Cleanest Air in the Country – Novato, Marin County, CA

The News is Out! Renowed for Quality of Life, Marin County Towns were winnders in the 2008 Money Magazine ‘Best Places To Live’ “Clean Air’ category.

Among all the small towns ranked by the Money agazine, Novato won first place, San Rafafel Second and Salinas placed 15 in the ‘Clean Air’ category.

Top 25 in 2008 Money Magazine Quality of Life ‘Clean Air’ Category

And don’t forget, the further North you go in Marin, the sunnier it gets – beats the city 100%

200 San Marin Dr. Novato, Pre Construction Meeting

200 San Marin Drive Drawing by Catlin Properties

As a San Marin Improvement Association’s member, I went to the preconstruction meeting for 200 San Marin Drive Project today. 

200 San Marin Drive is now a the vacant lot situated at the south east corner of San Marin Drive and San Andreas Drive.  Designated as a gas station, it will now be a single story, 6,700sf. medical building planned for four medical or dental offices serving local community.

Others present were two San Andreas HOA members, Chip Fuller, Vice President of Catlin Properties, owner of 200 San Marin Drive and Aton Seikowitz of Selkowitz & CO., Inc. General Contractors.  

The plan is to start construction as soon as possible, either the week of July 28th or August 4th.  The entire project is expected to be around 7 months long, with the first phase having the most impact on the neighborhood.  The crew will be working between 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.   

The first phase, which is expected to last 6-8 weeks, can produce the most noise and dust.  This phase includes building a six foot fence at the rear, leveling the field (where the entire ground will be at midpoint of the current elevation), digging and laying pipes for water and sewage, drainage filtration system, paving the road ,…,etc. 

Dust control is a major concern, and the crew will be keeping the ground wet and dust to the minimum.  The crew will also be trimming some of the trees which overhang the site, where permission will be obtained from the county (for the Oak tree) and the neighboring owners.

A temporary chain link type of fence will be erected to protect the premises and pedestrians.

The rest of the project will be of less impact to the neighborhood, where they will be working on the building itself.  The owner would like to have the lot surface prepared and paved before raining season so as to minimize soil run off to the street.

The last two months is expected to be all internal work with minimum distruption to the neighborhood.

Anton and Chip provided us with their contact information and encouraged neighbors to contact them shall there be any concern during the construction phase.

The above is my understanding after the meeting today.  I welcome comments and corrections. 

Green Building Components:

Per Catlin Website.  200 San Marin Drive will incorporate the following “Green Building” Components:

Plumbing for solar panels,and reuse of gray water
Filterra storm water treatment systems
Satellite weather controlled drip irrigation
Native and drought tolerant landscaping
High efficiency HVAC systems
Low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants
No added-urea formaldehyde for all composite wood products
CRI Green Label Plus carpets
Fluorescent lighting
Occupancy sensors in rest rooms
Dual flush and low flow fixtures
LED exit signs
Waste management system, recycling
Energy modeling and analysis reporting system

References

200 San Marin Drive Project by Catlin Properties

Novato Planning Commission Meeting Agenda March 17, 2008

200 San Marin Drive Medical Office Documents for Panning Commission 03/17/08 meeting

Novato Real Estate Market Overview, July 23rd, 2008

Another positive trend since July 9th, 2008 statistics.  Total inventory dropped by 11 while pending sales units remained the same! 

Big change in percent pending is the starter single family homes, with a drop of 8%.  My theory is that Locaton, Location, Location.  SFR in desirable location, shows nicely and priced right are moving still.  However, many starter homes that sit on the market for a while can have a few problems such as location (next to freeway, in flood zone), a big one), , unless priced extremely low, the buyers are shy away from them. ”

Big gain in pending sales is in the low to median price range and people who used to not being able to purchase, are looking at such option now; hence a healthy increase in pening sales for this price range. 

Check with your trusted Realtor about inventory on the market and what’s the best house for your needs and wants!  

category

 

Total Units/ In Escrow

 

% Active

 

% Pending

% +/- since 5/28

All SFD’s and CID’s

 

444/124

 

72%

 

28%

+1%

SFD’s

 

335/81

 

76%

 

24%

+0%

CID’s

 

109/43

 

61%

 

39%

+3%

$0 -$500K SFD

 

56/23

 

59%

 

41%

-8%

$500,001-$600K

 

33/9

 

73%

 

27%

-2%

$600,001 – $700K

 

61/21

 

66%

 

34%

+8%

$700,001 – $800K

 

40/9

 

77.5%

 

22.5%

+2.5%

$800,001 – $999,999

 

52/9

 

83%

 

17%

+3%

$1M – $1.25M

 

35/6

 

83%

 

17%

-1%

$1.25M – $1.5M

 

24/2

 

92%

 

8%

-4%

$1.5M+

 

34/2

 

94%

 

6%

-5%

  • Buyer’s Market  < 25%
  • Neutral                25% – 40%
  • Seller’s Market   > 40%

Marin County Real Estate Two Month Closed Home Sales Report – May/June 07’/08′

Marin County Association of Realtors released the two months closed sales comparison report for the months of May and June, 2007 vs May an June, 2008. 

From the report, sales volume for 2008 is about 1/3 off from those of 2007.  The average price dropped by 10+% and the Days on Market is up 20%.  Median price also see a 10% drop.  The average and adjusted average (after weeding out the two extreme) are pretty similar. 

All the numbers are relatively even through May 2008, but in June 2008, we see the drops mentioned above.  

One of the explanation might be the increase in short sales at the lower end of markets, which tends to stay on market much longer than normal sales, they also drive the median and average sale price lower.  However, the higher end homes tend to stay in demand due to the superior Marin location.

Real Estate is Local, which is especially true in Marin county where many areas (mostly Souther Marin, all pice range, seemly protected by the local micro real estate market  – tend to stay vibrant!

Make sure you ask your Realtor about the specific area you are interest before jumping into conclusion by numbers.

 

Marin County
Two-Month Closed Home Sales Report
All Residential Homes Sold

June 2007

June 2008

TOTAL PROPERTIES SOLD:  292 TOTAL PROPERTIES SOLD: 217
List Price Sale Price DOM List Price Sale Price DOM
AVERAGE: $1,224,694 $1,210,890 62 AVERAGE: $1,177,288 $1125,216 80
MEDIAN: $989,000 $973,000 36 MEDIAN: $879,000 $865,506 59
HIGH: $6,000,0000 $6,000,0000 590 HIGH: $7,495,000 $6,100,000 430
LOW: $32,000 $25,000 0 LOW: $34,000 $19,000 0
ADJ. AVG.: $1,212,341 $1,198,465 61 ADJ. AVG.: $1,153,221 $1,107,223 80

May 2007

May 2008

TOTAL PROPERTIES SOLD: 210 TOTAL PROPERTIES SOLD: 145
List Price Sale Price DOM List Price Sale Price DOM
AVERAGE: $1,239,863 $1,223,925 60 AVERAGE: $1317,524 $1,279,555 68
MEDIAN: $895,000 $880,000 34 MEDIAN: $980,000 $969,000 45
HIGH: $9,400,000 $7,950,000 521 HIGH: $11,500,000 $9,750,000 338
LOW: $49,000 $49,000 0 LOW: $99,000 $87,000 0
ADJ. AVG.: 1.217,381 $1,206,018 60 ADJ. AVG.: $1,2,74,428 $1,244,161 68

Statistics from BAREIS MLS® February 8, 2008. Information herein believed reliable but not guaranteed.
Copyright @ 2008 by Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

Adjusted average does not include the high and low sale data.

Novato Real Estate Market Overview, July 9th, 2008

                                      Novato Old City Hall 
Another positive trend since June 25th, 2008 weekly statistics.  Total inventory actually dropped by 1 while pending increased by 7. 

From a price range point, starter condos/townhomes as well as starter single family homes up to $800K, while $800K and up homes suffered slightly. 

With Fannie Mae tightening guidelines for people who are thinking about using their current home as a 2nd home or investment property, this might be the time to lock down that loan and purchase your dream home. 

Check with your mortgage broker for the details and how that affect the specific lenders they work with.

Check with your trusted Realtor about inventory on the market and what’s the best house for your needs and wants!  

category

 

Total Units/ In Escrow

 

% Active

 

% Pending

% +/- since 5/28

All SFD’s and CID’s

 

455/124

 

73%

 

27%

+1%

SFD’s

 

336/81

 

76%

 

24%

+2%

CID’s

 

119/43

 

64%

 

36%

+1%

$0 -$500K SFD

 

55/27

 

51%

 

49%

-3%

$500,001-$600K

 

38/11

 

71%

 

29%

+7%

$600,001 – $700K

 

58/15

 

74%

 

26%

+9%

$700,001 – $800K

 

40/8

 

80%

 

20%

+6%

$800,001 – $999,999

 

50/7

 

86%

 

14%

-5%

$1M – $1.25M

 

34/6

 

82%

 

18%

-3%

$1.25M – $1.5M

 

25/3

 

88%

 

12%

-0.5%

$1.5M+

 

36/4

 

89%

 

11%

-1%

  • Buyer’s Market  < 25%
  • Neutral                25% – 40%
  • Seller’s Market   > 40%

Fannie Mae Tightens Guidelines for Retaining Current Residence as 2nd Home or Investment Properties

In today’s Frank Howard Allen Office meeing, Andy Shine, mortgage broker with Residence Pacific Mortgage, discussed the new guideline by Fannie Mae, which will be effective on August 1. The guidelines affect loans for purchase a new home while retaining the current residence as 2nd home or investment porperty.

Might be time to buy the house you always wanted if you are sitting on the fence.

Here are the details:

Situation New Requirement
Current Principal residence is pending sale but the transacction will not be closed (with title transfer to a new owner) prior to the new transaction  Both the current and the proposed mortgage payments must be used to qualify the borrower forthe new transaction
Coversion to a Second Home – Both the current and the proposed mortgage payments must be used to qualify the borrower forthe new transaction, and- 6 months of PITI for BOTH properties is required to be in reserves.  Lender may consider reduced reserves of no less than 2 months for both properties if there is documented equity of at least 30 percent in the existing property
Conversion to an Investment Property Fannie Mae continues to permit up to 75% of rental income to be used to offset the mortgage if there is document equity of at least 30% in existing propertyThe rental income must be documented with:

– Copy of fully executed lease agreement

– Receipt of security deposit from tenant and into borrower’s account

If not meeting 30% equity requirement, rental income may not be used to offse the mortgage payment.

– Both the current and the proposed mortgage payments must be used to qualify the borrowers for the new transaction; and

– 6 months of PITI for BOTH properties is required to be in reserves. 

 

Serene, Private Retreat on over 1/3 Creekside Acre, Pool

Come Home to The Fabulous Retreat

2197 Vineyard Road, Novato, CA
Listed at $1,049,000
 

For more details and pictures, please go to www.2197Vineyard.com

Upscale, lovely expanded and remodeled architect’s home sits on over 1/3 level acre lot. Creekside setting with freeform swimming pool and hot tub, deck, patio and gazebo under giant shady trees. A wonderful home for year round relaxing retreat and entertainment!

The seemily humble ranch style home is designed to take full advantage of the premium creekside lot and is packed with surprises!

Walk through the beautiful front door, you are immediately greeted by an inviting, open living / dining room with gorgeous view of greenery from the floor to ceiling windows and sliders. Decorative woodburing fireplace provides focal point in the living room. Gleaming hardwood floor provides warmth thoughout the housee.

The completely remodeled kitchen has beautiful granit slab counters, spanish style floor tiles and center island for breakfast and party gathering. The kitchen also has skylight, ceiling fan and is equipped with beautiful stainless steel appliances and plenty of custom cabinets. Graden windows surrounds the breakfast area overlooking private front yard.

Dramatic brand new master suite has cathedral ceilling, wall of windows and french doors looking into the amazing backyard. The adjacent master bath has tumble marble counters, tiles with ultra modern, sleak lined sinks. There is a separate shower and deep tub with jets for a soothing bath.

The fabulous creekside backyard is accessible through french doors in the living / dining room, guest room and master suite. Tall trees provides plenty of shades in the hot summer. Jump into the solar heated pool for an afternoon swim or just relax in the hot tub while gazing at the stars. The patio off living room provides a cozy gathering spot with the creek in the backdrop providing privacy for the secluded backyard.

Great schools, close to horse riding facilities, O’Hair Park, Stafford Lake, Mt. Burdell, Rolling Hills Club and more!