• Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You Won’t Regret: Part 2

    The next two items in our list – cabinets and countertops!

    shaker cabinets

    #3 – Shaker Style for Cabinets 

    Thank heaven for the Shakers. While they were busy reducing life to its essentials, they made cabinets with clean, simple lines that will forever be in style.

    Shaker cabinets are an enduring legacy of American style and, like wood flooring, have the knack for looking good in any setting. Their simple frame-and-panel design helps reduce the amount of busyness in a kitchen, making it a soothing, friendly place to be.

    “In a kitchen with a timeless look, you want the cabinets to be part of the backdrop,” says Alan Zielinski, a former president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. “You don’t want to be overpowered. You’re looking for plain, simple, clean lines.”

    Those plain, simple, clean lines are a perfect fit for transitional style — a beautiful combo of traditional and contemporary styles. In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association says that after creeping up on traditional for years, transitional is now the most popular kitchen style.

    As our families grow more diverse, transitional style will only get more popular. It lets us personalize and blend cultural influences — Latin, Asian, Mideastern — into our homes; it’s the perfect balance of old and new, just like Shaker-style cabinets.

    #4: Carrara Marble for Countertops

    carrera marble

    Carrara marble is a timeless classic that’s been used in homes for thousands of years. (Michelangelo’s “David” was carved from Carrara.) It’ll look as good in the next millennium as it does now.

    Here’s why:

    • Carrara’s lacy graining and subtle white colors look terrific in a white kitchen (or any kitchen, for that matter).
    • It has a whiteness you won’t find in other natural stones.
    • It’s readily available, making it less expensive than other high-end choices, such as quartz.
    • It’ll last for generations.

     

    If you Google it, you’ll find a lot of debate about it (and marble in general) because it stains easily. But if you want something truly timeless, Carrara is the answer. And with today’s sealants, the problem of staining is almost moot if you reseal once or twice a year.

    Next time: Subway Tile & Ergonomics

  • Twitter IPO vs. Silicon Valley Real Estate

    The real estate landscape is shifting — and we have Twitter to thank for it.

    In other words, it’s not going to get any easier for home buyers in the near future.  With Twitter’s recent IPO, according to a recent article in the Merc, there are 1,600 new millionaires here in Silicon Valley.

    Like, overnight.

    Here’s the highlights:

    • If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Bay Area, better move quick: More than 1,600 new millionaires are walking around today thanks to Twitter’s initial public offering of stock.  That estimate, from financial analysis firm PrivCo, is just one of the ways Thursday’s Wall Street welcome for the San Francisco microblogging service has shifted the local landscape.
    • Twitter — which sold 80.5 million shares at $26, only to see them shoot as high as $50 once public trading began — will impact local housing prices much as Facebook’s IPO did last year.
    • This place is so supply-constrained that when you have these large influxes of liquidity, it causes upspikes in price
    • It’s like concentric circles beginning in Palo Alto. So many of these companies are doing well that next year you’re going to see the East Bay and San Jose start approaching 2007-peak pricing

     

     

  • Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You Won’t Regret: Part 1

    Afraid your kitchen remodeling choices will look so 2013-ish in a few years?
    I’ve seen a lot of kitchen remodel trends over the years, so I know it’s easy to get swept along with what’s in vogue, only to get bummed out by your faddish design choices a few years later. Thank you — and damn you — Pinterest.

    But chances are you’re only going to remodel your current kitchen once. After all, the annual Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine pegs the average price of a major kitchen remodel at about $54,000. With that much on the line, you want to make all the right moves. If you do, you could recoup nearly 70% of your investment if you sell.

    So to future-proof you from angst, I’ll provide you with the seven definitive kitchen features that will retain their beauty, marketability, and value — all while giving you lasting enjoyment.

    #1: White is the Dominant Color 

    Bottom line: White is the most marketable color. You’ll always find it atop the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual survey of most popular kitchen colors. It simply doesn’t go out of style.

    White’s mojo:

    • Throughout history, it’s been associated with happiness, purity (think Snow White), and new beginnings.
    • It’s a bright color that reflects light and makes even small kitchens feel larger.
    • It’s a neatnik’s dream — dirt has no place to hide.

     

    Even better, it’s uber-tolerant of both your budget and taste: A standard color for any manufacturer, you’ll find white cabinets, tile, counters, faucets, sinks, and appliances at any price point.

    And with a white backdrop, you can be as conservative or expressive as you want. After all, it’s about your enjoyment, not just dollars and cents. For example:

    • Add your personal touch with colored glass knobs and pulls.
    • Show off antique Fiesta ware on open shelves or in upper cabinets with glass fronts.
    • Paint walls the color du jour — even off-white!

     

    Heck, with a white palette, you can change your mind about paint color on a whim. Those all-white basics will make any hue you choose look fresh and contemporary.

    #2: Hardwood for Flooring

    It’s been our foot fetish for years. That’s especially true ever since hardwood flooring was mass-produced during the Industrial Revolution, making beautiful flooring readily available at a reasonable cost.

    Today, more than half of home buyers who purchased a home without hardwood floors say they would have paid an extra $2,080 for them, according to the 2013 Home Features Survey from the National Association of Realtors®. And among buyers of any age, upwards of 80% say hardwood floors are “somewhat” or “very important.”

    Why? The love of wood is in our genes. Our nesting instincts know that hardwood has warmth, personality, and makes our homes cozy and inviting. That’s why this clever chameleon pairs well with any kitchen style — from casual cottage and sleek contemporary to the most chi-chi Park Avenue traditional. 

     

    More reasons why wood flooring is the goof-proof option:

    • Perfect for open floor plans. It flows beautifully from the kitchen into adjoining rooms.
    • It’s tough. Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and maple will shrug off your kitchen’s high-traffic punishment for years. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished 10 to 12 times during it’s typical 100-year lifespan.
    • It’s eco-friendly. Hardwood is considered a green building material when it’s certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and comes from sustainably managed forests.

    Next time: Cabinets & Countertops

  • New Podcast – Q4 Market Update with Carole Rodoni

    ipod-nano-podcast

    Want to know what REALLY is the scoop behind this crazy market we’re having here in Silicon Valley? Want to know how global issues are affecting our real estate market?

     

     I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Carole Rodoni, the expert on all economic and market dynamic issues around real estate, both here in Silicon Valley, and throughout the US. Take a listen, she’s always got such great info.

     

  • Redwood City Real Estate Update – On Video!

    In this first installment, our broker Jim Meader and I discuss the latest happenings in Redwood City real estate.

     

    Redwood City Real Estate

  • New Gory Details Podcast – Q1 Update with Carole Rodoni

    eh_podcast_graphic

    I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Carole Rodoni, the expert on all economic and market dynamic issues around real estate, both here in Silicon Valley, and throughout the US.  Take a listen, she’s always got such great info.

    (quick note/correction on my early plug in the beginning: my radio interview on KDOW is next Tuesday the 19th, not the 18th as I mentioned).

    Happy listening!

  • New Redwood City Listing on Upland Road

    475 Upland - front of house

    Helping to alleviate the low inventory problem, I’m happy to announce my new listing at 475 Upland Rd. in Redwood City, list price at $1,299,000.   Expansive and updated throughout, this beautiful family home on an 18,000 sq. ft. lot boasts a flexible floor plan, with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, storage galore, and a detached garage complete with bonus room.

    Nestled down a semi-private driveway, this exceptional home offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy your passions, featuring a large backyard with different fruit trees, flowers, room to play and an inviting outdoor eating area.  The updated kitchen has all the necessities for both the casual and gourmet cook.  With plentiful storage in the cherry cabinets, granite countertops, and new appliances, this welcoming kitchen opens up into the adjacent dining room and the expansive pantry, providing an extended amount of space to entertain.   Skylights throughout the home ensure a bright and inviting ambience.

    The bonus room in the garage is perfect as a home office, guest space, work out area, or playroom.

  • The “Shrinkage” in Inventory

    sold out

    Shrinkage.

    Yes, the inventory of homes for sale has been horrendously low the last couple months.  Shrunken, like a frightened turtle.

    It’s been a condition written about in many industry pubs and the local papers, but here’s the stark reality: with demand on the rise, and inventory staying precipitously low, many homes are selling for over asking price with multiple offers.  Buyers are feeling like it’s 2005 all over again. And this low inventory problem is driving up the prices. In every city around Silicon Valley.

    Every. City.

    How low is it?  Well, let’s take a look at the current inventory of homes for sale in some of the major cities here in Silicon Valley, and compare that to the amount of homes for sale exactly 12 months ago.

    In no particular order, here we go:

    Right now 12 mos. Ago
    Belmont 16 41
    San Carlos 14 46
    Redwood City 41 127
    Redwood Shores 3 13
    San Mateo 31 139
    Foster City 8 14
    San Bruno 13 65
    Palo Alto 23 34
    Los Altos 19 36
    Menlo Park 22 38
    San Jose 343 1,598
    Santa Clara 19 97
    Cupertino 15 28
    Saratoga 37 88
    Los Gatos 54 87

    Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  Time will tell, especially come spring time, when inventory typically peaks a bit before the summer time.  But is anything about our Silicon Valley market really typical?

  • The “Shrinkage” in Inventory

    sold out

    Shrinkage.

    Yes, the inventory of homes for sale has been horrendously low the last couple months.  Shrunken, like a frightened turtle.

    It’s been a condition written about in many industry pubs and the local papers, but here’s the stark reality: with demand on the rise, and inventory staying precipitously low, many homes are selling for over asking price with multiple offers.  Buyers are feeling like it’s 2005 all over again. And this low inventory problem is driving up the prices. In every city around Silicon Valley.

    Every. City.

    How low is it?  Well, let’s take a look at the current inventory of homes for sale in some of the major cities here in Silicon Valley, and compare that to the amount of homes for sale exactly 12 months ago.

    In no particular order, here we go:

    Right now 12 mos. Ago
    Belmont 16 41
    San Carlos 14 46
    Redwood City 41 127
    Redwood Shores 3 13
    San Mateo 31 139
    Foster City 8 14
    San Bruno 13 65
    Palo Alto 23 34
    Los Altos 19 36
    Menlo Park 22 38
    San Jose 343 1,598
    Santa Clara 19 97
    Cupertino 15 28
    Saratoga 37 88
    Los Gatos 54 87

    Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  Time will tell, especially come spring time, when inventory typically peaks a bit before the summer time.  But is anything about our Silicon Valley market really typical?

  • Current Affairs, Real estate

    Posted on December 3rd, 2012

    Written by

    New Los Altos Listing on Miravalle

    I’m happy to announce my new listing at 1414 Miravalle Avenue in Los Altos, list price at $2,450,000.  Expansive & updated throughout, this beautiful family home on .45 acre boasts a flexible floor plan, with 5 BR/4 BA, 4 car garage, pool, and storage galore.  Situated on a quiet cul-de-sac, this exceptional home features a large backyard with over 32 different fruit trees. 

    The updated kitchen provides all the necessities for both the casual and gourmet cook.  With plentiful storage in the cherry cabinets, Brazilian soapstone countertops, and new appliances, this welcoming kitchen opens up into the adjacent breakfast nook and the expansive family room, providing an extended amount of space to entertain.  

    A 1BR/1BA guest cottage in the backyard is perfect for extended family, work/studio, or rental.

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