Top Notch Concord Remodel- 4432 Crestwood Circle

Gorgeous remodeled home awaiting you! Brand new front landscaping with new paver walkway & trim. Open floor plan, an entertainers delight with updated kitchen that includes new cabinets, granite counters, tile floor and stainless steel appliances. Other features include a corner lot, RV parking, and dual pane windows. Open house Saturday 10/5 and Sunday 10/6.

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Walnut Creek Reads Explores Fahrenheit 451

Walnut Creek Reads is currently exploring Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451for the One City One Book community event.  It is also the 60 year anniversary of this book.  I was first introduced to Ray Bradbury in 6th grade when my teacher read “I Sing the Body Electric”, to the class over the course of the year, which is a 1969 collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury (the book takes its name from a short story of the same title, which took the title from a poem by Walt Whitman published in his collection Leaves of Grass).  From then on I was hooked on Bradbury and Science Fiction, I bought a bunch of his books, my favorite being “The Illustrated Man”.  I don’t remember reading Fahrenheit 451, however in college I took a SciFi film class and it was one of the movies we had to review.  In honor of the 60 year anniversary I purchased the book and just started reading it. From the introduction, Neil Gaiman notes this book is speculative fiction.  “If this goes on…” story.  Bradbury was writing about his present.  In 1953 the radio was waning and the exciting new medium of television had come into vogue, whole families were gathering around the television in the evenings, the Cold War was going on and the senate was holding hearings to root out hidden Communists and taking steps to stamp out comic books because news channels were warning of juvenile deliquents.  Bradbury thought if this goes on, nobody will read books anymore.   I am struck by how relevant and current his writing style is for being 60 years old.  The “what if” our society took the course of outlawing books and became a society addicted to a comatose state of watching TV where we no longer really interacted with each other – sounds familiar today with all the video games our children play?

Another older book written in 1939 that has seen a  spike in sales is George Orwell’s 1984 – there are some stark similarities after the recent revelations George Zimmerman exposed concerning the NSA’s government surveillance of personal and private interactions of mostly innocent civilians.  1984 described a fictitious world gripped in the vise of war and a society held captive by the ever-watchful gaze of a totalitarian dictator known as “Big Brother.”  Maybe it isn’t really science fiction….
 
     If you are interested in exploring more about Fahrenheit 451, the WCLibrary is having a few group discussion and events:
   “Reading-Why Bother”: 7pm, Wednesday, September 18th, author Kevin Smokler will tie in censorship and book burning at the Walnut Creek Library   “The Metaphor of Book Burning”: 7pm Wednesday, October 2nd St. Mary’s Professor Robert Gorsch will host a lecture & discussion at the Walnut Creek Library.

“Create a Graphic Novel”: 6:30pm-8:30pm, Thursday, October 10thhosted by novelist Oliver Chin at the Walnut Creek Library. Must be 18 or older.

 All events are free, seating is limited. Pre-register at www.WCLibrary.org

September Second Saturday Spotlight

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This month’s Second Saturday Spotlight will be a guided walking tour entitled “The Changing Faces of Downtown Walnut Creek”. The walking tour will be approximately a mile in length and will explain new developments coming to ever-changing downtown Walnut Creek. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to get the inside scoop on development downtown!

To register, visit: http://fs6.formsite.com/CSD2012/form45/index.html

Upcoming Events- September 2013

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Lodi Celebrates California Wine Month

Sept 1-30

September is California wine month and Lodi celebrates all month long with events every weekend. Enjoy wine tastings, dinners, live music, and even specials on local hotels so attendees can stay and play. For more information and links to special offers, follow the link below:

http://www.visitlodi.com/whats_happening.php?id=39

 

Beford Gallery News

Exhibit: “Home: Shelter and Habitat in Contemporary Art” will be on exhibit September 5th– November 17th . Through mediums of painting, sculpture, video, and photography, artists explore space, place and home.

Public Art Walking Tours: Every third Saturday through mid-November, docents lead three-hour walking tours to highlight Walnut Creek’s amazing artwork around the downtown area. Tours start at 11am in front of the Lesher center. Admission is $5 and includes a free pass to the Bedford Gallery.

 Disaster Team Training

Join Walnut Creek’s Emergency Response Team trained to help the community in the critical time following a natural disaster. Trainings take place Wednesdays from September 11th-October 16th. Cost is $25. For details and to register, visit www.walnut-creek.org/cert.

Walnut Festival

Twilight Parade: Saturday, Sept 14th at 6pm on Main Street.

Festival: The Walnut Festival offers 4 day of family-friendly fun from September 19th– September 22nd. Attractions include a carnival, live music, a car show, and a variety of food. Hours vary, visit www.thewalnutfestival.org

Walnut Creek Fall Wine Walk

Sept 18

Walnut Creek Downtown and Pro Home Systems present the 2013 Fall Wine Walk Wednesday, September 18th from 6pm-9pm. The event will feature tastings at local businesses and restaurants as well as live acoustic music. A portion of proceeds will benefit Walnut Creek’s educational foundations- WCEF and PEAK. For tickets and information, visit http://www.walnutcreekdowntown.com/.

 

Walnut Creek Service Day

September 28

Choose from over 60 half-day projects to benefit the community. Check-in begins at 7:30am at the Heather Farm Community Center with a free pancake breakfast. Projects will begin at 9am. Visit www.walnut-creek.org to register.

 

Holidays at Shadelands

Reservations for the Shadelands Ranch Museum “Holidays at Shadelands” Victorian Tea Lunches begin October 1st. The historic house will be decorated in holiday décor and open from 10am-4pm November 30th to December 15th. The Tea lunch is $30 and reservations can be made for 11:30am or 1:30pm. For reservations, call 925-935-7871.

 

Mount Diablo Challenge

October 6

Bike up beautiful Mount Diablo on either the challenging 11.2 mile course to the summit, or the easier, shorter junction wave. A perfect recreational activity for all ages to benefit Save Mount. For information or to register, Click here (http://www.savemountdiablo.org/)

 

Congrats to Conrad & Julie for their closure on Warmcastle Court!

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Congratulations to Conrad & Julie for closing on this remodeled townhome.  As VA buyers they faced some challenges in this low inventory market we have been experiencing for most of 2013.  As inventory loosens up, more buyers are able to get into a home.  Flip properties work really well for VA buyers as there usually are no section 1 issues and investors understand how VA financing works.  We also had a great lender in Andraya Bern from Land Home Financial.  She is married to a veteran and works hard for them.  In the end, it was the perfect home and neighborhood.  Enjoy!

Walnut Creek Market Update August 21, 2013

Here is a snapshot of the Walnut Creek housing market as of 8/21.  Note, prices are staying stable and from the beginning of the year inventory is up, but we are seeing more price reductions.  Primarily because sellers were thinking they could price it a certain percentage above the last comparison.  That market has now changed primarily due to the increase in rates and the slightly more inventory we currently have.  Even though rates have edged up, they are still historically low, so if you are thinking about moving, now to within the next 10 months may be a good time as NAR expects rates to move in an upward direction.

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September Second Saturday Spotlight!

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September’s Spotlight is a walking tour of downtown Walnut Creek led by City planners and entitled “The Changing Face of Downtown Walnut Creek.”

This walking tour is about 1 mile in length, and will make several stops at key locations where new development in on its way. At each stop, a planner will describe what’s in store, and how decisions are made to ensure that Walnut Creek continues to be a vibrant, friendly place to be.

Registration will begin at 8:30am at the fountain at Broadway Plaza and the tour will begin at 9am. Sign up in advance at the link below:

http://fs6.formsite.com/CSD2012/form45/index.html

We all Scream for CREAM!

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CREAM, an acronym for “Cookies Rule Everything Around Me”, will open its doors at the new Walnut Creek location, 1372 North Main Street this Saturday. Free ice cream sandwiches will be provided for patrons from 11am until supplies run out. The creamery is unique in that it allows customers to create custom ice cream sandwiches by choosing from a variety of fresh ice cream and cookies.

CREAM’s original Berkeley location is famous for consistently having a packed house and loyal customers. Due to their success they have recently expanded to Davis, Walnut Creek, and Palo Alto. CREAM prides itself on its business model based on 4 pillars: high-quality product, affordable prices, customer satisfaction, and great service by employees. I am personally very impressed with their prices, with ice cream sandwiches priced at $2.50 for cash and $2.75 for credit, there is no doubt that this business will have longevity! For more information, visit www.creamnation.com.

Walnut Creek Market Update August 7, 2013

Agents are beginning to realize they can’t list a property a big percentage over the last sold comparison.   Buyers are still paying over the ask price and appraisals are coming in at the value offered.  Over the next few months as inventory increases, we will see these two lines closer together.

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I don’t think the media has caught on yet, but the market continues to shift and we are seeing more inventory on the market and less number of multiple offers.  Very interesting to note how much the sales dropped in May and look at how much more inventory we currently have.  It takes a while for the market to catch up, but I suspect we will see more price reductions and a leveling out of the amount sold over list price.

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Upcoming Events- August 2013

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Rockin’ the Plaza: 8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23

     Free summer concerts from 7pm-8:30pm every Friday night at Blackhawk Plaza!

 Willy Wonka Jr.: 8/7-8/9

     Poison Apple Productions Presents Willy Wonka Jr. at Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. A timeless story of the famous candy man and his hunt for an heir. Tickets are $14.75 for adults and $12.00 for youth & seniors. For tickets call, 925-943-SHOW.

Diablo Ballet Gourmet Gallop: 8/8

     Join the Diablo Ballet dancers to taste wine and food at some of the city’s finest restaurants on Thursday, August 8th from 6pm-8pm. Stroll through downtown Walnut Creek while enjoying samplings from Lark Creek, Massimo, Walnut Creek Yacht Club, Tender Greens, SF Creamery Company, Silk Road, Stella Bistro, We Olive and more. Tickets are $35-$45 at http://diabloballet.org/tickets/

 AIA Home Tours :8/10

      The AIA (American Institution of Architects) 2013 East Bay home tour features 6 houses that embody unique elements of architectural design, ranging from modern to contemporary. The tour takes place from 10am-4:30pm. Tickets are $40 in advance, and $50 the day of. To purchase tickets, visit http://aiaeb.org/events/2013hometours/.

 Second Saturday Spotlight: 8/10

      Take a guided bus tour of Rossmoor, one of Walnut Creek’s largest communities spanning 1,800 acres and housing nearly 10,000 residents. Pre-registration is required at www.walnut-creek.org/thingstodo/second_saturday_spotlight/. Buses will depart from the Acalanes Adult Center, sign-in begins at 8:30am. The tour will be from 9am-10:30am.

 Concord Japanese Summer Festival : 8/10

       This free festival will be held at the Concord Japanese Cultural Center at 3165 Treat Boulevard with free parking at Ygnacio Valley High School, 755 Oak Grove Road. A free shuttle to the festival will be provided. Japanese food, bonsai exhibits, Japanese flower arrangements, Kendo and Judo demonstrations, Taiko drum performances, Japanese dance performances, and calligraphy demonstrations are just a few of the things attendees can look forward to!

 Stacey Kent Live at the Lesher Center : 8/10

      World famous jazz performer, Stacey Kent will appear at the Lesher Center for the Arts on Saturday, August 10th with shows at both 5pm and 8pm. Visit www.lesherartscenter.org for ticket information.

 19th Annual Hot Summer Nights : 8/15

      Head down to downtown Danville Thursday, August 15th from 4pm-9pm to check out some of the bay area’s most pristine hot rods and classic cars. For more information, visit http://danvillehotsummernightscarshow.com/.

 Ready or Not Improv- Void Where Inhibited :8/17

     Ready or Not Improv provides a unique brand of spontaneous theatre with a unique vibe at each show. Join this talented team Saturday, August 17th at the Lesher Center for the Arts at 8:15pm. Visit http://www.readyornotimprov.com/ for more information.

 Bluegrass Sunset Social: 8/23

      Head out to the Ruth Bancroft Garden August 23rd from 5pm-8pm to enjoy bluegrass tunes by The Alhambra Valley Band, BBQ by Willowstone Catering, and beer from Walnut Creek’s own Pyramid Brewery. Purchase tickets in advance online for $15 at http://www.ruthbancroftgarden.org, or at the time of the event.

 Lil Wayne, T.I. & Future : 8/30

      Rappers Lil Wayne, T.I. & Future will perform at the “America’s Most Wanted Festival” August 30th at 7:30pm. The show will take place at the Sleep Train Pavilion in Concord. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com .