Marin County Real Estate Blog

Thinking of Selling? You Should Act NOW!

Thinking of Selling? You Should Act NOW! | MyKCM

If you thought about selling your house this year, now more than ever may be the time to do it! The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, recently commented:

“Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.”

Yun goes on to say:

"Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it's clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions."

...

Buying vs. Renting: Which Is Right for You?

Deciding Whether to Buy or Rent When Choosing a HomeBuying a home is exciting, but when you have been renting for a long time it can also come with some unexpected feelings and changes. It is important to know what those will be before making the switch, so the transition from one to the other can be as seamless as possible. This will not guarantee there won't be any issues that come up, but it will help make things more comfortable.

Anyone who has been renting for a long time is used to that particular way of life, and it is different from buying in several ways. Considering how they feel about those ways will help them decide if they want to continue renting for longer, or if they would prefer to make the choice to buy and have a house of their own.

There Will Be Added Responsibilities

When someone rents and a pipe bursts, they call the landlord. The same is true for a water heater that quits working, or an electrical outlet or appliance that doesn't function properly. It can be nice to just call someone up when something breaks and not have to pay to have it fixed. That's easy to get used to, but it is not the reality when you own a home. Shifting from renting to buying means you no longer have that personal handyman to correct problems for free, and paying for anything that breaks is no longer someone else's responsibility, which is also something that homeowners should consider when they're choosing whether to ...

Homeowners: Your Home Must Be Sold TWICE

Homeowners: Your Home Must Be Sold TWICE | MyKCM

In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 5%+ over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.

If prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth, as compared to an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home.

Bill Banfield, VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges anyone looking to buy or sell in today’s market to remember the impact of this challenge:

“While a 1 or 2 percent...

8 Things You Must Have to Show Your Home

Home Showing Tips to Better Sell Your HomeWhen you show your home for sale, there are several things that go into the sale. Your home showing will run much more smoothly if you take the time to make sure these elements are in order. Here's what to do.

Home Information

Anyone who comes to visit a home is likely to ask a lot of questions about the property. The seller will not be there, so the burden is there to have all the relevant details available for the buyer’s agent to answer. If possible, include this information in writing for easy reference, including square footage and data about improvements to the home and property over time.

Equipment Documentation

Just like the structure of the home, buyers want to know all about the equipment and systems. A house full of old technology might be less enticing than a home with relatively recent upgrades. Gather information about appliances and their upkeep, where applicable. Be sure to include heating, air conditioning, water heater and water softener, if one is present.

Cleaning Station

No matter how clean the home is when you list it, sellers will have to do spot-checks right before a showing. Create a cleaning station with everything necessary to go from one room to the next. Make sure that the system in use, be it a rolling cart, tub or caddy, is easily portable...

How to Paint a Room: Tips for Painting Interior Walls

Different Methods of How to Paint a RoomWhether fixing up a home in preparation to sell or personalizing one that was just purchased, a fresh coat of paint can bring your Bolinas home together and give it a new look. Here’s a glimpse at what it takes to get the job done on a standard interior wall.

The Paint

All paint is not created equally. One gallon of paint can range from $10 to $120, depending on the brand and finish. Fortunately, a high price tag doesn’t mean a paint is the highest quality. A $30 paint can work just as well, if not better, than the expensive stuff.

Aside from price, one important factor to consider when buying paint is the type. For the average wall in a bedroom or living room, an eggshell finish is always reliable, but there are other finishes to consider as well. There’s also the decision between oil and latex paints. 

Lastly, for most interior walls, getting a paint with the primer already mixed in will save time. These paints may be more expensive than the ones without primer, but they can result in fewer coats, which means fewer gallons to buy.

Prep Work

Now that the...

Be Thankful You Don't Have to Pay Mom and Dad's Interest Rate

e Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Mom and Dad’s Interest Rate | MyK

Interest rates have hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, which has given many buyers relief from rising home prices and has helped with affordability. Experts predict that rates will increase by the end of 2017 and will be about three-quarters of a percentage point higher, at 4.5%, by the end of 2018.

Last week’s Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey revealed that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have fallen to their lowest mark this year, at 3.88%. This is great news for homebuyers looking to purchase and homeowners looking to refinance.

The rate you secure greatly impacts your monthly mortgage payment and the amount you will ultimately pay for your home.

Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.

e Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Mom and Dad’s Interest Rate | MyK...

NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell!

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now continues to be a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.

REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX

Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that home-buying demand continued to outpace supply in May.

The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger the demand is there).

NAR Data Shows Now Is a Great Time to Sell! | MyKCM

In addition to revealing high demand, the index also mentioned that “compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 24 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in D.C and West Virginia.

Takeaway: Demand...

San Anselmo Downtown. Creekside Pizza and Taproom!

Pat Townsley and Janet Abrahamson are set to open Creekside Pizza & Taproom  at 638 San Anselmo Avenue sometime in August. The location, formerly occupied by the much-loved LoCoco's Pizzeria, has seen a couple of short-lived restaurant efforts come and go since Filippo LoCoco retired several years ago, but nothing that inspired the same customer loyalty.  Partners Pat and Janet mean to change that. Both bring a wide variety of experience to the effort--- management of bars, restaurants, clubs, catering companies, grocery outlets, and more. They first crossed paths as employees of New George's, and both were looking for a new project when they decided to become partners in realizing their vision for a unique restaurant in the heart of San Anselmo. They have spent months designing and renovating the space to their specifications with beautiful esthetics, up-to-date technology, and even a separate room for group events. 

The copper-covered bar will offer, on-tap, 30 craft beers, 1 cider, 2 kombucha,  5 wines (including 2 red, 2 white, and 1 seasonal), Coffee Roasters coffee, and bottled wines from Skywalker Vineyards. There's even on-tap root beer for kids and non-drinkers! The new menu will feature pizzas, pastas, and more-- . New ovens are currently on order and slated to arrive soon. Both Pat and Janet attended Tony Gemignani's International School of Pizza in San Francisco to bring authentic Italian taste and texture to their pies, which they look forward to serving their customers, starting very soon.

So if you love great food,...

75% of Homeowners Think Now is a Good Time to Sell!

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released the findings of their Q2 Homeownership Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey. The report covers core topics like, “if now is a good time to buy or sell a home, the perception of home price changes, perceived ability to qualify for a mortgage, and [an] outlook on the U.S. economy.”

The survey revealed that 75% of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, compared to 70% last quarter. This is a considerable increase from more than a year ago when 66% agreed.

Even though homeowners believe that now is a good time to sell, many have not taken the step to list their homes, as inventory shortages still exist across the country. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say:

"There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy...

As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth.”

Bottom Line

If you are wondering if now is a good time to sell your house, let’s get together to discuss the opportunities available in our market.

Contact the Gold Country Modern Team, your Amador County real estate connection, for assistance buying or selling a home in the Gold Country.

...

Tips to Help Boost the Appeal of an Older Home

Staging an Old House TipsLiving in an older home has many advantages, including high ceilings, intricate woodwork, and larger lots with more usable outdoor space. But even homeowners who have loved living in an older home will admit that there may be some challenges involved when selling their home in markets filled with newer construction homes. For the owners of older homes who are preparing it for market, the following list of makeover ideas will help boost its appeal, make it more competitive, and get an older home sold faster and for a better price.

Remove overgrown landscaping 

Since many older homes are situated on larger lots than those of newer homes, there may be more bushes, trees, and shrubbery surrounding the home. If this greenery has not been trimmed recently, it can look shaggy and unkempt, damaging the curb appeal of the home. Since many buyers make snap decisions based on their impressions of the exterior of the home – even in desirable real estate markets such as Belvedere – overgrown landscaping may prevent them from wanting to see the inside of the home, potentially costing the seller a sale.

Freshen exterior surfaces 

Once the landscaping has been addressed, owners of older homes will also want to spend some time freshening up the exterior of the home. Some ideas for this might include: 

  • Making sure gutters are clean and any storm debris, dead leaves, and other refuse...

Do You Know How Much Equity You Have in Your Home?

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 91,000 properties regained equity in the first quarter of 2017. This is great news for the country, as 48.2 million of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.

Price Appreciation = Good News for Homeowners

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:

One million borrowers achieved positive equity over the last year, which means risk continues to steadily decline as a result of increasing home prices.”

Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is a great sign for the market in 2017 as well, as he had this to say:

Homeowner equity increased by $766 billion over the last year, the largest increase since Q2 2014. The rising cushion of home equity is one of the main drivers of improved mortgage performance. Since home equity is the largest source of homeowner wealth, the increase in home equity also supports consumer balance sheets, spending and the broader economy.”

This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed?

According to the Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), more homeowners are beginning to realize that they may have more equity than they first thought.

This is only the second time in the survey’s history that the ...

Understanding Capital Gains Taxes and the Home Selling Process

All About Capital Gains Tax for Home SellersWhen selling a home, there is a potential to sell a home for a significant profit compared to the purchase cost. When a seller is able to complete a transaction selling a home and net a sizable profit, what do they do with the grim specter of tax liability now hanging over their head? Here's everything sellers need to know about capital gains, and how sellers can maximize tax deductions in the year a home is sold.

Why Do Home Sellers Face Taxes?

Nearly everything bought and sold in the United States faces some kind of taxation. In business, people are required to pay taxes on the money they get for the products and services they sell, minus the amount of money they spent to create the products. Selling a home makes home owners akin to a short-term business owner. As such, sellers are expected to pay capital gains taxes on the amount of money they received for the sale of the home minus the amount of money paid for it. If the seller received the home as a gift, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will calculate the difference based on the adjusted cost basis or fair market value of the home at the time of the gift.

How Are Capital Gains Taxes Calculated?

The amount of money sellers have to pay in an effective business...

Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment!

According to a recent report by Trulia, “buying is cheaper than renting in 100 of the largest metro areas by an average of 33.1%.” The report may have some people thinking about buying a home instead of signing another lease extension, but does that make sense from a financial perspective?

Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s Chief Economist explains:

“Owning a home is one of the most common ways households build long-term wealth, as it acts like a forced savings account. Instead of paying your landlord, you can pay yourself in the long run through paying down a mortgage on a house.”

The article listed five reasons why owning a home makes financial sense:

  • Mortgage payments can be fixed while rents go up.
  • Equity in your home can be a financial resource later.
  • You can build wealth without paying capital gains.
  • A mortgage can act as a forced savings account.
  • Overall, homeowners can enjoy greater wealth growth than renters. 

Bottom Line

Before you sign another lease, let’s get together and discuss all your options.

Contact the Marin Modern Team, your Marin County real estate connection, for assistance buying or selling a home in Marin County California.

...

FHA Loans: An Informational Guide for Home Buyers

FHA Loans for First-Time Home BuyersShopping for the right home loan can be nearly as important as shopping for the right home. Failing to compare the benefits and limitations of each type of loan option can mean paying unnecessary costs and fees associated with obtaining the home loan as well as higher interest rates over the life of the loan. Since the Federal Housing Administration was created as part of the National Housing Act of 1934, it has provided home loan options for millions of buyers and continues to offer benefits to thousands more each year.  

What is an FHA Home Loan?

FHA home loans are not actually issued by the Federal Housing Administration. Instead, these loans are issued by approved banks and lending institutions and insured by the FHA. If a home owner defaults on their FHA home loan, the Federal Housing Administration pays a claim to the issuing lender. This practice allows lenders to make loans to more borrowers while incurring less risk.

Benefits of Using an FHA Loan

FHA home loan programs can benefit home buyers in a number of ways. Some of the most popular benefits include: 

  • Low or no down payment options, usually no more than 3.5% of the purchase price of the home
  • An ability for buyers with lower credit scores to obtain an FHA loan
  • A stringent appraisal process to ensure the home is in good condition and buyers will not incur...

69% of Home Buyers are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

According to a recent survey conducted by Genworth Financial Inc. at the Annual Mortgage Bankers’ Association Secondary Market Conference, 69% of mortgage professionals say that first-time buyers still believe a 20% down payment is necessary to buy in today’s market.

Nearly 40% of mortgage industry professionals surveyed believe that a lack of knowledge about the home-buying process is keeping potential buyers on the sidelines. Saving for a down payment is often cited as a huge barrier for first-time homebuyers to make the leap into homeownership.

If homeowners believe that they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also believe that they will have to wait years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes.

The greatest source of confusion cited in the survey results centered around down payments. The results are broken down in the chart below:

Rohit Gupta, CEO of Genworth Mortgage Insurance had this to say,

"While first-time homebuyers continue to drive the purchase market, we believe many are staying on the sidelines due to the misconception that a 20 percent down payment is required to secure a mortgage.

There are various low down payment options available today that allow prospective homebuyers to reach their dreams of homeownership sooner. It is crucial that, as an industry, we proactively educate eligible borrowers about solutions that will enable them to buy a home when they're ready.

...

Landscaping Before selling: Is it Worth It?

When to Landscape Before SellingEveryone has heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, no matter how many times it’s said, people will continue to do so, and the phrase rings just as true for home buyers as it does for readers. No matter how beautiful the inside of a home, a buyer’s first impression will most likely be either through photos on an MLS or by visiting the home in person. Seeing an overgrown, unkempt exterior can stop some buyers from ever setting foot inside.

Landscaping doesn’t have to require spending thousands of dollars and dozens of hours of labor, though. Here are a few quick and easy tips to boost a home’s curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Prune Overgrown and Dead Plants

Large bushes have a tendency to grow out of their boundaries and get in the way of sidewalks or push into other plants’ space. Doing a quick prune to bring them back down to size can help open up a space and make it look cleaner. The same goes for other plants that like to sprawl out rather than stay in one designated spot.

Like getting rid of excess branches, don’t be afraid to completely get rid of dead and dying plants. While some plants might be salvageable, dried up flowers and brown shrubs can detract from the parts of the garden that are full of life and color.

Keep it Low Maintenance

Not everyone enjoys gardening or can dedicate multiple hours every week to maintaining vast gardens. Extra chores...

#1 Reason to List Your House for Sale, NOW!

If you are debating listing your house for sale this year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!

Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace the Supply of Homes for Sale

The National Association of REALTORS’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun recently commented on the inventory:

Last month’s dip in closings was somewhat expected given that there was such a strong sales increase in March at 4.2 percent, and new and existing inventory is not keeping up with the fast pace homes are coming off the market.

Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it’s stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase”.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report shows that there is currently a 4.2-month supply of homes for sale. This remains lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market, and 4.6% lower than a year ago.

The chart below details the year-over-year inventory shortages experienced over the last 12 months:

Anything less than a six-month supply is considered a “seller’s market.”

Bottom Line

Let's get together and discuss the supply conditions in your neighborhood to be able to assist you in gaining access to the buyers who are ready, willing and able to buy now!

Contact us for experienced representation when buying or selling...

Home Buying: How to Win a Bidding War

Buying a House Caught in a Bidding WarIn a lot of regions that do not have a cold real estate market, a bidding war may be a common problem. For the best properties, there are many potential buyers. If you can afford a bit more than the minimum and you really want a particular home, these tips will help you get ahead on a bidding war.

Be Sure of the Property

The rush of getting into the game can make it hard to keep control of your head. This means that you really have to be ready to buy the property before you make a bid. Getting into a bidding war means that you will have to do a little more work than you would for a home that has only occasional interest. The seller has many buyers to choose from, but you should remember that there are still plenty of homes in the area. Make sure the home meets your list of needs and at least some of your wants before you proceed.

Be an Ideal Candidate

Sometimes, the lower bid from a more attractive candidate wins. You may not be able to give the sellers everything they are looking for, but you can and should come as close as possible. If you cannot offer to pay in cash, at least show your mortgage pre-approval letter so that they know you have financing secured. Limit the number of contingencies you plan to set, especially if they involve factors (such as minor repairs) that you could probably manage easily on your own. Offer the seller as much flexibility as possible to hopefully earn their favor.

Avoid Bidding Too Low

...

Terra Linda 3/2 Eichler not on MLS Until 5.31.17

Coming Soon at $900,000, this is a wonderful home for your family or excellent investment opportunity. 3 Bed 2 Bath Terra Linda Eichler with Family Room and Two-Car Garage . Great light. Original mahogany paneling. Two-car garage. Close to Scotty's Market, Terra Linda Community Center and Pool; Great for kids! In good, mostly original condition with some upgrades over the years. Move right in, or remodel to your own specifications! Tenant-occupied. Please do not disturb tenants. Please contact Fred Anlyan at Marin Modern for details and information 415-847-0602 or email fred@marinmodern.com

More photos can be seen at http://www.752pennyroyal.com

...

Four Tips for Effectively Making an Offer

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found one! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective. Here are the 4 tips they covered along with some additional information for your consideration:

1. Understand How Much You Can Afford

“While it's not nearly as fun as house hunting, fully understanding your finances is critical in making an offer.”

This ‘tip’ or ‘step’ should really take place before you start your home search process.

As we’ve mentioned before, getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and will allow you to make your offer with the confidence of knowing that you have already been approved for a mortgage for that amount. You will also need to know if you are prepared to make any repairs that may need to be made to the house (ex: new roof, new furnace).

2. Act Fast

“Even though there are fewer investors, the inventory of homes for sale is also low and competition for housing continues to heat up in many parts of the country.”

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of homes...

Current Homes for Sale
Southern Marin
City # Price Range
Belvedere 12 $2.8m - $10.0m
Mill Valley 54 $499k - $9.5m
Sausalito 21 $595k - $9.0m
Tiburon 48 $749k - $10.9m
Central & North Marin
City # Price Range
Corte Madera 7 $799k - $25.0m
Fairfax 19 $579k - $2.6m
Greenbrae 9 $499k - $4.0m
Kentfield 16 $1.4m - $6.4m
Larkspur 10 $800k - $4.5m
Novato 110 $289k - $3.9m
Ross 10 $1.8m - $18.9m
San Anselmo 21 $470k - $3.6m
San Rafael 111 $299k - $13.0m
New Listing

Email Alerts

Subscribe Today!
Have

Questions?

Contact Us Now!