Best Holiday Light Displays In Nevada County!

Best Holiday Light Displays In Nevada County!

Brighten up your holiday season

Looking for something festive to do in Nevada County and Placer County for the holidays?  

My favorite time of year is just around the corner. While I start my thoughts of decorating, baking and holiday gatherings, one thing that always comes up is holiday lights. Nevada County and Placer County has some of the best holiday light displays.

Looking to bundle up the kiddos and hit the road to see some lights?  Grass Valley and Nevada City offer two of the most charming downtown areas great for shopping.  But we also have several areas like Alta Sierra, Morgan Ranch, Cypress Hill and Banner Mountains areas that offers homes adorned with lights and holiday decorations.

Best time to hit the road for a light tour is usually after the 2nd weekend in December.  We are attaching a map to help you get started on your light tour.  Some homes feature just lights…some have characters and lights…and some offering walking tours as well.
So bundle up and enjoy a tour that is sure to brighten your day and bring joy to all those enjoying the lights with you.

 See Map Full screen, here: https://www.zeemaps.com/view?group=762760&x=-121.144103&y=39.249819&z=6

Nevada County Schools Rock!

Nevada County Schools Rock!

Nevada County Schools Rank High

The high quality of schools in Nevada County, and diversity of selection especially in Elementary Education, of is well known. Below we detail key grades given to our local schools in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, and surrounding communities as ranked by www.niche.com.

Elementary Schools in Nevada City, Grass Valley & Penn Valley.

Clear Creek Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley – K-8   Overall Grade A, 149 students, 19:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Nevada City Charter School, Public Charter, Nevada City – K-8   Overall Grade B+, 55 students, 21:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Alta Sierra Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley – K-5   Overall Grade B+, 289 students, 21:1 StudentTeacher ratio.

Cottage Hill Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley – K-5   Overall Grade B+, 474 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Deer Creek Elementary School, Public, Nevada City – K-4   Overall Grade B, 410 students, 21:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Yuba River Charter School, Public Charter, Nevada City – K-8   Overall  Grade B, 292 schools, 24:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Ready Springs Elementary School, Public, Penn Valley – K-8   Overall Grade B, 212 students, 24:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Grass Valley Charter School, Grass Valley, Public – K-8   Overall Grade B, 511 Students, 23:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Nevada City School Of the Arts, Public, Nevada City – K-8   Overall Grade B, 390 students, 23:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Bell Hill Academy, Public, Grass Valley – K-4   Overall Grade B, 201 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Sierra Montessori Academy, Public, Grass Valley, K-8   Overall Grade B, 100 students, 16:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Chicago Park Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley, K-8,  Overall Grade B, 121 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Twin Ridges Home Study Charter School, Public Charter, K-8,Nevada City, Overall Grade B, 118 students, 26:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Forest Charter School, Public Charter, Nevada City, K-12,  Overall Grade B-, 720 students, 19:1 students, 19:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Margaret G. Scotten Elementary School, Grass VAlley, Public, K-4,  Overall Grade C+, 500 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Union Hill Elementary School, Grass Valley, Public, K-6,  Overall Grade C+, 486 students, 26:1 Studnent/Teacher ratio.

Chicago Park Elementary School, Public, Grass Valley, K-8,  Overall Grade C, 52 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Grizzly Hill, Nevada City, Public, K-8   Overall Grade C, 91 students, 22:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Union Hill Home Charter School, Grass Valley, K-8   Overall Grade B, 16 students, 7:1 Student/Teacher ratio.

Williams Ranch Elementary School, Public,  Penn Valley, K-3   Overall Grade B, 218 students, 22:1 Student Teacher ratio.

High Schools

 

 

Nevada Union High School, Public, Grass Valley, 9-12   Overall Grade B-.

William & Marian Ghiddotti High School, Grass Valley, Public Alternative, Overall Grade A+. Ghiddotti High is a college prep high school component of Nevada Union High, considered by many to be one of the best High Schools in the state of California.

Bear River High School, Public, Grass Valley   Overall Grade B.

Niche.com has a wealth of information. Visit the site to view expanded grading categories and methodology the site uses to evaluate schools and assign grades. What is cool about this site is that it connects with Realtor.com to allow you to view houses in each vicinity and to gather neighborhood data.

Johnson & Geare’s Sierra Lifestyle team has personal experience with many of the local schools here and is happy to share experience and impressions with you. Please contact us with any questions.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Selling your home in the Fall Season

Selling your home in the Fall Season

Nevada County real estate sales are still hot, even in the “off” season!

Autumn in Nevada County is pretty spectacular. From the gorgeous fall colors, to the many fun events, we have an awful lot to offer! Buyers know this, and are still looking to purchase homes during this time of year.

There are some things you can do to spice up your home for Fall showings. Who doesn’t like a warm and inviting home on a chilly day? Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature. Coming into a warm home on a blustery day feels SO good. Your potential buyers will equate this to your home being comforting and welcoming. A nice and inviting food scent such as fresh cookies or apple pie can create a nice homey environment too. You don’t need to bake, there are plenty of “warmer” products on the market to help out with this.

Curb appeal is so important during Fall because the trees are shedding their leaves. Those glorious colors end up on our lawns and can make an exterior appear messy and unkempt. Be sure to bag up those leaves and tidy them away. Buyers don’t want a lot of maintenance and piles of leaves on the front lawn reminds them of having to rake them up each year.

Make sure that all windows and doors have weather stripping or are tightly fit. Cold breezes blowing through the home during a showing can be a deal killer! Drafty homes mean high heating and cooling bills. Make sure everything is nice and sealed up so this doesn’t happen to you.

With the Fall season, we see shorter days, and less light. Make sure all of your lights are turned on and at their highest setting. This includes side table lamps. Most buyers want a light and bright home. Make sure you show them that even in the darker seasons, your home is light, bright and inviting!

Early frost or snow? Be sure to have the driveway and front stoop cleared for easy access. The last thing you want to happen is to have someone slip and fall while viewing your home! Also be sure to have a nice mat for people to wipe their feet on. You want to keep those carpets and floors to stay sparkling so make it as easy as possible and offer a nice space for cleaning off shoes.

Try to look around your home with an eye for clutter. Holiday ornaments, personal photos and items, and any additional clutter should be tidied away. You want potential buyers to focus on how their possessions can fit in your home, and not be distracted by yours. This is very, very important. Give them an “open canvas” so they can see themselves and their friends and family in the space.

All of this will go a long way towards helping you sell your home in the Fall and Winter months. If you are looking to list your homes in Alta Sierra, or the surrounding communities, please contact us. We would love to help you achieve your real estate goals!

 

Nevada County Designated CA State Cultural District!

Nevada County Designated CA State Cultural District!

  THE CULTURE IN THEM THAR HILLS!

California Arts Council announced Monday July 10 that Nevada City and Grass Valley have been designated a combined State Cultural District. We are one of only 14 areas in the State of California to have been awarded such recognition.  The California Cultural Districts Program celebrates the state’s artistic and cultural assets and diversity.

Rock On Nevada City & Grass Valley

Blues Master Robert Cray Rocks The Veterans Memorial Building in Grass Valley

Blues Master Robert Cray Rocks Grass Valley

Nevada City and Grass Valley are recognized by the Arts Council as a “well defined geographic area with high concentrations of cultural resources and activities”. Nevada County is the only county in the State of California to have two Cultural Districts and are among only four rural districts recognized by the program.  No surprise at all to denizens of the area who live in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, Auburn and surrounding communities and take advantage of the manifold opportunities to enjoy and participate in arts, music, storytelling and many other cultural offerings that take place year round here.

Best Of Both Worlds, Small Town Living Amidst The Trees…& Arts

We know it…and so shall people not only in the State of California, but nationally and internationally as the rich cultural gifts of the area are showered in the bright lights of the Arts Council’s promotional and advertising activities. We have celebrated many of our areas arts entities in this space, such as the vital Center For The Arts, Music in the Mountains, Miner’s Foundry, KVMR Radio, and the annual Open Studios art trail. There are 53 arts organizations, 33 galleries, studios and museums, 19 live music venues, and 49 places of historical interest in Grass Valley and Nevada City. The Wild and Scenic Film Festival takes place every year in Nevada City and Grass Valley and is considered to be the most important environmental film festival in the country today.

The Sierra Lifestyle At Its Best Nevada City - Best Place To Live

Julie Baker, Executive Director of the Center Of The Arts says, “We live in a rural community with remarkable sophistication and a passion for the arts!”  The Center will host the 21st Annual California WorldFest this weekend at the Nevada County Fairgrounds (itself a cultural gem here). When queried by clients thinking of moving to Nevada County as to where or not we have culture this is the answer.  We sure ain’t just of bunch of rednecks, and if you weren’t a believer before, this ought to get you religion!

At California Worldfest!

 

The designation of Grass Valley and Nevada City as a California Cultural District is well deserved. We love the Sierra Lifestyle here and the opportunity to participate in making it better,,,and better. Come party with us!

 

*JUST LISTED* Alta Sierra Home For Sale! 16492 Patricia Way

*JUST LISTED* Alta Sierra Home For Sale! 16492 Patricia Way

Gorgeous Alta Sierra Home For Sale!

 

As you pull in the driveway, the 2 story home greets you with a traditional feel. The breeze-way is extra large with space for dining or pets. Mud room offers kids and hobbyist access to a bathroom and laundry when they return from playing in the large back yard. Lots of room for gardening. Inside this updated home you will find the Master Bedroom off the living room on the main level. Two additional bedrooms, 1 bath and a bonus area upstairs. Large back deck great for grilling and entertaining. Home has recent paint and nice updates.

This Alta Sierra Home for sale is 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and sits on .57+/- Acres. Be sure to contact us if you would like to view this home, or any other Nevada County homes for sale.

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!

Celebrate July 4th Independence Day in Grass Valley

Celebrate July 4th Independence Day in Grass Valley

Celebrate America’s birthday with the Annual Independence Day parade in downtown Grass Valley, beginning at 11 am on Tuesday July 4th, the parade will follow Mill and West Main Streets.

The Nevada County Concert Band will perform a pre-parade concert beginning at 10 am. This year’s flyover will be done by the Golden Empire Flying Association of Grass Valley. This year’s Grand Marshall is Craig Hoddy, publisher of the Nevada County Gold magazine. It is suggested that families bring folding chairs and arrive early for best view seating.

Fireworks will begin at 9:30 pm at the Nevada County fairgrounds. The fairgrounds will open at 3 pm. Enjoy live music and entertainment beginning at 4 pm. Food items will be available for purchase.

Discounted tickets for those above 12 years of age are available at the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, 128 E. Main St. or online at GrassValleyChamber.com. Admission is free for those 12 and under and military personnel with ID.

The Fourth of July festivities in Grass Valley are super fun as only quintessentially small-town celebrations can be. Come join the fun!

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!