From the monthly archives:

May 2009

New school performance figures available

May 29, 2009

The 2008 base Academic Performance Index (API) figures are out. Particularly notable is the improvement of many Bay Area schools over the previous year. You can check scores here.

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Staged homes: unlivable yet sellable

May 27, 2009

Staging. You know it when you see it. It has even raised a recent stir. Staging a listing remains popular, whether in fully or partially staged form. No matter what, the end product is that familiar antinomy of everyman’s ideal abode in an uninhabitable, minimalist esthetic. The stuff is fundamentally unlivable…though good at whetting buyers’ […]

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Mortgage protection for 1st-time homeowners

May 22, 2009

CAR recently launched its Housing Affordability Fund Mortgage Protection Program for first-time home buyers. According to the press release: “Through the Housing Affordability Fund Mortgage Protection Program, first-time home buyers who lose their jobs due to layoffs may be eligible to receive up to $1,500 per month, for six months, to help make their mortgage […]

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Recovery after foreclosure, bankruptcy, short sale

May 19, 2009

At an APR training session yesterday, several agents were abuzz about a Q&A that the CA Association of Realtors’ legal dept just put out about the consumer’s ability to obtain credit post financial hardship. Specifically, it covers the credit impact related to foreclosure, bankruptcy, or short sales. Each of those differs in time to recovery. […]

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Berkeley Trends: Elmwood & North Berkeley

May 15, 2009

So I was crunching the latest numbers on Berkeley’s popular, leafy Elmwood neighborhood, which spans most of Neighborhood 9 and parts of 10—local realtor’s designations. Early on, I realized the futility of summarizing market indicators, considering Elmwood’s ultra-low volume over the past year. The graph above reflects the sort of low turnover common in our […]

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Primer on Oakland

May 12, 2009

The Oakland Convention and Visitors Bureau has this spiffy online guide to our town. It’s mostly geared toward out-of-towners on business & leisure. Nevertheless, a good intro. Oakland was my home when I first settled in the Bay Area years ago. Since then, I’ve hopped back and forth between here and The City, then The […]

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Open Sunday: Crocker Highlands Mediterranean

May 9, 2009

799 Mandana Boulevard, Oakland – Crocker Highlands Open Sunday, May 10th: 2:00pm-4:30pm. Click here for brochure. – Travertine floors. Lutron lighting. Dual-pane windows. Energy Star stainless steel appliances. Granite counters. Chrome Kohler fixtures. This home is turnkey in every way. Tastefully appointed, this 3-bedroom, 2-bath Spanish Mediterranean measures 1,588 square feet. Below the main living […]

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“Trestle Glen” or “Crocker Highlands?”

May 8, 2009

Ahead of this weekend’s open house, I’m reminded of a piece Sam Whiting penned for the Chronicle a few years back. To some locals, “Trestle Glen” and “Crocker Highlands” are synonymous. Some view Trestle Glen proper as the homes along Trestle Glen Road and between that and Park Boulevard. The greater area—bounded by Lakeshore, Piedmont, […]

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HO-6 insurance for condominium owners

May 5, 2009

As a condo owner, how much protection do you have under your HOA’s master insurance policy? Part of your dues is applied toward the master policy, which typically insures the common areas against liability and physical damage. Depending upon your HOA, there may also be coverage for floods, earthquakes, graft, and maybe certain fixtures within […]

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Open Sunday: A stonesthrow from Hills Club

May 1, 2009

2180 Manzanita Drive, Oakland – Montclair Open Sunday, May 3rd: 1:30pm-4:30pm. Click here for brochure. – Lounge in the generous living room. Gaze out its picture windows at a panorama of Mount Diablo. At 2,078 spacious square feet, this mid-century contemporary is your private retreat atop Montclair…a stonesthrow from The Hills Swim and Tennis Club. […]

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