Category Archives: What You Can Buy

What You Can Buy in March: 30 Days & Counting

We’re on the precipice of Spring, and now is a great time to do a double take on the single-family home inventory that’s been on the market for a month or more. The San Francisco house market is eternally competitive, so shifting your gaze to some of the market sitters may yield a surprisingly good result for some buyers. Sellers will be very interested in making a deal before the Spring inventory hits.

Here are four homes that have been on the market for 30 days or more—and may be worth a look.
312 Athens
Excelsior

Days on Market (DOM): 68
3BR/2BA, 1 parking
List price: $1,488,000

312 Athens is a charming home set back on its lot. There’s a front patio, and just inside lies a floor plan with a modern kitchen open to the dining area. There are three bedrooms in the main house, and a bonus studio with its own separate entrance—perfect for guests or a home office. Fairly large yard, as well. The garage is small, so plan accordingly. Good neighborhood location near McLaren Park and not far from Mission Street retail and transit. [Photo courtesy of Compass] Continue Reading

SF Real Estate Smackdowns: Holiday Edition

It’s been years since I ran a San Francisco real estate smackdown. I thought it would be a good time to take a look at a range of homes competing for buyers’ attention as 2020 (thankfully) winds down.

A smackdown is when we take a look at two different properties at the same price point, in two very different neighborhoods—and you get to choose which one you’d buy. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re a qualified buyer who’d like to see your pick in person.

Smackdown #1:
3BR+ House or Condo | $2M Range
Contestant #1

178 Denslowe | Lakeside
4BR/3BA, 1925 sq ft
$1,849,000

The Art Deco-style home at 178 Denslowe is very charming, and has been totally remodeled. The bedroom locations are a little staggered, with two bedrooms on one level, and two additional bedrooms on their own levels. There’s walk-out garden access and lovely finishes throughout. Noise-sensitive buyers take note, the property backs up to busy 19th Avenue. However, if you’re looking for a home close to San Francisco State, the university is across the street. And you’re a short distance from Stonestown Galleria. (Photo courtesy of Compass)

Contestant #2
1436 Vallejo | Russian Hill
3BR/3BA, 1 tandem pkg
$1,995,000

1436 Vallejo is a two-level condo in a three-unit building on a central block in Russian Hill. The unit has a small outdoor space, an ensuite bedroom downstairs and an open living/dining/kitchen area. There are also fun perks like a built-in sound system, a smart refrigerator, and steam shower. HOA dues are $322/month. (Photo courtesy of Compass) Continue Reading

Preview: SF Homes Coming Soon

Inventory is slimmer this Spring, but there are plenty of homes coming soon with owners who may be open to selling before officially going on the market.

I’ve rounded up a few of my picks below. Give me a shout at eileen@insidesfre.com | 415.823.4656 if you’d like more details or would be interested in seeing any of these homes in person:

439 16th Avenue
Central Richmond

3BR/3BA, 1 pkg
$1,900,000

439 16th Avenue is a gracious home with lovely period detailing like box beam ceilings. The upper level has three bedrooms and full bath, and the spacious master has two large closets. There’s a one-car garage, storage, and unwarranted one-bedroom inlaw. Large, flat, fenced yard. (Listing courtesy of Compass) 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

What You Can Buy: Single-Family Homes Coming Soon

There are plenty of properties in the queue that will be ready to go when the shelter in place (SIP) ends. Of course, many of these properties have sellers who would be happy to entertain offers sooner rather than later. Offer dates, for the most part, are not the norm right now. And sellers are also more likely to use transparent pricing—a list price that isn’t begging for an overbid.

Homes listed for under $2,000,000 in San Francisco are the sweet spot at the moment. In that spirit, I have rounded up my picks in the “Coming Soon” category. (This is an actual Multiple Listing Service category now, visible only to MLS agent members.) Please feel free to get in touch with me at eileen@insidesfre.com | 415.823.4656 if you’d like more info about any of these off-market homes.

54 Sussex
Glen Park

3BR/1.5BA, 1242 sq ft, 2 parking
List price: $1,675,000

This sweet mid-century home at 54 Sussex has all three bedrooms on the same level, two-car parking and a bucolic location that’s a few minutes’ stroll from Glen Park’s downtown area and the all-important BART station. Pricing is transparent on this one, so writing an offer at $1,675,000 with reasonable terms could easily do the trick. [Listing courtesy of Corcoran Global Living] Continue Reading

Condos You Can Buy Near a Retail Corridor

One of the reasons people want to live in San Francisco is to be near its collection of popular, interesting retail districts that offer a diverse array of restaurants, shops, and services. Here are a few currently listed condos that are near some of our best retail corridors in popular, walkable neighborhoods.

Here’s the lineup:
168 Eureka
Eureka Valley/Castro

3BR/3BA condo, 2 pkg
$2,250,000

One block from the 18th Street corridor and only a few blocks away from Castro Street, 168 Eureka is a sexy, spacious condo with in-unit laundry, a big master suite at the rear and direct access to the nicely landscaped garden. Did I mention two-car parking, and a 2019 Range Rover included as a gift from the seller? [Listing courtesy of Vanguard Properties.] Continue Reading

What You Can Buy in January: 30 Days & Counting

I thought I’d bring you in on one of my strategies for finding homes for my buyer clients: Look for homes that have been sitting on the market. In keeping with my most recent post about long days on market properties, this is a fun way to find homes without as much competition and overbidding.

Here are four properties that have been on the market for 30 days or more—and are worth a look:
1283 Portola
St. Francis Wood

Days on Market (DOM): 55
4BR/3.5BAs, 2498 sq ft, 2 parking
List price: $2,878,000

Here’s your chance to get into tony St. Francis Wood. This large, nicely updated home has the coveted three bedrooms on the upper level, an open kitchen/dining/family room area, and a convenient location walkable to West Portal retail. The hitch is that you’re on Portola, which is a multi-lane roadway, and you’ll hear traffic. But if you can work with that drawback, 1283 Portola may be the one for you. [Listing courtesy of BarbCo] Continue Reading

Be Prepared To Pay a Premium for Property With Private Pool

Buyers dreaming of having their own private pool in San Francisco can expect to pay top dollar.

Though we get a fair amount of fog, our climate has warmed significantly over the past several years. That means we’re getting more warm days that may end up being perfect for a swim. If you’re into pools, buying a house with one makes a lot more sense these days.

There are a number of large condo buildings that have common area pools. Most of them are in Diamond Heights, in the Van Ness/downtown area, Mission Bay and South Beach.

Pools in single-family homes, however, are rare. For example, of the 4,400 houses that have sold since January 2018, only eight had pools. And those homes sold in the range of $2,200,000-$9,150,000. Continue Reading

What You Could’ve Bought: Houses For Under The List Price

The Spring and early summer markets were business as usual in San Francisco, with most properties selling for top dollar and well over their list prices. However, I found some recent single-family home sales that didn’t turn out that way.

It’s worth noting that most under-asking sales don’t happen out of the gate. Weeks typically go by before sellers are willing to negotiate. And a bulk of single-family home sales that sell for less than asking have recently been in the $4M+ range.

Here’s a look at what you could’ve bought recently for under list price:


2531 McAllister
Lone Mountain
List Price: $1,795,000
Sale Price: $1,500,000
Days on Market (DOM): 46

2531 McAllister was a large, four-bedroom house with bonus rooms in a central Lone Mountain location near USF, Golden Gate Park and Clement Street restaurants and shops. But it could’ve used a facelift, so starting at $1.8M didn’t go over well with buyers. Continue Reading

What You Can Buy: Small San Francisco Houses

Buying a small house in the city may be the route to go if your budget maxes out well below our single-family citywide average of $1.9M. Yes, I know you can find a mansion in the midwest for that price, but the reality is that there are a whole lot of folks who want to live in San Francisco. And this competition pushes many people to revisit how much space they really need within a budget they can afford.

I’ve rounded up a few new single-family home listings that I think will make excellent starter homes. They’re each in good locations within their respective neighborhoods, and offer very livable spaces:

530 Grafton
Ingleside
1BR/1BA, 664 sq ft
$725,000

Located three blocks from Ocean Avenue’s retail and Muni line, 530 Grafton is a classic condo alternative. The interior is laid out very efficiently, and there’s some space for an office area. I love the Spanish Mediterranean architectural style, and there are 1930s period details throughout. The house is built to the lot line, so the outdoor space is actually an enclosed area at the front of the house. One-car parking is also included. Continue Reading

Flip Market Falters in 2019

Small-scale contractor-developers seem to be having a little trouble this year when it comes to flipping their renovated properties. At least half a dozen such homes have been sitting on the market, failing to garner multiple offers and sky-high prices.

It might be time to consider these homes if you’re looking for a newly renovated home. Spring promises to bring fresh inventory—as it always does—and flip sellers may be a bit anxious about falling through the cracks. Here are a few to check out:

2631 Ulloa
Parkside

Days on Market (DOM): 46
4BR/4BA, 2087 sq ft, 1 parking
List price: $1,488,800

2631 Ulloa is a spacious, 1920’s-era home. The story here is that the sellers—an LLC—purchased the property in January 2018 for $1,050,000, with subsequent renovated encompassing a new kitchen and baths, bedroom addition and more. They hit the market in February for $1,688,800 but have found no takers. The home has nice curb appeal, but the drawbacks are that there’s not really a yard, and the living/dining/kitchen areas are tight. But you’re one block south of Taraval and the L Muni rail line, as well as one block north of Stern Grove. (Ignore the pictures of the Giants’ ballpark and Kearny Street, I think those were accidentally included in the mix. 2631 Ulloa is nowhere near those places.) [Listing courtesy of Real Estate Investment Experts, Inc.] Continue Reading

What You Can Buy That Has a Pool

San Francisco weather doesn’t easily lend itself to taking a dip in the pool. I mean, this isn’t L.A., and the fog tends to keep us pretty cool. However, properties periodically come on the market with pools.

And I don’t mean just the condos in South Beach in large complexes like The Brannan and The Towers. I mean the pools that pop up in smaller, unique properties. I found some condos and houses that fall into this category. So let’s dive in:

1478 12th Avenue
Inner Sunset

4BR/3BA condo
$2,228,000

Of all the neighborhoods in San Francisco, the Inner Sunset is probably the last one I’d think of for an outdoor pool. Nonetheless, 1478 12th Avenue has a deeded yard with a heated lap pool. This unit and the other one in the building at 1480 12th Avenue ($1,628,000) hit the market at the start of 2018 with slightly higher prices, so the lap pool hasn’t convinced anyone to pay what the seller wants just yet. But the location is pretty convenient and you just might want to jump in after you go for your run in nearby Golden Gate Park. Listing courtesy of West & Praszker] Continue Reading

What You Could’ve Bought: For Under List Price

Properties in San Francisco generally sell for more than their asking prices. But there were some recent sales that bucked this trend—particularly ones involving homes in the $2M+ range.

Keep your eye on the market as we move toward the Fall. We’ll be getting an inventory boost right after Labor Day, and those “leftover” summer homes may turn out to be great buys.

In the meantime, here are a few homes that recently sold for under their list price:

1325 Lake Street
Lake Street

List Price: $3,000,000
Sale Price: $2,275,000
First Listed: Sept 2017

A large, traditional home in need of a facelift, 1325 Lake was first listed last Fall for $3M, and the price gradually went down from there. The house has a great location near Mountain Lake Park and Laurel Village. This is a good example of a property with good bones that current or future owners can take to the next level, it just took a bit of time to find the right buyer—at a price that will allow for solid renovations. [Listing courtesy of Compass] Continue Reading

Think Outside the Neighborhood Box for Under $1.5M

We’re still in a super sellers’ market in San Francisco when it comes to single-family houses. And the average citywide house price, year-to-date, is just above $2M. So it takes some serious strategizing, compromising and an open mind when it comes to finding a house for under $1.5M.

What’s the key? Go beyond buyer-saturated neighborhoods like Bernal Heights, Glen Park or West Portal and hit up the less obvious areas. But make no mistake: Homes in these neighborhoods are fetching multiple offers and over-asking prices. 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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