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