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5 Brilliant Moving Day Hacks to Keep You Sane

moving-day-hacks-meredith-martin-san-francisco-realtorIt’s moving day! And no matter how excited you may be about your new place, the logistics can be a little overwhelming – and that’s especially true here in the Bay Area. The good news? We’re sharing five brilliant moving day hacks to keep you sane – and the hair pulling to a minimum. (more…)

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Where Renting is Most Expensive in San Francisco

For those of us living in San Francisco, it’s no surprise the price of housing is a big concern both locally and nationwide. San Francisco in fact has been the country’s most expensive rental market (for one bedroom units) since August 2014 when our City by the Bay claimed the top spot over New York City.

Thanks to our friends at Trulia, here’s a breakdown of the San Francisco’s neighborhoods where rents are highest:

San Francisco Neighborhoods with the Most Expensive 1-Bedroom Rentals

#

Neighborhood

 % of 1-Bedrooms Renting for $3,000+

Median Rent

1

Fisherman’s Wharf

82.80%

$3,500

2

Mission

78.8%

$3,500

3

Pacific Heights

73.8 %

$3,600

4

Castro

71.9%

$3,500

5

Potrero Hill

71.7%

$3,600

6

Telegraph Hill

70.0%

$3,325

7

Mission Dolores

69.0%

$3,500

8

Cow Hollow

68.8%

$3,350

9

Hayes Valley

68.7%

$3,500

10 

Marina

68.3%

$3,348

 

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You may recall the story we published in September where we analyzed the financial question of Buying vs Renting and revealed this gem: Buying… is a better financial decision even if you could rent for free! Despite early indicators showing our local market could be leveling off, don’t expect prices to decrease unless we see an actual decrease in demand. 

 

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Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at Meredith@OpeningDoors.me

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Let the Game of Chicken Begin!

 

We’ve seen more inventory since the fall selling season began than we have in several years in the city, with the excellent properties still moving at a record pace, and the just decent properties taking longer to sell.

What happens now to the fully respectable but possibly not excellent properties is a game of who will blink first– the buyers or the sellers. Will the sellers reduce their price, pull it from the market and re-list in spring, just rent it as every seller who doesn’t have to sell threatens to do, or employ the new trick du jour of dramatically dropping the price in order to inspire hopefully a new round of multiple bids?

The latest trick du jour seems to be the most successful, thus most popular tactic used to move properties that previously sold in a 2 week period. A dramatic price reduction (often below what the seller will actually take) is the hook to get fence-sitting buyers off their wait and see morals and actually take a stab at writing an offer. Once that hardest part, putting pen to paper so to speak, is done it’s just a matter of counters back and forth before we see who is going to do the blinking. Sometimes it’s the seller, often times it’s the buyer, and many times that is determined by how many buyers are enticed off the fence.

As we move into the final months of the year, look for more price reductions, far fewer listings, and a lot of withdrawals of properties from the market. Those withdrawn may be re-listed in the new year, but just as likely could be lost to the vast rental pool and disappear for a year or so.

I still maintain this is an excellent time to shop for a property, with the buyers bold enough to actually write an offer (below asking if the property warrants it) being the most successful. Come the new year, it remains to be seen if the steady drum roll of property appreciation will continue, but if history serves then spring will likely see a new round of price valuations hitting new highs.

 

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Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at Meredith@OpeningDoors.me

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San Francisco Market Overview: October 2015

 

As we begin the last quarter of the year, change is in the air!

First, a surge of new listings hit the market last month — there’s more inventory in San Francisco now than there’s been at any time this year. Just over 40% of those properties for sale are priced under $1M (on par with Zillow’s recent valuation of homes across the city — see how your neighborhood stacks up). Certainly buyer demand is persisting, however competition for any given property is generally letting up… for now. The consensus among forecasters is that prices in the Bay Area will rise through 2016 with regional employment playing a critical role.

Second, there seems to be a shift in buyer demand as higher priced homes linger and take price reductions while relatively more affordable ones attract interest. The median sales price of properties in SF fell slightly last month to $1,150,000 and the number sold is down dramatically year-over-year. To further this point, the generally less expensive East Bay, for example, is experiencing an increase in number of sales from last year, and median prices in some cities — like Berkeley — continue to climb. [Those in SF’s ultra-high-end market still have plenty to choose from including these 3 Most Expensive.]

From now thru the end of the year — before the Spring 2016 selling season begins — should prove an opportune time for prospective buyers to make a move, and it may well be the best time to borrow money in recorded history.




 

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Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at Meredith@OpeningDoors.me

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Haunted San Francisco

 

Before the City of San Francisco voted to stop burials within city limits in 1900, there were at least two dozen cemeteries in existence. While the non-Native deceased were exhumed and relocated to Colma in the following decades, there are plenty of the dead who’ve taken up permanent residence in San Francisco and made it one of the most haunted places in the country.

EscapeHere – 10 Most Haunted Cities in America:

Alcatraz Island remains the site of our country’s most famous prison. It is also popular for its paranormal activity. There have been reports of ghostly disturbances throughout the old cell blocks. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is known to host a headless jogger that suddenly appears in the dense fog.

 

Travel Channel – Top Haunted Cities in America:

San Francisco is the hot travel destination these days. The San Francisco Bay has over a hundred haunted spots for you to check out during your trip. One place worth mentioning is Alcatraz, the famous maximum-security prison. Alcatraz hosted Al Capone, the famous Chicago gangster, during the final years of his life. To get to Alcatraz, you’ll need to take a ferry across San Francisco Bay. It’s definitely worth the trip to see the haunted prison.

 

USA Today – America’s Most Haunted Cities:

In the 1850s, Chinese immigrants came in droves to San Francisco, seeking their fortunes in gold. But when there was no gold to be found, they couldn’t afford to return to their families in China. Most took on menial jobs and died alone with unfulfilled dreams. These souls, the wandering ghosts of America’s oldest Chinatown, are said to inhabit its alleyways today.

Haunted Experiences: Take a Chinatown Ghost Tour to roam the gambling houses, narrow streets, and dark alleys at night. Paranormal activity has also been reported in two other popular areas. The Presidio, a retired military base with a hospital and cemetery, was featured on an episode of the Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters. At Alcatraz, some say they’ve heard voices from within cell walls and seen figures walking through cellblocks.

 

Alcatraz is perhaps the most well known of San Francisco’s sites for paranormal activity but it is far from the only hotspot for ghostly encounters. Explore the map below for stories of murder, suicide, tragedy and disaster– and visits from beyond the veil.

 

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Meredith Martin is a Broker Associate at Paragon Real Estate Group and can be reached at Meredith@OpeningDoors.me

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