Livermore Valley Welcomes the Holiday Season with Hometown Events!

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us in Livermore Valley! And if you’re not ready, you can find your festive side by enjoying our hometown holiday events in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin! Here’s just a small sample to get you started:

November 29: Dublin’s 29th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  There will be performances by the Children’s Choir and the Dublin High School Jazz Band. Refreshments served after the concerts. Rumor has it that Santa himself will be stopping by! Event held at the Dublin Civic Center.

December 1:  Holiday Faire in Dublin, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Heritage  Park & Museums.  Experience the Christmas of yesteryear by making crafts, shopping for hand-crafted gifts, and listening to carolers. Be there early so the kids can see St. Nick arrive by a horse-drawn, jingle-bell wagon at noon. Holiday-themed beverages and snacks available for purchase. No admission charge for entry, but there is a $5 wristband for participating in crafts and taking a wagon ride.

December 1: Pleasanton’s Hometown Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Celebration begins at 5:00 p.m.  Get there early for a good viewing spot! The parade marches down main street with bands, floats, and classic cars and plenty of noise and cheer. I have it on good authority that Santa will be there, too.

December 1: Downtown Livermore hosts the 17th Annual Holiday Sights & Sounds Parade and Tree Lighting. Parade beings at 6:00 p.m. and will route along First Street, between M Street and McLeod Street.  Tree lighting follows the parade. Santa will find a way to be here, despite his tough itinerary this time of year.

If you still need help finding your holiday spirit after all this, try the spirits at our Livermore Valley wineries! The Holidays in the Vineyards event takes place December 1 & 2 at wineries throughout Livermore Valley. Tasting rooms will feature arts and crafts, carolers, holiday activities, and special wines for the season.

Things are looking merry and bright in Livermore Valley! As a longtime Livermore Valley resident and real estate professional, I’m proud to be a part of our community. If buying or selling a home is on your wish list, give me a call! I’ll share the latest market activity with  you, and give you the expert guidance you need for success.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season,

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

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Take a Trip in Time in Livermore Valley!

If the New Year has snuck up on you, join the club!  We’re about to enter those empty weeks that come after the  holidays and before the Super Bowl. After the rush and bustle of the holiday season, this time of year can be a bit of a letdown. Fortunately, there’s plenty to do in Livermore Valley! For example, why not welcome 2012 by taking a trip back in time?

The Blackhawk Museum in Danville has an unparalleled display of vintage automobiles. With an average of 90 cars presented and exhibits that are continually updated, there’s always plenty to see! But it’s the rarity of the autos that make the Blackhawk Museum stand out from the average car collection.  Where else might you find a 1937 Figoni et Falaschi Delahaye?   

Continue your trip in time by visiting the Firehouse Theater in Pleasanton for an Early Elvis Tribute Show. If you like the early classics recorded by the King, you’ll enjoy this performance by Jim Anderson and The Rebels. Tunes will include the 1954 -1966 Elvis era hits, like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”  There is only one show date, Jan 7,  so grab your tickets fast.

Revel in more memories at the Dublin Libray on Jan 19, with author Fred Setterberg. He will discuss his book “Lunch Bucket Paradise” and share his reflections on an East Bay childhood during the 1950’s and 60’s.  This is a free program for adults. No reservations are required.

We can’t leave Livermore out of this trip down Memory Lane!  The Tri-Valley Repertory presents “Annie” at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, starting on Jan 21. “Annie” takes the depression out of the Depression Era with this heartwarming, musical tale of an orphan who finds herself in elite company. Weekend performances continue through February 5. 

Livermore Valley always has something to do! As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, I’m proud to call this area home, and I’m happy to share information about Livermore Valley events. When you’re buying or selling a home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin, I’ll be ready to help you! Always feel welcome to contact me with your real estate questions.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year,

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Celebrate the Season in Livermore Valley!

It’s that most wonderful time of the year! Homes come alive with light displays, city streets are bustling with shoppers, and delicacies of all kinds are sampled and shared. It’s a time of gathering with family and friends; a time to express warmth and cheer.

There are many ways to enjoy the holiday spirit in Livermore Valley! You’ll want to make a list – and check it twice – of all the events going on in December! Here’s a few favorites:

Dec 3 – Downtown Livermore Holiday Sights & Sounds Parade, 6:00 p.m.

Dec 3 – Pleasanton Hometown Holidays Celebration & Parade, beginning 3:30 p.m. with parade at 5:00 p.m.

Dec 3 – Dublin Holiday Winter Market, 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Dec 3 & 4 – Holidays in the Vineyards, noon to 5:00 p.m.  Wine tasting, arts & crafts and more.

Dec 10 – Breakfast with Santa, Robert Livermore Community Center, 9:00 a.m.

Dec 10 & 11, 16, 17, 18 – The Nutcracker, performed at the Bankhead Theater, downtown Livermore

Dec 11 – Ravenswood Victorian Yuletide, Livermore, noon to 4:00 p.m. Old-fashioned holiday fun.

Dec 11 – Bay Bells Winter Concert, Dublin Senior Center, 3:00 p.m.

All Dec – Niles Canyon Railway Train of Lights, boarding at Sunol and Fremont. Various dates and times.

There’s more going on than what I can list, but you’ve got the idea! Planning a special outing in Livermore Valley with friends, family, and business associates is a great way to celebrate the season and make lasting memories. And by doing some local shopping and dining, you’ll be supporting local entrepreneurs who add to the character of our communities.

I’m always happy to share information about the events that contribute to our Livermore Valley lifestyle. I’m proud to call this area home! And if you are asking Santa for a new home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin, I can help you with your wish! As your  Livermore Valley real estate professional, I have all the latest market information. I’ll be ready to help you, so contact me today!

Wishing you all the best this holiday season,

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Enjoy Fall Fun in Livermore Valley!

The days are getting shorter, but there’s plenty of outdoor October fun in Livermore Valley! The mild weather is ideal for family outings or personal getaways. Here’s a few favorites to pick from:

Joan’s Farm offers hayrides, pumpkins, gifts, an antique museum and more. Enjoy a slower pace and relax.  Admission is my favorite price – free! 

Next, lose yourself in the six-acre corn maze at  G&M Farms.  This nationally famous maze changes each year and will challenge your sense of direction! Kids will also enjoy the farm animals and weekend pony rides. Admission fees apply, but children 5 years of age and younger are admitted free.

If you have young children who enjoy screaming, take the little monsters to the Costume and Scream Contest at the Livermore Downtown Halloween Carnival on October 29! With fun designed for 5th graders and younger, kids will enjoy games, activities and entertainment designed just for them.  $5.00 admission applies.

Ready to spook yourself? Visit some famous haunts in Pleasanton during the 2011 Ghost Walk!  The two-hour guided tour takes you through several downtown structures that are known for their unexplainable spectral activity. These tours attract ghost hunters from all over, so be sure to get your tickets early! Tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for children 12 and younger.

If you prefer your spirits in a bottle, don’t miss Pleasanton’s Beer Crawl on October 29 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.! Described as a “trick or treat for adults”, the event features local craft brews paired with delicious foods. Come in costume, or come as you are and enjoy an enchanted evening downtown. Advance tickets are $25 each and a maximum of 500 tickets will be sold.

Whether you prefer the tranquility of a day in the country, or the spirited fun of a night in town, Livermore Valley always has something to do! As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, I’m proud to call this area home, and I’m happy to share information about Livermore Valley events. When you’re buying or selling a home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin, I’ll be ready to help you! Always feel welcome to contact me with your real estate questions.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Harvest Festival Coming to Livermore Valley!

Summer’s lingering goodbye is in the air, and school is back in session.  But the fun hasn’t ended in Livermore Valley! Get ready for the 2011 Harvest Festival coming to the Alameda County Fairgrounds! The event begins Friday September 16 and runs through Sunday, September 18. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The Harvest Festival is the West Coast’s largest arts & crafts show, featuring over 200 artisans.  Here you’ll find handmade jewelry, clothing, art work, wood crafts, custom accessories, holiday decor, and one-of-a-kind novelties.  It’s fun to browse, easy to shop, and it might just spur creative ideas for decorating your home

There will be live music daily by the energetic Bad Catz and the toe-tapping Fargo Brothers.  You’ll also find crafty family fun in the Kidzone, where parents and children can combine talents on creative projects. 

The admission prices are also family friendly, at $9.00 for adult, $7.00 for children 13 and over, and free for children 12 and younger when accompanied by an adult.  You can shave two bucks off the admission price by bringing a non-perishable food item to donate to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. 

Speaking of food…of course there will be wonderful food at the Harvest Festival! If you didn’t get your fill of festival food yet this summer, it’s not too late to enjoy your favorites! You’ll also find gourmet foods and tasty goodies available for purchase among the wide array of exhibitors. 

Events like the Harvest Festival are one of the reasons people love living in Livermore Valley. As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, I’m proud to live in this area, and I’m happy to share information about Livermore Valley events. When you’re buying or selling a home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin, I’ll be ready to help you! Always feel welcome to contact me with your real estate questions.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Get Ready for Livermore’s Western Heritage Events!

Livermore Valley welcomes summer with a round-up of fun! Gather up your posse for the 2011 Chili Shooters Stampede in historic downtown Livermore!

The western-themed events begin June 3rd with Dave Stamey, who is a Nationally Acclaimed Cowboy Entertainer. This concert is also a fundraiser for Alameda County Cattle Women. Enjoy a good time while supporting a good cause! For the complete lineup of entertainers, show times and tickets, visit the Bankhead Theater website.

The Chili Shooters Stampede follows on June 4th in downtown Livermore at the Flag Pole Plaza. Taste the unique chili creations of Livermore’s wonderful restaurants!  Each participating restaurant will offer chili samples crafted from their own culinary and ethnic specialties.


There is a $15.00 admission for this event, which includes your “shooter” glass for chili samples.  Bring your appetite, buy your glass, and enjoy great chili!

Of course there’s more to do than eat!  Western traditions and activities will be showcased throughout Livermore.  The western heritage events continue through the month of June! There’s plenty of live entertainment, authentic wagon rides, cast iron cooking,  and blacksmithing demonstrations. Want more to do? Mosey over to the western art exhibit or put two left feet into the square dance. Bring the little buckaroos with you for hands-on fun at the mini-farm animal experience.

The 93rd Annual Livermore Rodeo, billed as the World’s Fastest, will roll into town June 8th through June 12th. Admission fees apply for most events, but there is a free family night on June 9th. If you’ve never seen wild cow milking, this is your chance to admire the spectacle.

Western heritage events continue throughout June, and I’ll mention more as those dates draw closer. In the meantime, I’ll be rounding up the latest in Livermore Valley real estate information! As your Livermore Valley real estate professional, you can count on me to stay on top of the home sales activity in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Livermore Valley, contact me today!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Enjoy the Livermore Wine Country Festival!

Livermore Valley is home to one of California’s oldest wine regions. Our commercial wine production goes back to the 1840’s!  Our wine-making heritage is proudly celebrated during the Livermore Wine Country Festival, taking place on April 30 and May 1. This year marks the 20th annual running of the event, which has grown steadily in popularity.

Naturally, wine takes center stage at the festival. 19 wineries are expected to participate, giving you an opportunity to sample varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, Chardonnay and Merlot, just to name a few. There’s more than I can list!

To get the most out of the wine sampling opportunities, consider purchasing the Pre-Sale Wine Tasting Package for $25. This gives you a glass and 1 oz. tastes at all the wine booths. That’s right – all!

If you enjoy fine craftsmanship in beer, then you’ll want to sample from the 13 breweries that will be participating at the festival. There is also a Pre-Sale Tasting Package available for beer for $25.  This includes a glass and 3-oz tastes from all beer booths.

Each Tasting Package is good for both days of the festival. It’s a good idea to go both days and pace yourself!  To take advantage of the pre-sale visit the festival website.

If you don’t wish to imbibe, there are still plenty of reasons to visit the Livermore Wine County Festival. The event is held in beautiful downtown Livermore, putting you at the heart of great shopping and dining. Browse, mingle, visit old friends and meet new ones as you stroll through over 200 vendor booths. You’ll find an eclectic mix of food, art, jewelry, clothing, services, and more.

Have I mentioned the music? Take your pick from three different stages hosting all-day music. Get an earful of jazz, rock, country, folk, and reggae.

Best of all, you don’t have to leave the kids at home. Unless you want to! There’s an area just for kids, with carnival rides and games. There’s nothing like carnival rides to make kids happy, and there’s also ride coupon specials, to make parents happy.

The Livermore Wine Country Festival brings together many elements of our Livermore Valley lifestyle. Delicious food, hand-crafted wines, art, entertainment, and time with family and friends, are all canopied under a mild climate. It’s a reminder why Livermore Valley is a great place to live.

I’m proud to be a part of our community. And when it comes to Livermore Valley real estate, I’m always happy to help buyers and sellers with their needs. If you have questions about buying or selling a home in Livermore, Pleasanton or Dublin, contact me, your Livermore Valley real estate professional.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Buying Local in Livermore Valley!

Here in Livermore Valley, we’re fortunate to have a mild year-around climate that enables us to enjoy outdoor activity no matter the season. And when you enjoy quality time with your family outdoors while supporting local commerce and agriculture, it benefits our community.

A great way to accomplish all the above is by visiting one of the many farmers’ markets in Alameda County.  Farmers’ markets today are doing much more than selling vegetables from the back of a pickup truck.  The diversity of our locally-produced food may surprise you!

Rather than give you a grocery list of everything you might find, I’m encouraging you and your family to explore them for yourselves.  Here’s two to start with right in Livermore Valley. These markets operate year around, rain or shine:

The Livermore Farmers’ Market operates on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., located on Second Street between J and K.

The Pleasanton Farmers’ Market operates on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., located on Main and W. Angela Street.


While browsing the farmers’ market for the best in delicious, locally-produced food, you can also enjoy great local entertainment. Get an earful of live music while you sample mouthfuls of local eats!  The musical lineup is eclectic and family-friendly.

If you’d like more information, you can get all the details at the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association website.  With 12 farmers’ markets operating in Alameda County alone, you and your family won’t lack for food, fun, or fresh air!

Farmers’ markets contribute to our local economy, and are part of the fine quality of life in Livermore Valley.  Buying local pays itself forward.

Naturally, I believe in buying local – especially when it comes to real estate! Nothing says quality of life like a new home that fits the needs of your family.  When you’re looking to buy or sell a home in Livermore Valley, contact me for the best in local real estate service.

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Food for Thought in Livermore Valley!

Are you hungry for something different now that the holidays are over?  If you’ve had your fill of shopping, cooking, and hosting parties, then you should treat yourself to the Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week, running from January 23rd to January 30th 2011. 

Nine of the best restaurants in the Livermore Valley area will be participating in this event, each offering a one-of-a-kind “prix fixe” meal, specialty dish, or other special offers during this week only.  If you are unfamiliar with the term “prix fixe”, no worries!  It simply means a multi-course meal of pre-selected offerings for a set price.

Not being a restaurant critic, I have to be honest and say that I enjoy any meal that I didn’t have to cook.   So rather than do the choosing for you, I’m going to give you a quick list of the participating restaurants in Livermore:

  • Terria Mia – Italian meals made from scratch, using organic and local ingredients.
  • The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards – simple food with an abundance of flavors.
  • Campo Di Bocce – Italian cuisine with world-class Bocce courts, a unique experience.
  • Swirl on the Square – a wine and tapas bar featuring Livermore Valley wines and light fare.
  • Porters Restaurant at Poppy’s Ridge – great dining on the golf course, Livermore Valley views.

You might recall from my prior blog that Livermore, CA is home to 51 restaurants.  You would need to dine out almost once a week to visit them all within a year!

It’s a good idea to take advantage of the Taste of Tri-Valley Restaurant Week and sample the culinary craftsmanship these fine establishments have to offer.   The bounty of Livermore Valley will be proudly featured with an emphasis on Livermore Valley wines and local foods.

After enjoying the experience of dining out, you’ll be ready for a home-cooked meal in the comfort of your new Livermore Valley home.  Whether you’re looking for a gourmet kitchen, an elegant formal dining room, or a built-in wine cellar, contact me to find the Livermore Valley home that suits your tastes!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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Shopping for the Holidays or A Real Estate Agent in Livermore Valley!

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just next week and with the turkey fest begins the hustle and bustle of the holiday season!  Livermore offers many great boutiques and specialty shops in their downtown area and is not waiting until “Black Friday” to allow buyers to cash in on great deals!  If you’re looking for something to do this coming weekend and to start your Christmas shopping early; you won’t want to miss out on the Earlier than the Bird event this Saturday.

This yearly event will kick off this Saturday at 7am and will continue until noon.  Avid shoppers enjoy the special deals that the downtown Livermore Valley shops offer!  Of course everyone’s invited, but this event is an ideal way for moms, sisters and friends to enjoy taking in the sights and shops of Livermore Valley.  As an added incentive for waking up “earlier than the bird” on Saturday, many stores are offering pastries, mimosas and other treats to shoppers.  Visit the Downtown Livermore website for more information!

Now, before you non-shoppers begin to feel left out, there is some shopping that may interest you and can pay off immensely in the long run: shopping for a Livermore Valley Real Estate agent.  You may be currently in the market for a new home in Livermore Valley or are just beginning to think about the possibility of buying a home.  With all the real estate agents available, it may be hard to sort through the stack of options to find the best agent for you.  So, what are some of those key factors to look for?  Below I’ve listed three steps for finding a Livermore Valley Real Estate Agent.

1. Find the Candidates- The best way to find a list of agents is to talk with friends, families or co-workers that have used a Livermore Valley Real Estate agent in the past.  Referrals can be the most trusted sources since they have their own personal experience dealing with the agent.  Another way to find agents is through www.REThinkRealEstate.com, which can give you a list on agents in Livermore Valley. You could also attend homebuying seminars that many local agents will provide, which can also help you get to know the agent in an informal setting.

2. Check them Out- Research the agents you have in mind.  Check out their website to see what types of testimonials they have, their homes for sale or homes sold, as well as their experience.  You can also visit the California Department of Real Estate and search for the agent by DRE number to see their status and history of any issues.  Another way to check out possible agents, is to call them to get a feel for their personality or service they can provide.  Choose your top three to set up a meeting with to get an even better idea of if they’re a good fit for you.

3. Initial Consultation- A good Livemore Real Estate agent will have an agenda or presentation for your meeting.  They will clearly outline the process and services they provide, as well as ask questions on your preferences and what you expect of them.  At the end of your meeting, you will need to look at your gut reaction that you receive from this agent.  Do you feel you can trust them with your financial information and that they are reliable?  Also, you may be spending a lot of time searching for homes, so be sure that you feel comfortable with their personality.

By the end of these three steps, you should have a solid idea of which you want to work with in finding your new home.  Shopping for an agent can be simple if you know what you’re looking for and keep your standards high.  Livermore Valley Real Estate agents should provide you with the best service possible!  If you still haven’t found an agent, please feel free to contact me!  Take a few moments to check out my website or contact me to set up a time to meet!  I’d enjoy the opportunity to help you find your Livermore Valley Real Estate agentLivermore Valley home!  I look forward to hearing from you!

John Kurtzer
Your Livermore Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Accord

Livermore Real Estate
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