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Home Buying in Mill Valley : Real Estate Advice

  • All112
  • Local Info28
  • Home Buying28
  • Home Selling8
  • Market Conditions4

Activity 18
Sun Mar 9, 2014
Shane Milne answered:
Hi dgraviano, yes there are.

FHA financing just requires a 3.5% down payment (there is also some down payment assistance options which can provide you with 3% to reduce your down payment to just .5%, but if you have the full 3.5% yourself then there are many more options). FHA financing goes up to a $729,750 loan amount in Mill Valley (Marin County).

VA financing doesn't require any down payment up to a $987,500 loan amount (Marin County), but you have to be an eligible Veteran.

Conventional financing can be done with 3% down (680 credit scores) up to a $417k loan amount, or over $417k (up to $625,500) then 10% down is needed.

USDA financing (for rural areas) is 100% financing but Mill Valley isn't in an eligible area (very, very outsquirts you may be able to find some homes).

Majority of my clients are first time homebuyers, so feel free to contact me with further questions (or ask them here) and I'll be happy to help.

Shane Milne | Lending in all 50 states | NMLS #81195
shane@thebesthomeloans | 949-273-4161 direct
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0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Tue Jan 22, 2013
Mary Kay and Kathy Yamamoto answered:

Qualifying for a loan as a self employed person has become much more difficult over the last few years!! There is a lot more documentation required for anyone applying for a loan, but even more from someone who is self employed. Find a good lender or mortgage broker that you trust is giving you honest advice. If you would like a recommendation, we would be more than happy to give you some names.

Mary Kay and Kathy
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0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Mon Nov 12, 2012
Joe Sherer answered:
You can find available lots and home ideas on our website Since most flat lots will cost quite a bit of money, consider a down sloping lot with minimal retaining walls to save money. You may still create some level yard area, but will avoid the excessive cost of removing and retaining soil. Feel free to contact us for more specific info for your needs and also for lots not listed on the MLS. ... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Mon Nov 12, 2012
Beverly Shwert answered:
Hi Brett,
Currently there is a very high demand for rentals in Marin and I'm sure there are many people that would be interested in a long term rental. When are you thinking about purchasing a home? If you do not yet have an agent in the area, I'd love to help out. Our inventory is somewhat low these days but depending on what you can spend, I'm sure we can find something. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
Alain Pinel Realtors
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0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Sat Aug 11, 2012
Amy E Glaser answered:
Hi Brett,
The warmest areas of Mill Valley are Middle Ridge the area North of downtown in between Cascade Canyon and Blithedale Canyon and Scott Valley. Scott Valley is off of Camino Alto north of E. Blithedale Ave.

Let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.

Amy E. Glaser, Frank Howard Allen Realtors
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Fri Aug 31, 2012
Heath Coker answered:
You are best asking a local pro like or
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Tue May 27, 2014
Barbara Major answered:
That all depends what you personally like, do you have children, do you need a yard, do you prefer the hills. To be honest, there really is no one best area. Sycamore Park is great because it is flat, walk to town with loads of kids. But, really, I wouldn't say there is any one best neighborhood. Some people love Middle Ridge because they love the views and the privacy. Other people love Homestead. Once again, it all depends on your personal likes. ... more
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Thu Sep 1, 2011
Oggi Kashi answered:

If you are referring to 8 Patricia Lane MV, it's already in contract and there will be no further showings. Here is a link to the listing:

It has been on the market for 103 days now. Here is a link to reliable property search in Marin:

Oggi Kashi
Paragon Real Estate Group
CA DRE 01844627
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Wed Aug 10, 2011
Ron Thomas answered:
It sounds like you have not enlisted the aid of a Realtor:

Please call Mike Rowland, Windermere Rowland Realty, 510-501-9133

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Thu Mar 17, 2011
Lance King answered:

Renting first is a great idea if you don't know the area well enough to decide where you want to live. Although interest rates will likely rise over the next year, I don't see anything that indicates to me that prices will and knowledge of the area could help avoiding a bad decision as a hedge against any higher costs.

The first question is do you want to be IN the city? If so, there are plenty of 3BR+ places for rent under $4K, but they will mostly be condos or flats with the possibility of a shared yard. If you want a single family your choices will be limited - either need to raise the price or go outside the city.

Outside the city there are a number of areas with downtowns that have the feel of a city neighborhood - Mill Valley, Rockridge, Piedmont, Burlingame, etc... but they are not the same as being IN the city. Either way, most single family homes will cost over a mil for any area you would likely want to be in unless small or fixers.

The best way for me/us to help you is know your budget, desired property type and min beds/baths as this will help direct your search. There are plenty of places in San Francisco where you can get a yard that aren't far from the action, even with a condo. If you are willing to trade a deck for the yard that opens more possibilities.

We work in all the above areas and with both out-of area and international clients, if you send me an email (address below) with more details I can help direct you to what area(s) you will likely be wanting to check out.

And there are companies that handle rentals but will help you get a feel for costs.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
DRE# 01384425
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0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
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
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
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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Mon Jan 25, 2010
Gerard Dunn answered:
Check to see what the agency agreement says. You should have signed one that outlined the relationship between you and your agent.

All have expiration dates. See what the document says.

If in doubt - ask the agent!
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Thu Mar 4, 2010
Jesse Sierra answered:
Hi Joe,
That really sucks, that bothers me too. I am dealing with the samething.
You will think they will try to sell a property as soon as possible.

Hopefully you will find an awesome Realtor® here.

Best Regards,
Jes Sierra, B.Sc.
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0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Fri Mar 6, 2009
Phillipa Criswell answered:
Hi Howard,
Typically lenders are still wanting 20% down on homes in Marin. but if you were eligible for an FHA loan then the down payment is less. let me know if you want me to check it out further for you.
Best regards, phillipa Crsiwell
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Sat May 16, 2009
Liz Williamson Williamson answered:
One approach, is if your working with an agent, have your agent write a letter to the people in those condos expressing that they have a client interested in their condo. Know ahead of time what the market price for those condos are, get pre-qualified with a lender and be prepared to perhaps go a little over to motivate a would be seller. The condo market even in Mill Valley is a little soft right now so people in those units may not be so motivated to sell right now. But you can never know without trying. If you do not have an agent you are currently working with, please feel free to call me and I would be happy to develop some sort of game plan with you. Also, some agents may have clients in those condos that are setting on the fense about selling right now but if they become aware of a buyer 's need, they might be able to motivate their clients to sell right now off market. Good Luck! ... more
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Mon Apr 23, 2007
David duPont answered:
There is no easy answer to this question: You should work with a realtor that knows the area, the neighborhoods, communities etc. The access to public schools, weather and traffic patterns, sunlight at different times of year etc. can be vary greatly. ... more
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Mon Apr 23, 2007
David duPont answered:
Work with a Financial Planner (CFP) that can look at your entire finacial picture and make recommendations. The general rule of thumb is to spend no more that 30% of your income on your housing. Unfortunately, in Mill Valley and Southern Marin that number may not support the purchase decision of many first time homebuyers. ... more
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