Open House this weekend: This home is a hole in one!

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!

Tips Before You List – Economical, DIY Home Improvements

remodelWhen preparing your home for sale, statistics show staged homes sell faster and for more money than non-staged homes.

However, if your house is already a picture from Architectural Digest or your budget is limited, I am sharing a few tips from BuzzFeed about how you can make a few inexpensive, DIY upgrades to your house to increase the value and improve its aesthetics before listing.

Adding paint in certain parts of the house, evaluating house plants, replacing light bulbs, landscaping and giving your home a good, deep clean are examples of a few things you can do to improve the look of your home before listing.  You, the homeowner, can do quite a bit to significantly raise the value of your home and increase interest among prospective buyers.gardening

For the most part, these projects can be easily completed by you or a handyman and the materials are relatively inexpensive. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it may pay big dividends in the end.

Selling your home is an investment in your financial future, and the more TLC you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. Should you need some recommendations for a handyman, gardener or painter, give me a call. I also provide a free consultation on things you can do to help spruce up the home and get it market-ready.

Check out BuzzFeed’s list for some ideas here.

Why It’s Important to Hire a Landscape Architect

Yard 1Last year, my sewer kept backing up and I found that I needed a new sewer lateral. My front lawn had a bunch of crabgrass, and the lawn never seemed to get green enough. Then, with the drought, I just let it go.

My whole front yard was torn up, so I decided to do some landscaping – new grass, plants and an automatic sprinkler and drip system.

The project turned out to cost much more than I expected. The sewer lateral was $6,000, and then I ended up paying an additional $8,000 for the landscaping and sprinklers.

I thought I was getting a deal, as the person I hired was a personal friend – though he admittedly knew nothing about plants – who could plant the yard and put the new system in.

Turns out, it was much more difficult than either of us expected. This is on me for thinking it would be an acceptable, cheap way to get the yard done. I still wonder if I hired a landscape architect, would I have saved money and would I be happier with the end result?

Of course, no home improvement project is as simple as it seems. My sprinkler heads had faulty gaskets and some of the plants were not getting water and I lost plants. Luckily, Admirals Choice, who installed the sprinklers, is Yard 2replacing them at no cost to me.

A year and a half later, we are still working on the grass, there’s still a line in the grass where the sewer lateral was dug out, and I need to get rid of the weeds.

We put weed killer on it, but I had to wait until the weather cooled, then it didn’t kill my stubborn crabgrass, and the rain began. So…I waited some more.

The gaskets should be replaced next week, then hopefully it will be time to seed before it gets too hot, and then I can fill in the plants that died.

So, with the hope that you don’t end up like me, with a two-year-old front yard project that cost me a fortune, I am sharing a great Houzz article on Landscaping Trends: