Walnut Creek, CA Real Estate News

By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
Googling 'light bulb temperature'... states a 60 watt bulb can reach 260 degrees at the surface... a 100 watt bulb is in the neighborhood of 390 degrees. Closet light fixture clearances require all incandescent light bulbs be enclosed (glass globe) and that the light fixture be installed at least 12" from storage. It's common to find unprotected light bulbs in older bedroom closets. Today's construction will include fluorescent, CFL or LED light fixtures or ceiling recessed lights... these lights operate at much cooler temperatures. In this photo, the glass globe is missing... not good. Say you're running late in the morning and leave this closet light on... It's possible the clothing could start on fire... And you'd come home to ashes.
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By Monique Fountaine, Broker & Notary
(Century 21 M&M and Associates)
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By Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views
(Tucker Associates Real Estate Services)
The following numbers represent the current Foreclosure Sales inventory data as well as the current "Active" and "Sale Pending" data for Bank Owned (REO) properties in Walnut Creek, CA 94596,94597,94598 for the month of November 2011. There are 17 homes currently active/pending with a high price of $789,900 and a low price of $349,900. 35 attached homes are active/pending with high price of $625,000 and a low price of $96,000. One sale of a single family home was reported at $0 which skewed the list versus sold stats for this month. Keep in mind that the Sold Price Data versus the List Price Data does not reflect any price reductions which may have occurred. Please call for more detailed information about the current Foreclosure/REO market in Walnut Creek. PREVIEW CURRENT BANK OWNED HOM...
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
Double-wiring, also known as “double-lugging,” is a condition where there's two wires under one lug screw on a circuit breaker in an electrical panel. The photo shows there are three instances of double-lugging in this electrical panel. Double-tapping typically occurs when a non-professional is adding an additional electrical circuit... and a new circuit breaker wasn't purchased or there's no room in the electrical panel for another circuit breaker. Why is double wiring/lugging a problem? A little technical talk now... If a wire becomes loose, it can arc. As it arcs, there is a buildup of carbon. Carbon creates resistance making it more difficult for the wire conductor to make contact; thus increasing the electrical current flow... The end result can be the circuit breaker tripping beca...
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By Kathy Burke, S.F. East Bay Home Staging
(Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA)
EAST BAY Home Staging ~~  2011 Kitchens While the Dining Room is the "gathering place"....the Kitchen is the HEART OF THE HOME!  My East Bay home staging company customizes each staging to emphasize the Kitchen.....making it warm and inviting!  No two Kitchens are the same....no two stagings are ever the same! COUNTER DETAILS that IMPRESS BUYERS!!! COMING SOON......MASTER BEDROOM RETREATS!
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
At the top of a water heater, there are two pipe nipples (short lengths of pipe) for attaching both the cold water supply line and the outgoing hot water line. In California (and maybe in other states), the water lines are typically flexible copper pipe to meet earthquakes requirements. Not to get too technical, but the steel pipe nipples and the flexible copper pipe are dissimilar metals... If allowed to touch each other without an insulating material (neutral) between them... electrolysis occurs (corrosion caused by dissimilar metals touching each other). In the photo, flexible copper pipes were threaded onto steel pipe nipples. It is unknown whether Teflon tape or plumbers pipe thread compound was used between the copper pipe nipple and steel fitting... Or if a plastic insulator in t...
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
This is a temperature pressure relief valve (TPR valve) on a water heater.    A TPR valve is a safety valve.   If something goes wrong with the water heater (i.e., the water heater doesn't turn Off after reaching the set temperature)... the valve is designed to open when a certain internal tank temperature or pressure is reached... and the hot scalding water under pressure flows out a discharge pipe to the exterior per today's requirements.   In this photo, there's no installed discharge pipe and the TPR valve has been plugged... Defeating the purpose of a safety valve... Not good.   Water heaters can literally become bombs or unguided missles, if the pressure gets too high and these valves fail to work... go here to see what happens when a TPR valve is plugged.  These valves can also ...
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
You’ve seen them… those small chrome cylinders with open slots attached to your kitchen sink deck or counter top. Have you ever wondered what that silver thingy is? It’s called an air-gap device that’s installed between the dishwasher drain line and the garbage disposer. The purpose is to prevent contaminated water (water from the dishwasher contains food particles that'll host bacteria in the hose) from siphoning back into the dishwasher, if there’s blockage at the disposer. It’s a one-way path for water flow and a health safety device. Your dishes come out squeaky clean from the dishwasher, but some of the washed-off food particles accumulate in the corrugated drain hose where bacteria can grow. Water that leaves a dishwasher is considered dirty water Simply put, if water is dischargi...
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
  A partially disconnected duct was discovered in a very moist crawlspace under a 30 year old San Ramon, CA house. The non-professional installation was evidenced by the amount of grey duct tape used and the absence of support straps. Grey duct tape was never intended for heating and cooling ducts (see previous blog on duct tape). With heated air flowing through the ducts, the adhesive on grey duct tape softens and loses its 'grip' on the steel air duct. A disconnected duct wastes a lot of energy and affects the heating and cooling performance in the room where the duct terminates. An open duct on the ground can be an inviting place for rodents intrusion. If rodents gain access to the inside of heating/cooling ducts... It's considered contamination and a health concern... Typically, the...
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
    The purpose of a plumbing trap under your house sinks is to prevent odorous sewer gases from entering the house back through the sink and tub drains... By having water sit in the trap, it effectively blocks sewer gas. There are two basic types of traps: P and S configurations. Both configurations have a trap section, which is a U-shape pipe where water sits in the U and creates a water seal between the sewer gases found at the street sewer system and the house interior. The P-trap water discharge is a horizontal pipe to a wall, rather than vertical down towards the floor as shown in the photo. The P-trap water seal is very dependable. The problem with “S” traps is that the waste water may siphon out when draining a filled sink, causing the trap to lose its liquid seal allowing sewer...
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By Kathy Burke, S.F. East Bay Home Staging
(Sensational Home Staging~~Danville, CA)
EAST BAY Home Staging ~~  2011 Living Rooms   With 2011 coming to a close....time to Look Back at the Highlights of the last year!  Sensational Home Staging assisted many sellers and agents in the San Francisco East Bay this past year with much success!   Living Rooms offer that FIRST IMPRESSION and will set the "stage" for the potential buyers!     2011  ~~  LIVING ROOMS   COMING SOON.......2011 DINING ROOM Highlights!
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By Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views
(Tucker Associates Real Estate Services)
The following numbers represent the current concentration of Short Sales in Pending Sale Status versus Traditional Sales in Pending Sale Status for Walnut Creek, CA as of December 14th 2011. As you can see the ratios for both single family as well as attached homes are over 50%. Those same ratios for the segment of homes for sale are much lower. This represents the additional time required to get short sales all the way through close of escrow. Every short sale is different and some take much longer than others. Please keep in mind that this only reflects the market on the specific day quoted.  Walnut Creek Short Sales can take time and may be represented over several months in this data while traditional sales close escrow in the 30-60 day range.  Additional Short Sale Information for ...
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
As a home inspector at Pacific Coast Inspections, I encounter grey duct tape being used all the time - mainly on heating and cooling ducts - which turns out to be a non-compliant use of the tape. It's probably true, that duct tape has a 1001 uses. There's even a book about duct tape that you can buy this year at Amazon.com called... you guessed it... the Duct Tape book. In the photo, I spotted a single rust-streak on the duct tape on a water supply pipe above the 2005 model water heater. The tape above the streak was peeled away revealing a very corroded pipe. Although the water heater was only 6 years old, the steel pipe fitting was connected to a flexible copper pipe probably without enough Teflon tape or pipe thread compound. Because steel and copper pipes are dissimilar metals and t...
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By Chris Fisher
(Your Virtual Assistant)
173 Cragmont Drive in Walnut Creek, CA, offered at $600,000 Walnut Creek, Lakewood, and Tahoe feel all in one. Redwood construction 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on .26 acre wooded lot with Lakewood Drive access to the backyard. Near city amenities, BART, freeways and yet serenity right at home. Upon opening the front door a wall of windows, redwood decking and nature fill your senses. Wood beam ceilings, dining area and eat-in kitchen, vintage bathrooms, large master and secondary bedrooms complete the 1,651 sq. ft. home (per assessor). There is a basement (bonus room), outdoor access to the yard, gardens and sitting areas, giving multi-use options for entertainment. Schools:Indian Valley ElementaryWalnut Creek IntermediateLas Lomas High For more information, contact Terrylynn Fisher of Dudum...
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By Doug Anderson, Bay Area Real Estate Views
(Tucker Associates Real Estate Services)
The following numbers represent the Real Estate Market Review of homes sold for the first eleven months of 2011 versus the same period in 2010 for Walnut Creek. The housing market is holding steady in the year over year comparison with single family home sales showing a similar number while pricing has weakened over last year. Attached home sales have shown a significant increase while the lower end sales are dragging down the overall price data which is trend in many of the local cities. Marketing time has increased slightly. Keep in mind that real estate markets are local in nature and there will be micro markets in every town. Please contact me for a more comprehensive review of the Walnut Creek market.
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By Glenn Stewart..., Can a house talk? Yes it can
(The House Whisperer)
  That U shaped piece of pipe under your sink is called a P-trap. The purpose is to create a water seal and keep sewer gas from entering the household. A requirement of a properly installed P-trap is that it has a water seal of not less than 2 inches and not more than 4 inches (between the two horizontal red lines)... the P-trap depth in the photo is about 12". Over time the P-trap will become plugged with anything that is washed down the kitchen sink. Eventually, the sink will begin to drain slowly, as there's not enough pipe water flow to clear the trap of debris. Also, the use of flexible drain pipe is not permitted (rigid pipe only), as the flex pipe sections slows water flow and contributes to trapping debris at the bottom of the trap. My recommendation called for further review by...
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