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Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

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How to Buy a Green Home in San Mateo County

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

If you are looking to buy a green home in San Mateo County you may be overwhelmed with the entire lingo that comes with buying an environmentally-friendly home. Do not be discourage. Here are a few tips to help you through the process.

LEED

Leed is a common term you may have come across in your hunt for that perfect Green San Mateo home, but what does it really mean? LEED, which was created by the US Green Building Council, stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This term is one of the most popular and widely known green standard across the nation.  The LEED system is point based and each home is assigned a level of LEED Certified from Silver, Gold, or Platinum.  

The points are based on the use of sustainable material, the construction process, waste management, energy-saving strategies used, and building maintenance.

Below is a list of a few items that points are based on in a single-family home.

Energy-efficient boilers

Photovoltaic arrays

Graywater treatment systems

Low-flush toilets

Cork and bamboo flooring

Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) or no-VOC paints and carpets

Water-efficient landscaping

LED lights

The more items in your home that are high-performance, and contain energy-saving materials the more points overall your home will earn.

Passivhaus

Passivhaus (which is also written as Passive House) is a house design that focuses on energy efficiency. Using this home design you can drop your energy consumption by up to 90 percent. A well-insulated home with no air leaks along with the highest R-values possible throughout the home are just some of the features this type of design contains. Passivhaus design has been very popular in Europe for decades, but is now becoming more popular throughout the United States.

Net Zero Energy

Net Zero Energy is quickly becoming a sought after certification among builders. It is more focused on green building standards than LEED.  It focuses to reduce energy consumption, which as a result drops carbon emissions. It is a brilliant idea considering that here in America 37 percent of our electricity production comes from our homes.  A Net Zero home produces only the energy it needs to use, if there is a surplus you can always sell it back to the grid.

When it comes to finding a green home in the San Mateo region we would be more than delighted to help. The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

How to Keep Unwanted Critters Out of Your San Mateo Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Head over to Pillar Point Harbor this weekend December 13th, to watch boat owners light up the docks with the Lighted Boat Festival. Enjoy the holiday decorations, visit with Santa, and listen to live music.

As the winter season quickly approaches multiple rodents and bugs will begin looking for a way to stay warm.  There are steps you can take to keep those unwanted critters out of your San Mateo home.

  1. You want to keep your trees trimmed so that there is no overhang above your roof. When the wind blows the last thing you want are those branches landing on your roof.   Trees that overhang your home are also the prefect way for a squirrel to get on to your roof. They are notorious for finding their way in through chimney vents.

 

  1. From inside your home, look to see if there is light visible coming through the cracks in your doors and windows. If you feel air movement along door frames or your window sills you may need to add some fresh caulk or weather stripping. This will stop those unwanted critters from entering and it will also lower your energy costs at the same time. Do not seal your home so securely that it is not allowed to breathe. It is necessary to have vents in your home, especially in the kitchen.

 

  1. Look for any holes that may be in your walls as a result of the insulation of your dishwasher or washing machine. Mice and other pests can fit through these small holes.

 

  1. Walk around the perimeter of your home and inspect it.  Keep in mind that a mouse is able to fit through a hole no bigger than a dime.

 

Do your best not to attract critters into your home by leaving food sit out, or by letting your trash pile up inside your home. Keep your outside garbage cans away from the house and with a lid firmly on top.

If you are aiming to buy a coastside home in the New Year, contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

5 Green Christmas Decoration Tips for Your San Mateo Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

The holiday season is now in full swing in San Mateo.  If you and your family are looking for something festive to do this upcoming weekend do not miss the Night of Lights Friday December 5th in Half Moon Bay. Also, the  4th Annual Rockaway Tree Lighting in Pacifica. The event will run Sunday, December 7th, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm.  The full event schedule can be found here.

If your plans are to decorate your San Mateo home for the holidays. I have a few tips for green Christmas decorations.

  1. Christmas Tree - For many, the main decoration of the holidays is a Christmas tree.  Avoid artificial trees as they are petroleum-based and full of chemicals.  In fact, they may even include lead.  Instead, choose a potted evergreen to bring indoors to decorate. After the holidays you can place it outside or plant it in your yard.  If you enjoy cutting down your own tree, then look for an organically grown farm. You will spare you family the harmful pesticides that are sprayed on conventional trees.  Once the season is over use your tree to mulch into compost.

 

  1. Wrapping Paper - The amount of waste a typical American home creates increases each year.  Nationwide garbage increases by one million tons from Thanksgiving thru New Year’s.  When choosing gift wrap look for wrapping paper and ribbons that are made of 100 percent recycled waste.  If you want something more personal consider making your own wrapping paper out of old posters, maps, sheet music, newspapers or even towels.

 

  1. Christmas Cards - The amount of greeting cards, stamps, and envelope trash could fill the ocean. In today’s digital age consider sending an email greeting.  If you want to send traditional cards try making your own. This is a great holiday project to do with your kids.  If there is no time to create your own , then look for those cards that are made with soy-based inks, recycled material, and are recyclable.

 

  1. Candles  - Candles are very popular during the holidays.  If you choose to use candles this season look for those make out of soy and beeswax.  Candles created this way are not made with petroleum-based paraffin which you find in conventional candles.  Check to make sure that the candle wicks do not contain lead. You will be able to tell if lead is in the wick if you see a thin lead wire inside.

 

  1. Christmas Lights - Incandescent light bulbs, which are popular Christmas lights, use a lot of energy and tend to be hot enough to cause a fire.  LED lights are the way to go this season as they use just 10 percent of the energy of the older lights. LED lights also run cooler and are less likely to cause a fire. 

Head over to Pillar Point Harbor this weekend December 13th, to watch boat owners light up the docks with the Lighted Boat Festival. Enjoy the holiday decorations, visit with Santa, and listen to live music.

If you have decided it’s your time to buy a coastside home, our goal is to guide you through the process from the beginning to the purchase of your new home and beyond. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

Half Moon Bay Opens New Trail Segment

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Earlier this month a large number of coastsiders attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony recognizing the new addition of the California Coastal Trail System (CCT).  The path is 1/3-mile long and begins at the south end of the Seymour Bridge in Half Moon Bay.  Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists can enjoy the beautiful view atop local bluffs on this new stretch of path. The CCT is a large network of trails that extend along the 1200-mile coastline of California. 

The project was completed at a cost of more than $500,000, which was funded by California Coastal Conservancy grants, San Mateo County, Coastside Land Trust, and Peninsula Open Space Trust.  The new path addition was created to allow a formal trail that sits back away from the bluffs in an effort to help fight erosion and provide more safety to those utilizing it.  In years past there were many informal trails that had been carved into the bluffs by local traffic which resulted in channelization that collected water. This water eventually spilled across the bluffs and resulted in erosion.  There are also plans for plants to be added along the path that will help with absorbing rain water and erosion.

Interpretive signs have been installed along points of the trail that allow visitors to learn about regional wildlife.

We hope to see you on the trail. If you are looking to sell your coastal home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. We can also offer you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to advise you what it is worth. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority. 

Electric Car Stations May Soon Be Headed To Half Moon Bay

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Owning an electric car is growing in popularity in Half Moon Bay and as a result two electric-car charging stations may soon be placed in front of City Hall downtown. As plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and battery electric vehicle ownership grows in popularity there is an increasing need for more public access to charging stations.  Most vehicles can be recharged by a domestic wall socket, but a charging station will provide more flexibility to local residents and visitors.

There is currently a notice in place in front of the parking space on Kelly Avenue which would suggest that the city may be placing the charging stations near the intersection with Main Street. Community Development Director Dante Hall will be holding a public meeting on December 4th, at 1:30 p.m. to review the new equipment.

The arrival of the electric-vehicle charging station originated with city leaders who made use of sales tax revenues from the Measure J.  It is estimated that the equipment will come at a $50,000 cost to the city, but officials are trying to think forward and are confident that the charging stations will draw more visitors to the area.

In real estate  news , Americans are once again feeling more positive about the housing market across the nation, as reported by the recent Fannie Mae October 2014 National Housing Survey. This is wonderful news for those that may be considering selling a home in the San Mateo region. Read more of the findings of the survey here.

We have extensive experience in all coastal communities and know which homes have “good bones.” If you have decided it’s your time to buy a coastside home, our goal is to guide you through the process from the beginning to the purchase of your new home and beyond. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

Houseplants Every San Mateo Home Should Have to Help Breathe Fresh Air

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Did you know that the air you breathe inside your San Mateo home may be heavy with many harmful chemicals? Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCSs, are emitted from your carpet, paints, cosmetics, air fresheners, and many other common household items. The good news is that there are many common house plants that you could have that will help absorb the VOCs in the air.  Thanks to NASA experiments conducted in the early 1980s we now know the benefits that a common houseplant can have for their owners. Studies have shown that people who have plants and are near them often are less likely to suffer from fatigue, headaches, and sore throats.

Here is the list of top house plants that help provide you with a breath of fresh air:

Purple Heart Plant (Tadescantia paillda)

Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus)

Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternate)

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum  ‘Mauna Loa’)

Variegated Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurenti’)

Red-edged Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

Florist’s Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

Enjoy the San Mateo Harvest Festival this weekend November 14-16 at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. The event will offer non-stop holiday shopping, entertainment, and fun for the whole family. More event details can be found here.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

If you are looking to buy a new home or sell your existing home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. We can also offer you a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your home to advise you what it is worth. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

Dungeness Crab Sport Fishing Opens this Saturday for San Mateo County

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

San Mateo County residents who are a fan of Dungeness crab may begin casting their pots this coming Saturday November 8th for sport, and commercial fisherman may begin on November 15th.  The docks of Pillar Point Harbor, located in Half Moon Bay, tend to be a popular place for locals to try their hand at the sport. The season will run thru June 30th.

2014 marks the 100th season that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have gathered landing data for the crab. In years past the season has yielded large numbers of Dungeness.  State Fish and Wildlife experts are expecting a more than average season. The Dungeness tend to be found in the cooler northern and central California waters near sandy or sand-mud bottoms at depths of less than 300 feet.

Last year a Dungeness crab trap limit was put into place, which outlines a seven-tiered process where commercial fisherman may purchase permits that allow them to fish with a range of 175 to 500 pots.  The size of the catch is also limited to the different fishing permits offered - sport, commercial and charter or party boat.  If you are a sport or recreational fisherman you may catch and keep up to 10 crabs per day that measure at least 5 ¾ inches.  Fish and Wildlife is highly encouraging fisherman to keep an eye on their traps because if they were to be lost it can result in the killing of crabs.

The crabs are wonderful for cooking and are known to have a slightly sweeter flavor than that of the snow and king crabs.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

If you are looking to buy a new home or sell your existing home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

The Latest San Mateo County Market Update

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

 

 

Green Home Cleaning Tips for Your San Mateo Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Maintaining a clean home can be a daunting task, and it can seem like there is more to clean than there is time in a day. If you want to clean your San Mateo home the green way then there are four fantastic cleaners you can use: salt, vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

Glass and Mirror Cleaning Tips - Throw out those toxic ammonia-based window cleaners you have in your home. You can easily clean your windows with four tablespoons of lemon juice placed into a half a gallon of water. If you do not have lemon juice on hand witch hazel and rubbing alcohol are also great alternatives.

Furniture Polish - Furniture polish is routinely made with petroleum distillates and solvents, both of these chemicals are hazardous. A green way to polish your furniture is to mix two parts of olive oil with one part of lemon juice. Place the mixture on a soft cloth and apply.

Metal - For brass, copper, stainless steel, and chrome finishes throughout your home do not use the traditional metal cleaners that usually contain ammonia. A greener method would be to make a paste with equal parts flour, vinegar, and salt. Rub the paste on and wipe off with clean cloth. Undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle is another good cleaning option for copper finishes.

Fireplace - If your fireplace has developed soot or smoke smudges on the exterior you can quickly remove it by making a paste with cream of tartar and water. If you are worried about the inside of your fireplace occasionally toss some salt in your next fire. The salt will help breakdown some of the soot.

Paint Fumes - If you have recently tackled an indoor painting project and the smell is lingering there is a solution. Place dishes of vinegar around the room so that it will help absorb the smell. Change the vinegar out daily.

Vinyl - If you need to clean vinyl simply take lemon juice straight and place it on a cloth and rub into the stained area. Your vinyl will be sparkling before you know it.

The Rain Team offers unparalleled service to ALL clients in the San Mateo County, including areas such as Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Moss Beach, Montara, and Pacifica. Your complete satisfaction with our service and representation is our number one priority.

If you are looking to buy a new home or sell your existing home, we’d love to hear how we can help you with your real estate goals. Contact us today via email or give us a call at (650) 888-6903.

Why Fall May be a Good Time to Sell Your Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

The Bay Area housing market has been strong this year. There have been stories of crowded open houses, multiple offers on some listings, and even bidding wars on specific properties that push prices skyward. Now that fall has arrived, some homeowners may believe that they have missed their window of opportunity to sell and that they should wait until next spring. Don’t be fooled; this may actually be a very good time to sell your home.

A combination of continued demand from serious buyers, a lack of available inventory in many of our markets, ongoing relocations into the Bay Area, and a warm, cozy feeling from homes over the holidays all add up as good reasons for why autumn may be a better time to list a home than most people realize. Consider all of the following:

  • Continued demand from buyers. As anyone who’s followed the news this year knows, there have been more buyers than sellers for homes in the Bay Area. While the number of potential buyers at open houses may have dropped off in recent weeks—which is traditionally expected during the fall—there is still far more “traffic” than we usually see at this time of year.
  • “Serious buyers” in the market now. During the fall months, there tend to be fewer “lookers” than in the spring and summer, and more serious buyers. These are often people who must buy for specific reasons, such as employment relocation. As a result, they are more likely to act quickly when they find the right property.
  • A lack of available inventory. The number of listings has been relatively low all year compared to historical averages. The shortage of available inventory has helped to push prices higher in some areas. It is expected that this time of year there will be even fewer homes than the months preceding it, and that can mean less competition and more potential buyer attention for your listing.
  • Great natural “staging” this time of year. There’s a certain warm feeling that comes with being in a home during the holidays. Homes just feel friendlier and cozier with holiday decorations, the fireplace glowing in the living room, and special cookies baking in the oven. These holiday touches can help “stage” a home, giving it the very best possible look and feel to sell. Buyers who walk into a home during the holidays may have an easier time envisioning their family at happy gatherings there, too.

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the fall, there are a few things you should be doing. Start with improving your “curb appeal.” Clean up flowerbeds and rake any leaves on the lawn. Make sure weeds are pulled and shrubs are pruned. In the backyard, put away any summer items like pool toys. In general, keep things clean and neat.

Embrace the holiday season and use appropriate decor. Keep decorations in tune with the holiday that’s approaching. Doing so can help potential buyers see themselves and their families enjoying the same holidays in your home. But be careful not to overdo it.

It’s also important to price your home properly. Your REALTOR® can help you determine the appropriate price – based upon recent comparable home sales in your area and the anticipated inventory of available homes. Pricing your home correctly can increase the chances of getting a good offer faster.

Finally, it’s more important than ever to work with an experienced real estate professional. Look for an agent that has a solid track record in your community and can provide you with good advice on how best to prepare and market your home during the fall season.

While fall is not traditionally seen as the best time to sell a home, as explained above, there are a lot of advantages to listing your home now – especially at a time when others might shy away from selling. With a few simple steps, you just may find that selling your home this fall may be the best move you’ll ever make.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 176

Contact Information

Photo of The Rain Team Real Estate
The Rain Team
CA# 01169588 | CA# 01125976 | CA# 01908304
248 Main Street, Suite 200
Half Moon Bay CA 94019
Office: 650-712-0411
Direct: 650-888-6903
Fax: 866-396-0207

Kathy and Michael Rain of Coldwell Banker provides real estate services in the San Mateo County, California area including the surrounding communities: El Granda, Half Moon Bay, Montara, Moss Beach, Pacifica and San Mateo.  Search for homes in San Mateo County. We list and sell residential real estate, investment properties, vacant land, lots for sale in the
San Mateo County, California area.

Licensed in the State of California

Kathy Rain -  CA BRE# 01169588 | Michael Rain - CA BRE# 01125976 | Caldwell Banker - CA BRE# 01908304
Cell Phone: (650) 888-6903 * Direct Phone: (650) 712-0411 

San Mateo County Real Estate and Homes for Sale

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