There comes a time, when selling your Alameda or Alameda Bay Farm Island home, that potential buyers will be touring your home.  It is a fact that a large majority of homes today have pets.  They might be cats, dogs, birds or hamsters, but they are part of the household.  As such, they can create some issues for potential buyers viewing the home.

Here are some suggestions to prepare for visits:

1. Recognize a Problem With a Pet--If your dog barks, jumps up or leaps around, or your cat scratches anything that moves, it is time to make plans to find a safe, quiet, place for that pet during open houses and tours.  Many owners are used to this behavior, and have been unable or unwilling to change it.  Unfortunately, it creates the exact opposite of the…

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If you, as a potential buyer, have a genuine interest in an Oakland home, perhaps in Redwood Heights or Rockridge, and intend to view it's Open House, then you should have a list of questions to ask that will give you a real sense of the condition of the home.  This is the time to ask questions and get answers.  Here are some suggestions of things to discover:

1. What Is The Condition of the Floors? You will want to know about the floor condition at every level of the home-top to bottom.  When you enter the home, note the condition of any carpeting.  Is it new, recently clean, or just worn out?  If it is worn out, it may indicate deferred maintenance, which could be reflected elsewhere in the home.  Determine what kind of flooring is beneath the…

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When you begin to consider whether or not you might be able to afford your Piedmont home, you tend to concentrate on the initial sales price, and of course, the monthly mortgage payment.  As I will advise you when we begin considering a home in Oakland or Piedmont, money needs to be set aside for other expected, and, often unexpected, costs that will arise as we move through the purchase process.  While all of these costs may not apply because some of these fees are often negotiated between the buyer and the seller, here is a good summary to consider:

a. Professional Home Inspection Fees: It is very important to have the home thoroughly inspected before making your final purchase.  Costs will vary among areas and size of home, but they are usually…

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As any agent selling in the East Bay area will tell you, there are just not enough homes on the market for number the buyers that want to buy them.  There is a such a severe shortage of homes, that most of those that are currently on the market are getting many, many offers, and often at prices surprisingly higher than the original asking price.  

How did it get to this state?  A recent news report from states that San Francisco area home prices in January were up 23.7% from a year earlier, and in the Oakland metropolitan area, which includes Alameda and Contra Costa counties, prices rose 24.1 %. If you concentrate on just the Montclair and Berkeley areas, that price rise is 17% higher than last year. That percentage should go…

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Recently, in Part 1, we discussed the importance of curb appeal and updating your porch and entrance of your Oakland or Piedmont home. By creating an immediately pleasant first impression, buyers will look forward to the inside of your home.  In Part 2, we will discuss practical and inexpensive ways to reach these goals. 

Here are some suggestions to move ahead:

1. Research Your Neighborhood's Climate To Determine The Best Plants To Purchase And Maintain For Your Area.

a. The Internet is an outstanding source for deciding which plants and grass will grow well around your home.

b. Use all your research resources to do your homework.  Books, neighbors, trips through the neighborhood, etc..

c. Talk with your local nurserymen  They know the…

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Whether you live in an Oakland bungalow, or a large Piedmont mansion, you want your home to have its very best curb appeal to potential buyers.  Your home should stand out among its competitors if you want to be first in the attention of home buyers.  The good news is that you can, with a little planning, make things appealing, and, at the same time do it on a budget.  In Part 1, we will concentrate specifically on first impressions that your home presents. 

Before you begin, you must step away from your home and see it as your neighbors, potential purchasers, and real estate brokers will see it.  This can be a rewarding and informative experience.  What you might see as cozy and cute, might be seen by others as crowded and small.

1. Here Are…

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Let's assume that you have found a home in Berkeley that you are considering buying.  It really has a great deal of appeal, and the price seems reasonable.  There is a tendency, when you first see the home, to concentrate on it specifically.  However, each home is a part of a neighborhood, and since you will be potentially living in that neighborhood, you should expand your area of consideration about the home. Things can get overlooked that may become quite important down the road.  Here are some suggestions:

a. Drive by your potential new home from every direction.: Bring a notebook and record things that you did not observe about the house from the inside, but which are visible from the outside.  Check the neighboring homes more closely.  How…

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As a seller of your Alameda or Alameda Bay Farm Island home, you may be surprised how valuable your neighbors can be when it comes to putting your home on the market.  They can be a huge asset, or a big liability, depending on your approach.

Most homeowners who are preparing to sell, are given suggestions and ideas about how to make their home attractive and appealing to potential buyers.  But all the planting of fresh plants, and application of new paint or drapes may be a waste of time if the house next door has piles of trash, or there is a car on blocks right outside your rear window. 

While it's possible that you have gotten used to this, or decided that it was not worth alienating the neighbors by asking them to clean up THEIR home, the…

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  While the Victorian Style home is seen in Berkeley and Oakland, it's true location in the S.F. Bay Area is Alameda.  Alameda has one of the largest collections of Victorians in California.  The name itself is based on Queen Victoria of England.  During her reign in the nineteenth century, various styles of home were developed, all bearing the that name.  Titles like Victorian Gothic, Stick Style, Shingle and Queen Anne Victorians are just a few of the variations that arose in that period.  The most popular, and frequently seen is the Queen Anne, which began to appear between 1880 and 1910. The development of power tools and mass production techniques lead to the development of the excesses in architecture that was to characterize all the homes…

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