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.


Supporting the Neighborhood High School

group reunion shot 2015Schools are an important part of what makes communities thrive and reputable schools enhance property values. A couple weeks ago in Hayward, the newly formed Mt. Eden High School Alumni Association & Educational Foundation had its first ever all-class reunion!

Represented were the classes of 1973 through 1999, with one from the graduating class of 1974 wearing her cheerleader dress. Let’s just say she was a big hit and everyone loved her! Needless to say, her husband and high school sweetheart from the class of 1973 didn’t get as much attention as she did.

Although the event wasn’t meant to be a fundraiser but rather to foster pride in our alma mater, we ended up raising enough money for as many as TWO scholarships for the Leadership Hayward program! I have the pleasure and privilege of serving as the organization’s President/Founder and look forward to spreading the word about how this alumni association is supporting the students who are currently enrolled at Mt. Eden High School.

Our mission is to enhance the experience of the students’ educational experiences while they are still attending high school.

For more information, visit

The Guilt of a Bathroom Remodel

IMG_1709Recently, we remodeled the upstairs bathroom in our home. It wasn’t cheap. We installed heated floors, heated towel bar, heated (and neon-lit) toilet seat and a ceiling heater. I doubt there’ll be any complaints about the temperature come winter-time.

Here’s the rub: I feel guilty about it!

The bathroom was perfectly functional before the remodel. It met all of our needs, even though it wasn’t “sexy”. A part of me wishes we could have used that money to put toward animal rescue efforts. Imagine how many dogs we could have saved had we just put the money toward that effort instead!

Another part of me is thankful for the remodel. There is such a pristine feeling being in the remodeled bathroom now. It feels like I’m in a spa. My husband loves being surrounded by beautiful things, beautiful places, beautiful music and beautiful creatures (i.e. Piglet & Rufus and a few select humans). So, if the husband is happy, I know I will be too. Happiness leads to more productive people who are in turn able to earn more money to do even more amazing things, for charity or otherwise.

So, my advice to you is this: Cherish your surroundings! Make your space pleasant and inviting. Let go of things that serve no purpose in your life to allow space for what offers you enjoyment…

RICKSHAW Express 20-Year Anniversary

photo from 2005
Photo from 2005. It’s been nearly 10 years since we sold it.

Yesterday marked 20 years since we opened the Rickshaw Express on Jackson Street! It’s been nearly 10 years since we sold it but I still have fond memories of the friendships that came out of the experience of owning that restaurant.

On Friday, I stopped by to buy lunch and the food was good. Later that evening, I heard from one of the owners who informed me that her restaurant partner Hon passed away last year. He was a nice man and very supportive of community endeavors.

I had hoped to offer some help with a 20-year anniversary celebration, which is quite a milestone in the restaurant business. Instead, I’ll send out a blurb in my Hayward-Centric e-newsletter recognizing the longevity of the business. Visit here later this week for that e-newsletter:

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!