The Marks Report
October, 2014


Many locations across the nation are experiencing the invariable decline in home sales that happens as the school year begins and fall leaves appear. This year, speaking nationally, we are coming off of a summer that slowed in comparison to previous years, which is mostly attributed to rising home prices, fewer investor purchases, first time home buyers, and diminishing inventory.

But real estate is local. Although NAR reports that sales in the South and West declined at the end of the summer, areas such as the Bay Area and Los Angeles continued to experience multiple offers and surging sales prices, due to strong business climates and low inventory.

The economy is growing, jobs are being created, and interest rates are low, and due to this, home sales are expected to rise. Now is the time to evaluate your real estate needs and plan for your future.
If you'd like to keep track of the market in your neighborhood, you can sign up for free automatic abbreviated reports anytime. Just log onto, then follow the instructions on the left side of the screen. If you have any questions, you can contact me directly and I will set it up for you.  You can also view more in-depth reports for your specific neighborhood anytime you'd like. 

Click here for that link.

As always, if you want to further evaluate your options, contact me anytime:


Articles and Advice

Backyard pools losing appeal in some parts of Bay Area

By Pete Carey

Along with the two-car garage and barbecue, the backyard swimming pool defines the American dream home, but lately pools have been losing some of their luster in parts of the Bay Area during the worst drought in decades.

Click here for article...


Looking at your Home like a House Inspector

By: Jill Hamilton

Although you should hire a qualified professional home inspector when buying a home, it's useful to learn the basics of home inspection yourself.

Top Halloween Mishaps and Homeowner’s Insurance

Before you know it, trick-or-treaters will be at your door. Are you ready? We’re not talking about buying candy and carving pumpkins. We mean what if you get more tricks than treats this Halloween. Are you covered? Luckily, homeowners insurance is there to protect you from these common tricks that are apt to happen. 

Click here for article...

Ask Alan

Q: Is real estate still a good investment?

A: Simply put, YES it is. Not only is your home a major investment with strong potential for increased value, but also a rental property may pay big dividends. Last year, overseas buyers spent $92 billion on home purchases according to NAR. That is a 35% increase over the previous year.

Nearly one half of the home purchases were for investment only with no plans to live here, and 25% of the buyers are from China. They are investing in homes mainly in California, Washington, and New York. The promise of good schools and universities, the strong job market in high tech areas, and the proximity to China lure buyers.

If you are considering investing for income, now may be the time to act.

Featured Homes
176 Crestview
SOLD for over asking price after less than a week! Stunning custom home with 4+ bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms in 4400+ square feet.  Panoramic views with soccer-sized yard on 1+ acres!  Offered at 2,695,000.
8 Baltusrol
Moraga Country Club
SOLD for over asking price! This beautiful townhome has 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and is in a great Country Club location!  Updated and bright with extra windows and a wonderful private patio.  End unit near the end of a private lane! Offered at $739,000.

20 Snow Court
SOLD for over asking price! Wonderful custom home with tons of space, indoors & out. 4200+ sf w/updated kitchen/family room combo. Five spacious bedrooms including a main level master suite w/updated bath. Beautifully landscaped level yard, fenced veggie garden & great outdoor areas on a serene 1/2 acre w/beautiful views! Offered at $1,295,000.
7 El Sereno
SOLD! This beautifully updated ranch style home features 4 large bedrooms, 3 bathrooms in 3800+ square feet and sits on a fantastic lot with mature oak and redwood trees.  It has a wonderful indoor-outdoor floor plan with doors from almost every room opening to the large, park-like yard, gardens and huge patio with an outdoor fireplace.  Situated on a highly desirable street, this home is charming and serene, yet minutes from transportation and downtown Orinda.    Offered at $2,975,000.
 192 Cypress Point Way
PENDING PRE-MARKET! Great detached 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Moraga Country Club featuring filtered views of the golf course fairway.  Private creekside setting at the end of a cul-de-sac, with doors that lead out to a trellis covered patio and lovely yard. 
 Adoptable Pet Spotlight

Families going through foreclosure have to make very hard decisions, and sometimes are no longer able to care for their pets. Dogs and cats often end up in public shelters– racing the clock as they hope for adoption. That’s where Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, or ARF, comes in. The ARF team rescues pets who are about to run out of time in these shelters, provides care and comfort, and then finally matches them with the perfect owners.

Check out 4-year-old Colorado!  He's a big (94 pounds!), happy Husky/Lab mix who loves being active.   He likes to play with other dogs as well as humans. 

To find out more about Colorado or any of the other pets ARF has up for adoption, please click on the link below.

Event of the Month
Wine Group Tasting of the Month

Many of you know that I have a passion for good wine. I’ve even grown grapes and made my own. I’ve also belonged to a wine group for about 20 years. Every month we get together for a blind tasting and then rank the wines we try. 

Click here for this month’s tasting…