Category Archives: East Bay Homes

Six Special Bay Area Events This Week, NO FOOLIN’!

botanical garden
Berkeley Botanical Garden

March is going out like the proverbial lamb after a rainy, leonine beginning.  El Nino did much of what was promised. The flowers abound, bringing cheerful bursts of color to the hillsides (and local gardens), the reservoirs are filling up, and the snow levels near Lake Tahoe are pretty much where they should be.

Still, we need to conserve our water reserves just in case, but for now let’s celebrate the joy of the season with some special Spring activities.

Here’s this weeks list of activities around the Bay Area.

TUESDAY MARCH 29TH
If you love poetry, imagery, and activism, head to Oakland

WEDNESDAY MARCH 30TH
Herons: find out more about these beautiful birds at Stow Lake

THURSDAY MARCH 31ST
Mama’s Royal Cafe Annual Napkin Art contest

FRIDAY APRIL 1ST
Weird and wild flowers at the SF Botanical Garden

SATURDAY APRIL 2ND
Fantastic Cambodian New Year Festival in Oakland

SUNDAY APRIL 3RD
FREE museum days. Check this list to find one near you.
 AND:
Come and see my new listing in Kensington on 9 Westminster Avenue. I’ll be there for the first Open House Sunday April 3rd from 2:00 to 4:30 to show you around.

If you’re looking to buy or sell an East Bay home, I can help you on both sides of the table. If you’re wanting to move to another area, I can refer you to a trustworthy Coldwell Banker agent wherever you go. Coldwell Banker is an international real estate company.

So 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 510-527-0174.  and you’ll probably reach me. I’m never too busy to take care of you– or your rmeferrals–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
“Let’s Get Moving!”

Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Open Homes: The Advantages to YOU

1916CedarSketch

See the property in the sketch? That’s 1916 Cedar Street.  I’ll be holding it open this Sunday from 2:00 to 4:30.

No, it’s not my listing, but that doesn’t make any difference. I have held a lot of homes open in my 23 plus years of real estate, and I know what it takes to represent any property in the East Bay very well.  Of course, the first step is to find out as much as I can about it as I can.  Information like:

  • The neighborhood.  Being a local boy, I know this and other East Bay neighborhoods very well and can discuss what it might be like to live there.
  • The meaning of “Golden Duplex”, of which this is one, and the advantages to the buyer.
  • The current refurbishments and updates of the property
  • The home’s original Craftsman style and charm
  • Etc. Etc.

These, and other information a buyer might need, are the value added to the opportunity of seeing a home for sale first-hand. Many times, the on-line photos don’t tell the whole tale.  Also, a good agent will help you see beneath the staging to the intrinsic value of the home itself.

Open homes are a tool you can use to your benefit when you’re looking to purchase a property. Don’t be afraid to talk to the agent.  Any information you glean will help you increase your knowledge of local real estate and thus your ability to fine-tune your search for properties.

We’re here to help. If you’re already working with an agent, simply mention that to the representative at the open home and ask your questions. They’re happy to answer any you have anyway. That’s the duty they owe their seller. It’s the main reason they’re there.

If you don’t have an agent, talking to the one present is a great way to interview that person to see if you have a connection. Many agent/client bonds begin at open homes.

So come by 1916 Cedar on Sunday and say “Hi”. I’d be happy to discuss local real estate with you!

Call me if you’d like to buy or sell a home in the East Bay. 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 Web 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

Where in the East Bay Should I Live?

flight paths

Last blog, I talked about out-of-towners wanting to know what the Bay Area has to offer by way of entertainment.

Another thing they want to know is “what are the neighborhoods like?”

There are several ways I can help answer that question.

  1. Go to my Super Site.  You’ll see sections titled “Activity in (say) Berkeley” .  Click “view all listings” for the city of your choice and you’ll find homes organized according to price.  Find a home you like that fits your price range and click the photo. This will take you to more photos and information about that listing.  Scroll down and find the “Community around”, “Schools” and “What’s Near” links.  read any or all of those and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the home’s neighborhood is like.
  2. Want more info about schools? Click here for –> another site with more facts and figures about local schools
  3.  If you’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE. You’ll find a page on my What’s Next Homes site that is devoted to walk score homes in East Bay neighborhoods.
  4. If you want to know how far the home is from your place of business via public transportation, here’s a trip planner that will help.
  5. There’s also a site, if you’re driving, that lets you know the peak commute times from home to office.
  6. Web sites, however, can only provide you with so much information.  I tell my clients that the best way to tell if a neighborhood suits them is to hang out there at different times of day. Check out the people that come and go, feel the energy in the air, enjoy the ambiance, stroll the streets, eat in the cafes, drink at the local pubs . Every East Bay neighborhood has it’s own pluses and minuses, and only you will know the best fit for you.

Out of towner or local home buyer or seller, if you want to get a feel for what’s going on in the East Bay Real Estate market, check out my Super Site and discover properties on the market neighborhood by neighborhood–almost as soon as they’re posted on the MLS!

Give me a call if you’re thinking of  buying or selling a home, and for all your other real estate needs.  Just phone 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.

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

Chris Neddersen,

Chris_sig

Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Closing In Berkeley: Oscar’s & The Sellers Market?

Oscars.-Photo-Tracey-Taylor-720x484

Those of you who are long time Bear Backers will understand the pain I felt when I found out that Oscars–the funky hamburger place on Shattuck that was a hungry young (and older) person’s port in the storm–is to be closed in a couple of months. Never a gourmet dining experience, yet on the fringes of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, Oscar’s was a burger and hot dog lover’s dream. For 65 years it served as after or pre game hangout, a cheap place to take a date, and a Berkeley tradition. I’m surprised, with it’s history and 50’s styling, it hasn’t been designated a historical attraction.

It’s being replaced by an outfit called “Sweetgreen”, which is more in alignment with current Berkeley dining: local fresh produce and a strong vegan, vegetarian menu. Still, I’ll miss the Oscars, an oasis in the politically correct dining that is the Gourmet Ghetto standard.

Now you might ask, “is it true that the Seller’s Market is closing as well?”

Well, if you’re looking to sell, my SENSE is that you may already have missed the crest. You’d have had a better chance a week ago at transacting at the peak.  Why? Well, I’ve observed and many of my colleagues are telling me that:

  • There’s more inventory on the market, thus more competition for fewer buyers
  • There are lots of inspection packets going out, but fewer actual offers coming in
  • More properties are lowering their price after spending a longer time on the market without a sale
  • Many buyers are giving up due to inflated prices and the (formerly) low inventory
  • If the Federal Reserve decides it needs to check inflation with a rate increase, the end-of-the-summer bump won’t be happening.

I should be very clear, if I haven’t already been: if you want to sell this year or even next, you’re unlikely to improve your results by waiting.  Now is the time, and the window is showing signs of closing.

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

Give me a call if you’re thinking of  buying or selling a home, and for all your other real estate needs.  Just phone 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’re interested in HIGH WALK SCORE HOMES click HERE.

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

Chris Neddersen,

Chris_sig

Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

 

Why the East Bay is a Millennial Magnet

Here’s yet another “What do Millennials Want” survey.
I read a lot of them because many of my clients fit this description. The last survey I read talked about how the M group wanted homes that were close to where they worked, had high walk scores, or, at least, were near public transportation.

MillennialsPrefer

Now here’s this survey that states that Millennials love the suburbs. I was raised in the suburb of Orinda, and in my experience, and very little has changed, most homes there require almost constant car usage in order to get anywhere, including to public transportation.

What communities, I asked myself, could then qualify as a Millennial magnet?

The answer is easy:  So many neighborhoods like El  Cerrito and Albany, many Berkeley neighborhoods like Poet’s Corner,  Gourmet Ghetto, and Elmwood, plus a plethora of Oakland neighborhoods like Telegraph/Temescal, Rockridge and more have the appeal of the suburbs–homes  on tree-lined streets with family-friendly touches like backyards, decks, porches, and driveways–and the added plus of great walk scores and/or convenience to public transportation.

But in regards to the question “What Do Millennials Want”  the only authentic answer is the one provided by you, my client.
I like to talk about YOUR needs.  I may get some ideas about what this or that group wants from various surveys, but only in very general terms.  The most important source of information about what you want is YOU, so I’ll ask you to talk about yourself–not just what you need now, but what you dream of for your future.

Buying a house is a long term proposition and, who knows, if you find the right one, you may be there when future real estate analysts are trying to figure out what kind of neighborhood Millennial Junior prefers!

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

Weird Wednesday: What Do Millennials Want? Clean Clothes

laundry-day

This may come as a surprise to those of you who have raised a millennial.  I have, and judging from their bedrooms, cleanliness was not necessarily their top priority , but what they want most in a home is a laundry room.

This comes as no surprise to their mother, who believes that many visits home occur only if their laundry needs to be done.

I remember the apartment days. Many buildings didn’t have built-in laundry rooms, so pillowcases full of my laundry would either end up in MY folks laundry room, or I’d sit around shoving quarters into washers, dryers, and soap dispensers at the local laundromats.

Then I discovered Wash and Fold (here’s a list of some East Bay outfits).  It was like the heavens opened and golden light poured down.  Someone else would do this tedious task! Life changed for me on that day. I was a free man in Berkeley.

Long story short, I empathise with those millennials.  A decent laundry room is a wonderful thing.   Here’s a brief list of other home priorities. Don’t these sound like many homes right here in the East Bay?:

  • Separate laundry room
  • Storage: linen closets, a walk-in pantry and garage storage
  • Energy Star certifications
  • 75 percent want single-family homes
  • 66 percent of them prefer to live in the suburbs
  • 10 percent say want to stay in the city
  • Less expensive, low-maintenance choices like brightly painted front door, strings of garden lights, and landscaping that needs less watering and mowing, like succulent plants and larger patios

Here’s a link to the article if it’s of interest to any of you potential home sellers out there.  If you’re thinking of moving, and your home has a few of these requirements, give me a call.

If any of you East Bay homeowners are ready to sell, this is a golden time for sellers.  If you’re looking for a home in this amazing area, I can help you strategize for a successful purchase.  Please give me a call 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

Weird Wednesday: Drought Dilemma in San Jose

10984237_10153653036407178_2208203612550967304_n

Did you hear about the guy who was a model water conserving citizen, yet got into big financial trouble with the city when he took that extra step?  He had a commodious lawn in his front yard that he allowed to turn brown.  He hated the way it looked and decided to install a hardscape.  After great expense and labor, it was finished.

He loved it, but the city of San Jose didn’t.  Apparently he hadn’t followed the rules about material.  He also learned that paving right up to the sidewalk was a no-no.  Click here for a news report on this story.

It just goes to show that even when you try to do something right with your real estate,  you gotta find out if what you have planned is within the community guidelines.

A good real estate agent just might be able to help.  That’s one of the reasons I want to be your “agent for life.”  If I don’t know the answer you require, I’ll do the necessary research to find out.

It’s good business.  The more effectively I serve you, the more likely you are to use me when you make your next move, and the happier you are to recommend me to your friends.

If you’re an East Bay homeowner and ready to sell, this is a golden time for sellers.  If you’re looking for a home in this amazing area, I can help you strategize for a successful purchase.  Please give me a call 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

Financial Friday: Taxes, Taxes, Who Pays the Taxes?

KARL MONDON
KARL MONDON

The headline: Owner Seeks Big Tax Break on One-Of-A-Kind Property.  Intrigued, I read on.  It seems that a man bought the only  Frank Lloyd Wright home in Orinda, and, quoting from the article By Jennifer Modenessi,  “is asking the city to consider an agreement that would reduce the property taxes on his 4,350-square-foot home from about $38,000 to $8,100 a year.” (read the full article by clicking on the headline above)  He can get a break on his property taxes if the city declares his home a historic landmark.

According to the article, this means that the fire department will lose $30,000 of tax money.  As much as we hate to pay them, the earmarks for the taxes on our property can be pretty important.

What’s a city to do? They need a well-funded fire department especially in these drought conditions; and it’s also true that the Frank Lloyd Wright  home is one of the few truly unique and historic areas in Orinda.  The owner lets the city use it for fund raisers and other community spirited events.  It will be interesting to see what the city of Orinda decides to do.

I like to follow the ins and outs of real estate in my old home town of Orinda, especially this one, because in Berkeley where I hand my realtor shingle, we have many buildings and homes that are declared historic sites.

There are pros and cons to buying a property with this distinction.  Local agents, like myself, will be sure to educate you as to the advantages and disadvantages of buying a historic home.

If you’re an East Bay homeowner and ready to sell, this is a golden time for sellers.  If you’re looking for a home in this amazing area, I can help you strategize a successful purchase.  Please give me a call 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

Financial Friday: Buy Now? Smart Money Says it’s Smart.

Sand Art - Smart Money

Many of my buyer clients are waiting (thinking, wishing, hoping) that the market gets “better”, and by that they mean housing prices will go down and competition for homes will be less intense.

Maybe, but one thing they might not be considering is the mortgage rates.  Whether home buyer or home seller, it’s important to get as much information as possible when strategizing for major financial purchases.  I’m here to help.

I stumbled across this informative article from Yahoo about the wisdom, or lack thereof, on waiting to buy a home.  Now, Westside Today has a slightly more positive take on their 2015 housing market forecast, but I think it’s important to hear various points of view to get a broader sense of what’s happening in the real estate market today.  A well educated buyer and seller are more confident with their choices and happier with their purchases.

If  you’d love to buy an East Bay home–or if you’re thinking about selling–and are interested in hiring an agent like me please give me a call at 510-527-0174 ,  I’m never too busy to take care of you or your referrals. 

You’ll be 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’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