Spring is typically short in Southern California. The first 80-degree day has come and gone and the first 90-degree day is already predicted next week. That means it is officially outdoor living weather–so get the grill going and check out the sales on pool toys, trunks or suits and towels.
Spring is also when the home selling and buying season starts in earnest with the end of the school year in sight. For some buyers, the outside amenities are as important as the indoor priorities: kitchen, dining and living areas; bedrooms to bathrooms ratio; storage closets, etc.
What’s does your dream outdoor living space vision look like: view lot, pool, patio, barbecue, dining area, bar with big screen TV, lawn, flower or vegetable or herb garden, lily or fish pond, kids playhouse and swing set, dog run? How about a changing room or a pool cabana house?… Continue Reading Dream Outdoor Living Spaces
While the calendar tells us that Spring officially arrived on March 21, a quick look outside last week tells us that the season will be late this year. If you live in California or most of the Southwest, the gloomy weather brought us another rainy atmospheric river and snow in the mountains without a hint of the sunny Spring days to come that we’re all anxiously anticipating.… Continue Reading Spring Bouquet: A Variety of Annual Must-Dos
For several years, many of us have turned to professional designers, decorators and real estate agents on television or the Internet to help us make big decisions about our homes. They have years of experience to offer homeowners going through the ups and downs of decision-making about remodeling with new decor or selling and moving into larger or smaller homes. Plus, it’s fun to see what they can do with an old house.
All Hollywood television and film producers, directors and script writers know one thing: Audiences are attracted to people who overcome tension and conflict in their daily lives. These “reality’ TV home shows are no different: They have mastered the format. For example, will it be what she wants (glamorous master suite) versus what he wants (a man cave with TV/bar)? Usually, there’s some compromise or the fireworks begin!… Continue Reading Stay, Sell or Buy in 2023?
At this time of year, many of us are anticipating the celebration of Thanksgiving. It’s a rich American holiday where family and friends gather in gratitude for the harvest at a bountiful feast honoring all that is good in life. It’s a time when many are grateful for simple things, such as our homes and gardens with trees, flowers and even a few late season vegetables and herbs such as parley or sage that always contribute to this savory holiday meal.
It’s also the time of year when our beautiful gardens are now ready for a well-deserved rest in Southern California, including those stately sycamore trees with their falling gold and orange leaves that provided us with welcome shady green relief during our hot summer days. As you’re raking up those leafy old friends and trimming back your perennial shrubs, it’s also time to look up at the tree branches and consider pruning trees that might have grown a little too large or are too close to our homes for comfort.… Continue Reading Tree Maintenance: A SoCal Thanksgiving Tradition
It’s mid-October and it’s time to think about Smoke Alarm ITM. “What’s that,” you ask?
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) reminds us every year that smoke alarm inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) are the responsibility of every homeowner, as well as those owning or managing rental units and commercial properties. Fire fighters will tell you nothing is more tragic than the loss of life in the fall or winter due to a candle lit fire and nonworking smoke alarms.… Continue Reading Smoke Alarm ITM: Why You Need One
Yes, it is August and it is too hot to go outside or do much of anything else except visit your pool, or your neighbor’s pool or the HOA pool or the lake or the beach. While you’re chilling out, even if it’s only inside the house with the HVAC cranked down, spend some quality time thinking about getting ready for the winter ahead by scheduling a maintenance appointment for your furnace.
In Southern California with our mild winters, many of us barely give our natural gas furnaces or heaters a thought. We typically only run them from late October until mid-February There’s only one problem, your poor neglected heater is sitting all alone in the attic, utility closet or garage while the air conditioner unit is having all the fun as temperatures hit the mid to high 90s or even the low 100s in Southern California.
We can assure you the temperature is going to fall: So please don’t take your natural gas furnace or heating system for granted by failing to give it some love. The temperatures start to drop by late October to mid-November in Southern California. A 30-minute visit to inspect your heater by a qualified HVAC technician in late September or early October will make sure you’re cozy in late fall through winter.… Continue Reading Say Goodbye To Summer and Prepare Now for Winter
Can a tennis ball really give you home-buying insight? Normally, when people are looking for properties to purchase, they worry about the roof or the walls or the plumbing or the appliances or the heating/ac system, but not many realize that inspecting the foundation is critical to the building’s structural integrity.
… Continue Reading Property Inspections—Keep Your Eye on the Ball
When the iconic 1960’s surf band the Beach Boys sang their hit song “Good Vibrations,” they definitely had romance on their minds and not earthquakes, slope movement, or landslides, etc. Falling in love and that unsteady feeling you get during an earthquake are different to be sure, but, they both can rock your world and leave you as Elvis would say, “All Shook Up!”
… Continue Reading Making all the Right Moves in Southern California
The ocean and canyon view
We were asked several years ago to consult on a “view” property in Malibu, California, that had been red-tagged (deemed unsafe for occupancy) due to earth movement and undermining of the house by a landslide that had occurred during the winter rains of 2004/2005. The client contacted us in May, 2015, after he purchased the property.… Continue Reading Red Tag Alert: View for Days Comes With a Price
If you’re a fan of classic architecture and the great homes of the past centuries, then you’ve probably also watched the PBS television classic, This Old House. Many of the homes featured on the long-running TV Series are located on the East Coast and typically have required construction repairs and updating with modern plumbing, electrical, HVAC.
On the West Coast, we have our share of classic homes too, dating back to the late nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries. In Southern California, our classic Victorians, Craftsman, Adobes, Spanish Revival and Ranch homes are local architectural treasures and are of historic significance. For our clients, preserving them is often both a practical matter as their principal residence and a labor of love to ensure their survival continues for generations to come.… Continue Reading Inspecting This Old House To See If It Stands The Test of Time