A recently closed home finishes the American dream

I have a great story to tell you today about one of my clients. This client closed on a house last Friday, which is a big deal for anyone, so congratulations are in order. However, they also closed on a long-awaited chapter of the American dream.

The Tolentino family had been renting in Richmond for almost 20 years in the same house. As a veteran, Eulogio finally decided to use his VA benefits to purchase a big home in Pittsburg. I met them through a referral from USAA when they had been working with another agent, but they felt they were not being fully represented.

They were motivated to see some houses, so my team member, Lilly, went and showed them some newer construction in Pittsburg and they decided to write an offer. They came back to the office and we all sat down and discussed the process and what they would need. Their previous agent never explained that if they were getting money out of a 401K, they might need to know how long it will take and then put in an offer after they had the money in hand.

After much discussion, they decided they could not write on this house as offers were due that day. They then set their sights on some new construction, got all their ducks in a row, and now are the proud owners of a brand new house!

Eulogio is a native Filipino who moved to the United States and served our country. I can’t think of a better example of what the United States stands for and the diversity that inhabits this country. It is what the USA was built on. A big congratulations for achieving the American dream and owning a piece of land in the country he defended.

I’m so happy for the Tolentino family and proud to have helped them achieve their dream! This moment is more than well-deserved.

Dublin’s newest listing!

This is a legacy client, if you will! The sellers have used me four times now, and I found out recently that’s at least partially because they like my direct, straightforward style. They are from New York, so that makes sense!

Gio and Bessie moved to the Bay Area from New York and have progressively moved up: from a condo, to a detached, and now into a new construction single-family home with a yard and driveway! They already are a family of 4 and hope to get a dog once the move and construction are completed. They are listing their tri-level home with a very small yard in Dublin and making the move to Livermore.

If you are looking for a newer detached home in Dublin – or are planning to buy or sell in the near future – let me know! As you can see in these pictures, it’s a very stylish and bright home with many upgrades!

Los Panchos remains my go-to option

Los Panchos, the Pacheco-based Mexican Taqueria (that also has an option in Danville these days) remains one of the best spots in the Bay Area for quick Mexican food. If you want consistently tasty and affordable Mexican food, you can’t beat Los Panchos.

I go there any time I’m in the vicinity of Contra Costa Blvd and Center Street. My go-to is their crispy taco, but they also have a great chili rellano and tasty bean dip. There is no indoor seating and only three funky tables outside – which they put a thick concrete tile over the tabletop and the seats sit low, so you feel like a little kid. I recommend you take it to go, but the funky tables only add to the charm!

You can get anything from a classic combination plate to individual tacos and burritos, or opt for their awesome catering service if you’re bringing it for an office party.

Regardless, you can’t go wrong. Los Panchos has been a staple in the Bay Area Mexican food scene for many years, and I expect it to continue!

Won’t you be my neighbor!

I have a new listing in my own neighborhood of Parkmead! Come be my neighbor and live in a great little part of Walnut Creek. We are walking distance to downtown, top rated schools, and to Dewing Park pool. We have a small-town feel in Parkmead, where 4th of July parades, chili cook-offs and BBQ pool parties sprinkle the calendar.

This is a great family community, and the house itself reflects that. It’s a huge, flat lot with a play area in the backyard. There is a cabana, shed, and solar-heated pool. The seller is now an empty nester and is ready for her next chapter.

Inside, there is a remodeled kitchen, vaulted ceilings, fresh paint, dual pane windows and a well. Overall, it is a 4-bedroom/3-bathroom with a bonus room that can be an office. It is over 3,000 square feet and has a 2-car circular driveway. This opportunity with such a large, flat lot is rare for our neighborhood!

Come by to see the house this week: 45 Arlene Lane. I am hosting a Broker Tour today from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., and a Twilight Wine and Cheese event on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. f you are looking to downsize in the near future, give me a call!

And if you are looking to downsize in the near future, give me a call.

Event Round-Up: Sept. 7

Well, for most people, school is officially back in session. The events around town may die down until closer to the holidays, but there is still plenty to do! Check out my latest event round-up for local things to do over the next month.

Bedford Gallery: thru Sept. 15 (Walnut Creek)

Susan Lee-Chun_Photo Credit
From BedfordGallery.org

We’ve talked about this before, but the Bedford Gallery at the Lesher Center for the Arts always has really awesome exhibits for cheap. Right now, it’s the contemporary inflatable art exhibit, called Blow Up! Check it out!

Full Moon Sail: Sept. 13 (San Francisco)

Well, this looks awesome! The original event sold out, but you can pick up tickets for Thurs., Sept. 12 to go on a full moon sail in the Bay on a schooner! Tickets are $69 and there is a cash bar on board! More info.

Second Saturday: Sept. 14 (Oakland)

Head to Jack London Square for an awesome street festival that will have live music, more than 50 vendors, and all sorts of fun and games! Oh, did I mention it’s completely free? Here is the link.

Comedy Day: Sept. 15 (San Francisco)

Go to the aptly-named Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park for five hours of the best local comedy in the Bay Area – all for free! What better way to enjoy a weekend than laughing your head off in the city? See here!

Walnut Festival: Sept. 19-22 (Walnut Creek)

It’s that time of year again! The biggest, can’t-miss event for everyone in Walnut Creek. The 83rd annual Walnut Festival will take place later this month. Get more info here!

Capitola Art & Wine Festival  – Sept 14th & 15th

Enjoy over 160 fine artists while sipping exceptional wines from 22 Santa Cruz Mountain wineries. 

Capitola Beach Festival – Sept 28th  

Capitola’s 2nd Annual Beach Festival – something for everyone, including a 3-Miler Fun Run hosted by Wharf to Wharf, a Horseshoe Tournament, Lighted Nautical Parade, Fishing Derby, Sand Sculpture Contest, Chalk Art Event, Concert at Esplanade Park, Rowboat Races, and more! 

Introducing the Cypress Mini-Plaza

Did you know we’re getting a mini-plaza on the corner of Cypress and N. Main St.? It will be a partnership between the City of Walnut Creek and Walnut Creek Downtown. They plan to make it more of a “European” street environment.

Cypress Mini Plaza
From www.walnut-creek.org

You can see more info and a rendering at this link. There will be a loss of six parking spaces – I counted yesterday when I was driving down Main, though I think the city noted just three. It will enhance the public sidewalk on the west side of the street. The intent, according to the website, is to create a public gathering space in the heart of the traditional downtown area.

In addition to the sidewalk, the project will add new hardscape, landscaping, arbor, lighting, and seating to create this “mini-plaza” space. There will be synthetic play mounds and a new outdoor parklet, too.

From www.walnut-creek.org

It sounds like this project will commence over the Fall and Winter of this year, so look for this to be opened up by next year!

Ballet at Stern Grove!

I was able to catch part of the Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco recently – I made it to the ballet, which was fantastic! We spent the first half of the ballet in the De Young Museum, so we missed a chunk, but it was still great.

The ballet was a free performance, which I think is so interesting that they provide this show for free. And it clearly paid off, because right in front of me were a couple little girls getting the full experience.

We learned that they were taking ballet themselves, and now they were getting to experience a live, professional ballet for free in a beautiful setting. Plus, you can’t beat a nice day out in the city!

It takes a bit of time to park and walk to the grove. Once we got there, we had to hike up the hill and find a place to sit amongst the trees. Luckily, in the area we went to, some people were saving a spot for their friends who didn’t show, so even with our late arrival, we got a decent view! See pictures for how far up the hill people climbed to see this free show.

If you want stellar seating, make it it a day and get there early and have a picnic. When Stern Grove Festival comes back around next year, I’ll be sure to make more out of it. What a great way to involve those who normally couldn’t afford to see it and the opportunity for small children to experience the ballet.

Art Town: Broadway Plaza

You can walk around Broadway Plaza anytime, and between the masses of people and the high-end stores, you’ll discover some truly stunning works of art. This has always been the case, but even more so now that have remodeled the entire plaza.


Not long ago, I was wandering downtown and found this elegant deer sculpture in the bushes on one of the main roads of the Plaza. As you can see from the placard, it is aptly-named “Bronze Buck.” It’s a nice, nostalgic piece in my opinion – I don’t know about you, but I regularly get deer running around my neighborhood! It’s kind of a staple of the suburban areas of Walnut Creek! This statue is almost life-like.

Across the street from the bronze buck, I discovered this gorgeous mosaic on the side of the building next to L’Occitane. It looks like there is a string of flowers coming from each side of the frame and wrapping around the trunk of a luscious tree. It won’t surprise you to hear that this reminded me of walking in the Open Space.

What kind of artwork have you found while exploring Broadway Plaza? What about the rest of downtown? There is never a shortage in this charming little city of ours!

A whirlwind process!

Recently, I represented the buyer on 9 Hansen Ct. in Moraga. My clients were very motivated, just moving back to the Bay Area from Texas. They were also living in a parents’ 2-bed home with four additional people and a daughter needing to be registered for high school. So all this put the house-hunting process on high alert.

As an agent, you often learn about critical information, or those that inform the decision-making process, as you go. In this case, it was how important being close to the high school would be, as the daughter would have to get there in the mornings and she doesn’t drive yet.

We put one offer in on a duet by Rudgear Park, but got beat out on a home with multiple offers. They had been eyeing Hansen, which had just reduced the price, so we negotiated down a bit more and then started doing inspections. The house had been beautifully updated after being a rental for 20 years, but we found the sprinklers had been leaking and there was water under the house. After the sellers addressed the sprinkler issue we got a credit for a few other repairs and closed the day after school started.

Luckily, this home is a block from Campolindo and the daughter was able to register, but proof of closing was required within the month. Now they are just waiting for their furniture to be delivered.

Buying or selling can be stressful at times. It is my job to consistently communicate the process and help mitigate some of the stress. Here are reviews on how I do just that. If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, let’s chat!

A new taco shop in Walnut Creek!

Tacos Walnut Creek¬†is the name of a new taco shop in Walnut Creek. A very appropriate name, I’d say! I tried it recently and really thought the food was great. They make recommendations to which sauce (red or green) depending on the type of meat you are ordering..

According to the website, Tacos Walnut Creek is guided by a father that owns two restaurants in the Santa Cruz area. But, the Walnut Creek location is actually run by his two sons. They’ve grown up going to their father’s restaurant and learning how to prepare authentic Mexican cuisine. Tacos Walnut Creek’s team is committed to working hard in the kitchen to put a smile on your face with delicious food in your tummy!

We really needed a good casual Mexican restaurant and it shows: lines out the door at lunch and this past Saturday evening, plus a 4.9 Yelp rating. That corner has finally hit a home run with a great place to eat that is affordable. With Taco Walnut Creek’s doors now open, I am not sure how long Patron’s (click to see my last blog) doors will stay open.

You can check out Tacos Walnut Creek at the corner of Locust and Giammona downtown! Let me know how you like it! Your comments are most welcomed!