THE SECOND STORY | July 6th, 2008

Elvis and Charlie want to know about May and June sales in Alameda!

Hi all,

I hope you’ve had a safe, fun, restful, Independence Day weekend! The parade was its usual unique self and it really is a treat to walk a couple of blocks to see it! It’s like having half the people I know in Alameda walk, ride, drive, right by me!

Are you hands-free yet? If not, as a result of my own terrific consumer experience, I’d like to suggest that you consider using a new Alameda company located in the Harbor Bay Shopping Center, SMART Phone and Photo. Lars Stenstedt has made this a multi-generational family biz and offers wonderful service. He actually tests the device with you and your own phone, rather than throwing it in a bag, and throwing you out the door. And add to that…his prices are more than competitive! Let him know that Marilyn Schumacher sent you his way!

This blog, The Second Story, is allowing me to present a fresh look and a more consistent view of what was previously the private weekly email update that I sent out for over eight years to clients who requested it.

In an attempt to get me to upload the monthly newsletter myself on my website my webmeister showed me a couple of years ago how simple it would be. Ugh! I do real estate, not web code. But the blog has made life easier, thus the changes.
You’ll see links to the properties. The side benefit is that you can see the properties along with any photos and/or virtual tours of the listings.

For this update, I’m putting both May and June sales activities together.

Marilyn’s take on the market…
Yes, the market is slower. Yes, prices are down. Yes, Alameda is actually doing okay compared to other areas. Not as good as San Francisco, San Mateo, or Silicon Valley, but fine nonetheless.

Yes, rates are up a bit. And really YES…the costs of financing are up a lot. Lenders want to see 20% down, if it’s not there large fees are being charged for PMI or MI (private mortgage insurance or mortgage insurance). You may be seeing more loans with more points attached to them. What is sad is that the folks with real downpayments are being whipped by the lenders who are trying to recoup their losses. Pathetic.

Yes, there are foreclosed properties here in Alameda. You may hear them referred to as REO’s. That means Real Estate Owned (by the bank). The property is then listed (which could take several months) with an ‘approved’ real estate brokerage company. Don’t expect to see a lot of marketing done on these. And when a property is REO, the lender is exempt from any disclosures.

So what’s a short sale? The owner(s) still owns it but owes more than it’s worth. The property gets listed with a brokerage (often at a way low price to generate activity), and offers are reviewed by the owners. Once one is ratified, it is sent along to the lender(s). There could be more than one lender. They all have to approve the amounts they are being asked to give up. So it’s like have lots more owners. And it often takes a lot of time- weeks or months to get answers from the lenders. People think they may be getting a ‘steal’ but maybe not…the market does have a way of finding its own level. Plus at the last minute more liens can show up…like unpaid alimony or child support, or IRS liens. And that makes things very messy. Properties are often left a mess too.

In the early 1990’s similar transactions took place when the federal governemtn decided to close under-utilized military bases. Get it? That includes Alameda Naval Air Station! The state had to move out of a military based economy – we had huge government contracts with the military up and down the state that disappeared- and many civilian and some military employees were wiped out. I handled quite a few of those back then.

This time all of the mess is rooted in pure greed starting with unscrupulous lenders who made loans that were doomed to fail from the outset (and who often falsified the loan papers), all the way up the food chain to those who securitized the loans and rated the investments as AAA and sold them in the stock market. I think we are just starting to see the beginning of a long list of fraud prosecutions that will come out.

Sold in May and June 2008
Note 1 -Days on Market (DOM) may not be accurate IF the agent churned the listing and inserted it as new, once a 30 day period of being of the market was completed OR if it was reinserted as new with a slight modification of the street address (Ave. became Avenue, or was dropped from the address). It’s game playing at its worst. They think we are all dumb.

Note 2 – These averages lump junk with extravagance, water properties with every other type of location, and old with new. If you have questions about a specific property, let me know.

2 bedroom single family homes 21
Click Here to View Listings
DOM 24
Average sale price $540,309

3 bedroom single family homes 19
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DOM 37
Average sale price $696,664

4 bedroom single family homes 12
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DOM 27
Average sale price $878,931

2 bedroom apartment style condos
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DOM 46
Average sale price $343,750

3 bedroom townhomes 6
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DOM 32
Average sale price $426,685

4 unit apartment buildings 0

IF you’d like to receive an email notification that weekly version of The Second Story has been posted, (check out eariler postings below this) let me know and I can add you to the gang list (which does NOT show recipient contact info). Getting off that list is as easy as getting on! I promise!

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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!