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

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

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 Jan 20, 2019, see the online version here.

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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. 

Question: How has the Internet changed how homes are bought and sold?

A: Some may say the intersection of Internet and real estate spells the end of real estate agents — like it did for travel agents. But a house is far more important (and expensive) to most people than a flight and hotel package.

Real estate isn’t something you can just figure out on your own based on search results. The search results are only a starting-off point.

The Internet has democratized the buying and selling process radically. It’s also accelerated the process, for sure. It allows you to look at properties far and wide any time of day. It allows you access to an enormous amount of market and sales data — whether the data you unearth is outdated, incomplete or plain wrong is something the Internet can’t tell you.

If anything, the intersection of the Internet and real estate has made it even more important to have experienced agents — those who have perspective and deep familiarity with your market and, most important, your needs — guiding you through this process. This is the kind of help that only good ol’ human agents can provide. Or at least that’s what the algorithm says.

More Columns from Kevin + Jonathan

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

In the Media: Kevin+Jonathan on San Francisco Real Estate

The San Francisco Chronicle's Sound-Off Question Asks How Recent Stock Market Turbulence Could Impact Real Estate

Kevin+Jonathan in print on and the web. This week's question asked about stock market volatility and its impact on real estate

Real Estate as the Eternal Hedge to Risk Especially in San Francisco

Question: How concerned should buyers and sellers be about corrections in the stock market and a potential recession?

Answer:

TO HEDGE AGAINST RISK in the economy, folks should do what they always do in these times: turn to real estate. 

Unlike a stock, option or index fund, real estate is not only a means to building wealth, but owning a home has built-in tax benefits and savings while also being a potential source of revenue even during a recession.

You can live in a house, you can rent it out, you can borrow against it. You can fundamentally alter a property’s value yourself à la Home Depot or Lowes. (Think about the jail time if you altered a stock’s value yourself).

Buying real estate during turbulent times is a smart move especially if you can lock-in a relatively low mortgage interest rate (even 1/4th a point lower rate will save thousands over 30 years).

And unlike renting where money out never comes back to a tenant, mortgage payments are really payments to yourself. You’ll benefit from either increased home equity or from capital gains savings if you sell.

Now What Am I Supposed To Do?

Now that you have a sense of how Kevin+Jonathan approach an issue, see how they'd tackle your real estate goals.

For sagely advice based on client successes, email Kevin+Jonathan today

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

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

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 open house faux pas. While the other folks talked about opening drawers during open houses, we focused on the bigger picture.
 

Appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Sound Off” real estate column published on Aug 26, 2018, see the online version here.

Question: What is proper etiquette when attending an open house? What are some unwritten rules?

Answer: Open houses may resemble kabuki theater sometimes, but first impressions matter a great deal in real estate. 

There’s nothing worse for buyers than feeling ignored at an open house. Agents should always greet and acknowledge you — even a simple nod works. Seeing an agent who’s engrossed in their phone by themselves is disheartening. We’ve attended open houses with our clients and weren’t sure if the showing agent knew we were even there. If they don’t care about an open, what else have they ignored?   

On the other side, we tell our buyers to behave nicely: say hello, tell the showing agent you’re working with us (super important to avoid confusion early on), pick up a statement but never put it back if you’re uninterested (recycle it elsewhere later). If you don’t like a house, smile and nod but don’t say anything negative about it within earshot of other folks even if you’re trying to psych out potential competition, because good agents will remember who came by and what they said.    

ABOVE: The kabuki theater of open houses.

E X T R A  C R E D I T

Some Tips + Definitions

We’re known for our educated and prepared buyers. Our buyers oftentimes endear themselves to Listing Agents at open houses by being polite and nice. We encourage you to introduce yourself to the Listing Agent and feel free to ask some questions but you should mention that you’re working with Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry of Vanguard right away. Here are a few tips: 

New Buildings

Introducing yourself and telling them you’re working with us is  even more important when you go to new construction buildings as you want to be clear that you have independent representation, which is always important but more so in new construction as these buildings will have in-house sales staff where commission questions may come up. 

Open Houses

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.

Agents

The seller’s agent is called the “Listing Agent” and your agent is the buyer’s agent. Some agents specialize as being one of the other, we specialize in both! Sometimes the Listing Agent will also act as a buyer’s agent too but if you think you’ll gain an advantage in getting the property this way beware as potential conflicts of interest may arise. Sellers pay commissions to both agents.

Asking Price/List Price

This is published price a property will have on the MLS. It bears little relationship with its closing price in San Francisco as nearly 75% of properties close above the list price.

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

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

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 much value parking and proximity to public transit adds to homes.

Appearing in the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Sound Off” real estate column as published on Jan 21, 2018, see the online version here.

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. 

Question: How Important Is Parking, Access to Public Transportation?

A: For a city that supposedly favors mass transit, San Francisco buyer behavior still shows that having parking impacts a property’s value equally for condominiums and single-family houses. In 2017, condominiums with parking sold for about $350,000 more than those without (an average of $1.3 million vs. $900,000), while houses with parking sold for $400,000 more than those without ($1.78 million vs. $1.38 million) per MLS data.

But for folks who are willing to lead a car-less life proximity to mass transit will impact property values significantly. These buyers are looking for an “urban” experience that relies on mass transit, Uber or foot power to get to work, entertainment and food — throw in an area close to a farmer’s market and you’re golden.

And while you’d expect younger, entry-level, Millennial buyers to value proximity as an amenity (as we see among our own buyer pool), we also see the same willingness to spend more for proximity from Baby Boomer buyers who sell their empty nests to flock to the city.

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

And we had more than 250 people through!

East of McKinley Square with west-facing windows, this updated condo offers LED lighting, quartz counters and wood floors, as well as floor tiles in the bathroom. The unit includes one-car parking. Listing agent: Kevin Ho, Vanguard Properties, (415) 297-7462, [email protected] kevinandjonathan.com; Jonathan McNarry, Vanguard Properties, (415) 297-7462, [email protected] jonathan.com. 875 Vermont St., Unit 103, Potrero Hill, $699,000.

Source: Two-bedroom in Potrero Hill open Sunday

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

For the past few years our friends at SF Curbed have asked us to take part in their annual roundup of local luminaries such as architects, bloggers, urban planning folks and noted bloggers (we’re the real estate folks of course). This year was no different.

Here are the questions and answers from that coverage:

Salesforce’s new tower in 3 words

Design trends that need to stay in 2017

Favorite SF Neighborhoods 

Trends We’d like to see in 2018

 

 

 

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

curbedsf-newlogo

 

Featured in the blog’s Under $699,000 spot this week: 

“…[T]he little place is awfully quaint, with the frosted glass doors, farmhouse sink, and Heath Ceramics tiles granting it a homey quality. The unit just finished a remodel so sweeping that the present owners almost didn’t recognize it. “They were asking, ‘Can we come see it?'” says selling agent Jonathan McNarry. “I reminded them: It’s your house, you don’t have to ask.

“Perhaps ironically, the deed comes with a yard that’s almost as big as the condo itself: 500 square feet. Note that the black lab with the soulful eyes in the photos doesn’t come with the house. (He’d easily push the price up another $100K on his own.)”

 

Check out the whole post here.

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

Everything in this converted, design-heavy SOMA warehouse is what city living should be like, provided you can pay the price and yearn for a decidedly urban life.This 1927 warehouse at 735 Clementina, nestled between Eighth and Nine Streets, has been fully renovated with contemporary touches. It features two bedrooms, two baths, two floors, and approximately 1,900 square feet inside with 1,200 square feet on the private deck.

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

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

SEPTEMBER 2015

Suddenly It’s September 

September is the time when SF real estate picks up. This one may be different than others as global forces impact what happens in our neighborhoods

Full House of Dollars

Would the Full House family be able to live in Alamo Square these days?

SF Median Sale Prices from July 15-August 30, 2015

Source: SFAR MLS

By: Kevin K. Ho, ESQ., Vanguard Properties

Originally appearing in the September 2015 edition of the Hatchbeat, a San Francisco neighborhood newsletter serving Alamo Square, NoPa, Hayes Valley, the Haight and more.

In many other parts of the country summer is the busy time for real estate. By the time fall comes, real estate quiets down. Not so in San Francisco. Real estate transactions pick up in the fall here; we suppose it’s because everyone is back from vacation or because the weather is nicer. Anyway, recent global and financial events may make the upcoming autumn more eventful than in years past.

  • An ode to a Chinese-made Greek urn… erm, will financial market swings impact SF home prices?

Not really/Maybe. A few of our buyers asked us if recent stock market corrections would allow them to get a discount on homes they each wanted. We said we doubted it. Nevertheless, these buyers thought they were being tactical when they chose to discount their offer bid amounts. Both those buyers lost out to higher (multiple) offers. Each would have won the property in question if they made a correctly priced offer. In other words, there shouldn’t be any price relief for buyers.

  • You cannot live in a stock, bond or mutual fund

More people may see real estate as a useful hedge against market risk… again. We said this a lot during the Great Recession, but it bears repeating: real estate is a great hedge against market turbulence as everyone needs a place to live and there are not only financial benefits from home ownership but you could also potentially earn rent off of your property. This may have the impact of increasing demand for real estate, which could drive prices up somewhat.

  • Interest rates will go up, but probably later than September

Act now… while you still have the chance. Everyone expects interest rates for mortgages to rise before too long. Recent market fluctuations may push that increase off until December which gives buyers a chance to lock-in extremely low mortgage rates for the next 30 years. This has the impact of potentially locking down a property for years to come. But in the short term, this may mean there will be more activity this fall with buyers pushing their budgets higher. Why? Here’s the logic: buyer purchase power is still strong today so financing a larger purchase price at a lower interest rate is viewed as being better than financing a lower-priced offer at a higher interest rate in the future as you’ll be paying more principal with a lower interest rate than a higher one.

  • Realtors matter and good ones will save you money and heartache

Every property is different, which makes having a professional more vital than ever. As alluded to above us realtors really take our clients’ interests to heart. Many of our clients benefit from our advice about property value. One couple closed on a downtown condominium recently and we found out that the backup offer behind us (which came in too late) was $100,000 above ours and was all-cash. Needless to say, our buyers were happy as they have instant equity. On the other hand, we had potential sellers ignore our specific prep and marketing plan by entrusting vital design choices to their contractor. That property now has four shades of clashing white paint in just one room. There’s also clashing crown molding painted sea-foam green and white kitchen countertops with embedded reflective confetti bits. These poor choices have harmed the property’s value by $200,000-$400,000 we believe. The property now presents a good opportunity for a buyer to get a steal of a deal.

  • What will $700,000 buy you at 555 Fulton?

How far does a dollar go these days? If you’re looking for new construction these days the most obvious choice is the big new development at 555 Fulton Street where 1-bedroom condo units without parking are selling for about $700,000 a piece depending on views. But if new construction isn’t your cup of tea, take a look at what’s selling in the neighborhood and in the City generally.

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

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

1072 Noe's facadeWhen a big, old Victorian fixer-upper in the heart of Noe Valley listed for $1.898 million back in June, we had a feeling that it would easily crack the $2 million mark. The house received six offers, all over asking, and was in contract after just eight days. We’ve now gotten word that it has sold for $2.8 million. Yes, that’s nearly $1 million over asking and a gigantic price for a house with a vintage kitchen, an unfinished attic, and a dirt backyard. According to listing agents Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry, the buyer is an investor who paid all cash and plans to redevelop the house.

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

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

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

via What Was the Best New Building Project of 2014? – Year in Curbed – Curbed SF.

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

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

“We’ll need to improve the urban transit system to support it because this is a lot of growth,” said Ho, who said affordability will also be an issue. “We can’t everybody be the tech type of person who lives down here. I think some of the richness of San Francisco really needs to be preserved.”

via City’s building boom leads to surprising development deals | www.ktvu.com.

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