Tips for preparing to sell your house


Thinking about selling your house? Shhhh – don’t tell anyone.

I’m kidding. Sort of. Here is the reality: There are more people who want to move into this area than those leaving. So, when word gets out that you are thinking about selling, here is what may happen: Your phone, email, texts, etc., will start to blow up. Your neighbors have a buyer friend who has been looking for two years, some developer from out of the area wants to pay you all cash if you sign today or real estate agents who have buyers who want to move right in so their kids can start school in the fall.

East Coast-based brokerage Compass acquires local Alain Pinel Realtors

Alain Pinel Realtors, which has an office in Los Altos, is now under the umbrella of New York’s Compass, according to a statement Alain Pinel associates released on social media March 5.

“We are proud to announce that Alain Pinel Realtors has joined Compass,” the public comment reads. “Two innovators, two pioneers in the real estate industry; now one company. We’re excited for the future, and plan to share more news as we move forward.”

In breath and silence: Yoga is Youthfulness studio offers sense of peace, lightness


Andrew Yee/Special to the Town Crier
Mojdeh, instructor at Yoga is Youthfulness in Mountain View, leads her class through a yoga practice Feb. 17.

After two decades in the same spot, Yoga is Youthfulness is relocating, but the impending move shouldn’t disrupt the Mountain View studio’s routine or deter its passionate regulars.

YiY is moving from 590 Castro St. to 1954 Old Middlefield Way in April. Longtime instructors such as Mojdeh, a practitioner of healing arts since 1975, have developed a faithful following.

Engineer-turned-realtor keeps on building


Emily Quiles/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos realtor Hiep Nguyen’s life has taken many twists – from fleeing Vietnam as a child to his career as an engineer and his pivot to real estate.

Hiep Nguyen developed his work ethic at a young age as he watched his parents start over in the United States after leaving war-torn Vietnam with next to nothing.

“I just cannot fathom starting over. ... I feel a sense of awe and indebtedness,” the Los Altos resident said.

Why is 65 the national default retirement age?

Retirement in the U.S. is considered to start at age 65. Why? After all, there’s nothing sacrosanct about that particular age. Many people are capable of working well beyond 65, while others fortunate enough to have amassed sufficient wealth prior to reaching that milestone are happy to retire earlier.

According to the Social Security Administration’s website, the first country to create a social insurance program for retirees was Germany in the 1880s. The emperor at the time, William I, wrote a letter to Parliament stating that “those who are disabled from work by age and invalidity have a well-grounded claim to care from the state.” Quite a radical idea back then! The German program was initially created to begin at age 70, but by 1916, the age limit had been reduced to 65.

Globetrotter returns home and brings one-woman pastry business to LA


Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Melody Hu prepares to open Petit Bakery Co. at 209 First St. in Los Altos. Hu’s gluten-free vanilla sponge cake with elderflower buttercream and lemon curd, right, is her best-seller to date.

Melody Hu is set to open a patisserie-style bakery in downtown Los Altos this summer that fuses her international living experiences: the craftsmanship of Parisian pastries and the modest sweetness of Asian mochi rice. Yet Hu said the health-minded, gluten-free goods will make Petit Bakery Co. “quintessentially Californian.”

Established in 2017, Petit Bakery Co. will fill the space at 209 First St. after Cho Yu’s retirement led to the recent closure of Cho’s Restaurant. Hu said some minor remodeling is in store before her bakery opens in the summertime.


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