Sumit Varma, Home Buyer in California

Buying an investment property in San Francisco.

Asked by Sumit Varma, California Mon Jul 16, 2012

We want a 2bd 2bath, good neighborhood, easy to rent, close to entertainment.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Sumit,

I would only like to tell you that you have to be prepared to compete with a lot of first time home buyers and other buyers who are buying primary residences.

This year has been the year of low and very low inventory for the San Francisco real estate market, plus there aren't many REO and not even short sales. Looking for distressed properties will not necessary produce results for investors.

Consider the price of a 2bd/2 bath to be 700k +. Then add the mortgage payment -if applies, an average HOA of $500/month, property taxes, insurance. Having an investor mind set, I am sure you will analyze the rents in the area and calculate your CAP rate.

Good luck!


Alina Aeby
Pacific Union International
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012
Pick an agent and start to work with them to find what you are looking for. There are any number of good areas that can meet the criteria.
The price range and the rental rate will vary by neighborhood.
Why is it important to you that the house be close to entertainment? All you'll do is restrict the tenant pool to people that want to be close to entertainment. Many others are fine traveling to a venue and would want peace and quiet when they are not in the mood.
And by the way just about everything is easy to rent in San Francisco and it's neighboring areas. As a property manager I can attest to that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Hi Sumit,

Depending on your budget, good neighborhoods to consider that are closer to entertainment and downtown would be the Mission district, SOMA, and North Beach. Also, I would definitely consider looking in the Richmond and Sunset districts as well. The benefits of buying in the Sunset is that you are looking a lower prices and it is close to San Francisco State University and UCSF which would be easy to rent out. There are definitely a lot to consider, please contact me if you need help regarding comparisons of neighborhoods, pricing, rents, safety and desirability. With that said, the rental marketing is very competitive right now so finding a renter will not be difficult in most neighborhoods.

Good luck on finding your investment property!

Alice Pak
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012
Hi Sumit-I'd also keep in mind a newer condominium property for lower maintenance as well as no rent control. There are many available in different neighborhoods. As has been said, rents are rising across the city with few nice properties available. Whichever neighborhood is nearest where you work or live might be a good place to start looking. Budget also plays a factor. With interest rates at these incredibly low levels, depending on your down payment, some properties will start paying you back right away, some may take longer and require capitol appreciation before you see a potential return on your investment. Feel free to contact me for more information. There's a lot more to discuss. Best wishes-Matt Ciganek
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2012

You sound like someone who has been thinking about this move for some time and know what it will cost to make it happen. I started buying rental property in 2002 and it's a great feeling.

What constitutes a good neighborhood to you? Is proximity to entertainment important to you because you may use this for a residence if/when not renting it? Are you looking for new construction, traditional, or conversion property? What is your limit for HOA dues?

There are 2 bedrooms 2 bath properties on and off-market throughout San Francisco that would be well suited for you. Places that I would target would be the Mission District, North Beach and Telegraph Hill, The Marina, The Dogpatch, and SOMA. Renting in San Francisco is competitive and with dwindling inventory you shouldn't have difficulty finding a renter almost anywhere you choose.

If you would like to talk over some opportunities you can reach me at 415-562-6999 or via email at

I wish you the best with your investment.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
That's a great position to be in, Sumit. The first step is to choose a highly competent Realtor or broker to help educate you regarding different neighborhoods, pricing, rents, safety and desirability. You have many options to consider. Best of luck,

Oggi Kashi - 415.690.3792 direct
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:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
Hi Sumit,

There are options in a number of neighborhoods depending on price point-SoMa, South Beach, Fidi, Downtown may be possibilities. Rental rates are execeedingly high at the moment and you'll be able to benefit from the increased rates. With the advent of the Americas Cup rental units will be at a premium as well in these areas.
Depending on your time horizon as well as your investment objectives you'll be able to ascertain which areas will be a suitable fit.

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
Not a problem. Have you looked at anything yet or taken a pencil to the numbers? Would you like to meet for a free consultation?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2012
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