Marin County Property Tax Deadline is Friday, December 10th

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Are you like most of the other property owners who like to wait until the last day to pay your property tax?

The deadline for payment of the first installment of the 2010-11 county property tax bill is 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10.

Payments must be postmarked by Friday or delivered to the tax collector’s office at the Civic Center no later than 5 p.m. that day to avoid a 10-percent penalty.

Property taxes may be paid online at http://www.co.marin.ca.us/paytax or by phone at 800-985-7277 with either a credit card or electronic funds transfer.

The second tax payment is due April 10.

For more information, including programs helping those who cannot afford their tax bill, call the tax collector’s office at 499-6133 or visit http://www.co.marin.ca.us/taxes.

Fannie Mae Offers New Buyer Incentives on Homepath Homes

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New Buyer Incentive on Fannie Mae HomePath® Homes

Fannie Mae is offering buyers up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance on HomePath properties through December 31, 2010.

Buyers must meet the following qualifications to be eligible for the incentive:

  • HomePath property sale must close on or before December 31, 2010 and close within 60 days of offer acceptance
  • Only owner occupants purchasing a HomePath property as their primary residence will receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance
  • the initial offer must be submitted on or after September 23, close within 60 days of offer acceptance and close on or before December 31, 2010. No bonus will be given for investor purchases.
  • Buyers must request incentive upon submission of initial offer in order to be eligible.

Note: Offers submitted after November 15, 2010 may be difficult to close by incentive deadline of December 31, 2010.

Terms & Conditions:

  • The 3.5% seller contribution is to be used towards closing costs, including a home warranty, if desired and available.
  • Retail and public entities are eligible for the incentive however pool and auction sales, and sales to investors are not eligible.
  • Fannie Mae reserves the right to remove any property from promotion or end the promotion at any time. Any dispute over the payment of a bonus shall be resolved by Fannie Mae in its sole discretion.
  • Buyers should consult their lenders for guidance on financing. Lenders and mortgage products may impose their own limitations on the use of the 3.5% incentive. For example, the lender may consider the incentive a Seller Contribution and limit the amount to 3.0%. In those instances, the remaining 0.5% will no longer be available to the buyer.

See link to search for Fannie Mae Homepath Homes

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!

_____________________________________________________

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.

_____________________________________________________

Sylvia Barr

_____________________________________________________

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

_________________________________________________________

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

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.

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%

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!