Marin County Real Estate Blog

If You're Considering Selling, ACT NOW!!

If You’re Considering Selling, ACT NOW!! | MyKCM

Definitely an aggressive headline. However, as the final data on the 2017 housing market rolls in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME!

How did we finish 2017?

  1. New-home sales were at their highest level in a decade.
  2. Sales of previously owned homes were at their highest level in more than a decade.
  3. Starts of single-family homes were their strongest in a decade and applications to build such properties advanced to the fastest pace since August 2007.

And Bloomberg Business just reported:

“America’s housing market is gearing up for a robust year ahead. Builders are more optimistic, demand is strong and lean inventory is keeping prices elevated.”

And the National Association of Realtors revealed that buyer traffic is stronger this winter...

What to Do About Unpermitted Work

How to Handle Unpermitted Work In Your HomeUnpermitted construction can be a problem for a homeowner who wants to sell their home. Knowing what constitutes unpermitted work and what you can do about it can help you get the most from your upcoming home sale.

What is Permitted Work? What is Unpermitted Work?

When your home undergoes a major renovation or repair, a permit needs to be pulled at your local city building agency. Once the permit is pulled, a local inspector will inspect the work to ensure that it is performed to code. Some types of renovations may even require two inspections, one while the project is taking place and one after the work is completed.

Unpermitted work is construction, renovation or repair that is done without a permit. This type of work may not be performed to code and may therefore be unsafe, unsound or simply non-functional.

Why is Unpermitted Work a Problem?

Unpermitted work can put people at personal risk. Poorly completed electrical work, for example, can cause an electrical fire in the home. Improperly installed plumbing can lead to health hazards like sewer backup or mold on the walls. In addition, unpermitted work can make selling a home difficult. Work that is not performed to code is difficult to insure and many mortgage lenders will not lend money to home buyers who wish to purchase...

Buying a Home? Know the Warning Signs of Foundation Damage

Warning Signs of Foundation ProblemsFoundation damage can be a serious problem for a house. If you're a home buyer, knowing the signs of foundation damage can help you decide whether your Bolinas home is in need of repair.

Cracks in the Foundation

Cracks in the foundation can be one of the most obvious signs of foundation damage. The worst cracks are usually stair-step shaped cracks in the mortar and deep, horizontal cracks in the foundation. Horizontal cracks are an indication that the soil outside the house has pushed on the foundation, causing it to break. This can happen when wet soil freezes and expands. Some types of soil are known to expand when wet and shrink when dry, which can also cause problems for the home's foundation.

Bulging Walls

A bulging wall is almost always a sign of a very serious problem. Bulging basement walls are typically an indication that the soil is pushing on the foundation, while bulging walls above the soil line are indications that the foundation has shifted.

Often, bulging walls are accompanied by water problems. Look for water stains, mold, mildew and beads of moisture around the cracks and bulges. This happens because water can intrude at the site of foundation and wall cracks. Sometimes this happens because water itself is the...

The New Tax Bill and Home Ownership

With the passage of the new tax bill, many questions exist regarding what impact the new bill is likely to have on the residential real estate market including exisitng homeowners, home buyers as well as sellers. 

 Below is an outline of three most pressing items (Mortgage Interest Deduction, Property Taxes and State & Local Taxes (SALT) and Exclusion of Gain on Sale of a Principal Residence) that real estate practitioners watched carefully as the bill became law as well as some industry commentary regarding the potential implications of the new tax law on the real estate market.

DISCLAIMER: As you review this summary, please keep in mind that this post is not meant to be a resource for tax advice but instead a resource for basic information regarding aspects of the new tax code and how it may impact the real estate market. We encourage our clients to speak to a tax professional or financial planner regarding their specific situation and how the entire tax code will affect their personal returns.

Here are the 3 Major Concerns of Real Estate Practitioners as it relates to the new tax bill.

1.  Mortgage Interest Deduction

There was concern that the mortgage interest deduction (MID) would be eliminated. That didn’t happen.

However, the bill has made the following changes:

  • Reduces limit on deductible mortgage debt to $750,000 for new loans taken out after 12/14/17 (from the existing $1,000,000). Current loans up to $1 million are grandfathered.
  • Homeowners may refinance mortgage debts existing on 12/14/17 up to $1 million and still deduct the interest, so long as the new loan does not exceed the amount refinanced.
  • Repeals deduction for interest paid on home...

Your Guide to Home Flooring

Home Flooring ExplainedThe key to home flooring is to understand both the functionality and the aesthetics of each space in the home. From the master bedroom to the hallways, the floors are one of the largest surface areas to work with when it comes to the overall vibe of the house. Find out more about the criteria experts use to decide which flooring is appropriate and where it should be used for the best possible outcomes in your Beldevere home.

Living Room

Whether a homeowner calls it a living room, family room, or den, the key for this room is to make it as comfortable as possible (unless planning to turn it into a formal space). One fashionable trend when it comes to these areas is to choose hardwood floors and then augment the space with a colorful area rug. However, carpeting is still the number one choice for homeowners today. Not only is the floor soft and welcoming underfoot, but it's also excellent for those who may be unsteady on their feet. Carpets not only provide more traction, but they can cushion a fall too. It's extremely important that homeowners invest in quality when it comes to carpets, as inferior ones will turn threadbare very quickly.

Kitchen

Tile has been the traditional choice for kitchens everywhere because it's so easy to clean. With all the spills in the kitchen from morning to night, tile is resistant to moisture and stains alike. The material has also come a long way since its original inception. Now there are limitless colors, shapes, and materials to choose from....

The Benefits of Homeownership Go Beyond the Financial

The Benefits of Homeownership Go Beyond the Financial | MyKCM

Homeownership is a major part of the American Dream. As evidence of that, 91% of Americans believe that owning a home is either essential (43%) or important (48%) to achieving that “dream.” In a market where some people may be unsure about the benefits and possibilities of buying a home, it is important that we remember this.

Homeownership is NOT just about the money. In fact, some of the major benefits are non-financial. Here are a few of those benefits as per the National Association of Realtors:

  • Consistent findings show that homeownership does make a significant positive impact on educational achievement.
  • Several researchers have found that homeowners tend to be more involved in their communities than renters.
  • Early studies of homeownership and health outcomes found that homeowners and children of homeowners are generally happier and healthier than non-owners, even after controlling for factors such as income and education levels that are also associated with positive health outcomes and positively correlated with homeownership.

Bottom Line

Homeownership means something more to people and their families than just the financial considerations.

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

6 Telltale Signs Your Roof Needs Repair or Replacement

5 Signs Your Roof Needs RepairRoofs constantly protect homes from harsh weather like rain, wind, and snow, and unfortunately, they don’t last forever. Many homeowners aren’t sure of what to look for in a damaged roof until it’s too late, so here are 6 different things to keep an eye out for when inspecting your Woodacre roof for damage.

Misshapen Shingles

Shingles are supposed to be flat and straight, this way they can do their job of protecting their home. If the shingles are curled, bent, or ripped, they can allow moisture and wind to get inside the home. Likewise, if shingles are completely because of causes such as strong winds, animals, or age, this will also allow weather to get into the home. Curled and missing shingles are to be expected as the roof ages, so when these become common sights, it’s time to start thinking about replacing the roof.

1. Cracked shingles

Cracked shingles fortunately aren’t as bad a prognosis as misshapen or missing shingles. Cracks can be a sign of cold weather or wind damage, and if just a few shingles are showing damage from cracking, they can easily be replaced. However, if after inspecting the roof the homeowner finds that there’s cracking all over, this is a sign that it should be replaced in the coming years.

2. Neighbors are Replacing Their Roofs

In a neighborhood, the next-door neighbors will typically have...