May 282015

The difference of 8 months in Maxwell Park


Click pic for current MLS Listing

Had to make note of this property at 3279 Knowland Ave in Maxwell Park as it’s one I toured last summer as a prospect for more than one client. Of course it needed some work back then and when it was on the market the owners were still occupying the property.


Click pic for 9/2014 closed sale MLS Listing

There’s no question that numerous upgrades have been made. The home in the new listing looks absolutely fantastic. But as you can verify by clicking the two pictures and looking at the respective MLS Listings, the selling price in September of 2014 was $441k and the list price in the current market is $649k. Indeed, the home looks much better after its renovation. No doubt. But what’s also not in doubt is this amounts to an almost 50% price increase over the selling price in September of last year. The point I’m making with this comparison is simply that THIS is what’s happening in Oakland. Neighborhoods are changing rapidly. Homes are being repaired, renovated, renewed, etc. Whatever you want to call it, things are not the same as they were even as recently as a few years ago. Taking another example from last year at a home on Bona Street in Oakland’s Hacienda neighborhood just southwest of Dimond we can see that in July of last year the home sold in fixer condition for $270k. And then after a very nice renovation it sold in December of last year for $475k. Pretty quick turnaround there for a nearly 75% increase over the previous selling price.

So what I’m really hoping to illuminate here is how so many of our neighborhoods are changing. Yes, prices are going up quickly in many neighborhoods. But for the shoppers out there who are trying to figure out where on earth they’re going to be able to buy something that’s got that ever elusive combination of appeal AND price the challenge is how to identify where the neighborhoods are that have this great developmental potential. We all already know that if the neighborhoods have already caught on, such as in Maxwell Park, or Dimond, or obviously NOBE and West Oakland, then the prices have jumped by 20-30% in just the past couple years. So the challenge now is to somehow get ahead of the wave a bit so that there’s a chance to benefit. And if I were to speculate on some neighborhoods I’d definitely give consideration to several such as Fairfax and Jefferson, Millsmont and the Eastmont Hills, Mills Gardens and Allendale, Frick, King Estates and Toler Heights— and well onto Tuxedo, School, Bella Vista, Fruitvale and more. Further east you’ll see some prices you’ll probably like in the Foothill Square and Durant Manor neighborhoods, and if it’s the craftsman bungalow you’re after then do yourself a favor and pass through Havenscourt between 73rd and Seminary one afternoon. Then even go check out the Webster neighborhood between 82nd and 98th. These are interesting frontiers for the quickly changing face of Oakland, and the prices are still below the median (which nowadays is well over $500k in Oakland).  Go to Google Street view and look at these areas, of course, but keep in mind that things have changed since the photos were taken in many of these areas. So while it’s a good tool it may be outdated a bit. For an interesting view back in time, check out the intersection of 23rd Ave and E. 15th sometime. Beautiful and classic commercial architecture there. An intersection where you can just imagine the same spot 80 or 90 years ago when these buildings were new. There’s so much of that in Oakland, and we’re seeing the renovations of these classic areas all the time! Hope this info helps in your search.