There are so many elements that go into selecting the ideal neighborhood for your new Alameda or Bay Farm Island home.  Over the last few days, we spoke about selecting the type of home that you might like. This time, we will consider choosing the best  neighborhood fit for you and your family. 

Each family has different needs, wants and finances.  One family will put a stress on the school district, another will want proximity to parks, recreational facilities, or transportation sources.  When all is said and done, however, the family wants to feel comfortable, welcome, and secure in their final choice, and looking forward to spending many years among their new neighbors.  There are certain basics that make any neighborhood one to consider.

1.…

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In Part 1, we began to list some of the initial steps to take in finding your future ideal home.  Whether you are looking in central Alameda, or Bay Farm Island, the suggestions remain the same. 

In Part 2-below is an in depth look at some of the key factors to add on to your initial considerations.

1. What Kind of Home Do You Want?  While this may seem obvious, there is a huge variety of choices that you must make.  Important examples include:

a. What style of home appeals to you?

b. How many bedrooms do you need?  How many bathrooms?

c. Do you want a one-story or two-story home?

d. How important is the size of the yard?  Do you want a yard at all?

e. What are your childrens' most important requirements?

f. How close do you want to be to…

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THE PROBLEM: Over the last few years, Americans have been made aware of what the words "Housing Crises" means.  All over the United States, due to the sagging economy, coupled with poorly regulated lending policies, homeowners are discovering that what they supposed their home's value to be is no longer correct. 

In the past, the American dream of purchasing a house, staying in it for a while, then selling it and using it's increased equity to move up to the next level of ownership was a realistic and reasonable expectation.  The simple fact is that, for quite a while now, this has been unattainable for a disturbing segment of the Oakland-East Bay homeowners. 

Complicating this issue are the huge amount of regulations and rulings at the Federal level…

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In Part 1, we talked about making sure that your financial offer was strong and attractive. 

In Part 2, we will talk about the issues that will develop in buying your Piedmont home, and how to deal with them--that is, dealing with contingencies.  Together, we will spend time, before submitting the offer, deciding what will be the shortest and simplest list of contingencies that would be acceptable to you, and potentially, to the seller.

Sellers want to move on with their lives once they make the decision to place their house on the market.  Quite often, they will need the money from the sale to assure the funds for the purchase of the new house that they have selected.  As a result, if they have a choice between an offer with a long list of…

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At the outset, it seems as though it might be a good idea, when selling your Berkeley home, to be present during the day of the Open House.  You might feel that you would prefer to be there because no one can really "know" the property the way that you do, especially if you have lived in the home for a long time. However, the majority of real estate agents will disagree, and this disagreement is brought on by years of past experience.

The first reason uses the concept that "Time is Money". Buying a home is a huge investment for anyone.  Buyers need to look inside and out of every bedroom, closet and washroom.  They need to evaluate the kitchen and the back yard to determine if the home will meet their future needs.  This takes time. It especially takes…

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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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