Posted by: Ellie Kravets | January 8, 2016

My new Website

Starting January 2016, please visit my new website to find the latest San Francisco Market Updates, Real Estate News and interesting articles.

Thank you for visiting my new website!

Warm regards,

Ellie Kravets


Posted by: Ellie Kravets | December 16, 2015

San Francisco Market Update, November 2015

Residential real estate is experiencing its best year since the recession. Housing demand is healthy, and that is expected to continue until the end of the year. Home sales are actually set to have their best national showing since 2006. More of the same is anticipated in 2016, but inventory and affordability challenges coupled with mortgage rate increases will likely keep any sort of monster growth in check. This should be a good thing for keeping home prices from increasing too rapidly to maintain economic stability.

New Listings were down 6.3 percent for single family homes and 4.2 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

Pending Sales decreased 17.1 percent for single family homes but increased 6.0 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 15.0 percent to $1,295,000 for single family homes and 10.3 percent to $1,125,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

Months Supply of Inventory decreased 6.3 percent for single family units but remained flat for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Unemployment rates across the nation changed little last month, which bodes well for an increase in buying activity. The national jobless rate was 5.0 percent in October, which was 0.7 percent lower than the year prior. Although housing and employment data are quite positive at this juncture, it is still certainly possible for listings and sales to be down in year-over-year comparisons. Bad weather and the mix of housing available to buyers tend to have a greater effect on trends at the end of the year than during the midsummer months.

info provided by SFAR

To receive full Metrics Report with graphs contact me at

New mortgage now available for San Franciscans who can’t make a down payment in skyrocketing Bay Area housing market

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (December 8, 2015) — San Francisco Federal Credit Union ( today announced the availability of a new home purchase loan option for San Franciscans struggling with Bay Area housing prices. The POPPYLOAN™ mortgage offers up to 100 percent home financing with the possibility of zero down payment required for credit union members seeking to buy a new home.

POPPYLOAN was created in response to skyrocketing home prices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Many San Franciscans are paying more than the average mortgage payment in rent every month, but they cannot buy a home because they cannot save enough for the 20 percent down payment required for a conventional mortgage. To help fellow San Franciscans make their dream home a reality, San Francisco Federal Credit Union created the Proud Ownership Purchase Program for You – POPPYLOAN.

POPPYLOAN is available to anyone who works in San Francisco or San Mateo Counties and can be used to purchase a home anywhere in the nine Bay Area Counties: San Francisco, San Mateo, Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, or Solano. Qualified borrowers can finance up to 100 percent of the purchase price of a home, up to $2 million. There is no added requirement for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

“We see POPPYLOAN as a game-changer for the San Francisco real estate market,” said Rebecca Reynolds Lytle, Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer for San Francisco Federal Credit Union. “Too many of our members have given up hope of buying a home because of escalating home prices and the required down payment. However, these same families are paying more than a mortgage payment for monthly rent. Paying $3,600 for a one-bedroom apartment is about the same as making a monthly payment on an $800,000 mortgage. We created POPPYLOAN to help middle class families realize their dream of buying a home without having to move out of the Bay Area.”

To qualify for POPPYLOAN, borrowers must be 18 years or older and purchasing a single family home, townhouse, condominium, or 2-to-4 unit multi-family dwelling as their primary residence. POPPYLOAN is structured as a 5/5 adjustable rate, 30-year mortgage. Interest rates and monthly payments are fixed for the first five years and every five years thereafter, with no more than a 2 percent increase every five years and no more than a 6 percent increase over the life of the loan. POPPYLOAN is not available for refinancing an existing mortgage.

“The rising cost of real estate is creating a housing crisis in San Francisco, and while POPPYLOAN isn’t a solution for everybody, we want to do what we can for our friends and neighbors,” said Steven Stapp, President and CEO of San Francisco Federal Credit Union. “We studied the problem and realized that there was no reason our credit union couldn’t offer up to 100 percent financing without requiring PMI. Other credit unions have had success with similar programs and we built POPPYLOAN as the best possible solution we could offer to our members.”

For more information, visit San Francisco Federal Credit Union at

Ready to purchase a home? Let’s talk. Contact me at or call/text 415.948.1601

About San Francisco Federal Credit Union

San Francisco Federal Credit Union has been serving San Francisco since 1954. Today, anyone who lives, works, or attends school in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties may apply for membership. We currently serve more than 34,000 members. San Francisco FCU is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration and is an Equal Housing Lender.

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | December 4, 2015

Dos and Don’ts for a First-Time Home Buyer

4059 19st

Purchasing a home for the first time is one of the most exciting and important decisions someone can make. Making a mistake in the process can be devastating. However, most first-time home buyer mistakes are easily avoidable with a little bit of research and guidance from a real estate professional. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help prepare first-time buyers.

Don’t assume you are able to buy a home just because you have saved for the down payment. There will be other pre-buying expenses related to purchasing the home that you need to anticipate. Anticipating these costs and investing up front will make the loan process much easier. Make sure you check your credit score as well, because this will determine your interest rates and insurance costs.

Don’t make any huge purchases before you close. Lenders will re-check your debt load just before closing. If they see large additions to that load, they may back out on you, even at the last minute. Hold off on getting that new car, new furniture, new appliances, etc., until after you have closed.

Don’t underestimate the cost of home improvements. If you decide to purchase a fixer-upper, assume that any updates you plan to do will cost more and take more time than you budget. This may be true for smaller home projects, too, such as remodeling a bathroom or refinishing hardwood floors.

Don’t make an emotional purchase. You want to find a house that you love, but don’t let attachments to details fog your vision when it comes to making a smart financial investment.

Do take a long term outlook on your purchase. Things like the kind of neighborhood or quality of local schools may not matter to you if you don’t have a family. Extra bedrooms might also not seem too important. Your ability to resell your home, though, is. Think through how your home may work if your circumstances change or how easily you might be able to resell it if that is what is necessary.

Do choose the right lender. Look for one with a good reputation who delivers on their promises, especially in regard to the rate they offer and the timeliness of getting the loan in place.

Do work with a REALTOR®. There are a lot of complex avenues to navigate as you purchase a home, and a REALTOR® will be able to offer you guidance and resources to manage it well. Everything from finding the right house, to negotiating the deal, to walking you through closing costs, a REALTOR® is the most helpful asset to your investment. Taking your time to find the right person is important.  Ask around for recommendations and interview a few agents. Find an agent whose schedule works with yours. Look for someone who has a personality you mesh with so the process can be as fun and smooth as possible.

Source: Thrillist



Posted by: Ellie Kravets | March 15, 2015

How to Weed Out Problem Tenants

The last thing a landlord wants to do is rent to the wrong tenant. So for property managers who are taking care of the leasing details, they are the first line of defense in keeping problem tenants out of the building. Landlords are leaning on these property managers and expecting them to find renters who aren’t going to damage the property, be late with rent payments, or take the landlords to court.

So how do you ensure your tenants are the right ones? Global real estate network Lamudi offers five tips for selecting a good tenant.

  1. Meet the applicants. This is about preventing problems before they start. The rapport you have with tenants will be crucial in enduring their happiness living in a property. Schedule face-to-face meetings with applicants to get a better sense of who they will be as tenants and how you can work with them. If you can’t meet face-to-face, schedule a phone call instead.
  2. Be thorough with documentation. Keep a copy of tenants’ identity cards or passports, and require proof of income before administering a lease agreement. Ask for an employee contract as well as copies of their most recent paystubs. If you need extra confirmation of a tenant’s ability to pay, ask for them to provide previous landlords as references.
  3. Check their credit history. This might seem like something more for a home buyer than a renter, but landlords/property managers should always check a tenant’s credit history. This will tell you how much outstanding debt they have, as well as whether they have a history of paying their bills on time. Even if they can afford the rent on their salary, other repayment obligations may affect their budget.
  4. Look out for warning signs. Pay attention to a prospective tenant’s rental history. If they’ve moved around a lot, that could indicate issues between the tenant and their past landlords. Most landlords will want a tenant who can commit to staying for a longer period of time.
  5. Listen to your instincts. Even if all the information and documentation a renter provided checks out, there may still be something holding you back from offering them a rental contract. If you feel uncomfortable renting to someone, listen to your gut — even if they look good on paper.

—REALTOR® Magazine

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | December 12, 2014


As part of the homebuying process, your real estate agent may create a comprehensive market analysis or CMA. Later, when you apply for a mortgage, a bank appraisal is conducted by a licensed appraiser. Are CMAs and appraisals the same thing?

While both CMAs and appraisals help determine a home’s market value, their purposes are not the same. The CMA is a sales tool to help you find an offer price for the home you want to buy. The homes in the CMA include the home you want to buy plus similar nearby homes. This helps you see how the home you want compares to other homes so you have an idea what to offer.
A real estate professional may prepare a CMA for their sellers to help them choose a listing price. The CMA includes recently sold homes and homes for sale in the seller’s neighborhood that are most similar to the seller’s home in appearance, features, and general price range.

Although the CMA is used to help determine current market value, the seller’s home is typically not even featured in the CMA. The CMA is merely a guide to help the seller learn what’s happening in their local market, so they can better understand where their home fits in term of price ranges, based on location, features, size, condition and other factors.

The CMA offers the same advantages to you as a buyer. They help you better understand the local market. You can expand the search and get different results in a CMA simply by changing the zip code or the price range or the number of bedrooms and baths.

Appraisals are all about risk retention for banks and their customers. If the buyer is receiving financing through a bank, the bank will order an appraisal.

Unlike the CMA, a bank appraisal is a professional determination of a home’s value. It’s performed by a licensed appraiser, using guidelines established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates federal housing loan guarantors such as FHA, VA and housing loan purchasers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

An appraisal is a comprehensive look at a home’s location, condition, and eligibility for federal guarantees. For example, the home you want may have porch steps but no handrail. If you want to buy the home with an FHA or VA-insured loan, your seller will have to repair or install a handrail. The FHA or VA appraiser will look at the home a second time to make sure the steps were made safe.

Appraisers use the same data in their market research to find comparable homes as Realtors do. They are also members of the MLS, but they have additional guidelines from the bank to follow to minimize risk to the bank and to the borrower. If home prices are falling, the appraiser takes the number of days a home has been on the market far more seriously.

When the appraisal is finished, the bank makes the decision to fund the loan, or it may require the seller to fix certain items and show proof that the repairs have been made before letting the loan proceed. If the loan doesn’t meet federal lending guidelines, the bank will decline the loan.

Despite stricter lending and appraisal standards, most buyers’ loan applications go through to closing. One reason the system works so well is that real estate agents are preparing CMAs that are better tuned to lending standards as well as market conditions. As a buyer, it’s in your best interest to understand how lenders approach risk and to learn what the market is doing.

Simply put, you need both a CMA and an appraisal to determine market value. A CMA helps you decide what you should offer the seller. An appraisal determines what the lender is willing to lend to help you purchase a home.

Written by Blanche Evans

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | November 15, 2014

181 Fremont- upcoming Luxury condos in San Francisco

The Real Estate market in San Francisco has been booming for the past few years.
Condo prices are still climbing – they increased by 12% over the past year,rising to $1,128 per sq ft, according to Mark Co.
We have many new constructions in the City and the latest addition to our luxury condo market is upcoming 181 Fremont-pre-certified LEED Platinum.
This is 1 of only 2 buildings with direct access to Transbay transit center via “Sky-bridge” to elevated park.

Only 55 residential units in the top 16 floors of what will be SF’s 3rd tallest building topping out at 70-stories.
Residences on floor 54 to 70 only. Rich amenity floor on the entire 52nd floor of the building.

Top floor (70) is a full-floor penthouse (almost 7000sf) and floors 69 & 68 to be half-floor penthouses…WOW!
Other Units:
3BR+dens – 2
3BR- 14
2BR+den – 20
2BR – 14
All units are corner units. 12 “accessory” units (Studio & 1BR) for sale ONLY for homeowner occupied purchase.
Valet Parking – 90 Residential Parking Spaces
HOA fees to start in high $2000/month
Pricing: estimated to start around $3,000,000

181 Fremont sales center opening late Spring 2015. Contracts soon after. Delivery Spring 2016.

181 Fremont Website

Developed by Jay Paul Company
Architect: Heller Manus
Marketing Company: The Mark Company

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | October 22, 2014

San Francisco Market Update- August 2014

Most local markets continue to recover from a soft patch earlier this year. The macro trend is still positive; the micro trend involves more moderate pinching up and down the month-to-month timeline. This is not uncommon in a balanced market, but it’s been so long since we’ve seen one that we’re watching it with perhaps too much trepidation. Metrics to watch include inventory and prices,but also days on market, months’ supply and percent of list price received at
sale. Declines in pending and closed sales activity may reflect strong decreases at lower price points and may not indicate softening demand.

New Listings were down 28.3 percent for single family homes and 36.7 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties. Pending Sales decreased 14.4 percent for single family homes and 14.2 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 4.4 percent to $975,000 for single family homes and 14.8 percent to $930,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.

Months Supply of Inventory decreased 19.0 percent for single family units and 27.3 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Sustained job growth, lower mortgage rates and a slow rise in the number of homes for sale appear to have unleashed at least some pent-up demand. Since housing demand relies heavily on an economy churning out good jobs, it’s encouraging to see second quarter GDP growth revised upwards to a 4.2 percent annualized rate and stronger-than-expected job growth in recent months. Further improvements are still needed by way of wage growth and consumer confidence but recovery continues.

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | May 29, 2014

Crown Colony Gem


371 Imperial Way #210

Beautiful, well maintained & upgraded through out 2 bed,1.25 bath condo with 1-parking space in a popular Crown Colony Community. Cozy living/dining room area with laminate flooring throughout, 2-Private decks, huge walk-in closets with organizers, freshly painted. Kitchen has new stainless steel appliances, new granite counter-tops, sink & faucet. Bathrooms have been upgraded with new granite counters and vanities. Complex amenities: Tennis courts, swimming pools, gym, clubhouse, nice manicured landscaping, 24hrs security, guest parking, FREE Shuttle to Bart! Complex conveniently located near Serramonte Mall, Costco, Starbucks, SFO Airport, Sam Trans, Easy access to 280 Hwy & Near San Francisco.
Crown Colony

To see more pictures, go to my Trulia profile

Posted by: Ellie Kravets | May 19, 2014

Modern Urban Oasis for Sale in San Francisco

One of the best units in the building due to size and its location in the Bldg; this unit at 175 Bluxome has 2 enclosed bedrooms and 1.5 baths, featuring a master bedroom upstairs. The open floor plan opens to a private patio, ideal for entertaining. This unit is conveniently located near some of technology’s most dynamic companies, including, but not limited to, Dropbox, Zynga, Advent Software, Adobe Software, Square, and Twitter. Night life? How about the Bluxome Street Winery, Saison, Zuppa, and access to everything San Francisco just outside your door! Just blocks from AT&T Park; Go Giants! Going places? This loft is a commuter’s dream with easy access to Caltrain, Muni and the freeways in every direction.

– 2BR/1.5BA First Floor Unit
– Open Floor Plan
– Living room w/ High Ceilings
– Stainless Steel Appliances
– In-Unit Washer and Dryer
– Private Patio
– HOA- Water, Garbage, Insurance & Building Maintenance
– 1-Car Deeded Parking


See more pictures please go to my Trulia page

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