Are you ready if you had to evacuate?

Are you ready if you had to evacuate?

Preparing for a fire in the Foothills

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
list.

Resources:

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.

Stay safe and be prepared.

Sincerely,
Alisa Johnson

 

Women’s Wilderness Weekend at the Burton Homestead in Nevada City

Women’s Wilderness Weekend at the Burton Homestead in Nevada City

Women’s Wilderness Weekend at the Burton Homestead in Nevada City

Lately, I have really started evaluating my life, life choices and how I choose to live my life.

I realize I give a lot of myself away to all the people around me. Giving of myself is a joyful experience and an expression of who I am and I love to give to all those around me. However, it also has a draining effect on me as well.

For so long, I have, in a way, prided myself on the ability to continue to give of myself and not take time to replenish my energy supply or to take minimal time to just bring myself back to functional. Taking time for myself felt selfish. I would continue to give to all those around me and pretend I didn’t also need anything.

Refill your pond!

Recently someone gave me a great analogy that our life is like a pond. It provides life to the plants and animals around and in it.  As we give, the water goes down. if we do not refill the water in the pond, we end up having nothing left to give but the mud at the bottom of the pond. I realized my refusal to take care of my inner desires and spiritual well-being has left me giving away “mud” to all those I care about.

This weekend I refilled my pond at the Women’s Wilderness Weekend at the Burton Homestead in Nevada City put on by 4 Elements. Normally, I would feel so guilty about spending money, and time away from my family that I wouldn’t even tell my family I wanted to go and just silently wish to myself that I could. This time I recognized the need for “refilling” in my life and asked “how can we make this happen?” My husband was so supportive and loving. He even took the kids to visit grandparents so I could have the whole weekend to myself.

We were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Nevada County as our outdoor classroom. We learned emergency/survival skills like how to make a debris shelter, how to start a fire with a bow drill, plant identification, food foraging, water purification and so much more. We also took time to really get connected with our intuition and nature as well as get in touch with our playful side by playing games together. It was such a magical time connecting with other women and learning and playing together.

Now that I am back to work and life has resumed as normal, I feel so energized and ready to take on so much more. No longer do I feel there is pride in depriving myself of my needs. I am a better person when my pond is full! And I delight in being able to be more present for my family, and to give more and better service and care to my clients buying and selling real estate in Nevada County.

Kendra Del Rio

Realtor®

BRE# 01975305
(530) 559-7995
All That Glitter’s Is Not Gold

All That Glitter’s Is Not Gold

Nevada County Gem & Mineral Society

EARTH’S TREASURES Gem & Mineral Show is held each year in early October at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley . This year’s show, October 6 & 7,  featured twenty vendors offering gems, minerals, fossils, florescent minerals, lapidary supplies, beads and supplies, jewelry, gold prospecting supplies and metal detectors and more.

Demonstrations

Attendees were treated with cool displays of Mineral and Fossil Collections and Demonstrations of bead making, cabachons, wire wrapping, gold panning and intarsia. The club ensures fun activities for kids, too, including a kids corner and scavenger hunt included free with admittance (free for those under 13 years of age).

Displays

Featured was Gold Extravaganza, a display of local gold that included a bear carved from gold bearing quartz from the Original Sixteen to One Mine, the oldest operating gold mine in North America. Mike Miller, owner of the 16 to 1 gave fascinating talks about the history and workings of the mine. The mine produces beautiful quartz shot through with gold that jewelers, local and far and wide, fashion into rings and other jewelry items.

Silent Auctions and Raffles

Silent auction items, refreshed every hour, and raffle tickets drawn throughout the day afforded enthusiastic attendees the opportunity to grab some awesome rocks and minerals at some awesome, affordable prices!

The Club

The Nevada County Gem and Mineral Society meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM at Golden Empire Guild, 11363 Grange Court, Grass Valley, CA. All are welcome to come to meetings. Membership dues are $25.00 annually for individuals and $30.00 for families. Persons under 18, living at home may be included in a family membership. $5 may be subtracted from the dues if you take the newsletter via email only. Members are treated to informative programs at meetings and can participate in field trips to collect specimens, often in partnership with other clubs.

Nevada County Lifestyle

Our rock club is one of numerous opportunities to enjoy the lifestyle of the foothills. Folks come from Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley, South County and all parts of the greater San Francisco Bay Area to enjoy the many shows, events, and activities that abound here in Nevada County.

Come on down and enjoy this amazing place where we are so fortunate to live and play!

 

 

Fall Celebrations in Nevada County

Fall Celebrations in Nevada County

A Beautiful Celebration Of Our Ancestors

 

With fall now here in Nevada County, and our love of pumpkin spiced everything. Our thoughts start to move toward Halloween. Pumpkins and skeletons everywhere! There is another, lesser known holiday (by most Americans), celebrated after Halloween on November 2nd and 3rd called Day of the Dead (Dia De Los Muertos). Yes. It sounds scary and maybe sounds inappropriate for young children but it’s really quite the opposite. In our home, ever since our oldest was about 2 we have celebrated Day of the Dead. This is a time to celebrate all of our loved ones (pets too) who have passed on. We put up pictures of those who have passed and make their favorite foods. We invite friends to join us and bring pictures, food and stories of their departed loved ones as well. We have a feast and share all the wonderful memories we have of those who are no longer with us. We are able to pass their memory on to our children. Our children are able to share the memories they have of their grandfathers, grandmothers and aunts as well as their goats, chickens, cats and other treasured pets. They benefit from hearing stories the adults have to tell, too. In a sense, it seems to take away some of the mystery of death and makes it more of a celebration of that person’s life. It also normalizes the conversation of the circle of life and keeps their memory alive. 

Every year in Grass Valley, Nevada County Fairgrounds holds an Alter Show. This is a time people can, in a very creative way, put a memorial together of loved ones who have died. It’s a great way to see an aspect of this celebration. And it is one of many celebrations we have in Nevada County that makes living here in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Alta Sierra, Penn Valley and surrounding communities such a blessing. 

The recent Disney movie, COCO, is a grand celebration of Dia De Los Muertos. It is appropriate for all ages and a wonderful family experience that illustrates and educates us about this wonderful and meaningful cultural experience!

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!

Nevada County Rotary Clubs Giveaway 400 Free Trees

Nevada County Rotary Clubs Giveaway 400 Free Trees

Nevada County Rotary Clubs Give Back

Rotarians Meet Happy Tree Planters

The five Rotary Clubs in Nevada County joined together to give away free trees in support of Rotary’s Earth Day 2018 objective of planting a tree for every Rotarian. Rotary’s International President, Ian H.S. Risley, challenged every one of more than 52,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide to help protect the environment and curb climate change in a sustainable way by planting a tree for each of more than 2 million Rotarians. One of many ways Nevada County Rotary gives back to our communities.

One of the wonderful reasons we love Nevada County is the plethora of opportunities to give back to our community. More non-profits per capita than any other county in the State of California make this amazing place home. The Rotary Club of Nevada City, The Nevada City 49er Breakfast Rotary Club, The Rotary Club of Grass Valley, The Rotary Club of Grass Valley South, and the Rotary Club of Penn Valley joined forces, as they often do, to make it happen to give back to communities in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Penn Valley and surrounding communities.

Rotary Gives Away 400 Ponderosa Pines in 3 Hours!

Young Ponderosa Pine Trees

An so, on Saturday January 13, Rotary’s Free Tree Giveaway was on! 400 Ponderosa Pines, purchased from CalForest Nurseries were given away to interested folks in or local community. Why Ponderosa Pines? CalForest Nurseries recommends Ponderosa Pines: They are native to the area, are stable and sturdy trees able to withstand high winds, are beautiful trees that help with erosion control and can grow to 50-90 feet high, can live up to 250 years, and water requirements are between 12 and 40 inches a year. We appreciate CalForest Nurseries partnership, making available 400 your trees at an affordable cost. CalForest gives back!

Truly a Nevada County community event, our local newspaper, The Union, assisted with advertising and promotion and offered the drive-through parking lot in Grass Valley for Rotary to stage the giveaway. KNCO Radio in Grass Valley welcomed local Rotarians to discuss the event for an hour of air time. YubaNet helped promote the event on line. Ron Knauss, a longtime Rotarian with the Nevada City Rotary Club and an expert in forestry helped determine best planting timing and assisted with planting and care instructions.

Larry Davis, a member of the Rotary Club of Grass Valley South provided the clubs with invaluable assistance, managing the project and putting together an excellent pamphlet of Tree Planting Instructions: Guidelines for Selecting The Perfect Location, Digging The Hole, Filling The Hole, and Care. Since many tree enthusiasts are enlisting their children in the tree planting effort, the pamphlet is central to educating the young tree farmers as to the importance of planting and caring for our trees.

400 Local Carbon Sequestration & Oxygen Generating Machines To the Rescue!

Tree planters visited us from Nevada City, North San Juan, Grass Valley, South County and Penn Valley among other communities and were asked to regale us with pictures, videos, or written stories of their trees. We eagerly await those stories. Their trees will reduce carbon in the environment and deliver oxygen at the same time. Great job Nevada County.

Happy Rotarians Give Back

 

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!