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All Things JF 

real estate      interior design      holistic home



Real Estate Investment Spotlight




Building a residential investment portfolio

Real estate remains one of the most popular investment options available to avid investors seeking to build their portfolio. But taking on an investment of this kind can be a significant project that comes with a litany of risks. Recently, I created an introduction to real estate investments video for use on YouTube for those who may be new to the property investment world. This informative video discusses some of the things you will need and gives a base overview of what to look out for when investing. Taking some time to reflect upon this advice upfront can significantly lower the possibility of making costly mistakes down the line.

Consider what type of property best suits the investment: There are three main types of real estate investment properties available to investors: single family homes with or without an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), duplex or multi-unit properties, or vacation rentals. Knowing the differences between each type and the risks involved with each type can have a huge impact on the financial bottom line.

What is the proposed location of the property: The three main types of opportunities that exist when it comes to considering location are the following: local landlord managed, out-of-state units which require property management, and vacation rentals which might be managed or marketed through companies like VRBO and Air BnB. All three location types will require different levels of responsibility and financing options so location is an important point to contemplate before endeavoring into investing.

Have a full awareness of the state of the property: This consideration is important because it is another factor that can make a major difference when it comes to securing financing for the investment, especially if the intent is to purchase the property out-of-pocket. However, obtaining bank financing differs based on whether there is a commercial or a conventional loan type on the table. Additionally, if there are multiple investors involved, choosing between a turnkey or a fixer-upper can make or break a deal. Obviously a turnkey property might cost a little more upfront while a fixer-upper may require more time, energy, and money on the back-end.

Choose your team wisely: The following professionals may be necessary when it comes to financing your investment: an experienced lender or financier, real estate agent, interior designer or consultant, as well as a general construction contractor will provide a real estate investor much needed expertise. A solid real estate attorney as well as a property manager or management company can also be hugely impactful. While these pros might cost some money upfront, they can help an investor save big money down the line.

This is a broad overview of some critical factors to assess before jumping into the complex world of real estate investing. Luckily for you, JF Homes & Designs can help streamline and take the guesswork out of this process. Having a solid understanding of the risks involved and venturing forth armed with solid information can reduce headaches and mistakes that can cause delays. Check out the JF Homes & Design website for more tips and advice or set up a complimentary investment evaluation.

Here We Grow!

In a recent video, I unveiled a small peek into my life as a business woman on the go in the Bay Area. Suffice it to say since I moved to California back in 2017, life has been a series of ups and downs but after struggling for so long, I feel like I have finally found my way. I have been able to combine my love for art and design and my desire to help people to create the business that I have today. In the process of cultivating what is known today as JF Homes & Design, I have been fortunate to become the co-owner of Universal Insulation, a company that has served the Bay Area for more than 40 years with an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.


Above you will see the beginning of our new stores and storage, as well as the many paint and flooring options!

Recently, we started the process of remodeling the headquarters of Universal Insulation where I will also operate out of as JF Homes & Design. I thought it would be fun to share the progress we have made thus far on this project. It might not be much to look at yet but pictured above is our design swatch for Universal Insulation and below are a few photos of our progress at the property as of today. We have put a lot of work into repairing the facilities, thanks to the help of Nikolic General Construction. Our next objective with the Universal remodel is to paint the exterior building and put in landscaping. I am so excited to see this vision come to life and thankful for the journey it took to get here!

Meanwhile, across town, my crew is actively working on this home remodel. And who doesn't love demo day?

This one is a complete gut job, meaning that we have to completely knock out the walls, rip up the flooring, and re-frame most of the interior walls. This is a labor of love for us all but I cannot wait to unveil the finished product in a future email or perhaps in an upcoming YouTube video. Suffice it to say, seeing these projects through from what we start with to where we finish is a lot of work but also supremely gratifying.

Do you need some help with a home design or a remodel project? Check out my website for more examples of my work and to book a complimentary design assessment. I look forward to helping you attain the home of your dreams!

Use These Essential Oils to Destress

Holistic home: Stress relief during stressful times

It's been a year full of chaos and these times certainly are pretty intense. Stress levels are at an all time high and tensions are on the rise. It is more important now than ever to remember to manage stress . So I thought it appropriate to share some natural/holistic remedies which can assist in de-stressing and bring a better quality to the air in your home. As always, please consult your physician prior to adopting any holistic practice into your lifestyle.

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is known for it's antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. You can utilize eucalyptus in it's plant form or as an essential oil in an oil diffuser. The scent of eucalyptus is clean and light too. It can be the perfect air purifier in your home space.

Pine, Spruce or Fir: The earthy scent of these plants can open up your airways for relief against cough, asthma, and allergies. As a diffused essential oil, these components can help you feel rejuvenated if you are stressed out or burnt out. And, quite frankly, who isn't just a bit burnt out right now?

Peppermint: If you're like a majority of people, you probably hold your tension in your neck and shoulders area. Peppermint has a holistic property that allows for the relaxation and relief of tension in the muscles. It can be applied topically when indicated and is also amazing for diffusing. Feelings of anxiety are easily diminished when using this holistic remedy.

Sandalwood: Stress seems to melt away when it comes to the use of sandalwood. Sandalwood oil is believed to be beneficial in treating both physical and mental disorders, including anxiety, bronchitis, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, gallbladder problems, high blood pressure, indigestion, insomnia, liver problems, and even low libido.

During these challenging times it is important to maintain our sense of self. Sometimes this might mean shutting off social media and unplugging from all the chaos for a little while. The important thing is to refrain from guilt-tripping yourself if you need to spend a little time engaged in self-care.

Community Spot Light

Proud to announce these charitable partnerships!

One of my biggest passions is giving back to the community in creative ways and a little further down in this email, I will discuss exactly what that means, so please keep reading...

With that said, I am proud to announce my recent association with the following groups locally:

San Jose Kiwanis Club: Kiwanis International operates both on a local and international level to help shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, mentor the disadvantaged, and care for the sick. As a group we strive to develop youth as leaders, build playgrounds, raise funds for pediatric research, and much more. Kiwanians is an active group of socially conscious professionals and local citizens who assist by volunteering and assisting in raising over $100,000 per year by organizing events such as Christmas in the Park and The Turnaround Scholarship Drive to name a few. Currently, I am in discussions with San Jose Kiwanis regarding an integrative charitable art program. Are you also a Kiwani? Let's connect!

Pathways of Sunnyvale: In 1977 a Stanford physician developed Pathways in the Bay Area with the help of the local community. Pathways is a pioneer, leader, and innovator in hospice, home health, and palliative care. This organization serves the residents of Sunnyvale, South San Francisco, and Oakland. All locations are currently accepting donations of masks and booties. Volunteers are also strongly encouraged to apply.

San Jose Postcard Club: Fosters research and collecting of postcards and paper collectibles. Membership is open to all. Currently I am working one on one with members of the San Jose Postcard club to design a custom logo (shown on the left) and to create their website. If you would like additional info on how to become a member, please call (408) 229-8290 and ask for Shav La Vigne, the president.

It is my distinct honor and utmost pleasure to be able to actively participate and contribute to these causes. Keep reading for more information on some creative ways that I intend to help these organizations.






JF Art By Design Paintings 


My love of design is easily interchangeable with my love for painting. The same creative spark that inspires me when I put paint to canvas is the one that I utilize when bringing an interior space to life. Several clients of mine end up with a Jen Foltz original in their home. But I wanted to do more with my paintings. So I've been creating these visual works of art to serve a deeper purpose. Frequently a proceed of the sales of these paintings goes toward various philanthropic endeavors which gives me a great sense of purpose when it comes to my art. I like to think of it as "Art with Heart" but since that name is already taken, I have decided to dub this project Painting With Purpose by JF Art By Design. You can check out some of my latest pieces on my Instagram page.

Currently I am accepting customized commissioned projects and the best part? You get to name your own price! The fun part of buying a piece of art from JF Art By Design is YOU choose what you pay! I only ask that your offer be reasonable so that I can cover at least the cost of the materials used.













We Are Still Viewing By Virtual Tour & By Appointment Only!


We can still make your house buying or selling dreams come true! Properties are now viewable by virtual tour. It is still possible to close on a property and exercise safe social distancing at the same time. We've done it before and we're kind 0f the experts on that sort of thing.

Some restrictions may apply. Drop us a line and let's find out what your options are!

Does sleep elude you? 

Holistic solutions for improving the quality of your sleep

We live in a fast paced world and with the technological advances of the past decade, more people than ever struggle to get a good night's sleep. Statistically speaking adults who get 7 hours or more of sleep enjoy a better quality of life but in the state of California alone, 24-48% of the population reports getting less than seven hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

SleepStarting.org cites the CDC with the following stats:

*About one-in-four people age 18 to 24 say that they don't sleep well because of technology.

* Sleep deprivation increases the expectation of gains and decreases the estimation of possible losses.

*Decision making in "high-stakes, real-world situations" is impaired when someone is experiencing sleep loss.

*Shift Work Sleep Disorder is a recognized medical condition for 20 percent of U.S. shift workers.

Create an Environment that Invites Sleep

Getting a good night's rest begins with creating an "inviting" environment for sleep.

Keep your surroundings serene. In the bedroom, use soft lighting, and get yourself an essential oil diffuser. This is a device you can add water and a few drops of an essential oil to in order to diffuse them in a fine mist throughout the room. Some specific herbs that evoke a sense of peace and restfulness are lavender and jasmine.

Researchers have found that lavender "offers calming and soothing properties that can help reduce stress". Brain scans of individuals who use lavender oil before bedtime showed an increase in "slow wave" sleep which is essential to slowing the heartbeat and relaxation of muscles. Jasmine can help reduce restless sleeping and improve sleeping quality. This relaxing herb can also reduce anxiety, even more effectively than lavender.

Diffusing some gentle and soothing essential oils and sipping a non-caffeinated herbal tea can put your body into the perfect mode for winding down.

Ditch your technology device. Turn it off and leave it out of the bedroom. If you live in an area with excessive outside noise and are a light sleeper, utilize a white noise machine to provide soothing sounds that are conducive to allowing your brain to slip into theta activity and prepare it for rest.

How an Interior Designer Can Make a Difference

Most of us have seen those shows on HGTV. You know the ones. The shows that take a drab house and turn them into beautiful spaces that could be featured in Architectural Digest. And while these shows can be entertaining and sometimes informative, how much of a big deal is it to hire an interior designer to help you sell your home? Here are just a few reasons why enlisting the help of a talented home decorator can make all the difference:

*Saves time and money . It may be counter-intuitive to think that hiring someone to decorate your home could save you money but in the long run, it most certainly can. The primary reason is that a pro can prevent you from making costly mistakes. Furthermore, an interior designer can keep you on budget to save you time and money. Those in the industry also have connections and resources that are available to them that you might not have, which can also impact your pocket book in the long run.

*Visual story telling. What message are you trying to communicate to buyers with your home? A professional with a trained eye can consult with you and help you get your message across in the most aesthetically pleasing of ways. Any talented home decorator can give you that "wow" factor that it needs to assist in the sale of the property.

*Faster Sale Turnaround. The objective for most people who are selling their home is a quick turnaround. When your home is professionally staged by an interior decorator, you are more likely to experience an increase in showings and sales. Not only that, but a survey of 3,500 homes that utilized the assistance of a home design pro showed that 46% of these homes snagged a 10% increase in the sale price over homes that were not staged. Those numbers can be staggering, especially in a highly competitive market.

Still on the fence as to whether hiring an interior designer can help you sell your home? Contact me for a confidential interview and we can chat about your goals.

The Benefits of Rose Water

Rose water is pretty self-explanatory in it's composition: It is made up of the distillation of rose petals and water. Rose water has a fragrant, sweet scent that can evoke a sense of peace and relaxation. Use of rose water can provide benefits to the skin, respiratory tract, brain, and digestion. As with any holistic remedy it is important to consult your doctor before using rose water but here are a few ways that rose water can be used to improve your health.

The main aspect of rose water's efficacy is it's anti-inflammatory properties. When used on the skin, rose water can ease irritation caused by eczema and rosacea. For relief from a sore throat, try a rose water mist. Even rose water eye drops are available which can be used for conjunctivitis and even cataracts. Furthermore, this floral mixture has antibacterial components and can be useful for soothing wounds and helping them to heal faster; reducing the development of scars. If you are seeking a boost to your mood, use this holistic remedy to ward off the effects of depression, grief, stress, and even headaches. For digestive purposes, using rose water can improve symptoms of bloating and upset stomach.

How Buying a Home is Different as a Senior

Are you or do you know anyone who is 50+ and is currently looking to buy or sell in today's local market?



Let's face it, as a senior citizen, it is more important than ever to enter into a real estate transaction with a certain degree of wisdom. The margin for error is much smaller and when you are older and recovering from a financial mistake can be more difficult than when you were younger.

I have recently received my SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) certification and I am here to help! My love for helping people coupled with my background in social work has led me to the decision to work for and earn this certification.

I would like to help you avoid some of the pitfalls that come along with buying a home at a more mature age. Here are just a few handy tips for avoiding costly mistakes further down the line:

*Carefully consider your reasons for buying a home as a senior . Are you downsizing? Is owning a home a better financial investment for you than renting? Do you plan on living in your new home full time or will you use it as a vacation home or potentially an income property? These are all important questions to ask yourself before endeavoring into a real estate investment as a senior.

*How long do you plan on living in your new home ? Conventional wisdom indicates that if you plan on living in a home for five years or less, the transaction costs may completely wipe out any hope for value appreciation of the property.

*What type of home makes the most sense for you ? If after doing substantial research, you have determined that buying is the best option, contact my office so we can discuss what type of home would be the best for you. Depending on your situation, a condo or town home might be the most beneficial choice for you. In comparison to single family homes, many condominium and town home communities offer certain amenities through the HOA which can benefit you as a resident in the long run. Also, it may just be nice to be closer to neighbors in case you have an emergency or simply need to borrow a cup of sugar.

How to Decorate After the Holidays

Now that we've survived the holidays for one more year, most of us have taken down all the festive decorations and are now ready to refresh our living spaces for the upcoming season. Here are a few tips on how to class up your space using simple, practical decorating principles. 

Keep colors neutral, sticking with winter tones using a pastel colored accents throughout the space

Utilize warm wood elements and other rugged, natural textures

Accent with candles and simple, elegant holders

Play it up with a touch of traditional flair such as embroidered accent pillows and cushy, comfy chairs.

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