Luxury Marin County Homes Trend: Libraries

Jane Fonda's Library

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, it is important for me to keep up with the trends of luxury home design.  Although kitchens, man/woman caves, master suites are still considered as leaders in exceptional home designs, the home library is emerging as a “must have room” in luxury homes and apartments.   And I have been noticing more libraries in luxury Marin County homes. 

Architectural Design magazines have dedicated a large portion of their recent issues to library designs, featuring many luxury homes with exceptional libraries.  Here is the link to a Home Library Slide Show from ArchitecturalDigest.com with pictures of stunning libraries to inspire you. 

Home libraries can be traced to Roman times.  A sign of a well respected Roman was his library, regardless of whether he could read or not.  It was a symbol of status and intelligence. 

Today still any committed bibliophile fantasizes about having the ultimate home library.  Whether that’s a room filled floor to ceiling with every book they’ve ever wanted to read or a simple, cozy den stocked with priceless antique tomes is really a matter of taste. 

Jimmy Stewart's Library

Home owners are designing libraries as a retreat from all the usual home noises, a way to display their book collections, and a  comfortable place to curl up to read a book. 

Libraries are a true expression of one’s personality, as demonstrated by the libraries of twenty celebrities pictured in the article: 20 Celebrities with Stunning Home Libraries.  These celebrities generally have no financial restraints and may indulge themselves with those epic home libraries the rest of us can only dream about. These libraries of the rich and famous are sure to fill you with envy and awe — and maybe they will motivate you to create a more budget-friendly version in your own Marin County home.

With the advent of digital readers, and the closing of many of the larger book chain stores (Borders and Barnes & Noble), it seemed that “real” books were doomed to extinction.  However, used book stores are reporting a large uptick in sales to a new customer base: 30 plus years old.  These young homeowners are walking in to buy books by the foot, or specific collections to display in their newly designed libraries.  They want their children to experience “real” books. Rare book dealer Donald Heald, a 40 year old New York company, has noticed that his clientele now also includes  a growing number of individuals in their 30’s.

“If you want to own a great atlas of London from the 18th century, that when you hold it in your hands you’re transported, there is no app for that,” Mr. Heald says.  From a book lovers’ perspective, it is reassuring that all things digital do not always rule the home roost.

The trend for a library in the home is also appearing in median home prices.  Many home owners are building shelves for books.  DIY shows and magazines are giving detailed instructions on how to build shelving and library nooks.  Here is a link to a post from How Stuff Works on How to Creat a Home Library with great tips on which room to use for your library, how to organize and protect your books and what furniture to select.     

 

Julianne Moore’s library
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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 luxury 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 specialize in Luxury Homes in 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 – June 29, 2012

MORTGAGE WEEK IN REVIEW

Stocks received a “shot in the arm” today when the European Union surprised the world and agreed to an aid package which will immediately reduce the pressure on sovereign debt of Italy, Spain, and Greece.  In response, interest rates have moved up slightly today but they are still at or below where they were at the end of last week. 

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | JUNE 29, 2012

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.625% (3.71% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.625% (4.70% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.20% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.94% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.20% 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

Signs of a Rebound in Housing:  Home Prices Rose a Third Month in April
 
Home prices rose in April for the third consecutive month, the latest indication that a recovery in the housing market was gaining real traction.
 
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller composite index of prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.7 percent in April from March on a seasonally adjusted basis, topping economists’ expectations for a 0.4 percent gain.
 
Six years after the housing market’s collapse sent prices down more than 30 percent, recent data suggests the sector has finally hit bottom with leaner inventories and record-low mortgage rates encouraging buying.
 
April’s monthly gain made for the longest streak of consecutive increases since the homebuyer tax credit from mid-2009 into early 2010 pushed up prices.

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This article was reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley – Copyright © 2012 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.com

______________________________________________________________________________________

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

Sausalito view from Belvedere

Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures Mandatory in Marin County In Near Future

Water conserving plumbing fixtures are going to become mandatory in California–including our beautiful Marin County– thanks to two recent Senate Bills that will affect you if you are selling or renovating your Marin County home within the next two to five years.:

  1. Senate Bill 837 (Blakeslee) was signed into law by the Governor on July 30, 2011. It amended California Civil Code Section 1102.6 by placing “water-conserving plumbing fixtures” on the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) in Section II – Seller’s Information.
  2. In addition, in a state-wide effort to promote water conservation, Senate Bill 407 (Padilla) was signed into law by the Governor on October 11, 2009 which requires the following:

A. For All Real Estate Sales – Residential and Commercial: On and after January 1, 2017, a seller or transferor of single-family residential real property, multifamily residential real property, or commercial real property shall disclose to a purchaser or transferee, in writing, specified requirements for replacing plumbing fixtures, and whether the real property includes noncompliant plumbing fixtures. 

 B. For All Single Family Residences: On or before January 1, 2017, all noncompliant plumbing fixtures in any single-family residential real property shall be replaced by the property owner with water-conserving plumbing fixtures.

C. For Commercial and Multifamily Residences: On or before January 1, 2019, all noncompliant plumbing fixtures in multifamily residential real property and commercial real property, as defined, shall be replaced with water-conserving plumbing fixtures. 

D. For Building Alterations – Single Family Residences: On and after January 1, 2014, for all building alterations or improvements to single-family residential real property, water-conserving plumbing fixtures shall replace other noncompliant plumbing fixtures as a condition for issuance of a certificate of final completion and occupancy or final permit approval by the local building department. 

E. For Building Alterations – Commercial and Multifamily Residences: On and after January 1, 2014, for specified building alterations or improvements to multifamily residential real property and commercial real property, water-conserving plumbing fixtures shall replace other noncompliant plumbing fixtures as a condition for issuance of a certificate of final completion and occupancy or final permit approval by the local building department. 

This does not mean you have to wait until then to start saving water around your home and garden.  Please read my recent post on Water Conservation Techniques to start economizing water and saving money right now!

Remodeled bathroom
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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 luxury 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 specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County:  Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield,  Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.


Refinancing Your Mortgage? Know Your 3-Day Right To Cancel

Right To Cancel noticeAs part of the federal Truth in Lending Act, refinancing homeowners are granted a 3-day  “Right to Cancel” post-closing during which they retain the right to rescind, or “cancel”, their recent refinance without penalty or cost.

The Right To Cancel is protection against surprises at closing and/or a change of heart.  It is also designed to shield borrowers from unscrupulous, smooth-talking  lenders who try to fleece elderly or unsophisticated borrowers out of their money and even their homes.

The law also protects consumers from themselves.  The homeowner who takes out a home equity line of credit to buy a car, then thinks it over for a couple of days and decides that such financing would be a bad move, can rescind the loan.  Likewise for the homeowner who takes out a home equity loan, then finds a better deal a day or two later. The homeowner can rescind the first deal within three business days and take the second.

It’s also a safety valve for homeowners signing paperwork under duress. With 3 days to revisit and rethink the terms of a loan, a homeowner can maintain tighter control of his/her financial situation. 

Right doesn’t apply to all loans

The right of rescission is not available for all mortgages.  Most importantly, there is no right of rescission for a mortgage made to buy a house.   

The right of rescission also is not available when you refinance your loan with the same lender, when the house in question is not your primary residence (in other words, if it’s your vacation home or an investment property), if you borrow the money for your business, or if you’re borrowing from a state agency.

That leaves a lot of situations where you do have the right of rescission: when you refinance your mortgage with another lender and when you take out a home equity loan or line of credit (unless it’s part of a “piggyback loan” designed to avoid paying mortgage insurance).

Cash-out refi rules

Things get complicated if you do a “cash-out refi” — refinancing for more than you owe on your current mortgage, and taking the difference in cash. If you do a cash-out refi with the same lender, you have the right to rescind only the cash-out portion; if you do a cash-out refi with a different lender, the entire amount can be rescinded.

It doesn’t matter what kind of home you have: if it’s a single-family house, a condominium, a floating home or a manufactured home permanently anchored to land you own, you have the right of rescission.

What is the process?

A borrower must exercise the right of rescission within three business days of signing the loan papers, receiving all the loan disclosures, and getting a copy of the notice that there is a right of rescission.  Usually, all three of those requirements are met on the same day; if they aren’t, the clock starts ticking only after all three conditions have been satisfied.

If you ever decide to execute your right to rescind, be aware that the process is a formal one. The required steps must be completed on-time, and in order, or else your request will be invalid.

The process starts with a document labeled “Right To Cancel”.  It’s included in your closing package and lists the terms of a rescission in straight-forward language. Among the key points :

  1. You have 3 business days during which to cancel your loan
  2. When you cancel the refinance, the entire transaction is cancelled
  3. You must submit your Right To Cancel in writing

That clock ticks only on business days. Much has been written by federal regulators about what counts as a business day. In general, every day is a business day except Sundays and federal holidays. Saturday counts as a business day, even if the lender’s office is closed on Saturdays. The right of rescission expires at midnight concluding the third full business day after the papers are signed and all other conditions are met. So, for example, if you close a home equity loan on Thursday, the clock starts ticking Friday, continues to tick on Saturday, stops on Sunday and resumes on Monday. The right of rescission ends Monday at midnight.

To exercise your right of rescission, you must inform the lender in writing — a phone call won’t do. Typically, rescission requests are faxed to the settlement agent, notary, or title company assigned with the refinance.  It’s good practice to ask for an acknowledgement of receipt as proof of delivery.

Not surprisingly, the loan officer might call after the rescission period has ended, just to ask if you’re still going ahead with the loan.

It is possible to waive the right of rescission so you can get the money immediately, but only in emergencies. To stay out of trouble with regulators, your lender is unlikely to let you waive the right of rescission unless the loan officer is convinced that you truly have an emergency and you’re not simply impatient. Examples of acceptable emergencies: your roof has blown off in a storm and you need a home equity loan right now to pay for a repair, or you need the money immediately to pay for a medical procedure.

Some of the information contained in this post was obtained from a Bankrate.com article.

If you need a referral to a first rate mortgage broker to refinance the mortgage on your Marin County home, make sure to contact me.  And if you want to take advantage of today’s rock bottom interest rates to purchase a home in our marvelous Marin County, please contact me at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com for a free, pressure free consultation to discuss your options and today’s market trends.

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 luxury 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 specialize in Luxury Homes in 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 Choose The Best Paint Color(s) For A Room

Are you planning on painting your Marin County home?  Painting is relatively inexpensive yet it can transform a home’s look-and-feel.  Whether you’re moving into a new home and want to make it reflect your personality and match your taste, or just want to change the feel of your current place, a painting project is an easy way to achieve almost immediate results.   But how do you make sure you’re choosing the best colors and the proper type of paint?

This 8-minute video from Lowe’s will answer all your questions. By watching it, you’ll learn how professional designers identify a potential paint palette for a room, then how they choose between shade, finish and type.

Among the tips and advice in the video :

  • How to use 2×2 “test blocks” to ensure a color works in both natural and artificial light
  • How to choose the right colors for a small room, and for a large room
  • Why painting the ceiling a certain color can change a room’s perceived size
  • How to build complementary, split-complementary and analogous color schemes for a room
  • How to choose between latex and oil-based paint products

In addition, the video shares notes on how light bulb types can affect the “warmness” of a particular paint color, and how to consider existing room elements such as furniture in your final color choices.

Paint projects require little advance planning and, if done properly, they can change the feel of a room, and a home.  Most projects can be completed within a weekend.

If you still feel intimidated by the process of choosing the right color, you may want to hire a color consultant.  For a reasonable fee, a color consultant can help you avoid mistakes and ensure you are happy with the results.  Feel free to contact me for a referral to a first class color consultant in Marin County.

____________________________________________________________________________________

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 luxury 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 specialize in Luxury Homes in 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- June 22, 2012

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

This week the Fed issued a statement that stood in stark contrast to their last statement on April 25th.  The Fed confirmed Wednesday that the US Economy hit an unexpected road bump on the road to recovery and as a result, they will extend “Operation Twist” — a bond buying strategy to keep long term interest rates down to spur the economy through business investment and housing. Of course I like to find the silver lining in all of my news and that is, interest rates look like they will remain low for some time.  

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | JUNE 22, 2012

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.750% (3.83% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.625% (4.70% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.18% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 4.000% (4.07% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 3.125% (3.20% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are SIDEWAYS compared to last week.
Rates are DOWN compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

 

INDUSTRY NEWS 

Home Values Post Largest 1-Month Gain In More Than 20 Years
Home prices are rising and home affordability has been at record highs.
 
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that U.S. home prices climbed 1.8 percent in March, the largest monthly gain in at least two decades.
 
The rise from the previous month topped analyst estimates, which ranged from a 0.2 percent decline to a modest improvement of 0.7 percent. Such factors as all-time-low rates, job gains and a dearth of properties for sale in many markets are working together to bolster demand for homes.
 
Furthermore, sales of new homes rose in April, up 3.3 percent from March and 9.9 percent higher than a year earlier. The median price of a new home hit $235,700 last month, a gain of 4.9 percent from April 2011.
 
The data provides additional evidence that the housing market is starting to rebound and as rents rise more renters are finding it economical to become home-owners instead — even in pricy markets such as New York and San Francisco.  Where rents are increasing at about the same pace that home values are dropping, and low mortgage rates keep home payments low.
 
Home prices are rising and home affordability has been at record highs.

Tiburon view

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This article was reprinted courtesy of Gina Kemsley – Copyright © 2012 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.com

_____________________________________________________________________________________

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 luxury 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 specialize in Luxury Homes in 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 Rates Reach New Lows At 3.66%

Freddie Mac mortgage rates for June 21 2012

Mortgage rates have resumed their downward trend.  Whether you have a mortgage you would like to refinance or you are in the market to buy a Marin County home, now is an excellent time to make your move.

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the national average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate fell 5 basis points to 3.66% this week.  The rate is available to “prime” borrowers who are willing to pay, on average, 0.7 discount points plus a full set of closing costs.

30-year fixed rate mortgage rates have been trending down in seven of the last eight weeks but, depending where you live, the mortgage rates made available to you will vary.  

For example, here in Marin County and on the West Coast in general,  mortgage applicants received the lowest rates from lenders, on average, but also paid the highest number of discount points.  Discount points are a specific type of closing cost where 1 discount point is a fee equal to one percent of your loan size.

Average mortgage rates in the five U.S. regions, as tracked by Freddie Mac :

  • Northeast Region : 3.70% with 0.7 discount points 
  • West Region : 3.62% with 0.8 discount points
  • Southeast Region : 3.68% with 0.7 discount points
  • North Central Region : 3.65% with 0.7 discount points
  • Southwest Region : 3.68% with 0.7 discount points

Nationally, one year ago, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was 4.50%.  Today, it’s 3.66%.  This 84 basis points difference yields a monthly savings of $49 per $100,000 borrowed at today’s rates, or $588 per year.

A $400,000 mortgage would cost $2,352 less annually at today’s mortgage rates as compared to June 2011.

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate is also low, averaging 2.95% nationwide with 0.6 discount points. This is the second-lowest reading in recorded history. However, when the 15-year fixed averaged 2.94%, banks required an average of 0.7 discount points to get it. One could argue that this week’s average rate-and-points combination is actually a better “deal” because closing costs are lower.

Mortgage rates continue to break new lows so, if you’re eligible to refinance, the timing may be right to explore your mortgage options.  Talk to your loan officer about capitalizing on the lowest rates of all-time. Rates may not rise starting next week, but when they do rise, they are  expected to rise quickly.

Similarly, if you’re in the market to buy a home, today’s low rates will help to keep your home affordability high.  Contact me for a free, no obligation consultation about your options and fact based insights on the state of the Marin County real estate market.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

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 luxury 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 specialize in Luxury Homes in 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 Payments Fall To All-Time Lows

Mortgage payments

Have you refinanced the mortgage on your Marin County home in the past 6 months?  If you haven’t, you’re leaving savings on the table.  With mortgage rates on a 3-year bender, you may have already refinanced your original home loan once, twice or even more, but you may want to speak to your mortgage professional today to find out if it might be worth your while to refi one more time.

With mortgage rates down more than three-quarters of a percent, mortgage payments at today’s low rates are downright cheap as compared to one year ago.

It’s a money-saving time to be a home buyer in the United States, including in our beautiful Marin County. Historically, mortgage rates of all types — conventional, FHA, VA and USDA — have never been lower and low mortgage rates make for low monthly payments. 

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.67% nationwide last week for borrowers willing to pay 0.7 discount points at closing, plus a full set of closing costs. 0.7 discount points is a one-time closing cost equal to 0.7 percent of your loan size, or $700 per $100,000 borrowed.

Today’s mortgage rates are a bargain as compared to just 1 year ago.

In early-June 2011, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage nationwide was higher by 88 basis points, or 0.88%. If you are among the many U.S. homeowners who bought or refinanced a home around that time, refinancing to today’s mortgage rates could save you 10% or more on your payment.  

Home buyers have measurably more buying power, too.

Here is how mortgage payments on a typical 30-year fixed rate mortgage have changed in 12 months :

  • June 2011 : $509.66 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed
  • June 2012 : $458.59 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed

Setting the math to a real-life example, a homeowner whose $350,000, 30-year fixed rate mortgage dates to last June would recognize monthly savings of at least $179 per month just by refinancing into a new 30-year fixed rate mortgage at today’s current levels. That’s more than $2,145 in payment savings per year.

Even after accounting for the required loan discount points and closing costs, the “break-even point” on a refinance like that can come quickly.

Mortgage rates have been dropping but there’s no promise they’ll fall forever. Once rates reverse higher, they’re expected to rise sharply. Therefore, if you’re planning to buy a home or refinance one , consider locking in a mortgage rate while mortgage rates are low.

Furthermore, home affordability in the US and Marin County is the highest it’s been in years, and if you have been thinking of buying, now is the time to jump in!

 

The market looks good for that today. 

If you need a referral to an outstanding mortgage professional, feel free to contact me!  And if you want to buy a home, I would be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your options.

Shelter Bay Condos, Mill Valley

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

 


Three Features That Aren’t Selling Marin County Homes Today

There is no such thing as a ‘universal trend’ when it comes to residential real estate: a quick look through the current Marin County listings will confirm that. At the highest end, the most luxurious features will always attract some homebuyers, just as in the great majority of listings, practical value prevails. But some shifts in priorities do seem to be underway, perhaps because of today’s altered selling environment.  Some features that used to help sell homes in Marin are no longer being emphasized – a sure sign that buyers aren’t asking for them.

Ross home with open floor plan

For anyone preparing a property for sale, it is important to observe clues that can prevent wasting time and effort. Some formerly popular elements are fading in today’s market:

1. Square footage and grandeur

There was a time (not very long ago) when buyers looked for the largest home they could financially support, with high-fashion accessories and embellishments that marked its expense and grandeur. The reality is people can no longer afford those luxuries, or, even if they can, are electing to shy away from some of the more showy features. The homes currently moving on and off the market with ease are for the most part small, comfortable homes with an open floor plan. Especially those with a high level of energy efficiency.  There is a growing trend towards recycled materials, such as recycled wood and recycled glass tiles in both kitchens and bathrooms. Green features both inside the home and in the outdoor space –with native and sustainable gardens becoming more common–are gaining in popularity

2. Formal Living Room

When “big” was in, so were grand formal rooms.  More of today’s buyers, however, tend to seek multi-purpose rooms with an open layout and seamless flow.  They don’t want a sunroom, a formal entrance, a formal dining and/or formal living room: they want a kitchen that is functional, built to last, easy to clean, and one that opens onto the rest of the living space.  I have to confess that, even when formal living rooms were in vogue, I usually could see the question in the back of most prospects’ minds, who ever uses that ‘formal’ living room, anyway?.

3. Whirlpool Tub

Once considered the gold standard in master bathroom remodels, the jetted tub has gone the way of the other more formal features as buyers shift to a more environmentally-friendly mindset.  I can’t tell you how many homes with Jacuzzi tubs I have listed where the owner tells me, “I never use it – I don’t even know if it works!”  If you are considering a bathroom remodel, the new trend is free standing bathtubs; I am noticing them in most of the recently remodeled Marin County homes, and I love them!  I just saw one in a Ross home listed over ten million dollars last week (see photo).  Another option you might consider is a larger shower — currently a popular option with the baby-boomer crowd mindful of easy bathing access. 

The takeaway?  More of today’s homebuyers are passing up the grander features (especially energy-hoggers); instead gravitating to the listings that emphasize practicality and modern functionality.

If you are preparing your own home for sale, do give me a call. I’ll be happy to offer my input on the most direct course to today’s homebuyer.

____________________________________________________________________________________

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