Prepare Your (Marin County) Home for the High Wild Fire Season – An Annual Exercise!

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Living in Marin and Sonoma Count, San Francisco North Bay, and for that matter, the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the entire state of California, we are constant on “High Fire Alert” during the dry summer seasons.

With the state budget cut, which deeply affected the state, county park as well as municipal fire department budgets, it is with even more urgency that homeowners heed to the advise and guidelines on how to prepare yours homes for the fire season during the next few months.

In 2008, San Francisco Chronicle published an article highlighing what builders in the Oakland Hills did while rebuilding homes after the 1991 Oakland Fire. The Oakland Fire “ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others. The 1,520 acres (6.2 km²) destroyed included 2,843 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units. The economic loss has been estimated at $1.5 billion.”

Along with the article, S.F. Chronicle included a partial list of checklist developed by (of all the places) Travis County, Texas about what how to prepare for a fire:

I am following suit and quoting below:

Wildfire Preparedness Check List

The more “yes” answers you have, the more prepared you are in the event of a wildfire threat.

The House

  • Fire-resistant roof i.e. metal, tile, composition?
  • Non-flammable siding materials?
  • Home is located down-slope?
  • Wooden deck facing or overhanging level ground?
  • Large glass windows, facing level ground?
  • Deck, porch, vents or house screened to keep sparks out?
  • Chimney extending above the roofline?
  • Chimney spark arrester in place?
  • Roof and gutters clean of debris?

Around the House

  • A fire defensible space (D-space) zone of 30 – 100 ft?
  • Adequate clearance of weeds, tall grasses and brush?
  • Leaves raked?
  • Trees pruned 10 ft up from base of trunk?
  • Debris cleared from beneath trees and near structures?
  • Tree limbs pruned at least 10 ft from roof or within 15 ft laterally from chimney?
  • House location or address clearly marked (3 inch letters)?
  • Small amounts of mulch used near wooden structures?
  • Firewood and other burnable items stored at least 30 ft from the house?

Access

  • Easy access to home by emergency vehicles?
  • Road grade less than 15% (not steep)?
  • Road wide and accommodating to two-way traffic?
  • Road straight with wide turns?
  • Large areas for vehicles to turn around?
  • Short driveway from main road?
  • Home area level and easily plowed or raked for fire line?
  • Multiple roads into and out of developed area for safe and easy access and evacuation?

Water Supply

  • Pressurized hydrants available?
  • Non-pressurized or dry hydrants available?
  • Water sources such as ponds or streams accessible?
  • Power lines buried and not susceptible to fire?
  • Well pumps maintained with uninterrupted electricity?

Ten Quick and Easy Steps to Prepare for a Wildfire

1. Cut grass and weeds, rake leaves and pine needles and remove yard debris and branches.

2. Relocate woodpile and left over building materials at least 30′ from house.
NOTE: It is best to not locate the woodpile directly uphill or downhill of any structure.

3. Signs, address and access are well marked, and visible both night and day. Reflective numbering/lettering that is 3″ or larger is recommended.

4. Prune dead and low-hanging tree limbs 6 to 10 feet from the ground around house. Remove all dead vegetation in brush and shrubbery.

5. Store all gas, oil and other chemicals away from the house. This includes propane tanks on BBQ pits.

6. Keep roof and gutters free from leaves and needles.

7. Enclose spaces under porches, decks, foundations and overhangs, and roof/attic vent openings with 1/8″ metal screening.

8. Have garden hoses connected on all sides of your house.

9. Place tools (such as ladders, shovels, rakes and hoes) for easy access to fire fighters.

10. Check driveway for adequate clearance for emergency vehicles. (Both height and width).

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frank Howard Allen Realtors 
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.   Starter Home to Luxury Property.  REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architectural Distinctive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange.

Novato Celebrates July 4th Together at July 4th Parade in Downtown Novato

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Novato, California, the north-most town of Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, celebrates July the 4th with, among other activities, a July 4th parade through old town Novato.

The parade has steadily gained fan and momentum over the years; with the town growth and community involvement, has become a local attraction when celebrating July 4th. This year, being the 50th Anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Novato, anticipation is even higher 🙂

Between 8-11AM, the local Presbyterian Churchoffers their infamous Buckaroo Breakfast (2010 will be their 57th year doing this) with proceeds benefiting a Novato community mission project, such as Homeward Bound, Novato Human Needs, or Marin Food Bank. A place to gather, get some comfort, yummy breakfast; and say Hi to your friends and neighbors!

I had never be ‘IN’ the Novato July 4th parade before until the parade last year, 2009. A few times whenI went to the parade, 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.

Last year, 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 exactly 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 record crowds. Presumably the difficult economy kept a lot of people home during the summer; but being in Marin for the summer can not be considered a hardship, I have to say; and the 4th July parade reinforced the hometown feeling of being in this beautiful town.

The parade had 200+ entries and celebrated the many facets of Novato: The ones who protects us so we can be safe – WWII Surviing Veterans, Marine Corp Color Guard, Air force airplane flyover, Pacific Coast Guard, Novato Fire, Novato Police; Our Future Manyy student groups – the Novato Summer Music Institute, Five Charming Lads from San Marin, San Marin Jazz Choir, Marin Summer Theater, Novato Unified School District, Various Novato schools and Novato School Fuel thanking Novato for passing Measure A+ for Kids campaign; dace clubs, Taken do clubs, …..

and many other special interest groups:

Politicians or politician wanna-bes; the Peace Group with Cranes representing lost lives in wars: the perennial entry of fleet of antique tanks and military vehicles (a private collection by the owner of Marin Sanitary, Joe Garbarino’s WWII Military Museum), Bushmills Irish Pipers band of San Francisco, Petaluma Riding and Driving Club Senior Drill Team, A 3-Plane Fly over, Basset hound parade (yes, hundreds of them and their proud owners; the bystanders thought they are awfully cute), the horses and owners (Novato is famous for our horse properties in Indian Valley, Vineyard, Atherton, green point, black point).

MY personal favorite, other than the Pengium Empire float, of course, is the Pini Hardware Plunger Brigade, last year, with an automatic toilet built by Penguin Empire adviser Mike Sousal. Pini Hardware did a garbage can dance one year which was very cute seeing those big man dancing :-). (Pini Hardware is a small local hardware store famous for personalized attention. Novato waged a war against Home Depot moving into town because of Pini Hardware, and the big box shop blinked – Novatans are good at keeping the town away from big corporations); anti-tax protesters, archers, musketeers, Coast Guard Strike Team, and many more groups.

It’s also fun to see so many friends and neighbors out there watching and enjoying the parade. Novato, a town of 50K+ population, a lay-back and very friendly town can seem so small and personal where we seem to know and care about everybody! I was busy waving at my friends the whole time.

Oh, not to forget about the Penguin Empire Team – the students did great and the crowd were awed by the awesome robot whenever we stop. The students remotely controlled the robot, drove it down the ramp, performed a couple of routines (unfortunately, due to the crowd, we were not able to show the full potential of the robot) and drove it back up the float. The crowds were quite enthusiastic about the robot and the team 🙂

Here are a few pictures to share with you; many are courtesy of Nvato Advance and some are my own collection – sorry, I was too busy to be IN the parade, and did not take as many pictures as I would have liked!

Before pictures from 2009 Parade, I’d like to share with you a pictures from the Novato History Museum collection:

1908 July 4th Celebration in Novato

Yes, this is the Novato July 4th Parade in 1908 (102 years prior)!!!

Waiting and Positioning

Airplane Salute

Marine Color Guard

Helicopter Overhead

The Novato Fire – kids love the Fire Engines and we love them, especially with the dry, high fire summers in California!

Pearl Harbor Survivors

San Marin Pengium Empire Robotics Team (I sit behind the Igloo). The float won one of the first place awards.

Marin Summer Theater – 2009 Cast. 2010 Shows are Chicago, Rosencrantx & Guildenstern Are Dead and An Enchanged Evening

The Peace Parade with cranes representing lost lives during wars

The Pini Hardware Plunger Dance and an automatic Toilet Flush

St. Marys Chinese Girl Drum and Bell Dance

Guess Who!?

You got it! Basset Hound Parades

More Bassets

Irish BagPipers

Horse Women

Mariachi Band

WWII Military Museum

Novato Summer Music with Mr. Jason Eckl

Antique Farm Tractor

Fun Salon Worker

Pacific Coast Guard Strike Team

I will be with the Penguim Empire Float again this year, but look forward to sharing some pictures from the 2010 Novato July 4th Parade with you!

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frank Howard Allen Realtors 
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.   Starter Home to Luxury Property.  REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architectural Distinctive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange.

Federal Tax Credit for First Time Homebuyer Closing Deadline Extends to 09/30/10

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Updated July 1, 2010 – US Senate Passed this Bill and it is now at President Obama’s to be signed.

June 29, 2010 – US House extends Closing Deadline for First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit to 09/30/10 if they are in contract as of 04/30/10.

The homebuyer has to be in contract before 04/30/2010 and now close by 09/30/10 (instead of 06/30/10). This bill is going to the congress and is expected to pass.

This is in part due to the slow process by the lenders and loan servicers during the loan approval and loan funding process where two months escrow might not suffice to close escrow. However, I also fee the benefits to First Time Homebuyer in contract on Short Sale properties due to the notorious slowness in lender approval of short sales.

Hopefully the ones that are in contract on short sale as of 04/30/10 will also get the up to $8,000 tax credit if they close by 09/30/10. There is also the California Tax Credit of up to $10,000 which expires 12/31/10 – unlike the federal tax credit, this tax credit has to be claimed over a three year period.

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Sylvia Barr

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frank Howard Allen Realtors
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.   Starter Home to Luxury Property.  REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architectural Distinctive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange.

Novato, Marin Real Estate Market Overview as of May 27, 2010

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It’s been quite sometime since I published a Novato Markret Overview. As I have told interested parties – the market is hopping for homes that are entry level homes, attractive to both first time home buyers and investos; but can be quite challenging for high-end or move-up homes.

Vey clear drop in % in escrow happens between $700K and $800K, with a steep drop from sellers market to buyers market; this might have something to do with the Jumbo Conforming loan cut off point of $729K.

However, homes are very competitively priced and in great conditon can go into escrow quickly, no matter where the price point is.

               
  Novato Market
  Week of 05/27/2010
           
  # of Total Units % of Total Market
  # Total Units # In Escrow   % Active % In Escrow  
Type          
SFDs 255 98 62% 38% N
CIDs 89 47 47% 53% S
All SFDs and CIDs 344 145 58% 42% S
           
SFD by Price Range          
$0-$500K 55 32 42% 58% S
$500,001-$600K 38 16 58% 42% S
$600,001-$700K 38 16 58% 42% S
$700,001-$800K 36 19 47% 53% S
$800,001-$999,999 36 7 81% 19% B
$1M – $1.25M 20 3 85% 15% B
$1.25M – $1.5M 17 3 82% 18% B
$1.5M+ 13 2 85% 15% B
TOTAL SFDs 253 98 61% 39% N
           
% in Contract Type of Market      
< 25% Buyers      
25% – 40% Neutral      
> 40% Sellers

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa. Starter Home to Luxury Property. REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View

Leisure Stroll on Mt. Burdell, Marin Open Space, Novato, CA

A leisurely stroll on Mt. Burdell, Marin Open Space, on a very fine, early spring day.

Sunny, warm, clear, air fresh, quiet, except for birds chirpping, grasses are green; shining with dew,flowers are budding and tiny leaves peeking out. Water was flowing and Duke happily splashed in the stream.

We can see miles ahead all the way to the bay……

A picture perfect day!

This is from the trailhead in Partridge Knolls …. there are many trailheads for Mt. Burdell in San Marin area, Novato, CA.

Guideline for Mowing Grass on Marin County Open Space District

APTOPIX WILDFIRESHeading into the High Fire Season in Marin County, this seems to be a good time to reintroduce the guideline on how to mow the grass in Marin County, especially the properties that are next to Open Space. 

The guideline was established by the the Marin County Department of Parks and Open Space.

This letter is especially critical at this time of year when fire risk is increasing; especially since Marin county is agian, facing a very dry summer season.

The information below can be found on Marin County website Wildfire Safety Information as well.

Excerpt from Marin County Open Space District:

GUIDELINES FOR MOWING GRASS ON MARIN COUNTY OPEN SPACE DISTRICT LAND ADJACENT TO YOUR HOME

It is extremely important that your clearance work does not start a fire and that you follow the guidelines below:

Confirm that the property you want to mow is owned by the Marin County Open Space District, not your neighbor or another agency. Information on lot lines and property ownership is available at the County Assessor-Recorder’s Office (499-7215, or go to http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/AR/main/index.cfm) and the County Community Development Agency (499-6269, or go to http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/CD/main/index.cfm).

  • Mow only grass. If you wish to cut brush or trees on Open Space District lands, you will need a permit; please call the District field office at 415-507-2816.
  • Never mow under high fire hazard RED FLAG conditions; call 415-499-7191 for current conditions.
  • In the heat of summer, mow early in the morning or during the evening when it is cooler and less likely that you could start a fire. Use extra caution with power mowers or other spark-producing tools.
  • Keep a 5-pound “ABC” fire extinguisher AND a fully charged garden hose at the work site while mowing or other work is taking place.
  • Do not use metal mowing heads on power scythes (weed whips) as they can spark from contact with rocks.
  • Make sure spark arrestors are in place and functioning.
  • Do not lay power tools in dry grass where hot metals may ignite flammable vegetation.
  • Re-fuel tools away from vegetation — on paved surfaces or cleared areas. Store gasoline away from site.
  • If possible, have someone spot you (keep a close watch) while you are working to watch for problems.
  • Watch for hikers and other open space visitors; cease work until they are clear from the work area.

Information on the Open Space District is available on the internet at: http://www.marinopenspace.org.

For guidelines on fire protection, call your local fire agency or check the internet:

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

 MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa. Starter Home to Luxury Property. REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange. Chinese Realtor.

A Casual Stroll along Mt. Burdell, Novato, in the Magnificant Marin County

Fabulous Mt. Burdell provides a gorgeous backdrop for City of Novato in the magnificant Marin County, San Francisco North Bay, CA. The pictures were taken in the summer, around the very desirable Partridge Knolls neighborhood, overlooking San Marin, showing the ‘golden’ state. During the raining season, the hills turns fresh and than jade, provides a refreshing look throughout the county. Mt. Burdell, being one of the ‘younger’ hills in Marin County, has oak trees dotted in various places, provides a lively and beautiful picture of the hills.

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

 MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa. Starter Home to Luxury Property. REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange. Chinese Realtor.

Novato Marin Real Estate Market Overview 08/19/09 – Sellers Market!!!

Partridge Knolls under Mt. Burdell

Partridge Knolls under Mt. Burdell

Can’t believe summer slips by so quickly!  I last posted Novato Statistics on April 1, 2009 and now is the later part of August.  Students are back in school and we are heading into fall.    

During the past four months, with housing prices dropped 20%-30% and certain condos at 50% drop (the ones with problementic HOAs), stimulus plan, attraction of the ‘up to $8,000 credit back’, interest rate staying low, regular sellers holding onto their properties unless they have to sell; the supply remains low and demand has heightened.  All these contribute a shift in the percentage of houses under contract, moving most price ranges into the ‘sellers’ market, meaning % of houses under contract is great than 40%.    

The only decrease in percent of pendings are the 700-800K range (inbetween starter homes and luxury homes) and the super luxury range (over $1.5M) in Novato.   

Novato, and for that matter, Marin county real estate are seeing an encouraging trend of more buyers are out looking for homes, and they are Serious and Anxious buyers.  Most are the traditional buyers with solid downpayments, steady jobs; some are seasoned investors, all cash buyers, some are first time investors, and many first time buyers are also taking advantage of the soft market, low housing prices; and not surprisingly, all are looking for that great bargains and many are getting them. 

% pending are also skewed by the many short sale homes that have been in contract for a long time while waiting for lenders approval, but what great bargains the buyers can get with time in hand and plenty of patience.  I often encourage my clients to look for short sales if they can wait, beats jumping back into that multiple offers situation with REO, bank owned homes.  All my buyers clients are getting the best deals now because both of us have the patience to strategize, look, wait and bargain for the best property to purchase.       

Contact me at (415) 717-0293 or at sylvia@SylviaSellsMarin.com to discuss the market and the current trend, get familiar with the buying process, and start hunting for inventories on the market, whether REO, Trust Sale, start home, luxury homes.  Take time to see many homes so you know the right house when you see it!  It’s never too late to get ready.      I will be very happy to find the best house / investment property for you! 

It will be my pleasure to serve you!  Good Hunting!

category   Total Units/ In Escrow   % Active   % Pending % +/- since 04/01/09
All SFD’s and CID’s   350/164   53%   47% (S) +11%
SFD’s   248/106   57%   43% (S) +11%
CID’s   102/58   43%   57% (S) +13%
$0 -$500K SFD   47/36   23%   77% (S) +24%
$500,001-$600K   35/22   37%   63% (S) +20%
$600,001 – $700K   40/20   50%   50% (S) +13%
$700,001 – $800K   33/6   82%   18% (B) -7%
$800,001 – $999,999   39/10   74%   26% (N) +20%
$1M – $1.25M   23/7   70%   30% (N) +19%
$1.25M – $1.5M   14/5   64%   36% (N) +15%
$1.5M+   17/0   100%   0% (B) -20%
  • Buyer’s Market  < 25%
  • Neutral                25% – 40%
  • Seller’s Market   > 40%

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

 MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa. Starter Home to Luxury Property. REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange. Chinese Realtor.

Novato Marin Schools in Session, Duke is Happy at Dogbone Dog Park

Novato public schools are back in session, and Duke, our beloved Laborator / Pointer mix is very happy that he gets to go to Dogbone Meadows Dog Park to see his best friend, Hunter, again.  Since Dogbone Dog Park is in the opposite direction of my house in Partridge Knolls, San Marin Area, to my work, Frank Howard Allen Realtors, Duke only gets to go there after I drop my younger son off at the local school which is just a block away from the park.  This means Duke has not been there for quite sometime 😦  

The park is very popular, lots of dogs and their humen go there to hang out with their buddies.  The place can get overwhelming for Duke and I late afternoons after work.  I love going there in the mornings where things are calm, and there are only a few familiar dogs and very responsible dog owners.  We enjoy seeing each other and catching up.  And Duke!  He is in heaven!  You can not find a happier dog (o.k. maybe the other dogs at Dogbone Dog Park).

See the following for info about the very premier Dogbone Dog Park, Duke and his best friend, Hunter!  I still need to take some pictures later in the day when the sky is blue and bright.

—————————————————————————————————————–Dogbone Meadows Dog Park in Novato, Marin County, located en route to Stafford Lake and West Marin, dogs often bring their people when they are on the way to the beaches.  The dog park is right accross from Novato Chase luxury homes, is probably the best dog park in Marin County, or maybe even California.  Due to the great location and the natural surroundings, there are talks of starting the first community garden in Novato next to the dog park. 

Built by dog loving volunteers (or shall we say, slaves of dogs), the property is around 1 acre, with tracks for dogs and human alike, toys and exercise stations (the hoops, loops, bridges, jumps, tubs, etc) for dogs only.  The volunteers planted trees for shade, put down benches and , water fountains, , porchesThe backdrop is Open Space, part ofO’Hare Park, great hiking, horseback riding trails.

This is a morning with unusual heavy fog from West Marin, a beautiful background for the dog park. 

Duke (black with white spots, rescued from 2nd Chance Rescue) and Hunter (Golden, dapper with his red bandana – he has a whole collection of those) love to come here in the morning – Duke, after dropping his brother off at local high school, and Hunter, after dragging his mom for his daily 2 hour walk and play (can’t say Hunter does not have a GREAT life, even Duke is envious of him!) – Hunter will chase the tennis ball and Duke will run along Hunter.

Makes Happy Dogs and Happy people when their dogs are tired the rest of, the day!   

It’s a foggy morning, but I thought it’s interesting, so I snapped the pictures.  

 

Duke and Hunter waiting for Hunter’s mom to throw the ball.

Time to chase the ball!

Duke’s best friend, Hunter, whose only passion is chasing the tennis ball!

Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors
 
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

SERVING MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA – FOR ALL YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.

Singing Praises to 101 Freeway Widening Project in Central Marin

101 Freeway WindenedI hesitate to jump on the bandwagon to sing praises to the improved 101 traffic in Marin County since they opened the lanes on a stretch of San Rafae in first quarter, 2009. 

It amazes me to see people who hardly drive on 101 filming the traffice at 6:00AM while reporting how great the traffic is 😉 

As a Realtor, commuting during traffic hours is not the norm as I have the priviledge to schedule appointments away from traffic hours and that is what I normally do.

I feel that for reliability, I have to wait until I actually have the chance to drive during traffic hours regularly before reporting with confidence about the improvement, if any. 

Well, my younger son signed up for classes at Cal.  The classes start at 8:10am / 9:10am; and I have the priviledge of driving him to UC during traffice hours every morning for the last two weeks.

So far, I am very impressed by how much traffic has improved.

During the height of construction period, it took me up to 1 hour  to inch from North Novato to just befroe Central San Rafael.  This includes finding all local detours (which many don’t know) to avoid the heavies 101 traffic depending on how each stretch of traffic is moving at the time.

And now, I can be on the Richmond bridge in just over 20 minutes and be in the middle of Cal campus (which includes driving through the famously painful Unversity Avenue) in abuot 35 minutes. 

O.K. I have to admit that I took advantage of the car pool lane with my younger son in the car.  However, I was able to observe the heavier part of traffic when I drove by.  There are still stretches where the traffic slows down but the stretch is much shorter – just before St. Pablo and right after that exit.  The traffic, although slower, is not that bad.  The cars still move along nicely isntead of the agonizing stop and go.

In addition, I also surveyed my clients who commute to the city for work.  The reports are a resounding YES! on how much better the traffic is now.  A client told me the improvement is anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes driving the 101 stretch in Marin county.  I am pleased to hear that. 

So, my overall report on the 101 widening project in Central Marin, although slow in coming, is – Yes, A Great Improvement!   

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

 MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa. Starter Home to Luxury Property. REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architecural Distictive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange. Chinese Realtor.