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Happy Holidays and I’ll See You in the New Year!

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It’s been a busy year in San Francisco real estate, and I wish all my readers a very happy holiday! May we all be happy, healthy and prosperous in 2015.

I’ll be taking some time off from blogging, but will be back in early January to give you the inside scoop on San Francisco real estate. Have a great holiday!

Tech Jobs, Foreign Buyers Will Drive Market in 2015

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The strength of the tech industry and foreign buyers’ appetite for Bay Area homes will be the biggest factors influencing the local real estate market in 2015, according to First Republic’s Senior Managing Director and Porfolio Manager Alan Zafran at yesterday’s Realtor luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club. [Read more…]

New Condo Listings, Holiday Activities in SF

Have you planned to hit up any holiday activities in the city yet? The latest Zephyr Market Tracker rounds up the newest condo listings, and also takes a look at what’s on tap for San Francisco’s holiday activities.

We also check out the deets behind the potential subway extension to Fisherman’s Wharf. All this, plus the latest sales and stats. It’s all here in the Zephyr Market Tracker!

CrimeMapping A Cool Tool for SF Home Buyers

I always advise home buyers to do their due diligence if they’re concerned about crime activity. Car theft/break-ins, muggings, assaults and burglaries are unfortunately incidents that happen in all neighborhoods. But some areas do have higher crime rates than others, and you should be aware of the nature and frequencies of crimes in the area you choose to call home in the future. [Read more…]

Watch Out For Water Intrusion

waterThe California drought has pushed thoughts of flooding and water damage out of many homeowners’ minds—until the past week or so. We’ve managed to get substantial rainfall, and another big storm is heading to The Bay Area this week. You’ll be in the majority if you suddenly notice a roof leak or water pooling in your garage.

The best time to check for water intrusion is this time of year, particularly after heavy rainfall. Whether you’re a homeowner or a home buyer having a property inspected, here’s a checklist of things to monitor. [Read more…]

What You Can Buy for the Holidays

There are a few intrepid sellers who have just listed their homes and would undoubtedly love to be in contract before Christmas. Here are four new listings that I think will definitely achieve that goal, if not be actually sold and closed by December 25th. If you’re a buyer, it’s time to move quickly! Be decisive, and choose your calendar timeframes strategically because banks and title companies close early on Christmas Eve/New Year’s Eve, and are closed completely on Christmas and New Year’s Day.

1925 Pacific #6
Pacific Heights Condo
3BR/2BA, $1,675,000
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The Deets: 1925 Pacific #6 is the one you’re looking for if you want a top-floor condo with a Bay view in a handsome Edwardian building.
Perks: Master bedroom has a view of Alcatraz, eat-in kitchen, one-car parking.
Location: Four blocks to Union Street and about nine blocks to Fillmore Street’s cafes and restaurants. Two blocks north of Lafayette Park. Excellent for commuters who want to jump on Van Ness/101 or grab a bus downtown. [Read more…]

The Difference Between a TIC and Condo

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It’s not always obvious whether a property is a condo or tenancy-in-common (TIC) when you’re a buyer who’s searching online for properties. You have to click in to all the details, for example, on Redfin, before you realize that the photos of the wonderful flat that seems listed kind of low is actually a TIC.

But what’s the difference between a TIC and a condo? All things being equal, couldn’t you just buy a TIC if it has the space and location you want? [Read more…]

Welcome To The Holiday Home Stretch, 2014

If you’re a serious home buyer, it’s quite possible that December will be your month to find that home of your dreams. Yes, inventory is lighter, but the competition thins out as other, less-serious buyers get distracted by the holidays. And the sellers who are still offering their homes for sale are more likely than they would have been a few months ago to negotiate on price.

There are 172 houses and 81 condos on the market right now, in a variety of neighborhoods and price ranges. And it just so happens to be a great time to make your purchase and wrap things up before the end of 2014. There will inevitably be a crop of newly active buyers coming into the market in early 2015, which will not help your case.

So stick with your home-buying mission and don’t overlook any possibilities. And if you’re thinking of jumping into the market in 2015, please contact me and we can discuss the details.

Thanks For a Wonderful 2014

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Thank you to all of you who’ve been reading my blog faithfully over the years, as well as to those who have connected with me and have done business with me. I am truly grateful for those opportunities.

May you have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

The ABCs of HOAs

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Condos are a popular option for many home buyers in San Francisco. Prices for condos are more affordable, and there’s less upkeep involved. For busy professionals, condos in central neighborhoods fit more lifestyles than that of single-family homes.

The residents within a condo building are part of a homeowners association (HOA). In larger buildings, there’s usually an HOA board, too. These entities make decisions about the property with respect to expenditures, special assessments and other issues that arise.

There’s a lot to evaluate when you’re considering a condo purchase. I thought I’d put together a primer on the basic HOA disclosures and documents of consequence so you’ll know what to expect when you locate a condo you like and may want to write an offer on. [Read more…]

Thanks For Another 5-Star Yelp Review!

It’s always a pleasure to receive an unsolicited Yelp review from happy clients. The latest is from the sellers of a condo in Arterra in Mission Bay, which recently closed escrow. They were a pleasure to work with, and a reminder that many of my clients are genuinely nice, thoughtful people who appreciate my efforts. (Click on the image below for a larger view.)

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If you’re thinking about buying or selling in 2015, please get in touch with me at ebermingham@zephyrsf.com or 415.823.4656. I am actively seeking new clients and would love to chat about your plans. Check out my other 24 Yelp reviews if you’d like to read more about how I work with clients.

The 411 on CA’s Construction Defect Law

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New construction single-family homes and condos are being built and sold at a rapid-fire pace in San Francisco. If you’re considering buying this type of property, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to consumer protection and your rights in the event you discover a construction defect.

Construction defects are unfortunately pretty common in new buildings—everything from water intrusion (the most common one) to inadequate ventilation or faulty sewer systems. Dealing with defects isn’t fun, but there’s a way to handle them thanks to legislation called SB 800. [Read more…]

Grand SoMa Development Takes Leap Forward

The four-acre development planned for Fifth and Mission in SoMa has grand plans—1,200 new residences and 150,000 square feet of retail, for starters. But there are renderings online now, and the project could break ground in 2016 if approved.

Moving north west across town, we take a look at what’s on the market in uber-hot Hayes Valley, from a loft to a Victorian condo.

Plus, news on Coit Tower’s murals and the most current San Francisco sales and stats.

It’s all here in the Zephyr MarketTracker!

“Off-Market” in a Hot Market Can Shortchange Sellers

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The San Francisco real estate market is booming, and sellers are greatly benefitting from buyer demand. There are five or more buyers for every listing, particularly in popular neighborhoods. Interest rates are low, our local job market is strong and there’s no shortage of foreign investors.

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the near future, here’s how you can capitalize on this hot market: Make sure your agent enters your property in the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service (SFARMLS) database. This is the database agents use to search for available listings. Sites like Redfin and Trulia also get their listings from the MLS. A well-priced property promoted to the fullest extent can typically attract multiple offers, which is what leads to the maximum selling price possible. My most recent listings sold for more than I or my sellers expected, and I truly believe that would not have been the case had we sold off market. [Read more…]

Just Sold: 2BR Mission Bay Condo

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Marketed throughout the Giants’ World Series games, my listing at 300 Berry #1010 was a popular unit at the Arterra. We worked around game days and managed to get a ton of prospective buyers, agents and neighbors through. #1010 was a southwest-facing corner unit with two bedrooms, one bath, in-unit laundry, storage and parking. List price was $979,000.

We received six offers, and ended up accepting a cash offer with a seven-day close for a sale price of $1,080,000, Chalk it up to a hot Mission Bay market!