Marin County Real Estate – 1965 to 2010: Puts things in Perspective!


Marin County Real Estate – 1965 to 2010: Puts things in Perspective! Look at this graph and what do you see? The obvious, like 2007 prices were off the charts and homes were truly affordable in Marin in the 60’s, 70’s and into the mid 90’s. My parents bought their second home in San Rafael, CA in Marin County is 1963, the year I was born for about $40,000 which according to the chart is right on. It was a decent size house, nothing fancy but we did have a killer view of the East Bay and a large front yard with a huge climbable oak tree. Anyway, it started as a 3/2 with a basement that my dad finished and created a wood shop, a man cave and a darkroom (behind a secret door). It was a nice suburban home in a safe, family hood with a view!

Marin County Real Estate - 1965 to 2010 home pricesIn the early 80’s my mom sold the house for about $175,000. It was pretty run down, mostly cosmetic improvements. Today that same house is worth close to $800k possibly more.

So…what is my point exactly? While the rest of the country suffered serious price corrections/reductions/decrease in value, whatever you want to call it, Marin County continues to have starter homes for 1/2 mil to 1 mil and an average sales price of over $900,000. We definitely realized a price correction but what is everyone whining about?

The Marin County Real Estate market is strong. Homes and property, while valued less today than in 2007, continue to be a great investment. It is unquestionably one of the most desirable places to live in the world and look at the 2010 numbers. Up slightly from 2009.

Some reports claim we have hit bottom while others believe the bottom was over a year ago. In Marin we still see homes selling 3-5% below asking but we are also seeing multiple offers and homes selling for over asking.

With the interest rates at historical lows and home prices at their corrected levels, this truly is the perfect time to get into a home in Marin County. I hear a mixed bag of comments. One friend said, if he could he would not invest in Real Estate right now. Others say the opposite, that now is definitely a great time to invest. So which is it?

I believe Marin County homeowners and potential buyers have lost a little bit of perspective. Look at the graph. Unless the trend continues to go down and head toward the 80’s home values Marin County’s numbers are still better than most of the country.

You can’t argue with the interest rates and that house you were eying in 2007 for $1.2 million you can now get for a steel at under $1mil. Check out my home search for current listed homes. You may be surprised as to what your dollars will buy in this market. The perception for many in the Bay Area is that Marin home prices are higher than San Francisco but it’s the opposite in most cases. You get more per square foot in Marin as well as outdoor space, warmer weather and more access to trails, parks, and open space.

Buyers need to change their midsets and adjust to the new decade. 2007 is over and we may never see that crazy blip again. Buyers are starting to get it and hop off that fence they have been hanging out on for the past 12-24 months. Open houses are swarming with pre-approved buyers and inventory is slowing building in most Marin County cities.

It’s 2011 and instead of thinking of your house as a get rich scheme or an ATM, remember that the main reason for buying a piece of property in Marin County is to create a home, be a part of a community, build wealth and enjoy living in one of the most beautiful and environmentally diverse counties in the world.