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Blog Archives

Contact Me for All of Your Real Estate Needs!

January 15, 2019
Simon & Saraya Motley
This month outlined what to expect from the real estate market this year. If you have questions about our local housing market or are thinking about buying or selling, we can help! Below is a list of all the things we can help you with, whether it’s answering your questions, helping you navigate the buying and selling process and connecting you with great professionals in our network. Just get in touch and we're happy to help!

De-Clutter and De-Stress!

January 09, 2019
Simon & Saraya Motley
Being surrounded by mess and clutter can cause homes to become places of stress instead of comfortable havens. Right after the winter holidays is often a time when we’re trying to squeeze too many new things into the non-existent space in our closets and on our shelves. The antidote?  Rid yourself of the post-holiday blues and de-clutter your home at the same time.  Here are a few tried-and-true tips to get your abode ship shape for the spring so you can come home to an orderly and tidy dwelling. Closet Clean Out: January is a great time ...

The Exciting Skatepark One

November 12, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
The East Bay is full of awesome skateparks! If boarding is your (or your child’s) thing, check out this list of the coolest places to catch some air and practice sick tricks. Grab your board and get ready to drop in and bomb a hill. Berkeley Skatepark: 5th and Harrison Streets, Berkeley. This is a great skatepark for skaters who know what they’re doing, but they are also accommodating to newbies as long as they don’t get in the way too much. The bowl is extensive. It begins with a four foot section then rolls into a deeper eight foot ...

Tips for Staging Your Kitchen

October 15, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
If your home is on the market or about to be in the near future, you may be considering ways to stage its rooms, including the kitchen. Below are some tips on how to stage your kitchen with potential buyers in mind. If you’re thinking of selling, give us a call!

The Real Estate Jargon One

October 11, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Whether you’re buying, selling, or both, navigating the real estate market can be as stressful as it is exciting. There is a lot of information to process, which can sometimes feel overwhelming, so here’s a handy cheat sheet of terms to help you plot your course to a smooth and enjoyable transaction. Absorption Rate: the rate at which the existing housing inventory is being absorbed by the existing buyer pool (aka supply and demand). Active Contingent: an offer that is contingent on the sale of another property. (Also see Contingent ...

The Exciting Cupcake One

September 20, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
When you’re in the mood for a little pick-me-up or have two dozen sweet treats to bring to your child’s class, there’s nothing better than cupcakes. It wouldn’t be the East Bay without gourmet, artisan cupcakes on hand. Here is a sampling of our favorite go to cupcake destinations:   Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, 2391 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, 510.529.4444. In brand new digs, a few doors down from Cream in Berkeley, you’ll find Cupcakin’ Bake Shop, which is all about local, fresh, and fabulous. They put out a monthly calendar ...

Retirement Worksheet

September 16, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Want to know how much money you need to retire? Use the worksheet below to help you estimate. Although life circumstances may change, the worksheet can give you an idea of how much savings and investments you need to retire comfortably. If you’d like to speak to someone about financial planning, we can connect you with a professional in our network..

Hit the Trails: The East Bay’s Bonanza of Paved Delights

August 27, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Fabulous weather is one of the main draws of living in the East Bay. And, because there are so many mild days; strolling, riding, and skating along our many regional trails is a favorite resident pastime. Here’s a list of a few easily accessible East Bay paved trails to get you going: Contra Costa Canal Regional Trail: This 13.5-mile trail runs through Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek, then continues out from there. It follows the Contra Costa Canal and intersects the Iron Horse Trail in Walnut Creek in case you want to keep on venturing....

Good Financial Habits to Keep You Debt-Free

August 16, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Eliminating debt is the first step to cultivating better financial habits. Below are five additional habits to keep you out of debt. Becoming debt-free takes time, though the result is well worth it.

Curb Appeal: How Does Your Garden Grow?

August 09, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
With September—the best gardening month in the East Bay—quickly approaching, it’s time to take a thorough peek at your flowers and shrubs to evaluate whether you need to do a bit of fall freshening or perhaps dig into a substantial gardening endeavor. Whether you are thinking about selling in the upcoming year or want to zip up your curb appeal to make your house look more like the home of your dreams, the garden is a terrific place to begin. Here are a few tips to help you make it happen: Have a Vision: The best way to transform your ...

A Little Money In…a Lot of Money Out

July 20, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Our homes are one of our largest assets and an important commodity as well as our shelters, keepers of our memories of family fun, exciting life events, and a place to rest our weary selves each night. With that in mind, one of the most important elements of our job is to help our clients get the highest offers possible on their property so that they receive the best available return on the initial investment they made in their home. Over the years we have evaluated which pre-sale improvements—both small and large—get our clients the most ...

Stay Organized and Clutter-Free

July 15, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Want to keep your home clutter-free? Below are several tips to help your home stay organized, even when you’re busy. Follow these tips and enjoy more of your time at home.  

Neighborhood Highlight: Rockridge

July 13, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
This vibrant East Bay neighborhood has something for everyone. Whether you’re hankering for a unique gift for a friend (or let’s be real—yourself), clothes and toys for your little ones, a pungent organic artisan cheese, the perfect escape novel, or a delicious cup of coffee, you need go no further than the shops lining College Avenue. One of our favorite places to search out the little something that will add personality to your new home is Maison d’Etre. It’s full of pottery, books, textiles and trinkets and is practically one stop ...

To Stage or Not to Stage: That is the Question

July 10, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
We are often asked by both clients and friends about whether or not it’s worth it to move out and have a home staged before it goes on the market. Over the years our instincts told us that staged homes do sell for higher prices than those that are not staged, but we decided to gather some hard facts to find out if the data supported what we believed to be true. Here’s what we discovered: We took a look at eight years of sales we’ve made for our clients and divided the homes into three categories: 1) homes where the owners moved out and ...

The Exciting Ice Cream One

June 29, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Summer is here and there’s no better way to celebrate the heat than to enjoy the perfect scoop, cone or dish of ice cream. We thought we would offer up some of our favorites in case you are looking for a delicious way to cool down. It wouldn’t be the East Bay without small batch, handmade artisan ice cream! Here are two suggestions if unique flavors appeal to your pallet: Lottie’s Creamery in Walnut Creek offers specialty flavors such as orange blossom nectar, lavender honey, roasted strawberry, and vanilla salted almond toffee to name a ...

Neighborhood Highlight: Temescal

June 21, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
One of the best things about living in the East Bay is quick access to delicious foods. Whether you desire an upscale dining experience or a low-key snack to go with the perfect cold brew, Temescal is one of the destinations to make all your foodie dreams come true. One of our favorite spots is Pizzaiolo on Telegraph in the heart of Temescal because it’s practically one stop shopping for all of your restaurant desires. If you’re looking for an exemplary cup of coffee, you’ll find it there, but be warned: they don’t mess around with your ...

Why it Makes Sense to Hire a Pro

June 14, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Thinking of beginning a home renovation project this year? If you’re like many people, you may be deciding whether to do the work yourself or hire a professional. Below are several reasons to hire a professional for your projects. If you’re thinking of hiring a pro for your next renovation, large or small, give us a call and we’ll connect you with a reputable professional in our network.

Planning to Sell? Think Like a Buyer

May 15, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
If you’re considering selling your home, there is a benefit of thinking of your house from someone else’s perspective. Doing so may allow it to sell faster and potentially for more money. The information below outlines three questions to ask yourself to help you view your home objectively and differentiate it from other homes in the market. 

Boost Your Credit Score Regardless of Your Age

April 16, 2018
Simon & Saraya Motley
Credit scores are important. Many people are taking more time to review their scores and finding ways to improve them, especially younger consumers who typically have lower credit scores.. Why is that the case? The information below delves into this topic and outlines ways for consumers to increase their credit score.

What is it about with the Motley Team

November 30, 2017
Simon & Saraya Motley

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