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Playfully Modern

by Blake Miller

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Hubble Shire Farm

by Carolyn M. Runyon

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Fashion Forward

by Jeanne Matlow

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Moving With Pets

by Samia S. Morgan

Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for people so when it comes time to pack up your pet, you need to take their needs into consideration. All pets require special attention and it is a good ideal to make a plan ahead of time to make the move for your pet a smooth transition and less stressful.

Pre-planning is the key to an easier move, travel arrangements should be completed as far in advance of moving day as is practical, keeping departure day tasks to a minimum. It is a good idea to appoint one person in the family that will be in charge of the pet. This will eliminate any confusion as to who has responsibility and will help for a smoother move. Below are some tips that can help you to get organized and make your move a calm transition for your furry members of your family.

  • Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian a few weeks before your move for a check up. Be sure to attain your pet's veterinary records so that they can be forwarded to your new veterinarian. Certain localities may have stringent requirements or restrictions regarding pet ownership. You may need permits or registrations.
  • When you arrive at your new home, designate a unused room with a door that is quiet and just for them. Provide them with fresh food and water and their bed or favorite toy, something that is familiar to them. This will keep them safe and calm while the move is going on. 
  • If you are moving your pets by car be sure to plan for several stops along the way. Pets may find car travel extremely distressing and stopping for fresh air and breaks can help. Don't forget any medications your pet might need as well as a leash.
  • If you are traveling long distance and plan on staying overnight at a hotel, be sure to call in advance to make sure that pets are accepted.
  • If you are moving your fish, be sure to check with your local Aquarium or Pet Store ahead of time on the best way to safely transport your fish.

 
If your pets are not micro-chipped be sure to get a new pet ID tag with your new address and contact phone numbers and if they are micro-chipped be sure to update the info with your
microchip company.   
 

Holiday Events In San Mateo and Bay Area

by Samia S. Morgan

What better place to celebrate the holidays than the San Mateo and Bay area! From charitable events to fun events for all members of the family there is plenty to do. Below are some events you won't want to miss!

Firefighter's Toys for Tots Program                                   December 1st through the 23rd - please drop off a new unwrapped gift at any City fire station or at Hillsdale Shopping Center Toy Collection site which is open daily 10 AM to 8 PM

King Community Tree Lighting 
On December 11th come for this annual holiday tradition. There will be singing,  holiday crafts, hot cider & cookies all while the big 50 ft. Redwood tree outside the center will be lit. Santa will also be there!
Address: 725 Monte Diablo, San Mateo, CA 94401 Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center Hours: 6:00-7:00pm

Breakfast with Santa 
Enjoy a delicious breakfast, games, crafts, stories, singing, and visit with Santa this Saturday, Dec. 12th. Address: 725 Monte Diablo,San Mateo, CA 94401
Location: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center Hours: 9:00-11:00am
Contact: (650) 522-7470 Cost: $8 per person.

Holiday SIng-A-Long 
Celebrate the holidays at the 
Holiday Family Sing-A-Long at Grace Cathedral.Gather your whole family for one of two Saturdays in December (December 12 and December 19) to join the Pacific Boychoir as they sing all your favorite holiday songs. This event takes place at Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church, and is great fun for everyone! Ticket prices range from $5 to $25.

 
Holiday Ice Skating 
Enjoy skating at the Holiday Ice Rink in
Embarcadero Center. The West Coast's equivalent to the ice rink at Rockefeller Center, skaters have been enjoying this large outdoor ice skating rink for more than twenty years. Open to the public through January 3, 2010. Ticket prices range from $5.50 to $9 plus skate rental. Also available are rink rentals for private parties and birthday celebrations.

Making The Decision To Rent Or Buy

by Samia S. Morgan

Even in a buyers market, a common question I often am asked from potential homebuyers is whether or not they should continue to rent or make the plunge and purchase a home. And my answer usually comes down to this: It depends on you--your situation and your goals for the future.

Some questions I ask are: Do you think you’re ready to move into the world of homeownership? Does your job require you to relocate frequently? Are you ready to “settle down” and raise a family? Not sure what you want to do yet?

As a real estate professional, I do know that buying a home has real advantages in today’s market: Realtor.com reports that housing affordability is the best it’s been in nearly 30 years. Right now buyers can cash in on hefty price drops and rock-bottom mortgage interest rates--and many people don’t realize just how great the market is!

So should you rent or should you buy? The Our Family Place Home Buyer’s Information Center lists some of the pros and cons noted below, and I’ve added some of my own:

Buying Advantages:

* You gain equity in your home through mortgage payments.
* Your home could be one of the best long-term investments you will ever make.
* You can decorate and remodel the way you want.
* You get homeowner tax breaks.
* You build your credit standing.
* You can improve your property using home equity loans.
* You gain independence and pride as a homeowner.
* You can transfer your property through your will.

Buying Disadvantages:

* Your costs are variable.
* Your equity may change due to market conditions.
* You usually must sell your home to move.
* You handle maintenance and upkeep.
* You usually need more cash to get in.

Renting Advantages:

* Your costs are fixed for the term of your rental.
* You don’t lose equity.
* You can move at the end of your lease term.
* You have fewer maintenance worries.
* You need less cash to get in.

Renting Disadvantages:

* You never get equity.
* You can’t always decorate or remodel the way you want.
* You don’t get any tax breaks.
* Your lease is for a limited time period determined by your landlord.
* Your rent may go up at the end of your lease and other terms may change.
* Your landlord may not fix problems or invest in routine property maintenance.
* You normally can’t transfer your lease without the landlord’s OK.
* You may face eviction if you and your landlord have a dispute.

There are many of variables to consider, and you’ll need to do your homework to decide what’s right for you. Please be in touch if you have any questions. I am always available to assist potential buyers debating the “rent v. buy” decision.

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended

by Samia S. Morgan

The homebuyer tax credit that was to expire on November 30th will now be in effect through the end of June. Homebuyers must sign a contract before April 30 and close by June 30. The income limits were also raised: Single buyers can now earn up to $125,000 and still get the full credit while a married couple can earn $225,000.

The bill which was signed into law by President Obama on Friday also made more homeowners eligible to claim the credit on their taxes. First-time buyers -- those who have not owned a home in the past three years, can qualify. Those who have owned and occupied a residence for at least five years out of the past eight can claim a $6,500 tax credit if they close on a purchase by the end of June. These tax credits are available for the purchase of principal homes costing $800,000 or less.

Deadline for qualifying: Purchase agreements must be signed by April 30, 2010, and closings must be final by June 30. Military deadline: The deadline is extended by a year for members of the military who have served outside the U.S. for at least 90 days from Jan. 1, 2009, to May 1, 2010.

The National Association of Realtors estimates that of the 1,400,000 million buyers, 350,000 of them would not have purchased a home without the added taxpayer’s incentive from the federal government.

The Basics Of Green Real Estate

by Samia S. Morgan

Going Green is more than just a buzz word, it's a way of living. The Real Estate Industry has adapted to these changes as well in the last few years. From Eco-Friendly financing to green moving companies there many aspects to green real estate.

Buyers can 'buy green' and sellers can make home improvements that are green and that can help to increase the value of their home. There are many benefits and reasons to go green if you are selling or buying. HGTV has listed the top 10 reasons here

A major benefit to going green is the financial rewards, for both buyers and sellers. If you are buying a home there are many energy efficiency tax credits available, and this is an added benefit to the monthly reduction of costs that are associated with such green items like solar panels or energy efficient water heaters.

There are many resources out there for you to learn more about green services and how you can benefit. Increase your eco-friendly vocab with these green terms and tidbits. Feel free to contact me if I can help to answer any questions about how going green can help you buy or sell a home.

San Francisco Bay Area Resources - Part 2 - Education & Entertainment

by Samia S. Morgan

Here are a few of the Education and Entertainment Internet links that make up the online world of San Francisco Bay Area. I invite you to explore our community and learn more about the history and culture of our beautiful area.

 EDUCATION:
Arundel Elementary School
San Carlos Charter Learning Center
White Oaks Elementary School
Central Middle School
San Carlos School District
Burlingame
Hillsborough
Atherton
Menlo Park
Palo Alto
Portola Valley
Los Altos

ENTERTAINMENT:
Pulgas Water Temple
Hula Halau 'O Kuuleinani
Hiller Aviation Museum
CreoLa
Ristorante Piacere
Amanecer

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions of other links you would like to see added. Contact me.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

by Samia S. Morgan

 

WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES A
HAPPY AND HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

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Photo of Samia S. Morgan, Inc. Real Estate
Samia S. Morgan, Inc.
dba Samia Realty Group
BRE# 00967165
San Mateo CA 94403
650-678-3633