6 Things to Know Before Buying a San Francisco Townhouse
It may surprise you to learn that the average house in California costs just under $786,000. Prices can be even higher in popular cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Due to the high value of the housing market, many people choose to purchase townhouses instead of conventional single-family homes.
Before diving into San Francisco real estate, there’s certain information you’ll need to keep in mind. This will help you avoid issues you would have otherwise had to deal with. Let’s explore what you should keep in mind when looking for a San Francisco townhouse.
1. Stay Wary of Brick Foundation
This is a detail many buyers overlook when buying a townhouse in this area. While brick foundations often have a pleasing aesthetic, these homes were often built in the early 1900s. This means it’s not uncommon to encounter maintenance issues fairly often.
A brick foundation is notoriously expensive to repair, and this can quickly stretch your budget after purchasing a home. Some of the most common issues are cracks and sinking segments of the foundation. It’s also worth considering that your taste might change as time goes on.
Replacing a brick foundation with another material can easily cost thousands of dollars, and it might be out of your budget at the time. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a house you no longer enjoy.
2. Check the Property’s Price History
Home prices are liable to fluctuate over time, and this is especially true in popular areas. As more people move to large cities, housing prices tend to increase substantially.
While it’s not uncommon for home prices to occasionally decrease, they shouldn’t do so consistently over time. A red flag to consider is if a home has slowly decreased in value while similar properties in the area have increased. This could indicate that there are major underlying issues with the home that cause people to back out of the sale.
3. Thoroughly Read Disclosure Documents
This term refers to documentation that’s provided to buyers by their real estate agent. Reputable agents will illuminate your responsibilities and guide you through the process so you don’t overlook key information.
These documents often contain data about the property’s condition, inspection results, and similar nuances. Reading through these documents will help ensure you fully understand the property you’re interested in. Keep in mind that disclosure documentation isn’t a replacement for hiring a professional inspector.
If there’s certain info missing about the home’s nuances, you’ll need to organize a professional inspection to elucidate. To elaborate, let’s assume your disclosure documents didn’t offer insight into your home’s electrical system.
Moving forward without working with an inspector comes with enormous risk. You might later discover major issues with the house’s wiring, and this could easily become a safety hazard for you and your family.
4. Be Flexible
There’s nothing wrong with setting a limit on your budget or setting standards for the quality of San Francisco real estate you look for. However, it’s recommended to stay flexible during your search.
There’s a chance you might not find properties that meet your needs, causing you to walk away empty-handed. If you slightly increased your budget or adjusted your standards, you could open up countless opportunities to find a property.
While searching, look for your ideal properties, and then slowly expand your reach in terms of what you’re willing to settle for. This allows you to find the ideal option available for your needs.
5. Look for Professional Staging
If a home doesn’t have professional staging photos, you should continue your search elsewhere. There’s a good chance the property has major issues the owner is attempting to conceal. Instead, you should look for a property that has an abundance of high-quality pictures that leave no attribute undisplayed.
People willing to provide comprehensive info on their home’s appearance often take good care of their property. A general rule of thumb is that people won’t assess major problems if they don’t care to keep their home looking nice.
For example, assume you found a reasonably priced house that didn’t have professional photos online. This might indicate the owner neglected their maintenance responsibilities. Buying this home might save you money at first, but you’d likely deal with issues related to its HVAC system, plumbing, wiring, etc. shortly afterward.
6. Find the Right Realtor
Before moving forward, it’s essential to find the best San Francisco realtor for your needs. They have the knowledge and resources to make your search as easy as possible. To get started, explore their past reputation and see what other people have to say about the results they got.
Did they feel comfortable communicating with them? Were there issues the realtor couldn’t help them overcome? Asking yourself questions like these will help ensure you avoid people who can’t meet your needs.
Their overall level of industry experience will also play a large role in how quickly you find a suitable home. Well-established agents have no shortage of professional connections.
Inexperienced agents won’t always fall short of your expectations, but it’s best to avoid them. Find someone who’s been working in the area for at least a decade. This will help ensure they understand key nuances of the San Francisco market.
It’s essential to find someone easy to get in touch with as well. You’ll inevitably have questions or concerns, and it can be frustrating to be left in the dark when problems arise. As long as you do your due diligence during your search, you should be able to easily find the right agent.
Purchase a San Francisco Townhouse Responsibly
Without the right amount of foresight when looking for a San Francisco townhouse, you run the risk of encountering major setbacks. The information in this guide will help you streamline your search and make it easier to find the ideal home for your needs.
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