Living where we do in the foothills, amongst the trees and beauty of nature means that we may at some time be faced with the threat of wildfire. What can we do to be prepared if that time arises? Well, let’s think about your situation. Do you have pets, medications, pictures, and important documents? Of course, you do! We all have something we couldn’t bear to lose or at the very least would make life difficult if we did. Let’s make a list and prepare a bag now while there is no immediate threat. My emergency checklist may be different than yours so really think about it and make changes as needed so you don’t have to think about it when under the pressure of evacuation. Get your emergency go bag ready, NOW. Here is a sample checklist. Print this out and hang it up where you can easily see it. Place items in a bag or laundry basket where they are easy to grab on your way out the door.
Pack your go bag so you can grab it and go!
EMERGENCY EVACUATION GO BAG CHECKLIST
Social security cards
A list of personal contacts
Proof of insurance
Pink slips for cars
Deed to your house
Life insurance policies
Thumb drive/memory card
First aid kit
Food and water, 3 day supply
Medications- prescription and non-prescription
Food/water for three days
One change of clothing and shoes for every member of the family
Items that cannot be replaced
Other items to consider adding to your emergency go bag
Eyeglasses, contacts, contact solution
Infant formula, wipes, bottles, diapers
Sleeping bags or blankets and pillows for each person in the household
Licensed real estate agents in California are required to “hang” our licenses with a Broker unless we have our own Broker License.. So does the brokerage that your agent sells with make a difference on buying and selling? You could likely find many many different opinions on this topic. For me it was pretty simple.
I had been in Real Estate for just over 4 years and had a small team. It was my partner Dennis Geare and I and our one team member Kendra Del Rio. We had some issues arise and we knew it was time to change brokers. Changing brokers is not easy. It is similar to a break up and a BIG move all in one. So of course we wanted to make a move that would fit us for many many years to come. After lot’s of research and conversations with brokers and agents, we made our choice. That choice was HomeSmart ICARE Realty.
HomeSmart ICARE Realty was a newer name in the California market and its business model and plan for agents was like no other we had seen. HomeSmart ICARE Realty is a veteran- owned company based in Phoenix, Arizona that operates franchise locations nationally. The owner of the HomeSmart ICARE Realty unit we were joining had been in business for about 6 years and has about 100 agents in the Sacramento/Roseville area.
The HomeSmart ICARE Realty business model is what attracted us, unlike any other we had seen. HomeSmart ICARE Realty offers low flat rate fees to licensed real estate agents based on transactions, giving us the freedom to build our business based on our team, and our business ethics and morals. And, of significant importance to us, gives us the ability to better assist our clients buy and sell homes! Finally, HomeSmart ICARE Realty are HUGE supporters of veterans and also of community events and groups.
We knew that a lot of people would not recognize the homeSmart ICARE Realty brand, but we had built our own team brand that would carry us through the change over. Now 2+ years later I am looking back on that decision to join HomeSmart ICARE Realty Grass Valley and so thankful we did. Making the change has allowed us to open our office located right where we want to be. The broker and owners of HomeSmart ICARE Realty have been kind, supportive and so much fun to get to know and work with. This change has also allowed us to do more for our community than we thought possible. We support groups like Safe and Sober Grad Night at BRHS, local school events, “Giving Tree” at Christmas, ASPOA Yard Sale event and we have been on the front-end of helping with natural disasters to get items to those in need.
So as we kick off 2019 and I look back over the last few years I can honestly say that making the switch to HomeSmart ICARE Realty Grass Valley and helping to open the office located at 10015 Alta Sierra Dr 5B Grass Valley, CA 95949 has been one of the best decisions!
We again have fires that are devastating our neighboring communities this year. Are you ready in case of an emergency? Most of us say to ourselves we have a plan or we know what to grab – but being prepared is NOT about items and packing – it is a complete plan.
Some things to plan and think about:
Where will we go? Pick a place your family all knows to go to. Have options depending on which direction you can get out. How will we get there? Know your area and have more than one plan to get out of your area quickly and safely. How will I find my loved ones? Craft a plan for your family and close friends to meet at specific locations should there be a fire and make sure everyone understands the plan. Pick a family member out of the area to reach and leave information with so that all family members can touch base with that person. Or invest in hand radio or walkie talkie systems to communicate. If time permits and all members and pets are out of your home leave a LARGE note taped to your door that all members are out and safe so emergency personal know when they are evacuating communities. Home and Items – take annual pictures of your home, personal items, cars etc and upload to a cloud-based storage, so should you experience loss, you have pictures to help you recall all items in the home to provide to your insurance company for your claim. Include garage, trailers, yard, open all cabinet and drawers and take pictures. Pack and grab boxes that have irreplaceable items or documents in them. Make a list that, in a moment, you can grab and run through to pack those items. Complete this when you are not under evacuation. If you then have family and friends helping you pack they too can use that
There are thousands of resources to help us be prepared and have a plan but the above are just a few that will help you and your loved ones have a plan going forward. I would encourage you all to keep your homes as safe as you can by keeping trees trimmed; brush cleared and have hoses and sprinklers available to turn on if needed. Link for more information and checklist to help you be prepared, www.readyforwildfire.org Remember it is NOT a matter of IF, it is WHEN we will have to evacuate our homes.
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!
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.
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
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!