How To Refinish Furniture And Get Rid of White Rings

I don’t know about you, but I have several pieces of furniture in my home with white rings.  When I saw a post with tips on how to remove them from the No.1 DIY home improvement project site, the Family Handy Man, I was curious to find out if it was truly something I could do myself or it was going to be too complicated and better left to the pros.

Removing the white rings with their tips seems easy enough, and I am planning on trying it on one of our upcoming winter week ends. Hope to find the products at one of our great hardware stores in Marin County. For now, the weather is too nice to stay inside.

According to the article, white rings can be easy to get rid of, or they can be a real nightmare. First, slather the ring with petroleum jelly and let it sit overnight. The oil from the petroleum jelly will often penetrate the finish and remove the ring or at least make it less visible.

If that doesn’t work, you can try a product such as Homax White Ring Remover (about $6 through the Family Handy Man’s affiliation with amazon.com) or Liberon Ring Remover (about $22 at Rockler, Woodcraft or through their affiliation with amazon.com). They often work but may change the sheen. If these fixes don’t work, consult a pro to see what your other options are.

How to remove white rings on your furniture - reposted to www.YourPieceofMarin.com from FamilyHandyMan.com (640x477)

Click on the link to read the full article.

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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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.

 


Marin County Market Snapshot – Year Over Year Comparison as of July 2013

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.
I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.


Show your drains some love, they’ll love you back!

Preventing And Clearing Clogs In Your HomeWhether you have just bought a spanking brand new house or owned your home for a long time, plumbing issues can happen and, one thing is certain; having a clogged drain is always a major annoyance.  However, it must be Murphy’s law, but drains always seem to get clogged at the worst possible times: a few years ago my kitchen sink got clogged on New Year’s Eve as I was hosting a party. Ever since, I have been much more careful about what goes down the drain in my home.

It’s important to remember too that while clogs can be extremely frustrating for you, they are also very hard on your plumbing. The added pressure they create puts stress on your pipes and can shorten their lifespan. Not a good thing.

Give your drains some TLC by following the tips below on how to prevent clogging and clear the ones you may already have.

No Food Down The Drain

Even if you have a disposal, it’s not good for your pipes to have sticky, mushy food shoved through them. Now that we have composting bins in most of Marin County, peel vegetables into your compost bin and scrape plates into the trashcan. Give your coffee grounds to the plants in your garden, they will thank you for it: azaleas, camelias, citrus, roses, tomatoes, they all love the acidity. And if you must throw vegetable peels or leaves down the disposal, make sure to avoid artichoke leaves at all cost.  A friend of mine learned that lesson the very hard way.  Also, run a lot of water after using your disposals to make sure that the food does not get stuck in one of the pipe elbows and solidifies.  Again, not a good thing.

Finally, avoid pouring grease down the drain. I think this is the worst offender: animal fat can congeal into a big solid blob and form a blockage. Instead, store it in a sealable container in the freezer. Once it’s full, trash it!

Only TP In The Toilets

All feminine hygiene products should be thrown away, because most don’t dissolve quickly enough and can cause a backup. And be sure to secure toilet lids from curious children, because you have to admit that it is pretty fun to watch almost anything go “bye-bye.”

Hair Today, Problem Tomorrow

Don’t wash loose hair down the drain. This is the other major source of problems. Collect it and throw it away after your shower. If you shed a lot, it might be beneficial to install drain screens to catch loose hair and make it easy to dispose. Be sure to clean these out every few weeks.

Chemicals Should Be Used With Caution

Be wary about using chemical drain cleaners. They can erode cast-iron pipes and usually don’t remove an entire clog, so it can easily recur. You should consider hiring a professional plumber to snake your drains; or better yet, buy your own augur at the hardware store for about $15.  Don’t hesitate to call me for a recommendation to a Marin County professional to snake your drain.

Homeowners can be hard on their drains. From hair to food, clogs are a time-consuming frustration that might cost you big. Treat your plumbing with a little love and it’ll reward you by quickly removing water and waste from your sight!

For more helpful tips on periodic home maintenance, please feel free to contact me for recommendations to trusted professionals.

Mt. Tam view from Tiburon Bike Path
Mt. Tam view from Tiburon Bike Path

 

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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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.

 


Will Mortgage Rates Be Affected by the Fed’s Tapering of Securities Purchases?

Iinterest-ratesf you have been tracking interest rates, you know they have gone up in the past couple of months from a rock bottom historical low of 3.25 percent for a 30-year mortgage to around 4.25 percent, still a very attractive rate. But where are rates heading?  Will the Fed continue with quantitative easing (QE) and its effort to maintain lower long-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, through its purchase of $85 billion per month in Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities (MBS)?

Our economy was pretty awful and the Fed has been pouring money into the markets to artificially depress interest rates and thus stimulate the economy. As the economy continues to show signs of improvement, there won’t be a need for the Fed to continue and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sees it as a good thing. He signed off at the end of his speech on June 19, 2013 with this statement: “If interest rates go up for the right reasons – that is, both optimism about the economy and an accurate assessment of monetary policy – that’s a good thing. That’s not a bad thing.”

He has hinted at “tapering” the Fed’s securities purchases by year-end in recent statements. The Federal Open Market Committee’s  (FOMC) minutes released Wednesday further suggest that tapering based on strengthening economic trends is likely. The Fed is closely monitoring its words as well as economic conditions, as previous announcements about tapering QE made by Chairman Bernanke and FOMC have created havoc in world financial markets.

FOMC Members Express Mixed Views

The minutes for the last FOMC meeting, which took place on July 30 and 31, states that many members are “broadly comfortable” with tapering QE securities purchases later this year if the economy continues to improve. At the same time, many FOMC members indicated that it “isn’t yet time” to scale back the purchases.

All along, the FOMC has emphasized that it will closely monitor domestic and global financial and economic developments as part of its decision about when tapering the QE purchases will begin.

The minutes for July’s meeting reflected this sentiment and noted: “A few members emphasized the importance of being patient and evaluating additional information on the economy before deciding on any changes to the pace of asset purchases.”

QE Tapering Not The Only Influence On Mortgage Rates

In relation to mortgage rates, it’s likely that tapering QE purchases will cause mortgage rates to rise. Demand for bonds will fall as the Fed reduces its purchases, and falling bond prices usually cause mortgage rates to rise.

It’s important to keep in mind that tapering QE securities purchases is only one among many things that can impact financial markets, mortgage rates and the economy. While the Fed is expected to begin slowing its securities purchases as soon as September, developing economic news throughout the world can potentially impact mortgage rates and could cause the Fed to revise its timeline for reducing the volume of its securities purchases.

What Do Higher Interest Rates Mean For You?

While loan rates of 4 or 5 percent are still historically very low, the recent one percent increase has significantly affected many homebuyers’ purchasing power. If you were able to afford your dream home at 5 percent, but not at 6 percent, history doesn’t mean a darn thing to you: the higher interest rate may be cutting you out of the Marin County market.

So if you have been thinking of buying that dream home, now may be the time to jump in. Here in Marin County, we have more inventory than last spring and there are fewer multiple offers. Prices are still very attractive. Contact me to discuss your options. Call/text me at 415-505-4789 or email me at Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

 

Mt. Tam viewed from Belvedere - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi - Copyright 2013

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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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.


Marin County Real Estate Market Update – July 2013

Marin Market Snapshot

The inventory of single family homes for sale in Marin County rose slighly in July, ending with 474 available homes, up from the 450 that were active at the end of June, but less than half of the peak 2007 monthly average of 1017.  Slightly fewer properties–312 single family homes– went in contract in July, down from 338 the previous month. The number of homes sold in July decreased slightly from June, but the average sale price and the price  per square foot were a bit higher, even though the price per square foot is still 10% below the peak. Nationally the Case-Shiller home price index for May was released showing a home price increase of over 12%, the largest since March of 2006! San Francisco had the second highest metro gain at a stunning 24% year-over-year.

Total Market Snapshot - Marin County Real Estate Market Update for July 2013 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

Market Activity by Price Point

July was an exciting month for my company, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty! We represented the buyers on the highest priced sale in Marin of a stunning view home in Tiburon on Ridge Road for $8,970,000. There was some improving activity in the over $5 million market with 4 sales, compared with only one in June. Most of the modest inventory gains were under $2 million, which accounts for the bulk of the market in Marin. The greatest activity is consistently under $2 million with the highest level still under the $1 million price point.

Home Sales and Market Activity by Price Point - Marin County Real Estate Market Update for July 2013 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

Marin Home Sales by Area

In July, Tiburon’s 24 sales more than doubled June’s reported 10 sales. There were no sales in Belvedere, or Ross in July compared to 4 sales last month in Belvedere and 7 sales in Ross. Novato, San Rafael and Mill Valley continue to have the highest turnover with 55, 47 and 41 sales, respectively.

Home Sales by Area - Marin Single Family Homes - July 2013 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

Average List and Sale Prices

The Average List Price dropped slightly from $2,404,850 down to $2,383,690. This represents the listings in the Active status and not properties that are contingent or in contract. There is a significant difference between the active price which is over a million more on average than those in Contingent and Pending status, where the prices were $1,052,498 and $1,288,299 respectively. The average sales price for the month of July was $1,267,540, essentially even with $1,261,303 last month.

Average Listed and Sold Price of Homes - Marin County Real Estate Market Update for July 2013 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

City by City Report

The most active market is determined by the percentage of listed homes in contract. Greenbrae, at 63 percent, regained its position as the market leader with the highest number of homes in the Contingent and Pending status relative to the inventory.  As a point of reference, a market is considered to be balanced when 25 to 30 percent of listings are in contract. Greenbrae was followed by Corte Madera, last month’s leader, at 53 percent and Novato at 52 percent. Ross had increased activity moving from 4 percent to 16 percent. Belvedere continued to hover at 6 percent due to the scarcity of buyers for its high luxury price point at this stage of the recovery.

City by City Percentage of Homes in Contract - Marin County Market Update for July 2013 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Whether you are thinking of buying or selling Your Piece of Marin, or are just curious about the value of your home, feel free to contact me with any questions.  I would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options.  You can reach me by phone/text at 415-505-4789 or email at Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

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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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tiburon’s Blackie’s Pasture Turns Into A Plein Air Art Gallery

Tiburon Art Festival - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

What an incredible feast for the art lover’s eye!  Imagine strolling along the waterfront Tiburon Bike Path while admiring one hundred and twenty-eight twenty-feet high, magnificent colorful paintings with the San Francisco Bay, beautiful hillsides and stunning vistas as a backdrop. 

This open air museum is a reality for an amazing ten days. As part of this unprecedented West Coast event, the work of painter Kiril Jeliazkov is installed behind Blackie’s statue and along the nearby paths, playfield and undisturbed bayside parks of Tiburon Historical Trail.  This is the first time that his work has appeared in the Western United States.

This extraordinary exhibit is part of the 2013 Tiburon Art Festival, an incredible ten days of art on the Tiburon Peninsula.  International marketing, the Drever Family Hotbed Gala Event and Art by the Bay, an epic, ten day public art exhibit, translate to a hugely enhanced experience for art lovers from around the world.

I took a walk with my husband and my faithful dog Charlie and was in awe.  As the sun was setting, the light started changing and the spectacle became truly magical.  CLICK HERE to view my photo gallery of both the artwork and the gorgeous scenery.

Enjoy!

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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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.

 


Lake Tahoe, Marin’s Magical Playground

Lake Tahoe - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

If you live in Marin County, or anywhere in the Bay Area for that matter, chances are you have been to Lake Tahoe.  Until last week-end I had only spent time in Tahoe in the winter and I fell in love with the lake all over again.

A dear friend invited my husband and me to spend some time at her home in Rubicon Bay on the South Western shore and we were both in awe of the Lake’s stunning beauty.  The weather was perfect, the water crystal clear and warm enough to swim in and the changing views from sunrise to sunset breathtaking.  It is just the perfect summer vacation destination: you can go hiking, waterskiing, swimming, kayaking, Stand Up Paddle boarding, fishing, etc… and there are plenty of concerts and fun activities all summer long.  In the winter, it is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders.  As usual, I took a lot of pictures. Here is the link to my Photo Album.

Interested in finding out a bit of history about Tahoe, I did a little research and here is what I found in a well written blog post penned by Robin Penning, a Tahoe local.

  • Lake Tahoe was formed by a series of faultings that formed the mountainous basin and peaks surrounding the Lake.  Eruptions from the extinct volcano Mount Pluto formed a dam on the north side of the lake in which melting snow later filled the southern and lowest part of the basin followed by rain and runoff water.  Lake Tahoe was finally shaped by glaciers during the Ice Ages, a million or more years ago.
  • For centuries, the Lake Tahoe basin was the summer gathering place for the native Washoe Tribes who hunted and fished along the shores.The Washoe named the area “Da-ow-a-ga,” or “edge of the Lake.”  Early explorers unfamiliar to their language interpreted the phrase as “Tahoe” and in 1945 the Lake Tahoe Basin was officially designated.
  • First pioneers explored the area in the 1860s when silver was discovered in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Also, Tahoe’s timber forests became an important resource as fuel and also to support the labyrinth of mines being constructed nearby. The availability of timber led to the near clear cutting of Tahoe’s forests, which were heavily logged between 1860 and 1890.
  • By the turn of the twentieth century, news of Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty had reached the wealthy families of San Francisco who sought a new vacation destination.  Many mansions of historical significance line Lake Tahoe’s shores today as a result of this era including the Thunderbird Lodge on the East Shore, Vikingsholm the original settlement on Emerald Bay and The Ehrman Mansion in Sugar Pine Point.  In the mid 1940’s, gaming establishments, permanent accommodations, hotels and roads were constructed.
  • Following the 1960 Winter Olympics held at Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe was solidified as the premier skiing destination of the western U.S. I am not a skier but my husband and kids are and Squaw Valley is by far their preferred skiing resort.

Sunrise over Lake Tahoe - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziLake Tahoe Trivia – Did you know?
• Lake Tahoe is the 2nd deepest lake in the USA & 8th deepest in the world
• The Lake is 1,645 feet deep at the deepest point, which means one could immerse the Empire State Building into the lake, stack the Washington Monument on top and still have 20 feet to spare
• The average depth of the Lake is almost 1,000 feet
• If Lake Tahoe were drained into California, it would cover the entire state in 14 inches of water. Texas would be covered in 9 inches of water
• The Lake never freezes because of its enormous size and the temperature below 600 feet remains constant at 39 degrees
• An average of 1,400,000 gallons of water evaporates off the Lake every 24 hours (which is only 1/10 of an inch)
• By law, the Lake cannot exceed 6,229 feet in elevation. The Truckee River outlet is used to drain the Lake when this occurs and is the ONLY outlet to the Lake
• The Lake is so clear that you can see a white dinner plate 75 feet down
• There are more ski lifts in the Lake Tahoe Basin than in the entire state of Colorado.  Visit Pick Your Peak to learn more about the Ski Resorts in Lake Tahoe!

If you are interested in buying or selling Tahoe real estate, I know a couple of excellent agents who share my business philosophy and ethics that I would be happy to refer you to.  Feel free to reach out to me if you would like their contact information.

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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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.

 

 

 


Marin County Schools Still Rocking It!

Marin County Schools Performance Map - We rock! - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Marin County School Scores from www.schoolperformancemaps.com – Love all the blue pins!

Test results released yesterday demonstrated that Marin students continued to outperform the state average on the annual standardized exams.  The results do show they didn’t fare quite as well as they did last year, but they are still doing extremely well. Nothing to get alarmed about! The Marin IJ reported today that both the county and state saw decreases in proficiency levels over last year’s totals.

Marin School Scores vs. California Scores At a Glance

73 percent of Marin students were proficient in English, down 2 percent from 2012

• 65 percent of Marin students were proficient in math, down 2 percent from 2012

• 56 percent of California students were proficient in English, down 0.8 percent from 2012

• 51 percent of California students were proficient in math, down 0.3 percent from 2012

• Complete test results for individual schools and districts are available online at http://star.cde.ca.gov.

Click here for detailed information about Marin County Schools. 

Why the dip?

While it appears that the education budget cuts are to blame at the state level, in Marin the new core standards seem to be the culprits. Raquel Rose, assistant superintendent of student programs for the Marin County Office of Education, said Marin students are still scoring high and the slight dip shouldn’t elicit concern. She said teachers are trying to cope with the recent implementation of the Common Core Standards — an initiative meant to increase the quality and consistency of education across the nation with a focus on the knowledge and skills students need for college and the workforce.

To read the Marin IJ in its entirety, please click here.

If you are thinking of moving to Marin with your school age children, I can guide you in your search for the best school district for your family.  Don’t hesitate to contact me at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com.

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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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.


Naked Ladies Spotted In Marin County

"Naked Ladies" in Marin County - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

 

It is a sure sign that summer is drawing to an end when plants known as belladonna lily (in Italian beautiful lady lily), Jersey lily, naked lady or amarillo pop up all around Marin County. Have you noticed them?

I spotted a stunning display of these beautiful ladies in full bloom in a garden in Belvedere this morning and snapped a few pictures to share with you.

According to Wikipedia,  naked ladies, or Amaryllis belladona, are a native of the Western Cape region of South Africa.  Amaryllis is a small genus of flowering bulbs, with two species and the better known of the two is the  Amaryllis belladonna. For many years there was confusion amongst botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, resulting in the common name “amaryllis” being mainly used for cultivars of the genus Hippeastrum, widely sold in the winter months for their ability to bloom indoors. Apparently, the real Amaryllis is actually the belladonna lily or naked lady, also known  in South Africa as March lily due to its propensity to flower around March.

Amaryllis is a bulbous plant, with each bulb being 5–10 cm in diameter. It has several strap-shaped, green leaves, 30–50 cm long and 2–3 cm broad, arranged in two rows. The leaves are produced in the autumn or early spring in warm climates depending on the onset of rain and eventually die down by late spring. The bulb is then dormant until late summer.

IMG_4460 (640x427)From the dry ground in late summer (March in its native habitat and August in USDA zone 7) each bulb produces one or two leafless stems 30–60 cm tall, each of which bears a cluster of 2 to 12 funnel-shaped flowers at their tops.  The usual color is white with crimson veins, but here in Marin County I have only seen pink ones. The common name “naked lady” stems from the plant’s pattern of flowering when the foliage has died down.  They can be very pretty and add a cheerful pop of color to any landscape when mixed with other plants.

The species was introduced into cultivation at the beginning of the eighteenth century. They reproduce slowly either by bulb division or seeds and have gradually naturalized from plantings in urban and suburban areas throughout the lower elevations and coastal areas in much of the West Coast of the USA since these environments mimic their native South African habitat. Hardiness zones.

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Sylvie Zolezzi - www.YourPieceofMarin.com 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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.

 


Thinking of Moving Up To A Larger Home in Marin County? Now Is The Time

Prices are up in Marin County - www.YourPieceofMarin.comAccording to the KCM Crew’s excellent post yesterday on Move Up Buyers, recent studies are showing that fewer investors are purchasing homes while homeowners are taking the lead and grabbing a larger share of the homes changing hands.

Another post by Realty Times takes a close look at the make-up of this homebuyer pool. It points out that, to avoid higher rates that could price them out of the market, but also to bank on their confidence in the recovery, homeowners are moving their real estate investment into a move-up home, a more affordable move-down residence or a move-over property in a better neighborhood.

Seventy five percent of these homeowners are expected to be move up buyers.

Why is now a good time to make that move to a larger home?

Let’s look at KCM’s analysis first, and then at my analysis for Marin County.

KCM took a look at buyers that considered moving up last year but decided to wait instead.

Assume, they argued, these buyers had a home worth $300,000 and were looking at a home for $400,000 (putting 10% down they would get a mortgage of $360,000). By waiting, their house appreciated by 12% over the last year (national average based on the Case Shiller Pricing Index). Their home would now be worth $336,000. But, the $400,000 home would now be worth $448,000 (requiring a mortgage of $403,200, i.e. an additional $43,200).

Here is a table showing what additional monthly cost would be incurred by waiting:

Move-up-buyer chart from KCM -

 

In Marin County, the median sales price in July 2013 was $850,000.  Let’s create our own Marin scenario: Buyers had a home worth $850,000 and were looking at a home for $1,200,000 (putting 10% down they would get a mortgage of $1,080,000.) As they waited, their house appreciated by 12% over the last year and would now be worth $952,000. Meanwhile the $1,200,000 would now be worth $1,446,000, requiring a mortgage of $1,301,400, i.e. an additional $221,400.

Move up buyer in Marin County

The impact on the buyer’s purchasing power over one year in the Marin County example is very significant. If you and your family are thinking of moving up, it may make sense to move now rather than later. Prices are definitely appreciating and interest rates are beginning to rise.

Feel free to contact me with any questions about your particular situation.  I can be reached at 415-505-4789 or 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.

I offer a wide range of real estate solutions for buyers, sellers and investors, attracting 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 highly personalized service and 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.