From my home to yours, may you have a blessed Christmas!

What Makes a House a Home?

There’s no denying the long-term financial benefits of owning a home, but today’s housing market may have you wondering if now’s still the time to buy. While the financial aspects of buying a home are important, the non-financial and emotional reasons are too.

Home means something different to all of us. Whether it’s sharing memories with loved ones at the kitchen table or settling in to read a book in a favorite chair, the emotional connections to our homes can be just as important as the financial ones. Here are some of the things that make a house a home.

1. You Can Be Proud of Your Accomplishment
2. You Have Your Own Designated Happy Place
3. You Can Find the Space To Meet Your Needs
4. You Can Customize Your Surroundings

Bottom Line

Whether you’re planning to purchase your first home or you’re ready to buy a different home to meet your needs, consider the emotional benefits that can turn a house into a happy home.

How to make a house a home: 14 expert tips for a happier home

Tying the 5 elements of happiness to homeownership

Reaching higher levels of happiness in your house sometimes requires thinking outside the box of conventional home design. The tenets of positive psychology, surprisingly enough, can help you answer the question: What makes a house a home?To do that, look to the five elements of happiness positive psychology has identified as keys to satisfaction:

  • Positive emotions: Bring out feelings of optimism from your decor.
  • Engagement: Find activities you enjoy performing around your property.
  • Positive relationships: Spend time with people who bring out your best.
  • Meaning: Find purpose in home ownership.
  • Accomplishments: Achieve something that makes you proud.


Research reveals top 40 things that make a house a home

Family photos, fresh bed sheets, and a fridge full of food are among the things which most help a house feel like a home.

A study of 2,000 homeowners has revealed what transforms four walls into a homely space, with their own bed topping the list according to 65 percent.

Similarly, having a ‘space’ on the sofa confirms to 48 percent that they are at ‘home’.

Personal touches including children’s paintings on the wall (20 percent), fridge magnets (19 percent), and even shoes by the door (19 percent) also help complete a place.

A spokesperson from Furniture Village, which commissioned the research, said, “This fascinating study confirms that it’s a combination of favorite pieces of furniture along with all those familiar little touches that make a house a home.


Ralene Nelson, REALTOR®

FOR SALE – 710 Pinehurst Dr. Rio Vista
2bed/2bath/2,065sqft/5,345sqft lot

$454,000 – Solar owned & No Bonds!! Can’t get much better, this Hatteras model located in the Rio Vista Active Adult Community, Trilogy, offers drought-resistant landscaping & cozy backyard. Start the day with coffee on the patio & watch the sunset on the front porch. This home has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths with blinds throughout. The home has a living room/dining room combo and a family room/kitchen with tile floors in the kitchen/nook. Full patio with cover & is very private. The laundry room has a sink, washer/dryer convey with the sale, as well as refrigerators. Walking distance to Delta clubhouse, pro shop & Monarch Restaurant. Trilogy offers 2 swimming pools/spas, a cafe & restaurant, tennis courts, bocce ball courts, pickle ball, billiards & more. Just bring your furniture and enjoy your retirement life. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 689 Waterwood Dr, Rio Vista

2 bed/2 bath/1,837sqft/5,436sqft lot

$585,000 – Breathtaking views as you step into this beautiful home, located on the 11th green & pond. Popular Reflect model with quartz counters, white cabinets, 5 burner gas stove top & refrigerator are included. Tile floors with carpet in bedrooms. A double-sided gas fireplace makes for a cozy den & living room. The primary bath has double sinks with a walk-in shower with w/bench seating. Shutters throughout the home. Walk out either slider onto the covered patio that is the full length of the home. Small piece of turf for your pet, low maintenance landscape (front & back) & fenced. The backyard is lovely & a great place for a BBQ. Washer/dryer are included & there’s a laundry tub in the garage. Prepaid solar lease, transferrable to the buyer for the remaining years of the lease. Just bring your furniture and enjoy all the amenities, such as 2 swimming pools/spas, bocce ball courts, tennis & pickle ball courts, horseshoes, billiards, a library, a computer room, etc. So many activities to enjoy, you can be as busy as you want or idle. There is a club for just about all your hobbies. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 181 Cedar Ridge Dr. Rio Vista
2 bed/2 bath/1,433sqft

$540,000 – Look no further!! This Clipper model is like a new home, completely renovated, from new sheet rock to all new cabinets throughout, new baths, laminate flooring, quartz counters, appliances, and new interior & exterior paint. Located on the 11th fairway, bring some patio furniture & enjoy the scenery. This model provides a living room/dining room & a nook/great room. Trilogy provides so many amenities, including 2 swimming pools/spas, bocce courts, billiards, tennis courts, pickleball, gym & more. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 295 Sage Meadows Dr. Rio Vista
3bed/3.5bath/2,367sqft/6,669sqft lot

$559,000 – Calistoga model, with private courtyard, located on a corner lot. New interior paint (including garage) & tile/grout cleaned, gives this home a fresh look. Island kitchen with granite tile, black appliances, w/5 burner gas stove top & maple cabinets. Open floor plan makes this a great home for entertaining & the fireplace makes it cozy. Large master bedroom has bay window, upgraded tile in bath (walk in shower & tub). Den has been enclosed as well as another room, so this could be 4 bedrooms. One can be your den, other can be your craft/sewing room. 2nd bedroom has full bath, with courtyard entrance. Laundry room has sink, cabinets & folding space. Full patio & fencing secures this backyard for your family pet. Trilogy offers many amenities, from tennis, bocce, billards, pickle ball, golf, 2 pools & spas and even playground for grandchildren. Just bring your furniture & make new friends.READ MORE

PRICE CHANGE – 718 Allender Wy. Rio Vista
3 bd/2 bth/1346sf

$514,999 – Gorgeous home, shows pride of ownership, and has been renovated since purchased. 3 bedrooms & 2 baths with all new flooring/baseboards, interior paint, light fixtures, etc. The kitchen has newly painted cabinets with quartz countertops with an island. Auxillary electric heaters in 3rd bedroom & living room. Whole house water filter with under-the-sink reverse osmosis. The front yard has been totally relandscaped with a new walkway to the front door, with drought-resistant landscaping, a drip system & timer. The driveway extended as well as the sidewalk to the backyard. The backyard has a sprinkler system as well as a patio. Just bring your furniture and enjoy!! Rio Vista is a quaint town located on the Sacramento River, close to SF, Sacramento & bay area. READ MORE

FOR SALE – 1536 Michigan St. Fairfield
3 bed/2 bath/1,260sqft/4,792sqft lot

$475,000 – This is a great starter or retirement home, close to shopping, Hwy 80 & Amtrack & perfect home for a commuter. This 3 bedroom & 2 bath home has new interior paint, carpets, laminate flooring, light fixtures, dual pane windows, tankless water heater & newer roof & air condenser. Master bath has new vanity & flooring. Kitchen has new flooring, appliances, stainless sink, painted cabinets, & resurfaced counter tops. Home has a large family room, perfect for entertaining. Patio is the length of home. Although 1 car garage, home has carport for at least 2 cars & RV parking on side. Larger lot & drought resistant front yard & shed. Just bring your furniture, home is move in ready. READ MORE

PRICE CHANGE – 623 California St, Rio Vista
2 bed/1 bath/934sqft/4,792sqft lot

Price Reduced to $395,500 – Adorable cottage/bungalow, 2 bedroom, 1 bath and has been updated. Larger backyard with patio & raised garden beds for your vegetables. The kitchen has been remodeled & there is an inside laundry & single car garage. Convenient location, walk to town for breakfast, snack, and/or dinner. READ MORE

Events in Northern California this Weekend

Guided Sandhill Crane Tours, (916) 684-2816

Saturday at 3:25 PM
13501 Franklin Blvd. Galt, CA, Cosumnes River Preserve, Galt

Join experienced docents and members of the ~Save Our Sandhill Cranes advocacy group~ for a 90-minute guided tour of the Sandhill Cranes at the Cosumnes River Preserve. This tour will begin at the visitor center, rain or shine, where you will get the opportunity to learn about the features, behavior, and anatomy of Sandhill Cranes. After your short Crane introduction, you will either walk or drive to see the cranes depending on where they are expected to be roosting that night.

During the tour, there will be a few opportunities to look through a scope that will be provided by the preserve docents. But it is recommended that you bring your own binoculars to view the cranes and a variety of shore birds, ducks, geese, swans, and raptors.

Most Sandhill Cranes in the Pacific Flyway spend their fall and winters with us in California and then spend their spring summers in Alaska and Canada where they nest. Please join us for this amazing experience.

4 Christmas Light Displays You Won’t Want to Miss in Sacramento

Fab Fourties Christmas Lights

Sacramento’s Fab Fourties will dazzle you with their impressive decorations, bright colors, holiday cheer and more. Touring the Fab Fourties is a longstanding holiday tradition for many Sacramento families, and there’s truly no better way to experience the magic than on Sac Brew Bike’s 90-minute Fab Fourties Light Tour. Grab your family and friends and pedal through the beautifully lit streets as you sing Christmas carols loud enough for all to hear. Be sure to bring some hot chocolate and lots of cookies with you to enjoy while you pedal!

Enchant Christmas

Sacramento’s Sutter Health Park will soon be transformed into an enchanted forest with millions of twinkling lights. Presented by the Hallmark Channel, Enchant Christmas is the world’s largest illuminated winter wonderland where you and your family can make your way through an immersive walk-thru light maze. Enchant also includes an ice-skating trail through a dazzling forest of Christmas lights, live entertainment, a Village of tiny shops with holiday crafts and treats, the opportunity to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and so much more! If you’re age 21 or over, be sure to stop by the Tipsy Tree Lounge to grab a Christmas cocktail that will put even Scrooge in a festive mood.

Old Sacramento Waterfront Holiday Tree

Grab the whole family and head out to the Old Sacramento Waterfront for a free holiday lighting extravaganza! The month of fun begins with the lighting of the 60-foot Old Sacramento Waterfront Christmas tree on November 23rd at 6 p.m. For the rest of the month, enjoy Old Sacramento’s Theatre of Lights which features a 20-minute live-action retelling of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Each performance features a special appearance by Jack Frost and the lighting of the gigantic Christmas tree by St. Nick.

Imaginarium’s Light Up the Night

Imaginarium’s “Light Up the Night” is sure to impress all the little elves in your family. Packed with over 3 million lights, this new concept from the producers of Global Winter Wonderland features festive light displays, mazes, and nightly laser shows. Light Up the Night also features ice skating, carnival rides, games, live entertainment and even a meet and greet with all your favorite characters. Be sure to purchase your tickets early for the best pricing to enjoy Cal Expo’s Christmas lights this year.

40th Annual Christmas Eve Ice Skating!


Sat, Dec 24th 12-3 pm

Oak Park Ice Rink, 3545 N Alvarado St, Stockton

Come join us for ice skating and broom hockey (last 30 min). Please bring something yummy to eat or drink that can be shared with others.

Entry is $10 per person; includes skate rental! The more the merrier… all are welcome!

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