He was a very nice, older man, who delivered news that was old ‘news’ to me. But he was hired to say it that way: very nice, not condescending. Who could get angry at him? But the day of reckoning had arrived.
We bought this (now very old), lovely lady 30 years ago that was built in 1898. I’d been in the real estate biz for about 4 years and one of the first things I learned about Alameda real estate, was that Federal Pacific electrical boxes were a disaster, and loads of properties in A-town had those boxes. Then we bought one of those properties. The good news was that those antique boxes worked way better than was ever expected.
The other good news is that a huge portion of this property was remodeled as soon as we bought it…including adding 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry room…and a new foundation. The original foundation was still in place – bricks. When the 1989 earthquake hit, we had just finished the whole job. Whew!
Back to 2018: those initial notes the ‘nice man’ turned into the insurance company became a ‘do it or we’ll drop you’ notice from the company.
I had contacted numerous contractors. Then out of the clear blue, I decided to ask a friend/agent (who had done a complete remodel of their ‘new-to them’ 1950-60’s house) if she knew an electrician who may be interested in updating our outdated electrical system. She suggested George and did so with raves! She and her husband used him to rewire the 1950-60’s house that they had just bought, helping them turn it into their dream home, with a water view.
After about 12 weeks, with me giving weekly email updates to my insurance agent about how I was going to get this done (calling contractors, calling agents who may know contractors, talking to contractors, getting bids from 5K-45K), I settled on one of them.
George and I decided that we needed to go the Alameda Municipal Power office to meet with the head honcho. We couldn’t make an appointment because they don’t work on that type of time schedule. They work on their own time. Maybe it’s their way of finding out if somebody has a real reason to want to wait for them. We waited.
Because I’m pretty good w/ asking questions, I started asking the man in charge questions. Then he agreed to meet us between 12-1pm that afternoon so he could to see what we were talking about (even though we had photos). Hey, that guy’s coming over to my house…yes! He was here, with a younger guy, who was shadowing him, for about 60-90 minutes.
Turns out that George, my contractor, had a way of doing the upgrade without having it run under the house to the other side of the house. After explaining what the process would be, and how it would look, the main-man said..yes, that would work!
An ‘A plus’ for A-town having its own power company! Plus nobody needs to get on freeways to see Alameda properties.
George started ordering parts about 30 days ago, and toward the end of the first week, they were really into it. During that week he and his associate were working every day to see what/where/how things worked in/out/about the property.
This lovely lady (aka beast) was built in 1898. It was converted into 5 units in the 1940’s, during WWII, and that’s when Alameda Naval Air Station was going full blast.
Bottom line, we passed the final inspection with no hassle from the inspector, just a week ago.
Everything seems to work just the way it should be. New wires, new hook-ups, new boxes. The funky wires/cables that we had just gotten used to for many decades, will be discarded or will find new places to hide. Geroge will be back next week to clean up the phone/internet mess of cables. That’s a cosmetic job. The the major overhaul has been completed. Yay for all of us!
Alameda Real Estate this Week
One of the properties I saw via bike this week, was at 2146 Clinton. As I was talking with the listing agent we agreed at one time, this was a huge lot..and over the years it was cut and chopped (like the cooking competition) up into different parcels. This is one of those parcels: a nice small house that has a lagoon view, but it also has a not-so-good view of the one of apartment buildings that were constructed the 1950/60’s. That was the beginning of the landfill portion, now known as South Shore.
That’s a wrap! Call/email/text if you have questions about the Alameda market! I may be able to help! Have a fun weekend!