Downtown Historic Prospect Hill home available soon!

better prospect picHistoric home in Downtown Hayward with a Walk Score of 88! This gorgeous home on the west wide of Prospect Street has views and over 2800 sq feet containing 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms plus a 2-car garage.

Sunset Open House on the evening of Wednesday June 21st.

Stay tuned for more details!

Working for Buyers: The Representation Agreement

Brown eyed rufusAll 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…

 

Fleeing the Cities to the Suburbs

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Me with Rachel, one of our recent Exclusive Buyer Clients

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.

 

 

Tired of Hearing It…

baby boomers reality

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.

 

Feng Shui: “Wealth and Prosperity”

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Ba-gua courtesy of Ruthchaya of Cherry Creek Mortgage

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…

 

Storybook Home Wedding Reception

storybook wedding

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 Inspiration Behind Home Improvement: FRIENDSHIP

"He Said, She Said"
“He Said, She Said”

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!

Home Wedding Spurs Home Improvement

Allison and michaelMeet 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:

new tile floor

-new roof

-exterior paint

-interior paint

new driveway with paver bricks

-replacement of board on the back deck

-landscaping

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!

 

Al and Andy

AlAndAndy

“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

Our New Office Grand Opening on Saturday June 28th!

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Free Admission! Visit our new Realty World Neighbors office while you’re here!

Schedule:

10:00 am: Official hayward Area Historical Society Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with In Lak’ech

11:00 am – 4:00 pm: Kids activities, Smoothie Bike, Cultural Performances and Music

11:00 am: The Heart of the Bay – history play

12:30pm: Lecture about Guillermo Castro’s Rancho San Lorenzo

2:00 pm: Historic Fashion Show

3:30 pm: The Heart of the Bay – history play

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm: Concert with Billy London and the Lucky Dice

The Exhibit Galleries and Children’s Gallery will open after the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and close at 6:00 pm.

Progression of the Crumbling Cement

It started with a mud-wrestling contest, then an outhouse enhanced the scene until the job was done. This was well-worth the investment in our home. CLICK HERE for more info about having pavers installed at your home!

This August we’re hosting a wedding reception at our home and there are several more things that still have to be done. NEXT MONTH:  A paint-job will occur. Stay tuned!

pavers1of3paversandouthousepavers.org

Who Invaded our Home in 2013?

Piglet Tore Up the FloorThe year 2013 started off with my stepson Taylor visiting from Atlanta for the weekend. The first thing he said when he walked into our house was, “There’s no life in this place. You need a dog!”

We responded by visiting the animal shelter with him the next day. A quiet little white and pink pit bull terrier gently crawled into Taylor’s lap, curled up and laid there, as if it was his very own lap-bed. The little guy manipulated us into adopting him! We named him Piglet, after a lot of negotiation with my husband about giving him such a name.

Piglet helped get us started with our home improvement projects for the year. He started by going spider-hunting and tearing up the white linoleum that my husband hated because he always felt compelled to clean it. I deliberately chose that floor because I like walking around barefoot and wanted to know when it was too dirty to do so. Piglet fixed that for us and we now have beautiful tile. It is NOT white and my husband Greg still feels the constant compulsion to make sure it gets cleaned.

We also had roofers, solar installers, electricians, landscapers, and installed a new stove and exhaust fan in the kitchen. The exhaust fan was installed after more husband-and-wife negotiations about putting in a microwave vs. exhaust. The wifey won again. CLICK HERE for a photo of this accomplishment.

The caveman of the house also did some patching & painting, which came as a surprise to me the talent he has. I am a lucky woman!

This year has some interesting things in store for us, including more home improvements to be completed in time for a wedding reception we’re hosting for good friends of ours.
We’ll keep you posted as the improvements take place this year. Happy 2014!

 

Buyer of Former Listing Celebrates Daughter’s Accomplishment

LauraLam

Laura Lam, daughter of Sally- buyer of our previous listing is now a fantasy novel writer and will be visiting the Bay Area this holiday season. She will be doing two readings from her second novel, Shadowplay, while in the area.

An author’s reception will be held in Sally’s Prospect Hill neighborhood home after the reading and book discussion.

We’re happy to see Sally celebrate her daughter’s accomplishment in her beautiful home and we wish Laura more success in her career!

22295 Prospect St., Hayward Just Sold!

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We represented the buyers on the  purchase of  this historic Prospect Hill neighborhood home.

This 2,809 sq. ft. home was sold for  $615,000 with 4 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. Views of the bay and city  can be seen from many rooms.

Welcome back Al and Andy!

Click HERE for other articles regarding Prospect Hill Neighborhood

 

 

 

Home = Hollywood Star

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photography by www.LoryHawley.com

A home is no different than a Hollywood star:

Slap a little make-up and color on it, scrub it clean, polish it up and voila! You have a goddess!

A couple weeks ago, we threw a party that started at 8 p.m. because everyone looks better in the dark! We figured that after 8 p.m., our guests wouldn’t be able to tell we needed a paint job.

The week before the party, however, the husband AKA “Caveman” did make time to paint. Why? I asked him if he was making an excuse to stay home while I slaved away at work. He insisted that he needs to be surrounded by beauty and that our work is what makes our home life worthwhile.

No argument from me! Let him paint, scrape, patch, plant, tear up, put back together, cook those tomatoes in the bowl before they go bad, etc.

In the last month, our goddess has had a new interior paint job, a new roof and solar and an electric car charger installed, new tile floor*, stove and exhaust hood in the kitchen and staining some of the wood and wood cabinets throughout the house.

There will always be more to do but better to do it now and enjoy it than do what many folks do and wait to sell before making improvements…

*New tile floor was installed due to our dog Piglet chewing the former linoleum and baseboards. The hubby hated that white floor anyway!

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