THE SECOND STORY | September 11th, 2008

Homeowner (dis)associations & (dys)functions?

When I started selling properties involving homeowner associations I learned early-on to tell my clients to rip open the huge package of HOA documents and start their due diligence by reading the minutes of the HOA. There is absolutely no better way to learn what and who the issues are in a planned community. And I’ve read plenty myself, as an agent/broker, in order to get a sense of the issues and how they are addressed. Check out these very real excerpts that I’ve come across during the course of representing sellers and buyers in my own transactions.

“(the) owner’s use of pots and pans to bang on the back wall at 3:00 a.m. was unacceptable behavior.” Duh.

“Considerable work has been done within the unit to clean it up, including removing 16 birds, one chicken, one rabbit, and five cats…” What, no snakes? Oh, that’s right. They’re prohibited by the House Rules.

“Complaints have been submitted to management regarding an ‘older’ woman yelling at guests using the guest parking lot.” Gee, welcome!

This one cracked me up: “Head phones must be used while car washing.” I got this image in my head and pictured all these residents washing their cars and only waving to each other since they couldn’t hear. Then I read the next sentence. “No radio/stereo playing without head phones is allowed in any common area.” Oh, that explains it. Keep your music and talk shows to yourself.

Community notes…
With the approach of autumn, it’s time to change the blog photo. I took this of the new/old theatre a couple of weeks ago.

I stopped by the office of Alameda’s own city-wide Meals on Wheels program and its Executive Director, Rosemary Reilly told me they know there are many folks out there who can use their service, but they aren’t hearing from them!

Do NOT confuse our program with the county-run Meals On Wheels program. This is Alamedans taking care of Alamedans. It is completely independent, is NOT government funded, and has devoted local volunteers. There is also a ‘friendly visitor’ element so those who are shut-in can have a breath of fresh air come right to them in the form of a short visit. Kids sometimes accompany adults on the visits and that adds a nice dynamic.

We all have neighbors (even the ones who bang the pots and pans or collect excessive numbers of animals) that just might need some help.

AND this is not for low-income folks only. And it can be short-term while someone has a bit of a recovery period. And it is for ALL ages. Check out that website above. If you know someone who just might be helped it’s worth sharing the info. It is hard to find nicer people doing nice things for the community.

Real estate in general this week…
This week I came across two articles I think every consumer should review.

The first was about using a “weapon” against identity theft called a credit or security freeze. It was in USA Today on Tuesday and I tore out the article so I could share it. I found it in their archives. PLEASE, at least check it out.

The second is an excellent overview of the massive government take-over of the Federal National Mortgage Association (aka FNMA or Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association (aka FHLMA or Freddie Mac). What happened and why do you care? Please check it out!

Real estate in Alameda (and Carson City) this week…
On Monday, both the condo (960 Shorepoint Court #101) and the single family lagoon home (640 Waterview Isle) I have listed went pending. It was a busy time….considering I took 3 days off to play golf in Carson City, returning Wed am. This is the 4th year I’ve gone to this fun tournament in Nevada, run by Alamedans (good courses, even better prices, and the best people!).

And was I thrilled to stay at the Holiday Inn Express this year: excellent internet service, good cell phone reception and nice accommodation! Even warm chocolate chip cookies in the late afternoons!

As soon as each round of morning golf on Monday and Tuesday wrapped up by 1:30pm, I returned calls immediately, sitting in my air-conditioned car, and then headed back to my ‘office’ to get the transactions together, midst multiple offers, counter-offers, and then back-up offers. In the evening, once the delicious (really!) buffet dinner at a local casino that hosts the group was over, it was back to work late. Then up early…. Plus I had the opportunity of writing an offer while away as well as doing some pre-buy math for a client who wanted to really understand the costs of ownership. But that offer was deleted the next day…(see Trends below).

Active listings 209, 213 last report

Pending listings 70, 64 last report

Highest priced new listing Click Here to View Listings

Lowest priced new listing Click Here to View Listings

Tuesday Tour 11 Click Here to View Listings

New (note some are input in more than one category – ggrrr) 15 Click Here to View Listings

Price changes 8 Click Here to View Listings

Pending 16 Click Here to View Listings

Sold 9 Click Here to View Listings

BOMs (back on market) 0

Expired and Withdrawn (some show up as new listings) 12 Click Here to View Listings

Listing Awards this week…remember this is only my perspective. Even though I missed the Tuesday tour due to golf ūüôā I did get out to view 6 properties late this afternoon.

Winner of the Week not this week

Cute, Charming Click Here to View Listings already pending!

Bang for the Buck not this week

Got Me a Makeover Click Here to View Listings already pending!

Get Me a Facelift Click Here to View Listings says 5 bedrooms but 2 of them are accessed through 2 others (hmm), has a pool – lots of hardscape

Grand Dame not this week

Get Me to Rehab Click Here to View Listings huge rooms, unusual floor plan

I’m Out of Rehab Click Here to View Listings

Trends? Consumers are finding out the hard way that the grossly underpriced short-sale listings are generating multiple offers that are bringing the purchase prices close to or up to the most recent sale price of similar inventory. Take for instance 2063 Whitehall . Priced for 385K, there are 6 offers. The last comp was in July, same floor plan but on Willow, for 492,5K. And the offer prices are within 5% of that. Kind of discouraging for those who are just trying to get their feet wet in this market place.

Have a great weekend! May you have the best of all that is good and share it generously. Unlike oil, that type of resource never depletes and only multiplies when used.

Maybe take a quiet moment to ponder the impact of 9/11/2001 on you personally and the world in general. Are we making any progress toward anything substantial and good? If not, why. If so, then pay it forward.

Carry on, 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!