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Before & After: The Power of Good ‘Vision’

July 18th, 2012

One of our strengths 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 can help assess the potential each home has and estimate the true cost to getting your dream house (or kitchen, or bathroom).

As listing agents, we also use this skill to stage the home so potential buyers can envision themselves living there. 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!)


We updated the exterior of the building with a strong paint color to give this smaller building a bold presence on the street.

Living Room

This home had been a rental property for 15 years, so it needed a fresh start. The owners didn’t live in town, so we oversaw the remodel to prepare it for sale. We restored and painted the trim, patched & painted the walls, and installed new floors in addition to adding interior design elements.

Eat-in Kitchen

Transformation doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Painting the cabinets white and adding new hardware took the entire room to a new level. Aside from the new appliances, this room’s new look was achieved for under $2,000!



Since the bedrooms were small, space planning was key. We tried to maximize the space so buyers could see the potential in each room.



We gutted and replaced the bathroom with a classic palette, using white subway tile and gray slate. The result is a timeless look that can easily be updated by adding trendy fixtures.



Even the garage got a clean-up to showcase its full size.


San Francisco Home Prices Rise

July 10th, 2012

Bloomberg recently reported that home prices are on the rise in San Francisco. The trend may continue, making now a good time to buy before prices rise further. Contact us for a personalized tour of properties that meet your criteria.

How to Win In Today’s Competitive Marketplace

May 10th, 2012
When we saw a 20th Street fixer-upper list for $849,000 and sell for $1.4 million last week, our suspicions were confirmed: SF real estate is in the early stages of another boom. We saw it again with a Dolores Street property selling for $400k over asking, despite a difficult floor plan. Last Sunday, about one-third of the open homes we visited were already in contract! All this competition in the marketplace can seem scary and disheartening to first-time buyers, but you CAN still succeed in this climate, and we’re here to help you do just that. 

Find the right home, pay the right price
The 20th Street home that sold for $550k over asking? It was severely under-priced. We know because we toured the property, analyzed comps, and have the experience necessary to anticipate true home values. In this marketplace, you simply can’t rely on online search tools or listing prices for accurate valuation. You need a good agent to set expectations so you don’t waste your time seeing properties that will sell outside of your price range or get discouraged when that happens. We didn’t send our $850k clients to tour this home because we knew it would sell for what it was worth (in fact, we had estimated a sales price of $1.3m).

Of course, you don’t want to overpay, either. Regardless of its tony address, the Dolores Street house will need a solid $500k of work to make it livable. This is going to be an expensive and arduous project for the new owners, and in our opinion they overpaid for this hassle. The true value of the property is well under the $2m they’ll have spent when all is said & done.

Keep calm & carry on
As a new homebuyer, it’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of house hunting. We’re here to temper that emotion so you can make smart decisions. We’ve been doing this for 30 years, and we’ve seen boom markets crazier than this one. We’ll help you find the right home and pay the right price so you get the home without overbidding. Contact us at any time to ask any of your SF real estate questions – we’re here to help!

Duboce Triangle Developments In Full Swing

May 7th, 2012

The Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Association’s latest newsletter detailed the whopping 900+ soon-to-be-built housing units in the Upper Market corridor. Construction has already begun at several of the twelve sites, and more is on the way.

Given its prime location in the city and its easy access to Silicon Valley, Duboce Triangle’s popularity is on the rise. The demand for houses in this neighborhood is up, and our sellers are receiving well over their asking price as the new tech crowd moves in, making it a good time to buy or sell here.

We certainly love being in Duboce Triangle! Come visit and we’ll tell you more about this charming and coveted neighborhood.

Good News For The Dogpatch

May 1st, 2012

Home to our Hot Property of the week (the gorgeous new Millwheel development), the Dogpatch neighborhood is about to see improvements made to its Pier 70 area. Concepts for the long-awaited renovations are scheduled to be presented this summer. The plans will attempt to “create a hub of innovation on the city’s central waterfront,” according to the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), who will be hosting a lunchtime forum on May 23rd to discuss the project.

The San Francisco Port Department claims that, pending the updates, “Crane Cove is set to be one of the most celebrated new parks in the City … The completed park would include a variety of landscape and plaza areas, 1,000 feet of Bay shoreline opened, and views of the dry dock, skyline and Bay.”

The SF Chronicle envisioned an even more ambitious use of the space, suggesting it to George Lucas for his new digital media production facilities. “One of the buildings, originally occupied by Bethlehem Steel, was the location of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and still has a theater on its upper level,” claims the Chron.

If you’d like more information about the Dogpatch neighborhood or would like to tour the brand new Millwheel properties, contact us!