Archive for the 'Grass Valley' Category

A Tale of Two Dumps (part 2)

said on August 16th, 2012 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Grass Valley, Localism, Whimsy

Herein lies a tale of two dumps, Auburn and Grass Valley.  Actually, we no longer call them “dumps” as we did in olden times.  Now they are known by high-faluting titles such as Waste Reclamation Sites, or Transfer Stations, or Recology Facilities.  Are you impressed?  I’m not.  They are still dumps to me, delightfully stinky, dusty places where you take your garbage and unwanted detritus and dump it.

I am going to compare the Auburn Transfer Station with the McCourtney (Grass Valley) Transfer Station.  Sorry, ladies, these articles are, as CJ calls them, “icky boy stuff.”  I enjoy going to the dump, and I just can’t understand why CJ doesn’t get it.  Go figure.

The McCourtney Transfer Station

Hours:  8 am to 3:00 pm every day of the week (I thought McCourtney was closed on Monday and Tuesday, but I am looking at the new brochure and it plainly says, “every day.”)

How to get there:  From Grass Valley head southwest on McCourtney Road. Turn left just past the Animal Shelter a couple of miles out of town.  From south Nevada County, go with someone who knows how to get there on the back roads (Wolf to Duggans to Lime Kiln to McCourtney without getting lost out on Perimeter Road)

It’s a beautiful drive no matter how you go.

And it’s friendly at McCourtney!

Before you even go into the main Transfer Station, there is a little dirt road to the left that will take you down to the Green Waste area where you can dump leaves, brush, branches, lawn clippings, small trees (less than 18″) and untreated and unpainted wood.  By the way, your wood waste can still have nails in it,  I don’t know how that works, but it’s OK by me.  Supposedly, you are charged $2.25 per cubic yard, but it usually works out to about $5 to $8 for a pickup truck full of green stuff.  The guy at the shed looks at your load, scratches his beard, and says “Six bucks” or something like that.

Now, buckle up kids, it’s time to enter the best dump in the foothills, The McCourtney Transfer Station!

Un-like the Auburn Transfer Station, at McCourtney you start at the “Kiosk” for registration then get in the left lane for the “Scale.”  Cost is determined strictly by weight.  Residential waste is currently $70 per ton.  That’s a lot of garbage, a ton, a couple of pick up trucks usually.  By the way, I heard a rumor that with the recent “take-over” by Waste Management, the rates had gone up.  Not true.  So far, anyway.

Sometimes there is a line to weigh in at the Scale  Here’s a trick:  if you have scrap metal, recycle materials, appliances, or hazardous waste, go unload those items first, then you can wedge back into the Scale line.  The first station you will come to on the “tricky” route  is the Buy Back Shack.  You can sell your bottles, cans and so forth.  Unloading scrap metal is FREE at McCourtney (shame on Auburn for charging us for something they are going to sell) and, get this, there is always someone at McCourtney to help you get the heavy stuff off your truck.

There are stations to rid yourself of oil and paint, and other stations to get rid of  batteries and electronics.  FREE!  Yep.  That’s what I said.

You can unload your old refrigerators and air conditioners for $20 each.  Why does this cost twenty bucks?  A technician has to dismantle the unit the remove the refrigerants and/or oils.  Tires cost between $2 and $10 depending upon size.  Batteries are free.

At McCourtney, they will take almost anything.  Hazardous waste disposal is FREE.  It makes sense if you think about it.  The county would rather absorb the cost of proper disposal than encourage you to dump it out in the forest where the land will have to absorb the toxins.  So you drive through this shed and a technician in a white cover-all will unload your weird chemicals and unknown bottles of whatever.  Do NOT get out of the truck unless instructed, or you WILL get scolded.  By the way, you do NOT get any containers back.  There is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds.

So, having dropped off your weird stuff for FREE and butted back in line, you weigh in at the Scale and head to the C&D station (construction and demolition) or the big Garbage Pit for mixed garbage.  The photo below is the construction debris area.  It costs slightly less than the mixed garbage rate.  I thing it is currently $60 per ton for construction debris.

This is the big pit.  They probably have a fancier name for it, but big pit works for me.

Notice how open and airy it is?  Not icky at all.  Back your truck up and get dumping!

Isn’t this fun?

Bulldozers!  Yay!  Boy stuff!

I love the McCourtney Transfer Station!

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A Tale of Two Dumps (part 1)

said on August 14th, 2012 filed under: Auburn, Grass Valley, Localism, Whimsy

Herein lies a tale of two dumps, Auburn and Grass Valley.  Actually, we no longer call them “dumps” as we did in olden times.  Now they are known by high-faluting titles such as Waste Reclamation Sites, or Transfer Stations, or Recology Facilities.  Are you impressed?  I’m not.  They are still dumps to me, delightfully stinky, dusty places where you take your garbage and unwanted detritus and dump it.

I am going to compare the Auburn Transfer Station with the McCourtney (Grass Valley) Transfer Station.  Sorry, ladies, these articles are, as CJ calls them, “icky boy stuff.”  I love going to the dump, and I just can’t understand why CJ doesn’t get it.  Go figure.

The Auburn Transfer Station (AKA Auburn Placer RECOLOGY) at 12305 Shale Ridge Road

Hours:  8 am to 4:45 pm every day

How to get there:  from Highway 49 in Auburn heading north toward Grass Valley, go right on Shale Ridge Lane.  It’s between Bell Road and Dry Creek Road.  Look for the sign on the left.

Circle on around to the left until you get to the check in station.

Auburn charges by the cubic yard and guessing and whether they like you or not and their attitude on that particular day.  You never know exactly how much you will be charaged or how.  Try arguing with them.  It has worked for me.

I w ill tell you this:  You are going to pay more, a lot more than you will in Grass Valley at the McCourtney Transfer Station.

 

Having paid through the nose, you back your vehicle into the covered shed and toss your stuff down to the floor.  A bulldozer will come along, by and by, and push it into big piles, and later, into scoop the piles into trucks where it vanishes from civilized sight.

There is nothing pleasant or fun about this dump.  Just get in and out as fast as you can.

Here is a list of stuff they will take for freenewspapers, cardboard, white paper (they won’t take pink paper?), motor oil, batteries, aluminum, glass, and plastic.

Here is a list of stuff for which they will charge a feelatex paint (what about oil based paint?), appliances, tires, scrap metal (they are going to SELL the scrap metal so why are they charging you for it?), wood and green waste.

For questions, you can call customer service at 530-885-3735.

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Green Authors at Grass Valley Farmers Market

said on June 5th, 2012 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Grass Valley, Localism

 

Several Local authors will gather at The Book Seller (my favorite book store) during the weekly farmers market in downtown Grass Valley on Thursday, June 14, 2012 from 6-8 pm.

Two of the books are unfamiliar to me.  Molly’s Organic Farm is  a children’s book by Carol Malnor and Trina Hunner and Living Wild by Alicia Funk and Karin Kaufman is about cooking and healing with native plants of our Sierra Foothills.

But the one I’m going to add to my collection is The Art of Real Food by Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny.  This is a follow up to their popular first book, Placer County Real Food from Farmers Markets published in 2010.  The Art promises 52 weeks of recipes tuned to the seasonal harvests from this area.  I’ve seen the display copy, and it is handsome.

If you’ve never been, the Thursday night farmers market in Grass Valley is a hoot.  Live music, lot’s of stuff to buy, and you can eat supper from the local vendors as you walk around, shopping and gawking.  The organizers close about 8 blocks of downtown for the big weekly party.

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Distressed Sales vs. Regular Sales in Grass Valley, California

said on May 14th, 2012 filed under: Grass Valley, Market Trends, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

Do foreclosure and short sale homes (distressed) sell for less than regular homes? 

Of course they do.

How much less?  Let’s examine the “sold homes” market in Grass Valley, California for two different periods:

Dec 22, 2010 through May 13, 2011 with the period of Dec 22, 2011 through May 13, 2012.

I selected houses between 1000 and 1500 square feet sitting on parcels less than 1 acre that sold during these two periods.

                                                     12/22/10 thru 5/13/11           12/22/11 thru 5/22/12        

Number of distressed sales                           22                                                    26

Number of regular sales                                 13                                                   15

Highest distressed sold                             $225,000                                      $220,000

Highest regular sold                                  $320,000                                      $300,000

Lowest distressed sold                                 $45,000                                        $55,850

Lowest regular sold                                    $147,000                                      $122,000

Average distressed sold                              $140,140                                      $132,478

Average regular sold                                   $213,223                                      $185,450

Median distressed sold                               $157,500                                      $137,250

Median regular sold                                    $200,000                                     $169,000

Average distressed list price                       $147,770                                      $135,292

Average regular list price                            $221,569                                     $196,213

%sold price/list price distressed                    95%                                               98%

%sold price/list price regular                         96%                                                95%

Price/square foot listed distressed               $118                                              $108

Price/square foot listed regular                    $166                                              $154

Price/square foot sold distressed                  $112                                               $106

Price/square foot sold regular                       $160                                              $145

Average days on market distressed                 78                                                  60

Average days on market regular                      100                                                80

 

ANALYSIS

No surprises here.  Distressed properties sell quicker and for less money.  How much less?  A lot less.  Distressed markets and regular markets are like two separate realities within the same town.  Using “price/square foot sold” as the basis of comparison, distressed homes sold for 30% less than regular sales in 2010/2011 and for 31% less in 2011/2012.

In my previous blog, we learned that the overall market in Grass Valley, California (based on price/square foot sold) declined from 2010/2011 to 2011/2012 by 7.8%.

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How Are We Doing? An Analysis of Real Estate in Grass Valley, CA.

said on May 13th, 2012 filed under: Grass Valley, Localism, Market Trends, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts

This is the house we bought in Grass Valley, California as an investment on December 22, 2010. We called her “Grizabella.”  She was built in 1887 with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath.  She was 1176 square feet in size and sat on a generous .3 acre city lot near downdown Grass Valley.  How is “Griz” doing as an investment?

But first, let’s look at the Grass Valley real estate market as a whole for properties of this size.  For my study, I compared the period of Dec 22, 2010 through May 13, 2011 with the period of Dec 22, 2011 through May 13, 2012.  I selected houses between 1000 and 1500 square feet sitting on parcels less than 1 acre.

                                                     12/22/10 thru 5/13/11           12/22/11 thru 5/22/12        

Number of homes sold                                  36                                                    41

Highest price sold                                   $320,000                                      $300,000

Lowest price sold                                       $45,000                                         $55,850

Average price sold                                    $169,722                                       $151,858

Median price sold                                      $175,750                                      $144,000

Average list price                                       $177,398                                      $157,580

%sold price/list price                                     96%                                               96%

Price per square foot listed                         $137                                              $125

Price per square foot sold                           $131                                               $121

Average days on the market                          84                                                  67

 

ANALYSIS

You can see that more houses (41 to 36) sold this year, and faster (67 days on the market to 84).  But (and it’s a big but), prices have fallen.

Just comparing price per square foot of sold properties ($131 to $121) you can see that the value of small homes in Grass Valley market has declined about 7.8% in one year.

If you compare median price of homes sold a year ago ($175,750) with the median prices of home sold this year ($144,000) you would think the Grass Valley market has declined about 18%.  Let’s not do that.  Yuck.

The first calculation, price per square foot, is the more accurate, and less scary, “but it is what it is,” as we say in this crazy game.  The market continues to drift downward.

So, how did Grizabella do?

We bought her for $92.69 per square foot.  She was a bargain at 71% cost of the other homes sold,  based on price per square foot.  So, we were already ahead of the game.  But by the time we fixed her up, we had brought her cost up to $161 per square foot.  Now we cost more than the other homes sold during the first five months of this year, almost 19% more than the comparables.

Did we overspend, or more precisely, overimprove?

No.

There are numerous variables in play (depreciation, tax advantages, and the real value added by remodeling or improving property), but the most important variable is this:  after property management expenses and maintenance, we are netting $1250 a month in rent.  That’s $15,000 a year.  That’s about 8% return on investment.

Of course, Uncle sam wants a piece of that, but doesn’t he always?

 

In an upcoming blog, we’re going to get even more sophisticated.  We’ll look at the same Grass Valley market for the same two periods of time, but we”ll compare conventional sales with homes sold as foreclosures and short sales.  Do you think we will see a marked difference?  Do you think there are really two different real estate worlds out there?  Let the truth be told.  Next time.

 

 

 

 

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10304 Kenwood Drive, Grass Valley, CA Two New Photos

said on April 25th, 2012 filed under: Alta Sierra, Country Property, Grass Valley, Localism

I’m going to lose my job as Jenkins Team photographer if CJ keeps taking shots like these.  We weren’t happy with the cover photo I took of this immaculate house 3 miles south of Grass Valley, CA, so CJ Jenkins, Intrepid Girl Photographer, went out to bag a new one.  Well, CJ “brought home the bear.”  That’s what we say to each other after some singular accomplishment.

Me:  Did you bring home the bear?

CJ:  A big one.

Me:  I’ll skin it and cook it.

She’s the rain maker and I’m the closer in our business, if you haven’t already guessed that.

So here’s a much prettier look at the home:

 

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Impeccable Home in Grass Valley, California

said on April 18th, 2012 filed under: Grass Valley, Localism

Spick and Span

Immaculate.

Spotless.

Clean and tidy.

Neat as a pin.

(Did we mention that there is also a clear pest report?)

There is nothing to do except move in and settle down.

Kenwood is a lovely street, near, but not too near, Highway 49, about two miles south of Grass Valley shopping centers.

The single-level home is well-suited for multi-generational family, with the master bedroom and bath at one end and a two-bedroom, bath,
and appealing family suite at the other end.


The kitchen has been upgraded with new lighting, fixtures, skylight, and appliances.

The entire home has been freshly painted, inside and out, with new carpets installed.

Two cheery back yards, both fenced and dog friendly, are shaded by tall pines

There is plenty of space for a boat or a recreational vehicle.

The backyard is capped off by a handsome, spacious gazebo for your entertaining pleasure.

This sharp, attractive home is offered for sale by a real seller, not a bank or short sale “negotiator,”

Exceptional  value in an excellent location

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