Is Country Living your dream?

country living

Are you looking for that country property that has the potential to turn into a magazine cover worthy, beautiful country estate with a pond, white picket fences and everything else you can imagine? You really can turn that dream into reality, but if you haven’t had experience living on more than a small city lot, here are some things to think about as you start your search:

Location, Location, Location. Even in the county, some locations aren’t as desirable as others. When looking at country property, you still should consider distance to grocery stores, hospitals and other needed services. In addition, look at the neighboring properties and see what types of homes are  there and get a feel for the type of people that could be your neighbors. You probably don’t want to be next to properties that have a lot of old junk cars in the pastures or a lot of run down buildings. There are times that you will rely heavily on your neighbors and you want them to be the kind of people that are willing to step up and help when needed. The topography and other features are important as well. Everyone likes some trees and granite outcroppings but you don’t want to be on property that is too steep for livestock, orchards or even a simple garden. Flat land is great for crops, but most people don’t like a property without and trees or variation. Critically look at the property and think about the pros and the cons.

Water. Water is perhaps the most important thing for a country property. Good water and an abundance of water can add tremendous value to a property and allow you many options in further developing it the way you want it. Lack of water is a huge problem. When looking at country property, you will want to consider good output and quality of water for your domestic well. Having at least some irrigation water is also super important. In our area, irrigation water rights are through NID (Nevada Irrigation District) or PCWA (Placer County Water Agency). Depending on what you are doing with the property (how many people live there, if you have livestock, if you have orchards or crops etc.) your water usage and needs can range dramatically. Make sure you have enough water for your needs and enough that will make your property good for resale. Get a well test (output and potability) and check with the irrigation company to determine amount (measured in miner’s inches).
Property lines. Make sure that part of your deal is asking the seller to pay to have a 3rd party survey that clearly marks the property lines. It isn’t uncommon to see some variance between what a seller thinks the lines are and what they actually are. In addition, find out if there are any easements (road, utility, water) that could affect your property. You may also want to research if a property split would be possible that could add value in the future.
Cost of ownership. Owning a country property can involve some costs that you wouldn’t have in the city. Maintenance to your well(s) and septic system are just a couple examples. Depending on where you are, you may be required to carry extra fire insurance and your policy premiums might be higher. Due to the size of the property, other regular upkeep and maintenance can be higher than you would expect. If you have livestock, there are additional expenses you will incur. When living in the country, you will have to dedicate more time and money to the upkeep of your property than you would in town.
Other things to think about. Many times there are out-buildings or other structures (I’ve even seen ponds) that have been built or created without the proper permits. These should be disclosed, but it is worthwhile checking permits so it doesn’t cause problems for you in the future. Most times it isn’t a big deal, but is something you should be aware of. Also, be specific in asking about what is included (or what you want included) in the deal. Many times I have written deals that include tractors, round pens or other items that are considered personal property.
Country living is great and I don’t want to deter anyone that has the dream of that perfect home in the country. Placer County is a great area to find country property that is close to everything, but still out far enough to be “country”. It is important to educate yourself on country property and find the right professional that can lead you through the steps and help you make sure you are making a good decision and great investment. Call me if you have any questions about living in the country or if you want to start your search for your dream home.

Changes

This year marks my 16th year in the real estate business in California. Looking back, it has been quite the ride with the cycles we’ve gone through and the many changes in the way that real estate is marketed and transactions are handled. Here are some of the changes that come to mind that some of the newer agents might have a hard time believing:

Paperwork- When I started, we were still doing 1 page contracts. Now, residential contracts are 10 pages and vacant land contracts are 11 pages. The seller disclosures have changed too. We used to only have 3 or 4 forms that were filled out. Our disclosure packets are now commonly in the 45 to 50 page range and that is the bare minimum.

Marketing and Multiple Listing Service- The MLS was available, but it was very unreliable and outdated even back then. We couldn’t post multiple pictures and entering listings was a real pain compared to how easy it is now. The print outs and screen views looked like some ancient DOS prompt page. As far as marketing, we did property flyers, newspaper ads and newsletters. Color printing was much more expensive and not readily available as it is now. Zillow and other sites were not around and we really didn’t do any internet marketing. The big thing was to have a sign rider that directed people to tune their radio to a certain AM radio station and it gave a property description. I had one of the new VW Bugs wrapped with advertising as one of my marketing tools. Marketing is so much easier now and within minutes numerous people know about a new listing.

Population- Lincoln was still a pretty small town in 2002 with a population of around 19,000. Communities like 12 Bridges and Lincoln Crossing were still dirt and farm land and Sun City was less than a quarter of the size it is now. Our population now is almost 50,000. Grocery shopping could be done at Rainbow Market or Safeway but a trip to Roseville was necessary for other shopping. For home projects you would take a trip down to Tofft’s Hardware store.

Home Prices- In 2002 newer homes were going in the low $200K range. Now, depending on location and upgrades, a new home under 2000 square feet will range in the high $300Ks to close to $500,000.

A lot has changed in the last 16 years, but one constant is that Lincoln is still a great place to live. Although some of the paperwork and ways of marketing have changed, my way of doing business of putting the customer first and exerting every effort to make sure your real estate transaction is smooth and profitable hasn’t changed. I still love what I do and get great satisfaction out of guiding my clients through a purchase or sale of what is usually their largest asset. Contact me, I’d love to put my many years of experience and understanding of Real Estate to work for you.

Also, who thinks I should bring the Bug back??

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rich History in Lincoln California

In 1859 Lincoln became an official town and many of the original buildings are still downtown. Have you ever been curious about what some of those old buildings used to be? Well, you can visit our local museum and find out about that and much, much, more! The Lincoln Area Archives Museum is a fun place to learn some history about our special city. A few of the volunteers there are actual descendants of some of Lincoln’s early pioneers. When we visited the museum we learned the reason the Zebra is Lincoln High School’s mascot and enjoyed seeing one of the original desks from the school. The items they have on display there range from ancient Native American artifacts to old high school year books. You’ll love looking at photographs and uniforms of the original Potters baseball team. The admission is free and there are “hands-on” displays for the kids to explore.  After your visit you can walk around the corner and grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants. It’s truly fascinating to see how much history Lincoln has. So go take a look and increase your knowledge of this great little city.

Lincoln Area Archives Museum

640 5th Street

Lincoln, CA

916-645-3800

Mon-Sat 11-3

Interesting Housing Options

 

 

opod

Over the last few years we have seen some interesting housing options. The “tiny house” movement started with stick-built homes on trailers that could easily be moved but also set up to hook into water and sewer systems. Many of them had solar for their electricity. We have also seen storage container houses that have been set up as tiny homes. Today as I was looking through some articles about real estate in Asia, I came across a new option for tiny homes that has been created in Hong Kong. This new option, called the “Opod” was created by architect James Law. He has built a “Tube House” from new spare concrete pipe in Hong Kong. The OPod Tube House, is an experimental low cost, micro-living housing unit constructed out of a 2.5 meters diameter concrete water pipe. The architect injected new ideas into Hong Kong’s housing policy. It has good fire prevention, wind protection, noise insulation and heat insulation. In addition, the structure of the water pipe itself is suitable for being buried in the ground so that it can withstand enormous pressure. As I did a little more research about this new option, I wasn’t able to find out how much they cost for purchase, but I did find out that they rent for between $3000 and $5000. We are lucky where we live that a monthly mortgage payment like that can get us into a decent home. Would you consider living in a Tube House? opod3

opod2

Location, Location, Location!

With all the new innovations out there, there are so many ways to market your home. Whether it’s the more classic route or online, I try and get the best of both worlds. When it comes to getting your home out there, I’m always looking for the best avenues for maximum exposure as well as targeted marketing. With this in mind, I decided to try something new for some of my listings.
The area around these homes is really something that makes them special, so I jumped at the chance to have some drone videography taken. I thought that this would be a perfect way to not only highlight the home itself, but also the beautiful surrounding areas. For the home at 5181 Monteverde Drive, the rolling hills, scenic walking trails and praised Catta Verdera golf course, not to mention the breathtaking sunsets are major reasons why this is such a gorgeous and desirable area to live. At 2200 South Lakewood Drive, the peaceful and serene setting, nestled among the pine and oak trees makes for the perfect hideaway near the lake in Meadow Vista.

 

 

For details on this home, CLICK HERE

For pictures and additional information, CLICK HERE

Call today for a private showing of either of these great listings!

Fabulous Single Story, 5181 Monteverde Ln, Catta Verdera

IMG_1157 (2) entry

 

Located in the desirable, gated golf course community of Catta Verdera, this spacious, single-story home has some classy upgrades. As you walk in the front entry, you will immediately notice the gorgeous travertine flooring with tumbled accents, the large picture windows looking out to the yard and the eye-catching architectural details. The kitchen opens to the family room and includes granite countertops, GE Profile appliances, upgraded cabinets and a beautiful back-splash. Great for entertaining, this bright and open floor plan includes a spacious dining and living area. The feeling of space carries into the master bedroom with a large sitting area as well as convenient access to the back yard. The master bath includes custom glass vessel sinks, travertine surrounds at the bath and shower and closet organizers in the walk-in. You’ll enjoy the private, pool-sized yard and expansive patios and plan on spending some time barbequing at the outdoor kitchen and relaxing. The neighborhood includes paved trails that wind through the valley and make you want to get out and enjoy nature. You’ll appreciate the homeowner’s association which provides security patrol and front yard maintenance. Other functional upgrades include a central vacuum, custom ceiling fans and a fire suppression system

 

Act now; call for me to request a private showing of this clean, move-in ready home!

 

For more pictures and home information, CLICK HERE

Sun City Lincoln Hills-Lassen Model with White Kitchen and Hardwood

stonecrest kitchen

This popular “Lassen” model includes some nice upgrades! You’ll love the open, flowing floor plan with the private master bedroom, functional den and generous guest room. This home includes a kitchen nook with a large pantry closet, formal dining area and lots of natural light. Impressive bright white kitchen cabinets, hardwood flooring, french doors to the den and so much more! Other features include a spacious yard and a location convenient to the Orchard Creek Lodge and shops. Sun City Lincoln Hills offers an active lifestyle with lots of activities, numerous clubs and first-rate fitness facilities. Don’t delay, come take a look today.

For more pictures and information click here

Summer Activities and Camps for Kids in Lincoln, CA and Placer County

park and tan

 

Looking for some fun activities to keep your kids busy and active this summer?  Here are some things you can do:

LOCAL DAY CAMPS, CLASSES & LESSONS

Kids Kamp
Age: 5 – 11
Location: McBean Park BBQ Area
Mon – Fri, 9am – 3:30pm *extended care options available
Fee: $125/$130NR

Kids Kamp is committed to providing fun, safe, age-appropriate recreation enrichment program, which encourages social development, provides diverse experiences, and promotes health and wellness. Our program offers participants the ability to experience new things, meet new people, attend fun field trips, and participate in activities that promote education and wellness. Kids Kamp is broken into 9 week long sessions, and includes weekly field trips, swimming, arts and crafts, various activities, and much more.

Volunteer Information/Application

Play-Well Teknologies – Lego® Camp
Age: 5-12
Location: Lincoln Crossing Elem
Mon – Fri
Fee: $155/$160NR

Let your child’s imagination run wild with thousands of pieces of Lego® . Play-well technologies will help your child get creative and design projects such as boats, bridges, mazes and motorized cars. Explore the endless creative possibilities of the Lego building system.

Intellibricks: Arduino Robotics and the Island of PodPi
Age: 9-15
Location: Lincoln Crossing Elem
Mon – Fri, 9:30am – 3:30pm

Fee: $350/$355NR*additional $65 Material fee
Explore Java Script Programming and Electronics!
Welcome to the Island of PodPi, a series of technology adventures for kids.  During this full day week long Summer Camp, your kids will meet several characters from the Island who will teach them the basic concepts of Java Script Programming and electronics, including the use of LEDs, various sensors and servo motors. IntelliBricks will provide touch screen laptops for programming.

Skatetown Camps
Age: 6-12
Location: Skatetown Ice Arena
Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm
Fee: $250/$255NR
Camp Cool
: Daily beginner group skating lesson. Build snowmen, toss snowballs, play in the snow, ride big wheel trikes and GoKarts. Play Monster Basketball, limbo, hockey, broomball and other games. Off-ice games and crafts. Every participant receives a Camp Cool shirt.
Beginner Hockey Camp: Learn the basics of Hockey. Curriculum is based on camper skill levels. Loaner gear and rental skates are provided. Three hours of ice daily, with time to skate public session. Fun Friday scrimmage game. Off-ice games and activities. Every participant receives a Camp Cool shirt.

Tiara’s and Tip Toes Princess Camp
Age: 4 – 10
Location: Expressions Academy of Dance
Mon, Wed, Fri, 9:30am – 12:30pm

Calling all Ballerinas and Princesses at heart! This camp is full of tutus, glitter, tea parties, dress up, Ballet Class, manners, and adventure! Each day we will talk about what it means to be a princess; being kind, being thoughtful, and using our manners. Monday’s theme is Part of this world; dancers will learn to be kind to friends, foes and the earth.  Wednesday’s theme is “Let’s be Brave.” Dancers will concentrate on being brave, and thoughtful.  Friday is Tea Party day!  Dancers will learn just exactly how a princess would sip tea, eat crumpets and talk to their guests.  Campers will learn a Ballet Dance to perform for their parents and royal subjects on the last day of camp! The princesses will create crowns, wands, tutus and more! Who’s ready to twirl, tip toe, and turn into a Princess? Dancers are encouraged to dress up according to the theme!

Adventure Camp
Age: 4 – 10
Location: Expressions Academy of Dance
Mon, Wed, Fri, 9:30am – 12:30pm

This camp is for the adventurous child! Each day we will get active with push ups, jumping jacks, obstacle courses and of course learn some Hip Hop dance moves! Monday is Ninja day; campers will work on agility, coordination and fast paced movement.  Wednesday is Superhero Day; campers will use their superhero imaginations to create their own capes and then help with the capture of the dance villain! On Friday, we will explore the real life hero’s we encounter each day; the men and women of our military, police force, firefighters, and medical personnel. Campers will get crafty, and also create drawings and thank you letters we will send to our troops, police force, firefighters and medical professionals. This camp is for the active child, let’s get moving to save the world! Kids are encouraged to dress up according to the theme of the day!
Hoop Improvement Camp
Age: 5 – 10
Location: Community Center
Mon – Thurs, 4:45 – 5:55pm
This Summer, your child can develop their skills, knowledge and love of the game with Good Sport U – Hoop Improvement For Kids basketball classes. Girls and Boys will enjoy playing hoop in a fun and positive learning environment while playing exciting games like Pirate says, Popcorn and Star Wars.
Skyhawks Camps
Age: 4-12
Location: McBean Park
Monday – Friday, 9am – 12pm
Skyhawks offers multi-sport camps to help your child learn basic skills for Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, Kickball, Dodgeball, Capture the Flat, Ultimate Frisbee and Lacrosse. Camps are Monday – Friday, 9am – 12pm.

Lincoln Youth Sports Camps
The City of Lincoln Recreation Department has three camps to help improve your child’s skill set. This summer you child can attend our Basketball Skills Camp, Volleyball Skills Camp and Flag Football Bootcamp.

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp
Age: 3 – 10
Location: Pete Singer Park
Mon – Fri: 9am – 12pm

Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp is the most popular soccer camp working with over 150,000 children each year. Key techniques and skills will be taught to help your player reach their true potential. Programs start at Age 3+.

Age: 5 – 9
Location: Community Center
Mon – Wed, 9am – 12pm

This three day camp is crammed with fun-filled and themed based games, tumbling, music and crafts.

Active Tots Sports Camp
Age: 4 – 8
Mon – Fri, 9am – 12pm  

Drop your kids off for hours of fun in this exciting sports camp! Your child will develop a love of sports with fun drills and games in basketball, t-ball and soccer. Relay races, obstacle courses, crafts and other age appropriate games will also be incorporated.

Tennis Camp
Age: 8-15
Location: LHS Tennis Courts
Fee: $80/$80NR

Learn grips, technique, positioning and stoke development in this camp designed for tennis players of all skill levels. Interactive games will be used to teach and practice skills with emphasis on fun, good sportsmanship and providing campers with skills to improve both their singles and doubles play.

PLACES TO VISIT FOR FAMILY FUN:

AMF Rocklin Bowl
2325 Sierra Meadow Drive
Rocklin, CA
916 624-8216
Arena Softball
8288 Industrial Avenue
Roseville, CA
916 771-3818
Blue Oaks Century Theatres
6692 Lonetree Boulevard
Rocklin, CA
916-797-3456
Bounce U
7611 Galilee Road
Roseville, CA
916-783-4386
Century 14 Roseville
1555 Eureka Road
Roseville, CA
916 797-3466
Disc Golf Course at Johnson-Springview Park
5480 Fifth Street
Rocklin, CA
916 625-5200
I FLY Sacramento
118 Harding Boulevard
Roseville, CA
916 836-4359
McBean Skate Park
65 McBean Park Drive
Lincoln, CA
916 434-3220
McBean Swimming Pool
61 McBean Park Drive
Lincoln, CA
916 434-3230
Mike Shellito Indoor Pool
10210 Fairway Drive
Roseville, CA
916 774-5957
Oak Creek BMX Park
648 Riverside Avenue
Roseville, CA
916 784-8269 or 530 755-0435
Roller King Roller Skating
889 Riverside Avenue
Roseville, CA
916 783-0918
Rolling Greens FootGolf Course
5572 Eureka Road
Roseville, CA
916 771-4653
Roseville Aquatics Complex
3051 Woodcreek Oak Boulevard
Roseville, CA
916 772-7529
Roseville Utility Exploration Center
1501 Pleasant Grove Boulevard
Roseville, CA
916 746-1550
Skatetown Ice Skating Rink
1009 Orlando Avenue
Roseville, CA
916 783-8550
Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Sports
1091 Tinker Road, Suite 200
Rocklin, CA
916 644-9966
Strikes Unlimited
5681 Lonetree Boulevard
Rocklin, CA
916-626-3600
Studio Movie Grill
5140 Commons Drive
Rocklin, CA
916 238-9000
Sunsplash Water Fun/Golfland Miniature Golf & Arcade
1893 Taylor Road
Roseville, CA
916 784-1273
UA Olympus Pointe 12
520 North Sunrise Avenue
Roseville, CA
916 772-1245
WackyTacky
7351 Galilee Road, Suite 160
Roseville, CA
916 783-3355
Wake Island Cable Park
7633 Locust Road
Pleasant Grove, CA
916 655-3900
Woodcreek Golf Club FootGolf Course
5880 Woodcreek Oaks Boulevard
Roseville, CA
916 771-4653
Xtreme Craze
6694 Lonetree Boulevard
Rocklin, CA
916 259-2729

 

Has real estate in Lincoln, CA gone to the dogs?

Another one of my favorite things has to be my yellow lab, “Crosby”. I love animals and I’m even starting to take a liking to my wife’s little, black and tan mini-dachshund, “Jovi”.

crosby

jovi

 

Selling a house is definitely stressful on people, but it can also be a time of stress for your animals too. Over the years I have helped numerous clients with their animals during the sale of their homes. Fortunately, I am an animal lover. My wife even calls me the “Dog Whisperer”. I wouldn’t go that far, but I do seem to have a way with most furry kids. This can come in handy in real estate. Just last week I had to reason with a very large Cockatoo to carefully get him back into his cage. I thought I was going to lose a finger but it all worked out. Sometimes I will take a client’s dog for a walk while a house is being shown or just calm down an anxious kenneled pet. I’ve had a number of cases where I’ve made arrangements with an owner to show a house and when we get there, the dog(s) are left in the house and not too happy to see us. I’ve been able to go in and nicely secure the dogs in the yard or garage while my buyers are able to comfortably look at a home.

petting pitbull

walking dog

Call me if you need a broker that can expertly handle the sale of your property and can most likely make friends with your pet too!

Favorite Things Friday-goats and sheep in Lincoln, CA

sheep
                                                    Grazing within the City limits

If you’ve driven down Twelve Bridges Drive lately, you may have noticed something a little different- hundreds of sheep and goats grazing on the hillside. While this isn’t a new approach by the City, the reasons behind it are interesting.

There are two main reasons the City has chosen to implement managed grazing. The first reason is to control the growth of invasive plant species. Weeds such as star thistle and non-native invasive species such as blackberry bushes are kept from overrunning the fields by this grazing, allowing for greater biodiversity in the area.

The second reason this tactic is being used is to limit the risk and fire hazard that often accompanies these tall grasses. This is especially important given the close proximity of these open spaces to many homes.

This alternative approach brings a new way to prevent fires and preserve the habitat without the use of harmful chemicals, and brings a bit of the agricultural charm and heritage of Lincoln into the City itself.

This is another one of my favorite things about Lincoln-seeing (and hearing) the sheep every spring!