1635976943342574 UA-72458003-1 google-site-verification=bpkXPmzUUBtm0pA_hz68HRCFRNqdIA9eF18eNT7U93w Why Fodor's Travel Says The 'Best Traces of Hip-Hop Culture Are Found Everywhere in Oakland' https://youtu.be/aTsDXAtfXdI

Six Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior Just in Time for Fall

Ways to Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior

When you want to make your home look great, it’s time to focus on curb appeal. With a variety of ways, you can update the look of your home on a modest or limited budget. Whether you are selling your home and want to make it more attractive to buyers, or you simply want to improve the look of your property, focus on curb appeal. With the right doors, lighting, and shrubbery, learn how you can change the look of your home with the right improvements.

1. Change the Front Door

A new front door is going to give your home a fresh look and improve your overall curb appeal. Take the time to research the style of front door that will work best for your home and find a front door that will work for you.

2. Replace Old Windows

Old, tired looking windows can make your home look disheveled. When you want to improve your curb appeal, invest in new windows for your entryway and the front of your home. In addition, you will make your home more energy efficient once new windows are installed.

3. Renew Your Lighting Scheme

Good lighting makes a big difference in the curb appeal of your home. Look at your home at night with the current lighting turned on. If your entryway doesn’t have a clear, lit path up to your front door, it’s time to make changes to your lighting scheme. Replace porch lighting or any other old lighting fixtures to make your home brighter at night.

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4. Invest in New Garage Doors

Your garage doors make a bigger overall impact on the look of your home than you may realize. If you have faded garage doors that are difficult to open, your home may appear run down or dated. Keeping your garage doors up to date tells potential home buyers you take care of your home.

5. Install New House Numbers and a Mailbox

Make your home your own by installing new house numbers and a new mailbox on your home. These are two small changes that will give your home a polished look. Check out some of the new LED lit house numbers so that you can see the number of your house, even in the dark. Small accessories will provide the finished look you want when you are focused on the curb appeal of your home.

6. Focus on Landscaping

The final way to make the front of your home look great is to focus on the landscaping. Pull out any tired or weak looking shrubbery and invest in new plantings. Get any trees that are diseased or out of shape pruned appropriately. Focus on perennial gardens to give the front of your home some color during the warm weather months. Keep the front of your home neat and trimmed to boost the curb appeal of your house.

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Your home’s exterior appearance is the first thing people notice. There’s nothing better than a great first impression! What’s the first thing a potential homebuyer will notice about your house? The great view from the master bedroom? Your beautiful kitchen? If your house’s front exterior is lacking appropriate “curb appeal” it’s unlikely that buyers will even make it through the front door.
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Posted on September 15, 2019 at 9:49 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House

SMARTmoves Newsletter | SEPT 2019 | VOL 3 | ISSUE 9

SMARTmoves Newsletter | SEPT 2019 | VOL 3 | ISSUE 9

+ Ten Tools Every New Homeowner Needs
+ Homeowner Tip: Check Gutters & Downspouts
+ The Basic and Beautiful Bulb
+ Greet Autumn with Grilled Creamed Corn


🏠 Visit: www.carlosfcamargo.net | Call: 510.798.5016
#bayarea #BHGReliancePartners #contracostacounty #alamedacounty #reliancepartnersbhgre #RealEstateLifeStyle #RealEstateTips #successtips #home #HomeDecor #HomeDesign
Posted on September 1, 2019 at 8:23 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Newsletter-CFC, Real Estate Market Update



Does your kitchen make you feel like you’re stepping into a time warp? Are you sick of the way it looks and the way it makes you feel? Are you avoiding your decades-old kitchen and opting to eat out more?

It’s time to make some changes. Here are seven easy ways to update the look of your kitchen so you’ll enjoy spending time cooking and eating—even if you are on a budget!


1. Let There Be Light

A welcoming kitchen is a light and bright kitchen. No one wants to prepare food, cook, or eat in a cave. So let the sunshine in!

Remove heavy or dark window treatments and go with light, white and bright colors. Or consider “naked” kitchen windows.

Add more light with inexpensive under-counter strips and led lighting on open shelves to help brighten your workspace. Easy-to-install plug-in pendant lights or track lighting are budget-friendly options for illuminating cabinets and countertops.

If you have an overhead light fixture or recessed can lighting, ramp up the wattage of bulbs, because “soft lighting” doesn’t cut it in the kitchen.


2. Clear the Clutter

Few things make a kitchen look as dated as crowded countertops and random clutter. Open surfaces will give your kitchen a user-friendly and inviting appearance.

If a plethora of small appliances is creating clutter, determine which ones you use daily and put the rest away, to be pulled out only when needed.

Eliminate any kitchen utensils you haven’t used in the last six months, either tossing or storing them.

To prevent your everyday utensils from using up valuable counter space, install a hanging bar or wall-mounted canisters. Magnetic strips, used alone or built into wall-mounted utensil racks, will help keep your favorite knives in easy reach.

Find other ways to use vertical space to help keep surfaces clear. For example, cookbooks stored on countertops should be moved to a cabinet or on a wall shelf.


3. Clean

Clearing out kitchen clutter will also make it easier to clean! Kitchens are notorious for accumulating a dingy layer of grease and smoke on the walls, cabinets, and ceilings, which makes everything appear duller.

Start with your windows. Kitchen windows get dirty faster than windows in any other room. Plus, clean windows will bring more sunlight into your kitchen.

Scrub and polish any pans that are on display—along with any other metal surfaces—to take advantage of metal’s light-reflecting properties.

If you have gas or electric burners with worn or stained drip pans, replace them. Make your cooktop sparkle!

Cleaning under appliances and refrigerator coils will make your kitchen look and smell better, while also helping your appliances last longer, saving significant money in the long term!


4. Paint

Paint is the fastest way to give a kitchen a facelift! It’s also an easy DIY, budget-conscious way to make a major, visible change in a short amount of time.

Lighter cabinet colors reflect more light, keep your kitchen looking modern, and offer a clean, fresh background for kitchen activities.

If you have wood cabinets and want to lighten them without paint, consider refinishing with a light stain or a pickled effect.

If you think white-on-white styles are boring, consider going white, but adding a small punch of color or texture for a wow-inducing effect.  


5. Adding That Pop of Color

Accent color effects can be achieved with paint, tile, or other textured materials.

For example, your sleek white cabinets may look great with a backsplash using colored tile, metal, wood, glass, or stone for a custom and decidedly modern twist to a lighter kitchen.

Or, you may prefer breaking up all-white cabinets by using a darker color on an island or a peninsula of lower cabinets. Another option is to paint one wall for a more intense pop of color.

For a cohesive, polished effect, carry your accent color across the room in a couple of other places—perhaps a rug, or pendant lighting, or a large framed print.


6. Update Your Hardware

Old cabinet pulls and hinges can make an entire kitchen look tired and dated.

Most older kitchens will benefit from updated hardware. However, it’s especially important to replace knobs, pulls, and hinges if you’re going to the trouble of refinishing or painting your cabinets.

Go with a modern hardware style or fill the holes and install “push-to-open” hardware that will provide sleek, unbroken lines while eliminating the need for pulls and knobs!


7. Modernize Your Upper Cabinets and Pantry Door

In addition to painting and refinishing, there are other ways to update the appearance of upper cabinets.

For example, consider removing some doors and painting the cabinet interiors to match the wall for a built-in open style that “disappears” into the wall while showcasing the items stored on the shelves.

Or, replace as few as two cabinet doors with clear or frosted glass. Add LED strips to create dramatic backlighting

Consider replacing a standard, hinged pantry door with a modern, sliding door made of frosted glass or a wooden barn-door style.


When you have more time than money, a kitchen facelift is still well within your reach. It just requires a little cash and lots of creative ideas!

Posted on July 25, 2019 at 10:26 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House

Five DIY Projects to Tackle this Memorial Day Weekend

The long Memorial Day weekend is often considered the unofficial start to summer, but it’s also known as one of the biggest home improvement weekends of the year.

Not only do you have an extra day off from work to devote to a significant home improvement projects, many big box hardware stores hold some of their biggest sales of the year over the Memorial Day weekend.

Check out these five affordable, do-it-yourself projects that will add value to your home, and, better still, can be completed over the long weekend:


  1. Paint: A quick coat of paint, whether interior or exterior, is one of the easiest ways to spruce up your home with a big return on investment. If you’re looking to sell your home, consider selecting neutral shades. Depending on the size of the space and how much prep work is needed, painting can take as little as one to two days. Be sure to budget about $50 on average per 12-foot by 12-foot room for paint and supplies.

  2. Revive an old deck: A fresh deck not only beautifies your home but also sets the stage for a world of outdoor activities. Wood decks require regular waterproofing to keep them preserved—and, best of all, it’s a relatively low-cost project that will give your home a major facelift. No deck yet? There are many excellent and affordable options for building one from scratch—or consider alternative patio solutions, such as pavers. 
  3. Refresh interior doors: Several things can quickly reveal your home’s age, such as once-trendy finishes, out-of-date carpet and old appliances.. But one often overlooked tell-tale sign of your home’s age are the interior doors. Consider swapping out plain-looking flat-slab doors for more decorative, Colonial style six-panel doors or one of the many other styles available. Updating the trim around the door casing will add a fresh sense of style as well. A full door with casing can cost $90 to $250 a piece. Be sure to measure before you buy—many entries are not made to standard sizing.
  4. Replace light fixtures: Why throw money away with your electric company when there are so many exceptional low-wattage lighting options. While you’re at it, consider how and why you’re lighting your rooms. Perhaps a corner accent light is all you need in your living room? Or maybe you’d like to replace those bright strip lights in the guest bathroom. Whatever your decision, be sure to consult an electrician before diving too far into any electrical projects. 

  5. Install Drip Irrigation: Save water by replacing your old, outdated sprinkler system with drip irrigation. Not only will you be save money, you’ll improve the look and feel of your yard. While you’re at it, remove any dead or less-than-attractive plants. And, if you’re in hotter climates, consider replacing water-thirsty sod with water-efficient landscaping. You’ll improve your curb appeal and save significant money in water and maintenance!
Posted on May 24, 2019 at 4:56 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance



Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!

  1. Create a morning schedule. Physically write down the things you’d like to complete in the morning and set a time for each. Then stick with it. Once you force yourself out of bed early one or two weeks consistently, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to do. 
  2. Let the light in. Whether natural or artificial, light tells your brain its time to get up and get going. If your room lacks large windows where you can open the blinds up, consider investing in a timed lamp or alarm clock with a light. 
  3. Prep and eat breakfast. Although there are many of us who chose the skip breakfast, it is key to perking up your energy in the morning. Try prepping protein-focused meals the night before or grab a yogurt or fruit and try to consume it right after you wake. 
  4. Get your body moving. Whether it’s a short walk around your neighborhood or a rigorous 5:30 am spin class, getting your blood pumping will help wake up your body and has a ton of other benefits, like stress and anxiety reduction. 
  5. Feed your mind. Stimulate your brain and do something you enjoy first thing in the morning. Try reading a favorite book, catching up on the news, doing daily meditation, or setting intentions. 
Posted on May 22, 2019 at 11:22 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance

To Turf or Not to Turf

May 2019


Brought to you by Carlos F. Camargo, Ph.D.

To Turf or Not to Turf
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Installing TurfYard care is a big consideration for homeowners. Real grass is high maintenance, a water hog, and expensive to replace. Artificial grass may be a good alternative for some households. Here are some of the pros and cons of turf:

Pro: No maintenance.
Artificial grass does not require mowing, edging, seeding, or watering. Once you lay it down, you’re done.

Con: Initial expense.
Turf prices range from $8–14 per square foot. You can find some sales and deals, but keep in mind that you get what you pay for. The upside is you won’t need to replace or re-seed it.

Pro: Long-term durability.
“The life expectancy of artificial turf can be upwards of 25 years,” says Gardenista, “making it a less costly alternative to real turf over its life span.”

Con: It might be against the rules.
If you live in a community with a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), be sure to get permission first. Turf is becoming more common, which is convincing more HOAs to approve its use, but check first. You don’t want to make a big investment in turf only to be told you have to rip it out and replace it with grass.

Pro: It’s eco-friendly.
The water savings element is huge if you’re looking to live a little greener. Some manufacturers even use recycled materials, such as old tires or plastic bottles.

Con: It’s not biodegradable.
Artificial grass will end up in a landfill some day.

Pro: It’s pet-friendly.
“The good news is that pet waste won’t negatively impact your artificial grass, and turf is easy to clean,” says Purchase Green. There are also specific types of turf that are designed for animals.

Con: It’s hot.
“Real grass has a cooling effect when the air temperature is high. Artificial grass lacks this cooling quality,” says SFGATE. “The grass itself may become hotter than the air and can make the surrounding air feel hotter.”

Pro: It looks great all year round
If you live in an area where the lawn is dormant in the winter, it will be a nice change to see your lush, green (faux) lawn, even in negative temps.

My Loan Was Sold. What Gives?
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You’ve just moved in to your new home. You’ve unpacked, and you’re starting to settle in when you receive a letter informing you that your mortgage has been sold and is being serviced by a new institution. Is this allowed? Have the terms of your mortgage changed? Why would your lender sell your mortgage?

Mortgage Bricks

Among the many documents you signed when you first applied for a loan was a Mortgage Servicing Disclosure. This document tells you what percentage of the lender’s loans are sold. More often than not, the majority of loans approved and funded by a particular mortgage company will be sold to someone else. It’s important to note that just because your mortgage has been sold, this does not change the terms of your loan. Your loan payment and interest rate will not, and cannot, be impacted. 

You’re probably wondering, “Why go through all the effort of originating, approving, and funding a loan just to forgo all the interest that new loan provides?” The answer is surprisingly simple. If not for selling the loan, the lender would soon run out of money to lend.

Mortgage companies today work with a line of credit. It’s not as if the mortgage company approves a loan then opens up a vault full of money to fund your mortgage. When it’s time to fund your loan, the lender taps into the line of credit for the necessary amount. In order to replenish this line of credit, the lender sells the loan to a third party. Once the loan is sold, the lender now has more funds to make more loans. Who is the loan sold to? Many times it’s sold to other mortgage companies, but ultimately the loan is sold either to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

The marketplace for all this loan buying and selling is called the secondary market for mortgages. This secondary market is robust and active and keeps the mortgage market liquid. Without a secondary market, there would be fewer loans issued and still fewer choices. When your loan is sold it’s not because your original lender doesn’t appreciate your business, it’s so they can continue to service other home buyers and make more loans.

QUESTIONS? VISIT  www.carlosfcamargo.net

Posted on May 20, 2019 at 11:38 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Newsletter-CFC, Real Estate Market Update


So you are planning your upcoming spring cleaning blitz? Great! How hard could it be?

You head to the store to purchase a few cleaning supplies, but quickly become overwhelmed.

How many products could there possibly be? A bunch! Many of them rely on perfumes and harsh chemicals to clean and cover odors. Some are “green,” some are “all natural,” some say they are safe for babies, some emphasize the ingredients they do NOT contain.

On the other hand, the internet (and Pinterest, in particular) is overflowing with DIY cleaning supplies and recipes. Some work, some don’t. And some mixtures can be dangerous or deadly!

Cleaning shouldn’t be so complicated. Here are a few basic supplies and recipes to keep on hand, using natural ingredients that work!

First, when making your own cleaning products, here are a few general need-to-knows:

  1. Home cleaning recipes rely on components that are either acids or bases. When combined, acids and bases cancel each other out. Pick one or the other, but don’t mix them.
  2. Mixing bleach with vinegar or ammonia creates highly toxic chlorine gases.
  3. Mixing bleach with hydrogen peroxide can cause an explosion!
  4. Borax is an excellent cleaner, but it’s also toxic. Keep it away from children, pets, and absent-minded adults.
  5. Any acid can etch the surface of any kind of stone (marble, granite, etc.).

Common Components

If you want to start making your own cleaning products, stock up on these basic supplies:

Weak Acids

White vinegar (acetic acid) – If you can handle the smell (which won’t last too long), this is a great all-purpose cleaner! Do not, however, use apple cider vinegar for cleaning purposes.

Lemon juice (citric acid) – If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, substitute lemon juice.

Alkaline Bases

Baking soda – More often used in kitchen recipes, baking soda is a relatively safe and gentle alkaline base.

Borax – Remember, this is a toxic substance.

Bleach – Does not play well with others. Mix it with nothing other than water to avoid toxic gasses and explosions.


How To Use Them

Dealing with Limescale

If you live in a hard-water area, you’re all too familiar with the white, alkaline crust that forms on anything exposed to hot water. Here are a few natural ways to eliminate limescale.


  • Coffee makers. Mix 3 cups water and 1 cup white vinegar. Run this through your coffee maker, followed by a cycle of clean water. You may have to repeat these cycles a few times. Don’t leave vinegar-water sitting overnight in the water tank, as this might harm your device.


  • Faucets and knobs. Soak cloths or paper towels with white vinegar, wrap them around the affected areas, and leave them in place for an hour. Then, remove the cloths and wipe clean. If you prefer, use lemon juice instead of vinegar. Another option is to mix a baking soda cleaning paste (1 part water to 3 parts soda). Apply the paste to the faucets, let it sit for an hour, then wipe clean.


  • Toilets. Pour at least a cup of white vinegar into the bowl and let it soak for an hour. Spray vinegar-water under the rim too. (Equal parts vinegar and water.) Once the time is up, scrub with a toilet brush. Do not leave this mixture sit overnight, since any acid, including a mild one like vinegar, can etch porcelain. Note that you can prevent limescale buildup by spraying your toilet with vinegar-water every day or two. Vinegar is safe for septic systems too.


  • Showerhead. To remove limescale from shower heads, pour white vinegar into a food storage bag and attach the bag to the showerhead with a rubber band. Let the showerhead soak for an hour. Rinse and scrub with a brush. Repeat if necessary.


Freshen a Stinky Dishwasher

  • Remove any food debris from the trap.
  • Pour a cup of white vinegar inside the tub and run it through a hot water cycle.
  • If the door seals have mold or dirt, scrub them with a paste of borax and water using an old toothbrush to get down into the crevices. Rinse and wipe clean with a soft cloth.


De-Stink Your Washing Machine

  • Using a vinegar-water solution, spray and wipe everything down.
  • Clean the seals with soap and water and an old toothbrush or use a borax-water paste if you discover discoloration, mold, or mildew.
  • Remove dispensers and wash them with soap and water or run them through your dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar.
  • If you have an older top-loading machine, you’ll want to clean its lint trap. (Check your owner’s manual if you aren’t sure how to find it.)
  • Add 2-3 cups of white vinegar to the drum and run it (with no clothes and no soap) on a hot water cycle.
  • Prevent the stink by leaving the door open when not in use. This is especially important on front-loading machines with water-tight seals.


Remove Hard Water from Glass Shower Doors

  • Spray vinegar or lemon juice on the glass, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub thoroughly. If the stain is stubborn, you can use eraser-type sponges to help get the glass clean. Remember: Don’t let any acid sit on glass surfaces for more than a few minutes and be sure to rinse thoroughly!
  • Don’t be tempted to use abrasive powders on your glass. Initially, it may look great. However, you’re also creating small scratches that give future stains a foothold, making it harder and harder to clean.
  • Preventing water stains is the best option. Use a squeegee or a microfiber cloth to dry the glass (and the tile) and reduce the hard work of removing spots later.

Mold on Grout

You can use any of the methods below, but DO NOT combine them. These products should not be used together.


  • White grout and bleach. Full strength bleach is an effective cleaner on moldy grout that isn’t colored. Keep the room well ventilated and use gloves, a mask, and eye protection. Use a stiff bristle brush to apply the bleach and scrub the grout. Work in small sections and take breaks, leaving the bathroom. After scrubbing, let it sit for 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly.


  • Colored grout and white vinegar. Spray full strength vinegar on the grout, let it sit for 30 minutes, then gently scrub with a bristle brush. Re-spray the grout, let it sit another 30 minutes, then rinse well with warm water. Repeat, if necessary.


  • Any color grout and baking soda. A baking soda paste, using just enough water to make it spreadable, will help lift mold and mildew. Spread the paste on your grout, wait 10-15 minutes, then scrub the mold/mildew with a brush. Rinse with warm water and repeat, if needed.
Posted on April 4, 2019 at 10:21 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House


Brought to you by Carlos F. Camargo, Ph.D., REALTOR #01988431 @ BHGRE Reliance Partners


+ Patios to Pergolas: Give Your Backyard a Facelift
+ Homeowner Tip: Deep Clean Your Kitchen
+ Tankless vs. Traditional: Which One is Better?
+ Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Mini Toasts

Patios to Pergolas: Give Your Backyard a Facelift 

From patios to pergolas, you can transform your outdoor space into a charming oasis. Get ready to spend time outside with family with our favorite outdoor design ideas.

Outdoor Great Room – An arched pergola with bistro lights creates the perfect area for entertaining on warm summer nights. Pergolas have a flexible design, allowing you to truly customize it and bring your imagination to life.

Patio-Pergola Pleasure – This patio-pergola duo beautifully accents the home by staying consistent with the color scheme of the home’s exterior. The relaxing seating area right outside the back door is perfect for enjoying morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Breezy Outdoor Dining – Design a beautiful outdoor dining area by expanding your home’s living space. Covered patios protect you from the sun, rain, and prevent leaves and debris from falling on your furniture. Perfect for hosting summer gatherings for family and friends, an outdoor haven lets you enjoy the warm weather and stay outdoors longer.

Cozy Refuge – There’s nothing like putting your feet up at the end of a long day and unwinding next to a cozy outdoor fireplace. Convert a desolate patio into an elegantly decorated space you’ll want to inhabit every day. We can’t think of a more perfect ending to a summer day than making s’mores with the family.

Laid-Back Oasis – Fancy a getaway but don’t have the time or resources? Create your own relaxing oasis in your backyard with a comfortable lounge chair in a charming pergola. This is the perfect hideaway for unplugging from the world and taking time for yourself. You deserve it.

No matter how large or small your backyard is, don’t be afraid to use your imagination and transform it into the retreat of your dreams.

Tankless vs. Traditional: Which One is Better? 

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your water heater or simply want to be well-informed when it comes time to replace it, we’ve got you covered.

Traditional – Traditional water heaters can hold anywhere between 20-80 gallons of water in a large tank and cost around $900. Most traditional water heaters are constantly heating water, making them less efficient with higher energy costs. And they’re big! Traditional tank heaters occupy a decent amount of square footage in garages or closets and usually last between 10-15 years.

Tankless – Tankless water heaters give you an endless supply of hot water whenever you need it. These heaters are the size of a carry-on suitcase and can be installed in any convenient place inside your home. While they don’t store heated water like traditional tanks, they heat your water only when you need it. Tankless water heaters cost more initially, but last twice as long (up to 20 years) and can save you up to 40% on your energy bills.

Although there are more advantages to owning a tankless water heater, it ultimately comes down to which type will best accommodate the needs of your household.

Homeowner Tip

Deep Clean Your Kitchen
Prepare to deep clean your kitchen! Clean out the garbage disposal, remove wall and backsplash stains, scrub the floors, and disinfect your kitchen trash can. Organize your cabinets and drawers and throw out all expired food. Regular maintenance = less work later!

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Mini Toasts

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 baguette, sliced
2 c. shredded white Cheddar

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add Brussels sprouts, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Arrange baguette slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and top each with cheddar and Brussels sprout mixture.

3. Bake until cheese is melty, about 5 minutes.

Photo & recipe courtesy of delish.com

April Calendar
4/1 – April Fools Day
4/21 – Easter
4/22 – Earth Day



WHY I SHOULD BE YOUR LISTING AGENT? www.carlosfcamargo.net

When you have made the decision to sell your home an experienced Real Estate professional can save you both time and money. When listing your house for sale, your top goal will be to get the home sold for the best price possible! There are many small projects that you can do to ensure this happens!

I can help you:

– Navigate the whole ordeal with a smile & sense of humor
– Choose the right time to list your house or condo
– Determine the value and set the price of your home
– Prepare a marketing plan
– Increase curb appeal and make your home more marketable
– Arrange showings of your property
– Explain and negotiate Offers

When you are ready to sell, contact me and we can begin the process. 510-798-5016

LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL A HOME? www.carlosfcamargo.net

Posted on April 3, 2019 at 3:50 AM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Newsletter-CFC

The worst thing any homeowner can do before selling their property is to just list the house on the market.

The worst thing any homeowner can do before selling their property is to just list the house on the market.  Real estate agents won’t even list homes that haven’t gone through MRH: maintenance, renovations, and home staging. You’ll be in a much better position to sell your home for what it’s worth after going through MRH.

MRH: Maintenance, Renovations, and Home Staging

MRH starts with maintenance. Nothing matters unless your house is up to code. You’re just wasting money renovating and home staging if you haven’t taken care of the 4 most important maintenance aspects:

  • HVAC Air Condition and Heating Systems
  • Roof
  • Plumbing
  • Foundation

All four must be in top shape before you can move on to renovations. Don’t skip on maintenance. It’s not worth it. Soon, you’ll understand why.

After maintenance, it’s time for renovations. The big thing about renovations is that they aren’t cheap, and they take time.

  • Renovation costs – Ensure that you over budget for renovations. You want some breathing room because the renovations you need are likely much greater than the renovations you want.
  • Time costs – Remember, the goal is to sell your home for the highest possible price. Take time doing the necessary renovations to reach that goal.

The final part of MRH is home staging. Expect to spend at least $2,000. You could spend from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on your home staging goals. Hiring a home staging expert might be worth it.

There you have it, MRH: maintenance, renovations, and home staging. The bottom line is that you want to ensure you sell your home for the highest possible price. Skipping any MRH step can lead to buyers passing purchasing all together. Some buyers take off double the cost of renovations.

Follow MRH and sell your home for what it’s worth!

Before selling a house:

Assessing your house’s condition

  1. The big four (we call them the big four because they cost the most money to fix) These must be fixed or the property may not qualify for a loan
      • HVAC- Air conditioning and heating systems
      • Foundation
      • Roof
      • Plumbing
  1. Make necessary cosmetic improvements – compare your house to other houses in the neighborhood
    • Have the other houses in your neighborhood upgraded?
    • Spaces to consider
      • Kitchens
      • Bathrooms
      • Master bathroom
      • Living room
  1. Prepare your house for the market
    • Once the house is mechanically sound and upgraded it must be completely cleaned and decluttered
    • Removing items stored in the garage and emptying closets and other rooms to make them appear larger


  • A home inspection can cost between $500 and $1000
  • The condition of the house directly affects the
    • Repairs and improvements
    • Money and time
  • If your house is not in good condition, expect to spend more money, time, and resources.
  • The National Association of Realtors suggest that buyers will automatically subtract double the cost of any repairs and unfinished issues.

Average costs for deferred home maintenance repairs

  • Electricity $500 – $3,509
    • Average cost of electric repairs go from $500 to $3,509 depending on the electrical project.
  • Heating & Cooling $750 – $15,552
    • Heating and cooling repairs cost from $750 to $15,552 depending on the project.
  • Plumbing $204 – $5,145
    • Plumbing repair services go from $204 to $5,145 depending on the services.
    • The average cost per hour of a plumber ranges from $45 – $150.
  • Water damage $1,043 – $30,852
    • Repairing water damage costs between $1,043 to $30,852, depending on the severity of the damage.
  • Gas $150 – $7,000
    • The average costs of repairing a gas leakage range from $150 to $7,000 depending on the type of repair.
  • Termites $500 – $2,500
    • The average costs of termite control go from $500 to $2,500 depending on the method of extermination (DIY up to chemical extermination).
  • Mold $500 – $60,000
    • On average, professional mold remediation and repair can cost from $500 – $60,000/; and depending on the severity of the mold, it can soar into tens of thousands.

Total average cost of deferred home maintenance repairs is $20,760


  • Newly renovated homes will receive a higher market price.
  • Renovation costs often run higher than what you might have originally budgeted.
  • Renovations are recommended for sellers who do not need to move out quickly, as these take time and money.

Average costs for renovations

  • Lighting fixture = $499
  • Door =  $860
  • Garage door = x $1,061
  • Interior paint =  $1,656
  • Exterior paint = $2,647
  • Windows = $4,745
  • Deck = $6,919
  • Bathroom = $11,365
  • Kitchen = $19,920
  • Master bedroom addition = $21,500
  • Living room = $23,042

Total average cost of renovating main living spaces of a home: $8,565

Home Staging

  • When you home stage, you prepare your house for the marketplace.
  • Home staging makes your house more appealing to potential buyers.
  • Staging won’t make your home sell for more.

When budgeting for home staging, budget 1% to 3% of your asking price for staging.

Costs for home staging can range from a couple hundred dollars up to $5,000 or more.

The average home seller spends an average of $1,800 on home staging.

Staging includes

  • Props
  • Rentals
  • Services (power washers, lawn care, deep cleaning)
  • Professional stagers

Staging services average $400 to $600 but this depends on the market and square footage.

Total average cost for basic DIY home staging: $1,800

Total average cost for fixing up your house before a sale can go up to: $21,153


  • All costs are averages and they may vary depending on location, sizes, and condition.
  • Your house may not need all the services and renovations mentioned here, this is a global average cost in case your whole house would need fixing.
Posted on March 14, 2019 at 3:18 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House

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Posted on January 21, 2019 at 7:33 PM
Carlos Camargo | Category: Home Care & Maintenance, Selling a House