THE SECOND STORY | March 31st, 2011

Spring has sprung….

Blog photo: The mock cherry tree has a brief but glorious display this time of year!

Blog post: In my talks with buyers, agents, and lenders there is a lot of frustration with the local real estate market, especially now that spring has sprung and we aren’t seeing a lot of new inventory.  If I had the answer to what is going on, I’d expect I’d have left this world for higher callings!

Another frustration focuses on how much money is really out there.  There is cash, cash, cash and more cash offers than we’ve seen for many years.  The cash is coming from shrewd savers who have waited for this market for many years, knowing something had to give.  A lot of it goes to ‘fixer’ purchases which are priced according to condition and most likely would not be able to qualify for more traditional financing.

Then there is the other side of that equation.  Super well-qualified, well-document-ified ( made that up), well employ-ified (made that up, too) buyers, able to afford the payments including mortgage insurance fees, and all the high closing costs associated with minimum down-payment loans.  These folks are feeling shoved out of the market by other all cash buyers who are not buying fixers.

Where is that cash coming from?  A lot of it is coming from family members i.e. parents who have cash on hand, easily accessed cash via high equity positions in other real estate (as in a personal residence, free and clear or nearly so).  They are purchasing the property for the kids (may not be a wise thing to give that cash to them but I can’t say that because tax and legal advising is beyond the scope of my license).  Maybe they buy it and then turn it into a loan and factor estate planning strategies into that.  Ooops, I can’t say that either because tax and legal advising is beyond the scope of my license.

Well, you get the picture.  Cash buyers do have numerous tax and legal considerations, just like any other buyers, and coming in with a plan based on solid advice can make life lots simpler.

But back to the inventory issue.  Unless there is a strong motivation for owners to sell, testing the waters is a waste of time and water. So folks are holding back if they don’t have to sell.  IF on the other hand, they find the steal of the century that fits into their plans…that can provide a reason to sell when they least expect it!

Alameda, bless it’s big heart but small space, may demand some serious patience for those looking for the right place, right floor plan, right potential, right price (any order you like – see last week’s blog post).

If my own business is indicative of what is going on in the market place, there are listings in process, prepping for market.  We just haven’t seen them yet. 

Buyers, I can tell you this.  There is nothing more a seller wants than to have a well-prepped buyer make a realistic offer on their property.  And Sellers, I can tell you this,.  There is nothing more a buyer wants than to see their idea of the perfect place, that is also priced right.  Then we have a match made in heaven!

My listing at 325 Laguna Vista closed this week for 465K on an original 500K list price.  It should have closed for 485K months ago when exactly that offer was received only two weeks into the marketing of the property.  But often many things need to align.  And finally they did, on both the buyer and seller sides.

OPEN HOUSES THIS WEEKEND (courtesy of Island Blog)

Unsold inventory this week 175, 178 last report
Pending inventory this week 93, 92 last report

Broker Tour – only 3 on the tour this week, 1 was a repeat.

Highest and Lowest priced NEW listings this week.

New  10

BOM Back on Market  2

Price changes  14

Pending  15

Sold   9

Expired  2

Withdrawn/canceled  3

ALAMEDA REAL ESTATE AWARDS THIS WEEK….remember this is only my perspective and this week, ah, not so much.

Have a great weekend!  Enjoy the cool down with clear skies!  Carry on!  Make it work!  Smile….

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!