Novato, CA Real Estate News

By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
If you’ve been house hunting for the Marin County home you know is out there—the one that will fit your needs, is situated in a suitable neighborhood, and fits your budget—when you home in on a likely candidate, try not to fall in love with it (at least not right away). House hunting is a nesting exercise: part logic, part emotion. Nothing will change that. But problems can result when emotions take over early on in the process. It’s human nature to rush past what seem to be pesky little details as you near the finish line. If, later, “pesky” turns into “horrendous,” it can usually be traced to a rush to judgement born of emotion. The most productive attitude is one of patience—energized by optimism but tempered with cool judgement. When you have faith that you will find what you’ve bee...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
A mega-proportion of serious Marin County house hunters ultimately decide it makes the most sense to team up with a real estate professional to get the job done. Marin County buyers may begin the process of finding and buying their next home on their own, checking through the online listings or driving target neighborhoods to check out the “For Sale” signs—but the NAR® reports that 9 out of 10 of U.S. buyers will eventually use a real estate agent in their search process.The most obvious motivation for that is because the buyer’s agent’s fee is paid from the seller’s proceeds. That alone could explain a 90% level of popularity. When you can benefit from a professional’s services at no cost to yourself, Marin County house hunters would have to think long and hard to come up with what the...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
When you set about selling your Marin County house, it’s good to adopt the kind of determined mindset that’s served you well in other pursuits. That’s all well and fine, so long as you keep in mind that when it comes to selling a house, in addition to being a serious business undertaking, it is one that also weighs in with a significant emotional component. Not just for the prospective buyers—but also for you, the seller. And that reality is at the basis of the first of these five major No-Nos that can foul up otherwise flawless efforts toward selling a house in Novato:            Getting emotionally over-involved. Since almost everyone who is selling a house that they have lived in for years is somewhat tied to the place, you can’t expect to be robotically disconnected from its sale. B...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
Thoughtful Novato investors find themselves in an increasingly uncertain environment. Although the official cost of living numbers indicate that inflation isn’t much of an issue, few Marin residents who mind the family budget are convinced. Even if that were currently the case, even fewer think it a situation that will last indefinitely. At the same time, dollars banked in savings accounts earn next to nothing. And at this point, many feel that trusting in the stock market requires nerves of steel. Last week, The Wall Street Journal was reporting that even the biggest hedge fund managers, convened in Las Vegas for their annual SALT get-together, were displaying “decided pessimism.” Unnerved by their inability to guarantee future value to their clients caused a “mood that was anything bu...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
Sometimes life throws curves your way. It can put you into situations you never intended—which may be hard to explain. That’s how it is with me and the tax collector.As we recently experienced, there’s nothing like Tax Day to bring home the reality of just how many dollars are diverted into government coffers. Instead of quietly resting in our Marin bank accounts where they belong, great bunches of our dollars are dispatched to the tax collector, thinning the ranks of their fellows in the bank. They’ll be left to face the future alone. I’d be tempted to paint a picture of our remaining cash left shivering in the dark—but that might be overly dramatic. Let’s just say there would be a lot more of it were it not for April 15.As usual, this past April 15 again forced us to put it all on pap...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
Selling your Marin County home is the kind of major undertaking that has so many facets just deciding where to start can delay liftoff. Since there is no actual “right” place to begin, like other mammoth projects, just digging in anywhere will do. The happy truth is that when you’re selling a home, once momentum gets going, the rest of the pieces tend to fall into place.To get the ball rolling, here is a pre-sale checklist of major activities that selling your Marin County home will entail. To get started, pick any one:         Nagging problem elimination. Very few of us attend to every home maintenance problem as they gradually develop. If there were a reliable poll on the subject, I’d guess that 95% of Marin homeowners have at least a two or three areas that we’ve learned to live with...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
A few weeks ago, two pieces of incoming information crossed my screen—items that related to the possible direction in which Novato home loan interest rates might be heading. The first came from a big national listing aggregator. It seems that once this outfit gets the idea that you are interested in homes in Novato, they conclude that it’s your wish to establish an ongoing relationship. They then display all the energy and persistence a large corporation can muster to share their meditations about this and that. They will continue to email you with regularity until you call a halt.Along with other communications, they sometimes send attention-grabbing questions to everybody on their list—then share the answers from the “community” (that is, everyone who hasn’t begged off yet). Last week...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
Not since Johnny Depp put his French countryside village up for sale have Novato real estate investors had an out-of-town real estate opportunity like the one that grabbed national headlines last week. As markdowns go, it was remarkable. But there were…issues…This deal was described by Fortune magazine as “a 640-acre desert town that comes with a casino, a 10-room motel, restaurant, post office, and an airstrip.” Fortune apparently missed the mobile home park and convenience store that CNN Money noticed. Originally put up for sale in 2010 for $17 million, Marin investors should appreciate that its newly marked down asking price is just $8 million. Although some potential buyers’ enthusiasm might be dampened by the Google Maps satellite view of the township which shows it to be pretty mu...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
They’re aimed at the Frustrating Five: spring cleaning tasks that Novato homeowners tend to put off and/or ignore more than the others. Since spring is the most agreeable time of year to tackle household maintenance (even the vexing ones), here’s a list to contemplate—along with some widely accepted strategies for taking them head-on:          Kitchen cabinets gradually build up grease—and getting rid of it is one of those jobs we don’t tend to tackle on a regular basis. The first of the top 5 spring cleaning tips is the easiest: that grease is no challenge if you remember to keep a single-purpose product on hand. Marin hardware stores and supermarkets stock them: just look for the household cleaning bottles that have “Dirt and Grease” somewhere on the label.            Dirty windows ar...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
By now, our Novato long-time house flipping veterans have seen it all: raging real estate bubble, over-the-cliff market freefall, energetic bounce-back, and now, the current, more rational market’s steady appreciation.House flipping experts prosper when they succeed in improving an undervalued Marin property quickly and inexpensively, and then “flip” it expeditiously. The key is to add value that is appreciated by the buying public. The Marin County’s long-term house flipping successes are the opposite of those who opt for skin-deep, purely cosmetic changes. Except in the most extreme sellers’market conditions, buyers are too perceptive to reward cover-up tactics. Novato house flippers with staying power are usually the veterans who can spot quality beneath neglect. They also tend to ha...
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By Christopher Barrow, Is this the year your rental makes PASSIVE income?
(Foundation Homes Property Management & Sales)
Modern life is said to have gotten immeasurably richer as labor-saving devices have empowered households and workplaces from one end of Novato to the other.Richer, yes; simpler, surely not!Today’s Marin County householder’s typical day likely involves juggling multiple destinations: shop for dinner, get kids to lessons or practices, drop off packages and pick up dry cleaning—or several hundred other possibilities that modern mobile Americans integrate into their daily lives. We don’t give it a thought.Not to mention what happens when your profession isn’t tied to one location.When it comes to buying and selling Marin homes, the freedom brought by 21st century mobility makes selective house hunting much more efficient. But all the accompanying lifestyle changes have introduced complicati...
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By Connie Medeiros
(Distinct Advantage Real Estate)
Renaissance at Stonetree Bay Club,  Not listed on MLS please call for private showing48 Stonetree Lane, Novato, CA, 94945 Gorgeous, Gated Golf Course Home Offered at $1,888,888 4 Bedrooms / 3.5 Bathrooms 4,773 square feet (per public record- not verified) Neighborhood dues of $185 monthly include the use of the hilltop pool Find peace of mind in the exclusive gated community of Renaissance at Stonetree Bay Club. Gracious rooms showcase views, high ceilings, French doors, fans, fireplaces and natural light.  The heart of the home welcomes with a breakfast nook, two islands, and miles of granite. Formal dining room, living room, family room and half bath finish the main level.  Premium features include mahogany floors, maple master closet built-ins, AC, water filtration, three fireplaces,...
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By Rob Spinosa, SVP of Mortgage Lending, Marin County
(Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA)
How Long Is My Pre-Approval Good For?  If you're like me, you probably find that there are some recurring instances in your day-to-day interactions that make you realize what is obvious to you may not be so obvious to those you serve.  A question I get frequently from those shopping for a home and going through the process of mortgage pre-approval is, "How long is my pre-approval good for?"   And yes, even in 2015, where the CFPB has held our industry's feet to the fire in an attempt to shoehorn inherently complex transactions into consumer experiences that are simple, black and white and devoid of any twists and turns (and thus completely the material of fantasy), I must submit that the answer to the question still is, "It depends."  But even if there are going to be different answers ...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
As we get closer to the end of the year I'm beginning....  to see what an exciting yet challenging year this has been. In January 2016 I will have been in the Home Staging business for 10 YEARS!   On this 9th year I have had so many FIRSTS happen to me.  Prior to this year everything in my business had run so smooth....  I just thought being in business for myself was a piece of cake.  Everything just came my way and I rarely had to face any challenges...  at least not difficult ones.   Well this year 2015...  changed all that.  This year I've been climbing a mountain that just seems to get higher and steeper as this year is passing by.   Some of the challenges have turned out to be quite exciting and have certainly taught me a lesson or two which has resulted in many changes to my "Let...
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By Margaret Kapranos, San Francisco Bay Area REALTOR. 415-608-5070
(Berkshire Hathaway Home Services)
The North Marin Water Distrcit sent out a notice today that they are offering a cash incentive (up to $400 per single family dwelling) to removed regularly maintained and automatically irrigated lawn areas to then replace with low water use plantings on drip irrigation or with synthetic turf.Also offered for "Do It Yourselfers" is a "sheet mulching" program.  They deliver free compost, cardboard and mulch for eligible projects.Go to www.nmwd.com for rules and application.  Call 415-761-8944 to schedule an appointment.  This is a sign of the times.  If you are thinking of selling your house, curb appeal will speak volumes to buyers.  A thirsty or dying lawn may not be as attractive as one of the options offered here.
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By Connie Medeiros
(Distinct Advantage Real Estate)
58 Arnold Drive,  Novato                   Fresh off the pages of Architectural Digest! Very chic townhome in the heart of Hamilton offers all the wish list amenities. This stylish end unit is flooded with light and its corner lot is one of the largest. Anchored by a stately palm the patio and lawn provide rare privacy. The first impressions are of the high ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors and open floorplan. The remodeled kitchen is artfully designed and accented with custom glass tiles and granite counter tops.  The magnificent master offers French doors to a balcony and the walk in is so large you could tuck in a nursery or office.  2 bedrooms both ensuite, 2.5 baths, 1428 living area, built in 1998 per public records.   Offered at $599,900.                                        ...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
I love ActiveRain referrals... #2 con't This is my second referral with Realtor Sylvia Barry from ActiveRain.  It's very exciting to work with her... she's very nice and does a wonderful job marketing her listings.  She gets dynamic results... which works great for the Homeowner and is awesome for my statistics too. This vacant house I staged is a gorgeous home in Novato, CA located in Marin County, CA and went into contract the first week on the market.  Here are some photos of this beautiful home as staged by With Divine Style.  Thank you Sylvia Barry and thanks ActiveRain!                                     Can Potential Buyers See Themselves Living In Your Home? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You never get a second chance...  to make a Great First Impression!" Linda D...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
I love ActiveRain referrals... #2! This is my second referral with Realtor Sylvia Barry from ActiveRain.  It's very exciting to work with her... she's very nice and does a wonderful job marketing her listings.  She gets dynamic results... which works great for the Homeowner and is awesome for my statistics too. The house I staged was a gorgeous home in Marin County, CA and went into contract the first week.  Here is a photo of the front of the house... I'll have more photos to follow.  Thank you Sylvia Barry and thanks ActiveRain!   Can Potential Buyers See Themselves Living In Your Home? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "You never get a second chance...  to make a Great First Impression!"   Linda D. Pufford, ASPM With Divine Style Real Estate/Home Staging ~ I...
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