7134 Plank Avenue, El Cerrito Off market opportunity


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Wonderful opportunity to own a Mid Century Modern home in the heart of El Cerrito! Located in a quiet cul-de-sac this home has been lovingly restored and upgraded while keeping its modern appeal.  New dual pane windows, gleaming hardwood floors, updated electrical and plumbing, brand new open kitchen, fully remodeled master bathroom with barn door.

Landscaped yard with new drainage system and large 2-car garage.

Sewer compliant and low pest report.

Offered at $879,000

Come check it out during broker’s tour Thursday November 15th from 9:30am till noon and Sunday Open House 11/18 from 2-4pm.

Please call/text/email Catherine for further details and/or to schedule a private showing.

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Are we at the peak?

It sure feels like we are approaching the peak as some houses have not received any offers this week and are “lingering” on beyond the usual 14 days on the market.  That said I have been writing offers every week for clients and have come in 2nd one too many times.  Just this week I wrote an offer $400,000 over asking price and came in yet again 2nd…. It is really disheartening for clients to keep writing offers and be rejected even when they write that much over the list price.  Is the list price way too low?  Yes in some cases but the market is such that buyers expect to overbid 10%-20%. If a seller decides to price high there will be hardly if any overbids.  My colleague wrote an offer on a home listed within 5% of value and even though they wrote $200,000 over asking price the sellers rejected their offer..

Have you seen the  new trend of “transparent” prices?  It is popping up everywhere.  Sellers list a home at the price they expect to receive or agree to sell their home for.  Those “transparent” prices are quite high but maybe that is the way to be fair and more honest to the buyers too.  What do you think?  As a seller or a potential buyer would you prefer to deal with transparent prices from now on or keep the status quo?

Best regards,


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The nightmare of Insurance! 8 tips

With nearly 500,000 California homes worth a combined $268 billion under serious risk from wildfires, and the issue growing more acute with each passing year, insurance companies are ramping up prices or outright refusing to renew policies in fire-prone areas.

HOW TO FIND (OR KEEP) FIRE INSURANCE Per California Association of Realtors

After several years of record-breaking California wildfires, insurance companies have responded by imposing huge premium increases on property owners, or even worse, flat-out denying coverage and canceling policies. Here are some tips to help property owners maintain their current insurance plan or, if necessary, find a new one.

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 2.22.32 PM

I hope you enjoyed these 8 tips. Feel free to share them with anyone who might need them.  Please reach out if you have any real estate questions related to this article or any other or if you need a referral for a tradesperson. I am happy to serve you.

Catherine Krueger, DRE 01271748

(510)813-0970 mobile, Catherine@CatherineKrueger.com


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Did you know, 10/07/2019

“The U.S. economy is currently in a good place with low inflation, low unemployment, and an outlook for continued moderate growth.” – Kansas City Federal Reserve leader Esther George.

The main threat to the economy is Washington’s ongoing trade war, according to a recent survey of a panel of business economists.

DID YOU KNOW?  Here are 6 key tax benefits to owning a home:
1.  A deduction of up to $750,000 worth of mortgage interest.
2.  A SALT (state and local real estate taxes) deduction up to $10,000.00.
3.  Tax-free rental income of 2 weeks if you rent your home out for 2 weeks per year.
4.  A $250,000 tax-free capital gain deduction for singles and $500,000 for couples upon selling.
5.  If you buy your home for $500,000, and it is worth $1 million when you die, your heirs’ cost basis re-sets at $1 million and you bypass the capital gains on the initial value gain.
6.  The current tax law allows you to take a tax deduction of $5 per square foot, for up to 300 square feet of office space. You can get a maximum deduction of $1,500.

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Oakland-Berkeley and surrounding communities Market Analysis 2019

DID YOU KNOW? Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase over the past year have restarted or expanded the business of spinning fresh pools of mortgages into securities. They are adding a jolt of energy to efforts to revive the so-called private-label market for mortgage bonds, which virtually disappeared after it blew up during the financial crisis of 2008. Smaller operators have long tried, but mostly failed, to rebuild what was once among the most significant businesses on Wall Street. In 2018 around $70 billion of mortgages ended up in private-label mortgage bonds, according to the Urban Institute. Though that is far below a peak of more than $1 trillion in pre-crisis years, it is the most since 2007. (WSJ)

The big question I have been asked over and over lately is: “are we at the peak?’.  The downward trend over the summer has left some on edge about the future of real estate.  Last year the market stalled from October through December with a surge in January. All predictions steer toward a slower appreciation of the market around 4% which is a cool down from the insane 15% increase we have been experiencing.

Since Labor Day I have seen a significant increase in housing supply and the same demand.  Buyers are pickier and not as much in a rush for purchasing the first house they see.  However, houses are still selling and some are setting new records while others linger on. Despite the high demand a well priced home will sell while a “defective” or overpriced home will sit. Some houses fall through the cracks too. If the house does not catch the interest of a buyer in the first 2 weeks chances are it will take longer to sell as the stigma of “something must be wrong”  is applied sometimes subconsciously.

Here are some fun and interesting data:

Oakland berkeley alameda

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 9.48.40 AM

Albany kensington el cerrito by neighborhoodBerkeley analysis by neighborhood

$PERSQFT berkeley$PERSQFToakland alameda

Please reach out to me if you want a more detailed analysis of a neighborhood or would like an opinion of value for your property.  I am happy for any referrals, recommendations you will share with me as well.

best regards,

Catherine Krueger




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Did you know? September 7th, 2019

DID YOU KNOW? U.S. employment grew modestly in August and unemployment showed signs of stabilizing at historically low levels, signs that a global economic slowdown isn’t driving the U.S. into outright recession but has dented the growth outlook. 130,000 payrolls were added in August and has averaged 156,000 new jobs a month over the past 3 months, down from average growth of 190,000 a month in the 8 years since employment started picking up after the last recession in 2007/9. Unemployment remains at historic lows at 3.7%. I would bet a rate-cut is imminent. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? The share of workers aged 25 to 54 working or seeking work increased sharply to 82.6% in August from 82% in July, a sign that prime-age individuals remain optimistic about their job prospects. Average hourly earnings climbed 3.2% from August 2018, enough to keep worker earnings well above the inflation rate. The pay measure has now been above the 3% threshold for more than a year after lagging for much of the expansion. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Fed Chairman Powell said the central bank’s pivot this year to lower interest rates has helped sustain U.S. economic growth. He gave mostly positive reviews to where the U.S. stands now, even while much of the rest of the world weakens. He cited the US-China trade war as a drag on global economies that results in business uncertainty and holding back on investment.
“We’re not forecasting or expecting a recession. The most likely outlook is still moderate growth, a strong labor market and inflation continuing to move back up.” – Fed Chairman Powell
DID YOU KNOW? Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since October 2016 due to weaker economic data over the past week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.49% during the week ending Sept. 5, down 9 basis points from the previous week.

Rates for 30-year home loans have only increased nine times so far this year, otherwise, they have dropped or remained flat from week to week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage moved down 6 basis points to an average of 3.00%. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.30%, falling 1 basis point. (Marketwatch)

Please reach out to me if you are interested in a tailored market analysis for your home, a specific neighborhood or your rental income.  Or if you are looking for a trusted contractor, handyman, painter… I am here to help.



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Did you know? September 4th, 2019

Good morning,
DID YOU KNOW? After years of amassing huge real estate portfolios, investors from abroad sold $13.4 billion of property in the 2nd quarter of 2019, according to Real Capital Analytics. During the same quarter, foreign investors purchased $12.6 billion of real estate, the first time since 2013 that foreign investors have sold more U.S. commercial real estate than they bought in a quarter. The strong dollar may have something to do with this:  If you bought a US asset a few years ago when the Euro was above 1.3 to the dollar, selling it now when the exchange rate hovers around 1.1, you automatically create a 15% plus gain…..purely from the currency exchange. (WSJ)

DID YOU KNOW? A new report from CoreLogic, suggests that annual home-price growth will increase by 5.4% by July 2020, a shift from what has happened over much of 2019. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index registered the slowest pace of home-price growth since 2012 in June of 2.1%. A year earlier, home prices were rising at an annual rate of 6.3%. New York, Miami and Seattle, actually experienced a decline in home prices either on a monthly or annual basis. In recent months, home-price growth had become weaker as would-be buyers were priced out of these and other markets. The report estimates that nearly 25% of US metropolitan areas were undervalued and 40% of markets were at value. They estimate roughly 33% of markets nationwide are overvalued.

“With the for-sale inventory remaining low in many markets, the pick-up in buying has nudged price growth up. If low-interest rates and rising income continue, we expect home-price growth will strengthen over the coming year.” – Frank Nothaft, chief economist CoreLogic.

DID YOU KNOW? Foreign money managers still see U.S. assets as a haven and have been piling into U.S. stocks and bonds, buying nearly $64 billion in these assets in June, the largest sum since August 2018, according to data from the Treasury Department. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Las Vegas is the fastest-warming city in the United States, its temperatures having risen 5.76F since 1970. Vegas will likely experience 96 days of heat above 100F by the end of the century, including 60 days over 105F, and 7 “off the chart” days that would break the current heat index. Sun is good for solar energy with MGM resorts having acres of solar panels atop its resorts and convention centers!

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New Logo???

Sometimes you need to revamp yourself.  A new look, a new life, a new beginning…

new logo

What are your thoughts on this new logo?  What story does it tell you? What does it remind you of?

If you have seen my background bridges that will give you an idea of what i was going for.  Do you prefer my old one (photo) or the new one?  A mix of both?


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Did you know? Daily market analysis

From Compass headquarters:
DID YOU KNOW? Yesterday’s equity markets dip was mostly driven by the fact that the YIELD CURVE inverted. Historically, an inverted yield curve has been viewed as an indicator of a pending economic recession, but that is NOT a certainty. When short-term interest rates exceed long-term rates, market sentiment suggests that the long-term outlook is poor and that the yields offered by long-term fixed income will continue to fall. The yield on 30-year Treasury bonds fell Wednesday to 2.0139%, the lowest level ever. It surpassed the previous mark of 2.0882% set in July 2016. How could this impact real estate markets? Chances are another rate cut may happen sooner.
DID YOU KNOW? Experiences, transparency, and authenticity are the key global trends shaping consumption of luxury goods today, according to Euromonitor analysts Elton Morimitsu and Guilherme Machado. (LuxuryDaily)

DID YOU KNOW? After strengthening modestly this spring amid falling mortgage rates, California home sales downshifted in June, when activity fell 10% below a weak June 2018 – the first month last year to signal a slowdown. The median price paid for a Golden State home in June was a record $508,500 but the gain from a year earlier was less than 2% and one major region, the San Francisco Bay Area, logged an annual decline of around 2%. (Corelogic)

DID YOU KNOW? For the first time since the financial crisis, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yielded less than the two-year note Wednesday morning. That pricing anomaly is known as a “yield curve inversion,” and is seen as an indicator of recession. What’s more, the 30-year Treasury yield has touched a record low of 2.06%. (Barrons)

CORRECTION: Nearly 48.1% of U.S. CFOs believe that the U.S. will be in recession by the 2nd quarter of 2020, and 69% believe that a recession will have begun by the end of 2020, NOT 2019. (Thanks to Bill Carpenter for catching this!)

DID YOU KNOW? For the first time since the survey began in 2017, 59% say Amazon is bad for small businesses — nearly three times the number who say Amazon is good for small businesses (22%). This represents a significant shift from just 2 years ago, when opinion was nearly split between those saying Amazon is bad for small businesses (37%) and those saying it’s good (33%). (CNBC)

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