Melody Yip 
East Bay Realtor  “Connecting Heart With Home” | | 510.629.0360
Alain Pinel Realtors | License # 01970144



Brexit and Interest Rates
A few weeks ago, news broke – the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.   Interest rates have fallen as a result of the news. The average conventional loan rate is 3.46% – which happens to be the lowest in the last three years. Re-financing has gone up by  21% in the first week of July.It would be worthwhile re-financing and/or getting into the market.See full story





San Francisco Condo Inventory Increases

On a weekly basis, I catch conversations with real estate professionals and others talking about the rumors of the real estate market softening in San Francisco. Of course, in the East Bay – it is important to keep an eye on the market across the Bay .

The key reason for supposed softening in San Francisco is due flattening of the median sales price ($1.3 million) as compared to the high growth in previous years.  This is directly tied to the increased condo inventory in both newly constructed condos and condo seller’s feeling a bit of “FOMO” (fear of missing out).   They don’t want to miss out on selling their condo as they feel like as the rate of growth may not be as high

Number of sales in San Francisco has decreased from last May 2015 by 9% which is the 5th month in a row. This is largely due to the increased supply of condos and co-ops which is up by 70% since September 2012 largely in areas like the SoMa neighborhood. Despite the net leveling in the San Francisco market, median sales have increased in the Greater Bay Area by 5.6%.

The San Francisco detached home market is still strong.  There are still multiple bids on single family homes. In neighborhoods like Excelsior – you will still find that that sales has increased by 15%.

How should we process this information? I think its important to note that real estate in the Bay Area still functions as micro markets.  One should still keep an eye out for what is happening in different. For now, hot homes are still hot homes.  I look forward keeping you aware of any market fluctuations in the East Bay.  Perhaps in a few years we are looking at a more “balanced” market rather than a strong seller’s market.

See full story





Keeping It Local




Goldman Sachs Goes Shopping In Uptown
Goldman Sachs has just bought the historic 60,000 square foot –  I.Magnin building for $19.5 million as they have been attracted to Oakland’s burgeoning office market. It’s crazy to know that in 2013 the same building had been bought for $9.8 million which means that this building had doubled in three years. The energy in downtown and uptown Oakland remains strong.See full story








Ground Zero – The Garden Awaits
We have lived in our cozy early Craftsman in Alameda for the past 6 years now. I might have mentioned earlier in the year that 2016 is the year to put some care and energy into our house. We have been building up ideas for a while now. It’s time to take things on project by project, and phase by phase.One very under utilized spot in our home is the backyard. For six years now, we have let two rows of rose bushes run wild. Roses though sweet — are difficult to care for and was preventing us from using half of our precious backyard. In fact, the roses were winning in a big way as we seldom spent time in our backyard. It’s funny how detached you can be to a space when you have not gone through the process to make it your own.  With a bit of nudging from Phil, I was beginning to realize that the only way were were going to embrace our precious outdoor space was to re-do it and create our own oasis.I have been looking everywhere for inspiration from neighbor’s backyards to business parks. My eyes flit back and forth as I drive through the streets looking for green inspiration. It has been a process.After going to half a dozen nurseries in recent weeks, we have come to the conclusion that we would like a low maintenance yard with a woodsy prehistoric aesthetic. It’s taken a few conversations with nursery folks to come to this realization. The millennial diva in me wants to have a garden that is “special” with “one of a kind” plants. By the way, if you are looking for inspiration and unique species – I would highly recommend Flora Grubb (San Francisco – Bayview) and Flowerland (Albany- Solano Ave).

It’s has been a rich experience thus far. We are able to get involved with the creative process and there is a steep learning curve to getting to know plants. You have to balance aesthetics with many logistics (how large do the plants grow, how much water and sun does the plant require).The process and challenge of taking something new requires that we be patient despite willing many walls. It helps when you have determined a few focal points. You are able to fill in the rest of the space with companion plants.

First Draft
We are definitely keeping our Meyer lemon tree and 40 foot birch tree. We have determined that we will have have simple large cylindrical pots with cephalotaxus. On the side of our lemon tree we plan on making it green and lush – while towards the fence we will quite simply have 5-6 large bold pots with cephalotaxus which is a particular conifer.  I like that it grows vertically up to 6 feet – it will help create a soft barrier. We are coming close to determining what to do on the side to our house – hint: Flowerland’s front yard.

I’ll provide an update and hopefully some photos —  next month!




Top Photo – Lake Merritt and Rates
San Francisco Condo Sales Decreases Sachs Goes Shopping In Uptown

Ground Zero: The Garden Awaits
Top: Personal Photo
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