Light Up the Season event!

LUTS 2015The evening of Thursday December 3rd, our office Realty World Neighbors will be open from 5-7 p.m. for Light Up the Season festivities. RSVP HERE for our own “The Painter, the Poet, the Artisan” reception!

That evening, here’s what you can look forward to:

-local artist Jackie Arellano painting live in action animal portraits in our office’s “Art Gallery” where animal rescue-related artwork is on display

-local artisan Donna Jeffrey with her fuzzy handmade winter hats and scarves on display

-Dr. Marlena Uhrik’s book-signing for her Mom’s Choice Award winner, In Grandpa’s Hands along with “Take a Little Time—A  Keepsake Coloring Book”

-the Hayward Arts Council will be open across the hall

-the Hayward Area Historical Society will be open next door

-next door, Cannery Cafe will also be open for some goodies!

-pick up your “Passport to Downtown” and enter to win prizes!

At 7 p.m. sharp, we’ll close up and head to City Hall for the 7:30 p.m. tree-lighting ceremony!

While Their Peers Play, Allen & Rachel will INVEST

I love meeting young people who focus on “building” rather than “playing”. Allen & Rachel are 20-somethings who’ve made the decision to buy a home which is NOT in alignment with what their peers are doing. I’ve said this many times before:


Rachel & Allen seek a home in the Hayward-San Leandro-Oakland areas under $600,000. Might you know of a home coming available that their little dog Rupert would like?


Why Doing Business Locally MATTERS

Amazon_Infographic_1200px_headerAmazon is rapidly expanding its online empire, but behind the conveniences that the company offers are a lot of hidden costs. We put together an infographic to see how shopping at Amazon compares with shopping at local businesses in its impact on jobs, taxes, the local economy, and community. Before you click, here’s why your choice matters:

Jobs: Amazon creates less than half as many jobs as local brick-and-mortar stores do. This means the more Amazon grows and crowds out other businesses, the fewer jobs available.

Taxes: In most communities, Amazon has no facilities and therefore pays no property taxes.  In about half the states, it does not collect state and local sales taxes. Property and sales taxes are the main source of funds for our schools and public services.  If local businesses are squeezed out by Amazon, households will have to shoulder a higher tax burden.

Local Economy:  While local retailers are engines of economic activity, spending their revenue at a wide variety of other businesses in the community, Amazon merely extracts money, leaving little behind.

Click here to check out the full infographic. Please feel free to re-post and distribute this widely!



Want to live next to this? (Home Available Soon!)

Monika flier in JPGWe just listed a classy 3-bedroom home right next to Lake Don Castro. It will be available soon.

Would you like to live near outdoor recreation?

Don Castro Regional Park is a 101-acre urban oasis on the boundary between Hayward and Castro Valley. The clear waters of the swim lagoon are a favorite with central Alameda County residents.

The lake, San Lorenzo Creek Reservoir, is where fishing is available year round and hikers along the shore will discover a surprising wilderness in miniature, where turtles and frogs splash in the water, ducks rest in the reeds and raccoons and deer come down to drink at sunset. There is access to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the Chabot to Garin trail and over five miles of trails in the Five Canyons Open Space. The adjacent lagoon is supplied with water and a large shallow area is roped off especially for children.

CLICK HERE for more information about Lake Don Castro.

Animal Lovers’ Artist Reception

Artist Jackie Arellano painting “Clover”, an adoptable dog at the Hayward Animal Shelter

“Animal Rescue; A True Humanitarian Endeavor”

When we save an animal’s life, we never quite realize how it salvages our own souls. Join Hayward Arts Council members Jackie Arellano and Ann Maloney-Mason as they show the beauty of their own souls through the eyes of their furry artwork.

This artist reception kicks off a season of charity events supporting animal rescue efforts leading up to Carnaval with the Hayward Arts Council (November 13th) and SantaCon Hayward 2015 (December 5th).

CLICK HERE to RSVP for the event held on Saturday November 7th from 1-3 p.m. at Realty World Neighbors’ Art Gallery in Downtown Hayward

“Zombie Homes”: The Vacant (Property) Dead

Dashboard 1

‘Zombie’ Homes Spook Fewer Neighborhoods

Vacant foreclosures – known as “zombies” – plunged 43 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s latest U.S. Zombie Foreclosure and Vacant Property Report. As of the end of the third quarter, about 20,050 residential properties were in the foreclosure process and vacant, but had not yet been repossessed by the foreclosing lender.

“The overall inventory of homes in the foreclosure process has dropped 36 percent over the past year so it’s not too surprising to see a similarly dramatic drop in vacant zombie foreclosures,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “What is surprising is there are so many vacant homes where the home owners do not appear to be in financial distress — with only 3 percent in foreclosure or bank owned, and only 6 percent that are underwater. More than 63 percent of these vacant homes are not even encumbered by a loan, owned free and clear by the owner. The fact that the home owners are not selling given the recovering real estate market in most areas indicates that many of these properties are in poor condition and in neighborhoods that have been left behind by the housing recovery.”

The following states are still haunted with the most vacant “zombie” foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac’s report:

  • New Jersey: 3,997
  • Florida: 3,512
  • New York: 3,365
  • Illinois: 1,187
  • Ohio: 1,028

The following states have the highest share of vacant “zombie” foreclosures as a percentage of total vacant properties:

  • New Jersey: 9.4%
  • New York: 8.2%
  • Nevada: 2.7%
  • Massachusetts: 2.5%
  • Illinois: 2.1%

On a metro level, the following areas had the highest share of vacant “zombie” foreclosures as percentage of all vacant properties:

  • Rochester, N.Y.: 14.3%
  • Trenton, N.J.: 10.5%
  • New York: 10%
  • Albany, N.Y.: 7.9%
  • Allentown, Pa.: 5.2%

Source: RealtyTrac

Have “zombie homes” plagued YOUR neighborhood?

A Family Affair in the Upper B Street Neighborhood

Beautiful family!

Meet Mary & Hayes and their little one “S”, along with Mary’s parents. Last week Mary & Hayes got the keys to their new home!

This purchase happened because both Mary’s parents and Hayes’ parents helped them buy the home. Mom and Dad have their own place so the plan isn’t for them to crash the new pad any time soon.

This was a fun purchase for me to work, personally. It sure wasn’t the run-of-the-mill sale. There wasn’t a legal sewer connection and the sewer lateral had to be replaced. Plus, the property was purchased along with an adjacent lot and there were some easements to take into consideration, so it certainly wasn’t boring.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mary & Hayes and their positive attitude throughout the process. They are smart people and I always enjoy working with smarties! The sale took a bit longer than if there weren’t issues with the sewer connection, but with patience, everything turned out fine in the end.

Cheers to kids who make their parents proud enough to invest in them!

Client Testimonial:

“Anna is amazing. We were fortunate to find a house we liked pretty quickly, but then it took some doing to solve some problems with the house before it could close. She helped us through the whole process and helped us stay calm and be patient. She worked with the seller’s agent to let them know what needed to be fixed and kept us up to date on all the paper work we needed to do. I highly recommend Anna May. She’s efficient, thorough and friendly.”
-Hayes Morehouse


Idiot Savant & Alimony Ale

(I’m not really this skinny/muscular. The beer was just heavy and the photographer Greg Jones is BAD.)

Let’s face it. I’m not paid for my talent knowing whether or not the Unites States Postal Service, UPS or Fedex will deliver alcohol. Imagine my local postal representative’s reaction when I walked into the post office yesterday wanting them to transport this case of Alimony Ale. She thought I was joking!

I make a living connecting human beings with homes in which to live. I don’t get paid to know who prohibits alcohol delivery.

I went back to the office complaining to my husband about it. He said to me, “Don’t you remember when I told you they wouldn’t deliver?”


Listen to your spouse.

Alimony Ale from Buffalo Bill’s Brewery on B Street, Hayward

Dating, Engagement, Marriage: The Stages of Home-Buying

What’s Next?

  • The Home Search is the same as “Dating”. We know what we want in a home/partner and we know we must “have the goods” to get what we want.
  •  “The Engagement” happens after we make an offer on a home and the offer is accepted. Tread carefully during this period of time. This is when you look for flaws and deal-breakers so you’ll have time to bail out without penalty.
  • “The Marriage”: You’ve closed the purchase and are the official owner of the property. (Here’s where I start snickering.) If you try to get rid of it now, everyone will be wondering “What’s wrong with it?”

Many of us know what happens after marriage.

Weight-gain, lax grooming, fading colors, neglect. After buying a home, the same stages of post-courtship decline can happen before we know it.

We trim less and become visibly unruly. The leaves fade and are missing the luster and color applied before. The landscaping fits a bit tighter as the fabric of neglected greenery expands. We become fat and lazy!

You start coming home later…

You know how it goes within a marriage. You think what’s-her-name isn’t going anywhere so you become sloppy. You leave the toilet seat up. You buy Lucky Charms instead of bran cereal. You fail to be her hero by killing spiders. You fail to allow her to pluck your eyebrows when you start looking like Fu Manchu. You wait until he gets back into the room and point out that the dog barfed so he’s stuck cleaning it up.

(NOTE: I’m guilty of the last sentence above as of just this morning.)

The lights are on but no one is home…

This is why it’s important to generate reasons to spruce up. If you’re concerned about whether or not people think you’re a slob, invite them over for a party! This will give you incentive to shed a few lbs. of that fluffiness, plant tulips, etc. Make everyone want to be on the arm of the best-looking, best-maintained house on the block, even after being “married to it” for many years!

Finally, know if you’re ready for a commitment in the first place!
This photo was taken when I visited my family in Iowa last year.


What’s the difference between eggs and bacon?

The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.

Meet Ana and her daughter Jessica, our Exclusive Buyer Clients!

UPDATE as of 11:01 a.m. on September 24th, 2015: Ana and Jessica’s FHA purchase contract has been accepted! Terms include Seller providing clearance of all Section 1 items.

Ana and her daughter Jessica have been carefully planning and preparing for home ownership since last year. Just last week, Ana and Jessica signed on to become Realty World Neighbors’ Exclusive Buyer Clients.

Today we submitted a complete purchase contract on their behalf. We did this in person and met with the sellers’ agent in her Oakland hills office just this morning. By tomorrow afternoon, we’ll know if they were the winning buyers or if we will have to prepare to make an offer on their Number 2 choice.

Stay tuned for updates!

mother and daughter photo

Meet Mary & Hayes, our Exclusive Buyer Clients!

We absolutely love working with smart Clients! We are pleased to announce that our Exclusive Buyer Clients Mary & Hayes are in contract to buy a home in the City of Hayward!  We are going through the due diligence part of the purchase contract now and are on the way to Mary & Hayes owning a home in the coveted Upper B Street neighborhood if all goes well with their inspections.

Stay tuned for updates!Hayes and Mary with Sylvan photo

4th Annual SantaCon Hayward 2015!

2014 SantaCon group photo croppedPlanning for SantaCon Hayward scheduled for Saturday December 5th, 2015 is well underway! So far the following sponsors have committed to participating with their generous donations to the Hayward Animal Shelter:

The World Famous Turf Club

The Bistro

Chalk It Up

Brews & Brats

Bijou Restaurant & Bar

Sponsorship opportunities are available NOW so don’t delay! Visit for more information.