Archive for Buyers

What’s a Supplemental Tax bill?

February 19th, 2009

Buying a home in Oakland, Berkeley Piedmont, especially for first time buyers results in the question “What’s a supplemental tax bill?” State law requires the Assessor’s Office to reappraise property immediately upon change of ownership or completion of new construction. The Assessor’s Office must issue a supplemental assessment which reflects the difference between the prior assessed […]

Seismic retrofit incentives for new home Buyers in Oakland and Berkeley

February 10th, 2009

The city of Oakland and the City of Berkeley offer nice incentives for new Buyers to make seismic retrofit improvements to their properties.  If you live in the Oakland and Berkeley hills areas such as Montclair, Rockridge, Elmwood, North Berkeley or anywhere in the San Francisco East Bay, it’s a safe bet that the home […]

Neighborhood and district names for homes in Oakland, Berkeley and Piedmont Hills California

February 3rd, 2009

The Oakland Hills, Berkeley Hills and Piedmont real estate area is comprised of many colorful neighborhoods, each with their own names such as Montclair, Rockridge, Croker Highlands, Trestle Glen etc. I’m often asked to identify the most common neighborhood names used in real estate advertising so that home Buyers can identify their general areas of interest. Well, here you […]

Conforming loan limits and their affects in Oakland and Berkeley Hills real estate

October 23rd, 2008

Loan amounts fall into two main categories, Conforming and Jumbo.   Conforming loans have a limit up to $729k.  Jumbo loans are all loans over $729k.  Until recently the Conforming loan amount was all the way down in the $400’s.  As an economic stimulus the Congress temporarily increased the Conforming loan limit to $729 through January […]

You cant stop water… So divert it!

July 1st, 2008

If you live or own real estate in the Oakland, Berkeley or Piedmont California hills it is important for you to know that you can not stop water, you can only divert it.  Properly diverting Water away from your home is the single most important thing you can do to increase the longevity of your […]

Crime and Demographic Statistics for Oakland, California

March 11th, 2008

I often get questions from prospective Buyers in the Oakland California real estate area about crime reports and demographic data. Crime reports are a touchy subject. I often get, “is this neighborhood safe?” Safe is subjective. The best source for that information is of course the city of Oakland Police department. That will give you […]

What Does “AS-IS” Really Mean?

February 25th, 2008

In the Oakland Berkeley real estate marketplace it is not uncommon to see “As-Is” referenced in the advertising remarks. In my opinion the As-Is term is used a little to often. The meaning of As-Is really depends on where you are in the sales transaction. Before an offer is accepted (the Marketing period) As-Is means […]

Multiple Offers in this Market?

February 17th, 2008

Contrary to what you might read in the San Francisco Chronicle some Oakland, California real estate listings are still generating multiple offers. Some are even selling substantially over their listing price. Up until early 2006 aprox. 75% of the properties on the market were selling with more than one offer. Now days it’s more like […]

Ugly Homes Are Ugly Again

February 11th, 2008

I heard an agent say the other day “Ugly homes are ugly again.” After laughing a bit I realized just how true that statement is. For a long time Buyers were willing to overlook pretty much everything. They were just happy to get the house. These days Buyers have more of an opportunity to be […]

The Components of a Raised Perimeter Foundation

February 6th, 2008

Most homes in the Oakland Hills are built on raised perimeter foundations. When a home inspector or a pest inspector makes an inspection they will often call out terms that don’t mean anything to the average Buyer or Seller. The photo (above) details the components of your foundation from the floorboards down to the dirt […]