What’s Next: Remedies for Spring Fever

spring fever 111

Spring fever. Are you feeling it? The feet, or the heart, gets itchy and the gorgeous weather doesn’t help.  It makes us want to get out and go exploring.

Although the Bay Area weather has been unbelievably (and tragically for we water starved Californians) clear and beautiful, we’ve still been convinced it’s best to be in our respective places of business and doing our work.

But now it’s SPRING, and in the East Bay, with the ever-present scent of freshly blooming Jasmine intoxicating and enchanting us, we start to think we NEED, no DESERVE,  a vacation.

If you such a one who is eager to shake the dust off your feet and take a road trip, here’s a map designed to help you make the most out of an all-American tour.

If that’s too big a bite for you right now, here’s some other, more modest, free fun that might make you want to stick around town. Let’s take a look at what’s available this week.

TUESDAY MARCH 30TH
like cheese? Go to Whole Foods on Gilman for a tasting.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 1ST
Surround yourself with Spring at the Berkeley Botanical Garden

THURSDAY APRIL 2ND
Watch the breathtaking sky dancing of Bandaloop.

FRIDAY APRIL 3RD
Spring + Young love=Romeo and Juliet (free performance!)

SATURDAY APRIL 4TH
Easter Egg Hunt and Learning Festival

SUNDAY APRIL 5TH
Free first Sunday at the Oakland Museum

I hope this helps.  In any case, have a happy Easter and a superior Spring.  Enjoy!

if you’re thinking of selling and/or buying a home, don’t hesitate to call me for this, and all your other real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

Why Tech Savvy Millennials Need Real Estate Agents

frustration

Whenever I need help with my technology, I check with the kids. They’re millennials and seem to have grown up knowing the ins and outs of computer systems.

I used to be highly tech savvy.  Before I became a real estate broker,  I installed computer systems in high tech companies and designed the sound stages for both Fantasy Films in Berkeley and American Zoetrope in San Francisco.

Pretty sophisticated stuff, right?  But when I turned to other endeavors,  technological complexity grew and evolved.  Since I was no longer involved in that business, I was no longer on top of the changes.

The real estate business is an evolving thing as well.  Despite the access our computer devices give us to the latest listings on the market,  on-line loan officers, and various buyer/seller info pieces, unless you’re involved in the business, much of the minutia involved in the financing, negotiating, selling and buying of real estate is best left to the professionals.

Most buyers and sellers are not on top of the changes, or even up to speed on some of the basics.  For example, I was surprised to learn that most Millennials don’t know what “closing costs” are.  If you do, you’re in the minority.

If you’re buying or selling a home, find a good local agent (like me) and a trusted local mortgage broker (I have a list). Leave the details to us. Our responsibility is to you as our client.  We take pride in being on top of the changes in our business which helps us excel at doing a good job for you.  After all, we want you to refer us to your friends, so it’s in our vested interest to do right by you.

if you’re thinking of selling and/or buying a home, don’t hesitate to call me for this, and all your other real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Does Staging Matter? YES, & Here’s Why

“Homes that don’t show well don’t close well.”

Despite this adage, many sellers object to the time and cost associated with staging a home. After all, it’s a hot market, right? They just have to put a sign up and buyers will come.

True, they’ll come, but a staged home will often command a higher price.  After all, good staging shows the buyer their dream.  An unstaged home often shows buyers all the work that’s left to do to make the home just right for a new family.

Most buyers will pay more for the dream.

And remember, now that the weather is warming up, it’s as important to show off the outside of the home as it is to highlight the inside. During the spring and summer selling season, great curb appeal will definitely tempt more buyers into the home.

BuyersOfferMoreForAStagedHome

if you’re thinking of selling and would like to hire a stager, I know some terrific ones.  Don’t hesitate to call me for this, and all your other real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

What’s Next: My View on Free Fun

ViewHikes

I hope you’ve been enjoying the gorgeous Bay Area weather, punctuated only briefly (sadly) by last night’s downpour.  Still, It’s been mostly perfect for any and all outdoor activities.

We’ve been going on lots of walks, which pleases the dog no end.  We tend to take the same routes, though, either on the ridge above Tilden Park or by the water at Point Isabel. We’re thinking of changing it up a bit, so with a very little research we found a list of  great local view trails which I’m happy to share with you.

If hiking isn’t your favorite thing, below is a variety of free–or deeply cheap– fun you can have from March 23rd to March 28th.

TUESDAY MARCH 23RD
FREE preview of a stunning musical event at Grace Cathedral

WEDNESDAY MARCH 24TH
Death Cafe comes to Oakland

THURSDAY MARCH 25TH
Comedy Night at the Stork Club

FRIDAY MARCH 26TH
Tulip and Art Exhibition in Piedmont

SATURDAY MARCH 27TH
Family Outdoor Fun Festival

SUNDAY MARCH 28TH
Just $5 to watch films all day at The Albany Film Festival

Have fun, and if you’re thinking of a move, don’t hesitate to call me for all your real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Savvy Home Buyer’s Checklist

home_header1

Buying a home is one of life’s most important decisions and exciting adventures. But there’s much more to finding the right property than picking out the perfect floor plan. Even experienced buyers can find the process complex and a little overwhelming. That’s why the time you spend preparing before you start your search can be the best investment you make in your new home.

It’s important to understand the buying process, the decisions you will have to make, and undoubtedly the tradeoffs along your path to homeownership. So here are some things to keep in mind before and during your search:

  • Do the math on your purchasing power. Before you start cruising any neighborhoods for open houses, you need to know which driveways you can financially afford to pull into. Meet with a lender–call me for a list of reliable local lenders if you don’t have one– who will help you determine which type of financing (fixed rate, adjustable, etc.) will work best for your situation and how big of a loan you can comfortably qualify for with each type of available financing. Also, getting pre-approved can put you in a much stronger negotiating position because it shows the seller that you are a committed buyer, financially capable of buying the property and more likely to close on it.
  • Find the right agent. When you choose me as your real estate agent, I will be your partner in your search, so it’s important that you have confidence in me. I am a strong, seasoned professional REALTOR with experience and success in the neighborhoods you’re considering. Call me for an interview.
  • Start surfing. One of the most important tools for your house hunt can be found right in your own home or office the Internet. Many homes are listed for sale on the Internet because real estate agents know that most people turn to the Web first when looking for a new home. With just a few clicks of a mouse, you can see pictures, take virtual tours and map out locations for homes that contain features you are looking for. A good place to start is my SuperSite.  There, you can also register for MyREAlert to have information about available homes sent to you.  When you find a likely home, call me and together we can investigate whether any of those homes are right for you.
  • Location, location, location. One can make a list of pros and cons for nearly every home in every neighborhood. That’s why it’s important to narrow your search before you start touring every house in town. Decide which neighborhoods work best for you, your family and your work commute. Check out school districts, shopping and dining, public transportation, recreational areas and any other facts that are important to you. Check out my neighborhoods page for a good overview 
  • List your priorities and prepare to compromise. The dream home you have pictured in your mind might not exist in reality or at least not in your neighborhood or price range. It may be necessary to sacrifice that extra large bathtub or redwood deck in order to get the home located near your child’s school that has the four bedrooms you require. Make a list of the features you would like versus ones you can’t live without. Then, bring your list with you as you tour homes to keep score.
  • Would you like French doors with that? Once you’ve found a home you like, consider the costs of upgrades, repairs or remodels and factor those into your short or long term budgets and be certain to investigate with the local planning entities whether or not those upgrades are even possible.

With a little planning up front you will be well on your way to enjoying your new home before you know it.

If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Confused about the Process? Here’s Help for Home Buyers & Sellers

Language confusion

 

In every industry there’s jargon and procedures that are plain as day to insiders but often confusing to outsiders.  Real Estate has it’s own language, and to help with any potential language barrier or perplexing procedural processes, here’s a short summery of the Home Sale process which includes a little of both.

A typical house sells in stages:

1. market appearance—listing agents published details on proprietary MLS® (syndicates to consumer sites)

2. listing status is Active—Seller and their agents work to attract Buyers

3. offer[s] submitted by would-be Buyer[s]—sometimes on a date announced in advance

4. Sellers review and accept an offer, creating a Pending Sale and starting Escrow interval

5. Buyers hire property inspection[s] and complete lender’s financing requirements

6. Buyers may attempt to renegotiate terms or withdraw from Escrow, based on inspection findings

7. agreed price and other terms remain confidential among Buyer, Seller and the agents throughout Escrow

8. Close of Escrow—legal change of ownership, listing status Sold.

Not every sale is identical, but these are the most usual steps.  For more details this link will lead  you to my Buyers’ Handbook, which digs even deeper into the process and includes a wonderful Glossary of the industry’s jargon.

If you’re from out of town and not ready to make a purchase when you first arrive in the East Bay, the most comprehensive resource for finding a rental property is at Craig’s List.  California Realtors® are very seldom involved in arranging rentals, although I’d be glad to share some tips if you’d like to hear them.

OR to have a shot at answering any other real estate or SF Bay Area questions you might have. My blog and web sites are constantly updated with useful (and often fun) things about the area.

Call me for all your real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Free Fun in the Bay Area

stab in groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, today is the Ides of March, a date that has lived in infamy.

We saw our son play  Cassius, one of the instigators of the group that mowed Caesar down, in a production of Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”.  It was a very effective representation of group dynamics at it’s most lethal.

Yesterday I learned on MPR that group dynamics actually creates the desire to do crazy, chance-taking behaviour in the minds of teen and pre-teen kids.  When alone, they behave like sensible people, but being in a group actually gives them a high that makes them feel invincible.

Most of us enjoy being in a group of people having fun, and if you’re a group instigator, perhaps you’d like to get a few people together to enjoy these fun FREE events in the Bay Area for the week beginning with March 17th through March 22nd.

TUESDAY MARCH 17TH
Tons of St. Pat’s Day Celebrations all around SF, but if you want something different, try Persian New Year in Berkeley

WEDNESDAY MARCH 18TH
Free Local Standup Comedy in San Francisco

THURSDAY MARCH 19TH
Free Pizza with your comedy in Oakland

FRIDAY MARCH 20TH
Free Friday Nights at OMCA Plus Food Trucks

SATURDAY MARCH 21ST
Spring Equinox Magic Ritual  Egg Hunt

SUNDAY MARCH 22ND
Create your own ritual for National Water Day.  Click the link for help. It’s a movement, an international group effort to heal and support what supports us:  water.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the East Bay, I’m happy to help.  Please give me a call at 510-527-0174 .

East Bay home sellers: This is a golden time to sell your home! Demand is high and inventory and mortgages are low.  It can’t last forever, you know, so give me a call and let’s talk!

If you’re looking for a home in this amazing area, I can help you strategize for a successful purchase.

Call me for all your real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

What kind of Mortgage is Right for YOU?

MortgageChallenge

If you’re a first time homebuyer, and need financing  to purchase a property, you might not know all you need to know about the kind of mortgage that’s right for you.  How do you find that information quickly and easily?

I have some solutions:

  1. For a terrific series of easy to access videos that give you an overview of this–and other issues that concern home buyers–go to this informative, and kinda fun, Coldwell Banker site. They really do a nice job of providing many of the answers you need.
  2. After you have more facts about the process, you can speak to a lender with more confidence and a fuller understanding of where you are in the process; thus helping HIM help YOU more effectively and efficiently.
  3. In this market, listing agents feel more comfortable with–and therefore more likely to give an edge to– buyers who have lenders the listing agent also knows and trusts, and who also have a real working knowledge of the local market.  So, If you don’t have a lender, call me a 510-527-0174 for a list of trusted local mortgage brokers.  I’m happy to help.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the East Bay, I’m happy to help.  Please give me a call.

East Bay home sellers: This is a golden time to sell your home! Demand is high and inventory and mortgages are low.  It can’t last forever, you know, so give me a call and let’s talk!

If you’re looking for a home in this amazing area, I can help you strategize for a successful purchase.

Call me for all your real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

What’s Next: Free Fun

spats
Photo: Emilie Raguso

Any Old Bears like myself remember Spats?

When I was a student, I went there a few times but I remember that it was called Olegs then.  I returned when I was a bachelor working at Fantasy Records. By then it was renamed Spats.  I took my now wife there to enjoy a meal and the funky atmosphere.  It was a place that felt casual and free-spirited, reflecting perfectly the way we wanted to feel after a day at work.  

It closed up around 2009,  but now I hear Spats is coming back.  It’s great to see old Berkeley landmarks being restored to their former funkiness! I can’t wait to enjoy a meal and a beverage there.  I hope it has the same fun vibe.

And speaking of fun, let’s take a look at the FREE fun events happening this week (March 10-March 16th):

TUESDAY MARCH 10TH
Bach (not a misspelling) to the Future in Berkeley

WEDNESDAY MARCH 11TH
Town Hall to end homelessness in S.F.

THURSDAY MARCH 12TH
Irish American Festival events all over S.F.

FRIDAY MARCH 13TH
Berkeley Critical Mass Bike Event 

SATURDAY MARCH 14TH
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in S.F.

SUNDAY MARCH 15TH
Vintage Paper Fair in Walnut Creek

Have a great week!

East Bay home sellers: This is a golden time to sell your home! Demand is high and inventory and mortgages are low.  It can’t last forever, you know, so give me a call and let’s talk!

If you’re looking for a home in this amazing area, I can help you strategize for a successful purchase.

Call me for all your real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Be It Ever So Humble, ANYPLACE but a Dark, Cold Home.

Vasco Caves

We all need a roof over our heads.  It seems to be in our DNA to find or construct some kind of shelter.  From igloos to Teepees, to bungalows to high rise apartments, we look to our homes for security, warmth, safety, and comfort.

The only home I have issue with is a cave.

Our son, when he was very small and we were traveling around California’s Gold Country, stopped by Moaning Cavern to check it out.  Neither the wife nor I were comfortable with dark, small, deep spaces, but the boy-child was eager, so down, down, down we went.

It was an awe inspiring and striking experience, one of those experiences that, for me, would be like bungee jumping, where you try it just to say you did. After you do it, you have this feeling of euphoria for just having survived it.

I never want to do it again.

For those of you who would love to explore a cave, and don’t want to travel so far to so spelunk, I stumbled across a local East Bay cavern in Mount Diablo called Vasco Caves Regional Preserve.  It’s a delicate, ecologically sensitive area, so you need to schedule a tour, but if you have a game 4 year old who loves the dark, this is a trip at least he or she will enjoy.

East Bay home sellers: This is a golden time to sell your home! Even a cave might command a good price in this market where demand is high and inventory and mortgages are low.  It can’t last forever, you know, so give me a call and let’s talk!

If you’re looking for a home in this amazing area, I can help you strategize for a successful purchase.

Call me for all your real estate needs at 510-527-0174 , I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make you glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook, linkedIn or see my other online presences. I have two sites made just 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Company Super Site.

If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

Whatever your real estate need,  I’m happy to help!

Chris_sig

Chris Neddersen,
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley