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The first time Susanne Bratter walked into 796 Rosemount Road in Crocker Highlands, she knew she was home. She saw past the living room’s tired wallpaper and kitchen’s linoleum floor and looked at the house itself, a traditional designed by architect Irwin M. Johnson in the 1930s. “It sounds cheesy, but the first time I walked in, I got an overwhelming feeling that people are happy here,” said Bratter, who has lived at the home with her family since 1986. Original woodwork is found throughout the two-story four-bedroom home. The kitchen has upscale appliances and a casual dining area. Public rooms open to a shaded brick courtyard and a downstairs bedroom steps outside.
Twice a week, The Chronicle features a home on the market that caught our eye for its architecture, history or character. More photos: www.sfgate.com/columns/walkthrough Address: 207 King St. Unit 708, San Francisco Asking price: $2.488 million Description: This two-bedroom, 2½-bath, two-story unit boasts an open floor plan and occupies a top corner of its condo building. The gourmet kitchen features a Viking range and stainless steel counters, as well as a steel island that anchors the space.
Pocket Listings May Short-Change Sellers
The fast pace of Bay Area real estate, where homes are snapped up as soon as they hit the market, is fueling an interesting trend: pocket listings, homes not listed on a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), are on the rise.
Twice a week, The Chronicle features a home on the market that caught our eye for its architecture, history or character. Set on 15 acres, this Wine Country compound features a three-bedroom house designed by Heinz Janders. The home features two wings connected by an enclosed breezeway, and a veranda spans the upper level. A finished barn has fir floors and a great room, with a bar area and an office/loft upstairs. The master suite’s spa bathroom includes a jetted tub, and the kitchen comes equipped with stainless steel appliances. A lap pool sits behind the home, as does a detached pool house. There’s an outdoor kitchen that includes a pizza oven, and a heritage oak tree stands in front of the home.
Back in 2012, a minimum annual income of $90,370 was needed to purchase a Bay Area home at the median price of $447,970. Now, a home buyer needs to be bringing in $179,390 to afford a mean-priced house at $895,000,
HomeReady program helps first-time buyer purchase with 5 percent down Fannie Mae’s HomeReady program is the best 30-year conventional loan offered by lenders. Fannie Mae designates all of the Bay Area’s ZIP codes as low- to moderate-income areas making any home in the Bay Area eligible for the HomeReady program. In this particular scenario, the borrower was looking to purchase a property within an eligible ZIP code and had completed the required homeownership education. The borrower was also able to take advantage of rent they had been receiving from a roommate. Room rent income is part of the HomeReady program’s expanded eligibility. Once all of the eligibility requirements were confirmed, the purchase loan was submitted to the lender with a 725 credit score, 95 percent loan-to-value ratio and moderate income.
Located next to the historic train station in West Oakland, this brand-new luxury construction boasts contemporary finishes and a spacious floor plan. High ceilings and large windows lend an open, airy elegance to the residence that includes an attached garage with interior access. A sizable deck waits off the master suite, and the chef’s kitchen comes equipped with a Blue Star range and other stainless steel appliances.
Artistry and opportunities abound behind the turquoise facade of a Queen Anne Victorian in Lower Pacific Heights. “Fireplaces, elegant curved bay windows and soaring ceilings are only the beginning of this gallery-like masterpiece,” said Alexander Kolovyansky of Vanguard Properties, who is listing the elaborate residence at 2566 Pine St. for $4.995 million. Sunlight streams through vibrant stained glass windows upon the gleaming inlaid hardwood flooring. Pocket doors separate the living room from the entry hall. Here, sconces and an elegant fireplace complement an array of Victorian details. Once again, stained glass windows accent a room adorned with a plaster medallion in the towering ceiling. The lower level includes a laundry room and offers 1,600 square feet of room for the next owner to use as they see fit. Period details, four fireplaces and stained glass windows radiate throughout this five-bedroom Queen Anne Victorian. Sited on a double lot, the listing includes a detached carriage house and a spacious backyard with a courtyard and garden. The lower level offers 1,600 square feet of bonus space.
Purchasing a home can be a most stressful event. Studies have shown only death and divorce can cause a person more anxiety. [...] educate yourself as much as possible about the market, understand the inventory and what comparable sales have occurred. Once you have made your decision, understand normally well-meaning friends and family may inadvertently confuse you, especially if they’re from out of the area and don’t understand the local housing market which can be vastly different across the country. If you’ve done your homework, you will know you have made a solid investment and will begin growing that all-important equity, essential for building your financial future - a very exciting and worthwhile decision. An outdated kitchen, older baths, unattractive paint colors, dated windows, lack of landscaping … even if your budget does not allow for upgrades at the moment, cosmetics like this can be changed in the future. Have the property inspected and pay attention - finding out that you have to replace a foundation after you’ve already purchased your new home is not a great way to start things off. [...] take the time to educate yourself about the school district, the neighborhood, the homeowners association, the taxes, the zoning, etc. The most common, and most natural, thing for buyers to do following close of escrow is to look at properties that come up for sale shortly after their purchase has closed. Compound this concern with the fact that after the initial “ test run” it is not unusual to find items in the house which buyers wish were different, so it is not surprising that buyer regret can set in.
The real estate site Zillow found that the average cost of attending nine bachelor or bachelorette parties in a person's lifetime comes out to well over the 20 percent down payment on a median-priced US home. Though, not so much if you're living in the Bay Area.
Twice a week, The Chronicle features a home on the market that caught our eye for its architecture, history or character. Enticing outdoor spaces and a welcoming interior define this shingled residence in the heart of Wine Country. Sited on more than 8 acres, the majority of the estate houses Merlot vineyards, while the gardens feature flagstone patios and built-in planter boxes. Custom display cabinets and professional appliances highlight the chef’s kitchen, while the family room includes a sitting window and a wood-burning fireplace anchors the living room. The main home’s master suite includes a private Juliet balcony overlooking the landscape. The Walk-Through is produced by Sentinel Media Services for The San Francisco Chronicle.
Iconic Bel Air estate on the market for the first time in 30 years listed for $350 million.
Twice a week, The Chronicle features a home on the market that caught our eye for its architecture, history or character. Midcentury magnificence emanates from this intriguing four-story overlooking the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of Fine Arts and Ghirardelli Square. The five-bedroom features a total of five balconies and a split-level great room anchored by a brick fireplace. A central atrium basks in natural light and houses the home’s turned staircase, while a mature tree shades the backyard. There’s a work space within the five-car garage, and the listing includes an unfinished basement. The home is zoned for three units, so the next owner could opt to either make income off the property or personalize it as a single-family residence.
There's nothing sinister about the beautiful four-bedroom home at 664 River Road in Orrington, Maine, but Stephen King can make anything creepy, as his fans well know.
Here on Rhode Island Street, a luxurious trilevel offers dynamic vistas, upscale finishes and inviting outdoor spaces. “This is a rare architectural gem with sweeping city views that’s steps from the design district,” said Justin Fichelson of Sotheby’s International Realty, who is listing 548 Rhode Island St. for $4.495 million. Twelve- and 16-foot sliding glass panels connect the great room to a wraparound view deck, affording guests and residents true indoor/outdoor living. Red cedar decking complements the city’s rolling banks of white fog and azure blue sky. Wide-plank white oak flooring spans the great room as recessed lighting helps illuminate the space. Located on the second floor, the master bedroom includes a walk-in closet and a sitting area that steps out to the backyard. A floating dual vanity lingers above a herringbone-patterned marble floor in the master bathroom, while the glass shower features a rain head. The shower culminates with a frosted glass picture window that affords privacy while welcoming sunlight into the space.