Piedmont Colonial

The gracious American Colonial house at 312 Sheridan Avenue in Piedmont is on the market for the first time in over 55 years. It was built in 1920 for Henry L. Chase and his young family. Chase was a commercial property and investment manager and chose this generous pie-shaped lot for his own home. Designed as a family home, the rooms are large, the ceilings are high, and many windows bring in lots of light. With five bedrooms and a flexible floor plan, there is plenty of room to play, study and/or work.

Retaining many of the original details, this classic house has recently been renovated throughout with a new kitchen and bathrooms, new exterior and interior paint, refinished hardwood floors and new landscaping. The unusual Dutch front door is capped with a curved pediment and flanked by square, paneled columns. Angled bay windows bring in light to the generous living and dining rooms. French doors on each side of the classic fireplace lead from the living room to the brick terrace with new wood benches. The dining room opens directly to the spacious kitchen with its 8-burner Viking stove and pot filler faucet, Viking refrigerator, marble counters and generous pantry space. The house has many of the original chandeliers. Beyond the kitchen, there is a family room with built-in bookcases, guest room and full bathroom, laundry room (once a breakfast room with corner cabinet) and interior access to the garage. A rear entrance opens directly from the driveway to the kitchen.

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Buying A Property Specifically for Vacation Rental – A How To

John Wheatley has a great article on how he went about purchasing a property specifically to rent out via AirBnB. If you are not familiar with AirBnb, go and check it out. My wife and I have used it many times when visiting other cities. Basically the owner is renting the property out on a several day to week long basis. This sort of arrangement allows for much higher rents than monthly leasing. Another similar site to AirBnB is VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner).

Here is John’s article, chock full of tips and tricks.

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Ain’t it the truth!


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Piedmont Estate

Built in 1912, this Willis-Polk designed estate is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Built on a North/ South axis, the majority of rooms have a bay view from the front of the house and the rear looks out on the nearly 1.5 acre yard. This gorgeous home features a Tuscan portico, a hand carved Baroque cartouche above the entry and a tiled, hipped roof. Inside, the home a long, Italian renaissance entry way divides the house into North and South wings. The interior rooms boast arched, high ceilings, matching pendant chandeliers, and ornately carved porticos. Enjoy all that Piedmont has to offer in this dignified estate.

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Hey FB Millionaires! Here Are The Top Ten Reasons To Move To The East Bay

With the IPO of Facebook, the San Francisco Bay Area has a sudden influx of new millionaires. Sure, you can buy a house in Palo Alto, Redwood City or San Jose (after all, you are a millionaire now). But you can have SO much more for your money over here in the Easy Bay! Here are the top ten reasons you should consider buying your home in one of our fine East Bay cities (Oakland, Piedmont, Berkeley, Emeryville, Kensington):


Top Ten Reasons You Should Live In The East Bay:

1. Oakland is the center of the Bay Area culinary universe. It’s true! Where once was a wasteland is now a hotbed of yummy delights. Don’t believe me? Clearly the New York Times thinks so. But so does Diablo Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Examiner. With hot new restaurants like Bocanova, Hibiscus, and Wood Tavern, you definitely won’t starve for delicious food. Feeling thirsty instead: Oakland boasts amazing watering holes too. From the sleek Bar Dogwood, to the retro-hip, Bar 355 or grunge art bar, Cafe Van Kleef, you won’t die of thirst either.

2. Have kids? The City of Piedmont School District is consistently rated amongst the top 10 school districts in the state.

3. Need Play Space? The East Bay Regional Park district boasts over 111,000 acres of public land in 65 different parks. There are over 1200 miles of trails in the hills for walking, biking, and horseback riding. If that isn’t enough for you, there are city and county parks here as well.

4. Need a home with some significant square footage? The average price per square foot in Piedmont is $342. In Palo Alto the average price per square foot is $1,128!!! You can definitely make your millions go farther here than there!

5. Its a lot less foggy over here, and warmer in the Summer. It really is (you can still look across the bay, though, at the fog blanketing the West Bay)!

6. Oakland has a thriving art scene. Once a month the enormous Art Murmur takes place in Oakland’s Uptown District. There you can enjoy hundreds of small local galleries, local artisans, food trucks galore, and all of the funky fun that is Oakland’s Uptown District. Want more offbeat art? How about the Albany Bulb? Want to learn to weld, make jewelry, or spin fire? You and your kids can take industrial arts classes at Oakland’s own The Crucible.

7. Oakland has consistently been referred to as one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States. If you appreciate diversity, diverse opinions and variety all tied up in an air of mutual respect, then the East Bay is for you.

8. How many parking tickets have you gotten in front of your San Francisco flat? Parking over here is almost never an issue. You will gain days of your life back by avoiding the constant need to circle around in search of a parking spot.

9. The locavore movement is alive and well here. There are over 35 Farmer’s Markets to choose from on the weekends- with 12 of those in Oakland alone! My favorites are the market near Lake Merritt on Saturday (includes jumpy castles) and a very groovy version that takes over the DMV parking lot in Temescal on Sundays.

10. Lastly, you will love flying again with the easy navigation, parking and smaller security lines at the Oakland Airport. Tickets are often cheaper than SFO, too!

So, new Facebook millionaires… what are you waiting for? Give me a call and I will be happy to take you on your own private tour of the Bay Area’s best kept secret!


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Forty Years of Mortgage Rates

Take a look at this – average mortgage rates for the past 40 years. Just in case you were holding out for rates to drop even further. As you can see, mortgage rates have been below 5% only for the past 1 year. The previous 39 years shows mortgage rates as high as 9% and 10%! Rates are amazing right now. If you are considering searching for a property but still holding out for lower rates, look over the chart again. I suspect these are the lowest rates we will see in our lifetime.

If you get a mortgage below 4% in 2012, how do you think you will feel in 5 or 6 years?

Thanks to Don Gates for this chart!

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