Mobile, Online Listings Are Increasingly Important for Marketing Your Home

Mobile, Online Listings Are Increasingly Important for Marketing Your Home

Today, we use mobile devices to do everything. We use them to buy movie tickets, find nearby restaurants – and increasingly – we’re using them to shop for homes. According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey, 50 percent of buyers said they used a mobile device to shop for their home in the last year. Traditional marketing methods like yard signs and open houses are attracting a smaller pool of buyers. Just 9 percent of respondents said they found their home this way. Instead, the survey highlighted the importance the Internet and mobile devices play in selling a home. For instance, 43 percent of buyers browse online listings as their first-step in buying a home, and that’s even more accurate for younger buyers. Sixty-five percent of buyers aged 25-44 years old use a mobile device in their home search, compared to just 45 percent who attended open houses. What Does Mobile Mean for Sellers? There are dozens of real estate listings apps from sites like Redfin, Trulia, Zillow and the Chinese portal Juwai.com the list continues to grow. They’ve made it easier than ever to search for homes by price, location, lot size, etc. Today, your listing is at the fingertips of millions – if it’s marketed correctly. Effective mobile and Internet listings are much like “digital yard signs.” Buyers want to see photos, detailed property information, neighborhood data and virtual/interactive tours. Today, a thorough mobile listing is as effective as a well-attended open house. Equally as important, your listing needs to appear in the right online channels. At Urban Focus Real Estate, we understand the importance...
Is there an affordable neighborhood in San Francisco?

Is there an affordable neighborhood in San Francisco?

Yes!  Have a look at Visitacion Valley and the Excelsior District Tucked in the hills along San Francisco’s southern border are the Excelsior and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods. Not many San Franciscans venture out to this part of the city, and because of that, both of these vibrant communities carry a marked locals-only vibe. But there is plenty waiting here to be discovered. The Excelsior district hugs the western perimeter of McLaren Park, a hilly, green expanse, and one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The park offers serenity and an escape from the bustle, plus many of the park’s hills deliver stunning views of the Bay. McLaren is also home to a golf course, off-lease dog park, playgrounds and swimming pool. Unlike other areas in the city, the Excelsior has been immune to rapid transformation. But change is coming slowly. For instance, the Excelsior’s neglected commercial thoroughfare, the western end of Mission Street, is slowing undergoing a renaissance. (But don’t expect it to happen here as quickly as it has in the nearby Mission District.) Plus, there’s a distinctive community spirit in the neighborhood. Every October, the Excelsior Festival attracts nearly 5,000 attendees, and Jerry Day, a one-day music festival honoring Grateful Dead band leader and Excelsior native Jerry Garcia, is held annually in McLaren Park. The district is also one of San Francisco’s most culturally diverse, and as such, there’s a varied mix of hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants and cafes, along the Mission Street corridor. Another added benefit: The Excelsior is well-connected to the city center and Silicon Valley. I-280 and I-101 are easily accessible, and a 30-minute trip on...

Median Sales Price Rose 5.4% in January 2015

It’s no surprise to you that inventory in San Francisco remains tight with new listings down 20.8 percent for single family homes and 35.8 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Let’s hope that with the spring showers (which we desperately need!) and flowers comes more inventory. January saw the median sales price climb 5.4 percent to $975,000 for single family homes, while Condo/TIC/Coop saw a decrease of 2.4 percent to $927,000. Months Supply of Inventory, which looks at how long it would take to sell all of the active inventory given the current pace of sales, decreased 26.7 percent for single family units and 29.4 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units. Low levels of inventory has meant that more than half of all properties are selling for more than the listing price, which is good news for your sellers and those who are thinking about selling. More than 60 percent of buyers of a single family homes and condos, TICs, and coops paid more than the listing price. A look across San Francisco’s 10 districts, shows that District 10, comprised of the Outer Mission, Mission Terrace, Excelsior, Portola, Bayview, Silver Terr, Hunters Pt, Candlestick Pt, Bayview Hts, Little Hollywood, Visitation Vly, and Crocker Amazon, saw the most single family home sales in January 2015, while District 3, Pine Lake Park, Lake Shore, Merced Manor, Stonestown, Lakeside, Merced Heights, Ingleside, Ingleside Heights, Oceanview, saw the largest jump in median sales price. Read Full...
3 Reasons the San Francisco Real Estate Boom Will Continue in 2015

3 Reasons the San Francisco Real Estate Boom Will Continue in 2015

San Francisco real estate has been pulling in the records in 2014. Earlier this year, we saw the highest price per square foot in Hayes Valley at 8 Octavia. And condos have been selling at the speed of light. The 267-unit Mission Bay development Arden by Bosa, for instance, sold out in a few months this summer. Recently, though, there has been some evidence the market is starting to plateau. For instance, the median home price in San Francisco hit a record $1.072 million in November, but sales volume dipped by 20 percent. But that shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. The San Francisco housing market traditionally slows down late in the year.  In fact, it’s not likely prices will come down in 2015. Why? The laws of supply and demand are alive and well in the city, and the huge demand and short supply are contributing to surging home prices. Plus, interest rates remain low, although they’re projected to climb, so there are more buyers looking. Here are a few market factors to consider in 2015: 1. Demand for Housing Is Off the Charts: Since 2010, San Francisco has added about 10,000 residents per year, and new housing construction hasn’t come close to keeping pace. According to The Chronicle,San Francisco added roughly 10,000 residents in 2013, while just 2,300 new housing units were built. The math doesn’t add up. Unfortunately, San Francisco’s population is estimated balloon to 1 million by 2032; it’s roughly 840,000 residents now. Plus, many new residents are employed in the booming tech industry, i.e. they’re earning high wages are ready to buy. In fact,...

Homeownership Record Keeping Is Now a Click Away

Record keeping is especially important for California homeowners. The reason? Our state has one of the most stringent seller disclosure policies in the country. That means home sales in California aren’t “buyer beware”; there are protections in place that ensure buyers aren’t left in the dark about a property. The disclosures range far and wide, including things like disclosing earthquake danger, lead-based paints and hazardous materials. Disclosing home improvements and repairs is another common example, and it  can quickly become cumbersome to prepare this information without organized records. Generally speaking, homeowners must disclose the age, size and nature of improvements or home repairs. Therefore, the more meticulous your records of maintenance, the more time you’ll save when selling your home. But that’s just one benefit. Organized records can also help protect you against costly lawsuits (you won’t over-estimate the cost of an improvement, for instance), simplify the insurance claims process,  streamline mortgage refinancing, and, in some cases, it can save you money on taxes. How Software is Changing Real Estate Record Keeping Currently, there are some extremely useful platforms for organizing and tracking relevant data about your home. The options are endless. But one application I recommend is HomeZada. HomeZada provides an easy-to-use and secure platform for managing your home. Essentially, you build a dashboard for your property that contains information like mortgage and tax documents, maintenance schedules and contract information – it’s really the 21st-century equivalent of a filing cabinet full of paperwork. Fortunately, the app is very affordable. There’s a paid version that starts at $5.95 per month, or $59 per year. If you’ve already signed up for the paid...
Mobile, Online Listings Are Increasingly Important for Marketing Your Home

Mobile, Online Listings Are Increasingly Important for Marketing Your Home

Today, we use mobile devices to do everything. We use them to buy movie tickets, find nearby restaurants – and increasingly – we’re using them to shop for homes. According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey, 50 percent of buyers said they used a mobile device to shop for their home in the last year. Traditional marketing methods like yard signs and open houses are attracting a smaller pool of buyers. Just 9 percent of respondents said they found their home this way. Instead, the survey highlighted the importance the Internet and mobile devices play in selling a home. For instance, 43 percent of buyers browse online listings as their first-step in buying a home, and that’s even more accurate for younger buyers. Sixty-five percent of buyers aged 25-44 years old use a mobile device in their home search, compared to just 45 percent who attended open houses. What Does Mobile Mean for Sellers? There are dozens of real estate listings apps from sites like Redfin, Trulia, and Zillow, and the list continues to grow. They’ve made it easier than ever to search for homes by price, location, lot size, etc. Today, your listing is at the fingertips of millions – if it’s marketed correctly. Effective mobile and Internet listings are much like “digital yard signs.” Buyers want to see photos, detailed property information, neighborhood data and virtual/interactive tours. Today, a thorough mobile listing is as effective as a well-attended open house. Equally as important, your listing needs to appear in the right online channels. At Urban Focus Real Estate, we understand the importance of digital marketing...
Making an Offer on a Property

Making an Offer on a Property

Verbal contracts or offers are not legally enforceable when it comes to the sale of real estate. Therefore, you need to enter into a written contract, which starts with your written proposal. This proposal not only specifies price, but all the terms and conditions of the purchase. REALTORS® in California use forms that are approved by the California Department of Real Estate.  These are the only forms that real estate agents are allowed to use. We have a variety of standard forms (including Residential Purchase Agreements) that are kept up to date with the changing laws. In addition, REALTORS® cover the questions that need to be answered during the process. There are certain disclosure laws that must be complied with by the seller, and the REALTOR® will ensure that this takes place. After the offer is drawn up and signed, it will be presented to the seller of the property. What the Offer Contains The purchase offer you submit, if accepted as it stands, will become a binding sales contract (also known as a purchase agreement, earnest money agreement or deposit receipt). It’s important, therefore, that it contains all the items that will serve as a “blueprint for the final sale.” These purchase offer items include such things as: Address of the property Sale price Terms — for example, all cash or subject to your obtaining a mortgage for a given amount Seller’s promise to provide clear title (ownership) Target date for closing (the actual date title is transferred to you) Amount of earnest money deposit accompanying the offer, and whether it’s a check, cash or wire transfer A...
26-Unit Building, ‘Community Beer Hall’ Coming to Hayes Valley

26-Unit Building, ‘Community Beer Hall’ Coming to Hayes Valley

The team behind the much-praised 8 Octavia in Hayes Valley has set their sights on a new location right next door. Linden Partners is currently developing a new building along Octavia, between Page and Rose, which will house 26 studio, one- and two-bedroom units. The developers recently closed on what was originally Parcel T, which became available following the demolition of the Central Freeway, and have released renderings of the new housing development. In addition to the new condos and ground-floor retail, developers have plans for a street-level community beer hall as well, which developers are calling, “a living room for the neighborhood.” The beer hall concept could be a replacement for the SF Biergarten, which has found a temporary home down the street on Parcel L. ‘Smaller, More Economical’ Units The five-story building includes condos on the upper four floors, with the first floor devoted to the beer hall and additional retail space. As far as the units themselves, they won’t be as spacious as other new construction buildings. The design team notes that to take better advantage of the space, the units will be “smaller and more economical.” Information about floor plans and square footage has not yet been released. Other features include 13 underground parking spaces, 6 spots for car-shares, and street-level landscaped areas. Like 8 Octavia, the new project will feature a distinctive façade. Edmonds+Lee, the team behind the design, said they incorporated a contemporary version of traditional Victorian Bay windows, but the building is certainly modern and will complement other buildings in the neighborhood. Blocks from the Heart of Hayes Valley Since the demolition...
No On Measure G

No On Measure G

A punitive new tax on housing is certainly not the answer to San Francisco’s housing challenges. We need thoughtful solutions that create more housing of all types, not a poorly crafted measure that levies a new tax on housing and yet, provides no guarantees that any of the revenue raised will go to new affordable housing or any housing at all. NO on G | WE NEED MORE HOUSING, NOT LESS We need to bring more housing onto the market. But this measure creates an immediate incentive for homeowners to take secondary units, commonly known as in-law units, off the market or face a tax that could be $240,000 (or more) when they sell their properties. NO on G | A MASSIVE NEW CHARGE WILL NOT LOWER HOUSING COSTS San Francisco is facing a major housing crisis, but imposing an additional tax that makes housing more expensive makes no sense. While current owners will absorb some of these costs, much of it will be passed on to new renters and new owners. In the end, middle-class renters and homebuyers will pay for the 24% housing tax. NO on G | POORLY CRAFTED OR OVERTLY POLITICAL We need to bring all parties to the table to protect tenants from eviction. However, because of political backroom deals or simple ignorance, this measure leaves out over 40,000 residents in buildings with 30 or more units. If it is a good idea for some, why not all? We need smart policies, not backroom deals or last minute slip ups. NO on G | READ THE HISTORY Proponents say Supervisor Harvey Milk first proposed...
San Francisco Condo Watch: Prices Still Climbing, As New Developments Open in Q3

San Francisco Condo Watch: Prices Still Climbing, As New Developments Open in Q3

The price of new construction condos in San Francisco continues to grow. According to The Mark Company’s August Condo Pricing Index, the average price per square foot of a new condo in San Francisco was $1,119, a 10 percent jump year-over-year. So it’s no surprise we’re seeing some record listing prices in the city. Just last month, a luxury two-bedroom at 8 Octavia in Hayes Valley listed for $1,384 per square foot – a record price per square foot for the neighborhood. This summer has been a sales bonanza for many developments in the city. By the end of August, Arden by Bosa in Mission Bay had sold nearly all of its 267 units, with just 17 available. That equates to an impressive rate of 62 units per month since opening in May. Other smaller boutique buildings, including 1515 15th (45 units) in the Inner Mission and 1645 Pacific (34 units) in Lower Pacific Heights took just three months to sell out. And similarly, only 2 of the 39 units at Millwheel North in Dogpatch have sold since the development’s sales office opened in May. SF New Condo Inventory Update: New Developments Opening This Fall In August, new construction inventory dropped 10 percent month-over-month compared to July, with 386 units available during the month. Two new developments – the SF Shipyard and Summit 800 – both of which haven’t yet released sales data – helped improve new construction availability in San Francisco. Both developments accounted for 260 new units coming online this summer. Here’s a broader snapshot of the city’s 386 available units: 8 Octavia – Hayes Valley –...