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5th Issue - Spring 2018

Spring Has Sprung!


 

 
Happy Spring, and welcome back to Katie's Kronicle!  Inventory is very low this time of year as you can see from the chart.  January and February typically have the fewest units for sale.  It's interesting to note, however, that in 2018 the number of available units was almost the same as in 2017 (275 vs 273).  Inventory should pick up going forward.  I’m seeing property in $1-$2 million range flying off the market.  Buyers clearly want to avoid the Fed’s next rate hike.
 
MARIN COUNTY - INVENTORY AND HOMES SOLD


Other trends:
  • I've noticed a small exodus from Marin of those who are willing to move and cash out. Texas, Nevada and Wyoming are attracting Californians who want to avoid state income taxes.
  • In November (post-wildfires) a large number of homes sold quickly, relative to the number of units for sale.
  • Marin and San Francisco remain strong seller's markets.
Thinking of selling your home? In my opinion, timing your sale to coincide with the typical spring selling market is not necessarily that important for sellers. Anytime is a good time to sell! I can help in that area, so please contact me for a complimentary market analysis.
 
As one of Coldwell Banker's Greenbrae/Larkspur Top Producers, I'm proud to be a member of the 2017 International President's Circle.
Read on and enjoy. As always, my Kronicle includes a mix of home-related and "non-real estate" tips and tidbits. I hope you enjoy them. I always "road-test" all of my tips. Please don't hesitate to contact me with comments and questions. 

~ Katie 
For the Home and Garden
Great Source for Home Furnishings

Need some fresh linens for your guest room or other areas of your house?  Maybe a new rug, lamp, mirror or dresser?   If you like Serena and Lily’s furnishings and linens, their Berkeley outlet is a great find!   They get new shipments during the week (call ahead to make sure) and you can email with a request and save yourself a trip.  I have purchased a headboard, two night stands and linens at this location.  Great for a second home or first apartment too! Located at 2236 San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley. (510) 280-5630.

Email: outlet@serenaandlily.com
 
Hours: 10 am- 4 pm Tuesday – Saturday.  Good to call first.
Got Yellowjackets, Rats or Mosquitos?
The Mosquito and Vector Control Department is a FREE service of Marin and Sonoma Counties.  They will come to your home and remove yellow jacket nests in the ground for free and advise you on how to control rats or mice.  They also deal with mosquitos, ticks and all kinds of pests. Their website contains a wealth of information, including several downloadable brochures.  Very knowledgeable folks and I’ve called them often.  (800) 231-3236. 
Yard Waste Tip
 
If you live in Marin and have filled up your green yard waste can, you are allowed 2 FREE bags of yard waste each week in addition to your green can.  The bags MUST BE PAPER and you can get them at ACE or HOME DEPOT.  Look for the 16”x12”x35” bags.  Very inexpensive!!
 

 
Attention: Owners of Investment Properties
 
Do you own an investment property? Several attorneys I have spoken with recently suggest talking to your lawyer about setting up a limited liability corporation (LLC) or other legal entity prior to your purchase.   By doing this, if you are sued by someone who was on your property, your damages may be limited and your personal assets protected against losses.   Example – a contractor you hire makes negligent repairs on your deck.  It collapses while tenants or guests are having a barbeque.   If you, the homeowener, is sued, it’s possible that the damages could exceed insurance limits and equity in the property.   Talk to your attorney and insurance agent.

Spring Cleaning?
 
Time to get rid of the extra stuff that is weighing you down?   I like to support businesses who give back to the community.  Think Pink & Green Junk Removal and Hauling does just that.  They donate a portion of their profits to Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Get rid of yard waste, old appliances, mattresses, tires, estate clean out, etc.  5 star YELP rating!  Affordable too.  Open 7 days a week.  Try calling Steve or Dominic at 415-320-4987.  You can also schedule a pickup on the website.
Finance, Technology and Cybersecurity

Password Safety


Recently I attended a session by an FBI agent who talked about password protection.  He suggested using apps or software to store your passwords.  DO NOT KEEP THEM ON YOUR PHONE!   1Password is a popular Apple app that protects passwords, and there are others in the App Store.  If you don’t want to use an app, it's better to write passwords down in a handy booklet and keep the book safe.  To create passwords, use a PHRASE... for example  "I LIKE TO WORKOUT AT 9 DAILY"  would generate a password of ‘ILTWA9D”.  Add a special character at the end or beginning.  To update the password, just change the number.   It is scary how good the thieves are getting.  Take heed!
More Helpful Hints and Tips
NO TIME TO READ THE NEWSPAPER?  It’s easy to keep up with the news via the Daily Skimm, a short, simple and easy to read  version of the highlights in today’s world.  Paste this LINK into your browser and you will be “in the know”. The Skimm is also available as a phone App, which contains more features, for $2.99/month.


Deals and Steals

  • Class Pass: Very handy app for booking fitness classes at a variety of studios. Several payment options. Great for when traveling!
  • Decorglobe.com:  Online source for cabinet hardware and other home items
  • CVS.com: I've found that you save more buying your drugstore items online.
  • Staples: Broken phone screen? No charge if they can't fix it.
  • Dollar Tree: A new favorite for gift wrap, LED light bulbs, envelopes, cards, cleaners - ALL $1.00.
Fun and Leisure


Eat Your Breakfast!
 
It has been our family tradition to go out to breakfast on weekends. We still do this whenever possible, often before or after church services. Here are some of our favorite breakfast venues in both San Francisco and Marin:
  • Fred's Place: 1917 Bridgeway, Sausalito
  • MH Bread and Butter: 101 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo
  • Theresa and Johnny's: 8174 4th Street, San Rafael (Wonderful biscuits, gravy and grits!)
  • Rigolo Cafe: 3465 California Street, SF
  • Brenda's French Soul Food: 652 Polk Street, SF
  • Jane on Fillmore: 2123 Fillmore Street, SF

Soar Through the Treetops!

 

 
No need to travel to Costa Rica to experience the thrill of zip-lining above the trees. Sonoma Canopy Tours in beautiful Occidental offers the opportunity to soar above the canopy of Northern California's ancient coastal Redwood forests. This adventure is considered to be an educational as well as a spiritual experience. Check the website for full descriptions and details. Ages 10 and up.
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