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

180 Corwin's View

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


Kevin K. Ho, Esq.
Jonathan B. McNarry

MLS No. 497922

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


180 Corwin Street, Unit No. 2

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

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

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



Stay tuned for details about the sale.

The Photos

The Property Video

Play Video

Photos 360
A 3-D Tour

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

Things to Know about 180 Corwin Unit 2 Notes

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

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

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

New recessed LED lighting with dimmer switches

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

Oak floors (just refinished) throughout

Deeded storage area (basement)

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

Location. Location. Location.

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

180 Corwin has an 80 Walk score, 85 Transit Score

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

The Building.

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

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

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

Ownership agreement for the six units by Andy Sirkin

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

*ask us for more information

Photos zoom_out_map
The Floor Plan

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

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

Photos location_searching
The Location

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


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

Some of Raffi’s Other Property Tours


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.


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

Terms & Conditions

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

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

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

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©  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

Sold: 1932 Fell Street, No. 5 | MLS 489514

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Vanguard Properties

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

proudly present

1932 Fell Street, Number 5

The Quiet Morning Glory Flat



Marketed By: Kevin K. Ho, Esq. Jonathan B. McNarry

MLS No. 489514

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

What More Could You Want?

2 Bedrooms, parking, great location and outdoor space. And there's charm and character too.

Surprisingly quiet, 2-bed, 1-bath, 1-car garage parking flat in NoPa with a generous exclusive outdoor deck that looks out to a lush yard ornamented by a large palm tree and graced by Morning Glory flowers. Set at the back of a grand-scale art nouveau mansion, Unit 5 is cheerful and charming as it mixes traditional features like tall coved ceilings, wood floors, and large fireplace with modern details like a gas kitchen, recessed lights and dual-pane windows. With a 95 Walk Score, 92 Bike Score and 79 Transit Score, you’re just steps away from Golden Gate Park, USF, UCSF and the Haight. The building has a steel-reinforced garage, common laundry, large yard and rich period details. There’s a Sirkin TIC agreement in place, finances are managed by the Albers company and there’s a healthy reserve fund in place too; fractional financing available from Sterling Bank. .

Offered at:



Have a question? Want to setup a showing? 

Feel free to call or text us...

Kevin (415) 297-7462

Jonathan (415) 215-4393


You might be wondering what a tenancy-in-common unit is and how they're different from condominiums and co-ops. Take a look here to learn more.


  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1-car garage, shared backyard with large palm tree, morning glory flowers, grass, BBQ area
  • Shared storage area, coin-operated laundry on garage level 
  • Brand new 5-burner gas stove 
  • Recessed lighting throughout
  • Wood Floors 
  • Working fireplace with new marble mosaic surround
  • Freshly painted and varnished millwork, coved ceilings
  • 11-unit tenancy-in-common building 
  • Building, a former mansion, dates from 1905 that was converted into TIC units in 2008  
  • APN: 1211-013
  • HOA dues are $548.77/month (includes water/sewer, garbage, building insurance, parking fee and reserves) 
  • 3 4-legged animal limitation at 60 lbs. 
  • Sirkin law firm TIC Agreement (circa 2013)
  • Fractional lending from Sterling Bank available 
  • Urban Dwellers' Delight:


Or by private appointment. Contact us for more.



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. 

Sold: 520 Natoma, No. 8, San Francisco, CA | MLS 485676

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Vanguard Properties

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

proudly present

520 Natoma Street
Number 8

Centrally Located Updated SOMA Junior 1-Bedroom/Studio with Alexa

now selling.


Marketed By:

Kevin K. Ho, Esq.
Jonathan B. McNarry

MLS No. 485676

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

NOW SELLING: 520 Natoma, Number 8
Bright, Updated and Central

Great value for San Francisco! Starter Home, City Pad, Investment Property

Updated junior 1-bedroom with smart home tech with full-sized kitchen and bathroom and wood floors with tall ceilings. Located on the tree-lined part of Natoma Street, this unit is set in the rear of the building overlooking the common outdoor space of this well-run tenancy-in-common building in San Francisco’s thriving SOMA neighborhood. This unit has full-sized appliances (gas range, dishwasher, and refrigerator) and a breakfast nook area and smart LED dimmers, Amazon echo and Alexa built-in along with speakers and more.. There’s an intercom/remote entry control, upgraded storage area downstairs, common party room and secluded outdoor space with a common laundry area downstairs. The facade is being updated currently, so Number 8’s new owner will have a crisp and inviting home to come home to. 

Offered at:



Have a question? Want to setup a showing? 

Feel free to call or text us…

Kevin (415) 297-7462

Jonathan (415) 215-4393


It’s not a house, not a condo, nor a co-op but a different way of owning in San Francisco. Read more about them here


  • Junior 1-bed/studio flat (with separate full-sized kitchen with gas range, new dishwasher, full-sized appliances)
  • Wood floors, tall ceilings, wainscoting
  • Recessed LED lighting with smart home features that can be controlled with Alexa
  • In-ceiling speakers
  • Voice-command dimmers)
  • Large full bathroom with shower over tub 
  • Double-pane windows + screens
  • Freshly repainted using Benjamin Moore paints   
  • Overlooks common outdoor area, intercom entry 
  • Common Rec Room with ping pong/pool, coin-operated shared laundry, bike parking, storage area
  • Professional building finance management  
  • Pre-approved, pre-paid façade + exterior repainting taking place
  • 12-Unit TIC Building with management
  • Monthly dues are ≈ $300 (incl garbage, water, building insurance and reserves) + property tax portion (as based on purchase price)
  • Estimated rental income: $2,700/month
  • Urban Dweller’s Delight: Walk Score = 99, Transit Score = 100, Bike Score = 95


2:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 8, 2019

Contact us for more information or for scheduled showings.



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. 

Sold: 104 Baker Street, Unit No. 5, San Francisco | MLS 485107

[stack_hero layout=”dark-image” image=”13103″ opacity=”1″]
Vanguard Properties

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

proudly present

104 Baker Street, Number 5

A Sunny Top-Floor Haight District Loft



Marketed By:

Kevin K. Ho, Esq.
Jonathan B. McNarry

MLS No. 485107

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

NOW SELLING: 104 Baker Street, No. 5, San Francisco
Top-Floor Haight Attic Loft

Beautiful and dramatic A-frame loft set above Baker and Page Streets, Unit 5 at 104 Baker is a pocket of a more eclectic and authentic San Francisco with pitched ceilings, warm sunlight, wood floors, a cast-iron clawfoot tub and a dramatic 15-ft+ octagonal turret over its dining area. Dating from 1894, 104 Baker has an open-beam ceiling, walk-in closet, gas stove, marble counters and additional storage space downstairs. Views of the skyline to the east, dramatic light fixtures by Andrew Neyer, marble countertops, and rich materials combine to create a light and warmth here. Filled with quirks, character and joy.

Offered at:





Have a question? Want to setup a showing? 

Feel free to call or text us…

Kevin (415) 297-7462

Jonathan (415) 215-4393


  • Top-floor, Full-floor Dramatic A-Frame Architecture, Views to the skyline
  • 1 Bedroom w/walk-in closet
  • 1 Bathroom (tub over shower), with dual-flush toilet, slate tiles
  • Solar panels exclusive to unit (typical PG&E bill for unit is $25 (gas and electricity); unit has ‘negative’ usage at times and feeds the grid 
  • Deeded storage room (approx 80 sqft) 
  • Brand-new gas stove, marble countertops, new kitchen cabinet doors
  • Solar water heating for building with instant-on tankless water heater backup
  • 5-unit tenancy-in-common building (Unit 5’s share is 20%)
  • Common back patio/backyard
  • Building dates from 1894 (per City water records)
  • Informal HOA dues are $100/month 
  • Pet-friendly building 
  • Ground-floor sprinkler system
  • 5-minute proximity to tech shuttles (like Google and Apple) 
  • Close to Buena Vista and Duboce Parks, the Panhandle
  • Urban Dwellers’ Delight:


Contact us for more information.



104 Baker's Floor Plan (approximately)
The approximate floor plan for Unit 5.


What's Around.
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. 

Kevin’s Open House Picks of the Weekend: March 21-23, 2014, 1st Weekend of Spring Edition

There are just 92 new listings new to the MLS from Thursday into Friday with 10 listings coming back on the market during that time and 366 scheduled open houses in San Francisco this weekend.

There are A LOT of single family homes that have caught my eye this week. Yes, many of them are at the high end, but others are in the middle and there are fixers among them too.

There a fixer with a potential in Eureka Valley at 4540 19th Street listed for $1.495M, a cute, drop-dead views of SF home near Dolores Park at 293 Cumberland that could use a garage installation listed at $1.7M and there’s also an interesting Victorian/Cottage project-building at 3 Laussat Street listed for just $875,000.  In the theme of large homes: there’s a chic, large Noe Valley, eco-friendly, 2012-renovated home with 2 car garage, radiant heat, solar panels, yard, open floor plan, and extra deep 114’ lot at 257 29th Street listed for a modest $2.995M. A pair of smaller Noe Valley houses, one at 369 Valley and another seemingly small-looking-but-larger home is located at 1515 Noe. A little to the west is a nice 4 bedroom home at 265 Kensington with 4 parking spaces near West Portal and St. Francis Wood for $1.2M. For a large stunner nearer the coast, take a look at 160 San Marcos, a Forest Knolls 3500+sqft new 2014-built 3 bed, 3.5 bath, den, elevator and 2-car garage with high-end finishes. And for you Liberty Hill fans, there’s a Victorian fixer that’s been used as a 2-unit building with more than 13 rooms and a 1-car garage located at 4121 20th Street listed for $1.7M between Noe and Castro Streets that will be delivered vacant at close of escrow that has scores of possibilities. For an updated craftsman in Glen Park take a look at another chic renovation at 264 Surrey. There’s a vacant 2-unit building over at 27th and Dolores at 171 27th Street that also offers a lot of possibilities too that’s being sold as a 2-unit building or separate TICs.  And over in the eastern parts of San Francisco, there’s that ‘perfect’ air-conditioned 1 story Victorian at 878 Hampshire listed for just $1.2M, a stunner of a 2800-sqft newly renovated home at 1164 De Haro in Potrero listed at $2.25M.

For condos, I really like 1070 Guerrero, which is a modern 2-level LEED condo built recently with 3 bedrooms that has that chic white-wall, broad plank, tall-ceiling feel of a modern and urban home located among historic houses near the Mission Dolores corridor, listed at $1.5M. In the vicinity sits 942 South Van Ness Avenue, a 2009-built 3 Bed, 3.5 Bath, condo with nearly 1900 sqft of living area listed for $1.359M. The Onyx SF over at De Haro and 17th Street new condos are now open. Other condos that look interesting are a clutch in the South Beach area (200 Brannan, the Brannan across the street). There is a cute condo on Dehon Street, right near 16th Street and Sanchez that comes with parking, character and light at 14 Dehon that is worth a look as are the listings at the Arterra, 175  Bluxome and 177 Townsend for smaller condos/lofts as are the ones at 1310 Minnesota and 1800 Bryant.

And as for 2+ unit buildings, the three-unit building at 357 Sanchez at 16th Street in the Castro near Duboce Park is finally open to the public and is being sold as an entire building or individual TICs. In the Inner Mission area, a three-unit building at 2331 Bryant is open as is the stunningly huge Queen Anne home at 955 S. Van Ness is open as is the lovely 2-unit building at 728 Clayton near Cole Valley.

For the complete list of the 31 pages of open houses I flagged for San Francisco, click here. And to search all open houses in the City, click here.


As Quoted in Curbed SF: 1100 Sacramento in Nob Hill is San Francisco’s First $100M TIC – Game Changer – Curbed SF

San Francisco’s real estate boundaries are about to be shattered by the Park Lane building at 1100 Sacramento Street. The 33 units in the Nob Hill luxury tower are being converted from rentals into a tenancy-in-common project, and the projected sell out is a whopping $100M. The size of this building is nearly double that of the current largest TIC in The City: the Marina’s Francisco Palms, which has 17 units. What does a TIC of this size and prestige mean for San Francisco’s real estate market?

“Owners need to have incentive to offer a better product to tenants, but locked-in rents tamp that incentive down,” Ho explains. “Imagine if we had market-hindering policies like rent control laws while San Francisco was being built in the 1800 and 1900s, most places probably would still have split bathrooms that use 6 gallons a flush with gas lamps for lights.”

via 1100 Sacramento in Nob Hill is San Francisco’s First $100M TIC – Game Changer – Curbed SF.

Residents For Life: SF’s Condo Bypass Legislation Passes, Confusion to Ensue.

Just when you thought you had the condo conversion lottery system figured out, SF lawmakers throw it all into disarray 

As you may have seen, the radically altered tenants-in-common conversion legislation passed the SF Board of Supervisors this week. There are MAJOR changes to the condo conversion law which has implications for anyone owning a non 2-unit owner-occupid bypass building. It may mean tenants could get Lifetime Leases and it could mean owners of 5- and 6-unit buildings will no longer be able to convert their properties into condo units and would be therefore more inclined to evict tenants using the Ellis Act with proscribed relocation fees rather than pursue  the more typical tenant buyout of $40,000+

Itching for Seven Years No More

It’s not all bad for owners, as they now have certainty as to when their units may convert into condos because the 200 building annual cap on the number of buildings that could convert is no longer in effect until the lottery returns anywhere from 10–12 years from now. In Lottery’s place will be a set seven-year schedule for buildings that were already in, eligible for or ones that had TIC agreements in place and where 1/2 of the total units were in escrow this year — the final date of which will be determined — will convert according to that schedule with no cap on the number that can convert. The tenants in those units will be offered LIFETIME leases for their units (that will probably extend to a significant other or long-term roommate there if both are elderly) that will be subject to rent control and, even if the law changes, will be creatures of contract law and therefore unbreakable. A tenant, of course, is still obligated to pay rent and cannot otherwise violate terms of their lease, but only the tenant can decide to terminate the lease but for their own breach of the lease.   Confusing eh? More details are to be determined but other noteworthy items include: a new $20,000 fee per unit will be tacked on the overall conversion costs; speaking of tacking, owners who sell to other owner-occupiers who move in to the unit within 3 months of the previous owner leaving will be allowed to tack their ownership years together to meet owner occupancy time minimums; did I mention that there can only be one three-month gap per building? How anyone is going to enforce this provision and sort out lifetime lease terms with tenants on and off leases will keep lawyers busy for some time to come. Andy Sirkin, the father of TIC use in San Francisco said that the legislation is confusing, complicated but good for his business as it will be for other lawyers versed in this area of the law in San Francisco.

Won’t Someone Stop this Please?

Last note: speaking of lawyers, the drafters of the legislation garnered enough votes to make the bill supposedly veto-proof. And if someone files a lawsuit (any number of parties could) then there’s a ‘poison pill’ that would SUSPEND nearly all conversions during the entire duration of litigation. Ouch. Yours truly spoke with Andy Sirkin about this after he briefed us at Vanguard and I will be meeting with his former legal partner Lyssa Paul early next week to work on synthesizing guidance to this latest San Francisco treat!

Read more about the TIC Reforms from Andy Sirkin here.

Read more about Lyssa Paul here.

To attempt to decipher the law, be baffled here.

Goodbye Condo Lottery? What’s Happening With Tenants In Common In SF

On Condos, the Lottery and Tenants In Common: The TIC System as We Know It… or, Knew It


“Conditions subject to change” is almost a throw-away, boilerplate phrase you’re likely to see almost everywhere these days thanks to those pesky lawyers (sorry!). From airplane tickets to online shopping, you may suddenly find the ground beneath you changed in a blink of an eye. For those owning certain tenants-in-common home in San Francisco this may be the case come May 7, 2013. That’s when the Board of Supervisors for San Francisco is to vote on proposed changes to the City’s confounding TIC/Condo legislation. The current system is predicated upon the fact that condominium units are mostly exempt from stringent rent control laws while TIC units are not.


TIC 101: The ABCs of Rent Control and Why Condos are Valued More

Recall each and every condo unit will have its own legal title that is universally recognized by buyers and lenders alike; one unit = one title, multiple titles per building. Owners of a TIC unit however are buying a percentage of the entire building with a governing contract agreement defining which owner gets which space; one building = one title, no matter how many units. This applies to the more than 85% of residential buildings in the City originally occupied before 1979.


How It Works Practically

Let me discuss how it works. When you buy a TIC there’s only one legal title for the entire building. This is unlike a single-family home or condo where each unit has its own title. Instead, the reason why you live in Unit 1,2 or 3 is because of a contract agreement you buy when you purchase. You are purchasing a percentage of that single title. In SF people want to convert for two main reasons: (A) it brings the unit out of the rent controlled pool, and, (B) each unit would therefore gain its own individual title. Once that’s achieved, any bank will lend on it, the owner can do anything he or she wants like take an equity line of credit out, or will it to someone — whatever their heart’s desire. The important thing is that your potential buyer pool has now expanded. After all, only 2 banks currently lend on TIC purchases (Sterling and NCB) and their rates are higher (.075 – 1 percent) and down payments are higher (20% minimum, sometimes more), and financing is never fixed beyond 7 years. Because of the City’s pro-tenant bent and the desire to keep housing affordable, the city greatly restricts the numbers of buildings that can convert to 200 buildings a year. Currently, only 2-unit buildings that are occupied by different owners are allowed to skip over the condo lottery. Otherwise it’s the condo lottery. (Think you can skip over it just because you have 2 units but rent one out? Nope, even if you were a 2-unit building and rented out one unit, you’d still have to enter the lottery). One commentator estimates: if you bought in a 6-unit building that is otherwise condo-conversion eligible, it would be 2030 before you could convert.

To even get into the lottery owners have to meet requirements relating to how long an owner must live at a property before entering (three years) and what ratio there is between owner-occupied units vs. ones tenants rent and disqualifying past building evictions — even ones that may have taken place years ago between completely different people. The lottery takes place in January or February of a given year. Here’s a rough scenario for you:

  • Let’s assume Bob, Mary and John buy in a 3-unit building in 2005, 2010, and 2012 respectively. They all owner-occupy (for 3-units you need just one owner, for 4 it’s 2, for 5 and 6 it’s 3). Here, because Bob first occupied in 2005, the building can enter the lottery in 2008.  They enter the condo lottery and they lose each year — 5 times they lose. But each time they loose, it means that their chances increase the next year because they get more tickets in the lottery and may be elevated into a luckier pool of lottery entrants. BUT, if Bob sells his unit then everyone else left takes a hit downwards in time. Therefore, the number of tickets and 3-year residency requirement is then judged by the next senior owner — Mary. Because Mary only bought in 2010, she hasn’t met the 3-year requirement yet for 2013, but she will in 2014. And when Mary does qualify the number of lottery tickets is reduced/reset back to year 1. Bye-bye special pool and 5 years of dashed hoopes. So instead of getting the number of tickets a 6th year entrant would, the building gets the 1st year allocation. 

Enter Scott’s Idea…

Let’s admit it: that system is complicated and leaves too much to chance, right? Well, to combat this weird-sense with some common sense, in late 2012 Supervisor Scott Wiener originally proposed a resolution that would allow a limited number of TIC owners to pay a fee to bypass the lottery. But this being San Francisco, the original idea has been drastically rewritten. Drastically so. The revised legislation passed the Land Use Committee and will be up for a Supervisor vote on May 7, 2013.

The salient points of what the changes are as of April 28, 2013:

  • 5- and 6-unit buildings will be unable to convert after a 10 year freeze of the condo lottery;
  • certain tenants in TICs may be given a life-time lease (yes, life time – not the channel, but the number of years); and,
  • there will be a conversion schedule for buildings otherwise eligible for conversion as of April 15, 2013.

Whats does this mean? Well if you bought in a 6-unit or 5-unit building that would otherwise be eligible to convert into condos in the first place I’d be peeved. Really peeved. While those who bought in such buildings weren’t about to win soon, they still had the hope they could change one day. (Yes, I’ve heard stories of buildings winning way, way early, but for the most part don’t count on it). For 3- and 4-unit buildings it would be dicier if the legislation passes especially if the building is being occupied by all new owners starting after April 15, 2013. If the legislation passes (which it may well do) this could drastically impact prices downwards for new TICs coming online and for those buildings who did not meet owner-occupancy minimums.  On the other hand, if the building was eligible to convert on April 15, 2013 (certain owner occupancy minimum times and ratios must be met along with a ‘clean’ eviction history) prices could go up because a date certain for conversion could be established.

Learn More from the TIC Guru

There’s lot’s more to process, so read more about it from THE guy who widely started using the TIC legal device 20 years ago Andy Sirkin:


Proposed New Condominium Lottery Bypass Law — TIC, Equity Sharing and Shared Ownership Knowledge Base

What’s the deal with TICs now? 

The condominium conversion lottery reform and bypass legislation, originally introduced by San Francisco Supervisors Wiener and Farrell last spring, has been completely rewritten by Supervisors Chiu and Lee in an attempt to placate tenants rights advocates. The latest version, introduced at the April 15, 2013 meeting, contains tradeoffs which are opposed by the original sponsors and many real estate groups, including suspension of the existing conversion lottery for at least 10 years, and permanent disqualification of many buildings that qualify for condo conversion under existing law. This article summarizes the major elements of the currently proposed condominium conversion lottery bypass measure.

via Proposed New Condominium Lottery Bypass Law — TIC, Equity Sharing and Shared Ownership Knowledge Base.

It’s Tour Tuesday! Here’s the SFAR Broker Tour Sheet for Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013!

Finally, We Have More Homes to See and Tour!

Hopefully this is the start of the thaw in San Francisco’s real estate market so we can have more people get into new homes!  If there’s anything you want me to see for you, let me know!


Broker Tour for Feb 12 2013 (pdf version)


Kevin’s Open Picks of the Week: Open Houses & News You Can Use: Golden 49ers Ed., Jan 19-20, 2013

Inaugurate This: Go 49ers! Go See Homes Saturday (or Sunday if You’re Not Into that Kind of Thing)

Lots of targeted opportunities have come on the market this week that have universal appeal nonetheless. A pair of fixers in Bernal a Victorian in Anza Vista and the offer date for curb-appeal-with-great location on 19th Street is Monday, the 21st. Take a look at the Sneak Peeks and the Where are they Now Section below to see that the market wave here in SF is starting off strongly:

Listing Sneak Peeks & Noteworthy

(as overheard/shared by my colleagues)

  • 627 Castro at 19th St, Castro, top-floor TIC of a 3-unit building, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths (one, en suite), 2 parking spaces (!) recently renovated Edwardian flat, with 1600 sq ft. approx.  2 fireplaces, killer location, amazing yard and surrounding neighbor yards that look like a forest. Seller will pre-sell, fantastic Restoration Hardware finishes, coffer/tray ceilings, new lighting, garage .  Expected list price is $1.250M. Call me to arrange showing with the listing agents.
  • 352 Richland at Andover, Bernal Heights single family home fixer with APPROVED, shovel-ready plans for a 2300 sq ft expansion/addition to an otherwise large 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath, deep lot with yard, listed at $795k. Listed next week generally on MLS.
  • 355 Buena Vista Ave, #301, 1 bed, 1 bath, extra storage, TWO parking space, condo, 774 sq ft, HOA dues around $400/month, expected list price $599k
  • 1610 Sacramento, Nob Hill condos, eight recently renovated condos, each with independent parking spaces, 2 beds, 2 baths each either at 1150 sq ft or 1500 sq ft, prices range from $900k – $1.3M on within a week.
  • 4077 17th Street, top-floor condo, great location, 2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, top-floor, price range $1.0M+, within 2-3 weeks.
  • 24th and Dolores – Stunning renovation of two condominiums from a former single-family house. Won’t last long. Stunning views, high-end finishes, solid and quality construction. 1101 Dolores St. Lower unit 1.5 million upreared at $1.995 million. Upper has four bedrooms, two and half-bath and 2300 ft.² lower home has three bedrooms two baths with Cornerview at 1800 ft.² each comes with a parking space and it essentially new construction. Coming Soon.
  • NEW Construction on Natoma Street Btwen 6th and 7th Street at 537 Natoma  13 new construction condos, 9 2Bd/2Ba, 4 1Bd/1Ba, 850 sq ft–1100 sq ft, elevator building, all with parking, ready next week exclusively for Vanguard agents and their clients. Expected price range $525k–$799k
  • NEW Construction at Broderick and Hayes. Three NEW Construction condos with LUXE finishes, huge parking, roof deck/patio deck, marble bathrooms, marble and miele kitchens, wide and open spaces, Cat-5, audio, one full-floor flat, two 2-story town homes, 2/3 beds, 2 baths each. Expected prices $1.2M & $1.35M, on within 2 weeks. Check out some sneak snaps here in my iCloud album.
  •  160A Linda Street @19th Street, 2-Bed/2 Bath 1 Bed/1Bath, TIC home in lottery, expected in January, February, pre-sale possible, middle unit, recently remodeled and sold (2010), expected list price range: $479k–$525k
  • 486 Chestnut, Three new condos, 2 or 3 bedrooms with 1 to 2 parking spaces each, at least 1600 sq ft each expected, priced from $1.6M to $2.1M are coming on the market in January. It’s a rare to find something new in this area at all. See more: https://1456chestnut.com
  •  2069 Green Street @ Webster, 3-Bed/3 Bath Pacific Heights Condo with parking and 3000+ sq ft., good light & garden access, expected list price range: $1.695M
  • Oak & Baker, 5-unit building, with one renovated owner’s unit with 3-4 units some delivered vacant, excellent redevelopment opportunity, expected $1.8M–$2.0M

My business comes from you and yours, so please feel free to pass this along to your friends, colleagues, pet walkers, etc. 


Kevin Ho

Don’t Miss Early gifts for you to give thanks:  Access various reference resources — including my exclusive 60-page User Guide on how to navigate real estate successfully in San Francisco  for buyers and sellers at www.kevinho.org Ask me for reference materials via Dropbox.  And see pictures of many the homes I preview for you at Photobucket or on iCloud or YouTube.

Picks of the Week

Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
New Listing!
Bright, southwest orientation for this handsom Manhattan style high-rise in the heart of Yerba Buena living. Kitchen opens into the dining and living room. Large one bedroom. Hardwood floors, 9 fth high ceilings, crown molding, kitchen w/ granite counters & stainless steel appliances, washer/dryer, private patio & one deed parking space. Close to great restaurants, SFMOMA, AT&T Park, Ferry Plaza, the Financial District and Union Square. Wonderful investment and GREAT place to call home!!
  • Type: Condominium
  • Beds/Bath: 1/1.0
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 670 (Per Tax Records)
  • MLS: 404087 
Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
New Listing!
Duboce Triangle
$1,750,000 – 2295 15th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
This fabulous extensively remodeled Vict. is in one of the most desirable locations in San Francisco. High ceilings give this home a loft like feel. Light & airy living room has bay windows and a gas fireplace. Formal dining room, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths w/ hardwood floors throughout. Remodeled kitchen has wood cabinets, 2 skylights w/ stainless steel appliances & opens onto a deck overlooking the lovely garden. The master suite has a full bath & a door that opens onto the deck & garden. Upper bedroom has a private 1/2 bath & deck. Lower level includes a bonus room, large closet & separate entrance. There is also a laundry room. The 1 car garage has additional storage. Walk to shops & restaurants. Minutes to hwy 101 & 280! WalkScore 100!
  • Type: Single-Family Homes
  • Beds/Bath: 4/2.5
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 1634 (Per Appraiser)
  • MLS: 404122
Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
New Listing!
South of Market
$599,000 – 281 Clara St #6, San Francisco, CA 94107
The epitome of urban living: sexy contemporary top floor corner loft with style & convenience in the heart of Soma. Large inviting open living space with abundant natural light, gas fireplace, skylights, & City views make this home ideal for entertaining and relaxing. Create culinary delights in your gourmet kitchen with island, SS appliances, Caesarstone counters, & plenty of cabinets for storage. There’s 1 bedroom, a full-bath, & wardrobe on the mezzanine with an additional half bath on the main level. Complimented by designer colors & window treatments to complete the home & make this urban oasis move-in ready. One car deeded parking with designated storage also included. Walk Score of 92, Bike Score of 97, and transit score of 100!
  • Type: Loft Condominium
  • Beds/Bath: 1/1.5
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 992 (Per Tax Records)
  • MLS: 404162
Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Lower Pacific Height
$980,000 – 1383 Baker St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Stunning down to the studs renovation/remodel! All new systems; foundation/garage/plumbing/electric. Elegant, contemporary SOMA style living with finely detailed Victorian facade. Open concept kitchen, dining and living room with direct access to serene patio and garden through wood-framed sliding glass doors. Private loft style master suite plus additional bedroom and bathroom. Mahogany floors throughout; high ceilings, laundry room, 1 car deeded garage space plus additional storage.
  • Type: Condominium
  • Beds/Bath: 2/2.0
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 1497 (Condo Map)
  • MLS: 403926
Open House Sunday 1/20/13 – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Noe Valley
$1,595,000 – 565 Jersey St, San Francisco, CA 94114
1900’s Modernized Victorian with wonderfully open floor plan. Wood floors with radiant heat throughout the main floor. Hi-end kitchen with poured cement counters & casual eating area, spa-like bathroom, large bedroom & office area (legally a bedroom). Built-in sound. Lower level just completed with additional master suite with en suite bathroom & walk-in closet, library/den used as a bedroom, 2nd full hi-end bathroom & laundry closet. Painted cement floors with radiant heat throughout. Direct access to patio & awesome south facing yard from this level as well as interior access to the garage. Just over a block to 24th St. & some of SF’s best dining & shopping. GOOGLE bus stop close by. Easy access to HWY’s 280/101, public trans. Terrific.
  • Type: Single-Family Homes
  • Beds/Bath: 3/3.0
  • Parking: 1
  • Approx. Sq. Ft.: 0 (Not Available)
  • MLS: 403835

Q&A: How Do 2 Couples Buy a 2-Unit Building?

Today, I got a question from my clients asking for advice on buying a two-unit building with another couple.  Here’s my adapted response. Remember, you should investigate the circumstances of your transaction as your situation will be different. 

Question: Another couple wants to buy a building with with me and my partner.  We want to turn the building into two condos, which we hear is lucrative here in San Francisco.  What should we be worried about? Should we get a partnership agreement?  

First, call me to find out.

Okay, you wanted me to answer that?

Well all right. Yes, you should get a partnership agreement in place before closing escrow if not much earlier than that. The agreement can be as sophisticated or basic as you need. This varies because every situation will be different — especially in San Francisco. You’re likely to find a 2-unit building that is either tenant-occupied entirely or 1/2 owner-occupied. There are times when the entire building is vacant. There will be a lot of attention if that’s the case and the price will go up correspondingly. A general rule of thumb is that a vacant unit will get at least $30,000 to $50,000 more in price than one that is tenant-occupied because of San Francisco’s complicated Rent Control and Eviction Control laws and because of the City’s stringent planning and housing regulations.

For example, if you guys came across a completely done, finished and evenly split building, with completely equal values, then you could say each party gets 50% of x and pay 50% of purchase price. Everything is 50/50.

But that’s rarely the case. Instead, what you’re likely to find is the following:

  • Unit A is tenant-occupied with a private roof deck, better parking space and bigger repair bill.
  • Unit B is owner-occupied and has exclusive yard access, a smaller space but is completely renovated.
  • Zoning is RH-2, but use is single-family home and/or 2 rental units or single-family with in-law.

Now, suppose, the building itself has to get a new roof because the roof deck wasn’t built correctly, which has made repairs more urgent.  But for the deck, you all could have waited 5 years to do the roof over. Also, turns out the yard has a bad grade which causes water to flow toward the foundation instead of away from it.  Let’s suppose, when you guys buy it as as group, Couple A gets the top unit, and Couple B the bottom one.  The purchase price is $1M. Is the purchase price then $500k each? Are the costs then split 50/50?

Most likely, you end up with two TICs subject to rent control laws. But you have to check and do a lot of diligence on the rental history, occupancy use and permit history to see what your real options are as it can be complicated.

Moving on. 

Next, Couple B can move in right away because the owner is leaving when escrow closes.  But Tenants A don’t want to leave or want money to do so. Couple A must do an owner-move-in-evition (OMI), provided there’s never been one done in the past in the building of Tenants A (assume it’s a couple, no children, no one claiming protected status).  What happens?

Couple A would theoretically be the ones who should  pay the extra $10k to $11k to Tenants A plus an amount — say $2500— in legal fees, right?  (They may be able to buy the tenants out too with a cash-for-keys agreement). Should Couple B have to pay anything toward this action? And, what about the repair costs mentioned above? What if the building is completely dilapidated and you guys all want to remodel but unequally so; just because one couple wants to put in marble while the other likes butcher block countertops the costs will be very different for each unit.

You can see that having an agreement really starts to matter.

Enter, Rent Control

Now, let’s throw-in the intersection of rent control laws with buying multi-unit buildings.

What if Unit A and Unit B both have tenants who don’t want to leave? Because you can only do one OMI per building this means that while one Couple can do the OMI, the other Couple will have to buy-out the other set of tenants. Do both Couples pay for that? Consider that the buy-out price is oftentimes already factored into the list price.

One way to get around that is to have a partnership agreement in place that apportions who pays what, or to say everything is in one pool.  Or another way you can do it is to have each unit appraised and use that as the percentage basis for costs, i.e., Unit A is worth $600,000 and B is worth $500,000 therefore A’s owners will pay 60% of the bills and B 40%. There are other ways to allocate costs especially if one party is bringing more cash to the table initially and/or if one party can pay more each month than the other.

Last, when purchasing the property you’ll most likely use a group loan. For that, any bank should be able to do it, but be sure to use someone local. A bank many folks use is First Republic but they will have pre-payment penalties for all of their loans without exception. Sterling Bank is one of the only lenders who will do TIC loans fractional at all and/or (and more relevant here) be able to do a construction loan too. Unless you have your own money coming in this is a good way to go. Remember those rates will be higher, but you won’t be paying that for long as you’ll be converting in less than 2 years most likely. Also, remember you can get a 3-year ARM loans at 2.75% (thereabouts) to purchase and then refinance once you’re both condos. Don’t forget that in order to convert, you’ll need another set of lawyers to facilitate your conversion. That process will cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 in fees, costs to prepare condo HOA documents, surveyors, recording and inspections. The bill will be more if there are repairs that are deemed necessary by the City’s BDI.

Just like everything else in San Francisco it’s complicated and doable with a huge upside potential for those who can navigate it. This is why working with a pro like me is great because I can help guide you but I also have a good network of professionals that you can consult. I’ve had good personal interactions with all of these folks and can only speak to my experience, but nevertheless you should investigate to your own satisfaction. 

With all that, here’s a short-term action plan: 

(1) Have that ‘awkward’ conversation among yourselves about who does what, when and who pays for what, why and when. Write down the salient points. I would then contact one of the following attorneys (or their firms) who are expert in this area to help do the agreement. Twenty or thirty minutes of awkwardness now is worth it as the situation can become very cloudy and bad if everyone’s needs and wants are taken into account.

  • Andy Sirkin & Lisa Paul (TIC experts) Sirkin & Associates T: (415) 462–5925 (direct) www.andysirkin.com W: [email protected]
  • David R Gellman Goldstein, Gellman, Melbostad 388 Sutter Street, Suite 1000 San Francisco CA 94109–5494 T: (415) 673–5600 F: (415) 673–5606 E: [email protected]

(2) Financially, I believe you’ll have to qualify together.  If you want to use your own cash for renovations (if needed) then I’d say any bank or mortgage broker will do.  I’ve included a few  folks I’ve worked with and like, including ones for First Republic above and for Sterling (if you need monies for renovation).

  • Ryan Ogata (Res/Portfolio) Branch Owner/Mortgage Advisor Opes Advisors, Inc. 435 Pacific Avenue, Suite 350  San Francisco, CA 94133 T: 415.869.6132 F: 866.304.2325 E:[email protected] DRE# 1399180 | NMLS #299251
  • Connie Buchanan (Res/Constr/Bus) California Real Estate Loans, Inc. 600 N San Mateo Dr San Mateo, CA 94401 M: 415–999.2172 T: 650.342.4466 F: 650.342.9504 www.CRELINC.com E: [email protected] DRE #01200004 | NMLS #241170
  • Dan Murphy Relationship Manager First Republic Bank 111 Pine Street, 9th Floor San Francisco, CA 94111 T: 415.288.8003   F: 415.262.2565 E: [email protected] NMLS #487268
  • Henry T. Jeanes Mortgage Consultant / TIC Financing Specialist Sterling Bank & Trust Noe Valley Residential Lending Office 3800 24th Street San Francisco, CA  94114 T: 415.970.9889  x12204 C: 415.990.5620 E: [email protected] F: 248.351.7232 / 415.970.9880  NMLS #657755

(3) After all this, report back to me on what you’ve all decided mutually and we can start in earnest.

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