Category Archives: Homeowner Tips

Today’s Buyers Love “Done” Homes

The real estate market is booming, and many potential home sellers are wondering if it might make sense to do some remodeling for sale purposes. The answer? Yes. A little sprucing up can go a long way with today’s buyers—and maximize your selling price. Continue Reading

Open Houses Return in San Francisco (!)

I’m happy to report that San Francisco Realtors can once again host public open houses.

Our local Realtor Association announced late last week that we can resume holding opens for the first time since March 2020. We’re required to follow Covid safety protocol that requires all entrants to review and sign an Open House and Showing Guidelines disclosure, which also requires providing basic contact information. Additionally, everyone must still wear masks, use hand sanitizer, practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces in a property. Continue Reading

Feng Shui for San Francisco Real Estate

Feng Shui for San Francisco Real Estate

Feng shui is a guiding principle for many San Francisco home buyers. The Chinese words “feng” and “shui” translate to mean “wind” and “water,” respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it.

If you’re buying or selling a home, it’s a good idea to be aware of what elements constitute unfavorable feng shui. There are some things you can’t change that add up to bad feng shui, such as location. But there are other things that you can alter when it comes to interior design and staging. Continue Reading

20 Ways To Cut Your Water Use By 20%

We are in a serious drought situation in California. San Francisco is a dense city, and we all have to take responsibility for making sure we don’t use more than our fair share of water.

A good rule of thumb is to reduce your water consumption by twenty percent. I thought I’d share 20 of my favorite ways to save water; when enough individuals follow these sort of tips, it adds up to a lot of water saved: Continue Reading

The 5 Biggest Home Seller Mistakes You Can Make

Spring is here, and that means that new listings are hitting the market daily. It’s a good time to give a shout out to all those prospective San Francisco home sellers out there who are thinking of putting their homes on the market.

I’ve been doing my job long enough to recognize good and bad seller strategies. So I thought I’d round up the bad ones to potentially make things smoother for some sellers this year.

Here are my top five home seller mistakes. Avoid them if you can:

1. Skimping on staging. Buyers will pay top dollar if they emotionally connect with your home, and that means making the property look as appealing as possible. You’ll also want your home to stack up visually against the comps. Staging will be worth the money. Continue Reading

5 Reasons Why Your Condo May Not Be Selling—And What You Can Do About It

There are currently more than 620 condos for sale in San Francisco. And more than half of them have been on the market for 21 days or more—that’s a lot of sellers who are probably wondering why their properties aren’t selling if the San Francisco condo market has made a comeback over the past two months.

There are a lot of reasons some condos take longer to sell. But here are a few of the most frequent sale barriers, along with some ideas for overcoming them: Continue Reading

Short-Term, Furnished Rentals Good Seller Pit Stops

I’ve met recently with a number of homeowners who are considering selling their properties, but don’t know where they’ll be able to buy next. Though they know they’ll do extremely well in the current market with the sale of their property, they’re nervous about competing with buyers to purchase their next place.

Here’s a suggestion that will work for these potential sellers: Rent a short-term, furnished rental. There are actually quite a number of these available at any given time, in all parts of The Bay Area. (Short-term, unfurnished rentals are more of a challenge to find, given that many landlords prefer longer-term apartment leases.) Continue Reading

Condos Heading for Property Tax Break?

The San Francisco Assessor’s office may be on track to consider reassessing condos that may have lost value since the pandemic hit, reports the San Francisco Business Times.

The city is currently surveying large commercial property owners this month about how their rents and expenses have changed in the past year. The assumption, according to the Business Times, is that office buildings saw a reduction in revenue in 2020.However, this data review effort may also extend to condos if it becomes clear that such properties have lost value. Continue Reading

Seismic Upgrades Worth the Money in San Francisco

Of all the ways to improve your home, a seismic upgrade doesn’t always immediately come to mind. But if you live in San Francisco, doing a seismic upgrade can mean the difference between having a house to come back to after an earthquake and having to relocate until you can rebuild your home.

You can do most voluntarily seismic upgrades fairly easily, and there’s no need to move out while the work is being done. You start by consulting a structural engineer, who will do a site visit and identify the best ways to integrate new seismic components. These ways typically include installing shear wall (a panel that resists lateral earthquake movement), putting garage posts on better concrete footing, bolting the foundation, adding posts and improving post-to-beam connections. Continue Reading

When’s The Best Time To Sell in San Francisco?

I’m asked routinely by homeowners when the best time is to sell. And it seems like all bets are off these days amidst the pandemic.

The busiest times in San Francisco real estate—when many homeowners tend to list their properties—are traditionally the Spring and Fall. The weather is good, there are plenty of buyers out there and there are no major holidays to distract everyone. Continue Reading

5 Ways To Prepare for Selling Your Home in 2021

You’ve decided that 2021 is the year you’ll be selling your house in San Francisco. Timing is everything when it comes to a home sale, and it’s never too early to start planning. Here are five ways you can kick things off:

1. Decide what stays and what goes. You probably won’t want to take everything with you, so it’s a good time to start labeling what stays and what items will go where. Take advantage of services like Remoov. You also may benefit from working with a professional organizer/mover—my colleague, Gwen McClure is an excellent choice.

2. Consult with your CPA and financial advisor. It’s a good idea to know what taxes you can expect to pay, as well as get professional advice on how to handle sale profits. Continue Reading

Prop. 19 Changes Inheritance Tax Rules

Prop. 19–which won voter approval in the November election–changes the game for children inheriting property from their parents. Effective this February 16th, Prop. 19 will disqualify transfers of business property, rental buildings and other property that’s not the “family home” from reassessment protection.

Additionally, for transfers of their principal residence from parents to their children, the property tax base will be reassessed unless the children meet residency requirements and the market value isn’t more than $1 million higher than the tax base value just before the transfer. Continue Reading

Retiring in 2021? Budget For Home Maintenance

2021 is as good a year as ever to make the leap into retirement. If you own your home in San Francisco and plan to stay there for the long term, it’s critical that you budget for maintenance and repairs.

We have many older buildings in the city that require maintenance, seismic upgrades or major repairs. And let’s face it, contractors are not inexpensive. One way to get a grip on potential future repairs is by having general home and structural pest inspections. You can then set up a schedule and ballpark costs for larger-ticket items so you can make sure you’ll be able to properly maintain your home over whatever time horizon will apply to you.

Building components that need attention on a consistent basis are:
Roof. It’s fine until you notice the water or stains on the ceiling. If it’s been more than, say, 15 years since you’ve done any maintenance or repairs, you may want to have a roofing company do a check. Periodic maintenance extends the life of the roof and can postpone a replacement. 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

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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