I recently met a client who decided that the real estate reality of buying a home in San Francisco was cost prohibitive for him. He was venturing to the East Bay for the first time. In our meeting, I listened to him describe what he wanted in a home and what he hoped for in a neighborhood. I heard things like: 20’s charm, a yard for a dog and the dog to go with it, diverse culture, exciting vibe for art, great food at places that I can walk to, a sense of community, and access to public transportation.
A neighborhood immediately came to mind. It’s a favorite of mine that shines brightly: the Temescal. Running the corridor up and down Telegraph from 40th to 51th Streets and west from Hwy 24 to Broadway, the historic Temescal is experiencing a revitalization, becoming an Urban Village. Everywhere you turn, the Temescal boasts charming, Craftsman-styled bungalow homes. Beautiful wood built-ins, fireplaces with custom tile work, leaded glass windows and Wedgewood stoves are found in many of these Flapper-Era homes. So much so that these stunning period features, dare I say, seem almost common place!
Not ever to be under appreciated, it is worth noting that a recent MLS search of these little Jewel Box homes known by such streets as Ruby and Emerald have an average listing price of $590,000 and an average sales price for the same period of $710,000. Not cheap, but a/la Harry Winston, you’d get a lot of comfy bling for your bucks.
The Temescal truly operates as a communal urban village. Take in the weekly farmer’s market on Sundays and you’ll get the best recipes for what is growing locally. Be creative and be part of the Trash Can Art Project that is moving through the business district, or lend your talent to the Temescal Art Center on 48th. The Temescal Street Fair, Taste of Temescal, and The Temescal Trick or Treat on Telegraph all feed the spirit of a community that wants to come together for the common good.
Another vein of creativity within the community is the pioneering movement by noteworthy chefs that has created what is now a destination hub for countless hot spots for good eats. Included is the newly launched Hog’s Apothecary on 40th. Grab a seat at the communal table and, in one bite, you’ll realize the melt in your mouth made-in-house sausage and artisanal beer are a work of art. As evening progresses at places like this in the Temescal, you’ll observe what so many already know about this village in a big city: The eclectic gatherings of people are making this neighborhood happen!
As is the case throughout our Oakland and Berkeley neighborhoods, recovery of the real estate market has been swift and strong. Many areas are back to all-time highs. According to the latest National Housing Trend Report from Realtor.com, Oakland has the shortest median time on the market nationwide. Now is your time to become part of the urban village phenomenon.
Property values are increasing, interest rates will go up, and owning your own home can be a great tax break. Most importantly: There is still no place like home! So, like my city crossover client, there is no better time for you- should you be thinking of a move- to take your place in just such a village as the Temescal. This time next year, you could be hosting your own weekend BBQ in your backyard, leading the neighborhood history walking tours, and channeling your inner Rockwell for a holiday feast with family and friends gathered around your dining room table. Now that’s a happening!
John Wesley, a realtor at The Grubb Company, has over twelve years of real estate industry experience defined by exceptional professionalism and client service. He and his partner Gene Boomer, along with dogs Smokey and Coco, live in the East Bay.