Yearly Archives: 2013

Houzz: The Go-To Site for All Things Remodeling

Houzz: The Go-To Site for All Things Remodeling

This is the time of year when many homeowners start plotting their long-awaited remodeling jobs. One site that will help immensely—and which will easily find you looking at the clock and muttering, “I was on this site for two hours?!”—is Houzz.

Houzz is an online platform for home remodeling and design, and it is well worth your time. You can search through photobooks of various room designs for everything from a kitchen or bath renovation to a home office revamp and beyond. If you want to go to the next level, the site connects you with the professionals who can potentially help you, facilitating your questions about their work. The service providers range from interior designers, landscapers, and contractors to architects. And all the less sexy service providers are included, too, like electricians, heating and solar energy contractors.Continue Reading

Modest Price Increases in SF, Spotlight on Potrero Hill

The new Zephyr MarketTracker is out, and the biggest news is that prices in the single-family home and condo markets are only up 2.8% and 3.8%, respectively, over the past six months.

We also take a look at some properties in Potrero Hill (average price, roughly $950,000 for a home), as well as note that the move-in date is coming up for Nob Hill’s Marlow development.

Plus, details on the Fairmont’s giant gingerbread house! It’s all here in the latest edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker.

Buyers Land Holiday Deals in Luxury Market

The rule of thumb in San Francisco real estate is that if you’re sitting on the market for a very long period of time—and the holidays are approaching—-it’s highly likely you’ll eventually sell for significantly less than your original list price. Though most sales in our city are closing for above list price, I did find some recent sales that wrapped up after Thanksgiving. Continue Reading

Just Sold: 2BR House in Crocker Amazon

Just Sold: 2BR House in Crocker Amazon


My clients just purchased 181 Lowell, a house that was in the same family for years. They’re ready to remodel, and are excited about their new project. Apparently, 18 other buyers were also excited about the prospect, but we managed to secure the home and close before the end of the year.

Just a couple blocks off Mission Street and featuring downtown views from the kitchen, 181 Lowell has plenty of room for expansion downstairs and lots of cool 1920s period detail. Special shout out to our lending team of Ryan Dang and Miky Cuo at Wells Fargo, as well as Chris Matthews at Old Republic Title. And thanks also to listing agent Kilby Stenkamp, who was a pleasure to work with. List price: $499,000.

Should I Remodel My Kitchen Before I Sell?

Three potential sellers have recently asked me this question, so I thought it would be a good time to let everyone know where I stand when it comes to remodeling in order to sell your home—particularly if you’re thinking of selling in the new year.

Kitchens are typically the primary renovation target in a property. The kitchen is where everyone pretty much lives these days, and it’s the core of a home. You can certainly command more money when you’re selling if you have a remodeled kitchen. Buyers come through the property and don’t knock money off the list price for the new kitchen they “need” to do. But that’s only if they like the remodeling you’ve done.Continue Reading

SF Overbidders Head Into the Holidays

The two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving saw a flurry of buying activity in San Francisco. However, the level of overbidding wasn’t as rabid as it was a few months ago. I did manage to find three new SF Overbidders Club members (criteria: paying 25%+ over the list price) who turned up in the Castro, Marina, and Presidio Heights.Continue Reading

What You Can Buy—Before the End of the Year

There’s still time to get into contract and complete a home purchase before the end of the year. There are about 14 business days left before Christmas, so buyers with cash or very large down payments will be in strong demand to achieve the year-end selling goal.

If you’re one such buyer, you may want to consider one of the newer listings that have recently come on the market. Here’s a look at three homes that I love, and which I believe have list prices that leave room for the requisite overbidding:Continue Reading

Just Sold: Noe Valley Victorian Condo

Just Sold: Noe Valley Victorian Condo

My clients just purchased this quintessential, top-floor Noe Valley 2BR condo in a prime neighborhood location. Featuring wonderful period detail throughout, a formal dining room and that private deck with panoramic, south-facing views, 21 Clipper also has parking and a lovely garden. We managed to get past five other buyers who submitted offers, and my clients are thrilled with their new home. And a shout out to the fabulous Patrick Skovran at Wells Fargo for efficiently getting our loan through at the holidays, as well as Charles Richards’ team at Chicago Title. List price: $899,000.

[Please note that we’re taking a Thanksgiving break at Inside San Francisco Real Estate. Have a restful and fun Thanksgiving, and check back in on Monday for more market insights & shenanigans.]

Source Your Funds & Avoid Closing Delays

One of the easiest ways to derail or delay a home purchase is to start pulling in money from undisclosed sources during the escrow process. It is critical these days to document all the sources for your funds with your lender.

Buyers in San Francisco often make home purchases with funds that may be coming from different sources. For example, there may be money coming from a 401K, or a family member who’s helping with the deposit. This is all fine, but the most important thing to recognize is that you need to disclose all fund sources to your lender.Continue Reading

Diverse Inventory Abounds in San Francisco

San Francisco has some of the most varied housing stock available in the world, from Victorians and urban lofts to Spanish-Mediterranean houses and high-rise condos. In this edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker, we look at some of the currently available offerings.

Interested in kicking off your holiday season a little early? The Treasure Island Holiday Show happens tomorrow and Sunday, and features snow-making activities, shopping, music and food.

We also look at the most recent sales citywide, as well as price averages and other data. It’s all here in the Zephyr MarketTracker!

True To Seasonal Form, Luxury Market Lags

True To Seasonal Form, Luxury Market Lags

The market for single-family homes and condos in the $2M+ range is already showing signs of annual holiday lag, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. A total of 53 houses and 32 condos awaits buyers in this segment of the market.

The houses have been on the market for 74 days or longer, and the condos for 92 days. There may be a few buyers out there who will swoop in between now and the end of 2013 with successful offers, but my bet is that a majority of luxury homes currently available will be greeting the new year in the MLS.Continue Reading

I’m a Realtor Seeking Buyer and Seller Clients

Though I spend a lot of time sharing San Francisco market insights on this blog, I am a full-time real estate agent. That may not be obvious sometimes, but what it means is that I earn a living helping people buy and sell residential real estate.

I know many of you are considering making a move in 2014, or you may know friends, family or neighbors who are. That’s where I’d like to come in. If you’ve been reading my blog on a regular basis, you know that I’m a straightforward, knowledgeable professional who’s been a Realtor since 2002. I’ve navigated clients through slow markets, crazy markets and everything in between. I have a strong work ethic, am obsessed with providing excellent service and am always available to talk, email or text when my clients have questions or concerns.

This year is winding down, and I am looking to kick off 2014 by making myself useful to buyers and sellers. Most importantly, I typically consult with people well before they’re actually ready to take action. So don’t hesitate to get in touch. The holidays add an extra dimension to everyone’s busy lives, but this time is also a good month for real estate strategizing.

You can view my most recent sales here, and my Yelp reviews here. My Yelp page also features a video about my business, so check that out if you’d like to put a voice and face to this blogger.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Close With Cash Now, Take Out a Loan Later

About a quarter of sales happening in San Francisco are all cash, and I’ve represented my share of cash buyers this year. But it may be a sound financial strategy to take out a mortgage on the property after you close escrow, as my colleagues at Guarantee Mortgage recently pointed out. The process is called “delayed purchase financing.”Continue Reading

SF Overbidders Club: 2-Unit Building Edition

San Francisco’s two-unit building market has been quite busy in 2013. No surprises there, such properties—particularly when they’re completely vacant—are excellent options for buyer partners or those who want to owner occupy one unit and rent out the other.

A total of 303 two-unit buildings have sold citywide, year-to-date. And 29% of them were sold in all-cash transactions. Of the 112 such buildings sold from July-November 12, 2013, 66% were sold for more than the list price, which mirrors the selling pattern for single-family homes and condos in San Francisco.Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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