Good schools matter to a home buyer…not just for their kids but for their re-sale value. If you’d like to find out how your schools rate go to




Why Buy?

Affordability Squeeze

BusttoBoom (1)


This is an excerpt about an article in the SJ Mercury News.
You can read the whole story here:

Modest Bay Area homes hit mind-boggling prices
By Pete Carey

…In the East Bay, neighborhoods close to amenities like Berkeley’s “Gourmet Ghetto” or Oakland’s Rockridge have seen big appreciation over the past two years. The median price of houses in tiny Emeryville, just minutes from the Bay Bridge, has more than doubled in the past two years, according to CoreLogic DataQuick.

“We had one just last week that went $500,000 over asking,” said Philip Weingrow of Alain Pinel in Oakland. The house is in coveted Rockridge.

“It’s a nice house, but the underlying cause is very, very tight inventory and an awful lot of people coming into our area from San Francisco, where they are priced out because they have a mere $2 million to spend. That can buy you an awful lot more home in Oakland and Berkeley.”

A house in the Oakland hills sold this summer for $839,000, or $280,000 over the asking price, according to data gathered by real estate firm Pacific Union. That was $730 a square foot in a ZIP code where the median price per square foot was only $457 in the second quarter. And a 940-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bath home built in 1925 in Oakland’s Fruitvale district sold in October for $700,000 — $141,000 over the asking price and $744 per square foot.

Just off popular Solano Avenue in Berkeley, a small house on a cul-de-sac sold for $1.1 million in September, or $331,000 over asking price. On the flatlands of West Berkeley, a 1,300-square-foot home on a tiny lot fetched $905,000 this summer, almost $700 a square foot.

But Glen Bell with Better Homes and Gardens in Berkeley believes that the market will cool off for a while in most parts of the East Bay. “There has started to be some resistance from buyers on going any higher,” Bell said. “Some areas are still going to get multiple offers over asking price, but the number of multiple offers is lower.”