February 18, 2009
Winter is a great time for dirt, leaves, and other debris to pile up in your rain gutters. Leave it long enough and there will be buildup. Leave it a really long time and those bits of dust, plantlife and other things will mush together and decompose, eventually becoming plant-worthy soil. Add a few seeds and some rain, and before you know it, green sprouts are popping up on your roof.
Today I passed a home in Los Gatos in which this seems to have happened. Grass and weeds were sprouting out of the rain gutters and had crept onto the roof quite a few inches.
Why is this a problem? Because the more you grow things on the roof, the more moisture you have getting trapped up there and the faster the roof decomposes. You don’t want things like fungus and dry rot to munch away at your home, but having plants grow on your roof is going to lead to exactly that.
Keep your gutters clean so problems like this do not have a chance to start. It is infinely easier to prevent this than to cure it.
(Not a great photo – taken with my treo’s camera and enlarged to show the roof but trying to keep the house itself anonymous.)
February 15, 2009
On the offchance that you haven’t heard of the latest real estate scam related to declining property values, be on notice that residents throughout Santa Clara County are receiving invoices from an agency that appears to help homeowners get their property taxes lowered – for an outrageous fee.
The scam notices come from “Property Tax Reassessment” in Los Angeles and it claims that your property values have delined to far lower than your assessed value. We have lived in our Belwood of Los Gatos home for about 9.5 years, so our assessed value is far lower than market value (even today), but this document claimed that our property should be reassessed at about 20% lower still. My response to Jim, my husband, was “Thank goodness their proposed value is wrong”. In fact, it’s off in our case by about half.
Please, if you get this nonsense in your mail, just shred it.
You can check comps for your home online very easily and at NO cost at Zillow.com, Cyberhomes.com or on my Real Estate Report under the Property Analysis tab.
February 12, 2009
We’ve had an unusually high amount of crime relative to normal in Los Gatos in recent months. On Tuesday of this week, the Bank of America in downtown Los Gatos (on North Santa Cruz) was robbed. Happily, a suspect has been apprehended by police and she is now in custody.
To read more, visit the Merc’s article on this story:
Woman arrested in Los Gatos bank robbery
February 10, 2009
The SuperBowl has come and gone. Now what???
There’s plenty to do in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, San Jose and nearby areas within Silicon Valley. But if you’ve got the “winter blahs”, maybe you could use a few suggestions.
The Museums of Los Gatos (2 locations) showcases art (Tait location) and history (Forbes Mill location)
The Art Museum of Los Gatos
Current art show is Painterly Painting: The Next Level
4 Tait Avenue, Los Gatos CA
Now through February 28th 2009
Also, art classes are offered through the museum too. One offering is a Life Drawing Class, which happens on Tuesdays from 2:30 – 5pm, ongoing, drop in basis. $14 per session (uninstructed, no registration required). Call 408 395-7375 for more information.
The History Museum of Los Gatos has rotating and travelling exhibits. Right now the featured exhibits are the car dealerships of Los Gatos).
75 Church St off E. Main St.
Los Gatos, CA 95030
February 08, 2009
The Youth Science Institute, which has facilities in Los Gatos at Vasona Lake County Park, in Saratoga at Sanborn Park, and in San Jose at Alum Rock Park, has met its campaign goal of $300,000 and will keep its doors open!
Read more at the YSI website: http://www.ysi-ca.org/