The Pulse of Lafayette Real Estate

Stay informed about the latest homes for sale and real estate market in Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda, CA

Cabernets, Chardonnays, and Zins! Oh My!

Wine Tasting in Sonoma and NapaIt’s easy to take for granted our proximity to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, where some of the world’s best wine is made, and where people travel from all over the globe to sample the area’s treasures. If you haven’t ventured north recently, this is a great time to explore. The weather is nearly perfect (but then again, it almost always is in Northern California) and the summer crowds bring out the showmanship in your wine country hosts. But with more than 600 wineries throughout Napa and Sonoma, creating an itinerary can be daunting. You can simply hit the road and take your chances (though some high-end boutique wineries require reservations) or, let us guide you to some of our favorites.

These are a few of the wines that we at the Dana Green Team dream about. Book a visit – each of these wineries provides a great guest experience – or look for these at your local wine merchant and enjoy them in the comfort of your home where you can entertain your friends with these insights:

Alpha Omega Rose – Alpha Omega’s philanthropic owners Robin and Michelle Baggett are also the owners of Tolosa Wines in San Luis Obispo, where Robin played college baseball and is a member of the Cal Poly Athletic Hall of Fame. Cal Poly’s baseball stadium is named after him! 

Bernardus Chardonnay – We venture to Carmel for this one – another amazing wine territory that deserves exploration. This well-priced chardonnay can often be found at Costco, but treat yourself to a tasting room visit in the Carmel Valley to truly experience its magic. If you’re feeling indulgent, book at stay at nearby Bernardus Lodge, formerly of the same ownership group as the winery.

Frank Family ChardonnayProprietor Rich Frank is a former Disney executive; he served as Chairman of Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications and was President of Walt Disney Studios, overseeing the development of The Disney Channel, before dedicating himself to wine. His beautiful wife Leslie Miller is a former ABC7 reporter in Los Angeles, and is now host of “MORE One Life to Live” and “MORE All My Children” for The Online Network.

Hall Napa Valley: all the Cabernets – As much an art museum as winery, Hall is the home of the enormous silver rabbit sculpture that leaps skyward along Highway 29. “Bunny Foo Foo,” as he’s named by proprietor Kathryn Walt Hall, shows his sense of humor when he’s decked-out for various holidays in festive gear.

Patz & Hall Chardonnay – Winemaker James Hall (no relation to the other winemaking Halls) and sales manager Donald Patz bonded over their shared enthusiasm for rich and compelling wines while working together at Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards. They joined with Anne Moses and Heather Patz in 1988 to establish Patz & Hall.

Rombauer ZinfandelWhat can we say that you don’t already know about this luscious wine? With aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and sweet vanilla, Rombauer Zin tastes like a freshly baked pie, of which one piece will simply not do. Yum!

Walt Blue Jay PinotWalt Wines, based in Sonoma’s beautiful Alexander Valley, produces beautiful small lot wines and is owned by Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall of the previously mentioned Hall Napa Valley. In fact, Walt wines are made in the state-of-the-art winemaking facilities at Hall. Kathryn Hall is proud to follow in the footsteps of her parents, Bob and Dolores Walt, who were dedicated winegrowers.

Home Buyers Take Note, Title Insurance is a Must

Title-InsurancePeople ask me all the time if they need title insurance tends to be an overlooked part of the home buying process, yet it is necessary to protect your investment.

If you purchase a home with a loan, the lender who holds your mortgage will require title insurance as a condition of sale — one policy for you, and one to protect the lender itself. Cash buyers as well are strongly encouraged to purchase title insurance for reasons I will outline below.

The primary function of title insurance is to protect homebuyers against losses if the title to a property is not clear of defects. Defects such as liens, judgments, or bankruptcies, may not be known at the time the policy is issued, so the title company does due diligence by examining public records for past deeds, trusts,  decrees, bankruptcy filings, wills, court judgments, and any tax records that may be outstanding.

Follows are common title defects that could cause a homeowner to lose their property.

Mechanic’s Liens: These are liens placed against a property that a general contractor, or someone who worked to improve the home filed before beginning the work. This is to ensure the contractor is paid, and the lien is to be released when the job is finished. Problems can surface if the contractor does not file a “satisfaction” of the lien and, thereby, the lien remains on the property title.

Bankruptcies: This can cause a problem when, for example, a seller buys a home while single but then marries someone with a recent bankruptcy. The title company must ensure the new spouse has signed off on the deed and also that the bankruptcy case has been discharged. If not, the title company would need to petition the court to release the property from the bankruptcy process.

Marital Divorce: This often causes problems when a divorced spouse does not remember to remove a lien for child support, even though the debt may have been resolved long ago.  Also, lien issues may arise from past-due spousal support or delinquent taxes.

The title insurance premium is based on the sale price of the home, and is paid only once.

Many factors are involved when looking for and purchasing your dream home. Dana Green, Lafayette’s #1 Realtor since 2008 provides homebuyers trusted real-time local real estate knowledge and the confidence to act quickly and aggressively when the right property comes on the market.

Additional tips for homebuyers that will help ensure the success of your home buying process can be found on the website.

Photo credit: Caitlin Childs

Four Fabulous Outdoor Spaces

With its beautiful weather year round, Lamorinda residents love the outdoors. These four homes for sale offer luxurious outdoor lifestyles — each in its own Lamorinda way!

  1. 27 La Noria, Orinda, CA 94563    We love how the entire property is used – it feels like you’re entering a private compound. Anchored by immaculate 100+ year old Oak trees, the bucolic exterior proudly showcases magnificent gardens that have been impeccably maintained and lovingly cared for. The fully-fenced exterior provides an unparalleled backdrop for daily living and entertaining.  Exterior highlights include a heated pool and spa, grotto with cascading pond and relaxing fountain, meandering rock walls, and sun-drenched Connecticut Bluestone patios and walkways. And, if you love golf, this Orinda Country Club charmer is sure to delight!
  2. 501 Winchester Court, Lafayette, CA 94549    This home has a stunning pool and gardens. Imagine your back yard as a nature park with a SunPower solar pool. Walk through the rose garden to the private gate which opens to Briones Regional Park where endless hiking, running, horseback riding, and nature viewing opportunities await.
  3. 165 Ponderosa, Walnut Creek, CA 94549   This beautiful creekside setting is perfect for hosting friends. The well-designed exterior features a large level lawn, play area with play structure and multiple entertaining decks for year-round enjoyment.
  4. 3626-A Brook Street, Lafayette, CA 94549   This home resides in a serene and wooded setting. The low-maintenance, natural backdrop of this property provides wonderful dining and entertaining decks while the incredible downtown location provides a fabulous urban locale. If a playground is what you are looking for, the Brook Street Park and Lafayette Elementary School (both in the neighborhood) are ideal extensions to the home.

Fabulous-Outdoors

 

Lafayette, CA: Home of Destination-Worthy Cuisine

Chow Lafayette CA


With destination-worthy restaurants claiming territory in our corner of the Bay Area, Lafayette residents no longer feel the need to venture through the tunnel in search of quality cuisine. Lafayette has itself become the destination. From the west end of Mt. Diablo Blvd. to the east, one can find restaurant variety and caliber such as that in San Francisco, or in Alice’s Berkeley wonderland. Our town’s passionate restaurateurs and talented chefs might have touched down anywhere, but they chose Lafayette. How lucky are we? Let us count the ways:

  1. Our own gourmet ghetto: Berkeley might take claim for the term ‘gourmet ghetto’ – the Chez Panisse-anchored area of Shattuck and Vine – but Lafayette has its own version, fueled by skilled chefs and hospitable hosts. Lafayette Circle has become the go-to spot for a quick meal, a happy hour cocktail, or an indulgent celebration. With American Kitchen and The Cooperage American Grill flanking cornerstone Chow, and with each spot offering appealing al fresco dining, warm Lafayette evenings take on the appearance of a large, spirited block party.
  2. We’ve conquered SF. Now…to Lafayette! With two extremely successful locations in San Francisco, Roam Artisan co-owners Joshua Spiegelman and Lynn Gorfinkle considered a number of Bay Area sites for their third gourmet burger location. Lafayette, with its concentration of families and professionals who care about quality food and ingredients, was an easy choice for them. And when their friend Robyn Sue Fisher was seeking a fourth site for her nitrogen-made ice cream, Spiegelman and Gorfinkle suggested she and Smitten become their neighbor.
  3. Try them all! Can’t decide where to make your dinner reservation? Try small bites from a multitude of eateries during the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Lafayette restaurant walk. Held each spring, this community event allows guests to meander Mt. Diablo Blvd. and side streets while sampling delectable offerings.
  4. Accountability: Many of Lafayette’s restaurateurs live here in addition to working here and thus have greater accountability to their friends and neighbors. When not overseeing their celebrated Metro Lafayette, Jack Moore and Erica Pringsheim Moore can be spotted at their son’s track meets. Seventh generation Californian and Lafayette resident Julie Mitchell and her partner Erik Peterson are found most nights at their popular Rancho Cantina (try their margarita!) And at Rustic Tavern, locals Gary and Tressa Rust are a partnership made in heaven – he works the kitchen and she handles front-of-house.
  5. Variety: In the mood for pizza? What kind? Thin crust, Chicago-style, or flatbread? Find them all in Lafayette. How about Chinese? Uncle Yu’s has manned its Oak Hill Rd. location for decades. Sushi? The tiny and popular Blue Gingko serves some of the best, as does Oyama Sushi at the other end of Mt. Diablo. If it’s a burrito you desire, Lafayette has you covered. From Casa Gourmet Burritos, to El Charro and El Jarro (and several in between) it will take you weeks to discover them all. But now that you’ve chosen Lafayette as your new home, you’ve got the time. Lucky you.

Our 5 Favorite Features of 3716 Crestmont Place, Lafayette, CA, 94549

Our 5 Favorite Features of 3716 Crestmont Place, Lafayette, CA, 94549

  1. Casual Elegance. This Happy Valley custom traditional was built by M F Bruzzone Construction in 2003. The home features serene wooded views, casual elegance, a classic design, exceptional workmanship, privacy and an ideal floor plan. Our 5 Favorite Features of 3716 Crestmont Place, Lafayette, CA, 94549
  2. Superbly Situated. 3716 Crestmont Place is located on a quiet lane in a desirable pocket of Happy Valley. It is minutes from downtown restaurants and shopping, the Lafayette Reservoir, trails, BART, and Hwy 24 access. Perfect for families, this house is in the top-ranked Lafayette and the Acalanes Unified School Districts.
  3. Spacious Floor Plan. Included in the 4,291 square feet is an executive office with double-door entry and rich wood paneling, formal living and dining rooms, each with a coffered ceiling — these rooms are perfect for small or large-scale entertaining. There is also an open-concept kitchen/family great room. A central 2nd family room with built-in surround sound theater system is located in the secondary bedroom wing, downstairs.Our 5 Favorite Features of 3716 Crestmont Place, Lafayette, CA, 94549
  4. Beautiful Bedrooms. The master retreat is located on the main level and includes a vaulted ceiling, a stone-wrapped gas fireplace, dual walk-in closets, and sliding doors to a private master balcony with beautiful views. The master bath features granite finishes, dual vanities, a Toto toilet, an impressively large stall shower, and an oversized jetted soaking tub. The secondary bedroom wing is located downstairs and includes a central 2nd family room with built-in surround sound theater system, a junior suite with walk-in closet and en suite full bath and two additional secondary bedrooms.Our 5 Favorite Features of 3716 Crestmont Place, Lafayette, CA, 94549
  5. Amazing Privacy and Incredible Views. The .60-acre parcel creates a peaceful and relaxing environment. The fully landscaped, wrap-around exterior includes beautiful stone walkways, a level lawn, an enclosed sports court, a covered area for ping-pong or lounging, a sun-drenched back patio with a BBQ, rose and lavender gardens, and meandering rock walls.

Come explore this fantastic family home with a location and setting second to none! Open houses are scheduled for: Sunday, July 10th,and Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

Our 5 Favorite Places for a Fantastic 4th of July

  It’s official — summer is here and it’s time to celebrate Lamorinda, tradition, and this beautiful country! After you’ve filled up at the local pancake breakfast and partied at the Orinda parade, be mesmerized by the fireworks at any one of these spectacular destinations around Lafayette. Arguable the best fireworks display in the Contra Costa…

Our 5 Favorite Features of 1030 Dolores Drive, Lafayette, CA 94549

1.    Proximity to Downtown Lafayette. This traditional single-story is located within steps to downtown Lafayette where boutique shops, Michelin-rated restaurants, hometown cafes, and a variety of grocery stores await.  2. Incredible Curb Appeal. Great Indoor/Outdoor Lifestyle. The indoor/outdoor flow of the home is amazing & begins with an inviting front yard featuring a white split-rail fence,…

An Exceptional Estate and New Accolades Awarded to Dana Green Team

Today, the real estate stars are aligned! The San Francisco Bay Area’s most exceptional estate has just been listed for sale for $39,000,000! Dana Green is honored to be the exclusive Realtor of 7 Country Oak Lane in Alamo and is most grateful for this amazing opportunity! You may view this dream property at www.7CountryOakLane.com….

Our 5 Favorite Features of 1340 Reliez Valley Road, Lafayette, CA

Garden Oasis. A sanctuary of a home awaits behind the most beautiful fence on Reliez Valley. The world softens and quiets when you walk through the welcoming gate and perfectly manicured arbor. Come home to peaceful gardens and leave the hectic world behind. The treasure of this traditional Reliez Valley one story is the back patio, lush vegetated…

Gear Up for Dancing and Music In Lafayette Plaza Park!

Join us for beautiful summer evenings of dancing, music making, and mingling in our wonderful community of Lafayette! The below events are fun for all ages, families, or a casual date night. We hope to see you there! The Big Jangle Band On the evening of June 17th a local favorite, The Big Jangle Band,…

5 Ways to Keep Your Fingers on the Pulse of Lafayette’s Real Estate Market

Whether you’re a home-buyer, or a home-seller, success in a competitive real estate market depends on staying informed. Here are  5 simple ways to keep up with the latest in Lafayette’s real estate market news. Subscribe to Sneak Peek. Sneak Peek subscribers receive news directly in their email inbox regarding: Pocket Listings that are not…

5 Reasons to Schedule a Showing of 1600 Reliez Valley Road Today!

Move in Ready. 1600 Reliez Valley Road contains a beautifully updated main residence, with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. In addition, there is a detached 1215 square foot studio that runs on its own meter and has heat and air conditioning. Privacy. This rare Lafayette compound is located on a private drive, tucked off Reliez…

How Often Can You Have Your Cake and Eat it Too?

Earlier this spring, we announced a unique opportunity in Happy Valley. 3654 Happy Valley Road, Lafayette, CA, which has two lots and endless possibilities. Since we first listed these two parcels for sale, together, Parcel B, a classic, well-maintained home and property, has become available for purchase on its own! This classic Happy Valley Estate was…

Our 5 Favorite Features of 27 La Noria, Orinda, CA 94563

7 Bedroom | 6 Bathroom | 5009 Sq. Ft. Main Home & Pool House |.80-Acre Private Parcel   Stunning Craftsmanship and Character. Originally Built in 1928, this enchanting Tudor-style estate showcases incredible warmth. A 2005 renovation was orchestrated with the help of architect, Stephen Sooter, and interior designer, William Anderson, who brilliantly captured the essence…

Our 5 Favorite Features of 25 Old Millstone Lane, Lafayette, CA 94549

5 Bed / 3.5 Bath /3317 Sq. Ft. +/-.33 Acres Mid Century Architecture. Renovated and expanded in 2013, this beautiful home has a modern flexible floor plan and walls of glass that open, creating an incredible indoor/outdoor lifestyle. The formal living room features a pitched and wood-planked ceiling. The Heath Ceramics tile fireplace embodies the…

Lafayette Juniors Kitchen Tour in its 17th Year!

Established in 1953, the Lafayette Juniors is an organization of women dedicated to promoting social welfare, education, and civic improvement in Lafayette and the surrounding communities. This organization allows members to experience the joy of giving to others and in return, gain long-lasting friendships as well as a stronger connection to the community. Their primary…

Our 5 Favorite Features of 600 Sky Hy Circle, Lafayette, CA

5 Bedroom | 3 Bathroom | 2598 Sq. Ft. | .24-Acre Parcel | Built in 1976 Optimal Location. Nestled in a private enclave of 29 homes, the gated neighborhood of Sky Hy Ranch is known for its sense of small town living. The neighborhood is ideal for dog walkers and outdoor play! 600 Sky Hy…

Our Five Favorite Features of 3654 Happy Valley Road, Lafayette, CA.

4 Bedroom | 3.5 Bathroom | 3139 + Sq. Ft. Main Home | 2.42 +Acre Double Lot | Built in 1947   Two Lots and Endless Possibilities. Parcel “A” is a vacant lot that sits on 1.01-acres. Parcel “B” sits on 1.41-acres and houses the main structure along with a pool and detached pool house….

Our 5 Favorite Features of 3397 Silver Springs Court, Lafayette, CA. 94549

This updated charmer sits on a sprawling 1.57-acre, dream parcel with eye-catching curb appeal. The flexible, two-story floor plan, is perfect for daily family living! Location, location, location. Silver Springs is one of Lafayette’s most coveted neighborhoods. There is a path to award-winning Lafayette Elementary and Stanley Middle Schools. Silver Springs is conveniently located minutes from Hwy. 24/680, BART, and downtown Lafayette. The master suite…

What is the Source of the ‘Happy’ in Happy Valley?

  What is it about Happy Valley that makes it a happy place to live? Is it the glorious proliferation of golden daffodils that pop-up on street corners each spring? Is it the white twinkle lights that adorn the estate gardens of Happy Valley Road, lighting our way on on a dark winter evening? Is…

Dana Green, Realtor
Dana Green is an award winning Realtor. Born and raised in Lafayette, CA, she continues to live in Lafayette with her husband and children. This blog focuses on topics of interest to people who live in Lafayette and its neighboring cities -- from real estate to lifestyle. Please... join the conversation!

We welcome your comments, questions and opinions. If you'd like to talk more privately with Dana, you can reach her at
Dana@DanaGreenTeam
(925) 339-1918