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


What’s The Flippin’ Deal?

In 2015, nationally –  3.1% of home purchases were flips and averaged about a $102.4K gain* . Here in Oakland, flipped investments averaged about a $152.6K gain.

What does flipping activity say about the market? It signals confidence in the market. In 2005, during the real estate boom – 4.4% of home purchases were investor purchases, whereas in the downturn in 2008 was 1.4%.

(Gain = Price Sold – Price Purchased).

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6 Years Of Prideful Home Ownership – It’s Time
Phil and I have owned our sunny yellow 1910 early craftsman house now for six years.  Our first year in our home was spent painting and furnishing the interior. A few years later, we enclosed our porch to bring more light to the house which had theh added benefit of creating a more usable space, splurged on some heated patio furniture to encourage outdoor use, in the basement – created a space for Phil’s man cave gym and a enclosed library for my Malcolm Gladwell books.Fast forward to the here and now  — we need to spend some love and TLC on our abode this year. Here is our “punch list”:New double pane hung windows. We are still living with the original 100+ year old windows that are original to our house. Though the glass has a lovely thin rippled texture, it’s time for the better insulation. New double pane windows will provide insulation from the noise and weather.

Exterior Paint. Moss is beginning to grow in some of the crevices of our home, and  yellow isn’t quite our favorite color. Painting your home gives your home a fresh look but also protects it from sun exposure and moisture.

Central Heating. We have one large heating vent that serves the entire house. It’s going to be nice to have registers that can heat each room.

Some Front Yard Love. Our white picket fence needs some major care – we have a few missing pickets.  We are thinking to create a low fence. And though we like hydrangeas – maybe its’ time to change the look and feel of hour home with some hearty architectural plants.

There is a beauty and responsibility to home ownership. We are looking forward to tackling this year’s upgrades.

 Know The Market

58 Homes On Waiver
Spring is here! The months April thru June is essentially the height on the real estate market – we tend to see more inventory.  At my weekly Alain Pinel office meeting, we were told there are 58 homes from the Alain Pinel Oakland and Alameda offices that have yet to be released to the market. This is very exciting news as last year around this time – there were only 35 homes that were on waiver. It was discussed that other local large brokerages in the Oakland/Berkeley have similar increases in inventory.This marks the second largest number in the last 9 years!


Vik’s Chaat (Berkeley) – A Feast For The Senses
Vik’s Chaat is the bee’s knees. It’s a large cafeteria style Indian restaurant located in West Berkeley on an industrial part of 4th street. They have a few dishes that are less common in Indian eateries such as the masala dosa and cholle bhature.

Here are some of my favorites dishes that I keep coming back for:
The inflated blimp like cholle bhature (first photo) made of wheat dough has a fun chewy texture. I have lovingly renamed  it the “house” – it comes with a stewed tamarind chick pea stew. Quite frankly – it is the poster child dish of Vik’s Chaat. .There are some fun snacks such as the dahi batata puri (second photo ) – in short the textures and flavors feel like a poetry in food form. Masala Dosa (third photo) is made of a fermented flour lentil dough – it has a firm yet spongy texture. It’s a must try!  I am also a fan of their lamb samosas which comes with condiments like raw onions and mint sauce.

They call your name over the intercom each time one of your dishes are ready for pick up. I love that you can eat with your hands. Adjacent to Vik’s is their small market where you can stock up on spices on a budget. Vik’s Chaat is a Berkeley staple – my eyes light up every time Phil suggests it as an option for lunch or dinner.

Top Photo – Trees by the Berkeley Campile (Sather) Tower

What’s The Flippin’ Deal

6 Years of Prideful Home Ownership – It’s Time

58 Homes on Waiver

Vik’s Chaat (Berkeley) – A Feast For The Senses
Cholle Bhature
Dahi Batata Puri
Masala Dosa





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