Mortgage Week in Review – September 30, 2011

A report from Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking

MORTGAGE WEEK IN REVIEW

This week’s reading on the GDP confirmed the US economy isn’t in a recession but a slowdown of the super-hot Chinese economy is the new fear of the day, and that is hurting Stocks, helping Bonds, and pushing rates lower. 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.95% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.250% (3.32% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 1 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.750% (4.89% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.26% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 1 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.14% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.625% (3.77% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are DOWN compared to last week.
Rates are DOWN compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

Pace Of Home Sales Pick Up in August & Luxury Home Sales Strengthen!

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, Existing Home Sales rose 8 percent in August from the month prior, and 19 percent as compared to August 2011.

A total of 5 million existing homes were sold in August on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. This is the highest reading since March, and a signal that the housing market may not be as weak as many would believe. Also sales increased across all price points, and home inventory dropped. At the current pace of sales, the nation’s 3.58 million homes for sale would be sold in 8.5 month’s time – A full month faster than observed in July.

Luxury home sales were strong in August, led by homes worth more than $1,000,000.

This same report noted that home sales in the million-plus range gained 12 percent year-over-year, and the next price point lower — $750,000 to $1,000,000 — showed similarly strong gains, adding 8 percent year-over-year.  

There can be little doubt that this year’s falling mortgage rates have helped home affordability in the conforming mortgage range, but they have also given new life to the luxury market since ultra-low mortgage rates have lowered housing payments dramatically. Indeed, jumbo mortgage rates are cheaper than they’ve been in history and it’s not just the jumbo 5-year ARMs that are low these days; 7-year ARMs and 30-year fixed rates are too, and on average, today jumbo home buyers are saving 27% on their monthly mortgage payment compared to 2 years ago, so it’s little wonder the jumbo housing market is thriving.

If you’re buying a luxury home, typically 20% down will get you in the game, but you’ll need at least 25% down to get the “best rates available.” Make sure to call me to discuss your options before you go shopping.

Report courtesy of Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage

Gina Kemsley

gkemsley@terramb.com
Office: (415) 464-3144
Cell: (415) 828-0218
Fax: (888) 449-0329
DRE License #: 01121768
NMLS #: 291780

Copyright © 2011 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved.

View homes on Corinthian Island, Tiburon

 _________________________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Case-Shiller Index : 85% Of Tracked Cities Showed Home Price Improvement In July

Case-Shiller monthly change (June - July 2011)

Standard & Poors released its monthly Case-Shiller Index this week. The Case-Shiller Index measures home price changes from month-to-month, and year-to-year, in 20 select U.S. cities. It also reports a “national” index; a composite of the values in said cities.

The most recent Case-Shiller Index shows a 0.9% rise in home values from June to July 2011.  Home values were higher in 17 of the 20 tracked cities. Only Phoenix and Las Vegas fell.  Denver was flat.

Also noteworthy is that, of all of the Case-Shiller cities, Detroit posted the strongest 1-year, home price improvement.  As compared to July 2010, home values are higher by 1.2 percent in Detroit.  This bests even Washington, D.C. — long-believed to be the nation’s healthiest housing market.

That said, we should be careful of the conclusions we draw from July’s Case-Shiller Index — both on a city-wide level, and on a national level. This is because, as with most “home price trackers”, the Case-Shiller Index has flaws in its methodology. 

The first Case-Shiller Index flaw is its limited scope. Although it’s purported to be a “nationa”l housing index, the data that comprises the monthly Case-Schiller Index is sourced from just 20 U.S. cities. These 20 cities represent just 0.6% of the more than 3,100 municipalities nationwide.

The second Case Shiller Index flaw is that the sample sets include single-family, detached homes only.  Condominiums, multi-unit homes, and new construction are specifically excluded from the Case-Shiller Index.

In some markets, the excluded home types outnumber included ones.

And, lastly, the Case-Shiller Index is flawed in that it takes 2 months to gather data and report it.  It’s nearly October, yet it presents the real estate market as it existed in July. For today’s buyers and sellers, July in ancient history. 

The Case-Shiller Index is useful for tracking long-term, national and regional trends in housing, but less so for individuals who want help with their choices to buy or sell a home in their local market.  For relevant information about the Marin County real estate market, up to the minute real estate data, talk to a real estate agent who keeps abreas of market trends in your market.

Visit my How is the Market? page for a wealth of information on the Marin County real estate market trends.  And feel free to contact me at 415.505.4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com.  I welcome your questions and inquiries about buying or selling your Marin County home.

Fall colors in Ross

_____________________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Larkspur, CA – Weekly Real Estate Market Update as of September 26, 2011

Below is a recap of the activity in the Larkspur, CA Real Estate Market* for the period September 20 through September 26, 2011.  

Click on the link to see all the currently active listings in Larkspur, CA with complete feature details, map locator, walk score and pictures.

Call me at 415.505.4789 or email me at Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com to request more information on homes for sale in Larkspur, CA  or to request a showing.

  → 4 New Listings in Larkspur, CA as of September 26, 2011

  • 111 William Ave
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 3,001 Square Feet, 0.160 Acre
    • 4 Bedrooms, 4 Baths
    • Active 09/19/11
    • Listing Price: $2,395,000
  • 429 Elm Ave
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 1,530 Square Feet – 0.269 Acre
    • 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths
    • Active 09/20/11
    • Listing Price: $750,000
  • 404 Larkspur Plaza Dr
    • Condominium – Resale
    • 706 Square Feet – 0.017 Acres
    • 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath
    • Active 09/13/11
    • Listing Price: $248,000
  • 106 Elm Ave
    • Single Family Home- Resale
    • 2,418 Square Feet – 0.139 Acre
    • Active 09/23/11
    • 4 Bedrooms, 4 Baths
    • Listing Price: $2,295,000 

2 Price Reductions in Larkspur as of September 26, 2011

  • 55 Olive Avenue
    • 3,211 Square Feet – 0.709 Acre
    • 4 Bedrooms, 3 Baths
    • Active 04/13/11
    • Listing Price Reduced to: $2,195,000
  • 160 Wilson Way
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 2,682 Square Feet – 0.230 Acre
    • 3 Bedrooms, 5 Baths
    • Active 08/10/11
    • Listing Price Reduced to $1,249,000 

       → 2 Contingent Listings in Larkspur as of September 26, 2011

  • 11 Heather Way
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 1,000 Square Feet – 0.121 Acre
    • 3 Bedrooms, 1 Bath
    • Active 8/3/11
    • Listing Price: $675,000
  • 631 Larkspur Plaza Dr
    • Condominium – Resale
    • 738 Square Feet – 0.019 Acre
    • 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath
    • Active 9/14/2011
    • Listing Price: $369,000 

       → 1 Pending Listing in Larkspur, CA as of September 26, 2011

  • 201 Marina Vista Ave
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 1,256 Square Feet – 0.253 Acre
    • 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bath
    • Active 9/25/10L
    • Listing Price: $499,000 

       → 3 Sold Listings as of September 26, 2011

  • 14 Chevy Chase Ct. Single Family Home – Resale
    • 4 Bedrooms, 3 Baths
    • 2,004 Square Feet – 8,400 Square Feet
    • Active 6/21/11
    • Sales Price: $844,500
  • 430 Elm Avenue
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths
    • 1,960 Square Feet – 0.514 Acre
    • Active 8/17/11
    • Sales Price: $1,005,000
  • 228 Larkspur Plaza Dr – REO
    • Condominium – Resale
    • 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath
    • 706 Square Feet – 0.017 Acres
    • Active 2/14/11, Withdrawn/Cancelled 8/23/11, Back on Market 8/31/11
    • Sales Price: $180,000

*All information is from Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. and is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.

Larkspur Ferry

_________________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

 


How To Clean Your Home Gutters

Clean your gutters twice annually

I love this time of year in Marin County when the days are still warm (sometimes even hot!), and the nights are getting cooler.  The farmers’ market yesterday in San Rafael was still offering the bounty of summer: gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, peaches, fresh figs…  Yet the days are getting shorter and … we had our first rain of the season yesterday morning.  So with the change of season, it’s a good time to make sure your home’s gutter system is clean and well-functioning.

Home gutters serve a specific purpose.  By capturing and funneling rainwater away from a home’s “footprint,” water damage to walls, windows and roofing can be minimized.  A well-functioning gutter system can keep a home’s basement from flooding, and a foundation safe from long-term structural damage.

Damaged or dirty gutters can lead to major home damage that may not be covered by insurance.

For homeowners, keeping clean gutters is essential. Luckily, with the right tools, gutter maintenance can be a do-it-yourself job.

First, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need a ladder for climbing; a bucket for holding debris; a hose for flushing your gutters; and a small, scooping tool such as a trowel.

Next, carefully climb to your gutter.  Using your hands, scoop large debris and place it in the bucket. Use the trowel to get to hard-to-reach places and for removing sticks and leaves. For safety, do not stretch to reach the next section of gutter.

After clearing the first gutter portion, step down from the ladder, move it to the next section of gutter, and repeat. Do this until all gutter sections are free from debris.

Next, find a garden hose with a spray attachment.  Carry the hose up the ladder with you to the highest point of your gutter system — usually opposite the downspout.  With the water supply on, spray water into the gutter to flush the remaining debris.

If the water fails to drain, there’s likely a clog in the downspout.  Using a screwdriver, separate the downspout, find the clog, and remove it.  Or, if you find standing water, adjust the slope of your gutter by removing the gutter hangers, fixing the slope, and re-attaching the hangers.

A gutter system should slope roughly one-quarter inch for every 10 feet of gutter.

Gutter maintenance is a twice a year task that you can do yourself.  However, if you’re uncomfortable on a ladder, or prefer to hire professionals, that’s okay, too.  As with everything in home maintenance, safety should always come first.

If you need a referral to someone in Marin County who can clean your gutters, don’t hesitate to call me.  I welcome your inquiries.

San Rafael Farmers’ Market

__________________________________________________________________________________


Sylvie Zolezzi www.YourPieceofMarin.comAbout the author:
The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County!

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Marin County unemployment still lowest in State in August 2011

MARIN’S JOBLESS RATE CONTINUES TO DROP

The Marin Independent Journal recently reported that Marin’s jobless rate dropped to 7.8 percent in August, down 0.4 percentage points from 8.2 percent in July and 0.6 points from August 2010, according to figures released Friday.

The county’s employment was the lowest in the state, although it was still well above Marin’s pre-recession rate of 3.9 percent in August 2007, according to the data from the state’s Employment Development Department.  See the chart below for unemployment trends in Marin County from 2000 to 2011.

CALIFORNIA’S JOBLESS RATE SLIGHLTY UP

Marin and the Bay Area remained better off than California as a whole, which posted 11.9 percent unemployment in August. San Mateo County recorded the state’s second-lowest jobless rate in August with 8.3 percent unemployment. San Francisco was third with 8.8 percent.

When adjusted for seasonal changes in hiring and firing, California’s jobless rate was 12.1 percent in August, an increase from 12 percent in July that was led by continued sluggishness in the construction industry.

California’s rate is the second highest in the nation, behind Nevada’s 13.4.

NATIONAL JOBLESS RATE FLAT

The national unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent as the U.S. economy added no new jobs last month, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor, which cited “nonfarm payroll employment as unchanged (0) in August.”

According to the Washington Post, it’s the first time since February 1945 that the government has reported a net job change of zero.

 ______________________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

 


Mortgage Market Week in Review – September 23, 2011

MORTGAGE WEEK IN REVIEW

This week was all about The Fed’s statement. In it The Fed announced a new stimulus plan (see below) and this new plan in concert with more safe-haven buying around new European Debt worries, sent rates lower again. Mortgage bonds were better and mortgage rates lower on Wednesday and Thursday. However, we were reminded that sentiment can shift quickly when interest rates retreated this morning.

 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | SEPTEMBER 23, 2011

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.95% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.000% (3.07% APR) 
JUMBO RATES
($729,751 – $2,000,000) 1 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.750% (4.89% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.26% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $729,750 cap by county) 1 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.14% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.27% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are DOWN compared to last week.
Rates are DOWN compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

The Fed Introduces: Operation Twist

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve launched a new market stimulus plan aimed at lowering long-term interest rates. To do so they will sell shorter-term Treasury securities (3 years or less) and move their position into longer-term Treasury Securities (6-30 years). The Fed has named this swap: Operation Twist

Mortgage market reaction to the FOMC statement and Operation Twist has been positive.

************************************************************************

This report is reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley.

Copyright © 2011 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved. 
Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking

gkemsley@terramb.com
Office: (415) 464-3144
Cell: (415) 828-0218
Fax: (888) 449-0329
DRE License #: 01121768
NMLS #: 291780

View of Bay and Golden Gate Bridge from Tiburon

________________________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

 

 

 

 

 


A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (September 21, 2011 Edition)

Putting the FOMC statement in plain EnglishWednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within its current target range of 0.000-0.250 percent.

The vote was 7-3 — the second straight meeting at which the FOMC adjourned with as many 3 dissenters. Prior to that last meeting, there hadn’t been 3 FOMC dissenters since 1992.

In its press release, the Federal Reserve presented a dour outlook for the U.S. economy, noting that since its last meeting in August:

  1. Economic growth “remains slow”
  2. Unemployment rates “remain elevated”
  3. The housing sector “remains depressed”

The Fed also said that there are “significant downside risks” to the economic outlook, tied to strains in the global financial markets.  

The news wasn’t all bad, however.

The Fed noted that business investment in equipment and software continues to expand, and that inflationary pressures on the economy appear to have stabilized. The Fed then re-iterated its plan to leave the Fed Funds Rate in its current range near 0.000 percent “at least until mid-2013”. This means that Prime Rate — the rate to which credit card rates and lines of credits are often tied — should remain unchanged at 3.250 for at least another 2 years.

Furthermore, as expected, the Federal Reserve launched a market stimulus plan aimed at lowering long-term interest rates. The Fed will sell $400 billion in Treasury securities with a maturity of 3 years or less, and use the proceeds to buy the same with maturity between 6 and 30 years.

Mortgage market reaction to the FOMC statement has been positive this afternoon. Mortgage rates are improving, but note that Wall Street sentiment can shift quickly — especially in a market that’s as uncertain as this one.

If today’s mortgage rates and payments fit your household budget, and you are thinking of buying a Marin County home, consider locking in a rate. Rates can change swiftly.  Need a referral to a trustworthy mortgage professional, I am happy to give several names so that you can find the best person to serve your needs.  I welcome your calls and inquiries.

The FOMC’s next meeting is a 2-day affair, scheduled for November 1-2, 2011.

San Anselmo, CA

_____________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Larkspur, CA – Weekly Real Estate Market Update as of September 19, 2011

Below is a recap of the activity in the Larkspur, CA Real Estate Market* for the past seven days.  Click on the individual listing links to see each listing’s complete feature details and pictures.

Click on the link to see all the currently active listings in Larkspur, CA with complete feature details, map locator, walk score and pictures.

Call me at 415.505.4789 or email me at Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com to request more information on homes for sale in Larkspur, CA  or to request a showing.

 → Three New listings in Larkspur, CA since September 12, 2011*

  • 631 Larkspur Plaza Drive
    • Condominium – Resale
    • 1 bedroom, 1 bath
    • Built in 1973
    • 738 square feet
    • List Price: $369,000
  • 49 Chanticleer Street
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
    • Built in 1971
    • 2,052 square feet
    • List Price: $935,000
  • 111 William Avenue
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 4 bedrooms, 4 baths
    • Built in 2003
    • 3,001 square feet
    • List Price: $2,395,000

→ 2 Listings Back on Market in Larkspur, CA as of September 19, 2011

  • 41 Frances Avenue
    • Single Family Home – New Construction
    • 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
    • Built in 2011
    • 1,857 square feet
    • List Price: $1,395,000
  • 601 Larkspur Plaza Drive – short sale
    • Condominium – Resale
    • 1 bedroom, 1 bath
    • Built in 1973
    • 738 square feet
    • List Price: $225,000

→  Two Price reductions in Larkspur, CA since September 12, 2011

  • 41 Frances Avenue
    • Single Family Home – New Construction
    • 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
    • Built in 2011
    • 1,847 square feet
    • Reduced to $1,395,000
  • 39 Chanticleer Street
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 3 bedrooms, 2 baths
    • Built in 1943
    • 1,201 square feet
    • Reduced to $749,000

3 Contingent Listings in Larkspur, CA as of September 12, 2011

  • 408 Larkspur Plaza Drive – short sale
    • Condominium – resale
    • 1 bedroom, 1 bath
    • Built in 1973
    • 706 square feet
    • List price:  $189,000
  • 55 Meadowood Drive
    • Single Family Home – resale
    • 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
    • Built in 1973
    • 2,700 square foot
    • List Price: $1,495,000
  • 430 Elm Avenue
    • Single Family Home – Resale
    • 3 bedrooms, 3 baths
    • Built in 1956
    • 1,960 square feet
    • List Price: $799,000

One Pending in Larkspur, CA as of September 19, 2011

  • 505 Larkspur Plaza Drive #5
    • Condominium – resale
    • 2 bedrooms, 2 baths
    • Built in 1973
    • 815 square feet
    • List Price: $355,000* All data based on information from the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. MLS (BAREIS MLS) for the past 7 days.  Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.

Click on the link to see all the currently active listings in Larkspur, CA with complete feature details, map locator, walk score and pictures.

Call me at 415.505.4789 or email me at Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com to request more information on homes for sale in Larkspur, CA  or to request a showing.

Madrone Avenue, Larkspur

 

______________________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

 


Improve Your Home’s Air Quality

Minimize VOCs when cleaningHow healthy is the air in your home?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a common class of airborne toxins known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) is ruining indoor air quality, and causing some U.S. homeowners to become dizzy, asthmatic, and ill.

VOCs are gases emitted by certain, common household products, including paint and paint strippers, cleaning supplies, and copiers and printers — even when the aforementioned products aren’t in use. You can find VOCs “everywhere” because organic chemical compounds have become essential in everyday life.

VOCs are what give cars that “new car smell”. They’re also the cause of “Sick Building Syndrome“.

As a homeowner , VOCs in your home can make you sick. Therefore, the EPA advises homeowners to take the following steps to reduce VOC levels in their respective homes and improve and home air quality.

  1. When using VOC-emitting products such as paints and paint thinners, keep a well-ventilated home.
  2. Avoid purchasing cleaning supplies or paint in bulk. Buy only what you need.
  3. Never mix household cleansers. It may yield unintended results.
  4. Throw out “dry cleaning bags” as soon as possible. Most dry cleaning makes use of harmful VOCs.
  5. Do not burn tobacco products inside your home. 

There are a half-dozen other recommendations, too. They’re listed on the EPA website.

You can’t remove VOCs from your home, but you can minimize their negative effects. And keep your household as healthy as possible.

________________________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Marin County Real Estate Market Update – August 2011

Even though we have been having some of our best weather so far this summer in the past couple of weeks, fall is definitely in the air.  The mornings and evenings are becoming cooler, the days are already getting shorter, and kids are back in school…

Our fall real estate season typically runs from Labor Day to Thanksgiving.  Inventory generally tends to increase in Marin County in September; however this year it is low compared to prior years with only 944 active listings as of September 1, compared to 1,000 on August 1 and 1,118 on September 1, 2010.  The pool of sellers is reduced to those homeowners who have a compelling reason to sell and are willing to accept today’s changed market conditions and lower prices. Interestingly, despite the lower inventory level, the number of “pendings” (homes under contract) is higher with 426 on September 1, 2011 compared to 394 on September 1, 2010.  Year to date, sales are up as well, and at the highest level they have been since the bubble burst in 2008, demonstrating a slow, but steady recovery of our market. 

All things considered, sales should be much higher given the perfect window of opportunity: historically rock bottom interest rates, very high affordability and the high percentage of Americans who continue to believe in homeownership and view it as the best long term investment.  But tightening lending standards and the uncertainty resulting from poor economic conditions at home and abroad are holding back some buyers. 

But those buyers who are in the market are pouncing on the best new listings when they are well priced and well presented.  Multiple offers—occasionally significantly over the asking price–    are more and more common.  Overpriced listings on the other hand tend to sit on the market until the sellers adjust the price to the right level for this market and, once they do, the homes generally sell right away, sometimes with multiple offers.  IT IS ALL ABOUT PRICING!!!.  However, do keep in mind that many buyers are still looking for bargains and making offers below the listing price, sometimes leading to long, difficult negotiations and escrows. 

SINGLE FAMILY HOME TRENDS:

Prices are staying more or less flat: the median price of single family homes is almost flat compared to last year’s at $781,653, while the average price is slightly up at $997,003, just under $1 million.,

 

 The under a million dollar price range continues to represent the bulk of the home sales in the county, remaining consistently in the 35-40% in contract range over the past few months.  The higher end market, especially over $3 million, is much slower and has ranged from 7% to 11% in contract during the summer months.  As the stock market took us for a wild ride this summer, luxury buyers remained skittish.  Not surprising considering that when the Dow drops 500 points in a day, most would-be luxury buyers with their wealth tied up in the stock market feel like they have lost a portion of their net worth.  As a result, they understandably do not feel like rushing into any kind of significant investment or purchase! 

 

CITY BY CITY ANALYSIS

The City-by-City analysis shows 6 of the 13 cities/towns’ percentages in contract are up, and 7 are down.  Greenbrae continues to be the hottest market with almost 50% (48.28%), followed closely by Novato with 43.45% in contract.  Belvedere, with 29 homes on the market as of September 4, and none of them in contract, is at the opposite end of the spectrum.   

As always, feel free to contact me with any of your real estate needs. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mt. Tam viewed from the Sandra Marker Trail between Corte Madera and Larkspur

About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I specialize in residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

I am here to help you make the smartest real estate move and build wealth, providing you with reliable real estate information and advice you can trust.

 

My knowledge and passion for Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you successfully navigate the process of buying and selling a home.  My business model enables me to provide superior service and a better client experience.  I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live.  I know and love Marin County! 

 

I service the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.