Friday, December 31, 2010

Allison Van Wig, Local Realtor® Reflects On The Best Things To Appreciate About Living In Long Beach and Lakewood – Part 2 of 2

clip_image002Two weeks ago, I wrote Part 1 of 2 of this blog and now as the new year is upon us I want to continue with the remainder of the special things that are on my list … As I said before, many of us will begin the customary tradition of re-evaluating our goals and re-affirming our desires for a fresh new approach to our ambitions and dreams.

clip_image002[6]One of the things I personally have decided to focus on this year was to be even more appreciative of all the great things being a resident of the Long Beach and Lakewood communities have to offer

clip_image001 Long Beach offers 152 parks with 25 community centers, two major tennis centers, and one of the busiest municipal golf systems in the country with five golf courses. Lakewood brings us even more parks with organized special events like the Pan American Fiesta, Patriot Day, Concerts in the Park, the Block Party and Halloween Carnivals plus two community senior centers where resi­dents can have fun, take classes and receive supportive advice on social services.

clip_image001[1] Our different neighborhoods: Belmont Shore to Bixby Knolls to the Lakewood Mutuals plus our very own Naples Island with all the charm and character you could imagine in every neighborhood.

clip_image001[2] The Pyramid at CSULB where you can buy tickets to professional events at inexpensive prices.

clip_image001[3] Seventeen Historical districts throughout our cities with homes that have a variety of distinctive charm … from older homes to contemporary suburbia type houses; The Cliff May Ranchos; 1920 Victorian homes and of course the Spanish stuccos replicating the haciendas of yesterday.

clip_image001[4] The Gondola Getaway rides on Alamitos Bay for romantic sunset cruises and holiday light sightseeing.

clip_image001[5] And … last but not the least, the only off-leash dog beach in all of LA County which was recently renamed and dedicated as Rosie’s Dog Beach after the beloved bull dog that inspired it.


Visit or scan the bar code with your smart phone to see how our four legged friends can frolic and play.


As a full-time Realtor® for the last 23 years, I have had the pleasure of working with many clients to become members of our communities – When it comes to local real estate there is nothing I love more than helping buyers and sellers with the purchase or sale of their home. The areas that I specialize in are these two communities … Long Beach and Lakewood, so please take a little time this coming New Year to explore all the things our cities have to offer. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! ©  … Direct Phone: 562-882-1581

Friday, December 17, 2010

Allison Van Wig, Local Realtor® Reflects On The Best Things To Appreciate About Living In Long Beach and Lakewood – Part 1 of 2

clip_image002As many of us begin our holiday vacations and look forward to the the New Year, some will begin the customary tradition of re-evaluating our goals and re-affirming our desires for a fresh new approach to our ambitions and dreams. One of the things I personally have decided to focus on this coming new year was to be even more appreciative of all the great things being a resident of the Long Beach and Lakewood communities have to offer.

clip_image004Most all of us probably already know about these wonderful things but I feel it is important to focus on a few that bring special enlightenment to all of our lives. In no particular order of preference, here is a list of the things I really appreciate about being a resident and working as a full-time Realtor® in these communities.

clip_image001 60 Miles of Bike Paths; and you know how I love my bike rides!

clip_image001[1] Alamitos Bay’s kayak rentals and wind sailing spots.

clip_image001[2] Two colleges CSULB - California State University, Long Beach and LBCC- Long Beach City College where we can not only pursue a formal education, but also learn photography, pottery making and jewelry design.

clip_image001[3] The diversity in restaurants that offer every type of food to include: Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern … you name it, we have it all here.

clip_image001[4] The Long Beach Unified School District that provides education to students in both cities is one of the world’s top 20 school systems and one of the top three in the United States.

clip_image001[5] Long Beach has one of the largest ports in the United States that supports our local economy.

As a full-time Realtor® for the last 23 years, I have had the pleasure of working with many clients to become members of our communities – When it comes to local real estate there is nothing I love more than helping buyers and sellers with the purchase or sale of their home. The areas that I specialize in are these two communities … Long Beach and Lakewood, so please take a little time this coming to explore all the things our two cities have to offer. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! ©


Friday, December 3, 2010

Local Realtor® Allison Van Wig Gives a Thumbs Up to Tonight’s Special Holiday Version of First Fridays In Bixby Knolls

Set the DateMap Area of First FridaysAtlantic Avenue will be lit and decorated on December 3 for the "Holiday Edition of First Fridays." There will be something for everyone with plenty of art, music, philanthropy, good cheer, and a tree and menorah lighting.
The 3rd Annual Bixby Knolls Tree & Menorah Lighting Ceremony will take place by the fountains at Nino's Italian Restaurant, 3853 Atlantic Avenue, beginning at 6:00pm.

For more information visit

The entire community is invited to come celebrate this tradition with the lighting of the tree and Hanukah Menorah, listen to carols, and enjoy some hot chocolate. As this will be a community tree, the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association is encouraging the tree decorations be donated from area businesses, schools, and residents. Ornaments can either be dropped off at the BKBIA office at 4313 Atlantic Avenue prior to December 3, or brought to the tree lighting ceremony on December 3.

First Fridays will feature: Strolling carolers, rockabilly, violins, gypsy jazz, Santa, holiday gift items, live art, s’mores, cider stops, DJ dance party, Robert Vargas portraits, stilt man, Timstrument, the Knolls Ranger…and a “preview” of Long Beach Clothing Co., who just relocated to Bixby Knolls.

Councilmember James Johnson’s “First Books at First Fridays” at the Dana Branch Library will feature Harry Potter himself reading Harry Potter to children beginning at 5:15pm. Face painting will be provided by Arty Brush Strokes and Harry Potter movie posters will be given to the first 50 kids in attendance…plus a Harry Potter-themed game with prizes. Enjoy light refreshments, too.  

Holiday music and celebration begins at 6:00pm at Nino’s, the lights are turned on at 6:30pm and then the Big Red Bus will transport people up and down Atlantic to the participating businesses.

Alexia on Her Walk

This should be a wonderful evening. Look for me with my Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Alexia who loves a good holiday walk  … as many of you know who read my blog on a regular basis, in addition to my passion about real estate … I am an avid enthusiast in biking and hiking. I’ll be the one walking and Alexia will be …  well, let’s just say … she’ll be enjoying herself!

For information about living in Long Beach & Lakewood visit or call 562-882-1581

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Local Realtor® Allison Van Wig Has a Special Thanksgiving Message

Being a Realtor® in Long Beach and Lakewood isn’t always about listing and selling real estate … It’s REALLY about the people I work for and the opportunities I am given to make a difference in their lives during what most would call a “major life event”.
This Thanksgiving I am most especially thankful for all those I have in my life … My Family and friends. I am also thankful for all the wonderful people I have met during my career and want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Last weekend, I took a quick trip up to Big Bear and on my way down the mountain, I came upon the most breathtaking sunset and just had to pull over to take a quick video of the beauty before me. This video does not do it justice but please know that is comes with a bounty of heartfelt wishes for a happy holiday weekend!
Coming Down From Big Bear and The Beautiful Sunset Before Me!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone
Allison Van Wig

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Allison Van Wig, Local Lakewood & Long Beach Realtor Offers Information about Wood Burning Fireplaces & 9 Tips for Safety and Efficiency

If you are like I am, there is nothing that says the holidays are here much more than enjoying the snap and crackle of a wood burning fireplace.

I came across the article below about fireplace safety tips and found the advice to be very good.

Please take a few minutes to read this information … and, If you have a fireplace, I hope this information will help you enjoy it as much as I do mine.

By: Wendy Paris Published: October 28, 2010
Besides the annual inspection and sweep for your chimney, improve the function of your wood fireplace with responsible use.
1. Only burn dry, cured wood—logs that have been split, stacked, and dried for eight to 12 months. Cover your log pile on top, but leave the sides open for air flow. Hardwoods such as hickory, white oak, beech, sugar maple, and white ash burn longest, though dry firewood is more important than the species. Less dense woods like spruce or white pine burn well if sufficiently dry, but you’ll need to add more wood to your fire more often, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).
2. Burn firewood and only firewood! Crates, lumber, construction scraps, painted wood, or other treated wood releases chemicals into your home, compromising air quality. Log starters are fine for getting your wood fireplace going, but they burn very hot; generally only use one at a time.

3. Close the damper when not using your wood fireplace to prevent warm indoor air—and the dollars you’re spending to heat it—from rushing up the chimney.

4. Keep bifold glass doors open when burning a fire to allow heat to get into the room. On a factory-built, prefab wood fireplace with a circulating fan, keep doors closed to prevent unnecessary heat loss.

5. Have a chimney cap installed to prevent objects, rain, and snow from falling into your chimney, and to reduce downdrafts. Caps have side vents so smoke escapes. A chimney sweep usually provides and can install a stainless steel cap, which is better than a galvanized metal one because it won’t rust. Caps cost $50 to $200.

6. Replace a poorly sealing damper to prevent heat loss. A top-mounted damper that also functions as a rain cap provides a tighter closure than a traditional damper for your wood fireplace.

7. Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors in your house—near your wood fireplace as well as in bedroom areas.

8. Get your chimney cleaned twice a year if you burn more than three cords of wood annually. A cord is 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long, or the amount that would fill two full-size pickup trucks.

9. To burn a fire safely, build it slowly, adding more wood as it Keep the damper of your wood fireplace completely open to increase draw in the early stages. Burn the fire hot, at least occasionally—with the damper all the way open to help prevent smoke from lingering in the fireplace and creosote from developing.
Wendy Paris is a writer in New York currently living in a home with a very smoky fireplace that has set off the smoke detector more than once. After finishing this article, she decided to schedule a chimney sweep. She's written for This Old House magazine, as well as for The New York Times and Visit for more articles like this. Reprinted from with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.Read more:
For More information about homes for sale in Lakewood or Long Beach with Fireplaces … please visit or call 5652-882-1581


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Long Beach Realtor® Allison Van Wig Recommends Bixby Knolls’ First Fridays Festivities–November 5th

This information is provided compliments of Blair Cohn, Executive Director of The Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association.

Bixby Knolls’ First Fridays on November 5, 2010 is a celebration of anniversaries! We celebrate the 4th anniversary of First Fridays with a wide assortment of sights, sounds, and fabulous freaks as part of the celebration.

For a map and photo gallery of past events visit

Among the anniversaries … Bella Cosa gift shop celebrating its 1st anniversary and Pixie Toys/Vangie Ogg Photography celebrates a 2nd anniversary in Bixby Knolls with very special activities planned in the stores. In addition, turning 40 is BMX (Bicycle Moto Cross) which was born in Long Beach.

November is jam packed with: Book signings, BMX exhibit, sound art, vintage vinyl, belly dancing, ukuleles, Mike the Poet, 80s music, spoken word, Dixieland, live artists, music student recitals, photo booth, pirates, Timstrument, Bixby Rollerettes, spontaneous dancing, vintage patches, jazz, charcoal portraits, and the Knolls Ranger.

Councilmember James Johnson’s “First Books at First Fridays” at the Dana Branch Library will feature Mayor Foster reading children’s books beginning at 5:30pm. Enjoy light refreshments and balloon animals for the kids.

First Fridays blurs the lines between artist and attendee with the "interactive" elements now in place. Contribute to "Poetry Box" where you can submit a poem using Bixby Knolls as the inspiration.  This includes musings, rusings, reminiscing's, wives' tales, lore, mysteries, histories, stories, testimonies, confessions, and secrets.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring something to stick on the "Leave Something Behind" collage. Post a penny, photo, leaf, hair pin, cuff link, heirloom, or anything in your pocket to create a unique abstract collection.  Also, bring your creativity for our community art piece where you pick up the pen and draw, sign your name, or leave your mark.

Stop by the First Fridays Information Table from 6:30pm - 8pm, located on the northwest corner of Bixby & Atlantic Ave, where you'll find info about First Fridays, maps, business info, and restaurant recommendations.

When the businesses start to close, "First Fridays After Hours" begins.  Nino's Italian Restaurant will feature live artists, killer grooves and beats DJ TheeDopeShow & Mullato, for late night dining and beverages. The Factory also goes late into the night with food, drinks, and “Natalie’s Favorite Music Tracks.” Why go home early? Stay out late and continue the energy.
Dine on Art-Lantic Avenue at one of our tasty restaurants then grab the Big Red Bus that will transport you venue to venue from designated stops at the participating businesses.

For more information about living in Bixby Knolls and the real estate market in Long Beach just visit or use your smartphone to scan this tag. superbroker qrtag

For immediate information give me a call at 562-882-1581

Friday, October 29, 2010

Local Long Beach Realtor® SuperBroker Allison Van Wig Successfully Completes The Long Beach Bike Marathon

Sunday morning October 17th, 2010 began a little different than most of my busy weekends as a Realtor® in Long Beach and Lakewood California.

On this special day I was up at 4:30 a.m. as I began to get dressed for my ride in the Long Beach Bike Marathon. I gathered my water, snacks, helmet, etc. And like any good traveler, I double checked my bike’s tire pressure before I loaded it into the car.

First stop was to rendezvous with my niece Devon at her place … and from there we would both ride down to the start line of the marathon.2010-10-17_05-29-29_976 [1600x1200]

This was Devon’s first marathon and she was a little apprehensive but very excited. At 5:15 a.m. I called her on my cell phone ... “I’m downstairs are you coming?” She replied back … “But Allison, it's still dark outside!”

You see, we were riding our bikes through the streets of Long Beach before dawn and … in the dark? We had our bike lights on and needed to travel about four miles from Devon’s house in order to reach the start line of the race. 2010-10-17_06-01-33_677 [1600x1200]

I explained to Devon ‘I’m not worried as I know there will be others that will be joining us soon.’  Devon was surprised and relieved as we rode along toward the starting line because as we continued traveling along even more riders began to join us. She exclaimed … “Wow, All these people are up and riding in the dark!”

We reached the start line about 5:45 a.m. and stayed in the we needed to take it slow and steady because we don't want to be knocked down.

2010-10-17_06-02-22_13 [1600x1200]2010-10-17_06-02-31_797 [1600x1200]

The time had arrived … at 6:05 a.m. the race started and we were off to a good start ...we were with about 3000 other riders.

I think Devon was a little surprised as she expected a lot more racers … but most of the elite racers were up in the front. Back with us were the beach cruisers, the old bikes, and … some old riders.

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One lady who was in her 70’s and dressed all in pink, told us … “two hours and I'm done!”  I thought to myself, not bad for someone on a one speed beach cruiser.

All the pictures you see were taken with my Motorola Droid 2 cell phone WHILE RIDING ON THE BIKE … so some of my pictures may be a bit blurry.

What a great day, there was a slight drizzle and great views! We rode past the Queen Mary, the lighthouse, Shoreline Village and into Alamitos Heights and Los Altos as we rode past the pyramid at Cal State Long Beach.

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Devon stopped at an aide station and asked for some Advil … when they asked her what she suffered from, she told them … “A sore butt!”

After completing the first part of the 26.2 mile race course, we rode back down Ocean Blvd. toward the finish line where we proudly received our medals.

2010-10-17_09-41-07_603 [1600x1200]2010-10-17_09-41-37_900 [1600x1200]

What a great ride … what great riders. I am looking forward to next year and will see you next March 2011 for the Miller Children’s Hospital ride which is Thirty-One miles.

As I completed this challenge and reflected about going on this ride … it made me realize just how lucky we all are to live in such great area such as Long Beach and of course Lakewood California.

If you want more information about what Long Beach and Lakewood California has to offer just visit or give me a quick call at my office in Long Beach 562-882-1581 as I would love to visit with you about all that living in Southern California has to offer.

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superbroker qrtag

Friday, October 22, 2010

When Buying or Selling Real Estate, Why Are Home Inspections So Important?

Buying a new home is an exciting time in a person’s life. New buyers have prepared themselves with a house feature checklist and they have walked through dozens of houses, inspecting them before putting money in escrow and arranging financing. Before they close, they elected to have the property inspected by a third party – but how do they choose which house inspector or inspection company to use? Finding a certified home inspector is the answer.

Why is the home inspector such an integral part of the transaction and why are they such an expert?

Becoming a home inspector is a relatively straightforward process, dictated by the law of the state in which the inspector intends to operate. Becoming certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI), however, requires a solid commitment to ethical practices and a keen understanding of construction methods. Choosing a certified home inspector is well worth any added cost for the professional service you as the buyer will receive.

Every state requires that a home inspector either be licensed or registered with the state. State laws require that before offering their services that a home inspector receive minimum levels of education and sometimes actual field experience. Most states require that a home inspector pass the National Home Inspector Exam®, or a similar qualifying exam of the state’s own design.

Both ASHI or NAHI require that a home inspector pass a thorough series of coursework before becoming a certified member of either organization. These courses cover the details of home construction from top to bottom, focusing on roofs, plumbing, electrical systems, and structural components. Obtaining certification from either organization is a commitment of time and money on the part of the home inspector, with no guarantee that they will be able to pass the examination at the end of the coursework. Both organizations offer – and require – continuing education from their members to remain certified.

ASHI and NAHI have set high standards of competence for their members, and take certification very seriously as an emblem of quality for a home inspector.

How do you know which inspector to hire?

Before signing a contract with a home inspector, ask to see a sample of a report and make sure you understand what you will receive. Will the final report include pictures of problem areas? How detailed will the recommendations for corrective action be? Are cost estimates included if problems are found? An ethical, certified home inspector may recommend several contractors who are qualified to make repairs and give you cost estimates, but they will never suggest that they could do the work for you. A certified home inspector must remain objective and free of conflicts of interest.

Is there anything the seller can do to prevent problems?

As the home owner, you should do a bit of preparation in advance of a visit from a home inspector. Thoroughly clean the entire home – first impressions count. Remove any obstructions that might make it difficult for the inspector to observe your furnace or hot water heater.

The inspector may ask you a few questions during the inspection, especially if he observes significant changes that are significantly newer than the house.

Do not try to hide defects. This will only send up warning flags that you have something to hide.

For more information on buying or selling real estate or hiring a home inspector visit or call 562-882-1581

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Award Winning Homeowners Announced – 29th Annual Lakewood Beautiful Program

Beautiful Homes

Last April, I wrote about The Lakewood Beautiful awards program which honors Lakewood homeowners that go the extra mile to reflect a special “pride of ownership” in the homeowner’s property to maintain well-kept, beautiful homes and landscaping.

This program was founded 29 years ago by the late Jacqueline Rynerson. The Lakewood Beautiful program is a way to encourage and thank Lakewood residents who improve their homes and gardens. Studies have shown that home upkeep and beautification efforts by caring and committed residents keep crime rates low and property values healthy. Everyone in the community benefits from this.

As a Realtor® specializing in the Lakewood Mutuals area of Lakewood, I am honored to represent the many Lakewood sellers and buyers that I have been of service to during my career of over 22 years. I take great pride when showing property in this beautiful city which is why I choose Lakewood to start my real estate practice.

This year there were 262 homes nominated. The nominees were evaluated for property maintenance, landscape design and overall appearance. Awards were given in two categories. Twenty-nine homes received the top Distinguished Recognition award, and 86 homes received honorable mention.

To see photos of all 29 homes receiving the special Distinguished Recognition award go to

The Lakewood Beautiful Program’s primary sponsor for 2010 is the Water Replenishment District of Southern California. Other generous sponsors include City Light & Power, Inc., EDCO Waste Services, Gateway Business Bank, Lakewood Center, Lakewood Lions Club, Lakewood Pan American Association, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, Piazza Family Restaurants, R. F. Dickson Company, Southern California Edison, West Coast Arborists, and Willdan.

If you would like to find out how you can become a part of such a wonderful community CLICK HERE for an active live link to the MLS.

If you have any questions about living in Lakewood, just give me a call (562) 882-1581 or scan this tag with your smart phone. qrcode for superbroker


To get a Free Tag Reader, from your mobile browser go to

Monday, October 4, 2010

4019 Locust - Fabulous Home in Los Cerritos Area of Bixby in Long Beach CA

4019 Locust in Long Beach


Fabulous home located on a great street in the Los Cerritos area of Bixby near Virginia Country Club.

This unique property is located on more than a quarter acre of land. It is rare that properties of this size become available for sale. This two story home has a large living room with fireplace and built-ins.

Formal Dining Room Open Family Room with Fireplace

Formal dining area opens to a large family room with brick fireplace overlooking the backyard.

#7 Kitchen [1600x1200]

Gourmet kitchen has granite countertops, large island, two areas for refrigerators, double oven, and several food preparation areas.

The kitchen is open to the family room creating a spacious and airy room. Master suite is large with a sitting area and walk in closet. Master bath has a large shower and soaking tub. All bedrooms are good size.

The home has central air and heat, fresh interior paint, travertine tile, and newer carpet. Long driveway with a carport and a two car garage.

To view a virtual tour with panoramic view, visit then for more information about this home or any other home in the MLS visit … or call 562-882-1581.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

There Is A Lot Happening in Lakewood California

As a full-time Realtor® and to provide the BEST service possible to my Seller and Buyer Clients in Lakewood and neighboring Long Beach, California … I want to make sure that ALL RESIDENTS are aware of the various community related activities that are taking place.

Lakewood City Hall

There is something offered for everybody whether it be Volunteer work, finding a book bargain, After-School Activities, Fundraisers or Craft Festivals … in the near future … Lakewood California has it all!

Project Shepherd needs food donations … Donations are accepted at Burns Community Center at Lakewood City Hall 562-925-7512

After-School Activity ZONE is open … This is a FREE drop-in program for school age children, teens and pre-teens. The program is offered at Lakewood City parks Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information call 562-866-9771 ext 2408

Book Sale To Benefit Lakewood City Libraries … Low-priced used books will be available at the Friends of the Libraries sale on Saturday October 2nd from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. A discount bag sale follows from 2-3 p.m. All proceeds will support Lakewood’s two libraries. For more information visit or call 562-866-1777.

Fall Craft Festival to get Jump Start on the Holidays … This coming Saturday October 25th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lakewood Youth Center located at Woodruff and Arbor Road a variety of handmade items will be for sale at reasonable prices. For more information call the Weingart Sr. Center 562-630-6141.

Lakewood Sheriff’s Station to Host Goodwill Fundraiser …  The station is hosting a Goodwill collection event to raise funds for station programs and community events taking place this Sunday 9/26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Lakewood City Hall parking lot. For more information call 562-623-3699 - Deputies will be on site to tax your tax deductible donations.

Then For You House Hunters, There is Always Real Estate … For more information on how to get access to all the Real Estate listings in Lakewood and Long Beach visit or call me direct at 562-882-1581 … Allison Van Wig - Realtor®  … Serving Lakewood & Long Beach Residents for over 22 years.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beautiful Home In The Heart of The Lakewood Mutuals in Lakewood California


Welcome Home Beautiful Hardwood flooring, large open remodeled kitchen with breakfast bar and dining area. Great pantry and inside laundry room.

Large Open Remodeled Kitchen

Large Master Bedroom Walk In Closet

Large master suite with walk-in closet and private bathroom with a door that leads to the backyard.

Sunny Living Room with picture window Sunny living room with picture window.




Large Grassy Area Shady Patio

Great backyard with shady patio and large grassy area. Long driveway with a two car garage in the back.

This home offers both Central Air and Heating. So many nice amenities.

To view a virtual tour visit

For more information about this home or any other home on the MLS visit