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 www.MtEdenAlumni.org.

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: www.365ThingsToDoInHayward.com

Hayward Housing Stats for June 2015

Wow, the median and average sales price for Hayward homes continues on an upward trajectory.  The median home price in Hayward is now $536,000 and the average is $554,688.  This represents a 43.91% increase and 45.19% increase respectively since June 2013.  Days on market is holding steady at around 20 days, while purchase prices are averaging 103.35% of list price, indicating buyers are still willing to pay more than sellers are asking.

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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!
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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!

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!

http://www.homebuyinginstitute.com/news/bay-area-good-timing-611/

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?

http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_27899620/soaring-rents-spark-growing-calls-rent-control

 

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.

White

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.

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