Win-Win Solution Blog


Convert a Bland Wall Into a Stunning Design Feature


Just because a new home comes with fresh white walls doesn't mean they have to stay that way. A statement wall can pull a design together, add personality, and make furniture and accessories pop. Creating an eye-catching feature can be simple, starting with a wall to highlight.

Whether you choose to make a statement with a bold, bright wall color or an exotic, textured wallpaper, the key is to balance it with other design elements in the room.

Choose a Focal Point -- Decide what aspect of the room you would like to draw attention to. Fireplaces, large furniture pieces and artwork are popular focal points. If your room doesn't lend itself to having a statement wall, highlight existing features like a small office nook or an inset wall.

Pick a Bold Color or Pattern -- Choose a bright color, interesting texture or striking pattern for your statement wall. Pick up a color from the furniture or textiles already in the room or go with a contrasting color to stand out more.

Place Furniture for Maximum Impact -- Arrange pieces of furniture to draw attention to your statement wall. For example, two light-colored occasional chairs on opposite sides of a darkly painted wall attract the eye and create a focal point, particularly when they're coupled with pops of color in pillows, lamps and art.

Add Accents -- Finish off a room's design by carefully placing accessories that highlight your statement wall. This is the perfect opportunity to integrate your personality into your home. Show off your favorite artwork, family heirlooms or travel keepsakes.

The Road To Retirement - Planning for Social Security


Are you ready to retire? Do you know enough about your social security? Do you think that are ready to retire? Are you certain that you have all the steps in place to make sure that you can take care of yourself after you stop working? I thought that I had a good grasp on all the necessary information for this period of my life. However, after I attended a Merrill Lynch seminar on Social Security earlier this week, I was shocked to discover all of the things that married couples need to talk about. As you can imagine the rules and regulations have changed drastically since our parents have retired.

Timing is everything!

One of the important things to know about your Social Security is when to start withdrawing from it. Is it 67 or 70 years old? If you can afford to, it is wise to wait until age 70 to begin claiming benefits. Why? Waiting an extra three years allows you to receive 8% interest annually on this income. This extra time generates an additional 30% for you to enjoy in your advanced age. However, keep in mind that if you do not claim this assistance at 70 – you give up your benefits for each month that you do not apply for them. If you claim your Social Security at 67, you lose 25% of your lifetime Social Security. Additionally, if you change your mind within a year, you have the option to return all of the money that you have received and claim your Social Security at 70. Keep in mind that because of past fraudulent activities, this process has several stipulations in order to prevent seniors from abusing the law.

When should you think about retirement?

In my opinion, we should start thinking about retirement as soon as we enter the workforce but it is a must in our 50’s. The sooner you start planning for your future, the more secure your retirement years will be. One of the steps you can take to get ready for this time in your life is investing in real estate. For those of you who say that it is too uncertain to bank on this market, I say, “look at the cycles.” When buying property you must ask yourself, “Can I financially hold on to this property for ten years?” If the answer is “Yes,” then investing in real estate makes sense as the market has never remained under a 5% appreciation average in a ten-year period.

What can I do if I am a senior and not ready yet?

If you are already in your senior years, you can consider the reverse mortgage process. A reverse mortgage is “a type of mortgage in which a homeowner can borrow money against the value of his or her home. No repayment of the mortgage (principal or interest) is required until the borrower dies or the home is sold.” This process makes it easier for seniors to stay in their home and the absence of mortgage payments creates disposable income.

To finish, good planning is always a wise path for seniors. I recommend finding a great advisor who understands the retirement process. Partnering with someone who can guide you through the process and ensure that you can enjoy your golden years is essential. If you have not started thinking about retirement, I urge you to begin doing so. The years go by very quickly and it is necessary to safeguard your ability to take care of yourself.

 Are YOU ready for retirement?

What Do You Need to Create a Useful Home Office?

Working from home has serious benefits. You can't beat the commute or the flexibility you have when it comes to structuring your day. But there are also drawbacks. Creating a makeshift office at the kitchen table could mean important documents end up with a coffee ring or worse, go missing.

Whether you work full-time from home or just need an occasional workspace, thoughtful room design can make all the difference. From task lighting to functional storage, here are a few pointers for setting up an effective home office:

Lighting -- Ensure you have both general and task lighting to prevent eyestrain. Ideally, office lighting should illuminate your work space without adding glare to your computer screen.

Ergonomics -- Arrange your desk, chair and the computer screen so you're sitting in a neutral position while typing. Avoid any positions that require twisting or leaning forward, as both put a strain on your back.

Cable Management -- Keep control of cables with color-coded ties and clips. Don't forget to include a charging station for all of your electronic devices.

Aesthetics -- Consider the view from your office window. If you don't have the luxury of overlooking a beautiful outdoor space, add decorative touches indoors to create an office you'll love spending time in.

Storage -- Integrate functional storage into your office space, especially if other members of the family will also be using the room. If space is at a premium, go vertical, adding storage boxes and file holders to shelves.



The Mission Bay neighborhood is on the rise. When the University of California, San Francisco moved its research campus to Mission Bay, people began to take notice - about $4M has been invested in its development so far. As a result the neighborhood is an oasis for young, single techies. Defined by Townsend Street on the north, Third Street and San Francisco Bay on the east and Mariposa Street on the south, residents find themselves close to both the Caltrain and the I-80 and I-280 highways. It is very convenient for professionals who work in Silicon Valley and for people who value being able to get to the bustling parts of downtown San Francisco in a flash. This means that Mission Bay represents a stimulating fusion of students and techies from all over California and the world.

Though this neighborhood is not as foodie-inclined or culturally rich as the Mission or Haight, it is definitely up-and-coming. We have no doubt that in a couple of years, the rest of the Bay Area will be clamoring to see the culinary adventures that new chefs are offering and the new, unique experiences that only Mission Bay can offer. In the meantime, rest easy, there are still many ways to spend your weekend. For instance, the AT&T Park is just a short block away for those who live here! Did someone say Go Giants? Additionally, its proximity to the water makes for a relaxing weekend picnic.

Due to its broad boulevards and vacant lots, Mission Bay has seen and will continue to see a boost in the housing development. Some high-rises that already exist boast bewitching sky-line views and all the amenities of the best luxury apartments.

One such apartment complex is Azure Apartments located at 690 Long Bridge Street, San Francisco. These apartments feature private balconies, walk-in closets, wood-style flooring, community grilling area and even electric car charging stations! The latter seems even more fitting as the area is filled with early-adopter techies.

According to an article in the San Francisco Business Times, rent for this building starts at about $3,650 a month for a 660-square-feet of space and starts at about $5,150 for 960-square-feet of space 2 bedroom apartment.

If you aren’t an apartment lover, Mission Bay also offers condos. Arden by Bosa is at the center of the Mission Bay neighborhood. Its closeness to the water presents residents with scenic running/walking trails and also opportunities for a variety of water sports. At the Arden, you will be able to make friends with your neighbors due to the condos’ plethora of community-orientated spaces such as the open-are grilling and dining area, the social lounge with entertaining kitchen and billiards and the luxurious library lounge.

Here, a two bedroom, two bathroom condo (1386 square-feet) has a going-rate of $1,425,000.

Another condo complex – Madrone – offers similar luxurious amenities to the interested buyer.

Now is an exciting time to explore the Mission Bay area. As a resident, you will be able see the community development each day. Being the first of the neighborhood’s bartender favorites is sure to offer great story at happy-hour! If that honorary title does not sweep you off your feet – you can take “First Techie to Move-In” or “First Neighbor to Throw Summer’s Last Bar-B-Que”!

If you are looking to live in a place with growing energy that has a lot of potential, Mission Bay may be perfect for you. Make sure to visit today and see where the future can take you.



The Secret to Selling Your Home at the Right Time

The housing market may seem daunting, but when you understand its twists and turns you can use this knowledge to your advantage.

Instead of asking questions like:

“In this market – if I sell my home, will I find another place to live?”


“Is now it a good time to sell?”

You will be able to say, “YES” and move forward with confidence.

The housing marketing is cyclical – after a recession, there is recovery. As such, it is important to know where we are in the real estate cycle. Two thousand and fifteen marks the third year in a recovery cycle – a cycle that usually last six years. This means that it is a perfect time to put your property on the market.

Another reason that marks 2015 as the perfect time to sell is that inventory is low. Any Bay Area resident will tell you that there are more buyers than properties on the market. When this happens, the value of your home increases. There are buyers ready and willing to make offers on your home. Here at Princeton Real Estate, we have seen properties go as fast as 7 days with multiple offers. More often than not, realtors can seize the opportunity to help sellers strategize. This way, sellers and realtors can work together with to price homes in a way that gets multiple offers and a higher price than the initial asking.

So, why are there so many Buyers on the market?

The answer - interest rates are low. In fact, First Tuesday Journal states that the “30-year FRM rate averaged 3.78% and the 15-year FRM rate averaged 3.02%”Wow! This means that buyers can afford more when shopping for a home. Additionally, buyers are more willing to apply for mortgages to purchase their dream homes. Maybe that’s the home that you are hoping to sell?

September marks a great time to start getting you home ready for sale. With the end of the summer and the return to school and work – buyers are anticipating the move into their new homes before the end of the year to be able to start 2016 fresh!Are you thinking about selling your home?

If you need advice, The Ildiko Pali Team has succeeded in scoring above-asking price for thousands of clients. With over 40 years of experience, Ildiko has had success guiding her clients through 5 cycles of the housing marketing in the Bay Area and can advise you on market trends, how to get top-dollar for your property and how to find a new home after you’ve sold.