I subscribe to an organic vegetable and fruit home delivery from Capay Organic Farms. I can choose every week or every other week for a month. They have a standard selection of items, but I can delete items and add others. I can even choose from other vendors who have pesto, cheese or milk. Do you remember when the milkman delivered glass jars to your door?
It also comes with a sheet that has recipes and a note from Farmer Thaddeus. What makes Capay different is they also host a handful of events at their farm throughout the year. Capay Organic Farm in Capay, CA (just Northwest of Sacramento) is only an hour away and is a peaceful place to reconnect with nature, avoid crowds and have a relaxing day.
I recently took a day trip for their Capay Crush. Picnics were encouraged, but they had some food trucks and about five wineries doing tastings. We were also encouraged to pick tomatoes, take a tractor ride around the farm, and try various artisan products from pesto to olive oil. All the while, live music by three different bands were playing throughout the day!
The best band was saved for the last from 8-10 pm. Dirty Cello played, adults and kids danced and just celebrated an overall great day. If you wanted to, you could camp for $35 for the evening amongst the fig trees. I spoke with one guy who has been doing this for more than 15 years and talked fondly of seeing the bright, clear stars at night. Here are some additional pictures:
The last event of the year at Capay Organic Farm is its Pumpkin Palooza on Sat., Oct. 21st, from 11 am – 2 pm. You can buy tickets at the farm ($5 for adults, FREE for kids 12 and under!) if you want to go!
Check out some of the fun things they offer for Pumpkin Palooza:
- Farm Talk with Farmer Thaddeus
- Organic farmer’s market stand
- Tractor rides
- Face painting
- Petting zoo
- Pumpkin patch
- Local olive oil tasting
- Homemade pesto tasting
- Authentic Mexican food from Tacos 911
- Hand-baked goods from The Upper Crust
- Artisan gelato
- Cold brew and hot coffee
If you’re looking for a fun family road trip that is still a reasonable drive away and will make for a memorable Saturday, go take a look at Capay Organic’s Pumpkin Palooza in a couple weeks! Or one of their other events coming in 2018.
When you sell a home, you don’t need a real estate agent, just like you don’t need a lawyer when facing criminal charges. You can, if you want to, represent yourself in a court of law, and you can always put your home up for sale by owner (FSBO).
But, it’s an extremely risky proposition. As outlined in this Inman article, there are many things to consider when putting a home up FSBO. Here are eight things, summarized from said Inman article, that sellers risk when they don’t have a realtor representing them:
Realtors are professionals in this business. They have expansive knowledge of the complicated home-buying and selling processes, possess loads of helpful data, and have large networks of people who can help minimize the difficulties that arise.
The non-realtor probably doesn’t realize how many hours are put into any given home, buy or sell. Real estate agents are available for clients around the clock, on a whim, and can confidently and smoothly quell any concerns by potential home buyers.
Preparation is essential to selling a home – what buyers see when they walk through the door will determine if your home sells. Agents can prepare the finest details and have stagers, professional photographers and others who will help make the space beautiful.
Anyone can draw up a “For Sale” poster, but realtors will design, distribute and widely market the home to a huge number of potential buyers. Realtors can access predictive analysis and promote to those demographics on social media. Also, they know just what to write to draw interest.
5. Negotiation experience
If you’re doing FSBO, what do you do when you actually receive an offer? There’s a purchase agreement to be discussed, price negotiations to be had, and so on. Realtors will make sure you don’t get screwed by a buyer, and that you only incur costs you’re supposed to pay.
6. Inspection and repair know-how
One of the most important parts of any real estate transaction is knowing which inspections to expect and how to get them done. This is where the realtor’s web of resources comes in handy again – he or she should be able to provide repair people to fix anything discovered in an inspection.
7. Transaction management
Once a home is in contract with a buyer, there are more steps to close the deal. Realtors can make sure the right people are contacted to handle the closing, appraise the property, repair anything found in inspections and anything else to follow up on.
8. Closing finesse
There are expectations upon closing a property. Non-realtors probably don’t understand what the buyers expect, in terms of when move-in/move-out occurs, the condition one should leave their home in, or what to do if a last-minute issue arises. Realtors do know, and they are worth the time and money to ensure your sale is in good hands.
FSBO’s may be intriguing to the cheap and/or self-confident, but the small savings on a realtor’s commission is not worth the hassle that comes with navigating such a difficult process without professional help, and often a house sells for less than what it would have with an agent even after the commission has been paid.
On that note, there’s a reason I do what I do! I’d love to help you buy or sell a home. Please reach out any time for information regarding the current, local real estate market!
Get your swimsuit, invite your friends and enjoy your new home. But first, you must swing by our Open House this weekend at 1915 Blackstone Dr. in Walnut Creek. You’ll see an absolutely gorgeous home with more than $100,000 put into customizing and updating everything that has to do with the backyard and the view you have from the house.
Included in those updates are a custom home office, larger double-paned windows, a brand gas pool heater, plantation shutters and french doors. But perhaps the most exciting updates came by the way of the backyard, a major selling point:
- Custom island kitchen for BBQ’s
- Putting green
- Full landscape remodel
- Well pump for no-cost irrigation
- Custom-built day bed for relaxing
More than $75,000 later, the seller has built a backyard one could only dream of. You can grill or host a party under the cabana while the kids swim in the pool and any avid golfer’s in the group hit the putting green. Plus, you get to enjoy a partial view of Mt. Diablo.
This single story Northgate rancher is an entertainer’s delight, with a great floor plan made for luxurious living, right in the heart of Walnut Creek.
Built in 1961, move in ready, yet some buyers may want to update the kitchens and baths, a slight remodel would put those pieces on par with the rest of this remarkable home. There are also plans for a deck off the master bedroom with a fire pit.
The 4-bed, 2-bath, 2,062-square foot property is on a 15,225-square foot lot and right near Berean Christian High School, Northgate High School, Foothill Middle School and Walnut Avenue Preschool.
You can’t beat this location, just down the road from John Muir, and five minutes from BART, the new shopping area with Whole Foods, Heather Farms and Arbolado Park. And you definitely can’t beat the comfort of living in such a perfect home.
Come check it out from 1-4 p.m. on both Saturday 9/30 and Sunday 10/1!
With the warm summer weather starting to tail off a bit, all you hikers will want to get out there and hit these last few trails before the season changes completely. Here are four great hike ideas close to San Francisco, from Time Out San Francisco.
- Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve: a more remote, forested getaway in the Oakland hills with stunning views of the Bay in every direction!
- Angel Island: 360-degree views of the Bay Area from the highest point, and just a cool getaway for some nature and history.
- Alamere Falls: If you’re brave enough, you can sneak close to the edge of the 40-foot falls that drop into the ocean.
- Lands End: An oldie, but a goodie – you can’t beat this classic hike, which can take you through the Sutro Baths, along the coastline, and towards breathtaking Golden Gate views.
Obviously, there are plenty of local hikes in the East Bay to explore, too. Mt. Diablo and The Open Space are always fun, as are the views from the Berkeley Hills and Grizzly Peak. If you want something easy to take a stroller or a couple dogs on, try the Lafayette Reservoir!
We are very blessed to live in an area that has temperate weather even in the winter, but the beauty of the trails (and the lack of mud!) disappears as fall converges on the summer.
It’s supposed to stick in the low 90’s for the rest of this work week, and then start the decline into the 80’s and 70’s in the weeks to come. Take advantage now before you hole up next to the fireplace for the winter!
Walnut Creek has done a lot of cool things with the rebuilding of Broadway Plaza, but one of my favorite new additions is all the art that’s going in to complement the buildings!
Recently, I was wandering the Broadway Paseo near the parking garage and saw Joyce Hsu’s hummingbird statues in front of Tommy Bahama’s. I think they look awesome and really draw a pedestrian’s eye to the color and form (they look as if they’re in flight)!
After doing a little research, I discovered that it’s part of a larger art installation called “Rawr,” which will also consist of a large robot T-Rex and a dinosaur bench just outside Macy’s. They are meant as both art and as a place for children to take a break when shopping.
According to the official approval documents, Hsu has always been intrigued by childhood fables, because it’s a reinterpretation of how the “adult” society works. She created the sculptures to remind visitors to Broadway Plaza of the importance of fun, play and imagination when building a stronger community.
Here’s a fun fact that also inspired Hsu’s hummingbirds and helped make them an obvious inclusion in the theme of her overall project: hummingbirds are, in fact, the smallest living dinosaurs!
Mediterranean food is a favorite of mine – from hummus to kebabs to fish, they always make their dishes with savory flavors that keep me happy. Here in Walnut Creek, we just got a new place for all you foodies to try and will probably give Opa a run for their money: Lokanta!
Lokanta has menus for all types of occasions: brunch, lunch, dinner, happy hour, dessert, kids’ menu and more. I tried the Lokanta Classic Martini – it was perfect! The St. George Botanivore Gin made a big difference. Of course, the flaming cheese is an attraction (and delicious) along with the mixed platter.
Their daily happy hour is from 3-6 p.m., and their delicious appetizers (hummus, pita, meatballs, dolmas, soup, salad, calamari, lamb burger, shish kebab…to name a few) are all $10 or less at that time. Beers and wine are $5 or less and they have bottomless mimosa brunches both Saturday and Sunday.
Lokanta has another popular location in Pleasanton, but only recently opened its doors on Locust St. in Walnut Creek where you will see the owner making his rounds to ensure that everything is running smoothly and the customers are happy.
For you wine-lovers, there is a half-off wine deal on Mondays and no corkage fee on Tuesdays if you want to bring your own bottle to the restaurant. The atmosphere is cozy, a great bar area and a community table to eat at as seats become available.
All in all, I highly recommend giving Lokanta a shot next time you’re downtown or craving some Mediterranean/Greek food in Walnut Creek. I give it 4 out of 5 Mt. Diablo’s!
In a recent survey given by the Walnut Creek City Council about proposed land use and circulation concepts, we saw some interesting results about what citizens want to see in the future. Take a look at the survey results here.
For example, people really seem to like the idea of bike lanes, but want landscaping and extra parking even more, and most don’t want additional living spaces.
One theme throughout the results was that people want more creative, walkable spaces. One question asks if facilitating a “Makers’ Row” along Pine St. for hand-crafted manufacturing spaces like brewing, ceramics and jewelry-making was a priority. An overwhelming 75.1 percent of respondents supported that idea.
Most questions regarding more office or living developments were either split evenly or heavily disfavored. It seems like residents of Walnut Creek are more interested in retail and restaurant spaces, publicly usable areas and space that encourages outdoor activity than just another apartment building.
In fact, 74.2 percent of respondents support an arts-entertainment-hospitality district that might include an outdoor plaza for events and with a focus on public art. A general question about enhancing the public realm with small public plazas, parklets and seating areas received a whopping 79 percent approval on the survey.
When the survey then asked what that proposed arts-entertainment-hospitality district would look like, hotels, conference facilities and mixed-use living/work spaces were all not supported by the majority of respondents. Anywhere from 65 to 81 percent of people who responded did support restaurants, retail, art galleries and theaters in that section of the survey, though.
This is an interesting glimpse into the potential future of our great little city. What do you have to say about the poll? Do you agree or disagree with the results?
Have some of our other “Road Trips” installments been too far away for your liking? Love music and being outdoors like me? Then this blog is for you!
Recently, I took a short trip to the Concord Pavilion – basically the mini-me of Shoreline Amphitheater – to see One Republic play a show. It was a rare warm summer night; we sat on the grass, brought in sushi and enjoyed the show. Fitz and the Tantrums were the opening act and they were also very good. It’s a really fun place to hang out with friends, grab a drink and enjoy an outside concert.
One Republic is one of my favorite bands. This is the third time I have seen them – but the Super Bowl arena in downtown San Francisco didn’t really count since it was so crowded and with limited space. The front guy Ryan Tedder is extremely multi-talented. I didn’t realize until this concert that he wrote “Rumor Has It” for Adele, plus songs for Rihanna, Ed Sheeran and many more artists.
The Pavilion is bigger than you’d expect for a venue buried in the East Bay, holding up to 12,500 guests. When I was there, it was packed but didn’t feel suffocating.
Other acts on the schedule include country stars like Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, as well as Janet Jackson. Kings of Leon, Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy and Nicki Minaj are some of the performers who have graced the Pavilion stage in the past couple years.
To get to the Pavilion, just drive up to Kirker Pass in Concord and follow the signs. It is a fun evening the whole family can enjoy!