Author Archives: chrissoukoulis

4 Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Many home owners view their house as not only a place to live, but also as an investment. Like with all investments, you would like to make one day make money off of it. With a house, there are numerous … Continue reading

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Committee looks to streamline city grant process

An annual list of city events and local programs, partially funded via Brentwood’s business license sales tax proceeds, may no longer have to go through the annual grant application process if the recent recommendations of an economic development ad-hoc committee … Continue reading

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Stay Put and Remodel — or Move?

A New Year ushers in new resolutions, which often includes changes on the home front, but deciding what to do with it can be tough for home owners, financially and emotionally. As the real estate market rebounds and buyers increase … Continue reading

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December Existing-Home Sales Rise, 2013 Strongest in Seven Years

WASHINGTON (January 23, 2014) – Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Total existing-home sales, which are completed … Continue reading

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Pantages project plugging along

It’s a project that has been years in the making and with a road still left to travel, but Discovery Bay’s Pantages project recently jumped another hurdle with the recent passage of the housing development by the Contra Costa County … Continue reading

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Remodeling Magazine’s Yearly Survey Reveals 5 DIY Projects With Highest ROI

As the real estate market continues to recover, you may be wondering which remodeling projects will provide you with the best return on investment when you put your house on the market. There are a few things you can do … Continue reading

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10 Things Today’s Buyers Look for in a Home

While David Letterman’s Top 10 lists generally culminate in a No. 1 ranking, the following list includes in no particular order 10 things that are important to buyers today, especially Millennials who represent a significant buyer niche in today’s market. … Continue reading

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The don’ts to build your credit score

1. Being a big spender using your credit cards The higher your balances on your credit cards are as in relationship to your available credit limit, termed “Proportion of balance to high credit limit”, the lower your credit score will … Continue reading

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The tug of war for the Delta

Throughout California’s history, the reservoirs and water resources generated by the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been the lifeblood of the state’s economy – the largest in the country and a global leader in innovation. Without the aquatic transfers that move … Continue reading

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Halloween Home Maintenance: Spooky Sounds and Strange Smells

Are you haunted by strange noises and weird odors? With the proper maintenance, you’ve got more than a ghost of a chance to rest easy. Creaking and Popping in the Night The many materials that make up your house — … Continue reading

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Housing projects revving back up

The Community Services District entered into a reimbursement agreement this week with two residential developers looking to build over 300 homes in Discovery Bay with possible sticks in the ground as soon as next year. The agreement, unanimously approved by … Continue reading

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Survey: More Renters Want to Become Homeowners

Homeownership as a priority is on the upswing. And a look back shows perceptions about owning weren’t as negative during the recession as the media suggested. Americans have favored buying over renting, even during the recent Great Recession, and this … Continue reading

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Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: What it Means for Real Estate

While property rights are generally a state issue, the federal recognition of marriage for gay couples will have a significant impact on home owners. Married same-sex couples in 13 states and the District of Columbia are now or will soon … Continue reading

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Making friends with Caring Hands

If making time to volunteer is on your to-do list, consider joining the Caring Hands volunteer caregivers, a John Muir Health outreach program that trains and assists in partnering compassionate volunteers with seniors who are seeking a friendly companion and … Continue reading

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10 Tips for Saving Water in Your Home

You’ll likely be surprised to learn how much water the average family of four uses every single day in their home: 255 gallons! The estimates are: 15 gallons for dishwashing; 12 for cooking and drinking; 5 for basic hand washing; … Continue reading

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Solar Access Rights Help You Catch Some Rays

Most states protect your current solar access for light and energy. If your state doesn’t, local height restrictions may save your sunshine. Here come the solar access laws that affirm your right to install solar devices and use them unobstructed. … Continue reading

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Mortgage Scam: Loan Flipping

Loan flipping mortgage scams prey on the twin problems of financial anxiety and ignorance. Educate yourself to mount a defense. The loan-flipping mortgage scam is the evil twin of the helpful home equity loan, which can help put some cash … Continue reading

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farmers markets ripe for the picking

When it comes to just-picked produce, beautiful blooms and fresh-baked goods, it’s hard to beat the summer offerings of farmers markets, including a new one in Discovery Bay. There are 16 in Contra Costa, with five here in East County. … Continue reading

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7 Tips for Staging Your Home

Make your home warm and inviting to boost your home’s value and speed up the sale process. The first step to getting buyers to make an offer on your home is to impress them with its appearance so they begin … Continue reading

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The Home Gym: A New Gathering Hub

Sure, home gyms are great for avoiding driving to a club and paying membership fees. But there’s another motivation behind the transformation of basements, garages, and spare bedrooms into home fitness centers: They’ve become a way to gather family members … Continue reading

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