Mortgage Market Week in Review – December 30, 2011

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

Yesterday the Labor Department reported that jobless claims increased last week. At first this news may sound dire but the report also contained positive news about the US economy; The Four week moving average of jobless claims declined by 5,750 to 375,000 which is the lowest it has been in more than three years — Most economists believe weekly claims lower than 400,000 indicate the economy is expanding and job growth is strengthening. 
 
As we finish the year, one can’t help but notice the last two months of domestic economic reports have delivered irrefutably positive news about the US economy.  The fact that rates remain extremely low, has everything to do with continued uncertainty in Europe and the Fed’s purchasing activity.  Absent these factors, rates would certainly be moving up.  Something to keep in mind as we ponder the direction of interest rates next year and in the future. 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | DECEMBER 30, 2011 

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.95% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.95% APR) 
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.750% (4.81% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.000% (3.05% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.06% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.000% (3.06% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are UP compared to last week.
Rates are DOWN compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS
 
2012 Conforming & FHA Loan Limits (Listed By Bay Area County)
 
The chart below includes the conforming and FHA loan limits for the nine Bay Area Counties in effect until December 31, 2012.  If you are a real estate professional or a buyer considering purchasing a home in 2012, you may want to save the chart below for future reference.
 
The 2012 loan limits vary by property-type, property location, and loan type.
 
Property Type: The more “units” per property, the higher the loan limit. The classification “1-unit home” includes single-family residences of all types — detached homes, row homes, town homes, condos and co-ops.
 
Property Location: The loan limits were based on a formula that considered median price in a particular area. This is why a borrower can obtain a larger loan in Marin and San Francisco County than they can for a property in Contra Costa County. 
 
Loan Type: Conforming loan limits are lower than FHA loan limits. But FHA loans come with mortgage insurance premiums that can make them more expensive.  Terra Mortgage Banking is a HUD approved FHA direct lender and I am well versed in FHA lending.  Contact me to discuss which type of loan best fits your particular situation.
  
North Bay Area
 
Marin County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $625,500 loan limit | $729,750 loan limit
2-Unit  $800,775 loan limit | $934,200 loan limit
3-Unit  $967,950 loan limit | $1,129,250 loan limit
4-Unit  $1,202,925 loan limit | $1,403,400 loan limit
 
Napa County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $592,250 loan limit | $729,750 loan limit
2-Unit  $758,200 loan limit | $934,200 loan limit
3-Unit  $916,450 loan limit | $1,129,250 loan limit
4-Unit  $1,138,950 loan limit | $1,403,400 loan limit
 
Sonoma County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $520,950 loan limit | $662,500 loan limit
2-Unit  $666,900 loan limit | $848,100 loan limit
3-Unit  $806,150 loan limit | $1,025,200 loan limit
4-Unit  $1,001,850 loan limit | $1,274,050 loan limit
 
San Francisco & Peninsula
 
San Francisco County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $625,500 loan limit | $729,750 loan limit
2-Unit  $800,775 loan limit | $934,200 loan limit
3-Unit  $967,950 loan limit | $1,129,250 loan limit
4-Unit  $1,202,925 loan limit | $1,403,400 loan limit
 
San Mateo County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $625,500 loan limit | $729,750 loan limit
2-Unit  $800,775 loan limit | $934,200 loan limit
3-Unit  $967,950 loan limit | $1,129,250 loan limit
4-Unit  $1,202,925 loan limit | $1,403,400 loan limit
 
Santa Clara County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $625,500 loan limit | $729,750 loan limit
2-Unit  $800,775 loan limit | $934,200 loan limit
3-Unit  $967,950 loan limit | $1,129,250 loan limit
4-Unit  $1,202,925 loan limit | $1,403,400 loan limit
 
East Bay Area
 
Alameda County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $625,500 loan limit | $729,750 loan limit
2-Unit  $800,775 loan limit | $934,200 loan limit
3-Unit  $967,950 loan limit | $1,129,250 loan limit
4-Unit  $1,202,925 loan limit | $1,403,400 loan limit
 
Contra Costa County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $625,500 loan limit | $729,750 loan limit
2-Unit  $800,775 loan limit | $934,200 loan limit
3-Unit  $967,950 loan limit | $1,129,250 loan limit
4-Unit  $1,202,925 loan limit | $1,403,400 loan limit
 
Solano County
2012 Conforming Loan Limits | FHA Loan Limits
1-Unit  $417,000 loan limit | $557,500 loan limit
2-Unit  $533,850 loan limit | $713,700 loan limit
3-Unit  $645,300 loan limit | $862,700 loan limit
4-Unit  $801,950 loan limit | $1,072,150 loan limit
 

This article was reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley – Copyright © 2011 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved.

 

Gina Kemsley – Senior Vice President – Loan Consultant, Terra Mortgage Banking

 

Office: (415) 464-3144 – Cell: (415) 828-0218 – Email: gkemsley@terramb.comWebsitewww.terramortgagebanking.com/loan-officers/gina-kemsley

Thank you for helping make 2011 another wonderful year, and I wish you health, happiness, and prosperity in the New Year and beyond!

 

 

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.

 

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

 

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  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.

 


KCM Blog’s Best posts of 2011 – buyers, sellers, short sales and more

KCM, or Keeping Current Matters, is a real estate company that not only leads with its great ideas, but inspires action to turn the real estate market around one house at a time.  I love the KCM blog and have re-blogged some of their posts during this past year.  This week they have been re-posting their best posts of 2011:

Best Post of 2011 for Buyers – Even the Naysayers Say Now Is The Time to Buy

Best Post of 2011 for Sellers – The First Question You Should Ask Your Listing Agent

Best Post of 2011 for Short Sales – Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: A Short Sale Always Wins

A message of peace from Larkspur

WISHING A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS 2012!

_________________________________________________________________________

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.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  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.

 

 


Pay Your Mortgage Early, Boost Your 2011 Federal Income Tax Deductions

Increase your 2011 tax deductions

Want bigger tax deductions for 2011?  Consider making your upcoming January 2012 mortgage payment a few days early.

Work the U.S. Tax Code to your benefit

It’s a simple tax strategy that works because of how mortgage interest is paid, and of how the U.S. tax code is written.

Different from rent which is paid for the month ahead (i.e. “you’re paying January’s rent at the beginning of January”), mortgage payments are made only after mortgage interest has accrued (i.e. “you’re paying for money you’ve already borrowed from the bank”).

This is called “paying interest in arrears” and the U.S. tax code states that the mortgage interest is tax-deductible in its year paid, subject to limitations.

By making the January 2012 mortgage payment in December 2011, therefore, homeowners who itemize their tax returns can apply their January mortgage payment’s interest portion to their 2011’s tax returns.

The alternative is to pay the mortgage on schedule, and wait for April 15, 2013 to claim the credit.

Time is of the essence to claim your bigger tax refund

If you choose to pre-pay your mortgage and typically send your payment via USPS, give your check ample time to be delivered to your lender, and processed.  Mail your check no later than Saturday, December 24.

For homeowners that pay electronically, the process is simpler.  Edit your online bill pay program to have your mortgage payment post no later than Thursday, December 29.

Know the pitfalls

Make note, however.  Not all mortgage interest is eligible for tax-deductibility, and not all homeowners who pay mortgage interest should itemize said interest on their tax returns.

For example, not every mortgage is mortgage interest tax deduction-eligible.  The IRS outlines mortgage interest tax deduction eligibility via this flowchart.  Follow along to make sure your loan qualifies and check with your tax professional.

In addition, because of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), some tax filers find that their “normal” tax deductions get pared — including those related to the mortgage.  This may reduce the benefits of making January’s mortgage payment in December.

And, lastly, don’t get overly ambitious.

The IRS allows you to make (and claim) January’s mortgage payment in December because that’s when the mortgage payment is actually due. If you attempted to pay February in advance, too, it will be in vain. This is because making your February mortgage in December (i.e. before the mortgage interest has actually accrued) is considered to be a “prepayment” of a mortgage.

Before prepaying on your mortgage, ask your tax professional for advice.

Foggy morning in 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.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  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 – November 2011

Trends at a glance 

The Marin County Real Estate has not slowed down this November the way it usually does with the approach of the holidays.  Inventory is at the lowest it has been since December 2006, yet activity is high.  The Marin County For Sale vs. Sold Chart from Trendgraphics below shows that despite the limited inventory, the number of pended properties (properties under contract) has increased from 164 to 249, or 52%, compared to a year ago.  Sales are up as well, edging up from 192 in November 2010 to 214 in November 2011, a 12% increase.   The word in the real estate community is that there is pent up demand, with many buyers unable to find the right home!

Year to date sales are higher than last year’s at 2,291 as compared to 2,129.  It looks like the market is poised for continued recovery and stability on the basis of the high number of opened escrows and resulting pended properties. 

Year to date average and median prices are down compared to same time last year, but have actually been trending up since January when they bottomed out.  The decrease is mostly attributable to a price decline driven in great part by the large percentage of depressed properties sold in the past year and to a very small extent to market mix.  The number of properties sold year to date below $500,000 represents 32.52% of the market compared to 26.34% last year.  Otherwise, the percentage of sales by price range has stayed on par with last year’s with 75.21% of sales in the below $1 million price range (compared to 74.75% in 2010), 18.55% of sales in the $1 million to $2 million range (compared to 18.12% in 2010) and 6.24% over $2 million (compared to 7.13% in 2010). 

A comparison of the highs and lows for median and average sales prices in Marin County for the past five years demonstrates that prices are on a recovery path:

Median Sales Price for all property types:

  • Lowest: $542,000 – January 2011
  • Highest: $996,000 – April 2007
  • $655,000 – November 2011

 Average Sales Price for all property types:

  • Lowest: $655,000 – January 2011
  • Highest: $1,344,000 – September 2007
  • $798,000 – November 2011

 

 City by City Report

As always, activity varies greatly with each of the micro markets that are the thirteen towns/cities covered in the report below.  Eight markets boast increased percentage in contract compared to last month, two remain virtually unchanged and three have declined.  Novato is leading the pack again with 51.98% in contract, compared to San Anselmo at 50% and Greenbrae in third position at 45%.  Belvedere is very sluggish with only 3.7% in contract, or one out of 27 listings.  Perfect time to buy your dream home in Belvedere! 

 

Breakdown by Price Range

Homes (and condos) under one million dollars continue to be highest in demand.  The one to two million dollars range for single family homes has improved, moving from 20.28 on November 9 to 26.34% in contract on November 29.  The two million dollars and above market continues to struggle.

Global economic turmoil continues to create uncertainty in the mind of buyers and sellers.  But many are tired of living in fear of what might happen and getting on with their lives.  Furthermore, with good news on the national front here in the US, what with a big decline in jobless claims, improvement in the manufacturing index and a slight increase in inflation—all factors that typically cause rates to rise–, many buyers are getting off the fence and taking advantage of the great deals available.  Well prices homes are selling quickly and often with multiple offers.  

Are you interested in finding out what you can afford?  Curious to know what your home is worth today? Contact me for a no obligation consultation.  I would love to be of service.

________________________________________________________________________________

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.

My goal is to provide you with a home buying or selling experience that is comfortable, educational and financially beneficial to you… and that ultimately culminates in a lifelong relationship.  My business is solidly based on proven systems and cutting technology, which paired with my optimism and passion for my profession, guarantee a positive outcome for my clients.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched.  I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  My knowledge of, and passion for, Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you enjoy the same home ownership benefits.     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 (December 13, 2011 Edition)

Putting the FOMC statement in plain EnglishTuesday, 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 nearly unanimous for the second straight month.  Just one FOMC member dissented in the vote,  favoring additional policy stimulus beyond what the Federal Reserve currently provides.

In its press release, the Federal Reserve said that the the U.S. economy is improving, noting that since its November 2011 meeting, the economy has been “expanding moderately.”  The Fed also added that domestic growth is occurring despite some “apparent slowing in global growth” — a nod to ongoing uncertainty within the Eurozone.

The Federal Reserve expects a moderate pace of growth over the next few quarters, and believes that the jobs market will continue to improve, but slowly.

Other potential soft spots within the economy include :  

  1. A slowdown in business investment
  2. A “depressed” housing market
  3. Strains in global financial markets

The Federal Reserve added no new policies at its December meeting, and made no changes to existing ones.  It re-iterated its plan to leave the Fed Funds Rate within its current range of 0.000-0.250 percent “at least until mid-2013” and re-affirmed “Operation Twist” — the stimulus program through which the Fed sells Treasury securities with a maturity of 3 years or less, and uses the proceeds to buy mortgage bonds with maturity between 6 and 30 years.

Mortgage bonds are mostly unchanged since the Fed’s announcement, giving mortgage rates little reason to rise or fall.

Mortgage rates remain near all-time lows and, for homeowners willing to pay points + closing costs, 30-year fixed rate mortgages can be locked at less than 4 percent. If you’re thinking of buying a Marin County home or refinancing your mortgage, it’s a good time to lock a mortgage rate.  Contact me with any questions about our real estate market in Marin County or for a recommendation for a trustworthy, top notch mortgage professional.

The FOMC’s next meeting will be its first scheduled meeting of the new year. The meeting is slated for January 24-25, 2012.

Escalle, Larkspur, 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.

My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs.  I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator.  My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  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 – December 9, 2011

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

American economic reports have been progressively better over the past month and today we learned that consumer confidence is up.  Now the only thing standing in the way of American economic recovery is the European Debt Crisis.  EU leaders met today and their agreement is seen largely as kicking the can further down the road.  So for now, rates remain flat.
 
A quick observation about interest rates….
When mortgage rates idle for 6 weeks at a time, it signals that the market is wound. There remains no clear conviction on which way the economy will go but there’s economic optimism in the air and in the last several weeks we have received much positive news about the American economy. It seems that now the only factor standing between the record low rates of today and potentially higher rates of tomorrow, is a solution of the European Debt crisis, and when this happens rates will move up.  With this in mind, I cannot stress enough that if you are considering buying or refinancing a home, the time to act is now. 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | DECEMBER 9, 2011 

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.07% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.95% APR) 
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 1 POINT
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.625% (4.77% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (3.01% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.125% (4.19% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.95% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are SAME compared to last week.
Rates are DOWN compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

INDUSTRY NEWS

The New Higher FHA Loan Limits Are Here!
 
Yesterday HUD reinstated the high balance loan limits for FHA Financing.  In Marin and San Francisco the 1-Unit loan limit for FHA loans is $729,750 ($662,500 in Sonoma County). These higher loan limits now exceed the current conventional conforming loan limits of $625,500 in Marin and San Francisco ($520,950 in Sonoma) and will be in effect until December 31, 2012.
 
While FHA loans do carry higher mortgage insurance premiums, FHA loans allow a lower down payment (as little as 3.5%) and FHA interest rates are significantly lower than conventional conforming interest rates. 
 
Terra Mortgage Banking is a HUD approved lender and I am an FHA loan specialist. Contact me today to see if you can benefit from the new higher FHA limits.

New FHA Maximum Loan Amount Ceiling “High Cost Area” (Marin & SF)
1-Unit     $729,750
2-Unit     $934,200
3-Unit     $1,129,250
4-Unit     $1,403,400

Larkspur home dressed up for the holidays

This article was reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley – Copyright © 2011 Gina Kemsley, Terra Mortgage Banking, All rights reserved.

Gina Kemsley – Senior Vice President – Loan Consultant, Terra Mortgage Banking

Office: (415) 464-3144 – Cell: (415) 828-0218 – Email: gkemsley@terramb.comWebsitewww.terramortgagebanking.com/loan-officers/gina-kemsley

______________________________________________________________________________

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.

My goal is to provide you with a home buying or selling experience that is comfortable, educational and financially beneficial to you… and that ultimately culminates in a lifelong relationship.  My business is solidly based on proven systems and cutting technology, which paired with my optimism and passion for my profession, guarantee a positive outcome for my clients.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched.  I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  My knowledge of, and passion for, Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you enjoy the same home ownership benefits.     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.

 


The Ross “Tour de Noel,” a Delightful Marin County Holiday Tradition

Whether you have been naughty or nice in 2011, you are invited to attend the 25th year of the Tour de Noel, a Christmas House Tour and Holiday Boutique.  Sponsored by St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ross, this event has become a delightful Marin County holiday tradition.  The 2011 Tour de Noel will include its traditional Christmas House Tour of four beautiful homes, Luncheon, Tea, and Holiday Boutique of seasonal crafts, homemade preserves and baked goods made by parishioners.  All proceeds benefit charity.

Read the Marin IJ article to find out more about the programofferings for the week end.

Where: St John’s Episcopal Church- 14 Lagunitas Rd, Ross, CA 94957

Venue Phone: 415-456-1102 Phone: 415 456 1102

Click here to buy tickets.

_______________________________________________________________________

About the author: The above community information 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.

My goal is to provide you with a home buying or selling experience that is comfortable, educational and financially beneficial to you… and that ultimately culminates in a lifelong relationship.  My business is solidly based on proven systems and cutting technology, which paired with my optimism and passion for my profession, guarantee a positive outcome for my clients.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched.  I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  My knowledge of, and passion for, Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you enjoy the same home ownership benefits.     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.


Buying Marin County real estate? Do you need help with your down payment?

WITH most lenders requiring home buyers to put down at least 20 percent — and sometimes, with more expensive properties, an even greater amount — the best holiday gift some people might receive would be help with the down payment.

The biggest barrier to buying a home these days is saving for the down payment, according to a survey released in September by Trulia.  The survey, conducted over the summer by Harris Interactive, was based on responses from 2,207 people, including 758 renters who expressed an interest in buying a home at that time.  Fifty-one percent of those renters said coming up with the money for the down payment was keeping them from buying (and 62 percent among adults 18 to 34), while 36 percent identified qualifying for a mortgage as the stumbling block.

Here is a great New York Times article entitled Mortgage Help with a Down Payment which outlines solutions to provide help or seek assistance to come up with a down payment.

Feel free to call me with any real estate questions!  I would love to be of service.

Sir Francis Drake in the fall, Greenbrae

 

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.

My goal is to provide you with a home buying or selling experience that is comfortable, educational and financially beneficial to you… and that ultimately culminates in a lifelong relationship.  My business is solidly based on proven systems and cutting technology, which paired with my optimism and passion for my profession, guarantee a positive outcome for my clients.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched.  I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  My knowledge of, and passion for, Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you enjoy the same home ownership benefits.     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.

 


Should you “escrow” your Marin County Property Tax and Insurance?

Escrow taxes and insuranceAs a Marin County homeowner, your fiscal responsibility extends beyond just making mortgage payments.  You must also pay your Marin County Property Taxes as they come due, as well as your homeowners insurance policy premiums.

Failure to pay real estate taxes can result in foreclosure.  Failure to insure your home is a breach of your mortgage loan terms.

There are two methods by which you can pay your real estate tax and homeowners insurance bills.

1. The first method is to pay your taxes and insurance as the bills come due, usually semi-annually.  Depending on your home’s tax bill size and the cost to insure your home, these payments can feel quite large — especially if you’ve failed to budget for them properly.

2.  The second method of paying your taxes and insurance is to give your lender the right to pay them on your behalf, a process known as “escrowing for taxes and insurance”.

When you escrow your real estate taxes and homeowners insurance, you pay a portion of your annual obligation to your lender each month, which your lender then holds in a special account for you, and disperses to your taxing entities and insurance company as needed.  Lenders prefer that homeowners escrow taxes and insurance because, in doing so, the lender is assured that tax bills remain current and that homes stay insured.

Want a discount on your next mortgage rate?  Tell your lender that you’re willing to escrow.

To help calculate your monthly escrow payment to your lender, do the following :

  1. Find your home’s annual real estate tax bill
  2. Find your home’s annual homeowners insurance premium
  3. Add the two figures and divide by 12 months in a year

The quotient is your monthly “escrow”; the extra payment you’ll make to your lender each month along with your regularly scheduled principal + interest payment.  Then, when your tax bills and insurance premiums come due, your lender will make sure the payments are made on your behalf.

If you’re unsure whether escrowing is right for you, talk to your loan officer and/or financial planner.  There are valid reasons to choose either path.

For any other questions regarding Marin County real estate,  feel free to call me.  I would be happy to be of service and assist you in any way I can!

And talking about property taxes, remember that Marin County property taxes are due on Monday, December 12, 2011!

Kentfield Home

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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.

My goal is to provide you with a home buying or selling experience that is comfortable, educational and financially beneficial to you… and that ultimately culminates in a lifelong relationship.  My business is solidly based on proven systems and cutting technology, which paired with my optimism and passion for my profession, guarantee a positive outcome for my clients.

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched.  I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  My knowledge of, and passion for, Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you enjoy the same home ownership benefits.     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 Property Taxes are due Monday, December 12, 2011

Just a reminder that this year property taxes are due on Monday, December 12 because the 10th falls on a Saturday.  Make sure you don’t miss the deadline to avoid the 10% penalty!

For new property owners, please note that property taxes are due even if you have not received a tax bill.  Read the full news release from Marin County’s Director of Finance reproduced below for more details.

 

NEWS RELEASE CONTACT: Roy Given

Director of Finance

(415) 499-3736

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: November 29, 2011

DEADLINE: In that this December 10th falls on a Saturday, the deadline for the payment of the 2011-2012 1st installment property tax is extended by State Law to Monday, December 12, 2011. The tax is now due and owners are encouraged to submit payment at this time to avoid being late. Payments must be postmarked no later than December 12, 2011 or be delivered to the Tax Collector’s Office not later than 5:00 P.M., Monday, December 12, 2011 to avoid a 10% penalty. Property owners are encouraged to pay early.

Property taxes may be paid online or by phone with a Credit Card or by Electronic Funds Transfer. The online address and pay by phone numbers are provided on tax bills. Property owners will need their tax bill number. The online option can be addressed at www.co.marin.ca.us/paytax. For payment by phone call 1-800-985-7277. Please note, the fee charged for credit cards approximates 2.5% of the amount paid. The electronic funds transfer charge is $1.95 per transaction. The fees for the online and phone option are not retained by the county but paid to our provider as a cost of the service.

Property owners, especially those who have recently purchased real estate, who have not received a tax bill, should contact the Tax Collector’s Office immediately. Non-receipt of a tax bill does not excuse one from paying taxes or from penalties for late payments. Partial payments are not accepted.

The Tax Collector’s Office hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and will be extended from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 12, 2011. Taxpayers can obtain information through our web page at www.co.marin.ca.us/taxes/ about the Tax Collector’s Office and tax payment options. For questions, contact the Tax Collector’s office at (415) 499-6133.

Marin County Tax Collector

Civic Center-Room 202, P.O. Box 4220, San Rafael, California 94913-4220

www.co.marin.ca.us

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

 

My goal is to provide you with a home buying or selling experience that is comfortable, educational and financially beneficial to you… and that ultimately culminates in a lifelong relationship.  My business is solidly based on proven systems and cutting technology, which paired with my optimism and passion for my profession, guarantee a positive outcome for my clients.

 

I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner.  I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched.  I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty.  My knowledge of, and passion for, Marin County are equaled by my commitment to helping you enjoy the same home ownership benefits.     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.