THE SECOND STORY | June 26th, 2009

“We are living our dream.”

(Two days ago I noticed the tear on one of the prolific Bird of Paradise flowers in the garden. Being a bit of a romantic at the moment, I wondered if it was a tear of joy, sadness, relief, maybe anticipation. Maybe it was just the course of life.)

Few comments mean more to me as a licensed real estate broker than the line for today’s post title. It came from a card accompanying flowers I received yesterday from clients whose home closed last week. I had the privilege of selling their home for them here in Alameda and watching them relocate to North Carolina.

Most of you know I really feel I have the clients from heaven….again and again! And Paul and Kathy were no exception. They had made lovely improvements to their home. It was immaculate and they followed my lead in making sure the property could be sold with little or no hassles. They took the time and some money to get the pest report certified, and got permits for the upgrades they had made over the years.

The kicker and major issues came with the financing the buyers brought to the table. FHA loans are having their fair share of challenges these days. They often need 2 appraisals. The process is longer than normal (45+ days vs. 30). Sellers are in limbo while the underwriters wait to the very end to decide whether or not to bestow their blessing on the transaction, fund the loan and close. Can they actually move or not? Do they ask for up to 3 weeks after the close when they know they have their proceeds to start to pack, arrange for movers, close on the next property, forward mail, shut off utilities? It’s Seller hell to say the least.

After wrestling with the vagueness of the situation, they decided to stick to their moving plans and head out even if the transaction blew up. Very gutsy, not easy to do. We closed 3 business days late and they were able to move as planned, funds in hand before they left Alameda. The next home was theirs a couple of days later.

Showing how much we can do these days, during the marketing period they were even able to go on the European canal cruise they had booked prior to putting the property on the market. With the aid of the internet, cells phones, and e-faxes, we were able to get an accepted offer on their home and they enjoyed their vacation!

Back to the blog title and the birds of paradise….
I didn’t post last week for a couple of reasons. Last Thursday was a rather big day for me. And the night before I was up until 3am attempting to prep for all the emotion I figured I just might experience the next day. First on my plate was an ethics challenge that had been filed against me by a local real estate broker. That ridiculousness had been hanging over my head for over 3 months. Not something I took lightly. After all the impositions that put on my life, the guy never even showed up for the hearing, even when he was contacted at his office and was there. How rude is it not only to me and my Broker, but to the volunteer panelists who set aside hours of their own day to provide a service that is integral to supporting the ideals of the Code of Ethics for Realtors? The answer to that question is “very rude and very unprofessional.” To me this shows the challenge was unfounded and clearly not important to him. And without sounding cocky, I felt I was on solid ground. Result? Case tossed. Onward to the next event of the day.

Noon Thursday….here’s where the blog post title seems to hit home. In my own mind I’ve been living a dream the past 7 weeks or so. Last Thursday I was supposed to meet up with a friend I’ve known since 7th grade. After about a 38 year gap, we had reconnected through our high school class FaceBook group. I mean, what else do I do when someone says “I’ve loved you since we were sophomores in high school. I was just too shy to ask you out.”

It seems that is not uncommon in and of itself. You hear or read stories like this. But when it’s your own life….well now that’s a different thing. I was to pick him up at SFO and we were going to have a bit of face time instead of talking for hours on the phone, emailing, and text messaging. We admitted we were acting like 15 year old kids but in very different bodies! After driving over to Pacifica, which seemed appropriate for two people who lived at the beach in younger times, then having lunch at the SF Ferry Building, and then checking into a rather lovely downtown hotel where I had TWO rooms booked (my control freak nature AND safety net regarding neutral ground) by 3pm the next admission came along…

…to a hospital in the city! He was not well, and I was freaked out. Many of you know I am a practicing Christian Scientist and choose not to mess around with medical processes. But he had to do something rather than macho it out so I insisted he get to a doctor, or a doctor get to him or I get him to a hospital. And there he was for 2 full days as they tried to figure out what was wrong. Scans, cameras, you name it, they did it. He was drugged up, and I was a mental mess. I’ve NEVER spent that kind of time in a hospital. The people were wonderful and it was a real eye-opener for me on many levels.

I’m not sure how easy it is to get to know someone who is on some saline/morphine drip thing for 48 hours. But nonetheless, in a bizarre way, those hours of face time did have an impact. He got out, exhausted but basically well, with no resolution and no answers as to what the problem had been. And then our 4 day date actually began and it kept getting weirder… Truly we are living a dream, or at least a comedy. (there may be more to come, depending on – everything!)

And that is why I didn’t post last week. No way. No how.

So today’s post (also a bit late due to my very full work schedule, and a need for sleep in order to fully function) will incorporate last weeks’ activity.

Alameda real estate the past 2 weeks…

-31 Oak Park closed.
-219 Cypress B, a Woodstock 1/1 single level attached home came on the market.
-933 Shoreline Drive #305 (full bay view condo) went pending and then BOM, and then went pending again with two more offers that came in on Monday.
-16139 Via Arriba My client who is involved with a short sale in San Lorenzo got his papers signed yesterday as I was running around at the same moment finding the Homeowners Association and picking up their pile of documents. The listing agent kinda didn’t know there was a Homeowners Association (thank you Placer Title for getting on top of this!), and the listing agent didn’t know the wife was on title (thank you Placer Title for getting on top of this), and the listing agent gave us disclosures filled out so badly by the seller (and not signed by the wife) that they are incomplete and full of lies and oversights.
-I listed 2 properties that are on MLS waiver until they are ready to go.

Active listings 180, 172 last report
Pending listings 100, 98 last report

Highest priced NEW listing
Lowest priced NEW listing

Tuesday Tour 14, 2 repeats

note: the listings categories reflect the time period back 2 weeks but may have changed from new to active, active to pending, new to price change during that time. So properties may have gone through various status changes along the way.

New 12

Back on Market 2

Price Changes 14

Pending 27

Sold 18

Expired 7

Withdrawn/cancelled 3

Alameda real estate awards this week...remember this is only my perspective!
Winner, Bang for the Buck (and already pending: on market for 31K less than it sold for a couple of years ago.

Grand Dame, Get Me a Facelift (add some reconstructive surgery to that too).

Get Me a Facelift

So that’s a wrap! Have a great weekend!

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!