THE SECOND STORY | February 4th, 2011

On hold….

Open homes this weekend courtesy Island Blog.  I expect there are more but this is a new feature for the Island Blog and not all the sources may know this is theirs to use!  Alameda Journal has the best list, but not digital, at least not that I can find.  If you have a good Alameda open house link source, let me know please!.

Blog Photo: Taken Thurs. Feb 3 on my iphone at the bird preserve dock/deck, near foot of Shoreline at Broadway.  Wish I had my regular camera.  I have never seen such a bright and deep orange-pink sky.  Ever. And this shot does Mother Nature no justice!

Blog post:  Discussion is heating up about Measure A, the new proposed parcel tax for property owners in Alameda.  How does that affect the market right now?  I asked the staff at our office meeting on Wednesday if they’d heard or knew of any buyer action/reaction to the measure.  And I’ve asked various agents around town for their experiences.

Several at our weekly meeting volunteered that they have clients they have already lost to Emeryville (yep!), El Cerrito, and Albany due to schools being more surely funded.  Agents who have clients in the higher end have been showing more property around Rock Ridge and Claremont in Oakland (which I don’t get since those have Oakland public schools, making Alameda look much better on all fronts), and that the higher end folks are now looking at low-end Piedmont properties. 

It appears that the demographic that is concerned about schools is in a holding pattern until the results of Measure A are known.  Agents have said to me they have clients who will drop Alameda from any further searches if the parcel tax doesn’t pass.

What’s it mean?  It means buyers want some commitment from the community for their schools.  It also means that those buyers are less concerned about inheriting that additional tax on their bill, than they are about the quality of schools.  It means we are all in this together and if we don’t think it affects all of us we are blind to reality.

As I said at an Alameda Association of Realtors meeting on Wednesday, I hate the mess the state is in.  I think the public school system in the state sucks (too blunt for you?).  The state has broken every law, rule, and commitment there is to fund the schools as required and it’s stolen incredible amounts from every school district.

I also said that our kids deserve quality education.   And at this time the parcel tax method is the most common way to make up the deficits created by the state for many years running.  I don’t like paying these things.  But I vote for them.  Because I also know that a strong school system pulls in diverse and dedicated families trying to find the best for their kids.  And that makes for a better community all around.

The education in the nation is a royal mess.  Maybe sometime I’ll expound on that.  But if we don’t educate these kids, and get it right….starting right now by raising expectations of parents and kids and teachers and all the local residents, the future indeed is dim for all of us.

Never has there been more opportunity to completely revamp almost all of our systems, including education.  Now is the moment and we’d better not lose it, regardless of whether Measure A passes or not.  And revamping, in my book, means finding ways for ALL community members to participate in making schools a success, not just property owners.  Since the state has broken the rules and has no intention of mending them, it’s best we come up with ways to augment what we get, and make it work. Thus, throw the old rules out, and let’s start getting creative with some new ones for funding on local levels.  We can learn a lot from economies of scale.  The more we have participating, the less it hurts the pocketbook.  We have a choice, but in the long run…not much.   

Quick glimpses:
CNN Market to be flat in 2011
NY Times: Curbing closing costs
The Wall Street Journal:Boom gains all gone. 

Alameda market stats …
…for all residential properties, all prices, all types (condo, townhome, single family) for the last quarter of 2010.  Jan 2011 hasn’t been generated quite yet….another week or so.  But even though the parameters are broad, you’ll  get an idea of what is going on!   Thanks to Harbor Bay Realty for providing this service to its agents!  If you’d like a more custom made result for a specific price range and type of property, let me know. 


Unsold listings this week  188, 190 last report
Pending listings this week 58, 54 last report 

Tues tour 6 with 1 repeat

Highest and Lowest priced NEW listings this week 

New 12  

BOM Back on Market  2

Repositioned (price changes)  10

Pending  12

Sold  6

Market rejected (expired)  5

Withdrawn/canceled  2

Winner and Cute/Charming

For my clients and friends!
Marilyn Schumacher’s 5th Annual SHREDDING PARTY
More details will be emailed and mailed. 

No cost to you so bring your bags and boxes of papers and watch them turn to bitty pieces on site!  

This is my gift to the wonderful people in my life!

THAT’S A WRAP!  CARRY ON!  MAKE IT WORK! Contact me if you need vendor referrals.  I may be able to help.

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!