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Check out our Latest Newsletter Edition: In the Know: July 22, 2018 Edition, Sales Stories+Early Listing Info… 

In this Edition: Our Clients close on properties. Tall Tales of Sales in San Francisco. Some Facts and Figures and Exclusive Early Listing Information. 

Source: In the Know: July 22, 2018 Edition, Sales Stories+Early Listing Info… 

A Quick Start to Working with Kevin+Jonathan in San Francisco aka Setting the Stage for Better Buying

Welcome to
SF Real Estate
Get Ready For The Best Succeeding in San Francisco real estate can seem daunting, but with the right agents at your side, you can do it. We will guide you and help you navigate the nuances that set us apart.

Slide Kevin+Jonathan Your Goals =
WHY K+J? We’ve helped first-time buyers and sellers, seasoned veterans, investors, developers — and everyone in between succeed. Regardless of your experience level, we are delighted to help you get what you want out of San Francisco real estate.
Our Goals

Hello and Welcome to Our Quick Intro to Working with Us

Whether you're a seasoned pro at buying property or a first-time home buyers, the process starts with giving us a call, email, or text. We will customize our approach to meet your needs, circumstances and goals. Get ready for better buying as informed by our successful record of representing both buyers and sellers in San Francisco

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).

Slide Seller and Buyer If there was one word to describe my experience with Kevin and Jonathan, it's "smart". They know the current environment and also helped educate and guide me to getting both buying and selling done BUYER + HOMEOWNER He helped me get an amazing condo in Hayes Valley by giving me really sound advice on how to write a winning offer. SEE MORE HERE Read more of the 60+ 5-star Yelp Reviews here. Click Here REVIEWS Our Reputation Our track record of hundreds of millions of dollars and a large network of clients (many of them repeat clients) speaks for itself, but we'll let others chime in.

Okay, Just How Ready Are You?

Are you in a hurry? Or can we take some time? Determining your time horizon from fire drill to leisurely stroll we will help you move properly

It’s important to understand where you are in the process. If you’re dipping your toe into the pond or diving right in. Letting us know where you really are in the process helps set everyone’s expectations. 

Step 1: Time to Discuss

Let's set aside some time to get to know each other and what you're looking to accomplish in San Francisco real estate

Whether by phone, text, FaceTime or in person, the first time we talk is just the beginning of our work together and one of just many conversations we will have. We hope you will find the conversation enriching and that it will kickstart the process.

Step 2: Time to Learn About All Our Neighborhoods

A lot of variety, opportunities and gems can fit into 49 square miles. Let's start learning about our neighborhoods to see which are a match

The MLS sorts the City into 10 large geographic districts and many smaller sub districts that approximate the neighborhoods you know. Each district has a different reputation and value of course. We will help you find which matches for you and where hidden gems may be that you never knew about.

Step 3: Learning How You Can Pay

Coins, Coins, Coins — or should we say, Loans, Loans, Loans? Figuring out how you plan on paying for your purchase involves referrals potentially and, in all cases, learning about your options and how best to reach an optimal balance to maximize purchasing power and prudence

There are so many considerations to consider when it comes the money involved used to purchase a property even if you are an all-cash buyer. We have suggestions and loan people who can work with a variety of scenarios that may turn a seemingly impossible situation into a doable one. 


Step 4: Open House Etiquette + Logistics

What to do, how to act and when to visit open houses considered

Open houses are times when the seller’s agent invites the public to come and see the property. They usually take place on Sundays from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. with fewer taking place at the same time on Saturdays and some homes being open on Thursday nights for ‘twilight tours’ after work gets out for most people. If you can’t make it, let us know and we can set up an appointment to see it with you or talk to us about Broker Tour Tuesdays.

Step 5: Now That You Found It, What Do We Need to Know?

Once a property becomes a serious contender we will delve deeper to help you decipher property disclosures and how to put them into context

Because we see and sell so many properties in San Francisco, we have a good understanding how houses work — at least generally. And if more help or commentary or assistance is needed, we can call the right folks to help. But we are here to help you delve deeply into the pros and cons of a given property before diving in. 

What's next? It's time for us to help you prepare the winning offer of course.

All Right. I'm Excited.

Our Experience and Knowledge is Just a Click Away

Excited yet? We would hope so! Let’s channel that energy and excitement into the start of our work together. 

Sold: 714 Page Street, San Francisco | MLS 472016

[stack_hero_video image=”12254″ mpfour=”https://www.kevinandjonathan.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/714-Page-Intro-1.mp4″ opacity=”5″]
Vanguard Properties

Kevin K. Ho, Esq. + Jonathan B. McNarry

proudly present

714 Page Street

Beautifully refreshed Hayes Valley/Duboce 3-Bedroom Home with Chef-Worthy Kitchen and Direct Back Garden Access

listed + sold.


Marketed By:

Kevin K. Ho, Esq.
Jonathan B. McNarry

MLS No. 472016

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

714 Page Street, San Francisco
Crafted with Warmth and Thought

714 Page is a 3-bed, 1-bath, just-updated Edwardian condominium that shows off its 105-year history while also incorporating the modern conveniences of modern day living to produce a combination that enhances your daily experience.

  • There’s an eat-in kitchen with high-end appliances, lighting options, and signature finishes for those who love to cook and entertain.
  • There’s an open floor plan that lets in more natural daylight to fill up 714’s combined living room, kitchen and dining.
  • Skip the laundromat (although there’s one at the corner) or having to go to the basement to do your laundry by using your own laundry room.
  • Create the right mood with all of the newly installed LED lighting, which also means you might not have to change a lightbulb for 10 years.

There are three bedrooms and a chic bathroom that has a new floating vanity, full-length vanity mirror, shower-over-tub, and Toto toilet all resting on transitional style hex floor tiles. Two of the three bedrooms face the shared garden that the other neighbors use infrequently. There's a pomelo tree, cobblestone terrace and barbecue back there too. The garden is peaceful and secluded, making it the perfect oasis to rest, barbecue or just to take a breath of fresh air.

714 Page's location is right where Hayes Valley, Alamo Square and Duboce Triangle meet. Not to be left out, the rapidly reviving Divisadero Corridor is also minutes away. There's great transit — the N-Judah MUNI Line is 4 minutes away by foot as is the J-Church line, but the neighborhood is renowned for biking. Page Street is just off of the "Wiggle" which allows you to traverse the City easily. And for those who have 4-legged friends, the entire building is dog-friendly and two large off-leash dog parks — Duboce Park and Alamo Square Park — are also about 5 minutes away from your front door step.

Listed at: $1,195,000

SOLD: $1,375,000

Want to know more about 714 Page?

Go ahead and ask us.

If you have an agent, you should probably have them write us. Otherwise, feel free to reach out.

Early Reactions.



“It's open and fun.”

“Beautifully done and in a great neighborhood too.”


“It really is chef worthy.”

“Who wouldn't love it?”

Some Features.

  • Stainless steel appliances including a 36-inch, 6 burner, gas Viking range and hood; brand-new 36-inch French-door refrigerator (LG); microwave oven (LG); quiet operation Bosch dishwasher; new Moen motion-activated kitchen faucet; new stainless steel sink; new 1.25 hp garbage disposal
  • 9-ft high ceilings; traditional wainscoting and millwork
  • Newly installed deep quartzite stone countertops; porcelain tile backsplash; open shelving with brass hardware
  • Extra-deep (22 in) custom cabinets with large drawers instead of cupboards; newly installed custom brass hardware
  • Upgraded and updated LED lighting fixtures and dimmers from Pablo Designs (of San Francisco), Tech Lighting and Rejuvenation
  • Just re-finished maple floors; new herringbone maple floor in kitchen
  • In-Unit Laundry room (LG washer and dryer)
  • Decorative fireplace that can be upgraded
  • New recessed LED light fixtures throughout (2700K light temperature) with designer dimmers and outlets from Legrande and Lutron
  • Brand-new passage doors with Emtek knobs and locks
  • French-door access to shared back garden with cobblestone patio, landscaping, ornamental plants and shrubs

About the Building.

  • 714 Page is a part of a 3-unit building (714, 716 and 718 Page) that dates from 1912
  • The other 2 units are owner-occupied; each has a dog 
  • There’s informal property management
  • The roof was replaced in early 2016
  • The facade was repainted earlier this year 
  • The building converted into condominiums in 2015 meaning the HOA did various upgrades to comply with various Building Code standards
  • Monthly HOA dues are $330.57, which includes water and trash, homeowner’s insurance, gardener, common area electricity, and building reserves ($94/month goes towards reserves)

Contact Us.

Have a question? Want to figure out what we did to prepare the property to get this result?

Feel free to call or text us…

Kevin(415) 297-7462

Jonathan(415) 215-4393

The Photos.

(Click on any picture to pull up a slide show)

The Floor Plan.

(Provided for information purposes only and may not be to scale.)

A Quick Video.

(featuring Mr. Raffi)

Where It's At.

The information contained in this material is deemed to be reliable and accurate but it is unverified. Potential buyers should take all steps necessary to satisfy themselves regarding the information contained herein or any other matter related to the property they see fit. 

In the Know: March 4, 2018 Edition — Marching into March

In the Know: March 4, 2018 Edition

It’s chilly outside this weekend but the forecast is for warmer weather this week, which of course mirrors real estate. We had to work it in there somehow, right? This week there’s good reason because we’ve finally seen 100 new listings hit the city on a given weekend this year. Vanguard’s photo department has 20 photoshoot appointment requests for next week alone. But before you think the world is your oyster bear in mind that the details are always devilish.

While there may be 40 ‘new’ single-family house listings this week there isn’t that much choice among them, delving deeper, there are only: 

  • 4 new house listings in the Richmond,
  • 4 in the Sunset/Parkside,
  • 4 in District 3 near SF State, 4 in the Pacific Heights/Cow Hollow/Marina area,
  • 4 in Noe/Cole/Eureka Valleys and
  • 4 in the Bernal Heights/Potrero/Inner Mission areas.
There were, most notably, 9 new houses in District 10 — the Mission Terrace, Bayview, Excelsior. And as those things are going up so are mortgage rates. Whereas we were talking about rates in the mid- to high-3% range we’re now in the 4 to 4.5% range. Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are still looking appealing and may make more sense to most people if you’re buying you not-forever house right now. 

Feb 2018 MLS Sales

Prices for the ever-shrinking number of single-family houses for sale in San Francisco really pushed upwards over the same time period from a year ago while the influx of new condo inventory has kept median and average prices down according to MLS data.

Read our Tall Tales of Sales, Coming Soon listings and more by clicking below.

In the Know for 2-18-18 — Welcome to the Year of the Dog…

February 18, 2018 Advice, In the Know

In the Know for 2-18-18

Congratulations to our friend and client on getting and accepting a strong, off-market, all-cash close for her penthouse apartment at 630 Mason, one of San Francisco's 13 co-op buildings. Long rented and long held in their family, the property's low tax basis and capital gains issues weighed heavily on how our client wanted to respond to the unsolicited offer made by folks who own another unit in the 12-story building in the heart of the City. The one-bedroom unit has rich wood floors, stunning views and, despite its central location, is quiet.


It’s time to party like it’s 4716! That’s the Chinese new year that so many folks are ringing in. The dog symbolizes loyalty, alertness and a curiosity to explore the world and to ‘sniff’ out things. You can draw the metaphor to real estate we’re sure, right?

Anyway, activity in San Francisco is humming along, but it seems like we are all waiting for that push of properties to come onto the market that we’re supposed to see after the Super Bowl. This pattern happens every year and we know the pattern breaks before you know it with more properties and more transactions. Some observations:

  • Properties that aren’t cookie cutter are selling for more so long as the right design notes, finishes and amenities are hit.
  • Other properties that aren’t usual, fit within the box of what many buyers are expecting — i.e., unusual, head-scratchers, the non-staged properties — need to be priced low or else will sit on the market longer.
    Interest rates are going up and the time to lock-down a long-term mortgage under 5% (which is still historically low) is limited.
  • Various ballot measures and bills in the Legislature will alter the landscape for investment properties, rent control laws and property taxes for mixed-use properties, so stay alert!

Read more of the issue here.

How Will the G.O.P.’s new Tax Plan Impact San Francisco Real Estate?

Just as trickle-down economics has been shown to have little impact on how things really are, the GOP's latest tax plan, if it even gets approved, will have little impact on the purple Bay Area

We’ve been fielding a lot of these questions as there’s a lot anxiety and confusion over all of these proposed changes but there are a few essential facts to remember that various commentators and industry folks have been telling us which near repeating:  

1. A Stanford economist studied the likeliest changes that are in the pipeline and said that on a home purchase of $2M that the overall net difference from the current tax system to what could hit in January is $6,000. While it’s not a trivial amount of money it is relatively a small amount of money for folks who are purchasing at this price point; 
2. Anyone could torpedo the tax bill during the reconciliation period which, as you’d agree, is more than possible these days. One early draft of the tax bill said that if you were in escrow before the end of the year that you’d be fine, others (like you’ve seen) say that you had to be closed by November; so who really knows! 
3. If you’re more concerned on a larger existential sense consider the following: 
You hear the figure that California is the world’s 6th largest economy. What is less heard is that the Bay Area itself is the world’s 18th largest economy. The area’s GDP has been growing at 8-9 percent and this growth isn’t likely to diminish lately. Think about it: what’s at the root of the area’s economy are the companies that leveraged the change from a desktop-based economy to one that relies on mobile devices. Yes there’s the hardware component (HP, Intel, AMD, Apple) but also the data component (Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Yahoo, Netflix) and the app development infrastructure that services it all. Don’t forget we are the home of uber, Square, Stripe, eBay and PayPal too. Just think about all the people on their phones everywhere we go these days. Everyone has almost everything in their lives on their phones; this trend isn’t going to diminish anytime soon. If anything, life will be increasingly on our mobile devices, in the cloud and streaming. (Think about one of the latest cases argued at the Supreme Court: Carpenter v. United States). (I expect a check from the California Tourism Board any day now…) 
You’re buying in a place that is one of the most underserved housing market that is nevertheless facing enormous population pressure (because of the factors mentioned above) that isn’t easing up. And while it may seem like we have new construction everywhere you look, our sales manager ran into the Planning Director for the City yesterday and asked him how things are going, to which the Director said it’s the same as it’s been for the past 20 years for his department: they are overwhelmed with approvals running years from when they are first submitted.  For example, there are 7,000 units under construction at this moment but that’s just not enough as we need to have 20 years of 10,000 new units in order before housing prices to ease. What this speaks of is the enormously byzantine planning and building approval requirements that local and state regulations require; new housing cannot come online fast enough and people are still optimistic and building. Even with the horrible Wine Country fires people are already anticipating all of the rebuilding and the opportunity this type of reset that places like Santa Rosa never thought possible before. 
Last, you should remember that all of us in blue states (NY included) are getting screwed over by the Republican tax plan but it’s just the way it is. The alternative is for us to go and live in those other states where the tax bill won’t have as much impact. And while I like visiting my parents in Iowa, I’m always relieved by the fact that I’m only from there. It’s nice to visit but I’m only ever there temporarily as a visitor. Besides, high earners like us were already hitting limits in deductions anyway under current taxation and it really won’t make that much of a difference going forward. Yes, it’d be nice to pay lower taxes but we can’t have it all at the same time (at least for now). 

Think About All That Happened Over the Past 12 Years...

Just Don't Take Our Word For It...

Bay Area Economy Grows 3x the National Rate 

Business Times Article (Sept 2017) 

Check out the Fortune 500 

And see the ones in California

What’s the Latest with SF Real Estate? Find out with Kevin+Jonathan (In the Know, Dec 3rd 2017) 

The Median Home Price in San Francisco is $1.4M these days. Find out how homes are selling and what’s coming in the pipeline with our latest newsletter.

New real estate videos from 181 Fremont, Tall Tales of Real Estate Sales and more in this edition of In the Know from Kevin + Jonathan.

Source: What’s the Latest with SF Real Estate? Find out with Kevin+Jonathan

In the Know: July 23, 2017 Edition: Most Over List Top 10 + More


Recent Sales Activity Highlights Fragmented Nature of San Francisco Real Estate — which is normal for this time of year  

Happy Sunday! First things first: Be sure to come and our listings at 520 Natoma (which can now be used as a residential rental property) and 101 Lundys this weekend.

Now, making sense of what’s what and why things sell at X price and others for Y price requires continued education and awareness that we’re delighted to give you all as often as we can. This week is no different as you’ll see our latest ranking of the top 10 most over-list price houses that sold in the first part of 2017 (with our YouTube walkthroughs of a couple of those properties) below along with this week’s and last week’s Tall Tales of Sales (i.e., Stories of the Week). 

  • Apart from that we’ve seen some interesting properties hit San Francisco’s real estate market over the past couple of weeks that are appealing and intriguing. And a lot more listings are coming up as you’ll see in our Coming Soon and Off-Market section, which returns this week. With all of that, we’ve seen the following:  
  • For those special properties we’re seeing what you’d expect: multiple offers after a very tight and short marketing periods with final sale prices way, way over list price. This is especially true for the $899,000–$2M price range for condos and houses in the City.
  • But for other properties outside of that price range, we’re seeing sales take a (relatively) longer period to sell with final sale prices being closer to original list prices While we’re still seeing price reductions we’re not seeing as many as we saw at the end of June and in early July. 
  • As we ease into August, we will be begin to see more properties being withdrawn but still available off-market as we anticipate the market’s reawakening after Burning Man/Labor Day, which is the traditional start to the fall selling season.  Last, we’re also seeing strength in the rental market pickup again. There’s been some ballyhoo about the ‘declining’ rental market. In context you may see rents off by 4-5 percent (what is that, a hundred or two hundred dollars a month?!) but anecdotal evidence from new buildings going up like 600 South Van Ness — a 20-unit building with luxury finishes that Pacific Heights high-end flipper/developers built instead of doing another mansion flip — is almost rented out 100 percent without the building being completed.

Just How Much Over List Price? The Top 10 Properties in San Francisco for 2017 (so far)

Many San Francisco agents will under price their listings to see them sell for X% over list price. In fact, about 75-80% of San Francisco listings sell for over list price on average. We don’t know why this habit is the convention but that’s just how it goes.

Usually you can expect a property to sell at 110-120% of its list price. But there are the cases where agents really underprice their listings — much to everyone’s annoyance. Pricing like this creates mind games and has the risk pushing away better buyers and creating false hopes for many, many other buyers. Right or wrong, the market will find a property’s value regardless of a given list price. And despite what news headlines may scream there usually is some logic at play — at least we hope there is — that would substantiate a high sale price. Take a look at the properties that sold for way, way over their respective list prices.


We’re happy to announce that we are having our best year ever in real estate to date — thank you to all of you and yours. Please keep the referrals and confidence in our services coming!

And the adage that success begets success is one that applies with our brokerage too. MLS data for the first part of 2017 is in and Vanguard Properties now ranks as the top brokerage for all of San Francisco in terms of market share and sales volume. Leaving large, in-house brokers for new-construction buildings aside, Vanguard Properties was also top of the rankings for the number of residential listings in San Francisco according to MLS data. Vanguard Properties’ top-dog status in the sunnier neighborhoods Alamo Square to Bernal Heights, SOMA, Eureka Valley, this Mission to Mission Bay (Districts 5, 6 and 9) also continues to hold strong too. So know that you’re really working with the best in the City and for wine country too as Vanguard Properties also dominates residential real estate in Sonoma and Napa counties too.

Read what Successful San Franciscans in real estate read: In the Know with Kevin+Jonathan

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Steady and Increasing: Homes Sales Data from the First Part of 2017 is In


1st Half of 2017? Sales Data Holds Steady in SF Real Estate From 2016 to Date — Summer Selling Pattern Takes Hold 


It’s been six months since 2017 started and real estate has held pretty steady with modest gains to prices and similar numbers of properties being bought and sold. We’ve had a banner year already and have lots of listings in the works in addition to the trio we have open this weekend both on Saturday and Sunday. Also hopeful is that we also saw a slightly increased number of new listings pop up this week as opposed to the past few — perhaps an acknowledgement that people are back from the 4th of July holiday? 


San Francisco Sales Data for the First Part of 2017

Here are a few trends we’re seeing this summer and in the longer term.

  • Mortgage rates remain low, despite Ms. Yellen’s increase. While they’ve gone up this year and are likely to increase even more later this year, mortgage rates are still holding steady. Folks should really act soon to capture this market anomaly
  • Smaller-sized residential projects will be more popular and feasible as we’re already starting to see (see our Stories of the Week section below to see why) 
  • The most recent sales have showed that we are indeed in the summer pattern. Like the fog, things have cooled down from our May highs with properties taking that much longer to sell with fewer offers. This cool pattern will, like it does every year, give way in September after Burning Man (yes, it’s Burning Man now, not Labor Day) and we should go back to more activity and higher prices.
  • It looks like prices will remain strong as buyers are confident in San Francisco real estate. After all, it is not only a rare place on earth but remember that all the people who bought houses over the past years did so with cash or have such low mortgage interest rates that it doesn’t make sense to sell much less give up tax benefits and extra equity earned already. 

Thank you all for reading. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you think someone you know could benefit from our thoughtful and engaging approach, pass our contact information along. Without you we cannot do what we love to do!

San Francisco Real Estate in 2016: Our Mid-Year Review


Our Market is Holding Steady — Which is a Good Thing

Despite gloom and doom pessimism about market crashes and some kind of cliff, we’re seeing property values remain consistent with 2015. But there are readjustments taking place at the higher end of the market and annual gains have stabilized

2016 is halfway done already. So as we celebrate the country’s birthday by blowing up parts of it in the fog, it’s a good time to take a look at what San Francisco’s real estate market has been doing lately and where we’re going the rest of the year.

We start with the Brits

It’s a bit ironic that Britain has rightly or wrongly declared its own independence from the EU around the same time the Colonies did from King George III. That said, the Brexit vote has impacted our market in the following ways:

  1. Mortgage interest rates have fallen to lower and lower levels. Our friends at Citibank said that preferred Vanguard client priced 30-year fixed rate jumbo home loans are now hovering around 3.25% (with additional on-deposit discounts available);
  1. Financial market turmoil makes real estate look like a safer investment (again). I don’t know about you but my 401K took a 20% nosedive after the Brexit vote and I know that property prices in the City have adjusted recently (about 3-5% less than last year’s peaks is the prevailing figure in the City), it’s nowhere near a 20% decline that takes place overnight.

Data Says...

mls-data 2015 and 2016 1st 6 months

What do the numbers show?

Despite an increased sense of doom and gloom a look at the actual sales figures reported on San Francisco’s Multiple Listing Service shows that average San Francisco real property sale prices are holding relatively  steady compared to last year with 2-unit building average sale prices going up by 13% over the same period in 2015. Properties are taking longer to sell on average with TICs sitting on the market a lot longer and 2-unit buildings selling faster.

Are we in a bubble? Bubble burst? Or none of the above?

The numbers show that prices haven’t appreciated as they have in years’ past where average sale price figures regularly appreciated by 10–15% from year to year. But does this a bubble make or break? Not really. If anything, the way to think of the changes we’re seeing in the City is that we’re seeing some sanity return to our marketplace. Although it may seem like an abrupt change here it’s more of a subtle one where we’re rebalancing and retuning. Lots of buyers report that the East Bay continues to see soaring prices by folks who think they’re shut out of SF’s market. Those folks should think again and revisit the City. And sellers must remain patient and adjust expectations. Properties can and do sell well. It’s just a matter of when.



What does the rest of 2016 Hold?

Gone Fishin’ We are now in the summer months, which means less traffic and business in San Francisco as more fog means more agents and clients try to get away from the City. This usually means there will be fewer listings and buyers out and about until Labor Day. That said, there are always quality listings that come out during the summer but for the fact that sellers have no other choice but to sell now rather than later.

Interest rates should remain low which will enable buyers to afford more but they will be pickier and pickier. There will also be more and more sophisticated lending from the likes of SoFi (10% down and no PMI) and greater use of adjustable rate loans and the such.

The market will be very fragmented with great properties being snapped up quickly and strongly with multiple bids. These are either the picture-perfect catalog homes or the steal-of-a-deal fixer with gobs of potential or killer location.

There will be less Chinese money and investment in our market.

The rental and new condo market will see more supply which will drive rents and prices down in the short term but because these units are exempt from rent control obligations value will remain strong. In either case this new inventory will need to be absorbed first.

An already slow approval and development process will slow down a little bit more because of global economic uncertainty or, at least the perception of such. his may mean that big San Francisco SOMA construction projects that aren’t already underway may be kept in a holding pattern as the City adjusts to having more units available. How this absorption takes place is also keyed into whether or not a greater number BMR units are mandated into new projects or if the City’s payroll tax incentive programs go away.

More and more Millennial buyers are entering the marketplace (and we/they now make up the biggest portion of the buyer demographic in the Bay Area — about 31%) This means there will be changes in what, when and how people will buy. Ask us for more about that!

The entry-level price points — $700,000-$1.1M — should be competitive. To win at these price points overbidding may still prove necessary. Be prepared to add 10% for a better location, another 10% for better property condition but there may be only 3-4 serious buyers out of a potential 6-8 competitors.

The mid-level price points — $1.2M-$2.2M — will be one where negotiation will be more important than it may have been in years past. This could involve move creative financing terms, rent-backs or otherwise.

The middle-high price points — $2.3M-$3M — will see properties take longer to sell than recently. Interest will be consistent and will be a matter of the right buyer coming along at the right time but sellers holding steady on value.

The highest price points — $3.5M+ — may see declines and reductions for properties with ‘flaws’ but increased price strength for quality properties with location, views, amenities and quality finishes. For properties with flaws Grade B location, finishes, lack of parking, etc, prices may decline anywhere from 5% to 8%.

In the Know for Jan 10, 2016 — A New Year in SF Real Estate Begins, Right?

IN THE KNOW, JAN 10, 2016

Time for a Sweet 16?

What will the market be like in 2016? Will turmoil made in China impact Bay Area real estate?

THESE are the questions we keep getting these days. The answer we give is that it’s still going to be busy and prices will still be strong. Annual figures and continuing trends show that San Francisco’s real estate market will be marked by low inventory, high demand and fast escrows; prices may not be growing as fast as they have over the past 4 years but they should continue to outpace inflation.  And while we’ve said it before, the following factors continue to suggest San Francisco’s real estate market will remain strong with moderating growth and real property holding value.

It looks Chinese to me. China’s stock markets dropped precipitously last week and are attention-grabbing for sure but are contained to, well, China. The last time we checked our retirement funds we never saw a single-Chinese company traded in Shanghai being in the portfolio. This is, in part, due to the fact the Chinese stock market is a bit of a fiction if you really think about it. While all markets have a bit of fiction in them (value is, after all, in the eye of the willing buyer) many of the companies listed on the Chinese stock market are indirectly owned by the government or are derivative of countless state-owned enterprises (i.e., non-vetted paper companies). But when viewed in the context of China’s continuing relaxation of capital export controls, the real impact of Chinese financial and economic instability may be an accelerated push by Chinese companies and individuals to send their money overseas so as to diversify their wealth into non-Chinese assets such as foreign real estate.
I got mine and I’ll hold on to it. A lot of the property that was sold over the past few years was bought all-cash or with extremely affordable mortgage rates that are barely above inflation rates. These benign purchase methods keep down carrying costs, which are locked by fixed mortgages and by Prop 13’s restriction on property tax rates. Because holding a property poses little risk to an owner and because property has usefulness not only as someone’s home but also as a rental, properties that have traded over the past few years may be locked up for a lot longer than they would otherwise.
Let me get mine now while I can. We’ve made this point before that there may be a lot of buyers who want to act quickly to lock-in mortgage interest rates for 30 years before rates get too high. While the Fed won’t move rates up to astronomical levels any time soon there’s still an undercurrent that low mortgage rates won’t last forever. So, you’d better get something now even if that means you’re paying a little more for a property in today’s dollars if it means you end up with the property over the long term.
It’s still tough to build in San Francisco. Because of highly restricted development regulations and complex building requirements will still mean that new inventory will still be hard to come by. And, this doesn’t’ even consider the question if you’d even want to live in a new high-rise!
Real stallions vs. unicorns. There’s been much ballyhooed about declining IPO valuations and softening exuberance for the City’s tech sector. While tech jobs make up about 8% of all jobs in the City there are other industries here after all. Even within the startup/tech sector there are a stallion of solid, banal, ho-hum companies that continue to be part of the steady transition away from an analog/paper society to a digital/paperless society. Some of the sectors that help the area chug along are bio-tech, robotics, automation (e.g., self-driving cars), better apps and hardware, etc. It’s a jeannie that can’t be put back in the bottle.
Even if the market chills where prices actually go lower over a sustained period of time,  chill in the air will mean better affordability. Don’t forget that slower price growth will nevertheless encourage buying — especially if prices hold steady or grow slower. Folks who were priced out of real estate or were otherwise holding out on buying may now finally wade into real estate.

Subscribers of our Newsletter also got to read:

  • Stories of the Week: find out what really happened behind the sales that got into contract recently
  • (Secret?) Off-Market Listings: see which ones are new this week as there are lot of new ones; and,
  • News Stories of the week

Subscribe today to see what others are learning while you aren’t!

In the Know for December 7th 2015 — A Decidedly December Market Shows What’s to Come in 2016!

In the Know: December 7, 2015

So, It’s December, Right? 

Details of what 2016’s San Francisco real estate market will look like start to emerge now.             

It’s the first week of the bottom part of the year which means people are distracted away from real estate, right? Well, if you’re the agent at 4 Ord Court over at the base of Corona Heights/Castro (whom we know well) you’d be surprised, which she is. That cute bungalow that’s been updated ever so smartly and cleverly had fifty — 50 — disclosures sent out before her Wednesday offer date. Of course the property, which is a bungalow just shy of 1200 sqft, is one of the most ingenious, thoughtful and efficient properties I’ve seen recently. Even though there are ikea cabinets the charm, thoughtfulness, light and location made it a hit. But it is December and the property was a teaser price. The $1.2M list was only an afterthought for seriously interested buyers. In the end, there were multiple offers but the sellers only wanted to take cash offers of which there were just three. The winning one is in the mid-$1.5M range with a backup in the $1.45M range but the financed offers were even above the winning cash offer of note.

Stay tuned for our Annual Review next issue where we’ll go over what happened in 2015 and how 2016 will be different. Among our top predictions/observations:

  1. Price growth will continue but not as fast of an appreciation rate we saw in 2014 and 2015;
  2. That said, popular properties will still be, well, popular with multiple bids and over-asking closes;
  3. We’ll see greater price accuracy from list price to sale price;
  4. Inventory will will be tight for properties that people want but there will be a lot of Grade C and B properties out there as late-comers to the party try to peddle their flipped properties and/or the stream of hastily-built mass projects comes on line (these may be Grade A of course but that depends on your perspective);
  5. Escrows will take longer as there are new lending practices in place and because buyers will take their time more than they’ve allowed to have been over the past 2 years; and,
  6. Everyone will be waiting to see when the Fed does its second and third rate increases. 

As per usual, here’s what’s in this edition of our newsletter: 

  • Stories of the Past Two Weeks: find out what really happened behind the sales you read about for the past week and from the week before. 
  • Data of the Week: find out how many homes sold and which sold for most over the list price; 
  • (Secret?) Off-Market Listings: see which ones are new this week; and, 
  • News Stories of the week

It should go without saying, but it’s worth saying anyway: thank you for reading our newsletter and for your continued patronage, trust and referrals. We love what we do and we love seeing our clients succeed and we’d like to see even more success in the days ahead. 

Congrats of the Week!

Showing that patience and resilience are true virtues Jonathan, Raffi and I have, we wanted to congratulate our buyer Todd on finally closing on a home after a 4-year search. Todd got the great home at 2300 Leavenworth Street, which is a tall, 4-story home is perched right at the foot of the crooked part of Lombard Street in Russian Hill. It was worth the wait as the home has more than 2,000 sqft of room, 3-4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, elegant finishes and views of SF’s skyline and Marin from pretty much every level that all lead to a rooftop deck that has a 300-degree view. 

Listed for $2.825M we scooped up the property at $2.828M and beat out two other ‘circling offers.’ We found out that one of the other buyers who failed to act in time offered the seller $2.9M but it was too late.  We can’t wait to see the updates and the views.




2300 Leavenworth: Russian View home! 3 Beds, 2 Baths, views galore! $2.828M

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