In a previous blog, I stressed how important is is to have your home inspection done before you put your Piedmont home on the market.  It will give you a sense of how ready you are to sell, help with proper home pricing, and motivate you to fix things first, before potential buyers discover them, causing future negotiation issues.

While this is not a comprehensive list, I would like to give you a general idea of some of the most important things that the inspector will be checking on the inside of your home:

1. Heating and Air Systems:  Are they efficient?  Do they serve your needs, or are they worn out?  Have you replaced your filters on both at least once a year?  When was the last time they were inspected?

2. Ducts and Vents:  These are…

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One of the simplest, yet hardest things for sellers of Oakland homes to consider when preparing their home to be shown to potential buyers is the concept of "decluttering".  I, as your agent,  will encourage sellers to go through their house and begin to remove unnecessary items from each and every room in order to make them open and appealing when being viewed.  While this sounds simple, it is often a very difficult thing to carry through, because of the emotional attachment that sellers have to so many items located there.

Why bother?  Why is it important?  Why do all that work?  There are two reasons:

1. Buyers Need to Envision How The Home Fits Their Needs:  You are selling a home to potential buyers, and they must be able to envision your home as…

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Here is a great blog from a great agent in Jupiter Florida

Staging & Selling a Home with Dogs and Cat Pets


Today we have a new addition to the family.  Chloe’ (my wife thankfully won naming rights as my son wanted to name the dog “Chuck Norris”) is a Cavachon.  A Cavachon is a mix of King Charles & Bijon.  She will join our Persian rescue cats, Knuckles & Daisy, along with 2 kids and a fish tank.  Why we have all these creatures, I’ll save for another blog.  This article is on how to stage a house with pets if you are selling.  Thankfully our Egret Landing Jupiter home is not for sale! 


Pets can destroy a sale.  Turn offs include litter boxes, urine stains on carpeting, odor, lawn droppings, chewed furniture, paw and lick marks on…

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There are so many elements that go into selecting the ideal neighborhood for your new Alameda or Bay Farm Island home.  Over the last few days, we spoke about selecting the type of home that you might like. This time, we will consider choosing the best  neighborhood fit for you and your family. 

Each family has different needs, wants and finances.  One family will put a stress on the school district, another will want proximity to parks, recreational facilities, or transportation sources.  When all is said and done, however, the family wants to feel comfortable, welcome, and secure in their final choice, and looking forward to spending many years among their new neighbors.  There are certain basics that make any neighborhood one to consider.


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In Part 1, we began to list some of the initial steps to take in finding your future ideal home.  Whether you are looking in central Alameda, or Bay Farm Island, the suggestions remain the same. 

In Part 2-below is an in depth look at some of the key factors to add on to your initial considerations.

1. What Kind of Home Do You Want?  While this may seem obvious, there is a huge variety of choices that you must make.  Important examples include:

a. What style of home appeals to you?

b. How many bedrooms do you need?  How many bathrooms?

c. Do you want a one-story or two-story home?

d. How important is the size of the yard?  Do you want a yard at all?

e. What are your childrens' most important requirements?

f. How close do you want to be to…

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The search for a new home is always a great adventure, and sometimes, a great challenge.  So much depends upon bringing together the perfect balance of affordability and practicality.  While most buyers will admit to wanting a large home with lots of amenities and a nice view, the market today may not be able to provide these things just as requested, and at the price desired.

However, whether you are looking in Alameda proper, or Alameda's Bay Farm Island, there is a way of getting a lot of what you want.  While you may have a very extensive list of things that you hope to find in your new house, the key is to isolate your highest priorities, and work with them first.  If you can tell me, as your agent, what you feel are the most important features, I…

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Sooner or later, every buyer has to submit information to a lender regarding their credit history.  This information will be critical as a means by which a decision will be made as to whether the potential buyer will qualify for the loan to purchase their future home.  This is a time that makes many people anxious because they are not quite sure how their credit is evaluated. So, whether you are considering a Piedmont home or an Oakland home, the format remains the same. 

Right now, 90% of the largest banks use what is called a FICO score to make that decision.  This FICO score is used throughout the industry to determine your mortgage rate, as well as your car loan and your credit card monthly interest fee. 

This credit rating is a number that is…

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The large majority of homes for sale in America have pets.  Whether they be cats, dogs, birds or hamsters, they live in the home, and preparing them for visits by potential buyers that they do not know, is an important issue in getting your Berkeley home prepared for a showing.

Because you and your family are familiar with their eccentricities like barking, jumping up, scratching, leaping about, etc., that does not mean that your potential visitors will like, or understand, that behavior when they come to visit your house.  While your animals may behave this way normally, many pets step up their problem behavior when new people come in. They may become nervous or anxious and act inappropriately--the exact opposite of the image that you want to…

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While many Piedmont and Oakland families know about Children's Fairyland on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, many others, in nearby cities have yet to discover it's delights.

Originally established in 1948 by local businessman and nurseryman Arthur Navelet, it was conceived with the idea of using Lake Merritt as a background setting for a storybook theme park.  Navelet took his concept to the Lake Merritt Breakfast Club, and, with their support, then the support of the city, and funds from promotional activities, a total of $50,000.00 was raised to begin the construction of the magical family park.  The goal was to create fairytale and storybook sets based on stories and books familiar to children.

It opened in 1950, and admission fees ranged…

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In Part 1, we discussed the history and development of the HAFA program, and talked about short sales.  As of June, 2012, a new version of this program has come online.  It may be of interest to Oakland and Piedmont residents whom I assist.

THE PROPOSED SOLUTION-NEWER VERSION-If the home involved is financed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the homeowner will benefit from some new guidelines:

a. Under the new rules, servicers (lenders) will have 30 days to review and respond to all short sale offers or requests.  If they find that they will need more than these 30 days, they must provide the borrower with weekly updates, and furnish a final response within 60 days.

b. During the above 60 days, the lender must tell the borrower whether a short sale will…

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