Thursday, June 30, 2016

Park Plaza Homes Livermore CA

Roy N. Jensen built a lot of homes in Livermore in the late sixties. There is even a street named after Mr. Jensen right off East Avenue just East of Livermore High School. Everybody knows the name Jensen in Livermore.  His office was located on East Avenue  and on Tuesday, October 10, 1967, He filed his corporate status with the sate of CA as Roy N. Jensen Homes, Inc. Albeit that his name and subdivisions were and still are well-known. There was a  not so well-known subdivision project Jensen was fond of called Park Plaza Homes.

The Park Plaza Homes ended up being a relatively small build out of about 12 homes on Hazel Street and Terry just off Charlotte Way. Why so small? At the time of writing, I am currently not sure, but the Park Plaza plans were anything but small.  The Park Plaza Elementary School, the Park Plaza Park and the Park Plaza Shopping Center were all part of the building plan within a significant size lot just west of Livermore Lab. The Park Plaza Homes parcel of land was just east to what was then called Sandia Corporataion and Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. Jensen was actually supposed to live in one of the homes in Park Plaza Homes on Hazel Street.

When my wife and family sold our Fremont Townhouse and moved to Livermore in June of 2014, we bought one of the Park Plaza Homes by Jensen. At he time, I only knew that it was way different than the other homes around. I knew it was a custom build, and I also knew I wanted to live in it. So, we bought it, and I am so glad we did.

I now live and work in this neighborhood, and one of my neighbors has hired me to sell their Livermore home in Jensen's Park Plaza. I have an affinity for original brochures of homes built some time ago.  I like mid century stuff.  My clients actually have the original brochure for the Park Plaza Homes by Jensen. I took some digital images and thought I would share them with you.

These single story ranch Park Plaza Homes are fortified with 2 x 6 and 2 x 8 rafters throughout, 1 1/8 inch thick subfloors, girder and beam supports and more. They were and still are tanks. 

You do not need a Jensen home to be happy in Livermore. Just come to Livermore like I did. Visit and let me know if there is anything I can do to help with that. I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reunited After 16 Years :)

Alameda County Tax records shows that  a client of mine from 1999 sold her Fremont Niles home in 2004 without me as her real estate agent.  I was the real estate agent who helped her buy the Niles Canyon home back in 1999, but we had lost contact after a few missed tries to stay in touch. When I saw that she sold her Niles home in Fremont, I felt bad. Turns out, the tax records are incorrect.

Recently, I received a text to voice line from a Zillow app. Something about selling her house. It was quite jumbled. After some quick digging, I realized it was my long lost client who now needed to sell her home in Niles Fremont.  She must have typed in Jeff Pereyda, real estate agent in google and "pow" there I was, now a real estate broker. She was so glad she found Jeff Pereyda, Real Estate Broker, rather effortlessly in fact.

So, after 15 years, she simply googled me. That says something nice about her. I also must have done something right in 1999.

Try this cool google aplet that searches for you. Maybe someone will use it to reconnect with you some day soon.

Google me

by Jeff Pereyda
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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Mistaken Identity

From a real estate agent's perspective, marketing a home for sale in Livermore involves getting creative. When I take a listing, one of the things that I do is walk through the neighborhood where the home for sale is located and talk with the neighbors to let them know about the home in Livermore that is for sale. As I walk up to the door, I have my Livermore home flyer as well as a large dog biscuit.  I ring the door bell, and, with proper porch etiquette, I place the marketing piece where it is easy for the homeowner to reach. During that brief stay at the porch, if I hear a dog bark, or if I know a dog lives there, I leave the nice looking treat there in addition to the information about the home for sale in Livermore. It gives the marketing piece more punch if it involves the pooch.

So, why the post? The other day, I was doing just that for a general marketing piece. I walked to a neighbor's porch, rang the door bell, and I heard the distinct "woof woof." I placed my marketing piece, got out my biscuit then placed it on the step. No human came to the door, so I was on my way to the next house when the door swung open and out came a middle aged woman looking about. I turned back to see her confused look as she picked up the large dog biscuit. As I made my way back the the front porch, it awkwardly became evident that there was no dog living there at all. Then, she brought her hand to her mouth and coughed--seemingly identical to a de-barked beagle. I came clean and told her the truth that I thought she was a dog. I laughed, she did not.  I told her in haste, "I thought I heard a bark from far away." That was the truth too, but not much better. I made amends, took my dog biscuit and went on my way. Next time, I'll be more careful.

by Jeff Pereyda
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Monday, November 16, 2015

Livermore Real Estate Agent Reviews

If I am buying a particular item on Amazon that I am not finding locally, I'll read the reviews associated with that item almost every single time, Reviews help me quite a bit, and I usually make my final decision on what to buy based on what reviews I have read. When it comes time to sell a Livermore home, or a home in any other city, Get real estate agent reviews.

Most homeowners take months, sometimes years to finally decide on whether or not to sell their Livermore home. When the time comes to choose their Livermore real estate agent, some do it in just one day, almost haphazardly. Some homeowners get lucky in choosing their Livermore real estate agent do not fare too well. Real estate agents are not all the same.  There is a REALTOR Code of Ethics, but it is only as good as those who follow it.

As a Livermore real estate agent,, I can say that getting agent reviews is a modern real estate agent's requirement. But, what if the potential client does not want to read through hundreds of letters or reviews written on the real estate agent's website. What if the homeowner is more of an audible learner. That's why, years ago, I developed ondemand real estate agent reviews that play on your computer without downloading anything. My on demand reviews play immeiately after you click the play arrow. One recent client told me that until they listened, yes "listened" to my past clients talking on his computer, he was still unsure who to trust, even after he read a lot of my reviews. He ended up chosing me. Here's what an on demand review looks like on my website.

Dennis...  "We interviewed other agents."
Listening to reviews is not new. We hear them quite often in fact.  For example, I wouldn't be the happy owner of my Roomba had it not been for a live review.  Twice people stopped me in two different stores when I was standing in front of their Roomba displays looking pensive. One fellow shopper simply said, "You should get it. I love mine," And, another told me "It really works!" I now have a Roomba, and I like it a lot.

If you thought about selling your Livermore home, I say Livermore, but I sell homes everywhere in the east bay, then perhaps consider listening to my real estate agent reviews on demand. These are real past clients that speak up about their experience after using me as their real estate professional. Having that information before you choose your Realtor and sell your house is like listening to a fellow golfer who had to make a similar shot as you on that very same putting green you happen to be on. You get to know how that ball rolled. Priceless.

by Jeff Pereyda
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Two Hooks to Get More Looks

If you had a checklist with room for just two items on it, there are the two things that should be on the list when it comes time to sell your Livermore home. One, make sure there are upgrades before you go on the real estate market. The second of the hooks that will get more looks is to use a professional real estate photographer to capture only the best pictures of your Livermore home for sale after it has been staged.  

The success of this marketing strategy crosses over into other markets. When you test drive a new car, most dealers will place you in the upgraded model, right? Bringing it back to real estate, new home builders want you to see the model home which has what? Right, upgrades. Selling a home in Livermore is no different. You will want to make sure you have moderate upgrades to your home. 

The minor kitchen upgrade recoup for San Jose was 131% in 2015. *Cost vs. Value Report 2015. Recoup from an upgrade is reinforced because, you yourself can get the remodel done for fractions of what the new home buyer has in their mind, further assuring the recoup margin.  Here is a quick example. A home buyer walks into a Livermore home for sale and sees old windows that are leaking and almost falling out. They turn to me, a Livermore real estate broker and agent and ask, how much will it cost to redo all the windows? When I tell them the actual cost, most of the time, the home buyer over estimates, and they place a value that agrees with the Cost vs. Value Report because the job is already done and they do not have to do it. Simple, yet true.

The second thing to remember when selling a home in Livermore is to use a professional photographer to capture only the best pictures of your home for sale. Millions go into new car marketing material.  Wouldn't you agree. Those commercial photographers are some of the best in the business, and their images are stunning. New home builders are not any different. Their homes for sale are upgraded and staged to the hilt, then they professionally photographed. Your house for sale should be no different. So, if you are thinking of selling your Livermore home, put those two things on the top of the list, but call me before you do, so I can tell you where to focus your efforts. 

There are exceptions to the rule, like when timing is much more important than price, but generally speaking, you will want to have upgraded before you sell your home in Livermore or anywhere else.

*Cost vs. Value report is free after registering at remodeling dot hw dot net.

by Jeff Pereyda
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

2014 Livermore Christmas Parade in Livermore CA

I attended the 2014 Livermore Christmas Parade in Livermore CA. It was Saturday, December 6th from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Parade goers lined the curbs and sidewalks of First Street as many unfolded their own chairs and waited to watch local participants, mostly Livermore and Pleasanton organizations, parade their own floats downtown on First Street. One of the earlier local entries, Livermore Sanitation, donned one of their new, huge trucks with Christmas lights. Right in front if it, wheeled a very cute, miniature Livermore Sanitation garbage truck complete with its fully operational fork lift. It must have been a remote controlled community promo vehicle of some kind. My son and his sidekick, much more interested in the Livermore parade at this point, edged their way closer to the action and anticipated what would come next. LPFD Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department did not disappoint. Not only did they show off the big red truck shortly after, (always a kid pleaser) but another one of the Livermore Pleasanton Fire Department's engines, with the rear steering cab, was later used to introduce Old Saint Nick at the end of the Parade, a Christmas Day Parade tradition. While eating some local food, as many shops were glad to stay open to accommodate, I enjoyed the rest of the Livermore Parade and Christmas Tree lighting. I would have liked to see a Jeff Pereyda-Coldwell Banker-real estate agent float in the Livermore Christmas Parade. I am currently in the top 10 in my office, but this was other's and Santa's big scene.

Skipping to the end of the event, Santa came through and was proudly waving to the crowd young and old from the back of the big Livermore Pleasanton fire engine. Local news stations had their cameras ready to capture the local visit and Santa's initiation of lighting the Livermore Christmas tree. But not to be out done, parade goers also lit up the night skyscape. Dotted with glowing handheld device screens held as high as arms could reach, the crowd itself was decorated while all electronic eyes were focused on the big man, and capturing memories.  All in all, a great turnout to a Livermore tradition. Until next year.

by Jeff Pereyda
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Which Variety of Fremont Avocados Do You Have?

I was raised having the privilege of enjoying an abundance of some of the most fragile, yet, hands down, the best home grown avocados ever at my parent's home in Sunnyvale CA. All that is gone now, and I have been searching for that rich tasting, thin-skinned avocado I grew up with ever since. However, the avocados I uncovered time and again during my search were never the variety we think is called the Zutano or Fuerte Avocado. Sadly, I was never sure of the variety because my parents weren't sure either. It seemed hopeless, and that those tasteful memories would never return. 

Both my parents, especially my dad being from Mexico, loved growing avocados, so it explains why we had two giant avocado trees.

Just recently, I had amazing upturn of events. My long search is now over. Spread the news--Huzzah! I have found it at last.

So how did I come to find the Fremont avocado? Let me share. I drive through Glenmoor in Fremont almost daily as a regular during school days because my kids attend Glenmoor in Fremont, and because my wife teaches there. Moreover, as a Fremont real estate agent,  I always look at homes selling in Fremont--Glenmoor (Centerville), Irvington, and other popular Fremont real estate areas as I drive to and from my Fremont real estate agent office at Coldwell Banker, while passing through Glenmoor, I noticed an avocado tree owner carefully pruning and even covering his tree at different times of the year. A noble avocado grower because Fremont does get some frost. A couple of years went by. I watched him grow the Fremont avocado tree, then suddenly, out of the blue, he was chopping the tree down with no sign of turning back--cutting it right down to the stump. With my mouth agape, I turned to my son in the car and said, "We have to get to the bottom of this." I turned the car around and rolled to a stop next to the gruesome scene. As I approached the avocado grower, I noticed what appeared to be a single fallen fruit on the well manicured lawn. He was a nice man, but why he had cut the Fremont avocado tree down did not make sense to me.

After a few pleasantries and pointed questions from my part, he began to tell the story. He did not know the name of the variety either.  He felt that the avocados started roots in the fruit while they were still on the tree and that the sprouting made it non palatable for him. That sounded familiar. And, top that off with hard work Fremont avocado trees need from everyone who owns one, and you get a frustrated avocado grower. If only I had known what was going on in his mind a few months ago and if I knew this in fact was the correct variety, I would have easily negotiated removal of the tree and paid a tree removal service to replant and grow the avocado tree at my Fremont house. Or, at least share tips and tricks for enjoying this temperamental variety and explain how to get it just right.

I lowered my head to see if I could glean something from the wreckage. There it was, an abused, omitted avocado, unencouraged and lying there. It looked beyond saving. It was evident that even the birds had a go at it and left it for not. I told my son to take it and handle it carefully, not knowing this was the prized fruit of my youth. But, just in case, I wanted to save it from the all to certain destination of the green, Fremont waste garbage bin. My son clutched it carefully with his small but certain hands and we both headed home in the car. I began telling the stories of the best avocados ever to my singular captive audience all they way home.

Perhaps a week went by as  a few oranges and garlic bulbs in a big blue bowl willingly squeezed aside to make room for the bruised and battered avocado welcoming it to a new home. Over time, nature had its way and the hardness of the green citrus eased up and lent itself to becoming softer. Even the skin changed its look from having shiny and stretched looking pock marks changing ever so slightly into wrinkled and almost dry in appearance. I often caught myself engaging in long stares onto its skin while carefully clutching the slowly changing green orb. That last noticeable change was all too familiar. I performed the thumb test. It was ready to eat. Words, at least mine, cannot convey the delight I felt. Even though I second guessed myself a few times, my wife was right there to concur that this was in fact the right variety of avocado we all coveted. Call it what you will, but we will name the variety as one Zutano/Fuerte. I almost started story telling to my long-suffering wife who has heard over and over, "I miss mom and dad's avocados... Remember the time when I had to climb the tree..."

It takes years for a young avocado tree to bear fruit. Heaven knows I have tried--only to discover that it was the wrong variety of avocado. As the bearer of the fine fruit must almost always wait for the avocado to become ready to eat, patience is what all avocado lovers must endure. There is nothing really fast about an avocado tree accept during its mature stages. Then you soon realize that they never stop growing, and their speed of growth increases significantly.

But alas, my parent's prize avocado trees and now the nurtured Fremont Glenmoor tree were gone, never to blossom again. I may have found the fruit, but my hope of ever learning the right variety were dashed. Or, wait a minute... Perhaps not. I now have one undeniable seed of hope, the seed itself.

Wish me luck!

by Jeff Pereyda
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