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How to Plan a Stress-Free Mother’s Day Brunch

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Mother’s Day is coming up and if you’re looking for a way to celebrate the special mom in your life consider skipping the crowds at the restaurants and toast the Mom-of-Honor at home with a delicious brunch.

Here are a few tips on hosting a stress-free Mother’s Day brunch that everyone will enjoy!

Prepare the Night Before

An easy sure-fire way to help reduce the stress of hosting brunch is starting the prep work early. If you’re having a sit-down brunch, set the table. Or if you’re hosting a buffet (which is recommended for larger groups), determine where you will place the buffet line and beverage station and set up your dining area accordingly. Also place everything you’ll need (i.e. plates, napkins, silverware, glasses, serving platters) on the table ready for hungry guests to grab.

Prepping the night before goes for the menu as well! Try making dishes you can make ahead and bake in the morning, like breakfast casseroles or baked French toast. Frittatas and stratas are also great make-ahead dishes.

The more you can get done the night before, the easier your morning will be.

Keep it simple

Pancakes and omelets are great breakfast options, but unless you’re an experienced line cook, it could quickly turn into mess. Focus on one main course (like the delicious make-ahead options listed above) and add simple side dishes like fruit, muffins, pastries like croissants or scones, donuts, and bagels. The best part? These dishes can be store-bought.

And while you’ll have to cook breakfast meats the day off, baking sausage and bacon is quick and mess-free.

Don’t try to do everything

Just because you’re hosting brunch doesn’t mean you have to do all the work by yourself. You’ll already be busy planning the menu and making the main course and preparing your home for guests. Be open to letting other people help! Tell everyone to bring a beverage or a specific dish or picking up one of your selected side dishes.

Have fun!

Getting as much done in advance will help you be ready to greet your guests when they arrive and allow you to be present at your brunch. Enjoy your family and friends!

Brunch is a great way for families to get together and celebrate the special mothers in our lives. We wish you all a very Happy Mother’s Day!

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SummerHill Introduces, Harvest Court, New Homes For Sale in Moraga

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

SummerHill Homes is excited to announce a new community of single-family homes at Harvest Court in Moraga, CA. Located on Camino Ricardo, Harvest Court will offer 26 high-end single family homes ranging from approximately 2,763 to 3,409 square feet of living space. There will be 24 two-story homes and 2 single-story residences on sizable lots ranging from 7,141 to 21,648 square feet!

New residents at Harvest Court will be able to enjoy the serenity of 2+ acres of park space with trails and bridges over two creeks. Nearby parks include Moraga Commons Park and Hacienda de las Flores Park.

We encourage all interested buyers to contact us today to learn more about our first sales release and join our Interest List to stay-up-to-date on all the upcoming news!

Harvest Court
Ernette, Jenny and Megan
P: 925-999-6927
Email: [email protected]

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Introducing Sorellas – New Homes in Los Gatos

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

We are excited to introduce our most recent new home community, Sorellas in Los Gatos, California! This limited opportunity of 17 luxury single-family homes is nestled in the coveted hills of Los Gatos and is walkable to town! Sorellas is just steps away from top Los Gatos schools, regional hiking and biking trails, and great shopping, dining and entertainment options.

Features of New Homes for Sale Los Gatos, CA

We partnered with renowned San Francisco architects Hunt Hale Jones and International design group Ryan Young Interiors to create 17 distinct floorplans for each luxury home. Each Sorellas residence has been thoughtfully-designed inside and out, with several distinct architectural styles including: Farmhouse, California Contemporary, Bungalow, Early California, and Spanish. Residences range in size from approximately 3,700 to over 4,900 square feet with additional living space options such as guest casitas available on select homesites.

Sorellas Lot 11 - Residence Plan 4 Bungalow

Sorellas: Plan 4 Bungalow (Lot 11)


Sorellas: Plan 2 Early California (Lot 12)


Sorellas: Plan 5 Spanish (Lot 14)

Enjoy luxurious amenities like professionally designed interiors, gourmet kitchens with professional-grade Thermador® appliances including Wine Column and Dual-Ovens, Kohler® fixtures, Precision® cabinetry and other high-end finishes.

Other quality features include:

  • Private owner suites including spa-like bathrooms with heated floors, luxurious walk-in showers and separate soaking tubs.
  • Coffered ceiling at master bedroom per plan
  • Spacious walk in dual closets with dressing island
  • Heated floors in master bedroom
  • Oversized walking showers and soaking tubs
  • Kholer® fixtures and bath accessories

 

Nearby Schools

If you want to ensure your children a quality education, you will be happy to know that the public schools of Los Gatos, CA are reputable and lauded for their academic excellence. Here are the schools that Sorellas is zoned for:

  • Louise Van Meter Elementary School
  • Raymond J. Fisher Middle School
  • Los Gatos High School

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Sorellas, visit our website or call us at (408) 335-8358. Contact us today so that you don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity.

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How to Choose the Right Neighborhood in Sunnyvale CA

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016


The neighborhood you purchase your home in is just as important as the actual home you purchase. In fact, in many cases, the location is more important to your happiness and comfort than the actual house. Here are a few tips that will help you find new homes for sale Sunnyvale, CA in the right neighborhood.

Define the Perfect Neighborhood

You should define the perfect neighborhood to make your search for the right home easier. Some factors you should consider include the size of your family, the type of home you want, your desired commute time, and whether you want to be able to visit stores and restaurants by foot. You should also think about the things you consider undesirable in a neighborhood, such as excessive noise late at night.

Dig Up Information

Once you’ve found a few neighborhoods that you’re interested in, you should dig up information. Some relevant information includes crime statistics, school information, tourist attractions, and nearby parks. The best way to obtain relevant information about a neighborhood is by contacting the neighborhood association. The response you receive will also give you a good idea of whether the neighborhood association will be a good resource for you in the possible future.

Real Estate in Sunnyvale

SummerHill Home’s home community Arques Place is located in Sunnyvale’s East Arques and N. Fair Oaks. It’s located in close proximity to great schools, shops, and entertainment. Arques Place is over 50% sold out but new homes are still available to those looking to relocate to this bright and cheerful part of the city. For more information on new homes for sale in Sunnyvale click or call: summerhillhomes.com or (925) 244-7500.

Arques Place
617 East Arques Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
P: 408-735-7762
F: 408-735-7765
Email: [email protected]

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Sunnyvale, CA – A Beautiful Community Full of New Homes

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

The City of Sunnyvale in California is located in beautiful Santa Clara County and is one of the major metropolitan subsections of Silicon Valley. It is a Mecca for innovation, new ideas and opportunity.

Arques Place exterior at dusk - Townhomes in Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale is one of the few cities in the country to have its own unified Department of Public Safety, and all of its personnel are trained to function as police, fire-fighters, and emergency medical technicians.

Sunnyvale Attractions
The City of Sunnyvale is chock full with clean and attractive parks. It is located just a few miles south of the lower end of the San Francisco Bay between beautiful Palo Alto and bustling San Jose. Popular attractions include the Blackberry Farm recreation center- a popular city park, the Ulistic Natural Area- a rustic riverside preserve, and the famous Winchester Mystery House known for its bizarre wandering architecture.

New Homes For Sale Sunnyvale CA by SummerHill Homes

Sunnyvale is a great place for anyone looking to relocate and invest in a new home. Many beautiful new and refurbished buildings are just waiting to be lived in there. Prices range between $720,000 and $1,500,000. Sunnyvale has a slightly higher than average cost of living compared to national levels, but wages are higher and opportunities for growth are many.

SummerHill Homes has been dedicated to helping home buyers find a place to make their dreams into a reality since 1976 and is recognized as a leader in the Central California real estate market. For more information on how SummerHill Homes can help you find your Sunnyvale dream house, contact our Arques Sales Team – Lisa, Natalie or Marc:

Arques Place
617 East Arques Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
P: 408-735-7762
F: 408-735-7765
Email: [email protected]

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Change your life – one closet at a time

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Fall cleaning is the new spring cleaning. With the change in the season, now is a great time to reorganize and clean your home. But what if you could clean your home just once more and then never have to clean it again? Japanese organizational consultant, Marie Kondo, makes that claim in her international bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

The KonMari method is comprised of two deceptively simple tenets: keep only what inspires joy in your heart and organize by category instead of space.

  • Keep what you love: In short, if you don’t love it, get rid of it. Decluttering the KonMari way is not about how much stuff you can get rid of, but simply keeping the items that truly make you happy. Kondo instructs people to physically pick up each item and ask, “Does this spark joy?” if yes, keep it and find a home for it. If the answer is no, it goes away. This is probably the most difficult part of her method as it forces you to remove the sentimental values placed on particular items. There’s no room for ‘somedays’ with this method, you know, “maybe-I’ll-wear/use-this-someday.”
  • Sort by category or type, not by room: Our first instinct when organizing is to tackle the challenge room by room. In contrast, Kondo recommends organizing by category. For example, instead of clearing out your master bedroom closet, she recommends tackling ALL the clothes in every closet and drawer in the house. Begin with tops, then bottoms and work from there. She also instructs readers in the fine art of the KonMari folding method, which frees up a lot of space in your drawers.


Kondo recommends tidying in the following order: clothes, books, papers and then everything else. In order to take the next step to living a clutter-free life without relapsing is to store all of the items of the same type in the same place so things do not become scattered and ultimately lead to more accumulation.

Whether you’re hoping to streamline your possession prior to moving or if you’re attempting to reorganize your new home, this is a method worth exploring. Have you tried the KonMari method for decluttering? Tell us about your experience.

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Newly Released Homes Now Available at Mission Place

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

We recently released a new phase of townhomes in Building 4 at Mission Place in Fremont! Located in the popular Mission Valley neighborhood near top ranked schools, major employment centers and great shopping and dining options, this sales release is bound to sell out quickly!

The following homes are available in Building 4:

Homesite 15 – Plan 1

  • 3 Beds/3.5 Baths
  • Approx. 1,829 sq. ft.
  • Starting from $998,000

Homesite 14 – Plan 1X

  • 3 Beds/3.5 Baths
  • Approx. 1,800 sq. ft.
  • Starting from $992,000

Homesite 13 – Plan 2

  • 4 Beds/3.5 Baths
  • Approx. 2,108 sq. ft.
  • Starting from $1,146,000

Homesite 16 – Plan 3

  • 4 Beds/3.5 Baths
  • Approx. 2,105 sq. ft.
  • Starting from $1,122,000


Mission Place model homes are open for tours on Mondays from 3pm – 5pm and Tuesday – Sunday from 10am – 5pm and are located at 2817 Driscoll Road in Fremont. For complete directions and additional information, call 510-353-1743 or visit www.summerhillhomes.com.

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Halloween Fun in the Bay Area

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Get ready for a howling good time this Halloween season. From pumpkin patches to haunted houses, there are plenty of fun activities for all ages to enjoy this month around the Fremont and Sunnyvale areas.

Pumpkin Patches

Fall Pumpkin Tours at Full Circle Farm, Sunnyvale. Take your preschooler to tour the Children Garden to pick out a pumpkin in the field and have photo opportunity, story time, and a visit with the chickens.

J.E. Perry Farms, Fremont. Find the perfect pumpkin and explore this family-owned working organic farm.

Moreland Education Foundation Pumpkin Patch, Campbell. The MEF Pumpkin Patch is a beloved Moreland tradition that combines family fun with community building and fundraising. There will be carnivals, movies, craft fairs and concerts in addition to the pumpkin patch. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the season and give back to the community! The pumpkin patch is open to the public Friday, Saturday and Sundays from 10/16-10/29.

Pick of the Patch Pumpkins by ABC Tree Farms, Sunnyvale and Fremont. Pick your perfect pumpkin from the quaint pumpkin patch and fun inflatable amusements.

Spina Farms Pumpkin Patch, Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose. You’ll find over 60 varieties of pumpkins at Spina Farms, from traditional orange to pumpkins with stripes, warts, different colors, shapes and sizes! While you’re here, also enjoy a scenic tour of the farm on a hay ride pulled by an antique tractor or ride on the Spina Pumpkin Express Train that will take you to the middle of the patch, and new this year is the Harvest Tram, a perfect experience for the little ones. On the weekends there will be a petting zoo and pony rides available.

Trick or Treating

Trick or Treat on Downtown Safety Street, Fremont – October 23rd. Have fun at this trick or treating wonderland where children will gather Halloween goodies while walking through a street of miniature houses in Downtown Fremont.

Trick or Treat on the Avenue, Willow Glen (San Jose) – October 30th. Enjoy a safe trick or treat experience in Downtown Willow Glen compliments of the businesses in Downtown Willow Glen.

Festivals & Parties

Pumpkins in the Park, San Jose – October 10th. A harvest fair for families designed to promote awareness of the Guadalupe River Park and celebrate the fall season. There will be a giant pumpkin patch, a costume swap with the Children’s Discovery Museum, costume parade, carnival games, food and other free activities.

Halloween Family Fun Fest at Santana Row, San Jose – October 27th. There will be just treats at this free family fun event at Park Valencia in Santana Row. There will be free entertainment, interactive games, hands-on activities and educational activities designed for pre-school aged kids and their parents, arts and crafts, face painting, pumpkin decorating and trick-or-treating! Don’t forget to wear your costumes!

[email protected] and Family Arts Day, Santa Clara – October 29th. Put on your costumes and come out to the museum for an evening of family-friendly Halloween fun! Participate in seasonal art projects and activities that are sure to put you in the fall spirit while eating snacks and sweets provided by the museum.

Spellbound: A Celebration of Books and Make-Believe at Children’s Discovery Museum, San Jose – October 31st. Celebrate make-believe through the fun of dressing-up and reading. Wear your costume and enjoy a “all treats, no tricks” bash at the Children’s Discovery Museum featuring healthy treat stations, creative costumes, science magic and a book giveaway.

Haunt History Park, San Jose – October 31st. While there are no scares at this event, there will be plenty of fun family-friendly events, from trick-or-treating, and arts and crafts activities. Children will be able to trick-or-treat at stations set up at the historic home in History Park.

Haunted Attractions

Halloween Haunt at Great America, Sunnyvale. Now open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Be prepared to be scared! There will be mazes, live shows and scare zones. Check out The Great Pumpkin Fest (now open through 11/1) during the daylight hours for the younger set. The fest features trick-or-treating with Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang, pumpkin decorating, a hay maze and coloring.

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose. Fright Nights is an experience that includes a haunted tour of the Winchester Mystery House and a brand new haunted maze that includes roaming characters straight from your worst nightmares. Every twist and turn in the maze provides an opportunity for you to prove your bravery.

Dead Time Dreams Haunted House, San Jose. A truly terrifying experience, the haunted attractions at Dead Time Dreams are the things nightmares are made of. Start your evening with the pre-show entertiainment on the Midway of Terrors and then check out the main attractions: The Devils Sacrifice and Backwoods – if you dare!

Halloween Twilight Hike, Fremont – October 30th. Spend a spooktacular evening on this hike in the hills of Coyote Hills Regional Park on the hunt for hobgoblins, witches and ghosts during sunset while learning about the ancient origins and modern traditions of Halloween. Wear your costume and enjoy a treat and a campfire story following the hike.

Halloween Train, Fremont – October 17th. Come out to the Ardenwood Farm for an evening of fun. Ride the farm’s train through the fields and woods on this evening ride and spot goblins and have a hauntingly good time. This event is designed for families with children aged 12 years and under.

Unhaunted House, HaywardOctober 23rd – 24th. Enjoy an evening of Halloween crafts, storytelling, a campfire and the signature Unhaunted House at Sulphur Creek.

There are a lot of fun events happening all over the Bay Area. Wherever you decided to haunt, we hope you have a safe and spooky Halloween!

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Featured Floorplan: Mission Place Plan 1

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Mission Place, a new home community of 24 townhomes, is located in the popular Mission Valley neighborhood in Fremont. Mission Places is conveniently located to major freeways, employment centers, parks and is within walking distance to top ranked schools.

Today we’re featuring Residence 1, a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom floorplan with approximately 1,829 square feet of living space, and there are currently two homes available starting from $998,000.

Highlighted features of Residence 1 include:

  • Downstairs bedroom or den
  • Private outdoor deck
  • Gourmet kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances
  • 2-car side-by-side attached garage

Check out the floorplan:


(click to enlarge)

View the virtual tour virtual tour here.

Make an appointment to visit Mission Place to tour our fully furnished model home today!

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How to find a ‘Good School’

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

If you have kids, or are planning on having kids, living in a good school district can be a major selling point for prospective home buyers. Trulia recently conducted a survey and found that 19% of Americans reported that their dream home was located in a great school district. That percentage jumps to 35% for parents with children under the age of 18 years.



The quality of school districts plays a very crucial role in a home buyer’s decision on where to purchase their new home. But what exactly does ‘good school’ really mean? Realtor.com recently published an article exploring what makes a ‘good school’ and how you can find one.

Determining a ‘good school’ takes more than measuring test scores; according to educational experts it’s also about weighing the ‘less tangible goals such as fostering social and emotional intelligence…executive function skills, the ability to plan, focus, remember instructions, and multitask.’

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for your family and their educational needs. Here are some ways you can determine if the schools in a prospective school district are a good fit for your family:

  1. Find out the basics of the area schools. Test scores, class size and student-to-teacher ratios are some of the best predictors of a school (or district’s) academic performance. One educational expert recommends asking about attendance rate; a high attendance rate is a good indicator of a positive school culture.
  2. Determine your child’s learning style and if the school’s teaching philosophy is a good match for your child. Talk to the principal and teachers to understand how they’re able to accommodate different learning styles.
  3. See if schools offer programs that develop students’ emotional intelligence (EQ) in addition to academic intelligence. A high EQ is a better predictor of success, quality of relationship and overall happiness, and many experts believe it may be more important than a person’s IQ.
  4. Review the types of extracurricular activities that are offered. A ‘good’ school doesn’t depend on just rote memorization, but one that develops and encourages modern skills like creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. These skills can be fostered through music programs, team sports and other extracurricular activities.
  5. Determine what ‘good’ means to you. Sit down and pinpoint what important factors do you want from your children’s school: racial and economic diversity? Extracurricular programs? Academic support? Small class sizes? Use these factors to help guide your search for the right school for your children.


Like home shopping, finding a good school requires a lot of homework but once you find the right school, it will be incredibly rewarding. Our new home community in Sunnyvale and new home community in Fremont are in the Sunnyvale Elementary School District and Fremont Unified School District*. We encourage our home buyers to contact the schools in each district to discuss and confirm school assignment.

*SummerHill Homes does not guarantee that residency in the community will ensure a place at any of the above schools. Circumstances and school assignments can change at any time and each Homebuyer should contact the appropriate school to discuss and confirm school assignment issues.

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