Make History on Prospect Hill

22272Prospect.frontphotoAvailable soon in the Historic Prospect Hill Neighborhood of Downtown Hayward is a charming 1181 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom bungalow at 22272 Prospect Street.  Two bedrooms and a full bath, along with an office area alcove are upstairs from a beautiful downstairs living room, dining room, half-bath and efficient kitchen area.  This historic home has had some major renovation work done by the current owners, including a new furnace and a completely new foundation.  Built in 1905 and full of character and craftsmanship, someone that appreciates history and the character of classic custom construction will fall in love immediately.  Sitting forward on a fairly sized lot, side access affords an easy path to a large back yard, that also includes a large storage shed for those seasonal items and boxed up memories.  This cedar shingle sided home has the benefit of being just a few short blocks from the rejuvenated Downtown Hayward Entertainment District, offering great international restaurants (Thai, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, El Salvadorian, American, California Cuisine, cafe’s, coffee shops and more), movie theaters, live music venues, bars and retail.  The weekly Farmer’s Market is a five minute walk, and a voluntary and active neighborhood association stays vigilant in furthering the neighborhood’s interests with City Hall.  Priced at $424,500, this downtown historic gem will make the lucky buyer very happy to call Hayward home.  Stay tuned from more information, pictures, and maybe a story or two about this beautiful home.

30532 Carroll Avenue Hayward CA

30532 Carroll Blvd, Hayward CA for $429,000

In sought after Fairway Park neighborhood.  3 bed/2 bath/2 car garage needs some TLC, but adventurers will certainly be rewarded with the pride of ownership.

Open House Wednesday, June 10 from 10 am – 1pm.  Offers forwarded to seller as they are received.  Ask your agent for access at other times…

Welcome to Hayward!

Changing Lifestyle and the Fence

2589 Hidden Lane, Hayward Hills: “The Perfect House for Someone My Age”

Recently, I turned 40. Applause please! I won’t say how recent it was (and shame on you for asking)! Over the years, my choice of home has changed from living at home (no privacy) to living in a big city for short spurts (tiny portions of flats or hostels overseas) to my first “house-home” while married (San Francisco) to the little condo near mom (for her cooking) when I was single again. After the condo, I needed more incentive to work harder and bought a silly house way too big for me and threw lots of fun parties. I’m now comfortable with my husband and our dogs.

The kind of home one chooses depends on family situations and marital status, yes?

A lovely young couple (yes, YOUNG!) recently retained our services to list and sell their home. They are hip and stylish and savvy and quite impressive people. They are also PARENTS of young children and even the kids are impressive. One of the kids is still in pre-school, the other is in grade school.

Speaking from my narrow perspective of someone who only has two stinky boy-dogs, here are a few questions and miscellaneous thoughts I have about being young and having young children:

  • Wouldn’t I miss going out on weekends with my friends? (Solution: Get a baby-sitter.)
  • Would I still want to invite friends over, knowing that the kinds of friends I’d have nowadays if I had young kids would bring their bratty young smelly kids? (Solution: Have a play-area or an entertainment room off yonder where I can’t see, hear or smell them.)
  • Would my life be boring? (Solution: A disco ball along with a stellar sound system.)
  • Would my spouse’s friends from his single days (or even some of my friends) irritate me in my Newly Enlightened Stage of Life After 40? (Solution: Have a house big enough with a separate area for the Cavemen to hang. Can you say “ooga-booga”?

What would be the perfect house for me, given all I wrote above? CLICK HERE for the best option I can think of at this very moment!

I love life, I love my husband, I love our dogs (not necessarily in that order) and I love my work, where I can be creative and have fun and work with people I truly respect and admire…

NOTE: This home is certainly by no means age-specific. I’m simply speaking about a few of the home’s virtues, as I see it from my own perspective. If you can afford it, you can buy it, no matter what your age, family status, or whether or not you have a stinky dog!

Time to Buy or Too Late To Buy?

The Bay Area real estate market continues its scorching pace as we enter the second quarter of 2015.  Supply is extremely limited, with properties all over the Bay Area attracting multiple offers.  Here in Hayward, a recent listing of ours attracted 14 offers the first few days it was on the market…the numbers are higher in the South Bay and Peninsula.  What is a buyer to do?  Well first, make sure you have a good agent…it is more important than ever to have someone on YOUR side when purchasing a home.  During these competitive markets, price is just one consideration…the terms of the purchase contract are equally if not more important.  Some bidders place ridiculous offers price-wise just to get into contract, knowing the property won’t appraise and they will then be able to negotiate the sales price later.  Not cool.  Don’t work with an agent that plays that game, as a good listing agent won’t bite and will protect the sellers from such manipulation.

Professional ethics are also in danger of being compromised when the competition is so fierce, so be wary.  Hire only a professional, full-time REALTOR that is a member of the National Association of REALTORS, the California Association of REALTORS, and adheres to the NAR professional Code of Ethics.  For more information about the market (a February article that is all the more true today) click on the link below.

Happy Hunting!

Logo of the National Association of Realtors.
The mark of a professional REALTOR….look for it!


Rent Control The Answer?

Rent control is quite controversial in terms of its effectiveness in controlling rents as well as stifling the development of needed rental property inventory.  A recent article (link below) goes into more detail about the push for rent control as Bay Area rents skyrocket.  Is the answer rent control or more liberal approval of new housing to meet continued strong demand for housing in our area?


English: Apartment buildings in La Malagueta, ...



Best Colors to Paint Your House

Exterior paint color may be one of the most important factors in enhancing your home’s curb appeal. There are many factors to consider when choosing an exterior paint color, especially when resale is your goal. It is important to understanding neighborhood standards as well as your home’s style, size, construction materials and the color of the roofing.


According to a national survey conducted by Sears Weatherbeater Paints, the most popular color for a home’s exterior is white. The survey found that nearly 40 percent of those polled said they would prefer white as the primary color of their homes exterior. The survey concluded that the least favored colors were yellow and red. White paint can make the outside of a home look more expansive and can bring light into a shady yard. You can accentuate trim and other architectural details on a white house by painting them in another subtle, but noticeable, color.  There are many variations of the white paints, from stark white to more cream colors, so there is a lot of flexibility when choosing a paint in this family of colors.

Neutral Colors

If you want to make your home look newer and more modern, take a look at the colors being used on new housing developments in your area. Typically, newer homes are painted in light, neutral shades, including light tones of tan, clay, cream, gray or beige. Shades of white are often used on the trim. You can incorporate a splash of color by painting the door a contrasting shade. For instance, a deep gray-blue door looks stately on a light-gray home with white trim.  Neutrals can be pretty boring, so spice up the palette you select to emphasize and highlight features of your home while still staying consistent with neighboring homes.

Dark Colors

Generally speaking, light colors are the best bet for painting a home for resale; however, if your home is in an older neighborhood, a light color may make it look out of place or less charming than the traditionally painted homes around it. Medium to dark shades of tan, gray, blue and brown may be the most common in established neighborhoods. Homes built from brick or stone often have trim painted in dark red, deep green or Williamsburg blue.

Drive around your neighborhood and community to look at other homes to see what works.  You don’t have to copy someone else’s choices, but you might see something that works really well with your home’s design too.  Finally, paint is relatively inexpensive, so if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.


House Smells: Last Night’s Dinner

Lingering odors can affect how much you enjoy your home or how much you might be able to sell it for.







Whether your family caused the odor in your home or you inherited a smelly room from the previous owner, you can get rid of it using a few proven methods. Avoid making the mistake of spraying an air freshener to cover up a bad smell. While it can take time to eliminate lingering odors from smoke, cooking, pets or mildew, it is possible to deodorize your home and introduce pleasing scents.

  1.  Clean your home thoroughly using a strong cleaning solution and cleaning rags. Pay attention to places you don’t normally clean, such as inside cabinets, under sinks and along window sills. Wipe down the walls, baseboards, doors and counter tops with a 1 to 10 solution of bleach and water.
  2.  Air out each room by opening the windows. Choose a nice day with a breeze to help move air throughout your home. Airing out the rooms will help release odors in curtains, carpets and furniture. Keep the windows open for at least an hour, or longer for particularly heavy odors.
  3.  Pull odors out of the carpet and furniture by sprinkling baking soda onto fabric surfaces. Allow the baking soda to sit on the surfaces for several hours, even overnight if you can. The longer you leave the baking soda on, the greater the absorption. Vacuum the baking soda from the carpet and furniture, using a vacuum cleaner with a new bag.  Scented baking soda products are also available, but use sparingly…they can be overwhelming!
  4.  Fill 2 to 4 shallow bowls with fresh coffee grounds, depending on the size of the room. Shut the windows and the door to the room, then leave the bowls overnight to let the coffee grounds absorb the odor. Throw the coffee grounds away the next day. Repeat one more night with fresh coffee grounds for particularly stubborn odors.

After you think your place is smelling better, invite a friend or two over to have them do an honest sniff test.  Our own noses get used to odors we are around, so get an objective schnozzola to do the test.  Then be sure to bbq your next salmon OUTSIDE, not in the house!

Buyers! Increase Your Likelihood of Success

Logo of the National Association of Realtors.
Logo of the National Association of REALTORS

The real estate market here locally continues to sizzle, with 10+ offers on an available listing not being uncommon.


Having the right agent is all the more important when trying to buy in this market.  We recommend you select an agent that is a full-time real estate professional, a REALTOR who abides by the National Association of REALTORS code of ethics, and someone who knows the local micro-markets to write up the best possible offer.  Winning the bid for a property isn’t just about the highest offer, but also the terms under which the purchase contract will be executed.  This is really where the experience and reputation of your agent can be the deciding factor in which buyer’s offer gets accepted.


It is also important that your agent is well-know in the industry and marketplace, because even in this technologically driven world, relationships matter when negotiating a real estate purchase.  Agents that are involved in their profession, attend local professional marketing meetings held throughout the week, and those with significant internet and social media presence are often the most likely to get you into the home of your dreams.  Now, more than ever, selecting the right agent could mean the difference between packing up to move to your new home or the stress of not knowing where you might land next…







If These Walls Could Talk….

whisperingOur home is about to turn 90 years old, and it makes me wonder what the house would tell us if the walls could talk.

I grew up in a very old house, and often imagined as a kid that all sorts of scary things must have happened in that house.  We moved into the old place when I was around 9 years old.  We were told that the previous owner’s husband had died in the “big room upstairs”.  That room was to become my older sister’s room (she was 16 at the time).  My brother and I came up with the story that we could hear breathing in that room.  My now sister’s room also had the sinister attic opening that led to the nether regions of the house.  Certainly something awful must occupy that space above her room as well.

Aside from the little brothers terrorizing our sister, the house had a gravity about it…a real sense of place, of sincerity, of history that no new place with mere sheet rock and cheap carpet could provide.  To be sure, there were probably environmental hazards of living in the 1904 dwelling.  Asbestos?  No problem…lead paint?  Very durable.  Who knows what disease is percolating within my tissue because of my residing there for the better part of 10 years, but it was so worth it, whatever befalls me.  Those were a great 10 years, with old mahogany paneling gracing various rooms, cork flooring in a hallway upstairs, and the classic “cowboy and Indian” wallpaper adorning my brother’s room when we moved in. Cedar lined closets and old hot water radiator heating in each bedroom were clanky and smelly and at the same time wonderful.

One of my favorite parts of that old house was not what was inside, but what was outside.  Two majestic maple trees sprawled between the sidewalk and the lazy Anderson street.  Having been planted probably around the time the house was built, they towered over the landscape at least 75 feet.  The shade, the rustling leaves, the falling leaves, the red and orange and green leaves, the majesty they provided will never be forgotten.

Now, some almost 35 years later since having moved out of my childhood home I find the same love of place, the same warmth in the hand hewn plank floors, the undersized closets, the giant inefficient furnace built to outlast me, the spookiness of the downstairs (basement I would call it, although Anna disagrees, calling it “the downstairs”).  We still have some single pane windows left in the house, with no plans of replacing them.  We will wear a sweater when we need to, remembering the workmanship that someone put into crafting those windows just for this house, unlike some of the other windows in the house that are probably repeated in thousands of homes.  Our house has many of the modern efficiencies expected in this day.  We don’t beat our laundry in the creek that is for sure, and the dishwasher’s name is Frigidaire, not Mabel.  We installed a solar array and now produce more electricity than we consume.  We have a landscaping that requires very little water.  We have LED lights and solar lighting all over the place.  We even have a high speed electric car charger (electric car not included…yet).  We even have a giant California native oak tree in our back yard that keeps the hillside firm and gives the whole property strength against the elements, whatever those might be.

It is home.

A Home For The Furry Ones

TEDDYPiglet cropped

Rochelle Ball pennysmall (2)

A Home for the Furry Ones:  Adopting a Furry One from a shelter can transform your house into a cozy home. But without careful preparation, your new furry friend can turn the old homestead into a mess. The following household and training tips will get you on your way to having it all—furry love and a tidy home.

Get Off to a Great Start

  • Put a cozy bed for your pet in every room. Pets are much more likely to keep off of furniture if they have attractive alternatives.
  • Until your pet learns house rules, don’t give him unsupervised access to rooms with sofas, beds or any other furniture you don’t want him on. Instead, spend time with your pet in those rooms, and be ready to gently but persistently discourage him from jumping up on the furniture. It may help to leave a short leash on your dog if he tries to hop up on your sofa. The moment he does, say “Oops!” Then take hold of his leash and gently lead him away from the sofa.
  • During “chill time” together, teach your dog that you’d like him to hang out on his own bed rather than on your furniture. Tie a short tether (about four feet in length) to the leg of a sofa. Place your dog’s bed next to the tether. When you’re ready to sit back and relax, tether your dog and give him something exciting to chew. (Try a new bully stick, rawhide or stuffed Kong toy.) While he works on his treat, you can sit on the sofa and read a book or watch TV.
  • If you have a cat, try putting double-sided sticky tape or upside-down carpet runner on furniture to discourage Fluffy from scratching.


  • Use dog crates and gates to confine your new dog when home alone until his house manners earn him unsupervised freedom.
  • Provide plenty of “legal” things for your dog to chew. If he has attractive toys and bones of his own, he’ll be much less likely to gnaw on your things!
  • Provide kitty with a variety of scratching posts and perches—cat trees are helpful.
  • Be sure to give your dog at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise—running, fetching, playing or swimming—each day. A tired dog will be much less likely to engage in destructive behavior.
  • busy dog will be much better behaved, too. Consider feeding your pet in food-puzzle toys when he has to stay home alone. If he spends his time working for his chow, he’ll be less likely to look for other ways to alleviate his boredom—like chewing on furniture legs or unstuffing couches.
  • Please also research house training for dogs and litter box training for cats.

And remember to increase your pet’s roaming privileges slowly, room by room. Going from restriction to complete freedom can set a pet up to fail.

Home Décor


  • Avoid vertical blinds, pooling drapery, ornate tassels and long cords that can become strangulation hazards. If a dog gets caught in any of these, he could panic and bring objects around him crashing down.
  • Think twice about mini-blinds, which can get bent beyond repair when a curious dog tries to see the outside world.
  • Fabric shades, café curtains and draperies are excellent choices for homes with dogs.


  • Provide comfy beds in each room or designate one piece of furniture as your pet’s place. Cover this piece with a washable throw and teach your pet that this is the only piece of furniture he is allowed to frequent.
  • Make sure slipcovers are machine-washable, especially if a light-colored solid is your upholstery of choice.
  • Leather and vinyl furniture is easy to clean, but can be damaged by too-long toenails! Be sure to clip your cat’s and dog’s nails regularly!


  • Use washable semi-gloss paint in areas where your pet may sprinkle spittle on the walls.
  • Washable vinyl-backed wallpaper is easier to clean than traditional paper-backed wallpaper.
  • Relegate antique wallpapers or fabric wall treatments to the top half of the walls; paint or hang a washable wall covering below.


  • Machine-washable area rugs are easier to keep clean than wall-to-wall carpeting. If urine soaks into carpet backing, it’s nearly impossible to remove. If you do decide to stick with wall-to-wall, it’s a good idea to stock up on carpet care products, especially enzymatic cleaners made specifically for pet accidents.
  • Roll up vegetable-dyed oriental rugs until your new dog is fully house-trained—and if rugs have decorative fringe, don’t put them back down until your pet is well past teething age (over 8 months)!
  • Tile, sheet linoleum and Pergo® are pet-friendly floorings that allow you to easily wipe away accidental droppings.
  • Seal hardwood floors with polyurethane to prevent urine odor from lingering.

Keep Your Pet’s Eating and Sleeping Areas Tidy

  • Spill-proof water bowls help prevent drooly drinkers from spilling on the floor.
  • A large, absorbent placemat under food and water bowls will make for easier clean-up after messy eaters.
  • Frequently wash your pet’s blanket and bedding; use a lint roller on pillows.
  • Scoop the poop out of your cat’s litter box at least once or twice a day.


  • If you use a product that contains ammonia to clean up your pet’s urine, you won’t be able to smell remaining odors, but your pet will! In fact, ammonia-based cleaners can actually attract pets and encourage them to urinate where they’ve made mistakes before. Instead, have on-hand a special enzymatic cleaner specifically made for cleaning up pet messes—all major pet stores carry them. For best results, be sure to follow the directions on the product label.


  • Regularly trim and file your pet’s nails to keep her from shredding furniture.
  • Brush kitty or pooch regularly to remove dead skin and hair that will otherwise end up on furniture and floors.
  • Wipe off your pet’s paws and mouth after meals.
  • Trim the hair around your pet’s bottom to help keep excrement from clinging.
  • Make it easy to give your pet a good rubdown after outdoor romps. Place a machine-washable area rug by the door and keep a towel handy near the entry.

Animal-Friendly Decor

Here are some fun ways to spruce up your home for your companion animals:

  • Internal Dutch doors between rooms make it easy for you to manage which pets are allowed where. They also eliminate the need for awkward baby gates.
  • Outdoor cat enclosures can be attached to the house with a cat door to allow free access for your feline friend.
  • Fenced-in yards should have a buried, inward-facing section to prevent dogs from digging and tunneling.
  • If you have cats, be sure to install high-quality metal screens on all windows.
  • Install a folding (hinged) cat perch under a window for kitty’s viewing pleasure.
  • How about a built-in alcove for your dog’s crate?
  • By adding a porthole to a kitchen cabinet, you’ve got yourself a new place for a cat litter tray! Not only will it look clean and neat, but the porthole will keep dogs from getting in and munching on cat waste.
  • A small lift along a wall where the litter box or food and water bowls are placed would make cleaning and feeding a lot easier for senior pet owners. The lift would be used to raise and lower the litter box or food bowls.
  • If you’re really handy, how about an outdoor septic disposal system for dog waste?!

Adapted from articles by Jacque Lynn Schultz, Director, ASPCA Companion Animals Program Advisor, and Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, Senior Vice President, ASPCA National Program Office.

Bay Area Home Sales Tank

Bay Area Home Sales Tank.  Why?  Because things are BAD or because they are soooooo GOOD?  What we have is a supply problem, folks.  No supply, no sales.  This puts the pinch on buyers and creates a feeding frenzy for the little supply available.  The message here is that it is a great time to put your home on the market, but be sure you have somewhere to move.  Arkansas anyone???