At the end of every quarter of the year, the research division of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate analyzes the area Multiple Listing Service data to try to determine the direction of home buying and selling in Alameda County.  They develop a valuable review for current homeowners, and for future homebuyers, and give a clear cut picture of where the residential real estate market has been, and where it is going.

The key to the present statistics this quarter is the lack of inventory of home for buyers to purchase. This lack of inventory has pushed the prices of the available homes higher than expected, and created multiple offer situations. To illustrate, in the last quarter of 2012, the median price of a single family detached…

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My new listing just came out today. in Redwood Heights.4 bedroom and 2356 Sq Ft for $799,000 Please feel free to drop by the open house this Sunday 2-4:30pm.


Beyond the beautiful garden entry, 3609 Victor Avenue sits grandly on a corner lot with many architectural details and stunning bay views. Built in 1927, this English Tudor features 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, an open floor plan and abundant light. Inside, the original wood work, hardwood floors, and arching brick fireplace, set the stage for this warm and inviting home. The modern kitchen, dining room, and adjacent sun room all have bay views. A bedroom and updated bath complete the main level. Up the balustrade staircase, lies the master bedroom with another large sun room,…

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In Part 1, we talked about general questions that a home buyer of Alameda homes, or Alameda Bay Farm Island homes might ask themselves as they begin their search for their new house.  In Part 2, I am going to give you a suggested checklist of items that you might want to use to narrow your search more effectively.  As mentioned yesterday, the sooner you locate your ideal property, the sooner we can move ahead as a team to fine your special place.

Here are some suggested questions for a working checklist. Take this with you as you begin to view potential homes.

A. What Kind Of Home Do You Want?  Here are some items to consider:

1. Is there a special style of home that appeals to you?

2. How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need?

3. Do…

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It is an exciting time as you begin to look for your new Alameda or Alameda Bay Farm Island Home.  There are so many issues to be considered.  My job, as your real estate agent is to place you in the very best home that meets both your financial and personal priorities. 

If you are like most future home owners, you have created a rather extensive list of ideal things that you would like to see in your new house. The key to getting what you want in the most practical and affordable manner is to isolate your highest priorities, and work with them first.  If you can tell me, as your agent, your most important issues, we can focus on them first, and move you ahead quickly.  With fewer homes on the market right now in many areas, a prompt and…

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When we put your Alameda home on the market, there will be many potential buyers and brokers wanting to view it to see if it will meet their needs.  Together, we will create a plan to present your home in the most attractive way possible, but there is one step that makes a huge difference in the overall look--getting rid of clutter.

While this seems obvious, it is often a very difficult thing to do, because of the emotional attachment that family members have towards the items in their various rooms.  However, it becomes necessary because it is important that buyers can envision themselves in your home.  It needs to be as open and inviting as possible to achieve this goal.

Here are some simple, and inexpensive ways to get the job done:

1. Remove…

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While most Piedmont homeowners are used to commuting to San Francisco and Oakland by car or BART, the early 1900's offered an efficient trip as well. Begun in 1903, utilizing 4 car trains, the Key System collected passengers from all over the East Bay and took them to ferry piers in Berkeley, and later Oakland, for their final passage by water to San Francisco.

The term "Key System" came from the concept of the image of a key with three loops at the top, a shaft for the key which was the system's pier, and the teeth of the key was seen as the various ferry berths at the end of these piers. The three loops were the cities of Berkeley, Oakland and Piedmont.

 Below is a picture of the early station at 41st Street and Piedmont Avenue.  Note the two…

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When shopping for a Berkeley home, it may look as though the prices are quite high in some neighborhoods, but they are rather low when compared to the recent list of America's Most Expensive Homes that was compiled by the website 24/7 Wall Street.

California cities compose five of the top ten on this list of the nation's most expensive homes.  Interestingly, many of these locations are not well known nationwide, because many are small suburbs of larger, more familiar, and wealthier cities. Below is information about the final tallies, but listing only the California homes.

An example of this relationship of small to larger city is the Number Two Most Expensive Home Neighborhood of--Ross, California.  A tiny town across the bay from San Francisco…

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To get the full value for your Oakland home, you will need to present it to potential buyers at its very best.  While this seems obvious, there is often, in some homes, a feature that will often deter many future buyers from seriously considering the purchase.  That feature is the presence of damage or odor due to problematic pets in the home--whether dogs, cats, birds, etc.. 

All of us have had puppies and kittens, and know that it takes time for them to settle into their new homes.  There is often a lot of damage that can be caused during this short period of time, however, and the issues need to be dealt with before the home is placed on the market.

Additionally, the day to day issues surrounding pets need to be prepared for as well.  Here are…

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It is typical for all of us to start a new year with high hopes and determined plans.  If your plan is to purchase an Oakland home this year, you should know what your options will be, so that you can move towards your goal sooner, rather than later, in 2013.

If you would like to have a general idea of the type of home that you can afford, there is a quick and easy way to determine this by going to, and then to their calculator section.  While the information here is very generic, you will have something to consider.  As your Oakland real estate agent, I will be assisting you in much more specific and detailed ways as we begin your home search in earnest. 

Here are the steps that you will follow:

1. Enter your expected mortgage…

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