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Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

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Earthquake Safety for Your Coastal Home and Family

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Unfortunately, this is typically a topic that comes up after the fact, but all of us in California are vulnerable to earthquakes. We were just reminded of that with the recent earthquake in the Napa area. We hope that all the residents affected are safe and only suffered minimal damage if any to their homes and property.

There are many things you can do to prepare your Coastal home in case of an earthquake. It’s also important for your family to be prepared with an earthquake preparedness plan, to review the proper safety procedures periodically and make sure young children understand.

This plan includes the following:

  • Make a safe designated meeting spot in the house where, if possible, the family can meet. This should be a place that is protected by sturdy furniture or interior structural walls.
  • Keep a stock of non-perishable foods, at least 3 gallons of water for each member of your family (including pets), an up-to-date first aid kit, a working battery-operated radio and flashlights with extra batteries, blankets and tools. You may also want to invest in some dust masks and goggles.
  • Know how to turn off your gas and water mains.
  • Be aware of placing trophies and other heavy items on high shelves or mounted to walls. Keep breakables in cabinets that can be locked.
  • Anchor tall furniture to the walls such as entertainment centers, dressers and bookshelves. (Not a bad idea if you have a small child that may climb, to keep furniture from toppling on them).
  • Designate a particular fireproof, locked cabinet to hold all flammable and combustible products like spray paints, gasoline, and other products. Never keep them near a heat-producing appliance.

No one can predict exactly when a quake will hit so be aware of your surroundings and if shaking does begin, take cover until you’re sure it’s safe and stay away from windows if possible.

To get your earthquake emergency kits ready, you can get them locally or online at Earth Shakes in Burlingame, Essential Packs, or even available most times at your local Costco Store.

We hope that it never happens but it’s important to make sure your home is as prepared as your family in the event of an earthquake. 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.

*Photo Courtesy of Earth Shakes

Bay Area Labor Day Festivities to Help End Summer

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

It’s that time again! It’s time to wind down summer with some Labor Day fun around the Bay Area. One thing we love about living in our coastal community is the close proximity to many neighboring cities, cultures and community events.

Kings Mountain Art Fair
This fair has been ranked one of the Top Three Fine Art Fairs in California. It’s an annual event held every Labor Day weekend to benefit the Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire Brigade and other community activities.

There will be over 130 juried artists, mountain folk art by local artists, and even a dedicated space where kids can make their own art including spin, string, straw, and glitter art, along with other activities. Parents can relax at the Parent’s Retreat overlooking Kiddie Hollow.

Good food is never a concern at King’s Mountain Art Fair. Breakfast is served starting at 8am and lunch until 4:30pm. All meals are prepared by local community volunteers including our volunteer fire rescue team.

Come help Kings Mountain Fair celebrate 50 years of art and ambience this year, August 30 – September 1. It is open 10am – 5pm and fair admission and parking are free. For more information, visit their website! The event is held at 13889 Skyline Boulevard in Woodside.

The Last Blast of Summer
Millbrae celebrates their 44th Annual Art &Wine Festival August 30-31, from 10am – 5pm. This is two days of mardi gras-style fun that is held On Broadway (one block west of El Camino Real), between Victoria Ave. and Meadow Glen, downtown Millbrae.

There’s two days of sensational live music with a blockbuster of headliners including: Foreverland, Mustache Harbor, Reckless in Vegas, Extra Large, The Pulsators, Sol, Loudin’ Cleer, John Clarke, Guy Palazzolo and HeartStrings Music.

Enjoy perusing thru gorgeous handcrafted art and crafts made by 250 of America’s top artists and craftmakers. Find original work in sculpture, paintings, photography, glass, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, leather, wood, mixed media and more at every price point.

If food is more your forte, the fair’s artisan-produced specialty food will not disappoint. It’s the perfect opportunity to sample and purchase these incredible edibles as well as chat with the actual producer. Be sure to check out the assortment of world-class brews, a microbrew tasting tent, as well as wine tasting with Bonterra Vineyards and their award-winning wine made from 100% organically grown grapes.

Other festivities include home and garden exhibits, the “Classically Cool Car Show”, kids playland, and more! Admission is free so check out their event website for more information!

On your way home, top off the afternoon at one of our open houses! 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.

Great Ways to Use Coffee Grounds Around Your Coastal Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

We’re always thinking of ways to reduce, reuse or recycle in our coastal communities. Next time you make that morning pot (or two) of coffee, remember those grounds can also boost other things besides your mood. Here are some great ideas for using your coffee grounds!

Fertilize your Garden
Keep a countertop-size compost bin next to your sink and use for collecting used coffee grounds to add to your garden. Believe it or not, those grounds are full of nutrients for your acidic-loving plants. A few of the things you can fertilize are rosebushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreens, and camellias.

However, it doesn’t stop with the flower beds, you can help to grow those fruits and vegetables nice and strong as well!  Put coffee grounds around the base of those acidic-loving trees such as apples and pears or mix in the soil for your strawberries and blueberries. You may already have some of these acid-loving vegetables in your garden: potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, beans and peas. Drip grounds are the richest in nitrogen so why not try starting tomorrow to help give your garden a final boost before fall.

Enhance your Carrot Harvest
Why wait until your carrots start coming up to take care of them? Next season, mix the seeds with fresh-ground coffee before sowing. It will add nutrients to the soil directly, make the tiny seeds easier to sow, and the aroma may repel root maggots and other pests giving your carrots the best environment to thrive.

Keep Unwanted Cats Out
Cats are notorious for taking advantage of the loose dirt in a garden to use for digging or even as a litter box. If this is a potential problem in your yard, mix those grounds with orange peels to deter any cats from frequenting your garden.

Use as a Deodorizer
The garden isn’t the only place coffee grounds are useful. If you have a smell to your freezer, fill a bowl or container with fresh coffee grounds and place them in the freezer overnight. You can even keep a container in there and replace regularly to keep your freezer odors away.

Tame Your Fireplace Dust
A great way to clean out the ashes in your fireplace is to sprinkle them with wet coffee grounds. It tames the dust making it easier to remove and doesn’t pollute the room with ash and dust.

If all our neighbors lived by the way of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” our coastal communities will reap the benefits. 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.

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. 

Summer Trends to Buy a Coastside Home

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

If you’ve been preparing to buy a Coastside home this summer, knowing some of the current trends can really be beneficial to your home buying process. Whether you’re self-employed, need a larger mortgage or wondering if the mortgage interest rates are to remain steady, you won’t want to miss this!

Here are 5 housing trends to expect to see this summer.

Lenders loosen their standards. After years of tightening up their standards, lenders seem to be loosening up a bit; especially for large loans, or jumbo loans, because these aren’t the types of loans that get sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  The institutions have their own guidelines and lenders must follow them if they want to sell the loans after they issue them.

Mel Watt, the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, recently said his office will change some of the guidelines to allow lending to borrowers with slightly lower credit scores. The FHFA oversees Fannie and Freddie.

Underwriters are having a little more flexibility with some common-sense issues and some lenders are allowing lower credit scores on FHA loans.

Mortgage rates to remain low through summer. In the beginning of the year, many forecasters and industry observers expected rates to rise more significantly than we’ve seen thus far. Now it seems we won’t see a sharp increase in mortgage rates this summer and even through to the end of the year.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's latest forecast says the 30-year fixed rate could average 4.9 percent by the third quarter and reach 5 percent by the end of 2014.

The FHA is offering discounts on FHA loans. Those homebuyers with small down payments have always relied on FHA loans, or loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration. However, with the increase in the cost of mortgage insurance this has not been a viable option for many borrowers.

The FHA has recently announced H.A.W.K., a program to reduce the upfront fee the FHA charges borrowers from 1.75 percent to 1.25 percent of the loan amount. It will also reduce the annual mortgage-insurance premium from 1.35 percent to 1.25 percent. The caveat is that the borrower has to agree to get counseling which should help buyers understand what it really means to buy a house.

Lenders are straying from QM mortgages. At first, when the new mortgage regulations were implemented this year, many lenders declared they wouldn’t lend outside the guidelines provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's qualified-mortgage rule, or QM.

However, now that lender’s are becoming more comfortable with the rules, some are once again offering creative loans that don’t meet QM requirements. Having access to lenders that are willing to go outside the QM lending box can be useful for borrowers who are self-employed or looking for larger loans.

Home Prices remain steady. While home prices here in our coastal communities have remained fairly constant, the home buying season was a bit lower than initially expected. This is good news for those of you planning to buy this summer.

Compared to last year, home prices are still growing strong, but just at a slower pace.

Thanks to one of our coastal clients who generously gave us some great stats for those in the tech industry. Our coastside communities are a great opportunity for the younger generation to be within a close commute to the top IT companies in the Bay Area while saving tens of thousands of dollars by not buying in San Francisco.

  • Montara to Facebook (Menlo Park) = 31 miles, 45 min
  • Montara to Google (Mtn View) = 37 miles, 50 min
  • Montara to Twitter (SF) = 22 miles, 30 min

It might just make you think why you’re not taking advantage of our coastal communities, which is a giveaway in home prices compared to San Francisco, Menlo Park and Palo Alto. 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.

Saving Water in Your Coastside Gardens & Landscaping

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

As we all try to conserve during this drought by reducing water usage in our coastside gardens and landscapes, it’s important to make sure your watering systems are performing correctly and most efficiently so that you are getting maximum coverage and not wasting water.

Maintenance before issues occur. To keep the system working at its best, flush the lines once a year and check your irrigation water cycles each spring as the conditions may change from year to year. Frequently inspect your system for leaks, broken sprinkler heads or over-spray and keep a box of replacement parts on hand to quickly make repairs.

There are many different ways to make sure your entire area is covered and adequately watered. Think of how boring our yards would be if we all had this same small square of lawn. Sure it’d be easy to maintain and irrigate but we wouldn’t enjoy our outdoor space half as much as we do in those areas that show our personality. Because of this, we sometimes have to get a little more creative in how we irrigate our yards.

Drip irrigation is most efficient at water conservation because the water is delivered directly to the plant. It is also the most effective way to water mature shrubs that may have grown so tall that they block sprinkler heads. New drip systems are also designed to rarely clog and have built-in emitters spaced 12 to 18 inches apart, delivering water to the entire bed. Be sure to install a water pressure reducer and filter to ensure the best flow. For vegetable gardens or plants with special watering needs, a smaller version of the irrigation tubing is available. This can be looped around the plants to provide maximum water.

Use technology to your advantage. You can better manage your water usage with a smart controller that uses weather data to calculate how much water a plant loses each day and delivers enough water to replace the loss the next day. Remember, however, that smart controllers are only as good as the information you provide, so be sure to accurately enter the type of plants, soil conditions, slopes and other factors.

Check the water output to your fixed sprinkler heads. If you have the type that delivers water in quarter, half and full circles and they aren’t doing the job you need them to do, replace them with adjustable heads to better meet your needs. One improvement may be to replace with MP rotators. These heads put out larger drops of water, which reduces evaporation and gets the water where you need it. These rotators are more effective than sprays and mists that evaporate before they reach the ground or are carried away by the wind.

Adjust watering times as needed. Once you’ve adjusted, replaced and improved your watering sprinklers and lines, you may need to readjust your watering schedule for a longer period -- about 30 percent longer -- to ensure the area gets enough water. Rotators and certain drips may put out water at a slower rate, so you may run the sprinklers longer. This may seem counter-productive to water conservation but remember the flow is less so you will actually use less water.

Water conservation in our coastal homes isn’t hard, it just takes some planning and working together to get us through the current drought. 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.

Respect the Benefits of Our Smallest Coastal Residents

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Happenings on the Coast ~ The nonprofit Coastside Land Trust has inherited a piece of history with the Purissima Property. Watch the local papers as they will be inviting the public to join them in restoring the old Purissima site back to a usable natural resource.

 


 

Taking care of our coastside lands are invaluable not only for our environment but helping our future generations to enjoy a bit of our history and coastal landscapes. Just as important, is learning to take care of your land on your property and learning to live hand-in-hand with our local wildlife.

Having wildlife in your coastal home garden doesn’t have to be catastrophic. It’s all in how you look at the benefits of sharing land with those little creatures. Those that have a bad reputation can actually be a good helper in your garden.

Birds may do a number on your berries but have you thought about all the insects invading your garden and eating your leaves, which the birds prey on and control for you? Snakes actually keep down the population of gophers and mice. Moles, while seemingly getting a bad rap, keep your lawn free of grubs. 

Still not sold on wildlife in your yard? How about the gophers, deer, raccoons and skunks that keep our brains active by coming up with creative and effective ways to outsmart them.

Here are just a few pointers on some of the most common annoyances that may be taking up residence in your garden:

Moles
Although many people go to great lengths to rid them from their lawns, they really can be beneficial to some extent. Moles can eat up to 600 grubs a night, keeping the population under control. Their tunnels, as long as they don’t get out of control, can help to aerate your lawn.

Gophers
These little guys are all over the Bay Area including our coastal communities. They live in established territories, making them easy to eradicate at least temporarily. However, once you get rid of some others will come to occupy the tunnels. Owls are a natural predator to help at least control the population. If poisons and traps are not your style,  a natural way to help rid yourself of these critters is to protect your plants by using stainless steel planting baskets, putting stainless steel gopher wire beneath raised beds, and using flashing to create protective collars. Gophers are not climbers by nature so this will help to protect your garden.

Skunks
Unless you have a dog, skunks aren't really as bad as they seem to your garden. They eat mice and gophers and even dig up and destroy yellow jacket nests. A simple fence around your garden is usually sufficient to keep them out since they aren’t climbers.

Raccoons
These cute, but mischievous, critters can wreak havoc around your home and garden. There are short-term solutions for frightening them away but raccoons will quickly get used to the noise, lights and even scarecrows. Cleaning up around the area and removing any wood piles, overgrown shrubbery or other debris will help keep them from building a den. Make sure to keep their favorite treat, cat food, inside and sealed or you may just find a raccoon inside the house as a dinner guest!

They do have their benefits in that they love snails – even without garlic. However, if raccoons have become a big problem, you may want to look into a low-charge electric fencing to keep them at bay.

It’s very important to put gardening and wildlife into perspective and try to respect both while taking care of your property and the areas surrounding it. We love having nature and wildlife right out our back door all the while still enjoying the short distance to the city.

Together, we can all preserve what makes our coastal communities “home” for generations to come. 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.

Finding Coastside Homes with Good Bones

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

If you’re looking for a new Coastside home, no doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “good bones.”  But do you really understand what that means? We all have our wish-lists of what we’re looking for in a home but when we get down to the nitty-gritty, do you really know what “good bones” means and can you recognize it when you see it?

“Good bones” means the home has a solid build, but, of course, needs some work to make it your own. It typically encompasses certain things that every buyer is searching for. Here are those things that you should be looking for in your pursuit for the perfect coastal home.

Look for a solid roof and foundation. What’s above your head and under your feet are the most important parts of the house. These are the fundamental structures of the home and the most expensive to repair or replace.

Good quality building materials. The materials used to build older homes are typically higher quality than what you’ll find in brand new construction these days. Look for solid walls and beyond the cosmetic of what can easily be changed.

Coherent design both inside and out. The structure of the home should be simple and clean with a clear hierarchy. If any additions have been made to the house, they should be consistent with the original structure so that it flows and looks uninterrupted.

Natural light. Rooms with great natural lighting will have windows on at least two sides to help flood the room with natural sunlight. It’s not hard in our coastal communities to find rooms with large windows to show off our beautiful views.

Rooms should be a decent size. Of course, once you buy a home you can tear down walls and change spaces, but as you walk into a home, the rooms should not be too big or too tiny. Ceilings should be high without being too high to give the feel of the area being cold or cavernous.  Ceiling height may not be able to be changed without compromising the architectural integrity of the home.

Nice flow between public and private areas. It’s important to have both public and private areas in the home. Your perfect balance will, of course, differ from that of other families but a home with “good bones” will offer some flexibility in its layout to help to preserve both types of spaces.

Architectural details are a plus. If you find a home containing great details that have been nicely preserved such as exposed beams, stained glass, original crowning or hardwood, it’s a great find and shows that the home has been well taken care of.

Look for a cohesive flow throughout the entire lot. Homes aren’t just what you see once you come through the front door. It’s important that the whole property works and the transitions between inside and out are smooth from the time you step onto the curb, into the home and out into the backyard living area.

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.

Basic Repairs to Keep Your Coastside Home in Shape

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

As the market moves in a positive direction, inventory continues to increase and more couples are looking to become homeowners. It’s important to make your Coastside home as attractive as possible. This means all those little repairs you can knock out in a weekend but have been putting off. It’s time to buckle down and do them before putting your home on the market.

We found a great article on MSN Real Estate that outlines 10 basic repairs that will help to prepare your house for a buyer’s inspection. We listed a few below and the rest can be found on, “10 must-do repairs before selling.

Clear and Caulk Gutters
Now is the time to give your gutters some needed attention. In fact, with our climate, it’s best to check the rain gutters quarterly. Clean the debris that has accumulated in your gutters so that water has a clear path out and away from the home. Make sure to check for leaks, cracks and any other damages to repair. Re-caulk the gutter end caps so that leaking down the side of your home is avoided.

Queue Up Your Entrance
The entrance into your home is one of the first impressions for buyers. Buyers will notice signs of neglect with sagging screen doors and poorly maintained porches.

Make sure everything at the entrance is in good working order. If the screen door has seen better days, it’s best to install a new one or replace the screen part. Check for any missing or corroded hinge screws and make sure the screen closes properly on its own.

A fresh coat of paint on the front door with newly installed handles and locks goes a long way towards making a great first impression. Unsure what color to paint your front door? The front door need not match the exterior colors of your house and trim, only look good alongside them. Take a drive through the neighborhood to get an idea of what looks pleasing to you.

Freshly potted flowers and a nicely swept porch make potential buyers want to enter and see the rest of the home. Curb appeal is your first impression to show the buyer that you value taking care of your home and it has been given love inside and out.

Repair Holes and Freshen Paint
Repairing all the nail holes throughout the house and giving all the tired walls a fresh coat of neutral color paint will bring new life into your Coastside house. Not only will it make the home look newer, it will make it look cleaner and brighter as well. These are things buyers notice immediately and will appreciate as it’s one less thing for them to do upon moving in.

Renew those Baseboards
Scratched and beat-up baseboards can detract buyers from seeing all the good things your home has to offer. The first step is cleaning all the smudges and dust from those baseboards. Then you can fill in any dents and deep gouges with spackle. Finally, painting all the baseboards throughout the home with an eggshell finish can really go a long way in making the home look crisp and clean.

Reseal the toilet
Checking the seals on your toilets can help to prevent leaking and mold and also can save on energy costs. Buyer’s walking into your home don’t want to hear a toilet running or see moisture around the floor of your bathroom. This repair is an easy-fix that is inexpensive. All the parts can be found at your local home improvement store and can be done quickly.

Bring New Life to Cabinets
Not looking to completely replace those worn out cabinets? You can quickly improve the look of your cabinets with an application of products that are made to even-out the surface color and blend scratches. If you want to take it a step further, new knobs and handles can help to give the allusion that your cabinets are newer and will give the rooms a modern, updated look.

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.

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.

Peninsula & Bay Area Independence Day Fun

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

There’s no shortage of great events on the Peninsula and throughout the Bay Area. Starting with pancake breakfasts, to parades, great concerts, to a chili cook-off and ending the night with firework shows, this year will not disappoint!

Below are just a few events to help get your Independence Day planning started:

Half Moon Bay: 4th of July 2014 Parade – July 4, 2014. Parade starts at 12pm on Main St in Half Moon Bay, CA. No fireworks this year, according to the Half Moon Bay Review.

Pacifica: 4th of July 2014 Celebration – July 4, 2014 at Frontierland Park. Crafts, games, music, and more from 10am-4pm. Rocket Run 5-Mile run at the Pacifica Community Center from 8:45-10am.

Redwood City: Independence Day Parade & Festival – July 4, 2014. Fire Department Benefit Pancake Breakfast 7:30-10:30am at the Redwood City Fire Department. Parade starts at 10am in downtown Redwood City. Car show at 9am. Festival from 9am-5pm features food, arts, crafts, entertainment, and a kids’ area. Fireworks launched from the Port of Redwood City at approx. 9:30pm.

Foster City: Fourth of July 2014 Celebration – July 4, 2014, 8am-9:30pm at Leo Ryan Park. Pancake breakfast at 8am at Island United Church, Meadow, Shell Blvd. Family and Dog Parade at 11:05am at the Rec Center, Shell Blvd. Lions Club Barbecue 11:30am-9pm at Leo Ryan Park. Live music and games start at noon. Fireworks at 9:30pm over the Lagoon at Leo Ryan Park.

Menlo Park: 4th of July 2014 Parade and Celebration – July 4, 2014, 11:45am-2:30pm. Parade starts at 1:45pm and runs down Santa Cruz Ave to Burgess Park. Music, games, food, and more till 2:30pm at Burgess Park, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park, CA. A $7 wristband required for some activities, which you can get at the event.

Palo Alto: 2014 Summer Festival and Chili Cook-Off – July 4, 2014. 12-5pm at Mitchell Park, 600 E Meadow Dr. Chili tasting starts at 1:30pm. Live music, line dancing, children’s activities, and food. Taste an array of red-hot chili delicacies prepared by teams of chefs battling for the chili championship.

San Francisco: Fourth of July Celebration at The PIER – July 4, 2014. 9:30pm at Pier 39. PIER 39 celebrates Independence Day with fun for the whole family featuring musical entertainment, activities, and fireworks. The City of San Francisco will treat spectators to an elaborate fireworks display over the San Francisco Bay at approximately 9:30p.m.

Mountain View: Shoreline Amphitheatre – July 4, 2014. Annual concert and fireworks spectacular celebrating American Journeys! Epic music leads up to fireworks accompanied by the orchestra.

We hope you have a fun & safe Independence Day no matter how you decide to celebrate! 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.

2014 Kitchen Trends for Your Coastside Kitchen

by Kathy and Michael Rain - The Rain Team

Renovating your coastal kitchen can be full of decisions, new design ideas, vibrant colors and modern materials. However, if you are planning on selling your home in the next few years, it may be best to keep the design choices fairly neutral and current with what’s “in” for this year.

What’s “in” for 2014? According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s latest style report, the verdict for 2014 kitchens is: simple, clean and minimal. The association polled 420 designers about what homeowners want this year and the booming results were a contemporary space with simple style, neutral colors and clean lines with minimal ornamentation. Useful features that blend within the functionality of the kitchen, such as pullout and touch-activated faucets, topped the list.

Here’s a brief summary of top picks in kitchen design this year. If you are renovating or updating your kitchen, you may want to incorporate some of these features that home buyers will be looking for:

Flooring: Wood floors remain the top choice in kitchen flooring.

Color scheme: While the dominant kitchen colors last year were whites and off-whites, nearly 75% of designers polled said that gray will dominate this year’s color choice.

Cabinets: Expect darker woods to grow in popularity this year, taking over the white cabinet era. Glass doors will continue their popularity.

Countertops: Granite still remains a popular and practical choice but expect to see quartz beginning to outpace granite. As quartz gains in popularity, complimenting it with glass backsplashes will be a kitchen favorite.

Sinks: Stainless steel is always a tried and true favorite but growing in popularity in 2014 is composite granite, made from a mix of granite stone dust plus acrylic resins. Another innovation in the sink department will be pull-out faucets and touch-activated faucets replacing the old standards.

Appliances: Everyone always has space-saving in mind and with that trend, designers expect to see more microwave drawers in 2014.

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.

** Pictured here is the second-place winner in the large-kitchen category by Claire Reimann of Jason Good Custom Cabinet. (Joshua Lawrence/National Kitchen and Bath Association)

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 158

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

Equal Housing Opportunity