6 expert tips for a first-time San Francisco home buyer


Panoramic view of San Francisco

Owning a home in San Francisco takes a lot of patience, resolve, and careful preparation.

With their promise of excellent jobs, great year-round weather, and diverse and vibrant lifestyles, Bay Area communities always rank high on the lists of young West Coast home buyers.

These highlights, however, are the same reasons owning San Francisco real estate can be a challenge. With high demand for limited housing stock, median home prices here are steeper than many US cities, going well over the million-dollar mark.

If you’re a first-time buyer willing to take the leap into Bay Area real estate, here are top tips that will help you meet your home goals:

  1. Manage your expectations

    Gun for the best, but be prepared to compromise. While it makes sense to want all the best attractions and amenities right away, consider tradeoffs that can make a less competitive neighborhood appealing. These could be something practical like having a convenient commute to work, or having a lovely recreational perk nearby, a welcoming neighborhood vibe, or proximity to a good trail or surfing spot.

  2. Think out of the box

    If the market is competitive, do not rely solely on listings. Consider the following:

    • Convince your landlord to sell

      If you’re already renting a good place in the Bay Area, ask your landlord if he would be willing to sell the property. It’s worth a try if you can make a reasonable offer.

    • Look for a property to buy even before it’s on the market.

      Get a head ahead on the competition. Check social media or talk to friends and colleagues about looming property sales in your desired neighborhood.

  3. Be prepared to move once you’ve identified your ideal home

    Quick reflexes are crucial when making a play for highly desired real estate. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, secure your down payment resources, and organize your personal and financial documents early. Convincing the seller of your ability to buy is a huge advantage. With the above credentials ready, jump at the earliest opportunity to make an offer for your chosen property.

  4. Use open houses to your advantage

    More than an opportunity to study properties closely, open houses allow buyers to gauge their competition. An open house can provide a snapshot of
    how many potential buyers are competing for the property, as well as their profiles.

  5. Steel yourself for counter-offers and outright rejection

    Always remember that it’s always a toss-up in the Bay Area real estate market. In fact, getting rejected is considered a rite of passage for home
    buyers here. Be ready to bounce right back up and move on to Plan B if your offer didn’t make the cut.

  6. Work with a reliable local real estate specialist

    No matter where you’re buying, if you’re new to real estate transactions, professional guidance and advice from experienced agents are a crucial
    advantage.

From finding hot leads to helping you write a compelling offer letter, to representing you on the negotiation and closing desks, Bernie and Mike Homes will make it easier to buy your ideal San Francisco Bay Area home. Call us 415 906 6000 or 415 308 4281 today.