Smart Kitchens are actually helping sell homes

smart kitchen appliances

Believe it or not, having smart kitchens adorned with state-of-the-art appliances and other high-end accouterments are helping clinch a sale. Smart-home products were all the rage at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2015. Everything from robotic washing machines and dryers to intelligent doorbells, locks, coffeemakers and brainy HVAC accessories were displayed front and center at this year's high-tech gadget extravaganza. The International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Held in Las Vegas every year, it has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough … [Read more...]

Napa Valley real estate – a great to place invest in a vacation home

vacation home in Napa Valley

If you have been toying with the idea of buying a second, vacation home in wine country, now is a great time to take the leap and Napa Valley real estate is the perfect place to invest. Interest rates remain low so it's a great to time lock in and enjoy the continual growth in market values.  According to the National Association of Realtors, vacation-home sales accounted for 13% of all transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006. "What our customers tell us, and what the data tells us, is that for an individual who is well-qualified and who clearly wants to purchase that second home, this is an outstanding time to buy," … [Read more...]

Have you eaten at Sam’s Social Club in Calistoga yet?

Sam's Social Club logo

Napa is abuzz over the recent opening of Sam’s Social Club, a delicious restaurant tucked inside a brand new building at the bohemian hideaway, Indian Springs Resort. Do yourself a favor and savor the restaurant’s Rustic American Cuisine for breakfast, lunch or dinner in the bucolic setting located at the western foot of Mt. Lincoln.  I think you will love the menu. The main dining area seats 90 guests and there's a ground floor brew-pub/bar called The Cellar.  Sam’s also invites patrons to dine alfresco on the tree-shaded patio. The outdoor area is set with fire pits and a natural geyser-fed fountain carved into a stone wall.  It's pretty … [Read more...]

Finally a Future for the Copia Cultural Food and Wine Center

The Copia Cultural Food and Wine Center

After being plagued for the past six-and-a-half years with financial issues, the future looks bright for the former Copia Cultural Food and Wine Center thanks to its new owner, Triad Development of Seattle. Since opening in 2001, the center has been fighting an uphill battle, in spite of major support from philanthropic groups, the full backing of Robert Mondavi, and contributions from many in the wine business totaling nearly $50 million. Finally, in December of 2008, Copia filed for bankruptcy. The details of sale between The Copia Liquidation Trust and Triad Development have not been disclosed, but the future could include a new tenant … [Read more...]

12 Suggestions for Spring Cleaning to get you started

illustration of spring is coming

It’s that time of year, longer days, warmer nights and everything is green…that means it’s time for Spring-cleaning! Although I’m a big fan of using something until it wears out and/or recycling items, there are some items that need to be replaced often. Here they are: Scratched nonstick pans Throw out any scratched non stick pans. In fact, I say throw out all your non-stick pans and replace them with cast iron. Why? Because the coating can come off of non-stick pans when you're cooking, causing chemicals to leak into your food. Toothbrush According to The American Dental Association, you should get a new toothbrush every three to … [Read more...]

17 Reasons why you want to work with a Realtor versus a real estate agent

Keep calm I'm Your Realtor illustration

People ask me all the time: “What is a Realtor versus a real estate agent?” I find that people frequently use the terms interchangeably, but there are major differences between the two. Although both are licensed to sell real estate, the major difference lies in the license itself. A Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and must subscribe to the Realtor® Code of Ethics. But what does this mean to a homebuyer or home seller? Established in 1913, the Code of Ethics contains 17 Articles that guide Realtors®, members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, in their daily professional lives. I am a Realtor®. As such, … [Read more...]

Seven Stones Wine Allocation – Well Worth Waiting For!

seven stones winery

By a stroke of good fortune or perhaps karma, I landed in Napa Valley in 2001 after being an annual visitor for nearly two decades. Since then I have enjoyed the privilege of representing buyers and sellers of luxury Napa Valley estates, vineyards and wineries. On a regular basis, I am awed by yet another spectacular spectacle in a location that I never even knew existed. I often comment that to get just a glimpse of the many hidden treasures in our hillsides, most people have to buy a book on Napa Valley wineries, gardens or architecture. One hidden treasure that I am madly, passionately fond of is Seven Stones Winery and, fortunately, … [Read more...]

Does your home need Feng Shui?

feng shui illustration

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese technique that was developed to harness the art of equilibrium and stability, bringing good luck to dwellers.  Believers are of the view that all land and objects are alive and filled with an energy called 'Chi'.  Feng Shui is about balancing these Chi energies to promote spirituality and inner peace among people in their everyday lives so that they can find inner peace and good fortune. A good feng shui house is one that attracts good energy, nourishes inhabitants and channels good energy throughout the whole house. From creating good quality air to getting rid of the clutter in your environment, if you … [Read more...]

Innovative Home Renovation Ideas

Stainless Steel Slide for Stairs

I just read this article in the daily newsletter, PopSugar called “9 Dream Home Renovation Ideas You'll Want to Pin,” and just had to share it with you. After scouring Pinterest, the editors rounded up some amazing design ideas that radiate with originality. Here are my favorites: Stainless Steel Slide for Stairs Turett Architect, a boutique architecture and interior design firm in New York, recognized for creating exquisite urban residences, came up with this stainless steel slide for stairs when turning a two-story East Village duplex penthouse into a perfect place for both work and play. The newly constructed … [Read more...]

2014 Napa County Crop Report Is In – Grape Prices are on the Rise!

crop report image

As Napa vines spring to life ahead of schedule this year, the annual Napa County crop report shows that last year, local vintners and growers set a valuation record. The preliminary report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture shows that Napa County’s 2014 grape crop earned growers $706 million, which is an all-time record high. This is welcome news for growers with contracts that adjust annually depending on the previous year's Napa Valley average sale price. Overall, the report shows that although our statewide tonnage was down, prices were up in 2014, a trend mirrored here in Napa County. The valley’s most recent … [Read more...]