Read the Rental Restrictions When Buying a Condo

Make sure you’re aware of rental restrictions on that condo you’re thinking of buying—especially if your future plans involve being able to rent it out and keep the property for investment purposes.

Most condo buyers like to know that they’ll be able to rent out their unit if so desired. Circumstances could change and require you to move, but you’d like to keep that condo for the long term and rent it out for a while.

It’s important to be fully aware of potential rental restrictions in the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)—the main document that homeowners associations (HOAs) use that states how the HOA will be run. Continue Reading

State of the TIC Market: February 2018

State of the TIC Market: February 2018

Buyers snapped up tenancy-in-common (TIC) interests in San Francisco’s most popular neighborhoods over the past six months, proving that the TIC market is alive and well despite its inherent ownership risks.

TICs represented a fairly small percentage of overall sales from August 2017-January 2018. Though almost 1100 condos sold in that timeframe, only 118 TICs did. The TIC median price was $1,017,500—closer to $1.2M for TICs in two- to four-unit buildings. But more than half of all sales were for TICs in buildings with five or more units, notable and surprising because these properties won’t be eligible for condo conversion if the lottery indeed resumes in 2024. Continue Reading

What You Could’ve Bought for Below The List Price

Yes, most San Francisco homes sell for more than their list price. But not always, especially when there are some challenges involved. Busy locations? Poor overall presentation? Those factors end up thwarting sellers every time. Here are three properties that didn’t slam into contract for way over the list price:

688 Clipper
Noe Valley
List Price: $2,250,000
Sale Price: $2,150,000
Days on Market (DOM): 128

688 Clipper technically shouldn’t be here, as it was originally listed for below $2M. The story is that the property came on the market in August 2017 for $1,999,999, and the sellers raised the price to $2.3M twenty days later. No buyers came along, so they reduced the price to $2,275,000 and received an offer shortly thereafter. That fell out of contract, and the price then slid further to $2,250,000. Challenges here were a very vertical floor plan, a location on a trafficked street that’s more Diamond Heights than Noe Valley, and a lack of staging that other properties at this price point often have. Continue Reading

Off-Market Development Opportunity in Duboce/Castro

Off-Market Development Opportunity in Duboce/Castro

It seems to be fixer week here at Inside San Francisco Real Estate. I checked out an excellent development opportunity on Beaver Street in Duboce Triangle today. I think it’s the perfect house for either a contractor, or buyers who’d like to create their dream home in a prime location.

The Victorian has one floor over a garage and room down, unlike its multiple neighbors in both directions that have two units over a garage. It’s likely you could do a vertical expansion here, though you’d have to consult an architect and the Planning Department to know for sure. Continue Reading

NoPa, Hayes Valley Home Sellers Look For Buyers with Vision—and $2M+

The entry price for a big single-family home that needs a total facelift in neighborhoods like NoPa and Hayes Valley is roughly $2M in our current market.

The average price range for a remodeled 4BR+ house in the Haight and Hayes Valley over the past six months is approximately $3M, with renovated, grand-scale houses asking closer to $4M. So buyers looking for the historical, quintessential San Francisco houses that dot these neighborhoods’ blocks are often willing to pay top dollar for a house they can make their own.

Here are two homes currently on the market that would be excellent buys for those seeking a large home with classic San Francisco architecture:
1342 Hayes
4BR | 2.5BA | 2800 sq ft
3-car garage
List price: $2.2M

For buyers who want to be a block from the heart of NoPa’s Divisadero corridor, 1342 Hayes is a great opportunity. The home has been in the same family for 40 years, which is code for “needs a renovation.” Built in 1887 on two levels, the home has big (for San Francisco) square footage and generously sized rooms. All four bedrooms are on the upper level, which is a big deal. And with an oversized lot measuring 3438 square feet, there’s potential for expansion if that’s needed, too. Expect contractors to come to the offer party. (Listing courtesy of Paragon Real Estate) Continue Reading

Off-Market Opportunity: 1BR at The Hayes

Off-Market Opportunity: 1BR at The Hayes

Two of my Zephyr colleagues let me know about a cool one-bedroom/one bath condo that they have available. The property will go into the MLS next week, but the seller is open to an offer before then.

This 746 square foot condo is on the third floor and is an interior corner unit with an open floor plan. It has upgraded LED lighting, bamboo floors, and closet organizers by Elfa and California Closets. A large deeded patio is accessible from the living room and bedroom. HOA dues are $573.86/month. Continue Reading

Bernal Microhood Update: Big Northwest Slope Overbids, Good Value for East Slope Homes

Bernal Microhood Update: Big Northwest Slope Overbids, Good Value for East Slope Homes

The Northwest Slope microhood in Bernal Heights was a hit with buyers willing to pay hundreds of thousands over the list price to “win” their property in the last quarter of 2017. And those looking for solid value got lucky in the East Slope, where newly renovated homes sold at much lower prices than elsewhere in the neighborhood.

As my regular readers know, I created the Bernal Heights microhoods four years ago to help prospective buyers and sellers get a more refined sense for single-family home values in the neighborhood’s distinct geographical areas.

Here’s how our microhoods stacked up in the fourth quarter of 2017:

Northwest Slope
Single-Family Home Median Price: $1,510,000
Most Expensive: 18 Prospect (4BR/3.5BA, 3565 sq ft | $3,500,000)
Least Expensive: 75 Winfield (3BR/2BA, 1650 sq ft | $1,250,000)
# Homes Sold: 9
# Overbids Above 25%: 7
northwestslope
The Northwest Slope stood out among all the microhoods in the last quarter for having the widest gap between list and sale prices. Buyers overbid by 30% or more ($300,000-$500,000) on six of the nine houses sold, including 251 Bocana, a 3BR/2BA home listed for $1,159,000 that closed for $1,635,000. Lot value remains unsurprisingly high, as well, as the sale for $1.8M for the double-wide lot at 15 Prospect proved. Continue Reading

Why Price-Per-Square-Foot Is a Shaky Data Point

People love to talk about the price-per-square foot when comparing San Francisco property values. There’s also a tendency to reference this type of information when making a decision about how much to pay for a home.

But I don’t recommend using price-per-square foot as a reliable data point, because it has its flaws.

The bottom line is that there’s no standardized square footage source. So square footage quoted in the MLS and marketing materials is typically based on either tax records or past seller appraisals. Continue Reading

Buy the Right Insurance for Short-Term Rentals

The legalities are a work in progress when it comes to short-term rentals in San Francisco. But if you’re leasing any part of your property for fewer than 30 days via a site like airbnb, it’s critical to have sufficient insurance.

Though Airbnb guarantees up to $1M for property damage, there’s no coverage for an extremely important item—personal liability. If a guest is injured on your property, you’re on your own.

What you need to have in place is a vacation rental policy, which includes coverage called “personal injury,” says Roger Larson of Larson Insurance Brokers/TWFG Insurance Services. This protects you if a short-term tenant is injured during his or her stay. Larson says that many property owners assume they’ll be covered for personal liability on their existing policy. But liability on a primary home policy doesn’t cover any type of rental exposure. Continue Reading

What You Could’ve Bought in Late 2017 for Below The List Price

San Francisco inventory has generally been low when you consider how many people want to buy homes here. That’s why I was surprised to see a fair number of sales that closed last week for under their list prices.

A few data points: Most under-asking sales were only two- to three percent below the list price, and most spent a fair amount of time on the market. Very few single-family homes sold for less thank asking, but I wanted to highlight three condos that I think were good deals for buyers:

44 Sharon
Eureka Valley
List Price: $1,150,000
Sale Price: $1,000,000
Days on Market (DOM): 50

44 Sharon is a top-floor, 3BR/1BA condo in a five-unit building located between 15th and 16th Streets/Church and Sanchez—very central and walkable. Though the bedrooms were small and there was a bit of an awkward floor plan, the unit came with one-car parking. And did I mention the location near all modes of public transportation, tech shuttle stops and plenty of shops and restaurants? Continue Reading

Here Are My SF Real Estate Predictions for 2018

Here Are My SF Real Estate Predictions for 2018

I recently hauled out my crystal ball to take a shot at predicting what will be happening in the San Francisco real estate market in 2018.

One thing’s for sure: I’m ready to help lots of new buyer and seller clients, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to work together this year. In the meantime, here’s what I think you can expect over the next 12 months: Continue Reading

Mission’s 1188 Valencia Half Sold Out

Mission’s 1188 Valencia Half Sold Out

Home buyers have given the Mission’s 1188 Valencia condo development a warm welcome, snapping up half of its 49 units since the project came online in December.

I stopped in to see the remaining inventory on broker tour this week, and wasn’t surprised to hear about the rapid-fire sales progress. As far as location goes, it’s a slam dunk on the corner of 23rd and Valencia—near BART and everything else along the Mission’s most popular retail corridor. Continue Reading

SF Condo Market Mixed in 2017

The San Francisco condo market was not quite as jubilant as its single-family home counterpart in 2017. Yes, there were the random instances of 25%+ overbids, and an eight percent, year-over-year increase in the average condo price. But we basically saw a repeat of 2016, with prices flatlining.

The average citywide price of a condo in the fourth quarter of 2017 was approximately $1.3M—up from $1,210,000 in Q4 2016. We also saw the average price-per-square foot end up at $1,052, which was a four percent increase year over year. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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