THE SECOND STORY | September 9th, 2010

A new view, and various points of view.

Blog photo: I took this a couple of weeks ago while on the Broker Tour (yes, I asked permission!). I don’t remember seeing a window quite like this around town! I love it! Here’s the link to the house that owns the window.

Blog post: I’m trying to make a conscious effort these days to consider differing points of view. This does not come easy to me since in my minuscule world I have the only correct opinion that matters. So I find myself reminding myself of the adage ‘Seek first to understand THEN be understood.’

With that in mind, I direct you to the two links I’ve posted under the Quick Glimpses heading below. One addresses the pros and cons of various sources used for housing price reports. The other has behind it the thought of just what can we expect the government to be doing in this economic mess.

And then my last comment is directed to all California elected AND appointed officials. Quit trying to protect your rear-ends in this election year. Pass a budget and get with the program of working for the greater good. Or better yet, resign your offices and get a real life, in the trenches with the people you are supposed to represent. Ah, only in my dreams.

Oh, a follow up to last week’s post about photos being worth 1000’s of words and dollars: it turns out that my friend’s belongings were actually all in place in those storage units, much to everybody’s relief. So just what happened? Lesson 1 – if you take your own photos, take enough to know what’s really in the picture. A shot of a fairly full storage unit does not all the story tell. Lesson 2 – if you send someone over to take photos for you, well, just don’t do that – unless they really know what it is you are expecting to see in the photos. Lesson 3 – have someone go over in person and check out the situation in real life, if possible, before the police are called to take a report that subsequently need to be canceled.

Follow up 2 – For those who aren’t on Facebook, not part of my family email blast list, didn’t get my outgoing work voice mail the end of last week, or didn’t get my voice mail to my office, Sutter and Sean, living in Christchurch, New Zealand, are fine. As fine as anybody can be with 100’s of aftershocks, a few in quick succession registering over 5.0 and 6.0. Sutter called 30 min after the big one took place (7.1) to let me know they were okay (5am for them at that point). That afternoon they had power back, and while they were warned it could be days before they got water and sewer back, they had them both in less than 1 day. Not sure if they are still being told to boil water. That night we were on video Skype for about 90 minutes. That certainly was comforting to me, and I hope them.

Nothing like a good earthquake to get one blogging again (as her brother Evan said) and you’ll see she’s reactivated her blog, listed on the right sidebar. It’s got some good stuff on it. Turns out they are sitting on a fault that hasn’t moved for 16 thousand years. Facebook became an invaluable way to communicate to 100’s of people for me, Evan, Sutter and Sean. It has been an amazing resource for quick updates. No casualties. Lots of major damage to 1000’s of unreinforced masonry buildings, as well as roads, tracks, you name it.

If you do nothing with Facebook, consider only making it part of your emergency preparedness efforts or at least get word of your status to a trusted friend or family member (if you have cell service) so they can get the word out in one quick post. And if you are on FB, have that friend post your status on YOUR wall! You won’t believe how many will be checking in.

Quick Glimpses
Housing price reports – do they make sense or do you need to keep a larger view?
False economy? Let the market find it’s own way?

Alameda real estate this week….
This is like a broken record….PRICE is everything! The market speaks if it’s too high….it speaks by no activity, no calls, no nothing and the spoken word is actually silent. PRICE is everything! The market speaks if it’s too low….multiple offers in short order, maybe going over the list price, and I’m not talking for fixers and dumps….I’m talking less than 3 days after a home went on the market for 899K (same price as 2003, I believe). And there is a lot of cash out there, too.

So here’s a great example of this.
1715 A Second Street (a Woodstock co-op unit). It sold for 360K on a 350K list 4/06. Most recently it’s been on the market for many months, first as a For Sale By Owner, then listed with an agent starting at 329K and finishing that run at 299K. You will see it listed in the NEW section for $149,888 now. It’s going to be sold at auction! I’m guessing the owners have a reserve price they can fall back on that is significantly higher than the advertised auction price. IF you are around Sept 15, Wed. at 11:30 stop by the property and watch what happens! I’m hoping to be a spectator there. Remember, these are owner occupied properties only (or to approved relatives), 20% down is required, and you buy a stock certificate that gives you a 99 year lease.

Get it? The market spoke by its silence…and now the owners are trying to get the market to bid out loud!

Last year I wrote about the auction scheduled for the Webster House (1238 Versailles), and after it was to have started, the agent came out and said the owner canceled it.

Active listings this week 193, 181 last report
Pending listings this week 79, 79 last report

Highest and Lowest priced NEW listings this week

Broker tour...11 with 2 repeats – a nice bike ride!

New 18

BOM (back on market) 0

Price changes 11

Pending 6

Sold 5

Expired 0

Withdrawn 5

Alameda real estate awards this week….
remember this is only my perspective!
Get me to Rehab

The Webster Street Jam is happening this weekend. If you like Michael Jackson music….head over to Webster at 5:30 for a special gig featuring a MJ cover band.

OK! That’s a wrap! Enjoy your weekend! Be safe, be with loved ones. All the 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!