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Five Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

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Written by: Leverne Brown

The countdown for hosting Thanksgiving Dinner is on! Are you ready? We know that planning and cooking for a huge crowd can be overwhelming. We have five tips that will help you prepare for an exciting meal with your loved ones. From the entire team at Guarantee, we want to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Set Your Table the Night Before
How many times have you actually set your table the night before Thanksgiving? Taking one thing off of your “to-do” list can relieve more stress than you can imagine. Here’s a bonus tip: If you have small children that are visiting, allow them to help set the table the night before. You can even make it into a family tradition by allowing them to pick the centerpiece or color scheme.

Use a Thermometer!
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service advises cooking turkeys until the thermometer reads 165°F; this is the “instant kill” temperature for any bacteria that might be present. Use a good digital probe thermometer to let you know when the turkey has reached temperature. For other cooking tips and instructions for turkey prep, visit the USDA website HERE. If you experience issues with cooking your turkey, feel free to reach out to the Butterball Hotline.

Order Your Desserts From a Local Bakery
It may sound shameful to serve store bought desserts at a family Thanksgiving feast. But just for a moment consider the time, cost, and preparation, that goes into all of that baking… Quality desserts can be purchased at local bakeries for the same amount you’d spend on the ingredients for baking your own desserts. Click HERE to order your pies at a local Marie Callender’s!

Serve a Buffet-Style Meal
Oh how wonderful it would be to display all of your dishes on the table, and to have Grandpa Joe carve the turkey right in front of everyone! But you’ve just spent hours cooking a beautiful meal for your guests to enjoy. Why not establish order and provide convenience to everyone? Consider serving your holiday dinner buffet-style. By doing so, your guests will have the opportunity to put what they want on their plates without having to pass a number of dishes around the table. The food will remain fresh and warm during the entire time!

Relax, Have Fun, and Be Thankful!
Although preparing a holiday feast can be stressful, don’t forget to relax and take some time for yourself before your company arrives. Oh!!! Don’t forget those classical holiday movies that you can watch while you cook. Click HERE for a complete list of holiday classics and show times. Click HERE for the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade channel guide.

Be sure to stock up on board games, uno cards, dominoes, trivia games, footballs, basketballs, softballs, etc. Remember the easel for a few rounds of pictionary during dessert! Make sure the person in charge of music and entertainment has a variety of activities for EVERYONE.

Most of all, don’t forget the real reason of the holiday. “Thanksgiving” is an expression of gratitude for family, friends, and loved ones that are dear to your heart. It’s a time of celebration and happy memories that can be shared for generations to come. Have fun and be THANKFUL!

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Leverne Brown

Guarantee Blog Writer

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Guarantee Sponsors Break the Barriers

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Guarantee Real Estate just announced a $1,000 sponsorship for Break the Barriers’ annual production of A Nutcracker Like No Other! Please continue reading to find out more.

About Break the Barriers
Almost 36 years ago, Break the Barriers (BTB) was established to celebrate awareness and victories of all abilities and disabilities. This organization educates the community in artistic expression, performing arts, and most important, it breaks barriers between people and groups by fulfilling acceptance and human interaction. Break the Barriers has made a significant impact locally and globally, and it has been recognized by the US Department of Education as a National Role Model for Inclusion.

How to Get Involved
On November 17, the performing arts division of BTB will host its annual production of A Nutcracker Like No Other. This year’s production will feature disabled veterans, giving them an opportunity to participate in the creative process and crew membership. Please help by clicking HERE to purchase a ticket to the show and other events that are produced by BTB.

The Guarantee Goodwill Network Fund is a donor-advised fund, established at the Central Valley Community Foundation, to encourage Guarantee employees to give back to the communities where they live and work.

Guarantee Home Safety Tips for Halloween

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Many children look forward to Halloween-The one day they can dress up and collect as many candy & treats their hands will allow. At Guarantee, we want all of our neighborhoods to enjoy the festivities of Halloween, but we want to encourage safety as well. Below are three important safety tips to keep top of mind when handing out treats this year.

Use Lots of Lights and Avoid Using Candles
A dark home can tell people you’re not expecting visitors. It could also be an accident waiting to happen. Be sure to keep the pathway from the street to your door well-lit. A glowing jack-o’-lantern makes your home warm and welcoming to children, but using a candle to illuminate a pumpkin can be dangerous. Costumes and paper decoration are easily flammable, so instead of using a candle, use fun light-up decorations that are battery operated.

Keep Your Walkway Clear
The fall season produces lots of leaves. Remember to sweep away dirt, leaves, and branches from your driveway or sidewalk. Trick-or-treaters are usually too preoccupied by counting their candy to pay close attention to where they’re walking, so it’s important to inspect your yard for hazards. Be sure your yard and walkways are free of water hoses, sprinklers, and loose gravel. If your home has an irrigation system, turn the system off so your lawn and walkways have a chance to dry.

Use Your Garage
The night before Halloween can be full of mischief, and the night of Halloween can lead to a yard full of kids. If your car is left outside of the garage, it can be a target for pranks, accidental dents and scratches. Be sure to park your car inside of your garage. If you don’t have a garage, try to park your car in a place with low traffic.

Have a safe and fun Halloween from your friends at Guarantee Real Estate!

And the Winner is Jolleen Ruiz!

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The Agents at Guarantee Real Estate-Willow & Nees participated in a contest to show off their love for Central California neighborhoods. What were the terms of the contest? The Associate who captures the most creative neighborhood video for social media wins!

Congratulations Jolleen Ruiz! Your hard work and creativity shows through your enthusiasm as a Sales Associate, and your love for family.

“When I first heard about the contest, I knew I wanted to create something that showed how much I love this community and what it means to me. There are so many amazing things here in Central California that we take for granted. I love to brag about my town and show off what makes Clovis the perfect town to raise a family. Winning the contest was just the icing on the cake for me.”

-Jolleen Ruiz, Realtor® at Guarantee Real Estate-Willow & Nees.

Guarantee Good Will Network Donates $76,500

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2015 check edit-01

Guarantee Real Estate along with its agents and employees combined their efforts and resources to donate over $76,500 to local non-profits in 2015.  The Guarantee Good Will Network (GGWN) charitable giving fund supports local organizations that provide safe shelter to people when they are in a time of need.  The Network also contributes to non-profits that offer services and facilities that are available to everyone in the community and make the Central Valley a more enjoyable place to live.  Since inception, the GGWN has contributed over $384,000 to local non-profits.

The organizations that received Guarantee Good Will Network donations in 2015 are:

Community Food Bank 18,937
Evangel Home 3,000
Rescue Mission 3,000
Hinds Hospice 3,000
Naomi’s House 3,000
Village of Hope 3,000
Ronald McDonald House 3,000
EOC Sanctuary Outreach to the Steeets 3,000
Sherriff’s Search & Rescue 2,500
Fresno Historical Society 2,500
Tree Fresno 2,500
Habitat for Humanity 2,250
American Red Cross 2,000
Rescue the Children 2,000
Storyland/Playland 2,000
Fresno Fire Chief’s Foundation 2,000
Terry’s House 2,000
Youth for Christ 1,500
Junior Company Foundation 1,500
Break the Barriers 1,500
Woodward Shakespeare Festival 1,400
Fresno Art Museum 1,200
Boys and Girls Clubs 1,000
Marjaree Mason Center 1,000
Angels of Grace Foster Family Agency 1,000
Breaking the Chains 1,000
Sierra Foothill Conservancy 1,000
MADD 1,000
Catholic Charities 1,000
StageWorks 1,000
Sequoia Council Boy Scouts 1,000
Fresno Filmworks 1,000

Boys and Girls Club Receive Guarantee Good Will Network Donation

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The Guarantee Good Will Network recently made a $1,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County.  The donation will support programs in Fresno, Clovis, Huron, Dinuba, Parlier, Madera, Sanger, Firebaugh, Orange Cove, Mendota, Del Rey, and Pinedale, where over 12,000 youth participate annually.
Clubs are open every day M-F after school when kids have free time and need positive and productive activities.   Core Boys and Girls Clubs programs engage young people in activities with adults, peers, and family members that enable them to reach their full potential. Clubs offer program activities in several areas: Good Character & Citizenship, Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, The Arts, Sports, Fitness & Recreation, and Technology.
Learn more about the programs the Boys and Girls Clubs offer or how you can get involved from their website, .

Marjaree Mason Center Receives Donation from Guarantee Good Will Network

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The Guarantee Good Will Network helped provide shelter to women and children who are victims of domestic violence by making a $2,000 to the Marjaree Mason Center (MMC).
The MMC operates 3 shelters in Fresno County.  The Emergency Shelter in Fresno provides 93 beds in 40 rooms.  Homeward Bound, is a transitional living center with 23 beds in Fresno that prepares women for independent living.  And the 18 bed home in Reedley provides both emergency & transitional living.  In addition to shelter, MMC also provides legal assistance, counseling, education, and 24 hour hotline support.
Marjaree Mason Center will be holding their annual Top Ten Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall.  If you’re interested in purchasing tickets to this fundraising event, call them at 487-1360.  Learn more about the important service MMC is doing in our community on their website,

Fresno/Clovis Home Buyers Paying More Than Asking Price

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It’s no secret that home prices in the Central Valley have been increasing at a rapid pace.  For the past 15 months there have been year-over-year increases in the median sales price.  With fewer homes on the market, home sellers have had the luxury of reviewing prices that homes in their neighborhood have recently sold for and then asking a little more for their home.
Rising home values have also been the result of properties receiving multiple offers with some willing to pay more than the listed price.  In June of this year, 38.8% of the offers for homes in Fresno and Clovis were for more than the seller was asking.  And an additional 20.9% of buyers were willing to pay what the seller wanted for their home.   Although many people consider bartering to be part of the home buying experience, in June 59.7% of Fresno/Clovis home buyers paid full price or more.
While one home buyer was willing to pay $154,875 for a home that was listed for $99,000; on the average home buyers who offered “over list price” paid 5.2% more than the list price for Fresno/Clovis homes this June.
Before making an offer, home buyers should be familiar with the asking prices of homes they can qualify to purchase.  They can ask their real estate agent to provide them with details about recently sold homes that have similar characteristics to the one they are interested in buying.  And buyers should be familiar with market trends, such as whether prices are increasing, or if multiple buyers means they should consider making an offer “over list price” on a home they truly love.

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