Marin County Real Estate Blog

Solar Panels: Why You Should Buy and Not Lease

Why You Should Skip the Lease and Purchase Your Solar PanelsWhen it comes to making a home more environmentally friendly, solar panels are one of the first things homeowners think about. Solar panels can be an excellent way to save energy and money over time, and there are multiple ways to get them. The first way is to use cash or a solar loan in order to purchase the panes, and the second is to lease the solar panels from a company. However, these options are not equal. Here are some of the reasons why homeowners should purchase solar panels instead of leasing them.

Cost

Solar panels are not an addition that can be made on a whim. Depending on the quality of the panels and size of the roof, it can cost anywhere from $15,000-30,000 to purchase solar panels. It’s these steep up front costs that often make homeowners look into leasing panels instead of purchasing them outright. Loans typically last 20-25 years, which is roughly the lifespan of the solar panels themselves, and make it easier to obtain the panels. However, homeowners who lease their solar panels will miss out on possible tax benefits and rebates that may save up to 50 percent of the cost of the panels.

Lease contracts will also take energy cost inflation into account when they’re created and will usually increase about 2-3 percent per year. If energy costs don’t rise...

7 Advantages of Downsizing Your Home

7 Reasons You Should DownsizeHomeowners may start thinking about downsizing for a variety of reasons. Maybe members of a family have moved out and a big house feels empty or daily household chores have become too time consuming because there’s just too much to take care of. There are many advantages to purchasing a smaller home, and here are 7 of them that all homeowners should know.

1. Smaller Home Means Smaller Bills

Between mortgages and utilities, the larger a home, the larger the subtotal on the monthly bills. Everyone loves saving money, and downsizing can help save several hundred dollars or even more every month on the mortgage alone depending on the new home. Smaller homes also use less energy, so homeowners don’t have to worry about paying unnecessarily high heating bills just to stay warm during cold winter nights.

2. Less Time Spent on Chores

The larger a home, the more care it needs. Dusting, vacuuming, and mowing the lawn are all time consuming chores that take even more time in a large home because there’s so much more to do. While downsizing doesn’t make the chores go away completely, it does make those chores smaller and more manageable so the homeowners have more time for other...

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling?

hould Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling? | MyKCM

In a recent CNBC article, it was reported that many baby boomers are selling their current homes and moving into rentals, rather than purchasing another home.

“Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or above rose 28 percent, while those aged 34 or younger only increased 3 percent...

Meanwhile, more than 5 million baby boomers across the nation are expected to rent their next home by 2020, according to a 2016 analysis from Freddie Mac.”

This makes sense in the short term for many reasons. If you are moving to a different part of town or a new region of the country, you may decide to rent until you pick the perfect home in an area you love. However, is renting a good long-term strategy?

A mortgage payment remains fixed. Rents, however…

The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 third quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

...

Before You Make an Offer, Here Are 4 Tips for Success!

Before You Make an Offer, Here Are 4 Tips for Success! | MyKCM

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found it! 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 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.

Getting ...

Tips for Selling Your Vacation Home

Selling a Vacation Home and How it Differs From a Primary ResidenceA vacation home can be a great investment for some people and in certain stages of life. However, it is not always the best option for everyone even if the idea sounds great at the time. For people who have purchased a vacation home but have learned that it is not something they will be able to use as often as they wished or it is too expensive for the benefit, the decision may be to sell it in the market. Selling a vacation home is not always as easy as selling a personal home because it is not a market that everyone is looking to purchase in. These tips can help you sell your vacation home for a good amount and as quickly as possible.

Work With an Agent With Experience in Vacation Homes

Not all agents have the same experience with different types of real estate transactions, so it may not be wise to hire just any agent. Instead, look for one that has experience with these types of property as well as the area. It is important that the agent knows there is a stark difference between selling a vacation home and property when compared to selling almost any other type of property. Choosing someone who has the right experience for the type of home as well as the area it is located in can completely change the experience of a seller. This is not something that should be overlooked in the process.

Sell During the Busy Season...

What You Need to Know About Selling Papers

How to Get Selling Papers in OrderThe paperwork for a home sale is not nearly as straightforward as a seller might expect. This isn't just because real estate agents need something to do, but because life gets messy and the paperwork ends up reflecting the complexities. Having a good real estate agent is usually the best way to avoid mistakes and delays, but it helps to understand more about the process before putting a home up on the market. This list will give you a general overview of the types of documents a home sale will need, but specific laws vary depending on the state your home is located in.

The Affidavit of Title

Sometimes called the Seller's Affidavit or General Title Affidavit, this document will give the buyer information about the state of ownership of the home. Usually, the affidavit will disclose major problems with the actual home (e.g., mold or insect infestation), as well as any conflicts that might affect the buyer in the future. Liens against the home or outstanding contracts will need to be listed, as well as all known disputes about the property lines of the land (e.g., if a neighbor contests the division of the lawn.) Buyers generally use this as extra insurance if they doubt the authenticity of the home deed in your San Rafael home.

The Home Deed

Seller's transfer control of the property with...