February 2013

Found 10 blog entries for February 2013.

While the Colonial Revival style is more common in eastern states, it is still seen quite frequently in Northern California.  Homes with this style are seen in Piedmont and surrounding Oakland neighborhoods.  Often, while not exact copies of the classical definition, they still fall within the basic descriptions of this style, which are:

a. Small porticos with pillars or columns.

2. Double-hung multipaned windows with accompanying shutters.

3. The facade is often symmetrical, and it may have, depending on its substyle,  a gable, gambrel or hipped roof.

4. Two or three stories and dormers.

5. The interior often has a center-hall floor plan, and multiple fireplaces. 

The Colonial Revival style became quite popular in America after the 1876

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One of the most popular homes found throughout the Piedmont and Oakland area is the English Tudor style home.  Designed to give the impression of the English Tudor period of castles and wealthy aristocracy, it was very well received in the 1930's when homes were being built in expanding areas of both cities.  Interestingly, a California touch was added to many of these homes, and the interior often has more of a stucco, or Spanish influence, rather than the classic wooden paneling that should characterize the classic Tudor. It's overall interior design is to focus on home and hearth, with a large fireplace dominating the living room, and a sense of warmth and security throughout the house. 

If this style appeals to you, look for the following

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As a seller of a home, whether Piedmont, Oakland or Berkeley, you should consider having a professional home inspection as soon as you make the decision to put your home on the market. 

This concept can be a bit disturbing to many sellers, because, while they are aware of the issues that presently exist in their home that may need attention, they are often concerned that many new things might turn up as a result of this inspection.  Actually, having an immediate inspection may be a good, rather than a bad, thing.  Knowing all the issues about the home will put you in control of the situation.  Here is why:

a. It allows you to make the decision about what you can and cannot afford to fix, and what you should consider negotiating about.


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If it is important to you to sell your Oakland home quickly, and you have an interested and qualified buyer who is not quite ready to take the final step to purchase it, there are some steps that can be taken to engage your buyer to buy your home over the others on the market.  Most of these motivating steps involve a financial reward to potential buyers, and, if you can afford to offer one or more of these options, you may be pleased at the response. Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Offer To Pay The Closing Costs: These are all the fees associated with the purchase of the home.  Fees are assessed by the escrow company, the lender, the county, etc.. So, while is is traditional for you as the seller, to purchase title insurance on behalf of the

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Before you make plans to buy or refinance a home, you should know some of the things that lenders will consider before offering you a mortgage rate.  While interest rates are quite low right now, compared to many years past, they are still important in determining how much you can afford when considering your Berkeley or Oakland home purchase. 

While the marketplace always plays a strong role on the lending and financing issues of the day, the general considerations are:

a. Your Credit Score: This is certainly a key way for lenders to determine how responsible you are about acquiring debt, and paying it back in a reasonable and efficient manner.  Obviously, you will be offered a much lower, more appealing, mortgage rate if your credit score is

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When you put your Piedmont home on the market, potential buyers are looking for many attractive features that interest them.  However, one of the most attractive things to them is space.  The more space that you can show them, the larger, and more appealing your home can become.  Space and room allows them options--the option to fit in their new furniture, redesign the dining room, or perhaps make a bedroom into an badly needed office.  

Your goal, then, should be to present them with an open, uncluttered, visually appealing home, that allows them to envision their things in that space, and encourage them to want to live there. One of my roles as your Piedmont and Oakland real estate agent, is to assist you in carrying out this plan. 

After living

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You are planning to move into your new Oakland home, but find that you have an overwhelming amount of things to move from your older Alameda home.  The projected moving costs seem quite high.  Here are some tips to saving money on your moving costs:

1. Weed Out Your Junk:  While this may seem obvious, it is a very difficult thing to do.  It is made more difficult by sorting through things that have accumulated over years and years.  The best policy is to have each family member tackle their room first, then move to the common areas like the living room, family room and kitchen.  Set out three criteria for each room, and label boxes accordingly.  The three boxes should be labeled "Throw Away", "Donate" and "Garage Sale".  You might be able to

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When living in your newly purchased home, whether in Berkeley, Oakland or Piedmont, you must always make plans to maintain it.  You want to do this to keep its present value, and hopefully, increase its resale value when it comes time to move on.  Recently we gave you three inexpensive steps to keep your newly purchased home in tip top order.  Here are some addtional very inexpensive maintenance steps that you take that are quite simple, and can be very effective:

1. Have your HVAC system inspected yearly (HVAC is your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system)--The inspection cost is usually under $300, depending on area, and keeping tabs on the condition of your heat pump or blower may save you thousands of dollars  in repair, and avoid a

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After you have lived in your Oakland or Piedmont home for a while, and invested money its repair and restoration, you are convinced that you have the very best home in the neighborhood.  While this may or may not be true, when it comes time to put it on the market, you need to take a truly realistic look at your competition before you decide on a final price.  As your Oakland/Piedmont agent, it is my job to assist you in coming to a price that will move your home in a reasonable amount of time, and allow you to realize a realistic profit at the same time.

Why is it important to price correctly?  Here are the reasons:

1. Brokers and Agents Will Not Show Your Home to Their Clients:  With the large amount of real estate web sites on the

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You have just purchased your new Oakland home.  You are more than satisfied with its condition, and are looking forward to many years in your new neighborhood.  You also know that in order to keep your home in its present condition, you are going to have to invest in maintaining it.  That is one of the expected costs of home ownership. 

The good news is that while there are many things you can do to maintain your home, there are three inexpensive, yet valuable steps that you can take that will give you the biggest return for your dollar:

1. Keep Your Carpets Clean--This seems a simple step, yet keeping by keeping your carpets clean, you can save thousands in replacement and repair costs of your current, and possibly brand new current

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