A Little Background

Marina and Seaside were once military retirement communities dating back to the 1960’s. No longer can Marina be characterized this way.

It all started in 1992 when the Army’s 7th Infantry Division, which dates back to WWI, packed up and moved from Ft. Ord to Ft. Lewis in Washington. Marina has been a retirement home to veterans that served in WWI, WW2 and the Korean War. Fast forward to present day, 2018.

Present Day

Baby Boomers are looking for places to retire; Millenials are looking for affordable homes to buy and so are people from all generations in between. Marina is a unique city in many ways but when it comes to real estate can offer “new and used” homes.

The new homes can be found in the new communities at East Garrison, The Dunes and Sea Haven. The vast majority of used homes are in what I call the “lower 48” and were built starting in the 1960’s.

So the question is now: does a potential home buyer by new or used?

New Homes

Let’s face it, new homes are sexy. Everything is New! The finishes, cabinets, floors, appliances are all new! New has a smell and it is fantastic! New comes with a price that buyer’s really need to understand.

Have you heard of Mello-Roos? For those that might of thought it was a chocolate or type of wine I am sorry to say you will not be advancing into Final Jeopardy.

Mello-Roos is a form of financing (tax) that can be used by cities, counties, and special districts (such as school districts).  In the case of East Garrison, for example, the Mello-Roos Community Finance District is 2006-1. Buyer’s need to be well versed since the Mello-Roos for this community is ultimately an additional tax based on square footage of the home.

Used Homes

Used homes (in the context of this article) may have deferred maintenance issues beyond aesthetics. Roofs need to be replaced, galvanized plumbing needs to be replaced, single pane windows need to be switched to double pane and so on. But not always the case.

I have sold many homes in the lower 48 that commanded multiple offers and sold for prices that exceeded appraised value. The key to buying an older home is to make sure the house has “good bones”. From the roof to the foundation and everything in between if in good shape presents amazing opportunities for potential home buyers.

Steve Hunt can be reached for questions or comments regarding this article at steve.hunt@sothebyshomes.com or (831) 601-2200.


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Steve and his wife Julie moved to Marina in 1992 where they raised three children. Steve has been involved with Marina affairs since 1997 when he started coaching for Marina Pony Baseball/Softball and went on to serve as a board member. Today, Steve continues his involvement in Marina as a member of the Marina Chamber of Commerce; President Elect Marina Rotary; Marina Public Works Commissioner and Marina in Motion. Steve is also a co-founder and officer for Otter Bay Water Polo Foundation, a private 501(C)3 non-profit where he serves as CFO. Steve is a licensed Realtor who specializes in Marina Home Sales.

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