Alameda, CA Real Estate News

By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
Buying a home in today's market may be a challenge.  And given the economic news we're getting, it may take nerves of steel to jump in right now.  But there are many homes on the market right now that are great values.  If you have good credit, money for a down payment and are pre-approved by a bank, there are  homes that may fit your needs.  It is interesting how everyone is crying the blues about how difficult it is for buyers to purchase a home. We are back to how it was over 15 years ago, no stated income, no 100% financing. In order to purhcase a home, a buyer must have 20% soen, great credit and a job. We are back to the good ole days! In the Bay Area it's a great time to buy.  So if you are ready to buy, find a service oriented, caring, ethical  Realtor®.  Get yourself preapprov...
Comments 2
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
STRESS OF MOVING OUT/MOVING IN  My clients have gone through the ringer the last two months. They sold their home and bought another.  They spent a lot of time decluttering, packing, cleaning, doing inspections, meeting with contractors, hiring people to do repairs, negotiating credits and following up on loans. Their simultaneous move-out/move-in schedule was incredibly stressful. EPICUREAN BREAK My associate who is also their lender, and I decided to take them out to a local restaurant that they haven't gone to. We had a truly delightful dinner at Barceluna, a local restaurant downtown that I had blogged about, where they have never gone. I told them that the food here is wonderful, so going there was a real treat for all of us. From the time that we were seated, we were laughing as w...
Comments 6
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
FIXER IN DESIRABLE EAST END OF ALAMEDA CA My friend and co-worker just left for a holiday in London, and she asked me to look after her short sale listing. This is a fixer in Alameda, in a very desirable part of town called Fernside. It has good "bones" but has not been remodeled or upgraded in decades. It was refinanced a few years ago, but like some homeowners who later got in trouble, the funds from that refinancing didn't go towards maintaining this house. Hence, it's a fixer --- and a short sale.    It was priced at $300,000. Two contractor bids to repair/renovate the property so it becomes habitable came to approximately $250K. What does it need? Everything! But it does have large formal rooms, hardwood floors, built-ins, and it's in a great east end location on a corner lot. If t...
Comments 39
By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
Being that I have lived on the Island of Alameda all my life it always a pretty site to see the Parade of Lights on the estuary that surrounds my great city! Many owners of sailboats, little boats, barges, motor boats and yachts decorate with bright holiday lights and parade up and down the estuary between the city's of Alameda and Oakland. See for youself! Here are a few great photos.                          
Comments 3
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
It was a miserable cold day today in Alameda CA --- where it is almost always sunny. Getting in and out of the car in the rain to put up open house signs, my hands got soaked through the gloves I was wearing. It felt like I was not only wet, I was frozen! On a rainy day like today, who would go to an open house, anyway? Nonetheless, I dutifully put up 8 colorful flags in front of the house to add color to a dismal day, and settled in. Oh, how I wished I had hot cocoa. But this house has so much to offer, so I hoped for the best.   Then surprise, surprise....people kept trickling in. They lingered long enough that I was able to chat them up.  A guy came in and took measurements of the rooms. A family lingered and said they would be interested in seeing more houses. I also sent a couple t...
Comments 7
By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
                 For the last  couple of years I have been going to Alameda's Tree Lighting ceremony. The city sets up an ice rink in the Police Department and City Hall's parking lot. Santa Clara Ave is closed off In front of Alameda's City Hall. There is a band singing holiay songs. Santa drives in on his sleigh to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas but this is a lot of fun for young and all. I think we all should respect everyone's religious beliefs. I have to say best of all are the Dancing Christmas Trees! They have been in the Macy's Day parade in the past and are very entertaining! Here are a few photos of our city's event. My friends Alameda's Police Chief and wife, Walt and Brenda Tibbet and the city's Chief Financial director Ann Mar...
Comments 0
By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
       Thursday night my office had a family holiday party for the agents and their families. I wish more agents had attended as it was a lot of fun. I brought my daughter and my grandson Luc. No matter how we all celebrate the holidays it was great bringing everyone together to have a great time. The broker had a magician who kept the children mesmerized. We all brought appetizers and desserts. It was a time of laughter and bonding. Did your office have a family holiday party?                                                                                                                Jean Powers Broker Associate Alameda, CA                            
Comments 0
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Well, it's here. Measure P which will increase in Alameda's city transfer tax iby 122% is effective December 12. In spite of efforts to dispute erroneous information, it passed by such a thin margin. Yes On Measure P      12,114     50.66% No on Measure P         11,797     49.34% Here are two of the most egregious claims by the proponents: FALSE CLAIM: REALTORS ...will receive slightly smaller commissions. FACT: Wrong, commissions for REALTORS are set by contract with sellers, not government. Transfer taxes are not deducted from real estate commissions and won't affect REALTOR income. FALSE CLAIM: Special Real Estate Interests. FACT: You have been labeled a special interest if you own a home, or hope to one day own a home or propert in Alameda. Real estate agents in general and REALTOR...
Comments 2
By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
Did you know that in the city of Alameda, we have medical marijuana dispensaries?  I was just reading in the local newspaper that the City Council has granted city staff's request to extend an interim urgency ordinance placing a moratorium on the establishment or expansion of these dispensaries unti the year 2010. Public comment at a city Council meeting was sparse. The head of the Business Associations are upset about this and felt that because of the holidays Alamedans were busy and  not aware of this clinic. What do You think? We will see what happens next on this subject!
Comments 0
By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
Did you know that in the city of Alameda, we have medical marijuana dispensaries?  I was just reading in the local newspaper that the City Council has granted city staff's request to extend an interim urgency ordinance placing a moratorium on the establishment or expansion of these dispensaries unti the year 2010. Public comment at a city Council meeting was sparse. The head of the Business Associations are upset about this and felt that because of the holidays Alamedans were busy and  not aware of this clinic. What do You think? We will see what happens next on this subject!
Comments 0
By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
Leaf Blowers.. Some citizens of Alameda are in an uproar about gardeners and their leaf blowers!  some cities nearby are banning the use of leaf blowers. Carmel, Berkeley and Los Angeles are a few cities in California who have banned these noisy machines. The complaints are that they are not only noisy but are noxious, wasteful and irritating to lovers of peace and quiet. Of course gardening associations and blower manufacturers are opposed to the idea of controls. It is very difficult for laws to be put into affect as most people will not file a compaint. It is interesting as the local newspaper interviewed a few Alamedans on the subject and all felt that lawn blowers were not a problem or a nuisance to them.
Comments 1
By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
On December 7th, the city of Alameda held a service in the chapel of the USS Hornet for survivors of th the December 7th, 1941 attack on Peal Harbor. The survivors, family and friends were able to board the USS Hornet for free. The Hornet has been docked in Alameda at the closed Alameda Naval Air Station for many years now. There are tours available to the public. We also can rent it out for parties, weddings and other activities. Every New Year's Eve there is a great party. So please do not forget the survivors of Pearl Harbor! We Alamedans never forget!!
Comments 0
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Every day, we hear about clients going through turmoil that could have been avoided. ADDING PEOPLE ON TITLE   I've been trying to show a duplex, but it is impossible to get one of the residents to cooperate. Turns out that the resident on the upper unit used to own this property all by herself, but that she had added her daughter and daughter's husband on the title and then she allowed them to move in the lower unit. Perhaps the primary consideration was companionship and help maintaining the house. Shortly after, the daughter died unexpectedly. And when she did, her share of the property passed on to her husband who ended up owning 2/3 of the property. He continued to live in the lower unit, and later remarried. Now, he wants to sell the property against the wishes of the mother who st...
Comments 2
At 3:00 pm, I still haven't had a bite to eat and I was starving. From my office, it's a short walk to several restaurants, but most of them were already closed for lunch. So I stumbled into Troy's s Greek restaurant that just opened up next to famed Pappos and across from the Alameda Theater on Central Avenue, I wasn't exactly looking for Greek food, but I thought I'd give it a try. Troy opened just days ago, and didn't even have their sign up. This tiny restaurant has enough space for table service, but I wasn't planning to stay. So I perused their menu and was surprised to see two of my favorite Greek dishes: moussaka and pastitsio. There are a couple of places in Alameda that I favor for Greek and Mediterranean cuisine: Asena's and Gold Goast Grill. So I considered it an adventure t...
Comments 0
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
During the Alameda Association of Realtors' officer's induction luncheon ceremony last Friday, one of the featured entertainment was an affiliate member singing the Realtor's version of the song "Santa, Baby". That was hilarious! So kudos to the folks who co-wrote the song: Dee Ostrofsky-Williams, Association Executive; Donna Smyth, Account Manager for Fidelity National Title Company; and Constance Farber, Realtor with Gallagher and Lindsey. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did. Sing along! Santa Baby Santa baby, slip a contract under the tree --- for me. Been an awful good REALTOR, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight. Santa baby, a Buyer or a Seller or two --- Approved. I'll wait up for you dear, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight. Think of all the foreclosure lis...
Comments 4
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
What a busy day --- and I hope other realtors are seeing this, too. I had two sets of clients, both of whom are serious buyers, whose interest was piqued when some prices were reduced on homes in Alameda. In the past, only fixers were priced under $500K in terms of detached single family homes. So I took one set on tours of homes in the morning, and the other set in the afternoon. Now, there is quite a selection --- some still need TLC, but others could be considered as wonderful homes for serious home buyers. My buyers are excited at what they see as tremendous opportunity to own a home in Alameda. And as luck would have it, Alameda is the featured community in this Sunday's Real Estate section of the San Francisco Chronicle. It's titled "Alameda --- small town atmosphere amid metropol...
Comments 8
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Last Friday evening, we decided to go to The Fireside for another taste of this wonderful Gastro Pub at 1435 Webster Street. When we arrived at the Fireside, the bartender, Billy, welcomed us with literally open arms (like a huge Victory sign). Alas, alack! The owner and chef had a nasty accident on his electric scooter on his way home, and awoke to find himself in the hospital, not knowing what happened. Although full food service won't be restored until mid-January, the chef prepared paninis that Billy could serve to their customers --- free! Our friend Mark was fascinated with the over 200 beers from all over the world. So Billy prepared a beer-tasting plate with 5 shot glasses, each with a different beer. And goodness, Billy knew so much about each one, explained what to expect, and...
Comments 2
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
Alameda CA, a fabulous island on San Francisco Bay, is also known for its wonderful collection of vintage homes that include some fabulous Victorian, Tudor, Mediterranean and Craftsman homes. This wealth of fascinating architecture is highlighted during the annual Home for the Holidays Tour that starts with a candlelight preview on December 12, and showcased on December 13. This year, there will be five architectural gems that are featured during the tour. Be sure to visit a Queen Anne on San Jose in the heart of Alameda's famed Leonardville, whose residents are the brains behind the award-winning Alameda winery, R & B Cellars. For more information, check out Alameda Magazine online, or pick up your copy of the December 2008 issue. Mark your calendar: Dec. 12, 2008     6:00 - 9:00 p.m. ...
Comments 0
By Pacita Dimacali, Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
(Alain Pinel)
  ANNUAL LIGHTED YACHT PARADE Just in case you're wondering, the Annual Lighted Yacht Parade on the Estuary between Alameda and Oakland CA is scheduled this Saturday, December 6, 2008. It will start as soon as it gets dark, around 5:30 pm. This a 32-year tradition. The Lighted Yacht Parade cruises along the Oakland/Alameda estuary highlighting this year's theme "An Old Fashioned Christmas." Beneficiaries of the Parade     The event benefits Oakland Firefighters, Random Acts of Kindness and Alameda County Community Food Bank. All spectators and participants are encouraged to donate by dropping off food, new unwrapped toys or money at Encinal Yacht Club and Oakland Yacht Club. For more information, call (510) 337-1946, www.lightedyachtparade.com. Sponsored and organized by the Encinal Yac...
Comments 0
By Jean Powers, CRS,e-PRO,HAFA,SFR Broker, Northern California
(Kane & Associates call 510.908.9002)
Alameda is a great place to live. Our Tonningsen exhibit is in its final days. alamedan Peter Toningsen elevates the ordinary to an art form in his photography according to Julia Tracey. He specializes in black and white photography and has exhibited his work throughout the Bay Area as well as Europe.  all his photgraphs were made with a pinhole camera then scanned and printed digitally with archival pigment inks. The exhibit was on display at the Alameda Free Library.  
Comments 0