Eureka! They Found ... well ... Eureka (Street)
From There to Here: A Buyer Journey with some Airplanes Thrown In
How one set of buyers' house hunting journey went and some insights for your consideration
Referred to us by some of our favourite clients (yes, note the spelling) David, Felicity and their two young children were slated to come back to San Francisco having lived in London for the past few years. Native Britons originally David and Felicity had lived in Noe Valley before the neighborhood left a positive and lasting impression.
This go around the couple is now a young family with a solid budget but a list of goals — central, walkable location in a house that had a blend of traditional finishes on the one hand but modern features that acknowledges San Francisco’s modernity. Plus, because the family has a lot of stuff that was being shipped from the UK, so square footage was also important. And because they have two children now the house they were to get had to have durable finishes and yard space.
We explored their core neighborhood but also ventured out a little bit into Cole Valley, Parnassus Heights and Eureka Valley. We helped them explore houses that were both on market and off-market listings both during their visits and via YouTube video walk-throughs.
We considered getting a not-perfect big house that had size but the layout, location and finishes weren’t right. Combined with the fact that the seller wanted a rent-back after close of escrow.
Another house had amazing finishes, solid location but while bedroom and bathroom count matched their requirements where those bedrooms and bathrooms were in relationship to each other combined with a feeling that the house was narrower than it should be disqualified this one, which sold to a single professional who lives in New York half the year.
The house our clients kept coming back to was 234 Eureka, which was a fixer house purchased in 2016 as a 3-bed, 1.5-bath, 1600-sqft fixer for $1.66M.
234 was modernized, brightened and enlarged with an unfinished basement being turned into a pragmatic second family room with an extra bedroom and direct yard access. The house debuted as 4-bed, 3.5-bath, nearly 2,700-sqft modern home with an extra deep terraced backyard with a great location at $3.495M in the fall of 2017. After not selling last year the price was dropped to $3.295M and taken off over the holidays where the seller finished landscaping the backyard and the stagers tweaked the property’s interior wall colors.
Our clients saw the house on an early scouting trip late last year but hadn’t seen it as a family with all its members in tow. Jonathan, however, kept to his initial thought that this was the house for our clients. After everyone landed on our shores earlier this month the young family went back to the tweaked house over its two open weekends and it all made sense. Relisted at $2.995M after the New Year, our clients asked us what would it take to get the house now.
We suggested a strong, fast bid at $3.295M with a short close. Indeed, our contingency-free offer had a 6-hour response deadline and was accompanied by a fully signed disclosure package with the initial deposit being the entire balance for the house. Yes, it worked and our clients got their house a week after sending in the great offer.
Since closing, we’ve been working with David and Felicity on getting their home setup before they move in with plans for a kid-friendly and upgraded back garden (aka back yard) and customization of the house’s lighting fixtures along with the kid-gates they’ll need for the next few years.
Watch our video walk-through of the home here on YouTube.
This Could Be That...
WHAT BUYERS WANT
What was the right mix for these buyers? Having lived in San Francisco before David and Felicity knew the City well but also admitted that there were neighborhoods that they knew they could possibly like but hadn’t really had a need to consider before. But beyond that here’s just some of the factors they wanted in their new home:
- Walkability (but not too far up a hill)
- Proximity to schools
- Proximity to work
- Layout — namely three bedrooms on one level so parents could be on the same level as the kids
- Layout — an open layout but also a space for the adults to entertain
- Finishes — not too modern, not too old
- A great kitchen with storage
- A private yard for the kids to play with and a place to plant a lime tree
- Price and value