Wednesday, October 28, 2009

East Bay Realtor: Want to Buy a House in Berkeley for $1.? Here's your chance

Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, Real Estate Update:
Actually there are 2 houses for sale for one dollar each by the University of California.  What's the catch?  They are in very poor condition and you have to move them. Here's the story:
please visit my website at

Thursday, October 22, 2009

East Bay Realtor: Where the foreclosures Are!

East Bay Realtor: Another Reason to Live in Berkeley! Green Green Green

This is a latest press release from the City of Berkeley
Launch of Green Cities Website Designed to Expedite the Greening of America
Berkeley, California (Wednesday, October 21, 2009) - City of Berkeley efforts to reduce global warming emissions and save energy are highlighted and available for residents to review on an innovative environmental policy best practices website launched today.

The website was launched by Green Cities California (GCC), a collaborative of ten of California’s most environmentally progressive jurisdictions. In addition to the City of Berkeley, members of GCC include Los Angeles, Marin County, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, and Santa Monica.

The purpose of this website is to help cities across the U.S. design effective, cutting-edge environmental policy by learning from the experience of leading green cities like Berkeley. The site includes case studies of environmental legislation that will help policymakers across the nation avoid pitfalls and save time when working to increase energy efficiency, reduce solid waste, and promote sustainable transportation modes in the community.

Local government sustainability policies can have a profound and positive impact on environmental protection and quality of life in communities. For example, California experienced a dramatic drop in littered polystyrene on beaches due to the adoption of polystyrene bans by dozens of coastal jurisdictions in the state, including the City of Berkeley.

Berkeley FIRST, Berkeley’s much acclaimed solar financing program is cited on the GCC website. Already this program has been used as a model for policymakers throughout the country including spurring new legislation in California and at the Federal level.

As a central repository of green legislation, the GCC website will further stimulate local governments to be leaders in developing environmental policy. By sharing resources and policy ideas around sustainability, cities can learn from each other, encourage leadership and reduce redundancy. In addition, the website will allow local residents to learn about what policies other jurisdictions are enacting and advocate for similar green policies in their communities.

“Achieving significant reductions in global warming pollution requires that we share ideas across city boundaries and with other levels of government. GCC’s new website will help Berkeley to show what’s working here and to learn from other cities’ experiences as well,” said Timothy Burroughs, Climate Action Coordinator for the City of Berkeley.

The free Web site – created by local governments for local governments and their residents – provides everything policymakers and advocates need to implement new policies, including the policy document itself, staff reports, background research, legal analysis, and outreach and education materials. Almost 50 Best Practices, organized around the seven categories of the Urban Environmental Accords – Energy, Waste, Urban Design, Urban Nature, Transportation, Environmental Health and Water – can be accessed now at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Berkeley Real Estate Update: FREE Disaster supplies from Berkeley

This is a press release from the City of Berkeley.

Groups have more than 3 months to apply for equipment that includes portable generators, radio communications, fire hoses, and disaster first aid kits.
Berkeley, California (Tuesday, October 20, 2009) - Neighborhood and community organizations who are prepared to be self-sufficient in a major disaster can now apply to get free containers stocked with emergency response equipment from the City of Berkeley.

The Office of Emergency Services now has applications available for the 2010 Community Emergency Supply Program application. Measure GG passed in November of 2008 provided funding for a limited number of emergency supply caches to be awarded to neighborhoods or community organizations that show a high degree of preparedness and organization. The Community Emergency Supply Program has been supporting neighborhood organizations with supplies and training since 2003. There are currently 44 City-awarded disaster equipment caches distributed throughout the city.

“It is essential that every household, family, apartment tenant, neighborhood and community group be prepared to survive for five to seven days on their own, until utilities and services can be restored,” said Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong. “This program enhances disaster preparedness in the Berkeley community by giving direct support to neighborhoods and community organizations.”
The equipment that includes portable generators, fire suppression hoses and nozzles, disaster first aid kit, portable communication radios and other safety equipment.
Caches will be awarded based on several criteria, including geographical distribution across the City, the risk assessment of the neighborhood, and the level of neighborhood involvement in the Community Emergency Response Training program.
The 2010 Community Emergency Supply Program is accepting applications from October 17 through January 29, 2010. Applications can be picked up at the Fire Department Administrative Offices at 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 2nd Floor, Monday-Friday, 8-5 or online at

Monday, October 19, 2009

East Bay Real Estate Market Update: Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland, Piedmont, Richmond

Median Sale Price

Location ....3rd Q 2008 ..3rd Q 2009... % change

Albany .......$615,000... $552,000... -10.24%

Berkeley..... $750,000... $665,000. .-11.33%

El Cerrito.... $570,000... $535,000.. -6.14%

Kensington.. $830,000... $705,000.. -15.06%

Oakland all.. $310,000... $175,000.. -43.55%

Piedmont... $1,200,000.. $1,400,000 ..16.67%

Richmond All .$200,000.. $145,000 ....-27.50%

Average price /average change
.................$639,286... $596,714.... -13.88%

Number of Sales

Location 3rd Q 2008 ....3rd Q 2009 .....% change

Albany ......25 ...............24 .....................-4.00%

Berkeley... 136 .............111................... -18.38%

El Cerrito ...52 ...............49 .......................-5.77%

Kensington ..15.............. 17 .......................13.33%

Oakland all ..662.......... 832....................... 25.68%

Piedmont .....28.............. 21 ......................-25.00%

Richmond All 390......... 415....................... 6.41%

Total Sales / change in total sales
.................1,308......... 1,469...................... 12.31%

[Data is taken directly from the East Bay Regional Multiple Listing Service and is believed to be correct but cannot be guaranteed.]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

East Bay Real Estate Update: Open Homes for Sunday 10/18/09

A complete list of Open Homes in the East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Richmond, San Leandro Real Estate) has just been uploaded on to my website. Click the Sunday Open House Tab.  I'll be at 236 Pomona in El Cerrito from 2-4:30.  Come by and say hi!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How to Buy a REO!

If you want to learn about what it is like to buy an REO please watch this short educational video.  Yes it is full of humor and a bit over the top but it represents the experience many of us agents have who represent buyers.  It's a little dose of reality.  Watch, Enjoy, and then get ready to battle!

Please visit my website for more in depth information on this and many other real estate related subjects.
For a consultation, home valuation or other concerns please call 510-368-2854 or email me at

Monday, October 5, 2009

East Bay Real Estate Update: The Home Buyer Tax Credit

Word is out that Obama is behind extending the $8,000 home buyer tax credit.  This is toady according to White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs.  There also appears to be bipartisan support for this extention.  What does this mean to you?  Well, there is still no guarantee that the credit will be extended.  But the signs are hopeful that it will go at least until June 10th as the housing market is still considered to be an important piece in restarting our economy.  If you are considering selling a home, it would be to your advantage in many situations to get it on the market while this stimulus is still in play.  Likewise , if you are a buyer, this is a free $8000.  Also, the Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville and other East Bay real estate markets are turning.  Prices in most areas have stabelized and in many areas are showing an increase.  Don't delay too long or this window of opportunity will pass you by.  If you're one of the folks who in 2005 wished you had bought in 2003, well those days are back and the housing market will recover.  Do yourself a favor.  You'll be glad you did.
For more real estate related information as well as a complete MLS search for homes is availabe on my website: For a confidential consultation, home valuation, BPO or other real estate services please call 510-292-2029 or email

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Berkeley will be adding Parking Meters

But that ain't all!   They will also be increasing the rate by 25 cents, the fine by  5 dollars.  The city council agreed to approve installing over 400 new meters along San Pablo Ave from Albany to Oakland.  At least the hours of operation will remain the same, unlike Oakland who extended its metered hours till 8PM

Free! Flu clinic to be held in Berkeley on Tuesday

This report is taken from the Oakland Tribune and written by Kristin Bender

BERKELEY — Berkeley's Public Health Department is holding a free seasonal flu clinic Tuesday.
The clinic will have standard seasonal flu shots available for anyone 6 months and older and the FluMist nasal vaccine available for all healthy people between ages 2 and 49.
Every year, the flu sends 20,000 children to the hospital and is the cause of death for more than 4,000 Californians, statistics show. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that every child between ages 6 months and 18 years be vaccinated for the seasonal flu, except those with a serious egg allergy.
Last year, the Berkeley Public Health Department gave free vaccines to nearly 1,400 community members, said acting Public Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman. The department will be prepared to give at least 2,000 vaccines this season.
The clinic is from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Berkeley Adult School, 1701 San Pablo Ave. Seniors who need special assistance should enter on Curtis Street. For more information, call 510-981-5300.
To speed up your visit, download an intake form from Print the form,fill it out and bring it with you. Forms also will be available at the flu clinic.
Vaccines for the H1N1 virus are not yet available and will not be provided at this clinic.

Please visit my website:
For confidential consultation, home valuation or Broker's Price Opinion call me at 510-292-2029 or email me at