Kelly, there are a number of online sites that could help you with this. Trulia is not bad. You need to see what homes have sold for recently. That is what an appraiser will start with. They are called comps. Checking the local tax records is another source, but may take months to be updated.
Then, add or subtract for upgrades etc. It is somewhat of a guessing game without a Realtor, since they usually pay many fees each year to have these tools ready to help you.... more
Hi Kenneth. The first thing you have to realize is that San Francisco is a very unique market. Although prices have dropped nationally, they haven't in San Francisco. Some neighborhoods in SF have seen slight price decreases, but the more desirable neighborhoods have continued to appreciate. It is true that we will continue to see the effects of the credit crunch for some time now, but I believe it only means a slighly softer in market in SF as opposed to prices dropping. Especially if you are considering to hold on to your property for the long term, I wouldn't wait.... more
First of all, if I were on the buying side as the agent, I would want the financing contingency to remain in effect until funding of the loan. I have always written up my offers that way and very few were countered. My buyers who had to remove their financing contingency sooner knew the risk they were taking. In the current market with lenders going out of business, I would not recommend that a buyer remove the financing contingency any sooner. If the seller insists on removing the contingency sooner, I would try to get a provision in the contract that says that the seller will agree to an extension of the close of escrow in the event the loan goes away through no fault of the buyer. I would think that getting an extension would be a reasonable request. Most sellers don't want the deposit money. They want to sell the house. The reason why I would want the extension provision in the original purchase agreement is that I would not want to be at the seller's mercy when push comes to shove.
Yes, I agree, this will be an interesting thread to follow. Thanks for asking the question.... more
It depends on what you're looking for. For modern, inexpensive furniture, Ikea is a good place to start. If you're looking for more moderate furniture, Macy's has several free standing furniture stores in the Bay Area, as well as a furniture outlet store in Union City. Looking for modern? Room and Board in SF is the place to go. Looking for custom furnishings? Berkeley Mills will build most anything in beautiful, premium hardwoods.... more
That's a great question and I think many homebuyers are wondering the same question in this market. It really depends on where you are looking, the seller's situation, and your own personal situation. Even in the best performing areas, if the seller's situation is dire then you can always negotiate. On the other hand, different cities have been affected differently by the real estate market's downturn.
Seeing that you're from San Francisco and assuming you're looking in this area, there are definitely cities that have been hurt by the "burst" but there are also still some cities where homes are still in high demand. It could be because of its strong school district, its strong employment rates, its up and coming city wide developments, but there are still some positive-growth cities here in the Bay Area. Keep in mind that if you are interested, you also have the option of looking into short sales and foreclosures. No matter how strong a city's real estate market is there are still short sales and foreclosures available and it may give you the opportunity you are looking for to buy a home. The following link gives you a good idea of how different sale performance can be in cities that are just miles away from each other: http://www.dqnews.com/ZIPSJMN.shtm. The link gives you a chart of information regarding the median price and sales volume differences between July 2006 and July 2007.
All in all, assuming you are looking for a home in the areas where the real estate "crash" has hurt the sale of homes, then generally yes, your realtor should be able to help you negotiate a price below asking. You can negotiate a lower sales price, ask for concessions to help pay for closing costs, down payment, or repairs. Either way good luck on your search!... more
I think you have to get very specific about the area you're referring to. "Bay Area" is too broad. I work on the Peninsula - not in SF.
On the Coast, in general, it is taking longer than it has in the recent past for homes to sell. However, that's not true on the Peninsula of San Mateo County. There are multiple offers; homes are selling over the asking price.
Like I said, I don't work the SF market; however, I'm hearing from my peers that that market is extremely competative. Multiple offers are far over the asking price, as in 50k to 150k+.
I'm seeing short sales; but many of those are receiving multiple offers. Prices are not rising as fast as they were, but still are climbing. Homes are taking longer to sell, but not to the point of stagnating.
To answer your question specifically, I expect that those trends will continue.
Land is at a premium; the weather is superior; new construction is very limited; major companies continue to hire. The population still grows faster than the housing available.
Basically, I'm not seeing what you describe.
Would you post the city where you're seeing these things? I'd be really interested in running statistics.... more