Thrilla on Manila!

It’s always a treat to help prepare a well loved home for market and the next generation!

Owned by the same family for over 40 years, it was a true family affair getting this 99 year old Temescal lady ready for sale!

Mum and daughters and sons in law  spent many months clearing out the basement, weeded and planted the garden and worked around my usual crew of painters and contractors prepping the inside of the house.


Replaced the older countertop and sink and the vinyl floor, painted and refinished the bath


Removed wallpaper and tile on walls, redid vinyl floor, painted and replaced cabinet hardware

And here is the finished project in all its glory!

click here


Located on a super street and perfectly positioned between Rockridge and MacArthur BART, Temescal hub on Telegraph, Piedmont Ave district and Rockridge!

For some uncanny reason the last 2 Oakland homes I lived in are on the market at the same time!

When we sold our home in 2006 we caught the market as it was starting to drop, not catching the highest price but happy we timed it when we did.

Below are charts showing the rise and fall of several east bay neighborhoods from 2005-2015!

If you’ve been waiting to sell the sellers market does not usually last for a very extended period of time!


Berkeley home prices have soared to new heights in the last couple of years. Always tight on inventory, prices never dropped as significantly as in some areas.

berkeley historic sales


Piedmont prices have risen astronomically, with quality homes, easy commutes and schools ranked top 10 in the nation.

Piedmont historic sales


Rockridge homes have increased significantly in value due to proximity to urban amenities and the desire for convenience.  Their fall was less precipitous than in many areas.
Rockrdige historic sales


Glenview homes are being sought by buyers priced out of Crocker Highlands.
glenview historic sales


Montclair homes rose a little more slowly with many buyers liking the good schools but preferring walkable locations with a more urban vibe.
Montclair historical prices


94602 includes The Oakmore, The Laurel and Dimond areas. Many of these homes are selling at record highs with the less pricey areas within 94602 still moving up in value.
Areas below MacArthur took a big hit when prices fell and had more ground to recover.

94602 historic prices

Redwood Heights has been slower to rise in value, despite the well regarded elementary school there is no central destination which drives other neighborhood prices.
redwood heights historic prices


Many homes in the 94605 zip code have not overtaken the height of the market but many have fully recovered values.
94605 historic sales

Expect to see the lower end of the market and condos continue to climb in 2015 as buyers are priced out of neighborhoods and compete for the more moderate end of the market.



Once upon a time you paid more money to live in the Oakland Hills than in most parts of the flatlands. Schools had the better reputation, you were away from the urban bustle and grittier parts of city living and maybe you even got a lovely view of the Bay!

OK, so Rockridge hasn’t been cheap for a long time, but the boundary lines between which areas sell for more and which sell for less are shifting.
The bike riding 20 something and the down sizing 60 something continue to gravitate to the urban hub.

A few clips from recent sales showing the list price above and sale price….SP is the sale price. Multiple offers and strong competition for these  homes in hot Oakland neighborhoods!


Rose Garden

Rose Garden

The Rose garden near Grand Ave and Lakeshore



Lakeshore  near Grand Ave and Lake Merritt



North Oakland not far from Ashby and MacArthur BART

Piedmont Ave

Piedmont Ave near shopping district and restaurants



Local Realtors know neighborhoods and then they also know desirable “pockets”  between the more well defined areas.

This Cape Cod style home is located in one of those popular little pockets on one of two parallel predominantly level streets with sidewalks and an almost cul-de sac location.

Sidewalks make for easy dog walking,  spotting the neighbors you haven’t seen for a few weeks and hanging out chatting while the kids cycle and skate up and down the block!

With a local grocery store, several restaurants , the trail head to  regional parks , an easy commute and Montclair Schools zoning it’s easy to see why this location has a strong following!
5053 Kearney EXT movie start

Built for one of two sisters who wanted East Coast style homes a few doors from each other, this home was lovingly maintained by the original owner for many years. Updated and expanded with the addition of a guest suite or home office, the second owners are now moving on!

Around the corner is trail head access and  a quick climb up to the top of the hill to Look out Point in Joaquin Miller Park.
Peek down on the Kearney homes below!

Walking around Lake Merritt is one of my favorite treats! With the wonderful new pathways and updated landscaping it’s an amazing resource for everyone who lives here. Figure on hearing at least half a dozen languages spoken on any given day, and keep an eye open for the herons , egrets and err yes.. the Canada Goose poop..

My current listing is a 2 bedroom 2 bath condo in one of the nicest buildings, the Merritt Royal, just across from the Lake. Come to this week’s open house Sunday 22nd 2-4:30pm

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Many of the residents have been there for ages, and the building has better financial reserves than many… always a good thing with condos! No… you do NOT want your dues to be too low or you will be looking at special assessments down the road, think of dues as a forced savings account for when your home needs a new roof or a paint job etc!

Enjoy a great brunch at Portal  and then go to Lake Chalet for happy hour or an evening desert

And for all the fun facts about Lake Merritt please visit this BLOG.

Preparing this home for sale was a lot of work, but so rewarding to see the results!

The out of state sellers found their once-loved back garden had been ravaged by tenant’s big hairy dogs.. grass and plantings destroyed ……the furnace filter appeared to have absorbed at least half a canine coat…..

Now transformed and restored to its former glory with the help of a great team of painters, floor refinishers, handyman, landscaper and stager.

See the photos below of the garden before and after, and check out the deck in mid powerwash…… a pretty dramatic change. that was worth the money!

And of course , spring weather and lovely flowering roses are a great help!


The Temescal neighborhood in Oakland attracts a multitude of bicyclists and pedestrians, all enjoying the proximity of shops and restaurants, library, public pool and neighborhood amenities, as well as easy access to buses and BART.

Telegraph Ave is in the process of undergoing various improvements  to facilitate pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
Click the streetscape below to visit the City Street Information website


Wow, it was Christmas when I first saw my most recent listing in wonderful Crocker Highlands!

Clarendon Xmas

A lot has happened since then! Tenants moving out , multiple contractor bids and discussions about what work to do and what to leave for the next owners. There is ALWAYS more one can do when selling a house!

This is an exceptional large stately 1913 home and everything is on a grand scale including the fuse panel!!
Very nicely labeled I might add!


The fruits of our labor:  Crocker Highlands in the spring, and it is quite beautiful with trees leafing out and birds singing away.
Two weeks on the market and some very nice offers from a new generation of homeowners!


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