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.