San Francisco Home Inspector News and Real Estate

Colonial home in pastoral setting available in Moraga

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
Colonial home in pastoral setting available in Moraga The five-bedroom, 4.5 bathroom Colonial estate features detailed woodwork and decorative moldings throughout, reminding everyone who steps inside it's the creation of local developer Peter Branagh, who designed high-end homes in California. "The home combines elegant spaces like the formal dining room that has high ceilings and intricate moldings with a comfortable kitchen and family room that accesses the backyard," Hood said. Built in 1990 by Branagh in the gated Sanders Ranch neighborhood of Moraga, the home features hardwood floors, decorative wainscoting in the dining room and build-ins throughout. Recessed lighting and stainless steel finishes in the kitchen provide a contemporary flair, while a brick fireplace, a banister staircase and exterior shutters provide a classical appearance. French doors off the living room lead to a patio with a built-in barbecue and backyard with three owl boxes.

Price Point: $1.099 million

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
Price Point: $1.099 million This remodeled three-bedroom, two-bathroom home has Brazilian cherry floors and views of San Francisco Bay. Dual pane windows provide an energy efficient component to the home, while skylights help illuminate the space. The master suite is located on the lower level and includes an oversized soaking tub and shower with dual heads. A private deck is also located off the master suite. The home is near hiking and biking trails and is a short commute from downtown San Francisco. Listing agent: Sharon Luce, Coldwell Banker. (415) 457-5460. 265 Cleveland Ave., Bed: 3 Bath: 2 Square footage: 6,046

Price Point: $1.025 million

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
Price Point: $1.025 million The open living room offers views of San Francisco, while stainless steel appliances and a breakfast bar complete the kitchen. The lower level plays home to dual master suites with walk-in closets, en suite bathrooms and radiant heating.

Sound Off: Is the seller's market starting to cool?

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
Sound Off: Is the seller's market starting to cool? Maybe it's due to the "battle fatigue" that both buyers and their agents are experiencing as they have repeatedly put forth efforts of heroic proportion in their attempts to secure the home they desire. Up until early May, new listings that were well-located, well-presented and well-priced were selling literally in days, with an avalanche of offers and at sales prices often exceeding asking prices by 20 to 40 percent. In the coming months we will most likely see asking prices more accurately reflect the actual current market value of the house rather than be priced in anticipation of the overbidding that was prevalent earlier. Prices/values are not dropping; yesterday's sales are the comparables used to establish current market value. The number of offers per listing may be fewer but houses will sell at closer to their asking price making it easier for buyers to gage where they must go, price-wise, in order to prevail.


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
Corrections Richmond District condo has sleek design, June 2, J1 The story misstated Frank Nolan's employer. He works for Vanguard Properties. The Chronicle strives to cover the news accurately, fairly and honestly. It is our policy to correct significant errors of fact or misleading statements. Please write to Corrections, San Francisco Chronicle, 901 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103; send e-mail to; or call (415) 777-7870.


Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
DATA POINT $1.883 million Price increase of three-bedroom Hillsborough home that sold in late April. The home, built in 1953 and last sold in October 1981, closed for $2.338 million. Source: Sentinel Media Services

Art Deco home in Oakland has '39 fair history

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
Art Deco home in Oakland has '39 fair history The four-bedroom, four-bathroom home sits on a 0.42-acre lot and has panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The kitchen is highlighted by custom cabinets and stainless steel appliances, while the living room and dining room feature herringbone-patterned hardwood floors. The master suite, which features a private terrace with sweeping views of the mature trees and neighborhoods below.

Mediterranean-style home in San Ramon

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
Mediterranean-style home in San Ramon The updated master bathroom has a jetted tub and stall shower, and built-in speakers pump music into the home. The eat-in kitchen has a center island and custom cabinets, as well as stainless steel and wood-paneled appliances. Don't miss: A great room with built-in shelves for an entertainment center, a fireplace, sitting window and custom work space.

Noe Valley condo open Sunday

Fri, 06/14/2013 - 13:15
Noe Valley condo open Sunday A Viking refrigerator and six-burner gas range are included in this condominium overlooking Noe Valley. The east-facing private deck serves as a secluded place to look at the sunrise, as well as downtown and San Francisco Bay, while the master bathroom has a skylight. Listing agent: Wendy Watkins, Zephyr Real Estate. (415) 367-5997. 647 Grand View Ave., No. 3, $799,000 Beds: 2 Baths: 2 Square footage: 1,068 Open home: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday

Berkeley home with detached cottage open Sunday

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 13:08
Berkeley home with detached cottage open Sunday This home includes a detached studio/cottage and sits on a .17-acre lot with level yard. The lower level of the main home features hardwood floors and includes a living room, formal dining room, family room and plus room. The property has a pond. Listing agent: David Ratoosh and Devin Ratoosh, Marvin Gardens Real Estate. (510) 522-2222., 1154 Josephine St., $849,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Square footage: 1,468 Open home: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday

Oakland condo set in old warehouse open Sunday

Tue, 06/11/2013 - 13:05
Oakland condo set in old warehouse open Sunday Set in the Jack London Historic Warehouse District, this loft features new kitchen appliances, carpet and paint. The former plumbing warehouse features concrete floors, industrial windows and skylights, as well as a brick accent wall, and wooden support beams. Listing agent: Bettina Balestrieri. (510) 339-0400 Ext. 225. 309 Fourth St. No. 114, $349,000 Bed: 1 Bath: 1 Square footage: 1,287 Open home: 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday

Hot Property: Richmond District condo inside ultra-modern building

Sat, 06/08/2013 - 13:20
Hot Property: Richmond District condo inside ultra-modern building With solar panels, marble finishes and design features like floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the Presidio and Golden Gate Park, 330 Cornwall St. in the Richmond District is a blend of modern efficiency, architectural innovation and luxury in one of the city's most established neighborhoods. Set on a peninsular lot surrounded by three intersections, the two-level penthouse was designed by Owen Kennerly and features an angular facade built to capitalize on the natural light the structure is exposed to. [...] geometry, as you move up the site, every unit has to change size. High-tech features like closed-circuit security monitors, a video intercom and an alarm system are included in the penthouse, available for $1.895 million. The top floor of the penthouse includes a bedroom/study and kitchen, as well as an angular deck off the dining room that looks out at the de Young Museum and the Presidio. Italian laminates and stainless steel appliances highlight the kitchen, and the outdoor spaces below the terrace are designed by Flora Grubb. Two-level penthouse with views of Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, high ceilings, walls of glass on all four sides, green features like solar panels and luxury finishes like oak floors and built-in security systems.

U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.81 percent, highest in year

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:12
U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.81 percent, highest in year Associated Press Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Updated 5:05 pm, Friday, May 31, 2013 WASHINGTON - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages jumped this week to their highest levels in a year, signaling slightly higher costs for home buyers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan rose to 3.81 percent, up from 3.59 percent last week. Mortgage rates are rising because they tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.

Latest offers

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:12
Latest offers A snapshot of what lenders serving the Bay Area are offering. BankCityConventional 30-yr fixed (%) PointsBank of AmericaSan Francisco3.8752.375Provident Federal Credit UnionBelmont3.8750San Francisco Federal Credit UnionSan Francisco3.750Source: Sentinel Media Services, rates taken May 28, 2013

ARM Rates

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:12
ARM Rates IndexThis WeekLast WeekYear Ago6-month CD0.450.450.476-month T-bill0.0850.0850.1401-month Libor0.200.200.246-month Libor0.420.420.741-year TCMS0.120.120.215-year TCMS0.880.830.76IndexThis WeekLast Month Year AgoWSJ Prime Rate3.253.253.25Federal Discount Rate0.750.750.7511th District Cost of Funds0.9670.9991.163Source:, 11th District, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; latest figure is for April and changes on the last working day of every month.

Price Point: $1.299 million in Dublin

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:12
Price Point: $1.299 million in Dublin Inside, archways decorate the foyer and formal dining room, while recessed lighting and energy-efficient windows provide modern conveniences. The master suite has a fireplace, private deck and sitting area, while the master bathroom has a tub looking at the land below.

Green Street Victorian blends 19th Century finishes with modern comforts

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:12
Green Street Victorian blends 19th Century finishes with modern comforts The home retains the high ceilings and ornate wainscotings Victorians are famous for, while offering a contemporary great room, solar panels and built-in audio to suit 21st century living. Solar panels have been placed atop the roof, and the kitchen includes a deep sink and a hot water tap above the cooktop. A wine room with storage racks and a small tasting area sits beside the large center island in the kitchen and is decorated with frosted glass. The new amenities are housed in the great room, which was designed by the previous owners during a renovation that added square footage to the home. A breakfast nook with an angled bench looks toward the multilevel backyard, where a basketball hoop and children's play space create a unique play area that includes a rock wall, swings and playhouse. Looking over the backyard is the master suite, which features floor-to-ceiling windows and vaulted ceilings. The master bathroom includes a glass shower and jetted tub, and the suite is one of four bedrooms located on the upper level of the roughly 3,600-square-foot house.

Data Point

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:12
Data Point 1885 The year of construction for the oldest home in San Francisco sold during the last week of March. The nine-bedroom home sold for $900,000. Source: Sentinel Media Services research

Just Approved: First-time buyer uses stocks to back collateral

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:12
Just Approved: First-time buyer uses stocks to back collateral First loan: $625,500. [...] loan: $148,900. When the offer was presented, his Realtor had the listing agent contact Parrott to verify that their client was a strong borrower and that loan approval was assured. Parrott advised getting a low interest rate "conforming" first loan of $625,500 and an interest only HELOC (home equity line of credit) second loan to bring the combined loan-to-value up to 80 percent, rather than getting one "jumbo" loan at a higher interest rate, knowing that they could pay off the second loan at a later date once the stock options were realized.

Sound Off: What are the pros and cons of earthquake insurance?

Fri, 06/07/2013 - 13:12
Sound Off: What are the pros and cons of earthquake insurance? While the merits of purchasing a standard homeowner's policy are rarely questioned, especially since lenders require a policy in place in order to provide financing, the decision to purchase an earthquake policy is a tougher call. According to the Insurance Information Institute, even in a state known for earthquake risk, only about 12 percent of California homeowners carry earthquake insurance. In the event of a major earthquake, a homeowner could find himself or herself in the position of needing to raise money to pay the full replacement cost of their residence. Unsecured water heaters can easily fall over during an earthquake, rupturing gas and water lines, causing significant damage well after the earth stops moving.