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Agents Sound Off


Julie Leitzell
Mill Valley

Question: How important is it for Bay Area residents to carry earthquake insurance? Why or why not?

Answer: Whether a homeowner should carry earthquake insurance depends on where the home is located, how it is built, the level of retrofitting and the kind of soil it sits on.

In Marin County, the majority of older neighborhoods are built on rock and solid soil. That’s one reason most of my clients forgo the earthquake insurance. Another big factor is how much equity they have in their home, and also the amount of damage that would have to happen to meet their deductible.

Given that our median price in Marin is hovering around $1 million, and many homes will cost at least that much to rebuild, those homeowners who have earthquake insurance will spend at least $100,000 on repairs or rebuilding before an insurer begins to pick up the costs. Given the history of Marin County’s earthquake damage, many residents feel it’s more financially prudent to ‘self-insure’ and have funds in the bank for repairs should they be necessary.

However, everyone should consider the possibility that their home could be a total loss in an earthquake. The Earthquake Authority has made its insurance more attractive in the last decade, adding content insurance, an allowance for temporary housing and an option for a lower deductible. Log on to the California Earthquake Authority website to find an easy-to-use calculator that estimates premiums based on various scenarios.

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Please join us in welcoming our newest additions to the Alain Pinel Realtors family.

New Agents_Jan


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Agents Sound Off


Patricia Cox
Danville / Blackhawk

Question: Types of pest reports, and who should pay?

Answer: While there are situations in which there are concerns over other vermin, when we refer to pest control reports in real estate, we are typically referring to a structural pest control report, which identifies wood-destroying pests and organisms (fungus, wet/dry rot, termites, etc.).

These types of pests are very important to identify immediately, as it may impact other improvements to the home. With exterior painting, for example, you want to repair dry rot before painting takes place.

I recommend that my sellers get and pay for these reports before going to market. Buyers are more willing to purchase properties in “as is” condition with existing reports when they have third-party inspection reports. Eliminating surprises is crucial to keeping transactions together and protecting all parties.

Every buyer should make sure that a pest control inspection is one of the inspections performed when purchasing a home. Who pays for the report is negotiable and must be taken into account with the overall offer scenario and competition.

If the seller has already provided an inspection, or you are in a competitive bidding situation as a buyer, it is unlikely that the seller will be willing to pay for the pest control report.

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Paul Hulme, President and CEO of Alain Pinel Realtors, has been named to the Swanepoel Power 200 for the second consecutive year coming in at number 24. The Swanepoel Power 200 is an annual list that identifies and ranks thought leaders that influence, impact, and lead the residential real estate brokerage industry. To compile the list hundreds of hours are spent researching and analyzing individuals from all parts of the industry. In a testament to Alain Pinel Realtors continued influence in the real estate community, Mr. Hulme has risen 25 spots from his 49th ranking last year.

For more information about the Swanepoel Power 200 visit:

Swanepoel 200 2015

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2014 APR Year in Review

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