slice of heaven was here.”

School: La Honda Elementary, 450 Sears Ranch Road, La Honda Post office: 8865 La Honda Road, La Honda, CA 94020 Things to do: Miles of nearby trails for walks, biking or horseback riding. The La Honda community pool is a town hangout through the hot summer months. Businesses: Apple Jack’s, a rustic cabin barroom that draws music acts and other events; the La Honda County Market, the town grocery store and deli.

HMB June 2011 31


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Offer ends 7/20/11. Credit card required (except in MA & PA). New approved customers only (lease required). $19.95 Handling & Delivery fee may apply. Applicable use tax adjustment may apply on the retail value of the installation. *BILL CREDIT/PROGRAMMING OFFER: IF BY THE END OF PROMOTIONAL PRICE PERIOD(S) CUSTOMER DOES NOT CONTACT DIRECTV TO CHANGE SERVICE THEN ALL SERVICES WILL AUTOMATICALLY CONTINUE AT THE THEN-PREVAILING RATES. Free HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME and Cinemax for 3 months, a value of $135. LIMIT ONE PROGRAMMING OFFER PER ACCOUNT. Featured package names and prices: CHOICE $60.99/mo.; CHOICE XTRA $65.99/mo. Prices include a $26 bill credit for 12 months after rebate, plus an additional $5 with online rebate and consent to email alerts. Upon DIRECTV System activation, customer will receive rebate redemption instructions (included in customer’s first DIRECTV bill, a separate mailing, or, in the state of New York, from retailer) and must comply with the terms of the instructions. In order to receive $31 monthly credits, customer must submit rebate online (valid email address required) and consent to email alerts prior to rebate redemption. Rebate begins up to 8 weeks after receipt of rebate submission online or by phone. Duration of promotional price varies based on redemption date. †FREE HD OFFER: Includes access to HD channels associated with your programming package. To be eligible for Free HD you must activate and maintain the CHOICE XTRA Package or higher and enroll in Auto Bill Pay. Also requires at least one (1) HD Receiver and activation of HD Access. Account must be in “good standing” as determined by DIRECTV in its sole discretion to remain eligible for all offers. In certain markets, programming/pricing may vary. **2-YR. LEASE AGREEMENT: EARLY CANCELLATION WILL RESULT IN A FEE OF $20/MONTH FOR EACH REMAINING MONTH. Must maintain 24 consecutive months of your DIRECTV programming package. DVR service $7/mo. required for DVR and HD DVR lease. HD Access fee $10/mo. required for HD Receiver and HD DVR. No lease fee for only one receiver. Lease for first two receivers $6/mo.; additional receiver leases $6/mo. each. NON-ACTIVATION CHARGE OF $150 PER RECEIVER MAY APPLY. ALL EQUIPMENT IS LEASED AND MUST BE RETURNED TO DIRECTV UPON CANCELLATION, OR UNRETURNED EQUIPMENT FEES APPLY. VISIT directv.com OR CALL 1-800-DIRECTV FOR DETAILS. Advanced receiver instant rebate requires activation of the CHOICE XTRA Package or above; MÁS ULTRA or above (for DVR Receiver, OPTIMO MÁS Package or above); Jadeworld; or any qualifying international service bundle, which shall include the PREFERRED CHOICE programming package (valued at $39.99/mo.). Second advanced receiver offer requires activation of an HD DVR as the first free receiver upgrade and subscription to Whole-Home DVR service ($3/mo.). Additional advanced receiver upgrades available for a charge.INSTALLATION: Standard professional installation only. Custom installation extra. Next-day installation is subject to availability. Local channels eligibility based on service address. Not all networks available in all markets. Programming, pricing, terms and conditions subject to change at any time. Pricing residential. Taxes not included. Receipt of DIRECTV programming subject to DIRECTV Customer Agreement; copy provided at directv.com/legal and in order confirmation. ©2011 DIRECTV, Inc. DIRECTV and the Cyclone Design logo, CHOICE and CHOICE XTRA are trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Lesley Gardens Post Office: 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Parks: California state beaches aren’t too far away and Kitty Fernandez Park is a nearby refuge. Shopping: Downtown Half Moon Bay is right up Main Street. Number of units: 63

Residents treated with respect at senior home

I

t’s nearly impossible for Rowena Manos to pick just one reason why she likes living at Lesley Gardens. There are too many to count. “It’s clean and well kept,” Manos said. “We have gardeners who do a great job.” Located on Arnold Way in Half Moon Bay, the facility opened for residents 62 and older in 2004. It provides a sense of community to its residents. “It’s a very positive attitude,” said Manos, who moved into one of the single-bedroom apartments when it opened. “Morale is always high here. That means a lot to us. We are treated with respect.” Residents making up to $37,650 a year are eligible to live there. They pay 30 percent of the rent, with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development picking up the rest. Residents pay for their utilities. If it wasn’t for Lesley Gardens, Manos says she wouldn’t be able to afford to live anywhere on the Coastside. “I feel blessed to live here,” Manos said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.” The sense of community is noticeable upon entry. The main social roWena ManoS, area is wide enough for people to walk in. It’s warm and comfortable, as LeSLeY GardenS are the people. Everyone is friendly. reSident One of the regular highlights is a luncheon the center hosts once a month. “I’m not sure why they do it,” Manos said. “They just want to do it.” The apartments are a stone’s throw away from Sea Crest School. Manos, at first, was worried that the tranquility of the residence would suffer during the school year. That turned out to be no problem at all. And the school provides a scenic backdrop for her. “Every morning, I see the sunrise over Sea Crest and the hills,” Manos said. “It’s beautiful.” — Mark Foyer

“I FEEL BLESSED TO LIVE HERE. I COULDN’T ASK FOR ANYTHING BETTER.”

HMB June 2011 33


Immaculate Mediterranean 443 Magellan St., Miramar 5BD/4BA home on 12,000 sq.ft.lot adjacent to open space in Miramar. Separate suite on 1st floor. Plus 3rd Floor recreation room. $1,475,000 Linda Hollister Serving Your Real Estate Needs Coastside to Palo Alto 650.868.0883 650.712.1199 Ext. 205 lhollister@apr.com

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Lynnette Giusti Alain Pinel Realtors 650-281-5033 34 June 2011 HMB

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N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Miramar

Farms, barns and mansions all on one strip “I LIKE THE WATER HERE, I LIKE LIVING SO CLOSE TO THE OCEAN. I LIKE THE FRESH AIR.”

School: El Granada Elementary School, 400 Santiago St., El Granada, CA 94019 Post office: 20 Avenue Portola, El Granada CA 94018 Shopping: Half Moon Bay is about three miles south; El Granada is about one mile north. Things to do: Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society is a nearby venue for world-renowned jazz artists, and Mirada Road is a beachfront roadway that is popular for cycling, roller-skating or walks.

I

n 1942, Layton Van Etten came to Miramar as part of a U.S. Army artillery brigade. Now 70 years later, he’s still living in the area, and he’s watched the coastal town change from a farmland filled with more than 5,000 soldiers to being a quiet little residential community. Today he lives right next to the same house where his wife grew up. “She was actually born right in this house,” he said, indicating a small yellow cottage at the end of Alcatraz Avenue. “I like the water here, I like living so close to the ocean. I like the fresh air.” Miramar — not quite the Midcoast, not quite Half Moon Bay — has been an anomaly on the Coastside. Tucked along the shoreline and mostly imperceptible to the drive-by traffic, Miramar today -- LaYton Van etten, is a mixture of old farmhouses of Miramar standing right next to aLCatraZ aVenUe million-dollar dream homes. reSident The beachfront community could have been entirely different. Back in the 1950s, Highway 1 used to navigate right along the coastline of Miramar, before winding its way back inland at Mirada Road. The tourist traffic streaming into Miramar along the highway was a staple for local eateries such as the Miramar Beach Restaurant. But when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed breakwater at Pillar Point Harbor, the coastal erosion along Miramar accelerated. Parts of the old highway ended up collapsing into the sea, severing the main artery for the tiny community. Living in a two-story home he built himself, Van Etten says the mixture of old-timers and newcomers makes the area a friendly place that continues to evolve. — Mark Noack HMB June 2011 35


Separate in-law unit attached to newly updated home 1024 Cedar St., Montara 3300 sq.ft. home on 9,000 sq. ft. flat lot 5 BDR, 3 BA. Huge Family Kitchen. $885,000 Linda Hollister Serving Your Real Estate Needs Coastside to Palo Alto 650.868.0883 650.712.1199 Ext. 205 lhollister@apr.com

36 June 2011 HMB


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Montara

A mix of history, arts, animals, dramatic beaches

School: Farallone View Elementary School Post office: 215 7th St., Montara, CA 94037 Historical landmarks: The Old Montara Schoolhouse, at Sixth and LeConte Streets, now the Susan Hayward School of Dancing; the Goose and Turrets bedand- breakfast Unique restaurant: La Costañera restaurant overlooking Montara State Beach. Recent sale: $819,000

C

riminal defense attorney Bill Johnston has plenty of evidence to back up his assertion that Montara is, in a word, “eclectic.” “When I came here in 1978 there wasn’t a paved street in town except Fourth Street and Main Street,” he said. And now, “there are probably as many dogs as people it’s not uncommon to look out the window and see someone riding by on a horse, and I live across the street from a herd of alpacas.” Nestled at the southernmost tip of the infamous “Devil’s Slide” that connects the Coastside to Pacifica and San Francisco, Montara exudes a feeling of colorful residential gentility that is close to the land. It was home to an artists’ colony in the early 20th century and BiLL JoHnSton, to a destination hotel of which the old front porch steps are still Montara reSident hidden in the brush. Its genteel structures from the past have been retranslated to meet today’s needs: its old grammar school now houses a ballet school where young dancers pirouette in rooms defined by historical architecture. The former Ocean Shore Railroad crossing at Second and Main streets is now a residence. Its back streets are dominated by open space where Johnston’s children played in the summertime. Residents range from seniors on retirement budgets to dot-commers. And those residents are hardy. In the past three decades the slide has closed in bad winter weather, cutting Montara off from the northern Bay Area for up to seven months. But Coastside residents focused on finding a solution that would work well with their environment. A tunnel project is now well underway And the community enjoys that camaraderie: Each year, on Halloween, several blocks close to traffic so that residents can celebrate spooky fun with costumes, candy, jack-o-lanterns and the famous “witches’ house.” The Point Montara Light Station deserves mention. Established in 1875, it houses a multi-beveled lens that used to illuminate the waves to warn approaching seafarers of jagged rocks lurking just below the water west of Montara. “There’s a sense of history about the place,” Johnston said. — Stacy Trevenon

“WHEN I CAME HERE IN 1978 THERE WASN’T A PAVED STREET IN TOWN.”

HMB June 2011 37


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N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Moss Beach

Tidepools and cypresses hidden in the mist “I TREASURE THE RURAL NATURE OF THE COAST FAR MORE THAN A BAGEL OR A HOME DEPOT.”

S

itting in his front-yard patio, Dan Blick sipped his tea and watched a hummingbird flutter around hunting for nectar in his garden. It was a perfect morning in Moss Beach — warm weather, no clouds and no planes from Half Moon Bay Airport blaring through the sky. “This is one of those rare days when there’s sunshine and no air traffic,” he said. “Miramar and El Granada are in the sun belt. We have fog here. I think that’s just something that’s accepted here.” Aside from the regular gray skies, Blick describes his tucked away neighborhood as a hidden gem of the coast. A consultant for Silicon Valley hard-drive companies, he acts as leader of the homeowners association, making him well-acquainted with all the neighbors on the close-knit Arbor Lane. The small cul-de-sac community on the oceanside of Highway 1 has about 20 families who have an annual Fourth of July block party and share ownership of a grassy bluff at the end of the street. dan BLiCk, With Fitzgerald Marine Reserve just to the southwest and farmarBor Lane reSident land directly to the southeast, Moss Beach residents are proud of the rural atmosphere of their hamlet. Blick’s wife, Jennifer, works as a docent at the marine reserve, and their sons grew up learning about nature firsthand at the tide pools down the street. “We feel incredibly connected to it,” he said. “My older son knows his nudibranchs and his dorids well enough to be a docent also.” Being in a rural area does involve some sacrifices, he points out. His family does have to drive a distance to get to many stores, and he really wishes Moss Beach had some kind of bakery nearby. But the tradeoff is more than worth it. “I treasure the rural nature of the coast far more than a bagel or a Home Depot,” he said. — Stacy Trevenon

School: Farallone View Elementary, 1100 LeConte Avenue, Montara Post office: 2315 Carlos St., Moss Beach, CA 94038 Things to do: The Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is great for day hikes with its blufftop cypress trees and beach tidepools. Moss Beach Park is a neighborhood-supported playground on Virginia Avenue. Shopping: Coastside Market, a small grocery bodega; Moss Beach Distillery, a tasty restaurant and bar with a stellar view of the beach; El Gran Amigo, a tacqueria with some of the best burritos on the Coastside. Recent sale: $550,000

HMB June 2011 39


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N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Ocean Colony

Gated community is kid-friendly oasis “THE KIDS CAN RIDE THEIR BIKES OR GO SKATEBOARDING AND WE DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THEM.”

K

aren and Steve Bacich remember their initial thoughts when they moved to Ocean Colony 14 years ago. They had two children and they worried that their kids would have trouble finding playmates in the gated community. That turned out to be no worry at all. The Bacich children grew up with other kids in the neighborhood, riding bikes and skateboards or trying to catch bullfrogs. “We were told this was not a kid-friendly place,” Karen Bacich said. “The kids can ride their bikes or go skateboarding and we don’t have to worry about them.” For families with younger children, three small parks are located on the grounds, complete with all the necessary swings and slides. karen BaCiCH, oCean Adjacent to the Half Moon Bay Golf Links, some kids CoLonY reSident also have become young entrepreneurs as well. Some fish golf balls out of the lakes and sell them; others have set up a lemonade stand on holes near their homes. The adults don’t have a problem finding things to do either. In addition to playing golf, residents can play tennis, swim or just walk around the neighborhood. Being members of the Colony Club gives them access to the tennis court and swimming pool. Walking around the neighborhood is probably the best activity going. It’s during those times when neighbors see each other. They stop their walks and share family news. There are plenty of activities scheduled throughout the year, depending on the holiday. Some of the best activities are the unplanned variety. It all starts with a good walk. “You can either walk along the golf course, toward the beach or toward the duck pond,” Steve Bacich said. “At the duck pond, you can feed the ducks.” It’s quiet … but not too quiet. “It’s a pretty vibrant area,” Steve Bacich said. “There’s a lot of interaction between the neighbors.” — Mark Foyer

School: Hatch Elementary School, 490 Miramontes Ave., Half Moon Bay Post Office: 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Parks: Many residents are members of the Colony Club. It features a heated pool, sauna and tennis courts. Shopping: Downtown Half Moon Bay is about two miles north and the beaches are a short walk away. Recent sale: $1.7 million Things to do: Play golf on one of the adjacent courses – or feed the ducks at the duck pond.

HMB June 2011 41


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Pillar ridge Average size of lot: 3,000 to 4,000 square feet Average home price: $65,000 Monthly rent: $1,020 Total homes: 227 Big asset: The community is located close to the Pacific Ocean and bluff trails are right in the community’s back yard.

Residents find affordable living, a budding sense of community

A

t 7 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday nights at Pillar Ridge Manufactured Home Community, residents fill the clubhouse for Zumba and other aerobics classes. On Wednesday afternoons, the younger residents flock to the recLiSa ketCHaM, PiLLar ridGe reation center for a homework club. On Monday’s ManUFaCtUred HoMe reSident it’s arts and crafts. The last few years have brought tremendous changes for the manufactured home community settled on 22 acres just west of Half Moon Bay Airport. After community-fueled action to stabilize rent in 2004, a nonprofit organization called Millennium Housing purchased the park. “Residents have input now,” said resident Lisa Ketcham. “We got to pick a new name and make new rules.” Ketcham recalled the day when the park changed hands. The park’s pool opened right away and a playground was built soon after. “People were smiling at each other in the streets,” she said. Ketcham moved into Pillar Ridge 13 years ago. Now she waits with anticipation as a new $100,000 home that was hauled over the hill in two parts is fused together in the lot across from her original 1960s manufactured house she’s waiting to sell. “People think it’s a trailer park home, but really it’s not because the homes are manufactured and have been here a long time,” said Pillar Ridge Resident Manager Paul Bowman. Bowman and his wife, Lenore, are raising their children in a home in the community. The park is home to roughly 850 residents, made up of mostly working families and seniors. The roads that weave through Pillar Ridge are swept clean and the cars are all tucked away in car parks on the individual lots. Some homes still have the car port awnings the defunct manager had required of the residents. While some of the manufactured homes are new models with porches and bay windows, most of the homes are meticulously well-kept reminders from the last century. “We’re a close-knit community because of the size of the lots,” said Lenore Bowman. — Lily Bixler

“RESIDENTS HAVE INPUT NOW.”

42 June 2011 HMB


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Princeton

Funky seaside village rides on storied history

School: El Granada Elementary School, 400 Santiago St., El Granada Post office: El Granada Post Office, 20 Avenue Portola, El Granada, CA 94018 Places of interest: Pillar Point Harbor, where you can visit restaurants, go on whale-watching expeditions, and take home fresh seafood just hauled in and commercial or live-aboard boats; Surfer’s Beach just south of the harbor, where beach-goers relax in the sun and student surfers try out their skills. Recent sale: $500,000

P

rinceton-by-the-Sea, or simply Princeton, is a world of its own: braced on a colorful past and tinted by local color, seafood and innovation. Prohibition defined Princeton in the 1920s, as opportunists capitalized on its isolated seaside location to land contraband. The rUSSeLL BiSSonnette, doomed Ocean Shore Railroad brought passengers enthralled by LonGtiMe aMeriCan its Coney Island-like haven of restaurants, hotels and dance floors. LeGion MeMBer Among the famous faces you might spot there over time were Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio dining at Hazel’s restaurant, “Tennessee” Ernie Ford visiting Ida’s Seafood Grotto, redhaired madam Maymie running her successful bordello or Janis Joplin or Allen Ginsberg greeting fellow artists and displaced San Francisco beatniks at the Abalone Factory. The rusting hulls of fishing boats could be seen from the village’s streets named after tony universities like Stanford and Yale. It looks different now, but the color and the spirit haven’t changed. Upscale businesses and hightech havens thrive where rumrunners once ducked authorities. Young artists’ groups continue to channel the enclave’s color and undercurrent of creativity. Commercial fishers, whale-watchers, pleasure yachters and kayakers alike take to the open ocean from the eastern-seaboard-style harbor. Shoppers visit Harbor Village, where they sip wine or seek bargains while glancing from windows to piles of crab pots, backed by a shining sea. The Fourth of July is hailed by members of the American Legion Post 474, and a warehouse is closed in November and December to make room for Christmas gift-wrapping for Coastside Hope’s Adopt-a-Family effort. Just offshore, surfing aficionados gather for the world-renowned Mavericks surfing contest when the giant wave just outside the harbor hits 30- to 50-foot heights. “It’s a cool place,” said longtime Legion commander Russell Bissonnette. “Hard-working people and artists and craftspeople and fishermen. Kind of the common people.” — Stacy Trevenon

“IT’S A COOL PLACE.”

HMB June 2011 43


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44 June 2011 HMB

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N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Seahaven School: Half Moon Bay High School, Lewis Foster Drive, Half Moon Bay Post Office: 500 Stone Pine Road, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019 Parks: California state beaches to the west Shopping: Strawflower Village, one-anda-half miles to the south. Harbor Village is just up the road to the north. Recent sale: $560,000

Neighbors are there for each other

F

rom Zach Boewer’s viewpoint, the best thing about living in the Seahaven neighborhood is the people. Oh, the houses with the nice front yards give the neighborhood a nice look. However, it’s the neighbors that bring Boewer the greatest joy. “I help my neighbors, and they help me,” Boewer said. It’s the little things. Everyone is willing to check on a neighbor’s ZaCH BoeWer, house; everyone looks out for each other. SeaHaVen reSident “It’s a very quiet neighborhood,” Boewer said. “Everyone is respectful.” East of Highway 1, the neighborhood focuses on Spindrift Way with sweeping circular drives on Spinnaker and Mizzan lanes. Just about every weekend finds neighbors out in their yards. Maria Silveria, who lives around the corner from Spindrift Way, enjoys the quiet life that the neighborhood has to offer. “That is very important to us,” she said, while doing some yardwork with her husband and grandson. “We have very good neighbors.” The biggest challenge is trying to head south on Highway 1. Turning left out of the neighborhood can require patience. “It’s something we have to deal with,” Silveria said. “It’s like everywhere else.” The neighborhood has stayed the same even though the rest of the Half Moon Bay community has grown. “It’s still a wonderful place,” said Jean Burch, who has lived in Seahaven for more than 30 years. “We love the churches, the camaraderie and the feeling of safety.” She and her husband are retired. Though they think about moving, they are determined to stay in Half Moon Bay. “Look at the weather for the past few days,” she said during a recent second straight fog-free day. “We are in a very good spot,” Boewer said. — Mark Foyer

“WE ARE IN A VERY GOOD SPOT.”

HMB June 2011 45


N E I G H B O R H O O D :

Seal Cove School: El Granada Elementary School, 400 Santiago St., El Granada Evening stroll: Fitzgerald Marine Reserve’s Cypress Grove is nearby. Or head south to the blufftops above Ross’s Cove. Recent sale: $687,000 Plants that thrive: Succulents, Ceanothus, Echium and vegetables (watch out for gophers though.)

Eclectic community offers sea breeze without pretention

P

acific Palisades and Laguna Beach might come to mind upon thinking of oceanfront living. However, Seal Cove —right on Ocean Boulevard in southern Moss Beach —has all the perks of sea breeze and rolling waves but without the pretension. “We’re not trying to be anything we’re not,” says Seal Cove resident Cid Young. In fact, a pair of goats greets neighbors in Young’s front yard. Take a few steps through Young’s edible garden and you’ll find Matilda and Myrtle hoping for a bucket of food scraps the neighbors are known to drop off for them. Seal Cove encompasses the homes south of Cypress Avenue, bordering Airport Street and Ocean Boulevard. The lots are spread out enough that residents don’t live “cheek to jowl,” Young explained. Indeed, you’ll find no cookie-cutter houses here. Those living in Seal Cove get the space to express themselves. One resident has built out his front yard landscaping with an eccentric sprawl of Cid YoUnG, SeaL CoVe found materials. Down the road, a vacant lot is fenced in to oddly reSident resemble a cemetery. Seal Cove faces geological problems with sinking roads, erosion and runoff swale. After struggling with poorly maintained county roads, the community has banded together to repave some of its roads. Over the years, homes have been moved from teetering points on the bluffs west of Ocean Boulevard to safety east of the road. Between the neighborhood bobcat and the barking seals heard during the winter, Matilda and Myrtle the goats may have some competition for the Seal Cove community mascot. — Lily Bixler

“WE’RE REALLY BLESSED TO HAVE THIS COMMUNITY ON THE OCEAN FRONT.”

46 June 2011 HMB


real

estate

advice :

Bargain hunting Is opportunity knocking in the real estate foreclosure market? By Marian Bennett

Y

ou’ve been curbing your spending, increasing savings, and even your taxes are done. If you find yourself lucky enough to be flush with funds to invest in a home purchase, this might be a good time to learn how to get a bargain. Great deals can be had with traditional sales, but let’s focus on how to take advantage of a bank-owned or short sale property purchase in this market. Crisis brings opportunity, and California continues to be one of the three states with the highest foreclosure rate. Properties enter the foreclosure process as a result of unfortunate circumstances of home purchase borrowers. These days, savvy buyers are competing with each other in this unique real estate market, while economic and political uncertainties still keep the fearful and cash-challenged away. There are three ways to buy distressed property: 1. You can purchase at a foreclosure auction without a broker. In California it is called a trustee’s sale. 2. You can purchase a bank-owned property on the multiple listing service through a real estate broker. 3. You can purchase a short sale property on the MLS through a real estate broker. I am most knowledgeable about the latter two, but will briefly discuss some highlights of all three.

Crisis brings opportunity, and California continues to be one of the three states with the highest foreclosure rate.

HMB June 2011 47


There are three ways to buy distressed property: 1. You can purchase at a foreclosure auction without a broker. In California it is called a trustee’s sale. 2. You can purchase a bank-owned property on the multiple listing service through a real estate broker. 3. You can purchase a short sale property on the MLS through a real estate broker.

Some risks to watch out for include the uncertainty of a free and clear title transfer to you, possible eviction problems if the property is still occupied, and repair costs on a property that you have not had an opportunity to inspect.

48 June 2011 HMB

Bank-owned and short sale listings can easily be found and tracked online on most real estate broker and agent websites as a separate search feature these days. To buy a property at a foreclosure auction, plan to invest time in research. The best first step is to attend the auction in the county you intend to purchase. You will learn a lot in a short period of time. If you go more than once, you will see that experienced investors will purchase properties or they will buy nothing. Someone may also have property lists to sell. Even if a property is scheduled for sale on a particular day, the sale may be postponed. To buy properties this way, you have to be on top of your market to be confident in your bid. Some risks to watch out for include the uncertainty of a free and clear title transfer to you, possible eviction problems if the property is still occupied, and repair costs on a property that you have not had an opportunity to inspect. You also need to be prepared to hand over a cashier’s check at the time of the auction to buy a property in its “as is” condition — without any inspections. A buyer may bring her real estate agent or attorney if she wishes.

As for non-MLS research, there are myriad foreclosure data sites, including bank sites, that provide partial information. Many sites will require registration and fees to access their information. Free data is available at the San Mateo County Assessor website: http:// www.smcare.org/recorder/recording_documents/search_database. Expect to do lots of legwork and cross-referencing to stay on top of your desired property’s status. For amateur investors, it is best to start out in an area that you know, or plan to get to know, well. The second way is to buy bankowned properties, also called “REO” properties that did not get sold to a third party at the foreclosure auction. Bank-owned properties are typically listed and sold through real estate brokers. A buyer won’t learn anything about the property from the seller (i.e. lender), but will be allowed to do inspections and have the protection of an inspection contingency time frame — usually 14-17 days from the date of acceptance. The strictly defined and encyclopedic disclosures will not be available to an REO buyer. There will also be additional advisories and a sepa-


KEY REAL ESTATE TERMS

rate addendum that the bank will send as part of the accepted offer. Be aware: The pages read more like a separate contract. You may hear the term, “cash is king.” It means that cash offers or large down payments are the best offers. This is true for bank-owned listings too. For loans, the buyer will need to obtain a pre-approval letter from the seller to purchase the bankowned property and present that with the offer; however, the buyers are not required to use the seller for their own loan. Expect counter offers made to bank-owned listings. Bankowned listings typically close within the same time frame as a traditional sale, approximately 30-45 days from acceptance — or less with an all-cash accepted offer. The third way is to purchase through a short sale. A short sale seller is the homeowner, not the lender. Short sale listings are more challenging than bank-owned listings because the bank must approve the short sale after an offer has been submitted to the lender, and the seller must approve the bank’s terms of the short sale. If there is more than one lender, then separate negotiations take place with that bank also. You handle your

offer through a Realtor, who can guide you on what to expect with the short sale purchase process and contract addendums. Offers with at least a 20 percent down payment near market value are typically well received — with bonus points for a larger down payment and a healthy dose of patience. The buyer should really want the property and be willing to do what is asked to get it. Short sale listings take longer to close and can range from 30 days to several months. Regional and national headlines may be attention-grabbers, but real estate reality is in our own backyard. The most active counties in California for distressed property sales are in the Central Valley and parts of Southern California. Property gems, here or elsewhere, are grabbed by buyers who watch the market and are ready to put pen to paper in a swift manner when the time comes. Marian Bennett is a Coldwell Banker real estate agent. You can reach her at 650-7122460 or check her website at http:// mariansbennett.com/

Real estate owned (REO): Property taken back by the lender after failing to sell at auction. Short sale: The sale of a property under or at market value for an amount lower than the loan balance and other associated costs. Pre-foreclosure: Term used to discuss delinquent properties before they go to foreclosure auction. Foreclosure: A legal procedure whereby property used as security for a debt is sold to satisfy the debt in the event of default on the mortgage note or default of other terms in the mortgage document. The foreclosure procedure brings the rights of all parties to a conclusion and passes the title of the property to either the holder of the mortgage (or deed of trust in Calif.) or a third party who may purchase the real estate at the foreclosure sale, free of all encumbrances affecting the property subsequent to the mortgage. Deed of Trust: This is what home loan borrowers sign when they obtain a loan for their home purchase in California. The three parties involved in a Deed of Trust are the beneficiary (the bank that benefits by collecting interest), the Trustor (the borrower) and the Trustee (holds title for the benefit of the beneficiary). Trustee’s sale: The last step in the California foreclosure process. If no third-party buyer hands over a cashier’s check at auction, the lender then owns the property, which becomes part of the lender’s portfolio of assets. A trustee’s sale can take place without the courts because California is a non-judicial state.

HMB June 2011 49


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50 June 2011 HMB

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» DOWN TO EARTH

Earthworms for sale?

Y

es, I know one can buy lady bugs, lacewings, earthworms and the like from hundreds of different catalogues and Web sites, but seeing a tub of them in the store got me to thinking. I was standing in line at Ace Hardware, looking at the display of lady bugs and earthworms near the register, and thought, “Have we come to this? Our soil is so dead that we have to buy worms and put them in the ground?” Right after that, I thought that even if your soil wasn’t void of all life, if you were starting a compost pile, that tub of worms might come in handy. But seriously, when we use pesticides to kill garden pests, the good guys go away too! When I dig in my garden (and

I don’t ever use pesticides), I’m constantly trying to not decapitate (which end is the head?) the worms that turn up. I’m always reminded of that movie, “Seven Years in Tibet,” in which they relocate each and every worm discovered during a construction project. I’m afraid I’m not that patient or diligent and, once in a while, I think I get one. (And no, it’s not true that each piece can continue to live. If you chop a worm in half, it dies.) So, if your soil could use some life, go ahead and purchase a tub or two of worms at our friendly, local hardware store, but make sure you don’t use anything in your garden that could kill them. And if you’re lucky enough to have lots of worms in residence, count your blessings. Just watch that shovel!

— CML

Know benefits of clay soil

Y

ep, you read that right — there are benefits, believe it or not. The term “clay soil” can strike fear into the hearts of most gardeners, and understandably so. Almost every plant we read about requires well-draining soil, and that’s one thing clay soil is not! We are all familiar with the No. 1 downside to having it, and that’s the fact that it drains poorly, which most plants do not like. What they do like, though, is nutrients, and clay soil is incredibly nutrient rich. If the water table isn’t too high (which unfortunately it is, in many

parts of the coast) then you can work with it successfully. Your biggest chance of success gardening in clay soil is to plant things that actually like growing in it. Here’s a few: t Aster t Crocosmia t Digitalis t Echinacea t Helenium Another thing you can do to help your plants is to apply a three- to four-inch layer of organic material, like compost,

right on top of your soil all around your plants. Rain will help the organic material to decompose and improve the consistency of your existing soil. A thick layer of shredded bark mulch will also prevent the soil from drying out and becoming as hard as a rock. One last bit of advice on clay soil: If you’re growing vegetables, it’s best to just grow them in raised beds … filled with a truckload of fluffy planting mix from Soil Farm!

— CML

Contact Jennifer Segale, Wildflower Farms, 726-5883 and Carla Lazzarini, Earth’s Laughter, (650) 996-5168.

HMB June 2011 51


» SIGHTSEEING. PHOTO BY CLAY LAMBERT.

Toy boats on the Mediterranean

n When: May 3, 2011, about 9 a.m. n Where: Off the coast of Santa Margherita, Italy n Camera: Canon A2200, set to “miniature effect.” n Notes: This spring I took a Mediterranean cruise. Because it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I resolved to resolve my lifetime phobia of photography. I asked around before purchasing an inexpensive point-and-shoot and was amazed at some of the images I got on my vacation. One of my favorite settings was the “miniature effect.” The boats in the photograph were large tenders designed to ferry up to 150 passengers from the monstrous cruise ship to shore at some ports. They appear to be toys on the water, due to the miniature effect setting. It’s something photographers know as “tilt-shift.” Though I certainly didn’t know it at the time, it’s actually fascinating; the simple camera setting uses the Scheimpflug Principle – a complicated formula that essentially changes the relationship between the plane of focus (the camera lens) and the image plane (what you are photographing.) Google it. I’m telling you, it is fascinating.

52 June 2011 HMB

HMB Magazine June 2011  

HMB Magazine June 2011

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