Custom home in The Summit with amazing Folsom Lake & Sierra views!

650 Lakecrest Drive, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Taking full advantage of the expansive views of Folsom Lake and the Sierra’s, this exceptional quality custom home offers a wonderful floor plan with vaulted ceilings. Chef's will delight in the state of the art kitchen with two islands, built in refrigerator and high end appliances. Main level master suite with dual sided fireplace, steam shower, two vanities, spacious walk in closet and fitness room. The two downstairs bedrooms are adjoined with a Jack and Jill bath. Extra-large garage, perfect for boat parking. The attention to detail and designer touches throughout make this home a joy to come home to.

Listed at $989,000

Just Listed - Beautiful home in El Dorado Hills!

2033 Wood Mar Drive, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Beautiful home in Marina Village, walking distance to elementary and middle school. With the kitchen surrounded by the two living areas and dining room, this home is perfect for entertaining. The spacious master bedroom features an ensuite bathroom with separate vanity. The generous backyard offers many entertainment options, with a lower play area, fire pit, upper play area and mini bicycle track, dog run, large grassy area and patio. Folsom Lake is a quick hike down the trail on the property.

Listed for $483,900

Gorgeous custom home in El Dorado Hills with acreage and breathtaking views!

2521 Persia Lane, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Exceptional quality custom home with unrivaled views of Folsom Lake. Remarkable in its beauty and private location, this refined residence features four bedrooms with three and a half bathrooms. The main level master suite boasts two closets, two sinks, marble counter tops with matching fireplace surround, soaking tub and outside access. The ideal floor plan offers an great room concept with the family room open to the spacious kitchen and nook. Chefs will delight in the state of the art kitchen with 5 burner Thermador gas range, 2 ovens, and an island. Upstairs is comprised of an over sized bonus room with wet bar, balcony, bedroom and bathroom. Relax in the resort style backyard with covered patio, sparkling swimming pool with waterfall and enjoy the natural beauty of Folsom Lake and the rolling hills.

Priced at $979,900

What I did to sell my home in less than 1 week

Being a realtor, I know what can help or hurt a listing. When it came time for me to sell my own home, I was determined to make it look perfect and to sell it quickly. If I can’t sell my own home quick, why should clients trust me to sell theirs?

Regardless of being a Realtor, when it comes to your own home you can’t help but think like a Seller. Of course I wanted to sell my home for $100k higher than the value. If I don’t have to invest more into the home, I don’t want to. I don’t want a “For Sale” sign out front or strangers in my home while I am gone… I had to constantly take a step back and make sure I was doing what I would tell my clients to do.

After a lot of hard work, my home received an offer the first week. The feedback I received from the showings and the brokers tour were great. There was nothing I could do to make my home more sell-able. Besides pricing it reasonably, here are the steps you can take to help sell your home as quick as possible:

Step 1 - Research 

Go to model homes to get inspiration. Take pictures so you can imitate the looks at home.  A well staged model home is not overly decorated. It is decorated to enhance the beauty and architectural features of the home while masking the non-desirable items. You rarely notice the lack of storage in a model because it is staged to appear abundant.

Step 2 - De-clutter

This is VERY important, even for homes without clutter. Rent a storage unit, DO NOT put everything in your garage or closets. You will need to de-clutter those areas as well. 

Go room by room, and take most of your personal decor away. You want the buyer to be able to see themselves living in the home with their things. Rooms are better off empty than cluttered.  
  • Remove extra or oversized furniture. (If you have a small dining room, take a leaf out of your table and remove extra chairs)
  • Stage your closets. Keep only the clothes in season and store the rest. This is especially important if you are currently tight on storage. 
  • Say good bye to junk drawers. Buyers often open kitchen and bathroom drawers. 
  • Clean out your refrigerator, pantry and under the kitchen sink. People look in all of those places when they are considering purchasing your home.
  • Store most the children's/pets toys. It will make it easier for showings if you do this up front!

Step 3 - De-personalize

  • Remove every single photo in your home that has a person in it. No exceptions. If the frame must stay, replace the photo with a magazine cut out. I did this in several decorative frames in our bonus room, above the master bed and on my kids nightstands. Go to the local grocery store and pick up a couple home design, photography or even the free luxury home magazines. This will keep your home decorated and de-personalized. (Remember the model homes? They have frames throughout but it doesn't feel like you are walking through someone else's home.)
  • Paint all walls a neutral color. This may be hard work, but it is worth it. Some buyers cannot see past colored walls, and others over estimate the cost to repaint. 
  • If you have any outgoing pieces of art or furniture, put it in storage. The buyers want to envision themselves living in the home, not you.

Step 4 - Clean

Deep clean your home. Here are some commonly missed areas that we often notice in homes. 
  • Light switches
  • Stove hood
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator 
  • Kitchen and Bathroom knobs
  • Baseboards
  • Windows and window sills
  • Sliding glass door tracts
  • Showers/bathtubs
  • Enclosed light fixtures- Exterior, chandeliers, showers/bathtubs (Clean out the dead bugs)
  • Dust Exhaust vents & ceiling fans
  • Dust window coverings
  • TV screens (Use special electronic cleaner. DO NOT use Windex. It leaves a film.)

Step 5 - Repairs

Take the initiative to fix small things that you know of. Most likely, the buyer will request them to be done anyways. 
  • Re-screen sliding doors or windows screens if necessary. (This is a VERY easy DIY! You only need to purchase a small Screen tool and some screen. I learned how to do it by watching a YouTube video.
  • Touch up every nail hole, mark or scuff on the walls or baseboards. Keep the paint handy over the next couple days. After you think you have found them all, you will find a couple spots you missed.
  • Re-caulk bathtubs or showers if necessary
  • Add bark to front and back yard

Step 5 - Bring someone else into your home for a second opinion

After I thought my home was ready to go, I had my mother (who is also a realtor) walk through the house as if she was the pickiest buyer. She was the one who pointed out that my slider needed to be re-screened and my TV needed to be cleaned.

Step 6 – Bury a Saint Joseph statue (optional)

I was determined to get my home sold quickly! My husband thought I was joking, but I was serious. I made him dig a 12” hole near the For Sale sign for my Saint Joseph. I put him upside down with his hands facing the front of my house. Can’t hurt, right? 

Showings and Open Houses – First impressions are crucial!

  • Turned on soft instrumental jazz music throughout the house and yard. 
  • Turned on front yard and backyard fountains
  • Turned every light in the house on, including table and bedside lamps. 
  • Mopped the floors. 
  • Wiped down the kitchen counters.
  • Made sure my air freshener was on.
  • A quick run through - I would go through the house with a laundry basket and toss any misplaced clothes or toys in it, and store it in my car. 
My home backed to a busy street, so minimizing road noise was important. I cancelled our first open house because of the rain. I knew the rain would make the cars sound much louder than normal. I didn’t want a bad first impression. 

“You have to spend money to make money.”

I chose to invest in a few items to get my home ready to sell. I believe my small investment had a great return. Below are the items I thought would help the sale of my home.
Decor - I purchased a large mirror and piece of art at World Market to replace my family portraits.
Plants - We added a few large pots and flowers near the front door. I also found a great wreath at Home Goods. 

Bark -
We purchased bark for our yard and spent a Saturday with the kids, spreading it around. It made the yard look great!
White Tea Scent DiffuserScent Air - I saw this in a model home and have been obsessed with it since! It is the best air freshener and you can control how strong the scent is. I loved it so much, I have purchased two diffusers and have subscribed to a monthly refill shipment. 

Color Seal Grout - I think I paid about $1,600 for my downstairs living area (roughly 1500 SF) to have the grout redone. This made a huge difference. My grout had become discolored from kids and dogs, it even started deteriorating because I had it cleaned so often. We were contemplating installing hardwood floors because the grout drove me crazy. We saved a significant amount of money by having this done, and it looked amazing! I wish we had done it when we first moved in.

Carpet replacement/ cleaning - I invested about $1,000 total in carpet replacement and cleaning. I had a carpet cleaning company come with a black light to find hidden spots from my naughty dogs. It is very important to hire a good carpet cleaning company to treat and extract the pet stains, instead of shampooing them into the carpet. (I highly recommend Upright Carpet Cleaning and Restoration 916-291-3661.) I had our carpet and pad replaced in the downstairs work out room.

Check out the final product: 

Just Listed - Superb Custom Home on the Serrano Golf Course

5185 Titleist Way, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762


Magnificent Serrano Golf Course Estate overlooking the 8th green and fairway. Boasting a masterful floorplan with over 5000 square feet of open and bright living space. Chef’s will delight in the state of the art kitchen with two islands, Thermador appliances and built in refrigerator. The main level master suite offers outside access, a walk in closet and luxurious master bath. The spacious bonus room features a wet bar, bathroom and balcony. The backyard includes an outdoor BBQ, sparkling swimming pool, covered and uncovered patios. The attention to detail and designer touches throughout make this beautiful estate a joy to come home to.

To set up a private showing, contact Stephani Menser-Polley at (916) 289-9866.

New Listing - Walking distance to the El Dorado Hills Town Center

Former model home offering remarkable attention to detail and quality throughout. The 2,302 square foot home features 5 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms. Located in Cresleigh, this charming community captures the beauty and accessibility of the El Dorado Hills Town Center.

With abundant natural light and soaring ceilings, the meticulously cared for home offers an ideal floor plan for today’s lifestyles. The kitchen includes white cabinetry, dining nook, and island. This comfortable space provides many entertaining options while overlooking the dining room and a cozy family room with fireplace. The main floor also features a down stairs guest bedroom and bathroom.
The upstairs master suite provides plenty of space to share with dual sinks, shower, a relaxing tub and walk-in closet.

The generous 5,924 square foot lot delivers a sunny, garden like setting with lush greenery and spacious patio. A perfect place for relaxing or entertaining family and friends.

Offered at $439,900

Spectacular Serrano Home with 4 Car Garage & Pool - $733,000

110 Gage Court was just listed for $733,000. This is the 2nd lowest price per square foot home in Serrano and has much more to offer than anything in its price range!  If you would like more information or to view it call us at (916) 289-9866. We will be holding an open house 1/11/15 from 1-4pm and 1/15/15 from 9am-1pm.

This desirable 4,498 square foot home is located in Serrano, walking distance to the park and Oak Meadow Elementary School. What sets this JTS Hickory model apart from the others of its kind is the expanded loft that adds 263 square feet and the 4 car garage.  The kitchen is an entertainer’s dream, with granite counters, double ovens and a dramatic island open to the dining nook and family room. The formal dining room features an oversized wine closet and has a view of the courtyard and the fireplace in the living room. This fabulous floor plan offers a spacious guest retreat with ensuite bathroom and a library on the 1st floor.
Off the large loft, there are two bedrooms with balconies that share a bathroom and an additional bedroom with a private bathroom. The master suite is comprised of many windows that take advantage of the views on each side of the room. The master bathroom amenities include two walk in closets, a jetted tub, dual sinks, a vanity area and double shower heads.
Completing this magnificent home is the resort like back yard with a swimming pool and waterfall, hot tub, fountain, entertaining patio with stamped concrete, and lush landscaping.  
A few other amenities include:
Upgraded Elevation (stone siding and full porte cochere)
4 Car Garage (standard is 3)
Expanded Upstairs Loft (additional 263 sf)
Downstairs Bedroom is at Ground Level (standard is up 2 steps and down 2 steps)
Sink Hook-up in Garage
Courtyard with Fountain
Swimming Pool with Waterfall
Large Patio with Stamped Concrete
Prewired for Surround Sound in Loft & Family Room
Alarm System
Granite Countertops
Double Ovens
Upgraded Tile
Upgraded Carpet & Pads
Upstairs Laundry Room
Extra Tall Cabinets in Master Bathroom
Double Shower Heads in Master Bathroom
Jacuzzi Tub in Master Bathroom
Front Door Wired for Security Camera
Eaves Wired for Lighting
OnQue Home Network for DSL/Cable
PVC Pipes in Yard for Backyard Lighting Wiring

New Homes in Serrano - Pinnacle by Toll Brothers

We were invited to the Brokers Open House for The Pinnacle at Serrano, built by Toll Brothers. The models will not be completed until May 2015, but the floor plans were released. There are 3 two-story floor plans and 1 single story. They have a handful of golf course lots and lots with golf course views. As of yesterday, three lots have been reserved. My personal favorite lot is still available, #118. It is located on the 15th green of the Serrano Golf Course. Another wonderful lot would be #201. It has golf course views because it is situated much higher than the Taylor Morrison homes that will be built underneath. The Venosa floorplan flipped with the courtyard facing the golf course would be wonderful on #201. Prices are starting in the low $700k's.

If you are interested in one of these homes, give us a call at (916) 289-9866. We are preferred agents and have gift cards for our clients that are worth $1,000 in options. As I have mentioned in past blogs, when purchasing a new home, realtor commission's do not effect your purchase price. In fact, it helps because we negotiate! Realtors are paid a marketing fee which is from a completely different branch of the company.

What we loved about these homes was that they are semi-custom. The buyer picks the lot, the floor plan, the finishes and the exterior elevation. They also have the option of modifying the floor plan. Common modifications have been wine cellar instead of the planning center, garage configurations, first floor master bedrooms, etc. An option we thought would be a good investment would be a third car garage on the Palermo single story model. Parking can be an issue in Serrano and for resale, a three car garage is a must!!
There are three different elevations for each of the floor plans; Andalusian, Chateau and Tuscan.


The Palermo

3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, 2-Car Garage, 3,309 SF
  • The attractive courtyard entry adds curb appeal and leads to the welcoming foyer which flaunts an elegant tray ceiling.
  • A bright and open floor plan unifies the main living spaces creating an ideal environment for entertaining.
  • The expansive great room offers abundant space, direct access to the sizable rear covered patio through a stunning sliding door system, and a marvelous fireplace that is surrounded by exquisite niches.
  • This fabulous kitchen includes a large center island with a breakfast bar, an adjoining breakfast area, an accommodating walk-in pantry, and discreet access to the formal dining room through a convenient butler pantry.
  • The spectacular dining room is highlighted by a beautiful tray ceiling and offers a considerable amount of space for hosting even the largest of dinner parties.
  • The impressive master bedroom is accentuated by a tasteful tray ceiling and includes an elaborate sliding door system to the rear yard, a large walk-in closet, and a gorgeous master bath which includes a private water closet, a dual-sink vanity, a grand soaking tub, and a luxurious shower with a drying area and seat.
  • Additional highlights include a desirable den, a sizable laundry, and generous secondary bedrooms that offer walk-in closets.
The Palermo Floor Plan

The Venosa

4-5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms, 3-Car Garage, 4,037 SF
  • The inviting covered entry opens up to soaring ceiling heights in the two-story foyer which draws attention to the graceful curved staircase.
  • The appealing living room is accentuated by an exquisite tray ceiling and a beautiful bank of windows that allows for natural light to fill the room.
  • The formal dining room incorporates an elegant tray ceiling and is located off the main hall which includes views of the intimate courtyard.
  • The impressive kitchen features a huge center island with breakfast bar and is open to the generous family room which is completed with a desirable fireplace that is flanked by accommodating media niches.
  • The welcoming bonus room creates an additional living space that is centrally located to the bedrooms and is perfect for multi-generational entertaining.
  • The mesmerizing master bedroom is highlighted by a dramatic tray ceiling, a sizable private deck, two walk-in closets, and an extravagant master bath which offers a dual-sink vanity, a private water closet, a gorgeous soaking tub, and a luxurious shower with seat.
Venosa 1st Floor
Venosa 2nd Floor



The Brescia

4-5 Bedrooms, 4.5-5.5 Baths, 3-Car Garage, 4,042 SF
  • The delightful courtyard entry welcomes guests as they enter the elegant foyer which proudly displays a beautiful tray ceiling and a grand staircase.
  • An expansive great room offers plenty of space for entertaining, a cozy fireplace, and a fantastic bank of windows that opens the space to the generous rear covered patio.
  • This inspiring kitchen features an impressive center island with a wrap-around breakfast bar, abundant counter space, a walk-in pantry, and an adjoining dining room.
  • A well-designed second floor provides an appealing loft space, a spacious bonus room, and a huge covered deck that maximizes outdoor entertaining.
  • The sensational master bedroom is completed with a tasteful tray ceiling, two walk-in closets, and a marvelous master bath including a dual-sink vanity, a luxurious shower, and a desirable soaking tub.
  • Additional highlights include a well-located laundry, a convenient drop zone, plenty of linen space, and an attractive first-floor bedroom that features a private bath and walk-in closet.
Brescia 1st Floor
Brescia 2nd Floor




The Arzono

5-7 Bedrooms, 4.5 - 6.5 Bathrooms, 3-Car Garage, 4,243 SF
  • The picturesque covered entry opens up to an inviting foyer with an ornate curved staircase that defines a graceful double-volume space.
  • The expansive great room is open to the kitchen and dining room while offering abundant space, a cozy fireplace, and access to the generous covered patio through an elaborate sliding door system.
  • The well designed kitchen features a large walk-in pantry, plenty of cabinet space, and a huge center island with a supplemental eating bar for informal dining.
  • The formal dining room is highlighted by a sensational bank of windows and is large enough for even the largest of family gatherings.
  • The stunning master suite is accentuated by a beautiful tray ceiling and incorporates a well-proportioned walk-in closet, a huge covered deck, and a marvelous master bath offering dual vanities, a private water closet, a large soaking tub, and a luxurious shower with built-in seat.
  • Additional highlights include a spacious bonus room on the second floor, a convenient planning center, and an appealing first-floor bedroom that is complete with a walk-in closet and private bath.
Arzono 1st Floor
Arzono 2nd Floor


The new Meritage Homes in Blackstone - Move in ready homes

If you are looking for a good deal on a larger home (3,806 sf) look at the new Meritage homes. There are currently two of the same model, the Mitchell, that are move in ready. This floor plan is not modeled, if you would like to view it call (916) 289-9866 or email

Beautiful new construction in Blackstone

 Both homes offer VERY large lots in comparison to other homes in the area. The home pictured is located on lot 628, on over a 12,000 sf lot. The modern home with a great room concept, is perfect for entertaining large parties or intimate gatherings. The first story with wood floors throughout offers a home work area off the kitchen, a mud room, formal dining room and an office. Upstairs are the 4 spacious bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, expansive loft area, and laundry room connected to master bedroom closet. The kitchen is a chefs dream, with a large island, kitchen sink overlooking the backyard, maple cognac cabinets, granite counters, a tasteful backsplash, stainless steel appliances and brushed nickel fixtures. This home also offers a 4 car garage!!!
Since the home is move in ready, the builder needs it sold. It is listed at $672,300 but since they completed the construction, they are offering $35,000 OFF the price. The in office sales associate for Meritage informed me that they will give our clients a washer/dryer/refrigerator and blinds!Also, if you use their in-house lender, they offer an additional $10,000 credit towards closing costs. This is a good deal for such a beautiful, energy efficient home!

Chef's kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances


To view the home call Stephani (916) 289-9866.


The Mitchell Floor Plan

El Dorado Hills Town Center Fall Events 2014

There are several fun upcoming events in October at the El Dorado Hills Town Center! 




Outdoor movie night

Frozen Sing-A-Long

Saturday, October 11th
Move Start Time: 7pm

 Steven Young Amphitheater
Set-up begins at 6pm, movie starts at 7pm.
Please feel free to bring blankets and chairs.
Mama Ann’s will be selling pizza by the slice, cookies and sodas.
Popcorn will be served, courtesy of Regal Theater! Saturday, 10/11/14 starting at 7pm

Freaky 5k & Little Monster Run

Saturday, October 25th
Steven Young Amphitheater
Wear your costume and run around the Lake Trail lit with luminaries and glow arches! 

Be on the look out for ghosts and goblins!

Temple of Terror Haunted House

Friday-Sunday, October 10th-31st
Friday’s/Saturday’s- 6-10pm
Sunday- 5-8pm

4367 Town Center Blvd. Suite 134
(Entrance on patio/waterfront side next to Bistro 33 and Hop House)

Friday and Saturday
$8 per person for a single tour
$12 wristband for unlimited tours (same-day only)

 Sunday (save $2)
$6 per person for a single tour
$10 per person for unlimited tours (same-day only)

Recommended age 13 & UP
**Beginning October 1st, tickets will be pre-sold at California Welcome Center and Face in a Book.**

Halloween Spooktacular

Friday, October 31st

Trick or Treating Town Center Businesses

(Pick up your flyer of participating businesses at the Town Center information booth*.)

Costume Contest for Kid’s and Dogs

(Costume Contest in the Steven Young Amphitheater.  Contest registration at the Town Center information booth*.) 

Costume Contest Categories

Most Creative
Hero or Villain
Best Group or Family
(All entries for dog contest will be in one category)
*Town Center Information booth located in the Steven Young Amphitheater

Quick Cleaning Tip - Cleaning Baseboards

cleaning baseboardsToday I discovered a (life changing for me!) baseboard cleaning tool that I am excited to share- dryer sheets. With two dogs in my house, I have to clean my baseboards frequently and loathe doing it. Getting on my knees with a bucket, cleaners, and rags... Not fun.

I have read in the past about dusting with dryer sheets and decided to try it on my baseboards. It was amazing! It was so easy to clean with and a bonus is that it coats as it cleans for residual dust-fighting power. When used on your baseboards it can not only help repel pet hair, but will generally keep the things that get tracked in and out of our home off the walls and on the floor where it can be swept up. It can turn the weekly (or monthly) task into something that is done every few months or even a few times a year.

Single Story home in Stonebriar with 3 car garage and possible RV parking!

3057 Montrose Way, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

 Contemporary single story home located within feet of the large Stonebriar Park. This open and bright residence is situated on a large, 12,937 square foot lot. Boasting 3,229 square feet of living space, this spectacular home offers four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a three car tandem garage. Chefs will delight in the state-of-the-art kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The living areas contain both, formal and informal, living and dining rooms with 10 foot ceilings. The spacious dining nook opens to the courtyard, providing the option to dine indoors or outdoors. The large windows seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living.

The master suite with abundant natural light features a fireplace open to the master bedroom and bathroom, soaking tub, walk in shower, double sinks and a spacious closet.

The serene backyard is situated along a greenbelt and offers a generous covered patio. The expansive side yard is a blank canvas to park your boat/ RV or to add a pool. This home is a must see!

The seller is offering a $5000 credit to Buyers towards new flooring!!!


Tips for Increasing your Home’s Value

Eliminating Buyer Turnoffs - As the real estate market continues to recover, buyers are out in full force. Many of today’s buyers make judgments about a home within seconds of viewing the listing online. Since the housing crisis, they are more cautious and want to make sure they are buying the best house for the best price. Here are 8 tips to increase your homes value by eliminating buyer turnoffs.


Nothing turns off a buyer quicker than a dirty house. When selling a home, it needs to be in the absolute best condition it has ever been in. Go the extra mile, steam-clean tile and grout. If the carpets are old and smell bad, replace them. If they are newer, have them cleaned.


Pet odor is the number one most offensive smell to buyers. Put pet beds, litter boxes and toys away.

Cooking smells can also turn a buyer off. Strong spices, bacon and onions tend to linger long after the meal. To diffuse them, leave a window slightly cracked while cooking. After you are done with the meal, boil cinnamon in water to freshen up the house. Plug-ins and sprays can make the problem worse for people who are sensitive to smells.

Cigarette smoke throughout a home can be a deal breaker. If you are a smoker, have the entire house painted. Paint will be more cost effective than accepting the low offer you may receive if you don’t.

Too many personal items

When buyers tour a home, they are trying to envision how the home will fit their lifestyle. If your house is cluttered with too many personal items, the buyer will have a hard time picturing themselves in your home.

Decorating to live and decorating to sell are different. Anything that screams ‘you’ is what you don’t want. When there are family photos on display, buyers get very distracted. ‘Oh, do I know them? What do their children look like?’ Removing personal items will keep the buyers focused on the home.

Unusable space

When buyers see a room with no purpose they think of it as wasted space. When visiting model homes, notice that the extra spaces are staged as a reading area or gift wrap station? Creating a use of the space will help justify the price a buyer will pay for the square footage.

What may be lack of organization can come off as lack of storage. Most people looking for a new home have outgrown their previous one. An organized home shows that you’ve still got room to grow and gives them a reason to buy.

Lack of natural light

If your home appears dark, add higher wattage light bulbs to existing lighting and install more canned lighting.

Mismatched Appliances

When it comes to selling, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. Having mismatched appliances is a turnoff to buyers. Contact the manufacturer of the appliance that can provide you with a listing of face panels that will fit. Also, many white or black appliances come two sided that can easily be switched around. 

Backyard Privacy

Plant tall shrubs or trees if your house backs to neighboring homes. Gazebos and open umbrellas will also help create the feeling of privacy.

Tips for Increasing your Home’s Value

Consistently spending time maintaining your home will preserve your investment and prevent costly repairs in the future. Whether you plan to live in your home for years, or put it on the market soon, a well maintained home shows pride of ownership and yields a substantial return.  Increasing your home’s value does not always require investing money; proactive upkeep can go a long way.


·        Have your carpeting cleaned professionally at least once a year to remove deep-down dirt and stubborn stains. Avoid excessive pile crushing by moving heavy furniture periodically. With proper maintenance you can extend the life of your carpet.

·        To prevent water intrusion and dry rot around bathtubs and showers, install enclosures and re-caulk or re-grout as necessary. One of the most common places to find dry rot inside a home is the baseboards around a bathtub. Use the bathroom vent or a window when bathing to keep moisture from lingering.
Kitchen Maintenance

·        To avoid discoloration on kitchen cabinetry, never hang wet dish towels on the top of
your cabinet doors or drawers. Damage in many kitchens
can be found on the cabinetry underneath the kitchen sink.

·        Clean stone counters and stainless steel appliances with a cleaning solution made specifically for that item. Cleaning with the wrong
solution can ruin the finish on the counters and appliances.

·        Clean your dishwasher strainer, pump, and spray arms every three months and the dishwasher float (the water level control) periodically.

·        Cleaning your range hood frequently will prevent grease deposits from forming a hard residue that can be difficult to remove. Regularly wash the grease filter, the hood, the underside of the hood and light bulb (when it is cool) with a mild detergent or degreaser.


·        Water heaters should be drained periodically to keep the heating element working efficiently. Most steel water heater tanks are lined with glass to prevent rust, but constant temperature fluctuations cause the glass to expand and contract, making small openings. When water eventually penetrates the lining, the tank begins to rust. At the same time, the heated water causes limestone to form in the tank. As it forms and settles to the bottom of the tank, the sediment eventually becomes thick and reduces heating efficiency. In electric tanks, the limestone builds up on the heating element and forms a hard crust that can eventually make the heating element stop working.  Annual maintenance will keep your hot water flowing.

·        Annually clean your clothes dryer vent located behind the dryer.

·        Air filters should be replaced every 3 months to protect the unit from dust and debris. Never operate your unit without an air filter.

·        Check the batteries in your smoke detector every time you change your air filter.

·        Install Carbon Monoxide detectors to comply with the July 2011 law requiring CO2 detectors in all residential properties.


·        The seals at all roof penetrations, flashings, and the water tightness of rooftop elements, should be checked periodically to maintain your roof.

·        Gutters collect water from the roof and carry it toward downspouts. Together, gutters and downspouts direct water off the roof and then down and away from your home.  The role of gutters is all too often overlooked by new homeowners, but the role they play in keeping your home dry is vital. Gutters should be cleaned in the spring and the fall. Debris in gutters can conceal rust, deterioration or leaks. When clogged, water can flow onto the roof and into the home instead of the downspouts. Downspouts should be draining water away from your home to prevent water damage to the siding and foundation. Caring for these elements will extend the life of your roof drainage system by many years.

·        Remove your window screens once a year to clean out the dirt build-up on the sills. A build-up of dirt can transfer to the exterior walls or trap water on the sills which will lead to water damage.

·        Check annually for large cracks in your stucco, and repair those wider than 1⁄16 inch.


·        Soil should be built up around your home to create a barrier to direct water away from the foundation. If the lot is sloped and water is directed towards the home, diverting water away from the home with a French drain is important. If your yard starts to puddle the French drain may be clogged. Annual lawn maintenance is often required to keep sloping in place.

·        Trim trees so they are at least 2 feet away from the roof and
gutters to prevent the
gutters from clogging.

·        Don’t plant plants or
grass too close to your
home. Watering plants
near the house can
cause leaks into the
interior and other water problems. Although vines look beautiful growing on the exterior of your home, they prevent the walls from drying and can deteriorate the surface.

·        Make sure your sprinklers are not spraying your home or near the foundation; it could damage the exterior or cause leaks.

·        Pools need to be regularly cleaned to prevent the surface from being ruined. During rainy periods, it is a good idea to lower the water level to prevent your pool from flooding.

·        During icy temperatures, drain and insulate your hose spigot to prevent it from freezing.


Tips for Increasing your Home’s Value

Being a Realtor and a resident of Serrano, I see many homes with the same floor plan and the original basic builder options. To set your home apart from the others, don’t overlook the finishing touches that help add value and style.

An updated kitchen is perhaps the most profitable investment you can make to a house.  A few finishing touches can change the overall look of the room.
Replacing a faucet is a relatively simple and inexpensive update that can instantly liven up the kitchen. Adding decorative pendant lighting over an island area, replacing outdated knobs and a sleek new faucet can add a great deal of style to the kitchen.  
If replacing the dated cabinetry is not in your budget, consider refacing. Painting, staining or adding veneers will transform the once drab kitchen into a prime selling point to a potential buyer.

Bathroom fixtures can be found in affordable sets that offer a hand towel holder, a towel bar and a toilet paper holder. Pairing the updated fixtures with a new bathroom faucet can change the whole feel of the room. Switching out the shower curtain for a bathtub enclosure will make the bathroom appear much larger (and prevents the common dry rot around the tub).  Inexpensive bathroom mirrors can be hard to come by, especially for larger rooms. Framing in the builder grade mirror can be a good option. Many tutorials on how to do this yourself can be found on Pinterest or YouTube.

Tip for kids bathrooms – switch out the towel bar for towel/bathrobe hooks to keep the bathroom looking tidy. The kids will be more likely to hang their towels and it will look better when they do!

Dining room
When it comes to updating a house, the dining room is often forgotten. Switching out the dated chandelier and setting the table can add a great deal of decorative appeal.

Before purchasing any fixtures in the hardware store, search online. Amazon often has the same items for less. Lacking inspiration? is a wonderful website to get ideas from.

Tips for Increasing your Home’s Value

el dorado hills energy efficent home

Tips for increasing your home’s value – Energy Efficiency

By Stephani Menser, Realtor and Serrano Resident

Being a Realtor, I see thousands of homes per year and one of the biggest trends right now is making your home more efficient. This increases your home’s value drastically. A buyer has more purchasing power for an energy efficient home because of the lower monthly utility costs. A few popular energy saving modifications are listed below.

Add Solar Panels to offset your energy costs. This is the most popular trend I have noticed in my home buyers “wants” in their future home. The amount of energy savings varies depending on the amount of panels and the exposure to the sun, but you have the option to purchase or lease. The tax credit is 30 percent of the cost of the solar equipment added to the home and is available through 2016.

Add insulation to your garage doors. According to statistics, insulating doors may improve the energy efficiency in your garage by 71 percent. By controlling the temperature throughout the hot summer months and cold winter months, you will have substantial savings on your energy bills.

Go tankless! A tankless water heater only produces hot water when you turn it on and it never runs out. 

Switch out old plumbing fixtures for new water conserving ones and lower your water bills.  A new California law will require the retrofitting of non-water conserving plumbing fixtures. Old faucets, showerheads, toilets, water heaters and more will need to be replaced by January 1, 2019.

If you have a hot tub, add an extra layer of insulation to it.  A thermal blanket is a cost effective way to help maintain the water temperature.  These Styrofoam sheets float on top of the water and trap the heat that would be escaping from the top of the hot tub. These blankets cost less than $100 and help a great deal during the winter.
As your incandescent and CFL light bulbs burn out, switch to energy efficient LED light bulbs. While LED’s may cost more than CFL’s, they provide better lighting, last 10 times longer and use 75-80% less energy than CFL light bulbs. The lifespan for these bulbs is around 22 years and the prices have recently dropped.

Tips for Increasing your Home’s Value

Being a Realtor, I am frequently asked what makes a home in Serrano worth more than the identical one down the street. Upgrades, views, location and amenities play a large part, but there are many affordable ways to help increase the value and set the home apart from the others.

 Serrano, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
First impressions are crucial. The exterior of the home should be inviting. Fresh paint on the front door, a nice wreath, door mat, new bark and (Serrano approved) flowers add desired curb appeal.

A good cleaning goes a long way. Sparkling appliances and tidy cabinets show signs of a well maintained home. Adding light air fresheners, cleaning grout, baseboards and light switches show pride of ownership. Invest in “Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Sponge’s”, they work wonders! For stainless steel stoves, try oven cleaner to get rid of those hard to remove stains. For grout, there are many options, but “Comet Gel with Bleach” works very well. Transforming the home from lived-in to move-in condition dramatically increases the value.

Get an expert opinion before investing in a costly remodel intended to add value.
Best return on investment upgrades:
kitchen and bathroom counter tops, knobs on cabinetry, flooring and updated appliances. Exterior paint is also a good investment. It is important to keep the home protected from the environmental elements to prevent expensive repairs in the future.

Items NOT to invest in for value purposes: Pools should be added for your enjoyment, not with intent to add value. Typically, the value added with the pool is less than the cost of the pool.
Custom paint is one of the worst investments for value purposes. Not everyone has the same taste and extravagant, over the top walls can hurt the value of your home.

When considering any home improvement projects, do not go overboard. Keep in mind that the value of your home is partially determined by the value of the neighboring homes.
If you have any questions regarding value, give the Menser Real Estate Group a call! We are always happy to help, 916-289-9866.