Category Archives: Homeowner Tips

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

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

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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