Updates / News

Improvements & updates are made periodically to the McGee House (a fully-furnished house available for short-term rent in central Berkeley, California) - these improvements and changes make the house more comfortable and convenient.  This blog is updated to describe those changes as they occur.

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(A detailed list of all amenities is available on this page)

(See Site Map for a full listing of all updates/news entries (summary of latest ones below))

New Washer / Dryer









New Washer and Dryer Pair was installed in Sept 2017.

These are modern, quite and efficient models made by Bosch.

Kitchen Remodel - New Cabinets+

Sink area of the kitchen remodel

One view of the remodeled McGee kitchen

The kitchen was remodeled in August 2016 with new cabinets, new under cabinet lights, new counter top, new sink, and new garbage disposal.

See photos on the Photos page.

Backyard Storage Shed

Backyard Storage Shed

Backyard Storage Shed - 1

Added a new shed in the back yard.

It has a few gardening tools, 

but most of the space is available for guest to store items (such as luggage - also potentially bikes, although the shed is not super secure).

Details about the shed:

* It is waterproof.

Espresso Machine

Breville Espresso Maker


The kitchen now has a Breville Cafe Roma espresso machine.

Quick Start Guide (with troubleshooting) available on request

Rolling / Folding Desk

Rolling / Folding desk in up position


Offering guests this optional rolling and folding desk.

Great for the second bedroom: with the Murphy Wallbed up, there is plenty of room to unfold this desk and use the room as an office.  Folds for easy storage (when want the bed to come down).

I can place this desk in the house on request (it is not permanently stored in the house).  …

Murphy Wallbed

Murphy Bed in down position

Murphy Bed in down position

The second bedroom now has a Murphy Wallbed.  This double/full sized bed is very easy to raise and lower.  Guests can create more space as needed during the day by raising the bed if desired (the bed can also be left down all the time).

By making it possible to raise the bed up, this room could now be used as an office more easily.  …

Nest Protect Installed

Nest Protect


A Nest Protect smoke detector / CO detector has been installed at the McGee House.  It is an intelligent home safety device.  As the manufacturer says: the smoke alarm that other alarms look up to.


+ Industrial-grade smoke sensor

+ Tests itself automatically

New Mattress Pillow Top

Mattress pillowtop

mattress pillowtop

In the McGee House main bedroom, on the queen sized bed, there is now a natural “pillow topper” to give the bed a more luxurious feel.

This luxury pillow top is from European Sleep Works (in Berkeley) which is very well known in the Bay area for it’s high quality, all natural material, bedroom goods.

New ISP (Internet Service Provider)

Real Internet Speed

We have changed the Internet Service Provider (ISP) at the McGee house to a faster option provided by Sonic.net.

They say the speeds are [24Mb/s download and 1.3Mb/s upload] but like all internet providers, you don’t actually achieve those numbers.

New Bath Sink and Faucet

Sink and Faucet

A new sink, with new faucet, has been installed in the McGee house bathroom.


New Range Hood in Kitchen

Range Hood


A new quiet Broan stainless steel range hood has been installed over the stove in the McGee house kitchen.

hood underside

New 40" Flat Panel HDTV

Sony Google TV

Sony Google TV

Brand new 40" Sony Google TV placed at the McGee House.

Hooked in with the entertainment system (DVD player, etc.).

I have included an unlimited Netflix streaming and/or Amazon Prime streaming account(s) on the TV for FREE on-demand internet steaming of all 100,000s of movies and TV shows.

New Grill in the Back Yard



A new propane grill has been put into the back yard at the McGee house.

Guests now have another cooking option at the McGee House: barbecuing / grilling.

grill controls

New Furnace

Furnace is energy Efficient

energy star logo

A new whole-house forced air furnace has been installed in the McGee house.

This is a high-efficency / energy-star-rated (quiet) furnace that provides heat to the entire house through 5 vents (one in each room: main room, kitchen, bedroom 1, bedroom 2, and bathroom).

New Kitchen Faucet


hansgrohe kitchen faucet

A new European Hansgrohe kitchen faucet has been installed in the McGee house.

This has a built-in sprayer.

New Refrigerator



A new quiet and efficient GE stainless steel refrigerator has been installed in the McGee house.

Energy Star compliant (low energy use).

New Range



A new range (oven and natural gas cooktop) has been installed in the McGee house.

Manufacturer = Dynasty/Jade.

It is a commercial grade model, with

burners that can produce a lot of heat if


range 2

New Folding Desk Installed

New Folding Desk - folded down

New Folding Desk - folded down

New Folding Desk - up for use as a desk

New Folding Desk - up for use as a desk

A folding desk has been installed in the main bedroom of the McGee house.

The desk folds down when not needed providing more open space in the bedroom.

It is a sustainably harvested mahogany (solid wood), and makes the bedroom a more comfortable area for writing or using a laptop computer. 

Dishwasher Installed

New Bosch Dishwasher

McGee House Dishwasher

A dishwasher has been installed in the McGee house.

It is a quiet and efficient Bosch model. 

High Chair



For guests with young toddlers, I have made available a high chair for the kitchen or dining area.

This high chair is probably suitable for a child 6 months or older, but depends on the size of the child. 

I can place this high chair in the house on request (it is not permanently stored in the house).   …

For questions, contact Mark at 
mfoy@vitalita.com (preferred) or +1-510-205-3840 (best by text - also voice) -  http://www.vitalita.com/rental/