Category Archives: Neighborhoods

What’s Shaking at The Millennium Tower

What’s Shaking at The Millennium Tower

It’s been six months since The Chronicle’s Matier and Ross broke the story about The Millennium Tower’s structural issues. Despite verified reports that the building is sinking and tilting, a buyer living in the building purchased Grand Penthouse A on the 60th floor in December 2016.

The 5,000-square-foot, two-bedroom/two bath unit has massive views and includes a 3,000-square-foot great room that opens to a large private outdoor terrace. The buyer is reportedly an Oracle executive who wanted to move up within the building.

That vote of confidence in the building spurred me to check out recent sales activity. A dozen units in the Millennium ranging from $975,000-$4,000,000 were withdrawn, with an average of three months on the market. However, there are two units pending.

But the penthouse is the only reported sale since August. There are three active listings in the building that include the 58th floor penthouse at $8,995,000, as well as six condos available for rent. Those are all two bedrooms, with owners looking to get $5,250-$19,500 per month.

Time will tell whether any other sellers are successful in selling a unit in the building. The Millennium is expected to be at the center of a prolonged battle among residents, the developer and the city. In the meantime the building will be further settling, making everyone wonder what exactly will be done to address the problem—as well as who will ultimately foot the bill.

Mission’s Rowan is Chock Full of Amenities

Mission’s Rowan is Chock Full of Amenities

I visited The Rowan last weekend and was impressed with the numerous amenities offered in this nine-story building. It’s what I’d call a “good value” project for home buyers.

Situated on Potrero Avenue at 16th Street on the border of the Mission and Potrero Hill, Rowan is a ten-minute walk from the heart of the steadily developing east end of the Mission. It’s also a short distance from Potrero’s design center and Whole Foods. Rowan’s immediate area has a commercial-industrial-retail feel, with a tire store, McDonald’s, the UPS building and the Safeway shopping center in close proximity. And it should be noted that there’s a prominent homeless presence in the area at the moment.

But buyers have gone into contract on 15 units, of which eight have already closed. Rowan buyers have been exclusively San Francisco residents who work within a mile of the building, in SoMa, the financial district and Mission Bay. And they’re all owner occupiers. Continue Reading

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

It’s been a great year in real estate for me, and I’ve enjoyed helping many of you buy or sell homes in 2016. I’m heading into my ninth year blogging on this site and my 15th year as a real estate professional. I’m happy to say that it’s all still fun and exciting! Thank you for making my blog one of your regular stops.

I’ll be back during the first week of January with a 2016 wrap-up.

In the meantime, best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a peaceful, prosperous 2017.

Bipolar Buyer Behavior Prevails Through 2016

Two recently closed sales in Eureka Valley and Buena Vista/Ashbury Heights point to the continued bipolar nature of the San Francisco real estate market.

There’s 562 Sanchez, a 4,000 square foot, four-bedroom house a block from Dolores Park. The property came on the market at the end of June for $3,950,000. After withdrawing the listing and then making a few price cuts, the sellers received an offer and the sale closed late last week for $3,500,000—$400,000 under the list price:
562-sanchez Continue Reading

Gap Narrows Between List and Sale Price in San Francisco

Our shifting market will be seeing a lot less crazy overbidding in 2017 as the gap narrows between list and sale prices.

I’m expecting the list-low, sell-for-more pricing strategy to continue throughout next year. But as our market evens out, it’s likely we’ll see sale prices that are a lot closer to their list prices.

The average overbids in October-November 2016 for houses and condos were 5.5% and 4%, down by half in the same time last year. This pattern will set the pace for 2017 sales, as buyers and sellers reference comps and base values on late 2016 activity.

I’m predicting that a small portion of properties will sell for 25% or more next year—houses in highly desirable neighborhoods, and “classic” condos with period detail in smaller buildings that are near popular retail areas and transportation. But the majority of sellers will be wise to expect values within comp ranges, and set their list prices closer to the likely values.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Best wishes to all my readers for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I have much to be grateful for this year, and appreciate it every time you share a post with your friends or contact me about buying or selling a home.

I’ll be back next week to keep you informed about how the holiday real estate market is shaping up.

SoMa Condos, High-End Houses Top Year-End Inventory

We’re approaching Thanksgiving, and that means we are officially in “year-end” territory. Buyers looking to get a deal are likely to find one in South of Market, or in the single-family home luxury market if they can spend $2,000,000+.

But there really are a variety of options out there right now. Here’s where to focus your energy if you’re aiming to purchase a condo or house before the end of 2016, along with price ranges and my picks:

Single-Family Homes
Central Richmond
What’s Available Two- to four-bedroom houses from $1,300,000-$2,500,000
My Pick 791 30th Avenue
791_30thave
791 30th Avenue was built in 1941 and is nicely updated. There are two bedrooms on the main level, and two more downstairs, with a total of 2,085 square feet. Landscaped yard and garage parking. Only one block from Golden Gate Park. List price: $1,495,000. Continue Reading

Just Sold: 701 Minna #17

Just Sold: 701 Minna #17

We closed escrow last week on my beautiful tri-level loft listing in the mid-Market area of SoMa. I managed all the pre-sale prep work, from floor fixes to full-scale painting, staging, repairs and cleaning. In the end, we had a really well-appointed, bright and spacious unit listed for $1,195,000.

Loft activity slowed down a bit over the summer, so we pulled the property off the market in mid August, with the intention to come back on the market in mid September. But two buyers who had been through one of our open houses returned, and promptly wrote an offer that my seller clients accepted. After working through some transactional snags, everyone pulled through, and the sale closed escrow for $1,150,000.

Much thanks to Karen McDowell at Bank of the West for managing the financing, buyer agent Eamonn O’Callaghan at Zephyr Real Estate, Georgine Lonero at Stewart Title. Special thanks to Dale Zink for his fine staging work and flexibility. Excellent teamwork all around!

Where To Find Senior Housing in San Francisco

I’m often contacted by seniors or their families inquiring about what available housing in San Francisco. The truth is that the city has somewhat limited options for seniors. But I decided to round up the options in one blog post that will hopefully be a useful resource.

Senior housing in the city generally falls into three categories: full-service facilities with built-in healthcare services, buildings that are zoned for senior occupants, and centrally located complexes with amenities that I personally think are appealing and useful to senior-age residents. Here’s my roundup, with sales data courtesy of the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service:

1. Full Service Communities
If you’re looking for a residence that will let you easily transition into assisted living, these full-service communities are the best option in San Francisco. You’re basically paying an occupancy or entry fee, with monthly fees that cover your living expenses. All three of these communities are located in the Lower Pacific Heights area, with easy access to public transportation and nearby retail areas in Japantown, Polk Street, and Hayes Valley.

The Carlisle [1450 Post | Lower Pacific Heights]
What It Offers: Continuing care retirement community providing independent and assisted living services for those 62 and over.
How It Works: You purchase your unit and pay a monthly fee (from $4,000) that covers meals, housekeeping, activities, wellness center, cinema, and the usual HOA-related utility expenses such as water, trash, electric, cable, maintenance, and insurance.
What It Costs: This year’s sales ranged from $245,000-$530,000 for the one bedrooms, and $675,000 (with $6,000 monthly fee) for a 1,040-square foot two bedroom/two bath with parking. Continue Reading

Bernal Microhood Winners and Losers of 2016

Bernal Microhood Winners and Losers of 2016

Three of Bernal Heights’ microhoods are seeing significant jumps in their median prices in 2016, with one former high flyer getting knocked off its pedestal.

Posting median price boosts of 15%, the East and Southeast Slopes lead the pack in 2016, along with South of Cortland. Precita Park took a 15% dive, with far fewer high-priced homes selling this year. That’s a big switch from 2015, when Precita Park was at the top of the hill.

As my regular readers know, I created the Bernal Heights microhoods two years ago to help prospective buyers and sellers get a more refined sense for the values behind the neighborhood’s distinct geographical areas. So here’s how our microhoods are stacking up in 2016:

Northwest Slope
Median Price 2016: $1,427,500 / 2015: $1,400,000 (+2%)
Most Expensive: 18 Montezuma (4BR/2.5BA, 2267 sq ft | $2,400,000)
Least Expensive: 57 Lundys (2BR/1BA, 700 sq ft | $855,000)
northwestslope
The Northwest Slope made a strong showing this year, bumping up its median price ever so slightly. The most expensive home sold at 18 Montezuma was a flip, and a good example of why contractors are snapping up homes in the neighborhood. Purchased as a fixer in 2014 for $1,200,000, 18 Montezuma was transformed into a showcase home listed for $2,198,000. Buyers had no qualms about paying nine percent over the list price to have that house. But not every home sold for a gangbuster price; the contemporary view home at 25 Elsie came on the market in September 2015 and finally closed escrow in April 2016 for $1,870,000. Continue Reading

Welcome Home Project: Practical Way to Help SF’s Homeless

Welcome Home Project: Practical Way to Help SF’s Homeless

I attended the First Annual Harvest of Hope fundraiser breakfast on Monday, a benefit for the Welcome Home Project.

Co-founded by the San Francisco Realtor Association, government agencies and non-profit groups, Welcome Home Project provides basic necessities to formerly homeless families, vets and individuals so they can get set up in their new households.

Mayor Ed Lee, Director of SF Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing Jeff Kositsky were on hand, as well as Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu, and Assemblymembers David Chiu and Phil Ting. Homelessness in the city is at crisis proportions, with a population of more than 6,500 living in the streets. There is no simple, quick solution, so organizations like Welcome Home Project contribute significantly in that they take an immediate, practical approach to assisting in some way.

Many of the major real estate brokerages sponsored Monday’s event, including my company, Zephyr Real Estate, along with Paragon Real Estate, Pacific Union International, Coldwell Banker, Climb and Compass.

Just Sold: 652 Shotwell Street

Just Sold: 652 Shotwell Street

We just closed on 652 Shotwell Street in the Mission. The classic Victorian condo in a historically significant two-unit building was a hit with prospective buyers, who appreciated the smart floor plan, second bathroom, in-unit laundry, walk-out garden and phenomenal period detail.

Two buyers who fell in love with the property submitted a preemptive offer, which led to seller acceptance and a very smooth transaction. Listed for $995,000, 652 Shotwell sold for $1,150,000.

Special thanks to buyer agent Saba Shoaeioskouei at Zephyr, Cathy Chang at Citi for a trouble-free loan process, and escrow officer Gerrie Brindley at Chicago Title!

Esprit Park Aging Well, Don’t Overlook It

There’s no shortage of new condo developments in San Francisco these days. It seems like there’s a constant supply of new units hitting the market, with each release offering properties that are shinier and newer than the last.

I toured a few condos in older but still very solid buildings this week. The takeaway? Buyers considering new construction shouldn’t overlook condos in buildings constructed five or more years ago. One shining example is at Dogpatch’s Esprit Park, which is in good shape both physically and within its HOA. Continue Reading

Thanks For My 40th Five-Star Yelp Review!

My clients bought a great house in Glen Park last month, and they wrote a five-star Yelp review about their experience working with me as their buyer’s agent.

Here’s what they had to say (click on image to enlarge):
review_glenpark

Thanks again, Winston, Merlin and Sandra, and best wishes for your new home!

If you’re ready to start looking for your next home in San Francisco, please do contact me at ebermingham@zephyrsf.com | 415.823.4656. I am also actively seeking buyer clients for 2017, and would love to consult with you if you’re thinking about buying in the new year. Now is a good time to lay the groundwork for a 2017 purchase.

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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