Archive for the 'Success Stories' Category

How hot is the Real Estate market in Nevada City, CA?

said on August 31st, 2016 filed under: Grass Valley, Localism, Nevada City, Success Stories

CJ on Grove
A smallish 1940 property on Deer Creek, walking distance to downtown Nevada City, got eight ALL CASH offers in less than a week!  The sellers were thrilled that all offers were over asking price.

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Welcome Debra O’Lena to Jenkins Group at Century 21 Cornerstone Realty

said on July 5th, 2016 filed under: Localism, Success Stories

Debra and pup

We are pleased to introduce Debra O’Lena as Administrative Assistant to CJ Jenkins.  She will join us mid-June and provide office support for property acquisition and sales.  Debra is a long time resident of Nevada County where she and her husband of 25 years raised their 3 children.  Debra’s interests include clay sculpture, walking, and real estate investment.

CJ says, “I look forward to seeing what Debra brings to the team.  Having a full-time assistant allows me to focus on what’s really important – my customers.”

“It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.”


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Yay Team!

said on January 30th, 2014 filed under: Lake of the Pines, Localism, Success Stories



We are delighted to announce that Deanne Gutierrez has joined the Jenkins Team as our new partner.  Deanne brings to us, and to our clients, a high-energy, can-do attitude along with years of real estate experience.  She is personable and a positive thinker, complementing our team with her warmth and charm, while also adding up-to-date technology skills.  We are honored to have her in our family.  Welcome Deanne Gutierrez!


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Bidding for a Home at On-Line Auction: Part 1

said on February 17th, 2013 filed under: Localism, Negotiating, Real Estate Nuts and Bolts, Success Stories

When a bank-owned home comes up for auction there will be a minimum opening bid. Nobody knows what that minimum bid is until the property is placed “on the block.”  There will be a period of time, usually a couple of weeks, for bidding. Often, the bidding is transparent. That means you know what the other bids are.

We’ve been to this rodeo before, and here’s what we like to do:

(1) We place one bid very early in the process at the minimum increment allowed. This lets us continue reading…

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Success Story at Lake of the Pines, California

said on May 8th, 2012 filed under: Lake of the Pines, Localism, Success Stories

Matt walked into my office at Lake of the Pines and said:

“I want a realtor who will write as many low ball offers as it takes for me to get a house.”

I said:

“I’m your man. It sounds like you’ve been working with another realtor?”

“Yeah, but I fired her.”


“She wouldn’t listen to me.  I told her I only had so much money, that’s all, but she kept showing me houses that cost more than I had.”

“How much do you have?”

He said:

“One hundred and thirty thousand dollars.  Can you get me a house for that?  All I need is a foreclosure at Lake of the Pines that I can fix up for me and my three kids.”

Matt told me that he was a single dad with a job as a groundskeeper at a nearby country club.  He had a daughter at Cottage Hill Elementary School, a son at Magnolia Middle, and another daughter at Bear River High. Those three schools are adjacent to Lake of the Pines, so it was easy to see why he wanted to stay in the community where he was currently renting a home.

But, by limiting himself to Lake of the Pines, a gated community with about 2,000 homes, his selection of fixers-for-sale was also limited.  Even more problematic, these foreclosures were mostly in the $150,000 to $170,000 price range.

Taking a deep breath, I began to write offers, typically $120,000, sometimes $125,000.  Over a two-month period we presented offers on 9 different homes, with an additional half dozen counter offers—when we could get the bank sellers to respond to our first foray.

We both became discouraged, and a little frantic.  The only way Matt could make this work financially was to take advantage of a first-time buyer program, and that money was drying up.

Then, a miracle.  The bank owner of a unique Tahoe-styled 3 bedroom cabin on a quiet cul-de-sac street at Lake of the Pines ran up the white flag, surrendered and accepted our cobbled-together offer of $135,000 with a $6,000 credit back to the buyer for a total purchase price of $129,000.

This home was a 3 story, gambrel-roofed construction, not typical of the single-story homes preferred at Lakeof the Pines, but it fit Matt and his kids like a well-tailored suit.  The top floor had a modest master suite for Matt with a bedroom, his own bathroom, and private balcony overlooking a shady back yard.  The main floor had the kitchen, living room, bathroom, deck, and two bedrooms, one each for the two youngest kids.  The lower floor had a studio with private bath, and private entrance for the teenage girl.

Last night, I had the great pleasure of giving Matt the keys. Today he, the kids, his brother, and his mom and dad are painting and fixing stuff.  Tomorrow I’m going to there replace a window and do some wiring.  Monday, they move in to their own home.

Ain’t that a good story!

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Grizabella Gets a Facelift

said on June 20th, 2011 filed under: Success Stories




119 Murphy Street

Grass Valley

Saturday, June 25th


Please come by to see our old lady,


Born in 1887, reborn in 2011, refurbished and loved up with a face lift.

We hope you can join us!

Bob and CJ Jenkins


Refreshments served

(Murphy is a narrow one way street with NO parking.  Please park near by and walk a block or two up East Main Street, just past Maria’s Mexican Restaurant, turn on to Murphy.  It’s about 50 yards up on the right.)


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Our “Veteran” Clients

said on May 9th, 2011 filed under: Success Stories, VA Loans

We helped our clients Rob (the veteran) and Marion Gershon buy their first home earlier this year using a VA Home loan.  Here are their words.

Dear Bob and CJ,

We are writing a great big, heartfelt THANKS to both of you.  The two of you truly know what it means to be of service.  We are truly grateful for the Extra Care and attention that you put into everything that you do! 

We love our new homeand know that we could never have done it without you.

We have been very busy fixing up and putting everything in its place.  We would like to have you over for dinner so we can show off what we have done.

The two of you are so amazing!  We want to be just like you when we grow up!

Lots of Love,

Rob and Marion Gershon

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Grizabella (Restoring an Old Grass Valley Home)

said on January 11th, 2011 filed under: Success Stories

Grizabella.  That’s what we call the old girl.  She’s 128 years old.  Built in 1888.  Until recently, down on her luck, like that feline in Cats who sings “Memory.” 


We bought her about 3 weeks ago, precisely at the point I fell off the edge of the Facebook world.  Since then, I have been leaving home early and getting back after dark. (CJ yells in from the kitchen, “And getting a back rub every evening!”  Yes, indeed, thanks, Honey.)


Here are a few photos of the project:


The house is in Grass Valley on itty bitty Murphy Street.  It needs lots of work. 





From the side it looks huge, but it’s actually single story.





Compared to the other homes in the neighborhood, it has a large back yard.  At some point, the owner slapped on a rear addition.  Lots of pest work and wood rot there.





One of the major changes is the conversion of the back porch/laundry into a clean, new bathroom.





This living room is the best part of the house.  It’s craftman style and we will leave it intact except for new floors and fresh paint.





We will restore the kitchen to its original location.





The kitchen will get two new sash windows.  Lots of light.  White cabinets and tile, honey-yellow walls, and some yet-to-be-determine accent color.  Old fashioned linoleum floors.  No stainless steel!  No granite counters!  Those two items have become such cliches.





The former kitchen has been divided into two smaller spaces, a walk-in pantry off the kitchen, and a laundry with a big window.





The old bath has been gutted in preparation of a complete make-over.





Out back, there are two structures we call the little barn and the big barn.





The little barn was ready to fall into First Street.





One of the funniest moments took place during the demolition of little barn.  The laborer, Ken the Man, dug into the county’s largest rat nest.  Folks, these rats were big as cats and just erupted out of that nest, running every whichaway.  I heard Ken scream at the top of his voice.  I thought he was injured.  I dropped my tool belt and ran to the back yard.  When I found out what happened, I plopped down on the ground laughing like a hyena.  Ken did not find it nearly as amusing.





Here’s that @%%#$&$(*[email protected] little barn half way into the dumpster.





And here’s Ken the Man Who Screams at Rats hisself.





John the framing carpenter is adding closets to the bedrooms.  You know, Victorian era homes provided few, if any, closets.  People used wardrobes, armoires, or hooks.  Most folks only had 4 or 5 changes of clothes.





Dave the plumber is measuring for rough plumbing in the old bathroom.


That concludes Grizabella, part 1.

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Fitness Goals. Hop Till You Drop

said on September 12th, 2010 filed under: Running and Hiking trails, Success Stories, Whimsy

Yuba Run with Dharma

Embudito Canyon, New Mexico.  I’m enjoying one of those perfect runs in the hills above Albuquerque.  It’s a sparkling autumn morning.  Ahead, one cotton tailed bunny, then another, then another, hop out of the path.  No fear of me, no hurry.  “Lippety lippety, lippety lippety” as Bea Potter captured the moment in “Peter Rabbit.”

The run feels so good.  I’m scooting along, laughing at the rabbits, and I’m trying to be serious, but it’s hard.  “Lippety lippety.”  I’m trying to formulate, to really think about my long range physical fitness goals so I can write this post.  Damn it, rabbits, stop being so cute!  Can’t you see I’m trying to meditate on deep truths?  Bunnies.

Bang!  It occurs to me that this perfect moment, this lovely run is, itself, exactly the fitness goal I’m trying to express: to lope comfortably down the path, in the morning sun, all by myself (except for the bunnies), joyfully, for the rest of my life.  Yes, that’s continue reading…

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The Auburn 49er Fire

said on August 16th, 2010 filed under: Auburn, Success Stories

Urban Warfare
August 30, 2009

One year ago this month we were standing on the dock watching firefighting aircraft dip water out of the lake to drop on the fire that would be known as the 49er Fire.

Fighting this fire was urban warfare at its most vicious. The firefighters were clearing the flames, house to house, some continue reading…

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