THE SECOND STORY | March 6th, 2009

“Go get them – you have never been one to hold back your opinon.”

(Some things just strike me as funny. And so it was on Monday when I noticed the un-bumper sticker on this rather well-worn Volkswagen van. I didn’t have my camera! On my way to the HBR sales meeting on Wed morning I tried to figure out where I’d seen the van…and I found it. This time I had the camera.)

It all kind of fit in with this Facebook thing I’ve been playing around with. There’s a group of folks from high school I’ve kept my eye on and I’ve made a couple of contacts. I’m quite sure I’m being ignored the same way I’ve chosen to ignore various requests to be my ‘friend.’

But I digress. The prime era for VW vans happened to be when I was in high school. For a graduation present my folks gave me $800 to buy a car of my choice so I could commute to Long Beach State. The only car I wanted was a VW bug. And I got a great one, until it was totaled on a Sunday morning at the intersection of Oak and Central. Got t-boned by a heavy metal Ford Fairlane driven by a little old lady who ran the stop sign (no signal there then). Oops. I again digress.

Back to Facebook. It’s been a big blast-back-to-the-past week. The capper was a comment from a guy in the high school group. He read last week’s post and observed “Go get them – you have never been one to hold back your opinion.” Now that’s just scary. 35 years of no contact – I was that way then? Nonetheless, last week’s post did get some very positive feedback.

Alameda real estate this week….
I had two closings in the past week. 450 Taylor (see sidebar) closed for my Buyers – a nifty Victorian with a wonderful high basement area they are going to put to good use over time once they get that brick foundation project completed. And the fixer 1/1 bungalow on Foley listed for 199K, closed in 14 days after being on the market for 8 days. All cash, completely ‘as is’, 230K (see sidebar and click on the website).

Everyday the rules are changing. The lenders can’t make up their minds what they want for documents. They are over-reacting and making of demands of the best qualified borrowers they’ve seen in years. The government is making new rules for existing and potential owners. It may be well worth your time to check out the following (these descriptions and links come from one of my California Association of Realtors online trade publications):

President Obama’s plan
to stabilize the housing market has two main parts: 1) help for homeowners whose homes have little or no equity to refinance and 2) assistance for struggling owners by giving government incentives to lenders encouraging them to lower mortgage payments to 31% of a borrower’s monthly gross income.

House of Representatives Democrat from Hillsborough, Jackie Speier is proposing aid that will help refinancing in the high-priced Bay Area.

FHA loan limits to increase in some high-priced areas.

California home buyers could get up to $18,000 in tax CREDITS

Active listings 163, 164 last report
Pending listings 67, 70 last report

Tuesday Tour 3 with 2 repeats

Highest priced new listing

Lowest priced new listing

New 9

Price changes 13

BOM (back on market) 1 (a Woodstock co-op)

Pending 6

Sold 6

Expired 8 (many are showing up as new listings…)

Withdrawn/cancelled 2

Alameda real estate awards…remember this is only my perspective and this week I have no perspective. Nothing was worthy of an award.

Have a great weekend! Longer days and lots of sun…

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!