5 Tips to Rent Out Your Oakland California House Successfully

Renting out your Oakland CA property is a simple process, but it will be difficult if you don’t assemble the right team. Oakland has laws called “Just Cause” and “Measure EE.” Those are not bad laws; they were put on the books to help tenants in Oakland California. The problem is most landlords really have no clue about how important carefully screening a tenant has become. Working with a talented leasing and management firm in Oakland is the key to a landlord’s success. Below we outline 5 Tips to help you lease out your Oakland California property. 1) Hire A Professional Leasing Agent to perform “Rent Screening,” which includes criminal background, credit history, eviction history, and other factors that help you determine if this is the right person for your property. A professional can help guide you in the pros and cons of each particular tenant. Avoid “Just Cause” mistakes, which are big in Oakland. Most landlords before they rent are not aware Oakland has rent control and “Just Cause.” 2) Removing Personal Items is vital. For example, do you really want to leave behind a precious family heirloom that you don’t want broken? Or, you really love your storage bins; shouldn’t you take the trouble to bring them with you? Specialty items that you would like to keep should always be removed from property. Continue reading

5 Ways Realtors Can Stay Smart Hiring Freelancers on Elance

5 Ways Realtors Can Stay Smart Hiring Freelancers on Elance The New Way to Work continues to evolve, and you should, too. I often get questions from realtors asking me about smart ways to use online workers. In case you don’t know, I’ve been using Elance’s since inception to run my real estate brokerage firm, Jonathan Fleming & Associates, in the San Francisco Bay Area.        Continue reading

Oakland’s Temescal District Gives You A Hip, Urban Lifestyle At A Fantastic Price

Oakland’s Temescal District is home to some seriously authentic people. It’s culture and foodie heaven! Oakland’s Temescal district sits near Downtown Oakland, right between your doorway to Berkeley, California, and Rockridge. I get real estate calls from people who are either moving back to Oakland or relocating to Oakland for the first time. Most of the time they ask the obvious questions: what’s a great place that’s walk able, close to coffee shops and cafes.  I can think of many neighborhoods, but since folks love BART, if your budget is not near the million-dollar range, I will say, “Temescal District” in a heartbeat.   Continue reading

How to Evict Squatters From Your Property in the Bay Area

I had to Evict Squatters out of a property; I had listed property in the Bay Area for sale in Antioch, CA, located in Contra Costa County. The property was vacant.  Unfortunately, upon listing the house for sale, I discovered a group of people living in the house claiming to have “tenancy” because they were victims of a craigslist scam. Immediately, I called the police. I waited for a few hours for the police to arrive. The police went into the house, and 15 minutes later officers come out informing me they could not remove the squatters because the squatters hadn’t violated any laws.    Continue reading

Oakland’s Hot Real Estate Market Keeps Soaring for Lake Merritt Condos

Oakland’s Hot Real Estate Market Keeps Soaring for Lake Merritt Condos   Oakland Red Hot Real Estate Markets Keep Soaring for Condos around Lake Merritt! Seems like talk of a real estate recession in the SF Bay Area is completely over nowadays with the rush of buyers in Oakland right now! Just Sold: 325 Vernon Street, #104, sold 9 days on the market; the appetite for buying is real in Oakland.  Young professionals and dot-comers are choosing Oakland sometimes over million dollar places in San Francisco because condos in Oakland’s Adams Point — a unique area of Lake Merritt — are so desirable. In addition to the sexy condos, the area has lots of great bars and upscale restaurants, a Whole Foods, and Grand Lake farmers market, all in close proximity to Lake Merritt. Continue reading

Hard Work Requires Innovating, Not Complaining

I was watching Lionel Ritchie recount his hard days becoming a singer. He talked about his days driving through the south in a beat-up station wagon with the Commodores sleeping in cars (i.e., the whole group at times), eating horrible food, and sometimes not even eating, while trying to make it as a singing group. He never once called it hard work. He said: “Man, I am still hustling everyday just like when I first started, except for more people know me.” Hard work is interesting because it can unmask new opportunities for new markets, new products, and new sales. Or it can tell you you’re smart to avoid those markets or opportunities. However, it might also reveal how unrealistic your work ethic might be in life. In most groups, there are a ton of people looking for “Easy.” All the marketing in evidence today pampers the mind with the word “Easy,” and all the best marketing and psychological theories purposely preach using the word “Easy” in all your advertising or marketing. Just pursuing hard work with innovation in mind is really the key! I remember “Doorknocking” in East Oakland to sell my first house. I still remember that first door I knocked on in East Oakland on 106th Avenue just like yesterday. Of course, I am not telling people to pursue crazy entrepreneurial ventures, but thank you Uber, Evernote, Shoeboxed, and Apple for pursuing hard markets and niches. Just think, at one point years ago, Steve Jobs was begging Microsoft to create software for them! Continue reading

Buying A Condo In Oakland East Bay With FHA Lending

Okay, you have really been looking for a home in Oakland, California, and then you realize I FOUND IT!!! Then... it turns out.. argggghhh you may not be able to buy it because it is not FHA approved... stop, put the breaks on that dream home! Buying Eastbay Real Estate gets rather complicated!   To make matters worse, you really love this place! Sigh... Take a deep breath; oh noooooo... my dream home condo needs to be approved by FHA before I can buy it???? What's up with that? What's up is FHA says they will not insure the loan unless the Condo development is FHA approved... and yes Townhouse's too if they are a Common Interest Developments! For a long time FHA would do spot approvals but in 2010 the FHA stopped allowing this type of approval for individual units if the development was not approved. FHA is a great loan... but as they say he who has the money makes the rules!!!! The guidelines have changed several times in the last couple of years and they may continue to change. Continue reading

Waterfront Flicks at Oakland's Jack London Square

Waterfront Flicks At Oakland's Jack London Square is a great night out!   Waterfront Flicks at Jack London Square is a fun night out in Oakland’s Jack London Square.  Every second Thursday Jack London Square features unique full featured movies on the waterfront near Oakland’s newest Haven Restaurant. This past Thursday featured “The Life of Pi” movie which was viewed by hundreds of people loving the great weather, outdoor events and restaurants. I stopped at my newest favorite Jack London Square restaurant “Forge Pizza” trying out the three cheese with an arugula salad spread out on top, incredible taste.   Forge Pizza features an outdoor and indoor festive atmosphere.  If you are planning to go, try the Jack London Page for upcoming events in Jack London Square and make sure you plan to to visit one of Jack London Square  newest restaurants too.      Jonathan Fleming is your go to source for selling and buying Oakland properties and beyond, he has over 14+ years of experience in selling Real Estate throughout the Bay Area. Specializing in selling High to mid-end residential, income units and commercial properties. Call me, (510) 250-0946   

Capital Connections Forum I: A Special Evening with Unique Investors on EduTech

Staying the course   I remember about 10 plus years ago, standing outside Starbucks in Castro Valley, I met this lady asking me to fill out a survey for her marketing research project, I said: “Okay, cool”. I filled out the survey, I quizzed the lady a bit, bad jokes as usual, and we strike up a conversation, we built a professional friendship on that one encounter. This lady is named Mary Jean Koontz, we laughed about it days ago considering she’s presenting in Oakland this Tuesday at Capital Connections Forum I: A Special Evening with Unique Investors on EduTech. Mary Jean is one of the presenters at this week’s event in Oakland at Tech Liminal. We both laughed because we have known each other and supported each other’s projects over the years just off of one chance encounter at Starbucks.    Continue reading