San Francisco Peninsula Update on the Housing Market

February 11, 2013

40verbaleelane-hillsboroughOn the San Francisco Peninsula there are 14 active and 16 pending sales in Burlingame. Low inventory continues to be a problem everywhere. It is amazing how agents keep coming up with properties to sell to their waiting “pent up” buyers. Our Burlingame office just had 50 offers on a pair of fixer properties in San Mateo, which sold all cash substantially over asking price. There is little new inventory coming on in Hillsborough, however the high end is starting to show movement with four properties over $10 million and two over $5 million now in escrow. This is very encouraging to see high-end buyers actively in the market. Our Palo Alto manager says the inventory is even scarcer (if possible) than last year – while the demand is higher. Lack of inventory is the biggest concern for agents and clients in the Redwood City-San Carlos area. Agents are working in a wider area in order to find properties for their buyers. In San Mateo, our manager sees a slight increase in listings. Homes that are off-market coming back on the MLS in the Woodside and Portola Valley area. Sales have picked up over the past two weeks. Everyone has lots of buyers – not too many sellers yet.

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Los Trancos Woods Community Marching Band

September 22, 2012

As many of you know, this band participates and wins awards in the Redwood City’s 4th of July parade, as well as a lot of others. Here are some pictures of the band in their finest at the bands picnic…

Enjoy!

My Mom is also in the picture a couple of times while she was just enjoying the music…

http://www.ltwcmb.com/html/picnic-2012.html

School Star Scores Testing Program

July 21, 2012

STAR Site Click Here!

STAR Scores for Sandpiper Elementary in Redwood Shores Click Here!

STAR Scores for Ralston Middle School Click Here!

Sequoia Union High School District Click Here!

 

Sample scores from 1998 for comparison purposes between districts

TOTAL READING Grade level-Percent of Students

TOTAL MATH Grade level-Percent of Students

TOTAL LANGUAGE Grade level-Percent of Students

SCIENCE Grade level-Percent

SOCIAL SCIENCE Grade level-Percent

State/County 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 9 10 11 9 10 11
California 48 47 49 50 50 52 53 39 36 40 49 46 46 48 53 48 48 51 44 46 51 46 54 54 55 67 54 53 41 49 43 48 45 48 42 61
San Mateo Co. 54 51 53 54 55 55 57 43 38 40 49 52 49 53 57 53 52 55 48 50 54 52 57 59 59 62 58 59 44 52 45 50 56 52 43 62
Bayshore Elem. 31 48 37 21 30 39 59 51 63 36 35 55 41 34 43 59 59 45 46 46 56
Belmont/Redwood Shores Elem. 58 69 72 70 76 76 77 61 73 74 67 77 74 66 65 69 73 71 75 82 76
Brisbane Elem. 43 50 53 49 51 59 67 41 42 57 49 64 64 57 41 53 73 62 68 68 70
Burlingame Elem 72 70 73 75 77 70 76 67 69 65 75 82 75 74 79 71 75 77 82 83 83
Cabrillo Unified 54 58 60 57 62 67 67 61 43 57 53 55 52 58 52 66 54 63 46 61 54 54 64 63 64 70 68 69 48 66 56 52 58 69 54 80
Hillsborough 95 88 82 89 86 90 88 92 89 84 91 87 90 90 89 90 82 88 89 89 90
Jefferson Elem. 50 35 40 44 47 41 44 32 37 41 41 45 35 38 46 39 49 51 55 54 48
Jefferson Union High 36 28 33 51 40 43 54 38 47 43 48 43 45 35 61
Laguna Salada 60 59 60 65 59 59 67 60 55 55 60 58 61 60 63 57 68 67 67 70 69
La Honda Pescadero 39 54 59 43 34 62 64 31 33 45 42 46 51 53 38 58 38 63 19 48 50 54 60 53 35 65 38 52 30 39 41 24 30 56 30 48
Los Lomitas Elem. 71 88 85 89 82 87 84 76 83 86 90 88 87 87 71 80 91 89 85 93 83
Menlo Park City Elem. 76 81 85 85 81 84 88 73 79 81 81 82 84 83 79 78 84 87 82 84 85
Millbrae Elem 56 52 55 55 63 64 64 47 40 45 47 66 61 68 60 53 60 57 72 72 67
Portola Valley Elem. 88 94 96 96 87 98 95 93 93 91 97 93 92 94 84 92 94 95 97 100 94
Ravenswood Elem. 24 17 15 19 17 18 20 25 36 20 30 27 27 30 19 26 22 26 23 28 25
East Palo Alto Charter 22 8 12 16 32 22 26 22 16 8 20 32
Redwood City Elem. 46 41 37 41 40 42 43 42 41 35 39 50 40 38 49 39 38 43 43 47 41
Garfield Charter 5 3 12 12 14 36 21 6 21 38 19 8 16 20 19
San Bruno Elem. 56 55 57 55 59 58 54 57 60 46 48 54 54 43 62 52 58 59 60 67 59
San Carlos Elem. 65 70 74 73 76 77 78 65 60 56 68 73 72 72 72 67 75 75 70 76 70
San Mateo/Foster City Elem. 52 54 59 58 59 61 65 49 50 57 57 60 55 56 56 54 63 63 62 68 64
San Mateo Union 52 51 48 65 63 60 69 55 61 53 58 52 64 55 68
Sequoia Union 41 33 38 48 38 43 49 37 45 40 39 40 46 34 53
South SSF Unified 54 44 44 51 52 49 46 39 36 32 45 55 44 53 52 44 43 55 49 44 51 48 50 56 52 52 44 62 47 47 41 57 41 47 41 66
Woodside Elem. 82 96 88 98 84 96 95 82 96 84 90 88 98 88 80 98 88 93 93 89 83

Housing Market Snapshot

June 3, 2012

An update on our current market counties in the Bay Area.

I hope you will find the following snapshot of local Real Estate inventory interesting. The table represents aggregated values based on MLS data for the specified date.

Housing Inventory Snapshot May 31, 2012
  Average List Price Median List Price Average Days On Market
Santa Clara County, CA
Single Family under $1M $615,884 $608,000 46
Single Family over $1M $2,425,837 $1,799,950 53
Condo/Townhome under $600K $376,989 $379,000 45
Condo/Townhome over $600K $809,957 $729,000 42
San Mateo County, CA
Single Family under $1M $645,934 $650,000 49
Single Family over $1M $3,879,677 $2,295,000 71
Condo/Townhome under $600K $418,477 $445,000 52
Condo/Townhome over $600K $908,239 $785,000 73
Santa Cruz County, CA
Single Family under $1M $598,361 $624,900 73
Single Family over $1M $2,134,907 $1,649,000 101
Condo/Townhome under $600K $338,777 $299,000 129
Condo/Townhome over $600K $904,200 $748,000 96
Monterey County, CA
Single Family under $1M $511,519 $469,000 78
Single Family over $1M $3,197,835 $2,249,000 121
Condo/Townhome under $600K $353,144 $375,000 82
Condo/Townhome over $600K $882,316 $825,000 85
Alameda County, CA
Single Family under $1M $476,432 $450,000 58
Single Family over $1M $1,818,848 $1,400,000 69
Condo/Townhome under $600K $293,270 $273,100 63
Condo/Townhome over $600K $778,781 $720,000 46
Contra Costa County, CA
Single Family under $1M $429,936 $350,000 57
Single Family over $1M $2,031,242 $1,575,000 93
Condo/Townhome under $600K $229,259 $185,000 62
Condo/Townhome over $600K N/A** N/A** N/A**
 
 
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Thunder Bolts on Bay Bridge

April 13, 2012

 

You have to check this awesome photo out….

 

Bay Bridge Lightning Strike!

 

My daughter,  Lizzy and I were driving home from up north of where we live last evening, not a good night to be out. Lizzy is good at driving in the torrential rains, which is actually a surprise for me.

 

Since in my younger days… when I flew for TWA, I remember being in a high rise hotel with other CA flight attendants and they all came running into my room.  I actually thought we were having a bomb scare. Not to be. They were just afraid… None of them had experience the thunder and lightening that we just had.

 

I was at the office today and everyone was talking about the lighting and I said, “it is just like being at home”, another lady said, “just like being in Pennsylvania”…. I think we experience a lot growing up in the Midwest or East Coast and we are so grateful to be here. On the same note, I think we take our beautiful weather for granted.

 

For me, it is a joy to live here and not shovel snow, or freeze to death trying to dig my car out of snow in the parking lot, so I can drive home. And, I love flowers, we have that one all the time, don’t we?

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Bay Area Easter Egg Hunts

April 6, 2012

Belmont:

Belmont’s Big Egg Adventure is Saturday @ 9 a.m. sharp in Twin Pines Park.

Burlingame:

Burlingame Lions Club annual Easter Egg Hunt and Pancake Breakfast is Saturday @ 8 a.m. in Washington Park.

Foster City:

Family Easter Egg Hunt is Sunday @ 1:30 p.m. in Leo J. Ryan Park.

Half Moon Bay:

Easter Egg Coloring Class is Saturday @ 2 p.m. at New Leaf Community Market.

City Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday @ 11:45 a.m at the Half Moon Bay High School softball field.

Menlo Park (2):

Firefighter Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday @ 10 a.m. in Burgess Park.

City Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday @ 10 a.m. in Kelly Park.

Millbrae:

Spring Festival 2012 is Saturday @ 1 p.m. in Central Park.

Pacifica (2):

City Egg Hunt is Saturday @ 10 a.m. at Frontierland Park.

Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday @ 1 p.m. at New Life Community Fellowship.

Palo Alto (2):

Children’s Easter Party is Saturday @ 9:30 a.m.,11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Gamble Garden.

Easter Family Fun Day is Saturday @ 12 p.m. in Bell Street Park (EPA).

Redwood City (2):

Free Easter Egg Hunt is Sunday @ 11:30 a.m. at Malibu Castle.

Free Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday @ 10 a.m. at Whole Foods for ages 2-12.

San Carlos:

Easter Bunny by Helicopter is Saturday @ 10:30 a.m. at Hiller Aviation Museum.

San Mateo:

Eggstravaganza is Saturday beginning @ 9:30 a.m. in Central Park.

As with everything these days, there’s even a website for nationwide Easter Egg hunts in case you’ll be out of town. You can check it out here.

Compliments from Dave Colby

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Alpine Inn and Historic Landmark (History of)

February 25, 2012

I frequently visit the Alpine Inn where a close friend of mine that I used to fly with for TWA works there. Geri Alexander is the owner’s daughter. People always ask about the history and I think that Steve did a great job with this article.  It is a lengthy read but if your interested in the Alpine Inn, here is the article.
Casa de Tableta was built in 1850 and used as ...

Image via Wikipedia

The Alpine Inn is one of the oldest businesses on the Peninsula, dating from a time when the local residents felt squeezed by the burgeoning population of foreign-born newcomers.
Nearly 150 years after it first opened for business, the Alpine Inn in Portola Valley continues to attract customers to the roadhouse/beer garden on the banks of Los Trancos Creek, at the corner of Alpine and Arastradero roads. And some customers still arrive on horseback.
In the 1850s, disappointed gold seekers began settling in the Santa Clara Valley to farm the fertile land. The earlier settlers, the Californios, felt displaced and outnumbered by the newcomers with their foreign customs and new form of government.
Many of the Californios withdrew from the valley and found refuge in remote areas such as Half Moon Bay and Portola Valley. Felix Buelna, a former alcalde (mayor) of San Jose, settled on 95 acres of Maximo Martinez’ Rancho de Corte de Madera in 1852. He soon opened a casa de tableta, a gambling house, where his fellow Californios could play cards, enjoying each’s company with their beverages of choice. Buelna’s roadhouse was established at the intersection of Arastradero Road and Alpine Road, then known as the Old Spanish Trail and a major route from the Santa Clara Valley to the coast communities of San Gregorio and Pescadero.
Business was good but Buelna’s gambling was not so good, and he sold the roadhouse to William Stanton, a Menlo Park coachman, reputedly to cover his losses in a poker game.
For the next century, ownership or proprietorship of the Alpine Inn would change numerous times, often with changes in ethnic flavor and with changes in the name of the roadhouse on Alpine Road.
In 1870 an Englishman, William Tate Philpott, leased the roadhouse for five years before Stanton resumed management, when it became known as Stanton’s Saloon. When Stanton died in a railroad accident, his family leased the business to F. Rodriguez Crovello, known to his customers as “Black Chapete.” The short, plump bartender with his black handlebar mustache was popular with his growing clientele of locals and construction workers who were building the new Stanford University.
When Stanford opened in 1891, the students soon discovered the liquid refreshments at Black Chapete’s, a welcoming change from “dry” Palo Alto. University officials pressured San Mateo County officials about the saloon operating near the university and its young, impressionable students. But county officials did nothing–as saloon keepers and related interests dominated San Mateo County politics, maintaining a very “wet” atmosphere throughout the county.
When the notoriously “wet” town of Mayfield incorporated in 1903, one of the first acts of the town trustees was to declare the town “dry,” thus forcing the closure of the 23 saloons in town. Charlie Wright, one of the former Mayfield saloon owners, began a partnership with Crovello at the Alpine roadhouse.
Soon thereafter Charles Schenkel took over management of the roadhouse and renamed it the “Wunder.” With the new name came a German flavor, but Schenkel’s proprietorship did not last nearly as long as the new name.
In 1907, Portola Valley farmer Walter Jelich bought Schenkel’s lease and continued the saloon’s operation. Stanford President David Starr Jordan took advantage of the change of ownership to protest the saloon’s presence to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. He complained that the establishment had “the reputation of being vile even for a roadhouse” and that it was a “disgrace to San Mateo County.”
But the Board of Supervisors again failed to share the Stanford viewpoint of and granted Jelich a liquor license before they even listened to Jordan’s plea. Jelich’s attorney responded that Jordan and the other Santa Clara County protestants should “missionize at home before crossing the creek.” As is the case with many protest efforts, the publicity only increased the popularity of the saloon. Local ranchers, farm workers and draymen continued to patronize the establishment, but it was Stanford students that made it a profitable business for more than 70 years.
In 1909 the State of California passed a law prohibiting the sale of liquor within 1 1/2 miles of schools and universities, including Stanford. This resulted in the closure of 14 saloons in Menlo Park, but left the Alpine Road establishment unaffected–it was just outside the new limit. With much of the competition banned, the saloon’s business boomed.
During World War I, the U.S. Army’s Camp Fremont in Menlo Park created a dry zone surrounding the camp. But this dry zone also did not extend to the roadhouse, and the soldiers joined the locals and the students in enjoying the liquid refreshments supplied there.
By 1911, saloonkeeper Chapete, then an old man, was living at the County’s “poor farm” and all interests in the saloon had passed to Julius Schenkel, the brother of Charles.
Then came Prohibition: the Volstead Act of 1919. Saloons closed nationwide as the nation became legally “dry.” For the next 13 years, rum runners and speakeasies were sources of alcoholic beverages.
Illegal liquor activity in San Mateo County was notorious, reflecting the sentiment of many of its residents. Numerous shipments of illegal liquor were smuggled into the county along the long coastline.
The Alpine Road establishment was renamed “Schenkel’s Picnic Park” and encouraged San Franciscans to come down to visit and enjoy the countryside. Advertised non-alcoholic beverages were sold, but more potent beverages were reputedly available to those in the know.
When prohibition ended in 1933, Stanford students exuberantly returned and Schenkel retired, the lease passing to Enrico Rossotti. Rossotti eventually purchased the property from the Stanton family and ran the popular establishment until 1956. Mr. and Mrs. Rossotti’s business became more than a saloon with the addition of burgers and similar grill food, popular with the crowds that often swelled enormously on Stanford home football gamedays. Alumni and families began to frequent the establishment in greater numbers.
Don Horther and John Alexander took over the roadhouse in 1956 and renamed it the “Alpine Inn Beer Garden”–but patrons today continue to refer to it as “Rossotti’s” or even more casually as “Zott’s.”
The clientele has changed over the years. Stanford students no longer dominate as they did for so many years. Like the Californios before them, the students have been replaced by new groups of beer-loving customers.
The saloon and its outdoor beer garden are populated by Silicon Valley workers out for a burger and beer at lunch under the trees. After work, the parking lot fills with expensive sports cars and luxury vehicles. On weekends, bicyclists, motorcyclists and occasionally horse riders pull off the road or trail to enjoy the pleasures of the Alpine Inn.
Located at 3915 Alpine Inn
Steve Staiger is the City of Palo Alto historian and a staff member at the main library.
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Filoli Flower Show and Mother’s Day Brunch

April 25, 2011

Love the Mother’s Day Brunch, I took my Mom who lives in Michigan there for Mother’s Day, a couple year’s ago and it was fantastic. Mom is coming out again for Mother’s Day this year and what a surprise to her to take her again… This is really a lovely event… Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Get your tickets early!!! Some of the times are sold out!!! An example of some of the menu items are following.    

Brown Sugar & Honey Glazed Ham and Frittata with Asparagus, Wild Mushrooms, Red Peppers & Shallots with Lemon Herb Chicken Breast 

 Cheese Blintzes topped with Fresh Berries

July 4th, Los Trancos Woods Marching Band at Friends Barbecue

July 7, 2010

July 4th, Movie-1

July 4th, Movie-2

I hope everyone had a great July 4th with family and friends. I would like to share a couple short videos of the group, they are awesome. My Mom’s favorite people and band.

They are always looking for new members:

Just a bit of history….On January 1, 1960, several residents of Los Trancos Woods Circle formed the Los Trancos Woods Community Marching Band.  After their debut parade around “The Circle,” they continued to participate in parades around the San Francisco Bay Area, growing in number through the years. They have won many awards for their performances in such events as the Redwood City, California 4th of July Parades, San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the Castroville Artichoke Festival. And, have since grown to a bigger group.

What you see here are a few members enjoying the hospitality of their friends backyard or should I say front yard of David and Elyane Larimer. Thanks to their hospitality, I was able to enjoy being there as well. And, enjoyed a fabulous barbecue as well.

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Memorial Day Music at the Alpine Inn, Historical Beer Garden

May 31, 2010

I went over to hear the music from a few bands at the Alpine Inn to welcome in the beginning of summer, or so we think!!! One of my friends, Bill Collins was joining the band with his harmonica. He is really good and enjoys playing with them. With the beautiful weather we are having this is a great weekend to go over there and enjoy the weather, friends and a beer or hamburger! Tell Geri and Molly “Hi” from me.

Happy Memorial Day!

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