THE SECOND STORY | February 25th, 2021

Properties are flying off the shelf….

…like toilet paper in Trader Joe’s (nearly a year ago) and interest rates have dropped a lot.

This pumpkin was on my front porch for Halloween. I moved it to my back porch and and it sat there for months. Then this morning some type of animal left some scraps behind. Now it’s in the green bin!

I’ve had some conversations with some folks over the last 2 months. Sometimes they’re local, and they own property out of town and/or they’re thinking of buying further north, or selling/buying land out-of state. Another friend is no longer ‘local’ but she’ has raw land in AZ. She now lives in a different state. She called me about her situation.

IF you are thinking about making a real estate decision (buy, sell, rent, lease), etc. please be sure you don’t sign anything that may commit you to something you may not understand.

I took 5 commercial classes (decades ago) over the course of 2 years, all out of the area and some were out of state. Because I didn’t have the body of commercial sales/work in my portfolio, I wasn’t able to get the designation….CCIM (Certifed Commercial Investment Member).  Another agent and I wanted to have the same knowledge that these folks (mostly men) had.

One of best things l learned in those classes was about IRC 1031 Exchanges (and 1031 Reverse Exchanges).

I do not give legal/tax advice…and encourage folks to find an advisor that knows about exchanges and reverse exchanges. I

f this description fits you or a friend, I may be able to refer you to one or more of the agents that have this designation. But when in doubt…go to your account/tax advisor and ask the simple question – ‘What is a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange?” If you don’t get a logical answer, spoken in plain English, you may want to keep looking for better advice.



AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week 16 

DOM  1390 high  6 low  168 avg  med 42

Pending listings this week 16 (including 1 PSB)

DOM  124 high   0 low   28 avg   med 12

Sold listings this week  16

DOM  83 high  0 low   26 avg   10 med

Have a fun weekend – my phone says it will be sunny!

Have questions? Let me know or maybe you have the answers to my questions!

Best, marilyn


THE SECOND STORY | February 18th, 2021

Rain rain go away…and leave your branch/twigs on the downspout.

One photo says a lot…

Look closely!

This is an example of how lousy painters paint!

There’s a branch/twig stuck in a rain gutter/downspout. 

What did the painters do? They left it there and painted over it.  

If you want/need some excellent painters, let me know. They painted my house in 2019 and they have an excellent warranty for what they paint!

In fact….I keep a vendor list in my computer, that I use to refer neighbors, customers, and friends to, for all types of work! If you have any vendor that you are super-pleased with, let me know and I’ll add them to my list, once I check them out!

If you need a vendor, I’m happy to refer her/him/them to you!



AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week 21 including 1AC and 2 PCH

Pending listings this week 14 including 4 PSB

Sold listings this week 6

You can see that the inventory count is low, prices are high, interest rates are low, and demand is high.

Carry on! best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | February 11th, 2021

Shredding Party…get your stuff together! Free to you, from me! 9am-1pm MAY 1, Saturday!


       Blooming hedge!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been clearing stuff out of your living quarters since last March.  What I don’t see, doesn’t exist…until I look in the cedar chest, an old chest of drawers in a bedroom, a closet in another bedroom, a hall closet. They’re full of photos, trinkets, memories: different generations from both the Schumacher family and the Willson family.

One of these days I’ll be motivated to do what I did years ago…digitize them. I think I did it through Costco, but I gave up that membership years ago.

Have stuff, will fill.  As long as I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. But in kindness to my kids, maybe I’ll have to rejoin Costco get those photos digitized and pick up one of their roasted chickens, too.

This week I had the opportunity to work with a ‘new’ buyer. She was referred to me by another previous client. She’s one smart cookie! I called the agent tonight, whose listing we looked at last Sat. @ 2055 Whitehill Place. Turns out we both rode our bikes over there (much to our surprise).

It was listed for 800K, the price that the owner paid for it maybe 2-3 years ago. Once we got into the place…it seemed like a house, not a townhouse/condo. Only 12 units in the HOA, has a pool, a large 2 car garage, and a decent patio, on a relatively quiet street. I called the listing agent to see what happened because offers were due today.

They had 3 offers over 900K, and after my call, he added the pending sale into the MLS. No contingencies. That’s what this market is generating. Rates down, prices up, and folks are getting out of the big cities.



AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

DOM (days on market)

Active listings this week 26 including  2AC & 1 PCH

DOM  High 176  Low 5  Avg 132  Median 45

Pending listings 14

DOM  High 83  Low 0   Avg 15  Median 10

Sold listings 16 

DOM  High 138  Low 0  Avg 26  Median 6

We need the rain! Looks like Sat and Sun will honor us with that.

Be well! Start clearing out your paper (taxes, notebooks, binders, etc!)

Call if you have questions about the market…but I’m not sure that I have the answers!

Best, marilyn


THE SECOND STORY | February 4th, 2021

Last year’s Shredding Party we donated $6080. to Alameda Meals Wheels

Amazing what I can see from my back porch!

The Shredding Party…is booked for

Saturday, May 1, 2021!  9am – 1pm

It’s free to you, and I pay for everything!

However, if you chose to donate to



Last year we gave $6080. to AMOW!

This is the perfect time to get rid of your paper:

taxes, receipts, old photos, magazines & newspapers!

Tell your neighbors, friends, enemies, everybody!



AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

Active listings this week 12  (including 8 new)

DOM  High 1360  Low 0  Avg 127  Med 67

Pending listings this week 17 (including 1 PSB)

DOM  High 107  Low 0  Avg 13  Med 7

Sold listings this week  11

DOM  High 305  Low 0  Avg 39  Med 7

Be careful out there….folks are driving their cars/trucks well-above the speed limit and masked walkers, masked dog-walkers, and masked bike riders are doing their best to stay out of their way.

Call / email / text if you have questions!  best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | January 28th, 2021

Winter in A-town…..


San Francisco skyiine after a bit of rain……

                             The rain has arrived! The wind is blowing!

                                 The tides are extremely low and high!

                       My sump-pump is pumping water out to the curb.

                                                 Life is good!

Most agents that I talk with are pretty happy with virtual meetings. It took a while to get used to them. And we’re constantly saying ‘your muted’ or ‘you need to mute yourself.’ That’s happened to me a lot!

I’ve been able to adjust (mostly) to the new normal. Real estate is very different and in my mind, I think it’s mostly better. No driving clients around to see properties (not so safe), no open houses (totally not safe), virtual tours are better than ever (the photos, the videos, the floor plans).  It’s like going to the grocery store and buying stuff right off the shelf…you don’t open anything (not safe at all)… except you’re buying a property. Plus the rates are so low.

if you are thinking about making a real estate purchase, talk to a trusted lender and find out how much it will cost you to make that purchase, and have your real estate agent give you an approximate net sheet (drawn up by the title/escrow company) to see what the local fees, taxes, cost of purchasing will be. The last thing you want is to be shocked by the extra costs.

If you have questions, as a seller, I will coach you about what you should do to prep your property BEFORE it goes on the market. I’ll let you know what is happening in Alameda regarding pricing.

If you have questions, as a buyer, I will coach you regarding the language of real estate, and what is happening in Alameda regarding pricing.

If you look at the stats for this week, you’ll see that most of the sales are going way over the list price. In reality…the BUYER is the one that sets the price. The Seller, in this market, prices the property so there will be multiple offers.

New computer programs are showing up…some ok, some not, some are great.

AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

Active listings 26 including 3 AC and 3 PCH

DOM  high 1362   low 7  avg 133  median 65

Pending listings 15 including 1 PSB

DOM  high 160  low 3  avg 28  median 11

Sold listings 12

DOM  high 73  low 0  avg 12  median 6

Hopefully, the rain will continue with some sunshine in between the storms. Wear a mask and your foul-weather gear.

Talk to me if you have questions. If I don’t have the answers, I’ll let you know, and I’ll try to find out those answers.

Carry on! best, marilyn

THE SECOND STORY | January 21st, 2021

Wild life…in Alameda’s Gold Coast.

Not too many turkeys in the Gold Coast on Grand Street, but I saw 2 of them a couple of weeks ago.

I was riding my bike and I did a double-take, and got out my phone/camera. Turkeys on Grand Street! I saw two of them and I don’t know if they flew here (from wherever) or if they got out of a cage. Why would anybody have turkeys in Alameda? Just wonderin’.

If you have questions about Prop 19 and how it may affect you, your parents, your kids….let me know and I’ll send you a Prop 19 fact sheet. 

AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

Active listings 30, incl 4 A/C, 1 BOM 

DOM  high 82,  low 5,  avg 123,  med 59

Pending listings 7, incl 1 PSB

DOM  high 82,  low 5,  avg 17,  med 7

Sold listings 6 

It will be interesting to see if the market will continue to heat up and if so, when will it stop? These days it’s all about interest rates and how low they can /will go. Some of those rates are good for a 30 year term with 20% down.

If you’re buying your dream house/townhome/condo and you’ll be in it for a while you might make out like a bandit., in hindsight. But today is the day, and we have little or no control of tomorrow.  Or so they say…..

Be well, be safe and breathe deeply…we have a new President and V.P. and life is good. Oh, wear a mask and keep your distance.

Let me know if you have questions….I may have some answers (or not)!

Best, marilyn



THE SECOND STORY | January 14th, 2021

Sky on fire…and so was/is the real estate market.

December 25, 2020 from my backyard, looking east.

I’ll be brief tonight. Just the facts, Ma’am.

AC (active contingent on selling another property)

PCH (price change)

PSB (pending sale, want backups)

PNDR (pending want backups REO real estate owned by lender)

DOM (days on market)

Active listings 28,  including 4 AC and 2 PCH

DOM high 1348,  low  7, avg 134,  med 77

Pending listings 12, including 3 PSB and 1 PNDR

DOM high 104, low 0, avg 25, med 8

Sold 5 

DOM high 5, low 0, avg 3, med 3

Questions? Ask me. I don’t pretend to know it all. I may have an answer, though. Let it rain! We need it!


Check out my for-fun blog!

THE SECOND STORY | January 7th, 2021

Welcome to 2021!

   Sunset  from  Alameda’s Shoreline Drive                                    Dec 2020

Nobody can say that 2020 was bad for real estate…certainly in the bay area! Everybody adjusted to working out of their houses, apartments, condos, townhouses AND the interest rates continue to be so low!

I think because Alameda has ferry service and bus service to SF (when we’re not in lockdown), consumers feel like they’re stepping back in time when they cross over our bridges and drive through the tube.

I know I felt exactly the same way when driving my first CADEAU (a 67′ VW bug) from Newport Beach to Alameda, over the High Street Bridge, full of wedding gifts for me and Carl. And I’ve been here ever since – and we raised our kids here.

When I hit High Street I looked around and thought ‘What is this place?” It was like stepping back in time. There were ancient houses here, some parks and it seemed like a friendly enough place.

A common theme seems to be that homeowners want to have more space and because we can work virtually, that means out of state and to places less crowded and where family and pets can breathe. It means having a garage re-built into an office, or taking a bedroom and making it an office. None of this stuff about being on a Zoom meeting in your kitchen or living room.

Homeschooling? It’s amazing what teachers can do virtually. But it’s clear that we need to have our kids and grandkids learn to socialize with other kids. My daughter-in-law is one of my heroes….she teaches science to middle schoolers. Those were my worst years ever…on any level.

Bottom line….prices go way up when interest rates go way down. And companies have decided that maybe they don’t need all that office space in SF or even in the Harbor Bay Biz Park.

We can all Zoom, locally or across the world.

AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

(You may see some duplicates and I can’t seem to get rid of them!)

These stats go back to just before Thanksgiving 2020.

Active listings 31 (including 4AC 2 PCH)

DOM high 1341  low 8  avg 124  med 70

Pending listings 7 (incl 1 PSB)

DOM high 67  low 3  avg 27  med 21

Sold listings 53

DOM high 104  low 0  avg 16  med 10

Questions about the market? Let me know!

We need more rain! Pray for it!

Best, marilyn

Check out my ‘for fun’ blog  Boomer-Chick-Musings !


THE SECOND STORY | November 19th, 2020

Just because….you’ll get into the holiday spirit!

A Good Cause!

Troop 78, based here in Alameda is selling poinsettias! I’ve ordered two of the blended pink/red plants.  Just click on the link above and order for yourself, for friends! The flier says it all.

Alameda Real Estate this Week

AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

(You may see some duplicates and I can’t seem to get rid of them!)

New listings this week 14

Active listings this week 40  including 1 AC, 1 BOM, 2 PCH

DOM  high 1292  low 7  avg 81  med 32

Pending listings this week 12  including 2 PSB  

DOM  high 41  low 3,  avg 15  med 11

Sold listings this week 24  

DOM  high 69,  low 0,  avg 18,  med 12

The winner for the highest sold price this week was the house @ 1714 San Jose  Ave. which sold for $1,926,000 on a list of $1,495,000! The listing didn’t say how many offers the agents received, but they told me that there were 23 disclosure packages requested by agents. It was gorgeous.

I showed my prospects that San Jose property (our second time out looking) and with that volume of disclosures out….I told them what they wanted to offer would not even make sense. Somehow I guess my frankness about the prices turned them off…and I haven’t heard from them since. Oh well.

I won’t be writing this blog since next Thursday is Thanksgiving…and I usually put the blog to sleep through December. I may make some posts (or not) on my for-fun blog

I’ll recap what’s been happening in Alameda real estate on January 8th, 2021. If you have questions, comments, ideas about what I should write about, send me an email.

Think about ordering a (some) poinsettia(s) from Troop 78!

I hope your holidays are peaceful, fun, filled with zoom gatherings (or not).

All is well, even though it doesn’t seem that way.

Best,  marilyn

Check out my ‘for fun’ blog 

THE SECOND STORY | November 12th, 2020

This is what we walked into…

….when I was showing condos to my client. We walked in and found this mess in the sink. Thank goodness it didn’t stink.

Clearly, the kitchen sink had backed up. And I was the one who took the photo and sent it to the listing agent. He was not a local agent. I felt sorry for him. But I’m quite sure it grossed my buyer out!

He also wasn’t able to tell us where the parking space was or where the storage ‘unit’ was. And for the most part, his Disclosure Package was very incomplete.

This is another example of why I don’t sell real estate outside of Alameda. I don’t know the out-of-area rules/disclosures/rent control issues.

But I do know local vendors! This week I’ve had several calls from friends, clients, neighbors about vendors. I even keep track of the vendors: whether the client is pleased with them or not. I often check to see if they’re still in biz or have retired or just disappeared prior to giving their names to my clients.

Alameda Real Estate this Week

AC (active contingent on selling another property)
PCH (price change)
PSB (pending sale, want backups)
DOM (days on market)

New listings this week  8

Active listings this week 47 including 1 AC 1 PCH

DOM  1286   Low 8   Avg   82  Med 37

Pending listings this week 9

DOM  19  Low 0  Avg 9  Med 10

Sold listing this week 22

DOM  35   Low 0  Avg 13  Med 10


Check out my ‘for fun’ blog:

Be safe, be well, enjoy each day as it comes.  marilyn