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Home Buying in Bernal Heights : Real Estate Advice

  • All39
  • Local Info4
  • Home Buying23
  • Home Selling1
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 21
Thu Feb 11, 2016
Florence Monzasch answered:
I am a broker specializing in Bernal Heights. I have a lovely listing it's an in law apt, just coming up. Will be in the 1 million range. Let me know if you are interested.
There is no Whole Foods in Bernal, however, they do have a great natural food store on Cortland street, which carries a lot of daily needs. The neighborhood has gentrified a lot in the past 10 years, and is in very much demand. I have worked and lived in this neighborhood for thirty years, and know it inside and out.
Tap me if you need more information
Florence Monzasch
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0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 22, 2013
Michael Minson answered:
It's a great time to sell. Inventory is at an all time low and prices are rapidly appreciating. Multiple offers are offers over the asking price are common. The SF unemployment rate is low and many of our residents are directly benefiting from the strong stock market. This means buyers have money to spend. According to the SF Association of Realtors, about 30% of purchases are being made all cash.

If you're a buyer, you need to be aggressive with your price and terms (financing and inspections), make sure you're fully pre-approved with a local lender, and have at least 20% for down payment. Interest rates just dropped again this week and there are some amazing properties on the market (just not a lot of them), so it's a pretty good time to buy, too. It's not impossible to get into the market right now, but it can be frustrating and will likely require writing multiple offers to get a property.
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Mon Mar 25, 2013
Eric Michael Abrams - California Real Estate Broker answered:
Why would you want to build in this market? You can buy for pennies on the dollar compared to what it would cost to build, in this "multi-unit economy."

The prices for multi-unit buildings are at levels no one ever thought they'd return to.

I'd be happy to assist, as would any of those who've answered your question below. But if you're determined to build your own, than there are plenty of opportunities available. Contact one of us, and we'll help you out.

Though, it would probably help if you contacted someone who has a good deal of experience in the construction industry, etc.

I've participated in the building of many Bay Area apartment and TIC units, but so have many other agents. Contact one of us, and we'll guide you through the process.

Good luck! Vacant lots are selling at prices that are even more ludicrous than the existing multi-units I mentioned above, so either way now is a fantastic time to get a deal.

Eric M. Abrams
510.332.6314 Direct Mobile
Executive Sales, Leasing, and Investment

"The Bay Area's Record Breaking Real Estate Broker!"*
California Real Estate Broker
DRE License# 01862927

Highland Partners Prudential
342 Highland Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611

*Mr. Abrams was the selling agent for the most expensive residential property to close in the history of Oakland, California, breaking the previously held record by a wide margin. Having done so in a distressed real estate climate, makes this feat all the more impressive. Mr. Abrams has also set numerous other real estate records, and has personally represented the most expensive residential listing on the Island of Maui when he listed the private sale of a $120-million estate. As a technology leader in his field, Eric has been able to assist his clients with their real estate needs from thousands of miles away, in locations such as Kenya, East Africa, Bogota, Colombia, Kosovo, and Kazakhstan. While an expert in the field of high-end real estate, Eric maintains an active cliental of first-time home buyers and sellers and treats each one of his clients with professionalism and allots unlimited time to answer all of his client’s questions regardless of their position financially or whether or not they’re actively searching for a home. Mr. Abrams is an expert in finance, was a top-ranked professional road cyclist, and is known by his colleagues and clients to be one of the most approachable and patient real estate brokers in the business. Not to be limited to working in the Bay Area only, Eric routinely assists clients throughout the United States and this year alone has flown to New York, Arizona, Maui, Virginia, and throughout California to assist his clients with their real estate needs. Mr. Abrams can be contacted by phone, e-mail or visited in person at his office, where he is happy to discuss your real estate goals, speak about the market in general, or assist in you and your family in identifying and accomplishing your financial goals as they pertain to your investment in your home or multi-unit commercial building. Having participated in numerous TIC formations and large-scale new construction projects, there are few areas of real estate that Mr. Abrams is not intimately familiar with. Residing in the Bay Area with his wife Andrea and his Dog Berkeley, Mr. Abrams also enjoys running, cycling (although no longer competitively), motorcycling, aviation, hiking, backpacking, and camping. On a personal note: “If I may be of assistance or offer you a second opinion, if you’re already working with a realtor, please feel free to contact me at any time, and have a fantastic holiday season!”
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Wed Jul 18, 2012
Alison Hillman answered:
Hi there-

I'd also recommend that you investigate the safety of the neighborhoods, Trulia's Crime Maps are a great resource:

Good luck!
Ali, Community Manager ... more
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Sun Jul 15, 2012
gauravmal asked:
kids? 42 Putnam seems like a better area but is a cramped home with little street parking, closer to Cortland shopping but far from Bart. 136 Murray is a better home, closer to Bart and…
1 vote 0 Answers Share Flag
Sun Aug 21, 2011
Paul Hwang answered:
it depends what you are looking for in a school.
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Sun Aug 21, 2011
Paul Hwang answered:
Fri Jul 16, 2010
Max answered:
Also note that there are two RH-1 zoning codes in San Francisco: RH-1 and RH-1(D). The latter is for detached single-family homes only, whereas the former can also have attached homes. Zoning is complex, you may want to take a look at a new site called Zonability, which covers San Francisco (see attached URL). ... more
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Sun Jun 27, 2010
Danielle Lazier answered:
Hi Depi,
Bernal Heights is a great neighborhood and very family-friendly! However, it is a big district so it really depends on the exact location and block.
We work in Bernal quite a bit so if you'd like more specific information, let me know. Best of luck with your plans!
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Mon Feb 15, 2010
Callista Shepherd Smith answered:
Any chance your commercial zoned building would be for sale? I'm looking for a particular property for a solid BUYING client... and I'm having to cast the net far and wide....

... they need a property that already is commercial zoned for a law firm (public interest/environmental law litigation) or is in a location that may have a good chance of obtaining a Conditional Use zone change. If you have a potential match property for sale that is not zoned appropriately... I will research it.


2800-3500 sqft
Prefer period architecture ie. Victorian, Edwardian
Need 4 dedicated office spaces ie. bedrooms
Room for 4 admin persons, can be grouped together
1 Dedicated conference room
Prefer West side neighborhoods of SF (near GG Park would be ideal) Irving, California, Geary, Clement, Taraval, West Portal or the like.
Prefer 2 parking spaces

Price: Approx $1.5 milion plus or minus depending

Do you know of a property that may consider an offer that could match this?

Thanks ever, Callista
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1 vote 4 answers Share Flag
Tue Dec 8, 2009
Debra Christoffers answered:
I was in Escrow on Prentiss Street last month in Bernal. It was a lot of house for the money but the view was the freeway very much like your situation. My buyers had looked long (46 properties) and hard because they wanted to live in Bernal. Bernal is an interesting neighborhood as one side is night and day from the others and there are definitely some areas that bring in better prices and that are more desirable. The bottom line is this. Whether you are planning to live there for 5 years or 10 years it is an investment. The freeway is not going away anytime soon. If you are asking yourself about the view so will the people who consider buying it from you in the future. Some will weigh the zip code and size of the house higher than the view and some will not. Will it always be a handicapping issue? Yes, to a certain extent. This is an issue that price will usually will overcome. What is more important to you living in a house in Bernal with a view of the freeway near the projects or living in another up and coming neighborhood with a similar sized house, back yard and no freeway view? My clients dropped out of the Bernal escrow and choose a place in the Excelsior and never looked back.
If you are currently interviewing agents to work with you, I would be honored to be among them.
Debra Christoffers
Zephyr Real Estate
415 377 8810
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Thu Oct 1, 2009
Mike Ackerman & Oliver Burgelman answered:

We're happy you've chosen Zephyr Real Estate to represent you!

Thank you,

Michael Ackerman
Zephyr Real Estate
0 votes 11 answers Share Flag
Thu May 21, 2009
Eileen Bermingham answered:
Hi Jule--I represented two different sellers on Faith Street at Holladay in the past, so I've spent a fair amount of time over there. One set of clients moved to Phoenix, but the other moved from Faith to another part of Bernal because they needed a larger home. They had actually been quite happy on this east slope of Bernal. They were affected by 101 in the sense that they could hear some traffic, but were up the hill a bit. Their house didn't seem to get dirty from the exhaust.

This part of Bernal is fairly quiet. As in most areas of San Francisco, you'll get your share of random crime incidents. But none of my clients ever had any issues. They lived on a very tight-knit street, where everyone knew each other. Bernal is like that with respect to community. This location is a little more remote with respect to Cortland proximity. But it is really up to you whether you are comfortable there.
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Thu May 7, 2009
Jed Lane answered:
That side of Bernalhas value but is not as desirable as the North Slope but that is reflected in the prices. There is a very good and active neighborhood association that is well organized and active addressing quality of life issues. The issues range from the noise of the highway, the large section of closed stores on Bayshore Blvd at the bottom of Cortland and the proximity of the Alemany Housing.
All that said the people that live there love it, Cortland has good resturants and grocery stores and it is improving. Big plus you can shop at the Farmers Market on Saturday without having to drive.
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1 vote 1 answer Share Flag
Sun Nov 9, 2008
James Testa answered:
YES - There are many deals to be had in this new buyer's market however it may not be right in front of your face. I have told my clients to look for the home they really like and then we will start talking about the price. This strategy would never have worked a year ago but its a new day in real estate.

Please feel free to give me a call if I may be of service. 415.515.6097.

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Sat Aug 2, 2008
Danielle Lazier answered:
It kinda depends on where exactly in Bernal... There are some areas that are already "up." There are some that are "coming," and there are some that probably won't "arrive" for a looong time. SF is such a block-by-block city, you know?

Anyway, as a Realtor who loves Bernal Heights because I both live and work here, I can tell you that it's a great neighborhood to call home, and it's still hot, especially near Cortland Ave or on the North or North-West Slopes.

Recently, at one of my Bernal Heights listings in July, we had 40-45 groups through each weekend for 3 weekends in a row! I'd say that this is very good demand. Add in the credit crunch and the usual summer slowdown, and I'd say it's phenomenal.

BTW, Gourmet magazine did a spread on Bernal Heights in their San Francisco issue years it's had the trend-watch factor for some time.
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Sat Aug 2, 2008
Danielle Lazier answered:
I know this area VERY well because I both work here as a local, full-time Realtor and live nearby since 1999.

Actually, I have 2 clients who live in the newish condo building at 29th and Mission. Both got great deals and are enjoying life in this little "in-between" 'hood.

I think it is totally up-an-coming because it's an area that is part-Bernal, part-Mission, part-Noe Valley and almost part-Glen Park. You can walk to great restaurants like Blue Plate, Emmy's, Cortland Ave places like Liberty and Moki's Sushi, into the Mission or upper Church area of Noe (Deep Sushi, etc). You can have easy public transit too with the Mission buses, the J-Church and even the 24th BART not too far away.

Actually, I have a special name for this area that I can't publish here but do share with my clients... Ask me about it! ;)
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Sat May 10, 2008
Frank Castaldini asked:
Please share a few words with prospective buyers. Thank you.
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Tue Jul 31, 2007
Sylvia Barry, MAS,CIPS,SRES answered:
Hi Craig:

In California, definitely the seller's. Although as agents we have to sign the disclosure off; so if the agent knows that as a fact and the seller is not disclosing it, the agent should give the seller gentle reminder / advise that it is important to disclose, disclose and disclose everything that is known to have a material effect on the property.

We also ask the clients to order a third party Natural Hazard Disclose and the Clue report. The cost is minimum (around $100 or so) and in our area, the sellers will customarily pay for the cost of getting the report.

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