What’s Next: Fun Ways of Staying in Shape During the Holidays

santa-zumba

Did you, like me, spend the weekend in a football coma?

Sure, there was work to be done. Even during the holidays, when you’re a realtor, there’s no down time for us.

Home buyers, for various reasons, need to find homes no matter what the season. They need to establish or update a search profile and/or take home tours.

Buyers want advice about a property they’re thinking of selling, or want an update on their current home value.

Call me if you’d like and of these things yourself.

There’s also my own need to continually update my database to make sure my clients old and new are receiving what they need.

But in the mean time, there was a ton of football to watch.

Unfortunately, watching football and working on real estate are–generally–seated activities. These sedentary pursuits, added to the Thanksgiving feast, the office parties, and the gatherings of friends–in which rich, delicious food is always plentiful–and you’ve got the perfect recipe for adding a few more pounds to the pot (belly).

So what to do? I decided to devote today’s list of activities to those that help us get off the couch and out of the house, so here goes. We’ll start slow:

TUESDAY DECEMBER 1ST
 See the world tallest tree lit up in SF

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 2ND
Go ice skating in Union Square

THURSDAY DECEMBER 3RD
Go dancing in Berkeley

FRIDAY DECEMBER 4TH
Head to Jack London Square for a bevy of seasonal activities 

SATURDAY DECEMBER 5TH
Stroll around block fulls of art in Oakland

SUNDAY DECEMBER 6TH
Have a snowball fight in Berkeley

ENJOY!

If you’d like to use your holiday time off to begin the process of selling or buying a home, give me a call. I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook or linkedIn.

If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My New Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

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

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Giving Thanks and Giving Back

Jackets on signposts

Looking around at all the opportunities to work and play in the East Bay, and at how abundantly many of us live, it’s clear that we have a lot to be thankful for.  So much so that it’s sometimes easy to forget that we aren’t all equally blessed with the what-it-takes to do whatever-we-want.  There are many who are just scraping by, who are without income, home, food, clothing, hope.

Our society at large struggles to find ways of addressing this huge problem. Lately, on social medial, I’ve seen ideas that help in a small way. There’s the coat on a signpost idea (see the photo), where you leave a coat on a signpost with a note saying that the coat is not lost, it’s a free coat for anyone who needs warm clothing.

I like this idea.  It’s simple, and not embarrassing for either the giver or receiver.  No judgement or assumptions involved. If you’re cold and need a coat, here’s one.  If not, let someone else have it. Maybe leave some bills in the pocket as an extra surprise.

Another idea is something called “Handbags for the Homeless” which, at first blush, looked like a good notion, but after a little research I decided that it might not be the best use of our extra cash. Here is the blog that describes the program and sums up my misgivings about “Handbags for the Homeless” pretty well.  After reading it, I decided it was best to give a few bucks instead.

If you can’t or would rather not do that, you can give some of your time. Thanksgiving  for many has become an opportunity to give back by providing service to those less fortunate. To that end, and because most of us are too busy getting ready for the holidays to need my usual, weekly list of things to do, click here to find a list of ways to volunteer your time to help others in the Bay Area.

However you spend the holidays, I’m wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings.

If you’d like to use your holiday time off to begin the process of selling or buying a home, give me a call. I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re glad you called.

Get to know me! Check me out on facebook or linkedIn.

If you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My New Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

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

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

What’s Next? Walk Don’t Walk (or Drive)

Newts

We have a plethora of wilderness areas in the East Bay. The one I like best–based on proximity to my home and office–is Tilden Regional Park.  There are hiking trails galore here, and these crisp Autumn days are perfect for a trek through the “wilderness”.

Driving to get to a trail head is a little more complicated now.  South Park Drive, one of the main routes to many of the park’s attractions, is closed through April 1st in honor of the mighty mating migration of the newt. Not THAT one, and not an April Fool’s joke.  Really.

Another detour to be aware of this weekend involves driving around Berkeley on the 22nd.  It won’t be easy.  There’s going to be a four race half marathon that takes runners on a tour of the city.

If a walking tour sounds better to you, you might want to buy this book.  “Berkeley Walks: Revealing Rambles through America’s Most Intriguing City” by Janet Byron and Bob Johnson outlines some interesting and historical routes.  In it you’ll find walks that take you by Bill and Hillary Clinton’s love nest and the abode of the Unabomber when he spent time here as a UC prof.

Here are some more pre-Thanksgiving activities that might also serve as post Thanksgiving ways of helping your body balance out the eating of mass quantities of delicious food.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 17TH
Hike with a ranger at Muir Woods

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 18TH
Ice Skate in Union Square

THURSDAY NOVEMBER19TH
Learn about River Otters in Oakland

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 20TH
City of Albany Camp Out and s’mores

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 20TH
Renegade Craft Fair at Fort Mason

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 21ST
Afternoon Bluegrass Jam in Bernal Heights

Have a great week in the East Bay!

And speaking of walking, if you’re interested in moving into a high walk score home, you can make that evaluation by plugging the address of any property of interest into the space provided in the web site called WalkScore.  If the property looks like a winner, give me a call and I’ll find out what I can from the listing agent and get you in for a private tour.

I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My New Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

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

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

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Veterans Day, Veterans and VA Loans

Veterans Day

Anyone who has read some of my earlier Veteran’s Day blogs know that I am enormously proud of my father, Richard Neddersen, who was a war hero in WWII.  I wished he had talked more about his experiences, but since he was reluctant to discuss the war I became a researcher, reading as much as I could about the history and causes of World War II and trying to place my dad in the action.

This morning I saw an piece in the news about the growing number of suicides among veterans and consulted a site full of scholarly articles about the problem.

It was a sobering assessment. I recalled a bumper sticker that read “There are no unwounded soldiers” and I began to understand my father’s reluctance to recount his experiences to his young sons.  His long years in the war must have been horrific, so horrific that he strongly advised my brother and I NOT to follow in his footsteps.

War is a brutal business. I honor my father and all those who fight, and hope the decision to commit to this ultimate violence is never taken without alternatives having exhaustively been undertaken.  I also wonder why those that send our boys off to fight are so reluctant to spend money on their health care, food, job training and lodging when they return.  At least there are a few things that we real estate agents can do to aid veterans and those are:

  • Provide them with names of lenders who work with VA loans
  • Help them find homes suitable for that type of funding.

If you’re a veteran, or just curious, I found a link that discusses VA eligibility and another that talks about loan limits in various areas in the United States. In the Bay area, for example, the loan limit is $625,000.00.

I’m glad to know our industry is working to help veterans and their families put a roof over their heads.  Here’s hoping that more help will come from other agencies to assist a veteran’s transition from military to civilian life.

If you’re a veteran looking for a home, or if you’re  a civilian buyer or seller, I’m happy to help you with your real estate needs.

I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My New Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

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

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

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

What’s Next? Thanksgiving? Hard to Tell. . .

breughel_harvest_large

Sure enough, rivaling the ghosts and goblins in the local stores were Christmas trees and piles of presents. We skipped the turkeys and the autumn leaves.

I guess you can never start too soon to prepare for the holidays, but it sure does take the fun out of the season.  The early warning signs that time is running out just increases stress.

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, to bask in the beauty of Fall and embrace the coziness of shared meals and conversations in front of the fire.  Traditionally it’s a time to evaluate the harvest, examining what grew and what didn’t and–using the information you acquired–plan for next year’s crops.  Atavistically, it feels like a time of deep rest and contemplation.  Racing around buying gifts feels wrong somehow, for quiet, effective, deep and restorative thought takes time.

Time is the best gift you can give yourself or someone else. I saw this wonderful youtube going around about what kids really want for the holidays and realized that time with each other is what we long for.  It’s important to pay attention to our companions without our umbilical cell phones and their constant distraction, to give thanks for all that we have and to truly appreciate how lucky we are to be alive.

Without further ado, and without wasting any more of your precious time, here’s  this weeks short list of interesting and entertaining events in the Bay Area. I hope you take some time to enjoy them with friends and family.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 19TH
Fields of Prayer Art Installation at Grace Cathedral

WEDNESDAY  NOVEMBER 20TH
Veteran’s Day Freebies for Veterans

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 21ST
Best kept secrets of local hiking in Palo Alto

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 22ND
Dance party at La Pena (lessons included)

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 23RD
Blowing up the old Bay Bridge

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 24TH
Starry Plow Matinee Concerts

Enjoy your week, and remember to take some time to relax!

If you’re looking for a new home for the holidays,or if you’re wanting to move on from your old one, give me a call. I’d love to help.

I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My New Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

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

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

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

 

What’s Next: Life After “Death”–This Week’s Local Activities

DDLM skull

Halloween and the Day of the Dead are favorite holidays around our house. We love the decorations, pumpkin carving, seeing the adorable trick-or-treating neighbors, and CANDY.  Candy is definitely a rare offering in our home, so I take advantage when it’s around.

And we had a lot left over. Not as many groups going candy gathering lately, but there are a lot of other things to do in the East Bay. In fact, I love how the holiday has grown locally. Solano Avenue shops hosted a special day dedicated to safe trick-or-treating, Berkeley had a day long Dia del los Muertos festival, and the Oakland Museum has its special annual exhibition of altars created by local artists honoring the dead.  You can still catch it, and I recommend it.

Time now, though, to turn our attention away from dead ancestors and toward making our present lives worth living–starting with local fun. Here’s a partial list of what’s coming up the first week of November.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 3RD
Free museum days starting the first week of November

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 4TH
First Wednesday: Author’s Reading their works in Oakland

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 5TH
Gilman Game Night in Berkeley

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 6TH
Steam Carnival in San Francisco

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 7TH
Discovery Days at AT&T Park

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 8TH
Victorian Walking Tour in SF

And remember, it’s better to wake up and smell the roses then lie buried beneath them, so here’s hoping you enjoy your life every moment of every day!

If you’re looking for a new home to enjoy, or if you’re wanting to move on from the old one, give me a call. I’d love to help.

I’m easy to contact.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your referrals–and I’ll make sure you’re 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 want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market check out my My New Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

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

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

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley