THE SECOND STORY | March 11th, 2011

Am I ranting? Ignore it…..pray for those involved in the huge earthquake in Japan.

Blog Photo: Alameda’s wild life in bird form.  She’s a beauty!  But when our flocks of Canada Geese get to be too comfortable, specially trained and approved dogs come out to the golf course with their master/mistress and run in pure joy as they quietly chase the geese off the traffic areas of the course.

Blog post:  A few random questions that have come to mind about our local attributes, our local real estate market, and the big picture in the US.

1.Will buyers who have been waiting to see if Measure A passed, now jump into the market?  The passage of the parcel tax last Tuesday may bring some more folks into the market from other areas because our schools are getting big time assistance from the community.  We’ll see.  If those buyers have income security, can stand the process of jumping through many incredibly small and tight financing hoops, can translate the higher cost of obtaining a mortgage into a long  term benefit, they may be entering the perfect storm for home buying.

2.  Are you thinking about how much money you are spending operating your car for short hops around town?   Are you consolidating even more of your trips?  Going to the corner grocery store for the small stuff?  I see so many more folks, all ages,  riding bikes all over town.  They’ve got baskets, side bags, big backpacks, and trailers for toting and hauling their stuff.  Alameda is really quite exceptional for having small, local stores and shopping districts, flat land, okay streets (don’t get me going on how bad they are for cyclists), bike paths, and great scenery!  People are riding on errands, to work, to restaurants, to the movies, and just enjoying the scenery through the town and around the perimeter!

3.  Are you thinking about downsizing and rightsizing more these days?  Not just with housing but are you off loading stuff you just don’t need or use any more?  Join the crowd.

4.  Where’s the bottom of the market?  It’s the place where more buyers are jumping to buy the best priced properties.

5. Without giving any specifics…if my clients get an accepted offer by the short-sale seller, anybody want to hazard a guess as to how long the two lenders will take to respond to the offer?  How about giving any odds that the lenders will even approve the short sale?  I told my clients to take an extended trip to Europe while they’re waiting to hear anything.

6. When the employment stats start to improve, how much time do you think the lending underwriters will require for time on a new job?  1 year, 2 years, 3 years?  Anybody thinking about how that will affect the market?  

7. Are you feeling sorry yet for the banks that made these garbage loans?  The guy who produced the Oscar winning documentary the Inside Job got it right.  How come none of the financial wizards on Wall Street and the big bank boys and girls aren’t being tried for stealing by the government?  Oh that’s right….some of those folks were IN the government having left Wall Street while the mess was getting cooking.  It’s not like we don’t know who they are! When we had the savings and loan melt down in the late 1980’s bank CEOs were being hauled off to jail! 

8.  Here’s another good read while you relax on a local park bench, taking a break from your bike ride, or enjoying a beverage along the beach.  I read The Big Short by Michael Lewis in just a few days when I was last in Maui.  This is about how some individual Wall Street warriors figured out how to bet against the big time investors who were creating all those derivitives and mortgage backed securities.   

9.  How’s all that stimulus money pumped into the economy working out for you?  Hhhmm. I’m not seeing it so much.  I have to agree with Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post who spoke Tuesday night at the Oakland Speakers Series....what’s right or left about getting the roads fixed in America?  My friend took these two notes:

10.  Speaking of Huffington, my friend shared two notes she took during the talk…
“Failure isn’t the opposite of success  just a stepping stone to success.”  When are we going to teach our kids that?  What is with the continual ‘everybody wins an award’ syndrome that is droning on and on.  We are creating a world of wimps.  And let’s put this to bed Arianna’s remark  “Journalism should be biopsies not autopsies.”   amen.

Quick glimpses:Here’s a really good article about first time buyers and what they are facing.
New Rules for First Time Buyers.


After years of trying to sell this unusual property aka The Webster House. sometimes for millions of dollars…looks what’s on the market as a bank repo for 599.9K.
These got caught up in the market downturn… the biz condos at the Harbor Bay Business Park...across from the shoreline park.  Been on the market for over either side of a year, was 720K now 520K.  These are actually very nice….and I think in the long run will be a great investment….get it…the long run.  There are such solid businesses out there now….it’s all good.
Unsold inventory this week 176, 176 last report
Pending inventory this week 87, 81 last report
Broker tour… 13 with 4 repeats. 
Priced right homes have sold in less than a week….and the buyers are winning if they understand the values.
Highest and lowest priced NEW listings....well, the high priced one has been on and off the market for 3 years.  But it’s been off for a while and now I’ll include it here.  The low priced listing….well if this is the best photo to offer, I wonder about the rest. 

ALAMEDA REAL ESTATE AWARDS THIS WEEKremember this is my perspective only
None this week.

PLEASE.…get some earthquake preparedness kits ready for your car, and your house.  A friend told me this week he was going to set up a small plastic (weather tight) storage bin, cubby, closet, or shed in his back yard in a relatively open corner to keep all kinds of supplies, tools, blankets, water, etc.  That sounds good to me.
That’s a wrap.  Give thanks, say your prayers, be smart and safe.

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!