Call John at 415.738.7232 to buy or sell your San Francisco Home
Call John at 415.738.7232 to buy or sell your San Francisco Home
Who is Riding Those Sleek Shiny Buses?
Have you noticed the sleek buses cruising around San Francisco during commute hours? Google, Apple and other tech companies provide shuttle service for their employees to and from Silicon Valley. These companies know that smart, young people want to live in the City and the buses provide extra productive hours while commuting. My listing at 2060 Sutter #509 was purchased by an Apple employee after less than 3 weeks on the market. My client bought this lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo when he was single. Now that he’s married, he and his wife are ready to make room for a family. Life is full of changes.
Thinking of making a change? Call me.
Sixty Two Years of Memories, Love and Laughter
In 1952, three siblings bought a 3-unit building in the vibrant North Beach neighborhood, where Chinatown meets Little Italy. Three generations of family members moved in, with each sibling taking his or her respective apartment, along with their 90 year old grandmother. The ten children who lived there attended local elementary, middle and high schools over the years. The kids spent countless hours playing volleyball, baseball and other games in the sunny backyard. Sixty two years of memories, love and laughter infused the property and when the last remaining sibling passed away, it was time to sell the family compound. The remaining children (now adults with children and grandchildren of their own) interviewed several agents and they told me that they selected me because of my enthusiasm for the property and my ability to communicate that value to prospective buyers.
The First Mover Advantage
My client was schooled in England and is now in charge of strategic planning for a technology firm, so he is comfortable setting a course and following through. While we were in contract to buy his Noe Valley home, it became apparent that the Seller was not keen on selling. Her agent said that she had lived in the house for over 30 years and she dreaded the task of moving. Moreover, the Seller received a back up offer that was higher than my client’s offer. My client really liked the house and I told him that he had the first mover advantage. As long as he did everything that he promised in the contract, the house would be his. He stayed on track and the backup buyers are still looking. Thinking of making a move? Call me.
Patience and Persistence Wins
After making offers on four other homes over a 15 month period, my newlywed clients and I spent a lot of time together. We looked at literally dozens of homes, searching for that perfect combination of views, space, light and location. The wife was always available to get in the car to see any new listing, usually on the same day it hit the MLS. We saw 60 Clifford Terrace and she immediately saw its potential. This stately Edwardian in Ashbury Heights had been lovingly cared for by the same family for over 40 years. An added bonus: the house was sold with a separate parcel in the rear alley, big enough for a separate structure that is currently being used as a 3rd garage. This is the first home for my clients and they are thrilled. Want a Broker who is patient and persistent? Call me.
Client Success Story: A Perfect Partnership between Seller and Agent
The sellers found me on the internet and told me that they needed to move to New York for a job promotion as quickly as possible. They paid $775,000 for their home in December 2010 and completed an extensive renovation and expansion of over 700 sq. ft. of living space over time. Their original intention had been to live in the house for many years and I could tell that this was not a flip job from the high quality finishes they chose. We discussed what we needed to do to maximize their value and they followed my advice. I placed small signs around the house (examples: “Appliance Garage”, “Two Nest Controlled Furnaces”) to highlight the many hidden features in the home. When it came time to review the eight offers that were submitted, they accepted a cash offer that allowed them to stay for a short time after close of escrow, enough to find a new abode in the New York area. As I write this, the wife and baby just boarded a plane to New York and the husband, his father and the 12 year old dog are starting a cross country drive to their new home!
Retired Yoga Teacher Makes Changes
Just before celebrating her 91st birthday, my client “retired” from teaching yoga, having taught literally thousands of classes in her 40 year career. About the same time, she decided to sell her home at 451 Victoria and move into the Sequoias San Francisco, an accredited life care community. She had lived in her home for 55 years and I advised her on the necessary changes to prepare her home for sale. Within the first week after going on the market, we received four offers and the home sold over the asking price. My client loves the activities and social life at the Sequoias, but most of all she loves the gym. She is the only 91 year old that I know who can still do “the splits”. Thinking of making a change? Call Me.
Long Time Dream Realized…
My client had long been searching for a new abode in far-flung places including southern France, Washington’s Puget Sound and Costa Rica. One day he called me to say that he found his dream home near friends in Rancho Mirage, CA and he wanted to list his pristine Glen Park home immediately! He showed me pictures of a desert oasis complete with elegant interiors, inviting pool and lush landscaping. We completed staging, photographing and listing his San Francisco home for sale within 9 days after receiving that phone call. Droves of buyers came to see the house and my client told me that he was looking for a special buyer who would (a) personally connect with the house, and (b) be a friendly, helpful neighbor. Knowing this, I asked the buyers agents to share details about their buyers. Once we were in contract, my client quickly befriended the couple who purchased his house and hosted a housewarming party to introduce them to their new neighbors. My client is now happily enjoying in his Rancho Mirage home!
Young Couple Finds Mid-Century Charmer in Miraloma Park
My clients bought their 2 bedroom, 1 bath flat as newlyweds and had outgrown the space. Now, five years later, they have a two-year old son and are expecting a new daughter in a couple of months. So they wanted a single family home with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, all on the same level, in a certain price range. They wanted to be in a safe, family-friendly neighborhood. They also needed parking for three vehicles: his, hers and his work car!
These are a challenging set of constraints to work with, to say the least.
Over a three month period, we looked at dozens of homes in person and literally hundreds online. They made offers on three other homes that did not work out. Then, I previewed a charming mid-century home that had been in the same family since 1956 and I thought that this could be their future home!
The home was detached on three sides, which is very unusual for San Francisco, and it seemed to have everything that they were looking for. Besides having 3 bedrooms and 2 baths on one level, the house enjoys good light from the large windows and four skylights. The home has expansion potential downstairs for a future family room and guest bath. There is a 2 car garage and parking for the third car in front of the house. In addition, a highly rated public school is one block away.
Both sets of grandparents came to see the house to give it their stamp of approval. There were multiple offers on the property and my clients submitted the winning bid. After taking possession of the home, my clients remodeled the kitchen, both bathrooms and made numerous improvements before they moved in.
What kind of home do you want? Call me.
Big Victorian Flat Near Alamo Square
More than five years ago, after graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in electrical engineering, my client went to work for an iconic technology company in Silicon Valley. We met at an open house more than two years ago and over that time, we have made offers on different properties from Noe Valley to Mission Dolores. At the same time, despite the downturn in the overall economy, the value of my client’s company stock has soared and he has shrewdly managed his increasing prosperity. He was well positioned to take advantage of the current market conditions.
We found an amazing 2300 square foot top floor flat in an 1880’s Victorian near Alamo Square. Situated on a hill, the home enjoys 180 degree views from South Beach and the San Francisco Bay to Twin Peaks. Probably my client’s biggest challenge will be furnishing the huge space. But I think he’s up to it!
Want to take advantage of current market conditions? Call me.
Condo Sale Completes 20+ Year Plan
Back in the 1980’s, my clients acquired a charming Jordan Park apartment house and began to bring the 4 unit building to modern standards. The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake did not damage the building, but it did spur my clients to complete extensive seismic upgrades on this 1919 structure. As each of the units became vacant, my clients would remodel the interior. Over the years they have lived in three of the four units and have refurbished all of them with new kitchens, baths, plumbing, electrical, heating, insulation and windows. They legally converted the single apartment building to four condominiums in the 1990’s—a feat in itself! In the last few years, they have sold three of the units to other owners and this recent sale of Unit #3 was their final sale. Their 20+ year plan is now complete. Need help implementing your long range plan? Call me.
Partnering With the Right Lender…
Two physicians working in Los Angeles were offered jobs at two of San Francisco’s pre-eminent medical centers, along with substantial increases in compensation. The issue was that conventional lenders would only approve my clients to buy a new home based on their L.A. incomes. I found a lender with more who approved a loan for my clients using their new future salaries. The seller reviewed multiple offers on his large, extensively renovated Richmond home, but he accepted my client’s non-contingent offer with stellar financing!
Record Price for Extraordinary Forest Knolls House
My clients original plan was to sell in 2016, but I kept telling them that we could get an excellent price for 261 Christopher Drive in the current market. Located just off Clarendon Avenue, this is not your average Forest Knolls home. My meticulous clients had remodeled their home with the best materials and attention to detail that are normally seen only in the finest North Side homes. We flawlessly executed a customized marketing plan and received three offers. This extraordinary home sold for all time record high in dollars per square foot among all homes in Forest Knolls. Want to take advantage of the current market? Call me.
Inner Mission’s Tasty Delights
When I first met my clients, they told me that they were getting married in October and they only had a short time to find their first home before wedding preparations take all their free time. We found a charming Inner Mission flat in a 3-unit Victorian that was priced too high. It took several weeks for the seller to soften their position and ratify the contract after many rounds of counter offers. One afternoon after doing their inspections, my clients and I had tacos at El Tonayense, sampled ice cream at Humphrey Slocombe and then met their new neighbors at Philz Coffee. I can’t wait for our celebration dinner, at some trendy, tasty spot!
I would love to help you with your next real estate transaction!
Embracing the Creative Challenge
He works on the Peninsula; she works in Oakland. They wanted a home in a certain price range that was walkable to the Glen Park BART station. They were skeptical that we could find something to their liking. The supply of Glen Park homes is limited, but I love creative challenges! When we saw 143 Burnside a few weeks later, we went into high gear. The house is the perfect size, condition and location for my clients. I made the listing agent my new best friend and we wrote the winning offer, despite multiple offers. Before closing escrow, I referred various general contractors, architects, floor refinishers, heating specialists and roofers to my clients. They even had an energy audit done on their new home—a first for me! With a stack of plans and estimates, my clients are poised to transform their house into a home. Need a new best friend? Problem solver? New home? Call me.
Mixed Use Property With an Added Benefit
My clients are hardworking partners in a successful retail establishment. They asked me to search for a mixed use property that would allow them to have a commercial/retail space as well as at least two apartments that they could each live in, all in the same building. We found a charming three unit building on Haight Street with one store on the street level and two flats above. During our investigations of the property, we discovered that since the property has only two residential units, it could qualify for the 2-unit “bypass” condo conversion. My clients followed the advice of an attorney who specializes in San Francisco landlord/tenant law and condo conversion and they are implementing their plan!
Sellers Pay it Forward to Two British Guys…
When it came time to review multiple offers on their Mission Dolores condo, I noticed that one of my clients was visibly moved by the personal letter from two British guys. My clients had already heard about these guys, since I had reported that they came to see the property on four different occasions. The guys described how they began their relationship in England and they had been searching for the perfect place to call home since moving to the United States. My clients felt a connection to these guys. They explained that a combination of strangers, friends and chance circumstances helped them buy their own home 26 years ago and now they wanted to help the British Guys buy their first home too! The only problem was we had an all-cash offer that was $88,000 higher than the British Guys’ offer. Could the British Guys come up in price a little bit? The response was a polite,“No, this is all that we can afford”. Would the British Guys be willing to meet with us in person? Certainly! That evening the two young men knocked on my clients’ front door bearing a bouquet of flowers and warm smiles. The deal was done and my clients are thrilled!
Listening to Your Head AND Your Heart
Exactly one day after meeting me in late September, my clients found the home of their dreams. The home had everything that they were looking for and was well within their price range, but they questioned whether it was too soon for them to make an offer. My philosophy is never to rush my clients into anything, but to listen, educate and inform them. When making a decision about a home, it has to “feel” right and make logical sense too. It has to appeal to the head as well as the heart! We spent the next two weeks looking at everything in their price range and when they finally satisfied themselves that this was truly their dream home, they were grateful that their new home was still waiting for them too. Trying to balance head and heart decisions? Call me.
It All Started In A South Beach Elevator
I was riding in an elevator with my clients after showing them a view unit in a South Beach luxury high rise. We struck up a conversation with a man who entered the elevator just one floor below us, grasping a painting under each arm. “You look like a real estate agent,” he said to me. He said that he was getting ready to sell his condo. We went back up to see the unit and he gave my clients a tour of the pool, gym and other amenities in the full service building. We drove directly to my office to write an offer and I had it signed the next morning. My clients are thrilled. Moral of the Story: Be friendly in elevators!
Need a friendly, resourceful real estate agent? Call me
1012 Shrader Sells with Multiple Offers
Who says the real estate market is in the doldrums? Cole Valley is one of those golden neighborhoods that continue to show strong sales. We received multiple offers for my listing at 1012 Shrader Street from relatively young, first time buyers working in technology or consulting. The winning buyers for this story book home are a young couple with a two year old son and a second boy due to be born in October. Even I continue to be surprised by the robust sales activity in certain areas. Proper pricing and presentation are essential, but a successful real estate marketing campaign is a combination of art and science. Let me show you what I can do.
Looking for intuition and practiced experience? Call me.
City People at Heart…
Last fall my clients sold their Cole Valley home and moved their family to Palo Alto to be closer to the husband’s work. Two months later they called and told me that they missed San Francisco and the move had confirmed that they are really city people at heart! We began searching for properties and found a lovely home within walking distance of one of the tech shuttle stops. Even though there were multiple strong offers, the sellers accepted my clients’ offer because it combined the best price and terms. My clients allowed the sellers to remain in the property rent-free for two additional months and are now back in the San Francisco, the city that they love!
Client Success Story: Choreographing a Sale and a Purchase
Soon after paying $802,000 for this bright and sunny center patio home in 2012, the sellers completed some necessary infrastructure work such as replacing the old gravity furnace, installing a new electrical panel and replacing all carpet and linoleum with gorgeous hardwood floors. They moved in and began enjoying the rest of the mid-century finishes just as they were. Over time they invested in transforming the weed-choked back yard into an eco-friendly garden oasis.
Fast forward to 2016, when a change in employment necessitated a move out of San Francisco. They needed to sell before they could buy and so began the deft choreography of timing a sale and a purchase in quick succession.
When it came time to decide among the multiple offers on the table, the winning offer was from a lovely family whose 10 year old daughter wrote a heartfelt letter to the seller family. The offer allowed the sellers to stay for a short time after close of escrow so that they could find their new home. The sales price? A cool $320K over asking … $1,315,000.
Need help coordinating a sale and a purchase in quick succession? ••• Call John at 415-738-7232
Partner with a Local Expert
After viewing literally dozens of properties in the City and finding none that were exactly right, my clients told me that they wanted to expand their search to the East Bay. I joked with them that since I specialize in San Francisco, I might turn into a pumpkin if I crossed the Bay Bridge! Wanting the best for my clients, I referred them with an East Bay agent while we continued to look at San Francisco properties too. Ten days later, they told me that they wanted to make an offer on a home in Oakland’s Montclair District and they wanted ME to represent them. Partnering with the referral agent who lives and works in Montclair, she advised us on the local regulations, forms and inspectors in the neighborhood. Her local knowledge of the people, players and comparable properties helped us to write a winning offer and close the transaction to the great satisfaction of my clients, without turning me into a pumpkin. Looking for an agent who will act in your best interests? Call me.
At Home in Bernal Heights
My client was excited to return to San Francisco after living in Washington DC for the past several years. But the market has changed since 1990’s and he wasn’t sure that he could afford to live in The City. He wanted a home away from the fog, within walking distance to a neighborhood shopping street and enjoying an easy commute to his work downtown. We found a charming 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on a quiet street in Bernal Heights. Precita Park is nearby and he is 3 blocks from the markets, cafes, restaurants and boutiques of Cortland Avenue. He’s moving in as soon as the kitchen is remodeled.
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