Archive for April, 2006

How much does it cost to buy a house in Marin County?

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

How much does a house cost in Marin County?

I thought you would find this interesting. Below is listed the minimum and maximum cost of various Marin County single-family homes. This data is as from April 6, 2006 and has a few surprises, as least to me it does. Consider a home in Larkspur for $612,000 or Novato for $9,250,000? They all have a story behind the price, if you want to know more give me a call (Warren Carreiro 415-846-7286) or send me an email at  It would be great to share comments.


City Lowest Highest
San Rafael $    629,000 $  4,995,000
Corte Madera 699,000 2,195,000
Larkspur 612,000 2,900,000
Mill Valley 699,000 4,495,000
Novato 539,000 9,250,000
San Anselmo 649,000 3,795,000
Fairfax 579,000 2,495,000
Belvedere 2,125,000 20,000,000
Ross 850,000 10,900,000
Tiburon 929,000 13,950,000
Greenbrae 1,159,000 1,875,000

Remember this does not include condominiums, I will post those another day.

Marin Real Estate Market in Transition

Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

The Marin real estate market is in a transition.  Homes are staying on the market longer and we aren’t seeing as many “Seller Wish List” notices in MLS.  Buyers are taking their time and being picky, if the home is not in top shape or overpriced it will sit on the market for a long time.   
What most buyers are looking for (and yes, now sellers should care) is a home that does not need any work, inside or outside.  That means the pest report is clean or close to zero, the paint, yard and floors are fresh and clean.  If your home is a “fixer” it needs to be priced that way.  Not so long ago the differential between a clean home and a fixer was small.  Why buy a fixer if it cost less to buy a clean home where you don’t have the headaches?
Pricing a home properly makes the difference in how fast your home sells.  The longer a home sits on the market the lower the percent sold to percent asking price is.
Our average days on market (and this includes escrow time too) for March 2006 is 66 days, up from 44 day in March 2005.

Are prices going to drop, should I wait to buy?

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006

I have had a couple of clients mention they are waiting for prices of Real Estate in Marin County to drop before they purchase a home.  For a while, the newspaper headlines warned the sky was falling but now the consensus seems to be there will be a soft landing from the rapid housing appreciation.
Looking back at the 41-year history of average Marin County Real Estate prices reported in BARIES MLS there have been two years when prices were lower than the previous year.  In both these instances the drops were relatively small; under two percent.
Remember though, historically the odds are not leaning to prices dropping. After all, two years of price reductions and thirty eight of increases means 95% of the time Marin prices have increase year over year.
When we consider interest rates, the argument to wait makes even less sense.  Let’s say on this $850,000 home we have a 20% down payment that leaves us with a $680,000 loan.  30-year payments at the current rate of 6.5% are $4,298.  If rates go to 7.5% (which historically is more likely than a price drop) the payments are $4,755.
One question you have to ask is, have the people who think prices are going to drop sold their homes?  Most likely not.?