THE SECOND STORY | September 24th, 2009

What’s on your wall..(and I don’t mean Facebook).

( These are three of the four bulletin boards in my office, mounted on one of the closet slider doors that hide behind them my lateral file cabinet, baskets full of stuff to be filed, and shelves full of supplies. All have since been re-staged.

As I looked at the jumbled stuff, I realized what was on it was a bit telling about me. I’ve got some motivational/inspirational sentences on the white board. A couple of pieces I’ve put together: one as a marketing postcard featuring an amazing Alameda sunset, another is a group of spiritual thoughts with that same sunset photo. I’ve got a check list of required disclosures for probate and trustee sales. There are two maps of New Zealand, keeping the presence of my daughter and her husband close by. I’ve got a couple of stickers I love: “DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK” and “What if the HOKEY POKEY IS what it’s all about?” There’s the Rethink ad from some company that reminds me to question everything – almost always there are alternatives, even if not necessarily the ones perfect for solving the problem…it gets me out of the box. There’s a flying article about planes falling out of the sky – stupid and costly mistakes-(I decided I didn’t need to keep that around anymore but it did drive home a point for me for a few months). There’s a card that I can spin a wheel on to figure out lead times for booking the places I may want to use for vacations. There’s a button that says “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not get bent out of shape.” There’s a 5 step process for successful golf shots. And there’s my list of FreeCell games I haven’t won.)

Randomizing – Last night I woke up to see lights on in my office, and that’s fine as long as they are from the computer as it changes photos from my collection. But that wasn’t happening so I went in to turn it off, concerned that too many hours of one picture would burn into my two monitors. That may be a myth these days but why risk it?

I have a google homepage that I’ve customized for my own amusement. One of the gadgets I have on there is ‘3 quotes per day.’ Somehow that homepage was up and I read what was there. This took my breath away:

“Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.” John le Carre

“The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy”, The New York Times, May 8, 1974
English suspense novelist (1931 – )

Almost every word hit me. “Coming home”…arriving to what is familiar. “Very lonely places”… even with others it can be lonely, even with others I can be alone, and may prefer it. ” A little mad”…I tend to overthink. “Great personal success”….what is success and does it matter if any body knows about it? It’s personal, that is enough. “An all-night drive”…sometimes just me and my thoughts, sometimes me and the radio, sometimes me and my music, sometimes me and family, sometimes me and a team. “Sole survivors”…only each of us knows that moment we’ve come through. “A world no one else has ever seen”…moments to be cherished as life-changing gifts, never-forgotten.

Here are some of mine that have come to mind:

All my flying activities were personal successes. I never could have dared to dream that they could exist in a life such as mine.

Sailing at midnight, screaming with the wind on a flat ocean through the Molokai Channel, heading toward the finish of a Transpac Race on one of Carl’s designs. The crew of 6 was almost motionless as the boat took off with us in perfect harmony and balance. We soundlessly watched as competitors filtered into this narrow slot, after 11.5 days and 2500 miles of open-ocean, non-stop racing.

An ‘aha’ moment when I decided at the age of 19 I would never work a ‘regular’ job. And I never have.

Not fully understanding why, but feeling impelled to walk away from aviation and pursue a try at real estate. Only a few years later it was perfectly clear why that happened. The industry was beginning to go through huge structural/business changes resulting in layoffs, furloughs, union shifts, salary reductions, ownership changes, mergers, closings, and most recently pension desecration.

Driving through the Sierra under a pitch dark moonless sky lit with gems, sun-roof open, no other signs of life around. Just me. And Vincent Van Gogh. And my golf bag.

The four of us driving through Utah at Christmas-time, heading toward a family snow camp in Colorado, listening to some guy on a hokey radio station, talking to no-one but us, of that I was sure. We were alone, but that guy sounded lonely, asking anybody, anybody to call in. We had our own family success because the previous night I had hit black ice and we glided into a guard rail, gently hitting another car, and joining several others at rest. That had literally put a dent in our plans, but we re-grouped, got a rental van, and moved on.

Another family success this time in Tonga. We were cruising with friends on a 50′ boat, and thought we had found a place described in a book. It was an underwater cave accessed by swimming underwater and under a ceiling of rocks about 20′ to get into it. It was at the base of steep cliffs and very intimidating. Carl was first to go. He came back at least three times to encourage us. Sutter stayed on the boat refusing. I went down to check it out but didn’t go all the way in. I came back to tell Evan what to do. “Don’t look up because you’ll swim up and hit your head on the underwater rocks above. Air is at the end of the line. You’re close when you see blue light ahead. Look only ahead or down. Don’t look up.” I think it took him a couple of tries and he was in with Carl. I went in. We knew victory. And then to our joy and surprise, Sutter showed up. That was a victory for all, and each individually.

The moments when I find the blend of toughness and giving up/releasing that results in a rush of resolve to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that means doing nothing. Each time this happens the circumstances are different. But the first step, often alone, sometimes with the encouragement of dear ones, assures that quiet victory is within reach.

I’ve wept and smiled as I’ve recalled these times. Wept with gratitude and wonder. A couple of them are more recent than others. Life-changers they have each been.

Alameda real estate this week….

Check out the housing stats generated by the Bay East Association of Realtors MLS. It’s fascinating and you’ll see that Alameda has been lots more stable than surrounding communities. Keep in mind that the stats reflect the areas the members of Bay East Association of Realtors typically work. I am a member of this group because of the services they offer their members and how they enforce the rules of the organization.

The Alameda Legacy Home Tour is this Sunday. Check it out.

My friend (and client) Jackie is having a yard sale on Sat 9-2 538 Haight. Might be worth dropping by!

Here are some articles I thought were interesting:

Strategic defaults a new twist on defaults

Next wave of loan defaults
coming to Bay Area in 2010

Frustrating facts of short sales

The duplex at 1305 Regent went pending this week, as did the condo on Otis. Links are to the right under pending sales.

Active listings 135, 149 last report
Pending listings 126, 117 last report (huge list of pending sales this week)

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing

Tuesday Tour
7 with 3 repeats

New 8

Back on Market (BOM) 3

Price changes 7

Pending 28


Expired 2

Withdrawn 3

Alameda real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perspective!

Winner, Cute/Charming (kind of a funky description for a large classic bungalow) It was on the tour 1 week ago and I thought I’d see it the next day w/ the office. Went through last Wed.

Bang for the Buck, Got me a Makeover

Get me a Facelift

That’s a wrap! Carry on! Have a nice weekend! marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | September 17th, 2009

Mystery list….

(This is what I got to see two weeks ago, for the week I spent in Maui. The sunsets were a bit unusual due to a huge brush fire on Molokai for several days that week. Maui is upwind of Molokai so wasn’t affected adversely. No property was lost and people were safe…nonetheless it was spooky to see the flames rimming the outline of part of the island at night. The next photo is also from Maui and when I say the crowds went home, here is proof. This is from one of my favorite places for breakfast or lunch…The Gazebo at Napili Bay. It’s open air, with awesome views of the small bay and big Molokai, the most wonderful servers, and terrific food!

The Westin Villas at Ka’anapali, where I have two timeshares on Maui, were at 100% occupancy the week before Labor Day. It went down to 65% just before the holiday weekend. The beach was practically empty and I was given an ocean front studio for my stay. HEAVEN! The only sound was the lapping of the waves and the wind through the palms.

Last week at this time I was getting ready to jump over to Kauai and meet up with friends. I had not seen the Westin Princeville Villas and they are lovely too. I’ve got two units there. I think it has been 22 years since I was in Kauai with Carl after finishing the 1987 Transpac on one of his designs, an Express 37 – me and my 5 best boyfriends! After the race we took a couple of days and headed over to Poipu on Kauai.

Back to the present. This second week was all about the golf and 3 rounds were played in 5 days. I think that’s the most I’ve played in a week. The muni course there was great fun, and the Princeville championship course was the most challenging and intimidating I’ve yet seen. Well, maybe not as intimidating as Turnberry in Scotland last summer. Princeville has small hills, big hills, canyons, exotic bushes everywhere, sand traps/bunkers way below the greens, and some terrific views. We were thrilled with our scores on such a well-known tough course.

If you think you’d like to try a vacation at any of these, let me know…..they are lovely, well-located, have lots of amenities, are great for families, friends, groups, or solo trips. If I don’t use them I either trade them in for travel points or can rent them out at good rates.

I love ’em because I can still work (yep, I really do – got two properties into escrow while I was away, (but we canceled one because inspections got overwhelming), countered offers on some listings, did one blog post, and lots of work email). Where else can I work, have such a wonderful change of scenery, change of pace, few distractions, and walk over to the beach and snorkel most any time? YAY!)

Mystery List! Does it remind you of the phrase ‘mystery meat’ we used in school, referring to cafeteria lunches?

I’m referring to FHA loans. You know the ones where buyers can come in highly leveraged. These offer terrific opportunities for buyers who either want to hold on to their cash in order to do upgrades to a property or for those who don’t have loads of cash to put down.

FHA is a government insurance program for lenders who make these loans. What’s kind of funny right now it that it’s these types of highly leveraged loans that got us into the mess the credit community faces now!

Get this…. a lender told me today, they’ll loan on condo complexes (if the unit meets criteria, and after Nov 2nd if the whole complex meets their criteria), with only a 51% owner occupancy ratio. That’s kind of insane and a bit risky…..but I guess it would get owners into a complex that needs to have more owners living there (does that even make sense – it’s late).

Yet just a few short weeks ago, a condo listing I had received an FHA offer on it and it was rejected by FHA for unfunded liabilities, based on legally required reserve studies. That should be a wake up call for all owners who are part of homeowner associations. If they aren’t getting their cash reserves in order they are possibly losing a good portion of the buyer pool who otherwise could qualify for FHA financing.

There is a price to be paid for these loans….MIP (mortgage insurance premiums) is 1.75% of the loan amount, which is a big chunk of money OR it can be financed with the loan. FHA will allow recurring and non-recurring closing costs to be paid by the Seller, on behalf of the buyer. I think the limit is up to 6% of the sale price (haven’t gone there yet in the offers I’ve been working with).

When I got back from Hawaii, I put a call out to the agents in my office asking who had the mystery list for ‘lender required repairs” noted in the FHA clause on the first page of the contract. FHA says the seller must pay for “all lender required repairs.” Well, if you are a buyer, that’s swell! But gosh-golly, if you are a seller it’s a blank check. And now that we are seeing this type of financing being used to purchase some of our older housing stock in Alameda it is hard to know what that means to a seller.

Within 48 hours of putting the call out, I had talked with one appraiser who does lots of these loans out of the area and he sent me a guide that he had generated and then incorporates into his reports. The mortgage broker at Sterling Mortgage shared a list that his funding company uses and that was helpful. But leave it to my diligent client who after a couple of extensive google searches found today the 21 page guideline for determining the condition of a property. It’s actually interesting reading if you are so inclined or an insomniac.

Additionally, Peter Holmes at Sterling told our staff that a number of lenders will add their own conditions, a “lender overlay”, on top of the FHA list so borrowers and owners may want to explore just what kind of repairs are being required. Most called repairs are focused on health and safety issues: no peeling paint (fear of lead-based paint), water heater venting, roof leaks, pressure relief valves on water heaters, operating furnaces and appliances, no obvious leaks, broken windows, obvious rot, and so on.

Along with these loans come some interesting, and often unknown and/or unexpected conditions. The parties have to sign an FHA addendum that states if the property doesn’t appraise along the way (one or more appraisals and who knows what triggers more than one), even if the contingencies for financing and appraisal are removed, the deposit for the borrowers cannot be claimed.

Sellers are put into a position of not knowing if they are really moving or even closing! If the loan is delayed or funding commitments are just not being made, just how do they know they should be packing if they can’t count on contract timelines? That happened to some other sellers I worked for in May. It’s not comfortable.

Some FHA lenders are having a hard time meeting contract deadlines. An agent I spoke with tonight said that his listing should have closed a month ago but that the lender continued to pile on more conditions. Most recently the buyer is being required to have impound accounts for the taxes and insurance. What’s with that?

Another agent I spoke with on Wed said the first appraisal for her listing, originally list being 512K, contract with multiple offers took it up to 540K, came in at 540K. The next appraisal came in at 500K! That’s a little scary! The buyers decided they could add 12K to the 500K to bring it up to the list price and the parties settled on that price. Not many FHA buyers could do that!

So find out what items the appraiser is looking for when it comes to FHA “lender required repairs” hopefully before you are too far into the contract. I’d suggest putting a cap on the amount a seller would be willing to pay for those unknown items OR a clause that says the seller is to approve the work and dollar amount of the required repairs and if they are not approved, the transaction is dead but the surprises haven’t caused anybody to keel over.

As I’ve said before, the rules are changing daily. Buyers are super frustrated with the financing hassles which are way out of whack due to over-reactions by lenders to the credit mess. Sellers need to be forewarned about the issues, as best possible! Not easy…but the strong survive.

New subjects….I liked these articles.

Credit scores and short sales, loan modifications, foreclosures. Super interesting.

Credit line been cancelled? It’s been happening to lots of folks….watch out.

Alameda real estate this week….This report covers the past 2 weeks. My listings on Clinton and Regent have multiple offers at this moment. My listing on Otis at the St. Francis Condos is now 239K, down from 269K and the owner paid 359K not even two years ago. It’s not a short sale….just a sale. Cypress, the co-op unit, is pending. I’ve shown property 3 days this week. It was great to get on the bike and tour on Tues.

Active listings 149, 138 last report
Pending listings 109, 117 last report

Highest priced new listing

Lowest priced new listing

Tuesday tour
15 with 2 repeats


Price changes 5

BOM (back on market) 4

Pending 21

Sold 19

Expired 4

Withdrawn/cancelled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week….remember this is only my perspective!

Winner, Cute/charming
(I listed this 7 years ago and it was sold then)

Get me to Rehab already pending and just went on the market. I’ve seen worse!

Get me a (super) facelift

Bang for the buck a rather nice classic home with deep water dock….

That’s it! Good to be back…rarin’ to go!

best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | September 3rd, 2009

Make it work…

(Some flowers are simple and exotic and fragrant all at once. That’s how I feel about the gardenia plant in my garden. And that’s how I feel about plumeria from Hawaii. This plumeria was a photo gift from Larry, who grew it in Palm Desert! If you’ve seen plumeria around Alameda, I’d love to know where so I might find out how to grow it here!)

Many of you know I am a huge fan of Project Runway. I think it’s an amazing show because it’s about talent, execution of concepts, unique people, and RESULTS! ‘Make it work’ is a phrase an advisor, Tim Gunn, uses to encourage the designers to step it up, get it going, pull it together.

The phrase ‘make it work’ certainly applies to all facets of life. And in real estate, this past year week has shown me how important it is to ‘make it work.’ I see it when I’m working with my own buyer clients and when I review offers submitted to my sellers.

Putting an offer together demands a fair amount of prep prior to even looking at properties. That involves figuring out what price the buyer can afford as well as be comfortable with. It also means getting a handle on the closing costs. I think a lot of agents don’t look closely at those figures and are afraid to find out what the costs mean, how they work. It takes time to explain some of those costs, and then check them and question them with the lender, on behalf of the buyer. But agents should be doing that…and you should expect them to.

It also means understanding if the type of property the buyer is considering can qualify for financing! The less money down (leverage with ‘other people’s money’ or OPM), the closer the lender looks at appraisals and condition. Properties with a lot of deferred maintenance will not qualify for financing in many instances….too much risk for the lender, sometimes even with loads of money down. The last thing a lender wants is to take back a fixer.

If agents don’t understand the underwriting standards the lender must follow such as for FHA loans then they may end up writing offers that will never come to fruition. I’ve seen this several times this year.

So I’ve found myself spending a fair amount of time with my buyers trying to make sure I understand the type of financing they qualify for and what a property in their price point can qualify for! Sometimes it’s super frustrating for the client…but not as much as if a transaction falls apart once it’s in escrow.

On the seller side of the offer, I am questioning the buyer’s agent more and more about the type of financing, asking permission to speak to their lender, and then more than once this year, killing off the offer before a counter-offer was even written, all because the nobody told the lender upfront what some of the challenges were with a particular property, yet the lender merrily wrote a pre-approval letter. The downside is buyers are disappointed, as they should be, because it was avoidable with some pre-planning. Another downside is what looks like a good offer to a seller, if accepted, gets blown out by items that show up on the appraisal which is reviewed by the underwriter(s). Then we’ve got a BOM (back on market) on our hands and marketing time lost.

An example: An offer was written on one of my listings using FHA financing. The property needed work. The minimum down payment of 3% was all good except that when I called the lender and asked if a loan could go through that program with certain obvious property conditions an appraiser would note, the lender said ‘somebody will have to do that work before the close.’ Well, the last thing either the buyer or seller wants to take on is that expense when other terms have been agreed on previously. Offer rejected. The lender would insist the seller do work, and at an ‘as is’ price…no way.

Then another offer shows up with the same type of financing on the same listing. This lender is saying ‘no problem’ to her agent and the buyers. What’s with the ‘no go’ from one lender and a ‘no problem’ from another? I expect it might be experience and taking the time to find out some basic underwriting requirements, understanding them, and then explaining it to the agent and the buyers. A lot of time wasted can be avoided when all the parties are on the same page.

Stay tuned, this saga continues. I hope we can ‘make it work.’

Alameda real estate this week….

Again, a busy week. Inventory is down….loads of pending sales, and closed sales (end of month). I have a buyer who got into contract on Friday and the Seller of the co-op on Cypress had two offers to look at last week and it went pending on Saturday.

Active listings 138, 162 last report
Pending listings 117, 115 last report

Highest priced New listing
Lowest priced New listing

Tuesday Tour 6

New 6

Price changes 4

BOM (back on market) 3

Pending 26

Sold 18

Expired 8

Withdrawn/cancelled 2

Alameda real estate awards this week….
remember this is only my perspective!

Gotta admit….I only saw one, just as it was getting staged. And I’m giving it the:
cute/charming award

Carry on! Make it work! best, Marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | August 28th, 2009

Buff Beach Bongo Boy!

(Many times I’ve ridden my bike along Shoreline and cruised right by this gentleman who has intently been playing to the beat of the music coming from his boom box. And I’ve never had my good camera with me. Today was different. First, I was in my car. Second, I had the camera! So I pulled over (note car in background of photo to left), and introduced myself. Otherwise known as Jeff Webster, a plumber by trade, he said it was okay to take his picture and post it on the blog! Business is a bit slow right now he says, and he just had a bike stolen yesterday. He says he’s had two bikes swiped in the last couple of months. Jeff knows how to pound out the beat. I told him he’s becoming an Alameda icon of sorts. He smiled and said people see him about town and know he’s the bongo guy.)

FYI – The Alameda Boys and Girls Club is almost on the move….with a bit of help from bond funds generated by Measure WW which focused on East Bay Parks ,the Alameda City Council may be allocating some of those funds towards an investment in preserving our long history of recreation in the city creating a win, win, WIN for all!

Dear Honorable City Council Members,

It’s over. Most of us know it is. And the rest will soon find out.

The city can no longer provide the services we have come to expect. Among those services are those offered for decades by the Alameda Recreation and Park Department and our public schools. Revenues no longer support immensely valuable youth programs in the manner we feel we are entitled to. Our citizens have spoken loud and clear that maintaining those services is a priority. It’s time to open our eyes to other ways our expectations can be met and maybe even be exceeded. Partnering with excellent organizations that can and will fill those gaps is no longer a luxury. It’s the way city services must be delivered. And we need only look in our back yard.

There is an opportunity before you at your September 1 meeting. You are in a position to allocate funds for our own ‘shovel ready’ project, the building of a new Alameda Boys and Girls Club facility on OUR west end, yes, OUR west end. You all know the project. 77% of the funds are in place and the City is eligible for Measure WW funds via the WW Local Grant Program. I urge you to allocate 2 million dollars of the funds dedicated to the city via Measure WW.

The side benefits to the city are many and have been presented to you over the past years. They are quantifiable: educational opportunities are increased; police services are decreased because better citizens are developed; partnerships with other organizations expand the usefulness of this project by reaching deeper into the community.

But the primary benefits go directly to the kids and their families in ways we may not know of for many years. The Youth Development Facility will allow kids to discover interests and talents many of them have NEVER been exposed to and develop them in a clean, safe, secure, and encouraging environment. They are taught respect for others and property. There is guidance when it lacks at home. There is the chance to find dignity and personal worth by learning the value and rewards of a strong work ethic. Mentoring is learned and shared.

This project is ready to go NOW. Please vote to allocate two million dollars to the Alameda Boys and Girls Club Youth Development on Monday, September 1st.

Maybe it’s not really over, once the Alameda Boys and Girls Club Youth Development Center becomes a reality, with your help.

Thanks for your kind consideration.

If you are interested in telling council members how you feel about this , here are their email addresses!
Frank Matarrese
Lena Tam
Beverly Johnson
Marie Gilmore
Doug deHaan

Alameda real estate this week…..

Folks, it’s busy out there. This week has presented a number of closed transactions, and a good group of pending sales. Just on Wednesday I had a listing receive 2 offers, another listing received 1 offer, and I wrote an offer on behalf of a buyer. I expect we may see two of these three properties go pending in the next couple of days.

Active listings 162, 167 last report
Pending listings 112, 115 last report

Tuesday Tour 11

Highest priced NEW listing
Lowest priced NEW listing

New 9

Back on Market 1

Price changes 12

Pending 14

Sold 14

Expired 2

Withdrawn/cancelled 3

Real estate awards this week..
.remember this is only my perspective!

I’m skipping the awards. I’ve had 3 super late nights in a row and I can’t even remember what I saw on Tuesday! But I do remember it was heavenly riding my bike on the tour. Just perfect.

So that’s my story. I’m going to get some sleep!

Carry on! best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | August 20th, 2009

Golf Gals

(That’s me with my friend Linda! She and I play a round of golf almost every week. We take her new fancy candy apple red Lexus and throw our stuff in the back. She drives out her driveway, crosses the street, and backs into my driveway. Last Friday she drove us to Harding Park in San Francisco, next to Lake Merced.

This shot is after we hit off the 18th tee and had to fly the balls over water and a marsh, which we did. The big-time President’s Cup will be held there this October and we are trying to expand our golf experiences beyond the Alameda Muni so we decided to play where the big boys play. With great luck we had mostly sunshine and not too much wind – and a fun time on a course that is considered challenging. A nice guy from TX joined us. He and his wife came to SF to get out of the heat in Dallas. I think their trip was a success, as was our field trip!)

Alameda real estate this week….

I’m going to jump right into the thick of things and try to give you a flavor of what’s going on based on my experiences over the past seven days.

Last Friday – My clients closed on their full bay view condo at 933 Shoreline. List price was 419K, and they got that price and then gave $3375 for the buyers’ closing costs.

We actually sold this three times in the past 7 weeks. The first time there were three offers. The one that was accepted backed out because the buyers got concerned about transfers with their jobs and the condo rules said you have to owner occupy your unit for at least two years before you can rent it. If the allowable number of rentals was maxed out, then they’d be up a creek.

The second buyers came in with a minimal down payment and were using FHA financing and everything looked super good. But the FHA didn’t approve of the complex because of unfunded liabilities (sounds like our city), so buh-bye to them. The third buyers were actually in the second bidding group but this time were able to rustle up 20% down and they now own it.

In the middle of that transaction there was a leak in the bathroom ceiling, caused by a failed wax ring under a toilet. A chunk of the ceiling was replaced, the toilet fixed, the ceiling painted, and problem solved. I was so grateful for a proactive owner in the upper unit who promptly accepted responsibility for the corrective work.

Last Sunday – The open house Sunday at 1727 Clinton was full of folks. It’s a great way to watch people, and then hear what they are saying when they don’t know they can be heard. I guess that’s called eavesdropping but I’m not hiding and then listening. They are just talking loud! People loved the storage, the floor plan, and were awed by the finished basement. I’ll be there this Sunday 2-4.

Last Monday morning – The fixer house at 757 Pacific (list price 250K) received 13 offers last Monday. Goodness! Of those, 11 were all cash. Of those six were countered.

Last Monday afternoon – Took a Buyer and his charming daughter out to look at property for our first time together. Saw four places. Interest in two.

Last Monday night – I put a condo on the market. 2137 Otis #316. It’s the third time I’ve sold this particular unit in the last 5 years or so. The most recent owner paid $359, 000 (higher than the list), because this was her dream unit in a dream location. She lived in the complex for decades and decided when it came on the market. Due to market conditions, it’s now priced at 269K. It’s the top floor, back corner unit overlooking the lagoon. Sweet. And immaculate with nice upgrades. It got an offer last night but it’s too low, too soon, so it is being tossed.

Last Tuesday – Of those six counter offers, five were returned for the Seller to consider. And the price marched upward. All contingencies had to be removed and close in 21 days.

Last Tuesday eve – Still trying to get info about the situations for the houses my client was interested in.

Last Wednesday – We had a winner for the fixer on Pacific.

Here’s what I have learned this past week with the action on Pacific. Buyers and their agents think they have a lot of control. Not so much. Their agents are presenting incomplete offers when there have been specific instructions to include proof of funds available to close the transaction, include signed off disclosures, and don’t mess with terms when there is so much competition! Sure prices are down, but good perceived values are out there, so the agents need to learn to write a strong, clean offer, and make it easy for the seller to accept it. I certainly hope that is what I do when I’m representing buyers….It goes a long way towards credibility. I made sure to compliment in writing, the two agents who wrote beautiful, complete, organized offers but whose clients were not quite aggressive enough.

Again, another big week for pending sales, and the number of closed transactions is starting to reflect the boost in pending sales about 4 weeks ago.

New subject! I thought this article on indecision was good. I think we all go through this. It’s always a challenge to see the wider view when I’m wrapped up in the minutiae of the moment.

Active listings 162, 167 last report
Pending listings 115, 117 last report

Tuesday tour 14, 4 repeats

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing my listing on Otis

New 14

BOM (back on market) 1

Price changes 11

Pending 18

Sold 16

Expired 5


Real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perception!

Winner, Got me a Facelift

Bang for the Buck

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! Carry on! Have a nice weekend! marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | August 13th, 2009

Standing up vs. supporting.

(A dahlia from my friend Jackie’s garden.)

In the past ten days I’ve had the opportunity to think about what it means to stand up for something or somebody. I’ve shared my thoughts with a few close friends and they in turn began to think about the difference between the two. I had the amazing experience last week of having someone dear to me stand up for me during a emotional meeting involving a personal real estate transaction. I honestly couldn’t remember when the last time was that had happened. It was nothing short of overwhelming. And comforting. And reassuring. And freeing. And relieving some of whatever the burden was I was carrying. Thank you, Larry!

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had amazing support throughout my life for things I’ve attempted to do, ended up doing, and ended up abandoning. But this ‘standing up’ concept really hit me last week. ‘Support’ seems to be a background position. It’s all good and it’s appreciated.

But standing up for a cause or a person…that’s making a statement, a loud one even without a loud voice, without hesitation, in front of others. Sometimes it comes easily and naturally. Sometimes it comes after great consideration of the issue, and/or the risk to oneself for taking a stand. Once a stand is taken, it’s pretty hard to call for a do-over.

This lead me to recall two instances when my mom stood up for me. They are as fresh in my mind as if they happened yesterday. I was not close to my mom. She did a great job as a mother but we didn’t really click, didn’t talk about day to day things, didn’t do mom and daughter things together. She was wrapped up in making my dad’s life 1950’s perfect and they saw perfection in each other and that worked for them. Plus they had three squirrely sons, younger than me, who demanded attention.

When I was in fourth grade I went to three different schools because my dad was transferred around with his job and promotions. The short time we lived in La Jolla, we rented a very cool house, hanging over a canyon. The only place to play was in a flat cul-de-sac downhill from the house. There was a witch that lived down there. At least that’s what we called her. She hated kids and especially kids that didn’t belong on her street. We were playing kickball or baseball and she took our bikes and threw them off the sidewalk into the street. I couldn’t believe it! I ran up the hill and got my mom. She trotted down the hill, got to the witch, and let her have it full blast about how these kids needed a safe place to play, that they were good kids, didn’t hurt her or anybody else and she’d better not bother us again – ever. I was dumbfounded and she never bothered us again.

In my junior year of high school, I was accused of vandalizing the language lab. They had traced the act to the seat and time I was in it. Thus I was guilty. I was appalled! They sent a bill to my folks for around $100, if I recall. My mom asked if I knew anything about this and I had no clue. We lived close to Corona del Mar High School and once again, she trotted over to defend me. She asked no more questions were asked of me. But she let Mrs. Townsend, the Girl’s Vice Principal really have it. Once again, I stood by dumbfounded. And it turns out they were wrong in accusing me. Apology? Nope. Grateful for my mom standing up for me? Yep, very much.

I’ve wondered when I last took a stand for someone. I must admit, I can’t think of who or when that might have been. That’s scary. I guess when I speak at a Planning Board meeting or in front of the City Council that is taking a stand….but when that stand goes against the grain growing in the room….that’s a bit risky, eh? Plus those meetings are televised live so that eliminates an easy do-over. The two last times I’ve spoken it’s been about unions and mismanaged contracts, inept former elected officials, and really inept hired (now fired – oops resigned) city management. Yet reversing a stand may take even more courage and conviction. It says a mistake has been made. But it also states that one is willing to admit it out loud in front of the same group the initial stand was made. That’s more than gutsy. That’s ethical.

Alameda real estate this week….

It’s been a super busy week. I put two new listings on the market. 757Pacific, a complete fixer, with the third bedroom falling off the back of the heavy texture-coated bungalow. The calls on the fixer have been non-stop for two days….unbelievable. And we put a lovely home at 1727Clinton on the market. I’ll be there Sunday 2-4 for an open house. Come on down! I also listed a condo but will put that on the market as soon as some cleaning gets done. And today, the condo at 933 Shoreline is to close.

Note the large number of pending sales this week. What I see in those is a few high priced properties, and lots of funky properties that have been on the market for extended periods but are now getting snapped up, including short sales and bank repos.

Kinda close to home…real estate action in Silicon Valley

Active listings 167, 168 last report
Pending listings 117, 113 last report

Tuesday Tour 9 with 2 repeats

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing

New 12

BOM (back on market) 3

Price changes 11

Pending 21

Sold 10

Expired 1

Withdrawn/cancelled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perspective.

Winner, Grand Dame, Got me a Makeover

Bang for the Buck

Get me to Rehab and the second Get me to Rehab

That’s a wrap! Carry on!

Have a great weekend! marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | August 6th, 2009

You’re FIRED!

(The group who attended our annual National Night Out front porch party last Tuesday seemed to like the dessert! We had the largest attendance yet. I figure at least 30 neighbors came over and jawed a bit. McGruff the Crime Dog showed up with the Police Chief and other officers. It’s always a nice time to see people but this year seemed especially caring. Notice the remnants of the word ‘neighbors’ on the chocolate frosting that topped the white cake with raspberry filling. Yummy from Costco! We have great neighbors! Yay!)

First of two rants this week…
I attended the city council meeting last Monday night on request of the Local Government Relations Committee of the Alameda Chamber of Commerce. The city budget was before the council as was the decision of whether to have a special election in November. The special election would be for one item: the initiative sponsored by the Alameda Fire Department. The proposal would put before the citizens, rather than let city management or leadership decide, the issue of whether we should ramp up the staffing and service of the fire department. I was asked to let the council know that the committee was not in favor of the special election, which would be a cost to the citizens of about $400,000. Not only does the city NOT have any money for a specialized special election, the initiative fails to say how the proposal would be funded. Hhmmm.

So after saying I was speaking on behalf of two parties, I finished up with the the Chamber position in about 45 seconds. Then I said the next party I was speaking for was… ‘MYSELF!’ Keep in mind that I have some minor goals when I speak in front of the council or the planning board. Beside getting my point across, I want to look directly at each member, speak directly to each one, get each one to smile back at me, maybe get some laughs out of the audience, and not to drone on or repeat what others have said.

This is the gist of what I said, sans notes, and I was still outta there with time to spare on the three minute clock. In fact I never even got to the yellow warning light.

“We have heard tonight that there is no extra money in this city. We have heard that we can’t afford to pay down, much less pay off the 76 million dollars we have in unfunded liabilities dedicated to retirement benefits, most of which go to fire and police. I am against spending money for this special election.

I want to blame somebody, anybody, everybody, for the mess we are in. I have thought a lot about who to blame. It’s not the police and fire fighters we need to blame. It would be easy enough to figure out who was in city management and which council members were in place when these exorbitant benefits were approved. Yet it has occurred to me that I am to blame!

We are to blame. I’ve lived here since 1973 and I’ve voted in lots of elections. And it’s the elected officials who have hired city management who have encouraged approval of those union contracts. Few if any, seem to have considered the future effects of their decisions on the city and its citizens. I helped put those decision-makers there. And shame on me. But I can tell you that the citizens are watching their elected officials much closer these days. (There was strong eye contact between me and each council member, maybe with even a sense of relief that I wasn’t directly persecuting them.) And it is no longer possible for you to look at a spreadsheet and pretend you know what it means. If you don’t know what a line item is, you have an obligation to ask at a public meeting. And you don’t give up until you get it.

I am in awe of our current City Manager and how she effectively and bluntly communicates to us the reality of the mess we are in! (At that point, Anne Marie Gallant caught her breath in surprise.) It’s about time we all heard the truth. And I am bummed that we are losing David (Brandt) our Assistant City Manager, who is accepting opportunities in small-town Oregon. (A smile on David’s face showed up.) But be warned, council, you are being watched and scrutinized, and will be held accountable. (Every council member was nodding.)

So I’m done. Good night.” (Lite laughter emitted from the audience.)

I looked around the room after taking my seat. It seemed every city department head was in attendance. And due to the budget considerations I bet they were! As I left the room, people said thank you. I was told later that night and the next morning that Council members DeHaan and Matarrese both elaborated on the comments the “man” made about blame. One person said that the people in the room were very clear that a woman made those comments. But that’s not the point. The point is maybe people got the point.

And then at our house, the next night, at the National Night Out event, the Police Chief and a couple of other managing officers, and the head of Alameda Muni Power and some of his co-workers came directly to me and said how much they appreciated my comments. I was shocked… and most grateful that what came out of my mouth the night before was lucid and heard. When I arrived at that meeting I had no idea what I’d say…but by the grace of God….oh, well.

Second of two rants this week...

As one of two designated brokers at Harbor Bay Realty who are called on when our Broker of Record is unavailable, I have the occasional opportunity to review and discuss purchase contracts with clients of Harbor Bay Realty agents. Often these meetings involve multiple offer situations. And so it was for about three hours late this afternoon.

Folks, if four of the six agents who wrote offers on behalf of their clients knew how stupid and incomplete their offers looked to me and the seller of the property, they would die of embarassment. If the clients of each of those four agents had any clue about the contradictions between what their lenders said they could do versus what the contract said they wanted to do, and that their offers were often incomplete, they’d fire their agent!

Once again, I’ll say that this is NOT rocket science. And after speaking at length late today with my best escrow officer, it is time Buyers’ agents started wising up and stopped writing offers on short-sale properties asking the seller (who is actually the lender because the lender has to approve what the seller has accepted) to pay for reports, for repairs, for financing fees, for escrow and title fees, and for transfer taxes.

Take a memo consumers and agents….if you want your short sale offers accepted CLEAN THEM UP, MAKE THE FINANCING SIMPLE AND CLEAR AND VERIFIABLE, EAT THE COSTS, AND GET TO THE REAL BOTTOM LINE. It’s the lender who makes the decision and you’d better make it easy for that lender to choose your offer. Of course, there is the alternative choice: you just keep wasting your time writing offers that never go anywhere, and miss whatever is left of the deeply discounted market. How’s that work for ya?

Maybe it’s time the agents started having a 90 minute meet and greet conference with the prospective buyers BEFORE properties are shown and offers written, so it can be determined if the market can meet the buyers’ expecations, if the agent can meet the buyers’ expectations, AND if the buyers can meet the agent’s expectations. That meeting may not be an easy one to conduct, but if the facts of how a particular market works are actually undersood by the agent and then explained to the buyers there would be less grief in a transaction, less disappointment, less frustration, fewer heartaches, fewer surprises, fewer restless nights, fewer offers written, and more offers accepted. Now how would that work for ya? Maybe better, huh? And if the expectations for any of the parties can’t be met realistically, MOVE ON!

Alameda real estate this week….

Active listings 168, 180 last report
Pending listings 113, 112 last report

Tuesday Tour 7 w/4 repeats

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing

New 5

BOM (back on market) 5

Price changes 9

Pending 17

Sold 8

Expired 8

Withdrawn/cancelled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perspective!

None seemed worthy. Only 7 on the tour and 4 were repeats.

So that’s a wrap….carry on! best, Marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | July 31st, 2009

The art of service, and service within their art….

(With the cool (jacket type) cloudy mornings and misty evenings recently, this picture I took a couple of years ago, seems appropriate to this chilly July. I loved the rower, dory, bike/walk path, and city skyline – very different elements came together for a lovely moment.)

I expect many of us are getting pretty tired of the same old way of doing business in this brand new day. It’s time for the old standards in this town to step up to the plate and get on base. If they don’t the strikes will be coming fast and this town is too small for businesses to weather those storms.

So I want to sing some kudos for a local business and a local event, both of which are offering service within their art, and the art of service to Alamedans.

First, Cycle City on High St. at Santa Clara.

I have been using them to tune-up and service my bike, change out parts, and get accessories for some years now. After reading a post on Evan’s blog about some wonderful bike servicing he found in San Diego, I decided to find out why my 20+ year old gears were slipping when starting to accelerate. Turns out that I’d worn them out over the years and the chain was slipping! I took the bike in on a slow Sunday afternoon, started walking home, got within three blocks of the house and got the call to pick up the bike! They had warned me if it stayed slow they’d get it out that day but it wasn’t a guarantee, but to mydelight…I got a call when I was three blocks from home, so called a friend for a lift, picked up the bike and rode it back!

Recently we took a good quality but long ignored bike that was hanging in the carriage house in to the shop to get it in riding condition. That was a bigger job and they were booked out for 9 days. Well, okay….no problem for us. And worth the wait! Talk about the ultimate recycling opportunity! (get it, cycle, recyle the old bike….)

They are happy, friendly, super knowledgeable, love Alameda, reasonable in price, finish when they say, and stand behind their work and parts, no hassles. And they have some very cool bikes in the store from classic beach cruiser designs with modern materials in super colors, to the lightweight racers. Eye-candy for us amateur but devoted bicyclists!

I also want to commend the Frank Bette Center for the Arts for their Plein Air Paint-out (PAP0). This marvelous (small but mighty) art center is getting in our faces all over town, all the time! This group has begun to figure out how to support the arts, artists, their center, and embrace their purpose and the people at the same time!

A couple of weeks ago truly talented artists were painting scenes all over town for a five day period. As I was riding my (newly re-conditioned) bike I’d suddenly come across an artist here and there painting the most lovely pictures! Then just 15 minutes before the outdoor display of all the artists’ works was to close down at Alameda Towne Centre, I popped over to see the prolific results of their efforts. IT WAS SO COOL! I had a huge grin as I quickly moved through hundreds of pieces of art, displayed beautifully at the center, with delightful background music. Thirty minutes later I walked out with two paintings that really touched me. One was the first I’d seen and it was of a friends’ house! I bought it for them. The other was a gorgeous water/marsh-scape on Shoreline near Broadway from the pier at the bird sanctuary across San Leandro Bay to the edge of the bike/walk baths along the Bay Farm /Harbor Bay Isle fringe.

NEW SUBJECT! I have some dear friends who emailed me yesterday that they have Thanksgiving week available on Kauai at their Poipu Marriott timeshare. Because of their schedules, they won’t be able to use that week and would love to rent it out! Any takers? And because they have decided their 6 week fractional ownership of a Marriott property at Tahoe offers them plenty of time for vacations, they are interested in selling their Kauai property at a good discount. I get nothing out of this except seeing if folks can come together and find a win-win situation. I am queen of the quality timeshares (don’t lecture me, I won’t listen), and think this might be a good ticket for some great travel for the right folks. If you are interested shoot me an email and I’ll introduce you my friends. They are awesome people, and live close by.

NEW SUBJECT! Prices have bottomed out? Check this out….

NEW SUBJECT! Didya get your property tax assessment notice? Several of my clients have been satisfied with the downward adjustment of their assessment for the coming year, and I agree with them that I can’t provide additional comps to assist them in driving it down further. I’m working with a couple of owners with unique properties to see what we can do. But I must say….Alameda, as the news as said, has not had the disaster price hacking of some of our surrounding communities.

Alameda real estate this week…check out the number of pending sales this week….see a trend?

Active listings 180, 189 last report
Pending listings 112, 97 last report

Tuesday Tour 10 w/ 2 repeats

Highest priced NEW listing
Lowest priced NEW listing

New 12

BOM (back on market) 4

Price changes 12

Pending 26

Sold 5

Expired 0

Withdrawn/cancelled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perspective!

Bang for the Buck

Get me to Rehab

Out of Rehab; Cute, Charming

Alrighty! That’s a wrap! Carry on! best, marilyn (hey, if you want honest opinions about my expectations regarding vendors, who’s taking care of biz, and what my experiences are with a variety of them, give a call)

THE SECOND STORY | July 23rd, 2009

I’ve been there!

(Elaborating on my comments last week about our trip to Scotland last year, with the British Open being played on the west coast at Turnberry just a week ago, decided to pull out some pictures of the place. We played on the small course twice, explored the shore, beach, and the former airstrip and taxi ways that were installed there in used in WWII. We played on the 18 hole putting course and the 18(?) hole chipping course several times each, and topped off the last night with one of the most gourmet meals any of us had ever had. Greg Norman was playing at the Senior British Open up the road at Troon. Mr. Norman had just come off a good week at the 2008 British Open. But the Senior open….not so much. Seeing him walking up the 113 steps leading to the classic hotel, I asked Evan if he thought I should mosey over to him and say “We all have bad days, Mr. Norman.” Evan’s response – “SHUT UP….just SHUT UP mom!” It’s a golfer’s paradise because there is nothing, nothing else to do around there. They like their golf fast and by foot, in all weather. We were intimidated by the 2 full-sized links courses, but the staff were gracious and fun. My room was around the corner, end, ground floor to the right. Looks rather like the Claremont in the Berkeley hills, eh?)

Alameda real estate this week…

The listing I have at 1305 Regent had the lower unit signed off as approved by the city on Tuesday! Yippee! It’s always a relief to see the final signatures on the job card!

What a difference a week makes. Two Tuesdays ago it was cookin’ hot while I was hosting a broker open house. This week while pedaling around I was wearing two jackets! Bbrrrr.

Tuesday Tour 15 this week, 3 repeats 25 last report

Highest priced NEW listing (the old post office, now medical center on Central, near Park)
Lowest priced NEW listing

Active listings 189, 172 (2 weeks ago – I forgot to include it last week)
Pending listings 97, 93 (2 weeks ago – ” )

New 19

BOM (back on market) 2

Price changes 9

Pending 20

Sold 12

Expired 4

Withdrawn/cancelled 3

Alameda real estate awards this week...remember this is only my perspective.

I’m outta rehab

Bang for the buck

Get me a facelift

Well, that’s a wrap! Have a good weekend! Carry on! marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | July 16th, 2009

“The pot of gold is found right at our home!”

(My clients sent this to me with the note “The pot of gold is right at our home!” This is their home at 219 Cypress B, right here in Alameda! While I’m not sure when this was taken, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was last Saturday evening. We’d had a very light sprinkle, it was fairly warm, and the clouds were pretty. We were walking to the 114th birthday celebration of a huge home on Central and other walkers were pointing out the massive bright and double rainbow right behind us!)

I asked the same clients if they’d elaborate on why they love co-op living so much here in Alameda. They love it so much they would love to buy a larger unit in Alameda’s Woodstock neighborhood. Get it? They REALLY love it! And they asked if I might pump up their neighborhood and home in my blog. So here is my response to their request.

And here is their response to my request. It’s one and the same! And I hope some of you might spread the word of one of Alameda’s amazing housing secrets, at the tip of the island’s west end.

“As far as Woodstock goes, these are the best selling points (I think) to a potential buyer:

1. The LOW monthly cost of living here – no mortgage insurance, no homeowner’s insurance, no structural maintenance costs/worries, no gas bills, no water bills, no sewer bills, no trash bills – it’s all taken care of by the co-op (so no even hassling w/paying any of it) for our HOA which is $140/month.

2. A significant cash reserve held by the co-op – one of the most financially sound HOAs in the state. No worries about some crazy delayed maintenance charge in the thousands dropping on you from out of the blue.

3. The people who handle the stock transfer (both here at Woodstock & the lender, NCB) have been working with Woodstock for a long, long time. They have the whole thing down to a science (OK, a slow science, but…). You don’t have to worry about finding a lender who will approve a mortgage for a stock-transfer or figuring out how to handle all the paperwork; there are people – who are not biased to seller or buyer – who have been through it & will make it all go smoothly (touch wood).

4. And then there’s all the touchy-feely stuff:

  • a strong sense of community – a small, tight-knit community in Alameda (already a small, tight-knit community); we feel a connection with neigbors who live blocks away because we’re all part of this co-op; we watch out for each other, we help each out, and there’s just TONS of friendliness when you walk around; most units, including ours, face large shared green areas which contribute to an even tighter sense of community – BUT, at the same time, they’re all individual (and ours just has one shared wall)
  • a strong sense of history – the oldest residential co-op west of the Mississippi – with some of the original owners (civilian workers at the old Navy base who were housed here when the gvmt decided to sell it off after the war; as you know, these folks loved it so much that they pooled their resources, formed the co-op and bought the land – that’s why we even own the streets!)
  • a really unique residence – the 200 units aren’t the same; it’s not just cookie-cutter apartments-cum-condos; there are these walkways that run through here that are really fun to explore; some of the streets are actually owned by the co-op, including Cypress; has that great 1940s look on the outside – board tries to keep exteriors in line with historic nature of co-op (but no worries – not a registered historic building); all the yards are different because they were created by neighbors/co-op members just putting up fences where they agreed they should be
  • tranquil yet convenient – way out here on the very west end, practically the end of the road; people who live in Alameda (esp Bay Farm) don’t even know where it is; hardly any through traffic on our street – so quiet that the kids ride their bikes in the street during the summer!; and we’re situated to face the courtyard rather than the street, so we’re not staring out at the street; super close to tube, transbay bus, ferry, BART and all the stuff on Webster St. (including the rocking new farmers’ market, new cafe on Webster, BBQ, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, pub, bar that features local wines & beers – with special vintners/brewers nights, too), the beaches & summer concerts, the Bladium – not your Momma’s West End?

So, those are notes. I can do more (not more info but more structured writing) if you’d like, but I figured you might just want some ideas to get your own thoughts going. Possible slants might be the undiscovered aspects of West End, the uniqueness of the co-op (the history, etc). Be pleasantly surprised by our secretive little island’s best kept secret. So, way more thoughts than I thought I had in my head. Thanks for diligently reading to the end!”

And I might add, that the west end is now the quietest part of all 94501 and 94502 since the base closed! Keep that in mind! Thanks S&D!

New subject! I thought this article related somewhat to how Alameda has faired in this mortgage meltdown mess. How to Find the Best Place For You To Live

New subject! This time last year Evan, Erin, and I were in London for a couple of nights of theatre productions (including Phantom of the Opera), and then on to Scotland. We spent 4 days in Turnberry, site of the British Open which is going on right now. We played their small course a couple of times and it is so cool to see it on TV having been there! Greg Norman and his wife Chrissy Evert were guests at the Westin Turnberry where we stayed. He was playing the the British Senior Open up the road a piece. The main difference is that they used Mr. Norman’s helicopter to get around each day. We hoofed it or rented a taxi. What a great place!

Alameda real estate this week….

It looks like we have a 3rd accepted offer on 933 Shoreline #305 as of tonight. Yea, again! With a larger down payment, this one should stick.

I have a new listing I put on the market on Tuesday and had it open for the Broker Tour. 1305 Regent is a Queen Anne Victorian duplex. Check out the website for a virtual tour, floor plans, and why this could be a nice opportunity for the next owners. It’s another example of understanding how the Alameda Amnesty Program can work to legalize a housing unit that has been around for decades. It would be impossible to create the same unit today. The upper unit will be open Sunday 2-4pm and I’ll be there. Swing by and say hi! It is being promoted as a duplex as well as a single family home.

The Tuesday Tour was PACKED! 25 properties! Only 4 repeats. Because I hosted the Regent open house I’m behind a bit on the inventory. I’ve caught up on about 8 properties but will be playing catch-up as best possible.

Note that two high end Harbor Bay homes went pending this week. That must be some type of indication….not sure of what but….somethin’. And 409 Lincoln went pending shortly after the Broker Tour.

Highest priced NEW listing

Lowest priced New listing


BOM (back on market) 4

Price changes 11

Pending 19

Sold 11

Expired 2

Withdrawn/cancelled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week….

Bang for the Buck, Winner

Get Me to Rehab

Get Me a Facelift (tie)

Out of Rehab (and now pending)

Cute/Charming (tie – based on the mls photos….I didn’t get to see them yet).

That’s a wrap! Have a great weekend! Carry on! marilyn