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Homes for Sale: Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, Kensington, El Cerrito, Emeryville

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Tips on Searching

Where are the homes in your price range?

Click "Neighborhood/Price Range Graphs" to see where you are likely to find two-, three-, or four-bedroom homes in your price range.

Click the "Zip Code Guide to Neighborhoods & Cities" for a table showing which neighborhoods correlate with which Zip Codes.

How the "Home Search" page works:

1) When you get to the Home Search page, your first choice is whether you want to search for listings by City or by Zip Code. You enter a dot above the appropriate list. With one exception, I suggest you search by Zip Code. (As the City of Piedmont shares three Zip Codes with adjacent areas of Oakland, it's best to search for Piedmont specific listings by selecting Piedmont from the City list.)

2) You can select multiple Zip Codes or Cities by holding down the Ctrl Key as you click to make your selections.

3) At the lower center of the screen is a drop-down list of Search Categories. If you are looking for a home, make sure that "Houses & Condos" is selected here.

4) You can enter a minimum number of bedrooms. Be careful here. Many people who tell me that they need three bedrooms have in mind using one of them as a home office. Frequently, a "Plus-Room" will do for this use. In Realtorese, to qualify as a "bedroom," a room must have a closet and a window and be accessible other than through another bedroom. A room without a closet can make a fine home-office. In this case, selecting "two" as the minimum bedroom count is the best choice. See #10, below, for more information on how to interpret the room count of a home.

5) There are "House" and "Condo" checkboxes. You can select either or both.

6) When you enter the price range to search, don't enter for "Minimum Price" an even number like $600,000. Instead enter a number like $589,000 to pick up properties priced at that level, along with those priced at $595,000 and $599,000, etc. Using an even number for the "Maximum Price" is fine.

7) Enter "0" in the "Minimum Sq. Ft." field. Many Listing Agents enter "0" here because of uncertainty as to the actual square footage of the property they are listing. If you enter a value other than "0," none of these listings will show up.

8) Unless you have a very slow internet connection, select "Show Thumbnail Photos." The newest listings may not show photos for the first day or two.

9) Clicking on "Find a Home" brings up a page with a list of properties and bare bones data on each one. Clicking on an address takes you to a page with a larger photo, a brief description and the square footage of a property. At the lower center of this page there is a "More Details" link which takes you to the page with the most complete property information. To get back to the search results list from the "More Details" page, click your browser's "Back" button twice.

10) On this last most complete page, there is a "Rooms:" field with the room count. Here are some guidelines (verging on minutiae?) for interpreting this number:
Bathrooms and closets aren't counted.
Most older homes, and many newer homes, were built with a separate dining room.
A 2-bedroom, 5 room home will have a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and two bedrooms.
A 2-bedroom, 4-room home will lack a separate dining room and have an eating space in the kitchen and/or a dining area at one end of the living room.
A 2-bedroom, 6-room home has a "plus"* room.
A 3-bedroom home with a dining room will have 6 rooms, or 5 rooms if there is no dining room, or 7 rooms if there is a "plus" room.
A 4-bedroom home with a dining room will have 7 rooms, or 6 rooms if there is no dining room, or 8 rooms if there is a "plus" room.
*A "plus" room can be anything from a large utility room, to a room that would count as a bedroom if it had a closet, to a family room.

Click "Neighborhood/Price Range Graphs" to see where you are likely to find two-, three-, or four-bedroom homes in your price range.

Click the "Zip Code Guide to Neighborhoods & Cities" for a table showing which neighborhoods correlate with which Zip Codes.


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