Blog

Welcome to our Blog. here you will find articles that will both inspire as well as educate you on the process of buying, selling and maintaining your home. We also feature a weekend update of the things happening in and around our community. These are events and happenings in El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay and the surrounding areas. Please feel free to connect with us by leaving a comment and or directly through the form below.  As always, we thank you for visiting us.


Researching a Neighborhood From Far Away
Good public transportation, low crime, schools, nearby hospitals and other factors can help home shoppers decide if a neighborhood is right for them. If you’re planning on moving to a city that’s far away from where you live now, then finding a neighborhood that’s a good fit can be more difficult than driving around a
Read more
Expert Insights: Once I Choose a Contractor, What Items Should Be Covered in the Contract?
According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, a well-written contract should contain the following information: The contractor’s name, address, telephone and license number, if applicable Details about what will and will not be done A detailed list of materials for the project, including model, brand name and color The approximate start date and
Read more
Expert Insights: Why Buy a Condo?
They are an appealing way to enter the housing market if the cost of a single-family home is out of your reach. Condos are especially popular among single home buyers, empty nesters, and first-time buyers in high-priced housing markets. Unlike a house, condos offer a lifestyle that is free of yard work and exterior maintenance
Read more
Finding Functionality for Every Room
You probably have a room in your house that doesn’t get used much or is just acting as storage for your “extra” stuff. Empty nesters are especially prone to having a bedroom that is no longer used and has become messy and unorganized over time. Rooms like these are an opportunity when selling a house.
Read more
3 Easy Steps to Getting a Home Market Ready
Putting your house on the market requires a delicate balance between staging it for sale while keeping it functional for your lifestyle. Once you’ve staged to clear out the clutter, put some thought into what to do with the essentials: the things you absolutely need while still living in the house—especially in your most-used rooms.
Read more
5 Tips for Making Household Items Last Longer
Buying a home is expensive enough. Filling it up with things you need adds to the cost, and spending more money to replace those things leads to more bills. Extending the lifespan of household items can save you a lot of money in the long run. Here are five tips for making some common household
Read more
Understanding Investment Properties: What You Should Know
Unlike a second home, where a homeowner lives for a portion of the year, an investment property is property that the homeowner uses to generate income, and in most cases, is not occupied by the homeowner at any time. Trying to figure out if your next home falls under second home or investment home status? Ask yourself:
Read more
The Fiduciary Rule Explained
Asking a financial expert if they’re working in your best interest when giving you advice on your retirement account seems like a simple enough question. That question is now getting a little more complicated. Known as the fiduciary rule and set by the Labor Department to take effect in April 2017 — but then delayed by the
Read more
Make the Most of Your Fireplace
One feature that many people look for when buying a home is a fireplace, but not everyone understands what exactly goes into getting a nice fire roaring. Knowing the terms can help. For instance, the fireplace’s flue allows smoke to move through the chimney, and the damper is an opening you can adjust to control
Read more
3 Questions about Interest Rates
If you’re shopping for a home loan, you’re likely focusing on interest rates. Below are a handful of questions you may have about the art of the interest rate. How are interest rates determined?  Interest rates are influenced by shifting economic indicators in your financial market. This type of fluidity means they can change daily,
Read more
Expert Insights: What Is a Bridge Loan?
It is a short-term bank loan of the equity in the home you are selling. You may take out a bridge loan, or interim financing, to help with a knotty situation: closing on the home you are buying before you close on the property you are selling. This loan basically enables you to have a
Read more
4 Ways to Save Money at the Movies
The average movie ticket price is $8.65, according to Box Office Mojo. Add in a soda and some popcorn, and you can easily spend $20 at a theater. For a family or even a couple, a movie night out can be expensive. There are ways to save money at the movies, if you plan ahead. Here
Read more
Questions to Ask Your Financial Adviser if Fiduciary Rule Dies
As if talking to your financial adviser isn’t confusing enough, the possible rollback of the fiduciary rule that requires financial professionals to work in a client’s best interest may make it more complicated. President Trump has told the Labor Department to delay its fiduciary rule until at least June 9, 2017, with some exemptions extending
Read more
Quick Fixes for Your Common Household Problems
It may seem like there’s always something going on as a homeowner, from silencing a squeaky hinge to unclogging a temperamental toilet. But many household problems can be easily fixed without calling a repair service. A can of WD-40, a toilet plunger and a bottle of vinegar are great basics to keep on hand for
Read more
Rent-to-Own: Is It an Option?
Rent-to-own is an alternative to the traditional agreement between homebuyers and sellers. Typically, a buyer presents an offer. Once accepted, the payment, settlement and new ownership takes place. Lease-to-own or rent-to-own does not follow this process. Instead, it allows a renter to become the buyer. This is done through another type of contract agreed upon
Read more
Choose Your Battles When Buying a Home
A fenced-in yard. Double sinks. A wrap-around porch.  An open floor plan. Solar panels. There are just so many things we want our new home to have. However, when shopping for our dream home, it’s essential to steer the dream a little bit more toward reality. No home will have every single feature you desire, so before
Read more
Help Your Pet Transition to a New Home
Moving to a new home can sometimes be hard on children, who must say goodbye to their friends and the place where they grew up. But a move can also be traumatic to your pets. As a caring pet parent, it’s important to make sure that the transition doesn’t harm your four-legged family members. Pets
Read more
Books to teach young readers about money
Reading books to your children is fun, and one of the great joys of parenthood is watching them learn to read by themselves. Lessons about personal finance and how money works can be included in books you read to children, or in books they read with you or on their own. Here are some good
Read more
Expert Insights: How Do I Find Government-Repossessed Properties?
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) acquires properties from lenders who foreclose on mortgages that it insures. These properties are then available for sale to potential homeowner-occupants and investors only through a licensed real estate broker. HUD will pay the broker’s commission up to 6 percent of the sales price. The Department of
Read more
Don’t Let Buyers Meet Your Dust Bunnies
Cleaning is a pretty obvious step to take before putting a house on the market for sale. But have you asked yourself, “how clean is my home?” While you’ve already dusted, vacuumed and cleaned the kitchen counters, it may not be enough. There are many areas you didn’t even think to clean and buyers will take
Read more
Surprising Things Covered by Your Home Insurance
Homeowners insurance is supposed to cover catastrophes such as fires, hurricanes and a tree falling through the roof. But there are some much lesser problems that a typical insurance policy can cover. Here are some of the surprising things covered by many home insurance policies. Check with your insurer first to see if you’re covered
Read more
Expert Insights: Are Home-Selling Costs Deductible?
If you sell your home and realize a taxable gain even after the exclusion, you can reduce your gain with selling costs. Your gain is defined as your home’s selling price, minus deductible closing costs, minus your basis. The basis is the original purchase price of the home, plus improvements, less any depreciation. Real estate
Read more
Expert Insights: How Does a Lease Option Work?
A landlord agrees to give a renter an exclusive option to purchase the property. The option price is usually determined at the outset, but not always, and the agreement states when the purchase should take place—whether, say, six months, or a year or two down the road. A portion of the rent is used to
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 12 | 01 | 2017
Tree Lighting in Historic Folsom December 1st, 2017@ 6:00 PM Admission: Free 915 Sutter St., Folsom Enjoy a holiday magical tree lighting in Historic Folsom where you are invited to help celebrate the lighting of Historic Folsom’s Christmas tree at the Turntable Plaza and Ice Rink.   Download a printable copy of the Weekender here
Read more
Boosting Your Home Security On the Cheap
Even if you can’t afford a home security system, you can protect your home and family with some quick, easy fixes that provide peace of mind without dipping deep into your pockets. Try these tips from HGTV, the home and garden channel: Change the locks – If you haven’t changed the locks since you moved in,
Read more
New Tricks for Old Throwaway Items
For many of us, mom’s ‘use-it-up, make-it-last, wear-it-out’ mantra was our introduction to thriftiness—a traditional value that has largely been kicked to the curb due to a more materialistic lifestyle. But the truth is, most of our common throwaway items have not yet reached their full potential. Here are a few smart re-uses that will
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 11 | 23 | 2017
ThankZoo November 24th, 2017 11:00 AM Admission: $9.95 547 L Street, Sacramento At this time of Thanksgiving celebration, the Zoo’s thoughts turn gratefully to you, our community. As a special thank you everyone will receive child-priced admission the day after Thanksgiving at ThankZoo.   Download a printable copy of the Weekender here
Read more
How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring
Ask any jeweler how much money you should spend on an engagement ring and they’ll likely give you the jewelry industry’s long-standing rule of thumb—three month’s salary. The average person spends about half that amount, according to Census data. The jewelry industry isn’t recommending three months of pay after taxes, but three months of gross
Read more
5 Tips for Making Health Savings Accounts Work for You
Putting money in a Health Savings Account, or HSA, can help you and your family pay for health expenses now and in the future, while giving you a tax break for your contributions. HSAs have been around since 2003 to help people with high-deductible health plans, but they can still be confusing. Here are some
Read more
How a Small House Can Save You Money
The average square footage of a house in the United States has increased from 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,392 in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That can be a lot of area to clean each week. A smaller house of 1,000 square feet or a tiny house of 500 square feet can
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 11 | 17 | 2017
Sacramento Harvest Festival November 17th – 19th, 2017@ 10:00 AM Admission: $4 – $9 1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento The Harvest Festival is known as the largest indoor arts and crafts show on the West Coast and offers a full weekend of shopping, live entertainment and family fun. Download a printable version of the Weekender here
Read more
Understanding Investment Properties: What You Should Know
Unlike a second home, where a homeowner lives for a portion of the year, an investment property is property that the homeowner uses to generate income, and in most cases, is not occupied by the homeowner at any time. Trying to figure out if your next home falls under second home or investment home status? Ask yourself:
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 11 | 10 | 2017
Sacramento Coffee Beerfest November 10th, 2017@ 6:00 PM Admission: $15 – $30 Buy Tickets 2837 36th Street, Sacramento Over 20 commercial craft breweries from the West Coast will be present at this event, each brewery will bring a keg of their specialty coffee beer and a keg of any other non-coffee beer for participants to
Read more
4 Ways to Save Money at the Movies
The average movie ticket price is $8.65, according to Box Office Mojo. Add in a soda and some popcorn, and you can easily spend $20 at a theater. For a family or even a couple, a movie night out can be expensive. There are ways to save money at the movies, if you plan ahead. Here
Read more
Origami isn’t the Only Paper Art
Look around your home. How much paper do you see? And how much of it do you actually need? If you own a home, loose papers like bills, mailings, flyers, greeting cards, coupons, newspapers and magazines can pile up. We often hesitate to throw them away in case important paperwork lies between the bundles of
Read more
Six Simple Ways to Increase Home Efficiency
More and more people are looking for ways to increase their home’s energy efficiency—both to conserve energy for the good of our environment and to lower energy costs. The good news, environmentalists tell us, is that there are many ways to accomplish both goals without spending a great deal of money. From a panel of
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 11 | 03 | 2017
Opening Day: Downtown Ice Rink November 3rd, 2017@ 12:00 PM Admission: $2 701 K St., Sacramento Bring your friends and family to the opening day of the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink. Celebrate the 26th season of the Downtown Ice Rink with $2 skating all day Get a printable copy for yourself here
Read more
Expert Insights: How Can Owning a Home Pay off at Tax Time?
A home provides many tax benefits, literally from the time you buy to the time you sell. The mortgage interest paid on a home loan up to $1 million for a primary residence or second home is tax deductible every year, as is the local property tax. Other mortgage costs—including late-payment charges and early-payment penalties—are
Read more
Will Your Next Home Insurance Adjustor be a Drone?
While many home insurers pride themselves on their quick response times, companies are often looking for better ways to serve their customers. Drones are now entering the industry as a new way to improve the claim inspection process. The innovative technology allows these gadgets to fly above a home that has recently had its roof
Read more
5 Easy-to-Manage House Plants
If you’re looking to add a bit more green to your design scheme, you’re not alone. House plants are a popular way to add fresh beauty, and clean up your air while you’re at it. However, keeping a house plant healthy is a responsibility, even if it’s a small one. Consider the following plants that
Read more
Where Should You Retire? New Study Weighs In
If you’re looking to retire in the near future, a recent Bankrate study on retirement locations may be of interest. The study found about half of non-retired U.S. adults would move to a different city or state when they retire. The percentage is greatest among millennials (58 percent) and falls to 46 percent of Gen
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 10 | 20 | 2017
Art Gallery Storytime October 20th, 2017@ 10:00 AM Admission: Free 625 S Street, Sacramento The Sacramento Public Library and Verge Center for the Arts combine for a story time and gallery walk in Verge’s current exhibit, “Not Ready to Make Nice: Guerrilla Girls in the Art world and Beyond.” Download a printable copy of our
Read more
Expert Insights: What Kind of Home Insurance Should I Have?
A standard policy protects against several natural disasters and catastrophic events, and covers your personal belongings. But it will not guard against earthquakes, floods, war, and nuclear accidents. The policy can be expanded to include these disasters as well as coverage for such things as workers’ compensation. In fact, the lender may require that you
Read more
3 Ways to Have Better Communication
In an age where the majority of our communication happens from behind a screen, our face-to-face interactions are often lacking. Below are several tips for having clearer communication. 1. Make eye contact. Direct eye contact can go a long way in having a clear conversation. Not only will it help you pick up on non-verbal
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 10 | 13| 2017
Sacramento Turn Verein Oktoberfest October 13th, 2017 @ 6:00 PM Admission: $5 – $30 3349 J St., Sacramento Come to the biggest, best, and most authentic Oktoberfest in Sacramento! Experience great German beer, German food, German bands, German dancers and lots of fun in the Beirgarten and Main Hall. Download a printable copy of the
Read more
Fall into Leaf Maintenance
The brisk air and turning colors are here, and with it your autumnal responsibilities. It’s time to put on a jacket, grab your rake and get rid of the leaves. While the raking tradition may not be up there with apple picking, the World Series or Halloween, it’s an essential part of autumn. Wet leaves
Read more
The Essential Budgeting List for Buying a Home
Is house hunting in your near future?  If so, you’re probably thinking about the neighborhood you want to live in, the number of bedrooms you need and what sort of home you want. But take a step back. None of this matters if you don’t know how much you can truly afford to spend on
Read more
5 Hacks to Pay Your Mortgage
A mortgage payment can easily be the biggest bill in a monthly budget. Coming up with that money can be easy in some months and more difficult in others. Turning those difficult months into easier ones is possible with a few tactics. Here are five hacks to help make paying your mortgage a little easier
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 10 | 06 | 2017
Sacramento Greek Festival October 6th, 2017 @ 11:00 AM Admission: $5 616 Alhambra Blvd, Sacramento Opa! In the spirit of Greek tradition, the Sacramento Greek Festival invite you “into their home” at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation where all future Festivals will take place. Get a printable copy of this week’s Weekender here
Read more
Tips for Organizing Your Home
No matter the size of your home, odds are you could still spend all day cleaning. Even though life tends to get in the way of secondary chores, identifying your home’s major bound-to-be-disorganized areas can help ease the clutter tension in your home and save you cleaning time. Kitchen: With so many pots and pans
Read more
How to Dispute Medical Bill Errors
Scrutinizing a bill from your health care provider or insurer is probably one of the last things you want to do after getting out of the hospital. But it can pay off. Medical bill errors should be corrected so that you don’t have to pay for a service you didn’t receive, for example, or for
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 9 | 29 | 2017
Davis Arts Center Fall Music Festival September 29th , 2017@ 5:30 PM Admission: $5 – $10 1919 F Street, Davis The community is invited to come out to enjoy the first annual Fall Music Fest featuring music by One Eyed Reilly and Element Brass Band at the Davis Arts Center. Download the complete printable PDF
Read more
The Art of Feng Shui and Home Selling
What does the ancient philosophy of Feng Shui have to do with real estate? Many believe that the Chinese art of correct placement can help sell their home faster. Feng Shui translates to “the wind and the water” and has long been believed to align life with nature. The goal of Feng Shui is to
Read more
Kitchen Counsel: Tips to Keep That Stainless Steel Shining
If you have ever owned any stainless steel products, you know how beautiful and appealing the look can be. Stainless steel appliances give a renovated kitchen that POP! it needs, while steel also makes for a very durable cookware product that never disturbs flavors, yet guarantees a balanced heating of foods. It also resists corrosion
Read more
The Weekend is Here 9 | 22 | 2017
Marble Valley Fall Carnival September 22nd , 2017@ 4:00 PM Admission: Free 5005 Hillsdale Circle, El Dorado Hills Join us at the Marble Valley Academy campus for our annual Fall Carnival! There will be fun for all ages – jump houses, raffle, food booths, carnival games/ prizes, and a karaoke stage. Get a copy of
Read more
Financing Solar Power For Your Home. What you need to know.
Financing solar panels for your home isn’t cheap. The good news is that there are many options. Based on the average house paying $75 per month for electricity, a solar system that generates that much power costs around $25,000 to $35,000, according to the Solar Power Authority. Utility company incentives, tax breaks and other subsidies can
Read more
Books to teach young readers about money
Reading books to your children is fun, and one of the great joys of parenthood is watching them learn to read by themselves. Lessons about personal finance and how money works can be included in books you read to children, or in books they read with you or on their own. Here are some good
Read more
Expert Insights: What Does a Home Inspector Do?
A home inspector is a paid professional—often a contractor or an engineer—who checks the safety of a home. Home inspectors search for defects or other problems that could become your worst nightmare later on. They focus particularly on the home’s structure, construction, and mechanical systems. It is not the inspector’s job to determine whether you
Read more
The Weekend Is Here 9 | 15 | 2017
September 15th , 2017@ 8:00 PM Admission: $10 – $18 BuyTickets 7991 California Avenue, Fair Oaks This hilarious musical comedy, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, presents Kate and Petruchio as a feisty couple that’s evenly matched in strength and wit…making for the perfect evening! For the complete downloadable Weekender click here
Read more
What to Know before Giving Your Kid a Debit Card
Teaching your child about money by giving them a piggy bank or having them earn an allowance by doing household chores is a great start to learning about how to earn and save money. Spending wisely, however, is another lesson. And it will probably come away from home and without adult supervision. A debit card
Read more
Demand for House Rentals Intensifies
Apartment rents are appreciating less than house rents, thanks to shifting demand for single-family rentals, according to a recent analysis by Zillow. Apartment rents nationally increased a median 0.5 percent, to $1,551, year-over-year—relatively flat—while house rents increased 1.3 percent to $1,404. Several colliding factors are driving the trend, says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at
Read more
7 Secrets to Making It Big in America
According to two recent studies, more than half of millennials no longer believe the American Dream is possible and half of baby boomers don’t believe their children will enjoy the same level of success they have. As the living personification of the American Dream, I disagree! Since America wasn’t built upon a class system, people
Read more
The Weekend Is Here... 9 | 8 | 2017
Bubblemania September 8th , 2017@ 3:30 PM Admission: Free 601 Alhambra Boulevard, Sacramento Bubblemania makes bubble snakes, bubble volcanoes, cube-shaped bubbles, bouncing bubbles, gravity-defying bubble foam, and even bubbles big enough to fit an entire person inside! See all happenings and download our Weekender Guide to events and happenings in and around El Dorado Hills,
Read more
Some Helpful Insight for First-Time Home Buyers
Owning a home is probably on everybody’s “success” checklist. Yet, it is a box that often goes unchecked for many years for those first starting out in the workforce. We all know it takes more than just the desire to buy a home in this day and age—if you have not been working toward it
Read more
The Weekend Is Here... 9 | 1 | 2017
Gold Rush Bar Crawl September 1st , 2017 @ 6:30 PM Admission: $12 Buy Tickets 1002 2nd Street, Sacramento Step back in time and experience the Saloon side of the 1850s. Nine bars throughout the Old Sacramento district are ready to pour their favorite craft beer for you! Learn more and see all things to
Read more
Counter Intelligence: Which Countertop Is Right for You?
There are more materials, colors, and patterns available in kitchen countertops than ever before—and since many are close in price, the decision may be even harder. The product testers at Consumer Reports scratched, stained and scorched seven of the leading contenders. What they found may help potential remodelers narrow their choice of materials: No two
Read more
Slashing Utility Bills Can Help Save the Planet
Utility bills seem to go up every year—and every year we hear the call to save our nation’s natural resources. Financial management site Quicken.com suggests seven savvy ways to save on electric, gas, and water bills while helping to save our planet in the bargain: Pull the plug. Appliances that have a clock or operate by
Read more
4 Non-Traditional Ways to Finance a Home
A 30- or 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage with the same payment amounts each month is one of the most common ways to buy a home. But not everyone can qualify for a traditional mortgage, or has the money set aside for a sizable down payment so they can get a low-interest loan and have affordable payments.
Read more
The Weekend Is Here...
Hopped August Nights August 25th , 2017 @ 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM Admission: Free 1210 66th St, Ste B, Sacramento Last year was incredible — with more than 40 Classics, Customs and Hot Rods participating Sactown Union Brewery and was a packed house! But this year will be even bigger and better! Get the
Read more
The Best Breeds for First-Time Homeowners
If you’re a first-time homeowner, the odds are good you will soon be ready for the fun and responsibility of owning your first dog. If you’re looking for a pet that suits you and your lifestyle, the pooch experts at Petbreeds.com suggest breeds that are low maintenance, shed minimally, are easily trainable, and get along
Read more
Tips and Tricks Every Homeowner Should Know
Becoming a homeowner doesn’t equip you with the basics of household know-how, although time and experience will likely teach you how to tighten up a leaky faucet. But technicians say that up to 30 percent of their service calls require nothing more than the flip of a switch or the push of a button to
Read more
The Weekend Is Here...
Float-In Movie Night August 18th, 2017 @ 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM Admission: $3 – $4  |  4000 Fruitridge Rd, Sacramento Stay cool on a hot summer night and enjoy some of your favorite flicks at Southgate Recreation Park District’s popular Float-in Movie Nights. Get the entire printable live PDF newsletter here
Read more
Are You a Pool Person?
Homeowners who want a swimming pool dream of a backyard oasis where people cool off, kids play, and friends and family socialize. But the desire to own a pool isn’t universal, as some people consider them costly, troublesome and a waste of time. If you fall into one of the following categories, a pool might
Read more
4 Invisible Money Leaks Worth Fixing
Keeping track of every single dollar you spend can be difficult, no matter how closely you track your spending and monitor your bank accounts. Automatic payments from your checking account to pay for a gym membership, for example, can be forgotten and leave a checkbook unbalanced. But besides accounting for where your money goes, there
Read more
The Weekend Is Here...
^Kenn Adams’ Adventure Theater August 11th , 2017 @ 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Admission: Free Located: 601 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento With Kenn Adams’ Adventure Theater, the audience members are the stars of the show, making sound effects, performing the roles, acting as scenery, and even deciding what comes next. To see this weekend entire
Read more
4 Cooling Treats for Warm Weather Days
Looking for fun, easy ways to cool down this season? Whether you’re planning a party or simply looking for a refreshing snack for one, the following frosty treats can be served up deliciously chilled. Frozen Grapes Wash a rack of grapes, remove them from the stems, and pop them in the freezer. Pull out a
Read more