How to Pick A Real Estate Agent

Some great tips in this article on how to choose a Real Estate Agent to work with. Some nuggets in the article:

  1. Ask your friends/ colleagues for a referral
  2. Pick an Agent that knows the neighborhood you want to buy
  3. Interview at least 3 agents
  4. Ask to contact the agent’s last 3 clients for a review

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Development Opportunity Montclair Firehouse

I am crossing my fingers that whoever decides to develop this beautiful Montclair landmark is able to save the building and not just knock it down and build ugly condos.

The City is conducting tours of the parcel at the following dates and times:

  • Monday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 22, from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More information and forms can be downloaded here.

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Homelessness in Berkeley and Oakland

I went to a very interesting presentation at the Oakland Berkeley Association of Realtors last week on homelessness in the two cities. The panel featured the current Mayor of Berkeley, Jesse Arreguin, Berkeley City Council Member, Sally Hahn, and Oakland Assistant to the City Administrator, Joe DeVries. Here is the infographic from the meeting.

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New Condos Coming to Oakland

One of the driving forces behind so few houses for sale in Oakland is the fact that the city simply has not added many new housing units in previous years. This article in Curbed SF details 288 new units coming to Clay street in the next two years. Instead of office space, there will be 288 new homes for people, which will be quite helpful in ending the housing crunch. Obviously there needs to be even more, but this is a great start, and will ad some much needed vitality to downtown Oakland.

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Gentrification in Oakland

Here is an interesting article from KQED that tries to estimate the level of gentrification in Oakland. There is no doubt that it is happening, but you might be surprised at the numbers here. According to the article, Oakland is rapidly losing residents at the low end of the economic spectrum. In addition, and not surprisingly, people of color are disproportionately affected.

Those of you who know me, know that I was involved in nonprofit housing for many years before becoming a real estate agent. Reading the news above and seeing the tent cities all over the East Bay just makes me sad. Here are some local nonprofit housing agencies you can get involved with/ donate to/ or support:

East Bay Housing Organizations

Housing Consortium of the East Bay

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation

Resources for Community Development

Satellite Affordable Housing Associates

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