Organic Food 101

You’ve seen the label ‘organic’ for years now, but what does this really mean and what are the benefits to you and your family?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the word ‘organic’ references the way farmers grow and process agricultural products. Organic farming practices are designed to address several factors, such as pest and weed control, usage of additives, animal habitats and treatment, pollution, and more.

For produce to be certified as organic, it must have been grown on soil that has been free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for at least 3 years. For meat to carry the organic certification, the animals must be raised in living conditions that allow them to continue their natural behaviors, fed natural, GMO-free foods, and cannot be given hormones or antibiotics. Finally, when it comes to processed organic foods, they must be free of artificial preservatives, food coloring, or flavors.

Over the years, research has shown potential health benefits of eating organic, such as an increase in nutrients, like Vitamin C, iron, and magnesium, in produce and an increase in omega-3 fatty acids in organic meat due to feeding requirements for the animal. Additionally, crops grown organically have shown lower levels of pesticide residue due to fertilization practices and lower levels of cadmium, a toxic heavy metal that can affect the liver and kidneys.

Generally, organic foods are more expensive than traditional foods, which is a factor that hinders many from opting to go fully organic. However, depending on your family’s financial situation or health requirements, it may be worth the additional cost.

SALE PENDING IN ANTIOCH!

2411 Lindberg St, Antioch, CA 94509

$297,000 | 1 Bed | 1 Bath | 562 SqFt

Opportunity knocks! Cozy cottage situated on a corner lot! Close to shops, restaurants and commute access! This single story, 1 bedroom, 1 bath home boasts a generous size living room, open kitchen layout, lots of natural light, utility room for laundry, large basement and plenty of room to expand!

FULL LISTING

JUST SOLD IN SAN RAMON!

130 Reflections Dr, Unit 17, San Ramon, CA 94583

$348,888 | 1 Bed | 1 Bath | 474 SqFt

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! Lowest priced property in San Ramon! This ground floor is right in the middle of central San Ramon. Walking distance to the new Trader Joe’s and many other shops and restaurants. The Iron Horse Trail, Bishop Ranch City Center, weekly Farmer’s Market and so much more are right around the corner! This cozy home features updated kitchen, bath and flooring, laundry inside unit and a nice sized patio with a large storage closet. PRICED TO SELL!

FULL LISTING

JUST SOLD IN SAN RAMON FOR 103% OF ASKING PRICE!

3417 Bermuda Ct, San Ramon, CA 94582

$1,349,000 | 4 Beds | 2.5 Baths | 1,972

Welcome Home! Highly updated home in the desirable Country View community of San Ramon! Complete kitchen remodel, including cabinetry, flooring and Thermador appliances, window coverings (shutters) throughout the house, new wet bar and wine cellar/closet. Remodeled bathrooms, updated light fixtures, storage attic area with lighting as well. Outdoor kitchen BBQ with pergola, updated landscaping with lighting and new garage door system! Close to highly rated schools, restaurants, shops and commute access. Within minutes to San Ramon City Center! This one is a must see!

FULL LISTING

Bring Some R&R Into Your Home

Your home is your oasis. A place to kick back and relax from your day. So, why not invest in some items that can boost the zen in your home? Check out the tips below to help you achieve ultimate bliss!

Introduce calming scents. A calming scent, like lavender, valerian, camomile, and bergamot, can do wonders for easing stress or anxiety. Find candles that incorporate these scents or purchase essential oils and diffusers, like this one from URPOWER that has over 44,000 5-star reviews on Amazon.

Drown out the noise. Having trouble sleeping due to distracting outside noises? A sound machine might be the solution. Like this one from Letsfit, most of them offer several sounds to choose from including natural noises, fan sound effects, and white noise.

Wake up more naturally. Studies have shown that waking up to natural light can allow you to wake with more energy and in a better mood. However, if you can’t wake to real sunlight, a wake-up light, like this one from Philips, can also get the job done. In addition to simulating the sunrise and sunset, it has natural wake-up sounds, FM radio, and tap snooze.

Get an at-home massage. Nothing feels better than a great massage. Bring that feeling home with a shoulder massager like this one from Naipo. Most massagers offer different modes and speeds for you to choose from depending on the area you are massaging or personal preference.

Whether you try one or more of these tips or find something else that works best for you, self care and relaxation is always a great investment!

Tips For Maximizing A Small Kitchen

Does your dream home come with a small kitchen? Not to fear! There are plenty of ways to get the most out of the tight space. You just have to get creative. Check out these tips!

Lighten up the area. Bright and light always opens up a space. Choose white or bright colors for the walls then pair that with unique overhead and under cabinet lighting. Don’t forget to open up any windows or glass doors to bring in natural light.

Get strategic with storage. Maximize the storage space you have by hanging items on the inside of lower cabinet doors or adding additional shelves to higher cabinets. Install a magnetic strip to a wall and use that to store your knives instead of the countertop or hang cutting boards and pots and pans from the wall or overhead.

Use your oven. Not one to make things in the oven often? Consider using it to store pots and pans. Then just remove the items when in use.

Purchase a mobile kitchen island. Need more chopping space? Consider purchasing a mobile island that can be moved into the kitchen while you’re cooking. Most islands come with drawers or cabinets for storing knives or spices. Then just move it out of the kitchen to the dining room when not in use.

Install additional shelving. Have an open wall that faces into the kitchen? Consider installing additional floating shelves for storage. Also, if you have a lot of space between the top of your cabinets and the ceiling, add a long shelf to store minimally used items.

Closing Costs 101

What are closing costs?

Closing costs are the fees for services required to finalize your mortgage. Typically, the buyer is responsible for paying these costs unless otherwise negotiated to have the seller contribute. Fees include (but certainly are not limited to) attorney, appraisal, inspection, government taxes, title insurance, home insurance, mortgage insurance, and property taxes.

How much are closing costs?

Closing costs usually total about 2 to 5 percent of the home’s purchase price, and they generally vary depending on the property purchased and state you reside in. Your lender will provide you with an estimate of your closing costs following your loan approval, and although that number can change slightly, your final costs should be similar.

How can you reduce closing costs?

Some of the fees that fall under your closing costs can be reduced by doing ample research on lenders at the beginning of the homebuying process. Then, compare any potential discounts or deals they offer before making your choice. Additionally, you can attempt to negotiate with the seller to cover part or all of your closing costs.

Can you avoid upfront closing costs?

If you think you will be unable to afford the closing costs upfront, you can opt to roll them into your loan. However, choosing this route often costs you more in the long run. At a minimum, you’ll have to pay interest on your closing costs, or depending on your lender, you may face a higher interest rate on your entire loan.

Happy New Year!

JUST SOLD IN SAN RAMON FOR 103% OF ASKING PRICE!

3417 Bermuda Ct, San Ramon, CA 94582

$1,349,000 | 4 Beds | 2.5 Baths | 1,972

Welcome Home! Highly updated home in the desirable Country View community of San Ramon! Complete kitchen remodel, including cabinetry, flooring and Thermador appliances, window coverings (shutters) throughout the house, new wet bar and wine cellar/closet. Remodeled bathrooms, updated light fixtures, storage attic area with lighting as well. Outdoor kitchen BBQ with pergola, updated landscaping with lighting and new garage door system! Close to highly rated schools, restaurants, shops and commute access. Within minutes to San Ramon City Center! This one is a must see!

FULL LISTING

JUST SOLD IN SAN RAMON!

130 Reflections Dr, Unit 17, San Ramon, CA 94583

$348,888 | 1 Bed | 1 Bath | 474 SqFt

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! Lowest priced property in San Ramon! This ground floor is right in the middle of central San Ramon. Walking distance to the new Trader Joe’s and many other shops and restaurants. The Iron Horse Trail, Bishop Ranch City Center, weekly Farmer’s Market and so much more are right around the corner! This cozy home features updated kitchen, bath and flooring, laundry inside unit and a nice sized patio with a large storage closet. PRICED TO SELL!

FULL LISTING