THE SECOND STORY | November 4th, 2010

Alameda: 3 days of emotional overload! Halloween, The World Series, the election.

Blog photo: The hopes and dreams were realized for many Giants fans this week! I took this in 2008 and it seems to express that waiting…

Blog post: I’ve decided I’m feeling tired because it’s emotional overload. I’m not a huge fan of Halloween, but gosh golly, Alameda has gone over the top with decorations up to a month before the candy snatch takes place! I was rather pleased that my neighbors to the east decorated so extensively. Their yards and porches were transformed into such amazing grave sites (the upper half of bodies rising out of the ground), complete with sounds, lightening, and fog, no doubt the trick or treaters went right past our place which must have looked deader (more dead?) than the dead next door! But a group of us gathered for dinner up the street on one of the busiest corners in town, saw some of the cutest little kids ever in their costumes.

Then the World Series! And the Giants won! And the election! And a lot of people didn’t win! And then the San Francisco parade for the Giants! And I think everybody won with that. Time for a nap.

Quick glimpses:
-Rates are BELOW 4% – what could you do with that? this article is really good.
-Refi if you are over 50? Pros and cons from the pros
-Refi again in less than a year?

Alameda real estate this week….
The pending sales romp continues but there were only 3 new listings (out of 5) on the tour this week. So are we going to see the seasonal slow down as we get closer to Thanksgiving? Hhhhmm, maybe not with the interest rates so low. If buyers have lined up their financing and are ready to deal, they may find sellers ready to deal too. I tell my listing clients that the number of showings may simmer down, and some buyers will pull back from the market because of the holidays or because there are not as many properties coming on the market. BUT those buyers who are out there, and those sellers who choose to stay in the market, may find more motivation between the parties during this time period. Low rates for the buyers….too many days on the market for some sellers….might be a match.

Sellers… if you are staying on the market during the holidays, be disciplined enough to hold back on decorations. All that stuff crowds rooms and takes away from what the buyers really want to see. Keep it seasonal with easy color, and do the same with the gardens. It’s welcoming.

Buyers…don’t be afraid to shop in the rain! Look around to see where the puddles are, where the rain ponds, how the gutters and downspouts are functioning (or not), whether there are signs of water in ceilings. But be courteous and take off those wet shoes and jackets when you enter the house.

Agents….be sure you have mats and towels for those buyers to use…not only listing agents to lay them at the doors, but buyer’s agents – keep some in your car in case there is a downpour. Most buyers won’t carry towels and I bet they’ll appreciate being able to wipe their shoes and coats off a bit. You’ll look extra smart in your client’s eyes.

Unsold properties this week 183, 194 last report
Pending listings this week 94, 83 last report

Highest and Lowest price NEW listings

Well, I’m fudging a bit this week with the lowest. The house on Cedar is in receivership and finally has a strong listing agent. After many years of legal hassles between the city and the owner, it looks like this process may lead the property out of blight and the non-occupant owner/slum lord out of the picture. Cedar was on the market previously but not as aggressively priced. This needs so much work that salvaging the extreme water damaged interior, from floors to walls to ceilings, not to mention the exterior, may be cost prohibitive, and it might be more financially viable to knock it down. Good luck getting that through the city Historical Advisory Board, Planning Board, and whoever else needs to rubber stamp that. Not that it’s impossible, just a time consuming huge hassle. The fact is, the longer this dump sits around the worse it gets, and the harder it will be to find someone to do anything with it.

Tuesday Tour
5 with 2 repeats Another GLORIOUS day for a bike ride tour combined with errands!


BOM (back on market) 1

Repositioned properties (price changes) 6

Pending 16

Sold 5

Market-rejected properties 7

Withdrawn/canceled 5

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

Get me a facelift

Get me to rehab – see the low in the high/low link above!

I’ll be holding 108 B Cypress open on Sat 2-4pm and opening up the it’s little sister at 1808 Main for anybody who wants to see it after the Cypress open house. Then I’ll be at 16640 Cumora (San Lorenzo) on Sunday 2-4. It’s over 1800sf and immaculate on a cul-de-sac. Check out all the websites!

That’s a wrap! Carry on! Make it work!

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!