Brendan Aiello

Bay Area Hike #1 – Larry Lane Trail in Portola Valley, CA

With the nice summer weather finally here. My girlfriend and I decided that we would start hiking local trails in the area. While Sawyer Camp Trail is very beautiful and a perfect place to walk, we decided for a change in scenery.

With a quick Google search, I found to be a great resource for anyone wanting to hike the bay area. After clicking around we decided to start our trekking at the Larry Lane Trail in Portola Valley (Click Here to View the Trail Profile). Open to equestrians and hikers this trail as a gradual elevation change and under a 4 mile round trip distance. With the mild nature of this trail I would recommend it to almost anyone.

When driving up Sand Hill Road / Portola Valley Road, keep a keen lookout for Hayfields Road as it is very easy to pass. Driving up Hayfields Road you will see a wood post that says “Larry Lane Trail” a few feet before that is a turnout that is to be used for parking for 2-3 cars.

This trail is mainly used by locals whom have houses that backup to the trail. All of which we encountered were very  nice and accepting to have us on their trail. Almost at the end of trail there is a lovely shaded area with hitching posts and picnic tables.

Only a few hundred more feet will lead you to the end of the trail where you will find a bench that looks out to the peninsula/south bay with astounding views!

David Tapper

Jeffrey’s Hamburgers in San Mateo

Are you looking for a good burger in San Mateo?

If so, stop by Jeffrey’s Hamburgers at 42 South B Street in San Mateo and enjoy. They prepare the burger the way you like it and then you go and add whatever condiments you like best at their famous condiments bar. They also have good fries and onion rings, milkshakes and malts.

Jeffrey’s is also very clean and well kept, and you enjoy your food in a fun 1950’s atmosphere.

Brendan Aiello

Video of Shenzi & I @ The Peninsula Humane Society

Hi Everyone,

Just noticed that it’s been a while since anyone has posted on the blog. I’m guessing it’s due to the recent buzz in the local real estate market that is making business pick up.

I’ve been putting in a lot of effort towards work so I decided to focus some energy on the “greater good”. I am a huge animal lover; especially dogs. However, due to working long hours and having a home that is currently unsuitable for pets. I decided to start volunteering at the Peninsula Humane Society. It’s truly been an amazing and rewarding experience.

Anyhow, I have only put in about 5 hours there and have already been caught on video tape. Here is a short video of a dog currently available to adopt, Shenzi. In the background you will see me bribing Shenzi with treats around the agility course.

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David Tapper



Why do short sales take so long?

When you see a large lender like Bank of America or Wells Fargo, you usually think it’s the bank that is losing money on the loan if they decide to sell the home for less than what is owed.

But the truth to the matter is that for “most” of these loans, there is an investor who has asked these lenders to loan out a block of money, usually in the hundreds of millions of dollars and the banks are just servicing them.  It’s not the banks money, it’s the investors or a group of investors who have their money on the line. There is also Fannie and Freddie Mac government backed loans.

Remember, these investors have never seen the home. All they see is numbers. They are relying on the listing agent to get as much money back as possible for their investment.

The lender and investors are also worried about fraud. How do they know if the home owner is selling their home to a friend or relative for a lot less than what the home is worth? They don’t. They need to do their due diligence as best as possible.

It’s called an arms length transaction where all the parties sign a document that there are no side deals and that they don’t know each other.

Another reason the short sales take so long is because many times there is more than one loan and you are now trying to satisfy two or three lenders/investors. That’s very time consuming. Many lenders are also under staffed. They have thousands of delinquent loans, and only so many employees to service them. Remember, many banks have gone under and are on longer in business, so they have had to cut down on their payroll.

The home owner can also be the one who is delaying the time line. Either because they have failed to provide all their financial’s and a hardship letter, or maybe because they want to live in the home as long as they can without having to pay their mortgage. What lender(s) have done to take steps to shorten the time line?
Wachovia is the leader among all the lenders up to now. They have addressed this problem by setting up a system where they have a manager come out and meet with the home owner and listing agent and they determine what fair market value is.
Once they receive an offer, it only takes 45 days for them to make it happen. Wachovia is by far the most advanced up to now.

I’ve recently heard rumors that Wells Fargo is about to start a pilot program where after a home owner is turned down for a loan modification, they will agree to a short sale with the home owner.

If you have any question about short sales or any real estate related questions, please feel free to write or call.


Brendan Aiello

Passport To Dry Creek – My Favorite Wine Tasting Event!

Good Morning Everyone!

For those of you who know me well, you may know that I am a bit of a wine snob  enthusiast. I’m often known for finding good deals on some of my favorite wines or being a go to guy when planning trips to Napa, Sonoma or Paso Robles.
Passport To Dry Creek Wine Event Logo
Last year I went to my first “Passport to Dry Creek” event. While many vineyard-plentiful regions hold this type of event I’m going to tell you why this is my favorite one. Dry Creek Valley is located primarily in Healdsburg, CA — Sonoma County. This is an area known primarily for its amazing Zinfandels. However, many wineries in the Dry Creek Valley also produce award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir.

I vowed I would never publicize this event because of how hard it normally is to obtain a ticket. Normally you have to know someone, be a highly active wine club member of a participating winery (all participating wineries are members of Winegrowers of the Dry Creek Valley) or be one of the limited few who acquires tickets through a raffle system. However, tickets don’t be seem as hard to come by this year, maybe because of the economy, or maybe because of the awesome new first come, first sever system that the winegrowers office set-up this year? Tickets run $120 for the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) or $70 for Sunday-only. Saturday is considered the best day to attend (and most crowded) but they do not offer a Saturday only ticket.

Want tickets for the event? (being held April 24th & 25th) Visit

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