Monthly Archives: February 2013

Yours Truly, Quoted on KQED About TIC Legislation

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee was scheduled to vote today on legislation that will potentially allow some TIC homeowners to bypass the condo lottery and pay a one-time fee to complete their unit’s conversion. As is typical with any legislation that affects homeowners and tenants, the issue is controversial.

And the vote has been delayed by a month, as Supervisor Mark Farrell reportedly wants additional time to talk with tenants’ rights groups.

I am, of course, a homeownership advocate (and former renter). And there are two sides to every issue. But I’m thinking that there’s something to this TIC legislation that should be able to work. In a city where two-thirds of all residents are renters—and property taxes help subsidize many things here—the Board of Supervisors should take a balanced view of the condo conversion issue and update its position so we don’t have a bunch of homeowners languishing in the lottery.

Check out the story (with link to the original audio broadcast) here: “San Francisco Struggles With Decision That Could Help Some Homeowners—And Hurt Renters.”

The Best Day to List a Home in San Francisco

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece on the best day of the week to list a property. Data was provided by Redfin, and The Journal focused on New York and the east coast. The conclusion was that Friday was the best day to list a house.

And I agree that in San Francisco, Friday is the best day to enter a property into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and have it go live on sites like Redfin, Trulia and brokerage sites.

Why Friday? Most buyers gear up on Fridays to house hunt on the weekend, and when a listing hits the MLS on Friday, it’s as high profile as it gets. In San Francisco, our Tuesday broker tours for the following week have a Friday/noon deadline, so agents enter most properties by that day and time so they show up on the following week’s tour. I send my clients Friday afternoon new-listing roundups, and also plot my buyer tours for the weekend on Fridays.Continue Reading

Know Your Home Insurance Basics

When you’re in the midst of buying a house in San Francisco, there’s a lot going on. One of the key escrow activities is nailing down your insurance policy and provider. So it’s important to know what you’ll be looking for in terms of coverage level and annual cost.

Here are the main items for comparison that should be standard in your home insurance coverage:Continue Reading

Buyer Goes Bonkers Over Mission Dolores Units

Buyer Goes Bonkers Over Mission Dolores Units

Proving that Mission/Mission Dolores homeowners basically can’t miss in our market these days, the modest two-unit building at 3643-3645 19th Street (at Dolores) sold for what I would describe as a stunning price recently.

The main-level flat (living room, above) was vacant and unstaged. There were two bedrooms, an updated, eat-in kitchen with basic finishes, and a dining room. Downstairs was a very small, tenant-occupied studio with a sleeping alcove.

Listed at $1,225,000, the building sold to an all-cash buyer from the neighborhood for $1,510,000.

Unfortunately for a majority of buyers, it’s a challenge to compete with cash buyers who are not wildly concerned about the prices they’re paying. After all, when a loan isn’t involved, neither is an appraisal. My guess is that a formal appraisal would not have come in at value on this building, knowing the comps. But this isn’t the first instance of buyers paying too much for Mission Dolores properties; this sort of reckless real estate behavior has been happening since early 2012.

Wanted: San Francisco Home Sellers

It’s a seller’s market in San Francisco at the moment. Inventory remains flat, there are anywhere from five to 40 buyers for every home that goes on the market, and mortgage interest rates are still very low. And oh, yeah—rents are at an all-time high.

What this all means: If you’ve been considering listing and selling your home, now is the time to do it. And if your home has any particular challenges—lack of parking, a not-so-functional floor plan, no yard, for example—we are in a market where multiple buyers will be more willing to compromise and accept homes with such drawbacks.Continue Reading

What The Heck is HO-6 Condo Insurance?

Condo buyers will typically be told shortly after going into contract that their lender requires them to purchase HO-6 insurance. Otherwise known as hazard or individual unit coverage, HO-6 insurance provides personal property and liability coverage for whatever happens within your unit’s walls.

Yes, a portion of your monthly HOA dues does pay for building insurance. But that building policy doesn’t cover anything that might happen inside your unit.

HO-6 coverage costs anywhere between $400-$600 annually, and will end up being part of your closing costs. The provider will typically need to know what year the building was constructed; the number of stories and units in the property; unit square footage and roof type. Your agent can get you started by giving you all these details so you know what to respond when asked by the insurance agent.

Smackdown: Midtown Terrace vs Bernal Heights

Our single-family home inventory comes in many architectural styles and floor plans. I try to regularly spotlight a variety of homes that appear to provide good value and which are located in central areas. Here’s a look at two cool houses listed in the $900,000 that are very different in style and location:Continue Reading

Buyers Turn to TICs in Tight Market

As condo prices climb and low inventory persists in centrally located neighborhoods, San Francisco buyers appear to be more willing to take on TICs.

A total of 66 TIC interests sold in the last quarter of 2011, at an average price of $594,127. However, buyers snapped up 94 TICs in Q4 2012, and the average price shot up by about 9% to $645,091.

In a city where the average condo price is almost $1M, TICs still represent a more affordable path to home ownership—particularly where 2BR units are concerned. Almost half of the TICs sold in the last quarter of 2012 were 2BRs, with 1BR TICs representing 32% of the total sold. The least popular TIC type was the 3BR+ unit; only 22% of buyers purchased those.Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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