San Francisco Home Inspector News and Real Estate

Russian Hill home offers sweeping view of bay, Alcatraz

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
Russian Hill home offers sweeping view of bay, Alcatraz Though the home's kitchen and bathrooms are primed for an update, the home itself has a luxurious setting and intricate design features, said Allison Kalhammer of Pacific Union Real Estate, who is listing the home for $7.9 million. The exterior courtyard, designed by Tommy Church, features brick walls, trimmed hedges and shelving space for potted plants, and sits off the formal dining room. Inside, the dining room is adorned with crown molding and leads to a study looking out at Francisco Street and the home's entryway. A long gallery leads to a spacious living room overlooking the water and famous island prison. The top level is accessed by a grand staircase and is dominated by a master suite featuring a private deck, walk-in closet and terrace. A landing area is warmed by west-facing windows and includes hardwood floors and built-in bookshelves.

ARM Rates

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
ARM Rates IndexThis WeekLast WeekYear Ago6-month CD0.420.420.326-month T-bill0.800.850.1451-month Libor0.200.200.246-month Libor0.430.440.731-year TCMS0.120.120.185-year TCMS0.700.710.84IndexThis WeekLast MonthYear AgoWSJ Prime Rate3.253.253.25Federal Discount Rate0.750.750.7511th District Cost of Funds0.9990.9991.163Source: bankrate.com, 11th District, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; latest figure is for March and changes on the last working day of every month.

Latest offers

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
Latest offers A snapshot of what lenders serving the Bay Area are offering. BankCityConventional 30-yr fixed (%)PointsBank of AmericaSan Francisco3.375.75Provident Credit UnionBelmont3.5000San Francisco Federal Credit UnionSan Francisco3.6250Source: Sentinel Media Services, rates taken April 30, 2013

Rate on 15-year mortgage at record 2.56 percent

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
Rate on 15-year mortgage at record 2.56 percent Associated Press Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Updated 2:17 pm, Friday, May 3, 2013 WASHINGTON - The average U.S. rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to a new record low last week, and the rate on the 30-year fixed loan declined. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 2.56 percent. The average U.S. rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to a record low last week and the rate on the 30-year fixed loan declined.

Price Point: $1.295 million

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
Price Point: $1.295 million Walls of glass enable natural light to flood the home, while wood walls and ceilings create a rustic elegance. The updated kitchen has stainless steel appliances and a center island with cooktop and sitting area.

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Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01

Price Point: $1.189 million

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
Price Point: $1.189 million The master bathroom has built-in audio and a massive shower with dual shower heads in this top-floor condominium. The unit comes with a parking space and a washer and dryer, as well as high ceilings and an open floor plan.

Sound Off: Should I waive my inspection contingency?

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
Sound Off: Should I waive my inspection contingency? [...] they are frequently confronted with the question of which of the three major contingencies, (inspection, appraisal and loan) if not all, they feel they can waive in order to make their offer more attractive to the seller. The majority of lawsuits that arise from home sales involve a failure on the seller's part to disclose a "material fact" (one that may have caused the buyer to take a different action had they known of it). In California, the seller is required by law to complete a set of Disclosure Documents in which they answer, in detail, all questions asked regarding their personal knowledge of the condition of their property, past and present. Full disclosure requires an explanation of the nature and scope of the specific situation, and the remedial work done to stop it at the time.

Just Approved: Lender struggles to find appraiser for large lot

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
Just Approved: Lender struggles to find appraiser for large lot Backstory: A family was looking to refinance their home, which sat on 42 acres of land. Since the land was not used for agriculture and did not produce any income, Sidhu struggled to find an appraiser. "Many wholesale lenders in San Francisco can't accommodate that kind of acreage," Sidhu said. "Another appraisal would've increased the risk factor, since an appraisal with a lower value would've been the one we would be required to use," he said.

Piedmont Craftsman has rose garden, deck

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:01
Piedmont Craftsman has rose garden, deck Centrally located in the heart of Piedmont, this three-bedroom Craftsman-style home with Edwardian interior touches offers bridge and water views. A dressing room and spacious bathroom complete the master suite, while the eat-in kitchen includes a breakfast bar. Wooden deck outside the formal dining room that overlooks the rose garden and includes a wraparound bench.

Sunset home offers unique design updates

Thu, 05/09/2013 - 10:02
Sunset home offers unique design updates Twice a week, The Chronicle features a home on the Bay Area market that caught our eye for its architecture, history or character. The square-shaped formal dining room is illuminated by a skylight; a breakfast nook adjoins the kitchen, which features cork floors and concrete countertops. Sliding privacy walls and stained concrete floors in the master bedroom; oversize soaking tub in master bath.

Craftsman home in Ross open Sunday

Tue, 05/07/2013 - 10:19
Craftsman home in Ross open Sunday Remodeled in 2002, this classic craftsman home features Herbeau fixtures, custom cabinetry and radiant heating. The four-bedroom home is located near Ross Elementary School, as well as downtown Ross and San Anselmo. Its spacious yard comes with a concrete patio and grass pad. The home was designed for entertaining. Listing agents: Candace Nordstrom, Coldwell Banker, (415) 302-7404, candacenordstrom@gmail.com; Annie Wooster, Coldwell Banker. (415) 637-8156. awooster2001@yahoo.com. 98 Shady Lane, $2.299 million Beds: 4 Baths: 3 Square footage: 2,460 Open home: 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday

Custom-designed Portola home open Sunday

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Custom-designed Portola home open Sunday This custom-designed home was created by San Francisco architect Jeremy Kotas and features elegant angles and sweeping views. The living room features a wood-burning fireplace, and skylights illuminate a hallway connecting the front of the home to the kitchen. The garden is accessible by a staircase. Listing agents: Dena Aslanian-Williams, Coldwell Banker, (415) 338-0121, denawilliams@msn.com; Betty Taisch Coldwell Banker. (415) 338-0121. betty@taisch.com. 1539 Felton St., $958,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2.5 Square footage: 1,800 Open home: 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday

Five-bedroom Oakland home open Sunday

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Five-bedroom Oakland home open Sunday Built in 1954, this five-bedroom home has views of San Francisco Bay and includes a level backyard. The lower level of this Mediterranean home has hardwood and tile floors and its kitchen features stainless steel appliances and a center island. The 10-room home sits on a quarter of an acre and offers a two-room master suite. Archways sitting off the foyer lead to the gallery and living room. Listing agent: Helen Nicholas, Alain Pinel Realtors. (510) 339-8900. hnicholas@apr.com 5826 McAndrew Drive, $1.35 million Beds: 5 Baths 3.5 Square footage: 3,552 Open home: 2 to 4:30 p.m., Sunday

Sea Cliff home blends grace, potential

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Sea Cliff home blends grace, potential Salt air from the Pacific Ocean wafts around the four-level home originally constructed on sand dunes in 1914. The kitchen, which was renovated in the '90s, has a center island and gas range, along with dual ovens and tile backsplashes. With more than 4,100 square feet of living space, the building has three levels above ground and a basement that's about 1,000 square feet. In a city in the midst of a residential construction boom, the next owners of 28 25th Ave. will not have to worry about encroaching structures in the near future, thanks to its natural surroundings, Barnett said. A bedroom facing northeast has a private deck viewing the Golden Gate Bridge, while the master bedroom looks out at Sea Cliff. More opportunities for expansion exist in the basement, which has an abundance of storage space, a laundry room and game room.

Price Point: $2.275 million

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Price Point: $2.275 million The townhouse features exposed concrete walls and pillars, a professional kitchen with large island and a private outdoor area. The open floor plan integrates the living room, dining room and kitchen, and a gas fireplace is included in the unit.

Sausalito home near waterfront has luxury master suite

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Sausalito home near waterfront has luxury master suite In addition to a fireplace with steel and tile surround, the master suite has a high, open-beam ceiling marked with knots in the hardwood. The master bathroom includes dual vanities, radiant heat tile floors and a shower overlooking the Sausalito neighborhood. Downstairs, the eat-in kitchen features custom cabinetry and stainless steel appliances, along with a breakfast bar situated near the Wolf range. Hardwood floors lead to double doors opening to a spacious wooden deck near the rose garden. Four-bedroom main home with detached two-bedroom cottage, master suite with fireplace, jetted tub and high ceilings, rose garden, box-beamed ceiling in living room.

Price Point: $2.195 million

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Price Point: $2.195 million Set in the St. Claire Gardens neighborhood, this two-story Mediterranean home is on a cul-de-sac in midtown Palo Alto. The chef's kitchen has stainless steel appliances and a center island, while the breakfast nook provides a casual dining area.

ARM Rates

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
ARM Rates IndexThis WeekLast WeekYear Ago6-month CD0.420.400.476-month T-bill0.850.900.1301-month Libor0.200.200.246-month Libor0.440.440.731-year TCMS0.120.120.185-year TCMS0.710.720.86IndexThis WeekLast MonthYear AgoWSJ Prime Rate3.253.253.25Federal Discount Rate0.750.750.7511th District Cost of Funds0.9990.9621.206Source: bankrate.com, 11th District, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco; latest figure is for March and changes on the last working day of every month.

FHA refinance completed with nothing due at closing

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
FHA refinance completed with nothing due at closing Cabalsi met a couple looking to refinance their existing FHA loan. Since they had bought their home more than three years ago, their interest rate was at 5.25 percent. By offering an above-market interest rate, lenders can provide a lender credit to pay for these closing costs, which is what Cabalsi's borrowers wanted to do. In general, FHA streamline loans must pass a "net tangible benefit" test, which measures the financial soundness of refinancing. Since Cabalsi's borrowers had a high rate to begin with, there was more rate choice options in-between their high rate and present market rate.