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Design for your Houzz

March 30th, 2012

As many of you know, we just LOVE the site, so we relished the recent New York Times article about the founders. Unable to accurately and efficiently communicate their design desires to their architect, Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen founded Houzz to aggregate architectural and interior design concepts so they could easily share their vision with contractors. Three years later, the site is more addicting than ever, and offers a convenient iPad app to boot. If you’re considering a remodel or redesign, Houzz is a great place to start – check it out!


Press in the SF Examiner

March 23rd, 2012

The San Francisco Examiner agreed with our insights on the beautification of Cesar Chavez Street. They liked our piece so much that they quoted us on page 3 of their Real Estate section! Click here to read it.

Did you miss it? Consider signing up for the Examiner’s weekly Open House e-blast to get SF real estate news and weekly open home listings.

Dolores Park’s New Playground Opens March 31st – Further Park Changes to Come in 2013

March 22nd, 2012

Dolores Park has been “loved to death by its community” – a “victim of its own popularity,” according to a March 15th Chronicle article. Fans of the park need not worry, as revitalization plans are in the works and will commence early next year, pending city approval this summer. The newly improved playground opens on March 31st, giving visitors a hint of what’s to come.

How to survive bidding wars in SF

March 19th, 2012

A recent Wall Street Journal article called attention to a “bidding war” over a Noe Valley home. To us, it’s not news. A good home in a good location of San Francisco will always receive multiple offers – especially when it’s intentionally under-priced, as this one was. This home was very appealing and had lots of open space and charm. In our opinion, the buyers did not overpay. When they turn around to sell the house in 5-10 years, they too will receive multiple offers thanks to the innate charm and location of the house.

In San Francisco, homebuyers need to be prepared for multiple offer situations. This is where having a good real estate agent really helps. We know what to expect and prepare our clients accordingly. We estimate the true value of the home and pass along that expertise so our clients can determine whether it’s truly in their price range. If it is, we coach our clients so they submit a successful bid. If it’s not, our clients are happy that they didn’t waste their time, and we’re happy that they didn’t get discouraged.

While the Journal article is right that the SF real estate market is picking up, options still abound at every price point, and we are eager to help our clients find a home that fits their criteria – and budget. Keep in mind that buying a popular property is like buying an insurance policy: a house with that “modicum of charm” is hard to find and will always re-sell quickly, no matter what the market. 34 years of selling real estate in SF confirms that.

Hope in the Bayview neighborhood

March 16th, 2012

5800 3rd Street is breathing new life into the Bayview area. The “troubled” development project’s completion seems to be attracting grocers and restaurants, fostering an environment conducive to increased commerce in the area. According to a New York Times article, the ground floor and roughly 70% of the units in the first building have already sold, and sales for the second building begin this month. With Salesforce’s new campus a straight shot up 3rd Street, it’s worth wondering whether the Bayview could be poised for a boom as businesses vying for Mission Bay clientele continue to move into the neighborhood. Read more.

Before & After: The Power of Good “Vision”

March 8th, 2012

One of our strengths as an agency is the capability to visualize every home’s potential. A simple remodel, paint job or design tweak can make a huge difference in a home’s ambiance (not to mention its perceived value). We help our clients understand what design changes (simple or complex) can be made to create their ideal home. Our expertise will help you assess the potential each home has (or doesn’t have) and estimate the true cost to getting your dream house (or kitchen, or bathroom).

When we work as listing agents, we use this skill to stage the home in a modern, stylish, and authentic way so potential buyers can envision themselves living there. We want the home to show its absolute best so buyers can see its potential. We’ve captured some before/after photos that do a great job conveying the power of good “vision.” (We’ll admit – using a good camera with a wide-angle lens gives the “After” photos that much more of a punch!)

Living Room:
The living room was one of the places in this house that received a good amount of natural light. We capitalized on that by painting the walls and trim white to enhance the open, airy feeling. It also gave the living room a nice modern feel.

Dining Room:
This home had lovely architectural details including a fireplace in the dining room. We wanted to make those pop while drawing the eye through the windows to the outdoor garden. We achieved this by painting the walls a soft and modern color but highlighting the trim in white. Building on the cues from the outdoor garden, we added green accents and plants to bring the feel of the garden inside.

We knew that most buyers would want to remodel the kitchen eventually, but we wanted them to feel that the current kitchen was livable. The previous yellow walls drew attention to the stove’s prominent position in the kitchen. We wanted it to feel open, so we painted the room off-white to help the appliances & walls blend together. The color also lends a clean, fresh feeling to the kitchen.

Master bedroom:
The owners were still living in this house while it was on the market, so we simply added art and some decorative pillows to make the bedding pop. A large mirror made the room feel bigger, and a cool, airy color on the walls enhanced the natural light in the room.

Guest bedroom:
There wasn’t a lot of natural light in this room, so we tried to create the feeling of light through an airy paint color. We also capitalized on the room’s architectural details by highlighting them in bright white.