THE SECOND STORY | July 3rd, 2008

Exploding memories…

Nothing says July in Alameda like the blooming jacaranda trees and the 4th of July Parade! What shows they provide!

The first house my parents owned was in Fullerton. I think we moved there when I was about two. The oldest of my three younger brothers was born when we lived there. At the end of the street was an orange grove. Maxine, a lady with very exotic sunglasses, painted nails (hands and toes), bright lipstick, and a wild collection of flip-flops, who lived across the street, is my first memory of a neighbor.

My father had the ‘dad-ly’ job of buying Red Devil boxes of ‘home’ fireworks. Kids got to light sparklers and those stupid round things that oozed into worms made of ash. Even the duds got ooohs and aahhhs! A couple of times my dad took me up on the roof of that single level house so we could watch the fireworks from Disneyland way off in the distance.

Now, flash to Carl and me being the parents of an eight month old daughter, living here in Alameda, on Janis Circle. It was our first owned-home, actually a duplex, half a block from Edison School, off of Pearl between Santa Clara and Lincoln. (Maybe it should be declared an hysterical landmark….). I think Carl was racing on a sailboat to Hawaii on the Transpac which typically started around July 4th. He had quit his job working for a local yacht designer when Sutter was six months old and opened his own office in our laundry room. My job at that time involved teaching glider flying, which then evolved into airplane flying: commercial, multi-engine, instrument ratings, and flight instructor single engine land (vs. sea) planes.

For two days after July 4th, I had smelled wafts smoke. I’d walk around the perimeter of the house looking, sniffing, but just couldn’t find anything. One of my flying buddies had dropped by and as we were talking in the living room, a fire truck with siren blasting, rolled into the cul-de-sac. I threw Sutter into Mark’s arms and said “hold the baby while I find out what’s on fire!”

By the time I got to the other side of the duplex, the fire was out. Here’s what happened. The lady across the street, who walked her cat on a leash, (well she kept her cat on a leash but they never walked anywhere), looked over to our yard and saw the grape stake fence that separated our duplex from the one next door, burst into flames. It was about four feet from our tenant’s kitchen window. She called 911. For some reason she didn’t come over to let me or our tenant know something was slightly amiss, but oh well. Maybe the cat didn’t want to move.

Once the fire was out the firefighters found the cause. On the other side of the brittle grape stake fence, in our next door neighbor’s yard, was a dried out wood plant container with a dead plant AND the smoldering remnants of a bottle rocket, most likely launched the night of July 4. AHA! That’s what I had been smelling for 2 days.

Fireworks up close and personal have never been one of my favorite things yet I love a good professionally managed pyrotechnic show from a safe distance. But that event on Janis Circle was certainly not professionally done from a safe distance.

I am grateful the neighbor took her cat for a sit. I am grateful she had the presence of mind to call 911. I am grateful Mark dropped by. I am VERY grateful for the quick response of our fire department. I am grateful the bottle rocket didn’t land on our 30+ year old heavy shake roof. And I’m grateful Alameda outlaws fireworks. And disappointed that so many break the law.

Be safe.

Real estate this week in Alameda….

3900 Fairway closed last week for 421K on a 399K list. 3 offers were received and the perfect buyers who had previously restored their first home and sold it over a year ago and had 20% down, fell in love with the house!
909 San Antonio went pending last week….contingencies are in the process of being removed in the next 10 days.

Active Listings 206, 201 last week
Pending Listings 79, 84 last week

Tuesday Tour Click Here to View Listings

New Click Here to View Listings 16

Price changes Click Here to View Listings 9

Pending Click Here to View Listings 13

Sold Click Here to View Listings 19

Back on Market (BOMs) 0

Expired & withdrawn (some show up as new) Click Here to View Listings

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

Bang for the Buck Click Here to View Listings this came on the market 7/05 for 899.99K, dropped to 859K and did not sell. It came back on the market and sold 11/05 for 860K on a 859K list price. It then came on the market for 925K kn 10/06, dropped to 898K and did not sell. It is now on the market for 849K.

Cute/charming Click Here to View Listings

Get me to rehab Click Here to View Listings clean but it needs a complete floor plan re-do.

The awards below eagerly await worthy recipients of which there were none this week!
Winner of the Week

Got me a makeover
I’m out of rehab
Get me a facelift
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 PENDING as of 6/18 No broker tour, tough to show…

1611 San Antonio Click Here to View Listings PRICE REDUCTION from 1.175K to 1.139K. Was pending for a few days after about 30 DOM, then BOM.

1600 Dayton Click Here to View Listings

1234 Hawthorne Click Here to View Listings BOM this week.

1250 Saint Charles Click Here to View Listings SOLD one primary buyer stepped up to the plate. No exposure to market.

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

Enjoy the long weekend! marilyn

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!