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Sold: 368 Elm Street, San Francisco, No. 305 | $1,245,000 | MLS 495299

The view around 368 Elm Street. 368 ELM STREET KEVIN K. HO + JONATHAN B. MCNARRY PRESENT UNIT NO. 305 | SOLD. MULTIPLE OFFERS. OVER LIST Vanguard Properties

EXCLUSIVELY BY:

Kevin K. Ho, Esq.
Jonathan B. McNarry

MLS No. 495299

Top Producers, Top 21 Vanguard Properties, Top 1% of San Francisco Agents

SOLD.

368 Elm Street, Unit No. 305

If you have to work from home, then Number 305 at 368 Elm Street is for you. You have a great location — Hayes Valley, Japantown, and a lot of green space are minutes away — and the just-updated unit has a great kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and 2 bedrooms, in-unit laundry and a big wall of windows that floods the space with sunlight.

305 is in a low-dues building with an elevator, intercom entry and fast Webpass fiber internet from Google. 305 also comes with 2, extra-deep, side-by-side parking spaces. Commuting is made easier because you have a protected turn onto Gough Street and tech shuttle stops are very close too.

305’s floor plan is ideal and feels big. The two bedrooms are separated from each other and the master bedroom has a separate entrance, an oversized closet that’s bigger than most in the City, and a large en suite bathroom with twin floating vanities.

Getting outside is easy too with a roof patio and bbq grill in the building or you can walk 2 minutes to the large 5.6-acre park at the end of the block. You could even take up a new sport at one of the newly refurbished sports fields also at the end of the block.

The area is changing and evolving with Hayes Valley growing closer, new luxury buildings coming online and Van Ness Avenue getting a complete makeover. Take the opportunity to make 305 yours now and you’ll be well positioned for the brighter days that lie ahead.

LISTED AT:

$1,099,000

WITH MULTIPLE OFFERS, SOLD AT:

$1,245,000

Photos
The Photos

Photos
The Property Video

Play Video

Photos 360
A 3-D Tour

Because virtual tours are all the rage (by necessity) these days, here’s the tour for Unit 305. It’s pretty neat and accurate. Note: Mr. Raffi (the black lab) is excluded from the sale).  [This tour will expire by middle of 2020]

Things to Know about 368 Elm Street Unit 305 Notes

2 Beds, 2 Baths (just updated), 2-Car Parking (garage, side-by-side, interior access)

In-Unit Laundry (full-sized, stacked)

Stainless steel kitchen appliances: by Jenn-air - refrigerator, gas range dishwasher (Bosch), garbage disposal

Recessed LED lighting throughout with dimmer switches

All-new kitchen backsplash and LED under cabinet lighting

Gas fireplace in living-dining combination room

Deeded storage area (basement)

Oversized master bedroom suite with second entrance and more than 40 linear feet of brightly-lit closet space (more than you’d get in most houses)

≈ 1,234 sqft of living space (per graphic artist)

Location. Location. Location.

1-minute walk to Jefferson Square Park (a 5.6-acre green space with off-leash area for dogs) and to James Lang sports fields (undergoing a $26 million refurbishment)

Minutes away from Hayes Valley, Japantown and the Van Ness Corridor

Unit 305’s 2 parking spaces have protected turn onto Turk and Gough Streets for easier commuting

368 Elm has an 99 Walk score and 100 Transit Score

Near tech shuttle stops

The Building.

29-unit building, circa 2007

$499/month HOA dues (water garbage, common area maintenance, building insurance, and reserves)

Optional Google Fiber Webpass internet, $60/month (200+ Mbps)

Intercom and Elevator access

Common area roof deck with BBQ

2 animal limit, no weight restrictions, certain breed restrictions

Photos zoom_out_map
The Floor Plan

The general layout of Unit 305. This is only an approxiamation and this is one of those spaces where you need to be there in person to appreciate it fully.  

The Floor Plan

Photos location_searching
The Location

Located in the heart of San Francisco, 368 Elm Street is at the crossroads of Hayes Valley, Japantown and the revitalizing Van Ness Corridor. Near two large green spaces and the City’s Arts District, 368 Corwin is ideal for those who love the urban setting and yet like a bit of green space too. 

Want to Sell or Buy Something Similar? 

We know the area well and know what buyers and sellers want. Go ahead, ask us more.

Some of Raffi’s Other Property Tours

HELLO.

Hi, we’re Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, California. We’re partners in life and in business. Together with our big black Labrador retriever, Raffi, we are top producing Realtors in San Francisco’s competitive and valuable residential real estate market.

We truly love what we do and are passionately committed to our clients, their needs and advancing their interests. We represent both buyers and sellers with many repeat clients but we are always expanding our client base. Our belief is that by working with you you will make better informed decisions in this most important of areas of life.

We invite you to contact us to learn more and to start your success story now.

SOME STUFF TO KNOW.

To that extent possible, the information here is copyright protected. But other information such as links, articles and the like are only reproduced here for market education purposes. Remember to research all matters discussed here to your own satisfaction.

Terms & Conditions

Real estate is always changing and evolving. It's complex and can be as fickle as it is surprising. And while the information and knowledge on this site is considered to be accurate and correct, it cannot be warranted. Market conditions in San Francisco, California, and the world can change with a tweet or a sneeze and is beyond anyone's control.

In San Francisco, things like local, state and federal tax regulations can change with big implications. Other things like rent control rules, eviction control, lending practices and standards, building and zoning regulations are just a few of the other things that can change with little or no notice. All of these things and other intangible factors can and will impact market values and performance. 

Kevin is a licensed California attorney but focuses on real estate about 99.9 percent of the time. It's important to note that while you can’t take the attorney out of him he will not be acting as your attorney here. This speaks to the larger point that you should also seek out qualified folks who work in their respective sectors if you have further questions. 

Privacy Cookies. Mmm. Cookies. 

We’ve been told that our website may be using cookies — the electronic ones — not the ones that Cookie Monster loves. These cookies, tracking pixels and related technologies are small data files that emanate from our server or platform and are stored on your device or browser.

Our site uses cookies developed by third parties for a variety of purposes with the most important ones to us being focused on supporting our abilities to support our clients — current and future — as they look for San Francisco real estate services.

Also, cookies may also be used to track how you use our site, which, of course, may give rise to seeing related advertisements on other websites you visit. To comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, we have deployed various measures you may see on this site. If you have a question or concern, feel free to contact us at [email protected]. We want you to be aware that your personal information stays private with us with SSL standards here among other protocols we employ. 

TELL EVERYONE.

SEARCH THE SITE.

©  2011-2020, Kevin Ho, Jonathan McNarry, RTI, Inc.

All rights reserved.


Kevin K. Ho, DRE 01875957/SBN 233408

Jonathan B. McNarry, DRE 01747295

Vanguard Properties
2501 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
555 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

memorial day 2020

Memorial Day 2020 Update

When every day feels like Tuesday or Thursday lately it can come as a surprise that it’s Memorial Day already, which means we may be that much closer to when shelter in place orders end or at least get curtailed for the Bay Area. Memorial Day is typically in the middle of the high season of real estate, at least for San Francisco.

So what’s been happening?

As many of you hear me say, real estate is always good in May no matter what year you’re considering — even this one. We’ve found this to be true even through a pandemic. Real estate has picked up for sure with more listings coming back to the market — some 930 listings are currently “active” on the MLS, up from a mere 400 just a few weeks ago, which is just under the usual 1,200 we usually see in May. Given that there are also more than 250 “coming-soon/off-market” listings in the pipeline, then you can see that we’re not too far off from where inventory has been over the past few years.

Even a ‘locked down’ city can’t resist the fact that sunnier days and warmer weather will always drive people outside. Given that there’s the extra layer of cabin fever, it’s no wonder that people are out and about looking for new shelters for themselves when and where they can.

And while public open houses are still barred, private, mask-and-hand sanitizer, waiver-signed showings are taking place are happening a lot these days. Seeing a property from the convenience of your current home has never been easier with all the 3-D virtual tours that have become the norm, property videos and Zoom open houses taking place. For more on what COVID-19 real estate looks like and how it’s practiced, see our guide here.

What about prices?

Good question, we thought you’d never ask. Compared to the same period last year, March 16 until May 24, we saw remarkably consistent sale prices for single-family houses and slight declines for condominium sale prices. Tenant-occupied properties have slowed to a halt because showings would require tenants to leave their homes during a pandemic. Probably not a good look. Overall, we’ve seen that there are just about half the number of sales reported than last year. Not too bad when you consider other sectors are seeing 90% declines. 

2019 vs 2020
Property values hold steady for the most part while the number of sales is halved.

Recent Client Wins — The Masked Crusading Buyers 

We’ve been YouTubing properties when we can, but we spend many of our days getting our clients ready to see properties they may like. This involves reviewing disclosure documents before ever seeing a property, ensuring pre-approval letters and proof funds are in order and ensuring that all those waiver documents are signed, and that’s just to get an appointment to access a property. And for those of you who know how thorough we are, we’re bound to stay at a property for at least an hour or more (with masks, gloves and social distance of course) so that by the time we’re done seeing a home it’s been a few hours. Well the good thing is that this process has proved rewarding for many of our clients.

Check out some of the success stories below.

 

Client wins from Kevin+Jonathan
No matter the circumstances Kevin and Jonathan will help their clients meet their goals.

Top-Floor Pre-emptive to Offer Date

A set of Floridians turned Californians and their puppy who live in a ground-floor studio in the Tendernob are going to be the new owners of a top-floor, updated 1920s, 1-bed+, 1-bath condominium at 1151 Broderick Street, near Anza Vista. The tree-lined block leads right into NoPa and after seeing the property, listed at $775,000, the couple followed our advice of a tactical preemptive offer that we knew would either be accepted or would make us memorable to the sellers who eventually set an offer date some 4 days after our preemptive offer went in. So, by the time the offer date came, and 4 other groups had written we were getting called by the listing agent to see if our buyers were indeed coming back or not, a ‘will-they-or-won’t-they’ type of narrative. We did come back only with a higher offer and slightly better terms that allowed our buyers to win the property without having to go through the ordeal of a multiple-counter offer. Normally, we’d say the property would have a fair chance of hitting the $900,000 price point given its location, setting and finishes. Instead, we’re in contract at $850,000 with a June closing date.

 

Get that House... Stat! 

A somewhat different story across the Bay for another set of physician clients — an ER doctor and UCSF researcher. A Tahoe-like A-frame house in the Oakland Hills in the Montclair neighborhood at 6607 Heartwood, which was listed at $1,234,000 (no, really, 1, 2, 3, 4). The somewhat quirky house screams out professor (indeed a professor had owned the property in the recent past) but is perched on a large hillside parcel with stunning, stunning views of the Bay and is sandwiched between two reassuringly tall redwood trees. With the listing agent telegraphing that there were 72 disclosure packages out on the eve of the offer date, our clients asked us where the property would end up. Given all those indications, we thought that the property would end up in the $1.5 million to $1.6 million price point, which was more than our buyers wanted to go.

Well, real estate is anything but boring, right? The next morning the listing agent said that while offers had come in (with multiple counter offers out) the high disclosure package count scared off many buyers and that the property was still available with a buy-it-now price of $1.4 million. In the car we got to go see the property that afternoon and after a stunning sunset and realization that this was indeed “the” property for our clients. Our non-contingent, $1.425 million offer was written by the next morning and, despite other buyers falling over themselves to make something happen, was accepted by that evening. The agent said the seller and the agent thought that they’d get the $1.5 million+ range but the fact we had included a letter to the seller and that we presented our offer the way that we do, the seller felt happy with the outcome of having the house go to people who will really appreciate it, which they will.

Seller Success on Kite Hill: 180 Corwin, Unit 2 in Contract After Just 10 Days

2-Bed, 1-Bath, 1-Parking TIC Unit. Listed at $949,000

Our seller at 180 Corwin Street, after working with us since January to prepare and update his place for sale accepted an offer after just 10 days on the market (the average for 2-bed, 1-bath TICs in the City is 59 days!)

With more than 20 disclosure packages sent out and 15 private, COVID-19-compliant, showings. The 270° stunning-view property that is set next to the equally dramatic Kite Hill open space perched just about the Castro was listed at $949,000 and has 2 beds, 1 bath, 1-car parking and just over 950 sqft of living space. There were multiple offers and we will set an all-time record for the street when we close, which some coordinating with closing out a group TIC loan, should happen by July.

180 Corwin Collage
The Great Raffi Foresees

Decide Your Real Estate Fate

Kevin+Jonathan will help you control your real estate fate as best they can, which is pretty effective. Learn how now. 

Our Predictions...

What Will Summer 2020 Hold for San Francisco Real Estate?

We said this in the early days of the shelter-in-place orders and are finding it to be especially true now that those orders are being relaxed gradually: there is a large amount of pent-up buyer demand. Of course, we know there are tough economic circumstances for a lot of people and don’t want to trivialize that. But there is still a large number of folks who are willing, able and capable of buying homes how when the circumstances have been the most favorable than they have been in years.

This past week alone we were introduced to 5 different sets of new buyers — hello out there to you new buyers (you know who you are) — and were contacted by several folks wanting to sell their properties. We also saw a trio of properties go into contract too (see below for more).

The mix of fear and opportunity that you may encounter out there now will gradually turn to opportunity and optimism. While there are certainly challenges ahead, Bay Area people will do what they always do: methodically focus on their goals and keep heading towards it improvising and adapting all along the way. The goal here is to weather the virus and its circumstances and prepare for what’s next as the virus and its effects will eventually pass.

Buyers will have, at least temporarily, the ability to ask for contingencies — usually just one and that one tends to be a financing contingency — and still get the property.

More properties will come to the market… eventually.

There will be an increase in “coming-soon” and “off-market” properties in the meantime.

You will see more people buy second homes outside of the City in Marin, Napa and Sonoma Counties, especially if they can work at home more often

Commercial properties — office space and retail space — will take a hit as life becomes tied closer to staying at home.
The Rise of the First-Time Buyers. Because of low interest rates and the perception that there may be less competition out there, entry price point properties will be strong, which will drive prices up and the pressure to minimize the duration or even the necessity of having any contingencies at all.

Similarly, there will be a Rise of the Upgrade Home Buyers. All those people who have outgrown their first homes will have to go somewhere right? Sheltering in place may have revealed how people’s current homes don’t make good workspaces or that they really want a yard instead of a deck. Being locked in your current space for 2 months will likely accelerate the natural tendency to upgrade into your ‘forever home’ sooner than you would have otherwise thought you would.


The traditional summer slowdown in San Francisco won’t be so slow. Because you really can’t go on summer vacations for now and thanks to a potentially earlier start to the school year start in July, San Francisco’s usual slow down over July and August will instead coincide with the easing (we hope) of shelter-in-place orders, which should spur activity.

HELLO.

Hi, we’re Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, California. We’re partners in life and in business. Together with our big black Labrador retriever, Raffi, we are top producing Realtors in San Francisco’s competitive and valuable residential real estate market.

We truly love what we do and are passionately committed to our clients, their needs and advancing their interests. We represent both buyers and sellers with many repeat clients but we are always expanding our client base. Our belief is that by working with you you will make better informed decisions in this most important of areas of life.

We invite you to contact us to learn more and to start your success story now.

SOME STUFF TO KNOW.

To that extent possible, the information here is copyright protected. But other information such as links, articles and the like are only reproduced here for market education purposes. Remember to research all matters discussed here to your own satisfaction.

Terms & Conditions

Real estate is always changing and evolving. It's complex and can be as fickle as it is surprising. And while the information and knowledge on this site is considered to be accurate and correct, it cannot be warranted. Market conditions in San Francisco, California, and the world can change with a tweet or a sneeze and is beyond anyone's control.

In San Francisco, things like local, state and federal tax regulations can change with big implications. Other things like rent control rules, eviction control, lending practices and standards, building and zoning regulations are just a few of the other things that can change with little or no notice. All of these things and other intangible factors can and will impact market values and performance. 

Kevin is a licensed California attorney but focuses on real estate about 99.9 percent of the time. It's important to note that while you can’t take the attorney out of him he will not be acting as your attorney here. This speaks to the larger point that you should also seek out qualified folks who work in their respective sectors if you have further questions. 

Privacy Cookies. Mmm. Cookies. 

We’ve been told that our website may be using cookies — the electronic ones — not the ones that Cookie Monster loves. These cookies, tracking pixels and related technologies are small data files that emanate from our server or platform and are stored on your device or browser.

Our site uses cookies developed by third parties for a variety of purposes with the most important ones to us being focused on supporting our abilities to support our clients — current and future — as they look for San Francisco real estate services.

Also, cookies may also be used to track how you use our site, which, of course, may give rise to seeing related advertisements on other websites you visit. To comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, we have deployed various measures you may see on this site. If you have a question or concern, feel free to contact us at [email protected]. We want you to be aware that your personal information stays private with us with SSL standards here among other protocols we employ. 

TELL EVERYONE.

SEARCH THE SITE.

©  2011-2020, Kevin Ho, Jonathan McNarry, RTI, Inc.

All rights reserved.


Kevin K. Ho, DRE 01875957/SBN 233408

Jonathan B. McNarry, DRE 01747295

Vanguard Properties
2501 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
555 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

In Contract: 180 Corwin Street, Unit 2 | San Francisco

180 Corwin's View

Straight down Market Street View 180 CORWIN STREET KEVIN K. HO + JONATHAN B. MCNARRY PRESENT UNIT NO. 2 | NOW SELLING Vanguard Properties

EXCLUSIVELY BY:

Kevin K. Ho, Esq.
Jonathan B. McNarry

MLS No. 497922

Top Producers, Top 21 Vanguard Properties, Top 1% of San Francisco Agents

IN CONTRACT.

180 Corwin Street, Unit No. 2

Sweeping, dramatic and hypnotizing views of San Francisco’s gleaming skyline define 180 Corwin for sure, but so do its modern luxe finishes, proximity to the Castro and Noe Valley as well as its cul-de-sac location next to the equally dramatic Kite Hill open space that effectively serves as the home’s 2.5-acre backyard (yes, true to its name, people actually fly kites here). Unit 2 at 180 Corwin has 2 beds, 1 bath, 1-car garage parking and deeded storage. Unit 2’s incredible views change so much during the day, varying from an alpine meadow, a forest of houses to a dramatic twinkling skyline at night.

Updated for sale, Unit 2’s kitchen has all-new appliances, countertops, hardware and lighting. Just-refinished warm-feeling matte oak floors that absorb and recast luminous sunlight during the day to give the space that sought-after light and breezy feel. At night, the skyline’s sparkling lights brilliantly contrast with the warm rich light from newly updated recessed LED lighting. There’s a great public/private layout with the kitchen and open living/dining/patio area on one side with the oversized master bedroom and guest bedroom, each with recessed lighting and generous closets, on the other.

The building completed its seismic retrofitting last year and is part of the condo conversion schedule that should resume soon. 

LISTED AT:

$949,000

Stay tuned for details about the sale.

Photos
The Photos

Photos
The Property Video

Play Video

Photos 360
A 3-D Tour

Because virtual tours are all the rage (by necessity) these days, here’s the tour for Unit 2. It’s pretty neat and accurate. Note: Mr. Raffi (the black lab) is excluded from the sale). 

Things to Know about 180 Corwin Unit 2 Notes

2 Beds, 1 Bath (shower over tub), 1-Car Parking (garage, side-by-side, interior access)

Dramatic 270° panoramic views from living room, kitchen, bathroom, and master bedroom

All-new stainless steel kitchen appliances: refrigerator (Samsung), induction range with microwave over range (Frigidaire), dishwasher (Bosch), garbage disposal (American Standard)

New recessed LED lighting with dimmer switches

All-new kitchen countertops (quartz), sink, hardware, designer switches/outlets (Legrand adorne), LED lighting

Oak floors (just refinished) throughout

Deeded storage area (basement)

≈ 70 sqft, sheltered, east-facing exclusive patio with slate tile Recently installed, oversized, dual-pane picture windows and patio slider

Location. Location. Location.

12-minute walk to Castro MUNI station
(K, L, M, Castro Shuttle, various bus lines + tech shuttle stops)

180 Corwin has an 80 Walk score, 85 Transit Score

Next to Kite Hill, a 2.5-acre grassy knoll, that has walking trails, steep rock formations and incredible views of the City. The area is also off-leash, and is where people do fly kites. There are also fields of wild oat grass with various trees along with ornamental plants.

The Building.

Six-unit building, circa 1960 $469/month HOA dues (water garbage, common area maintenance, building insurance, and reserves)

Soft-story seismic upgrade done, 2019; various past updates

Multi-story, detached 5,000+ sqft building with a finished basement/storage level and unfinished level below that

Ownership agreement for the six units by Andy Sirkin

On schedule to fractionalize current mortgage and to convert into condominiums*

*ask us for more information

Photos zoom_out_map
The Floor Plan

The general layout of Unit 2. This is only an approxiamation and this is one of those spaces where you need to be there in person to appreciate it fully.  

Floor Plan
The approximate floor plan for unit 2 at 180 Corwin.

Photos location_searching
The Location

Perched on a hillside overlooking the Castro, Eureka Valley and Noe Valley, 180 Corwin has an amazing vantage point where you’re both in and above the view. Its central location is convenient and even though it’s central you’re still in touch with nature. 

Interested? 

Well, we’re glad you are. But if it’s not this property, or if you want to ask us something else, feel free to reach out to us. 

Some of Raffi’s Other Property Tours

HELLO.

Hi, we’re Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, California. We’re partners in life and in business. Together with our big black Labrador retriever, Raffi, we are top producing Realtors in San Francisco’s competitive and valuable residential real estate market.

We truly love what we do and are passionately committed to our clients, their needs and advancing their interests. We represent both buyers and sellers with many repeat clients but we are always expanding our client base. Our belief is that by working with you you will make better informed decisions in this most important of areas of life.

We invite you to contact us to learn more and to start your success story now.

SOME STUFF TO KNOW.

To that extent possible, the information here is copyright protected. But other information such as links, articles and the like are only reproduced here for market education purposes. Remember to research all matters discussed here to your own satisfaction.

Terms & Conditions

Real estate is always changing and evolving. It's complex and can be as fickle as it is surprising. And while the information and knowledge on this site is considered to be accurate and correct, it cannot be warranted. Market conditions in San Francisco, California, and the world can change with a tweet or a sneeze and is beyond anyone's control.

In San Francisco, things like local, state and federal tax regulations can change with big implications. Other things like rent control rules, eviction control, lending practices and standards, building and zoning regulations are just a few of the other things that can change with little or no notice. All of these things and other intangible factors can and will impact market values and performance. 

Kevin is a licensed California attorney but focuses on real estate about 99.9 percent of the time. It's important to note that while you can’t take the attorney out of him he will not be acting as your attorney here. This speaks to the larger point that you should also seek out qualified folks who work in their respective sectors if you have further questions. 

Privacy Cookies. Mmm. Cookies. 

We’ve been told that our website may be using cookies — the electronic ones — not the ones that Cookie Monster loves. These cookies, tracking pixels and related technologies are small data files that emanate from our server or platform and are stored on your device or browser.

Our site uses cookies developed by third parties for a variety of purposes with the most important ones to us being focused on supporting our abilities to support our clients — current and future — as they look for San Francisco real estate services.

Also, cookies may also be used to track how you use our site, which, of course, may give rise to seeing related advertisements on other websites you visit. To comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, we have deployed various measures you may see on this site. If you have a question or concern, feel free to contact us at [email protected]. We want you to be aware that your personal information stays private with us with SSL standards here among other protocols we employ. 

TELL EVERYONE.

SEARCH THE SITE.

©  2011-2020, Kevin Ho, Jonathan McNarry, RTI, Inc.

All rights reserved.


Kevin K. Ho, DRE 01875957/SBN 233408

Jonathan B. McNarry, DRE 01747295

Vanguard Properties
2501 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
555 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

COVID-19 + Real Estate in San Francisco

No Open Houses During COVID-19, no worries

Real Estate In the Time of Corona.


(L’immobilier au temps de Corona)

 


 

How real estate can get done even during COVID-19

What About Property Values?

We thought you’d never ask. Historic data from past pandemics like the 1918 Flu, something in the 1950s, SARS, the Swing Flue and others show that while the number of real estate sales go down during the outbreak significantly, property values remain steady and will rise once the danger has passed. This makes sense: less inventory meets less demand. Early data tracking COVID-19’s impact on real estate appears to be confirming this phenomenon.   

COVID-19: A Call to Adapt.

 

 

→ Yes, real estate is still happening in San Francisco during COVID-19. People still need to buy and sell property regardless of the circumstances. 

Ah, the Before Times.... Gone are the open houses that you could willy nilly stumble upon out one weekend thanks to COVID-19. In their place is a more focused (and, arguably, more efficient) process whereby only pre-approved and committed buyers can actually visit a property they may want to buy in person. While it’s difficult to visit a property in person, it’s becoming easier to see or ‘experience’ a wide number of properties thanks to increased agent use of 3-D property tours, property videos and virtual open houses via Zoom, YouTube Streaming. What follows is a rough and early guide as to how real estate is changing in the coronavirus era.

How Are Prices Holding Up in San Francisco? 

Thanks to low mortgage rates and the fact that sellers in San Francisco have seen such large gains in their property values over the past 10 years (not to mention the gains properties have made over the past 30 years) property values will remain high because owners have a lot of equity protecting their homes for the time being. 

And yet, it’s also a good time for buyers who are willing, able and ready to buy because of historically low mortgage rates have boosted buyer power and because there is less competition. 

1. No More Open Houses (For Now)

No Open Houses During COVID-19, no worries

Unfettered Access to Properties is Now Fettered

Expecting to stroll into a Sunday open house unexpectedly or on a whim?

Curious neighbor who just wanted to check an open house out? 

Au contraire... No open houses or broker tours are allowed during shelter-in-place orders

→ Suspending public, in-person open houses was an early part of social distancing practices that had the following impacts:

Loss of spontaneity: to the extent they happened, there will be fewer impulse buys that were aided and abetted by being able to go to open houses easily

Loss of serendipity: lots of folks may not realize they can buy or that their house has appreciated in value significantly until they meet an agent at an open house in their neighborhood.

When public open houses come back, expect to encounter limits on how many folks can be inside at once, temperature checks, hand sanitizer overload, booties, and signing waivers just to enter a property or for tracing purposes should someone get sick.

2. Visiting Virtually

Virtual Property Tours and other means

For the truly determined.

 

 

→ While there is no real substitute for an in-person property visit, technology is making it easier to see something without actually being there. We’re seeing agents use polished property videos, matterport 3-D virtual tours, and Zoom open houses. And while these means a decent job of communicating what a property is about, a lot of folks want a more genuine sense of what a property is like in person. That’s where we come in. We will go out and make exhaustive, first-person walk-through videos that we’ll post on YouTube. We’ve made more than 400 of these videos over the years and have the process down. The hope is that these videos and commentary will help you decide if it’s worth visiting in person.

3. Didn’t Al Gore Talk about Lockboxes? 

How to setup a property showing during COVID-19

It’s Time for a Relay for Keys.  

 

 

→ Unlike their Bay Area counterparts, San Francisco agents rarely put lock boxes on their listings. A property would be too unique or expensive to let people attend without the chance to sell the place in person was the logic. Now the world has been turned upside down, we’re seeing San Francisco agents use lock boxes as the default. Because it’s somewhat new practice, we’ll see more fumbling for keys, issues with lock boxes and less in-person selling.

4. Time for P.P.E.

Property Showings during COVID-19

Venturing Out (P.P.E., PEADs and all).

 

 

→ In-person property visits should be sponsored by 3M, Purell and Clorox at the rate we’re going. Before listing agents let anyone visit a property, buyers will have to cough up a pre-approval letter or proof of funds (pardon the pun) and will make buyers sign a the newly created statewide waiver form disclaiming the right to sue if you get sick. Property visits currently limited to two buyers (from the same household) and just 1 agent. Wipes, sanitizer, masks and social distancing do make a property feel a little eerie but if that’s the price of admission for a new place to call home and shelter, it’s a small one.

5. Contracts with Roadmaps  

Offers and Escrows during COVID-19

Navigating this New (not-so) Normal Requires Planning for the Unexpected.

 

A bit of balance is back in San Francisco. The sellers’ market of the past several years often meant buyers wanting contingencies, a price break or other concessions wouldn’t get very far in the market. While evolving, we’re seeing offers with financing contingencies get accepted and a certain amount of negotiation is back too. It’s also a good idea to include more flexible contract terms that allow for the unexpected to happen while still promoting good will and understanding on both sides.

6. For Everyone Else Who Bought: Forbearances + Re-Fis, Oh My.

Mortgages during Corona

Time-shifting.


 

→ So, for existing homeowners who may be facing a rough patch who need to defer loan payments to another month (or months) or to the very end of a loan’s term (forbearance), or others who just want to re-finance their loans, COVID-19’s impact on real estate has been profound. Negotiating with mortgage lenders is on the table again, which was unthinkable at the beginning of the year when the economy was humming along. The economy’s shutdown is thought to be only temporary but important enough so as to compel most major lenders to accommodate mortgage payment changes in order to avoid anything resembling the financial crisis era.

Track Property Prices in San Francisco

Take a look at what COVID-19 has done to San Francisco real estate prices.

Recent Posts

 

Now Selling: 65 Hermann St., No. 3, San Francisco, MLS # 506536

65 Hermann, No. 3, San Francisco, listed by Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties. A sublime urban pad with location, smart updates and comfort in the time when comfort is all the more important. This 1-bed, 1-bath, 1-car parking condominium is right for you MLS 506536.

Market Updates: August is the first time since 2014 that SF 1-bed median rent has been below $3000, new report finds - SFGate

“Despite much speculation of a Bay Area exodus, ApartmentList found that the percentage of renters who are currently living in the San

Now Selling: 875 Vermont St., No. 204, San Francisco, CA | $699,000 MLS 503836

Listed with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry: 875 Vermont Street, No. 204: Just-updated 1-bed, 1-bath, 1-car parking, Potrero condominium with in-unit laundry that’s comfortable, bright and relaxed. San Francisco MLS 503836, www.875-vermont.com (https://www.875-vermont.com/)

HELLO.

Hi, we’re Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, California. We’re partners in life and in business. Together with our big black Labrador retriever, Raffi, we are top producing Realtors in San Francisco’s competitive and valuable residential real estate market.

We truly love what we do and are passionately committed to our clients, their needs and advancing their interests. We represent both buyers and sellers with many repeat clients but we are always expanding our client base. Our belief is that by working with you you will make better informed decisions in this most important of areas of life.

We invite you to contact us to learn more and to start your success story now.

SOME STUFF TO KNOW.

To that extent possible, the information here is copyright protected. But other information such as links, articles and the like are only reproduced here for market education purposes. Remember to research all matters discussed here to your own satisfaction.

Terms & Conditions

Real estate is always changing and evolving. It's complex and can be as fickle as it is surprising. And while the information and knowledge on this site is considered to be accurate and correct, it cannot be warranted. Market conditions in San Francisco, California, and the world can change with a tweet or a sneeze and is beyond anyone's control.

In San Francisco, things like local, state and federal tax regulations can change with big implications. Other things like rent control rules, eviction control, lending practices and standards, building and zoning regulations are just a few of the other things that can change with little or no notice. All of these things and other intangible factors can and will impact market values and performance. 

Kevin is a licensed California attorney but focuses on real estate about 99.9 percent of the time. It's important to note that while you can’t take the attorney out of him he will not be acting as your attorney here. This speaks to the larger point that you should also seek out qualified folks who work in their respective sectors if you have further questions. 

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Our site uses cookies developed by third parties for a variety of purposes with the most important ones to us being focused on supporting our abilities to support our clients — current and future — as they look for San Francisco real estate services.

Also, cookies may also be used to track how you use our site, which, of course, may give rise to seeing related advertisements on other websites you visit. To comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, we have deployed various measures you may see on this site. If you have a question or concern, feel free to contact us at [email protected]. We want you to be aware that your personal information stays private with us with SSL standards here among other protocols we employ. 

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Kevin K. Ho, DRE 01875957/SBN 233408

Jonathan B. McNarry, DRE 01747295

Vanguard Properties
2501 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
555 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

Real Estate During COVID-19

Reaching Out And Touching Someone (Figuratively as social distancing says otherwise)

 

It’s back to the good ’ol phone call for most folks who are eschewing Zoom calls these days, according to the New York Times.

For all the virtual tours and property videos (like the several hundred we’ve done on YouTube), it turns out that people are using phones for their original purpose: talking.

When in doubt, phone a (real estate) friend.

 

From the New York Times:

Phone calls are making a comeback. The nation’s biggest telecommunications companies were prepared for a huge shift toward more internet use from home, but did not expect the return of plain old voice calls.

Verizon is now handling an average of 800 million wireless calls a day during the week, more than double the number made on Mother’s Day, one of the busiest call days of the year. Verizon added that the length of voice calls was up 33 percent from an average day before the outbreak. AT&T said that the number of cellular calls had risen 35 percent and that Wi-Fi-based calls had nearly doubled from averages in normal times.

In contrast, internet traffic is up only 20 percent to 25 percent from typical daily patterns, AT&T and Verizon said.

Which reminds us that if you need any real estate help — buying or selling — give Kevin and Jonathan a call today — 415.875.7408. 

 

 

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

Kevin Appears on KTVU-2 Talking About the coronavirus' impact on San Francisco residential real estate

Practicing safe social distancing, Kevin Ho of San Francisco's Vanguard Properties talks with long-time reporter Amber Lee of KTVU-2 about a rare mix of anxiety, opportunity and yet optimism that's been brought on by the disruptive effect of COVID-19. The piece aired on March 25, 2020.  

Kevin is regularly asked to comment on area real estate developments and changes. 

Kevin and Jonathan’s Other Media-related Posts

Take a look below at other interviews and editorial contributions.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

On the Media with Kevin and Jonathan

Kevin and Jonathan On the Media in San Francisco

Kevin+

Jonathan

On the Media

Reaching more people authoritatively is a good thing and it’s something we’re asked to do regularly.

SOME WOULD SAY TELEGENIC

Imagine a carpenter without a hammer, a programmer without a computer — now imagine a marketer without a media skills. You would think that would be important in a front-facing professional who is going to either present a offer package or a prepared and packed property, right?  Good thing is that you don’t have to imagine working with agents who lack such vital skills and talents when you’re with Kevin+Jonathan. We are very good at what we do, so notable, in fact, that we’re sought out by various media outlets.  

We’ve been recognized as an authority on San Francisco’s real estate market by our clients, other agents and by tv news reporters too over the past few years. 

In addition to regular contributions to the San Francisco Chronicle's Real Estate section, Curbed SF and interviews on the evening news, we use our connections with feature writers and media outlets to highlight our listings in the editorial/feature context (read: not paid advertising, which we will do anyway) at every opportunity we can.

Take a look at some of the clips and contributions below.  

 

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

San Francisco Chronicle's Sound-Off: What Can Buyers Do To Help Their Agents with Kevin Ho+Jonathan McNarry

Getting into San Francisco’s real estate market can be daunting, but don’t worry, Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry have a map.

SF Gate's Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? 

We compare how San Francisco real estate stacks up against its Super Bowl rivals Baltimore and Kansas City. It’s not even close.

ABC 7: Kevin Talks About the Market Impact of San Francisco's Millennium Tower's Upcoming Fix

Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties is interviewed by ABC7 Bay Area about the latest chapter in the Millennium Tower (301 Mission Street) saga a $100M fix where more than 200 pylons are to be driven into the ground to prop up the leaning luxury skyscraper.

SF Chronicle: Q+A: How Do Agents Get Each Other’s Attention?

How do agents learn about each other’s property listings in San Francisco? Explore the ways with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s leading locally owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

San Francisco Chronicle: Q+A: How do I determine my priorities before I search for a home? By Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

How to buy the right home in San Francisco while honoring your budget and priorities? Start by hiring Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top producers, REALTORS with San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage.

San Francisco Chronicle: Q+A: How Has the Internet Impacted Real Estate By Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry (Jan 20, 2019)

The intersection of the Internet and real estate has made it even more important to have experienced agents like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry whose perspective and deep familiarity with San Francisco markets help their clients win in the City’s competetive markets.

San Francisco Chronicle: Q+A: Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry Talk About Real Estate as a Hedge Against Risk

Why San Francisco real estate is a good hedge against stock market turbulence with built-in benefits and potential to add value from Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco

San Francisco Chronicle: Q+A: August 26, 2018 – K+J on Open House Etiquette

How are you suppose to act when you go to an open house and how agents are supposed to act with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-producing San Francisco agents representing buyers and sellers.

San Francisco Chronicle: Q+A: Sound Off: How important is parking and access to public transportation?

Read Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry’s thoughts about how real estate values improve if a property has parking and proximity to public transportation, especially in San Francisco real estate.

As Featured in the Chronicle's Sunday Real Estate Section: Two-bedroom in Potrero Hill, 875 Vermont

Kevin and Jonathan’s media savvy and adroitness of preparing listings to look their best will naturally draw media coverage. See how they bring their A-game, including media coverage, on their sellers’ behalf,

SF Curbed's 2017 Roundup: Kevin+Jonathan's Contributions

For the past few years our friends at SF Curbed have asked Kevin Ho to take part in their annual roundup of local luminaries such as architects, bloggers, urban planning folks and noted bloggers (we’re the real estate folks of course). 2017 was no different. Here are the questions and his answers then.

Curbed SF: Our Central Avenue Compact + Cute Condo Gets Great Coverage from Curbed SF 

Coverage of another one of our listings from our friends at Curbed SF. This time it’s an absurdly cute, upgraded NoPa condominium at 913 Central.

Curbed SF: Converted 1927 SOMA Warehouse Wows to the Tune of $2.9 Million — Curbed SF

As featured on Curbed SF our listing at 735 Clementina in San Francisco’s SOMA district.

Hatchbeat: September's Full House of San Francisco Real Estate: Kevin's Hatchbeat Column

September is the time when San Francisco’s real estate market wakes up from its summer hibernation especially after Labor Day. Kevin Ho, Vanguard Properties and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties discuss how this September may be different from past ones for buyers and sellers of real estate.

Curbed SF: Noe Valley Fixer Sells for $2.8M, Nearly $1M Over Asking - Flip Watch - Curbed SF

A record-setting price for a fixer house in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood of nearly $3M as positioned, prepared and marketed by Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties. The pair knew how to market the property at 1072 Noe Street to developers by stressing the property’s location and potential.

Curbed SF: What Was the Best New Building Project of 2014? - Year in Curbed - Curbed SF

Welcome to Year in Curbed, wherein we close out 2014 by asking local design, real estate, and media luminaries to reflect on the highlights and lowlights of a year’s worth of development in San Francisco, Kevin Ho, realtor at Vanguard Properties, contributes.

San Francisco's building boom leads to surprising development deals | www.ktvu.com

Vanguard Properties realtor Kevin Ho told KTVU a lot of work will need to be done to support the thousands of new residents developers hope to bring to San Francisco.

KTVU News with Kevin Ho: Change in condo conversion policy would majorly... | www.ktvu.com

Vanguard Properties agent Kevin Ho talks about San Francisco’s suspension of its condo lottery and how it’ll impact property prices in the city.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It’s Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It’s Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Kevin Gets Quoted on Realtor.com talking about the Castro and why it’s such a sought-after neighborhood in San Francisco:

The Castro is filled with multistory, century-old Victorian and Edwardian homes. Most have been divided into two- and three-bedroom condos that fetch between $1.2 million and $1.8 million or more, says local real estate agent Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties. It’s rare for these homes in the neighborhood to come onto the market that aren’t subdivided into units. A full house typically has three to four bedrooms and two to three bathrooms. They start at $2 million and go way up from there. “Gay neighborhoods tend to be better maintained because there’s more of an emphasis on curb appeal and aesthetics,” says Ho, who lives and works in the Castro. “It’s a really fun neighborhood that draws a lot of people from a lot of different places.”

Read More: Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It’s Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com®

How to Hold (Vest) Title Over Your Property

Title vesting in San Francisco

How You Own It

(Title and Vesting in San Francisco) 

Whose Property Is It Anyway? Community Property, Joint Tenancy, Tenants in Common — But why are we talking about tenants? 

 

All the other stuff you’ve gone through up until this point is just the opening act for the headliner: The Title Deed Transfer between the Seller and the Buyer. But How Will You Hold (Vest) Title? 

Okay, we're just about to be done with the sales, financing and disclosure part of the transaction. All that's left is the signing. But what exactly are you signing? Whose names will appear on the documents? This is public record after all. Does it really matter? 

Yes. It does matter. The deed transfer can seem a bit ho-hum compared to the drama that’s come before with open houses, debates on value, waiting for an offer's outcome, but how you hold title over your soon-to-be property tells the world that, yes, you do own the property but it also communicates how you own property and what happens to that property if you aren’t around to sell it or otherwise. 

Take it from me — a trained lawyer — who also happens to come from the most old-school of property law states in the country  — Iowa. The laws governing property transfers, use and inheritance derive, like most places in the U.S., from English law. But as the UK and most other states evolved, Iowa hasn't really moved away fomr notions like the rule against perpetuities. Indeed, in Iowa and other places east of the Rockies, you'll find that that most property law seems to focus around death and the disposal of your property ‘upon the death of...’  to X, or an estate to Y 'for the life of...' 

And while California and many other states are far more liberal and progressive than states like Iowa, with property law, presumptions and equal rights between spouses, the obsession with what happens when things go south still permeates how you ‘hold’ title over your property here as it does there. 

DISCLAIMER: OF COURSE, you should consult an estate, real estate and/or tax lawyer and/or the escrow folks if you have questions about what the various forms of ownership all mean and what implications each form has. While changes to the form of ownership are relatively simple to make — a quitclaim deed that gets recorded at the County Recorder's Office — making changes may raise lender issues along with larger estate, tax and family law issues too.  

Before we get started...

A few things you should know about title documentation and the process generally.

Who

The transferor (the seller) will sign the same paper as the transferee (the buyer) before a notary public (so bring your thumbs and ID) in most cases. Most title officers and companies are public notaries themselves or have easy access to these folks 

Usage and Lingo

How you’re named on the title deed document is how you ‘hold’ title or how title is ‘vested’

HOW TO MAKE Changes (Like Big Changes)

If you get inherit property from your family members a spouse or get married, divorced or put your property into a living trust (a very good idea given how expensive property prices are here) there’s a simple form that you can complete and go to the Recorder’s Office to, well, record. But it’s easier (and probably better) to have a title company help you do this. There should be a nominal charge for a notary public’s services (like $50-100)

A Description Please

Title transfer documents usually include a property’s legal description, which the title company will have. The property description will take one of two forms:  a description that refers to a book and page of a larger parcel map/land grant and then lay out the dimensions of the parcel, 25 west to X and then 100 feet to Y and so forth. Alternatively, condos and TICs will have different references to different documents that don't necessarily contain measurements.

Where DO WE SIGN? WHAT DO WE SIGN? 

The title transfer document is really easy and has the signatures of the seller(s) and buyer(s), a document from a notary public verifying the document was signed in front of them and after they confirmed your identity, and the legal description of the propertty. The documents are usually prepared by and signed at the title/escrow company. Do remember that notaries are mobile and can be sent anywhere for you to sign.

Implications, pt 1

In most cases, filing a deed transfer between buyers and sellers will trigger a property tax base reassessment except for cases like transferring a property into a trust or between spouses. There are ither regulations and propositions that spare recipients a reassessment, e.g., from parent to child, grandparents to child, etc.  

Implications, Pt 2 (A Tax for Stamping)

Deed transfers are usually taxed by the county (transfer tax or stamp tax) according to a graduated formula if the transfer is a sale. But many transfers like ones between spouses, family members, or from the property’s owners into a trust or company they own, for example, are most likely exempt from any transfer tax.

Where It Ends Up

The title deed transfer is recorded with the County Recorder and is public record (that’s where all that junk mail will come from). Information will usually include the names of the transferor and transferee (or their representatives), property address, date, and, the price paid and/or mortgage amount recorded.

CAREFUL: Keep Track of Who's At the Party

Pay attention and track named owners if you’re changing your vesting from one ownership form to another. If you take people off of title, you may run afoul of your mortgage and trigger a clause requiring full repayment if you’re not careful. 

Also, check the escrow/lender's work, i.e., are the right descriptions, APNs, and loans attached to the right property because fixing mistakes can take a long time.

We had one set of clients who condo converted their building. While they were paying off their mortgage and not getting a new one (as would need to happen in cases like these), their neighbor was. Problem was that the neighbor's lender recorded the new loan against the entire building again — including our client's unit. This caused enough confusion in the first place but made worse when all the team members of the lender all got different jobs while trying to prepare revised documents for the neighbor's loan. 

 

Ways to Hold Title When It’s Just You

Just You.

A Single Man, A Single Woman, An Individual, As Seperate Property...

Dinner for one? 

The property you're getting is all yours — 100%, which is all well and good unless and until you get married. Then you and your new spouse will have to have a talk about how to hold it going forward. If you bought your property before you got married with money you earned or had beforehand and if you want to keep it segregated your new honey, they may have to disclaim potential ownership rights they get by virtue of marriage to it via quitclaim deed. Otherwise the presumption is that some or all of the propetty will become jointly owned— community property. If the relationship goes south (and it just may) and contentious, questions like dividing assets like property will turn on things like this and other factual items like who paid property taxes, mortgages and/or remodeling.  

As Sole and Separate...

Ownership form where funds used to purchase property are an individual's or property remains segregated after marriage. (Also, if one spouse inherits property while the other doesn't, like from a family member). Make sure there's proper estate planning in place for an excluded spouse or children; premnuptial agreement may not be bad idea either.

Ways to Hold Title Between Individuals

When It's More than Just You.

Spouses, Joint Tenants, Tenants in Common, Trustees, LLCs, Corporations

It's a regular dinner party!

Now You're Planning For Two, Three, Four or More People Who You May or May Not Be Married To

This is where it gets complicated (or not).

If you’re planning on holding title over property (i.e., owning) with someone else — your spouse, registered domestic partner, parents, siblings, investors, or other TIC partners, for example — you should be prepared to have a seemingly quick or incredibly awkward conversation about what will happen to that property if X or Y happens.

For example, if you’re an unmarried couple, how will you account for any unequal amount of purchase monies each person contributes for a down payment? (See the above discussion about quitclaim deeds) What if one party cannot be on title, or a relationship starts after one half of a couple already owns the property?  In community property what happens if one spouse wants to bequeath their part of the property to someone else apart from the other spouse?

For unrelated owners what happens if one owner wants to borrow against the property’s value but the other has no idea that's happening and receives a loan notice one day? Take a look below for how TIC agreements and partnership agreements work. 

In all cases, prudent property owners will either choose an ownership form where there are clear rules governing the disposition of property based on certain events or draft written agreements and/or estate planning documents that will define what happens when there’s a death, divorce or separation or otherwise.

Even if it's just the two of you, you still want to have estate planning documentation or marriage dissolution documents in place as you don't want to have to go through the time-consuming, non-private and expensive probate process where a judge supervises how an estate gets divided up.

Addressing issues like this even in the abstract in a proactive way before anything actually happens is an extremely important step you can take before we close escrow that can save you countless tax dollars and legal fees down the road lest you (or your heirs) resolve these issues in open court.

Community Property + Joint Tenancy

The most common ownership forms

Community Property, as Spouses, Husband and Wife, Husband and Husband, Wife and Wife, Domestic Partners

ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL This is what you’d think it’d be in California: 50:50 — each person gets and is presumed to own half of the marital property. (Note there are different rules in common law states)  Formally, it’s known as “community property,” is a relatively newer, more equal concept in many states (but not all) whereby all the property acquired during a marriage/domestic partnership will be deemed to be held in equal shares by each spouse. The marriage/partnership creates a third actor, the ‘community,' (unless there’s a pre-nup or a quitclaim deed declaring the property as being ‘sole and separate,') Within the community property context, the presumption is that if one spouse dies before the other, the dying spouse's half will go to the surviving spouse — hence community property with surviorship. While both spouses are alive, both spouses must approve a property’s sale together as they both control the property. Even if one spouse's name isn't on title, the presumption applies. The duty between spouses when it comes to the community's property is a fiduciary one to boot. This means that if a spouse is not informed about the transfer of community assets by the other spouse to someone else than the spouse, this could amount to a breach of that duty which can be undone by a court if it is deemed as fraud on community even if the transfer was unintentional. Of course, this ownership form can get complicated if things break down between the spouses or if once formerly separate property gets commingled to the point where it's seemingly impossible to separate it out.  So what's the solution? We usually advise our clients that it's wise to have a trust of some kind in place if they have a lot of valuable assets that they want to have flexibility in controlling trust assets (such as property) and privacy.  

Joint Tenants For the Time Being But....

EQUAL UP TO A POINT

As a joint tenant (owner), each owner will own an equal percentage of a property in conjunction with the other owner(s) — i.e., each will own an undivided interest in equal shares with equal rights over a property.

This means owners must simultaneously buy and assume title over the property in order to create a joint tenancy. The joint tenancy continues to exist so long as the status quo is maintained.

Apart from divorce and absent an estate plan, what happens if one owner dies before the other(s)? 

There are two outcomes: (1) if one owner dies and wills the property to anyone else other than the remaining owner, everyone will become tenants in common with the surviving owner; (2) Absent that, the standard joint tenancy ownership form comes with a survivorship right that gives the decedent’s share the other surviving joint tenant(s) without the need for court proceedings known as probate.

Tenancy In Common (Think: Owners in Common)

OWNERSHIP IS FOR AN UNDIVIDED INTEREST IN A PROPERTY; PERCENTAGES STATED IN A CONTRACT OR BY LAW (OR A COURT)

At its core, ownership as tenants in common means that each owner owns an ‘undivided’ interest in the entire property. This can lead to all kinds of questions about how decisions are made regarding a property — upgrade it, keep it, sell it, refinance or use it as collateral. But the biggest questions come when it comes time to sell the property. If the owners don’t agree and there's no ownership (read: TIC) agreement, there are certain methods that apply to resolve the impasse and process, which usually involve court proceedings and a judge.

But that's not for here. Instead... 

What about TICs on the market? Do they have TIC Agreements in place already?

When you see a TIC on the market there's usually a TIC Agreement in place or one will be created in order for the sale close. You shouldn't close without one either unless you're related or married to the other owners or have a separate written agreement. 

These TIC agreements are usually done by one of 3-4 law firms in the City. The agreements themselves don't get recorded like a set of CC&Rs would for a condominium project, but certain memos of understanding and related documentation like Assumption and Release addenda may well get recorded.  

Each time a TIC share changes hands, one of a handful of law firms in the City ) will prepare a contract addendum that is referred to as an Assumption and Release for the buyer and seller, where the selling owner is released from TIC obligations and where the future owner assumes the seller’s position in the TIC ownership structure.

TIC agreements are, at their root, a contract where the various owners of a property set out to define what percentage of the property’s title each owner has, how the HOA is run, who pays what property taxes and dues, and how units can be bought or sold. 

And while a TIC may look like a condominium and effectively operate like one, a TIC Homeowner Association, is governed by a private contract. This is unlike a condominium situation where there are specific parts of California’s Civil Code that HOAs in California are meant to follow regarding records and budgeting. 

It’s vital that all the owners sign the relevant TIC agreement when there's a sale and when there are bigger administrative changes as there could be complications if you have an owner who’s not bound by a TIC agreement. A non-signatory owner could, in theory, march into your unit and say it's theirs and there wouldn't be much you could do to stop them as they'd own an undivided interest in the entire property.   

 

Variation I. Corporate Forms 

This is when a group of folks buy a property as an investment (an income property), for redevelopment purposes (the flip), or a business (a shop or restaurant). While the property is held by an LLC, LLP, Inc., Corp., and so on, the person signing the documents must be someone with the authority to do so — usually a manager, CEO, president, and so on. Each entity should have its own set of operating and governing documents that the escrow folks will usually ask to see to confirm signing authority to sell or buy property is legitimate. 

Variation II. Family/Estate-Driven Forms 

Perhaps the most useful, flexible and convenient ownership form for most couples and families who purchase property is some kind of living/revocable trust. While we've alluded to them above, the short and long of a trust is that it's a created entity governed by state law. There are certain duties and expectations placed on a trust that go beyond the scope of this discussion but suffice to say you can always convey or place a piece of property into a trust via quitclaim deed so long as doing so doesn't trigger any lending or community issues. The title folks will know more but this is when you'll see property held by John Q Public, "as trustee" instead of a "married man," "unmarried man," "single-man," "manager," "joint tenant" or "tenant in common." 

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Q+A

The San Francisco Chronicle asks expert area realtors questions every week for their Sound-Off segment found in its Sunday Real Estate Section. The online counter part appears on SF Gate. We've been asked to contribute and do so fairly often, which is what you're seeing here.  

Q: How do you go about setting a list price? Does pricing below market rate always cause a bidding war, or can that backfire?” A: Like it or not, the convention in the City is for agents to list a property for sale with a lower-than-expected list price on purpose. We tell our clients that a list price is as important for what it says directly and what it implies. Determining a property’s value to our clients is our job and that number will depend on each client’s goals. Some agents take the premise that 3/4ths of San Francisco properties sell for over list and underprice so radically, that they might as well offer the property for sale for $1. This will lead to mobbed open houses, scores of disclosure packages being sent out, and offers by the dozen. Yes, this style can work, but carries the risk that a winning buyer gets cold feet and walks away when the euphoria of ‘winning’ the property wears off. Runners-up might be so off-put by the process that they pass if given a chance to buy if the winners walk. Worse yet, this auction-house style runs the real risk of putting off solid and qualified buyers who don’t write an offer out of fear of being gamed. We think a more measured property-specific pricing approach is better in most cases. To maximize our seller results, we work with our sellers to make their properties shine so that we elicit emotional and visceral responses from buyers so they fall in love with a property. This is a more involved approach but leads to buyers who are not only far more committed to a property but willing to pay more for it.

The online version of this was published on October 14, 2019 while the print version was published on Sunday, October 13, 2019. Find the online version here.

What Percentage of Homes Sell for Over List? 

Take a look at live data from the MLS and see: 

For More Sound-Off Snippets...

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off: What Can Buyers Do To Help Their Agents with Kevin Ho+Jonathan McNarry

Kevin+Jonathan In and On the Media

Kevin+Jonathan on the media

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Q+A

The San Francisco Chronicle asks expert area realtors questions every week for their Sound-Off segment found in its Sunday Real Estate Section. The online counter part appears on SF Gate. We've been asked to contribute and do so fairly often, which is what you're seeing here.  

Q: What’s some things clients (buyers or sellers) can do to make your job and the overall transaction process easier?

A: From day one, we start educating our clients with a big BART-like map with all the possible stops and paths we’ll encounter on our trip to the client’s destination. (See below) It’s akin to a choose-your-own-adventure book.

The visual aid helps our clients come up to speed on how we buy and sell prosperities in the most expensive market in the country. This speaks to the larger point of how important it is to both learn and trust the process. It’s a process where countless folks work every day to match the right buyers with the right seller.

The quicker our clients understand that the buying and selling process is going to involve going through stops and starts, places they don’t think they’ll go, and that there could be delays, the sooner they’ll join the ranks of our successful homeowners and sellers.

The online version of this was published on December 1, 2019 while the print version was published on Sunday, December 1, 2019. Find the online version here.

For More Sound-Off Snippets...

 

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section

San Francisco Chronicle's Sound-Off: What Can Buyers Do To Help Their Agents with Kevin Ho+Jonathan McNarry

Getting into San Francisco’s real estate market can be daunting, but don’t worry, Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry have a map.

SF Gate's Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? 

We compare how San Francisco real estate stacks up against its Super Bowl rivals Baltimore and Kansas City. It’s not even close.

SF Gate’s Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? 

Sound off from the San Francisco Chronicle (Feb 2, 2020 Edition)

Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend?

We get asked to share our take on real estate by our friends at the San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate, like the one above. Here's our answer to this week's question about the Super Bowl's impact on open houses: 

This weekend you’re likely to see more red and gold and fair-weather civic pride out there than open house signs. The cutest condo ever can’t compete with a spectacle as big as the Super Bowl, especially when our hometown team is playing, which no one expected.

Because us agents work hard to keep property listings from become stale (or even being perceived as such), many will advise sellers to come to market after folks are done being distracted by the holidays, which should really also include the Super Bowl as 115 million people travel during the holidays and about 100 million watch the game.

The charming 2-bed, 2-bath, house can’t compete with J.Lo and Shakira just as the pricey open floor plan can’t compete with the far pricier spectacle where the commercials alone cost $175,000 a second. Sports fans rule the roost this weekend for sure, but don’t worry real estate fans, prime time is just about to kick off.

Published at: Sound Off: Will the 49ers playing in the Super Bowl affect open houses this weekend? - SFGate 

That got us to thinking about how we stack up to ourselves and to our rivals:
It's Pricy Here for Sure.

Now and Then, Here and There. What if you bought a house last time the 49ers were in the Super Bowl? And how does SF stack up against its opponents real estate wise?

 

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SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Still Busy During Covid with Kevin+Jonathan

Even during a Pandemic, people need to buy and sell houses and properties. See why it’s been such a busy market in San Francisco with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, the largest, locally owned and operated boutique brokerage in the Bay Area.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: Impact a Second Corona Spike on San Francisco's Housing Market Considered with Kevin+Jonathan

How has another wave of Corona-19 cases impacted San Francisco’s housing market? It’s emphasized how important it is to be working with professionals like Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of San Francisco’s largest, independently owned brokerage Vanguard Properties.

Kevin Quoted in Mission Local: “Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now - Mission Local”

“A lot of renters have become buyers,” observed real estate agent Kevin Ho. “All the talk of exodus — that’s the headline-grabbing news — but the real news is that a lot of buyers have a little more affordability. And a little more balance to the market allows them to own a piece of San Francisco.”

Ho said more of the buyers right now seem to be people who want to live in the home they’re purchasing, rather than using it as an investment. He said some of the recent changes to the law around tenant protections and rent forgiveness might be having an impact, and investors “don’t necessarily want to assume that risk.” In Mission Local.

Kevin on KTVU-2 Talking About Corona and SF Real Estate

San Francisco real estate and the coronavirus/COVID-19 as discussed by Kevin Ho of San Francisco’s Vanguard Properties, the leading locally owned luxury brokerage for the San Francisco Bay Area. The forecast is optimistic, the question is when.

Top Places for LGBTQ Folks to Live—and It's Not Just NYC and San Francisco | realtor.com

Talking about destination neighborhoods for LGBTQ folks, Kevin Ho of Vanguard Properties discusses how the Castro in San Francisco’s Eureka Valley, stacks up compared to other destinations and why it has a unique appeal.

SF Chronicle Sound-Off Q+A: On Setting a List Price with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry

Setting a property’s list price or better yet trying to find a property’s real market value is always tricky especially in high-value and competitive markets like San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, top-ranked agents at San Francisco’s luxury boutique brokerage Vanguard Properties handle the question in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sound-Off Section