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3rd Issue - Almost Summer 2017

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Welcome Back!

Welcome back to Katie's Kronicle! I apologize for the delay in getting this latest version to you... I’ve been busy selling real estate! Thanks to some great clients I’ve closed $24 million in sales since last summer.

So, how is the market? We are heading into the tail end of the spring market. As was the case last year, the market has been robust for sellers. Properties in tip-top condition that are well-priced are receiving multiple offers, often well over the asking price. This is particularly true for homes in the $1-2 million range.

Buyers have had a hard time competing for properties. Cash is not necessarily king any longer. Banks have been responsive with their lending, and they can close quickly. I'm seeing more offers with loans. However, offers often include favorable terms to sellers such as free rent-backs or quick closes.

Whereas Larkspur was the Marin "darling" town last year, Fairfax and San Anselmo are the "it" towns for 2017. The walkability factor is the feature that most young families want - leave the car at home! Strollers and bikes are the way to go!

 


So, read on and enjoy. As always, my Kronicle includes a mix of home-related and "non-real estate" tips and tidbits. I hope you enjoy them. I always "road-test" all of my tips. Please don't hesitate to contact me with comments and questions. HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!

~ Katie 
For the Home and Garden

White is Back!

Benjamin Moore's Simply White OC-177 is back in the news. Selected as the favorite white in 2016, I'm seeing stagers use it in many homes. It has a lovely cast and helps make furnishings "pop". I also like BM's White Dove and Sherwin Williams' Alabaster. If you are still looking for "greige - gray/beige", check out BM's Soft Chamois. We used it on a large home in Kentfield and it was warm yet sophisticated. Pair it with White Dove ceilings and White Dove trim. Always test paint colors beforehand, in a variety of lighting situations.

The Latest in Lighting
Favorite Store for Lighting Supplies (and other lighting tips)

 
Got Lightbulbs? I've always found the right bulb by shopping at North Bay Lighting in San Rafael. The guys who work there really know their stuff. You must know by now that we are migrating to LED bulbs, and are on the way to saying farewell to incandescent bulbs. LEDS now come in a variety of sizes, styles and hues... from cool blues to inviting warm whites. Start retrofitting your ceiling cans to accommodate LEDs. Costco and Home Depot carry inexpensive retro-LED fixtures that convert your incandescent ceiling fixtures to LED. The bulb and trim are all one piece. Check out the Ecosmart brand of retrofit LED ceiling fixtures at Home Depot (see photo). Your lighting will be more contemporary and you will save money.

BBQ Season is Here!

Time to give your grill a thorough spring cleaning? I've used Jessie at J&D Maintenance for a long time. He does a great job at a fair price. He is an authorized Lynx service provider too. He can be reached at sales@jdbayarea.com or (415) 310-2703. 

 



 

Garden Tips

I recently took a fascinating gardening course at the Marin Art and Garden Center from the American Garden School. Great talk about drip irrigation and the use of tape drip lines instead of the larger tubes and spaghetti lines. Use cardboard to mulch and control weeds in your garden. When ready to plant a section of your garden, clear the weeds, plant your plants and lay down sheets of cardboard around the plants and on top of the soil. (Used cardboard boxes are available at the Recycling Center in San Rafael, or you can buy rolls of recycled cardboard for sheet mulching from the Urban Farmer store in Mill Valley and the Waste Management Redwood Landfill in Novato). Lay your drip lines on top of the cardboard. Add 4-6" of compost on top. Keep wet for the first week. Your worms will be so happy and your garden will flourish!

Another tip: Compost is a much better mulching material than bark products. Better for the soil and it retains more water. In addition, bark is considered a fire hazard in areas of high fire danger.

Talkin' Trash

When our two children went to college we noticed that our 64 gallon black garbage can was typically only half full. With recycling and less waste it wasn't economical to continue with the larger can; we now use the 32 gallon size. There is also a 20 gallon size for even more savings. Contact Marin Sanitary Service or your local provider for more information and pricing.
 
Tips for Travelers

O Canada!
2017 is the 150th birthday of Canada. If your travel plans call for a trip to the national parks of Canada, they are all FREE to visit this year! Yes, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and all of the other gorgeous parks as well as all national marine conservation areas and national historic sites. You can download a free 2017 Parks Canada Discover Pass here. Only one pass is needed per family.

And as you may know, Canadians have some pretty interesting colloquialisms! For example, did you know that a "hoser" is an unsophisticated person? Don't be caught off guard by some of these quirky and offbeat expressions by downloading "
Canadianisms".

Rental Car Rates

I find Costco.com has great rates on some rental cars. They offer Costco members a free upgrade, so look for the cars with this option. Also, if you are over 50, AARP members have access to some favorable deals on auto rentals.

Travel Times

I have found it to be true that booking airline tickets on Tuesday evening does yield the best fares. Also, traveling on either a Tuesday or Wednesday and returning on Saturday lowers your airfare and car rental fee.
Other Cool Stuff

Celebrate the Summer of Love!

The DeYoung Museum's Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll celebrates the 50th anniversary of San Francisco's legendary summer of 1967 with an iconic mix of art, photography, interactive music and light shows, costumes, films and memorabilia. This promises to be an experience not to be missed! Tickets can be purchased from the website; admission is free for museum members.


Bee Natural

My good friends Deb and Bill Tomaszewski are passionate about bees.  They started the Planet Bee Foundation to educate the public about the importance of bees in our society. Their bee hives are in many corporate locations.  They have branched out and now have a natural cosmetic line called Marin Bee Pure Honey Skincare. Their products are organic, free of harmful chemicals and are not tested on animals. I just bought the Detox Masque and love it!  Check out their many beautiful products on their website. I’m a fan!
 


Automobile Tires

As a realtor, I put many miles on my car, and last year I needed to replace all four tires. My mechanic recommended H&J Tires on Bellam Blvd. in San Rafael. This family owned business had very competitive prices (same as Cain's and better than Costco) for Michelin tires. I shopped around and also found them to be less crowded and very service-oriented. Now all of our cars have new tires from H&J.


 


Free Electronics Recycling

Renew Computer will accept your unwanted computers, laptops, monitors, televisions, toner and ink cartridges, telephones, cables and accessories. Whenever possible, Renew reuses electronic components to create refurbished products. No items will end up in landfills. Renew also operates a discount parts warehouse, retail store and service department. Located next to Sherwin Williams Paint Store at 446 DuBois Street in San Rafael (near Jackson's Hardware). CALL before you arrive: (415) 457-8801.
 
 
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