Archive for the ‘Corte Madera’ Category

For Now, Multiple Offers Are the New Normal

February 27th, 2013 By George Crowe

We’ve been posting for a while now about how hot the Marin housing has market has become, and how we need more sellers to bring homes on to satisfy the incredible demand. All of last year we saw low inventory and lots of buyers competing for those few homes for sale. Well, it’s gotten even crazier so far this year. We haven’t seen anything like this since 2005, and even then I’m not sure it felt quite like this. The whole county is experiencing the effects of the high demand and low inventory, but in especially popular areas like Corte Madera and Greenbrae it’s getting kind of ridiculous.

In Greenbrae for example, as of this writing there are zero active listings for sale. None! There are five properties in escrow, and a few have closed so far this year, but if you’re shopping for a home there right now you’re probably frustrated, and with good reason. Corte Madera has had a little more inventory, but with exceptions here and there everything is selling right away, with up to twenty offers in some cases. And looking a little farther north, just this week we’ve seen homes in San Rafael and Novato receive nine offers each.

Here’s a look at the absorption rate for all residential properties in Marin County, which is a good measure of how hot the market is. It’s measured as the percentage of the active listings that go into escrow per month, and it was up to a whopping 68.6% in January. That’s compared to 36.7% one year ago, and 15.2% back in January 2010.

This means that by definition prices are actually going up rather quickly, as each home that closes substantially over the asking price becomes a new comp for the next listing. It can’t go on forever, and a surge of new inventory this Spring will hopefully even things out a little, but for the moment we are in one of the hottest, most competitive markets Marin County has ever seen. It’s certainly great for sellers, but overall a little more balance would be nice.

Thinking About Selling in the Spring? Maybe It’s Time to Rethink that Strategy

January 8th, 2013 By George Crowe

Looking back at 2012 the big story the whole year was the incredibly low inventory level. It started low in January and never really ticked up much, and more buyers kept jumping in the market, sensing they had missed the bottom and had better buy a home before they missed the boat. The problem has been there just haven’t been enough houses for all of these buyers to buy. This has meant that correctly priced, desirable homes coming on the market have been getting tons of attention, and multiple offers have become common–almost a given in many cases. It’s been a great market for sellers and unless something changes dramatically it’s going to continue to be as we head into 2013. Here’s a look at all residential properties in Marin under $1.5 million (the most active segment of the market) over the last five years.

The light green bars that get lower and lower show the number of homes for sale each month, the dark ones indicate the number of homes closing each month, and that blue line that dips down to the floor at the end…that’s the number of new listings coming on the market. What does that say? We need more homes for sale!

And below is a look at the months supply of Marin County homes under $1.5 million, based on how quickly they’re going into escrow. It was down to 1.2 months in December! How bad is it? I just checked and there are only four active listings in Corte Madera right now–three single family homes. Three. This is not normal. There are only seven listings active in Fairfax right now. This is very unusual.

Now Real Estate 101 says you should bring a home to market in the spring when the weather is nice, the flowers are blooming, and a young man’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love, etc. And there are reasons for that of course. But if everyone else is thinking the same way then a bunch of homes will come on about the same time, so we get the big spike in listings like clockwork in April and May each year, as you can see in the first chart above (though 2012 was not quite a typical year).

On the other hand, if you go against the conventional wisdom and bring your property on in January or February, when there isn’t as much competition, you stand out more. And in a market like this with so little inventory and so many buyers chomping at the bit for a good house, going against the grain can be a solid strategy. Of course it helps if the weather cooperates and you’re not trying to sell your home in a monsoon, so there is that to consider.

If you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the market we’d be happy to help you figure out the best strategy for your situation. Email me at, or give me a ring anytime at 415-819-3342.


New Elementary School Coming to East Corte Madera

March 19th, 2012 By George Crowe

Big things are in the works in the Larkspur-Corte Madera school district. Bond Measure A, which passed last year, is providing funds for upgrades to Neil Cummins Elementary and Hall Middle School, and the biggie–a brand new elementary school at the site of the old San Clemente School on Paradise Drive, which has been leased to the Lycee Francais. The plan is to tear down the old facility and build a brand new public school, with construction slated for 2013 and 2014. I talked to someone in the district office who said they haven’t yet decided on enrollment boundary lines or what will determine which kids go to which elementary school, but she said to keep an eye on the website for updates.

Exploring Easter Events Around the Bay

April 1st, 2010 By Ginger Wilcox

Exploring by the Bay

Next stop:  Fun events with kids!

The Bay is brimming with fun events for kids this weekend.  Here are just a few.  Feel free to add additional events in the comments!

San Francisco

The 19th Annual Union Street Spring Celebration & Easter Parade takes place on Sunday April 4, 2010 from 10:00am – 5:00pm on Union Street between Gough & Steiner.  The event is a fun and eclectic San Francisco tradition.  The promo even mentioned roller blading cows!! The celebration features some of Union Street’s best restaurants serving attendees in an outdoor bistro setting along with a variety of activities including large inflatable bounces, kids’ rides and games, a climbing wall, a hands-on children’s activities area, costumed characters, a petting zoo, a pony ride and musical entertainment.

Spring Eggstravaganza takes place on Sunday, April 4, 2010 from 11 am – 3 pm at Stern Grove.  San Francisco throws a giant Easter celebration that’s kid-friendly but open to all ages. Egg hunts, carnival rides, arts and crafts, entertainment, food and giant inflatables will keep you busy. At Stern Grove, 19th Ave. and Sloat Blvd. $5 admission. For tickets or more information, call (415) 831-2700 during business hours.

Big Bunny’s Spring Fling at the San Francisco Zoo takes place every day from now until April 4th from 11am to 3pm. All activities are free with paid Zoo admission and include live entertainment, bunnies to see and learn about from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (weather permitting), photo opportunities with a costumed bunny, crafts, and games to play. Additionally, the Zoo will offer one FREE child’s admission with one paid adult for kids ages 4 to 14 who bring along their favorite plush bunny.


Belvedere– Join the Easter bunny at the Belvedere Community Center’s Easter Bunny Brunch on Saturday, April 3, 2010 from 10 am-noon.  The event includes brunch, crafts, face painting, music and of course, an Easter egg hunt!  To purchase tickets, call the recreation office at (415) 435-4355 or visit the Belvedere Community Center website.

Corte Madera– The  Corte Madera Parks & Recreation will be hosting a Children’s Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 3, 2010 at the Corte Madera Town Park.   The hunt starts at 10am. For more info, call (415) 927-5073.

Fairfax- Fairfax hosts it’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at Bolinas Park Saturday, April 3, 2010 from 10:00 am-12:00.  Call 415-456-5652 for more information.

Mill Valley– The Strawberry Recreation District will be holding their Spring Faire on Saturday, April 3, 2010 from 11:30am to 4pm at the Strawberry Recreation Center at 118 E. Strawberry Drive.  The event features activities for children ages 1 to 8 and will include carnival games, prizes and an egg hunt.  $5 admission per child. Call 383-6494 for more information.

Sausalito hosts their 30th Annual Easter Parade and Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4, 2010 from 10am -2pm at Dunphy Park located on Caledonia Street and Bridgeway.  The schedule of events includes:

  • 10:00am – Parade led by the Easter bunny!
  • 10:15am – Egg Hunt
  • 10:30am – Live Music
  • 11am – Easter Bonnet Contest- bring your craziest, creative and beautiful Easter bonnets.

More information

San Anselmo– The San Anselmo Parks and Recreation holds an egg hunt on Friday, April 2 from 7:50 pm (don’t be late) for kids ages 8 and older at Memorial Park in San Anselmo. For kids under 7, check out the Children’s Egg Hunt at 11am on Saturday, April 3, 2010 at Memorial Park in San Anselmo.  Call (415) 258-4640 for more information.

Santa Cruz Area

Time for a Sunday drive?  Consider heading down to Felton in the Santa Cruz Mountains for the Eggstraordinary Egg Hunt III on Sunday April 4, 2010 at 2:00pm at Roaring Camp Railroads in Felton.  Kids take the steam train to Bear Mountain to hunt for thousands of chocolate candy eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny in a redwood forest and win prizes. Special Easter crafts and games for families and kids.  Sounds like a blast!

Corte Madera Real Estate Stats 8/28/2009

September 2nd, 2009 By Ginger Wilcox

What is happening in Corte Madera Real Estate?

As we are seeing around Marin, the number of Corte Madera homes going under contract has exceeded the number of homes being listed.  The market action index is up, as are home prices.  Corte Madera is one of the strongest real estate markets in Marin right now.  Here is what has happened in the last seven days:

7-day stats for Single Family properties in
CORTE MADERA, CA as of August 28, 2009
Median List Price $1,077,000 Average List Price $1,107,733
Total Inventory 30 Price per Square Foot $567
Average Home Size 1,788 Median Lot Size 6,621
Average # Beds 3.23 Average # Baths 2.35
Homes Absorbed 7 Newly Listed 3
Days on Market 112 Average Age 42


Marin Farmer’s Markets

July 13th, 2009 By Ginger Wilcox

Farmer’s Markets are a great way to get fresh produce locally grown. Marin County is fortunate to have a number of great farmer’s markets on all different days. These are often great outings as many of them offer live music, games for kids, and a fun social atmosphere in additional to lots of fabulous locally grown produce! Each farmer’s market has its own special flare, so try out more than one. My personal favorite is the Thursday night event in downtown San Rafael.

Corte Madera Farmer’s Market

  • When: Wednesdays, 12 noon-5pm, year-round
  • Where: Corte Madera Town Center, Hway 101 & Tamalpais
  • More info:

Fairfax Farmer’s Market

Larkspur Landing Farmer’s Market

  • When: Saturdays, 10am-2pm, May-October
  • Where: Larkspur Landing, off Sir Francis Drake near the Larkspur Ferry terminal

Novato Farmer’s Market

  • When: Tuesdays, 4pm-8pm, May-September
  • Where: Historic downtown Novato, Grant & Sherman
  • More info:

San Rafael Farmer’s Market- Civic Center

  • When: Thursdays & Sundays, 8am-1pm, Year-round
  • Where: Marin Civic Center, Hway 1010 & San Pedro East
  • More info:

San Rafael Farmer’s Market- Downtown

  • When: Thursdays, 6pm-9pm, April-September
  • Where: Downtown San Rafael, 4th Street between Lincoln & B Street
  • More info:

Sausalito Farmer’s Market

  • When: Fridays, 4pm-8pm, May-October
  • Where: Sausalito Ferry Landing at Bridgeway
  • More info:

Corte Madera Real Estate Market Report

February 16th, 2009 By Ginger Wilcox

This market profile is a snapshot of what is happening in Corte Madera. Corte Madera home prices are down slightly this week but have trended up in recent weeks.  While the days-on-market has been increasing, the listing inventory and the Corte Madera Market Action Index have been essentially flat.


Corte Madera Real Estate Market Update

There are currently 25 homes for sale in Corte Madera, California.  There are 3 Corte Madera homes under contract.

Median List Price $1,009,000
Highest Priced Corte Madera Home
(single family)
241 Willow Ave, Corte Madera
Lowest Priced Corte Madera Home
(single family)
208 Summit Ave, Corte Madera
Asking Price per Square Foot $564
Average Days on Market 81
Percent of Properties with Price Decrease 50%
Percent Relisted 10%
Median House Size (sq ft) 1,723
Median Lot Size 4,501-6,500 Sq. Feet
Median Number of Bedrooms 3.1
Median Number of Bathrooms 2.1
Market Action Index 12 – Cold! Buyer’s Market

The Market Action Index answers the question:
How’s the Corte Madera Real Estate Market?”
By measuring the current rate of sale versus the amount of inventory.
Index above 30 implies seller’s market conditions.
Below 30, conditions favor the buyer.

Corte Madera Real Estate Market Data effective as of February 15, 2009. Data provided by AltosResearch. Are you a Marin real estate junkie? Sign up to receive very detailed real-time market reports in your email. Just register and let me know which neighborhoods you are interested in. Download a sample report.

Corte Madera Real Estate Update- Nov 17

November 17th, 2008 By Ginger Wilcox

This market profile is a snapshot of what is happening in Corte Madera.  Corte Madera home prices have been trending down in recent weeks and the days-on-market have been increasing.  Listing inventory has tightened up which could be a positive sign for the market. 


Corte Madera Real Estate Market Update
Median List Price $1,034,000
Asking Price per Square Foot $571
Average Days on Market 102
Percent of Properties with Price Decrease 58%
Percent Relisted 5%
Median House Size (sq ft) 1,692,000
Median Lot Size 6,501-8,000 Sq. Feet
Median Number of Bedrooms 3.0
Median Number of Bathrooms 2.0
Market Action Index 17 – Cold! Buyer’s Market

The Market Action Index answers the question “How’s the Corte Madera Real Estate Market?” By measuring the current rate of sale versus the amount of inventory.  Index above 30 implies Seller’s Market conditions.  Below 30, conditions favor the buyer.

Corte Madera Real Estate Market Data effective as of November 17, 2008. Data provided by AltosResearch. Are you a Marin real estate junkie? Sign up to receive very detailed real-time market reports in your email. Just register and let me know which neighborhoods you are interested in. Download a sample report.

Corte Madera Real Estate Market Profile- Monday, October 20

October 20th, 2008 By Ginger Wilcox

This market profile is a snapshot of what is happening in Corte Madera.  Home prices are down again this week in Corte Madera while the average days on market continues to to climb and home inventory is tightening.  The market action index remains flat. (more…)

Why fight the 101 Marin traffic?

September 1st, 2008 By Ginger Wilcox


If you don’t like living in the fog, these pictures demonstrate is an excellent reason to drive just a couple more exits north on the 101 freeway.  As you can see, the fog sits on the mountains between Mill Valley and Corte Madera/Larkspur.  While Mill Valley, Tiburon, Belvedere, Sausalito and San Francisco are socked in with fog, often the rest of Marin is sunny (and frequently 5-10 degrees warmer).

Unfamiliar with Marin?  It is important to understand the many weather micro-climates of the communities. A few miles (even within the same city) can mean a substantial difference in fog, light, wind, sunshine, and even rain.


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