Marin County Bank Owned/REO/Foreclosures as of 06/06/09


Due to strong demand from my past and current clients and the interest from the prospective clients, I am providing you with list of current Bank Owned (REO – Real Estate Owned, and Foreclosed) homes.  The list will be updated freqeuently depending on relevant activities.  

(Word of Wisdom from your Realtor –  In addition to REO (Bank Owned) properties, there are GREAT Deals out there if you look hard enough.  I will be able to help you to find the best deal and best house in Marin and Sonoma county for you, Bank Owned or Not!Come back for a new Blog ‘Tale of a Short Sale’, about my client’s latest Short Sale purchase, which hopefully I will be able to post within a day or two) 

The towns included in this list are Marin County towns South Marin, Central Marin, North Marin and West Marin (yes, we even have a few in South, Central and West Marin).  Specifically: Belvedere, Bolinas, Corte Madera, Dillon Beach, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Lagunitas, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Nicasio, Novato, Marin County, Olema, Point Reyes Station, Ross, San Anselmo, San Geronimo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Tiburon, Tomales

Single Family Homes, Farms and Ranches are in one link; and Condos/Townhomes are in another link.  Note that the link expires in 30 days (Per MLS rule).

Marin County Bank Owned Single Family Homes   Marin County Bank Owned Single Family Homes (Updated 06/06/09)

It has been close to four months since I last (02/20/09) posted Marin REO proeprties – taking care of my clients tends to get in the way of posting online.  However, never hestiate to email me if you need current info.

Many homes went into escrow since March for quite a few reasons:  Obama Stimulus plan gave optimism in the market as a whole; first time homebuyers taking advantage of the up to $8,000 tax credit from the government, interest rate was the lowest (4.875% for 1 pt., 30 year conforming… although inching up) for a long time, consumers believe the market has hit the bottom (as evident by many multiple offers recently), lenders are open to loan modifications (we have heard quite a few successful loan modifications), short sales are getting easier to approve, less stress for buyers, and much more.  

The most famous, but oh, so accurate line is: “The Bottom of the Market is hindsight” – You only find out you have reached (actually, passed) the bottom of the market is when you look back.  Don’t be the one who missed out on the opportunity.

Changes between 02/20/09 and 06/06/09!  103 Totals!


Changes between 02/20/09 and 06/06/09 for:

Marin County Bank Owned Townhomes / Condos Marin County Bank Owned Townhomes / Condos

90 Total Listings – 

READY TO BUY (or not quite yet?)  Call your trusted Realtor to give you personalized updates... This is our profession and we should NEVER be TOO BUSY to help you!


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Millworks Novato Grand Opening brings New Dimension to Town!

mw_logo_rgbA 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

Millworks Novato

The building, sits atop the coming-soon Whole Foods,  located at the east end of Old Town Novato, consists of 124 flats and townhomes.  The homes are designed to be a combination of 1 bedroom/1 bath, 2 bedrooms/2 baths flats and 2 bedrooms/2 baths plus Den Flats. 

Amentities — Other than a few larger units on selected locations; first and second floors are mostly for Whole Foods and parking for Whole Foods and third floor is mostly for residents parking.  In addition, there is a library, a fitness center and a social room for gatherings.


'Roof Garden - Living Roof' on 4th Floor

Roof Garden – One of the Millworks’ most unique design is the rooftop garden on the 4th floor where the interior units all have patios on the ‘Roof Garden’.  This Living Roof – centrally located with open sky courts – have living gardens and flag stone patiors, gives the 4th floor residents a sense of being on the ground floor which is a very appealing, surprising feature!

Views Galore – For outdoor lovers, the floor to ceiling windows brings tons of sunshine and the breathtaking surrounding Novato hill views inside.  I can only imagine how beautiful the night time views will be with the twinkling lights from the distance.

Kitchen and Living Room

Kitchen and Living Room

The Interiors – Millworks have open floor plan where kitchen opens into living and dining rooms (area – depending on plan).  Kitchens have granite slab counter tops, break fast bar, Bosch stainless steel, Energy Star appliances, Kohler sinks and faucets.  Bathrooms have Kohler faucets, Marble slab counters and surrounds on bathtubs.  Dual flush toilets conserve water.   All units are equipped with air conditioners (although I always say that we really don’t need that in Novato – the breeze from the ocean cools down most hot days by night).  Schlage hardware, recessed lighting, sustainable flooring, cable ready.

Green Features at Millworks

Green Features at Millworks

Building and Living Green – Millworks is also designed with ‘Building Green’ in mind as Sustainable is a big concern for environmental minded Marin Residents.  The building is designed with

  • Money Saving features such as emergency efficiencies while determining the direction of the building (South facing), insulation grades,  dual paned windows, doors, Energy Star appliances..
  • Preserving Health – such Cabinet doors are free of formaldehyde, none-toxic and low VOC Materials are used throughout
  • Environmentally Sustainable– Pre-engineered lumber, waste recycling during construction, Build-in recycling centers, sustainable flooring’s and cross ventilation windows are some example of the environmentally friendly design.

The Units and Pricing – One Bedroom / One Bath unit (812 sf to 883sf) starts from the low $400,000s; Two Bedroom / Two Baths Flats (1260 sf to 1360 sf) starts from the mid $400,000s and the Two Bedrooms, Two Bath plus Den Falts (1452 sf to $1595sf) starts from the high $500,000.  

HOA Fees – HOA fees ranging from $393 to $494 monthly.  An interesting chart provided by Millworks compares  HOA fee to the average single-family detached homowner’s regular maintenance cost per year, and of course, Millworks HOA seems more reasonable according to the chart – email me if you are interested!

Keep in mind the price includes standard features, and any and all upgrades will be additional costs to the buyers.

As a baby boomer and looking forward, I thought this will be a great place to retire – low to no maintenance, single story (elevator up/down), walk to town, new, green building, etc.  Having a Whole Foods downstirs works well also.   However, as a  young, single professional living in Chicago many years ago, I also enjoyed staying in downtown highrise for the amentities it provides (Millworks is not close to the 45th floor I was on before).  

Releases – The current plan the developer has is to release 10 homes at a time while gauging the interest ,control inventory and proper pricing. 

Tax Credit – And don’t forget the Federal First Time Homebuyer Up to $8,000 Tax Credit as well as the California State Up to $10,000 Tax Credit for purchasing new contrustions !

Interested in Checking out Millworks? – I enjoyed my visit to Millworks with Barbara.  Let me know if this stirs up your curiosity.  Please give me a call (415) 717-0293 or email me at sylvia@SylviaSellsMarin.comif you want to check out Millworks.  I would love to come with you and get your input about the building that changed the face of Old Town Novato, For Better For Worse, and hopefully, since it’s already here, we will make it ”For Better’ because that’s the only way we can all benefit! 


California Issues New Construction Tax Credit for Qualified Homebuyers

americandreamIn order to stimulate purchases of newly constructed homes as well as encouraging home ownership; the State of California has issued a (up to) $10,000 tax credit for homebuyers of new contruction properties.
Here are the details of the plan:
1)  This credit only applies to new homes that will be used as a primary residence and is limited to the first 10,000 new home purchases.
2)  The credit is for $10,000 or 5% of the home’s price, whichever is less.

3)  There is no down payment requirement to receive the $10,000 tax credit.
4)  There are no maximum income limitations so any buyer purchasing a new home can qualify.
5) The $10,000 tax credit is just that, a credit, not a loan, so if the home remains your primary residence for two years, you do not have to pay any portion of the tax credit back. If you sell the home in less than two years, then it has to be paid back at time of sale.
6) The new home cannot be located outside of the United States and it cannot be inherited property or a gift.

‘Commons At Mt. Burdell’ Commons Collaborative Meeting with San Marin Neighbors – 7PM, March 2nd, Novato, Marin

Common at Mount Burdell and FFIC Current Facility
Common at Mount Burdell and FFIC Current Facility
The following announcement was sent by San Marin Improvement Association, inviting residents to participate in a meeting with ‘Commons Collaborative’, concerning the

‘Commons at Mt. Burdell’ Project.







Time: 7pm, Monday, March 2nd
Meeting Objective: 
The proposed Commons at Mt. Burdell mixed-use development would eventually add approximately 750,000 square feet to an existing the 710,300 square foot Fireman’s Fund site (3 four-story office buildings). 
Phase 1 of new development would convert existing surface parking on the east side of the site to a 170 room hotel with a sports club and spa, first-floor retail space with 150 apartments above, and parking structures. 
Phase 2 eventually would add two new 250,000 square foot office buildings to the west end of the site, plus a day care center facility, community center, underground parking, and playing fields.  For more information, see:
The Commons at Mt. Burdell site is located on the northwest corner of the Atherton San Marin off ramp from Highway 101.  A SMART (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit) train station is planned adjacent to the east end of the site.  Environmental credentials for the proposed development are significantly enhanced by the carbon neutral design, including onsite wastewater treatment, biodigesters to convert restaurant waste into fuel, photovoltaic panels, composting, and other green building features.
American Assets, Inc, (AA) the owner and developer, is just beginning the official City land use approval process. During the past year American Assets has met with a variety of local stakeholder groups.  Beginning in July 2008, representatives of numerous community groups formed the Commons Collaborative to work with the developer, AA, and the City, to ensure that the Commons maximizes advanced green design and affordable housing opportunities in this extraordinary smart growth location.  
Representatives of the following groups currently participate in the Commons Collaborative:
Sustainable Novato
The Commons Collaborative is distinct from other advocacy groups in that it does not seek to achieve its goals by applying pressure on decision makers and community leaders.  Instead, its approach involves listening to all stakeholders and looking for solutions which advance a number of complementary goals. contact a real estate agent


Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors

 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.

Make Dreams Real – Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise Youth Services 

Fannie Mae Suspends Foreclosure Sales Further, Major Lenders Follow Suit and How to Find Best Priced Homes in Marin County Now!

Fannie Mae announced a suspension of all foreclosure sales and evictions of occupied properties through March 6 in anticipation of the Administration’s national foreclosure prevention and loan modification program.

See Fannie Mae News Release and How to Find the Best Deals Now At the End of Article!

While Dow Jones Newswires reported that JPMorgan Chase, Citygroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have committed to temporary moratoriums (suspends) on foreclosures as the government works on a financial stability plan aimed at keeping people in their homes. 

The following are briefly what was announced by each lender –

JP Morgan Chase – New Owner-Occupied residential loans that are owned and serviced by JPMorgan Chase.  As with Fannie Mae, the moratoriums will remain in effect through March 6th.

Citigroup – All Citi-owned first mortgage loans that are principal residence and on loans for which understandings with investors have been reached.  Moratorium end date – March 12th.

Bank of America (also Countrywide) – Delay foreclosures sales on owner occupied properties whose mortgage loans are owned and serviced by BofA or Countrywide  – Through March 6th.

WellsFargo (also Wachovia) – For Loans it holds.  The moratorium is expected to remain in place until the government’s foreclosure prevention plan is announced.  The majority of WellsFargos mortgage loans are serviced by it and owned by other investors.  WellsFargo is working with their investors .. to determine how to support the moratorium request.

Most of the lenders plan to evaluate and extend their specific moratorium dates depending the progress made by government.

See complete articles Fannie Mae News Release:

Fannie Mae Suspends Foreclosure Sales Pending Administration Announcements

From CNN of Dow Jones Newswires – Bank Agree to Foreclosure Moratoriums

Hopefully the suspension of foreclosures and the government bail out plan (I will be posting blogs about the government bail out plan that affects home ownership soon) will allow at-risk home owners to keep their homes and stabilize the housing industry and general economy!    

How To Find the Best Deals Now?How to Find The Best Deal Now

Where should the buyers look when there is no or few REO (Bank Owned) properties on the market (which is already relatively low in Marin County)? 

Look at Well Priced Homes (many sellers have dropped price considerably due to the softening market, Short Sales ( yes, short sales require hard work, lots of patience but very rewarding).

The best way is to get an agent who is diligent and Knowledgable in looking for homes, not only Foreclosures, but Short Sales, Trustee Sales, Competitively Priced Homes; one who works hard, strong in negotiation, have YOUR BEST INTEREST in mind, not anxious to get you to sign on unless it’s right for you; one that is YOUR ADVOCATE, to help you find that perfect home – 

The Americacn Dream:

Perhaps one day when the economy is stronger, we can take a collective sign of relief and cheer for the stable economy, strong housing market and solid job market where all can have a stable job, good income and own their home and Fulfill their American Dream Once Again! 



Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frank Howard Allen Realtors 

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.

Marin County Homeowners should File Homeowner’s Exempion NOW!

foreigndebt2Calling newly minted Marin Homeowners – Do you know….

How to shave $7,000 off your Marin county home’s assessed value from property tax year-in and year-out? 

By filing Homestead Exemption on your primary residency by February 15th each year.

Homestead Exemption

The home has to be the primary residence of the owner(s) or co-owner(s) as of 12:01 A.M. January 1 (lien date). To receive the full exemption, the application has to be filed with the Assessor’s) Office by February 15th. A partial exemption will be approved, if the application is filed between February 16th and December 10th.

If the home is purchased after January 1st, the exemption is applied to the supplemental assessment, unless the prior owner received the exemption on the secured bill.  The claim has to be filed within 30 days of the homeowners supplemental notice. A partial exemption is approved, if the claim form is returned prior to the due date of the first installment of the supplemental bill. More information may be obtained by calling (415) 499-7195.

  1. Veteran’s Exemption

Veterans with a 100% disability due to a service-connected injury or illness are eligible for an exemption of $100,000 on the assessed value of their home. Legislation provides the same for wives of such veterans killed on active duty. A letter of proof from the veteran’s administration has to be presented at the time of application. In addition to the application form, honorable discharge papers, death certificate and a marriage certificate (if applicable) have to be included.

A $150,000 veteran’s exemption is available if the applicant’s annual total household income is less than $40,000. Annual filing is required for any year in which the $150,000 exemption is claimed. More information may be obtained by calling (415) 499-7206 or 499-7204,

There are othe exemptions, such as Church, College, Welfare, etc. 

Please make sure you check and confirm all the details out with the Count of Marin.  See link for County of Marin web page for this subject –

Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors 

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. 

 Make Dreams Real – Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise Youth Services

Marin County 2nd Unit Amnesty Program – Apply Before 12/31/2008

marincountymap1REMINDER for Marin County property owners who have illegal second units should consider taking advantage of the ‘Marin County Second Unit Amnesty’ Program before it expires on 12/31/2008.  The goal of the Amnesty program is to ensure the safe and habitable dwelling conditions for the 2nd units with incentive of reduction of up to 50% all permit fees for units that fit the requirements.    

The following are required along with the application:

  • Completed ‘Zoning/Development Application’
  • The 2nd unit was in existence prior to June 2003
  • Owner needs to complete a Uniform Housing Code Inspection
  • Five sets of plans, including
    • Site plan showing property lines, location of main residence and 2nd unit and location of parking space
    • Accurately scaled floor plan for main and 2nd unit.  
    • Second unit size must be between 220 and 750 sf – limited exceptions can be made for units that are between 750 and 1,000 sf.
  • Proof that owner resides in either the main unit or the 2nd unit

Following are required before permits can be issued.

  • Complete property inspection by fire department to identify minimum fire safe requirements and fees
  • Confirm water and sewer service requirements, including septic sewer disposal system requirements if applicable

Check on the link for details for the program.

Please Visit the Marin County Community Development Agency’s public information counter at the Civic Center – Room 308, San Rafael, California, Monday through Friday (closed holidays), 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., or call (415) 499-6269. 

For additional information contact the following staff and state that you are interested in the Second Unit Amnesty Program Division Liaisons:

  • Planning – Kristina Tierney 473-4333
  • Building – Larry Grace 499-6550
  • Environmental Health – Janet Mullin 499-6273
  • Department of Public – Works Berenice Davidson 499-3770
  • General Amnesty information – Stacey Laumann 507-2698
  • Fire – Scott Alber 499-6566

Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frankk Howard Allen Realtors

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.

Dogbone Meadows Dog Park, Novato, Marin County, CA

Dogbone Meadows Dog Park, located on route to Stafford Lake in Novato, is probably the best dog park in Marin County.  Dogs often bring their people when they are on the way to the beaches.

Built by dog lovers, the property is around 1 acre, with tracks for dogs and human alike, and toys for dogs only.  The backdrop is Open Space, part of O’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, rescued from 2nd Chance Rescue) and Hunter (Golden) love to come here in the morning – Duke after dropping his brother off at local high school, and Hunter, after dragging his mom of his daily 2 hour walk adn play – Hunter will chase the tennis ball and Duke will run along Hunter

Makes Happy Dogs!  





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

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.


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

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

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.