Central Coast Realty Group

Serving the Central Coast


Leave a comment

Spring Into the Season

spring-316535_1280

Spring is in the air in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara counties! With the promise of warm weather, outdoor activities and beach season on the horizon, Californians are ripe with anticipation. The only question is, which springtime happenings will you jump into first? Here is your complete guide to a season of fun!

Fun with Fido

Get out and about with your four-legged friend at any of these fabulous pet-friendly places:

Just for the Kids

Embarking on a family adventure? These child-friendly activities are sure to be fun for the whole crew!

Food, Festivals and More

Whether you’re hanging out with the adults only crowd or looking for some family-friendly activities, our little slice of the California coast has it all!

Did we miss a springtime event you’re excited about? Share it with us in the comments!

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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.

EAT

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


Leave a comment

You Can’t See it But it’s Everywhere: How Lighting Can Change a Room

Prudential California Realty is Central Coast’s Real Estate experts. Our first priority is you – always. It is our goal to provide you with the most innovative real estate services on the Central Coast.

Have you been truly enlightened to the effects that lighting can have on a room?

Whether you have just moved into your new home or simply want to see your “old” home in a new light, it’s important to consider how we see the things that, well, help us see.

The types of lights used and the ways those lights are used can have drastic effects on a room affecting the tone, mood, and personality of not just the space, but the people inhabiting that space.

Determining the right type of lighting for a room is a matter of finding the balance between functionality and personality.

The first step however is to make a few determinations: assess the amount of natural daylight the room receives and which cardinal direction the room faces to figure out how much light the room receives during the different seasons and thus affect the type of light the room needs.

For example, a north facing room will only receive the minimum amount of light even in summer. During winter months however, it could be practically dark after mid-day so more lighting fixtures with a higher luminescence will be needed.

With this said, it is probably apparent that lighting a guestroom will be vastly different than lighting a kitchen or living room. Some place like a bedroom should be calm, relaxing, tranquilizing, and inviting, and perimeter lighting accomplishes just that. Consider dim lamps or uplighting in the corners of your room or indirect lighting that illuminates your ceiling.

More bedroom lighting tips are as follows:

Bedroom lighting must be able to go from a subdued ambience to bright task lighting for dressing, reading, and other activities. Use a combination of general and task lighting that matches your needs. Dimming controls give you the flexibility to vary the light to their immediate needs.

Lighting should give the illumination needed to dress and see into drawers and closets easily. Lighting for closets is best done with recessed or close-to-the-ceiling fixtures that won’t get in the way in a tight space.

Next-to-bed lighting is often done with table lamps and recessed lights which can provide the light needed while leaving end tables open. Dimmer controls on next to bed lighting can change the ambience to suit your mood or make the room light low for TV viewing.

Here are some additional general tips to shed some light on your endeavors:

  • Most rooms need three light sources.
  • Overhead lighting, with the exception of chandeliers, is usually too harsh. Instead, try table lamps, floor lamps, uplighting, and spots.
  • If the room is for reading try a good reading light in all the places where that might happen.
  • If the room is for romance, put your lights on dimmers.
  • If the room is made for partying, uplights are fun and a little dramatic.
  • If the room is for showcasing art, spotlights put the focus on it.
  • Use CFL’s wherever possible.

Do you have any home lighting tips you think we should have discussed? Please share them in a comment below.


Leave a comment

6 Great Reasons to Buy a House in 2013

Prudential California Realty is Central Coast’s Real Estate experts. Our first priority is you – always. It is our goal to provide you with the most innovative real estate services on the Central Coast.

Have you been considering buying a home? Well the last quarter of 2013 could an excellent time for you to pounce on the opportunity.

Rates on fixed-rate loans are still tempting, and many experts say it’s still cheaper to buy than rent.

If you are still trying to decide if buying a home now is worth it, here are 6 reasons why buying a home in 2013 is a great idea.

1.   Mortgage rates are still dropping. 

The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate loan is currently 4.49%. While this is a 1.15% increase from the historic low of 3.34% at the end of 2012, it’s still a very appealing rate for potential homebuyers.

2.   Home prices are relatively low. 

Housing price trends vary by city and county in San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara County – even by neighborhood – but home prices in our area are still encouraging to even the most hesitant of homebuyers, especially when we take into consideration the beautiful, attractive location of the Central Coast.

3.   It may be easier to get a mortgage. 

Credit unions and banks may make a smoother process for some potential buyers to qualify for a mortgage. Less stringent requirements and qualifying criteria may help some people actually get their home loan.

If you have good credit and some savings available for a down payment, you may be able to get a loan for that home you’re currently eyeing.

4.   Less competition from home flippers. 

Investors seeking to buy and flip houses aren’t as easily able to do this as easily as they have been in recent years. Housing prices in some markets are increasing, making house flipping less attractive.

This gives other homebuyers more stock to choose from and it gives them the benefit of having less pressure to close a deal because of another pending offer. What does that mean? You can shop around for a home much more easily.

5.   Avoid the cost of rising rent. 

Tired of renting? A buyer’s market means you can finally lay renting to rest. If you’re exhausted by rent increases where you’re currently a tenant and want to move then buying a home should be what wakes you from your renting slumber.

You may be able to receive a great rate with a good credit history and end up paying the equivalent or less in monthly payments as you build equity in a home. Renting can be a more affordable option for the short term, but renting means facing increasing rental costs.

6.   Invest in your future. 

Buying a home gives you a chance to start building equity, which is a great investment in your future. If you sell your home in 5 or 10 years, you may profit from the sale and you can use that money to invest elsewhere.

Like our last point, investing in your future with leave you without the worry of monthly housing expenses changing significantly. Plus, you will be paying for something that has more value than a rental property.

There we have it. 6 excellent points for buying in the last quarter of 2013. Make your dream reality.

Are you looking to buy a house in the near future? Contact us today!


Leave a comment

Bringing Brunch Back Home

Prudential California Realty is Central Coast’s Real Estate experts. Our first priority is you – always. It is our goal to provide you with the most innovative real estate services on the Central Coast.

Brunch: it’s not just the combination of breakfast and lunch – it’s the combination of friends and family, typically on a Sunday, but happily enjoyed nonetheless.

Lots of people and restaurants feature different items, options, and traditions for how brunch should be done, but everyone can find a relaxing atmosphere in their own home to share delicious food with friendly faces.

It’s also a great way to introduce your new home to friends and family – especially this time of year as the weather cools down and we open up our windows for some fresh air.

So, what do we know about the actual history of brunch?

For one, the details on the origin of this tradition are unclear. Some food historians believe that the meal is rooted in 19th century Britain when hunting groups would have extravagant mid-morning meals. Another historical mention comes from an 1895 “Hunter’s Weekly” article:

“Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,” Guy Beringer wrote in “Brunch: A Plea:” He continues, “Instead of England’s early Sunday dinner, a post-church ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee . . . By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers.”

So why not bring back the brunch tradition (and the staying up late on Saturday tradition)?

No matter how you prefer your brunch, bring it back for a weekly tradition!

Brunch is one of the best meals to host, since there is a lot more flexibility than at a Friday or Saturday night dinner.

For one, brunches can last as long or as short as you like. Most of the time, friends will probably have plans for later and won’t overstay, but sometimes they’ll have nothing to do, which can be great too because this can provide for hours of entertainment.

Secondly, if you have plans for later on, everyone will understand.

Here are a few ideas:

Cook one item on the stove. Sautéing hash browns and scrambling eggs while entertaining the first few arrivals can get a bit stressful.

Consider using foods that:

  • Requires immediate attention (scrambling eggs, cooking sausage, etc.)
  • You can make the night before (breads, coffee cake, etc.)
  • Require assembly (salads, sandwiches, etc.)
  • Require just a little washing like fruits and vegetables

Also, don’t forget about having coffee and consider using water flavored with lemon, lime, cucumber, or any other fruit you think will impress guests.

And last but not least, don’t forget the mimosas!

Do you have a great brunch tip? Please share it with us in a comment below.