August: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times

I was born in August, and as a result had mixed feelings about the arrival of my birthday.  On the one hand: party, presents, cake! On the other hand: School was right around the corner. As I grew I began to understand that adults (unless they were teachers–and, as I later learned, there was no free time for them either), never had the long, lazy summer vacations that I enjoyed as a boy.

Growing up was always something we kids longed to do, but little did we know that one of the things we’d wave good-bye to, besides hairless skin and being really short, were summer vacations.

I noticed to my horror that in my teenage and college years, when I needed money to use the car and go on dates, my summer vacation would have to be subsumed by my summer job or no dates for me. Then, in my young adulthood when I worked in the corporate world, vacations were scheduled, and usually only lasted a week or so.

As a real estate agent, when work and time off can happen anytime, I learned the value of small vacations, staycations, and keeping my ear to the ground to find interesting things to do on a daily basis no matter how my schedule looked.

So, speaking of that, here are a few fun things that caught my eye. These Bay Area activities will ease our way as we leave August behind and welcome the beginning of September.

TUESDAY AUGUST 30TH
Comedy at the Night Light in Oakland

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 31ST
This Changes Everything Book discussion in Oakland 

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 1ST
Wild Wildflowers last blooms at the SF Botanical Garden

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND
Last Gasp of Summer Beer Garden in Ghirardelli Square 

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 3RD
Art Break Day all over the Bay Area

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 4TH
Twelfth Night: Shakespeare in the Park

I hope you enjoy your transition from Summer to Fall. I’m here to help you find the fun, or a solution to your housing needs, no matter what the season.

I’d love to help you buy or sell an East Bay home. It would be my pleasure.

If you’re moving to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you want or need to go in the US or the world. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.

Just call me.  I’m easy to get a hold of.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone or text 510-418-1306  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 Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE #01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

“Let’s Get Moving!”

 

Bowles Hall: UC’s Hogwarts refurbished

2016-08-27 09.08.17

Of any of you who saw the Harry Potter movies or read the books, I wonder if you had this atavistic feeling that the ideal college experience was, in a way, captured there. The idea of living and studying with groups of like-minded people surrounded by a long tradition of cultural quirks and intellectual distinction that made it, somehow, magically different from what most college experiences turn out to be–a much bigger high school campus, the only difference being the classes were harder and you (if you were lucky) lived either in the student storage units that we called “dorms” or in off campus in apartments. Either choice was, for the most part, isolating and incohesive.

Now, Bowles hall is reviving that old-time ivy tower campus ideal by providing the means for a formation of a family of fellow students who have access to an in-house library, live-in graduate students, and other academics to aid and guide their college experiences. From the website, this:

The mission and vision of the Bowles Hall Foundation is to re-establish the Bowles Hall experience in a restored Bowles Hall—breathing life back into a noble dream of a robust residential experience for male and female undergraduate students at UC Berkeley and restoring key aspects of the residential college model and the rich heritage of Bowles Hall“.

Today (August 27th) there’s going to be a reopening celebration.

Bowles Hall lives large in the history of my family. The photo above is a picture of the heavy brass ashtray representing Bowles Hall that my dad received; a souvenir of the part he played as a housing manager when the castle on the hill reverted to a UC residence hall at or around 1945.

I like to see myself as a “housing manager”, providing those wishing to live in the Berkeley area with suitable accommodations. If you want such, or have such to sell, give this long-time east bay native a chance to apply my ample local knowledge to your housing need.

I’d love to help you buy or sell an East Bay home. It would be my pleasure.

If you’re moving to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you want or need to go in the US or the world. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.

Just call me.  I’m easy to get a hold of.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone or text 510-418-1306  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 Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE #01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

“Let’s Get Moving!”

International Vacations Right Here in the Bay Area

tea garden

Summer is slipping away and before we know it Fall will be here! If you didn’t get that vacation abroad–or even a trip to the woods–that you wanted, and you still yearn for a travel experience, you can’t beat the Bay Area for staycation opportunities.  Enjoy a taste of Japan at the Tea Gardens or Japantown, both in San Francisco.  There’s an Oakland Chinatown, too, if you don’t want to cross the bridge. In Berkeley, if you’re shopping for exotic food or fashion, you might enjoy the area near the corner of University and San Pablo. For a few more international ideas, take a look at this list.

TUESDAY AUGUST 23RD
Brush up on all things French in SF

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 24TH
Free Waffle on Belgian Waffle Day

THURSDAY AUGUST 25TH
The Starting Day of Free National Park Weekend

FRIDAY AUGUST 26TH
Annual King Tut Festival in Hayward

SATURDAY AUGUST 27TH
Oakland Chinatown Street Festival

SUNDAY AUGUST 28TH
Ukrainian music and dance in Golden Gate Park

I hope you enjoy these last days of summer, and if you and your family are planning a move, I’d love to help you buy or sell an East Bay home. It would be my pleasure.

If you’re moving to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you want or need to go in the US or the world. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.

Just call me.  I’m easy to get a hold of.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone or text 510-418-1306  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 Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE #01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

“Let’s Get Moving!”

School’s Starting! What’s a Family To Do? Here are some ideas. . .

kids and computers

The days of Summer are drawing to a close. Did you feel like you missed some opportunities to play while the kids were out of school? This week, I’m going to focus on finding activities the whole family might enjoy. Let’s make good use of the time before school scheduling sets in to enjoy some family time.

TUESDAY AUGUST 16TH
Your older school kids might relate to these Embarrassing Middle School Stories

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17TH
Yo Ho Ho! Sunken Ships in SF Bay! Hear the tales!

THURSDAY AUGUST 18TH
Semi-camping on the Presidio: Off the Grid

FRIDAY AUGUST 19TH
Learn cool circus tricks (for kids 8 and up)

SATURDAY AUGUST 20TH
Festival of the Sea in SF

SUNDAY AUGUST 21ST
Free Sailboat Rides in Berkeley

Have fun, and if you and your family are planning a move, I’d love to help you buy or sell an East Bay home. It would be my pleasure.

If you’re moving to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you want or need to go in the US or the world. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.

Just call me.  I’m easy to get a hold of.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone or text 510-418-1306  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 Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE #01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

“Let’s Get Moving!”

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

garage sale

If you’re thinking of selling your home, the first step is to strip it down.  You don’t want to haul the same old junk to your new home, and having a clean, simple,  clutter-free home is visually more attractive to buyers. And since weather is a factor, summertime is the perfect time to get rid of clutter.

For as long as it has been true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, garage sales have benefited both buyer and seller. So before throwing your own worldly possessions on the front lawn, check out the following suggestions for garage sale success:

 What to Sell

  • Because variety is the spice of life, garage sale shoppers prefer sales that feature a little bit of everything. If you have nothing but used clothing and toys to sell, wait until you can pull together a few more items.
  • When deciding what to sell, never underestimate the value for absolute junk. If you haven’t used something in the past year, put it up for sale.
  • Since dealers and antique collectors frequent garage sales, proudly display one-of-a-kind items.
  • Dressers, bookcases, baskets, tables, toys, and tools attract traffic.
  • If you sell appliances, make sure they work. Have an outlet handy so buyers can plug in that old TV set before buying it.

 How to Price

  • Put price tags on items. Customers may assume that unmarked items are out of their price range.
  • Be prepared to haggle. Price everything at twice the price you really want for it so you can accept offers for half price. Most garage sale enthusiasts love to negotiate. But it’s okay to say, “I’m firm on that price.”
  • Take a hint from retail vendors who mark down slow sellers. If an item doesn’t move, ask a little less.
  • Don’t charge more than half the retail value of your merchandise. In fact, most Web garage sale sites recommend pricing items at 10 to 30 percent of retail.

 How to Display

  • Clean everything. Dirty dishes fetch a far lower price than their clean counterparts.
  • Large items bring the most foot traffic. If you sell your furniture early, ask if you can keep it until the end of the day.
  • Clothing on racks sells higher than similar items thrown on a blanket. If possible, hang a line in your garage or buy a portable rack. People who dig through boxes expect to pay much less for those items.
  • Clearly mark your sales area. If you have a sale in your garage, cover the lawn mower, shovels, and rakes.
  • Attract attention with eye-catching balloons and signs.

How to Advertise

  • Place an ad in a weekly or daily newspaper. If you partner with neighbors on a mutually convenient weekend, you can usually convince them to share the cost with you.
  • Make plenty of bold, bright, neatly lettered signs. Place them at strategic locations, directing traffic to your neighborhood, street, and house. But don’t forget to take them down when the sale is over!
  • Don’t sponge off of your neighbors’ advertising. If he places ads and posts signs for his own sale, offer to split costs, or wait for another day to sell your stuff.

When to Sell

  • Check the weather forecast before planning your sale. Even if you plan to have your sale indoors, inclement weather may keep your customers at home.
  • Saturday is often the best day for a yard or garage sale, though this varies regionally. In some places, people tend to favor Thursday or Friday sales. If you are new to an area, ask around to see which days are the most popular for sales.

What to Do with Leftovers

  • Store unsold items for another day. What isn’t of interest now may be in high demand next year.
  • Make arrangements to have unsold items picked up by the Salvation Army or other charitable organization. Most provide receipts for taxable donations. To calculate the fair market value of donated items, talk to your accountant. You will probably be surprised by how much you can claim,
  • Give the items away. What doesn’t sell is usually snapped up when placed near a sign that says, “FREE.”

Good luck! Call me for step two of selling your home.

If you’re moving to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you want or need to go in the US or the world. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.

Just call me.  I’m easy to get a hold of.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone or text 510-418-1306  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 Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE #01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

“Let’s Get Moving!”

6 Days of Summer Fun in Uncertain Weather

botanical garden

Visitors to the Bay Area ask me what it’s like to live in a climate that doesn’t have distinctive seasons.  We do too have seasons.  They just get a little mixed up is all.  So far, we’ve had winter days in spring that have slopped over into summer.  Spring came in a few days before summer officially started, then the summer fog rolled in and it felt like winter until about noon when the sun came out and our clothing layers come off. Now we’re looking at falling leaves, cool, foggy nights and mornings, and warm, warm afternoons. The presence of Orb spiders on the bushes and cottontails on the trails announce that autumn is around the corner. But before we pack up our summer clothing, our indian summer, if it’s true to form, will give us some of the hottest days of the year.

That being said, it’s a good idea to plan for both indoor and outdoor fun in the Bay Area, cause you never know what mom nature will be cooking up.  Here’s a few ideas, and bring remember to bring a coat:

TUESDAY AUGUST 9TH
The fabulous Golden Gate Botanical Gardens Free Day.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10TH
If you’d like to explore the 60’s here’s the tour for you.

THURSDAY AUGUST 11TH
Stand up comedy night at the Stork Club in Oakland

FRIDAY AUGUST 12TH
Closing party of the Fiesta Fridas Art Show in Oakland

SATURDAY AUGUST 13TH
Biggest Ever Rosie the Riveter Gathering in Richmond

SUNDAY AUGUST 14TH
Oakland Dragon Boat Festival on Lake Merritt

If you enjoy the East Bay as much as I do and want to purchase a home here, give me a call. I love to help home buyers and sellers find a home wherever their hearts call them.

If you’re moving to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you want or need to go in the US or the world. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.

Just call me.  I’m easy to get a hold of.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone or text 510-418-1306  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 Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE #01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

“Let’s Get Moving!”

Secrets of Winning the Offer War (Part 4 of 4)

handshake_at_meeting

Here is Part Four of the four part series on winning the offer war. If you missed the first two,  here are the links to Part One about “PRICE”,  Part Two about “TERMS“, and Part Three about “CONTINGENCIES”  Today we’ll be looking at the third factor:

PERSONAL TOUCH

  • Home sellers sell for a myriad of reasons. If your offer is for a home where the seller has been resident, you may assume that back when they bought the house, it was with plans for the future on their minds and optimism in their hearts.  Whatever happened between then and now, people lived in the home and hold a deep appreciation for the shelter from the storm, real and metaphorical, that it provided.  Many sellers hope the home they’re leaving will be someone else’s fresh start.  Presenting yourself as the one who will appreciate and care for the home is a way of winning hearts and minds.  It’s what agents call a “love letter,” sharing with the seller your admiration for the home, and vision of what it will be like for you to live there.
  • Have your agent present the offer in person to the sellers, if that’s possible. Agents in this area know each other– and experienced agents tend to respect and trust offers brought from someone they know has been in the business a while. Offers from such are usually clear and competent.

The tips in this four part series will help you understand exactly what it takes to create a competitive winning offer.  There is a fifth ingredient, and that’s your real estate agent. I hope you will consider me a member of your home buying team.  Together, following this plan as best we can, we’ll create beautiful winning offers.

If you’re pursuing your dream of home ownership, or if you want to sell an East Bay home, I can help.  Summer is a great time to buy or sell a home.

Also, if you’re moving to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you want or need to go in the US or the world. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.

Just call me.  I’m easy to get a hold of.  As so many of us do, I carry my office with me wherever I go, so phone or text 510-418-1306  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 Web Site to discover homes on the market–neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Chris Neddersen
Broker Associate
CalBRE #01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

“Let’s Get Moving!”