A particularly satisfying part of my job is to use a seller’s funds, often quite limited, in the most cost-effective manner possible. And I also enjoy the artistic component of choosing materials that will make a major difference in the appearance of a home. At my latest listing at 68Northampton.com, an elegant Mediterranean in North Berkeley, the transformation from when I first saw the home was truly impressive!

Refinishing floors and paint is almost always an excellent investment, and so it was in the case of this home.

68 Northampton before 01 small


Having started with walls covered in a particularly… intense… copper foil wallpaper, the results were especially dramatic. In the living room I also recommended changing a rather dated addition from the 1980s: flagstone tiles on the fireplace, and replaced them with glass bricks. They had both a contemporary feel coupled with a classic shape. Painting the mantle tied the fireplace in nicely with the period beams in the ceiling

Another dramatic improvement was achieved by bringing a light look to a quite masuline kitchen. North-facing, with all-dark finishes, the kitchen was rather oppressive. Simply removing brown granite, and replacing the counters with a white marble-like quartz, and replacing the backsplash with white subway tiles, the kitchen now feels larger, and much more pleasant!

68 Northampton before 05


The other area of dramatic change was the master suite. Already an impressive space, it became so much more elegant with white ceilings in the bedroom and bath, rather than the original knotty pine. A consistent color also enhanced the sense of spaciousness. It is wonderfully gratifying to see these transformations emerge.

And now I look forward to the pleasure of watching the reactions of visitors to the home. Stop by and take a look! I’ll be there the next two Sundays, April 22 and 29, 2-4:30pm at 68 Northampton, in the North Berkeley ‘foothills.’

68 Northampton before 09 small


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Tastefully updated Tudor in a sylvan setting

by arlene on March 19, 2018

Living room of 2577 Rose

Bringing on a new listing can be tremendously satisfying.  I especially enjoy debuting homes in the spring, as the real estate emerges from dormancy along with flowering bulb and budding trees. Last week I debuted a home that I’ve come to love ever more each time I spend time there. 2577 Rose Street sits at the top of Rose Walk designed by Bernard Maybeck, and is nestled within a coveted historic neighborhood. You see a combination of filtered Bay and Mt. Tam views, and also handsome tiled roof tops and neighboring brownshingles through the redwoods. This home has a Tudor-revival exterior, with classic Arts & Crafts period mouldings and detailed hardwood floors inside. It is rare in having an attached updated bathroom for each of the three upstairs bedrooms.

My clients were only there 2+ years, but made many tasteful and efficient upgrades in that short time. The kitchen is especially handsome, with custom cabinets and high-end fixtures and finishes. From the dining room you can look out at views of SF while having breakfast! The focal point of the living room is a gas fireplace surrounded by hand-made custom tiles in an earth-tone palette, used throughout the ground floor. The quality of choices made in this home is not what you find when a home has just been prepared for sale. My clients made all of their choices based on their discriminating taste. The buyers will certainly benefit!

2577 Rose will be open Thursday morning March 22, and Sunday March 25th, 2 – 4:30 pm. Stop by and enjoy the views from this sylvan setting! The list price is $1,370,000. Public records will show that my clients paid $1,410,000 in August of 2015, and they have invested in many additional upgrades, including:

  • High-efficiency furnace and heat pump air conditioning
  • High-efficiency water heater
  • Gas insert in fireplace
  • Induction cooktop
  • Grey water system captures water from the washing machine for garden use
  • High-efficiency Energy Star stackable washer/dryer
  • Extensive attic insulation

They also installed engineered seismic retrofitting, and updated the electrical system. I very much hope that the right buyers are in this market who will appreciate the value and attention to detail of this really special home!



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Be Prepared!

November 15, 2017

The unprecedented damage caused by the North Bay fires has shaken assumptions about what is a “safe” area.  As we recover from the grief, as well as face the phenomenal physical damage, I hope this tragedy will serve as the most compelling wake-up call possible. Gentle readers, please make sure you take action now to make a […]

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Behind the Curtain: How I Distinguish Myself as a Listing Agent!

August 26, 2017

I recently had one of the hottest listings possible, so I thought I’d share some information from behind the scenes. The listing was 10700 Lochard (see link below), unusual in being a small house in a neighborhood of much larger homes. It had a large lot–over 1/4 acre–and a huge amount of character. As you […]

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Seasonal Shifts: Normal…and Crazy-Making!

July 27, 2017

Dear Neighbors and Friends, It’s easy to forget that in fact every year, even during very active markets, real estate experiences seasonality. There is a significant difference in behavior between the early spring with its characteristic very low inventory, and the summer, when generally buyers have more choices, and more fatigue. You would think that […]

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New for 2017: CA Law for Low Use Water Fixtures

January 11, 2017

California now leads the nation with standards that could save over 10 billion gallons of water in the first year and eventually over 100 billion gallons of water per year according to the California Energy Commission. Effective January 1, 2017, new water conservation regulations took effect for interior water fixtures in almost all single family […]

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After the Election: Emotional and Economic reactions in the Real Estate Market

December 8, 2016

Last Saturday I enjoyed being a guest on Protect Your Assets, a radio show on KNBR 680 AM. The host, David Hollander, is my financial advisor and producer of the show that airs each Saturday morning from 8 – 9 am. This was my third appearance on the show, and still I was amazed at […]

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The East Bay Autumn Market: Does it become more vibrant like the leaves, or cool with the weather?

October 24, 2016

  I love this time of year, with the transition to autumn and the turning of colors. And I’m one who really looks forward to celebrating Halloween. I suspect there will be some especially scary politician costumes this Halloween–or are they out there already?! I want to share a bit of  what it looks like behind-the-scenes as […]

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Berkeley Mid-Century Modern

June 19, 2016

It’s my pleasure to be representing 183 Fairlawn Drive. This Chalet-style home with its clean lines and inviting interior offers a peaceful retreat in the hills. And yet you are close to all of the wonderful amenities of Berkeley: its great neighborhoods, Lawrence Hall of Science, LBL, the UC Campus and Tilden Park. A bus stop is […]

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Behind the Scenes: the Real Value I Bring as a Realtor

May 16, 2016

I’m always fascinated to hear what people assume it’s like to be a Realtor. These past couple of weeks I’ve had several “back story” situations that I think would surprise most consumers about what are our most key duties, and how much difference an agent makes in the outcome of a deal. And so gentle […]

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