OAK NOTES from Grace Bishop
Sep 2018


Red Oak was founded in Albany 42 years ago. It all began over a conversation in a hot tub (hey it was 1976). 

Since then, the popularity of hot tubs isn’t the only thing that’s changed. The business of real estate has shifted dramatically, too. And that’s one of the things that’s great about Red Oak: the owners have been dedicated to changing with the times and making sure agents are up-to-date as well. 

In fact, the company has become well-known as one of the most prominent independent brokerages in the nation. It’s that combination of hyperlocal East Bay focus with technological innovation and innovative strategy that (literally) other companies love to copy.

That’s why it was flattering for Vanessa and her team to be featured on the cover of the national RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine. And while disruption and corporate behemoths are becoming the norm throughout the industry, Red Oak remains a locally owned and operated company - a David in a world of growing Goliaths.

At the end of the day, we believe that it’s about the people - our buyers, our sellers, our clients. Their best interests will always come first.

We hope you enjoy the article. Now, where’s the nearest hot tub...

View More


In August 2018, the East Bay real estate market continued to experience the trends that it has faced for years. 

The number of homes sold, when compared to the previous year, declined 13%. Declines were consistent across almost all East Bay cities in our analysis. This was driven by lower inventory, as well as higher prices.

Speaking of prices, the median sale price continued to climb to $900,000, up 8% compared to last year. This reveals that buyer demand remained high, particularly in light of declining supply.

There have been rumors of a slowdown across the country, so as the fall market heats up, it will be interesting to see if buyer demand softens in the East Bay as well. To prepare for this, sellers should set attractive prices and keep expectations in line with the current market. Buyers could see fewer competitive offers, so they should stay in touch with their agents to see if they can negotiate more attractive sales prices.


The Federal Reserve has subtly indicated that they may be lowering the ceiling target of interest rates down the road. A quarter-point hike will likely happen at Fed meetings occurring from now through March, 2019, but the Fed may pause there for the rest of 2019. The Fed is likely to be reluctant to invert the yield curve, which many fear could be a predictor for recession. Pricing pressure is growing for small firms. The main culprit: Rising wages and tariffs.  As a result, the share of small firms raising prices ticked up a point in August to 17%, while nearly one in four owners say that they plan to boost prices in coming months. Additionally, about 75% of manufacturers in the Northeast reported upward pricing pressure due to tariffs in 2018, according to an August 2018 survey. Half say they’ve raised their selling prices. All of this data combines to mean continued upward pressure on rates into next year. If you are looking for more information or would like to discuss mortgage pre-approval or a refinance of your existing loan, please contact Faramarz Moeen-Ziai at Commerce Home Mortgage: fmz@commercemtg.com; phone & text: 415-377-1147.



Commerce Home Mortgage


Oakland's longest running live theater is located outdoors, tucked high in the hills and surrounded by the redwoods of Joaquin Miller Park. The historic Woodminster Amphitheater has been offering Broadway-style summer musicals for 52 years, running shows in July, August and September. 

This past summer you may have been lucky enough to see Oklahoma!, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, or Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony award-winning In the Heights. Shows are performed by large casts and live professional orchestras, a real treat underneath the stars. Season tickets go on sale to the public in February and have become a tradition for many Bay Area families.
Woodminster Amphitheater is located at 3540 Sanborn Drive in Oakland and is one of 11 local venues featured in Red Oak Realty’s 2018 "East Bay Screen & Stage calendar." We’ll include more about each month’s venue throughout the year. Call or email for a complimentary copy of the 2018 calendar


Opening in late 2017, Juanita & Maude was hailed by the East Bay Express as an instant classic. Scott Eastman, owner and chef, named the restaurant for his grandmother and mother. His goal was to create a neighborhood bar and intimate restaurant with refined comfort food, craft cocktails and an exciting and diverse wine menu. 

The ambiance here is warm and intimate, and the restaurant brings a welcome level of sophistication to the burgeoning Albany dining scene. The bar options are creative and beautifully realized. You won’t find the house-made pineapple soda anywhere else. The appetizers are generous: olives, beef carpaccio, shrimp and scallop ceviche are best-in-class and beautifully presented. There’s a myriad of cultural references:  You’ll find Latin influences such as seared sweet plantain and gorditas, Japanese cuisine, and Italian and French dishes, too. 

Like most higher-end local restaurants, the menu changes depending on what’s seasonal. The current menu features chicken cacciatore, summer squash and shell bean lasagna (highly recommended!), and smoked beef rib and hot link. The staff is outstanding, warm, and perfectly attentive. The desserts are another reason to return!  
Juanita & Maude is located at 825 San Pablo Ave, Albany, 94706  510.526.2233  Serving dinner 5 nights a week: Tuesday-Thursday 5:30pm-9:30pm, Friday 5:30pm-10:00pm and Saturday 5:00pm-10:00pm.

Grace Bishop
Realtor | #01245471