Marin Real Estate Blog

Navigating the course of purchasing a new home can appear daunting.

For instance - what is Escrow? Most buyers know about the beginning process of purchasing a home: pre-approval, working with a buyer's agent, making an offer and doing inspections but what is escrow?

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Buyers and sellers of a property establish, through the sales contract, the terms and conditions for the transfer of ownership. The escrow holder is the neutral, third party that oversees that these terms are fulfilled.

So often buyers hear that their agent will "open escrow." It means that an account will be opened with the escrow company. In Marin County, the buyer's agent usually starts the process by providing such information as the names of all parties, subject

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It has been a relatively quiet week, at least until today when big news came from China showing a weak manufacturing report (PMI). If China's economy is weak, that means that the world is not ordering as many goods from China (so maybe the world economy is weaker than thought?) Of course a Chinese slowdown would have significant implications for global markets. This news sent US Stocks plunging and pushed investing dollars into the safe haven of the Bonds and improved interest rates. (see rate sheet below)

Housing Crisis is Quickly Becoming a Memory

The foreclosure crisis is showing signs that it's finally fading away. The number of new foreclosure filings -- which includes default notices, auctions and bank repossessions -- dropped 15% in November. The

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The terms pre-qualified and pre-approved sound pretty interchangeable. In fact, there is a huge difference, which I promise to explain! But, before I get into that, let me address a more basic question. "What is a pre-approval and why do I need one?"

Here in Marin County, our real estate market, though active, has experienced a severe shortage of inventory for quite some time now. A recent check revealed slightly over a one month supply of homes for sale, while 4-5 months is considered healthy by many agents and analysts. One important cause of this shortage is the perception by potential sellers that prices are still too low for them to sell. With recent appreciation in the market, this is not necessarily the case, but it will take a while for

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Why do you love living in Marin or San Francisco? A top benefit for me is access to our World Class Wine regions in Napa, Sonoma and Healdsburg/Russian River Valley.

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In just a short 60-90 minute drive you can find yourself in another world, surrounded by miles of vineyards, rustic country inns and some of the best wineries in the world. How lucky are we? Very!!!

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Napa Valley produces some of the best wines in the world and is a wine lovers paradise but it has become crowded and expensive to wine taste there. A tasting can cost between $20-50 depending on the winery.

Sonoma Valley also has top-notch wineries and some of my favorites. The wines at Sebastiani for example have greatly improved over the years and are reasonably

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On Christmas eve 2013, six Ross Valley teens were involved in a serious car accident on Lucas Valley Road. Sixteen year old Louie Vaccaro was seriously injured. He went through an eleven hour operation to repair his second vertebrae. Fortunately, his spinal cord is intact. And apparently, he has some feeling in his legs. However, the doctors have given him a ten % chance of walking again.

Louie is the son of Chris Vaccaro of Vaccaro Tree Service. I have used this company for many years for both my personal home and professional Real Estate related tree services. I have found this company to be reputable and very reasonable. I wanted to blog about Louie because our community is working diligently to raiser $100,000 for Louie's ongoing medical needs.

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687 Larkspur Dr., Healdsburg CA 95448: New Construction in Healdsburg-SOLD!

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It is hard to find new construction housing in Marin County and impossible to find it under $600,000, so my buyer clients headed north to Healdsburg.  That is where they found D.R. Horton's Sonata; a cute little community of new 2 story homes within walking distance to the chic downtown. My clients bought prior to being built and were able to customize their finishes creating a home perfect for them. The lack of rain kept the project on schedule and the home closed before the end of 2013.

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Currently Sonata offers 3 two-story homes for sale  which are energy-efficient, comfortable and durable home designs ranging from 1,492 to 2,035 square feet with 2-4 bedrooms, 2.5

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               Every real estate transaction has a period in which there is an opportunity to inspect the property.  Protocols around who is responsible to book and pay for these inspections vary.  In Marin County the buyer generally pays, but regardless who pays the buyer must ultimately take responsibility—after purchasing the property—for having done their due diligence.  Matters discovered after the buyer has signed off on the inspections and closed on the property can be difficult to remedy.

               My husband is a General Contractor, and also a Home Inspector.  Together we have bought and remodeled four homes.  We have attempted to purchase others but backed out due to the findings during inspection.  As such, I feel I have a unique

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Enjoy dazzling water and bridge views... and on a clear day, a view of San Francisco, from the beautifully remodeled kitchen and family room. Extensively remodeled several years ago, this beautiful single-level Peacock Gap home features 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms plus a guest bathroom, an oversized 2-car attached garage, a level fenced backyard yard, hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, dual paned windows, recessed lighting, 2 fireplaces, formal dining room, skylights and much more. 

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Exquisitely designed, the kitchen features a large island that can comfortably seat 4-6 people and high end finishes from the granite countertops, cream colored cabinets to stainless steel appliances that include a Viking Professional Oven,  Miele combo microwave and

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Whenever a first mortgage represents more than 80% of a purchase price (or the appraised value, whichever figure is lowest) private mortgage insurance will be required. This requirement may be circumvented by securing a second mortgage or an equity line of credit to bridge the gap between the buyer’s down payment and the first mortgage, however sometimes an increased first mortgage backed by mortgage insurance is the only or best option.

 

The cost of the mortgage insurance, otherwise known as its “coverage,” will be determined by a number of factors, such as the borrower’s credit rating, the loan-to-value ratio, the type of property, etc. Once the coverage amount has been determined, the borrower will generally have several options to meet this

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Canyon Green - Novato - is a new development at the site of the former Novato Community Hospital on Hill Road at Canyon. The hospital closed its doors in 1985 and was finally replaced at in 2001 by a state-of-the-art facility on 10 acres on Rowland Blvd.

In the meantime the abandoned hospital remained vacant until demolished, leaving the property undeveloped for years. Mercifully the Westphal Group purchased the site and development of the first phase - the homes on Hill Road - is finally reaching completion.

And while construction is still ongoing, buyers have the opportunity to purchase homes that a ready for occupancy or those that are in development. In those homes that have not been completed, clients can choose from a variety of cabinetry

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