Each neighborhood in San Francisco offers a different lifestyle full of opportunity. The city is alive and full of culture, the homes are unique, the real estate market is booming, and everyone is dying to live the dream. Where do you fit in? Top real estate agent Danielle Lazier :: SFhotlist Team and Compass San Francisco lend their expert advice on how to find your dream home in San Francisco:
1. San Francisco Real Estate and Technology
To find your dream home in San Francisco, you need to combine the best of tech with the best of the human element. Luckily, you can find both with Danielle Lazier :: SFhotlist Team and Compass San Francisco.
With so many listings out there and so many different ways to communicate, it’s not always easy to stay on the same page. Compass allows us to search together. Combining the advantages of Compass and working with an experienced local agent that specializes in buyer representation, you will be able to get a full picture of what the San Francisco real estate market has to offer you. It’s a streamlined way for to add and organize the homes you want to see, get instant updates from each other, and make decisions together.
Top producing real estate agent Danielle Lazier says, “It’s like Pinterest for your home search!”
When you sign up with Compass, you will see a collection of “Saved Homes” that we have personally curated for you in hopes of finding your dream home in San Francisco. You can also search Compass for listings and save ones that interest you. If you have any comments, you can add them to the listing to let us know what you think and if you’d like to schedule a tour.
2. Get Your Financial Ducks in a Row
If you’re serious about finding your dream home, then you have to get your finances organized well in advance. Team up with an experienced, local mortgage broker and get fully pre-approved for financing so you know what you can afford and can make strong, confident offers in San Francisco’s competitive environment. Your real estate agent can recommend the best local mortgage brokers to help you through the process.
It’s important to understand the true cost of ownership and shop for homes that you can afford because you don’t want to get your hopes up, waste time, or end up in a sticky financial situation. While you’re at it, determine your housing budget for the next few years and include things like HOA fees, property taxes, home repairs and improvements, and other fees that come with owning a home in San Francisco.
3. What Are You Looking For?
Close your eyes and picture your dream home in San Francisco. Is it a condo, single family home, or TIC? What kind of style? Do you want a formal dining room or office? What about on-site laundry, parking, or a garage? What other amenities are important to you? Do you need to be close to public transit or highways? Is it important for you to have a yard or a nice view? What about walkability? There are so many factors to consider!
Here is an even more important question to ask yourself: is your dream home move-in ready or a fixer-upper?
Most people imagine their dream homes to be move-in ready. However, San Francisco is full of so many unique finds that you may fall in love with a charming fixer-upper in need of some updates or repair. These homes are often cheaper and give you the opportunity to customize your living space in greater detail. Consider what kind of commitment you want to make to home repairs and improvements.
Even if it comes at a bargain, homes that need major remodeling may not be for you. An experienced San Francisco real estate agent can help you figure out which fixes are cosmetic and which will require a more long-term strategy in terms of both time and budget.
4. Find Your Favorite San Francisco Neighborhoods
San Francisco is full of rich culture with dozens of micro-neighborhoods offering a completely unique experience. In order to find your dream home in San Francisco, you need to know what’s important to you and understand what different neighborhoods have to offer. Sometimes, our own assessments of what we think we want are completely off. A good real estate agent knows the city inside and out and will be able to figure out what kind of house or location suits your needs based on what you share. The Compass Collections can help facilitate the process as well.
5. What Can You Live With or Without?
If you want to find your dream home in San Francisco, you need to be realistic about what you can and cannot live without. Real estate agent Debbie Rutledge says it’s important to note that “no home is ever going to be perfect” because there will always be discrepancies between what’s available, what the buyer wants, and what they can afford. That’s why you should determine your long term real estate goals when searching for a home in San Francisco. Are you looking for a place to settle down and live forever, or are you looking for a starter home to help you afford your dream home down the road?
Here are two questions we ask in our buyer’s worksheet: What are three features you must have in your new home, and three things you can live without?
Buyers who are serious about finding their dream home in San Francisco should go out with their agent to tour a range of different homes and define what they really want. You’ll be amazed at how your priorities will change throughout the home search. You may insist in the beginning that you cannot live without a view of the Twin Peaks, but change your mind after touring a neighborhood with a high walkability. A good agent can see what’s important to you after a tour or two and will proactively find on market and off-market homes for you to consider.
How to Find Your Dream Home in San Francisco
The best way to find your dream home in San Francisco is to work with an experienced real estate agent. Over 90% of San Francisco’s home sales include a buyer’s agent because of how competitive the market is and how fast the homes are selling. Hiring a top San Francisco Realtor will not increase the cost of the property for you; it is the seller who has to pay the commission. From price negotiations to planning for home inspections, a good agent will guide you through the homebuying process and act as your fiduciary (the highest standard of care) to protect your interests.
Interested in finding your San Francisco dream home? Get in touch with Danielle Lazier :: SFhotlist Team and Compass San Francisco and see what we can do for you!