Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sacramento County Sandbag Locations

In light of the "Stormageddon" that is apparently going to hit Sacramento tonight and tomorrow, it might be a good idea to get some sand bags to protect your home from water intrusion.

County Self-Service Sandbag Filling:
Sacramento County Branch Center, 3847 Branch Center Rd.
-  Sacramento Metro Fire Station #112, 6801 34th St. (North Highlands)
Orangevale Community Center, 6826 Hazel Ave.
-  Westside Park, 6555 West 2nd St. (Rio Linda)
-  Jose P. Rizal Community Center, 7320 Florin Mall Dr. (South Sacramento)
-  Sacramento Metro Fire Station #106, 2200 Park Towne Cir. (Arden Arcade)

These are open 24 hours a day, and you just need to bring your shovel. Sand & empty bags will be provided for residents to fill.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My 3rd California International Marathon Finish! Please don't make me walk up or down stairs today...

The weather could not have been more perfect yesterday - low of 50 degrees and a high of 65 - as my husband and I ran the California International Marathon. This was my third finish (2011, and 2013 were my other years), and my husband's second finish. Neither one of us qualified for Boston Marathon, in case you were totally wondering. I'm not THAT fast. Next up, I will attempt my first "Ultra" run - a 50k in February. While a marathon is 26.2 miles, a 50k is about 31 miles. What's another 5 miles? That's what my friends keep telling me...so I'm going to tell myself that 5 more miles can't be that bad. We shall see what my body thinks, because it's a little hard to walk for a few days after a marathon...today I toured a 2-story Land Park home with a basement. Two sets of stairs were rough, but I made it!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sacramento Holiday Gift Giving Guide -- celebrate and support some amazing local businesses...

For the last few years in December, I have written blog posts about gift ideas from local Sacramento businesses to give to your favorite resident for Christmas, Channukah, Kwanzaa, or whichever holiday you celebrate. If your holiday festivities involve gift giving, there are many local Sacramento gifts you can give! Here are my top 12 gifts that will make any Sacramentan's holiday, at any age or budget:
  • A membership to with the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, aka SABA; another gift that keeps on giving! SABA advocates for making Sacramento a more bike-friendly place. Noticed more bike parking around town? Ever taken advantage of their free "bike valet" at a neighborhood event? It's a great organization! Estimated cost: $30/Individual annual membership.
  • A ring or a necklace from compliment.; they have something for everyone, from the most girliest girl, to the "gamer babe" sports fan (my favorite, I'm not gonna lie)! Best of all, everything you purchase from compliment. comes with a "compliment" to let your someone special know just how special he/she is. AND a percentage of all sales goes to their scholarship program.
  • A subscription to Comstock's Magazine; it's the only monthly Sacramento business magazine! It's always a great read and generally very insightful regarding local commerce, businesses both small and large, and the state of local cities, counties, and otherwise. Estimated cost: $20/year.
  • Yummy cookies or chocolate from About a Bite Bakery; by far my favorite local small batch baker. They have provided many thank you gifts for my clients and have some amazing holiday offerings too. They even deliver! Estimated cost for a box of the best "bites" you will ever taste: $18.
  • A new or used camera from Action Camera; This boutique camera store offers everything from new and refurbished camera, lenses, and more! They also do cool swap-meets for folks to sell their gear, photo contests, and "meet-up" events for photographers to take photos of neat stuff! Estimated cost: varies.
  • A Run Training Program at Fleet Feet; the gift of fitness is a gift that keeps on giving! This super cool running store has a few locations in the Sacramento area (Downtown, Fair Oaks, Roseville, Davis) and offers several training programs for different levels (5k, half marathon, marathon, triathlon, etc). Their store locations offer a huge variety of fitness apparel too like shoes, synthetic socks, nutrition, etc. Estimated cost: $59+
  • Dinner at Mulvaney's; one of my favorite Midtown Sacramento restaurants! Neat setting, great ambiance, and amazing food. The menu is constantly evolving, so call ahead or check their website. Estimated cost per person: $50.
  • A Growler of beer from Bike Dog Brewing Company;  If you like craft brewed beer, and haven't discovered this place -- you need to go. Tucked away in a warehouse space near the Port in West Sacramento, they brew their beer in small batches on-site...and have a dog and kid-friendly tap room open to the public. They don't serve food, but there is almost always a mobile food truck in the parking lot. My personal favorite is their "Double IPA." Estimated cost per pint: $6.
  • Massage from Elite Massage Therapy; Katie at Elite Massage Therapy in East Sacramento whips me back into shape after a long run, and she gives one heck of a theraputic massage too. Estimated cost/treatment: $80/ one hour.
  • Some soap from Sudz by Studz;  they make everything from bars of soap, to lotion soap, to lip balm and more. All of their products are hand made from local Sacramento ingredients and cruelty-free. Estimated cost: $10/bar.
  • Tickets to a Sacramento Rivercats game; See the San Francisco Giants' affiliate play at Raley Field. I'm a HUGE SF Giants fan, and many of these players are a phone call away from the major leagues! Estimated cost/ticket: $6-30.
  • A new home; Sure, I saved the best for last. Nothing says happy holidays like closing escrow on a Sacramento home...sorry if that was a little cheesy! Estimated cost: Priceless. =)
Check out my posts from previous years too -- there some great ideas there as well!
Post from 2013: Sacramento Holiday Gift Ideas

Post from 2012: Sacramento Holiday Gift Giving Guide -- are you giving back to your local economy and small businesses?
Post from 2011; Holiday Gift Ideas -- for your most beloved Sacramento Resident...
Post from 2010; Holiday Gift Ideas for your Favorite Sacramento Resident...
Post from 2009; Sacramento Holiday Gift Idea Guide
Post from 2008; Best Sacramento Christmas Gifts

Sunday, November 30, 2014

41st Annual East Sac Holiday Home Tour coming next weekend!

It's holiday home tour in East Sacramento again! 2014 marks the 41st annual Sacred Heart Holiday Home Tour through the Fabulous 40's neighborhood. The homes showcase some amazing renovation and style while still preserving historic detail. All of the homes are decked out for the holidays too. Advance tickets can be purchased online or at a number of local stops (like East Sac Mercantile, Emigh Hardware, Collected Works, Summer Porch, Pottery World, East Sac Hardware, and others)  until the Thursday night prior to the tour start. This year's tour is Friday December 5th from 11am to 8pm, Saturday December 6th from 10am to 7pm, and Sunday December 7th from 11am to 5pm. Funds raised benefit Sacred Heart School.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Selling a home during divorce or separation...

I just received a call today from a potential home seller...as I started to ask questions relating to the house itself to I can get a sense for its condition, I naturally asked the "why" question - as in "why are you thinking about selling?" The man on the other end of the call got silent for a second, took a deep breath and said "because we are getting a divorce." Ouch. As someone who has personally suffered through a divorce, I know how painful the experience can be. Mine was certainly a craptastic roller coaster and it all just couldn't be over soon enough. And when paired with the fact that a home or other assets must be divided or sold as a result of the separation, it's like being kicked while you are already down. It's an emotional time.

Whether you and your ex have mutually decided to sell your Sacramento-area home, or if the sale has been ordered by the court, it can be a delicate situation having to go through that process. As if the stress level isn't high enough when you sell under other non-divorce circumstances, the heat is turned up even higher under the compounded circumstances that accompany separation. Plus there are a few transactional nuances your agent must be familiar with to properly sell. I have lots of experience helping separating couples sell property. I realize that perhaps you don't want to even be in the same room as your ex, not to mention sitting at the table signing documents and such. I know I didn't want to.
Selling a home during separation is about untying the financial binds of your relationship, finding closure, and moving on. I know this will be a stressful process (as if the divorce itself isn't stressful enough!), however my goal when helping those during separation is to make the selling process as painless as possible.
I can accommodate special circumstances, including but not limited to:
-Meeting with you both separately to sign documents or arranging for mobile "digital" signatures;
-"Quit Claim" for one spouse, if he/she wants to sell but just doesn't want to be involved;
-Arranging for temporary storage of assets or clean-out/trash-out;
-Coordinating details with your attorneys, if they are involved in the transaction;
-Providing or facilitating property valuation analysis for the court, and/or appearing in court;
-Negotiating a short sale with your lender(s), if you do not have equity in your home;

It's not my job as your real estate agent to pass judgment or take sides. I'm your resource to get through this process as painlessly as possible. Fees for my services come directly from the sales proceeds of the house, so I don't require a "retainer" or advance payment as many divorce attorneys do. I welcome your call at 916-342-1372 or erin@dunniganrealtors.com

Buying a home during a divorce is an entirely different story; also a few transactional nuances. I'll perhaps cover that in another post later...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thinking about painting your home? Invest a few dollars in some sample paint first!

Now that the majority of the interior projects are complete on the house we bought this summer in Del Paso Manor, my husband and I painted the exterior of our home a couple weeks ago. And probably much like anyone else who decides to paint their home, we spent some time collecting paint chips from a few paint stores before narrowing down our selection.

We wanted to paint the body of our house blue, the roof eaves and trim white, and add some red accents. And we picked out some paint that we thought would look amazing on our home.

If you are planning to paint your home, or even just a room, I'd highly suggest getting a few actual samples to actually paint on your home first, before you invest several hundred dollars in paint. Thankfully, we spent $10 and purchased a small sampling of the three colors we chose, and painted a section of the side and some trim near our front door. Because if we had purchased 20 gallons of what we had picked out, we would have ended up with "that house" on the street that our neighbors refer to as "that Southwest Airlines house."

Once we decided those were not the colors we wanted, we went back to the drawing board and got some more samples with a little more color variety. Ultimately we decided to paint our house a richer, darker blue, with a richer, darker maroon accent. Thankfully my husband was willing to get his hands dirty and take on the exterior painting project, so we rented the equipment...and he and I spent the better part of a couple weekends prepping, masking, and painting the house. There's still a little touching up to take care of, but overall we are happy with the results. I'm hoping that our next home improvement project isn't until after the new year...it's a lot of work!

Friday, November 7, 2014

It's time to 'Check Before You Burn' in Sacramento...

It's that time of year again...I had the first fire of the season just this last weekend. And as per usual between November and February, in Sacramento, I had to check the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District website - luckily it was ok to burn that day.

If you are not already in the habit of checking before you burn - you need to do it!

Sacramento County residents and businesses are restricted, or potentially prohibited from using indoor or outdoor fireplaces, wood stoves, firepits and chimineas that burn wood, pellets, manufactured logs or any other solid fuel, when fine particle pollution is forecast to be elevated. And if you burn on a "no burn day" there are penalties. First time violations will result in a $50 fine or an option to complete and pass a wood smoke awareness course. Fines for subsequent violations are higher. Call 1-877-NOBURN-5 (1-877-662-8765) to get the daily burn status, check online, or you can subscribe to a daily "Air Alert" as I have, where the air forecast is emailed to you.

Monday, November 3, 2014

City of Citrus Heights Downpayment Assistance Available

If you are looking to purchase a home within the City of Citrus Heights in Sacramento County, then you may want to find out if you qualify for their Home Buying Assistance Program. If you want to purchase a home but need assistance with coming up with the down payment, you may be able to apply for a low-interest loan for up to $40,000 through this program so that you can essentially finance your downpayment. The basic qualifications for this program are
  1. The home must be located within the Citrus Heights city limits. Generally, if you are searching online this would be homes located in 95610 or 95621.
  2. The property must be a single family home, condo, or half-plex. Unfortunately, duplexes and such are not eligible.
  3. You must be an owner-occupant. No investors can use this program.
  4. This program is for First-Time Home Buyers - so the buyer must not have owned a home within the last 3 years.
  5. Your household income must fall within the income guidelines. For example, for a household of 1 (that's a solo person, no spouse, no kids), the max allowable annual income is $38,550. For a household of 4 (so for example, a married couple with 2 kids), the max allowable annual income is $55,050. The max allowable income for a household of 8 is $72,700.
  6. You also must complete home buyer education.
Sounds great, right? If you would like me to connect you to the program administrator to see if you qualify for this program, I am happy to assist. You will also need to qualify for your loan as well, and I can point you in the right director for that as well...and then let the house hunting begin!