Feng Shui: Activating the “Wealth” section

greggie studio

My real estate business partner Greg Jones is someone who happens to be married to me. He has a new “hobby” which he as turned into a business (Jones Art Works) complete with a business license, website, and a whole slew of paying customers already. Naturally, this takes him away from our real estate business, especially right now in the beginning of his new endeavor.

What does this mean for me?

I’ll tell you. It means that after a long day negotiating contracts, setting up our property listing promotions, meeting with clients and fellow agents, attending real estate marketing meetings, continuously learning and honing my skills and knowledge, exhausting myself showing or previewing properties, you bet I expect the dog poop to all be picked up when I come home! I also expect dinner on the table!

Instead of being an adult, however, I’ll go outside and pick up several piles of dog poop and come back in the house bragging (or, er, complaining) about how many piles I found, rather than simply just telling my dear husband that I wish I could come home to a clean poopless yard since after all, he’s been HOME ALL DAY to get it done.

Anyone out there sympathize with me?

Now to the topic at hand. The photo shown here is a corner bedroom on the lower level of our home, in what’s referred to as the “wealth” section, for those of you who are familiar with the basic concepts of feng shui. (I’m half Chinese but that doesn’t mean I know squat about feng shui, other than how to pronounce it.) Anyway, the guest bedroom was recently used as a “storage” room for all our extra crap. Boxes of old stuff we haven’t looked through in years, old furniture from when I was ten years old and Greg’s grandmother’s old furniture passed down to him, a new-ish rocking chair my mom bought for me because she wished I gave her grandchildren, framed artwork from family passed down, and other artwork from the 1980s that are completely out of style now, etc.

This former guest bedroom’s carpets have been torn up, the floor painted light blue, and is now complete with a pottery wheel, shop lights, damp storage, new sliding glass doors to the deck, and even a shop dog named Rufus the Dufus. The kiln is upstairs in the garage, installed after an electrician came in and added extra power. (That kiln goes up to more than 2000 degrees. Yikes!)

Activating the wealth section of our home has indeed added to the richness of our lives…

Next month: How changing doors in a decaying part of our home has enhanced our lives.

Jet-setter chucks U.S. real estate for Holland

Laurie Santos“Back in 2002, I decided I wanted to buy myself a house that offered privacy and solitude. I was a single gal at the time working for the US Government and I dreamed of a quiet place with a view that had a wood-burning fireplace and was close to my family. I finally found a gorgeous end-unit with a lovely courtyard and balcony where I could sit and sip my morning tea while looking out at the Oakland hills.
“When we first walked into 3800 Maybelle #6, I literally knew it was the one. Maybelle had the brick wood-burning fireplace I dreamed of, a cozy backyard, a window over the kitchen sink to look out while washing dishes (there is a dishwasher, too), two stories, a view of the Oakland hills, tons of storage, a balcony, two master sized bedrooms, lots of light, trees and surrounding nature, all while gated for privacy (it is private property). It wasn’t an easy negotiation but fighting for my Maybelle was so worth it. When I moved in, it’s hard to explain, but Maybelle just had “good vibes.” There was such a nice, warm, loving energy about the place and the neighbors were wonderful. It just had the fresh, clean yet cozy energy about it. All the neighbors were so helpful (yet not nosy) and inviting.
“I loved that the Joaquin Miller and Richard C. Trudeau parks were just a stone’s throw away where I could run, hike and take my dog for long walks off-leash. Everything seemed so easy once I moved into Maybelle: the property manager was a quick walk away, the gas station to fill up the car was just down the street, a carpool pick up to San Francisco was also a walk away and the Laurel District boutiques offering yoga, organic markets, cafes and boutiques were all walking distance, too. The HOA board was very fair and supportive. Oh, and my favorite pizza place was around the corner.
“If I hadn’t gotten the chance to move overseas and live abroad, I would actually still be living in Maybelle today—it’s a perfect little gem. To date, I live in The Netherlands with my husband (he’s Dutch) where I work as a Corporate Trainer and Coach. He and I met on a plane bound for Kuwait where we were both working at the time. Last year, we bought an historical monument home in Holland and spend our time fixing it up, so I have no plans then to move back to Maybelle. I am selling Maybelle to give another person a chance to enjoy and love it as much as I did; it gave me a lot of peace of mind and it was also a wonderful place to host friends and family during the holidays. There are a lot of great memories and good energy left behind for the next person who wishes to call Maybelle their home sweet home…”
3800 Maybelle Ave., Suite 6 in the Oakland hills is now available! CLICK HERE for property details.

Real Estate: The Migration of a People

Real Estate The Migration of a People April 2017Below is a response with a question that came in response to our real estate e-newsletter we sent out yesterday:
“Here’s my observation. The main problem of young married first time buyer professionals here in the Bay Area is that even if their combined income qualify them for a bank loan, they do not have enough money saved to pay for the 20% down payment. Aside from borrowing money from their parents, is there a better way of solving this crisis?” Joseph Palafox, Architect
The millennial demographic consists of many home buyers who make quite a bit of money. If they focus on a goal of home ownership, they are able to save enough money for a down payment, whether it be 20% or even less using some of the minimum of 3% or 3.5% down payment scenarios for which they may qualify.
The issue with any buyer is the standard of living they expect or desire in a home. If the expectation is for a detached home of 2000 sq ft., well, that may be a stretch for some buyers who can afford a smaller home that could use some updating, for example.
Actually, I have a different perspective on affordability here in the Bay Area. We all have choices about where, how and what we live in. If we adjust our expectations in order to live how we want, then there is no “crisis”.
Travel the world a bit more, folks. You’ll see that a lot of the world lives in a lot less than we do here in the United States and they are perfectly happy with their lives and thankful for where they live…
I’m just sayin’!

Meet Phil! Does he look pouty?

Here’s “Phil”! This 12-year old sweetheart’s mom is selling their long-time home at 2828 Eastman Avenue in Oakland‘s Allendale district.

Phil
Phil, 12, is not included

When the sale closes, Realty World Neighbors will make a donation in Phil’s honor to Bad Rap, where he was trained when he was a youngster…

A home is not a home without a dog!

 

Artist Reception at Realty World Neighbors

IMG_2606[1]Hosted by the May & Jones Group

YOU’RE INVITED! Castro Valley resident Tracy Vinzant’s Artist Reception with her beach-scapes and luau-inspired artwork! Join us on Saturday March 12th from 1-3 p.m. at:

Realty World Neighbors Art Gallery at 22392 Foothill Blvd.

Downtown Hayward

The chosen theme is in recognition of the Rotary Club of F.U.N. Sunset’s Luau Fundraiser with the proceeds benefiting several of our favorite charities, including the Hayward Animal Shelter, Magnolia Women’s Recovery Inc. and Timelist.

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!

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

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 www.SantaConHayward.com for more information.

 

Changing Lifestyle and the Fence

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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!

How We Support Our Local Animal Shelters

This animal rescue organization is having an event in the same town as our 5572 Cerro Norte, El Sobrante listing. We love supporting animal rescue efforts and introducing soon-to-be residents to the virtues of these organizations before they even move in. Are you available this Saturday night?
April 25th event

Realty World Neighbors’ Team Members

A handful of Realty World Neighbors’ associates attended a recent Rotary event, AKA “Dragontini Mixer”. Rotarians and members of the community mingled over dangerous Dragontini cocktails and delicious appetizers catered by Cannery Cafe.

Greg and I are members of the Rotary Club of F.U.N. Sunset which meets Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Union City. Through our club, we support such endeavors as SantaCon Hayward for the Hayward Animal Shelter, Magnolia Women’s Recovery, Inc., local youth programs as well as international projects.

Brokers/Owners Anna May & Greg Jones, Simon Wong, Richard Navarro
Brokers/Owners Anna May & Greg Jones, Simon Wong, Richard Navarro

Client Testimonial

SOLDphotoRealty World Neighbors–May and Jones Group Client Testimonial
(2014)   Ten years ago when my father passed away, my sisters and I decided to sell his home.  Anna May was referred to us by a trusted friend.  We engaged her services and she turned a difficult process into a seemingly simple manner.  It went quickly and without problems.

Recently my mother passed away and when we decided to sell her condominium, we immediately thought of Anna.  As in the past, Anna brought her professionalism, kindness, experience and good humor to guide us through the process.  Anna was able to look at the Condo and help us make decisions on how to prepare the unit either by ourselves or through her vast array of contacts.

Anna was able to explain all the paperwork and legalities in a clear, simple manner.  When deciding on a price to set for the condominium, she was able to show us all of the local comparable properties and explain how our unit compared and why she recommended a target price.  Very straight forward and logical.  She has been selling homes in the area for at least the 10 years that we have known her and given her performance, I anticipate she will be around a lot longer.

Aside from her work as a REALTOR, she has been an extremely active community member supporting local causes (including dogs in need) and participating in local politics to ensure that her neighborhood is well taken care of. I am deeply grateful to Anna for all that she has done for us in selling our homes and I wholeheartedly recommend her to you.
Sincerely,
Bob White
“We certainly appreciate the kind words in your client testimonial and getting return business from happy clients!  Thanks, Bob, for hiring us again to assist you!  It was our pleasure to help you”.
—-Anna May and Greg Jones