San Francisco Home Inspector News and Real Estate

Sound Off: How can I stand out as a buyer?

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Sound Off: How can I stand out as a buyer? How can I make my offer stand out among others in a competitive market? Coming in with the highest price is ideal, obviously, so it's important that you and your agent go over the comparable sales prices, and follow the bidding process on similar sold properties to see which offers are successful. If you are a buyer with standard financing, before presenting your offer, contact a local mortgage broker, ideally one who has worked with your agent before, and get pre-approved for the loan you are seeking. Most listing agents have a complete disclosure package with inspection reports and seller disclosures, which they make available to buyers before considering offers. Sellers expect buyers to make their offers "as is" with respect to the property's current condition, so be sure to review the package thoroughly and sign a receipt for the documents.

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Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28

Upgrades aplenty in St. Francis Wood home

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Upgrades aplenty in St. Francis Wood home Description: A chef's kitchen with commercial-grade appliances is one of the highlights of this villa-style five-bedroom home in the historic St. Francis Wood neighborhood. A rebuilt foundation, seismic upgrades, new plumbing and electrical systems are among the improvements from a remodeling project. A wet bar and media center complete the upstairs family room, while the master bathroom has a jetted tub and glass shower with a bench.

'The Shack' to be featured during Marin Home Tour

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
'The Shack' to be featured during Marin Home Tour San Francisco Chronicle Copyright 2013 San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 9:01 am, Thursday, April 25, 2013 Remodeled home builds up, not out, to take advantage of spacious lot Immediately upon closing on the property, the couple began a two-phase renovation and remodel that saw a two-story addition added and massive swaths of property cleared and reinvented. Reclaimed woods were used for the mantel, interior doors and floors. Embracing the limitations of space, the remodeled kitchen features a breakfast bar which seats at least four. Both the refrigerator and dishwasher feature wood-paneling, helping them integrate with the rest of the cabin-like interior. Because of regulations and planning restrictions, the two-story addition was started after the main building was remodeled. By rotating where the front door was and building a new section, the addition was connected to the original cottage. The lower level of the new addition is a family room, while a master bedroom overlooking the land sits on the second story. After listening to neighbors on both sides enjoy their respective pools during sizzling summer days, the couple installed a pool of their own last year, Gargan said.

Getaway: Napa Valley home offers views, seclusion

Fri, 05/03/2013 - 10:28
Getaway: Napa Valley home offers views, seclusion San Francisco Chronicle Copyright 2013 San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 9:01 am, Thursday, April 25, 2013 A luxury estate on Old Soda Springs Road, perched on the edge of Napa Valley overlooking the city, provides a secluded home base for a car collector looking to expand. The master bedroom suite includes a walk-in closet, dressing area, shower, Jacuzzi tub and sauna. Two more bedroom suites, each with its own bathroom floored in handmade tiles, offer sleeping quarters for the rest of the family. If guests are outside enjoying cocktails on the veranda, the host won't be sealed inside the kitchen assembling hors d'oeuvres. Two barbecue grills and a brick pizza oven flank the patio area, providing enough cooking space to feed a small army of visitors. An eight-car showroom garage houses an impressive collection of neon signs, old-school gas pumps and other classic car memorabilia. The outbuilding's walls and ceiling were built with Western red cedar, creating a rustic atmosphere behind the 1950s-style counter and entertaining area, complete with a working soda fountain.

Pacific Heights home featured in 'Towering Inferno' on the market

Thu, 05/02/2013 - 10:15
Pacific Heights home featured in 'Towering Inferno' on the market San Francisco Chronicle Copyright 2013 San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Updated 11:42 am, Thursday, April 25, 2013 The couple retreated for an intimate dinner as guests lingered around the property, their conversations taking place in areas once used as the set of an Oscar-winning film. The four-level mansion was once featured in "The Towering Inferno," an action disaster film which was nominated for Best Picture in 1975 and won an Academy Award for best cinematography that same year. In the movie, electrical engineer Roger Simmons, portrayed by Richard Chamberlain, lived at 2898 Vallejo St. His character's haphazard work is deemed responsible for the blaze that starts during the dedication. With its coved ceiling, wood paneling, crystal chandelier and silver sconces, the stately formal dining room exudes grace. The dining room connects with a breakfast nook featuring tile floors and etched windows. At first, the breakfast nook served as the gathering area for the children during large gatherings, Lamson said, but that changed with the family's dynamic. "There got to be so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren that the adults were sent to the breakfast nook and (the children) got the dining room," she said. Period details such as decorative plasterwork in the living room ceiling and etched glass can be found throughout the home. Illuminating the landing area on the second floor is a stained-glass window featuring flames, mythical creatures and flowers. A long gallery separates the spacious master suite from the other three bedrooms, and the suite, set on the south side of the home, features his-and-hers dressing rooms and bathrooms. Six bedrooms, 5.75 bathrooms, formal dining room, views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the Palace of Fine Arts

Sunset home offers unique design updates

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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.

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Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55

Price Point: $2.195 million

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
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.

Sound Off: How can I stand out as a buyer?

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
Sound Off: How can I stand out as a buyer? How can I make my offer stand out among others in a competitive market? Coming in with the highest price is ideal, obviously, so it's important that you and your agent go over the comparable sales prices, and follow the bidding process on similar sold properties to see which offers are successful. If you are a buyer with standard financing, before presenting your offer, contact a local mortgage broker, ideally one who has worked with your agent before, and get pre-approved for the loan you are seeking. Most listing agents have a complete disclosure package with inspection reports and seller disclosures, which they make available to buyers before considering offers. Sellers expect buyers to make their offers "as is" with respect to the property's current condition, so be sure to review the package thoroughly and sign a receipt for the documents.

Upgrades aplenty in St. Francis Wood home

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
Upgrades aplenty in St. Francis Wood home Description: A chef's kitchen with commercial-grade appliances is one of the highlights of this villa-style five-bedroom home in the historic St. Francis Wood neighborhood. A rebuilt foundation, seismic upgrades, new plumbing and electrical systems are among the improvements from a remodeling project. A wet bar and media center complete the upstairs family room, while the master bathroom has a jetted tub and glass shower with a bench.

'The Shack' to be featured during Marin Home Tour

Wed, 05/01/2013 - 09:55
'The Shack' to be featured during Marin Home Tour San Francisco Chronicle Copyright 2013 San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 9:01 am, Thursday, April 25, 2013 Remodeled home builds up, not out, to take advantage of spacious lot Immediately upon closing on the property, the couple began a two-phase renovation and remodel that saw a two-story addition added and massive swaths of property cleared and reinvented. Reclaimed woods were used for the mantel, interior doors and floors. Embracing the limitations of space, the remodeled kitchen features a breakfast bar which seats at least four. Both the refrigerator and dishwasher feature wood-paneling, helping them integrate with the rest of the cabin-like interior. Because of regulations and planning restrictions, the two-story addition was started after the main building was remodeled. By rotating where the front door was and building a new section, the addition was connected to the original cottage. The lower level of the new addition is a family room, while a master bedroom overlooking the land sits on the second story. After listening to neighbors on both sides enjoy their respective pools during sizzling summer days, the couple installed a pool of their own last year, Gargan said.