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Piedmont : Real Estate Advice

  • All35
  • Local Info6
  • Home Buying11
  • Home Selling3
  • Market Conditions4

Activity 26
Sun Mar 13, 2016
Michelle Smith answered:
I'm looking to rent a house in Piedmont w/ my 11 year old son so he can go to Piedmont schools. If we went in together it would be affordable. I have excellent credit and I am a professional myself. Let me know if this is something that interests you. ... more
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Mon Dec 14, 2015
Gerald Feenstra answered:

I would recommend reaching out directly to Trulia Customer Support. They can be reached at: 1 (888) 466-3501

Good luck!
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Sat Jul 11, 2015
Maureen Kennedy answered:
For Piedmont specifically, we typically net out the pool – there are a few buyers who would seek out the house with the pool and about the same number of buyers who would avoid a house because of the pool.

One option would be to disclose the current condition of the pool and the cost to repair, and also get a bid on filling it in. Then your buyers can make a decision about how they would prefer to proceed – the bids also emphasize to buyers who are wary, perhaps because of a pool related incident from their childhood – that pools can be taken out for not too much money. My experience is that your bid is likely to come in at about $15k.

Let me know if we should talk further. Maureen Kennedy, Piedmont real estate broker (#01446878)
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Sat Nov 8, 2014
John Westrich answered:
You may also wish to look up home you will get contractors who are rated by previous customers.
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Thu Jun 12, 2014
Maureen Kennedy answered:
Average annual property taxes on a home purchase in Piedmont are about 1.5% of purchase price. This includes the state wide 1% prop 13 tax, a number of local GO bond taxes (library, regional parks, 911 service, east bay MUD, etc) and then several parcel taxes unique to Piedmont--City services, and schools. These are levied at a flat rate, based on parcel rather than property value, so if you purchased a $5 million home your average property tax might be only 1.35%.

Piedmont property taxes are a tad higher on a percentage basis, than Berkeley and Oakland. Property values are higher as well so of course the tax bill will be disproportionately higher.

If you were talking about transfer taxes at the time of purchase, Piedmont charges 13/1000 (1.3 percent), divided evenly between Buyer and seller. So for your hypothetical million dollar purchase, you would pay $6500 in transfer taxes in Piedmont, but $7500 in both Berkeley and Oakland.
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Thu Mar 6, 2014
Lorrie Finkel answered:
I am so sorry I had forgot that I was writing on Trulia.So much depends on your life style and long term goals. Many people like me choose to vstay and live here because. It's a small community and. Safer .
Please e. Mail and I would be happy to speak with you .Current our inventory is very low. and you might very well. Prepared. Up to 300,000 over .This. Is. my neighborhood personally and professionally .
My. E mail .
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Sun Feb 9, 2014
Kyle Quesnoy answered:
As Carl mentioned, it is going to be up to the school district. That said, Sandringham will generally be assigned to either Havens elementary or Wildwood elementary due to geographic proximity. If either of those schools is unavailable for any reason, Beach elementary would be the alternative. There is only one middle and high school in Piedmont. ... more
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Wed Nov 13, 2013
Annette Lawrence answered:
Are you a shopper or a buyer?
Buyers will appreciate the low acitvity meaning less competition and a more serious consideration of any offer received by the seller.
Shoppers always think a better house is going to be published tomorrow and they don't buy that one either.
Still other SERIOUS buyers avoid both groups and enjoy the benefits of membership and are able to see homes BEFORE they are on the market.
Which is better for you depends on your motivation for buying.
Here in Florida, December has proven to consistantly be a record breaker for sales volume. Buyers who can see through the tinsel would be mistaken to abandon their search because of the holidays.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Move to the Front of the Line
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Sun Oct 20, 2013
Pacita Dimacali answered:
Do you only want to look on Thornhill (which could be very busy), or other streets just off the Thornhill area?

There are several homes for sale in Montclair ---- you included a link to a very large home with 4 bedrooms/4 baths with 5845 sq ft

On the Oakland side:
Looking for 4 bedrooms, 4 baths in zip codes 94611 and 94618, I found 8 active listings, ranging from $925K (for 3700 sq ft 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, on 8051 sq ft lot) to a high of $2.795M for 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 5000 sq ft on 8,967 sq ft lot.

On Piedmont side
I found 7 listings, ranging from a low of $1.849M, with 4 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 partial baths, 4133 sq ft house on 8,900 sq ft
To a high of $7.400M with 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, 7281 sq ft on 29,120 sq ft lot.

how may I help you?
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Sat Sep 28, 2013
Lex & Nikki #TheCalAgents answered:
I bought a house condemned by the city of Piedmont myself for $510k and renovated it so it's worth $1.38M now with $300k of renovation loan. Fixers like that can also be torn down and rebuilt. I personally presented the design of my house at the hearing and got it approved.

It's usually easier to buy fixer and then rebuild than getting a new design approved on a vacant lot because neighbors are tired of the eyesore. They are more cooperative if there is already a fixer there.

I had another vacant lot in the Oakmore area of Oakland. The neighbors put up a big fight against my application to build a new house there. They want it to remain vacant so it's a free open space for the neighborhood. The level of cooperation you get from the neighbors differ hugely depending on what is existing there.

Let me know if you want to know more about development. I developed over two dozen projects in the last 3 years in the east bay.
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Fri Mar 1, 2013
Maureen Kennedy answered:
We were all in Alameda at the soccer games!
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Sun Feb 17, 2013
Bruce Wagg answered:
My family has loved our move to Piedmont and my kids, ages 7 and 3, have quickly found wonderful friends and activities through the Piedmont Neighbors and Newcomers Club. There is a weekly Monday play group that takes place in Piedmont park or other members homes and is sponsored by the PNNC.
My kids love to meet other kids in the area and it is a great way for a new resident to meet new people in Piedmont. I'd be happy to show you around our beautiful city.
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Fri Nov 16, 2012
Kyle Quesnoy answered:
It looks like Sheryl would be an excellent fit for you as a loan professional, Molly. I would start with her consultation. That will further nail down what price point you will be looking at. I'm currently working on a transaction for a 1 bed/ 1 bath condo in Oakland for $145,000 that is one block from Piedmont. A 2 bed/ 2 bath in this area should be doable in your estimated price range. Feel free to contact me when you've procured a loan with Sheryl. I'd be happy to show you around the area and help you find a place that will fit all your needs.

510-502-5422 (direct line)
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Wed Jan 18, 2012
Tomi Thomas answered:
I work in both the East Bay and Marin, and they are very different. All of these communities have real strengths, and weaknesses, of sorts. I would say that you might be better served to analyze what types of educational programs you feel like your children will be best served by, and look for the school that serves those specific needs, and then search for the house within the school system that you want. Start with the stats on the websites of the local boards of education for each city. I find that if I ask 10 different parents for an opinion, they will all give me a different answer based on their specific slant.

I also advise my clients, when they are moving to a new community they have not lived in before, to call local community groups, like neighborhood associations and parents groups, can be very helpful for identifying the strengths of individual education environments. These groups can be identifed through the school board, and through the poiice department community liason program. They usually have the names of the emergency preparedness groups, which plug you in to the specific neighborhood very quickly.

To the question of diversity, the East Bay definitely has a stronger Asian American presence, in Berkeley, Albany, Piedmont, Orinda, and Lafayette, as well as many other racial and cultural groups. I loved Mill Valley when I \lived there, but often felt hungry for greater the East Bay, you have the entire world community at your fingertips. It's a rich and wonderful tapestry, with strong cultural groups combined with a high level of integration. Marin, overall, is considered tonier, and more prestigious, but also much more homogeneous. Marin will generally feel more small town, though it offers less commute options and is more of a car culture, where the East Bay has a more urban flavor, and offers a multitude of easy commute options. San Anselmo is an area you may want to explore, more than Mill Valley. SA is a very kid friendly area, with lots of young families having moved there for the schools. Piedmont is a city within a city. Orinda feels entirely upscale rural suburban. Big lots, lots of trees, few sidewalks, very kid oriented. Housing stock is \very pretty different in terms of age and architecture from community to community.

I would also want to hear what climate you hope to find, as the Bay area has a multitude of microclimates. Do you you like the cooler, occasional fog belts where things are more temperate, or do you want a hot, tomato growing climate?

So, it comes down to what specific educational programs you want to have access to, and what your personal aesthetic is for what will feel most like home. The agents you interview should be asking you many more questions, before offering advise. Good luck in your search!
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Wed Jan 18, 2012
Tomi Thomas answered:
You have some great answers below, excepting the out of town folks who are underestimating based on state statistics. Generally, 1.4 percent will give you a reasonable average, but it's hard to factor the special assessments that may apply until you have a specific property in mind. Nothing is more annoying in real estate that finding out later that the number is higher than what you estimated. I often suggest that my buyers round up to 1.5 percent to estimate taxes for Piedmont, and then when we get the actual number, it will come in at least slightly less, providing a smidge of relief.... ... more
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Wed Jan 18, 2012
Tomi Thomas answered:
I respectfully disagree with many of the answers below. 10 and 11 can be quite different, both in terms of value and character of the homes. Both zips cover a range of areas, but generally speaking there is not much similar between 10 and 11 - they are very, very different areas. 10 covers Rockridge and Piedmont, which are quite different from one another. Both upscale and generally considered desirable, but very different schools, sizes of homes and scale. 11 covers much of Montclair, which was developed in an entirely different era, and has a different geological makeup. 11 also covers part of the area affected by the Oakland fire, which devastated acres of housing stock that was largely replaced/rebuilt new in the early 90's. If you are looking for a modest Craftsman that is walking distance to amenities, with sidewalks and good schools, you are looking in 10. If you are looking for grand Craftsman or traditional homes and great schools, you are looking at Piedmont. If you want a Sierra Foothills feeling, with trees and nature, you are looking in the 11'a. If you want a McMansion, newer construction, toney upscale feeling with get my drift. So, it's not just the zipcode, it's the micro market within the zipcode. ... more
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Sun Nov 6, 2011
Kyle Quesnoy answered:
I've lived in Piedmont most of my life and am very familiar with home value trends. That said, if your lender requires 25% down, you may ask the seller if they are willing to carry back a second deed of trust for the remaining 25%. Sellers in Piedmont, for the most part, are financially secure and would likely not have a problem with this arrangement. After all, they will be making a profit off the interest you'd be paying them on the carry back loan. Sellers in Piedmont are primarily concerned with escaping the high special assessment taxes they must pay to fund the excellent schools and recreation facilities. Once their kids have graduated from high school there is no reason for them to stick around piedmont when they can have twice the house for 75% of the selling price of their Piedmont home if they move almost anywhere else in the Bay Area or California.

If you'd like to speak with an expert who can explain in more depth your available options, you can always contact our in-house mortgage consultant. She is amazing. Here is her info:

Angela Erves
Branch Manager/Mortgage Consultant
51 Moraga Way, Suite #1, Orinda, CA 94563
Phone: 925.253.5423 | Cell: 510.812.2109 | Fax: 925.886.8671
CA DRE License # 01197777 | NMLS # 285985

Just tell her Kyle referred you. Good luck.

Kyle Quesnoy
DRE # 01905746
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Tue Mar 16, 2010
Bill Buehler answered:
I am a Mortgage Broker and I work the entire bay area. My sense is that for $450,000 Brentwood should be considered. It is a way out, hot but windy in the summer, safe, good access to recreation, especially water.
I don't know about the schools. If you need help, please e-mail me.
Alameda is a fine place, but $450,000 won't get you much.
Concord/Pleasant Hill and Martinez would be another option.

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Mon Oct 12, 2009
Pacita Dimacali answered:
Piedmont --- since you identified yourself as a buyer, presumably, you copy/pasted the text about this particular property from a foreclosure listing site.

Somehow, I just never thought there would be pre-foreclosures, etc in Piedmont. But there are!

This property is located on Harvard Dr. The projected sale date at auction is on Jan. 8, 2010. The default amount is $10,035, but the opening bid IF it happens, is $185,535 based on a loan amount of $176K.

It is highly UNLIKELY that it will sell for this amount since the market value of this property is approximately $804K, and the owner has significant equity of over $300K on this. The loan balances are around $486K.

So if the property owner is in default for only $10K, the chances are the owner will find a way to resolve this default, via: payment in full, forbearance, loan modification, or even short sale if it comes to that. doesn't look like this property is not listed for sale, which is an indication of the home owner's plan to stay

As they say, if it's too good to be true....
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