THE SECOND STORY | May 13th, 2010

Out of the gate and heading for the finish. Good luck – there never is a finish when you own property.

Blog photo: The photo actually belongs to the ‘finish’ portion of the post title. Tuesday I had the distinct privilege of getting a tour of the interior of last week’s blog subject (“Peeling away the layers”). I was iInvited to take a look last Saturday but was unable. Tuesday the owner was out front when I pulled into our driveway on my bike, having completed the Broker Tour.

I am in awe. Total awe. The owner has had experience over the decades completely rehabbing Alameda property but I expect he may take the most pride in this project. So walk by and enjoy the revelation but do not disturb our new neighbors. It is now occupied and we want to honor their privacy.

I was permitted to take quite a few photos so those may show up in future posts. This is the entry west-side stained glass window, completely rebuilt by Alameda’s amazing stained glass artist, Ken Mathias . He completely rebuilt our dining room window about three years ago. It was bulging with small sunlight holes where the lead was sagging….but not bad for 109 years old. We should all wish to look so good if we make it to that age!

Blog title: With daughter Sutter in town from New Zealand for an annual and very quick few short days, she and I caught a Jet Blue flight to Long Beach for the day, meeting up with son Evan, who drove up from San Diego. Our mission – and we chose to accept it – was to check in on Papa (my dad and their granddad), who, fortunately, was doing a lot better than in recent weeks.

During the visit Evan mentioned the growing list of surprises in the ‘new-to-them’ first home he and Erin bought last summer. So I asked him to send me an update. Thus the beginning of the post title ‘Out of the gate.’ Here is what he sent along:

Broken and fixed:

– Built in microwave had a blown capacitor, covered by home warranty (HW)
– Water heater broke ($425 buyout from HW which went towards new tankless.)
– Dishwasher crapped out (HW didn’t cover because it was hard water issue.)
– Leaking kitchen faucet – cheaper to buy new one than replace old one (HW didn’t cover faucets.) $300 with installation. I like the new one better.
– Toilet in master bath would continuously run – manufacturer sent us a part to fix it for free (I did the work)
– Leak in front yard irrigation (I fixed!)

Things I didn’t expect the Seller to take:
– the outdoor shades that were covering all the glass in our living room (we found the same product and bought our own 3 x $75 = $225)
– the garage door opener
– the mirror in the guest bath

Still to do:
– Replace roof (seller gave us $2500 credit)
– Investigate what looks to be termites around framing in glass doors in backyard
– Look into a home water system to help prevent hard water build up issues. Want a salt-less product.
– Replace one of the two lights in the master bath. It’s some custom unique thing – not a standard bulb.
– Find the ground for the house. Our neighborhood is getting underground utilities (awesome!) and they left us a note saying they couldn’t find the ground. We are one of the first communities in SD to have the work done – very lucky. Some people have to wait 50 YEARS and are already paying for it.

Despite this list I love the house. The size, layout, location and upgrades are all really nice. Couldn’t be happier and more thankful. Ev

Quick Glimpses:
Appraisals and the rules that might affect you
CA purchase credit getting used up FAST! Don’t blink or it will be gone!

Alameda real estate this week…
The listing I had at 2128-30 Buena Vista closed Wednesday for 595k as is (through and through as is!). What I thought was interesting was that I initially told the estate Trustee that I thought 599K would generate good interest yet, because the heirs needed to know they had not left money on the table, we went with 659K and that made sense. After the first transaction blew out because the buyers came back for a huge price reduction based on all the reports and inspections they got (even with the property and pest inspections the Trust obtained), the price went to 599K. And in less than a week it was pending again. And the ultimate sale price was higher than the price the first buyers came back with. Say buh-bye.

Check out the closed sales….see what lingered and went down, and check out what went fast and climbed up in price. Pretty interesting.

Active listings this week 154, 149 last report
Pending listings this week 100, 106 last report

Highest and lowest priced new listings

Tuesday Broker Tour 10, one repeat

New 17 1810 Clinton is now bank-owned. It was sold in 2000 for 760k on a 795K list, as 2 houses on one lot – duplex in each building. The buyer then subdivided the lot, kept the single level lagoon duplex and sold off the front Victorian duplex – for a lot of money. In 2006 the front portion was sold for 849K. It is currently configured as a single family home. Minimal back yard to speak of, easement drive for those in the back duplex, two parking spaces dedicated to the front unit. List price is now 660K, after it had been listed for 990K, then 879K.

BOM (back on market) 1 This is a short sale, nice Gold Coast home, very small lot. Sold for 869K in 2005. Now on market for 699, 750. It was pending – don’t know if the buyer walked or the offer just got old and died, or the lender(s?) wouldn’t/couldn’t figure it out.

Price changes 10

Pending 17

Sold 15

Expired 5

Withdrawn/canceled 2

Alameda real estate awards this week...remember this is only my perspective!
I rode my bike around but was more confused by what I saw, than convinced (whatever that means). Units with units that didn’t count, units with space that might be a unit but shouldn’t be, agents saying no- I don’t know what the city permit history is (a policy that some offices hold to – the concept being if ya don’t know about it, it doesn’t exist, eh?), units not viewable. So no awards this week. Note that the only selection I gave multiple awards to last week is now pending. When it’s good it’s good.

That’s a wrap! Carry on! Make it work! Have a good weekend!

best, 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!