Discover the Ferry Boats of the San Francisco Bay on Saturday, November 23, 2013

Are you a history buff?  Interested in the history of the San Francisco Bay and Marin County? Then, you won’t want to miss the Marin History Museum upcoming lecture presented by Paul Trimble on the Ferry Boats of the San Francisco Bay.  I have heard him speak before and he is a wonderful and very passionate presenter.  Don’t have a reservation? Not to worry, reservations are not required.

Lecture on Ferries of the San Francisco Bay - posted on www.YourPieceofMarin.com

Paul Trimble has had a lifelong interest in the railroads and the history they follow. Historically, the railroads with rare exception connected with or outright owned the ferry boats which once served San Francisco Bay. Trimble’s interest not only includes the ferry system, and he has built over the years an extensive photo collection and personal library on the subject, some of which will be on display on November 23.

WHEN: Saturday, November 23, 2013 2:30-4:00pm

WHERE: Elks Lodge, 1312 Mission Avenue, San Rafael 94901 (next to the Boyd Gate House)

ADMISSION: Suggested donation $5

 QUESTIONS: (415) 454-8538 marcie@marinhistory.org

 I hope to see you there!

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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.


Marin County Real Estate Market Update – October 2013

Prices are up in Marin County - www.YourPieceofMarin.comDid you know that last month was the 20th consecutive month in which California’s median sale price rose year-over-year, and the 11th straight month with a gain exceeding 20 percent.The median price paid for a home in California in October was $357,000, up 0.6 percent from $355,000 in September and up 25.3 percent from $285,000 in October 2012.

Putting it all in perspective…in March/April/May 2007 the median peaked at $484,000. The post-peak trough was $221,000 in April 2009.

The Bay Area market is also experiencing double digit value appreciation as it continues to stand out nationally as a leader in many key indicators of regional, global and national competitiveness.  Our economy is booming and our Bay Area real estate market is reflecting the recent inflow of money and creation of high paying jobs, with one of the greatest value appreciation nationally.

Marin County is riding on this wave to a great extent.  Let’s take a behind the scenes look at the Bay Area market before we focus on the Marin Market.

Bay Area Market Update

According to DataQuick, a San Diego based real estate information service, the Bay Area Housing Market continued its fits-and-starts march toward normalcy in October with ho-hum sales counts and continued price appreciation. “At different times in recent years we’ve had various peaks or troughs when it comes to sales volume, prices, foreclosure activity, cash sales, absentee-owner sales, various home loan options, you name it. All of these market components are now trending toward normal. We are still a ways away, but the market is slowly re-establishing equilibrium,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

While average and median prices have gone up significantly this past year, a closer look at the market tells the real story about value increases. The median price paid for a home in the Bay Area last month was $539,750. That was up 1.8 percent from $530,000 in September, and up 29.7 percent from $416,000 in October 2012.  Or was it?

It appears that only roughly three-fourths of last month’s 29.7 percent year-over-year rise is the result of an increase in home values, according to Dataquick. The rest reflects a change in market mix – more mid- to high-end sales and fewer low-cost inland distressed sales. The combination of foreclosure sales and “short sales” made up about 14 percent of the resale market, down from about 35 percent a year ago.  The number of homes sold for less than $500,000 dropped 26.4 percent year-over-year, while the number sold for more increased 15.9 percent, DataQuick reported.

Where do we stand compared to recent peaks and troughs? The peak Bay Area median so far this year was $562,000 in July – the highest for any month since the median was $587,500 in December 2007. The Bay Area’s all-time peak median was $665,000 in June and July 2007, after which it dropped to a low of $290,000 in March 2009.

Dataquick Bay Area Market Update for October 2013 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Marin County Market Update

Here in Marin County, our market continues to suffer from low inventory of homes for sales and high demand from very motivated buyers.  I am still seeing multiple, all cash offers for the best homes. Like in the rest of the Bay Area, value appreciation in Marin has been greatly affected by market mix as we have seen a steep decline in distressed sales and a significant activity level increase in the $1-$2 million price range.

October ended with fewer active homes left on the market as sellers typically hold off listing as we approach the holiday season. Sixteen percent fewer homes were in contract by month’s end. The number sold increased by 14% which was an unexpected boon to sellers. However, the average price on a month to month basis was lower than it has been over the last number of months, 20% less than last month and 27% off of the peak price in 2007.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - Market Snapshot for October 2013 - www.YourPieceofmarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Marin Market by Price Point

The market under $2 million is brisk with only 2 months of inventory. Multiple offers are still the norm for well priced and well presented homes under $2 million. This market accounts for over 90% of the home sales in Marin. No homes sold over $10 million in October. The highest priced sale was for $6,800,000 and was located in Kentfield.  The over $4 million market segment is over saturated with over two years of inventory; it is a buyer’s market in those price points and sales are sporadic.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - October 2013 - Market activity by price point - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Home Sales in Marin by Area

Kentfield and Tiburon had the highest priced sales in October at $6,8000,000 and $5,850,000, respectively. The most affordable homes sold were in Fairfax, Novato, San Anselmo and San Rafael where they ranged from $245,000 to $405,000 for single family homes. Frequently properties in these price points are major fixers or tear-downs at lot value only.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - October 2013 - Home Sales by Area - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Homes in Contract

The most active market was Sausalito with 59% in contract. This is considered a discretionary market as it has not typically been driven by public school selection. The San Rafael area was the second highest at 51%, followed by Fairfax, Kentfield, Corte Madera, and Novato which were all over 40%. The slowest markets continued to be Belvedere and West Marin, both at 9%.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - October 2013 - Percent of Homes in Contract - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Average Sale Price

The active price point for single family homes increased 7% over the last month from $2,420,773 to $2,579,692. The Average Sold Price for single family homes in Marin decreased by 1% from last month.

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

Number of Homes Listed and Sold

The number of Single Family Homes in Marin for sale in October was down 10% compared with last month and down 13% from last year. The closed sales are almost equal to last year’s sales, 225 in 2013 compared to 223 in October 2012. The number of active single family homes available dropped 10% from 450 to 404, while the number sold jumped 14% from 198 to 225 from September to October.

Marin County Real Estate Market Update - October 2013 - Number of Single Family Homes for Sale and Sold - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

Whether you are thinking of selling or buying real estate in Marin County, I am committed to servicing your real estate needs with integrity, determination, passion, dexterity and great enthusiasm.  I would be happy to sit down with you to go over the market data relevant to your particular home, location and market segment and help you determine the current value of your home.  Whether you are thinking of selling right now or in the future, I will advise as to the pros and cons of listing your home during the Holiday Season and how to prepare your home for sale.

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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.


What You Need to Know about the New California State Smoke Detectors Specifications

Example of a 10-year alarm
Example of a 10-year alarm

Following several other states that mandate alarms with lithium or “long life” batteries that can go a decade before they need to be replaced, California has passed a new law makes the installation of so-called “10-year smoke alarms” a requirement for California homes and apartments.

National statistics show 94 percent of American households have smoke detectors, but 30 percent of those alarms don’t work. Additionally, most fire fatalities happen in homes that lack working alarms.

Senate Bill 745 (codified as Cal. Health & Safety Code § 13114) will become effective on January 1, 2014.  If you are a California landlord, here is what you need to know to be in compliance.

Starting July 1, 2014, the State Fire Marshall will not approve a battery-operated smoke alarm unless it contains a non-replaceable, non-removable battery capable of powering the smoke alarm for at least 10 years. This rule was originally slated to take effect on January 1, 2014.

Until July 1, 2015, an exception to this rule applies to smoke alarms ordered by, or in the inventory of, an owner, managing agent, contractor, wholesaler, or retailer on or before July 1, 2014.

Furthermore, starting January 1, 2015, the State Fire Marshal will not approve a smoke alarm unless it does all of the following:

(1) displays the date of manufacture on the device;

(2) provides a place on the device to insert the date of installation; and

(3) incorporates a hush feature.

Good news: the requirements taking effect on January 1, 2015 were originally slated to take effect on January 1, 2014…you have a little extra time.

A previous requirement for the smoke alarm to incorporate an end-of-life feature that provides notice that the device needs to be replaced has been eliminated.

Thinking of buying or selling an investment property?  Please contact me 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.

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 scenery 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.

 

 


Brand New Contemporary Craftsman Offered for Sale in Larkspur

 

1 Lark Court, Larkspur, CA - Marin County - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie Zolezzi

1 Lark Court, Larkspur – Living room with disappearing pocket doors leading to backyard

Just listed this week in Larkspur, 1 Lark Court in Larkspur (off Magnolia Avenue) embodies the perfect combination of style, quality and location.   This brand new contemporary craftsman was designed to capture the wonderful marriage of comfort and sleek design.  The home is a piece of art with its use of beautiful cedar siding, smooth taupe-colored stucco and reclaimed wood beams.

1 Lark is the first Cal Green Tier 1 certified home constructed in Larkspur.  Designed to maximize California’s idyllic indoor-outdoor living, the seamless flow is created by way of three sets of 11 foot wide disappearing pocket doors off of the main living areas.

The attention to detail and impeccable design is evident throughout the property.  The floor plan was creatively designed to accommodate all stages of life and those looking for constant harmony between interior and exterior spaces.  From the moment you step foot on the  property, the beautiful and tranquil landscaping highlight the impressive features found throughout this one-of-a-kind home.

Built to the highest degree of quality, the four bedroom, four bath, 2,850 square foot home features highlights including beautiful woodwork, high-end finishes, a family room, living room, 2 laundry rooms, 3 sets of custom 12 feet wide disappearing sliding doors, 10 foot  ceilings and much more. Offered for sale at $2,750,000.

For more photos, please click here.

Contact me to schedule a showing 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.

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.

 


10 Tips to Winterize your Marin County Home

bigstock-Man-Cleaning-Gutters-9331940 (300x200)Some of you may argue that we don’t experience a real winter in Marin County, but taking a few steps now to prepare your home for Old Man Winter will bring you peace of mind and prevent potential trouble when we finally get rain and colder temperatures.

In a recent article, with the help of several experts, MSN Real Estate boiled down your autumn to-do list to 10 easy tips which I have adapted for our mild climate.

1. Clean those gutters:  If you have deciduous trees and/or redwoods close to your home, your roof and gutters are no doubt covered with leaves and needles. While October has been totally dry, rain is forecasted for the next few days, and removing those leaves and any other debris from your gutters with a broom, a trowell or by hand and finally a good hose rinse should be at the top of your to-do list.  Clogged drains can cause water to seep into the house. As you’re hosing out your gutters, look for leaks and misaligned pipes. Also, make sure the downspouts are carrying water away from the house’s foundation and/or basement, where it could cause flooding or other water damage.

bigstock-Man-Caulking-Window-6193157 (2) (300x200)2. Block those air leaks: One of the best ways to winterize your home is to simply block obvious leaks around your house, both inside and out, experts say. The average American home has leaks that amount to a nine-square-foot hole in the wall, according to EarthWorks Group. After your mortgage, your utility bills are your highest home expenses, and a little effort will pay off and save you bundles.

First, find the leaks: On a breezy day, walk around inside holding a lit incense stick or candle to the most common drafty areas: recessed lighting, window and door frames, electrical outlets.

Then, buy door sweeps to close spaces under exterior doors, and caulk or apply tacky rope caulk to those drafty spots, says Danny Lipford, host of the nationally syndicated TV show “Today’s Homeowner.” Outlet gaskets can easily be installed in electrical outlets that share a home’s outer walls, where cold air often enters.

Read more about reducing your energy bill by sealing air leaks.

Outside, seal leaks with weather-resistant caulk. “Even if it’s a small crack, it’s worth sealing up,” Lipford says. “It also discourages any insects from entering your home.”

Talking about pests, I would also highly recommend having someone make sure there are no openings that could allow small animals to gain access to the crawl space under your house.  With the cold weather, they look for warm and dry spots to set up their winter quarters.

3. Insulate yourself:  “Another thing that does cost a little money — but boy, you do get the money back quickly — is adding insulation to the existing insulation in the attic,” says Lipford. “Regardless of the climate conditions you live in, in the (U.S.) you need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic.”

Here’s his rule of thumb on whether you need to add insulation: “If you go into the attic and you can see the ceiling joists you know you don’t have enough, because a ceiling joist is at most 10 or 11 inches.”

bigstock-Senior-Man-Opening-Air-Conditi-34237079 (2) (300x244)4. Check the furnace: First, turn your furnace on now–if you have not already done so–to make sure it’s even working before the coldest weather descends. A strong, odd, short-lasting smell is natural when firing up the furnace in the autumn; simply open windows to dissipate it. But if the smell lasts a long time, shut down the furnace and call a professional.

It’s a good idea to have furnaces cleaned and tuned annually. Costs will often run about $100-$125.

Throughout the winter you should change the furnace filters regularly (check them monthly). A dirty filter impedes air flow, reduces efficiency and could even cause a fire in an extreme case. Toss out the dirty fiberglass filters; reusable electrostatic or electronic filters can be washed.

5. Get your ducts in a row According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a home with central heating can lose up to 60% of its heated air before that air reaches the vents if ductwork is not well-connected and insulated, or if it must travel through unheated spaces. That’s a huge amount of wasted money, not to mention a chilly house. (Check out this audit tool for other ideas on how to save on your energy bills this winter.)

Ducts aren’t always easy to see, but you can often find them exposed in the attic, the basement and crawlspaces. Repair places where pipes are pinched, which impedes flow of heated air to the house, and fix gaps with a metal-backed tape (duct tape actually doesn’t stand up to the job over time).

Ducts also should be vacuumed once every few years, to clean out the abundant dust, animal hair and other gunk that can gather in them and cause respiratory problems.

6. Check your windows: Now, of course, is the time to take down the window screens. If you have old, single-pane glass windows that are leaky or drafty, “[t]hey need to be updated to a more efficient window,” says Lipford.

Of course, windows are pricey. Budget to replace them a few at a time, and in the meantime, make sure you fix any leaks and close spaces that allow cold air in. Heavy window treatments or blinds can help as well.

bigstock-Chimney-2247709 (2) (300x201)7. Don’t forget the chimney:  “A common myth is that a chimney needs to be swept every year,” says Ashley Eldridge, director of education for the Chimney Safety Institute of America. “Not true. But a chimney should at least be inspected before use each year,” he adds. “I’ve seen tennis balls and ducks in chimneys,” he says.

Ask for a Level 1 inspection, in which the professional examines the readily accessible portions of the chimney, Eldridge says. “Most certified chimney sweeps include a Level 1 service with a sweep,” he adds.

Another tip: Buy a protective cap for your chimney, with a screen, advises Eldridge. “It’s probably the single easiest protection” because it keeps out foreign objects (birds, tennis balls) as well as rain that can mix with the ash and eat away at the fireplace’s walls. He advises buying based on durability, not appearance.

One other reminder: To keep out cold air, fireplace owners should keep their chimney’s damper closed when the fireplace isn’t in use. And for the same reason, woodstove owners should have glass doors on their stoves, and keep them closed when the stove isn’t in use.

8. Reverse that fan “Reversing your ceiling fan is a small tip that people don’t often think of,” says Lipford. By reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to recirculate, keeping you more comfortable. (Here’s how you know the fan is ready for winter: As you look up, the blades should be turning clockwise, says Lipford. Read more about lowering your energy costs with your ceiling fans.)

9. Wrap those pipes A burst pipe caused by a winter freeze is a nightmare. Prevent it before Jack Frost sets his grip: Before freezing nights hit, make certain that the water to your hose bibs is shut off inside your house (via a turnoff valve), and that the lines are drained, says Broili. In climes such as ours in Marin, where freezing nights aren’t commonplace, you can install Styrofoam cups with a screw attachment to help insulate spigots, says Broili.

Next, go looking for other pipes that aren’t insulated, or that pass through unheated spaces — pipes that run through crawlspaces, basements or garages. Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores. If you’re really worried about a pipe freezing, you can first wrap it with heating tape, which is basically an electrical cord that emits heat.

10. Finally, check those smoke alarms This is a great time to check the operation — and change the batteries — on your home’s smoke detectors. Detectors should be replaced every 10 years, fire officials say. Test them — older ones in particular — with a small bit of actual smoke, and not just by pressing the “test” button. Check to see that your fire extinguisher is still where it should be, and still works.

Also, invest in a carbon-monoxide detector; every home should have at least one. Read about frequently asked questions about carbon monoxide detectors.

If you need recommendations for professionals who can assist you with any of these tasks, feel free to contact me.

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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.


Marin County’s Most Wanted Home Features

 

460 Ridge, Tiburon - Fleetwood doors allow seemless indoor/outdoor flow
460 Ridge, Tiburon – Fleetwood doors allow seemless indoor/outdoor flow

 

Before we focus on Marin County buyers’ most wanted list, here are the results of a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders I recently ran across in an article in the California Association of Realtors’ Magazine.  The results reveal for the most part a trend not unlike the one we see here in our county:

  • 94% of home buyers want ENERGY STAR-rated appliances (I would add the preference in Marin is still overwhelmingly for stainless steel, very sleek appliances)
  • 93% want a laundry room
  • 91% want an ENERGY STAR rating for the whole home
  • 90% want an exhaust fan in the bathroom (I would add that most people want a quiet fan)
  • 90% want exterior lighting
  • 90% want a bathroom linen closet (I would say I have not noticed a great yearning for a linen closet in the bathroom here, but rather just for a good size linen closet in the home)
  • 89% want ENERGY STAR-rated windows
  • 88% want ceiling fans
  • 86% want garage storage
  • 85% want table space for eating in the kitchen
  • 85% want a walk-in kitchen pantry.

The most wanted list of Marin County buyers is quite a bit longer. Based on freqent feedback I receive from buyers here I would add the following:

  • an open floor plan with a large kitchen and adjoining family room–this has become the heart of the family and where people entertain
  • marble, granite or man made countertops in the kitchen (such as Caesarstone)
  • marble bathrooms
  • space for a home office (whether in an extra bedroom or a den or bonus room)
  • vaulted ceilings
  • a luxurious master bathroom with a stand alone bathtub.  Jet tubs are being phased out
  • a second master bedroom on the main level, or a one level home for baby boomers
  • generously sized walk in closets
  • dark hardwood floors
  • hardscaping including outdoor fireplaces and/or firepits and a built-in BBQ
  • low maintenance/drought tolerant landscaping with increasing use of succulents (this will probably become even more of a trend in the next couple of years as it is looking like we we will probably suffer from a drought)
  • swimming pools
  • skylights to bring in extra light for hill side homes
  • a formal dining and living room – often viewed as non essential by the younger generation of buyers, but still prized by many buyers even though their use is declicing.  Kitchens and family rooms are growing larger while “formal” living and dining rooms are shrinking in size.

In the high end Marin homes ($2 million and up), the following features appear on many affluent buyers’ most wanted list:

  • a media/movie room
  • a wine cellar
  • bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms
  • a fireplace in the master bedroom
  • use of cutting edge technology (such as the Savant smart system operated by wall mounted Ipad found in one of the most expensive home sold in the past year at 460 Ridge Road in Tiburon.
  • fully retractable doors that “disappear” to create a seamless indoor/outdoor flow
  • resort like pools with pool house
  • a three or four car garage

If you are thinking of building a new home, or remodeling your Marin County home, feel free to contact me.  I would be happy to discuss your options and recommend top-notch professionals to assist you in the process, from architects to contractors and landscape designers.  Call or text me at 415-505-4789 or email me at 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.

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.