THE SECOND STORY | August 20th, 2009

Golf Gals

(That’s me with my friend Linda! She and I play a round of golf almost every week. We take her new fancy candy apple red Lexus and throw our stuff in the back. She drives out her driveway, crosses the street, and backs into my driveway. Last Friday she drove us to Harding Park in San Francisco, next to Lake Merced.

This shot is after we hit off the 18th tee and had to fly the balls over water and a marsh, which we did. The big-time President’s Cup will be held there this October and we are trying to expand our golf experiences beyond the Alameda Muni so we decided to play where the big boys play. With great luck we had mostly sunshine and not too much wind – and a fun time on a course that is considered challenging. A nice guy from TX joined us. He and his wife came to SF to get out of the heat in Dallas. I think their trip was a success, as was our field trip!)

Alameda real estate this week….

I’m going to jump right into the thick of things and try to give you a flavor of what’s going on based on my experiences over the past seven days.

Last Friday – My clients closed on their full bay view condo at 933 Shoreline. List price was 419K, and they got that price and then gave $3375 for the buyers’ closing costs.

We actually sold this three times in the past 7 weeks. The first time there were three offers. The one that was accepted backed out because the buyers got concerned about transfers with their jobs and the condo rules said you have to owner occupy your unit for at least two years before you can rent it. If the allowable number of rentals was maxed out, then they’d be up a creek.

The second buyers came in with a minimal down payment and were using FHA financing and everything looked super good. But the FHA didn’t approve of the complex because of unfunded liabilities (sounds like our city), so buh-bye to them. The third buyers were actually in the second bidding group but this time were able to rustle up 20% down and they now own it.

In the middle of that transaction there was a leak in the bathroom ceiling, caused by a failed wax ring under a toilet. A chunk of the ceiling was replaced, the toilet fixed, the ceiling painted, and problem solved. I was so grateful for a proactive owner in the upper unit who promptly accepted responsibility for the corrective work.

Last Sunday – The open house Sunday at 1727 Clinton was full of folks. It’s a great way to watch people, and then hear what they are saying when they don’t know they can be heard. I guess that’s called eavesdropping but I’m not hiding and then listening. They are just talking loud! People loved the storage, the floor plan, and were awed by the finished basement. I’ll be there this Sunday 2-4.

Last Monday morning – The fixer house at 757 Pacific (list price 250K) received 13 offers last Monday. Goodness! Of those, 11 were all cash. Of those six were countered.

Last Monday afternoon – Took a Buyer and his charming daughter out to look at property for our first time together. Saw four places. Interest in two.

Last Monday night – I put a condo on the market. 2137 Otis #316. It’s the third time I’ve sold this particular unit in the last 5 years or so. The most recent owner paid $359, 000 (higher than the list), because this was her dream unit in a dream location. She lived in the complex for decades and decided when it came on the market. Due to market conditions, it’s now priced at 269K. It’s the top floor, back corner unit overlooking the lagoon. Sweet. And immaculate with nice upgrades. It got an offer last night but it’s too low, too soon, so it is being tossed.

Last Tuesday – Of those six counter offers, five were returned for the Seller to consider. And the price marched upward. All contingencies had to be removed and close in 21 days.

Last Tuesday eve – Still trying to get info about the situations for the houses my client was interested in.

Last Wednesday – We had a winner for the fixer on Pacific.

Here’s what I have learned this past week with the action on Pacific. Buyers and their agents think they have a lot of control. Not so much. Their agents are presenting incomplete offers when there have been specific instructions to include proof of funds available to close the transaction, include signed off disclosures, and don’t mess with terms when there is so much competition! Sure prices are down, but good perceived values are out there, so the agents need to learn to write a strong, clean offer, and make it easy for the seller to accept it. I certainly hope that is what I do when I’m representing buyers….It goes a long way towards credibility. I made sure to compliment in writing, the two agents who wrote beautiful, complete, organized offers but whose clients were not quite aggressive enough.

Again, another big week for pending sales, and the number of closed transactions is starting to reflect the boost in pending sales about 4 weeks ago.

New subject! I thought this article on indecision was good. I think we all go through this. It’s always a challenge to see the wider view when I’m wrapped up in the minutiae of the moment.

Active listings 162, 167 last report
Pending listings 115, 117 last report

Tuesday tour 14, 4 repeats

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing my listing on Otis

New 14

BOM (back on market) 1

Price changes 11

Pending 18

Sold 16

Expired 5


Real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perception!

Winner, Got me a Facelift

Bang for the Buck

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it! Carry on! Have a nice weekend! 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!