3 Things That You Will Love about Santa Rosa, California

Golf Course Family Father Mother Daughters BuggyPlanning a long, relaxing, budget-friendly vacation in California? If so, you may want to avoid big cities that dazzle you with a long list of mesmerizing attractions, but also leave you high and dry in no time. Smaller, less crowded cities may also take you by surprise with their unique urban charm, numerous points of interest, fabulous rentals and convenient deals in terms of lodging, family meals, parking and entertainment.

Santa Rosa is one of the places that you should definitely put on your “to see” list. Sonoma County’s beautiful county seat is home to a little over 170,000 residents, has an average temperature of 14 degrees Celsius (58 degrees Fahrenheit) and occupies a total surface of 41.5 square miles. SantaRosa may not be as famous as Los Angeles or San Francisco, but it will certainly stimulate your interest. Here you can relax in picturesque urban retreats, visit some of the most amazing museums in California and spend quality time with all your loved ones in a friendly, cozy environment that will make you feel at home during your entire stay. Here are 3 things that you’ll always remember about Santa Rosa.

1) Santa Rosa Has the Coolest Museums

In case Santa Rosa is your next stop, make sure you take the time you need to visit two of the most interesting museums in the state of California: Pacific Coast Air Museum and Charles M. Schulz. Both attractions provide the perfect opportunity to bond with your kids. The first one introduces an ample selection of classic planes and will most likely raise the enthusiasm of both children and dads. The latter one presents the work of Charles M. Schulz, a famous cartoonist who was “adopted” by the welcoming Santa Rosa community. If you want to witness Snoopy’s transformation over the years and admire the artist’s work studio, opt for a tour at Charles M. Schulz, a renowned specialty museum and a main stop for “Peanuts” fans.

2) Santa Rosa Has the Most Amazing Green Spaces

Garden enthusiasts seeking a breath of fresh air will have the time of their lives in Santa Rosa.Annadel State Park is much-appreciated for its wide range of sublime wild flowers; this is also the place where you can swim and hike with your friends and family members. Luther Burbank Home and Gardens is a wonderful urban retreat where you can organize a picnic, play your favorite sports or just sit on the grass and contemplate the unmatched beauty of nature.

3) Santa Rosa Is All About Unforgettable Leisure Activities

The truth is that Santa Rosa always gives you something to do, see and talk about. You can start the day with a walk in the Railroad Square Historic District. Here you’ll be able to do some shopping and find different categories of antiques. In case you’d rather focus on some good old family fun, don’t forget to stop at Redwood Empire Ice Arena,also known as “Snoopy’s Home Ice” and Santa Rosa’s most loved community center.

If you plan on staying for a longer period of time in Santa Rosa, you may want to rent an apartment, instead of booking a hotel room. The local real estate market is pretty tourist-friendly and will let you uncover and explore different convenient housing alternatives.

Jul 2014

How to Spot the Best Places to Live in California

Crescent Bay In Laguna Beach,California.California is a densely populated state that represents the home of more than 38 million people. Its vibrant nightlife, clean, overcrowded beaches, endless points of interest and friendly climate turn it into the perfect place where one would be tempted to start a family, get a new job or just live the tumultuous lives of the rich and famous.

However, not all California-based living environments are created equally; some are suitable for students and budget-conscious families with kids, others are designed exclusively for deep-pocketed residents. The Californian real estate market is diverse, but you could still explore its full potential with just a little bit of help from a competent realtor. If you feel ready to start fresh in Cali, here are 3 main steps that you should follow to find the perfect place to call home.

1) Getting Started: Determine Your Long-Term Objectives. Are you looking for a sweet spot where you can retire comfortably? Are you interested in relocating in the proximity of great schools, to facilitate your kids’ access to a superior education? Are you young and restless and looking for cheap rentals in Cali, in areas where the party never comes to an end? Put your thoughts on paper and set your priorities straight to make it easier for you and your realtor to narrow down your search.

2) Refine Your Section Criteria. What are the pros and cons that you have in mind, when it comes to ranking the trendiest places to live in California? Here are a few factors that you may want to consider, before making a final call:

  • Quality of life (average home and rent price, household income, teacher-student ratio, cost of living and so on)
  • Criminality rate
  • Unemployment rate
  • Commutingroutes and estimated commute time
  • Tax rates
  • Number of amenities
  • Job market
  • Air quality and temperature

Take a Closer Look at 5 Top Picks

According to most real estate experts, Orange (located in Orange County), Placentia (also situated in Orange County), Irvine, San Carlos (located in San Mateo County) and San Juan Capistrano are 5 excellent picks that you should focus on, if you are truly determined to start anew life in California. They may be less popular than Los Angeles, but they offer you everything you need to start fresh in a safe, welcoming habitat. For instance, Orange is much-liked for excellent amenities, low unemployment rate and incredibly weather. If you work from home and don’t have to stress yourself over finding the most convenient commuting routes, you can also choose to relocate to Placentiaand profit from notable advantages, similar to the ones ensured by Orange.

A reduced crime rate (1,582 crimes recorded per 100,000 residents) and a satisfying business climate turn Irvine into a convenient alternative. San Carlos makes a good impression due to its low crime rate, decreased unemployment rate and superior quality of life. The same goes for San Juan Capistrano, currently recognized as one of the trendiest cities in Orange County where you can buy or rent a home without regretting your decision in the long run.

Jul 2014

4 Great Reasons to Start Fresh in California

Smiling Woman Looking Out WindowStatistics tell us that California is the most densely populated American state. You may ask: What’s so special about life in California? Truth be told, this sunny state with its large, welcoming communities, world-class cities including San Francisco and Los Angeles, gorgeous beaches, great entertainment options, beautiful parks, affordable plastic surgery and Old Hollywood glam, give us all something to talk and dream about. Looking for solid grounds to quit your boring day job, pack your bags and buy the cheapest ticket to Cali? Here are 4 excellent reasons that could justify your radical decision.

First Reason: The Weather Is Amazing Year-Round. If you love beach sports, friendly temperatures andextended shopping sessions in elegant shorefront boutiques that are open year-round, then you’ve come to the right place. In the depths of a paralyzing winter that would freeze your enthusiasm in most American states, California welcomes you to with a 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.1 degrees Celsius) average temperature.

Second Reason: California Is the Home of Gorgeous Accommodation Options. California offers you the chance to explore a truly diverse real estate market. Here you will most likely be able to spot the most amazing rentals in no time. From elegant and petit studios located near the city center to multimillion dollar mansions with pools, gyms and spas and affordable 4-bedroom chic homes located in the booming suburbs, California has it all and will definitely make it easier for you to identify the most convenient properties for rent or for sale that you can actually afford.

Before making a final call, make sure your potential relocation won’t compromise your fragile financial balance. Using different online sources, you can actually calculate your expenses and determine the average price of all your future purchases, including a restaurant meal for all your family members, a pair of designer sports shoes or a monthly membership at a local fitness center.

Third Reason: California Lets You Get Closer to the Stars. In Cali, you never know who you’re going to bump into. You could be waiting in line for your coffee right next to a reality show star on the rise, or you could spot Lindsey Lohan late at night in one of the trendiest clubs and restaurants. Want to see how celebs actually live their lives? Buy a map, surf the Internet and go for a long walk. As we speak, you may be 1 mile away from the most amazing celebrity homes without even knowing it.

Fourth Reason: California Turns Your Dreams into Reality. The entertainment business is not what it used to be. In some cases, huge stars are born overnight and social media networking websites play a decisive role in the matter. Justin Bieber owes his rapid ascension to YouTube and this is only one example worth mentioning. In Los Angeles, waitresses can be converted into trending celebs in no time. Here you can find awesome day jobs, take acting classes ensured by some of the most prestigious schools in the areaand pursue your dreams. All in all, Cali gives you more than a few good reasons to ditch your boring lifestyle and try something refreshingly different.

Jul 2014

Debunking Myths Related to Relocation and a New Life in Californian Suburbs

Happy smiling couple moving into first new homeRadical changes are usually tough on everybody. When it comes to moving to another city or state, you usually have lots of things on your mind and stress levels can skyrocket easier than expected. You have to sell your house, find a new place to rent or buy, pack all your belongings and kiss your old place goodbye. On top of that, you are also exposed to a wide range of myths and misconceptions that could influence your final decision or leave you confused and indecisive.

There are many untrue stories built around California’s sunny suburbs. Most of them are extremely farfetched and ridiculous, and still manage to intimidate and even ward off potential buyers. Here are some of the most insane (yet incredibly common) bedtime stories that you may want to ignore from now on.

1) You Have Nothing to Do There. You’ll Get Bored to Death. As a matter of fact, most Californian suburbs provide countless entertainment options and allow you to enjoy a breath of fresh air, not every once in a while but on a daily basis. Growing roots in a sunny suburb is not like camping in Mongolia for an indefinite period of time. Wherever you may choose to settle down in California, you would be close enough to restaurants of all sizes, fantastic parks, bistros, nice cafes, high end retailers and elegant boutiques. At the end of the day, what more could you ask for?

2) This Change Will Inevitably Affect Your Lifestyle in a Negative Manner. Changes can be good, especially if they are 100% justifiable. All in all, regardless of what may have determined you to rent a house in California, in the suburbs, here you’ll be able to shop, discover new hobbies, bond with other people, get agreat job and start a family, just like in any other environment. There are no hidden traps or major restrictions that you should factor in before renting or buying a place in the suburbs.

3) It’s Almost Impossible to Find a Good Job There!Speaking of job opportunities, rumor has it that building a solid carrier here is some sort of mission impossible. False! As a matter of fact, most locations, including Belmont and Foster City located in San Mateo Country have been recently ranked among the top booming Californian suburbs, mostly due to their ever-growing job sector, as well as their magical hillside position and bustling, small-scale downtown. In addition, you can always work from home as you are waiting for the company of your dreams to knock on your door and make you an offer. As telecommuting and freelancing are gradually revolutionizing the workplace, you have no legitimate reason to think that a potential relocation could kill your professional aspirations.

4) Your Kids Will Hate It (and Hate You for Making Them Move!) Not true! Californian suburbs are nice, welcoming environments where your kids will get the chance to connect with children their age, make new friends and benefit from the best education. It’s like summer camp; the only difference is that fun lasts 12 months in the suburbs.

Jul 2014

How to Spend a Lovely Vacation in San Francisco without Throwing Money out the Window

Happy Woman Travel In San FranciscoDreaming about hot sand, clean beaches, lots of tourist attractions and countless attractive entertainment options? If you can take a few days off work, you may want to spend some quality time with your loved ones in San Francisco. We know what you’re thinking: this type of self-indulgence could probably cost you a fortune, and you have already recorded more than a few expenses that you need to cope with, like your mortgage payments, your son’s college tuition and fees and so on.

In reality, a fantastic San Francisco vacation is much more affordable than you think. As a matter of fact, as long as you follow the basic tips listed below you can have the time of your life in this vibrant Californian town without being forced to handle a huge pile of unpaid pills at the end of the party.

Save Big Bucks by Renting a Car

First of all, you should know that, while San Francisco is one of the most prominent cities in the state of California, it is fairly small. With a total surface of 49 square miles, San Francisco still gives you plenty of opportunities to broaden your cultural horizons and have lots of fun on a daily basis. But this doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to discover the real vibe of the city. Truth be told, most attractions are concentrated within 1/3 of this city. Don’t even think about taking your car with you. Finding a parking spot can be a real nightmare. Central hotels won’t hesitate to charge you 40 dollars per day for parking. Insane, isn’t it? To save big without being forced to spend most of the time in your hostel room, just rent a car. Car rental fees are extremely convenient and you will most likely be able to profit from a great deal during your vacation.

Free Attractions and Multi-Attraction Passes Will Help You Unlock Considerable Savings

Make a list of all the things you would like to do, see and experience in San Francisco. Did you know that some of the coolest things in this city are absolutely free? Don’t forget to check out Chinatown, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Park. Some of the attractions located in the park involve admission charges, but the good news is that you can contemplate this superb environmentand breathe its fresh air for free.

Opt for a Vacation Rental, Rather than Booking a Hotel Room

San Francisco hotels are witnessing their days of glory. As they are welcoming hordes of tourists, they are holding on to their skyrocketing rates. A decent room can cost you around 175-180 dollars per night. You can definitely keep expenses under control by simply planning your trip in advance. Instead of booking a hotel room, try to identify some of the most amazing vacation rentals in San Francisco that are actually in your price range.

All in all, proper planning will take you a long way, allowing you to discover San Francisco in style, find its best rentals and get more familiar with its unique particularities and its top-rated attractions without spending money that you don’t have.



Jul 2014