Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Dave, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

Single family home vs condo/loft in SF? If I can buy a 2/2 condo in South Beach, Mission Bay area for

Asked by Dave, San Francisco, CA Fri Dec 7, 2007

$800K - $ 1 mil versus a single family home between $1-1.2 mil in other areas (eg, twin peaks, Miraloma Park, Glen Park). Which would be a better option for a higher appreciation (or at least hold value) in the next 5-7 years? Taking into consideration of the HOA ($500-700/month), the mortgage is not much different.


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Mark Alder in Salt Lake City has a great write-up on this topic at his blog: http://activerain.com/blogsview/304764/Condo-vs-House-Controversy and I think it holds true for San Francisco as well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 13, 2007
Hi Dave,

I like to go back to the basics -- supply & demand. There are fewer single family residences in San Francisco than condos while the demand remains high for single family residences, thus appreciation will increase greater with single family homes. It's a good time to buy and there are alot of nice neighbors out there for the price range that you are looking in. I would be more than happy to help guide you in this exciting process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2007
Single family homes hold their values better simply because there is limited supply. In addition to Miraloma Park, Glen Park, and Twin Peaks you may also consider some areas of the Sunset that have killer views, and West Portal. The Fed just cut the rate and looking during the holidays may give you an advantage! I have a couple of sellers willing to negotiate and I know there are more out there!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2007
Go for the single family home! And I know you can find one in Miraloma Park, or Midtown Terrace, Glen Park, etc., for less than a million. Think supply and demand; they are building lots of condos, but we won't see many single family homes built in the future and San Francisco is geographically constrained. Let us know what you decide!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2007
It depends on the particular property! Two condos (units) in the same building can have different appreciation levels as can two single family homes on the same block. Each property has to be evaluated on its own merits.
Web Reference: http://www.sfcondomap.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 8, 2007
Dear Friend,

A home is always a better investment -- it really depends on the area and the home itself. (That being said, I own a condominium and love it. South Beach and Mission Bay are very hot, trendy areas with all the new construction of condos, office buildings and the University of California, the new restaurants, and the "city within a city" development plan. But because there is a plethora of condos available for purchase, many developers are giving rebates of some sort to lure buyers, which can include a year's worth of HOA dues credited or upgrades in appliances, hardwood floors,etc. Please keep in mind a home requires a lot of work in the upkeep and in a condominium complex the work is done for you. So you need to decide what is more important to you and move forward from that point. I would be pleased to further discuss this with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
Although, I'm a condo owner myself, I live in a small building (4 units) which makes it more "house" like overall. However, if you look strictly at statistics, detached single family homes have the best resale value over the long term. For a sense of this, the CA Association of Realtors state-wide statistics on sales volume by price category for '07. The $1M+ category had only a 0.5% YTD down turn in sales vs. a 24.2% down turn in sales for the $500k to $999k category. Most condos falls into that price category within the city of SF. All of the areas that you mentioned with regard to single family homes have done well with regard to value over the past several months as the real estate market has been in flux. The condo market will continue to be the most fluid with more units slated to come into the market over the next few years. Again, though I'm a condo owner, and barring any major negative social/economic spikes, my bet would be on a single family home for holding onto value. There are other thoughts on purchasing condos though for holding of value -- mine, when purchasing for myself was finding a location that was "up and coming" and also finding something unique in the property itself that would provide added "uniqueness" to the property. In these cases, I purchased in the Mission and a unique 2 level unit with views, etc. I hope that this helps some in your thought process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
Hi Dave,

Doug is right, the best hold value would be in a single family home in the areas (or others like) you specified. In fact, there are several nice homes on the market (min 2/2) under $1 mil in those neighb orhoods! Call or email me for the address as some are open this weekend. My contact info is at my website below.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
In the South Beach, Mission Bay area there are lots of condos on the market all the time so the prices stay consistent to attract buyers and even start reducing to get more sold. Buying a home in Twin Peaks, Glen Park, etc, would be beneficial because first it's entirely you own space and homes in those areas comes on the market less so there is more of a demand and usually there are several offers and they go over asking.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 7, 2007
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