To Stage or NOT to Stage, That is the question.

staged home

I had a client  who decided to answer that question in the negative. This is one of the few times I agreed.  Staging isn’t for every property or every budget.  Here are the factors that affected our decision.

  • The home was in a very good area
  • Budget was an issue
  • The client needed to move right away

In this case, it really didn’t matter what the interior of the home looked like, the popularity of the location, home size and layout made finding a buyer easy. The problem with not staging was that the home showed poorly, and our client might have gotten a higher price had he the time or the money to invest in staging.

On average, though, staging helps.  Every agent knows the old adage, “Homes that don’t show well don’t close well.” But still, time and time again we see sellers rail against the time and cost associated with staging a home.

Here is something most sellers need to know: most buyers want to buy their dream life. That’s the advantage of staging. It takes down the personal touches and makes the most of the home, idealizing it in such a way that it matches most buyer’s visions of the way they want to live, not the way they actually live.

For up to the minute information about local real state,  information about home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley and Bay Area, keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information from a local agent about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

When it comes to buying a home, think locally.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “buy local” movement.  It can apply to food; the idea being that good health and even ecology depends upon your buying and eating fresh produce locally grown.

Buying what you need from local, “Mom and Pop” stores of all kinds– instead of purchasing items from big box stores–can benefit neighborhoods by sustaining walk score options and keeping good folks in business.

Homeisneverfaraway

Using local realtors and mortgage brokers can benefit YOU if you’re a home buyer.  People often think that buying a home is the same no matter where you are, but every area has local quirks that catch the unwary buyer, or buyer’s agent, by surprise.

Do you have a friend or relative that is a realtor, or did you find a great mortgage broker on line?  That’s great, but if the agent or broker doesn’t live in the East Bay, they don’t really know the ins and outs of the local market.  When you use local folks, you can depend upon their knowledge to get you the home you want.

For up to the minute information about local real state,  information about home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley and Bay Area, keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information from a local agent about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Football Season, Pro and Con–I mean Pro and Am

Let's hope he's not kissing this season goodbye.
Let’s hope he’s not kissing this season goodbye.

I caught my first 49er playoff game yesterday and was, well, under impressed.  I’m told playoffs don’t mean anything, but I wonder why? After all, they give us a look at the depth of a team, the training and conditioning they’ve received, and the coaching choices that have been made and how they compare to other team’s playoff performances.  As it stands now, things look pretty sad for our Niners and pretty great for, say, almost everyone else.

And then there’s Cal, my alma mater, and their struggling football force.  If last year’s Cal team and the Niner’s preseason performance have any predictive ability, then I’m looking at a pretty dismal run of Autumn sports entertainment.  We’d better plan to be doing other things.  Here’s this weeks Free Fun in the Bay Area report.

TUESDAY AUGUST 26th
Learn Morris Dancing in Berkeley

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 27th
Movie Night in Berkeley’s Sculpture Garden

THURSDAY AUGUST 28th
SF Mime Troupe performs in San Francisco

FRIDAY AUGUST 29th
Free Salsa Lessons in Jack London Square

SATURDAY AUGUST 30th
Queen of the Amazons” Performance in Berkeley’s John Hinkle Park

SUNDAY AUGUST 31st
Taming of the Shrew” Performance at the SF Presidio

For up to the minute information about local real state,  information about home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley and Bay Area, keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

New Listing in Amazing Albany

This Elbow Grease Treasure Chest is Ready for YOUR VISION!

front (2)

My esteemed collegue, Monica Ajer, and I are co-listing a pretty remarkable home in the Albany Hills.  If you want to check it out, we’ll be holding it open on Sunday August the 24th and August 31st from 2-4.

The address is 855 Washington Avenue in Albany.  It has a walk score of 78 and is located in a wonderful Albany Hill neighborhood. From the south facing windows and front deck. You’ll enjoy glorious sunrises over the  Berkeley Hills & the South Bay.

This generously proportioned 3 bedroom, 2 bath home is loaded with original details.  It has a light-filled sunroom and an updated kitchen with utility room that opens to a large patio on the first level of the deep, terraced yard.  The mature, drought resistent landscaping features  multiple varieties of cacti and other succulents.  Climb the path to the top of the yard and see more breath-taking views.

The asking  price is $525,000.  MLS #40671300

Some Answers to Sellers & Buyers about BUILDING CODES

Here’s a Handy Q & A to help you get a handle on building codes when you’re buying or selling a home.

Q  Some of the work on this house was done without building permits.  Does it matter?

A  Building codes exist to protect residents from loss and injury; the first thing to find out is, has the unpermitted work been performed to building code standards?  Is it safe?

Q  If I do any other work will I have to “fix” the unpermitted things?

A  Building permit practices vary from city to city; most municipalities have not so far made it a policy to investigate an entire structure when new permits are taken out  (although some cities do).  Any inspector will flag dangerous or egregiously defective conditions.

Q  Shouldn’t I set the record straight?

A  Always contact a qualified real estate attorney for definitive answers concerning your legal obligations and liabilities.  Remark that, if the living area is smaller than shown in the public record, a correction may result in a re-assessment and increased property tax.

Q  Won’t work without permits affect the house’s value?

A  Left unaddressed, unpermitted work will put current Buyers on the receiving end of this question when they go to sell.  If they sell in a sellers’ market this is less likely to cost them much.

I hope this  helps.

For up to the minute information about local real state including  high walk score homes,  information about home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley Area, keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.
If you’re interested in WALK SCORE HOMES go Berkeley Area Neighborhoods

Whatever you need, I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Fun Without the Fat: Monday One A Day Fun Day

Wayne Thiebau
Wayne Thiebaud

Many of the restaurants in Napa are know for their fine food and gorgeous presentations.  Desserts in this land of Wine and Money are memorable, but also way too hard on the waistline.
You can, however, wallow in deliciousness without adding a pound if you head for the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville.  There you can indulge in the sight of 100 of Wayne Thiebaud’s works on paper, many appealing to our taste buds as well as our eyes with his lucious representations of fruits, vegetables and desserts.  See the art and subject matter that launched the artist to his current fame.  There is a price of admission (only $3.50 for seniors) so those of you with a taste for FREE FUN will appreciate the following selections:

TUESDAY August 19th
Free sneak preview of “When The Game Stands Tall”

WEDNESDAY August 20th
Free Astronomy Lecture at the Randall Museum

THURSDAY August 21st
Third Thursday Piedmont Avenue Stroll

FRIDAY August 22nd
Taiko Drumming at the Hotel Nikko in SF

SATURDAY August 23rd
Annual Oakland Chinatown Street Fest

SUNDAY August 24th
The SF Mime Troupe comes to Berkeley

Enjoy your week in the beautiful Bay Area!

If you’re interested in specific information about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Is the East Bay Home Price Pendulum Swinging Toward Buyers?

Today in the Business Section I read that home prices in the Bay Area are flattening out. This is good news for everyone, really.  When home prices become too inflated, it’s actually bad news for both buyers and sellers. Here’s what I read in the National Association of Home Builder’s e-bulletin today:

“Each $1,000 increase in the cost of a new, median-priced home forces 206,000 prospective buyers out of the marketplace, according to a new study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The number of households affected varies across states and metro areas and largely depends on their population, income distribution, and new home prices.”

It’s important to price your home correctly. Even in a hot market, overpriced homes have less chance of selling because

  • The home won’t appraise and/or
  • Most buyers won’t be able to qualify for the mortgage

In short overpricing a home limits the number of buyers who can afford it, and even in a hot market fewer buyers will even consider an overpriced home.

And what happens  when a home just sits on the market?
Buyers begin to think something is wrong with it.

And there is.  It’s overpriced.

pricingmistakesfinal_dm

If you’re interested in specific information about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

Homebuyers, Bids, and Budgets

Much more than the list price needs to be considered when you’re making an offer on a home.  Here are some points to ponder:

  • The competition–how many other offers are out there?
  • Your down payment–more is better
  • Your potential monthly mortgage payments–are they affordable?
  • Any improvements you might want to make after you own the home (see the illustration below)–these you need to budget for.
  • You’re willing to make your offer stronger by waving certain contingencies and/or offering a quick close
  • Whether, If you don’t get the home at the price you offered, you will feel OK knowing you did what was best for you.

A good agent (me) will guide you through all of this and help you present the offer that best fits your needs and circumstances.

NoProjectLeftUndone

 

For up to the minute information about local real state including  high walk score homes,  information about home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley Area, keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

One A Day FREE Fun in the Berkeley Area

But first,  a word about Angeline’s Kitchen in Berkeley.

Daughter and Dad enjoying our meal at Angeline’s

Yum.

Ok, more than one word: great food, great ambiance, great music.  If you like Cajun, or if you like the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland and wish the adjoining restaurant had food that fit the mood, you’ll love Angeline’s Kitchen.

But, I did say Free Fun, so here are some entertainments in the Berkeley and Bay Area that fill the bill, if not the belly.

TUESDAY AUGUST 12TH
Oakland Active Music Center: Free Improv

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 13TH
Wizard of Oz Sing Along and Costume Party in Jack London Square

THURSDAY AUGUST 14TH
Free showing of Lawrence of Arabia at the Orinda Theater

FRIDAY AUGUST 15TH
Friday Nights at the DeYoung

SATURDAY AUGUST 16TH
Civil War Re-enactment at Fort Point

SUNDAY AUGUST 18TH
Free Comedy Showcase at the Ivy Room in Albany

Have a great week!

For up to the minute information about local real state including  high walk score homes,  information about home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley Area, keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Sellers: What Does the Market Think You’re Home is Worth?

A collegue and I were talking about a fellow realtor who’s clients thought he hadn’t done a good job selling their home.  We both realized that the sellers wanted too much for their property.

It’s easy to blame the agent, but what many sellers don’t understand is that the market sets the price, not the owner.

It’s understandable that many home sellers think that their home will sell above the price that the market dictates, especially when sites like Zillow and Trulia often give an inflated estimate of a homes value, often much higher than a local real estate agent would.

Sentimental value, and the improvements you’ve made don’t necessarily count either.

home sales

When it comes to price, the winning opinion is always the market’s.
To determine how much your home is worth it’s a good idea to look at comparable homes at the Sunday Open Houses. Pick those that are priced similarly to your desired amount and also those priced below the price you want.  Be objective.  How does your home compare to others on the market?

Good agents know it’s impossible to effectively price a home without taking into account the competition. Unfortunately, too many sellers don’t.  A clear-eyed look at the competition will help you–and your agent–devise a successful selling strategy.

For up to the minute information about local real state including  high walk score homes,  information about home sales and values, AND  free and cheap activites in the Berkeley Area, keep reading this blog.

If you’re interested in specific information about buying or selling a home in the Berkeley Area, you can give me a call at 510-527-0174. Or check me out online. I have two sites made for you.

If you’re a BUYER go to That House Detective
If you’re a SELLER go to What’s Next Homes.

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley