Tag Archives: mount carmel

Halloween Train Rides in Redwood City? Way Cool…

Courtesy of the Emerald Hills Railway:

Halloween Night Train Rides!
Saturday, Oct. 31st, 5-8:30 pm
Invite the young and the old, the dead or alive and climb aboard our locomotive to encircle an atmosphere of colorful lights, a black light loading zone, and festive scenes.

Friends, family and neighbors welcome!  All ages can ride!

This event is weather permitting and operates at the discretion of the engineer.

NOTE: On Halloween night, our street will be barricaded at both ends of the block, including Colton Court, to allow foot traffic and strollers only.  Please park legally in the neighborhood.

NEED VOLUNTEERS for set up and running the event:
*We need 4-5 volunteers for set up beginning at 12 noon Saturday.  Set up includes displaying props/décor, arranging the VIP section and setting up the driveway.
*In addition we need 4-5 more volunteers to assist running the event, in 2 shifts: 5-7pm and 6:30-8:30pm (2-3 people per shift).  Duties include chaperoning passengers and assisting/lifting children on and off the train.  Suggest event volunteers to dress festive but not scary.
*Community service certificates available-ask Jay in advance.
All volunteers need to speak english (sorry I’m not bi-lingual) and have a big heart.

Your Hosts and Location:
Jay & George Whitehill
426 Hillcrest Way
Emerald Hills, Ca 94062
Directions from Jefferson Ave X California Way
Head north on California Way, RT @ 2nd STOP sign: Sunset Way
First LT@ Eastview Way
First RT @ Hillcrest Way
1/2 block on RT side -you won’t miss the house!


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Tales of Buffoonery, aka What the Heck is Bank of America Smoking?

Ok, I only republish these three stories below because the last two transactions I’ve had where B of A was the buyer’s lender have me totally convinced that BofA’s left hand does not even KNOW there is a right hand. Ok, ok, I know that mortgage regulations did need to be more restrictive compared to the free-wheeling days of 2003-2006 — but boy, the pendulum has just swung so far to the other end of the spectrum, it can just make a buyer pull their hair out while continually uttering “WTF?”

Read on:

BofA requires armless man to provide fingerprints to access his cash:


BofA forces homeowner to buy flood insurance (when she lives on the crest of a big hill)


Tales of Short Sale insanity in dealing with BofA


(quick note: I’m just republishing this one, I’m not condoning his metaphor….but do note this, the thesaurus usage of “retard”:  “the process is retarded by bureaucratic red tape delay, slow down, slow up, hold back, hold up, set back, postpone, put back, detain, decelerate; hinder, hamper, obstruct, inhibit, impede, check, restrain, restrict, trammel.”)

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New Listings in Mount Carmel (and Pending Ones, too!)

Tales of my disappearance from the blogosphere have been greatly exaggerated. Finally, after more than a quarter of being just crazily busy (recession, what recession?), your friendly Mount Carmel neighborhood blogger is “Back in the Saddle”, to quote one of my favorite Aerosmith songs.

Has nothing been going on in Mount Carmel? Apart from the Mt. Carmel festival last month, and with school almost done for the summer in a few weeks, the real estate market in Mount Carmel is definitely showing signs of rebounds. Lots of “sale pending” signs are now replacing “Open Sunday” signs. That’s always, ALWAYS a good thing.

So, without further adieu, here’s what’s new (and pending) in Mount Carmel:


45 Hudson St., $1,795,000 – 4br/2.5ba, 2720 sf on a 9100 sf lot. On the market last year most recently at $1.85M

1737 Brewster, $959,588 – 3br/1.5ba, 1590 sf on a 7150 sf lot

264 Elwood St., $978,000 – 4br/2ba, 1950sf on a 6500 sf lot

250 Myrtle St., $924,900 – 3br/2ba, 1620 sf on a 6500 sf lot

1603 James Ave, $959,000 – 4br/2ba, 1230 sf on a 9950 sf lot. What an amazing lot this home has. Truly a must-see.

1306 James Ave., $929,000 – 3br/2ba, 1490 sf on a 7645 sf lot

37 Fulton, $975,000 (sale pending) – 2br/1.5ba, 1614 sf on a 6110 sf lot. This one was an absolute charmer, and heartily deserved it’s “Best of Tour” award when it first came on the market.

171 Myrtle, $935,000 (sale pending) – 3br/2ba, 1680 sf on a 0.15 acre lot.

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Don’t Hold Your Breath for 4.5% Rates

And here’s why.  There is a new refinance fever hitting the consuming public. Why? Because the record low delivery rates have let to incredibly low home loan rates.  Have you heard about the rumored 4.5% fixed rates that might become available from the gub’mint under a new stimulus program to get the housing market to move again?

If you’re waiting for rates to fall to that level before you refinance, you may be very sorry.

There are several problems in waiting for lower rates. For starters, when home loan rates are at or near record lows ALREADY, it’s unreasonable and possibly irrational to wait until they fall even further.

Secondly, if that program ever DOES come into existence, it will NOT be available for refinance loans. If you’re planning on buying a home, you might get lucky with a reduced rate, subsidized by taxpayers, for a purchase loan.  Then again, a member of a Republican administration floated the program. Change, remember, is coming to Washington in just over 3 weeks.

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How Not to Get Sued (aka, Top Tips for Disclosing)

Lawyers This comes from a great article I saw last week in the Los Altos Town Crier. Talked about a recent panel of real estate lawyers (now THAT’S a bit of a scary combination of 3 words), discussing numerous issues, chief among them, disclosures.

Here were the highlights:

  • In today’s economic times, when much of the market is in turmoil, litigation cases have increased because there are many buyers who want to get out of deals they have made.
  • When markets are good, the RE lawyers are busy. When markets are bad, they’re really busy.
  • Attribute and disclaim: attribute where you get your information. If you didn’t verify the information, say so, and cite the source of your information.
  • Document, document, document: once in litigation, people make up stories, so make sure you document everything, even telephone conversations. Email works best for this and is easy to confirm.
  • Disclose, disclose, disclose: you can’t disclose enough, and there is no harm in over-disclosing.
  • Agents and their sellers should disclose what they know or what they’ve heard — even rumors.  There’s no need to check them out, but they need to disclose what they’ve heard. How far back should old disclosures be disclosed? Their answer: forever.
  • Intentional failure to disclose is fraud.
  • Keep files as long as possible.
  • Finally, if ever in litigation, the panelists advised hiring a good attorney because there are many incompetent attorneys with little knowledge or experience in real estate law.  Beware of dumb lawyers.

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Welcome to the Mt. Carmel Blog!

Alrighty then, here we are, my second “hyper-local” blog, and on what is one of the more desirable neighborhoods in Redwood City: the friendly, tree-lined and family oriented neighborhood of Mt. Carmel.

I’ve got probably one of the longest running real estate blogs (since 2005) here on the Peninsula, the aptly named “The Gory Details ..of Real Estate”.  But, with so much that’s appealing about Mt. Carmel, I felt the time was right to now provide all kinds of useful information at the neighborhood level — spoken from someone who has lived, works, and sends kids to school here. I’ll do my best to keep my readers — whether they’re owners or potential buyers in Mt. Carmel — abreast of all that’s happening. 
Coming up in future blog posts:
 – recent sales, new and upcoming listings in Mt. Carmel

– what’s YOUR home worth in Mt. Carmel?

– when does Concert in the Park start at Stafford Park?

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