Monday, February 9, 2009

In Memoriam: Alameda Residential Real Estate Market, 1851-2009

On Saturday, February 7th, the last house in Alameda was sold to a couple of mindless yuppies from a City That Is Not Alameda, thus officially marking the death of the Alameda residential real estate market.

The market began 157 years, 3 months, and 16 days ago on Wednesday, October 22, 1851, when William Chipman and Gideon Aughinbaugh purchased what is now Alameda for $14,000 from Don Antonio Peralta, whose family received the land back in 1820 from some shady character called the "King of Spain." Said Chipman to Aughinbaugh, "This is indeed a fine piece of land. One day, I imagine it will support exactly 31,801 housing units." Replied Aughinbaugh, "Yes, but not a single house more." The Don nodded and averred, "Los gringos tienen razón."

The mood Saturday among Alameda's real estate professionals was one of somber resignation. "It had a good run," said former real estate agent Aldo Yagoda as he unscrewed the sign hanging outside his office, "especially for a small town with such limited access. I suppose I should have seen this coming…after all, Alameda is an island."

Former City Council Candidate wasted no time in pointing out the implications of the market's demise: "The economy stinks. The housing market has been in the toilet since 2006. Obviously, no new houses will ever be built, and there will be no need to sell any of the existing ones." When asked what will happen to those houses, she replied, "Well, I imagine folks will just continue to live there. As long as Alameda stays just like it is, why would anyone ever want to leave? They can pass the houses on to their kids."

The Alameda Daily Noose and I pointed out that some people don't have any heirs, not even a workhouse full of orphans, but this didn't faze Former City Council Candidate. She shot back, "Those houses will just have to sit vacant until we Right-Thinking Alamedans figure out what to do with them. The ugly ones could be knocked down to make way for civic gathering places, and maybe we could save the nice ones as museums."

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