Parkmead Garage Sale This Weekend!

This Saturday, the annual Parkmead Garage Sale in Walnut Creek is taking place! There will be 30-plus homes taking part, so you can expect a ton to choose from. At the two entrances to the neighborhood (on Newell and Lilac), there will be maps or a QR code to see the list of houses participating.

The sale starts at 8 a.m. and how fun is it to walk, drive or ride around the neighborhood checking out the different offerings of the 30+ homes plus reducing waste by giving old items a new home while shopping for some great stuff. You and your kids can hunt for some treasures and you might even run into me! Hopefully, I will see some familiar faces in my neighborhood. I will be setting up a little after 8 a.m. at 1641 Newell (one of the map locations), since I am running around in the morning getting balloons and maps on all the participating homes. I will have glasses/crystal, tools and some misc. items to sell or almost give away for free! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

I Am Honored To Receive This Award

I am honored to receive the Better Homes and Gardens/Reliance Partners Platinum Award for the 2022 calendar year. This means I was one of our top producers and had a successful year selling homes, all thanks to my clients, referrals, and some hard work.

This week, I attended the awards lunch and had a great time with all my amazing colleagues. None of this would be possible without you – my wonderful clients! Thank you for entrusting your homes (and home searches) to me. Here’s to many more years of success!

Before & After: 2227 La Salle

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a house that had just been listed (and then quickly went pending) in Walnut Creek. I wanted to show you all how amazing (and quickly) we made some updates and why it helped maximize their home’s value when they decided to sell. We had about four weeks to get all the work done.

The seller was out of town for two weeks, so I coordinated the entire project – my background in project management came in handy. We painted the interior and patched and painted parts of the exterior, painted the kitchen and put in new handles and fixtures throughout, new flooring and placement of lights in the bathrooms, and spruced up the yard. About $20k was spent on getting the home ready and really most of it was deferred updating as it was pretty much the same as when he bought it in 2011.

Here are the side-by-side pictures of 2227 La Salle in Walnut Creek, before and after renovation:

As you can see, with a bit of paint, effort, and new fixtures, the space was completely transformed. The previous owners remodeled the kitchen and we just modernized it a bit, even minor touch-ups made a huge difference.

It’s really amazing what a nice, light paint color, new lighting, and some modern fixtures can do to a home. Not to mention some excellent staging for the photos! The seller definitely put money and intention into renovating before selling and the transformation was well worth it! We went into contract 6 days after listing. If you want somebody to manage the process of getting your home ready to sell, give me a call at (925) 899-7123.

An Open Space Restoration Wonderland

The Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation (WSOSF) has completely transformed an area of open space at the foothills of Mt. Diablo in Walnut Creek. The Fossil Hill Native Plant Restoration Project started about 10 years ago by eradicating aggressive Black Mustard plants and other non-native flowers, plants, grasses, and weeds and replacing them with millions of native flower seeds and grasses. You can learn more and volunteer at this link.

Phil Johnson, a retired construction landscaper, is leading the efforts and has been working on this since 1991 when WCOSF began its oak planting project. To date, more than 1 million seeds of native flowers have been planted and the results are absolutely stunning. However, he told me that he would be interested in having more regular volunteers and doing more ongoing education via schools and kids’ organizations.

Take a look at a few of these photos below. The Open Space was already a beautiful natural feature of our town that we are lucky to have, but this just makes things even better! In addition to the Poppy, there are Baby Blue Eyes and Tidy Tips. If you would like to know more about the location, give me a call or email me at To donate or volunteer, please go to

Just Listed & Now Pending: 2227 La Salle Dr. in Walnut Creek

Only seven days on the market, and this 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,888-square foot, single-story home in the desirable Carriage Square neighborhood just went pending! Built in 1963 with a current refresh, this home is ideally located, just a few minutes from the Highway 680 entrance and BART, and minutes to Bancroft Elementary School.

You can also walk to the Countrywood Shopping Center easily from this location – the convenience is really unbeatable! The home boasts an open and inviting floor plan flowing seamlessly from the eat-in kitchen to the spacious family room. Upgrades include dual-pane windows, granite countertops, and hardwood floors.

The bedrooms are large and have ample closet space, offering plenty of room for storage. The interior and exterior have both been freshly painted and the bathrooms have new fixtures and LTV flooring. But wait…there’s more! The backyard offers a fantastic space to enjoy summer evenings with its spacious patio.

All in all, you can’t beat the combination of location, tasteful upgrades, and warm and inviting atmosphere this home offers. It is the perfect place to call home.

A New Listing In Concord (That Went Pending Today) – 1 Week On The Market With 9 Offers!

This exquisite Seven Oaks property is a splendid single-story rancher, nestled at the end of a peaceful court, surrounded by the verdant hills of Mount Diablo. Boasting an open floor plan with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, this home is a gem!

As you step into the spacious entryway, you are greeted by an inviting ambiance that draws you in. The living room, with its vaulted wood-beamed ceiling, exudes warmth and character. The home features hardwood floors and fresh paint on the interior walls, while the living room and bedrooms are adorned with new carpeting.

The primary bedroom suite is a true haven, offering ample space and comfort. The sliding glass door opens to the backyard, creating a seamless connection with nature. The remodeled bathroom features modern amenities and fixtures that add to the comfort of the home.

The formal dining area adds a touch of sophistication. The kitchen/family room combo is perfect for entertaining guests, with easy access to the wrap-around deck, pool with waterfalls, spa, and a cozy fire pit. The drought-resistant landscaping adds to the overall charm of this serene setting, creating an idyllic retreat that you will be proud to call home.

Celebrate Earth Day With Our Shred Event!

This Saturday is Earth Day! I’m holding a Shred Event with JVM Lending allowing for a green-friendly way to dispose of your old papers. Join us from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the Tice Creek Parking Lot (1847 Newell Ave. in Walnut Creek) to participate!

This is in conjunction with the Parkmead Community Association (PCA) Earth Day clean-up around the Parkmead neighborhood. Donations are appreciated and will support the PCA in its annual events. As you’ll see on the poster below, there are several things to consider when destroying your documents. Shredlogix will take care of most of it, but please follow those basic tips in the green box.

I encourage you to take part in the Shred Event and the Earth Day clean-up. There will be complimentary donuts and coffee, but the real treat is doing something good for the planet on this special day. And, again, I want to thank JVM Lending and Shredlogix, who are partnering on this event with me. I hope to see you there!

Just Sold: 433 Sutcliffe Place

The buyers at 433 Sutcliffe Place were renting just three doors away, and now they’re moving into a dream home! One of the buyers is from Scotland and the other is from Singapore, so the buying process can be a bit scary in a new country. I’m so glad it worked out for them. We had 5 offers and it sold for $1,800,000. However 2 of the offers were at $1,825,000, but the sellers took this offer because I happened to meet them at the open house and wrote an offer for them, reducing the commission 1%.

It is a meticulously-kept traditional home in Northgate with a formal living room, vaulted wood ceilings, and a dining area with a large, light-filled window. An eat-in kitchen was updated in 2006 and is located next to the family room with French doors out to the back patio. Speaking of the backyard, it comes complete with a putting green, refinished pool, pond with waterfall, and patio seating (all in the backdrop of Mt. Diablo!).

Nice extra perks include a built-in gas grill in the backyard (natural gas is piped in), a new gas stove in the kitchen, owned solar, and a large potting shed with electricity in the side yard. Downstairs boasts one bedroom and a full bath while upstairs has four bedrooms, a spacious primary bathroom, and a walk-in closet. It is the perfect home for entertaining!

The buyers got this immaculate home from sellers who had lived there for more than 45 years. The owners were very handy, so the place looks amazing and no repairs were needed. The sellers downsized to a new single-story construction in Martinez to be closer to their grown kids and grandchildren.

Does Size Matter? How Homes Have Changed

Jay Vorhees of JVM Lending posted a blog recently about how home sizes have changed over the years, and I found a lot of the information interesting. See a short recap below, with my thoughts at the end!

In 1974, the median home price was around $36,000; today it is around $467,000. So, the median home price is almost 13 times higher than in 1974 – which is a bit disconcerting, granted, as home prices have outpaced inflation. BUT, homes have also increased in size by an average of well over 60%.

Here are two articles illuminating this:

  1. American Homes Have Changed Much Over the Years
  2. Average Size of U.S. Home Decade by Decade

Both articles are a bit dated, but they beautifully illustrate the growth trend, and houses have only grown larger since the articles were written. And size alone does not begin to account for how much nicer houses are in general nowadays with better windows, appliances, insulation, layouts, storage, and construction materials in general.

So, when we account for the massive increase in size and quality of homes they are probably right on par with inflation, and probably not much to worry about either.

Kristin’s take: Homes have become a central part of our lives. We work from home. Our kids have play dates here, instead of going out into the fields to play as I did as a child. Parents want space to entertain. Our homes have become more than just where we eat and sleep – they are truly spaces in which we live!

I also wanted to point out in the first link above (American Homes Have Changed Much Over the Years), that it’s really interesting to see the evolution of which colors of appliances are popular. For example, in the 50s, it was canary yellow and petal pink. In the 70s, it migrated to avocado and harvest gold. The 80s and 90s saw shades (almond, beige, black), before giving way to stainless steel as we know and love it now!

Thinking About Buying An EV?

I have been considering buying an electric vehicle (EV) because my current car only gets 22 miles to the gallon, I drive a lot, and gas is becoming way too costly for me! My mechanic recommended a hybrid because when the battery on an EV goes out, it can be very costly to replace. I also drive to Reno and Tahoe a lot so I want an all-wheel drive SUV. Also, I already have range anxiety because once I get to Reno, where would I charge it conveniently? I hate the idea of standing around for 20 minutes waiting for a car to charge.

That said, maybe it would be worth getting solar on my house if I need to charge a car every day. There are a lot of things to consider when making a big decision like this. Check out this article that details four important things to know before buying an EV – just in case you are also considering it! Here are the main points:

  1. EVs are more efficient than traditional gas-powered vehicles: fully electric vehicles convert more than 77% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (traditional gas-powered vehicles convert 12-30% of the energy stored within gasoline).
  2. Pricing will continue to become more competitive in the coming years: as more manufacturers get on board with producing EVs, increasing access is leading to a decline in upfront prices.
  3. It’s important to consider your driving habits if you want to avoid “range anxiety”: knowing how far your electric car can travel and what kind of access you’ll have to charging stations can hugely influence your buying choice. Most of today’s EVs can cover a distance of roughly 200 miles without needing a charge, but this varies.
  4. You can save money through federal tax incentives: Anyone buying a new plug-in EV in 2023 and beyond may be able to claim a clean vehicle tax credit on their annual tax return! This can be as high as $7,500.

All of those things are good to know and are in much more detail in the article itself. Most of those things listed above are positive, so make sure you do your research before buying an EV – but it is tempting!‍‍ Plus, come 2035, only EV cars will be sold as new vehicles.