THE SECOND STORY | January 25th, 2018

Alameda real estate is always enlightening.

Take a look at my for fun blog…

Out of the clear blue, I thought about a listing that I had when I first started real estate. I worked with ERA (Electronic Realty Associates) which was a new company in town. I had an offer from an established firm in town, but I turned that broker’s offer down, because I didn’t want to be old school. And I knew for sure that Alameda real estate was run by an insulated group of agents.

I knew this because I had direct experience with “the old school.” My mother-in-law (who didn’t live here) decided to purchase a duplex in town so she could have us live in one of the units (she was watching out for her new granddaughter), and we could manage the other unit, and one of those old-school brokers/agents represented her.

First, it wasn’t on the mls. Actually, Alameda didn’t have an mls. We only had a market sheet that was updated once per week, by John Crittenden who became the publisher of the Alameda Journal. Second, the agent ‘double-ended the deal’, which meant that she repped the buyer and the seller. No disclosures at that time…it’s what ‘the old school’ just did. No lockboxes. You had to run around to each office to get the keys..and somehow, sometimes, they couldn’t find them. hhmm.

My mother-in-law’s property was a pretty simple transaction. She had a duplex in Pismo Beach and sold it, and put the proceeds into an Alameda property. BUT the agent never even thought to ask if there was an IRC 1031 Exchange involved. Bottom line, that non-question for both for the listing agent in Pacific Beach, and the purchase of the Alameda duplex, cost (way back then) $6000 to my mother-in-law and that went to the IRS. Totally unnecessary and such a waste of money. 

My dad is the one who encouraged me to get a real estate license. I think my parents thought selling the ground in Alameda would be better for all of us, rather than for me flying around the US as a commercial pilot, piling up flight hours. He had retired from a job that he had for decades (that he hated) at the ripe old age of 49. My folks already had an excellent agent. He used her services to buy the single-family homes that he rented and managed in Costa Mesa. He had a good biz and it beat driving to LA back and forth each day. He decided to get his broker’s license to be sure he was doing everything properly.

Back to the story of that listing….it was in the 700 block of Buena Vista. I had a booklet that described what I would do the market the house. (None of the ‘old school’ agents had any booklet). These owners were lovely folks and they were Asian. They would speak English to me, and I would speak English back to them, and then they would translate what I said in their language back to the family.

At one point I asked to be shown around the house. Then they lifted up a piece of the floor and there were a few stairs leading down to the sub-area (not a full basement). And there was a sleeping area down there. Ut-oh. I explained to them that the area they showed me couldn’t be used/shown as a bedroom. It could be storage, but not the bedroom that they used it for.

Bottom line…we sold the property for them, and I think the folks who bought it are still living there.

Welcome to 2018 – full of disclosures, doubling ending the ‘deals’ is still in vogue, but I won’t do represent both sides. Somebody is going to get pissed off..and it’s just not worth it.

Alameda Real Estate this Week

Broker Tour Tues 5

New 7

Pending 2

Total Active this week 28

Total Pending this week 31

Contact me if you have questions about the local market!

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!