Tasty Turkey Preparation

With the approach of Thanksgiving we begin to remember those homey smells from the kitchen.  How nice was it to just sit down and enjoy the meal your mom made.  Now, it’s our turn to make all the fixins.  But where to start?

I found this handy video which demonstrates how to prepare and cook a perfect turkey.  The method made a lot of sense and was easy.  As I watched it I was reminded of Pavlov’s experiments.  I felt like one of his dogs as my mouth began to water.

If you prefer, you can use Sparkling Apple Cider instead of Champaign in that part of the preparation shown in the video.

Do you have a favorite way to prepare a turkey?  Share it and I’ll pass it on.


Morgan Hill, CA Home Values

Morgan Hill Ave. SPAs you can see here, the average sales price of single family residences in Morgan Hill CA continued to rise over the last 12 months.

This month’s average sales price (approximately $960,000) is roughly 26% higher than 11/14’s average price of $760,000.

You will also notice that the average price spiked in 9/15 at roughly $1,010,000.

Now is a great time to buy a home in Morgan Hill: the ratio of prospective buyers-to-available homes is a little more balanced; the interest rates are still South of 4.0%; and, the short commute into San Jose is very manageable.

It is also a great time to sell your home: it worth more now than in the last 10 years.

For both prospective buyers and hopeful sellers, a sale NOW will get you settled in before Christmas and for the start of the mid school year.


4 DIY Ways to Reduce Energy Bills

Ever notice cool air coming in around your doorway, chimney or window?  I’ll give you 3 guesses where your paid-for-heat slips out (1st 2 don’t count).  As winter approaches we want our home to remain warm and keep our heating bill down.

Here are 4 simple ideas you can do yourself to accomplish just that:

Put new weather stripping around each exterior door. Here is a short video showing how easy it is to do.

Next, check the caulking around your window sills. If it has a gap or is missing caulking, refinish that section.  It is easy and inexpensive.  Watch this short video for ideas.

Check the damper in your fireplace.  Make sure it is closed when you are not using the fireplace.  It is surprising how much room heat will go right up that flue.

Now is also a good time to change your air filters for your furnace.  There is usually an intake air vent in a hallway ceiling and one in your furnace.  Here is a DIY video.  The minor cost of these filters will easily be paid for by energy savings when your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard.

If you have other ideas on how to keep us cozy this winter let me know.

Gilroy, CA Home Prices

Gilroy, CA single family home prices have followed a fairly typical pattern over the last 12 months although the Gilroy Sales Price 2average sale price for 10/15 is virtually the same as 12 months ago.

I reviewed 548 Gilroy sales of single family residences from 11/14 to 10/15.  We saw a fairly flat market from Nov. last year to Feb. this year.  Then, in March the prices began to rise and spiked in July.  Since July the average sales prices drifted back to the same level as this time last year.

It is important to note that in 2014 Gilroy home values increased roughly 21% from Jan. through Dec.  And, Jan. this year saw average prices roughly 11% higher than 12 months earlier.

So, what does all of this mean?  Well, if you are a buyer and like to play the odds, your best buys will typically be between now and next Feb. or Mar.  If you are a home owner who is thinking of selling you may want to be ready to go on the market in March or April.

Lastly, you may find that next year, being a National Election year where a sitting majority will want to maintain their plurality, will be anyone’s guess as to what home prices are going to do in Gilroy.  Actually, I have a prediction based on the 9 other national election years I have seen while in the housing business.  Text, email or call me for that information.

Thanks to MLSListings for the data.


El Nino’s Coming, 3 To-Do Tips

Rainy season is about here.  In Morgan Hill, Gilroy & Hollister Calif. we welcome any rain!  However, there are 3 smart things you can do to protect your home from water damage:

Clean out your rain gutters.  Here is a quick ‘how-to’ video to show you how easy it is.

Make sure your down spouts take the rain water away from your foundation. Here is another, quick video to show how easy this chore is.

Lastly, make sure the earth against your foundation is sloped down hill, away from the home. Here is a short, DIY video.

While these 3 tasks will take some time to do, they are not expensive and they will greatly reduce expensive repairs due to water!  I absolutely recommend that you invest the time now, before the rains come.

Let me know if you have found other, easy tips, to prepare your home.

OPEN HOUSE in San Juan Bautista

butlerOn Saturday, 9/12 from 1-4, we’ll be holding an Open House in San Juan Bautista. Watch this VIDEO Tour and then come see it for yourself.  Tucked back in the foothills but close to everything: 775 Via Vaquero Norte – Wow!

So many features: 2,850 sq.ft. on 1/2 acre, 3 car garage, 12 ft. ceilings, solar heated, custom salt water pool with a waterfall, A/C, granite, 18″ tile, see thru fireplace in the living room & family room, separate ‘granny’ quarters with its own front entry, all on one level, vineyard, storage shed, remarkable privacy and views and, less than a mile to Hwy 101 for an easy commute. Play tennis or basketball in the private courts or golf at the award winning “San Juan Oaks Golf and Country Club” just down the road.

Your GPS will take you to the wrong gate.  Turn LEFT off Rocks Road and follow the signs. Give me a call for the gate code for easy access.

You will be glad you came!


Open House – San Juan Bautista!

pool 2Plan it: Saturday, 1-4 PM, San Juan Bautista.

Watch the VIDEO Tour of 775 Via Vaquero Norte.  It will be like walking through this great home.

However, you won’t be able to smell the chocolate chip cookies.  (I’m working on “scent technology” but until we figure out how to share that electronically, you’ll just have to stop by in person).

12′ ceilings, tall windows, private 1/2 acre lot with a custom pool and waterfall, separate living quarters for your ‘just marrieds’ or grandma, single story, 2,850 sq. ft., A/C, granite countertops and 18″ tile floors, fruit trees, vineyard & garden, large tool shed, RV/boat concrete pad behind gates, and many more features make this a comfortable home.

With Hwy 101 less than a mile away: Monterey & the beaches are just 30 min. West and in 15 min. the other direction you’ll be at “Gilroy Premium Outlet” and Caltrain for an easy commute, San Jose Airport in 50 min (off peak) and Disneyland in 5 hrs.

Play tennis and basketball within the private community and golf just down the road at the award wining “San Juan Oaks Golf and Country Club”.

Call me for the gate code to this wonderful, gated community.




Coming Soon: In San Juan Bautista

Here is a sneak peak at a remarkable home in the rolling foothills of San Juan Bautista.  For an intimate look at this home click here and 775 Via Vaquero Norte 003watch the VIDEO Tour we just launched.  It will be like walking through the home.  It features: nearly 2,900 sq. ft., 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a 3 car garage and sits on .5 an acre.  In this pronounced ‘Seller’s Market’ it may not be available long.

I will probably put it on the market in a week or so.

One thing I forgot to mention in the VIDEO is that the pool is solar heated..

You can text, email or call me for your own personal tour.  I’ll be happy to arrange the viewing for you.



















Cycling, Ribs, and Yoga

Today was the first time back on my bike since my crash 6 weeks ago. After breaking 4 of my ribs and collapsing a lung, I was a bit anxious as I approached the 1st hill (deep breaths).

Up to this point I was reminding myself of all the basics: ‘pull up on the back stroke, push down over the top, use the gears and save the legs‘ etc. That was on fairly flat roads. Quickly, the ‘mental’ messages gave way to familiar muscle memory.  Shortly after starting the 1st hill, I thought: “okay, here comes the test“.

But, I remembered the breathing technique I learned in a Yoga class, “ujjayi“, where you use your diaphragm to inhale and exhale. I had no discomfort!  It’s like the ribs get bypassed and the diaphragm does all the hard work. It was a relief and empowering.

It is amazing how in just 6 short weeks the techniques, which had been automatic, reverted to a deliberate, mental process. I had been practicing ujjayi breathing before my accident and was relieved this AM when I remembered it on my first ascent.

Truth be known: THIS time, as I began the big descent, I actually touched my brakes.   Well, “touched” is not correct. I used them for nearly half of the crest down, where I normally love to fly.  Now I understand, a little more clearly, why seasoned riders always go so much slower down steep hills than I do, er, DID.

So, am I chicken or more wise?


“Home of The Week” Open House

On Saturday, 5/16, we will be holding an Open House for 1711 Morning Glory Dr. in Hollister, CA.20151101-1711 Morning Glory, Hollister-12 - Copy

If you can’t stop by between 1 – 4 PM for your own tour of this 5 bdrm, 3 bth, 3 car garage, 2,650 sq. ft. home – watch this VIDEO Tour.  It is almost like walking through the home itself.

“1711 Morning Glory” is just 18 mths ‘new’.  The significantly upgraded walnut hardwood flooring and great carpet still look and feel fresh. This home also sits on nearly 7,500 sq. ft. so there is plenty of room in the back and both side yards.

Since Hwy 25’s extension is just .5 mile away, the drive to the Bay Area is surprisingly comfortable.  When I moved to Hollister from San Jose people asked: “moving way down there“?  It wasn’t long before I just smiled and said “yeah, way down there” with a subtle secret in my smile. The little extra drive yields so much more of a home and lot.  It is absolutely worth it.

Some, even catch CalTrain in Gilroy for an even easier commute.

What has been your experience with living in South County while working in the Bay Area?