Marin County Market Update – April 2013

BAY AREA MARKET UPDATE – “SOMEWHAT OF A PERFECT STORM…”

DataQuick, a San Diego based real estate information service reported this month that the median price paid for a Bay Area home moved above the half-million-dollar mark for the first time in almost five years, pushed up by pent-up demand, an improving economy, investor activity, low mortgage interest rates and constrained supply, as well as a continued decline in distressed sales.

The median price paid in the nine-county Bay Area rose to $510,000 in April. That was up 17.0 percent from $436,000 in March, and up a whopping 30.8 percent from $390,000 in April a year ago.

The 17.0 percent month-to-month increase is the highest in DataQuick’s Bay Area statistics, which go back to 1988.

There’s somewhat of a perfect storm here, statistically speaking. The pent-up demand, the economy, interest rates, investor buying. Everything is in alignment right now, but that won’t always be the case…” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

MARIN COUNTY MARKET UPDATE

Trends at a glance April 2013-1

Just like the Bay Area real estate market, our Marin County market continued to pick up steam in April, with the average sales price of a single family recovering to close to peak of the market values.  Despite the much needed increase in inventory, demand continues to exceed supply as many buyers are anxious to take advantage of our Marin County “perfect storm.” Desirable properties continue to receive multiple offers and to sell for more than the list price.

SINGLE FAMILY HOMES MARKET ACTIVITY

The number of listed homes increased dramatically by the end of April to a total of 400 actively listed homes not in contract, up over 50% from the previous month. This is partly due to seasonality–spring is typically the time when the majority of sellers put their home up for sale–, however, the change is mostly attributable to the exceptionally low inventory at the start of the year since the current inventory is still 20% below last year’s in April.

The Average Sale Price increased to $1,152,406 which is only 6% lower than the Peak in 2007. This is significantly better than it has been over the last years through the recession. However, the value as represented by Price Per Square Foot is off by 17% from Peak, up from a low of over 30%. Sellers are waiting out the market for a full recovery as indicated by the 61% lower level of Inventory from 2007.

Single Family Homes in Contract

Greenbrae continues to be one of the hottest markets closely followed by Corte Madera. Those locations represent an excellent value with mid-range pricing, excellent weather and outstanding schools. Novato, Fairfax and San Rafael offer entry level pricing and investment opportunities which is reflected in the large number of homes in contract.  Belvedere had only 5% of homes in contract due to the high price points and unique signature properties which are attainable by a relatively small buyer pool.

percent homes in contract

Market Activity by Price Point

The greatest amount of  activity continues to be under $1 million, followed by the $1-$2 million range. The market under $2 million is seeing a flurry of activity and multiple offers particularly on homes that offer flat yards, finished interiors, and are close to town.  The only sale over $4 million was a home in Tiburon which sold at $4,775,000 and Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty represented the Buyers. Note that due to the lack of sales over $5 million, the Month’s Supply of Inventory based on closed transactions cannot be calculated.

Price point

Single Family Home Sales by Area

San Rafael had 59 sales, followed by Novato and Mill Valley, which are sizeable markets. San Anselmo and Corte Madera had a significant number of sales for the relative size of their markets. The fewest sales were in the Beach Cities of Stinson, Bolinas and Muir Beach, and Belvedere.  Belvedere had the highest minimum sale price at $2,525,000 followed by Tiburon at $1,183,000.

Marin County Single family homes Sales - April 2013

Is our Marin County rebounding or are we entering bubble territory? Stay tuned for my follow up post tomorrow on the topic.

If you are thinking of selling your home, feel free to contact me to discuss your particular situation.  I can give you an idea of the current value of your home; you may be pleasantly surprised! If you are thinking of buying, let’s sit down and talk about your needs and your goals and what the best strategy will be to reach them.

I look forward to assisting you with your real estate needs in 2013!

Unless otherwise indicated, 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.

281 Fawn Dr., San Anselmo – Just Sold for $2.15 MM

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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.

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 Throw A Memorial Day Weekend Party To Remember in Marin County

Preparing For Memorial Day 2013Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor those who have fallen in service to the United States.  

Did you know the official celebration of fallen heroes goes all the way back to the 1860s after the Civil War, when wreaths were laid on the graves of both Union and Confederate soldiers. The practice was fully recognized throughout the existing states by 1890.

So, what is the best way to honor the holiday?  For those who prefer something traditional to honor the fallen, place wreaths or flowers at war memorials or grave sites. Thank a veteran, a firefighter, or a police officer for their service.

For many of us, Memorial Day weekend is also widely regarded as the beginning of summer.  Many people kick off their summer plans, start their summer time share rentals or have their first summer party on Memorial Day.

Since it is one of the busiest travel times of the year, staying at home maybe a great, stress free way to enjoy the first long week end of summer.

Below are six ideas to keep your kids smiling and get the whole family involved.

  • Plan the Menu – Memorial Day means picnics, and there are all kinds of fun and colorful dishes you can make to celebrate.  Here are a few ideas:  Pinterest Memorial Day Party Food. If you don’t feel like cooking, just grill hamburgers and chicken and buy already made salads and side dishes.  One salad that is always a crowd pleaser and is perfect for a summer gathering is the Fatoush salad from Insalata’s in San Anselmo.  I do believe you need to order it in advance for take out.
  • Make Decorations – Red, white and blue are the colors of the day. Get creative with centerpieces, balloons and table settings to make your home a festive holiday venue. Check these Pinterest pins for inspiration for colorful decorations.
  • Invite Friends and Relatives – The more the merrier, right? And you can always ask your guests to bring a snack or dish to share.
  • Have a Plan B – How many times have you known it to rain on Memorial Day? Well, the forecast for the Bay Area on Monday is possible rain.  Have a back-up plan in case Mother Nature makes you retreat inside.
  • Have Indoor and Outdoor Games – If the weather cooperates, water games, such as balloons or a slip-n-slide are perfect, but have some board games or crafts ready to go in case you find yourself running for cover. Don’t forget to have some games for the adults too!
  • Remember the Meaning of Memorial Day – The history behind the holiday is sometimes lost along the way. Make sure the kids realize why this holiday exists — to honor the people who fought to give us the freedom to celebrate.

So get out your address book or cell phone contact list and start calling your friends and relatives who have decided to forego the holiday traffic. With a little organization, you’ll be ready to throw a Memorial Day bash that no one will soon forget.  Last minutes, spur of the moment parties can be more fun thanks to their spontaneity.

Cheers!

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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.

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.


Homeownership in Marin County is Back in Style

In many parts of the country, Marin County included,  real estate conversations of a not so distant past about price reductions, expired listings and underwater homeowners have been replaced with discussions about multiple offers, preemptive bids and over asking purchase prices.

Different generations are jumping into homeownership as all segments of the market are experiencing great demand.  Let me document this with some numbers: As of today in Marin, 52.26 percent of all active listings are in contract in Marin. Generally, 25 percent in contract is considered to reflect a balanced market.  For listings up to $1 million, the percentage in contract is 65.15 percent and for listings from $1 million-$2 million, the percentage is 48.19 percent.

Why has homeownership become so attractive again?

An excellent post from the KCM Blog provides great insight as to how different generations see the value of homeownership today.  From a 20 something’s point of view, it is about a lot more than the financial reasons and not wanting to throw away rent payments every month, and from his father’s point of view, it is about a lot more than providing shelter for his family…

Read the post here: How Different Generations See the Value of Homeownership

Golden Gate Bridge, Marin County - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

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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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.

:  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.

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.

 

 

 

 


Know What to Disclose When Selling Your Marin County Home

disclosures (640x437)When selling your home in Marin County, there are certain things you must disclose upfront to the buyer about the property during the escrow period pursuant to California law.  Among the many mandatory forms, you must fill out a very important disclosure form, the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement and answer a myriad of questions about the condition of the home and issues of which you are aware.

Disclosure laws have been put in place to protect the buyer from unknowingly purchasing defective property. Not disclosing certain information about the property can jeopardize the sale, or worse, invite a lawsuit.

This became more of an issue in recent years as some sellers were tempted to gloss over deficiencies in the home they were selling in order to try to get a higher sales price.  In fact, a recent poll of real estate agents showed that 75% of agents ranked non-disclosure among the “top three current and future issues” and the main source of lawsuits.  And a large percentage of these lawsuits occur in transactions in which the seller is not represented by a professional real estate agent who can advise them as to what to disclose.

What You May Need To Disclose

When selling your home you are obligated to disclose information related to the ownership and physical condition of the property for sale. Details requiring disclosure include the working condition of any appliances and features of the property, any defects or malfunctions (even if they have been repaired), flooding or draining problems, cracks in the foundation, insect infestations and toxic materials in the home, the presence of lead-based paint and methamphetamine contamination. The Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement is mandatory and includes information on earthquake faults, flooding and drainage issues and other natural hazards. All disclosures must be made in writing. Your agent will guide you and provide all the necessary forms. You also will need to provide a preliminary title report including information and information about property taxes.

Be sure to fully disclose anything that may be pertinent to the buyer before purchase and could materially affect the value of the home.  This includes items such as the barking dog next door, issues with neighbors and whether the home has a criminal or notorious past.

Remember, if you knowingly withhold information, it may cause the sale to fall through or could be used against you in a lawsuit and you could be held liable for actual damages that the buyer suffers. The buyer will find out, generally from neighbors, what you are trying to hide and it will come back to haunt you.  I always tell my clients, when in doubt, DISCLOSE!

Does It Make Sense To Have A Pre-Inspection Done?

As a seller, you can even go a step further than filling out the required forms to disclose any issues with your property: you can be proactive and have your home inspected prior to placing it on the market to prevent any surprises of unknown problems with the home. One benefit of getting a presale inspection is that defects can be identified and fixed before listing the property, and the disclosure form can state the problem has been fixed. Buyers will almost surely want an inspection prior to closing, and in some cases a pre-inspection may suffice.

Do keep in mind however that disclosing a problem with your home does not mean you need to fix it. Any disclosed problems can become a negotiation point. Remember, the most important thing is to be honest about any known issues with the property.

Another big advantage of having a preinspection is that you can price the property to reflect known issues, preventing requests for credits or large price reductions from the buyer.  Changing the price in the middle of a transaction can be a red flag to the lender, particularly if it’s a significant price reduction. The lender could require the work be done by closing, which could delay the closing by months. If the buyer’s loan commitment expires, the transaction could collapse.

– See more at: http://www.inman.com/2010/04/12/presale-inspections-smoother-sales/#sthash.w5w5tftQ.dpuf

Eichler home in Terra Linda
Eichler home in Terra Linda

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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.

I attract clients who demand excellence—in marketing, negotiations, market knowledge—and a genuine concern for their needs. My association with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty allows me to provide a high-end luxury experience to all my clients at every single price point.  It also enables me to leverage our unique combination of local knowledge and global resources, providing unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I view it as a great privilege to be of assistance to people at very important stages of their lives—whether they are newlywed, starting a family, relocating, retiring, divorcing or mourning a loved one—because I view my job as much more than facilitating the sale or purchase of a property, but rather as helping them find their new sanctuary or part with the home where they have raised their children and created so many memories. In addition, I am always excited to help my clients discover Marin County, our stunning sceneries and unmatched lifestyle and find the right home in one of our charming towns:   Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.