Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

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.Continue Reading

The Difference Between a TIC and Condo

The Difference Between a TIC and Condo

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?Continue Reading

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.

The ABCs of HOAs

The ABCs of HOAs

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.Continue Reading

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.

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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

The 411 on CA’s Construction Defect Law

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.Continue Reading

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

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

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. Continue Reading

Holidays Approach, Time To Make Your Move

We’re speeding toward Thanksgiving, which only means one thing when it comes to San Francisco real estate: Inventory will decline after turkey day, and serious buyers need to take a second look at what’s been sitting on the market.

There are 255 single-family homes and 288 condos currently available, a good portion of which have been on the market for three weeks or more. Take 7 Burnett ($1,695,000), a beautiful 3BR/2BA Twin Peaks view condo. Or for something more quirky with amazing curb appeal, look at 10 Carmel ($3M) in Cole Valley–a 1909 firehouse that’s now a very cool pad for a buyer who likes entertaining and living in a unique home. (I covered the other condo in the building back in 2010 when that was on the market in this blog post.)

It’s definitely time to buckle down and work with current inventory. Our market moves so quickly that you can sometimes get obsessed with new listings and completely miss out on homes that won’t involve tedious multiple offers and overbidding. Give me a shout if you need some help finding the right place. I’ll be in town and ready to work!

Yes, SF Real Estate is Seasonal

Yes, SF Real Estate is Seasonal

Yes, our San Francisco market is going strong—and has been for the past several months. But if you’re planning to buy or sell real estate, it’s important to know that the industry does slow down after Thanksgiving.

I know of a few colleagues who are bringing new listings on the market in early December. But new inventory will substantially decrease after your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers are gone.Continue Reading

Don’t Forget About Lofts in San Francisco

Don’t Forget About Lofts in San Francisco

Lofts have always been one of my favorite types of homes in San Francisco. With their high ceilings, open spaces and large windows, lofts always feel bigger than they actually are. Developers went on a loft-building spree in the late 1990s-early 2000s to create live-work housing in “transitional” neighborhoods like South of Market, The Mission, South Beach, and Dogpatch. And these properties still offer good bang for the buck.Continue Reading

5 Tips for Buying—And Being Happy With Your Home

The San Francisco market moves quickly, and sometimes buyers get swept away in the frenzy. They find themselves suddenly in contract on a home that they aren’t entirely sure about.

A variety of activities kicks in once you’re in contract, and you have to be completely on board in order to hit your milestones. Wiring in a hefty deposit, working with your lender on outstanding financial docs, paying for and conducting inspections—that all happens in the first week. If you’re half-heartedly proceeding, I can guarantee there’s a good chance you’ll miss deadlines, and potentially waste your and a lot of other people’s time if you decide to cancel the contract.

The key to making a confident and successful home purchase lies in being prepared and knowledgeable. Here are five tips for being successful in the residential real estate game:Continue Reading

New Listing: 286 Parnassus in Cole Valley

New Listing: 286 Parnassus in Cole Valley

My new listing at 286 Parnassus has just come on the market, and it’s sure to be a hit with buyers seeking a home near everything the city has to offer.

286 Parnassus is a 1BR/1BA condo in a three-unit Edwardian building. The open floor plan features a remodeled kitchen and bath, as well as a bedroom with great natural light and partial downtown views (yes, that’s the Transamerica Building you can see). There’s a gas fireplace in the living room and a private balcony off the kitchen.Continue Reading

The 5-Star Yelp Reviews Keep Rollin’ In!

I love writing this blog, but I also love selling San Francisco real estate. And I love when my clients have a great experience buying that real estate. It’s pretty much what gets me out of bed in the morning.

I wanted to share my latest review from my clients who made their purchase in rapid-fire fashion—and without having to pay through the nose to get what they needed (click on the review for the larger version):

yelp_miraloma

Give me a shout if you’re on track to buy (or sell) a home—and want to do it before the end of the year. We can meet to strategize and then find you what you need without a lot of drama.

I’m a Realtor First, Blogger Second

I’ve received a handful of calls over the past year from home buyers and sellers looking for my opinion on their individual real estate situations. The buyers are either in contract on a property and a transaction issue has come up, or are negotiating a purchase agreement and seeking assurance about where the market is going. The sellers have accepted an offer but are looking for my input on whether or not they should grant a requested buyer credit or risk falling out of contract.

I’m always happy to hear from my extensive blog base, but I thought it might be a good time to remind everyone that I’m able to stay in business and write my blog because I’m selling real estate. And I do reserve a good portion of my strategies, market insights and advice for clients—meaning there’s way more you need to know beyond my blog post content when you’re transitioning from reader to being a home buyer or seller.

If you’ve already engaged the services of a Realtor you trust, it’s probably best for you to follow his or her advice. Because if you committed to working with your Realtor, it should mean that you value his or her counsel and have worked through many details together. You now have a track record with your agent, a professional who will also get paid a fee when your transaction closes. We work in a service-based industry, and our time, market knowledge, and negotiating expertise are a few of the services we offer that make us valuable.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time and are now planning to buy or sell a property, please remember that I am an experienced, knowledgeable, highly organized and down-to-earth agent who will work in your best interest (even if it means advising you to pass on a particular home or reject a certain offer). Many of my readers have become clients, and have gone on to refer their friends, co-workers, neighbors and family to me.

And every time that happens, it allows me to keep writing this blog and sharing my insights with you on a consistent basis.

Need further proof? Check out my Yelp reviews and video here.

Looking forward to working with more of you in 2014!

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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