May 2024 | Vol. 11

May 2024 | Vol. 11

  • Austin Klar
  • 06/25/24

💰Sausalito Works To Improve City Budget for Residents

Driving the news: Fiscal responsibility and addressing rising costs are crucial for ensuring Sausalito can continue providing quality services and amenities to residents.
Details: The city's general fund, which accounts for much of its revenues and expenses, is projected to have a $2 million deficit by June 2025 due to increased insurance costs, unfunded liability payments, and a decrease in sales tax revenue.
The city is considering transferring funds from its workers' compensation fund and parking fund, as well as tapping into a $1 million trust set aside for pension obligations, to address the projected deficit.
Why it matters: Sausalito is putting in effort to avoid higher taxes, reduced services, or other issues that would directly impact residents' quality of life.
The big picture: The city's efforts to explore options like fund transfers and tapping into reserves show a commitment to responsible financial management and avoiding drastic measures that could burden residents.
Between the lines: Risk reduction measures aimed at lowering insurance costs could lead to improved safety protocols and better maintenance of public spaces, benefiting residents.
What's next: Discussions around new revenue streams at future meetings, such as potential tourism or waterfront development initiatives, could help create economic opportunities and improve amenities for locals.
The bottom line: By proactively addressing budget challenges, Sausalito is working to maintain a strong financial footing for residents.

🎥 San Francisco’s Central Waterfront Neighborhood Will BOOM!


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🏠 Marin’s New Short-Term Rental Rules

Driving the news: Marin County supervisors have adopted new short-term rental (STR) regulations through an urgency ordinance before a moratorium expires on May 23, attempting to find a "middle ground" in the divisive issue.
Details: The ordinance limits operators to one STR, caps the total number at 1,200 countywide (there are 938 currently), and sets a cap for 18 coastal communities like Bolinas and Muir Woods Park at 621 total STRs. Stinson Beach's cap, including Seadrift, was controversially set at 192 units. The new ordinance also requires new licenses, septic system approvals, and parking requirements.
Why it matters: The regulations are aimed at balancing concerns over housing shortages caused by STRs with the financial needs of operators relying on rental income.
The big picture: A county survey found residents fairly evenly split on the issue, with 41% favoring STR limits and 45% opposing them.
Between the lines: Existing STR operators can continue indefinitely with a new license but must meet health, safety, and environmental requirements. New ADUs created after certain dates cannot obtain STR licenses.
What's next: The Community Development Agency will implement the new rules, with a potential 1 to 1.5-month gap before processing new licenses. The ordinance will likely be re-evaluated after two years.
The bottom line: These divisive regulations aim to strike a balance by allowing existing STRs to continue (with tighter rules) while capping future growth in unincorporated Marin.

🎥 How AI Is Saving San Francisco

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📈 8 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Bay Area Home in 2024

Driving the news: The Bay Area real estate market experienced a correction since the peak of the pandemic, with home prices falling as much as 10-12%, depending on the area and property type. While that trend has reversed, and values have risen year over year, many who purchased a home between 2021 to 2023 looking to sell now are unlikely to recoup their full investment, absent meaningful value-add. And even those who purchased earlier still want to maximize their ROI. 

Here are several projects to consider for boosting your property value and maximizing ROI. 


  1. Lighting: One of the least expensive ways to freshen up a space is to modernize light fixtures, and to use brighter, whiter lights. Something between the hospital-level white and 90s yellowish hues. Even fixtures costing just a couple hundred dollars go a long way.

  2. Step-in shower: Installing a step-in shower can modernize a bathroom, enhance accessibility, and provide convenience, especially for those with mobility issues. Just make sure any water-proofing is done thoroughly and correctly, or you risk doing a lot more harm than good.

  3. Countertops: Replacing countertops is one of the most cost-effective ways of overhauling a space. Whether it’s a small bathroom vanity or a massive kitchen island, updating countertops goes a long way to making an older space feel fresh and new.

  4. Bathtub: Incorporating a bathtub, especially alongside a step-in shower, can offer a luxurious, spa-like experience and expand relaxation options. Families, especially families with young children or couples looking to start a family, are unlikely to consider properties without tubs. So if you don’t have one, adding one can be a great way to open up your home to a broader audience when it comes time to sell.

  5. Refinishing floors: Sanding and re-staining floors, along with new lighting, are the two most impactful, and least expensive, ways to brighten up a home and give it fresh life.

  6. Finishing a basement: Finishing a basement can add valuable living space, such as extra bedrooms, bathrooms, or entertainment rooms, maximizing a home's usable area. Make sure to perform the work with required permits, otherwise you risk negating much of the additional value-add.

  7. Eat-in area: Creating a designated space for enjoying meals, whether a cozy breakfast nook or a grand dining area, can enhance a home's functionality and appeal. In a smaller space, such as SF condos, sometimes doing that requires eliminating a bedroom and/or bathroom. Make sure to discuss the potential value implications of doing so before moving forward.

  8. Custom closet: Designed to maximize storage and organization, a custom closet with built-ins, shelves, and personalized features can add luxury and convenience to a bedroom. Most buyers are looking for turnkey properties with minimal to no work required, so having closet space already finished is a plus.

Why it matters: With interest rates still hovering around 7%, and home prices inching back toward all-time highs, homebuyers are more picky now than ever before. So doing what’s necessary to make your home as appealing as possible, to the broadest audience possible, while balancing ROI is incredibly important.

The bottom line: By carefully selecting the right remodeling projects, Bay Area homeowners can enhance their living spaces and potentially boost their property values in a market already favoring sellers.

Wondering about your home’s value in today’s market?

Reach out and I’ll create a custom report for you.

📊 Local Market Trends

Inventory levels remain lower than pandemic levels for single family homes in San Francisco, but higher than pandemic levels for San Francisco condos and Marin County single family homes. No signs in the data point to any flood of distressed inventory hitting the market that would create substantial downward pressure on prices.

The proportion of homes reducing prices also remains within the range seen over the past several years, indicating sufficient demand at current prices and current interest rates to prevent significant price movement in either direction.




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