BNI 1st Advantage Welcomes Kevin Kearney

Kevin Kearney being inducted by Mark Cooper for BNI 1st Advantage August 8, 2019

I am so excited to be part of a BNI group! I have run my own business networking groups and this is the best. I have been referring to BNI members of other groups for many years now.

100 People Who Care In Marin

I am proud to be a part of this wonderful event for Marin County Non-Profits. I would love to have you take part and join us at the event this year!


100+ People Who Care: Marin County (100MARIN) is a members-only circle of like-minded, philanthropic individuals who are dedicated to enhancing the support and awareness of Marin County nonprofits. Founded in January 2015, the group has over 200 members. 

100MARIN was created by a group of local, community-minded business professionals, with the following complementary objectives:

  1. To increase each circle member’s overall giving impact

  2. To develop and strengthen the network of individuals who are passionate about the local non-profit community”


New Lending Updates – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Here is some great information about the new lending guidelines provided by my friends Laura Franceschi and Ellie Lundy at Fidelity National Title.  It is still up in the air as to what effect this will have on real transactions.  I suspect it will make it harder to negotiate a new price or a credit once the transaction is moving forward since a new disclosure would need to be sent once it is  renegotiated.  That will take more time, which may not be allowed for in the contract.  The document below is to make it easy to understand, but do not hesitate to call us if you have further questions.







Non-county maintained road got you down?

Non-county maintained road

Here is the not so glamorous side of Real Estate.  I live in the Tamalpais Valley neighborhood of Mill Valley California.  As it turns out, there are about 80 non-county maintained roads in just our neighborhood – let alone all of Marin County.  If you live on one of these roads and have tried to get it repaved, you will understand the importance of this.  It can be very problematic for residents who live along the road and use it for access because the maintenance is usually not coordinated or organized.  Some homeowners may feel the maintenance is more important (and/or affordable) than others.  The problem comes when the road is so bad that it needs work, but the neighbors cannot come to an agreement to do the work or have a plan for the maintenance.

Who is responsible for the maintenance?  The County of Marin website says:  The California Civil Code requires the cost of maintenance of privately maintained roads to be shared equitably by the landowners benefiting from those roads.

I am a realtor in Marin County and have been asked recently by neighbors about updating a non-county maintained road.  They asked this question: “What that would do to our property values if we do this maintenance?”.  My answer is that it depends on the severity of the condition of the road. It will give an increase of around 10% and make the home more marketable – meaning that more potential buyers will come see it if it is not a bumpy ride.  Since there is not good data about this situation, I asked agents in my office to weigh in and here are the responses I got:

  • 162 Marina Vista in Larkspur took almost a year to sell the last time it was on the market when the road was a mess, but after they repaired the road then put the house on it sold first weekend! (In 2015.  By the way, had the price been lowered, it would have sold sooner.) Bitsa F.
  • Depends how long the road is but in my experience in Sonoma (including my own road which is privately shared with others) I say it’s VERY important!  At least 10 – 20% of the home’s value.  James N.
  • I think more people will consider a property if the road is well maintained. There are times when clients turn around  and don’t even look if a property is difficult to get to.  Allison S.
  • If the condition would prevent service by emergency vehicles (Especially large firetrucks) This could render the homes potentially uninsurable.  (There are several roads that are this bad according to Captain Gloeckner) Elliot F.
  • We live in a non-city or county maintained road in San Anselmo. All of us neighbors pitch in to pave the roadway. We just had our house appraised to get a mortgage and we told the appraiser the same thing. She said that that would not be a factor in the evaluation of the property. (This was a refinance appraisal – not a sale appraisal.) Kelly V.
  • I think that’s a total shot in the dark.  Probably not as important in a hot market, more important in a slower market.  It also depends on the house.  If it’s already desirable, it’ll make it that much more so.  If it’s not desirable, it may now be tolerable with a paved road.  I’d give it a $25-$50k value — but, like I said… total shot in the dark.  Kevin P.

This has implications for both buyers and sellers that live or are interested in buying on these roads.  For the seller, how bad is the road and how much will it affect their price?  Will it increase the value of the home more than the cost of repairing the road? For the buyer, they have to consider that there will be an expense in the future to maintain the road and need to plan for it with their purchase.  Thus affecting the price.  My job is to help my sellers get the highest possible price and my buyers get the best possible price for their homes.  This is an important conversation to have.

I have been collecting resources and have contacts who are going through the process as well.  If you have questions, do not hesitate to call me at 415-297-3874.

Kevin Kearney of Vanguard Properties Honored With the 2014 Five Star Real Estate Agent Award


Five Star Professional is pleased to announce Kevin Kearney, Vanguard Properties, has been chosen as one of San Francisco’s Five Star Real Estate Agents for 2014.

Five Star Professional partnered with San Francisco magazine to recognize a select group of San Francisco area real estate agents who provide quality services to their clients. Kevin Kearney is featured, along with other award winners, in a special section of the November issue.

“I am honored to be recognized by Five Star Professional for my commitment to client satisfaction. My goal is to exceed my client’s expectations with superior service. I have been selling residential real estate for over 12 years and have sold more than 200 homes. I will put this experience to work for you.” Kevin Kearney of Vanguard Properties.

The Five Star Real Estate Agent award program is the largest and most widely published real estate agent award program in North America. Agents are measured using an objective, in-depth research methodology with significant focus on customer feedback and overall satisfaction.

“Our list of local Five Star Real Estate Agents can be an invaluable resource for anyone looking to buy or sell a home. These agents are exceptional in their field and their commitment to client satisfaction; and are right in your backyard,” Jim Olson, CEO, Five Star Professional.

Kevin Kearney’ Five Star award profile can be viewed here.

About the research process:
Now entering its 12th year, Five Star Professional conducts in-depth, market-specific research in more than 45 markets across the United States and Canada to identify premium service professionals.

Five Star Professional contacts thousands of recent homebuyers to identify award candidates. Phone, mail and online respondents rate their real estate agent on 10 satisfaction criteria. Candidates with a qualifying client satisfaction rating move on to be evaluated on objective criteria such as experience, production levels and disciplinary and complaint history.

Real estate agents do not pay a fee to be considered or awarded. For more information, visit

What is the meaning of the median sales price?

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I was recently quoted in the Marin Independent Journal with regards to the median sales price and I have had many conversations recently with clients inquiring about their “gain”.  Here is a link to the article which does a good job of covering the topic, but I thought it worth going into more detail.

Median as defined by Wikipedia: The median is the numerical value separating the higher half of a data sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half.  The median is of central importance in robust statistics, as it is the most resistant statistic, having a breakdown point of 50%: so long as no more than half the data is contaminated, the median will not give an arbitrarily large result.

Now this is a mouth full.  The more important thing to note above is the last sentence.  It is a pretty reliable number statistically.  However, there are a few problems with using the number to evaluate the specific value of a home in a market:

1.  If the number used is broad enough to be useful, it may not be relevant to a specific neighborhood or a specific side of a street – one side with great views and the other with no views.

2. If it is not relevant to specific neighborhoods, then using the data on a specific home in the neighborhood could also give a false number.

Again, there are many items to factor in: did the buyer pay the market price when purchased?  Or did they get bid up and over pay in that market to get the home?  How much have the upgraded the home?  Applying the median increase to an inflated price will also get an inflated number and applying it to the basis of the house plus improvements may not be right either.

The bottom line is that the median is a good gauge on what is going on in the overall market, but to know the actual value in current market, sellers must look at current sales within the last 6 months (and sometimes more recent if a fast moving market) to determine what the home might sell for.  There are only two reasons a home does not sell in a given market: Marketing or Price.  There are other factors including condition and location, but those are taken into account in the price.  Call me today if you would like more information on the current market and information about how my team will get you top dollar for your home.   Are you ready?  Call 415-297-3874.