As 2016 draws to a close, demand for real estate across the U.S. and California shows few signs of letting up, with San Francisco retaining its title as America’s most sought-after market. Get the full story at http://pacunion.us/2hhucrR
Tiburon has been rated as the third-safest place to live in California, and town leaders said they found the news pleasing, but not necessarily shocking.
Niche.com, a data analysis website, released a report naming Tiburon No. 3 for safety in the state based on its low rates of assault, robbery, murder, burglary, vehicle theft and larceny. The numbers came from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.
According to the state Department of Justice, whose crime database is similar to the FBI’s, Tiburon reported a single violent crime and 107 property crimes in 2014, the latest complete year available.
The violent crime was an assault. The property crimes included 21 burglaries, four vehicle thefts and 82 thefts, among other offenses.
“Speaking honestly, I’m not surprised,” said Tiburon Mayor Erin Tollini. “I’m proud to be part of a community in which the community members all work together to create a town we want to live in.
“We want our children and our senior citizens to feel safe here, and we make an effort to make that happen,” the mayor said. “I want to credit the police force. I think we have an amazing police chief and incredible police officers and as a result of their efforts we live in a safe community.”
Half of the locations in the report’s top 10 were in the Bay Area, with Hillsborough, in San Mateo County, in first place. Other Marin locations that made the top 100 were Belvedere, No. 11; Mill Valley, No. 35; and Fairfax, rated No. 65.
Niche.com offers rankings and statistics on every neighborhood and city in the U.S. to help people find the best places to live. The rankings take into account indicators of a location’s safety such as violent and property crime rates in order to measure an area’s safety and security.
The assault and robbery rates for the various areas, as reported by the FBI, have the greatest weight in the assessment. Other factors such as the murder rate, the burglary rate, the vehicle theft rate and the larceny rate also figure into the equation.
Like the mayor, a top law enforcement official said she wasn’t surprised by the news.
“We have a rather high ratio of police officers to population that is pretty diligent in serving our citizens to keep them safe,” said Patricia Seyler, who serves as a police captain for Tiburon and chief of police for Belvedere.
Seyler extolled what she described as a partnership between police and the community.
“If citizens see something suspicious, they let us know,” she said. “With people working long hours and being insulated from their neighbors, that can be to the advantage of criminals; but when the community is looking out for each other and committed police … support community awareness, it makes for a really good place to live.”
The law enforcement official also mentioned the intrinsic value of Tiburon’s location.
“Geographically we are protected, as there’s really generally one main way in and out of the Tiburon peninsula. Our main access is in and out of Tiburon Boulevard,” Seyler said.
About five years ago, the town installed one stationary camera at each of the town’s two entrances, further enhancing the geographic advantage.
The devices scan the license plates of passing cars, instantly checking them against registration violations, warrants and criminal databases, sounding alarms when a plate on a stolen or suspect vehicle is spotted.
“It’s (the cameras) been a valuable tool for the police department,” said Councilman Emmett O’Donnell.
“(Tiburon police Chief Mike) Cronin was ahead of his time in recommending the license plate readers to the City Council and they have done a remarkably good job. It has a preventative effect because people know they are there” and it has helped police solve petty crimes, O’Donnell said.
At the time the cameras were installed, some privacy advocates objected because of what they saw as the system’s potential intrusion into drivers’ privacy. Since then, the controversy has abated to a great extent and other Marin police departments have adopted the devices.
Pacific Union is thrilled to announce that we’ve officially opened a new office in Palo Alto, our company’s first in Santa Clara County and the next step in growing our presence in the crucial Silicon Valley market.
“Our expansion into Palo Alto underscores Pacific Union’s commitment to become a leader in Silicon Valley, as it has the Bay Area and San Francisco,” Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin said. “With this new Palo Alto office, we’ll be able to deliver even stronger client service, and our Silicon Valley team will have an important foothold in the dynamic Palo Alto market.”
Located at 437 Lytton Ave., the office will serve as a temporary base of operations for Pacific Union real estate professionals Amy Sung, Adam Touni, and Wendy Kandasamy until our permanent office is ready in 2016. The office is located in Downtown Palo Alto, just one block from bustling University Avenue and within walking distance of the Caltrain station, making it convenient for clients to visit our team in person.
The Palo Alto office is Pacific Union’s fourth in the Silicon Valley region. In April 2014, we opened our flagship regional office on El Camino Real in Menlo Park. We also operate two offices in Burlingame — one on Primrose Road and one on Park Road.
“We’re all wondering what 2016 will bring. Will we have a stable market? Will it be a busy spring?” Rohde-Lynch asked. “We wish we had a crystal ball.”
Pacific Union is honored and pleased to share the news that 25 of our real estate professionals have been ranked among the top 250 in the U.S. We’d like to congratulate them on their outstanding achievements and thank our entire team of Northern California real estate professionals, who recently propelled our company into the top 10 in the country based on 2014 sales volume!
Pacific Union Opens New San Francisco Headquarters
Pacific Union is excited to announce that we have officially opened our new San Francisco headquarters, located in a 40,000-square-foot, totally renovated historic building at 1699 Van Ness Avenue. The move consolidates Pacific Union’s three San Francisco offices and will enable our company to provide an even more exceptional level of client service. Learn more about our big move at https://blog.pacificunion.com/pacific-union-opens-new-san-francisco-headquarters/
Staging Can Increase a Home’s Appeal During Bustling Spring Season
With the coming of spring, potential Bay Area homebuyers will begin pounding the pavement, and homes that make a good first impression are the most likely to make the biggest impressions on eager buyers in what could be a crowd of open houses.
That’s where home staging can help.
A recent survey by National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Profile of Home Staging showed that 81 percent of homebuyers found professionally decorated properties easier to visualize as a future home. Staged homes typically sell within 30 days, according to research by The International Association of Home Staging Professionals and HomeStaging.com. Additionally, staging usually leads to a higher final sales price.
“Staging isn’t about decorating your home,” says Laney Nelson, Accredited Staging Professional stager for Walnut Creek-based East Bay Staging. “It’s about selling.”
THE BASICS AND BENEFITS OF STAGING
Stagers conduct a home assessment, examining items to be removed and refurbished, neutralizing decor to appeal to a majority of buyers, and maximizing both indoor and outdoor space to generate positive impressions of the home’s features. Replacing carpeting and flooring, painting, cleaning, landscaping, changing furniture, and even simple fixture replacements can help a property connect with buyers.
But mixing conflicting styles and accessories can put off homebuyers, according to Kelly Wood, a buyer’s specialist and a former stager. “The extremes don’t really work,” she says.
Additionally, staging and repairs offers the appearance of home upkeep, both in the real world and online, says Danielle Cirelli, owner of Walnut Creek-based staging company Designed to Sell. “Photos are an essential part of marketing because over 90 percent of the buyers will preview a property online,” she says.
Millennials, who currently make up the largest share of homebuyers, are even more likely to peruse online listings before visiting a home. Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin stressed the importance of technology on the real estate industry in his recent Inman Select Live presentation, saying that digital strategies are geared toward users likely to “give you eight seconds.”
CONNECTING WITH A STAGING PRO
Sellers who decide that staging is the way to go will likely want to employ the services of a pro. Many expert real estate professionals offer their clients a list of recommended contacts – including architects, general contractors, and interior designers – who can help enhance a home’s appeal. Some real estate professionals provide staging services as a part of their service package. Sellers can also find a staging company through online resources such as Yelp and Angie’s List or referrals from friends and family.
Though some sellers might fret over staging expenses, it actually costs less — an average of $675, according to NAR’s study — than the first price reduction – typically at least 10 percent of asking price. And a lingering home on the market sans staging can incur additional price cuts, according to Nelson.
“Every month a home is on the market, there is a price reduction of usually 5 percent,” she says.