Rocklin, California – A Chance to Live Amid History

John LaRosa 07/10/2014

Rocklin, CA established 1893 has a visible and rich history

Rocklin, CA is now a thriving community, though it has seen its fair share of hard times. Its place in history is clearly visible in the architecture of many of its well-preserved buildings and homes. Rocklin is a great place to live with homes that are very affordable. For those who want to step back in time a bit, Rocklin has something to love for people of all ages.

Rocklin City Hall started out in 1912 as a company store for California Granite Company. The Great Depression caused the quarry industry to falter, and creditors seized the building in 1931. The City of Rocklin bought the building from a subsequent owner in 1941, and it has served as City Hall ever since. During the 1940s, the city’s library was housed on the ground floor.

Just across the street from City Hall is the Rocklin History Museum. The building was constructed in 1905 as the home and office of the town doctor. The Rocklin Historical Society saved the building from demolition in 2001, and restored it, making it the city’s only public museum.

Saint Mary’s Chapel still sits a few doors down from its original location where it was dedicated as Saint Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church in 1883. It was subsequently moved and restored in 2005. Today it serves as a non-denominational wedding chapel, and each bride is allowed to pull the rope to ring its steeple bell after her ceremony.

Other historic buildings and homes are scattered throughout the town, including 3 Victorian homes near the corner of Rocklin Road and Fifth Street. Check out Rocklin, CA for a chance to live amid history. 

Read More

Getting to Know Roseville, CA

John LaRosa 06/17/2014

Roseville CA

Roseville, California is a scenic suburb of Sacramento that offers plenty for new homebuyers. If you are considering one of the many homes or condos in Roseville CA for your new home, take a few minutes to get to know this great area a little better.

People enjoying the shops and restaurants in the Roseville Historical Downtown District

The city was originally named Griders, and was a stage coach station that connected people with transportation to the area’s cities and towns. The town’s name was changed again to Junction, when the railroads came through. Eventually, the name was changed to Roseville. Although the city was officially incorporated in 1909, Roseville has been on the map under different names since before the Gold Rush.

Today, Roseville is a vibrant community. The Fountains shopping center was built in 2007 to meet the needs of the growing area, and it is also home to one of the largest auto malls in the U.S. The city has a revitalized historic district, and beautification projects are ongoing to help preserve the look of this cozy California town.

Many people are looking for homes in Roseville, because this area is so attractive for both young singles and families. With several large employers in Placer County, there are more job opportunities in this area than other metropolitan areas. Roseville also has public transportation that connects residents with jobs for an affordable commute.

If you are looking to relocate away from the city, but still want to live in a bustling community, Roseville CA might be the perfect option for you. 

Read More

Rocklin is Full of Family-Friendly Fun

John LaRosa 06/17/2014

Saturday Morning Rocklin Little League Game at Twin Oaks Park

When shopping for a new home, couples with children are concerned with more than just the state of the home they are buying. Fortunately, Rocklin homes are situated in an area that is tailor-made for families with young children.

Excellent Schools

It isn’t often that you find a great neighborhood with affordable homes and stellar schools, but Rocklin is that rare find. Each of the public schools in the area is ranked as a 9 or 10 on the California Academic Performance Index (API), so parents can feel confident about enrolling their kids in area schools. If you prefer not to go with a public school education, you can choose from dozens of excellent private schools for your children as well.

Beautiful Parks

Rocklin CA is known for its abundance of great parks and recreation space

Kids need lots of fresh air and room to play, and you do too. Fortunately, Rocklin is also home to a number of excellent parks. The parks department offers before and after school programs, preschool, and a host of activities to keep the little ones busy year-round. Special events like movies in the park and festivals give the whole family fun activities to do together. Rocklin also offers a number of hiking and running trails for when you need to get some space or get your heart-rate up.

Safe Neighborhoods

Rocklin is a safe, quiet community that is well-suited for raising children. Cozy streets, safe homes, and a caring community make this a wonderful place to get away from the big city and focus on giving your kids a great childhood.

Rocklin homes offer you a wonderful opportunity to move to a quiet, family-friendly area. With great schools, plenty of recreation activities, and safe streets, Rocklin is the perfect place to call home for you and your children. 

Read More

Top Reasons Why Placer County Is the Place to Live

John LaRosa 06/13/2014

Placer County

There’s So Much to See and Do in Placer County

The Different Regions of Placer County California

Placer County is divided into three distinct regions, giving homebuyers unparalleled options. There is The Valley, Gold Country, and The High Sierras. Each has its own distinct flavor and lifestyle, and yet they are close enough to one another that residents can experience all the wonders of each region. Placer County homes allow residents to live in the heart of it all.

The Valley is made up of communities, such as Roseville, where residents can enjoy shopping at the large and impressive Galleria Mall or The Fountains shopping center. For those who prefer the outdoors, there are ample open-air markets too, including the largest in all of Northern California, the Denio’s Farmer’s Market and Auction. Rocklin is the historic heart of The Valley with its numerous quarries and historic sites. In the City of Lincoln, residents can take in the national ceramic exhibit titled “Feats of Clay,” or indulge in the delicious produce from Loomis’ famous orchards.

Gold Rush Sculpture in Auburn CA

Gold Country was where it all started in 1849, and residents can immerse themselves in its history by retracing the old wagon trails and trying their luck at gold panning. River rafting and nature photography are also abundant here, as are the antique shops and museums. Many of the streets in Gold Country look much the way they did 150 years ago.

The High Sierras are home to some of the world’s best ski resorts, as well as Squaw Valley, the home of the 1960 Olympics. Many come for Lake Tahoe and the water activities it provides. In addition to skiing, fishing, scuba diving, and ballooning, residents can be found cruising on paddlewheel or glass bottom boats, or taking a break from it all in one of the area’s casinos. Placer County homes put people in the right place for all the wonderful things our county has to offer. 

Read More

Discover Historical Family Fun at Grass Valley Gold Rush Days

John LaRosa 06/12/2014

Grass Valley Gold Rush Days Are Back June 21st & 22nd

The Gold Rush is Back, in Grass Valley CA

On June 21st and 22nd the Grass Valley Downtown Association and downtown merchants invite you to, “Take a step back in time to the 1850’s where gold was king in Grass Valley and Nevada County.” The city’s annual Gold Rush Days celebration sees beautiful downtown Grass Valley transported to the heyday of the California Gold Rush. The streets of Grass Valley come alive with life in the 1850’s gold mining town. Children and adults alike can learn about the rich history of the California Gold Rush from performers in authentic period costumes, a gold panning experience, and other historical re-enactments. Or they can stop at the True Grit Photo Parlor and step in to the past with their own old-timey photograph. Patrons can enjoy all these attractions amid the shopping and gourmet dining of historic Downtown Grass Valley.

This year’s festivities will feature special guests, stars of Western films and television shows; Clint Walker, Johnny Crawford, Peter Sherayko and Charlie LeSueur. Famous for their work on shows and films such as “Cheyenne,” “The Rifleman,” and HBO’s “Deadwood,” these honored guests will only add to the authenticity of this historical event.

 Grass Valley owes its origination to the California Gold Rush as Cornish tin miners settled the area in large numbers to exploit the hardrock gold mining opportunities of the Empire and North Star mines. The nearby Empire Mine State Historic Park is home to the site of the Empire Mine, the oldest, largest, and richest gold mine in California, responsible for producing 5.8 million ounces of gold during its operation from 1850-1956. The park showcases many original mine buildings as well as the elegant and lush gardens, reflecting pools, and residences of mine owner William Bourn Jr.

The event is free for all ages. There’s also plenty of free parking with additional permit parking lots open for free during the event. For more information about Grass Valley’s Gold Rush Days celebration visit the Grass Valley Downtown Association. Or take a look at our Grass Valley Community page to learn more about homes for sale in Grass Valley.

Read More

Nevada County Has Plenty to Offer New Residents

John LaRosa 06/12/2014

Lake of the Pines in Nevada County, CA

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Nevada County is home to nearly 100,000 people. Cities within Nevada County include Grass Valley, Nevada City, Lake Wildwood, Rough & Ready, Alta Sierra, North San Juan, Lake of the Pines, Cedar Ridge, and the surrounding rural countryside. Conveniently situated only 52 miles northeast of Sacramento, both Nevada City and Grass Valley have storied pasts and prosperous futures.  This area is a great option for those seeking a rich and fulfilling lifestyle.

Homes in Nevada County, CA

Settlers would rest at the sites of what are now Grass Valley and Nevada City after crossing through the Sierra Mountains via Donner’s Pass. In 1849, two bands of pioneers decided to make camp for good, and these two cities were founded. The Gold Rush of 1849-50 really put these two towns on the map, with Grass Valley being one of the original “Boom Towns.” In a span of 8 years, more than $25,000,000 in gold ore was gleaned from the surrounding hills and rivers.

Today, this area has been re-nicknamed as “Little Silicon Valley.” The area is now a boomtown for those in the high-tech industries and offers some of the highest paying tech jobs in the nation. This is augmented by an active arts and entertainment industry. At least six live theaters, several movie theaters, a number of dance academies, and other arts venues make their home in Nevada County. This makes Nevada County real estate a good buy for hard-working, fun-loving people looking to make a home for themselves in Northern California.

Read More

Foreclosures are Down, Housing Prices are Up, and Unemployment is Down, Reports Say

John LaRosa 05/29/2014

california real estate market foreclosures, housing price index

A whole slew of good indicators in two CoreLogic reports this past month as well as another key economic indicator. Whether the numbers were up or down the reports represent a return to a previous state of prosperity without all the speculation (hopefully).

The Numbers are In

The March 2014 CoreLogic Foreclosure Report indicates that 48,000 foreclosures were completed in March, this number is down 10% from a year before and has been slowly falling for several years. From 2000-2006 the average number of completed foreclosures was 21,000 per month.

Additionally, CoreLogic’s March 2014 Housing Price Index Report shows that home prices continue to climb with a 11.1% year-over-year increase from last March. This number has been dropping slowly over the past two years and the report predicts it will continue to drop. So let’s see what these ups and downs actually mean for the housing market.

Foreclosures and The Economy

Foreclosures are a reality of the housing market, they occur during times of prosperity and they occur more frequently during times of economic depression. Foreclosures happen for a variety of reasons. Divorce, loss of work, disability, or a medical burden can all lead to a family or individual no longer being able to pay their mortgage. However, the increase in foreclosures that we saw due to the housing market crash of 2008 was by no means typical.

In the early 2000’s home values were increasing at a frenzied pace and everyone wanted a piece of the action. Many lenders and loan officers were approving borrowers for loans they couldn’t actually afford, often with Adjustable Rate Mortgages. When these borrowers began to default on their mortgages en masse in 2006, the financial institutions that owned the mortgages began to lose money at a cataclysmic rate. Thus began the snowball effect that knocked the economy in to state of recession and depression that we’ve been living in for the past six years. Consumers were losing their jobs left and right and the number of foreclosures began to skyrocket while the housing market lost value at an alarming rate.

Case-Shiller Historical Housing Price Index

A quick glance at the Case-Schiller Housing Price Index historical data shows how drastic the increase and ensuing descent in home values was compared to the previous 80 years. In a word, it was unprecedented.

Returning to the norm

We’ve been living in a period of Economic Extremes for so long now that it’s hard to tell what a healthy or “normal” housing market looks like any more. Indeed, over the past decade the housing market has been anything but “normal.” However,  these reports as well as another key economic indicator (I’ll get to that shortly) are hopeful signs that we are returning to a period of healthy growth in the housing market. Like the market that existed before this recent period of unbridled price increases and outlandish speculation.

You can see how far we’ve come in returning to a healthy housing market, a housing market that isn’t played like the stock market and that represents home prices that buyers can actually afford.

The fact that the growth in home prices is beginning to slow shows that progress. The past 24 months have seen consecutive increases in the HPI at a national rate of around 13% per year. By no means a sustainable rate. But the rapid increase in prices over the past two years had more to do with how far the market had fallen in value due to the Crash. Now that prices have rebounded significantly from the losses, the market is likely to slow the increase in home prices to a more sustainable rate.

CoreLogic’s prediction of a 6.7% HPI increase in the coming year is a good indicator of this. A market where the value of homes has more to do with median incomes than with speculation that previously strong increases in home prices will allow homebuyers to “get rich quick.”

Finally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the Unemployment Rate fell to 6.3% in April 2014, the lowest it has been since September 2008. Just before the Crash this number was down to 4.7%, a historic low. So taken together, more Americans are employed, making their mortgage payments, and watching the equity in their homes increase their net worth. That sounds like good news to me.

The value of homes in our economy, society, and our daily lives transcends mere monetary value. The act of taking care of a part of the world for an indefinite period of time has the power to enrich our lives, our communities, and our nation. The value of putting time and effort in to a worthwhile and empowering task as opposed to the expectation that simply holding on to a home for a year will net a significant profit when sold in a booming market. A “normal” housing market is one that favors long-term care over short-sighted profit motivations. We’ll be keeping an eye on the numbers in the hopes that this is what we are truly seeing happen.

Stay tuned.

Read More

Roseville, California has Year-Round Appeal

John LaRosa 05/18/2014

Roseville, Calif. offers entertainment and activities for families, couples, and individuals year round. Regardless of interests or hobbies, there is something for everyone, any time of the year in Roseville. Homes and condos in Roseville are often hard to come by because so many people want to be close to the fun and activities.

In the summer, take a turn around the Miners Ravine Trail Loop as it slowly meanders through Roseville following the Miners Ravine and Dry Creek. It winds through a wooded area, ten suburban neighborhoods, and then through the downtown area. The length of the trail runs from Sierra College Blvd. to Darling Way.

When fall arrives, get in the spirit of things with a visit to Callson Manor Haunted House. Owned by a Hollywood filmmaker, and an engineer in special effects, the Manor is among the most extreme haunted houses in the Sacramento area. Indulge in Zombie Paintball, visit the Ghost Town, and enjoy barbeque-style refreshments in the Haunted Courtyard.

The Maidu Interpretive Center Museum is open year round, but makes a great place to visit during the school year when education is what it’s all about. Nisenan Maidu families lived here for roughly 3,000 years and left behind hundreds of bedrock mortar holes, and stunning petroglyphs and rock art. It offers interpretive programs, presentations, and learning through special events, year round.

Another indoor activity center is Roller King Skating & Blading, a family-owned-and-operated skate center in Roseville. When it comes to living close to the excitement, Roseville has everything that you could ever imagine — and more.

Read More

Family Fun in Rocklin California

John LaRosa 05/18/2014

Rocklin, California is a community that puts family first. This is evidenced by the wide variety of things there are to do in Rocklin that are designed for family, fun, and entertainment. Rocklin, Calif. homes don’t stay on the market very long because families love the rich, cultural environment and the opportunity to spend time having fun and making memories together.

Sky Zone recreation is one such place where families can have a blast. Located at 1091 Tinker Rd, Ste 200b, near the intersection of Tinker Rd and Industrial Avenue, this recreation center offers an indoor trampoline court. This popular attraction offers a wide range of activities for kids of all ages, with scheduled times for open jumping, fitness classes, and dodge ball. The facilities can be rented for birthday parties and corporate events, as well.

LaserCraze in Rocklin is another activity center where families can have fun playing together. It is one of Northern California’s biggest high-tech laser tag centers. It has more than 18,000 square feet of fun and employs a 7,000 square foot multi-level laser tag complex to dazzle and amaze visitors. There are also inflatable bounce houses, an arcade, and a cafe on site.

While golf may not come to mind as a family pastime, the Whitney Oaks Golf Club thinks it should be. On Sundays, they offer Family Day at Whitney Oaks. It includes a sit-down meal in their Pyramid Bar and Grill, followed by a family game of golf where kids under 18 golf for free. Adults can play for the fee of renting a golf cart: just $20. These activities are just a small part of why Rocklin, Calif. is growing in popularity.

Read More

Roseville, Home of Golfland and Sunsplash Waterpark

John LaRosa 05/08/2014

There are plenty of available Roseville homes and condos, which is good news for fans of outdoor activities. That’s because Roseville is home to Golfland and Sunsplash Waterpark, where folks can enjoy engaging in some of their favorite pastimes. There are indoor and outdoor activities, making this the perfect getaway for family outings and adventures with friends or for a fun-filled date with that special someone.

Golfland offers two 18-hole miniature golf courses. Adventure Golf is course number one, and Lost Continent Golf is the second. Both are completely different and will keep visitors putting for hours. There is also an arcade with more than 200 games of all skill levels. Earn tickets for playing and redeem them for prizes. Looking for something a little more active? Try the Lazer Knights laser tag facility. Guests who are 58 inches tall or more can drive at the Fastcar Raceway. Smaller and younger guests can ride along with a licensed driver over the age of 16.

At Sunsplash Waterpark, there are more attractions than can be listed here. The Double Dare is a trap-door-in-the-floor, power dropout, thrilling slide, for example. Try The Revolution, a ride that catapults guests into an open bowl, or Thunder Falls, a family raft ride with three heart-stopping drops.  These attractions are popular with all generations and make Roseville a great spot for entertaining the entire family.

Read More