Saturday, August 5, 2006

Cat du jour

I first caught sight of this little critter out the corner of my eye sitting in a driveway as I was on my way to a listing appointment. At first I thought it was just a crumpled plastic bag, but I had to turn around and check. She could not open her eyes or mouth due to dehydration and dried mucus. Fortunately my client was amenable to postponing our meeting and my next door neighbor stopped to give me a blanket she had in the car. The kitten weighed only a pound, but the vet said that it was more than 2 months old. During the next 10 days this little critter was locked in my bathroom, made a big mess, and turned out to be the most rambunctious little runt I have ever encountered. Her penchant for jumping out of the shadows at the least expected moment earned her the name "Ninja" at my house. Out of deference to the resident cat, who would not tolerate her, we sent her on to a new home where her bouncy antics earned her a new name, and apt one: Pinball. The picture is of one of her early forays out into the world beyond my bathroom.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

House cat du jour

Here's a couple of cool cats in their open air garden condo on Whittle Ave. in Oakland's Dimond neighborhood.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Buy a house: get a pet

Owning a home means different things to different people, but many first time homeowners want to be able to have a pet without having to get permission from the owner of their building. My closing gift to my home buying clients is a free cat or dog. I pay the adoption fee, up to $150, if the new buyer will adopt the animal from a local shelter within 6 months of closing escrow.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Chat du jour

OK, OK, I know I probably won't be able to post a new house cat photo every day, but I will try to keep it up. I see lots of resident pets as I driving around the Bay Area looking at property. Some of them are just too cute not to share. I'll start off with my own.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

What's a co-op?

Over the past several years I have sold several co-operative homes in Alameda County. There are just a few in Alameda and a few more in Contra Costa, most notable among those is Rossmoor. It’s a challenge because they are relatively rare in the West. Neither the buying public nor the agent community are familiar with them. Buyers are reluctant to entrust their savings and salaries to something they do not understand. “Buy” and “sell” are relatively easy concepts to grasp, but “shares” and “leases” sound a lot more complex. Many buyers decide to look elsewhere, feeling that a co-op is something akin to a time share or some other novelty that might have little or no lasting value. Then too there is the matter of financing. The requirements for down payments of 10% or often more eliminate many in the first time home buyer pool. Marginally higher interest rates can also edge out part of the buyer pool. Co-op's can be a good buy for the right person, but it should be a long term decision. I doubt if anyone made money "flipping" a co-op in the Bay Area. You get more for your money because the prices are lower than condos and community standards are more strictly enforced. You have to have the requisite down payment and accept that your financing options are limited. Most co-operative share loans in our area are held by the National Cooperative Bank.