Housing Market Poised to End 2012 With Strength

Pending Home Sales IndexI have been writing all year about the increase in Marin County home sales, and in my most recent monthly update, my Marin County Real Estate Market Update for October 2012, I pointed out that home sales had increased by almost 40% year over year.

In an article entitled “Marin Home Sales, Prices Up,”  published yesterday, the Marin Independent Journal commented on the continuing trend of increasing sales resulting from low prices and limited inventory as well.

Homes were also sold at a furious pace last month across the United States.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.2 percent in October, crossing the benchmark 100 reading, and moving to 104.8.

It’s a 5-point improvement from September’s revised figure and the highest reading since April 2010 — the last month of that year’s federal home buyer tax credit.

October also marks the 18th consecutive month during which the index showed year-to-year gains.

As a housing market metric, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) differs from most commonly-cited housing statistics because, instead of reporting on what’s already occurred, it details what’s likely to happen next.

The PHSI is a forward-looking indicator; a predictor of future sales. It’s based on signed real estate contracts for existing single-family homes, condominiums, and co-ops. Later, when the contract leads to a closing, the “pending” home sale is counted in NAR’s monthly Existing Home Sales report.

Historically, 80 percent of homes under contract, and thus counted in the Pending Home Sales Index, will go to settlement within a 2-month period, and a significant share of the rest will close within months 3 and 4. The PHSI is a predictor of Existing Home Sales.

Regionally, the Pending Home Sales Index varied in October 2012 :

  • Northeast Region : 79.2; +13 percent from October 2011
  • Midwest Region : 104.4; +20 percent from October 2011
  • South Region : 117.3; +17 percent from October 2011
  • West Region : 105.7; +1 percent from October 2011

A Pending Home Sales Index reading of 100 or higher denotes a “strong” housing market.

Of course, with rising home sales comes rising home values. 2012 has been characterized by strong buyer demand amid falling housing supplies. It’s one reason why the Case-Shiller Index and the FHFA’s Home Price Index are both showing an annual increase in home prices. Plus, with mortgage rates low as we head into December, the traditional “slow season” for housing has been anything but.

The housing market is poised to end 2012 with strength. 2013 is expected to begin the same way.

For information on our local Marin County market, click on the link to read my Marin County Real Estate Market Update for October 2012.  I publish a detailed report every month.  To receive it and my monthly eNewsletter, please email me to be added to the distribution list at Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

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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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.

 


Tour de Noel 2012 – A Rare Opportunity to Tour Gorgeous Ross Homes

On Saturday December 8, 2012, from 9am to 4pm, St. John’s invites the community to its annual Tour de Noël House Tour that opens Homes and Hearts for the Holidays, and to support charities helping those in need in Marin County and beyond.

This year the tour features five homes decorated for Christmas, including a gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian called the “Grand Queen” located on Laurel Grove in Kentfield.  Click here to read more about it in the San Anselmo Patch.

The other four homes in the Tour de Noël are in Ross and were built at the turn of last century in Marin County.  The shuttle vans will take guests to the doorsteps of five beautiful homes decorated for the holidays. 

This is a great event and if you have never attended, I highly recommend it.  You’ll have fun and support a great cause as well.

The Christmas House Tour 
There are six reserved time slots between 9:00am to 4pm to ensure a comfortable flow of guests. (Last entry 3pm) Advance Purchase Recommended especially for the morning hours.

The Holiday Boutique offers a delectable assortment of wonderful home made jams, jellies, chutneys, baked goods and unique holiday items. A delicious luncheon with homemade soups and salads and a beverage is available from 11:00am-2:30pm. Many guests come just to shop in the boutique, and have lunch and coffee.

Whom the Tour Benefits
Proceeds from the weekend’s events support charities helping those in need in Marin county and beyond, including Gilead House, Mill Street Shelter, Food Drive for Ritter Center, The Rotating Emergency Shelter Team for the Homeless (REST), Seeds of Learning, and Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA). Learn more about St. John’s support for charities.

Tour Tickets are $40 per person for touring from 9 am to 12 pm and $30 for 12pm to 4 pm.  Lunch is $15.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here. 

Hope to see you there!

 

The “Grand Queen” – Photo Courtesy of San Anselmo Patch

 

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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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.


Marin County’s Young Adults Face Rising Need for Co-Signers

It has become obvious to many young adults that today’s Marin County real estate market offers great opportunities and the answer to the old “Rent or Buy” query is heavily weighted towards the “buy” side. 

So here you are, single or a newlywed couple in your late 20’s with decent jobs, respectable income, and reasonable credit.  Drawn to Marin County by its gorgeous scenery, easy commute to San Francisco, award winning schools and great shops and restaurants, you’ve started your search to buy a home in Larkspur, Mill Valley or Greenbrae.  But when you call your lender to get pre-approved for a loan, to your surprise, you find out that you don’t qualify! Or that you only qualify for a small mortgage that will not allow you to buy the home of your dreams.  With the average sales price in Marin County close to $1 million–it was $970,000 in October 2012–and entry level homes in central Marin usually priced over $1 million if you want a turnkey home in a premium location, you may find it difficult to secure financing.

You’re not alone. The Federal Reserve studied the problem, and found that, in the three years between 2009-2011, just 9% of young professionals between the ages of 29-34 were able to qualify for a first-time mortgage. It had been 17% only 10 years earlier.

It’s no wonder that many have sought alternative financing routes to buy a home, which is why mortgage co-signing is becoming more and more common. Yet before buying a home in Marin County via this route, it’s important to have the consequences – good and bad – squarely before you.

Advantages

The big one is obvious: a mortgage co-signing may be the only way to buy a home. Importantly, it can also help you secure a better interest rate and the lower monthly mortgage payments that entails.

Once you start making your mortgage payments regularly and on time, a co-signed mortgage can start to help you build (or rebuild) a strong credit rating. 

Pitfalls

A mortgage co-signing may help you buy a home in Marin County, but it also has immediate and major impacts on both your and your co-signer’s credit. Late payments would affect your co-signer’s credit rating as well as your own. The possibility of adding extra stress to important relationships is potentially very real, since a mortgage lender will attempt to collect payments from your co-signer in the event of a default.

The bottom line?  Buying a home is a big step; if you require a co-signer to get approval for a loan in Marin, it’s important to make sure it is part of a sound long-term financial strategy.  I’m here to supply the real estate expertise that helps my clients attain their goals – so if you or your adult children are preparing to buy a home together, do contact me to schedule a sit-down to go over today’s options.

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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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.

 


Marin County Foreclosures Trending Down

Now here is something to be thankful for!

MARIN COUNTY FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY

Foreclosure filings in Marin County – October 2012 (Source: RealtyTrac)

Just like in most markets across the United States, in Marin County, foreclosure filings and distressed property sales are on the decline.  According to RealtyTrac, a national foreclosure-tracking firm, one in every 629 housing units received a foreclosure filing in October 2012.  RealtyTrac defines a “foreclosure filing” as any foreclosure-related action including a Notice of Default, a Scheduled Auction, or a Bank Repossession.

Shortsales and foreclosures sales represented 20.9 percent of all sales in October, compared to 26.3 percent in October 2011.

 

Foreclosure activity by city – Marin County – Oct. 2012 (Source: RealtyTrac)

 

Of the 165 filings, Novato remains in first position with 65 filings, or 39 percent, and San Rafael in second position with 37 filings, or 22.42 percent of all Marin County filings.

NATIONAL FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY

According to data from RealtyTrac, for the 24th consecutive month, the number of bank repossessions nationally fell, down less than 1% from the previous month and down 21% from October 2011. Bank repossessions dropped in 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, indicating that banks are seeking alternatives to foreclosure.

The number of foreclosure filings increased 3 percent in October as compared to September 2012, climbing to 186,455 U.S. properties.

On average, 1 in every 706 U.S. homes had a foreclosure filing during the month of October.

Distressed home sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, represented 23% of sales in the second quarter of 2012, down from 30% a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Hurricane Sandy made an impact on the foreclosure market, too, with a foreclosure moratorium being put into effect in the states most affected such as New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.

TIPS FOR BUYING A DISTRESSED PROPERTY

For home buyers planning to venture into the home foreclosure market in Marin County, there are well-priced homes for sale. However, understand that a foreclosure property is often sold “as is,” and that you may not be allowed into the property prior to the sale to inspect for damage.  Homes may have termites, been gutted by previous tenants or owners and suffer from serious delayed maintenance issues.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to engage an experienced real estate professional when buying foreclosure properties.  Real estate agents who have received specific training can guide you through the foreclosure process and give advice regarding contracts and home inspections.  I have received my Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your needs and goals and assist you in crafting a strategy.

Feel free to contact me at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

In the meantime, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.

 


Best Marin County Stores for Holiday Delicacies

Rulli, Larkspur, CA

I ventured into Mollie Stones in Greenbrae today and the place was abuzz with excitement and earnest shoppers, their shopping list in hand and their cart chock full of turkeys, cranberries and all the makings of a great Thanksgiving feast. 

Yes, the holidays are upon us, and we all will attend or host many a dinner or cocktail party in the next few weeks.  What to do when you don’t have the time or the inclination to cook?

I may just have the answer for you!  I just stumbled upon a wonderful article in the Pacific Sun with a great list of local Marin County stores where you can purchase prepared foods, cheeses, soups, etc.  to make your life easier during the busy and often stressful holiday season.  I hope the suggestions that are included in the article will inspire you to shop in Marin for foods that will simplify your life during a hectic time, whether it be for Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert, or interesting nibbles for a cocktail party–think yummy cheese coins from Rustic Bakery.

The author ranks Mill Valley Market as a possible winner.  He also mentions Woodlands Markets, in Kentfield and Tiburon, Paradise Foods, in Corte Madera and Novato, Susie Cakes, Flour Chylde, and Rustic  Bakery.

Three obvious omissions, according to me, are Whole Foods which always offers a great selection of cheeses and prepared foods, Trader Joes, and Rulli’s in Larkspur with absolutely beautiful and delicious desserts and petits fours.  And I am probably forgetting others.  What are your favorites?  Let us know, won’t you?

 Click here to read the article.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and please support our local Marin County businesses!

 

About the author:  The above information on Marin County was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi.  I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.  I am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.


Breaking News: Existing Home Sales on the Rise Nationally

DSNews.com reported today that, weathering Hurricane Sandy, sales of existing homes increased in October, according to the  National Association of Realtors (NAR.)

Total existing-home sales rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million in October from a downwardly revised 4.69 million in September. September sales were originally reported at 4.75 million. October home sales are up 10.9 percent from October 2011.

The median price of an existing single-family home was $178,600 in October, up 11.1 percent from October 2011.

To read the full report, click here.  To read about sales in our local Marin County market, read my October 2012 Marin County Real Estate Market Update.

And talking about home sales in Marin County, I can be of assistance to you, whether you are thinking about selling or buying a home.

Are you curious about your home or what’s going on with sales in your neighborhood?
Please give me a call (415-505-4789) or email me (Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com) and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

Thinking of listing your home?
I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my formidable internet and social media presence, proven systems, powerful marketing plan, strong negotiation skills and in-house staging capabilities.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes.

Thinking of buying a Marin County home?

Put your search on FAST TRACK! I will help you find the perfect home and will make the process as fun and stress free as possible. Email me to receive my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.  And feel free to contact me with any questions at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

Enjoy the Marin Lifestyle in Belvedere
Enjoy the Marin Lifestyle in Belvedere

About the Author:  Thank you for reading this post! 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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.


Your November Gardening Task List

November gardening listIn addition to basic tasks such as raking leaves and cleaning gutters, with the change of season comes a list of more advanced tasks for Marin County homeowners.  And this list becomes even more important if you are planning on selling your home in the spring.

These advanced tasks include identifying and removing plants and trees which may be dead, and covering compost to prevent rain storms from leaching nutrients.

For homeowners in frost-free areas such as here in Marin County, November is a good time to plant roses and azaleas; prune flowering trees; and start your fall vegetable garden.

The cooler fall and winter months are terrific for leafy greens such as spinach and kale; and carrots. Protect plants with row covers, when necessary.

It’s also when bulbs should be planted.  Tulips, crocuses and hyacinths are easy to plant and will welcome you come springtime.  I love daffodils and plant some every fall.

And finally, consider this list :

  • Aerate lawns to improve root development and drainage
  • Check and clean gutters regularly from fallen leaves, needles, and twigs
  • Check and clean streams regularly for branches and debris
  • Perform a round of weeding
  • To discourage weed growth throughout the winter, place down a pre-emergent, and mulch around bedding plants, shrubs, and trees.

Lastly, remember that the fall months are a terrific time to take note of what worked in your garden during the summer, and what didn’t. Use a notebook and put your findings to paper. Attention paid now will pay dividends next spring.

If you need a terrific gardener to help you with these tasks, feel free to contact me at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.  Furthermore, I would be happy to sit down with you and provide pressure free advice to help you start preparing your home and garden now if you are thinking of selling next spring.

 

Are you curious about your home or what’s going on with sales in your neighborhood?
Please give me a call (415-505-4789) or email me (Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com) and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

Thinking of listing your home?
I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my formidable internet and social media presence, proven systems, powerful marketing plan, strong negotiation skills and in-house staging capabilities.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes.

Thinking of buying a Marin County home?

Put your search on FAST TRACK! I will help you find the perfect home and will make the process as fun and stress free as possible. Email me to receive my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.  And feel free to contact me with any questions at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

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white glove serviceAbout 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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.


Marin County Real Estate Market Update – October 2012

O

Bon Air Shopping Center, Greenbrae, CA
Bon Air Shopping Center, Greenbrae, CA

verall, the economy continues to improve slowly as investors and consumers continue to be more upbeat about their financial situation.  The consumer confidence index improved in October to 72.2, its highest level this year as consumers are approaching the holiday season with brighter spirits.  Mortgage rates continue to make headlines and to attract home buyers and refinancing homeowners.

As reported last month, most economists agree that the real estate market nationwide is finally “off bottom.” Home values are rising, foreclosures are dropping, and housing starts are increasing, causing real estate to remain one of the better performing sectors of the economy.

DataQuick, a San Diego based real estate information service, wrote in its most recent report that the median price paid for a Bay Area home rose to $429,000 in September, its highest level in more than four years. The low point of the current real estate cycle for a Bay Area property was $290,000 in March 2009, while the peak was $665,000 in June/July 2007.

TRENDS AT A GLANCE – MARIN COUNTY

 In Marin County, the combination of low inventory and sustained high demand and their off springs, bidding wars and multiple offers, are continuing to simultaneously frustrate buyers and reward sellers.

  • Inventory went down to 551 active listings in October from 626 in September, a 12 percent decline, 862 in October 2011 and 1360 in October 2010.
  • With a large number of buyers competing for fewer homes, the percentage of homes in contract remained high at 53 percent, compared to 43 percent in September 2012, 27 percent in October 2011 and 14 percent in September 2010.
  • Affordability remains high but prices are starting to move up due to the combination of the increasing number of multiple offers and the decreasing number of distressed sales.  The increase is also due in great part to the change in market mix, which can skew the numbers.  The average sales price went up to $970,000 from $863,000 in September, representing a 12.4 percent increase.
  • As our prices are appreciating, appraisers may find it difficult to find appropriate ‘comps’ for your listing.  That can cause challenges during real estate transactions as appraised values may not reflect our new Marin County market conditions such as rising prices, multiple bids, and low inventory.

CITY BY CITY REPORT

In October, Novato’s percentage in contract remained over 64 percent. Larkspur maintained its second position with 54.17 percent in contract and Corte Madera was a close third with 53.85 percent.  Ross and Belvedere are lagging behind with 19.05 percent and 28.57 percent in contract, respectively.

SALES ACTIVITY BY PRICE POINT

While the bulk of the activity remains in the below $1 million price range, the $1 million to $2 million and $2 million to $3 million markets have both increased their percentage in contract month over month with 37.11 percent and 27.12 percent of active listings in contract, respectively.  It is generally considered that a market with over 25% of its active listings in contract is a seller’s market

If you are thinking of selling your home, feel free to contact me to discuss your particular situation.  Depending on your particular circumstances, it might be a good idea to put your home on the market right now for a quick sale before the end of the year.  If you want to wait until spring, let’s sit down and discuss how to prepare your home for sale to get you the best possible price: it is never too early to start!

If you are thinking of buying, let’s sit down and talk about your needs and your goals.

All reports and statistics presented in this report are based on data supplied by BAREIS MLS. Neither the author of this report, the Marin Association of Realtors nor its MLS guarantees or is in anyway responsible for this data’s accuracy.

Tiburon, CA

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Sylvie Zolezzi - www.YourPieceofMarin.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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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 – November 9, 2012

MORTGAGE MARKET WEEK IN REVIEW

The markets learned Wednesday that President Barack Obama was elected to another term and in response to the news, Bonds were sent soaring higher (rates lower) however they have pulled back slightly since then.  Typically, bad news is good news for Bonds (as is uncertainty) and all eyes have moved to the now-looming “Fiscal Cliff” debate, which will take center stage in the next sixty days – and that spells a lot of market uncertainty.  More on the Fiscal Cliff below…

CURRENT INTEREST RATES | NOVEMBER 9, 2012

CONFORMING RATES
($200,000 – $417,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.375% (3.47% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.500% (2.60% APR)
JUMBO RATES
($625,501 – $2,000,000) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.875% (3.97% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
CONFORMING (HIGH-BALANCE) RATES
($417,001 – $625,500 cap by county) 0 POINTS
• 30 Year Fixed: 3.625% (3.69% APR)
• 5/1 ARM: 2.875% (2.96% APR)
RATE TRENDS
Rates are SIDEWAYS compared to last week.
Rates are SIDEWAYS compared to last month.
Rates are DOWN compared to one year ago

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

So, what is the fiscal cliff?
 
At the heart of the fiscal cliff are two separate issues:  1) individual tax cuts due to expire and 2) tens of billions of dollars in across-the-board federal spending cuts due to kick in on January 1, 2013. The challenge isn’t so much that the cuts are expiring; it’s that they’re expiring all at once. If left in place, the fiscal cliff would lead to the biggest single-year drop in the annual deficit as a percent of the economy since 1969 at $1.2 trillion over 10 years. While this may be a deficit hawk’s dream, investors are worried that if no deal is reached in Congress over $600 billion in spending and tax cuts will kick in early next year. A move this massive has the potential to derail the U.S. economic recovery and lead to another recession. Here is what is due to happen on January 1:
 

  • Expiration of Bush-Era tax cuts on income, investments, married couples and families with children and inheritance.
  • $55 billion in defense cuts with another $55 billion in nondefense spending such as education, food inspection, air travel safety, etc.
  • 2% cut to Medicare providers
  • Expiration of extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless
  • Expiration of Obama’s temporary 2% cut in payroll tax
  • Imposition of alternative minimum tax on 26 million households increasing their taxes by $3,700
  • Variety of smaller tax cuts for business and individuals known as “extenders” that include credits for R&D and sales tax deductions for some states.

Are you curious about your home or what’s going on with sales in your neighborhood?
Please give me a call (415-505-4789) or email me (Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com) and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

Thinking of listing your home?
I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my formidable internet and social media presence, proven systems, powerful marketing plan, strong negotiation skills and in-house staging capabilities.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes. 

Thinking of buying a Marin County home?

Put your search on FAST TRACK! I will help you find the perfect home and will make the process as fun and stress free as possible. Email me to receive my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.  And feel free to contact me with any questions at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com

Tiburon, 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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.


Your Fall Home Maintenance To-Do List

Post updated on October 24, 2016

your fall home maintenance to-do list
Cleaning your gutters is one of the most important home maintenance tasks in the fall

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, fresh figs…  Yet the days are getting shorter and … we are having our second rain of the season today.

With less sunlight, colder temperatures, and shorter days ahead, it’s an opportune time to cross those last-minute maintenance items off your homeowner to-do list.

Practicing preventive care — both inside and outside your home — can save thousands of dollars in repairs come later this winter. As a constant series of chores, home maintenance is a four-season job and one which should not be taken lightly. The tasks of each season are unique and fall’s jobs are mostly preparatory in advance of colder weather.What follows is a brief checklist to get you started, with special emphasis on cleaning your gutters.

Inside the home:

your fall home maintenance to-do list

 

  • Change batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, whether they’re dead or not.
  • Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils, plus the front bottom grill. Empty and clean the drip pan.
  • Have your furnace(s) serviced. A few years ago, we had the very unpleasant experience of having one of our furnaces not start up on a cold fall night, I don’t recommend it! Have an HVAC professional checkup your heating system, change your filters and inspect the motor and air exchanger.
  • Inspect wood stoves and fireplace inserts. Hire a certified chimney sweeper to clean the chimney, if needed. Here are some great fireplace and maintenance tips from HGTV to help you enjoy a warm, cozy fire this fall safely. For example, did you know that opening a window 3 or 4 inches when using the fireplace will help prevent the room from becoming smoky? The air coming in from the window will go up the chimney.

Outside the home:

A fall tradition - cleaning the gutters of leaves. Here we see them clogging the gutters of a traditional home. Could be used for advertising/clean up articles/etc. Narrow DOF
A fall tradition – cleaning the gutters of leaves.
  • Inspect exterior lights and outlets. Be sure that none of the outlets are cracked or broken, or have exposed wires.
  • If you have a creek running through your property, make sure you clear it of accumulated branches and debris.
  • Have problem trees trimmed, including those that are dangerously close to your roof and may damage your home in a storm.
  • Check your irrigation system for leaks and don’t forget to turn it off until next spring.
  • Clean gutters and clear all blockages. If leaves are still falling, repeat after leaves are off all trees. This is essential to protect you from major home damage that may not be covered by insurance so I am including tips below on how to do it like a pro.

Useful Tips on How to Clean your Gutters:

Home gutters serve a very important purpose: by capturing and funneling rainwater away from a home’s footprint, water damage to your roof, walls and windows can be either avoided all together, or minimized.  A well-functioning gutter system can keep a home’s basement from flooding, and a foundation safe from long-term structural damage.

Keeping your home’s gutters is essential and luckily, with the right tools, gutter maintenance can be a do-it-yourself job. Below is a detailed video that shows how to do it yourself if you are so inclined and even make some minor repairs. Just be sure to be safe!

 

Here is your step by step guide to clean your gutters:

  • 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.

I have a roster of top-notch professionals I can recommend for any of these jobs, feel free to call me for a referral.

Are you curious about your home or what’s going on with sales in your neighborhood?
Please give me a call (415-505-4789) or email me (Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com) and I’ll be happy to give you feedback.

Thinking of listing your home?
I would like to believe I am one of the best home marketing solutions in Marin County – with my formidable internet and social media presence, proven systems, powerful marketing plan, strong negotiation skills and in-house staging capabilities.  Call me to find out about the innovative ways I use to market and sell Marin County homes.

Thinking of buying a Marin County home?

Put your search on FAST TRACK! I will help you find the perfect home and will make the process as fun and stress free as possible. Email me to receive my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.  And feel free to contact me with any questions at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.



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 am an award winning Realtor specializing 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 innovative 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.