THE SECOND STORY | April 9th, 2009

Watching the work week, and watching the week work.

(This is the FIRST rose of the season and there must be at least 150 buds waiting to bloom in the front yard! The two Double Delight rose bushes have always been the first to show.)

The only thing mornings and Marilyn have in common is the letter M. We don’t necessarily see eye to eye, mostly because both of my eyes are closed when dark turns to dawn. Much of the world around me is already sitting at a desk, commuting (bike, car, public transit) to a desk, delivering kids to school, running on the beach, walking a dog, or have completed a workout at a club or gym. Gosh, I wonder what that’s like….no I really don’t.

But this week I hit the early morning meetings with vigor and gusto: Monday 8am- contractor bid; Tuesday 7:30am – meeting called by City Council Member Frank Matarrese with various community business leaders – no, I’m not a biz leader. I was asked to attend with the Chamber of Commerce Exec Director and President because of my involvement with a City Manager appointed committee dealing with customer service for the Planning and Building Department; Wednesday my regular HBR sales meeting; Thursday another contractor inspection; and yet to come – Friday an appliance repair appointment (my own 10 year old Maytag Neptune frontload washer), followed by a meeting with a potential client.

Then there were the evening activities/meetings: Monday a church committee meeting; Tuesday the City Council meeting (attended and spoke – watching on TV is better) and was there until after 10pm; Wed our wonderful mid-week church testimony meeting, then talking with Evan and Erin about their home searching adventure in San Diego; Thursday my meeting with the computer to do this blog. And Friday, I’ve made a double date with my ironing board and Netflix.

In between the early AM and the later PM: 4 hours of property inspections; the broker tour; wrote an offer; interviewed for a listing; previewed a unique property I may have the privilege to work on; prepped a large property just before 2 virtual tours were shot; reviewed about 50 pages of 30 years of permits for that same big property.

In between those: researching property comps for tax challenges; attempts to establish values for potential listings for which there are no comps; attempts to calm and get answers for a buyer in contract; calls to agents to get feedback about property showings and then report back to the clients; phone calls to return; emails to read and write; call an agent to get inspector referrals for friends who are beginning to think about selling a house; a golf lesson late Thursday morning (a rare word to me in the world of golf, the word “excellent” was heard more than once -yippee- must be the new clubs), trip to Costco; and Friday isn’t even here yet. I expect the mid-day Friday golf game will be rained or muddied out.

Oh, I forgot about the sawing, hammering, bolting, and general extreme racket going on under the house between 8am and 3pm for the past 2.5 weeks, with maybe one more week to go. We are adding to our 20 year old concrete foundation some engineered seismic shearwalls and extra bolting around the front half perimeter of the building and to some some interior lower subwalls).

All the work, the play, the down time, up time, on time, off time, blends together harmoniously.

Now you see why I feel so blessed to do what I do! Nothing is old, everything is new. The people I am privileged to work for or with are exceptional. Strange situations give me perspective and opportunities to try to solve problems, as well as an appreciation for that which is not strange.

Recently I’ve found myself finishing each day, as I lay in bed saying “Thank you for letting me…..(fill in the blank).” I start with the simple and obvious, and ease into the deeper, more obscure. Then I sleep.

Alameda real estate this week….

Inventory is down, and pending sales up again. With the moratorium on foreclosures coming to an end, there is concern there may be an increase of foreclosed properties coming on the market but this link talks about ‘shadow foreclosures in the Bay Area. I’ve spoken with several folks recently who are in the long, drawn-out process of loan modification and they are grateful for relief. Here’s a synopsis of what is going on out there now. Some sellers are having a hard time adjusting to the adjusted market (list price too high, condition doesn’t match the price).

The trick out there is to NOT believe the short sale or REO -real estate owned (by the lender) listing price. If it sounds too good to be true it just may be because multiple offers show up. And I know of a situation where the lender continues to counter offer above the short sale list price, despite the fact that two recently closed sales support the list price. Gotta feel sorry for that listing agent. While reviewing some recent closed duplexes, a couple of closed prices were HUGELY discounted off the list price. Opportunities are found most frequently with those properties that have been on the market a LONG time.

Active listings 159, 158 last report
Pending listings 76, 76 last report

Tuesday Tour 9 with 2 repeats

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing

New 11

BOM (back on market) 3

Price changes 7


Sold 5


Withdrawn/cancelled 1

Alameda real estate awards this week..
.remember this is only my perspective.

Winner, Out of Rehab (well, it’s been completely re-done)

Get me to Rehab

Get me a Facelift

If you celebrate Easter, have a joyous day. Everybody else…have a joyous day, too!

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!