Finding Real Estate Value in San Francisco
In a marketplace that has many types of properties, locations with different characteristics and prices from the low $300,000’s to well over $10,000,000, as a buyer you’ll have lots of choices and decisions to make. Working with a knowledgeable Zephyr agent you’ll be able to identify appropriate neighborhoods and property types that fit your needs and budget.
Here are some buying considerations that may help you find value in your next purchase:
- Consider an improving neighborhood. San Francisco neighborhoods have changed over the years, many going from shabby to chic. Changes in city planning, transportation, and construction can all signal changes in a neighborhood. Early entrants into improving neighborhoods are usually rewarded for their boldness.
- Consider a cosmetic fixer. Buyers shy away from cosmetically unattractive properties (the reason that so many homes are staged before marketing). An ugly duckling can often be improved with simple and inexpensive enhancements. You may find value in replacing a bad paint job, removing carpets to refinish hardwoods or overlooking clutter that can be removed.
- Consider a home with a ‘major’ defect. These properties are disadvantaged in the marketplace and are less likely to receive multiple offers or bids over the asking price. If the costs and possibilities look reasonable and you are willing to commit to a major repair project this type of property might make sense for you. If you are able to cost effectively fix a defect you might reap an increased price when you sell. Some defects are incurable (like location) but may not affect your enjoyment of the property—just be prepared to pass a similar discount on to the next buyer when you sell.
- Consider financing alternatives. A good mortgage broker can often find mortgage products that suit your particular situation and maximize your purchasing power without appreciably increasing your risk.
- Consider a tenancy-in-common. Tenancies-in-common in buildings of three or more units tend to sell for less than comparable condominiums because of the vagaries of TIC ownership and financing. Some TIC’s will eventually be able to convert to condominiums giving potential advantages to owners who make the transition. Remember that TIC’s can be more difficult to sell than condominiums, but for many buyers may present an opportunity to get more for their money in the San Francisco real estate market.