Marin County Real Estate Blog

The Upside of the Downsize...

I would like to share with you, firsthand, my experience moving from a gorgeous, nearly 3000 s.f. home on close to an acre in Marin, to a boat and a much smaller, charming home in the foothills.  Spontaneously.

The truth is, it wasn't entirely spontaneous.  My husband and I had been looking for lakefront property for years.  We had owned a house at Bass Lake, just outside of Yosemite--but found that, even though the community was charming--we didn't care for the way the weekend warriors, driving up from Fresno, would trash the place forcing us to spend our leisure time bagging used Pampers, beer cans, soda bottles, chip bags, etc. before we could enjoy the lake and beautiful swimming holes.  So we sold that place and spent the next eleven years taking short trips to check out lake communities throughout Northern California and into Oregon, looking for more ideal circumstances.

The parameters we looked within became narrower, ultimately drawing us to the foothills between Auburn and Nevada City, where there are a number of lakes and relatively mild weather, and a reasonable commute from the bay area.  The day we drove through the gates of beautiful Lake of the Pines,, we knew we'd discovered something special and our dream to own a lakefront home began to take shape in earnest.  We made several trips to the area while allowing the dream to simmer, thinking we'd possibly retire to the area at some time in the future.  The truth is, the houses we could afford didn't fulfill our vision...  though we loved the idea of Lakefront, we didn't want to add to our financial stress.  That surely wasn't part of the plan!

One day my husband announced his sincere intentions to purchase a motor home.  You can see that dreams of getting out of the rat race were becoming a theme...  Though I love travel, and can easily imagine doing an RV tour, I DID NOT want to have an RV parked...

Understanding the Process of Selling a Home

Home Selling Steps to FollowYour home has been thoroughly prepped, cleaned, and freshened. The rooms have been measured and staged attractively and the marketing photographs and videos have been taken.

The listing contract has just been signed, the For Sale sign has been installed on the lawn, and your home is officially a new listing on the market.

If you are a first-time home seller who has just completed all these steps, or if it has been a while since you have sold your last home, you may now be wondering what happens next and how long it might take to get your home sold and closed. 

Showings & Open Houses

Keeping the home ready for showings and prospective buyers seven days a week until a viable purchase offer is received can be exasperating and stressful for sellers, especially when they must coordinate these preparations while also working and attending to the other responsibilities in their lives.

Many factors affect the length of this all-important viewing phase, including: 

  • whether the home is priced correctly for the local market
  • any condition, size, or location issues the home may have
  • the amount of competing listings the home faces
  • the level of buyer activity in the immediate area

While there are no guarantees, recent market trends for similar homes in your area can help sellers get a general idea of how many days of viewing activity will...

Winter Selling: 4 Ideas to Make Your Home Inviting

Home Staging Tips in WinterMaking your house cozy for the winter and decorating for the season isn't just about adding a few ornaments and lights. Try these tips to make your home for sale warm and inviting all season long, whether you're staging it to sell, having guests over for dinner or just hunkering down for a long hibernation until spring.

Bring on the Heat

Now, you won't want to go overboard here and turn your home into a sauna, but turning up the heat and/or using the fireplace can take a person's mind off of the cold and help them enjoy your house for what it offers. Making sure to only have doors open when entering and exiting can help out as well. On top of this, make sure to keep your blankets neatly folded until they are needed to maintain the illusion that the house isn't lived in during showings.

Draw the Drapes

If your windows are on the drafty side, consider switching out your curtains for heavier ones in the winter. Fabrics like velvet and brocade have heft that looks warmer, and they may actually add some insulation. If you prefer blinds, honeycomb shades will also help insulate while still allowing filtered sunlight to shine through.

Light up the Night

Add decorative lighting to your living spaces to keep the short days of winter from getting you down. In the living room, table lamps or directed task lighting for reading will keep things bright. In the dining room,...

7 Common Home Seller Mistakes

Home Sale AdviceThe time before you list your home on the market can be exciting and full of activity. You may be asking yourself countless questions about your home, what it is worth, and what it is missing.

Looking at other homes on the market, you may be confused as to what buyers are actually looking for, and whether or not your home would be attractive in the state it is in.

It can be tempting to add a lot of expensive changes and updates. You may also find yourself making emotional decisions about the value of your home. These, however, are not likely to increase your sale price or help you find a buyer any quicker.

Here are a few of the traps to avoid when you are getting ready to sell:

1. Doing a Big Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels are a very tricky investment. Even if you get back 92% of what you spend, you are still losing 8% of what you put in, and a lot of these can become quite expensive.

It's fine to replace worn faucets or add new paint to cabinets. However, any more changes made in that room specifically for the sake of the sale will probably not be a big help when it comes to getting the value that you want.

2. Starting Other Large Renovations

New flooring, an updated bathroom and other revamps can feel worthwhile. However, many people do not see even a fraction of their investment back when they sell. Additionally, there is a chance that you will make a change...

Sell in the Winter? Heads up Marin County Homeowners!

A recent study of more than 7 million home sales over the past four years revealed that the season in which a home is listed may be able to shed some light on the likelihood that the home will sell for more than asking price, as well as how quickly the sale will close.

It’s no surprise that listing a home for sale during the pring saw the largest return, as the spring is traditionally the busiest month for real estate. What is surprising, though, is that listing during the winter came in second!

“Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5 percent. While 48.0 percent of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes in winter did the same.”

The study goes on to say that:

“Buyers [in the winter] often need to move, so they’re much less likely to make a lowball offer and they’ll often want to close quickly — two things that can make the sale much smoother.”  

Bottom Line

If you are debating listing your home for sale within the next 6 months, keep in mind that the spring is when most other homeowners will decide to list their homes as well. Listing your home this winter will ensure that you have the best exposure to the serious buyers who are out looking now!

Contact us if you'd like to discuss the potential sale of your home in Marin County.   You can also complete the brief form below to request a FREE no-obligation assessment of your home's value in todays market by one of our ...

First Installment of Property Taxes Due Monday 12.12.16

This coming Monday, December 12, is the last day to pay the first installment of Marin County property taxes. The Tax Collector is located at 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 202, in San Rafael. The normal office hours are 9am to 4:30 pm, weekdays. To assist homeowners in paying their taxes, extended hours of 8am to 5pm will be in effect on Monday, Dec.12.

If you have not received a tax bill, you must still pay your taxes on time. Tax payments not received by close of business or postmarked on December 12 are subject to a 10% penalty. If you have questions about your taxes, you can contact the office of the Tax Collector 415-473-6133, Information is also available on the County website.  



Location Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

What Location is Best for Buying a HomeThe saying "location is everything" has a lot of truth behind it. Where your home is located will affect not just your enjoyment while you are living there, but also your chances of selling when and if you move.

By considering a wider range of location questions when looking to buy a new home, you can find a place that will suit you well for years to come.

1. What Will the Area Look Like in 10 Years?

If you are moving to a brand new development that does not have a lot of homes or businesses around it, it can feel very airy and peaceful. However, towns and neighborhoods change over time. Decide whether you will still want to live there if it becomes more densely populated.

2. What Development is Planned Around the Area?

You may fall in love with a house because of the view. But, you also need to consider whether something will change and whether you will find your view obstructed. If that is a factor that is important to you, focus on properties where you do not anticipate a lot of changes, or do some research on zoning laws and planned developments around the home's area. Some places will change more than others.

3. How are the Schools?

Even if you never plan on actually using them, schools still matter if you think you will ever sell your home in the future. You may not care about them, but they are a large factor...

12 Oak Forest Rd., Novato. Just Sold!

We represented the buyers on their purchase of this beautiful, spacious home in the Pacheco Valle section of Novato. Peaceful and quiet, yet close to 101 and the Hamilton shopping center, this residential area is a gem that is hidden in plain sight. My clients love their new home and are thrilled with the discount we negotiated too! If you'd like some help buying or selling a home in Marin, please give me a call; I'll look forward to hearing from you!

Fred Anlyan

Fred's personal video

BRE 01336593


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