There are so many reasons for considering buying a condominium, and, right now, in the Oakland area, there are an amazing number of condos and lofts available in every possible price range. Many are located in or near the downtown area among colorful artist studios, wonderful and imaginative restaurants, and handy work and transportation sources.

This would be an excellent time to put this purchase of a loft or condo into your real estate plans.  Here are some benefits of owning either:

1. Lofts or Condos tend to be an excellent first step to getting into the real estate market.  Their initial price is reasonable, and even with homeowner association fees, the monthly cost can beat a single family home for those just entering the housing market. …

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Some of the most beautiful homes in the Bay Area are on Seaview in Piedmont. p1010530_400

I frequently  walk up and down the street and gaze at these masterpieces of architecture and grandeur. But, whether you are walking, jogging or biking, the experience is totally worthwhile.  When you are done, why not have lunch in the park at the corner of Hampton and Seaview? You'll thank me later.

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There will be a big fund raising gala for the East Bay Children's Choir this coming Saturday, March 1st at HS Lordships at the Berkeley Marina.  It promises to be an amazing evening.  Guests are able to view the stunning San Francisco Bay views out the restaurant window while enjoying the activities developed around the theme of "Joyful Voices Speakeasy Gala".

There will be dining, dancing, and excellent musical entertainment performed by the PEBCC staff and alumni.  The music will be of 1920's to 1930's vintage, and featured performers include Broadway Baby Lauren Eigenbrode, Clifton Masey and Kate Offer.  They will be sharing the stage with the Nick Culp Jazz Quintet.

There will be a live auction hosted by KCBS "Foodie Chap" Liam Mayclem, and…

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If you are interested in selling your Alameda home quickly, and have a buyer that has yet to take the final step to committing to purchase, you may want to consider these suggestions below.  Most of these steps involve a financial reward to this motivated buyer, but if you are anxious to move ahead, and are financially comfortable taking these steps, you may be surprised at the results.  Here are some tips to consider:

1.Offer To Pay For The Home Inspection And/Or The Resultant Repairs Needed--Usually, it is the buyer who will pay for the home inspections as a way to insure that all is going to be well with the new home.  They also like working with their own inspector, rather than the seller's.  Work with the buyer either way. Negotiate who will…

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If you are new to Piedmont, whether you come from nearby San Francisco, or across the continent from the New England area, you most certainly should discover the Piedmont Neighbors and Newcomers Club (PNNC). Their goal is to make their newest neighbors comfortable and involved with the community.  The good news is that you can participate in  as many activities as your schedule will permit- since there is such a variety-or you can choose to attend just a few things throughout the year.   Also, you can stay with the club as long as you like.  It is not restricted to newcomers, and many of your neighbors are long time members.   

Their events are scheduled both as evening and daytime events, so that attending the ones that interest you is easier. …

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Onr of the most effective tools in staging your home for sale is the act of "decluttering".  If you have lived in your Oakland or Piedmont home for any period of time, you have started to accumulate all kinds of books, toys, storage boxes full of papers, etc.. that you find handy and comfortable while living there.  When you put you home on the market, however, you will need to address this issue of crowded or cluttered rooms before you show it. 

Why is this important? Why bother?  There are two very important reasons for taking the time:

a. Buyers Need to Envision How Your Home Will Fit Their Needs--They need to see a simple presentation of each room.  They don't want to see an old football trophy, or an award given for raising Boy Scout funds…

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If you are looking for a pleasant evening out, and want to support nearby small merchants and artists, the Piedmont Avenue Stroll is just for you.  Held on the third Thursday of every month, this is a neighborhood oriented event designed to attract Oakland and Piedmont residents to get to know their local businesses and artists who are, literally, just around the corner.  

Each month, participating businesses and artists invite you to visit them from 6:00-9:00 p.m.. Many offer special discounts or promotions to make your shopping experience even more worthwhile.  Late night entertainment is available as well after the promotional hours.  Those merchants participating can be identified by a bright yellow flag in front of their shop. 

There is a…

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In Part 1, we stressed the need for having your paperwork in hand for all of the changes that you had made to your home while you were there. A special focus was to be those changes that would make it a unique and special place, when compared to your competition.  In Part 2, we will deal with issues in your Oakland home that will need to be disclosed to buyers. The goal--speed your sale by having all decisions and issues addressed, thus putting you in a position to act promptly to offers received, and again, often putting you ahead of other sellers in the marketplace.

1. Deal With Issues That Must Be Disclosed to Potential Buyers-

Most homes have things that need to be addressed-whether a leak in the bathroom, or a chimney that might need…

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STEP ONE--Deciding On The Price of Your Home-

Once you have made the decision to put your home on the market, it will be my job as your Oakland real estate agent to help you begin to take the important steps in determing its ultimate sales price.   I will certainly do a CMA-a Comparative Market Analysis-when we first meet.  That will give a sense of what your home might sell for compared to other homes in the area.  It is important to know that the CMA is the not the only basis that should be used for pricing your home. Your home is unique from all these others.  You can make it stand out from the competition.

STEP TWO--Prove Your Home Is Special To Buyers--

There can be some very productive homework that you can do that might just make your…

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When it comes time to put your Oakland or Alameda home on the market, plans need to be made to make the best impression possible on future buyers.  Often a lot of preparation time and money is spent on yards, kitchens and bedrooms, but there can be one feature that could deter potential buyers. That can be the presence of uncorrected damage, or the presence of odors, from pets in the home.  Whether unrepaired scratches on back doors or screens, or the accumulation of debris, or fence damage in the back yard, these issues should be addressed.  Often, because sellers haved lived with their pets for so long, they may not be aware of the extent of their pet problems. Take time to see things from the eyes of an outsider.

The next step is to make…

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