THE SECOND STORY | June 12th, 2008

Blah Blah Blogging

I’m so excited – with a calm thought and a bit of luck I’m starting to figure this gig out….The goal is to work smarter with an effective end-result!

But I decided I needed a book about blog tricks and tips. So I attached the bike trailer to the bike this evening and ran errands at Alameda Towne Centre, first stop the new Borders. I found a great title …Nobody Cares What You Had for Lunch. But I bought the standard Blogging for Dummies.

Remember this evening, Friday the 13th, is the first of the Concerts at the Cove. Should be a terrific night for it! Take your bike, take a chair, buy some food and drink, dance a bit! Enjoy SUMMER (well, it’s almost here – sorry Sutter and Sean, that you are in winter in New Zealand.)

AND you can enjoy the San Francisco Opera for FREE on Friday eve, the 20th, at the ATT Ballpark….

I’m making a habit of taking my camera on the broker tour. Last week I spotted this van with a great advertisement…it made me look twice. And it turns out it’s a company I’ve referred a couple of clients to over the years! I thought the graphic and description just said it all! Bravo!

And what a gorgeous series of days we’ve had….I do high heat only around the grill. So I thought Tuesday’s tour was going to be a scorcher. But the lovliest breeze wrapped around me starting from home, and continued the rest of the bike ride and the day: out to the tip of Bay Farm, along the shoreline park, along High Street to the Fernside neighborhood, straight up to 4th Street, back over to 9th and Central, and home again. What wonderful benefits of selling real estate in Alameda! (The second before I took this photo on Tuesday, Mr. Seagull added a splash of white to the post he was perched on. Lovely.)

Real estate this week in Alameda….

The listing at 3900 Fairway, Oakland received 3 offers last Friday and went pending that night. This is a classic example of having a price that attracts a bevy of buyers who can see through numerous challenges posed by a property – some of which are fixable, and some that can never be changed.

I’ll be holding 909 San Antonio open Sunday 2-4pm, come by and say hi!

Active Listings 194, 196 last week
Pending Listings 85, 81 last week

Tuesday Tour Click Here to View Listings
Indicative of the market: The house at 1815 Harvard went pending 2 days after it was on tour….in 1998 it sold for 488.5K on a list of 479K. In 2005 it sold for 960K on a list of 849K. Now it’s listed for 969K.

New Click Here to View Listings 11

Price changes Click Here to View Listings 17

Pending Click Here to View Listings 11

Sold Click Here to View Listings 8

Back on Market (BOMs) Click Here to View Listings 1

Expired & withdrawn Click Here to View Listings 10

Awards this week….remember – this is only my perspective!

Winner of the Week Click Here to View Listings

Bang for the buck Click Here to View Listings (same as Winner)

Cute/Charming Click Here to View Listings tie!

Get me a facelift Click Here to View Listings

Got me a makeover Click Here to View Listings (same as Winner, Bang!)

Get me to rehab – not this week

I’m out of rehab Click Here to View Listings

Looking for trends….
We’ve been tracking the Gold Coast properties since there are a few of them.

1208 Saint Charles Click Here to View Listings no broker tour, tough to show…

1611 San Antonio Click Here to View Listings was pending for a few days, then back on the market this week.

1600 Dayton Click Here to View Listings

1234 Hawthorne Click Here to View Listings (contingent on sale of another property

1250 Saint Charles Click Here to View Listings SOLD a couple of weeks ago – no broker tour, no open houses, one primary buyer who stepped up to the plate.

1260 Saint Charles Click Here to View Listings expired listing owned by the bank.

Have a good weekend! Give a call if you have real estate questions.

THE SECOND STORY | June 5th, 2008

Drought? Try a new ground cover…

A couple of weeks ago I was walking by a neighbor’s house. Steve and a friend were working on a new sail, prepping it for a big race series…so it was spread over the whole front yard. It was getting a few stares as folks wondered what it was. Looked like a type of protective sheathing for the yard….a new type of ground cover.
Maybe we’ll need to consider alternatives to lawns now that we have two official droughts as noted by The Governator who declared the state dried up financially a few months ago, and now this week said we are running out of water.

The feedback for the blog has been terrific….and encouraging. The past few days I’ve been able to figure out how to embed hyperlinks, and when those get clicked on, a second window opens now, rather than wiping out the blog window and having to start over. And obviously, since this gig is now public, you no longer have to honor my request each year that you won’t forward it to those who aren’t my clients….I’ve thrown caution to the wind!

At this point I can’t get the property lists (viewed previously in the weekly update as tables) into the blog. So for now we go with the links! The upside is you can see the customer version of the mls entry and more photos and maybe a virtual tour if the agent has purchase and installed one. Again, your input is very helpful!

Last Friday I rode up to the ferry at Alameda Point, put the bike on and enjoyed the misty view of San Francisco. I had time either side of my meeting with some bay area real estate agents, the purpose of which was to hash over our respective markets and share insights about our work. I took in The Market Place at the Ferry Plaza when I arrived, and then cruised down to the ball park before I returned to Alameda.

And while the ferry doesn’t travel close to the new construction of the Bay Bridge, last fall we took the photo to the right as we motored around the bay in the Hubba Hubba. Hey, I just came up with a Haiku:

A great getaway

the ferries around the bay
for hours or a day.

Real estate this week in Alameda….

I put a new listing on the market last Friday… 3900 Fairway, Oakland Check out the website for photos, the video and virtual tour, floorplan, and reports. It’s a lot of bang for the buck (2000+ sf for 399K) IFf a buyer loves totally original details back to 1929 AND the chance (read $) to bring it into the 21st century. It is near Keller, just of Mountain Blvd. in Sequoyah Hills. It is generating a ton of interest.

Once again this week the number of pending sales indicates buyers are starting to make their moves (literally!).

And note the number of closed sales this week. Several of those are at Bayport….folks have been getting some pretty good bang for the buck there, if a yard is not important. The developer continues to beg agents to bring them buyers and offers commissions if the agent walks in with the prospect and signs them up BEFORE the buyers walk in by themselves. Of course, there is no obligation for a buyer to buy – he/she is just registered with the on-site sales staff. and they have their own agent if they choose. I can’t say what others do, when I’ve sold new homes I’ve had my clients get property inspections, preferably with an inspector who has been trained for code compliance. Rather than shoving a ‘punch list’ at the buyer and saying check it out…the inspector does the job and you might be shocked at what is either undone, incorrectly done, ignored, or broken. Let me know if you have questions.

Active Listings 196, Pending Listings 81

Tuesday Tour Click Here to View Listings

New 15 Click Here to View Listings

Price changes 4 Click Here to View Listings

Pending 21 Click Here to View Listings

Sold 16 Click Here to View Listings

Back on Market (BOMs) 4 Click Here to View Listings

Expired 5 Click Here to View Listings

Withdrawn from market (temporarily or cancelled) 7 Click Here to View Listings

Looking for trends….
We’ve been tracking the Gold Coast properties since there are a few of them.

1208 Saint Charles Click Here to View Listings no broker tour, tough to show…

1611 San Antonio Click Here to View Listings was pending for a few days last week, back on the market this week.

1600 Dayton Click Here to View Listings

1234 Hawthorne Click Here to View Listings (contingent on sale of another property

1250 Saint Charles Click Here to View Listings SOLD a couple of weeks ago – no broker tour, no open houses, one primary buyer who stepped up to the plate.

1260 Saint Charles Click Here to View Listings expired listing owned by the bank.

Awards this week….nothing struck me as worthy….very few new listings but a good bike ride nonetheless.

Have a good weekend! I’ll be around, working in the yard, returning calls, and trying to reduce the learning curve for blogging!

THE SECOND STORY | May 29th, 2008

A new meaning for curb appeal!

Welcome to the first blog post I’ve done!

You’ll see similarities and changes from the private weekly update I’ve been doing the past 7 years for those of you who have opted in to that! Your private or public feedback is welcome. Let me know how this whole thing seems to work for you – that’s why I do it!

I took this picture a couple of months ago and the flowers continue to grow and multiply along the curb in front of Carl’s Jr. at the Marina Village shopping center. I find it comforting that something so sweet to look at can thrive in the midst of pavement and concrete. A good life-lesson?

I hope you had a pleasant Memorial Day. I do like seeing the flag fly in front of the house. My weekend could have been known as Labor Day since I spent so much time working in the garage/carriage house clearing things out, cleaning things up, and moving things around in preparation for the installation of some salvaged cabinets that will go up this next week! (Thanks Ken!)

Did you see the horizontal rainbow over Alameda on Tuesday about noon? I was on the Broker Tour which I typically do by bike. While outside a house across from Encinal High I happened to look up into a nearly blue sky . There were some very high wispy clouds. And a lovely jagged rainbow slowly shifting across the sky. I mentioned it to a couple of agents standing nearby who were sufficiently puzzled and then when I was at Central and Webster told a guy holding a pizza box to look up and check out the rainbow! He was amazed!

Wednesday I had the opportunity to do some volunteer work at Berkeley High School for a couple of hours facilitating in two AP Econ and Government classes for The Urban Plan.
Gosh, BHS is huge (over 3200 kids), and despite all the much needed improvements bond money has provided for much of the school , this class was held in the large hall that surrounds the huge auditorium building there. It is the result of a legal hangup – and while that fight goes on, so does teaching in bizarre make-shift classrooms.
Check it out.

And that leads me to the election this Tuesday. It is rare for me to share my opinion with you about elections but even if you hated school and continue to hate schools, you probably would like to enhance your property values. Good schools make property owners money. It’s that simple – if you don’t want to hear about our obligation to provide quality public schools.

And that leads me to a CD I received recently from the Commercial Real Estate Alliance of the National Association of Realtors. I receive their updates and this CD was a wake up call. The short version is that we, as a nation, are so far behind in commercial construction technology compared to some middle eastern and Asian countries who are swimming in the oil dollars we have happily been giving them.

The report featured a presentation by a commercial real estate developer who was told he had no clue about the real world because he was so wrapped up in the US. After extensive traveling for 36 months outside the US, he realized we are no longer leaders in most anything in the world. And much of this goes back to a lack of foresight and insight. And if we don’t learn from hindsight we will really end up getting what we have asked for by not allocating the resources to develop energy independence over the past 35 years, and thus be able to remain on the leading edge as innovators, creators, thinkers – and that all leads back to quality education. I don’t mean the rote stuff. I mean critical thinking skills, entrepreneurial enterprises, empowering people to have their own small businesses for the day to day services we need – plumbing, electrical, repairs.

Folks we need to reverse the direction we have been taking. You do have the power. If you don’t like what your elected officials have done or continue to do then VTBO – Vote The Bastards Out! Get rid of the lobbyists who are running the country through the politicians. Demand quality and accountability from those elected and from your government employees.

The end (or hopefully a new beginning).

Real estate this week in Alameda…

909 San Antonio has had a price change from 721K to 694K this past week and I’ll have it open Sunday from 2-4pm. Check it out – come by and say hi!

Don’t kid yourself…even properties that have been on the market for an extended time are now pending. And several that came on the market last week are pending now. People are getting that this just might be a good time to jump into the deep end of the real estate pool.

Tueday Tour Click Here to View Listings

New 13 Click Here to View Listings

Price changes 8 Click Here to View Listings

Pending 17 Click Here to View Listings

Sold 8 Click Here to View Listings

Expired 3 Click Here to View Listings

Withdrawn from market (temporarily or cancelled) Click Here to View Listings

Awards…

Cute/charming Click Here to View Listings

Bang for the Buck Click Here to View Listings

Have a great weekend! Call if you have real estate questions….need vendor referrals….many of you know the drill!