Trulia Community - Advice from neighbors and local experts

Find Your Community
We couldn't find that location. Please try again.
Get Expert Advice

Property Q&A in 94122 : Real Estate Advice

  • All27
  • Local Info0
  • Home Buying11
  • Home Selling1
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 8
Mon Oct 31, 2016
Janell Jones asked:
Thu Jul 31, 2014
hlist_01 asked:
This question was asked from this property:
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Mon Jan 24, 2011
Jed Lane answered:
To answer the first question No a duplex can not be constructed in an area zoned for single family.
The follow up question raises many other questions. Is the "use code" on the tax records shown as "duplex"? If so then it is legal - non-conforming, if the use code shows single-family and it is being sold as a duplex or as an in-law or any other division of property the listing agent is likely making an error.
A number of issues surround the plethora of "un-warranted" units in the City. While the City turns a blind eye to them because they provide a large inventory of affordable housing units many neighborhoods are strongly against them.
If you are buying a property that has a use other then is shown be aware that you are buying a possible problem. If the City decides that it no longer wants to ignore them for any reason you would be on the hook for abatement or reconstruction to the current building codes. While it is unlikely that City would destroy them and turn all the residents out it is very possible that they could hunger for the fees that they haven’t collected for permits and back property taxes.
Another issue that is currently being seen is the City’s reluctance to remove units from the housing stock through merging property. If there are multiple units in a property the City doesn’t want them to be merged. A case in point would be a single family that had an in-law unit added, for example during the war years when a number of in-laws were allowed to relieve a housing crunch. It might be legal – non-conforming but if you went for permits to merge the property you’d get resistance from the building and planning departments.
So if you are buying a property and have questions like this you would be better consulting an attorney and short of that do research beyond Realtors, like go to the building department with documentation and ask questions.
... more
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Sat Feb 27, 2010
Callista Shepherd Smith answered:
Generally speaking it means that the property generates income for you that you realize monthly (or as per the terms of the lease) as opposed to buying a property as an investment because you expect it to increase in value over time - at which point you sell it expecting to make a profit. Generally an investment property is not one that you live in... or in the case of a multi-unit building... you may live in one of the units while the rents collected from the remaining units are income (and if you're smart about your acquisition price and carrying costs... you may be able to have your rents cover your carrying costs, that is, this income/investment property "pencils out" for you).

Before you consider buying an income/investment property in SF you should examine the local rent law and eviction laws because that will dictate your opportunities and define your constraints. I have a working familiarity with these laws and know where/how to find answers. I'd be happy to look over any property with you as your real estate agent.

Callista Shepherd,
Team leader of 2009 top-producing Team Shepherd Oliver
... more
1 vote 4 answers Share Flag
Mon Oct 26, 2009
Michael Novia answered:
Hi Hilary,

Yes, homeowners have been successful in getting their property taxes reduced. I've seen home values reduced by 20%. Depends what's going on in your neighborhood. Here's a link to the info on sfgov -

Good luck!
... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Wed Jan 14, 2009
Jed Lane answered:
This is a come on by Realty Trac to get you to subscribe to their service. It has been pointed out over and over that if it is too good to be true it isn't true.
There is no house in the Sunset available for that price. It might be the balance of a loan that has had anotice of default filed but it will not sell to the public for that. If the ownere is stupid enough to let the bank take it the bank will sell it for market price. ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Wed Sep 24, 2008
The Binnings Team answered:
Hi Vicki,

I did not see the link to the property in question, nor did I realize this was a bank-owned property. This changes my reply quite a bit. Buying REO's are an advanced type of real estate purchase, full of pitfalls but also full of benefits if you can find and execute a successful purchase. I would not proceed without an agent, and furthermore, you'll want one who specializes in working and negotiating with banks on a regular basis. Look for local agents who deal with REO's. And again, having a buyer's agent costs you nothing, so it's really in your best interest to get one.

Good luck!
... more
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sun Sep 21, 2008
Mary Fenton answered:
I believe that property is already pending. If you would like active listings in that neighborhood feel free to send me an email and I will forward them along.
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Search Advice