How to Prepare Your Home for Sale: Video

10 Step Video on how to prepare your home for sale. Several aren't quite appropriate for San Francisco... but there are true gems in here:

Thinking of selling your San Francisco home or condo? Contact the SFisHOME Real Estate Group at INFO AT SFisHOME DOT COM or get your home value report at www.Evaluate-My-Home.com


Best deals & biggest price drops in San Francisco

The tough times are in the outer fringes of San Francisco and a home just caught my eye as what appears to be one of the best deals going... and it still won't sell. 279 Flournoy St, San Francisco is a single family home that's listed 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 1034 SqFt. It's a Bank owned REO from Countrywide that struck me as a major deal for two reasons. For one it was only asking $389,900. Now if you live in the Midwest and are contemplating a move to San Francisco this price will seem outrageously expensive, but in San Francisco you can't even by a studio condo in the north end of town for that price.

The second thing that struck me as this being a major deal is that it last sold in 2003 for $440,000. That is striking because 2003 is BEFORE the market took off with crazy financing. Most major price drops are down to 2004 or maybe down to 2003... but not below 2003.

The third thing that struck me... this home was withdrawn from the MLS (the San Francisco MLS or multiple listing service) in mid-December without having sold (as far as I can tell). That means it's low asking price of $389,900 was too high.

Finally, when doing a 1/2 mile radius search around the house for all homes that are on the market for sale, in contract, Sold in the past 6 months, or expired or withdrawn off the MLS, it is the 4th cheapest property out of 51 in total. So by any measure it is REALLY CHEAP and still didn't sell. The three that are cheaper appear to be smaller homes, but these homes are active on the MLS and they aren't selling either. They are 262 Minerva St, 127 Broad St (looks like a shack that needs to be torn down) and 269 Montana St (a short sale with 3 offers submitted to the lender already - per the MLS). Check them out at www.SF-MLS-Search.com.

If you're interested in exploring properties for sale in San Francisco, whether for investment or a primary residence, please contact me for assistance at www.SFisHOME.com.

Finding Rentals or rent prices in San Francisco

Time and again I ask what are rental prices are like in San Francisco, or in a particular neighborhood or size range. I almost always send them to Craigslist since it seems like that every rental listing shows up there. But wading through Craiglist isn't all that easy. With all the mashup technology someone, sooner or later, had to come up with a map based search... and sure enough someone did.

A new internet must is Mullinslab2.ucsf.edu/SFrentstats

Click on "2BR" or whatever segment you're interested in, and the map pops up, and from there you can drill down into neighborhoods. Or you can click on "Neighborhood Data" and see rents and total rentals by neighborhood. Or look at trends over time under "Overall Stats/Notes" for "Graphs of rent over time".

To me the best part, especially if you are looking for San Francisco rental properties, or if you are looking to buy a Condo or house to then turn around and rent, you can see the Craiglist rentals in a much easier to digest way.

Another interesting REO property

530 Ashbury looks like it might have been a victim of fraud... in August 2006 someone paid $825,000 for it and got 100% financing with two loans from the same company... Fremont Investment & Loan. It looks like these guys closed down or sold their residential mortgage business... and no wonder if they were doing 100% financing for buyers who clearly over paid.

Fast forward to February 2008 a mere 18 months later and the property goes back to Fremont Investment & Loan... and in July 2008 CapitalSource Bank buys up Fremont.

Fast forward again to today... and 530 Ashbury is listed for sale as an REO (Real Estate Owned by a bank) in the San Francisco MLS for $599,900... but it's got a tenant in the property, and it says "bank has no record of any paid rents". My, my, how interesting. So the buyer probably collected the rents and never paid a bill and made off with the rental income as long as she could. You really have to wonder if the loan officer at Fremont was in cahoots here, because even at $4000 per month in rent for 18 months, it doesn't seem worth the blow to your credit report, or being criminally prosecuted.

By the way, now the owner of record is a company called Liquidation Properties, Inc... how appropriate! And per the tax records they got it from Fremont in a Quit Claim deed for $493,500. So if any unrepresented buyers are out there and like 530 Ashbury, drop me a line and lets see how low we can negotiate this down towards that number. To see the property on the MLS, visit www.SF-MLS-Search.com and enter listing# 351360 into the listing number search.


REO's make for interesting stories

San Francisco is finally seeing some Bank Owned "REO" properties... some had attempted Short Sales first... and I don't think I'm going out on a limb by guessing there were offers but the banks couldn't or wouldn't get their act together to accept it. So not too far down the road the same property hits the market again.

88 King St #101 is one of those properties. I saw it when it was a short sale, and last week it came back on the market priced lowered than the short sales price at $779,000. This is an unusual condo... it's across from AT&T Park where the San Francisco Giants play, and it's literally on the street. With a wall of glass, you'd be staring a lot of Giants fans in the eyes during their 81 home games. In the photo, note the street level glass door leading to the Condo's patio which then leads to a door that puts you in the unit's living room. There's also an interior entry way.

But at $779,000 for nearly 1500 SqFt, 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths on two levels, it looks like a pretty good deal. I'd even suggest trying to pick it up for a little less. If you're interested in the property, check it out at www.SF-MLS-Search.com or email or call me and I'll send you the info.


Infinity SF & Blu SF updates

Tower one or phase one of the Infinity, 318 Spear St San Francisco, still isn't sold out. Tower two or phase two of the Infinity, 338 Spear St, which many claim is the superior tower since it's closer to the water and has more unobstructed view homes... and is rumored to have better finishes... isn't yet complete, nor is it for sale as of today. Speculation at sites like Socketsite, a San Francisco real estate blog with active commenters, has been that the Infinity's tower two would begin selling soon after the first of the year.

Well, per the Sales office, you can now see tower two via private appointment, but with scarce appointments available. But in early February they will be ready for drop-in appointments. As always start at the Sales office, and it's still best to book an appointment. In addition, Sales will commence around the time that drop-in appointments begin. HOWEVER, tower two is still not ready for occupancy and may not be until June or so.

The prices quoted at Tower one are still amazingly high. One of the only (or was it the only???) 1 bedrooms remaining that has water views is asking $895,000 for just over 800 SqFt. At over $1,000 per SqFt it amazes me that anyone would pay that (well, they haven't since this particular one is still for sale - and they proactively tell you that they will entertain lower offers), but with the credit freeze, stock market drop, and over-supply of homes in and around SOMA/South Beach including their own Tower two... it seems to me a 1 bedroom condo ought to be asking $700,000, not $895,000.

Regarding Blu, or 631 Folsom St San Francisco, they will begin showing finished models next week, and occupancy will begin at the end of March or beginning of April. Thus far only 10% of Blu is in contract whereas Infinity tower one claims to only have about 10% remaining... but of course 0% sold in tower two.

Of the three hottest new buildings in the area... the ultra luxury Millennium SF at 301 Mission is the most expensive (despite an announced 15% drop in prices), Infinity is a pretty luxurious building, at least in terms of amenities, and is cheaper, but is more expensive than Blu. But in addition to amenities, Blu has few private patio/balconies (only 2nd floor and penthouse) whereas Infinity has the most.

It will be a very interesting year in real estate throughout San Francisco, but the SOMA/South Beach/Mission Bay market, and in particular these three developments all opening this Spring, will be very interesting to watch.

If you would like to be updated on all MLS activity at these three buildings you can enter your specific search at Automated-HomeFinder.com, or try out SF-MLS-Search.com or register at CleanOffer.com or email me at info @ SFisHOME.com for direct service.


REO's in San Francisco - Condos

Bank Owned "REO" properties in San Francisco still remain at far lower levels than other parts of the Bay Area, State and Country. Currently there are 21 Condos that are REO's in San Francisco. Click here for a PDF list of these REO's as of today, January 6, 2009.

Note from the list that within San Francisco the REO's are concentrated in certain parts of the city. The report lists the names of the neighborhoods, and if youclick here you can see a Map Report of the 21 San Francisco REO's.

Note that there are no REO's north of Geary Street (the map is lopped off to only show where the REO's are located) and that there is a concentration of REO's in the Bayview/Hunters Point (south eastern San Francisco) and in SOMA/Mission Bay (where all of the new and newer construction is located).

If you're interested in getting REO listings emailed to you the day they come on the market, visit www.Automated-HomeFinder.com and use the comments section to ask for REO's only.