Your February Home Maintenance Checklist

 

This is the season where typically we spend most of our time indoors, enjoying the fruit of our home-maintenance labor and a toasty, energy efficient home. Our weather has been unusually warm this month in Marin County, and it has felt like spring (even almost summer certain days.) but we should not slack off on our home maintenance. Let’s make the best of this time to thoroughly clean and care for our home’s interior.

cleaning-refrigerator-coils-8 - photo  courtesy of www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com

FEBRUARY CHECKLIST

  • Clean your refrigerator: Empty out all the food, clean and reorganize; clean the coils to make sure your refrigerator works as efficiently as possible. Watch a short video on how to clean your refrigerator coils by clicking here.
  • Clean your pantry: Discard old/expired products and re-organize. 
  • Clean your curtains: Vacuum and clean (launder or dry clean if necessary) all your curtains
  • Clean your window blinds: Dust and thoroughly clean
  • Check for leaks in the kitchen: check under sink, garbage disposal and dishwasher
  • Test and reset all ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles
  • Check all extension cords
  • Update your earthquake emergency kit (or get one if you don’t have one already): Replace batteries and any goods /prescription drugs that have expired.
  • Check Crawlspace Vents: This is mating season for many of the wildlife species that live near our homes, they are actively looking for warm nests. Even if you did this in January, walk around your home’s exterior and check the crawl space vents located at the foundation. Close any that are open to keep critters from coming in.

Click here for the January Home Maintenance Checklist.

 

If you are thinking of selling your home this spring or later in the year, feel free to contact me so that I may recommend additional steps to ensure your home is in prime condition when you put it on the market.

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White glove service - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziAbout 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 empowers me to leverage the unique combination of Sotheby’s global resources, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty’s growing market share and local knowledge with my unmatched social media networks to provide highly personalized service and unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I service all of Marin County’s beautiful towns: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur,Greenbrae, Kentfield,Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato, with a special focus on Central Marin.

 


Marin County Real Estate Market Update – January 2015

2014 will be remembered as the warmest year on record in California, and for an equally hot real estate market. Marin County’s Average Single Family Home Prices jumped 15 percent in 2014 and exceeded the peak pricing of 2007 by 1 percent, returning equity to Marin homeowners.  The lack of inventory was the main complaint throughout the year. On the positive side, interest rates defied predictions and reached incredible lows. For a full analysis of last year’s market community by community, read my 2014 MARIN COUNTY MARKET REPORT by clicking here.

8 Crest Road, Belvedere, CA
8 Crest Road, Belvedere, CA – Listed by Bill Bullock and Lydia Sarkissian, Decker Bullock Sotheby’ International Realty.

On the heels of what may have been the most successful year ever with respect to Bay Area real estate, the forecast for 2015 remains much the same, according to most economic forecasters as gasoline prices remain low, the stock market is up despite a dismal start in 2015, job creation remains robust — all favorable conditions translating to more disposable income and greater confidence in the markets overall. And indeed the Consumer Confidence Index rose sharply in January to 112.9, up from 93.1 in December and is now at its highest level since August 2007. The American economy is stronger than it has been in more than a decade, while demand for good homes is still outpacing available inventory by a great margin.

The Bay Area, and Marin County, enjoyed an exceptionally strong recovery, much of it driven by abundant tech and IPO dollars, a well-educated and growing professional population, a moderate climate year round, and the inability to easily expand the number of housing units within our borders.  Marin County was ranked the 8th wealthiest County in the U.S. Marin County in 2014.

This is excellent news for Bay Area sellers, tougher news for buyers. Navigating this challenging market requires more than ever a pro-active approach that includes pre-approval with a local lender, good knowledge and vigilant tracking of your identified target communities, quick decision making, pre-inspections when  possible and early alignment with a successful neighborhood specialist who can show you off-MLS properties.

In addition to the inventory shortage, the only dark cloud is a possible rise in interest rates, which could affect affordability negatively. As mentioned above, it had been predicted for 2014, but never materialized and I am finding that many buyers are taking today’s incredibly low rates for granted. It appears inevitable this year and our sources indicate it might occur late Spring or early Summer.

MARIN COUNTY MARKET SNAPSHOT

CoreLogic®’s  DataQuick, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider, released its January 2015 San Francisco Bay Area Housing Report a few days ago. According to DataQuick, “January home sales dropped sharply month over month, which is normal for the season, and dipped year over year to the lowest level for a January in seven years. The median price paid for a home in January also declined sharply month over month – another seasonal norm – but it rose 9 percent from a year earlier, marking the 34th straight month with a year-over-year price gain.”

According to data I collected from Bay Area Real Estate Information Services’ TrendGraphix, Marin County followed the same trend: the Marin median home price increased moderately by 6 percent year over year from $818,000 to $823,000 and sales dropped 23.3 percent from 146 to 112. The number of homes available for sale decreased by 11.8 percent year over year, from 288 to 254. The largest drop was in the number of new listings at a whopping 35 percent, from 237 new listings in January 2014 to only 154 in January 2015.

My take on the state of our market is as follows:

1. The average price per square foot, which remained practically unchanged ($568 in January 2014 vs. $569 in January 2015,) indicates that the market is actually quite stable. Early indicators for 2015 show a continued but slowing price appreciation in a stabilizing market. And slower price appreciation will set the stage for a buying surge in 2015 because buyers need the right combination of steady income, decent savings, low interest rates and reasonable home prices to jump into the market. The increase in the median price may be reflecting the mix of homes sold (we are continuing to see more activity in the high end market and fewer foreclosures/short sales) more than an actual increase in home values.

2.Despite the drop in sales year over year, our market is still red hot.  January sales reflect activity from last December. To get the pulse of the market now, let’s look at the number of pended properties (i.e. properties that went in contract) in January: it remained practically unchanged year over year at 168 in January 2015 vs. 175 in January 2014 despite the fact that the supply of homes for sale is much lower this year. This is an undeniable sign that the pent-up demand for Marin County homes has not been satiated. Furthermore, new listings in key markets continued to receive multiple offers from eager buyers.

With prices going up and demand not showing any sign of abating, why is inventory remaining so acutely low? The shortage of  inventory is feeding on itself as one of the main reason sellers hesitate putting their home on the market is their fear of not being able to find a replacement property when their property sells.  The 25% increase in rents makes the situation worse.  Working with a savvy agent who can guide and advise you on the best strategy can pay huge dividends: he/she can help you identify ways to mitigate risks and navigate this challenging market

As spring approaches, everyone is hoping for a healthy increase in inventory.  As is typically the case in February, a number of sellers have started preparing their properties, cleaning and de-cluttering, staging  and landscaping before the high season begins in March, with the three busiest months being April, May and June.

 

Total Market Snapshot - Marin County, CA - single family home market update for January 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

HOME SALES BY AREA

Sales volume was low across the board for the month of January, which can be attributed to the slim inventory. Typical 2014 sales volume frontrunners like Fairfax, San Rafael, Mill Valley and Novato saw very low sales for January.

Single Family Home Sales by Area for Marin County, CA - January 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

HOMES IN CONTRACT

The Twin Cities continue to show their desirability despite the low inventory with 67% of Corte Madera and 83% of Larkspur single family homes in contract. Early indicators for February show signs of an increasing inventory across all Marin areas.

Percentage of Single Family Homes in Contract - Marin County, CA - January 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

MARIN MARKET BY PRICE POINT

The Marin Market continued its trend of sustainable, healthy growth for the month of January, with the over one million market continuing to improve. While just over half of the activity (51.76 percent of homes sold) was in the under $1 million price range, the $1-2 million market segment also saw a lot of activity and made up 36.47  percent of the sales in January, compared to 26.12 percent last year.

Talking about luxury markets, Sotheby’s International Realty partnered with Wealth-X to publish The Global Luxury Residential Real Estate Report, which provides valuable insight into the landscape of today’s high-end market and paints a picture of those buying and selling, what motivates them and their destinations of interest. We hope what you read in this report inspires you to look at real estate in a new way, and serves to provide valuable perspective on the Bay Area luxury. You can view the Luxury Real Estate Report online at http://sfmar.in/wealth-x.

Marin County, CA Market by Price Point - Single Family Homes - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

AVERAGE SALES PRICE

The Average List Price increased slightly month-over-month with the average sold price also rising.

Average Sales Price for Single Family Homes - Marin County, CA - January 2015 - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

NUMBER OF HOMES LISTES AND SOLD

The number of Single Family Homes in Marin for sale in January 2015 increased month-over-month but sales were down. Based on the combination of a solid number of pended properties (as indicated above) in January and the new inventory entries receiving excellent buyer traffic throughout January, I am optimistic about the number of sales picking up this spring.  Let’s hope we’ll have more inventory!

Number of Single Family Homes Listed and Sold - Marin County, CA - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

 

Whether you are thinking of buying or selling this spring, or need some advice about the best return on remodeling projects in your home, feel free to contact me. I’d love to help!

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About the Author: The above Marin County Real Estate Market Update for January 2015 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 empowers me to leverage the unique combination of Sotheby’s global resources, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty’s growing market share and local knowledge with my unmatched social media networks to provide highly personalized service and unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I service all of Marin County’s beautiful towns: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur,Greenbrae, KentfieldRoss, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato, with a special focus on Central Marin.


Romance at Sushi Ran in Sausalito, CA

Whether you celebrated on February 14th or not isn’t important. Valentine’s Day comes and goes every year, the roses wilt but the gift of love, for it is a most precious gift, remains and should be celebrated at any time. And the great restaurants we have in Marin County are open all year!

The best sushi in the Bay Area at Sushi Ran in Sausalito, CA - www.YourPieceofMarin.com

My husband and I are not big fans of Valentine’s Day. This year, however, we decided to splurge on a nice dinner.  When asked where I wanted to go, I responded “Sushi Ran” without hesitation.  Since we had no reservations, we made sure to arrive at 4:45 pm, fifteen minutes before opening time, and were elated to score two seats at the Sushi bar.

As always, every single bite was a feast for all senses…the artistic presentation a treat for the eyes and the subtle flavors and textures a melt-in-your-mouth delight.  Service was absolutely impeccable.

The restaurant filled very quickly under owner Yoshi’s watchful eye and we enjoyed one of the best and most romantic dinners we’ve had in Marin in a long time.  I highly recommend it.

For more photos, please :CLICK HERE.

And if you are romancing the idea of buying or selling Marin County real estate, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.

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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 empowers me to leverage the unique combination of Sotheby’s global resources, Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty’s growing market share and local knowledge with my unmatched social media networks to provide highly personalized service and unmatched exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I service all of Marin County’s beautiful towns: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur,Greenbrae, Kentfield,Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato, with a special focus on Central Marin.