Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

Condo Overbids Calm Down in June

I received a lot of comments and emails on my post earlier this week about house sales in San Francisco that didn’t require overbidding in June. The big question: “What about condos?”

The good news for buyers is that even more condos are selling for less than or at their list prices. But do note that these sales aren’t happening in the most popular neighborhoods. If you’re open to areas that aren’t Noe Valley, the Mission, Pac Heights or NoPa, there are plenty of opportunities out there—particularly in high-rise buildings where there are many units.

Here’s the lineup of resales reported in June that were marketed through the MLS: Continue Reading

Coming Soon and Off-Market Opportunities: Week of June 29th

This is a weird week for San Francisco housing inventory, because many listing agents are counseling their seller clients to hold off on listing their properties until after the upcoming Fourth of July holiday weekend.

So the pickings are slim, but here they are:

Renovated Glen Park Single-Family Home
4BR/4.5BA + media room, 3100 sq feet, parking
$2,900,000

Noe Valley Single-Family Home
4BR/2BA, 2200 sq ft, parking, could use updating, Noe/Mission location
$1,800,000

Potrero Hill Condo
2BR/1.5 baths, parking, excellent neighborhood location
$995,000Continue Reading

Off-Market and Coming Soon Opportunities: Week of June 22nd

What summer slowdown? Plenty of sellers are ready to move, and the spike in inventory reflects that. Getting in to a property before it hits the market is a great way to give yourself time to get your loan preapproval in order, review disclosures and write your offer without twenty other buyers breathing down your neck.

I’ll be updating this list as new opportunities come up this week. Here are my off-market and coming soon picks so far for the week of June 22nd:Continue Reading

Overbidding Activity Isn’t Calming Down

San Francisco home buyers are heading into the summer months still eager to generously—and in many cases, irrationally—throw money at sellers in order to land the home of their choice.

Single-family homes are frequently overbid the most by 20% or more, based on June sales so far. Here’s a look at the most egregious overbids for the month:Continue Reading

The Story Behind Unwarranted Spaces

An “unwarranted” space is one that hasn’t been done with city permits. If you’re doing a major renovation—say, adding a unit or bedroom and bath—you’ll typically apply for a permit from the city. Besides serving as a revenue stream for the city, a permit warrants that the appropriate city inspectors have reviewed and approved electrical wiring, plumbing, etc., and that everything is up to code. Continue Reading

Budget for HOA Dues During Loan Preapproval

Budget for HOA Dues During Loan Preapproval

You’re thinking about buying a condo in San Francisco, and the first thing on your checklist is loan preapproval. Along with mortgage payments and property taxes, your lender tells you that you need a rough idea of how much your homeowners association dues (HOA) will be. But you don’t know what you’ll be buying, so how are you supposed to know how much the dues will be?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 Risk When You Waive Contingencies

Inventory hasn’t kept up with buyer demand for a while now in San Francisco. That’s led to very competitive offer situations and high sale prices. Most multiple-offer situations end up with a handful of buyers waiving all contingencies (e.g., conditions of the sale) in order to make their offer as attractive as possible to the seller.

But do all buyers realize what’s at stake when they waive all contingencies? Sometimes I’m not so sure.Continue Reading

My Top 5 Condo Deal Breakers

You’ve spent three hours looking at various real estate Web sites and have narrowed down your favorites for this weekend’s open house touring.

In the end, three of those units have HOA dues that are well above what you can afford, and another two have serious pet restrictions that won’t work for your two yellow Labs.

Knowing the fundamentals about a condo and its HOA can save you time when it comes to targeting your search. Here are my top five deal breakers to help you narrow down your prospects. Because let’s face it, you can only see so many homes between 2:00 and 4:00 on a Sunday:Continue Reading

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

Sellers Search for Build-It-Yourself Buyers

Sellers Search for Build-It-Yourself Buyers

There are at least a dozen single-family homes on the market that are being sold with approved construction permits, architectural plans, or simply positioned as “opportunities to build your dream home.”

The trend in 2015? Hand off construction to buyers, who will hopefully pay a premium for lot value and approved (or unapproved) plans. In many cases, the owners (typically an LLC or contractor) may have more pressing projects and will agree to sell if the numbers add up. Or, in the case of those selling properties without approved plans, they may be anxious that today’s market won’t be quite as strong by the time they can get plans approved and the property built.Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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