Monterey Bay Real Estate and Health Blog for Seniors

The Monterey Bay has a wealth of natural beauty and is sought after by those young and old. Those starting out their careers and those ending their careers, love the areas' weather and variety of leisure and food choices. As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist( SRES) I've been trained in some of the concerns that face those that are nearer to the sunset than their children. In this Monterey Bay Real Estate and Health Blog for Seniors  you'll find articles about events and going on here in the Monterey Bay from Carmel to Santa Cruz. Real estate articles, event article and things about our health that can be of importance to people of any age. So you'll find Monterey real estate articles, things to do on Carmel homes for sale for getting the best price to, considerations on a Pacific Grove condominium and if condominiums are the right home style for you.


May 7, 2020

Corona Virus Mask

Breath Easy!

covid maskIn Monterey, your mask can be fashionable and express your personality. Take a deep breath before you begin. Basic knowledge of your sewing machine is necessary for this project. For all seams always remember to backstitch at the start and finish of each seam. You will have options for securing the mask to your face with elastic or shoelaces. You will need thread, material, scissors, two 7 inch pieces of elastic or four 15 inch shoelace pieces, an iron and sewing machine. A six-inch piece of pipe cleaner is optional. If you use round elastic, you will need to tie a knot on each end to keep it in place once sewn in. The material can be anything breathable.

Decide on the fabric you want to use. Some can be quite fashionable while some others can actually be quite helpful in filtering out aerosols of the covid -19 particles. Use one layer of tightly woven cotton with 2 layers of polyester spandex material. A sheer fabric like you see on evening gowns can also be used. This combination is likely to provide performance close to the hard to find N-95 mask. You can also use silk or flannel on the inner lining as well. A good quality cotton fabric, the type used for quilting, with a polyester liner is also is great. 

covid maskCut a piece of fabric 9 x 15 inches. Fold the fabric, right sides together, so your piece is now 7.5 inches long. Using a ½ inch seam allowance, sew the top together leaving an opening for your pope cleaner and a filter. You will mark the fabric 3 inches from each side and sew two lines leaving the 3-inch center open. Finger press the seam open. Set your fold by bringing the seam upward so it is ½ inch from the top. The pocket will be facing you.

Tuck the elastic into the mask and pull an end out the top; pin it in place. Push the elastic to the edge of the top fold and begin sewing the side seam with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Sew about halfway down the side, pause, reach into the mask, and grab the end of the elastic. Pull it to the bottom fold of the mask. The material will gather behind the presser foot because of the resistance. At the bottom end of the side, sew the elastic into the mask. Repeat with the other side seam. If you are using laces, pin each lace to a corner of the mask and sew from top to bottom. Turn the mask right side out by squishing it through the opening at the top. Tug on the elastic to pull the corners out. Flatten, press with a hot iron.

covid maskOnce flat, be sure the opening/pocket is at the top facing you. Get a ruler and mark on each side, from the top, every one inch with a fabric marker. You will have made six marks on each side. From the bottom, bring the first mark up to the second and pin them together. Go upward to your next mark and bring it to the fourth mark, repeat with marks 5 and 6. On the portion that will touch your face, the pleats point up. Ergo, on the outside, the pleats point down. That avoids getting pockets of dust and pollen, trapped.

If you opted to use it, insert your pipe cleaner through the filter opening and push it against the top seam, clip into place. If you could not purchase a pipe cleaner, a twist tie is a substitute. Begin on one side of the mask from the bottom to sew around three sides. One way will be easy, you will be sewing your pleats downward. On the opposite side, you will need to be careful as you sew against the pleat to keep it flat. When sewing the top, be sure to NOT sew the pipe cleaner. It will be snug yet moveable inside the pocket. Use a 1/4 seam allowance for this step. Once you have gone around the three sides of the mask, remove it from your machine; trim your threads. To enforce the pleats, it is a good idea to run a reinforcing sew line along each side of the mask. Put your needle between the sewing you just did and the outside of the fabric. Congratulations! You did it! You look very stylish in Monterey.

For a filter, cut a 5 inch square of material and tuck it into the pocket. You will need to fuss it into place. Many materials can be used as a filter with varying degrees of adequacy. In a pinch paper towels and coffee filters are readily available. Polypropylene non-woven fibers also make adequate filters. They are the same material used in N95 masks. The best material for your homemade mask in Monterey is vacuum cleaner bag filters with a HEPA rating.



April 17, 2020

Market Update Single Family Homes and Condo/Townhomes March 2020 vs. February 2020

Market Update Single Family Homes and Condo/Townhomes March 2020 vs. February 2020

market data march 2020 february 2020

April 17, 2020

Market Update Single Family Homes and Condo/Townhomes March 2020 vs. March 2019

Market Update Single Family Homes and Condo/Townhomes March 2020 vs. March 2019

Market Update Single Family Homes and Condo/Townhomes March 2020 vs. March 2019

Feb. 7, 2020

Home Buyer's Guide to Monterey County, December 2019

Home Buyer's Guide to Monterey County, December 2019

Home Buyer's Guide to Monterey County, December 2019

Nov. 28, 2018

Lost Building Permits? Issuance When Original Permit Does Not Exist

searching lost building permitsWhat to do when you lose your building permits:

Requires the adoption of a building standard to authorize a local enforcement official to determine the date of construction of a residential unit, apply the building standards in effect at that date of construction, and issue a retroactive building permit when a record of the issuance of a building permit for the construction of an existing residential unit does not exist. READ MORE...

Senate Bill 1226 is codified as Health and Safety Code § 17958.12. Effective January 1, 2019.

June 4, 2018

Upgrading Your Home – Redesigning for Happy Aging

upgrading home, redesigning for seniorsOnce upon a time your house was filled with the laughter and happy chaos of children but now they have all grown up and moved away from the family home. Should you be looking for other Pacific Grove homes for sale? Why not consider instead remaining in your familiar home and neighborhood and upgrade and redesign the spaces to better meet your needs as you grow older.

Many older adults choose to downsize to smaller homes once their children move out on their own but many more choose the option of upgrading their current family to make it more “user friendly”. The facts are that with aging the body sometimes just can’t do what it once did, as well as it did. That does not mean however that you need to move away from the treasured family home and all the memories made and stored there. Upgrading the family home to meet your current and future needs is a viable and acceptable option.

Upgrading and Redesigning for Better Functionality

Your family home likely had more than one storey to it, with numerous bedrooms and likely more than one bathroom. Even though your kids have moved out you know they will be back, filling the house once again during holiday gatherings, or simply for surprise visits. And if they should have children of their own in the future you will definitely need those rooms and extra bathrooms.

For now, for you and your partner, the house can be redesigned to make your everyday life easier. Simple additions and adjustments can make for less strain and chance of injury, ease of movement, and better accessibility.

Ideas and Tips to Help You with Your Redesign Plans:

As you may already be aware aging does not always happen as gracefully as we hope. Illness, injury, and circumstances beyond your control can lead to difficulties with mobility, coordination, and decreased energy levels. Redesigning your current house will make it much easier for you to remain in the family home, comfortably.

tips redesign home for seniorsThe main areas that you should focus on are the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, with future considerations to widening doorways, stairways, and easier access to the outdoor spaces. To help with some ideas and inspiration you might consider visiting some Pacific Grove homes for sale in you area to see how others have handled redesign issues.

Create a Bedroom on the Main Floor

Consider converting that downstairs den or extra living/dining space in to a main floor master bedroom. Removing or adding a wall can help create the perfect space. Besides, with the children gone from the household there probably isn’t any reason why you should be climbing stairs fifteen times a day.

Create a Bathroom on the Main Floor

If there isn’t a bathroom already in existence on your main floor you can take a little used closet or pantry space and convert it in to a simple two piece bathroom.

Revamp and Redesign an Existing Bathroom

If there is a bathroom on your main house floor then consider making some simple changes. For example, you might install touch faucets. These are wonderful additions for anyone dealing with arthritic changes in the hands.

New non-slip flooring is ideal for everyone including those grandchildren you may someday have come to visit. Plus there are some real elegant walk-in shower/tub designs that come highly recommended by doctors and therapists.

Kitchen Redesign
A total redesign of the kitchen can be a costly endeavor but it might not be necessary. Making simple changes such as easier grip knobs/handles on cupboards and rearranging the contents of those cupboards may be all that is necessary.

You might also consider installing an island that has a lower counter top and a built in microwave for better access and preparation space.

Replacing faucets with motion or touch sensors can also make a huge difference in ease of use.

Elevators and Stair Lifts
If accessing the upper levels of your home on a near daily basis is not an option but it is proving to be a challenging one physically the options of installing an elevator or stair lift system are available and less expensive than you may think. If you are planning on remaining in the family home for many more years then the cost of such installations will be well worth the investment.

Both of these options will require professional installation; this is not a job for a “do-it myself-handyman” kind of job.

Main Floor Laundry
With the children gone you will undoubtedly need to frequent the laundry room less often. As with your master bedroom it may make your life more comfortable moving the laundry room to the main floor. And while you are at it why not consider smaller washer and drying machines.

Outdoor Spaces
Large outdoor spaces are great for growing kids but now all that space may seem overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when upgrading your home:

*  Consider redesigning the garage door to include an automatic lift and a lighter weight material
*  Install self-cleaning gutters along your roof
*  Fill in the below ground pool, or remove the above ground. If you plan on keeping the swimming pool then consider hiring someone for regular maintenance

Other Considerations:

Hired Help
If finances allow you might also consider hiring help to help with the household cleaning. Though the kid’s rooms won’t be used on a regular basis they will still be in need of regular cleaning.

There are many things you can to your existing family home that will allow you to remain living there comfortably as you age. Keeping the familiar doesn’t have to mean struggling with the daily tasks of life. With some simple redesign and upgrades your family home can continue to make more memories to be cherished for many more generations.

Nov. 28, 2017

Is It Possible To Cure Liver Cancer?

curing liver diseaseCould Pacific Grove home owners someday benefit from new advances in CRISPR gene editing treatment for genetic diseases? 

MIT researchers have recently developed a method of using nanotechnology to deliver CRISPR gene-editing components into mice for treating defective genes in liver cells. Previous CRISPR delivery methods have used viruses that might in some cases elicit possible immune responses from the body. The new study demonstrates for the first time that you can make a nanoparticle that can be used to permanently and specifically edit the DNA in the liver of an adult animal. The success rate for cutting certain genes in 80% of liver cell using this new delivery system was about 80 percent, the best ever attained with CRISPR in adult animals. 

Daniel Anderson, associate professor of chemical engineering at MIT, and member of the MIT Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science is senior author of the study on the Pcsk9 gene which regulates cholesterol levels. He reports that mutations of the Pcsk9 gene in humans is associated with a rare disease called familial hypercholesterolemia. This disorder is treated with antibody drugs that inhibit the Pcsk9 gene and which must be taken on a regular basis for the patient's entire life. Using the new nanoparticle method, the faulty gene is permanently edited in one treatment. Furthermore, the same methodology gives promise for treating other diseases of the liver. 

The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing treatment consists of the Cas9 DNA-cutting enzyme together with a short RNA which guides the Cas9 to a specific area of the genome where the DNA should be cut. Researchers generally depend on viruses to transport the gene as well as the short RNA guide segment. In 2014, Anderson and his colleagues demonstrated a non-viral CRISPR delivery method that cured the tyrosinemia liver disorder in an adult mammal. However, the delivery method used then consisted of a high-pressure injection that could also cause damage to the liver. The research team subsequently discovered how to package the messenger RNA encoding Cas9 into a nanoparticle while still using a virus to carry the short RNA guide. This hybrid packaging technique succeeded in editing the target gene in 6 percent of hepatocytes, enough to treat tyrosinemia. 

Using the viral delivery method in the body has some drawbacks. After a particular virus has been used, the patient will develop antibodies to it, preventing it from being reused. In addition, some patients will have pre-existing antibodies to the viruses being tested to deliver CRISPR.

In order to use the entire nanoparticle delivery method, the MIT researchers first needed to determine how to modify the RNA guide to protect it from enzymes in the body that would normally break it down before reaching its destination. By analyzing the sgRNA structure of the Cas9 and RNA guide and testing multiple combinations, they learned that up to 70 percent of the guide RNA could be modified without affecting the sgRNA and Cas9 binding. At the same time, the modifications enhanced the molecular activity. 

The modified RNA guides or enhanced sgRNA were packaged into lipid nanoparticles and injected into mice together with nanoparticles containing the mRNA for Cas9. The researchers were abled to eliminate the Pcsk9 gene in over 80 percent of liver cells, eliminating the Pcsk9 protein to undetectable levels in the mice. Total cholesterol in the treated mice also dropped by about 35 percent. 

Anderson and his colleagues conclude that having a fully synthetic nanoparticle that could turn genes on and off is a powerful tool for other diseases beside Pcsk9. Since the liver is an important organ as well as a source of diseases for many people, having a way to edit the DNA of the liver while still using it could be the key to treating still more diseases. 

Here's another leading story about using CRISPR to fight cancer in human patients that could intrigue Pacific Grove home owners. 

In October 2016, Chinese researchers inserted modified immune cells into a lung cancer patient at West China Hospital. The immune cells had been modified from blood extracted from the patient and treated with CRISPR/Cas9 to disable the gene that expresses the PD-1 protein that inhibits a cell's immune response. That clinical trial will be performed on ten patients each receiving two to four injections of re-engineered cells. The results will be studied to establish the safety of the treatments and determine whether any harmful effects have occurred. 

Six months later, the second medical researchers at Nanjing University launched a second human clinical trial involving twenty patients with different cancers – gastric cancer, lymphoma, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The aim of this second trial is to restrain specific genes from preventing the patients immune system from fighting the cancers. The first patient suffering from late-stage nasopharyngeal carcinoma had received the first injection, and reported to be doing well after a week. 

The first human CRISPR clinical trial in the US has now commenced in November 2017 at the University of Pennsylvania involving 18 patients with various cancers. The thrust of the trial is to assay the safety of CRISPR treatment on humans rather than on curing the diseases. Which country, US or China, wins the CRISPR cancer curing race is less important than the curing the diseases in question.            

Nov. 20, 2017

Housing Trends November 2017 - Source for Real Estate Market Information

housing trends november 2017

Welcome to the most current Housing Trends eNewsletter. 

This eNewsletter is specially designed for you, with national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you’re in the market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in general. 

Please click on this link to view the Housing Trends November 2017 Newsletter 

The Housing Trends eNewsletter contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau, reports and other sources. 

Housing Trends eNewsletter is filled with local and national real estate sales and price activity provided by MLSs and the National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau key market indicators, consumer videos, blogs, real estate glossary, mortgage rates and calculators, consumer articles, and local community reports. 

If you are interested in determining the value of your home, click the “Home Evaluator” link for a free evaluation report: 

Sound decisions can only be made with accurate and reliable information, and I am happy to be a trusted resource for you. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this monthly eNewsletter, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have and to the opportunity to be your REALTOR® in the future. 

Gregg Camp
Property In Santa Cruz/ California Coastal Home
2567 Main Street Soquel CA 95073 831-688-1830 | 

Oct. 23, 2017

Eco Friendly Bridges May Save Time and Money for Carmel Valley Home Builders

Carmel Valley is an incredibly beautiful area with unique terrain. The terrain is one of the appeals of living here, but it also means that Carmel Valley homes for sale are often on steep hills or otherwise face potential access challenges created by the terrain itself. 

However, there is a solution. New research shows that glulam timber bridges can last between 75 and 90 years under ordinary use at the relatively low traffic levels you are likely to see on county and township roads in parts of Carmel Valley

glulam bridgeThese are bridges built from glulam, an engineered wood product that combines wood strips with glue to create a superior structural component compared to unmodified wood timbers. They are also cost effective. 

The research was conducted at J. Lohr Structures Lab. They calculated the typical load and stress tested the bridge to simulate use over a long time frame. The amount of stress incidents the structure survived suggests that such bridges can last for decades.

The bridge they tested was donated by Gruen-Wald Engineered Laminates of Tea. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the South Dakota Department of Transportation worked together as co-sponsors. 

Such bridges take less time to build than other alternatives. This is beneficial to the community by keeping road closures to a minimum. As we've seen with Big Sur fires or the slide that took out the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, getting a community back and thriving depend, on speed and cost. For smaller roads and private residences these glulam bridges may one day have their day.

This type of bridge also fits in well with the aesthetic of Carmel Valley homes for sale and the neighborhoods and townships in which they exist. They are attractive wood bridges that go well with the laid back, down to earth atmosphere of the area.

Glulam are great for people who are concerned about the environment. Glulams utilize all different sizes of smaller lumber in their construction. It keeps the benefits of being customizable. The layers can be tailored to the performance needs of the projects, making it more reliable, more consistent and stronger than natural wood beams. However, wood treatments have changed and are much more environmentally friendly than they once were.

Such bridges are substantially cheaper than conventional bridges. In some cases, the cost of construction can be only half to three quarters of the typical cost of building a bridge in the same spot. They can also be built in a single day. They do not require special equipment, nor special training, to build.

The researchers concluded that these bridges are low cost, structurally viable and durable while also being sustainable, green and eco-friendly. They have the added benefit of being relatively quick and easy to install.

glulam bridgeSuch bridges can span a space of up to 80 feet. The test bridge was 9.5 feet wide and 50 feet long. This approximates a one lane country bridge. It was made from three glulam girders and 13 deck panels. The design was intended to meet the standards of the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) HL-93 truck load.

It was stressed with 32,000 pounds-force at the rate of one load per second. This allowed them to simulate decades of normal wear and tear in a much shorter period of time. They concluded that this design meets the AASHTO specs and can readily be serve low traffic areas, such as county or township roads. 

One thing the study did not consider is the character of the neighborhood, but it is something builders will want to consider. This type of timber bridge is not only eco friendly, it looks the part of being an old fashioned bridge that fits the character of the area. 

This gives you the best of both worlds. It is modern, engineered glulam wood construction, superior to the materials used back in the day. Yet, it looks similar to historic wood bridges. This allows a neighborhood to meet a number of potentially conflicting standards. 

This is good news for builders and locals. It isn't necessary to decide which you value most and pick the solution that meets that criteria. You don't have to choose between aesthetics, good engineering, or eco friendly design. 

You can build a bridge that meets all those standards. Furthermore, it does it while bringing costs down and reducing the amount of time a road is closed while installing or upgrading the local bridge. It's a win/win/win scenario.            

July 10, 2017

Killer Kettlebell Workout Benefits in Monterey County

kettlebellGet a grip, Californians---A killer kettlebell workout in Pacific Grove burns fat and sculpts sexy muscles! Plus, it improves balance, strength and stability!

Think mini bowling ball with a handle. That best describes what a kettlebell is. And like weight-training with dumbbells, a kettlebell can also be lifted, pushed and pulled during a workout. The difference is in the freedom and versatility of movement.

With a kettlebell class in Pacific Grove, you can row, press, swing and jerk the cast iron equipment in different directions with one or both hands. The heart gets pumping, and it makes for a super aerobics exercise with resistance training. It's a gorgeous, oceanview city whose real estate offers plenty of recreational activities.

A kettlebell workout is great for all ages, including seniors, living in the prime real estate of the Pacific Grove area. And although the equipment might look intimidating, it really isn't. Kettlebells range in weight from 2lbs. to 175lbs. That's quite a huge range, meaning there are many benefits to this exercise at individual abilities.

Of course, instruction using a kettlebell is very important. Exercising with too heavy a kettlebell can cause injury to the spine, neck and so forth. There are a lot of kettlebell classes available across gorgeous Pacific Grove real estate to keep up with this addictive, 'krazy' workout. So it's best to see the proper movements in person and to experience correct stature and follow-through.

Seniors who have purchased real estate in Pacific Grove can safely learn how to use kettlebells for a rewarding and healthy exercise. Everyone can get a total body workout in a small amount of time. According to the American Council on Fitness, a 20-minute kettlebell workout can burn around 272 calories.

Jessica Biel and Penelope Cruz are just two of the body-beautiful female celebrities who swear by a kettlebell workout. And Matthew McConaughey enjoys swinging the kettlebell around to maintain his incredible physique.

Katherine Heigl also fell in love with the workout several years ago, and has continued on the kettlebell 'kraze.'

"I was probably in the best shape of my life before Knocked Up but I hated going to the gym. I’ve now found a woman who teaches kettlebell classes. It’s a mix of cardio and weight training but I only do it for 20 minutes twice a week and it has changed my body shape,” Heigl says.

Kettlebell classes in Pacific Grove. Sounds like a great way to burn calories and tone the body! P.G. has small-town hospitality with some of the most impressive real estate around. It's a great quality of life!

Find places to work your kettlebell urges in Monterey County. Home of the following local businesses: