Thursday, December 20, 2007

The New Cost vs. Value Report for the Bay Area

You just know that an updated bathroom would help your house sell, but you wonder if you will be able to recoup the costs of the renovation. I hear this question, and others like it, all the time from sellers. That is why the annual "Cost vs. Value" report is so helpful. It provides a snapshot of how much a renovation project might cost, and how much you might be able to recoup.

The annual report for the Bay Area was just released, and I wanted to share it with you. With this chart, you can look at an evaluation for about twenty common renovations, and about a dozen bigger projects. The charts give you a run down on the average cost of the project in the Bay Area, along with the projected amount of added value. You can then compare it to the national numbers.

For instance, the addition of a wood deck or a minor kitchen remodel should recoup your money and more. And, a home office remodel might not add that much value to the home.

Now keep in mind that these are just averages for the whole Bay Area region, and the values can be different for your city or even your neighborhood. If you would like more information on planning a remodeling project to get your home ready to sell, just let me know. I'm always happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Great Local Resource for Both Newcomers and Lifers

If you have been in the real estate business for awhile, you might remember the McCormack's Guides. These are terrific little books with everything you could possibly want to know about a geographic area, and more. And, I mean EVERYTHING, from school scores to history to the local zeitgeist. All of this information is now online, and I wanted to make sure that everyone knew about it. For Alameda County, just visit this link to the McCormack's website.

Want the 2007 school scores? Got it! Want to know how to read the scores? Got that too! Need information on topics ranging from garbage collection to property taxes? That is there too, of course! Have to go to the emergency room? Find out which hospitals are nearby! Ready to go have some fun? Look here for ideas! (Like all good things, you have to take the good with the bad, so that means you can also look up crime statistics.)

What I love is that all of this information is now free. So, bookmark it today. Of course, you can still purchase the hard copy books, but all the information will soon be completely and exclusively online. And, if you need information on other California regions, you can find it on the home page.

I am always happy to be a resource, but you will probably get a pretty good start with And, when you are ready for more detailed or up-to-date information, please let me know. I am always happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or