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Hi friends,

Take a detour with me… to the used car lot.

For at least a year, the used car market has been insane, because the new car market has been insane, because supply chains are complicated, and your car has more microchips than we sent to the moon—a LOT more—for reasons well beyond the grasp of this humble real estate newsletter.

Love cars or loathe them, just hope you don’t need to buy one.

Until now, that is! The used car market is finally coming down, all the way back to… well, about nine months ago, so far.

Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, Mid-August 2022
Source: Manheim Used Vehicle Index

Clearly, there’s still a long way for used-vehicle prices to potentially fall. But will they crash all the way back down to earth? Considering that the chip shortage and supply chain issues are still going strong, probably not.

For this recent hit to your car’s Kelly Blue Book value, the main culprit is reduced demand, engineered by the Fed via interest rate hikes.

Not unlike real estate prices!

The latest August numbers show overall median price-per-square-foot down ~4% year-over-year in San Francisco, $100 below the peak of $1,169 this spring (3-month rolling average reported by SFAR/InfoSparks). That’s significant, yet not too far from the standard deviation that happens naturally in a seasonal market.

Median Price Per Square Foot for San Francisco County Home Sales, 2012-2022
Price-per-square-foot has more than doubled in the last decade in San Francisco.

The question is, when does buyer demand rise to the occasion and snag a deal?

It’s already happening in the SF Bay Area real estate market. Quite a few buyers are hopping off the fence, many financing with a 5, 7 or 10-year ARM for their more attractive rates.

Rather than timing the market, our advice (as always) is to buy the best property you can, as soon as you can, and let the scarcity of Bay Area real estate work its magic for you over the long term. We’re here to help with the details.

When it comes to cars—famously NOT a great store of value—the market may yet have a long way to fall. Maybe it’s time for some new wheels? 

As always, please feel free to reach out with any real estate questions. We are happy and grateful to help you and anyone you send our way!

Warmly,
The Vivre Real Estate team


Bay Area Real Estate Updates

This article is an excerpt from our email newsletter. To get the next edition directly in your inbox, subscribe today for free!

Twice a month, you’ll receive our latest take on the market, local news, culture and events. We value your trust and privacy, so we never spam, nor sell or share your information.

Can one click change everything? Let’s find out. Click here to subscribe!


Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

Philippe Delarue serves sweet slices of Paris in Outer Richmond, SF – SF Standard

The HGTV-ification of America – The Atlantic

Bay Area home owners are now mostly single women, outpacing men – SF Chronicle

The search for an AC that doesn’t destroy the planet – Vox


JOIE de VIVRE

Events, Community & Things We Love

Precious Cargo

First came the news of a tomato spill on I-80 between SF and Sacramento. Twenty-four hours later, alfredo sauce covered the I-55 in Memphis. We’re not saying there’s an Italian food conspiracy, but to those hauling pasta… stay sharp.

Ruff Life

“Woodchip-encrusted tennis balls. Sticks to fight over. Slobbery water bowls. Packs of socializing canines and humans. These are the marks of a great dog play area.” From the SF Standard: Ruff Life: The Standard Guide to San Francisco Dog Parks

A Wee Bit Country

This Labor Day weekend, hit the Monterey County Fair for country food, rides and fun. And/or… throw on your kilt and join the 156th Scottish Highland Gathering and Games, Sat/Sun at the Alameda County Fairgrounds!

Hi friends,

When the market starts to transition, it can happen quite abruptly. (Read Danielle’s quote on this and more in the SF Standard.)

The recent triple-whammy of rising mortgage rates, tumbling stocks, and fresh economic uncertainty has rapidly changed the calculus for anyone looking to buy property.

You might be wondering where you stand with respect to the market and your goals. If you have questions about your options, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to consult on your situation and help make the best decision that’s right for you. That said, there is room for optimism in this real estate market.

For one thing, real estate isn’t the problem this time. Unlike back in 2007, today’s ratio of mortgage debt to disposable income is very low. A Great Recession-style crash is unlikely, though we already seem to be in some kind of correction.

And (this may sound crazy) mortgage rates are still pretty good. What do I mean? Well, in my 20+ years experience, buyers here in SF use ARM products far more often than the archetypal 30-year, fixed-rate loan. The average 5/1 ARM is closer to 4% right now—not too shabby.

We are not in the predictions business.

However, taking a cue from other corrections of the past 40 years, we might be due for a period of flat appreciation, or perhaps a price adjustment of 5–10%.

This is hardest on sellers who bought recently, with values back to what they paid, or in some cases even lower. It’s easier on longer-term homeowners who enjoyed 25% appreciation over the past half-decade.

We can’t tell you how to perfectly time the market (no one can, except by accident). But there are few who regret buying Bay Area real estate after 5 or 10 years.

Real estate is personal, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. As always, we are happy and grateful to help you and anyone you send our way!

Warmly,

The Vivre Real Estate team


Bay Area Real Estate Updates

This article is an excerpt from our email newsletter. To get the next edition directly in your inbox, subscribe today for free!

We email twice a month with our latest take on the market, local news and insights, and zero spam. We value your trust and privacy, and we never sell or share your information.

Can one click change everything? Let’s find out… Click here to subscribe!


Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

Five charts explaining why inflation is at a 40-year high – Washington Post

It’s official: Bay Area home values are finally going down – SF Chronicle

Why Mortgage Rates Matter For Cash Buyers Of Houses – Forbes

What’s Up With the Crazy Housing Market? – NYT


JOIE de VIVRE

Events, Community & Things We Love

Hayes Valley Carnival

Celebrating its 111th anniversary, the Hayes Valley Carnival is back this Saturday the 16th, 12–5pm with free performances by Circus Bella & The Prescott Circus Theatre. Event info here.

Manifest Equity

“The Intuitive Realtor-Healer, an agent in Wisconsin, offers to unblock your chakras and create in-home altars for manifesting in addition to a 40-acre piece of land in Prairie du Sac for $1.6 million.” Curbed: These are The Woo-woo Agents of Real Estate

Eating Fresh

Tired of the same old? For your dining and drinking pleasure, from Eater SF: the latest new SF and Bay Area restaurants and bars

Is San Francisco Bay Area real estate undervalued? Maybe.

At least, that’s what big-time analysis firm CoreLogic says in this ominously titled Fortune article: Keep an eye on these ‘overvalued’ housing markets as the housing boom implodes

It’s an interesting look at which of America’s housing markets may be over- or undervalued, and where home prices could fall this year. On both counts, the picture painted of SF Bay Area real estate is relatively rosy: Undervalued, with a low chance of prices falling.

Another analysis—this one by Moody’s—reports SF-Berkeley-Oakland homes as overvalued by 6%. Less optimistic, but still downright quaint compared to ludicrously hot markets like Austin, TX (41% overvalued), or Boise, ID (73%).

Ultimately, it comes down to what homes cost vs. what folks are willing and able to pay. In the last year, national home price growth (+20.6%) has far outpaced income growth (+4.8%). That alone is not sustainable, to say nothing of significantly higher mortgage rates.

In the SF Bay Area, an abundance of wealth, good-paying jobs, and less “pandemic relocation / home buying mania” has helped to moderate the market, but we are seeing some cooling effects here too.

Realistically, some local real estate may be undervalued, and some may be overvalued. Generalizations like those in the articles above, even from two of the biggest research firms around, only go so far.

In this complicated market, experience and tenure matter. Over 20 plus years, we’ve navigated the undulating and sometimes rocking waves of SF real estate. It’s not our first rodeo, and we are here to guide you.

As always, the best time to buy, sell or both is when it makes sense for you. If you have a question, or if you or someone you know can benefit from trusted real estate advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We are happy and grateful to be of service!

Warmly,
The Vivre Real Estate team


Bay Area Real Estate Updates

This article is an excerpt from our email newsletter. To get the next edition immediately in your inbox, subscribe today for free! We email twice a month with our latest take on the market, local news and insights, and zero spam. We value your trust and privacy, and we never sell or share your information.

Ready? Click here to subscribe!


Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

What Goes On Behind the Cameras at Home Makeover Shows? – NYT

Data shows home prices still skyrocketing in migration hotspots – but not in this CA city – SF Chronicle

A House With ‘Good Bones’? ‘Original Details’? It Could Be a Complete Wreck. – NYT


JOIE de VIVRE

Events, Community & Things We Love

LGBTQ+ Film Fest

The longest-running, largest and most widely recognized LGBTQ+ film exhibition event in the world returns June 16–26. See what’s playing and get tickets for the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

Juneteenth Block Party

Saturday, June 18 from 11am–6pm, the Fillmore is transformed into eight city blocks of Freedom Celebration. Family-friendly entertainment includes a Ferris wheel, pony rides, soul food, car show, and even an obstacle course. Register free.

North Beach Festival

Claimed as the country’s first free street fair, the North Beach Festival is now in its 66th year. Visit on June 18 and 19, 10am–6pm, for a slew of vendors and tasty food, Italian street art, live music and more.

Looking for the best restaurants in Bernal Heights, San Francisco? We’re here to help. Bernal Heights is a popular San Francisco community with a small-town, tucked-away vibe yet still conveniently close to many vibrant neighborhoods and downtown. Along with the eponymous Bernal Hill, Bernal Heights has great community amenities, parks and many restaurants, cafes and salons lining its main thoroughfare on Cortland Avenue. Keep reading to see our top picks of where to eat at restaurants in Bernal Heights!

Best Breakfast & Brunch in Bernal Heights

Mix Traditions | 800 Cortland Ave

About Mix Traditions: A New American brunch spot that opened in 2019, Mix Traditions is already a Bernal Heights favorite. The menu offers both traditional and innovative takes on breakfast classics like burritos and omelets (try the “Cortland” with hot links sausage, tomatoes, onions, arugula and cheese), mouth-watering chilaquiles, huevos rancheros and chorizo. Like many of the following Bernal Heights restaurants, Mix Traditions is not just a one-trick-breakfast-pony. It has a full (and fabulous) lunch and dinner menu too!

Moonlight Cafe | 634 Cortland Ave

About Moonlight Cafe: A local favorite for over 30 years, Moonlight Cafe is a casual breakfast and lunch spot with great food at reasonable prices. The menu has all of your American breakfast classics like pancakes, eggs and bacon as well as some more unique items like the “Moonlight Special” (a spinach, mushroom and feta cheese omelet) or the “Cobb Club” (a club sandwich with turkey, avocado, bacon, hard-boiled egg and blue cheese). For lunch, they have sandwiches, burgers and salads – all of which can be made vegetarian or vegan upon request.

Four Chairs | 3282 Mission St

About Four Chairs: Another great New American restaurant in Bernal Heights, Four Chairs is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu changes seasonally, but some of their most popular dishes include the “Eggs in a Hole” (toasted sourdough bread with two eggs cooked your way and served with roasted potatoes), the “Smoked Salmon Benedict” (two poached eggs, smoked salmon, dill hollandaise sauce and breakfast potatoes) and the “Four Chairs Burger” (a grass-fed beef burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, tomato and crispy onions on a brioche bun).

Café St. Jorge | 3438 Mission St

About Café St. Jorge: A neighborhood staple since 2004, Café St. Jorge is a great place for breakfast, brunch or lunch. The menu features both American and Brazilian favorites like pancakes, eggs, omelets, sandwiches, salads and burgers as well as some more unique items like the “Pao de Queijo” (a Brazilian cheese bread).

Universal Bakery | 3458 Mission St

About Universal Bakery: Universal Bakery is an artisanal Guatemalan bakery and café. This is a super popular spot for its Pan Con Todo breakfast sandwiches, tamales, chile rellenos and more. If you are in the mood for a Latin-American-inspired breakfast, this little shop on the west side of Bernal Heights is a top choice!

Best Lunch & Dinner in Bernal Heights

3rd Cousin | 919 Cortland Ave

About 3rd Cousin: A farm-to-table restaurant that sources most of its ingredients from local farms and purveyors, the menu at this classy Bernal Heights eatery changes seasonally. Some fan favorites include the “Roasted Brussels Sprouts” (with bacon, Parmesan cheese and lemon), the “Grilled Cheese Sandwich” (with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and pesto on sourdough bread) and the “Ricotta Gnocchi” (with wild mushrooms, kale and Parmesan cheese).

The Front Porch | 65 29th St

About The Front Porch: A neighborhood favorite since 2002, The Front Porch is a great place for lunch or dinner. The menu embodies Southern home cooking, featuring American comfort food classics like burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizzas. Try the “Fried Chicken Sandwich” (with bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce and chipotle mayo on a brioche bun) or the “Porch Burger” (a grass-fed beef burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, tomato and crispy onions on a brioche bun).

Nute’s | 903 Cortland Ave

About Nute’s: For ramen lovers, Nute’s Noodle Night is a Bernal Heights institution. In addition to top-notch ramen selections, Nute’s purveys an impressively wide assortment of Japanese craft beer and sake. If ramen ain’t your thing, try the yakisoba, drunken noodles or Thai khao soi (rich coconut broth with noodles).

Piqueo’s | 830 Cortland Ave

About Piqueo’s: A Peruvian restaurant, Piqueo’s is a great place for lunch or dinner. The menu features classic Peruvian dishes like ceviche, lomo saltado and arroz con pollo as well as some more unique items like the “Aji de Gallina” (chicken stew with potatoes, bread and cheese) and the “Papa a la Huancaína” (boiled potatoes with cheese sauce).

Vega Pizzeria | 419 Cortland Ave

About Vega: A pizzeria with a wood-fired oven, Vega Pizzeria is one of the best places for pizza in Bernal Heights. The menu features both classic and unique pies like the “Margherita” (with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil), the “Funghi” (with mushroom, truffle oil and Parmesan cheese), and the “Diavola” (with spicy salami, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese).

Blue Plate | 3218 Mission St

About Blue Plate: A California-inspired diner, Blue Plate serves American fare with a Mediterranean twist, using the best Northern California produce and local farms. Start with a black truffle gnocchi or toasted farro and slow egg, then continue to a main course of Blue Plate meatloaf with mashed potatoes, blue lake green beans, or a pan roasted salmon with italian butter beans, escarole and taggiascha olive tartar. Yum!

United Dumplings | 525 Cortland Ave

About United Dumplings: A dumpling house that specializes in soup dumplings (a.k.a xiao long bao), United Dumplings is a must-try for any dim sum enthusiast. The menu features both traditional and unique flavors like the “Pork & Crab” soup dumpling, the “Chicken & Mushroom” soup dumpling and the “Lamb & Fennel” soup dumpling. But it’s not all dumplings! With a full menu of cold appetizers, hot dishes, hand-pulled noodles, pot stickers and more—including a hefty assortment of adult beverages—United Dumplings might be your new go-to spot.

Best Coffee & Treats in Bernal Heights

Progressive Grounds | 400 Cortland Ave

About Progressive Grounds: A neighborhood favorite, Progressive Grounds is a great place for coffee, breakfast and a whole lot more. The corner location on Cortland Ave welcomes you with the cozy trappings of a community cafe, plus a patio for your outdoor dining and sipping pleasure.

Pinhole Coffee | 231 Cortland Ave

About Pinhole Coffee: Pinhole aims to be more than a cafe. Their mission is to stimulate the senses through coffee, art and community—and it’s clear as soon as you enter that this is what they’ve achieved! Pinhole sources most of its coffee from local roasters Linea. They also serve Blue Willow Tea, organic matcha and tasty pastries, all surrounded by the inspiring decor of featured art from local artists.

Cafeto Coffee Shop | 111 Richland Ave

About Cafeto Coffee Shop: A hidden gem, rustic and delightful, Cafeto serves up easy-going vibes along with great fresh coffee and sandwiches. It’s a bit south from the main Cortland Ave drag of Bernal Heights, but many patrons are happy to go a bit out of their way for the inviting ambience and quality fare here at Cafeto. This is the definition of a cozy neighborhood cafe!

Little Bee Baking | 521 Cortland Ave

About Little Bee Baking: Little Bee is an organic bakery in Bernal Heights focused on local and seasonal ingredients. Located smack-dab on the Cortland Corridor, Little Bee offers a selection of fruit tarts, cakes, cookies, and other treats for folks just walking by or looking to custom-order for an event. They also offer a cool range of Take & Bake cookie, pizza and pie doughs, plus ready-to-buy homemade preserves, Irving’s Challah Bread, Bernal Bakery Loaves, Chef Steph granola and Bernal Bears honey.

Black Jet Baking Co. | 833 Cortland Ave

About Black Jet Baking Co: Have you ever wanted a neighborhood bakery that does sweet AND savory? Black Jet Baking has that in spades, with both an amazing assortment of pies, cakes, cupcakes, breads and cookies, and the most incredible chicken or mushroom pot pies, meatballs and sandwiches. They even do pizza on Saturdays (and dang is it good)! Black Jet is a Bernal Heights mainstay for good reason.

Mitchell’s Ice Cream | 688 San Jose Ave

About Mitchell’s Ice Cream: Mitchell’s isn’t just one of the most popular spots in Bernal Heights; it’s one of the best-reviewed, most popular businesses in the whole city of San Francisco! This family-owned ice cream shop serves classic and creative flavors which they make in small batches right here on-site. Going on nearly 70 years in business, Mitchell’s Ice Cream is still serving up award-winning ice cream to locals and lucky visitors who happen to stop by.

The Best of Bernal Heights: Restaurants, Businesses, Real Estate & More

This is just a small sampling of some of the best restaurants in Bernal Heights. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, be sure to check out some of these local favorites! If you have any suggestions of your own, or if you have a Bernal Heights Real Estate question for our team of top Bernal Heights Realtors, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Talk soon, and bon appetit!

If you’re looking for a fun, laid-back and tucked-away neighborhood in San Francisco, Bernal Heights is definitely worth exploring. This vibrant community is known for its friendly atmosphere and diverse mix of residents. Whether you’re a foodie, artist, or outdoor enthusiast, Bernal Heights has something to offer everyone. Come see what all the excitement is about!

Where is Bernal Heights?

Bernal Heights is located in the southern part of San Francisco, just east of Mission Dolores Park. This vibrant neighborhood is known for its small-town feel and close-knit community. If you’re looking for a place to call home, Bernal Heights definitely has that hometown charm.

What makes Bernal Heights special?

One of the things that makes Bernal Heights special is its diverse mix of residents. This neighborhood is home to artists, families, young professionals, and everyone in between. There’s a real sense of community here, and people are always out and about enjoying the beautiful weather. Tucked behind hills to the west, Bernal Heights has one of the best, warmest, least-foggy microclimates in San Francisco.

The namesake of the community, Bernal Heights Park is a beautiful public park located in the center of the neighborhood. This park is perfect for picnics, hiking and nature-viewing, or just taking a leisurely stroll. The views from the top of Bernal Hill are absolutely stunning, and on a clear day you can see all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Due to its hillside location, Bernal Heights features many homes with great views as well. Real estate in Bernal Heights is a lively mix of classic SF Victorians and Edwardians, mixed with contemporary and modern architecture of newer homes.

View of Bernal Hill and Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco
Drone photo of the Bernal Heights neighborhood and Bernal Hill, with downtown San Francisco in the distance.

What is there to do in Bernal Heights?

Whether you’re a foodie, artist, or outdoor enthusiast, Bernal Heights has something to offer everyone. There are great restaurants and cafes lining Cortland Avenue, the main thoroughfare through Bernal Heights, and plenty of parks and green spaces to enjoy. You can hike Bernal Hill, play tennis or basketball at Holly Park, bring the kids to St. Mary’s Rec Center and Playground, or visit the Alemany Farmers’ Market for fresh produce and artisan goods (open every Saturday). If you’re looking for a place to call home, Bernal Heights is definitely worth exploring.

Why do people like living in Bernal Heights?

People love living in Bernal Heights because it’s such a vibrant and friendly community. There’s always something to do, and the people here are really warm and welcoming. Bernal Heights is also conveniently located near many popular landmarks and destinations. Mission Dolores Park, the Castro District, and the Mission District are all just a short walk or ride away. Off the beaten path, yet conveniently close to all that SF has to offer, Bernal Heights has a great mix of pleasant neighborhood tranquility and things to do nearby. If you’re looking for a place to call home, Bernal Heights is definitely worth considering.

Learn all about the popular Bernal Heights neighborhood.

Click here to view our Bernal Heights community page. We maintain this community hub to provide up-to-date real estate market data on Bernal Heights, resident demographics and school information, local businesses in Bernal Heights and more.

When it comes time to buy or sell a home in Bernal Heights, we are here to serve! With over 170 home sales in Bernal Heights alone (and counting!), we know Bernal better than just about anyone, and we have a proven track record in the neighborhood with hundreds of 5-star client reviews.

For a no-pressure consultation to discuss your situation, please contact us at your convenience. And keep in touch by signing up to our twice-monthly real estate newsletter. We never send spam or share your information.

Now, go enjoy all that Bernal Heights has to offer!

California’s Prop 13 & Prop 19

California’s Prop 13 sparked controversy from the moment it was adopted by voters in 1978. Forty-four years on, not much has changed.

Prop 13 still helps homeowners to maintain their low property tax base even as home values skyrocket around them. And it still has its detractors who argue that the system increases inequality.

(Back in 2003, Warren Buffet shared that he paid $14,410 in property tax on his $500,000 home in Omaha, and $2,264 in property tax on his home in California worth $4M—rates of 2.9% and 0.056% respectively.)

Either way, it’s safe to say that Prop 13 has been a huge boon to California homeowners through the years.

Save on Property Tax When You Move

Since April 1, 2021, another ballot initiative, Prop 19, has helped some Bay Area residents to keep their low assessment when they move—often to the tune of multiple thousands in tax savings per year.

Under Prop 19, you can keep your original Prop 13 tax base when moving to a home of equal or lesser value anywhere in California. You can also secure an adjusted tax rate based on your Prop 13 tax base when moving to a more expensive home in California.

(Previously under Props 60 and 90, this only applied when moving to a home of equal or lesser value, and only within certain counties. Prop 19 opens it up to the whole state and buying a more expensive property.)

Who is Eligible Under Prop 19?

Cutting to the chase, you can take advantage of Prop 19 if you are:

If you are in one of these categories, or if you plan to be (by gracefully aging, as one does), then head to our sister blog for a deeper dive on Prop 19. And definitely check with a CA real estate attorney or tax advisor before you make any serious moves!

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any real estate questions. Contact us here!


Bay Area Real Estate Updates

This article is an excerpt from our recent email newsletter. To get the next edition directly in your inbox, subscribe today for free! Our twice-monthly newsletters are always custom created and curated—and never spammy. We highly value your privacy, and we never sell or share your information.

Ready? Click here to subscribe!


Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

How some Bay Area home buyers are saving thousands a year in property taxes – SF Chronicle

Economic shocks yet to strike Bay Area home prices – Mercury News

Climate-Change Risks Get the Attention of Real Estate Investors – NYT

Bay Area rent is high, but are apartments bigger here? – SF Chronicle


JOIE de VIVRE

Events, Community & Things We Love

The Obama Portraits Tour

Here’s your chance to say, “Thanks, Obamas” — if not in person, then at least in spirit. The Obama Portraits Tour arrives at the de Young on June 18, and they’ll “hang around” till August 14.

Make SF Weird Again

“Sister Roma and other drag queens named the winners of the Foxy Mary and Hunky Jesus contest as revelers cheered for their favorites. One competitor bounded across the stage on a pogo stick, while another spun circles on roller skates. And suddenly, San Francisco felt like San Francisco again.” From the Chronicle: Joyful, weird San Francisco is back. These big community events are just what we need

Hi friends, what do you think… worth it?

NBC News: Home that sold for $805K comes with stranger living in basement

Maybe the most surprising thing about this national headline is that it DIDN’T come from the Bay Area. (Score one for the home team!)

What’s no surprise at all is buyers going to great lengths for the home they want. As we covered last week, higher mortgage rates are not likely to stem the rising tide of home prices or unearth a trove of listing supply.

In fact, higher rates will probably make our supply problems worse, as illustrated by this short but powerful piece from Axios. With 90% of existing U.S. mortgages at a rate below the current ~5% average, many would-be sellers may choose to stay put rather than finance another home.

If you are ready to buy in this competitive market, you might think that your best weapon is a big bag of cash. Cash offers are certainly enticing to sellers, but would you be surprised to know that they are only a small portion of buyers?

The real secret weapons, for any buyer, are:

  1. Working with a top agent in your market who has a great network and reputation.
  2. Getting fully pre-approved with a local lender who also has a great network and reputation. (In practice, these things matter a lot!)
  3. Being realistic. Have your goals match your budget. For help with this, refer to points 1 and 2.

Real estate remains a great hedge against inflation, and as we pointed out last week, everything is relative. There are still very desirable rates available to qualified buyers. Most importantly, time is on your side.

For 20 years, my adage has been: Buy the best home you can, in the best location as you can, as soon as you can. Then let the scarcity of land in the SF Bay Area do the rest for you over time.

If you want to sell your home and buy another, as is often the case, we can help with that too! For a start, check out our recent blog: 5 Steps to Selling a Home & Buying Another.

Wherever you are starting from and wherever you want to go, you do have options—and they don’t include buying a home with a stranger in the basement… unless you’re looking for new friends.


Bay Area Real Estate Updates

This article is an excerpt from our recent email newsletter. To get the next edition directly in your inbox, subscribe today for free! Our twice-monthly newsletters are always custom created and curated—and never spammy. We highly value your privacy, and we never sell or share your information.

Ready? Click here to subscribe!


Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

Why homeowners aren’t selling – Axios

Home that sold for $805K comes with stranger living in basement – NBC

Why Bay Area housing prices are unlikely to drop despite climbing mortgage interest rates – SF Chronicle

Bay Area homes are increasingly bought as trusts. Here’s why it matters – SF Chronicle


JOIE de VIVRE

Events, Community & Things We Love

Victorian Guardian

For nearly 4 decades, artisan Lorna Kollmeyer has been a keeper of SF Bay Area Victorian architecture, creating unique plaster adornments found nowhere else in the city. Read her story and visit her Hunter’s Point shop open to the public April 30 & May 1.

Free Days at MoAD

At the Museum of African Diaspora, admission is free on the last Saturday of every month starting this weekend. Register and preview the exhibits at moadsf.org.

Waste Not, Want Not

“Food loss and waste accounts for 170 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions, roughly the annual CO2 emissions of 42 coal-fired power plants.” SF startup Replate turns surplus food into meals for the homeless.

Mortgage rates are up sixty percent since the start of the year.

For a homebuyer crunching the numbers, the difference between three and five percent interest is considerable.

Yet, so far, the real estate sky is not falling. Why?

Two things, if you’ll allow us to postulate.

First is that our severe lack of supply remains the dominant force in the market. To dethrone the long-reigning champ of Bay Area housing trends, it seems it will take more than 5% mortgage rates—maybe a whole lot more.

Which gets to a second point: it helps if you zoom out.

Historical Perspective on Mortgage Rates

Here’s the national average so far in 2022 on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan via Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey®.

Here’s the same chart of the last 50 years.

Rate hikes are not inconsequential. As rates move, homebuyers must adjust their expectations accordingly. This is not what most consider a fun talk at the dinner table.

But, on a macro scale, we could do worse. We have done worse. In fact, we were in about the same spot less than five years ago.

The last time rates neared five percent was November 2018. That month, the median SF home sale price was up three percent year-over-year. Then up another five percent a year later.

Over the long term, SF Bay Area real estate has been a pretty safe bet. If you expect rates to go higher, the smart choice may be to buy sooner rather than later. Many buyers are doing just that. And ask your friends who have owned their homes for a few years how often they have refinanced. Personally, we’ve refinanced 2 times in the past 4 years on our primary residence.

Whether you are crunching the numbers yourself or just here for the real estate banter, rest assured that the sky, for now, is still above our heads. 

If you are in one of these categories, or if you plan to be (by gracefully aging, as one does), then head to our sister blog for a deeper dive on Prop 19. And definitely check with a CA real estate attorney or tax advisor before you make any serious moves!

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any real estate questions. Contact us here!


Bay Area Real Estate Updates

This article is an excerpt from our recent email newsletter. To get the next edition directly in your inbox, subscribe today for free! Our twice-monthly newsletters are always custom created and curated—and never spammy. We highly value your privacy, and we never sell or share your information.

Ready? Click here to subscribe!


Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

How Rising Mortgage Rates Are Affecting the Housing Market – NYT

Is it better to rent or buy a home in the Bay Area’s biggest cities right now? – SF Chronicle

Google will invest billions in California, Bay Area gets big chunk – Mercury News


JOIE de VIVRE

Events, Community & Things We Love

Dogfest 2022

A celebration of dogs, families, community, and spring in San Francisco, DogFest is back *in person* this Saturday 4/23, 11am-4pm at Duboce Park! See all the events and vendors.

Art Market

April 21-24, San Francisco’s premier art fair returns to Fort Mason Center with 80 galleries and artists from around the Bay and the globe. Fair passes are $50, or pick a day for $25. Visit artmarketsf.com.

SF Film

April 21-May 1, the San Francisco International Film Festival kicks off its 65th year as the longest-running event of its kind in the Americas, with over 130 films and events from 56 counties. Get tickets at sffilm.org.

Pacific Heights Luxury Condo For Sale

Here’s my latest Deal of the Week home for sale in San Francisco, a gorgeous luxury condo on the top floor of a Queen Anne Victorian in an A+ Pacific Heights location!

If you are looking to buy a luxury condo in Pacific Heights, this is definitely worth a look (or two… or a showing… and then an offer!). The classic Queen Anne Victorian building is a timeless architectural beauty, while thoughtful updates inside the unit provide every modern amenity you’d expect from a luxury Pac Heights condo. I think you’ll love it.

Key Details

My Highlights

If you are interested, just contact me and I will get you all the details!

Want to buy or search luxury condos for sale in Pacific Heights, San Francisco? Have a property to sell and want to work with the best real estate agents in Pacific Heights? We can help! Our experienced team of Pacific Heights Realtors has a long and proven track record as negotiations experts in Pacific Heights and the greater Bay Area, with hundreds of 5-star San Francisco Realtor reviews.


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The Deal of the Week is provided by Danielle Lazier and Vivre Real Estate as a member of the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service. Vivre Real Estate is not the listing agent. This is not a solicitation of any active listing. This is a throwback to the aughts when Danielle launched her business with the SFhotlist blog, showcasing the best listings and opportunities for her network of home buyers and interested parties.

In historical terms, our job as San Francisco Bay Area Realtors has not been around long.

Real estate brokers first popped up in New York (or maybe Chicago) around the mid-19th century. The first iteration of the National Association of Realtors was founded in 1908.

The tenure of women in real estate has been even more brief. There were no women in the NAR to begin with, and as of 1975 women made up just a third of its members.

How times change!

Today, nearly two-thirds of Realtors are women, and the proportion of single-woman homebuyers more than doubles that of single men nationwide.

There are so many amazing women in our industry, with whom we are proud to share, learn, compete and collaborate.

In celebration of International Women’s Day this week, enjoy some more historical tidbits in this article from Bankrate: A Woman of Property.

As always, please feel free to reach out with any real estate questions. We are happy and grateful to help you and anyone you send our way!


Bay Area Real Estate Updates

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Off the Presses

Articles Featured in the Vivre Real Estate Newsletter

Own a Rental Property? Why Filing Your Taxes This Year Rules – Realtor.com

Court upholds San Francisco’s real estate transfer tax – SF Chronicle

Move to “right-sizing” changes commercial real estate landscape in San Francisco – Marketplace


JOIE de VIVRE

Events, Community & Things We Love

Borsch: It’s What’s For Dinner

Hungry? Why not support San Francisco’s only Ukrainian restaurant, Pushkin! Make a reservation at PushkinSF.com, or stock up on locally made dumplings and piroshki at their Dumpling Store. (Not hungry? See this helpful list of ways to contribute to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.)

Oakland’s White Elephant

What’s old is new again at the 63rd annual White Elephant Sale. Organized by the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, the beloved rummage sale event is back for three weekends in March and a final blowout sale in April. (Reservations required.)

Get Out and Play

Registration is open for the SF Recreation & Parks spring programs! Dancing, crafts, art, sports, socials—there’s a little something for everyone at any age. View the 2022 Spring Programs Catalogue here.

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