Buying a piece of history

1335 Delaware

The sellers of this property provided this photograph from their archives

A few weeks ago I helped my clients close escrow on a home that had been in the same family for the past 58 years.  After searching for move-in ready homes, my “beat down by the market” clients decided to utilize their resources, (the wife is an architect and the brother is a contractor). So they purchased a fixer upper home in a prime Berkeley neighborhood.  There will not be the immediate gratification of being able to move in and hang the television and art, and they may not get to restore everything at once , but they are making an immediate sacrifice to get into a great neighborhood and ultimately own a home that will be tailored for them.

I will help them after close of escrow and will stay in touch to see the progress, but thus far the process has been serendipitous.  These folks finally landed their Berkeley fixer after a very lengthy search – 2 years total with me being their 3rd Realtor. I was afraid this home would go to a buyer with an all cash, contingent-free offer. After consulting with their lender, we both felt that this was not a situation where we should waive all contingencies (feel free to contact me about contingencies and the various risk associated with writing offers).  After much deliberation, a decision was made to not submit an offer.  The offer date was on a Wednesday, so Thursday morning I called the listing agent to find out any inside scoop, so I could debrief my clients.  Much to my surprise, I was told that although there were cash offers, the seller was in the middle of negotiating multiple counter offers with 2 buyers that had contingencies in place and needed loans to fund the purchase.  I felt horrible that my clients may have lost out on an opportunity, so I immediately called them and explained the situation. Within 2 hours, I had submitted an offer on their behalf and by the end of the day theirs was the winner!

Above is a photograph that the sellers provided to their listing agent from 1959.  It is precious to see the first transformation, as this photo was taken before a second floor addition was made. I look forward to providing photos of the next phase of construction!

Oakland Love

I sold a home to wonderful clients about 4 years ago and subsequently we became friends.  They have extreme Oakland love and I love to see their adventures on Facebook!  Today, they had a family outing at Knowland Park, love this photo of their son, Daniel!

Daniel @ Knowland Park

Daniel at Knowland Park, this photo could be from any decade, classic!

Bathroom Simply

Because of my bathroom remodel gone wrong  in 1999, I am a big advocate for do it right the first time.  When I purchased my home the entire place was in need of major repair, this was a major fixer. It needed 35 foundation piers, a French drain system, new roof, bathrooms, kitchen, paint, hardwood floor refinishing and that does not touch the landscaping, fencing and lighting.  At the time of the purchase I was completely overwhelmed with a 2 ½  year old and an 8 month old.  I picked out tiles and fixtures based upon cost and the desire to just have a clean space.  Of course I immediately hated the room when it was complete and despised when people had to use the bathroom, frankly I was embarrassed.  I am suppose to have great taste, what happened?!  Last year my husband and I decided to gut the space and start over.  We have a very different aesthetic, and to add to the complexity, I wanted to avoid anything Made in China. We designed it together and agreed on everything pictured.  Our home was built in 1951 and I wanted a modern, simple look that would blend with the home.

At some point, I may add art, but I would rather have flowers, art and accessories add color.  I wanted a neutral space that I would not get tired of.

At some point, I may add art, but I would rather have flowers, art and accessories add color. I wanted a neutral space that I would not get tired of.