Category Archives: Sacramento real estate

Sacramento Real Estate Developments & Our Thriving Art Community – Art Meets Real Estate

With the continued growth of our real estate market and prices climbing, Sacramento is still affordable especially for Bay area buyers who agree that Sacramento is a thriving community with great nightlife, according to some Bay area newspapers, a flourishing art community, and an amazing bike trail system for various recreation purposes.

Staff writer Ben van der Meer of the Sacramento Business Journal has recently come to our Sacramento Association of Realtors  and talked about future developments happening in Natomas, Folsom, and, of course, downtown.

 

Grateful to listen to a wonderful presentation at our monthly broker meeting held at Sacramento Association of Realtors.

 

Sacramento’s Real Estate Projects

 

  1. Natomas has 3,000 entitles, but unbuilt homes.
  2. Folsom will have a 6,900 new units being built . The Folsom plan will add about 350 homes a year.
  3. Rancho Cordova will also build 6,700 homes with a master plan being developed that would add about 12,189 new homes. Rancho Cordova has the advantage of being close to the Lightrail.
  4. Downtown has 2,200 entitled or under construction units.
  5. Sacramento has a lot shortage with a supply of about 5,700, which is approximately a year’s worth.
  6. J St- 11-story project in midtown with 175 units being built, some as small as 440 sq. ft.

 

Some of the building projects.

 

Despite all these great new building projects, staff writer Ben van der Meer pointed out that new housing supply will continue to stay slim, which creates a shortage of new listings and inventory.

 

Sacramento’s Wide Open Walls – Art Meets Real Estate

 

Another reason to be excited about our Sacramento real estate market and all the new projects is the Wide Open Walls new murals that adorn Sacramento’s old and new buildings. With more building and development, the art movement is evident. More than 50 local, national, and international artists have produced some amazing art, using various techniques, such as spray painting.

 

A poignant and suggestive art mural and portrait of a child.

 

Along with enhancing the cityscape, Sacramento Congresswoman Doris Matsui said a thriving arts scene can be an economic driver for the city.

 

Portrait of Lady Gaga on the Golden One building, where I recently saw her in concert. Gaga-ism at its best done by Southern California artist Christina Angelina.

 

I was lucky to take the Wide Open Walls running tour done by one of my fellow runner friends Jenn Kistler-McCoy and organized by our best local running store Fleet Feet. Jenn is the founder of Sacramento Running Tours. She leads walking and running tours of our beautiful city and has tremendous energy, passion, dedication, and knowledge about Sacramento’s culture and history.

 

 

A collage of the art murals reflecting different themes, artists, and painting techniques. A feast for the eyes, heart, and soul! Sacramento moooves us with its sophistication – not a Cowtown anymore!

 

 

Due to the constant developments and our growing art movement, Sacramento will continue to be a wonderful place to live a lot more affordable than the Bay Area, so let’s be proud of our buildings – inside and outside with all their stories and adorning art.

 

 

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

Why Every Runner Should Do a Triathlon to Become a Stronger & More Well-Rounded Athlete

I graduated with my Masters degree in English from Sacramento State University in 2011. One of the highlights of my going back to school besides learning and becoming a better writer was biking from home to school using our beautiful American River Parkway. I was biking 20 miles round trip and loved my bike rides and the freedom they brought to my day. At the time, I was doing century rides for the American Diabetes Association in memory of my dear father who died of a heart attack due to his diabetes at the young age of 53.

TRIATHLON – A NEW SPORT TO MAKE US MORE WELL-ROUNDED

 

Now as a runner, I experience tremendous freedom and joy, but I also use the same muscles. After attending a free Triathlon information session at Fleet Feet, I have decided to jump right at it and do my first women only triathlon coming up on September 9th. Being new to triathlons, I did not even know what it really meant to do a triathlon. I found out that I would have to swim half a mile, bike 20 miles, and run 4 miles, so all doable.  Moreover, after taking some clinics and talking to my runner friends who have done them, I realized that doing my first triathlon will open up new fitness doors that I never knew existed. This reminded me how important explorations and trying new things are.

At my first swim clinic wearing a wet suit for the first time in my life and feeling like a seal – all sealed up – ha!ha!
I figured the wet suit is not needed, so I bought myself some comfy swim shorts for my triathlon, as Carolyn, one of the women who has done many triathlons told me that it is easier to swim in a swim suit and transition easier and faster to the bike. I agree and have accepted the great advice.

 

What is a BRICK in triathlons? Why runners should do them once a week, or every other week to become stronger and faster whether training for a triathlon or not?

 

Veronica, one of my trail runner friends , who used to do half Ironman told me that I needed to start doing brick workouts.  She explained to me what they meant, as I had no clue. The biking-running brick workout is one of the most popular, as one bikes first and then runs to prepare for the triathlon.  Second most popular brick workout is swimming first and biking second. These two brick workouts can also be done in reverse, meaning run-bike, bike-swim, but the idea is to experience the same conditions and order as in the triathlon.

https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/using-brick-workouts-in-triathlon-training/

According to Chris Carmichael, there are various type of Brick workout, which he describes in his article.

http://trainright.com/get-it-together-with-brick-training/

Doing my first brick workout in preparation for my first Triathlon. I biked for 12.7 miles and then ran 4 miles.

 

Meeting Christy, a new fellow biker, who rides 50 miles on her days off.  Wow! We rode together and  immediately connected due to our being health conscious, vegan, and loving the freedom and control that exercise brings into our lives. To new friends! To more happy rides!

 

TOP FIVE REASONS TO DO BRICK WORKOUTS AS A RUNNER, OR JUST FOR OVERALL FITNESS

 

  1. Excellent cross training exercises and routines.
  2. The two sports help work and train different muscles in our bodies.
  3. Reduced risk of injuries.
  4. Increased cardio fitness.
  5. Fun, fun, and more fun!

My first brick workout was biking 13.7 miles at a brisk pace and running 4 miles in the low 8s right after the biking. Although I felt my legs turn into bricks right after biking, I was able to run at a decent pace easing into each mile and being amazed at what my body could do. I felt confident and happy with my very first brick workout. I will report back after doing my second brick workout swimming and biking.

My selfie picture during the 4-mile brick workout. I had to quickly stop around mile 2, as it was getting hot. Running was not easy after biking, but what a great training!

 

Whether doing a triathlon, or not, I highly recommend mixing these type of brick workouts into your training to help you stay stronger and  infuse more variety and fun into your workouts. Happy feet! Happy pedaling! Happy swim strokes! This is my favorite order for my upcoming women only triathlon, but everyone will have different favorites.

 

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

 

Making Long Runs in New Places, Towns, & States Fun, Enriching, & Memorable!

Traveling to new places with my family means bonding, having fun, laughing, trying new foods, and exploring. We love to play sports, hike, visit museums and caves, and enjoy being together. Yet, my favorite way to explore new places is to do it at my own running pace before our children even wake up and are ready to start their day with us.

We have recently visited the Midwest and have enjoyed Chicago, the impressive, unforgettable, and most beautiful American city in my humble opinion, the sweeping and undulating corn fields of Illinois and Indiana, the magnificent lush forests, the balm weather, the history, and spending time with our friends.

After having spent a week in Illinois, we headed to French Lick, Indiana, a quaint, small town with a population of around 1,800. I also wondered about the name and found out that this town used to be a French Trading Post built near a spring and salt lick. Known for its Pluto Water and healing springs, French Lick is also the hometown of basketball legend Larry Bird.

 

The signs pointing to the many adventures around French Lick, IN.

From the moment we drove into town, I noticed the winding paths. As always, my husband helped me plan and plot my run, so I had a route ready for the next day.

THE HISTORY

 

On a crisp June morning with 55 degree temperatures, I took off for my long run that had to be at least 10 miles. I was soaking in the fresh air and was giddy with excitement. I was also thinking of my friends back home in Sacramento who had to put up with the 107-degree sweltering weather. In less than a mile, I arrived in front of the French Lick Springs Hotel, which is on the United States National Register of Historic Places for its architecture and old charm in our modern world (the hotel first opened in 1855).

 

Front of the French Link Springs Hotel, where I took the path leading to the next small city West Baden and the other historic hotel West Baden Springs.
Running down this paved trail was enjoyable.

 

After about two miles of running, I  reached the next town and hotel West Baden Springs Hotel,  also named the Carlsbad of America. I loved the arched entry and the brick path. I stopped to take some pictures, as well as learn about the history of  the hotel and its mineral water and baths that were alleged to cure more than fifty ailments.

The double arches confer a European appearance to the hotel.

 

As I ran on the brick path towards the hotel and the beautiful gardens, I learned that it was the original brick street installed when the hotel was built in 1902.

I loved running through the garden of West Baden Hotel, as the brick road reminded me of some streets in Romania, where I grew up.
I could not resist taking a selfie of the water fountain in the middle of the garden that was a healing place many years ago when visitors came to find cure to their illnesses by drinking the springs water.

 

Running is social – connecting with a local runner

 

Around mile 3 into my run, I ran into a local runner. I asked him how long the trail outside the West Baden Hotel was and he told me that the path ended right after the bridge. At that point, I  figured I might as well repeat the same loop and asked him  if I could join him. David told me that he was running his usual three-mile  loop, so I was happy to have company and talk to a local runner. I found out that he was a teacher, married with two small children, and that his wife was a nurse. We talked about Indiana and why he liked it. I also told him a little bit about California and our lives there. He told me that  he enjoyed running 5K races and that he also ran a half marathon with his wife in Kentucky. David was polite, kind, and a good running companion, which made my long run more enjoyable. No matter where I meet new runner friends, I feel so blessed to be part of a worldwide running community. Our universal love of running does not need translating; it simply resurfaces like a well-balanced surf board above high and tall waves.

David kept me company for about three miles and regaled me with stories from his hometown French Lick, IN. I enjoy meeting new runners who are passionate about our sport and run with happy feet.

 

After an enjoyable run, I said good-bye to David and thanked him for his company. I only had four miles left to make it to 10 miles, so I  headed  back towards French Link, passing by churches, small restaurants, a  mini golf course, and small antique stores.

I loved the brick church and what it represented: Christianity , warmth, friendliness, and hospitality of Southern Indiana.
Our Lady of the Springs Church  founded in 1887 faces the street sign reading Indiana Street.

 

TRIVIA

 

Besides exercising, socializing, learning about the history of French Link and West Baden, I also gathered some fun trivia knowledge that I can share during my runs with my runner friends back home.

TOMATO JUICE 

In front of the French Link Hotel, there is a sign about the invention of the tomato juice. In 1917, French Lick Chef Louis Perrin ran out of oranges to squeeze for juice during the breakfast rush. With a group of Chicago businessmen waiting, Chef Perrin improvised and squeezed some tomatoes. The businessmen loved it and spread the word: tomato juice was great stuff. By the 1920, tomato juice was promoted as a health drink.

Tomato juice trivia

 

WEST BADEN – THE CARLSBAD OF AMERICA

According to one of the signs in  front of the hotel,Carlsbad means “Charles’ bath,” named for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who is believed to  have discovered the mineral springs at Carlsbad in 1347.

ORIGIN OF THE WORD HYGIENE

West Baden Springs Hotel had four springs all known for their amazing healing properties. One of the springs was named Hygeia, based upon the goddess of health in Greek mythology. Thus, the word hygiene comes from this Greek goddess’ name.

With running tours becoming more popular, I am grateful to go on my own running tours and learn on the go, as well as immerse myself in  the culture of the new places I visit. During this trip, I have become fascinated with fireflies, brick homes and buildings, the dancing corn fields extending for miles, and the ubiquitous  red barns.

When traveling, I also like to apply this German saying: “we grow too soon old and too late smart,” which matches with my philosophy to explore new places we visit with the eyes of a curious and inquisitive child and the soul of a wiser traveler.

 

This teapot was hung on the wall of the German Restaurant we had lunch in French Lick. Our kids loved the Polish sausage and the home-made pretzels.

 

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

Top 10 Tips to Tidy Up and Sell Your Home for More

Most sellers getting their home ready for the market have consistently heard one word from their agents: declutter. Why is clutter bad? It obstructs the view for your potential buyers, as well as it diminishes the size of the house. The solution to sell for top dollars and not hear about clutter anymore is outlined in a great and practical book I read recently.

I found many answers to this question by reading New York Times Best Seller The Life-Changing magic of tidying up the Japanese art of decluterring and organizing.

The author of this practical and powerful book is diligent to point out why people fail to declutter their homes using old methods of cleaning and organizing,,

 

TOP 10 TIPS TO TIDY UP & DECLUTTER

 

The book inspired me to get rid of too many clothes I don’t wear, like, or need anymore.

Here are my favorite top ten tips from Marie Kondo’s book, which I have enjoyed reading and has taught me a lot about cleaning, organizing, and decluttering, which I will apply to my own home.

  1. Kondo starts her book by pointing out that changing one’s habits depends upon changing one’s way of thinking.
  2. Her statement: “If you tidy up in one shot, rather than little by little, you can dramatically change your mind-set” has come as a revelation, but also as an obstacle to people who really have a lot of stuff.  Kondo adds that by using this method, people are able to keep their space clean afterwards.
  3. Storage methods provide superficial answers to the clutter, so get rid of things and don’t focus too much on storing and re-storing.
  4. Another new concept to me, was tidying by category and not location/place.
  5. If we need to understand clutter and declutter, we need to apply Kondo’s astute remark to our daily lives and activities and really start discarding and disposing of things, instead of worrying that we might need them one day. Kondo says in her book: “Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. However, discarding comes first.”
  6. How does discarding work? Kondo believes that every item that does not bring us joy anymore needs to be discarded, unless we really use and need that object. When discarding, clothes are the easiest to deal with and photographs are the hardest. With this in mind, Kondo suggests that the order or sequence to tidying up should be: clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and mementos.
  7. Since discarding makes tidying up a smoother process, Kondo says: “to truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” Great lesson to follow!
  8. Get rid of “Just because,” Kondo points out, which means that people live surrounded by clutter and things they don’t need out of fear that one day they might need them.
  9. When it comes to disposing of sentimental items, Kondo remarks that we cannot live in the past. Instead, the joy and happiness come from living in the NOW moment.
  10. And last, but not least, decluttering and tidying up, according to Kondo means to reset your life and settle your accounts so that you can take the next step forward.

 

As wonderful as this book is, sellers need to know one thing: declutter should not be a dreadful chore, even though it is not easy to tidy up. Instead, declutter should be a  means to attract more joy and  more buyers willing to pay top dollars for a tidy house that will be appealing and attractive.

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

Sacramento Hot Real Estate Spring Market – Difference between a Condo and Townhome

With our Sacramento real estate market getting hotter, many first time buyers and investors will turn their interests to condos and townhomes for a few reasons: they are more affordable, require less work, as some of the exterior and roof repairs are covered by the Home Owner’s Association, and offer more security features, especially the gated ones.  When I showed a condo to my cash investors last week, they asked me: “What is the difference between a condo and townhome?” Excellent question!

Just listed! Great condominium close to Sac State, Arden Fair Mall, and downtown!

 

CONDOS AND THEIR FEATURES

According to the article below from Realty Times,  “a buyer of a condominium owns his or her individual unit, plus a percentage of the surrounding property, including land and any amenities on the property (The word “condominium” is Latin, meaning “common ownership” or “common control”).

http://realtytimes.com/archives/item/20020-20000629_condotwnhome

  1. The condo shares more common areas.
  2. Common areas include stairs, driveways, walkways, hallways, parking lots, and Home Owner’s Association amenities, such as pools and club house.
  3. Only few condos have garages; most of them have shared carports.

TOWNHOMES AND THEIR FEATURES

 

As opposed to the condo, the townhome has a very distinct characteristic: owning the ground underneath the unit and having their own roof. Additionally, some townhomes look like a detached home and have garages, which is not that common with condos.

When I first got into the business, my first sale was a condo and then I kept selling quite a few others, so my nickname was “the condo queen.” I learned about each condo complex and sold a few townhomes, too. I am helping one of my clients who bought this condo with me 17 years ago. She used it as a personal residence and then turned it into an investment property. Thus, condos or townhomes can make great financial sense in a hot market, in which it might be hard to buy a home.

For more info on my new condo listing, check out the virtual tour, and feel free to call me for a viewing. This one will go quickly!

http://1520hoodroad.ihousenet.com/

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

5 Worst Running Injuries I had in My First Two Years as a Runner and What You Can Do to Prevent Them

Romanians (Yes, I am Romanian American and quite proud of it) have a great saying: “smart people learn from the mistakes of others, whereas not so smart people learn from their own mistakes.” I would love for you to learn from my mistakes and know that learning from your own mistakes is unavoidable. Besides,  when things happen for the first time, it has little to do with your intelligence level: it has to do more with life’s constant element of surprise, or what I like to call an ocean wave sweeping us off our feet when we are least expecting it.

Balance

 

One of the things I think I am pretty good at is balancing my busy parent, professional, intellectual, and athletic life.  I feel that I can juggle things, because I use my calendar well and try to write down all appointments, all my to-do lists, and still have room left for fun activities. I also found out that as a runner, balance is key. I need to balance my workouts, the time on my feet, as well as make room for tennis and strength training. But what happens when you become a little too confident in your running abilities? Well, you tip the balance scales to the heavier training cycle of running, so you start doing two runs a day even after a race you did the same day, which I have done and felt great at the time. You know that your form is good, so you won’t get injured, but overuse injuries can creep up upon us. Our bodies take the beating up to the point of quitting, so that’s when we start having problems.

 

Five worst running Injuries I have had in the last two years

 

I always thought I had a stronger body than my body really is! And, yes! I am an optimist who likes to wear the rosy glasses often. Moreover, just because I have played tennis for 22 years and never got injured is not enough to proclaim the Herculean strength of my body. As a matter of fact, once I started to run in 2015, I realized how many weak areas I had in my body, starting with the ankle which I injured in my first month of running due to poor form and improper shoes for my feet (I was wearing the low Altra shoes that offer no support to our ankles), but bounced back in 4 days. Then the knees pointed out to me that I had developed IT band syndrome, when I felt pain on the side of my knees and runner’s knee when my knees hurt right below the knee cap.

My first  half marathon Run the Sly in 2015, my first year running. I wore the copper fit knee sleeves to protect my knees from hurting, especially during longer runs.
My first CIM marathon that I finished in 4:13, even though I pulled my groin muscle at mile 18 and had to slow down.

 

Although I always ran with my knee sleeves on for about a year, as if they had magical powers, I had discovered that I could run without them with no pain when I forgot to put them on. That day I ran freely without any “crutches,” so to speak and felt like Forrest Gump .

Next injury took me almost six months to clear, as I had developed Planter Fasciitis after buying running flats that had a lower heel drop than I was used to and due to my tight calf muscles. Every morning, the sharp pain in my heel felt like walking on needles or stepping on a nail, but once I started my run, I was pain free and kept on going.

Towards the end of 2016,  I also developed a mild form of shin splints, with pain running up the inside of my lower legs.  Shin Splints can happen to runners whose feet maintain ground contact too long, or if the foot lands too far in front of them. Higher mileage will also contribute to shin splints.

My fifth injury came on totally unexpected on March 21st, 2017 after I did some intense speed workout on the track. I did 4 mile repeats and felt great until I got home and started to limp badly. My husband asked me if I twisted my ankle, or my foot. I said “no.” My speed workout felt wonderful as always.  I just didn’t know what happened, but I was sure I would be like brand new by the morning. And, yes: my rosy glasses were on. I had no clue that I had developed one of the worst injuries that only affects 0.6 percent of runners from what I have read – see how special I am?

I had developed peroneal tendonitis on my right foot, which is extreme pain on the outside area of the foot right above the ankle. Unlike all the above-noted injuries that never stopped me from training and running races, this one left me limping and unable to run. Yes, I was smart to stop running, while resting and icing, but it was mainly because my injury forced me to do that. I have not run in two weeks, doing aqua jogging, stretching exercises, and foam rolling.

After two weeks of rest and doing aqua jogging, Pilates class, and core exercises, I have tried acupuncture http://www.acupunctureinsacramento.com for the first time in my life to attack the tendon and be able to restart my Mountains to Beaches marathon training coming up on May 28th in Southern California. It worked so well and I highly recommend it, but check about your injuries with your doctor first.

Do You Have Peroneal Tendonitis? Here is How to Fix it

http://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/peroneal-tendonitis-stretches#2

Although the article below talks about 5 most troublesome running injuries, which I had all, my sixth running injury comes and goes depending on how long and intense I run. I have had piriformis syndrome on and off, which is simply pain in the gluteal muscles, making it hard to maintain a certain pace, once it kicks in. I like to call this injury a kick in the butt, not figuratively speaking, as that’s the area that hurts and slows me down.

The 5 Most Troublesome Running Injuries

 

When it comes to healing all kinds of running related injuries, I recommend reading James Sullivan’s advice below and then read about my healing methods.

http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/how-to-recover-from-running-injuries

 

CARMEN’S 20 HEALING METHODS FOR THE ABOVE-MENTIONED INJURIES AND ADVICE:

 

  1. Listen to my body and address the issue promptly.
  2. Read many running books and changed my running form after reading the Chi Running book by Danny and Katherine Dreyer. I highly recommend it, as I was able to apply the lessons and improve my form and speed.
  3. Read about the injury and take action to heal the body while running, if safe to run.
  4. Changed the type of shoes I wore and currently run in the Nike Lunar Glide 8, which are better for my feet.
  5. Changed my running shoes every 400 miles to avoid injuries.
  6. Rolling my foot on a tennis ball daily and often while working at my desk to get rid of Plantar Fasciitis.
  7. Using the foam roll often and doing different Yoga stretches.
  8. Doing weekly core and strength training exercises, such as squats, lunges, kettle bell swings, bridges, and so on.
  9. Doing hills to strengthen my body, especially my gluteal muscles.
  10. Running much slower on my recovery days to allow my body to fully recover.
  11. Running with friends to keep myself accountable.
  12. Using the sauna to loosen up the muscles and recover well from tough workouts.
  13. Using the Epsom salt baths after long runs.
  14. Not running the day before a race and especially before a marathon.
  15. Using the chiropractor once to realign my body.
  16. Using the acupuncture and common sense to heal the tendon.
  17. Not taking Levofloxacin or Ciprofloxacin antibiotics, as they can weaken the tendon and ankles, leaving one more prone to injury.
  18. Talking to other runner friends and asking for their advice.
  19. Staying humble.
  20. Being wiser about life and running – hopefully!

 

CARMEN’S 12 GOALS FOR RUNNING STRONGER AND INJURY-FREE IN THE FUTURE ALL THE WAY TO 100:

 

  1. Balance my tennis and running better, meaning that I won’t do a speed training session the same day that I play tennis. Instead, I will do an easy run the day I play tennis, or no run.
  2. Strengthen my muscles more.
  3. Do more stretches after my runs and ice more often at the first sign of soreness.
  4. Give up racing, if a small nagging injury is present and wait to be totally healed.
  5. Run mostly 5 days a week instead of 6, unless I am behind my schedule and my body feels healthy to handle the extra pounding.
  6. Do two easy runs a day when feeling good, but never a hard run followed by an easy one. After a hard run, or race, I can do aqua jogging to relax the body and muscles.
  7. Incorporate aqua jogging and biking into my weekly workouts for cross training and getting the body stronger.
  8. Listen to my body more and respond with rest when needed.
  9. Be flexible in rearranging my running schedule, if my body cannot accommodate a speed workout that day.
  10. Mix road and trail running, but avoid running too many hills on tired legs.
  11. Order custom orthotics for my high arched feet to take away the pressure from the calf muscles.
  12. Use acupuncture, deep tissue massages,  and active release techniques to stay strong and healthy.

 

I have tried Crossfit for a month and got my body stronger, while learning to incorporate some of the moves into my own strength training schedule, such as the deadlift move.

 

Although these injuries seem to be too much, I have enjoyed my running tremendously and highly recommend it to all my friends as the best mediation in motion out there. I have been successful at it, winning many age group races and even winning first female overall in the Gumby 5K trail run this year. I believe that with the right plan and improved running technique, I will continue to run many more races and marathons. Running is life!

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

Running and Real Estate- 6 Reasons Location Can Make or Break Your Fitness

Are buyers super tired of hearing about the importance of “location, location, location” every single time they work with a real estate agent like myself?  Do we agents sound like a broken record, or is there more to these three repetitive nouns?

I have to be honest and tell you that when my husband and I bought our home in Carmichael, CA, I was not much into exercise and I was definitely not a runner. All my husband and I knew was that we wanted to live in Carmichael – the rural feel and yet the central location of Carmichael appealed to us. We loved playing tennis and we did notice that the house we bought was within walking distance from Carmichael Park, which made us happy. Good location!

Since I became a runner, I go to Carmichael Park to play tennis or run. I also go for walks with our kids and play Pokémon Go, because we are close to it and it is convenient to get there.

 

IMPORTANCE OF LOCATION

 

I have been in real estate for 17 years and I always try to educate my buyers about the importance of location for two reasons:

  1. Buying a house on a cul-de-sac, one of the most desirable locations, because of reduced traffic, next to a beautiful park, golf course, bike trail, etc. can enhance the property value of a home and the well-being of its occupants, as it is convenient to  exercise.
  2. Buying a house next to railroad tracks, close to an airport, or on a busy street can decrease the property value of one’s home by as much as 20 percent. http://realestate.usnews.com/real-estate/slideshows/8-types-of-roads-that-can-have-a-big-impact-on-home-sales

Therefore, buyers who are more nature, outdoor, and fitness enthusiasts might want to work with an agent who understands the importance of location when it comes to easy access to the bike trail, a public track, close proximity to a fitness club, nature parks, and so on.

Sacramento has one of the best multi-purpose trails in the country. Jedediah Smith Memorial Bicycle Trail, known as the bike trail,  or  the Parkway,  stretches along 32 miles of parkway from Old Sacramento to Folsom Lake.
Ancil Hoffman Park, where one can watch deer, coyotes, and turkeys while exercising. The nature center and golf course are one of Carmichael’s hidden gems and treasures.

 

FITNESS CHECKLIST

 

As a real estate broker and fitness fanatic (I am an avid runner and tennis player), I recommend buyers the following checklist to make sure their new home will enhance their easy access to exercising whether it is biking, running, playing golf, tennis, etc.

  1. Use Google maps to determine the walking distance from your new home to the above-mentioned locations.
  2. Create your walking/biking/running routes and see how conveniently located you are from your new gym, for instance. I am 1 mile away from two of the gyms I belong to. I love to run or ride my bike there, which makes me feel that I kill two birds with one stone, because I get my run in and do strength training, or take various classes there.
  3. Rate all the homes you visit based on the exercise convenience factor. For instance, five stars rating means extremely easy access to parks, nature preserve areas, golf courses, tennis courts, and fitness clubs.
  4. Be realistic about the importance of your fitness goals and the convenience of achieving them based on the location of your home and decide if you can settle for anything less than three stars. Let’s say your new home is close to fitness club, tennis courts, and parks. That is a pretty good location, but as you go lower in stars, you need to decide if you need to keep looking for that three stars or higher fitness house.
  5. Be very clear and specific with your agent about your fitness goals and the location of your new home and make sure that you do not waste time looking at homes that are far from your desired criteria.
  6. After having your offer accepted and while in escrow, try some of your routes to make sure that your new neighborhood has a high walking score. Additionally, use this website to find the walking score of your new home https://www.walkscore.com/

To sum things up, I believe buyers should take the fitness factor seriously when buying a home. Analyzing a home’s curb appeal and all the remodeling should be done in connection with your ability to walk many places around your new home/neighborhood. Happy house hunting! Happy feet and happy to help you find that perfect FIT home of your dreams.

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

10 Tips for Running and Having Fun in the Rain! Don’t Let the Rain Dampen Your Stride!

When it comes to running in the rain, there is no middle ground: runners either love it, or hate it! Unfortunately, I have been leaning towards the haters group and have stalled and waited around for the rain to stop. Today, I had no choice but to go out in the rain and wind, which makes it even harder. Yet, before leaving the house, I told myself that I needed to have fun with my 10-mile run, so I composed another rap song just like other times when I ran in the rain. Rain equates rap? You might ask. Yep! The tapping sound of rain inspires me to rap, for some odd reason.

 

Tips for Running in the Rain:

 

  1. Do not overdress, as a matter of fact underdress!
  2. Wear just shorts and T-shirt, if it’s not too cold, as clothes will get soggy and heavy.
  3. Do not rely on those expensive water proof or water resistant jackets; you will still get wet, so why bother?
  4. Apply glide, or Vaseline to toes, armpits, and other areas of your body that can get chaffed.
  5. Be ready to run in wet shoes and socks, which you won’t bother you, once you settle into your comfortable pace.
  6. Run at your comfortable pace, but allow yourself to be slower, especially if running in the wind and rain like I did today.
  7. Allow yourself to notice nature, animals, and people you meet, and that way you can be creative, such as coming up with songs, poems, etc. to make the time go by faster and have something to amuse yourself with.
  8. Watch the road and run in good traction shoes to avoid slipping and falling.
  9. Pat yourself on the back for sticking to your running schedule and for toughening it out, as you never know what the weather will be like on race day.
  10. Have fun during the run and relax with a hot soup, tea, or cocoa after the run. It will be all worth it!
American River flooding large portions of our Jedediah Smith Bike Trail.

Advantages of Running in the Rain:

 

  1. I was alone on the bike trail today with wild geese who seemed confused to see the closed trail.
    Wild Canada geese exploring the closed trail
    Geese staying away from the wet trail.

    2. I rejoiced in nature and all the bursting blossoms on the trees that reminded me that winter is almost over and spring is inching forward. I loved this blooming tree so much that I came up with a little poem:

    Flurries

“Kissing the bike trail

the soft, delicate petals

are not crushed by pedals

on this rainy, windy day. ”

Blossoms kissing the trail. A flurry of white.

3. The wind and rain act like resistance bands, so running in the rain is fortifying for the body and mind.

I had the rain, wind, and the hills keeping me in tip top shape today. Happy and wet feet!

4. You get to inspire others to exercise rain, or shine.

The River is quite high at the Harold Richey Memorial Bicycle Bridge. Harold Richey was also known as Mr. Bike Trail.

Disadvantages: None.

Go out and run, bike, or walk!  A little rain won’t melt your souls! On the contrary, it will fortify them.

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

The Future of Sacramento and Real Estate Market – Meeting with Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Today at our monthly Sacramento Association of Realtors meeting, we had the honor to listen to Mayor Steinberg talk about Sacramento’s future as a growing city.  He was engaging, informative, funny, and invested in making Sacramento not just a government town, but also a destination city.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg talking at our monthly meeting at the Sacramento Association of Realtors

Some of his immediate items to address as a newly-elected mayor were:

 

  1. Working on our city’s image and transforming Sacramento into a more sophisticated and more visited city. A few ways to attract more visitors would be through the Kings Arena, a world class Science Museum and Exploratorium, an Aquarium, increasing the visibility of arts, opening up the water promenade, and connecting West Sacramento to Sacramento.
  2. Working on providing more shelters and programs for the homeless.
  3. Passing an immediate law regarding teenagers who will be paid for their summer work (just for a certain amount of hours). They will also be employed and paid for two months in their line of work right after college and paid. This will create a more robust work force and will help young people compete fairly in an already competitive market.
  4. Encouraging and expanding the housing market with a variety of newly-built projects, such as the L St. lofts, I St. studio, as well as other ones that are being marketed and that I can help you show and purchase.
  5. Creation of more jobs.
  6. Keeping the real estate market affordable by increasing the supply through building new homes and condos.

https://www.facebook.com/cmicsa/videos/1384150288304380/

To sum things up, Darrell Steinberg’s speech and presentation emphasized the need to increase Sacramento’s positive image, as well as continue to have a robust real estate market while keeping things affordable in our growing city.

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

 

Sellers and Buyers Pace Yourselves When Deciding to Get the PACE Energy-Efficient Program- 2017 New Laws to Protect You!

HERO AND PACE PROGRAMS – ARE THEY REALLY HEROES?

Do you ever feel satisfied and happy when you obtain something so easily that it feels unreal? Of course, not! Satisfaction and enjoyment come from some resistance, hard work, and some challenge.  And yet, when it comes to one’s home, the biggest investment in one’s life, many people have jumped to obtain the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HERO_Program, which is a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PACE_financing and continue to do so in order to retrofit their homes.

Types of residential and commercial retrofitting:

  • installing energy-efficient, water conservation retrofits
  • seismic retrofits
  • solar panels
  • energy efficient windows
  • energy-efficient heating and air systems
Installing solar panels is one of the most popular with homeowners

The PACE loan program was introduced in 2008 to finance energy and other retrofits with ease and very few requirements or disclosures. To qualify for this loan, homeowners need to have equity in their homes, so credit scores do not matter. It is also 100% financing with no money down from the homeowner. So far PACE sounds enticing and an amazing way to lower one’s utility bills by doing certain retrofits. Well, it really depends on your future plans, and if you have to sell the home, as this loan is designed to pass the debt unto the new homeowners, which might not make them happy.

HOW DOES PACE IMPACT BUYERS AND SELLERS?

 

  1. Due to the fact that repayments of the PACE loan are made through the property taxes.
  2. The house has higher property taxes than a similar home on the same street with no PACE loan on.
  3. Sellers will leave debt behind to the new homeowners who assume all these upgrades whether they want them or not.
  4. PACE is shown on the preliminary title report as a first lien.
  5. The property taxes will reflect the additional assessment fees incurred through the PACE loan.
  6. New owners assume the remaining assessment payments, or sellers are forced to reduce the selling price of the home to make the sale go through.
  7. Interest rates can be 3 to 4% higher than traditional loans.
  8. Having a PACE loan might be the only way for some homeowners to install a new HVAC system or new windows, but be prepared for the future impact when reselling the house, as it is not as easy to sell in comparison with a debt-free home.
  9. Are the upgrades worth it in the long run? Sure, they are, but think of how long you will live in that house before getting this loan.
  10. To sum thing up, pace yourselves when it comes to PACE and think of the future plans and the impact of trying to pass debt to the new homeowners. We all know that debt is not sexy!
Debt is a vicious circle

 

2017 NEW LAWS REGARDING PACE PROGRAMS

 

Under the new law, which took effect Jan. 1, entities that offer PACE financing providers are required to do the following:

  1. Provide homeowners with a standard written financial disclosure similar to the federal Truth in Lending Act disclosure.
  2. Give the applicants the right to cancel PACE contract within three days.
  3. It limits the amount a homeowner can borrow.
  4. It specifies that homeowners must own the property on which the home sits, be current on their mortgage and property taxes, and not in default or involved in bankruptcy proceedings.

When things sound too good to be true, most often they are, so be aware of the potential future hurdles when selling or buying a home under this program. Maybe try to qualify for a standard loan instead, as well as understand that it can take up to 20 years to break even on a solar system and that the money saved on energy bills is not that significant.

Do your homework, and let me know if I can answer any questions.

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

Pricing Your Home Right for Top $$$ in our 2017 market – Dos and Don’ts!

Buying and selling a home are both emotional events, but selling a house in our Sacramento real estate market and any other market is even more emotional, as sellers put their heart and soul into their homes, remodeling, improving, and leaving behind indelible memories. With our low housing supply inventory that will continue in 2017 sellers rejoice in their opportunity to sell their homes for top dollars with little hassle and even with multiple offers. Yet, pricing your home right in a hot market is still key and Realtor.com offers some great advice and six rules on pricing your home right. http://www.realtor.com/advice/6-rules-follow-pricing-home/

Pricing Your Home Right

DO PRICE YOUR HOME RIGHT! When it comes to pricing a home, the majority of the sellers feel that their house is worth so much more than the rest of the homes that have sold recently. https://www.houselogic.com/sell/how-much-is-my-home-worth/?cid=pm_ps_bing_cac

DON’T  FOLLOW YOUR FEELINGS; FOLLOW THE DATA! My duty as a real estate broker and professional is to present all the data, such as recent comps of other similar homes that sold in the neighborhood, statistics, and market analysis, which will help my sellers decide upon my suggested listing price. Thus pricing their home will be done based on carefully researched data and not emotions, feelings. By relying on the most current market data, sellers will avoid pricing their home too high. Also according to local appraiser Ryan Lundquist, it is important to http://sacramentoappraisalblog.com/2017/01/03/trends-to-watch-in-real-estate-in-2017/ choose similar homes to the one the seller has to sell, instead of focusing on the highest sold in the neighborhood and have appraisal issues later on during the escrow. Lundquist also points out that just because our housing inventory is low does not mean that sellers should command unreasonably high prices, which is also my position as a real estate broker. I like to be honest and upfront with my sellers during the listing appointment and not create false expectations.

Not all buyers will appreciate the older flushing system, so changing the toilet might be a great idea, giving buyers fewer things to nitpick.

Reasons Your Home is Not Selling:

  1. Home is overpriced.
  2. Home is outdated.
  3. Home is over-improved for the neighborhood.
  4. Home has been nicely updated and remodeled, but price is too high and buyers are not willing to pay for it.
  5. Few, or no showings at all is a clear indication of the house being overpriced.
  6. Plenty of showings, but no offers is also a sign that the house is overpriced.
  7. Price is king!

Top Cures for not Selling:

  1. Be proactive, not reactive, which simply means not waiting months and months before dropping the price and selling your home at what the market will bear.
  2. Do not wait till you receive a bunch of low ball offers; instead, adjust the price accordingly to attract those highly motivated and well-qualified buyers.
  3. Do not let too much time elapse in between price adjustments, or buyers will think there is something wrong with your house.
  4. Enhance the curb appeal on a budget and make things inviting, so buyers can feel at home.
  5. Work with highly reputable, honest, and experienced agents who can aggressively market your home and get it sold.
    Besides having a three-page marketing plan for my sellers, I also market their homes on the radio show Real Life Lending on 105.5 FM

     

    And least, but not last, remember that buyers today have so much more information at their fingertips and they are not willing to overpay for a house, so evaluate the recent sales and price your home to sell and you might even get more than asking price with the right marketing strategy.

    For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

 

A Quick Recap of Our 2016 Sacramento Real Estate Market and What to Look for in 2017!

2016 Sacramento Real Estate Market recap

As we are getting close to leaving 2016 behind and usher 2017, it will be helpful to look at our November numbers and stats to understand where we are heading and what the new year will have in store for us. These numbers deal only with Sacramento county, but if you need stats for other counties, please feel free to click on Ryan Lundquist’s excellent blog that I quoted below.

  1. The median price is the same as it was in August 2007.
  2. Housing inventory is 22% lower than the same time last year (there is only a 1.36 month housing supply).
  3. Sales volume was 17% higher this November compared to November 2015.
  4. There were only 36 short sales and 34 REOs in the county last month.
  5. Cash sales are down 11% this year.
  6. The median price is $325,000 and is down 2% from the height of summer and 12% higher than last year.
  7. The  average sales price at $349,659.

2017 Real Estate Outlook

 

So with these stats in mind, I know that you want to receive the answer to the what I call the crystal ball question: “So how will our real estate market be next year?”

My answer is evasive and honest at the same time. “We never know exactly what the new year will bring, but according to economists and Realtor.com, we will see a 7% increase in value.”

This might be exciting news, but as Ryan Lundquist astutely pointed out in his wonderfully written and researched blog http://www.sacramentoappraisalblog.com, this is what our market has been doing for the last two years, which means that Sacramento will continue on the same steady path. Additionally, even though the Sacramento Bee called Sacramento the 4th hottest real estate market in the country, just because median prices went up 7%, it doesn’t mean that actual values increased by that much.

Getting a Loan and 2017 Interest Rates

 

These are some of our predictions for 2017 together with the fact that interest rates will go up by about half a point, but they are still super affordable. Today I have also had the pleasure and honor to talk about this on Real Life Lending 105.5 FM radio show hosted by Eric Elovski McKay who is one of my preferred lenders due to his extensive knowledge of the lending industry, his hard work, dedication, and professionalism. To apply for a loan with Eric, just go to his website http://www.ericwillclose.com.

With Eric Elovski McKay, host of Real Life Lending

Another important report that helps us real estate professionals is presented by our California Association of Realtors. According their forecast the California median homes price, this is not just Sacramento, is forecast to increase 4.3 percent in 2017, representing the slowest rate of price appreciation in six years. C.A.R president Pat Zicarelli also predicts that “San Francisco Bay Area will experience a decline as home buyers migrate to peripheral cities with more affordable options.”

Overall, we all need to be excited and positive about the new year, and let’s prepare our Champagne glasses for a prosperous, better, and brighter 2017.

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

 

Sacramento Real Estate Market Outlook for 2017- Prices Going Up or Down?

As the title of my blog is running for real estate, I am pleased to combine my passion for real estate with running. Moreover, rest assured that I will run and hustle to help you buy or sell a house the same way our bunny Peter runs up and down the stairs in this video! I believe in being quick and efficient in taking care of all your real estate needs, so never hesitate to call me with any questions. No strings attached!

 

 

As we approach the end of the year, almost everybody wants to know what to expect in the coming year, especially because of the elections and the rumors about interest rates going up, which are not just rumors. Interest rates will be going up a little bit in 2017, according to Oscar Wei, senior economist for California Association of Realtors.  During our monthly meeting at Sacramento Association of Realtors, Wei did a detailed presentation on our real estate market- see entire link and forecast below.

http://www.car.org/3550/pdf/econpdfs/09-29-2016_EXPO_Forecast_Final.pdf

10 Key Points to Remember as We are Heading Towards the End of 2016 and Ushering 2017:

 

  1. Real estate is still considered a very good long-term investment.
  2. Listings inventory is still low, making is more difficult for first-time buyers to afford to buy.
  3. Long-time homeowners are not moving that often and wait about 10 years to move, choosing instead to remodel their homes and stay.
  4. Boomers are not moving as often.
  5. Builders are still not building enough new homes, which contributes to a lower supply of homes.
  6. Interest rates are below 4% for now until the FED will decide what to do.
  7. Consumer confidence is 9-year high.
  8. Unemployment rates are 8-year low.
  9. Majority do not plan to sell their home when they retire.
  10. Most homeowners, as a matter of fact 92% of them, have equity in their homes, which is why we have seen a very low supply of short sales and foreclosure homes.

 

10 Key Points to Remember about 2017 Market Outlook:

 

  1. We will see a modest price increase in 2017 of about 3%.
  2. A 2% increase in sales.
  3. The American dream and homeownership is still very important for the Millennials.
  4. Investors buyers are dropping, but still active in the lower-priced market.
  5. Unemployment in California will be around 5.3%.
  6. Interest rate projected at 5% in five years.
  7. Home prices will grow steadily next year.
  8. Biggest challenge for buyers in 2017: lack of affordability.
  9. Buyers will need to educate themselves on our market, the various loan programs, and the down payment assistance.
  10. Pursue your dreams and find a way to build your own equity by stopping to rent and buying a home.

 

For more info on running and real estate, whether buying or selling, please e-mail me at carmenmicsa@yahoo.com, or call me at 916-342-2446. Running for real estate with joy!

 

 

Tips and thoughts about running and real estate.