Cool Weather Gardening in Nevada County

Cool Weather Gardening in Nevada County

Fall Gardening in Nevada County

Harvesting from the garden can be so rewarding, especially when you know what to look for.

One of our favorites in Nevada County this year is watermelon. You can tell when the melons are ripe by the small leaf that grows in the V of the stem that comes off of the melon. When this is dried and crispy you can be assured that your melon will be ripe and juicy. My seven-year-old son goes out to the garden daily to check. I’m lucky I was even able to get a picture before he picked it.

Ground cherries are another thing that have done really well in our garden. We’ve had hundreds of them, not only do the kids like to munch on them, but the chickens go crazy over them. They kind of taste like a sweet tomato. You know they are ripe when the wrapper turns brown and it falls to the ground. We discovered that letting them sit on the ground for a few days makes them even sweeter.

As the temperatures get cooler in the foothills, and the summer crops are starting to fade, we are preparing for our cool weather garden. I love to visit local nurseries and plant sales to see what is available.

If you would like to pick up some great veggie starts for your cool weather garden the Master Gardeners of Nevada County will be having their Fall plant sale coming up on Saturday, September 22 from 9-12, at The Demonstration Garden, 1036 W. Main Street in Grass Valley (on the NID grounds). http://ncmg.ucanr.org/.  Hope to see you there!

Brakes On The Real Estate Market

Brakes On The Real Estate Market

Low Inventory Plagues The  Market

Inventory levels of existing homes continue to act as brakes on the Real Estate Market.  If you are a buyer looking for a home, you are likely abundantly aware of that reality.  You are not alone. Shortages of existing homes are common in most markets in the United States. In fact, in 4 of the past 5 months, sales of existing homes dropped. August saw increases in the Northeast and Midwest, offset by decreases in the south and West.

Existing home sales fell in August 1.7% to 5.35 million nationwide, the lowest levels in nearly a year. Demand among buyers remains high, fueled by employment gains, rising incomes and low mortgage rates…great news for those selling their house!  Low inventories put upward pressure on prices. Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and Irma in Florida will contribute to lower levels of deals closed in those area this year and likely into 2018.

Key Stats

Total housing inventory at the end of August dropped 2.1% to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale nationwide, 6.5% lower than a year ago. All-cash transactions were 20% of the market with 15% of those individual investors.

What’s Up In Nevada County Real Estate?

Third quarter Nevada County Real Estate sales are up 11.4%. Number of homes for sale average 420 per month. Number of homes sold average 135 per month. Average price per square foot in Nevada County is about $220 per square foot. Average days on market has been running at about 40 days. Average sales prices are in the mid $400,000s. Average prices FOR SALE are in the mid $600,000s.

Nevada County Real Estate And You

What does this mean for Sellers and Buyers in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Alta Sierra and South County?  If you are a seller with a well-priced home in good condition, you are likely to be doing a happy dance within two months of listing your property. If you are a buyer, do your due diligence and be ready to pull the trigger on an offer when that just-right house hits the market. Have a professional, well educated real-estate agent on your side to negotiate and advocate for your interests.  And… welcome to the best places in the world to live…in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Alta Sierra, Penn Valley and surrounding communities.

Source: Realtor Magazine & Nevada County Association Of Realtors Statistics

 

 

Avoid these costly Kitchen remodel mistakes!

Avoid these costly Kitchen remodel mistakes!

Avoid these costly mistakes!

The kitchen is one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and food spills add up quickly so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal when you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid:

Cheap Laminate Countertops: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh out of the oven and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat.

Flat Paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.

Trendy Backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling show, you’ll certainly see kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and materials. Those trends can be pricey to pursue and can look dated in a hurry. Subway tile is a cheaper, classic option that you’ll never regret, plus you’ll have more room in your budget to purchase quality materials to be used elsewhere.

Cheap Flooring: Just like the countertops, your kitchen floor needs to be strong enough to take some abuse. Cheap flooring easily scuffs and peels (especially from moisture). Quality flooring is worth the investment.

Nevada County home buyers are accustomed to quality and can spot the above quickly. You don’t have to purchase top of the line materials, but be sure to purchase durable ones. Always go neutral and avoid loud bright colors as your buyer may not have the same tastes in decor.

If you would like a comparative market analysis for your home, please contact us! We have buyers actively searching for homes in Nevada County and we would love to show you our marketing plan!

Grass Valley and Nevada City Farmer’s Markets

Grass Valley and Nevada City Farmer’s Markets

Summer…my favorite time of the year for fresh fruit and vegetables!  And Nevada County offers a huge selection of farmers markets to choose from.  Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley and other Apple Hillsurroundings area host farmers markets where we can gather great fruit, vegetables and other food items to enjoy. Farm to table at it’s purest and best.
Farmers from around California come to sell their farm fresh items.  Here is Nevada County we are blessed to have farmers markets available to us on several different days of the week, and a variety of locations make it convenient.  From South Nevada County to Penn Valley the farmers market are sprinkled through out the week in various locations.
My favorite is Thursday Night Market in Downtown Grass Valley.  This event takes place On Thursdays evening 5:30pm to 9pm in Historic downtown Grass Valley.  Similar to other events downtown Grass Valley throughout the year,  Mill Street is closed to traffic and all sorts of vendors set up booths selling everything from fresh fruits to homemade bath soap and more.  They are also offer street concerts for your listening enjoyment. Thursday Night Market takes the usual farmers market to a whole new level, supported by Grass Valley’s Downtown Association.
So take a peek below at all your choices. I encourage you to check out the various markets. We are so lucky to have in our back yard so many talented, hard-working local farmers committed to bringing fresh-picked food to out tables!

Local Nevada County Farmers Markets

Tuesdays:
Nevada County Horseman (Nevada County Certified Growers Market)
May 2 – September 26, 2017
Tuesdays, 9:00am – 1:00 pm
10600 Bubbling Wells Road, Grass Valley
Thursdays:
Western Gateway Park (Nevada County Certified Growers Market)
May 4 – November 16, 2017
Thursdays, 9:00am – 1:00 pm
18560 Penn Valley Drive, Penn Valley
Thursday Night Market
June 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27 & August 3, 2017
5:30pm – 9:00pm
Downtown Grass Valley
Saturdays:
Historic North Star House (Nevada County Certified Growers Market)
Saturdays, April 15 – November 18, 2017
8:00am – 12:30 pm
12075 Auburn Road, Grass Valley
Downtown Nevada City Summer Farmers Market
Saturdays, June 3rd – November 18th 2017
Hours 8:30am – 1:00pm
Contact information for farmer’s markets
6 Home Selling Turn Offs To Avoid

6 Home Selling Turn Offs To Avoid

 

Selling your home in Nevada County can feel like a daunting task. With the right agents, and by following a few “rules” it can be not only easy, but pleasant as well! The info graphic to the right is an excellentstarting point for what some turn-offs for sellers are.

Stained and/or damp patches on ceilings and walls.

Painting is one of the most affordable updates you can do for your home. Clean walls in neutral colors can not only make the home feel new, but it helps buyers envision their possessions in this space.

It’s important to resolve any leaks prior to painting. If you need a referral for a repair service, let us know.

Odors

Odors can also be mitigated by painting. Cleaning or replacing carpets may be necessary as well depending on the strength and source of the odors. While this seems like an expense, it can not only be the difference on if your home sells, but how quickly, and for how much.

Dull Lighting

Dull or dim lighting can be a huge turn off for buyers. Even a dark house can be well-lit with the right wattage of bulbs. The new LED style bulbs are excellent as they save money while providing the same, or even more light than a standard incandescent bulb. Also, make sure drapes and blinds are open in all areas to bring in more natural lighting as well.

Outdated Bathrooms

Out dated bathrooms with stained sinks, bathtubs, showers and floors are a huge turn off. Sometimes something as simple as new faucets and a new light fixture can be all that is needed to update and beautify this space. Also, make sure there is plenty of light in the bathroom as well. Also, install a nice smelling scent dispenser like a plugin or essential oil diffuser to help with unpleasant odors.

Cluttered Rooms

Cluttered rooms can kill a sale very quickly. A potential buyers needs to be able to not only comfortably walk through your home, but also not be distracted by too many photos, knickknacks and decor. If they can’t see the floors and the walls because of too much stuff, they cannot envision how they would use the space. Counters and tables should be cleared, art work should be kept neutral, and to a minimum, and corners need to be cleared. Put the shoes in the closet, and keep throw blankets out of sight as well. Less is more!

Over The Top Decor

This also falls in with clutter. Even if orange is your favorite color, cover the walls with a more neutral shade of paint. Keep the cheetah prints, furry rugs and pillows and things of that nature tidied away. Too many distractions will chase a potential buyer out the door very quickly!

Thinking of selling your home  in Grass Valley, Nevada City, Penn Valley or the surrounding areas?

Give us a call and we will be happy to not only meet with you, but share more secrets on a quick sale! We have buyers waiting for homes to come on the market, so give us a call today! We would love to show you what our Sierra Lifestyle Team can do!

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day at Empire Mine

Mother’s Day at Empire Mine

Empire Mine State Park

50 countries around the world celebrate Mothers Day each year.  I think you’d be hard pressed to find a more lovely way to spend the day celebrating mothers than right here in Grass Valley at the historic Empire Mine State Park.

Gold Rush History

The Empire Mine is the oldest, largest, deepest, longest and richest gold mine in the state of California, producing 8.5 million ounces of gold from its opening in 1850 until closed to operations in 1956. Hard rock miners, brought in from Cornwall, England to work the mines settled in Grass Valley. You can still purchase Pasties in Grass Valley, a lunch item well suited to work in mines.  Mine owners and managers settled in Nevada City and gave the town it’s Victorian character that still abounds.

Mother’s Day in Nevada County

When I first moved to the area we stumbled on this amazing Mothers Day event while trying to find a California historical site for my daughter’s 4th grade school project.  Wow, did we hit a jack-pot right here in Nevada County!  The stunning grounds are nature at their finest, historical buildings and characters in full dress eager to share the gold rush history, live jazz musicians play and local vendors sell tasty treats.  Bonus – it’s one of only two days a year you can bring food into the park.  My family can’t imagine a better way to spend Mother’s Day…we go back every year with family of all ages.  Bring a blanket, picnic and your favorite mom(s)

Activities at Empire Mine State Park

The Empire Mine State Park is located at 10791 E. Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA 95949. it is open 7 days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM. Miles of trails are open to hiking, biking and horseback exploration on its 853 acres. Most visitors plan a two hour visit to see the mines grounds, buildings and sights. Docent tours are available.

Call 916-653-6995 for more information. See you there!
Visit http://www.empiremine.org/events/spring-open-house