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January 13, 2015

These Are The 10 Safest Places In California

If you’re thinking about moving to the Golden State, take a look at this list of California’s 10 safest places—the top spot might just surprise you.

The 10 Safest Places In California By Movoto Real Estate

When it comes to laid back living, California is literally the Golden State. Everybody knows that the vibe here is all about taking it easy—but did you ever wonder why?

Sure, it might have something to do with the nearly perfect weather and constant sunshine. More than that, though, California is generally a pretty safe place to live, allowing us to relax. But which of the state’s fine places are the safest of them all? According to our latest analysis at the  Movoto Real Estate Blog, here are the 10 safest places in California:

1. Town of Hillsborough
2. City of Saratoga
3. City of Laguna Woods
4. City of Imperial
5. Town of Moraga
6. City of Rancho Santa Margarita
7. City of Los Altos
8. City of Sierra Madre
9. City of Palos Verdes Estates
10. Town of Danville

What exactly makes these 10 communities so safe? Keep reading to find out the method behind our analysis.

How We Created This Ranking

In order to find these 10 safest places in California, we started by gathering a list of all of the places in the state with populations of 10,000 or more that provided crime data to the FBI in 2012. That left us a grand total of 365 places. Then, we used the FBI’s latest Uniform Crime Report (2012) to research each of these places according to the following seven criteria, measuring each for crimes per 100,000 people:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Vehicle theft

We divided these crimes into four distinct categories:

  • Murders
  • Violent crimes
  • Property crimes
  • Total crimes

We then ranked each of our places with a score of one to 365 according to each category, with one being the safest. Next, we weighted these scores so that murder, violent crime, and property crime each comprised 30 percent of the final score, while total crime made up 10 percent. We averaged these weighted rankings together for each place to get a Big Deal Score. The place with the lowest Big Deal Score was our safest place; in this case, Hillsborough.

If you don’t see your city in our top 10, never fear; you can head down to the bottom of this article to check out a list of the top 50 safest places in California.

1. Hillsborough

Safest Places In California

Source: Town of Hillsborough

Not only is Hillsborough one of the wealthiest towns in the U.S., but according to our numbers, it’s also one of the safest in the country, let alone in California. As you’ll quickly notice, none of the places in our top 10 had any murders reported in 2012, so while Hillsborough excelled in this category, this wasn’t exactly where it stood out.

No, what put Hillsborough above the rest was its nearly nonexistent violent crime. In 2012, Hillsborough only reported nine violent crimes per 100,000, all of which were robberies. Compare that to Emeryville, another Bay Area city with an even smaller population than Hillsborough, where there were a staggering 1,698 violent crimes per 100,000 people reported in 2012, including 29 murders.

2. Saratoga

Safest Places in California

Source: Wikimedia user Mac9

This city in western Silicon Valley is well known for its affluence, family friendly vibe, and high-end boutiques. Underlying it all is a feeling of security due to its unquestionable safety, particularly when it comes to a lack of property crimes.

Saratoga is a city of over 30,000 residents, so it may be especially impressive to know that in 2012, it saw only 753 property crimes per 100,000 people. Additionally, it saw 30 violent crimes per 100,000, none of which included murder, giving the city a total of just 783 crimes per 100,000 people, and residents just a 1 in 128 chance of being the victim of a crime.

3. Laguna Woods

Safest Places in California

Source: Flickr user Tschäff

Laguna Woods is a city in Orange County with a population of just over 16,500, a beautiful border of Laguna Beach to the southwest, and a median age of 78. It’s a retirement community, so it may not come as much of a surprise that it is one of the state’s safest places, especially for a lack of violent crime.

In 2012, Laguna Woods reported only 24 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including 12 robberies and 12 assaults. With a total of 916 crimes per 100,000 people, Laguna Woods residents had just a 1 in 109 chance of being the victim of a crime, which is impressive, but just wait until you see the next place on our list.

4. Imperial

Safest Places in California

Source: Flickr user bdinphoenix

This desert community is well known for its nearby golf courses, sand dunes, and as a great place for bird watching. According to these numbers, it looks like safety should also be added to the list.

That’s because in 2012, Imperial had a total of just 483 property crimes per 100,000 people, including 331 thefts, 112 burglaries, and 40 car thefts per 100,000, placing this city above all other both in terms of property crime and overall crime.

Here’s where this gets really impressive: with this lack of property crime, plus a total of just 46 violent crimes per 100,000, residents here had just a 1 in 189 chance of being the victim of a crime, making this the least likely place to be a victim on our list.

 

5. Moraga

Safest Places in California

Source: Town of Moraga

Known throughout the state for its stellar school district, this Bay Area town is also one of the state’s safest. In 2012, Moraga reported 927 property crimes, plus just 36 violent crimes, per 100,000 residents.

To put that into perspective for you, let’s take a look at the similarly sized Santa Fe Springs. In 2012, that city had a reported 8,312 crimes per 100,000 people, divided up into 7,712 property crimes and 600 violent crimes (including 12 murders). Whereas residents in Moraga had just a 1 in 104 chance of being the victim of a crime, the residents in Santa Fe Springs had a 1 in 12 chance.

6. Rancho Santa Margarita

Safest Places in California

Source: Flickr user John Alesi

If you’ve ever seen “Desperate Housewives”, you’ve seen Rancho Santa Margarita, as this is the location for most of the show’s filming. Unlike the popular show, though, the real-world Rancho Santa Margarita is not filled with mysterious murders or crimes.

In fact, in 2012, this Orange County city had a total of just 705 crimes per 100,000 people, including 650 property crimes and 55 violent crimes, and no murders. With these stats, Rancho Santa Margarita ranked an impressive second place in our analysis both in the categories of total crime and property crime, giving residents just a 1 in 142 chance of being a victim.

7. Los Altos

Safest Places in California

Source: City of Los Altos

In recent years, Forbes placed this Bay Area city among the most expensive ZIP codes in the United States, only behind places like Alpine, NJ, Atherton, CA, and Beverly Hills, CA—and in looking at these numbers, it’s no surprise.

With just 20 violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, Los Altos ranked the second least violent in the entire state. These violent crimes included 17 robberies and 3 assaults per 100,000 people; no murders or rapes were reported.

Additionally, Los Altos had 663 thefts, 316 burglaries, and 27 car thefts per 100,000, for a total of 1,006 property crimes per 100,000, ranking it 13th out of 365 in this category. So, really, it’s no wonder residents are willing to pay so much to live here.

8. Sierra Madre

Safest Places in California

Source: City of Sierra Madre

Recently given the prestigious All-America City Award by the National Civic League, this Los Angeles County city ranked well in our analysis for its lack of both violent and property crimes in 2012.

With just 36 violent crimes, and 1,009 property crimes per 100,000, Sierra Madre ranked sixth and 14th in the categories of violent crimes and property crimes, respectively, and 11th in the category of total crime.

Just for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at another L.A. County city, Los Angeles itself. That huge city had a reported 2,750 crimes per 100,000 people, including 2,269 property crimes, 481 violent crimes, and eight murders per 100,000. So if you’re thinking about moving to Los Angeles County, it’s safe to say you might want to look into Sierra Madre instead.

9. Palos Verdes Estates

Safest Places in California

Source: Flickr user Pete Morris

Another city in Los Angeles County, Palos Verdes Estates is predominantly known as a wonderful place to golf and surf. But what makes this city stand out from the multitude of California’s other beach-front cities is its safety.

With a total of 1,040 crimes per 100,000 people, including 996 property crimes and just 44 violent crimes per 100,000, Palos Verdes came in as the 12th safest when it came to property crime and 11th in terms of violent crimes.

Overall, residents here had just a 1 in 96 chance of being the victim of a crime. While that may not exactly beat Imperial’s 1 in 189 chance, compared to, say, Emeryville where residents had a 1 in 5 chance, it seems as though the people in Palos Verdes Estates can feel pretty secure.

10. Danville

Safest Places in California

Source: Flickr user John Morgan

This quaint San Ramon Valley town is home to all sorts of local charm—a weekly farmers’ market, the San Ramon Valley Museum, not to mention the town’s affluence, and particularly important, its safety.

In our analysis, Danville ranked as the eighth least violent, with just 37 violent crimes per 100,000 people, including no murders or rapes. It also ranked 14th in the category of property crimes, as it had a reported 1,025 per 100,000, making for a total of just 1,062 crimes in 2012.

Danville residents had a 1 in 94 chance of being the victim of a crime. Compare that to nearby San Francisco where residents had a 1 in 18 chance, and it’s no wonder Danville made our list.

Relax, California, You’re Safe Here

Not that you’d have any trouble relaxing, especially if you live in one of these 10 safest places in California. With low crime in so many areas, these top 10 safe spots are ideal environments for families, children, and singles alike. If you’re curious, you can check out the table below for the 50 safest places in the Golden State, starting with our winner, Hillsborough.

Safest Places In California

 

Call us for all your real estate needs…..

The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

Denise: 650-465-5742  Cortney:650-678-5084

www.TheLaugesenTeam.com

www.the411on94010.com

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By Admin
December 17, 2014

Even in cold-weather areas, winter is a good time to buy and sell a house

So you’ve begun thinking about selling your house, and you figure: Let’s wait until the spring or early summer before listing. The yard will look its best and potential buyers will be out in force. And everybody knows that winter is dead time for real estate.

Last week, Redfin studied home listing, sales price and time-on-market data from 2010 through this past October from around the country, updating a two-year analysis it completed last year. It concluded that if you want to sell for more than your asking price, listing in December, January, February and March gives you a better chance, on average, than if you list any time after June through November. During the past three years, listing during these four months has produced higher percentages of above-asking price sales than any months other than April and May. In 2012, at the inception of the housing rebound, December listings produced the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year: 17 percent.

If your goal is to sell relatively quickly, February “is historically the best month to list, with an average of 66 percent of homes listed then selling within 90 days,” according to Redfin. In its two-year study completed last December, researchers found that in each of 19 major markets, including cold-weather cities such as Boston and Chicago, “home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during any other season.”

Researchers are quick to note that the advantages of listing in winter compared with other seasons are not huge. But the fact that winter produces at least competitive or better results by some measures should encourage some potential sellers to get into the game sooner rather than later.

Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin, says houses “that are priced right and show well can sell any time” of the year. What many potential sellers may not know, however, Richardson said in an interview, is that shoppers who are active during the winter months “are serious buyers. Most people are not window-shopping” in December and January, as many do in the spring months. Winter buyers wouldn’t be trudging through the bad weather if they didn’t have a pressing need to purchase a house.

Some sellers also pull their unsold houses off the market during the winter, hoping for better results in the spring. By doing so, they leave a smaller inventory of active listings — lessening the competition for sellers who list in January and February, ahead of the pack.

Winter-season buyers may find some sellers more flexible about negotiations over prices and terms than they would during the middle of the spring. Mary Bayat, a broker active in the Washington market and chairman-elect of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, says that in the past two weeks alone, she has participated in three deals involving sellers who were far more open to negotiations than they were months ago.

“People get more realistic at this time of the year,” Bayat told me, especially when their properties haven’t attracted serious offers during the summer and fall. So it’s a good time for smart shoppers as well.

Paul Stone, an agent in Redfin’s Denver office, says many large corporations in his area transfer employees and hire new ones early in the year. Despite what can be frigid weather and snow in January and February, Stone says “we get a lot of out-of-staters moving in [then] and needing to buy homes.” That, in turn, creates opportunities for wintertime listers who opt not to wait for better weather in the spring.

Bottom line: Real estate does not hibernate from December through March. More than 5 million homes typically are resold annually in the United States, and many of them are listed and sold during the winter months. In strong local housing markets such as Seattle, Austin, Boston, San Diego, Washington, Phoenix and Los Angeles, the likelihood of selling your home within 180 days is higher when you list during the winter months compared with any other season, according to Redfin’s 2013 study.

Winter is warmer for real estate than you might think.

Call us for all your real estate needs…..

The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

Denise: 650-465-5742  Cortney:650-678-5084

www.TheLaugesenTeam.com

www.the411on94010.com

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By Admin
December 15, 2014

9 Things to Check For in a New House

 

These quick fixes will save you loads of future headaches. This article originally appeared on GoodHousekeeping.com.

A new house can be so exciting: The decorating possibilities! The organizational ideas! But before you start moving in your stuff and arranging your furniture, check off these must-do maintenance tasks to make sure everything is safe and in working order:

1. Change the locks.
“You just don’t know how many people have a copy of the keys,” says Agnes Bowman, a broker associate at Century 21 Peterson in Secaucus, NJ. When a house goes up for sale, a lot of people have access to it (think: listing agents, selling agents, and maintenance workers). Plus, you can’t be sure who the previous owners offered a spare set. If the house has an alarm system, remember to change the code. And don’t forget the garage door.

2. Check for moisture stains.
Your inspector should have noted any discolored yellow rings on your drywall, but give your home another once-over right before you move in. Any necessary repair work will be easier to tackle when the space isn’t crammed with your stuff.

3. Locate the shut-off valves.
Find the main water shut-off valve and check to see if you need special tools — like a wrench or a key — to operate it. “If you suddenly have a plumbing leak and there’s water pouring into your house, you need to be able to get to the valve and turn off the water quickly,” says Claude McGavic, executive director of The National Association of Home Inspectors.

And no, these valves aren’t in the same place in every home. “Sometimes the inspector can’t even find them,” laughs McGavic. Look in the home’s interior, in the attic, in the back of the house and around the fence. If you can’t find it, call a plumber to help you.

4. Locate the circuit breaker box.
“If an electrical fire starts, you should know where to go to turn off all the power in the house,” says McGavic. Now would also be a good time to label the switches if they’re not already marked. You’ll need two people: One to flip the switch and one to holler when the lights go out.

5. Replace the batteries in smoke detectors.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors aren’t always checked during a home inspection. And even if they are, something could happen between the inspection and the time you move in. “I could push the button, it could work fine, and then the battery could die,” says McGavic. Working smoke alarms save lives, so swap out all the batteries with fresh ones.

6. Give carpets a deep clean.
Even if the previous owners didn’t have pets, it’s worth the couple hundred dollars to hire a professional to come in, says Bowman. “They have the heavy duty steam-powered machines that can kill germs and dust mites,” she says — and who knows when the carpets were last cleaned. We recommend calling in the pros once a year, so take advantage of the empty house and do it now.

7. Change the heating and cooling filters.
A new disposable filter costs about $4, according to McGavic. The damage that could be caused by an old filter? A whole new system could cost you up to $5000. “If you don’t replace the filter, it could cut down on efficiency, or worse, cause the system to overheat,” he says. McGavic also suggests having a professional come to service the equipment — and set up an ongoing maintenance schedule for every six months. “It’s the same reason you change your oil every 3,000 miles in your car. If you don’t take care of the equipment, it’s going to fail.”

8. Install closet systems.
Moving is one of the few times in life when you have a clear gauge of how much stuff you really have, so you can plot out a helpful closet system pretty well. “If you install drawers, shelves, and hanging rods before you move in, you can unpack and organize your stuff at once,” says Bowman. “Everything goes right into place and you’re done.”

9. Paint.
Okay, so you can do some decorating before you move in: Paint your heart out. The benefits are two-fold, according to Bowman. Painting in advance gives the house time to air out before you’re actually living there, and your furniture won’t be in the way while you’re working. Some people say to paint after you move in (so you know how the light changes throughout the day) but if you spend time in the new place completing this checklist, you should have a decent idea. Paint some test swatches on the walls and see how you like them over a few days.

Call us for all your real estate needs…..

The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

Denise: 650-465-5742  Cortney:650-678-5084

www.TheLaugesenTeam.com

www.the411on94010.com

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By Admin
December 5, 2014

The Laugesen Team December Closed Sales!

1360 Tartan Trail, Hillsborough

$2,350,000

5 beds, 3.5 baths

3,490 sq ft

30,720 sq ft lot

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1245 Murchison, Millbrae

$1,875,000

4 beds, 2.5 baths

2,240 sq ft

18,936 sq ft lot

946885_500 kitchen_500

1492 Ascension, San Mateo

$1,425,000

3 beds, 2 baths

1,480 sq ft

8,700 sq ft lot

946884_500 livingroom_500

 

410 Ridge, San Carlos

$988,000

2 beds, 1 bath

GetMedia.ashx-5

 

Call us for all your real estate needs…..

The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

Denise: 650-465-5742 Cortney:650-678-5084

www.TheLaugesenTeam.com

www.the411on94010.com

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By Admin
November 19, 2014

1360 Tartain Trail in Hillsborough Sold!!

We’ve done it again!

We are happy to announce another great sale! We helped a family purchase the home of their dreams at 1360 Tartan Trail in Hillsborough. This gorgeous home is sure to provide a loving space for this wonderful local family to grow. We at The Laugesen Team are just so pleased that we could finally make this families dream come true! If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell don’t forget to come to us for all of your real estate needs!

Call us for all your real estate needs…..

The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

Denise: 650-465-5742 Cortney:650-678-5084

www.TheLaugesenTeam.com

www.the411on94010.com

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By Admin
November 12, 2014

What are the Bay Area’s 10 safest — and most dangerous — communities?

The FBI released its annual “Crime in the United States” report this week, and it showed that violent crime (murders, rapes, assaults and robberies) fell more than 4 percent nationally from 2012 to 2013, continuing a decades-long decline. In the Bay Area’s biggest 15 cities (those with populations above 100,000), homicides plunged 23 percent year-to-year. But the gains were mixed, with San Francisco seeing a 22 percent increase in violent crime.

As always, an underlying theme of the yearly report was the stark difference in crime rates between certain cities and towns. While Oakland is now in the midst of downward trend in violent crime, it continues to have the highest per-capita crime rate in the state — a rate five times the California average. But some Bay Area spots are almost untouched by violent crime. Hillsborough, a ritzy community of some 11,000 people, had exactly zero violent crimes in 2013. Clayton, also with a population of around 11,000, had two reported violent crimes last year, both robberies.

Here are the Bay Area’s 10 safest and most dangerous communities (among those with at least 10,000 population), according to the FBI’s violent crime data.

What are the Bay Area’s 10 safest — and most dangerous — communities?

 

Call us for all your real estate needs…..

The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

Denise: 650-465-5742 Cortney:650-678-5084

www.TheLaugesenTeam.com

www.the411on94010.com

 

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By Admin
November 12, 2014

Possible Change in 10/31 Exchanges

If you are considering a 1031 Exchange in the very near future, you should consult your exchange facilitator or qualified tax advisor.

The “Tax Reform” tab has something about the possibility of 1031 exchange being repealed?

http://www.ipx1031.com/tax-reform-proposals/

 

Call us for all your real estate needs…..

The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

Denise: 650-465-5742 Cortney:650-678-5084

www.TheLaugesenTeam.com

www.the411on94010.com

 

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By Admin
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