Novato, CA Real Estate News

By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
Hamilton Field, Novato CA Real Estate and Homes  Hamilton Field in Novato (Marin County), California, is a model community filled with a vitality and energy all its own. Since its inception as a planned community about ten years ago, Hamilton Field has seen vast improvements and is now a magnet community for folks of all different ages and backgrounds. Hamilton Field is a jewel. The former military base, which was used by the Army and Air Force from the 1930’s to the 1970’s, is now a delightful community of over 1,000 homes. It is, to my mind, one of the very best communities in Marin as it has everything you need within easy walking distance (including shopping, dining, and all kinds of outdoor activities from swimming to skateboarding and biking to birdwatching). The 408-acre Hamilton...
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By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
The Novato single family home market seems to be forming a bottom. Prices appear to be leveling out and the percentages of entry level homes in escrow are very high. I know that many foreclosure sales and short sales are getting multiple offers. I have several clients who have faced as many 9 to 20 offers in competition for a single family home. This activity bodes well for sales in the higher price bands. Moreover, in June 2009, Novato had 38 sales (up from 32 in June 2008). Indeed, this reflects an upward trend over the past few months—May 2009 had 44 sales. Of course, many of these are bargain priced homes such as REO’s or short sales. But, nonetheless, the inventory is rapidly being absorbed as there is extraordinary pent up demand. Perhaps more significantly, the average sales pri...
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By Kevin McGinnis, Marin County Luxury Homes Expert
(Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty)
Foreclosures continue to be the big story in 2009.  According to Realty Trac, 1.5 million homes either received a foreclosure filing or were seized by banks.  And keep in mind, there was a 3-month moratorium on foreclosures for three months!  As usual in Marin County, Novato continues to lead the way with the most foreclosed homes. While this is devastating to a family, the other side of the coin is that people who have been priced out of the market for years, now have a chance to own a home. But foreclosure is the big story and try as they might, no one seems to have a workable solution to the problem.  Loan modifications are spotty at best, and the unemployment freight train keeps rolling along.  One in six members of the workforce in the U.S. is either unemployed or underemployed.  T...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
We were called in to Stage a home that had previously been on the market for six months and not one offer.  When we got to the home we thought no wonder it didn't get any offers, the outside really needed some help.  The inside was vacant but really nice and it had some really nice features...but if you can't get the buyers in the door the home is not going to sell.  So we gave a list of landscapers from our resource binder to the new Realtor and homeowner and just like that the outside of the home looked appealing. We Staged on Saturday and they had the first open house on Sunday.  Two offers came in that day and one of them was the new owner of the home.  Here are some before and afters of the outside of the home.  More inside photo's to follow. Before After Before After       Besides...
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of July 8, 2009 an impressive 47% of available listings in Novato are in escrow. For the month of June 2009 51 homes sold in Novato for an average final selling price of $574,357. The average original asking price of these homes was $629,116. The range of final selling prices was from a low of $145,000 to a high of $2,274,000. Of the 51 homes sold 3 sold at the original asking price and 9 sold over.  (22 were distress sales.) It took these homes an average of 142 days to sell. To see everything that is currently available for sale, click here. To learn more about this area, including all the fun things to do around here,  visit my website or contact me directly.
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
This is the second Condo that we Staged.  This Condo had less square footage then the first Condo that we Staged.  What was nice about this Condo was the living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen combo were very large and open.  Here are the before and after photo's. Living Room Before After Dining Room Before After Living Room/Dining Room Full View Before After Coffee/Breakfast Area Before After Kitchen Before After Master Bedroom Before After Master Bath Before After Stage with Divine Style is a full service Home Staging, Interior Re-Design and Professional Organizing Company.  We offer free bid/proposals, occupied and vacant Home Staging.  We can do as little or as much as you like.  Call us at 877.267.4649 for a free in home estimate.  You never get a second chance to make a great first ...
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By Kevin McGinnis, Marin County Luxury Homes Expert
(Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty)
Novato Foreclosure List - Condos and Single Family Homes For Sale "Your complete source for Novato foreclosure listings."   July 7, 2009 Check out our new All-Novato website, with the most complete look at Novato neighborhoods: www.BestHomesNovato.com Please click below link to view ALL bank-owned (REO) properties currently on the MLS. These are "active" status and listed as available for purchase. This includes everything available, from condos to single family homes to luxury properties. NOVATO SINGLE FAMILY HOME FORECLOSURES  (Total: 7)         What's new today: 1 price reduction (1674 Center Rd. $279,900) NOVATO CONDO/TOWNHOME FORECLOSURES  (Total: 6)          What's new today:   1 price reduction (1540 Center Rd. #385 $119,900) TO SEE any of these foreclosure properties, or for mor...
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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))
I have never be 'IN' the Novato July 4th parade before.  A few times I was there, I was a bystander, watching for my then young sons marching down Old Town Grant Avenue as part of Novato Summer Music Institute Marching Band.  It was fun watching them, but I had never be IN one before. Yesterday, I got the taste of actually being in the Parade while riding the truck with the Penguin Empire Robotics Team (San Marin High School Robotics Club).  I have to say that it was a lot of fun riding with the students, pretending that I was helping (they knew exactul what to do). and waving to the bystanders (now that I am in it, might as well enjoy the parade!) The parade drew record entries and recrod crowds presumably the difficutl economy kept a lot of people home during the summer; but being in ...
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By Kevin McGinnis, Marin County Luxury Homes Expert
(Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty)
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
This past weekend we Staged 2 Beautiful Condo's.  Located in San Anselmo, CA.  Newly constructed with lots of extra features.  Here are some before and after photos of Condo #1.  We really enjoyed Staging them.   Living Room Before After Living Room and Deck Deck Dining Room Before After Kitchen Before After Master Bedroom Before After Before After Master Bath Before After  Stage with Divine Style is a full service Professional Staging Company.  Staging occupied and vacant homes with Style.  Call us for a free estimate of our services.  You never get a second chance to make a great first impression!!!  Toll free 877.267.4649.
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By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
This month, Novato's absorption rate fell to an unbelievable 3.04 months. That is low. Absorption rates, along with days on market averages, provide a telling insight into the overall state of the market. As I have noted before, value properties can be found in virtually ALL price ranges in Novato. Pricing in most neighborhoods is back to what it was in 2002-2003. Note that available inventory in the entry level price ranges is way down and the percentages of homes in escrow is rising fast. For example, 72% of homes in Novato priced under $500K are in escrow (up from 63% in May 2009); 48% of homes between $500K and $600K; 52% of homes priced between $600K and $750K; 22% of homes between $750K and $1 million; and 22% of homes priced between $1 million and $1.5 million. These are some str...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
This is the same house we Staged that needed a dining room.  It was built in the 70's and we knew it could use some updating.  Paint was a big part of this transformation and it didn't stop in the living/dining room. The kitchen needed some updating as well.  It had the old dark brown wood cupboards and it made the room look very dark.  So we brought in our Resource Binder and our client went through it to get some help.  She chose one of the painters from our RB to come in and paint the inside and outside of cupboards and he gave her a fantasic price.  New hardware was put on the drawers and doors of the cupboards.  The ceiling light plates were replaced as well as the cutting board and the knobs on the stove.  A new dishwasher was found on Craiglist and the Kitchen update was complete...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
We Staged a beautiful home on the Golf Course.  It was an occupied home and when we went in to preview it there was no place to set down and eat.  There was a low eating bar in the kitchen with no stools, very small.  Since there was no kitchen eating area to put a table and chairs and no formal dining room in the home we let the client know we would like to create one. She said we have this area in the living room that we can show as a place to eat.  (See the before living room/dining area below)  We expained with a 3 bedroom home that the potential buyers for this home would probably be a family of 3 or 4.  She said we are a family of 5 and don't use a table and chairs.  We explained that it was fine for living but we would like to create a diffentent look for selling.  She agreed aft...
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By Kevin McGinnis, Marin County Luxury Homes Expert
(Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty)
Multiple offers.  Overbids.  Properties being snapped up the same day they are listed for sale.  Remember those days in Marin County real estate?  They're baaaaack! As of this writing, 47% of all homes (single-family residences and condominiums) on the market in Novato are in escrow.  If you break that down even further, out of all 100 condominiums currently listed for sale in Novato, 56 of them (56%) are in escrow. If you look at single-family homes in Novato priced less than $500,000, 68% on the market have an accepted offer to purchase and are in escrow. This is astonishing because this time last year, just 26% of all homes and condos in Novato were in escrow.  As a result of this robust market, we have just 355 homes and condos available here, compared with 457 a year ago. What's c...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
  We had a unique opportunity when we were called in to Stage an Office for work.  We met with the Office Manager and then the President of the Company.  We talked over a plan, they agreed to work with us and so here are some before and after pictures of the completed project!!! Office (Before and Afters)        \                                                                                                       If your office needs an update or a makeover, give us a call at 877.267.4649.  We, at Stage With Divine Style, can do as little or as much as you would like.  We work with every budget and we are fully insured.                                                                                                                                                                         ...
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By Kevin McGinnis, Marin County Luxury Homes Expert
(Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty)
Home buyers are snapping up an increasing number of Novato properties. In fact, almost half of all homes for sale are now in escrow.* What's more? In the hottest segment of all (single family homes under $500,000), 73% of homes are now in escrow. That's a 27% jump from just last month, and no segment has reached this level since October 2006. It's interesting to see the shift that has taken place over the past two or three years. Let's look at the week of October 11, 2006. At that time, there were only three homes for sale below $500,000. Today, there are 60.  We haven't seen that amount of (so-called) 'affordable' inventory in Novato since late 2001.   WEEK of APR 22 WEEK of JUNE 3   CATEGORY % In Escrow % In Escrow change All single-family and condos       39.5       48 +22% Single-fa...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
I am sure that there are a lot of Home Stagers that Stage the outside of homes when they Stage such as  Patios and Decks. Well this was a first for us, we recently went on a bid where we were asked to Only Stage the Outside of the House.  They wanted these areas Staged: 1.) Front Porch  (Possibly two Chairs and a table) 2.) The whole  area around the Pool (Possibly a table with four chairs, 2 lounge chairs, and maybe a swing) 3.) Two areas around the back part of the house (Possibly a table to eat at with four chairs. and a seating group) It's the first time we have been asked to do only the outside of the house and not any of the inside of the house.  Has this ever happen to anyone else.  We are glad to work on this project but we just felt it's not our typical Staging. Let me know wha...
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of June 3, 2009 an encouraging 45% of available listings in Novato are in escrow. For the month of May 2009 58 homes sold in Novato for an average final selling price of $502,330. The average original asking price of these homes was $574,384. The range of final selling prices was from a low of $212,000 to a high of $1,425,000. Of the 58 homes that sold 4 sold at the original asking price and 3 sold over.  All others sold for less. It took these homes an aveage of 140 days to sell. To see everything that is currently available for sale through out MLS click here. To learn more about this area visit my website or contact me directly. To see some of the fun things to do around here click here.
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
Our latest Staging Project was on Friday, May 8th, 2009.  We Staged a 3400 sq ft home in the beautiful hills of Bennett Valley in Santa Rosa, CA.  We got a call from the Realtor on Wednesday, May 13th letting us know that the property sold that day.  It was a full price offer 1.2 million and the buyers paid cash with a two week escrow. We de-Staged Tuesday, May 19th and we were thrilled that the property sold so quickly.  The sellers are happy and the Realtor told us we did a great job.  It's nice for everyone that the house sold in only 5 days!!! We really enjoyed Staging this Home as you will see from the pictures.  It was already a Masterpiece Home even without furniture and accessories  we were just allowed to frame this beautiful work of Art!!! So here are the pictures.   Grand Ent...
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