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

Is it a good time or not for real estate?

ON THE MEDIA 

Mission Local Talks Real Estate During Corona

Kevin gets quoted and sounds a bit more upbeat and nuanced than all those other agents. 

Is it a good time or not for real estate?

The real estate market in the Mission District and San Francisco appears to be on its way to recovering from the shutdown in March, according to several real estate agents ... 

— Originally published July 9, 2020 on missionlocal.org/2020/07/real-estate-market-in-the-mission-appears-to-recover-for-now/

Real estate market in the Mission appears to recover, for now

 

The real estate market in the Mission District and San Francisco appears to be on its way to recovering from the shutdown in March, according to several real estate agents, although some parts of the market remain sluggish.

“The market is holding up pretty strong, but it depends on the segment,” said real estate agent Ruth Krishnan. “Condos and high-rise buildings are the softest. I would say people aren’t super stoked about getting in an elevator. And people have decided that they really, really value outdoor space and greenery.”

Krishnan said her agency recently sold a condo in the Mission District on Shotwell Street.

“It did very well, but it had this beautiful private garden,” she said. “With condos, definitely the ones that are doing the best, selling the quickest, and selling for the highest prices have outdoor space. That’s a big thing for people right now.”

 

“Most of the stuff sitting right now, it just doesn’t have any yard space,” she added.

Krishnan said that, typically, March is the busiest month for real estate in San Francisco, but this year all listings were pulled when the shelter-in-place order was announced. That didn’t keep things down for long, though. The city added real estate to the list of essential businesses on March 31, and Krishnan immediately started seeing business pick up.

“I was shocked. Right coming out of [March], people were already writing very aggressive offers. I was like, ‘Wait, what? Really? Right now?’” she said.

The monthly median house sale price in San Francisco set a new record of $1.8 million in June, according to the monthly report from the Compass real estate brokerage. “But it’s just a single month,” added Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst for Compass.

“I never would have guessed that we would see this sort of rebound around the Bay Area, in the midst of one of the greatest health and economic crises in U.S. history,” Carlisle said.

Although the rebound in San Francisco is dramatic, it’s the smallest of the Bay Area, he said. Other counties — including more rural areas like Sonoma, Napa, Monterey, and Santa Cruz counties — have all seen spikes that “may be higher than at any time in history, in terms of offers being accepted.”

The rebound in San Francisco might not be as pronounced, perhaps, because the city has stricter shelter-in-place rules, Carlisle said, or perhaps because it’s the most densely populated region of the Bay Area.

 

“The Mission remains popular and strong,” said real estate agent Jennifer Rosdail. “The shutdown slowed it down at first, but people have figured out how to get their transactions done, and it’s accelerating a little bit.”

Since April, Rosdail said sales started coming back and have improved each month. “I’ve seen that in every segment I’ve checked — except for the luxury homes over, like, $2.5 million,” she said.

There aren’t many of those more expensive single-family homes in the Mission, but in a neighborhood like Noe Valley, the pattern is striking, Rosdail said. Single-family homes priced lower than $2.5 million there are moving much more quickly than those above $2.5 million, and more appear to be entering the market than are being sold.

“I think that dichotomy is interesting. I see a deceleration in the luxury homes” in Noe Valley, Rosdail said.


"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." — Kevin Ho


Taking the city as a whole, Carlisle’s analysis shows luxury single-family homes priced above $3 million are increasing in price — but that’s based on properties that have accepted offers, while Rosdail is also examining the growing supply of inventory in Noe Valley.

By and large, Carlisle said he prefers not to look at individual neighborhoods.

“When you look at a specific neighborhood, the sales numbers are so low, it’s hard for the data to be statistically reliable,” he said. “I generally try to look at them only on an annual basis.”

But, even with small sample sizes, it remains the only tool we have.

Crunching the numbers for the Mission, Rosdail said things were picking up in terms of volume and price — but that didn’t mean losses had been fully recovered, especially for condos. Comparing the median price of a two-bedroom condo that sold in May this year with the same time period last year, the price had dropped from $1.25 million to $1.05 million — or about 16 percent less. But, again, prices have gone up since then.

“April was a terrible month to sell your home. May wasn’t so bad. June was pretty good,” Rosdail said. “I don’t think we’re going to experience a summer slowdown this year; I think we already had it in April. People are just going to keep charging forward.”

The pandemic has also shifted what many people normally think of as in-demand neighborhoods.

“Outer Richmond is hot right now. The Sunset is doing great, because people want more space, they want to be away from each other,” Rosdail said.  Meanwhile, condos in SoMa haven’t been moving as quickly.

“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 San Francisco, the market for apartment buildings has also changed. For buildings with six or more apartments, Ho said the market had “quieted down, with not much movement.”

“For four units or under, we’re seeing good activity, because it’s more manageable,” he said. “Bigger buildings with multiple units, we’re seeing that market kind of take a pause as they wait and see how this pans out, because of all those changes” to rental laws.

Not all real estate agents Mission Local spoke to were convinced prices would continue to climb. An agent familiar with the Mission District, but who did not wish to be quoted by name, conveyed skepticism that the rush the city had seen over the past few months would be sustainable. Buyers may become choosier before submitting an offer on a less-desirable property, they argued, which could lead to more houses than buyers.

Analyzing numbers can tell us how the market has performed so far, but predicting the future remains as elusive as ever.

For More Media Mentions ...

 

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

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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.

Getting the Home Lending Process Started | Advice from Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco

Starting the Financing Process

While there’s more to come for sure, we wanted to give you the first steps in tacking the home mortgage application process which will most likely be the most annoying part of the entire home buying process. 

HUNT+GATHER

A lender will only speak in generalities until they see your paperwork as they need documentation, documentation and more documentaion.  So you should start by gathering these materials and you should keep the originals and PDF them as you’ll have to send these materials in at least a few times. 

If you have any questions about documents or special circumstances it’s best to CALL your lender rep versus emailing them. 

Last 2 years of W–2s &1040s for self–employed and/or tax returns (personal & business returns 

FILED (e.g., 1120, Sched. K–1) Last 2 pay stubs & employer verification/ability to do so easily; year-end pay statements, 2 years

Last 2 months bank statements (checking, savings, IRA, Money Market, etc)

Credit report fee (banks pull their own), you could provide your own to avoid multiple inquiries but they'll eventually get their own 

Photo I.D. (Driver’s License, Passport, Green Card, etc.) (VA letter/certification)

Landlord contact information 12 months proof of rent payments; i.e., canceled checks, statements, etc.

If you’re getting RSUs, vesting schedule showing award amounts and payouts

Gift Letter from relatives/investors; don’t forget they can ‘loan’ you money through forgivable loans 

All cash? Funds verification/bank statement

Changing jobs? Offer letter from new employer (potentially, 1 pay stub from pay cycle of new employer) 

For current homeowners: current mortgage statement/sales contract

Various HUD & lender application materials

Whatever underwriting requests Explanatory letter for any special cases or situations

LENDER HERE, LENDER THERE, WHICH ONE?

There’s much more than mortgage rate when it comes to getting a mortgage. While it might not seem like it, you are still ultimately a consumer who chooses where to take your business. In evaluating who you want to do your loan, here are some of the fine-print details that can set one loan apart from another: 

  • Origination points (i.e., lender fees to even do the loan) 
  • Post-close reserve requirements, if any (i.e., cash on deposit even after you close escrow) 
  • Early repayment penalties, if any  (that make refinancing or early sales less advantageous) 
  • Number of appraisals required for your purchase, even if it’s not a contingency (if each appraisal costs close to $1,000 . . .)
  • Escrow duration, as in how long it will take for them to close the purchase from when the offer is accepted to when we have keys
  • Reputation and ethics 
  • How vigorous their underwriting is and how forgiving they are 
  • Down payment requirements (10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 percent?) 
  • How often credit is pulled (and how long a credit report lasts) 
  • If a lender is willing to have a second mortgage with their first mortgage 
A Mortgage Calculator (Just the Mortgage)

Yes, San Francisco and the Bay Area are expensive places to buy property. Good thing that there are lots of ways to buy a home. While cash is king, all-cash offers aren’t always the offers that win. We will explore some of the potential options for financing your purchase later one, but here is the documentation that most lenders will want to review. Remember your circumstances will be different so be aware of that.  

What Questions Can We Answer? 

There’s a lot to digest here we know. Feel free to ping us if you have someting you'd like to ask us. 

FOLKS WHO CAN HELP

We’ve worked with a lot of folks who have helped our clients get their homes. Reach out to them to see if they’d be a match for you. 

Conventional Purchases, Houses, Condos, Multi-Unit

Tony Alencar
Citibank
NMLS # 484714
Home Lending Officer
Cell: (415) 215-1239
[email protected]

Bridge, Portfolio, Unconventional

Patrick D Skovran
Boston Private
NMLSR #453408
SVP Market Leader – Residential Lending
415.806.8980 cell
415.402.3140 office
[email protected]

Conventional Purchases

Sean Patrick Farrell
Wells Fargo
NMLSR ID 507300
Home Mortgage Consultant
500 12th St, Suite 150
Oakland, CA 94607
MAC A0202-011
Tel: 510-267-1315
[email protected]

Mortgage Broker/Portfolio

Peter Barnes
RPM Mortgage
NMLS # 239580
1385 Shattuck Avenue unit B
Berkeley, CA 94709
Office # 510.647.5326
Cell # 415.302.3398
[email protected]

Construction, Purchase and Renovation, Development, Mortgage Broker

Connie Buchanan
Stephanie Hoff
California Real Estate Loans
NMLS #241170 & DRE #01200004
APMC dba California Real Estate Loans, Inc.
600 N San Mateo Dr, San Mateo, CA 94401
Cell: 415-999-2172
Tel: 650-342-4466
Fax: 650-342-9504
[email protected]

Unconventional, Investment, Remodel

Leman J Woo
Loan Depot
NMLS # 916227
Senior Loan Consultant
700 Airport Boulevard Suite 280
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 993-7580 office
(415) 812-2934 cell
[email protected]

What Else? 

See more on the topic.

Paying for it All: San Francisco Financed Purchases + Mortgages Considered By Kevin and Jonathan

Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties, San Francisco, consider some of the financing products they and their clients have encountered when buying and selling property in San Francisco over the past few years including fixed mortgages, adjustable ones and exotic ones — each suited for a given property and offering situation.

Better Buying: How A Financed Offer Can Still Win in San Francisco's Competitive Real Estate Market

How to win property in San Francisco while still getting a mortgage: non-contingent financing. Top tips from Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco

Yes, It's possible to buy for less than 20 percent down

Think a 20% down payment is the only way to buy property in San Francisco? Think Again. There are many mortgage programs out there that allow you to get into a home now while rates are low and appreciation potential remains strong in San Francisco. Advice from Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties

General Information Only.

Remember that the advice above is just for information only and that your situation, circumstances are unique to you and that you should consult a financial professional before proceeding with any application for credit. Things in the financial sector can and do change with little or no notice, so keep current. Also, referrals above are to lending professionals we’ve worked with previously but that we receive no consideration, rebate or otherwise from the folks listed above. You must make the right choice for you exercising your own judgment and assessment. 

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

 

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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

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." 

Strategic Updates and Before and Afters with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco, CA

BEFORE AND AFTER
Everyone loves before and after pictures.
And here are some examples where we helped our clients prepare their properties for the market.
Ask Us About Unlocking Your Property's Potential

C

reating the right look, touch, and feel is key to ensuring that our clients’ properties are presented in the best possible light.

Sometimes that means a fixer will just be shown as a fixer. For us, however, it will be one that’s clean, bright and open. We’ll stress the property’s potential by imagining the space as it could be and arm buyers with the knowledge of what steps are needed to get there.

Check out some examples below including one where we bested early estimates and ended up closing at nearly $1M over (a realistic) list price.

But most times our clients’ properties are livable and decent enough. The key to getting a sale price that is truly special is by presenting spaces that have that extra “it” factor — spaces that will inspire buyers into action emotionally.

Before you think that updating is cost-prohibitive and too time-consuming, think again. We have access to a network of trades professionals and vendors who our various clients have retained to transform their properties into showcase ones by following a tailored preparation plan that we've created taking our clients' budgets, timelines and goals into consideration.  

Take a look at some of our most notable examples below. 

San Francisco’s Real Estate is a Place Where: 

ROI IS HIGH. Every dollar invested (wisely) into a property should yield that dollar back and many more.

YOU GOT ME FEELING EMOTIONS. Despite being data-driven, many San Francisco buyers are nevertheless emotional ones looking to connect with the right home. 

I GOT IT. People have mysterious amounts of money but scarce time, so they’re willing to pay more for something that’s done, done, done.

CALL + RETURN. Properties that harken back to or conjure up childhood or traditional themes while also attending to details, do very well. 

DETAILS, DETAILS. Properties that are architect- or designer-designed can do very well indeed as they have a certain point of view that developers and contractors may not have.

The two above points confirm that thoughtfully and well-prepared properties outperform cookie-cutter ones as our experience with buyers and sellers confirms time and time again.  

 

Examples

 

While there are many more, these will give you a sense of what we suggest our clients do.

The Numbers

  • What: 3-Bed, 1-Bath, No Parking 
  • Where: 714 Page Street 
  • When: 2018
  • What: Kitchen cabinets + counters, Bathroom finishes, new tile, Hallway lights, Lighting fixtures, Repainting, sound dampening, Refinishing wood floors
  • Previous Purchase Price: $610,000 (2012) 
  • Pre-reno/As-Is Market Value Estimate: $1,000,000
  • Renovation Cost: $70,000
  • Renovation Duration: 3-4 weeks
  • Sale Price: $1,375,000 (July 2018)

Befores and Afters On Page Street

Our clients, a government attorney and a nurse practitioner, bought their home as a tenancy-in-common a few years before they met us. A job relocation necessitated a move. Their ground-floor 3-bed, 1-bath converted condominiums that was solid and functional but also dark and dated.

Using existing custom cabinets and systems we proposed a series of cosmetic changes that would boost the value of our clients' property that included painting and reconfiguring custom kitchen cabinets, swapping out a pedestal sink for a floating vanity, and — perhaps most important — updating the home's lighting. 

 

The Numbers

  • What: 2-Bed, 2-Bath, 1 Parking 
  • Where: 375 15th Avenue 
  • When: 2017
  • What: Kitchen, Living Room, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Hallway, Lighting, Repainting, Recarpeting, Install Wood Floors
  • Pre-reno/As-Is Market Value Estimate: $800,000
  • Renovation Cost: $70,000
  • Renovation Duration: 4-5 weeks
  • Sale Price: $1,340,000 (May 2017 after 3 days on the market)

Befores and Afters On 15th Avenue

Our clients, an office manager and former realtor, both based in Seattle, contacted us to help them value, clear-out, prepare, remodel, and sell this top-floor 2-bed, 2-bath vintage1980s condominium that was functional and very dated — all from a distance as they were in Seattle the entire time.  

Using existing custom cabinets and systems we proposed a series of cosmetic changes that would boost the property's value that included painting kitchen cabinets, replacing appliances, swapping out bath vanities and installing new LED mirrors, installng new wood floors (with sound dampening material) and updating the condo's lighting. 

 

The Plan

An excerpt of the plan we helped craft for our client.

The Pictures

The Marketing Pictures

What Will Your Property Look Like 

Unlock the potential in your property or in a property you want to buy by contacting Kevin+Jonathan today. 

How Much is Your Property Worth?

See how much yourself by clicking the link below. 

More and Related

How Superior Home Staging + Proper Presentation Boosts Final Sale Prices in San Francisco Real Estate from Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco Top Producers

San Francisco Top Producers Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties lay out why staging a property for sale is so important and how it impacts a property’s final sale price and how their detailing makes all the difference.

Evaluating San Francisco Properties + Renovating and Construction in San Francisco: An Overview with Kevin Ho +Jonathan McNarry

Explore how the Planning and Building Process works in San Francisco for residential properties and how it’s a complex, but rewarding process with Kevin Ho, Vanguard Properties

Sold: 714 Page Street, San Francisco | MLS 472016

Listed by Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, 714 Page Street is a luxurious and beautifully updated 3-bed, 1-bath condominium with a dream kitchen, garden access and elegant finishes that blend modern with its 105-year old history at the intersections of the Haight, Duboce, Hayes Valley and the Divisadero Corridor.

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

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

Q+As re San Francisco Real Estate

Besides broker tours, how can agents introduce other Realtors to their new listings?

There are so many ways to reach fellow agents these days like email and social media but at the root of a lot of client successes are tried and true ways of talking to agents face to face or spreading the word word-of-mouth in person, on the phone or via text.

Given the fact that Kevin is a trained lawyer and Jonathan is a trained nurse, they have a natural background to delve deeper and to be more inquisitive. As one of Kevin’s classmates at U.C. Berkeley’s law school said, “we’re a school of researchers, there’s nothing we won’t uncover!”

1. Word of Mouth. In person, via text or on the phone. There’s nothing like direct contact that are, of course, enhanced by established networks and good reputations.

2. In An Agent’s Own Office. There’s usually a list or repository of coming-soon or pocket listings. That or an agent will give their colleagues sneak peeks or early access to listings.

3. Top Agent Network. The invite-only, email forum for top-producing agents in the City to promote off-market or coming-soon listings or other information like upcoming price reductions or ‘buy-it-now’ prices

4. The MLS. Either as “coming soon” listings or, for active listings, what agents will say in the private comments section of a listing.

5. Direct Email. Less effective because folks are inundated with emails but it still does work in that they reach a wider audience of more agents.

Got a Question?

We have an answer

The worst question is the unasked one. So go ahead, tell us what’s on your mind. 

Got a Question About San Francisco Real Estate? See Kevin+Jonathan's Take.

How many new listings were there last month?

Live SF Real Estate Stats – What‘s Happening in YOUR Neighborhood from Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry – Live Real Estate Sale Price Data

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How's the Market Doing In Your Neighborhood?

Yes, there are ups and downs from time to time but the trend is positive

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Market Data for Our MLS Districts

All the data that’s fit to syndicate:

Click below for live median sale price data sorted by San Francisco’s real estate districts. The data stream is constantly updated.

SUMMARY:

Our market’s growth recovered after its low of 2011/2012 and has averaged a 6-7% growth rate over the last 30 years. As of 2020, we’re seeing the following:

  • Prices for iconic neighborhoods on the north side are always strong, but the luxury, ultra-high-end properties ($10 million or above) are taking longer to sell. But when properties sell up north they usually start in the $1,500/sqft+ range — all the way up to well past $2,000/sqft range.
  • Prices show that inventory is still tight for the middle districts (all the Valleys — Cole, Hayes, Eureka, Noe, the Haight, Mission Dolores, Duboce Triangle, Glen Park, Potrero, Bernal Heights with average prices starting in the $1,100+/sqft range
  • More residential neighborhoods — i.e., where single-family houses dominate, the Sunset, Richmond, Excelsior — were seeing lots of buyers out at open houses with multiple offers for fixers, done-up houses, etc. Price ranges vary far more because of the sheer number of houses and the finish level variation you would expect to find — anywhere from $800/sqft up to $1,500/sqft+ The closer a property is to the central core (the Inner Sunset, Inner Richmond, West Portal, Inner Parkside) the more expensive.
  • Luxury/high rise living is still strong in the South Beach/Rincon/Mission Bay area with sales take a little longer than houses but prices staying consistent with gradual appreciation.
  • COVID-19 — San Francisco was one of the first places to issue a shelter-in-place order in mid-March. As a response, available inventory declined by 50%. That said, ‘off-market’ statuses like ‘coming soon’ and ‘hold’ have swelled on the MLS. These are agent-only statuses not available for public consumption. Similarly, off-market venues like Top Agent Network and Aalto (which were to be disrupted by MLS rule changes in April/May 2020), have seen a marked increase in usage and listings. Watch Kevin discuss the methods and prospects for buyers and sellers in San Francisco on the evening news here.
  • As previous pandemics have shown (the Spanish flu in 1918, another in the 1950s and, more recently, with SARS), a recent Zillow study of historic real estate sales data show that the number of transactions will decline (obviously) but home prices stay consistent so by when the all-clear is given the real estate market will pick up where it left off. Therefore, hold onto your seats for a busy summer and fall 2020.

What other trends do you see? Is there something you want us to research? Let us know and we will talk it over with you.

Sales Prices vs Events in History for San Francisco Real Estate

District 1: The Northwest

San Francisco's MLS District 1

The Richmond, Sea Cliff, Lake Street, Laurel Heights

District 2: The West

San Francisco's MLS District 3

The Sunset, Parkside, Golden Gate Heights

District 3: The Southwest

San Francisco's MLS District 3

Pine Lake Park, Ingleside, Merced

District 4: The Hilly Middle

San Francisco's MLS District 3

Miraloma Park, St. Francis Wood, West Portal, etc.

District 5: The Sunny Middle

San Francisco's MLS District 5

Noe, Eureka, & Cole Valleys, Ashbury, Corona, & Dolores Heights, Mission Dolores

District 5: The Sunny Middle

San Francisco's MLS District 5

Noe, Eureka, & Cole Valleys, Ashbury, Corona, & Dolores Heights, Mission Dolores

District 5: The Upper Middle

San Francisco's MLS District 6

Hayes Valley, NoPa, Alamo Square, Lower Pacific Heights

District 7: Iconic SF, Part 1

San Francisco's MLS District 6

Presidio + Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow & the Marina

District 8: Iconic SF, Part 2

San Francisco's MLS District 6

Nob, Telegraph, & Russian Hills, North Beach, etc.

District 9: The Expansive South

San Francisco's MLS District 9

SoMa, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, the Inner Mission, South Beach, etc.

District 10: The Southeast

San Francisco's MLS District 10

Excelsior, the Portola, Silver Terrace, Bayview, etc.

Now that you’re enlightened with market data, let’s see what’s next. 

BETTER BUYING Finding, assessing and winning properties SMARTER SELLING Presenting and selling properties at their best INSIDER PERSPECTIVE The big-picture understanding fundamental to success NETWORK ACCESS A+ referrals, off-market opportunities and more Our Services More Than Buying + Selling We will give you access to better online tools that will enhance your property search along with the inherent benefits you get when working with us — a pair of experienced, respected and dynamic agents (and our dog).

Our $1,200/sqft San Francisco Market: A Read on the Market – April 30, 2019

Our $1,100/sqft Spring Market: San Francisco’s Real Estate Market’s Big Turn Around Thanks to the New York Times

Perspective from those who value properties professionally: the appraisers. How a single article might have sparked the 2019 San Francisco price surge. The coming IPO's impact on San Francisco Real Estate is already here.

The fact our listing in NoPa at 1608 Fulton Street went into contract just 4 days after we launched it on the MLS, should be indicative of the transformed nature of San Francisco’s 2019 market. Just last fall prices were slowing and properties were taking longer to sell. That’s because the stock markets fell, forest fires burned and literally choked the air outside and everyone was more focused on the midterm election.

This spring’s market couldn’t be more different with multiple offers and surging prices. We chatted with the appraiser who came to our listing today and here are some takeaways from our chat:

  • Comps (comparable sales) from last fall aren’t helping sustain or support this year’s sales,
  • Appraisers working today are really looking long and hard for comparable sales to justify current contract prices. While stretching last year’s sales data is one way of getting that task done, reaching out to other agents and appraisers for properties that are currently pending is the other way to do it.
  • As true with years past, no buyers (at least the ones who actually get houses into contract) are including appraisal contingencies in their offers.
  • Average per-square foot prices for properties under $2,000,000 in San Francisco are now hovering around $1,100/sqft with smaller units pushing into the $1,700/sqft range. We’re still not quite at the $2,000/sqft range…. yet.
  • And yes, the low-list price-crazy-contract-price game is still going on out there with agents still listing their properties for less than market value which is intended to draw attention and multiple offers competing with each other.

The reason for this big surge of purchases and prices?

The appraiser we talked to today attributes this push to that same New York Times IPO-about-to-hit-San-Francisco-real-estate article as being the trigger for this overnight transformation of our marketplace.

Indeed, buyers are taking the hint of trying to buy before waves of IPO monies are freed up, but as we’ve said before, that time is still in the offing.

What Does this Mean to Me?

Buyer or Seller alike will feel the IPO impact, ask us how.

So how might this surge impact your position? Ask us how. 

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

K E V I N + J O N A T H A N  I N  T H E  M E D I A 

Question: How do I determine my priorities before I search for a home?

A: Home buyers can easily get wrapped up and turned around in questioning what their priorities really are — from the esoteric, “What am I actually buying?” (especially for tenancy in commons and condominiums); the overwhelming, “How am I really going to pay for this?” to the existential, “How can a space really be ‘0’ square feet?”

But must-haves and deal-breakers really come into focus when we ask our buyers to take a look at their calendars, weekend plans and daily routines.

After work, do you nest or is home just a pit-stop before spin class and dinner? (Read: location/starter home).

Are you making dinner at home tonight? (Read: kitchen quality).

Did you leave you clothes in the washer again? (Read: in-unit laundry and closet space).

Just how often will those out-of-town guests really visit you? (Read: budget/room count).

By taking a look at the humdrum of daily life, disoriented buyers may well see that the answers were right in front of them all along.

What's important to you? Let's discuss and we'll figure it out and find the right place for you together!

Want to Learn More?

Our Experience and Knowledge is Just a Click Away

There’s a reason why they ask us to write columns, it’s because we know what we’re talking about. See how you too can benefit and succeed in San Francisco’s high-value real estate market by contacting us now. 

From time to time we get asked to chime in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle’s real estate Ask-a-Realtor column “Sound Off.”  This week’s question asked about how the Internet has impacted real estate.

Appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Sound Off” real estate column as published on April 1, 2019, see the online version here.

More Columns from Kevin + Jonathan

Q1 2019 in San Francisco Real Estate with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties

Q1 2019: A Mix of Sun, Rain and Sales

How did San Francisco real estate do in 2019 compared to 2018?

Lower Inventory Held Off Any Price Declines in the First Quarter of 2019

This spring has been wet. Really wet. More than Seattle wet. We’ve had more than 36 inches of rain here at our house for example. Over the spring, we’ve seen this: when the sun comes out people come out to open houses and when it rains they don’t. It seems simple and straightforward but it’s been the pattern we’ve been seeing this spring. So watch this space next week as this is one of the first sunny and warm weekends we’ve had in a while. 

The weather’s impact has been showing up as certain properties have amassed more days on market than you’d expect but still do well despite being on the market longer. Also, we’ve seen little surges of properties going into contract after a given sunny weekend. 

But What Will Continued Low Mortgage Interest Rates and IPO Cash Do to San Francisco's High-Value Real Estate?

What we’ve seen this spring: 

  • Buyers are out in force but inventory continues to lag
  • The quality of inventory has been okay but will May bring the stunners and special properties that folks love?
  • When people want a property, they’re throwing down more an earlier but sellers are still holding to offer dates and pushing prices up and up 
  • $1,200 is the new $1,000-a-square-foot as 7 neighborhoods now regularly see prices push beyond the $1,000/sqft barrier
  • The Lyft IPO went well the 1st day (and declined the next). This brings up a lot of talk about the impact more IPOs will bring (uber, pinterest, slack, etc), but remember, any IPO impact will be sustained over time (if there is anything appreciable) because not everyone can or will cash out their stocks and many of the people who benefit from this windfall have been there and done that and probably bought a nice house last time around. See our thoughts about that here.

Yellow = Average Prices > $1,000/sqft for all property types 

Red = Average Prices > $1,200/sqft for all property types

 

Source: SFAR MLS Sales Data

How About You?

What impact will sales figures have on your real estate position?

We beat expectations all the time. See how we can for you. 

How Did San Francisco Real Estate Fare in 2018?

Market data for San Francisco residential real estate shows that median prices for houses and condominiums held steady overall rising the most in southern parts of San Francisco. See how Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties break it apart.

Our Annual Review: Steady As She Goes — Median San Francisco Prices Rise 6% Matching Historic Norms in 2017

While 2017 may not have seemed to be the most normal year around the world — wild fires, 106° days in San Francisco, mayors suddenly leaving us early, presidential lows and a whole renewed awareness of what ‘crossing the line’ meant one thing that held unsurprisingly steady: real estate prices and value. As we’ve said time and time again, real estate is the ultimate hedge against risk, change and surprise in that it’s both an asset with value that also has utility.

What the Data Shows for San Francisco’s Real Estate Market in November 2015

The realtors released recent sales data for November showing nice growth but not nutso growth we’ve seen in years past — which is a good thing, right?

Debunking The Great IPO Scare of ’19 with Kevin Ho + Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard Properties

IPO v.2019

Don't Believe the Hype: Yes, 2019's IPOs are about to blast off, but their impact will take longer to feel and may not be as great as feared

By now you've probably heard that the IPO for [insert company-of-the-moment here] is going to flood the city with millionaires and push already high real estate prices out of this world. A popular variation is that many sellers who would otherwise list and sell their properties now are withholding their properties until IPO money hits the market to cash in on the forthcoming cash surge. But delve deeper into these propositions and you'll see there's more to it than those eye-catching headlines. One: Will there really be that much new cash out there? Maybe but the Facebook IPO is instructive as the company's shares did not go crazy but went down by $20 a share in the first few months after its IPO. Okay, eventually, the stock went up and cash followed. Two: Assuming there is more cash on the market and in the accounts of all those coders and sales people, the question then becomes: when will that cash be felt on the market? What many forget is that IPOs are usually followed by restrictive periods of 6 months to a year after an IPO where employees are barred from cashing their RSUs or options in. And a lot can happen to a stock during that time. Also, remember we'll be in an election cycle by the time money from 2019 IPOs hits the market and who knows what the world will be like then. Three: Just how many employees are there who stand to benefit? Not that many, the headcount at many of the darling unicorns of the tech IPO isn't high. So is now a better time to buy or later? Even if just one property owner decides to hold on to their property for longer than they would have otherwise prices will rise as our already-limited inventory will have one less property to buy thus driving up scarcity and prices. With longer term prospects looking to be ones flush with cash, the only solace you can find mow is that interest rates have fallen since last fall and continue to be low for the time being.

By now you’ve probably heard that there are lots IPOs set to blast off for San Francisco-based companies [if not, then take a read here]. The impact of these IPOs will flood the city with copious amounts of cash and a bevy of freshly minted millionaires, who will then push already sky-high real estate prices out of this world.

A popular variation of this story is that many sellers who would otherwise list and sell their properties now are instead withholding their properties until IPO money hits the market to list the property to take advantage of the anticipated forthcoming cash surge.

But if you delve deeper into these propositions you’ll see there’s more to it than those eye-catching headlines.

Three Reasons Why Money Won’t Fall From the Sky Today… 

One: Will there really be that much cash out there? Maybe but the Facebook IPO is instructive as the company’s shares did not go crazy and went down by $20 a share in the first few months after its IPO.

(Okay, eventually, the stock went up and cash flowed forth.) 

Two: Assuming there is more cash on the market and in the accounts of all those coders and sales people, the question then becomes: when will that cash be felt on the market? What many forget is that IPOs are usually followed by restrictive periods of 6 months to a year after an IPO during which employees are barred from cashing in their RSUs or selling options. And a lot can happen to a stock during that time.

(And remember we’ll be in an election cycle by the time money from 2019 IPOs hits the market and who knows what the world will be like then.)

Three: Just how many employees are there who stand to benefit? Not that many, right? The headcount at many of the darling unicorns of the tech IPOs is relatively small.

So is now a better time to buy or later?

So, if even just a single property owner decides to hold on to their property for longer than they would have otherwise, prices will rise in the short term because that will mean one less property to buy thus driving up scarcity and prices. Indeed, the data from when Google IPO’s in 2004 that condo price growth in District 5 held at a steady 15% clip while house prices rose 5% faster than the year prior to the IPO.  

The take-away: prices for single-family homes will increase post-IPO at a higher rate than they would for condominiums so buy now while you can while interest rates are lower than they have been over the past 2 years.

 

So How Did It Go When Google Went IPO?

Google's IPO was in August 2004. We look at price growth rates for house and condo prices in District 5 (Noe Valley, Eureka Valley, Mission Dolores, Duboce Triangle and the Haight) in the year before and after the IPO.

Price Change From 2002–2005

During which the average house price in District 5 grew from $948,000 to $1,074,000 to $1,292,000— by 13% and 18% respectively

[stack_progress full=”73″ label=”Sept 1 2002 – Sept 1 2003: $948,000″][stack_progress full=”83″ label=”Sept 1 2003 – Sept 1 2004: $1,074,000″][stack_progress full=”100″ label=”Sept 1 2004 – Sept 1 2005: $1,292,000″]

Price Change From 2002–2005

During which the average condominium price in District 5 grew from $613,000 to $713,000 to $827,000— holding at a steady 15% annual rate

[stack_progress full=”73″ label=”Sept 1 2002 – Sept 1 2003: $613,000″][stack_progress full=”83″ label=”Sept 1 2003 – Sept 1 2004: $713,000″][stack_progress full=”100″ label=”Sept 1 2004 – Sept 1 2005: $827,000″]

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