Thursday, March 31, 2011

Berkeley, Oakland Neighborhood Videos

Want to learn about a particular neighborhood in the East Bay?  In Berkeley?  In Oakland?  In El Cerrito?  Click on this link CLICK HERE and you will get a fresh look at some of the wonderful east bay Neighborhoods.  We are creating more daily so if you don't see your favorite East Bay Neighborhood, come back often and check!  Share with your friends and keep me in mind if you need a great local realtor. These videos are also posted on my website,, (first tab on the left).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Interested in REO's? A Sobering Story

We wrote our offer on a Richmond Annex property on January 29th.  A week later we were in contract. By the end of the following week we had completed all our inspections and based upon these inspections requested a price reduction to help cover the cost of repairs needed.

The listing agent advised us that this request would not be accepted and a week later she was proven right.  My clients were not willing to proceed based upon the initial price and the inspections.  So we sent in a request for a price reduction of a lesser amount. A week later this was accepted and we're ready to move forward.  By this time we're a month into the negotiations.  We got our appraisal done and everything is flowing the way it should.  All the bumpy spots are now out of the way, or so we thought. 

On Monday, March 14th, we signed loan docs, had a glass of champagne and looked forward to closing.  Final loan conditions were met and buyers wired remainder of downpayment to Escrow holder on Thursday, March 16. Now we're done. All we have to do is sit back and wait for the loan to fund and the deed to be recorded. Not so fast. 

Thursday evening I received a phone call from the listing agent.  "Hello Bill.  I have some bad news for you..."  She want on to explain that she didn't have the details but needed to inform me that the bank was cancelling the contract and that the appropriate docs would be drawn up and sent to us on Friday.  It seems that the bank believes that it may not be the legal owner of the property!  It may have not followed the correct procedures for foreclosure and therefore cannot legally sell the house and needs foreclose all over again!

One might wonder what the bank would do if they were a day later and the property had closed. Or for that matter what my clients would have done, if the bank sold them a property that wasn't theirs to sell.  I wonder how many of these have already been sold.

My clients are now almost two months into this transaction, emotionally tied in to it, financially have spent on inspections, appraisals, well over $1500.

I'm feeling an emotional charge about this one.  My clients are great.  They've never bought a home before and shouldn't be treated this way.

Do my clients have a recourse?  Unlikely.  The Bank's addendum to the purchase contract makes it very clear that there is no recourse.

 One wonders if the banks (yes I'm lumping them all together) have any kind of conscience at all.  First they create a crisis in the housing market (See the movie Inside Job, or listen to the director tonight on KQED 8PM or 3/19 at 2PM--Commonwealth Club), then they foreclose, then in the rush to make a buck don't even do it correctly. I wonder if any of us will even get a letter of apology. I'm not expecting it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Out The Glen Burke Story

Berkeley High School's presentation of the acclaimed documentary film "OUT. The Glenn Burke Story" produced and directed by 1978 BHS grad Doug Harris is coming this Wednesday, March 9.  The event includes 6:00 pm pre-screening reception, with film shown at 7:00 pm and discussion afterwards.

The event is a benefit for the Berkeley High Gay-Straight Alliance, Berkeley East Bay Track Club and Athletes United for Peace.  Purchase tickets at for $5.

"OUT. The Glenn Burke Story" is a finalist for the 2011 GLAAD Award, and been submitted for a Bay Area/Northern California Emmy Award.

Glenn Burke was a 1970 graduate of Berkeley High School and is considered by many as one of the greatest athletes to come out of Berkeley.  He was the first openly gay player to compete in a major professional sport in the US. 

Filmmaker Doug Harris, a 1978 graduate of Berkeley High School and Executive Director for Athletes United for Peace will be presenting this highly acclaimed documentary.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Saturday March 5th
Miss Pearl’s Jam House
One Broadway, Oakland CA  94607

 Miss Pearl's Jam House new executive chef, Mike Davis, has challenged local chefs to a gumbo throwdown known as Gumbostravaganza 2. Mike Davis, Serafin Cruz, and Victor Sosa (all from Miss Pearl’s) will compete against each other and against Dean Dupuis (Pic├ín), Eddie Blyden (Henry’s), Lydia Walker (Bay Leaf Cafe), and Brandon Dubea (Angeline’s) for bragging rights on the Square. Entry to the event is free, gumbo samples are complimentary, and attendees are the judges! Here’s the icing: all ballots will be entered for a drawing for a free New Orleans eating extravaganza at Miss Pearl’s. (Source: