arlene baxter: East Bay Market Update--Low Inventory & High Demand: Rising Prices - 11/12/12 02:25 PM
Here’s the quick summary of the basic question: what has happened in our East Bay Area real estate market in the past year. A year ago all the talk was about buyers sitting on the fence. Buyer apathy and lack of willingness to make a decision changed quickly to motivation. The change occurred quickly at the beginning of 2012 in SF, two months later in the East Bay, mid-March, specifically. Rates had been great last year. Yes, they’re even better now, but that wasn’t the big difference. Issues of confidence were huge: buyers needed to see that the bottom had been reached before they were … (5 comments)

arlene baxter: Walkability Wins as Most Desired Feature in San Francisco Bay Area - 07/28/12 06:04 AM
I recently had the opportunity to share current real estate market updates with colleagues from San Francisco, Sonoma and Marin Counties. We had gathered as a group of Realtors particularly interested in “green” and sustainable practices, to share our stories with Build it Green, a local non-profit that encourages green building practices. We learned that our markets share some key aspects:
Multiple offers are being received on the most desirable properties There is lots of cash in these areas, and it’s coming from young couples, downsizing boomers and investors (more about that in a GreenBungalows article) An increase in off-market sales occurred in all … (7 comments)

arlene baxter: Multiple Offers Have Become Commonplace! Buyers: Plan Your Strategy! - 06/07/12 03:11 AM
Since mid-March of this year multiple offers have become a common occurrence in this part of the San Francisco Bay Area's East Bay's real estate market. In most of Berkeley, Albany, Rockridge and other desirable neighborhoods, offers from two to 24 have been received on properties. Some of these offers have been astonishing--not just in the amount offered, but in the strength of the terms. So here is my number one tip for buyers to keep in mind when faced with competition, starting with context:
Multiple offers are an economic reaction to low supply and high demand. Rather than being discouraged … (2 comments)

arlene baxter: Four thousand pounds in five hours--saved from the landfill for Earth Day! - 04/22/12 10:45 AM
Thanks to the citizens of Berkeley, CA, who brought in their lifeless laptops, tired TVs and moribund monitors to the Berkeley Association of REALTORS (BAR) for our Earth Day e-cycling event. This is the third year that I've organized the event for BAR, and this year we collected a record amount of equipment, cables, and related gear. 
This year we partnered with a local eco-center and computer repair business, GreenCitizen, who were celebrating their first year in Berkeley. Before the event I met with their manager, Ryan McCarter. “GreenCitizen hopes to pair the convenience of recycling with the educational and environmental awareness … (1 comments)

arlene baxter: Why I love my Berkeley, CA Neighborhood--The Re-Opening of the North Berkeley Branch Library - 04/08/12 01:47 PM
Beautiful weather, grateful neighbors, happy elected officials and Kosher macaroons and brownies all contributed to a "feel good" spring gathering in my neighborhood. We assembled at the corner of Hopkins and The Alameda in Berkeley, CA today to celebrate the re-opening of a newly updated, expanded and revitalized North Berkeley Library. Mayor Tom Bates, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock, City Councilmember Laurie Capitelli and Betty Olds were all on hand to cut the ribbon to officially open the newly restored library. Capitelli reminded the crowd that Northbrae, the neighborhood where the library is located, was designated one of the Top 10 neighborhoods in … (0 comments)

arlene baxter: Focus on the Basics to be a Competitive Buyer - 03/25/12 09:23 AM
 Many buyers are approaching their home search the way I like to approach food: “Life is short; east dessert first.” But when getting ready to buy a home, you need to start with the nutritious part. By that I mean you need to start with the basics, even though that may not seem nearly as much fun as starting by looking at homes. This spring market is already much more competitive than this time last year. If buyers want to take advantage of the still-low rates and discounted prices, and succeed in acquiring a home appropriate to their needs and budget, … (1 comments)

arlene baxter: Homes for Sale in Rockridge Neighborhood of Oakland CA on a Rocky Ride - 10/15/11 12:58 PM
Sales prices of single family homes in one of our favorite neighborhoods--Rockridge in Oakland, CA--have seen a series of rises and falls over the past three years. From this time in 2008, median sold prices in this popular area saw a fairly percipitous fall from the mid-$900's to the mid-$700's, and back up to the mid-$900's nine months later. From a median of $780K at the beginning of 2010, they zoomed up by almost $200K  to $975K, dropped back to around $800K, soared again last quarter to the $900K range, only to drop back again this quarter to a median of $818K. … (2 comments)

arlene baxter: Celebrating the Last Pleasures of Summer - 09/11/11 06:31 AM
 
On this of all days, we celebrate the simple joys of life: heirloom tomatoes, cling peaches, blackberries, sweet corn. . . . and community. Visiting a farmers’ market provides the pleasures of top-quality products with the added satisfaction of talking with the vendors, hearing their stories and details about their products. The aromas and the sounds are vibrant. You feel part of a community, rather than just being an isolated shopper.
One of my favorite ways to spend time on a Sunday morning, before heading off for an open house, is to visit the Kensington Farmers Market. It’s small but … (2 comments)

arlene baxter: FREE E-Cycling Thursday April 21 and Friday April 22 in Berkeley, CA for Earth Day! - 04/20/11 06:39 AM
All residents of the Berkeley, CA area are invited to bring their lifeless laptops, sick cellphones, tired TVs and moribund monitors to the Berkeley Association of REALTORS® this Thursday from 1 - 4 pm or Friday from 10 -noon and their electronics will be recycled for FREE. This is the annual Earth Day tribute I organize on behalf of the GREEN Council of the Berkeley Association of REALTORS®.  Last year we filled the conference room -- help us do that again this year!

The office is conveniently located at the corner of MLK and Cedar Streets in Berkeley (1553 MLK … (0 comments)

arlene baxter: Summary of Distressed Properties in the Berkeley, CA area - 04/16/11 07:20 PM
We've all heard about the "shadow inventory" of distressed homes, that large number of properties that may dump into our market at any minute from the banks' stash of foreclosed properties, commonly called REOs. It's impossible to know how much of an issue that will be in this area. Below I show the distressed property activity in the areas I cover since the beginning of the year. The Berkeley numbers remind us that we are not unscathed. Seven of the 21 foreclosures were in North Berkeley and the hills.  
Distressed Property Activity: January 1 - April 15 2011
Nationwide, Fannie Mae, … (4 comments)

 
Arlene Baxter, Listing/Buying agent, Historic to Green, 2012 REALTOR of the Year, Berkeley Association Berkeley CA & environs (Red Oak Realty)

Arlene Baxter

Listing/Buying agent, Historic to Green, 2012...

Berkeley, CA

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Red Oak Realty

Address: @GreenBungalows on Twitter, Berkeley, CA, 94707

Mobile: (510) 717-1799

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Arlene Baxter's musings on the state of real estate in Berkeley, CA and its neighboring communities, and the joys and pleasures of this area that inspire so many fine folks to want to live here. In-depth East Bay real estate market updates, restaurant reviews, architectural appreciation and garden gandering!


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