Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

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

Kickstart Your Next Phase of Corona Living in a Floating Home

Kickstart Your Next Phase of Corona Living in a Floating Home

One of only 20 live-aboard floating homes in Mission Creek is available now, and it could be an excellent option to get out of the corona rut.

If you’re tired of being a landlubber working from your flat and you have the cash, 300 Channel Berth 14 may be the ticket to coping with corona times. The boat has three bedrooms and three bathrooms across three levels for a total of 1,780 square feet. The entry level has a loft setup and contiguous outdoor space. There’s an ensuite bedroom on the middle level, and the “penthouse” level features another ensuite bedroom, living spaces and deck. Continue Reading

Why There Aren’t More Condo “Deals” In San Francisco

Many prospective home buyers and real estate market watchers have been waiting for San Francisco prices to plunge ever since our shelter-in-place went into effect on March 17th. After all, people are reportedly leaving the city in droves, and there’s such a lack of interest in urban dwellings that homeowners will take any price just to get out from under a property that’s steadily falling in value—right?

Wrong. Volume may be down in 2020, but prices certainly aren’t plunging. The single-family home remains the holy grail, very much in demand. And condos are holding steady, especially units in smaller buildings with outdoor space. Continue Reading

What The Heck is HO-6 Condo Insurance?

You might have HOA insurance coverage when buying a condo, but you have to purchase your own “walls-in” coverage during escrow.

Lenders require what’s known as HO-6 insurance. Otherwise known as hazard or individual unit coverage, HO-6 insurance provides personal property and liability coverage for whatever happens within your unit’s walls. Continue Reading

Lenders Ratchet Up Requirements During Corona

Lenders are tightening their loan requirements in light of the corona chaos. Prospective home buyers are flocking to lenders in pursuit of those low interest rates, but lenders are not making it easy to qualify for loans, especially in higher-cost regions like The Bay Area.

It’s not difficult to understand lenders’ concerns amidst job losses and general economic instability. However, if you were preapproved for a loan in pre-corona times, it’s likely your lender has slapped some new requirements on that approval. Continue Reading

5 Tips for A Smooth Home Sale

Corona has slowed the real estate market down, but things can still move quickly when it comes to making an offer on a home. That’s why it’s critical that you and your agent review all the property details before you sign that contract.

The key to making a confident and successful home purchase lies in being prepared and knowledgeable. Here are five tips for being successful in the residential real estate game: Continue Reading

Corona Protocols Critical to SF Real Estate

We seem to be in another corona surge period, with San Francisco treading water when it comes to hospitalizations and rising infection rates. That’s why it’s extremely important for agents and clients to continue following correct property showing protocols when it comes to real estate business.

Listing agents, please make sure you have hand sanitizer and shoe covers in the property if you are allowing showings. It is not particularly encouraging when I bring clients to a property via lockbox, and find a sign requesting that we take our shoes off when there are no shoe covers in sight. And no hand sanitizer. Sticking a lockbox on the house and assuring me that I am scheduled for the showing isn’t convincing me that you’re handling things the proper way. Yes, I bring hand sanitizer with me, but please do your part to assure everyone’s safety.

And please resist the urge to put an A frame outside the property during an appointment timeframe. My clients and I arrive at a home and the anxiety level goes up if we think there’s a possibility random people off the street may be inside. If you have to market yourself, the house sign will be sufficient. Continue Reading

CrimeMapping A Cool Tool for SF Home Buyers

I always advise home buyers to do their due diligence if they’re concerned about crime activity around a property or in a particular neighborhood. Car theft/break-ins, muggings, assaults and burglaries are unfortunately incidents that happen in all areas. But some areas do have higher crime rates than others, and you should be aware of the nature and frequencies of crimes in the area you choose to call home in the future. Continue Reading

What Closing Costs Do Buyers Pay?

Closing costs include the various loan, title and insurance fees that a buyer pays in a transaction.

There is no fixed amount for closing costs, but they generally total one- to two percent of the purchase price. For example, I recently spoke with Karen McDowell at Citibank for her take on things. For a purchase of $1M – $1.5M, Karen typically tells clients to budget $10,000 for closing cost totals, excluding points. And as the purchase price goes up, she increases that total to $15,000. Costs will increase once you hit the $3M threshold; it’s best to pull your escrow officer in to estimate those costs.

Here’s a rundown on the major types of closing costs you’ll see when you buy your home: Continue Reading

Check Out District 4 Before You Flee SF for the Suburbs

Sheltering in place in a small flat with no outdoor space in a dense urban area has not been the ideal scenario this year. But before you decide to leave San Francisco behind because you can’t find the space you need, consider neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks.

Miraloma Park, Sherwood Forest, Ingleside Terrace, Forest Hill, Westwood Park, Diamond Heights—these are just a few of the neighborhoods in what we Realtors call “district 4” in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). These areas offer predominantly single-family home inventory and a more suburban feel, with yards, plenty of trees, and wide sidewalks. You’re also geographically central, with Stonestown Galleria, Ocean Avenue and West Portal retail nearby.

Here are a few of my favorite single-family homes in District 4 that are currently on the market. Give me a shout at eileen@insidesfre.com | 415.823.4656 if you’d like to chat about any of these homes:

451 Yerba Buena
Westwood Highlands

3BR/3BA, 3194 sq ft, 2 pkg
$2,375,000

451 Yerba Buena Avenue is a lovely English Tudor-style home with an awesome park-like yard, three bedrooms/two baths on the same level, gourmet kitchen and family room/bath down. Westwood Highlands has well-manicured, wide streets that aren’t packed with people, so you can go out for walks and not necessarily have to wear your masks constantly. [Listing courtesy of Berkshire-Hathaway Franciscan] Continue Reading

Don’t Get Sucked In By Super-Underpriced Properties

Don’t Get Sucked In By Super-Underpriced Properties

Heads up, home buyers: Super-underpriced homes are popping up in the market again. It’s a good time for a refresher on how this particular list price strategy works, so you don’t waste time on homes you can’t afford.

The coronavirus and ensuing shelter in place (SIP) temporarily influenced list prices in San Francisco, with many sellers and their agents going with transparent, closer-to-value asking prices. The idea was to limit property access to qualified buyers who could purchase the home at market value. Continue Reading

What You Need To Know About Leased Parking

You start your home search with a parking space as part of your criteria. And then you see the perfect condo, but it has what’s defined as “leased parking.” What’s that all about?

The SF Realtor Association changed the data fields in the MLS a few years ago to include leased parking and its related details in a given listing. Previously, you either had some type of deeded parking, or not. Some agents indicated “1L” in the data field, which resulted in listings showing a parking space that technically wasn’t going to be sold with the unit. So the leased parking fields are a good thing, in my opinion.

When it comes to parking, either you have a space included or not. There are variations on parking that comes with a unit, such as deeded, assigned, tandem or independent style. Continue Reading

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

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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