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
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 🙂
St. 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
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.
Whatever 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 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.
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.
The Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation has a great list of activities throughout the spring and can be found here.
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
Open floor plan
Pendant Lighting, stainless steel appliance, slate floor
Drought friendly artificial turf, RV parking, vegetable garden
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.
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!!
Houzz Quiz: What’s Your Decorating Style?
A Yale University librarian released a list of the 10 most notable quotes of the year for 2014. The compilation is released each year as a supplement to “The Yale Book of Quotations,” originally published in 2006, and attempts to highlight comments that are famous, important or a reflection of the spirit of the times.
Are there any you find offensive, funny or an indicator of more to come in 2015? Would love to hear your comments.
10. (TIE) SEN. PAT ROBERTS
“Every time I get an opponent — I mean, every time I get a chance — I’m home.”
— The Kansas Republican’s response to a question about whether he actually resides in the state, during a KCMO radio interview, July 3.
10. (TIE) HILLARY CLINTON
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
— From the former Secretary of State’s Atlantic Online interview, August 10.
10. (TIE) JOE BIDEN
“Isn’t it a bitch? I mean, … this vice president thing?”
— The U.S. Vice President’s response to student body vice president at Harvard College, October 2.
9. GWYNETH PALTROW AND CHRIS MARTIN
“We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.”
— Part of a statement on Paltrow’s website announcing the couple’s separation, March 25.
8. TOM PERKINS
“I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi (Germany’s) war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.’ … I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent.”
— From the venture capitalist’s letter to the editor, Wall Street Journal, January 24.
7. JODI ERNST
“I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I come to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork.”
— From the Iowa Senatorial candidate’s campaign advertisement quoted in National Journal, March 25.
6. HILLARY CLINTON
“We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt.”
— From an ABC News interview, June 9.
5. DONALD STERLING
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people.”
— The Los Angeles Clippers owner’s remark to V. Stiviano on an audio recording quoted in Los Angeles Times, April 27
4. ADAM GLYN
“Mr. Commissioner, we found out by one phone call. You guys have a whole legal department. Can you explain that?”
— The TMZ reporter questioning NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on why the NFL had not been able to view video of the Ray Rice incident, at a news conference on September 19.
3. MICHAEL BROWN PROTESTERS
“Hands up! Don’t shoot!”
— Chant during demonstrations against the shooting death of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Mo., August .
2. BRIDGET ANNE KELLY
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
— Part of an email sent by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s aide to David Wildstein, an official at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, quoted in The New York Times, January 9.
1. ERIC GARNER
“I can’t breathe!”
— Garner’s videotaped exclamation while being held by a policeman in New York, July 17.
The company used U.S. Census Bureau statistics covering a wide range of information to arrive at the rankings. The information was gathered in the following categories:
- Unemployment rate (the lower the better)
- Median household income (the higher the better)
- Median rent (the higher the better, to indicate area’s desirability)
- Median home price (the higher the better, to indicate desirability)
- Percent of families below the poverty line (the lower the better)
- High school graduation rate (the higher the better)
- Average Commute Time (the lower the better)
Considering that high rents and home prices are included in the rankings, it’s not so bad to finish out of the Top 10.
The Top 10 of California’s 58 counties:
1. Marin County
2. San Mateo County
3. Santa Clara County
4. San Luis Obispo County
5. Ventura County
6. Placer County
7. Napa County (tie)
7. Orange County (tie)
9. Santa Barbara County
10. San Francisco County
“Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts.” Edgar Allan Poe
The tax code allows individuals to exclude up to $250,000 in profit from the sale of their primary residence; $500,000 for married couples filing jointly. This means that homeowners do not have to pay tax on up to $250,000/$500,000 of the profit from the sale of their home, thus avoiding the capital gains tax.
To use the home sale exclusion, you have to meet certain ownership, use and timing qualifications. You must have owned the home for at least 2 of the last 5 years before the sale. You have to have lived in it as a primary residence for at least 2 out of the last 5 years, and you can’t use this exclusion if you’ve already taken it within 2 years.
Generally, if you sell your home due to circumstances involving divorce, change in employment, change in health or other unforeseen circumstances but don’t meet the ownership, use and timing qualifications, you may qualify for a reduced exclusion.
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” Ernest Hemingway