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

This Saturday is Oakland's 11th annual Laurel Street fair between 35th and High St on MacArthur Blvd. This is a great time for everyone and I make a habit of going every year. They shut doen the whole street for great food and activities for everyone, making this a great stop for Oakland newbies and oldtimers alike. This year the festival is featuring music by John Statos quartet (5 time grammy nominee), The ACME all stars, DJs and others. 80 booths of food vendors to satify your hunger and a kids zone with lots of activities for the little ones. The hours are 11am to 5pm.


See you there!



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Come tour this wonderful remodel of an exquisite Mediterranean on one of the most desirable streets for Piedmont Homes. All three floors have been remodeled under the guidance of designer William Anderson. This 4 bedroom 3 1/2 bath home's living room has huge stately fireplace that complements the vaulted ceiling. The master has French doors revealing a terrace with downtown views. The Kitchen has been renovated with doors leading out to a private courtyard with a Bar-b-que for entertaining. The lower level has an additional bedroom that could be used as an au pair quarters. $1,995,000

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A while back I was blogging about the Oakland Mansion in Rockridge of Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong, which was quickly sold for 4.8 million. After viewing it, many I'm sure wondered where he might be moving on to?

Where does one go from an already amazing Rockridge home, in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the East Bay?

Well, it turns out that Billy Joe has built a Luxury Home in Piedmont, and not just any home. It actually won top honors for new construction in Piedmont, by the Piedmont Planning Commission's 2010 Design Awards held May 10. When one thinks of Piedmont, stately vintage homes come to mind, not new construction for Rock Stars. Where does one find a lot/tear down to even endeavor such a project? Well, in Billy Joe's case,

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The U.S. News & World Reports recent rankings of America's best high schools names Piedmont High among the top in the nation for the third year in a row, winning gold medal status. After analyzing 21,000 public schools in collaboration with School Evaluation Services, Piedmont High was ranked among the top 100 in the U.S. at number 73. Honors given to other East Bay schools included Campolindo High in Moraga, Miramonte High in Orinda, and Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland, to name a few. Nice to see some good news regarding schools and the quality of education here in the Bay Area!

When buying a home in the East Bay, buyers may need to consider what school district they are buying into. Even buyers with no children may benefit from

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Not to miss this month is the Oakland Zoo's Walk on the Wild,
an"epicurean escapade", which is truly one of the best summer events in
the East Bay.
An adults only affair, it's really like one big party where you stroll
the gorgeous grounds of the Oakland Zoo, whilst sampling food and drink from
over 90 Bay Area restaurants, caterers, breweries, wineries and
bakeries. Start with the stroll, don't forget to take the sky ride at
sunset, and finish off with dessert, live music and dancing under the
stars. This is the zoo's largest fundraiser of the year, 18th annual,
and guarantees to be a fabulous time. Cost is $125.00
for members, $150.00 for non- members, patron packages $250-5000, but
what a great way to support our beautiful zoo, and discover and support
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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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