Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

Long “DOM” May Be a Good Buyer Deal

Long “DOM” May Be a Good Buyer Deal

One of the most important factors in real estate is how long a property has been sitting on the market. The “days on market” (DOM) number is critical in a city like San Francisco, where properties typically go into contract with multiple offers within a week or two of coming on the market. The single-family home segment is a particularly hard nut to crack, as a majority of buyers would prefer houses to condos.

So when a single-family home has been out there for 30 days or more, it’s a sign of one of two things: The sellers are sticking to their price and won’t sell unless they get that, or there might be room to negotiate a lower price. Indeed, sales data from the last quarter of 2019 indicates that there are more sellers out there in the first camp. Continue Reading

5 Ways To Get Started Buying Your New Home in 2020

It’s early in the year, but you’ve already decided that you want to buy your first home or upgrade to a new one in 2020. January is the best time to kick things off—well before you suddenly find your dream home and discover that you’re wildly unprepared to make it happen.

Inventory is still low in January and February, and it’s a great time to get your ducks in order. Here are five ways you can pave the way to a successful purchase:

1. Get a grip on your financials. This is an excellent time of year to take stock of current incomes, projected bonuses, all assets, and how much cash you’ll have for a down payment. Continue Reading

I’m A Realtor Seeking New Clients for 2020

Though I spend a lot of time sharing San Francisco market insights on this blog, I am a full-time real estate agent. That may not be obvious sometimes, but what it means is that I earn a living helping people buy and sell residential real estate.

I know many of you are considering making a move in 2020, or you may know friends, family or neighbors who are. That’s where I’d like to come in. If you’ve been reading my blog on a regular basis, you know that I’m a straightforward, knowledgeable professional who’s been a Realtor since 2002. I’ve navigated clients through slow markets, crazy markets and everything in between. I have a strong work ethic, am obsessed with providing excellent service and am always available to talk, email or text when my clients have questions or concerns.

This year is winding down, and I am looking to kick off 2020 by making myself useful to buyers and sellers. Most importantly, I typically consult with people well before they’re actually ready to take action. So don’t hesitate to get in touch. Early in the new year is a great time to strategize about a move.

You can view my most recent sales here, and my Yelp reviews here.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Welcome To The 2019 Holiday Home Stretch

Serious buyers hit the streets right after Thanksgiving to scoop up what’s left of the year’s inventory. Yes, there are fewer homes from which to pick. But the competition thins out because a majority of the buyer pool gets distracted by holiday activities. (Why spend Sunday going to open houses when you can get your Christmas tree, attend a party or go shopping?)

There are 185 single-family homes, 388 condos and 59 TICs currently on the market as of this writing. Here’s a quick look at each category:
Single-Family Homes
Median list price: $1,850,000
Avge days on market: 65
My pick: 1086 Alabama is an updated three-bedroom home with a large kitchen that leads to a deck and yard. There’s also expansion potential on the garage level (if you don’t need two-car parking). Convenient Mission location near 24th Street and SF General. List price is $1,795,000. Continue Reading

Cash Sales in San Francisco Drop in 2019

San Francisco real estate sees its share of cash buyers, but they’re not popping up as frequently as they used to. For the past several years, cash buyers have represented a quarter of all single-family and condo sales.

However, the percentage has dropped to 16.5% for houses and 14.6% for condos in 2019.

Having the ability to pay all cash certainly gives you an advantage as a buyer. You’ll likely get a call back in a multiple-offer situation if your offer isn’t the highest. But being able to pay in all cash typically doesn’t exempt you from having to overbid like everyone else.

Here’s how things have shaken out in 2019: Continue Reading

Don’t Lose Your Home: Pay Your Property Taxes

The city catches up with homeowners who don’t pay their property taxes, and missing payments can cost you your property.

The bottom line is that the city considers homeowners to be responsible for paying their property taxes, whether a homeowner physically received the tax bill or not. Bought a new property and didn’t receive the tax bill? It’s best to look up your tax bill online and just pay it.

I thought I would also round up the basics for you future homeowners out there, because property taxes are something many don’t think a lot about during the purchasing process. Continue Reading

Fall Market Check: Start Considering Existing Inventory

We’re cascading through the heart of the Fall real estate market in San Francisco. And the mixed bag scenario continues to play out, with many properties going quickly into contract—and others sitting a bit longer before buyers come along.

Our current market indicates that more than half of all the single-family homes, condos, TICs and two- to four-unit residential buildings currently on the market have been sitting for 21 days or more. That timeframe is important, as it means the window of time for sellers to receive multiple offers and crazy overbids is likely closed. Continue Reading

Be Prepared To Pay a Premium for Property With Private Pool

Buyers dreaming of having their own private pool in San Francisco can expect to pay top dollar.

Though we get a fair amount of fog, our climate has warmed significantly over the past several years. That means we’re getting more warm days that may end up being perfect for a swim. If you’re into pools, buying a house with one makes a lot more sense these days.

There are a number of large condo buildings that have common area pools. Most of them are in Diamond Heights, in the Van Ness/downtown area, Mission Bay and South Beach.

Pools in single-family homes, however, are rare. For example, of the 4,400 houses that have sold since January 2018, only eight had pools. And those homes sold in the range of $2,200,000-$9,150,000. Continue Reading

Set Your Strategy Before You Start Your Search

Set Your Strategy Before You Start Your Search

I know it’s fun to skip around Redfin and other home search sites, hit open houses after brunch and request a disclosure package here and there when you get the urge to dip your toes into the San Francisco real estate pool. But if you’d rather cut to the chase and kick off a serious home search that will produce results, I have a few tips for you. Continue Reading

The 5 Best Neighborhoods for NY Transplants

I moved to San Francisco from New York twenty years ago, and frequently work with many New Yorkers who have relocated here. New York is definitely a world of its own, and I must admit that I was a bit worried when I moved to San Francisco; in my mind, I’d have to drive everywhere, and things wouldn’t be as central. After all, San Francisco’s layout is different in that downtown feels like Manhattan, but everywhere else seems like outer borough neighborhoods strung together—at least, at first. It takes some time to realize that many San Francisco areas are little New Yorks unto themselves. Continue Reading

Sellers Still On a Roll in Summer 2019

The San Francisco market showed no signs of slowing down this summer. Sellers were in the driver’s seat as buyers continued to grapple with competitive, multiple-offer situations on many properties. And the list low, sell-for-more pattern continues.

Prices held steady, with the average single-family home costing $1.9M, and condos at $1.4M (and $1,173/square foot). Continue Reading

The Pros & Cons of Preemptive Offers

Your agent has shown you a great two-bedroom condo in Pacific Heights before the first official open house. You love the property and are ready to make an offer, but the sellers and listing agent have already set an offer date. Should you seize the day and submit an offer?

Buyers make preemptive offers when they want to avoid competing with other buyers. And especially around the holidays, sellers may be open to accepting a quick offer if they are motivated to wrap up their sale by the end of the year. Indeed, sellers on two of my listings this year agreed to accept extremely strong preemptive offers (both for all cash and with no contingencies).

Though preemptives have their benefits, there are definitely a few buyer-side drawbacks. Before you rush out to write that offer, here are some points to consider: 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

Here’s Your Mid-2019 Bernal Heights Microhood Report

Here’s Your Mid-2019 Bernal Heights Microhood Report

The Bernal Heights microhoods are backing off the $2,000,000 median price this year. For the first time in a while, no microhood hit that single-family home median price.

Bernal overall is doing well this year. The median single-family home price in the January-June 2019 time period was $1,460,000—down 11% from the same time period in 2018.

Buyers have paid an average overbid of approximately 15 percent in the first half of this year. And of the 71 homes sold, 28 saw buyers pay 20% or more over the list price (with eleven paying in cash).

But it’s time for a microhood update. As my regular readers know, I created the Bernal Heights microhoods back in 2014 to help prospective buyers and sellers get a more refined sense for single-family home values in the neighborhood’s distinct geographical areas.

Here’s how our microhoods stacked up in the first two quarters of 2019 (click on each pic to enlarge, red dots represent homes sold):

1. Northwest Slope
Single-Family Home Median Price: $1,635,500
Most Expensive: 112 Elsie (4BR/2.5BA, 2240 sq ft | $3,000,000)
Least Expensive: 340 Winfield (2BR/1BA 750 sq ft | $1,040,250)
# Homes Sold: 10
# Overbids Above 20%: 5

The Northwest Slope made a strong showing, as usual. The high flyer in this batch was the small house with complicated expansion potential and a postage stamp kitchen at 156 Bonview. Listed for $999,000, the home sold for $1,550,000. Continue Reading

Where PG&E Gas Lines Are in San Francisco

Where PG&E Gas Lines Are in San Francisco

It’s been several years since there have been high-profile PG&E gas line fires in The Bay Area. The San Bruno disaster happened in 2010, and a street went on fire in Oakland due to a gas line eruption in December 2013. And a natural gas pipeline in Fresno exploded in 2015, injuring eleven people.

San Francisco has fortunately not been the site of a similar fire recently. However, the gas lines do run underground in the city, and it’s important to be aware of their locations as part of your due diligence when buying a home. You can easily consult the pipeline map on PG&E’s Web site. Just click on the map, and zoom in on San Francisco until you can see the actual street names and gas lines. You can also type in a property address to see which lines are potentially nearby. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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