All Posts By

Blaine Morris

Just Sold! 64 Carson, Woodacre, $725,000

By | Marin Real Estate News

This is a sweet Woodacre home with sunny southern exposure! All the privacy and views of hillside living but only one turn up Carson from the flats…easy access to Improvement Club and town.  Pride of ownership is evident everywhere, this two bedroom/one bathroom property is turnkey!  Soaring cathedral ceilings and big windows to bring in the valley and ridge views.  Open floorplan with gleaming bamboo floors.  Enjoy indoor/outdoor living on large wraparound decks.  Large bonus room under house perfect for home office, studio or workshop.  Well-loved gardens with fruit trees and lots of surprises.  Close to trails, the perfect home to enjoy the peace and privacy of the San Geronimo Valley!

64 Carson Woodacre

Just Sold! 53 Dominga Avenue, Fairfax, $705,000

By | Fairfax Real Estate News

This is a sweet vintage home in downtown Fairfax. Well-maintained property with a very efficient use of space, you’ll be close to everything. This 2 Bedroom/1 Bathroom cottage offers an open floorplan with soaring ceilings, gleaming wood floors, and a cozy fireplace. Remodeled kitchen with stainless appliances and quartz countrtop, an updated bathroom, and attention to detail. Off-street parking and large shed for storage. Terrific covered back porch and entertaining patio for Marin’s indoor/outdoor living. Steps to the vibrant downtown, close to trails. Come home to Fairfax!

53 Dominga, Fairfax

Just Sold! 152 Ridge Road, Fairfax $795,000

By | Fairfax Real Estate News

152 Ridge Road, Fairfax

You will be amazed when you step through the gate to this premium hideaway in the Fairfax hills!  Supreme privacy and sweeping panoramic views from every room.  The 3 bedroom/1.5 bathroom home has been lovingly updated through the years with soaring ceilings and a useful floorplan that allows for the best of indoor/outdoor living.  Pride of ownership shows throughout.  Sit by the fireplace and watch the changing light across Loma Alta and Big Rock Ridge.  Immaculate landscaping with decks, gardens and multiple outdoor spaces.  There is a bonus artist studio and an oversized 2-car garage, plus lots of additional off-street parking.  Adjacent to trailhead to open space, great for hikers, bikers and nature lovers.  The perfect home base for your active Marin lifestyle!

Bay Area May 2015 Real Estate Update

By | Marin Real Estate News

Available homes across the Bay Area were even harder to come by this May than they were last spring, with the months’ supply of inventory (MSI) dropping from one year ago in all of Pacific Union’s regions except Lake Tahoe/Truckee. Consequently, prices reached yearly peaks in Contra Costa, San Francisco, and Sonoma counties, and they matched one-year highs in Marin County.

Click on the image accompanying each of our regions below for an expanded look at local real estate activity in May.

MARIN COUNTY

At $1,175,000, the median home sales price in Marin County was unchanged from April, matching its yearly high. Supply increased a hair from the previous month, but with an MSI of 1.3, the market still strongly favors sellers.MonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_Marin

Homes sold in an average of 55 days, about the same sales pace observed last May. Buyers got a bit of a break, paying 94.7 percent of original price, the least since December.

Defining Marin County: Our real estate markets in Marin County include the cities of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, and Tiburon. Sales data in the adjoining chart includes single-family homes in these communities.


CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

May’s median sales price in Contra Costa County climbed just $15,000 from April, but that was enough to help it reach a yearly peak of $1,115,000. The MSI has been inching down in the region this spring and landed at 1.3 in May, its lowest level since December.MonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_ContraCosta

The average home sold in a brisk 19 days – unchanged from April and tying a yearly low – while sellers got 101.7 percent of original price.

Defining Contra Costa County: Our real estate markets in Contra Costa County include the cities of Alamo, Blackhawk, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek. Sales data in the adjoining chart includes single-family homes in these communities.


EAST BAY

Sellers in the East Bay continued to enjoy big premiums, with the average property selling for 115 percent of asking price for the third straight month. The median sales price cooled almost imperceptibly, landing at $920,000.MonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_EastBay

Housing supply was slim in the East Bay in May, and properties that were available sold fast; the 0.9 MSI was the lowest since December, and homes left the market in 18 days on average.

Defining the East Bay: Our real estate markets in the East Bay region include Oakland ZIP codes 94602, 94609, 94610, 94611, 94618, 94619, and 94705; Alameda; Albany; Berkeley; El Cerrito; Kensington; and Piedmont. Sales data in the adjoining chart includes single-family homes in these communities.


NAPA COUNTY

May 2015 looked almost exactly like May 2014 in Napa County if judged on the numbers alone.MonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_Napa

The median sales price in Napa County dipped to $575,000 in May, landing exactly where it was one year ago. The sales-to-list-price ratio was also identical to last May, with buyers paying 95.4 percent of original price. And homes sold in an average of 71 days, the precise amount of time as last May.

The only statistic that differed on an annual basis was the MSI, which at 2.8 is substantially lower than it was in May 2014.

Defining Napa County: Our real estate markets in Napa County include the cities of American Canyon, Angwin, Calistoga, Napa, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, and Yountville. Sales data in the adjoining chart includes all single-family homes in Napa County.


SAN FRANCISCO – SINGLE-FAMILY HOMESMonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_SFSFH

The median sales price for a single-family home in San Francisco has been steadily climbing since January and reached another peak in May at $1,400,000. Homes in the city have also been selling at an ever-quickening pace since the beginning of the year and left the market in an average of 24 days.

San Francisco sellers continue to pull in premiums and got 110 percent of original price. At 1.4, the MSI was in the same general range as the previous month and one year ago.


SAN FRANCISCO – CONDOMINIUMSMonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_SFCondos

As with single-family homes, the median sales price for a San Francisco condominium climbed to a one-year high, reaching $1,167,500. Sellers of condos also took in almost identical premiums as their single-family-home counterparts, with the average property selling for 110.4 percent of asking price.

Just as in the previous two months, the MSI remained constricted at 1.2. Condos sold in an average of 31 days, consistent with the market’s pace this spring.


SILICON VALLEY

The median sales price in Silicon Valley has been inching down each month since February, but at $2,625,000 it remains Pacific Union’s most expensive region. Houses have been selling for more than original price for most of the year, and in May sellers received an average of 104 percent of original priceMonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_Silicon Valley.

Inventory has been declining since January and hit a one-year low in May, with the MSI falling to 1.1. Homes sold in 21 days, similar to the pace recorded last month and one year ago.

Defining Silicon Valley: Our real estate markets in the Silicon Valley region include the cities and towns of Atherton, Los Altos (excluding county area), Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park (excluding east of U.S. 101), Palo Alto, Portola Valley, and Woodside. Sales data in the adjoining chart includes all single-family homes in these communities.

Mid-Peninsula Subregion

Along with the East Bay, the Mid-Penisula had the lowest inventory of any of our markets in May, as the MSI crept down to 0.9. This was also Pacific Union’s fastest-moving market, with buyers taking just 14 days to purchase the average property.MonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_MidPeninsula

Although the median sales price dropped on both a monthly and annual basis to $1,400,000, homes were still in high demand, with sellers taking home almost 111 percent of asking price.

Defining the Mid-Peninsula: Our real estate markets in the Mid-Peninsula subregion include the cities of Burlingame (excluding Ingold Millsdale Industrial Center), Hillsborough, and San Mateo (excluding the North Shoreview/Dore Cavanaugh area). Sales data in the adjoining chart includes all single-family homes in these communities.


SONOMA COUNTY

The median sales price in Sonoma County has been gradually rising since January and reached a one-year peak in May: $546,000. At 1.7, the MSI was unchanged from the previous month.MonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_SonomaCounty

Properties sold in an average of 64 days and for 97 percent of original price – generally consistent with levels recorded over the previous two months.

Defining Sonoma County: Our real estate markets in Sonoma County include the cities of Cotati, Healdsburg, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, and Windsor. Sales data in the adjoining chart includes all single-family homes and farms and ranches in Sonoma County.


SONOMA VALLEY

Sonoma Valley’s median sales price took a sizable dip from April to finish May at $650,000, but it is still up about 20 percent on a year-over-year basis. The supply of homes has been shrinking every month thus far in 2015 and finished May at 1.8.MonthlyMarketUpdate_May15_SonomaValley

Properties sold in 51 days, the fastest clip since May 2014. Buyers paid 95.5 percent of original price, less than they did last month or one year ago.

Defining Sonoma Valley: Our real estate markets in Sonoma Valley include the cities of Glen Ellen, Kenwood, and Sonoma. Sales data in the adjoining chart refers to all residential properties – including single-family homes, condominiums, and farms and ranches – in these communities.

Just Listed! 53 Dominga Avenue, Fairfax $649,000

By | Fairfax Real Estate News, Marin Real Estate News

Come see my new listing, 53 Dominga Avenue, in Fairfax this Thursday, 06/11, from 10:30-2pm and Sunday, 06/14, 1pm – 4pm.

This is a sweet vintage home in downtown Fairfax. Well-maintained property with a very efficient use of space, you’ll be close to everything. This 2 Bedroom/1 Bathroom cottage offers an open floorplan with soaring ceilings, gleaming wood floors, and a cozy fireplace. Remodeled kitchen with stainless appliances and quartz countrtop, an updated bathroom, and attention to detail. Off-street parking and large shed for storage. Terrific covered back porch and entertaining patio for Marin’s indoor/outdoor living. Steps to the vibrant downtown, close to trails. Come home to Fairfax!

53 Dominga, Fairfax

Just Listed! 144 Toyon Drive, Fairfax, $1,287,000

By | Fairfax Real Estate News, Marin Real Estate News

144 Toyon Fairfax

 

Enchanted living in the coveted Upper Cascades! This rarely available sunny and level premium parcel is just over 1/3 acre+/-. Main house offers country style, updated kitchen & master bath, beautifully preserved vintage floors. Bonus suite presents many possibilities for guest, studio, or home office. Well-loved mature gardens, roses, fruit trees, privacy & great light. Lots of parking, storage. 1 block to open space & trails. Come home to the Cascades!

Click here for more information on 144 Toyon Drive in Fairfax.

Just Listed! 490 Ridge Road, Novato $788,000

By | Marin Real Estate News, Novato Real Estate

 

 

Down a quiet country lane, you will be a world away! Situated in a sunny spot in the flats of the Eastern edge of Indian Valley, this 3 bedroom/2 bathroom property shows tremendous pride of ownership and many tasteful updates. The premium oversized 0.43+/- acre lot offers southwestern exposure, privacy and a huge flat backyard for indoor/outdoor living, entertaining, playing. Kitchen and baths have been updated and are move-in ready. Oversized terraced backyard offers lots of space for gardening, vegis, even a bocce ball court. Big 2-car garage and lots of additional off-street parking. All of this, and only minutes to town and 101. The perfect home base for your active Marin lifestyle!

Click here for more information on 490 Ridge Road in Novato.

Just Listed! 60 Propsect, San Rafael, $799,000

By | Marin Real Estate News, San Rafael Real Estate News

60 Prospect

You’ll be a world away and still close to everything at this charming mini compound!  The 2BR/2BA vintage cottage shows exceptional pride of ownership with many period details.  Outbuildings include a studio, workshop, potting shed and detached garage.  You will enjoy exceptional privacy and casual indoor/outdoor living on the oversized lot amid the lovely gardens, paths, patios.  Bamboo floors, vintage Wedgewood stove, lots of sun and terrific light.  The lower level utility room adds plenty of extra storage space.  Only blocks to vibrant downtown San Rafael, the perfect home base for your active Marin lifestyle!

View more information about 60 Prospect here.

Marin Association of Realtors – Top 5 2014 Accomplishments and Farewell

By | Marin Association of Realtors, Marin Real Estate News

Good day MAR members!

Wow, that was fun!

Happy Holidays to all of you! And a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy 4th day of Kwanzaa and Merry Festivus. Everyone got along at our house, I survived and I’m hopeful that all of you did as well. What a beautiful past week we’ve just enjoyed! For me, the happiest thing is that the days are once again getting longer. At our house in Cascade Canyon, this time of year the sun maxes out (minuses out?) at going down around 3:00 behind the ridge. That was a little over a week ago, and we’ve already got about 10 minutes more afternoon sun due to sun angles, slope angles, and other physics phenomena that I don’t totally understand.

As you may have gathered these past 12 months, sun indeed makes me happy! I even learned in college in Utah that on cold winter days you can still sit and be warm in the sun if there is no wind. It’s not particularly productive to try to race home by 2:00 so you can have an hour in the sun, but whatever it takes, right?

And it’s my last Monday memo of the year, and a bit of reflection is in order. Thank you in advance for your indulgence.

My little MAR odyssey started in 2010 when Dick D’Augustino, a Frank Howard Allen colleague, called me to tell me he was retiring and sought me out to replace him on the MAR Local Candidate Recommendation Committee. After thinking about it for a moment or two, I enthusiastically agreed and so it began.

In the summer of 2011, Dave Smadbeck called me and suggested that I consider being on the MAR Board of Directors. After initially opting to pass on the opportunity, I decided it would be an honor to serve.

In the spring of 2013, David saw me at an open house and invited me to attend CAR Legislative Day in Sacramento to witness the work of our statewide association first-hand. I really loved that perspective, and I had the opportunity to get to know some of our other CAR leaders in Kay Moore, Kathy Schlegel and Katie Beacock.

Later in the summer of 2012, Dave again called me, and asked me to consider becoming the President-elect in 2013, which would lead to the Presidency in 2014. That was nearly 2 1/2 years ago, and it’s been a marathon ever since. After wavering initially, I ultimately decided that the extra work would pay off for my career in the long run.

What a run it’s been!

Now it’s my turn to hand the gavel over to MAR’s 2015 President Matt Hughes. Matt and I joined the board at the same time in 2012. Matt is incredibly dedicated, and I know he’s going to have a terrific year as President. Congratulations Matt Hughes!

As the clock has wound down on 2014, reflecting on my year as President has occupied my thoughts through this holiday season.

MAR 2014 TOP 5 LIST

So what did we get done? Well, lots of items were on our radar, but I’ll net it out with the following list:

1. Hiring Andy Fegley as CEO of MAR. We started this process in September of 2013, when our previous CEO Edward Segal moved to Los Angeles to take over the much-larger Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of REALTORS®. After a long process, we met Andy and offered him the job in late January of this year. His first day at MAR was March 1. Andy has upended the operations of MAR, in a very good way, and his impact on the organization is still unfolding. All processes have been streamlined, and as a result we passed a budget last month that reflects a 6% reduction in operating costs while at the same time having more money allocated to member services next year. We also reformed MAR’s health care benefit plan, with substantial savings. In recognition of the MAR staff’s impact on the organization, Andy and his team were awarded with the MAR Making a Difference award earlier this month. MAR is being run as a business that takes itself seriously.

2. MAR focused on support of local control with planning decisions. This has been the dominant story in the county the last two years, and I saw the light early in 2013 during the Plan Bay Area wars. Before the IJ came out against it, and really before it became fashionable, I introduced a motion early in the summer of 2013 that MAR be opposed to Plan Bay Area because it circumvents local control over planning decisions. The MAR Board of Directors agreed, and it passed unanimously. Thus we began MAR’s policy leadership on this subject, going to numerous community meetings and ultimately testifying before multiple California Assembly and Senate committees in MAR’s successful support of Assemblyman Marc Levine’s AB1537, which passed this summer and lowered the minimum density in Marin from 30 units per acre to 20 units per acre for affordable housing projects. MAR also authored a housing policy for the association in 2014.

3. MAR successfully worked with the City of San Rafael to reform its Residential Resale Inspection process. This problem was at a fevered pitch during the first third of this year. Personnel changes in the San Rafael building department resulted in an organization that was completely out of synch with what was reasonable and what they were chartered to do. Again, I give Andy a lot of credit here, as his behind-the-scenes lobbying of the senior officials at San Rafael opened a new way of doing business at MAR. After lots of meetings, and much collective heartache for our entire membership, San Rafael passed a new policy this past summer which has improved the process substantially. I was getting 5+ calls a week on San Rafael in the spring last year, and I’ve not had 5 calls in the last quarter. I’ll call that progress.

4. Re-engaged a dialogue between MAR and BAREIS. No, we’re not holding hands and singing holiday songs together, but it’s difficult to describe or overstate the change in the tone of the conversation between these two organizations. To put it mildly, last year at this time, the organizations were barely speaking. Our prior CEO had been “dis-invited” from attending BAREIS board meetings. MAR’s members’ feedback and occasional cries for help were met with little reciprocation. We started 2014 with our third BAREIS Class B Director in three years, with great concern from previous Directors that our feedback went nowhere.

At the beginning of 2014, I was getting about 5-10 calls a week with feedback on our MLS partner. And none of the feedback was to tell me how great they were doing. Much has changed this year. MAR CEO Andy Fegley has met with and created a two-way dialogue with his staff counterparts at BAREIS. Andy and I attended the BAREIS Strategic Planning session last spring, and we shared a lot of frank feedback with BAREIS. Dave Egan has done a great job as MAR’s new Class B Director on the BAREIS Board, and much of BAREIS’ fine structure has been revamped in our members’ favor. It’s not perfect, as members are still frustrated about getting credit for off-market sales and the ongoing issues regarding the BAREIS exclusion form. But it’s a new era, and the dialogue is much more bi-lateral. My phone has quieted down considerably on MLS matters.

MAR has no direct authority over BAREIS, but I’ve worked to raise the profile of the importance of the upcoming BAREIS Class A Director election. For the first time in a while, we have a contested Marin election, with incumbents Frank Soda and John Hassler up for re-election for their two seats against candidates and MAR Members Brent Thompson and Larry Paul. Ballots for this election will be mailed out early next month, and I strongly encourage MAR Members to pay attention and vote for the two best candidates.

With MAR’s successful effort to get the Palsson injunction repealed last year, for the first time in a generation, Marin brokers control their own destiny as it relates their MLS partnership. This control is slowing reaping improved relations with BAREIS. There is lots of work still to be done, but open and partially responsive communications is a big start.

5. Member communications. We can always do better, but both I and MAR staff have worked hard to keep the membership informed of what we’re working on and what to be thinking about. I’ve tried to respond to every email and phone call…sorry if any fell through the cracks!

2015 AND BEYOND

I’ll let 2015 MAR President Matt Hughes set his agenda and priorities for next year. I’ll still be on the board for one more year, but Matt is your top MAR Warrior starting on Thursday. There is still much work to be done on the various sewer lateral ordinances. Matt is very focused on Member Services, and you’ll see the first fruit of that focus in the soon-to-be launched new MAR website. Matt’s fingerprints are all over that initiative, and many others. You’re in good hands.

So I’ll leave it at that.

It’s been a huge, gigantic, monumental, thrilling honor to serve as your President of MAR this year. I’d like to thank Matt and the rest of the 2014 Executive Committee, Treasurer Arun Burrell, Secretary Yoko Kasai, and Past President Jack Wilkinson (a true MAR warrior, someone who has given so much to the organization for much of the last 30 years). And to the rest of the 2014 MAR Board of Directors, thank you, thank you for your support through this rewarding year.

To the MAR Membership, thank you for giving me this opportunity, and thank you for staying in touch. Your feedback has changed my perspective on various issues, and that feedback is so very important. When something was up, I generally got a finger on the pulse of the Association’s collective thinking very quickly. The membership was curiously consistent in its feedback, whether in support or concern for a subject.

Keep those cards and letters coming to Matt Hughes in 2015. Matt is going to do a great job, and I leave you with a very competent successor. As for me…woo hoo…back to civilian status!!

I wish you a safe and prosperous week, and a super-successful 2015!

Blaine
Blaine Morris
2015 President