THE SECOND STORY | September 10th, 2015

Alameda and Zillow

Alameda speed limit bag – what I think about when riding my bike around town.


I’m not a big fan of Zillow. Their zestimates are way off, they don’t get the facts about the property correct and blah blah blah.

However, this past Wed we held the CSI (not Crime Scene Invesitgation but Customer Service Improvement Committee) for the Building and Planning Dept (aka Community Development).

We’ve been doing this for over 10 years. It started because some of us civilians were complaining so much about the Building and Planning Dept that Councilman Frank Materrese, stepped in and created our committee. Now he’s a Council member for the second time!

Most every one showed up:Greg McFann (Building Official), Public Works’ Kerri Parker (who introduced herself as one who talks trash – she’s in charge of recycling in the city), and Nancy McPeak, (long time Alamedan and city Community Development employee), and seven of us locals (involved with building, engineering, designing, selling, and leasing real estate). We’ve had a longer life than most city committees, and I think we’ve made a difference.

It’s all about transparency these days. You can get online with the city website and find out most anything you want to know (and more) about permit histories of properties, when work is being done and what kind (a city map shows everything that is that is in the works: small houses to big land developments).

So what about Zillow? Where does that come into play? Turns out that you, the public, can find out what’s going on with property in Alameda via Zillow.

Does a remodeled kitchen show up? Is it permitted? How about that basement addition? Got permits?

While I couldn’t find it tonight on Zillow, I did a quick search on Zillow on Wed and it was all right there, with the property address leading the way.

Some of us were talking after the meeting and we expect that this will create some good and not-so-good scenarios. Good, because required permits will be obtained. Bad…because more folks will be looking on Zillow and finding out about the construction (or lack of permits for construction)…and that will have a negative impact for some regarding values, plus Zillow is way off on it’s property info.

Check it out….this is the result of transparency…and Alameda is one of eight (or is it ten?) cities across the US, that is leading the way.

Sooner or later Samuel L. Jackson will be asking ‘what’s in your wallet’ and he’ll know exactly what’s there, due to transparency.

Alameda Real Estate this Week

Broker Tour Tues 9 this week…saw 7 of the properties by bike.

New 14 autumn rush is on….

PCH price change 2

Pending 11

Sold 9

Some of these may be in 2 categories (single family & duplex, for instance)

Total Active listings in Alameda 56

Total Pending listings in Alameda 66

Alameda Real Estate Awards this week..remember this is only my perspective!


Get me a makeover

That’s it for now! Be well, be safe, take it easy on the streets…cops are out ticketing drivers who don’t keep to 25 mph!

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!