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Denise Laugesen REALTOR® (650) 465-5742

Cortney Laugesen REALTOR® 650-678-5084


March 2, 2023

Should You Rent or Buy a Home?

Renting or buying is one of the most common decisions people struggle to make when finding a new place to call home.

Aside from the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with becoming a homeowner, many other reasons make buying the apparent choice.

But before we dive in, we know that buying a home comes at a cost that may seem out of reach to some. Therefore, we always encourage you to consult with an expert to find out your options.

Here are five of our best reasons to buy instead of rent.

#1. Your House, Your Choice

A lot of freedom comes with homeownership – like the freedom to do as you please within your own walls. Want to knock out the island in the kitchen to free up space for you and your family? Or paint over that awful-colored wallpaper plastered across the walls of the primary bath? You can do it. You can change anything you’d like, and you don’t have to ask permission from a landlord. Just be sure to keep building codes in mind for the more extreme projects.

Painting, remodeling, or adding on is all under your control, allowing you to turn your home into everything you want it to be.

#2. Say Goodbye to the Hassles of Apartment Life

If you’re familiar with apartment life, you know it doesn’t come without these frustrations.

Less Privacy: One of the biggest frustrations about living in an apartment is sharing walls with strangers. Hearing their favorite Netflix show or private conversations isn’t exactly the background noise you want when you’re trying to relax in the living room after a long day at work.

Parking: When living in an apartment, you are left with two main options for parking, street parking or a paid spot – and are we really sure of the better choice? Street parking, depending on where you live, can be a safety hazard as well as an inconvenience, and paying for a parking spot is just another charge to tack on the list, along with rent, utilities, electricity, and WiFi. Owning your own home makes parking one less thing to worry about.

Pet Fees: Having pets can limit your living opportunities if you rent an apartment. Some landlords will even ban pets, but others charge fees anywhere from $10-200 monthly. Owning your own home removes this, allowing you to welcome as many pets as possible.

Say goodbye to the hassles of apartment living when you buy instead of rent.

#3. Reap Tax Benefits

As discussed in our previous blog post, there are so many tax benefits to take advantage of when you become a homeowner. To name a few…

Mortgage Interest

Home Equity Loan Interest

Property Taxes

Discount Points

Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Necessary Home Improvements

Home Office Expenses

These deductions can save you thousands of dollars when all is said and done.

#4. It’s Cheaper Long-Term 

It’s no secret that the price of renting has increased across the nation at a fast pace. Last year, the average percentage increase in rent was 12.2% for new tenants and 3.5% for tenants making a lease renewal, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One of the many benefits of becoming a homeowner is that your monthly mortgage payment won’t change {assuming you’ve chosen a fixed-rate mortgage).

Think of it this way. Each month as a renter, you are handing over your payment with nothing to show for it when you move out. But as a buyer, you are putting money on your mortgage in hopes of paying it off – thus building equity – and eventually even selling it for a profit someday.

#5. Settle Down with Peace of Mind

Aside from being able to make decisions about the appearance of your home and what you do with it – there is a sense of security that comes with being your own landlord. When you are renting, there is always the chance your landlord will choose not to extend your lease for many reasons, like selling the property or other circumstances, leaving you searching for a new place to call home. Owning a home makes it yours and offers the peace of mind you may not always feel as a renter.

We hope this blog post helped provide you with some of the very best reasons to buy a home. If you are looking for a real estate agent to help make your house-hunting experience a seamless and exciting one, don’t hesitate to contact . We look forward to helping you meet your real estate needs.

IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT SELLING your Bay Area property, it is important you hire a real estate team of professionals with an extensive portfolio of home sales, a significant list of happy clients and a history of excellence.

The Laugesen Team has the experience, connections and creativity to list and sell your distinctive property successfully.

• Pricing for Success
• Prepare for Top Sale
• Impressive Marketing
• State of the Art Technology
• Network with other High-End Agents

• Always available to show qualified buyers and agents.
• Schedule Open Houses and Broker’s Tour
• Follow-Up Quickly and Consistently
• Immediately respond to all leads.
• Encourage serious buyers to make serious offers.
• Facilitate the closing process to ensure a successful, competitively priced, stress-free sale.

By cortney
January 5, 2023

7 Steps to Successful Home Buying this 2023!

Is buying a house on your to-do list this 2023? We love helping our clients turn their dreams of homeownership into a reality!

It’s essential to develop good habits right away, so you’re ready when the right home comes along. Here are seven steps you can take right now to help ensure you don’t hit any roadblocks during your home-buying journey.

Step One

Your Finances

Getting your finances in order is the very first thing you need to do before you can consider buying a home. Start with these tips:

  • Open a “new home savings” account and start making deposits
  • Start paying down your debts and avoid opening any new credit accounts
  • Resolve to pay all of your monthly bills on time
  • Write down your budget and stick to it
  • Check your credit report and make sure it’s accurate

Each of these things takes time. The sooner you start, the better shape you’ll be in when you find your new home.

Step Two

Save for a Rainy Day

Get a better idea of whether you’ll be able to afford the home you want by pretending your bills have already gone up. Set the extra money aside each month to have an emergency fund saved before you buy a home.

Step Three

Set Realistic Expectations for a Successful Home Buy

Shopping for a home will be much more productive (and more fun!) if you have a clear idea of your goals. Make a list of all the features you want in a home and any that you don’t. This will help keep you from wasting time looking at places that aren’t right for you.

While it’s OK to make a “dream home” list, make sure you’re realistic about your “must-haves.” Trying to buy a champagne house on a bottled water budget will only lead to disappointment.

Step Four

Get a Great Agent

Whether you’re a first-time or experienced home buyer, working with a great real estate agent can have a considerable impact on a successful home buy. It’s essential to be picky about who you choose. Ask for recommendations from friends and family, check references, and read reviews before committing to a contract.

Step Five

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Buying a home is a huge commitment. The last thing you want is to jump into something without thinking it through or feel pressured to buy something that’s not quite right. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by leaving yourself plenty of time to explore your options.

Homes come on and off the market, so plan to set aside some time every week for home shopping. Visit open houses to have a good idea of what types of homes are currently available on the market.

Step Six

Be Prepared for a Successful Home Buy

The housing market moves fast, and if you’re not ready, you could miss out on your perfect home. Ensure you’re prepared by shopping for a mortgage ahead of time and making sure you’re pre-approved. Organize your tax and financial documents so you’re ready when it’s time to submit your mortgage application.

Step Seven

Be Flexible

While it’s great to have an idea of the type of home you want, don’t be too rigid about it. If you’re willing to have an open mind, you might find that the perfect home wasn’t what you expected. Going with the flow and being flexible is a key components to a successful home buy.


Buying a home can seem like a scary task. With the right resources and guidance, you can and will be successful in buying a home.

By cortney
December 6, 2022

What Our Clients Say About Us!

Customer satisfaction is the primary goal of our real estate business. To that end, we are passionate about meeting and surpassing our client’s expectations. We are very fortunate to have formed excellent partnerships with many of our clients. And we’ve formed more than just working relationships with them; we have formed true friendships. Here’s what they’re saying about us.:


“Denise is a fantastic realtor who has helped me to purchase and sell 4 different properties in Hillsborough and Burlingame. She did a phenomenal job on all 4 of those transactions and went far beyond the scope of her realtor responsibilities. When I locked myself out of my home at 2:00 am, Denise answered my call on the first ring and brought me a key to get in (at 2:00 am!!!). When there was a sudden leak in my irrigation system while I was out of town, Denise handled it right away. She and her daughter, Cortney, actually dug a hole in the ground to find where it was coming from and had it fixed right away. Denise also has a lot of networking power and knows how to quickly find buyers. She is also a shrewd negotiator and gets the best possible sales price. She also has expert attention to all of the contractual details of a sales/purchase contract. She’s also very responsive and when I make a request of her, all I have to do is text her one time, and it’s very quickly done. Denise is also one of the nicest people I’ve ever known, so it’s a pleasure doing business with her. I can’t recommend her enough for your real estate needs. 


– KB Burlingame


“Had a wonderful experience selling our home with Denise Laugesen and her team at Keller Williams. We were referred to Denise, and right off the bat, we were impressed with her review of our home and proposal on her approach to the prep, marketing and sale of our home. Denise was very familiar with our specific market and had excellent comparables to help us understand and align on our goals for the sale. Denise also listened and worked hard to meet our specific needs when it came to supporting on the prep for the sale. We were also very happy with the robust communication we had during the entire process. She was always reachable and supportive for any needs that arose over the course of the process. We also had a great experience with her team, who were also very professional and supportive. Denise also has a great group of contractors she uses for the sale prep work. In the end the process went smoothly, quickly and our result was great! We would have no hesitation in recommending Denise and her team.”


– Felice Stahl


“Thank you very much to Denise Laugesen and her strong team at Keller Williams. 26 years ago Denise, now our “go to” real estate professional, helped me when I bought the house she just helped us sell – now so many years later. She, her partner Cortney, and their team, including the prepping subcontractors and stagers, are seasoned professionals who know the market and how to work with it to maximize success. Once we said “go” to Denise, they took off and, finessed pivoting in the rapidly changing market of early 2022 to create success for us. Denise and Cortney know what it takes in a changing market to succeed. With seasoned knowledge, experience, planning, persistence, professionalism, regular communication throughout, and a strong support team, all worked together to achieve a win for us. We strongly recommend Denise and her team.!”


– KH


“Stacy LaRosa is the ultimate professional, a mover and a shaker. Stacy assisted in listing and selling my home in San Mateo. From the moment she stepped foot into the home, she knew what needed to be done to prepare and make it ready to market and sell.
Stacy followed through from vendor coordination to staging to the sale of the home. She obtained an offer over asking with a 14-day close of escrow, ALL CASH.

At times, things were not going according to plan but she handled it with ease, making sure that I was always informed and kept in the loop.

The Laugesen Team is amazing and clearly knows how to market and sell the property.”


– Liz Horn


“Believe me – call them first. Denise and her team are excellent. As a mom of three young kids, I needed quite a bit of help getting the house ready to sell. Denise and Cortney came to view the home on a Saturday, and we had and we made a master plan while sitting at our dining room table. Their advice for what to fix or change was spot on. They coordinated with all the contractors. I am essentially color blind so I relied on them to choose everything from the paint colors to the yard plants. The house looked amazing! After two short months, we were on the market. Since Denise and Cortney have lived in the area their whole lives, they have an extensive network of agents to work with and excellent insight into the housing market in that area. Our San Mateo Park house was on the market and sold in a week for over asking. The Laugesen Team has high-quality partners and the results are clear as the pictures and photos are excellent, the home staging was excellent. If you are selling your home – call the Laugesen Team to get top sales prices and the best experience.”


– Susan Weiver


“Selling a house and buying another concurrently in the Bay Area can always be tricky. When you decide to do that at the height of a global pandemic, you sign up for a wild ride. We were on this ride for several months this year, and could not have had a better guide and companion than Denise. From day one she was highly driven to stage our house and market it broadly to maximum effect. As we entered a contingent contract on our purchase, she helped us navigate between multiple potential buyers, while carefully managing the timelines of both transactions toward successful sequential closings. Throughout this process, she handled all the necessary steps, while also giving us daily updates that kept us well-informed and grounded. There was never any doubt that she was 100% in our corner, willing to do whatever it took to make things happen for us. She has stood by us from beginning to end, and remains with us now, as a valued adviser and friend long after both deals are done. Thank you Denise and the entire Laugesen Team!”


– Eldad Persky


Is there a 6th star? I would give it!

When we decided to buy our next home in Hillsborough, we asked around and it seemed that all roads led to Denise & Cortney. Denise helped us as sellers and buyers, and her understanding of the local market is unrivaled. She marketed our house broad and wide, and got us multiple bids quickly and efficiently.

In the purchase of our new home, she was respectful of our time, our budget and our needs and brought us on and off-market leads that were exactly what we had profiled. she was able to find us our perfect home and guide us through the purchase to a quick close. Little did we know that that was just the beginning of our relationship with Denise! We have stayed in touch and she has been our mentor for all things Hillsborough, and has continuously helped us through difficult remodeling work through her expansive network and relationships.

My husband and I appreciate everything Denise has done for us, and we cannot imagine having done it without her!! We will never work with another agent in the Bay Area and have referred several friends and family to her, all of which were super-happy with her as well!


– Ayelet Steinitz


“I can’t say enough good things about Cortney Laugesen. With her guidance, my husband and I were able to buy the very first house we offered for. She is extremely well-connected and has been able to give excellent recommendations for local businesses to do work at our new home. If you’re looking to buy a home in San Mateo, call Cortney — she’s the best!”


– Katherin Goodman


“I cannot speak highly enough of Denise, Stacy, and their whole team. Her professionalism, knowledge, honesty, integrity, and strong work ethic were very much appreciated and respected. She is meticulous, honest, great with people and has a wealth of knowledge of the industry and the area.

She turned our somewhat tired little North Shoreview house into a showstopper that anyone would be happy to live in (including me once it was done 😉). Her design sense and eye for what buyers want, truly helped to transform our property. All the while sticking to the agreed-upon budget. Her ideas and Rolodex of contacts and contractors helped us sell our house for much more than expected. She took charge and took care of everything, which made an already stressful time, that much easier on us. We would recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell their home!!”


– Valerie Zahn


“Fate smiled upon us when we happened to meet Denise and Stacy randomly at an open house. We could tell from a quick chat that they were vastly knowledgeable and friendly. As first-time home buyers, we had a million questions and constantly changed aspects of the search. They were more than accommodating, got their whole team involved, and were priceless resources in the end. There aren’t enough good things we could say about them and their team. We never felt neglected; they were on top of EVERY DETAIL (I seriously don’t know how they were able to keep track of everything), they tactfully offered up their opinions which we were thankful we could rely on (what’s good for resale, what’s trendy, etc), they connected us with contractors that have been wonderful to work with so far (also way cheaper than other bids we received). The whole experience was great and we will continue to rely on them for future home sales/purchases. Can’t recommend them enough.”


– Caleb


“Denise and team are very skilled in understanding what interests buyers, and how to market properties and drive to closure at a price that is aligned with the local market. No fluff, gets to the point, stays focused, and is always professional.

They handled everything, even the coordination of contractor services that were timely, fairly priced, and done with high quality.

Highest recommendations for the Laugesen Team!”


– Tom Monaghan





IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT SELLING your Bay Area property, it is important you hire a real estate team of professionals with an extensive portfolio of home sales, a significant list of happy clients and a history of excellence.

The Laugesen Team has the experience, connections and creativity to list and sell your distinctive property successfully.

• Pricing for Success
• Prepare for Top Sale
• Impressive Marketing
• State of the Art Technology
• Network with other High-End Agents

• Always available to show qualified buyers and agents.
• Schedule Open Houses and Broker’s Tour
• Follow-Up Quickly and Consistently
• Immediately respond to all leads.
• Encourage serious buyers to make serious offers.
• Facilitate the closing process to ensure a successful, competitively priced, stress-free sale.

By cortney
November 28, 2022


I should’ve bought a house last year when interest rates were low.
Maybe that’s true, but you can’t go back now! Don’t let the should’ves, could’ves, would’ves stand in the way of achieving your dream of homeownership! We can’t predict what will happen in the real estate market over the next few months, but I can tell you this. Owning your home helps to create your overall wealth!
Here are 3 ways to get a better interest rate and save money on your next mortgage:
1. Look into a temporary rate buydown
A temporary interest rate buydown is not a long-term solution but is a way to temporarily lower your interest rate for the first few years of the loan. This financing tool allows you to reduce the cost of your mortgage payment in exchange for an up-front cash deposit. Talk with your lender to learn more and see if a temporary rate buydown is a good option for you!
2. Improve your credit score
Your credit score plays a huge role in qualifying for a mortgage and can also help you get a better interest rate. Lenders typically view a high credit score as an indicator that you’ll be a strong and safe borrower. Improving your credit can help you to get a lower interest rate, as your lender will feel more confident that you’ll be responsible with new credit. Start by disputing errors if necessary, making payments on time, and paying down your credit balances to boost your credit.
3. Make a larger down payment
The more money you put down on a home, the better your chances are of getting a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Making a sizable down payment will give you a lower loan-to-value ratio (LTV), and lenders will see you as less risky of a borrower since you have more stake in the property.
One of the first steps in the home-buying process is to work with a mortgage lender to get your finances in order. If you need a lender in SEATTLE, send me a message, and I’d be happy to connect you with a couple of my preferred lenders!


IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT SELLING your Bay Area property, it is important you hire a real estate team of professionals with an extensive portfolio of home sales, a significant list of happy clients and a history of excellence.

The Laugesen Team has the experience, connections and creativity to list and sell your distinctive property successfully.

• Pricing for Success
• Prepare for Top Sale
• Impressive Marketing
• State of the Art Technology
• Network with other High-End Agents

• Always available to show qualified buyers and agents.
• Schedule Open Houses and Broker’s Tour
• Follow-Up Quickly and Consistently
• Immediately respond to all leads.
• Encourage serious buyers to make serious offers.
• Facilitate the closing process to ensure a successful, competitively priced, stress-free sale.

By cortney
December 9, 2020

Hot New Listing-647 Hickey Blvd in Daly City

647 Hickey Blvd #dalycity
3 beds, 3 baths
1,740 sqft of living
This recently rebuilt, modern like-new two story home is located in the most desirable Serramonte neighborhood. Interior has been completely done and many parts of the exterior has been upgraded. This outstanding home showcases today’s desired modern design. Main level features a bright living room with tiled fireplace, large picture windows with panoramic views. Kitchen offers stainless steel appliances, new quartz countertops, plenty of storage and counter space. 3 bedrooms on the main level including a master suite, and 2 bathrooms. Downstairs can be used as a 4th bedroom and office. Expanded new backyard. Located close to shopping centers, bus stop, and schools. Great commuter location with easy access to BART, fwy 280/101, and minutes away from SFO.

IF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT SELLING your Bay Area property, it is important you hire a real estate team of professionals with an extensive portfolio of home sales, a significant list of happy clients and a history of excellence.

The Laugesen Team has the experience, connections and creativity to successfully list and sell your distinctive property.

• Pricing for Success
• Prepare for Top Sale
• Impressive Marketing
• State of the Art Technology
• Network with other High-End Agents

• Always available to show qualified buyers and agents.
• Schedule Open Houses and Brokers Tour
• Follow-Up Quickly and Consistently
• Immediately respond to all leads.
• Encourage serious buyers to make serious offers.
• Facilitate the closing process to ensure a successful, competitively priced, stress-free sale.

Luxury Real Estate Specialists

Denise Laugesen
Luxury Consultant
Direct: 650.403.6225
Cell: 650.465.5742
DRE: # 01011089

Cortney Laugesen
Luxury Consultant
Direct: 650.403.6226
Cell: 650.678.5084
DRE: # 01859860


Sheran Honneyman
Luxury Consultant
Buyer’s Specialist
DRE # 01412131




By cortney
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


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The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

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

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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

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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

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

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By Admin
December 5, 2014

The Laugesen Team December Closed Sales!

1360 Tartan Trail, Hillsborough


5 beds, 3.5 baths

3,490 sq ft

30,720 sq ft lot


1245 Murchison, Millbrae


4 beds, 2.5 baths

2,240 sq ft

18,936 sq ft lot

946885_500 kitchen_500

1492 Ascension, San Mateo


3 beds, 2 baths

1,480 sq ft

8,700 sq ft lot

946884_500 livingroom_500


410 Ridge, San Carlos


2 beds, 1 bath



Call us for all your real estate needs…..

The Laugesen Team

#1 Producing Team

Coldwell Banker

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

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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

CB641109f05 CB641108f07

By Admin
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