NEW YEAR 411 IN THE 95822

Hello to our dear friends, clients, livers and lovers of all that is 95822!

Here's a look at '16 in '17 in the 95822. Should you have any questions regarding these graphs,  any other sales or value information don't hesitate to reach out. That's what we are here for! See you in the 95822!

Onward & Upward,


Graph 1 shows us it's a game of follow the "lister".

Graph 2 shows pretty close to perfect on the sale price. If you list it, they'll not only come... they will pay!

And then Graph 3 supports the reason why... IT'S A SELLER'S MARKET!

The Art of Giving

The Art of Giving

By Jamie Worrall

Friday, November 17th was National Adoption Awareness Day, and so, at the suggestion of our friends at Heart Gallery I stopped by the California State Capitol building  to listen as name after name after name of the 33,000 children currently in the California foster care system were spoken for. As the flyer for this annual event states, “Each year we pause our busy lives long enough to speak the names of thousands of California children who are waiting in foster care for a family that will love them and let them stay.” To get through the huge stack of names of California’s fostered youth this year took approximately six consecutive hours!

Behind the podium where each public official, legislative staff, adoptive/foster parent, or youth advocate stood to “give a voice to the voiceless” there were large portraits of Duivan age 7, Violet age 10, and brothers Carmelo age 9 and Xavier age 12. These full color, larger than life images were able to lend bright beautiful young faces to this somber event. These adorable little boys and girls are only identifiable by first name due to court order, but are available for adoption here in Sacramento county. The hope is, that one image may catch the eye of a prospective adoptive parent… or perhaps a sponsor, or a volunteer. The more visibility these children are given the greater the chance for them to “strike gold” or find their forever home.

Heart Gallery is a nonprofit here in Sacramento founded by Rosemary Papa in 2005, who together with Stephanie Lynch and Terry Kessler were inspired by the success of similar programs in New MexicoNew York City, and now in almost 100 other cities and regions throughout the United States. Heart Gallery and their volunteers photograph adoptable foster children with the same dignity and respect that professional photographers would give to a celebrity so that it truly captures the spirit and personality of each individual child. Otherwise, in the state’s adoption catalogues, adoptable children are represented by tiny snapshots and not given the space nor time to be unique. However, if you’ve ever believed in the power of a simple act of caring or the importance of art and color to inspire change, take a look at these photographs.

Heart Gallery has no brick and mortar location in which to display these hopeful faces. Current president Mary Tarro, with the help of two fellow officers, an active board and supportive friends-of-the-board work to fund and produce a dozen or so portraits each year which are professionally printed and mounted. From there the next task is to prominently display the portraits to increase awareness. And as we say in real estate it’s all about location, location, location! In this case visibility and a well-informed public ultimately lead to a greater percentage of successful adoptions. The stats speak for themselves. The Sacramento county kids who have been featured in our Heart Gallery so far total 160.  73 have since been adopted and these are exclusively children considered “harder to place” simply because they are older, members of a sibling group or have special needs.

If you are at all interested in becoming an adoptive parent in Sacramento County please get involved! There are adoption resources available or of course if you are interested in fostering or sponsoring but don’t know where to start check out the “contact us” page and let Heart Gallery help point you in the right direction!

There are also multiple events each year including the Spring Brunch, which is a great event to attend if you are interested in eating while getting to know more! It takes place at Plates Cafe Restaurant in May. Contact the Heart Gallery at 916.217.1552 to stay in the know! And at the very least, if this cause is a cause you believe in, please share via social media!!!

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The Merlin of $$

By Danny Ponder

Rates are up!  The mortgage rate jump seems to be holding and not coming back down.  Pre-qualifying rates for clients before the elections were in the mid 3’s and now in the low 4’s making a payment for a $300,000 loan increase roughly $130 monthly.  Some clients who pre-qualified in October are now looking at lesser priced homes due to the rate and payment increase.  Rates have been historically low due to government intervention bond buying programs and global economic events.  The shift has begun.  All indicators are showing a strengthening US economy with translates to future higher mortgage rates.  It’s not all doom and gloom or the end of the world, we are still in a low rate environment and opportunities will always be available to the well informed.

We have been through these cycles before and watch for lending products to adjust accordingly to accommodate the lending markets.  Not to say we will go back to the days of stated income or negative amortizing loans but you may see hybrid loan products with fixed and adjustable terms become more popular.  Talks of privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may also see the end of the most popular lending product, the 30 year fixed loan.

Published reports regarding appreciation in the local Sacramento and surrounding markets are projecting values to increase between 5%-7% in 2017.  Great news for sellers, but what about the buyers?  With interest rates on the rise, this could put some buyers on the side lines or require more money for down payment.  It all comes down to affordability.  Affordability is the sweet spot where rates, values and buyers meet.  If we see housing appreciation and rates increase, then the affordability index will shift to the negative.  The lagging component locally is job growth and higher wages.  Timing is imperative if entering the housing market or considering to sell.  Now more than ever, you need to work closely with your trusted real estate advisors.

A Peek inside!

A Peek inside!

So you want to do a remodel?

By Geoff Black

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit OCD. After living in our home for 10 years, we finally decided to take the plunge and remodel our kitchen….(area). So I threw myself into the project. I had no clue what I wanted. I just knew we hated our kitchen from the day we bought our home. And I had no idea how to go about doing it. I was off to a great start!

Luckily I have a Black Belt in internet research (OCD comes in handy sometimes). So I opened a Houzz account and proceeded to ooh and aaah over all the beautiful photos. Photos that don’t include a price tag remotely close to reality. Lesson number one, make sure you’re realistic with the cost. I looked and looked for months. About the time I was well over the legal limit for a middle aged guy looking at kitchen cabinet details, hardware, faucets, nuanced floor stains, wall colors and appliances, I finally had a general idea what I wanted. Ran it all by the Mrs. and she shot it all down. Back to the drawing board, repeat several times, and eventually settled on the majority of the “look and feel” ideas. Note to all husbands about to embark on a construction project: No matter what, you can never have enough cabinets, a big enough island, counter space or enough cold storage.





So I solicited my friends and started calling their contractors. The good ones who returned the call said “yeah you need an architect or an engineer and a designer”. I hadn’t expected that expense, apparently nobody does. It’s okay, they refer to this as a “soft cost” so I guess it’s not like real money. Fast forward 6-WEEKS after my first call to 3 designers, one called back. And we whipped through the design inside of 2-weeks. Because as I mentioned, I’m a bit OCD and I’d already drawn out the majority of the layout, cabinet proportions and counters (about 50 times) while I was hunting/waiting for a designer. 6 weeks later we received our finished plans. Pro-Tip, if you hire a designer/architect or just an engineer, get several (like 10) copies of your plans. Everyone wants a copy and nobody will return them. Our designer did a good job and I would suggest everyone hires one for any project involving re-configuring a space. It ended up being worth every penny in gained space and logistics. However, a “Kitchen Designer” does not necessarily mean they will help with color and finishes. That’s typically an Interior Designer. So be prepared to hire another person unless you know exactly what you want.

I’d been chatting with a few contractors and had a good idea of who I wanted to work with. I’d also pre-selected every single finish material, fitting, door, knob, faucet, finish, color, sink, hinge, cabinet makeup….everything. You name it, I had it nailed down. Why did I do that? Because I wanted a total bid that was as accurate as possible. My biggest fear was to simply run out of money. Or realize I could not afford the remodel I set out to do. I felt the key was to go with whomever I could plainly communicate with and of course, trust. Unfortunately that contractor’s bid was so vague, I mean really vague. As in a bracket of 50% total price deviation. Which I found very frustrating since I had already selected and therefore had pricing on all of the finishes. So I hired Contractor #4 who was new in town and just finished an incredible home for a friend of mine. We could communicate and he understood the aesthetic I wanted. Which is a big deal. And his attention to detail and zero tolerance for poor workmanship sealed the decision. As a bonus, the job site was cleaned up daily. I’d finally found someone else who shared my disdain for clutter!

I also struck gold with the cabinet company. I called several, and because everyone is so busy, only a few returned the call. I ultimately settled on a company whom a client of mine had used and gave a glowing endorsement (he’s OCD too). Many projects are run with the contractor as the go-between with the cabinet designer. Personally I cannot fathom spending that kind of money (cabinets are expensive) for something where the durability and the ergonomics are extremely important. The cabinets are the primary feature of how your kitchen will function. And having a middle person relaying the information and the risk of compromised information just wouldn’t work for me. Once again I wanted to know exactly what I was spending 10’s of thousands of dollars for. Also, I wanted to nail down the cabinet cost before we embarked. Not all cabinets are created equal. Sure there are a few primary construction makeups. But the fit, install, finish, material all make a difference in the look and feel and final price. I didn’t go with the cheapest company out there, I went with the company I trusted to deliver exactly what they promised. And they certainly did! 

I had not been involved in a construction project before so this was my official hazing. I’ll spare you all the details and just offer a few highlights. The project was finished within 3-weeks of the projected timeline, including a lengthy detour to reinstall the hardwood flooring because everything was pre-selected. There weren’t any hold ups while we agonized over any decisions. I’ve found this is where many projects get derailed. Because of extensive research and knowledge of pricing, the job was done within 3% of the original estimate.

My biggest tip to give anyone is research like crazy. And shop like crazy. Not necessarily for the “best deal out there”. But just so you know exactly what you are paying for. When was the last time you chose a pocket door track? Yeah me neither. Most people wouldn’t care. But I learned I wanted one that would last a lifetime and has a soft-close feature that my kids couldn’t destroy. I knew I wanted that door to be a solid door to suppress noise from the laundry room, I knew I wanted the interior walls insulated to suppress noise further. One quote for a pocket door track was $550 for a far inferior track. Simply because that’s all one local retailer carried. I ended up purchasing a superior one for $300. Another example is when we removed the fireplace someone had inexplicably installed in the kitchen and we replaced it with a 10ft door for more light. The pricing variance for the same construction, aluminum clad exterior door, was absolutely staggering. Not just a little. For example, I requested 3 quotes for the same exact spec/brand door and received quotes that were up to 45% apart. Not the install. Just the door itself.

Most people aren’t interested in this kind of detail, unfortunately I’m not able to just waive my arms and say “yeah I’d like a white kitchen in this space, let me know how it turns out”. For those who can do that, I envy you a little bit.   

Dan Hines & Scott Raymond Know Their Stuff!

Dan Hines & Scott Raymond Know Their Stuff!

Sacramento is experiencing the strongest rental market it has seen in years!

By Dan Hines & Scott Raymond

 It is definitely a good time to be a landlord investor in Sacramento, not so much if you are a tenant.   According to Axiometrics, a leading real estate research firm, Sacramento is in the top five nationally in some very respectful statistics including year over year percentage rent growth, lowest vacancy rates, highest tenant demand and lowest new construction of units coming on line.   In fact, Axiometrics reports that Sacramento has now realized eight consecutive months as the market with the highest rent growth in the nation.

 The Downtown / Midtown market in particular is the hottest of all submarkets in Sacramento boasting an average vacancy rate of 4.1% and average Asking Rent for Class A properties of $2,245.   With very little new construction, some of the brand new marquis projects such as 16 Powerhouse, Legado De Ravel and Eviva have experienced overwhelming demand and record rents.   16 Powerhouse, as an example, reached 100% occupancy within just a few months of opening and has average rents of over $3,000 and $2.89 psf.

 It’s not just the brand new projects that are benefiting either   Many older properties throughout Downtown / Midtown which have undergone substantial remodels are being rewarded by tenants with record level rents never seen before for older projects.   Properties such as The Q and The Elan are two such properties.   Both properties, managed by Raymond Management, originally built in the 60's and 70's had over $1M spent on them and underwent a significant transformation.   Rents went from $700 to $800 per month on average for one bedroom units to between $1,400 to $1,600.  

 At this time, the market shows no sign of letting up.  There is just too much demand for too little supply.  You can credit much of this to the explosive job growth in the health care industry, government and the education sectors.   In fact, at Raymond Management we estimate that at least 40% of our new tenants are transferring in from out of the area to take jobs within our market.  REIS, another research firm, predicts this tenant demand and to continue putting upward pressure on rents through 2020.   Sacramento, it seems, is finally turning the corner and becoming a very desirable region for employment and lifestyle, and consequently, a legitimate market for real estate investors for the foreseeable future.


  • (888) 623-4480
  • (415) 873-1300
  • 2012 P Street, Suite 201, Sacramento, CA 95811

Post Election Note

Post Election Note

What does a “close race” mean?

By Alisa Chatham Sakowitz

In this case, it means that either party had a genuine and significant chance of actually winning.  Apparently world markets had once again become quite comfortable with a specific outcome. 

While the shock to Democrats last night was palpable, the shock to world markets could be quantified.  Index futures – which trade around the clock – topped their Brexit volatility and their post September 11th response last night with declines of nearly 900 points for the Dow.  What did we wake up to this morning?  Dow futures were still down about 200 points before the US Markets opened today.  What do we have as I write this?  The Market is up.  The Dow is trading up about 140 points.

Market responses seem to mimic this election cycle: full of violent ups and downs.  Last night’s futures response was pretty clearly a renewed Brexit fear – traders did not want to get caught twice within a five month time frame by surprise outcomes so they bolted for the exits.  This caused significant downdrafts in stocks around the world, oil, the US Dollar and an upswing in Treasury bonds.  We are in precisely the opposite position this morning – stocks are up, oil is flat to down slightly and Treasury rates are up this morning, meaning that bond prices are trading down a bit in value. 

How do we interpret this?  This appears to be no different than most election cycles – there is a knee-jerk reaction to an outcome and then reality settles in as the Markets return focus to normal valuation metrics: prospects for the economy, corporate earnings, inflation, etc. 

Nothing has fundamentally changed overnight.  The uncertainty of the outcome is now behind us and the job of governing is now on the forefront.  While presidents from both sides of the aisle like to claim responsibility for positive market outcomes, capital markets are truly independent and non-partisan.  Without dramatic, material interference in those markets, that will not change.  Markets will continue to focus on profitability and growth prospects. 

Inflation and interest rates can impact profitability and growth prospects.  That’s our next big news event as we head into the last months of 2016…what will the Fed do at their December meeting?  The market has priced in an increase in the Federal Funds Rate but change and the news cycle are our only true constants!

As always, we maintain our long term, diversified approach to investing.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to be in touch. 

May this season be treating you and your families well.

Alisa C. Sakowitz

Financial Advisor

Park Avenue Securities LLC., Pacific Advisors

20 Bicentennial Circle, Suite 100 

Sacramento, CA 95826

P. 916.379.0200 Ext 7241 FAX 916.379.0800

Pacific Advisors, LLC.  Park Avenue Securities, LLC.

Registered Representative & Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS) 20 Bicentennial Circle, Suite 100 Sacramento, CA  95826 916-379-0200 Securities products/services and advisory services offered through PAS, a Broker-Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA, SIPC. PAS is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY.  Insurance Products offered through One Pacific Financial & Insurance Solutions LLC, DBA of Pacific Advisors, Inc. Pacific Advisors, Inc. is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Guardian. Pacific Advisors LLC. Pacific Advisors LLC is not a Registered Investment Advisor.  CA Insurance License #0C75476


This material contains the current opinions of the author, but not necessarily those of Guardian or its subsidiaries and such opinions are subject to change without notice. Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and statements of financial market trends are based on current market conditions. We believe the information provided here is reliable but should not be assumed to be accurate or complete.  References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a solicitation, offer or recommendation to purchase or sell a security.  This material is meant for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon only when coordinated with individual professional advice. Dow Jones Industrial Average is a widely used indicator of the overall condition of the stock market, a price-weighted average of 30 actively traded blue chip stocks, primarily industrials, but also includes financial, leisure and other service oriented firms. Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. 2016-31420 Exp 12/16

Donkeys versus Elephants – What does this election cycle mean for Markets?

Donkeys versus Elephants – What does this election cycle mean for Markets?

By Alisa Chatham Sakowitz

Don’t get nervous!  We aren’t going to weigh in... just share a few thoughts about what this election year might mean for the Markets.  

There are encyclopedic volumes worth of articles about the effect that presidential elections have on Markets and there is a lot of curiosity about it. The factors are nearly endless but they’ve all been studied: what happens in a first year of the cycle, the second year and on, whether the elected president is a Republican or Democrat, which party dominates the Senate or the House and all of these combined.  Just looking at the numbers, the Market’s performance tends to lag in election years versus all the others.  According to Sam Stovall, US Equity Strategist at S&P Capital IQ, the fourth year of the presidential election cycle since 1948 averages an increase of 6.1% versus 8.8% in all years. This does not include dividends.1 There’s probably one easy explanation for that – and you may notice a theme – the Market does not like uncertainty.  

Those who participate in the Markets are so desperate to find patterns in Market behavior that there is even a Super Bowl Stock Market Predictor.  The theory was put forth in the 1970s and states that if a team from the AFC wins, the Market (as measured by the S&P 500)2 will decline.  If a team from the NFC won the big game, the Market would increase.  The theory had never been wrong until right around the time it was pointed out.  It has been correct about 80% of the time.  

What we do know with certainty is that the Market reacts to daily inputs.  Some days it reacts to comments from politicians.  Some days it ignores them completely.  Even when we see temporary effects from comments made or actions taken, those effects tend to dissipate pretty quickly.  There do not seem to be any permanent or long standing effects on the Markets from elections or politics.  

Looking at the total return from each four year period from 1936 through 2004, the returns are virtually neck and neck during Republican and Democrat administrations.  The average return of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) under a Democratic administration was 29.14% over four years.  The average return of the DJIA during the same period of time under a Republican administration was 31.22% over four years.3 2008 is being excluded from many analysis because of the dramatic recession that came to light in that election year and 2016 is just a bit shy of being one for the books.  

DJIA Price Return 4 Years after Election

DJIA Price Return 4 Years after Election

It is a constant quest to see if the Market will divulge some reliable pattern.Whether it’s based on politics or the Super Bowl or anything else, statisticians and strategists are always digging through more and more complex combinations of data to see if there is some predictability buried deep down in the depths of stock market performance.  The short answer is, there doesn't appear to be.  

There are no reliable patterns in Market behavior, as it relates to elections, and as Leonard Koppett demonstrated with the Super Bowl Indicator, some theories work until they suddenly just don’t work anymore.  So, what are investors to do in the midst of all the election hubbub?  Remember that politics tends to have a fleeting effect on Markets.  Invest in a diversified portfolio that meets your risk tolerance and needs.  Also, we should keep in mind that we are all Americans.  Donkey or Elephant, we are all Americans.  

1 Market Watch, “2016 Predictions: What presidential election years mean for stocks”, Watts, Dec 29th 2015.

2 Wikipedia, Super bowl Indicator

3 SEI, Commentary “Presidential Elections and the Stock Market”, Oct 24th 2008.


Alisa Chatham Sakowitz has been a Financial Advisor for over 17 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. After a long career with Morgan Stanley, Alisa joined her family in their advisory practice at Park Avenue Securities. She lives in Sacramento with her husband who is a photographer, their two young sons and a Great Pyrenees named Sprocket. Their lives are happily full of work and play.


This material contains the current opinions of the author, but not necessarily those of Guardian or its subsidiaries and such opinions are subject to change without notice. Opinions, estimates, forecasts, and statements of financial market trends are based on current market conditions. We believe the information provided here is reliable but should not be assumed to be accurate or complete.  References to specific securities, asset classes and financial markets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute a solicitation, offer or recommendation to purchase or sell a security.  This material is meant for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, the information should be relied upon only when coordinated with individual professional advice. Tables are for illustrative purposes and are not intended to suggest a particular course of action or represent the performance of any particular financial product or security. Dow Jones Industrial Average is a widely used indicator of the overall condition of the stock market, a price-weighted average of 30 actively traded blue chip stocks, primarily industrials, but also includes financial, leisure and other service oriented firms. Indices are unmanaged and one cannot invest directly in an index.  Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. #2016-30275 Exp. 10/18


Lights, Camera... Tower!

Lights, Camera... Tower!

Written by Katie Rubin

I don’t tend to be someone who goes in for nostalgia.  In general, I’m pretty “Meh” about the past.  I prefer new things.  I’m into the energy of the future, of possibility, of clean lines and modern design.

So, generally speaking, when folks begin to wax nostalgic about any type of “good old days,” while I certainly don’t have anything against people partaking in what they enjoy, I tend to nod off a little, maybe expel a bit of drool into my double shot of espresso with a splash of steamed almond milk and a teaspoon of honey (in case any of you are looking to buy me a clean-lined, contemporary beverage).

I’m just kind of like that.

Now, I understand if you’re an old-timey kind of lass or chap.  I even understand if you need to dislike me for being into new, sparkly, modern-day stuff.  BUT!  Before you kindle any rage for my kind, let’s sit together at the metaphoric fire pit, shall we?  Let’s pass the theoretical talking stick around the circle of our seemingly disparate ways, and discuss a topic we might actually be very much aligned about:  The Tower Theatre.

I love The Tower Theatre.  And it is as Blast-From-The-Past-y as they come.

Tower Sacramento 1942 - From the Collection of Jack Tilmany

Tower Sacramento 1942 - From the Collection of Jack Tilmany

In writing this article, I spoke with several people who had less than favorable thoughts and feelings about all those “spectacle-driven features you see at the big multiplex cinemas today.”  And while I do love a well-crafted film, I’m also not above a good Matrix, Iron Man, or Bourne Identity Action flick.

That being said, when the moment arises that my artistic senses demand something more subtle, more refined, more sensitive…  Where do I go?  Why, The Tower Theater, of course!

Matias Bombal knows how I feel.  

The man who many of you know as “that-guy-who-does-those-black-and-white-intros-to-the-previews-that-play-before-the-movies” at the Tower, has been connected to the movie biz in one form or another since he got his first job at The Tower at the age of 17.  He started there as an usher in the 1980's, then moved to working at the Crest Theatre where he instituted the practice of playing classic movies, with, as he says, “a newsreel, a cartoon, a serial, and uniformed ushers with pillbox hats” helping you to your seat.  

Photo Credit: Center for Sacramento History

Photo Credit: Center for Sacramento History

“We did that,” he says with great and well-earned pride, “and it captured the public’s imagination!”  Since then, he’s managed theaters, opened theaters, taught folks how to run film projectors in theaters, introduced movies at a TV Station, promoted events at theaters, and now writes movie reviews for numerous in-print and online publications in the greater Sacramento area.  

This is a man who loves movies. This is a man, you guys, who, when he talks about movies, or the movie business, or the switch that you flip in the tiny room you sit in when you’re running a movie projector, LIGHTS UP like a kid in a candy store.  When I asked him what his favorite part about the movies is, he said “The great joy for me is watching people watch movies.  At the movies, you create an environment that allows people to have a moment of fantasy or escapism or intellectual satisfaction.  But every single person has a different experience.  And I just love that.”

When I asked Matias what he loved about The Tower Theatre, in particular, he said “The attractions here skew to a more sophisticated, art-loving audience...  Furthermore, there is something singular that is a very Sacramento experience and that is a much more interesting thing than your average, run of the mill theater experience.” Having opened it's doors for the first time on Armistice Day back in 1938, The Tower Theatre has had to evolve many times since then to renew expired leases, to repair the iconic architecture, and to accommodate digital film as it did in 2012, allowing them to continue to show first-run films.

Photo credit:  Matias Bombal/

Photo credit: Matias Bombal/

When you walk into The Tower Theatre, it’s like stepping into the elegance, class, and glamour of Old World Hollywood.  Perhaps that is why they are a coveted  venue not only for local premiers and art film events, but world debuts as well. The All Things Must Pass premier in 2015 brought Colin Hanks back to Sacramento with his fantastic documentary on the Tower Records empire which originated in a small corner of Tower Drugs.  Another large event was The Tower's 75th anniversary celebration where they screened the film Algiers to relive the very first feature shown at Tower.  Nowadays in the lobby of the theatre you can see photos of the past and present of this historic Sacramento landmark as well as informational text and memorabilia from its heyday.

The Hollywood that existed before... before Hollywood was just a factory for producing the largest, loudest thing.  The Hollywood that existed before their main aim was to create the greatest financial gain at the least imposing cost to the studio.   The Hollywood from… dare I say it…  back in the day.

Again, I’ll see the loudest, largest movie.  I’ll even enjoy it!  But I’d also like to have the OPTION to have a different type of cinematic experience if that’s what I’m up for.

In the 80’s, you had to think about it.  

“Hmmm, do I feel like a scary, Glen Close thriller tonight?  A thought provoking, emotional Spielberg epic?  An intelligent “Sneakers”-type venture?  A wacky “Ace Ventura” selection?”  

These days, it’s more like “Hmmm…  Aliens attack from another planet?  Or, machines attack from another planet…?  These are my only options?  I think I’ll just Netflix it again.”

And that’s what the Tower provides.  An OPTION.  An alternative.  A UNIQUE experience.  It’s nostalgic, sure.  BUT, it’s also not afraid to be different.

AND, did you know…?!

That inside the Tower Theatre there is a secret spot where you can stand, point your head toward the ceiling, talk, and be heard all the way on the other side of the building? That’s right! Matias showed me this secret trick that he learned lo, those many years ago, when he spent his weekend nights sweeping-up the place after everyone was gone.

Another fun fact for you:  One afternoon, Matias was crossing the street outside The Tower, only to be stopped in his tracks by an thunderous CRASH behind him.  The crash was so loud and imposing that he thought an airplane had crashed into The Theatre.  When he turned around, there The Tower stood.  Tall, stately and unaffected.  Like a mighty oak.  Like a towering behemoth.  It hadn't been crashed into at all.

Photo credit:  Matias Bombal/

Photo credit: Matias Bombal/

Later, he discovered that the inner metal structure of the top portion of the building (that part that looks like the top chunk of wedding cake?), had collapsed internally.  It was eventually fixed, of course, but few people know, Matias told me in great confidence, his eyes lighting up again like the dewy eyes of a young deer, about to feast on a sweet patch of freshly mown grass, “that that portion of the building is basically hollow!  The inner structure is not a dense, filled-in, solid entity.  There’s almost nothing in there!  It’s just a bit of scaffolding!  Isn’t that incredible?”

I think so.

John Sittig, director of projection and sound for Reading International, gets the incredible-ness of The Tower, too.  

He is the current Man-in-Charge of projection and sound at The Tower.  John has been busy sharing his love of the movies since back in the 60’s when he was a Field Artillery man in Viet Nam.  His love of cinema blossomed as he saw the power that his outdoor screenings had to transport his fellow soldiers out of their harrowing circumstances.  (Um.  Can we say- How cool was he for doing THAT?!)

Since then, he’s been screening movies for us, scratch- error- and problem-free.  He takes great pride in being the last stop between the filmmakers and their audience.  “Without us, and without the theaters, all of [the filmmaker’s] hard work would be for nothing,” he says.  After all, movies were originally meant to be seen on the LARGE screen.  Not the small. 

John was instrumental in acquiring Quentin Tarantino's 70 mm roadshow edition of "The Hateful 8" . Both John and Matias, independent of one another, mentioned to me the pride they felt at being one of just 100 theaters to pre-screen “The Hateful 8.”  Matias even made a short film about the special 70 mm projector that was brought in to screen the film.  “Movies just aren’t shown that way anymore, so it was very exciting to be a part of that process.”

Both men mentioned, in my separate chats with each of them, the “social, communal experience” that is seeing-a-movie.  

And given that this modernist, futurist, action-flick-loving chick was brought together with two Nostalgia buffs in honor of this treasured venue, I’d say they’re right to recognize the power of movies to unite people.  





This story was brought to you with the generous support of Matthew Cole and Team at Guaranteed Rate Mortgage:  Please visit their site for more information:     Matthew Cole     Branch Manager     o:  (916) 844-2892  - m:  (530) 682-4092  - f: (872) 206-4229     2425 Fair Oaks Blvd Ste 5, Sacramento, CA 95825 NMLS ID: 633188

This story was brought to you with the generous support of Matthew Cole and Team at Guaranteed Rate Mortgage: Please visit their site for more information:

Matthew Cole

Branch Manager

o: (916) 844-2892 - m: (530) 682-4092 - f:(872) 206-4229

2425 Fair Oaks Blvd Ste 5, Sacramento, CA 95825
NMLS ID: 633188

The Great Rate Debate

A picture is worth a thousand words! So, just what are we looking at? This is a chart showing the yield on the 10 year US Treasury Note back to 1962. We’re going to refer to the yield as the interest rate for the purposes of this article. Some of us are into charts. Others, understandably, are not. In short: interest rates are as low as they have ever been. Ever. 1

Why is this important? The rate on the 10 Year affects anyone who wants to borrow money, ranging from corporations to all of us on proverbial Main Street. It is a key rate that helps determine borrowing rates for everything from car loans to mortgages to corporate bond issuance.

Many of us have become homeowners in a time when 5% seems like a normal mortgage rate. That is even considered high right now for those with stellar credit. Given that figures on the chart range up to nearly 16% and mortgages include a “spread” above the 10 Year rate – that’s pretty amazing. Many may remember mortgage rates in the early 1980s when a prime borrower was rewarded with a whopping 18% rate, plus points. Note that Everest-like peak in the chart from 1980 to 1986. Even as we consider the possibility that rates will head north, we are still in a historic, phenomenally low interest rate environment.

Many believe these low interest rates helped to drive real estate values. Real estate prices are supposed to move up and down – perhaps in response to movements in interest rates and in conjunction with other economic factors. Borrowing rates fluctuate too but, going back to the chart again, we are likely in the midst of multi-generational lows in interest rates. Our grandchildren may not even see rates this low in their time. It is extraordinary.

The trends around this could be debated for eons by market participants and academics but what do we do? What’s the prudent thing to do for those of us just trying to make good financial decisions in this environment? We hold long term, fixed rate debt.

By no means are we suggesting over-extending. We’ve all seen what happens when the world goes debt crazy, a la 2008. (Again, insert endless academic debate about cause and effect, prolonged low rates, etc.) That said, if you’re questioning whether to finance something, particularly a big purchase: taking down long term debt at fixed rates makes more sense now, based solely on rates, than it ever has.

This is also why we’ve seen record levels of corporate debt issuance this year.2 Corporations know it’s prudent to borrow money now and lock in their costs at these extraordinarily low rates. The list of issuers just this year is huge: the legendary Berkshire Hathaway took down $2B, Microsoft took down nearly $20B to finance the purchase of LinkedIn, Apple has borrowed over $15B and they have a notoriously large cash stock pile already.

Photo by Rob Sakowitz.

Photo by Rob Sakowitz.

One might wonder, given all the benefits to borrowers, why shouldn’t the Fed just leave rates low forever? For those of us who are investors and/or savers, we see that downside in real dollars on the other side of our personal balance sheets. Low yields on bonds and CDs. Zero percent on savings accounts. It’s often a nominal 1 basis point which is .01% or: virtually nothing. There was a time, way back in misty memory, when money markets paid 6%. So, while this rate environment is a major boon to borrowers, it effectively punishes savers. One might wonder, after 2008, if that’s the approach that should be in place but that’s neither here nor there. (It’s not an accident. The strategy is called Financial Repression. Another one for the academics.)

The longer term health of the economy is also potentially an issue with unusually low interest rates. If we think about the tools the Federal Reserve has at their disposal to help guide unemployment and inflation, the ability to control short term interest rates is definitely the largest and most easily wielded. (The Fed directly controls the Federal Funds Rate which is the overnight rate at which banks loan to one another. They do not directly control Treasury rates.) If we stay near zero on Fed Funds and the economy turns south, there’s little room to lower rates to protect us from a protracted downturn. (Negative interest rates, which are prevailing in Japan and Europe, are a whole other topic for another day…)

We hope this shines a little light on the longer term trends in interest rates and borrowing. If you have questions about your own balance sheet, feel free to reach out.

Alisa Chatham Sakowitz has been a Financial Advisor for over 17 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. After a long career with Morgan Stanley, Alisa joined her family in their advisory practice at Park Avenue Securities. She lives in Sacramento with her husband who is a photographer, their two young sons and a Great Pyrenees named Sprocket. Their lives are happily full of work and play.

2016-29007 Exp 9/17: Pacific Advisors, LLC.  Park Avenue Securities, LLC. Registered Representative & Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS) 20 Bicentennial Circle, Suite 100 Sacramento, CA  95826 916-379-0200 Securities products/services and advisory services offered through PAS, a Broker-Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA, SIPC. PAS is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY.  Insurance Products offered through One Pacific Financial & Insurance Solutions LLC, DBA of Pacific Advisors, Inc. Pacific Advisors, Inc. is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Guardian. Pacific Advisors LLC. Pacific Advisors LLC is not a Registered Investment Advisor.  CA Insurance License #0C75476

1 WSJ, July 5th, 2016, 10 year closes below 1.4%. Lowest close on record.

2 Bloomberg Global Corporate Bond Deals, Issuance 1st week of August


It's On!

It's On!

Women of Sacramento, this article is for you!

Vintage is the new black. What’s old is new. What once was hip is hip again. Repurposed… We are talking about vintage fashion (clothes and accessories from the nineties and earlier).

Public Relations Specialist, Nancy Mallory, looks upon this fashion movement and scouts timeless pieces that she collects for her pop up shop, It’s On!. And it is on; she has a curated collection of quality clothing and jewelry waiting to be a part of new memories. Pop ups are stores without walls that may show up on the sidewalk of second Saturday, or at a large fundraising event. They can go anywhere at any time, which is the convenience of pop ups. Many people use trucks, Nancy plans to use vertical luggage, to essentially unfold her store. These pop ups are more than racks of clothes though; Nancy creates an experience through her pop up events, an experience that is light, friendly, fun and inspiring.

Nancy believes that “everything has a story.” For example, she has a dress that was owned by Maria Shriver, a dress from a museum in New York, and several unique, one-of-a-kind fashion finds. She has dresses that were kept for an entire lifetime, with the tags still on, waiting for the special occasion that never came to the original owner. So, the special occasion is now, for you.

“Friends and people I meet inspire me,” Nancy says, which is why she takes to customizing a look, an ensemble, for her consumer when they visit a pop up. You don’t have to spend a lot to look good. But this is more than just aesthetics. This is about empowering yourself. This is about confidence. If you look good, you feel good, and you carry yourself in that way. These nuances matter in day to day life. It is also likely that someone who purchases from It’s On! will hear the phrase, “I’ve never seen that before,” which is exactly what Nancy hopes to achieve.

Here’s how it started. Nancy has invested twenty years thus far into public relations. When business slowed down, she wanted to take on a new project. She knows all the ins-and-outs of public relations, and events, and she also loves fashion. She wanted to know what would happen if she combined her three passions, and It’s On! was the result.

Even though Nancy knows public relations is her calling, this business, and the utilization of interns allow her the opportunity to support others and help them, as she says, “reach their destiny sooner.” She has connected with other female Sacramento business owners and popped-up here and there to great success, the non-profit organizations that she donates a percentage to will agree.

Here are some specifics: Nancy recently scouted an elegant dress of hand-sewn lace and beads, she altered it, and kept the sleeves because they were simply too lovely to toss. Now with those jeweled sleeves, someone will be able to proudly wear a hand-made bracelet on a special evening out.

Look forward to seeing more from Nancy, she is a Sacramento local in love with her community, the delta breeze and the town’s ever growing personality, so she’s not going anywhere!

Catch her final 2016 pop up on November 5th at Byuti Salon. Visit to meet the style scouts, sign-up for the newsletter, view the collection and shop.

You Always Remember Your First!

You Always Remember Your First!

First kiss.. first love... first... WELL, you get the idea! The first is always a momentous event in our lives. I want to personally thank some of the sponsors whose generosity made this First Annual Land Parktoberfest possible: McCarthy Painting, Danny Ponder with Banc of California, Matthew Cole of Guaranteed Rate and Harrison Marketing. Tickets are still available at Look forward to seeing you there!

 the big event takes place 5pm-10pm on Saturday October 15th at Holy Spirit School in Land Park. Each $20 admission (or $25 the day of) comes with your first drink free!!! The first 300 beer drinkers in the door will receive an event mug and the first 120 wine drinkers will get a complementary wine glass. 


From A Team To A Group In One Fell Swoop!

From A Team To A Group In One Fell Swoop!

This announcement thrills me to no end. Jamie and I are pleased to announce that we've grown from a team to a group in on fell swoop!! We are happy to introduce the addition of 2 new buyers agents who started with us in late August: Cinderella Silva and Darren Babby.

Cinderella has been a resident of Sacramento for 6 years and absolutely loves it. She moved here to attend CSUS, but has stayed well after graduation for the fabulous restaurants, beautiful parks, warm and friendly people, and great entertainment. With a passion for nutrition, cooking, and traveling she is always out exploring the town. When not in the office you can find her riding her bike with her husband and beloved dog Chewy, taking in the local flavors of midtown at Uncle Vito’s, Tres Hermanans, Old Soul, Paesano’s, and countless farmers markets. She is familiar with all of Sacramento's neighborhoods, and is an expert in Midtown, Oak Park, and La Riviera areas. She has the ability to assist you in selecting the best location, lender, and negotiating a purchase that fits your needs. Cinderella truly has real estate in her blood, is passionate about her work, and is continuously seeking to stay ahead of the game when it comes to market education and new trends. She has a keen eye for possibility and has seen local growth and development enough to knows this is the time to be part of this great community. 

We also have the pleasure of working with Darren Babby. I've known Darren Babby for some time since our days at a previous brokerage and since my first encounters with him on many a broker's open tour. It was then and there I was able to see his knowledge and expertise shine. His thoughtful and trained eye on matters of construction can point out both challenges and benefits of a particular home and I continue to be truly impressed by his knowledge and acumen when it comes to residential real estate. His previous professional experience includes lending, construction and commercial real estate management. Additionally, his upbeat and positive attitude is something I can more than identify with and am pleased to have yet another sunny disposition inhabit the group. Welcome aboard Darren!

So you may ask why the group? And the answer is simple. It adds yet another solid element to the marketing and exposure of your listing. Or should you have the pleasure of working with Jamie, Cinderella or Darren on the buying side, they give you opportunity for upcoming or off-market listings. No stone will be left unturned with a group on your side. This offers assistance while also giving you, the seller that much more of a competitive edge. 

Thanks for all your support and we look forward to working with you in the future!

Welcome to the Real Estate Sweet Spot!

SELLERS take note! BUYERS be aware! The sweet spot for you BOTH has arrived!!!


*Here are some stats regarding 95816, 95818, 95819, 95822, 95831, 95825, 95864*

August 2016 Average Sold Price per Square Footage is Neutral*    Average Sold Price per Square Footage in August 2016:   $276    •Down  0.7%  compared to the last month  •Up  9.5%  compared to the last year

August 2016 Average Sold Price per Square Footage is Neutral*

Average Sold Price per Square Footage in August 2016: $276

•Down 0.7% compared to the last month

•Up 9.5% compared to the last year

August 2016 Sold/Original List Price Ratio is Falling*

Sold/Original List Price % in August 2016: 87% 

•Down 11.2% compared to the last month

•Down 10.3% compared to the last year

Ask A Green Thumb

Ask A Green Thumb

Written by Nicky Park   |   Photos by Zephyr McIntyre

Many readers have homes, many homes have lawns, yards, gardens…some are cared for by green thumbs, others not so much. But do not be discouraged, brown thumbs! There are resources out there for you. Outdoor Living Services, in particular, can aid every foliage need. Outdoor Living Services and Green Care Exterior Maintenance, are subsidiary companies of Red Leaf Developments. Outdoor Living Services specializes in smaller landscape renewal and curb appeal in addition to pool repairs, irrigation and much more. Green Care Exterior Maintenance specializes in lawn work (mowing, blowing hedging, weed eating, pesticide control, sprinkler repair), pruning, fertilizing…the works. Chad Wagoner is the account manager for both subsidiaries; and Chad makes things happen! He will help out a friend in a pinch at the eleventh hour and he aims to please. In fact, he said that someone’s positive reaction to their handywork is in itself payment.

Chad works on jobs ranging from $500-$15,000 and he says each job “is pretty special to me from start to finish.” A project can take anywhere from one to eight days. Think about it: you could go on vacation and come back to a secret garden in a formerly unsatisfying back yard.

Chad says, “I love working with people, giving them ideas, and exceeding what they visualize.” Chad’s process is simple, he gets to know his customer, what they like, and he works around that, designing and choosing plants based on a client’s wants or needs. For example, many clients are looking for an eco-friendly yard. Chad uses drought tolerant plants and a drip system. The recent droughts have prompted many clients to ask for river beds, rocks, bark, and less plant life. Chad is happy to accommodate, and his favorite aspect is working with plants, learning new species and implementing them in a still eco-friendly habitat. His enthusiasm is great enough to be teased by his friends when he points out a plant in passing and identifies it.

Because of Chad’s vast knowledge of horticulture and plant design, we are seeking his advice and sharing it with you, seasonally. For the summer, Chad suggests hearty perennials, they work well in the Sacramento climate, you can cut them down in the winter and they will pop back up in the spring. True geraniums add a splash of happiness and color. Specifically, the cranesbill geranium (Rozanne) blooms several times throughout the year and matches the color of the changing seasons. This summer, consider some ornamental grasses; Lomandra 'Breeze' is a very hearty yet wistful accommodation, and Liriope (Silvery Sunproof) adds depth to your yard (not to be confused with carex). All are great for summer, requiring an average of watering three times a week, depending on the temperature outside.

Chad will be back in the fall for more outside advice!  

Chad Wagoner | (916) 708-0753 |

Register While You Rock!

Register While You Rock!

Written by Jennifer Hartel |   Photos courtesy of

Summertime in Sacramento brings with it hot temperatures and plenty of fun in the sun for the whole family.  For me, the thing I look forward to most about this sunny season is the live music! 

From Concerts in the Park to Motown: The Musical, there has been no shortage or variety of shows to enjoy over the past few months here in Sactown.

The highlight of my summer was seeing the Dixie Chicks and Dead and Company shows, both held out in Wheatland at the Toyota Amphitheater. I had the additional pleasure of attending these shows as a volunteer for HeadCount, a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to registering voters at concerts.   The deal with HeadCount is:  volunteers register voters before the show and then get to stay for the music!  To find out more visit: where you can sign up to volunteer and, if you need to, get registered to vote! 

First up for me was The Dixie Chicks. On tour for the first time in 10 years, and playing to a packed house, The Chicks proved that they’ve got staying power. One of many highlights from their show, was their absolutely stunning tribute to Prince: a stripped-down rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” 

The other local show I volunteered at, Dead and Company, was another one for the memory books. Dead and Company is made up of Bob Weir (also on HeadCount’s Board of Directors), Micky Hart,  Bill Kreutzmann, with John Mayer on guitar as well as Otiel Burbidge and Jeff Chimenti. In particular, John Mayer has stepped into his role in the band with grace, bringing both a deep respect and new energy to the Dead catalogue.  In Wheatland, their performance of “Casey Jones” stood out among an overall tremendous set list. Dead and Company’s summer tour was a wild success and hopefully this won’t be the last time they let there be songs to fill the air.

While those two shows were a real treat for me, there’s still plenty of music to check out before the leaves begin to fall. Radio 94.7’s City of Trees festival September 10th featuring an impressive lineup headlined by Weezer and Panic! at the Disco is sure to be a great day at Bonney Field.  Tickets are on sale here: and, definitely a nice perk, parking will be free at the event.   

Midtown’s Ace of Spades also has some great shows coming up in the next few weeks too including: Fitz and the Tantrums, Too Short and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.  Their full calendar can be found here:

Though the summer temps will (hopefully) be a distant memory by October, the Aftershock music festival, held October 22nd and 23rd at Discovery Park, will offer fans a chance to rock out to an incredible lineup including Slipknot, Tool, Slayer, Avenged Sevenfold, and Korn.  I can’t call myself a metalhead by any means, but have attended this festival the past two years and find it to be one of the most fun festivals near or far.  Grab your tickets here:  

Finally, Sacramento’s live music scene will be growing this fall with the opening of Golden One Center when Sir Paul McCartney takes the stage for two sold out shows on October 4th and 5th.  The King’s new home will draw bigger acts to town which will be an excellent opportunity for music lovers to grab dinner and drinks Downtown and enjoy some massive shows right in our own backyard. 

I can’t wait for the next show! Hope to see you there!


The Joys & Challenges of Being a Sole Proprietor

Written by Danny Ponder   |   Photos by Zephyr McIntyre

Supporting small, local and family-run businesses drives our immediate economies, so of course we want to support these business owner's needs.  The dollars earned are spent within the communities of which the businesses serve and the resulting synergy creates a cohesive, healthy, community.

Sometimes when I initially interview a self-employed client, they tell me that they make “X” amount of dollars annually, however, more often than not the tax returns tell a completely different story.  The client may be thinking of the gross sales of the business as their income but when expenses and other deductions are implemented the BIG number is drastically reduced as verifiable income. This is the income that is usable for underwriting qualification. Sometimes the effect is an un-approvable loan due to the effective income.

On the up-side, self-employment offers creative tax advantages.  Write offs are available to those who own their own businesses as opposed to those who are a typical salaried individual. Then again, write-offs for the self-employed lower the effective and verifiable income.  It’s a fine line for an approvable mortgage loan being self-employed…

Previously spotlighted Sacramento Business owners above: Scout Living owners Erin Boyle and Sefan Betz Bloom, William Rolle of Cafe Rolle, Vanessa Lopez of Heart Boutique and Bill Sampino of Sampino's.

Typical documentation needed for self-employed clients do require an extra layer of documentation which usually requires involvement of a CPA or accountant.  Additional items needed are: evidence of self-employment, year-to-date profit and loss statement(s) and balance sheet(s).  The reason these are needed is for underwriting to get a sense of the business income stability since there is usually not a consistent verifiable paycheck.  If for instance, income is lower in the most recent year of tax returns filed, the p&l will determine if this is trending and an underwriter could rely on the lower of the 2 years tax returns filed and not use a 2 year average.  This can be a deal killer!

Good news…we offer programs to those who may be in this quagmire of not being approvable by agency (Fannie and Freddie) guidelines.  As a solution, we offer a portfolio 12 month bank statement loan program where tax returns are not required.  We rely on 12 months of business or personal bank statements that allows us to derive usable income from the deposits and make sure that the client has the ability to make the payments.  We have had a lot of success stories with our product offerings for the self-employed. 

More ways to say YES!

Our River City Block Party

95816, 95819, 95818, 95822

As our block party shows in oh-so-vibrant colors the mercury is not the only thing that's rising. The continuous demand for inventory is only being slightly met so with that days on market continue to drop while values continue to rise. Throw in a dash of historically low interest rates and we see a true picnic for sellers. 

Love Shack

Love Shack

Written by Nicky Park  |  Photos by Zephyr McIntyre

Consistency can be comforting. For Sacramento staples like seventy-year-old Pasty Shack, the reliability that it is always there tucked away between 2-Me and the J St. post office adds to our sense of community. Many people don’t know what a pasty actually is, and owner Billy Mier says the shop is often confused for a pastry shop. But a pasty is more dinner than dessert. If you want authentic British food, Pasty Shack is one of the only places around that truly honors its authenticity. Billy makes sure of it. These pasties, basically a meat pie, are delicious, but for the vegetarian, you have options too. Everyone can enjoy a pasty!

And this is a pasty!

And this is a pasty!

Surprisingly, for all that Billy knows about the origin of pasty shops in North America, he is actually fourth generation German/Irish. Ironically, the Pasty Shack that serves British food is busiest on Saint Patrick’s Day. It is, as Billy notes, the “most festive” day of the year. 

Billy comes from a long line of hard workers, and that work ethic did not skip him. He spent decades working and managing Lucky stores, which helped him transition to his current position as the owner of the shop. His late brother, Chuck, owned and operated Club 2-Me (now Chuck’s wife does), and suggested when Billy retired that he should run the neighboring restaurant. So he did. And he did it well. They keep their costs and expenses low, they employ three people and they are grateful for each customer. Patrons are served on a small plate with a “Thank you very much” to follow. Billy loves this “unique shop” and it was, as he says, “ideal” for him and the time of purchase.

Billy Mier!

Billy Mier!

Considering the years of Billy’s experience, he has one very important piece of advice to aspiring restaurant owners, “The number one thing to do: go to culinary school.” Billy understands that a restaurant will not last decades based solely on a good idea. One needs experience and dedication. Billy says, “Get ready to be involved for a long time, it is a lifestyle.” This is a lifestyle that Billy has grown to enjoy, evidenced by his twenty five years of dedication.

The interior of their 4647 J St. location.

The interior of their 4647 J St. location.

In the beginning of his ownership, Billy was the head baker, but he has since shared the position with others. Fifty percent of the Pasty Shack’s business is take and bake, and I will say, this is a brilliant service for busy hungry people. For those readers who frequent Club 2-Me and develop and appetite for a hearty dish, Pasty Shack will make the journey to deliver a pasty to you. Nice!

Stop on in Monday - Friday 11am - 6pm

Stop on in Monday - Friday 11am - 6pm

The Pasty Shack is undergoing a transition, however. Billy is ill and unable to perform the daily duties of an owner. His son, David, has been gradually moving into the position so that Billy can rest and enjoy his family and friends. This has been a difficult time for the Miers, and I can understand why; I spent enough time with Billy to do the interview for this article, and I felt sincere kindness and generosity; I felt welcomed and well cared for. His friendly demeanor and warm heart have encouraged this author to continue patronizing the Pasty Shack (plus the food is delicious). Billy says that his family and friends have been incredibly supportive, making this life change as easy as it could possibly be considering the circumstances. And I am sure with a trainer like Billy, that David will successfully carry on the family business; he has owned a restaurant before and appreciates the fact that there is “a lot of mystery” with this type of establishment.

David Mier!

David Mier!

With his investment in this town, David says his father “has a lot of friends” which I do not doubt. Billy has been involved in several social activities including The Grandfather’s Club where he has participated in soccer and little league. (Billy might have an affinity towards baseball; two of the four photos on the shop’s wall are from his very own little league days).

Another admirable characteristic of Billy is how proud he is of his family, and how proud he is to be a part of it. When his health was at his best, he participated in weekly family dinners and enjoys the camaraderie he feels with his kin during any such gathering. One of the things he appreciates most is the connection to his heritage he and his family share, and being a part of the early businesses in Sacramento. According to a quick Google search, Sacramento was founded in approximately 1850. Billy’s family arrived in 1851, so the intimacy he feels with the town makes sense.

Breakfast, lunch , or dinner... the complete meal.

Breakfast, lunch , or dinner... the complete meal.

Billy has been through devastation with his health, and attributes his resilience to the support of his family. He wants to express what a tremendous backbone his wife of fifty one years (Bobbie) and his four children have been for him. Billy says, “I am extremely blessed and happy with everything I have.” What this author found to be the most evocative part of this interview is that in spite of everything Billy says, “I wouldn’t change one thing in my life.” And how many of us can actually say that and mean it? His hard work and dedication have been inspirational to his family, friends and community, and will not be forgotten.  David speaks for himself and the family when he says they are proud of Billy. They love him dearly and think of him as the “centerpiece.”

Thank you Mier family for your wonderful food and warm hearts.


Pasty Shack  

Monday - Friday     11:00am - 6:00pm

4746 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819

For a menu, visit their Facebook page: here 

Or leave a review on Google: here

I'll Drink to That!

I'll Drink to That!

Written by Katie Rubin | Photos by Jason Stanton

Many of us have passing ideas of doing something cool like starting a healthy Juice Bar in East Sacramento that would inspire people to snack well, and heal their colons.  But few of us actually DO something cool like starting a healthy Juice Bar in East Sacramento that would inspire people to snack well and heal their colons.

Thankfully, Jeff Greco is not “many of us.”

He is the kind heart and focused mind behind East Sac’s “Liquidology,” the clean, modern, high-ceiling-ed Juice Bar offering refreshing, digestive-system cleansing juices with fun-ciful names like Blackberry Super Hero, Over the Rainbow, and, their most popular drink, Vitality. 

“Adults usually like Vitality because it’s got a ton of greens, so it’s an easy way for the body to quickly absorb a ton of nutrients all at once.  Plus it tastes great.” says Jeff in his signature laid-back style.  “And the kids love Over the Rainbow because it’s so sweet!   We get a lot more kids in here than we ever thought we would before we opened because their parents think ‘Let’s get the kids a treat that’s sweet but totally organic,” so they come to us - and we love that!”

And he actually DOES- Jeff Greco sincerely loves you and your kids!  After enjoying a successful tech-industry career in the Bay Area, Jeff left it all to teach high school math.  “It was always a dream of mine to teach so when I was getting ready to start having a family of my own, I thought the time was right.  Also, the teaching lifestyle seemed like a great one to raise kids in.  And it was.  I loved it.”

When I asked Jeff if he eventually burned out on kids or teaching, he said “No.  Not at all.  I love it.  I still tutor my daughter’s friends!”  When I asked him how he got into to Juice Biz, he told me that his wife’s Nutrition Oncology background had a strong influence on his desire to do so. 

“She was seeing people really transform through juicing, and when I tried it, I felt so much better that I just got really inspired…  I always had digestive problems, but when I started juicing, it got so much better.  And that was really exciting for me.” 

And just so you’re aware, while the juice business may seem like a simple one:  buy vegetables, squeeze the juice out, package, sell; it is not.  Because Jeff’s Juices (possible second store name?) are Cold Pressed and 100% organic, their packing facility in midtown Sacramento has to meet seemingly endless government standards to make sure that your health is accounted for. 

Jeff’s packing facility employees Cold Press their fruits and veggies, using no heat and no oxidation, which keeps the produce from breaking down or losing ANY of its nutritional value.  Then they pack it, and ship it to their retail store on H and 48th, where it can only live safely on their shelves for 4 days.  You see, when you add no chemicals to food, food eventually goes bad and needs to go bye bye.  But/and!  When you add no chemicals to food, boy is your body happy to receive it.

“If there’s one thing I always try to tell people about juicing, it’s that it’s super easy to start doing because you can think of it as an addition to your life.  Eat what you eat now, just start adding in one healthy juice a day, or every other day.  And eventually you may discover that you actually prefer it to some of the other things you’re eating.  Then you can go from there.  You don’t have to stop eating or be a radical about juicing.  You can use it to supplement what you’re already doing.  So, it’s easy and stress free!”

Just like Jeff’s store.  Easy.  Stress Free.  And deeeeelicious. 

I hope to see you there soon!  (So I can fight your kids for the last Over the Rainbow.)