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Sound Off: Considering a career as a Realtor? Here’s what to remember

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:18:22 UT

Working for yourself in a flexible career where you can set your own schedule and have unlimited earning potential sounds great — but as in any career — the career of real estate has definite pros and cons Sounds good, but conversely that means you have to maintain your clients needs, networking relationships and all of the marketing of your business. Realtors work flexible schedules - You don't work 9-5 - which is nice, but having a flexible schedule means you have to be flexible to the clients needs — in real estate you work when others aren't. Overall, it can be a very difficult career if the training and work ethic isn't there, but it can be a seriously rewarding career if you are self motivated, hardworking, disciplined, honest, and enjoy helping people in their largest transaction. For me, the benefits include being able to draw on my complete skill set, being challenged every day and helping people with something that has a major impact on their lives. Since becoming established, the financial benefits have also been rewarding. The drawbacks include never, ever being able to shut off and working lots of hours, including nights and weekends. Having savings and a solid support system are absolutely essential in order to get started. Realtors are independent contractors and while the company may help advance your career, you are almost solely responsible for your own success by committing a very significant amount of time, hard work and money to building your business. The Realtor's job description includes research, marketing, scheduling, understanding real estate laws, and most importantly, doing the right thing for your clients.

Just Approved: Young professional pays down student debt with savings from low-interest mortgage

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:18:02 UT

Young professional pays down student debt with savings from low-interest mortgage The client in this case was a bank manager looking to secure his first real estate purchase in San Francisco. Rising prices month after month worked against him. Persistence paid off as he ultimately secured a condo with a down payment of 10 percent — a portion of which came as a gift from his parents. Best off all, his monthly payment costs less than what he was paying for rent in a similar apartment. Freeing up that money will help him pay down his student loan debt. Dominique Stevens, Advantage Home Loans,

Vibrant landscape surrounds hillside contemporary

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:16:39 UT

“It exudes this enchanting charm and elegance from pairing craftsmanship and contemporary.” said Dee Knowland, of Pacific Union Real Estate, who is co-listing Oakland’s 6077 Contra Costa Road with fellow Pacific Union Realtor Jeffrey Neidleman for $2.695 million. Plastered walls cradle public rooms with French doors opening to a stone patio framing Golden Gate vistas. A more formal living room sunken beneath the foyer welcomes with a fireplace of its own. At the intersection of these two spaces awaits a dining room with raised ceiling and a fanciful light fixture. Rows of stacked stones lead to a rounded patio offering a slide show of the bay, the port, the bridges and the city lights. The ever-useful Buena Vista Avenue stretches behind the terraced lot, and the neighborhood enjoys close proximity to Piedmont, UC Berkeley and Montclair Village. Cascading gardens, ample natural light and striking architecture await at this five-bedroom hillside contemporary in Upper Rockridge. High-end appliances outfit a designer kitchen set beside an open family room with a raised fireplace and built-in media center. The master bedroom offers windows on three sides, while the spa-caliber master bathroom houses a frameless glass shower and soaking tub.

Marina-style awaits in Outer Sunset south of Golden Gate Park

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:13:50 UT

Restored period finishes and Craftsman detail radiate throughout this Marina-style home set on a level street near Golden Gate Park. Eight-foot ceilings and a tradesman’s entrance give the garage potential for expansion and customization. Learn more at Listing agent: Derek Schreiber, Zephyr Real Estate, (415) 385-1827, 1462 27th Ave., $1.198 million. Beds: 2+ Bath: 1 Square footage: 1,590 Open home: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Brand new four bedroom open Sunday in north Oakland.

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:13:39 UT

A stylish cedar and stucco facade commands curb appeal at this brand-new, environmentally conscious construction. Emtek hardware gleams beneath designer lighting as a 15-foot wide sliding glass wall off the living room connects to the yard. Visit to see more. Listing agent: Anna Bahnson, Pacific Union Real Estate, (415) 515-0113, anna.bahnson@ 860 46th St., $899,000 Beds: 4 Bath: 3 Square footage: 2,259 Open home: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Updated interior awaits in San Rafael home set behind Peacock Gap Golf Course

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:13:31 UT

Peacock Gap Golf Course stands just beyond the landscaped backyard and rear deck at this cosmetically updated home. Located upstairs, the master suite enjoys a private terrace overlooking the course. The home features two fireplaces, a two-car garage and a spacious kitchen. Listing agent: Jeff Sterley, Pacific Union Real Estate, (415) 359-4871, 18 Partridge Court, $875,000. Beds: 3 Baths: 2.5 Square footage: 2,130 Open home: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Chic trilevel frames views of the Palace of Fine Arts

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:11:44 UT

Near the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco awaits a residence wearing its traditional Marina facade as a mask of sorts — a discreet disguise of the innovation and style inside. “Sleek and chic, as if straight out of the pages of an interior design magazine,” said Nina Hatvany of Pacific Union Real Estate, who is co-listing 2526 Francisco St. with Emma Prok of Climb Real Estate. Here, a picture window above the lavish soaking tub frames the artistic landmark amid spa-caliber hardware and dimensions. “There is not a feature in this house that hasn’t been planned, designed, pored over and painstakingly built to create the ultimate living and entertaining environment,” Hatvany said. The European-style kitchen includes an induction cooktop and high-gloss cabinetry, as well as functional features like the pull-out pantries and built-in ovens. All three floors enjoy outdoor spaces — the master suite has a balcony the width of the home, a patio is off the back of the garage level, and the family room transitions to a deck off the main level. The upper level hosts a master suite with a spa bathroom facing the Palace of Fine Arts. A walk-in closet and private deck accompany the lavish suite.

For the first time, Zillow's Oakland rent index surpasses $3k

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:29:40 UT

For the first time, the Oakland rent index has broken the $3,000 mark.

Split-level contemporary in Wine Country basks in sun, views

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 18:51:01 UT

Twice a week, The Chronicle features a home on the market that caught our eye for its architecture, history or character. Open, airy, and light-filled rooms permeate this split-level contemporary tucked amid the rolling hills of Wine Country. On 5 picturesque acres, the construction features tongue-and-groove ceilings crafted from reclaimed hardwood, while recycled foam, poured concrete finished with shot-earth fashion walls 18 inches thick. A northwestern orientation frames dramatic sunset vistas as 12-foot pocket doors slide aside to access the tree-studded landscape. An elongated clerestory acts as the home’s central hub and connects to a kitchen, study and breakfast room. High-gloss cabinetry and a vibrant accent wall finish a European-style galley kitchen that faces the landscape.

Fort Bidwell home offers ‘beauty and adventure in a tranquil environment’

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:29:06 UT

A paved airstrip sits roughly 20 miles away, and the nearby town provides a spot to pick up supplies before hunkering down in luxury all your own. Dive into the water from decks attached to lakeside cabins, or shove off in a canoe, kayak or paddleboard. A freshly crafted shoreline spans part of one lake, while the estate’s barn creates potential for equestrian activities and raising livestock. Each of the four cabins — as well as the attached workshop and garage — enjoy essentials like electricity, heat and plumbing. A series of connected picture windows in one lakeside cabin creates a wall of glass overlooking the water. Perched at more than a mile above sea level (5,500 feet, to be exact) the estate is surrounded by a logging forest. Roads once used to haul away lumber now exist as hiking trails winding about the collage of white fir, aspens, ponderosa pines and white fir trees. [...] the property still resides in a timber production zone, enabling special tax benefits for the incoming owner. Opportunities abound for hunters, anglers, equestrians, and outdoor enthusiasts at this virtually self-sufficient estate.

Admiration leads to one-of-a-kind contemporary Larkspur farmhouse

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:26:13 UT

Architect Barbara Chambers and designer Jennifer Tidwell — Mill Valley residents who at one point lived across the street from one another — paired up for the first time to craft an open, airy and inviting contemporary farmhouse in Larkspur. The Tidwell’s investment at 31 Orange Ave. transformed the Larkspur property from a ramshackle eyesore into a stunning five-bedroom divided into single-story and two-level wings. A Bluestone patio anchors a picturesque backyard with a built-in grill, fire pit and garden. Concrete spans the open floor plan and fashions the fireplace’s surround. Waterworks fixtures accessorize a stylish kitchen highlighted by a La Cornu Cornfue brass and stainless steel range. Clé cement tiles fashion a striking backsplash as a farmhouse sink rests within a marble island with cascading waterfall edges. White oak panels the kitchen’s exhaust hood — the same type of timber fashions the great room’s vaulted, beamed ceiling and flooring for the bedroom wing. Ceiling mounted speakers await in both the master suite and single-story great room, representing one of the common features found in both wings. CAT 6 wiring provides rooms the latest technological infrastructure, as the floating reveal baseboards establish a minimalist elegance in the sleeping quarters. The painstaking construction includes a landscaped backyard with a Bluestone patio and a built-in barbecue. The five-bedroom boasts a spacious open kitchen with farmhouse sink, marble counters and a butler’s pantry.

Elegant Mission District Victorian transformed into contemporary

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 20:14:55 UT

“The home has been transformed into a contemporary that is elegant, fresh and fun,” said Rusty Wadatz of Sotheby’s International Realty, who is listing the Italianate Victorian row house for $3.995 million. The spacious garage provides room for parking multiple vehicles and general storage. A front patio overlooks bustling South Van Ness Avenue as a landscaped rear yard revels in privacy provided by tall fences. “Careful attention has been paid to every detail to make this home both comfortable and luxurious,” Wadatz said. The interior, however, eschews the traditional ceiling medallions and compartmentalized floor plan in favor of an open design accented by clean lines. A metallic pedestrian gate off South Van Ness Avenue opens to an exterior staircase leading to the front door. Polished hardware finishes built-in cabinetry in the kitchen and dining area, offering timeless elegance to an inviting environment. Stainless steel and wood-paneled appliances outfit the luxurious setting finished with marble counters and ample seating. An open-air patio off the great room overlooks the street, while the third level houses a wraparound deck a master suite accesses on two sides. The garage level has the first such bedroom, an irregularly shaped space with an angular interior to its spacious closet. The suite directly behind the front facade receives some extra space thanks to the bay windows, while the suite on the opposite side of the home includes the sprawling wraparound deck. A plethora of outdoor spaces await both in the front and behind the four-story, four-bedroom that includes an elevator, roof terrace, three master suites and a lavish open kitchen equipped with premier appliances.

Walk-through: A taste of the Hamptons in Kenwood

Tue, 18 Oct 2016 23:01:26 UT

Twice a week, The Chronicle features a local home on the market that caught our eye for its architecture, history or character. Hampton-esque appeal exudes from this 2.45 acre Kenwood lot offering a four-bedroom main house, three-bedroom guest house, and a sparkling, solar-heated lap pool. Modern and traditional tastes are catered to in the main home, which offers formal living and dining rooms, as well as an open kitchen replete with contemporary finishes. A dozen people can sit comfortably in the formal dining room. A stone fireplace anchors a nearby living room with a double-height ceiling. A master bathroom features a sunken soaking tub, dual vanities, and a stall shower. A sink and built-in grill outfit the outdoor kitchen near a gas fire pit and the solar-heated lap pool.

What California ballot measures could affect Bay Area real estate?

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 22:00:35 UT

What California ballot measures could affect Bay Area real estate? Each measure could have a dramatic effect on the area’s economy. Both measures seek to introduce rent control and just-cause eviction measures by creating a rent board/rent commission. Property owners would have more difficulty removing a renter who is a nuisance or delinquent. Allows rent to be raised 1 to 4 percent annually depending on the rate of inflation. Limits evictions to specific situations (i.e. unpaid rent) rather than evictions just to raise rents. There are a slew of propositions on the ballot that have to do with housing, affordability, homelessness and the city transfer tax. All have arguments for and against them on both sides, and I’m sure all will have an impact on the quality of life and desirability of living in and investing in the city. Proposition P enacts a competitive bidding process for affordable housing projects. In theory, reducing the cost of building affordable housing by making that process more competitive would allow for more housing our city so desperately needs. There’s also the added benefit of retaining our long-term and most necessary residents. [...] anything that increases the safety and reliability of public transportation can only have a positive impact on the Bay Area job market. A median rent price of $3,501 for a one-bedroom in San Francisco has focused interest on these new rent control measures. With companies such as Apple acquiring 43 acres in the South Bay and Facebook gobbling up another 68 acres in Menlo Park, our economy and job market will continue to add jobs and people who need housing. If the proposed rent control measures do pass this election, the effect of the state’s 21-year-old Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act exempting residential housing built after 1995 from rent control will be limited, making that housing more affordable. Unless a large amount of new housing is built, we will keep seeing astronomical sales and rent increases.

The most expensive home to sell in San Francisco in 2016 (so far)

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 14:53:56 UT

A Pacific Heights stunner has finally sold, marking the most expensive sale so far this year. The listing closed on Friday at $21.8 million—that's $6.2 million less than the original asking price.