Archive for June, 2009

Condominiums in Sebastopol

Homes in Sebastopol are frequently a bit higher priced than similar homes in the surrounding area.  The reason is due to the community uniqueness and delightful weather.  There are vintage homes and new homes and a quaint downtown that is great for walking.   There is a wonderful bookstore, Copperfields, that can keep me occupied for hours and plenty of places to get healthy meals.  One of my favorite spots is East West Cafe that serves Mediterranean influenced meals for vegetarians and meat lovers.  The Sunday farmer’s market is across the street from Whole Foods and always has delights both decorative and edible.  So what does a person do who wants to live in Sebastopol but can’t afford a Sebastopol house?  Right now there are some wonderful deals in the condominium market.  I visited two today and made a few videos to let you see what can be purchased for under $300,000 in Sebastopol.  The first video is of the parking lot and going up to the condos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRC__5LItlo  The second video is of a unit that is on the market for $299,000.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SJRwxVDyaQ  The third video is on a unit that is on the market for $255,000.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWNqPvMmIXc  These videos make more sense if you watch them in this order.  Enjoy the videos and let me know how you like them.

Condo Market in San Jose, CA

Tuesday I traveled to San Jose to look at property and visit my son.    I first moved to the San Jose area in 1979 when I rejoined IBM after a few years hiatus to raise young children and try other endeavours.   We moved into the Santa Teresa area where I lived until moving to Palo Alto in 1985.  When my son and his wife decided to purchase a home within a couple of miles of our old family home on Mindy Way, I brought the real estate part of my life back to the old neighborhood.  In 2009, I joined the Santa Clara County Realtor Association.  I am pleased to say that I am now an active member and visit the area regularly.  The low end market is very active in Santa Clara County with prices beginning to creep up and multiple offers on anything well priced.  Most properties are bank owned or short sales but there are still homes with equity.   While a great many are in distressed condition, some are move in ready as shown in the pictures below.  The pictures show ample storage space, a clean bathroom and good condition flooring.  This condo is in the north eastern section of San Jose (95132) and is listed at $199,900.  It has been on the market 5 days and offers were requested to be in by noon on the 4th day.  This property was listing for a year at $365,000 before the bank took it over.  This pricing was based upon what the seller owed on the property and not what the market conditions were requiring.  This home could have been sold as a “short sale” for something between the current asking price and the previous asking price.  This potentially saves on personal and family stress and the impact on credit scores.  If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, a short sale could be a better solution.  Call Tom Shula if you have questions about selling in a distressed property.  He is a Certified Distressed Property Expert and would be happy to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.   

The Forestville Youth Park Parade

Forestville is small town with big community.  

 The Forestville Youth Park is the only youth park west of the Mississippi that is totally supported by private donations and local fundraising.  Today was the Youth Park Parade and the beginning of the Carnival and Barbecue.  Tom and I are in charge of the traffic control so we do not get to really see the parade.  Tom was at the beginning of the parade giving the cues to bands, floats and motorcades to move onto the Parade route.  Hwy 116 was closed with the help of the CHP and fun was had by all.  Well, all except the guy who wanted to get to the gas station and couldn’t.  Things like the Youth Park and the Parade are why we love to live here.  The parade is the first Saturday of June every year.

The Model T Club is always a favorite of the crowd

The Model T Club is always a favorite of the crowd

Crowds in Forestville?  You betcha!

Crowds in Forestville? You betcha!

RERS & Parade 059

A good time was had by all at the Youth Park Parade

Thank you, Tracy Walls, for taking the photographs for me.

Keeping Fit with P90X

Yesterday we completed our third full round of P90X.   This is a real accomplishment that I am very proud of.  In May of 2008, Tom decided that we needed to get into shape.  He ordered a workout program, P90X, from an infomercial that he had seen on The Golf Channel.  The next thing I knew, I was getting up each day to a routine that included an hour to an hour and a half of stretching, jumping and push ups.  I had never done a real push up – ever!   Oh, and did I mention pull ups?  One round of P90X is 13 weeks of working out 6 days a week.  I really look forward to those rest days which were sorely needed (sorry about the poor pun!)  In addition to dropping two pant sizes, I can now turn my compost pile in a hour and have improved my health substantially.  Tom has lost almost 20 lbs and is looking great.  Life just keeps getting better.  We did one set of Slim in Six which is another workout program by Beachbody.  Our next program is Turbo Jam.  Thank you, Tony Horton (trainer extraordinaire and P90X founder) and Fran Patoskie (my Beachbody coach who is seen  in the May 18 post on wine tasting in Dry Creek Valley) for making such a huge improvement in my life.  The Beachbody leadership is dedicated to stamping out obesity and Type-2 diabetes.  Each program comes with a great meal plan that supports healthy bodies.  There is support through a coach system and on great message boards.  Anyone can benefit from these programs as I was overweight and totally out of shape.  If you want to get into the best shape of your life, go to my Beachbody website at www.sonoma-rose.com.   We are participating in a free exercise group here in Sebastopol.  Send me a message if you want to work out on a Tuesday evening with a fun group of people.P90X

Divorcing Homeowners Beware – What You Don’t Know During Your Divorce Will Hurt You More, Long After.

The family home is usually the most valuable asset in divorce. However, when dividing your marital property, appraisal minus mortgage does NOT equal equity. This incomplete equation leaves your house over-valued and that works against you.  In addition to the inaccurate and unfair division of your property, you risk damaged credit, default, foreclosure or even bankruptcy without more real estate due diligence much earlier in your divorce process. 

Barbara Shula, real estate sales associate with Prudential California Realty have completed course work to earn the RCS-DTM designation as Real Estate Collaborative Specialists – Divorce™.   

An RCS-D™ REALTOR® ,Barbara are professionally trained to neutralize divorce real estate as a business transaction in the best interest of the house – and each divorcing spouse.  Leading your divorce real estate team, Barbara also serves as project manager working with you and your lawyers and can refer real estate and financial professionals specializing in divorce to assist with essential evidence of your house value.  Such additional evidence is needed during your divorce process, especially before any property negotiation or mediation. 

 This course is approved for continuing education credit by the California Department of Real Estate.  This course was written and taught by Kelly Lise Murray, J.D. & Wendy Waselle.  Professor Murray earned her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School & currently teaches Legal Writing & Research at Vanderbilt Law School.  Co-Instructor Wendy Waselle has a Masters Degree in Education & created the Fix’n 2 Stay or SellTM   home staging program.  Professor Murray & Ms. Waselle co-created Divorce This House™ TV on Nashville’s ABC station, Channel 2, providing FREE expert advice to divorcing homeowners.

 You may contact Barbara @ bshula@comcast.net or 707 824-4574 to discuss how you can protect one of your most valuable financial assets during the stressful time of divorce. Whether your divorce is completed, just beginning or somewhere in between, Tom and Barbara can help you determine your best options now for a stronger financial future.


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