The Ransom-McKenzie Team

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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 http://mrmlsmatrix.com/matrix/shared/J4bnKx8SYsFd/2940FLORALAvenue

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 www.riversiderep.org
or by calling 909-228-0046

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

Open House Saturday

Join us Saturday, June 6th for our Open House from Noon till 2:00 pm  at 1260 San Cristobal Drive where you’ll experience tasteful updates and incredible views.

The many updates include state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances, refinished kitchen cabinetry with new hardware, recessed lighting, granite counters, tile flooring, upgraded window coverings, renovated bathrooms, and newer HVAC systems.

Updated kitchen

Updated kitchen

This Hicks Bedreaun built family home features a unique, open floor plan where one of the first things you will notice are the stunning views from nearly every room facing the back side of the lot. The entry is at ground level & leads to a downstairs bed/bath suite as well as the open family room with sliding doors going to the back yard.

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The Family Room Looks Up to Kitchen Area

The next level includes the living room, dining room, and kitchen, with access to the yard from both the kitchen and the living room. Also in the living room is the fireplace and wonderful vaulted ceilings where you can view the upper floors.

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The Living Room & Fireplace

Upstairs are four more bedrooms, including the large master suite. The upstairs “hallway” is more like a balcony looking down over the living & dining rooms. In the master bedrooms there is also a sliding door that goes to the front balcony. Add to all of this a three car garage with plenty of storage & indoor laundry and you’ve got your dream home.

Beautiful Back Yard Decck & Patio

Beautiful Back Yard Deck & Patio

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On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.  If you can’t make it on Saturday, give us a call for a private showing.  For more pictures and details click here.

If You’re Thinking of Selling, Now’s the Time

If you thought about selling your house this year, now may be the time to do it. The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing.

Your Dream Home Awaits

We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market. Jonathan Smoke, the chief economist of realtor.com, in a recent article revealed:

“Our preliminary review of April activity on realtor.com shows that traffic, searches, and listing views are up more than 35% over last year. With 3 million jobs created and close to 1.5 million new households formed in the past 12 months, many more people want a new home of their own, and they want it bad. Their patience will be tested with tight supply—indeed, the No. 1 impediment of active shoppers in April was not being able to find a home that meets their needs.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.

Mortgage Rates: The Deal of the Century?

As you’re looking at homes on line and dreaming about your new home, don’t forget about the most important component in the home buying equation. Your mortgage. One of the first steps to the home buying process is to figure out how much you can afford.  What will you qualify for?  What factors will affect your bottom line? How do rates and economic conditions affect your bottom line and final payment? All of these factors play an important role in your home buying dreams. However, making this dream come true is still more affordable than ever. We are still experiencing historically low interest rates.

Recently, Freddie Mac published a blog post titled Mortgage Rates: Still the Deal of the Century. They explained that, if you are planning to purchase a home, now may be the time:

“If you are in the market to buy a home, today’s average mortgage rates are something to celebrate compared to almost any year since 1971.”

And they let their readers know that there is no guarantee that rates will remain this low:

“Over the past few years, we’ve enjoyed a long run of historically low mortgage rates. While no one expects them to change dramatically overnight, they are expected to head up. Most experts agree that mortgage rates will drift up in the coming months to end the year approaching 4.50%… Buying a home is a big investment – perhaps the biggest one you’ll make in your life. So, it’s important to be sure you are ready to make that purchase. If you are ready, today’s rates are not to be missed.”

The article went on to calculate what the principal and interest payment would be based on a $200,000 fully amortizing mortgage at different times in history. Mortgage Payments | Keeping Current Matters

Here is a look at rates over the decades:

Historic Mortgage Rates by Decade | Keeping Current Matters

Here is a look at rates over the last four years and what Freddie Mac projects for next year:

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rates | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of buying your first home or looking to move up to your dream home, now may be the time to do it. We’re seeing more homes coming on the market as we head into the summer season.  If you’ve been considering a move, whether it is your first home, a move up to a larger place, or slowing down and downsizing, give the Ransom-McKenzie Team a call to help you find your dream home.

RAM’s Riverside Art Make: The 52 Project

52 Logo PictureThe Ransom-McKenzie Team is proud to be a sponsor of Riverside Art Museum’s “52 Project”.  If you know us, you know that we are “Artists in Disguise as Realtors”.  While the Realtor thing does take a lot of our time, we always enjoy making time for the arts.

As sponsors, we will be actively participating in the “52 Project” which is the brainchild of our good friend, Sue Mitchell. Sue’s journey as an artist through her extraordinary “52” Exhibit which took place at RAM October – December 2013, has inspired us to participate in the “52 Project”.  The goal is to bring artists and artist “wanna’ bes” from across the city and beyond together in a “52 week, self directed journaling adventure”.  The beauty of this project is that anyone with creative aspirations in any the creative arts can join in the fun.  This means YOU! Don’t be scared to try it out, everyone will be working together to support one another and help to get the creative juices flowing. We believe that art is an important part of our existence, don’t let it go by the wayside.

“The 52 Project”, a part of RAM’s Riverside Art Make, is about getting a group of creative people together to find inspiration and motivation from one another while working on a 52-week, self-directed art journaling project. The goal is to help you develop the habit of capturing your ideas and being more artful on a regular basis.

The first meeting of the minds is Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 so you have plenty of time to sign up.  We’re encouraging our friends to join us and have fun!  As sponsors The Ransom-McKenzie Team is privileged to have the opportunity to invite some of our friends to join us as our guests.  Let us know if you might be interested in this opportunity and joining us in the journaling adventures. Send us an e-mail and let us know you’re in!

How Does “The 52 Project” Work?

Option 1:

A 52-week, self-directed art journaling adventure. The journal you keep can be any style, size, and be kept daily, weekly, or monthly. What we ask is that you make this journal an “EVERYTHING BOOK” capturing all of your creative ideas as if it were a scrapbook, sketchbook, daily planner, diary, and journal.

Option 2:

For those of you that feel a creative idea developing along the way, e.g., a short story, dance piece, one-act play, art exhibit, etc., we will help you learn (at the October meeting) how to write an exhibit/project proposal to submit to the museum. The museum will jury the proposals and select a variety of projects for 4-day exhibitions/performances to be held during the Summer of 2016. (You do not need to decide if you want to participate in Option 2 until the October meeting. It has no additional cost.)

Journal Picture

Enrollment in the “52 Project” is open to museum members and non members alike.  There will be four general “meetings” or workshops where participants will gather to review ideas, offer support, present proposals, and generally discuss how your journaling adventure is going. The dates for these meetings are:

  • Sunday, May 3, 2015, 1:00 p.m.: KICK-OFF MEETING | Q&A | View “52” Documentary | Journaling demos.
  • Sunday, October 4, 2015, 1:00 p.m.: MID-YEAR MEETING | Journaling and proposal writing workshops.
  • Sunday, March 5, 2016: NO MEETING | PROPOSALS DUE by 4:00 p.m. if you opted for Option 2.
  • Sunday, May 1, 2016, 1:00 p.m.: FINAL MEETING | Share art journals | Announce projects selected.

For more information on this project and other RAM Riverside Art Make events taking place, visit the RAM website. You can sign up for the “52 Project” online.

CUC Breakfast Meeting Wednesday, April 25, 2015

Join us Wednesday, April 25th for another informative Citizens University Committee Breakfast at UCR.  This month’s topic is “Out of the Lab: Brain & Eye Fitness Games”.

CUC LogoThis month’s speaker, Professor Victor Zordan, will be presenting research regarding new methods of improving memory and vision through an app on your smartphone.  Professor Zordan will be standing in for Dr. Aaron Seitz, UCR Professor of Psychology and is a member of Dr. Seitz’s team working to develop a series of “Brain Games” aimed at improving overall brain fitness.

Working with the newly founded UCR Brain Game Center for Mental Fitness and Well Being researchers have the mission to research, test, and disseminate game software instrumented with expert knowledge to optimize human brain processes with an aim to make scientifically principled brain games that translate to performance in real-life activities.

Also this month the CUC will be celebrating National Volunteer Month.  We will be honoring top UCR organizations that are giving back and volunteering to make our community a better place.

The monthly CUC Breakfast Meetings take place on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  Doors open at 7:15 am and the program starts at 7:30 am.  Breakfast costs $18 for members and $22 for non members and includes a deluxe breakfast buffet and free parking.  Join us at the UCR Alumni and Visitor’s Center this week! For more information regarding this month’s event, click here.  Space is limited so make your reservations today!

UCR Arches

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?

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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

Broadbent Drive, Riverside

Welcome to 151 W. Broadbent Drive in Riverside, California.  This beautiful mid-Century Ranch home is located in the University Heights neighborhood adjacent to the University of California Riverside.  The homeowners have created a wonderful oasis with water wise landscaping and wonderful interior updates to this 4 bedroom, 2 bath home.

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Water-Wise Landscaping Greets you as you enter this Mid-Century beauty.

If you’re looking for a home that has a mid-century feel with some updated features, look no further.  This home has beautiful cherry wood manufactured hardwood flooring, updated kitchen counters, and a fresh clean feel throughout.

Stop by our open house on Saturday, April 4th from 1-4pm to see this home in person.

Living Room to Slider

Notice the beautiful floors and large slider window.

Living Room Fireplace

The living room has an open feel to it from every angle.

The Living Room has a wonderful open feel with windows along the entire wall.

The Dining Room also is bright and open.

Dining

The entire space works together very well.

The Kitchen features updated counters and beautiful cabinetry.

The Kitchen features updated counters and beautiful cabinetry.

The Backyard is a quiet oasis retreat.

The Backyard is a quiet oasis retreat.

Here is a link to the listing if you would like more information on this home: http://mrmlsmatrix.com/matrix/shared/STZZhrvxDpFd/151BroadbentDriveW

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!

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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.