THE SECOND STORY | April 23rd, 2009

That’s a lot of daffodils

Today’s blog photo was taken a couple of Saturdays ago when a group of 6 of us took a day trip to Daffodil Hill. Our friend and tour guide, Jim, had told us about a flower farm that goes into full daffodil bloom for just a couple of weeks in early spring and off we went.

It was a gorgeous day and the spectators were out in force up there. A touring motorcycle group had their sparkling wheels all lined up. I especially liked this mega luxurious three wheel job. We stopped in Sutter Creek, to have a light morning bite (yummy super-airy cinnamon rolls!), and picked up sandwiches for a picnic, which Jim supplemented with various side dishes and drinks, much to our delight and surprise!

After our walk through the flower farm, we drove to the town of Volcano. We found a cute store, featuring all manner of pies.

Then we had our picnic at Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park took a self-guided short hike/walk which Betsy and I ended up doing backwards (not the walking part; we started at the end by mistake).

Then it was time to head home….a lovely day!

Alameda real estate this week…

Webster House Auction….continued from last week. Mr. Evan Schumacher wondered what happened with The Webster House auction (announced in last week’s post). The bottom line on the auction of the Webster House (Bed and Breakfast Inn) at 1238 Versailles, is that there was no bottom line. No sale. There were far fewer people than I expected there would be and most were just curious, not bidders. There may have been 3 people interested in bidding but even they didn’t seem too interested due to the lack of interest!

But here is why there was no sale. Auction was set to start at 1pm. By 1:20pm one of the Real Estate Auction people had people move towards the sidewalk, gather round, and he announced that “This has never happened before to us. I won’t give details but I just got off the phone with the Seller and she has decided not to sell it.” Well, that is no surprise to those of us who have watched this over the years….One person who called me to find out what happened at the auction immediately said “There weren’t enough people to give her the attention she wanted!” The agent had also verbally relayed some representations the owner had made regarding parking and in no uncertain terms 3 local licensed real estate brokers AND a former B&B owner in town said that info was bogus.

I think the auction company may be rethinking their interview process and doing some fact checking before they jump into a gig like this that ‘includes’ the biz, which is virtually impossible to substantiate a value for, as noted by a couple who had previously had contact with the owner and walked away from the ‘deal’. They were also there as interested bystanders.

If this market, plus 23 years of working around Alameda, has taught me anything, a property that has been on the market for years usually has one big reason for not selling. And that is the seller. And that takes care of every possible reason the seller gives as to why the joint ain’t sold.

Foreclosure inventory increasing? The same Mr. Schumacher forwarded this article which addresses the end of the foreclosure moratorium and what may happen next.

NEW LISTING! I put a new listing on the market on Wednesday. It’s in Point Richmond, and has been the home to dear family friends for decades. It’s on the bay complete with non-stop views, comes with direct beach access (ownership of said portion of beach verified by a property survey), and offers a diverse floor plan. Check it out at The photos and virtual and video tour (button on upper right of virtual tour) are terrific. If you know anybody looking for San Francisco Bay bayfront property….share the info!

This week has seen a big spike in private showings of listings. Good weather? Spectator sport? Serious buyers? We’ll see if there is a spike in pending sales and closings the next month.

Active listings 160, 164 last report
Pending listings 83, 82 last report

Tuesday tour 9 with 3 repeats

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing

New 12

BOM (back on market) 1

Price changes 10

Pending 11

Sold 8

Expired 7 (some may be showing up as new)

Withdrawn/Cancelled 4

Real estate awards this week...remember this is my perspective only!


Get me a facelift

I’m around this weekend, doing some serious spring cleaning after some serious construction and repairs around here the past 3+ weeks. We’ve had an engineered seismic shearwalling, strapping, and bolting project going on around and under the front (unbuilt-out) half of the building . Insulation has been added around the same perimeter and under the floors. The front doors have been refinished. All the ceiling tiles downstairs have been replaced (water damage from flooding caused by a hot water handle that broke off into my hand a couple of months ago, shooting up steady stream of hot water for about 30 minutes that found its way downstairs into the ceiling, onto the carpet in the hallway, and onto the laundry vinyl). A new sewer ejector pump was installed this week, as the old one was not shutting off and overheating the motor . And my washer door was replaced which solved the small amounts of mystery water in the laundry room . The downstairs is a dust covered, boot printed, hand printed, dirt tracked in, yucky mess. Sutter comes in from New Zealand the beginning of the week and she deserves an immaculate place to stay! The nice news is the windows got cleaned inside and outside this week, and the carpets get done Friday. Yippee! Almost there.

That’s a wrap! 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!