THE SECOND STORY | October 30th, 2008

Bach, Beach, and Autumn Activities

What’s the difference between Bach and beach? Only the letter ‘e’. Sutter and I saw the writing not on the wall, but in the sand three weeks ago while walking the length of Corona del Mar Beach. While the sand-writing appears to say Bach, Sutter determined the writer realized an ‘e’ was missing and tried to squeeze it in! Bach or beach, they are both beautiful and full of rich sounds.

Some people spring clean. I autumn clean. From an email via New Zealand this week “glad to know, also, that the world’s economies may ‘change’, the world’s weather patterns may be forever altered, but your pattern of fall cleaning remains. ūüôā ” The down-under daughter was referring to my menial email update about what was going on here which included: the annual deep cleansing facials for the carpets and rugs, washing the permanent furnace filters, attacking the nooks and crannies in the laundry room, regrouping a couple of the kitchen cabinets, and yet to come -the removal of the scuffs on the kitchen Marmoleum replaced by a shiny finish.

My fall routine usually begins the end of September with a call to Super Rooter (Bill Faler – 510) 893-9339) to clear all the exterior drains around the property. If the gutters haven’t been cleared since spring, then I ask my favorite roofer, Interstate Roofing ( Bill Wong 510- 601-6369) who I can get to do them. Call Bill for the new roofing jobs. His crew does the best job but not the cheapest. He’s not big on fixing other roofers’ work but loves maintaining his own.

I’m pretty sensitive about who clears the gutters since they are over three stories high. One time a vendor bent the newer gutters. Plus I need to know they have Workers Comp insurance. I actually like getting the gutters cleared after the first big wind/rain storm of the season because all the crud from the neighbor’s mega pine tree has then blown onto our property during the south winds.

At the first sign of rain I cover the yard furniture that doesn’t get stacked in the carriage house/garage. So that was today.

The time change prompts me to replace all the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries around the house and apartments. Last year I started replacing the batteries on the thermostat timer and the clocks in our place. (Can you tell I didn’t have a clue that some clocks were a bit slow?) And I pour my non-toxic concoction down the drains to get them cleared and fresh. That will be Sunday. Recipe follows.

Drain Cleaning Recipe
Add the following in this order to the drain:
1 cup salt
1 cup baking SODA
1 cup vinegar
30 seconds later add 2 quarts of boiling water

And I cook. I made a pot roast in the slow cooker this week. Four friends each got a dinner, waiting to be reheated. You’d have thought I was a gourmet chef by their reactions. Simple and yummy. Recipe follows.

Pot Roast
2 cans (10 3/4 oz Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup)
1.5 pouches of dry onion soup
Small red potatoes (your choice on how many)

Carrots cut into 2″ pieces (your choice how many)
2 -2.5 lb boneless beef bottom round roast or chuck pot roast

Stir soup, onion soup mix, potatoes and carrots together in a 4.5 qt. slow cooker. Add beef and turn to coat. Cover and cook on LOW 8-9 hours or HIGH 4-5 hours (or until beef is fork-tender). Now you’re cookin‘!

And now it’s time to enjoy the rain!

Real estate this week in Alameda…. I received seven inquiries this week: 2 emails from folks in my database, 3 phone calls, 1 in-person contact at an open house (the last four unknown to me), and 1 in-person contact at the bank. Each person asked how the market was. Quickly noting that if they didn’t have to sell, it might be better to wait a while, our conversations moved along. Then I gave a verbal review of how the market is in their segment. To the four unknowns I politely asked out how much they owed on their property. Then I emailed a quick courtesy search of active/pending/sold properties for the previous 90 days (about how far back appraisers are going for comps), and let them see how they might fit into the market. People seem to want to know the basics so they can plan ahead. People wonder if there are opportunities for them out there right now. People want reassurance that Alameda’s market at this time is not the same as what they read or hear about in the media. At this time I can assure them of that. It doesn’t mean the market meets their expectations. It’s just honest info with no hassle, no commitment. Seems to work for everybody.

My listing at 928 San Antonio will be open on Sunday with one of my associates between 2-4pm.

My listing at 1233 Regent had that great price change last week of $50,000, down to $749,000. It’s available!

Active listings 198, 194 last report

Pending listings 68, 69 last report

Highest priced new listing – a 3 way tie! Click Here to View Listings

Lowest priced new listingClick Here to View Listings

Tuesday tour 7 with 1 repeat Click Here to View Listings

New listings 11 Click Here to View Listings

Price changes 14 Click Here to View Listings

Pending 10 Click Here to View Listings

Sold 7 Click Here to View Listings

BOM (back on market) 2 Click Here to View Listings

Expired 5 Click Here to View Listings

Withdrawn / Cancelled 2 Click Here to View Listings

Listing awards this week….remember this is only my perspective!

Cute/Charming Click Here to View Listings Two Spanish Med. style built as duplexes (twins) but on separate lots. Being sold separately. Could be nifty for multi-generational owners, one unit of each building is single level. Garages for all units. Separate water, gas, electric. Laundries in each unit. Like small homes! Each building has a pest report between 35K and 41K but work on the price, factor getting the work done, negotiate it out….could be sweet….fini!

Get Me To Rehab Click Here to View Listings

Pray for rain, pray for weather-tight roofs and free-flowing gutters and downspouts!

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!