Pursuing Homes Northern California Blog

March 24, 2020

All About Lincoln: A Homebuyer's Guide

Lincoln is a charming small town with a bustling community. If you’re searching for a home in the Sacramento area, this may be the quiet town with plenty of activity that you’ve been looking for. Below is a complete guide to Lincoln so you can explore all that it has to offer. 

Lincoln Lifestyle

Located in Placer County, Lincoln is a city in the Sacramento region with a rural feel and plenty of parks. Thanks to these amicable features, you will find that many families and retirees reside in this area. There has been a significant amount of development in this city since 2002, including new office buildings, shopping centers, housing developments, and custom home properties.

You’ll find a home that maintains its small-town character in Lincoln. However, they also have the energy of a developing town as well! They have an Art & Culture Foundation, an active Volunteer Center, a new library, a private country club, championship golf courses, and a regional airport. Along with many cities in the area, Lincoln has incredible access to a variety of terrains. From the city to the beach, you can enjoy all that California has to offer in the Lincoln area. 

Weather in Lincoln

Lincoln is full of sunny days and mild winters. July and August are the warmest months, with average temperatures averaging around 95 degrees. Spring and Fall daytime averages are in the 80s, perfect for most outdoor activities. The winter months are the coolest, with an average temperature of 47 degrees.

Communities in Lincoln

  • Twelve Bridges: Twelve Bridges is a master-planned community centered around the elegant Catta Verdera Country Club and golf course. Many of the homes in Twelve Bridges have no HOA fees and building is limited to keep 50% open natural space! If you want to feel like you're away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, we recommend touring the lovely homes in Twelve Bridges.

  • Verdera at 12 Bridges: Do you dream of a home in the country, far from the noise and pollution of the city, surrounded by green spaces and mountain vistas but close enough for weekend getaways or a night of fun? Let us introduce you to the exclusive community of Verdera at Twelve Bridges in Lincoln. These large estate homes and building sites blend in with the natural beauty of the land and feature miles of nature trails winding throughout the communities.

  • Catta Verdera Community: Catta Verdera real estate is surrounded by the beautiful Sierra foothills, only eight miles off Interstate 80, about 40 minutes away from Sacramento, and halfway between San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. The elegant, mostly Mediterranean style homes in the gated community of Catta Verdera sit on lots of ⅓ to more than an acre with 24-hour security.

  • Cabrillo at Verdera: Home construction in this community is by Standard Pacific Homes featuring 1-2 story luxury homes in Spanish Colonial, Monterey, French Country, and Italian Villa Styles. 2,928 to 4,227 sq ft floor plans offer 3-7 bedrooms, gourmet kitchens, and master baths with spa-like treatments.  They also offer incredible outdoor entertainment/kitchen spaces with fireplaces, have options for wine cellars, home offices, pet suites, and more. Cabrillo is within walking distance of the spectacular exclusive Catta Verdera Country Club and Golf Course which is the center of social activity in Verdera communities.

  • Monte Azul at Verdera: The large upscale homes in Monte Azul is on one-acre lots and come in a variety of styles. They are 3-6 bedroom floor plans and feature multi-car garages, incredible pools, outdoor living spaces with stunning views, gourmet kitchens, formal dining rooms, wet bars, wine rooms, salons, home theaters, libraries, and verandas.

  • Lincoln Crossing: Lavish homes at Lincoln Crossing range in size from 3 to 6 bedrooms and were started in the mid-2000s. This community is gated, family-friendly, and master-planned. Residents share the Lincoln Crossing Clubhouse, which features a banquet room, game room, 2 large pools, and a full gym. The clubhouse is used for community activities like dances and yard sales.

    Some of the Lincoln Crossing subdivisions include:

    • Sorrento: a large gated community within the community, offering a private park and playground.
    • Vivaldi at Sorrento: a neighborhood of new homes from Meritage Homes, 3-4 bedrooms are priced from $390,000 to $437,000
    • Bellini at Sorrento: new 3-4 bedroom homes from Meritage in eight-floor plans. Priced from the mid $300k's to around $500k
    • Escalla at Sorrento: a neighborhood of new 1 and 2 story homes from Pulte with 3-4 bedrooms in four-floor plans, starting at $374,990
    • Lincoln Crossing Village: contemporary 4-5 bedroom homes built in the early 2000s with large landscaped yards. Priced from $300,000 to $500,000
    • Courtyards at Lincoln Crossing: mostly two-story, 3 bedroom homes with landscaped streets and yards. The average price of a home here is $263,000
    • Equinox and Meridian at Lincoln Crossing: two neighborhoods of 255 homes that are close to the park, pools, and clubhouse

  • Sun City Lincoln Hills 55+: Del Webb's Sun City in Lincoln was built in late 1999 and 2000, and is the largest Adult 55+ community in the state of California! Sun City has the most amazing amenities, activities, and upgrades for convenience and pleasure. Orchard Creek Lodge is the center of recreation for Sun City residents with a fitness center, indoor walking facility, 2 outdoor pools, an indoor pool, a ballroom, and a theater with a stage. The slightly smaller Kilaga Springs lodge has a spa, indoor pool, aerobics room, and a second exercise room. Eleven parks with 19 walking trails wander all through the community. Two 18-hole Championship Golf courses are located in Sun City. Activity Directors are always on hand to arrange for day trips, tours, and shopping or sight-seeing adventures. There are also clubs for every interest under the sun, from card games to gardening to sports. Lastly, 2 on-site restaurants complete the package, with Meridians Restaurant for fine dining, and Kilaga Springs Cafe for casual snacks and sandwiches.

School District in Lincoln 

Lincoln has plenty of highly rated schools to choose from, including Twelve Bridges Elementary School, Twelve Bridges Middle School, Lincoln Crossing Elementary School, Creekside Oaks Elementary School, and Lincoln High School. In addition to these schools, all of the schools in Lincoln are rated as average or higher.

Top Restaurants in Lincoln

  • Awful Annie’s: This restaurant is a family favorite if you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast or lunch. Their menu consists of omelets, scrambles, sweet breakfast options, sandwiches, burgers, and so much more!

  • Rum Thai Bistro: An authentic, family-owned Thai restaurant is hard to come by in this area, so Rum Thai Bistro is a real treat! They are open Monday-Saturday from 11 am - 9 pm.

  • HomeSpun Yogurt: This sweet small-town yogurt shop is the perfect treat for a family night out. Customers rave about their cleanliness, reasonable pricing, and endless topping options to choose from.

  • Double Barrel Smokehouse: In the mood for Texas barbeque? Lucky for you, the city of Lincoln can oblige. Double Barrel Smokehouse has delicious chicken, ribs, pork, make-to-order mac and cheese, and fried okra, among many other mouthwatering choices.

  • Old Town Pizza: Old Town Pizza is the best of the best! A popular pizza joint that originally opened in Auburn in 1999, they expanded to open their second location in Lincoln in 2004.

  • Express Gyro: This is a great restaurant if you’re in the mood for a quick bite to eat. They serve traditional Greek fare and are open 7 days a week!

  • Los Gallos Taqueria: Satisfy your taco craving at Los Gallos Taqueria. They have a special for each day of the week, so you can enjoy their affordable food whenever you want to visit.

  • Zakuro Sushi: Enjoy fresh sushi rolls or a delicious Bento Box at Zakuro Sushi. They also have an array of appetizers and comforting soups as well. 

  • Buonarroti Ristorante: The chef and founder bring family recipes to this traditional Italian restaurant. You’ll experience the taste, aromas, and passion of Italy when you dine in at Buonarroti Ristorante.

  • Fourk Kitchen: If you’re looking for a fine dining restaurant in Lincoln, consider Fourk Kitchen. They call themselves a restaurant concept created to change the way people think about a four-course dining experience. They are open four nights a week with only 24 seats in their restaurant. The cost is always $44 per person for food with set courses that change monthly. 

Top Activities in Lincoln

  • Historic Downtown Lincoln: The city of Lincoln has a charming downtown area, complete with dining, shopping, arts, entertainment, and home to many services and organizations. You can also visit the Lincoln Area Archives Museum to learn more about the history of Lincoln.

  • Art in Public Places Murals: Indicative of the engaging town that Lincoln is, they have an incredible program called Art in Public Places. In an effort to enhance the economic vitality, charm, and visibility of Lincoln’s historic downtown, they are adding murals in the downtown business district that are historic in nature and are enjoyable to look at. You can find a map of where to find these murals on the city’s website. 

  • Community Events: The community of Lincoln hosts many events throughout the year to be enjoyed by locals and residents. You can see a quick summary of them below:
    • The Holy Ghost Festival: In the spring, a week-long celebration of Lincoln’s Portuguese heritage is held. This features a parade, a carnival that includes traditional customs and foods, and the crowning of a queen.
    • Easter Egg Hunt: The Lincoln Lions Club hosts this kid-friendly event each year near Easter.
    • Tour de Lincoln: The Saturday before Mother’s Day, you can cheer on bikers in the Tour de Lincoln, hosted by The Lincoln Rotary Club Foundation.
    • Fourth of July Parade: Like many cities across America, Lincoln has its own fireworks celebration and parade for the Fourth of July.
    • Lincoln Showcase: If you love supporting local wineries and restaurants, check out the Lincoln Showcase hosted by The Lincoln Chamber in late September.
    • Downtown Christmas Parade: Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in Lincoln with their annual Christmas parade downtown, complete with a tree lighting ceremony in the plaza.
    • Farmers Market: If you’re a fan of fresh produce and community fun, check out the downtown farmer’s market every Thursday evening in the summer months!
    • Annual Crab Feeds: You can attend two annual crab feeds in Lincoln, hosted by The Lion’s Club. One is in February and the other in November.
    • Golf Tournaments: Are you a golfing fan? Attend the May’s Cup Golf Tournament at one of the local golf courses each year in September. The best part is that the proceeds go to help fund local youth programs!
    • Lincoln Theatre Company: Lincoln has its own theatre company downtown. Part of their mission is to provide educational opportunities for both children and adults focused on the performing arts and to provide quality entertainment through community-based theatrical productions. Attending their shows is a great way to support your community as well as enjoy a night out.
    • Baseball Games: If you’re a baseball fan, there are plenty of local games you can attend in Lincoln. Check out the William Jessup University Athletics and the Lincoln Potters Baseball Club schedules to catch their next games. 

Parks in Lincoln

Interested in living near parks? Lincoln has more than 15 to choose from, outlined below: 

  • Aitken Ranch Park: A great park for kids, you’ll find a play structure, cement area, and beautiful landscaping with walking trails.

  • Auburn Ravine Park: If you’re looking for a dog-friendly park with plenty of nature and walking trails, Auburn Ravine Park is perfect. They have an off-leash dog park and 10 acres that include a multi-use trail system.

  • Brown Park: This small, kid-friendly park consists of a play structure, fairly large grassy area, and a picnic area with a barbeque.

  • Coyote Pond Park: This is the park for nature lovers. A massive, 24.5-acre park that is teeming with wildlife, has a large and beautiful pond, play structure, picnic area, and trail system.

  • Foskett Regional Park: You’ll find that this park is designed for sports. It features a four-diamond lighted softball complex, four fields, lighted soccer complex, concessions stand, a pedestrian and bike path, several picnic areas, and three different children’s play areas.

  • Joiner Park: A smaller sports-focused park, Joiner Park includes two football/soccer fields, a baseball diamond, two playgrounds, and a wetland preserve area that spans over 4 acres.

  • Machado Park: This small park has two play structures, a covered table, and plenty of grass for running around and playing.

  • Markham Park: This small neighborhood park has a picnic area, a small play structure, a walking trail, and a nature interpretive facility.

  • McBean Park: Another large park in Lincoln, McBean Park features a swimming pool, senior baseball field, Little League baseball field, skatepark, a special “Leathers” playground, basketball courts, horseshoe courts, football/baseball stadium, picnic areas, and open fields.

  • Nathan Dubin Park: This newer park was completed in 2017 with the unique “woodlands to wetlands” theme. It has two unique play structures for kids, soccer field, shaded picnic areas, horseshoe pits, and a trail with exercise equipment.

  • Palo Verde Park: This simple little park has the basics: a playground, a picnic area, and an open grass area.

  • Pete Demas Park: This pocket park has a small grassy area and picnic benches, perfect for a lunch break outside or a short evening walk.

  • Peter Singer Park: This lovely park is 5 acres and has baseball fields, soccer field, play structure, picnic tables, and restrooms.

  • Robert "Chief" Jimenez Park: This park is still in the process of being built, but it currently includes 4 tennis courts, 2 basketball courts, and restrooms. You can expect two more ballfields, a long field, snack bar, picnic and playground areas, and additional parking at this park.

  • Scheiber Park: This neighborhood park has lush green grass, large trees, two playgrounds, swings, and shaded structures.

  • Sheffield Park: This small park has two playgrounds, swings, and shaded structures.

  • Twelve Bridges Park: This park is located in the Twelve Bridges community and includes a baseball field, soccer field, and children's play structure.

  • Wilson Park: Next to Twelve Bridges Middle School, Wilson Park has softball fields and a children’s playground.

LINCOLN HOMES FOR SALE

 

 

Posted in City Guides, Lincoln
March 9, 2020

All About Loomis: A Homebuyer’s Guide

If you’re thinking about buying a home in Loomis, you’ve come to the right place! A small, family-oriented town with rural charm and large residential lots, Loomis is the ideal place for those who want their home to act as an escape into peace and quiet while still maintaining a close distance to the rest of the world. 

Below is a complete guide to the charming city, from activities to do on the weekend to the best restaurants to enjoy!  

 

Loomis Lifestyle

Loomis offers an alternative to the tract home lifestyle with its unique homes and plenty of land to go around. Most of the town consists of small ranches, animal farms, and horse farms. Creeks can be found throughout the residential areas that provide beautiful walking, biking, and horseback riding trails. 

One of the best perks to living in Loomis is its access. Located along I-80 in Placer County, you’re just a short drive away from shopping, hiking, and road trip destinations. If you’re in the mood for the city or want to take a trip to the snow, Loomis is only a 2-hour drive to Tahoe or San Francisco from its convenient location. It’s also only 10 minutes away from Folsom Lake! You truly get the best of both worlds living in Loomis. You’ll find a small-town, tight-knit community to call home with easy access to the city, country, and everything in between. 

 

Weather in Loomis

The weather in Loomis is characterized by cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Typical of most cities in the northern Central Valley, Loomis has hot summers with no rainfall and plenty of sunshine. Winters are cool and bring rain. Average daily high temperatures range from 53°F in winter months to 94°F in summer months. Don’t expect snowfall in Loomis, as it’s almost non-existent here. 

 

Communities in Loomis 

  • Monte Claire Estates: This upscale community features elaborate custom Tuscan-style homes on large lots. Many homes have as many as 5 bedrooms and are more than 6000 sq. ft., with an average price of about $2,000,000. New home plans must be approved by Monte Claire Estates Architectural Review Committee to preserve the ambiance of the neighborhood. The Monte Claire Estates HOA maintains the entry and common areas. The neighborhood enjoys a rural atmosphere, but by no means is it out in the middle of nowhere!

  • Cambridge Estates: This is a beautiful gated community located north of King Road. The 184-acre site features large, rural home sites ranging from 2.3 to nearly 6.98 acres for homes that are larger than 2,600 square feet.

  • Clos Du Lac: If you have been dreaming of a home in wine country, Clos Du Lac can make your dreams come true! In French, Clos du Lac means “Walled Vineyard by the Lake." The 88 homes within this gated community are adjacent to picturesque vineyards and olive groves. These luxury homes and homesites are large and range in size from ½ acre to 23 acres, and are priced from $800,000 to over $1 million. A professional vineyard management company tends to common areas and homeowner grapevines. The homeowners’ responsibility only involves watering per instructions and a small monthly fee added to HOA dues.

  • Sierra de MontserratSierra de Montserrat is a unique community in the town of Loomis. The 322-acre subdivision has only 62 homesites from Westwood Homes builders. Surrounded by vineyards and hills with oak groves and granite, the views are spectacular. These home sites are at least 4.5 acres in size, with average prices around $1.5 to $2,000,000. Homesites are available in the range of $300,000 to $500,000. Westwood Homes offer architecture with the hilly luxurious character of Italy, Spain, and France.

  • St. Francis WoodsThe gated luxury community of St. Francis Woods in Loomis features some amazing 5+ bedroom homes in sizes of over 7,000 square feet on lots an acre or more. Priced from the upper $800,000's to over 2 million, these large spacious estates offer every upgrade you can imagine and would expect from a home of this caliber. Homes for sale in St. Francis Woods are a one of a kind Loomis real estate offering.

  • Sterling PointeSterling Pointe is an equestrian dream community. Located in the Sierra foothills, this picturesque neighborhood sits amid tree groves and vineyards, within walking distance of Folsom Lake. The Sterling Pointe Staging Area Equestrian Facility is the focal point of this area. Nearly 5 acres and owned by the county, it offers a water trough for horses, drinking fountains for riders, a dog water trough, bathroom, and picnic tables. Besides equestrian endeavors, there are walking and biking trails meandering throughout the community, including vineyards and wooded areas. 

 

School Districts in Loomis

Loomis is home to many highly rated schools, including H. Clarke Powers Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School, Del Oro High School, Loomis Basin Charter School, Placer Elementary School, and Loomis Elementary School. 

 

Top Restaurants in Loomis

  • High Hand Cafe: This cafe is located in the beautiful High Hand Nursery, so customers enjoy lush plants and serenity while dining. Their bright and casual atmosphere is enjoyed alongside their menu of handmade and farm-fresh local ingredients.

  • Taylor’s: This locally-owned burger joint is on a mission to bring back the essence and style of an old fashioned burger and shake shop. Fun fact: they have over 300 milkshake options to choose from!

  • The Ugly Mug Cafe: A humble breakfast diner with a full menu, plenty of coffee, and the friendliness that comes with a small-town joint. This is the perfect place to come for a weekend breakfast with family or friends.   

  • The Green Elephant: If you’re in the mood for delicious Burmese food, we recommend The Green Elephant. They are open for lunch and dinner, and although they tend to stay busy, it’s well worth the wait.

  • Gander Taphouse: If you like supporting family run and operated establishments, check out Gander Taphouse. Born from a vision to start a family-friendly gathering place with craft beers, wine, and delicious food, you’ll find just that! They also have yard games, TV’s, shuffleboard, and more.

  • Flower Farm Cafe: This pet-friendly cafe located on the farm is the perfect place for a midday meal that can be enjoyed under the shade of their gorgeous willow trees. Their menu features fruits and vegetables grown right on the farm, pastries, sandwiches, omelets, and more.

  • Loomis Basin Brewery: Loomis Basin Brewing Company is the culmination of a father and son’s dream to share the love of making a good “brew” since 2010. The founders of this establishment are experts in the brewing process, so check out this place when you’re in the mood for a cold one.

  • Messy’s Tacos and Treats: Do breakfast burritos, Mexican street corn bites, tacos, and churros with ice cream sound like your kind of food? If so, check out Messy’s Tacos and Treats.

  • Il Pizzaiolo Wood-fired Pizza: At Il Pizzaiolo, you’ll find fast, casual, affordable pizza. The founder, Pete, went to Italy with his family to learn the craft of pizza making from the originators, so you can expect that this pizza is the real deal.

  • Divine Desserts By Aguirre: Whether you need a cake, mini French pastries, pastries, or more, head on over to the little yellow house at the corner of Doc Barnes Drive and South Walnut Street. This is the go-to place to discover delicious European-style pastries in Loomis!   

 

Top Activities in Loomis

  • Wine tasting: Loomis is surrounded by gorgeous wineries to be enjoyed by its residents. One of those wineries is Casque Wines. Their tasting patio is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy an afternoon with friends. They are also bicycle and pet-friendly!  

  • Art Galleries: Along with its restaurant, High Hand Nursery is home to an art gallery as well! It features 30 local artists from the Sierra Foothills, Placer County, and the greater Sacramento area. They feature a wide range of media and refresh their gallery bi-monthly, so you can go enjoy it again and again.

  • Gardens & Nurseries: Head over to some of the beautiful gardens and nurseries in Loomis during the springtime. Horton Iris Garden is open in April and May, where you can see about 1,200 varieties of irises in bloom! High Hand Nursery is open year-round and features a nursery full of quality plants.
  • Walking Trails: Get active and explore the many walking trails surrounding Loomis. Head to several of the local parks to find some trails or head to Roseville where you can find several long walking trails.

  • Hiking: If you want to take it up a notch, head up to Auburn and find some gorgeous hiking trails. Surrounded by rivers and endless trees, you can even hike to several waterfalls!

  • Shopping: Don't worry, you can still fulfill your shopping fix while living in Loomis as well. There are plenty of stores in Rocklin, which is only a 5-minute drive from Loomis. The Fountains and The Galleria malls are also in Roseville, which is only a 10-minute drive from Loomis!

  • Day Trips: There are plenty of drive-worthy destinations surrounding Loomis. Take a day trip to Tahoe for snow in the winter or lakes in the summer! San Francisco has plenty of food, activities, and cultures for you to explore for a day. You won't have to drive far to find a beach either, so you can enjoy any type of climate you're in the mood for.

  • Library: Local libraries are a great activity to occupy children or to enjoy some TV-free time reading. Check out the Loomis Library, conveniently located on Library Dr off of Horshoe Bar Rd.

  • Festivals: From the first Thursday in May through the last Thursday in August, you and your family can enjoy the free Downtown Loomis Thursday Night Family Fest at the Loomis Train Depot Plaza. It boasts of live music, dance performances, a classic car show, and over 100 vendors! There’s entertainment for all ages, from bouncy houses for your little ones for beer and wine gardens for the adults. The fun doesn’t end in summer, however! The Eggplant Festival is held annually every October, another free event hosted by the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce. This event has booths from local wineries, gourmet cuisine, and arts and crafts exhibits. A perfect excuse for a girl's night out or date night!   

Parks in Loomis

One of the best parts about living in a nature-heavy area like Loomis is the array of parks to choose from. Below is a list of parks you can explore while living in or near Loomis: 

  • Loomis Basin Community Park: This park has three baseball fields, horseshoe pits, two children’s playgrounds, bicycle trails, and an equestrian arena.
  • Sterling Pointe Park: This park has an equestrian staging area, picnic areas, and a baseball field.

  • Franklin School Community Park: This park has multi-use turf fields and plenty of shady trees.

  • Griffith Quarry Park: This park is two miles north of downtown Loomis in Penryn and has trails, picnic areas, and a county museum. 

LOOMIS HOMES FOR SALE

 

 

Posted in City Guides, Loomis
Oct. 29, 2019

Top 10 Tips for Staging to Sell Your Home

Preparing your home for sale is vital in our competitive real estate market. The preparation of your home for sale will not only showcase the value of your home but can also increase its value to potential buyers.

Follow our top 10 tips for staging your home to sell below:

1. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes

Walk around your home and put yourself in the buyer's shoes. What do they see? How will they feel about your home? Is it attractive, open, and clean? Does it smell good? Start by fixing these things at once. A buyer will notice these elements immediately. 

2. Create a welcoming front porch area

Nothing says "welcome home" like an attractive entrance! Whether you have a large front porch or tiny stoop, spruce it up with a decorated doormat, potted plant, and attractive porch furniture. During the time that buyers will be checking out your home, keep the porch light on in the evenings. If you want to go the extra mile, create a path to the front door with solar lights!  

3. Get rid of all clutter 

Clutter builds up around a house that you live in, there's no way around it. Especially when you're packing to move and trying to sell your home at the same time. Clear away all cupboards, floors, closets, and surfaces to create an appealing look for potential buyers. This may require borrowing space in a relative's garage or utilizing offsite storage space. 

4. Don't get attached to "your style" 

If you find yourself getting discouraged while staging your home because it doesn't feel like your style, don't be alarmed. It's perfectly fine if it's not your style! We recommend reigning in any unique styles for the sake of appealing to the masses. Keep it clean, simple, and neutral. This is the best way to appeal to potential buyers.  

5. Opt for neutral colors 

Building on our last tip, opt for neutral colors when staging your home. Now's not the time to play around with bright yellow or lime green. There is variety within the neutral palette, however. Rich colors like mocha, olive green, and charcoal grey can create a classy backdrop and refine your home's decor. 

6. Set up your dining room 

Although a clean dining room is good for potential buyers to see, setting up the dining room is even better. A large table can look uninviting, so decorating the table like you're about to have a dinner party can increase interest and appeal. Line it up with a series of smaller vessels and a nice collection of dishware.  

7. Showcase your closets 

It may be tempting to stuff your closets full of boxes or unwanted items, but simply stuffing them full and shutting the doors may come back to haunt you. It's more than likely that visitors at your open houses will want to take a peek inside of your closets. If they open the doors to see a mound of unorganized mess, it will not bid well on the impression of their home. Aim to keep 20-30% of open space in each of your closets to give an impression of spaciousness. 

8. Take advantage of the extra rooms 

No matter how you've used your spare rooms personally, take a step back and think about the most useful purpose for your extra rooms. Each room should have a clear purpose, ideally with an appealing purpose to potential buyers. Some ideas for your spare rooms are offices, guest rooms, another kid's room, etc.

Buy cheap furniture or borrow some from a friend to make the purpose of the room especially clear. This will likely have a big payoff when the offers start rolling in! 

9. Show people how they can use the "awkward" spaces 

Do you have a nook under the staircase or an alcove in your home? Take the time to decorate this space in a unique way. Set up a small workspace, install built-in shelving, or create a comfy reading nook. This will transform the space from "wasted" to a desirable selling point. 

10. Don't forget to stage the outdoor areas of your home 

The outdoor spaces of your home should be treated with as much care as the indoor spaces when you're getting ready to sell. Create small dining areas, spruce up your garden, clean your pool or fire pit, and keep the grass groomed. It's equally important to decorate for the season that you're selling in. Play up the cozy vibes in autumn and winter, or go for playful vibes in the summer and spring.  

Posted in Sellers
Oct. 24, 2019

About Folsom: Homes For Sale & Lifestyle

Folsom Lake in Folsom CAWith a rich history that began with the 49'ers and the California Gold Rush, the first railroad in the West, and the first transmission of long distance electricity, Folsom is a technological town with an eye on the future. Find out more about Folsom Homes for Sale from the Pursuing Homes real estate team.

While attracting high-tech firms from small to international giants like Intel, Folsom has remained family-friendly, boasting neighborhoods with easily accessible cultural, shopping, dining choices and excellent schools. Scenic neighborhoods of new homes in Folsom are mingled with a beautifully maintained Historical District, The city plan requires at least 5 acres of park for each 1,000 residents and city co-sponsored activities for the whole family.

HOMES FOR SALE IN FOLSOM

Although Folsom has the feel of a small town it also provides all the conveniences of a metropolitan area. There are abundant shopping and cultural facilities either in Folsom or only minutes away. A new hospital has brought with it an ever-growing body of professional specialists, including doctors, lawyers, and financial consultants.

Homes for Sale in Folsom CABroadstone Mall is the premiere shopping destination featuring restaurants from casual (Chick-fil-a and Stone Cold Creamery) to ethnic (India House and Thai Paradise) to national brand stores like Famous Footwear, Marshalls, bath & Body Works, Petsmart, and more.

Many who work in Sacramento, only 23 miles away, choose to live in Folsom, away from the congestion of the bigger city and commute to work. However, residents are finding increasing numbers of job opportunities with the technological companies that have made Folsom their home.

Horseback in the American River, Folsom CAThe city is just minutes from 5 airports, 4 major freeways, bus lines, an inland seaport, and freight and rail lines. The Folsom Recreation Area boasts 18,000 acres of park to fish, picnic, camp, hike, water ski, ride horseback, swim, boat and enjoy nature.  The biggest attraction, Folsom Lake, covers 2/3 of the park with 120 miles of shoreline and is open year round. A smaller lake popular for those who like to kayak and canoe is also nearby. Lake Natoma runs along the American River, one of the cleanest rivers in America, between Folsom Dam and Nimbus Dam. The river offers excellent fresh-water fishing.

Amazing Home in FolsomFolsom's name is well known, of course, because of the 109-year-old Folsom State Prison, and Johnny Cash. Visitors can view and photograph East Gate, the well-known movie backdrop and parts of the tall stone walls. There is a little museum and gift shop close by that is open to the public.

All in all, Folsom is the perfect place for anyone who wants a great lifestyle. Home prices run from around $200,000 to the millions, with the majority in the mid range (view the Folsom communities: American River CanyonBroadstoneEmpire Ranch VillageHillcrest Empire RanchWillow Creek Estates, and Briggs Ranch).If you want to live the good life, we can find your dream home in Folsom. Call us for more information on Folsom Homes for Sale or to tour this city or any other nearby towns.

Posted in Folsom
Oct. 23, 2019

5 Easy Tips to Help Improve Your Chances of a Quick Sale

Are you looking to sell your house in the coming year? If so, now is the time to get your house in order to sell. Although it will be more work upfront, it should pay off in the end — oftentimes with a literal increase in the value of your home and a quicker sale!

Follow these 5 easy tips to help improve your chances of a quick sale below: 

1. Take care of repairs

When buyers see something that needs repair while touring their potential new home, it makes them feel anxious. They wonder how much extra work owning your home will be for them. Take care of any obvious repairs before putting your home on the market to avoid this potential deterrent. 

2. Remove clutter from the property

Removing clutter will make your home look larger. You may even want to remove a few items of furniture to help with this too. Take a step back and think about each room and the story it tells.

Make sure the purpose of each room is clear, even if it's not how you previously used the room. It can be confusing when bedrooms are made out as offices, as the buyer may not be able to picture that room as a bedroom. Each room should have a story to tell and be set up in the most beneficial way for potential buyers.  

3. Focus on small changes over major renovations

​A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to spruce the place up, not to mention an affordable alternative. Re-doing your kitchen, adding an extra bathroom, or landscaping your backyard can be major money wasters if you plan to sell your home in the coming year.  

4. Invest in the first area people will see 

In the event that you only have enough time and money to invest in one area of the house, you should invest it in the first area or room that someone sees when they walk through the front door. Whether it's a large hallway, family room, or living room, you should pay special attention to the setup of this area. Remember, first impressions are everything. Make sure this area is always clean and clutter-free. The first impression may be the only impression left on a buyer!

5. Take care of any bad odors

Bad odors can instantly turn off a buyer — especially things like cigarette smoke, mold, or pet odors. Science has proven that smells and scents can evoke strong emotions. For example, the best part of a new car is that new car smell!

Think about what emotions you want the smells of your home to evoke. Utilize spray and plug-in air fresheners. A good smell can hide a bad one quite easily. However, it’s important not to overpower the senses by aromas that are too strong. A buyer may think you are trying to hide something, or an overabundance of fragrance may be offputting. 

Posted in Sellers
Oct. 14, 2019

Avoid These Mistakes When Choosing a Listing Agent

Whether you're interested in selling your home now or later, it's important to educate yourself so that when the time comes, you're much more prepared and informed in your decision making. That's why we wanted to share the biggest mistakes to avoid as a homeowner when choosing a real estate agent.

Many people make the mistake of choosing their agent solely based on the agent's recommended list price.  

This is a tactic some agents use to just get your listing. They may give you an inflated price and tell you what they think you want to hear, just to get you to list with them.

Instead, focus your reasons for choosing an agent on the following 2 factors:

1. Who has the most aggressive marketing plan of action to get your home exposed to the maximum number of buyers out there? 

2. Who has the best contract negotiation skills to ensure you're getting as much money in your pocket as possible?  

Now, of course, the list price of your home does matter. However, your real estate agent should share things with you like the price of recent homes sold, currently pending and active comparable's to your property in order to make a realistic recommended list price.

That doesn't mean you have to list at the recommended price. It's your home, you are the boss, and your agent should be on your side. But you should be able to expect upfront answers and honest recommendations from your listing agent. They should share what they feel is the true market value of your home. 

Posted in Sellers
Oct. 5, 2019

The Ultimate Secrets to Successfully Selling Your Home

When the time comes to sell your home, you may find yourself overwhelmed with a number of selling strategies, techniques, and even more questions. Should you repaint? Should you remodel? What are the most important things to focus on? 

While all of these things are considered to help you sell your home faster, they may distract you from some of the simplest, but proven methods favored by real estate professionals.

Here are the two ultimate secrets to selling a home:

Secret #1: always keep your home ready to show

You never know when your next buyer is going to walk through the door. You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression! That's why you need to be sure your home is "show-ready" at all times.

You'll need to accommodate potential buyer's schedules and try to be available whenever they want to come see the place. Don't leave dishes in the sink, keep the floors clean, keep the bathrooms sparkling, and make sure there are no dishes in the dishwasher.

Secret #2: curb appeal can make all the difference

Buyers will judge your home before they walk through the front door. It's important to make people feel welcome and safe as they approach the house.

Don't worry about completely repainting the exterior of your home. However, clean and spruce up your home's exterior with new brightly colored flowers and plants. Keep sidewalks clear and make sure that your lawn is cut on a regular basis. Entryways are important, so you will want to add a welcoming touch by adding a sitting bench or fresh flowers.

Focus on these two things to see more success in selling your home! 

Posted in Sellers
Sept. 25, 2019

15 Overlooked Tax Deductions to Pay Attention to

In just a few short months, tax season will be upon us! We know it’s tempting, but don’t take the easy way out this year. Chances are, you’ll end up losing a lot of hard-earned money. Although the reform on taxes in 2018 did change many popular write-offs, there are still plenty of deductions to take advantage of.

It just takes a little bit of research. The good news is, we’ve already done that for you. Here are 15 overlooked tax deductions to pay attention to below:
  


1. Reinvested dividends

This is a subtraction that can earn you some big savings. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most missed by taxpayers. So how does it work? If you have mutual fund dividends that are automatically invested in additional shares, each reinvestment increases the stock or mutual fund, aka your “tax basis.” 

This lowers your taxable amount of capital gain when you sell these shares. It’s crucial to remember to include this in your cost basis or you’ll end up overpaying your taxes. 

Sound complicated? There are tools out there that can help you, like TurboTax Premier and Home & Business. 

2. Out-of-pocket charitable contributions 

Did you know you can write off things like food purchased for a soup kitchen or stamps purchased for a school fundraising event? Most people don’t miss the larger charitable donations they give throughout the year, but don’t forget, smaller donations add up too! You can also write off miles driven to do charitable work, including tolls and parking fees. 

3. Student loan interest paid by guardians

If you’re paying off your child’s student loans and not claiming them as a dependent, the IRS treats it as though you gave that money directly to your child. That means that students can deduct up to $2,500 of student loan interest paid by their parents if they qualify. They don’t have to itemize to utilize this either. 

4. Personal legal bills

Have legal bills? If your lawyer is pursuing taxable income on your behalf or working on the determination, collection, or refund of any tax, you may be able to deduct legal bills on Schedule A, line 23. This would count as a miscellaneous deduction subject to the 2% AGI floor. 

5. Losses due to theft or casualty 

If you’ve unfortunately dealt with losses due to vandalism, storm, fire, or theft this year, those items may be deductible. This also counts for car, boat, or other accidents! If you have money in a financial institution that was lost due to insolvency or bankruptcy of the institution, you may be able to deduct that as well. You must figure out how much you can deduct by completing Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts. 

Just keep in mind, there are three limits on the losses you can claim: 

  • If the money was reimbursed by insurance, it cannot be claimed 
  • Each occurrence must be more than $100
  • The total amount of all losses (reduced by $100 for each loss) must be greater than 10% of AGI 

6. Last year’s state income taxes

If you owed taxes last year and paid them this year, you can deduct them as an itemized deduction. You can also choose to deduct state general sales tax instead of deducting state income tax. If you go this route, you can include the sales tax on larger items like vehicles, boats, airplanes, or renovation materials. 

7. Moving expenses for military orders  

If you are in the military and must move due to orders, you can deduct the moving expenses incurred to make this transition. You can get this write-off even if you don’t itemize!

8. Dependent care tax credit

Did you know you can get additional support for childcare, even if you pay your childcare bills through a reimbursement account at work? Up to $6,000 can qualify for the credit, aside from the $5,000 you can put into a tax-favored account. Take advantage of this tax credit while you can, as It can cut your tax bill significantly. Children over 16 years old no longer qualify.  

Pro-tip: Don’t miss out on tax credits! They are far superior to tax deductions because they reduce your tax bill dollar for dollar! 

9. EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) 

Remember what we just said about tax credits? This is not one you want to miss! According to the IRS, a whopping 25% of taxpayers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit fail to claim it each year. It can be complicated to figure out and many aren’t aware that they qualify. 

This credit is designed to supplement wages for low to moderate-income workers. However, many people can be considered “middle class” if they lost a job, took a pay cut, or worked fewer hours during the year. 

10. Refinancing mortgage points

Buying a house has many perks, taxes included. When you refinance a mortgage, you must deduct the points paid over the life of the loan. It doesn’t add up to that much in the long run, but it’s still worth saving! 

However, if you use part of the refinanced loan to improve your home, you may be able to deduct those points right away. 

11. Jury pay paid to the employer

Although most employees continue to pay employees who are on jury duty, the employees must turn over their jury pay to the company. However, the IRS requires the employee to report those fees as taxable income. To even the playing field, you can deduct the amount you give to your employer so you are not taxes on money that doesn’t end up in your bank account. 

12. Baggage fees for airports 

Calling all self-employers! Did you know you can be reimbursed for those pesky baggage, online booking, and changing travel plan fees? You can add these costs to your deductible travel expenses and save a chunk of money each year. 

13. Hobby expenses

It may sound strange, but you may be able to get reimbursed for the costs of some of your hobbies. For example, if you create custom jewelry holders on the weekend and sell $200 worth, you can deduct that as an expense. Keep in mind, even if it takes $500 for all the materials to make the holders, you can only deduct $200. 

This may help you recoup some of the expenses if your side gig hasn’t made a profit in three of the last five years. The IRS deems this to be a hobby. 

14. Tax preparation fees 

Taxes are difficult to manage, so it stands to reason that you should be able to deduct the costs for preparing them. This is possible if you deduct them as a miscellaneous deduction on Schedule A in the year you pay them. 

However, fees for preparing Schedule C for a small business, Schedule E for rents or royalties, or Schedule F for farm income should be deducted on their corresponding schedules. 

15. Financial planning and management expenses

Several expenses are deductive or subject to the 2% AGI threshold. If you paid a financial advisor, had an attorney prepare a living will or trust, or spent money to manage money this year, you’re eligible for this deduction. 

 

Posted in Buyers, Owners, Sellers
Sept. 24, 2019

Tax Season Refunds & Real Estate Purchases

Don’t let tax season get you down! Make the most of it and use your refund toward a down payment for closing costs to buy your new home. If this sounds like your kind of deal, you might find this information helpful as you plan. 

Below is a reality check, outlining down payment options and providing a mental checklist of the other possible costs associated with buying a home: 

Down Payment


Most lenders and loan programs require down payment money, which can be as much as 20% of the cost of the home. For some people, saving this amount of cash can be difficult to achieve. Especially if unexpected costs come up, like tax payouts! 

However, homeownership is still possible. Several programs are available that allow buyers to make down payments that are significantly less than 20% of the price of the home. Many programs offer 3.5-5% down payment options with approved credit. For veterans, there are zero-down programs so they can go to the closing table without even writing a check. 

Out of Pocket Expenses & Closing Costs 


Additional dollars should be saved for an estimated range of 1-3% of the value of the home for out of pocket or additional closing costs. This fact is particularly relevant for first-time buyers and those who haven’t been in the market for some time. Closing costs vary from city to city — and even from home to home.

Some examples of national averages include tax services for around $85, credit reports for around $20, and appraisals for $350-$500 or more, depending on the size of the home. Closing costs can also include fees related to home inspections, title fees, insurance, bank fees, and termite or flood inspections, to name a few.

The mortgage lender requires some of these services. Others are legally necessary depending on where the buyer lives. While not a requirement, extra dollars can be wisely spent if earmarked towards a home warranty that guarantees the appliances and inner workings of a home for the first year of ownership.

In some instances, your Realtor may be able to get the seller of your home to contribute toward the closing costs. Our team would be happy to discuss these options with you! 



The first step is to talk to a trustworthy lender who can give you your loan requirements for down payment and closing cost expectations.

Posted in Buyers, Owners, Sellers
Sept. 24, 2019

Vacation Money Saving Tips

Planning your vacation while saving to buy a home? It’s not impossible! Taking a vacation on a scaled-back budget is totally possible. Check out a few ideas on ways to save money when you travel:
 

1. Shop around for bargains 

The old concept of “supply and demand” is likely going to work in your favor during the vacation season. People are saving their money and not spending as much — and the hotels and resorts are feeling it.

You can find some killer deals on the internet, so take advantage of deals that involve things like free meals for kids. That tip alone can save you $100 or more over the course of a week! 

You can also sign up for weekly email alerts for airfare specials on websites like travelzoo.com and airfarewatchdog.com. If you can plan to be flexible on your travel dates, you may be able to score last-minute bargains and save additional money.

Another great site is priceline.com. You can often bid for lower prices at great hotels, car rental places, and more. It really works!

2. Enjoy a “staycation”

Save money on your vacation by staying at home. Take a break from normal responsibilities, but try exploring local parks, hiking trails, state parks, museums, zoos, and more. Many of these places offer an array of wonderful possibilities — and you can forget the travel costs! 

Not only will you save money on airfare, lodging, and food, but you will get to explore your very own backyard.



3. Bring along refillable water bottles 

Pack refillable water bottles in your suitcase to use once you arrive at your destination. A family of four can easily spend $20 or more per day on water alone! You can also eat more meals in your room by making a quick grocery store stop. Pick up some food items for snacks, breakfast, and lunch. This will save you money and give you a break from restaurant dining. 

Pro-tip: book hotels with small kitchens, mini-fridges, and microwaves. This will expand your ability to store and cook meals in your room.



4. Take advantage of coupons 

Spend a couple of weeks collecting coupons and you can easily save money while on vacation. Whether they’re for lodging, food, or attractions, coupons will save you money. You can find them online, in local newspapers, at grocery stores, etc. Just be sure to read the fine print carefully to make sure they don’t expire before your trip! 


5. Pack lightly and carefully 

All airlines have baggage limits and some carriers are charging fees if you check more than one suitcase per person. To avoid unnecessary fees, check the weather conditions at your destination ahead of time and pack according to the forecast. It may be tempting to pack several outfits per day, but it will take up unnecessary space. 



6. Consider getting a credit card that gives you travel points or miles 

United Airlines and Southwest both offer credit cards that reward you with miles based on your spending. Be sure to read the fine print and ask about associated fees. If you travel a lot, however, having a travel credit card can really pay off for you. 

Posted in Buyers, Owners, Sellers