Sunday 14 Sep 2014.

It’s an incredible event…. attracting 100,000 people or more every year.Wonderful Ambience, great food, pleasant neighborhood and amazing music.

Did I mention food? music? dancing?

It’s a delightful, mile long block party! It’s on Solano Avenue between The Alameda in Berkeley’s Thousand Oaks Neighborhood and San Pablo Avenue in Albany.

Parade starts at 10 am … details at the Solano Stroll Web Sites

Lots more photos at the Berkeleyhomes September event page

Eat, shop, play, live – do it here – Solano Avenue!





Most of the Kensington homes sold in the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) are 3 bedrooms, so analyzed median (half sell for less, half for more) sales price trends over the past 10 years. The 2014 numbers are year-to-date; all other values are for the entire year. The green bars are the median 3 bedroom sales price by year; the blue line is a polynomial fit of the data.

Prices climbed dramatically from 2012 to 2013 – we saw the same trend in Berkeley.

Kensington California median 3 bedroom sales prices over the past 10 years

This graph shows the ratio of the sales price to the original list price as a function of days on the market; Berkeley real estate sales show a similar pattern.

Kensington Real Estate Sales – Sales/Original Price ratios vs days on the market

Most of the homes sell between 10 and 15 days on the market; that’s the result of reviewing offers after 1 or 2 open houses. Most homes sell within 21 days on the market and generally sell for over (often a lot over) the asking price.

For the first few weeks a home’s on the market, uncertainty favors the seller – buyer’s base their offer upon how many other buyers are bidding on the home.

Once a home’s been on the market 3 or 4 weeks, the uncertainty favors the buyer. They feel that if the home’s not sold, it may be overpriced. Thus homes which sell after this period tend to sell for less than the original price.

We’ve found that the best strategy for sellers is to price the home at the lower range of the likely price, and let our marketing work to get multiple offers and overbids.


“When the Napa earthquake struck on Aug. 24, Joshua Bloom had a 5-second warning.

That’s because the UC Berkeley astronomy professor likes to tinker.”

And he put it all into a Gregoire’s Box

Read all about it in Berkeleyside’sCal Prof Joshua Bloom make earthquake alert kit for $110“.



651 Vincente Avenue, Thousand Oaks Berkeley

3 bedrooms 2 bath plus extra bonus space with a full bath

Offered at $1,000,000

Photo Portfolio at 

651 Vincente Avenue, Thousand Oaks Berkeley
Open Sunday 27 Jul 2-14 & Sunday 3 Aug 2015 2:00 to 4:30 pm

3 bedrooms 2 bath plus extra bonus space with a full bath

Offered at $1,000,000

Photo Portfolio at 

Large living room has built-ins, fireplace insert & opens to large dining room … perfect for entertaining, family gatherings!

Updated kitchen has sunporch addition, Franklin stove & opens to back deck & garden. 

Filtered views of the Bay, Golden Gate/Bay Bridges, city lights & Mt Tam. 

Don’t miss: dual paned windows; gumwood details, hardwood floors, master suite on the main level, flexible bonus space & 3rd full bath below. 

Interior: 1,668 sq ft; Lot Size: 5,000 sq ft; Built: 1924; MLS #40667078. 

Neither Sellers nor Agents have verified square footage. 

Visit for extensive photo portfolio and Thousand Oaks Neighborhood photos and videos 

California Real Estate License # 00936453/01143916 



Map from 651 Vincente to Kensington’s Colusa Circle and Farmers’ Market – Driving

Runkeeper Map -


Map from Kensington’s Colusa Circle to 651 Vincente – Driving

Runkeeper Map -

Map from 651 Vincente to Peet’s Coffee on Solano – Driving

Runkeeper Map -





Sedge Thomson always has a reading of the Declaration of Independence on West Coast Live around the 4th of July

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Wow – what it must have felt to have signed this document.

My favorite places to celebrate the 4th are at the Berkeley Marina, the Marin County Fair, and the wonderful parades in Alameda and Piedmont.

Lots more photos on my Pinterest 4th Of July Page

Fireworks?  The best are also the Marin County Fair and the Berkeley Marina

Visit the July Events Page for more information.

Fort Mc Henry – The Star Spangled Banner



Iconic 50s modernism in Berkeley’s wonderful Thousand Oaks neighborhood

The Hellbaum House in Berkeley’s wonderful Thousand Oaks neighborhood!

3 Bedrooms 2 Baths … and much much more – $1,100,000

Open Two Sundays -  15 + 22 Jun 2014 2:00 to 4:30 pm

UPDATE: Pending with 4 offers


Robin talks about growing up across the street

Walt talks about the elevator at the bottom of this blog post!

Photo Portfolio on our custom web site, which also has extensive information and photos of Thousand Oaks (Berkeley) and the nearby communities of Albany & Kensington.

Be sure to visit the 619 Vincente sites on Pinterest and Foursquare … and “check-in” when you come to visit!

This amazing home was features in the San Francisco Chronicle “On The Block” Blog and in Berkeleyside, our favorite hyper-local #Berkeley Web Site

At a massive street side boulder, rising tiers of Arizona flagstone walls, steps and handmade bronze railings lead you up to the front entry (note the tiled inset of the builder/owners’ initial!); the same flagstone is repeated inside at the fireplace, its raised hearth and floor to ceiling detail, and outside at walls and chimney – it’s the perfect home to binge-watch Mad Men in!



Three bedrooms, two and a half baths at main living level; half bath in garage; elevator from garage to kitchen 

Huge kitchen has terrific storage (auto shop painted cabinetry with chromed hardware!); an island counter; breakfast area space; 

Large room off kitchen includes laundry and a built in desk across one wall; ideal study/art/office space 

Filtered Golden Gate, Bay Bridge, San Francisco, Mt. Tam and westward views are seen through large windows; half bath off kitchen 

Two full bathrooms have the original naugahyde wall covering, enclosed bath tub/shower combos and vanities with chromed tube lights and mirrors 

Through a wide central hallway, access three good sized bedrooms: master suite has one large closet with built in drawers, a second smaller closet and opens through sliding glass doors to a mahogany deck and back garden with plantings amid more rock; another bedroom has a built in desk, shelving and glass paned display cases 

Detached garden studio built of clear heart redwood: originally used as a BBQ shed with a fireplace, sink, built-in cabinetry and windows all around, it’s now the perfect art/meditation/separate office space 


At the garage level (more of the street side rock … and another behemoth rock!) there’s a half bath, utility closets housing elevator machinery and radiant/water heating equipment, and many storage spaces; think installation of a translucent garage door to brighten this area for multiple uses; art; kid playspace; workshop….or park two cars and maybe a third! 


More about our wonderful Thousand Oaks Neighborhood!



Pretty Thousand Oaks 2 Story Dutch Colonial with filtered views of San Francisco and city lights. Updated kitchen with granite counters and copper vent hood opens to formal dining room with beamed ceiling.

Open Sunday 25 May + 1 Jun 2014 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm

Offered at $865,000 – Spacious 2 Bedrooms 1+ bath home on a large lot

Photo Portfolio and more information at @ and MLS Link (active until the winning offer is accepted!)

Check out our 600 Arlington Pinterest and Foursquare pages!  Check in when you check in to see this wonderful home!

The living room and larger bedroom have wonderful light – they face south, with windows on the east and west!

Living room with fireplace, built-ins, and french doors to the sunny deck, brick patio, lawn and deep back garden

Main Level
Light and bright living room, dining room, kitchen and half bath


Upper Level
Two Bedrooms, full bath, with wonderful bonus space perfect for a home office or play room.

Easy commute to UC Berkeley and San Francisco. The #7 Bus on the corner takes you to Downtown Berkeley in about 15 minutes; the Transbay #H Bus arrives in San Francisco in about 45 minutes.

Kensington Village is up the road (Inn Kensington is our favorite place for breakfast); Great Stone Face Park a few blocks away, and Solano Avenue shops, restaurants, and book stores is just down the hill!

Sun on the shortest day of the year!


1311 Henry Street – Luxury Townhome
Photo Portfolio at

3 Bedrooms; 2-1/2 Baths; Bonus Office Space
North Berkeley’s Restaurant, Cafes & Shops Nearby

Offered at $925,000

Open Thu 15 May 2014 5-7 pm for a twilight open, and Sunday 18 May 2014 2:00 to 4:30 pm

Be sure to visit and read about what makes this serene townhome so special!



Top Level
Bedroom & full bath; bonus office/guest space opens to a small balcony perfect for watching sun (or moon) rise over the Berkeley Hills;

Mid Level
Two bedrooms; full bath; laundry room; stack washer/dryer;

Main Level
Kitchen, half bath & dining room; glass doors open to back garden; living room opens to front garden; gas fireplace.

Enjoy coffee morning coffee in the dining room garden, afternoon wine in the living room garden, and the cozy living room fireplace on foggy evenings.

Live Oak Park around the corner features wonderful creekside festivals and theater; basketball and tennis courts too; Berkeley Art Center is a block further.

Commuting to San Francisco? Your options include Trans Bay AC Transit buses that stop at Henry & Berryman and Berkeley’s downtown BART station.

Teaching at the University of California? Cal’s about a mile away.

Not far: The very first Peet’s Coffee, Cheese Board, Saul’s Deli, Epicurious Garden, Gregoire’s & Chez Panisse … and downtown’s Berkeley Repertory & Aurora Theaters, Freight & Salvage, Jazz School and first run movies!

Enclosed parking, dual paned windows; 4 unit complex; all appliances included.

Built: 1992 ; 1,696 Sq Ft Per Tax Records (Not verified by sellers or agents)


North Berkeley Luxury Townhome Just Listed – near restaurants and cafes – Open House

1311 Henry Street – Luxury Townhome Photo Portfolio at 3 Bedrooms; 2-1/2 Baths; Bonus Office Space North Berkeley’s Restaurant, Cafes & Shops Nearby Offered at $925,000 Open Sunday 27 Apr 2014 and Sunday 4 May 2014 2:00 to 4:30 pm   Top Level Bedroom & full bath; bonus office/guest space opens to a small balcony […]

Read the full article → Just Listed

1906 San Francisco Earthquake – I was there for the 100th Anniversary

As we recognize the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake, I thought you’d like to see what the 100th Anniversary was like.  Several survivors were there … alas, I think they may all be gone. Let us know if you’d like tips to prepare for the next one .. and referrals for contractors and engineers who […]

Read the full article → Earthquake Country