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SFRealEstateBuzz: Can We Make Home Buying Fun Again Please?

SFRealEstateBuzz
Hello My Favorite People!

In This Buzz:

  • Market Velocity
  • Can We Make Home Buying Fun Again, Please?
  • Your Habitat’s Habits

***********

And We Have Lift Off. . .

I’ve already talked about the turn in the market so far this year. It’s a challenge to deliver charts to demonstrate the change without full data for January, but I can give you some raw numbers:

  • 121 pending listings this month versus 84 pending last month.
Wanna make buying a home easy and fun?

Sorry, I can’t guarantee that for you. But we can work with to make it as painless as possible. Here are some “do’s and “don’t” to get us smoothly launched on your way to your new home:

DO Get Preapproved. The best way I can assess how committed to the process you are is by seeing how quickly you get fully pre-approved for a loan. This step will also “concretize” the numbers as it helps you understand what your monthly “nut” will be.

DO The FootworkI. In San Francisco this often means going to to open houses almost every weekend. The good news with this strategy is that you can knock out pretty much everything that might work work for you in the first couple of weeks. If you haven’t found “the one” by then, you’ll only need to go see the new inventory on weekends or evening open houses.

If you don’t want to do the open house circuit, I actually love putting buyers in my car for a property tour. It’s just that they often prefer to control the pace with breaks for food or coffee.

DON’T let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I will find you something that you will love but nine times out of ten it’s not going to look like what you envisioned at the start.

DON’T let your reach exceed your grasp. Even after I shake loose your notion of finding your penultimate Dream Home, you may still believe you can buy above your price range by negotiating a seller down. It almost never works that way for three reasons:

a. The home beyond reach goes for multiple offers

b. The seller rejects your offer and subsequently sells it to a buyer who pays the price they want

c. The agent and seller have done an amazing job on making it look fabulous, but inspection reports reveal major problems like crumbling foundation, leaky pipes or rotting back stairs. (Behind your back, many of us refer to this kind of home as “lipstick on a pig”.)

DO Be Patient. HGTV will make you think you only need to look at three homes before finding that just right one. You’re gonna need more time than that, especially If you have to go through the denial/negotiation phase outlined above before settling on an acceptance of what is possible.

I know some of these tips make me seem like a Debbie Downer- but I swear to you that every single one of my buyers has turned to me at the end of the process and told me they wound up with the “just right” home and have no regrets.

**********************

Home is where my habits have habitat―

Fiona Apple

Homes are where we set the pattern of our days. When I lived on Grove Street in NOPA I loved to read in bed on sunny afternoons with a view of Buena Vista Hill. These days, I often take a moment in our back yard just before I go to bed. We have a Daphne bush out there that smells intoxicating during warmer weather.

When I show homes to people, I can see them thinking about their own habits. They can picture leaving through the front door to take the dog for a walk or stepping out back to enjoy a morning cup of coffee. They even imagine doing a grocery run or going to a yoga class nearby.

I also like to ask Sellers about their habitat habits. When I ask the right questions, I not only hear about their favorite spot for lunch, but also learn how a moon sits in a child’s window, and what pizza nights are like in front of the television. Learning these things get me connected to their house and can also inspire some creative marketing.

I’m honored to represent someone in the sale or purchase of a home– but I also honor the spaces they live in. Home is sacred to me. If you feel the same way and are ready to sell or buy, we should probably meet.

Have a great Sunday, and Go Niners!

Cece Blase

License #00926690

1980 Union Street

San Francisco, CA 94123

Direct 415-577-0809

Fax 415.738.7264

Mobile 415.577.0809

cece@sfrealestatebuzz.com

facebook.com/sfrealestatebuzz

instagram.com/sfrealestatebuzz

Cece Blase

Vantage Realty

415-577-0809

www.sfrealestatebuzz.com. . . catch it!

The Market is Hot Again – Really!

SFRealEstateBuzz
Hello My Favorite People!

In This Buzz:

  • When Grocery Games Become Hunger Games
  • The Hills and Valleys of Rates and Real Estate
  • The Market’s Sudden U-Turn
  • Gimme some Love! (And some Likes. . . )
Inflation sucked last year. Groceries were the worst. My last Instacart order included Grape Nuts ($8.50), a bag of Peets ($23) and a $6 can of soup. Fresh vegetables were not as bad, but $1.29 for one red onion is still pretty steep.*

To tamper rising prices, the Fed kicked in a series of interest rate hikes last year. Do not ask my how these things are specifically related. But it seemed to work and now inflation is at about 3%. This delights the pundits, but leaves me with little joy as my can of Amy’s Tomato Bisque will remain a stunning $6.00.

In the meantime as food got more expensive, real estate got cheaper- because of the rising rates. As Buyers dropped out of the market due to affordability, prices slid from their dramatic spring peak before leveling out at the end of the year with a median price roughly the same as it was in January.

 

SINGLE FAMILY HOME MEDIAN PRICE IN

SAN FRANCISCO

Each point represent three months of activity.

CONDO MEDIAN PRICE IN

SAN FRANCISCO

Each point represents three months of activity.

In the meantime rates crested in late October at around 8.25% then ratcheted down.

 

30-YEAR JUMBO RATES IN 2023

Today a jumbo 30-year sits below 7% and 10-year fixed adjustables can drop below 6%. Many buyers are opting for the second choice and betting on being able to refinance once rates get down to where they were before (assuming that happens).

The lower rates drew Buyers back into the market beginning in November. Now the problem became finding them something to buy. Inventory always shrinks during the holidays- a problem compounded this year by many Sellers choosing to sit tight through the Summer and Fall because of the softening market.

This left us with few “good homes” to sell. Instead, the best some buyers could hope for was a stale listing with a Seller ready to take a steep discount or maybe buy a home missing some of the essentials, like toilets.

NUMBER OF HOMES FOR SALE EACH MONTH CITYWIDE

Condos and Houses

The Inventory Squeeze

In December there were 591 homes for sale in all of San Francisco. 155 were houses. The rest were condos and TICs. (The 2023 market for 2-4U and Income Properties would be a whole separate discussion, as the Buyer pool radically differs for these kinds of properties.)

But the New Year has brought on new inventory to meet the pent-up demand . There’s only a trickle of new listings right now, but on Tuesday Tour this week I previewed a lovely Victorian condo flat in Buena Vista Heights (listed for $1.5M) that has 20 disclosure packages out, while a two-unit fixer building around the corner on Duboce (listed for $1.75M- both units vacant) took multiple offers this week.

 

This surge in activity makes it an excellent moment for Sellers. The data is only anecdotal so far, but my crystal ball is telling me that by the end of next month, the media will be blaring reports about the return of a Seller’s market.

*************

 

If You Love Me, Will You Like Me?

One of my goals this year is to build my Facebook and Instagram following. I pride my feeds on being engaging and funny with videos and stories topped off with zany design tips. You may also get a sightings of my sidekick “Skelly” (who has a fan base of his own) and my penchant for cow rugs. Please log on and be entertained!

*****************

“Home is not where you have to go but where you want to go; nor is it a place where you are sullenly admitted, but rather where you are welcomed – by the people, the walls, the tiles on the floor, the followers beside the door, the play of life, the very grass.”

― Scott Russell Sanders

A good home is the place where you can breathe a sigh of relief when you walk in the door at the end of the day. If you are looking for your just-right place in the world, please call/text/email me. I’d love to help you find it.

*PS: If my groceries seem expensive, it’s because I shop local and independent.

Cece Blase

License #00926690

1980 Union Street

San Francisco, CA 94123

Direct 415-577-0809

Fax 415.738.7264

Mobile 415.577.0809

cece@sfrealestatebuzz.com

facebook.com/sfrealestatebuzz

instagram.com/sfrealestatebuzz

Cece Blase

Vantage Realty

415-577-0809

www.sfrealestatebuzz.com. . . catch it!

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