Public Art Walk thru downtown WC

Are you aware there is a thriving public art program in Walnut Creek or do you make the same drive every day not noticing some of the special work residing in the downtown area? Commercial development in Walnut Creek is to thank for the Public Art expansion. In 2000 the stipulation was created that commercial projects over 25,000 sq. ft. must commit no less then 1% of the building costs to an art installation. Smaller projects must also commit a less percentage. art_WC A cool concept with the premise that public art helps make our city more livable and more visually stimulating. The experience of public art makes the public areas of buildings and their grounds more welcoming and it creates a deeper interaction with the places we visit, work and live.

Can you think of the many works of art in and around our city? I can’t wait to see the living wall on the building currently being built next to La Fogata on the corner of Main & Mt. Diablo and hey, what about the great visuals on the fences to block the construction site!

If you would like to know more about art in Walnut Creek, join the Bedford Gallery docent led walking tour of our prime public artworks the third Saturday of each month from April – November. Admission is $5. Meet in front of the Lesher for an 11:00 am start which lasts 1 hour. Then enjoy lunch in one of our many wonderful restaurants. What a relaxing way to spend a Saturday.

Walnut Creek Summer Camps and Swim

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How time flies! It’s a scary thought to think that summer vacation is around the corner. Walnut Creek Rec is prepared with their Summer Camps schedule. Registration started March 2, 2015 accommodating ages 3-15 in various activities. We’re so lucky to have a great arts and recreation department to give us options for summer child care. Also don’t forget about our amazing rec swim teams sprinkled throughout the area.larky_pool

Speaking of swimming , did you know the Larkey Pool is getting a complete redo over the next 12-18 months. The pool and building will be demolished and a new deeper, bigger (10 lanes) and a kid friendly splash pad will be built.Deeper was requested by the Aquanuts (synchronized swim team) who will be raising up to $500,000 over the next 5 years so they can practice in a deeper pool and thus move their swim shows to the Larkey Pool.

Mortgage Rates

decision_imageInterest rates have been hovering in the mid to high 3s and Janet Yellen (Fed Chairman) stated that the Fed will not raise rates in the near-term.  It should be noted the Fed is not the only influence on rates, there are many factors in our global economy such as the prices of gas, problems in Greece and overseas investors hanging out in our bond market which affect the rates.
With rates so low, I have many clients looking into “80/10/10” financing, which stands for an 80% loan-to-value (LTV) first mortgage, a 10% LTV 2nd mortgage, and a 10% down payment.  The purpose of getting house_balancetwo mortgages with 80/10/10 financing as opposed to one mortgage to 90% LTV is twofold: (1) borrowers avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) by keeping their primary mortgage under 80% LTV; (2) borrowers get a much lower payment overall.   Overall payments are lower b/c borrowers have no PMI and because the 2nd mortgages are Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) with “Interest Only” payment options.   Almost all major banks offer HELOCs, but only a select few offer HELOCs that fund “concurrently” with a first mortgage.  If you are interested in knowing more, give me call (925) 899-7123 or send me a message.

 

Congratulations Jose, Roxana & Sophie!!

lobofront

I blogged at the beginning of the year of getting a couple into a home in 3 days [see our “Motivated Buyers” post from January 8th 2015!!].  It was a very smooth process and great experience for all with a Super Star Team from the listing agent, sellers, to JVM Lending and wonderful clients.  We delayed closing by 5 days because Obama changed the law and reduced the Mortgage Insurance, since the lender is so pro-active, they called and asked if we could close a few days late to get a case number with the lower MI.

Home Sweet Home

Lobohouse

I asked the listing agent who had to get approval from the seller.  Everyone agreed, thus closing 5 days late, the buyer was able to save $200 a month!  This is the third buyer who has moved from the peninsula or the city for more affordable housing after having a child.

Closing the Deal 🙂

Lobosigning

 

~Kristin

St. Patty’s Day in the East Bay

ShamrockSt. Patrick’s Day falls annually on the 17th of March and has always been considered a “party” day for Americans. Historically this Christian, Irish holiday dates back to the seventeenth century and has traditionally been a festival to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. The 17th of March is a day for parades, festivals, wearing green and lifted restrictions on food and alcohol consumption for lent.

For those looking for fun this St. Patrick’s Day, the East Bay has plenty of activities. Closest to home make your reservations at Salvatore Ristorante for Tuesday March 17, where they’ll have their regular menu along with a special pre-fix 3 course of beer and Irish themed foods. (925) 932-2828

guided-pub-crawl Not too far from Walnut Creek you can visit Benicia to the north to be one of only 300  people on Saturday March 14 for a St. Patty’s Day Beer Crawl pouring samplings of craft  beers. Make sure to purchase your ticket for the 1:30 start. (707) 745-9791

Just down 680 from Walnut Creek check out Revel Kitchen and Bar along with Faction  Brewing Company who will entertain you on Sunday March 15th for a St. Patty’s Day celebration of beer braised BBQ style foods. Make sure to reserve early. (925) 208-1758

For those wanting to travel a bit further down 680 into Dublin, there will be quite a few festivities for the Irish Holiday. Saturday March 14, starts with the annual pancake breakfast (7am-10am), followed by the Lion’s Club St. Patrick’s Day Parade at 9:30am. Continue the party into Sunday with the Shamrock 5K Run/Walk. Visit dublinca.gov for information.

If none of these suit your fancy, take BART into San Francisco and attend the 164th annual 2015 San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Festivities run 10am – 5pm with the parade at 11:30 starting on the corner of Market and 2nd.

Pot of Gold LeprechaunWhatever you choose to do this St. Patrick’s Day make sure it’s festive, fun and green! Have a great holiday.

For more information check out Diablo Magazine, St. Patrick’s Day in the East Bay.

Free Thursday night fun?

orindatheatre
FREE MOVIE NIGHT at the Orinda Theatre
 second Thursday of each month at 7 pm

 Coming March 12th (especially for those of us fond of the 80s):

The Breakfast Club

Relive this blast from the past with Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson & Ally Sheedy in this cult classic of high school detention.
Given 90% by Rotten Tomatoes.BreakfastClub_sm

 

Spring Ahead with Daylight Savings

spring-ahead

Daylight savings takes affect this Sunday March 8, 2015. Don’t forget to   Spring Ahead by adjusting your clocks 1 hour forward.

Longer days and more sunlight means we can take advantage of the wonderful area we live in i.e., a walk through of one of our amazing Open Spaces. Within Walnut Creek alone, there are six beautiful areas to explore. It is a great place to get some exercise and spend some quality time either alone or with the whole family, especially our four legged family members, as they are allowed off leash.

Walnut Creek Open Spaces

The Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation has a great list of activities throughout the spring and can be found here.

 

Stylish Home on a Charming Corner Lot – Walk to Concord Bart

New Listing in Concord.  Brokers Tour  Tuesday 2/16 10:30 – 1:00 pm

Open House Sat & Sun 2/21 – 2/22   1-4 pm  Stop by and take a look – this one won’t last!

 

Timeless  Front Porch, updated kitchen & bath

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Open floor plan

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Pendant Lighting, stainless steel appliance, slate floor

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Drought friendly artificial turf, RV parking, vegetable garden

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The Beautiful Stinson Beach

SB1

Though February brought us rain, I took off the Sunday before the Super Bowl and headed to Mt. Tam for a hike and ended the day at Stinson.  Even though I have lived in the Bay Area since 1990, I have never been to Stinson Beach, always opted for Muir Beach.  Well, you can’t beat a January winter in the Bay Area when you get 70 degree weather (warmer at the beach than Walnut Creek), bikini’s and a beautiful sunset!  Gotta love Northern California!  I will return, loved the beach town.

SB2

~Kristin

Top 10 Houzz Articles of 2014

If you are thinking about doing something to your home in 2015, here is a recap of the most popular articles on Houzz.  See  if any of these are something you are interested in!!

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Houzz Quiz: What’s Your Decorating Style?
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