Pumpkin Award

October 14, 2012

The winning pumpkin at 1775 lbs from Thad Starr of Pleasant Hill, Oregon, was larger than the scale at the Safeway Pumpkin Weigh-Off in Half Moon Bay. (Credit Stuart Nafey)

Half Moon Bay usually has the biggest pumpkin of the season but Oregon had us beat this year. Good job Oregon.

San Carlos City Wide Garage Sale

September 23, 2012

The 2012 City Wide Garage Sale will be on Sept. 29, from 9am to 4pm. It is really neat, the city makes a map of all the garage sales and mentions items listed. A great way to support San Carlos and surrounding cities.

A list of registered sellers will be available online on Wed, Sept 26. Paper copies will also be available at the library.

Called to action in 2005 as part of the “Enhancing the City of Good Living Initiative” San Carlos Together (SCT) is dedicated to strengthening our San Carlos Community. SCT is a non-profit organization. We encourage community building through cultural, educational, recreational, and neighborhood improvement programs & activities. 100% of your tax deductible contribution goes back into the community through our operations and affiliated programs.

Our mission is to support local community enriching groups, volunteers & committees.

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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…


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


Multiple Offers Make a Come Back!

May 14, 2012

In case you missed the news, markets are starting to pick up, which means more home buyers are likely to get off the sidelines. But, given the lack of good inventory in many real estate markets, there are more buyers than properties.

The result? Multiple offers are making a comeback.

The days of bidding wars, with several offers over the asking price, are probably gone in most markets. But buyers in certain markets are likely to see competing offers under the listing price. However, with that said, in the Mid-Peninsula area of the San Francisco Bay Area we are seeing many multiple offers and all are over asking. In Palo Alto, we had a home with 28 offers and another with 18. In San Carlos, another HOT spot we are seeing multiple offers all over asking and sold in a few days.

Here are three strategies for buyers to follow when the home they want has received other offers:

1. Don’t over-analyze the other offers or the listing agent

After multiple property viewings and interacting with the seller’s agent, by you at an open house, or your agent, the listing agent tells you there’s another offer on the property. Your reaction: “Really? Are you kidding me?”

Take the listing agent’s word for it, but only use that as one data point. Don’t spend too much energy trying to figure out what’s really going on with the other offers. If you love the property, keep moving forward, but at your own pace. Make the offer you’re comfortable with, and only when you’re comfortable making it. Don’t feel pressured to make an offer in order to compete, especially if you’re not ready to put in a bid.

2. Focus on your negotiations with the seller

Sometimes, the listing agent will say that the other offer is a better price, has a larger down payment or a quicker close. Who cares? The seller will still be looking at and working with your offer when considering their circumstances. For all you know, the other offer may be a horrible “low ball” offer or from a buyer who isn’t pre-approved for a loan or from an out-of-area agent who is unfamiliar with local customs and protocols. Or the buyer may have made the offer after only seeing the property once.

Even though there are other parties making offers, don’t get distracted by them. Stay focused on your own negotiations with the seller. Remember: You’re not negotiating with another buyer, and trying to do that will drive you nuts.

3. Present yourself and your offer in the best possible light

Most people make a decision about whom to sell their home to based not just on price but on the whole package. Who are the buyers and what is their level of interest in the home? What’s the price they’re offering? How many contingencies are they asking for and what are the timeframes of each? What is the down payment amount and length of escrow.

Consider writing a note of introduction to the seller with your offer or ask that your agent do so. Be sure to present a pre-approval letter with your offer too. This is a no-brainer in demonstrating to the seller that you’re a qualified buyer and you’ve taken the time to get approved for a mortgage. As an agent myself, I always include a separate sheet that highlights the important items in the contract in a nutshell as an over-view.

Finally, put your best foot forward with your earnest money deposit. While there are customary ways of approaching earnest money deposits in each real estate market, putting up only a few hundred or only a thousand dollars may give the seller the impression you’re not that serious. If you can put up the full 3 percent, do it. It shows you mean business. Don’t forget this money is refundable should something major come up, and your contingencies protect this deposit.

Ultimately, keep in mind that the sellers are probably embarking on a major life change. They may be selling due to a job transfer, new baby, or the need for more (or less) space. It’s a huge decision for them, and receiving an offer can be as exciting as it is nerve-wracking. So lead with your best offer and don’t wait for a counter because there might not be one. Be patient and understanding. See what happens. If you don’t get the property, learn from the experience and move on. Who knows? You may find something even better.

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San Carlos Night of Holiday Nights

November 22, 2011

Join us on December 2nd, for our Annual Holiday Lights evening. This event is free to everyone. This event is on Laurel Street with the main music at the intersection of Cherry and Laurel. Event is from 5-8. Lighting festivities begin at 6:30. Last year’s train ride was a big hit with a line up for the children to ride the train that went through Laurel Street.

This event includes:

  • Festive Lights with a Snowfall Forecast
  • Holiday Performance by Big City Revue!
  • Music & Carolers
  • Children’s Crafts & Activities

Our restaurants and services will be open to all. Free Community Event!



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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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History of May Day (1st)

May 1, 2011

On this day in 1931, President Herbert Hoover officially dedicates New York City‘s Empire State Building, pressing a button from the White House that turned on the building’s lights. Hoover’s gesture, of course, was symbolic; while the president remained in Washington, D.C., someone else flicked the switches in New York.

The idea for the Empire State Building is said to have been born of a competition between Walter Chrysler of the Chrysler Corporation and John Jakob Raskob of General Motors, to see who could erect the taller building. Chrysler had already begun work on the famous Chrysler Building, the gleaming 1,046-foot skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. Not to be bested, Raskob assembled a group of well-known investors, including former New York Governor Alfred E. Smith. The group chose the architecture firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates to design the building. The art-deco plans, said to have been based in large part on the look of a pencil, were also builder-friendly: The entire building went up in just over a year, under budget (at $40 million) and well ahead of schedule. During certain periods of building, the frame grew an astonishing four-and-a-half storeys a week.

At the time of its completion, the Empire State Building, at 102 storeys and 1,250 feet high (1,454 feet to the top of the lightning rod), was the world’s tallest skyscraper. The Depression-era construction employed as many as 3,400 workers on any single day, most of whom received an excellent pay rate, especially given the economic conditions of the time. The new building imbued New York City with a deep sense of pride, desperately needed in the depths of the Great Depression, when many city residents were unemployed and prospects looked bleak. The grip of the Depression on New York’s economy was still evident a year later, however, when only 25% of the Empire State’s offices had been rented.

In 1972, the Empire State Building lost its title as world’s tallest building to New York’s World Trade Centre, which itself was the tallest skyscraper for but a year. Today the honour belongs to Taiwan’s Taipei 101 building, which stretches 1,670 feet into the sky, but which will itself soon be superseded by the Burj building in Dubai.

http://bcove.me/sspjfpw9 to watch a video on this day in history.

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San Mateo City Street Closings for May Day

April 30, 2011

Thirteen cities in San Mateo County are closing their streets to cars this weekend and opening them to walkers, bikers and other revelers.

The second annual “Streets Alive” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday across the county and will include events ranging from exercise and dance classes to picnicking and play.

Last year’s event was held in April to coincide with the World Health Organization‘s 2010 open spaces-themed World Health Day, organizers said.

Pounding rain kept most of the crowds away, so the county decided to hold this year’s event in May, said Eric Pawlowsky in the office of county Supervisor Carole Groom.

Although the public is “thrilled at the idea” of opening up the streets, officials don’t know how many people to expect with the weekend’s sunny forecast, Pawlowsky said.

“People love the idea of having a safe, car-free place to walk and to bike,” he said.

Four new cities signed on this year to participate in the event, which is relatively inexpensive to stage because most of the services are donated and only existing infrastructure is used.

Pawlowsky said the county expects to continue holding Streets Alive on an annual basis, but officials hope the yearly gatherings will encourage individual cities to block their streets to cars more often.

The participating cities are Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, East Palo Alto, Foster City, North Fair Oaks, Pacifica, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Mateo and South San Francisco, Daly City and Millbrae held their events in April.

More information about the individual city routes is available at http://www.streetsalivesmc.org/

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Spring Fling Fundraiser for San Carlos

March 8, 2011

The San Carlos Educational Foundation is doing a terrific job in coordinating the PTA Council to invite our community to enjoy this years 2011 Spring fling. The theme of this year’s event is  inspired by the classic of Alice in Wonderland.

The evening will include: Silent and Live Action,  Raffle, Dinner, Diamond Martini Bar, Costume Contest, Dancing, Poker Tournament and Blackjack.

This is in all good fun to raise money for the San Carlos public schools.

More information can be found at heep://www.springfling.us or call 650.599.1844


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Happy Thanksgiving Day!

November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Enjoy the day with your family and friends. I am sure there will be enough turkey to go around. Enjoy!

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