Sycamore Park Restroom Approved

October 27, 2008

The Mill Valley City Council supported plans this week to build a small restroom in Sycamore Park, despite some opposition from neighbors with homes adjacent to the park. The project was unanimously approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission earlier this year at its June 11 meeting, despite objections by Park Terrace residents whose homes border the park.

But, the majority of City Council members expressed sympathy with the larger community need for a restroom. Mayor Shawn Marshall pointed out that many Mill Valley residents travel to parks throughout the city, making a restroom essential. “This is a basic human function,” Marshall said. “It’s really just that simple for me.”

The proposal recommended by the Parks and Recreation Department would install a 7-by-11-foot shed-like restroom that contains a toilet, hand sink and hand dryer. A similar restroom was installed in Tam Valley’s Eastwood Park for about $105,000.

Marin Real Estate Trends (October 2008)

October 20, 2008

… [A] bona fide enthusiasm exists in the voices of people of who have been waiting to buy while prices moderated or dropped (depending on the area they are looking in). They are excited because they have suppressed their prior urges to buy and think now is the time. 

My listing inventory has dwindled to just one home as all have sold in the past couple of months or are now in escrow (one listing had 3 offers). Marin-wide, the number of homes for sale in the HWY 101 corridor stands at 750 (down from 756 in September 2008). As noted above, reports of multiple offers continue–the most likely targets are aggressively priced Southern Marin homes in good locations and bank owned properties in Novato. And even though the number of homes sold has decreased this year, sellers are holding fast to their prices (particularly in Southern Marin). While interest rates are generally creeping upwards, they remain at historically low levels….

[click here for the rest of the story and for a table breaking down home prices in Marin County]

Marin Luxury Homes (October 2008)

October 20, 2008

Nationwide, a chill has fallen on the luxury market as the financial debacle unfolds. Historically, many of the luxury homes and ultra-luxury homes sold in Marin County went to buyers who earned their livings in the financial sector. It appears that those buyers have stepped back from the market for the time being. Meanwhile, the number of such homes has increased, placing pressure on pricing. Indeed, even portfolio buyers have taken a wait and see approach…. Mill Valley again experienced the most luxury home sales (with 6).

[ … click here for the complete report courtesy of].

Mill Valley Homes & Real Estate (October 2008)

October 14, 2008

Dear Mill Valley Homeowners– breathe easy. While the economic news is not good, your insightful decision to purchase Mill Valley real estate has likely left you in a good position. While prices tumble in other areas, even in the San Francisco Bay Area, you should, and will be, OK as we are not susceptible to the Fundy Market Phenomenon.

And for buyers with real estate market insight, there are great values out there right now. Indeed, competitively priced Mill Valley homes in desirable neighborhoods are selling quickly. It is a market favoring buyers in all price ranges, but for the entry level.  
The number of Mill Valley home sales in September 2008 was down by 2 from August. Yet, while August 2008 experienced a slowdown in the percentage of entry level homes in escrow (e.g., those priced under $800,000), the percentage was back up to 38% in September–in July 2008 that percentage was an astonishing 53%. The $1.5 to $2 million price band is also performing well with 24% of these homes in escrow. 

Currently, we have about 166 homes for sale in Mill Valley (up from 142 homes in September). The preponderance of these homes are priced between $1 million to $2 million–9 are currently in escrow. Meanwhile, the luxury market in Mill Valley is slow with just 2 homes in escrow out of 27. 
Mill Valley homes selling in September 2008 averaged 100 days on the market and sold for an average price of about $1.611 million (roughly $806/sq. ft.). As mentioned last month, the low end is hanging tough–there are ONLY 2 homes currently on the market under $750,000.    

Price Range

Total Active Homes

Pending Listings

Up to $800K

13 (up 1)


$800K – $1 mil.

25 (up 13)


$1 mil. – 1.5 mil.

49 (up 7)


$1.5 mil. – $2 mil.

29 (up 1)


$2 mil. – $4 mil.

23 (up 5)


$4 mil. & Up

4 (up 2) 



Homes in Boyle Park, Middle Ridge, Homestead Valley, and Sycamore Park continue to be in low supply and high demand. If you would like more information, just give me a call at (415) 350-9440 or e-mail me at It is always my pleasure to be of service.

Mill Valley Honors Tennis Legends Gilbert & Hingus

October 9, 2008


Brad Gilbert boasts a score (20, that is) of singles titles and is widely acknowledged as an all-time talent in tennis. He is retired and now lives in San Rafael.

Martina Hingis debuted on the world scent at the age of 14. She rapidly rose to the highest eschelon of women’s tennis and become the number one player on the circuit.

Both plan to make appearances at the Harbor Point Tennis Club this week for the Esurance Tennis Classic. Friday features a junior tennis clinic, Saturday features the celebrity pro-am event, and Sunday’s events include an exhibition featuring top players, as well as the Cal and Stanford women’s tennis teams.

Click HERE for more information about the event. 

Mill Valley, California (Public Schools)

October 3, 2008

Our Mill Valley public schools are fantastic. From test scores to parental involvement, there is a high level of performance and acheivement. Click on the links below to learn more about Mill Valley schools.

Principals Maps Contacts
Edna Maguire School Lisa Zimmer 80 Lomita Dr. Mill Valley 94941 389-7733
Mill Valley Middle School Matt Huxley, PrincipalAnna Lazzarini, Asst. Principal 425 Sycamore Ave. Mill Valley 94941 389-7711
Old Mill School
Jane McDonough 352 Throckmorton Ave. Mill Valley 94941 389-7727
Park School Peg Minicozzi 360 East Blithedale Ave. Mill Valley 94941 389-7735
Strawberry Point School Leslie Thornton 117 E. Strawberry Drive Mill Valley  380-2490
Tam Valley School Gail van Adelsberg 350 Bell Lane, Mill Valley 94941 389-7731
Tamalpais High School Tom Drescher 700 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley 94941 380-3510

For a complete report covering the performance of all Marin County: Star Report (Marin Test Scores).

Which School Will My Child Go To?
While parents have the opportunity to state a preference for a particular school, actual placement, is dependent on the following criteria:
Siblings of currently enrolled students residing in the District are considered residents of the sibling’s school and will be enrolled in that school if they wish and if there is space. 
For new students, assignment occurs in the following priority order:

  • District placement needs (including facility capacities and class sizes across grade levels and schools; identified special education needs)
  • Facility capacity
  • Class sizes
  • Proximity of residence to the preferred school
  • Interdistrict attendance

What if My Child Does Not Get Into the Preferred School?
When demand exceeds capacity a waiting list is established and parents may exercise their option to have their child’s name placed on the list.  Additional placements in a school may be taken from the waiting list but may not be made until August. 
Questions? Call 415.389.7700.

Mill Valley, California (Private Schools)

October 3, 2008

Mill Valley (Marin County), California has several private schools offering top-notch educational programs. Each of these educational programs offer something unique and noteworthy. I encourage you to investigate their websites and contact the schools directly for supplemental information and briefings. 

Greenwood School
17 Buena Vista Avenue, Mill Valley
Grades: K – 8

Marin Horizon School
305 Montford Avenue, Mill Valley
Grades: PK – 8
School Info: Montessori school

Mount Tamalpais School
100 Harvard Avenue, Mill Valley
Grades: K – 8

Ring Mountain Day School
70 Lomita Drive, Mill Valley
215 A Blackfield Drive, Tiburon (preschool campus)
Grades: PK – 8