Day 40: I’ll Take the Master


I met a lovely family while showing a home in Northeast Fresno. Having outgrown their current home, they wanted to see this super cute house on Muncie, thinking it would perfectly fit their needs. I did not know these folks prior to showing them this house, so my plan was to build rapport to the best of my ability in hopes that they would choose me to represent them as their Realtor.


“Come see this Mediterranean designed home. The open floor plan is great for entertaining and will wow your guests. We have completely updated this home with granite counters, distressed brass, marble, travertine, engineered wood floors, a new spa tub with fireplace, and much more. The backyard is a tropical oasis, with relaxing waterfall and an in-ground pool. This property has it all for the buyer looking for the Northeast Fresno experience.”

Luckily for me, I discovered that they are an Armenian family! Instant connection in most cases. I, too am Armenian, if you didn’t already know. I stuck the Hye card in my back pocket ready to play it at the right moment. When we arrived at the house and my clients exited their car, I saw that they had with them the most adorable baby girl! I think she was around 5-6 months old. I LOVE BABIES! Double score for me.

It turns out that this family planned to combine three generations under the same roof, which is why they needed to upgrade their home. When all is said and done, living in the home will be three adults and three children, comprised of a mother, her son and his two children, and her daughter with her baby girl. They wanted a house that would not only have enough bedrooms to accommodate all three generations but also enough separation in living areas to allow for some privacy within each family unit.

I hung back taking pictures for my blog while the family looked around. I didn’t hear everything they discussed, but the major theme of their conversation revolved around bedroom size. Since each family unit would essentially be contained in a bedroom, with the living room and kitchen as common space, the daughter was very concerned that the bedrooms were too small. My favorite comment from her was “Well, I really think I will want the master.” Oh, the look on mom’s face… It was loud and clear without a word uttered that there was no way on Earth anyone other than the grand matriarch of the family would be getting the master! Sorry, dear daughter, not gonna happen. Good try, though!!

I chatted with mom a bit while son and daughter wandered around and measured rooms. We talked about being Armenian (I’m telling you, it comes in handy!), about babies, about how lovely this house would be to host their extended family at Christmas. She is a delightful woman! Time will tell if mom and daughter can figure out who gets the master, or if we go back to the drawing board on house hunting. There are certainly houses out there with dual master suites!




Day 38: Million Dollar Baby

A million bucks


What would you do if you had a million bucks to spend on a house? Move to San Francisco where you can get yourself a charming 900sqft apartment? Move to SoCal where you would have to be in the suburbs to even find a townhouse for that price?

I know what I would do…find a McMansion right here in Fresno County and live the high life in a budget-friendly paradise. Yes, I actually do consider my hometown to be a paradise. All cities have their shortcomings. ALL OF THEM! But where else will you combine some of the most majestic mountain ranges, close proximity to adorable beach towns, rich agriculture that feeds the world, and reasonable living expenses? No where. Fresno is it.


One million dollars buys the most amazing houses around here. I had the privilege of attending an open house at a North East Fresno mini-mansion and let me tell you, it was breathtaking. I wanted nothing more than to grab a cocktail and lounge in the backyard while listening to the relaxing sound of the waterfall flowing into the pool. Money may not buy happiness, but if money can buy this oasis, it’s darn close.


Let’s take an even more intimate look!

With housing prices all across California skyrocketing and the median price to purchase in San Jose and other metro areas at over $1 million, even middle-high income earners are being priced out of those markets. Even rents are too high for comfort in many areas. For the same price or less, California residents can have this kind of luxury with ease. If that doesn’t convince people to try FresYes, I don’t know what will!



Day 29: A Tale of Two Condos

Every once in a while a great investment opportunity surfaces, and if you are looking at just the right time (or have a Realtor looking on your behalf), you might be able to grab one.  A couple of days ago, I received a lead about someone wanting to see a condo in South East Fresno.  I cringed a bit when I looked up the location, only because that part of town has a reputation for being a little rougher than most.  The condo complex is fairly close to Fresno Pacific University, though, so I figured it might be a nice mix of owners, long-term renters, and students in temporary housing while attending college.

Upon researching the listing, I discovered that there were actually a handful of units for sale in the complex. In anticipation of my client wanting to see a variety of investment options, I pulled detail sheets on all of them.  It never hurts to be over prepared! Since safety always comes first, I informed my husband and a couple of people in the office where I would be and headed out to meet my client.


I really did not have high expectations for this condo, given its price point. Much to my surprise, the nicely landscaped grounds and well-maintained common areas were a welcome sight. There were two large swimming pools with spa, tennis courts, and a large green park for children to play. The location of the condo was tucked away from the center on a private corner lot with the backyard along Lane Ave. The inside also did not disappoint. It had been recently renovated with new carpet, paint, appliances, and custom tile in the bathroom. It also featured a recently built rustic raw wood mantle framing the fireplace. As an added bonus, there was an indoor laundry room, which is a huge improvement over standard apartment units with centralized laundry.

Custom tile and mantle
New kitchen appliances
“Lovely 2 BD. 1 BA. Ranchwood Condominium. Good investment whether to live in or to hold. This ground level home has been updated with fresh paint and newer appliances.Complex is gated at night and has many amenities to include 2 pools, club house, tennis, volleyball court, green area, covered parking and a lot of mature trees. 24 hour security. Central air & heat & washer and dryer. Walking distance to shopping, Fresno Pacific University, and public transportation. Why rent when you can own?”

Luckily for my client, the offer that had been made on the unit earlier in the day ended up falling through making it available to her, should she choose to make this her next investment property. I wish the tale ended there because she liked the condo a whole lot. So much so, that I got the impression we might submit an offer that night. Alas, the saga continued on to another unit in the complex. This is perfectly fine, of course, because it would be awful for a buyer to feel like she left something on the table. The other unit she wanted to see was occupied by a tenant and the listing indicated that a 24-hour notice was required before showing it. I figured it was worth a shot to see if we could see it that night since we were already there and all. Luckily again, we were able to get in!


The floor plans of each were very comparable.  Both have a living room, kitchen, laundry room, and two bedrooms.  The main difference between the two is the second bathroom in #2 and wood laminate flooring, which gave it a very modern and sleek look. Condo 2 was near the pool and very much central within the complex, making it less private. Overall, I was quite impressed by the complex and both units.  I think either would make a good choice for income producing rental property. No decisions were made after the showings, but I have high hopes of putting one of these condos into escrow soon!





Day 26: Where do I start?

I spent time today with a young family trying to purchase their first home. We visited a beautiful home in Sunnyside that would be the perfect starter home for them. It is 100% to be expected that first-time homebuyers have lots of questions about navigating such an enormous purchase. These folks, however, truly did not seem prepared for what to expect. Naturally, that is where a real estate professional steps in to fill in the gaps left by some lenders who may not fully educate their clients, which I did. After much debate, this couple and their eight-week-old baby left to consider whether or not to make an offer on the house. I left as well, but with consideration of a much larger issue on my mind.

It is such a shame that any potential buyer should leave their lender’s office without a crystal clear picture of what they can do and what comes next. There are myriad moving parts in the game of real estate and just as many critical players. The lender, agent, escrow officer, buyer, and seller, to name a few, all have important roles to play to complete the deal. When one of the players does not fulfill his or her respective obligation, everything comes to a screeching halt. The deal I highlighted above stalled out at the lender phase. My buyers thought they understood what they could do, but ended up realizing that some questions had not been answered during the loan pre-approval process.

In an effort to reduce problems of this nature, many agents like to refer clients to a local lender with whom they have a solid professional relationship. I would like to introduce one such lender, Susan Campise of California Home Loans-Fresno. Susan is a seasoned mortgage consultant who consistently goes above and beyond to help Central Valley home buyers reach their real estate goals. If you are about to embark on a house search or if you simply want a local lender who will be responsive to your needs, Susan will go the distance to educate you every step of the way. There are lots of choices in lenders out there, but a referral from your trusted Realtor can ensure you are on the right track from pre-approval through getting the keys to your new home. Tell her I sent you!

Loan Checklist

Loan Document checklist

So, on to the house!

mono Collage

“Clovis Schools!!! Perfect for first time home buyers recently remodeled and priced to sell, this house won’t last. Newer granite countertops and newer floor coverings throughout. This home is centered near shops and easily accessible to freeway. Spacious backyard with crystal clear pool ready for entertaining.”

This little gem is tucked away on a quiet street north-east of Kings Canyon Ave. and Fowler Ave. From the outside, it appears to be your average 1990’s tract home, but upon entering, I discovered that it has been completely remodeled and modernized. The kitchen has beautiful granite countertops and upgraded cabinetry. There currently isn’t a dishwasher or range/oven, but brand new ones will be installed prior to the close of escrow. The wood laminate flooring is a lovely knotty maple pattern that coordinates well with the freshly painted walls throughout and plush carpet in the bedrooms. The bathrooms were not forgotten during the upgrades with granite and cabinetry matching the kitchen. Despite being 25 years old, this house has a completely modern feel. The spacious backyard has a pergola patio cover and very clean in-ground swimming pool. There is still lots of yard remaining around the pool as well. Perfect for a family to play and lounge.

mono Collage2

I really hope my sweet little family from today decides to make an offer on this one.  It’s a great location and perfect size for a growing family.  With all of the updating, modern features, and an established backyard, it rivals new home construction in the area at a fraction of the price. I don’t expect this one to be available much longer at all.




Day 24: Oh, What a Yard

Fresno makes national news every once in a while. It’s true! No really…

Fine, I’ll prove it.

America’s 20 Hottest Markets for Real Estate in August 2016 ¹


Hottest Markets

Well, how do you like them apples? Fresno is the 15th hottest real estate market IN THE NATION! And, it’s really true.  Moderately priced homes are flying off the market right now.  What does that mean for you?  Well, if you are considering upgrading or upsizing, now may be the perfect time to get started.  Selling your current home will be a snap in the current market and with gorgeous houses out there like the one you’ll see below, it’s inevitable you will find your perfect space with ease.

The clients I met with today are considering just such a move.  Their family has simply outgrown the cozy house they purchased before the little ones entered their lives and now it’s time for more space to nurture their spirits and spread their wings.  I took them to an adorable house near Woodward Park that has exactly that. Don’t you just love those red, double front doors? And the yard…the YARD! Love at first sight.

10th Collage

“The gorgeous 2 story house is on sale now! Move in Ready! With 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, and 10400 plus big estimated lots located in North Fresno at a walking distance to Clovis West! Wood floor throughout in all bedrooms, and an upgraded fireplace in living room. New ceiling fans and fixtures. Kitchen features an electric cooktop, built-in oven and microwave, dishwasher, double sink, walk-in pantry, dining area and lots of counter space. The laundry room comes with utility sink, tile counter and storage cabinets. Exterior brand new stucco painting! The patio in the yard allows a place to sit relax and enjoy! Practice your short game on the putting green, or green thumb it in the raised garden in the spacious side yard. Enjoy the pool with your family during Summer. With Clovis schools nearby and the community of Woodpark make this house an unbelievable find!”

I’d love to hear your feedback on this house.  Does it look like it could be your next home?





Day 14: Down the Hatch


Seriously, this is Brilliant. Incredible. Genius.

This, my friends, is a laundry chute.  A down the hatch, secret chamber for, literally, throwing dirty laundry from the second floor DIRECTLY INTO A CLOSET IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM!  (sorry for yelling…i got excited)

If you can’t find me this weekend, I’ll be at the home improvement store looking for a DIY laundry chute kit for my own home…


I was a little (ok, a lot) nervous about touring this house. This was my first time actually calling a listing agent to set up an appointment to see an occupied home. The setting of the appointment went fine, but when I got the confirmation text message saying she would meet me there…eek.  Pretty intimidating, to say the least. But, it had to be done eventually, so why not now? I felt a little like an imposter walking in and introducing myself to her. I was so nervous, you’d think I was going for a job interview at a fortune 500 company or something.  I walked in, introduced my client and myself to the her, and handed her my card. She was nice.  I have no idea what she actually thought of me, but she didn’t laugh out loud or question my right to show the house, so there’s that…

Portland Ave










“Very rare find in Clovis school district,5 bedroom 4 bathroom, separate family room and living, formal dining, kitchen eating area, wet bar in family room. Beautiful wood floors, shutters, nice size bedrooms with large walk in closets. Separate bedroom with private bath on first floor.Two sets of beautiful french doors leading to nice backyard with covered patio. Nice kitchen with an island, Jennaire and spacious pantry. There are solar screens along the back of the home. The backyard has plenty of room in addition to the pool, in-ground hot tub and covered patio.”


Nice kitchen, beautiful wood floors throughout the bottom floor and upstairs hallway, good floor plan, large pool and still enough backyard space for lawn and patio.  All good things!

The garage has been turned into a man cave with a black and white checkerboard floor and cabinetry along the back wall.  There is a bonus room downstairs with a bathroom and exterior door to the backyard.  My client figured she would use that space as playroom for her kids, but it was currently being used as a home gym and could also easily work as a home office.

The living room has a wet bar with a sink and wine fridge and there is a handy closet to the left of the fireplace, which is a perfect storage space for A/V components, movies, or video games.  Left open, it could also serve as decorative shelving.  Another cool feature is the balcony off the master suite.  It’s currently enclosed, which is great for kids and pets!  But it could easily be opened back up for a gorgeous view of the backyard.


My client’s two main dislikes about this house, and I tend to agree with her, are 1) the master bedroom is on the small side, and 2) the tile, fixtures, and kitchen appliances need updating.  It also would benefit from a fresh coat of interior paint throughout.  These are not deal breakers at all!  Cosmetic surgery is often needed to personalize a home to the new owners’ tastes.

And look at that pool!!  Every time I look at this picture, I feel a strong urge to grab a cold drink and a book and lounge away.  So refreshing!


Bottom line…this is a really nice house is a quiet, well-established neighborhood in NE Fresno.  I highly recommend checking it out if you are looking for a larger home with a pool.



P.S. — It has a laundry chute!  OMG!