Home Buying in San Francisco>Question Details

Newmfbuyersf1, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

What are some things a first time multi-family buyer in San Francisco should know? Looking to buy place for under 1.5 and want to owner occupy.

Asked by Newmfbuyersf1, San Francisco, CA Mon Jan 2, 2012

Hi All,

I am looking at buying a multi family or mixed use building in san francisco in a nice neighborhood. I also need one of the units to be either a 3 or 4 bedroom (For myself/family) - I have managed my fathers apartment building in massachusetts for 5 years, but I suspect many, many things are different in SF. Additionally, I have never bought/sold a building before so I dont want to get hoodwinked.

My goal in buying a multi family (I can do a large down payment, almost 50% ) is to have a free mortgage (while owner occupying one unit) and possibly some income on the side. I make good pay as a software developer already, so even if the units go empty, I could still cover the costs.

Any tips, suggestions or anything you can think of for me would be super helpful. Neighborhoods, things to watch out for, what to go after, what to stay away from, etc..

I am especially interested in buildings with commercial units and foreclosures/short sales but I dont want to get burned.

Help the community by answering this question:


Newmfbuyersf1- I did not scroll all the way down to the bottom of your thread. "answer my own ..." "My bad." What you "deem"' as good may not be so good to know. A lot of folks with a good "tip" in their head and lots of funds in their accounts have lost fortunes. .... Happy funding, Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
Newmfbuyersf1- Didn't mention. Even with 50% down you will be wise to consult about your financing options first. .... Happy funding, Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
Newmfbuyersf1- Do you remember this: "And The List Goes on..." Well sort of like that #:>)
It is a long one. I would be happy to answer your questions. If I cannot answer a couple I will refer you to someone that has more knowledge than I. Those you could write on a piece of confetti. When speaking of non-conforming, jumbo, super jumbo and commercial loans.

Please see my website first. That should answer several. Then contact me. ... Happy funding- Rudi
Web Reference: http://www.umboc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
What an enviable position to be in.

You set some interesting goals for yourself. If you're using financing, it's a good bet that the lender will want to know if the units are rented, the history, etc. I would think in a place like San Francisco, the occupancy history is a very important question. If the unit occupancy is not comparable to buildings in the area, I would want to know why if I were a lender.

Just an aside: I would get to know the wonderful town you're buying in. Walk the neighborhoods and learn the transportation systems. It is a delicious assignment because San Francisco has all those shops, restaurants and stores. A street-level perspective can help you understand your tenant better. I would take notes. I would definitely address my own needs. You don't want something too far out of the way with respect to your job. Commuting in San Francisco can be quite an adventure.

Keep asking questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
It's good to learn as much as you can about multi family property ownership. Couple of important items to consider are rent control laws and tenant rights in SF. A good place to start is the SF Rent Board:


The next step is to hire a good local Realtor and start learning about all the neighborhood and lifestyles that SF offers. There is too much to explain here on this forum. Your Realtor can also help put you in touch with knowledgeable lending professionals experienced with multi-family property loans in SF.

Here are links for reliable Multi-family property search:

Up to $2M: http://www.mlsfinder.com/ca_sfar/oggikashi/index.cfm?action=…

Foreclosures: http://www.mlsfinder.com/ca_sfar/oggikashi/index.cfm?action=…

Short Sales: http://www.mlsfinder.com/ca_sfar/oggikashi/index.cfm?action=…


Oggi Kashi
Broker Associate, Paragon Real Estate Group CA DRE 01844627
All data from sources deemed reliable but subject to errors and omissions, and not warranted.
Web Reference: http://www.oggikashi.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 4, 2012
Sorry to answer my own question, but a good tip I recently learned was that it is important to keep the mortgage price under 1.2 million for a 4 unit building. If I go above that in either unit count or price, my loan terms become much worse. So thats good to know- With my down payment, it shouldnt be a issue and I could hypothetically go up to 1.75m-2m for the total price also
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 2, 2012
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