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’s On The Condo Market: February 2016

What’s On The Condo Market: February 2016

There are more than 300 condos on the market right now in San Francisco, so there’s a good chance one will be a fit for you if you’re looking to buy one. Here’s a look at what’s out there in the one-, two- and three-bedroom market segments:

One-Bedroom Condos
Number Available: 85
Median List Price: $849,000
Neighborhoods With the Most 1BRs: South Beach; Lower Pacific Heights; SoMa/Yerba Buena; South Beach; Van Ness/Civic Center
Least Expensive 1BR: 750 Great Highway #2 ($489,000) in the Outer Richmond. Reasonable floor plan, in-unit laundry & dishwasher, and located right across the street from the beach.
Most Expensive 1BR: It’s a tie! 650 Delancey (Oriental Warehouse) #416 and #304 in South Beach, both listed for $1,695,000. #416 is a top floor 1BR that could be used as two bedrooms, shiny red kitchen and parking. #304 has a master bedroom plus office, neutral color scheme, and parking. Both are clocking in at $1,157-$1,213/square foot, which is right in line with market prices.
My Value Pick: 246 2nd Street #905 ($775,000), in Yerba Buena. This unit has a walk-out terrace with city views, in-unit laundry, storage and parking. Continue Reading

Outer Sunset Sees Record $2M Sale, Prices Soar

Outer Sunset Sees Record $2M Sale, Prices Soar

The Outer Sunset had its breakout year in 2016. Once a sleepy oceanside neighborhood with a reliable stock of homes for under a million dollars, the Outer Sunset’s prices are steadily creeping upward. And the area just saw a record-breaking sale for $2M last December.

Prices have been edging up over the past few years. For example, the average price for an Outer Sunset house was $863,169 in 2014, and that number climbed to $1,029,921 in 2015, with five homes changing hands for $1.3M+. Continue Reading

What You Should Know About the SF Fixer Market

What You Should Know About the SF Fixer Market

Driven by high buyer demand for single-family homes, the fixer market is going gangbusters in San Francisco.

There are generally two categories of what you’d call “fixers” in San Francisco real estate. The first is the contractor special—not habitable, needs work on the foundation, roof and everything in between. Then there’s the habitable house with a clunky floor plan and expansion potential that could be transformed into someone’s dream house. Continue Reading

Let The Stars Guide Your House Hunt

At the top of everyone’s house hunting criteria is neighborhood preference. Which ones are close to public transportation or parks? Have high Walk Scores? Easy freeway access—or the best restaurants?

But you shouldn’t overlook the astrological angle to picking your neighborhood. Because what your zodiac sign says about you could have everything to do with whether you’ll be happy in your future neighborhood.

So let’s have a little fun and see what the stars have to say about where you should settle:

ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 20): Daring, spontaneous and full of energy, you’ll appreciate constantly developing Mission Bay. The neighborhood bustles with activity from the biotech and medical industries. And the adjacent waterfront offers a variety of activities, from catching a Giants game to eating at a great restaurant or even spending some quiet time at the library. The Warriors just broke ground on their new stadium, too, adding basketball to the mix. Continue Reading

Yes, Neighbors Can Affect Property Values

In a city as dense as San Francisco, it’s important for buyers and sellers to consider the “neighbor factor.”

My clients visited an open house recently that I recommended they see, with a heads up that the property next door was a bit of an issue. The single-family home they saw was well appointed, renovated, and on a lovely block. They loved the floor plan and overall space. The garden was cute and private. They basically liked everything about it—except for the hoarder house next door whose yard looked like the dump. They decided to pass. Continue Reading

Think Outside the Neighborhood Box for Under $1M

The single-family home market in San Francisco is a very competitive one, and the average price for a house is above $1M at this point in time. So it takes some serious strategizing, compromising and an open mind when it comes to finding a house for under a million dollars.

Most buyers in this price range realize quickly that if they want a house, they’ll need to go beyond buyer-saturated neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Glen Park or West Portal. Because for every ten people who’d like to live in Bernal, there are maybe five that’ll consider less obvious and familiar areas. Continue Reading

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. Continue Reading

Here’s What Home Inspections Cover

Here’s What Home Inspections Cover

Buying a home is a big deal, and you want to make sure there are no surprises with any of the systems once you own the property. There are typically two types of standard inspections done in San Francisco. One is a general contractor, and the other is a structural termite.

The general contractor inspection should be conducted by a certified professional from a reputable company that works in San Francisco on a regular basis. The inspector will go through the fundamental components of the property, which include a look at the electrical, plumbing and heating systems. The inspection will extend to the overall condition of the foundation and structural support, which extends to crawl and attic spaces. The roof will also be evaluated. What the inspector is looking for are any deficiencies, and he or she then can make recommendations for repair, or defer a particular item to a more specialized professional. For example, if there are any signs of issues with the sewer line, the inspector may recommend having a sewer lateral inspection done. Continue Reading

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

Outer Sunset Takes Overbid Title in Q4 2016

The Outer Sunset, Parkside and Outer Parkside led the single-family overbidding pack in the last quarter of 2016, with average overbids that far exceeded other neighborhoods.

Though the average citywide overbid was five percent, the Outer Sunset saw buyers paying an average of 19.5% over the list price, with the Parkside (19%) and Outer Parkside (17.5%) hot on its heels. Other high-flying neighborhoods included Miraloma Park (14%); Portola (13%); Central Sunset (12.5%); Sunnyside (12.5%); and Excelsior (11.5%). Continue Reading

Single-Family Homes: Holy Grail of 2016

Buyers had a seemingly endless appetite for houses when it came to San Francisco real estate in 2016. On the other hand, the condo market flatlined.

The fourth quarter of last year is the best indicator for market activity in early 2017. So here’s how things went down when it came to houses and condos, and what you can expect in the new year:

Single-Family Home Prices Rise, Overbidding Continues
Buyers purchased 590 houses in Q4 2016 for an average of $1,844,851. Many homes listed for $2,000,000 or less garnered multiple offers, particularly those listed for closer to $1,000,000. 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

Bark Louder Than Bite in “As Is” Sales

There’s an addendum that frequently makes it into the purchase agreement in many transactions—the “As Is” addendum. I’m often asked by buyers what this actually represents.

The truth is, an “As Is” addendum means virtually nothing. It’s basically a warning from sellers that they aren’t going to be receptive to repairs or credits during escrow. Or, as an attorney during my company’s recent risk management seminar put it: An As Is addendum is when “sellers are putting the flag up and keeping their fingers crossed” that the buyer won’t try to negotiate anything. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Zephyr Real Estate

415.823.4656

ebermingham@zephyrsf.com

BRE# 01352627

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