Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

What You Can Buy: With Outdoor Space

The shelter in place has done its part to help many prospective buyers realize that they want outdoor space in their next home. The thought of having a garden or a big deck sounds extremely appealing right now.

I’ve rounded up some homes that have lovely exclusive-use outdoor space. Give me a shout at eileen@insidesfre.com | 415.823.4656 if you’d like to see any of these in person:

375 Moncada
Ingleside Terrace

5BR/3BA, 2 pkg
$2,495,000


375 Moncada is a big Mediterranean-style house with a landscaped front yard and sprawling rear garden. The kitchens and baths could use updating, but the home is certainly in move-in condition. And when Stonestown Galleria opens again, you’ll be in walking distance. (Photos courtesy of Keller Williams Realty) Continue Reading

5 Tips for Screening Location Before You Request a Showing

5 Tips for Screening Location Before You Request a Showing

The shelter in place (SIP) has changed the way buyers can see homes. There aren’t any open houses, and some properties can’t be physically shown at all.

If your agent does schedule an appointment, there are a number of pre-showing requirements that you need to meet, such as signing a coronavirus property entry advisory and often submitting a preapproval letter at the list price. Once at the property, entrants must wear masks and gloves, and no more than two buyers are typically allowed in the property simultaneously. Continue Reading

Home Prices Stable, Volume Down During SF SIP

The shelter in place (SIP) restrictions put San Francisco real estate on pause for a bit in mid March. But our local market is stable and sales are happening, despite the adversity. Prices are not declining, though volume is down by half. We now have six weeks’ worth of SIP market sales activity that will guide buyer and seller decisions in 2020.

The buyers and sellers doing business now are typically motivated by life situations—job relocation, financial situation, domestic changes, for example. Real estate is anything but recreational right now.

Properties in good locations are still seeing multiple offers and overbidding, though more for single-family homes than condos. Cash sales represent only a small portion of activity. Continue Reading

What You Can Buy: Single-Family Homes Coming Soon

There are plenty of properties in the queue that will be ready to go when the shelter in place (SIP) ends. Of course, many of these properties have sellers who would be happy to entertain offers sooner rather than later. Offer dates, for the most part, are not the norm right now. And sellers are also more likely to use transparent pricing—a list price that isn’t begging for an overbid.

Homes listed for under $2,000,000 in San Francisco are the sweet spot at the moment. In that spirit, I have rounded up my picks in the “Coming Soon” category. (This is an actual Multiple Listing Service category now, visible only to MLS agent members.) Please feel free to get in touch with me at eileen@insidesfre.com | 415.823.4656 if you’d like more info about any of these off-market homes.

54 Sussex
Glen Park

3BR/1.5BA, 1242 sq ft, 2 parking
List price: $1,675,000

This sweet mid-century home at 54 Sussex has all three bedrooms on the same level, two-car parking and a bucolic location that’s a few minutes’ stroll from Glen Park’s downtown area and the all-important BART station. Pricing is transparent on this one, so writing an offer at $1,675,000 with reasonable terms could easily do the trick. [Listing courtesy of Corcoran Global Living] Continue Reading

First Steps for Reopening SF Real Estate

It’s been almost a month since The Bay Area shelter in place (SIP) went into effect. The good news is that our collective efforts appear to be bending the curve in California, according to Governor Newsom’s address yesterday. And talk in San Francisco Realtor circles is turning to how we should initially begin reopening real estate after the government lifts the SIP. Continue Reading

My First Virtual Open House

My First Virtual Open House

I attended my first virtual open house this past weekend, and decided that it was an excellent addition to the marketing mix when it comes to “viewing” a home during the shelter in place (SIP). We’re very limited these days when it comes to physical property showings, so it’s key for listing agents to think outside the box.

My Corcoran Global Living colleagues, Amy Clemens and Alec Mironov, pulled together a helpful virtual open house this weekend. They launched their Glen Park single-family home listing last week at 31 Fairmount, and sent out an e-flyer promoting the listing and their Saturday virtual open from 10:00-12:00. I clicked on the scheduling link, requested my 20-minute time slot and received a Google Hangouts invitation. Continue Reading

What Buyers and Sellers Can Do During the SIP SF

We’re all easing into the new normal—limiting trips outdoors to essential activities like gathering groceries and exercising, videoconferencing with family, friends and co-workers, and catching up on sub-par Netflix shows.

Guidelines for citizen conduct haven’t changed since the our shelter in place (SIP) began one week ago on March 16th, nor have the recommendations for real estate agents set forth by our local San Francisco Realtor Association. I’ve spoken with a number of my colleagues, and we are all heading into Week Two wondering if there is anything we can do with respect to helping our clients and generally doing business.

Here’s an overview of market conditions, and what you can do as a buyer and seller in Week 2: Continue Reading

Let The Stars Guide Your House Hunt in 2020

It’s a new year, and you’ve made a home purchase your goal for 2020. You may know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’d prefer, but are you solid when it comes to neighborhood preferences? There’s a lot to consider—proximity to public transportation, good Walk Scores, easy freeway access, good parks.

But make sure you don’t overlook the astrological angle when putting together your list of preferred neighborhoods. Because what your zodiac sign says about you could have everything to do with whether you’ll be happy in your future home. And as my newly branded company, Corcoran Global Living, always says: “Live who you are.”

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 Giants or Warriors games and Chase Center concerts to eating at one of the many restaurants in the area. Continue Reading

Should You Buy Earthquake Insurance?

That’s one of the top questions home buyers ask me on a regular basis.

Only about 12-15% of California homeowners have earthquake insurance, and I believe that ratio drops further in The Bay Area and San Francisco. This is because earthquake insurance is very expensive. In a condo building, it will double your homeowners association dues (HOAs). Additionally, most policies come with a 10-15% deductible. This means the damage to the building would have to be pretty severe in order for you to use your coverage. Continue Reading

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

Why You Should Work With A Local Lender On Your SF Home Purchase

If your goal for 2020 is to purchase a home in San Francisco, make sure you seek the services of a local lender.

The San Francisco market and its housing stock are not cookie-cutter by any stretch. Out-of-area lenders and their underwriting teams—the folks who ultimately give the green light on financing—are sometimes not familiar with certain building attributes or what our competitive market requires in order to “win” a property. 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!

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

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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