Winter Buyers are Serious

The Ransom-McKenzie Team has been busy already this winter.  We’ve been experiencing a high volume of buyers who are ready to buy, now. While winter is often perceived as a down time for real estate, we’re currently seeing trends that indicate this might be a mis-guided perception. Winter buyers are Serious buyers.


Riverside is gorgeous during the winter months!

A recent study of more than 7 million home sales over the past four years revealed that the season in which a home is listed may be able to shed some light on the likelihood that the home will sell for more than asking price, as well as how quickly the sale will close. It’s no surprise that listing a home for sale during the spring saw the largest return, as the spring is traditionally the busiest month for real estate. What is surprising, though, is that listing during the winter came in second!

“Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5 percent. While 48.0 percent of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes in winter did the same.”

The study goes on to say that:

“Buyers [in the winter] often need to move, so they’re much less likely to make a lowball offer and they’ll often want to close quickly — two things that can make the sale much smoother.”

Bottom Line

If you are debating listing your home for sale within the next 6 months, keep in mind that the spring is when most other homeowners will decide to list their homes as well. Listing your home this winter will ensure that you have the best exposure to the serious buyers who are out looking now! The study used the astronomical seasons to determine which season the listing date fell into (Winter: Dec. 21 – Mar. 20; Spring: Mar. 21 – June 20; Summer: June 21 – Sept 21; Autumn: Sept 21 – Dec. 20).

Downtown Riverside is Growing Up

A vibrant downtown is dependent on creating a good balance of retail and living spaces where people can enjoy not only unique shopping and dining experiences but also can a walkable neighborhood where places are easily accessible.  We have watched Downtown as Riverside has become a vibrant economic driver for the city. However, our downtown still lacks spaces where people can live in the Downtown corridor.

The good news is Downtown Riverside will be experiencing a boom of development in the next three years adding over 500 residential, loft style units and nearly 40,000 square feet of unique commercial and office space.  The developments include places such as the Mission Inn Lofts, The Stalder Building, Imperial Hardware Lofts, and the Culver Lofts. All of these loft spaces will be centered around our downtown core. Artist renditions of the Mission Inn Lofts and the Imperial Hardware Lofts are shown here:

Bringing more residential living to the heart of Downtown will contribute to the already growing enthusiasm and activity taking place there.

In addition to more residential options downtown, there are also plans to bring more Urban Food venues to Riverside. The 12.000 square foot space adjacent to the Fox Theater is being developed into an Urban Food Hall that will be called the Riverside Food Lab. This location will feature up to 15 vendors and will focus on locally owned stores, no corporate chains allowed. Hopes are to have the Riverside Food Lab up and running in time for the Festival of Lights in 2017. Another unique food venue in the works is Chow Alley.  It will feature outdoor dining across from the Historic County Courthouse. The food purveyors here will serve out of cargo style containers, creating a food truck court atmosphere in the heart of the downtown business district.


Check out the City of Riverside’s video about these exciting things coming to downtown Riverside.

Downtown Update Video

There is a lot happening in Riverside! We’re excited to be on the cutting edge of this much-needed development.

Become a lasting part of the Home Front at Camp Anza project!
As a member of the 2011 Riverside Leadership Class (Best Class Ever) Charlotte is helping to spread the word about this fabulous opportunity to participate in an historic event.  Literally, history in the making.
As you may know, the Officers Club of the WWII Army staging base, Camp Anza, is being lovingly restored to be used as the community center at Home Front at Camp Anza, a new residential community of 30 affordable homes geared to veterans and their families in Riverside. You can help bring a piece of history forward when Home Front at Camp Anza welcomes its first residents by buying a customized engraved brick for the commemorative courtyard at Home Front at Camp Anza.
Funds from your brick purchase will be used to create an artwork inspired by the mural that once hung in the Officers Club. Your tax-deductible* donation will also fund programs and services that will be held inside the former Officers Club, helping veterans achieve their personal and professional goals as they transition to civilian life.
Make your mark on the former Camp Anza and/or honor a loved one or friend who served bravely for their country. Click the link below to purchase your personalized brick online by October 1, 2015 
If you have any questions give Charlotte a call at 951-237-2044 or send over an e-mail to .  Thank you again for your continued support of this new community!

High Foot Traffic = Hot Home Sales

Getting traffic through your home when it is for sale is always a key component to getting the home sold.  Foot Traffic is also an indicator used to predict the strength of the real estate market.  Guess what? This summer is proving to be a hot real estate season.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) publishes a monthly “Foot Traffic Report“, (yes, there is such a thing), which tracks traffic through homes on the market.  This tracking is done through the electronic locks that Realtors use to access keys to show homes.  It represents the number of homes that have been shown by a realtor. Looking at the graph below it is apparent that there is a strong uptick in the number of showings just in the last 2-3 months.

Fooot Traffic Image

People always talk about the “spring buying season” when they talk real estate. However, this year it appears as though the summer real estate market will be just as hot. NAR’s most recent “Foot Traffic Report”  revealed that there are more buyers out looking at homes right now than at any other time in the last two years including the past two springs (in orange below). Remember, this is just Relator showings, it does not include other traffic such as open houses, which have also been very busy as well recently.

Foot Traffic

The Foot Traffic Report is compiled from data on the number of properties shown by Realtors. NAR further explains:

“Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”

We can see that the number of prospective purchasers out looking at homes has been greater each month this year compared to the same month in 2014. And, though foot traffic fell off last June as compared to May, this year it has increased nicely.

2014 to 2015 Foot TrafficThe bottom line is that  the housing market will remain strong throughout the summer and into the fall, making for one of the best years in real estate over the last decade. If you’re on the fence as to whether or not you want to list your home, give the Ransom-McKenzie Team a call.  We would be happy to meet with you to discuss the market in Riverside and assist you with your Real Estate needs.

Save the Date Riverside!

As we look at more sustainable ways of living, the idea of solar energy becomes more enticing every day. But, solar technology is changing rapidly.  How do we know what is the best option for us in our homes, or for our businesses?

One way to learn more is to attend UCR’s second conference on solar energy.  Opportunities for Solar: Ways Forward for Inland Southern California on September 30, 2015.

2015 - Solar Conference

This conference is a collaborative effort put together by the Center for Environmental Research & Technology: CE-CERT EVENTS, Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology, the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development, and the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy.

This conference is designed to inform attendees of the importance of solar energy and to discuss the latest technology, public policy & regulations, economic impacts, and opportunities for incorporating solar energy into our daily lives in the Inland Southern California region.  The Directors of CE-CERT state in a  letter on the conference website that,

 We believe solar energy can play a significant role in the region’s future, not only because of the abundance of sunlight afforded to the region and its potential as another source of efficient and cost effective energy, but as an integral contributor to Inland Southern California’s employment base.

The Inland Empire, and specifically the City of Riverside, is home to a number of solar industry leaders and innovators who will be participating in this conference.  Registration for the conference starts soon.  Early bird registrants will pay $50 to attend the all day conference.  For more information regarding registration, speakers & sponsors, or to participate in the conference, visit the CE-CERT webpage.

Summer Explorations: SART

In the Inland Empire we are fortunate to have one of the best kept secrets flowing right through our entire region.  The Santa Anna River Trail (SART).

The Santa Ana River starts in the San Bernardino Mountains and runs for 100 miles all the way to the coast at Huntington CAL0812BatMaryWalkHi (1)Beach.  Trails along the river which merge together to create the SART system meander down through Redlands, Riverside, Corona and multiple locations in Orange County as it heads out to the Pacific Ocean.

The trails feature bikeways, paths for walking and equestrian riding. There are places to stop and SARRiverside1enjoy nature, views, and even a few local historic sites all along the trail and bikeway. Some of the parks that you’ll pass as you travel the trail include Riverside’s Fairmount Park, Carlson Dog Park, and Martha McLean/Anza Narrows park.  You’ll also pass right by the Hidden Valley Wildlife area where you can stop and catch spectacular views looking out over the river bottom towards Mount Baldy.  If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a few red shoulder hawks riding the thermals above the river.

Thanks to the recent efforts of the SART Trust, awareness of this urban oasis has been increasing. The Trust just recently turned the reigns over to the Santa Ana River Conservancy.  The conservancy brings together entities from 3 counties, 17 cities, and multiple special jurisdictions through which this contiguous trail system CAL0812TrailCyclistHitravels.  Having this green, forested artery travel through and along our urban sprawl adds value to our region.

Studies have shown that open space and trails increase property values and quality of life. A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that 57% of those polled would choose a home close to parks and open space over one that was not.  Bottom line, green, open spaces make us healthier and happier so let’s get out and enjoy this hidden gem.

Open House Today!

We’re holding an open house at our new listing at 2940 Floral Avenue in Riverside.  Join us from 1-4pm TODAY, Sunday, June 14th to see this beautiful home.

This home is located in a secluded neighborhood surrounded by nature & Box Springs Mountains views and yet you’re close to UCR, shopping, freeways, downtown and more. As you enter the home you’ll notice the warm hardwood flooring in the living and dining rooms.  The open feel of the floor plan allows for great entertainment options.


This view of the entry from the dining room shows the open floor plan.

In the tiled-floor kitchen/great room area you can appreciate the views of the landscaped back yard & mountains beyond. The south wing of the home is part of the original floor plan featuring a bedroom large enough for two full size beds, a hallway bathroom, and the master suite (expanded and updated in the 90’s). The master bedroom has sliding door to the back deck, perfect for nightcaps under the stars before bed. The master bath has been updated with a lovely tile shower.


This is the view from the master bedroom sliding doors.

The North wing, beyond the spacious family room, has two more bedrooms (one being used as office) & the second bath. These rooms are part of the 1991addition and upgrade. They feature hardwood floors & vaulted ceilings.


The kitchen eating area opens out to the lovely back yard.


Vaulted Ceilings & recessed lighting

Energy efficient features of the home include dual pane windows, a whole house fan, & newer A/C units. The yard has abundant fruit trees, flowering plants attracting birds & butterflies, & views of the mountains.


The spacious back yard deck

Rose garden

The back yard rose garden. There are also multiple citrus & fruit trees.

The large cactus garden has numerous, mature specimen plants. A rose garden & wildflower garden add color. Close to UCR & the trails of the mountains for hiking. Easy access to freeways and shopping.

Top by today to see this home, or check out our listing online for more information at

Riverside REP’s Pirates of Penzance

Riverside Repertory Theater continues its reputation of producing new and innovative approaThe Pirates of Penzanceches to musical theater with the hilarious tale of pirates, policemen, a major-general and his daughters.  Gilbert and Sullivan’s hopeful farce, Pirates of Penzance, plays weekends until June 14th at the Box Theater in the Fox Entertainment Plaza, in downtown Riverside.

Every show that we have been to see this season with Riverside REP has been an incredibly fabulous production.  They truly are meeting their goal of bringing “daring, innovative and high quality professional musicals that entertain, educate and enrich” to Riverside.  This final production of the 2014-15 season will not disappoint.

When Connie was at Reed College, (years ago!) the theater group there would perform a Gilbert & Sullivan musical every year.  She always loved participating in these fun, comedic productions.  We can’t wait to see what original twist Riverside Repertory Theater will put on this production.  Charlotte & Connie are going tonight- we can’t wait to see this show!  If you’re not familiar with Gilbert & Sullivan musicals, here is a synopsis of the plot with some information from the Riverside Repertory’s press release:

Pirates 2Pirates of Penzance follows young Frederic, an orphan who has mistakenly been apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates.  He disavows the pirates’ way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel.  When the Pirate King discovers Mabel’s father, General Stanley, has lied about being an orphan to keep the pirates from carrying off his bevy of beautiful daughters, an “ingenious paradox” may prevent the budding romance and lead to the death of “The very model of a modern Major-General.”  In a fresh new staging by Riverside Rep, director John Blondell highlights the wonderful music of Sir Arthur Sullivan, the quixotic book and lyrics of W. S. Gilbert, and the intoxicating performance abilities of a multi-talented cast.  “Audiences were thrilled with the Rep’s 2014 innovative approach to Fiddler on the Roof and this production will add a similar ground-breaking slant on the classic musical, ” says Rep Artistic Director Matt Neves.

PiratesThe talented ensemble cast is led by Rep veterans Nicholas Sloan, as Frederic, who was last seen as Riff in the acclaimed production of West Side Story, and Michaelia Wade, as Mabel, who performed in the Rep’s La Cage Aux Folles and Fiddler on the Roof.  Matt Dallal (Action in WSS) will portray the Pirate King and Travis Rhett Wilson plays the police sergeant, following up his award winning performance in the Rep’s Assassins.  New to the Rep, Inland Empire locals, Jamie Snyder and Sarah Horn, will bring to life Major-General Stanley and Ruth, respectively.

Pirates of Penzance performs until June 14th, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm.

Tickets can be purchased at
or by calling 909-228-0046

Student rush tickets are available for $20 at the door.

Gluck Summer Arts Program

Are your children interested in Theater, Music, Dance, Writing or ….. Super Heroes?  This year’s Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts Summer Camp might be something of interest to you.  The theme this summer is SuperHumanities: When Art Powers Collide. Sounds like fun, right?


The Gluck Program of the Arts is a FREE summer camp for mature 14-18 year olds.  The one week camp takes place on the UCR campus from June 15-19, 2015. The goal of the Gluck Summer Camp of the Arts is to provide mature teenagers with an intensive educational experience in the arts and to expand their understanding of the history, theory and application of the various arts disciplines that emphasize individual growth. Students participate in workshops which are led by an energetic crew of UCR Gluck Fellows.

This year’s program features four workshop sessions which run from 9:00am until 3:30pm.  The workshops are as follows:

Monday, June 15th – Thursday, June 18th :

9:00 – 10:00      MorningMixer games and icebreakers for all camp members with a Morning Workshop
10:00-12:00    Morning Workshops (choose Spoken Word Creative Writing OR Physical Dance Theatre S.P.L.A.T.)
12:00-12:30    Lunch break (bring your packed lunch or buy lunch at the HUB)
12:30-1:30       HomeRoom – Art, music and dance activities for all participants on ARTS Lawn near Gluck Office
1:30-3:30      Afternoon Workshops (choose Hip Hop Hooray OR Karaoke Kamp)

The entire program culminates with a performance event on the last day of camp where the students participate in a final performance event. (Friday, June 19th)

Here is a snippet of activities from a past Summer Camp showing just  a few of the fun activities that took place during the “HomeRoom” sessions:

This year’s HomeRoom sessions will feature workshops where the students will be creating superhero costumes using a “rags to rad” philosophy. The “costumes” might be used for the final performance event or they just might become the next fad on campus, who knows?

This program offers a fabulous opportunity for mature teens who are interested in the arts to participate in college level workshops with like minded peers.  Being on campus at UCR also offers the college experience to the participants encouraging and preparing them for attending college or University.  For information on this program, visit the Gluck Summer Camp website.  Detailed information about the classes and application forms are available there.  The deadline for applications is Friday, May 20th.

The Gluck Fellows Program of the Arts at UCR is made possible through the generosity of the Max H. Gluck Foundation

Plant Sale at UCR Botanic Gardens

We’re hearing in the news every day about how severe our drought situation is in California.  According to the drought monitor posted by the National Drought Mitigation Center our area of California is suffering extreme drought conditions.

Drought Conditions

Both Riverside Public Utilities and the Western Municipal Water District are encouraging customers to start to conserve water and have imposed water restrictions on residents.  Considering that 65-75% of our water use comes form landscape watering, it might be a good time to start thinking about planting some water wise plants, with a drip irrigation system.  Both utility companies also are offering great rebate programs for taking out thirsty grass and replacing it with drip irrigation. A win-win for everyone!


UCR Plant Sale This Weekend

20130404-094346.jpgIf you need inspiration as to what you should plant, it is here! The UCR Botanic Gardens is having their spring plant sale this weekend! The sale dates are Saturday, March 28th from 11am – 4pm and Sunday, March 29th from 9am – 3pm. This sale features hundreds of plants to choose from, all laid out in and amongst the beautiful grounds of the gardens.  An added bonus is that there are helpful master gardeners and volunteers to help you pick out plants that will save you money because they are native and water wise.

butterfly2aAll of the proceeds from the sale go towards the wonderful programs that the UCR Botanic Gardens provides for the community.  These events include bird walk breakfasts, children adventure series, and garden tours and classes.  The plant sale is a great way to support this lovely green oasis in Riverside.