MarinReal EstateUncategorized January 29, 2020

Jaime Pera’s Marin Real Estate Market Update – Year End 2019

Happy New Year!  Hoping that you enjoyed the holidays and that you had an opportunity to rest and recharge.

In my mid-year 2019 report, I talked about a growing trend of declining values that started in 2018 and continued into the first seven months of 2019.  Data at the time showed that the average sales price for single-family dwellings for the first seven months of 2019 came in 6% lower than the same period in 2018. At the time I felt that if this trend continued that there would be a noticeable correction in values, something we had not seen since 2011 at a time when we were in the final stages of the last recession.

As it turns out, sales for the last five months of 2019 were strong, and the average sales price for single-family dwellings finished only 4.1% lower than 2018.  This is a good thing as a robust market combined with low supply should create another seller’s market with corresponding increases in real estate values in 2020.  It is not unreasonable to expect prices to rise in the 3% to 4% range this year.  Whether this happens will largely depend on how many new listings we see in the new year.

Other Important Considerations:

On July 31, 2019, Marin’s listing inventory for single family dwellings stood 29% HIGHER than July 2018.  Amazingly however, by year end Decemer 31, 2019 inventory finished 19.4% LOWER than December 2018.  Low inventory will fuel rising home values in 2020.

interest rates for fixed rate mortgages are available as low as 3.5% and may go down further. Additionally, Marin/SF unemployment rates continue to hover around 2%.

The number of properties receiving multiple offers dropped sharply over last year (27.6%) after dropping 14% the year before. Buyers are not leaping to purchase properties with the same frenzy exhibited 2 years ago as they are looking for value and are exercising more caution.  This trend will moderate 2020 price increases.

The number of all cash offers declined 25% over last year after declining 5% the year before.  This trend will also moderate 2020 price increases.

Note to Sellers:

I believe that we are entering another great seller’s market.  The only thing that could derail this prediction is if an above average number of new listings hit the market in 2020. Inventory is very low right now, so it makes a lot of sense to list as soon as practically possible.  I can help you determine the right market dynamics for your property.  The correct price combined with appropriate home prep and marketing will ensure that you reap the highest reward from the market.  Please contact me to receive a professionally prepared market analysis, discuss options, and answer any questions you have.

Note to Buyers:

Buyers also have a lot to be excited about in 2020! If you are truly looking to buy in 2020, I recommend that as you prepare your 2019 income tax returns that you simultaneously work with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage.  The majority of documents a lender requires (tax returns, W-2s, bank statements, etc.) are also needed to prepare your tax returns, and when the right house comes along you’ll be ready!  Some economists are predicting further rate cuts and falling mortgage rates.  If this happens, we will see historically low rates in 2020 which will increase affordability and purchasing power for buyers, even with the projected increase in real estate values. As a result, I expect fewer buyers will be priced out of the market and I also feel confident that they will see appreciation after purchase.

Jaime Pera, Senior Associate | 415.505.7197 |


MarinReal Estate August 2, 2019

Jaime Pera’s Marin Market Update – Mid Year 2019

 Happy Summer!

Hoping that everyone has had an opportunity to enjoy a much-needed vacation.  If not, there still is time!

The market has changed quite a bit since my last update, as the warning signs that appeared in 2018 particularly in the second half of the year have now been documented statistically (prices have decreased). The changes may appear subtle but if this trend continues, I believe we will see a continued reduction in Marin home values.  To keep things in perspective, average prices for Marin Single Family Dwellings have risen almost 80% since 2013 when values began to recover. So, to some degree it makes sense that sooner or later we would enter a period of declining values. What is difficult to comprehend however is why this is happening at a time when we have a very strong local and national economy, live in an area with some of the highest household income in the nation, we are enjoying record low unemployment rates (Marin & SF have a 1.9% rate!), and at a time when 30 year fixed rate mortgages stand at 3.75% for conforming loans and 4.00% for jumbo loans.

Here is what I see in these statistics:

  1. There has been a substantial increase in our listing inventory as it has increased 43% over 2017 and 29% over 2018. This is an indicator that prices are high and buyers are looking for value.
  2. The number of properties sold continues to trend downward. This has been the case for over two years.
  3. The number of properties receiving multiple offers is down sharply over last year (19%). Buyers are not leaping to purchase properties with the same frenzy exhibited 2 years ago.
  4. The percentage of listings with price reductions has increased 82% over 2017 and 33% over last year. This is an indication that sellers continue to believe that prices are increasing when they are NOT!
  5. The average sales price is down 6% over last year! The last time we saw a reduction in sales price was in 2011 when we were in the final stages of the recession.

Anecdotally, I can tell you from the open houses I’ve recently hosted that there are a lot of buyers out there. As a group however they are taking a more cautious approach to home buying as they want value, are looking for turnkey solutions, and bottom line do not want to overpay!

Looking at the second half of the year, I expect that the current trend will continue with higher inventory levels and 5-7% fewer homes selling in 2019 vs 2018.  I also expect that prices will finish the year 6%-8% lower than in 2018.

Note to Sellers:

To succeed in today’s market and maximize the return on the sale of your home it is imperative that you price your home at market value.  Homes priced close to market value that require no price reductions have sold for 101.4% of the original list price. Homes requiring at least one price reduction sold for 88.6% of the original price. This is a 12.8% spread.

Wondering about your home’s value? Please contact me to receive a professionally prepared market analysis, discuss options, and answer any questions you have.

Note to Buyers:

This is an excellent time for buyers to negotiate!  I recommend that you start by searching for a diamond in the rough by scouring homes that have been on the market for 45 days or longer. There are some beautiful homes out there. Currently, 32% of all single-family dwellings, or 131 homes (out of 411) across all price ranges have been on the market for 45 days or longer!  Given the fact that most sellers do not realize that prices are declining I expect that as days on the market increase that those that must sell will ultimately have no option but to accept lower offers.  The 12.8% spread discussed in the note to sellers is equivalent to approximately $200,000 on a $1.5M home, some portion of which can likely be attributed to a penalty for overpricing the home in the first place.  This penalty is money in the pocket of buyers!

Bottom Line:

Don’t be afraid of a declining market!  The decision to buy or sell is a personal one, and although market trends can tell you what’s happening overall, they don’t accurately reflect what is going on in your own life: relocating, job promotion, growing family, shrinking household, need for lower maintenance, etc. In a seller’s market, people still buy. In a buyer’s market, people still sell.

Let’s talk about what’s right for you now and in the long-term.


My Recent Activity – Past 30 Days


Just Sold:

19 Ross St, San Rafael

Multi Family – 4 Unit Property

Sold for: $1,318,000


Sale Pending:

2336 Shelter Bay Ave, Mill Valley

Water Front Condominium

Listed For: $730,000


Jaime Pera, Senior Associate | 415.505.7197 |











The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Uncategorized January 26, 2019




Jaime Pera’s Marin Real Estate Market Update

 Year End 2018

Happy New Year!

I’ve got one word that may best describe the 2019 Marin Real Estate Market:  Opportunity!

Opportunity for buyers who have been shut out of the market because of extreme demand, rising values, and the overwhelming number of multiple offers and all cash offers.

Opportunities for sellers who have wanted to upsize or downsize in an extreme market but could not move forward without first selling their home. Sellers in today’s changing market have been dealt a powerful card: Purchase offers that are subject to the sale of your own home are being accepted with more regularity.

The national trend is leaning towards increased inventory with fewer sales. So far Marin has followed this trend as sales for single family dwellings decreased 3.6% over 2017 (1,893 vs 1,961) and year-end inventory jumped 40% over prior year (175 vs 125).  Further signs of a slowing/pausing market are evidenced by sharp increases in the number of price reductions and cancelled escrows during the second half of 2018.  This supports the idea that buyers have reached a limit due to high property values, higher mortgage rates, declining stock values, the potential impact of the 2018 federal tax law changes, and other uncertainties.

To add to this thinking, there are three other significant signs that point to a slowing market: 1) The percentage of multiple offers slipped 10.7% from 71.5% in 2017 to 63.8% in 2018, 2) the number of all cash offers decreased 5.1% from 2017 (707 vs 745), and 3) average sales price for single family dwellings rose only 4.3% in 2018 after rising 8% in 2017,and much more in prior years.

Has the market permanently changed or is it pausing?  I believe it has changed. So far not in a dramatic way but enough to make one see that transaction velocity is slowing, leading to longer days on the market for listings, which gives buyers more time to select properties and more properties to choose from.  Based on this trend, I expect that the number of new listings in 2019 will closely mirror the number of new listings in 2018 and 2017, AND that inventory will slowly rise until a price equilibrium has been reached between buyers and sellers.  I also forecast 3% to 5% fewer closed sales in 2019.  Anecdotally I can tell you that as we approached the end of 2018 the market became a bit spottier as well priced properties that would have sold immediately in 2017 and the early part of 2018 would without reason receive no offers.  Conversely, there were many properties that received no offers because they were materially overpriced, and they did not sell until those listing prices were reduced. Unfortunately, these sellers ended up receiving less for their homes than they would have had their homes been priced correctly in the first place.

Note to Sellers:

Historically the spring selling season is by far the best time to sell your home as Marin homes on average sell for 10% more than other seasons. Note that in most areas it remains a seller’s market but as mentioned above things are slowly changing.  Therefore, it is imperative when selling that you do no overprice your home. We are also seeing more purchase offers accepted that are subject to the sale of your own home which for the longest time was not an acceptable practice. This is a huge opportunity for those who must sell before buying.

Wondering about your home’s value? Please contact me to receive a professionally prepared market analysis, discuss options, and answer any questions you have.


Note to Buyers:

This is an excellent time for buyers to search for a diamond in the rough and negotiate on a home that has been on the market for 45 days or longer. There are some beautiful homes out there AND less competition. Currently, 59% of all single-family dwellings, or 119 homes (out of 203) across all price ranges have been on the market for 45 days or longer!  This is the perfect time to negotiate and negotiate hard!  I also have a list of off market properties in all price ranges.  These are properties that sellers have chosen to market privately and not expose to the multiple listing service and the internet.

Bottom Line:

Don’t be afraid of a declining market!  The decision to buy or sell is a personal one, and although market trends can tell what’s happening overall, it doesn’t reflect what’s going on in your own life: relocating, job promotion, growing family, shrinking household, need for lower maintenance, etc. In a seller’s market, people still buy. In a buyer’s market, people still sell.

Let’s talk about what’s right for you now and in the long-term.


Jaime Pera, Senior Associate

415 505 7197

Visit my website at:

Marin Family Activities September 18, 2018

Family Adventure in the Marin Headlands

Family Adventure in the Marin Headlands

Marin Headlands

Located at the very south end of Marin County, the Marin Headlands has much to offer for families and is one of our favorite destinations for a day of outdoor adventure. The Marine Mammal Center, wildlife, beaches, history, natural beauty, sweeping vistas of the Pacific and San Francisco—the Headlands has all that and more.

Now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Marin Headlands was at one time home to a Spanish and Mexican rancho, military fortifications, and Cold-War-era Nike missile sites. It also narrowly escaped becoming a massive housing development called Marincello back in the 1960s. Thankfully that never came to pass, and we’re left with a superlative national park enjoyed by countless Bay Area residents and visitors.

Marin Headlands

Our first stop is usually the park visitor center in the old Fort Barry chapel located at the intersection of Field and Bunker Roads, about three miles from the park entrance. You’ll pass by it on your way to Fort Cronkhite and Rodeo Beach, and it’s well worth a stop.

Rangers and volunteers are on hand to answer questions, and kids can check out exhibits and dioramas including a Miwok dwelling, a World War II-era army barrack, natural history displays, a touching table, and more. There’s also a gift shop here stocking a surprisingly large selection of books, clothing, posters, toys, and other souvenirs. (It’s a great place to buy unique Bay Area gifts for out-of-town family, by the way.)

Marin Headlands

One of our must-visit Marin Headlands destination is Rodeo Beach. This dark-sand beach, accessible via a footbridge across Rodeo Lagoon, is a popular spot for surfing, bird-watching, kite flying, picnicking, surfing, dog walking, and just relaxing oceanside on a warm day.

Marin Headlands Rodeo Beach

The sand here is composed of tiny little pebbles of colorful stone, and children always have a great time picking through it for particularly colorful specimens, including jade, black agate, jasper, and carnelian. Like most beaches along Marin’s coast, Rodeo Beach isn’t safe for swimming, surfers notwithstanding.

Located nearby in Fort Cronhkite, the Marine Mammal Center is another Marin Headlands must-see. You can take a free self-guided tour and see seals and sea lions that the center is nursing back to health and learn more about our local pinnipeds. Read more about the Marine Mammal Center here.

Marin Headlands Marine Mammal Center

Hiking trails abound throughout the headlands. One of our favorite kid-friendly hikes is to head up the hill on the Coastal Trail from Rodeo Beach. The trail winds up on the bluffs overlooking Rodeo Beach and Fort Cronkhite and offers some spectacular views. Other worthwhile hikes nearby are on the Lagoon Trail and the Rodeo Valley Trail.

The other big draw at the Marin Headlands is history. Throughout the 20th century, the Headlands was the site of the US Army’s Forts Barry and Cronkhite, as the countless leftover military buildings and fortifications attest. Kids love to clamber around the old concrete gun batteries that line the coastal bluffs here.

Marin Headlands

One of our favorite places to explore is Battery Mendell, at the end of Fort Barry Road near the Point Bonita YMCA. Built in 1902, Battery Mendell is sited high on a hill overlooking Rodeo Beach and the Pacific, and was once home to two 12-inch disappearing rifles—coastal artillery pieces that would hide themselves after each shot to avoid enemy detection.

Battery Alexander—once home to heavy mortars and now to picnic areas—is worth visiting, as is the later Battery Wallace, which looks like it’s literally buit into the hillside. Keep in mind that while these historic structures are fun to visit and play on, they are constructed of materials like concrete and iron and weren’t built with safety in mind, so be careful.

Marin Headlands

You can also visit a restored Cold-War-era Nike missile site, SF-88L, one of many that once dotted hills around Marin County and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Nike missile was an anti-aircraft weapon that deployed a nuclear warhead, and was meant to be the last line of defense again attacking Soviet bombers in the 1950s and ’60s.

Marin Headlands

The Marin Headlands Nike Missile Site is currently open on Saturdays from 12:30 to 3:30 pm. You can take a guided tour of the facility, the only restored Nike missile site in the country, and learn about its history from rangers and volunteers, some of whom are veterans who actually served at sites like this. On guided tours you can see everything up close and even watch as an (deactivated, thankfully!) Nike Hercules missile is lifted up into firing position from its underground storage area.

Marin Headlands

Another important historic structure you can visit at the Marin Headlands is Point Bonita Lighthouse. Built way back in the 1850s to guide mariners away from the rocky shores of the Golden Gate, the lighthouse recently re-opened to the public after a much needed rebuild of the suspension bridge that leads to it. (Point Bonita is the only lighthouse in America that’s accessed via suspension bridge.)

It’s an easy, fun, hike for the family, with amazing views, and is open Saturday through Monday from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.

Marin Headlands


To get to the Marin Headlands, take Highway 101 south to the Alexander Avenue exit. Go right at the stop sign and follow Alexander Avenue back under the freeway. Turn left on Danes Drive and take the famous, one-way, mile-long tunnel to Bunker Road. The tunnel is one-way, so you may have to wait for up to five minutes for oncoming traffic to come through. Follow Bunker Road into the headlands—it will lead all the way to Rodeo Beach and Fort Cronkhite.

You could also head the opposite direction at the Alexander Avenue exit and head up Conzelman Road into the Headlands, but the Bunker Road Tunnel is an important part of the experience, and a big hit with kids.

Marin Headlands

The Marin Headlands visitor center is open daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm (closed on Tuesdays as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day), and the park itself is open sunrise to sunset. Restrooms are available at the visitor center and at Rodeo Beach, and there are portable toilets located throughout the park. Plenty of picnic tables and BBQ grills can be found here, but bring your own food in as there’s no place to get it at the park.

Northern California coastal weather can be unpredicatable, so be prepared for anything from blazing sunshine to howling winds and fog. Dress in layers, and bring hats and sunscreen. Wear sturdy shoes for hiking and exploring old bunkers. Keep in mind that early-20th-century military fortifications weren’t exactly designed with safety in mind, so keep an eye on little ones at all times.

Should you and your family wish to stay overnight at the Marin Headlands, you’ll find accomodations at the Marin Headlands Hostel, ranging from dorm beds to private family rooms that sleep up to five. For more information, visit or call (415) 331-2777.

Marin Headlands

Organized family programs at the Marin Headlands are offered by NatureBridge, and include night hikes, campfires, sailing adventures, and more. Visit or call (415) 332-5771 for more information and a schedule of programs. NatureBridge also offers Coastal Camp, a summer day camp for kids in kindergarten through ninth grade.

It can get busy in the Marin Headlands on weekends and holidays, especially during the summer tourist season. If you go during the week, you’ll find you pretty much have the place to yourself. For more information about the Marin Headlands, including road and trail maps and opening hours, visit

Marin September 12, 2018

Marin History Museum and San Rafael Elk’s Lodge Celebrate the 131st Anniversary of Louise Arner Boyds Birth



Marin September 12, 2018

September Marin Calendar of Events!

Summer is Winding Down
Calendar of Events. Enjoy all that September has to offer in Marin!


Saturday, September 1st (Every Saturday):Marin Country Mart Farmer’s Market

Sunday, September 2nd:Djangofest Returns to Throckmorton

Sunday, September 2nd:The Commons’ 1st Sundays Block Party

Saturday – Monday, September 1st – September 3rd:66th Sausalito Art Festival

Saturday, September 8th:Sound Summit: A Benefit for The Mountain

Saturday, September 8th:The Lagunitas Beer Circus: PETALUMA

Friday – Sunday, September 14th – September 16th:Big Bounce America

Saturday – Sunday, September 15th – September 16th – September 16th:Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

Saturday, September 15th:2018 Native American Trade Feast

Saturday – Sunday, September 15th – September 16th – September 16th:RockSoberFest with Clean & Sober Music Fest

Saturday, September 16th:Blue Waters Kayaking – Bioluminescence Group Camping Tours

Thursday, September 23rd:Hike the Headlands 2018

September 22nd = September 30th, (Weekly: Wednesday-Sunday):Marin Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Sunday, September 30th:Woofstock 2018

Real Estate September 12, 2018

Jaime Pera’s Marin Market Update – Mid Year Report


Jaime Pera’s Marin Real Estate Market Update

 Mid-Year 2018

We are currently in the 79th month of the real estate recovery which started in January 2012.  Over this period, the median price of Marin real estate has risen almost 65% and now stands at approximately $1,400,000.  An astounding reversal of events.

Real estate slowed this summer as it seems like buyers really embraced the concept of vacation!  As a result, sales for single family dwellings fell by 10% year over year.  Oddly enough however, the number of NEW properties for sale in June fell 36% from last year (150 vs 221) while the number of active listings at the end of June rose by 5%!  So far July sales to date are running 9% lower than last year, a continuation of June’s trend. Is the market changing? Will there be a large influx of new listings in the next 60 days to provide fuel for a strong fall selling season? Will buyers return from vacation and resume their feverish house hunting ways?

Anecdotally I can tell you that buyers are much more selective than in years past and seem to be having a difficult time coming to grips with how much home values have risen and how much their buying power has eroded. The over $2M market in particularly has been less active as these homes are staying on the market longer and overall demand has softened.  The five cities listed in the chart below are showing signs of softening demand at current prices as inventory has risen for each over June of 2017 (cumulatively by 27%) and the percentage of properties in contract (pended) has declined from last year (cumulatively by 30%).

Source: Bay Real Estate Information Services

On the national level there are indications that markets may be softening as permits for new construction have declined steadily since December 2017, housing affordability is stretched and not getting better, interest rates are rising, and several economists have recently made the case that home prices have been rising too fast and have outpaced income growth.  In the Bay Area for example median income is up 20% since 2011 while median housing prices have risen more than three times that!

In Marin, where unemployment stands under 3% and household incomes are above the Bay Area median one would think that our real estate market is immune to the trends impacting the national market particularly rising interest rates.  But this is not the true as higher interest rates reduce affordability even in Marin!  Consider that of the 1,128 single family homes that sold through the middle of YTD July, that 287 or 25% were all cash transactions which means that 75% of sales required loans.  It is generally known that a 1% rise in interest rates equates to a 10% reduction in purchase power for buyers that need a mortgage to purchase a home.  Translated this means that if you can afford a $2M home today, and rates rise 1% in the next year that your buying power will be reduced to $1.8M!  If interest rates continue to rise then sellers will ultimately need lower prices in order to sell their homes.

Also noteworthy is that the current economic expansion is the second longest in US history and will become the longest if it makes it through another year.  A potential threat to the current expansion is the trend forming in the bond market which has investors worried that short-term yields could rise above longer-term yields.  This is known as an inverted yield curve which has correctly signaled each of the last 7 recessions, the last of which was the devasting one that began in 2007.

Finally, also of concern to Marin real estate is the potential impact of recent Federal tax law changes which went into effect in January 2018 which cap the deductible portion of interest starting in 2018 (Loans up to $750,000 – previously $1,000,000) and cap the deduction for state income tax and property taxes to $10,000 annually. I expect that we will gain a better understanding of this threat when we prepare our 2018 returns.

Note to Sellers:

The fall selling season is the second-best time of year to list and sell your home! Homes that are priced correctly generally sell quickly. Wondering about your home’s value? Upon request, I am happy to prepare a professional market analysis for you, discuss options, and answer any questions you have.  If you are anxious about upsizing or downsizing in a market where there aren’t enough homes for sale, please read my blog article on this subject:

Note to Buyers:

This is an excellent time for buyers to search for a diamond in the rough and negotiate on a home that has been on the market for 45 days or longer. There are some beautiful homes out there AND less competition. Currently, 59% of all single-family dwellings, or 204 homes across all price ranges have been on the market for 45 days or longer!

Please call me if you have questions about the Marin Real Estate Market or the value of your home!




Marin September 12, 2018

Marin History Museum Celebration Event at Sweetwater in Mill Valley on October 18, 2018

To purchase tickets,

For more information please call 415-382-1182

MarinReal Estate September 18, 2017

Jaime Pera’s Marin Real Estate Market Update – 8-31-17


Trail through Muir Woods National Monument just north of San Francisco, California.

Jaime Pera’s Marin Real Estate Market Update

 August 31, 2017

As we enter the fall selling season one thing remains clear; there doesn’t seem to be anything that can stop this market!  Although we are operating at lower inventory levels than past years we continue to see great buyer demand coupled with an all-out determination to aggressively compete for properties, particularly in multiple offer situations.  And prices continue to rise!  Through August of this year 1,298 single family dwellings have closed versus 1,280 last year.  This slight increase in sales however was accomplished with 171 fewer new listings entering the market this year versus last year. So while we can point to low unemployment (3% in Marin and SF), low interest rates (jumbo loans can be had for under 4%), young families fleeing the city for more affordable real estate and better schools, and new stock market highs, what is really making all of this possible is an increase in the number of ALL CASH BUYERS (33% of all solds vs 29% YTD 2016), and an increase in the number of MULTIPLE OFFERS (57.6% of all solds vs 49.3% YTD 2016).

The inventory counts below tell you all you need to know about this market. If you eliminate the pricier cities with average list prices above $3M like Belvedere, Kentfield, Ross, and Sausalito, and all of the Cities of West Marin (because of location) you are left with 183 properties for sale of which 102 (56%) are in Novato and San Rafael, and 33 (18%) are in Mill Valley.  For those that are not keen on living in Novato or San Rafael, this doesn’t leave many options.

Source: Bay Real Estate Information Services – Trend Graphics

But help may be on the way as the fall selling season has started off strongly and as of 9/10 the listing inventory for single family dwellings stands at 361, a great sign indeed!  I expect more homes to hit the market over the next few weeks, and am thinking that with some luck we may even reach 400!

All Cash Buyers – Where Does the Money Come From?

This is a phenomenon that most people have a hard time wrapping their heads around.  In all honesty, I am asked this question at least once a week!  Here are the demographics as I know them.

  • Comprised of tech workers with healthy six figure incomes. Often times there are two in the household.  Additionally, this group has benefited from stock options, stock, and other forms of equity compensation.  And finally it’s not unheard of to receive a BONUS that is large enough to purchase a home valued in excess of $1,000,000!
  • Baby Boomers as a group have a lot of equity in their homes and have benefited from wealth transfer (inheritance) from their parents. Many became quite wealthy from their own business pursuits often times unrelated to the technology industry.
  • Parents and grandparents are gifting and lending cash to their children for the purpose of purchasing a home. Sometimes the children will take out a mortgage after close of escrow.
  • Foreign investors from Russia, India, and China. Chinese investors make up a large portion of all cash buyers as they seek safer investment options in the US.

Note to Buyers:

Don’t be fearful about this competitive market.  Stick to your plan; know exactly what you are looking for, and how much you are willing to pay for it.  Listen to yourself!  If the home you are contemplating buying doesn’t feel right and something about the situation makes you uneasy then it’s likely not the right place for you!  Here are some mistakes to avoid:

  • Moving forward on a purchase out of desperation
  • Hesitating on moving forward on the purchase of a property that feels right, causing delays, which results in not landing the home
  • Not making your best offer for the home that is right for you
  • Over analyzing the situation and failing to make an offer in a timely fashion
  • Not having a firm grasp on how much you can afford.
  • Making the mistake of working with an inexperienced agent in a competitive market
  • Overpaying for a home because you and your real estate agent have not properly evaluated comparable sales in the neighborhood of your target home
  • Not learning from prior mistakes

  Note to Sellers:

There is no doubt that this is a great time to sell!  If you have been considering selling either to upsize, downsize, or relocate, I wouldn’t wait.  As I stated above, unemployment rates remain low (currently 3% in Marin and SF), and 30 year fixed rate loans are averaging 3.95% vs 3.64% last year.  Furthermore, it is difficult to predict how long this strong real estate market will continue so if you have been thinking of selling this might be a good opportunity to review your options.

For those potential sellers that have anxiety about upsizing or downsizing in a market where there aren’t enough homes for sale, I’m telling you that with good planning and execution and by employing one or more of the following strategies it can be done!  For details please see this blog article on my website:


Please call me if you have questions about the Marin Real Estate Market or the value of your home.  Upon request, I will be happy to prepare a high quality comparative market analysis and detail the steps you must take to list your home.


Jaime Pera, Senior Associate

415 505 7197 –



Uncategorized May 31, 2017

Marin History Museum June 2017 Newsletter

 JUNE 2017


MHM Speakers Series
Rails to Trails
Thursday, June 22, 2017, 7:00 pm
Elks Lodge, 1312 Mission Ave., San Rafael
Rails to Trails:  Learn about the Legacy
Left by Marin’s Railroads
Featured Speaker:
Bill Kaufman
Up until 1940, Marin had the kind of commuter railroad that would be useful today. It reached from the docks in Tiburon and Sausalito through San Anselmo and San Rafael out to Point Reyes and Novato.  The trains eventually went out of business from a lack of riders.  The automobile won!  But the legacy we have is a wonderful collection of trails and roads created from the railroad right-of-ways. Come with Bill and learn about these paths where you can walk a bit of history.
Bill is a long time Marin resident. He and his wife moved here in 1966 and taught school in the North Bay. In the mid-1980s Bill became fascinated with Marin County’s trains and joined to a model railroad group that was attempting to model the trains of Marin and their tracks. He has written for many train-related publications and co-authored a book on The State Belt that ran along San Francisco’s Embarcadero.
  Donation: $10.00

Parking available at rear of Elks Lodge


Please RSVP to or for more information, 

Feature Article
How the Marin History Museum Began
 At the first Marin Old Settler’s Day in 1910, Congressman-elect William Kent expressed the hope that Marin’s original pioneers would keep old California’s history and hospitality alive.

In 1935, at the twenty-fifth annual Old Settlers’ Day, Kent’s wish became reality when Miss Belle Brown, Historian and Landmarks Chairwoman of the State of California, spoke of a Marin County Museum planned for the basement in the San Rafael library.

(Editor’s note: The San Rafael Library is celebrating its 130th anniversary on June 3rd. We hope to see you at the party!)
1935 San Rafael Fiesta Parade (Marin History Museum)
That June, Major Newel Vanderbilt chaired a meeting establishing the Marin County Historical Society with Miss Brown accepting the gavel of President. By early September 1935, the new organization boasted eighty-nine charter members from every locality in the county, including individuals whose names still grace Marin’s towns, parks and streets: Fred Dickson, Florence G. Donnelly, Mrs. James B. Burdell, John Murray, Mrs. Henrietta Sweetser, and Thomas T. Kent.
The Society’s original Articles of Incorporation reflect our Museum’s continuing mission:
to promote the study and research into the history of Marin county and to perpetuate the relics, records, and authentic references to the early discoveries, settlements, and organization of Marin county.
In the decades since World War II, the renamed Marin History Museum’s collection has enjoyed the hospitality of several Marin locations. From the Museum room at San Rafael High School, the collection moved in 1950 to the San Raphael Archangel Mission. In 1959, to accommodate the expanding artifacts collection, our Museum relocated to the Boyd Gate House. In a 2005 transfer, the artifacts left the Gate House for a secure, climate-controlled building in San Rafael.
With the collection now secure in Novato, our Marin History Museum looks forward to another eighty years as the keeper and promoter of our county’s history.

 Marin People
Marin History Museum Founders
As a child, Belle Claire Brown (1872-1940) rode horseback to her Sausalito elementary school. Later she returned to teach in both Sausalito and at the Fourth Street Grammar School in San Rafael.
A slight woman with dark hair and gray eyes, she was a founder of Larkspur’s Women’s Club and Public Library. Brown served as Marin Chairwoman for the California State Landmark Commission, where she obtained protected status for the site of Sir Francis Drake’s landing, Reed Mill, and Mission San Rafael Archangel.

We remember our Miss Brown most fondly as the first President (1935) of the Marin County Historical Society.

Source: Marin History Museum
Source: U.S. House of Representatives
Without philanthropist William Kent (1864-1928), Marin’s hillsides might be unrecognizable.
In 1905, a thick stand of coastal redwoods on the southwest flank of Mount Tamalpais was to be flooded as a reservoir. Kent purchased the canyon for $45,000 and donated the land to the Federal government. In 1908, President Roosevelt renamed the track as Kent requested: Muir Woods National Monument.
Kent also founded the Marin Municipal Water District to save Mount Tamalpais from fire, protect water, and create a park. As Congressman (1911-1917), he sponsored the legislation to establish the National Park Service.
Born in Tomales as the youngest of seven children, Major Newell Vanderbilt (1874-1945) graduated from the Mt. Tamalpais Military Academy where he became an academic and military instructor. After returning from the Spanish-American War, he received a BS degree from the University of California.
Commissioned a Major in 1908, Vanderbilt and his wife, Effie Murray of San Rafael, resided on Fifth Avenue across from the Mt. Tamalpais Military Academy where he served as President from 1917 until the school closed in 1925.

In retirement, the Major opened a nursery on Union Street in San Rafael, gaining fame for breeding delphiniums and classifying camellias.

Source: Marin History Museum

 More MHM History
First Recorded Donation to the Museum   
In the MHM archives are the records of the organization from the first day that it was incorporated.  Among those records is an Acquisition Book that records what
Chief Jose Calistro
1859-1889,  Probably an Olompali Indian according to Robert K. Trumble who donated the  photograph.
was given to the museum.
The first item recorded was this photograph of Chief Jose Calistro.  It was discovered by M. Trumbell  while doing government research work on the premises of W.J. Irving in Nicasio in 1936. Calistro was said to be the last full-blooded Indian chief in Marin County.  When the San Rafael Mission was closed in 1830, Governor Figueroa ordered the remaining Indians at the mission be given 80,000 acres of mission  lands.  They chose acreage on the Halleck Tract of the Rancho de Nicasio in Nicasio.  Timothy Murphy oversaw the move from San Rafael to the land in Nicasio and encouraged them to use the agricultural skills they had learned at the mission.  With Murphy’s help they were able to provide food and clothing for their families.  However, in 1844 the courts broke up these grants and re-granted the property to others.
Chief John Calistro finally gathered up all the remnants of Indian properties and with the proceeds purchased some thirty acres… , thereafter making an attempt to uplift his people in a final struggle against the insidious voices of the white man.  But this little band was surrounded by every kind of demoralizing influence and the settlers were too busy to banish the vagabonds preying upon them.  It was soon necessary for the county to support these disheartened remnants of a once great race…” 
The Marin Journal Illustrated Edition (1887, p. IX)

 100 Years Ago
The Marin Journal – June 1917
Usually it takes two to start a Ford:  one to push the button while the other cranks her up. Now, the other day ye editor happened to notice a young fellow piloting one of these “maokhines” all by his lonely.
There was plenty of gas in the tank but it was a hot day and he was out of “steam,” so he stopped a moment to tank up.
Then, in order to start off again he had to crank her up — well, he attached a cord make of sundry assorted pieces of rope, string and thread to the “button,” slipped his cord through the steering wheel, gave it a jerk twisting his crank at the same time, and off she went; and that was all there was to it, and so there you are.

Community Spotlight
Upcoming Events that Might Interest You
Ross Historical Society and Moya Library – The Doctor with Mud on his Shoes
June 2, Marin Art and Garden Center
Speaker – L. Marin Grifin, MD
Click here for more information
San Rafael Library – Celebrating 130 years of Library Services 
June 3, 1100 E. St., San Rafael
Fun for the whole family, games, crafts, food –  from 12-3pm
Program 12-1 with welcome from Mayor of San Rafael and the Library Director
Sausalito Historical Society – Celebrating World War II Marinship, 75 years ago
Series of community activities celebrating Marinship and the ship building activites that included the launch of 93 Liberty ships and tankers
Click here for complete calendar
Corte Madera Library – Daily Life of the Common Soldier in the Civil Way
June 26, 10:30-11:30am
Speaker – Galen Durham
Click here for more information
If you would like MHM to publicize your organization’s activities, please email your information to