—Ross & Sarah M.
Googler & EBayer, Buyers (Noe Valley)
Media & Advertising Director
Manager, Clinton Global Health Initiative
Buyer (Noe Valley)
Buyer & Seller (Mid-Market/SOMA & Uptown Oakland)
— Christel L.
Buyer, Fixer (Berkeley)
— Edward G.
Successful San Francisco Real Estate Developer
Buyer, Multi-Unit Fixer (Mission Dolores)
WINNING SAN FRANCISCO REAL ESTATE TODAY
My name is Kevin Ho and I am Broker Associate and Top Producer at Vanguard Properties, one of the top San Francisco brokerages that is also locally owned and operated. Together with my partner Jonathan McNarry, we specialize in residential real estate in and around our fair city of San Francisco representing buyers, sellers, investors and builders. My client base and business continues to grow — success begets success. I am from Iowa City, Iowa originally, I am also an active attorney in California and have lived in San Francisco for 10 years. I do real estate differently than most: I genuinely love what I do, I’m hand’s on and I work hard, wisely and empathetically. I’ve recently been joined by Jonathan McNarry, realtor and licensed nurse and respiratory therapist who hails from the U.K. via Atlanta where his background is in health care and development.
I’ve been an invited commentator/expert on Curbed SF, have been quoted and featured in the New York Times for innovative real estate marketing, and interviewed a number of times on local television news talking about real estate.
My clients benefit from having a lawyer, realtor, mediator and reporter — and now another experienced professional — working for them. Please learn about my client successes and about Jonathan and me by exploring this site.
Let’s get started today!
— Listing Agent, San Francisco, Castro
(Client closed on property beating out 2 other offers)
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He’s personable, helpful, tech-savvy, and extremely dedicated!
Kevin is a very opinionated realtor, but I say this in a good way. There were many homes that we were willing to bid on in what was a very challenging market, but thankfully Kevin kept our best interests in mind. Rather than going for a quick close, he actually talked us out of a few homes to make sure we stayed true to our criteria.
—Aaron & Ashley L., Buyers, Charming Victorian (Noe Valley)
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
San Francisco’s real estate continues its blossoming with a push of new listings this weekend that continues the trend we started to see a couple weeks ago of increasing inventory — yet this new inventory is still being met by unsatisfied demand but each new listing helps.
While our final closing prices continue to be strong what we’ve seen on the agent side is that properties with teaser prices and/or or those at where you would expect them with offer dates are coming and going without any offers. Perhaps this is related to stock market news and/or people are feeling a bit unsure of continued growth, which is why some folks aren’t going for the bait of a teaser price.
What does this mean for you? Well, if inventory continues to increase and the past couple of weeks’ patterns become the norm rather than the exception, then we may finally be seeing a normalizing of the market, which has been growing and growing. Overall, national trends where a lot of the rest of country seems to be seeing somewhat of a slowdown in some areas to weaker growth in others will mean that lenders will continue to keep our mortgage rates down. This could explain why we’re seeing a decrease of recent mortgage interest rates. From Vanguard’s lending partner Citibank, here are the most recent rates:
Additional discounts are available if a Buyer is willing to save some money at Citibank starting at 1/8th point up to 3/8ths of point off the RATE with a 1-Million dollar relationship (does not need to be liquid funds – 401Ks and retirement plans qualify for the offer!), with the rate holding constant even if money is moved away from Citibank post-close. (Rates are for primary residence loans and assume a credit score of 740 or higher and a 20% down payment).
We had three successful open houses for 243 Romain starting May 1 with folks responding to the property positively and enthusiastically. By Monday, May 5 we had three offers in hand: one was all-cash, one with a substantial non-contingent loan and yet another with a substantial down payment. The Seller ultimately decided to pick an offer one of my clients submitted with the best price, terms and down payment. The way things are going, we may see an early close of escrow to boot. While the successful offer price will only be released after we close escrow we are in the +25% range with a solid back-up offer.
For those of you who missed it, I was interviewed on KTVU-FOX2 about two large Mid-Market transactions: Both the Honda and the Goodwill parcels near Market and Van Ness Streets purportedly went into contract this past week. With central locations and the capacity to build 600+ units the prospects look promising. That better be the case as the Goodwill parcel was listed at $60M! Plenty of Goodwill for the charity. Read the story here and watch the broadcast version of the story here.
I’m pleased to announce that Jonathan and I will be listing a fantastic Hayes Valley single-family home in just a matter of weeks on Hickory Street – one of the quiet streets that runs parallel and in between Oak Street and Fell Street. This home has an incredible three-car garage, a foundation that looks like it was built like a tank, a lovely courtyard in an L-shaped floor plan with two bedrooms, one bath, living area and kitchen that is as charming as it is chic with light and breezy feel. Perfect home for now and one with obvious potential to expand. Stay tuned for more.
You’ve heard it before — San Francisco is a truly international city that will command a premium that attracts international buyers the world over. And while you may hear of growth in Houston, for example, would you really want to live there? Would the rest of the world’s people want to visit? Instead, San Francisco stands out from most of the country (bar NYC) as being tops in real estate and the place to be for tourist and techie alike —18 of the top 25 tech companies are here for example. Our universities, proximity to emerging markets, financial base and diversity attracts the best and the brightest (although Berkeley and Stanford may have something to do with it). Plus our climate, while foggy sometimes, still beats cold vortexes and heat waves. And because land is scarce here … well, you get the picture. Did I mention there’s wine here too?
2014’s 1st quarter numbers are in for Vanguard Properties and there are some compelling facts and data that are telling as to why so many people succeed with us.
And with good reason as there’s been a noticeable shift in the City towards our sunnier, south-of-California-Street climes. Vanguard’s accomplishment are all the more for a local brokerage considering we just have 175 agents in San Francisco compared to others like Coldwell Banker with more than 400 and 300 agents at Zephyr (the other leading brokerages for the area).
At Vanguard Properties we are committed to understanding your individual needs. We promise to provide you with the kind of quality service that will exceed your expectations. Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilled execution. And all of this is thanks to you and yours. Keep up the support and help us succeed in helping you succeed. Learn more HERE.
What’s trending, what’s coming and what just passed.
Contemporary, reclaimed, reimagined and repurposed urban warehouse in one of the hottest growth areas in SF
List Price: $2.395M
SOLD: $2.605M (7-Day, All-Cash Close, Seller Rent-Back)(May 2014)
Excellent location, fantastic 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, expansion potential, character and more.
List Price: $1.349M (PENDING)
Centrally located urban oasis with 180-degree views from Peak to Bay, recently remoedled
List Price: $995K (PENDING AFTER 3 DAYS ON MARKET)
—Dana & Drew
Med Student & Chip Engineer
First Time Buyers (Miraloma Park)
Team Kevin and Jonathan’s background and personality lend themselves to real estate naturally. Kevin loves what he does and doesn’t think of it as work at all. It beats being a full-time lawyer hands down, but Kevin values being a lawyer at the same time as it gives him an edge in that he can interpret documents for clients as well as to bring an additional layer of confidence, knowledge and authority. Meanwhile, Jonathan bring a background of large-scale real estate development and health care to the table. He worked with his family in the Southeast as they developed large tracts of land into communities and has been selling real estate since he was 18. Jonathan works as a RN at UCSF where he has provided healthcare to patients of all ages, shapes and sizes. He is part of the hospital’s elite Rapid Response Team, works with ICU patients that requires absolute focus and the ability to handle all kinds of situations adeptly, calmly and professionally. He has also worked as a paramedic/EMT, Respiratory Therapist, banker, insurance agent and Notary Public. He brings experience as well as a perspective that is cool, steady and nimble — just what the real estate doctor ordered!
Here’s what Kevin has done in bullet-point form:
Because we are curious and enterprising we are always listening and learning — plus we like people! This is how we can deliver our clients exclusive opportunities that others cannot.
We incorporate technology effectively in our practice using iPhones, iPads, laptops, laser measurers and mobile technology to streamline the entire process for our clients freeing us to spend more time assisting clients on what’s important. We work creatively and think broadly but also approach real estate under the premise this is important business — home buying is the most important decision people make and it’s something we love doing and we hope you love what we do.
Take the next step and contact us today to get started.
— Ross & Sarah
Successful Buyers, Noe Valley Single-Family Home
Instead of a shortage of serious buyers, the tables turned toward a shortage of good homes that lasted long enough for people to see without other buyers making preemptive offers. So, prices have gone up —and up but are expected to hold steady for 2014 as interest rates scoot up and as the number of REO and short sales continue to shrink. And while the strength in prices remains, agents are now generally pricing homes more accurately.
But many are still using an offer-date system whereby the listing price may have little to do with the ultimate selling price because competitive bidding is encouraged. They can do this is because there is so very little inventory in the City. Balanced against that is that home borrowing, while still strenuous, is affordable because interest rates remain at historic lows but for how much longer? In terms of pricing and how properties are presented, 2012 and 2013 has shown there’s no one right way to do things. Instead ascertaining pricing philosophy (some agents grossly under- or mis-price) comes down to a per agent, per property basis, which is leading too a lot of “wait and watch.”
Remember good things may not come to those who wait but do to the early birds. There is a lot of cash on the market with people having to spend tax-deferred 1031 exchange monies from sales that would otherwise be subject to the 37% capital gains combined tax rate. And if you think prices will go down, think about all the other folks who lost out in competitive bidding — they’re not going anywhere too. And with interest rates going up (at some point), buyers will rush to lock rates in, even if it means making concessions like giving sellers longer rent-back periods. Prices have increased dramatically — so much so that $1000/sqft is the new norm as is the new normal in Noe Valley where 3 is the new 2 — as in $3M is the new $2M.
Another trend to watch is the city’s housing crunch, which started in 2013 and intensifying in 2014 has included more drama, more emotions, and now, promised tinkering with rent control and eviction control laws — which we have recently seen. The targets of popular discontent are the familiar landlords and now throw-in Airbnb types and/or the tech industry as a whole.