Dave J. Higgins – Real Estate Blog

A Contemporary Piedmont Manse Marries Eco-Friendly to Modern Materials

By Ramona d’Viola - Columnist – Oakland Magazine

Developer Ben O’Neill was looking to build a home for his own family when he found the “virgin” lot at 53 Cambrian Avenue in a posh Piedmont zip code renown for its schools. The quarter-acre of undeveloped land (almost unheard of in the 21st-Century world of East Bay luxury real estate) became the tableau for an eco-friendly, net-zero energy modern manse – with literal roots in the property.

Looking up from the street, the impressive 4,462 sq. ft. home (designed by Robin Pennell of Oakland’s Jarvis Architects) is a massive, energy-efficient structure with a three-story front elevation. At four bedrooms, three full baths, and two

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Our Local Luminary this month is Interior Designer Lauren Lee, Principal of InSite Design. 

How long have you been in business? 
My business partner Audrey Tse and I created inSite in 2001.

Describe your design style? 
I like many looks from very contemporary to traditional to regional design styles.  No matter what the design look is, I always design towards creating a sensible functional layout and a comfortable living environment.

What was your favorite aspect of designing the Cambrian property? 
The property has great light and I wanted to capture and enhance that throughout the interior, so using a very natural, soothing palette was very fun to create. 

One of my favorite elements of the project is that we incorporated the actual cleared

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Having JUST LISTED this absolutely adorable cottage off of Piedmont Ave., it inspired me to create a list of my favorite venues on one of Oakland's best shopping and dining neighborhoods. But first, let me tell you about this little gem with a 96 Walkscore. 4329 Howe is the perfect pied-à-terre, and a great condo alternative. This lovely little home boasts a fabulous floorplan and well-proportioned living and dining rooms with corner fireplace. The country kitchen with classic gas Wedgewood stove flows onto the level-out patio & gardens for evenings of relaxation and play. With a new furnace, updated plumbing, new water main and sewer lateral with compliance certificate, this home is now looking for its perfect mate, could it be you? Stop by one of my

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Location, Location, Location Takes on a Whole New Meaning in the Era of Climate Change

It’s hard to forget images of the devastation in the Caribbean Islands, flooded communities along the Eastern Seaboard, or the massive wildfires and mudslides in California. Deniers be damned, the climate is changing, and fast.

For those of us living in the coastal East Bay, the impact to climate change is tangible every fire season – yet how many of us are fully cognizant of how and, more importantly, where – climate change and rising seas, will impact our community, especially when investing in Real Estate?

 “Real estate investment may no longer be about the next ‘hot’ neighborhood, it may also be about the next dry neighborhood.”

-- Erika Bolstad,

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Looking for something fun and interesting to do tonight? If you haven't already experienced it, you should check out Oakland's Art Murmur / First Friday event. While these are 2 separate events, they take place every First Friday of the month from 6-9pm. Art Murmur hosts an evening art walk featuring arts and mixed-use venues collectively open to the public. Plan your visit to some of the 50+ venues using their Google map, which you can save to your phone. Wander from gallery to gallery, taking in the latest exhibitions and meeting artists. And if you can't make it out tonight or don't like the crowds, a nice alternative to First Friday is Saturday Stroll, where all the same galleries are open from 1-5p and is a lovely way to spend a…
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How it Affects Homeowners, Buyers & Investors

By Steven J. Kopff, CPA

With passage of the GOP tax legislation, tax season started early for accountants across the nation. This month, I've invited my client and certified public accountant, Steve Kopff, to share his insights and answer some frequently asked questions about the newly passed law. As my long-time accountant, Steve also works with many of my clients – saving us thousands, if not millions of dollars to date.

Given the new tax plan is still in flux, we’ve asked to Steve to guest blog every quarter through the end of the year to provide updates and strategies on how to maximize your real estate investments. Thank you Steve! -- DJH

When does the tax bill go into effect?

The “Tax

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Now that the holidays are behind us and the days are getting longer--not shorter--people are thinking about getting their homes ready to sell. Spring is the perfect time for this! We here at the Dave J Higgins team had a fantastic 2017 with 33 homes sold and 3 more that went into contract before the end of the year. Thank you one and all!

We are excited about our upcoming listings and have a great variety of inventory coming on the market! Here's a quick snapshot of what's to come in Q1 of 2018; check DaveJHiggins.com again soon for more details, open house schedules, and photos:

1. 323 Monte Vista. This one bedroom, one bathroom condominium is perched perfectly atop Monte Vista, just a short distance from the fabulous shops and restaurants of

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Looking for some fun and unusual things to do with the family during the Holiday Season? The Bay Area has a wealth of interesting, kid-friendly activities and events throughout December and January! We pored over the lists of options and have come up with our own Top 10 List of fun Holiday Activities for you:

  1.   Bay Area Discovery Museum - Meet two LIVE reindeer
    Come see Snowflake and Blizzard (friends of Rudolph’s) and learn all about what they like to eat (besides carrots!), where they migrate when they’re not delivering toys, and how they survive in the cold.
    When: This Sat/Sun, Dec. 16-17 and Sat. Dec. 23 
    Where: Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito
    For more information: click here

  2.   Lighted Boat Parade - San Francisco  
    This is the oldest
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What Makes a Great Agent?
By David J. Higgins

It’s no secret – East Bay luxury real estate is a red-hot market – with homeowners expecting significant returns on their property investment. Yet, with houses practically selling themselves, one might ask, “Why do I need an agent?”

Well, there’s more to selling a house than just planting a “For Sale” sign in the front yard – it literally takes a “village.”

Our process begins with performing the necessary due diligence – meaning inspections and a thorough understanding of the property’s condition, then, addressing concerns and mitigating the caveats. We rely on a team of highly skilled contractors, engineers, landscape professionals and others, to assist.

Next comes the “choreography.”

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We’ve had a BUSY late Summer and Fall here at the Dave Higgins team! We sold five fabulous homes in October, four in November and are set to close or go into contract on 4-5 more in December and early January 2018. Phew! And now holidays are right around the corner. But first...

Dwell-Like Fabulous Crocker Highlands Renovation
I’m excited to be showing two more homes in Crocker Highlands these next few weekends. First, we’ve just listed 1284 Bates Road which has been beautifully remodeled from top to bottom and feels like you’ve stepped inside a Dwell photo shoot. Features include a sun drenched living room with fireplace, flowing into the dining area and sleek / chic kitchen plus 2 bedrooms and a full bath upstairs. Downstairs is the master suite with

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