Author Archives: insidesfre

Sunset, Pacific Heights Hot Spots for Cash Sales in 2017

Almost a quarter of this year’s single-family homes and condos were purchased by cash buyers, with neighborhoods like the Sunset, Parkside and Pacific Heights seeing the most such sales.

The Sunset and Parkside have been going full speed this year as house buyers priced out of the more interior neighborhoods head west in search of their next home.

Noe and Eureka Valley single-family homes were also big cash magnets, where sales ranged from $2,000,000-$5,000,000. However, such buyers also scooped up houses for $1,000,000 or less in the city’s southeastern neighborhoods of Bayview, Excelsior, Visitacion Valley, and Silver Terrace. Continue Reading

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

The Most Overbid House ‘Hoods in San Francisco Right Now

Buyers have had no qualms about dramatically overbidding for single-family homes in West Portal, Westwood Park/Highlands, the Central Sunset, Ingleside Heights and Miraloma Park this year.

Those neighborhoods are seeing an average overbid of 20 percent. West Portal actually had five homes sell for between 30 and 50 percent over list price this year.

The selling pattern within individual neighborhoods is a useful data point for sellers when it comes to setting a list price—and for buyers as they decide how much to offer for a property. The traditional pattern in San Francisco has been to list low and sell for more. In general, single-family homes in popular neighborhoods and at price points under $2M tend to get the highest overbids.

I did a quick analysis on the single-family home market and flagged the neighborhoods that are experiencing the highest levels of overbidding. Here are the hot spots now, according to the average overbid percentage year to date:

West Portal 22%
Westwood Park/Highlands 21% Continue Reading

What You Can Buy: Condos That Live Like Houses

The single-family home market is currently crawling with buyers, and inventory is at a low level for the number of prospective purchasers. Single-family home buyers need to be creative and flexible when it comes to landing the right dwelling, which sometimes translates into considering other types of properties.

Condos with unique, house-like features are out there—from detached Victorian cottages to two-level units. Here are a few homes that are technically condos, but that live like houses and are located in popular, walkable neighborhoods. Here are just a few I’ve seen recently:

75 Wood
Jordan Park/Laurel Heights

4BR/2BA, 1500 sq ft
Leased parking @$300/month available
$1,295,000

The Deets: 75 Wood is one of two cottages, and sits on the rear of the lot. You enter through the breezeway from the street, and there’s a nice courtyard between both cottages. The main level has two bedrooms and the living spaces, and the lower level is connected via spiral staircase and includes another two bedrooms and bath, as well as an office area. Improvements include new foundation, electrical, plumbing and roof. There is also a huge, undeveloped attic, which definitely has possibilities given that this is a standalone building and wouldn’t require messing with a unit below you when it comes to structural work. Though there’s no garage, street parking is not bad and there is also leased parking available nearby.
The Location: Commanding a 96 Walk Score, 75 Wood is an easy hop to the restaurants and shops along Clement and Sacramento Streets, the heart of the Laurel Village retail area, and is more or less situated between the Presidio and Golden Gate Park. Continue Reading

Where PG&E Gas Lines Are in San Francisco

Where PG&E Gas Lines Are in San Francisco

It’s been several years since there have been high-profile PG&E gas line fires in The Bay Area. The San Bruno disaster happened in 2010, and a street went on fire in Oakland due to a gas line eruption in December 2013. And a natural gas pipeline in Fresno exploded in 2015, injuring eleven people.

San Francisco has fortunately not been the site of a similar fire recently. However, the gas lines do run underground in the city, and it’s important to be aware of their locations as part of your due diligence when buying a home. You can easily consult the pipeline map on PG&E’s Web site. Just click on the map, and zoom in on San Francisco until you can see the actual street names and gas lines. You can also type in a property address to see which lines are potentially nearby. Continue Reading

Spring’s Overbidding Trend: Pay $500,000+ To Get That House

Spring’s Overbidding Trend: Pay $500,000+ To Get That House

The list low, sell high pattern in San Francisco real estate has been going on for years. But a trend surfacing in April points to the willingness of some buyers in the $2,000,000-$3,000,000 range to pay anywhere from $500,000-$800,000 over asking for a single-family house to “win” their personal bidding wars.

That’s what five sets of buyers did last month, in neighborhoods as varied as the Central Richmond, Forest Hill, Forest Hill Extension, Ingleside Terrace, Eureka Valley/Mission and Bernal Heights. Let’s take a look: Continue Reading

Should You Buy Earthquake Insurance?

Two earthquakes in Blackhawk and the Geysers over the past couple days prompted me to run one of my most popular posts: Is it worth it to buy earthquake insurance?

Only about 12-15% of California homeowners have earthquake insurance, and I believe that ratio drops further in The Bay Area and San Francisco. This is because earthquake insurance is very expensive. In a condo building, it will double your homeowners association dues (HOAs). Additionally, most policies come with a 10-15% deductible. This means the damage to the building would have to be pretty severe in order for you to use your coverage. Continue Reading

New Listing: Multi-Unit Opportunity in The Haight

New Listing: Multi-Unit Opportunity in The Haight

Investors or buyers looking to live in a large flat and collect rental income from other units will love my new listing at 521 Clayton.

Featuring three vacant flats and a tenant-occupied unit, 521 Clayton is a classic San Francisco building with a prime Haight location near the heart of Haight Street and the Panhandle. There are wonderful period details running through the building, from crown moldings and exquisite wood work to stained glass windows and high ceilings. The building has a one-car garage and a nice garden at the rear. Continue Reading

Top 5 Challenges For a Condo Sale

If you’re planning to sell your condo this year, it’s important to be aware of certain things that will seriously shrink your condo’s buyer pool. Here are five of the most common challenges—and some advice on how to handle them so you have a successful transaction: Continue Reading

Condo Market Healthy But Flat in Q1 2017

Fewer buyers cared to overbid dramatically for condos in the first quarter of 2017—with a few exceptions when it came to two-level units, or nicely renovated ones in prime locations.

The average condo price for the 524 units reported sold in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was $1,270,736, up slightly from the $1,218,956 average in the first quarter of 2016.

Buyers paid a citywide average of $1,027 per square foot, with 24% of all sales changing hands for all cash. Continue Reading

Is The Condo/TIC You’re Buying in a Building That Needs a Retrofit?

Make sure you do your due diligence when it comes to buying a condo or TIC in a building with five or more units over a garage.

The city adopted a mandatory soft-story law in 2013, which targets buildings in various tiers that are susceptible to failing in an earthquake and requires owners to retrofit as necessary. You might be noticing these jobs happening as you walk or drive up San Francisco’s streets. Many of the buildings are on corners and have multiple garages. The city has notified building owners and has given them deadlines to apply for permits; work costs roughly $30-$50 per square foot—not an insignificant cost. Continue Reading

Just Sold: Unique Edwardian Home in Noe Valley

Just Sold: Unique Edwardian Home in Noe Valley

We just closed the sale of my listing at 4163 26th Street in Noe Valley. The seller had lived in the home for 53 years, and needed assistance in preparing for and executing his move. Our team included professional organizer and interior designer Gwen McClure, Dan Mahoney of Hassle-Free Hauling and also the new moving service, Lugg. Together, they worked to help the seller decide where to donate, dispose of or move his belongings.

Buyers and agents loved the unique nature of the property, such as the open beam ceiling and artist’s loft. And the garden was a big hit, as well, with its many Japanese maples.

Listed for $1,195,000, 4163 26th Street just closed escrow for $1,560,000.

Special thanks to buyers’ agent Tanya Dzhibrailova, lender Jane Viltman at All Homes Financial and escrow officer Paula Siegel of Fidelity National Title!

Untitled

Untitled

Eileen’s Sold Properties
4163 26th Street
Noe Valley

Unique Edwardian Single-Family Home
Sold: $1,560,000
Represented Seller

Just Sold: 133 Venus in Silver Terrace

Just Sold: 133 Venus in Silver Terrace

My clients just purchased one of the few 3BR/2BA single-family homes available in San Francisco for under $1,000,000. They will be making their new home at 133 Venus in the up-and-coming Silver Terrace neighborhood, on a street that has a close-knit, friendly community.

Featuring all three bedrooms on the same level, 133 Venus has a spacious kitchen, living room with fireplace and large garage with great development potential. 133 Venus closed escrow last week for $953,888.

Congratulations to my clients, Stephanie and DJ! Much thanks to their lender extraordinaire, Karen McDowell at Bank of the West, as well as expert escrow officer Chris Matthews at Old Republic Title.

Single-Family Home Market Kicks Off 2017 With a Bang

There were no winter doldrums for the San Francisco house market this year. Low inventory and strong buyer demand fueled the first quarter—activity that promises to continue in 2017.

Possibly motivated by the threat of rising interest rates, buyers frequently waived contingencies in competitive situations, foregoing inspection, appraisal and financing safety nets to increase their chances of landing a single-family home.

The average price for the 381 homes sold was $1,761,226, up five percent over the first quarter of 2016. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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