Novato, CA Real Estate News

By Kevin McGinnis, Marin County Luxury Homes Expert
(Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty)
We're thrilled to announce the launch of www.BestHomesNovato.com - a first-of-its kind Novato real estate website. BestHomesNovato.com breaks down the Novato real estate market how you want it: by neighborhood, by luxury homes, by new construction and by condos. When you find a neighborhood you like, it tells you what schools correspond to that area. There are also maps, Google Street Views, home listings and more. Of course, the site offers all the "regular" functions, such as up-to-the-minute MLS searches. You can also view all Novato foreclosures, updated on our blog. BestHomesNovato.com is a sister site to BestHomesMarin.com, your complete source for Marin County real estate. Get to know Novato neighborhoods from the people who know Novato! Call us today for your Novato and Marin re...
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By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
While the pipeline of new properties and overall inventory levels increases dramatically throughout most of Marin County, CA (this is the prime selling season, after all), Novato's inventory level has remained very steady over the past 3 months. Just 151 single family homes are currently for sale. There were 152 homes for sale in April 2009 and 142 in March 2009. Novato's absorption rate (e.g., the number of months of inventory currently available in Novato) again dipped dramatically. In March, Novato had 7.9 months of inventory, in April there was 6 months inventory, and today there just 4.97 months of inventory. Absorption rates and the days on market averages provide a telling insight into the overall state of the market. Today's shrinking inventory evidences pent up demand and refle...
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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))
 Millworks Novato (going strong with a lot of interest -check with Sylvia to see) Novato Real Estate Market started to pick up after the gloomy winter - Yes! (by the way, is there such a thing as gloomy winter in Marin?  - we are so spoiled, when there are more than a drizzle and a little bit of wind, we complaint about the weather and then secretly congratulate ourselves for being in such a wonderful place - there is a premium there :-)) Thanks to the press, both prnt and online and yes, the Obama Stimulus plan, the buzz out there is this is a great time to BUY in Marin county.  Finally, we have affordable prices (o.k. affordable is a relative term), but more affordable houses here in Marin. The condo/townhome cotinue to pick up pace, as well as the below $500K single family homes.  T...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
Google phone book is a great and Free to advertise in. Plus, if you go in and create a profile the Google phone book will put you higher on the listings page.  For example, if you go to Google and type in Home Stager, Novato CA our company will be the first name to come up. Even though our company name begins with a "W". (With Divine Style) In order to create an account: Google your Business Name and City, State Select the link below your listing that says "hours, location, ect." On the top left hand side of the page under "get directions" click "add or edit your business". Then click "Sign Up Now" on the top right hand box. Once you are done creating the account you can upload pictures and even create a coupon. In the end Google will call you at the business number to verify it is your...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
So our company decided to start attending local Realtor meetings, but the process can be rather intimidating. The groups of Realtors are 100 + and they all seem to be tightly knit almost like family.They have a time for affiliates to get up and speak and they have raffles at the end. They will also allow us to hand out business cards and fliers.What would you do to fit in?
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
So we recently landed a Staging in a beautiful Million Dollar Home! In this home there is a Formal Living Room; Family Room; Kitchen and Dinning Area and then a room off of the Dinning Area. Naturally, we would make the room off of the dinning area a Formal Dinning area since it has a Formal Living Room but the home owners want to make that area another Family Room. What would you do?
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
The following is a copy of my intake form that I use for Staging. I generally keep this information in a clients folder on the left hand side. I also notate all communication between the client and on on the bottom of this form. Anyone is welcome to use it.   It is good to have an intake form because it keeps the client talking. If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to post.   ~Linda     Initial Contact Person_____________________________________________________ Phone #__________________ Ext.______  Email ______________________________   Home Owners/Seller____________________________________________________ Realtor_______________________________________________________________ Trust_________________________________________________________________ Bank____________...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
Yesterday I went on a Bid Proposal which was very challenging. A Realtor had us come in for a bid proposal with two of our competitors all at the same time. It was rather awkward because I had never actually known who I was bidding against. All of the Stagers he brought in where ASP certified. I think that made the bid even more difficult because we were all ASP family. We spent hours analyzing what we would need to charge to get the whole house done by Friday and still turn a profit without undercutting the industry. One of the Stagers we bid against was a dear friend and more like a sister.  So now we are on pins and needles waiting for a response. I wish the other two Stagers the best and I am certain it will turn out fine, it just felt a little strange at the time. Has this ever hap...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
In our area we have an association of Realtors that meet every morning to participate in Brokers Tours. If you are a featured Sponser you can directly market to the Realtors.   But Sponsorship has different levels and each level is expensive.   Has anyone had expeirence with direct marketing at these types of meetings and is it worth the investment?
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
    So I recently had a home owner who hired us to Stage her Semi Custom Single Level Home home but would not allow us to hang anything.   To compensate we brought in tall plants.         We also brought in tall furnishings.       We where able to hang curtains.     What would you do?  
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
So our company has spent the past two months focusing a great deal of time revamping our marketing. We are now finishing the final stages of putting together our website, logo, tag lines, brochures, portfolio's, and other marketing material. The question now is how do we get this information to Realtors and home owners who are ready to sell? We are already in the phone book and have made a presence online. We have considered mailing flyers to major Real Estate Offices but that gets costly. We have also tried cold calling Realtors and meeting with them for presentations, but that gets really costly. Our company is fairly new on the staging circut and not well known. Especially since we just changed our company name and image. We make it a point to stay in tough with the Realtors wo have...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
With Divine Style was founded in 2005 by Linda D. Pufford. Linda started her business as a Professional Organizer and Interior Designer in 1988. Growing up Linda was surrounded by interior designers so she took naturally to interior design but it wasn’t until the passing of a family friend in 2002 that Linda discovered the art of Home Staging. Not knowing anything about Home Staging, Linda turned to books and shows on HDTV to guide the way. Once the home was staged it sold in just 2 weeks! Thus began her career in home Staging.Since then Linda has gone on to become an Accredited Staging Professional Master and in 2008 she was nominated for the Barb Swartz Home Staging Excellence Award.  Certifications and Associations:•    Affiliate Member of NORBAR and Women’s Council of Realtors Marin...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
The last service we provide is Event planning. If anyone has time to comment your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Weather you are planning a Baby Shower, Bar Mitzva, Company Party, Wedding, or Wake, events ‘With Divine Style’ is here to serve you through all transitions of life! Services We Offer:Event Planning•    Leave all of the worry to us. In our free 1 hour consultation we will accesses what your needs and provide you with an estimate of services. We will provide you with interactive progress reports along the way to ensure the event is being planned to your specifications. Event Design and Implementation•    Not only can we help plan the event but we can design and arrange the decorations as well. From linins, and center pieces, to floral arrangements, using our services c...
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By Linda D. Pufford, ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager
(Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging)
I am in the process of preparing my website and one of the services I provide is Professional Organizing. So if anybody has time to make some comments or suggestions it would be appreciated:Professional Organizing is the art of developing systems that are custom tailored to your personality and natural organization style. The goal of professional organizing is to provide long term results. How the process works: Step 1. We perform an over the phone intake to help assess your needs for services. Step 2. For a set fee we come to your home or office and help you develop a plan to get organized. Step 3. Then for an additional set fee we come into your home and implement the plan. All work is preformed with you the client and is implemented in 4 hour intervals. In order to make the results o...
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By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
This is a special home with immutable qualities not found in other South Gate at Hamilton Field offerings. Most signifricantly, this gorgeous home is on the levee and has no immediate neighbor to the south - very rare. Unique opportunity to live in Hamilton Field's coveted South Gate neighborhood in the most sought after location - on the levee. Few South Gate homes on the levee have come to market in the past 3 years. The last one that did sold within a couple of weeks. This is your chance! Great Room configuration. Kitchen with granite tile counters, dual-zone wine refrigerator, upgraded appliances, breakfast bar, and work station. Four spacious bedrooms (all upstairs) and 2.5 Baths. Dining Room, Living Room, Laundry Room, and more. Luxurious Master Suite with views across the Bayside...
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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))
A controversial project due to the sheer size, the location and what it is and what it is not (a bit vague?  Ask me!), Millworks Novato had it's grand opening today (April 25th).  What a pleasant surprise the development is! As a Novato resident and a Realtor; although I missed the design, approval phases of the project; I, as many Novatans,  have watched with great interest and concerns in the progress of the building.   Today, I got to tour Millworks with my friend, Barbara.  We came away quite impressed! Millworks - According to the developer, Millworks Novato is "Nestled among the North Bay's rolling hills landscape, charming Old Town Novato is the home to Millworks, and environmentally sustainable and pedestrian-friendly new home community".  Millworks Novato The building, sits ato...
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By Kevin McGinnis, Marin County Luxury Homes Expert
(Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty)
We're a month into the 2nd quarter of 2009 and Novato home sales are picking up. Since the first of the year, there's been a hefty increase in buyer activity at many price points. Specifically, there's been a market surge for Novato properties priced up to $700,000. The chart here represents pending sales, or homes that are in escrow. The main reason that the number of homes in escrow is an important indicator is that it represents today's news, whereas closed sales are yesterday's market.   WEEK of JAN 22 WEEK of APR 22   CATEGORY % Pending % Pending % chg All single-family and condos       30       39.5 +9.5 Single-family (SFD)       28       37 +9 Condos       37       45.5 +8.5 $0-$500K SFD       45       57.5 +12.5 $500,001-$600K       27       48.5 +21.5 $600,001-$700K       27   ...
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By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
While the pipeline of new properties and overall inventory levels increases dramatically throughout most of Marin County, CA. (this is the prime selling season, after all), Novato’s inventory level remains at a seasonally adjusted low with just 152 single family homes for sale. There were 142 homes for sale in March 2009. Perhaps we are on the back side of the distressed property curve. Meanwhile, the absorption rate (e.g., the number of months of inventory currently available in Novato) dipped dramatically from 7.9 months in March to 6 months today (note: earlier this year, we were down to 4.5 months due to the large number of sales in December 2008). Absorption rates and the days on market averages provide a telling insight into the overall state of the market. More on this below.  A...
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By Kyle Frazier, Kyle Frazier , CRS & Marin CA Realtor
(Christie's Great Estates | Pacific Union International)
While the pipeline of new properties and overall inventory levels increases dramatically throughout most of Marin County, CA. (this is the prime selling season, after all), Novato’s inventory level remains at a seasonally adjusted low with just 152 single family homes for sale. There were 142 homes for sale in March 2009. Perhaps we are on the back side of the distressed property curve. Meanwhile, the absorption rate (e.g., the number of months of inventory currently available in Novato) dipped dramatically from 7.9 months in March to 6 months today (note: earlier this year, we were down to 4.5 months due to the large number of sales in December 2008). Absorption rates and the days on market averages provide a telling insight into the overall state of the market. More on this below.  A...
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By Dave Roberts
(Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty)
I work mostly in Sonoma County, but Marin is close to home and some of the same buyers will look in both Novato and Petaluma. I posted about finding a bottoming trend in one of the Sonoma County areas I work in and wanted to see if Novato in northern Marin showed the same trend. I made a chart showing the median price of sold single family residences in the three Novato zip codes. Each zipcode has both a 90 day moving average as well as a more volatile 7 day moving average. There are always lots of interesting tidbits to pull out of charts like this so I'm going to walk you through how I use this to understand a bit more of the market. First of all, the orange and red lines (94945 and 94949 respectively) start out at the same place last May at around $870K for median priced homes. As of...
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