THE SECOND STORY | October 21st, 2021

Alameda Bagpipers in all of their glory!

                  Alameda’s Bagpipers!

I was driving my car, returning home from shopping. I heard the bagpipers! They were exactly where one my neighbors had told me: corner of Union and San Jose! There was a small crowd, and smiles were on all of the listening faces. Some young folks were even doing a jig! This is just one of the reasons why I love A-town!

I have a new listing @ 831 Haight Ave., just off Webster.  Check it out! It’s a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, priced for $725,000.  There will NOT be any open houses, or any Broker Tours. The instructions of how to show it is in the MLS so your agent can reserve a time to show it to you!

This property is close to most anything that you’ll need:

-Shopping (1 block away from the Farmers Market on Webster, Tues & Sat year-round)

-Transport (buses)

-Close to parks, beaches, windsurfing, and kite sailing.

DEFINITIONS:
AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

Active Listings incl 4 PCH

DOM  High 1607  Low 0   Avg 66   Med 23

Pending Listings 20 incl 6 PSB

DOM  High 88  Low  4  Avg 19  Med  13

Sold Listings 16 

6  DOM   High 55  Low 0   Avg 11  Med 10

That’s a wrap! Enjoy the rain….atmospheric rivers are on the way!

SO BE CAREFUL!

Questions? Let me know….I may or may not have the answer, but I’ll tell you the truth!

marilyn

 

THE SECOND STORY | October 14th, 2021

Alameda’s Autumn Flowers…..

Autumn Flowers

This post will be brief – kind of like the days are!

Of course, questions are welcomed!

DEFINITIONS:
AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

Active listings  51 incl. 1 BOM and 1 PCH

DOM  high 1600  low  0   avg 76  med 26

Pending listings  20 incl. 4 PSB

DOM  high 68  low 2  avg 19  med 13

Sold listings  8

DOM  high 49  low 0  avg 16  med 12

Please be safe out there! Alameda is creating its share of scary yards!

best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | October 7th, 2021

1st week of October

 

 

       Fall is in the air……

The market makes itself known…..This week there were 4 Price Changes amongst the active listings. That may be a record for this year. And it seems some of the Sellers are not ‘getting’ what they want ($$$) out of the property. So if they really want to sell, the prices come down. Like the old adage says…”What goes up, must come down.”

Here are some phrases that I found this week in the MLS

-“Matured buyer ready to buy” (How old is the buyer? I think this type of description is now against the MLS rules?)

-“Oakland hills SFH for $889/ Open Sunday 2-4pm”  (This a great a deal – house for only $889 dollars)

-“It’s a 3 berm, 2 bath home.” (a berm is a flat strip of land, raised bank, or terrace bordering a river or canal.)

-“Needs a Lot with a water or mountain/hill view to build a home.” (I have no idea what this means.)

-“Modern with pool’ up to $8m’ (Do these buyers want a modern pool up to 8M dollars? )

-“Passionate’ (I don’t want to know these folks….this was the agent’s description in the MLS.)

-“Seller’s are now relocated to Florida and really want to move their home.” Do the Seller’s want to move that home to Florida?

I may not be the best at writing a description, but these are just a bit weird.

DEFINITIONS:
AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

Active Listings this week   48 incl. 4 PCH

DOM high 1594  low 5  avg 68  med 26

Pending Listings this week   25 incl. 3 PSB

DOM  high 150  low 0  avg 21  med 113

Sold Listings this week 13

DOM high 30  low 0  avg 10  med 7

THAT’S IT FOR THIS WEEK! Contact me if you have ???

Be safe, be well, and any rain/sprinkles would be very welcomed!

marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | September 30th, 2021

Weird words…..

 

 ‘El Nino ’98’

My late husband made a note in some

newly-poured concrete,  not knowing he           

was predicting the “new” normal. 

I met up with a friend today, and we were comparing our experiences with sump pumps. We both agreed that it’s become more the norm, than the exception.

I remember that I heard a screeching alarm, that was triggered by my below-grade (it was under our lower level) sump pump.  It was around midnight and I yanked the concrete top off of the sump. It was within inches of flooding the downstairs, where we have 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a laundry room.

I immediately called a good friend, who works with a construction company here in town. I woke him up, but he was here in minutes and saved the day (night) for me.

It turns out our backup battery was dead. He brought a hose and he pumped the water out a window in the laundry room onto the driveway.

Before this event happened, the pump would put the water under the city sidewalk, so it would spill out at the curb. That was a BAD thing to do, because I couldn’t control if a car had parked too close to the curb, or if leaves were clogging up the opening of where the water should have gone.

As a result, when the sump hits a certain level, it will automatically pump the water up into the uninhabited space under the main level, via a PVC pipe, where it will take the water to the corner of the house, and the water will roll down the driveway.

So let’s hope for some rain, this season.  But not a huge deluge. Here’s a link to the differences between El Nino and La Nina. https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/ninonina.html  

DEFINITIONS:
AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week 53, including 5 PCH

DOM  High 1586   Low 1   Avg  62   Med 22

Pending listings this week 18, including 2 PSB

DOM  High 162  Low 5  Avg  33  Med 13

Sold listings this week 11

DOM  High 59  Low 4  Avg 17  Med 12

Have a great weekend…and we’re officially in Autumn, my favorite time of year.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have ??? about the market. I can’t predict the future….

Be safe, be well, wear a mask.

marilyn

 

 

THE SECOND STORY | September 23rd, 2021

Sunset, fog, boats….

All Alameda, most of the time…

Sunset and fog from Ballena Bay,  9-22-21

I needed to get out of the house. So I drove up Shoreline, over to Ballena Bay, and ended up @ Alameda Point (the former Naval Air Station).  It was cool and windsurfers were abundant along the SF Bay shoreline.

The folks on the boat were dressed warmly…and didn’t hoist any sails up. They fired up the engine and they were on their way…to wherever.

Alameda Real Estate this Week

The real estate market is definitely cooling off  (literally and figuratively).

Autumn is my favorite season…not too hot, not too cold and the skies are brilliant with color. (But I pray we get some rain!)

We may see properties coming on the market during the autumn months, but often there not as many listings to chose from, unlike spring and summer.

To potential Sellers: please get both a pest and a property inspection, and please get them as close to the marketing date as possible. Otherwise, you may have an inspection contingency in the contract from folks who want to purchase your property. Then you’ve given the potential buyers a reason to back out of the transaction if they don’t like what they see/read.

DEFINITIONS:
AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week 46    including 1 AC and 2 PCH

DOM  high 1579  low 6  avg 70  med 28

Pending listings this week  21 incl 1 PSB

DOM high 49  low 4  12  avg 12  med 11

Sold listings this week  24

DOM  high 46  low 4  avg 12  med 8

Carry on! Enjoy the weather, wear a mask, and be safe and well!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | September 16th, 2021

Heading into the curl……or out of it?

Something seems to be wrong with this piece of art….

…I’ve never seen a surfer head into the ‘curl.’

That would be a death wish!

Usually, s(he) is coming out of it!

I think this says something about the market these days. How long can it go on? When will it stop? As I’ve said before…it will change either due to a man-made condition – like interest rates, or a nature-made condition, like an earthquake.

Alameda Real Estate this Week

DEFINITIONS:
AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week  51   including 1 AC, 2 BOM, 2 PCH

DOM  high 1572  low 7  avg 6   med 21

Pending listings this week 9  including 1 PSB

DOM  high 55   low 0  avg 16  med 6

Sold listings this week 18

DOM  high 26  low 0  avg 14  med 14

Have a safe weekend – whatever you choose to do. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the market. AND BTW, please wear a mask if you’re out and about!

marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | September 9th, 2021

Alameda wildlife…..

One of my friends saw this cricket(?) on a car in the ‘hood.’ So, we yanked out our phones and took some photos.

It’s getting darker earlier and I’m okay with that. God gave us seasons so we wouldn’t get bored. The world is changing faster than ever, and it can be difficult to keep up with it. But the climate is changing and we need to do something about it.

For me, I gave up a propane-powered barbeque several years ago. It was a Weber and it served us/me well.

I haven’t burned a fire in our fireplaces (living room and dining room) for years. I think I’ll find some type of plant to put in both fireplaces, or maybe candles as the holidays show up.

I’ve thought about buying an electric car, but my car is very young, based on the miles I have on it. It’s 6 years old and I’ve only got 30K? miles on it. This past year I only drove about 2600 miles.  I’ve got my Toyota dealer chasing after me to trade it in and buy another.

Let’s talk about the real estate market. As the days get shorter, folks are thinking about the holidays (starting with Halloween).

You may notice that there aren’t as many pending sales, at this time. Sure, prices continue to go over the list price….but there are several with price reductions.

I attended a 4-hour long Zoom meeting today, lead by one of the CA Associaton of Realtors leaders. Way back when I was a newbie at Harbor Bay Realty, Gov Hutchinson would come and talk to us in person! He’s one smart man! This class was about our new Residential Purchase Agreement…and it will take some getting used to…but it’s good that those ‘on top’ thought about this…and in the long run, it should be easier to fill out and easier to avoid the lawsuits. I printed out the sample RPA (with the explanations) and it was 114 pages. The new purchase agreement will show up in early December, and that agreement is now ‘only’ 16 pages.

DEFINITIONS:

AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

BOM (back on market – fell out of escrow)

REO (real estate owned by the lender, i.e. foreclosure)

PPR (probate confirmation required)

DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week  36

DOM  high 1565  low 0  avg 76  med 25

Pending listings 14

DOM  high 30  low 2  avg 11  med 11

Sold listings 10

DOM  high 35   low 0  avg 76  med 25

The first “Sold” listing has a sold price of $131,000,000! Clearly, that’s not right. It was listed for 928K and the SOLD price was typed in with 3 extra 000’s. Prices are high…but not THAT high! That was either the agent’s fault or the Transaction Coordinator’s fault.

That’s a wrap!

best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | September 2nd, 2021

The Alameda real estate market is saying something……

….and I don’t know if the market is telling me the truth or not, but what I do know is that it’s getting darker sooner. And more properties are being put on the market, most likely to beat the holidays, which can be a HUGE distraction to Buyers.

This week there are 34 active listings, 20 pending sales, and 14 sold properties. And some of those active listings have had price reductions and are BOMs.

I took this photo today, in my backyard because I was admiring how complicated spider webs are.  And that lead my thought to a woman (girlfriend of a crew member with whom we raced)  in Tiburon, decades ago. Everybody called her Bugsy.  Random, eh?

And Carl was the designer of the boat that we sailed on.

Let’s get to it!

DEFINITIONS:

AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

BOM (back on market – fell out of escrow)

REO (real estate owned by the lender, i.e. foreclosure)

PPR (probate confirmation required)

DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week 34

including 2 BOM and 1 PCH

DOM  high 1558  low  7  avg 75   med 20

Pending listings this week 20

including  1 PPR (probate confirmation required)  2 PSB

DOM  high 59  low  1  avg 16  med 20

Sold listings this week 15

DOM  high 42  low 0  avg 13  med 13

Have a great weekend! Please contact me if you have questions or any of the answers that I may need!

Best, marilyn

 

 

THE SECOND STORY | August 26th, 2021

Construction zone and GO BAGS

 

Being in a construction zone (street, area, whatever) can be more than noisy!

The construction zone I’m writing about is across the street, from where I live. The ‘hood needs to put up with it because it’s a safety concern for the owner, the tenants, and the neighbors. But the noise is incredible!

Being a good neighbor, I went over to talk with the workers. While I speak a couple of words in Spanish, they knew what I was saying in English. Apparently, they’re finishing the job of creating a concrete foundation around the perimeter, which was left unfinished over the years.

I’m wondering if the insurance was going to be canceled if this wasn’t corrected ASAP.

That is a major problem for the insurance company. In fact, I received a letter this week from my property insurance company, letting me know that they’ve declined (i.e. refused) to renew my insurance policy.  I’ve paid them what they want, for years, never bounced a check, and have never made a claim. And now this?

I’m wondering if the cause of this is the wildfires that have wiped out towns and houses between here and Northern California. Watching the fires on the news is horrible, sad, and maybe depressing (as if the Covid-Delta Variant isn’t enough).

Bottom line….create a go-bag (or more) in case you need to evacuate your home, your town.  We have friends in Paradise that were basically untouched by the fires last year, However, their son flew their plane away from the Paradise airport…into the smoke.

If we have a major earthquake here in the Oakland-SF area, I’m not sure if we can even get off or on the island: what if the Tube is flooded and the bridges aren’t safe?

Lovely thoughts to take to bed this evening…..argh.

DEFINITIONS:

AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

BOM (back on market – fell out of escrow)

REO (real estate owned by the lender, i.e. foreclosure)

DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week  25 including 2 PCH

DOM  high  1551  low 7  avg  72  med  17

Pending listings this week  12

DOM   high  38  low 0  avg 72  med 17

Sold listings this week  19 

DOM  high 32  low 0  avg 12  med 12

Have a good weekend…be safe to yourself and others! marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | August 19th, 2021

Maintenance

Owning a home ain’t cheap…and certainly not in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is my side yard (backyard) fence. Clearly, this needs repair and today I signed a contract to share the cost of replacement with my neighbor.  We’ll need to wait until mid-October to get the work done. But we’ve got it on the calendar now. Nice to have nice neighbors!

As I’ve said before, you need to do regular maintenance on any property. Ignorance is not bliss. “Shock” will be the ‘real’ reality if the work keeps getting delayed. Expect to spend 1% of the current market value on the property each year. If you don’t spend that amount, then the next year expect to spend 2%…and on and on and on.

The owner of one of the buildings on the block is having her foundation replaced/beefed up. I’ve never met her/him and the owner may have had the property longer than most of us in the ‘hood. In a situation like that, I imagine that the insurance company decided they would drop her/him if it wasn’t repaired/replaced in a timely fashion.

When we bought this beast with my mother-in-law, it was sitting on a brick foundation. The insurance company made sure that we had it replaced ASAP, while we were living in the building and while the tenants lived here.

The foundation and the addition of 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, and a laundry room was completed by a local (excellent) crew in a timely (whatever that means) manner. Three weeks after the foundation was replaced we had the 1989 earthquake. All was well. I hate to imagine what it would cost these days to replace a foundation. The good news is that a lot of the bricks have a ‘new’ home in the backyard patio.

DEFINITIONS:

AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

BOM (back on market – fell out of escrow)

REO (real estate owned by the lender, i.e. foreclosure)

DOM (days on market)

Active Listings  this week  39 including 1 PCH

DOM   High  1544  Low 0  avg  80  Med 16

Pending listings  this week 15

DOM   High  35  Low 6  Avg 25  Med 14

Sold  listings this week 17

DOM  High 50   Low 0   Avg 12   Med 12

That’s a wrap! Sorry, the post was delayed.

Have a great weekend (whatever that means)!  marilyn