Category Archives: Real Estate

Buyer Strategies in a Sellers Market

  • Be on call. If you’re only looking now and then when it’s convenient, you’re compromising your chances. The most successful Buyers give house hunting priority in their daily schedules.  Sign up for a real-time listing monitor with automatic notifications, and check its updates as soon as you can.  If a lead seems interesting at first glance, look again: read everything in the listing data available on line and, if you’re not familiar with the block, look it over with street view software.
  • When you have a contender, call your agent for the vital information not available on public-access websites, like a deadline for offers. Be quick about this: many listings are shown only for a short time, with offers expected within a week of appearance.  There may also be details available about the house’s condition.  The sooner you have all the facts, the more wisely you can manage your time to compose a winning offer.
  • Have your ducks lined up. Unless an offer is for all cash, it must be accompanied by a mortgage pre-approval letter.  The letter, specific to the house of interest, confirms your application has been completed and fully underwritten, with your new loan approved subject only to a ratified contract and the property’s qualifying as security.  Not every lender will play this way; you agent can give you a list of some who will.  Without pre-approval, you can be a diligent researcher. . .but not a serious Buyer
  • Top dollar may not win out. Sellers like certainty and prefer the fewest number of hurdles to closing as possible.  Buyers’ contingencies in an offer look like hurdles to Sellers, who may accept a lower price than the top offer if it comes with less chance of your changing your mind.  Your agent can help you analyze how much risk you are willing and able to take on, in presenting an offer with the fewest contingencies.
  • Cast a wide net. Search for homes outside the locations you want most, if faced with limited or high-priced choices. As a Buyer you need to carefully consider what you’re willing to compromise on.
  • Take the long view. Some properties don’t sell right away, even in a Seller’s market, because of issues that turn other Buyers away.  If you can imagine how things might work for you, even if fixing might take a while, you could land a prize.

If you’re looking to buy or sell an East Bay home, I can help.  My local knowledge and market experience are vital in helping you buy or sell an East Bay 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.

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 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
“Let’s Get Moving!”

Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Six Special Bay Area Events this Week

9WestDRkitLr
gorgeous “great room” off living room at 9 Westminster

These last weekends have been busy for me.  I’ve been holding my new listing in Kensington open.  Holding an Open House is like having a little party. No food, or alcohol to break the ice, but no shortage of topics of conversation. I’ve discussed the local schools  & neighborhood, flow of traffic, commuting convenience, walk score, recreational opportunities and more. Sometimes these questions aren’t easy to answer if the answers are, well, not so great; but this house, with so many positives, is really fun to talk about.

If you’re free this next weekend, stop on by and check it out. For the other days of the week, here’s a list of some fun events and activities:

TUESDAY APRIL 19TH
The NOW festival is in full swing. Click HERE for a list of all the events.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 20TH
If you’d love to “Bring back the ’60s, man”,  you’ll have your chance on Hippie Hill in the City

THURSDAY APRIL 21st
If you love dance you’ll love this: 20/20 in Berkeley

FRIDAY APRIL 22nd
Celebrate Earth Day in Oakland’s annual festival

SATURDAY APRIL 23rd*
Celebrate John Muir’s Birthday

SUNDAY APRIL 24th*
See Historic Race Cars on Nob Hill

*You’re invited to see my  listing this weekend. It’s located in Kensington on 9 Westminster Avenue.  Open House dates are Saturday April 23rd and  Sunday April 24th from 2:00 to 4:30.

If you’re looking to buy or sell an East Bay home, I can help you from both sides of the table. Locally, I can help you buy or sell your East Bay 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.

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 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
“Let’s Get Moving!”

Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

East Bay Cities Series: Kensington

Kensington_Circle

 

Kensington is an unincorporated area of Contra Costa County that borders Alameda County . It’s an intimate community with small town feel, big city sophistication and good real estate values. It rests in the hills above El Cerrito and north of Berkeley and on either side of Arlington Avenue.  That’s where the SF express and local buses stop and it’s the main drag through Kensington taking you almost everywhere you’d want to go.

The library and community park, with neighborhood tennis and basketball courts, is open to all. Other outdoor activities are just over the ridge at the magnificent Charles Lee Tilden Park and Lake Anza.  The many attractions of Berkeley city and the University of California are ten minutes away by car. The highly rated Kensington Hilltop Elementary School is right up the hill surrounded by the parks, open space and one of the most beautiful views in the East Bay.

In short, Kensington is beautiful and welcoming, the eateries are fun and first-rate, and both kids and adults have lots of places to play. It’s suburban living in an urban environment with a view, and the best-kept secret in the East Bay!

If you’re looking to buy a home in Kensington, come by my open house April 9th and 10th, or call me (or your agent) for a viewing. If you want to sell an East Bay home, I love local listings and will do a great job of marketing your home. 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

The Magic of Staging

9Westminster Sketch7

Pictured above is a sketch of my new listing in Kensington.  the owner is a former buyer client who I’ve kept in touch with through the years. He’s a busy guy, working in various parts of the world and the U.S., so his visits to his home in Kensington have become few and farther between. He’s decided to sell, and I was delighted when he called me to list it for him.
It has been a long-distance transaction. He first came back here last month to consult with me on how to handle his move. The next visit was to pack up his belongings.
My goal, as usual, is to make his relocation as smooth as possible; introducing him to movers, haulers, cleaners, painters,and stagers to make his life easier and insure that his home looks its best! It feels good to be trusted, and I’m glad he knows I have his best interests at heart.
Every player did a great job. Here’s a peek of the end result: The Magic of Staging

A picture is worth a thousand words, and staging is almost certain to be worth a few thousand dollars in the price of your home.  Staging not only modernizes the homes “look”, it brings out the flavor and character of a property that may be hidden under an owner’s own needs and style sense.  It also makes the home more “neutral” in the sense that one can more easily imagine how life might look living in these clean, well dressed rooms!

This home at 9 Westminster Avenue is priced at $799,000 and  will be open April 3rd, 9th, and 10th from 2:00 until 5:00. Come by and see the magic of staging for yourself. I’d be delighted to see you!

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

Only YOU can balance the housing market.

uncle-sam-6002

This is an open letter to homeowners in the East Bay,

Dear Sir or Madam,

Have you, or a loved one, owned a home a long, long time? Is it too big ? Too inconvenient? Too hard to clean? Is the yard getting to be too much for you to handle? Have you retired and want to move to a smaller home or apartment near things you love? Or have you welcomed a little newcomer that needs their own room/yard/good school district, and your current home just doesn’t fill the bill?

In short, do you want to sell? If not, why not? Perhaps the long and short answer is you don’t want to turn into one more hopeless buyer.

There was a time, not too long ago, when the ratio of buyers to sellers was a lot closer. What happened, I wonder, to the fluidity that once defined the housing market? Time was when buying up or down was always an option. Now, each home for sale seems to create crazy bidding  wars and inflated pricing.

Buyers are discouraged and homeowners feel trapped. What’s the answer?

Sell. The more of you that put your homes on the market, the more fluid the market will become which helps us all. Be a part of the solution! Call me and let’s get moving!

Join my team if you’re looking to buy or sell an East Bay home! I can help you on both sides of the table: sell your home and buy the next. If you’re wanting to ove 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

News about the Bay Area Housing Market

InTouch East Bay Hills

From Mike James, the president of my brokerage, Coldwell Banker Residential, This:

“Single-family home sales in the nine-county Bay Area rose 7.6 percent last year compared to 2014, the highest volume since 2012, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury this week. Some of the biggest gains were in the East Bay, due to buyers coming from higher-priced markets in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Contra Costa County saw home sales surge 15.1 percent last year”

We real estate pros are definitely seeing this surge.

What does this mean to local potential home sellers? You might want to rethink putting off your sale. Mortgage rates will be going up, and buyers will have less buying power as the year goes by. This means you might not get as much for your home later as you will right now. Call me. Let’s talk.

Read what Mike James thinks about the East Bay housing market here.

Read Mike James’ view of the popularity of the Bay Area for foreign buyers

The Bay Area is a popular place to live, no matter what. Investing in a home here, especially if you intend to live here for a while (and who doesn’t) is never a bad idea.

So Buyers, don’t be discouraged. The worm turns.

And Sellers, depending on when you purchased your home, now is a good time to benefit from your home sale.

For, as Mike James reminds us, “Everything picks up after the Super Bowl.” So whether your team wins or loses, join my team if you’re looking to buy or sell an East Bay home!

Whatever your real estate need, 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!

Chris Neddersen
“Let’s Get Moving!”

Broker Associate
CalBRE R01143189
Coldwell Banker in Berkeley

Following Your Heart Often Involves MOVING.

Valentine-Free-Wallpaper-960x460

Change is the essence of life. We’re born, we grow up, we get educated, form friendships and partnerships, establish careers, marry, and perhaps welcome a new life into our own.

All these things are the result of important life changes, and change can often be stressful.

One change that’s stressful more often than others is moving.

Two homes merge into one, a new job requires a new location, more room is needed to support a growing family, retirement looms, and you want to live closer to your interests.

The 5 questions a good news reporter asks are applicable here: Who, what, when, where, and HOW?

You know how to answer the first four, but the fifth one, “How,” defines my job.

As your agent my goal is to make the “hows” easy so your move is as stress-free as possible. I’d be honored to help you when it’s time for you to follow your heart. Let’s get moving!

Whatever your real estate need, 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!

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

Martin Luther King Jr. and Equal Housing in the Berkeley Area: A Short History

fair_housing_logo

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, I did some research about civil rights in the East Bay, especially in Berkeley, and in my area of interest: Housing.

I learned that, in the Bay Area, particularly in Berkeley (yes, the historic hotbed of liberal thought) housing discrimination was alive and well.  Neighborhoods were segregated, and there was a wide-held belief that when minorities moved into white neighborhoods, the property values went down.

In 1961, a Citizens Committee was formed to study discrimination in housing.  There were controlled tests, surveys, interviews, and NAACP reports all carefully collected and reviewed. They discovered what many already new: “discrimination in housing was widespread and general, in both rental and sale of property” (Housing Discrimination in Berkeley: A Report by a Citizen’s Committee to the Community Welfare in July of 1962 (p.2) White homeowners, landlords, and real estate agents joined together to keep minorities out of “good” neighborhoods.

Achieving fair housing laws was a huge struggle with no easy solutions in sight. People took to the streets in cities throughout California, and finally, after Ordinances on fair housing were passes and repealed, the state passed the Rumford Fair Housing Act in 1963.

But the battle wasn’t over. There were attempts to repeal the Rumford Fair Housing Act. Martin Luther King visited the Bay Area in May of 1964. He spoke about passing the civil rights bill in the senate and against the repeal of the Fair Housing Act describing it as a setback for democracy.

Still, the California Real Estate Association sponsored Prop 14, which gave landlords and property owners’ discretion to choose who to sell, lease or rent to. The measure was passed in 1964.  In response, the federal government cut off all housing funding to California.

Finally, in 1967, The California Supreme Court held that Prop 14 was unconstitutional since it violated the equal protection and due process provisions of the California Constitution.

It’s been a messy and shameful struggle for equal rights, and we’re not “there” yet, but at least, in my experience, I can and will happily show homes to whomever wishes to buy them, and no seller yet has told me that they would not accept an offer from anyone based on their color, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

Thank goodness.

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

Improving your Home or Buying a Fixer? Some Thoughts. . .

RenovationRealities

As a homeowner and/or potential seller, investing in improving your East Bay home is not a bad idea. New kitchens and baths always add a touch of class to an older home. Refurbishing and renovating  what’s there, creating a “move right in” feel with shiny floors and new windows, is a terrific way to enchant buyers. That’s why there’s so many home flippers out there doing so well.

Of course, you should always factor in the cost of construction, whether you own the property or if you’re considering purchasing a fixer upper. That cost will depend upon the needs of the respective property, but there is another cost to consider if you live–or intend to live–in the home during remodeling: time and inconvenience. Be sure to factor in your needs as well.

Some buyers have this “It’s a Wonderful Life” vision of remodeling: one person slapping paint on the walls while the other heads off to work; returning in the evening to find a completely transformed home. Fiction, of course.

There is always a cost of time and energy in DIY, and no matter how easy the youtube instructions look there is always a learning curve if you’re new to, say, resurfacing a kitchen counter.

If you’re up for it, of course, and you’ve done some remodeling before, and you have tools and vision and excitement for the project ahead, by all means let the good times roll! There’s nothing like the satisfaction you feel when you see how amazing and beautiful your completed project turned out!

I relate. In our first home, my wife and I turned a funky garage into a wonderful studio space.  It was just the two of us, but we did have helpful friends with tools, time, willing hands, and expertise to guide us.

With our second home, older, wiser, and with two kids and one more on the way, we left the work we needed done to the professionals.

And remember, you can call me if you need any references for good home improvement professionals.

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

Berkeley Area Fun & Features with a Focus on Real Estate