Dog Etiquette In Real Estate: How To Keep Your Pup’s Manners In Check

Taking your dog out in San Diego

By Medina James

Buying or selling a home when you have dogs can be tricky; you want to ensure they stay safe
and happy while making sure sellers and potential buyers are also comfortable, and that can be
difficult. Looking for a new home can be a lengthy, drawn-out process, and if you’re like many pet-owners, your dog is probably like another family member. You want him to be part of things to help keep anxiety at bay, yet it’s important to keep in mind that real estate deals are delicate things. Sometimes, it’s best to go about it without your pet by your side. Making sure he’s well-mannered will keep everyone safe while you’re both looking for a new home and selling your current one, so training your pet–or brushing up on his obedience skills–is a great way to get started. You should also consider ways to stage your homes to make sure it’s ready for potential buyers to walk through without having to worry about pet odors or messes.

Read on for more tips on how to prepare your dog–and your home–for a real estate transaction.

Work on training
Even if your dog is very well-behaved, he may still benefit from brushing up on his training. It can be extremely helpful to make sure your dog is comfortable with commands like “sit”, “heel”, and “down” or “stay”, especially if you plan on being home when your real estate agent brings potential buyers over. You don’t have to pay a trainer big bucks to help your pet go over these commands, either; fortunately you can teach your dog simple training techniques at home.

Leave him at home
If you’re the kind of person who brings your dog everywhere, reconsider when you’re looking for a new home. Attending open houses or walking through a home you’re interested in can be made much more complicated when your pet is with you, especially if the owners have allergies, have pets of their own who might not get along with your dog, or have young children who are afraid of dogs. Whether you come across an open house while you’re already out with your dog or you’ve made an appointment to see a home, have a friend stay with your pet or just leave him at home.

Prepare your house
It can be difficult to ensure your dog will mind his manners when new people are over, especially if he’s already nervous or prone to anxiety. It might be a good idea to let him rest inside a kennel, hang out in the backyard, or stay with a friend when you know potential buyers will be coming over. Keeping your pet isolated from the strangers who are walking through his home will help him stay calm and keep everyone safe and happy.

Keeping your house clean and inviting for clients is another issue, and it can be difficult to do when you have a pet. Dog hair, footprints, and issues like torn mini-blinds and worn carpeting can all be overlooked when you see them everyday, so walk through your home with the eyes of a potential buyer to see what it really looks like. Open the windows for the benefit of natural light and look for any issues. If your dog is allowed on the furniture, throw an old sheet or blanket over it and take it off just before the clients arrive in order to keep it looking nice.

Buying and selling a home can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you’re prepared and are willing to help your pet be the best version of himself he can be, your real estate transaction will go smoothly.

North Park Schools

north park schools tasting radishes at thomas jefferson elementry school garden

Radish tasting at Thomas Jefferson elementary school, North Park

North Park Schools

North Park has 3 public schools Thomas Jefferson, Mckinley and Garfield. Do you see the presidential theme going? A little like North Parks wacky streets named by State.  So we have Garfield on Oregon and Thomas Jefferson on Utah.  Mckinley changes it up by being on Felton.  States and presidents that’s North Park, except some of the times they change the street names. With a 100 years of history lots of name changes happen. Click here to see the  school boundaries for the North Park schools.

Like most historic neighborhoods North Park schools have had their challenges. It takes time for the schools to catch up with the demographics. North Park is bright chic and full of energy….the schools not so much.

That’s changing Mckinley does the wildly popular Soho chili fest.  Thomas Jefferson does a monthly fund raiser: on the second Tuesday, at Waypoint public, with a free movie for the kids. The parents enjoy great food, local beer and conversation. Its all arranged by friends of Thomas Jefferson elementary

This post really came about because of an amazing article by Andy Hinds in the uptown news, about choice and local schools. I. think it is a must read, I love his views of schools. It’s changing,  it is all about the community.  For an older take on North Park schools read this article on North Park Schools from Voice of San Diego What a difference a few years and some great parents.

Dedicated parents are making the schools as great as the community. I teach gardening class on Wednesdays to the kindergarteners and first graders at Thomas Jefferson. We have a range from neighborhood parents who eat very healthy diets to looks of kids who have never eaten a radish or broccoli until we grew it in the garden.


school gardens and fresh food, from one of North Parks elementary schools.

trying fresh radish from the Jefferson school garden, one of North Parks local schools.

January Craftsman Buffet Storage

craftsman buffet,craftsman built-in
1920 craftsman buffet


Everyone has New Year’s resolutions, common wisdom is it takes about 3 to 4 weeks for most people to give  them up.  Common New Year’s resolutions concern diet, exercise, finance and organization.  I believe organization is a direct response to viewing your living room filled with all the Christmas presents knowing you figure out where to put your loot away.

For Condos that come with extra-storage click here.

 I think 2015 is going to be my year of organization.  At least I hope so. Lucky for me Craftsman houses usually come with lots of nice built-ins. You usually get a nice buffet in the dining room and a couple of cabinets flanking the fireplace.

Click here for homes with built-ins

My built ins were a mess. It started with looking for the cooking sherry (still MIA) I ended up with everything on the floor but managed to actually do some great organization in my craftsman buffet. A drawer for platters, paper napkins together and best of all I put wine glass holders in the bottom cabinets so that you can find the bar wear. I have a small drawer for corkscrews,, wine savers and mixing spoons.

craftsman house storage,craftsman buffet

Getting ready to organize craftsman buffet

using the buffet built ins for the modern age, wine glass storage on top and more glasses in boxes.

using the buffet built ins for the modern age, wine glass storage on top and more glasses in boxes.

craftsman built-in desk






North Park San Diego Carols, Christmas and Pizzelles

North Park San Diego Craftsman Cokies

Lucy’s Pizzelles in my North Park Craftsman kitchen

 North Park San Diego Carols, Christmas and Pizzelles

December 21st, in the northern hemisphere, the longest night of the year, the winter solstice.  In the spirit of Christmas  random neighbors in North Park gather to celebrate with Christmas carols.  Extremely out of tune the ragtag group of neighbors marched down Thorn st, past the brewery, singing away.

A young couple emerged from their craftsman house. The perfect young North Park couple, she is holding a orange tabby in her arms while her husband/partner stands with a medium sized dog.  Everyone is enthusiastic….so North Park.

Something about Craftsman houses and lights it just makes the season better.  Christmas is starting to seem real.  It has been a slow year too much time learning code to work on the website,  not enough fun events.  Chatting with a new friend/North Park condo neighbor. We decide to carry on the night with pizzelle, an Italian holiday tradition.  We baked until midnight: check out the results. Here is the recipe

Lucy’s Pizzelle

  • Beat 6 eggs
  • add 1 cup oil
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • Then, mix together 2 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt and 2 t. anise seeds
  • Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and mix well with an electric beater.  Drop by a little less than a teaspoon on hot iron (and pray they don’t stick!).  The first ones always stick, but it gets easier as you go.  Recipe makes about 7 dozen.

Merry Christmas to everyone

Adding Granite countertops to Your Kitchen

Adding Granite counters to Your Luxury Kitchen

Granite Countertops in remolded kitchen


To Granite or not….that is the question. Granite countertops hum. Sure we love old houses and historic detail but we want a dishwasher right. Everyone wants easy clean up, simple surfaces. However will that huge piece of granite scream remolded in 2010’s, 20 years down the road? 

My aunt used to write fiction for Good Housekeeping in the 70’s so my mom would save all of the magazines with her byline.  Fast forward to 1985, I was purchased my first vintage house. Standing there looking at those magazines and cringing at Craftsman make overs. People happily taking old gum wood paneling and painting it baby blue Cringe. The blue is real; there was an amazing fixer in La mesa on the market in 2010 all the woodwork was blue.  I think most of us can agree that the 70’s was not a design icon. I need to find the mags so I can post some photos….

Updating is good, but you need to respect the house. What works in a craftsman may not work in a Spanish. Perhaps  in a Craftsman that piece of granite could be mat black quartz which mirrors soapstone.

Spanish Revival looks great with some sort of hex background 

I think in a ranch style house solid surfaces and open spaces work really well. 

vintage homes,vintage kitchen,north park

vintage title 1930 kitchen