“I’m thinking of buying either a condo in one of these new high-rise buildings like Infinity, One Rincon, or Soma Grand, but I love Pacific Heights. Where do you think I would get the best appreciation?”-Jacki
As answered by Jeny Smith, eco-Realtor, of Hill & Co. Real Estate www.sfgreenagent.com
To answer your question in short, I believe you will get better appreciation in Pacific Heights compared to one of the new developments.
However, we do need to remember that appreciation is the increase in value of a property over a certain period of time, due to such things as capital improvements, supply and demand, inflation, and other factors.
In a new development, capital improvements are already accounted for whereas if you buy a cosmetic fixer in Pacific Heights you have the opportunity to add-value to the property.
How long are you planning to own this property?
To realize a positive return on your investment, 3-5 years is a safe bet in the San Francisco market. Remember though, real estate really is a long term investment, ideally, something you will hang on to for future passive income.
A nice condo at one of the new developments can someday turn into a corporate rental or pied-a-terre, aka city home. These condos will continue to be desirable because of their many amenities such as security, fitness room, swimming pool, etc. Most Pacific Heights homes don’t have these things.
Supply and demand?
If you want to sell your condo at the same time as someone else in a large building complex you may have to lower your price to attract more buyers. A lot of the Pacific Heights homes are in smaller buildings with less competition.
Location, location, location. Pacific Heights has been, and always will be, a highly desirable area, whereas the neighborhoods of South Beach and Soma are still in flux. They are slated for more planned city improvements over the next 5-10 years. The Infinity and One Rincon are in a somewhat cleaner area than the Soma Grand; the Rincon is on supposedly safer ground than the other two. Some would say it’s cooler to live at someplace like the Soma Grand with its Joie de Vivre personality (with luxury hotel services, including housekeeping, full service concierge, yoga & massage studio, meditation garden, fitness center, club house for entertaining etc.) as opposed to the more conservative Pacific Heights neighborhood.