DANVILLE REAL ESTATE STATISTICS by Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors

DANVILLE REAL ESTATE STATISTICS

According to data posted on Sperling’s Best Places (bestplaces.net), the two zip codes that comprise the city of Danville are among the most desirable places to live in the whole United States.  Despite the ongoing economic slump, Danville’s real estate market is booming.

There are currently about a hundred single family homes for sale in Danville.  The price range runs from a downtown ranch-style home for about $650,000, to a Blackhawk mansion for 22 million.  Property taxes remain comfortably low at about $7.60 per $1,000 of home value.

The median age of a home in Danville is a relatively youthful 26 years.  This is because Danville has more new homes than nearby cities like Walnut Creek, Livermore, and even San Ramon.  Roughly one in five Danville homes was built after 1999.

That partly explains why the median home price for Danville is more than $775,000, and more than eighty percent of Danville homes are priced at over half a million dollars.  The price of housing in the city of Danville is more than five times the national average, but most residents remain unburdened by the cost.  About four out of five Danville homes are occupied by their owners, and roughly two-thirds of Danville’s residents earn more than $100,000 a year.

TOP FIVE ONE-OF-A-KIND DANVILLE DINING DESTINATIONS by Greg & Lisa Doyle, J. Rockcliff Realtors

 

Next time you’re in Danville, why not visit some of our favorite local restaurants? Danville offers an assortment of fine dining options, with enough variety to please any palate.

Slow G’s Eatery is a no-frills take out restaurant with outdoor seating and irresistibly low prices.  They serve healthy, uniquely flavored deli sandwiches to die for.   Try the Edamame Wasabi Chicken.  Or the Porky Fig Sandwich.  Or the Quinoa Curry.  Every menu item pushes the art of sandwich making to the next level.

The Peasant & the Pear is a small, elegant restaurant serving New American cuisine.  Among the upscale dinner menu offerings are Butternut Squash Lasagna, Bistro Steak Frites, and Duck a l’Orange with Wild Rice-Almond Pilaf.

 

 

Bridges Restaurant & Bar is a popular favorite for locals seeking a succulent dining experience.  Choose from an extensive wine list.  Menu favorites include Pan-Seared Cape Cod Sea Scallops, and the flavorful Vietnamese Pork and Prawns, among other drool-inducing culinary creations.

Blackhawk Grille offers an all-encompassing dining experience, featuring elegant menu items artistically presented in a formal dining room, and cozy outdoor patio seating by the side of a sweet little rock pond.  Among the many popular dishes are Roasted Mussels, Brick Oven Pizza, and Pinot Noir Braised Lamb Shank.

Fieldhouse Sports Grill & Tavern is a low key, family-friendly favorite, featuring a bar-style menu and many TVs in a clean and spacious dining room with walls of exposed brick.

 

 

Refresh Your Home By The Doyle Team, Greg & Lisa Doyle

Whether you are buying, selling or simply
remodeling, you are looking to invest
in updates that will increase the
value and appeal of your home. It is
natural to want it all, but before you
over-personalize or break the bank,
there are many simple, budget-friendly
changes that can increase the value of
your home without the risk. Try these
tried and true tips for upping your
home value without overdoing it.
• Refresh with paint: You may not be
able to replace large appliances or
countertops, but in the kitchen adding a
fresh coat of neutral paint to outdated
cabinets and swapping out hardware
can go a long way in making the space
feel refreshed.
• Little luxuries in the bathroom: Replace
your current shower head with a
rain shower that is budget-friendly and
easy to install – it takes less than five
minutes. This type of showerhead can
make a huge difference in an everyday
routine – giving a spa-like experience
with multiple high-performance spray
settings.
The same goes for lighting – brightening
up this space in particular can be a big
selling point.
• Do not forget about the outside:
Every home needs curb appeal. If you
can not afford major landscaping, focus
on the entrance to the home. Again, updating
with paint and hardware on the
front door will be a welcoming touch,
along with a couple of really great
potted plants at the entryway.
• It is in the details: Consider adding
small details to rooms that will elevate
the style. Framing out windows, or adding
baseboards, molding or wainscoting
to a space will leave it feeling a bit
more polished.
No matter how big or small your projects,
remember it does not take a lot of
money to make a big impact to any
space. 

8 Ways The Housing Market Has Changed By Greg & Lisa Doyle

The real-estate recovery is now in full
effect in most areas, and that means more
people are hopping off the fence to buy
or list a home. Do you know what you are
in for?
The housing market is a different place
than it was just six months ago, with new
issues, rules and opportunities — even for
those who are planning on staying in their
house for a while. Below are eight ways
the housing market has shifted since last
spring’s peak selling season and what
these changes could mean for you: the
buyer or seller.
1. Homes are more expensive — but not much more. An improving economy and
low interest rates have boosted buyer
demand in most markets, decreasing
supply and raising prices. This year, the
gains should be more restrained, where
national gains should continue to see
upward growth, but likely at a modest
growth.
2. Loans are getting pricier. After
bouncing along at record lows in 2012,
interest rates are expected to rise in
2013. Just how much is really anyone’s
guess. Rates should hover between 3.5%
and 4% for much of the year, barring any
big changes in the overall economy.
3. Inventory is bottoming out. Rates are
great, but there are not a lot of houses for sale. The problem is prices have not gone
up enough to enable many homeowners
to sell and recoup enough to put down
on a move-up home. The dearth of
listings should begin to change sometime
this year, analysts say, as pent-up
demand, historically low interest rates
and slightly higher home prices prompt a
few more move-up buyers to list their
home.
4. A new mortgage rule will protect
buyers from shady lenders. To head off
another financial crisis, the government’s
consumer watchdog, the Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau, recently
announced a new rule to ensure that
prospective buyers are actually able to
repay their mortgage.
The Ability to Repay rule, which
officially takes effect in January 2014
but will be put into place by most lenders
sometime this year, protects consumers
from risky practices such as “no doc” and
“interest only” features that contributed
to so many people losing their home in
recent years.
5. Home-equity loans are back. Low
mortgage rates may have stolen all the
headlines last year, but rates on homeequity
loans have been falling, too,
making those long-overdue home
remodels more attractive to people who
have been in their house for some time.
6. There are fewer distressed-home
bargains to buy. The mortgage crisis is
starting to fade into memory, and so are
those cheap foreclosure deals. While the number of distressed homes is still fairly
high at 2.3 million units, fewer of these
homes are getting a for-sale shingle.
One reason: Almost half of those 2.3
million homes are still seriously delinquent
but have not been taken back by the
bank because of a backlog in processing.
Moreover, a large number of the
properties being repossessed by lenders
are being sold off in portfolios to
investors, rather than listed for individual
buyers. When they make it back onto the
market with a little face lift, they are not
such a bargain anymore. 7. More new construction is coming.
Existing homes are in short supply, but
there will soon be many more new
homes to add to the mix. Record-low
interest rates and an uptick in hiring
spurred the increased activity by
builders.
8. The luxury market suffers a hangover.
Sales of homes over $1 million
surged at the end of 2012, as highnet-
worth owners rushed to list their
existing homes and buy new ones to
avoid the capital-gains tax hikes in
January that were part of the fiscalcliff
deal. Under these changes, highincome
earners would pay $88,000
less in taxes if they made a $1 million
profit on their home in 2012 rather
than in 2013. So, out went the for-sale
signs, and down came the inventory of
luxury homes in the last quarter of
2012.
For those shopping for a high-end
custom home, it means less to choose
from, but also a lot less competition.
Of course, the drop-off in demand
probably will not last long.
More and more big-budget international
buyers are continuing to invest
in U.S. real estate, particularly along
the coasts. After so many years of decline,
American real estate remains

 

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BY THE DOYLE TEAM, J. ROCKCLIFF REALTORS

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

As much as we love living in Contra Costa County, some days can get pretty hot around here.  Read on for a refreshing list local watery wonderlands guaranteed to cool you down.

Visit Concord and take a plunge among the splashing pools, tire rides, rubber rafts and slippery slides of Water World, a top national theme park for people of all ages.  While you’re hanging around town, stop by Ellis Lake.

On a similar note, visit the Prewett Family Water Park in Antioch.  It’s a great place for younger folks, featuring enclosed water slides, kiddie pools, and giant inflatable creatures that float.  Little ones love the Prewett Family Water Park.  They put the WET in Prewett!

The beautiful Lafayette Reservoir features swimming, fishing, pedal boating, rowing, and all sorts of other water-based summer pastimes.  Wander the lake’s perimeter along a smoothly paved trail.  Bring your camera.

Lake Cascade in Orinda is a private reservoir and a favorite spot for local fishermen, who go home with baskets full of Blue Gill, Striped Bass, Catfish and Rainbow Trout.  For rules & regs, call the California Fish & Wildlife Department.

Discovery Bay is a uniquely designed, maze-like, waterfront community composed of a series of jetties turning and traveling narrowly through the delta.  Many homeowners here have their own private docks.  There’s no other place quite like Discovery Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP FIVE SPORTS CENTERS IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BY GREG & LISA DOYLE, THE DOYLE TEAM, J. ROCKCLIFF REALTORS

TOP FIVE SPORTS CENTERS IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Contra Costa County is a health-conscious, lifestyle-oriented region, containing many opportunities to get some exercise.  For the active crowd, here are five cool local sports centers.

For a unique, unforgettable experience, visit the UMIGO Indoor Go-Kart track in Livermore.  The track has cool lighting and stacked tires running along both sides of the course.  The front counter area features snacks, video games and pinball machines.  Irresistible fun for everyone!

Further north, visit the Antioch Indoor Sports Center, where visitors spend the day enjoying hockey, soccer, volleyball, roller skating, batting cages, and any other sport that fits indoors.

For even bigger sporting thrills in Antioch, pay a visit to the Antioch Paintball Park, home to the only paintball field in the whole Bay Area.  Equipment, supplies, protective gear, safety briefing, and great, green fields of battle are provided.  Keep your protective gear on at all times.  A paintball travels at about 270 miles per hour.

The Dublin Swim Center facility features an expansive swimming pool with a 100-foot long, open-flume water slide.  The center also has a group picnic area with barbecue grills.  Visitors can bring their own food, but alcoholic beverages and glass containers are prohibited.  The swim center is conveniently located adjacent to Dublin High School.

While you’re in town, visit Dublin Skate Park, an outdoor skateboard range with well designed concrete ramps and many curved surfaces to fly from.  Many cool tricks performed here.  A perfect spectator sport for that sedentary friend of yours who follows you everywhere but never wants to try stuff.

CARLESS IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BY GREG & LISA DOYLE

CARLESS IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Thanks to the economic boom and fast growing population of recent years, getting around Contra Costa County without a car is easier than ever before.  Use any or all of the following local services to savor the convenience of going carless.  You’ll probably also save money that way.

The ACE Train (Altamont Commuter Express) provides free parking at every station, and shuttle service throughout the Bay and Tri-Valley Areas.

AC Transit is a bus system that serves the East Bay and San Francisco.

Amtrak, still chugging along after all these years like The Little Train That Could, is a nationwide train service with stations in Antioch and Martinez.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train is an indispensable underground railway that takes you all over the Bay Area.  The BART system connects the San Francisco Peninsula with Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Dublin/Pleasanton, and other cities in the East Bay. Local stations include Concord, Dublin-Pleasanton, Lafayette, Orinda, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek.

To get around Brentwood and Discovery Bay, try Brentwood Dial-a-Ride. Call 925-754-3060 for rates and other info.

The Tri-Delta Transit bus line serves Eastern Contra Costa County.

Finally, WHEELS provides public transportation for the communities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton.

The next time you travel through the county, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

THE FIVE BEST SHOPPORTUNITIES IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY BY GREG & LISA DOYLE, THE DOYLE TEAM

THE FIVE BEST SHOPPORTUNITIES IN CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

Looking for some retail therapy?  Look no further than the cities of Contra Costa County.  Here are some of the region’s best shopping venues.

Blackhawk Plaza in Danville features rock ponds, outdoor fire pits, and many other enticing attractions.  Shop at dozens of upscale stores like Apricot Lane Boutique, See Jane Run, and Shoebiz, among others.  Enjoy a variety of specialty services.  Stop by Starbucks.  Dine at any of several restaurants.

Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek is a versatile retail village with more than 80 businesses to choose from.  Many of these are familiar, franchised establishments like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, Edwards Luggage, Gymboree and Juicy Couture, to name only a few.

Sun Valley Mall in Concord is one of the largest shopping malls in America.  Here you’ll find a vast array of retail stores, many dozen kiosks, and about 25 places to eat.  The Sun Valley Mall also includes specialty stores like Expedition Travel Gifts, Native American Indian Jewelry, and a Japanese retailer called J-Town Express.

Downtown Pleasant Hill has basic retail services like a Lucky Supermarket, as well as a few boutiques and a Micheal’s Craft Store.  Also available are a vast array of upscale spa services and many enticing eateries, like Pasta Pomodoro and Zachary’s Chicago Pizza.

Last, but not least, the swirling modern architecture of Richmond’s Hilltop Mall supports many dozen budget-friendly fashion boutiques, no less than half a dozen shoe stores, and a few fast food snack places, as well as major retailers like Wal-Mart.