Is now a good time to buy property in Fisherman's Wharf area or Fontana Towers?

Asked by Ross_sf, San Francisco, CA Tue Feb 26, 2008

With the recent changes in effort to cater to "locals" in the area now (Farimount Condos, Shops at Ghiradelli, etc), is now a good time to invest in residential property in the Wharf? What about Fontana towers? The units seem to be reasonably priced, but there seems to be resentment by SF residents towards the buildings. What's the deal?

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6
Sally Rosenm…, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Feb 27, 2008
Dear Ross,

Now is a good time to buy in the wharf area-- but what is your price range? You might want to wait for the new conforming loan limits to actually change to the $729,000 limit.

I totally agree with Jed that there is much resentment towards The Fontana buildings for they destroyed a lot of great views. And they are older in style with many in need of serious updating. Others have been updated. All have views that many people highly desire. So it really depends on your wants and needs. I personally think you would be better off around the Wharf.

Good luck,
Sally
Web Reference:  http://www.sallyrosenman.com
1 vote
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Wed Feb 27, 2008
Ross,
The wharf is undergoing revitalization and it will always be a good area to own in. The resentment of the Fontana’s is long standing. When they went up they blocked views of the bay and really didn’t add anything to the skyline. Residents of Pacific Heights would love to not see them and since Pac Heights residents are some of the city’s most powerful, they remain an issue.
The Fontana’s are one of the few co-operative condo buildings in SF. One of the reasons for the value (price) is the ownership structure. Another is the style of the building and the units. Buildings built from the last half of the 20th century are not as desirable as the ones from the first half to many people.
Web Reference:  http://www.jedlane.com
1 vote
L, , 94010
Mon Mar 3, 2008
There will always be some sort of opposition when change takes place, and new development alters the makeup of the neighborhood, a matter of perspective. Just look at the Rincon Towers, and the differences of opinion from the public, locals and otherwise.

Best to really see the units, compare other buildings, and understand the neighborhood(s). Identifying your real estate wants & needs will guide you in the right direction. As an experienced realtor, I have the tools and resources to guide you. Please let me know if I can be of assistance if you are not working with a realtor.

San Francisco has seen a recent surge in new development/construction -- downtown condos, South of Market, South Beach/Rincon Hill, and the list goes on. There are many positive reasons to own SF real estate, and if this is to be your primary property, even better. Good luck! -- Lisa
0 votes
Amy Blakeley, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Mon Mar 3, 2008
Hi Ross,
Yes, you may find more square footage for the price than, say, Russian Hill, if you choose to purchase a home or condo in Fisherman's Wharf. There is definitely upside to gain by getting into the neighborhood NOW, before the Ghiradelli project is complete, however it is by no means a "north side of town" bargain. One thing to ultimately keep in mind with the Fontana Towers is that their history and architecture will ultimately hold their price down relative to other more desirable locations or properties within the same area. You may be able to find a well priced unit that needs work in the Towers, and be willing and able to upgrade the unit with luxury fixtures and details, but not get the payback when it comes time to sell. Hopefully you are looking in the Wharf area purley because it is more affordable than other northern locations and you want to live in the area,; if that is the case and the Fontana Towers interest you either for affordability or views (or both), by all means you should invstigate and persue it further. If you are looking for something ultimately to appreciate more aggressively than another property in the same area, I'd suggest a different approach and location.

I hope this has been helpful!
Web Reference:  http://www.AmyBlakeley.com
0 votes
Ross_sf, Home Buyer, San Francisco, CA
Wed Feb 27, 2008
Thanks Sally. Do we know a date the higher conforming loan rate will go into effect for the bay area?
0 votes
Wed Feb 27, 2008
I think so. Probably should be ok.
Web Reference:  http://www.gregorygarver.com
0 votes
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