Portola Valley Real Estate – Just Sold! by Ellen Ashley

Welcome to the Country!

Ellen recently represented the buyer in the sale of this serene and private country setting in the heart of Portola Valley. Manicured gardens, lush landscaping and captivating views provide the perfect backdrop for entertaining or relaxing and offer a park like setting for kids to enjoy. Featuring approximately 3200 sq ft of living space on one acre.

If you would like to know more about living in Portola Valley, just give Ellen a call. It’s a very special place. Contact Ellen @ 650-888-1886

Q3 Quarterly Market Report 2013 vs. 2014

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Nov 2014 Data

Emerald Hills Home For Sale!

223 Ferndale Way – Redwood city, CA

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Chic and modern, this beautifully updated custom home offers the best of Emerald Hills living. Accentuated by windows and skylights, this open and airy 4-bedroom, 3-bath home enjoys the serenity and surrounding beauty of its private location. Originally built in 1989, the home’s substantial renovation in 2005 added many striking, contemporary design elements. Abundant glass doors naturally extend indoor/outdoor living to the spacious decks, which provide expansive views of Edgewood Park Nature Preserve. Truly a charming and special place to call home! Click Here For More Photos

For More Information Contact:

Ellen Ashley @ 650-888-1886

Beautiful Portola Valley Home Just Sold!

Helping You Find Your Next Home!

316 Golden Hills Drive, Portola Valley, CA 94028

Enjoy the natural beauty of relaxing California living at its best in this gated, gracious single-level home. Above the hustle and bustle of the cosmopolitan heart of Silicon Valley, welcoming and serene retreat ambience arises from approximately 2.75 award-winning landscaped acres, abundant foliage, flourishing gardens, meandering pathways, and water features surrounding.

A beautifully maintained home with thoughtful details and timeless fine designer finishes. Elegant limestone floors throughout most of the home. Marble slab used in baths and fireplaces and fiddleback maple cabinetry in master bath and kitchen. Plaster walls showcase finely finished rounded corners. Open, light-filled design affords flexible usage of spaces. Large windows and doors throughout take advantage of views of surrounding hills, gardens, pool, spa, fountains, koi pond and orchard.

An outdoor built-in BBQ center provides alfresco dining and shared moments. Other features include guest quarters, a workshop in unfinished basement, extra storage in 3-car garage and basement, and a large motor court with ample parking spaces. This home is picturesque and serene yet only minutes to top-rated schools, shops & San Francisco Bay Area business centers.

Contact Ellen Ashley to help you find or represent your home: 650-888-1886

Q2 Quarterly Market Report 2013 vs. 2014

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Q2 Stats

Portola Valley Realtor Ellen Ashley

Helping you find the perfect home

Contact Ellen to help you find your next home or represent the sale of your home 650-888-1886

Greening Your Home Office

A lot easier than you may think

DeskPapersHaving a home office can be a wonderful space to have whether you work at home for a living, use your home office to pay bills, writing letters, or for researching online. Have you considered that a home office can leave huge carbon footprint and that it cost you a lot more money than you may have thought?

Greening your Home Office space is a great way to solve these problems and it can be a lot easier to do than you may think. In this article, you will learn some simple steps you can take to save you time, money, and help the environment.

Saving Energy

The first thing that most people think about when they want to be more green is how to save energy. Our homes can use a lot of electricity and by the end of the month the bill can a little shocking. However, here are a few things you and your family can do to bring down your monthly electrical bill and help make the planet greener.

One thing you can do is to let in as much light from the windows as possible. This will cut down on the need for lighting. If you have to have the lights on then you can replace all of your light bulbs with energy saving florescent or LED light bulbs. There has been a lot of debate as to which of the two energy saving light bulbs are the best. From the research it looks like LED bulbs are going to be the leader in energy saving, response, and overall safety.

light bulbYou can also shut down all the hardware you are not using like your printer or adjusting your computer screen from screen saving mode to sleep mode when not in use. You can also power down your Wi-Fi and modem when there not in use. Purchasing Smart Power Strips that automatically turn off the power when items are not in use will also help.

During the winter, you can put on more clothes rather than cranking up the heater. Most people may be home all day in their home office but they are heating the whole house. Try turning the house heater off or at least down to 65 degrees and purchase, a small energy saving space heater that will help cut down on the electrical cost and carbon footprint.

Many home offices still use a fax machine, scanners, and a printer, which are plugged in and usually left on. You can now purchase energy saving machines that fax, scan, and print all from one devise.

Saving Paper

Another easy way to make your home office greener is to cut down of the use of paper. We use paper in many of the daily things we do in our home office from printing out projects or proposals to taking notes. Below are several ways to cut down on the use of paper and save a few trees in the process.

ManInMiddleOfPaperStacksFirst thing you can do is to stop using paper. Instead, make everything a digital document. If you have projects or proposals save it as a PDF and send it to your clients via email so, they can read it on their laptops or iPads. You can use a digital signature on contracts saving you time and paper. The old way to get a contract signed was to print out the contract then fax it over to your client they in turn have it printed out on their end. They then sign it and send it back which now prints out on your end. If you had a ten page contract, that is a lot of paper.

Another great way to cut down on the paper is to choose to receive all of your bills online rather than having the electric company send you a bill, and then you write a paper check and send it back in a paper envelope. Try just paying your bills online, which will save time, energy, and trees.
If you do need to use your printer keep in mind that many ink cartridge companies will recycle your ink cartridges which means less garbage in the landfills

Lastly you can use older printed on paper that has not been used on one side and fold it in half with the unused side out to use for notes or checklists. Once you have used all your paper up completely keep a bin or box in your office so any completely used paper you don’t need can be recycled.

Save on Travel

Having your own business may mean you need to meet with people face-to-face. With the ease of online tools like Skype or Facetime, you can now setup online face-to-face meetings saving gas, time, and money all of which help the environment.

There is nothing more fun than heading out to your local office supply store. Unfortunately, this takes up time and gas, which increases your carbon footprint. Instead, try to make an office supply list at the beginning of each quarter and order your supplies online. You can also use many of the great online green office supply stores, which sell supplies such as recycled paper and green products.

Taking green a step further

If you wish to do even more to greening your home office you can take some structural steps that would be cost effective in the long run and depending where you live may even get you tax credits.

The first thing you can do is to make sure your home office area has the highest rated insulation that your local building code requires. This also means replacing your windows with a high R-value and making sure, they are double pane insulated. Lastly, adding solar panels to your roof will help cut down on your overall electrical cost.

Taking any of the steps mentioned above to greening your home office will not only help you save money, time, and energy but will help in improving the environment and the planet we all love.

Beautiful Woodside Home – Just Sold!

Helping You Find The Perfect Home

Just Sold! – 590 Summit Springs Road in Woodside California

Contact Ellen Ashley to help you find your next home or represent the sale of your home 650-888-1886

The Cities with the Highest Incomes

Top 10 Countdown

#10 Glenbrook, Nevada

Glenbrook, NVIf you have ever visited Lake Tahoe then you know how incredibly beautiful it is. One area of Lake Tahoe on the east shore is called Glenbrook on the Nevada side. If you enjoy skiing, camping, hiking, boating, a private golf course, or just sitting out on your deck with a glass of wine overlooking the lake, then this is the place to be. Truly one of the best vacation spots in the country. Glenbrook came in #10 with the average household income of just over $620,000 and the average home prices just over $2,000,000

#9 Gladwyne, Pennsylvania

Another rather wealthy neighborhood is Gladwyne located in Montgomery County and has been well known as one of the more prosperous areas for many years. The area has a mixture of farms, housing, and a small town. There are several private country clubs available for golf, Cricket, or a game of tennis. The average household income is just under $630,000 a year with the average price of homes around $720,000.

#8 San Francisco, California

SFSan Francisco, founded in 1776, falls into the #8 spot of cities with the highest incomes. San Francisco is one of the largest cities on the West Coast and offers a plethora of activities and dining experiences. There are several neighborhoods where the higher income resides with the average income is over $630,000 per year and the average home costs are above $880,000.

#7 Century City, California

Century City, with only 176-acre, is on the Westside of Los Angeles. The land was actually used by 20th Century Fox in the making of many films. Fox still has a studio within the city limits. Century City residents consist of mostly older-aged high-income homeowners with the average yearly income of over $650,000 and the average home costs of $800,000.

#6 New York, New York

New York, NYIt is no surprise that New York would fall within the top 10 spots of highest incomes. With Wall Street right around the corner and a resurgence of new residential buildings being built due to the demand by the high paying jobs that New York offers. The average New York Salary per year in select neighborhoods is over $650,000 per year and the average housing cost is over $1,000,000.

#5 Mill Neck, New York

Mill Neck, NY is a tiny village on the North Shore of Long Island and an ideal place to live if you’re looking for an undisturbed woodland or waterfront property. Mill Neck has been home to New York’s wealthiest families such as the Rockefeller and the Vanderbilt families. It has been well known as one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the country. The average yearly income is just over $660,000 and the average home can cost you just under $3,000,000.

#4 Purchase, New York

Just North of New York City is the town of Purchase well known as great place to live. It is also where some of the largest companies in the country do their business, which helps bring wealth to the community. There are many recreational activities perfect for the students who attend the State University. The average income of those who reside in Purchase is over $675,000 per year and you can find a home for around $1,000,000.

#3 New Vernon, New Jersey

The #3 spot goes to New Vernon, New Jersey which has some of the oldest estates around. It has been said that some of the estates are on the nation registry because they are so old. The average income of the residence of New Vernon is just over $670,000 per year with the homes costing on average over 2,500,000.

#2 Atherton, California

AthertonAtherton is one of the wealthiest communities on the west coast. It is a beautiful place to live and it is smack in the middle of Tech country with giant companies like Facebook, Google, and Oracle only minutes away. The folks who live in Atherton average over $1,000,000 yearly incomes and homes on average can sell for well over $3,000,000.

#1 Fisher Island, Florida

Fisher Island, FL copyFinally the #1 highest paid homeowners in the United State live on an exclusive little island called Fisher Island. The only way to get home is by boat where fewer than 200 reside. The average income of those who live on Fisher Island is well over $1,000,000 per year with the homes costing just over a couple of million.


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Should I Get A Home Inspection Before I List?

Home Inspection


Getting a home inspection before you sell your home is a smart choice on your part. Not only can it be a great negotiation tool but more importantly, disclosing as much information upfront via a home inspection will give your potential buyer the peace of mind and confidence that they will be investing in a structurally sound home.

So why get a home inspection?

There are many things beyond the curb appeal, the interior décor, and the square footage that are important to know before you sell your home. Unfortunately, most of these things are behind the walls or beneath the floors. Even if you had the home built less than a year ago many issues can pop up that you may not be aware of. One of the most important things to have inspected is the foundation of the home.  Some foundations can be cracked or have termite damage and this can be costly. Other things that need to be checked during your home inspection would be the electrical wiring and panels, the heating and air conditioning units, any appliances or mechanical units, backup generators, or alarm systems, proper insulation, and the roof and skylights. Also make sure to have your inspector check for any mold throughout the house. In some areas, a seismic inspection might be needed in order to check the ground your home was built on, especially if the home is built on the side of a hill or in earthquake country. Taking these steps before you list will give you a full understanding of the condition of your home and an idea of what you need to fix before you list. This can save you a lot of time and money prior to escrow.

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Finding the right Inspector

Finding a good inspector is imperative. You will have to place a lot of trust in the person who is inspecting your home. Referrals are the best way to find a great home inspector and your agent has a knowledgeable source of professionals who work in the area. It would be more important to find a qualified reputable inspector who has been in business 3 years completing 500 inspections than an inspector who has been in business 10 years and has only completed 20 inspections. Some inspectors have been around a long time but only work part time and do not have as much experience.  Also, make sure your inspector is a licensed professional before they perform any work. You can check their license status online and see if it is up to date and that they carry the proper insurance and boding necessary to do the work.

It would be a good idea for you to be around during the inspection to ask questions and make sure you are getting the service you paid for by your home inspector. Your inspection can take between 2-4 hours and longer for larger homes. You will receive the final written report usually within 24-48 hours and possible more time dependent of the size of the report or the requirements by the state.

Cost can vary depending on the size of the home and location. For example, if you live on the side of a hill it might be more work than if you live on a flat parcel of land. You get what you pay for so do not look for the cheapest service available. Instead look for the most professional skilled inspector.

Having a home inspection is worth every penny and having a professional home inspector’s objective opinion about the home assures a solid knowledge of the next steps you may need to take prior to selling your home.