San Francisco Mortgage & Financing Info, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

San Francisco Real Estate Seeing Lots of Dead Presidents

1 Comment 17 March 2011

So sales of homes in San Francisco are well, moving like hotcakes.  Multiple offers seem to be the new norm for any property that’s cute and priced right.

This week, Zephyr real estate reported 29 sales in the company (these are sales that just went into contract, but haven’t closed yet) and 13 of those had multiple offers and 14 went over the asking price.  There’s still old inventory being eaten up (I just got an accepted offer on a place that’s been on the market 100+ days) but the new, cute, well-priced listings are MOVING!

Out of the last 5 offers I’ve written for clients, 4 properties received multiple offers.

But what’s MORE interesting, at least in my opinion, is that we seem to be seeing a major resurgence of the all cash offer!

Yup.  In the last few weeks, the words “all cash offer” are a phrase I’m hearing on a daily basis.  Lenders are talking about it.  Escrow officers are talking about it.  And without a doubt, real estate agents are talking about it.  I recently put in an offer on a property with clients that had a cash offer.  We came in 12th out of 13 offers, and our offer was accepted.  And then just yesterday, I helped clients (they did have a loan) get another offer acepted.  12 offers were received by the listing agent and THREE of them were all cash.  In January, I had clients beat out on an 8 offer situation where the highest bidder was an all cash offer.

But what does this all MEAN?

Someone asked me the other day, “Why the hell would enyone ever tie up so much money in San Francisco real estate?”  Well, I’m going to go out on a limb here, but it might mean that the folks that are smart enough (or lucky enough) to amass a giant pile of cold hard cash seem to think that dumping all of their dough into real estate RIGHT NOW is a smart investment decision.

Prices don’t seem to be going any lower and with sales spiking upwards and prices creeping upwards, it might be safe to deduce that the bottom of the SF housing market has come and gone.

And here’s the thing, the theory that interest rates are low and THAT’S why it’s a good time to buy don’t apply to the cash buyer.  Interest rates don’t affect them.

I’d love to hear from some of you cash buyers, or even agents with cash buyers whether my theories are sorta correct or completely far fetched.  You can drop a note in the comments, or if you want to keep yourself anonymous, email me.

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

Reminder that San Francisco is Earthquake Territory Too….

Comments Off on Reminder that San Francisco is Earthquake Territory Too…. 11 March 2011

As we all know by now, a giant earthquake hit Japan and has causes some intense devastation, including Tsunami waves that made it all the way out to our very own coast (albeit it they were a foot and a half tall when they got here.)

So, now’s as good a time as any to take a quick look at whether or not you’re prepared for the next big one here.

72hours.org has all the deets, as well as info on where to get more info on being prepared, but a quick summary of what you’ll need in your earthquake preparedness kit can be found below.  And if you feel like you might want to go above and beyong the basic survival preparedness (think “how to cook a rat”), you might want to check out this post. And in the meantime, print out the list below and get your earthquake kit in order.

Your basic emergency kit should include:

Water – one gallon per person per day
Food – ready to eat or requiring minimal water
* Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
* Plates, utensils and other feeding supplies
First Aid kit & instructions
* A copy of important documents & phone numbers
* Warm clothes and rain gear for each family member.
* Heavy work gloves
* Disposable/digital camera
* Unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification
* Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
* Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
* Tools such as a crowbar, hammer & nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee cords.
* Blanket or sleeping bag
* Large heavy duty plastic bags and a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
* Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget water and supplies for your pets.

A component of your disaster kit is your Go-bag. Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

* Flashlight
* Radio – battery operated
* Batteries
* Whistle
* Dust mask
* Pocket knife
* Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
* Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
* Local map
* Some water and food
* Permanent marker, paper and tape
* Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
* List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
* List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
* Copy of health insurance and identification cards
* Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
* Prescription medications and first aid supplies
* Toothbrush and toothpaste
* Extra keys to your house and vehicle
* Any special-needs items for childrenseniors or people with disabilitiesDon’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.

And while you’re getting prepared, you might also want to help those struck by the tragedy in Japan, but if you do so, Mission Mission blog reminds you to do so responsibly.

Stay safe, San Francisco.

 

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

San Francisco Real Estate in Your Inbox

Comments Off on San Francisco Real Estate in Your Inbox 25 February 2011

San Francisco Real Estate Newsletter

If you were signed up for Zephyr Real Estate’s Market Tracker, you’d already have an awesome newsletter in your email inbox waiting for you to open it right now.

The newsletter would have the latest San Francisco home sales (sortable by neighborhood or property type), the latest SF property listings (also sortable by neighborhood and property type), and some interesting tidbits about the City too.

Don’t believe me?  Check out this week’s edition for yourself by clicking here.

And if you LOVE it (and how could you not?) sign up here. 🙂

It’ll pop up in your inbox every two weeks and it will complete your life.  And if it doesn’t (though I’m sure it will), you can quickly and safely unsubscribe. 🙂

San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco News and Events, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

San Francisco Natural Hazard Maps

Comments Off on San Francisco Natural Hazard Maps 24 February 2011

In light of the recent earthquake in New Zealand and the fact that in any given week, California land is shaking dozens of times, I thought this would be a good time to share these natural hazard maps with you again.  Looking at the USGS Map, just in the last day, the Cloverdale area, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco, has had dozens on little shakers.

And in case you don’t already know – San Francisco is kinda known as prime earthquake country.  But where you live has an impact on how an earthquake might affect you (and how much shaking your home will do.)

So I thought I’d throw a few maps up here for readers that are curious about the location of natural hazards in San Francisco.

Click on the map for a bigger view, and to be taken to the source of the map.

San Francisco Liquefaction Map
San Francisco Liquefaction Map

San Francisco Natural Hazards Map

San Francisco Natural Hazards Map

My personal favorite, which is sort of a hazard because building a house on water is never a good idea, is a map of all of the creeks, marshes and landfill throughout historical San Francisco. This map is from the 1890’s. As with the others, click to see the map full size, and to see the source.

San Francisco Historical Creek Map

San Francisco Historical Underground Water Location

And finally – if you’re curious about the last little rumble you felt – check out this map which will show you the size and magnitude of the most recent earthquake.

San Francisco Recent Earthquakes

San Francisco Mortgage & Financing Info, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

Loans Through Mortgage Brokers Might Get Cheaper!

Comments Off on Loans Through Mortgage Brokers Might Get Cheaper! 21 February 2011

If you’ve been working with a good and honest mortgage broker, you’re already getting the lowest rates possible.  A good mortgage broker knows that providing folks with lowest rates and best terms is the right way to do business, regardless of the amount of his paycheck.

A good broker knows that they are only as good as their reputations, and unless they’re honest and upfront with every client, they won’t get repeat business.  (Which is THE way to do business – ANY kind of business, whether you’re in real estate or you’re a dentist,

But not every mortgage broker works that way, especially when you consider that if a loan has higher interest rates and higher points – the mortgage broker makes more money!  Yikes!

The new rule will change things though – the way brokers will soon get paid will be a fixed commission that is no longer tied to loan terms.  Yay!

The new rule comes from the Federal Reserve and is called “Loan Originator Compensation amendment to Regulation Z” and the rule kicks in April 1st of this year (2011).

So if you’ve been dealing with a broker that’s been putting their paycheck in front of your needs, your loans, be it for a purchase or a refinance, will get cheaper.

Though if you haven’t been dealing with some honest, (shameless plug for my favorite mortgage broker alert!) like Tim Higbee from Guarantee Mortgage, then, well, you probably won’t notice much of a difference.  Honest brokers like Tim have been putting their clients’ needs first for years.  🙂

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Photos, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Resources, San Francisco Videos

What’s the Right San Francisco Neighborhood for You?

Comments Off on What’s the Right San Francisco Neighborhood for You? 21 February 2011

There are just under 100 unique and distinct districts in San Francisco according the the San Francisco Realtors Association.

Other sources will list just over 100.  But no matter how you count them, there’s no denying that there’s A LOT of variety when it comes to what neighborhood you ultimately choose to call “home!”

Whether you like your neighborhoods full of nightlife vs. life on the quiet side, completely urban vs. bordering nature, or if you prefer your shopping high-end vs. funky and thrifty, there’s a neighborhood for you here in SF.

You want views? Hills? Public schools? Walkability? Something trendy? Something polished? Something family oriented? A single person’s dream? San Francisco has it all.

But how do you decide which San Francisco “Nabe” is right for you?

Well – I suggest using BOTH of these sites to find out.

1)  Visit Zephyr Real Estate’s neighborhood guide. Zephyr has 89 districts in San Francisco and has broken them up into little blurbs of digestible information.  Neighborhoods have a description, photos, links to available homes for sale, real estate market statistics, demographic info, and in many cases, even a  short video highlighting the neighborhood in greater detail.  It’s polished, easy to read and the SF real estate stats and available listings are constantly updated.

2) Visit NabeWise. This site splits SF into 104 districts (frankly, more accurate than our SF real estate board if you ask me – Lower Haight gets its own home here, whereas our board lumps it into Hayes Valley.)  The only way I can really accurately describe this site is the Yelp! of local neighborhoods.  It features a neighborhood summary, highlights, lowlights, maps, trends and most importantly, in my opinion, reader reviews.  People can post photos, videos and review their own neighborhoods and those which they frequent.  You get a glimpse of the neighborhoods both through the eyes of locals and those that step foot there along their travels.  You can see who lives there (hipsters, beautiful people, students, liberals) and so much more.  I personally just started playing with the site and managed to squeeze out one review of the Outer Sunset. But so far, I’ve really enjoyed reading other people’s opinions of the various San Francisco hoods.

So, Zephyr Real Estate’s neighborhood guide will give you the polished presentation that markets each neighborhood, while NabeWise will give you an insider’s scoop and actual people’s perceptions of every nook and cranny in San Francisco that you’d want to call “home.”

And of course, if you’re considering buying or selling a home in any of these awesome neighborhoods, well, you know who you can call! 😉

Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

Single Female in Search of Home for Sale

Comments Off on Single Female in Search of Home for Sale 17 February 2011

The title of the post almost sounds like a personal ad, right?

Well I was taking a look at my list of San Francisco clients that are looking for a home or have recently purchased a home and I realized that about 35% of them are single women.

While it does appear that I tend to work with more single female home buyers than national averages, across the country, I did find some interesting statistics while searching the net:

  • Single women make up more than 20% of home buyers
  • Single women buy twice as many homes as single men
  • Single women make up more than one-third of the growth in real estate ownership since 1994
  • Not bad for girl power, eh?

    The demographic includes all women, including never married, divorced or widowed.

    Each person’s motivations for buying a home is, without a doubt, different.

    Past generations waited for Mr. Right to come along and give the poor helpless female financial security.

    But TODAY’S woman is ready to take her financial destiny into her own hands. According to an older article from USA Today:

    The trend is striking, because in 1981, the number of single women and single men home buyers was virtually the same. Since then, the percentage of buyers who are single women has almost doubled, while the percentage of single men buyers slipped 1 percentage point to 9% last year.

    The article goes on to say:

    “For the first time in history, women have access to the same resources men have always had — money, social status, power,” says Donald Hantula, professor of organizational psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia.

    “Women can go and acquire them on their own rather than searching for a mate to provide them. These demographic and social changes are not in line with how we adapted in the hunter-gatherer era.”

    In SF, women have a number of options when it comes to buying a home. My clients’ searches have included houses, condos, TIC’s, lofts, fixer-uppers, new construction, Victorian architecture, modern design and so many other variables that there’s just too many to list.

    And now that we are seeing some better deals in the San Francisco housing market, I’ve been getting more calls from single women ready to take the plunge and buy a home. In fact, now that the real estate prices have softened in SF, I’ve gotten calls from some past single female clients that are ready to jump in and buy investment property, with a big enough down payment, they are actually able to see a positive net gain on a rental property in San Francisco.

    If you’re a single woman and you’re thinking about buying property in San Francisco, whether for your primary residence or for investment purposes, give me a holler – I’m happy to help you decide whether now really is the right time for you to buy.

    Oh, and the embedded video??? Just a gratuitous baby dancing to the Single Ladies song because who doesn’t like to watch babies boogie!

    Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

    Will San Francisco See an Increase in Real Estate Inventory?

    Comments Off on Will San Francisco See an Increase in Real Estate Inventory? 16 February 2011

    We seem to be seeing an increased inventory of real estate in San Francisco.  So far, we haven’t just been seeing MORE inventory, but we’ve also been seeing BETTER inventory!

    And while we don’t know if the flow of good properties will continue (though I can vouch that I have a few fabulous listings coming up in a variety of price ranges), there is anecdotal evidence that the flow of inventory will continue.

    You see, when you need to sell a home, you need to pull what we in the real estate industry call a 3R Report.  It’s also known as the report of residential record.

    It includes:

    – Address of the building including condominium or unit number if any
    – Block and Lot
    – Present authorized occupancy or use
    – If the property is classified as a Condominium
    – If the building contain any Residential Hotel Guest Rooms
    – Zoning district
    – Building Code Occupancy Classification
    – Expiration date for non-conforming use
    – Building construction date
    – Original occupancy or use
    – Building permit application history and status of building permit:
    N = Unknown
    I = Issued
    X = Expired
    C = Completed
    – Franchise Tax Board lien
    – Abatement case on the property
    – Number of residential structures on the lot
    – If energy inspection has been done and proof of compliance has been issued

    The above information will be shown on the report if available through the Department of Building Inspection microfilm records.  In many cases, submittal of additional  records from other city agencies such as the Assessor’s Office and SF Water Department will be required for the completion and/or revision/update of a 3R. Please note that a 3R does not list the electrical or plumbing permit history, cancelled or withdrawn building permit applications and any building permits taken for the commercial portion of the building.

    You need a 3R report whenever you sell a property.  And we recently received a notice from our (MARVELOUS!) office staff at Zephyr letting us know that the 3R department is taking about 3 weeks and up to process requests that normally take just over a week to fulfill!

    In fact, rumor has it that there are 70+ requests a day flying into the 3R department!  That’s quite a few new San Francisco listings that would appear to be heading to the market in the near future!

    We’ve yet to see whether these properties will be quickly snapped up, but I’d say that if they are priced in line with recent comparable SF sales, they’ll quite possibly see the multiple offer game we’re seeing these days at quite a few properties are selling for WELL over the asking price!  (But they’re marketed aggressively, so the selling price is still the true current market value.)

    But in the meantime, it’ll be great to see some more good San Francisco real estate porn! 😉

    San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Fast Facts, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

    SF Real Estate Fast Facts – January 2011

    Comments Off on SF Real Estate Fast Facts – January 2011 15 February 2011

    San Francisco Real Estate Fast Facts – Sans Commentary, Provided by the San Francisco Association of Realtors


    (Editor’s Note: Set forth below are Unit Sales/DOM/Monthly Supply charts for the month of January for single-family homes, condominiums and 2-4 units, as well as Supply/Demand, Sales Rate and Median Price charts for the same month.)

    Single-Family Homes

    Condos

    2-4 Units

    NUMBER OF UNITS is the equivalent of number of sales/transactions. For condominiums, each unit is treated as a sale. For 2- to 4-unit buildings, the “building” is treated as a sale.

    NUMBER SOLD is the number of properties in the market segment that closed escrow during the month.

    NUMBER FOR SALE is the number of active properties on the market for one day or more during the month.

    MEDIAN PRICE (SOLD) reflects the “middle” price point of a group of properties that have successfully closed escrow on a monthly basis, i.e. half sold for more and half sold for less than the median price. Tracking the movement of median prices over time provides a good indicator of the direction market forces are moving.

    If the percentage change is positive between the two periods then there is upward pressure on prices in that market segment. If the percentage change is negative between the two periods then there is downward pressure on prices in that market segment.

    AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET (DOM) reflects how long it has been taking (on average) to draw an offer on a reasonably priced property exposed to the market. The AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET is defined as: The average number of days it took all of the properties that went under contract during the period to accept a first position offer.

    MONTH’S SUPPLY OF INVENTORY (MSI) is a measure of how long it would take, in months, to sell the existing inventory at the current sales rate for the specific neighborhood and property type. The MONTH’S SUPPLY OF INVENTORY is defined as: The number of active properties on the market for one day or more during the month, less the number of properties that have been withdrawn or expired, divided by the number of properties that have gone under contract during the month.

    * * * * *

    Data provided by Terradatum.

    Misc Musings from Your San Francisco Realtor, San Francisco Local Resources, San Francisco Neighborhoods, San Francisco Real Estate, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Buyers, San Francisco Real Estate Info for Sellers, San Francisco Real Estate Market Conditions, San Francisco Real Estate Resources

    San Francisco Real Estate Trends at a Glance

    Comments Off on San Francisco Real Estate Trends at a Glance 03 February 2011

    Want a brief look at San Francisco Real Estate Trends?  Of course you do!  That’s why you’re reading a Real Estate Blog aren’t you!?!?!

    These statistics are for ALL of San Francisco, and I can GUARANTEE you that YOUR neighborhood WILL be different.

    Email me and I’ll send you detailed information on your SF hood, whether that’s the Outer Sunset or Outer Parkside, Golden Gate Heights or Pacific Heights, Potrero Hill or Nob Hill, Twin Peaks, South Beach or any other San Francisco neighborhood in between!  Real Estate is local and San Francisco real estate is especially neighborhood-specific.

    At a glance, Median Prices are trending up (multiple offers based on some aggressive pricing strategy is helping that trend!), Inventory is increasing (and we’re seeing some good stuff out there people!), and Average Days on Market is trending down (whether it’s another sign of aggressive marketing or a sign of a recovering market – it’s too early to tell.)

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    About the Blog


    Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog was created to share insights about San Francisco Real Estate and about San Francisco living. Written by Luba Muzichenko, an "almost-native" San Franciscan and a local Realtor® with Zephyr Real Estate, Luba’s San Francisco Real Estate Blog is meant to inform you about a variety of good things and happenings around SF and its unique neighborhoods, about buying and selling homes in the City and about the real estate market in general. If you like what you see, please tell a friend.

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    Luba Muzichenko
    REALTOR®
    Top Producer
    Certified Residential Specialist®
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    Zephyr Real Estate
    415-307-1392 (cell)
    luba@zephyrsf.com
    www.LubaSF.com
    DRE License #01768716
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