Prices in Marin Continue to Rise

Prices for single family homes in Marin County continued to climb steadily, throughout 2015 with the average price for homes sold in November, 2015 being $1,544,000.  Inventory continued to be lower than demand, with a resulting shorter number of days on the market.  The average price of homes for sale in Marin was significantly larger, at $2,497,000 in November, 2015, and at almost $3M in January, 2015.  This difference reflects a small number of higher end homes that were on the market which may not have sold immediately.

1The market is still in recovery so prices may continue to rise for 2016, although this may be moderated somewhat by increasing interest rates.  If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, now is the time to do so.  Please call me at 415-328-5564 for a free consultation.P

Real Estate Market is Hot in Marin!

Happy Summer!  I hope you are happy and well and that it’s been a good year so far. After a rather slow winter and spring with low inventory, the market has finally heated up. Although there have been repeated multiple offers in the under $2M range, I have managed to help several buyers purchase property.  I recently closed escrow on a $1.5M house in Corte Madera that never hit the market, and I am in escrow on two other properties, one in Sausalito and one in Greenbrae, and a piece of land for a developer in San Rafael.  I was able to find out about off market listings through my membership in Top Agent Network.

 

I also will be bringing on a new listing in the Blackpoint area of Novato in the next few weeks in the $1M range.  This 4 bedroom, 2,700sf home is nestled on more than 1/2 acre with plenty of nature, views and privacy.  Please contact me if you have any interest or know someone who might.

 

If you are considering buying or selling a home in Marin County in 2015 or do you know someone who is, I’d be happy to provide you with a free consultation to understand your needs and see if we would be a good fit to work together.  I also appreciate referrals, so please pass my contact info on to others that might need some assistance in this field.

 

My experience as a real estate broker and attorney gives me an edge over other agents in this competitive market, and I know the Marin County market well, having lived here most of my life.

 

I work with both buyers and sellers of residential property in Marin County, California, and also provide referrals to selected agents in other areas, as well as mortgage brokers, title companies, inspectors and other professionals. In addition, my Associate Jonathan Walker offers commercial and investment real estate opportunities through Appreciated  Real Estate Company.

 

Inventory low in Marin Market

I’ve been working with several buyers in the $800,000 to $1.6M range since the beginning of 2015, all looking for homes in Southern or Central Marin, including Sausalito, Mill Valley and Corte Madera.  Inventory has been surprisingly low, and houses that are coming on the market are getting snapped up in just a few weeks, with multiple offers on many properties,and houses going for significantly over asking.  I recently found a property off market for clients through my membership in Top Agent Network, since I wasn’t able to otherwise find a house for these clients in this competitive market.

Although not all markets are this strong (houses are selling slower over $2 Million, and there is more inventory in the lower price ranges in areas like Novato and San Rafael, there is clearly a trend toward a seller’s market.  If you are considering selling your home, now would be a great time to do so.  And if you’ve been on the fence about buying, now is the time to buy before prices go up further.

If you would like more information about the Marin market, or if you or someone you know is ready to buy or sell, please contact me for more information.  I would love to work with you.

Average Home Prices Rise Slightly in Past 18 Months

Although there has been quite a bit of speculation about sharply rising prices in the past 18 months, Marin County home prices have only risen slightly, from an average price of $1,099,000 in June, 2013 to an average of $1,120,000 in December 2014, an increase of less than 2%.  There was a significant rise in prices between December, 2012 and June 2013, from $896,000 to $1,099,000, an increase of about 18%.  There have, of course, been variations individual markets, e.g. homes under $1.5M in desirable school districts, and seasonal trends during the warmer months. All of this indicates a continuing slight upward trend in the market for the foreseeable future, without major spikes or dips.  For sale prices tend to average higher than sold prices, but typically it is skewed at the higher end of the market, for homes that don’t sell as quickly.  It continues to be a good time to both buy and sell.

 

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Real Estate in Marin Continues Upward Trend

 

After several years of a slow market, the real estate market in Marin continues to show an upward trend in 2013, with properties on the market for an average of 51 days in May (as compared to 98 days in January), more multiple offer situations, and a much lower inventory, which is driving up average price per square foot and sold prices vs. list price (In May the average house in Marin sold for 102% of the list price).  The average price per square foot increased from $429 on average in Marin in January to $516 in May, 2013.  7.13 sold v list price 7.13 dollar per sfIf you are considering selling, this is a particularly good time to put your house on the market to get top dollar. If you are buying, there are still deals to be had, particularly if you are willing to be patient for bank approval in a short sale or REO (bank foreclosure sale), and also if you are a cash buyer or have creative financing. Interest rates have gone up slightly, so if you’ve been on the fence, now  is a good time to act.

 If you are a buyer that doesn’t qualify for traditional financing, there are more opportunities for creative private financing by investors who are looking for properties, particularly foreclosures or fixers that can be renovated and put back on the market in a short timeframe. In addition, I have clients who are looking for investment partners, who may want to purchase a home but don’t have either the credit or down payment to make it on their own.

Real Estate Market Picking up in Marin

 After several years of a slow market, the real estate market in Marin appears to be picking up in the first quarter, with properties on the market for fewer days, more multiple offer situations, and a much lower inventory, which is driving up average price per square foot and sold prices vs. list price (In January the average house in Marin sold for 104% of the list price; in March it was 99%, so buyers aAfter several years of a slow market, the real estate market in Marin appears to be picking up in the first quarter, with properties on the market for fewer days, more multiple offer situations, and a much lower inventory, which is driving up average price per square foot and sold prices vs. list price (In January the average house in Marin sold for 104% of the list price; in March it was 99%, so buyers are not as able to deal on price). 

If you are considering selling, this is a particularly good time to put your house on the market to get top dollar.  If you are buying, there are still deals to be had, particularly if you are willing to be patient for bank approval in a short sale or REO (bank foreclosure sale), and also if you are a cash buyer or have creative financing. For example, I recently sold a property at 107 Fourth Street in Sausalito, originally listed for $700,000, at a short sale for $525,000.  The bank put the sale as a low priority, but after much persistence and patience on our part, they finally agreed to the sale and writing off a portion of the loan.  The buyer now plans to get plans approved for renovating the property and to put it back on the market at a profit. 

If you are a buyer that doesn’t qualify for traditional financing, there are more opportunities for creative private financing by investors who are looking for properties, particularly foreclosures or fixers that can be renovated and put back on the market in a short timeframe.  In addition, I have clients who are looking for investment partners, who may want to purchase a home but don’t have either the credit or down payment to make it on their own.

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Downsizing for Retirement or Empty Nest

I have been speaking with a number of clients recently who are ready to downsize from their large homes and move into a smaller home, retirement home, condo, apartment, or other simpler living situation.  Sometimes it is preferable not to have stairs, to have a smaller space to maintain and clean once kids are grown and on their own, to have less yard maintenance, or other valid reasons for moving.  Sometimes people would like to get equity out of their homes for college tuitions or retirement income.  There are also tax advantages to downsizing for people over 55 in California.

Often such a change can be daunting.  I recommend a book called “Rightsizing Your Life” by Ciji Ware, which can help simplify the decision making process and the actual moving process and letting go of old “stuff” which is no longer necessary.  I can also recommend assistance with packing, staging and getting a home that has been lived in for many years ready for sale so that clients can get the best price possible for their home.  A stager can update the home and help remove accumulated clutter, adding more modern furniture or art pieces that would appeal to younger buyers.

If you, your parents or someone you know is considering downsizing, I would be happy to consult with them and see if I can be of assistance in this process.  Please do not hestitate to contact me.

Looking for Off-Market Listings?

The real estate market has picked up recently and suddenly buyers are finding themselves competing with other buyers for properties in Marin County, particularly in the under $1 millioin price range. If you are looking for a property and are in this situation, it is helpful to have an agent that has access to off-market listings.
A couple of the properties that I have in my “pocket” include a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in Mill Valley for under $900K, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house in San Anselmo for under $800,  both of which will come up for sale later this year, and two beautiful one-acre lots in Sleepy Hollow for best offer. In addition, I am a member of Marin County’s Top Agent Network and have access to off-market listings before they are posted on the MLS.
I work with both buyers and sellers of residential property in Marin County, California, and also provide referrals to selected agents in other areas, as well as mortgage brokers, title companies, inspectors and other professionals.
Please visit my website at www.robinglazer.com and search the MLS, learn about the real estate market, and sign up for email updates.

Robin Glazer’s First Escrow as Independent Broker

I am excited to anncounce the closing this week of my first escrow as an independent broker, a beautiful five acre parcel in tranquil Lagunitas, California.  The existing home is a small cottage, but the property has the potential for a beautiful new home for the buyer whom I represented.  For more details, see this property at 55 Barranca Road.  

To Buy or Not to Buy…

Now more than ever has this question been quite as relevant: Are you better off buying your home or renting the place where you live? It certainly isn’t a new question, and in fact a question asked, evaluated and answered ad nauseam in the real estate and financial planning worlds. For millions of people in the US (and around the world for that matter), it very well may have been a much better decision to be a renter over the past four years if you bought at the height of the market. As the housing market recovers (and there are clear signs of a recovery depending on the specific locations you look at), this very well may be the time to becoming a home owner. Buoyed by stabilizing home prices and historic low interest rates, the Housing Affordability Index (HOI) is approaching a record all-time high of nearly 73%.

 To do the evaluation on whether to continue to rent or to buy is not too difficult with regard to the mathematics. But there are a couple dozen facts and speculations you need to apply in order to project what is the better financial decision. Obviously interest rates, home prices and mortgage program terms are part of that assessment. Then there are things such as your marginal income tax bracket, what appreciation rate you expect on real estate, and what return you would otherwise get on the money you invest in the property.

Below  is a great tool that is sophisticated enough to account for all of these variables yet not too complex that most people can input the information and quickly see the tradeoffs of owning versus renting.  There’s much more to assess about your overall financial situation when considering the purchase of a home. But this is a great first step to see if owning your home will have you be better off financially now and through retirement.  Jeff Smith, Opes Advisors, Inc.

 http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/business/buy-rent-calculator.html