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

Median Condo Price Down, Houses Up in December 2020

The latest numbers are in: Single-family homes were the overall winner during the holidays in San Francisco.

The median condo price was $1.1M last month, down from $1.2M in December 2019. There were 672 active listings last month compared to 1209 in November. This signals that properties either went into contract with an end-of-the-year urgency, or agents temporarily withdrew listings. Interestingly, the condo days on market (DOM) didn’t dramatically fluctuate; the DOM last month was 44, up from December 2019’s 39. 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

Happy Holidays, See You in 2021!

Happy Holidays, See You in 2021!

The year is winding down, and I am ready to leave 2020 behind like everyone else.

Thank you for making Inside San Francisco Real Estate one of your regularly reads. And much gratitude to those who found me online, got in touch and gave me the privilege of working with you to achieve your real estate goals this year.

I wish you all a safe, happy & healthy holiday season. See you in early January!

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

No Change To SF Real Estate Restrictions With Latest Lockdown

The San Francisco Realtor Association (SFAR) has confirmed with the Mayor’s Office that agents can continue to physically show property during the stay-at-home order that’s now in effect through at least January 4, 2021.

Here are the specifics for real estate as per San Francisco’s order:
“Service providers that enable real estate transactions (including rentals, leases, and home sales), including, but not limited to, real estate agents, escrow agents, notaries, and title companies, provided that appointments and other residential real estate viewings must only occur virtually or, if a virtual viewing is not feasible, by appointment with no more than two visitors at a time residing within the same Household and one individual showing the unit (except that in person visits are not allowed when the occupant is present in the Residence).”

SFAR put its own showing orders into place after the shelter-in–place (SIP) earlier this year. This was a must, as most buyers will not purchase a home without seeing it in person. And we never lifted those restrictions, meaning we haven’t had open houses, broker tours or large-scale showings since the SIP began. We’ve also had strict safety showing protocols in place since April.

Holiday Home Stretch Condo Inventory at Peak

I started blogging several years ago about what I call “the holiday home stretch”—the time right after Thanksgiving through Dec 31st.

2020’s holiday home stretch is finding condo inventory at possibly the highest level ever, with 930 condos currently available. Compare that number to what was on the market in the same timeframe in 2014 (81), 2015 (241), 2016 (411), 2018 (417) and 2019 (388). We are literally swimming in condos in the city. Continue Reading

Welcome To The 2020 Holiday Home Stretch

2020 has been a year like no other, but I’m willing to bet that motivated buyers and sellers will follow their usual holiday season activity pattern. Buyers will aggressively write offers and try to negotiate, and sellers will be more willing to negotiate so they can wrap up their sale before year end.

There’s a healthy amount of houses, condos and TICs on the market that all stand a chance of having to return in 2021. Here’s a quick look at each category:
Single-Family Homes
Number available: 345
Median list price: $1,890,000
Avge days on market (DOM): 59
Where the inventory is: Parkside/Sunset, Ingleside, Sunnyside, Noe/Eureka Valleys, Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow, Bernal Heights, Mission, Bayview, Visitacion Valley.
Worth noting: There are far fewer houses than condos sitting on the market, with about 40% listed for up to $1.5M. That means buyers can expect to pay $2M+ for most of the homes on the market. Continue Reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Best wishes to all my readers for a wonderful Thanksgiving!

It’s been a challenging year on so many fronts, but I’m grateful that one bright spot was the strength of our San Francisco real estate market. I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to help many new and existing clients buy and sell homes this year, and thank them all for their business and faith in my services.

Last but certainly not least, I want to thank all of you who regularly read my blog. It is always very gratifying to meet new people through this blog, and I look forward to meeting more of you in 2021.

Stay safe and healthy this Thanksgiving, and count even the smallest of blessings.

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

SF House Market Meets Corona Challenge

SF House Market Meets Corona Challenge

Corona may be surging again, but the virus certainly hasn’t obliterated the San Francisco single-family home market. Despite limitations on showing property (no open houses or broker tours!) and many people reportedly fleeing San Francisco for more far-flung locations, our house market remained strong and steady over the past six weeks.

The average price for the 382 houses sold was $2,022,151 (October 1-November 13), with a median price of $1,650,000. The average overbid citywide was five percent. However, 50 homes changed hands for 20% or more over the list price, proving that even a pandemic can’t seem to break our eternal list-low, sell-for-more pattern in San Francisco. 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

Just Sold: 517 8th Avenue

Just Sold: 517 8th Avenue

We just closed the sale of my listing at 517 8th Avenue in the Inner Richmond. Featuring three bedrooms and two baths on the upper level, along with multiple spaces for office, fitness and recreation, the home was an immediate hit with buyers.

We had 20 showings scheduled in the first four days, which was more than I might have expected at the $2,595,000 price point. We took offers shortly thereafter and received multiple bids. The sale closed yesterday for $2,810,517.

Congratulations to my lovely sellers—Melanie, Levi and Mary—whom I represented when they purchased the house way back in 2004. I deeply appreciate loyal clients and am thrilled everything worked out well! And here’s what they had to say about their experience working with me for the second time (click to enlarge):

Contact Eileen for Real Estate Help

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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