THE SECOND STORY | March 4th, 2010

Bob and his sled slip sliding awaaay…

Post Title: I don’t know if anybody named Bob is in this sled but it just seemed right to say so. I’m running on fumes and almost anything right now seems either funny or absurd. I thought this was one of the best shots that Evan and Erin , who traveled with a group of friends, shared from their trip to the Winter Olympics in Whistler. They raved about everything. Evan has lots of photos posted on FaceBook, if you care to look, and I think Erin has them on her classroom website (link in the column to the right).

This shot gave me a much better perspective on the banked turn(s) that look to be 90 degrees, and Ev said that’s about right. They are pulling 5 g’s here. I’m a pilot and have played around with g loads. I can hardly stand anything over 2 g’s so just seeing this my stomach tightens up and my face droops with the pressure. ughhh! What a great opportunity for them! I wonder if they are thinking about heading to Russia for the winter games in 2014?

Alameda opportunities:

What’s faster than the bobsled? Check out this message from Melody Marr, Alameda Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director:

Perhaps you have heard or read that WireAlameda is working with the City to provide support for a community application to Google for ultra high speed internet access. Jennifer Ott and Leslie Little are heading up this effort on behalf of the City.

Ultra-high speed internet service would be a tremendous benefit to Alameda and the business community. Because we are in competition with other communities, we need to file supporting nominations to show Google how deeply Alameda supports this application.

Excerpt from wireAlameda:
WireAlameda, a community organization, has organized to help Alameda apply for the pilot program and is currently working with the City to assist them with its submission. Additional information can be found at WireAlameda. We are writing you let you know about this opportunity for Alameda and to tell you what you can do to help make it happen.

I went online Tuesday night while watching the short (really!) and short-of-city-council-members meeting where this was introduced, and did my bit to say how I thought this community would use this technology (libraries, efficiency for plan checking and permit processing, schools, businesses, attracting businesses, changing the dynamics of how we can meet the variety of ways kids learn, etc.)

Folks, help us get this opportunity in town! This is a real deal, a real attraction to future businesses, a real shot in the finance pocket for increased tax dollars based on business revenues here in Alameda.

The America’s Cup: Also a subject at the same council meeting was the urgency of getting Alameda to make its presence known to the Larry Ellison America’s Cup team that claimed victory of the auld mug a week or two ago. IF they decide to use SF as the venue they will need land, facilities, easy water access, and a myriad list of support businesses for the effort. Folks, this a really big deal too. We have a rather quiet but substantial marine industry here in Alameda. We need to exploit it and let these movers and shakers know what the former base might be able to offer them. The city is aggressively pursuing this also. This is also a huge tax generator with 100’s of millions of dollars going into the this type of event over the course of four years.

Maybe these opportunities will help frame and bring into focus what Alameda Point could really be in the near future, and beyond.

(I can speak with a bit of experience regarding the America’s Cup – Carl was on the design team for the yacht that had the novel fore and aft (bow and stern rudders)!

Alameda real estate this week….

First and foremost, my own biz
– (since most of this is all about me ;)) – Closed 221 Central last Friday – a trying short sale by clients bought. This property was on the market officially for over 550 DAYS! Find a buyer, lose a buyer, over and over. What challenges….my clients endured the every changing rules of financing their purchase, the on again off again demeanor of the Chase negotiator for the first loan, yet the Chase negotiator for the second loan negotiator was a dream to work with apparently. Do you get it? Two loans, both Chase, and there is no way the right hand was even connected to the same body as the left hand.

These short sales are a nightmare. Except for Wachovia. They actually send reps to meet with the clients, review the processes, get the offer together in very short order, and close the transactions! They are a sellers’, buyers’, escrow officers’, and real estate agents’ dream come true. It doesn’t change the ugliness of the situation but it does get the ‘deal’ done.

But the beauty came through with a post on FaceBook by my client:’Never been so happy to move a lawn in my life.’ And that’s her story….

Second, an apology...due to the pace this week and holding a broker open house at my new listing at 933 Shoreline (a lovely full bay view condo) on Tuesday, I only saw one property on the tour. I was almost tricked to getting on my bike to get around to view most of them on Wednesday, then looked to the south and turned around immediately to change clothes and prepare for some major rain and wind which arrived furiously a few minutes later. So I got in the car. As I was driving down Otis to combine previews with errands I saw my 80+++ year old neighbor walking back home with her cloth grocery bag slung over her shoulder just as big drops started plopping on the ground. So I stopped and picked her up and got her home, got the demanding errands done, and then ran out of time. So that’s my story.

Third, market indicators..A healthy group of new listings this week.
And 6 offers came in on the Peach Street property. I moderated the review of the offers for the seller because the listing agent wrote an offer on behalf of his buyer for the property. Our company policy is to offer a fair and level playing field for the other agents and their customers who write offers. So we move the listing agent away so he/she does not have an unfair advantage of seeing the other offers.

People are writing offers….we are seeing quick sales on many properties. I wrote an offer on a bank repo late today and 4 offers were already in on that. My listing on Buena Vista (2 houses, one lot) has received 3 offers in the past 2 weeks (two were lousy) and the third, today, may work out.

And the most telling market indicator...the volume of emails I’m getting from the most bizarre lenders offering creative and crazy financing, promising the world, but I bet they can hardly deliver a piece of dirt, much less a dollar towards a successful close. But folks….they’re back!

Check out these two articles –
GFE – maybe your new BFF – get the real costs of the goods (financing) in writing – early.
Working around foreclosure on your house

Active listings 127, 116 last report
Pending listings 41, 84 last report (reflects the large number of closings last week)

Highest priced new listing
Lowest priced new listing

Tuesday Tour

New 19 (some are repeats from a while back)

BOM (Back on Market) 1

Price changes 2

Pending 14

Sold 8 (1815 Santa Clara closed back in Oct – oops! somebody forgot…)

Expired 7 (some are showing up as new again)

Withdrawn/cancelled 2

Oh! Did I mention that The Shredding Party attendees contributed $305 to the Alameda Fire Department’s CERTS program (Citizen Emergency Response Training) and then I matched that number and got the checks right into the hand of the person who runs the show. Now graduates can get the backpacks of necessities they need in order to help do their jobs for you and me when a disaster strikes our town and/or neighborhoods.

And that’s a wrap for a long day…..enjoy your 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!