Last year, Congress enacted legislation called the Home Valuation Code of Contact designed to create distance between appraisers and lenders.  New companies emerged as intermediaries between lenders and appraisers, called Appraisal Management Companies.  The result? Higher costs to consumers (the appraisal is paid for by the Buyer), and often a reduction in quality (many AMCs put the appraisal orders out to bid, awarding the work to the lowest priced bidder and keeping the rest of the...

I have always had a difficult time understanding certain cycles in the San Francisco real estate market.  In many markets across the U.S. the market is strongest in the spring and summer as families who are moving want to get their kids settled in a new home or community before the start of a new school year.  Sellers put their homes on the market in anticipation of this need.  In snowy areas, I've heard many agents say that they prefer to start a marketing period after the snow and...

So, you are ready to list your home, and you have decided with your agent that you are better off moving out, painting and making minor repairs before putting your home on the market.  I learned of a great new service for people on the move Zippgo.  The company rents boxes and sells moving supplies to those who are moving.  The boxes are made from recycled plastic (from things like caps of soda bottles) and can be used up to 400 times.  At Zephyr, we have had an informal network of box...

I've been working with a new buyer, who is not a cook and doesn't care about kitchens, at all.  Visiting a newly constructed condo recently, I saw her lingering in the kitchen for a while.  That's interesting.  So I asked.  Evidently, she likes the amount of storage space, and indicated that the extra storage provided by the beautiful cabinets would be useful.  Shoes, we joked.  It reminds me of a friend, also not much of a cook, who uses extra storage space in her kitchen for her...

Congratulations!  You may be in the process of purchasing a home or condo!  Before you start packing, consider the following:  there are ways of making your move a bit greener.  
How?  First, you can cull through all of the things that are in your home and consider getting rid of the things that you don't use often.  There are many places to take your unwanted clothing and household items, and I like the SF Public Library to recycle the books that my friends don't claim.  

We've been blanketed in fog for several weeks now, and memories of summer are long forgotten.  I always enjoy Tuesdays--for Brokers Tour and seeing lots of great properties and for the wonderful opportunity to drive around the city during tour.  This morning in Telegraph Hill and North Beach it was foggy!  As I moved around the city, I hit some patches of sunshine and warmth.  I realize that this is a good metaphor for the current real estate market.  It feels like we have patches of...

I heard an interesting statistic the other day: Only twenty percent of all short sales that have been approved by the banks ever closes escrow. 

Let me start at the beginning.  A short sale refers to a home or condo that is being sold, where the purchase price being paid by the Buyer (the market value) is less than what the Seller owes on the property.  When a Seller places their home on the market and they know that the value is less than what they paid (selling for whatever...

On Friday, I received an alert from the California Association of Realtors indicating that the revisions proposed to truth in lending laws, also known as Reg. Z will be going into effect on July 30th.  These rules have required that lenders disclose to buyers within a few days of application, the costs of their loans.  For homeowners who are engaged in refinancing their loan, they had a three day right of recision.

The new rules, which apply to both purchases and refinances, require that...

What a difference a year makes.  I am sitting with two reports next to my computer--the first, a snapshot of the North Beach Condo Market that I prepared last July.  The second, a report that I created this morning.  Both reports look at all condos currently on the market--the ones for sale and those in contract, as well as all condos that have sold in the past 6 months. 

In 2008, there were 8 condos for sale or in contract, with prices ranging from $699,000 for a 2 bedroom condo that...

Delightful Cole Valley Condo
Amazing Cole Valley Location Beautiful Period Details Built 1908 (per tax records) Two Bedrooms/One Bath Two Fireplaces One Car Parking Laundry Storage


Beautiful period details and a great location are just a few reasons to call this lovely two bedroom condo 'home'.  Enter the light-filled living room with leaded-glass windows,  fireplace and hardwood floors from the gracious entry foyer.  The master bedroom has built-ins, another fireplace, wainscoting and a box-beam ceiling.  The large kitchen leads to an over-sized deck (exclusive use) adjacent to the tranquil, shared garden.  One car parking, laundry and storage are in the garage.

This lovely home is located just a few blocks from Cole Valley's restaurants, shops and cafes.  When it's time to leave the neighborhood, the N-Judah muni line heads downtown, it's a quick walk to Golden Gate Park and an easy drive to highways.

HOA expenses are split as they are incurred.


Here is an article that Paula Siegel, a wrote, published in the For Buyers section.  It explains what happens from an escrow officer's point of view.  Of course, the Buyers will be conducting inspections and working with their lender or mortgage broker to obtain financing, too.  This article describes the escrow process

This entry was written by Paula Siegel, Escrow Officer with Fidelity National Title.  She can be reached at

You’ve done all the hard work – if you are the buyer, that means weekend drive bys, selecting a realtor and negotiating the financing. The sellers will also have selected a realtor, decided on the asking price and spent time preparing the property for sale. Suddenly your offer is accepted and you are in escrow! Congratulations! So what does that...

Most disclosure packages in San Francisco are prepared and presented to interested buyers so they can review these disclosures prior to writing an offer. There is a lot of important information in these packages, and although some of them look big and imposing (especially for some condominiums), it is important to read all of the documents. If you have any questions while you are reading, note them and be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your agent.
Most of the documents fall...

2 unit building Remodelled Kitchens and Baths Lovely Garden Fabulous Noe Valley Location

Gorgeous, two-unit Victorian building. The upper unit has a flexible floor plan, a living room with a wood burining fireplace, a large formal dining room, a large bedroom, and a smaller bedroom (originally the fainting room), which is suitable as an office or guest bedroom, a remodelled kitchen and bath. The lower two-bedroom unit also has a remodelled kitchen and bath, lovely period detail and a lightfilled breakfast room.

Both units have lovely period details and high ceilings.

This home is conveniently located near public transportation, Highways 101 and 280, and several Noe hot spots including Incanto Restaurant, Toast and Pomello and Drewe's Meat Market.


"As first-time home-buyers, Jane was a real God-send to my wife and me.  She held our hand throughout the process, from early open house visits through the signing of the papers.  At each stage we always felt that we had someone who was looking out for us, ensuring that we ..." [read more]

Minesh Shah and Stephanie Park
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