Brett Weinstein Berkeley, CA Real Estate Broker with Realty Advocates Comments on SFGate’s “On the Block” Column from May 14, 2013

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Brett Weinstein Berkeley, CA Real Estate Broker with Realty Advocates provides additional detail on a recent article in's "On the Block" real estate column.

Brett Weinstein Berkeley, CA Real Estate Broker with Realty Advocates points out that in the column titled “On the Block” dated 5/15/2013, the author Carolyn Said states that “ even in the pricey Bay Area, there remain numerous pockets of affordability.” Said defines affordable as being under $400,000 and cites a house currently on the market in Berkeley, at 2705 California St, asking price $389,000. What Said doesn’t mention is that this is the only house on the market in Berkeley under $400,000. Low supply coupled with high demand is a great formula for a seller, but is much less favorable for a buyer. Furthermore, it was not mentioned that the house is on a tiny lot (1,888 sq ft) and has no off-street parking. And it is right next door to a church, so the homeowner can expect weekend parking to be in short supply.

Weinstein frequently instructs his clients when making a purchasing decision to be aware of the tradeoffs. An especially low price on a house does not necessarily make it the best investment. Weinstein notes from his extensive experience in the Berkeley residential real estate market that in all of Berkeley since Jan 1, 2013, only 6 homes have sold under $400,000, and four of those required major renovation work, which is an example of the hidden costs in real estate priced below market. One of the Berkeley homes for sale is 644 Vincente Ave.

Weinstein notes that In contrast, the Oakland example Said cites, 2950 El Monte, is in zip code area 94605, where there have been 111 home sales under $400,000 so far this year. So there are many more choices in this area. But here too, competition is driving the market, where the average sales price was 6% higher than the average asking price. Weinstein also points out that the source of the metrics, ZipRealty’s “most affordable Oakland neighborhoods” show several instances of YOY (year-over-year) price increases of 57-70% which is more of an expanding bubble than a great example of affordability. Recent close sales in Oakland include 4457 View Place.

About Brett Weinstein

Brett Weinstein started his real estate career in 1983, buying, renovating and renting/selling houses in the East Bay. Working closely with the Realtors® who were part of his team, he saw the possibility of creating a real estate agency that delivered maximum value to the client. In 1986, he co-founded Realty Advocates to bring a new ethos to residential real estate: providing premier service and greater bottom-line value.

Weinstein enthusiastically takes the role of a true advocate for his clients. With refreshing candor, he demystifies the real estate world and makes the whole process feel effortless. He taps his background in architecture and his extensive knowledge of current construction costs to help sellers make smart upgrades to their home before selling and to help buyers budget for repairs and improvements as they prepare to make an offer. Brett Weinstein can be reached via email at brett(at)realtyadvocates(dot)com, by phone at 510-428-0757, or via his website at [

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