Market Changes Challenge Home Buyers, Sellers


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Hello Luz V Martinez ,

Here are this week’s new articles on California real estate:

Local Music Festival

X Fest on August 7th . Will be held in Downtown Modesto.

Featuring bands like We The Kings, Expendables, and many many more.

It offers a variety of music and activities, 21+

Amazing News!

Buyers can make three payments for the American Home Shield Home Waranty at Close of Escrow.

For more information call:

Jamie Eger (209) 483-0818


Architecture Coach: The Right Way to Display Artwork

Properly displayed and tasteful artwork can instantly bring life to an otherwise dull room. Whether home owners have painted or papered their walls, most want to hang some artwork on them, perhaps by displaying fine paintings, prints, or photographs, or more casual, affordable pieces from nature, travels, or favorite magazines.

What to Display

Forget the notion that art has to have a fancy pedigree or exorbitant costs. Anything a home owner loves is suitable, from a museum-quality painting to child’s drawings.

Here are some other suggestions for what to display:

  • The power of black and white. Designer and stager Linda Bettencourt of Center Stage in San Francisco suggests using black and white photographs, which can be framed in inexpensive frames.
  • Go big. Atlanta-based designer Brian Patrick Flynn thinks one enlarged photo — as big as 20’ wide by 12’ tall — offers a huge wow. “By making the wall the star, you don’t necessarily need many other elements to complete it,” he says.
  • Mirror, mirror on the walls. Pribell loves mirrors. “They offer great feng shui and bring in light and reflection. You can never have too many,” she says.
  • Unique collections. Get clients to think outside the box. A childhood collection of Pez dispensers or snow globes can even become artistically encased assemblages if displayed properly.

Choosing the Proper Frame

The style, width, material, and color of picture frames are personal choices, says Chicago-area designer Mary Lou Kalmus of Designing Edge, who likes to frame works in a grouping that has the same or similar motifs.

  • Don’t match too much. Sharla Kidder, president of Biddington’s Inc., an art information site, prefers different “but not too different” frames — maybe a series in the same color range. Also, designers say, don’t match a frame to the room’s décor too much; let it stand on its own.
  • Complement the era. Pribell favors a style that reflects the period in the artwork, such as a 19th century “exhibition” frame for a 19th century painting. Many contemporary paintings and other works look good with a more minimal frame so that they float within, adds Kidder.
  • Bring out the art with a mat. Bettencourt likes mats in ivory or white with 3-inch borders on the sides and top and a slightly wider 4-inch border on the bottom.
  • Decide between glass or acrylic. “Glass is cheaper, easier to clean, and more resistant to scratches,” says Kidder. But it’s also “heavier, more breakable, sensitive to variations in temperature, and highly reflective so it often creates a glare,” she says.

How to Display It

How you display the artwork on the walls can make a big difference, too. Consider the following.

Solo or in a grouping. The size of the work usually determines this decision. A large piece can stand alone; smaller works may look visually stronger if grouped, particularly if they reflect a similar style, subject matter, or frame, says Kalmus.

Kalmus recommends first laying out a grouping on the floor to form a composition. When mounting, Kidder likes spacing of 4 to 5 inches between works, depending on how many there are and the wall’s size. She also recommends using a measuring tape and level for accuracy.

How high, low, or close together. The size of the works, height of furniture, and ceiling height need to be weighed. A good guideline is to have the center of a work or the center of the grouping at eye level to the person who is living there.

If the artwork is above a sofa, there should be enough room so that people don’t bump their heads on it. Art arranged along a stairway should march up the stairs, says Kalmus.

Artwork Tips When Selling a Home

When selling a home, the number of works displayed and how they’re showcased may differ from when they’re just hung for personal enjoyment. To avoid distracting buyers, art needs to play a secondary role to the lead: the home’s architecture and significant features, such as a fireplace.

Here’s some guidance to offer your clients:

  • Less is more. Don’t fill every wall with artwork, Bettencourt advises. Instead, “put one great piece in an entry, over a sideboard, or above a fireplace,” she says.
  • No leaning. Even though it’s considered quite chic, avoid leaning artwork against a wall, since there’s a risk of it being knocked over.
  • Use art as a solution. “Spaced along a long hallway, art can break it up so it doesn’t resemble a bowling alley, or can cover ugly electrical panels,” Bettencourt says.
  • Draw inspiration. Encourage clients to look in magazines and books for more solutions. For example,Rooms to Inspire in the City (Rizzoli, 2010) by Annie Kelly provides many helpful images.

Make Small Spaces Bigger: 5 Ways to Show Off Space

Size does matter when it comes to the perception of space in a home. That’s why it’s important to make sure you show off every square foot of your listing so that buyers can visualize enough room for all of their belongings.

So how can you show off that space in your listings? Besides the obvious of removing clutter, try these simple ideas from Norris.

1. Scale down the furniture: By having too many large pieces of furniture in a small room, a space can feel more cramped, Norris says. Select smaller-scale furniture over large, chunky options. A good choice: furniture with wooden legs or unskirted chairs, so that you can see through the furniture to the floor underneath to open up a room.

2. Beware of overly busy patterns: Too many bold patterns in a room with fabrics and accent pieces can make a room feel smaller, Norris says. Big prints, bold plaids, and large floral patterns can be too busy for a small space. Stick to solids and use texture in fabrics to add interest.

3. Lighten Up: Dark colors absorb the light making small rooms look even smaller. “The general color rule for small spaces is lighter is better,” Norris says. Lighter colors on walls — such as creams, light blues, light greens, tan, and soft yellows — help expand the room. Plus, softer, cooler tones are soothing and relaxing, she adds.

4. Add height: Bring in anything that is tall to show off the height of the space. Whether it’s a piece of furniture such as a bookcase or an object like a tall tree, the height of the object will draw the eye upwards. Also in a house where you want to show off the height, hang the curtains above the normal window top level, Norris says. To widen the window, tie the curtains back with a rope tieback to show off the windows.

5. Use the reflection: Hang mirrors on walls to help add visual space. “When the room is reflected in the mirror, it can make us feel like there is more space as we see ‘another room’ in the mirror,” Norris says. “Mirrors can also reflect light and views, which will help lighten up the room and make it feel open and airy.”

Can you name that Architectural Style?

Here are 10 popular architecture styles in the United States. Learn how to identify them in your community.

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After foreclosure: How long until you can buy again?

Walking away from a mortgage you can still afford to pay has consequences; everyone knows that. Your credit score is shot and it can be impossible to get credit.

Some homeowners, no doubt, believe that the credit score hit is worth getting out from a deeply underwater mortgage. They may owe, say, $500,000 when their house value is only valued at $350,000. And, they figure, there’s no way it will ever be worth what they owe so it’s better to get out from underneath the burden.

After default, they reason, they can raise their FICO scores by paying all their bills on time and eventually finance another home purchase.

Don’t count on it.

While homeowners who default due to economic hardship, such as a job loss or divorce, normally must wait two to five years before buying a home again, walkaways may face double that time.

“It could be well over seven or eight years before [walkaways] are able to obtain a mortgage to buy a home again,” said Jay Brinkmann, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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A Closer Look: at the city of Lodi

Lodi was first called Mokelumne.  It was founded in August 1869 when the Central Pacific Railroad chose the site for a station on its new route.  The town consisted of a store/post office building, a hotel and the station.  In the spring of 1870, people from neighboring towns moved to Mokelumne until, by October, there were 56 houses.  In 1874, the name of the town was changed to Lodi.  It is uncertain why “Lodi” was chosen.  Some people said it was the name of a local racehorse, others claimed that it came from the famous bridge in Italy.  A third explanation is that some of Lodi’s  citizens came from Lodi, Illinois. Whatever the source of its name, Lodi continued to grow.  The first school in town was built in 1872.  The first newspaper, the Valley Review, began publishing in 1878.  Lodi kept progressing even though a fire in 1887 destroyed the downtown area along Sacramento Street.  In 1891, water and gas service was provided and electric service came ten years later.  By 1895, Lodi had a volunteer fire department but law enforcement was supplied by the county and the township until 1906.  A library was finally established in 1901.  The Central California Traction Company began electric trolley service through Lodi in 1907.  That was also the year of the Tokay Carnival which was held to promote Lodi’s most famous product, the Flame Tokay grape…. To read more of the history of Lodi, visit

Today, the  Lodi  area enjoys mild winters and long, relatively rain-free summers, tempered by a ‘Delta breeze’ which comes in from the west, along the waterways, bringing welcome coolness from the Pacific Ocean. As a result, local residents and visitors enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities in which to participate, from fishing and boating to skydiving, birdwatching, softball or soccer. So don’t forget to visit Lodi  in your home buying search!

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