March Goes Out Like Lion for SF Overbidders Club

Did you hear the roar buyers paying more than 25% over the list price for San Francisco homes in March? Well, I did. The SF Overbidders Club closed out the month of March making me wonder whether or not we can really expect April overbidding to be lamblike.

Overbidding happened across all property types this month, with healthy overbid averages happening:
Houses: 10.5% Condos: 9% TICs: 4.5%

But I found a home in each category that trumped those averages. Please welcome our newest SF Overbidders Club members:

465 Hoffman
Noe Valley House

4BR/4.5BA, 2 pkg, 4500 sq ft
List Price: $3,795,000
Sale Price: $5,105,000
Overbid Amount: 34.5%
What else can you tell me? Big, SoMa-style house with epic views.
465hoffman

338 Spear #7J
South Beach Condo

1BR/1BA, 1 pkg, 1025 sq ft
List Price: $849,000
Sale Price: $1,130,000
Overbid Amount: 33%
What else can you tell me? The buyer for this one-bedroom in the Infinity Tower 2 made a pre-emptive offer that the seller accepted. Marketed as a “unique floor plan of a large 1 BR plus den with a private patio for less than $850 per square feet!”, the buyer one-upped that proposition by paying $1102/sq ft.
338spear_7

49 Dorland
Mission Dolores TIC

2BR/2BA, 1 pkg, 1032 sq ft
List Price: $699,000
Sale Price: $926,000
Overbid Amount: 32.5%
What else can you tell me? TIC with fractional loans in a three-unit building. Parking tandem. Building Ellis Acted in 2004 by previous owners.
49dorland_2

What You Can Buy: Condos for $1.1M with High Walk Scores

Prices for condos with period detail and which are located in very walkable, central neighborhoods are averaging $1.2M for two bedrooms and $1.4M for three-bedroom units. These types of units command a premium because: a) who doesn’t love a quintessential San Francisco property with Edwardian or Victorian detailing, and b) everyone wants to live in an area that lets you walk out your door and be only minutes from a retail area and public transportation.

There’s a handful of condos on the market in this price category, and I thought I would provide a tour of three of them today. So hop in the front seat, and let’s get to it:

1332 Waller
The Haight

3BR/2BA, 1769 sq ft
1 pkg
Year Built: 1904
List Price: $1,099,000
Walk Score: 92
1332waller
1332 Waller is a two-level Edwardian condo. As the listing agent notes, the property is situated in the middle of three great neighborhoods—the Haight, Cole Valley and Buena Vista. So you can take advantage of both the Haight and Cole Valley’s excellent retail areas, as well as many nearby public transportation options. This flat was renovated in 2003, and it has two bedrooms, a formal dining room, split bath and modern kitchen on the main level. A staircase off the dining room leads you to a large master suite with a wet bar and full bath; just outside is a deck and garden. 1332 Waller has exclusive use of the garage parking spot, storage, and the washer/dryer.

1103 Guerrero
Noe Valley/Mission

3BR/2BA, 1631 sq ft
1 pkg (uncovered/driveway)
Year Built: 1900
List Price: $1,095,000
Walk Score: 97
1103guerrero
This top-floor, remodeled Edwardian condo at 1103 Guerrero is one of three units in the building. Along with a newer kitchen and bath, the flat has two gas fireplaces and in-unit laundry. All the best detailing is there, from high ceilings and bay windows, to softwood floors. One thing to note is that there is a limited selection of lenders (First Republic is the best bet) that will grant loans on the building right now due to the tenant/owner-occupied ratio. But if you’re okay with an adjustable-rate mortgage and the other related requirements, this is a big flat only a few blocks from Valencia, BART’s 24th Street station and lots of services (such as the dry cleaners on the ground level of the property).

153 Clifford Terrace
Buena Vista/Ashbury

2BR/1BA, 1355 sq ft
1 pkg
Year Built: 1926
List Price: $1,095,000
Walk Score: 82
153cliffordterrace
If you’re looking for an updated, view condo in a lovely neighborhood, 153 Clifford Terrace may do it for ya. My clients purchased a condo across the street on this block many years ago, and they’ve loved living there. Along with 1920s period detailing, there is an updated kitchen/bath, formal dining room and eat-in kitchen. And there are exceptional northwest views from the living room overlooking the city and ocean.

2014 Welcomes New Members to SF Overbidders Club

2013 was the year that aggressive overbidding for San Francisco properties returned in full force. It does appear that, based on January 2014′s numbers, buyers are calming down ever so slightly when it comes to throwing money at houses and condos.

But I did manage to find three homes that attracted buyers who were wiling to pay 25% or more over the last price. Say hello to the latest members of the SF Overbidders Club:

746 South Van Ness #A
The Mission

3BR/2.5BA
List Price: $863,824
Sale Price: $1,210,000
Overbid Amount: 40%
Closed Escrow: 1/9/14
746svness
We can always count on a 3BR Mission condo to attract a cash buyer who’s ok with paying 40% more than asking. This unit is remodeled, with garage parking and patio, as well as a shared yard among the three units in the building.

237 Sanchez
Eureka Valley

2BR/1BA + in-law unit
List Price: $1,195,000
Sale Price: $1,500,000
Overbid Amount: 26%
Closed Escrow: 1/3/14
237 sanchez
Featuring a 2BR main house with a 2BR in-law unit downstairs, 237 Sanchez captured the attention of buyers who most likely really wanted to be in this Castro/Duboce Triangle location. No garage, but who needs one when you have Muni right nearby?

200 Amber
Diamond Heights

4BR/2.5BA
List Price: $1,299,000
Sale Price: $1,670,000
Overbid Amount: 29%
Closed Escrow: 1/10/14
200amber
It’s not that often that a cash buyer swoops into sleepy Diamond Heights and bids way up on a home. But that was the case for 200 Amber, an Eichler with a lot of bedrooms. Located half a mile from Safeway and the Diamond Heights shopping center, this house also has hills/canyon views.

SF Overbidders Head Into the Holidays

The two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving saw a flurry of buying activity in San Francisco. However, the level of overbidding wasn’t as rabid as it was a few months ago. I did manage to find three new SF Overbidders Club members (criteria: paying 25%+ over the list price) who turned up in the Castro, Marina, and Presidio Heights.

1032 Castro
Eureka Valley

3BR/2BA
List Price: $959,000
Sale Price: $1,340,000
Overbid Amount: 40%
Closed Escrow: 11/15/13

This modest home with a quirky downstairs third bedroom and bath received an onslaught of offers, primarily because it was a house vs. a condo, in a popular location—and also had two-car parking.

2451 Bay
Marina

4BR/2BA
List Price: $2,375,000
Sale Price: $3,250,000
Overbid Amount: 37%
Closed Escrow: 11/27/13

Graced with odd curb appeal, 2451 Bay is situated directly across the street from the Palace of Fine Arts—which is fabulous if you don’t mind the constant presence of tourists outside your door most of the time. The spacious home has been updated throughout, and also has a large, unwarranted one-bedroom unit and a large garage. Paying almost 40% over asking in all cash did the trick!

3311 Jackson
Presidio Heights

3BR/2.5BA
List Price: $2,880,000
Sale Price: $3,701,000
Overbid Amount: 28.5%
Closed Escrow: 11/15/13

3311 Jackson was in the same family for six generations, which is code for “needs updating and probably a major renovation.” But that didn’t scare off the buyer, who paid almost 40% over the list price for this large corner home in a great location just south of the Presidio.

What You Can Buy—Before the End of the Year

There’s still time to get into contract and complete a home purchase before the end of the year. There are about 14 business days left before Christmas, so buyers with cash or very large down payments will be in strong demand to achieve the year-end selling goal.

If you’re one such buyer, you may want to consider one of the newer listings that have recently come on the market. Here’s a look at three homes that I love, and which I believe have list prices that leave room for the requisite overbidding:

3754 Cesar Chavez
Noe Valley

2BR/1BA, 936 sq feet
$895,000

3754 Cesar Chavez is the classic small Noe Victorian that’s great for a single person or couple planning to live there for a few years before upgrading to a larger, more spacious place. The home is well appointed, with an open, bright kitchen, period detail throughout and a deck off the rear. Brick foundation and one-car parking in the garage. Though the house is situated on a busy stretch of Cesar Chavez between Guerrero and Dolores—and backs up to the Samoan Church/sits next to a parking lot, the location is central to BART, Muni and the freeways. You’re also in proximity to the Mission restaurants and shops, as well as the excellent 26th & Guerrero grocery store around the corner.

16 Amber
Diamond Heights

2BR/2BA, 2 pkg
$699,000

Yes, Diamond Heights is foggy and somewhat remote. But where else can you get a top-floor condo with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, two-car parking and views listed for under $700,000? 16 Amber is in a smaller complex with a building entrance that’s shared by only three other units. The condo has a balcony with south-facing views and an updated kitchen. HOA dues are just under $500. You’re a 10-minute walk from Safeway, and five minutes’ drive to 280.

2374 Union
Cow Hollow

3BR/2BA, 1696 sq ft
1 pkg
$1,399,000

2374 Union is my pick of the bunch here, and with good reason. First, this 2300 block of Union is completely residential but is only one block east from the retail stretch of Union. Second, the condo itself has all the amenities—remodeled kitchen, parking, shared yard—and is in a well-preserved 1906 building. There are four units in the building, and HOA dues are a low $394/month.

Just Sold: Noe Valley Victorian Condo


My clients just purchased this quintessential, top-floor Noe Valley 2BR condo in a prime neighborhood location. Featuring wonderful period detail throughout, a formal dining room and private deck with panoramic, south-facing views, 21 Clipper also has parking and a lovely garden. We managed to get past five other buyers who submitted offers, and my clients are thrilled with their new home. And a shout out to the fabulous Patrick Skovran at Wells Fargo for efficiently getting our loan through at the holidays, as well as Charles Richards’ team at Chicago Title. List price: $899,000.

[Please note that we're taking a Thanksgiving break at Inside San Francisco Real Estate. Have a restful and fun Thanksgiving, and check back in on Monday for more market insights & shenanigans.]

SF Overbidders Club: 2-Unit Building Edition

San Francisco’s two-unit building market has been quite busy in 2013. No surprises there, such properties—particularly when they’re completely vacant—are excellent options for buyer partners or those who want to owner occupy one unit and rent out the other.

A total of 303 two-unit buildings have sold citywide, year-to-date. And 29% of them were sold in all-cash transactions. Of the 112 such buildings sold from July-November 12, 2013, 66% were sold for more than the list price, which mirrors the selling pattern for single-family homes and condos in San Francisco.

Let’s welcome some new two-unit building owners to the SF Overbidders Club. Remember, you can only gain entry into the club if you pay 25% or more over the list price:

157-159 Collingwood
The Castro

List Price: $1,600,000
Sale Price: $2,125,000
Overbid Amount: 33%
Closed Escrow: 11/6/13

These two spacious, vacant units in a prime Eureka Valley location are exactly what a lot of buyers are looking for. Each unit had an oversized living room, formal dining room, large eat-in kitchen, and original hardwood floors. And the kitchens provided the opportunity to do your own remodeling. There was also a large, unwarranted in-law unit on the main level, as well as a large yard. (But only one parking space.) In the end, the seller received ten offers, five of which were all cash. The winning offer hit it out of the ballpark with a contingency-free contract and cash.

426-28 17th Avenue
Central Richmond

List Price: $899,000
Sale Price: $1,325,000
Overbid Amount: 47%
Closed Escrow: 9/23/13

This is another vacant two-unit building, with one 2BR unit and one 1BR. The property needed work, with broken back stairs and general TLC needed throughout. Kitchens and baths were in their 1950s original condition, too. In walking distance of Gaspare’s Pizza and Aziza on Geary, as well as four blocks north of Golden Gate Park, 426-28 17th Avenue is in a very convenient part of the Richmond.

29-31 Delmar
The Haight

List Price: $1,499,000
Sale Price: $1,988,000
Overbid Amount: 33%
Closed Escrow: 11/7/13

Yet another vacant two-unit building hit the market with a splash, in a popular Haight location. Each flat had 2BRs, split bath, living rooms with bay windows, formal dining rooms, and 1915 period detailing. The large garage had four-car capacity, and there was a landscaped garden. 29-31 Delmar was also sold in an all-cash transaction.

SF’s Luxury Market Sticks to Seasonal Trends


The high-end, luxury market in San Francisco (sales of $2M+) hasn’t pulled any fast ones so far in 2013. As is typical for homes in this range, Spring and Fall have seen an increase in volume, with cash buyers unsurprisingly making their rounds.

A total of 269 houses sold citywide for $2M+ in the time period January 1-October 21, 2013. And buyers for 13 of those properties paid cash. Eight of the total homes sold changed hands for $10M+.

On the condo front, 93 units sold for $2M or more, with 24 selling in cash transactions.

Selling patterns also subscribe to the list low, sell higher practice that San Francisco has been seeing for most of 2013. For example, 60% of house and 43% of condo sales in the January-October time period closed for more than their list prices. (But in many instances, the gap between list and sale price was not dramatically different.)

The most popular neighborhoods for luxury house cash sales were Noe and Eureka Valleys, the Marina and Pacific/Presidio Heights. Condo buyers flocked to Russian Hill and South Beach for their cash purchases. Tech money is driving many of the purchases in the south end of the city.

But pricing has been key; 42 houses and 39 condos in this segment of the market were either withdrawn or simply expired. Not every buyer is throwing money at just any property.

You can expect to see volume trail off after Thanksgiving, so it may be a good time to consider one of the 66 single-family homes or 40 condos currently available in the luxury segment. The end of 2013 is fast approaching, and buyers are well advised to look for “bargains”—particularly in mid- to late December. Though most high-end buyers retreat from the market in winter, I think it will be a good time to pick up an awesome trophy property.

And of course, if you’re considering selling or buying, please do contact me. I’d be happy to talk with you about your options!

Where the Cash Buyer Competition Is

If you’re aiming to close on a property in 2013, it’s a good idea to size up the competition and hone your strategy at this point in the year. After all, we only have a couple months left before Thanksgiving (I know!), and inventory slows down right after the turkey leaves the table.

In very thick multiple-offer competition, the biggest wild card will be whether a cash buyer steps into the mix who’s willing to pay top dollar to buy a home. As most real estate fans know, cash sales don’t equal discounts, and cash buyers know that they have to offer a competitive price to win.

So if you’re looking at a hot property in a neighborhood that’s prone to attracting cash buyers, you may be out of luck. For buyers with loans, it’s unfortunately the way it goes: Sellers are looking for a sure thing, and a quick path to their proceeds so they can get on with their lives.

Cash buyers picked up 184 condos/TICs and 98 single-family homes from July 1-September 18, 2013. Where did they appear, and which neighborhoods were hit the hardest?

Eureka Valley, Lower Pacific Heights, Bernal Heights, Portola and Ingleside attracted many single-family home cash buyers in that timeframe, with a majority of the sales prices landing in the $600,000-$1M price range. A total of 18 homes sold above $2M.

On the condo front, neighborhoods such as the Haight, Noe/Eureka Valley; Lower Pacific Heights; Western Addition; Pacific Heights; Nob/Russian Hills; Mission, SoMa/South Beach were the most popular ‘hoods for cash buyers. Sales in the $600,000-$1.2M range were the most common, though there were quite a few sales in the $1.3M-$2M range, and six sales were above $2M.

Word of advice? If you’re looking for a home in the aforementioned neighborhoods and price ranges, and the property you like already has 15 disclosure packages out, it might be a good idea to move on to something else if you aren’t willing to pay top, top dollar and waive contingencies. Buyer burnout becomes quite common at this stage of the year, and a change in strategy is one you might want to discuss with your Realtor if you want to be successful in your house hunt by year’s end.

Strong Appreciation Expected in SF Market

With a 12.7% appreciation expected in San Francisco property values, our city is poised for strong growth in the near future.

Indeed, with 18.8% and 8.6% increases over the past 180 days in, respectively single-family home and condo/TIC prices, it certainly seems as if there’s no stopping the real estate juggernaut here.

We also check out San Francisco’s three most popular neighborhoods, along with recent sales stats in this edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker.

Live the Indoor-Outdoor Life in Noe Valley


My new 1BR/1BA condo listing in the heart of Noe Valley is perfect for those 62 and older who are looking for a convenient home that may also be near family.

3953 24th Street #6 features a large, south-facing patio with pano views, kitchen with stainless-steel appliances, custom furniture, and a common lounge/garden. An elevator services all levels of the building, and there’s a variety of public transportation and car-sharing pods within walking distance.

Best of all, the condo is situated directly across the street from Whole Foods!

List price is $449,000 and the sale will require a cash buyer at this time. Occupants must be 62 or older, but buyer need not meet any age requirements. Please contact Eileen at 415.823.4656 / ebermingham@zephyrsf.com for more details. Showings are by appointment only.

And visit our Web site here.

Linea Releases Pricing, Spotlight on Noe Valley

One of the hottest new condo developments is Linea, a 115-unit property at Market and Buchanan. The building is situated on the cusp of Mission Dolores, Hayes Valley, the Castro and Duboce Triangle. In the latest MarketTracker, we survey pricing on all the various units (hint: we’re talking $1,000+/sq ft).

We also focus on Noe Valley and the variety of housing available there, and give you a snapshot of some cool events and activities coming up this summer in San Francisco.

And this is probably not news, but sales prices are up over the past six months from 10-19%, depending on property type. Check out the details and recent sales, too!

It’s all here in this edition of the Zephyr MarketTracker.

What You Can Buy: Two-Unit Buildings

Two-unit buildings in San Francisco that are eligible for one or two owner occupiers are one of the most desirable multi-unit property types in San Francisco. Two buyers interested in partnering up and living in both units while they pursue a fast-track condo conversion are great prospects for such a building, as is an owner occupier who wants to reside in one unit and rent out the other. (The latter doesn’t allow that owner to circumvent the condo lottery, but it can be an excellent way to afford a home that you otherwise may not have been able to purchase without factoring in rental income.)

I wanted to highlight three two-unit buildings that I think are great prospects. If you’d like further details on any of these properties, or would like to talk more about the ins and outs of purchasing two units, please contact me. I’ve owned my two units in Noe Valley for many years, living in one unit and renting out the other. So I can tell you firsthand about the ins and outs.

Here are my two-unit picks at the moment:

2583-2385 Greenwich Street / Divisadero
Cow Hollow

$1,379,000

This is an excellent opportunity to purchase a pair of flats which will be delivered vacant, as the owner resides in one unit and will be moving. There are two 2BR flats with a combined square footage of 2240. This is the first time 2583-2385 Greenwich has been on the market in 30 years, so you can expect a need for cosmetic updates—not a bad way to increase value right away. The property has its original 1930s detail intact, from a large fireplace to crown moldings. There’s a three-car garage that provides three independent spaces, one of which is rented. For buyers seeking outdoor space, this isn’t the property for you, as the building takes up the entire lot. But you can certainly look into the possibility of adding a roof deck, which would pave the way to Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz views. This location is central to Union and Chestnut Streets, North Bay commutes, and Muni lines.

17-19 Ford/Sanchez
Eureka Valley

$1,785,000

17-19 Ford is a prime two-unit building in a great Eureka Valley location. Each flat has 2BR/1BA, and are roughly 1500 square feet each. The property has been improved with refinished floors, double-paned windows, new electrical and plumbing and seismic upgrades. Kitchens in each unit have been remodeled with new appliances. There are southern views from the bedrooms, plenty of storage, large bonus rooms, and both units will be delivered vacant. This is an excellent fit for two TIC partners looking to condo convert—and who’d rather not be bothered doing their own renovations. Though the location is technically Eureka Valley, Ford is only a block and a half to Dolores Park, three blocks to Castro Street, and is an easy stroll to the heart of the Valencia corridor.

1027-1029 Washington/Powell
Nob Hill

$1.2M

1027-1029 Washington is a two-unit building that will be delivered vacant and could use updating, so this is another one perfect for TIC partners looking to condo convert. There are two 2BR/1BA units that are around 1,000 square feet each, and a one-car garage. The building is situated in a busy part of Nob Hill/Chinatown, about two blocks from the top of Nob Hill and three blocks from the Financial District. So that makes it a good prospect for buyers who work downtown and want to be able to walk everywhere. There’s also plenty of public transportation nearby.

200 Dolores Approaches Spring Launch


A much anticipated condo development on the Mission Dolores/Duboce Triangle/Castro borders is 200 Dolores, which has been in the works for some time.

200 Dolores offers 13 elegantly appointed condos. Three of the units are located within the historic Victorian home that’s been moved and renovated, and the other ten units were constructed on the adjoining parcel and surround a central courtyard. Features include gas fireplaces, built-in television cabinets, recessed lighting, radiant heat floors, Ann Sacks tiling throughout and Wolf/Sub-Zero/Bosch appliances. There is an elevator in the building, as well as garage parking for all units.

Here’s a breakdown of the units, as per listing agent Anne Herrera at Sotheby’s International Realty:

One 1BR/1BA, approximately 680 square feet

Two 2BR/2BA, approximately 1015 and 1180 square feet (lower and middle units in the Victorian)

Nine 2BR/2.5BA, approximately 1095-1540 square feet, some with private roof decks.

One 3BR/3.5BAs approximately 2000 square feet (upper unit in the Victorian).

The project is expected to be complete at the end of May, with tours kicking off after the units are complete and showing at their best. Pricing will be approximately $1000 per square foot, subject to a final discussion with the developer as the units get closer to market.

I am a huge fan of this development and location. Of all the projects being constructed in San Francisco, I believe 200 Dolores will have the most “neighborhood” feel, given that it’s off Market Street and will provide a more peaceful environment than projects located at busy Market Street intersections. It’s also one block from the new Whole Foods that will be in the 2001 Market rental building (currently under construction), as well as Safeway. You can walk to the 16th & Mission BART station from here, as well as catch the Muni rail or bus lines along Market.

Give me a shout if these units are in your price range and you’d like to initiate a loan preapproval so you’re in position to make a purchase. At the risk of sounding like a used car salesperson, these condos will most likely sell out very quickly, so the more prepared you are, the more likely you’ll be able to beat out the competition.

Update: ICON’s Floor Plans, VIP Loan Preapproval

One of the more anticipated Market Street condo developments at 2299 Market, ICON, is now welcoming loan preapprovals for its units. Though the sales office is not yet open and the project is still under construction, you can complete a preapproval with the development’s in-house lender. This will certainly launch you to the top of the VIP list when it comes to purchasing one of the 18 one- and two-bedroom condos that will be available.

And while we’re at it, here’s a look at a few newly released floor plans, courtesy of the development’s marketing team of Suzanne Gregg and Jason Gorski at Paragon Real Estate. I’m liking the separation between the bedrooms in the two-bedroom plans:

If you’re interested in getting in before the masses, please contact me and I can help you navigate the preapproval process via the ICON in-house lender. Please note that I am not part of the ICON sales team, but can work with you in the event you’d like independent representation.