Our brown grass signs hit the TV screens

My lawn is dead, and now it’s been on TV. I mentioned a few weeks ago how I have been helping my kids make and sell signs to promote water conservation (we have a very severe drought in California). Anyway, Good Day Sacramento showed up to our brown parcel to do a story last week, and Fox 40 and CBS also did a piece recently too. Someone in Texas reached out to me to let me know the CBS story aired there too. Pretty wild, right? This was fun, so I definitely wanted to share. You can watch below and smile with me about our little signs making it to the tube.

Good Day Sacramento story (watch below or here):

The Foreclosure Look or The Conservation Look? I know brown grass isn’t really sexy, and my lawn looks like I’m going through a foreclosure. But the clincher for me to stop watering was driving by Lake Shasta two months ago. My jaw literally dropped after seeing how profoundly low the lake was. Yes, my ego does take a hit because my lawn isn’t perfect, but in this case conservation trumps image for me. In light of the severity of the drought I’ve simply had to redefine what brown grass represents. Instead of thinking of it as ugly “foreclosure lawn”, it’s instead the look of conservation and civic pride as a Californian. I don’t know about you, but when I see images like the one below, I’m alarmed and motivated to act.


CBS Story (watch below or here):

Fox 40 Story (watch below or here):


The Big Point: Whether you like the sign or not, or agree with my decision to “go brown”, I hope you’re encouraged to do all you can to save water inside and outside your home. Please know I’m not judging how others use water either.

Thanks for watching today. This project has been a blast for my family.

Question: What do you think are the best ways to save water for a household?

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When can I speak in your office?

One of my favorite things to do each month is visit real estate offices. I usually swing by during a weekly meeting, give a market spiel for 10-15 minutes and then field questions. It’s always fun, informative and relational, and since one of my goals this year again is to speak in 1-2 offices each month, this brings up a question. When can I visit your office? Let’s nail down a date soon. Let me know what will be relevant for your agents or you can check out classes I teach to see if anything might work (these are tailored to fit short or longer meetings).

By the way, here are two events I’m speaking at soon, and I am really excited for the opportunity. Will you be at either one?

masters club roundtable - ryan lundquist

2014 expo logofinalNext week I’ll be the Keynote Speaker at the Sacramento Association of REALTORS Master Club Roundtables event. Also, I’ll be teaching a couple of breakout sessions at the NorCal Expo on April 2 at the Sacramento Convention Center. My classes are called Tips for Successfully Working with Appraisers and Effective Blogging for Real Estate. You can read more about the NorCal Expo here.

Thanks for letting me share today. Have a fantastic and successful day!

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Ask an appraiser almost anything (comment below)

If you have a question for a real estate appraiser, here’s your chance to ask it. You can ask me almost anything below and I’ll respond to your comment. Have you always wondered about how appraisers do their job? Do you need some insight for a situation you’re dealing with? Is there something that you’ve been curious about or maybe something that is bothering you? Or do you have a business-related or blogging question? Feel free to comment anonymously or use your real name. I do hope some fun random questions show up too. Let’s talk.

ask an appraiser a question - sacramento appraisal blog

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Some random things I’ve seen in real estate lately

One of the great things about being an appraiser is coming across so many random things while inspecting houses. Here are a few gems I’ve seen recently. Enjoy

NFL on the wall - RG3 - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

NFL Decor: If you’re looking for some ideas for Fall decorating, stop looking at Pinterest and start checking out NFL decals you can put in your Living Room. I saw this gem recently. I’m not too sure this would fly in my house.

built-in trampoline in ground - by sacramento appraisal blog

Built-in Trampoline: I don’t see many of these – especially when they are surrounded by concrete. On one hand I think it’s great, but on the other hand it could end badly for kids when they’re projected to the concrete. An alternative use in my mind could be a giant fire pit. Can you think of any other uses if the trampoline was not there?

american flag painted in neighborhood on wall - by sacramento appraisal blog

Neighborhood Patriotism: I saw this the other day at the end of a tract that separates two neighborhoods. It’s nice to see some patriotism on display. On another note, the shutdown has ended. What a relief!

Kitchen that was remodeled that needs to be remodeled again - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

It’s a “Newer” Kitchen: This is not a very exciting photo, but I think it says something about real estate. This is a standard kitchen that was updated in the late 1980s. This house is located in a classic area of Sacramento where most homes were built in the 1940s or so. Does this kitchen get an extra value boost for being newer in age? Well, the kitchen is larger in size than other original ones in the neighborhood and it does have some nice vaulted ceilings too. But the reality is this “newer” kitchen needs modernization again. Most buyers would walk in the house and think, “I need to redo this kitchen”, so it is not really much of an asset.

View into bathroom window from next door - by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Meet the Neighbors: I’m always surprised that builders put houses right next to each other with a direct view into the bathroom. Yikes, I didn’t need to see that!! This doesn’t usually show up in older style neighborhoods, but part of the issue with newer houses is the lots are smaller and the houses are so much bigger, which makes this an unfortunate byproduct (I still think builders can plan better though). I saw this recently in a house undergoing construction in Elk Grove.

external obsolescence - sacramento appraisal blog

A Train in the Backyard: I posted this on my Facebook page recently. Would it bother you to live near train tracks? Would the potential positive of backing to open space be negated by the sound of trains passing by? Whenever I appraise homes with external obsolescence like this, I snap a photo of the tracks or the trains passing by if possible.

Any thoughts? I’d love to hear your take on one of the photos above.

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