Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rental market is booming in the Bay Area!

Having a listing in Rockridge not only yields phone calls from potential buyers but phone calls from potential renters. I have had a dozen or so calls regarding my listings in Rockridge asking if there was a possibility of renting the house just in case it doesn't sell. Rockridge is a hot spot in Oakland where there is beautifully designed homes, great schools, BART and walking to restaurants so this area remains competitive for renters and buyers.

A friend of mine looking to rent in Oakland told me there was a mass flock of potential renters all vying for the same houses. Numerous applicants for each place they were looking to rent and even with superb jobs and great referrals they are having a tough time finding a place.  The rental market is strong throughout the Bay Area including the South Bay which is boasting a 12% increase in rents. In the East Bay, there has been an increase of about 10% depending on the area.

So why is this happening especially since it is such a good time to buy with record low interest rates? The bottom line is it’s still hard to get a loan. Banks are holding on tight to their money and making lending a back-bending challenge. With the job numbers still down, and the ever increasing financial issues happening around the globe, it looks as though banks are still nervous about the economy and still unwilling to loosen up on lending restrictions. The job market is actually increasing in the Bay Area which is another reason for the competitive rental market.

Monday, November 07, 2011

FHA offers PowerSaver loans!

Homeowners considering energy-saving improvements like duct sealing, replacement doors, HVAC systems, water heaters, solar panels may want to check into the Federal Housing Administration's new PowerSaver loans. The program offers qualified borrowers up to $25,000 for energy-efficient improvements at rates of 5-7%.

For more information on the program, visit:

by Gina Odom

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

New Pop Up Restaurant in Rockridge.....or Should I say Pop Up Chef!!

That's right Rockridge has a new pop up restaurant starring guest chefs! How cool is this going to be? Every two weeks there will be a new chef, new menu, new type of food. I love it! The restaurant will be opening by Oliveto (watch out Gourmet Ghetto....Rockridge is on the culinary rise)! Chefs apply online and everything is provided for you including staff, cashier, and booze. The chef just needs to bring his or her ingredients. First up is the Oakland Fire Department as they will be cooking for a fundraiser from Nov. 4-6th and then followed by a grandmother from Mexico. Oh yum...homemade Mexican food. Can't wait!

Check out their website:

written by Gina Odom, Realtor