Why it pays to have a REALTOR® for new construction homes.

I've had clients complain to me that they were not aware that they had rights to inspect their new construction home.  Thinking the home is new and perfect, why inspect it?  You have a right to verify the condition.  

How about property tax assessments?  Were you aware of the tax assessments/bonds and other local fees that may affect your expenses?  Are you informed of restrictions?  The list goes on and on.  

Your agent will negotiate on your behalf and not for the developer. Think about it. Are you paying the agent? Did you know that the seller typically pays the agent fees? Stay informed. Ask a REALTOR®.

For more real estate tips and advice, you can always find me in the Daily Republic on Wednesdays!

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Helpful Home Tips

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2017 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Market Update

Solano County Trends - August & September 2017

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California Trends - August & September 2017

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One Last Thing...

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day 7 of 30

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you've probably caught on that I've taken on a somewhat...interesting challenge. Feeling older, hearing my knees cracking more often than usual, arthritis in my hip starting to affect my walking made me decide it's time for a lifestyle change.  Dammit! I looked at myself in the mirror and said I'm not a spring chicken, no matter what my mind tells me. I heard about the 6-week challenge to lose 20 pounds following a strict regiment and seeing friend results helped me to commit to this new journey.  And then it began! 

What are you doing to to start fresh (again) this Fall?

An SF Native's Food Guide to San Francisco

Whether you've known me for years or just met me yesterday, it doesn't take long to figure out how much I love good food and discovering great places to eat. So when I found out that Jessica, my virtual assistant, would be visiting my old stomping grounds (San Francisco!) for a few days, I was more than happy to let her in on some of my favorite places to eat. If you've ever wondered what a SF native would recommend, here are some great places to start. As someone who now calls Fairfield home, one of the best things about living here is that places like San Francisco or Napa are within an hour's drive away!

BREAKFAST

Dim Sum in Chinatown
Check out any of the dim sum places on Jackson Street between Grant and Stockton. Just pick up and go. Don't miss pork shumai and shrimp hargao. They typically stop cooking in the late afternoon, so it's best to get in the morning. 
*Note from Jessica: Leave room for the bakeries on Jackson Street!

Liguria Bakera in Little Italy
Try the best focaccia bread in SF. Located across the street from St. Peter's and Paul's Church at Washington Park near Chinatown. Pizza bread is fabulous! Stop by in the morning if you want to eat them fresh out of the oven. Closes at 1pm.

Additional options: Kitchen Story

LUNCH/DINNER

Rhea's
Great sandwiches on 19th and Valencia called Rhea's. Yummy aoili sauce!!

La Taqueria
Burritos, tacos at the Taqueria on 25th corner of Mission. John and I used to pick burritos up from here and drive to Crissy Field for a picnic lunch. Cash only.

Cafe Bistro
Romantic cafe at SF Shopping Center between 4th and 5th street at Market upstairs last floor of Nordstrom Cafe. Gotta have window views of cable car and try bread pudding. Drinks are great too!!

Katana-Ya on Geary
Great for Japanese fried chicken (kaarage) and ramen.

What are your favorite places to visit when you're in the city? So many great options!


Helpful Home Tips

Homeowners

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5 PLANTS YOU (ALMOST) NEVER HAVE TO WATER

Gorgeous, cheap, and practically care-free -- what's not to love?!

Sellers

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HOW MUCH IS MY CONDO WORTH?

Here are the places you can go to help you hone in on how much your home is worth.

Buyers

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HOW TO WIN A BIDDING WAR WITHOUT OVERSPENDING

Winning a bidding war requires tactful strategy. What's your next move?


Market Update

Solano County Trends - May & June 2017

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California Trends - May 2017

As of July 18, 2017, the infographic for June's statistics has not yet been released by C.A.R. If you'd like to check it out as soon as it's made available, click here to follow me on Facebook, and I'll post it there!

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One Last Thing...

A HANDY MAP FOR YOUR NEXT SF ADVENTURE

Here's a map to help guide your next trip to San Francisco. Just click on the map markers to see details. Also included are places not mentioned above, like the Warming Hut near Crissy Field and Cliff House. Happy adventures!

Traditions and Filipino comfort foods

For Mother's Day this year, I made the same request that I do every year -- that my kids come with me to church. On Sunday, they went above and beyond and even made me Filipino breakfast -- longsilog, which is a plate of LONGganisa (Filipino sausage), SInangag (garlic fried rice) and itLOG (fried egg). And of course, tropical mimosas. SO GOOD. My children know me well :)

I spent the rest of the day relaxing at the house with John and watched a Netflix series that both my daughters have been recommending, 13 Reasons Why. We were so absorbed by the show that we almost forgot to eat dinner! Thankfully, I remembered that I'd made a tray of biko (Filipino rice cake) earlier that day, topped it off with a scoop of ube ice cream and John's new favorite dessert was born. I'm telling you, the way to my heart has always been great food -- and I'm pretty sure that's true for the rest of my family.

How about you? What are you favorite ways to celebrate and make someone feel special?


Helpful Home Tips

Homeowners

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CREATIVE WAYS TO RETHINK YOUR LIVING ROOM

Need a change? Consider one of these alternative (and exciting!) new ways to arrange your living room furniture.

Sellers

THE TOP 20 HOME DESIGN TRENDS OF 2017

What sellers and stagers should know about the trends ahead

Buyers

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BRACE FOR A CRAZY SPRING HOME-BUYING SEASON: 6 PREDICTIONS FROM THE EXPERTS

“This is a sellers’ market tried and true, yet sellers have been slow to come on board."


Market Update

Solano County Trends - April 2017

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California Trends - April 2017

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One Last Thing...

FROM MICHELLE'S KITCHEN: BIKO (FILIPINO RICE CAKE)

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups sweet rice
  • 1 can langka (jackfruit), undrained
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can coconut milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the rice (I use a rice cooker) using a mixture of water and all the liquid from the can of langka.* Place the langka on top of the rice as it cooks.
  3. As the rice cooks, heat the can of coconut milk over low heat and whisk in the brown sugar until it's fully dissolved and the mixture is nice and goopy.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a 9x13 rectangular casserole dish. (Another option is to bake it in an extra-large muffin pan like this for individual portions.) Flatten the rice until it's level and pour the coconut milk/brown sugar mixture over the top.
  5. Bake in the oven until you see it bubble.

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*To figure out how much water to add to the rice, I use the standard Filipino finger-measurement. If you have no idea what this means, ask me the next time you see me :)

Spring break inspiration and remembering my 'why.'

With Spring Break coming up for 2 out of the 3 local school districts, I thought I'd try something a little different for this month's newsletter and showcase some local attractions for our Fairfield area dwellers. So without further ado, here's some last-minute inspiration for Spring break activities that are within a reasonable driving distance from Fairfield: 

  1. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: Celebrate the magic of Easter weekend on April 15 and 16. Already have plans that weekend? The park will be open daily with special hours from March 31 thru April 23 for a fun and exciting Spring Break!
  2. Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival: One of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions and biggest on the West coast. This year’s Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9 and April 15-16, 2017.
  3. Hamilton: The Musical: Hamilton has finally made it to the bay area, but one ticket can cost an arm and a leg. Click here to find out how you can enter the Hamilton lottery, which offers 44 tickets a performance for just $10 each.
  4. Hop on Board the Sacramento River Train:  An unforgettable springtime experience that’s sure to please young and old, alike! Enjoy an Easter egg hunt, a ride on the rails, kid-friendly activities and a visit from that special, fluffy hare himself – the Easter Bunny! This 2.5-hour experience departs from our West Sacramento location the first three weekends in April! Click here for details.
  5. Take a balloon ride or the wine train in Napa Valley!
  6. Go on a foodie adventure in San Francisco!

Helpful Home Tips

Homeowners

HOW TO DIVIDE PLANTS

Make the most of your perennials by dividing and transplanting favorites that have outgrown their homes.

Sellers

KEEP YOUR HOME SALE FROM FALLING APART 

After finding a buyer, all you have to do to make it to closing is to avoid these five traps.

Buyers

7 STEPS TO TAKE BEFORE YOU BUY A HOME

By doing your homework before you buy, you’ll feel more content about your new home.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like these. 

© 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Market Update

Since this month's newsletter is being published before CAR's March statistics are out, I've provided February's stats below and will post the March stats to my Facebook page when all the numbers are out. You can find me on Facebook here.

Solano County Trends - February 2017

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California Trends - February 2017

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One Last Thing

If you don't already follow me on Instagram, I thought I'd share with you my #fridayintroductions post as a way to introduce (or re-introduce!) myself to those of you who are new subscribers to my newsletter. Thanks so much for considering me worthy enough for your inbox :)

Happy Friday! For those of you who are new here: Hello and welcome! My name is Michelle Perez and I'm a real estate agent here in sunny Fairfield, a northern California suburb about an hour east of San Francisco. THANK YOU for being a follower, client, supporter, friend or all of the above :) Since it's Friday, I thought I'd hop aboard the #fridayintroductions train and take a moment to introduce myself.
When I decided to venture into the world of real estate, it was 2001 and my position as a recruiter had just become one of the casualties of the dotcom bubble. At the time, my husband John and I had 3 kids ages 9, 12, and 14, and we were in the process of re-financing our home in Fairfield. It was definitely a time when a stable job with benefits and a steady income would have made more sense, but having already lived that daily grind of commuting to San Francisco at the crack of dawn only to get back home after my kids were asleep -- I was over it and didn't want to go back.
My decision to become a real estate agent wasn't one that was made lightly. It's risky being self-employed, knowing that at the end of the day, the buck stops with you. But looking back at that season, I have the clearest memory of my kids and how in just a few short years, they would all be grown and have lives of their own. And I didn't want to waste what time I did have with them on the road and working ungodly hours. I wanted to be the mom that could walk her kids to school and be there when her kids got home.
And I so I took the leap into being my own boss and setting my own hours. And on top of that, I'm able to help others chase their dreams. 
So what about you? What's your why? Why do you do what you do?

Reset, refresh, renew.

With Spring just a few days away (March 20th!), any real estate agent will tell you that now is the best time to list your home (according to Zillow, late Spring is the optimal time to list). On a practical level, this makes perfect sense -- nicer weather tends to highlight the better qualities of a property, and people are more likely to be out and about when it's sunny outside, birds are chirping, and flowers are blooming.

I would also like to think that there's a deeper, more intangible reason at work -- and that Spring is also about rebirth and renewal. It's the time when the muted grays and browns of winter are dotted with vibrant bursts of green and pink. It's the season when the things that seemed lifeless and dormant are suddenly awake and budding with new life. For many, it's a time to come out of hibernation, out of our cocoons to step into a season with a new sense of purpose and resolve. And often, those ready for new beginnings and fresh starts are the ones who shop for homes.

That's my theory, anyway :)

How about you? What are you doing to reset, refresh, and renew this Spring? I've started this new season by re-committing to my business' social media campaign (probably not a newsflash: learning new skills is hard!). Here's hoping we all embrace this new season with a new sense of purpose.

Helpful Home Tips: Tax Edition

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HOW LONG TO KEEP YOUR TAX RECORDS

Here’s a checklist to help you decide what tax and home records to keep

DON'T PANIC! YOU CAN DO YOUR TAXES ERROR FREE. hERE'S HOW

Experts list the tax deduction mistakes that homeowners often make.

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ARE YOU GETTING THE HOME TAX DEDUCTIONS YOU'RE ENTITLED TO?

Here are the tax tips you need to get a jump on your returns.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like these. 

© 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Market Update

Solano County Trends - December 2016 & January 2017

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California Trends - December 2016 & January 2017

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One Last Thing

Not all home improvement projects are created equal. If you're looking to put your home on the market this Spring, here are some ways to get the most bang for your buck when investing in your home.

Happy Holidays from the Perez Family!

For the first time in what feels like forever, I decided to send out a Christmas card to my closest family and friends. I didn't realize how long it had been since we'd sent out a family update until I saw that the last "official" family portrait I had was from 5 years ago (and by portrait, I mean an impromptu picture in the kitchen where we all happened to be dressed in red :). Where does the time go?   

It really is hard to believe how much our lives have changed just in the past few years, especially now that we have a granddaughter. This year, John installed Santa and all his reindeer on our roof just for her to see. It's amazing what we're willing to do just to see her face light up. Gotta love being a grandparent! We truly feel so blessed to be able to play such a big part of her life. 

As 2016 draws to a close, a big THANK YOU to all of you for being part of our lives. We're so excited to find out what this next year holds for all of us. May you be surrounded by those you love in this holiday season. Happy holidays!

 

Helpful Home Tips

Homeowners

BUDGET KITCHEN REMODELING: 5 MONEY-SAVING STEPS

Can’t afford an entire kitchen remodel in one fell swoop? You can complete the work in 5 budget-saving stages (and still cook dinner during the down time).

Sellers

5 TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR HOME FOR SALE

Working to get your home ship-shape for showings will increase its value and shorten your sales time. 

Buyers

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NEGOTIATE YOUR BEST HOUSE BUY

Keep your emotions in check and your eyes on the goal, and you’ll pay less when purchasing a home. 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like these. 

© 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Market Update

Solano County Trends - November 2016

California Trends - November 2016


One Last Thing...

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From our family to yours, blessings to you as we celebrate with loved ones during this holiday season and ring in 2017.  

- John & Michelle Perez

What matters most.

As we enter into this holiday season -- for many, a season of celebration and quality time with loved ones -- I am reminded of how easy it is for me to get so caught up in the busy-ness of the season that I lose sight of what matters to me the most. Now that John and I are settling into our empty-nesting phase (it's hard!), our faith in God and our time with our children and their families has been at the top of our "what matters" list. And so with Thanksgiving in just a few days, which begins a whirlwind of parties and crafts and activities, my hope is that we can all take a collective deep breath to name that thing that matters to us the most and do exactly what this holiday was meant for -- give thanks.

Thanks for taking the time to read this month -- I am so grateful to have each of you on this journey with me. For those of you who are in the throes of throwing together your Thanksgiving celebration, here are some articles that might help. Happy Thanksgiving!

Helpful Home Tips for Thanksgiving

5 HOLIDAY HOSTING DISASTERS & HOW TO AVOID THEM

Take a look at the most common things that can go wrong when you have guests and learn how to prevent them. 

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HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR REFRIGERATOR

Leftovers gobbling up space in your refrigerator? Here are some tips for keeping things organized, efficient, and tasty. 

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how to clean up after thanksgiving in half the time

The Pilgrims were on to something when they planned a Thanksgiving potluck; here are other good ideas that’ll simplify your T-Day kitchen cleanup. 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like these. 

© 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Market Update

Solano County Trends - October 2016

California Trends - October 2016


One Last Thing...

from michelle's kitchen: recipes from thanksgivings past

Looking for a non-traditional yet absolutely delicious dish to serve for the holidays? I used both these recipes last year, and they were a HIT: Garlic Noodles & Roasted Crab

Making space to celebrate

I don't know about any of you, but the dining room at my house tends to double as a home office. Papers pile up on the dining table, mail gets set down as I rush out the door, and it functions as the second home for my laptop and other electronics. With the air getting crisper and the official start of the holiday season (Halloween!) just around the corner, I decided it was time to take back the dining room. And so I did. (And by "I," I mean, I asked John for help, because he's pretty much the best partner anyone could ask for :)

And wouldn't you know, once the table was clear of all that clutter, I ended up making space for so much more. The empty table prompted me to put together my Fall centerpieces. Then, with the table looking so festive, I decided to invite all my kids and their families over to celebrate the harvest season. The tablecloths came out, along with the rest of my Fall decor, and we celebrated the harvest with a home-cooked family meal in our newly-claimed dining room. All of this because of a decision to make space.

As the holiday season approaches, what are you doing to make space in your home? You never know what possibilities lie ahead -- even something as simple as a clear table can be the jumpstart you need to move forward and take things to the next level.

Helpful Home Tips

Homeowners

The 7 Most-Needed Repair Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Relax. Here’s how to make short work of every common repair annoyance. 

Sellers

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11 Ways to Create a Welcoming Front Entrance for Under $100

Wouldn’t it be nice to approach your home’s entrance with a grin instead of a grimace? Take our tips for beating a clear, safe, and stylish path to your front door. 

Buyers

Keep Your Home Purchase on Track

You’ve found your dream home. Make sure missteps don’t prevent a successful closing. 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like these. 

© 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Market Update

Solano County Trends - September 2016

California Trends - September 2016

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One Last Thing...

From Michelle's Kitchen: Lemon-Rosemary Chicken

Dinner for 6:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package rosemary, chopped
  • 12 chicken thighs, rolled in seasoned flour
  • 2-3 lbs. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • capers
  • 3-4 lemons, squeezed
  • 1/2 stick butter

Directions:

In frying pan, brown chicken. Set aside. Drain oil and broth. Add butter. Saute garlic and onions, then add mushrooms until clear. Add wine and boil down, then add chicken broth, lemon juice, capers and simmer (medium heat) for 30 mins.

Can serve over rice, with roasted potatoes or oven-mashed potatoes.

All the leaves are brown...

Is anyone else as excited about Fall as I am? I used to think I was more of a Spring person, but anyone who's seen my house knows that I love reds, oranges and browns -- the color of leaves turning in the Fall. I can't wait until the weather gets cold enough for me to start taking out all my cozy blankets and throws, but in the meantime, I already have some of my favorite comfort foods cued up and ready to go -- mashed potatoes and gravy, bean soup, chicken noodle soup...any soup or stew, really. I LOVE this season.

Thanks so much to those of you who've signed on for my monthly newsletter. This month, I've curated some helpful articles for those of you in any phase of the homeownership process. I've also included some market statistics for the Solano County area, as well as for the state of California.

If you're interested in hearing more about a particular city or region, please feel free to call or text me at 707.208.2557 or shoot me an email at michelleperezteam@gmail.com. I am here to help, no matter how long (or recently!) I've worked with you :) 

Helpful Home Tips

Homeowners

Fall Maintenance Checklist

You'll be ready for winter's worst and head off pricey repairs with these simple preventative tasks.

Sellers

Open House Timeline: Countdown to a Successful Sale

An inviting open house can put your home on buyers' short lists. 

Buyers

7 Tips for Improving Your Credit

Here's how to clean up your credit so you get the least-expensive home loan possible.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like these. 

© 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®


Market Update

Solano County Trends - August 2016

California Trends - August 2016


One Last Thing...

(because these videos are both informative and hilarious :)

The Home-Buying Process. In Plain English. With Elizabeth Banks. #learnwithliz