Author Archives: insidesfre

Check Building Permit History Before You Buy

Was that room downstairs added with permits? Was the roof redone ten years ago with permits? Is the two-unit building you’re buying actually zoned as such?

These are the types of questions my clients are often faced with when considering purchasing a home in San Francisco. Properties here often have varied histories, and it’s important to know as much as you can.

One of the best tools for doing so is the city’s online permit site. The online history is useful when you’re doing preliminary research on a property you may be interested in purchasing.

Sellers are required to present a printed 3R Report from the Building Department that lists the permit history. However, that report takes weeks to arrive, and you want to do as much as you can to avoid surprises during escrow.

What Closing Costs Do Buyers Pay?

There’s a lot going on when you’re buying a home with a loan, and closing costs can sometimes hit you unexpectedly. In addition to your down payment, you can count on anywhere from one- to three percent in various fees when it comes time to close your transaction.

If you’re paying points, the closing costs will be on the higher end of that range.

Here’s a rundown on the major types of closing costs you’ll see when you buy your home:Continue Reading

Time To Transfer Your Property Tax Base

If you’re a California homeowner age 55 or older who’s thinking about moving, you may have the opportunity to take your property tax base with you. That’s a huge benefit, as property tax bases are a large homeownership expense.

Propositions 60 and 90 are constitutional amendments passed by California voters that allow homeowners aged 55 and over to transfer their property tax base when purchasing a new principal residence. Your replacement home must be of equal or lesser current market value than the original property. And you can only do this once. Prop 60 allows transfers of base year values within the same county, and Prop 90 allows transfers from one county to another.Continue Reading

Coming Soon and Off-Market Opportunities: September 23, 2015

The flood of inventory continues to hit the market. Here’s a preview of what’s to come, or what may never go into the MLS before it’s sold:

2872 25th St / Mission
3BR/2BA 1920s home, in-law down, 1 pkg

2040 Fell #12 / NoPa
2BR/1BA top-floor condo, 1 pkg

1156 Treat / Mission
2BR/1BA top-floor condo, 1 pkg
$949,000Continue Reading

What You Can Buy: Condos Under $1,000 Per Square Foot

It’s no secret that the list price per square foot for condos is topping $1,000/square foot these days—with actual sale prices rising above that. And while I’m not a huge fan of relying completely on price-per-square foot as a data point, I do reference it when it comes to home values.

The good news is that the condo market currently has 125 units listed in San Francisco for under $1,000/square foot. The average list price for condos in this category is $1,144,151, with 15 condos listed for the ever-popular $899,000 price. ($995,000 is right behind that price point.)Continue Reading

130 Gates Moves Into Home Stretch

130 Gates Moves Into Home Stretch

My awesome, vintage-meets-modern-living Edwardian listing at 130 Gates north of Cortland in Bernal Heights has been a revolving door for prospective buyers, agents and lovely neighbors. We have lots of interest, and offers are due next week.

There’s plenty of time to view this special 3BR/1BA home that’s only two blocks from the popular Cortland Avenue restaurants, shops and cafes. We’ll be open on Thursday from 5:30-7:00, and again on Saturday and Sunday from 2:00-4:00.

If you stop in, you’ll be able to see the thoughtful period detailing, charming walk-out garden and spacious kitchen. Not to mention an impressive, restored exterior and garage with plenty of storage space.

List price is $1,195,000. Stop by and see us!

Coming Soon and Off-Market Opportunities: September 16, 2015

New listings are popping up everywhere, on and off the market. Here are my picks for upcoming and off-market listings this week:

745 DeHaro / Potrero Hill
2BR/2BA view home, 2,000 sq ft, three levels, 1 pkg

242 San Jose / Mission
Architecturally significant 4BR/2.5BA + guest quarters, 27′ x 175′ lot, pkg

2842 Pierce / Cow Hollow
2BR/1.5BA condo, 2 pkg
$2,550,000Continue Reading

SF Real Estate Summer Recap 2015

Welcome to the Fall real estate season in San Francisco, when the clock ticks down to the holidays and the serious buyers and sellers break away from the pack. And for that reason, Fall is my favorite time to sell real estate. You either get it done, or you don’t.

Buyers who have been feeling out the market and hoping for a price correction throughout 2015 will decide once and for all whether a new home or investment is in the cards for them this year. And sellers listing their houses in September and October have the better part of a year’s worth of data to help them decide whether they’re comfortable with the true selling range of their homes.

It’s a good time to recap what happened over the summer in the single-family home and condo markets, because June-August comps will influence how much buyers are willing to pay in the Fall.Continue Reading

Just Listed: Style and Character North of Cortland

Just Listed: Style and Character North of Cortland

My new listing at 130 Gates is officially on the market. Featuring nicely preserved vintage period detailing and Bay views, 130 Gates also happens to be located two blocks north of Cortland. Which means you walk out the door and smell the Sandbox Bakery pastries as you get closer to Cortland.

The 130 Gates sellers restored the exterior during their ownership, which is worth mentioning because it looked like this circa 2001:

This is why the neighbors who stopped in at our twilight tour last week commented that my clients had the nicest-looking house on the block.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bernal Heights’ many microhoods, 130 Gates is located in the very desirable and popular North of Cortland area. Check out my most recent look at values there and around Bernal.

For photos, details and more, please visit our property Web site. Our list price is $1,195,000. We’ll be open this Thursday from 6:00-7:30, and Saturday/Sunday from 2:00-4:00! Please get in touch with me at 415.823.4656 / if you have any questions or would like to schedule a private showing.

Last-Ditch Summer Blog Break

Last-Ditch Summer Blog Break

I’ll be trying to squeeze in some rest and relaxation before the big Fall real estate season starts in September. But I’ll be back during the first week of September with the deets on my new Bernal listing.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and I’ll see you in September! Thanks again for your continued readership, and for reaching out to me for my real estate services. I look forward to helping many of you find new homes this Fall!

Coming Soon and Off-Market Opportunities: August 19, 2015

Here are my picks for upcoming and off-market listings this week:

12 Winfield / Bernal Heights
2BR/1BA top-floor condo, 1 pkg

355 Buena Vista Ave East #506W / Buena Vista-Ashbury Heights
1BR/1BA, 855 sq ft, 1 pkg

555 Filbert St / Telegraph Hill
3BR/2BA renovated, top-floor TIC, 1 pkg
$1,695,000Continue Reading

SF Real Estate Sees Its Share of Summer Overbidding

The summer may have quieted down the market a bit in San Francisco, but that doesn’t mean prices are softening or that buyers have backed off from extreme overbidding (25%+ above the list price). In fact, we have three cases this month of irrational overbidding, too (50% or more over asking).

Of the 74 sold houses so far in August, 23 of them sold for 25% or more over asking. However, the condo market is definitely not experiencing parallel activity. Only six of the 62 units sold traded hands for more than 25% over asking.

Houses on the west side made a strong overbidding showing this month. Thirteen of those 18 houses sold for 25% or more above the list price were located in the Sunset, Parkside, Richmond and Golden Gate Heights. Buyers for the tenant-occupied house on Capp at 22nd Street in the Mission paid $1M in cash for what’s presumably a development opportunity.

Here’s how things have gone so far in August 2015:

Extreme Overbidding (25%+ over asking)
763 36th Ave / Outer Richmond
List Price: $788,038 / Sale Price: $985,000 (25%)

554 45th Ave / Outer Richmond
$1,125,000 / $1,500,000 (33%)

2080 14th Ave / Golden Gate Heights
$899,000 / $1,302,080 (45%)Continue Reading

Five Things That Can Shrink a Condo’s Buyer Pool

Certain things about a building or homeowners association (HOA) can seriously shrink a condo’s buyer pool. In the end, getting multiple offers on a property is directly linked to how many buyers are interested. I’ve rounded up five of the most common things that present challenges in a sale. If you’re planning to sell your condo this year, make sure you’re prepared to handle buyer objections when it comes to these factors:

1. Very high HOA dues. There’s a reason this is listed at number one. Many buyers balk at paying upwards of $500 a month in HOA dues. Of course, some are willing to pay a bit more if, say, the fitness facilities would replace their current gym membership. The reality is that if you’re living in a large building, the operating costs are simply higher, from paying for that 24-hour concierge to maintaining elevators, common areas, pools and roof decks. I’m seeing more buyers filtering their searches with maximum HOA dues amounts. From a seller’s standpoint, there’s not a lot that can be done about high HOA dues. However, it’s sometimes worth offering to pay a year’s worth of HOA dues, for example, as part of the deal.Continue Reading

Coming Soon and Off-Market Opportunities: August 12, 2015

Here are my picks for upcoming and off-market listings this week:

147 Day #4 / Noe Valley
1BR/1BA top-floor condo, 1 pkg

1670 Kirkwood / Bayview
Two 3BR/2BA flats, built 2001, 2 pkg

1562 Portola / West Portal
3BR+/2.5BA, 2777 sq ft Craftsman house

471 Munich / Excelsior
3BR/1.5BA barrel front house + inlaw unit, 1 pkg
Price TBDContinue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate


BRE# 01352627

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