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

People need to buy and sell houses no matter when

Kevin+Jonathan In and On the Media

Kevin+Jonathan on the media

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE Q+A

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

Q: Is it a challenge to stay busy right now? Why or why not?

A: Because our approach to real estate is quite personal and big picture, we’ve been very busy recently as the pandemic has changed personal circumstances for so many. It’s a transition period where it’s important to keep an eye on the bigger perspective, which is still strong in San Francisco: inventory and activity is up.

Buyers fortunate enough to be able to buy now are eager to secure low mortgage rates instead of paying rent. Because COVID has changed commutes, some homeowners are looking to relocate to homes with yards and more space. And there are landlords who want to leave the rental business.

Serving this wide mix of client needs takes more time and effort: property visits require PPE and scheduling; mortgage processing times are up; decisions to buy or sell consider more factors than before. This is why it’s great that there are two of us helping our clients and that we have a go-to support team to ensure nothing is missed.

The online version of this was published on July 27, 2020, while the print version was published on Sunday, July 26, 2020. Find the online version here.

People need to buy and sell houses no matter when

For More Sound-Off Snippets...

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 + Real Estate in San Francisco

No Open Houses During COVID-19, no worries

Real Estate In the Time of Corona.


(L’immobilier au temps de Corona)

 


 

How real estate can get done even during COVID-19

What About Property Values?

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

COVID-19: A Call to Adapt.

 

 

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

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

How Are Prices Holding Up in San Francisco? 

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

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

1. No More Open Houses (For Now)

No Open Houses During COVID-19, no worries

Unfettered Access to Properties is Now Fettered

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Visiting Virtually

Virtual Property Tours and other means

For the truly determined.

 

 

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

3. Didn’t Al Gore Talk about Lockboxes? 

How to setup a property showing during COVID-19

It’s Time for a Relay for Keys.  

 

 

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

4. Time for P.P.E.

Property Showings during COVID-19

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

 

 

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

5. Contracts with Roadmaps  

Offers and Escrows during COVID-19

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

 

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

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

Mortgages during Corona

Time-shifting.


 

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

Track Property Prices in San Francisco

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

Recent Posts

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

HELLO.

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

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

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

SOME STUFF TO KNOW.

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

Terms & Conditions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

If you liked this, check these out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2020 welcome

LEARN HOW NOW → Put Expertise at work for you. Kevin+Jonathan Top 1% San Francisco Real Estate Agents We had a wonderful experience working with Kevin, Jonathan, and Raffi. We have and will continue to recommend them to anyone who is looking to buy or sell a home in the Bay area. They are clearly experts in their industry.

One of their many strengths is breaking down the many steps of purchasing a home into simple easy to understand terms. Their advice was always considerate, honest and supportive.

— Ross+Rhea , Buyers, Industrial Design + Tech, Castro/Eureka Valley/Mission Dolores, who, after a few bids, beat out higher offers here as the seller’s agent knew we’d get the job done.
bespoke real estate for buyers and sellers
Start Right Here → It’s Time to Change Your Life Kevin+Jonathan Kevin K. Ho, Esq. + Jonathan B. McNarry Kevin and Jonathan helped us find (and close!) on our dream house!

We talked to a number of buyers’ agents, however Kevin and Jonathan really stood out. Not only did they answer all our questions with their wealth of online information, but also taught us what to look for (and what to watch out for) in person as we toured homes with them.

Once we found *the home* they helped us craft an amazing pre-emptive offer that landed us the house. After we were under contract, Kevin and Jonathan handled all the little details, allowing us to close in under 2 weeks!

With all the people we interacted with in the home-buying process, Kevin and Jonathan are our top recommendation.

— Kitt and Jonathan, Buyers, Tech + Internet Architecture, Bernal Heights
San Francisco is beautiful START WITH KEVIN+JONATHAN NOW → Make the right move. Kevin +Jonathan On Top of San Francisco Real Estate When I had my first phone conversation with Kevin and Jonathan, my gut told me that THIS is the team I want to work with when the time came for me to sell. I didn’t even bother interviewing other agents. They worked with me on both selling and buying transactions and the results speak for themselves.

If there was one word to describe my experience with Kevin and Jonathan, it’s ”smart.” They know the current market environment and also helped educate and guide me to getting both buying and selling done.

— Clodel, Seller and Buyer, Retail Apps.,SoMa + Excelsior
TIME TO GET STARTED → Always Be Supported Kevin+Jonathan Top 1% San Francisco Real Estate Agents Kevin and Jonathan are a fantastic team. I found them via Yelp and, for once, the superlative reviews were accurate. They helped me sell my place in less than a month for a great price. They answered all my questions, gave me proactive suggestions, and never once left me hanging.

— Mary W., Seller, Government, the Richmond District, whose property sold in a week, over asking after she followed our prep plan.
Raffi in Glen Canyon GET GOING WITH KEVIN+JONATHAN NOW → Understanding the emotional. Kevin +Jonathan San Francisco Real Estate Can Be Amazing We had such an amazing experience with Kevin purchasing our first home in a crazy competitive market like SF. We visited together some homes we liked and we were really impressed by his knowledge and as well helping us guiding through the process. Kevin did a fantastic job being there for us almost 24/7 with all our questions. He made the process so easy for us and beyond just getting the place — provided us with very thoughtful curated information what we need to know as homeowners.

We trusted Kevin right from the beginning and his combination of being very professional, knowledgeable but at the same time understanding the emotional side that we went through purchasing the home. This was truly an amazing experience

— Oliver + Janette, Buyers, Tech/Industrial Design, The Richmond, a pre-emptive offer that saved time and money

What Do You Want to Accomplish in San Francisco Real Estate? 

Hi, we’re Kevin Ho and Jonathan McNarry — partners in life and in business. With our real estate super dog Raffi, we are expert, dedicated, and top-ranked San Francisco real estate agents at the City’s largest locally owned brokerage, Vanguard Properties. 

We really love what we do and know our clients — both buyers and sellers, who often become our friends — do too.  We live and breathe real estate 24/7. We are homeowners, dog dads and among the top agents in the City working with buyers and sellers from all walks of life. We regularly appear on the news as real estate experts and are frequent contributors to news outlets like the San Francisco Chronicle, Curbed SF and Realtor.com.

We love what we do and we live and breathe real estate 24/7. More importantly our clients love what we do too.

 

THE WAY WE SEE IT:

Real estate is also about changing your life (for the better).

Buyer or seller, experienced or first-timers, fixer or finished to perfection, big budget or smaller budget, today or tomorrow (or, perhaps, and tomorrow), we resolutely meet and usually best our clients’ real estate goals. We like to think of ourselves as your brokers for life. 

In case you couldn’t tell, you’re in the in the right place if you want engaged, personable, and energetic San Francisco real estate. We truly care about our client’s lives and well-being and use our experience and knowledge from hundreds of millions of dollars of sales to our client’s advantage every day. 

It’s time to begin.

Kevin K. Ho, Esq. 

[email protected]

415.297.7462 

dre 01875957 | sbn 233408

Jonathan B. McNarry

[email protected]

415.215.4393

dre 01747295 

Raffi McNarry-Ho

(sorry, Raffi does not email or text) 

Just as every property is unique, so is each client experience

""
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Shall We Begin?

So tell us...

Conversely, you can call or text us at (415) 297-7462 or (415) 213-4393

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San Francisco Unlocked and Unblocked — Block by Block. 

We drill down to the neighborhoods, the side of the street you're on, which way the wind blows at 4:00 a.m. and p.m. to help our clients — who are both buyers and sellers, first-timers, veterans to the market and repeat — understand the variety, nuance and micro-markets that fit into our 7-mile-by-7-mile slice of the world.

TOP 

1

PERCENT

Thanks to our devoted client base and their referrals and repeat business, we've been able to rank in the City's top echelon of agents for many years. We always remember that our success is rooted in our clients' success. We're in this together. 

Mr. Raffi McNarry-Ho.

(The Black Lab)

San Francisco has its very own real estate dog. Whether Raffi is helping our buyers sniff out the competition or our sellers out by looking his friendly self, Raffi does his part in Kevin+Jonathan's success.  

Forward Thinking.

Local Experts with A Global Reach.

We could be working with any brokerage in San Francisco or even be an independent one. But we chose to align with a company that is distinct, special and successful — Vanguard Properties. The (last) locally owned and operated major brokerage in San Francisco, the firm has deep roots in the LGBT community, new development and the community at large. 

What's it Like to Work with Kevin+Jonathan?  

Importantly, Kevin and Jonathan had great suggestions and advice on making our offer compelling, helping us secure the property we really wanted despite not being all-cash nor the highest offer!

Ross & Sarah, Successful Buyers and Homeowners of a Noe Valley Single-Family Home, who later remodeled and updated their home. Ross and Sarah also referred many other happy buyers — many of whom are also now homeowners thanks to Kevin+Jonathan. Also pictured, Mr. Raffi pays a follow-up visit to the growing family.

We love what we do.

But more importantly, our clients love what we do too. 

Yes, other San Francisco agents seek to work with us and our clients because they know we will follow-through and stay true

Kevin and Jonathan helped us sell our home in the Lower Haight, and they were fantastic! We seriously cannot recommend them enough. Kevin and Jonathan are knowledgeable, savvy, hands-on agents who are worth their weight in gold! If you need to buy or sell, WORK WITH THEM! They CARE about their clients as PEOPLE.

From the beginning stages of brainstorming ideas, to the execution and final sale, Kevin and Jonathan were with us every step of the way. They knew exactly what needed to be done and who to talk to, whether it be design, painting, hiring contractors or staging.

They were also incredibly knowledgeable about the market and what potential buyers would be looking for. Once the sales process was in play, it quickly became apparently that Kevin and Jonathan know how to run a competitive process. They sold our property and helped us get an amazing return.

LJ & Lawrence, Personal Consulting and Gaming, Sellers, Lower Haight, who followed our advice on strategic remodeling and updates to realize a gain of $740,000 in just two years.

Respected In the Community (of Other Agents)

About 10–20 percent of real estate agents in San Francisco account for 80 percent of all the transactions that take place in the City. This relatively small community is one full of so many types of personalities, approaches, style and practices. To stand out among this community takes experience, courtesy and professionalism that form the basis of a solid reputation. 

Other Agents Want to Work with Us And Our Clients

It’s nice to be held in high regard or esteem by co-workers (and even competitors), right? Our clients benefit from our great reputation among the agent community. And yes — it really does make a difference as to who your representation is.  

PRESENTATION + PACKAGING

We always remember that other agents and their clients are our audience as well who need to be seen, acknowledged and engaged.

{One of the Best Open Houses in 40 Years}

I must say that your entire property from stem to stern, showed Spectacular! ... In any event, everything was extremely well balanced — the pictures, art work, mirrors, window treatments, lighting fixtures, interior & exterior paint jobs, back yard, and the total ambiance that the two of you created in your presence with your cordiality & friendly personalities, made this one of the best open house presentations that I have ever experienced in 40 years as a Realtor!

Long time Noe Valley agent 

(Unsolicited feedback about our listing at 1617 Church Street, which saw our clients realize a nearly $450,000 gain (35%) in 2 years without major renovations, just better preparation that we personally supervised) 

Yes, other San Francisco agents seek to work with us and our clients because they know we will follow-through and stay true

Agents Have Good Memories. Let’s Make Those Fond Ones, Shall We? 


We received a lot of good offers… but based on our past relationship and how smoothly it went, I pushed for your offer.

Listing Agent, San Francisco, Corona Heights

(Our buyer won an attractive Corona/Castro property by beating out 2 other competitive and similar offers)


Your clients got the property because of you!

Listing Agent, San Francisco, Haight District

(Our buyers won and beat out 1 other similar offer)

 

I presented your clients offer to my sellers and told them about you in particular and encouraged them to go with you.

Listing Agent, San Francisco, Eureka Valley

(Our buyers’ carefully crafted preemptive offer was accepted instead of going to market, where property would have sold for more most likely)

Our Current, Recent and Past Client Sales and Successes

Typography is the art and technique

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning).

Information Made Pretty (and) Accessible

We believe success is by design. Speaking of design, we love design in all its forms, including graphic design, which we love doing. Take a look at how we present information in the way we, well, present information. 

Hard to believe that we finished the renovation just about a year ago. Mr. Raffi was an excellent foredog/supervisor. #kevinandjonathan @subzero #kitchenlighting #kitchenlightingideas @alloyled @muutodesign @gdb_official ...

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The Painted Ladies from a higher-up perspective which is a block away from our latest listing; stay tuned for details! #paintedladies #alamosquare #kevinandjonathan #dji #mavicair2 #sanfrancisco ...

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Now that is a sunny and happy house if I’ve ever seen one. #missiondistrict #victorian #exteriorpainting #sanfranciscorealestate estate ...

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Just outside of Harvey milk‘s camera shop in the Castro, Raffi pays his respects to #RBG ...

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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. 

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

Mr Raffi and Our Marketing — Our Famous Real Estate Dog in San Francisco

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How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

Our third team member — Mr. Raffi McNarry-Ho — adds even more value to our services and is most certainly excluded from any sale

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Being memorable is what most agents strive to be — cookies baking in the oven anyone? Being remembered fondly and positively is the rare combination that can be elusive. Yet this is something we have handled. Yes, you have two memorable and charismatic agents working on your behalf but our third team member — Raffi the Dog — seals the deal for sure.

Instead of cookies in the oven or balloons tied to the mailbox, Raffi makes a positive, warm and welcoming impression. Whether it’s in marketing collateral, at open houses or at appointments, Raffi’s calm and sweet temperament (as a former Guide Dogs for the Blind alum) he adds that special something that stands out in people’s minds so that agents and buyers will say that, “Yes, that’s right. That’s the house with the dog,” smiling as they say it.  

Are There More Dogs in SF than Kids?

Yes, according to media reports, there are more dogs in San Francisco than kids. 

According to the American Community Survey, in 2016 there were about 115,000 children under 18 living in the city. At the same time, San Francisco Animal Care and Control estimated there were about 120,000 to 150,000 dogs in the city.

Read and listen to the KQED story here.

Mr. Raffi's Congeniality Showcases the Properties He Helps Us Sell

(aka, shameless dog photos in pretty real estate)

Sold: 75 Lily St, No. 3, San Francisco | Multiple Offers | MLS 481289

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Vanguard Properties

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

proudly present

75 Lily Street, No. 3

A Stylish, Top-Floor, Spacious 1-Bed, 1-Bath, Hayes Valley Condominium

Sold.

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Marketed By:

Kevin K. Ho, Esq.
Jonathan B. McNarry

MLS No. 481289

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

75 Lily Street, No. 3, San Francisco
Stylish + Spacious Hayes Valley Condominium

Number 3 75 Lily is a top-floor, 1-bed, 1-bath condominium that is stylish, updated, bright and spacious. There are wood floors, in-unit laundry, 9-ft 5-in tall ceilings with light coming from 3 sides. Its central location in Hayes Valley puts you in proximity of the arts, great restaurants and shopping and mass transit. Located on a quiet, one-way lane by the International High School, the unit is part of a 5-unit informal HOA behind a catalog-perfect facade. A large bathroom, gas range, stainless appliances, recessed lights and deeded storage makes life easy here.

And while you can cozy up at home, the amenities on Hayes Valley are also steps away as are green spaces and public transit. Make this home yours while you can.

Listed at: $699,000

SOLD $837,000

Early Reactions.

"It's perfection."

"Beautiful."

"It feels really relaxed."

"Really great use of space."

"It feels bigger than it really is."

"It's a pocket where you can escape to."

"It’s a great, livable space."

Features.

1 bed, 1 bath
9-ft plus high ceilings,
632 sqft of living area (per appraiser)
30-inch stainless gas range, externally vented hood, 18-inch stainless dishwasher, garbage disposal, quartzite countertops
New designer light fixtures above kitchen island (Vita)
Wood floors throughout (carpet in bedroom)
High-end Emtek hardware
Large walk-in enclosed shower
Living room speakers, highly reviewed Pioneer TV + mount (could be included in sale)
Hydronic (hot water) allergy-sufferer friendly radiant heat
In-unit washer/dryer (gas)
Large deeded storage cage below + common area storage
No Parking permit zone (Lily Street)
Walk Score: 96/100
Transit Score: 100/100
Bike Score: 94/100
Condo conversion in done 2014.
APN: 0837-083

About the Building.

Unit No. 3 is a part of a 5-unit building that dates from 1908 that underwent a major renovation in 2008
The building converted into condominiums in 2014
Monthly HOA dues are $176

How It Sold

The response to the property was strong to say the least. There were 2 preemptive offers and multiple offers submitted on the offer date — all of which were over asking price.
Ask us for more details and how your property could do on the market.

Contact Us.

Have a question? Want to setup a private showing? 

Feel free to call or text us…

Kevin (415) 297-7462

Jonathan (415) 215-4393

The Open Houses.

The Property is In Contract currently.

The Photos.

A Walkthrough.

Where It's At.

The Floor Plan.

75 Lily Street, No, 3's approximate floor plan. According to an appraiser, the unit has about 632 sqft. (Plan provided for information purposes only).

On the Block...

Currently.

Currently, 84 Page Street back onto Lily Street as a brick building.

Proposed.

Plans submitted by the French American International School replaces the building with an open athletic space for its students.
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. 

The condo market’s 2018 cooling is over — San Francisco Business Times

The condo market’s 2018 cooling is over — San Francisco Business Times

Call it something in the air: Would-be condo buyers in San Francisco stuck to the sidelines last quarter, as market volatility and the city’s air quality from the Camp Fire likely chilled an otherwise-excellent year for condo sales.November was a slow month for the downtown market, with 579 closings amounting to a nearly 20 percent year-over-year drop from 2017… For the year as a whole, however, sale volumes rose by 6.5 percent.

READ MORE: San Francisco’s most expensive condos on the market in 2019 and why the condo market cooled toward the end of 2018 – San Francisco Business Times

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.

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 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

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.

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.

More Columns from Kevin + Jonathan

Commanding Results — Ahead of Schedule. Successful Selling and Better Buying

When I had my first phone conversation with Kevin and Jonathan over a year ago, my gut told me that THIS is the team I want to work with when the time came for me to sell. I didn’t even bother interviewing other agents. They worked with me on both selling and buying transactions and the results below speak from themselves.

In addition, this was all done through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

  • 6 days: the time from listing my last home to being in contract with a cash offer at 27% over asking
  • 19 days: escrow days for selling my last home
  • 2 days: the time period between closing on my last home and finding a target property to buy
  • 7 days: from the list date to being the winning bid against 18 other bids.

We weren’t the highest bid, nor were we a cash offer, but we were the best presented one.

In this highly competitive real estate environment, this is where Kevin and Jonathan truly excelled in providing guidance and getting all our ducks in a row. Presentation matters!!! 15 days: escrow length for the new home. 8 weeks: from the day I listed my last home for sale to the day I had keys in my hand to my new home (Yes, it only took 8 weeks) 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.

After selling, I had a lot of fear I wouldn’t be able to find a new home. I’ve heard countless stories and read countless articles of buyers losing out to cash offers and it was discouraging. With their help, we were able to orchestrate a truly competitive non-cash offer. I honestly didn’t think this would all be done before 2018 arrived, and now I’m an extremely happy client.

— Clodel G. 

Seller, Buyer, SOMA and the Excelsior

App and Online Marketing Professional Lead for large retailer in the daytime, amazing home styling and designer at nighttime


Snaps from his SOMA Listing at 18 Boardman. This mixed-use building was listed for $1.6M and sold in just 6 days for $2.038M to an all-cash, non-contingent offer. Clodel had his choice of the multiple offers that came in after we distributed 50 disclosure packages during the 5 days we were on the open market including one that was higher in price but financed and and slightly weaker in terms. We can’t wait to see what he’ll do with his new place in the up and coming Excelsior District.

131 Peru — Sold! Buyer Represented

Congrats to our client Clodel on getting his next home which will be the nicest, gourmet-kitchen house in the area soon enough. We beat out 18 offers and submitted the best and winning offer.

 

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