THE SECOND STORY | October 10th, 2013

898 Union St. Alameda – the sign is blowing in the wind!

I got a call Friday evening from my neighbor if I had seen my For Sale sign on the ABC channel 7 news!  No, I hadn’t.

Turns out he shot this for the news so his wife, the local ABC  news producer, had something to show it was a bit breezy around the Bay Area! At least one of my friends saw it on Ch 7!  Thanks, John!

And yes, it will be open on Sat and Sun 2-4pm!  Come see the house (and me)!

BOOMER-CHICK-MUSINGS  my take on what’s happening out there

You have questions?  I may have some answers.

Marilyn, why won’t you show me houseboats for sale?  First, although I’ve been raised around boats for my whole life, and know more than the average Joe or Josephine, for the most part I have chosen not to sell them.

Full disclosure – my late husband was a yacht designer (naval architect), and except for a glorious 90′ houseboat, Pelisa, that was towed from Alameda to Molokai, he spent his time designing sailboats!  Many of his designs are racing, floating, drifting, berthed, or anchored around the world!

At one time I was asked to look at houseboats for some clients.  I just didn’t feel comfortable about it.  That was a long time ago…and I’ve not change my stance.  Now this is ancient history, but here are things that folks need to check out.

First, you don’t get a deed with that purchase.  They are considered personal property.  And if you want to find out what others have sold for, there are no records readily available in public documents (except any that have sold via the MLS).   So unless you trust who you are dealing with, to my knowledge facts are hard to get.

Second, these days in order to get insurance, my understanding is houseboats must have concrete hulls. Back in the day…not so much.  If you can’t get insurance, you can’t get a place to stash your boat…like a berth.

Third, for a long while, there was a lack of long term leases at a local marina.  That means if a marina shuts down (heaven forbid) and kicking boats out, you just can’t turn on the motor and drive them to another marina or out to the bay for a cruise.   They are not meant to be driven. They are meant to be berthed.  (Or anchored in the bay, which is against the law, as in Sausalito.)

Fourth, Buyers should check out the insurance at a local marina. And be sure they have the coverage that your insurance expert says you need!  If a kid falls off a damaged dock and drowns…that’s a problem, and maybe for the houseboat owners.  And although I’ve heard that repairs have been made on the docks every body needs to be careful.

As in any home, all buyers must exercise due diligence.

(Next week I’ll answer some basics questions about co-op ownership in Alameda, unless a more pertinent subject come up! And I do sell these, but the rules are quite different.)

Broker Tour Tues  There were 16 on the tour this week.  And I got around to most of them!  And made up for some I missed the last couple of week!  YAY!

Highest and Lowest Priced NEW listings this week

Active and Pending listing this week…85, 56

New  17
BOM back on market  1
Pending  17
Sold  11

ALAMEDA REAL ESTATE AWARDS THIS WEEK…remember this is only my perspective.
Cute, charming  note this sold for 700K back in 2004…will be interesting to see how it does this time.
Easy living  note this sold for 578K in 2010.
Get me a facelift!  Gold Coast mid-century modern over the lagoon. This has been owned by the same owner for 44 years.

OK!  I’m done!  Make it work.  Carry on!  Come see me at 898 Union!

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!