Posts Tagged ‘McKinley Park’

Ask the Realtor: Should I overhaul my kitchen?

April 20, 2011

A question I often get from clients — and even family and friends — is, “What should I remodel? What’s worth the investment?” 

One client in particular, a couple who lives in East Sac, had two major potential upgrades: a new HVAC system and a complete kitchen overhaul. 

Before getting into the details of their upgrades, I first had to consider that they want to sell their starter Bungalow here in East Sac and get into a larger home, probably within the next 1-2 years. Given this fact, I had one main piece of advice: Spend some money on upgrades to make your home attractive to a new buyer, but don’t overspend for the market you’ll ultimately be selling to. In this case, this couple will most likely sell to a first-time homebuyer. Although East Sacramento is one of the few neighborhoods where you can actually realize more “return on investment” for upgrades, one should still consider the current market and what type of buyer they will obtain before spending thousands of dollars on upgrades that they will not get to enjoy in the long run. 

First let’s look at the HVAC system, which is old, but a licensed company that performed basic maintenance said it’s still running well—and should continue to do so for another 5-7 years. After the refunds offered in 2010, a new top-of-the-line system still would have cost these homeowners $7,000—which they needed to save for their “move up” home. Financing that money likely wouldn’t have increased the overall list price for their home—but it would have hurt their finances for purchasing a new one. Since the home already has an HVAC system working in good condition, that already gives them the competitive edge over some of the other comparable homes in their neighborhood that do not have a central heat/air system at all. 

Upgrading their kitchen is a similar situation, but has a difference: Remodeling their galley-style setup likely would give this couple the competitive edge when selling, but it ultimately wouldn’t provide much of a difference in terms of layout or additional storage. They likely would have spent thousands to get the same kitchen that’s visually more appealing, but had the same functionality. My advice? Paint the cupboards and walls, add stainless appliances and re-tile the countertop using granite—all work they can do themselves for a reasonable price. Even if they couldn’t add more space to the kitchen, having upgraded appliances, including a dishwasher, along with some other modern updates, would definitely provide the extra value over the other charming — yet older and not updated — comparable properties when they decided to sell. 

The bottom line is that many aspects of a home can be upgraded without heavy artillery. Before doing any remodeling, I would first consider the length of time you plan to be in the home to enjoy those upgrades and realize the full return on investment. Second, if you plan to sell, consider what type of market you will sell to and what will ultimately give you that competitive “edge” over the competition.  Even in East Sacramento, the types of upgrades you choose to do can vary greatly depending on your immediate neighborhood. For example, a home in the “Fab 40’s” may need a more thorough update than say, a smaller Bungalow in Meister Terrace. 

 If you’d like any more advice on remodeling or the current value of your home, please leave me a comment here or send me an email to  Or if you’d like any contractor referrals, I have those too!

Have a great Spring Break!

Kiwanis FREE Community Easter Egg Hunts + Pancake Breakfast

April 12, 2011

The East Sacramento-Midtown Kiwanis Club will be hosting their annual Pancake Breakfast, carnival, and *FREE* community Easter Egg Hunts on Saturday April 23rd at McKinley Park.  The Pancake Breakfast will be from 7:30AM until 11:30AM inside the Clunie Clubhouse.  The cost for the breakfast is $5 for adults and $3 for children.  The carnival games for children are just 50 cents each. The schedule for the Free Easter Egg Hunts is:
Ages 0-1: 9:30AM
Ages 1-2: 9:45AM
Ages 3-4: 10:00AM
Ages 5-6: 10:15AM
Ages 7-8: 10:30AM
Ages 9-10: 10:45AM

For more tickets to the Pancake Breakfast or for more information on Kiwanis click HERE or contact John Brummer at or 916.642.2505.  All funds raised will be donated to various community service organizations and the Kiwanis Family House.
We’ll see you there!

April Events at the McKinley Library

April 5, 2011

All McKinley Library programs are *FREE* and sponsored by the Friends of McKinley Library.

Tuesdays, April 5, 12, 19 & 26

Baby Lapsit Storytime
Ages birth through 24 months. This storytime is designed to help develop literacy with stories, songs, and movement.

Toddler Storytime
Stories, songs, fingerplays and more for children aged 18 months to 3 years.

Wednesdays, April 6, 13, 20 & 27

Preschool Storytime
Stories, songs, fingerplays and more for preschoolers aged 3 – 5. Younger children welcome as space permits.

Thursday, April 7

Just Dance 2
Teen program. Come shake your groove thing at McKinley Library!

Thursday, April 21

Spring Crafts
School-age program. Bunnies and eggs, flowers and butterflies, make many lovely little tokens of the season.

Saturday, April 30

Fancy Nancy Tea Party
Family program. Tea party and fashion show. Come show your glittery best at the library. Crafts include fancy hats, crowns, and accessories.

The McKinley Library is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard and for more information click HERE or call 916.264.2700.

We’ll see you there!

Where to “Park”?

March 16, 2011

Hello Fellow East Sac Moms! I’m excited to be a guest contributor here at East Sac Mom, and I look forward to sharing current ideas, trends, tips and advice as they relate to real estate in wonderful East Sacramento.

Why do we love East Sac so much? If you’re like me, you were probably drawn to the family-oriented and active lifestyle, all centered around three beautiful and popular parks:  McKinley, East Portal and Bertha Henschel. As local parents, you likely know each park’s highlights—awesome playgrounds, hosting events like “Pops in the Park” and “Screen on the Green”, and the recreation they provide with their tennis courts, jogging trails and playing fields. 

What many people don’t think about, though, is the role these parks play in the decision to buy or sell a home. Given that most East Sac homes have smaller yards, being right on the park gives many families that extra room to “stretch.” Personally, I love the idea of looking out my front window, seeing my son playing at the park, and calling him back home when it’s dinnertime. Just a hop across the street? Perfect.

But as I’ve learned during several Open Houses I’ve held right across from neighborhood parks, not everyone agrees. Many people see the park as a deterrent—they’re concerned about noise, crime and parking.  And should they purchase that home “on” the park, those things also make them question re-salability.  Ultimately they like the idea of being near the park—but they don’t want to be directly on it.

In East Sac, no definite market statistics exist that show whether homes on the park sell higher or lower, faster or slower.  This is easily contributed to a lack of one common opinion on the subject. It’s sort of like swimming pools—some people love them, some people don’t.

So I pose the question to you—the East Sac Mom reader. Where is your ideal place to “park”?  Would you pay $10,000 more for a home directly on or across from the park, or would you see the park as a drawback and therefore want to pay less for a home that you loved nonetheless?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

March Activities at the McKinley Library

March 1, 2011

If you aren’t already familiar with East Sacramento’s very own public library, you have been missing out. Along with the wealth of knowledge (and *FREE* DVD rentals) contained inside those walls, check out the *FREE* family-friendly activities you can enjoy this month:

 Baby Lapsit Storytime, Tuesdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29, 10:30-11AM
Ages birth to 24 months. This storytime is designed to help develop literacy with stories, songs, and movement.

Toddler Storytime, Tuesdays, March 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29, 11-11:30AM
Stories, songs, fingerplays and more for children aged 18 months to 3 years.

Preschool Storytime, Wednesdays, March 2, 9, 23 & 30, 11-11:30AM
Stories, songs, fingerplays and more for preschoolers aged 3–5. Younger children welcome as space permits.

Family Movie Night, Thursday, March 3, 5-7PM
Come watch a movie with the whole family. Safe for all ages.

Lucky Charms Teen Program, Thursday, March 10, 3:30-4:30PM
Make charm bracelets, necklaces, and cell phone charms. Mix & match, keep or give as a gift.

St. Patrick’s Day School-Age Program, Thursday, March 17, 3:30-4:30PM
Bring your little leprechauns to McKinley Library to make green and gold crafts. Learn about the Fair Folk and listen to some Irish blarney.

Lego Creations Family Program, Saturday, March 26, 2-3:30PM
All ages are welcome! Come to McKinley Library and build fantastic new creations with Lego blocks. You can’t take it with you, but pieces created during the program will be proudly displayed in the library.

The McKinley Library is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard and is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Hours of operation the rest of the week are Tuesdays 12-8PM, Wednesdays 10AM-6PM, Thursdays 12-8PM, Fridays 1-5PM and Saturdays 9AM-5PM. For more information click HERE.

We’ll see you there!

Help the Thursday McKinley Song Circle!

February 15, 2011

Last week we received word from East Sac Mom, Oriana, that the Thursday song circle at the McKinley Library is in trouble. From Oriana:

As of last week they have lost funding and need to come up with the money before next week ($200 for a year for insurance) parents are now going to start paying $2.00 each class to cover the $35.00 cost each week to rent the room.

Here is what we’re wondering, does anyone know of an East Sacramento business that might be willing to sponsor the Thusrday song circle and story time? If you’ve attended, you know how valuable the interaction is for our toddlers (and us mamas)! Can we put our heads together and think of a solution? If you have a brilliant idea, or know of a business that might be willing to help out, send us an email at eastsacmom{at}gmail{dot}com.

Know of any other community needs? We are happy to share them.

We’ll see you there!

December Programs at the Crocker + McKinley Library

December 1, 2010

December 2 – Gift Making for Kids – 3:30-4:30PM – McKinley Library
Your school-aged child can make handmade gifts for the holidays. *FREE*

December 11 – Holiday Party – 11AM-12PM – McKinley Library
Come visit with Santa and enjoy treats of the season at McKinley Library. *FREE*

December 11 – Drop, Yak, Splat! – 1PM – Crocker Art Museum
Different artworks will provide inspiration for a stimulating gallery experience for families and children of all ages. *FREE* with Museum admission.

December 14 – Homeschool Day – 12-2PM – Crocker Art Museum
Homeschool and family groups are invited to visit the Museum for thematic, gallery adventures designed to intrigue children ages six and older. *FREE* but registration is required.

December 15 – Wee Wednesday – 11AM – Crocker Art Museum
Bring your little one and yourself to this gallery-based play date for children ages 3 to 5.  Registration is required. *FREE* with Museum admission.

December 16 – Cookie Decorating – 3:30-4:30PM – McKinley Library
Your teen can enjoy the sweetest of crafts in the kitchen. Cookies and supplies will be provided, as well as design ideas. *FREE*

December 19 – Drop, Yak, Splat! – 11AM – Crocker Art Museum
Different artworks will provide inspiration for a stimulating gallery experience for families and children of all ages. *FREE* with Museum admission.

December 26 – Kwanzaa Family Festival – 12-4PM – Crocker Art Museum
Celebrated worldwide, Kwanzaa focuses on family, community, creativity and the cultural traditions found in the African diaspora. At this museum-wide festival, the Crocker celebrates its new collection of African art with music and dance performances, unique studio art workshops, storytelling and much more. *FREE*

The McKinley Library is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard and for more information click HERE or call 916.264.2700.

The Crocker Art Museum is located at 216 O Street and for more information click HERE or call 916.808.7000. (Note: Have you checked out the Crocker’s new website? Too cool!)

November Programs at the McKinley Library

November 4, 2010

TODAY 3:30-4:30 – Teens can learn to make adorable little creatures out of wool. Make ’em, swap ’em, give them as gifts. The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, November 18 3:30-4:30 – Your school-aged kids can immortalize the beauty of fallen leaves in projects such as greeting cards, gift tags, wrapping paper, and art projects. Celebrate the autumn season and get a jump-start on the holidays with these lovely keepsakes.

Support our local library and get the kids out of the house– it’s a win-win. Best of all? The programs are *FREE*.

The McKinley Library is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard and for more information click HERE or call 916.264.2700.

We’ll see you there!

Summer Reading Program Wrap Up (+ ice cream!)

August 16, 2010

Have you and your children been keeping up with your summer reading? If so, reward yourselves with the Summer Reading Program wrap up and ice cream social on Thursday, August 19 from 6PM to 7:30PM at the McKinley Library.

Rebecca Nile, the Bubble Lady, will work her magic, filling the air with bubbles. Ice cream will be provided for *FREE* by Burr’s Fountain. Kids can make their own fish prints and have a blast with their families to celebrate a successful Summer Reading Program.

Even if you didn’t pick up a book this summer, come out and show your support of the public libraries and relax during one of the last summer evenings before school starts.

The McKinley Library is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard and for more information click HERE or call 916.264.2700.

We’ll see you there!

July Programs at the McKinley Library

July 7, 2010

How has your family’s Summer Reading been going? We are steadily marking off boxes in our house, we just need to remember to get our drawing entries in to our local branch to be entered in the cool giveaways they have.

The Friends of the McKinley Library are hosting several activities for your school-aged child in July:

  • July 8 – Greek Gods, Heroes and Monsters – Come learn the mythology behind the popular “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series, hear some classic myths and try a Greek-inspired craft.
  • July 15 – Percy Jackson Party – Have you read the “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” books? Seen the movie? Come answer trivia questions, play games, participate in a raffle for fabulous Percy Jackson prizes, and leave sporting an ancient Greek style laurel wreath.
  • July 22 – Pirate Party – Arrr there, matey! Come to the party and make your own pirate hat. Then we’ll hunt for “buried treasure” around McKinley Park. High seas adventure without even getting your feet wet!

All events are *FREE* for school-aged children and take place from 3:30PM to 4:30PM on the dates listed above.

The McKinley Library is located at 601 Alhambra Boulevard and for more information click HERE or call 916.264.2700.

We’ll see you there!

*Don’t forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter the got milk? GIVEAWAY! Click HERE for details.*