Bay Area California Real Estate Blog and News

Marin Eichler Home Sales Report - 2009 Summary

I wanted to provide our friends and visitors with a quick look back at how the real estate market faired for mid-century modern Eichler homes in Marin County throughout 2009. 

In 2009, a total of 43 Eichler homes were sold in Marin County and I was excited to once again finish the year as the #1 Agent in Marin County for closed Eichler home sales.  In addition to being the top agent for Eichlers, I worked hard this past year to get my sellers the most money for their home in the shortest amount of time.    In 2009, my Eichler listings on average sold for 99% of their original asking price in less than 35 days on market!...

Marin International Travel Club - Calling all Marin County International Travelers!

Many of our clients and friends in Marin County travel extensively for both work and play so I wanted to make our readers aware of a new, not-for-profit travel social club that is just getting started in Marin County.

International Travel Club (ITC) Marin

The purpose of the Marin International Travel Club is to share travel experiences, learn about special travel opportunities and meet on a quarterly basis with professional travel speakers.     The ITC-Marin is not a travel agency and there is no fee involved to become a member.

Similar travel clubs have been extremely popular in other areas of the country and now Marin residents have an opportunity to join the newly formed Marin ITC!    The group will be hosting an informal get together so members (and prospective members) will have an opportunity to learn more at an inagural meeting / wine tasking event.   Event and Venue details are as follows:


"Points" Versus "No Points" Mortgages

I’m often asked by clients to explain whether it makes sense for them to pay “points” or “no points” on their proposed mortgage. My automatic response is, “How long do you intend to keep your new mortgage or remain in your home?” Once this question is answered, the decision is easily determined by simple mathematics and how willing or able a borrower is to cover the increased closing costs or refinance into a slightly larger loan.

A “point,” also referred to as a “discount point,” is industry jargon for paying 1% of the loan amount to buy down the rate on a proposed loan. This cost is on top of the standard closing costs involved in the loan process, such as the lender’s processing and underwriting fees, title and escrow fees, etc. As a general rule-of-thumb, when paying a point, a borrower should expect to see a reduction in rate of at least .25%. The amount of rate reduction varies daily and is reflective...

What to Know about Lenders

Often people ask about lenders.  I thought I would talk about  who they are and how they work.

When it comes to getting a home loan, making the choice between your local bank, a broker whose ads are on your shopping cart, or an internet lender advertised on TV, can be very confusing.  How can you know which is best for your needs, and ultimately, who has your best interests in mind?  Let’s look at this a bit closer:

First, when it comes to residential home financing, there are really only three types of home loan providers.  They are:

   1. Wholesale lenders (brokers).
   2. Retail lenders (banks).
   3. Correspondent lenders (large, independent companies who have warehouse lines of credit  with several large banks, but who lend in their own name).

There are some inherently good and bad things about each of these lending models, so lets go into them here.

Mortgage Outlook for Marin and San Francisco in 2010

As the New Year begins, prospective homebuyers in the high cost Bay Area are doubtless wondering if 2009’s record low mortgage rates will continue into 2010. Judging from market reaction to Chinese central banker Zhu Min’s December 17th statement that the U.S. can’t expect other nations to increase purchases of Treasuries to fund its entire fiscal shortfall, it appears the likely answer is “no.” In response to his comment, the yield curve on Treasuries shot up along with mortgage interest rates. Rates on 30-year fixed loans have since increased on average by .25% and most projections for 2010 suggest they may climb as much as 1% over 2009’s lows by year’s end.

Although an increase of 1% is certainly significant, this would still keep mortgage rates at the low end of historic averages. For a clearer sense of how this would impact prospective purchases, let’s look at two 30-year fixed scenarios for the conforming and high-balance conforming...

Novato Condo Sold! 866 Tamalpais in Novato

I just assisted one of my clients with the sale of their 1 bedroom / 1 bathroom condominium in Novato, California.     The transaction closed today and the final sale price was $144,200.

Located at 866 Tamalpais, Unit D, this upper level unit is located in a small condomimium complex in Novato with 22 units.     The development is located within walking distance to historic Old Town Novato and is within close proximity to public transportation.  The unit was freshly painted and featured updated flooring throughout.

Contact me if I can assist you with your Novato real estate needs.     Whether you are looking for a starter condo in Novato or a Novato luxury home,  I would welcome the opportunity to assist you!

Renee Adelmann, Realtor...

Home Loan Options

The Pros and Cons of Fixed and ARMs

Not so long ago, anyone looking to buy or refinance a home could have easily been overwhelmed by the choices available in mortgage loan types.  Let’s see…there were fixed rate loans, ARM loans, interest-only loans, negatively-amortized loans --- you name it, you could find it.  For better or worse, those days are gone, as banks have substantially reduced their product offerings to consumers due to economic factors beyond the scope of this blog.  But here’s what the savvy borrower needs to know about the most common loan types still available.

Fixed Rate Loans

Most of us intuitively understand this type of loan, and given a choice, most of us select this type of loan.  The concept is straightforward.  Take a loan balance and pay it off over 15 or 30 years, all the while making an identical payment each month.  There is no risk of a payment increase and you can “set and...