Nevada City Virtual Tour

Friday, November 30, 2012

Grass Valley Home Deal of the Week

Grass Valley Home Deal of the Week

Hallmark’s “The Christmas Card” Showtimes

This November and December “The Christmas Card,” the Hallmark Channel’s highest-rated original film of all time, will be aired on the following dates :

*** be sure to check your local cable guide for the exact times - cable and satellite providers may have different times***

2012 Showtimes:
ChannelDate & TimeEpisode
HALMRK Sun, Dec 2
4:00 AM
The Christmas Card
HALMRK Sun, Dec 2
10:00 PM
The Christmas Card
HALMRK Wed, Dec 12
10:00 PM
The Christmas Card
HALMRK Thu, Dec 13
6:00 AM
The Christmas Card

For more information visit Hallmark Channel’s Website.

Experience the magic of Nevada City first hand at Victorian Christmas. This annual, family tradition takes place in December and features holiday activities for all ages: childrens’ pony rides, carriage rides, live entertainment, savory yuletide treats and libations, and of course, Father Christmas! The event is held in December, three Wednesday nights, and two Sunday afternoons. There is no admission charge.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Zillow has added foreclosures to its website

What You should know as you gain greater accessibility to foreclosure data

Zillow has added foreclosures to its website, giving the general public access to basic foreclosure information on all properties. Foreclosure is a complicated process and the availability of this information will create many questions about the overall foreclosure process and the status of specific properties. Although foreclosure notices have always been a matter of public record, this now makes it easy for the general public to see which properties are in foreclosure. Properties in foreclosure are not necessarily available for sale, and this will cause confusion for potential buyers and distress to homeowners in foreclosure as their situation has now become even more public.

Consumer-focused sites only provide limited foreclosure information, based solely on recorded notices, and without the daily updates on status and outcome that our professional users rely on. According to ForeclosureRadar, the number of notices of default issued in California was 14,090 in September 2012, up almost 2 percent from the prior month. The average foreclosure in California takes 282 days to close, and there are a number of changes regarding the status of a property that can occur during that time, which many consumers simply are not aware.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Home Prices Continue Upward Trend in August

Home Prices Continue Upward Trend in August

Home prices in August rose across a broad swath of large American cities, adding further evidence that a housing recovery is taking shape. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index for the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the country rose 0.9 percent from July and 2 percent from August 2011. It was the fifth consecutive month-over-month increase and the third consecutive year-over-year bump. Nineteen areas tracked by the index posted gains over July and 17 posted year-over-year increases. The closely tracked index showed home prices down 29.3 percent from their July 2006 peak

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Worst mistakes by homeowners trying to sell their home


1. Leftover home owners

By far, one of the top offenses cited by buyer’s agents was home owners still lingering around when agents arrived with clients to preview the home. Awkward encounters ranged from buyers finding sellers taking a shower, asleep in the bed, to even the “stalker sellers” who liked to follow buyers and the agent all over the home to see what they thought.
With the exception of the “stalker seller,” many of the home owners who were still at home blamed their listing agent for not giving them enough advance notice about the appointment prior.

2. Pets and their messes

Numerous agents also cited the not-so-friendly dog and kitty encounters as a top offense. Even pets left in a crate can pose a distraction since they might make noise the entire time others are in the house. Plus, if they seem mean, the buyer might not even step in the room.
One buyers agent says she recently was given showing instructions from a listing agent who told her the family’s “friendly dog” would be at home. But when agent unlocked the front door with her client for the showing, a pit bull was staring down at them from the top of the staircase, growling. “We closed the door and left!” she says.

3. Bad smells

A displeasing smell can really turn buyers off. Common offenses include cooking smells lingering around the home, such as garlic, fried bacon, or fish. Also, watch for cigarette smoke and animal smells, agents say.
“Sellers get immune to the smell that their pets have embedded on their property. Anyone opening the door will smell it immediately -- even if there are air fresheners trying to cover up the smell. If you have a pet, there will be an odor. Don’t send your buyers away: Paint and clean the carpeting. Take the odor seriously and do what is needed, even if it means replacing the carpet.”

4. Critters running wild

Wild animals and pests roaming around is a surefire way to send buyers running. Agents described worms crawling on the floor and bats and raccoons lounging in the attic.

5. Odd home makeovers

Do-it-yourself disasters were also prevalent, like doors opening the wrong way or unprofessional paint jobs. Also, rooms not being used for their intended purposes can confuse buyers, such as an office being used as a bedroom even though it has no closet.

6. Dirt and clutter

There were a number of offenses cited when it came to cleanliness: Dirty laundry piles, unflushed toilets, dishes on the counter or in the sink, unmade beds, clothes scattered about, soiled carpets, dirty air conditioner filters, and overflowing trash cans.
“One of the worst things I have seen is piles and piles of clothes in every room, it was like an obstacle course trying to walk around the mess.” Toilet lids being left up is also no no.

7. Personal information left in plain sight

Sellers should be careful not to leave in plain sight important documents that may pique buyers’ curiosity. Some agents say they’ve seen personal information like bank and credit card statements—even mortgage payoff notices—left on the kitchen counter.
Buyers are nosey.

8. Too dark

Dark or dimly lit houses aren’t showing the home in the best light.
“Particularly [homes lit with] CFL bulbs. By the time [the bulbs] light up, the buyer is gone.” Energy efficient bulbs need time to warm up before they are at their brightest, so staging professionals usually recommend agents arrive early to a showing to turn on any light fixtures with CFL bulbs at least 10 minutes prior.

9. Keys missing from lockboxes

All too often, agents arrive at a listing appointment with their client only to find there’s no key to get in left in the lockbox.

10. Distracting photos

Watch the photos displayed on the walls too, agents warn.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Foreclosures fall in 62 percent of U.S. cities

Foreclosures fall in 62 percent of U.S. cities

Foreclosures fell in nearly two-thirds of the nation’s largest metro areas during the third quarter, according to RealtyTrac.

Friday, November 9, 2012

6 Ways to Get your Your Home to Sell This Fall

6 Ways to Get your Your Home to Sell This Fall

     Fall is second only to spring as the busiest time of the year for home sales -- and I see this autumn and winter as an especially good time to have your property on the market.

"Inventory is low, so if you have your house on the market and is priced well, it's going to sell," says Gary Tippner. Home sales in Nevada County and many other U.S. locales are rebounding this fall as low prices, improved consumer confidence and rock-bottom mortgage rates bring buyers out.

At the same time, many would-be sellers are either too discouraged to put homes on the market or are waiting for prices to rise, creating a shortage of available homes in much of the country. Add in the fact that many people travel to their hometowns for Thanksgiving and Christmas events and the like and Tippner believes it's a bad idea to keep your property off of the market this fall and even winter."People who've been thinking of moving back home will look at some houses when they come for a visit, and finding the perfect place will push them into action," he says. "But if your place isn't on the market, they won't see it."Houses that boast green grass and lush gardens in the spring, though, look a lot less inviting during the fall.Here are six things Gary Tippner recommends all would-be sellers do this autumn and winter to adjust for that and get a home moving: 

Give your home a cozy smell
Fall brings back childhood memories of hayrides and Thanksgiving dinners for many, and Tippner recommends maximizing your place's "homey" feeling this time of year.The Realtor always has spiced cider, fresh-baked cookies or other warm and friendly fare cooking up in during showings and open houses at properties he's listing."We take some big old pots and dump cider in them, then warm it up and the whole house smells good," Tippner says. "It's just a warm, homey smell that makes people feel good when they enter."He places cider and cookies ready for serving in a strategically out-of-the-way place visitors reach only after touring the house. That way Tippner has a chance to "pitch" the house to buyers while they snack. 

Rake up the leaves
You don't have to remove every single leaf as soon as it falls in your home's yard, but you have to keep the property's exterior looking tidy and well maintained."Leaves actually look nice as long as they have some color to them, " Tippner says. "But you need to make sure that your walkways are swept clear for safety purposes." 

Use seasonal decorations
Homes in most parts of the country lack the blooming flowers and grass that make their yards look particularly nice during warmer months. Tippner says you can give a property's exterior an attractive "harvest" feel by adding fall-themed decorations."You lose some of the curb appeal that goes along with [spring and summer's] nice landscaping, but something like a seasonal wreath on the door can bring some of it back,"he says.Also consider placing pumpkins and pots of mums on your home's front porch or portico. 

Maximize lighting
Shorter days and less-intense sunlight make good interior lighting more important than ever when showing a home during the fall.Tippner recommends opening all blinds and turning all lights on when you know a potential buyer plans to stop by -- even if you're leaving for work and the showing won't happen for hours."You have to make sure everything looks light and bright," he says.Another tip: Make sure all windows are sparkling clean inside and out. 

Hold earlier showings
Tippner doesn't bother at this time of year to schedule the evening open houses he often holds during spring and summer to catch house hunters on their way home from work.Instead, he typically hosts open houses on Saturdays and Sundays between 2 and 4 p.m. -- but also keeps other autumn events in mind when setting times."This time of year, we schedule our open houses around Cornish and Victorian Christmas in Grass Valley and Nevada City," he says. "We know what's going on in town and base our open-house times on when we think people will be around." 

Provide warm-weather photos
The beautiful grass and garden your home has in the spring might be long gone by the fall, but you still want would-be buyers to know it exists.Tippner suggests making photos of your home's exterior taken during the spring and summer available online, as well as putting out hard copies during showings.But you don't want to use spring or summer photos exclusively with an autumn listing."There's nothing worse than looking at a home's listing in the fall and seeing photos from the spring," Tippner says. "That immediately gets buyers thinking: "Gosh, this home has been on the market forever.'"

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fast California Home Real Estate Market Facts

Fast California Home Real Estate Market Facts

Calif. median home price: September 2012: $345,000 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. highest median home price by region/county September 2012: San Mateo, $779,000 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. lowest median home price by region/county September 2012: Madera, $120,000 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. Pending Home Sales Index: August 2012: 118.9, up 2.7 percent from July's 115.8

Calif. Traditional Housing Affordability Index: Second quarter 2012: 51 percent (Source: C.A.R.)

Mortgage rates: Week ending 10/25/2012 30-yr. fixed: 3.41% fees/points: 0.7% 15-yr. fixed: 2.72 fees/points: 0.6% 1-yr. adjustable: 2.59% Fees/points: 0.4% (Source: Freddie Mac)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wine and Harvest Open House November 10 Double Oak

Saturday, November 10, 1 – 5      2012

Help Us Celebrate our 27th Harvest & 16th Vintage!
Fine Wine ~ Tasty Food ~ Fine Arts & Crafts ~ Live Music
Talented Winemaker ~ Creative Artists & Artisans ~ Entertaining Musician
~ Enjoy tasting delicious Double Oak fine wines paired with savory gourmet hors d’oeuvres.
~ Take pleasure in entertaining music.
~ Delight in fine arts and crafts while meeting the artists and artisans.
~ Find unique gifts for your friends and family.
~ Tour the winery and vineyard with vineyardist and winemaker Bob Hilsman.
~ Take advantage of special Double Oak wine sales.
~ Stock up on Double Oak wine to share with your friends and family during the coming holiday season.

We are pleased that Jonathan Meredith will be joining us with his fine acoustic finger style guitar. He is playing a delightful mix of jazz, pop, blues and classical.

We have a great line-up of fine artists and craftpersons offering you a fine selection of paintings, photographs, collages, rock paintings, sculptures, weavings, fabric and wood creations.
The price of admission to this Harvest Open House is $5. (Wine Club members & their guests: $4)
Admission includes a free logo wine glass.

For directions and more information go to

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