Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

Let The Stars Guide Your House Hunt

Things are looking up these days, and many home buyers who postponed purchase plans in the wake of Covid are back on track.

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. 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 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. Giants/Warriors games and Chase Center concerts will be back in the north-so-distant future, and there are lots of restaurants in the area. Continue Reading

My Top Tips for a Successful Home Search

You’ve decided that it’s time to make a move and buy a home in San Francisco. Where do you begin with it all? I’ve been selling real estate in the city since 2002, and have represented many successful buyers. Here’s the advice I gave them when we first met:

Be completely preapproved for a loan. You’ll often be in a competitive offer situation, with buyers waiving contingencies to stand out. Make sure you’ve submitted all required documents to your lender, and consult with him or her to see what latitude you may have when it comes to, for example, waiving a loan or appraisal contingency. Continue Reading

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

Give Yourself a Competitive Advantage with Up Front Loan Preapproval

One thing is for certain if you expect to write a competitive offer in the San Francisco market: Get fully preapproved for a loan before you start seeing properties.

Prospective buyers would traditionally chat with a lender rep, get an idea as to what they could afford based on basic financial details and then submit all the financials after getting into contract.

However, that won’t fly in San Francisco—or most of The Bay Area—these days. Limited inventory and high-buyer demand translate into routinely competitive, multiple-offer situations that require short (or no) loan contingency timeframes. Winning offers rarely happen for buyers who need a loan contingency timeframe that accommodates underwriting review of their financials after they go into contract. Continue Reading

Don’t Depend on List Price To Guide Your Home Search

The secret to a successful home search is simple: Know what you can afford.

Here’s an example of what can happen if you ignore that reality: You get preapproved for up to $1.5M and are interested in buying a single-family home in the city. Armed with your list of ten houses priced at around $1.5M, you unexpectedly see a home you love and offers are due in two days. That leads to a scramble for an agent who can help you throw together your first offer. The agent tells you the property will probably sell for well over list price, but you submit your offer at asking anyway. I mean, why not give it a shot, right? Later that night, the agent calls to let you know that the sellers received five offers and accepted the highest and best. Continue Reading

Be A Strategic Buyer in a Tight Inventory Market

It’s easy to put your home search on auto pilot, looking constantly at online search sites for the latest new listing. But if you’re seeking a single-family home in San Francisco, it will become quickly obvious that there’s a low inventory of houses—and you have to do more than just wait for new listings.

Home buyer tip: Don’t bypass existing listings that may be spending more time on the market than their owners would like. These homes could be opportunities for buyers to avoid overbidding and competitive offer situations. If a house has been on the market for 30 days or more, it means that seller will likely not be seeing crazy overbidding and multiple offers. And there may also be room to negotiate a lower price. Continue Reading

Time To Get Your Real Estate Goals Going in 2021

Happy New Year! I am thrilled to be welcoming 2021 after such a challenging 2020.

With a new year comes new goals. I’ve spent the last week planning my business and life goals, and have consulted with about a dozen clients and friends who are planning renovations or estate changes and have a lot of questions about where to start. You may also be cooking up some moves and wondering where to begin. Continue Reading

SF Board of Supervisors Bans Natural Gas in Future New Construction

The future isn’t bright for natural gas in future San Francisco new construction. If you’re dead set on having a gas range in your condo, now is the time to snap up a unit in a building powered by natural gas.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to ban natural gas in new construction buildings, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation that will affect more than 50,000 homes currently in the development pipeline, reports J.K. Dineen in the San Francisco Chronicle. 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

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

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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