If you are interested in discovering the history of your home, there are many resources.
If you live in Piedmont, the best place to start is to request a Housing Records Search from the Planning Department in City Hall. The cost is currently $57, and the process takes about 7-10 business days. This will give you the original building permit and permits for alterations and repairs to your home and the names of previous owners.
Once you have the names of previous owners, you can discover more at the Oakland History Room in the Main Branch of the Oakland Public Library at 125 14th Street. The Oakland History Room has a complete set of city directories from 1869 to 1943, and 1967 where you can research the names, occupations and addresses of these previous owners of your house or others.
The Oakland History Room also maintains subscriptions to Ancestry.com where you can look up census records and Newspapers.com where you can search for articles in the Oakland Tribune and other newspapers on previous owners, your relatives, your street or other topics that may interest you.
Residents of Oakland or other cities can do similar research from their Planning Departments, local libraries and historical societies.