Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

What You Need To Know About Leased Parking

You start your home search with a parking space as part of your criteria. And then you see the perfect condo, but it has what’s defined as “leased parking.” What’s that all about?

The SF Realtor Association changed the data fields in the MLS a few years ago to include leased parking and its related details in a given listing. Previously, you either had some type of deeded parking, or not. Some agents indicated “1L” in the data field, which resulted in listings showing a parking space that technically wasn’t going to be sold with the unit. So the leased parking fields are a good thing, in my opinion.

When it comes to parking, either you have a space included or not. There are variations on parking that comes with a unit, such as deeded, assigned, tandem or independent style. Continue Reading

Homes That Sold for Around $1 Million

Inspired by one of my favorite New York Times real estate features, I thought I would highlight six recent San Francisco sales around the $1M price point—a popular one in the city right now. This is a great way to see what you can expect to pay for future similar homes, as these sales will be good reference points in the months ahead.

Outer Parkside
1929 48th Avenue

2BR/1BA, 1,130 sq ft
11 days on the market
List price: $799,000
Sale price: $1,076,000 (cash)
Classic floor plan with two bedrooms at the rear, eat-in kitchen and bonus room/bath on garage level. Blank canvas of a yard. One block to the beach.
Continue Reading

Latest Noe Valley Fixer Sells for 54% Over Asking

Latest Noe Valley Fixer Sells for 54% Over Asking

Many prospective home buyers who made an offer on 350 Jersey (between Noe and Castro) in Noe Valley walked away disappointed this month. The 2BR/1BA, 1400-square foot 1940s-era house on a large, 2,964-square foot lot was listed for $1,295,000 and attracted 17 offers from buyers looking for a “project” house. There were probably some in the mix who could’ve lived with this kitchen and the basic floor plan until they had time and money to renovate:

But as a testament to the continued strength of the San Francisco fixer market, only one buyer was given the opportunity to develop the property in the future. That buyer paid cash, to the tune of $2,000,000.

Defer Paying Taxes with a 1031 Exchange

A 1031 exchange is an excellent option for investors looking to cash in on the San Francisco market. You can defer paying big capital gains taxes, move up to a bigger and better investment property, and build your wealth in the process.

The Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 allows investors to reinvest proceeds from the sale of one investment property into another similar property while deferring capital gains that would otherwise be due on the sale.

Here are the four simple guidelines for exchanges, as per the Asset Exchange Company in San Francisco: Continue Reading

What You Need To Know About TIC Ownership

Many buyers are considering tenancy-in-common (TIC) units these days, given the cost of real estate in San Francisco. TICs are typically priced lower than condos, and you can generally get into a neighborhood that you might not be able to afford were the property a condo.

But before you run out to see that two-bedroom condo in Cole Valley listed for only $699,000 that you saw on Redfin, you need to know the TIC basics. Continue Reading

What You Should Know About the SF Fixer Market

What You Should Know About the SF Fixer Market

Driven by high buyer demand for single-family homes, the fixer market is going gangbusters in San Francisco.

There are generally two categories of what you’d call “fixers” in San Francisco real estate. The first is the contractor special—not habitable, needs work on the foundation, roof and everything in between. Then there’s the habitable house with a clunky floor plan and expansion potential that could be transformed into someone’s dream house. Continue Reading

Let The Stars Guide Your House Hunt

At the top of everyone’s house hunting criteria is neighborhood preference. Which ones are close to public transportation or parks? Have high Walk Scores? Easy freeway access—or the best restaurants?

But you shouldn’t overlook the astrological angle to picking your neighborhood. Because what your zodiac sign says about you could have everything to do with whether you’ll be happy in your future neighborhood.

So let’s have a little fun and see what the stars have to say about where you should settle:

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20): Daring, spontaneous and full of energy, you’ll appreciate constantly developing Mission Bay. The neighborhood bustles with activity from the biotech and medical industries. And the adjacent waterfront offers a variety of activities, from catching a Giants game to eating at a great restaurant or even spending some quiet time at the library. The Warriors just broke ground on their new stadium, too, adding basketball to the mix. Continue Reading

Yes, Neighbors Can Affect Property Values

In a city as dense as San Francisco, it’s important for buyers and sellers to consider the “neighbor factor.”

My clients visited an open house recently that I recommended they see, with a heads up that the property next door was a bit of an issue. The single-family home they saw was well appointed, renovated, and on a lovely block. They loved the floor plan and overall space. The garden was cute and private. They basically liked everything about it—except for the hoarder house next door whose yard looked like the dump. They decided to pass. Continue Reading

Think Outside the Neighborhood Box for Under $1M

The single-family home market in San Francisco is a very competitive one, and the average price for a house is above $1M at this point in time. So it takes some serious strategizing, compromising and an open mind when it comes to finding a house for under a million dollars.

Most buyers in this price range realize quickly that if they want a house, they’ll need to go beyond buyer-saturated neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Glen Park or West Portal. Because for every ten people who’d like to live in Bernal, there are maybe five that’ll consider less obvious and familiar areas. Continue Reading

Here’s What Home Inspections Cover

Here’s What Home Inspections Cover

Buying a home is a big deal, and you want to make sure there are no surprises with any of the systems once you own the property. There are typically two types of standard inspections done in San Francisco. One is a general contractor, and the other is a structural termite.

The general contractor inspection should be conducted by a certified professional from a reputable company that works in San Francisco on a regular basis. The inspector will go through the fundamental components of the property, which include a look at the electrical, plumbing and heating systems. The inspection will extend to the overall condition of the foundation and structural support, which extends to crawl and attic spaces. The roof will also be evaluated. What the inspector is looking for are any deficiencies, and he or she then can make recommendations for repair, or defer a particular item to a more specialized professional. For example, if there are any signs of issues with the sewer line, the inspector may recommend having a sewer lateral inspection done. Continue Reading

Outer Sunset Takes Overbid Title in Q4 2016

The Outer Sunset, Parkside and Outer Parkside led the single-family overbidding pack in the last quarter of 2016, with average overbids that far exceeded other neighborhoods.

Though the average citywide overbid was five percent, the Outer Sunset saw buyers paying an average of 19.5% over the list price, with the Parkside (19%) and Outer Parkside (17.5%) hot on its heels. Other high-flying neighborhoods included Miraloma Park (14%); Portola (13%); Central Sunset (12.5%); Sunnyside (12.5%); and Excelsior (11.5%). Continue Reading

Bark Louder Than Bite in “As Is” Sales

There’s an addendum that frequently makes it into the purchase agreement in many transactions—the “As Is” addendum. I’m often asked by buyers what this actually represents.

The truth is, an “As Is” addendum means virtually nothing. It’s basically a warning from sellers that they aren’t going to be receptive to repairs or credits during escrow. Or, as an attorney during my company’s recent risk management seminar put it: An As Is addendum is when “sellers are putting the flag up and keeping their fingers crossed” that the buyer won’t try to negotiate anything. Continue Reading

I’m A Realtor Seeking New Clients for 2017

Though I spend a lot of time sharing San Francisco market insights on this blog, I am a full-time real estate agent. That may not be obvious sometimes, but what it means is that I earn a living helping people buy and sell residential real estate.

I know many of you are considering making a move in 2016, or you may know friends, family or neighbors who are. That’s where I’d like to come in. If you’ve been reading my blog on a regular basis, you know that I’m a straightforward, knowledgeable professional who’s been a Realtor since 2002. I’ve navigated clients through slow markets, crazy markets and everything in between. I have a strong work ethic, am obsessed with providing excellent service and am always available to talk, email or text when my clients have questions or concerns.

This year is winding down, and I am looking to kick off 2017 by making myself useful to buyers and sellers. Most importantly, I typically consult with people well before they’re actually ready to take action. So don’t hesitate to get in touch. Early in the new year is a great time to strategize about a move.

You can view my most recent sales here, and my Yelp reviews here. My Yelp page also features a video about my business, so check that out if you’d like to put a voice and face to this blogger.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

The Pros & Cons of Preemptive Offers

Your agent has shown you a great two-bedroom condo in Pacific Heights before the first official open house. You love the property and are ready to make an offer, but the sellers and listing agent have set an offer date. Should you seize the day and submit an offer?

Buyers make preemptive offers when they want to avoid competing with other buyers. And especially around the holidays, sellers may be open to accepting a quick offer if they are motivated to wrap up their sale by the end of the year.

Though preemptives have their benefits, there are definitely a few drawbacks. Before you rush out to write that offer, here are some points to consider: Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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