Thursday, April 14, 2011

We Made Our Permitting Deadline!!!

Okay, finally a post with pictures and a post that shouldn't earn me any more enemies....

Monday was our deadline to have all the permit drawings into the city....and we made the deadline!!! Hurray!!!!!
To review, because of the code enforcement actions brought against the PO of Chez 3.0 after the close of escrow we had ~60 days to turn in complete permit drawings for;
Floor plans for the existing basement showing all the unwarrented stuff and plans showing it all turned back to storage. Floorplan for the kicthen showing that it meets current codes...and a complete framing plan for the deck and balcony with an engineers stamp of approval.

 Heres the bottom floor plans.
Look at all that unwarrented space! Thats two apartments. A one bedroom and a two bedroom..

  Look ma just storage...doesn't this just seem like a HUGE sad....on the positive side I guess we have ton's of storage now....

The Kitchen Plan.

The kitchen isn't too bad. I believe to meet code I just need to swap out the existing ceiling light for a CF fixture, replace the incorrect ribbed kitchen exhaust ducting with smooth interior metal and add one GFCI outlet to the counter top...through the inch thick granite....have no idea how I'm going to do that.


<>Here is the balcony framing plan. This one kinda surprised me. I had to do some investigating as to how the balcony was built...The entire thing in cantelevered out from the house. When they built the addition on the back in the 80's (with permits) the 2by12 floor joists run out and form the balcony! The unpermitted work here is the stairs and the grayed framing members where the PO's sistered on joists to make a bigger landing at the top for the stairs.
Balcony Framing
<>Construction Details
Super Exciting Deck Details. One interesting thing about the construction of the deck is that the builder really liked to notch his joints and bolt them together. Which is a strong way to do it just way more labor intensive than using Simpson hardware.

Deck Framing Doing this was fun! I was told that I had to get every piece
 of framing lumber in its exact place...I think I actually managed to do it...

Super Cool Vector Views of the deck...just getting those
dimensions on the East Elevation required an entire day to
figure out! My CAD program is too old and wasn't playing
nice with Win 7. I have to run the freaking program in Vista
compatibility mode to get it to work about 90% correctly...

So, that's what I've been scrambling to do. Actually got the permit issued for the bottom floor demo...hurray!!! cept that's actually what I don't want to do...
At least the engineer said the deck actually in good shape, he just wanted me to add more lag bolts into the ledger board for the deck. So, not going to fall down anytime soon.

The plans for the deck and kitchen are being reviewed by the cities engineer and I'm sure they will get kicked back with changes. The zoning people are also looking at the deck as they have to approve of it and it can't cut into the required 6 parking spaces for the 3 unit building.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Realtor Schenanigans part 2

Oy, my head....look at this stuff I have to deal with ...

Usually I would just delete comments like these from my blog as they serve no legitimate purpose and trying to argue with a crazy person just makes you, instead I decided to do an entire post about em!!

OK Here's a comment we got on the blog earlier this week from someone calling themselves pacificalameda.

$650k is jumbo loan. 203k requires 0.9% mortgage insurance, so total > 7% interest rate !? If FHA requires 45 % ratio, will need > $11k monthly income, how many buyers hv that high income nowadays? Wait for 6 months before moving in? Any assurance the "tough" Alameda city will final in 6 months? What if it goes over budget? According to the other houses posted on this blog, seem to cost > $300k in remodeling of so many baths, bedrooms, kitchens etc. $165k doesnt seem to do a good job for the house in this condition, unless using apartment quality cheap linelium. Why other people's houses, according to your opinon, cost so much to remodel but yours doesn't? according to your blog, one kitchen cost $50k. why suddenly estimate on your house so low? the contractor's bid may not be realistic? Radiant heat is very expensive, people said cost >$600/month. What if it breaks, and leaks water in the future? how much for maintenance/repair? A huge & scary project. maybe that's why according to your blog, 3 open houses only 1 offer? what kind of person would make an offer to buy with so much work? someone who is a contractor ?? Sorry dont want to sound offensive, just things $ numbers not adding up right.

I don't even know how to respond to this, It's just nonsense...All the FHA stuff and especially that $600/month to heat the house??? That's all gotta be pulled outta his you-know-what...What can I say about the remodeling cost? We have two legitimate bids from two contractors for a simple finish of the house as a duplex and both numbers where under $150k-including a new roof.

Then my Realtor got an email from a 'Brian' with a lame yahoo email address.

saw your listing, read the very very long blogs, and has some questions: 1. total 2,800 sq. ft. 3 storeys, so each floor only 900 sq. ft.? or is the main floor bigger than the basement or attic? 2. a little confused on the asking price : $650k, including $165k in remodeling of any materials the buyer's choice? does that include all the permit fees and artichtect's drawings? not sure how up to date the old plans are bc this year many new building codes came into effect & Alameda city has the highest permit fee in the bay area. it may cost > $10k for all the architectural & permit cost. 3. what if buyers pick materials that the contractor cannot do within $165k, will the Seller susidize? 2,800 sq.ft. house for $165k seems very cheap, according to the blog commented on other houses, one kitchen average cost $50k to remodel, and one fixer-upper cost $500k to remodel. So not sure if the contractor can do with good quality materials with the house in such a bad shape that has no walls. 3. it says finish work 6 months from COE, does that mean the buyers pay 6 months of mortgage, or the seller pays before possession of house? $650k 203k loan, we are looking at about $6k mortgage, tax & insurance per month, adding 6 months of mortgage, and $10k fees, so total $"696k purchase price", sort of pricey at this market, esp. many unknowns. 4. what if the contractor stops work due to financial disputes or other reason, cannot finish the job in 6 months? Alameda city planning & building depts. are not easy to get approval/finalize. ** Can the escrow close in 8 months (until all work done) before closing since the Seller asks for $650k to buy. I.e. the Seller warrants that the house will be completely done satisfactorily in 6 months with no delay? 5. what is the incentive for buyers to wait for 6 months before moving in, with a high purchase price of $696k? is the seller's price $485k negotiable, since it doesn't seem to be justified with all these risks & unknowns? e.g. If the project goes over time, it's $6k per month! that's why most fixer-uppers are priced low accordingly, But this house does not seem to be taking into consideration of all buyer's work & risks. thank you!

I think this one as its full of just stupid assertions that you could only have if you where cherry picking individual sentances out of a blog post and not reading it as a whole... notice the exact same reference to my blog and reasoning.
Now read this from a Realtor who has been sending us these bizarre emails intended to do what? Harangue us into dropping the price ridiculously low???

That is reasonable given the circumstances. Having managed many projects in Alameda, that include the after close process of a 203k it is not as simple as you state including pick anything you want. New plans need to be drawn, the entire building will need to be brought up to code, the hud inspector is going to walk the house and have their own list of mandatory items that need to be repaired not including the cosmetics of a build out. One of the items is going to be window replacement and/or paint scraping and lead abatement which was just passes last year and is an added cost. One of my most recent projects was 2143 Alameda Ave which was posted on your blog. You know the rehab cost of that home and it was in much better shape that 1310 Pacific. Given the carrying cost of two mortgages and property taxes my estimate is that you are looking at 14,000 if you wait 4 months. There is also the fact that the buyer you are looking for for a FHA jumbo loan of 620,000 at 5.5% needs to have an income of 13000 to qualify for the loan and anyone with that income is not buying that house. Mull it around. I know the offer is not what you want to hear or see but if you were my client purchasing and you knew what the cost and time is going to be involved for a buyer after the COE it would be easy to see how obscured the numbers you are quoting and ease of of a full renovation are with federal guidelines is.

Now this one is from a Realtor who claims to know all about FHA stuff yet doesn't know that in the SFBay area FHA loans go to uh, $729k as conforming jumbo loans and its not till you go above that number that you get into the real jumbo loan territory. Again with the plans...guess he didn't read that I have the complete digital model of the house and have a set of simple redo plans already done for the house. I love his carrying costs number.... He does imply that he was the buyers realtor for 2143 Alameda Ave....this is the property where the seller was trying to sue based on my review...she claims that my review cost her $15K in selling the house....

Edit 4-14
Okay somethings been bugging me about the above email for a while and I just now put my finger on it. He does seem to be implying that he was the buyers Realtor at 2143 Alameda Ave and that it was bought with a 203k remodel loan right??? Except that the loan limit for single family houses in Alameda County is $729k and the house was purchased for $755k acording to public records???? How is that even possible? Methinks I smell a steaming pile of B.S....

Here's what the Realtor Doesn't Get About Chez Neumansky 2.0
The foundation's already been done!! Unlike 2143 Alameda Ave. That will save you $130k right there.
The electrical is already upgraded with sub panels on each floor. (unlike 2143 Alameda Ave) All you have to do is run branch circuits-which one electrician noted would take him maybe two days per floor.

Having no drywall in the way is actually a good thing. Now when he says there's no walls, what he means is that there is no drywall.  That's a plus in this situation as its super fast and easy to run your utilities inside the walls and then have them drywalled up. Usually in a situation like this you'd end up pulling most of the drywall down to run your utilities and to insulate.

You know really, author seems to of taken a play book from those nut job right wing radio guys...where they take things out of context and then blow stuff all out of proportion laced with a bunch of half truths??

Seriously now...does it not seem that all of these emails are from the same person? It really does to me...Using the exact same incorrect information with the same arguments and phrasing. What's the chance 3 people came up with all this VERY similar nonsense independently? Yes, I know that you are going to say that a bunch of people probably came up with 2+2=4 independently but c'mon three people getting things exactly wrong in the exact same way? What I especially like about the last one is that it was sent directly to me...that's something Realtors are always supposed to do right? bypass the selling Realtor and try to strike a deal with the home owner??

So, what this looks like is a Realtor who has clients who want to buy our house for a ridiculously low price has created not one but two alias' to try to convince us that the house is worth what his clients want to pay for it???

Really, Seriously it just me being paranoid or does it all sound like it came from the same person??

Next Up Realtor Schenanigans Part gets really reptilian now....

Friday, April 8, 2011

A New Tact On Marketing Chez 2.0

How Does This Sound To You?

A 2858sq ft Victorian Duplex in central Alameda, completely redone for only $650,000..

This house is amazing, (is what your friends will say) it has;

A Brand New Roof (where you get to pick the color and type of shingle).

2 Brand New Remodeled Kitchens (where you get to pick exactly the features you want).

3 Remodeled Bathrooms (where you get to choose exactly how they will look).

New Floor Coverings (where you get to choose the type, style and level of quality).

New Paint, Inside and Out (yes you get to pick your exact favorite colors! Always wanted to paint a room eggplant? Go For It!!!)

Other Exciting Features

  1. New foundation-slab with 9’ ceilings on the bottom floor!

  2. An extensive under slab drainage system means bottom floor stays bone dry.

  3. Earthquake retro-fitting done.

  4. Electrical service upgraded to 200amps with 100amp sub-panels on each floor.

  5. Natural gas service was upgraded and all the gas lines where re-piped.

  6. Warm water radiant heating installed on first two floors. System is set up to also heat 3rd floor. Luxurious, energy efficient heating!

  7. Stamped concrete outdoor sunken living room with natural gas plumbed fire pit.

  8. New ‘carriage door’ automatic garage door.

  9. Custom antique brick driveway and path.

  10. Has tankless water heater installed-Endless eco-friendly hot water.

That's an almost completely remodeled, customized (to your exact tastes) 2858 sq ft Victorian Duplex for only $650,000.

Sound to good to be true? Well, it's not, that's the magic of the FHA 203k home purchase loan. With the 203k loan you roll the remodeling costs into your purchase loan and the house is completely remodeled to your tastes by a professional contractor before you move in. You don't have to lift a finger to do anything, except the fun stuff, like pick paint colors and kitchen cabinet doors, and marmoleum patterns.

With the 203k loan you could purchase the house below for asking and have $165k left over to have the house professionally remodeled. All within 6 months of the close of escrow! We actually have 2 bids from 2 different contractors both under $150k to do a simple finish of the house as a duplex. Your final total loan amount can be as high as $934k for a two unit building under the 203k program. You decide (up to a point) what the total cost of the house will be. Want custom cabinets and granite everywhere and Wolf appliances? Well, obviously, it's going to cost more than $150k. Here's The Simple Math $485k + ( remodeling costs ) <= $934k Your remodeling costs can be below $150 up to $449k!! and still be covered under the 203k program.

For Sale In Central Alameda 1896 Victorian Duplex 4-3 of 2858 sq ft. on a 3500sq ft lot for $485k. Many Original Details intact.

House is an interesting mix of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles. The only one exactly like it on the island.

House is legal Triplex currently set up as duplex. House is mid project. All the REALLY expensive work has been done it just needs to be finished. To be clear, the house needs much more than a coat of paint. You should think of it as a blank slate to apply your own vision too.

Will not qualify for standard loan, only all-cash or 203k buyers.

Like to BBQ? Like to entertain outdoors? Then this stamped concrete outdoor entertaining area with built in lighting and fire pit is just the thing! This sunken living room is plumbed for natural gas to the fire pit and BBQ.

This is possibly the most completely documented house for sale EVER!

For more information on the house than you could possibly imagine go here and kill a few hours.

To learn more about this exciting custom home ownership opportunity please contact Mario Mariani. You can email him here