Friday, September 19, 2014

From traditional to modern and everything in between

Back in my college days of idealism, when I worked for no pay, I wrote a paper called “From Fiction to Non-Fiction: Writing Along the Continuum.” I looked at writing at its extremes, from fantastified fiction to stripe-straight reporting, with stopovers at essay, memoir, humor and opinion writing. I did this for selfish reasons. If […]

How to take your décor from country comfort to city chic

You’ve heard the expression: You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. Well, there’s an equally true, but lesser known corollary, which I just made up: You can take the furniture out of the country, but put country furniture in a city dwelling and […]

When life changes hit home, don’t fear

I never set out to be the poster child for change. But I believe I qualify. Just since July, I have gone through more changes than a newborn: I have gotten a new house, new car, new job and new cell phone number (as a result of new job). I feel like I’m in the […]

Home-price gains decelerate in many metro areas

WASHINGTON, D.C — Home-price growth continued to moderate in many metropolitan areas in the second quarter and national year-over-year price appreciation is now at its slowest pace since 2012, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. The median existing single-family home price increased in 71 percent of measured markets, with 122 […]

Does this bracelet boost my curb appeal?

My friend, a former fashion writer, came over last week to talk about her new job. We got right down to the important stuff. “Did you get a bunch of new clothes?” I asked. “Of course!” She said. “But mostly I got new jewelry and a nice handbag.” Now, I am arguably the only person […]

New looks move forward while looking back

After living in three historic homes in a row, which ranged in age from 80 to 130 years old, I moved last month into a home so new I had to peel stickers off the windows and refrigerator. I am the first occupant of this very modern house, which, once again, I am staging to […]

East meets West in bathroom remodels

DES PLAINES, Ill. — Asian-style interiors evoke an image of serenity and tranquil calm. This style is a popular choice in bathroom design as the desire to escape hectic, urban lifestyle in a peaceful spa-like oasis is growing increasingly popular. Contemporary bathrooms with an Asian flair — especially in bathrooms — accomplish this by blending colors found […]

Decorating from a distance

I walk into the condo with one eye closed. The nerve-wracking moment is like the reveal in one of those TV home decorating shows only in reverse. Rather than revealing the newly remodeled space to a homeowner, who had been blissfully unaware, the reveal was to me, the default designer who helped coordinate the home […]

July 11, 2014 | Posted in Real Estate | Tagged ,

Coldwell Banker welcomes new sales associates

EL DORADO HILLS — Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the leading provider of real estate services in Northern California, recently announced that Susan A. Marshall and Lisa Bolier have  affiliated with the company as sales associates in its El Dorado Hills office. “Susan and Lisa will be great additions to our sales team, and I couldn’t be more […]

Love your stuff? Then show it

As faithful readers know, my column is often a harangue urging you and your inner hoarder to let go, lighten up, purge, pare, declutter, detach and donate — as if I am some ascetic nun. But this week, as I pack to move (again), and fill box after box with my “pared down existence,” I […]

Marni Jamison: How healthy is your hood?

One benefit of living my nomad life is that I get to know a lot of different neighborhoods. I am trying to focus on the positive as I pack up to move to what will be my fifth neighborhood in three years. You heard right. I am moving again. Yes, I know, only too well, […]

Legislative Day an the Capitol keeps Realtors up to date

Karen Larson EDCAR Immediate Past President The El Dorado County Association of Realtors directors recently attended the quarterly California Association of Realtors’ spring meetings held at the Sacramento Convention Center. I always enjoy the process of working with directors from each association in Region 3 to bring forward issues and concerns from EDCAR to the […]

HUD report details housing challenges for foster youth aging out

Housing critical to young people at high risk of homelessness, early pregnancy, unemployment WASHINGTON, D.C. — Each year, approximately 25,000 young people “age out” of the foster care system in the U.S., many of them facing significant risks of becoming homeless. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in coordination with the U.S. Department […]

Higher home prices buoy more underwater homes

LOS ANGELES — Recent home price gains have lifted more underwater homes into positive territory, pushing the share of equity home sales to their highest level since late 2007.  At the same time, pending home sales were essentially unchanged in April, the California Association of Realtors recently reported. Distressed housing market data • The share of […]

Coldwell Banker supports Habitat for Humanity

SACRAMENTO — Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Northern California’s largest real estate services company, will soon wrap up its Homes and Hope Habitat for Humanity fundraising campaign on May 31. The major event of this year’s fundraising effort is a month-long raffle, which runs through May 31 in all 57 Northern […]

Hello stranger, here are my keys

“Morning, Scott,” I say through a sheet of opaque plastic that hangs like a shower curtain between my kitchen and the adjacent eating area, which is under construction. “Morning, Marni,” comes his answer from the other side of the flimsy veneer. “What’s happening today?” “Insulation.” Few people are more comfortable having strange men in their […]

Rehab addict gives tips on restoring old homes

Every time I move into another home to stage — and I’m in my fourth in three years — I play a game of “If This Were Mine.” If this house were mine, I would rip this out and put that in, knock this down and stick that up. It’s an affliction. Fortunately, because I […]

Finding your color courage

On a fear scale of one to 10 —10 being sky diving naked while speaking in public — putting big bright bold color in a room is a 12. When faced with the prospect of inserting strong color into a home, some of the most intelligent, competent and confident people I know develop something like Tourette’s syndrome; […]

Vacation home sales surge in 2013, investment property declines

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vacation home sales rose strongly in 2013, while investment purchases fell below the elevated levels seen in the previous two years, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR’s 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, covering existing- and new-home transactions in 2013, shows vacation-home sales jumped 29.7 percent to an estimated 717,000 last […]

U.S. a top destination for international homebuyers

LOS ANGELES — Viewing the country as a safe place to put their money, international home buyers preferred purchasing properties in the United States over other countries, according to the California Association of Realtors’ 2013 International Clients Survey. The vast majority (85 percent) of international buyers said they only considered purchasing a home in the […]

Moving forces new appreciation for the routine

It’s 7 a.m. Do you know where your toothbrush is? If you do, and you can also find your phone charger, put your hands on a clean towel, and have all you need at hand to make a cup of coffee, be grateful. For the last 48 hours, I’ve had none of this. Every time […]

Luxury retirement communities under construction in Folsom, Carmichael

Oakmont Senior Living, a Santa Rosa-based developer of resort senior communities, recently broke ground on two luxury retirement communities in Folsom and Carmichael that will offer assisted living and memory care services. Construction on Oakmont of Folsom ( and Oakmont of Carmichael ( began fall 2013, and are expected to be completed this summer. The two-story […]

Angela and Richard Newsome — a great Coldwell Banker team

Angela grew up in the United Kingdom. At a young age she lived in several cities in the UK as her father was a professional football (soccer) manager/coach and managed some of the top English teams such as Sheffield Wednesday, Sunderland and Burnley. Angela had an interest in languages and studied French, German and Italian […]

Realtor Linda Riley living up to Realtor of the Year title

Century 21 Select El Dorado County Association of Realtors  named Linda Riley Realtor/Citizen of the Year for 2013. At its annual awards luncheon, EDCAR recognized Linda for her accomplishments in business and service to the community. Linda is never too busy to share her time and give her support to make her community better and […]

Coldwell Banker honors top producers

SACRAMENTO — Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the leading provider of real estate services in Northern California, recently announced that 12 of its top-producing Sacramento-Tahoe area sales associates and teams have ranked in the top 1 percent of the company’s agents in Northern California for 2013 sales. Earning the coveted honor were the team of Christy Curtis, […]

Constrained inventory flattens home sales

Pending home sales reverse two-month decline LOS ANGELES — A limited supply of available homes for sale continued to hamper California housing sales, which were essentially flat in January, the California Association of Realtors recently reported. “The underlying fundamentals for housing demand exists, however, constrained inventory is holding back a stronger recovery as affordability becomes […]

Commercial real estate investors “cautiously optimistic”

WASHINGTON. D.C. — Commercial real estate investments are expected to produce generally solid returns in 2014, according to the authors of Expectations & Market Realities in Real Estate 2014—The Future Unfolds, an annual forecast report released by Real Estate Research Corporation, Deloitte, and the National Association of Realtors. The three organizations have drawn on their respective […]

Design for a cause: Contest helps spaces that help others

To make lives of the less fortunate better, I have gotten dressed up, teetered around a party in too-high heels while balancing a glass of champagne and written a check. I have also put on old jeans and a baseball cap, rolled paint and hung blinds. And I will tell you which one is better. […]

Metro areas see solid home-price growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The lion’s share of metropolitan areas continued to experience strong year-over-year price growth in the fourth quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. A companion metro area annual affordability report shows less favorable conditions, particularly in the West. The median existing single-family home price increased in 73 percent of […]

December existing-home sales strongest in seven years

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of […]

Realtors rate exterior replacement projects among most valuable

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A home’s curb appeal is crucial because it can be the first thing buyers notice about a home. That’s why Realtors rated exterior projects among the most valuable home improvement projects in the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report. “With many factors to consider such as cost and time, deciding what remodeling projects […]

California pending home sales decline in November

Seasonal factors, combined with shrinking housing affordability, cooled California pending home sales from both the previous month and year in November 2013, the California Association of Realtors recently reported. Pending home sales data California pending home sales fell in November, with the Pending Home Sales Index dropping 13.6 percent in November to 93.8, down from […]

Message from the president: A heartfelt thank you

Gratitude I feel honored to have served as president of EDCAR for two separate terms. As this term comes to an end, I still see some unfinished business.  Next year, as immediate past president, I will focus on a strategic plan for our association. My goal is to implement a plan, guided by coordinates that […]

Monforte earns Military Relocation Professional certification

EL DORADO HILLS — Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, the leading provider of real estate services in Northern California, recently announced that Ariana Monforte, Realtor in the company’s El Dorado Hills office, has earned the nationally recognized Military Relocation Professional certification. The MRP certification, administered by the National Association of Realtors, is designed for real estate professionals […]

American Dream is still alive for young renters

LOS ANGELES — Despite the financial toll the recent financial crisis has had on Americans, renters continue to hold homeownership in high esteem, and it remains a goal for the majority of them, according to the California Association of Realtors’ 2013 Renter Survey. Nearly three-quarters of renters rated homeownership as “important,” and more than half […]

Existing-home sales cool but low inventory drives prices

Existing-home sales declined for the second consecutive month in October, while constrained inventory means home prices continue to see double-digit year-over-year gains, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.12 million in October […]

Rising home prices push down housing affordability

LOS ANGELES — Housing affordability fell for the sixth consecutive quarter, after reaching an all-time high in the spring of 2012, as significantly higher home prices shut out more California home buyers during the third quarter of 2013, the California Association of Realtors recently reported. The percentage of homebuyers who could afford to purchase a […]

Heightened market conditions fuel more offers, higher prices

LOS ANGELES — More properties were sold above their asking price this year, as tight supply conditions continued to heat up market competition in the first half of 2013, according to the California Association of Realtors 2013 Annual Housing Market Survey. Nearly half (49.5 percent) of all homes sold in 2013 were sold above asking […]

Realtors advocate housing finance system overhaul

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As lawmakers debate how best to reform the secondary mortgage finance market, they must ensure that any new system retains access to safe, secure and affordable sources of mortgage capital for creditworthy consumers in all market conditions or risk a major disruption to the economy, warned the National Association of Realtors in […]

Give a coat

Lyon Real Estate Have a coat collecting dust? Don’t forget Lyon Real Estate’s third annual coat drive continues. The company is collecting new and gently used coats of all sizes through Oct. 31 and those donations will be given to local charities. All area Lyon offices are participating in the coat drive, which is part of […]

HUD proposes ‘qualified mortgage’ definition

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently proposed a rule to define a “Qualified Mortgage” that would be insured, guaranteed or administered by HUD, including single-family forward mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. HUD is seeking the public’s comment on its proposed rule by Oct. 30. The Dodd–Frank Wall […]

DIY disasters — the upside of failure

“I can do that!” Who hasn’t lived to regret those words? Those four little turbo-charged words have led many well-intentioned do-it-yourself home improvers right off catastrophe cliff. We start off emboldened by a deceivingly simple tease on Pinterest or in Martha Stewart Living magazine. “It’s easy,” the copy alongside the craft project promises! We forge […]

Modest Siena has features of larger home

Association Designs Stepped gables, stucco detailing and half-round windows give the small, one-and-a-half-story Siena’s exterior an intriguing appearance. Raised stucco rims the windows, accentuates the eaves, and frames the arched garage doors. Stepped stucco detailing also draws attention to the front porch column, and similarly dresses up the garage door frames. Inside, the layout has […]

Prairie-style Oakdale is open and bright

Whether you call it small or midsize, the Oakdale is a contemporary Prairie-style home with a cluster of large gathering spaces at its core. This plan is adaptable for wheelchair accessibility. Classic stone veneer wainscoting wraps across the front, and frames the door of the two-car garage. Entering the foyer via the front porch, you […]

Apartment, condo market gains momentum

National Association of Home Builders Production of apartments and condominiums gained momentum in the second quarter of 2013, according to the latest Multifamily Production Index, recently released by the National Association of Home Builders. The index increased nine points to 61, which is the highest reading since its inception in 2003. The MPI measures builder […]