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New Conforming Loan Limits

It has been years since the high-balance conforming loan limit has moved an iota. Big news is that as of January 1, there will be about a 12k increase in this limit.
 
Something that most of us forget is that there are separate limits for 2, 3, and 4 unit buildings as well. In the case of 4 residential units in SF, this provides some opportunity as the limit is all the way up at $1,223,475!
 
Food for thought.
 
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New Construction

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A look at San Francisco’s skyline these days provokes an inevitable question: Are we really using all of those cranes? The answer, of course, is not only yes, it’s a resounding, “Yes, and,” as smaller but no less ambitious new buildings and are coming together below skyline level too.

This is just a sample of works in progress concentrated around Market Street. There is, of course, many projects happening elsewhere; however, we would require more than one map to get to everything. Here now are the biggest things happening in San Francisco’s wild construction scene.

1 150 Van Ness

This corner of Van Ness offers a portrait of extremes: 100 Van Ness is huge, gleaming, and freshly minted, while its eventual neighbor next door is still a mere crater populated by steam shovels. Once finished it will be the site of 419 new homes. Clark Construction estimated “substantial completion” in February, but it doesn’t look like they’re anywhere close to making that mark.

2 Trinity Place

The images of the swirling Venus statue at Trinity Place Apartments plastered outside are quite a smart bit of showmanship for the enormous and still in-progress Arquitectonica building. The installed statue is actually public art, but won’t be open to the public until construction on the surrounding buildings finishes. When all is said and done, Trinity will yield 2,000 units, but this is only the third of four buildings they’re working on right now.

3 99 Rausch

The enormous barricade of scaffolding facing Langton Street right now is actually pretty impressive in its own right, although if you want a closer look at what the finished facade of this future 112-unit, one-two punch of a building pair will look like, just peek around the corner.

4 L Seven

To get a good sense on how 350 Eighth Street is coming along, you have to remember how enormous an undertaking it actually is: 3.5 acres, eight buildings, and 410 homes, arranged in a kind of block-wide O. That’s about as hefty as a SoMa deal gets these days. Much of it sits waiting behind tarps, but it’s not clear yet whether they’ll hit their old end-of-2016 completion goal.

5 Market Street Place

The long-promised retail extravaganza on Market, boasting 375,000 square feet, has risen slowly but surely behind the plywood barriers, with gleaming glass storefronts seemingly ready to welcome their first initiates. But the advertised “Fall 2016” open dating is clearly going to have to be revised, as there’s only a few weeks left.

6 Bill Sorro Community

If all of the market-rate housing along Market has you worried about rising housing costs, Mercy Housing has a drop of mercy in the form of this soon-to-be nine story affordable development along Howard. The central crane casts quite an imposing shadow over the nearby alleys and businesses right now.

7 923 Folsom

This 120-unit building makes for something of a mystery right now, mostly shrouded on the outside. Once the wrappings eventually come away, the SCB renderings suggest a face radically different from the older SoMa classic-style buildings around it.

8 Central Subway

This year saw station work begun in earnest, with walls erected in the eventual Union Square station on Stockton and demolition clearing the path in Chinatown. But it’s still a long way to 2019.

9 Mexican Museum

After a decade of waiting, the Mexican Museum will soon have a new home (assuming you understand “soon” to mean 2019). But of course, the really big news here is that Millennium Partners finally caved (if you’ll pardon the term) and agreed to dig its foundation to bedrock.

10 Moscone Center

Swamped with conventions every year, Moscone Center is spending $4 million to beef itself up to over 770,000 square feet of space. You can check on its progress with the site’s live cam if you’re curious (although we notice that it’s sometimes not actually live at all).

11 350 Bush Street

350 Bush was a giant hole in the ground on the edge of Chinatown for decades, after political jockeying torpedoed real estate giant Shorenstein’s original plans there. Every subsequent time someone else was about ready to break ground on it, the economy would tank, until the present, 19-story, Heller Manus-designed building (which saves much of the historic but rundown Mining Exchange building) finally made good in 2014. Most of the building facade is in place, but the upper levels remain bare and the interior of the Exchange remains a hot construction zone.

12 Transbay Block 9

And we break right through into the middle of the South Beach/Transbay hub, where the city will add more housing within a few blocks than it did for many previous years altogether. This in-process SOM designed building alone will yield over 500 units, and at 40 stories it’s one of the least ambitious of the bunch.

13 Transbay Block 8

The final design for this 55 story housing high-rise is not quite so dramatic as its original OMA look of a skyscraper “cut to pieces and reassembled.” Not that you can tell from its present state of gradual assembly, of course

14 Transbay Terminal

If you haven’t checked lately, note that the adorable mini-Bay Bridge ramp that will soon ferry buses to the actual bridge (and sail right over traffic below) is in the midst of installation, and as petitely charming as promised.

15 181 Fremont

You’d probably expect us to close with Salesforce Tower, but as the glass skin crawls further up its tilted frame, we find we’re more and more partial to the sleek and cutting look of this 70-tower office/luxe residential high rise. Salesforce might get all of the ink, but this one will steal the most hearts. Stunning.

Source: sf.curbed.com read more →

Brown & Co. Merges with Keller Williams to Form Powerhouse San Francisco Brokerage

SAN FRANCISCO — Venerable San Francisco real estate firm Brown & Co. and world-wide giant Keller Williams have teamed up to offer the most comprehensive buying and selling experience in the city.

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Brown & Co., a long time player in the San Francisco real estate scene, will merge with the Keller Williams San Francisco agency, which opened city offices in May. Since then it’s grown to 100 agents and broker-associates, and expanded to an additional office. The merger will grow the Keller Williams San Francisco agency to two new locations and add 13 more agents to its team.

“I think the technology and management systems that Keller Williams offers and just the size of being affiliated with a larger agency will be a benefit to me, my agents and my clients,” said Tim Brown, CEO of Brown & Co.

Anne Kennedy, broker of record and an owner of the Keller Williams San Francisco agency, said Brown is an icon whose team will further strengthen the firm’s foothold in the west of Twin Peaks area and on the city’s north side. His team will also bring a lot of experience with new and multi-family development. Brown started the firm in 1978 and has been active on the San Francisco Association of Realtor’s board as both a member and CFO.

“Getting into business with Brown & Co. brings together the best in real estate that the city has to offer and it expands our footprint to support the consumer base in additional neighborhoods,” said operating principal and owner Rick Cunningham.

About Keller Williams
Keller Williams is an international real estate franchise with 700 offices and 150,000 associates worldwide. It was recently named the fastest growing brokerage in the industry’s history by The National Association of Realtors and is No. 1 worldwide in terms of agents and transaction counts. Keller Williams considers itself to be a training and education company fueled by technology. The new San Francisco office is on track to close $1 billion in sales in its first year. Other owners of the San Francisco office are: Danielle Lazier, Michael Minson, Franklin Lee, Eddie O’Sullivan, Jennifer Rosdail and Kilby Stenkamp.

Source read more →

November 2016 – After the Election

The local election brought two significant changes that will affect the San Francisco real estate market. First, Measure W passed, significantly raising the transfer tax on residential and commercial properties of $5,000,000 or more, from an additional 12.5% at the low end to 20% at $25,000,000 and above. Second, measure X now requires developers who convert Production, Design & Repair Use, Institutional Community Use, and Arts Activities Use to not only replace the space on a 1:1 basis but also get a conditional use permit from the Planning Department to do so. What this means is that developers can no longer purchase buildings and convert the use to office or residential, even if those uses are allowed for that area, unless they also build back the use they’ve displaced.

An unanticipated negative result of the presidential election is that interest rates jumped .25%-.375% higher in just two days. This is only the second time that significant a rise has happened in two days. The immediate effect of this on housing sales is that buyers borrowing capacity just dropped.

For example, let’s say someone qualified last week for a $1,000,000 loan at 3.75%.

This week, with the higher interest rate, they only qualify for a $956,000 loan. So, buyers can afford less so offers go down, and then sales prices go down.

In looking backwards at the sales data, October brought its seasonal home sales boomlet, with the second highest number of single family home sales this year. The median price of $1,407,000, 11% higher than last October, and just above May’ 2015’s previous peak of $1,400,000.

The number of Condos/TIC’s sold was down but the median price popped up to $1,164,000, just above June’s peak of $1,162,500. That’s up 6.3% from October 2015.

PowerPoint PresentationPowerPoint PresentationPowerPoint PresentationThe information contained in this report is taken from a variety of sources including SFARMLS, SPUR, the City of San Francisco Planning Department, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and others. The data may have errors, omissions and be subject to revisions and is not warranted. It is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Questions may be directed to Keller Williams San Francisco | 415.483.9285 | CalBRE 01995149 | © Keller Williams San Francisco 2016 read more →

Brown & Co. Merges with Keller Williams to Form Powerhouse S.F. Brokerage

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News Release: Nov. 10th, 2016
Contacts:
Kilby Stenkamp, (415) 370-7582, kilby@kw.com

SAN FRANCISCO – Venerable San Francisco real estate firm Brown & Co. and world-wide giant Keller Williams have teamed up to offer the most comprehensive buying and selling experience in the city.

Brown & Co., a long time player in the S.F. real estate scene, will merge with the Keller Williams S.F. agency, which opened city offices in May. Since then it’s grown to 100 agents and broker-associates, and expanded to an additional office. The merger will grow the Keller Williams S.F. agency to two new locations and add 13 more agents to its team.

“I think the technology and management systems that Keller Williams offers and just the size of being affiliated with a larger agency will be a benefit to me, my agents and my clients,” said Tim Brown, CEO of Brown & Co.

Anne Kennedy, broker of record and an owner of the Keller Williams San Francisco agency, said Brown is an icon whose team will further strengthen the firm’s foothold in the west of Twin Peaks area and on the city’s north side. His team will also bring a lot of experience with new and multi-family development. Brown started the firm in 1978 and has been active on the San Francisco Association of Realtor’s board as both a member and CFO.

“Getting into business with Brown & Co. brings together the best in real estate that the city has to offer and it expands our footprint to support the consumer base in additional neighborhoods,” said operating principal and owner Rick Cunningham.

Keller Williams is an international real estate franchise with 700 offices and 150,000 associates worldwide. It was recently named the fastest growing brokerage in the industry’s history by The National Association of Realtors and is No. 1 worldwide in terms of agents and transaction counts. Keller Williams considers itself to be a training and education company fueled by technology. The new S.F. office is on track to close $1 billion in sales in its first year. Other owners of the S.F. office are: Danielle Lazier, Michael Minson, Franklin Lee, Eddie O’Sullivan, Jennifer Rosdail and Kilby Stenkamp. read more →

Hip, Stylish & Central – Easy City Living In the Richmond

2-610-26th-ave-ext1610 26th Avenue,
San Francisco California

>Offered at $799,000
Property Type: Condominium
Bedrooms: 2 
Bath: 1 

Click here to Request a Showing
Click here to Download Disclosures

(more…) read more →

October 2016 – The Shift Continues

September’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the SF-Oakland-Hayward region had job growth in every category except information and education/health services, which were down just slightly. Unemployment also dropped slightly. These are both positive economic indicators which should drive increased housing demand.

Yet the San Francisco real estate market sales data indicate that buyers continue to step back from purchasing in the numbers and at the prices they had been.

Single family home sales prices are off 12.1% from this year’s peak of $1,390,000 in February. They are also off 12.7% from the peak of this multi-year up-market cycle of $1,400,000 in May, 2015.

The condo/loft market is also off 12.1% from its June peak of $1,162,500.

The number of sales in September of single family homes was the lowest September for the past 10 years, following an August that was also the lowest August for the past 10 years. Year-to-date, the number of single family home sales is down 6.5% compared to 2015, and the fewest sales since 2009.

Likewise, the number of sales year-to-date in condo/lofts is down 3.2% compared to

2015, and the lowest it’s been in over 10 years.

We attribute the continued downward shift to a combination of buyer fatigue with rising housing prices as well as to uncertainty with the upcoming election.

PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint Presentation

The information contained in this report is taken from a variety of sources including SFARMLS, SPUR, the City of San Francisco Planning Department, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and others. The data may have errors, omissions and be subject to revisions and is not warranted. It is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. Questions may be directed to Keller Williams San Francisco | 415.483.9285 | CalBRE 01995149 | © Keller Williams San Francisco 2016

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Affordable SF Home Ownership Success Story: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way Part 2

Meanwhile, back in the Inner Sunset, Bridget asked me to meet with her in late May. She asked if her friend Harini could join us. Bridget had learned that the Mayor’s Office of Housing (“MOH”) was expanding the Down Payment Assistance Program (“DALP”) both in terms of the income limit and the amount of money available to a borrower. In addition, the Teacher Next Door (“TND”) program was clarified to include more kinds of educators – charter schools, non-classroom teachers, school social workers, (Bridget, Meghan and Harini are all school social workers and Josh works for a SFUSD Charter School), etc., which was going to make it easier to use those funds as well. She asked if her friend Harini could come along to them meeting. The changed program was going to be available in early July, and Bridget and Harini wanted to be ready to spend their summer getting their families homes and moving in.

After several weeks of looking and a couple of offers, each couple was able to get into contract to buy a home in the Sunset District. In each case there was competition, but also, in each case, the sellers were happy to see SFUSD teachers buy a home. And It’s not true you have to have all cash and waive all contingencies: both couples were able to do inspections and negotiate small credits subsequent to their offers being accepted.

With the usual work out of the way, now came the fun part – getting the Mayor’s Office of Housing loans closed.

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Wth the program revisions effective early July, we though we were in good shape to close both deals by about August 15. We wanted to be first in line in case the program was flooded with requests and based on my past experience with MOH, this would take 15-25 days longer than a normal transaction – about 45-55 days. Unfortunately, we were naively unaware of some of the details of the program launch. The lender we were working with, Laura Levine, had a long track record of doing employer and municipal 2nd mortgages similar to the DALP. Unfortunately, her new company, All California Mortgage, did not have a current relationship with the SF MOH, and they were required to take training not offered until August before any file could be officially accepted. So, even though the packages were complete and submitted to the MOH in July, the MOH did not consider them submitted until after the training in August.

Then there was the fact that we did manage to be first. The early bird doesn’t always just get the worm. The early bird can tend to be the one to help work out kinks in the process. Bridget & Kai were literally first in line for the expanded program and Harini & Josh were 2nd. There were kinks. Documents were submitted and rejected due to format, documents were submitted but never received, or were in any case requested again (and sometimes again). The RockStar loan processors at All California Mortgage patiently responded to all of the MOH requests and the diligent and lovely people at the MOH worked assiduously to complete and perfect the files – but all of this took a lot of time and elapsed days. Then, in late August, Josh’s TND loan was denied because he works for a SFUSD charter school (we thought that was fixed?). By early September the Sellers were losing patience on both deals. The biggest problem wasn’t that they wouldn’t wait, but that we couldn’t even tell them exactly how much longer it would be. They were worried it would be 2017! One of the sellers even started making plans to move back into the home.

At this point, the buyers sought the intervention of their representatives Katy Tang and Scott Wiener, whose staff helped to get clarity on closing timing. There were some sleepless nights for the buyers, but with the assurance of the closing timing, the agents were able to keep the sellers committed. Harini’s eloquence was also able to get the MOH to take another look at Josh’s TND and get it reinstated.

It is not well known or understood that the lenders who work on these deals are compensated in no way for the difficult processing of the MOH loans. In fact they have to pay the city an annual fee for the pleasure of working for free. You could say, well, they get paid for processing the 1st mortgage and the MOH loans enable the 1st mortgages. I still say, hat’s off to them!! This is truly community service because these loans are a vast amount of work. On Josh and Harini’s deal, for example, there were three MOH loans in addition to the 1st mortgage (two TND and a DALP). All of them have some separate paperwork and issues that have to be calculated into the mix.

It is a testament to the interpersonal and professional skill of everyone involved, hope, patience and community that these deals closed. Bridget and Kai closed on their house on 9/8 after 74 days in escrow. Harini and Josh closed 9/23 after 77 days in escrow.

I, and I know my clients, are so thankful for the dedication of every person who touched this deal. To the listing agents, Michael Lewin and Luda Duwe, for having faith in our team and not giving up, to the lending team at All California Mortgage (Kim, Marc, Laura!!!!) for all of their pro-bono hours, to the great employees of the Mayor’s Office of Housing (RUTH!!, Jeanne!! Sonia!! and Maria!!), to the elected officials and legislators who created these programs in the first place, and to our great escrow officers who had to do the closing statements so many times (Terry Pizzo at First American West Portal and the entire team at Chicago Title on Junipero Serra), I am deeply appreciative.

If you want to know more about the Mayor’s Office of Housing and their programs, click here. And, yes, I’m willing to take this on for you and yours should you want to pursue homeownership in San Francisco. It’s hard in every price range, but it can be done and it changes the lives of the new homeowners permanently for the better every time it happens.

– Jennifer read more →