REDWOOD CITY AND COMMUNITY LIFE

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The "Redwood City" arch over Broadwa...

Redwood City Slogan Is Timeless and Well Known As “Climate Best By Government Tests”, describes the wonderful climate at the Government Seat of San Mateo County.

Looking back to the original days and the history of Redwood City as described by fourth and fifth generation residents they explain the early days as the city with a well-known lumber industry, Pacific Portland Cement Company, Morgan Oyster Company and Leslie Salt Company. These companies brought their employees to this very special city that has a very desirable community atmosphere.

Redwood City, as the San Mateo County seat of government this brought additional growth and changes to the city. Then came the beginning of Silicon Valley and with Ampex Corporation starting their company on a large campus here in Redwood City and this was home with the beginning of a company that was known worldwide for their Electric Imagining Industry.

Redwood City is poised with neighborhoods that offer excellent schools, parks and the best healthcare facilities in the state. With Kaiser Hospital and the Outpatient Stanford Campus there are shuttles between the Palo Alto, Stanford Hospital Campus and the Redwood City Campus.

Just in the last few months I have represented sellers of Multi-Family Apartment buildings here in Redwood City. Both buyers who purchased the apartment buildings were investors who owned other real estate here in Redwood City. They know from experience that there is a strong demand for housing in Redwood City. With a great location as the mid- point between San Francisco and the heart of Silicon Valley, Redwood City offers an ideal location for their residents who work in other cities in the Bay Area. With Caltrans and easy access to local highways it is very convenient to centers of job growth.

At a recent Open House I had a few weeks ago which the home just closed escrow, I learned from many of the neighbors and potential buyers that the key reasons they were interested in living in Redwood City was because of the strong sense of community life. Just recently while out to dinner on a weeknight in the downtown area I observed the vibrancy of the city with all the popular restaurants and entertainment spots crowded with people. Many of the local residents and people from surrounding cities come to enjoy the popular Farmers Market here in town.

So for many people this is home to live, work or socialize with friends. With very close proximity to many of the best colleges, junior colleges, hospitals, employment, schools and parks.

People are drawn to Redwood City a city with a rich heritage that has a true sense of community and an excellent quality of life.

What Are Some Easy Marketing Tips to Sell or Rent Your Property

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It is important to have a plan to turn your property quickly.

Many people Stage their property in order to appeal to the greatest number of people who will preview their property

Easy steps include making the property look large, bright and without personal clutter.

Here are simple and inexpensive ideas in creating a look of staging without a lot of additional cost for a successful sale or rental of your property.

For the owners of an Apartment Building here are my ideas that always work:

Interior Painting should be Warm, Bright and Easy to work with all types of furniture and colors; therefore my recommendation is Kelly Moore, Navajo Beige for the Wallsand Swiss Coffee for all the Trims.

Add Crown Molding and Baseboards even in the Kitchen area to add style and differentiate your apartment from others that perspective tenants or buyers will preview

Light Fixtures are so inexpensive but often overlooked and new modern Light Fixtures throughout the unit will make all apartment homes look “New”.

A simple enhancement to all Eating Areas and Bedrooms is a nice White Ceiling fan that accents the room and keeps an apartment home cool.

Granite Counters in the kitchen are the answer for updating any kitchen as well as saving on labor costs to install. Unit turnaround time will be less.

To enhance cabinets often just updating the hardware makes a kitchen look “New”.

Another secret to an inexpensive upgrade is to install a Built -In Microwave instead of the old kitchen hoods; this will add more room to the counter space and a convenience to the tenants.

If possible always remove carpeting if there are hardwood floors under current carpets.

These are the best kept secrets to simple but successful enhancements to your property.

If your Apartment complex has additional parking offer one parking space in the base rent with an additionl cost per month for the second parking.

Often storage is also a premium for potential residents , so think what addtional areas may be utilized  at your property.

It is important to always find out what amenities are important to your potential residents.

BRISBANE IS A UNIQUE COMMUNITY TO WORK & LIVE

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Why is this unique Brisbane community always so desirable  with the strong Real Estate Economic conditions we read about everyday in the papers and hear on the news?

The answer is simple for local business owners, who know there is a sense of community, safety, ease of doing business here in Brisbane and most of all the LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
Minutes from a metropolitan city like San Francisco local businesses have a small town feel but accessibility to their local client base.
Our recent positive experience here in Brisbane with business owners purchasing and leasing space for their companies has been their desire to be located only in Brisbane.
The motivating factors for these owners were to be close to their current business locations and for others their desire to work close to where they live. They know their employees are happy as well with the local restaurants, park areas and very close proximately to accessible highways.
For more information on recent sales and leasing information contact Steve Bianchi, Realty World-Bianchi & Associates by phone (650) 941-5494 or E-Mail: steve@stevebianchi.com.

Portola District of San Francisco A Hidden Treasure

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Portola District of San Francisco A Hidden Treasure

The Portola District has a long and unique history dating back to the early 1800’s. Remembering growing up and working at my father’s fish market Pacific Fish & Poultry the neighborhood was very busy with people from the neighborhood shopping for furniture or clothing, purchasing of all different types of foods at wonderful local markets, bakeries and dining at many restaurants. With many early churches and Temples the residents had everything they needed in their own little Portola District.

Popular San Bruno Avenue known in the early days was affectionately called “The Road”.

For many of us who grew up or worked in Portola it was like a city in a city. I remember talking with people coming in to buy fish and poultry and discussing back then how many of the residents and their family members before them moved out of other districts San Francisco after the earthquake. They did not want to be by many taller buildings as San Francisco continued to grow after 1906.

Many families in the beginning farmed, had nurseries and worked at their family businesses.
People worked at the local pharmacies, markets, theatre, Ken’s Seafood that was famous for their crab sandwiches, Avenue Sweet Shop, variety stores, bakeries, Bar B-Que restaurants and more.

It has been a melting pot of all people from the early days of the Jewish immigrants, Maltese, Italians, African Americans, Pilipino, Mexican & Asian just to mention a few which gives this neighborhood such a community feel as it welcomes everybody with a real sense of community.

Every year you can enjoy the very popular Portola Street Fair with food and enjoyment for everyone.
The beatification of the neighborhood project began and has continued over the past several years.
I still get a sense of community whether it is talking with current residents at my Open Houses or showing commercial space on San Bruno Avenue to interested business owners because they want to be in San Francisco but not downtown with accessibility to all freeways, SF Airport & transportation.

The people living and looking for homes really enjoy the neighborhood with the attraction for excellent schools, Cornerstone Academy, parks & recreation. For the adventurous you are rewarded with a very cool variety of eateries, markets and bakeries even today. With a neighborhood that has gone under changes it is a Change for the Good.

The City of San Francisco is very interested in bringing new businesses to San Bruno Avenue and the corridor.

Portola is a very popular District within San Francisco for those who live and own businesses.
Portola residents and business owners are very lucky to have neighborhood committees that work hard at keeping this neighborhood and its colorful past alive and vibrant.

Reasons to Stay Connected With Your Local Chamber of Commerce

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Photograph of Palo Alto City Hall.
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The Chamber of Commerce is the connection between the local businesses, city and community. The benefits to both the community and businesses are the resources and sense of connection that the local chamber of commerce plays in every city.The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce just turned 100.

In reading about the early members of course it is very typical that members consisted of a local hardware guy, shoes salesman, banker and other small business owners.

In a recent article in the Mercury News I read that the evolution of American business over the past 100 years of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce has been from small sole proprietors to businesses that represent national and multinational corporations.

The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce has been an integral part of the puzzle in the development of many projects within in the community. Providing education to the members is extremely important. They have members who are apart of their action committees who interface with city departments within the City of Palo Alto. Many positive outcomes consist of the expansion of San Hill Road and the creation of tree ordinances. Many feel that the chamber has been a key to Palo Alto’s development.

For those of us who belong to the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and live and have our businesses in Los Altos we already know what a special community this is. I always recommend to friends and clients if you are just arriving go into our local Los Altos Chamber of Commerce office or online to locate information about businesses, shopping and community. Every year in October the very popular Business Directory is sent out to 17,000 homes with names and numbers to all local business owners. There are seven shopping areas within the city.

Another wonderful point of interest is the special events and calendar. As a business owner you can join and get involve with community events from a monthly Mixer with other members to being an active member on one of the boards.

The sense of community is very apparent during the very popular annual Fall Festival and the amazing Lights Parade with floats and activities for all ages.

Local chamber of commerce plays an active roll in supporting our schools in our community.

If you are moving your business or home to a new city get involve with you local chamber of commerce and take advantage of the many resources available.

If you really want to get involve give back by joining and making a difference in your community.

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COLLEGE TERRACE, PALO ALTO – ONE OF THE HOTTEST NEIGHBORHOODS IN PALO ALTO

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The Official Seal of Palo Alto, CA

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The reasons are so varied why this particular Palo Alto neighborhood is so popular to many who want to own, invest and lease homes and apartments so they can live in this very family orientated neighborhood. College Terrace features many parks, higher educational institutions, shopping & restaurants that attract all ages to be apart of this community.
While walking down Williams Street, I passed a couple who was pushing a stroller and we said hello. I said have a nice day and what great weather today and they too said to me , have a nice day as well commenting how they enjoy living on Willimas Street and were going for a picnic at Cameron Park.
What and why is this particular area so vibrant? Just blocks from centers of job growth and accessibility to Stanford University, Stanford Hospital and Palo Alto businesses, this community offers people everything in their own backyard.
One can walk to popular California Avenue with specialty shops & popular Grocery stores like (Mollie Stone’s) not to mention many types of popular cafes & restaurants.
College Terrace offers very unique and varied types of architecture. Just walk down any street and you will see new custom homes with older charming homes along with quaint small apartment building.
People are always walking to the many popular parks like Donaldina Cameron Park or riding their bikes to the Stanford campus and of course Caltrans is centrally located at California Avenue to take people to San Francisco or other neighboring cities.
One of the most popular reasons for this community thriving is the fact that many professors, doctors an Stanford graduates live here while going to school then fall in love with the community and come back to buy and live with their families.
The large law firms, Facebook along and other top employers in Palo Alto are always attracting their employees to work for them and live close to where they work.
Excellent climate, healthcare, education, center of job growth and sence of community living make College Terrace a very desirable place to live.
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Visit the City Video Tab Above To View Your Favorite Cities’ Charm

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The Official Seal of Palo Alto, CA

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Palo Alto is a city that has an international feel with a large percentage of the population who are international citizens.Why do people come from all over the world and the United States to live in this wonderful city called Palo Alto?

The answer is varied but here are a few of the most obvious reasons. They come to attend or work at Stanford University, Stanford Hospital, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Facebook and the varied professional companies that reside within this hub of job growth in Silicon Valley

Yet the residential streets are charming memories of the past. Properties both commercial and residential close to the Stanford campus offer everyone beautiful parks, excellent schools, restaurants and shopping in small neighborhood shopping areas.

With the wonderful streets of Palo Alto you see people biking from their homes to work on Page Mill Road and to Stanford University or riding the Marguerite (Stanford Transportation) or Caltrain make living or working in Palo Alto very accessible to cities from San Francisco to San Jose

To get a better flare of this beautiful city to work, live or own property just sit back and go to my City Video Tab at the top of my Website and see other areas of interest in Palo Alto or other neighboring cities.

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How To Close Escrow In This Current Market Successfully

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Waterloo, NY

Image by statPaige via Flickr

 

PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY FOR MARKET- When selling a multi-family apartment building or a single family residential home for clients I recommend a few basic steps. Remove the clutter, paint and clean the property including any tree work or exterior landscaping. First impressions are the most important along with curb appeal and location.

FOR COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACE THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX- Turn a large vacant area into a pleasant work environment by renting office furniture. If the owners have moved their business to another location ask them to leave some cabinetry and office furniture to enhance the property for showing.

MULTI-FAMILY UNITS – When 100% occupied and subject to inspection take a video and walk the property to show interior and exterior amenities. If there is a vacant unit it may be important to stage so a perspective buyer can visualize how they can market as a future rental.

PROPERTY INSPECTIONS – Allows the sellers to be realistic about their property  in determining a price that will sell and the buyer knows what they are purchasing allowing for a successful close of escrow with very few surprises.

PRICE YOU’RE LISTING TO SELL –It is extremely important to understand sales comparisons in your area. In addition, knowing any costs associated with termite damage from the property inspection reports and obsolescence or deferred maintenance all are important factors when determining a price to market your property.

OFFER DATES STILL SUCCESSFUL – I believe for my sellers the aggressive marketing strategy for an Offer Date is still very effective. Often this strategy is very effective because buyers and agents will preview the property sooner than later. Especially on residential properties you can create a large Open House frenzy. When a home is priced correctly and shows well you can still get multiple offers.

REQUIRE ALL BUYERS TO BE PRE-APPROVED AND READY TO CLOSE- This is a crucial point in any successful close of escrow, a strong buyer with a strong deposit is often more important and the highest price offer.

PERSONALLY ASSIST WITH THE WALK THROUGH FOR A BUYER OR SELLER OF A MULTI-FAMILY APARTMENT BUILDING- It is extremely important to explain or answer any questions that a potential buyer will have during this process of the transaction. I recommend that if an owner is not the hands on manager they should make sure the person who knows the property is present to answer any questions from the buyers. 

BROKER EITHER REPRESENTING THE BUYER OR SELLER- It is extremely important to be present at the escrow signing to answer any questions and to see that all questions are answered by the escrow company as well so your clients can close escrow on time.

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Interview Questions to Ask Your Potential Property Management Company

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A is for Access

Image by Ben Zvan via Flickr

 

1) Confirm that the Property Management Company belongs to a local Apartment Association.

2) Ask them to show you their application, rental forms and leases along with credit reporting forms used when leasing an apartment.

3) Confirm what types of marketing media do they use in the local market to expose any vacant units? Look to see  that the ads are correct and updated frequently.

4) If your apartment building does not have an on-site manager how will they show the units to perspective residents?

5) What are their sources for rental surveys to determine the best possible rental amount and required time to turn a unit?

6) What local businesses, universities and hospital contacts do they have to expose your units to potential residents who will need housing?

7) What are their current vendor contracts and have them show all costs for turning a typical unit with just painting and cleaning.

8) On more extensive work for a apartment turnover how are they prepared with vendor contracting and appliance costs to best turn a unit efficiently and cost effectively.

9) Ask for references so you can check their credibility and always survey the market to see if they have competitive pricing.

10) Drive by a few of their existing properties they manage and always look in the carports to see how well maintained and clean they are during the day and at night.

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Creating Additional Cash Flow In Your Daily Business

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Simple ways I have helped assist clients turn their extra commercial space into DOLLARS  $.

 

As a professional Real Estate Broker, I am always assisting my Clients by reviewing their lease space and or business space and advising them in concepts that will bring in extra cash flow.

 

One example is a client who owns their own building and runs their daily business from that location. On a recent visit to the client I observed that there was valuable space that

was not being utilized. I pointed out that with minimal construction costs and refiguring the space I could lease that space to a potential tenant. I recommend that we meet with a contractor who can provide a proposal and my client can determine if they want to make the changes and lease their space.

 

Often times the construction costs are minimal compared to the additional cash flow they will receive when I lease their space. The positive results for my clients have been on many occasions a minimum of a three-year lease rental with a three-year option.

 

Another success story is seeing a clients operation and commenting that one employee’s office was only being used at a quarter of the entire office space. In further talking with my client I determined that much of the employee’s work is in the warehouse and he needs to walk back and fourth across the building. By simply building an office in the mezzanine area over the warehouse, adding stairs and a window the employee can oversee the warehouse operation and be more accessible to the other employees.

 

The benefits to my client are a more efficient workflow. Once again I leased out the entire extra office space and my client has income from a new three-year lease with a three-year option.

 

As my clients professional Real Estate Broker I need to be creative, a problem solver and always thinking out of the box. These success stories are a “win win” for everyone.