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Humboldt County Real Estate Blog

Eric Cecchin


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Fun things to do for families

by Eric Cecchin





When I'm not out selling real estate, I love spending time with my wife Heather, and daughters, Makena, 6, and Alisa, 4.  There are so many fun things to do for families, but I thought I'd write this blog post about some fun things we enjoy.

The Arcata Farmers Market- at the Arcata plaza every Saturday through October, starts at 9:00 AM.  Unbelievable variety of gorgeous produce, flowers, foods, music.  Just a really fun couple hours on a lazy Saturday morning, great way to start the weekend.  This is Arcata at its very best!

Blackberry picking at the fish hatchery in blue lake.  Oops!  I gave away our best spot!  I hope my wife and kids don't read this!  The blackberries are peaking now, and will be for the next couple weeks as I write this in September.  Great way to spend a couple hours on the weekend, walk down the path towards the Mad River and you will run right into some great black berry bushes.  The paved path is also wheelchair friendly and fully handicapped accessible, and there is a nice spot by the Mad River, which is also the only handicapped accessible fishing spot I have ever seen.   Bring lots of quarters with you for fish food at the hatchery.  The last time we were there, we ran into the hatchery manager, he was awesome and a real ambassador for the hatchery.  Be sure to look way up at the wires, there are several resident osprey, that much to the chagrin of the hatchery manager, swoop down into the holding ponds and fly off with, according to him, up to 10 trout a day each!   We were fortunate enough to see the osprey last time, and it was awesome!

Redwood Park, Arcata.   For families, definitely take 11th Street to the top, then go left into the winding road into the park, and this will take you to the parking that is closest to the playground.  (much easier than taking the Union Street entrance).  Huge open park with lawns and a picnic area, huge playground, tons of space for kids to run around, picnic tables, and some very easy, kid friendly trails.  Walk across the huge lawn surrounded by redwood trees, and simply take trail "1".  Its a short loop, about 1/2 a mile at most, goes just a little ways out into the forest and loops right back.  Some cool huge downed trees, old snags, fun places for the kids to explore along the way.  Just the right length! 

Trinidad Head.  Is this the prettiest hike anywhere?  It just might be, and its the perfect length for a family with young children, about 15-20 minutes to walk all the way around the head.  Park at Trinidad beach, then walk up the paved path that's on the opposite side of the parking lot as the beach.  The bay side of the trail is completely paved for about 1/2 a mile, and overlooks Trinidad bay and the town, stunning views!  For families with very young kids, bring the Bob or stroller, and do the paved half.  The paved path goes up hill and turns to gravel, then gets pretty narrow along the ocean side of the loop, these views are even more outrageously gorgeous than the bay side!  Sea Stacks, waves breaking over rock outcroppings, just doesn't get much better.  This section is doable on a Bob type stroller, but a little narrow and tricky in a few places, still lots of fun.  If you are going to do the whole loop with your Bob, etc, go clockwise starting with the bay side first, as that will put you onto the tricky sections on the ocean side of the trail going downhill, much easier!  Be careful of poison oak, for some reason this is the only place this close to the ocean where there is a lot of it.  If everyone isn't worn out, go to Trinidad beach, or walk down to the Trinidad Pier, which was beautifully redone by the owners, the Trinidad Rancheria. 






Getting your home ready for sale, quick and easy, and free!

by Eric Cecchin

If you are getting your home ready for sale, there are a few things you can do in under an hour that will make a big difference that are inexpensive or free. 

1) Cleaning- interior-  when your home is all ready, take an extra hour and clean it again.  Go over the floors again, clean the windows with windex, knock down any cobwebs, get that last little bit of grime off the tile grout.

2) Cleaning- exterior- knock down all cobwebs from the exterior of your home and windows, this will usually take you about 15 minutes to run around your entire house.  You will notice cobwebs accumulating on exterior lighting fixtures, siding, etc.  First go around your home quickly, then use a ladder or stepstool, or whatever you have, to get up a little higher.  Use a soft bristle broom if possible, and go over the siding you can reach, you'll be surprised how many cobwebs and spider webs you will notice once you get started.

3) Touch up painting- interior-  Get your extra paint from your garage and a small paintbrush, and quickly go around  your home and dab all the scuffs that you see, you will be amazed how many you will find once you get started.  Pay close attention to the "sheen" on the can, usually the bulk of your home is "flat" or "eggshell", and your bathrooms are "satin". 

4) Touch up painting-exterior-  Go around the entire exterior of your home and touch up any spots that you notice, as with other touch up, you will notice more spots than you thought once you get started.  Take a small folding ladder or stepstool with you.  Once you get started it will be hard to stop.  Please be safe, if you are not sure or don't feel comfortable at a given height on the ladder, just stop, you can always call a handyman later for the spots you can't reach or access safely. 

5) Replace all interior and exterior light bulbs that aren't working.  The most elegant chandelier or light fixture looks terrible with a burned out light bulb, take a quick trip to the hardware store and replace those burned out bulbs, most homes have at least a couple bulbs that need attention.  If time permits, dust and quickly polish the light fixtures with a clean soft cloth.  It is surprising how much dust accumulates on lighting.   As with the other items mentioned, once you get started it is hard to stop.

6)  Lubricate the front door lock, hinges, and any other locks and hinges throughout your home that need attention, use whatever oil you have on hand.  Over time, and with most homes in the area close to the ocean, locks will start to stick, hinges creak.   Take a few minutes to lightly lubricate and polish your lock hardware, its a small thing that makes a difference. 

Once your home is ready for sale, take a little extra time with the items above, these small things go a long way towards helping you get your home sold quickly. 


How's the local real estate market?

by Eric Cecchin

With headlines all over the news about the real estate recovery, and with even more headlines about soaring San Francisco Bay Area prices, I'm frequently asked how the market is here.

Arcata, Sunnybrae, and Bayside are the hottest segments of the real estate market right now, especially priced below 400,000.  Those homes are getting sold quickly, with multiple offers in many cases.  Above 500,000 is a little slower, but still showing strength with some 500,000 plus Arcata homes selling in the first few weeks of listing.  Entry level homes in Arcata that a year and a half ago were selling between 175-210,000 are now selling for 210-260,000.  So thats about a 15% increase over the past year and a half, probably the biggest appreciation that we've seen for any segment. 

Eureka, McKinleyville, and Blue Lake have seen an increase in liquidity (shorter marketing times), and approximately 5% increase in selling prices over the "bottom" of a year and a half ago. 

For sellers, great news, the market is much better and your home will sell quickly if priced correctly.

For buyers, prices are still very affordable and have not gone up that much, you just need to go see the new listings as soon as they come on the market, and may need to offer a little more aggressively than in the past.  Interest rates are still very low, at or below 4.5%, so it still only costs you approx $500.00/month for every $100,000 you finance. 

I am always happy to help you with your real estate needs, call or text me any time at (707) 498-1817.










Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Eric Cecchin

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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