Monthly Archives: April 2012

Lake Shore Doelger a Good West Portal Alternative

Lake Shore Doelger a Good West Portal Alternative

One neighborhood that buyers sometimes overlook is Lake Shore. It’s located around Lake Merced in the western part of the city, near Stonestown and Merced Manor. And it’s just down Sloat Boulevard from West Portal and Stern Grove; your money goes a little further here than it will in West Portal proper.

I previewed 1400 Eucalyptus on the Zephyr tour this past week. The single-family home was designed by architect Henry Doelger, who was famous for his box-like design in the 1940s, in areas like Westlake in Daly City and also in the Sunset. For those looking for very functional floor plans and good space, a Doelger can be right on. Continue Reading

Preview: 299 Valencia in The Mission

Preview: 299 Valencia in The Mission

I took a tour of the new 36-unit development at 299 Valencia in the Mission yesterday. The units are built out, but many aren’t quite finished and construction continues. However, it was easy to get a sense for the space, outlooks and overall potential appeal of the project.

First, the lay of the land: 299 Valencia has one- and two-bedroom condos with a variety of floor plans. The 1BR/1BA units start in the $400,000s and are 475-615 square feet. HOA dues are in the mid $300s per month. The 2BR/1BA homes start in the mid $500,000s and are 630-815 square feet, with HOAs of around $400/month. And the 2BR/2BA units start at $700,000 and are roughly 800-1000 square feet; dues are in the low to mid $400s/month. (For homes with parking and optional storage, HOA dues will be slightly higher than quoted.) Continue Reading

“Manipulative Pricing” Returns to SF Market

“Manipulative Pricing” Returns to SF Market

It started in the latter half of 2011: Well-appointed, “value-priced” properties came on the market, and quickly went into contract. Also making a steady reappearance were multiple-offer scenarios, particularly in neighborhoods like Noe Valley and other tech employee strongholds.

What we have as of April 2012 is the return of “manipulative pricing”—properties priced deliberately lower than market value with an eye toward attracting extreme buyer interest and substantially higher selling prices. Case in point was 1219 Cole (above), a gracious 2BR/2BA home on a prime Cole Valley street, listed for $1,095,000. The broker tour and open houses were zoos of buyers and agents, and the sellers ended up with 18 offers and a contract price reportedly well above that list price. Continue Reading

Just Sold: 156 Duncan in Noe Valley

Just Sold: 156 Duncan in Noe Valley

My seller clients closed escrow late last week on 156 Duncan, a uniquely large 1BR/1BA with lovely Spanish-Mediterranean details, in-unit washer/dryer, formal dining room and one-car parking/storage. Listed at $699,000, we closed the sale for $710,000.

The market in Noe Valley has definitely heated up in the past few months, particularly where single-family homes are concerned. Buyers continue to be employed by tech companies, and these buyers are looking for proximity to tech shuttles, freeways and restaurants/services within walking distance.

Short Sales Require Committed Buyers

It’s unfortunately been fairly common over the past couple years to encounter properties being offered as short sales. In a nutshell, a short sale simply means that the seller owes more on the property than it’s worth. Not only is the owner going to come up short on what’s owed on one or two loans, but he or she will also not be able to cover selling costs such as broker commissions, city and county transfer tax, and various reports typically paid for by the seller and provided to the buyer as part of a disclosure package.

As you can imagine, it’s no picnic for the homeowner. He or she is probably in larger financial distress, and has spent a lot of time consulting with real estate agents, CPAs, and attorneys before reluctantly concluding that a short sale is the best option. For these homeowners, the benefit of a short sale is that it has less of an impact on credit history, and thus enables a seller to recover within a couple years from the short sale. The alternative is walking away and letting the home go into foreclosure, which has a much longer-lasting impact on a seller’s credit history and ability to recover. Continue Reading

A $2M Home in An Unlikely Place: Dogpatch

It’s easy to hit neighborhoods like Noe, Eureka and Cole Valleys to see $2M+ homes on broker tour. But in addition to heading to those ‘hoods yesterday, I decided to check out a newer listing in that price range in Dogpatch, a neighborhood that doesn’t typically offer single-family homes at this price point.

Real estate inventory in Dogpatch, also known as the Central Waterfront, is primarily comprised of condos. The area is a mix of residential, commercial and light industrial. New construction condo buildings have gone up since the 1990s, but are in limited supply. Tennessee and Minnesota Streets feature a smattering of Victorian single-family homes, and that’s where I found myself yesterday on broker tour. Continue Reading

Good Deal: Sunnyside House + Cottage for $649,000

Good Deal: Sunnyside House + Cottage for $649,000

645 Congo in Sunnyside is a great example of one of them that also represents what I’d consider to be a good deal.

The updated 2BR/1BA main house has a living room, dining room and remodeled kitchen, with about 1,050 square feet, as per tax records. There’s a built-in sound system, remodeled bath with oversized shower, and refinished hardwood floors. The rear landscaped patio (above) is certainly spacious enough for relaxing and grilling, as well as a cute studio cottage that has its own kitchen, remodeled bath, newer roof and private entrance. (The sellers are also throwing in the patio furniture & window coverings.) Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate


BRE# 01352627

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Home Buyer Boot Camp 2016

Hosted by Inside San Francisco Real Estate Blogger-Realtor Eileen Bermingham

We’ll cover:

How to secure financing

What’s happening in the market

How to win the property you want

What happens after you go in contract.

Saturday, October 8th

10:00am – Noon

4040 24th St @ Noe

RSVP by 10/1 to Eileen at