Category Archives: Homeowner Tips

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

Prop 19 Offers New Opportunities for Tax Base Transfer

Homeowners age 55 and over have a lot more options when it comes to transferring the tax base of their principal residence to a new home.

Prop 19 prevailed in our recent election, and will let these homeowners move anywhere within California and still retain their original tax base. This benefit was previously limited to a few California “reciprocal” counties, as well as the county in which you were selling. 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

Board of Supervisors Votes To Extend Seismic Retrofit Deadline

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved Supervisor Rafael Mandelman’s legislation to extend the deadline for Tier IV buildings to September 15, 2021, as reported by The San Francisco Chronicle.

The city enacted its soft-story retrofit program back in 2013, which required that buildings with five or more units over a garage or commercial space retrofit their structures. Flash forward seven years and most of the 115,000 affected building owners have completed the work. The Tier IV group is the last one that remains—425 buildings which have ground floor commercial space. Of those, 41% still need to complete the work.

Good news for Tier IV building owners, as corona has particularly challenged retail and commercial space. Giving these building owners an extra year to sort things out was the right thing to do.

How To Get Top Dollar For Your Home

There’s one way to increase your chances of maxing out the sale price of your home: Look as good as your comps.

The San Francisco market—particularly for single-family homes—has held up during corona. Many home sellers have walked away with solid net proceeds, often amidst multiple offers.

But that doesn’t just automatically happen. The tricky part is that buyers have one eye on their dream home, and the other on the economy. So sellers have to do their part by making their home as appealing as possible. Continue Reading

5 Tips for Protecting Your Property from Earthquake Damage

5 Tips for Protecting Your Property from Earthquake Damage

We live with the threat of “the big one” on the horizon, so it’s always a good time to revisit how prepared you are for an earthquake. Though a huge shaker will cause inevitable damage, there are a few fundamental things—some more expensive than others—you can do as a homeowner to minimize damage that can happen in a large earthquake. Continue Reading

Moving Out of SF? Decide Where (and How) You’re Going

Everyone’s making big decisions these days when it comes to their lifestyles and where they want to live. If you’re a San Francisco homeowner who’s considering selling, you first need to strategize about where you’re going—and how you’ll make that happen.

Major transitions like moves need a plan. So here are my tips that will help you get your plan in order:
1. Decide where you’ll be going. The most common motivations for moving out of the city are connected to jobs, relationships, kids’ schools, family proximity, or lifestyle improvements (finances and/or surroundings). Whatever your reason, you need to be solid on where you want to go, which means doing your research if you aren’t familiar with certain locations you’re considering. This involves visiting potential areas (via Google Maps/Earth if you don’t want to fly around right now), and checking out home prices and the local market. Get a sense for values and how long it will take to purchase your next home. 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

My Top Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Home

You’ve been sheltering in place in San Francisco since mid March, and realizing that there are random things you really should address before they all add up and totally disgust you. There are a handful of things you can do to better clean and maintain your house, and that will make you happier at a time when we can all use a dose of positivity.

I was inspired to write this post while I washed my bedroom windows last week. The rooms were brighter afterward, and my reaction was similar to those of the homeowners for whom I’ve managed pre-sale prep work. (“We should have done this ourselves a long time ago! It looks so much better in here!”)

Here are my household tips for cleaning and maintenance. Doing any one of these things will make you feel more productive and satisfied living in your home:

Clean
1. Wash the windows. This includes interior and exterior panes, removing and wiping down screens, and washing the frame and sill around the windows. If you’re in a position to do this yourself, you can find a window cleaning kit at Lowe’s. Or you can contact my favorite cleaning company, Xavier, and schedule a time for Jezer to stop by to provide an estimate. And if you really want to go the extra mile, have those torn screen replaced within their frames at your local hardware store (or patch them yourself.) Continue Reading

Virtual Staging No Substitute for The Real Thing

Virtual staging grew in popularity after the San Francisco shelter in place (SIP) began in mid March. Buyers couldn’t physically get into properties for about two or three weeks, and listing agents had to quickly adapt to include virtual marketing pieces like 3D tours and photo galleries showing furniture in rooms that were technically empty. Stagers weren’t able to do their jobs, so staging wasn’t an option.

But now that we can physically show property and stagers are working again, it’s become obvious to me that virtual staging can only take sellers’ marketing so far. Sure, virtual staging is a lot less expensive for sellers than the real thing. Agents generally pay for the virtual staging on a per photo basis, so sellers avoid paying thousands of dollars for actual staging. 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

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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