Cocktail Hour

By April 29, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

photo by krista miller

This has been a busy week for us East Bay Living ladies.  We were fortunate to get two sets of buyers into houses, conducted inspections galore, and worked on prepping two listings, and met a new buyer.  What does a busy realtor and mama do at the end of the week?  Enjoy a delicious cocktail.  The weather is warm, the sky is clear, so that means it is time to combine a few of our favorite things: gin, cardamom and black tea.  Steep it with some Buddha’s hand lemon and top it with an orange and you have a delicious, end-of-week libation.This iced tea cocktail was adapted from foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 bags black tea (preferably English breakfast or orange pekoe)
  • 6 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 5 dashes orange bitters

Directions

Toast the cardamom pods in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 3 cups water, the sugar and ginger and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced to 2 cups, about 10 minutes.

Strain the syrup into a glass measuring cup; if you have less than 2 cups syrup, add hot water. Add the tea bags and steep, about 3 minutes. Discard the bags and cool the syrup to room temperature (don’t squeeze the bags or the syrup will taste tannic).

Combine the syrup, gin, vermouth and bitters in a large cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until frothy, about 15 seconds, then pour into a pitcher filled with ice. Garnish with orange and/or lemon twists.

Orange and/or lemon twists, for garnish

Bay Area Home Prices By Transit Stop

By April 4, 2016 @ 2:17 pm

We have all seen the headlines showing that Bay Area home prices are off the charts.  I mean seriously, when I saw that the median price in Alameda County went above $700k I practically spit out my coffee.  But it is starting to get a little crowded around here, and buyers are wondering where they can move to and still commute to work via public transportation.

Enter estately.com, the super sleek and sexy online real estate search app.  Estately real estate search decided to see what housing prices were doing around the various real estate transit lines, like BART.  They analyzed home sales within a 1 mile radius of each BART and CalTrain stop and broke them down to price per square foot.  Here is what they found:

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Source: estately.com

With prices like these your best bet is to head to the East Bay- to the end of the line, like Richmond or Bay Point.

Plants Eat the Sun + Poop Out Air

By March 28, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

weeds

So fun, I might wet my plants!

 

 

Give Back Homes

By March 22, 2016 @ 9:11 am

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HOMES CHANGE LIVES

Giving back to the community is a HUGE part of the vibe over here at kristaandrosie.com – it is something we love to do!  A few years ago I heard about this cool little startup called Give Back Homes.  The founder, Blake Andrews, spent a few years working at TOMS (shoes) where he learned the value of giving back: for every pair of TOMS that is purchased a pair is given to a child in need.  He took that to heart and brought it to the real estate industry.  Through Give Back Homes, Realtors have the opportunity to truly give back.  For each home that Rosie and I sell a portion of our commission goes to building a home for a family in need.  Not only that, but we are able to actually meet the families we help- and so can you!  From Nicaragua and Haiti to Texas and Oakland, we are building homes all over the world.

On Saturday Rosie and I joined forces with Give Back Homes + SoulCycle to help raise money for a local build.  We had a great time cycling with other members while raising money. #ridetobuild

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KRISTA + ROSIE POST WORKOUT @ SOULCYCLE

In January, while at the Inman Conference in NYC, my broker joined up with me at a party sponsored by Give Back Homes – we had a blast jumping and spraying confetti at the photo booth.  #forsocialgood

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RAISING THE ROOF IN NYC

If you would like to make a direct donation you can do so here: https://givebackhomes.com/builds

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6 Tips for Navigating an Open House

By March 9, 2016 @ 7:22 am

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Open house 101: Don’t be afraid to kick off your shoes and make yourself comfortable!

The season is back in full swing.  Yes, full-swing is open for interpretation.  But if you are one of the many #EastBay buyers purusing open houses on a rainy Sunday afternoon then this list if for you.

1- Go through the underwear drawers.  Ok, maybe not the underwear drawers, but DO go through the closets!  Don’t be shy – you need to know how much storage space there is in that closet.  If they were really worried about you going through their stuff they should have moved it out.  And do open kitchen and bathroom drawers.  That would suck if the drawer-face or handle fell off.  This happened.  True story.

2- Wash your hands.  For 2 minutes.  And then turn on the tub.  And then go pee and flush.  DO IT!!  Ok, we are in a drought.  But we {hopefully} won’t be forever!  And wouldn’t you want to know ahead of time if the hot water pipes bang or the pressure in the tub suddenly goes buh-bye when you flush?  I would!  Water pressure {or lack thereof} can be an annoying, and costly, headache.

3- Look under rugs.  If you are in one of my listings one thing you might find under the rug is a neat little pile of swept-up crumbs and dust.  What you will never find are undisclosed stains or other damage to the floor.  I’ll never forget the time my clients were looking at a house, only to discover that the floors in the beautiful, sun-drenched dining room had faded around the rug.

4- Check that attic and crawl space!  Ok true story – I was up in an attic with a buyer and home inspector – what was there?  A bucket.  Awe, that’s nice – they left a bucket for us.  A bucket full of water, conveniently placed in the event of rain.  And check the basement!  Nothing like discovering a crawl space full of decades worth of rakes, paint cans, wood, and dead animals.  Make sure you write this into your contract that you want all of this crap removed before the close of escrow.

5- Say hello to the neighbors.  Don’t be shy!  Come back at different times during the day.  See if they are working in the yard.  Knock on their door.  Who better to get to know the neighborhood than from the {hopefully friendly} neighbor?  From block parties to roosters to parking drama, neighbors always have the scoop.  Are they happy to answer your questions?  Standoffish?  Well at least you know.

6- Say hello to the listing agent.  While at the house, please ask the listing agent questions!!!  Granted some agents holding a house open aren’t worth more than a {hopefully friendly} smile.  But most agents have direct access to the seller – if they remember you chances are they will let the agent know.  Be investigative.  If you notice something strange in the house then ask the agent what they know.  And if you are represented by an agent, let them know that as well.  Getting an offer to the finish line often has to do with the upfront due diligence between the buyer and listing agent and the relationship between the listing agent and your agent.

 

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Hi friends! We are Krista + Rosie, the brains behind the East Bay Living website. Powered by Berkeley Hills Realty we are a top producing real estate team working {and having fun} in Berkeley, Oakland and the surrounding areas. From buying + selling to DIY + home decor to plumber + gardener recommendations we are your one-stop-shop for all things real estate.

Recent Posts

Bay Area Home Prices By Transit Stop
April 4, 2016
By Krista Miller
Plants Eat the Sun + Poop Out Air
March 28, 2016
By Krista Miller
Give Back Homes
March 22, 2016
By Krista Miller
6 Tips for Navigating an Open House
March 9, 2016
By Krista Miller
What Are Those Accessory Dwelling Units All About?
February 27, 2016
By Krista Miller

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