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Palm Trimming

A local fire this week showed how flammable a palm tree can be when not trimmed:

Cal Fire, Carlsbad FD & Police doing another great job – no homes damaged, and no injuries.  Two other fires were started nearby on the same day, and a homeless woman was arrested for arson.

Click here for more photos and video:

https://twitter.com/hashtag/parkfire?src=hashtag_click

10 Trends to Watch in 2021

When it comes to the home and design trends experts anticipate prevailing in the year ahead, the overarching theme will be options in abundance.

While homeowners continue to want their outdoor spaces that offer a safe retreat, that appeal has shifted into other parts of the home, coupling comfort with function. In other words, homeowners want amenities for work and leisure, and they plan to enjoy long them long after the pandemic.

Here are 10 trends to watch in 2021.

1. What it is: Two-for-one kitchen

Why now: Even before COVID-19 spread, many homeowners with an open floorplan were finding that there is a downside to not having walls in the kitchen. Clutter, messiness, and dirty dishes aren’t as easy to hide.

Leave it to the trendsetters to develop a solution: two kitchens in one. Mick De Giulio of de Giulio Kitchen Design in Chicago calls it a “layered kitchen” with separate work and living zones. Cheryl Kees Clendenon of In Detail Interiors in Pensacola, Fla., refers to it as a “prep and show kitchen.” Granted, extra space and renovation funds are needed to complete the concept.

The work area is typically in the back of the kitchen, hidden by a door or wall. This is where the serious food prep and cleanup takes place. The area may be part of a large laundry room or storage room that can be converted into this hidden cooking zone. It may also be used by caterers (when entertaining returns with gusto), Clendenon says.

In contrast, the living or show kitchen at the front remains part of the open floorplan. It’s designed to display culinary delights in an uncluttered way. This is where a roasted turkey comes out of the oven before being carried to the back-work area for carving while a buffet is set out. Some homeowners may designate one kitchen for special needs, such as gluten-free prep, a request from one of Clendenon’s clients. The back-kitchen space could also be used as a beverage center with a coffee station, and include refrigerated drawers or a wine cooler, De Giulio says.

(more…)

Best Real Estate Blogs

Bubbleinfo.com made the list of best real estate blogs in the country, as determined by Hooquest.com:

https://hooquest.com/real-estate-blogs/

Thanks Brian for including us!

He is right – I don’t give much thought to SEO, which is probably why we had the lowest number of estimated monthly visits (by far) of the nine blogs included. He mentioned that the view-counter tends to be low, especially for hyperlocal sites.

Here’s our number of viewers this month from Google Analytics:

I’m glad you’re here – thanks for participating!

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Lilian J. Rice

Great to hear that Lilian Rice is getting a statue – and a remodel! Meet the participants at bottom:

This month, a life-size statue of the late Lilian J. Rice will arrive at the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society in preparation for its ultimate destination at the town’s civic center envisioned by the architect back in the 1920s. It will officially be unveiled in May with much-deserved fanfare.

Meanwhile, down the street, an altogether different tribute is underway at a single-level Spanish Revival 3,900-square-foot residence built by Rice for a California-dreaming New Jersey family in 1926.

Come spring, it will get its own place in the sun thanks to a duo of San Diego design powerhouses. Del Mar interior designer Michelle Salz-Smith and Lisa Kriedeman, principal of Island Architects, are seizing a rare opportunity to expand and modernize the organic style pioneered by Rice nearly a century ago.

Read Full Article Here

Michelle Salz-Smith creates her own form of minimal eclecticism, where raw materials, hand-forged objects, and distinctive shapes create one-of-a-kind homes in which people commune, contemplate, and connect: https://www.studio-surface.com/home

Tony Crisafi and Lisa Kriedeman are the highly accomplished principal architects creating residences of quiet luxury throughout Southern California, nationally and internationally for more than two decades. https://www.islandarch.com/

John Kingsmill Fine Plaster: kingsmillfineplasters.com

Pat’s 1502 Glassworks: 1502glassworks.com

Plain English: plainenglishdesign.co.uk

Tiles: tabarkastudio.com

Blackman Cruz: blackmancruz.com

Roman and Williams Guild: rwguild.com

Rose Uniacke: roseuniacke.com

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Home Trends for 2021

From Zillow:

We’ve all been there this year — toddlers interrupting Zoom meetings, daydreaming for more space, and shamelessly feeding sourdough starter kits. 2020 has changed the way we live in and outside our homes.

As people rethink their homes’ functionality after spending more time in them, features we never knew we needed — such as a home gym or no-touch appliances — are more important than ever. While public health precautions continue to keep us at home, these features will only become more popular to create spaces that keep our families safe, all while providing an oasis of comfort.

Driven by this new COVID era, Zillow shares top 10 home trends for 2021 that will not only add comfort, but might even add extra value to your home.

‘Zoom Rooms’

Zillow survey found a desire for a home with a dedicated office tops the list of reasons why Americans working from home say they would consider a move, if they were to continue working remotely at least occasionally. In 2021, people will receive more clarity from their employers about the ability to telecommute moving forward, which could trigger a move to a home with more space.  And, as people tire of working from a kitchen table, they will be wanting a more permanent — and quiet — solution for their at-home desk.

As of November, the number of listings mentioned “home office” or “Zoom room” increased by 48.5% compared to the same time last year. Pennsylvania home builder Berks Homes also says requests for an at-home study in lieu of existing living space more than doubled this year.

‘Homecation’ Amenities

With lots of time and nowhere to go, homeowners are coming up with creative solutions to create vacation-vibes right at home. “Pool” was the top Zillow keyword search term in 2020. “Waterfront” and “dock” also landed in the top ten. Additionally, homeowners may be looking for big and small ways to create a luxury experience at home, from upgrading to a spa-like bathtub or relaxing rain shower. Zillow research shows home buyers paid more for amenities that make their home feel like a retreat. Listings that mentioned a free-standing tub typically sold for 5.5% more than expected, while the listing keyword “spa-inspired” contributed to a 1.8% price premium.

The rise of remote work will allow more homeowners to turn their favorite vacation destination into their hometown. Page views of for-sale listings in areas typically considered vacation destinations – such as Key West, the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod — are up nearly 50% compared to last year.

Intergenerational Living

Intergenerational living will rise in popularity as young adults and grandparents alike find themselves moving in with family for financial and health reasons. According to Generations United, about one in six Americans currently live in multigenerational households, and this year, the share of young people moving back home reached all-time highs as more Millennials and Gen Z’ers than ever – particularly renters – found themselves packing their bags and moving back in with their parents.

Katie Detwiler, Chief Experience Officer at Berks Homes says this trend is manifesting in how people are designing new construction homes, with more requests than ever before for a finished basement with a full bathroom, and bedroom additions.

Gourmet Kitchens

This year inspired people to break out of their old baking habits and start new hobbies in the kitchen, and in 2021 homeowners will want to level-up from their sourdough obsession to create other culinary masterpieces. A previous Zillow survey finds 41% of people value a well-equipped kitchen more than before as a result of social distancing recommendations — and more people will want the space to show off their new culinary skills in the next year.

“We’ve seen an increase in requests for gourmet kitchens,” says Katie Detwiler, Berks Homes’ Chief Experience Officer. “This includes bigger cabinets and island additions so homeowners have the space they need to cook their gourmet meals.” Berks Homes has seen more than 100 more requests for alternate kitchens and island additions this year compared to last.

Backyard Oasis

A yard that is safe and functional has taken on renewed importance — a Zillow survey from the Harris Poll found that 41% of people say they value a large outdoor space more as a result of social distancing recommendations.

There are many easy upgrades to make a backyard a relaxing oasis the whole family can enjoy, and in tandem, increase the resale value of your home. Zillow research finds homes mentioning “firepit” in the listing sold for 2.8% more than similar homes, and “outdoor kitchen” sold for 4.5% more. Smart sprinkler systems and outdoor lighting are other features that add a contemporary flare to a backyard that also help your home sell up to 15 days faster than expected.

Full article here:

http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2020-12-10-From-Zoom-Rooms-to-Chef-Kitchens-Zillows-Top-10-Home-Trends-for-2021

TV Staging

Watch your TV placement when staging a home. Real estate professionals faced with the issue are divided over where in the living room a TV should go—or even whether it belongs there at all.

Hayley Westoff, a Compass real estate professional, told Apartment Therapy that if the TV setup feels wrong, buyers could be turned off by the space. After all, buyers want to visualize themselves living inside a home, and watching TV is a big part of many people’s lives.

On the other hand, Allison Chiaramonte, a Warburg Realty agent in New York, doesn’t see the presence of a TV as a critical matter when staging a space. A TV shouldn’t be the focus, she says.

“While some think keeping a television in the living room at an open house is crucial, others say it takes away from the taste of the home,” Antonia DeBianchi writes on Apartment Therapy. “It’s a problem that sellers don’t seem to talk about, and its solution isn’t the clearest, either.”

When a room is awkwardly laid out, it could add to the challenges. For example, above a fireplace is a common spot for TVs, but if a mantle is too high or the fireplace is on the diagonal, its placement could feel unrealistic or awkward.

“Rearranging the furniture, and putting either a TV or mirror where the TV would go … really helps the buyer visualize what that setup would look like,” Westoff told Apartment Therapy.

Also, if the TV is outdated, many real estate pros suggest removing it. “If you have a really old, thick, crazy TV, it definitely makes people wonder why it’s not upgraded and wonder what else in the house might not be upgraded,” Chiaramonte told Apartment Therapy.

The best compromise: Have the TV blend in. If it’s mounted in a cabinet, close the cabinet if you can. If sellers have a giant TV, try to tone it down by tuning it to soundless images showing nature or peaceful scenery so it shows more as art.

Link to Realtor Magazine

Love the short shelving unit under the tv!

La Mesa

Moving Scams

The more-affluent folks moving to California don’t U-haul. 

Record numbers of residents have been leaving California in recent years, but in 2020 the growth of remote work, the lure of cheaper housing and a summer of unprecedented wildfires has accelerated the trend. As a result, the moving business in San Francisco’s Bay Area is booming, but the surge has come with its own set of problems.

Moving trucks are hard to find, prices to get out of the Bay are being pushed sky-high, and the supply side of the market – with high starting costs and because movers are required to obtain state licenses – has been slow to respond.

The shortage has created openings for an underground moving economy complete with scammers who take advantage of desperate California escapees, left without easy options.

Moving companies across the Bay have said they were booked up months in advance through the summer. It continued through the autumn – in typical years, the industry sees a lull after kids start school. A spokesperson at Gentle Giant moving company says it performed three times the number of moves out of San Francisco in September 2020 than a year earlier.

Even at U-Haul stores – the rental truck retailer with the largest fleet across the US – trucks are in short supply. With so many trucks departing the Bay Area, the exodus has left an imbalance of returning vehicles. The shortage has sharply driven up truck prices for one-way trips out of town.

“Two households are moving out of California for every one moving in,” says Mark Perry, a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan who has been studying the US migration market over the past few years. “U-Haul is pricing it based on the imbalance they see and they now have a shortage of trucks in San Francisco.”

U-Haul changes truck prices regularly, but Perry has noted the pattern over time. Checking online recently, he noted that trucks going from Phoenix to San Francisco were only $311, but going the other direction it cost $2,500 – roughly eight times more. He checked cities in other top destinations for Californians, including Texas, Washington and Nevada, and found all outbound rates to be exponentially higher than inbound ones.

The high demand and high prices have created perfect market conditions for exploitation. Scammers are cashing in.

“There are hold-hostage cases where a mover will take possession of the belongings after agreeing to a price with the consumer, and then they will not give the belongings back unless the consumer pays well over and above what the agreed-to price was,” says Yeaphana La Marr, the acting chief of the California bureau of household goods and services, which regulates the moving industry. “Some just take the belongings and they are never seen again by the people who contracted for a move.”

The agency is also trying to crack down on new movers who are entering the booming market without licensing or insurance required by the state. Legitimate movers fill out an application, pass a test, undergo a background check and put up a $500 filing fee to obtain a license, and they have to prove they have the necessary resources and coverage to operate.

“Unlicensed activity is a major problem in the household moving industry and it creates a lot of consumer harm,” says La Marr. It is an accident-prone industry and customers could find themselves on the hook if they unknowingly hire a mover that doesn’t have liability insurance or workers’ compensation.

The underground moving economy is hard to track, but La Marr says the bureau does investigations based on tips from the public or other agencies, including local law enforcement. The bureau has seen a 74% surge in consumer complaints about movers since last year. “We don’t know whether Covid is a contributor or there are other factors, such as increased knowledge of the bureau,” she adds, explaining that her agency only assumed administration of moving industry regulations in 2018.

When an unauthorized mover is caught, the state will work with them to get licensed but some offenders are hit with citations, fines and, in some cases, jail time.

“For the more egregious violators, we would do a [district attorney] referral and that would be tried criminally,” La Marr says, adding that violators can be charged up to $10,000 per move. “The penalties are really high. So it is shocking how large the underground economy is.”

Unlicensed movers also make things more difficult for legitimate movers, who are now competing with low-balled offers from less experienced workers and more flexible timelines.

Read full article here:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/15/leaving-california-exodus-move-out-movers

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