Marin County Real Estate Market Update – July 2015

In California, this year is shaping up to be one of the best for housing sales since 2006, with sales and price appreciation stronger than anticipated according to the California Association of Realtors. Nationwide there is an uptick in activity from millennial and first time homebuyers. Marin, however, represents a challenging market for first home buyers with average home prices at over $1.3 million and condo prices averaging over $700,000.

This photo posted on Day 15 was the most popular of the collection.
Mt. Tam viewed from Sausalito, CA – Marin County

On a nationwide ranking of Hottest Markets, California dominated the list of hottest markets with nearly half of the 20 areas. The Hotness Index is based on the days on market metric, which follows the length of time for a property to go from actively listed on the Multiple Listing Service, to a closed transaction. San Francisco captured the top spot, with Santa Rosa and Vallejo in the top five in the country.

MARIN COUNTY MARKET SNAPSHOT

Even though the pace of the market has slowed down a little during the summer months, as is typical until Labor Day, the market continues to be as hot the weather.

Inventory in Marin is still the greatest challenge for buyers. The number of single family homes for sale is down over 16% from last year (322 this July compared to 384 in July 2014,) which was already limited compared with previous years. There are only about 1.4 months of inventory based on closed sales; 3-6 months would be considered a normal market. This means that homes that are priced within 5% of market value are moving at a brisk pace and on average homes are closing in 39 days. The number of single family homes in contract is on par with last July’s (244 vs. 245 in July 2014) and the number of single family homes sold is a bit higher at 230 compared to 219 in July 2014. Houses that appeal to a larger buyer pool and have some of the more sought after features such as a flat yard and a close to town location, and are newly constructed or remodeled and in a staged or turn-key condition are generally going into contract within the first 1-2 weeks.

Jul15-MarinTotalMktSnapshot.indd

HOME SALES BY AREA

Five homes sold in July in Belvedere, which is notable compared to none the previous month. Corte Madera, Fairfax, San Rafael, Sausalito, and West Marin also had increased sales.

Jul15-MarinSoldbyArea.indd

HOMES IN CONTRACT

July’s percentage of homes in contract in Marin County decreased slightly month-over-month. Corte Madera took the top position in July for the most homes in contract at 64%, an 8.5% increase month-over-month. Despite the slight decrease county wide , the percentage of homes in contract grew substantially in Ross with an increase of 82.6% in July.

Jul15-MarinContractbyArea

AVERAGE SALE PRICE

The average sale price of homes sold in Marin County decreased very slightly month-over-month remaining around $1,350,000. The average list price in Marin County decreased during the month of July, bringing the average down to about $2,000,000.

Jul15-AverageListed-SoldPrice

MARIN MARKET BY PRICE POINT

Overall, July saw a decrease of active listings in Marin County, although there was a jump in active listings throughout the higher-end price categories, $4,000,000 plus. The most significant increase in active listings took place in the $5m-$7m and $7m-$10m ranges.

Jul15-MarinSoldbyPricePoint.indd

NUMBER OF HOMES LISTED AND SOLD

The number of single-family homes sold in Marin only increased by five homes throughout the month of July while the number of active homes for sale decreased by about 17 homes, resulting in comparatively stable activity over the past 4 months.

Jul15-MarinNumberForSale-Sold

If you are a buyer, don’t get discouraged by the limited supply of homes. If you are a seller, even though a number of families are still away on vacation, summer is almost over and if your home is priced correctly and well presented, it will appeal to one or more of the many frustrated buyers looking to purchase a home in Marin County. If you are ready to sell, let’s strategize on how to prepare and price your home for maximum returns.

Contact me with any of your real estate questions. I will be happy to assist you with all of your real estate needs.

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White glove service - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziAbout the Author: The above Marin County Real Estate Market Update for July 2015was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. I am an award-winning top-producing Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I offer a wide range of innovative and comprehensive 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 unparalleled  exposure to my clients’ properties locally and worldwide.

I would welcome the opportunity to show you how I consistently get outstanding Real Estate results for my clients. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789. 

 

 


Design Friday – Why Black is …the New Black

Decorate with black! Black is confident and self-assured, chic and mysterious, yet most of all, black is beautiful. Black infuses moody elegance into any space and painting your walls black will add a lot of drama to your interior.

Decorate with black

Photo courtesy of Piccsy.com

I love this new trend of dark and moody interiors with dark walls, predominantly the blacks and really dark blues, greens and charcoals. Talking about charcoal you can find some inspiration here if you are trying to come up with the best shades of grey for your home. Worried that it may be gloomy or depressing? Black walls make Colorful Art and furnishings pop as the eye is more easily drawn to the brighter colors against the dark background and the rooms look anything but dark.

I totally agree with this great article from OneKindDesign. If you have committed to giving your home a face lift, they write, then you have to get rid of your white walls: an inexpensive way to enhance the appearance of your home. I would add, inexpensive and pretty safe. If you don’t like the way it turns out, you can repaint over it!

Granted, channeling this darkness in your home may seem like a bold task. A client of mine wanted to decorate with black and start with just one small project. She just painted her fireplace black to give her living room a quick face lift and it looked amazing! I am seeing more and more homes in Marin County with black–or very dark–walls. Start with just one accent wall, as pictured below, or with a small space, like a half bath or Powder Room.

Decorate with black

Doesn’t this kitchen look really elegant with the black and white contrast? For additional photos and plenty of inspiration, head over to my Dark Interiors Board on Pinterest.

Here are two home offices with black walls that have a lot of character and a huge personality. Can you picture yourself sitting in one of them? I personally LOVE the second one with the Fornasetti wallpaper.

Decorate with black Decorate with black

If you are thinking of selling your home, painting a few walls black may be an easy way to add a very stylish edge to your home and increase its value without breaking the bank. Let’s strategize on how to best prepare and price your home for maximum returns. If it’s time to buy, let me know so I can give you the inside scoop on each neighborhood that may be right for you.

In any case, thanks for stopping by, I hope my Design Friday posts will inspire you to decorate with black, create an interior that you love, improve the aesthetic quality of your life and increase the value of your home.

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About the Author: The above interior design information was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. 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 innovative and comprehensive 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 would welcome the opportunity to show you how I consistently get outstanding Real Estate results for my clients. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789. 


How “Smart” is Your Home?

Updated on May 13, 2016

How "Smart" is Your Home?The idea of a smart home might make you think of George Jetson and his futuristic abode, but smart homes and home automation are becoming more and more common. Today’s consumers are not only interested in what smart home tech has to offer them—it also influences their home buying journey as they are starting to include it in their “must have” lists. A 2015 Real Estate Survey affirmed that 81 percent of Americans would be more likely to purchase a home with smart home technology installed. According to the survey, 33 percent of agents said homes with smart tech sold faster than those without.

Even if you are not currently thinking of putting your home on the market, you may want to look into these “smart” technology features to make your life easier, more convenient, to go greener, control energy costs and increase safety. When you are ready to sell down the road, you will love the added benefit of the noticeable boost in your home’s value to catch the eye of discerning home buyers. 

 

WHAT DOES SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY LOOK LIKE TODAY?

How "smart" is your home?

All of the electronics in your home are fair game for this tech revolution, from your coffee maker to your furnace. It is called the Internet of Things. It is a phrase that refers to objects that are interconnected and identifiable through digital networks.

Any device in your home that uses electricity can be put on your home network and at your command. Whether you give that command by voice, remote control, tablet or smartphone, the home reacts.

One of the common uses of home automation is scheduling. Is that east-facing window letting in too much sun in the morning? Plug your motorized blinds into a “smart” outlet and program it to close at 8:00 am each day.

Do you have a cleaning person coming at the same time every week? You can program your home automation system to unlock the front door for them, and lock it up again when they’re done. With products such as the August Smart Lock you can turn your smartphone into a smart key.  Here is how it works and how you can use it:

The other main utilization of cutting-edge home automation is remote monitoring and access. For example, you can tie your furnace and AC unit into a digital thermostat that you can control with your smartphone or tablet to save on heating/cooling costs,. This lets you set the temperature when you’re away and also check in (like on extremely hot or cold days) to make sure these units are keeping your home at the temperature you’ve set.

You can automate your lights using smart plugs, which will allow you to turn your lights on and off directly from your phone. Monitoring apps can provide a wealth of information about your home, from the status of the current moment to a detailed history of what has happened up to now. You can check your security system’s status, whether the lights are on, whether the doors are locked, the garage door is closed, what the current temperature of your home is and much more. With cameras as part of your home automation system, you can even pull up real-time video feeds and literally see what’s going on in your home while you’re away.

A couple of commonly used smart home products you may have in your home:

The Nest Learning Thermostat is very popular: it remembers the temperatures you like and switches to an energy-efficient setting when you’re away. Wi-Fi connectivity lets you make adjustments from your mobile phone, tablet or laptop.

How "smart" is your home?

Biometric locks: a biometric lock uses an optical or thermal scanner to read and memorize your fingerprint (and the fingerprints of other authorized users who you decide should have access to your home.)

Just this week I saw a very cool “smart” feature in a Tiburon home remodeled in 2011 by acclaimed designer John Wheatman. It is “smart glass” which turns from opaque for privacy to clear and back to opaque at the flip of a switch. On the picture you can enjoy the view of the beautiful back yard in the guest bathroom; flip the switch and you have total privacy. Very cool!

 

WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR “SMART ” HOME TECHNOLOGY FEATURES?

First and foremost today’s tech-savvy consumer wants to be able to control the smart features through their smartphones.

According to the Cartus survey, the most popular type of smart home technology that people already own is smart entertainment, such as smart TVs and speaker systems (44 percent of people with smart home technology).

With respect to other smart home technology, the appetite for smart home technology varies by generation: millennials (45%) are five times more likely to want smart home technology than are their Boomer counterparts, at 8%.

However older generations are adopting certain types of smart home technology faster than younger ones. For instance, 40 percent of the over-65 crowd who own smart home products currently have smart temperature products, compared to only 25 percent of Millennials (ages 18 to 34).

Regardless of age, when asked about the types of pre-installed smart home technology that would be most appealing if they were buying a home, most Americans said security (65 percent.). The concept of using smart home tech to check the refrigerator or to order coffee does not resonate with every homeowner, but the one thing most homeowners seem to agree on is that they want to feel safer in their homes. Devices for home monitoring via cameras and sensors have the highest appeal.to homeowners who are looking to have peace of mind, allowing them to keep an eye on their homes wherever they are, and even control lights or music to make it appear as though someone is home.

The added benefit of  smart home security systems is that the discount many insurance companies offer whether the system is  professionally monitored or self-monitored can cover most or all the cost of  the service.

 

HOW “SMART” IS YOUR HOME?

How "smart" is your home?How many of these “smart” features does your home need to have to qualify as a “smart” home? According to the  Cartus survey, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans think that having just one category of smart technology in your home isn’t enough for it to be considered “smart”.  As discussed above, the most common elements include the following:

  • Security (e.g., locks and alarm systems)
  • Temperature control (e.g., thermostats and fans)
  • Lighting (e.g., light bulbs and lighting systems)
  • Safety (e.g., fire/carbon monoxide detectors and nightlights)
  • “Smart appliances” (e.g., smart refrigerators, washers, and dryers)
  • Entertainment (e.g., smart TVs and speaker systems)

If you are hesitant about taking the plunge, remember that you don’t have to make a major investment to install all these features at once and you can go about the process one step at a time. And once you get started, you won’t want to look back. Seventy (70) percent of respondents who currently have smart home technology said buying their first smart home product made them more likely to buy another one.

Where to start? If you are going to make one major investment in home automation, lighting and security rank among the most appealing features for home buyers as mentioned above.

THE FUTURE OF “SMART” HOME TECHNOLOGY

What does your future “smart” home look like  and how soon will a fully connected home be a reality? While technology is changing every day, “the biggest hurdle to the continued growth of smart home and the Internet of Things is lack of consumer trust,” according TRUSTe CEO Chris Babel. “Smart home technology provides many benefits, but consumers must feel that they have some control over the personal data collected through these connected devices.”  In addition to the data safety issue, in order for the smart home revolution to really take off, consumers need to see how it could transform their lives and whether the investment is worth it.

Additionally, the issue in the past has been that manufacturers have produced a wide variety of “smart” devices full of innovative features but few of which offered the kind of integration needed to be part of a complete home automation system. Most companies were focused on building their own proprietary technology rather than joining forces to allow products from other companies to “talk” to each other, like a Samsung refrigerator talking to your LG TV. So while you may have had a “smart” TV, washing machine, refrigerator, thermostat, coffee maker or any of the other Internet-ready household devices on the market, the end result is usually a separate control scheme for each device.How "smart" is your home?

Change is afoot however and in the next three years we should see some products that are truly useful, time saving, engaging and exciting. The early experiments are just about complete and both consumers and manufacturers are starting to understand what brings value, what is engaging and what is worth purchasing…. According to technology experts, IoT [Internet of Thing] devices are coming into their own, even though they have been here for many years, they are really starting to have a deeper level of integration and a higher level of usefulness than they have previously.

Here in Marin, I see more and more “smart home” features, especially in down-to-the-studs remodels or new construction in the high end of the market–$2 million and up. It is hard to tell how much these smart features add to the value of a property, but they are becoming one of the expected luxury features in our high end market.

Meanwhile, if you are curious about how “smart” your home is, take this quiz.

 

Additional Valuable “Smart” Home Information:

Does Home Automation Affect Your Home’s Value? by Anita Clark

Smart Home Features that Can Improve the Value of Your home by Paul Sian

Top Home Features that Today’s Home Buyers Want by Kyle Hiscock

U.S. Home Owners are Making the Move to “Smart Technology” by Patrick Lewis

What’s The Definition of a Smart Home? via Inman News

Smart appliances to consider via In The Nation

 


 

White glove service - www.YourPieceofMarin.com by Sylvie ZolezziAbout the Author: The above article “How “Smart” is Your Home?” was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. 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 innovative and comprehensive 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 would welcome the opportunity to show you how I consistently get outstanding Real Estate results for my clients. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789.