Dave J. Higgins – Real Estate Blog


The Ellen Kenna Mansion Sale.. Steve Kopff called me this past December asking to come preview his mansion at 1218 E. 21st. and discuss its potential sale. Steve and I had met on multiple occasions at my various open houses and he was looking for an expert that could offer assistance with final preparation of the home before taking it to market.  I came back to Steve with a complete marketing plan and timeline to finish renovations which included landscaping, bathroom updates, electrical clean-up, exterior paint and staging. Steve loved the plan and and my team went to work preparing the house for a January launch date.  I oversaw the preparation and was able to negotiate with my contractor crew to take payment for all work done out of the

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Congratulations to two my fabulous clients, now the winners of a spectacular home in what turned out to be another East Bay bidding war. I appreciated their ability to go for it and do what was necessary to win a home that was so sought after! Below are some tips to winning a great home in this market:

Tips to navigating a bidding war...

  1. Work with a great local lender

    The local lender will have local appraisers.  This is important since the bank will require that your new home is appraised after you are in contract to buy it.  If the appraiser doesn't think it's worth what you paid, your escrow could fall apart. Listing agents know this so they will guide their seller in part pick a buyer working with a well thought-off lender.

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Our first entry for Dave’s Faves focuses on five area restaurants that my family, friends and I think are worth checking out. From a fantastic bakery to a family restaurant, a French bistro to a Philadelphia favorite, the East Bay has it all and then some!

The following five picks can all be found within a few minutes of each other along Lakeshore Avenue, in the community of Grand-Lakeshore beside Crocker Highlands and Piedmont, and are perfect for satisfying those hunger pangs after a day’s stroll along the avenue, or an evening escape from the home kitchen.


Our first stop on Lakeshore’s culinary cruise takes us to Shakewell for a family friendly and Mediterranean influenced dining delight. Featuring a wide variety of favorites from

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As you’ll find in the about section of my website, my family and I have been longtime residents of the Oakland area, specifically the neighborhood of Crocker Highlands. As residents of this fantastic community, we continue to have the privilege of enjoying some of the best local businesses, fantastic family friendly activities and world class recreation that the area has to offer.

Every so often, I’ll be spotlighting some of mine and my family’s favorite places, things to do and places to visit in the East Bay area that we’re going to call “Dave’s Faves”!

Whether it’s a focus on a new restaurant we’ve discovered, an art gallery opening or a school or community event that we’re eager to see and be a part of, we’ll be updating this section of the blog

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Crocker Highlands Home for Sale at 759 Mandana Boulevard

This fabulous Crocker Highlands Traditional was rehabilitated in 1999 by design build firm Brecht Construction. Open kitchen & family room with doors flowing out to the sunny patio with terraced gardens.  Formal living and dining rooms combining modern elements with period-original doors, trim and built-ins. The upper level of the home offers a spacious master bedroom suite, three bedrooms and full hall bath.  There is a lower level suite with separate access working well for guests or possible au-pair.  The attached garage offers direct access and additional storage.  Just blocks from the best of Lakeshore Ave. shops and restaurants, Transbay bus to San Francisco and Crocker Highlands

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Coming Soon, two fabulous Crocker Highlands homes. Crocker Highlands and Trestle Glen are part of the Crocker Highlands Elementary School District and borders the wonderful shops and restaurants of Lakeshore Blvd and Grand Avenue. The Saturday Farmers Market at the base of Grand/Lake retail area offers a variety local vendors, entertainment and musicians (a great local retreat).  The Transbay bus to San Francisco can be caught on Lakeshore for those looking for a quick and easy commute to San Francisco.  Bordered by the town of Piedmont, Crocker Highlands was developed in the early 1900’s and is a neighborhood of storybook Tudors, Mediterranean’s and Craftsman homes. You can learn more about the history and see all homes  currently for sale in the

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When it comes to getting a home loan, there are so many institutions to choose from. Big national companies like Quicken Loans have the ability to lend anywhere in the nation.  Lenders can be attractive to home buyers for many reasons. Low rates, cash back after close of escrow or the ability to close a loan without charging the buyer any upfront points to produce the loan. With this said, there are are other key issues that should be taken into account when making a final decision.

Sometimes other priorities for the borrower (other than the loan rate, points, etc) can take precedent. I recently closed a transaction in which the buyer needed to secure a home loan but due to the complication of owning another home (with mortgage) that needed to be

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The Grubb Company has released are 2015 market share report and some exciting things are happening in our neighborhoods. We are experiencing urban growth in our communities of Oakland, Piedmont, Berkeley and surrounding towns.  As a new generation rethinks how they want to work and live, they are reshaping the overall urban experience and making it a more walkable and authentic experience.  Through these actions we are seeing a transformation of our community in the arts, handmade manufacturing and outstanding culinary experiences.  

The Grubb Company continues to represent more qualified buyers and luxury listings than any other real estate company in our marketplace. Some of my recent sales with the Grubb Company can be viewed here.  

Great Neighborhoods

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Our local Real Estate Market continues to remain hot despite the recent economic scares of Wall Street.  Everyone I have had a discussion with regarding Oakland Real Estate is bullish on the great opportunities that continue to flourish in our downtown area (including the continuing buzz around Uber and their big Oakland purchase of the Sears Building). If you couple this the continued scarcity of homes for sale (aka; lack of housing inventory) it makes sense to assume our real estate market and housing prices will continue to stay strong this Spring.  

I recently represented the sellers of 1069 Trestle Glen Rd. on their off market sale as well as represented the buyer on the home next door at 1177 Trestle Glen Rd.  I served as the buyers representative on

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1218 E. 21st Street, Oakland CA 94606  MLS #40725528

 David Higgins of The Grubb Company has listed this Grand Victorian property known as the Ellen Kenna Home. At one time surrounded by Oakland farmland, she sits prominently at the high point of the Clinton District neighborhood and was originally the only home on this city block.  With over 8000 sq. ft. (not including basement areas) 5 parlors, dining room, kitchen, butler's pantry, it has the grand proportions of a historical estate. The second floor has 5++ bedrooms, full hall bath and two master baths. The attic offers a fabulous open space, private offices and a half-bath. There is full basement with bath, fireplace and more. The double detached garage sits adjacent to the copper gutter

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