Category Archives: Valuable Information

Consolodated Furnace with Nox Rods

I learn something new everyday.  Last week one of my clients had a home inspected on which they made an offer.  Everything seemed to be going smoothly… then he dropped this bomb on us. ” The heater is a consolidated type with NOx RODS.” The rest of us looked at each other blankly.  “This type of furnace has been recalled because it is know to combust and burned people homes down” – just what the client wants to hear!  From a sales point of view, this could be a deal- killer.  From a safety standpoint, this could save people’s lives.

Do an internet search on Nox Rods and you will be amazed at the long list of warnings.  For us, I was able to negotiate with the seller to hire an HVAC specialist to give this unit a “good bill of health” and their stamp of approval, since not all Nox Rod furnaces are created equal.  If not safe, they said that they would replace it.  Also it re-enforces the premise, just because homes are sold “as-is” and the seller states up front that they will do no repairs… “health and safety” always trumps that rigmarole.

Enjoy,

Keith Klassen

Real Estate Broker

Chalk It Up – Sacramento (photos)

As promised… some pics from our time with friends and their families, as well as some of my favorite “art squares”

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ciu.2I like this kid’s spikes

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ciu.6The boys making some art!

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ciu.9Shout out to Darby

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Chalk It Up – Sacramento Happenings Over Labor Day

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Chalk It Up has been a local favorite over Labor Day Weekend (if you are in town) for years n0w.  Even if you’ve just come back from a dusty camping trip and your face is sunburned from hanging out at the lake, it’s a must to head down to Fremont Park and peruse the local artwork.

We’ll be there – pics to come.

http://www.chalkitup.org/festival.html

The Front Porch – Curtis Park, Sacramento and Beyond

[This was an article I wrote for a monthly newsletter I used to produce for my neighborhood (Curtis Park) each month.  A friend of mine inspired me with his writings “The Relevance of the Front Porch for a Community” to re-post my article.

[this is from “The Front Porch” March 2006]IMG_4380

Some of you have asked me about the significance of the news letter’s name.  The name, for me, evokes a feeling and concept that many of our homes already have built in – namely the front porch.  The front porch can be the equivalent of an outdoor sitting room, a place for discussion and relaxation.  As I walk the streets of our neighborhood I see people cooking/barbequing, reading, children playing, writing and even business being done (with the advent of wireless technology) on the front porch.  You might catch some just sitting, gazing at the street or in the trees, entertained by a bird or squirrel.  The front porch welcomes the passer-by, and invites conversation between neighbors.

IMG_4382The word “porch” originally derived from “the Latin word porticus, or the Greek word portico, both of which signify the columned entry to a Classical temple”(Kahn 1).  As history unfolded and the Middle Ages arrived, the porch came to represent a cathedral’s vestibule, “where worshippers could gather to socialize before and after the service”(Kahn 2).  By Victorian times, the word “porch” became interchangeably used with the words “veranda,” “piazza,” “loggia,” and “portico,” each of which could connote individual meanings.  From this period until the second half of the nineteenth century, “the word ‘porch’ itself most often described a small, enclosed vestibule or covered rear entrance” (Kahn 1).  At this time, at the end of the nineteenth century, the word “porch” began to represent its present meaning. This meaning, in its American sense, generally refers to a “roofed, but incompletely walled living area”(McAlester 52) contiguously attached to the frame of a house. Generally, in America, this area would be found attached to the front of a house, offering a covered and shaded area for an array of uses and would be known as the American front porch.

Between the rise of the front porch in the middle nineteenth century and its decline in the post World War II era, the front porch developed a cultural significance. It represented the cultural ideals of family, community, and nature.IMG_4381

The new technological development of air conditioning further aided in the decline of the front porch. Providing a cool environment indoors, the front porch was no longer needed as a cool shaded area during the day or as a place to enjoy the cool night air. Families remained indoors comfortably, and a primary use of the front porch was no longer needed. Air conditioning, in a sense, also contributed to another technological development which would affect the front porch: the television. The television, which could exist only inside, provided endless hours of entertainment indoors. As a result, family life shifted from the porch to a family room or TV room, where families could watch the evening news, sporting events, or the early sitcoms, all while enjoying the newly invented “TV dinner.” No longer would families relax outside on the front porch.

Some of our friends, who live in the “burbs,” lament, “Our neighbors just open their garage, pull in, and you never see them – Or, “Everyone hides out in their backyard.”  And, “We still don’t know many people on our street, after all these years.”  Notice what might be missing from these homes… the front porch or at least the “front porch attitude.”  Granted, this home feature will never guarantee a gregarious disposition in life or an abundance of neighbors who are open and friendly, however it does give us a head start.  Why do you think the street side café or coffee shop with outdoor seating will always be a hit?  It’s for the same reason why front porches exist.  Is yours lying dormant?  You may not be the one who throws a block party or is best friends with everyone on your street, yet you may try dusting off those beautiful Adirondack chairs (or whatever furniture you have – pull out a folding chair, it doesn’t matter) and become a part of the front porch culture.

A while back, I received an email from a friend in the community saying, “I came by to visit today, but you were not home.  Hope you don’t mind, but we just sat on your front porch for a while and enjoyed the neighborhood.  We may be back soon, even if you are not home. J  Thanks! “

While my day job consist of real estate investing, property management, and real estate consultation, I hope to also be one who helps draws the community together.  So whether you have one or not, you can still enjoy the ethos and attitude of the front porch.

See you soon, walking by or enjoying a beverage … on the front porch.

McAlester, Virginia and Lee. A Field Guide to American Houses New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.

How walkable is Sacramento? Handy tool when buying Real Estate

There is a lot of talk around this issue of walkability, especially in Sacramento’s urban areas.  A friend of mine said to me the other day, “If I were to move, one of my criteria is that I have to be in walking distance to a bakery,” as donuts were the topic of our provocative conversation.  I am fortunate, there are several bakeries in walking distance from me (Freeport Bakery and Marie’s Donuts just to name a few).

You probably already know the answer to this question, but check out this website to walkscore.com and see where your neighborhood ranks.

For kicks I typed in my address (thinking our neighborhood is very walkable) and came up with a score of 69 out of 100 = “somewhat wakable.”  So I then typed in a  friend’s address who lives in Natomas… as imagined 43 out of 100 = “car-dependent.”  Our old home in Boulevard Park/Midtown gets 86 out of 100 = “very walkable.”

A fun and interesting website, especially in light of our changing cultural values when it comes to how we view our planet.  And, as fuel prices increase, cities become more dense, and as people realize their longing for community, this “walkability measure” will be even a larger factor when buying a home.

Wine Tasting at my Cousin’s

Okay, not related to real estate…. but I had to show the massive amounts of wine on the table!  I did have many conversations with folks about the Sacramento Real Estate market and how it’s “blowing up” (that’s a good term).  Who doesn’t want $300-800 cash flow on a $100K investment?

Here’s the story… My cousin helps run the San Francisco International Wine Competion and as “payment” she gets to take home a boat-laod of wine (opened and unopened).  As a result, she has a wine tasting party every year after the last day of the competition.  Here are some of the spoils.

wine.SF.2 This was before the white wines made table.

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Short Sale Tips in Sacramento Real Estate

http://www.sacbee.com/realestatenews/story/1933693.html?mi_rss=Real%2520Estate

Trees in Sacramento

Ah, the tree-lined streets of old Sacramento.  Shade and beauty!  I love the canopy – it’s like a tunnel of trees.

trees 3rd ave

Now I do not want to be a pessimist, but the trees also are somewhat of a ticking time bomb.  Several of my friend have come out to their cars during the winter most or after a windy night, only to find a large tree branch has fallen and destroyed their car.

A neighbor of ours had a tree split his home in two!  The pictures are too graphic and horrifying to post 🙂

Here’s our old neighborhood and a tree that feel last year!

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Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Home Improvements

Heads Up! The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows tax credits for energy efficient home improvements. The offer for credits began on January 1, 2009 and runs for two years.

The new rules give you through December 31, 2010 to qualify. The maximum credit is now equal to 30% of the first $5,000 spent on high-efficiency improvements. I found more info on this at www.energy.gov/taxbreaks.htm.

Four years ago, Congress passed the Energy Tax Incentives Act of 2005 for purchases made in 2006 and 2007. The good news is that even if you took advantage of tax credits then, you are probably able to benefit again. I believe this is certainly worth a look.

2nd Saturday Art Walk 6/13/09 – Sacramento Fun

As promised, here are some pictures from 2nd Saturday Art Walk  This week we decided to hang out on the periphery.  We heard of a great gallery in the same complex where the Fox and Goose is located.

As we strolled through the galleries and met some of the artist… jackpot!  We found the place where they let kids (and grown ups) make art.  The medium is a plastic tile and oil base paint.  Using cotton swabs, paper towels, and whatever else you can find, paint is smeared, blotted, and drawn onto the tile.  Then the tile is ran through a press that transfers the paint onto paper.

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boys art 1

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Finished product-

Drew's art

luke's art

We then scurried downstairs to the main event.  Perfect timing!  They bronze pour demonstration had just begun.  I highly recommend this!

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bronze 3

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