Central Coast Realty Group

Serving the Central Coast

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How to Make Settling Into a New Neighborhood Easier


Moving is never easy, especially when it involves relocating to a new city or state. Settling in and finding your place within in a new community can be more difficult than many other aspects of a move, but we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Meeting new people and making friends, although intimidating, is the most surefire way to make a new place feel more like a new home.

Here are a few tips to make settling into a new neighborhood a little easier:

Don’t Be Shy

It may be daunting, but one of the best ways to get to know people in your neighborhood is simply to be the first to approach them. When a good moment strikes (when neighbors don’t look rushed or pre-occupied), say a quick hello and introduce yourself. Sometimes that’s all it takes to open up the door to a great conversation.

Do as the Locals Do

Explore your neighborhood and find a place that suits your tastes, whether that’s a local market, restaurant or dog park. The more your frequent that locale, the more people there will get to know you. Think like ‘Cheers’. Wouldn’t it be nice to go to a place where everybody (or at least a few people) knows your name?

Actively Participate

Get involved in your new neighborhood! It’s a great way to meet like-minded people. Join groups or clubs that focus around a sport or hobby that interests you or do some charity work at a local organization. If you have school-aged children, consider dedicating some time to volunteer at your child’s school. There are plenty of ways to participate in the neighborhood around you!

Open Yourself Up to Conversation

If you’ve already met your neighbors, great job! But don’t stop there. Make yourself approachable so as to encourage people to strike up a conversation with you. It’s easy. When at home, lounge on your front porch or take a stroll through the neighborhood. When you’re out on the town, take a seat at the bar instead of a corner table (and don’t glue yourself to your cell phone the whole time!) or take your pup or kids to a local park.

Do you have any tips for getting settled into a new neighborhood? Share them with us in the comments!


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Create a Budget-Friendly Winter Wonderland


As the classic tune reminds us, there’s no place like home for the holidays, and isn’t that the truth? But when your holiday home is brand new, cost a pretty penny and is still fresh in your bank account, holiday fun can quickly morph into holiday humbug. The good news is that with these budget-friendly tips, you can still deck the halls to your merriment! Here’s to keeping budgets low and spirits high!

Reimagine the Tree

Does your tree really need to be a 9 foot tall living evergreen? Save some cash this year by opting for something out of the ordinary. Off-color faux trees, such as white, tend to sell for less and with the bold color choice you won’t need to go as large to make a big impact.

White Christmas Tree

Indulge in Your Sweet Tooth

Put that family-size box of candy canes or peppermints to good use! The festive sweets can be used for all sorts of holiday decorating from tree ornaments, to wreaths, to festive centerpieces. To get the tutorial on this beautiful table topper click here.

Candy Cane Vase

Light Up the Night

Add some holiday magic outside your new home with these festive luminarias! Transform ordinary paper bags into beautiful lanterns customized with your favorite holiday designs. Just be sure to use battery-powered candles to keep it safe.


String Up Your Holiday Cheer

With a pair of scissors, some string and decorative paper, and just 30 minutes you can have a gorgeous Star of David or snowflake garland! The limits are endless with this holiday project – garland, ornaments, adornments for gifts, you name it!

star garland

So, how will you be turning your home into a winter wonderland this year? Share your budget-friendly tips with other new neighbors in the comments!

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Shop Small in Santa Barbara and SLO County

This Saturday, November 29th, represents Small Business Saturday. A time when the holiday shopping season turns its focus away from the mega malls and super stores to your local mom n’ pop shops. If you’re new to the area, you may not have discovered the best of our local flare, so here’s your Small Business Guide to getting local in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo County this weekend!

SHOP                                                                                                              Central Coast Craft Fair

Central Coast Craft Fair & Boutique – The Fair is a San Luis Obispo staple. Every Thanksgiving weekend for the past 34 years, the Fair opens for a two day extravaganza. This year, catch the crafters and artisans in downtown San Luis Obispo beginning at 10 am on Friday, November 28th. Admission is free and complimentary refreshments and cookies will be on hand.

Downtown Santa Barbara – The whole of downtown Santa Barbara will be a shopper’s delight, as many of the city’s best local shops open their doors and head outside for a giant sidewalk sale. The sale officially kicks off at 10 am on Saturday morning. For a peek at some of the great shops, restaurants, and more that will be joining in on SBS fun, click here.

Ruby Rose – Ruby Rose is a well-kept secret by SLO locals. The vintage consignment shop is eclectic and full of surprises. It’s a great spot to find gifts for the distinctive home decorator or pick up unique clothing and handbags. Once you check it out for the first time, we’re sure you’ll see why this little gem is a local favorite.


Luna Red Chef

Luna Red Executive Chef, Shaun Behren

Luna Red – Want a true grassroots dining experience? Head to Luna Red off of Chorro Street in SLO. The ambiance is warm, the menu artfully crafted, and best of all, the food is always in season. Executive Chef, Shaun Behrens, believes in the importance of locally sourced ingredients and sustainable farming and fishing practices, so not only will you leave feeling full and satisfied, but also feeling good about  where and how your meal was sourced.

Villa Creek Restaurant – If you’re cruising around Paso Robles this weekend, call Villa Creek for a reservation. The organic, sustainably focused restaurant is ripe with delicious food offerings and great wines from their vineyard, Villa Creek Cellars. Oh, and don’t feel too bad if you can’t polish off your plate. The restaurant makes the most of everything, leftovers included, by transforming vegetable scrapes into feed for the owners’ pigs and meat scrapes into pet food. Now, those are some lucky farm animals!

Lucky Penny – For something a little more casual, grab an out-of-this-world pizza at Lucky Penny in the heart of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. Take a seat on the picnic patio for a great breakfast and a famed cup of coffee or swing by for wood-fired pizza takeout. Just be sure you don’t stare at that penny wall when the sun is shining bright.Lucky Penny

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Warm Up Your New Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dining Table

What better way to make your new house feel more like home than by hosting a warm and welcoming Thanksgiving get-together? Thanksgiving is the perfect chance to create new and lasting memories in your home and, if you’re up to it, a great opportunity to better get to know your new neighbors. Here are some tips to make a Thanksgiving dinner party in your new home as smooth as the sweet potato casserole:

1. Clean House

Getting your house in order should be step number one. Find a home for those last few items still lingering around from the move, get all of your odds and ends where they need to be and do an overall tidy up. You won’t feel comfortable inviting people into your home if you feel its unprepared.

2. Spruce Up the Place

It is a holiday after all! This is your ticket to break out the décor and get festive. Creating a warm and welcoming environment will help put you and your guests at ease. Decorate your front porch or entry way with fall items like gourds and pumpkins. Invest in some candles to place around your home. And, of course, don’t skimp on the centerpiece – your dining room table! Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet?

3. Spread the Word

Now comes the tough part for some – inviting the neighbors. It can be daunting to open your home up to new people, but honestly, the worst thing that can happen when you ask somebody to join you is that they decline. Where is the harm in that? Instead of honing in on your anxieties, focus of the potential good – the chance of forming great new friendships!

If you’ve already made some new friends, invite them, too! (And don’t forget to keep your kids in mind, too. They’ll want other kids to hang out with if it’s adult overload.) Expanding your circles never hurt and the most interesting dinner parties are the ones with many people offering many different views and experiences. Plus, you may end up expanding your network of friends from, say, 3 or 4 to 6 or 7!

4. Do the Prep Work

It’s your get-together, you should enjoy it, and it’s clear that enjoying a party is hard to do when you’re stuck in the kitchen tending to the feast. Keep stress levels low and ensure you get some time to mingle and enjoy the day by doing as much prep work as you can beforehand. Get a final headcount, double check your groceries to be sure you have everything, and cook like a maniac the day before and the morning of Thanksgiving, so all that’s left to do is heat and serve. Voila! Party perfection.

Are you hosting a Thanksgiving party or joining a neighbor for their feast? Tell us about your first Thanksgiving in SLO!

Autumnal Front Porch

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Decorating for Fall on a Budget

Autumnal Front PorchWelcome to the neighborhood! Now that the moving boxes have been unpacked and everything you need is settled into its place in your new house, isn’t it about time to have some fun with your home? Fall is the perfect time to add color and personality to your house, but after all of the moving costs, it can get expensive. Here are our favorite, budget-friendly, fall decorating ideas:

1.) Pick up some inexpensive faux pumpkins in place of the real variety. Many craft stores stock realistic looking decorative pumpkins for a reasonably low price. For the price of 2 real pumpkins, you can buy multiple faux pumpkins that can be used year after year. Keep them just as you buy them or get crafty and make them your own. Remember – pumpkins don’t have to be orange!

Bonus Tip: Place a few casually on your kitchen counter for a warm, rustic feel.

2.) Dress up a muted color palette by draping warm autumnal toned throw blankets and pillows over living and family room furniture. Add even more seasonal color to a room with a bowl full of crisp red apples – pretty, festive, and best of all, inexpensive.

3.) The front door is the centerpiece of your house. It’s the first thing guests will see when entering your new home, so give it a little decorating love! A twiggy wreath, pumpkins or gourds, and fresh autumnal flowers are all good choices to add a little color to your door step. Go with all three or just one, the choice is yours, but we guarantee that either way, it’ll grab some positive attention.

4.) Bring the outdoors in. Introduce a festive pop of color with flowers in shades of yellow, red and orange. Sunflowers and alstromeria are good bets for a tight budget as you can get at least one week of beautiful life out of them before they begin to wilt. Try them in entry ways, bathrooms, or a bedside table. Fall FlowersBonus Tip: Keep flowers fresh longer by removing any leaves below the water line, and be sure to change the water every few days.

Do you have any budget-friendly decorating tips you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!