A two-bedroom Craftsman bungalow in the Monterey Market area falls below the Berkeley median with an asking price of $629,000

Berkeley is something of a law unto itself when it comes to home prices and the robustness of its real estate market. The presence of a world-class university in the the city bolsters property values to a certain extent. The inherent attraction of the place helps too.

A mid-century next to Tilden for $639,000

The median home price for Berkeley in July was $644,500, up from $600,000 for the same time last year, according to DataQuick. This compares to $590,000 in Albany, $505,000 in Alameda, and $220,000 in Oakland. A total of 82 homes sold in Berkeley in July, 19 of them in the 94708 zip area.

So what does $644,500 get you in our fair city?

Well, you might prefer to have some cash in hand (assuming you have that median price money to begin with), and opt for the 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom Craftsman bungalow at 1735 Madera Street in the Monterey Market neighborhood, which is pending sale on an asking price of $629,000. Among its attributes: a 6,000+ sq ft lot, original details, a private rear deck and an 88/100 Walk Score.

A duplex on Prince Street for $649,000

Or you could head for the hills to buy the 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home at 1180 Park Hills Road, right next to Tilden Park. Built in 1946, it has a recently upgraded kitchen and master bathroom, fruit trees and blackberry bushes, as well as wooded views galore. Price: $639,000.

A little negotiation on its $649,000 price-tag might snag you the 1,797 sq ft duplex in the Elmwood neighborhood at 2849 Prince Street. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, new interior paint and refinished hardwood floors, and is convenient for Claremont Avenue shops.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...