The news on the real estate front is that the economic experts told us to expect 2019 to be a slow year because of predicted interest rate hikes and the new tax bill capping property tax and mortgage deductions.  I'm happy to say this has not been the case!

We have had a very robust early spring market, especially in the under $2.5 million range, while higher-priced homes have been more challenging to sell. I have been involved in 2 multiple-offer deals as buyers are aggressively making offers. The rise in the stock market and the recent decrease in interest rates have contributed to a surge of buyers trying to get into the market before something changes.  
Novato is a town where many first-time home buyers are headed as they're priced out of southern Marin. Downtown Novato is undergoing a resurgence with many new restaurants and shops, the SMART train will make commuting to SF easier and the schools have excellent reputations. Check out Novato if you are thinking of moving or know someone wanting to buy in Marin.
Seller Alert! Your home continues to increase in value. If you're thinking of downsizing but have a large capital gain, I have some useful tips to minimize your tax bill when converting your primary residence into investment property.  Give me a call and I can walk you through it. 


Katie Jarman, Realtor®
Luxury Property Specialist

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I follow Rayford Reddell’s advice on roses, as he's one of the largest sellers of roses in the country. He recommends feeding each plan with alfalfa pellets. You can get a 50 lb bag at Martin’s Feed and Supply in Mill Valley for less than $20! 
After a few weeks, feed each plant ¾ cup of Epsom salts. You can get Epsom salts at Amazon or Walgreens with a discount coupon—no need to pay a higher price at the nursery. Happy blooms!

I know, we all both dread and look forward to this moment. But if you're selling your home, buying a new one or just getting ready for summer,  you should do a true DEEP CLEAN.

What is a deep cleaning?

 A deep clean is not an ordinary clean, so your housekeeper or cleaning service may not be qualified. Deep cleaning entails much more than the average weekly cleaning, including de-greasing appliances and cleaning out filters on dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, and exhaust vents, etc. Many people don’t know these filters exist! If you can’t figure out where a filter is located, do a search on YouTube for a helpful video. 
 Grease accumulates inside the vent hood. Using rubber gloves, remove the grill or grease tray and soak it in hot water and Dawn liquid, then dry and wipe with a soft cloth. You may need a stronger degreaser like Simple Green if it needs additional cleaning.  
This may require using a commercial oven cleaner—leave it on for 20 minutes to let the foam do its magic. Wipe off thoroughly with a damp soft cloth and make sure the door is clean.
Thoroughly cleaning the dishwasher requires removing the filter at the base of the dishwasher and r
insing the metal piece that looks like a sieve. Use a soft toothbrush to remove all residue. Once that filter is clean, put a cup of white wine vinegar in a coffee mug and place on the top shelf (alone, with no other dishes) in the washer. Run the washer on hot or Heavy Wash and let the dryer steam dry. The vinegar removes spots and residue.
Front loader washing machines accumulate mildew in the rubber gasket around the door. Many of the newer models also have a lint trap on the front of the machine—open it and remove any hair and lint. Let the water drain into a pan and replace the cap. Run the washer on the "clean" cycle or add 1 cup of Finish dishwasher powder soap in the tub on "hot." Always keep the door slightly ajar when not in use to eliminate odors.
Vacuum your refrigerator coils or condenser grills at least 2x per year. It will save the motor from overworking and keep dust off the coils. The coils are located behind the front grill panel on most Viking, Subzero, and higher-end brands. Other brands require you to vacuum the coils in the rear.
Clean the ashes with a shop vac, then sweep well and close the damper for the season. Have the chimney checked every few years for soot buildup and to check the spark arrestor.  
Have windows professionally cleaned if they weren’t already cleaned for photos. Make sure to wash the screens and put them back.  
This is an all-purpose cleaning scrubber cloth for cleaning caked-on food in pots and pans. I no longer use Comet or harsh scrubbers, as this cloth can do the job better with no damage. It’s available on the internet for about $13.00.  
I swear this spray helps me sell homes! I use the “Rose Geranuim” scent at ALL my open houses and everyone comments on how good the house smells. Fair warning—a little goes a long way! Available at local grocery stores, Goodman’s Hardware or ACE Hardware stores.

Filoli (Fight – Love – Live) Mansion and Gardens, Woodside
I recently had the pleasure of visiting FILOLI in Woodside with two dear friends. If you are a garden lover or lover of beautiful flowers, you MUST get down there! 

Tulips of every color and variety were in bloom all over the 750-acre property. The cherry trees were in bloom and the fields of daffodils were still springing up. Take a brief self-guided tour of the mansion and learn about the Roth Family who founded the Matson Shipping Line.  

Admission is around $22 a person and they have a lovely café for lunch.  Hint: avoid weekends.

Filoli is a wonderful destination to take out-of-town guests. At the end of May and early June, go to see thousands of roses in bloom. You won’t be sorry!

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