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Real Estate News — Homebuyers Believe Broadband Is More Important Than …

November 25, 2013

Every once in a while, I read articles that make me stop and scratch my head. For example, yesterday I saw an article on CNN explaining how ants hold the planet’s ecosystems together. Huh? Well, yes, they do.

This morning, I ran across an article that noted that a large portion of video game enthusiasts would give up their cars for 6 months in exchange for being the first to obtain the new XBOX1 and/or Playstation 4. I thought that was pretty nuts. But, then I saw the chart below in that same article and stopped — a little surprising, but it made sense.

While location is supremely important in real estate, so to (apparently) is access to broadband internet. In fact, the general population feels it is as important a factor in deciding where to live as low crime. And more important than access to nearby shopping and restaurants. Click HERE for the article. Not sure if these percentages are completely accurate, but they are definitely interesting. I know that I am right now fighting the urge to explore this subject matter further via my own broadband internet access.

Marin County Real Estate (Q3 2013) | Pacific Union

October 14, 2013

 

July was a very busy month in our Marin County region, followed by a seasonal lag in August and early September. The number of homes for sale remains constrained, keeping prices high and buyers scrambling, although we saw a slight uptick in the number of available properties in September.Homes priced $800,000 to $1 million saw aggressive bidding, and those priced above $1.6 million also saw robust sales, but the overall market calmed down somewhat after several quarters of increasingly overheated activity. The furious bidding that we saw in June had settled by September. Still, homes that are priced correctly and in popular neighborhoods – the Mill Valley market remains strong, for example – sold quickly.Investors remained eager to buy lower-priced properties, although that market tightened considerably in the third quarter. This is due in part to fewer foreclosures and short sales entering the market after months of rising home prices helped many underwater owners regain equity.

Looking Forward: We expect to see very strong sales in October and into early November – particularly if the inventory of available homes continues to expand – before activity slows as the holiday season approaches. Rising interest rates remain a wild card, constraining sales or perhaps prompting buyers to move fast.

Defining Marin County: Our real estate markets in Marin County include the cities of Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Kentfield, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, and Tiburon. Sales data in the charts below includes single-family homes in these communities.

Median Sales Price
The median sales price represents the midpoint in the range of all prices paid. It indicates that half the prices paid were higher than this number, and half were lower. It is not the same measure as “average” sales price.
Click to view larger chart
Months’ Supply of Inventory
The months’ supply of inventory is a measure of how quickly the current supply of homes would be sold at the current sales rate, assuming no more homes came on the market. In general, an MSI below 4 is considered a seller’s market; between 4 and 6 is a balanced market; and above 6 is a buyer’s market.
Click to view larger chart
Average Days on the Market
Average days on the market is a measure that indicates the pace of sales activity. It tracks, on average, the number of days a listing is active until it reaches “pending” status, meaning all contingencies have been removed and both parties are just waiting to close.
Click to view larger chart
Percentage of Properties Under Contract
Percentage of properties under contract is a forward-looking indicator of sales activity. It tracks expected home sales before the paperwork is completed and the sale actually closes.
Click to view larger chart
Sales Price as a Percentage of Original Price
Measuring the sales price as a percentage of the final list price, which may include price reductions from the original list price, determines the success of a seller in receiving the hoped-for sales amount. It also indicates the level of sales activity in a region.
Click to view larger chart
A Closer Look at Marin County

Marin | Napa | Sonoma | Things To Do (October 12th & 13th, 2013)

October 10, 2013

Gourmet Walks: Gourmet Napa Walking Tour

Fri, Oct. 11 & Sun, Oct. 13. 11:00am / Ages: Kids & Up / Price: $70 / Phone: 415.312.1119

@ Oxbow Market – 644 First St. Napa, CA 94559 / Phone: 707.226.6529

       

There is more to Napa than just wine tasting! Welcome to the FIRST culinary walking tour in Wine Country,

for those who know that California cuisine is just as sought after as its wine. This tour will delight your taste buds as you explore revitalized downtown Napa with fellow foodies. We’ll share the fascinating history

of this beautiful riverfront town, one where celebrity chefs intermingle with organic farmers and boutique winemakers. For more info go to http://www.gourmetwalks.com/gourmet-napa-tour/

 

Biketoberfest – Marin 2013

Saturday, October 12. 11:00am to 6:00pm / FREE for All Ages / Phone: 415.456.3469

@ FairAnselm Plaza – Parking lot – 765 Center Blvd. next to Iron Springs Pub Fairfax, CA 94930

   

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition and Access4Bikes presents Biketoberfest-Marin 2013, a festival,

 bike expo and brew fest in downtown Fairfax, Calif., the future home of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

All ages are welcome at this free celebration of the bicycle featuring a brew fest of handcrafted beers;

a bike expo and vintage bike show; activities for kids; and live music featuring Moonalice, Tom Finch Group, Tiny Television, Dogtown Ramblers. For more info go to http://www.biketoberfestmarin.com/

 

ZYDECO By The Bay - Sausalito

Saturday, October 12. 12:00pm to 6:00pm / FREE for All Ages

@ Dunphy Park – Bee St and Bridgeway Sausalito, CA 94965

Zydeco By The Bay held in Sausalito, California is a free community event, fun for everyone featuring

music by the best Creole Zydeco and dance music, including GRAMMY nominated and award

winning artists. A wood dance floor, activities for all ages, arts and crafts for kids, a perfect blend

of Louisiana and California cuisine, beverages, beer, wine and a comfortable lawn and reserved

seating area. Savor delicious food and feel the rhythm and taste of Louisiana.

For more info go to http://www.zydecobythebay.com/

 

Oktoberfest Corte Madera

Sat, Oct. 12 – Sun, Oct. 13. 12:00pm to 5:00pm / For All Ages / Price: $5-$20 

@ Menke Park in Old Corte Madera Square – Redwood Ave & Tamalpais Dr. Corte Madera, CA 94925

A great tradition, our 20th annual celebration has it all!
Domestic and Imported Microbrews, 3 Bands, Kids’ Activities, Silent Auction, Festival Foods sold by

Local Vendors, Ice Cream & Root Beer Floats, Locally-grown Pumpkins for Sale!

For more info go to https://www.facebook.com/OktoberfestCM

 

Festa Italiana

Sunday, October 13. 11:00am to 6:00pm / For All Age / Price: $10 / Phone: 707.591.9696

@ Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building – 1351 Maple Ave Santa Rosa, CA 95402

       

The 23rd Annual Festival at the Santa Rosa Veterans Hall is sponsored by the North Bay Italian

Cultural Foundation to benefit scholarships for Sonoma County students and Italian Cultural Programs.

The theme of this year’s Festa Italiana is “2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States”. Bring the

 family for a fun-filled day of good food, folk music, opera, classic cars, raffle, silent auction,

 children activities, travel & language programs, shopping, bocce ball and much more.

For more info go to http://www.nbicf.org/

 

Oktoberfest Bier Garten and Marketplatz

Sunday, October 13. 12:00pm to 4:00pm / Ages: 21 & Up / Price: $25 / Phone: 707.939.1452

@ Carneros Brewing Company – 22985 Burnadale Rd. Sonoma, CA 95476

      

Beers served by the Ceja family, proprietors of the new brewing company, will be serving up beers

such as a Jefe-weizen, red Morena Ale, Cervez Pilsner, Negra IPA and Carneros IPA. The day also

includes gourmet foods from Rocket Catering, Harvey’s Gourmet Donuts, Quarter Acre Farms and

Valley Girls Food Stuff. These dishes will be served in the “pop up” outdoor market, where food-related products can be purchased. For more info go to http://www.svteens.org/

 

If you have any questions or would like a custom market analysis of your home’s current likely sales price, please call me at (415) 350-9440. My name is Kyle Frazier. I am a Top Agent, Broker, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) with Christie’s Great Estates | Pacific Union International Realtors.

And if you are a buyer, I am also a member of the Top Agent Network (Top 10% in Marin County) and the Marin Platinum Group (Top 100 agents in Marin County). These are elite agent networks with access to dozens of homes being marketed informally and not on the MLS. It is always my pleasure to be of service.

Sky Ranch | Marin County Land – Acreage For Sale | San Anselmo & Fairfax

July 11, 2013

Sky Ranch (16 Acres), San Anselmo & Fairfax, CA 

Exclusively Listed by Kyle Frazier | Pacific Union Int’l 

$1,950,000

Sky Ranch (in Marin County, California) is magically situated a few short minutes from Sir Francis Drake. Accessible from both San Anselmo and Fairfax, this 16-acre property (three parcels) presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — this land has not been available for generations and is truly unsurpassed by any recently marketed property in Marin County. For pictures: www.SkyRanchMarin.com

Currently used as a horse property, Sky Ranch provides direct access to virtually boundless open space. Indeed, you can access the Mount Tamalpais watershed, Stinson Beach, and Point Reyes via numerous trails and fire roads. The property is adjacent to Marin Municipal Water District lands and Marin County Open Space lands. In addition to the unbridled access to nature, Sky Ranch also imparts incredible privacy. Water and electricity on site.

Call Kyle Frazier, J.D., Broker Associate, CRS, CLHMS with Pacific Union Int’l at (415) 350-9440 with any questions or for a private showing.

Sky Ranch Marin, 16 acres for sale. Located in San Anselmo & Fairfax, CA. For pictures: www.SkyRanchMarin.com

Views, Vines & Modern Lines | 103 Truman Drive, Novato

July 5, 2013

Custom Novato Luxury Home in “Best Of” Cul-de-Sac Location

Located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, this extraordinary custom home designed by John Powers offers a rare opportunity to acquire a luxury residence reflecting modern design, skilled craftsmanship, extensive grounds (nearly 1.75 acres featuring over 60 grape vines, raised bed gardens, fruit trees, oak trees, and gardening sheds), privacy, and incredible views. For more pictures, go to www.103Truman.com.

Upstairs you will find impressive scale balanced with refined and intimate living spaces. The soaring ceilings feature several skylights, while walls of windows stretch along the view side of the home. The upper level provides the majority of the primary living spaces, such as the Kitchen (with adjacent office) and Great Room. The flexible Great Room spaces amply accommodate a large Dining Room table, Living/Family Room, Music area, and more. The possibilities are endless. Also on the upper level, in addition to the views, are a fireplace, bookshelves, bar area, and Powder Room. Finally, from the upper level, you may access the two large covered decks (one off the Kitchen and perfect for a BBQ and the other off the Great Room, which is perfect for relaxing above the gardens). Both decks offer private spaces and extensive storage and/or location for secondary refrigeration. The architecturally unique stairwell leads downstairs.
This large and ergonomic Kitchen has it all: Stainless appliances; Fireplace;  Island with prep sink; Large and deep 2-basin sink; Traulsen built-in fridge; Viking 6-burner range with hood; 2 Ovens; Excellent storage and bookcases/shelving; Views; High, open ceiling; Skylight; Wood floors; Office adjacent; Large covered patio adjacent with storage area; and Easy garage access.

103 Truman Drive also provides a truly unique opportunity for 3 generations to live together. There is an elevator from the garage (located on the main living level) down to the bedroom level of the home, with an easily accessible separate suite. This separate suite (which is connected to the rest of the home, but could be more permanently separated) includes 2 Bedrooms and 2 Baths with a large Family Room featuring French Doors to the deck. Also downstairs you will find the Master Suite (with private Bath) with French Doors to the back deck, two additional Bedrooms, two more Baths, the Laundry Room, Wine Storage area, hardwood floors, and a cozy Family Room.

Bonus Features:

Approximately 884 square feet of unfinished basement space, currently utilized for wine storage and as a workshop (possible expansion could include a bath as plumbing is present); A dramatic lighting scheme on the front and rear decks; 4-car garage; Dramatic lighting scheme in back yard and along back decks; Laundry Room with wash sink, storage, and adjacent wash room with step-in shower; Air conditioning upstairs; Fire suppression system.

   

The Vines

  • 13 Pinot Gris in the triangle area near the entry bridge
  • 2 Syrah beneath the garage overhang in the same entry area
  • 4 Pinot Noir, 4 Chardonnay, and 5 Syrah above the entry area closest to the property line
  • 42 Syrah in the garden at the end of the deck/walkway
  • 4 Bonus vines of unknown provenance near the greenhouse
103 Truman Drive, Novato (Luxury vineyard estate featuring modern architecture and engineering), exclusively listed by Kyle Frazier and Pacific Union International. For a private tour, call Kyle at (415) 350-9440.

Corte Madera, CA (10 Minutes North of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge): Excellent Schools, Weather, Location

April 17, 2013

Corte Madera, CA (10 Minutes North of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge): Excellent Schools, Weather, Location. With its excellent schools, central location, and great weather, Corte Madera has become one of Marin County’s most sought-after towns, particularly for families with young children.

“Corte Madera’s got a good variety of housing options, from rentals to townhouses to small single-family homes to larger, almost estate-like properties,” according to one of Pacific Union’s top Marin County real estate professionals. “The town is very family-oriented, and the weather gets much nicer when you go over the hill from Mill Valley to Corte Madera. It’s much warmer with less fog.”

While Corte Madera lacks a classic downtown with “main street,” the town of 9,400 is home to two major upscale malls: the Village at Corte Madera and the Town Center Corte Madera. The town shares various services, including police and schools, with Larkspur, and locals refer to the two municipalities as the Twin Cities.

Corte Madera residents in search of a traditional downtown head to Larkspur’s historic Magnolia Avenue for dining and shopping at small local businesses.

 

About Corte Madera, California (Marin County Town Profile Video) from Kyle Frazier on Vimeo.

The Larkspur-Corte Madera School District enjoys an excellent reputation and in 2012 earned a state Academic Performance Index score of 919 out of 1,000. Due to swelling enrollment, the district is building a new school in east Corte Madera, scheduled to welcome 325 students in fall 2014.

A small number of east Corte Madera children attend the highly ranked Reed Union School District in Tiburon. The Tamalpais Union High School District serves Corte Madera’s high school students.

Town Park, a large park with tennis courts, a recreation center, sport fields, lagoon, and skating area, serves as a gathering place for the community.

“It’s very much a focal point for Corte Madera,” our real estate professional said. “You will find youth soccer games and basketball and baseball and kids’ parties — half the little-league teams have practice there.”

Corte Madera homes for sale range in price from $650,000 to $3 million for single-family residences, with the majority in the $1 million zone, he added.

Homes on the west side of town tend to be a bit costlier than those on the east side, where popular neighborhoods include Madera del Presidio and Mariner Cove. Chapman Park, Lakeside Drive, and Christmas Tree Hill, with its winding streets and sweeping views, are among the most popular west side neighborhoods.

Like much of the Bay Area, Corte Madera has experienced a shortage of homes for sale amid increasing demand from buyers in recent months. In March the number of single-family homes for sale were down 62 percent from a year earlier, while homes sold shot up 100 percent, according to MLS data.

“The moment a reasonably priced listing goes on the market in Corte Madera, it goes into contract,” our real estate professional said.

Madrone Canyon Retreat (2 Polhemus Way, Larkspur) | New Listing | Pacific Union Real Estate

April 3, 2013

Madrone Canyon Retreat (2 Polhemus Way, Larkspur) | New Listing | Pacific Union Real Estate – 

Welcome to 2 Polhemus Way in Larkspur, a short 2 minute drive through the magical redwoods of lower Madrone Canyon with sweeping views out to San Francisco Bay. As you enter the privacy gate into the front yard, you will immediately recognize the careful and thoughtful design of the custom fencing with bamboo accenting. Attention to detail is reflected by the quality of the hardscape and landscape materials, lighting scheme, and plantings. This home is priced at $1,549,000 | 3 Beds | 3 Baths | 2,591 s.f.

 As you enter the front door from the slate tile patio into the formal entryway, you will encounter high  open beam ceilings, random plank hardwood flooring, overhead fan, and a wall of windows highlighting the natural beauty that surrounds the home. This main level level includes the primary living spaces, such as the:

  • Living Room
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Family Room
  • Expansive Kitchen with ample storage, pantry, island with range and seating area, and work station
  • full bath with ceasarstone counters, Grohe faucet, Kohler undermount sink, step-in shower with frameless glass enclosure, and tile flooring
  • most impressively, however, are the views from the custom deck with designer lighting and accents.
Video About 2 Polhemus Way in Larkspur

The upstairs Master Suite is a private retreat unlike any other currently on the market

  • the views are extraordinary and the private deck makes you feel like you are alone in nature with views to the Bay and beyond,
  • there are soaring ceilings with open beams, a fan, surround sound and sitting area,
  • you will also find two walk in closets,
  • the Master Bath — completely remodeled with deep soaking tub and shower, dual sinks, ceasarstone counters, custom cabinets, and gorgeous tile floors

On the ground level are:

  • a large bedroom with Anderson slider to a private deck
  • a second large bedroom, which is currently set up as a gym with separate office area
  • freshly remodeled bath with ceasarstone counter, custom cabinets, and glass enclosed shower and tub
  • laundry area
  • storage area

The home sits on an oversized and completely fenced, parcel and is blessed with sun-oriented back decking scheme, soaked in year round sun. Throughout the home you will also note many custom enhancements carried out by the current owner. For example:

  • Literally dozens of track lights were added throughout the home and many are on dimmers. Many of the lights are directional and can be trained on adjacent walls and spaces to highlight art and other displays
  • Overhead fans were installed in many rooms
  • Sconce lighting can be found in several locations
  • Exterior lighting, hardscape, and plantings were added and/or replaced
  • Walkways have been upgraded and/or installed to maximize aesthetics and convenience
  • Newer lateral line
  • Newer roof & decking
  • Solar water heating system with newer 120 gallon holding tank

About Madrone Canyon Neighborhood, Larkspur

Madrone Canyon in Larkspur is a truly magical neighborhood, which is characterized by the towering redwoods that grow right through the street as you enter the neighborhood on Madrone Avenue. As you drive up past the redwoods, a glorious expanse of natural beauty takes hold. At the end of Wilson Way, about 1-minute from 2 Polhemus Way, you can access virtually endless hiking and biking trails and open space, including the King Mountain Loop and Ladybug Trail. Larkspur is a truly ideal commute location for those who work in San Francisco, just minutes north of the Golden Gate. This upscale, highly desirable neighborhood is located in a sunny enclave outside of the fog belt.

Exclusively listed by Kyle Frazier, Broker Associate, Pacific Union International Real Estate — (415) 350-9440, [email protected].

How Red-Hot Is Marin Real Estate?

March 22, 2013

Marin County real estate is experiencing an incredible run-up in pricing. Even off-market listings (if marketed correctly) are receiving multiple offers.

Out of Pacific Union’s 63 closed sales which were placed into the MLS so far in 2013 (I have 8 of those sales):

  • 34 were OVER asking price
  • 12 were at asking price
  • 17 were under asking price
  • Average Days on Market was a LOW, LOW 25 days
  • Average sales price vs. list price was 103.79%

These numbers are incredible. In fact, I have noticed a farily large number of realtors have begun selling their homes as they see a seller’s market quite unlike anything we have seen for years. Prices are zooming back 2007 highs in some neighborhoods. In the past three weeks, I have written numerous offers for buyers and EVERY home had multiple offers (6 of these homes had 10 or more offers). I call that red hot!

If you have so much as a whisper of a thought about possibly selling your Marin home this year, please call me. I have all systems in place to get your home sold for a premium price and with minimum inconvenience. Moreover, due to the market environment, sellers are frequently requesting and being given months to rent back the home so they do not have to find a place to live right now. It is really quite a fortuitious time to sell. Please call me for a discrete and confidential review of your situation.

  • Kyle Frazier, J.D.
  • Broker Associate, Top Agent Network & Marin Platinum Group
  • (415) 350-9440

The Dominican in San Rafael | A Neighborhood With Everything

March 4, 2013

Known for its East Coast feel, beautiful tree-lined streets, and elegant homes, San Rafael’s Dominican neighborhood also offers great walkability and convenience.

The neighborhood, sometimes called Black Canyon, surrounds Dominican University of California, from which it gets its name. Its convenient location just east of Highway 101 gives residents easy access to the freeway, the Montecito Plaza Shopping Center, and lovely open space areas.

“Dominican is a lovely neighborhood with some of the most beautiful, stately homes in Marin,” one of Pacific Union’s top San Rafael real estate professionals said. “It’s a convenient neighborhood and people love being near Dominican University.”

Though its history dates back as far as 1850, the school that eventually became Dominican University arrived in San Rafael in 1889, expanding to a junior college in 1915 and a four-year institution in 1917. Today, the university offers many perks to its neighbors, from access to the Conlan Recreation Center with a pool, gymnasium, and tennis courts, to various on-campus talks and activities.

In 2010 Dominican landed in the spotlight when it hosted a gubernatorial debate between then-candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman.

Dominican homes for sale range from around $800,000 to $3 million and beyond, our real estate professional said. Styles include ranch homes and turn-of-the-century Victorians, which tend to carry heftier price tags.

Part of the neighborhood’s charm is its walkability. The university’s manicured grounds offer pleasant walking routes, and there are plenty of trails in the open spaces to the east and the north and at Barbier Park.

“Dominican is truly a walking community,” 35-year resident Suzie Pollak told Marin Magazine. “People stroll with their dogs through the campus both morning and evening; it’s how we meet and find out what’s going on.”

More than 50 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are located within a 30-minute walk of the neighborhood in downtown San Rafael and other areas. A Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s are also located nearby.

The neighborhood’s Marin Tennis Club boasts 12 courts, eight of which are lit for night play. The facility also has an exercise room, swimming pool, saunas, and a full-service cafe.

Marin Ballet is also located in Dominican.

With the neighborhood’s great proximity to Highway 101 and easy access to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, it’s no surprise that Dominican residents have one of the shortest commutes in the U.S. — most spend less than 15 minutes getting to work.

For more information on real estate in San Rafael’s The Dominican neighborhood, please call Kyle Frazier, J.D., Broker, CRS with Pacific Union International Real Estate.

Private, Elegant, Mt. Tam View Home with Pool | 21 Toussin Ave., Kentfield (Marin County, CA)

February 21, 2013

21 Toussin Ave., Kentfield (Marin County, CA) Exclusively Listed By Kyle Frazier, Pacific Union International. Nestled minutes from HWY 101 and sitting on ½ acre, this 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath custom home distills the essence of the Marin lifestyle — the extraordinary setting provides virtually complete privacy and the orientation of the home, pool, and sun deck render a magical experience with Mt. Tam and Ross Valley framed in the distance.

Spectacular Views of Mt. Tam From Private Pool & Sun Deck

[Click HERE for more pictures.]

As you enter 21 Toussin Ave., the home’s style and grace will inspire you. You will find an imported, copper Biffar front door and marble floors and shelf in the entryway. You will note random plank oak flooring and an 18’ foot ceiling in the Living Room, which features a 10’ x 10’ picture window, custom stenciled ceiling, sliding hardwood Moroccan window screens, wet bar, stained glass, multiple skylights, and a large fireplace.

The Chef’s Kitchen features oak counters, commercial range, double ovens, exposed beam ceiling, large pantry, lighted display case, and ample storage.

In every direction, further evidence of great care and pride abound. From the luxurious grace of the arched doors with banker glass leading into the Dining Room (which features wonderful views of Mt. Tam), to the climate controlled wine cellar, to the artisanal quality of the custom stair rails as you reach the second floor, character and substance characterize this one-of-a-kind luxury home.

Upstairs, you will find 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, including the large Master Suite and associated patio with absolutely breathtaking views of Mt. Tam. The Master includes a large living space with room for a sitting area and a light-filled bath with large sunken shower, skylight, and dual vanity.

Outside, you will find a sparkling dipping pool alongside an expansive sun deck oriented perfectly below the vista of Mt. Tam. The privacy level is unparalleled.

Please note: chandelier in Dining Room is excluded from the sale.

Below is a Video Profile About Kentfield, CA

About Kentfield – Greenbrae (Marin County Town Profile Video) from Kyle Frazier on Vimeo.

By Kyle Frazier, Broker & Top Agent, Pacific Union International, (415) 350-9440. Please call for more information or a private tour of this one-of-a-kind luxury Kentfield view home.

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