Category Archives: Local

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

IMG_3874

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.

IMG_3876

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.

Best

Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in Residential Sales & Property Management

cropped-keithklassen_logo_final_green

Advertisements

Foodie Friday – Augmented Reality Meets Wine

This weeks was all quiet on the food front.  Not many exciting places on which to report.  We did go to a friend’s house for her birthday and had an interesting wine experience, with an interactive app that goes with it… Have you heard of 19 Crimes?  I saw an ad for it and thought, “What a gimmick!”  But two people brought this wine to the party and it was pretty cool to see everyone ooh and ah over the marketing novelty.  If you have not seen it, there’s an app that can be downloaded and used to view the label of the wine through your phone, creating an augmented reality of sorts.  The criminal on the label begins to tell his story, etc.  This article explains it as, what Pokemon did for kids, this brands does for adults.  Check it out, and the wine was not bad at all. Go Aussies!

IMG_3797

Oh and we brought prosciutto wrapped asparagus to the party – healthy hit!

BBQ IN SACRAMENTO

Our tradition continues for this season, of dropping our oldest at Jiu Jitsu and then going somewhere for a snack/drink.  We decided to go to Fahrenheit 250, a BBQ joint a few blocks away – right outside of one of entrances to Sac. State’s campus.  It’s changed hands many times in the past – I think it was a comedy club, or dance club at one time, then a dive bar, then another failed restaurant… kinda has that reputation of, “Hmmm, I wonder when that place will go out of business?”  I’ve driven past it many times and honestly didn’t even know it was a BBQ haunt (even though it says, “BBQ” right on the sign!).  I can’t comment too much on this place since we only had an appetizer and some drinks.  Another couple we were with got nachos with pulled pork on top, which I tasted and I was smoky good.  We had potato skins… rather 4 potato halves.  Needless to say we took a potato home and the boys devoured it!  We need to go back and eat their BBQ, then I’ll comment more.  They do have $1 rib happy hour… sounds right up my alley.  Has anyone gone there?  If so, did you like it? And what did you order.

AT HOME

Beer Can Burger

beer can burgers2

Confessions

#1 – I made this last summer

#2… I use to binged watch the cooking channel for about a year straight… almost every show… even the lame ones!  Every now and again, a good idea came up where I say, “I am going to make that tonight! [or very soon]”  Like the eating/traveling show where the guy goes to a wrestling match in Mexico City, where they serve tortas… back home/on the show he recreated the sandwich – refried beans, sour cream, hot dogs, and so much more – check out these articles (HERE & HERE)to read a cool stores about this street food  phenomenon.    Someday I will chronicle that adventure – it ended with a torta feast with about 10 friends given a 2 hours’ notice.

torta

 

This one day during the summer we were having friends over and I exclaimed, while watching a cooking show, “THAT’S WHAT WE ARE GOING TO MAKE TONIGHT!  BEER CAN BURGERS!

beer can burgers1

Vegans… I’m sorry… you may want to stop reading now… this may offend you greatly! [actually too late, after the BBQ mention and tortas – my bad].  This burger starts with using a beer can to make a cup outta the patty, which you proceed to fill with anything you want.  We put mushrooms, bacon, onions, bell peppers, BBQ sauce, cheese, and an egg!   Oh man, this was on point!  Look it up!  Here’s one of many websites with recipes and instructions – get to it!

Cheers,

Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in residential sales and property management

cropped-keithklassen_logo_final_green

Foodie Friday – Meals Meant to Share

foodiesfeed.com_people-feasting-on-healthy-salad-buffet

Last weekend we had a reservation at Canon, a newer “farm to fork”  restaurant that has made a splash.  We went with some good friends, which is what I was looking  forward to most.  I was a little nervous that the hype would exceed the reality.  We tried to go there a few time previously without a reservation (rookie mistake and a long story about misplacing a gift card to Frank Fat’s…) and they said it would be a two hour wait!  Magpie had a seat for us though.  Lesson learned… get a reservation.

Canon, as in a collection (not the thing that shoots out balls of iron or lead), specializes in small plates and fresh, seasonal foods.  With a now fashionable, open kitchen canon has a simple and modern feel, located in a neighborhood in need of some more life.  In fact, people ask me, “Now where is it?”  I reply, “You know where the feed store is between Stockton and Folsom Blvd?”  Yeah, that’s where it is!

The ladies started off with cocktails (Negroni and top shelf Gin and tonic), which they seemed to love, as they got seconds later on.  Our server gave us a great run-down of what Canon is all about and made some fantastic recommendations.  We followed his lead and requested a bunch of small plates to share.  A quote form their website, “Meant to be shared and to spark conversation our seasonal menu highlights the best California has to offer.  This indeed is what transpired… wonderful conversation, accompanied by tasty and healthful treats.  My friend commented half way through, “I love the pace of the meal … I don’t feel rushed at all.”  I loved this too, when a restaurant finds a rhythm that suits your occasion.  This is harder to accomplish that you think. Maybe our server got lucky, or maybe he was actually paying attention and discerned our tempo.  I give the server props for being on point.  Plus, he answered all of our questions and my musings on beer and wine.  He seemed more energized than annoyed.

Each bite offered something new.  There were flavors that we all guessed what they represented.  “Is that a pear?  Or kimchi?  What is that sauce?  I think it’s Greek yogurt?  Yum!”  It goes without saying, this is a place that needs to be experiences.  Mere words on a blog do not do the food justice.  Needless to say, it lived up to the hype.  Oh, and get dessert!

FRANK FATS

Last weekend was also my mom’s birthday.  We thought it’d be fun to take her to Frank Fat’s, one of the older restaurants in Sacramento(since 1939!).  Also we knew this would be a place where our boys would enjoy, as well as my parents.  When it comes to Chinese food, it’s easy to think that they are all alike – greasy goodness.  Fat’s definitely breaks this mold.  We were all delighted by the flavors each dish brought.  I was stuffed but couldn’t stop eating!  Their banana cream is off the charts!  The flaky crust makes it unique.  And, they hooked up the birthday girl with a free slice.

HOME SPUN (not a restaurant name, rather, our home)

Our valentine’s tradition is to stay home, since we go out to frequently just because, and because we love each other!  My wife made some delicious Costco bought clam chowder, Caesar salad with avocado, bread and Champagne  (uh, I mean sparkling wine, from our latest adventure in Murphys!).

SHOUT OUT

Our oldest does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Ultimate Fitness.  My wife and I dropped him off the other night and dropped in on the pizza place across the street to grab a beer and conversation.  Z Pizza tap room, noted for self-serve beer –  Interesting concept.  I like it and will go back.  I hope they rotate their beer selection. Also it seems like they need an update to their software that controls the pours.  They were having some trouble, to our advantage… the gal that worked there kept giving us samples on her wrist band /tab, as she was trying to figure out the glitch.   Next time we’ll get some pizza.  Oh and I dig on these beer bottle lights!

 

I’m eager to hear about new, or old places you’ve been lately that you like and/or that I should try!

Cheers,

Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker (Wanna-be chef and food critic) – 916.595.7900

Specializing in Residential Real Estate Sales & Property Management (and eating and drinking)

cropped-keithklassen_logo_final_green

Midtown Sacramento CA – 4 plex for Sale

I’m excited to present this classic four unit income property.  As you may know, rents have gone a little crazy in Midtown, unfortunate for renters, but income property owners are loving it.  With the advent of Golden 1 arena, gobs of new restaurants opening every month, and the coming of the railyard build-out, this building is still a winner now and in the future!Flyer

Please contact me if you have interest.

Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900

Specializing in residential real estate sales and property management

cropped-keithklassen_logo_final_green

Foodie Friday – Local Sacramento Eats / Spanish Flavor at Home

Most every weekend (or at least once a week) my wife and I, or the whole family goes out to eat.  We both also like to cook and experiment with new recipes and culinary delights.  Some of these are quick and easy meals when we are rushed.  Others, are more elaborate.

First the review of places we dined at last week.  Disclaimer, this was a heavy week due to our 17 year anniversary (yay for us!).pexels-photo-323682.jpeg

Last weekend we hit a home run with 4 different spots.  My wife and I started at Magpie, one of our favorites… only good experiences there, from the food, to the staff and drinks.  We’ve been going there since it was a catering spot on R St.  One time we sat at the bar mesmerized by the wall of interesting liquors.  My wife said aloud, “I wonder what the difference is between those two gins?”  magpieNext things we knew the bar tender served us two complimentary gimlets with those two gins, to compare and contrast!  When has that happened to you?  We love the steak tar-tare, as well as the clams and fries.  This time we also tried the special, which consisted of thick pasta noodles and foraged mushrooms from some local dude that picks them after it rains and sells them to local eateries.  I know, sounds kind of sketchy… we had to try it.  The mushrooms were like eating a steak… translation = delish!

Since it was 2nd Saturday, we hit the Arthouse to catch some local art and meet up with some friends.  Of course we had to pop in to The Fox and Goose for a quickie, or as my friend John said, “We need to wet the whistle before viewing the art.”  Always a great brunch joint too – can anyone say, “Ollalieberry scones with crème fresh!”  I think we stopped going there so much only because the line is usually out the door and I can’t stand a hundred cranky people standing around staring at their phone (call me a curmudgeon, I don’t’ care and stay off my grass ya rotten kids!).

After viewing art, we almost landed at Bottles and Barlow… huge crowd, so we kept walking, but first enjoyed a rambunctious New Orleans style marching band out front.  B and B is known for cutting hair and serving drinks in the day time – another great hipster invention.  And since I do my own hair…well… it’s one advantage of being bald.

Hot Italian was the next stop for a little appetizer and libation.  We’ve been there multiple times, and it just seems to be losing its novelty and luster– does anyone else agree?  Nothing is really bad about the place, in fact, I love their brick oven pizza.  The server must have been new, I give her grace… pexels-photo-240222.jpegI was once a server too.  The bar tender was way too cool to be bothered by my questions, but still managed to make me a Boulevardier – similar drink to my friend’s home spun Manhattan with Aperol, but made with Campari.  Or he said it’s a Negroni with whiskey.  At least that’s what I gathered – definitely do your own homework on this one.  As 10pm rolled around, they started putting chairs on the tables and looking at their watches.  Um, isn’t it Saturday night?!?!  Another bad sign for Hot Italian… getting colder by the minute.  You know when they say, “Take your time…” yet ask you to lift your feet as they sweep the floor, it’s time to bounce!

Karma Brew was our last stop – at least some place in Sacramento stays open til 2am – karma brew

yes, this is what cities do (even if I’m usually in bed by 10pm).  If you have not been here before and like beer or their yummy home-spun sangria (with secret unknown spices), it’s worth a visit.  Funky and eclectic, with a good selection of beers to match the décor.

Fun evening!  Thanks to the friends who joined  us on the adventure.

What new, or old places have you been lately?

AT HOME

This week, I made paella.  It’s not the first time (as this is one of my favs), but it’s the first time it didn’t work out too well.  [picture below is not my paella – ha ha]Spanish-Seafood-Paella-Recipe-10.jpg

I tried a different “traditional Spanish Paella” recipe and under cooked the rice – bleh.  All that precious saffron down the drain.  If you didn’t know, saffron is the magic of paella – threads picked from the flower of a type of Orchid – Also known as the most costly spice in the world.  My son, Drew, said, “Are there hard chunks of corn in this?”  Not a good sign.  Anyone have a paella recipe they like?  If you are not into making it at home, I do like Tapa the World’s paella.  Check it out.

What are you’re go-to recipes?

Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker (Wanna-be-Foodie) – 916.595.7900

KeithKlassen_logo_FINAL_green

 

Raising Rents – Property Management – Quick Tip

apt-complex

In a past blog post we explored the benefits and disadvantages of keeping a tenant while trying to sell.  As noted in that post, most know that a 60 day notice must be served when  tenant has lived at the property for over a year (12 months), when not on a lease.  If on lease, then the lease trumps all, except cash of course.  This is another discussion, but a tenant can always agree to move if paid to do so – many know the phrase from the bank owned property days, “cash for keys.”  This question was asked recently, “When a tenant is not on a lease, they’ve lived there for over a year, and I want to raise the rent… do I have to give them a 60 day notice?  Or will a 30 day notice do?”

Answer:  If the increase is less then 10% of the rent, then  30 day notice will suffice.  If the increase is more than 10%, then a 60 days notice is needed.

Rents are going up in Sacramento and there is always a decision to be made between keeping up with rents vs. keeping a tenant.  If you do not raise rents a little bit over time, the shock of a one time, big raise will certainly drive a tenant out.  Other would argue that a good tenant is hard to find and is worth keeping, even if it means leaving their rents low.  I find including a note with the rent increase stating how much you love them as tenant… how you want to keep up the maintenance, and how expenses have risen… this seems to take some of the sting away.  I do believe in keeping good tenants, and surely the cost of re-renting, the cost of making the place ready to rent, and potential vacancy may not be worth the extra $30-50/mo.?

What’s your strategy and experience in raising rents?

Signature2

Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker

Klassen & Associates / 916.595.7900

 

Solar Panels in Sacramento

I just read an interesting article that motivated me to convey some thoughts and experiences on solar panels.

It’s exciting to see the progress solar power and panels have made in the last decade – more affordable and more efficient.  I visited a remote village in Northern, rural India where no power line reached… but to my surprise, they had a communal solar panel in the middle of the village to, yes … charge their cell phones.  Solar farms are popping up in open spaces – I saw a huge one recently on a drive to Las Vegas.  When I visit my home town of San Francisco and look out over a view, it seems more homes had solar panels than ones that do not.  I’ve sold new homes that now have solar panels as part of the purchase package – what home owner doesn’t love almost free energy!  And I’ve now interviewed three companies to hear their pitch for solar panels on my own home.

solar-panels-1477987_960_720

 

While I’m all for solar power, saving the planet, and money if possible, my experience was a little discouraging.  I hope that you might get a few tid-bits from my own journey.

It seems that purchasing panels is still not very popular, as the out-of-pocket expense out weigh the benefits/savings.  Some might argue, like buying a hybrid car, “You don’t buy it for the saving, rather for the planet.” There are also many incentives in California that go along with the purchase of solar panels.  The federal government gives tax credits (write-offs) for owners of solar panels.  And, there are a bunch of local incentives to look into if you are going to purchase panels.  Like a car, there are avenues and incentives to finance the purchase of solar panels too.  This attracted me, because it seemed that one could save money on power, then eventually own the panels.  However, I was also informed that the life of the panel’s efficiency is only about 20-25 years, which just so happens to be the life of the loan.  Take the time, look into the kick backs for your area, do the math and then make a decision.  Purchasing may be the right path for you?

Leasing the panels is another option where you pay a set amount (lower than your average monthly utility bill), but I found that a “power purchase agreement [PPA]” seems to be most popular route offered.  Leasing and the PPA are similar in that there’s little to no money out-of-pocket.  With the PPA, it’s as if you are agreeing to a fixed utility rate (lower than your average monthly utility bill) and allowing the company to use your roof to harvest solar power.  The company I spent the most time with asks for a 20 year agreement.

At the end of the day, while I love our planet and believe solar power and panels are a great move, I decided against it for now.  Here are the issues I came against:

  1. The numbers did not work for me on the purchase route, nor any other route.  Many told me ahead of time, “If you have SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) then it doesn’t make sense,” due to how inexpensive our power is.  With the PPA I would have save about 2 cents a month.  This does not give me any incentive to save energy either.  The PPA company gets all of the incentives in this scenario.
  2. My roof may need replacing in the next 5 or so years.  I would be charged about $500 extra to have the panels removed while the roof was replaced.  They would not budge on this or work it into the deal.  I did not want to bear this extra cost.
  3. Lastly, I hated the sales tactics.  The big push seems to be part reality and part fear base… “Energy cost will be going through the roof in the near future!!!!!  Sir, do you want to pay triple what you are paying now?”  Are rates going up?  Who’s to say?  Do you trust the guy selling panels?  Maybe, but I definitely do not like the fear-base sales technique.  Also, the sales person was extremely friendly and helpful, even when I said I was not sure… he kept saying, “Just keep moving forward, you can say ‘no’ at any time.”  When I finally said, “Not at this time,” he got really pushy and aggressive, trying to make me feel like the bad guy for backing out.  That actually helped me “break up.”  There are plenty of solar companies out there that offer great service and similar product.  Don’t feel bound to one.

Again, I have friends and associates that it’s worked great for, and I love the idea.  For me, it’s not the right time.  What experience have you had?  What am I missing here?  Surely my experience is not all-inclusive.

 solar in India Picture from my trip to India in 2015, with small solar panel on roof.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen – Real Estate Broker

916.669.9030