Monthly Archives: March 2013

What You Can Buy: 3BR Condos

It’s a good time to check out the three-bedroom condo inventory in some of the most popular neighborhoods in San Francisco. Condos with three bedrooms are common options for what are called “move-up” buyers, who have been living in smaller homes but who now need that third bedroom for a new baby, guests or an office. And why not spread out if you can afford it?Continue Reading

SF Sales Up Across the Board, Supes Consider Retrofit Legislation

Sales of single-family homes, condos and multi-unit buildings are up almost 7% over the past 180 days. That means buyers are looking at a competitive Spring for long-awaited inventory, and sellers are expecting the multiple-offer activity to continue.

View recent sales, stats and the latest on the mandatory earthquake retrofit legislation, Mexican Museum development downtown, and an update on Hayes Valley’s upcoming condo development in this edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker.

Attend Our SF Condo Buyer Workshop!

If you’re considering purchasing a condo this year, please also consider attending our upcoming San Francisco Condo Buyer Workshop. We’ll be covering all the details you’ll want to know, from the scoop on the current market to what to look out for in HOAs and how condo building details can affect your loan options.

I’ve been selling condos for the past decade in all neighborhoods in San Francisco, and have pretty much seen it all when it comes to HOA pros and cons. I’ve also been covering the condo market in depth on my blog since 2008. And my colleague, Mark Wiener, has logged plenty of years in the mortgage business. He’ll be able to jumpstart your search with the fundamental, current information you’ll need to know about condo loans.Continue Reading

Just Sold: House-like Eureka Valley Condo

Just Sold: House-like Eureka Valley Condo

My clients just purchased a beautiful 3BR/2BA, two-level condo at 4439 19th Street in the popular Eureka Valley neighborhood. Listed for $995,000, the condo features a large, remodeled kitchen, formal dining room, and fantastic period detailing throughout. Downstairs is a master suite that boasts a limestone shower stall, double sinks, two closets and built-in bookshelves. One-car parking, too! The property is in proximity to the shops, restaurants and public transportation in the Castro, and is also situated on a lovely, tree-lined street.

Market Street Alive with New Housing

If you’ve recently driven, walked, or taken public transportation along Market Street in the Castro/Duboce Triangle neighborhoods, you’ve seen the cranes and construction sites that belong to a number of new condo and rental buildings. Our economy has bounced back, and with that comes financing for developers both big and small.

Depending on how the developers of new condo projects structure their investments, some buildings may be sold as condos, while others will be leased. Yes, we’re in a seller’s market, but if a developer raised funds for a long-term rental investment, attempting to switch over to a sales strategy doesn’t mesh with what was originally presented to investors. And everyone has to answer to Wall Street at one point or another.Continue Reading

When’s The Best Time To Sell?

I recently blogged about the best day of the week on which to list your home. But the question I’ve been asked at least twice a week by potential sellers over the past couple months is: When is the best time to sell?

Ask any Realtor out there now in San Francisco, and he or she will respond, “Now!” Yes, it’s true that our property inventory continues to be low in relation to the number of qualified buyers looking for homes. But I think there are a few key points worth making for all the potential sellers out there.Continue Reading

New Condo Projects Rise in Hayes Valley

New condo construction in San Francisco is in full force these days, and Hayes Valley is one of the epicenters of new development. I thought I’d take a look at four of the most heavily anticipated projects, and will be following their progress over the next several months.

One new developer is behind three of these projects: DM Development, which formed in 2010 and has been busy snapping up parcels of land in the neighborhood.Continue Reading

SF’s Seismic Retrofit Legislation on the Move

The Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program legislation is due for its first hearing on Monday, March 18th before the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Economic Development Committee. Based on conversations I’ve had with various clients, friends, and colleagues, it seems like many people are a bit unclear about the details.

I’ve reviewed the legislation and also have spoken to Patrick Otellini, the Director for Earthquake Safety in the Mayor’s Office, so I thought I would share the information with you as it currently stands.

The proposed legislation, authored by Mayor Lee and six Board of Supervisors, adds a new chapter to the San Francisco Building Code that would require mandatory seismic retrofitting of existing wood-frame buildings which were built before January 1, 1978, have three or more stories—the first of which is a “soft” story—and contain five or more dwelling units.Continue Reading

Defining “Luxury” Real Estate in San Francisco

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece that discussed the price points that defined “luxury” in various cities. New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Sydney all rank among the top ten cities for luxury living, and Hong Kong is the priciest.

The real estate barometer was a luxury, two-bedroom apartment with about 1,000 square feet. The price in New York for this real estate was $2,135,000, while London clocked in at $4.1M, and Hong Kong’s estimate was $4.81M. The article didn’t cite San Francisco, so I thought I would explore what defines luxury in our city.

It’s widely believed among San Francisco real estate agents that $2M is the price point that represents luxury properties in San Francisco. However, I think that’s more the case for single-family homes. A total of 37 2BR condos sold for $1M+ from December 2012 – March 5, 2013, ranging in price from $1,025,000-$3,850,000. The average sale price in this $1M+ category was $1,423,757, and the average square footage on these 2BR units was 1452.

So I’d say that you definitely get more for your money in San Francisco these days, particularly where condos are concerned.

Just Sold: Charming Mission Home

Just Sold: Charming Mission Home

My clients just closed on a cool 2BR/1BA house in the hot Mission neighborhood on Friday. The home has lovely 1920s details and gets great natural light. It also has a very functional floor plan.

Situated within walking distance of a multitude of restaurants, bars, and cafes 1015 Florida also has good access to public transportation and freeways. List price: $665,000.

1BR Prices Soar in SoMa

It’s not news that the South of Market, South Beach and Mission Bay markets have improved dramatically over the past year. The fury with which buyers are snapping up 1BR condos is whipping through these neighborhoods. This is somewhat atypical, in that 1BR units tend to have a narrower buyer pool. But for first-time home buyers looking for proximity to downtown and hip neighborhoods, 1BR condos are a great bet.

Even buildings hard hit by foreclosure and short sale activity in recent years are on the upswing. Take The Palms, for example, at 555 4th Street. You couldn’t give away a unit there at one time, and prices for units plummeted. But welcome to 2013: You’ll be competing with 15 other buyers for that 1BR listed in the high $500,000s. And you can expect to see a few cash buyers in the mix, too. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate


BRE# 01352627

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