Robin Tanner | Benicia Real Estate, Vallejo Real Estate, Napa Real Estate, Fairfield Real Estate


We all like a clean home. As many times as we go through our daily and weekly cleaning routines, our homes can still be dirty. There’s plenty of places in your home that you might be neglecting to clean. These places are germ breeders. Especially to help prevent the spread of cold and flu, it’s important to keep these frequently used areas germ-free. The good news is that cleaning often overlooked spots is very simple. We’ll tell you where you need to clean and how with the tips below. 


The Refrigerator Handles


While you’re preparing dinner, it’s very likely that you will need to open the fridge door more than once. You may surface clean the outside of the fridge, but often forget the handles that everyone grabs to get in and out of this appliance. You should scrub the handles down on a weekly basis with a mix of hot water and vinegar. 


Your Computer And All The Accessories


You probably spend a lot of time at your desk and at the keyboard of your computer. Think of the times you have spilled things, sneezed on your computer, or just plain sweat while sitting there. There’s a ton of germs breeding all around your computer and its accessories. Make sure you do more than dust your computer off. Take off the accessories and scrub them every so often. If you have a laptop, turn the unit off and use a damp cloth to wipe it down. 


Toothbrush Holder


While you probably remember to brush your teeth twice a day, you may not remember to clean your toothbrush holder very often. You can easily throw toothbrush holders right in the dishwasher. Also, boil the toothbrushes themselves in water for a few minutes every so often. This is especially important during times of cold and flu to keep viruses from spreading.      


The Faucets


The faucets are perhaps one of the dirtiest places in your entire home. Be sure that you’re cleaning the handles and the faucet itself on a regular basis. You can do this with hot water and dish soap (something that’s already nearby!) For a deeper, disinfecting clean, use a paste of baking soda and vinegar.


Coasters


These great little inventions protect your tables from having the finish damaged by glasses and cups. Without a cleaning once in awhile, they can build up residue and bacteria. Be sure to give them a once over with warm water and soap.  


Some other areas that could use cleaning in your home:


  • Light switches
  • Placemats
  • Cabinet handles
  • TV remotes
  • Coffee makers


While your home looks clean, you want it to be clean. By following these tips and by paying attention to the most used areas of your home, you’ll be on your way to a deep clean that avoids breeding germs.  



If you're on the lookout for your dream house, it helps to be persistent. In fact, there are many reasons to take a persistent approach to the real estate market, and these include:

1. You can pounce on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

A persistent homebuyer should have no trouble finding lots of homes that match or exceed his or her expectations. Then, this buyer can take the necessary steps to submit an offer on his or her dream house and finalize a home purchase.

As a persistent homebuyer, it is essential to submit a competitive offer on any residence that you want to acquire. By providing a competitive offer, you can increase the likelihood of receiving an immediate "Yes" from a seller.

2. You can stay ahead of the competition.

When it comes to buying the best house at the lowest price, the early bird catches the worm. Thus, a persistent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to find and purchase his or her dream residence as soon as this house becomes available.

To stay ahead of the homebuying competition, it helps to assess the real estate sector closely. This will enable a homebuyer to identify his or her dream house in no time at all.

Furthermore, a homebuyer should create a checklist of dream home wants and must-haves. This list will allow a homebuyer to narrow his or her home search, making it easier than ever before to discover a great house.

3. You can boost the likelihood of a seamless homebuying experience.

No one should be forced to deal with a long, arduous homebuying experience. Fortunately, a persistent homebuyer can act quickly on available houses, ensuring this buyer can accelerate the homebuying journey.

For a persistent homebuyer, it often is a good idea to get extra help from a housing market professional as well. Thankfully, real estate agents are available who can provide comprehensive support to persistent homebuyers in any city or town.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house in a buyer's or seller's market and is happy to share his or her industry expertise with a homebuyer. By doing so, a real estate agent can provide valuable insights to help a homebuyer accomplish his or her goals.

In addition, a real estate agent offers plenty of support at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she will learn about your homebuying aspirations, set up home showings and keep you up to date about new residences that become available. Plus, once you find your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer right away.

If you want to pursue your dream house, it may be beneficial to take a persistent approach to the housing market. With the aforementioned tips, you can enter the real estate market as a persistent homebuyer who knows exactly what he or she wants to find. Take advantage of these homebuying tips, and you can move closer to acquiring your ideal house.


Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and other California cities boast a wide range of luxury houses. And for those who appreciate the finer things in life, there may be no better option than purchasing a Golden State luxury residence.

Ultimately, there are many wonderful reasons to buy a luxury home in California, including:

1. You can enjoy best-in-class amenities.

Whether it's a deluxe spa or landscaped garden, many California luxury homes feature unparalleled amenities. Thus, you should have no trouble living in comfort and elegance if you choose one of the many Golden State luxury homes that are currently available.

When you're searching for a California luxury home, try to learn as much as possible about the residence's amenities. That way, you can select a Golden State luxury residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.

For example, if you want a luxury home in downtown San Francisco, you may want to consider a residence with a top-of-the-line gym. With a terrific in-home gym in place, you can stay in shape and ensure you're prepared to trek along San Francisco's seven hills day after day.

On the other hand, if you're buying a luxury home in Malibu, you may want to look for a house on or near the beach. This will ensure you can enjoy surfing, lounging in the sun and other beach activities any time you choose.

2. You can reap the benefits of superior luxury home technology.

No luxury home in California would be complete without state-of-the-art technology. In fact, many Golden State luxury homes are equipped with electronic security, smart carbon monoxide detectors and other superb technology that make it easy to transform an ordinary living experience into an exceptional one.

Perhaps best of all, luxury residences that feature superior technology are available across the Golden State. This means if you want to buy a luxury San Diego beach cottage or a deluxe mid-century modern house in Palm Springs, you're sure to find plenty of excellent houses that feature the latest and greatest technology.

3. The value of your luxury home may rise over time.

California offers a terrific place to live. From its beautiful beaches to its historic landmarks, the Golden State represents a top choice for those who want to enjoy a beautiful, fun and exciting place to call home.

As a luxury homeowner in California, the value of your property may increase over time thanks in large part to the popularity of Golden State luxury residences.

Of course, you'll still need to dedicate time and resources to maintain your California luxury home's interior and exterior. But with a commitment to home maintenance, you can keep your California luxury home looking great both inside and out and increase the likelihood that your residence's value will increase in the years to come.

Clearly, there are many great reasons to begin a search for a luxury home in California. If you hire a real estate agent, you can move one step closer to purchasing an awe-inspiring luxury residence in the Golden State.


If you have watched any home search show or any home renovation show on television, you probably know that granite countertops are the hottest thing, right? Maybe, but there’s so many different kinds of materials that make for fantastic countertops. You need to choose the types of countertops that will fit your budget and your lifestyle. There’s a new countertop material that’s taking over.  


Quartz


Quartz refers to engineered stone. This is a manmade surface. This shouldn’t be confused with quartzite, which is the solid stone alternative to granite. Manufactured quartz is actually now the leading countertop material according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.


Granite Is Out Quartz Is In 


Quartz has many different advantages over granite. This material won’t let stains pass through and can stand strong when faced with acidic foods. Quartz also doesn't require the need to be sealed. As a bonus, quartz is more scratch and chip resistant than granite and many other popular countertop materials.  


Environmentally Friendly


Quartz is also considered a greener choice when it comes to choosing a countertop. This material doesn’t need to be mined or shipped long distances. Both marble and granite require these carbon intensive processes. Using quartz for your countertops is really good for the environment and your wallet at the same time. 


The Downside: Patterns Look Uniform


The downside to quartz is that the patterns look kind of uniform and bland. Quartz manufacturers have actually come up with a way to create patterns in the fabrication process. This is the end of boring quartz in the kitchen. 


The Newest themes in home design are all about functionality and low maintenance. Many kitchen showrooms are adjusting accordingly, using marble sparingly in their displays and featuring granite. Every aspect of home design from furniture to tile is now being made with low maintenance materials so that homeowners have it easier time keeping up with their homes. 


Other Materials For Countertops


  • Marble
  • Solid surface
  • Concrete
  • Butcher block
  • Other kinds of stone
  • Other woods
  • Stone
  • Stainless steel
  • Glass
  • Tile


As you can see there’s many choices out there as to what to have your countertops made of. There’s a good reason why Quartz has become the number one material for kitchens everywhere.


You could be tempted to choose a countertop based on looks alone, however there’s much more to consider. You’ll need to look at your habits and lifestyle, then consider what you want out of a material. Each type of countertop material provides different benefits to maintenance, durability and cost. If you have kids, for example, white marble may not be the most economical choice for you. You’ll be pretty upset the first time some peanut butter is spilled on the countertop or some finger paints end up there. Knowing how you live will help you to make a countertop choice that you won’t regret.


Your 401K is a great resource of investing for retirement. Many people use their 401k’s as a part of their overall investment strategies, pulling money out of it when it’s needed. When you’re ready to buy a house, you may think that pulling money out of your 401k for a down payment is a good idea. But think again. 


Although you should always speak with a financial professional about your money matters, the bottom line is that is probably not the best idea to use your 401k to supply money for a downpayment on a home. 


First, your 401k funds are pre-tax dollars. That means that you haven’t paid any taxes on these funds. Your employer will often match the amount of money that you put into your 401k, as an incentive to help you save money for your future. You need to keep your 401k for a certain amount of time before any funds in the 401k become available to you without having to pay any kind of penalty. If you decide to take on the penalty, you can often face a cut to your employer’s match programs as well. This is why you must make this decision wisely. 


The Penalties


Anyone under the age of 59.5 pays a penalty of 10 percent to take the money out of the fund. In addition, you’ll now need to pay taxes on this money, because it becomes a part of your adjusted gross income. 


Alternative Actions


If you are looking to invest in a property, there may be other options for you rather than pulling money out of your 401k. While some plans allow you to borrow money from it. However, if your only option to get money to invest in a property is to pull money from your retirement account, it may not be the best time to invest in property for you. 


Keep It Separate


If you’re younger (say in your 30’s or 40’s) your best option is to have a completely separate account that is used to save for a downpayment and other expenses that you’ll incur when you buy a home. In this sense you aren’t spreading yourself too thin as far as investments go. You should compartmentalize your money. Buying a home is a large investment in itself. Home equity can also be a good source of a nest egg in later years when you need it. However, even if a property will be an income property, it’s never smart to take from one investment account to provide for another unless you’re shifting your focus. You don’t want to reach retirement, only to see that your funds have been depleted and you can’t retire as expected.