Author Archive

Selling your home: A legal checklist

said on November 8th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Negotiating, Nevada City, Whimsy

Here is a general legal checklist for you to use to prepare yourself for selling your home. This checklist outlines the steps and items needed to be the most prepared for your home being on market.

Resolve any financial obstacles before you sell

If your property has incurred any sort of debt, encumbrance or lien, you will need to take care of them before settling with your buyer. These obstacles can arise any number of ways:

  • Federal, state or local tax liens
  • Civil court judgments
  • Missed child support or spousal support payments
  • Failure to pay homeowners association dues
  • General unpaid debts

Gather important documents

  • Deed
  • Evidence of encumbrances, liens, judgments, etc.
  • Surveys
  • Appraisals
  • Documentation of major repairs, damage or improvements
  • Any agreements made between tenants or cohabiting partners
  • Comparable sales in the areas (if available)
  • Any agreements made between you, as the seller, and your real estate agent (if applicable)
  • Copies of restrictive covenants imposed up upon the community

Draft a home sale agreement, if needed

If you’re unmarried and have a domestic partner, consider drafting a home sale agreement to protect both parties. Otherwise, if the deal or the relationship fails, the court will only be able to help the party named on the deed as the owner.

  • Encourage open communication
  • Establish clear contract terms that determine the profit division after the sale—especially if one partner is not on the deed
  • Review the current financials of the property, including outstanding mortgage debt, asking price and the bottom line offer
  • Discuss the ownership expectations of both parties, including mortgage payments, home improvements, sweat equity and upkeep
  • Have an experienced real estate attorney draft a home sale agreement that addresses all the agreed-upon terms

Get joint tenants on the same page

If you inherited the property with several family members as joint tenants, the ownership structure of your property might limit your options for selling.

  • Gather consent from all owners on how to split the net proceeds
  • If everyone can’t agree, divide the property in your state’s court of equity

In divorces where the property is owned through joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety, both owners must:

  • Mutually decide to sell the martial home
  • Sign the transfer deed over to the new buyers
  • Agree to split the proceeds

If you go through this checklist before selling your home, you will be ready for anything that might come up once on market or in escrow on your home.


Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

posted by // No Comments »

A New Favorite: The Stone House Restaurant

said on October 31st, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

Last Saturday night Bob & I experienced a wonderful meal at the historic Stone House Restaurant in Nevada City.  They serve local food that is grown or raised on nearby farms.  As the seasons change, so does the menu.  In fact, the chef is constantly adjusting the offerings to fit the available foods from the farm.  I liked the small plate options as we could enjoy many tastes.  We shared carrot ginger soup, pork belly & collared greens, and a fried chicken with a fig jam.  I know these might sound strange, but they were superbly cooked and delicious! The most exciting and tasty dinner experience we have eaten in a long time!

The Stone House’s mission is to provide great food, inspiring libations and a conducive atmosphere for their guests to celebrate life in this historic Sierra foothills Restaurant, Tavern, & Event Venue. Undeniably exquisite in appearance, the building itself naturally brings the “outside in” with hand-cut stone walls & beautifully reclaimed timber. With 10,000 sq. feet of space, they have made the most of every inch of this unique and historical building. The Stone House contains an upstairs restaurant, 2 glamorous bar areas, a premier venue and stage for concerts and shows, extensive space for weddings and corporate events, charming patios, a wine cavern and an exclusive 3rd floor penthouse. The Mediterranean-influenced restaurant features organic, local, farm-to-table cuisine with a seasonally updated menu. The beverage offerings range from craft cocktails, local micro-brews, regional wines, and an espresso bar.

Next time you need somewhere to grab a bite, or want a lovely night out, head to The Stone House Restaurant in downtown Nevada City!


Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

posted by // No Comments »

Our top 5 favorite House Plants

said on October 24th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Gardening, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

House plants are always a great way to brighten up a space and make it feel more lush. House plants are great for people who don’t consider themselves to have a “green thumb” because most are not too high maintenance. If you have never had a house plant, or would like to add to your collection, here are our current favorite 5 house plants.


Snake Plant

These plants are so fun and basically impossible to kill! They need moderate sunlight and watering every 1-2 weeks.  They are great for smaller spaces because they grow very vertically rather than wide. They always have a wonderful green color that will brighten any room.


Fiddle Fig Tree

This type of ficus is very trendy right now! These trees grow very slowly but have amazing large green leaves. They love bright indirect light or soft direct light so put them in the corner of your brightest room. They do not do well in colder temperatures or where there is a draft so make sure to keep your fiddle fig cozy.


Aloe Vera

This guy is best known for its healing qualities of the gel inside the leaves. They are common succulent plants, and aloe vera is just one of hundreds of different types of aloe plants. When they are kept as indoor plants they purify the air & are slow growers. These cuties need good drainage, frequent light watering or misting, and good sunlight.


Golden Pythos

Commonly know as Devil’s Ivy, this is the classic indoor hanging plant. Its green color and ever-growing vines are always a great addition to a room. This is one of the easiest house plants as it thrives in almost all environments pertaining to light conditions, just not direct light. These plants are poisonous though rarely fatal to cats, dogs, and children if digested, so keep that in mind when purchasing.


Rubber Tree

These trees are very low maintenance and have nice smooth & shiny leaves you will want to pet each time you walk by. If you keep it in a well-lit position in your home, the rubber tree will need very little else other than watering once a week. Besides the ornamental aspect, the rubber tree is considered an air purifying plant.

Whatever your style may be, house plants are always a lovely addition to any home. Bring one of these plants home soon or give one as a house warming or holiday gift!

Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715


posted by // No Comments »

Helping seniors with Real Estate at their own pace

said on October 17th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Success Stories, Whimsy

Make change happen at your own pace!

Working with seniors is a joy. It is important to note that life style changes may take more time for folks that have been in a place a long time.  Understanding this by assisting seniors at a comfortable pace is part of being a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).

John moved away from Lake of the Pines seven years ago to a tri-level care facility for his lovely wife’s medical care.  After she passed, John thought about returning to the community he loved.  After some tours of single-story homes, John selected a new home, but the concept of moving from one place to another was overwhelming. I arranged for a sweet couple to manage his move, so it would make things easier for John.  They planned packing, movers, changing over utilities, cleaning of both homes, arranging furniture, unpacking, and so much more.  With our help, many of the worries of moving melted away for John.

To truly help John feel right back at home in his old community, I threw him a Welcome Party once he was settled in. I invited some of John’s old friends as well as his new neighbors, so he could get to know more people. A fun time was had by all, especially John.


Are you or a loved one thinking of making a big change? Not sure how to proceed? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

posted by // No Comments »

Try this yummy fall recipe for Apple Crisp!

said on October 9th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

Looking for an easy and yummy fall dessert idea? Look no further! This apple crisp recipe is so simple and SO delicious! You can get some in-season granny smith apples and whip up a get dessert that will please everyone! Here is what you will need:

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Apple filling:

  • 3-4 large Granny Smith apples , peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of salt

Once you have all your toppings, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and take these steps to prepare the treat

For the topping:

  1. In a medium size bowl combine the crumb topping ingredients with a fork or pastry blender until it resembles small crumbs. Refrigerate while you prepare the apple filling.

For the Apple Filling:

  1. Peel & slice your green apples. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until well blended. Add lemon juice, milk and vanilla and stir well. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Pour butter mixture over apples and toss to coat. Pour apple mixture into an 8×8-inch baking dish and spread into an even layer.
  4. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over the apples.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and top is set.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The best way to serve this dessert is warm with vanilla ice cream! Your dessert will definitely be the hit at your holiday gatherings or just at home with family!

Or are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

posted by // No Comments »

Our New Listing! 11561 Inverness Way in Lake of the Pines

said on October 3rd, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Market Trends, Neighborhood Profiles, Nevada City, Whimsy

11561 Inverness Way in Lake of the Pines

Check out our charming new listing! What a brilliant spot on the Golf Course! This comfortable SINGLE story is ready for you. Enjoy your peaceful backyard with views of the Lake of the Pines Golf Course. Not far from Green Valley Park for a swim or to launch your kayak. New flooring, paint, landscaping and touch ups were done right before going on market! Has an extra area off the back of the garage that includes a half bath and the indoor laundry. This lovely home is waiting for you!

Lake of the Pines is a stunning 2000-home gated community located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, roughly 46 miles north east of Sacramento. In addition to our 230-acre lake, LOP residents and their guests enjoy a host of on-site amenities including a 19 hole golf course and driving range, pro shop with adjacent sports lounge bar and Grill, a junior Olympic size swimming pool, six developed parks, 148 marina slips, 4 tennis courts, 2 bocce ball courts, 3 pickle ball courts, a full-size basketball court, a spacious and newly built lakeside clubhouse and restaurant with full bar service, 24 hour control gate access, RV and boat storage services, and more!

Check out the full listing here


Interested in taking a look at this lovely home? Or are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

posted by // No Comments »

Get your gutters ready for winter!

said on September 18th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Country Property, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Whimsy

Get your gutters ready for winter!!

The first day of Fall is this Saturday and we can already feel it! With the temperature dropping its means its only a matter of time before it is our rainy season. Are your gutters ready for it? If you answer is not automatically yes, then maybe it’s the perfect time to show your gutters some love. A small amount of maintenance now can make all the difference, and most likely save you bundles!

Sagging and clogged gutters can overflow, causing damage to the soffit and fascia on the eaves of your home. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to keep gutters clean and properly maintained.

To maintain your gutters:

  • Clean Gutters: Check gutters regularly to make sure they are clean, and remove any leaves or other debris.
  • Secure Gutters: To repair sagging or loose gutters, replace the gutter spikes with gutter screws, using a cordless drill. Gutter screws hold much better than standard gutter spikes, providing support and security.
  • Seal Leaks: Use a hose to check the joints and seams for leaks. To repair a leaking joint, clean the area thoroughly and apply silicone caulk to seal it.
  • Repair Downspouts: Make sure that downspouts are clear of leaves and other debris, and that any joints fit together properly.
  • Water Runoff: Check to see that the water coming out of downspouts is diverted away from your home using splash blocks, a downspout extension, or irrigation pipe.

The more you can do before the rains come, the better! Its not fun for anyone, including your bank account, to have to make emergency repairs in the middle of winter. Celebrate the first day of Fall this weekend by giving a little TLC to your home!


Need help finding the right person to do any repairs on your gutters? Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715


posted by // No Comments »


said on September 13th, 2018 filed under: Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Localism, Running and Hiking trails

This morning I was running Stevens Trail just outside of Colfax, California.

Stevens gets my vote as the most beautiful trail in the Foothills, at least in a thirty mile radius of Auburn.  I’ve run most of these trails, many times, and this one is my favorite for pure loveliness . . . combined with a worthy challenge.  View for view, glade for glade, and grade for grade, it matches up with any trail.   The trail head is conveniently close to the freeway, and there’s a LOT of trail, a nine mile round trip down to the North Fork of the American River (search around for the grinding holes left behind by the Nisenan women) . . . and back up to your car.  The return trip, a four and a half mile gallop, uphill all the way, provides the challenge.  But hey, that’s what you’re looking for, isn’t it?  Pushing yourself while lollygagging in Ma Nature’s embrace.  You’re not bumper-to-bumper on the interstate.  You’re not in one of those meetings where knives are hidden behind the words.  You’re not failing the required class for your degree.  No, you are in none of those places.  You are HERE.  Stevens!  Breathe it in.  What a buzz.  What a privilege.  You are HERE on Stevens Trail.

A few years ago, I wrote a couple of articles about Steven’s Trail—with lots of photos.  So help yourself.  Feel free to poke around on our site.  There are articles about many other Foothill trails.

posted by // No Comments »

21st Annual Yuba River Clean-up!

said on September 13th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Cultural Events, Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

Join SYRCL and the community for the 21st Annual Yuba River Cleanup!

We have nearly 90 miles of rivers, creeks and shoreline to cover in just one day and we need your help keeping our local rivers trash free. Help us haul out the garbage, divert recyclables from the landfill, and keep the Yuba clean, safe and healthy. This event has been going strong for 20 years, hauling out MORE THAN 200,000 POUNDS of garbage and recycling!

Help make our 21st the best yet by planning ahead and saving the date. Questions? Contact Daniel Belshe at or 530-265-5961 ext. 201.

Register today to join over 800 volunteers from our community, helping to keep our watershed clean. A clean river means a beautiful, healthy river and a healthy river in the Sierras can impact life downstream, all the way to the sea.

You are an important part of making this cleanup a success. With over 30 sites to be cleaned along 80 miles of rivers and creeks, you can make a huge difference in the health of our Yuba watershed in just one day. Over the past 20 years, our community has removed more than 100 tons of garbage and recycling from our Yuba Watershed.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your registration today by determining which site is best for you and your family. Choose from sites needing trash removal or ecology restoration; all volunteer levels are needed, whether you’re a river warrior ready to get your hands dirty, or a family with small kids, we have the perfect site just for you. Check out the Cleanup site map for more site-specific information at

Don’t miss the Volunteer Appreciation Party from 1pm-5pm, at Pioneer Park in Nevada City. Come join our community of volunteers for an afternoon celebrating our cleanup efforts, enjoying delicious local eats, tasty brews, and great company. Local artists The Heifer Belles and Red Dirt Ruckus will dazzle you with their musical gifts, and lunch is FREE for volunteers registered by September 10. We can’t wait to see you there!


Don’t have time to Volunteer?

Become a Virtual Volunteer by joining the Clean-a-thon to help raise public awareness and funding for our cleanup efforts. You can join an existing fundraising team, create your own team with friends and family, or fundraise as an individual. Whichever you choose, have your family and friends show the Yuba some love too, by donating in celebration of our day of service. We have exciting incentives to say thanks and sweeten the deal for our superstar fundraisers!


Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715



posted by // No Comments »

Gold Country Fair Starts Today!!

said on September 6th, 2018 filed under: Localism

The Gold Country Fair starts today! Come on out and participate in one of the last local events of the summer.  The fairgrounds are located at 1273 High Street in downtown Auburn.  This year’s theme is California Nights & Carnival Lights and is running from Thursday Sept 6th through Sunday Sept 9th. This year includes the carnival, fantastic food, vendors, still exhibits, Best Buy Educational building, agricultural Exhibits, Junior Livestock Auction, Demolition Derby, Monster Trucks, Kids World and more!

Fair Hours

Thursday, September 6th – 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Friday, September 7th – 4:00 pm to Midnight

Saturday, September 8th – 11:00 am to Midnight

Sunday, September 9th – 11:00 am to 10:00 pm

If you are parking at the fair, please go to the public parking entrance at 303 Sacramento Street, Auburn, CA 95603.  Parking is $6.00

On Saturday at 10am the Gold Country Fair is hosting the Junior Livestock Auction.  The Junior Livestock Auction was developed to educate our junior exhibitors in livestock marketing. The sale is made up of market animals that are selected, fed and shown by 4-H and FFA members as well as Independent youth, who have competed in 4-H and FFA market divisions at the Fair.

These market animals have been judged by knowledgeable judges, who award Champions of each species. The animals are placed according to market grades for the auction sale order. By supporting this Junior Livestock Auction, buyers are contributing to the education of today’s youth, our citizens of tomorrow. This Jr. Livestock Auction is an excellent example of youth organizations and local businesses working together to improve and promote the history of agriculture in Placer County.

Come out to the fair this weekend and have a blast with family or friends!


Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

posted by // No Comments »