Check Out The San Ramon Farmer’s Market Beginning Saturday, January 26th! Greg & Lisa Doyle, The Doyle Team, J. Rockcliff Realtors

San Ramon Farmers Market

Starting January 26, 2013

2680 Bishop Drive, Bishop Ranch 2, San Ramon

The Saturday market at Bishop Ranch offers a full range of products including artisan foods, fresh pasta, grass-fed organic beef from Prather Ranch, pastured raised eggs and poultry from Rolling Oaks Ranch, seafood, olive oils, farmstead cheeses, gourmet street food and much more.

For more information, call 925-543-0100

International Guitar Night! Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors

January 23, 2013

7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Bankhead Theater

2400 First Street, Livermore

Come listen to Scotland’s Martin Taylor, known for his smooth chord-melody style, rhythmic master Solorazaf from Madagascar, and Brazilian guitarist Guinga, whose fluid style complements his lyrical songs. 

For more information, call Nancy Mueller at 925-583-2306

Dance Argentine Tango Now Until March 27, 2013 By Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors

Dance Argentine Tango
Now until March 27, 2013
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Every Wednesday evening in Blackhawk Plaza
3421 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville
Offering a variety of tango lessons from beginner to intermediate level
$10 (1/2 for Blackhawk Tango Club)
For more information, call Carlin Ghahraman at 510-406-4583
http://www.Blackhawktango.com

Home selling tip by Lisa Doyle, The Doyle Team

Hi there I’m Lisa Doyle with J. Rockcliff Realtors, and I wanted to give the sellers some tips. Of course we have on going advice coming to you throughout the year and I’ve had a few circumstances lately that I wanted to share. A lot of people right now are asking about the market. We’ve had, of course, as you know, a dramatically improving market this entire year.

And a lot of the sellers that we’re helping right now prepare to make their moves for either now, or next year. A lot of them think, automatically, hey, I should wait till the spring to sell my home. And I just wanted to give you a couple of seller mistakes that we see sellers make often. Whereas right now we have an inventory, we’re at a 7 year low right now.

The date of course is December 6, 2012. Right now the demand for homes is at a 7 year high, and our supply is very low, which means prices have gone up. So many people say to me okay, shouldn’t I wait till April or May next year when I’ll maybe even get more? And what tends to happen in the spring is inventory will dramatically increase and possibly the demand will go down. So, I just wanted to give you a little heads up on that.

If you are considering making a move and you’re thinking of waiting is better. Call me right away so at least talk about your circumstances. I’ll give you some actual statistical advice on your particular home and help you make the right decision for you. Again, my name is Lisa Doyle. Call me anytime 925 890-7443.

Talk to you soon.

Lisa Doyle, TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Homes, Danville Homes, Bay Area Homes, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship

Home buying tip by Lisa Doyle, The Doyle Team

Hi there, I’m Lisa Doyle at J. Rockliff Realtors, and I wanted to give you, the buyer, some tips. Something that’s just happened to me recently, which I wanted to share, that’ll help you in the process of buying a home. Especially if you are looking to purchase a property in a homeowner’s association, where there is maybe a HOA fee.

I had a client recently buying a townhouse. And we were comparing different town home complexes in the area. And of course, most people are intrigued by a complex that has a very low homeowners association fee, versus one that’s higher. For instance, a HOA fee at $125 versus one at $300 a month. And so I just wanted to give you the heads-up if you are looking to purchase a townhouse, really be aware of what the HOA fee means.

Sometimes when there’s a really low HOA fee, what that means is that as soon as there’s something that’s needed in the complex, like a new roof or new fences, you end up getting charged a very high, significant assessment. Whereas the properties where they’re collecting a little bit more each month, they tend to have a better reserve, so when something needs to be replaced or repaired, the moneys there waiting to do it.

And I had a client who just this exact circumstance happened; he bought his place a couple years ago, was very intrigued by a very low home owner, HOA fee come to find out that he ended up getting a large chunk of money to do some repairs in the complex, and that was disturbing, of course. So just remember to think about that.

Call me if you have any questions. And, of course, I’m happy to give you any advice on any particular complexes. It’s great to review in advance all of their funding available, and the reserves that are there for the town homes. So call me back, my number is 925-890-7443. I’ll talk to you soon.

Lisa Doyle, TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Homes, Danville Homes, Bay Area Homes, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship

East Bay, CA New Year’s Eve Events By Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors

List of Fun New Year’s Eve Events:

East Bay New Year’s Eve at the San Ramon Marriott Hotel

2600 Bishop Drive

Monday, Dec. 31 at 8:30 p.m.

Huge party hosted by Professionals Guild.  Two ballrooms for dancing, plus casino gaming in hotel foyer.

For more information, call the hotel at (925) 867-9200

New Year’s Eve 2013 at the Blackhawk Auto Museum

8 p.m. until 1:30 a.m.

3700 Blackhawk Plaza Circle in Danville

$60-$75

For more information, call 925-736-2751

Zoo Lights at the Oakland Zoo

Now through Dec. 31

5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

$5-$8

For more information, go to http://www.oaklandzoo.org/Press_Releases.php?c=ZooLights_Holiday_Display_Nov_22_2011

New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop

Chabot Space & Science Center

10000 Skyline Blvd. in Oakland

$4 plus admission

For more information, go to www.chabotspace.org/balloon-drop.htm

Lisa Doyle, www.TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Homes, Danville Homes, Bay Area Homes, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship

INTERVIEW WITH CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL MARK CORTI BY LISA DOYLE, THE DOYLE TEAM

Hey there, I’m Lisa Doyle with J. Rockcliff Realtors and we have a special guest today. So many of the people who move into our district, because we are of course, the East Bay, ask about our schools and, you know, the San Ramon Valley school district. And, of course, thank you so much for joining us, Mark.

This is Mark Corti, the principal of California High School. And you’ve been the principal here for how many years? 14 years. 14 years, long time. So what I wanted to talk with Mark about is, we have a lot of people who come into our district with a lot of questions about our schools. You know we have families that come here from all over the Bay Area and out of state.

Researching our district because we are, I think, from what I heard recently, we are the top rated school district in the state.

Yeah, it’s wonderful and there for so many reasons, so I wanted you to share. We have 4 high schools in our district. Talk a little bit about California High School, maybe what makes the school special. You know it makes you a little different. So, we view California high school as a full service high school because we offer a variety of programs, regional occupational programs, elective courses like World History II We have two pathways.

We have a science and engineering pathway that are unique in the county and in our district that support students that have interests in science and engineering. The other thing is we have a block schedule. So our block schedule is designed, it’s an odd-even schedule where students meet periods 1,3 and 5 one day, 2, 4, 6 the other day.

Another thing that’s unique about the schedule within that, 4 days a week we have 30 minutes of tutorial period, where students if they need help, they may be in a math class, but on that particular day they may need to go see their science teacher. So during that thirty minute tutorial period they have a pass and they can go get extra help from that science teacher. I love that, and the block schedule to me seemed like a great way for the kids to spend more time in each class, right?

There’s less transfer of classes. That’s correct. So they get more instruction time. Yes. So it reduces the amount of administrative responsibilities that a teacher has. The other thing, the class are 100 minutes long so teachers are not as rushed. Right. They can go more in depth.

They can use more creative activities. It’s great for lab classes and activity classes because especially in a lab class, sometimes you start it on a Monday, and then you come back and you have to finish it on a Tuesday. It can be completed during that 100 minutes. I love that, and I think that that block schedule is unique to California high school in our district that the other high schools don’t have.

So I love that. One of the things that most of the parents who are moving into our district and some who already live here have asked a lot of questions since Dougherty Valley High School has opened, you know, our newest high school in our district. Yes. They want to know how to do a transfer, about going to California High School if they live in the Dougherty Valley and vice versa.

So talk a little bit about the transfer ability to intra-district transfer. There is an intra-district transfer process. There’s a March 15th deadline for the incoming ninth graders next year so they’d have to submit the application process. Then after March 15 we meet as principals and the district evaluates the schools’ enrollment to see if there’s room to shift some students around.

And then prior, sometime in early May, people are notified that their students accepted to a different school than their attendance area. Right. So that occurs. And there is some movement beyond that. That are cursed too, they sit on the circumstance. Is California High School impacted right now? Are we full?

We’re a little over 2,500 students, so the answer would be we’re not impacted. There’s still room here at the school. Okay. The one area where we one of a few areas that we are is in our science program, because that program, because of the health pathway, has just expanded. But because we did pass a bond, part of that bond for California High School, is focused on renovating our current science building and hopefully adding some additional classes.

Thank you. So that will help with that. And what a lot of parents have noticed and what we always share with people when they’re coming into our district, our entire district is very strong academically. No question. That we’re all in the same district. What I love about California High School is you’re immersed in an area where the homes are a little more affordable.

Yes. People can come here from places to break into our district, and the prices aren’t quite as high. They’re not low by any means. And that’s very true, and I’ve often labeled our school the gateway to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, because of those reasons. Because the houses are more affordable.

And it is true that people come from all over the area to try to get into our school district. And the nation, too. Yeah. Well, and you know, as far as the Bay Area concerned too. I always share with people who are trying to decide where to move. You know, they want great schools and our district the schools are even higher than some across the bay where the homes are double the price.

So they come here and they have such the best of both worlds. You know, we’re close to commute areas. Yes. And yet, And the housing market. Yeah. There’s new housing as well as older homes that are on the market. Yeah, absolutely. Now one thing that parents and kids of course in our district, it’s a very competitive athletic environment.

Kids come here from all over. Very much so. Very much so, it’s awesome with the kids involvement in sport and yet sports is not the only thing you really have that you excel at. Talk a little bit about the other programs. We have award winning academic teams. It starts with mock trial. We have academic decathlon.

We have speech and debate. We have DECA, which is a business competition team and we also have Model UN. And we have on campus instructors, coaches that are actually teachers on our campus, that help run those competitive teams. And they’ve competed at the state level. They have not competed at the national level yet.

But they’ve been very successful within those programs Yeah, I love that, But the one thing I wanted you to share, lastly, before, thank you so much for your time, is talk a little about the changes going on with the district as far as, I guess nationally, as far as the core, now how did you describe that? It’s called the common core. Okay. Now tell me. So they’re common core standards, so nationally, there’s about 46 states that have joined together to have the same standards for all schools across the nation.

And the common core standards are focused on students going deeper with their knowledge into their particular subject matter. And it involves critical thinking skills, strategic strategies, complex problem solving so our current system, we have a broad base of standards that based on the number of school days sometimes our teachers and our students are rushing through to meet all those guidelines.

So now they’ll get to spend a little bit more time, because there are less of them and they are more in depth. There will be a nationwide assessment program and the common course enters implementation has been going on since the start of this school year. Very good. So we have a variety of teachers that are on task forces based on subject area.

One of the positive notes that we are going to be able to compete with other countries academically, once again. Very good. So tell us the web site where people can look to find information about California High School. Just type in California High School.net and our web site will come. Very good, very good.

Well, thank you so much for your help. I know that so many parents and families have questions about our schools so we really appreciate it. If you have any questions for me of course personally give me a call anytime my name again is Lisa Doyle. My number is 925-890-7443. Thanks again.

Lisa Doyle, TheDoyleTeam.com, Greg Doyle, San Ramon Homes, Danville Homes, Bay Area Homes, Bay Area Short Sales, Bay Area Foreclosure, Short Sale in San Ramon, East Bay Real Estate Market, Hardship, California High School, Mark Corti