August 2013

Found 8 blog entries for August 2013.

Not too long ago, urban residents who wanted a selection of fruits and vegetables or flowers had to rely on their local supermarket as their only resource.  Since the rise of local farmers markets, just about every city in the Bay area has developed their own site for shoppers who appreciate the unique and direct from-the-farm products that are now available. 

Two of the most popular are the Grand Lake Farmers Market in the Lakeshore district, and the Montclair Farmers Market in the Montclair district of Oakland.  The Grand Lake Market is the larger of the two, and is located at the intersection of Grand Lake and Lake Park.  It is held every Saturday morning of the year from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m..  From food trucks to tiny stalls, just about every food

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High in the hills above Oakland, CA is the quiet and beautiful Joaquin Miller Park.  Many of the park's 500 acres have sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay and adjacent cities.  Located just above one of the largest cities in Northern California, it is home to the only urban second-growth redwood groves in existence, and it offers many picnic areas and trails for families to enjoy.  Adjacent to both the Montclair and Redwood Heights neighborhoods, it is a pleasant respite for bike riding, hiking, or just a quiet time viewing the Bay.  As a result, Oakland homes for sale in this area are always in demand.    

The park is named after eccentric writer and poet Joaquin Miller, who once owned the land.  His home, called "The Abbey" is a California

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Many new visitors arrive in Oakland daily, and many long term Oakland homeowners have never toured their city, nor discovered it's history.  If you are new to Oakland, or are considering purchasing a home here, the Oakland Walking Tours are a perfect opportunity to get to know the city's past and present downtown area. 

From May to October, these tours offer a free 90 minute walking tour through some of the historic and scenic areas of the Oakland downtown district from Jack London Square out to Lake Merritt.  History is everywhere, as are new and vital businesses awaiting your attention.

An example of the variety of the experience is the "Uptown to the Lake" tour. With the stress on classic Art Deco designs, it encompasses area

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 Ballena Bay homes are beautifully located for those who literally want to have access to ocean water from a dock out their doorstep.  Many of the homes and townhouses here allow owners to step from their home directly onboard their boat that is tied up to their dock, and sail away into the Sunday sun on a pleasant weekend morning. 

Located directly across from San Francisco, with sweeping views all along the SF waterfront, and the adjacent SF Bay Bridge, the neighborhood is just a short distance from the U.S.S. Hornet at the deactivated Alameda Naval Air Station. Additionally, Ballena Bay is a truly a boater's paradise.  Besides the  berthing in the neighborhood, immediately adjacent to the homes, it is busy and handsome marina, with an active

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With the exciting weekly and monthly activities that are scheduled all around Jack London Square and revitalized downtown Oakland there is as great deal of interest among buyers in the outstanding choices of housing in the area.  Jack London condos offer a wide variety of styles, prices and views.  The best part, no matter what home you choose, just about everything that you might need in terms of fun and community is within  walking distance for the busy resident. 

Enjoy the beautiful views as you walk along the waterfront, and make plans to shop at the weekly Farmer's Market in the Square with it's amazing variety of foods, entertainment,and crafts.  Meet with friends, and take a  ride on the nearby ferry vessel to San Francisco,and from there

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Of interest to local architecture and history buffs is the recent listing of 6401 Castle Dr. in the Piedmont Pines area of Oakland. Built in 1937, for a model home tour that was a part of the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, it is on the market for the first time since the mid 1960's. (The Exposition Model Home Tour encompassed twelve homes in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.) With original Art Deco and Art Moderne features still intact, one gets that rare opportunity to seemingly slip into another time and place in history, if only for a moment.  One of the most interesting aspects of the house is the metal Art Deco inspired stairway, with posts of lighted glass blocks, framed by a large vertical leaded glass window, and

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One of the more amazing Berkeley luxury homes is on the market, and offers buyers the opportunity to purchase a part of the Bay area's architectural history.  Known as the Spring Mansion, it sits high atop the hills of Berkeley above winding Arlington Avenue, among other similar architectural classics of its era.  Located at 1960 San Antonio Avenue, it was built in 1912 by John Hopkins Spring, a developer of some wealth, who secured the talents of famed architect John Hudson Thomas to create his dream home.   Spring's goal was to make this home the centerpiece of the subdivision called Thousand Oaks, which his firm was developing. Random

Now offered at 3.25 acres, it was originally built on 16 acres. The grounds, designed by Mark Daniels, were planted

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If you are considering buying or selling an Oakland home or other Alameda county home soon, you might want to consider the conclusions arrived at by an analysis of MLS data done by the research division of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate. They concluded "a continued shortage of homes for sale combined with a strong demand to drive the median price of a home sharply higher in all 15 Alameda County communities in the second quarter of 2013." 

By way of illustration, with regard to individual homes, or "unit sales", in Alameda County, In 2013, the 2nd quarter median sales price of an existing single family detached home was $593,586 which was up 23 % from $480,812 in the 1st quarter, but more impressively, up 36% from the 2nd

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