We highly recommend Chris Olson. He was a delight to work with – very pleasant and well informed in all aspects of Bay Area real estate. He is an expert architecture historian and also very knowledgeable of all aspects of the process of buying or selling real estate.He is sincere, authentic and stayed calm even in this crazy market.
We ended up buying a home that was much more modest than our hopes but Chris was kind and supportive and there was never a hint that this wasn’t a worthy project.
He was extremely responsive and available for us during the search as well as during the escrow process. Both phases required some very fast actions on our part and Chris made it all work and explained everything we needed to know and do.
Call or email Chris and give him a try, we know you won’t regret it.
KDR & CR – Castro Valley
If you care about the architecture and quality of your next dream home, if you would like to work with someone who is knowledgeable and passionate about residential architecture, who has your best interests at heart, and can go the extra mile, then Chris Olsen is your man.
Over the years Chris consistently updated his blog to showcase notable period homes on the market, tagged with the architectural style (Victorian, Craftsman Mid-century, etc) it is worth checking out even if you already have an agent.
Before meeting him, my boyfriend and I went to open houses every weekend for a year and couldn’t find many houses we both liked. Chris listened to our criteria and with an impeccable taste, recommended us properties on the market that fit our preferences the instant they appear. For each house we visited, he gave us in-depth analysis on the build quality, potential competition, and what it takes to close in such a competitive market. He went above & beyond what we’d expect a typical agent would do to uncover period details and architectural origins. In little more than a month, we won our bid on our dream house. It exceeded all of our criteria. We are now happy owners of a lovely home.
During the entire process, Chris was attentive, approachable, patient. He put our best interests to heart and was quick to respond to our all questions and emails. Right after meeting him, we decided to bid on a house we saw weeks before. The official deadline had just passed. He corresponded with the seller’s agent and extended the deadline; moved his plans so we could view the house one last time; and put up the offer package on the day so we meet the new deadline.
We couldn’t have gotten our current house with Chris’s help. Whenever I tell friends about our new house, I would also mention what a great broker Chris is. If you want to be a happy homeowner like me, hire Chris!
SL & PL – Montclair, Oakland
We’ve worked with Chris twice (once to help buy our new house in Castro Valley and once to help sell our condo in Fremont), and we were really happy with the service that we got. We were extremely picky and indecisive buyers (we ended up looking for a house for over a year), but Chris was always patient, and polite, and gave us honest and thoughtful advice on every offer that we made. Most importantly, he’s just a good guy, and it made the whole experience so much better. When we sold our condo, he was organized, strategic, well-researched, and ended up getting us a great offer right away.
RL & WL – Castro Valley
Finding and working with Chris Olson and edificionado was a pleasure, he is an absolute gem of a person and boy does he know his stuff. I contacted Chris to see if he could investigate a MCM homes’ provenance so it could be restored as close as possible to its original splendor. From the get-go I felt comfortable and confident I could rely on Chris to find out as much information possible. He had more information and answers off the top of his head than I was able to find on my own over a few months. He followed through with even more information after we had met and was always happy to answer any questions I had. He’s top-notch and I’ll definitely keep in contact with Chris and continue to highly recommend him to as many people as I can who are looking for an honest and reliable real estate professional. Hire him if you can, you won’t be sorry.
KS – Vallejo
If I could give Edificionado more than five stars, I would. Simply put, Chris Olsen represents the best in real estate. I can’t think of anyone I would recommend more highly to potential home buyers.
Chris is a one-stop shop. He has a ton of experience and expertise in construction and design. He seems to know everything there is to know about codes and procedures. He has an incredible eye for architecture and style. Basically, if you have a question about ANYTHING, Chris can answer it. And he will. He will answer all of your questions thoroughly, without making you feel self-conscious or bad about asking too many questions. He will listen to your needs and concerns. He will advocate for you tirelessly. He will make you feel at ease with his calm, caring demeanor. Basically, he will take out all of the anxiety, stress, and second-guessing that typically comes with purchasing a new home.
I assumed that once we were in escrow, we were golden. But that’s really the start of a whole new process filled with more decision making and angst. Sure, Chris drafted a great contract for us and navigated through the counter offers with ease. But he also walked us through every step of the way thereafter. He helped us make sense of the endless stream of emails and paperwork that started coming our way. When we were confused or concerned, he would communicate on our behalf in a timely and professional manner. We really felt like we had someone looking out for our best interests. Thank goodness, because home ownership is one of the biggest financial decisions we have ever made.
If you’re looking for someone to represent you as you purchase a home, look no further. Chris is incredible. I would recommend him to family and friends in a heartbeat.
JA & SF – Fernside, Alameda
After spending a short time with Chris you know he loves architecture and he wants to share his knowledge of the architectural heritage of the East Bay (and beyond) with you. We spent over a year looking and learning, and there was no pressure (who needs that in the Bay Area??). He’s genuinely interested in finding that right house that suits your taste for a fair price. Behind the scenes he has done his homework, which starts with his comprehensive knowledge of the unique houses of the Bay Area, what potential problems existed the last time a property was on the market, what all those disclosure document might not disclose, and how to structure a bid that will get considered. We truly enjoyed viewing so many distinctive and beautiful houses with him as our guide, and are now ready to move in to our own piece of the Berkeley heritage.
SH & LD – Elmwood, Berkeley
Couldn’t have asked for a better person to be working with during our recent home search and buying process. Chris has been so kind, helpful, personable, patient and overall awesome-sauce. He spent the time to understand what we were looking for and find relevant houses to show us. His passion for and knowledge of Bay Area is impressive and we learned something new almost every time we met with him.
If you’re looking for a new home, appreciate Bay Area architectural gems and want to find something special and unique you want this guy on your side. Thanks Chris!!!!!
MM – Woodminster, Oakland
We were quite pleased to be able to work with Chris after having followed his website for some time, seeing the breadth of styles (and price points) of architecturally distinctive homes he would feature there.
In person, we found him to be genuine, someone whom we were able to trust to provide honest opinions and well-informed feedback on structural soundness and feasibility/expense involved in our ideas for making improvements to the homes we visited. He was able to recommend homes that fit both our tastes and our budget.
Once we found a home, a short-sale that required renovation, he assisted us through the rather lengthy process of closing, and provided (much-needed) guidance in scoping and defining our renovation work – which we needed to do before closing in order to secure renovation financing. We feel he provided us with exceptional service, and would recommend him without hesitation to others, particularly those interested in an architecturally significant property.
DS – Woodminster, Oakland
As first time homebuyers, we were nervous and excited about all the possibilities. Having Chris Olson as our agent made the journey a stress-free and enjoyable experience. Chris was very patient and allowed us to explore each house at our own pace and comfort. It was evident that he himself truly enjoyed the adventure of looking at properties.
We found it amazing how well Chris could envision what we were looking for in a house and community. We could talk to him openly and his feedback was always sincere and helpful. His background in construction and knowledge of architecture was a huge plus when talking through various possibilities. He was able to present us with ideas and options that we were not aware of, but never strayed from what we were ideally looking for, which was a mid-century house.
From beginning to end, Chris was very professional and always on top of business. He really seemed to take the hassle out of the process. For anyone looking for an agent with knowledge of architecture who will focus on your vision of a home, we would highly recommend Chris.
MH & DW – Piedmont Pines, Oakland