Piedmont, CA Real Estate News

By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
Why?1.  Of course it's Just Listed.  So why waste that great white space on an obvious point?  Why not point out the fabulous view or the vintage charm or the sunny exposure?2.  This is about the owner's home, not about me, right?  So why say ''[ I ] Just Listed'' when I could say ''Who do you know who would love to own this home?''3.  Just Listed is sooo realtor-speak.  What does listed mean to real people, anyway?  Just Listed postcards are what old-line marketers send; they're not what my clients need.4.  Why say ''Just Sold'' when I could say ''How can I help you make great real estate choices?''Is anyone else thinking this way? 
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By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
After he retired from a career in Latin America, my grandfather always had a hummingbird feeder at his home in Kingston, RI.  In retrospect, I'm shocked that they did so well so far north, so around here it should be a cinch.  Out walking a few days ago I came across two feeders hooked one on top of the other, which together were hosting about two dozen hummingbirds. Awesome! Click here to organize your own feeder. 
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By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
My friend Craig Fixler has retired early from CEO/COO-dom and gone back to his first calling, home construction and repair, to found Zippy Pro out in Lafayette.  If you want a handyperson who has the same performance standards you do, can explain things cogently, can do thumbnail cost-benefit and scenario analyses for you, and wraps it all up in a layer of wry humor, he's your guy.  925-283-9776 or craig@zippypro.com will get a quick response.  Don't expect instantaneous responses from him, however--he hung up his Blackberry. 
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By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
Well, we're moments from wrapping up the Inverness renovation (expect an open house invitation shortly!).  It's taken lots of money and time; our focus has not been on the house here in Piedmont.  So while sitting down to Easter dinner in the dining room, I noticed that a corner of the beautiful barreled ceiling has sprouted a coat of peeling paint.  Should I mention that it's just under the boys' shower, and that all of a sudden we have three boys actually TAKING showers each day?  Uggh.First, I ignored it for two months while overwhelmed with work and Inverness issues.  Bad move.  The paint peels started falling gently to the dining room floor (which I could ignore) and then the plaster wall of the adjacent staircase started to slightly delaminate (which I couldn't ignore).  Finally I...
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By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
Argument 1:  When you invest in a more expensive Piedmont home, you get that investment (plus appreciation) back at sale.  Those paying private school tuition get a great education, but don't get their dollar investment back.Argument 2:  Tuition rates continue to escalate.  Piedmont home prices are flat.  That option to invest in a Piedmont home is getting comparatively more and more attractive!See my factsheet comparing Oakland to Piedmont neighborhoods (particularly read the caveats) at the Library at my website.
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By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
In contrast to the 33 homes sold in Piedmont in 2Q06, this quarter saw 46 homes sold for an average of $1.54 million. So what's this about dramatic reductions in the number of sales?Sales prices were, on average, just about at the asking price (though they ranged from 71% of asking to 115% of asking).  The average price per square foot was $604 (ranging from $403/sf to $771/sf).  The typical home sold in 28 days.Homes sold in last year's second quarter typically sold in 33 days for $1.525 million, though for an average of $651/sf--the average home size then happened to be smaller, and buyers tend to pay more for a more compact home with the same functionality. Homes at the top end of the market (over $2 million) generally sold for less than the asking price, which usually suggests that ...
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By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
Want to see what Piedmont looks like on the ground?  Check out the Photo Galleries on my website: Kids' Eye View-- Photo Gallery--Piedmont Winter Gallery--Restaurants Near Piedmont-- Check out my website (www.MaureenKennedy.Net) for updates--there's a video coming soon!
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By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
OK.  You've passed the San Francisco magazine story  detailing the ways in which Piedmont is the region's best town for kids to all your friends and relatives.  (To fully endorse the fair housing law, I always toss in the line, ''and we think it's great for everyone else too.'')  Did you also see Forbes cite Piedmont as one of seven top ''urban enclaves''?  Check it here.    We're up there with Beverly Hills, Chestnut Hill, Beacon Hill, West University Park, Lincoln Park, and Park Slope.  I'm getting the drift here: parks, hills, and universities.  Yep, we fit that bill! 
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By Maureen Kennedy
(Pacific Union Real Estate-GMAC)
Quarter after quarter this last year, Piedmont's sales figures have been quite consistent with past years, in contrast to the story told across the country and state.  In fact, this spring, we saw 46 home sales, compared to 33 in the second quarter of 2006--usually the year's busiest quarter.  Finally, we're seeing some changes.Only 20 homes sold this past quarter, in contrast to 34 in 3Q06 and 44 in 3Q05.  Prices also softened a bit (remember, this analysis is based on only 20 sales) from an average $1.54 million last quarter to $1.42 million this quarter.  Sales prices were, on average, just about at the asking price (though they ranged from 88% of asking to 113% of asking).  The average price per square foot was $625 (ranging from $441/sf to $851/sf).  The typical home sold in 19 day...
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