real estate

At 1223 Post St. in Alameda’s East End, a humble Gold Rush-era cottage still stands. It once housed a Norwegian immigrant named Christopher Christensen and his family. Post Street residents Farrah Morin, Safia Pigott and Abby Hayton celebrated the 168th anniversary of the discovery of gold on Jan. 24, 1848, on the steps of this Gold Rush-era cottage. That cottage inspired the Culinary Academy of Post Street to learn about the East End’s Gold Rush heritage. We also sampled Gold Rush grub including one special item first served in 1849 that you can still enjoy today!

The staircase on the high-basement cottage at 2019 Pacific Avenue in Alameda draws the eye upward to the home’s full porch. A row of spindles complements the porch that sweeps across this Queen Anne-style home. Fish-scale shingles — like the spindles, signature Queen Anne elements — decorate the second-story dormer, which is built in the form of a pediment. A pair of windows on each side of the entry door adds symmetry to this home. The window in the dormer echoes the design of the windows below. 

Map & Story by Chris Ringewald

Housing prices, gentrification and inequality have been hot topics in the news lately. Recent articles and opinion pieces in the Alameda Sun have wrestled with how many people will move to Alameda due to new development, and others have grappled with how many will move out through eviction. 

Somewhat lost in the discussion has been a sense of just how many people have been moving in, and outside of specific developments, where the most new Alamedans are settling.

Numbers indicate strengthening real estate market

California pending home sales rose sharply from last July and posted the strongest year-over-year increase in more than six years, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) recently reported.

The association’s Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on signed contracts, climbed 17 percent on an annual basis to 122.3 in July.

This marks the eighth straight month of year-to-year gains and the sixth straight month of double-digit advances.

Only seven of California’s counties are affordable to home buyers who earn the areas’ median household income, while homes in 25 counties were out of reach for the typical household, according to analysis by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.).

The report also found that less than a third of the state’s inventory of available single-family homes, condominiums, and townhomes for sale was at or below the home price that a household earning the California median income of $60,244 can afford.

California’s housing market accelerated in April as the spring home-buying season kicked off with both higher home sales and prices for the third straight month, the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R) recently reported.

When it comes to home painting, numbers matter: the number of coats to apply, the number of years a paint job will last and more. When it comes to painting the home exterior, aesthetics drive most decisions, but you shouldn’t ignore the math when choosing your paint.

"Things like cost and coverage rate should be taken into account," said Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. "But some other numbers are much more important." Every paint job involves three key numerical decision points.

Freddie Mac’s March 5 Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that rates have moved lower for the first time in four weeks. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 5 basis points from last week’s 3.80 percent to 3.75 percent. In the first week of March 2014 the 30-year fixed averaged 4.28 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at 3.03 percent on March 5, down 4 basis points from Feb., 26, when it averaged 3.07 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed averaged 3.32 percent.

Ten steps to finding quality tenants

A quality or "golden" tenant represents the norm in my experience as the owner of a real estate property management company for 28 years.

A quality tenant is someone who pays the rent on time, immediately notifies an owner or manager of any maintenance issues, follows the house rules, gets along with the other tenants and enjoys living in your property. They are the gold for an investment property owner.

A strong employment report has helped send mortgage rates higher. Freddie Mac’s Feb. 19 Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 7 basis points from last week’s 3.69 percent to 3.76 percent. In the third week of February 2014 the 30-year fixed averaged 4.33 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at 3.05 percent on Feb. 19, down 6 basis points from Feb. 12, when it averaged 2.99 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed averaged 3.35 percent.