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Explore Brentwood & Oakley During the Summer Bike Challenge

June 22, 2017

Alternative transportation is a growing trend in many communities, including Brentwood and Oakley in East Contra Costa County. As more people embrace healthier living within urban settings, riding a bike has become more common. Within Brentwood and Oakley there are extensive bike trails connecting parks, schools and shopping areas together, making it easier than ever to get around on two wheels. For the 5th year running, 511 Contra Costa, a local organization dedicated to safe, alternate transport options, has put together the Summer Bike Challenge.

Brentwood has been a host city for the challenge previously, but this year the challenge is expanding to include Oakley as well. As reported in the East Bay Times, the Summer Bike Challenge is a self-run program designed to encourage residents to explore various neighborhoods and amenities by bike. In doing so, the hope is more people will embrace using non-motorized transportation more often, which is a big plus for our environment and the community at large.

trail-1158467_640Those who sign up for the Summer Bike Challenge will be given a card with specific destinations in Brentwood and Oakley listed. For each location ridden to, a square is checked off. Once the card is completed and turned in, it is added to a raffle drawing for an iPad Mini tablet. Other benefits of the challenge include discovering where you can ride a bike to get some errands done, new routes to bike to school safely, or even a gem of a park you have never been to.

The Summer Bike Challenge highlights some of the best recreation opportunities we have in Brentwood and Oakley, such as direct access to the Big Break Regional Shoreline Trail, and Heron Park with its 5-Star Kaboom! Play Rating, and a unique piece of public art. There are also fun giveaways at various locations throughout the summer, another incentive to complete the challenge.

Discover more about Brentwood and Oakley with this year’s Summer Bike Challenge. When you are ready to sell your home, discover how my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at


Creative Landscaping Enlivens Curb Appeal

June 15, 2017

Some of the latest landscaping trends reflect the growing desire for outdoor spaces to combine function and beauty, making for an even more attractive natural oasis at home. This has really become prevalent when it comes to the front yard, which is a big plus for curb appeal.

No longer are herb gardens or outdoor furniture confined to the back yard. Artfully designed front yards are taking landscape design to new levels, creating new ways to invite and inspire visitors as they approach the front door.

As noted by Better Homes and Gardens in a recent article, front yard landscapes are being centered around a welcoming atmosphere with creative design. Walkways have become a new focal point. Using a variety of materials to form unique paths is taking center stage, drawing in visitors with patterns of texture and color as they enter through a gate or walk up the driveway.

hibiscus-1604246_640Blooming flowers add depth and vibrancy to a front yard, whether they are along a trellis, in containers or flower beds. Using creative planters is another rising trend, and a great way to show off your home and your own style. Another popular way to add your own flair is with artistic house numbers, a simple, yet effective way to catch the eye of potential buyers.

Native landscaping is also a growing trend in creative curb appeal design. While we are encouraged to use native plants to help conserve water in times of drought, gardens with flora from the region are also easier to maintain. Native landscapes can incorporate plenty of color into a yard as well. The Contra Costa Water District’s Loose a Lawn, Get a Garden website is an excellent resource to discover more about native landscaping options and ideas.

patio-449432_640Another welcoming trend is to include a gathering space for guests to meet or family to relax. The outdoor living room has moved from the back patio to the front yard. This is a fun way to add a bit of design drama with comfort and style to your yard and garden, and encourage time spent outdoors.

Curb appeal doesn’t have to be about paint and new lights. You can take your front yard to the next level with creative landscape design. When you are ready to sell your home, my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at

Federal Tax Reform Proposals Could Result in Homeowners Paying More

June 8, 2017

Tax reform proposals were the talk on Capitol Hill in May, as Realtors® in partnership with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) met with members of Congress to discuss concerns over the latest options being reviewed. The NAR has put together an Impact Study highlighting just how these latest tax reforms could negatively impact homeowners.

While the tax reform proposal seeks to simplify deductions, if the changes are implemented as they now stand, the majority of homeowners would see a significant increase in their annual tax bill. They will lose out on an estimated $1 Trillion in tax savings. According to the NAR, tax brackets would be consolidated, from 5 down to 3 groupings. Tax rates would also be lowered, while the Standard tax deduction would be doubled.

The downfall of this plan is that all itemized deductions would no longer be allowed, except for mortgage interest and charity donations. If homeowners can no longer include a property tax deduction, middle-income earners, those making between $50,000- $200,000 annually, would see an average increase of $800 in their Federal tax bill.

new-home-1530833_640NAR research also shows that this would negatively impact home prices. If the reform proposals go through, after-tax costs for homeowners will increase, along with the cost of gaining equity; two important aspects which makes home ownership appealing. These changes could result in approximately a 10% drop in sale prices across the nation.

The possible negative impacts to homeowners would create what the NAR called an “unfair burden” put on the majority of tax payers. While lowering tax rates in general is a great idea, if it comes with a high price tag for the many, the benefits will be few and far for most.

The NAR is working with Congress to come up with a different solution to help protect homeowners. We will share updated information as it comes available to help keep you in the know. When you are ready to sell your home, my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at

Oakley- A Place for Families in the Heart of the Delta

June 1, 2017

The City of Oakley, situated between Antioch and Bethel Island in East Contra Costa County, is a place where families are welcome. Through local government, educational and cultural support programs and resources, Oakley is a community which truly reflects its motto. The quality of support available to Oakley families has also gained a top honor for the second year in a row. The non-profit organization, KaBOOM!, has recently named Oakley as a Playful City USA, confirming Oakley as a “Place for families in the heart of the Delta”.

A recent article in East County Today included the announcement of the Playful City USA designation for Oakley. It is their all-encompassing approach which has made the city an excellent community model for families, and a place where more families are seeking to live.

The City of Oakley has planning measures in place for new housing developments, where a minimum requirement of outdoor play areas must be met. The Youth Empowerment Program provided vital opportunities for middle school and high school aged students to have a voice in government, and truly make a difference.

child-1071036_640Oakley was also the first city in East Contra Costa County to create an All-Abilities playground, with wheelchair access play points. In addition to better access for children of varying abilities, there are also interactive areas for children with hearing or vision impairments. This unique place, the World of Discovery at Crockett Park, also has a variety of sporting fields including tennis and basketball courts, alongside family picnic areas.

KaBOOM! is a national organization working to help all children across the country to enjoy a healthy and balanced childhood with regular and active play. Easy access to play resources and recreational activities helps children grow into healthier, active adults. When communities incorporate these ideas directly, the community as a whole is made better, becoming places where families want to live and thrive.

Oakley, California is a place for families within the heart of the Delta. When you are ready to sell your home, my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at


Tags: Cecily Tippery, City of Oakley, Play City USA, KaBOOM!

Memorial Day Weekend in East County

May 22, 2017


Memorial Day weekend in the East County area offers several events to honor and remember those who have fallen while in service to the United States. Memorial Day takes place on Monday, May 29th, and the weekend prior to this holiday is spent preparing and celebrating with the people we are closest to. In addition to various sales events and getaways for the weekend, East County will be presenting some opportunities for honorable remembrance.

The city of Oakley has Memorial Day services taking place on May 27th at Civic Center Plaza. The event begins at 10:00 am, and is hosted by the Diablo Sunrise District’s Boy Scouts of America. The Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the event, and the services will last until noon.


The Diablo Sunrise District’s BSA will also be hosting Memorial Day services in Brentwood on May 29th at the Brentwood Union Cemetery. The services begin at 8:30 am and last until 11:00 am. Both events are open to the public.


Antioch’s Memorial Day Celebration starts at 10:00 am on May 29th at Oak View Memorial Park. The Antioch Memorial Day Rolling Thunder will host the event until 1:00 pm, and will have MG Dan Helix as a guest speaker. There will be a motorcycle procession to start the festivity, a gun salute, and patriotic music playing throughout. Special honors will be given for veterans who have passed away this year, as well as honors for our living veterans, police, and firefighters.

Residents of East County are welcome to take part in any one of these festivities to connect with the community and pay respect to our Armed Services. When you are ready to sell your property, you want a Realtor® who is passionate about the community, and passionate about helping their clients. My team and I are ready to help you from start to finish. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at

Home Design Trends Offer Functionality and Style

May 19, 2017


If your home could use some updating but you need some inspiration, looking at the current trends in interior design can be a great starting point. This is especially so if you plan to sell your home soon. Design trends not only suggest what buyers may like, but also respond to what they are looking for in a home. Giving your home something new and exciting by way of design could help attract more potential buyers when you list your property. Forbes has published a list of intriguing 2017 design trends, perhaps one of these ideas is just the place to begin your home update.

A common theme in the latest design trends is to re-work existing spaces so they simply work better. This is a plus whether you have a smaller home or one with more square footage. Instead of regulating storage to closets, basements and attics, storage spaces in the kitchen, bath and laundry room are being reimagined in creative ways.

Whether you build in a wall of storage or work with your existing cabinetry, adding in gliding or turning shelves makes better use of cabinets, by ensuring ease of access while allowing for use of the entire depth of cupboards and drawers.



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There is also a trend to give more attention to spaces which are often ignored in the grand scheme of home remodeling. Laundry rooms are seeing a renaissance of design features being incorporated such as smarter storage, which really works in any room in your house.  Better lighting and overall functionality are also being focused on in these utility spaces. Home is where we want to be, why not make every room feel welcoming and be enjoyable? 

Another space which is often an afterthought, but which should be at the top of any home remolding list, is the entry way. If your home has a foyer or entry hall leading into the main rooms, giving your entry a new look and feel is a great to extend your exterior curb appeal, inside.

Speaking of outside, another exciting trend is to bring the outdoors in, especially in bathrooms. Incorporating a large picture window in a bathroom with a private garden space outside brings in more natural light to the room and adds the serenity of nature to your home

If you are planning to update your home, look for inspiration and innovation in current design trends, many of them offer ways to improve not only the look of your space but how also how you use it.

When you are ready to sell your home, my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at

What’s Happening with the Delta Tunnels Project?

May 11, 2017
1) By Doc Searls (Flickr: 2009_03_06_sfo-bos_066) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The proposed Delta Tunnels Project is a topic of concern for communities, organizations and residents across Northern California. The construction of two massive tunnels to divert water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, diverting water south, has yet to be fully approved. There is much still to be done before this project will go forth, or be stopped before its begun.

Currently a financial audit is underway, as requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, in August 2016. According to an in-depth overview of the project published in Wikipedia, the audit request was submitted to the California State Auditor after concerns over the ability of some water districts to be able to pay their portion of the funding.

The State of California is seeking to fund the Delta Tunnels Project through water district bonds. This approach currently means voter approval is not required. If participating water districts are not able to provide the funding required, this could impact the feasibility of the project at the ground level.

There are still hurdles to jump before the Delta Tunnels Project can get a green light. One key component is receiving approval and permits for the plan from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Thus far, this federal agency has said no to previous salmon-1107404_640applications submitted. Their main cause for denial is the concern for negative impact on critical or endangered species of fish within the river system, namely, delta smelt, salmon and sturgeon.

After this denial, the State re-worked the Delta Tunnels Project into two separate proposals, the California WaterFix and Eco Restore. Recently, the Delta Stewardship Council conducted an independent analysis of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinion report which was used in drafting the California WaterFix proposal.

The DSC conducted the review to provide a third-party analysis of the biological opinion report to USFWS, NMFS and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, as part of the proposal review process. has a great review of the findings; in short, there is greater cause for concern on how the Delta Tunnels will adversely affect not only the fish here, but also the entire ecosystem of the Delta.

We won’t know the final outcome of the Delta Tunnels Project for some time. Whatever the results, there will be a significant impact to our region. It’s important to understand major initiatives such as this as they affect everyone. When you are ready to sell your home, my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at