Friday, July 6, 2007

Market Update

Everyone is always talking about real estate, whether the market is booming or in flux. Right now, there is a lot of talk that the real estate market is in trouble...but is it?

Well, there is still a great deal of activity here in Rockridge, Berkeley and the surrounding areas. And, despite the rumors, interest rates are actually pretty stable. In fact, they are just about the same as they were one year ago.

The difference is that the character of the market is changing. Lately, it seems to be becoming more of a buyer's market again. While the expensive properties continue to skyrocket and demand multiple bids over the listing price, I'm pleased to see more and more homes being listed again in the mid-ranges of $500,000 and $600,000 ranges. And, these are very nice homes in great neighborhoods. This is perfect for the first time buyer and young professional group.

But remember, the market does continue to change like any dynamic system. Plus the market varies quite a bit from region to region, even from neighborhood to neighborhood. For more information and a more comprehensive look at the East Bay real estate market, let me know. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Green in the City

The modern homebuyer can often be conflicted when buying a new home about increasing their "carbon footprint." But, there are many solutions to investing in your personal future, as well as the future of the planet. One solution is to invest in newer buildings built to advanced green standards. Gate 48, a new condo development in Oakland's Temescal district, is one of the best green buildings in the East Bay--and one of the best deals around, period!

Gate 48 is a new 12-unit building developed by Ron Kriss and Lawton Associates...and it is among the first multi-family residential buildings to be certified at the highest level of Green construction by the statewide non-profit organization Build It Green. The building's energy efficiency exceeds California's stringent code requirements, which are by far the most demanding in the nation.

Even better...Gate 48 has incredible buyer incentives to spread the new urban green lifestyle. Buyers can receive up to $25,000 in credits...or a brand new Toyota Prius. And, with already affordable prices ranging from $399,000 to $549,000, this green deal is also one of the best deals in the East Bay.

Tour the Gate 48 project or Click here to read the San Francisco Chronicle article about the building's development.

If you would like to learn more about green options when buying a new home, or would like to consider making an offer on one of these highly-desirable units, please be in touch. I would be happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Happy 4th of July Everyone!

While the City of Oakland may have cancelled their fireworks show over Jack London Square this year due to construction, you can still find dozens of great fireworks shows and other holiday event throughout the Bay Area.

Here is the San Francisco Chronicle's list of 4th of July events, so you can find the best one for you and your family and friends.

And what is your favorite place to watch fireworks? Chronicle readers chime in with their thoughts.

The Nitty Gritty

So...What Exactly is a Sewer Lateral???

One major issue in the transfer of single family homes, especially in Oakland and Berkeley, is the status of the sewer lateral. But, what exactly is the sewer lateral? And, why is it so important?

In short, it is the main pipe that connects your home to the municipal sewer system, and it is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain it. One reason it is so important is because leakage from a faulty sewer lateral can become a serious health hazard, affecting the local water supply and the bay.

While the responsibility for the sewer lateral lies with the homeowner, it gets complicated in the transfer of the home from the seller to a new property owner. Sometimes the seller must take care of it, and sometimes the buyer has to deal with, but it can almost always been negotiated as part of the offer.

If you have any questions about this important topic, let me know. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or And, in the meantime, you can check out a very informative FAQ about it from the City of Berkeley.

(Illustration courtesy of the City of Berkeley)