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Nevada County Walking Trails

Nevada County Walking Trails

by Mary Cornell

Whether you are an avid hiker or a daily walker there is no shortage of amazing trails and places to walk in Nevada County!

Being a walker myself, some walks that include my dogs, other days a friend or two, or just a solitary walk to get my thoughts together, walking is a great way to stay healthy, strong, and stress-free.

Wolf Creek Trail Map

Wolf Creek Trail Map Courtesy Bear Yuba Land Trust

One of our latest trails in Grass Valley that has opened within the past two years is Wolf Creek Trail. It is convenient, close to town, paved, and is wheelchair, and stroller-friendly. Meandering along the Wolf Creek and amid the North Star Mine, it has not only beauty but history. There are 4 trailheads for this trail. One is off of the mine museum’s parking lot, one-off Freeman lane by the Animal Shelter, one-off Freeman Ln, with a path down our “sinkhole” and the other at the Wolf Creek group housing. 

I love to walk my dogs at The Nevada County Fairgrounds or around the Lyons’ lake. The fairgrounds are open again for dog walkers, the walk is level, paved and they provide doggie bags. I love that the fairgrounds encourage us, dog walkers, with even a bowl of water for our furry friends.

The Empire Mine State Park trails are awesome, as there are many trails to take, and are popular not only for walkers and joggers but also for horses. Many ways to enter this area and one time we even got lost and came up on Highway 174 without knowing where we were!

 

There is a trail that comes off of Litton Rd in Grass Valley that meanders up crosses Sierra College Blvd, up around the high school, and ends up at Eskaton off of Ridge Rd. That is a fun, short, and surprising walk.

 

There are many trails that run alongside a NID ditch (Nevada Irrigation District).

One of the longest and most beautiful is the one that starts at Gracie and ends up at Red Dog in Nevada City. This trail is 4 miles if you take it and double back to the car. It’s level and calming as you walk near water the whole time.

Hirschman’s Pond is just a short scenic walk, starting off of Cement Hill Dr in Nevada City. I love the rock outcropping and the serenity of the pond. You can continue past the pond and walk another couple of miles on this trail, but it does run near the highway for a while, so you have some road noise.

The Independence Trail was once a stunning and awesome path leading to a waterfall and creek where salamanders are abundant. The trail had been built through and using the wooden flumes that were once there for the gold miners to direct the water floor. Unfortunately, in 2020 the fire that swept through also destroyed the flumes and walking bridges.

The Deer Creek Tribute Trail in Nevada City is a little more challenging but well worth it! The trail memorializes the early contributions of the native Chinese people. It’s complete with the Chinese Tribute bridge that highlights the walk.

Alta Sierra has a trailhead at the corner of Dog Bar and Alta Sierra Dr. It is a short uphill trail that crosses the NID ditch, skirts the golf course, and has an amazing large tree that is unique and makes a great photoshoot. If you’ve walked the trail, I’m sure you know the one!

If you head on down the hill towards Penn Valley, you will find the Buttermilk Bend Trail at the Yuba River near Bridgeport. This is a great springtime hike, as there are beautiful wildflowers all around and labeled for you to see their names. It rambles above and follows the beautiful Yuba River. It is a breathtaking hike.

Further down the road on the way to Beale’s Airforce Base, there is a trail leading to Fairy Falls. This trail is best taken in the spring as you are walking through large open fields among the cows and very little shade. Finally getting to the waterfall, you will find it a great spot to picnic.

These are just a very few of the great hikes and walks in Nevada County that I have enjoyed. There are plenty more that I’ve yet to mention!

So get out there, explore our beautiful Gold Country and breathe the mountain air!

 

 

Easy Property Fixes to Prompt a Quick Sale

Easy Property Fixes to Prompt a Quick Sale

Easy Property Fixes to Prompt a Quick Sale

 

Small upgrades and aesthetic swaps can make all the difference in drawing buyers to a home.

by Danielle Braff

Key takeaways:

  • Instead of replacing outdated furnishings, consider paring down decorative distractions to show off the natural attributes of a well-structured space.
  • Focus on flourishes in common, small hardware such as doorknobs and handles on kitchen cabinetry.
  • If there are significant property defects, play up the home’s backstory to redirect attention to a positive talking point.

Despite the thought and preparation that goes into listing a home, the two biggest hurdles to the sale are property photos, which should motivate buyers to request an in-person tour, and the showing, which needs to justify the photos, says Kenny Dahill, CEO and co-founder of Burbz Co., an à la carte property manager platform. Your sellers could do expensive home improvements like a kitchen renovation or a room addition. But how can they complete a project of similar impact without spending thousands? And after the work is done, how do you promote your listing’s new look?

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Remodeling Impact report shows the following are the projects with the highest ROI:

  • New roofing: 107%
  • New hardwood floors: 106%
  • Refinished hardwood floors: 100%

But there are even easier tricks to get houses looking snazzy without spending too much time or money.

Focus on Spaces and Fixtures

Sometimes less is more, says Tamika Todd, a Bermuda-based broker with Platinum Realty.

Todd had a rental listing laden with outdated finish work and furnishings, including 1960s wall tiles and heavy drapery. She suggested that her client open up the space by removing the furnishings so the room contained only a bed, a small desk, and a chair. This helped highlight the depth of the 17-by-17-foot room and the ceiling height of the 750-square-foot loft-style unit. Todd showed the space with sheer curtains, neutral-colored walls, and open windows.

“The transformation definitely made the owner say ‘wow,’ along with every person who viewed it thereafter. It allowed prospects to see the size of the unit and to visualize living in the space without being distracted by the owner’s personal preferences,” Todd says. The owner of the rental originally wanted $1,500 per month in rent, but Todd listed it for $1,700 after the refresh of the unit and received five lease requests.

If your listing has other apparent physical issues that can’t be staged and must be disclosed, amplify the story behind the property to redirect buyers’ attention, Todd suggests.

Talk about the family whose children climbed the trees in the backyard, who witnessed a surprise proposal while hosting a family dinner by candlelight, or who welcomed aging parents to join the household. Ideally, you’ll capture these stories on video from the people who lived them and share with potential buyers ahead of their visit to the home, Todd says. “You will find that the people who view the property in person start to feel the story come alive and envision themselves in the space with their own dreams.”

One small, more tangible fix Todd often makes is replacing doorknobs, which are often overlooked.

But when chosen correctly, they can attract the eye of a buyer. “Imagine an entry door with a new coat of paint that already catches the eye but stands out even more with a just-as-eye-catching doorknob feature,” she says. For these, she selects ornate, modern doorknobs, or those that are traditional with a hint of flair, to spark intrigue and beckon buyers to wonder what’s inside. Todd instructs her listing photographer to get detail shots of the doorknob so house hunters searching online can see the thoughtfulness put into the welcoming feature of the home.

Swapping out light fixtures and other hardware, such as cabinet handles, is the first step Erik Wright, owner of New Horizon Home Buyers, a real estate investment company in Chattanooga, Tenn., takes before flipping a home.

The replacement fixtures and hardware you choose depends on trends in your market. Wright prefers simple, quality light fixtures throughout the home, with just one or two standouts, like a chandelier in an entryway or above the dining table. “Homes in my area usually do well with farmhouse chic or industrial-style fixtures,” Wright says. “Darker metal fixtures that use Edison-style bulbs are some of my favorites.”

If the floors need work, Wright selects an easy-to-install flooring option.

His favorite is luxury vinyl plank. “It looks like beautiful hardwood floors while also being much more durable and resistant to water,” Wright says. Once the floor is replaced, Wright makes sure to add “brand-new flooring” to the listing description.

Upgrades and No-Nos

Christina McCaffrey, CRS, broker-owner of Triangle Trusted Realty in Willow Springs, N.C., suggests a surprising property upgrade to her clients: She encourages adding a fence. “It’s a major expense, even if you’re doing the work yourself, but it will be a great asset when you go to sell,” she says. “Homes that have fenced yards tend to sell quickly, and the look is appealing because it makes the yard look bigger.”

In the kitchen, painting the cabinets can do wonders.

And if you have older appliances, it’s worth it to swap them out for stainless steel, McCaffrey says. White cabinetry is the preferred look in her area, so she aims for clean and sleek in her kitchens. Swapping out the faucets and adding in solid-surface countertops will also help if clients don’t have the latest look. “An older appliance will make a house look shabby,” McCaffrey says. “You only have one opportunity to ‘wow’ the buyer, so you should think about replacing the worn-out dishwasher with a new stainless one.”

In her market, she says, demand for these items is high, so most sellers recoup the cost of the replacements. However, some fixes shouldn’t be advertised, says Ricardo Mello, co-founder and managing partner at Manhattan Miami, a luxury residential real estate agency with offices in New York and Miami. The first thing buyers see when viewing a listing is the outside of the home, so curb appeal is a big deal. You don’t need to hire a landscaper to make your listing’s outdoor areas shine; small things, such as refreshing mulch, planting seasonal flowers, keeping on top of lawn maintenance, and adding a new doormat, can make an excellent first impression, Mello says.

“I find that making sure these are taken care of definitely results in a better overall impression in photos, which translates to more people opting to view the home in person,” Mello says.

“These small changes aren’t something I’d advertise in a listing. I want potential buyers to have the impression that this home has been well cared for versus quickly updated to be on the market.”

 

Easy Property Fixes to Prompt a Quick Sale

Support Small Businesses

 

What a year it has been and especially for small businesses in Grass Valley and Nevada City.

 

🎄As you start your holiday shopping think about supporting local businesses.  As a business owner in the area I know this year has hit small businesses and restaurants the hardest.
So take a trip to a local store and find Christmas presents or purchase gift cards to local restaurants as this too will help them during this “Purple tier shutdown”.

 

So shop local and support those small businesses.

 

Nevada County Market Observations, November 2020

Nevada County Housing Market Observations

November 2020

Lack of inventory in Nevada County continues.

Numbers are consistent with previous months, 520 houses for sale October 2019 vs 286 houses for sale October 2020, 45% lower year to year. Houses sold are up 25%, 157 Oct last year, 157 houses sold this October. 

Inventory reduction is from 4.2 months of inventory last October to 1.8 months of inventory this October.

A very strong SELLER’S MARKET continues, especially considering Nevada County’s attractiveness as one of the premier work-from-home communities, and media outlets have taken notice.

Average SOLD price per square foot is up 13.7% year to year ($234 vs $266. Average price sold is up 14.6%, from $435,000 to $570,000. Higher list prices are prevailing.

Nevada County continues to be strongly attractive to buyers looking for safer havens.

Especially coupled with the myriad lifestyle opportunities and community connections the foothills offer. Days on market has fallen 48%, from 75 days last year in October to 39 days in October this year. Buyers are energized to jump on good, well-priced houses especially given our current low inventory environment.

We continue to see a slight slowing of the market in our own area, likely due to national elections coupled with the coming holidays. That said, good houses are still commanding significant attention from buyers and garnering strong offers. While prices are climbing, appraisals tend to lag the market a bit, so some circumspection in pricing is smart.

Don’t hesitate to call us for evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have an interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.

johnson's Sierra Lifestyle Team logo

Johnson’s Sierra Lifestyle Team Adds Instagram expertise to support client listings!

Social Media has many benefits, especially for businesses.

It is a tool that many people tend to overlook. Having a good social media presence is especially important as we move further and further into a world dependent on technology. Perhaps the best way to get business is by word of mouth and advertising, social media combines those. When a business posts something on social media, not only is it being spread to more people than you can reach with typical advertising, but it also creates a personal connection between the business and the consumer making them more likely to pick that business over any other. Social media can help businesses grow immensely in size, and reach new younger customers that are essential to keeping a business alive. Overall, Social Media is only a positive for businesses looking to grow, reach more customers, and to create more personal connections with customers.

The Sierra Lifestyle Team utilizes our robust Social Media skills to benefit the sale of your home, reaching thousands of qualified buyers on Facebook.

We don’t rest on our laurels…and are pleased to announce a new INSTAGRAM manager, Karissa Johnson. Karissa will head up our new Instagram program to highlight your properties to thousands of interested buyers, giving you significant new exposure to interested real estate buyers.   

Brought to you by Johnson’s Sierra Lifestyle Team! 

johnson's Sierra Lifestyle Team logo

 

Market Observations

Market Observations

Market Observations, October 2020

October 2020

The lack of inventory in Nevada County continues.

The numbers are consistent with previous months. 548 houses for sale September 2019 vs 148 houses for sale September 2020. That’s a reduction from 4.4 months of inventory to 1.5 months of inventory. A very strong SELLER’S MARKET continues, especially considering Nevada County’s attractiveness as one of the premier work-from-home communities.

Average SOLD price per square foot is up 17% year to year ($224 vs $264). Average price sold is up 16%, from $434,000 to $569,000. Higher list prices are prevailing.

Nevada County continues to be strongly attractive to buyers looking for safer havens, especially coupled with the myriad lifestyle opportunities and community connections the foothills offer.

We are seeing a slight slowing of the market in our own area, likely due to national elections looming coupled with the coming holidays. That said, good houses are still commanding significant attention from buyers and garnering strong offers. While prices are climbing, appraisals tend to lag the market a bit, so some circumspection in pricing is smart.

Don’t hesitate to call us for evaluations of your home’s value or to tour homes on the market you have interest in. We are here for you, and Alisa (almost) always answers her cell phone, 530-559-4871.

A MARKET perspective from CA Association of Realtors – Covid 19 colors a strong housing recovery.

October 13, 2020

C.A.R. releases its 2021 California Housing Market Forecast

California housing market recovery hinges on widespread availability and usage of effective coronavirus vaccine in early 2021. 

 

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 13) –

Low mortgage interest rates and pent-up demand from a desire for homeownership will bolster California home sales in 2021, but economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic and continued supply shortage will limit sales growth, according to a housing and economic forecast released today by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.)

The baseline scenario of C.A.R.’s “2021 California Housing Market Forecast” sees a modest increase in existing single-family home sales of 3.3 percent next year to reach 392,510 units, up from the projected 2020 sales figure of 380,060. The 2020 figure is 4.5 percent lower compared with the pace of 397,960 homes sold in 2019.

The California median home price is forecast to edge up 1.3 percent to $648,760 in 2021, following a projected 8.1 percent increase to $640,330 in 2020 from $592,450 in 2019.

“An extremely favorable lending environment and a strong interest in homeownership will continue to motivate financially eligible buyers to enter the market,” said C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “While the economy is expected to improve and interest rates will stay near historical lows, housing supply constraints will continue to be an issue next year and may put a cap on sales growth in 2021.”

C.A.R.’s forecast projects growth in the U.S. gross domestic product of 4.2 percent in 2021, after a projected loss of 5.0 percent in 2020. With California’s 2021 nonfarm job growth rate at 0.5 percent, up from a projected loss of 12.7 percent in 2020, the state’s unemployment rate will dip to 9.0 percent in 2021 from 2020’s projected rate of 10.8 percent.

The average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates will dip to 3.1 percent in 2021, down negligibly from 3.2 percent in 2020 and down from 3.9 percent in 2019, remaining low by historical standards.

“While home prices rose sharply in 2020, driven by strong sales of higher-priced properties and a limited inventory of homes for sale, the pace of price growth will be more moderate in the coming year,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The uncertainty about the pandemic, sluggish economic growth, a rise in foreclosures, and the volatility of the stock market are all unknown factors that could keep prices in check and prevent the statewide median price from rising too fast in the upcoming year,” Appleton-Young continued.

2021 CALIFORNIA HOUSING FORECAST

 

201520162017201820192020p2021f
SFH Resales (000s)409.4417.7424.9402.6398.0380.1392.5
% Change7.0%2.0%1.7%-5.2%-1.2%-4.5%3.3%
Median Price ($000s)$476.3 $502.3 $537.9 $569.5 $592.4 $640.3 $648.8 
% Change6.6%5.4%7.1%5.9%4.0%8.1%1.3%
Housing Affordability Index31%31%29%28%31%32%31%
30-Yr FRM3.9%3.6%4.0%4.5%3.9%3.2%3.1%

p = projected
f = forecast

* = % of households who can afford median-priced home