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

When I first came to Alameda, I was charmed by its home town appeal unlike so many large cities in the Bay Area.  Much of it seemed to be part of an old movie set with tree lined streets, Victorian era homes situated around mossy green parks, and children playing games in the school yard.  While my arrival was more than 15 years ago, I am pleased to say, that the charm is still there–and more.It has rebuilt one of its most attractive Art Deco theaters–the Alameda Theater--into an award winning complex, and yet continues to support a tiny, but mighty, theater in the round at the other end the island-the Altarena Playhouse. It’s Fourth of July parade is one of the largest west of the Mississippi, and children and parents from Cub Scouts, churches, the Boys…
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There are many wonderful places to go on walks in the East Bay. Nature jaunts within the many East Bay Regional Parks, and architectural walks through gorgeous old neighborhoods, will entice you to while away the better half of the day.

When in the mood to get away from it all, I usually head to one of the beautiful East Bay Regional Parks that reside within the Oakland hills. 

One of my favorites is Redwood Regional park, where you can really feel miles away from the urban hubub. Beautiful old Redwoods and grassy meadows make it a perfect place to hike, workout, picnic or just play with your kids in an oxygen rich and car free zone.

Equally as beautiful, is Joaquin Miller park just south of Montclair on Highway 13. This park provides wonderful hiking

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One of my favorite quick lunchtime meals is sushi from Sushi King in the Marketplace on Park St. in Alameda. It is a very small open air stall with only 4 seats and lots of fabulous to-go sushi. Everyone working there is pleasant and friendly and they treat their customers like 'kings'. They don't have as many fancy fish options like toro or aji but the fish is very fresh and healthy. My usual is the spicy tuna roll and a maguro nigiri. Where else can you sit in between a fresh fish market, JP Seafood, and a butcher, Baron's Meats, and eat fresh sushi?

Baron's has been around since 1915 and they store aged beef in glass lockers for their customers. You can order your personal steaks cut from your very own side of beef. Very Cool.

Also

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It's that time of year again, Tax time! One of the first things I do for the new year is send my clients a copy of their Settlement Statement (or HUD-1) . If you bought or sold a home last year it is time to get all your paperwork together and send it to your tax preparer (or just do it yourself!) The HUD-1 sheet is a breakdown of all the costs incurred in your recent home sale /purchase. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requires that the form be issued in all real estate transactions in the United States which involve federally related mortgage loans. I always give my clients a CD copy of all the disclosures and Escrow paperwork but sometimes a hard copy in the mail saves a lot of frustration and time. Trust me, whoever does your taxes…
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I always take info from the internet with a grain of salt but here are a few figures I found. 

 

Top 10 Worst States For Foreclosures

Top 10 Worst States For Foreclosures in 2008

1. Nevada – 1 in 61 households
2. California – 1 in 88 households
3. Florida– 1 in 95 households
4. Michigan– 1 in 102 households
5. Ohio– 1 in 107 households
6. Colorado – 1 in 109 households
7. Arizona – 1 in 112 households
8. Georgia– 1 in 142 households
9. Indiana– 1 in 196 households
10. Texas– 1 in 205 households

Top 10 States With Least Amount of Foreclosures in 2008

1. Vermont – 1 in 12,294 households
2. South Dakota – 1 in 4,693 households
3. North Dakota – 1 in 4,288 households
4. West Virginia – 1 in 3,071 households
5. Mississippi – 1 in 2,501

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First off, I realize that blogging requires a commitment to the 'art' . I am not a writer by training ;-). You have probably already figured this out in my first sentence or two. I am a poor speller and never was confortable in Mrs. Singaras' English class at Skyline (1984). But I hope that I can entertain and amuse you all with some stories and histroy about my real estate adventures. It is Nov. 2008. Obama was elected days ago and the country and the Bay Area in general are in for a lot of changes. What will this mean for Oakland and the neighborhoods, remains to be seen. But we are hopeful and because I love Oakland so much, I am not moving anywhere else, so stick with me and let's experience Oakland together.

 

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