San Francisco Real Estate News & Local Information

Are you considering moving to San Francisco or maybe you already live here and want to purchase a new home? Sell your home? Or maybe just browsing for information on living in San Francisco? This is the blog for you. 

We post weekly (or more) blogs on guides in real estate, information on the best places in San Francisco and any information we think you'll find useful when moving to San Francisco. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it.

Please reach out if you have any questions at all or would like for us to write on a topic.

June 14, 2018

5 things to know about buying your first home in San Francisco

5 things to know about buying your first home in San Francisco

Are you making the move to buying your first home? Maybe you just got a job in the Bay and you're ready to stop renting. 

I get it, I've been there. 

And I wish I could say buying is easier, but SF is a beast when buying a home. 

But that's why I'm here to help you throughout the process. 

Here's 5 things you should know about when buying your first home in San Francisco. 

1. Get Pre-Approved. Get Pre-Approved. Get Pre-Approved.

Adding it three times will hopefully empasize the importance of this point. 

This doesn't necessarily apply to just San Francisco. This should apply to any home you get, anywhere.

But in San Francisco, it is uber important because the average housing price is 1.1 million. 

And the seller of the home is going to want to know you can afford the monthly mortgage payments, maintenance, HOA, you know, all that good stuff. 

And that's what a pre-approval letter can do for you. 

You send the bank all this information, documents and anything that shows your debt, income and other financials. They use this information to determine how much "house" you qualify for. 

So let's say you get approved for $750K but not $1M. While this may be sad because you found the *perfect* house on Zillow for $1M, you wouldn't get approved by the bank so sending an offer would waste both you and the seller's time. 

So the pre-approval first and foremost knocks out any homes that you can't afford. It saves you time when going on showings! It will also help the Realtor get you in a home that you can afford, but not necessarily every amenity you originally requested. 

Next, the pre-approval letter will help you when you present an offer. When you're in SF, you may face competition with all-cash offers. It happens. BUT if you have a pre-approval letter, that makes you one step closer to getting the home over someone else. 

Now that you know how much house you can afford, you should go on a few showings. 

2. Be willing to budge on the neighborhood.

If this is your first home, I'm going to assume that you want to be near your workplace. Let's say you work in the Valley, but all homes in the Valley are $1M.

Since your previously mentioned pre-approval letter said you can only afford $750K, you have to be willing to budge on the neighborhood. 

Don't feel bad. Most buyers want that *dream* neighborhood. But here's the catch. 

You're living, or going to live, in San Francisco. Do you know what that means?

That every neighborhood offers something different. 

There's so much more than living in the Valley. 

In fact, one of the hottest markets right now is Vallejo.

While it is 32 miles outside of SF, it does have a ferry in connection to the city. 

And the housing is WAY cheaper.

So keep your options open. 

One of the best ways to know which neighborhood is right for you is to look at your current stage of life and priorities. 

Sounds cheesy, I know. But trust me. 

If you like to surf, then live in Sunset District. If you have to travel throughout the city for sales calls or presentations, then live in East Bay.

This will help eliminate many of the neighborhoods that do not match your current stage of life. 

We're in the process of writing a guide on all the different neighborhoods and areas within San Francisco. Keep an eye out for it. 

3. Don't rush to offer the listing price. 

So you've got your pre-approval and looked at different neighborhoods and homes. You've got the fun part out of the way. 

Now here comes the competitive part. 

You found the house you want, and it flirts with the upper-end of your pre-approval at $740K.

Since you want it before anyone else can get it, you decide to offer for the full listing price. 

This is where I can come in to help you. 

There's two situations that can occur when this happens. 

1. Uncommon scenario: There are no other offers on the property. So, the seller accepts the offer because they got their full listing price. They win because you could have bid lower and still got the property. 

2. Common scenario: There are multiple offers on the property. So, the seller says he or she will make a decision and decides to go with the buyer who offers $750K instead of you who only bid $740K. The seller wins again because you could have bid higher and got the property. 

So how do you know how much to offer? 

Me and you will sit down and check out the market. If homes are selling fast, then we will ask above the listing price normally. Vice versa for when homes are selling slower in the market. 

So, while you think offering for the full listing is great, wait and see if that's the most competitive offer you can give. 

4. Weigh all of your home buying purchase loans.

So let's say your offer moves forward, now we get into all the paperwork. We have to see which loan option the lender says is right for you. 

While the lender is typically right, it is good for you to research all of your options as well. 

While across the U.S. you have some programs like FHA, Conventional, VA and USDA, you may benefit more from a California-specific mortgage program. 

Here are a few examples of California-specific home loan programs: CalHFA, Cal-EEM, MyHome Assistance Program, School Teacher and Employee Assistance Program and CalHFA Zero Interest Program.

5. Make sure your home is a good long-term investment. 

While this may seem obvious, it is often ignored. 

The perk of you buying a home in SF is that you have no idea which neighborhood can become the next Mission District. 

With that in mind, you should watch market reports.

The market reports can help you monitor select neighborhoods to see which ones are seeing higher housing prices and an influx of buyers. 

That's where you want to buy. 

Or maybe it's the neighborhood no one is looking at right now. 

But I can help you figure out. 

After all, when you are ready to sell your first home, you want to make sure you make at least 5% more on the sale from your original purchase. 

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If you have any questions, chat me on the site and I'll follow up with you. I'd love to help you in the process of buying your first, second or third home in SF. 

May 4, 2018

Top Private Schools in San Francisco

Are you moving to San Francisco and looking for a guide on which private school is best for your children? Then keep reading. Our list comes from personal experience, parent recommendations, Niche and Private School Review.

There are currently 88 private elementary schools and 28 private high schools with K-12 options in SF. The average acceptance rate is 65%.

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Top K-12 Private Schools of San Francisco

  1. The Harker School
    • Based in San Jose, CA
    • 10:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1480 and 33
    • Yearly Tuition: $45,877
  2. Head-Royce School
    • Based in Oakland, CA
    • 8:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1410 and 33
    • Yearly Tuition: $40,950
  3. Sacred Heart Schools Atherton
    • Based in Atherton, CA
    • 7:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1340 and 30
    • Yearly Tuition: $39,700
  4. French-American International School
    • Based in San Francisco, CA
    • 7:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1300 and 29
    • Yearly Tuition: $39,890
  5. The Quarry Lane School
    • Based in Dublin, CA
    • 8:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1380 and 31
    • Yearly Tuition: $34,150

Top High School Private Schools of San Francisco

  1. The College Preparatory School
    • Based in Oakland, CA
    • 10:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1460 and 34
    • Yearly Tuition: $42,020
  2. Stanford Online High School
    • Based in Stanford, CA
    • 14:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1460 and 33
    • Yearly Tuition: $21, 350
  3. Castilleja School
    • Based in Palo Alto, CA
    • 9:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1450 and 33
    • Yearly Tuition: $44,580
  4. The Branson School
    • Based in Ross, CA
    • 7:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1410 and 32
    • Yearly Tuition: $42,285
  5. Lick-Wilmerding High school
    • Based in San Francisco, CA
    • 9:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
    • Average SAT and ACT: 1380 and 31
    • Yearly Tuition: $44,127
April 9, 2018

The Japanese Tea Garden in SF

San Francisco real estate is bursting with life. The hustle and bustle of the city draws in crowds of visitors and keeps residents constantly busy with adventures. Locals seeking a respite often find themselves drawn to the Japanese Tea Garden. As one of the oldest Japanese gardens in the United States the tranquility and grace of the space has appealed to generations. Tradition runs deep here and can felt amongst the authentic plants, ponds and buildings.

It’s Time for Tea on San Francisco Property

One of the most beloved spots to dwell in is the Tea House. Set in the center of the garden, the quaint structure boasts a traditional menu with a variety of teas and snacks. Interestingly enough, it was on this part of the San Francisco property that the American fortune cookie was introduced. The original cookies from Japan held more of a savory taste but were sweetened and presented in this very tea house to customers in the early 1900’s. Today diners are still presented with a fortune cookie after they finish their meal.

While the views are peaceful all around, the history surrounding the San Francisco Japanese Garden is a bit bittersweet overall. Designed as the “Japanese Village” for the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition, the grounds remained in Golden Gate Park after the event closed and was maintained by the garden’s landscape architect Makoto Hagiwara. The Hagiwara family made the garden their home and cared for it until being detained in internment camps with other Japanese in 1942. Unfortunately when released from the camp the Hagiwaras were not welcomed back to the garden to live.

Embrace the beauty within San Francisco real estate. The Japanese Garden is open daily with seasonal hours for summer and winter. A nominal fee is charged for admission. Complimentary admission to the garden is offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings before 10 a.m.

 

Jan. 18, 2018

Fab Condos on the market in San Francisco- January 18th Edition

Happy New Year and happy home hunting! So far in 2018 we are seeing brisk activity on the Buyer's side, but still limited inventory available across all price ranges. There are many opportunities available off-market right now, with homes getting ready to come to market in late January and early February. Reach out and I can connect you with those.

Russian Hill

1338 Filbert Street #D, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/3 baths

$4,495,000


Pacific Heights

2300 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2 baths

$3,200,000


Ashbury Heights

46 Ashbury Street, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,495,000


Eureka Valley

539 Douglas Street , San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/3 bath $2,098,000


Inner Mission

2600 18th Street #18, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/2 bath

$1,425,000


Mission Bay

480 Mission Bay Blvd. #1405, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/3 bath

$3,288,000

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Jan. 18, 2018

Gorgeous New Single Family Homes on the market in San Francisco- January 18th Edition

Happy New Year and happy home hunting! So far in 2018 we are seeing brisk activity on the Buyer's side, but still limited inventory available across all price ranges. There are many opportunities available off-market right now, with homes getting ready to come to market in late January and early February. Reach out and I can connect you with those.

Lower Pacific Heights

1735 Franklin Street, San Francisco, California- 8 bedrooms/4 baths

$7,495,000


The Marina

2622 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/4 baths

$5,195,000


Outer Richmond

3245 Cabrillo Street, San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,985,000


The Castro

234 Eureka Street , San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/3 bath

$2,995,000


Bernal Heights

3960 Folsom Street, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2 bath

$1,395,000


Monterey Heights

145 Maywood Drive, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/3 bath

$1,299,000

Posted in
Dec. 9, 2017

Condominiums/TIC's New to the Market in San Francisco December 2017

The holidays are upon us and things are a bit slow and inventory is low, but there are still wonderful opportunities to purchase in December. Here are 8 lovely condominiums/TIC's for your review.

Telegraph Hill

347 Lombard Street, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2 baths

$2,895,000


Lower Pacific Heights

2055 Bush Street, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/3 baths

$1,998,000


Dogpatch

815 Tennessee Street #101, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,099,000


North Waterfront

101 Lombard Street #514W , San Francisco, California- 1 bedrooms/1 bath

$1,025,000


South of Market

1 Bluxome Street #214, San Francisco, California- 1 bedroom/1 bath

$899,000


North Panhandle

1980 Hayes Street, San Francisco, California- 1 bedroom/1 bath

$795,000


North Beach

744 Union Street #5, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/1 baths

$759,000


Downtown

1001 Pine Street #1212, San Francisco, California- Studio

$499,000

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Dec. 9, 2017

Single Family Homes New to the Market in San Francisco December 2017

It's a great time of year to purchase your new home. Inventory is a bit low, but competition should be lower as well as other buyers are out of town enjoying the slopes. Take advantage of this slower time and get your dream home for the new year.

Sea Cliff

308 Sea Cliff Avenue, San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/4 baths

$13,000,000


St. Francis Wood

149 Terrace Drive, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,995,000


Westwood Park

65 Cresta Vista Drive, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,400,000


Outer Mission

20 Ellington Avenue , San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2 bath

$998,000


Golden Gate Heights

2052 14th Avenue, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/1 bath

$988,000


Outer Parkside

2583 45th Avenue, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/1 bath

$949,000

Posted in
Sept. 9, 2017

10 Single Family Homes New to the Market in San Francisco September 2017

The market is heating up again after the Summer holiday and there are many wonderful new condominiums coming to market. Here are 10 really great properties for your review.

Glen Park

47 Chenery Street, San Francisco, California- 10 bedrooms/11 baths

$12,500,000


The Castro

428 Collingwood, San Francisco, California- 5 bedrooms/4.5 baths

$6,750,000


Liberty Hill

312 Liberty Hill, San Francisco, California- 5 bedrooms/4.5 baths

$5,750,000


Noe Valley

4261 23rd Street , San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/3 baths

$3,795,000


Inner Mission

1161 York Street, San Francisco, California- 5 bedrooms/ 3.5 baths

$3,395,000


Bernal Heights

18 Prospect Avenue, San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/3.5 baths

$3,250,000


Clarendon Heights

10 Crown Terrace, San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/2.5 baths

$2,850,000


Inner Sunset

1509 10th Avenue, San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,999,000


Marina District

3627 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,995,000


Ashbury Heights

1025 Ashbury Street, San Francisco, California- 4 bedrooms/3 baths

$1,995,000

Posted in
Sept. 9, 2017

10 New Condos in San Francisco September 201

The market is heating up again after the Summer holiday and there are many wonderful new condominiums coming to market. Here are 10 really great properties for your review.

Russian Hill

1890 Vallejo Street, San Francisco, California- 5 bedrooms/4 baths

$5,145,000


South Beach

219 Brannan Street #18A, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2 baths

$3,500,000


Telegraph Hill

184 Francisco Street #5, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/2 baths

$2,995,000


Pacific Heights

2300 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2 baths

$2,950,000


Nob Hill

1100 Sacramento Street #404, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/ 2.5 baths

$2,725,000


Upper Market

829 Corbett Ave. #2, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2.5 baths

$2,195,000


Inner Richmond (Lake Street)

653 Lake Street, San Francisco, California- 3 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,975,000


Lower Haight

560 Haight Street #107, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/2.5 baths

$1,749,000


Dolores Park

3828 19th Street, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/2 baths

$1,399,000


Eureka Valley

129 Hancock Street, San Francisco, California- 2 bedrooms/1 baths

$1,195,000

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July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

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