As pandemic impacts independent bookstores, Linden Tree Books plans to ‘tough it out’

When Chris Saccheri and Florina Grosskurth took over Linden Tree Books in downtown Los Altos late last year, it was a busy period for the store.

One woman’s journey from receptionist to owner of shop in male-dominated field

El Camino Hospital
Courtesy of Erin Gomes
Erin Gomes, pictured with her children, is the owner of Bavarium Autoworks on Old Middlefield Way in Mountain View.

When Erin Gomes answered a help-wanted ad 17 years ago to work as a receptionist for an independent car repair shop in Mountain View, she had no plans of starting a lifelong career in the automotive industry.

Nest Egg Briefs: Mitigating the financial risk of COVID-19

What we have learned about COVID-19 so far is that it is highly transmissible and that there is an extremely wide range of symptoms. Some who contract it experience no symptoms at all, while others die from it. Although the media focus has been on deaths, incapacity can be a greater risk, especially to working families. Here’s why, and also how you can protect yourself.

Transactions for the week of 8/12

Los Altos

6 Bay Tree Lane, Kelly Trust to Robertson Trust for $2,200,000
1489 Brookmill Road, Davies Family Trust to L. & W. Chan for $3,050,000
425 Cuesta Drive, K. Chang to T. & Z. Wang for $3,898,000
226 W. Edith Avenue No. 33, Miholovich Trust to C. & V. Papadopoulos for $1,400,000
1714 Miller Avenue, California Dreaming LP to Persky Family Trust for $3,765,000
401 Juanita Way, Klesney Trust to P. & J. Wang for $3,498,000
124 Second Street No. 11, R. Jewell to S. Park for $2,000,000
1745 Selig Lane, Shoreline Assets Group LLC to W. Granni for $2,680,000
2224 Vineyard Court, Ferguson Family Trust to N. & J. Cheng for $2,690,000

Transactions for the week of August 5

Los Altos
240 Alta Vista Avenue, Ornstein Family Trust to Faris Family Trust for $5,500,000
1410 Bright Oaks Court, M. Callaghan to S. & D. Kim for $2,437,500
601 Castle Lane, Sangster Family Trust to E. & T. Choi for $3,180,000
1094 Highlands Circle, Sharon Trust to Shah Family Trust for $2,700,000
1635 Kensington Avenue, Collins Family Trust to M. & D. Dada for $2,760,000
850 Nash Road, Kelsch Family Trust to F. & R. Hsu for $4,200,000
1173 Orilla Court, Stewart Trust to Perisic Family Trust for $5,900,000
924 Riverside Drive, Burns Trust to Imagine Trust for $4,450,000
27 Sevilla Drive, L. & B. Clavin to J. & Y. Lei for $2,880,000
673 Springer Terrace, Jennings Trust to D. & G. Peng for $2,920,000
737 Thorsen Court, Tashjian Properties LLC to Luna Trust for $3,850,000

Los Altos Hills
25487 Adobe Lane, K. & K. Wheeler to E. & N. Yoshida for $5,400,000
25560 Fernhill Drive, A. & D. Bellshaw to L. & J. Hollenbeck for $3,700,000

Mountain View
360 Carmelita Drive, Zwiep Family Trust to Chong Trust for $3,300,000
350 Chatham Way, Hawley Trust to D. & E. Horn for $2,810,000
332 Deerwood Court No. 1104, K. Schnaitter to R. Qi for $1,213,000
421 Hillwood Court No. 503, C. & M. Wo to Z. Dai for $1,550,000
301 Marquetta Circle, Summerhill Montecito Ave LLC to M. & Y. Le for $1,898,000
307 Marquetta Circle, Summerhill Montecito Ave LLC to P. Yu for $1,508,000
213 Ortega Avenue, D. McDermott to A. & S. Sun for $1,425,000
478 Quincy Drive, B. & E. Tekdemir to C. & M. Devin for $2,050,000
255 S. Rengstorff Avenue No. 119, H. Chan to Z. & L. Ross for $860,000
1921 Rock Street No. 17, J. Wang to C. Horng for $960,000
435 St. Julien Way, Dreike Trust B to S. & W. Cha for $1,445,000

872 Betlin Avenue, S. Wong to C. & Y. Liu for $1,782,000
20667 Gardenside Circle, Ranganathan Family Trust to T. & M. Lin for $1,580,000
10388 Krista Court, Ho Family Trust to R. & M. Cai for $2,587,500
10222 Nile Drive, A. Chang to Y. & B. Tang for $1,190,000
19832 Rodrigues Avenue, Heaton Family Trust to P. & C. Kannan for $2,624,000
10398 San Fernando Avenue, Singh Family Trust to J. & X. Zhou for $3,080,000
1019 September Drive, Jaishankar Family Trust to Y. & Y. Ni for $1,925,000
5902 Sutton Park Place, S. & T. Bruckhaus to Y. & P. Gu for $2,320,000
21753 Terrace Drive, J. & V. McClurg to W. & K. Yun for $2,540,000
6052 Willowgrove Lane, T. & V. Trimeloni to Han Family Trust for $1,793,000


Los Altos
Total sales: 11
Highest sale: $5,900,000
Lowest sale: $2,437,500
Average sale: $3,707,000

Los Altos Hills
Total sales: 2
Highest sale: $5,400,000
Lowest sale: $3,700,000
Average sale: $4,550,000

Mountain View
Total sales: 11
Highest sale: $3,300,000
Lowest sale: $860,000
Average sale: $1,658,300

Total sales: 10
Highest sale: $3,080,000
Lowest sale: $1,190,000
Average sale: $2,142,200
Cal REsource

On the Market: Who should you call to work on your home?

The No. 1 question I get asked is probably: “I need to find someone to help with a project at my house. Whom should I call?”

There are two categories of answers: (1) Is this repair something that would require a permit? or (2) Is it a repair that can be handled by a licensed contractor/repair person? Typically, larger projects that involve destruction of something such as installing new windows, a roof or a fireplace, or relocation of electrical, gas, heating, plumbing require a permit. Most repairs can be handled by a licensed contractor such as a plumber or electrician. Some minor repairs can even be handled by a handyman who is usually unlicensed.

Q: How do I find someone good, reliable and reasonably priced to complete the work?
A: In today’s tight labor market, this can sometimes be challenging. Ask your friends or colleagues if they can refer someone they have used. I get lots of these calls. Usually, word-of-mouth is a very good source of information. Many times, Nextdoor is a solid source of local referrals. If you strike out there, a number of online resources may be helpful, including Yelp, Real Word of Mouth and Angie’s List. Be sure to read the reviews to get a good sense of the feedback.

Q: How much should I expect to pay?
A: The cost of living in this area is high, so labor costs are very high. Typically, rates start at approximately $75 per hour and go up from there. Be sure to ask before the contractor or handyman comes out for a ballpark figure of how charges are calculated.

Q: Is it worth it to get multiple quotes?
A: Usually, yes, unless you are using someone you know and trust. Always yes if it is a big project that will require a permit. Be honest with the contractors and let them know you are talking to other contractors for comparison.

Q: How long will it take to find someone?
A: For larger, permit-type projects, most contractors are booked many months out and are rather busy. Competition is tough for their time. Prices are typically higher than you expected. Start your process early. The better prepared you are for a contractor to come bid on a project, the more accurate the bid will be and the happier you’ll be. Change orders can be rather costly.

Q: What if I need someone right away?
A: There are service call companies, like those homeowners would use for plumbing and electrical emergencies. Be prepared to pay top dollar for these types of companies, as they are essentially on call.

Q: I found a great contractor. What should I do?
A: Spread the word. Help them out by letting your friends know. Ideally, every homeowner should have a Rolodex (remember those?) full of people they can call when the need arises.

Q: What about a handyman?
A: A handyman can be a lifesaver if you have lots of little projects around the house that need completing but may not require substantial training. Be sure to ask handymen what things they are good at and which they don’t like to do. Handymen are typically not licensed or insured, so be sure to ask, if that is something you worry about. Some insurance companies will not cover work or damage caused by unlicensed work. Homeownership is a constant, ongoing responsibility, so staying on top of problems before they become big, expensive problems is a great way to protect your investment. As always, feel free to call if you have any questions.

Owen Halliday is a realtor who manages the Sereno Group office in Los Altos. For questions, comments and for more information, call 492-0062 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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