Posted by: Ellie Kravets | April 12, 2014

San Francisco Market Report – March 2014

Low inventory has been the headline grabber across the nation, but it’s especially evident here in San Francisco where properties continue to be snapped up at a furious pace. With a spring refresh on the horizon, many are hopeful that additional sellers will bring on much-needed properties to ready buyers. Increases in construction activity and still affordable borrowing costs will also continue to influence local buying and selling trends into the spring and summer months.

New Listings were down 16.1 percent for single family homes and 28.9 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

Pending Sales increased 6.3 percent for single family homes but decreased 5.6 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 8.5 percent to $998,000 for single family homes and 16.7 percent to $960,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

Months Supply of Inventory decreased 31.6 percent for single family units and 39.1 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Consumers are in better shape for the current financial landscape, just in time for the primary home-buying season. Along with an uptick in consumer confidence, GDP growth was revised up to 2.6 percent by the Commerce Department. Consumer spending has risen and claims for unemployment benefits have decreased. Economic health fuels housing market growth. Employed, confident people with rising incomes tend to purchase real property.

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | March 31, 2014

SF Market Report – February 2014

It’s tempting to confuse market normalization with a possible slowdown. But One-Year Change in those equipped with high-quality MLS data know better. As mortgage
delinquencies fade, banks are listing bargain-priced product less often. That
means investor activity – which accounts for a substantial market share – is
moderating. That’s not to say that rates and prices aren’t still attractive to owner occupant buyers. They most certainly are. Some short-term volatility is
expected as part of a normal market readjustment.

New Listings were down 17.1 percent for single family homes and 18.4 percent
for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales increased 13.4 percent for
single family homes and 11.5 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
The Median Sales Price was up 35.7 percent to $1,086,500 for single family
homes and 24.9 percent to $937,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months
Supply of Inventory decreased 29.4 percent for single family units and 36.4
percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.
The economy has more or less shuffled along, despite some climate-induced
surprises to job growth and new construction. There is no denying the fact that
we’ve now seen 47 straight months of private job growth, creating 8.5 million
new payrolls. There’s still work to be done. Thankfully, with such low inventory
levels, many builders are bullish on new construction. The spring market is
budding, and it should be an interesting one.

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | February 18, 2014

San Francisco Market Focus- January 2014

The same factors that catalyzed widespread market recovery in 2012 and 2013 are likely to continue in 2014, though perhaps at a more moderate pace. That’s not a bad thing, since the market is returning to a stable, healthy state. Potential trends to watch for in 2014 include increased seller activity, more new construction and fewer foreclosures on the market. Inventory is another metric to watch this year.New Listings were down 11.3 percent for single family homes and 7.8 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales decreased 12.0 percent for single family homes but increased 0.6 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. The Median Sales Price was up 24.6 percent to $928,000 for single family homes and 24.6 percent to $950,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 20.0 percent for single family units and 31.6 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units. Given how far the market has come, it’s a good time for folks to reassess their situation. Many who were hesitant to sell in recent years may find themselves in a completely different position. Getting a fresh comparative market analysis might be a good idea. Interest rates remain attractive and should remain below their long-term average, but they are expected to creep higher in 2014. Politicians are gearing up for midterm elections, so pay close attention to campaign messaging as relates to real estate or mortgage financing. Job growth is still fundamental and is likely to dominate this election cycle.
Thinking of buying or selling a home? Contact me today! call/text 415.948.1601 or Ellie.SFHomes@yahoo.com

ZephyrLogo2013
SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Jan 30, 2014) – Zephyr Real Estate moved into the No. 6 spot on the just-released 2014 San Francisco Bay Area Book of Lists, up a notch from the previous year’s No. 7 spot. Zephyr’s sales volume signified an increase of over 30 percent from the prior year.

Zephyr’s 225 agents sold 1,775 properties to achieve this milestone. While its nearest competitors have more agents and more branches, Zephyr continues to excel as San Francisco’s largest independent real estate firm. Figures for 2013 indicate yet another banner year for Zephyr.

The San Francisco Business Times annual Book of Lists is an established reference for marketing data, trends and who’s who in the Bay Area. “One thing you’ll learn is that the quality and depth of our list research is more important than ever,” states Mary Huss, Publisher of San Francisco Business Times in her publisher’s letter. “The Book of Lists is one of the largest, most data-rich resources in the Bay Area.”

“We are very excited to see our success affirmed in the Book of Lists,” commented Randall Kostick, Chief Operating Officer of Zephyr Real Estate. “All this is possible because of the commitment and dedication of our motivated agents and dynamic staff.”

This honor comes on the heels of Zephyr’s recent achievement in REAL Trends, Inc., Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, and as the number one real estate brand in San Francisco.

About Zephyr Real Estate
Founded in 1978, Zephyr Real Estate is San Francisco’s largest independent real estate firm with nearly $1.8 billion in gross sales in 2013 and a current roster of more than 200 full-time agents. In 2010, Zephyr launched its new website, which has earned two web design awards, including the prestigious Interactive Media Award. Zephyr Real Estate is a member of the international relocation network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World; the luxury real estate network, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate; and the local luxury marketing association, the Luxury Marketing Council of San Francisco. Zephyr has six strategically located offices in San Francisco, a business center in Marin County, and serves a large customer base throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit http://www.zephyrsf.com.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1711229#ixzz2rurmEZFW

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | January 23, 2014

Rent Board Announces Annual Increases for 2014

The San Francisco City and County Rent Board has announced its annual allowable rent increase and interest rate deposits for the new year. Effective March 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015, the allowable annual increase amount is 1.0%.
The amount is based on 60% of the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose region for the 12-month period ending October 31, which was 1.6% as posted in November 2013 by the Bureau of Labor Statis-tics.
To calculate the dollar amount of the new 1% annual rent increase, landlords should multiply the tenant’s base rent by .010. For example, if the tenant’s base rent is $1,250.00, the annual in-crease would be calculated as follows: $1,250.00 x .010 = $12.50. The tenant’s new base rent would be $1,262.50 ($1,250.00 + $12.50 = $1,262.50).

New Interest Rate for Deposits
3/1/13 – 2/28/14 – 0.4%
Past Rates:
3/1/12 – 2/28/13 – 0.4%
3/1/11 – 2/29/12 – 0.4%
3/1/10 – 2/28/11 – 0.9%
3/1/09 – 2/28/10 – 3.1%
3/1/08 – 2/28/09 – 5.2%
3/1/07 – 2/29/08 – 5.2%
3/1/06 – 2/28/07 – 3.7%
3/1/05 – 2/28/06 – 1.7%
3/1/04 – 2/28/05 – 1.2%
3/1/03 – 2/29/04 – 1.2%
8/4/02 – 2/28/03 – 3.4%
9/1/83 – 8/03/02 – 5.0%
Source — SF City and County Rent Board Learn more here

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | December 16, 2013

San Francisco Market Report-November 2013

November was largely another encouraging month for residential real estate.

Our attention has shifted from multiyear high prices and sales volumes to seller activity, inventory levels and building permits. And let’s not forget the calendar effect. As families gather together, fewer house hunters are scheduling showings and writing offers. Watch for month-to-month activity to moderate while year-over-year comparisons remain strong.

New Listings were down 13.3 percent for single family homes and 13.7 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

Pending Sales decreased 15.5 percent for single family homes and 0.7 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 20.4 percent to $975,000 for single family homes and 6.5 percent to $825,500 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

Months Supply of Inventory decreased 20.0 percent for single family units and 30.4 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Recent economic and jobs data have surprised to the upside by exceeding expectations. This likely keeps the new Federal Reserve leadership on track for March 2014 tapering. Non-farm payrolls grew by 204,000 jobs in October, outperforming Wall Street expectations.

In another bullish sign, August payrolls were revised upward to a 238,000 job gain – positive momentum that should support housing recovery. Just in time for the holidays.

Source- SFAR
To receive the complete report, please send me email to Ellie.SFHomes@yahoo.com

Happy Holiday home shopping! :).

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | December 8, 2013

9 Easy Ways to Go Green

So, you’ve decided you want to go green. Time to ditch everything leather, along with all the meat in your diet, buy a bike, and turn your backyard into a composting garden. You ready?

You could make all these drastic changes – go “cold turkey” eco – or you could make these nine small changes that make a big eco-friendly difference.

1. Being eco – friendly will not only lower your carbon footprint and allow you to do your part for the environment, but it can also pay you back financially, said Better Homes and Gardens in their “10 no- or low – cost ways to lessen your impact on the planet, create a healthier house and garden, and even fatten your wallet.”

Start with your light bulbs. “Installing a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) is the quickest, easiest way to save energy — and money,” said BHG. “Unlike incandescents, CFLs convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat.”

That translates to less cost over the life of the bulb – a savings Better Homes and Gardens says can be $83 for one 75-watt incandescent bulb swapped out for a 25-watt CFL. That’s big when you consider that Energy.gov says energy for lighting accounts for about 10% of the average family’s electric bill.

2. That gorgeous French door refrigerator you’ve had your eye on? Here’s another great reason to buy it: It could actually save you money! Older appliances can be energy suckers. Check Energy Star and take their test to see how much energy you could be saving by upgrading your fridge.

According to Energy Star, “a household with Energy Star products uses about 30% less energy than the average household — an annual savings of about $570.”

3. Do a home audit. A home audit can give you a close-up look at your home’s energy usage and identify areas that could be more efficient. But Fox Business estimates and audit would cost between $300 and $500. If you’re just trying to shave a few bucks off your electric bill in the summertime, it might make sense to go another route, like a self-audit of the most likely suspects. (Energy.gov recommends starting by making “a list of obvious air leaks (drafts),” because the “potential energy savings from reducing drafts in a home may range from 5% to 30% per year.”)

But if you’re about to spend $15,000 on new windows, a few hundred bucks of before-hand checks won’t hurt. You can get more information about home audits here.

4. Talk about simple. Improving your eco-friendliness and removing toxic substances from your house is as easy as buying a spray bottle and a bottle of vinegar. If you really want to get crazy, get a couple of lemons and some olive oil too.

“As many as a third of Americans have an adverse reaction to common household chemicals. Safer products can save you money, too,” said Martha Stewart. “While furniture polish will set you back about $4, cleaning with 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar and a few drops of olive oil costs mere cents.

See the Daily Greenfor some easy green cleaning recipes.

5. Switch to showers. A typical bath takes 30 to 70 gallons of water, while the average eight-minute shower uses only 17 gallons, said Martha Stewart. If you just can’t bear to can’t give up your weekly soak, installing low-flow shower heads and toilets will help offset the greater water usage.

6. Recycle your water. It’s far easier (and way less disgusting) than it sounds. “For many areas of the United States, rainwater harvesting systems could probably provide at least 50% of our water needs, saving the huge amounts of energy required to process the water and transport it to the home,” said Live Green. All you need is a 50-80 gallon rain barrels that you can connect to your downspout, and rainwater collected can be used for gardening.

7. Recycle…your clothes. We all know about recycling paper, plastic, and glass. But what about clothes? Donating your unused clothes. Has an impact on the environment, and on the individuals who receive your items.”

“By some estimates, for every item of clothing donated, 27 pounds of carbon emissions are reduced based on the fact that you don’t another item being produced while one is headed to the landfill,” said Real Simple. You can donate to a local charity or list your items on Freecycle.org.

8. Hold on to that holey pair of sweats or the t-shirt you never got rid of from your college ex and turn it into a rag to clean with. “13 billion pounds of paper towels are used in the U.S. every year. If all Americans used one less paper towel a day, 571,230,000 pounds of paper would be spared over the course of the year,” said Earth 911.

9. Go Meatless on Mondays, says Real Simple. Think you can handle a day a week living like a vegetarian? “Raising livestock produces a large amount of greenhouse gases, so cutting back, even one night per week, makes a big difference.

How big a difference? “Adding one meat-free meal per week (for a family of four) has the same impact as driving a hybrid car,” they said.

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | November 30, 2013

San Francisco Market Report- October 2013

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Now that the baton is in grasp of the final quarter of our annual relay, it’s a good time to look back and reflect. This year has been spectacular for residential real estate. Robust gains in sales and prices were felt throughout San Francisco’s 10 Residential Districts, with median single family home prices cresting the $1 million mark in both April and May. Homes have also been selling at a fast clip, with an average of 37 days on the market. While consumers have felt empowered by lower interest rates, sellers are starting to regain their footing. Seller confidence is crucial to refill inventory bins, which are still relatively sparse.

New Listings were down 7.7 percent for single family homes but increased 0.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

Pending Sales decreased 13.6 percent for single family homes but increased 20.9 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 11.1 percent to $921,945 for single family homes and 13.8 percent to $865,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 20.0 percent for single family units and 25.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

The economy continues to snail forward. The government shutdown had a modest impact on borrowing – mostly centered on USDA and VA borrowers. Consumer confidence is central to ongoing recovery, and confidence was hindered by the shutdown. Consumer spending accounts for roughly 70 percent of U.S. economic activity and impacts the likelihood for big-ticket purchases like homes and cars.

Source-SFAR

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | October 30, 2013

Roofing Terminology 101

Whether purchasing a house, selling a house, or simply maintaining one, the integrity of the roof is a basic concern for all owners or would-be owners. Who has not heard the phrase “providing a roof over their heads” in relation to parental responsibilities? Yes, we are familiar with the phrase, but what exactly comprises a roof?

A roof is a system; hopefully one that is energy efficient and designed to keep inclement weather out and air-conditioned or heated air in, along with, of course, keeping your belongings and loved ones secure. The roofing system consists of many components. Let’s see if we can bring some familiarity to the different parts that make up a roof.

Although there are many different types of roofs, we will discuss the most common type for residential homes: the Composition Shingle Roof.

Some Key Words

  • Roof truss- the structural framework designed to support a roof, triangular in shape.
  • Rafters- one of several internal beams extending from the eaves to the peak of a roof and constituting its framework. Sometimes rafters are used in lieu of trusses. Rafters do not provide the same support and strength as trusses, but provide for more space, since a rafter is a single board versus the trusses, which are triangular.
  • Roof decking- the roofing material layer between the framing and the weather proofing layers in a typical roofing system, normally made of plywood.
  • Roof shingles- a roof covering consisting of individual overlapping elements. Shingles are flat and rectangular in shape and are laid in rows from the bottom edge of the roof on up, with each successive row overlapping the joints in the row below. The shingles are impregnated with asphalt and have a mineral surfacing.
  • Fascia – a type of roof trim or edging that runs horizontally and sits under a roof edge. It has an aesthetic function and protects the roof and the interior of the house from weather damage. Most often the gutter systems are attached to the fascia.

Let’s Talk Warranties

A warranty is a written guarantee issued to the purchaser of a roof by its installer and/or manufacturer, promising to repair or replace the roof if necessary within a specified period of time. The warranty MUST be in writing, and it is best to remember that it is a contract, and that its terms will vary from contract to contract. The common issues of the warranty are generally as follows:

Requirements to enforce

A homeowner should always notify the roofing company of a claim. It is important to highlight that the typical roof “warranty” is usually two warranties. There is the warranty from the manufacturer of the shingles, and then the warranty from the roofing company that installed the roof. The homeowner, therefore, in the exercise of caution, would be prudent to notify both entities after discovering a problem with the roof. This “two company” situation will have to be taken into account as we discuss other warranty issues such as transferability and waiver.

Transferability

For the homeowner who has purchased the long-term warranty, being able to transfer its benefit is a marketing advantage should the house be up for sale. A good warranty will be transferable, but the owner should strictly adhere to the requirements for transferring the warranty.

Waiver

Generally the waiver situation occurs when a homeowner undertakes to make repairs on his own. Unless it is an emergency, the homeowner should not engage another roofing company to do any work without first notifying the installation company and providing them the opportunity to do the work. Remember, notices must be in writing. If notifying by phone call, follow up with a written message.

Coverage

The typical warranty of a roofing installer will exclude certain elements of the roofing system. It may well be that the warranty will not cover, for example, roof decking or elements inside the decking, and consequential damages which could include damage to your TV from a leak. A roof warranty will not cover unusual events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, and windstorms. A warranty will also not cover leaks caused by settlement or movement of the home’s foundation.

Your Roofing Knowledge

Being familiar with some roofing basics will give you an advantage when communicating with contractors. You can feel confident in knowing what a roofing system is, as well as having the knowledge of what a warranty entails. The next time you are confronted with a roof repair or inspection, you will be able to “talk the talk!”

Written by Sarah Pleuthner

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | October 16, 2013

Preparing Your Furnace for Winter

It’s about to start getting cold outside again and there is nothing better than turning up the heat to make a toasty retreat. Have you prepared your furnace for Winter? Southern California Gas Co. offers some handy help in keeping your appliances working well and safely. Improperly maintained units can be a health and safety hazard!  

“Now is the time to perform maintenance on your home-heating appliances to check that they can be operated safely and efficiently,” said Jimmie Cho, vice president of field services for SoCalGas. “Customers are beginning to turn on their furnaces for the first time in months. Heating appliances should be serviced annually to keep them operating safely and efficiently. A licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas can provide this service for you.”  

Here are their tried and true safety tips:

  1. Have natural gas furnaces checked at least once a year by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas.  
  2. Vacuum and clean regularly in and around the furnace, particularly around the burner compartment to prevent a build-up of dust and lint.  
  3. Never store items in, on or around the appliance that can obstruct airflow.  
  4. Most forced-air units have a filter that cleans the air before heating and circulating it throughout the home. Check furnace filters every month during the heating season and clean or replace the filter when necessary.  
  5. When installing a new or cleaned furnace filter, be sure to re-install the front panel door of the furnace properly so it fits snugly; never operate the furnace without the front-panel door properly in place because doing so may create the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  
  6. Check the appearance of the flame. If the flame is yellow, large and unsteady, the furnace needs to be inspected immediately by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas to have the condition corrected.  
  7. Using an unvented gas heater in your home is dangerous and a violation of the California Health and Safety Code.  
  8. Never use your oven, range or outdoor barbecue to heat your home because these appliances are not designed for this purpose.

Keeping your furnace in good working order is about more than just saving money on heating costs, although it will do that. It’s also about keeping your family safe.  

Your first line of defense is to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and it’s symptoms of nausea, drowsiness, flu-like symptoms, and even death by keeping up on the maintenance and safety tips above. Next, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home to monitor CO levels.  

It’s about keeping your home…and family… in good working order.

Written by Realty Times

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