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One of our favorite holidays is around the corner and we are dusting off the cobwebs (pun intended) from all our Halloween decorations and searching on Google for fun costume ideas.  With lights up, skeletons shrieking at passersby and our pantries stocked with pumpkin-flavored treats, we still need a place to go and spread our holiday cheer. Below you’ll find the top 5 places to go trick or treating this Halloween.

1. San Jose: Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse at Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery  House is a spooky place to visit on any random day, but on Halloween they give it an added dose of eerie delight. This year, they are hosting Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse at Winchester Mystery House where you’ll spend the evening dodging poltergeists and ghouls that haunt the maze-like home. Buy your tickets here

Courtesy of The Winchester Mystery House

2. Sausalito: Howl’O’Ween Dog Costume Contest

This quirky event will be worth the drive up to Sausalito. On October 31st there will be two things that are much needed this Halloween: heaps of candy and dogs in costumes! That’s not all the Sausalito will serve up this Halloween, first off there’s a parade at 6pm at the Station 1 Firehouse that ends at a special Trick or Treat Lane. The City Hall Game Room is turned into a haunted house and the highlight of the evening is the dog costume contest. Get in on the heartwarming action here

3. Mountain View: Monster Bash

On Oct. 29, Rengstorff Park is inviting you to dress up and experience the Halloween season with a never-ending maze, spooky games, enchanting performances, a Dia de Muertos celebration, stilt walkers, inflatables and a creepy, crawly, ooey gooey zone. Tickets are free, get your info here

4. Dublin: Ghosts Of Dublin’ Cemetery Flashlight Tours

Another worthy event to strap everyone into the car. If stumbling through a cemetery on All Hallow’s Eve doesn’t scream ‘Halloween’, nothing will. The Dublin Historic Cemetery hosts a flashlight tour where their residents come alive. The event is recommended for ages 8 and up. Find your tickets here

5. San Jose: Grimm’s Hollow’s Labyrinth

Yes, it’s another labyrinth, but these are a classic for a reason. Nothing gets the heart rate up faster than knowing something could jump at you from around every corner.  Easterbrook Discovery School hosts their Grimm’s Hollow labyrinth this year that twists into dead ends and secret passageways with an escape room flair. For a scarier after-hours maze, brave guests will enter The Oubliette (dungeon) and try to find a way out while being accosted on all sides by the denizens of the afterlife. Find more info here

Courtesy of Grimm’s Hollow Labyrinth

If you’re looking for more Halloween activities to enjoy with family and friends, be sure not to miss our blogs 4 Best Neighborhoods to Trick or Treat this Halloween and 3 Best Pumpkin Patches in the Bay Area.

With the scent of sanitizer no longer wafting in the air, luckily, the only masks we need to still wear are those of witches and ghouls. You know what we’re talking about: Halloween (post-pandemic). Ah, Halloween…the time when we can dress up as anything and where the calories of candy don’t count. No one enjoys Halloween more than our kids, as they get to venture into their neighborhood, shriek at witches, and indulge in growing their candy empire. Below, you’ll find the 4 best neighborhoods to trick or this Halloween 2022. 

1. Willow Glen

Willow Glen is the king of Halloween. You can either head to downtown on Lincoln Ave between Minnesota and Willow, for heaps of fun or visit the area known as “The Gates”: 2 parallel streets on Cottle Ave and Westgate Ave are closed off to traffic and have elaborately decorated homes, hundreds of ghouls and goblins and a never-ending supply of full-sized candy bars.

2. Cambrian Park

This neighborhood in southwestern San Jose brims with Halloween spirit. With loads of families occupying the area, you’ll be sure to find some great streets with dressed-up houses and bottomless baskets of candy.

3. Los Gatos: Almond Grove

Tait Ave is closed off to traffic from W. Main to Hwy. 9. Residents tend to go all out of this holiday and it shows in the homes, yards and candy provided.

4. Rose Garden

This beloved San Jose neighborhood offers a relaxed trick-or-treat atmosphere, with not too many crowds and beautiful old homes to visit for treats.

If you’re looking for more Halloween activities to enjoy with family and friends, be sure not to miss our blog Top 5 Places to Spend Halloween 2022 and 3 Best Pumpkin Patches in the Bay Area.

Happy Halloween!

October is not only for Halloween. There’s still plenty of space for pumpkin-spice drinks and foods and spending your weekends frolicking among the pumpkin patches. Below is our pick for the 3 best pumpkin patches in the Bay Area.

1. Halfmoon Bay: Arata Pumpkin Farm

Everyone knows this farm. With massive pumpkins, a Minotaur’s Labrynth hay maze, a haunted barn, hay rides, pony rides, train rides, a petting zoo and playground, this pumpkin locale is popular for good reason. With all of these delights comes big crowds, so make your way there early to avoid long lines for parking. 

2. Nicasio Valley Pumpkin Patch

Serving the community for over 25 years, this quaint farm is only 30 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. With hay rides, farm animals, a hay maze, bounce castles and slides, this is a fun treat for families. They take it up a notch on the weekends with Big Jim’s BBQ and live music. 

3. Halfmoon Bay Lemos Pumpkin Patch

Another farm with the whole works: pony rides, hay rides, train rides, petting zoo, bouncy slide and haunted house. The favorite among the smaller guests is the barn where kids can ride around in their very own Jeep and the dig zone where they can operate kid-sized excavators.

If you’re looking for more activities to enjoy with family and friends in October, be sure not to miss our blog Top 5 Places to Spend Halloween 2022 and 4 Best Neighborhoods to Trick or Treat this Halloween 2022.

To say that everyone wants to own a home in Sunnyvale is an understatement. Fondly known as the “the City of Destiny”, Sunnyvale combines the advantages of an attractive suburban residential setting, a diverse population, metropolitan cultural opportunities, and a dynamic economic base that includes technology, biotech, aerospace, communications, and manufacturing.

We have a rare new listing located right in the heart of the city. This sunnyvale home for sale has 4 bedrooms,  3 baths and has a whopping 2,032 sqft of living space and a lot size of 6,032sqft. It’s a rare opportunity, because not only is this sunnyvale home for sale a large two-story ranch-style home but it’s also located on a quiet street, ideal for biking and strolling, but only minutes from downtown Sunnyvale and many large Tech companies. It’s an all-in-one for most people looking for a home in Silicon Valley. Some features include a formal double door entry to a tiled entryway, an open concept kitchen/family room combo with sliding glass door access to the backyard; a living room with fireplace and separate dining area with sliding glass door access to the backyard; bonus room on the second floor off the third bedroom and a large backyard.

We currently have a beautiful eichler home for sale on the market: a Courtyard Eichler in the popular Fairgrove Neighborhood. The 4-bedroom, 2-bath home eichler home for sale is spacious with 6,257 square feet. Some highlights are the efforts in making this home as eco-friendly as possible: owned solar panels, EV charging capability, new tankless water heater for bathrooms and laundry, upgraded wiring in most of the house, newly landscaped front yard with low maintenance landscaping and side yard with garden sink with instant hot water, raised garden bed with organic soils and compost bin and Koi pond drains with French drain from pond to the front sidewalk. If we had to sum up this eichler home for sale in a few words it would be Eco-friendly, bright, modern, and fun. The previous owners put a lot of attention to detail in making this home as eco-conscious as possible!

The Eichler home on Hyde Avenue has gotten a lot of attention recently, being published in both the New York Times article and the CA Modernist.

Below you can see a video tour of the home, followed by a virtual walk-through, and if you have further questions or would like to inquire about making this gem your new home, contact us below!

Eichler homes have grown in popularity exponentially and have become one of the most sought-after homes in the Bay Area. With a limited amount of eichler home for sale in California and only a handful on the East Coast, competition for these beautiful homes are high. Luckily, we are your local Eichler experts and have a steady stream of eichler home for sale to offer you. In case, you are new to the world of Eichlers, here you can learn all about the history of Eichler homes and also find out more about why we are the Eichler expert, and learn about the different Eichler neighborhoods.

We currently have a beautiful eichler home for sale on the market: a Carport Atrium Eichler with original aesthetic in the popular Fairbrae Neighborhood. The 4-bedroom, 2-bath home eichler home for sale is large with a whopping 7,344 square feet. Some highlights are the professionally landscaped tranquil zen-like backyard, you can look out onto the garden and the open air atrium from the breakfast bar, the second bathroom opens up to a quiet side yard and is right next to a planter garden with strawberries, a beautifully landscaped backyard with Ipe decking, newly planted sod, a Redwood gazebo with seating and wisteria as well a concrete seating area with shade sail covering and lastly an Eichler-style dog house.

If we had to sum up this eichler home for sale in a few words it would be serene, airy, modern, Japanese flair, and bright. The previous owners put a lot of attention to detail and love into this home! Below you can see a video tour of the home, followed by a virtual walk-through, and if you have further questions or would like to inquire about making this gem your new home, contact us below!

Palo Alto is a very desirable town for people who want to live in the heart of Silicon Valley. The town is within reaching distance of some of the most well-known Tech Giants in the world, including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Cisco, NVIDIA, just to name a few. The downtown is overtly charming, with a wide variety of restaurants and nightlife activities and you’re also a stone’s throw from the prestigious Stanford University. To sum it up: Palo Alto has it all. And with it, finding a Palo Alto home for sale comes the steep price tag and competition to live here. 

Finding an affordable Palo Alto home for sale is an entirely different beast. You’re competing with thousands of people who want to live in this thriving town and most of them have the extra money to spend and secure most of the properties. Fortunately, it’s not all a lost war, as these tech companies also see a high turnover rate, resulting in homes continuously opening up in the market. We have just listed a palo alto home for sale in the heart of Palo Alto’s vibrant California Avenue neighborhood. With 2 bedrooms and 1,5 baths, this home offers the joys of  Palo Alto living at its finest: you’re literally only steps from dozens of shops & restaurants, the weekly Farmers Market, and Mollie Stone’s Market across the street. You’re also near local parks, top-rated schools, Facebook, and Google, half a mile to Stanford University, University Avenue business district, Town and Country & Stanford Shopping Center. And you have fast and convenient commute options with Caltrain, Oregon Expressway, El Camino Real, Highway 280, and 101.

You can take a short tour of the palo alto home for sale here and click here for a more detailed overview of Palo Alto and the city’s real estate market.

Guest post by Cindy Aldridge from ourdogfriends.org 

Moving is a stressful experience for many people, so it is no surprise that pets often get anxious during a move. Whether you are planning a move across town or to a new state, you need to take measures to reduce your pet’s anxiety. Using these four tips can help.

1. Keep Your Pet’s Needs in Mind When Looking for a House

When you start looking for a new home to buy, one of your priorities is finding a place that fits your budget. However, if you have pets, you also need to consider logistics before choosing a new home. For example, you may not want a house with stairs if you have an older pet with arthritis. A young puppy needs a fenced-in yard to play in, and some animals may not do well in a house with a lot of carpet. It’s often helpful to make a list of your pet’s unique needs and cross-reference it with houses in your budget. You may have to compromise on home features to make your new house affordable. Look up the average cost of houses in the area you want to move to so that you know what to expect. 

Once you fully understand your needs and budget, reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable realtor from Atria Real Estate who can help you with all your home-buying needs!

2. Plan on Installing a Fence

You may find a house that doesn’t have all of the features you need but fits well into your budget. You can then customize the home to meet your needs. For example, you probably want a fence to keep your pet safe while they play outside. You can speak with local fencing contractors and collect quotes to see who can complete the project without blowing your budget. Many companies offer deals and promotions that can make fencing affordable, but make sure you search “fence companies near me” and then read reviews before choosing a fencing company.

3. Comfort Your Pet On Moving Day

45% of Americans say that moving is the most stressful life experience, according to one survey. Your pets feel the same anxiety and stress, and they may start acting differently when you begin packing. Make sure you give your animal plenty of attention and affection while you’re preparing to move. Try to stick to your normal schedule as much as possible, and you can speak with your vet to see if you need to administer any medication to your pet on moving day.

4. Give Your Pet Time to Adjust

It takes time for animals to adjust to a new house and schedule. You should give your pet a few days to get used to the layout of your new house, and it may take several weeks for your animal companion to feel comfortable in your new neighborhood. During this adjustment period, you may notice some behavioral problems. Your pet could also have a lower appetite or seem skittish until they adjust to your new home. The faster you establish a new routine, the easier it will be for your pet to adjust. Keep exercising and feeding your animal on a consistent schedule even if you are busy unpacking. You should also give your pet extra love and attention to help it cope with moving.

Animals are often sensitive to change. Moving to a new home is a huge change, so many pets feel anxious while getting used to their new homes. By finding a pet-friendly home, installing a fence, keeping your pet comfortable on moving day, and helping them adjust, you can reduce the stress your furry family members feel when moving and settling into their new home.

Relish today. Ketchup tomorrow! We love a good BBQ session like every other person who loves good food, great weather and fun conversation, all at once! In order to help you secure the best BBQ gathering this Labor Day, we’re hitting you up with 5 of the best BBQ recipes, so all you have to do is add everything to your Alexa shopping list and sit back and enjoy the final stretch of Summer.

1. Honey Chipotle Ribs

When you say “BBQ”, everyone thinks of cheeseburgers and brats, but when you say “Amazing BBQ”…well, only one thing comes to mind: ribs! Find this amazingly sweet and spicy, fall-off-the-bone yummyness here. You’re welcome!

2. Dr. Pepper Drumsticks

You read that correctly. This tangy drumstick recipe will be a hit with both young and old! Find the recipe here.

3. Beef Brisket Tacos

Yes, please! It’s light, easy, fun for the kids, perfect for those wanting to watch their waistline, and very easy to prepare. Find the recipe here.

4. BBQ Hotdogs with Cilantro Slaw

You don’t have to shy away from a classic, but allow us to add a fun twist! These hotdogs will be the talk of your backyard! Enjoy here.

5. Jalapeno Lime Corn on the Cob

We love taking classics and spicing them up (pardon the pun). You won’t regret trying this recipe.

Now there’s nothing in your way of hosting the most memorable Labor Day BBQ yet. We wish you and your family a wonderful end of Summer!

You’ve heard this term thrown around among friends, colleagues and realtors in your sphere, but what does it actually mean.

What is Curb Appeal?

Curb appeal is the first impression any potential buyer gets of your home. It’s the first thing they see when they walk by or come to an open house and it’s also one of the most viewed images in online listings. It’s a teaser telling of what else is to come. If the owners take care of what their home looks like, you can bet they take care of the inside, many buyers think.

Your home’s curb appeal includes the front yard, driveway, and the exterior all the way from the paint, the garden, mailbox, to the welcome mat, and the front door.  And since it’s a buyer’s first impression of your home, it can be absolutely essential in selling your home. This is also opinion of the renovation expert Bob Villa, who estimates that a buyer’s first impression could add up to 20% to your home’s value.

How do you get your home’s curb appeal listing-ready? Follow our 4 easy and cheap curb appeal ideas to help sell your home fast below.

Before You Start

Before you jump into this task, buy up a storm and hunt for your garden gloves, we suggest a practical approach before the action starts. First, start by knowing how much your home is worth. You can find that out for free with our home valuation tool. Second, you should decide what your budget is for this project.  This first decision can only help you determine where you should prioritize your attention.

We suggest taking a photo of the home’s exterior as if it were the photo you’ll used on your online listing. Look if anything negative catches your eye or if something positive stands out. Also use the photo as a before and after reference to see how big a difference this project will make.

Curb Appeal Tip 1: Paint Your Front Door

Photography: Dream Home Images

No one can resist a freshly painted door, better yet, no one can resist a freshly painted colorful door. It creates a welcoming impression, it brightens up the space and makes your home stands out from the rest.

When repainting, take the opportunity to try a lively color or add an accent color to your existing exterior scheme. Colors like orange, blue, yellow and green are a great hit and we discuss even more desirable colors in this article. Even though this article refers to Eichlers and Mid-Century Homes, the paint colors listed are are popular for front doors of all homes. We recommend trying the tried and true trick of patch testing before tackling the entire door.

Curb appeal tip cost: Paint for a project of this size should cost no more than $20.

Curb Appeal Tip 2: Let There Be Light

Photography: Nate Donovan

Your new curb appeal doesn’t stop at the end of the day. Brighten up your home (literally) by highlighting the pathways and plants with landscape lighting. Not only will make the space more attractive, you’ll also make it more safe. Try using solar landscape lighting, they will save you a lot of money on your energy bill.

Curb appeal tip cost: It shouldn’t cost you more than $50 – &100. You can find these 6 pack solar lights at Target.

Cur Appeal Tip 3: Plants

Photography: Dream Home Images

Plants and flowers are a guaranteed hit when sprucing up your curb appeal. It adds that extra “this home is loved” feeling.  In California, planting native drought-resistant plants adds an extra element of low maintenance for the prospective buyers. Local is always better, but you can pretty much plant whatever your heart fancies.

Curb appeal tip cost:  $100 to $200, depending on how much space you want to fill.

Curb Appeal Tip 4: A Healthy Lawn

Photography: Nate Donovan

According to Zillow, sellers who hire professionals to get their home ready for listing spend an average of $6,570, part of which includes lawn care and gardening. Sellers spend the most in San Jose, with an average of $7,755. We are of the opinion, it can be one of the least-expensive steps you can take to improve curb appeal. You only need some weed and feed treatment from your nearest garden shop and dust off your lawn mower.  You can also consider installing new sod, if you feel your lawn needs a little more than a pick-me-up or if it’s riddled with weeds.

The lawn is a big part of that first impression image people get from your home. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it does require a little bit of elbow grease, that definitely pays off in the end.

Curb appeal tip cost: : $15 for the grass seed, and $0.65 per square foot for the new sod.

Final Curb Appeal Thoughts

Perfecting your curb appeal can be as cheap and easy as 1,2,3…4. With a low budget and lots of love, you can completely transform the first impression your homes creates and have a little family side project at the same time. If you have any questions about this article, or you’re interested in more tips to improve your home’s value before selling, you can either reach out to us directly for a free, no obligations consult, or you can join our free Home Selling Seminar on August 23rd at 7:00pm (PST) where we’ll answer several of your burning questions about selling your home in today’s tough market. If you can’t make the seminar, we will send you the recording afterwards. You can sign up here.

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