Saturday, December 18, 2010

East Bay Open Homes for Sunday, 12/19/2010, Now Posted!

Its that time of the week you've been waiting for, when I post  Open Homes for Sunday 12/19/2010 covering the entire East Bay and including Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, El Cerrito, Walnut Creek and more.  As we near the holiday season the number of homes being actively marketed dips considerably.  Nevertheless we have over 150 properties to look at.  This is one of the greatest times ever to purchase a home.  We have seen signs lately of the inevitable rise in rates. Economic news has been favorable and the extension of tax cuts should provide extra stimulous to the economy.  The rising of rates will most likely bring many of the buyers who have been sitting on the fence back in to the market as they begin to think, and rightly so, that the worse is over and that as time goes on it will only become more difficult to purchase a property. Even if property values stagnate in the short term an increase in rates will decrease the individual's buying power.
Please CLICK HERE to see the most complete lists of open houses in the East Bay for Sunday, December 19, 2010. and please remember to check back her often for real estate related news on a very local level.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mortgage Rates Up or Down?

Mortgage rates took a large hike yesterday and have come down a bit today.  It is important to keep an eye on rates becasue they will tend to respond to economic news.  In general good news makes higher rates. Higher rates make houses more expensive to buy because even though the price of the house may not rise, because most of us need a mortgage, when rates rise our buying power declines.

 For those who are waiting for the market to bottom out my opinion is that you are already too late.  Rates are going up and home prices are unlikely to decline a whole lot more. I think there will be a rush of buyers this spring as the public begins to figure out that they miss the boat entirely as rates go up...which they will.  You can take that opinion to the bank!

East Bay Sewer lateral ordinance update

Many East Bay Communities already have a point of sale ordinance that requires inspection and in many cases replacement of the sewer lateral when the property is sold. Berkeley, Richmond, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington already have these ordinances.  EBMUD is the latest to join in. Two of the communities affected will be Oakland, Emeryville.   The Original start date for the ordinance was for properties that went into escrow starting January 2011.
Per a discussion with EBMUD that is no longer the established start date.
A new date will be determined by the end of December.
You can monitor updates  by going directly to the EBMUD website. The site also explains the ordinance,

And don't forget to check out my website,, for market stats, property searches, open houses, neighborhood videos (my favorite), and more.  If you need a property valuation, comparative market analysis, help buying or selling a home please call or email me:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Open Houses for Berkeley, Oakland, Albany and other East Bay Cities for Sunday, 12/12/2010

Happy house hunting!  I just posted the new list of open homes for Sunday, December 12, 2010 on my website.  This link will take you there CLICK HERE.  If for some reason it fails to work please go directly to my website, and select the Open Homes tab on the left of the web page. I have posted the most complete lists of open houses that you will find anywhere on the web.  It covers all of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties including: Alameda, Albany, Alamo, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Richmond, Oakland, LaMorinda, Piedmont, Walnut Creek, San Leandro and more. Please check in regularly as I update the website often.  While you are there check out the new neighborhood videos and the updated neighborhood market stats.  Let me know what features are working for you and how best I can improve my service.  You never need to register to use the features (including a great property search function).  It looks like the weather on Sunday is going to be fantastic.  Enjoy the open houses and have a great weekend.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

East Bay Sunday Open Houses Now Posted for 12/05/2010

There is a little more to look at this week as sellers try to get theri properties sold before the winter holidays take everyone's attention and money. East Bay Sunday Open Homes is a list that includes open houses in Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland, Piedmont and more. I have over 340 posted this week up from  the paltry 96 open over Thanksgiving weekend.  This might be a good time to put in an offer as activity is low and sellers get anxious. This spring will be a big season for buyers which should drive prices up. Well, at least we will see rates going up and that should signal to folks that they've missed the bottom of the market (by the way, the market hit bottom in most areas in 2009)  and if they want to save money they should get in now.  To see the list of Open Houses you have to go to my website,  and click on the Open Homes Tab on the left of the page, or simply  Click Here.  I wish you lots of luck and fun in finding the perfect home. And if you need anything real estate related such as a home valuation, resources, price opinion, a search for a particular property please feel free to ask. This is my job and I enjoy being helpful.  (, 510-368-2854)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

East Bay Real Estate Market Data Now Posted

I just posted market data for Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Kensington, LaMorinda, Oakland, and Piedmont on my website  This is comparative data that shows month by month for the past 2 years what the market activity was.  You can see trends, highs and lows.  Take particular note for Median Price, days on market and months supply of inventory.  Its pretty clear from this data that even though we're having a dip in prices and sales activity in many areas currently, the bottom of the market hit most areas in 2009, typically in the spring, and it will take quite a drop to match these lows.   This link (click here) will take you to the city of Berkeley to give an example of the charts.  there are 21 pages posted for each area so look at them carefully.   If you are buying a home or selling a homee you wiall want to look at this market data.  I have select zip codes posted as well if you want a more acurate picture of your area.  Look for prices, sales and interest rates to pick up this spring.  we are looking forward to a brisk market.   If you have been on the fence about buying I'd seriously consider getting off and taking action.  The economy is picking up and as it does rates will increase.  If you want to request a report for your area and it isn't posted just drop me an email and I'll get it to you as quickly as I can

Monday, November 29, 2010

Home ownership getting harder

Home ownership may be falling out of reach for more Americans as lenders toughen their standards for Federal Housing Administration-insured loans beyond what agency itself requires. Mortgage lenders including Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank America Corp., the two largest, have raised the minimum credit score on FHA-i loans that they will buy to 640 from 620. About 6.3 million people fall within th range, according to FICO, which created the formula for the ratings. To read the entire article, please visit :

Saturday, November 27, 2010

East Bay Open Houses for sunday 11/28/10 Now posted!

There is not much to look at this week.  Only 96 East Bay Open Homes for Sunday 11/28/10 posted for this week. I guess everyone is taking the weekend off.  Might be a good time to put in an offer as activity is low and sellers get anxious. To see the list of Open Houses you have to go to my website, and click on the Open Homes Tab on the left of the page, or simply  Click Here.  I hope you had a wonderful Thanskgiving and wish you lots of luck and fun in finding the perfect home.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Open Houses for 11/21/2010 Now Posted for The East Bay

Over 325 Open Homes, Open Houses, for the East Bay (Albany, Alameda, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Oakland, Walnut Creek, Piedmont, Orinda and more), for Sunday 11/21, are now posted on my website Click Here.  Or go to my website and find the tab on the left.  This is the most complete list available.  Please feel free to use it, download it, whatever. There is never a requirement to register on my website,, and there are lots of reasons to use it. You can do your own home search, search for REo;s. Fixers, Short Sales, Luxury Homes etc. learn about local neighborhoods, or my favorite--view videos of some of the East Bay neighborhoods (right now we have 9 neighborhood videos posted including Rockridge, Tesmescal, Gourmet Ghetto, Piedmont, Oceanview,Thousand Oaks...). I hope this list is useful to you.  I also have copies of the Ad Review available but need your email if you want to receive it. It may have some open houses that are not on my list.  Conversely there are many on my list that are not listed on the Ad Review.  You can also get information from ther Hills Newspapers, the Sunday Chronicle,  By the way I do not share contact information and do not spam people.  Happy Home Hunting!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mortgage Rates Climbed Again 11/15/2010

Mortgage Rates climbed again, as retail sales figures came in much higher than expected. Keep in mind that signs of an improving economy usually send rates upward, as a strong economy could trigger inflation and Fed "tightening" (rate increases).  Retail sales figures are very important because our economy is so driven by consumer spending, and retail sales are a great indicator of consumer spending. Rates today are hovering around 4.25% with one point.

I want to point out that the election is over and my prediction that rates would stay low until that time was accurate.  Now, with signs of an improving economy its only a matter of time before they go up.  There will not be a better time to purchase a house than now!  510-368-2854

Saturday, November 13, 2010

East Bay Open Homes (houses) for Sunday 11/14/2010 Now Posted

Good morning! I just posted open homes information for 419 houses for sale in the East Bay.  This includes the communitites of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Hercules, Pinole, Oakland, Piedmont, WalnutCreek, Lafayette, Moraga and most cities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Click Here to go to the exact spot on my web page or click on my picture and scroll down on the left side of the page to where it reads Open Homes.  Houses are sorted by city.  Information includes address, cross street, price, and size.  If you need any help please feel free to email me at or call my cell 510-368-2854.  Have a great weekend and Happy Home Hunting.

Great information on Real Estate related items is available at my website

Friday, November 12, 2010

New East Bay Neighborhood Videos!! (Berkeley, Oakland, El Cerrito)

I am so excited about this project!  My company, Red Oak Realty, has taken on the task of shooting various neighborhoods in the East Bay and giving the public a feel for the specific neighborhood in a 60 second video.  We have 9 right now ready for you to view at Click Here!!  or cut and paste into your browser.  At this time we have Downtown Oakland, the Gourmet Ghetto, Thousand Oaks, El Cerrito, Oceanview, Rockridge, Temescal, The Elmwood, and Piedmont.  Check them out and give us your feedback.  We plan on doing many more neighborhoods.   If you are new to the area and want to see more about what's going on this is a great place to start.  If you live in the area, you might want to see how well we've done.  You might even see yourself! Give us feedback.
And if you need a great realtor or real estate related services please check out my website or give me a call 510-368-2854.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How do Mortgage Lates, Short sales, Foreclosures, and Bankruptcies affect your credit?

What I'm listing below is not necessarily the gospel truth.  I haven't been able to get an exact formula and the more people you talk to the more you'll get different answers to the above question, "How do mortgage lates, short sales, foreclosures, and bankruptcies affect your credit?"
Mortgage Late Payments
  • Credit score can drop from 100-180 points
  • other credit interest rates could be affected (credit cards, equity lines)
  • No new mortgage for 12-24 months depending on circumstances

Short Sales
  • Credit score can drop from 180-250 points
  • Other credit interest rates could be affected
  • No new mortgage for a minimum of 2 years depending on circumstances

  • Credit score can drop from 180-250 ppoints
  • Other credit interest rates could be affected
  • No new mortgage for 3-7 years depending on circumstances
  • Will need minimum of 680 credit score and 10% down on next purchase

  • Credit score can drop 200-300 points
  • Other credit interest rates could be affected.
  • No new mortgage for 2-4 years depending on circumstance and type of bankruptsy

The above information is not a rule, not a law and only meant to be used as a general guideline.  I hope it is useful. You can get more thorough and complete information from a credit counselor.
But if you need information about buying or selling a home in the East Bay please check out my website:, or email me, or call 510-368-2854.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

East Bay Open Homes for 11/07/2010 Now Posted

Well its Saturday morning again, and I've just posted all the Open Homes I could find in the East Bay on my website, From Alameda, Alamo, Albany, Berkeley, and El Cerrito to Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga and Walnut Creek I have posted over 450 East Bay Open Homes for 11/07/2010. The easiest way to get to this part of my website is to CLICK HERE. If the link doesn't work go to and click on the OPEN HOMES tab on the left side of the page. 

There is no need to register to use the tools on my website and there are many to use.  Do your own home searches.  Find open homes. Explore East Bay Neighborhoods. See Real Estate Market updates for Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington and Emeryville. Calculate monthly payments using the mortgage calculator and more.
And if you need a great realtor please consider interviewing me for the job! 510-368-2854.  Happy Home Hunting!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

East Bay Residential Real Estate Market Reports Now available!

I just now posted on my website statistics for the following areas:  Berkeley (city as a whole, flats, hills), Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Emeryville, Oakland (entire city only), Piedmont (Click Here to See stats).  If you are planning on buying a home or selling a home in any of these areas this information is a must.  Once you start looking at this data you will probably see that now, more than ever, the need for consulting with a great realtor as the markets are many and they are difficult to read. Please call me: 510-368-2854, email me:, or visit my website, for more information.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Attention Home Buyers! 377 Open Homes in the East Bay for 10/21/2010 Now Posted

Every Saturday I try to post as many of the East Bay Open Homes as I can find.  Unfortunately there are some realtors who make it difficult by not advertising their opens.  I'm doing my best for you by posting what I can find.  This week I've found 377 Open Homes in the East Bay for Sunday 10/31/2010.  The complete list is on my website CLICK HERE. You can search with anonymity.  I hope you'll find it useful. I have the open houses sorted alphabetically by City.  The list includes address, cross street, thomas brothers map coordinates, price, size, number of beds and baths, and type of property ie. condo, detached, duplex etc. and if you need a great realtor I'd love to interview for the job!  Have a great weekend. By the Way, If you are in Berkeley on Sunday for Halloween, Russell Street near College Ave. is worth checking out! And don't forget to check out my website:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

East Bay Open Homes for 10/24/2010 now posted

I have just posted open homes for the East Bay for Sunday 10/24/2010 on my website. There are over 400  open houses in cities such as Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, Kensington, El Cerrito, Walnut Creek and more listed on the site and sorted alphabetically by city, with information such as prices, cross streets, Thomas Brothers map coordinates and more.  Click Here to get the info directly or go to and click on Open Homes. Search with anonymity.  Email me if you need assistance.  Happy Hunting!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Central and South Berkeley Real Estate Report, October, 2010

We are solidly into the 2nd half of the home buying/selling season. And from all accounts it appears to be anything but robust. If you are looking to purchase a home or investment property in South or Central Berkeley there may never be a better time. We know that interest rates are low and will stay that way at least until the elections in November. And inventory is higher than it has been for quite a while. And most importantly, there are fewer committed buyers out there right now.  (I think most buyers are not sensing any kind of urgency.) These three facts represent a strong buyers market, perhaps for the first time in South and Central Berkeley.

Our area has shown tremendous resilience throughout this economic downturn. Nevertheless, expect prices to drop a bit even more as we enter the fourth quarter. Remember you heard it here first.

Over the past few years we have helped many individuals with trust sales, probates, short sales, home loan modifications, reverse mortgages, property valuations and more. If you need help please feel free to give me a call. I live in the neighborhood and am happy to offer my assistance.

Address             Type      Bedrooms Baths      List Price     Sold Price      Days
2550 Dana St    Condo        1 1                     $280,000     $280,000       36
3113 Shattuck   Condo        1 1                      $319,500     $319,500      44
2628 Telegraph. Condo       2 2                      $579,000      $588,000     5
1314 Harmon    Detached    2 1                      $234,900      $245,000    26
1723 Derby St   Detached    2 1                     $449,900      $429,000     62
1631 Allston     Detached     2 1                     $449,000      $450,000      15
2909 Dohr St    Detached     2 1                    $449,000      $450,000       8
2722 Acton St   Detached    2 1                     $465,000      $465,000     16
1625 Tyler St    Detached     2 1                     $509,000      $535,000     14
2611 Mabel St Detached     2 2                      $549,000      $554,000     24
1209 Parker     Detached     2 1                     $599,000       $579,000     22
1534 Dwight     Detached     2 1                     $550,000       $590,000     12
1526 Julia St     Detached     3 1                      $250,000      $225,000     25
2751 Park St     Detached    3 2                      $288,666      $300,000     11
2759 Dohr St    Detached    3 2                      $499,000      $530,000     12
1542 Blake St.   Detached    3 2                       $549,000    $555,000     19
2229 Blake St    Detached    3 1                      $625,000     $650,000      7
1807 Blake St   Detached     3 1                      $619,000     $660,000      9
2730 Milvia St   Detached     3 2                      $699,000      $720,000    14

I’m always walking the streets of south and Central Berkeley with my daughter, my wife, and our dogs. If you see me please say “Hi.” – I promise to say “Hi” back!

For more information about the real estate markets in the Easst Bay please check out my website.

If you want to find out whatt your home is worth in todays market feel free to call or email me for a home valuation., 5100-368-2854.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How to avoid prying eyes while surfing the internet!

Every once in a while I post something that is not related to Real Estate or living in the East Bay. This is one of those times. So if you just want real estate, or neighborhood information about Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville or other East Bay communities this particular post is not the one for you.

This article should be read by everyone who uses the Internet. We're always hearing about how "private info got leaked on FaceBook or some other website. but most of us are not aware that profiles of our online behavior are being created while we surf the web. The article below addresses this and gives strategies for keeping our online selves private. Much thanks to Jennifer Valentino-Devries for the article.

How to Avoid the Prying Eyes
The Internet is rife with surveillance technology,By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES
Visitors to almost every major website are tracked online, a Journal investigation has found. But there are ways to limit the snooping.
Step by Step
Almost every major website you visit is tracking your online activity. Here's a step-by-step guide to fending off trackers.
Web browsing activity is tracked by use of "cookies," "beacons" and "Flash cookies," small computer files or software programs installed on a user's computer by the Web pages that are visited. Some are useful. But a subset ("third party" cookies and beacons) are used by companies to track users from site to site and build a database of their online activities.
Simple Steps
Major browsers including Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer, Mozilla Foundation's Firefox, Google Inc.'s Chrome and Apple Inc.'s Safari, have privacy features. To have the most privacy options, upgrade to the latest version of the browser you use.
Check and delete cookies: All popular browsers let users view and delete cookies installed on their computer. Methods vary by browser.
Dig Deeper
The Web's New Gold Mine: Your Secrets
Personal Details Exposed Via Biggest U.S. Websites
The Journal's Methodology
What They Know About You
Digits: Your Questions on Digital Privacy
Digits: Analyzing What You Have Typed
Digits: Lawsuit Tackles Files That 'Re-Spawn' Cookies
Full Coverage:
For instance on Internet Explorer 8 (the most widely used browser), go to the "Tools" menu, pull down to "Internet Options" and under the "General" tab there are options for deleting some or all cookies. There might be hundreds, so deleting all might be easiest. But the next time you visit a favorite site, you may need to retype passwords or other login data previously stored automatically by one of those cookies.
For guides for all major browsers, go to
Adjust Browser Settings: Once you've deleted cookies, you can limit the installation of new ones. Major browsers let you accept some cookies and block others. To maintain logins and settings for sites you visit regularly, but limit tracking, block "third-party" cookies. Safari automatically does this; other browsers must be set manually.
There are downsides to blocking all cookies. If you frequent sites that require logins, you will have to log in each time you visit.

WSJ's Jennifer Valentino-DeVries offers some advice on how to avoid prying eyes online. Plus, consumer spending data released Tuesday shows that Americans are spending more on electronics like iPads and flatscreen TVs. WSJ's Emmeline Zhao joins Simon Constable on Digits to talk about why Americans love electronics.
Internet Explorer lets you set rules for blocking cookies based on the policies of the cookie-placer. One option blocks cookies that don't include a privacy policy; another blocks cookies that can save your contact information without your approval. The control is under "Tools/Internet Options/Privacy."
No major browsers let you track or block beacons without installing extra software known as "plug-ins," as described under advanced steps.
Turn On "Private" Browsing: All major browsers offer a "private browsing" mode to limit cookies. Chrome calls it "Incognito." Internet Explorer calls it "InPrivate Browsing," but this option is available only in the latest version, IE8.
Private browsing doesn't block cookies. It deletes cookies each time you close the browser or turn off private browsing, effectively hiding your history.
Private browsing isn't selective. It deletes all cookies, whether useful or not. So you might want to use private browsing selectively, such as when looking at health-related information.
Monitor "Flash Cookies": Another kind of cookie uses Adobe Systems Inc.'s popular Flash program to save information on your computer. Flash is the most common way to show video online. As with regular cookies, Flash cookies can be useful for remembering preferences, such as volume settings for videos. But marketers also can use Flash cookies to track what you do online.
To identify the Flash cookies on your computer and adjust your settings, you need to go to an Adobe website: You can delete Flash cookies stored on your computer and specify whether you want to accept future third-party Flash cookies.
The downside of blocking third-party Flash cookies: Some sites won't let you watch videos or other content.
Advanced Steps
Install Privacy "Plug-ins": Small programs called "add-ons" or "plug-ins" can help maintain privacy. Some let you monitor trackers that can't be seen through the browser; others allow you to delete cookies on a regular schedule.
Not all browsers can use all plug-ins. And some plug-ins can be tricky to set up. With those caveats, some plug-ins may be worth a look:
Abine: Developed by a Cambridge, Mass., start-up of the same name, it attempts to control several types of trackers. Once installed, the program will warn you when a site is placing cookies or Flash cookies on your machine. You can also see and block a third type of tracker called a Web "beacon" (sometimes called a "bug"). This is an invisible object embedded in a page that can interact with cookies. It's available only in "test" versions, so this is only for people who don't mind experimenting a bit with software. For Firefox, go to For Internet Explorer, users need to request an invitation at
Better Privacy: This plug-in offers control over Flash cookies. It doesn't block them, but lets you set rules for deleting them—a distinction that can be helpful if you frequent sites that require you to use third-party Flash cookies to see their content. Better Privacy (available only for Firefox) is at
Ghostery: Available at, it helps control beacons. It alerts you when there's a beacon on a page you're viewing, tells you who placed it and details the company's privacy policy. With Internet Explorer or Firefox, you can then block the beacon from capturing information on your computer. That feature isn't available for Chrome.
Controlling Ads
Users troubled by targeted advertising can block or limit the ads being shown. Note: These tools don't necessarily restrict tracking. Some ad networks may still collect data on your browsing behavior and share it with others, even if you instruct them not to show you targeted ads.
The Network Advertising Initiative, an industry group of marketing companies, lets computer users opt out of targeted ads from about 50 ad networks at
If you opt out, you won't be shown ads tied to your browsing behavior from the member networks. But you'll still see ads, which may be placed based on criteria such as your location.
PrivacyChoice LLC, an independent group, maintains a Web site ( that covers 152 ad networks. You can opt out of most by clicking a button there. For some, you'll need to download a plug-in, but it works only with Firefox.
Ironically, these opt-out systems work by installing a cookie on your computer. That cookie tells ad networks to stop sending targeted ads to your computer. Because these systems rely on a cookie to work, you'll need to opt out all over again any time you delete cookies from your machine.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Complete List Of Sunday Open Homes Now Posted for 10/17/10 East Bay

Open Homes for Sunday October 17, 2010 in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, Piedmont, Kensington, Alameda, Emeryville and all East bay communities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties are now posted on my website CLICK HERE.  And check back often for Real Estate News and Updates affecting the East Bay.

For Neighborhood and Real Estate Information Check back often and check out my website
For Home Valuations, Short sale information, property searches and more.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Open Homes for sunday 10/10/2010 Now Posted

Open Homes for Sunday October 10, 2010 in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, Piedmont, Kensington, Alameda, Emeryville and all East bay communities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties are now posted on my website CLICK HERE.  And check back often for Real Estate News and Updates affecting the East Bay.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sunday Open Homes Now Posted!

Over 600 East Bay open homes are now posted on my website,  If you are planning on buying a home in the east bay or if you are planning on selling a home in  the east bay this information should prove valuable to you. Go to my website, and click the Open Homes tab. Or you can simply click here. Open homes include all East Bay communities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties including, Berkeley, Oakland, Orinda, El Cerrito, Piedmont as far north as Crocket and as far south as Newark.  The list contains Thomas Brothers map coordinates, list price, type of building, number of beds and baths, cross streets, square footage and more.  If you are selling a home see what the competition is doing.  If you are buying a home use this weekly guide to help you find the perfect place.  If you need a great realtor, call me: 510-368-2854 or email if you prefer:

Real Estate Sales Statistics for September 2010 Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, Oakland and Piedmont Posted

I just posted sales graphs for Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, Kensington and Piedmont on my website. Each posting is about 20 pages and contains comparative data for the previous year for median sales price, sales price vs list price, months of inventory, average days on market and more.  I intend to post Emeryville and El Cerrito as soon as I have a chance.  In the meantime you can get a lot of info by visiting and then clicking the "Market Update" tabs.  Or you can simply click here. If you are planning to buy or sell a home in the communities of berkeley, Oakland, Albany, Piedmont Kensington or other parts of the East Bay it is important that you have this data.  You always want to be ahead of the curve when you are pricing a property whether to buy or sell. Please come back often as real the markets are volitile right now and information changes daily.  If you would like a chart for your particular zip code or MLS area plese let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Short Sale Bill signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger

I want to let you know that Gov. Schwarzenegger just signed the attached bill into law, which prohibits deficiency judgments on first deed of trust on residential property (4 units or less), where the property is sold through a short sale.

The law hasn't allowed deficiency judgments on foreclosure sales (ie., lender can't recover from the borrower the difference between the amount owing on the loan and the amount the lender recovered from selling the property) since the 1930s, but that wasn't the case with short sales (unless the borrowers negotiated a deal otherwise with the lender) until now.  With this new law, a lender cannot recover a deficiency judgment following a short sale.  However, this protection only applies to natural persons (individuals, not corporations), and only applies on first trust deeds.

If you are interested in selling your house please contact me.  If your home is underwater and you are considering a short sale, contact me.  If you are thinking about pursuing a loan modification, contact me. If you are thinking about buying a home in the East bay, now is a very good time. Rates are low. Lots of inventory keeping prices down.  Check out my web site for a great search engine and searches already set up for you.  In the meantime, have a great day and enjoy what you have.  Everything passes, everything changes. ...including you and me

Saturday, September 25, 2010

East Bay Open Homes (Houses) now available on my website

Over 600 Open house in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, Kensington, El Cerrito and other parts of the East Bay, Alameda and Contra Costa counties for sunday September 26, 2010 are now posted on my website;
check them out and come back often!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sunday Open Homes for 9/19/2010

Over 300 Open Homes in the East Bay communities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, Castro Valley, Kensington and more posted on my website each week . Click here for properties open on Sunday 9/19/2010, sorted by city.
Plese visit here often for real estate and neighborhood information.  Visit my website, for lots more information, property searches, REO's , short sales, fixers,  luxury homes, income property and more. Search with anonymity! And please let me knw if you need my assistance:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gas Line in Berkeley CA.

I've been getting some requests for finding a map that shows the gas lines in Berkeley.  So far, this is what I've been able to come up with.  It appears that there is a hazardous gas line that runs along the Pacific Union Rail Road right of way along Aquatic Park.  The PG&E natural gas line appears to run down 7th street/6th street.  Here's the link: Click Here
Also you can search yourself for whatever city you are interested in at this site: Click Here

Please check out my website for more neighborhood and real estate realted information.
and if you need a property valuation, shortsale or loan modification information, neighborhood information please feel free to email or call.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/12/2010 Sunday Open Homes For Sale in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, East Bay

Now posted on my website over 400 Open Homes in the East Bay, featuring Berkeley, Oakland, El Cerrito, Albany, Emeryville, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Richmond amd many other East Bay Communities.  Click Here.  This list is sorted by city, features address, price, Thomas Brothers Map coordinates, square footage, numbers of bedrooms, number of bathrooms and lot size. Check here every Sunday morning for the most updated and complete list of east bay Open Homes for sale.

And for lots of real estate information, including neighborhoods, statisitics, property searches, please check out my website.  You can register if you wish but if not then you can use it all you want with anonymity.  I am happy to be of help.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Buying a Foreclosure (foreclosed home) in Berkeley Ca.

There are basically three different ways to buy foreclosed properties in Berkeley, Oakland or really anywhere for that matter. There is the Trustee Sale.  This is the actual foreclosure sale.  It usually takes place on the courthouse steps and at this sale there is an opening bid and an auction.  These are not for the faint of heart.  Usually you are bidding against investors who do this for a living.  You are not afforded the same kind of protection that you get in a more normal sale that has an escrow process.  At the steps you bring your money and you buy as -is.  If there are clouds on the title...they are now yours. If there are problems with the foundation they are now yours.  If there are uncooperative tenants, they are now yours, etc.  Even the pros get burned from time to time. So, if you want to do this please go a few times and see how its done.  Research the property you are interested in, do a title search etc. Go prepared.

There are also preforeclosure sales.   These are typically Short Sales.  Where a homeowner is carrying a mortgage for more than the property is worth.  In order to sell the home the owner is required to pay off the mortgage at the close of escrow which means bringing in a large sum of money not covered by the sale.  So the owner needs permission from his lender to come in short.  The lender is then expected to eat the loss which in many cases is cheaper and quicker than going through the foreclosure process.  These properties are often a bargain but you pay for them in the length of time it takes to complete them.  If you are willing to wait and take the chance that the lender may not approve the sale this is a great way to buy a a home at a discount.

There are also post foreclosures.  These are known as REOs (Real Estate Owned) which refers to how banks name these products.  These are the homes that are not bought at the Trustee Sale on the courthouse steps and are now part of the bank's portfolio.  They are often but not always run down and lack curb appeal as they are usually listed as-is.  Sometimes a good cleaning and a coat of paint makes them very happy. Again these are often baragin properties.

In my practice I work with Short Sales (buyers and sellers) ( Click here to perform a short sales search)  and REO's (buyers only) (Click Here to do a search of available REOs) throughout the East Bay but primarily closer in, in communities such as Berkeley, Oakland, El Cerrito, Albany etc.  but I stay away from the courthouse steps.  If you want more information or to do a search on REO's and Short sales please chekc out my website

Open Homes for Sale 9/5/2010

Open Homes for Sale in Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, Emeryville, El Cerrito, Kensington and other parts of the East Bay for Sunday 9/5/2010 are now posted on my website CLICK HERE for list of Sunday Open Homes for Sale.  You can also click here for a list of Sunday Open Homes that are listed on the MLS.  and narrow down your search by price, location and size.  Happy Hunting!

And please remember, that if you need help with any real estate related need, you may be able to find the resource you need on my website, or, if not please call or email me  I am happy to help.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Buying or Selling a Home in Berkeley or South Berkeley? Sales statistics now posted

I just posted on my website home sale statistics for August in Berkeley as a whole as well as for zip codes 94702 and 94703.  If you are interested in looking at this data please check it out by clicking here. If you are buying or selling a home in Berkeley you'll want to use these statstics to better price your home or set a price for your offer. I'll be posting more stats as I have time.  And if I can be of further service please feel free to call, email or text.  There is a ton of  valuable information on my website

Monday, August 30, 2010


The following is a word for word copy of a City of Berkeley Press Release

City of Berkeley sponsors L.O.L. comedy at bargain rates
Berkeley, California (Monday, August 30, 2010) - Laugh out loud with some of the funniest Bay Area comedians in this seasonal event sponsored by City of Berkeley Recreation. Headliner, Andrew Norelli, has appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, Comedy TV, Entertainment Studios and Comics Unleashed. He will keep you laughing along with other comedians featured, including Jason Armenio, Red Scott, Yayne Abeba and Natasha Muse.
Bring your friends and enjoy a fun-filled evening for bargain prices. The show will be held on Saturday, September 4, 8:30 p.m. at the Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley. Cost is $8 (cash only). You can pay at the door. Program is for adults over 18 years old (only). Proceeds go towards City of Berkeley Recreation Programs.

For more information, or to request accommodations, please call Molly Sokhom at (510) 981-5150 or (510) 981-6903 (TDD).

In Defense of Home Ownership

Of course you would expect a realtor to be in favor of home ownership.  Afterall, if nobody bought homes any more we'd only have landlords for clients!  A brief overview of world cultures will show that from the beginning of time in most cultures land ownership was considered the main measurement of wealth.  Of course, on top of that livestock and crops played an important part as well.  But people always need a place to live.  And in areas such as ours when land is scarce it is hard to imagine that property values will stay depressed for too long.  I know there is a buzz right now about "the end of home ownership being a pathway to wealth" about the end of the American Dream.  Well, I don't believe it for a minute. There is a reason why property is called real estate.  It is the only investment that has historically apreciated in value and that you can live in, grow food, raise animals and in many other ways meet some of life's basic needs.

Now I don't believe home ownership is for everyone.  For many individuals, at certain times, renting makes more sense. There are many factors to consider when making a decision as big as buying a home.  I think it remains the American Dream, and the dream of most people living on our beautiful blue planet.  There is something special about having a spot that you can call your own .  I can't imagine that this special relationship between the human being and the land he holds stewardship to will ever end.

There are two articles for further reading. Click Here for NY TIMES (In Defense of Home Ownership) and Click Here for Time Magazine Article (The Case Against Home Ownership)

No Dip in Home Sales in Berkeley

It was all over the news that nationally home sales took a major dive in July when compared to the prior month.  I see two main reasons for that dive.  The first is that seasonally, at least in the East Bay, sales take a dip.  It happens every year.  We have basically two home buying/selling seasons, Spring and Fall.  July is typically slow and August even slower, much like December and January.  The second and larger reason for this years' dip is that the government sponsored incentive ended June 30th.  All buyers who wanted to receive this stimulus money or who were motivated to buy because of this had to close their transaction by June 30th.  Well this meant that many buyers were motivated to take the plunge sooner than they would have if their were no stimulus.  The second is that escrows that normally would have closed in July were pressured to close early.  This should have been anticipated by the experts.  It surprises me that so many economists were surprised at this data. 
Now that I've said these things, the reality for Berkeley, California, indeed most of the East Bay, is quite different from other parts of our nation.  I decided to take a look at the stats myself and compared June 2010 and July 2010 and this is what I found. In June 66 listings sold.  In July the number was 65, hardly a significant drop.  These numbers indicate that at least for the time being Berkeley continues to be a strong market for those who want to buy or sell a home.

In Albany the scene is pretty much the same.  The numbers are smaller, 12 sold in June, 10 sold in July, so statistically there is not a lot of significance. 

Oakland continues the theme: 390 homes sold in June vs 387 homes sold in July. Less than a 1% change. 

We can look at other data such as median home price, days on market and new listings to get a better understanding of the market dynamics in the East Bay.  If you are interested in seeing this material I'll post on my website: within the first week of September. In the meantime, if you are planning on buying or selling a home in Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, Oakland or other parts of the East Bay, or if you need a home valuation or other real estate related need, please feel free to email me at

Friday, August 27, 2010

Buying a Starter Home in Berkeley? Come see my New Listing at 3051 Acton Street, Berkeley

3051 Acton Street is a cute, reasonably priced, 2 bedroom /1 bath bungalow located in a quiet neighborhood of South Berkeley close to parks, freeways, BART, shopping, Cafes.  We're open this Sunday (8/29) from 1-4:30. Come on by and say "Hi."

In the meantime you can check it out at  And while you're at it please check out my website for all sorts of real estate information.  If you are buying or selling a property in Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, El Cerrito, Emeryville or other parts of the East Bay you will find valuable information on this site. And if you need help please feel free to email or call.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

North Oakland Farmers Market Update!

If you are planning on buying a home, renting a home or are currently living  in the North Oakland or South Berkeley area I suggest that you check out this new and wonderful neighborhood scene!

The North Oakland Farmers' market at Arlington Medical Center is calling out to all neighbors and community groups in the Golden Gate, Sante Fe, and surrounding neighborhoods to get involved and help shape the future of your neighborhood farmers' markets. We want to here what you want! Tell us your vision for a community farmers' market that serves the needs of this neighborhood and we will work to build it together. Phat Beets Produce is a North Oakland Community Based Organization composed of residents, activists, and doctors. We strive to connect small farmers and farmers of color to urban communities and to connect youth to safe green spaces. For more info please check us out at Please send your ideas and your vision to

The market is every Saturday from 9-2pm at the Arlington Medical Center Parking Lot on 57th and Market and Tuesdays from 2-7pm at the Children's Hospital Oakland.

Below is our late summer FREE WORKSHOP SERIES. Please pass it on! Can you hang flyers in the neighborhood? Let us know-
8/28/10 Baumen College Cooking Demonstration
Baumen College is back with a fresh, seasonally based meal demo prepared from market
ingredients. Come and get a taste and take home a recipe!
9/4/10 Beekeeping in the Market
Khaled Almaghafi, 4th generation bee keeper, and owner of Queen Sheba Farms is a successful
urban bay area bee keeper. He will be bringing a small colony for a live demo.
9/11/10 Soap Making at Home
Efiya , founder and owner of Iyoba, will be doing a demo on the basics of making your own soap.
Stop by and enjoy the workshop and then check out her wide array of handmade products
9/18/10 Natural Sugar n' Cookin' from the Garden
Joy Moore, Bay Area food justice activist, cooking instructor and producer at KPFA will be choppin'
it up with us in the market, making a fresh dish and speaking on sugar and your health.
9/25/10 Backyard Chickens!
Jonah Mossberg, of the Edible School Yard, will be bringing out some hens to the market and speaking
about the ease of backyard egg production in the urban setting. Hmmm...
10/2/10 Cooking with Eco-Chef Bryant Terry
Come get a taste of Food Justice with Eco- Chef Bryant Terry, author of Vegan Soul Kitchen and
GRUB as he makes a Vegan Collard Greens dish. 12-1pm
10/9/10 Growing Mushrooms on Coffee Grounds
Alejandro Velez of BTTR in Emeryville will be doing a demo on growing oyster mushrooms
on coffee grounds. He will also speak about his busineess venture BTTR and their social business model
10/16/10 Fixing a Flat and Bicycle Basics
Bike Man Dan will be teaching a workshop on fixing a flat and basic bike maintenance. Bring your
bike by and as Bike Man Dan. More info at
10/23/10 Copwatch "Know Your Rights Training"
BE EMPOWERED! KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! Berkeley Copwatch provides "Know Your Rights"
Trainings to educate the community about their rights with the police and info about Police Brutality.
10/30/10 Fall Seed Saving in the Garden
Christopher Shein, Bay Area Permaculturist, Merrit Hort. Instructor, and BASIL co-founder
will be doing a fall seed saving workshop. Learn to save your money and diversity by saving your seeds!

And for information about buying or selling a home in Berkeley, Albany, Oakland, Emeryville, El Cerrito and other parts of the East Bay please check out my website

Saturday, August 14, 2010

List of Sunday Open Homes in the East Bay for 8/15/2010

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington or in other parts of the East Bay you will benefit from having a fairly comprehensive list of open homes to visit.  If you are a buyer it will help you to comparatively shop.  If you are a seller it will help you see what the competition is as well as give you ideas for preparing and pricing your property.  I try to post this list as early in the day on Saturday as I can.  It doesn't always happen but 99% of the time it will be posted before the open houses begin on Sunday.  To see the list of open houses   CLICK HERE. And if you need information about Buying or Selling a home in the the East Bay come back often and check out my website,

Friday, August 13, 2010

North Oakland's New Pop-Up Store

Honestly, I haven't been to it yet but I love the concept and the reviews are favorable. This is right around the corner from Children's Hospital.  It usually pop's up on the 3rd Wednesday.  some of the reviews are below.  Maybe I'll see you there!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Celebrity Sightings (Brad, Anjolina, Philip) in Berkeley and Oakland!!

I've been told by those in the know that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are currently staying at the Claremont Hotel.  Not only that but Philip Seymour Hoffman has been seen the past two days at Bittersweet  Cafe at 5427 College Ave. He's been showing up mid afternoon. 
Remember you learned about it here.  And remember that if you want accurate and timely information about buying or selling a home ini Berkeley, Oakland, or other parts of the East Bay please visit my website:  And if you want assistance in pricing, home valuations, or real estate related resources please call or email me for a quidck response.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Urban Farming in Berkeley, Another reason to look at South Berkeley as a great place to live

Please check out Sprial gardens located at the corner of Sacramento and
Oregon streets in Berkeley, California.  In August they are hosting some really cool classes:
All classes start at 1:00, workdays start at 11:00

August 1: Fall and winter Gardening in the Bay:  Daniel Miller will share more information about growing food with a focus on the timing and specific techniques for fall and winter garden so that you can eat from it year round
August 8:  Looking at the US Farm Bill:  Navina Moon
August 15:  Cooking from the garden: Joy Moore, will offer a demonstration of ways to enjoy the gift of fresh homemade quick and economical and nutritious meals
August 22: Beekeeping:  khaled Almaghari will be sharing techniques for setting up anhive and maintaining it naturally.  he will be bringning in a small colony for a live demonstration and raw honey in the comb to sample

And for information about buying or selling a home in Berkeley or other parts of the East Bay please check out my website:  There is information about neighborhoods, open houses, property searches, home valuations and more.

Open Homes, Sunday. August 1, 2010

For a complete list of Sunday open homes for Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington,
Oakland, and Emeryville and other parts of the East Bay please click here.  And for more information about buying or sellling a home in the East bay including neighborhood information, home valuations, an much much more please visit my website:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sunday Open Homes in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Ceritto, Emeryville for July 25, 2010 for Sunday

Please visit my website for a comprehensive list of Open Homes in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Ceritto, Emeryville and other parts of the East Bay:  Click Here and for other information about buying or selling a home in Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington and other East Bay communities or for home valuations, mortgage information, community information and much more.  email:,   and visit my website:  Enjoy the weekend in our fabulous Bay Area!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Buying or Selling a Home in Berkeley? 94703 is the hottest zip code in the USA

If its in the Chronicle it has to be true, right?  Well it is.... in black and white. I've been spouting off for a long time about the benefits of buying a home in South Berkeley, particularly in The Lorin District.  It seems as if the rest of the world might be catching up with me.  And what's good for home buyers in South Berkeley in this case is also good for home sellers.  At least according to Zip Realty who track such things across the nation.  When I say hot what is meant is that the sales price is consistently higher than the origninal list price.  In this case the number is 7.7%.  I truly believe that The Lorin will be the next "Temescal"  It has all the right ingredients and right now is an affordable entry point to those who want to live in this vibrant city.  If you want to read the whole article Click Here.  And if you want information about buying or selling a home in South Berkely or other parts of the East Bay please visit my websit: or call me 510-368-2854 and have a great day enjoying the bay area!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Open Homes for Sale in the East Bay on July 4, 2010

Click Here for a comprehensive list of Open Homes for sale this weekend, on Sunday July 4th. If you are buying or sellling a home in Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville or other parts of the East Bay check here every weekend for a complete list of open homes for sale. and if you want more information about buying or selling a home in Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Piedmond, Albany or other parts of the East Bay please feel free to check out my website. There is a lot of useful information: property searches, mortgage info, neighborhood info. And there is no need to register unless you want to. Use it with anonymity.
And please let me know if I can be of service. Best wishes for a happy 4th of July!
Bill Fletcher

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Berkeley/North Oakland Events for July 2010

East Bay Neighbor just learned of a couple of interesting events that are happening in Berkeley over the next few weeks. The first is on July 4th.  the West Berkeley Neighborhood Associations are hosting a block party!  Its on Chaucer Street between San Pablo and Curtis from 2-4. There will be a pot luck, barbeque, Green Fairy Farm animals, Yeast bay Brewery Home brew, Carole's lemons, white elephant stuff, home made crafts, back yard produce, live music with the Scottish Fiddler Society and more. this is a great opportunity to learn a alot about Berkeley's Left Bank Neighborhood by meeting neighbors and participating in the local get-to-gether

If you are interested in Urban farming, the Magic Gardens Nursery is hosting a kind of get to know chickens weekend on July 17 and 18.  There will be demonstrations by Montclaire's 4-H club including showmanship techniques, as well as models of new types of chicken coops and cabanas.  The Urban farm movement is growing and more and more folks want to raise their own chickens.  If this appeals to you this is a great opportunity for learning, as well as networking with others of similar interest.

North Oakland is starting a new farmers market on Saturdays from 9-2 right behind 5715 Market Street. this is a sign of things to come in this up and coming neighborhood!

Remember, if you want local knowledge about the East Bay, check in here often.  If you want real estate information please visit my website for all real estate related needs.  whether you are thinking about buying or selling a home in the East bay you owe it to yourself to check me out.
Have a great 4th of July!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

4th of July Activities at the Berkeley Marina

Want to have some fun this July 4th without leaving the area?  Berkeley has a great lineup of entertainment and activities, food, fireworks and more.   If you go and are planning on staying for the fireworks bring warm clothing, blankets, sleeping bags or a space heater!.  IT gets chilly brrrrrr  Click Here  to get a complete schedule for 4th of July  Activities at the Berkeley Marina.  And if you are looking to buy or sell a home in Berkeley or other parts of the East Bay, or if you need a home valuation or have another real estate related need  please check out my website:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another reason to Buy a home in Berkeley: Berkeley Offers $ for energy conservation

If you are thinking of buying a home.  consider Berkeley.  Here is another great reason:

Stimulus Money for Energy Efficiency for Berkeley Residents-- ME2 for You
Federal stimulus funding for whole-house energy retrofits. Starting summer 2010, Berkeley proposes to offer incentives for energy efficiency improvements. Energy retrofits help you save money on your PG&E bill; improve building comfort, safety, and durability; and reduce your carbon footprint!

The ME2 cash incentives will be provided through federal stimulus funds awarded to Berkeley from the U.S. Department of Energy. ME2 is important part of Berkeley efforts to reduce greenhouse gases by 33% over the next 10 years and 80% by 2050 and create green jobs in our community. To learn more about the City of Berkeley's Climate Action Plan, visit the Berkeley Climate Action Plan

Money for Energy Efficiency (ME2):

Free Weatherization Program (low-income eligible residents)- available now
The City of Berkeley's Weatherization Program provides free energy saving improvements to income-eligible residents. Services vary by program, and can include free attic insulation, weatherstripping, water heater blankets, low-flow shower heads, duct insulation, high efficiency lighting, window repairs/replacement, and ceiling fans.
Check the Weatherization income eligibility chart, or call (510) 981-7773, to see if you qualify.

Subsidized Retrofit Services - available summer 2010
The City of Berkeley proposes to offer subsidized direct installation of home energy improvements in partnership with Rising Sun Energy Center. Subscribe to receive emails updates as more information becomes available.

City-wide Rebates - available summer 2010
The City of Berkeley proposes to offer rebates to Berkeley property owners who retrofit their buildings to improve energy performance. Subscribe to receive emails updates as more information becomes available.

Additional Energy Efficiency Programs:
California Youth Energy Services (sign-up today to reserve your free Green House Call)
The first step in getting free energy efficient upgrades for your home. Professional Youth Energy Specialists from Rising Sun Energy Center's CYES program will come to your house or apartment to check the household's electricity, gas and water use, and then help you reduce your energy bill by providing FREE energy-saving devices as well as energy education. Compact fluorescent light bulbs, water-saving showerheads, and retractable clotheslines provided at NO COST to home renters and owners. Call: 510-665-1501 ext.10 or go to to sign up today!

SmartSolar Free Site Assessment (available now)
Considering solar? The SmartSolar Program offers free individualized, independent information and site-specific technical assistance to Berkeley property owners who are thinking about going solar. Also visit the Berkeley Solar Map to calculate the solar potential for your roof. Visit for more information.

California FIRST Financing (available in summer 2010)
Help pay for your green upgrades with California FIRST. Based on the Berkeley FIRST solar financing program, the CaliforniaFIRST Program allows property owners to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for homes and businesses. Sign up to receive updates as specific program information becomes available at:

Alameda County Green Retrofit Program (available in summer 2010)
A comprehensive list of all available rebates for energy efficiency retrofits in the region. Alameda County in partnership with is offering residents help in understanding how to best take advantage of available incentives for energy efficiency. Sign up to receive updates at:

PG&E Ratepayer Incentives (some rebates available now and others coming soon)
PG&E has rebates for energy efficiency upgrades including for appliances, insulation and is launching a whole-home energy retrofit incentive program that will be available later this year.

Federal Tax Credit for Energy Star™ Materials (available now)
If you purchase an energy-efficient product or renewable energy system for your home, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit. Up to $1,500 is available in federal tax credits for qualified Energy Star materials and up to 30% of the cost of a solar energy system.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Buying or Selling a Home in Oakland, California.

Look at the big picture!
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in Oakland within the next few months you should be aware of market activitiy.  this chart shows that in the city as a whole prices have climbed 122% from May 09 to May 2010!  That's a huge increase.  From these stat it appears that the housing market hit bottom in Oakland about a year ago.  During the same time  period 17% fewer homes have sold.  Keep in mind that these stats are for the City as a whole.  Real Estate activity fluctuates greatly in different neighborhoods and zipcodes.  these stats are painted with a very wide brush.

Click on Charts to Enlarge

This type of data is added to my web site, each month as time allows. I hope you find it helpful. There are many other useful tools and items at my website. Please feel free to use it. No need to register if you wish anonymity. If you would like a free home valuation please call or email thank you

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Lorin District of South Berkeley T-PARTY!

This is a great example of "HOW BERKELEY CAN YOU BE?" and another reason why so many people want buy a home in this vibrant city of Berkeley, California.
We've all heard about the Tea Party movement that has become a very load voice for ultra conservative politics.  Well Some knitters in South Berkeley formed a T-Party of their own.  Gertrude Stein once said "There is no there in Oakland." Well, it seems they took that saying to heart.  Now Berkeley boasts is very own (not a tea cosey) but a T cosey for the first letter of the THERE sign that greets folks traveling down MLK near Adeline as they leave Berkeley and enter Oakland.  When you come the other way (leaving Oakland and entering Berkeley) you are greeted with a HERE sign.  Well it seems that the knitters wanted to equal things out.  City of Berkeley wants it down.  Pictures are below.

Oh, I just learned about a neighborhood yard sale in North Oakland, on Lowell Street between 57th and Arlington, Saturday June 5th.  This is a neighborhood effort and an example of how this neighbrohood is transforming with residents coming together in the spirit of cooperation and productivity.  come out and support them!

By the way please check out my website:  There's lots of useful information about the East Bay and buying or selling realestate. Feel free to email or call with questions, for home valuations or any real estate related need.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Happenings in the Lorin District of South Berkeley 94702 and 94702

I went on brokers tour today and saw this new designer condo project ready for the market.  Its located at 1520 and 1522 Fairview Street, just a few doors east of Sacramento Street.  This project is another indication of how this neighborhood is transforming.  I often write about this area because it is close to my heart.  I live here and I do a lot of my business here.  As I've mentioned in other blog posts, there are great neighborhood associations.  WANA for example is hosting a meeting tonight to talk about and plan for emergency preparedness.  They already found a contractor who wold give a large discount on installing motion sensitive gas shut off valves.  But let me get to the point I was originally making.  It was two years ago that the project, Harmon Gardens, on the 1400 block of Harmon Street went on the market.  These were extremely well done 2 bedroom 2 bath condos that sold in the mid 500K's.  A last one bedroom unit just sold there this past month. Today the four units on Fairview looked extremely attractive.  You can see the listings on my website ;Here is one of them: 1520 FAIRVIEW STREET, BERKELEY, CA 94703 Once you are on the website you can find the other listings pretty easily.

Also, I was noticing that a group called Youth Spirit Artworks is beautifying the neighborhood.  Creating murals, painitings and banners for the Lorin district they are making the neighborhood feel alive and vibrant. You can find out more about this project at

Remember, if you are thinking about buying or selling a home in The Lorin District of South Berkeley give me a call.  I'll be happy to help.

Monday, May 3, 2010

How foreclosure affects credit scores

If you're delinquent on your mortgage, your credit score will suffer. Everyone knows that. The question is, by how much?
Until recently, those answers were hard to come by. Fair Isaac, which developed FICO scores, pulled back the curtain a bit, revealing some estimates of point-score declines following mortgage delinquency problems.

Here are the average hit your credit will take:
30 days late: 40 - 110 points
90 days late: 70 - 135 points
Foreclosure, short sale or deed-in-lieu: 85 - 160
Bankruptcy: 130 - 240

Please visit my website: all your real estate related needs.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Buying of Selling a Home in the Lorin District of South Berkeley, Zip Code 94703

If you are buying or selling a home in South Berkeley or even beginning to think about it, check here often for up to date data affecting this neighborhood. What follows is a weekly snapshot of the market activity in the neighborhood zip code 94703.

             Click on Chart to Enlarge

If you are planning on buying or selling a home in south Berkeley, The Lorin, zip code 94703 check here for the most current snapshot of market activity.For more information about buying or selling a home in the East bay communities of Berkeley, Oakland, emeryville, albany and El Cerrito and elsewhere check out my website,, for thorough and complete MLS searches, and other useful information.  For property valuations and other real estate related questions please feel free to email me at

Buying or Selling a Home in South Berkeley, Zip code 94702

If you are buying or selling a home in South Berkeley or even beginning to think about it, check here often for up to date data affecting this neighborhood.  What followis is a weekly snapshot of the market activity in the neighborhood zipcode 94702.

Click onChart to Enlarge
For more information about buying or selling a home in Berkeley or in other East bay neighborhoods such as Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito or Oakland please visit my web site at For home valuations or other realestate related questions please email me at

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Buying or Selling a Home in South Berkeley in zip codes 94702 and 94703

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home iin the 94702 or 94703 zip code of south Berkeley which includes The Red Hot Lorin District you might want to llok at the following charts.  I try to post these every week for your benifit.  I hope you find them useful

Please click on chart to enlarge

Clixck on chart to Enlarge

And don't forget to visit my website for the best search engine for Berkeley and other useful tools and information:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Buying or Selling a Home in South Berkeley, 94702

Here are some charts that may be helpful to you if you are looking to buy or sell a single family home in the 94702 zip code of south Berkeley.  The data here shows what I've been saying for almost a year....the Berkeley Home market is hot.  Supply, or inventory is down, while demand is up.  The median price of sold homes has skyrocketed from a year ago.  Click on the charts to enlarge them.

Please check out my website,  for property searches, reports, open house information and many other real estate related resources. Plese call email or text if you would like a home valuation or have some other real estate related need.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Buying a house in The Lorin, South Berkeley 94703?

If you are planning on buying or selling a house in the Lorin District of South Berkeley (which is almost the same as zip code 94703) the charts below may prove useful:
The first chart shows a year's comparison of Median home prices.  The second chart shows number of days on market and the third indicates the months supply of inventory.  Typically as the numbers on charts 2 and 3 decrease the numbers on chart 1(sales price) should increase.  This is basic suply and demand economics.  From these charts you can easily see that the price trend is upwards. I expect that prices will level off a bit as interest rates increase, but consider the approximation to Ashby BART and the relative inexpensiveness of homes in this area and you may come to the same conclusion that I have, namely that prices will appreciate more rapidly in this area than in many others once the economy turns.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Buying or Selling a Home in Berkeley 94705

The following statistics should prove useful to anyone who might be interested in buying or selling a home in the Berkeley zip code of 94705

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Berkeley Community News: YouthWorks Jobs for youth

Are You Between 14 and 25 Yrs Old? Do You Need A Job For The Summer? YouthWorks Might Be Able to Help

YouthWorks provides invaluable experiences and introduces Berkeley youth to the world of work. We operate the Summer Youth Employment Program, assess skills to match youth with appropriate jobs, broker employment opportunities and recruit for special projects, conduct job-readiness workshops and training, and collaborate with groups that provide youth services. If you’d like to apply, please come by the YouthWorks offices in the basement of 1947 Center Street (between Milvia and MLK) and fill out an application. For more information about YouthWorks, please visit

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville. or other parts of the East Bay please check out my website for useful information;

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Restaurant and Cafes Opening in Berkeley!

Berkeley continues to be a vibrant community.  The fact that a bunch of new eateries opening or soon to open attests to that fact.  The following article was taken from the SF Business Times and written by Sarah Duxbury can be read at their site as well.  The link is at the bottom of ths post.

Restaurant tenants are feeding Berkeley’s retail real estate market.

A host of new restaurateurs have signed leases to open in different corners of the city, each seeing a different opportunity even as an economic recovery remains uncertain.

“In this marketplace, the one tenancy we are seeing expand is food service,” said John Gordon of Gordon Commercial Real Estate. Gordon is fielding several food service inquiries every day, he said.

Jennifer Millar, owner of Sweet Adeline’s Bakeshop, scored six months free rent to open the 75-seat Addie’s Pizza Pie in the former Spud’s Pizza in South Berkeley. Her partner on that project is Thomas Schnetz of Flora and Dona Tomas, both in Oakland. The restaurant, which will serve New York-style pizzas and egg custards, should open by late spring.

In August, Anja Voth will open a German bakery restaurant in the old Metro Lighting space on San Pablo Avenue in West Berkeley. She said it will recreate traditional North German recipes with local, seasonal ingredients, “pretty much like my grandmother used to make.” Voth said she had been seeking a space for nearly two years.

Amy Murray from Venus Restaurant has bought the vacant Downtown Restaurant, and plans to remodel and open an 80-plus-seat restaurant called Revival Bar and Kitchen by summer. It sought a bigger space because Venus, with just 44 seats, couldn’t keep up with demand. It will remain open once Revival arrives.

Christian Geideman will open the East Bay’s first “izakaya” restaurant — sort of a pub-tapas bar that specializes in grilled meats. Sometime around April the Japanese-trained chef will open his 50-seat restaurant in 1,800 square feet custom built by Zen master and carpenter Paul Driscoe.

“This is decidedly not sushi,” said Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests, and his landlord. “Basically, this is Japanese food for carnivores.”

Gordo Taqueria has signed a lease to open its fifth Bay Area location on Telegraph; Pinkberry will move in next door.

These new deals build on the success of recent entrants.

Gather opened in the David Brower Center less than two months ago and has been an instant success. A 28-seat prix-fixe fine dining restaurant called eVe opened on University Avenue in December.

“It seems like the energy’s there. You hear about smaller restaurateurs, newbies and folks with one or two restaurants, out poking around,” said Steve Smith, a broker with Norheim and Yost. “It may be that with the turn in the market and in the process of bottoming out, there are opportunities for them to seize.”^3020201&s=industry&i=commercial_real_estate

For more information about Buying or selling a home in Berkeley or other parts of the East Bay please visit my website  Or feel free to call or email me,, for a home valuation or other real estate related needs.