Real Estate

Time to Buy Real Estate in Marin?

March 28, 2012

Buy or rent?Marin Mommies presents another great guest article by Marin mom and financial planner Katy Song, CFP®.

Market uncertainty, record low interest rates, lack of housing inventory, signs of economic recovery, increasing rents… When you put all of these together, what do you get? A lot of questions about whether this is the “perfect” time to buy or keep renting.

I speak with a lot of people looking for houses and there seems to be a little frenzy developing for those looking to buy a 3+ bedroom home for less than $1million. If you are in this position or are contemplating getting in the market, first, take a deep breath and know one thing for sure: You will likely not time the market perfectly. Second, do not get caught up in the frenzy. Know exactly what is right for your financial situation and family (price, down payment size, mortgage terms, location, etc.). This is going to be one of your biggest investment decisions and you should not compromise on too many items.

Marin is a special market. The supply of housing is limited and the demand is high given its proximity to San Francisco, good public schools and family environment. The excess of demand over supply means that values tend to remain high and long-term growth prospects for this investment are strong. So, is housing a safe investment again?

Moving to Marin: Can You Get It All for Less than a Million Dollars?

March 30, 2011

Calumet Park neighborhood San AnselmoThinking of moving to Marin? The Marin County real estate experts at SF North, a team of Alain Pinel agents suggest some great neighborhoods to consider in this guest article.

Many of the prospective home buyers we meet these days are couples from San Francisco who are moving to Marin because they have young children or will be having kids soon. They’re attracted to the area because of the schools, sun, access to nature, and community, but they’re often concerned about commute distance to the city and many are working with a budget that limits their choices somewhat, because let’s face it—even after the price correction of the last few years homes in Marin County are not cheap.

When we begin working with new clients it’s useful to ask them to create a top ten list of the features and characteristics they want in a home. Here’s a pretty typical example of what we see from buyers lately looking for a three bedroom, in no particular order:

Marin Real Estate—What to do now?

April 12, 2010

House for SaleMill Valley mom and Certified Financial Planner™ Katy Song offers some tips for buyers and sellers in today’s uncertain real estate market.

Springtime means the housing market is about to pick up from the dreary days of winter. Since 2008, home values nationwide have plummeted, and our little bubble of Marin was not immune. The hardest hit areas were San Rafael and Novato due to short sales and foreclosures, with values down 30–40% from their peaks. As a comparison, Mill Valley is down approximately 15% from its peak.

While 2009 sales volume and median home prices improved year-over-year in Marin, the average selling price was lower and houses are staying on the market longer. Due to the micro-markets within southern Marin, it is hard to make generalizations about the housing market but here are some tips on how to make the best of this market if you are a seller or a buyer.

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