Novato Real Estate Market Update (December 2008 Home Sales Report)

“Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!”

Never thought Walt Whitman would appear in a real estate article? Neither did I. Yet, this past year’s real estate market in Novato evokes a poetically disjointed and disarticulated scene from Leaves of Grass. It’s been 20 years since I read the book, but I recall the broad themes carrying despair and hope within and between stanzas of its several poems. Those same themes echo metaphorically throughout the Novato market.

On the one hand, as prices dip back to 2003 levels for condos and entry level homes, those who bought these properties with 100% financing are often finding themselves well underwater. And those positioned to buy are now snapping up Novato’s value properties at previously unfathomable prices. By way of example, earlier today I e-mailed some clients about a Novato condo they sold  in 2006 for $420,000–it is currently a short sale priced under $200,000. Alternately, the number of Novato’s upscale homes in escrow equates with the rate of the traditionally stronger Southern Marin market.

As such, Novato “contain[s] multitudes.” [click here for the rest of the article, courtesy of].