THE SECOND STORY | July 16th, 2009

“The pot of gold is found right at our home!”


(My clients sent this to me with the note “The pot of gold is right at our home!” This is their home at 219 Cypress B, right here in Alameda! While I’m not sure when this was taken, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was last Saturday evening. We’d had a very light sprinkle, it was fairly warm, and the clouds were pretty. We were walking to the 114th birthday celebration of a huge home on Central and other walkers were pointing out the massive bright and double rainbow right behind us!)

I asked the same clients if they’d elaborate on why they love co-op living so much here in Alameda. They love it so much they would love to buy a larger unit in Alameda’s Woodstock neighborhood. Get it? They REALLY love it! And they asked if I might pump up their neighborhood and home in my blog. So here is my response to their request.

And here is their response to my request. It’s one and the same! And I hope some of you might spread the word of one of Alameda’s amazing housing secrets, at the tip of the island’s west end.

“As far as Woodstock goes, these are the best selling points (I think) to a potential buyer:

1. The LOW monthly cost of living here – no mortgage insurance, no homeowner’s insurance, no structural maintenance costs/worries, no gas bills, no water bills, no sewer bills, no trash bills – it’s all taken care of by the co-op (so no even hassling w/paying any of it) for our HOA which is $140/month.

2. A significant cash reserve held by the co-op – one of the most financially sound HOAs in the state. No worries about some crazy delayed maintenance charge in the thousands dropping on you from out of the blue.

3. The people who handle the stock transfer (both here at Woodstock & the lender, NCB) have been working with Woodstock for a long, long time. They have the whole thing down to a science (OK, a slow science, but…). You don’t have to worry about finding a lender who will approve a mortgage for a stock-transfer or figuring out how to handle all the paperwork; there are people – who are not biased to seller or buyer – who have been through it & will make it all go smoothly (touch wood).

4. And then there’s all the touchy-feely stuff:

  • a strong sense of community – a small, tight-knit community in Alameda (already a small, tight-knit community); we feel a connection with neigbors who live blocks away because we’re all part of this co-op; we watch out for each other, we help each out, and there’s just TONS of friendliness when you walk around; most units, including ours, face large shared green areas which contribute to an even tighter sense of community – BUT, at the same time, they’re all individual (and ours just has one shared wall)
  • a strong sense of history – the oldest residential co-op west of the Mississippi – with some of the original owners (civilian workers at the old Navy base who were housed here when the gvmt decided to sell it off after the war; as you know, these folks loved it so much that they pooled their resources, formed the co-op and bought the land – that’s why we even own the streets!)
  • a really unique residence – the 200 units aren’t the same; it’s not just cookie-cutter apartments-cum-condos; there are these walkways that run through here that are really fun to explore; some of the streets are actually owned by the co-op, including Cypress; has that great 1940s look on the outside – board tries to keep exteriors in line with historic nature of co-op (but no worries – not a registered historic building); all the yards are different because they were created by neighbors/co-op members just putting up fences where they agreed they should be
  • tranquil yet convenient – way out here on the very west end, practically the end of the road; people who live in Alameda (esp Bay Farm) don’t even know where it is; hardly any through traffic on our street – so quiet that the kids ride their bikes in the street during the summer!; and we’re situated to face the courtyard rather than the street, so we’re not staring out at the street; super close to tube, transbay bus, ferry, BART and all the stuff on Webster St. (including the rocking new farmers’ market, new cafe on Webster, BBQ, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, pub, bar that features local wines & beers – with special vintners/brewers nights, too), the beaches & summer concerts, the Bladium – not your Momma’s West End?

So, those are notes. I can do more (not more info but more structured writing) if you’d like, but I figured you might just want some ideas to get your own thoughts going. Possible slants might be the undiscovered aspects of West End, the uniqueness of the co-op (the history, etc). Be pleasantly surprised by our secretive little island’s best kept secret. So, way more thoughts than I thought I had in my head. Thanks for diligently reading to the end!”

And I might add, that the west end is now the quietest part of all 94501 and 94502 since the base closed! Keep that in mind! Thanks S&D!

New subject! I thought this article related somewhat to how Alameda has faired in this mortgage meltdown mess. How to Find the Best Place For You To Live

New subject! This time last year Evan, Erin, and I were in London for a couple of nights of theatre productions (including Phantom of the Opera), and then on to Scotland. We spent 4 days in Turnberry, site of the British Open which is going on right now. We played their small course a couple of times and it is so cool to see it on TV having been there! Greg Norman and his wife Chrissy Evert were guests at the Westin Turnberry where we stayed. He was playing the the British Senior Open up the road a piece. The main difference is that they used Mr. Norman’s helicopter to get around each day. We hoofed it or rented a taxi. What a great place!

Alameda real estate this week….

It looks like we have a 3rd accepted offer on 933 Shoreline #305 as of tonight. Yea, again! With a larger down payment, this one should stick.

I have a new listing I put on the market on Tuesday and had it open for the Broker Tour. 1305 Regent is a Queen Anne Victorian duplex. Check out the website for a virtual tour, floor plans, and why this could be a nice opportunity for the next owners. It’s another example of understanding how the Alameda Amnesty Program can work to legalize a housing unit that has been around for decades. It would be impossible to create the same unit today. The upper unit will be open Sunday 2-4pm and I’ll be there. Swing by and say hi! It is being promoted as a duplex as well as a single family home.

The Tuesday Tour was PACKED! 25 properties! Only 4 repeats. Because I hosted the Regent open house I’m behind a bit on the inventory. I’ve caught up on about 8 properties but will be playing catch-up as best possible.

Note that two high end Harbor Bay homes went pending this week. That must be some type of indication….not sure of what but….somethin’. And 409 Lincoln went pending shortly after the Broker Tour.

Highest priced NEW listing

Lowest priced New listing

New
18

BOM (back on market) 4

Price changes 11

Pending 19

Sold 11

Expired 2

Withdrawn/cancelled 4

Alameda real estate awards this week….

Bang for the Buck, Winner

Get Me to Rehab

Get Me a Facelift (tie)

Out of Rehab (and now pending)

Cute/Charming (tie – based on the mls photos….I didn’t get to see them yet).

That’s a wrap! Have a great weekend! Carry on! marilyn

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Marilyn

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! www.MarilynSchumacher.com to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!