My Piedmont and Oakland Real Estate Adventures. History, Architecture and Homes

With lots of great events happening here in the East Bay, sometimes it is hard to decide what to attend, and what to pass on until next year.
Well, one event not to miss, is the upcoming Oakland Greek Festival. Taking place at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension on Lincoln Avenue in the Oakland hills, this fantastic celebration takes place May 14, 15, and 16.  So many great things to enjoy: live music, Greek dancing, imported goods, an incredible view of the Bay Area, and food, food, food. One definite item to indulge in, the Greek sausage. Still thinking about it from last year. And of course, the pastries. Eat some in the kafenion with a Greek coffee, and then grab some pre-wrapped on the steps of the church on your way out.  More

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This weekend the Oakland Museum will reopen after a two year, 58 million dollar renovation. Oakland's beloved museum has been updated and expanded, with a new focus on integrated and interactive galleries. Come join in a fresh new experience of their amazing collection of California art. The museum will begin festivities at 11:00 am Sat. May 1, and run continuously for 31 hours, until 6:00 pm Sunday May 2. It all starts with a public welcome ceremony, a Native Ameican Ohlone blessing, and dance by Project Bandaloop. From there check out the newly reinstalled galleries, new museum store and restaurant. The late night program includes live DJs, dance, food, film and fire dancers. A great place to stop by and check out the scene. There truly is something for…
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Now that the weather is clearing up, and spring is in full bloom, there is no better time to check out some of the many wonderful Berkeley and Oakland home and garden tours Here are a couple to start you off.  On Sunday, May 2 the Berkeley Heritage Julia Morgan Spring House Tour and Reception takes place. Tour starts at 1:00 at St. Clements Episcopal Church in Berkeley. The tour will highlight some of Morgan's early residential work. Another event to check out is the Celebrity Roses 63rd Annual East Bay Rose Society Show. This takes place Sunday, May 16 1:00 at Oakland's Lakeside Garden Center-Lake Merritt. A great chance to stroll through an abundance of roses!.  Many of the tours taking place this month benefit charity so you can be inspired on

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2010 California Tax Credit for First Time Buyers and New Home Purchases

California has a new tax credit for New Home and First-Time Buyers who buy a home that closes May 1, 2010 to Jan 1 2001. A more realistic end date is until they run out of the $100 million budget. This might not be very long as the 2009 credit ran out of funds quickly. The credit could stimulate some home purchases in the lower-end Oakland real estate market but I am not sure if it will have much effect on Piedmont homes for sale.
The state credit is slightly different from the $8000 Federal Tax Credit that will expire at the end of this month. The refundable federal credit went directly to the buyer when they filed federal income taxes. The non-refundable California credit will be a

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I just listed a great home in the Willow Glen area of San Jose with the fabulous Susan Matthews. The four bedroom, three bath home looks and feels inviting with a great floor plan and listing at a very competitive $799,000. French doors open to the fully landscaped backyard from either the formal dining room or the expansive family room. The family room has warm and richly refinished Brazilian hardwood floors and is a perfect place to entertain friends and family. With large  formal living room and office/bedroom downstairs, the floor plan offers a variety of options. Cambrian schools are within walking distance. Please visit our website at for more pictures, info and a virtual tour! Call me with any questions or for a viewing

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Touches of Julia Morgan are all over this 1912 home. Built for Charles Sutton, the property is centrally located between Grand Ave and Piedmont Ave. A brass chandelier with milky glass lampshades in the hallway rises above the stained glass encased back entrance. 554_oakland_front2_400The matte green tiled fireplace with oak mantle in the elevated den is a special touch. On over a 1/4 acre lot, the grounds have 3 mature palms and many fruit trees with permitted plans for a 2 bedroom 2 bath maid's house adjacent to the main home. Zoned R-70, the options are great with this home, whether a single family home or four units or more, it currently has four meters. The upstairs attic has been finished with a kitchen and full bath to take full advantage of the Oakland downtown and

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When thinking about where to take the kids to see the holiday lights don't forget about Zoo Lights, the Oakland Zoo's very own celebration in lights!
This special holiday light festival takes place from December 4th through January 3rd. and is certain to delight the whole family.
Although there was one year this event did not take place ,during the transition to LED lights, it is now back on track.
Hundreds of lights, music, and Santa's village are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Also check out the train ride on the Snowball Express with amazing views of oakland and the Bay Area (Best to try and go on a clear night)
For a great place in the East Bay to take the kiddies for a fun display of holiday cheer, visit the Oakland Zoo, our very own…
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No matter what your belief or religion, if you have never seen the Christmas light display that Oakland's Mormon Temple puts on, be sure to drop by this season. Although easily seen from many areas of the East Bay, the temple is located at 4770 Lincoln Blvd in Lincoln Heights. Just west of Woodminster, Joaquin Miller Park and Highway 13. I must admit that when I was a kid, I thought that the temple was a castle and a king and queen use to live there. Drop by with your own kids, it is quite a sight.



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Still known to many as Dr. Boone's house, named for the Alameda fixture who owned it for years, 1000 Grand St. in Alameda's Gold Coast has come on the market for $1,385,000. The sprawling 4 bedroom 3 bath Colonial revival home sits on over a 1/4 acre with an abundance of original details that were retained over the years. The architech was C.H Russell who also designed the Joseph Leonard House at the foot of Union St. Theporte cochère that used to sit on the West side of the home has been turned into a sitting room, but portions of the wrap around porch are still used today. Alameda's Fourth of July parade passes right in front of this massive home. The carpets have recently been removed to reveal the quarter-sawn parquet oak flooring. The dining room's

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