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Home Buying in Marin County : Real Estate Advice

  • All66
  • Local Info13
  • Home Buying27
  • Home Selling3
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 127
Thu Aug 19, 2010
Ryan Smith answered:
It would be a good idea to talk with an insurance broker that can rate the property with multiple carriers and let you know the rates, some carriers may not even insure it. We have areas around here in high fire areas with slops that are 200ft maintained and irrigated to provide a good fire break, even then some insurers will not issue policies on these homes ... more
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Thu Jul 29, 2010
Lydia Puller answered:
Hi Scott,

Aren't we all looking for a good deal? Our current market offers great deals depending on where you want to live and what your expectations are in regards to the home (bed/bath, square footage etc). Most Buyers shy away from short sales but there are incredible deals out there if you don't have to buy your home yesterday. There are several "tricks" to buying short sales and your best bet would be to work with an agent that is a certified short sale specialist.

If you do a google search on my name you'll find that I am CDPE certified, SFR certified and I am also an APR Distressed property specialist. What this means is that the crux of my business is with short sales.

No matter who you work with they need to be educated on the short sale process, they must understand the seasoning required of short sales, time frames, expectations, what type of offers will be accepted, what the difference is working with 1 lender versus 2 or 3 lenders that have liens on the property, which lenders move faster than others and what a realistic game plan would be for you. It's not about underbidding, its about strategy, putting in an acceptable offer and then being willing to wait for your "deal"

Trust your gut, look for an educated agent and make sure you know what your financial parameters are and be prepared to wait.

If you need more information feel free to contact me at (415) 599-5028.

Lydia Puller

You can check out the following links:
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Wed Jun 23, 2010
Jean Nicol answered:
This is a unique property that was originally overpriced for a buyer looking for a residence only. Have you been up to see it?
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Fri May 17, 2013
Joseph Jones answered:
Hello Scott,
A Short Sale from the buyer's perspective is very similar to any other type of transaction. You make an offer - the seller accepts, rejects or responds with a counter-offer. Once you have reached an agreement the offer is submitted to the bank for approval. This is the time consuming portion of a short sale transaction. It could literally take months for the bank to authorize the sale for the amount agreed upon between you and the seller. Patience is advised when dealing with short sales. ... more
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Fri Dec 3, 2010
Kelley Eling answered:
Scott, in order to give you a meaningful answer to your question, you will have to be more specific. Until then, when a buyer makes an offer on a short sale it is more or less the same as a traditional sale except that the bank that holds the existing notes on the property makes ALL the decisions, NOT the seller. At first, the seller will either "accept", "counter" or reject your offer. But all final decisions are up to the bank.

Typically, this takes a very long time. Unlke a traditional sale, which usually close in 30 days or so. Short sales can take several months, some times a year or more.

If there is something specific that you were curious about, let me know.

... more
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Fri Aug 6, 2010
Kevin Keyser answered:
Hi Patricia,
We have experience helping buyers with foreclosures. One thing that is really important: if you find a home you like, and get an accepted offer, be very careful to read through the bank's Purchase Agreement Addendum. It is often a long, confusing document, but also changes the entire purchase agreement. You have to be very careful with these as they frequently change contingencies, timeframes, etc. Also, many buyers (and agents) think banks will not do repairs, lower prices, or give credits, but we have found that is simply not true. The banks want to get these properties off their books and you can sometimes get a fantastic deal on foreclosures... much more than short sales. We are in Mill Valley and would be happy to help you. ... more
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Tue Aug 7, 2012
Mendodave answered:
Make sure the house you are purchasing is not only close to the school you want yourchild to go to, but is in that schools zone. I live a few blocks away from a really great rated school but my kids bus to a good rated school across town zoning, go figure. ... more
0 votes 15 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 12, 2010
Liz Williamson Williamson answered:
Hi Suzan ,
I'm not sure I understand you correctly but if you are looking for contact information about a property in Marin, you look on BAREIS. Bay Area Real Estate Information Service but you must be a member to gain access. As far as listing on Trulia, if you are a member of BAREIS and list your property on the mls, it will automatically get on Trulia. You can also go to My Trulia click on "listings" any listing you have will pop up, you can go in and edit, put the dates of open houses etc..
I hope that helps. It sounds like that you may not be a member of MAR either which you will also have to do I believe to use BAREIS, their number is 707 575-8000.
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Thu Mar 25, 2010
Barbara Van Duyn answered:
Absolutely! Also consider the risks such as loss of rents and eviction process should you end up with a loser tenant. The best place to get advice is from a CPA.

All the Best,
Barbara ... more
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Mon Mar 22, 2010
Dan Chase answered:
First, you either have to trust someone there to do everything or go down and then go back home.
Second, you do not know the area at all.
Third, you do not know local prices
Fourth it is almost impossible to figure out who a decent realtor is
Fifth, you need a job to get a loan and that could be iffy.
Sixth, you may not know about looking at to find out a lot of local information. (good, look)
Seventh, you may not know about weather there, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes?
Eighth, pests. Do you have poisonous critters? Fire ants, red ants scorpions etc.?
Ninth, people. What kind of people live there? Some areas hate outsiders. Some do not mind.
Tenth. Taxes and government fees (verses services) you may be unaware of how some taxes are not what you are sued to. Mello-roos in california, separate school tax in places, you might end up paying a lot more and not know it if not careful.

A lot of people think that renting for awhile when moving to a new area makes sense. Along that line of thinking look at the blog below.
Does it make more financial sense to rent or buy? Put your numbers into the information below to find out.
Things I would find out before buying. It could save you a lot of trouble reading below.
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Sat Jul 2, 2011
Julian Lopez answered:
Hello Msmith, my name is Julian Lopez and iam a direct lender. The first thing we want to do is get you pre qualified. Let me know when your ready thanks Julian 909 996 4470
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Wed Oct 30, 2013
Stephanie Lamarre answered:
Dear Marinlover,
I live and work in Ross, and am raising my children here. I've lived here for 11 years -- since my oldest was a year old. I also have many friends and clients in Mill Valley and Tiburon with small children. All the communities have benefits, and you can find a diverse range of people in each town. I would hesitate to "label" the people in each town. Rather, I think each community has its unique characteristics. For example, Ross is a small town with a tight-knit community -- people tend to know each other. The school is central to the community, as are community events such as the 4th of July, town potluck dinners, etc. Weekends on the common feature soccer, lacrosse, and Little League games. Pixie Park is wonderful for families with very young children. Mill Valley has a thriving downtown with many restaurants and shops, and a larger school district with several grade schools feeding into a larger middle school. It has many wonderful parks where young families gather for play and Little League. Tiburon's schools are divided into three campuses by age. Tiburon's real estate value derives from its views and proximity to the water. The recreation department and Blackie's Pasture provide many recreational opportunities for young families, as does the Tiburon Penninsula Club.
I would be happy to discuss any of these communities with you. Feel free to give me a call at 415.806.3176.
Warm regards,
Stephanie Lamarre
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Sat Mar 20, 2010
Scott Cherry answered:

Even though I do not live in Terra Linda or Marinwood (Dixie) I feel you would be received by the neighborhood. I live in a simular neigborhood (Glenwood) and there are many same sex couples living in our area and there has never been an issue. If I can help you with the buying process please let me know, Best, Scott ... more
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Sat Mar 6, 2010
David Corbin answered:
Good Evening,

I would recommend a different location. I just sold two condos over in the Western Oaks complex and both buyers are quite thrilled to be there! The condos on the corner of Diablo and Novato Boulevard (Edgewater) are in a very busy location. San Marin Valley or Madera Marin are other areas that you might like. If you're not currently working with a Realtor I would be happy to assist you in your search. I have references available upon your request.

Have a great weekend!

Dave Corbin, Coldwell Banker
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Sun Apr 11, 2010
Harry answered:
Call Harry at Harmony CMS.
His # is 415-785-7133, or 650-380-4057Cell.
His email address is an dhe lives in San Rafael
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Sat Mar 6, 2010
Nigel Faulkner, CIPS answered:

This is in general a good area to look at more entry level homes, of course it does depend on th eprice range you are in and whats important to your family. I have friends & clients that do live on both these streets, find the location good for a variety of reasons.
It also varies as to each individual property its loacationa nad conditiona s there is a hue variety, some fixers & others in good condition. So you should look at each property on its individual merits, condition & location with eaasy access to shopping and the freeway for commuting.
As to flooding & mudslides in general this should not be an issue, some houses on Denlyn do back up to fairly steep slope, but do not know of slide or flooding issues. This should be disclosed or flood insurance required if this is a common occurance as it is in some other areas of Novato.
Several properties have been on the market in the Cambridge & Denlyn areas and have sold fairly quickly in weeks, not months!!
If I can be of help with a specific property or further rquestions let me know.
Regards, Nigel
Nigel Faulkner
Frank Howard Allen
T 415 298 2485
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Mon Mar 1, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
Have you considered an FHA loan--it requires a minimum credit score of 620 and 3.5% down--if you haven't done so yet, do visit with any qualified loan officer(s) and explore all your credit options--he/she will be your best source of advice. ... more
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Thu Mar 11, 2010
Anna M Brocco answered:
Since you stated you spent a week or two e-mailing the one agent after he/she showed you the property-- even though you didn't have a signed agreement an implied agreement could come into play -- since both parties--you and the agent did act in such a way that it became understood that an agreement was in place even though there was no signed documentation--so do be careful and proceed with caution with your other agent--you may end up paying one out of your pocket. ... more
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Mon Feb 8, 2010
Amy E Glaser answered:
The truth is, as a buyer are you are entitled to work with an agent of your choosing. Without a "Buyer/Broker Agreement" you have no contractual obligation to work with a specific buyer's agent. I would carefully read the fine print in the "Terms & Conditions" to see if by agreeing to the online terms & conditions you entered into a "Buyer/Broker" Agreement. I should also mention that there has been some debate regarding the enforceability of such an agreement. However, it would be a shame to end up in a court of law only to learn the "agreement," if any, is unenforceable.

With regard to whether or not it is wise for you to have an agent represent you when buying a house, I would say it is a must! The listing agent has a "Fiduciary" responsibility to the seller, not to you. It is very difficult to have this level of responsibility to both a seller and buyer. Especially since sellers want the most money for their house and buyers want to pay the least amount of money to buy the house. A good buyer's agent will be your local market expert, negotiate like a pit bull on your behalf and oversee all the transactional details. There is close to 100 documents you will be required to sign in the process of buying a home. An agent looking out for your interests is key to making sure you dot all your "i"s and cross all your "t"s and don't leave money on the table.

I can send a copy of a "Buyer/Broker" agreement to compare to the online terms and conditions so that you may better determine whether or not you are at risk.
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Thu Jan 21, 2010
Tristan Celayeta answered:

I can't understand your inquiry. There are eight listings in Bolinas today. The place on Ivy is a short sale, in escrow, but taking backup offers. There are two on Mesa, both active, at an entirely different price point , $2M+.

Almost any every brokerage and agent has a MLS search tool on their website, I do - the link's below. is a nifty search tool provided by BAREIS MLS covering all the North Bay.

RSVP if I can provide further information, access...
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