Free PG&E Energy Retrofit classes

If you’ve crossed paths with me in the last nine months or so you probably already know about my enthusiasm for the free energy retrofit classes offered through PG&E.   But many of you I seldom (if ever) see, so I’m writing to let everyone know about this fabulous community resource.  These are all day classes aimed primarily at contractors and construction trade workers but are open to anyone.  And they serve a free lunch!! … actually it is all paid for from a few cents tacked on to every PG&E bill … for our own good.

If you are as fascinated as I am with the potential for  transforming the utility and comfort of a living space through  energy conservation techniques  you might enjoy them too.   Or, even if this doesn’t intrigue you but you’ re considering doing some cosmetic remodeling,  putting these strategies to use at the same time makes a lot of sense — insulating and air sealing when opening up a wall during a kitchen remodel, making sure that the electrician who installs your new recessed lighting understands that you aren’t interested in using those openings as a  means for heating the attic, when remodeling a bath it might be a good time to evaluate the placement of your water heating system.

To give you an idea of what you might learn,  since last summer I’ve taken:  Green Home Energy Upgrades Introduction, Understanding the House as a System,  Putting the “V” in HVAC, Retrofitting Crawlspaces, Retrofitting Attics, Air Sealing and Insulating Exiting Homes , Deep Energy Reductions – The Thousand Home Challenge,  and High Performance Residential Hot Water Systems.  Next week I’ll be taking Hydronic Space and Water Heating and another Home Performance Class.

Go to PG&E classes to check out the schedule and read class descriptions.  Search tip: choose the “Show all” options to start —  just to get an overall idea of the type of offerings first.  And, if you know someone in the trades who could use some skill updating to catch the wave of energy retrofit work coming this way, please do them the favor of letting them know about this site too.

Elder Engagement Day, February 6

Yesterday, at Petaluma Senior Care Connection, a networking meeting of senior services providers that I regularly attend, I learned of a fun sounding event, coming up on Saturday, February 6, from 10 -3 at the Odd Fellows Hall at 545 Pacific Avenue in Santa Rosa  

National Elder Engagement Day (NEED) is described as FREE fair for the whole family where elders can enjoy a variety of engagement arts. Thirty hands on demonstrations and interactions to help elders feel more empowered in their lives, regardless of physical or mental capacity, will be offered along with lectures on various aspects of living well, plus games and prizes for everyone.

 Elders learn new ways to use their bodies and minds to life fuller lives
 Caregivers learn proven ways to create more communication with seniors
 Adult children of aging loved ones gain perspective on the aging brain.

Sponsored by Inquiring Systems, a not-for-profit organization, and coordinated by Chance Massaro of Memory Back Guarantee (a mind aerobic system), I understand it to be a first-of-its-kind event and have heard that they have hopes of growing this into an annual nationwide event.

Hope to see you there.  For info on ASK Realty’s Elder Concierge Services go to Elder Concierge Services

Good news for Sebastopol sellers

There was not a single new listings at  Wednesday’s Sebastopol Realtors’ caravan, but lots of agents sharing buyer’s needs ranging from in-town victorian fixers to country estates.  In fact there have  been only 4 new listings in the Sebastopol area since the first of the year. 

NOTE: for purposes of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)  the Sebastopol area extends far beyond the city limits, encompassing surrounding rural areas from the area around Blank Road on the south to Forestville proper to the north, from the Laguna de Santa Rosa (which is about 1/4  to 1/2 mile east of, and basically parallels,  Highway 116) to Bodega.

Take away message —  inventory is much below demand at the moment, so this could be a very good time to put a well-priced property on the market … you might even get multiple offers.

How’s the Market?

For my first ever blog post answering the real estate question I’m most frequently asked seemed a good beginning: “how’s the market doing in Sonoma County?”   The short answer, “it depends on who you are, whether you’re buying or selling and the price point involved”.

The longer answer: many of today’s sellers were wooed by creative financing into buying at a price point or with a payment schedule that was not sustainable. These folks aren’t now selling to move up to higher priced home as was typical in the past.   So we no longer have an integrated market, with lower end sales fueling higher end sales.  As a result the lower and upper ends of the market are experiencing quite different activity levels  —  though bargain hunters are trolling each in search of the perfect deal.  And when a ‘great value’ priced property hits the market, in any price range, it typically has an accepted offer within just a few days.
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