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


Moving to a new home can definitely be labor intensive, but there are plenty of ways to make it easier and less stressful. Creating a priority list of things to do before the moving truck arrives can help ensure that you won't forget important details.

If you've chosen a service-oriented moving company, they should provide you with information -- possibly even a checklist -- on how to efficiently work with them and prepare.

Having the movers do the actual packing for you is often an option, but not everyone feels comfortable turning over that task to people they don't know. If you decide that it's worth it to pay the extra fee, you can always prepack and take with you any personal, fragile, or valuable items you don't want to entrust to others.

Moving companies are in a competitive business and are usually willing to negotiate the price of their services. By getting cost estimates from three different movers, you can often save hundreds of dollars and choose the company that provides the best value and customer service. Reading online reviews, checking Better Business Bureau ratings, asking a lot of questions, and taking notes are a few of the methods you can use to make an informed decision. Once you've done your research and picked a reputable moving company to transport your belongings, you've cleared one of the biggest hurdles. Packing, of course, can also be a rather immense part of the process. Here are a few tips to help make it a bit easier.

Downsizing helps: Depending on your age, the size of your family, and how long you've lived in your current home, you may want to "lighten your load" as much as possible! Transporting things you no longer use or need can make moving more tiring, complicated, and expensive. Taking the time to have a garage sale, contact the Salvation Army for a truck pickup, or even find a cost-effective junk removal service to haul away your unwanted stuff can simplify your moving experience.

Boxes and packing materials: Although there's a good possibility of being able to negotiate some wardrobe boxes and other supplies into your service contract, more boxes, heavy-duty tape, and packing material will be needed! Inquiring at your local supermarket about any surplus boxes is one way to save money on supplies. However, if the boxes they give you are flimsy or damaged, the monetary savings may not be worth the hassle of having them split open in transit. Overpacking boxes with heavy objects can also result in that same problem -- not to mention the probability of muscle strains and back injuries! Clearly labeling boxes and avoiding using nondescript categories, such as "miscellaneous," is yet another way to reduce the potential stress and frustration of moving all your belongings to a new home.


For first-time home sellers, promoting a residence to the right groups of homebuyers may prove to be a major challenge. Lucky for you, we're here to help first-time home sellers streamline the process of showcasing a house to prospective buyers and accelerating the property selling journey.

What does it take to promote a house effectively? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers do just that.

1. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

A first-time home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior closely. By doing so, this property seller can identify any potential problem areas and work to address such issues accordingly.

Typically, a home appraisal offers a great starting point for home sellers. This appraisal ensures a property inspector can assess a house both inside and out and offer expert insights into a residence's strengths and weaknesses.

After a home appraisal is completed, a home seller can use the appraisal report findings to prioritize assorted home improvements. That way, a home seller can commit the necessary time and resources to transform various home weaknesses into strengths.

2. Improve Your House's Curb Appeal

It is paramount for a first-time home seller to consider the homebuyer's perspective. In fact, doing so may make it easy for a home seller to uncover ways to bolster a residence's curb appeal.

Consider what homebuyers will see when they view a house for the first time. This will enable a home seller to identify potential issues and work to resolve such problems without delay.

For example, a home with long, uncut grass or chipped paint on the exterior may be an eye sore. As a result, homebuyers might shy away from this residence after they see it for the first time.

On the other hand, a house with a pristine front lawn and a dazzling exterior may make a great first impression on homebuyers. This means a homebuyer probably will view this house in a positive light – something that may lead a property buyer to submit an offer.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to promoting a house, there may be no better option than hiring a real estate agent. Together, a real estate agent and a first-time home seller should have no trouble promoting a residence to the right homebuyers, at the right time, every time.

A real estate agent will teach a home seller about the housing market and help him or her plan ahead for any potential home selling pitfalls. Plus, this housing market professional will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure a home seller can maximize the value of his or her residence.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will assist a home seller in any way possible. And if a home seller ever has housing market questions, a real estate agent will respond to these queries immediately.

Take the guesswork out of promoting your residence to homebuyers – use these tips, and a first-time home seller can stir up interest in his or her residence as soon as it becomes available.


We’ve all seen the way landscaping and decorating trends can sweep through a neighborhood. Some are practical, like planting drought-resistant vegetation. Others are purely aesthetic choices.

In this article, we’re going to break down some of the latest trends in landscaping. Who knows, you might be inspired to get out and revamp your front or backyard with one of these ideas. Read on for some of the latest and greatest landscaping techniques for your home.

Landscaping you can eat

One trend that is making a comeback is growing herbs and vegetables. We’re not talking about a backyard garden in a chicken wire fence (although those are great, too!)--what we’re referring to is planting herbs and colorful lettuces right in your front yard. Well-placed plants look natural and can save you money at the grocery store at the same time. Just make sure they’re planted in soil appropriate for growing vegetables.

Similarly, many people are rediscovering the native fruit trees, bushes, and vines of their area. Adding these items to your yard will give you something sweet to eat and also a sense of pride in your region. So, find out which fruits and vegetables grow well in your area and find some to compliment your yard.

Drought resistance

We’ve all seen the headlines. Climate change is upon us, and water shortage is one of the chief long term concerns. To save water and keep the front yard looking manicured, many people are turning to vegetation that can resist long periods of time without water.

There are drought tolerant plants in almost every family of flora. From flowers to shrubs and even grass. However, many homeowners in areas warm areas prone to drought are opting out of grass completely in favor of stone pathways lined with hardy, yet beautiful, cacti.

Actually comfortable outdoor seating

The days of uncomfortable plastic and metal chairs are numbered. Waterproof outdoor seating has improved immensely in the last few years and a greater number of people taking advantage of it.

Another indoor comfort that is taking root outdoors is the use of varied lighting techniques and colors to create different moods, be it calm or whimsical.

Let it grow

Many homeowners, fed up with having to mow their lawn every weekend instead of spending it relaxing, are opting to let their grass grow out. Planting shade-giving trees, incorporating natural boulders, and creating stone walkways give a wild, but pleasant feeling reminiscent of an English garden.

Where there is grass, it is often left to grow to “meadow” length to complement the natural feeling of the rest of the yard. Planning out such a yard, however, takes time, or you could end up with a backyard that looks like it just hasn’t been taken care of.


What are your favorite backyard landscaping trends?


334 2nd, Benicia, CA 94510  

Residential
$550,000
Price
4
Total Rooms
2
Bedrooms
2
Baths
A beautiful location right off the water with views of the Marina, Carquinez Straits and Mt Diablo. This is a treasured Single Story 2 Bath 2 Bed Condo together with the open floor plan and filtered sunlight, this condo is a must see, it won't stay on the market long. Enjoy peaceful and tranquil living at its best, being just steps away from downtown Benicia....


It must have been frightening, in the days before the internet, to move to a new place that you knew little about. The culture, the people, the things to do--all of these things are now at our fingertips thanks to Google and others.

However, it can still be difficult to get used to a new town, especially if you’re moving far away from your previous home. So, in this article, I’m going to give you some tips on how to investigate your new town. That way, you’ll have a good idea of what kind of things you can do for fun, where to eat, and countless other things you might want to know about the place you’ll soon call home.

The lay of the land

A good place to start your search is on Google Maps. From here you can explore your future neighborhood; find out how close you are to grocery stores, parks, hospitals, and even get an estimate on how long your work commute will take each day.

Since many of these places will have ratings and reviews, you can also take some time to read the reviews for popular places around town.

Eating around town

It can seem like you’re always flipping a coin when you eat at a new restaurant. When you move to a new town, you’ll have to discover new favorite places to eat. However, you don’t have to do these experiments on your own.

Check out Yelp reviews for local restaurants and cafes to get a sense of the pricing and atmosphere. This way you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of enjoying the experience.

Meeting new people

Making friends is hard enough as an adult. In today’s world, many people meet their friends online or through other connections, rather than simply hanging around with their neighbors.

Luckily, sites like Facebook and Meetup make it easier to introduce yourself to like-minded people.

Browse local meetups that you’re interested in, and don’t be afraid to try out a new activity or attend a paint night--you might meet new people and discover a new hobby all at once.

Most towns have a strong presence on Facebook in terms of things like groups and events. Joining local groups will give you an idea of the type of things people do for fun around town and give you a way to introduce yourself to new people.

Read the news

Many towns are covered by a local or regional newspaper. They can often be found online or at a local library or cafe. These newspapers are often the key to discovering the good and the bad about your new home, tipping you off to the things you’ll want to pay attention to when you move.