Archive for April, 2010


Posted in FEATURED PROPERTIES on April 23, 2010 by Julie Nachtwey, the Claremont Hills Real Estate Expert

Bigger can be better.  That’s the case with the bigger, better, more beautiful house at 258 Alvarado Road in The Claremont Hills.  It’s SF Bay Views are so lovely. Come see for yourself this SUNDAY APRIL 25 from 2 to 5 pm. 

Watch the afternoon sun shine in, creating magical patterns of light.  The front entry and side patio are perfect locations for catching the rays during relaxing moments — as is the secluded rooftop patio with more views of SF Bay.

This 5 bed/4 bath house is a work of art, from handmade iron railings and door handles to rounded-plaster walls.  Tall doors and unusual wood floors display the consistent quality materials and workmanship. 

This house has it all – even an elevator (from the garage).  The property is adjacent to two-and-a-half acres of “open space” owned by a neighborhood foundation. List price is $1,700,000.   For more info visit


Posted in NEIGHBORHOOD on April 20, 2010 by Julie Nachtwey, the Claremont Hills Real Estate Expert

EARTH DAY in the HOOD                                     Neighbors of all ages gathered Saturday at the bottom of Willow Walk off Alvarado to show respect for the land we all enjoy. 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day nationwide.  Our very own  neighborhood celebrated with its 14th Annual Earth Day clean-up of our public common spaces.  More than 30 people ages two and  up kicked things off with juice, coffee, bagels and camaraderie. (photo, right, Susan Mattmann; at table, Jeff Baird  with daughter; pointing, Ann Smulka and Millie Baird)


“I enjoyed meeting everyone and doing something visibly positive for the neighborhood,” said Winston Chou. “We were quite exhausted by the end, but there was lots left to be done. Everyone should try to pitch in when they can, and I recommend the experience highly. Actually, I’m wearing my little Earth Day pin, but I wish it was a bigger. The t-shirts we got in past years were better for publicity!”

By the way, Winston and his wife fell in love with the neighborhood while renting here.  Eventually they bought a house, and I was the lucky realtor — and by this time, a close friend — who helped make their dream house come true!

(photo, left, Harry Myler; right, Winston Chou)


Participants chose areas to invest their time in many ways: sweeping, pruning, clipping, raking and pulling weeds. My personal goal was to make the immediate area around the Vicente Place steps (up to Westview) a “thistle-free zone.”  We stuffed debris into large brown bags for pick-up by Oakland, as part of the city’s “Keep Oakland Beautiful” campaign.

(photo, left, John McClung; right, Marcia Tanner)

Other areas tended to include: Sunset Trail, Eucalyptus Steps, Claremont Hotel steps and Willow Walk path/steps.  A special thanks to three neighbors: John McClung , Jeff Baird and Freddie Rodriquez, for the installation of the steps made with tree rounds. 

(photo, left, Jane Barrett; photo, below, Wendy Leyden)

GARBER PARK OUTREACH  Really energetic folks partnered with members of Claremont Canyon Conservancy and the City of Oakland as stewards of Garber Park. 

Their focus is to clear fallen debris from the hillsides close to the Evergreen Lane entrance, remove invasive weeks and improve the trails throughout.  There are numerous ongoing stewardship projects, as well as interesting nature talks and walks.  

To participate or ask questions, feel free to email  our fearless leader Shelagh Brodersen, 

Claremont Canyon Conservancy

(photo, left, bottom or Willow Walk off Alvarado, after clean-up)

Directions to the Garber Park trailhead via Evergreen Lane: from Alvarado Road turn down Slater Lane, then turn right on Evergreen Lane.  The entrance is at the end of the street.  This is easy walking distance from Alvarado. For directions to Garber Park visit 

For more photos

Rain, rain, go away!

Posted in FEATURED PROPERTIES on April 13, 2010 by Julie Nachtwey, the Claremont Hills Real Estate Expert

During the open house at 258 Alvarado, buyers’ umbrellas got quite the workout the past couple weekends.  Despite such weather, buyers were out in force. Umbrellas piled up in the front entry courtyard.  Actually, the light inside the house was soft and pretty.  SF Bay Views turned silvery, with sudden shafts of sunlight breaking through from time to time.

Visitors paraded up and down, from top – the rooftop patio – to bottom.  Kids rode the elevator with great zeal as their parents explored various living levels.

People commented on the big scale of the counters and rooms in general. They loved the wood floors and doors. The Master Suite almost drew applause, with its huge bathroom and shower-steam room big enough for the whole family.  Frosting on the cake is the dressing room, as big as any bedroom.

A highlight of the afternoon was the deer who wandered through the terraced backyard from the adjacent open space.  This two-and-a-half acre open space is owned by a non-profit neighborhood foundation.  There are oak trees, deer trails, and benches for sitting and looking at the magnificent SF Bay Views.

It’s raining, it’s pouring…and it’s okay.