Why would you pay more for housing?

Whether you own or rent, whether you have kids in public schools or not, you ARE affected by the reputation of public education in your area. Here are statistics to show that higher-priced neighborhoods can command more because of their school district test scores:

CITY/School District     Avg sales price*     API Score**

Alameda                                 $672,750                    822             

Hayward***                          $324,309                    689

Fremont                                  $595,789                     859

Pleasanton                              $792,857                     901

Castro Valley***                  $485,775                     845

Union City/New Haven     $428,790                     772

San Leandro                           $379,894                      714

San Lorenzo***                    $313,515                       722

Newark                                      $409,667                      747

Dublin                                        $601,683                      854

Livermore                                 $468,948                     815


*Bay East Association of REALTORS: single family homes, December 2009

**California Dept. of Education, 2009 Base API

***includes unincorporated areas

Turkey Day Horror Stories

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 25:  Turkeys wait to ...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Everyone has at least one Thanksgiving dinner horror story. My “favorite” recollection of a turkey day dinner gone bad took place when I was about 10 years old.

The extended family had traveled to our house in Ellensburg, Washington to share in the T-Day festivities. Relatives from Vancouver, Ferndale and other reaches of Washington surrounded the table decked with sweet potatoes covered in brown sugar, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, Jello (yes, Jello), crescent rolls, pounds of butter, and a large space in the middle of the table for the guest of honor, Herkemer (Mom’s label for the turkey). That year, Herkemer was an over 20 pounder, due to the big crowd.

At the appointed time, Herkemer was paraded into the dining room and placed ceremoniously on the table. Dad, knife in hand, proudly began cutting into the turkey….as the turkey was opened up, a large, green “egg” in the middle of the main course glowed from within. It wasn’t appetizing, whatever it was. I still don’t know what it was, but I do know it was supposed to be there. My big brother, helpful as always, tried to convince me it was several disgusting things, which left indelible memories to this day that haunt every turkey I carve. Regardless, it was a memorable dinner. I ate only potatoes (and pumpkin pie of course). So, what’s your Thanksgiving dinner horror story?

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Schools vs. Property Values

In my most recent e-newsletter, I included a property for sale in Fremont that is going for about $390.00 per square foot. It’s a nice home, in a fairly new neighborhood, not unlike several Hayward neigbhorhoods. In Hayward, however, a “similar” property would be selling for closer to $210.00 per square foot (this is the answer to my e-newsletter question!). Why the huge difference? Mainly, the quality of our schools.

As a community, we here in Hayward need to give this issue more attention or the deterioration will continue. Your best opportunity to chime in immediately is by voting on November 2. Personally, I can’t recommend any incumbents for reelection. They have had their chance as community leaders in various capacties for a number of years. We need new leadership on the HUSD Board. Vote for ANNETTE WALKER for the two-year seat and LISA BRUNNER for the four year seat.

Buying With REAL Money

We showed a couple properties this morning in a neighborhood full of green, manicured lawns and clean porches. We know this neighborhood as having many of the original owners still there.

My business partner and husband Greg said “These homes were bought back in the good old days with real money.”

How true…

Pigs in a Blanket

Today I learned that if you have an old water heater that’s not quite ready to be upgraded, you can put a hot water heater blanket around it.

A hot water heater blanket will set you back $15 to $25, but you could save more money on energy costs in the long run…

“Where’s my home-made spaghetti?”

…to which he replied, “Where are my clean white t-shirts?”

Two things:

1) I get winded going down and then back up two flights of stairs from the laundry room, AKA “the dungeon”.

2) We have no exhaust fan in the kitchen, AKA “the sweat shop”.

I say, “Make me my home-made spaghetti and I won’t let your whites stay in the dryer while they’re still damp when in a couple days they’ll smell like a wet dog!”

He says, “I already finished the laundry.”

I guess I’m stuck cooking…

NEXT HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECT: Install exhaust fan in kitchen.

Football and Real Estate

CAL football October 4, 2008
Image via Wikipedia

It seems my wife has a thing or two to learn about football. 

Our gracious friends took us to the CAL-UCLA game today in Berkeley.  After Anna figured out that the folks with helmets were the players and not the umpires, we made some progress on the finer points of the game, such as what the difference between a punt and a kickoff is, and why first downs are important. 

Luckily, it couldn’t have been a more beautiful Saturday to watch a game, so the three hours seemingly went by fairly quickly for her.

What does this have to do with real estate?  Nothing much, other than the fact that while she has the patience to teach me a few things about real estate as we build our business, I have the patience to teach her a few things about how to spend a Saturday afternoon.  See how that works???

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Well Qualified Buyer?

MIAMI - JANUARY 06:  A Short Sale sign is seen...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

We hear a great deal about short sales, bank owned properties, depressed prices, etc. but we don’t hear much about the well qualified buyers in the market for a property.  Anna and I have two very well qualified buyers, ready to buy, having difficulty finding a home here in Hayward.  Seems a bit ironic, yes? 

In an interesting turn of events, “regular” homes that don’t have the complications of short sale or bank owned properties (basically a third party in the transaction) are in very short supply.  So, our well qualified clients continue the hunt, in search of a “normal” sales transaction, wanting some level of “certainty” in the process. 

The current market is very complex.  Patience, persistence and a good agent are more important than ever.

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New Desk & New Business Partner

Some people really love their work.  Well, in my case not only do I love my work, but I love my business partner (and new wife), Anna May!  What a combination. 

Getting up in the morning has never been better, knowing that my desk is right behind my wife’s desk, where as she describes it “I can breathe down her neck”; not a bad thing.  Benefits of working together?  Holding each other accountable to get to the office, commuting together (all of three minutes), always having a coffee break companion, helping each other out whenever needed, the list goes on and on. 

Working together isn’t for everybody, but for us, it works beautifully.  Watch out world….

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Proud of My Hometown: Hayward!

On August 28th, we got married at home and were proud to use so many incredible Hayward businesses!

Phoenix Glass  (etched champagne glasses)
Kelly Paper (envelopes)
Le Paradis (wedding cake)
CopyMat (invitations & thank you cards)
Karen’s Flower Kottage (guess!)
Elite Catering (food)
Fab Fever (live music)
Daniel Logan (cartoonist)
Celebrations Party Rentals (patio heaters)
Casablanca Bridal Shop (dress alterations)
Selix Formalwear (tuxedo)
Bay Area Green Printing (envelopes)
Smart and Final (beverages)
Cali’s Hair and Nails (uh, hair and nails)

And last but not least:

Shackles from Higgins Jewelry!

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