Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New McGuire Business Cards!

We got our new business cards - white on front, grey on back:

What do you think of the new look?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

San Francisco's 2 Unit Building Market: Why it is As Competitive as Ever

If you have ever dreamed of owning a 2-unit building in San Francisco, you are not alone.  While prices for San Francisco real estate have declined, my buyers continue to see very steady competition for 2-unit buildings.  In my opinion, the 2-unit building market is by far the most competitive.
2-unit buildings have the most flexibility, and therefore solicit the largest pool of potential buyers relative to available inventory.   Here are some of the reasons that 2-unit buildings interest buyers:

1.  A perfect scenario for a multi-generational family:  a large population of multi-generational families seek  homes where the “grandparents” can live independently downstairs but also be of help to the younger family, or be close enough so that they can be cared for themselves;
2.  A home with income potential:  the owner lives in one unit and rents the other unit out, significantly offsetting the cost of home ownership;
3. The upside of condominium conversion:  it’s no secret that 2-unit buildings are a rare type of multi-unit housing that can bypass San Francisco’s condo conversion lottery.  Two owners who each occupy their unit as their main residences can convert to condominiums after one year of occupancy, thereby inherently increasing property value in a relatively short period of time;
4. A manageable investment property: investors who want to get into real estate or expand their portfolio, but don’t want the hassle of a multitude of tenants, find 2-unit buildings to be just the right size.
 When you look at the general buyer pool, single family homes may have high inventory levels but they typically only interest families.  Condominiums, while they interest a larger pool of buyers, also have a larger available inventory to handle the demand.  2-unit buildings are scarce considering the variety and level of demand, resulting in a highly competitive market.  This chart shows today’s available inventory levels by property type (via San Francisco MLS as of 3/29/11):
So, if you are in the market for a 2-unit building, what can you do?  Be prepared, and move quickly.  Work with your Realtor to ensure you are pre-approved for a loan and that you schedule an appointment to view a property as soon as it hits the market.  Do your due diligence and don’t forgo property inspections to beat out the competition – it’s a risk you may regret taking.  
Of course, there are three major factors that will impact any type of housing’s desirability:  price per square foot, functionality, and location!