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February 2, 2018

Give into what you crave, but don’t overdo it — do it better.

by Samantha Cassetty, RD / Feb.02.2018 / 11:00 AM ET

Whether you’re cheering on the Eagles or the Patriots — or just tuning in for the commercials and the halftime show, like me — odds are you’re looking forward to the game day spread. Nearly half of Americans have Super Bowl party plans, according to research by the National Retail Federation, and Super Bowl Sunday marks the second leading food fest of the year (coming in right behind Thanksgiving, of course).

For millions of hungry fans, Super Bowl is synonymous with chips, nachos, wings, and beer — a menu that won’t score you any nutritional points, and worse, can mean more than a days’ worth of calories in one sitting. Though it’s OK to mindfully indulge in your favorite foods from time to time, a better game plan is to find crave-worthy eats that won’t leave you with the day-after bloat that comes from overdoing it during the event. To help you do just that, I scoured Pinterest (we eat with our eyes, after all) and the world of healthy food blogs to find crowd-pleasing apps that you can enjoy without a side of regret.

Creamy Artichoke Spinach Greek Yogurt Dip

Thanks to the fistfuls of cheese and mayo, this popular dip can be over-the-top in terms of calories and fat. This version maintains the craveable creaminess while keeping things light, thanks to the use of Greek yogurt in place of other creamy bases. And using extra-flavorful feta means you can get by with less cheese. You can feel free to make this healthier version whenever the urge strikes, but also take a page out of Wendy and Jess’s book: Replace Greek yogurt for sour cream over baked potatoes, on top of chili or tacos, or to replace another creamy base in your favorite dip. Get the recipe.

 Whole Grain Chex Mix Rachael Hartley, RD / Rachael Hartley, RD

Whole Grain Chex Mix

This party staple is so munchable, most of us manage to polish off more than a measly half-cup portion. Plus, a quick peek at the ingredients of the traditional packaged version reveals many unwanted additions. Added color, anyone? No thanks. Keep the crunch and the flavor with this recipe, which sneaks in whole grain, gluten-free cheese crackers (by Van’s, a personal favorite) in lieu of the typical overly processed cheese crackers. It’s a smart move that means this recipe is rich in whole grains, foods that lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, while also making it easier to maintain a healthy weight. There’s even more to like: It contains only ingredients you feel good about eating. Talk about a touchdown! Get the recipe.

 Buffalo Cauliflower Poppers Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD

Buffalo Cauliflower Poppers

Typical buffalo wings are dredged in flour and deep fried. A couple of those can serve up 240 calories, and that’s before they’re dunked in a rich bleu cheese dip. Cue the cauliflower! This genius spin, made with the oh-so-versatile veggie, is full of spicy flavor, but they’re just 12 calories a pop. Plus, as with other dips featured here, the Bleu cheese served on the side is lightened up with 2% Greek yogurt in lieu of a high-cal base. It’s an appetizer you’ll want to keep on hand well after the game ends. Get the recipe.

 Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos Kara Lydon, RD

Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos

This game day staple gets a nutritious upgrade by swapping tortilla chips for thinly-sliced sweet potatoes, which are baked to crisps. The change brings more fiber, not to mention health-promoting plant chemicals, to your plate. But they’re still loaded up with all of the goodies: tomatoes, black beans, and guac (all health promoting foods on their own). This version is vegan; the cheesiness comes from a flavorful sauce made with a cashew base (a common cheese substitute in vegan fare). If you want to skip this step and don’t mind dairy, you could top your plate with regular cheese and still have a winning dish. Get the recipe.

 Hummus Queso Dip: This brilliant hack brings healthy fats along with plant protein and some fiber to a dip that’s typically low on nutrition. fANNEtastic Food

Hummus Queso Dip

My love affair with queso dates back to my college days so when I saw this look-alike online, I developed an instant food crush. Though it still contains some cheese, the main base is packaged hummus — a staple in my fridge. This brilliant hack brings healthy fats along with plant protein and some fiber to a dip that’s typically low on nutrition. Serve it with whole grain tortilla chips on game day, or use it to top a baked potato or sweet potato any time. I have a feeling I’ll be turning to this quick snack over and over! Get the recipe.

 Skinny Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Dip Recipe Runner

Skinny Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Dip

File this under too good to be true. You’ll be in cheese heaven with this knockoff, made with lighter ingredients, like Greek yogurt, low-fat cream cheese, and part-skim mozzarella cheese. Green chiles and spices pack this dip with flavor so odds are, you won’t notice the trade-off. The recipe calls for cooked, shredded chicken, but if you don’t have time to whip that up in advance, a store-bought rotisserie chicken would be a good stand-in. That said, you still need to plan ahead as this dish is prepared in a slow cooker. Get the recipe.

 Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers The Nutrition Twins, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN & Lyssie Lakatos, RDN

Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

Some sneaky additions make this recipe a healthy alternative to the ordinary breaded and fried Super Bowl staple. As with other recipes, hummus replaces the creamy filling — a change that brings plant protein and fiber. The lesson here: Hummus is a great alternative to creamy ingredients. Finely chopped prunes and walnuts pack protective antioxidants, but they offer more than a health boost: The mix of sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy ingredients is like a party in your mouth! Get the recipe.

By Admin
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
January 7, 2015

Reveal to Your Clients the ‘Ugly Truths’ When Staging

By Audra Slinkey, Home Staging Resource

Sometimes you have to give clients a big dose of reality, and it isn’t always pretty – particularly when you’re talking about something personal like the condition of their home. But don’t be afraid to utter the “ugly truths” to maximize your sellers’ chances of selling a home and for top dollar.

Here are some of the ugly truths you may need to be prepared to talk about:

Ugly Truth #1: The ugly truth is that anyone who has watched the real estate market over the last few years knows there’s no such thing as a “set price” for a home. The price is determined by what the buyer is willing to pay AND the buyer likely is willing to pay a lot more for a “model home” look.

Ugly Truth #2: Another ugly truth is that when it comes to home staging, you get what you pay for. This means that the more a seller is willing to pay to transform their home (using an expert stager’s advice), the more they stand to get out of the sale.

BEFORE5_Designedtoappeal

AFTER5_Designedtoappeal

Ugly Truth #3: Finally, the last ugly truth is that buyers cannot see past a seller’s furnishings to the potential of the home. Look at the before photo …would you be able to imagine it as beautiful as the after photos?

BEFORE6_Designedtoappeal

AFTER6_Designedtoappeal

You only need to look at the before-and-after photos of this home to know why they got so much more than they were even asking. This seller’s agent walked them through the “cost of not staging” and let them decide. Do you think they made the right decision?

 

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
January 6, 2015

Golden Gate Bridge Will Be Closed This Weekend

Golden Gate Bridge Will Be Closed This Weekend

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to go on more hikes in 2015, consider exploring trails in the East or South Bay the weekend of January 10th. The Golden Gate Bridge will be closed to vehicles for construction beginning  Friday night (12 a.m. on Saturday) until 4 a.m. on Monday, January 12th. The Bridge District is recommending that anyone who can avoid traveling by car between SF and the North Bay this upcoming weekend should do so.

The purpose of the closing is not to give Instagram a much-needed break from pictures of you and your friends on the top of Mount Tam, but to install the new Moveable Median Barrier (MMB) system on the bridge. If you’ve driven across the famous bridge before, you know that the number of lanes going in each direction changes depending on traffic and that oncoming traffic is separated by a line of plastic pylons.

These tubes are being replaced by the MMB, which is made of steel and concrete and will be put in place by “zipper trucks” to make new lane configurations. The new system will not only make it easier for the Bridge District to adjust the lanes, it will also prevent head on-collisions (and make it far less terrifying to drive in the left lane.) There were 16 fatalities from head-on collisions on the Golden Gate Bridge in between 1971 and 2007, and the bridge was made a Safety Awareness Zone in 2007. Head-on collisions still occur despite efforts on the part of the Bridge District, as the plastic lane markers do little to prevent them.

The project has been a long time coming; a study by the Bridge District in the 1980s concluded that a two-foot barrier, while valuable for preventing collisions, would result in too much congestion on the bridge. In 1996, the project was revived when smaller barriers became available. Although the current barriers, which will be 12 inches wide and 32 inches high, will result in “some operational tradeoffs,” the safety benefits outweigh the disadvantages. The trade-off you’ll mostly likely notice is that the inside lanes will be six inches narrower.

All in all, the barriers will be 13,340 long and cost $30.2 million dollars, with funding coming from Metropolitan Transportation Commission, federal funds, and toll revenue. They’ll extend on to route 1 in Marin, where there are additional changes coming on the southbound approach the bridge. Drivers will now merge onto the bridge from right to left instead of left to right and the speed limit on the Waldo Grade is being reduced from 55 miles per hour to 45 mph, which is the current speed limit on the bridge itself.

This work has been going on for a few weeks at night and will continue after the closing, but this coming weekend is the only major halt in service. If you must make the commute this weekend, the Golden Gate Ferry is adding additional service, the Golden Gate Transit bus will still be making trips over the bridge, and you can always take a roundabout route through the East Bay.  [The east lane will also be also open to bikers and pedestrians who want to take advantage of car-free bridge or enjoy a particularly athletic commute.] If none of those options sound appealing, there’s of course plenty of hiking to be done in San Francisco.

 

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 31, 2014

9 Ways to Live a Happier Life in 2015

These are a few resolutions that will be easy to make—and keep.

By Michelle Profis

tiny church
1. Relish the little things. Take a moment every day to pay closer attention to what’s around you, like the petals on a newly bloomed flower in your garden, or the dreamy way the light is hitting your bedroom wall. By carving out a little time every day to appreciate the small stuff, you’ll always have something to smile about.

 

2. Let go of perfectionism. Your house isn’t always going to be immaculately clean. A vacation might not turn out exactly how you pictured. Your junk drawer is never going to get organized. Rather than focusing on what’s going wrong, focus on what’s going right, like that you finally found the time to clean out that pesky cupboard, or that you managed to get all your family members in the same place at the same time!

 

3. Take a step back. You know those situations when you’re inexplicably happy, yet plagued by the impending dread that the moment will end all too soon? Instead of letting those negative thoughts cloud your mind, take a few seconds to really focus on the sights, sounds, and smells around you. You’ll create a more permanent picture to think back upon—and smile about—later.

 

tiny church4. Put your phone down.  Though some of us might be better at this than others, we’re all at least a little bit guilty of looking at our smartphones more than we should. At least once a day, resist the urge to check that latest email, text, or Facebook post, and grab a book or magazine instead (or, actually use your phone to call an old friend and catch up!).

 

5. Live in the moment. If you’re hosting a dinner party, don’t worry about the clean up you’ll need to do afterwards. If you’re enjoying a coffee date with friends, try not to think about what state your house might be in when you get back. Have fun with what you’re doing, while you’re doing it. Worry about the rest later.

 

6. Set a monthly goal. Fact: Time always goes so much faster than we want it to, and it’s all too easy to say, “February is so busy, I’ll tackle that project in March.” At the start of each month, pick one thing you want to accomplish before the next one. Do you want to start cleaning out a messy closet? Is it time to start planning what to add to your garden this year? Set one goal that you know you can achieve in the next few weeks, write it down on a piece of paper, and prominently display it somewhere where you’ll have to see it every day, like in the corner of your entryway mirror. By reminding yourself of your goal on a daily basis, you’ll be more likely to carve out time for it—and you’ll end your month with at least one important project crossed off your list.

 

tiny church7. Get rid of what you don’t need or use. Yes, we know you love that old sweater, but when was the last time you actually wore it? Gather up clothes or any other miscellaneous items around your house (kitchen gadgets, books) that you simply don’t need anymore and donate them. Not only will you be creating more space for items that you really do need, but you’ll be giving those items to people who can actually get some use from them. Plus, you’ll be surprised at how freeing downsizing can be.

 

8. Dare to DIY. As advocates of anything you can make yourself, we love the idea of getting our hands dirty. Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or someone who has never dabbled in crafting before, try out a new project or two this year. Even if it’s something as small as hanging a frame, we guarantee you’ll feel a sense of pride when it comes to tackling—and finishing—a project with your own two hands.

 

9. Get creative in the kitchen. Let 2015 be the year of innovative eating! Pick one new ingredient a week, and create a recipe around it. Or just test out a new recipe you’ve been meaning to try. You might find a new family favorite!

 

Here’s to a great 2015! Happy New Year everyone.

 

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 11, 2014

How to Decorate for the Holidays When Your Home Is for Sale

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

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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

CB641109f05 CB641108f07

By Admin
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