Diamond Certified Blog

by Jennifer Chan
June 06, 2019

Ever since the introduction of Airbnb a decade ago, homeowners don’t have to be serial landlords or own second homes to earn rental income. If you have an in-law apartment or a spare bedroom, you can put those extra square feet to work. Preparing your home to rent will require effort on your part, but the extra income may well be worth it. If you’re considering turning your home or another property into a short-term rental, here are a few steps you can take to jumpstart the process:

Know the Rules

Around the Bay Area, cities such as San Francisco and Berkeley have passed regulations on short-term rentals, bringing them more in line with hotel taxation plans. Read more

by James Florence
June 04, 2019

During the first half of 2019, we received a great deal of rain in the San Francisco Bay Area. What’s more, the rainy season went on longer than expected, with storms hitting as late as mid-May. Despite bringing relief to a long-standing drought, all this extra rainfall has certain consequences, one of which may be a particularly bad mosquito season. Since mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of standing water, the moister-than-average conditions could mean a spike in mosquito populations this summer. Read more

by Suzanne Carroll
May 30, 2019

Welcome Aboard!

We’re pleased to announce that the following companies have recently been awarded Diamond Certified. That means they’ve passed our rigorous 12-step rating process and scored Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®. Read more

by Chris Bjorklund
May 28, 2019

I bet a lot of you have stayed in Airbnbs in the past, so you know how the quality of the accommodations can vary widely. Even when you carefully read the reviews and compare properties, you can still end up renting a real stinker. One time our apartment was in the attic of an old Virginian mansion that smelled like mothballs. Another place looked inviting in the pictures but really needed a deep cleaning. And the worst one was located right next to a fire station! We didn’t sleep too well in Savannah, Georgia.

Mostly though, I’ve had great experiences with Airbnb properties, and my recent stay in San Antonio, Texas was the best one ever. Read more

by James Florence
May 23, 2019

Neighbors are kind of like family—whether or not you get along, you’re pretty much stuck with them. One thing that can impact your relationship with your neighbors is home maintenance or improvement projects, especially if a shared property line is involved. To avoid potential conflicts (and know what to do when conflict arises), we asked a few professionals for their advice on navigating this often-complex dynamic. Here’s what they recommend: Read more

by Jennifer Chan
May 21, 2019

“As members of the Tree Care Industry Association, we strive to…improve the quality of life through increasing our knowledge and skills in the management of trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants entrusted to our care.” – From the Tree Care Industry Association’s Arborist Pledge

If you’re planning to care for your trees this summer, it’s a good idea to get to know the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). Most people recognize the ways trees make our lives better. Not only are they beautiful, they also improve our air, offer a home to wildlife and stabilize the soil. But the urban and suburban trees growing in our yards need proper care to thrive, Read more

by James Florence
May 16, 2019

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips for selecting and sowing plants, trees, and lawns. One of these tips dealt with details to consider when choosing a new tree. To learn more about this topic, watch this video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor John Gingrich of Gingrich Horticulture Service.

Read more

by James Florence
May 14, 2019

Goodbye, April showers…hello, May flowers! As growing season hits its stride in the Bay Area, it’s the perfect time to augment your garden by adding new plants, trees and turf. However, to reap the best results, you’ll need to know how to properly select and sow these materials. To grow your knowledge, read the following tips from Diamond Certified Expert Contributors in the landscaping and tree service industries. Read more

by Suzanne Carroll
May 09, 2019

This Mother’s Day, many Americans won’t have to travel far to hug their mothers. That’s because an increasing number of households have several generations living under one roof. For some, grandparents offer much-needed child care for busy, working parents; for other families, it’s reassuring, safer and more cost-effective to have an ailing parent living at home. Read more

by James Florence
May 07, 2019

Any homeowner in California knows termites are a major concern. Between the native drywood and subterranean species, termites are responsible for millions of dollars’ worth of statewide property damage each year. However, in Northern California, homeowners face an even greater (yet lesser known) pest threat. “The biggest pest problem we currently have in the North Bay Area is the powderpost beetle, which is a wood-boring member of the Lyctinae family,” says Brandy Straub, owner of Redwood Empire Termite & Pest Control in Windsor. “Within the last five years, these beetles are the number one issue I’m finding in homes throughout Sonoma, Marin, Solano and Napa Counties.” Read more