For the purpose of this conversation, I am calling a high end luxury home any home over $2 million. Marin County has a wide variety of choices in luxury homes to fix every need, lifestyle, and pocketbook. Currently, there are 343 luxury homes on the market to choose from, with the majority of those being in Belvedere, Tiburon, Mill Valley, Kentfield and Ross. If you want views and a closer proximity to San Francisco, then Belvedere, Tiburon and Mill Valley are your best bets. If you want warmer weather and larger lots, then Kentfield and Ross are where you want to look. The public schools are excellent in all of these areas and there are also some excellent choices of private schools within the county.
Out of the 343 luxury homes on the market, 18 are in escrow. What is interesting is that so far this year, we have sold the same number of luxury homes as we did in all of last year. The 125 homes sold this year sold at an average price of $3 million with the most expensive home selling in Ross at $14 million. At that price, you get an exquisite and very private 10 bedroom home with 2 guest houses, pool , tennis courts and cabana, set on a luxurious 3 acre parcel. In 2009, the 128 luxury homes that sold, also sold at an average price of $3 million.
If a home is priced right in any price range, it will sell within 30 days. The challenge in the luxury market is making sure the property gets maximum exposure and figuring out what that market price is. We are not in the market where you can put any price tag on a home and it will sell. As a seller, you must get the right advice in evaluation of your home and that means not listing with a realtor that tells you what you want to hear just to get the listing. It also means finding out what can be done to the home to enhance its value, without spending money that you might not get back. Honest communication is critical since the longer your home sits, the more your forced to chase the market down and your net will be less than if you priced it right to begin with. We also find a pre-marketing program before you actually hit the market, to be a most effective tool.
In this current difficult and confusing arena of financing, we are seeing more cash deals in the higher end than we have seen before. Many of these buyers don't have a "job" which causes lenders to frown and thus it is difficult to get a loan, despite the net worth. So what are buyers doing? They are writing a check! High end buyers are seeing luxury real estate in Marin to be an extremely sound investment in one the most ideal place to live. There are no developments of luxury homes in Marin the likes of which broke the backs of markets like Phoenix and Vegas. We are unique in what we have, and sellers may not be getting for their luxury homes what they could have gotten three years ago and that is not going to change for a few years, but buyers are out there, both foreign and local, ready to pay cash for luxury living in one of the finest counties in California.