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Hope for Borrowers

During the last boom, financing a home loan was pretty easy, with buyers needing little or no money down to qualify for conventional loans. Then came the bust, and with it tightened regulations that required a down payment of 20 percent. Today the going rate is 10 percent down—still hardly chump change where Bay Area housing is concerned.

Blast into Placerville's Past

The stained-glass windows gracing the lobby in Placerville’s Cary House Hotel (www.CaryHouse.com) tell of wagon trains crossing the Sierra Nevada, prospectors panning for gold, and fruit orchards bursting into bloom. Placerville began with the Gold Rush. As the rush slowed, the farms and timber continued, but this foothills town, a two-hour drive from Oakland, never lost sight of its history. From its 1857 origin as a stage stop and Wells Fargo office, the Cary evolved into a cozy hotel whose guests enjoy wine-tasting and Wi-Fi amid quaint Victorian décor.

Can Coaches Thwart Teacher Turnover?

Whitnee Garrett is being tracked. Every step she takes in her history class at Roots International Academy is mapped. The 39 responses elicited from her students during a 20-minute span are recorded and tabulated. Her lesson plan on black history is broken down into segments, everything from the 15-minute introduction to the 15-minute class-ending group work. Just like game tape from an athletic event, every move is dissected and analyzed.

School Smarts Demystifies AUSD Classrooms

On a recent Tuesday night at Alameda’s Maya Lin School, 25 parents sit attentively despite being squished into small chairs. Instructor Gina Acebo stands at the blackboard under a rainbow, next to a column of international flags, and asks, “How do we increase face-to-face communication?”

Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft Promotes Biking

“I want Alameda to become one of America’s top bicycle-friendly cities."

Dandelions, Wine, and Beer

When you want to know the story behind your drink, come to CRAFT Beer & Wine. Owners Russell Rasmussen and Dan Marshall know more than a thing or two about their crafts and can expertly discuss how your beer and wine were made and who makes them. They can also recommend food pairings for each brand, and much more.

Popular Powder Rooms

Does this sound familiar? Years ago you bought a great house. It has a sunny living room, a sizable yard, and enough bedrooms to fit your family. There’s just one problem: It could really use another bathroom. You’d consider moving to a bigger place, but with the market the way it is, that’s not an option. And you just can’t stomach the thought of a major renovation. So what to do? One solution will make your day-to-day much easier and substantially increase your home’s value: adding a powder room.

Nebraska Worth a Visit

Californians, confess: You’re so weary of crowds, condescension, and fennel-infused hipper-than-thouitude that you yearn to run screaming to a simpler place where history meets wildlife meets world-class, free-admission museums. You want to wave at strangers while driving straight spotless roads through serene structureless landscapes sprawling clear to the horizon under caramel- and Aqua Velva–colored country skies.

Hope for Borrowers

During the last boom, financing a home loan was pretty easy, with buyers needing little or no money down to qualify for conventional loans. Then came the bust, and with it tightened regulations that required a down payment of 20 percent. Today the going rate is 10 percent down—still hardly chump change where Bay Area housing is concerned.

Blast into Placerville's Past

The stained-glass windows gracing the lobby in Placerville’s Cary House Hotel (www.CaryHouse.com) tell of wagon trains crossing the Sierra Nevada, prospectors panning for gold, and fruit orchards bursting into bloom. Placerville began with the Gold Rush. As the rush slowed, the farms and timber continued, but this foothills town, a two-hour drive from Oakland, never lost sight of its history. From its 1857 origin as a stage stop and Wells Fargo office, the Cary evolved into a cozy hotel whose guests enjoy wine-tasting and Wi-Fi amid quaint Victorian décor.