July 2019

What People Are Saying

"I would recommend Leah Tounger of Keller Williams in any real estate transaction!  I had a VERY complicated 1031 Exchange and she helped to keep our residential purchase on track while we completed the sale of another commercial building.  Her knowledge, contacts and help was invaluable since we were on a world cruise during the final sale.  She was amazing!  I would definitely use her services again and highly recommend her to anyone else."

"Leah and John were our agents to both sell our home and buy a new one in 2018.  It was a complicated 6 months, with many twists and turns, and Leah and John were superstars.  They worked tirelessly, always were available for a call or meeting to answer questions and discuss strategy, and their expertise translated into exceptional results for us."

"John Corden was our realtor from Leah Tounger Realty Group. He was an excellent communicator and facilitator for us throughout this process. He knew exactly what to ask for in negotiations, inspections and saved us a lot of stress and money. It came down to the wire in closing and I don't thing we'd be in the home now if it wasn't for John's saavy and expertise. Thanks again!"


Monthly Market Minute
State of the East Bay Real Estate Market

If you have been reading these digital newsletters these past months, you will recall we have been talking about the market undergoing a shift. Things can get a bit distorted when comparing monthly data due to the inherent seasonality of real estate. Because of this, we thought it would be worthwhile to look at the first six months of this year as compared to the first six months of 2018 for the East Bay real estate market. Looking at it this way removes the seasonality that typically occurs from month to month. The numbers are pretty telling and confirm we are undergoing a market shift. Here is how January to June 2019 compares with 2018:
  • Inventory is up 41% 
  • Sell prices are flat to 10% down
  • Even with the price discounts, Days on Market is up 36% (30 vs. 22 days)
  • Total home sales are down 5%
The second half of 2019 is expected to level off somewhat. Hopefully low mortgage rates will drive demand and keep things from getting worse. Obviously this is a macro view of the entire East Bay and all price points. Conditions can be better, or worse, from neighborhood to neighborhood and for different price points. If you are curious what your home's value is, reach out to us or go to: GetYourEastBay
4 DIY Things You Can Do to Lower Your Energy Bill This Summer
We all know summer heat is an issue, this time of year can mean substantially higher energy costs. Here are four low-cost, high-impact changes you can make on your own to save money and keep your home more comfortable this summer. 

Clean your window sills
A few seasons worth of dirt and soot can prevent your windows from closing all the way. Even a little air getting in can make your AC less efficient and raise your electric bill. Drafty windows are the top energy leak in a typical home, accounting for up to 25% of a home's energy loss.
Cost: $0-5 (cleaning spray and paper towels) 
DIY level: Easy. You can even make this a chore for the kids! 

Install a door sweep
"A common place where air leaks occur is under the door leading from the house to the garage because they are often not as well sealed as doors leading directly to the outside," says Energy Star. Install a door sweep to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold to prevent cold air from escaping your home. 
Cost: $10-15 (per door)
DIY level: Easy. Use a drill to make holes in the door and screws to attach the sweep. 

Caulk your windows
Window air leakage can be reduced by applying a continuous bead of caulk around the window trim where it meets the wall, at the mitered joints of the trim, and between the trim and the frame. Make sure the caulk is intended for indoor use and can be painted. Using Charlotte, NC as an example, the Department of Energy estimated that the average homeowner could save 14% on heating and cooling costs each year with proper air sealing and insulation.
Cost: $3-5 (caulk)
DIY level: Medium. Caulk can get messy, so go slow. 

Check your ducts
Ducts are used to distribute AC and heat throughout houses with forced-air systems "In typical houses, about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes and poorly connected ducts." says Energy Star. "The result is an inefficient HVAC system, high utility bills, and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set." You can check all the ducts you can access, such as those in the attic, crawlspace, or garage. Look for holes and tears, and seal them using mastic or metal tape.
Selling Your Home? Know the 20 Top Buyer Turn Offs
Many times it is difficult for a homeowner to be able to critically look at their home. There is nothing quite like encountering a homeowner who thinks their home was built with "golden nails" and everything is perfect when in reality it is far from that. Obviously there are some things easier to correct than others while some characteristics like neighborhood is impossible to change.  Check out the complete article  [HERE].  including bonus tips on the best remodel items to impress buyers.
The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Renovating Their Home, According to a Contractor
Many people often decide to undertake a substantial remodeling project to get the home of their dreams rather than trying to find a new home. The bigger the project, the more time and energy it will demand of you. Often times, people will employ the sevices of a contractor for the remodel project. The contractor becomes the project manager, coordinating all of the subcontractor activities. Dealing with a experienced and reputable contractor has several advantages, such as  only having to deal with one point of contact for communication and payments, being freed from the burden of project management as well as the ability to leverage off of their network of experienced subcontractors. Click [HERE] for complete article. If you decide to undertake a major (or even minor) remodeling project, Leah Tounger Realty Group is here to assist. We have a network of contractors and trades people that we work with and can suggest to you.
Curious what your home is worth?

Featured Properties & Market Activity
Just Listed!
35 Asilomar Circle, Oakland
Mid-Century Modern
3 BR | 2 BA | 2,242 SF
More info at:

Offered at $995,000
352 Avalon Bay Court, Point Richmond (on the bay)

$30K Price Improvement!
Upscale Home with SF Views
3 BR | 2.5 BA | 2,616 SF
More info at:

Offered at $1,129,000
1517 Filbert Street, Oakland
Updated Victorian Duplex
6 BR | 2.5 BA  | 2,512 SF 
More info at:
18 Ormindale, Oakland

Large Custom Home with Fine Finishes
4 BR | 3++ BA | 4,787 SF
More info at:

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