The Pratt-Thomas House at 800 Shattuck Avenue is available for the first time in almost 50 years. The first of three neighboring homes designed by John Hudson Thomas for John Pratt in 1911, this is where Thomas himself lived for several years after its completion. This may be one of the most photographed homes in Berkeley, with its striking geometric patterns in the stucco finish, echoed in the interior in glass, tile and wood. It has a commanding presence on its corner lot across from Indian Rock Park; a globe-topped rhyolite pillar marks this as a prominent corner. Described variously as Secessionist, Arts & Crafts or First Bay Tradition, by any name this home is distinctly John Hudson Thomas, and a local treasure.
For more details on the Pratt-Thomas House, please visit the website at 800shattuck.com. The home will be open April 3rd and 10th, from 2:00-4:30. I would enjoy welcoming you to this John Hudson Thomas masterpiece.
After the spring rains came additional things falling: trees. This is a good time to re-evaluate your insurance, and be sure that you know what would be your coverage in case a tree fell either on your property, or one of your trees fell on your neighbor. Do you have a deductible that is so high that you might only use your insurance in a truly catastrophic situation? That’s a reasonable approach, so long as it’s on purpose. And know that there can be consequences of simply making inquiries, even if no claim is paid out.
Over the past couple years two major carriers, State Farm and CSAA, have been unwilling to offer new policies on homes that have *any* knob and tube wiring. This is a zero-tolerance definition. State Farm also now requires seismic retrofitting for them to write any new policies. For some time most carriers have been unwilling to cover homes in designated Wildfire zones. So if those were not significant enough limitations, now Allstate has made some curious determinations about where those Wildfire zones are. Up on Grizzly Peak, or on the other side of the ridge in Montclair, you can understand their concern. But two blocks above above College Avenue? That’s a curious definition I recently encountered! And then I learned that State Farm has excluded entire zip codes, on the grounds that they have too much exposure in those areas. So they will write no new policies in Piedmont, Albany, Elmwood or Claremont. And heaven help you if you have any claim related to water damage. For most carriers “water damage” is a huge red flag, and may make it difficult for you to get coverage from any standard carrier. One of my buyers had an especially frustrating experience when he discovered that simply having called his carrier about damage from an irrigation system was enough to make him ineligible as an insured, even though his carrier had paid no claim. So before the next storm you might have a *philosophical* conversation with your carrier, before you have an actual incident to discuss, and make sure you understand your options, and at what deductible amount.
It feels like spring, and daffodils, those harbingers of our new real estate market, are in bloom all around the East Bay. I know lots of properties are being prepared to come on the market, but right now the available homes are very scarce indeed. In all of Berkeley, in a $400K range of prices […]
The Autumn market has just begun amidst the highest median home prices ever in the East Bay. Berkeley has crested over $1M, Albany and Alameda both around $900K, and El Cerrito, is now $775K. My colleagues at Red Oak got some good air time on KPIX last week, showing the summary of our market: –1/3 […]
I was recently asked what is one of the favorite parts of my job as a Realtor? Certainly there are several very satisfying aspects, including providing tips about the home-buying process to new buyers, and sharing my knowledge about local architecture with people considering moving here from another area. But in this market, where inventory […]
Common wisdom among male agents is that the market starts after the Super Bowl. I’ve always described the market opening when the daffodils bloom. That major commercial event just occurred — and my first daffodil just bloomed! So if this year is like most, we should start to see more inventory appearing very soon. As […]
Happy New Year! I hope you had time since my last post to spend time with family and friends. Last week saw the first real tour of the year, but inventory is likely to remain quite low for the next few weeks. I met with new potential buyers between Christmas and New Year, and there was truly […]
2014 will be my most productive year in real estate. And so with Thanksgiving fast approaching here are some of the key things for which I give thanks not just this week, but throughout the year: –My clients. Each of my buyers and sellers had many choices of agents to guide them through their purchase, or […]
Our Autumn real estate market is much like the fall foliage: it’s intense, and doesn’t last long. For the next several weeks we will see an increasing number of properties appear during this concentrated fall market between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Generally this is a good time for buyers, with the number of new properties mostly exceeding […]
The second half of this year started off for me with a bang, and not just from all the fireworks in the area! On the first of July I got buyers who are moving over from San Francisco into contract with their first offer. They fell in love with a bungalow in Temescal with tremendous original Arts & Crafts details, some of […]