Bay Area California Real Estate Blog and News

105 Cheda Lane, Novato 94947 - JUST SOLD!



Many of my first time home buyers think that they can only afford a condominium when looking for a home in Marin County due to the fact that single family houses average over $800,000 and many condos can be under $500,000.

While at first glance, the lower price is certainly attractive, beware of the HOA dues! I had this discussion recently with Erin Chamberlin a loan officer with Equitable Mortgage Group a lender my client's often use. And she gave me the following breakdown.

The Homeowner's Association fees must be included as part of the monthly housing payment for qualifying...

Brooklyn Basin, Waterfront Development in Oakland


You may or may not have heard about one of the biggest development projects to hit Oakland in decades: A waterfront community that will be called Brooklyn Basin.

I've had many clients recently ask about this project, after seeing billboards posted and the initial signs of site preparation at the location just southeast of Jack London Square. The project had been talked about for years, but wasn't able to get off the ground until recently.

Where is it?

The Brooklyn Basin development is located between the 880 Freeway and the Oakland Estuary, starting just beyond Oak Street and continuing to 9th Avenue. The site currently houses a number of industrial buildings and...

Goats in Marin? No need to mow anymore!

As I took my morning walk on Saturday by the beautiful Bay I stopped and did a double take by the large field/wetlands that boarders Home depot to the south and Baypoint Lagoons to the north. The field was covered with goats doing what goats do, eating everything in sight.  I have seen this before on the hills around Marin but this expansive area that is usually covered with pickle weed and assorted brush, is usually left alone in the summer to grow and in the winter to form pools of water as wetlands do during the rainy season.  The herd consisted of at least 300 goats and was being controlled by one man and his adorable Australian shepherd who ran up to greet me. I stood there and watched as the dog ran back to go to work and moved the herd from one side of...

Temporary Housing In Marin

I am asked this question all the time, "We need a place for a few months while we look around." and this question, "If we sell our home faster than anticipated, where will we go?"

Marin has a few options for you:

Marin Suites

45 Tamal Vista Blvd Corte Madera,CA 94925

As of Summer 2014, they were quoting the following nightly rate:

$265.00 night
$189.00 for extended stay (seven days or more)

Serenity At Larkspur

700 Lincoln Village Cir, Larkspur, CA 94939
(800) 959-0672

Not sure if they have both unfurnished and furnished.

They have been known to take dogs.

The Cove At Tiburon
Patrick 415-231-0043

As of Summer 2014, they are renovating units. Therefore, they have non renovated units for less $...


I know someone is not interested in being my friend when they say “I don’t think we should work together because I am afraid it will impact our friendship.”The only folks who ever say this are people whom I know casually and are not my friends.They are correct in what they say because, if they did work with me we would undoubtedly become much closer.As it is, these folks never do become my friends.

The relationship you have with your Realtor, if successful, may very well become one of the longest, most intimate of your life.Most people will move a few times which means not only finding a home (or homes), but letting someone into your home when you are ready to sell.The depth of the relationships that I develop in...

Is a home warranty really worth it?

When purchasing a home, your agent will ask you if you want a home warranty.  It is an item on the C.A.R. Residential Purchase Agreement in which the cost is negotiable between the buyer and the seller.  My buyers often ask me if it is necessary.  The answer is no, it is not necessary, but in my opinion, well worth it.  Even if the buyer has to pay for it themselves, it should be done.  And I will tell you why...

A home warranty covers failures of the mechanical systems within the home due to normal wear and tear after close of escrow.  These systems include the furnace, water heater, air conditioning, electrical, attic and exhaust fans, ceiling fans, plumbing, plumbing stoppages and the appliances just to name a few.  The policies are very...

31 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco - Income Property - Just Listed!

Fantastic opportunity to own an income property in sought after Bernal Heights, San Francisco. This is a great Edwardian Four-plex on Cortland Ave., built in 1905. The mix consists of one studio and three 1 bedroom apartments. The studio will be delivered vacant at COE. Additionally there is a garage and lovely backyard area.

Walk to shops and restaurants on Cortland and throughout Bernal Heights. Close to Holly Park and The Good Life Market! Easy access to freeway.

Additional information: 1 car garage, lot size approx. 20,000 sqf, building approx. 2,200 sqf. Asking price: $1,150,000.00.

Contact listing agents Helen Luttemo at or Marty Bautista at for more information.


Mortgage Matters Critical Piece of Real Estate Purchase Puzzle

Successful real estate agents are like airline pilots or orchestra conductors. We're ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the transaction--- but we don't do it by ourselves. We rely on a network of other professionals: escrow officers; inspectors; contractors; transaction coordinators, and many others. We coordinate their efforts, but we cannot achieve success without them. One of the most critical pieces in assembling the picture-puzzle that will be the buyer's new home is the Mortgage Broker or Loan Officer, who can literally make or break the transaction. The best lending professionals conduct a thorough review of the buyer's qualifications and assets prior to issuing a pre-approval letter. They don't just take a snapshot, give it a once-over, and then wait until the contract is signed. They give the buyer and the agent a realistic timeline and then work really hard to stick to it. From the appraisal to the closing, they are on top of every detail every day. They solve...