Mortys Steakhouse in San Carlos

June 29, 2012

If your looking for a great place to have lunch, dinner or happy hour consider going to Mortys.

I have been there a few times now and have had excellent service from Roberto. He was very attentive to the guests at the restaurant.

The food of course, is great. They have this dipping bread that is to die for.

Indoor or outdoor dining as well as sitting in an outdoor patio area in the back.

Full bar.


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8 Farmer’s Markets in San Mateo County

May 20, 2012

25th Avenue Farmers’ Market in San Mateo

Belmont Farmers’ Market

Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Farmers’ Market

Kaiser South San Francisco Farmers’ Market

San Bruno Farmers’ Market

San Mateo Event Center Farmers’ Market

San Mateo Farmers’ Market

South San Francisco Farmers’ Market

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What to Know About a Down Payment

May 7, 2012

My Mortgage Docs to be Reviewed by an Expert

My Mortgage Docs to be Reviewed by an Expert (Photo credit: Casey Serin)

When you buy real estate, it’s very exciting. First, you shop (till you drop) until you find your dream home (or maybe your dream home minus some bedrooms and closets). Then, you write possibly the biggest check of your life.

What is it? What happens to it?

It’s Not Actually a “Down Payment

Because it’s the first money that a buyer puts “down” against the purchase, buyers often refer to it in slang as the “down payment.” That’s not technically correct, mostly because a purchase might involve more money down later. For example, you might buy a $400,000 house and hand over 5 percent of the purchase price (or $20,000), when you sign the contract, and then put another percent down at closing, so that your entire down payment is $40,000, in addition to the fact that you’re handing the seller a mortgage for the last 90 percent

How to Handle That “Earnest Money

So technically, that check that goes with the contract is known in the trade as “earnest money” (because it’s used to prove that you’re very, very earnest about buying this property) or the “contract deposit.” You don’t, however, want to just hand it over. It should go into a special account, known as an escrow account, which is held by the escrow and title company in California.

Where Does the Money Go?

It varies by state.  In California, all the other money in a real estate transaction, even the mortgage, goes through escrow, too (but that’s not the way it is in most states). More typical is that the earnest money stays in escrow until the deal closes — and you own the house or apartment.

If Something Goes Wrong, Do You Get Your Money Back?

Well, that depends on the terms of your contract. Your contract — which you should read carefully and have your agent explain — should outline in what scenarios your earnest money is forfeited, and in what scenarios you would get it back.

Typically, you might get it back if:

  • the seller changes his or her mind and decides not to sell
  • you have a contract with a financing contingency, and the bank denies you a mortgage loan
  • you have a contract with an inspection contingency, and the inspector finds something seriously wrong (like a terrible termite infestation) with the subject property
  • there is a fire in the property before you buy
  • you elect to cancel the contract rather than go through with the deal

The most typical reason not to get your money back:

  • you, as the buyer, change your mind and decide not to buy.

In other words, you can’t just cancel your contract on a whim. There are probably secondary provisions that keep you from “throwing” the deal — for example, if you have a financing contingency, then you wouldn’t have to go through with the purchase if the bank doesn’t give you a mortgage loan. But, there are probably contract provisions that state that you have to apply seriously and give the bank the income documentation and financial records that it asks for.

You have to be careful with an FHA loan and make sure you have a lender that is very familiar with the intracies of an FHA loan. One example cites a case where the buyer thought she was getting an FHA loan, and then found out that the FHA wouldn’t finance in the condo building where she was trying to buy. You might think that’s not her fault, but she still lost her deposit because she didn’t do enough research.

So, (I said this above but it bears repeating) read your contract. The huge amount of money you save may be your own.

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Earth Day Free Compost San Carlos

April 21, 2012

The San Carlos and Recology San Mateo County invite San Carlos residents to the San Carlos Compost Giveaway on Earth Day.  Each resident is welcome to take up to 5 gallons of nutrient rich compost to enrich their gardens. This will be just in time for all of our vegetable gardens out there.

The event is for San Carlos residents only – no commercial gardeners, please. Bring proof of residence.  And remember, it’s BYOB – bring your own bags and buckets.

See you there!

Sunday, April 22, 2012 – from 9am to Noon
Highlands Park, Tennis Courts Parking Lot
2600 Melendy Drive

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Don’t Know Where to Turn? Call 211

February 17, 2012

If you or anyone you know needs food, housing, health care or other services, just call 211 from any phone.

The toll-free number connects callers to people who can link them to services. It’s a one-stop referral service with a mission to connect people with the help they need. The service is new to San Mateo County.

To provide the service, San Mateo County and the Community Information Project have teamed up with United Way of the Bay Area

211 is confidential and available 24 hours a day in more than 150 languages.

Problem dialing 211? Call 800-273-6222 (TTY 415-808-4440 or 711)

Visit for more information about 211 services throughout San Mateo County and the entire Bay Area.

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Statistics for Single Family Residences & Condos San Mateo County

December 27, 2011

Click on Single Family Nov. Report for your November update on the listings, sales, current inventory, etc… in San Mateo County. This is the most current report until January.  For Condos and Townhomes click on Condo Report Nov. 2011. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.


A very basic map of San Mateo County in California

Image via Wikipedia

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History of Chamber Haunted House

October 26, 2011

In San Francisco this prime piece of San Francisco real estate was built by silver mine tycoon Richard Chambers. The story goes that Richard moved into the home with his two nieces, bringing with him a host of demons and ghosts with him. When Chambers died in 1901, the nieces inherited the home; one moved next door and one, Claudia, stayed in the home.

Claudia was discovered nearly cut in half one day. The family passed it off as a “farm implementation accident” but ghost expert Jim Fassbinder, who conducts haunted house tours in San Francisco, claims an insane family member who was kept in the attic of the Chambers home was the culprit. Recently a bed-and-breakfast, the home sold in 2009 for $3,400,800.

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San Mateo County Halloween Events

October 17, 2011

HALF MOON BAY, CA - OCTOBER 11:  A giant pumpk...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Compliments of ABC News Events

Now that we have really enjoyable weather, it will be great fun for our ghosts and goblins this year.
Farmer John’s Pumpkin Farm
Fun, family atmosphere in a relaxing country setting off of Highway 1. Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am – 6pm. 850 North Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019. (650) 726-4980.

 Half Moon Bay Main Street
41st Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival 2011– Music stages, food, drinks, crafts, costume contests and more. October 15th – 16th, 2011. 10am – 5pm. 850 North Cabrillo Highway, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019.

Lemo’s Farm
Halloween on the Farm– Pumpkin patches, ghost train ride, hay ride, and haunted house, and petting zoo. Open daily in October. 12320 San Mateo Rd., Half Moon Bay, CA 94019. (650) 726-2342.

Menlo Park
Halloween Parade and Carnival– Parade from Burgess Park to Fremont Park. Participants will receive a trick or treat bag. After the parade, trick or treat your way back to Burgess Park through Downtown Menlo Park at participating stores. The Arrillaga Family Recreation Center will then open for a carnival for children ages 12 and under. Activities are co-sponsored by the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce. Saturday, October 29th, 2011. Menlo Park, CA 94025.

Redwood City: Pick of the Patch Pumpkins
Pick of the Patch Pumpkins– Offer several varieties of pumpkins, interactive Pumpkin Patch Tours, bounce houses, slides, retail items (such as carving kits, painting kits, snacks) and a Halloween photograph area. Sunday – Thursday 9:30am to 9:00pm Friday & Saturday 9:30am to 9:30pm. 1301 Broadway, Redwood City, CA 94063..

San Bruno: Pick of the Patch Pumpkins
Pick of the Patch Pumpkins– Offer several varieties of pumpkins, interactive Pumpkin Patch Tours, bounce houses, slides, retail items (such as carving kits, painting kits, snacks) and a Halloween photograph area. Sunday – Thursday 9:30am to 9:00pm Friday & Saturday 9:30am to 9:30pm. Sneath Ln & Huntington Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066.

Serramonte Center
Spook Parade and Costume Contest – Trick-or-treat with participating stores. Parade, costumes, and prizesp for children ages 12 and under. Monday, October 31, 2011 3pm – 6pm. See other Halloween events at Serramonte in October. 3 Serramonte Center, Daly City, CA 94015. (650) 992-8687.

San Carlos: Pick of the Patch Pumpkins
Pick of the Patch Pumpkins– Offer several varieties of pumpkins, interactive Pumpkin Patch Tours, bounce houses, slides, retail items (such as carving kits, painting kits, snacks) and a Halloween photograph area. Sunday – Thursday 9:30am to 9:00pm Friday & Saturday 9:30am to 9:30pm. W El Camino Real & Arroyo Ave, San Carlos, CA 94070.



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Legendary Menlo-Atherton football coach Ben Parks dies.

September 25, 2011

Legendary Menlo-Atherton football coach Ben Parks dies – San Jose Mercury News. So sorry to hear the news of this great man. Imagine the hardship he endured as a child. He became such a great man because of his beliefs and honor. If you ask anyone in the high schools that have met him, he was a man of honor. He helped children with their sport, like no one else could.  I was privileged to meet his son, another great man. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I learned a lot from his son, who is also a player, but a life is an example and this family sure had a great one. Ben Parks Rest In Peace!

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Aurora Mandolin Orchestra at the Belmont Greek Festival 2011

September 2, 2011

Our Belmont Greek Festival is this weekend at the Holy Cross Church on Alameda in Belmont. Fabulous entertainment for old and young. 3 full days of activities, great food and even a “fun zone” for children. One of my special orchestra’s will be performing on Sunday, Sept 4th at 5 in the Amphitheatre. Please come and hear this wonderful orchestra. Sept. 3 & 4, Noon to 10 and Sept. 5th, Noon to 8.

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