Patricia She…,  in San Francisco, CA

How do I determine how much to rent my home in St. Mary's Park for (325 Justin Drive)? How long should it take?

Asked by Patricia Sheena Hernandez, San Francisco, CA Fri Oct 4, 2013

My adult son will be occupying the lower level of the house, with its own side entrance. The main house has two large bedrooms, one bath, living room, dining room, newly remodeled kitchen (2011) with new stainless steel appliances, granite counters and new cabinetry, working fireplace, lots of windows, huge garage, big back yard w/deck, hardwood floors, interesting architectural features, large closets, washer/dryer, tall ceilings; private parking for two cars, plus plenty of street parking, close to St. Mary's Park - AMAZING neighborhood, pet-friendly.

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Hi Patricia,
Using Realtor who is also a leasing agent, like myself, is a good choice for you, since we are familiar with not only the sales market but with rental pricing and how the rental market is doing as well. As Aaron mentioned, when you engage a leasing agent, we help you prepare the home for rent, evaluate your competition and create a rental price that will help you get your property rented quickly, advertise the home in all the necessary places to drive traffic and interest show the property via private appointments as well as open houses, and then help you verify and evaluate the applicants. Once you have chose a qualified renter, we then use the proper lease and execute the lease, collection of move-in money (deposit and first month's rent), and manage the move-in.

If you want property management assistance beyond that (being the main contact for the tenant, managing rent collection and house bills) then you could engage a property manager afterward who you would pay monthly to be your person on the ground. Since your son is living on the property, you may not need or want a full time property manager. But you may want help finding the perfect tenant and getting the best rent possible, and that I would be happy to help you with.

Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions,

Amy Blakeley
McGuire Real Estate BRE #01439156
Sales | Leasing | Relocation
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 5, 2013
Hi Amy,

I just wanted to let you know that I got the okay from my father to hire a team to wash and repaint the entire upstairs, put in three new windows, refinish the wood floors and some other minor fixes. I'm scheduling these tasks now. I do have another question - the drapes in the living room are pretty awful. They were here when we moved in (in 2001) and we never got around to replacing them. Is it better to remove them? What would be best to replace them with? A certain color? So, as soon as we've painted, we'll call you to take photos - is that the next step? Thank you so much for visiting us and giving us your advice. Oh - I also wondered if the first of the month is the only time people move in? Thanks again! Patricia
Flag Wed Nov 6, 2013
Great, Patricia. Look forward to hearing from you.
Flag Mon Oct 7, 2013
Thank you, Amy! I'll be in contact.
Flag Sun Oct 6, 2013

I love the property on Justin Drive! It's such a great little pocket neighborhood, a real city gem! I saw you had a lot of additional follow up questions to the initial answer (which gave a lot of good information). From a Realtor standpoint, you'll want to use a property management company instead, not a Realtor. They will be able to get the place cleaned up, rented out, and collect rents/upkeep on the building without much of your involvement, which is always great. They are paid a percentage of the monthly rents (anywhere from 5-10% is typical).

One question I have for you however, is why wait 3-5 years to sell? While the rental market is heating up right now, if you have the ability to sell your home as vacant (no tenants) that is IDEAL! You can get a huge premium when selling a home vacant, and with the way the real estate market is right now, everything is selling in a matter of weeks. If you want a free and no obligation analysis of your home, and what I think you may be able to sell it for, please feel free to call or email me. I'm always happy to help anyway that I can. Let me know if you have any additional questions as well. Hope this help!

Best regards,

Aaron Bellings
Realtor, Vanguard Properties
BRE #01915431
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 4, 2013

Those are all great reasons not to sell today! It has to be the right time for you and your family, otherwise it may put you in an awkward position for the near future. Give me a call or shoot me an email when it's convenient and let's talk offline. I can definitely schedule a time to come by and take a look at your place, and give you an idea of what it should sell for in today's market, and potentially what you could get from a rental perspective. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you!
Flag Mon Oct 7, 2013

Thanks much for your encouraging answer! Yes - it is a marvelous gem of a neighborhood very few people know about, though it's so central. We raised our kids here, which was a dream, and now they're grown!

We don't want to sell quite yet because of several things: We want our son to have a place to live and we want to maintain a residence in the U.S. for a least a few more years. I have some health issues (I'm in a wheelchair now) and though I'm still brave enough to go look for a home elsewhere, until I find my ideal location, I want to make sure I have a home to go to somewhere in the world. My father is in his 90's and I want the option to be near him if he gets sick. We're just in our late 40's so we feel like it's not quite time to retire yet.

I would. however, love someone, like you, to give me an analysis of what my home is worth. That may help me settle on a rental fee. Do you do property management? I'll call you early next week. Thanks so much for your response!
Flag Fri Oct 4, 2013
Hi Patricia,
To get an idea of how much your house should rent for. Check out This can give you an example of how much rents are going for in your area with similar beds and baths. In regards to updates done, amenities you'll leave with the home, as well as location - this will add value to your rent. It's also best to get an opinion of a property manager that goes in and will let you know how much it can market at. Usually rental times is max of 3 months and min of 1month before you move someone in.

It's also good to check at websites like craigslist or hot pads to get an idea for the rents within your area so you price it right and competitively.

Contact me if you'd like more information. Thank you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 4, 2013
Thank you so much for your rapid-fire response! Here's one more question: Do you recommend using a realtor even if my son is still living on the premises? (he won't have any need to enter the main house). If so, how are realtors paid for rental properties and does that include making sure the tenants are treating the property responsibly? Also, do you have any idea how quickly we could rent the property? Or an average? My husband and I are moving to Merida, Mexico, and have plans on that side. Eventually (3 - 5 years?), we'll be selling this entire property and buying a house in Mexico, Central or South America. Thanks again so much for your time and kind attention!

Flag Fri Oct 4, 2013
Hi Patricia,
You can see the rental market on your area by going to It would be better to hire a property management as the tenant's law in the city might overwhelmed you.

All the best for the house rental.

Please let us know if you have any questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 10, 2013
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