Finally the Spring Market Blooms!

by arlene on May 22, 2023

April showers bring May flowers…or so the old adage tells us. But rarely do we have showers as late as April, let alone actual rains in May. And all that rain did delay our spring housing market. Now, finally in May, we are seeing the increase in inventory we would normally have experienced at least two months earlier. Suddenly listing agents like me are finally bringing on the properties we’ve been working on for months, and in some cases for a year or more!  Buyers have more options, but for the best homes—updated properties that are well-located and well-presented—there is still tremendous demand.

A case in point: I was delighted to hear offers last week on my lovely listing at, The Dahlia House, loved by the same family for almost 75 years, and where the husband had grown prize-winning dahlias that neighbors still remember. I had been working on that home for almost a year, partly doing more fixing than expected, thanks to those crazy rains! First we installed a French drain when water intruded into the newly-finished lower level, and then a tree fell over in the backyard (that was a first for me!!) But the good karma of this property continued, and the absence of the tree opened up the back garden. The buyers are now confident that their newly-finished lower-level spaces will remain water free. And they rewarded us with a gorgeous offer. Another first in my 27-year career: a buyer bringing in an offer using the street address as the offer number! Given that the list price was $1,415M, the sellers are thrilled!

Twilight at 860 Grizzly Peak

The same day that I heard offers on 1932 Marin, I was heading up Marin Ave. to prepare for a video shoot of my newest listing at 860 Grizzly Peak. It will debut as you read this newsletter, and the website will just be going live at That property is another first for me: a home with ZERO street presence! But once folks take the walk down the recently-paved private drive they will be rewarded by seeing a mid-century gem! It’s a two bedroom, two bath home with an open living area with walls of glass, a new deck that looks directly out to the Golden Gate Bridge. If you’d like to see a true hidden retreat, come visit me next Sunday May 28, 2-4:30 pm. This past Sunday over 100 people wandered down the long drive to check out this hidden tree house!

Interest rates have mostly stabilized, and there is broad belief that they will actually go down in the fall. So buyers can opt now for an adjustable rate, and then refinance if/when that happens, and it feels like buyers have adjusted to this new interest rate environment. Luckily for me and my sellers, the last two listings where I have received offers, the successful buyer has brought in a cash offer, thereby providing certainty to the sellers, as well as a very quick close in two weeks or less. But the downside of all those cash offers? Because they need not have an appraisal, those cash buyers can offer prices that would not withstand the logic test of an appraisal, and so our Bay Area prices continue to climb, once again. Finally the Spring 2023 market is in full bloom!

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Earth Day Events Nearby 2023

by arlene on April 19, 2023

Celebrating Earth Day 2023

Here are just a few of the special events you can enjoy as we celebrate the 53rd International Earth Day in the East Bay:

Saturday April 22:

Berkeley Bay Festival, 11 am – 4 pm

Celebrate Earth Day at the Berkeley Marina. Enjoy live music, food, and activities for all ages. Connect with the Bay and our local community through live music, performers, food, hands-on educational activities and free boat rides.

This free family-focused event celebrates the Bay, its local wildlife, and the people and agencies dedicated to its protection. Over 30 environmental and wildlife conservation organizations from around the Bay will share their exhibits with the public.

The event takes place at the beautiful Shorebird Park in front of the Shorebird Nature Center.

Berkeley Downtown Festival, at the beautiful Downtown Berkeley Bart Plaza 11 am – 5 pm

So while the purpose is serious, this will be a fun-filled event 🙂– There will be a Fashion show focusing on sustainability. Locally reknowned artists Tuant Tran and Marya Milovidova will show case their art pieces and dresses…(Wait till you see Tuant Tran’s outfits

– We will have live music (performed by Mario & friends)

– Local sustainable businesses will have pop-ups. You will have a chance to shop from eco-friendly businesses.

– Reputable non-profit organizations will have informational booths. You will have a chance to get to know what causes they support and how they are championing climate change prevention programs.

Oakland Earth Day Celebration in Jack London Square, 11 am – 1 pmCelebrate Earth Day at Jack London Square on Saturday, April 22nd, from 11am – 1pm.  During the event, attendees will receive a FREE mini-Earth Day planting kit (while supplies last) located at the redemption center.

Oakland Earth Month Celebration:  Saturdays April 22 & 29, at the Oakland Zoo

This year, we have expanded our Earth Day Celebration to four Saturdays in April. Starting on April 8th, celebrate this wonderful planet we all call home with booths featuring our conservation partners and local environmental organizations, musical performances, art, crafts, and more!

Home Electrification Fair, David Brower Center, 2 – 5 pm

At the Home Electrification Fair you will get education about moving off gas appliances and onto clean, efficient and safer electricity: at the Brower Center. Free Admission. Get information about services, new technologies and rebates!

Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2023: Berkeley, 7 – 9 pm in person and on-line, $20 with discount

A variety of short films highlight environmental issues from across the country and tell inspiring stories of people and their relationships to nature. The festival will also feature free food, giveaways, and a chance to meet representatives from a variety of local environmental groups.

In San Francisco: a host of activities!

Follow that link to a summary of Earth Day events in various neighborhoods of San Francisco.


Sunday, April 23rd:

A Celebration of the 53rd Anniversary of People’s Park in Berkeley, 11 am – 7 pm

People’s Park 54th Anniversary, with music, speakers, green space gathering and more.

B’Earth Day Event at Gill Tract, 11 am – 3 pm

A family-friendly event on the community farm, with panel discussion, demonstrations, and live music (from 11 – 12:30 pm).



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Go Solar NOW! Major changes to Solar in 2023

January 19, 2023

Despite hearing resounding objections from the public, scientists and even many politicians, in December of 2022 the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)  approved changes to modify the amount of money paid by PG&E and other utility providers to solar customers for excess electricity that homes provide to the grid. I partnered with a solar provider […]

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Focusing on Giving Thanks this Holiday in 2022

November 17, 2022

Holidays in 2022 are still going to be in transition, just like so many aspects of our world. We are fortunate that COVID is less deadly now, but the virus is still evolving. Some families may be aching to have a large family gathering again, while I know quite a few people are still being […]

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Support Local Businesses for Gifts and Celebrations!

December 16, 2021

The diversity of the East Bay is quite inspirational – it offers a little something for everyone. We know that many restaurants and small businesses have folded as a result of the pandemic, and others are having a difficult time staying open. To protect the variety of local businesses that make our community unique, let’s […]

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New spa bathroom in North Berkeley home with both vintage and modern mahogany!

August 22, 2021

I remember those first days of school when I was kid, when the teachers would always ask us to prepare a report on how we spent our summer. The timing is perfect for me to report how I spent my summer this year, and it was largely preparing a listing for sale. Normally that would […]

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Starting At Home: Stabilizing And Nourishing Our Environment

April 16, 2021

Did you know buildings produce as much smog as all of the light-duty vehicles in California? That’s about 40% of all of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, Berkeley was the first city in the country to adopt an electrification mandate for new construction and major rehabilitation. More than 30 California cities have followed similar […]

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How has the pandemic changed what homebuyers will be looking for in the coming year?

January 20, 2021

 I answered the question for the SoundOff! section of SF Gate for Sunday, January 17th. Here is a somewhat expanded response: In a word, most buyers simply want MORE than pre-pandemic, and the following trends are expected to continue: More space within the home: With families spending most of their time at home, they want […]

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Surprises Aplenty in the 2020 Real Estate Market!

December 30, 2020

Surprises were commonplace in this most uncommon year. One of the first major surprises was just how quickly the real estate market transitioned from on-hold in March, to a very active market as soon as we were declared an “essential service” the beginning of April. I’m grateful for the few buyers of mine who were […]

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FOCUS ON GIVING THANKS for Thanksgiving 2020!

November 19, 2020

Next week instead of large gatherings with many family members and an enormous roasted bird, lots of us will have just immediate family members at our table. So instead of big production meals, we can focus on what really matters: being part of a community, and giving thanks for the friends, family members and for […]

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