Cleaning Up to Welcome Spring

welcome springIt’s the end of January, and while there’s still a chill in the air, it’s also the time to begin working in the yard and garden so you can welcome spring in all its splendor. Here are some essential ‘welcome to spring’ tasks that you can tackle right now and enjoy your garden for months to come.

Clean Ditches and Drains

Clear out fall leaves, seedlings and other debris from ditches and drains around the garden to ensure good drainage from the soil. The cleared garden refuse can be put in a compost bin for ready fertilizer to use during spring and summer. If you don’t have a compost bin, this is also a good time to build one.

Start a Compost Pile

A good carbon-nitrogen balanced compost can be created by using common garden and kitchen waste. Carbon-rich matter are branches, dried leaves, wood chips, bark dust or sawdust pellets, shredded brown paper bags, corn husk, coffee grounds, conifer needles, egg shells and wood ash. Nitrogen can be found in fruit and vegetable scraps, tea leaves and grass clippings. A good balanced compost has more carbon than nitrogen, about one-third green and two-thirds brown material. In three months, the compost will be ready to use.

Refresh the Lawn

If there are bare patches in the lawn, re-seed them. Mix grass seed into soil in a wheelbarrow and spread over the bare areas. The rains will ensure that the seeds germinate and new grass grows well in spring. A good grass fertilizer may also be sprinkled now.

Trim and Fertilize

Trim trees and flowering bushes, and remove dead foliage to make way for new spring growth. Weed pulling is also best done now when roots are shallow. Late winter is also the best time to fertilize fruit trees and flowering bushes and shrubs.

Add Mulch

Add mulch to a depth of about three to four inches around the base of young fruit trees to protect new growth from the late winter frost. Keep the mulch a few inches away from the crowns and stems of plants.

Clean Bird Baths and Feeders

Water accumulated in bird baths can be a health hazard for both birds and humans, so it is important to scrub them clean at least every two to three weeks. Scrub with baking soda, or a 1:10 chlorine bleach and water solution for more stubborn dirt. Pressure wash if needed. Keep baths filled with fresh water every week to attract birds throughout spring and summer.

For more ideas, visit:
https://learn.eartheasy.com

December 2019 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

The Almaden Valley residential real estate market ended the year on an uptick. Although there was a lot of unsold inventory in the summer months and early fall (see graph), much of that excess inventory disappeared by the end of the year and there were even a few multiple offers before the champagne glasses toasted in 2020. Although both Decembers ended the year with the same number of For Sale listings (14), the number of Pending listings in December 2019 was an impressive 66.7% higher than December 2018 (15 versus 9) while Sold listings were a stunning 92.3% higher last month (25 versus 13.). Average price per square foot didn’t see such enthusiastic growth, showing a slight decrease from the prior year. We started the year at $657/sf and ended it at $660/sf. Our peak was in June of 2018 with $788/sf.

For 2020, we can already see an improvement as we gear up for the spring selling season. Interest rates remain low and the economy is strong.

If you are thinking about selling your home in 2020, now is the time to start planning. Please call me as soon as possible.

December 2019 Almaden Valley Real Estate

Spring 2020 Soccer and Baseball Registrations

Spring 2020 soccer and baseballHappy New Year and welcome back to the Almaden Valley Real Estate blog, Access Almaden. With schools reopening and children back in classes, this is also the time to plan for the spring season of sporting activities. Right now, registrations are open for Spring 2020 soccer and baseball with Almaden FC and Almaden Little League Baseball teams.

Almaden FC (Soccer)

AFC is affiliated with US Club Soccer and NorCal Premier’s National Premier League (NPL) to establish a platform for competitive and developmental paths for players in the club. AFC provides players progressive training in 3v3, 4v4, 5v5, 7v7, 9v9 and finally 11v11 groups. Almaden FC has registrations open for Almaden FC Tryouts, Competitive Soccer, Recreational Soccer and Camps and Clinics. The Spring Recreational Soccer program is for players born between 2002 and 2015, and will begin on March 9 and end on May 16. The Kicker’s Club program is for kids aged 4-5, goes from March 14 to May 16, and will be held at Pioneer High School. For further details on Almaden FC registrations, visit: https://www.almadensoccer.org

Almaden Little League Baseball

Almaden Little League is part of the Little League International (District 12, which is part of Section 5 in the Western Region). Almaden Little League practices at Simonds Elementary, Los Alamitos Elementary, Graystone Elementary and Challenger School. Players residing in or attending school within the 95120, 95141 and 95042 zip code areas are eligible to enroll. Registrations are now open for the 2020 spring season. For further details on Almaden Little League Baseball, visit:
https://tshq.bluesombrero.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1844237

Registrations fill up fast, so enroll soon!

November 2019 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update

November 2019 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market Update – The holiday season is firming up to be a good one for Almaden Valley real estate. We usually see activity decrease the last few months of the year, and although this pattern is repeating as expected when compared to previous months in the year, the number of homes that were under contract and sold are higher than they were the same time in 2018. The number of single family homes offered on MLS dropped dramatically from October to November, which is to be expected. However, the number of homes for sale last month was a rather dramatic 30% lower than the same month last year (21 versus 30.) The number of homes that sold increased over 9% from the same time last year (24 versus 22) but the number of homes that went under contract increased a whopping 40% (21 versus 15.) Even the average price per square foot experienced a healthy 6% jump from not only the same time last year, but also from last month ($691 for 11/19 versus $647 for 11/18 and $652 for 10/19.)

In short, Almaden Valley real estate was quite spirited last month. Whether or not this is an indication that the market may be swinging a bit away from favoring buyers as it has been for awhile to favoring sellers remains to be seen, but with the average sale price still below the $703/sqft high we saw in September 2018, there is still room for buyers to find bargains, and for sellers to find eager buyers. If you are thinking about buying or selling in this exciting market, contact me and let me show how I can help you get the best deal.

November 2019 Almaden Valley Real Estate Market

Holiday Events at Almaden Community Center

Holiday Events at Almaden Community CenterThe holidays are just around the corner, and so are a couple of Almaden’s favorite family holiday events at Almaden Community Center – Breakfast with Santa and the North Pole Party!

Breakfast with Santa
The Breakfast with Santa event at the Almaden Community Center is an annual tradition where families can meet and take photos with Santa, enjoy a hearty holiday breakfast and participate in arts and crafts. It is being held on December 14, from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. This event requires registration. Cost: $18.

North Pole Party
The North Pole party at the Almaden Community Center is a special holiday event for little kids (ages 4-6), being held on December 17, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm. The little tots will find themselves in a winter wonderland with holiday treats, music and art activities. Cost: $25.

For more information about holiday events at Almaden Community Center or to register, click here or call: 408-268-1133

Run Turkey Run 2019

Run Turkey Run 2019It’s time for Run Turkey Run 2019!

Run Turkey Run, Almaden’s popular annual turkey run event, will be held on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 28, from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm. Run Turkey Run is a family fun event that supports Bret Harte Middle School’s Booster Club.

There are two runs available for runners to choose from: the 10k, which starts at 8:30 am, and the 5K, which starts at 8:50 am. Both runs begin and end at Leland High School. Turkey Run T-shirts ($15) and registration packets are available for purchase at Bret Harte Middle School cafeteria on Wednesday, November 27, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Race day registration (November 28) and packet pickups are from 7:00 to 7:30 am at Leland High School. Come on out and run or cheer to support Bret Harte Middle School!

For more information or to sign up for Run Turkey Run 2019, click here or call Bret Harte Middle School at 408-535-6270.

Halloween in Almaden Valley

Halloween in Almaden ValleyIt’s time again for Halloween in Almaden Valley! Carving Jack-o-lanterns, turning your yard into a graveyard, trick-or-treating with kids, enjoying a costume party – whichever way you choose to celebrate, it is time to dress in your spookiest best and hop out to stir the cauldrons. And Almaden Valley is certainly a spooky place to be on Halloween night! Here are some fun neighborhoods to stroll around during Halloween in Almaden Valley.

Neighborhoods with Haunted Houses
Many residents are hosting haunted houses with fabulous displays of the spooky, gory and the macabre. You can visit haunted houses on Calcatera Drive, Azalea Drive, Shearwater Drive, Lillian Way, Medallion Drive, Redmond Avenue, Monteval Lane, Via Del Los Grande, and last but not least, at the end of Little Falls Drive. This last one is particularly spectacular and not to be missed. Expect to find lots of people thronging the street, but it is worth braving the crowds.

Allergy-free Treats
This year several residents are passing out allergy-free treats so that all kids can enjoy Halloween. They can be found on Hampton Drive, Casual Way, Portswood Drive, Crimson Drive, Burchell Avenue, Franciscan Way, Montalban Drive and Montellano Drive. For accurate addresses, check the Almaden area treat map on Nextdoor.com.

Happy trick-or-treating, and have a great Halloween!

Almaden Quicksilver County Park – October 2019 Events

Almaden Quicksilver County ParkIf you enjoy nature and are interested in knowing first-hand the history of Almaden Valley, this is a great time to head to the Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Starting this weekend, there are some interesting events organized by the New Almaden Quicksilver County Park Association (NAQCPA) in partnership with the Santa County Parks Department.

Here’s a synopsis of the events:

Saturday, October 12, 2019: A celebration of Pioneer Day, from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, at the Casa Grande. The NAQCPA has held their annual Pioneer Day celebrations in the Almaden Quicksilver County Park for 34 years. Pioneer Day began with the purpose of sharing mining stories and meeting with former New Almaden miners who remembered the place. Today it has evolved into an event to showcase historic sites and current projects in the park.

Saturday, October 26, 2019: Quicksilver History Hike from 9:00am-12:00pm. The Quicksilver History Hike is a docent led hike of moderate intensity to historic mining sites within the park.

Sunday, October 27, 2019: Whoppers and Ghostly Tales of New Almaden at the park from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Want to learn about the ghosts of New Almaden? Come over for an evening of ghostly stories about the Almaden Quicksilver mines narrated by a docent as you tour the historic 1854 Casa Grande. Meet at the Casa Grande front entrance. Reservations online or (408) 355-2240.

For more information, visit: http://newalmaden.org/#AQS-Events

San Jose Water Lantern Festival October 2019

Water Lantern Festival October 2019San Jose Water Lantern Festival October 2019 – It’s a visual splendor that evokes hope, love, peace, and dreams. The San Jose Water Lantern Festival is being held again in Almaden Valley, for the second time this year. Following the huge success of the spring event, this beautiful festival of floating lanterns is back for the fall season this weekend on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Event at a glance:
Venue: The Almaden Lake Park
Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019.
Time: 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Enjoy the Water Lantern Festival with your family and friends, or come and make a date night of it. The event begins at 4:00 pm, when you can enter the venue. There will be music and food trucks, and you can decorate your lanterns provided at the entrance with special messages and prayers. The lanterns will be launched at dusk around 7:30 pm.

Tickets are available for purchase online right now, and they include the festival entry pass, a floatable lantern, a marker and a commemorative bag. The price of tickets also includes the cost of retrieving the lanterns from water and clean-up of the lake the following day. Special pricing on tickets is available for kids and couples. Kids under seven can enter for free.

For more information, visit: https://www.waterlanternfestival.com/sanjose.php. This beautiful spectacle is a memory-maker. Don’t miss!

Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2019

Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2019Almaden Valley is buzzing with excitement. One of the community’s biggest events, the 43rd Annual Almaden Valley Art and Wine Festival 2019 unfolds this weekend. On Sunday, September 15th, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the serenely beautiful Almaden Lake Park will be a beehive of activity, buzzing with families, performers, artists and wine enthusiasts.

Neighborhood artists will showcase their work, local vineyards will host sampling booths serving boutique wines, and patrons will be able to enjoy the pristine surroundings of Almaden Lake Park, sipping wine, listening to music or watching performances.

This year’s performers include Team M Taekwondo, Aerial Tumbling and Acrogymnastics, Almaden Spirit Athletics, Willow Glen High School Spirit Squad and Leland High School Dance team, besides the various local music bands.

There will be food trucks serving a variety of cuisines, with the new addition this year being Indian cuisine. There will also be a Kids’ Fun Zone, with a rock-climbing wall, bounce houses, arts and crafts, face painting, and a children’s stage. Performers in this arena will be Shaolin Kungfu Martial Arts, Little Gym and Leland Robotics.

The Almaden Art and Wine Festival is organized by the Almaden Valley Women’s Club, a non-profit organization in Almaden. They provide grants and aid to a wide range of organizations as well as some local schools. So, come and enjoy this beautiful fall festival with your family and friends.

At a glance:
When: Sunday, September 15, 2019, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Where: Almaden Valley Lake Park

For more details, visit: https://www.almadenwomen.org