Featured home: 11 Jewel Court in Oakland

The crown jewel of the court

TwilightsB_18Where: 11 Jewel Court, Oakland (listing | tour)

This Phillip Perkins-designed 4 bedroom/ 3.5 bathroom house impresses with contemporary sophistication, from its stylish street presence to its airy atmosphere to its luxurious amenities. Thoughtfully arranged with a unique, horizontal floor plan, it is part of on newly developed cul-de-sac neighborhood in the Montclair Hills that has become a showcase for custom homes from a select group of architects and home builders.

Two garages on either side of the house and different tones of stucco make a statement of balance and symmetry. Inside, the foyer welcomes you with an Italian Cambria tile balcony overlooking a canyon and dramatic bay view. The home opens to gracious spaces with high ceilings, recessed lighting and an open layout.

The chef’s kitchen includes a large island with waterfall edges, refined quartz surfaces, high-end appliances, two sinks, LED lighting and a polished, European design. Imagine enjoying your coffee in the breakfast nook surrounded by bay and canyon views. The living room has several oversized windows on either side of the fireplace, creating an incredible panorama.  In the formal dining room, two walls are formed by sliding glass doors that open onto the central patio, extending the living space and creating seamless indoor/outdoor entertaining opportunities.

The mezzanine bedroom suite is a private refuge replete with gorgeous views, a modern fireplace, generous walk-in closet and spa-like bathroom. Up a flight of stairs is a reading nook with views of city lights in one direction and hillside lights on the other.

Down the hall, the luxurious, comfortable master bedroom provides a sanctuary. A fireplace creates a cozy retreat for winter nights, while an overhead fan and access to the wraparound balcony cools down summer evenings. The sleek bathroom has fabulous details: a glassed-in shower with six jet sprays, beautiful glass tiles and vessel sinks, a free-standing tub in front of a picture window framing Sibley Park, a large walk-in closet and a separate WC with toilet and bidet.

A convenient laundry room and an office or nursery complete this level. Downstairs there are two more guest bedrooms with a full bathroom.

One of Montclair’s newest streets, Jewell Court is perched high on the hill and conveniently located equidistant from Oakland and Orinda. Privacy and quiet, comfortable level-in living, deluxe detailing and bright and modern style make this home a sparkling gem.

Listed at $1,895,000 by Rick Richetta of Alain Pinel Realtors – Oakland Hills.

See more homes for sale in Oakland | Visit our Alameda County community page.

OPEN HOUSE: 12 El Sueno in Orinda


Where: 12 El Sueno in Orinda (listing | virtual tour)
Open: Saturday, November 2nd, from 1:00-4:00 pm

This weekend is probably the only chance you’ll have to see the historic Casa del Sueno. With a $2 million price reduction from when it was first listed, it is being held open this weekend with the help of five agents to cover the massive 10,838+/- sf estate. Built in 1929 on the ninth fairway of the prestigious Orinda County Club, this fabulous private, gated estate integrates an Old World Spanish Hacienda design and finishes with modern conveniences. The main house has a grand living room with 20+ ceilings, a chef’s kitchen, five bedrooms, a stunning turret office, wine cellar, media and game room and much more. The complex also has two apartments a cantina, a carriage house, and beautifully landscaped grounds with a pool, spa, koi ponds and waterfalls. Collectively, the estate totals to over 35 rooms with 10,800 +/- square feet of living space including 9+ bedrooms, 9 full bathrooms, 2 powder rooms and 5 kitchens – truly a grand estate.

This estate is listed by Joanna Truelson of the Alain Pinel Realtors Orinda.

Offered at: $4,465,000

See more homes for sale in Orinda. | Visit our East Bay community page.

Featured Home: 18 Las Piedras in Orinda

001_Welcome to 18 Las Piedras!

Where: 18 Las Piedras in Orinda (listing | virtual tour)

A Craftsman masterpiece built for modern living with impeccable quality and understated elegance. Custom built in 2001 and beautifully expanded in 2003, the residence features soaring two-story cathedral ceilings, a majestic stone fireplace, and magnificent picture windows that capture tranquil views and the private setting. The magical outdoor venues include five private decks, brick entertainment patio, mature gardens and over 75 oak trees. Also has a detached guest house. Fantastic location tucked into the Orinda hills close to Berkeley, Caldecott Tunnel and UC campus.

This home is listed by Lori Legler of Alain Pinel Realtors Orinda.

Offered at: $3,000,000

See more homes for sale in Orinda. | Visit our East Bay community page.


How long does an escrow period last and what can complicate it?

Agents Sound Off


Karen Richardson

Question: How long does an escrow period last and what can complicate it?

Answer: A “typical” escrow is 30 days. That gives the title company plenty of time to pull up the title report, and search for any liens, easements, lawsuits, or any other clouds on title. When the title company closes escrow and you are granted title they are insuring that you know everything that may be attached.

There are three other things that determine how quickly or slowly escrow closes, and these are on the buyer’s side. The loan contingency automatically makes the contract default to 17 days for the loan to go through underwriting and have complete approval.

The second factor is the appraisal contingency which is when the bank orders an appraisal of the property. If there is a difference between the appraisal amount and the purchase price, the buyer is required to pay the difference in cash.

Finally, there is the physical contingency which the buyer can make any amount of time they choose, but again defaults to 17 days. Often reports have been done on the property in advance. If not, buyers may need time extensions to complete, review, and sign off on any inspection findings. Agents will file time extensions at this time, which can make the escrow period as long as it takes for the buyer to feel they know and accept all they need to about the property.

At that point, the buyer can sign off this contingency, or ask for a price reduction, or request that repairs be made. So, while a “typical” escrow is 30 days, they can go from 1 week to many weeks, depending on these factors.

Read more opinions on SFGate.


Featured Home: 40 Los Altos Road in Orinda



Where: 40 Los Altos Road in Orinda (listing | virtual tour)

This beautiful mid-century contemporary estates in the country club area in Orinda sites on 2.3+/- acres. The property features artful landscaping supported by it’s own well. A private pool and with changing room and spa set-up is just the beginning of the expansive grounds. With an expansive patio, sundeck, and tennis courts, this home is perfect for outdoor living. The interior features 5 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. A light-filled kitchen with high-end appliances and custom cabinetry features floor-to-ceiling windows (and electric shades). The home also features a media room with cherry cabinetry, wine storage, meditation room, wet bar, and gas fireplaces throughout.

The home is listed by Mel Copland and Joshua Kaplan of Alain Pinel Realtors Oakland Hills – Montclair Village.

Offered at: $2,986,000

See more homes for sale in Orinda. | Visit our East Bay community page.

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