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.
Now available! CLICK HERE for details. This gorgeous five bedroom home has been extensively renovated. Per the seller, the home has been expanded to 3400 sq ft and has over $600,000 in upgrades:
Permits secured and foundations poured for detached garage with full bathroom and also a studio with full bathroom and rough electrical and plumbing complete. It has new underground plumbing, new underground electrical, new electrical panel with 400 amp, new wiring inside, energy-saving LED lights throughout, new plumbing inside, new HVAC system heat and AC dual Zone, new roof, new paint, custom Milgard windows, stainless steel appliances.
Oh, the views! Located in the prestigious and sought-after historic Prospect Hill neighborhood of downtown Hayward, this home has stunning sunset views. The exterior includes a new retaining wall, in and out drive way, upgraded metal fencing with both gates remote-controlled. New landscaping with palm trees, new stucco with extensive trim work , outdoor deck on the 2nd story which also serves as outdoor living area on the bottom (veranda ) with fans for summer, outdoor kitchen sink installed in veranda. For outdoor and indoor summer comfort, fans are in all rooms and living areas too. Custom closets in all rooms, smooth level 5 paint, luxury bathroom upgrades and custom vanity with mirrors, custom tub /shower combo in master bath, and Jack & Jill bathroom on ground level.
All living areas boast hardwood floors, all bathrooms and kitchen gleam porcelain tiles, and to help protect it all, video monitoring of all entrances and central alarm. Total expense: $600,000 in upgrades .
But wait, there’s more! This home has a wheelchair accessible ramp and two living areas upstairs and downstairs. For the party animal buyer, the home also has a wet bar in the outdoor patio area, in the kitch and in one of the living rooms tucked away in the corner for discretion…
Come visit this estate home in the burgeoning neighborhood with lots of investment being poured into this spectacular downtown Hayward community!
All information has been provided by the property owner. Buyers are advised to fully investigate the property to their satisfaction.
“We know Anna May and Greg Jones and their brokerage, Realty World Neighbors, because of their involvement in the Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association, their efforts to help maintain the neighborhood’s open space and other projects.
“Our decision to appoint Anna and Greg as co-listing agents (and later as our buyers’ agents) arose because they work on a number of issues and we were impressed by their efforts and contributions. We have found that people who work well when they volunteer also do well professionally.
“Frequent communications kept us informed of progress over the transactions for which we hired Anna & Greg to assist in the Historic Prospect Hill neighborhood. We appreciated Anna & Greg’s attention and time to email, call or text as the sales progressed.
“As sellers, we appreciated the well-coordinated marketing plan for our unique home in the historic Prospect Hill neighborhood. They knew how to price it for the prevailing market conditions, how to promote it to the right groups and took care of all the paper work expeditiously. There were no errors, no last-minute deliveries or problems from the time we listed until the sale closed. We subsequently hired Anna & Greg to list and sell another home for us and we experienced the same high level of competency in that transaction too.
“We were extremely impressed by their knowledge of the market, pricing and their ability to get the word out about our home through their networks, professional organizations and advertising. They were very professional, competent and knowledgeable about real estate in the area.
“We’re delighted to now be in a larger Prospect Hill home and were able to purchase this home in part due to the negotiation skills of Anna and Greg. They negotiated on our behalf for the sellers to pay for repairs before we moved in. We would definitely hire Anna May and Greg Jones again and recommend them to others.”
-Al Parso & Andy York, Historic Prospect Hill Neighborhood residents
Broker-Owner Anna May was interviewed by KPIX Channel 5 about the new development planned for this downtown Hayward site!
What do you think of this new project?
All of us get our butts out of bed in the morning for different reasons. For us, it’s this pesky dog. Rufus the Dufus whines and cries and whimpers at the crack of dawn until we let him out to go potty. He is an annoying little 50 lb.-creature, but he gets us out of bed. It’s hard to be mad at him once our sleepiness subsides.
What gets us into the office is something entirely different. Our Clients have an expectation that we be at the top of our game when it comes to representing them. There is a big difference between a “Buyer Client” and a mere “buyer customer”. We ONLY advocate for the interests of Buyer Clients after they’ve formally retained our services to do so. We’d rather avoid working on behalf of buyers for weeks or months, putting aside our evenings and weekends and family time only to (argh!) have a buyer suddenly decide to have their newly licensed cousin represent them, for example.
Part of formal buyer representation includes an “Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement”. This document outlines what the buyer and agent parties can expect of each other and what documentation is required to get started. We take representation of Buyer Clients as seriously as we take our representation of Seller Clients. Here are a few of the benefits of formal buyer representation:
- We’ve built a reputation among fellow agents in our market area for having rock-solid buyers. Our Exclusive Buyer Clients benefit from this by having their offers submitted by us be taken more seriously, especially in multiple offer situations which are common in our area. This means we have compiled a complete Buyer Package before we show even one property to a buyer.
- Exclusive Buyer Representation ensures our Clients that they are our first priority. Evenings and weekends, for example, are reserved for Clients first and foremost.
- Many of our Clients are high profile, very busy individuals. We take the time to preview properties for Exclusive Buyer Clients and record walk-thrus and report to them whether or not a property is even worth seeing.
- We attend weekday real estate marketing meetings where we broadcast what our Exclusive Buyer Clients seek, and often learn about upcoming listings long before they hit the market.
- We send out monthly real estate e-newsletters to broadcast to our databases what our Exclusive Buyer Clients want, and through this medium, we also learn about properties that will be available before they hit the market.
- If our Exclusive Buyer Clients MUST move into a specific neighborhood, we’ll knock on doors and send mailers out to ask those neighborhood property owners if they have interest in selling rather than wait around for something to come available.
Right now, our Exclusive Buyer Clients include a recovering peninsula dweller buyer, the newly engaged couple, the seller of this gorgeous home who’s buying in the San Ramon area to be close to family, and also the family of a US veteran who’s seeking an affordable home in the East Bay.
We’re darn good at what we do, so there are certain steps we take before we use our talents, expertise, network and experience to advocate and help protect a Client’s interests. There are only 24 hours in a day, after all…
We have solar at home from Silray, but no electric car in the garage to use the car charger just yet!
Fleeing to the ‘burbs isn’t just for the Gen X-ers. Forward-thinking millennials are doing the same thing.
Yes, the “Selfie Generation” may be known as slackers, but not all of them are. See here Ms. Rachel, a 20-something attorney who moved from the expensive peninsula to the East Bay. Rachel and her fiance bought a home right down the street from me, in fact. We’ve become drinking buddies, semi-workout buddies, and both of our SOs are Mariners and Seahawks fans.
Back to the topic at hand. Here is what Rachel said about her reasons for moving:
“Moving from the peninsula to the East Bay (Hayward) was a great decision. We have shifted from unnecessarily expensive to reasonably affordable; From bland and cookie cutter to diverse and cultural; From a bubble about to burst to the next wave of growth and exciting potential.”
Side Note: Women are starting to rule the world. Our Significant Others are watching the Mariners game on TV right now…or something equally juvenile. Sorry guys, she’s taken.
I’m married to an old fart.
Not just any old fart. A real, live, vibrant, ambitious old fart.
So when he talks about retirement and moving to a quieter place, I get irritated.
Why? It’s because I’m nowhere near retirement. In fact, I sense that as I get closer to what’s considered “retirement age”, I will likely be bored with the typical things I believe “retired” people do.
I’m sure my readers will correct me, but when I think of retired people, I think of my grandparents.
Grandmothers, in particular. Both grandmothers, as they aged, “entertained” me with stories of woe and all the ailments they bragged about. When it got to the point of another retired person also joining in on the conversation, it became a competition for who had the worse ailment and who stuck it out in the hospital the longest.
Naturally, the only way I could endure the conversation was if it put myself in a meditative state, where my mind was calm and at rest, when I forced myself to be thankful for my health and youth.
Then I think again. I can’t stand the traffic or the lack of manners of people these days. I love staying at home, avoiding crowds and stinky, rude people.
Maybe there’s something to retirement, or at the very least, being married to a retired person. (As long as he doesn’t pester me to also retire.) We can golf, travel, take up hobbies…
… wait a minute. I’m getting annoyed again, this time with myself.
I love my work. I love the real estate business and our Clients. I love the community in which I live and work and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I love our home and our dogs and I also, surprisingly, love the fact that my husband won’t really “retire”.
I’d miss him.
During the rainy weather is the best time to just stay home and take care of the house. This is what I did over the last several days. The cleaning and de-cluttering resulted in a box for the Salvation Army of kitchen wares and clothes, a full trash bin, a full recycling bin in addition to a half-full green bin full of dying orchid plants with leaves and roots and soggy bark that I know I’ll never be able to revive.
The focus on all three levels of our home was on the “Wealth & Prosperity” (W&P) section of the feng shui “ba-gua”, which is what we call the layout shown here. What I did was make room for W&P by getting rid of stuff that serves no purpose in our lives but can be used in someone else’s life. So, in a sense, we “shared the wealth” to make room for more.
On the top level of our house, the W&P section is where our bathroom shower is located. I took the time to deep clean the tile walls and tile ceiling of the shower enclosure and will replace the fading clear shower curtain with a new one soon. Also, I found some areas between the tiles that need to be re-grouted, so I put that on the Wish List for the bathroom, which I know my Caveman will handle.
- Intended Result: Re-grout to keep the W&P “in” the home rather than allow it to leak through. The clean/cleared space will allow W&P in!
On the main level, the kitchen is located in the W&P section. What I did there has me floating on air, mentally! I organized the spice rack, cleared out and organized the baking cabinet, recycled yukky plastic bowls, etc. and also went through multiple cabinets in that kitchen and said bye-bye to a bunch of pot and pans we don’t need. I also replaced the “junk food” cabinet with cereal to subconsciously train myself out of wanting the junk and preferring healthy cereals instead. (Gotta try!) Also, I replaced the soap dispenser and put a cover over the resulting hole. The hot water dispenser is leaking, so we’ll work on having that removed or repaired.
- Intended Result: Stop the leak from the hot water dispenser, which is indicative of allowing W&P to slip through. The broken soap dispenser was removed to allow space for W&P.
On the bottom level is where what we call the “kids room” is located. This is the room where the bunk bed, chest of drawers and desk that I had since I was a kid is located. It’s also where we store “extra stuff”, like bedding, extra bows and wrapping paper, etc. I took the time to de-clutter this room and donated the wrapping and packaging material, some of which was brand new/never been opened!
- Intended Result: Allow more W&P into the home as a result of donating the additional items we don’t use.
We had our home feng shui’d in December of 2010, a few months after we were married. The feng shui consultant said we’d experience a shift immediately. Indeed we did! I look back and laugh about this now, but the hubby and I fought for three full days after the feng shui was completed. Let’s see what happens in these next few days due to the changes in the “wealth” section of our home…
Wow, this was a heck of a party! Allison and Michael got married and celebrated their reception at our home. The space was TRANSFORMED. I couldn’t believe it was the same house! CLICK HERE for more photos of this incredibly heart-warming event. Might you have ideas on how versatile YOUR home can be?
The wenchy wife of our “He Said, She Said” duo is constantly getting on the Caveman’s case about finishing one project before starting another.
Nearly four years ago, the caveman part of this duo and I got married in a simple private ceremony in our front courtyard right at home. We had a great local Beatles cover band Fab Fever on our lower back deck, where the hot tub once was. Today, that area is landscaped with pea gravel and stepping stones with water-saving shrubbery and a new fence surrounding the entire lower level deck. A perfect place for a DJ set-up!
Fast-forwarding several years to this week, we find ourselves excitedly fixing up the house for our friends Allison and Michael. They will be celebrating their wedding reception at our home with a Batman theme laced with pink. So, as I type this, the landscapers are at our home planting pink flowers in the courtyard. I hope Allison likes them.
It is friends like Allison and Michael that make living worthwhile. Because of them being our inspiration, our butts are in gear this past year to make the house as beautiful as possible. New paint, new driveway, new landscaping, freshly stained deck, new fence, new roof, new ambiance! Now to make that call to the house cleaners, window washers and pressure washers at Guss Service Agency…
We look forward to Batman and Cat-woman’s wedding reception this weekend!
Meet Allison McManus and Michael Coleman! Later this month, this wonderful couple will enter into wedded bliss before tromping off to their honeymoon.
As a result of our friendship with Allison and Michael, we offered to have their wedding reception at our home, where we got married 4 years ago.
As a way to push us to make improvements and beautify our home, we used Allison and Michael’s wedding date as a deadline for doing a whole litany of home improvements so as not to embarrass ourselves with a deteriorating yet charming old 1926 house. What we’ve done so far includes:
-replacement of board on the back deck
In the next 2 weeks, we’ll be putting the pedal to the metal by having window washers, landscapers and pressure washers come out and put on the final touches to be ready for Allison and Michael’s Batman-themed wedding. It will be FUN!