Thinking About Your Home Insurance

Posted on 18th March 2013 by Alan Blumenthal in General,Marin Buyers and Sellers,Marin Homes

One of our friends and neighbors had a garage fire recently that left the house unlivable. This made us think about home insurance. What kind of insurance should you have? How do you know if you have enough insurance? Here are a few considerations:

  • Find a good insurance agent/broker who is willing to talk to you and explain your options. Some may even charge a fee for this consultation–it’s worth the investment.
  • Buy full replacement value of your structure. Take photos of every room and put them in a safe place outside of your home. We put our photos on a CD and stored them in a bank safe deposit box.
  • Insure your personal possessions. Do you want full replacement cost or a fixed value? Again, take photos.
  • Buy a Special Form policy. It is more expensive than basic coverage, but worth it.
  • Do you want coverage for temporary living if your house is damaged? It’s a good idea. In the case of fire and smoke damage, you could be out of your house for a year or more.
  • Make sure you have plenty of liability coverage for personal injuries that may happen on your property.
  • If you live in a condo or townhouse and your homeowner’s association (HOA) covers fire insurance, make sure you have an HO6 policy (not an HO3) to cover improvements to your home and personal property. The HO6 takes over where your HOA policy leaves off. Make sure your insurance agent has read your HOA policy and your CC&Rs before writing your policy.
  • Buying Earthquake Insurance is debatable as there are so may limits and exclusions to coverage. Please speak with your insurance agent to make a sound decision.

Flood insurance is usually required by your mortgage lender if you live in a Flood Hazard Zone. If you don’t have a mortgage and you live in a Flood Hazard Zone, it is still a good idea to purchase this insurance. FEMA determines the zones and publishes zone maps. It s easy for us to look up the floor zone for your property. Just contact us at info@livinginmarin.com


Marin Neighborhood Tours

Posted on 27th February 2013 by Alan Blumenthal in General,Marin Homes

Our new website, MarinNeighborhoods.US, provides overviews of neighborhoods in Marin. Many of us have yet to explore the diverse neighborhoods in Marin; for example, Chapman Park in Corte Madera or Chicken Point in San Rafael. Now, you can have armchair introductions to these special places to live.

View of Mt. Tamalpais from Chapman Park, Corte Madera

 Enjoy our latest photo tour of Sleepy Hollow in San Anselmo. Here are the others:

Corte Madera: Chapman Park

Corte Madera: Marin Estates and Mariner Highlands

Corte Madera: Verona Place

Greenbrae: Greenbrae Hills

Larkspur: Baltimore Canyon

Mill Valley: Alta Vista-Boyle Park

Mill Valley: Strawberry

Ross: Ross Common and Lagunitas Road

San Anselmo: Yolanda and Calumet Parks

San Rafael: Chicken Point

San Rafael: Glenwood

West Marin: Seadrift at Stinson Beach

 


A Seller’s Market?

Posted on 27th February 2013 by Alan Blumenthal in General,Marin Buyers and Sellers

 Yes, Marin home buyers are lining up for homes priced under $1M. We are seeing multiple offers and escalating prices. Many offers present all cash, a competitive advantage to the cash buyers and a benefit to sellers.

The major factor fueling this market is the lack of homes for sale. Foreclosure sales (Short sales and REO sales) were down 78% in January compared to one year earlier. Looking only at regular sales in January 2013 versus 2012, the number of houses available was down 40% for all price ranges and 53% for houses under $1M.

Here is the picture for all price ranges:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How are home prices? Comparing this January with the year before, the median price for non-foreclosure sales was up by 4%. This is a small increase, but we may see higher prices as we enter the most active selling months, April through July.


San Rafael Neighborhoods: Glenwood

Posted on 23rd August 2012 by Alan Blumenthal in General

The geographical diversity of Marin County – with hills, mountain ridges, dramatic and serene coastline, and streams – gives us great variety of neighborhoods and micro-climates.

If you are planning to live in Marin or move to a new location, we hope to give you glimpses into the charm and diversity of our many neighborhoods.

Glenwood Neighborhood

Glenwood, in East San Rafeal along Point San Pedro Road, is a large level valley with California ranch-style homes along wide streets. This is an ideal family neighborhood with its outstanding Glenwood Elementary School. read more


San Anselmo Neighborhoods: Yolanda and Calumet Parks

Posted on 5th August 2012 by Alan Blumenthal in General,Marin Buyers and Sellers,Marin Homes

The geographical diversity of Marin County – with hills, mountain ridges, dramatic and serene coastline, and streams – gives us great variety of neighborhoods and micro-climates.

If you are planning to live in Marin or move to a new location, we hope to give you glimpses into the charm and diversity of our many neighborhoods.

Yolanda and Calumet Parks

This small, hidden neighborhood in San Anselmo may be the most picturesque and charming in Marin, with romantic architecture, magnificent trees, wide streets, intimate lanes, and views of Mt.  Tamalpais to the west and grass covered hills to the north.

The Yolanda and Calumet neighborhoods begin near downtown San Anselmo and extend west to Sir Francis Drake High School. The seasonal San Anselmo Creek wanders the length of the neighborhood, reduced in the summer to small ponds and gently flowing rivlets. read more


Larkspur Neighborhoods: Baltimore Canyon

Posted on 29th July 2012 by Alan Blumenthal in General,Marin Buyers and Sellers,Marin Homes

The geographical diversity of Marin County – with hills, mountain ridges, dramatic and serene coastline, and streams – gives us great variety of neighborhoods and micro-climates.

If you are planning to live in Marin or move to a new location, we hope to give you glimpses into the charm and diversity of our many neighborhoods.

Baltimore Canyon Neighborhood

Serene Baltimore (or Madrone) Canyon is in the oldest part of Larkspur, with homes dating to the late 19th century. Bordered by Magnolia Ave to the east, the primary streets of Baltimore Canyon (West Baltimore, Madrone, and Piedmont Avenues) wind through a shady canyon filled with second growth redwoods and bay trees. The top of the canyon boarders Mt. Tamalpais open space. A seasonal stream, the Arroyo Holon (or Larkspur Creek), between West Baltimore and Madrone Avenues, flows to the bay. read more


Mill Valley Neighborhoods: Strawberry

Posted on 16th July 2012 by Alan Blumenthal in Marin Buyers and Sellers,Marin Homes

The geographical diversity of  Marin County – with hills, mountain ridges, dramatic and serene coastline, and streams - gives us great variety of neighborhoods and micro-climates.

If you are planning to live in Marin or move to a new location, we hope to give you glimpses into the charm and diversity of our many neighborhoods.

Strawberry Neighborhood

Strawberry is a unique section of Mill Valley on a small peninsula in Richardson Bay (part of San Francisco Bay) to the East of Highway 101. A small ridge of hills through the Strawberry Peninsula provides fine views of the Bay, San Francisco, and My. Tamalpais. read more


Greenbrae Neighborhoods: Greenbrae Hills

Posted on 24th June 2012 by Alan Blumenthal in General,Marin Homes

The geographical diversity of Marin County - with hills, mountain ridges, dramatic and serene coastline, and streams - gives us great variety of neighborhoods and micro-climates.

If you are planning to live in Marin or move to a new location, we hope to give you glimpses into the charm and diversity of our many neighborhoods. The following slide show is a good introduction to the hillside neighborhood of Greenbrae.

Greenbrae Hills Neighborhood

The Greenbrae hills, located to the north of Sir Frances Drake Boulevard - from Highway 101 to Wolf Grade in Kentfield - was developed in 1946, with construction of over 1,000 homes through the mid-1960′s. The home sites begin on level land near Sir Frances Drake Boulevard then climb the hill, along terraced roads with Spanish names like La Questa and Via Lerido. Views from this south-facing hill are toward the Bay and Mt.Tamalpais. read more


Ross Neighborhoods: Old Town

Posted on 14th June 2012 by Alan Blumenthal in General,Marin Buyers and Sellers,Marin Homes

Phoenix Lake, Ross, CA

If you are planning to live in Marin or move to a new location, we hope to give you glimpses into the charm and diversity of our many neighborhoods. The following slide show is a good introduction to the old town of Ross, CA.

Old Town Ross: Ross Common-Lagunitas

Ross is one of the smallest towns in Marin, with a population of about 2,500, and one of the highest property values. The average home price in the last year (June 2011-June 2012) was about $2,800,000, second only to Belvedere, CA priced about $3,000,000. read more


Corte Madera Neighborhoods: Chapman Park

Posted on 7th June 2012 by Alan Blumenthal in Marin Buyers and Sellers,Marin Homes
Stetson home Chapman Park

The geographical diversity of Marin County - with hills, mountain ridges, dramatic and serene coastline, and streams - gives us great variety of neighborhoods and micro-climates.

If you are planning to live in Marin or move to a new location, we hope to give you glimpses into the charm and diversity of our many neighborhoods. The following slide show is a good introduction to the Chapman Park neighborhood of Corte Madera.

Chapman Park Neighborhood

Chapman Park, located to the south of  Tamalpais Drive, was developed about 1900 as “villa sites for people of quality.” The home sites begin on level land near Tamalpais Drive then gradualy climb the hill, along winding roads, through beautiful woods of Redwood, California Bay, and Eucalypus trees. Many sites have spectacular views of the Bay and Mt. Tamalpais, a few homes have views of San Francisco. read more