OAK NOTES from Grace Bishop

Hello friends - the heart wrenching scene in Maui hits too close to home for us Californians. Red Oak has a sister company, Hawaii Life, who has a non-profit that supports communities and is raising funds for Maui relief. Scroll down to donate.



In the vibrant tapestry of the East Bay community, Red Oak Realty quietly stands as a partner for positive change, leaving a modest yet impactful mark on our local communities. For almost five decades, the company has navigated the world of real estate with integrity, all the while extending a helping hand to neighbors through initiatives like community blood drives, partnerships and volunteering with nonprofit organizations like LavaMaeX and Rebuilding Together East Bay, raising awareness and funds in times of need for fire victims and local schools with underserved students, and, of course, the dedicated work of the Red Oak Opportunity Foundation (ROOF).

A Lifeline of Hope: The Community Blood Drive

Small sparks can ignite profound change, and at Red Oak Realty, a simple yet powerful story sparked a collective mission. A community member's tale of a life-saving blood transfusion led to the inception of the Red Oak Realty Community Blood Drive. Scheduled for Wednesday, September 13th, from 9 AM to 1 PM, this event embodies the spirit of unity and compassion that defines the East Bay community. Sign up and join us — 1575 Hopkins Street, Berkeley (code:2882) or 6450 Moraga Avenue, Oakland (code 2883)! Each registered donor will receive a $15 egift card or donate at the drive for a chance to win a $500 Apple gift card!

Cultivating Abundance: Rebuilding Together - East Bay Network & LavaMaeX

Amidst the Berkeley Urban Garden Project, Red Oak Realty and Rebuilding Together are sowing seeds of change and hope. In partnership with the City of Berkeley and a network of community contributors, the Urban Garden Project aims to alleviate food insecurity and create spaces for nourishment and learning. Red Oak agents and staff are contributing hours of time dedicated to this project through activities like fence building and debris removal.

ROOF's past contributions to LavaMaeX pop-up care villages for the unhoused serve as a reminder that small actions can create significant ripples, and the dedication of Red Oak volunteers further underscored Red Oak's commitment to making a difference.

The Heartbeat of ROOF: Enriching Lives Through Generosity

ROOF, the Red Oak Opportunity Foundation, embodies a spirit of giving that speaks volumes without fanfare. For over 35 years, ROOF has directed resources and goodwill towards uplifting East Bay neighbors in need. With over $1.5 million distributed across our local communities, ROOF's impact echoes through stories of support for the unhoused, empowerment for the unemployed and underserved, educational pathways for those striving for a better future, and much more.

Red Oak Realty is a values-driven company, embodied by compassion, unity, and a genuine commitment to community well-being. Involvement in the blood drive, partnerships with local non-profits, and the dedicated efforts of ROOF all reflect a company with a modest yet impactful role in making the East Bay a better place. Red Oak Realty's work isn't about grand gestures; it's about the quiet dedication to fostering a sense of compassion and community that truly defines the heart of the East Bay.

With the devastating news about the fires in Maui, many Bay Area residents will feel this hitting very close to home. We know first-hand how deeply their communities will be affected. Our sister company, Hawaii Life, has a nonprofit similar to ROOF that supports their local communities and is raising funds for Maui relief. If you'd like to join in supporting Maui, Hawaii Life will be matching funds up to $50,000 - please consider donating now.




The number of available homes for sale in the Inner East Bay remains in record-low territory, which has driven down the number of sales. As a result, July 2023 sales were at their lowest level since the MLS went online in 1996. Median sales price typically declines during the summer months, and this year it fell 8% year over year to $1,100,000; however, this was still higher than 2020 and all years prior. Homes sold an average of 9% over list price in an average of 21 days on market, both markers of a relatively competitive market, despite the low inventory.

New listings should spike immediately after Labor Day, so expect more activity in the fall.


Mortgage bonds have experienced a sell-off following the release of the July CPI inflation report, resulting in them reaching 9-month highs. There were concerns that inflation data might surge due to a 16% increase in oil prices, an 8% increase in gasoline prices, and a rise in food prices during July. However, these increases were not reflected in the July data; nevertheless, they might become evident in the August readings, potentially leading to a more significant rise in inflation. Despite this, the numbers still weren't favorable, as headlines increased, and Core measurements didn't show substantial improvement. This progress, particularly in Core, fell notably short of the Fed's target of 2%, with Core registering at 4.7%.

The markets exhibit forward-looking behavior and likely anticipate the upcoming release of the PCE inflation report in a few weeks, which is the Fed's preferred measure of inflation.

In the aftermath of the CPI report, comments from SF Fed President Mary Daly triggered some selling pressure (she stated that the Fed had more work to do), followed by a weak 30-year Bond Auction. Subsequently, the next morning brought a wholesale inflation report that exceeded expectations, causing bond prices to decline even further.

The July Producer Price Index (PPI) report demonstrated a 0.3% increase in overall producer inflation for July, surpassing estimates by one-tenth. On a year-over-year basis, producer inflation escalated from 0.2% to 0.8%. Despite this movement in the wrong direction, the starting point was exceptionally low, resulting in inflation remaining highly subdued. The Core rate, which excludes food and energy prices, also rose by 0.3%, similarly surpassing estimates by one-tenth. Year-over-year, core inflation held steady at 2.4%, slightly surpassing the expected 2.3%.

To summarize, current rates are elevated, but the anticipation of declining inflation suggests that they will likely decrease in the coming 6-24 months.

If you have any questions about this, please contact Faramarz Moeen-Ziai at CrossCountry Mortgage - fmz@ccm.com or 510.254.4697.





Personal NMLS342090 | Branch NMLS2020284 | Company NMLS3029 | CA-DOC34209


Join the leaders of Red Oak Realty as they share an honest and current analysis of the Inner East Bay real estate market. Held on Wednesday, September 13th at 6 PM, you'll learn about: 

  • Hyperlocal statistics covering supply and demand
  • Changes in financing and the mortgage market
  • Contract best practices
  • Listing preparation best practices
  • ...and how these factors may affect buyers and sellers

Click here to register for this free, 1-hour webinar


Movie Nights are nearly here so grab your beach chairs and picnic blankets and get ready to claim a spot as we project free movies for all to enjoy. Join us for two summer nights of community, food and entertainment:

On Saturday, August 19, we'll show the fantastical and hilarious
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

On Saturday, September 9, we'll play the comedy classic,
Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Seating opens and music starts at 7 PM and movies start at dusk, 8-8:30 PM. The event takes place at 6450 Moraga Avenue, Oakland; enter on Medau in the Red Oak parking lot. Hope to see you there!


Red Oak is excited to share that the company has been voted the Best Real Estate Brokerage 2023 by Oakland Magazine. Thank you for entrusting us with your real estate needs, questions, and goals, and a big thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for Red Oak!

Red Oak is also in the running for El Cerrito Chamber of Commerce's Best Real Estate Company in El Cerrito 2023 and we'd love your continued support. We won this award last year, and we'd love your help keeping that honor. Please go to their site and vote for Red Oak. Voting ends August 31st. Thank you!


The Red Oak 2023 desk calendar, Artists & Artisans of the East Bay, is filled with East Bay creatives from a variety of trades using different mediums. August features Lisa Ostapinski, a painter and art educator based in Oakland. She works with unusual materials and processes including metal leaf gilding, encaustic painting (beeswax), sgraffito and oil paint marbling. Her work juxtaposes archaic media with modern forms producing a fresh, contemporary take on these historical art techniques. Lisa's imagery pulls from a diverse array of sources including textile and jewelry design, architecture, modern painting, the natural world, scientific illustration, religious painting and spiritual symbolism. She chooses lustrous, visually rich materials such as gold leaf and beeswax for their natural beauty as well as their historical use in European religious painting to evoke the divine. Lisa's work is an exploration of the potential for abstract forms and luminous materials to communicate ideas about the spiritual realm. Follow @honeycombdaughter on Instagram or visit lisaostapinski.com to see more!

If you'd like a free copy of the upcoming 2024 desk calendar - released in December 2023 - just reply to this email with your mailing address.


In the bustling Bay Area, you might seek a destination for a moment of tranquility amidst the chaos of daily life. If you are looking for an exceptional tea experience, visit Qualitea. Qualitea's original location is nestled in the vibrant city of San Francisco, but you don't need to cross the Bay Bridge to visit their latest location in Pinole. 

What sets Qualitea apart is their dedication to curating a tea menu that caters to both seasoned connoisseurs and those new to the world of tea. From delicate and soothing white teas to robust and invigorating black teas, every cup tells a story of craftsmanship and tradition. Herbal infusions, oolongs, and rare specialty teas plus a delicious selection of toppings including a variety of bobas, jellies, cheese mousse crema, Oreo and more.

In a world that moves at an ever-increasing pace, Qualitea stands as an oasis of serenity, inviting patrons to slow down, savor each sip, and connect with the timeless ritual of tea. Whether you're a tea novice or a seasoned sipper, give Qualitea in Pinole a warm welcome and take the opportunity to explore the diverse and fascinating world of tea, one cup at a time. 

For more updates and tea inspiration, follow them on Instagram at @qualitealife and @qualiteapinole.

1578 Fitzgerald Drive, Suite B, Pinole CA 94564 · Open 12 PM - 8 PM daily

Grace Bishop
Realtor | #01245471