How Many Offers Will It Take To Buy Your Next Home?

The current market is still rolling along with multiple offers and overbidding on a majority of homes in San Francisco. And many buyers are asking: How many offers do I need to write before I get my offer accepted?

I’ve heard some agents talk about having to write 10+ offers before their clients had one accepted. But all I can offer is my own experience and track record, which I thought I would share. 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

Eileen’s Sold Properties
701 Minna #17
South of Market

Urban Loft Living
Sold: $1,150,000
Represented Sellers

Welcome To The Holiday Home Stretch, 2016

If you’re planning to buy or sell real estate in the near future, it’s important to know that the industry slows down after Thanksgiving. Buyers get distracted with holiday activities, and not too many homeowners relish the idea of open houses after the Christmas tree is up.

The bottom line is that new inventory will substantially decrease after your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers are gone. 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

Good Value in Behind-The-Scenes Home Improvements

I meet with new buyer clients frequently who tell me they’re okay with “doing some work” and not paying for another owner’s remodel. And many times, that’s a sound plan when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms. After all, these renovations are typically pretty straightforward, and they provide an instant bang for the buck. Buy a house with a tired, 1940s kitchen and bath, tart them up, and you’ve added immediate value.

However, there are certain property upgrades that should be appreciated and valued more than I think they are in San Francisco. A chef’s kitchen with a CaesarStone counter and a slick, high-end soaking tub in the master suite are all fine and good. But what about an upgraded foundation–or a substantially repaired one? Or a new furnace/ductwork; roof; seismic upgrades; repaired dry rot/termite damage; upgraded plumbing and electrical? Though you can’t necessarily see these sorts of repairs in slick marketing photos, they’re important building components that need periodic attention. 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.

Here’s Your Home Insurance Primer

When you’re buying a house in San Francisco, there’s a lot going on. One of the key escrow activities is nailing down your insurance policy and provider. So it’s important to know what you’ll be looking for in terms of coverage level and annual cost.

Here are the main items for comparison that should be standard in your home insurance coverage: Continue Reading

Contingencies Creep Back Into Contracts

It was more than three years ago that San Francisco real estate market activity prompted me to write about what buyers need to know when waiving contingencies in a purchase contract. We’d finally dug our way out of the financial meltdown, and buyer competition for properties was on the rise.

Besides paying high prices to “win” properties, buyers were waiving appraisal, loan and inspection contingencies to make their offers more attractive to sellers. That meant that buyers were prepared to risk their deposit (3% of the purchase price) if they couldn’t get their loan or couldn’t cover an appraised value shortfall. And they worked around having inspections during escrow, either by relying on seller reports, having pre-inspections or having none at all. Continue Reading

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.

First-Time and Luxury Home Buyers Embrace “Permanent” TICs

Once seen as a stepping stone to condo ownership, tenancy-in-common (TIC) interests have become widely acceptable to San Francisco home buyers as “permanent” TICs. But it’s not just the first-time home buyers who are getting into the TIC game. Luxury buyers are also jumping in.

The fact that condo conversion probably won’t be a future option for TIC owners in buildings with three or more units doesn’t seem to be slowing TIC sales. Continue Reading

How To Get Top Dollar For Your Home

There’s one way to increase your chances of maxing out the sale price of your home: Look as good as your comps.

The San Francisco market has been strong for the past several years, and the list-low-sell-for-more strategy prevails. Many home sellers have walked away with huge net proceeds, often amidst multiple offers and quick closes.

But that doesn’t just automatically happen. The tricky part is that buyers won’t pay your dream price just because you want it; you have to create the desire for them to do so. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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