Give Your Deck A Facelift

Hanging out with your family or hosting friends on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing. Lucky for you, refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below!

Restore your decking. Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning and a new coat of sealant. There is a multitude of deck finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this. However, if it’s more worn down, the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware, giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more.

Add lighting. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis. Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. The lights turn on automatically when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps, or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set.

Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building.

Homebuyer Incentives: A Few Do’s And Don’ts

When you’re selling your home, adding some extra perks can help you find a buyer quickly. An incentive is essentially a marketing spend for your home sale. But you want to make sure your marketing dollars are being used effectively, so consider these do’s and don’ts:

DO recognize your home’s flaws, and offer an incentive that compensates. Buyers will look at extremely dated decor or appliances as a big looming expense, so you can alleviate their anxiety with a warranty or repair/renovation allowance.

DON’T use an incentive to try to get buyers to bite on an inflated sale price. If your home isn’t priced properly, it’s unlikely that an incentive—even one with significantly monetary value—will hide that fact. You’re better off revaluating your pricing, rather than spending big on an incentive.

DO consider homebuyer incentives when there’s close competition. If there are other listed homes in the area with similar features and pricing, an incentive can be a winning factor.

DON’T forget to check on the legality of your incentive offers. The laws on incentives can vary greatly between states, so work with a knowledgeable, trustworthy real estate professional to ensure that your homebuyer incentives are above board.

Upsizing Your Home

Unfortunately our homes don’t always grow with us. What may have initially worked fine for a single person, a young couple’s starter home, or a family with a newborn can quickly become too small as families expand and multiple generations live under one roof.

Remodeling and adding to your home is one option for creating more space, but it can be costly, and the size of your property may be prohibitive. That’s when moving to a bigger home becomes the best solution.

Where Do You Need More Space?

The first thought when upsizing your home is to simply consider square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms. But it’s important to take a more critical approach to how your space will actually be used. If you have younger children (or possibly more on the way), then focusing on bedrooms and bathrooms makes sense. But if your children are closer to heading off to college or starting their own families, it may be better to prioritize group spaces like the kitchen, dining room, living room, and outdoor space—it’ll pay off during the holidays or summer vacations, when everyone is coming to visit for big gatherings.

Moving Outward

If you need more space, but don’t necessarily want a more expensive home, you can probably get a lot more house for your money if you move a little further from a city center. While the walkability and short commutes of a dense neighborhood or condo are hard to leave behind, your lifestyle—and preferences for hosting Thanksgiving, barbecues, and birthdays—might mean that a spacious home in the suburbs makes the most sense. It’s your best option for upsizing while avoiding a heftier price tag.

JUST SOLD IN PLEASANTON!

3466 Smoketree Commons Dr, Pleasanton, CA

$419,000 | 1 bed | 1 bath | 648 SqFt

Fabulous top floor condo located near Historic Downtown Pleasanton. Lots of updates! Corner unit overlooking trees and park. Vaulted ceilings create a nice open feel. New quartz countertops in kitchen and bathroom. New faucets and sinks as well. New stylish tile floors in kitchen, bathroom and entry. Newer carpet. New 5 inch baseboards. All interior walls, doors, cabinets and fireplace repainted. New interior door and cabinet hardware. Replaced all light switches and outlets. New shower head and shower doors. Cedar flooring in closets. Installed new space efficient shelving system in master bedroom closet. New furnace. Replaced water heater. Newer kitchen appliances including refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and oven, garbage disposal, stackable washer and dryer plus microwave mounted over stove w/dedicated electrical circuit. All this plus a 1-car garage and garage shelving w/exterior access including large hall closet and outside closet for extra storage. Nestled in a secluded setting just minutes to downtown.

FULL LISTING

JUST SOLD IN PLEASANT HILL!

324 Grapevine Pl, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523


$549,000 | 2 beds | 2 baths | 1,133 SqFt

Tucked away in a lovely enclave of this special neighborhood, is a home that is delightfully charming! Step inside and experience the bright and open floor plan with attractive flooring and lighting that is so appealing and efficiently functional as well. Freshly painted interior and extensively updated. The renovated white kitchen is a true joy! Both bedrooms upstairs feature vaulted ceilings and open to a pleasant deck/balcony. No rear neighbors and a sense of “country”. Also plenty of greenbelt and walking paths to enjoy! Great location and close to shopping, dining, commute access and services.

FULL LISTING

JUST SOLD IN DUBLIN!

11576 Manzanita Ln, Dublin, CA 94568

$1,075,000 | 4 beds | 3 baths | 1,936 SqFt

Beautiful home on the cutting edge!! Updated and renovated to please the most discriminating Buyer! Great location in the much sought after west side. Very practical floor plan with a very trendy decor. Gorgeous, modern kitchen with all the conveniences to please. The main floor features one bedroom plus a full bath. The flooring and all 3 baths have been tastefully updated. Lovely grounds, including a pleasant, good size back yard. There are great views all around as well! Located close to schools, shopping, dining, services, commute access and BART. Don’t miss this great home – it shouldn’t last too long on the market!!

FULL LISTING

JUST SOLD IN ALAMEDA!

817 Park St, Alameda, CA 94501

$850,000 | 2 beds | 1 bath | 1,078 SqFt

Charming and delightful home filled with nostalgic character! Many quality improvements and upgrades make this property truly special. Wonderful front porch to enjoy and relax in. Tasteful exterior and interior paint colors, gleaming hardwood floors, refinished kitchen cabinets and pleasant garden back yard are all so pleasing to the eye! Major benefits include newer central air conditioning system, furnace, duct work, dual pane widows, insulation, security system, water heater, roof, driveway and fencing. Wonderful location in the heart of the city as well!!

FULL LISTING

New Home, Better Living

When you’re house hunting, focus on the things that will improve your quality of life.

There are so many factors that go into a home buying decision that it can make your head spin—especially if you’re in a competitive market where time is of the essence. The desire to purchase a property makes it easy to look past issues that could detract from your enjoyment of the home and cause some regrets down the road. That’s why when you’re weighing your options, quality of life should always be the top priority.

Location Is Part Of Lifestyle

Buyers often focus on “must haves” that can be added via renovation, but will downplay factors that are impossible to change. For example, if you work and spend much of your free time in the heart of a busy city, a house in the suburbs may mean more space for the same price, but it could also mean long commutes and a major hit to your nightlife. A centrally-located condo might be a better option.

On the other hand, if you’re a weekend warrior who looks forward to skiing, hiking, and mountain biking trips, living outside the city may be perfect—you’re that much closer to the trails when you wake up on Saturday morning. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: Location, location, location.

Big Homes Aren’t For Everyone

If you love entertaining friends and family, a big house makes perfect sense. You’ll have all the space you need to prepare meals and throw big parties, and your guests won’t have any trouble finding parking.

But a big home also means more cleaning and maintenance—more lawn to mow, more bathrooms to scrub, more things that will break and need fixing. Before you dive into an alluring big home, consider your tolerance and enthusiasm for the upkeep. For some, a smaller home or a professionally-maintained condo are better options.

Need-to-knows For Smart-home Technology

Homeowners have the ability to automate anything from locks to lights to air conditioning and more. With new technology popping up every day, it’s hard to stay up to date on the smart-home trend.

If you are considering installing smart-home technology in your home or looking to buy a home that is equipped with some of those devices, you want to ensure you do your research so you can make educated decisions. Here are three important factors to consider!

Security

Because a large percentage of smart-home devices rely on Wi-Fi, they are vulnerable to being hacked. Although this may not be much of a concern for devices controlling your lighting or sprinkler system, it may be for automated locks or garage openers.

Cost vs. Value Add

The initial setup costs for some smart-home technology can be daunting for homeowners, so it’s important to thoroughly map out the upfront cost versus your savings and its value to you over time. Many of these can help you be more energy efficient, reduce monthly bills, and save you time and stress. Plus, if and when you are ready to sell, smart-home technology can help improve your home’s resale value.

Compatibility

With so many companies throwing their hats into the smart-home ring, it is can be difficult to select the right devices for your home. If you are considering automating various features in your home, you may want to take a look at the big picture and try to choose devices that are compatible with one another or that can be controlled by a singular hub.

Five Steps For Organizing Your Garage

For many people the garage is the place you mindlessly store stuff just to get it out of the way, and before you know it, you’ve got a cluttered mess on your hands. Here are five steps toward organizing your garage for good.

Make a plan: What do you want you garage to be? Is it a workshop, a storage space, or a nightly place to park your car? Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, decide on a plan for your garage’s primary use, and prioritize around that goal.

Be vigilant with clutter: There might be items in your garage that you haven’t touched in years—you’ve probably even forgotten they’re in there. It’s easy to justify keeping items when you’re in the moment, but look a the big picture. If you can’t remember the last time you used an item, it’s probably ready to be thrown out, recycled, donated, or sold.

Make use of vertical space: Garages often have space in the ceiling where you can hang your gear or even store some boxes. Store the rarely used items—like holiday decorations—higher up and out of the way.

Keep common items accessible: On the other hand, you don’t want it to be a hassle to get to the things you use often. Create a specific place for each item that is easy to reach.

Stay vigilant: Now that you garage is properly organized, be more mindful of what you’re adding to it. If there’s something new that’s important, choose a specific place for it. If it’s just junk, go through the extra effort to just get rid of it!