Novato, CA Real Estate News

By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
So, I have been holding Open Houses here in Marin County week in and week out for who knows how many months now - It has become my favorite pass time - One of the best ways to meet clients, neighbors, friends or just passer-bys.  Fortunate for me, due to the ads I place, online or in print; I always have a lot of visitors, never a dull moment and I have met so many wonderful people doing that!     One thing I have noticed is that being in a buyers market, I am getting a lot of very specific requirements and reasons for why one property is not Completely Perfect (is there such a thing as "completely perfect"?) for his/her/their needs - Gonna have formal living room, how about that formal dining room?  I really don't see the need of formal living room nor dining room, just a big waste of ...
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of October 6, 2008 an encouraging 31% of available homes for sale in Novato are in escrow. For the month of September 2008 69 homes sold in Novato for an average final selling price of $570,430. The average original asking price of these homes was $638,773. The range of final selling prices was from a low of $180,000 to a high of $1,350,000. It took these homes an average of 127 days to sell. Of the 69 homes that sold 5 sold at their original asking price and 9 sold over their original asking price.  All others sold for less. Of those same 69 homes a frightening 36 of them were distress sales. For more information about this area visit my website or contact me directly. To see all the homes that are currently available for sale search our MLS.
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By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
Novato's Rush Creek neighborhood is undeniably one of Marin County, California's, nicest and coveted neighborhoods. There is a lot to like. These luxury homes are newer, built in the past 10 years, and sit on giant parcels (generally, at least 1/2 acre). Many of these homes have pools and elaborate landscaping. The streets are wide and there is no through traffic. Rush Creek offers privacy and prestige. Rush Creek's proximity to HWY 101 and a recently renovated downtown Novato with lots of great shopping, a farmers market, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods (set to open in the next few months), and various restaurants, is also desirable. Adjacent to the neighborhood is Rush Creek Open Space Preserve.  Homes in Novato's Rush Creek have dipped in price during 2008. So far this year, we have seen 6...
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
  Novato is a town in the northmost part of Marin County, CA.  We are extremely proud of our musical talents/influences, educational system, talented students, dedicated teachers, caring parents and community members. As one of my friends describes Novato, this is a town with 'HUMANITY'.  Living here, I have to say that I agree wholeheartly!   Out of the extraordinaty humanity, the love of music, the care for our public schools, the local music circle started the annual 'Rock and Blues by The Lake' all day fundraising event for public schools six years ago.  The annual event is hosted at Stafford Lake, one of the most gorgeous backdrops for mucial performances.        The programs are geared towards whole family entertainment with three stages with big stage for the big bands, next to i...
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By Renee Adelmann
(Marin Modern Real Estate )
I just helped my Marin County home buying clients purchase this charming bungalow in Northern Marin located at 660 Sunset Parkway in Novato, California. This well maintained 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom single-family property was built in '61 and has been well preserved by its owners.     Close to schools, shopping and public transportation, this conveniently located home has an open and airy floorplan and great outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining.     Fabulous upgrade potential for this midcentury home in Novato. Sale price for 660 Sunset Pkwy was $445,000 and represents an excellent value for the area.  Please contact me at 415-342-4537 if I can assist you with the purchase or sale of your home in Novato or elsewhere in Marin County, CA. Learn more about Novato CA real estate or vi...
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
Novato Real Estate Market statistics continues to inch upwards in overall sales percentage compare to two weeks ago on September 10, The overall inventory dropped 10%, from 410 to 370, results of more pending sales and sellers taking properties off the market unless they 'have' to sell.  Less inventory will have a positive effect on housing prices as there are less supply.  The highest increases in pending sales are the starter / investment homes - condo/townhomes and single family residences under $500K - mostly fixers, REOs (bank owned), short sales, all bargains from one or two years ago.  Both categories, with more than 50% sales, are now a 'seller's' market - or shall we say a 'bank/REO sellers's market.  Some enjoy multiple offers, although not as much frenzy as when Marin was at...
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
Novato Real Estate Market statistics stays strong since August 27, 2008; continuing the positive trend since middle of summer, 2008  - Total inventory dropped 24 (434 to 410), while # of units in escrow increased by 8 (from 121 to 129). This is reflected in the % pending - 3% increase since last reported.  Novato Market is definitely inching back - slowly, cauthiously, but surely.  Condos/Townhomes, where we see the biggest drop in prices due to many short sales and foreclosures, edged past neutral market and is holding steady on the edge of seller's market.  Slight improvement of 4% increase in SFDs priced under $500K - some REOs (Real Estate Owned - Bank Owned Properties) or Short Sales are a little rough, requires sweat equity.  As higher quality homes are priced lower and become mo...
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of September 5, 2008 an encouraging 28% of available listings in Novato are in escrow. For the month of August 2008 59 homes sold in Novato for an average final selling price of $574,829. The average original asking price of these homes was $614,095. The range of final selling prices for these homes was from a low of $229,000 to a high of $1,275,000. It took these homes an average of 96 days to sell. Of the 59 homes that sold 8 sold at their original asking price and 14 sold over their original asking price. 23 of the 59 homes that sold were distress sales, ranging in final selling prices from $229,000 to $695,000. For more information about this area visit my website or contact me directly.
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
As a Novato Resident, surrounded by Open Space, Natural Parks, Bay front; we are proud to be the city with the highest recyclable collection and lowest solid waste rate in Marin county. The distinction can not be achieved solely by residents with good intention without the service provided by Novato Disposal Service The Novato Disposal Service provides weekly pick ups of Green (Yard) Recyclables and Blue Recyclables (plastic containers, newspaper, bottles, jars, etc), Bi-Annual (spring, fall) large items, large volume and eWaste free-collections which the neighborhoods overwhelmingly participate and look forward to.  The service utilizes plants with state of the art equipment to sort, accept and reject wastes, ensuring proper waste recycle to allow for most waste being processed.     Th...
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
Marin county, being one of the most environmentally friendly counties in the country, is no doubt, very proud of the newly proposed Commons at Mt. Burdell project - a "Green Building on Steriods", Carbon Neutral, superceeding LEED Platinum + requirement redevelopment project on the 65-acre parcel property at the foothills of gorgeous Mt. Burdell in Novato.  The goal of the developer is to eliminate carbon emissions from buildings by incorporating passive solar design, utilizing on-site energy generation and providing extensive energy retrofitting of existing structures.  A live-work environment is proposed by adding condos, world class Hotel, health care, day care, commuity center, shops and restaurants on the campus.  The project would preseve the site's wetlands area and undeveloped h...
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
Changes since July 23rd, 2008 for Novato Real Estate Market - Total inventory dropped by 10 while units for pending sales remains the same at 28%.  The total market at a glance stays at the lower end of being Neutral tilting towards the buyers market (defined as pending sales is less than 25%). Condos/Townhomes, where we see the biggest drop in prices due to many short sales and foreclosures, edged past neutral market and stays periosly on the sellers market. Slight drop of 5% in SFDs priced under $500K - some REOs (Real Estate Owned - Bank Owned Properties) or Short Sales are a little rough, requires sweat equity.  As higher quality homes experience price drops and become more affordable, the lowest priced home saw some impact.  Big swing in the pending is the starter single family ho...
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By Erin McGinnis, Marin Home Stager Staging
(Picture it SOLD! Home Staging)
Top Reasons Yor House Isn't Selling... and FOUR Things You Can Do About It In Novato right now, it is a Buyer’s Market for those seeking a single-family home. In real estate terms, this means that less than 25% of all homes for sale are in escrow. During the week of August 13, it was 24%. Put a different way, 76% of all homes for sale are waiting for a buyer. In essence, buyers are in the driver’s seat, at least for the most part. While it is harder to get loans these days, people who are mortgage pre-approved are sitting pretty. There are scores of homes from which to choose, and buyers are in no particular hurry to write offers. Unlike during the sales frenzy of just a few years ago – when buyers were all too eager to overbid and make all kinds of concessions to sellers – buyers are ...
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of August 5, 2008 26% of available listings in Novato are in escrow. For the month of July 2008 51 homes sold in Novato for an average final selling price of $629,010. The average original asking price of these homes was $710,033. The range of final selling prices for these homes was from a low of $180,000 to a high of $1,800,000. It took these homes an average of 128 days to sell. Of the 51 homes that sold 3 sold at their original asking price and 2 sold over their original asking price.  All the others sold for less. A staggering 23 of the 51 homes that sold were distress sales. To see everything in the area that is for sale search our MLS. For more information about this area visit my website or contact me directly.
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
The News is Out!  Renowed for Quality of Life, Marin County Towns were winnders in the 2008 Money Magazine 'Best Places To Live' "Clean Air' category. Among all the small towns ranked by the Money agazine, Novato won first place, San Rafafel Second and Salinas placed 15 in the 'Clean Air' category. Top 25 in 2008 Money Magazine Quality of Life 'Clean Air' Category And don't forget, the further North you go in Marin, the sunnier it gets - beats the city 100%   
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
Another positive trend since July 9th, 2008 statistics.  Total inventory dropped by 11 while pending sales units remained the same!  Big change in percent pending is the starter single family homes, with a drop of 8%.  My theory is that Locaton, Location, Location.  SFR in desirable location, shows nicely and priced right are moving still.  However, many starter homes that sit on the market for a while can have a few problems such as location (next to freeway, in flood zone), a big one), , unless priced extremely low, the buyers are shy away from them. '' Big gain in pending sales is in the low to median price range and people who used to not being able to purchase, are looking at such option now; hence a healthy increase in pening sales for this price range.  Check with your trusted R...
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
As a San Marin Improvement Association's member, I went to the preconstruction meeting for 200 San Marin Drive Project today.  200 San Marin Drive is now a the vacant lot situated at the south east corner of San Marin Drive and San Andreas Drive.  Designated as a gas station, it will now be a single story, 6,700sf. medical building planned for four medical or dental offices serving local community. Others present were two San Andreas HOA members, Chip Fuller, Vice President of Catlin Properties, owner of 200 San Marin Drive and Aton Seikowitz of Selkowitz & CO., Inc. General Contractors.   The plan is to start construction as soon as possible, either the week of July 28th or August 4th.  The entire project is expected to be around 7 months long, with the first phase having the most impa...
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By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
Everyone has been waiting, hoping, praying that the new shopping center outside of Hamilton Field would include some good dining fare (I mean, nothing could beat Nave Lanes, but food is a good alternative). Today it was announced that Toast Cafe, La Boulange and Sonoma Latina Grill will be moving in. We already knew about the mega-deluxe Safeway (with gas station), Peets Coffee & Tea, Wells Fargo, Starbucks, and Jamba Juice. Safeway is slated to open August 22nd. As readers of my blogs know, Hamilton Landing and Hamilton Marketplace combine to make Southern Novato's Hamilton Field a truly special place. Everything you could need is right there, along with easy access to HWY 101, outdoors activities of all kinds, and a vibrant and friendly population. The neighborhood includes more than ...
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
                                        Another positive trend since June 25th, 2008 weekly statistics.  Total inventory actually dropped by 1 while pending increased by 7.  From a price range point, starter condos/townhomes as well as starter single family homes up to $800K, while $800K and up homes suffered slightly.  With Fannie Mae tightening guidelines for people who are thinking about using their current home as a 2nd home or investment property, this might be the time to lock down that loan and purchase your dream home.  Check with your mortgage broker for the details and how that affect the specific lenders they work with. Check with your trusted Realtor about inventory on the market and what's the best house for your needs and wants!   category   Total Units/ In Escrow   % Acti...
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of July 12, 2008 25% of available listings in Novato are in escrow. For the month of June 2008 48 (approximately 22% of all home sales for the County of Marin this month) homes sold in the town of Novato (rated by CNN/Money as not only one of the best places to live, but also one of the best places to launch a new business) for an average final selling price of $630,833. The average original asking price of these homes was $694,254. The range of final selling prices for these homes was from a low of $174,900 to a high of $1,700,000. It took these homes an average of 115 days to sell. Of the 48 homes that sold 2 sold at their original asking price and 5 sold for more than their original asking price. For more information about this area visit my website or contact me directly. If you ...
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By Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert
(Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay))
In today's Frank Howard Allen Office meeing, Andy Shine, mortgage broker with Residence Pacific Mortgage, discussed the new guideline by Fannie Mae, which will be effective on August 1. The guidelines affect loans for purchase a new home while retaining the current residence as 2nd home or investment porperty. Might be time to buy the house you always wanted if you are sitting on the fence. Here are the details: Situation New Requirement Current Principal residence is pending sale but the transacction will not be closed (with title transfer to a new owner) prior to the new transaction  Both the current and the proposed mortgage payments must be used to qualify the borrower forthe new transaction Coversion to a Second Home - Both the current and the proposed mortgage payments must be use...
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