Is Earthquake Insurance available in a condominium?

Is earthquake insurance the right thing for you?

The anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake is coming up this Saturday, May 17th, 2015.  It’s a time of heightened awareness regarding earthquakes and usually pushes people to consider earthquake insurance and whether it makes sense for them.  Getting it for your home is a pretty easy thing to do, but what if you want it for your condo?  That’s the dilema for many condo owners.  Most (in San Francisco at least) home owners associations do not have earthquake insurance covering the condo common areas and buildings because it’s expensive, which would reflect itself in higher monthly home owners association fees.

I have had clients in the past who, at least initially, refused to look at condo buildings that did not have earthquake insurance-unfortunately, that limits the pool of available buildings.  In the end, you can 1) accept the buildings there are with earthquake insurance; 2) not buy a condo; 3) buy in a newer construction building up to current code and hope for the best; or 4) get over it and take a chance.  The following article was written in May of 2010, but it’s timeless in it’s message-I’ve had this same conversation with clients since I got into real estate in the mid-90’s.

Condo owners on shaky ground-San Francisco Chronicle

West Portal Property Values Third Quarter 2015

Property Values in West Portal continue on the upswing

WP street scene-2 Half the real estate community thinks the market is still roaring, the other half think something is brewing. Given the number of listings we saw come on across the city after Labor Day, some sellers feel something coming too. You will soon see that West Portal/Inner Parkside has not been impacted by this as of yet.

We started seeing isolated instances of no offers on properties citywide at the end of the second quarter and that has lingered throughout the third quarter as well.

On the most premium of properties, the number of potential buyers bidding on a property generally remained high, while those properties with a negative ding or two may have received multiple, but fewer offers; overall prices stayed up. The problem for the isolated cases where no offers were received, seemed mainly to be a case where there was an issue that was difficult to resolve, was priced too aggressively, or buyers had choices of multiple properties. As for us:

  • At the close of the second quarter of 2015, we had no active listings, seven pending, nine sold and two that failed to sell. Of the nine sold, seven received multiple offers and all nine sold over their asking price. In cases where an offer was over asking, but there was one offer, may indicate a ‘pre-emptive’ offer, which means an early offer before an anticipated offer date.
  • The amount of overbids ranged, from as little as $110,000 to as much as $505,000.
  • Comparing the same quarter of multiple years indicated that we are below the expected target for the average number of sales. I went back as far as 2005 and in the third quarter, we have typically had 13 or 14 sales. Our high in 2014 was 17 and right after the financial melt down in 2007 and 2008, we had 10 and 11 sales respectively in the third quarter. Interesting that we have fewer sales than in the depths of the financial melt down. That, I suspect, is largely why we have not seen pauses in the market yet.
  • Of the nine sales, five were reported as all cash (no loan on the property).
  • Looking at average appreciation from the second to the thirds quarters, I estimate an increase between four and eight percent; looking at year to year appreciation, it is closer to 20 percent.
  • Once again, West Portal and Inner Parkside are in their own bubble within a bubble.
  • A word of caution before listing your property, look at comparable sales and trends to establish a price in line with the marketplace and take citywide competition into consideration. Once we start seeing price reductions and withdrawn properties being more common place, that is the start of a market change.

Eric Castongia, Broker Associate at Zephyr Real Estate (BRE Lic. No. 01188380) provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace; he is available to discuss your situation or any questions you may have. He can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.

OceanView Village Property Values

Third Quarter 2015 Real Estate Update for OceanView Terrace; one of the last deals in San Francisco

427491-24_0 Luckily for residents of OceanView Village, there simply aren’t many places out there that offer the price range and accessibility that it enjoys. Contrast that with instances of no offers on properties citywide at the end of the second quarter, that has lingered throughout the third quarter-further complicated by an infusion of properties on the market after Labor Day. For those properties that received no offers, it seemed to be one of several things: an issue that was difficult to resolve; it was priced too aggressively; or buyers had choices of multiple properties.  At OceanView Village:

  • At the close of the third quarter of 2015, we had one active, four pending and nine sold. Of the nine, all sold over their asking price. Compare that to the second quarter, which had five sales; four of them over asking.
  • Overbids ranged from $3,000 to $60,000. The amount of overbids has come down since the second quarter; I think in large part because of higher list prices.
  • Across the board, values remained constant between the second and third quarter.
  • Appreciation from the same time last year seems to be between 16 and 20 percent.
  • If you should decide to sell, be sure to establish your list price by looking strategically at comparable sales and trends in the marketplace and taking geographical competition into consideration-in this case Daly City and South San Francisco. Once we start seeing price reductions and withdrawn properties commonly in the marketplace, historically, that has been the start of a market change.

Eric Castongia, Broker Associate at Zephyr Real Estate (BRE Lic. No. 01188380) provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace; he is available to discuss your situation or any questions you may have. He can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.

What to do in a power outage

 You may remember the days of rolling black outs; geographic areas where the power is cut temporarily to give relief to the electric grid when there isn’t enough power.

There’s a cool website where you can be notified in advance of a burdening on the system so you can take action, turning down the power usage to help avoid the rolling black outs.

Go to FYPower.org to sign up for feeds AND get information on energy saving programs, appliances and rebates.

The West Portal/Inner Parkside Third Quarter 2015 Real Estate Market Update

By Eric Castongia, Zephyr Real Estate

Half the real estate community thinks the market is still roaring, the other half think something is brewing.  Given the number of listings we saw come on across the city after Labor Day, some sellers feel something coming too.  You will soon see that West Portal/Inner Parkside has not been impacted by this as of yet.

We started seeing isolated instances of no offers on properties citywide at the end of the second quarter and that has lingered throughout the third quarter as well. 

On the most premium of properties, the number of potential buyers bidding on a property generally remained high, while those properties with a negative ding or two may have received multiple, but fewer offers; overall prices stayed up.  The problem for the isolated cases where no offers were received, seemed mainly to be a case where there was an issue that was difficult to resolve, was priced too aggressively, or buyers had choices of multiple properties.  As for us:

  • At the close of the second quarter of 2015, we had no active listings, seven pending, nine sold and two that failed to sell.  Of the nine sold, seven received multiple offers and all nine sold over their asking price.  In cases where an offer was over asking, but there was one offer, may indicate a ‘pre-emptive’ offer, which means an early offer before an anticipated offer date.
  • The amount of overbids ranged, from as little as $110,000 to as much as $505,000.
  • Comparing the same quarter of multiple years indicated that we are below the expected target for the average number of sales.  I went back as far as 2005 and in the third quarter, we have typically had 13 or 14 sales.  Our high in 2014 was 17 and right after the financial melt down in 2007 and 2008, we had 10 and 11 sales respectively in the third quarter.  Interesting that we have fewer sales than in the depths of the financial melt down.  That, I suspect, is largely why we have not seen pauses in the market yet.
  • Of the nine sales, five were reported as all cash (no loan on the property).
  • Looking at average appreciation from the second to the thirds quarters, I estimate an increase between four and eight percent; looking at year to year appreciation, it is closer to 20 percent.
  • Once again, West Portal and Inner Parkside are in their own bubble within a bubble.
  • A word of caution before listing your property, look at comparable sales and trends to establish a price in line with the marketplace and take citywide competition into consideration. Once we start seeing price reductions and withdrawn properties being more common place, that is the start of a market change.

Eric Castongia, Broker Associate at Zephyr Real Estate (BRE Lic. No. 01188380) provided the information in this article. The content of this article is an interpretation of data from the San Francisco Multiple Listing Service and Eric’s observations in the marketplace; he is available to discuss your situation or any questions you may have.  He can be reached by e-mail at Eric@SFHotBuy.com, or via mobile phone at (415)307-1700.