1840 Sonoma, Northbrae Berkeley
$1,250,000 3 Bedrooms 2+ Baths

Open Saturday 30 Apr, Sunday 1 May + Sunday 8 May 2:00 -4:30 pm

Home – Garden – Neighborhood

A River (actually Codornices Creek) Runs Through It


Located in a magical creekside setting on a much desired tree lined street in Berkeley’s historic Northbrae neighborhood, this wonderful two story home is near the North Berkeley Library, Monterey Market/Hopkins St. shopping area, and upper Solano’s shops and restaurants. Truly, it is one of Berkeley’s loveliest properties.

This can be your very own back garden-park: a flagstone terrace and built-in seating look out onto a serene wooded park; soothing sounds of falling water down steep rock-lined creek walls; a narrow bridge; a peaceful haven filled with birds, mature trees and greenery.

MLS: 40738008


Slide Show






The house is updated and elegant throughout: an arched glass paned front entry door; a living room with marble fireplace and wood-burning insert; a formal dining room, three bedrooms and two baths, all with hardwood floors.

Built-in seating, art tile and glass paned cabinetry in a large cooks’ kitchen. Great additional space below includes a half bath that does not appear on public records.

Extras include: energy efficient casement windows, foundation upgrade, and a lower level has office/guest/study space with great storage.

Main Living Level: Front Entry; Living Room; Dining Room; Kitchen; Two Bedrooms; One Full Bath

Upper Level: One Bedroom; One Full Bath

Basement Level: Utility; Storage; Two Rooms; One Half Bath

Of special note: there are two homes on the property: the front house at 1840 Sonoma and a rear cottage at 1840A Sonoma. The front house is offered at a Tenant In Common interest, with the current owner occupying the rear cottage as their part of the Tenant In Common interest.

Photo Gallery

The Magical Garden






The Northbrae Neighborhood

The North Berkeley Library’s a block away … 1840 Sonoma is near Northbrae & Westbrae‘s shops, restaurants, tennis court, swimming pool, Monterey Market and more!  Upper Solano shops and restaurants of the Thousand Oaks Neighborhood are just to the north.






Working in San Francisco? The North Berkeley BART Station is on Sacramento – take BART to work or the airports, hop into a Casual Carpool to San Francisco, or get on a company bus to Silicon Valley.  You can also take the AC Transit Trans Bay H bus and you’ll be in the San Francisco bus terminal in about 40 minutes.

The AC Transit 25 bus takes your right to downtown Berkeley in about 15 minutes.

And from Walk Score … a Bike Score of 76 … “Very Walkable”.  Easy biking to UC Berkeley!

The Commute


Bike Routes to UC Berkeley



 Nearby BART & Bus Lines



Trans Bay Bus to San Francisco






1544 Sacramento — 3 Bedrooms 3 Baths $1,000,000

MLS Link #40735984

The Home – The Garden – The Neighborhood


The Home

Remarkable North Berkeley location just blocks from BART and Northbrae’s wonderful shops. Sipping coffee on the deck or terraces, admiring the glorious blooming garden, and watching the bees and birds, you’ll be amazed that you’re on Sacramento.

Turn right as you enter … and the open family room & kitchen with french doors to the deck and garden awaits you.


The living room (with accessible bath) is also on the main level

Up the stairs – two bedrooms, one with a terrace overlooking the garden.


And down … a garden level master suite! The split level design gives options to have your extended family live there, or space to work at home without disturbing the rest of the family.


The Garden


Cindy & Tormod say it best … it will be your “happy place”

“A few notes about the garden, which has been a 30 year labor of love. It is fully organic – no pesticides, herbicides, or commercial fertilizers, just lots of compost and fish fertilizer, over many years. We have an amazing variety of bees, beneficial insects, and birds that visit the garden year-round. Whether reading, dining, computing,or just communing with nature, we have spent most of our time at home in the garden and on the terraces – this has been our ‘happy place’ “



The Neighborhood

North Berkeley, just a few blocks from Northbrae & Westbrae’s shops, restaurants, tennis court, swimming pool, natural grocery, library and Ohlone Trail to Downtown Berkeley.

Working in San Francisco? The North Berkeley BART Station is just a few blocks away – take BART to work or the airports, hop into a Casual Carpool to San Francisco, or get on a company bus to Silicon Valley.

And from Walk Score … a Bike Score of 97 … “flat as a pancake, excellent bike lanes”.  Easy biking to UC Berkeley!

map-sacramento-1544-north-berkeley-near-north-berkeley-bart-bartScroll to the bottom of this post for more maps – Topography, Bike Routes & More

A letter from the current owners to you:

We love our house, garden, and neighborhood – leaving will be very bittersweet. But it is time for new adventures, and we are moving back to my home state of Oregon.

I first fell in love with Berkeley in 1971, while visiting friends who were students at UC Berkeley. It was simply the most fascinating, hippest, coolest, diverse, and most beautiful place I had seen. A dream began on that trip; to live here one day. “One day” turned out to be several years later, but it was well worth the wait, and the effort involved.

I looked at many houses and neighborhoods, and decided on this area for a number of reasons – proximity to Monterey Market, BART, parks, swimming, tennis, libraries, theaters, restaurants, and UC Berkeley. I could leave the car at home, bike or walk everywhere, and take BART or “casual carpool” to my job in the City. The back yard was south/west facing, and my dream of turning the neglected jungle into an organic garden that would attract local wildlife seemed feasible. All in all, it appeared to be a perfect fit.

A few notes about the garden, which has been a 30 year labor of love. It is fully organic – no pesticides, herbicides, or commercial fertilizers, just lots of compost and fish fertilizer, over many years. We have an amazing variety of bees, beneficial insects, and birds that visit the garden year-round. Whether reading, dining, computing,or just communing with nature, we have spent most of our time at home in the garden and on the terraces – this has been our “happy place”.

Nine years ago, I met my wonderful husband, and among the many things we have enjoyed together are wonderful neighbors, walking and biking from our front door to the SF Bay trail or up into the hills, excellent access to public transit, the Gourmet Ghetto, Ohlone Greenway, Greek Theater, Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley Rep, Freight and Salvage, North Berkeley Public Library, King Pool and Tennis, Cafe Roma, Magnani Poultry, Monterey Market, Monterey Fish, Country Cheese, Hopkins Bakery, Goia Pizza, Lalime’s, Berkeley Natural Grocery, Westbrae Biergarten, Whole Foods, Fieldworks, Donkey and Goat, Farm Burger, Peet’s, and Philz. We have also enjoyed the easy access to the wonderful Fourth Street, Solano, Shattuck, and College Avenue shopping districts.

We have wonderful memories that will last a lifetime, and wish the same for the new owner.

Cindy and Tormod

April 2016


Topography – Bikeable!


Bike Routes!


BART Routes

map-sacramento-1544-north-berkeley-near-north-berkeley-bart-bartBART Routes



What are Berkeley homes selling for?

by Ira Serkes on April 9, 2016

This graph is of Berkeley 3 + 4 Bedroom Single Family home sales since 1 Jul 2015. The data always fits this pattern; the linear trend line fits the data.
 The Median 3 sales price was $1,025,000, the median 4 bedroom was $1,400.000. These are single family homes.
Want more detailed real estate research for your home, or one you’re thinking of buying?  Call us 510-526-6668!
2015-07-01 to 2016-0409 Berkeley 3-4 BR


588 The Alameda, Berkeley’s Thousand Oaks Neighborhood

Offered at $900,000 – Three bedrooms; 1-1/2 baths


Open Sunday 3 + 10 Apr 2016 2:00 to 4:30 pm – stop by and say hello!

MLS Listing Link

This wonderful Craftsman has unusual Gothic trim detail at the front door and living room windows.  Front entry space with coat closet opens to a good sized living room with wood burning fireplace and bookshelves on each side.


Formal dining room has original dark stained wood built-ins, glass-paned cabinets and trim. Three generous windows admit plenty of light.


There’s a good sized kitchen and a breakfast room, too!


Two bedrooms and bath complete the upper level; at the lower level, there’s third bedroom bonus space with a huge closet, and glass doors to a small deck. Also: laundry/utility area, a workshop, and separate entry.

Outside: detached garage with a new automatic door, long driveway, and small fenced back garden.

Near upper Solano Ave shops, restaurants, El Cerrito Plaza shops/BART; SF express bus

Per Public Records: Interior: 1,261 sq ft; Lot Size: 4,600 sq ft; Built: 1925



1386 Gilman in Berkeley’s Westbrae Neighborhood.


Westbrae Spanish Med!  1386 Gilman near Northbrae Shops & North Berkeley BART

2 bedroom home with formal dining room in the house.  


Newer paint & refinished hardwood floors; beautifully landscaped front & back; stainless appliances; elegant arches; radiant & gravity heat; 3 skylights!


The amazing lower level bonus space (family room -home office – guest space) with separate entry adds even more room and flexibility.

Near Hopkins and Gilman shops – Monterey Market, Magnani Meats, Berkeley Hort, Gioia Pizza, Westbrae Biergarten and Ohlone Path to North Berkeley BART.

Web Site – 1386Gilman.com

Pinterest Board

Check Into Foursquare

Great Public Transit

North Berkeley BART with the company buses is a little over a half mile away

Downtown Berkeley
Take the 25 bus along Gilman and Hopkins. You’ll be in Downtown Berkeley in about 20 minutes!

Trans Bay Bus to San Francisco
AC Transit Trans Bay H Bus on Gilman gets you to San Francisco Bus Terminal in about 40 minutes. 

West Berkeley’s Whole Foods, T-Rex, Farm Burger and Philz’ coffee near Gilman and San Pablo.

Ira & Carol Serkes, Pacific Union/Christie’s International 510-684-3334 cell, 510-526-6668 direct.



Berkeley Halloween and Day Of The Dead Celebrations

by Ira Serkes on October 29, 2015

Berkeley really celebrates Halloween!

Thousand Oaks, Emerson, and other schools have great parades.

And pumpkins … great pumpkins!  Here’s a selection from my flickr photo page

Russell and Josephine Streets and Mariposa Avenue have wonderful pumpkins and festivities (Russell Street closes at 8:30 pm so be there early) … the house at Ashby & Piedmont has amazing pumpkins … and North Berkeley has a great Dia de los Muertos Day of The Dead Parade planned for Mon 2 Nov 2014 5-9 pm starting at the 1400 block of Shattuck (between Vine & Rose).  The Candlelight procession starts at 7:45 pm

The photos below give a sneak preview … click on Berkeley Halloween and Day Of The Dead festivities for links to more photos and video … and map so you know where to go!

Check out my Pinterest Halloween Board!

Russell Street Puppets

Day of The Dead



$1,500,000 – Four bedrooms two baths with a bonus space (workshop/exercise room?) and half bath

Open Sunday 18 + 25 Oct 2015 2:00 to 4:30 pm

The Anthony Boucher House – 2643 Dana in Berkeley’s Le Conte neighborhood – has been lived in by four generations of family. Anthony Boucher was an accomplished author, book and magazine editor and critic, active from the 1940s to his death in 1968.

A.P., or “Tony” to his friends, was influential as a mystery book editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times.  He was also an author, founder of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and co-writer of hundreds of scripts for radio shows in the 1940s, including Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.


This remarkable home can now be yours!

This gracious home, built in 1941 and beautifully updated since features unusually spacious rooms, arches, crown molding, and a big welcoming entry.

The Main Level

Entry hall and open staircase. 

The large living room (with fireplace), which hosted regular writers’ workshops attended by with notable mystery and science fiction authors.

Updated kitchen with cherry cabinets, roll out trays, drawers, recessed lighting, stone counters and stainless appliances and its own cozy fireplace with bookshelf surround!

Dining room with French Doors to the generous backyard!

Mid Level

Two bedrooms (one is huge) and full bath

Upper Level

Two bedrooms, including the master bedroom … and which was used by Anthony Boucher as his study.

Lower Level

Finished bonus room, half bath, laundry and two car garage!

The Garden

From the family to the next owner

I love the traditional layout, large rooms and generous backyard, as well as the fact that our family has so much history here.

We’ve enjoyed many holidays and memorable family events in this home. I especially love that my daughter is being raised in the same home my Dad and Uncle grew up in and I lived in while I attended UC Berkeley.

I also love that everything is nearby, from the dentist to the grocery store and the park. The neighborhood boasts a wide variety of dining options, ranging from cheap ethnic “student eats” to lovely bistros and coffeehouses, as well as convenient services.

UC Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley and Elmwood shops, restaurants and theaters are all about a mile away.  The bus line is just a block away.

A family history at 2643 Dana Street, Berkeley, CA

Four generations of my family have lived in this home since 1947; my husband and I have lived here since 2002.  My grandparents were the original owners and my Dad and uncle lived here through college at UC Berkeley. My grandmother lived here until her passing in 2000. Her husband was William A.P. White, who worked under the pen name Anthony Boucher, was an accomplished author, book and magazine editor and critic, active from the 1940s to his death in 1968.

A.P., or “Tony” to his friends, was influential as a mystery book editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times.  He was also an author, founder of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and co-writer of hundreds of scripts for radio shows in the 1940s, including Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. He wrote almost everything he ever produced here in this house, using the master bedroom as his “study.” He also hosted regular writers’ workshops in the living room, with notable mystery and science fiction authors.

He was most beloved as an editor because he took the time to mentor writers and was seminal in attempting to make literary quality an important aspect of science fiction and mystery writing.  So much so, in fact, there is an annual convention of creators and devotees of mystery and detective fiction named in his honor.  Called the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention or “Bouchercon”, the event is held annually every fall. 

[Ira Note: I just found out that Bouchercon was held a few days ago http://bouchercon2015.org/ in a blog post House of famed mystery writer/editor Anthony Boucher for sale (Mystery Fanfare) picked up by Berkeleyside!]

My love for this house stretches back to my childhood; I’ve always loved the look and feel of it. When my grandmother passed away, my husband and I took on the challenge of updating it so we could live here and keep the house in the family.  We have raised our daughter here, hosted numerous family gatherings and celebrated many milestones.  We hate to leave this beautiful house but find it necessary as my husband’s career pulls us to Hawaii.

This is a wonderful neighborhood to raise a family in, with great schools, lovely parks and every possible amenity nearby.  Hopefully, the new family will love how walkable this area is, with great neighborhoods, restaurants and shops in every direction.

Built in 1941, the house itself is well built and has been lovingly updated from top to bottom.  Please see list of improvements for a full description of what’s been done to the home and property.  This is an ideal place for entertaining with a generous backyard and lots of living space.  We have loved every minute in this house and hope the new owners will too.

My grandfather in his “study”, which is now the master bedroom.

This was taken in the living room – you can see some of the books he wrote on the shelves behind him, as well as his beloved classical records.

The Berkeley Historical Plaque Project will be placing a plaque on the home



The Sleek, Green, Sustainable, Elegant 3 Level Live/Work Town Home you’ve been waiting for

 Berkeley’s 4th Street / West Berkeley Neighborhood

2211 5th Street Unit B– $950,000
Beautifully finished 3 Level live-work Town Home … so much more than a loft … 2 bedroom home or 1 bedroom and live-work space

Property Photo Portfolio on this Blog Post and at  2211B-Townhome.com

A fortunate buyer had his offer accepted!  Open House Cancelled!  Open Sunday 4 Oct 2015 2:00 to 4:30 pm 

For other showing schedules, call 510-526-6668 or email serkes@berkeleyhomes.com

Doing biomedical research at Novartis … or creating magical animations at Pixar?

Emeryville’s a short bike ride away.

Work in the city … Take the AC Transit FS Express Bus and be San Francisco in less than 45 minutes!

Lower your bike from the ceiling rack … there’s plenty of room for your car below

Yes … those are inverters for the GreenPads PhotoVoltaic System on the wall

Make espresso at home … or stop at Catahoula, Peet’s or Artis nearby

Return home through the serene bamboo grove … and think of the Kyoto bamboo grove

Have dinner at Zut!, Cafe Rouge, Tacubaya, Brennans … or simply make your own fabulous creation

Perhaps you’re working from home today

10 pm Berkeley is the perfect time to call your colleagues in Shanghai and Paris

1 pm Shanghai – 7 am Paris – 10 pm Berkeley

Here’s what awaits you at your wonderful new home …

Green – Sustainable – Graceful – Elegant Live/Work Loft

2211 5th Street Unit B is now on the market for $950,000.

You’ve dreamed about living in a beautifully designed modern home for years … now you can! Make this environmentally friendly Greenpads unit your next home!

Want to know more about what makes this home special?  Read the wonderful comments one of the owners wrote to you.

Convenient to 4th Street/West Berkeley Shops, Restaurants and Cafes, less than 40 minutes to Downtown San Francisco via AC Transit Trans Bay Express Bus, and just a short distance the Berkeley Amtrak Station or I-80.

Photo Portfolio @ berkeleyhomes.com/blog

Cool sophistication in this serene, green-built, environmentally friendly live/work condo;

3 spacious high ceiling’d levels; elegant high end appliances (Liebherr; Miele; Jade); custom built Scavalini cabinetry; 2 wine coolers

Beautiful heat-reducing shades throughout the house, plus an exterior remote controlled shade in the master suite; Nest controls; solar panel (electricity & hot water!); skylights; deck at top floor master suite; each level has radiant heating; Brazilian cherry & polished cement flooring; garage parking; 2 garden patios & gorgeously landscaped common areas

Interior: 1,498 sq ft; Built: 2005; sq ft – Square Footage Not Guaranteed By Agents/Seller


And the movie is … ?

 #Berkeley @Berkeley #Serkes @Serkes


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