Tag Archives: advice

Ask Us: Income Property, Foreclosures, Short Sales, Rent Control & Impatient Realtors All In One!

Where readers ask, and we (the community) try to answer:

Dear tFS,

I have been following your newsletters for awhile, now that my husband and I are considering investing in an income property, we are coming to you for advice. A friend of ours has referred an real estate agent and we have worked with him for about a month. The area which we have visited are Ingleside Heights, Oceanview, Excelsior, Geneva or Alemany ( got a bit confuse after awhile) along 3rd St., and original Daly City.

Our original intention was to look at foreclosures and short sales since we thought we might find something closer to our budget, but our agent explained that the process would take a very long time and the price difference is minimal so it is not really worth the hassle.

We are in our 40′s and will sell this income property when we reach retirement age so this will more or less be our retirement nest. We have a pre-approval letter already but we are not sure which locations would make the best option with the following considerations:

Rent control & Tenants rights
Monthly Rental Income
Future prospective of the property

Your insight would be most appreciated.

Yours truly,
L

We have to say that ALL of your questions generally depend on each individual property in each different location. There is really no “blanket” answer we can provide, especially in regards to rent control, monthly rent, and future prospects of the property. We can; however, comment that it is true a short sale takes much longer to sell, if at all, but the price difference can be substantial, so you might want to corner your agent on that topic and find out where the hassle really lies…with them not getting paid soon enough? ;-) They are a hassle though…no doubt, but it is to your advantage to have an agent with sticktoitiveness (you need a lot of it as well).

Best of luck to you. Thanks for reading, and thanks for writing in!

Ask Us: Color Me Condo!

We get all kinds of questions in every shape and size and this one has got to rank right up top with one of the most off the wall, but we love it nonetheless and will coddle it like one of our own:

Which Condo complex in the City has the nicest hallway color scheme, in your opinion?

graffiti460

One short answer…no frickin idea! We have seen so many condos, so many homes, so many different colors of paint in different rooms that they all blend together. But, we’re not looking at color palettes, we’re looking at numbers, size of rooms, location, proximity to public transport, and so on. Painting can easily change the look and feel of a home or building, so we always try to look past it. With that said, go neutral. Colors that are too wild one way or the other can bring down the overall feel and kill a deal the moment someone walks in the hallway. You might have a look at the Millennium Tower website for a good idea of what we think is a good choice.

Hope this helps. Guess we did have an idea after all (since you forced us to think about it).

Get While The Gettin’s Good: Sell Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace

We’ve been on a lot of listing presentations lately where the motivation to call us in off the bench has been, in so many words:

We’re thinking we should sell our place now before it gets any worse.

The media (and certain local real estate blogs) are certainly good at creating panic, and Realtor blogs are certainly good at glossing over all the doom and gloom, but what’s really going on? If you’re a buyer, are you really feeling the urge to buy for fear of missing that boat again? More importantly for this thread, if you’re a homeowner and been thinking of moving (within the next 2-3 years), are you getting that feeling? You know, that one you all keep telling us? “We’re worried if we don’t sell now, we might have to wait years.”

Be honest, be anonymous, and please share your thoughts in the comments below. (NOTE: To be totally anonymous, when asked to enter email use, “a@a.com”.)

Thanks! We’re very curious to hear what you have to say.

Ask Us: WTF Is Going On With 409 Ulloa (A.K.A Pandora’s Box)?

Where readers ask and we (the community) try to answer:

409ulloa

I have a few questions. I have been looking at 409 Ulloa St in the Forest Hill Extension area. Basically, this property seems to have been on the market since December 2007 as a REO starting at $1.19 Million and then the price keeps dropping [now seeking $689,900]. The issue seems to be that this property seems to have numerous codes of violation in addition to the property size having a discrepancy. In my research, I noticed that the property in 2005 did have a permit to add the 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, stairs to connect the basement/garage to the second level in addition, legalizing the existing bedroom and bathroom while converting the existing bedroom to a family room but that permit was never completed and never expired while the latest status is triage. Any idea what that means?

However, I have noticed the property for tax purposes includes the area that was in that permit as it’s listed as 2000+ square feet and 5 bedrooms, 3 baths which was what was used for all the listings through November 2008. The current listing agent only shows the property as 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and 1,065 sq feet which is basically the upstairs. My question is, doesn’t the basement permit have to be completed before it can be taxed because it seems in January 2009 a complaint with the building inspection department was filed for an illegal unit in basement, but if that was the case, why is the house being taxed as such?

Also, how much is the property worth if it’s in perfect condition, as it appears from the pest inspection and home inspection reports a lot of repairs need to be done as the basement level is basically broken and the foundation needs to be repaired. Does anyone know what the maximum cost is to repair an entire foundation for a house that size, as only the non-converted portion of the basement is visible and can be inspected?

Also, the garage is basically about 4 feet under the surface level, would it cost a fortune to have the house lifted so the floor of the house is leveled with the ground instead of beneath it? Thanks!

Looks like an opportunity to purchase Pandora’s Box. We’ll continue the dialog over email with you, and put you in touch with the correct inspectors, because your questions are many, and answers run deep.

We do hope some readers can provide their insight as well, and we thank you for contacting theFrontSteps.

-409 Ulloa St [MLS]

Ask Us: Single Family Home On RH2 Lot, Can You Claim The Second Unit?

Where readers ask and we (the community) try to answer:

If you own a RH2 lot with a SFH [Single Family Home] on it, can you claim the second house number? For example: to establish a professional address – no separate unit, kitchen or entry door, just a second mailbox with a second house number?

The regular address number is available (our number + 4), but using “unit A”, “unit B” would also be a valid solution.

Any insight is appreciated.

We have never dealt with this type of issue, so we do not have the answer. Anybody else?