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What It Takes To Buy A House In The Inner Sunset

Hoodline by Walter Thompson

March 6, 2015

The Inner Sunset has grown in prominence as a hot San Francisco real estate market, and we caught up with Ilana Minkoff, a Realtor with Vanguard Properties, to learn more. Although she helps clients buy and sell across the city, Minkoff shared insights into the unique challenges of purchasing real estate right here in the Inner Sunset.

What’s the most notable change to the Inner Sunset’s real estate market that you’ve observed in recent years?

“What used to be a fairly under-the-radar neighborhood has become a recently discovered gem. It has a laid back, unpretentious family feel. And being so transit and bike friendly, it’s become a great alternative to more pricey neighborhoods. As with the rest of San Francisco, inventory in the Inner Sunset is very low, so with such high demand, prices are on the rise.”

How many homes have been listed for sale in the Inner Sunset in the last 12 months?

“In the last 12 months, 67 properties, including single-family homes, condominiums and tenancies-in-common, have sold according to the MLS. As of March 3rd there were only three active listings on the MLS. That being said, about one-third of the properties are sold ‘off-market’ which means they are never put on the MLS. This is happening citywide. Working with a good Realtor is key to finding ‘off-market’ properties.”

In your experience, what’s the biggest surprise for first-time homebuyers in San Francisco?

“I’m constantly reminding my buyers to stay positive. Competition can be fierce. I always tell my buyers it’s normal to write 3-4 offers before one is accepted. Then if they get one accepted faster, they’re thrilled. Buyers often don’t believe that a property will sell so far over the list price until they see it with their own two eyes. So my job is to set expectations and get them prepared for the journey so they avoid getting discouraged.

“As a seasoned Realtor who’s worked with plenty of first-time buyers, I educate them on the buying process before they start shopping. They should follow the market, go to open houses and track properties for a few months before jumping in to make offers. That way it’s not shocking when we have to go 20 percent or more over the list price on an offer. I remind them interest rates are still really low, so now really is a great time to buy. Home buying in this market really is more of a marathon than a sprint.”

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