Foodie Friday

st pat

This week was all about staying at home.  My wife decided to combine her birthday party with St. Patrick’s day = birthday shenanigans!   It’s kinda what you’d expect … like being in Jr. High again… dressing up, but adding adult beverages.   The invite said something to the effect of, Your gift to me will be to dress up!  This made her quite happy when people showed up with green outfits, hats with feather, green wigs, beads, shot glass necklaces, funky sunglasses, etc.  We actually hung out mostly in the backyard – Some friends brought a heat lamp over and we lit a fire in the pit.


Most people brought some drink to share, some brought creative food dishes which always seem 10 steps beyond store bought cookies or a bag of chips.  One couple made split pea soup.  Another family brought over a feast of corned beef, sauerkraut and breads.

My wife laid down some mighty fine potato leek soup and gave me the charge to make a Rueben slider.  This was a major hit!  My wife made the corned beef the night before in the crock pot – tender and juicy!  Soft dinner rolls, thousand island dressing, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, topped with mustard-butter-magic brushed on before heating them up, making a melty delight!


Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in Residential Sales & Property Management



Rental Property Question: Why Does the Owner have to Pay for Tenant Damages?


There’s sometimes a fine line and many times confusion between wear & tear and tenant damages.  For instance, a tenant has lived in a property for 2 years and the carpet was new when they moved in.  Upon move out, there are stains everywhere that will not come out, even with professional cleaning.  Who pays for the carpet?  What about the notorious calls regarding the disposal being stuck or plumbing backing up?  When is the tenant responsible and when is it the owner’s responsibility?  Many times this IS a grey area due to the fact that it is hard to prove if it’s a maintenance issue (regular use, generating a habitability issue) or something the tenant did that caused the problem.  It’s a fact, things wear out and need to be fixed, maintained or replaced over time.  Wood rots, carpets wear out, bulbs burn out, batteries die, plumbing is known to leak or back up at times.  Here are a couple of pointers:

1.  There are some issues that seem common to every property that are not specifically spelled out in the contract.  My advice: Spell these items out!  Even if you think they are clear, sometimes being redundant is a good thing for emphasis and clarity.  Say things in different ways.  Highlight and have tenant initial major clauses upon signing the lease agreement.  I use an addendum for some of these items and meet with owners to add or take away items that are most pressing to them.  For instance, one of my clients is dead set against a tenant smoking inside their property.  While we check the box for “no smoking” on the contract, the owner wanted me to add the consequences to the tenants if they break this rule, as well as, clarify that this includes any type of smoking, vaping,  and smells that may not come out of the carpet and paint.  One tenant found out the hard way when they had to cover carpet replacement and repainting and extra cleaning costs.

Another property management company I know adds an addendum stating, what may seem obvious in the contract, things like, tenant is responsible for changing burnt out light bulbs and batteries in smoke alarms, etc.  Again, if it’s important to you and the same issue has come up over and over, put it in writing and have the tenant acknowledge understanding.building-vehicle-motorbike-motorcycle.jpg

2. Ask a lot of questions to try to get to the bottom of the issue. Somethings are cut and dried.  New carpet was installed before move in…. 2 years later it looks like they were working on a motorcycle in the living room.  You may re-emphasize the concept of depreciation and wear and tear to the tenant before move in,  but this is obvious damage.  The broken window is another one that comes up frequently.  Tenant:  “I don’t know how it broke?  Maybe a tree branch hit it in a storm?”  All the while you are thinking, I see you kid constantly playing baseball in the house.”  Many times this is just the cost of being an investor.  Bottom line, put aside money for repairs, but there are times when you get an honest tenant that says, “I did break the window, and I don’t have the money right now to pay for it…”  This is a great opportunity to help them out – split the cost?  Put them on a payment plan?

3. Hire vendors that will do thorough investigation and pay attention to the cause of the damage. Also, ask the vendor a ton of questions to try to get to the bottom of it.  The classic case when the plumbing is backed up… how did this happen?  Was it tree roots in the mainline?  Or was it a toy car flushed down the toilet?  Another classic:  Did the garage disposal cease to work because it’s 15 years old?  OR was it the bottle cap lodge in the blade that fried the motor?  Have the vendors take pictures – always good to have as back up.

pexels-photo-632651.jpeg4. Hire a professional manager/management company. They have seen much of these issues over and over, and know how to handle it best on your behalf.  A professional manager will have policies and rules laid written out for the tenants to follow, which clarifies some of these grey areas.  Also a professional should know the law and legal ramifications of a tenant’s actions, or an owner’s response and responsibility.  Having a professional manager can take away much of the emotions that go along with dealing with tenants and help bring objectivity to these questionable situations.

I’m happy to answer your questions and help you in your property management adventure

Here’s another tidbit regarding garbage disposals – 19 things you should never put down a disposal.


Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in residential sales and property management


Foodie Friday – Why Cant’ Pizza be Healthy? !!!



Am I tripping, or did Little Caesars used to give an extra pizza with every order (pizza, pizza!)?  I thought that was their gimmick?  Also, has anyone else noticed all the new pizza chains popping up all over Sacramento?  I guess people are one with Round table?  I still love the old school standbys… Zeldas, Pieces Pizza, Buffalo Pizza (breakfast pizza – whaaaaat!), Luigi’s, Roma, as well as some newer, more modern ones too:  One Speed, Hot Italian, Chicago Fire, Uncle Vito’s, etc.  But then there are these chain pizza joints that have sprung up near Sac. State and even in Midtown.  I mentioned in a past blog that we when to Z Pizza on Folsom, across from Ultimate Fitness (pour your own beer =novel).   Then there’s Pizza Rev, which I’ve driven by often, but have never made it in – that one is at the Tee of Folsom Blvd. and 59th.


Over the weekend we ended up at Pieology, which I knew was in Roseville and other burbs (I didn’t check, but I bet there’s one in Elk Grove and Folsom and no doubt Natomas  – very formulaic), but now there’s one open on 16th St. and around L St.  While I instantly thought I could have stumbled into a Chipotle that makes pizzas, the situation is similar… stand in line, tell them what you want on your pizza, as they make it right there in front of you… all while making friendly conversation (I guess studies must show that people like this?).   Well, not bad.  I actually liked it.  The definitely need to step up their beer game, especially when the best beer they carry in a bottle (nothing on tap) is Sierra Nevada pale ale.  It’s 2018!  How hard is it to ride the wave of a flooded craft beer market?  Oh and the other notable one is Shock Top – pleeeeeeese!  The kids liked the pizza and we may go back, however, after eating some greasy-Luigi-love… it’s hard to go thin crust franchise pizza.  Am I right?!

What’s your take on the flooded pizza market?



Will burgers ever be a flooded market?

Now on to our next confession of unhealthy, yet delicious food choices.  We tried to go back to Iron Horse, over there by Ace of Spades.  Um, note to self, brunch on Sunday’s at Iron Horse (after the Shamrock run, or whatever it was that people were wearing green skirts and beads and stuff), is complete mayhem!  Two hour wait, um, no thanks.  Burgers and brew we went!  B & B has changed it up a bit since I was last there…maybe because it was Sunday?  We ordered at the counter and it was pretty much self-serve all the way.  My wife and my beer sat on the bar counter for days, until I went up and asked if I was supposed to take them (meaning I was not sure what the protocol is and if they were going to serve them or not?)… She says, “Uh yeah… if your name is on the ticket.”  I wasn’t sure if she was just being sassy, or maybe just put out that I thought they might deliver them to our table?  No big deal, I don’t mind a little friendly sass… we had delicious burgers, tasty fries, and Pliny the Elder on tap – can’t complain!


Still eating clean!  Shout out to my wife!  I’m super proud of her and thankful for her constant elevation!

Some highlights from this past week:

  • Lemon Garlic Scallops with asparagus and kale salad (feta, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, and light tangy dressing). This meal was sooooo good, I scarfed it, and then thought, hmmm, that would have been a good  blog post/pic.


  • Beef Stew – my kids would be laughing right now – crude reference in comedy movie, Bench Warmers. I got home early and witnessed my wife prepping cubes of steak cubes and veggies, stewed for 2-3 hours.  All I did was turn on the stove and boiled potatoes.  This was soooo good – such a great rainy day meal.  I noticed an empty bottle of Guinness by the pot of stew… oh yeah, the magic is about to go down [either it’s in the stew, or she caught a fade!  Pre-party grub for Saint Patty’s!



I stocked my fridge about 2 months ago and it was packed!  It’s like the water  at the wedding that Jesus turned to wine!  Kept flowing!  I dug out this tall boy from the back.  I was just looking at me and waiting to be drank.  Who doesn’t just chuckle when reading this name – Belching Beaver, Deftones Phantom Bride.  I love the artwork!  Do you think marketing makes beer taste better?   This may have influenced me, but I also remember some random dude at the grocery store saying out of the blue, “Hey man, you should try this beer… it’s worth every penny!”  I simply took that as a sign… a helper angel of sorts.  I’ve been buying it ever since that mystical encounter.  For those reading, “Hey man, you should try this beer!”

For those who made it to the end of this blog … what have you been drinking lately?

I’ve been kicking around the idea of writing a bit about whiskey?  As you know, this will take much experimentation in order to properly report.

Cheers and Bon Appetite,

Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in Residential Sales & Property Management






Amazon is taking over the world! Now mortgages and banking?

These guys are kinda goofy, but have good information, but sorta reminds me of that show TMZ… is it fact or gossip?  I watch them on occasion… let me know what you think.

More importantly, what do you think about Amazon and their many purchases/mergers from Whole Foods to banking

Check out this link


Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in Residential Sales & Property Management


A Window with a View – Your neighbors may be increasing the value of your home?


What do you see when looking out your front window?  I sit here and write from a comfy chair, looking out my front, picture window, onto a tree-lined street, with flowers beginning to blossom.  My neighbor across the street has a red front door and a matching red bird house in the tree that we can see from our window too.  I am very fortunate and try not to take for granted our entertaining view.  Kids play on their scooters and shoot each other with Nerf guns.  People walk their dogs and converse while strolling [our dog barks or whines, trying to get their attention].  Three or four retired men on the street meet up for a weekly bike ride.  Birds flit and perch… a squirrel jumps from a tree branch onto a roof.  I had no idea the beauty and entertainment I would receive from this window and view.  I am thankful for my neighbors and the hood in which I live.


Many buyers spend hours sitting in front of a home they contemplate purchasing… Curb appeal is everything, right?  Yes, everyone wants a sharp-looking home.  And yes, a lack of curb appeal detracts from value.  I do NOT see many people standing at the front window and look out, asking, “Do we love this view?”  Most of us are focused on our house and the interior.  What about the view out front and back?  These, I believe, are overlooked assets.  I understand that not every price point has this option, yet there are many nooks, even in the worst neighborhoods where where neighbors comes together and have pride of ownership.  There are also so many ways to simply beautify your own yard, yet it’s difficult to control what you neighbors do.  If you are looking to buy a home, consider this concept when considering a neighborhood and the houses around the subject property.  I have a lot of ideas from years of experience and insight into what others may ignore when it comes to buying a home.  I hope to share with you this attention to detail on your next deal.


Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in Residential Sales & Property Management


Foodie Friday – One of my favorites! Plus “eating clean”

Formoli’s Bistro

This restaurant is near and dear to my heart, which is what usually makes or breaks an establishment for me.  I want to create memories and have experiences.  There are plenty of good and even outstanding food choices in Sacramento now, but not all of them deliver on the notion of aesthetic.  It’s the the mood and feel, passion and flavor of the ownership, soulfulness that is put into the menu, the staff, the wine selection, and ambiance.  This is what I dig about Aimal and Suzanne’s restaurant – they’ve always delivered.  I love how they start the meal with a complimentary amuse-bouchse – a single bite appetizer, literally, “mouth amuser.”  pexels-photo-803835.jpegMany times my wife and I have gone there and just said, “Serve us whatever you think is good.”  My mind has always been blown.  Always fresh from local farmers – needless to say, I recommend Formoli’s whole heartedly.

(Sorry, I did not take any pictures [stock steak photo] to post since it was my wife’s bday and I didn’t want to be “that guy” who’s doing work and whose mind is elsewhere… ,  rather I wanted to by “this guy” – present in the moment!]

You must stay for dessert at Formil’s, unless however, you buy a bunch of pastries at Paris Baguette.  It was my wife’s birthday, so upon the insistence and recommendation of another agent, with whom I am doing a transaction, I was in the area (Howe/Hurley) and grabbed a half-dozen.  She loved them… light and crispy were the croissants/cronut.


We had a delicious fruit tart and a pastry-like tiramisu (I didn’t try it, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it!).  Honestly, I wanted to pick up a cake from Ettore’s, but there was no parking, so I jumped on plan B and it worked out fine.  Seems like a great place to get a cup of coffee and a pastry and made sense to get a big variety for the family to share on our occasion.


My wife and a few friends have started to eat “clean.”  Must be another hipster diet – ha ha ha.  I think it means cutting out sugar and limiting carbs?  I thought we were eating “clean” already… apparently not!  I love it… I don’t follow any diet religiously, but I tend to follow whatever my wife buys (whether she or I cooks).  Here’s one example of a clean dinner.

Cod, shrimp, asparagus, and salad.


Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in Residential Sales & Property Management


Effective Tenants Screening

Keith has a knack for effective screening of potential tenants. He has given recommendations for reasonably priced contractors when we need them. He is good at keeping our tenant and us calm and working together when issues arise. Thank you Keith!  

–Amy & Robert (Property Management Clients)


Effective Tenant Screening

When engaged in a job role that required repetitive actions, it’s easy to think that some things are obvious, and forget that others have no understanding or bearing, in this case, when it comes to screening tenants.  I’ve had clients initially tell me that this is what they are most afraid of.  When I ask why… here are a list of reasons given to me:


  1. Don’t we have to accept anyone who applies, due to non-discrimination laws?
  2. How do we know if they qualify? What if they can’t pay their rent?
  3. What if they are partiers? And the neighbors complain and then everyone will be mad at us!
  4. What if no one applies?
  5. How does the process work?

Many times people inherit a property, or make their old residence a rental and then fall into property management or become landlords (this is what happened to me).  When this is the case, it becomes extra scary for the new landlord.  This makes more sense, versus a savvy landlord who already owns or intends to buy a property with renting it out solely in mind.  Either way, to a property manager and someone seasoned in rental properties, these are easy questions to address.  Hopefully I can take some of the fear out of the process for people reading this.

#1 – You DO NOT have to accept any applicant that applies.  However, you CANNOT base your reasoning on any discriminatory factors, such as, race, religious, familial status, sexuality, age, etc.  A good property manager follows set practices and procedures that eliminate much of this concern and fear.  One practice that is helpful is to have a minimum requirements to rent sheet available to all applicants.  This then helps potential applicant figure out whether they meet the criteria or not, and takes it out of the category of subjective choosing.

#2 – All property management should use a filter, as stated above… a systematic approach to qualify an applicant.  Primary requirements: Income; credit score; rental history (evictions and what past landlords report).  There are other factors I’d be happy to share with you as a client, and which I develop for each client individually based on their preferences and the situation.


But what if they cannot pay rent?  The employment/income check gives way to the prospect’s capacity to pay rent, however, without the ability to forecast the future and fully predict human behavior, there is always this risk of not getting rent from tenants.  However, the best predictor of the future is past behavior, yet there are still unseen variables and life events that are never foreseen.

#3 – This answer is similar to the last, regarding predicting the future.  I like to try to have a conversation with the last landlord or property manager, oppose to just emailing a questionnaire.  By taking a relational approach to all of property management (tenants, landlords, vendors, etc.), you can build a bridge with a fellow property manager and, you’d be surprised how much information I can glean from a conversation by just appealing to one’s humanity.  Yet, sometimes it’s very difficult to know if a potential tenant like to play music late night, or work odd hours, or rev their motorcycle at midnight.  I say this because I had a great tenant once, whose adult son moved back in with him mid-lease.  The original, single guy was quiet, helpful, and always paid on time.  Once his son moved in, the entire neighborhood was up in arms about the smoking, rude behavior, revving of motorcycles late night, etc.  You never know what will transpire.  This is the risk an owner/landlord takes when owning income property.  This is another reason why many owners opt to have a property manager, even if they live two doors down.   Good tenant screening and selection will always make the management aspect easier.  If things go sideways, a good property manager can objectively take the next procedural steps, communicating with the owner along the way, a many times sooth a tumultuous situation better than an owner.

#4 – If no one applies, then most of the time (if the property has been marketed correctly) the rent is too high.  Most of the time it’s better to ratchet the rent down a little rather than hold out for a unicorn tenant.  The loss of the lower rent is usually less than the monthly vacancy expenses.   If these does not make sense to you , I can elaborate on this more if you want to message me directly.

#5 – How does the process of finding and renting a property out work?  I’m happy to sit down with you or have a conference call to lead you through each step.  Feel free to email or text.

Keep your tenants happy!

Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in Residential Sales & Property Management