THE SECOND STORY | July 8th, 2010

I love an Alameda parade…

Blog photo: Though not the July 4th Parade, for years Encinal High School has hosted a mega spring event that resembles a parade. The battle of the bands includes marching bands and drum and bugle corps from all over Northern CA. The talent and dedication is impressive! Over the years thousands of kids have come with their high school bands, buses, rental trucks, uniforms, coaches, teachers, parents, and instruments to compete. The competitors take to the streets and march through the neighborhoods. We locals love it! And they show their appreciation with awe, respect, and applause! I took this shot a couple of years ago.

The bottom line is I missed the 4th of July parade this year….it was kind of a hassle when my church commitments conflicted the event. I guess I missed the battle of the mayoral candidates as they attempted to end-run the City Attorney’s ruling that they could not shamelessly self-promote their desires to run this town!

Nonetheless, it was a lovely day, ending up with 8 friends sharing dinner here, and testing the useful life of 25+ year old sparklers. Turns out there is a short remaining useful life. Very short.

Blog post: Some observations about the market-
1. It’s alive and not dead.
2. The short sale inventory is reduced.
3. REOs (real estate owned by lenders) are still out there but not priced at rock bottom.
4. Prices seem to be stabilizing for the detached single family home section, with record highs for exceptional properties, and major lows for some of the townhomes and condos.
5. Rents are coming down.
6. Commercial properties (5+ more units) have taken a big hit (financing is tough, rents down).
7. Renters are room-sharing larger homes/apartments reducing the monthly costs.
8. There seems to be a trend for the properties that are tract homes and townhomes (those that are relatively easy to comp). If you know what prices were in 2002, before the big run up that topped out in 2007, the value today just might be close to the value back then. Condos don’t fit this profile. They are the hardest hit. Of course location and condition are big factors.

For the 91 Active residential single family, detached listings the average DOM (days on market) is 60. Remember that can be skewed by properties being removed from the market for 30 days, and then put back on. When that happens the number count starts over at zero.

For the 47 pending residential single family, detached listings the average DOM (days on market) is 31.

hhmm, should we be paying attention?

The property at 1533 Morton, hyped for it’s green features, came on the market 4/8/09 for 969K. It has not sold and today it is priced for 759K. So what’s with the green not selling? It is actually quite lovely inside.

However, in order to get it built behind the older home in front, the owners had to go condo with it, eliminate most of any type of front yard which is parking for the front house, back yard is minimal, three living levels means a fair number of stairs. And similar quality properties to both the front and back homes are a bit tough to find close by.

So I hope an appreciative, urban-type buyer will step up to the plate and make an offer! No, it’s not my listing, it’s just that it’s not about the green. It’s actually about knowing the neighborhood and the clientele.

What looked terrible then…looks pretty good now. 3306 Fir a Bay Farm Island single level 2/2 townhome just closed for 409K.

Back in 2006 I had the same model on the same street 3201 Fir listed for 569K having advised the clients that 539K was the proper price. We dropped it to 539K after about 210 days on the market. Then we pulled it off the market to re-group with painting and staging and a price change to 529K. It went pending right away and closed after a total of 251 DOM for 529K. These floor plans, with good upgrades, sold at the top of the market for over 575K.

What’s the phrase? If we don’t learn from history we are bound to repeat it. We need to pay attention to where our properties fit into the market not just for today but in a larger perspective including broader past trends. There are few more discouraging situations when an owner finds him/herself following the market downward….ugh, ugly, and tough.

This week we saw 1047 Melrose, the same floor plan I’ve been writing about. Price is 398K and it is rough…tenant occupied and needs work. It didn’t look like the MLS photos when we went in.

SUCCESS STORIES! I suggested in a recent post that consumers may want to check out I submitted my most recent ATT bill and Comcast bills to them immediately after I heard about the company on the late news about a month ago.

For the next 12 months, my ATT bill, has been reduced by $10 per month. I contacted ATT to review the changes and my service and program is not change…just the price!

And based on what I see for my Comcast bill, it looks like that is coming down at least $30 per month! Now that’s super great! Same service, not the same price. CHECK IT OUT!

Alameda real estate this week…

I put a new listing on the market on Tuesday. Check out 1001 Shoreline #406 It’s a top floor 2/2 condo with full bay views not to be confused with my listing that was a 3rd floor unit that got rented for a year.

Active listings 189, 173 last report
Pending listings 79, 77 last report

Tuesday Broker Tour 7 with 2 repeats.

Highest and lowest priced NEW listings

New 17

BOM Back on Market 1

Price changes

Pending 5

Sold 4


Withdrawn/canceled 2

Alameda real estate awards this week…remember this is only my perspective!

Winner of the Week This is a beautifully re-done, compact bunalow…every aspect.

Bang for the Buck Goes to my new listing – bay views, in unit full-sized laundry, detached single car garage!

That’s a wrap! Carry on!

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!