Alameda, CA Real Estate News

By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
My company just partnered with www.ForeclosureRadar.com where we feature a link to give our website guests a way to find pre and foreclosures in our areas. See http://www.glrealtor.com/foreclosures/  Find Foreclosures Fast on our ForeclosureRadar Our ForeclosureRadar tool empowers you to search for Bank Owned, Auction or Foreclosure properties.  Some of you may already know that you can try this free for 7 days by going to http://www.ForeclosureRadar.com/CAR/ (no promo code needed) to find information on pre-foreclosure, auctions, and bank-owned. OMG! I have clients and friends on that list! So tonight I logged on and checked to see what is going on in my city, and was surprised to see one of my clients on the list as having received a Notice of Default. Let me try to help I was so shoc...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
New metrics now available for use from our local MLS starting today! Oh, happy day! Starting today, members of the local MLS boards have access to new metrics that will enable those of us who are graphs/charts-challenged to provide much-needed information to our clients and prospects.   According to our MLS, here's the info we can pull up: Market Dynamics Choose this tool when you want to better understand existing market conditions and trends. You can look at how important market measuring sticks have changed over time for any criteria you choose.8 Reports analyze price and sales trends: Median Sold Price by Month The Number of Sold Properties by Month The Number of For Sale Properties by Month The Number of Under Contract Properties by Month The Number of New Properties Listed by Mont...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Prospective clients were referred to me by another realtor who told me she is providing two names of realtors for her friends to interview.  I made an appointment to meet with the prospect. A good presentation folder/book/binder for a commission-based service is like having good curb appeal for a house I already have a presentation that I spent a lot of time and energy (and it's evolving) that I customize for the specific prospect in terms of a comparative market analysis for the client's property and charts/graphs for the specific area. It was a simple matter of generating and printing the documents, then having it book-bound.  Happily, we have a book-binding equipment at the office.  complete with gold lettering. Taa daaa! I very rarely go through this presentation page by page, but i...
Comments 68
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
I've got to go on a diet! Ah, vanity...and a cold dose of reality. They say TV puts on 10 lbs on you. But after seeing myself, it looks like I've gained 100 lbs! My house is worth what? The show is "My house is worth what?" and it aired tonight at 11 pm EST/PST, and will air again this Sunday at 7pm. Tonight's episode is about "Assessing the Value of Various Renovations", For this segment, my clients' duet  (but the show calls it a duplex!) was featured. Even after the remodeling they've done and still doing, their property is worth $100K LESS than what they paid for it 3 years ago, And we don't see that improving any time soon. Discover Ahhhh-lameda! Seriously...it was wonderful to have our island city of Alameda have a bit of exposure since this is somewhat of a "secret" island on San...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
It's raining, it's pouring... For the second consecutive rainy Sunday, I held an open house for a cozy (okay, small!) bungalow. It was wet, windy and cold. Brrr! Last Sunday, there was a steady flow of people, some of whom are just beginning to look into buying a home and want to "see what's there." I was hoping this Sunday, there would again be many folks who would come to the open house in spite of the rain. Knowing that the day would be cold and wet, I brought a tea pot to heat beverages (cider, chocolate and International Coffee) for anyone who would want it. And come, they did! Some of them even accepted the offer for hot cider and hot chocolate. And when they did, they lingered and asked questions. Non-stop open house guests What was surprising is the number of people who braved t...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Before leaving for home tonight, I had a conversation with one of our most seasoned, and in the past, most successful realtors. She has awards ro prove it. Both of us had a terrible 2007, but in her case, her 2008 was just as bad. She said that she's never had a year like the past two years. It's getting so bad that she may have to sell her house that she's owned since 1993.  WORKING THE OLD FASHIONED WAY She's very diligent, and she works hard. However, she makes money the old-fashioned way --- and she's not earning it the way she should or could. The problem is, she has not evolved as fast in the age of computer literacy, the warp-speed of the internet, and the changing methods by which people do business. It's like she has almost stood still. We've always had to help her perform or s...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
In Alameda, and most assuredly in other cities, too, there is always a question on what alterations to a property will require permits. Granted, some folks deliberately sidestepped getting permits because of the cost, the time, and for other reasons. And others just didn't think or realize the work they're doing needed permits. On occasions, a missing or incorrect permit history may simply be a case of human error. NO PERMITS IS A DEAL BREAKER Two of my very bright and very resourceful clients renovated their kitchen, doing what they thought was a "like for like" change that was very simple. They changed the countertop (didn't expand or build new cabinets), they replaced the appliances (same size, same slots). Replaced the tile floor (same footprint). But when it came time to sell, lo a...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
This month's Realty Estate Update shows dramatic drop in interest rate. This is a print version of this newsletter that I place on the back page of my flyers and for handouts during open house. Another way to help educate the public on what's going on in our industry. Your REALTOR® Pacita C. Dimacali February 2009 Exceptional real estate service for exceptional results. Copyright 2009 Realty TimesAll Rights Reserved. Rates Hold Steady      In Freddie Mac's results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.10% for the week ending January 29, 2009, down from the previous week when it averaged 5.12 percent.      ...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Every day as a REALTOR, I run into all kinds of situations. This time, I have a new listing that I'm trying to get ready for this Sunday's open house. I've contracted with my hardwood reifinishing peope, painters, cleaning folks. BUT.... What can I do about the homing pigeons? The owner's son had a cage for his pigeons. And just before he left the country, he arranged for someoe else to take his homing pigeons. The owner herself has moved to Las Vegas. But hominig pigeons the way they are, they went home to the only home they know. They're here, pecking at the ground, looking for food. So here I am, with four pigeons (Alas! Alack! One of them must have fallen victim to a predatory animal like a cat or a raccoon) So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who can help re-settle these ...
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By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
  The directors of the California Association of Realtors voted on Saturday to fund a line of credit in the amount of 3 million dollars for future development and ongoing operations of our new State MLS.  It will be called CAL REDD (Calfornia Real Estate Dynamic Data). Concentric provided a demo of their system. It is great! If MLS' opt in to the statewide MLS they can use their own front end system or go directly to Concetric's system. I do not know why anyone would want to continue with their own front end system when Concentric is so wonderful with a lot of bells and whistles that agents would love to use! Wait and See! I think you will like it.
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By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
I have the best State Association.  The California Association of Realtors is always helping their members in every way. Everyday I receive helpful information.  Not only is the information helpful to me but my association gives us information to pass on to the consumer and our clients. The information below is a help to all, you, me and especially the homeowner.  Mortgage Workout Program   The following information is intended for REALTORS® and homeowners seeking information on existing mortgage workout programs.  In general, the loan modification programs on the chart (see link below) and consumer information sheets (see links below) are intended for primary residences only. For an informational chart on existing mortgage workout programs, click here. The chart is a compilation of pr...
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Our California title marketing reps are restricted from doing a lot of things many of them used to do to boost business. See: What a title marketing rep can/cannot do. Even as a friend? Paid out of his own pocket?) This letter is for California title marketing reps: My dear Title Marketing Reps: You don't have to buy me lunch. No cocktails. No knick-knacks, no presents either.  You should know what I value. Through the years, what I truly appreciate that you do for me are: Your keeping me grounded. When I have too many balls in the air, you help me focus and concentrate on marketing my services. Your active participation in our Local association events. Thank you for your help in organizing many of our events. It's also so much fun to see you being one of us, joining in the silly skits ...
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By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
  We just had a presentation in our office from a title company in Alameda.  The marketing rep was talking about the new law SB133. She spoke about the services that they can do for agnents now that this law has passed. RESPA is really coming down hard on the do's and dont's of services to real estate agents. They can only offer services that actually are related to title and escrow. They can no longer provide classes, escrow folders, buyer's and seller's booklets and much more. This is being enforced so that title companies cannot offer services in exchange for business. What does your favorite title company have to say about this? 
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Today, my company Gallagher & Lindsey held our awards ceremony for the fourth quarter and for the year 2008. We prepared to applaud the same guy, Moon Tam, who wins as number one, year after year for more than 10 years. As far as we can see, he broke the mold. He doesn't even prospect anymore. All his business is purely by referrals. He's reached that stage where he can turn down requests for his service. We could only aspire to be in his shadow. Nonetheless, I was pleased to say that I'm in that shadow since I started as a realtor in 2003, and having attained a measure of success as either number 3 or number 2 in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2008, in spite of the doom and gloom as the economy seemed headed for a meltdown, I knew I did well in my fourth quarter. Heck, it constituted half of ...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Homes sold/closed escrow Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2009: 415 homes sold Average list price: $598,496 Average list price $/sq ft: $407/sq ft Average sold price: $586,120 Average sold price $/sq ft: $398 Average days on market 50 Foreclosures and short sales Short Sales: 14  (3%) Average list price: $538,357 Average list price $/sq ft: $376/sq ft Average sold price: $513,390 Average sold price $/sq ft: $360/sq ft Average days on market: 83 REO foreclosures: 35 (8%) Average list price: $467,007 Average list price $/sq ft: $361/sq ft Average sold price $467,469 Average sold price $/sq ft: $364 Average days on market: 28 CONCLUSIONS: There was very little room for negotiations, as listed and sold prices were not too far apart. The time to close short sales is about average at 83 days, just slightly fe...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Via a local blogger who posted on her site AOL's information on the real estate market, I checked the site to see their "pretty" charts and graphs. AOL SAYS "The total inventory of available homes in Alameda, CA market in January 2009 stood at 184 homes. Foreclosures made up the majority of the homes for sale. This accounted for 153 real estate properties of 82% of the Alameda CA real estate market. The rest of the market comprised of resale homes and new homes totaling 32 and 32 houses respectively. These numbers do not represent all homes, as not all homes are marketed the same." It makes it sound like pretty soon, the majority of us are going to be homeless! Who writes this stuff? And where do they get their information? This paints Alameda as a hotbed of foreclosures! So I fired off...
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By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Oh happy day! I love seeing old pictures of Alameda, the way it was, especially when its magnificent Victorisns, Colonial Revivals, etc. were built. And today. I saw the latest book by Dennis Evanosky on Alameda. From Dennis' site, this is what he says about his latest production. Alameda: An Architectural Treasure Chest Third in a Series Alameda: An Architectural Treasure Chest explores the history of Alameda from its settlement by the Ohlone Indians to its early 20th century development. Alameda grew from a small settlement on its eastern end to a city rich in Victorian-era architectural gems. The book explores the three small towns: Alameda, Encinal, and Woodstock that later shaped today's Island City, and takes the readers on hikes that reveal surprises about early Alameda. Also inc...
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By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
Give Back to Your Community!20 Ways to Give Back!!Have any of you wondered how to find as many ways as possible to give back to your community. Well, here are 20 ways in which you can help others!  Not every volunteer effort has to change the world. Let your efforts shine a bit more/ Here are some simple ways you can improve your community:1. Help an elderly neighbor rake leaves, grocery shop or do home repairs.2. Give away free flowers, seeds or plant to a neighbor in the Spring.3. Put out flags for the Fourth of July in neighborhood front yards.4. Sponsor a Little League team or any children's athletic team.5. Become active in the Chamber of Commerce.6. Start a garden or historical walk.7. Speak at career day at the elementary school.8. Repaint a playground.9. Take your pet to the lo...
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By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
                                                                                                              How does one choose a good Realtor? There is a difference between an agent and a Realtor. a Realtor belongs to the National, State and a Local Association of Realtors. A Realtor must abide by the National Association's code of ethics. We have a good monitoring process if a Realtor does not abide the code of ethics.  An agent is one who has a license but does not belong to the National, State and Local Association.  They are not bound by our strict code of ethics unless they belong and are in violation of their Multiple Listing Service . In California the consumer should  check the validity of the Realtor's license before working with them. The public can go to the Department of ...
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By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
  What is it that you like about being in the real estate business?  I have been a broker for over 24 years and sometimes I wonder why I am still here. I love closing escrows for satisfied buyers and sellers. I love educating myself to pass along to consumers and other Realtors. I love to help others. The most difficult part of the business is to be consisitent in getting business. How do you feel and what do you like about being a Realtor? How do you the consumer feel about your Realtor? I wish you all a Prosperous New Year in 2009!
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