2018 ushered in some new developments that every San Francisco homeowner (or prospective homeowner) should be aware of. From the environment to the San Francisco real estate market, these changes will have an impact. With so much going on, you can’t afford to be out of the loop! Check out these five San Francisco homeowner facts for 2018.

1. A New List of Recyclables

Recology SF recently announced that San Francisco residents can now recycle plastic bags and other clean, dry film or flimsy plastic, such as plastic wrap. Just follow three simple steps:

  1. Put clean and dry plastic bags and
    plastic wrap inside a plastic bag.
    Please do not throw loose
    plastic bags or plastic wrap into
    your recycling bin.
  2. When the plastic bag is filled to about
    the size of a soccer ball, tie the top of
    the bag in a knot.
  3. Put your bag of bags in your recycling bin.

Other new recyclables include paper coffee cups, ice cream containers, and milk cartons. Visit the Recology website to see the full list of items that can be recycled in 2018. Remember to rinse plastic containers thoroughly before putting them in your blue bin. Anything to be recycled should be clean and dry. If your recyclables do not meet these guidelines, your curbside pickup may be refused, but even if they’re picked up, it’s hardly “out of sight, out of mind”. If your recyclables aren’t clean enough to be properly processed, the whole load could be redirected straight to a landfill.

2. The GOP Tax Bill and the San Francisco Homeowner

At the end of 2017, there were several significant changes to the tax code that will impact San Francisco homeowners. Most notably, the mortgage interest deduction has been lowered. Previously, homeowners were able to deduct the first million ($1,000,000) of their mortgage debt against their property taxes. As of Jan 1, 2018, that amount has been lowered to $750,000.

Do note that the previous rate is grandfathered such that any home purchase before 2018 will be subject to the previous rate. The change only impacts homes purchased in or after 2018.

Do note also that these changes might end up being moot. Since the San Francisco housing market continues to grow, investing in a new property may pay off after just a few years despite these changes to the tax code.

3. It’s a Good Time to Prepare for Natural Disasters

2017 saw an explosion of wildfires in both Southern and Northern California. Even being outside the wildfire range did not prevent San Franciscans from feeling the effects of the wildfires. In just a week, San Franciscans experienced more pollution than they are typically exposed to in one year.

Natural disasters like the wildfires are a reminder that we should always be prepared for emergencies. This is especially the case for a city that is located on a fault line. 2018 has already seen several earthquakes that, while not causing major damage, certainly shook things up a bit. Plus, earthquake experts, including UC Berkeley seismologist, Dr. Peggy Hellweg, are predicting an earthquake of at least 7.1 in magnitude to occur in the near future.

It’s a good idea for San Francisco homeowners to check their homeowners insurance policies and to choose the type of policies best suited to their homes. Good insurance will reduce your costs in the event of a natural disaster and will help protect your real estate investment.

4. Property Values Are on a Steady Incline

San Francisco property values continue to grow, steadily, as they have done since the 1960s. That growth ebbs and flows, but has shown a consistent trend of increase for almost sixty years. California overall saw home prices climb to a new high last November, and San Francisco in particular has an increase in home value that shows no sign of declining.

According to realtor.com, San Francisco claimed the title of hottest real estate market in the country in January 2018. This is great news if you are wanting to sell your home in San Francisco. Just remember to work with an experienced Realtor in order to ensure you get the best return on your real estate investment.

5. It’s Also a Good Time to Buy a Home in San Francisco

“Now” is the best possible time to buy or sell a San Francisco property. For buyers, the smart move is to buy the most expensive property you can reasonably afford, as soon as possible. That way, your investment can appreciate value most quickly. For sellers, there’s little point waiting. Buyers are eager to snatch up San Francisco properties, so you can likely charge above market rate, trusting the investment potential to make up the difference.

If you’re ready to buy or sell a San Francisco property, contact Danielle Lazier and Associates. We’ve got the expert San Francisco real estate knowledge to find the right buyer, or find you the right property, no matter your needs or situation. Give our office a call, today!

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