Ira Serkes

Ira Serkes

Certified Residential Specialists | DRE 00936453 | DRE 01143916
About Ira

I'm Ira Serkes. Carol and I specialize in helping nice folks sell and buy wonderful homes in Berkeley and nearby communities.

A large building with a lighthouse in the distance

Once upon a time, I wanted to be the #1 realtor in Berkeley. We never were #1, but often were among the 10 most productive agents in Berkeley. One day, I woke up and realized that I’d rather be the happiest agent in Berkeley.

We're a lot happier now … that’s simply a result of having wonderful, pleasant clients and lots of referrals!

We love what we do, and are thankful that real estate funds our adventures.

Check out our BerkeleyHomes.com  Real Estate Web Site for more about our wonderful neighborhoods and homes you can purchase in each of them.  You'll learn more about what our clients love about having us represent them.


The logo of BERKELEYH.MES.C.9 M Handcrafted Real Estate Service

I post my favorite photos on SmugMug and Flickr, and personal and business information on Facebook personal and business pages.

A bit more about us …

First… why a vest? I’d like to tell you that it all started growing up in The Bronx, when my father, Max Serkes, would give me… in his strong Russian accent… the same advice he took when he was a teenager “go vest, young man!”

But that never really happened.

We tried using sweaters or sports jackets… but I carry so much gear that the pockets sagged! Not surprising, with an iPhone, note cards, post-its (don’t leave home without it) pens, and more.  I thought a vest might work well, so bought a fabric one from Royal Robbins on Gilman Street. Everything fit just fine… but the cloth vest didn’t hold its shape. 

We were attending a real estate convention in Las Vegas… and Carol found a leather vest.

But wait … there’s more! 

My friends John & Ellen Pinto hosted a dinner at One Market in San Francisco, where I met Peter & Susanne Rundberg.  Peter was wearing a beautiful leather vest and I asked him where he got it. Turns out that Peter & Suzanne owned Fog City Leather, which has made me many vests since then.

We have a team of 3 - Ira, Carol and Poudini (Puddy Houdini) the cat.

A cat sitting in the middle of a tree

A cat sitting on a ledge next to a bunch of plants.

Gouger, Snidely, Beau, Baby T (short for Baby Terrorist) and Lucy the Cat, all now gone and always remembered.  They were my muses when I wrote, and subsequently updated, my Nolo Press Book “How To Buy A House In California” now in its 18th Edition.

a woman holding a card with a picture of a woman on it

We really enjoy being with each other, eating out and going to movies (I bet you could tell that from our website), traveling, eating spicy foods, riding on steam trains and photographing Neon and Art Deco buildings.


Carol’s British (born in Newcastle-on-Tyne… and now a proud American Citizen) and Ira’s Yiddish!, which makes for some interesting times.

We love to travel and. I used to say that we’ve been as far west as Mendocino, but in 2003 we went to Australia & New Zealand, where we climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge for Ira’s birthday!  I’ll have been to all 50 states once I visit North Dakota.

a man and a woman holding a small child

Having connected with Alan Mah, a brother-from-another-mother who was born in Singapore, we’ve since been to Asia several times.  Our travels have been far east as Israel, Jordan, Kenya & Ethiopia, south to Buenos Aires, New Zealand & Australia, and north to Iceland.

Carol says that “there’s nothing Ira likes more than being in a new city with a bunch of guidebooks and maps”.  She’s right! I’m trained as an engineer, and always love reading maps and guidebooks (now all digital) and figuring out how to see 12 hours of sightseeing in 6 hours

We travel 3 times on every adventure - planning, seeing, and remembering.

A text banner describing various locations and roads in the Asnieres-sur-Seine and Bobigny areas

Carol was born in Newcastle-On-Tyne in England, so speaks American English reasonably well. We’re the British – Yiddish team!

Carol is an avid gardener and loves to read and watch British TV shows. She’s trained as a paralegal and has been affiliated with one of the Bay Area’s largest law firms.

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A garden banner with lots of plants and flowers

Our home office ... Casita Adela, named after Ira's mother.

Our Garden ... and commute from our home (left) to home office (right).

Ira Serkes, grew up in The Bronx, graduated from The Bronx High School Of Science, received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Cooper Union, and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He worked for 10 years as an engineer for Chevron Research and holds two patents for his research. He teaches Realtors how to use technology to better serve their clients.

I speak Bronxese, New Yorkish, Spanish, Macintosh, Digital Equipment PDP-8 Machine Language, and Fortran. He also studied Hebrew and Arabic but found that he was a better Realtor than a linguist. 

A man in a suit holding a gun and a skateboard

Ira’s a photographer. with a particular interest in neon, art deco, black + white, twilight, and moon photography (lunar-see - contagious, incurable, and fortunately harmless)

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I think that any place in the great outdoors is fine as long as it’s not more than a mile or two from the car, and within an hour or two from a decent cup of coffee. Fran Lebowitz said that “the great outdoors is what you see on your way from the apartment building to the taxi”… I tend to agree.

We’re fortunate in that our referrals from past clients are so bountiful that we only work half days. It doesn’t really matter which 12 hours I work, but I tend to start at 10 AM and work till 10 PM.

Ira & Carol Serkes

The logo of Berkeley

CA Bureau of Real Estate License Numbers – Ira Serkes 00936453 Carol Serkes 01143916

Ira Serkes’ Listings

front view of a house
front view of a house with potted plants
a view of city and a lake
a view of entryway with wooden floor and windows
a view of entryway with wooden floor and stairs
a dining room with furniture and window
a view of a dining room and livingroom view
a view of roof deck with couches
a view of mountain
a view of a dining room with furniture and wooden floor
a kitchen with a sink a refrigerator and wooden cabinets
a lobby with a couch
a kitchen with stainless steel appliances a sink a stove and cabinets
a workspace with furniture and window
a view of a dining room with furniture window and outside view
a living room with furniture and a large window
a bathroom with a toilet sink and mirror
a bedroom with a large bed and a window with outer view
a bedroom with a bed and wooden floor
a bedroom with a bed and a painting on the wall
a living room with furniture and a window
a living room with furniture and a window
a living room with furniture
a bathroom with a sink a mirror and a toilet
a bathroom with a sink and a mirror
a bedroom with a bed and wooden floor
a bedroom with a bed and painting on the wall
a bedroom with a bed and wooden floor
a bedroom with bed and a window
a view of a city with mountains in the background
a bathroom with a sink a vanity and a mirror
a bathroom with a tub a sink and a large mirror
a spacious bedroom with a bed and a potted plant
a bedroom with a bed and window
a living room with furniture and a fireplace
a bedroom with a bed and a chandelier
a view of washer and dryer with kitchen countertops
a utility room with dryer and washer
a bathroom with a sink and a mirror
a view of a patio with couches table and chairs and potted plants
a backyard of a house with basket ball court tables and chairs
a backyard of a house with table and chairs
a view of a hallway and closet
a view of storage and utility room
a front view of a house with a yard
a picture of a book and a bed
a view of lake with mountain
a view of city and mountain
a view of a city with tall buildings
a view of a city
1/57
Listed By CompassPending

$1,750,000

Bedrooms
3
Bathrooms
3
Square Feet
2,918
Acres
0.10
a living room with furniture and a couch
a view of a brick building with many windows
a view of a balcony with wooden floor
a living room with furniture and a fireplace
a living room with furniture a rug and a fireplace
a vase of flowers sitting on a table with a kitchen
a view of a hallway to a livingroom with furniture and wooden floor
a living room with furniture and a wooden floor
a large kitchen with white cabinets a sink dishwasher a dining table and chairs with wooden floor
a living room with furniture and a wooden floor
a kitchen with stainless steel appliances a refrigerator a sink dishwasher a stove with white cabinets and wooden floor
a view of a dining room with furniture and wooden floor
a kitchen with a sink and a stove top oven
a kitchen with a stove and a sink
a kitchen with stainless steel appliances granite countertop a stove and a sink
a kitchen with a refrigerator sink and white cabinets
a kitchen with stainless steel appliances granite countertop a stove and white cabinets
a living room with furniture and wooden floor
a kitchen with a sink and a window
a bed room with a bed and a table
a bedroom with a bed and wooden floor
a living room with furniture and a wooden floor
a bedroom with a bed and a table in it
a bedroom with a bed window and flowerpot
a bedroom with a bed and a couch
a bedroom with a bed and a large window
a view of balcony and wooden floor
a bathroom with a toilet and a mirror
a view of a walk in closet
a bathroom with a granite countertop sink toilet and shower
a en suite bathroom with a sink and a mirror
a view of entryway with wooden floor and stairs
a front view of a house with a yard
view of living room with furniture and a window
a front view of a house with a yard
a view of entryway with a front door
a view of a house with a tree in front of it
a view of a building with a street
a view of a building with a yard
a view of a house with a park
a view of a potted plants on a sidewalk
a view of a backyard of the house
a picture of a floor plan
1/43
Listed By Compass

$875,000

Bedrooms
4
Bathrooms
2
Square Feet
1,604
Acres
0.06