San Francisco Real Estate

New SOMA Release! 2Bed/2Ba Exquisitely Remodeled, 1119SF, $549k-$595k

New SOMA release of 6 stylishly remodeled homes at 181-191 Russ Street. Steps from the best culinary, shopping, arts and recreational destinations in the district. Walking distance to Whole Foods Market, ATT Park, and Draves Park 1/2 block away make this a city dwellers dream location.  Each freshly remodeled spacious two-bedroom two-bathroom home at features hardwood floors, high-efficiency lighting, all new kitchens with stainless appliances, modern bathrooms, large bedrooms and stunning open floor plans with Bay Windows. Storage and In Unit Laundry Room included. Low HOA fee. Asking $549,000-$595,000. Walkscore of 98, Transportation score of 100, Great Biking.

Early OPEN Sunday 1-4:30PM. Call Erika, Showing Agent, for private viewing 415-321-7076, Erika Burke, Top Producer DRE#01386234

www.181Russ.com

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Call to Action! Condo Conversion Lottery ByPass Legislation – Please Help!!

CONDOMINIUM CONVERSION LOTTERY BYPASS LEGISLATION – HELP US and JUST SAY YES!!!!

content_HouseMoneyAt the end of this post find a link to all of the San Francisco City Supervisors, call or email in support of this important legislation to secure their votes and help your fellow homeowners realize their real estate dreams.

The current introduced legislation by Supervisors Mark Farrell and Scott Weiner which would enable tenancy in common owners who qualified for the 2012 condominium lottery to bypass the lottery by paying a per unit fee starting at $4,000 and increasing on a sliding scale basis dependent upon the number of years the building has entered the lottery.  The legislation includes tenant protections which provide any tenants in occupancy will receive lifetime leases. In order for the legislation to pass it will require six votes from the Board of Supervisors. 

 MY STORY: I regularly place new homeowners into TIC’s as an entry level purchase that is affordable in San Francisco. Most cannot afford condominiums, are overqualified for the BMR offerings and MOH programs and hope to convert their TIC to condominium as an equity building perk of their ownership. The current condominium lottery process hinders these property owners from furthering their real estate ownership dreams.

A consensus must occur within a TIC group to persue condominium conversion as well as a % share of cost for the persuit. TIC owners are hard working, middle income earners.  It’s not cheap to own a TIC – when the typical down payment is atleast 20% of the sale price.  When a 2-6 unit conversion can take upwards of 6+ years to convert it dashes hope and stifles the desire for ownership of the TIC, and passes along an arduous process to the next owner.  TIC’s are a frequently transferred type of home, with re-sale typically within 3-5 years, as an owners’ life circumstances, job, finances change.  TIC’s are the most basic purchase of 1st Time Home Buyers that stimulate the real estate sales community to trade-up upon re-sale.

Many of these owners purchase with the idea of living in the home as a “starter home” and also an investment.  Many want to make a 2nd home purchase in San Francisco within a few years, turning the TIC into rental/income housing which adds to the rental stock.  Allowing condo conversion to occur quickly and prudently, further secures the perimeter for these owners to make that transition, and building real estate portfolio health in San Francisco.

Making this small step toward allowing the basic rights and freedom of home owners to improve their asset in San Francisco and stimulate TIC and condominium real estate transfers for move-up purchase and possible use as income property in San Francisco is good for its’ prospective and current TIC owners, the rental market, and just plain good business.

Click, Call or Email with your support as YES! for this important Condo Conversion ByPass Legislation:  http://www.plancsf.org/contact-city-hall/

Thank You, Erika Burke, Realtor, Top Producer 415.321.7076 [email protected]

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The Inside Scoop for 1st Time Home Buyers for a successful San Francisco Home Purchase right NOW!

Young Couple9 Tips for making a successful purchase in the current Sellers Market

As you know inventory in San Francisco is at its lowest mark in more than seven years.  With such a low supply comes steeper competition which can put 1st time homebuyers at a disadvantage.  I like to look at it as an opportunity to be informed and prepared.  (Tips at the end)

Evaluating property and the market.

A Discussion:

With low inventory the first time home buyer may be going up against investors who are also targeting the bargain-priced or lower priced homes that are in the same pool in which you are looking.  Investors and contractors come to the table with buying power, large down payments and/or cash, which can edge you out of the deal.  One strategy is to prepare to compete.

In a Sellers market, a strategy that is often employed by listing agents, are to list the homes for well under the market, in hopes of attracting a large number of offers.  This means each home must be individually evaluated against the market to see if this is the case.  If so, the buyer must be prepared to bring their offer in at the regular market price which can be substantially, sometimes $10k-$100k or more over the inappropriately low asking price.  Just because a price is listed, it does not reflect the market value or the actual final purchase price range.  Conversely, some homes do not require an overbid and your agent will be able to advise you accordingly. Continue reading

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I just SOLD a Sunset/Parkside Home at 2118 31st Ave. to 1st Time Home Buyers

My Lovely clients, a young family and First time Home Buyers, just purchased their first home at 2118 31st Ave., in the Sunset/Parkside District in San Francisco.  During our Sellers Market, homes in the Sunset/Parkside have been receiving high numbers of multiple offers…like 12 and 15 offers on one home, with tremendous overbidding and alot of cash purchases to sweeten the competitiveness of offers.

We’ve arrived at the property for the Key Transfer! My Buyer and her adorable son!

This 2 Bedroom/ 1 Bath home was a sought after floor plan with a center patio affording lots of light to the home, original hardwood, an updated kitchen, yet well cared for, still in original condition. The past owner lived here for over 50 years and it was being SOLD as a probate with the proceeds to be distributed to family members. This type of transaction presents its’ challenges in terms of lengthy escrow while awaiting for court approval or confirmation for a sale and the “AS IS” purchase.  Probates often come to market with a lower value than other regular sales making them a good buy.

In this transaction, my clients over bid the asking price of $569,000 up to $661,101.  There were 12 offers, and although ours was not the highest, it had the best terms.  My client a contractor, determined the AS IS purchase acceptable and so made little additional terms to entice the Seller to accept their offer, and we Won!.  The purchase price was a deal for a gloriously large Sunset home with a basement/garage waiting for development and the possibility to add a level.  Perhaps a third floor master suite?   Continue reading

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Blog Post: San Francisco City Planning Overview in the 7X7

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John Rahaim, our San Francisco City Planner spoke at Vanguard Properties to provide us with the state of San Francisco City Planning.

Here’s a re-cap of what is ongoing and planned for our City scape, and what you can expect when building or remodelling your home.

The City has the capacity for 70,000 housing units with the current land availability and capital availability. We are approving about 2500 projects per year and he believes that double that amount should be approved annually. To speed up the process he would like to see smaller projects and about 1/2 of new construction units not have to go before the planning commission.

We have 45,000 units currently entitled. About 28,000 are in Park Merced and Hunters Point. 4,000 units are currently under construction with another 2,000 to be completed by the end of this year. This growth is primarily driven by the needs of the Tech Industry. In SOMA (South of Market) our office space vacancy is at 3%, we are nearly fully occupied. Already through planning, the 2nd Rincon Tower is planning to break ground in a Couple of weeks.

Continue reading

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Twin Peaks Tech Chic 2 Bedroom SOLD for $535k, Only 2 left!

Guess where I’ll be this Sunday?  Happily showing the Memorial Weekend OPEN HOUSE on Sunday from 1-4:30pm at 20 Parkridge Dr. at Burnett off Market Street on Twin Peaks in San Francisco. 

I just SOLD Unit #12 to my ecstatic Buyer for $535,000.   Only 2, Two Bedroom Units are left!  #9 is offered for $519K.  What? Make sure to stop by and soak up these chic and beautiful,  fresh remodels featuring  hardwood floors, recessed lighting, new stainless appliances, parking and storage. 

 Enjoy a Modern | High Tech Open Living, Dining Kitchen Floor Plan filled with light from oversize double pane windows. New Stainless Steel Fridge, dishwasher, range and microwave.  Your two huge bedrooms are on either side of a spa like bathroom and the home features an in-home laundry with new machines. Take in the famous & enormous Downtown and Twin Peaks Panoramic Bay views from your private balcony.

A Few blocks from Molly Stones , Glen Canyon Park and centrally located in the middle of San Francisco for North or South commutes. Set beneath a green median and upon the hillside makes it private and accessible. A tremendous value for the location and comparable units currently on the market. Everyone who has purchased is delighted with their “find”.  Just right for the first time home buyer, student, professional, bachelor or bachelorette or a light and bright pied-a-terre.  Come and See me!

Showing by:  Erika Burke 415.321.7076, [email protected], DRE#01386234

Listing Agent, Vanguard Properties, Jonathan Deason

 

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Tiburon Home – a Magnificent Natural Beauty

High atop a Tiburon hillside ridge, nestled across from Angel Island with a sweeping view of San Francisco and the East Bay is an architectural masterpiece of a home built in 1995.

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Vanguard Properties presents this one-of-a-kind home of 4 Bedroom, 4.5 Baths with 2 car parking. Carved out of the hillside is an earthy enclave of natural limestone and granite, carefully orchestrated to blend seamlessly with the California landscape. Most charming is a path that leads around the perimiter of the property and around the house to view from each window where there is a real sense of nature and relaxation.

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Forest Knolls and its’ SF Overlook Development

SF Overlook Development, LLC have completed their environmental review with pending planning approval to build a proposed 34 units on the hillside below Crestmont Dr. in San Franciscos’ Forest Knolls neighborhood.

Crestmont Preservation is an organized group of home owners and community members with the common cause of preserving the quiet and peaceful enjoyment that is their right as homeowners.  Their primary concern is the additional 340 person trips, (136-170 car trips…based upon round trips per person for average of 5 residents per 2-3 bedroom unit per day), moving through this quiet, residential neighborhood of narrow, hilly streets along with the increased density this large development will bring to the end of this cul-de-sac, already the city’s longest.

SF Overlook states their 34 unit project is 44% less units than the max allowed by zoning.  The mix of units are two and three bedroom family townhomes and one 11 unit building.  This project will improve hillside stability through water management, new retaining walls and drainage improvements.  They propose to add 51 off-street covered parking spaces and will apply for up to 68 parking spaces Continue reading

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Luxury South Beach Loft-1 Block from San Franciscos’ Waterfront

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Currently available is loft #130, 1535 Square Feet of cool modern living featuring two, 17 ft. windows spanning 2 levels. The unique entry level includes a tasteful modern kitchen with sub-zero fridge, room for dining before your floor to ceiling windows,  and a half bath, wrapped up in sleek steel, concrete and iron design elements, highlighted by inset and spot lighting.

“The surprise is the mezzanine and 2nd loft level Grande En Suite Master Bedroom”

Continue reading

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San Francisco South Beach Luxury Living at 200 Brannan #130

Last week I blogged about a gorgeous penthouse #506 offering for $1,250,000. at 200 Brannan in San Francisco’s South Beach waterfront neighborhood, which is still available.  Today, a beautiful 1535 SF 2 story loft in this luxury Condo Building has come to market.

This 2 level loft, #130, includes a second full bath on the main level and a large master suite on the upper level.  The mezzanine is large enough for a home office or family room. This is a plushly decorated secure full service building with door man, 24 hour security, included garage parking for 1 independant and exercise facilities plus recreation room for private parties.  Offered for $1,049,000.

One block from the Waterfront and near 2nd Street Cafes and boutiques.

Everything about 200 Brannan is luxurious and the perfect fit for the discerning full service condominium seeker. Please phone for your appointment to view this home.

Erika Burke – Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Vanguard Properties, [email protected] 415.321.7076 www.liveinluxurysf.com

For more about 200 Brannan please review my prior post http://erikaburkesf.com/?p=2004

 Listed by Eric Turner, McGuire Real Estate

 

 

 

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New to Market! Nob Hill Condo Hot spot-Available Now! Cathedral & Bridge Views!

A new San Francisco real estate market offering today is 1201 California St. #507 near Pine Street atop Nob Hill,  is a wonderfully priced condo opportunity for 1 Bedroom and 1 bath in an exclusive neighborhood with Views of Grace Cathedral and the Golden Gate Bridge. Blocks from Union Square, the theatre and financial Districts, the location is superb.

You are greeted by the door man in this elevator building. The kitchen features a beautiful marble countertop, laundry is available in the building. The bath includes French doors and finishes in keeping with the period. Enjoy views from the Living Room and Bedroom, carpet and slate flooring. New Homeowners will meet with board approval. Included is 1 indpendant parking space.

The building was made famous by Dashiell Hammets’ Maltese Falcon.  Built in 1926, it features ornate architectural details as San Francisco’s treasured Cathedral Apartments.  The building offers a Charming Roof Deck to take in the City’s most outstanding views.  Offered for $475,000. Shown only by appointment, please call to arrange your  showing and for further information.   

Erika Burke – Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Vanguard Properties, [email protected] 415.321.7076 www.liveinluxurysf.com

Listed by Paige Dew-Ewing, BHG Mason McDuffie Real Estate
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Facts about the San Francisco Real Estate Market-Right Now!

As Reported by the San Francisco Association of Realtors (SFAR), April Market Focus Report.
Reporting on Single Family Home and Condominium Sales in San Francisco and the state of our current market plus future projections. Low Inventory, rising prices, lots of buyers, high end is moving. Sellers should feel confident to list during this opportune Seller’s Market.

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As Inventory Remains Low and Unchanged,
San Francisco Homes Sell Even Faster
Just as last month, many new home sellers continue to have confidence that the market is on an upswing and that housing prices will soon accelerate. As a result, the vast majority of them have decided to hold off on listing their properties for sale, keeping the city’s inventory low. Making matters worse, the flow of distressed properties from the banks has lessened, making it more difficult for buyers to find properties even though interest rates have remained low. The congruence of all these economic factors occurring at the same time is resulting in the current seller’s market, where sellers have more leveraging power over buyers who are competing against a limited pool of properties.

Single-Family Home Sales

While the city’s inventory of single-family homes for sale dropped by 29.4 percent compared to March 2011, it did not exceed February’s level this year. Still, despite the low inventory, the number of homes under contract continued to improve by as much as 19.9 percent compared to this time last year, while the number of homes sold fell by only a slight margin of 2.8 percent.

For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 65 percent to one month. For higher-priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 56.1 percent to also one month. It comes as no surprise that a number of real estate web sites currently rank San Francisco high among the nation of cities where homes sell the fastest.

One region of the city which continues to experience healthy sales activity is the area in the mid-western part of town, known as Twin Peaks West. Since March 2011, the number of homes under contract here has risen by 14.7 percent. Twin Peaks West has a total of 16 neighborhoods, with Mt. Davidson, the highest natural point in San Francisco, at its center. With its elegantly landscaped streets and a variety of architectural styles, including Craftsman bungalows, Mediterranean, and Mid-century, homes here are very desirable. The median price for a home in Twin Peaks West is about $837,500.

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State of the National Real Estate Market from NAR (Nat’l. Assoc. of Realtors)

March Existing-Home Sales Saw Decline, Lower Inventory, Stabilizing Prices

Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, April 19, 2012

Existing-home sales dipped in March, but continued to outpace last year’s levels. At the same time, inventory tightened and home prices showed further signs of stabilizing, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million in March from an upwardly revised 4.60 million in February, but are 5.2 percent above the 4.26 million-unit pace in March 2011.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the recovery is in the process of settling into a higher level of home sales.  “The recovery is happening though not at a breakout pace, but we have seen nine consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases,” he said.  “Existing-home sales are moving up and down in a fairly narrow range that is well above the level of activity during the first half of last year.  With job growth, low interest rates, bargain home prices and an improving economy, the pent-up demand is coming to market and we expect housing to be notably better this year.” Continue reading

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Sleek lifestyle at 200 Brannan #506 – Luxury Bay Living in San Francisco’s South Beach.

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Today I had the pleasure of viewing a luxury Penthouse at 200 Brannan in the exclusive South Beach neighborhood, steps from the Embarcadero, near the Ferry Building, South Parks’ 2nd St. restaurants and boutique’s, Giants Stadium, only steps from San Franciscos’ quintessential bay views and numerous outdoor activities. Close to the Bay Bridge, 101 and 280 and public transportation.

200 Brannan is one sleek, beautifully kept, luxury condominium building of 191 homes.

As an experienced luxury Realtor, I am the appointed representive for 200 Brannan through our Vanguard Properties website and will keep you informed of the latest offerings.  I will arrange your private showing or provide accurate comparables and comparisons for your home sale at 200 Brannan.

I view every home with the idea in mind of who the buyer might be, and ask, “Would I live there myself”? I can give a definite “Yes”, to the current offering of penthouse Unit 506 and easily picture a sophisticated couple, business bachelor or bachelorette, design or art world professional, luxury pied-a-terre seeker, or a young urban dweller making this prestigious offering their home.

Greeted at the door by the engaging door man, Roberto, one immediately feels secure and that they are entering an exclusive, service oriented, 5 star living experience, from the atrium entry, to the exquisitely chosen neutral palette on the walls of the quiet, plushly carpeted hallways. Dotting those walls are custom art and photographs that are finished with sophisticated lighting; which guide you past the serene green bamboo ground floor courtyard and on to the multiple elevators that bring you closest to your home.

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Richmond District Beauty

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Outstanding Sea Cliff must see luxury home

This is a “Luxe Fave” of mine that  just came to market… an amazingly majestic Spanish Meditaranean home at 738 El Camino Del Mar Ave. at 30th Street in Seacliff; San Franciscos’ exclusive neighborhood of mansions that take in sweeping views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.   

Originally built in 1927 and remodeled in 2009 by designer Ken Fulk, the finishes are in one word, beautiful and is in keeping with the style of home with a fresh up to date elegance and beauty.  The home has spacious open feeling of largesse for 3 Bedrooms and 3.5 Baths including a view Master Suite, media room, gourmet kitchen, wine cellar, plus front and rear landscaped gardens and 2 garage parking. The living room features the views as well.  There is a 2 car garage!!

Offered for $6,995,000 Contact me to arrange a private showing 415.321.7076

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Frankly Chic Brick and Timber Clock Tower Loft

I had a suprise treat today during my Tuesday property tour. I viewed a rarely available 1733 SF Brick and Timber loft in the coveted Clock Tower Building in San Francisco’s South Beach (SOMA) neighborhood. This home is perfect for an artist, a couple who entertains, a tech exec or an expressive bachelor or bachelorette. This is a home in which to live your glory days, even if that means a fabulous San Francisco pied-a-terre now that the kids are in college.

The building itself features broad expanses of metal and wood and each homes door has a metal lighted sculptural feature that adds to the hip, arty, modern feel. The interior courtyard is charmingly landscaped with ferns and vines covering the interior walls. There are elevators from the entrance and to the Tower, where #454 is located.

This private loft bedroom sits a few steps above the expansive living area that is framed at the far end by two enormous windows that span the width and overlook a charming vintage building landscape. The quality of lite is exquisite and the exposed brick, stunning hardwood floors and vaulting exposed beam ceiling make this a New York Style loft.

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The Millenium-San Francisco Luxury Resort Highrise Living

Yesterday, I toured San Franciscos’ Luxury Tower, The Millenium with  my colleague, Uche Nchekwube, M.B.A., Realtor at Vangaurd Properties.  We were greeted by the valet as we drove up and met by  the buildings’ concierge who escorted us to our private showing appointment.We had the luxury of viewing the gorgeous homes currently offered for sale.

Our showings consisted of a visit to the City View residences, loft like urban dwellings with seamless finishes like marble bath and kitchen, soaking tub, sleek cabinetry, picture windows, and urban views! Very modern, streamlined and sophisticted. The hallways are quiet, plush and serene. Then we were escorted to model homes at the ‘Residences’, 1 and 2 bedroom homes on the lower floors and the slightly larger, Grand Resdiences with stupdendous views, on the upper floors. They have numerous floor plans to choose from, for each Residence group. We saw Floor Plans A, C and F, each featuring something specical, an extra walk-in closet, a guest room/office, a den, more square footage, a commanding view, a new and different lay out! It’s easy to see why the most exclusive buyers are making the Millenium their home. It’s fresh, clean, beautifully designed and luxurious. Everything has been thought of for you in terms of surroundings, service and comfort.

There are enormous views available of the City and the bay and our colorful urban landscape. In our busy lives, the Milleniums’ Owners’ level offers the relaxation, socialization and comfort that one would book a resort stay for. Spanning the entire lower level, you will find a temperature controlled wine storage locker, a wine tasting room shaped like a wine barrell, an owners lounge with the latest magazines & periodicals with a fireplace, private dining room, and a snack/coffee bar. If that’s not enough you can take advantage of the movie theater, the indoor swimming pool, the private spa rooms and lounge by the enormous fireplace on the outdoor terrace. Wanting to exercise, there is a workout room, pilates studio and fully equipped gym, plus a play room for the kids. The concierge on this level can arrange any private party or event in any room on this level for you.

At every turn The Millenium offers an air of luxury and sophistication that is evident from the moment of entry. These homes demonstrate the  exclusivity that is sure to appeal to the most discerning city dwellers and home owners. Allow me to fill you in on some of the features and benefits of these homes and schedule your private showing. Reach out at 415.321.7076 to view at your convenience.

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Compound in the Heart of San Francisco-Preview in NOPA. Act Quickly for first look.

Today I previewed a compound Oasis in the heart of San Francisco on Divisadero. I was frankly flabbergasted at the amazing modern meets Storybook Victorian home that was behind the ornate well cared for visage.  Not on the market presently, though it will be any moment now, so I’m giving you the first glimpse. 

Sitting on a double lot gives it the feeling of being a compound. It’s garden setting and sophistication make it an oasis.  The main home on 2 levels have 3 beds and 2.5 baths, with a master suite with an additional office.   An elegant spaciousness is made by the open vistas of this fabulous entertainment home.  Throughout is the notable gleaming walnut radiant heat hardwood floors, marble fireplaces, ornate pillars, exposed brick and beams, stained glass, high cielings with modern touches and high end finishes. There is a deluxe sound system.

The chef’s kitchen features stainless counters and all of the extras you would expect including a sleek breakfast bar that seats a crowd. The master marble bath has a free standing soaking tub with outdoor deck access to lounge on 1 of the private decks after your bath. One bath features vintagelike beadboard and bath furniture and even of course, there is a modern powder room.  All well thought out and impressive, providing class, elegance with modern touches and conveniences.  This is truly a San Francisco home at its’ finest and most impressive.  Did I mention the turret room…it’s round of course. Continue reading

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San Franciscos’ One Hawthorne, a Luxury Highrise in the Middle of the Action – Affordable and Stylish

One HawthorneWorld-Class View from a Junior 1 Bedroom

Downtown San Francisco is host to many new and newish high rise luxury buildings offering homeownership opportunities to the most discerning urban dwellers.  Experience life with all of the amenities, like exercise rooms, valets, roof top gardens with outstanding world-class views and some buildings include concierge service.

Tonite I attended an invitational cocktail fete hosted by the sales team of One Hawthorne.  Catty-corner to our new Vangaurd Office at 199 New Montgomery.  One Hawthorne’s sales office is at the corner of Hawthorne and Howard with the building entrance around the corner on the quiet Hawthorne Street, not a thoroughfare, a calm street in the midst of the action.

Our Hosts, Sales TeamJessica Keenan & Carrie Barrett, with their wonderful caterer!

Greeted by the sales team who offered wine and beautifully prepared nibbles,  I was given the inside scoop on the upcoming offerings in this building.  Sales have picked up, are brisk with available homes moving quickly.

Sold in phases, the first phase has only 8 units left before the anticipated release of the upper floors 21 to 25 in the next several months.  As the floors go up, so does the pricing. Jessica gave us the grand tour of the sleek, modern, impressive models of a junior one bedroom, the perfect pied a terre, a 1 bedroom at 800+ Square Feet and the 2 bedroom/2bath of over 1200 Square Feet.  Continue reading

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February Issue of Market Focus Report Released

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Pockets of Movement in the San Francisco Housing Market, Despite Lessening Inventory

The nice spring-like weather we have been experiencing has had some positive effects on the home buying public, as it has brought more buyers into the market. And with interest rates continuing to stand at a 60-year low, this has made homes more affordable and led to a wave of refinances that has increased disposable income for property owners. But despite these encouraging trends, the city’s inventory has tightened.

Single-Family Homes

As inventory levels dropped in January by 32.9 percent, compared to January 2011, the number of homes under contract rose by 8.7 percent. But the low inventory seemed to also contribute to fewer completed sales, which is fairly normal market behavior for this time of year.

For homes that were priced below $700,000, the months of supply inventory fell by 47.3 percent to 1.6 months. For higher priced homes between $700,000 and $1.2 million, the months of supply inventory fell by 38.9 percent to 2.4 months. These short time frames continue to indicate a seller’s market, where sellers have more leveraging power over buyers who are competing against a limited pool of properties.
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Housing Starts, Builder Confidence on the Upswing

With new construction on the rise and the current affordability of homes for the median income earner, consumer confidence is returning to the real estate market.

National Housing starts rose 1.5 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 from the revised December estimate of 689,000, and they were 9.9 percent above the January 2011 rate of 636,000, according to the latest figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department. Housing starts for single-family homes fell 1 percent in January to 508,000, down from 513,000 in December.

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Permits for new construction edged 0.7 percent higher to 676,000 in January from the revised December rate of 671,000, and they were 19 percent higher than the January 2011 estimate of 568,000.

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Touring San Francisco Luxury Property

Today I took out a client who wanted to tour luxury property in all neighborhoods of the City!  That was a big bill to fill as luxury means something different to each person.  In this case, it was in the form of at least a 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath home of over 1800 SqFt, with a price point of $1m-$2.3m and up.

Luckily that is easily achievable in our town.  Though we are a great city, buyers often note, its’ diverse neighborhoods make it feel like a town.  We began our tour in St. Francis Woods.  Known as District 4, this neighborhood sports detached mansion like homes on larger parcels of property.  I would call this “the country in the middle of the city”.  Some of our oldest and most beautiful Mediterranean and Spanish style homes are in this neighborhood that exudes a charming elegance.  They loved West Portal, the 3 block shopping district at the base of St. Francis woods and its’ boutiques, pubs, cafe’s and art cinema.

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San Francisco based Real Estate firm announces their “21 Club” of Top Producers for 2011

Today Vanguard Properties, the well-known San Francisco real estate firm headed by Principal James Nunemacher for nearly 30 years, announced the “21 Club” Top Producers of Vanguard Properties for 2011, including Erika Burke.The achievements of these very hard working Realtors and Broker Associates are recognized yearly by the firm, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Quote start“We are thrilled with all of our agents performance and this past year’s gain in what has been touted as a down national real estate market,” said Mr. Nunemacher.Quote end

The 2011 year end numbers for Vanguard Properties posted close to a 30% gain in sales over 2010. “We are thrilled with all of our agents performance and this past year’s gain in what has been touted as a down national real estate market,” said Mr. Nunemacher.

The firm is looking forward to yet another year of growth with the opening their new sales office in downtown San Francisco located at 199 New Montgomery Street.

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What is a Realtor? Really.

We all know it is a professional who is licensed to facilitate the sale of purchase of real property, homes, commercial, lots and land in a given area.  But what does a realtor do?  Just show a few homes and facilitate a contract?  Hardly.

A realtor is a devotee to their clientele and their brokerage.  They often work 7 days a week, or at least make themselves available to their clientele.  They must study and pass a rigorous exam and are remanded to fulfill continuing education requirements.  They work from their brokerages and often a home office.  They do their own accounting and pay taxes from each commission.  They place their own advertising, attend networking events to raise their profile, they learn to brand themselves for their specialty.

Realtor’s are social networkers who have mastered technology and social networking skills to promote themselves, your listings and attract buyers through business building on the internet.  They use computers, tablets, smart phones, faxes, electronic documents, copiers.  They design and use mailers to connect with the public and their clients.  They know about bulk mail, folding machines, types of paper.

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San Francisco is a Bright Spot in Economic Recovery

As the nation’s economic recovery continues at a slow pace, San Francisco is a bright spot in the region, the state and beyond. Recent indicators are encouraging, showing strong growth in key industries which are in turn creating jobs and moving the economy forward. This is good news, and we can keep the momentum going well into the future.

One critical measure of The City’s economic health is tourism, which generated more than $8.5 billion in spending last year. Thankfully, the 2011 summer tourist season did not disappoint. Activity at San Francisco International Airport hit a spring-high with domestic air travel increasing 5 percent year-over-year. International flights have also seen a 6.5 percent year-to-date increase. This influx of travelers has given a needed boost to local hotels, restaurants, retail and other businesses. According to the city controller, hotel occupancy, room rates and retail activity are all following positive trends. Continue reading

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3 myths of conventional real estate wisdom

 

Whether you’ve rented your whole life or own a portfolio of properties, you’ve undoubtedly heard the real estate saying, “Location, location, location,” which simply means that a home’s value is highly dependent upon, well, its location!

The timeless truth of this saying is beyond dispute, even in tough times like these for the housing market. The recessionary fates and foreclosure rates of an individual housing market are highly dependent upon the economic and employment prospects of that market, and even the desirability of an individual neighborhood or lot. Continue reading

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Tips for meeting down payment requirements

Borrowers qualifying for mortgages today are paying for the excesses of yesterday. During the go-go years leading to the crisis, underwriting rules became incredibly lax, and now they are excessively restrictive. Mortgage underwriting rules have become increasingly detailed and rigid, with much less room for the discretionary judgment of underwriters.

To help borrowers deal with this problem, I am developing a program for my website that will show potential borrowers whether they qualify, the type of mortgage for which they qualify if they do, and exactly where they fall short if they don’t. Continue reading

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Estates Group’s preferred Stager

Robin Chudy of Robinsnest Design is a stager whom we rely upon to add the furniture, design and staging that make our listings so appealing.

Robin has a wonderful eye, and always consults at the beginning of our listing process to make sure she has the right vision for the space.  She adds custom art (many of the pieces painted by Robin herself).  Robin goes the extra mile – making sure her stages remain pristine throughout the showing process.  I know that when Robin is called in to stage an Estates Group Listing not only will the job  be done with no fuss or issues, but it will exceed our expectations.  To see a sample of her work, visit our current listing at 450 San Bruno Ave., San Francisco, CA 94110.

 

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The Estates Group, Erika Burke Meets Zillows’ Tommy Casias

Today I met Zillows’ Tommy Casias for lunch at a favorite spot within walking distance of our office, Osha Thai on Valencia and 18th St. Yummm! On the way I snapped Tommy at one of the Valencia corridor parklets. It’s easy to do business in our wonderful city with inspiring restaurants and representation. Here we are going to work for our buyers and sellers making sure our Zillow information is current and valuable. Thanks Tommy.

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