Profile picture for melissa0myers

Sell SF home and buy now?

We own a 2bd/1ba home in San Francisco; we bought at the bottom of the market and could make $250,000-$300,000 if we were to sell. That's a nice down payment. The question is: what do we do from there? Buy another home in an "up" market? Rent until the bubble bursts? (Rent is still very high.) We don't want to move to the East Bay. We only want to live in SF or Marin. Thoughts on this?
  • August 17 2014 - Excelsior
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Answers (11)

Sounds like you decided to stay - definitely a good option as your housing value will likely continue to rise.  Congrats on already gaining so much potential value in your home! 

If you did decide to sell, I'd definitely suggest buying over renting, especially in SF where rents are so high.  Buying a home that might need a little bit of work, and doing minor upgrades while you live there is a great way to add more value to a new home, if you decide to buy in a high market like today.  

Good luck!
-Ryan
  • February 18
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Profile picture for melissamyers3
Good advice and thank you all! After looking at what's on the market in Marin, even that chunk of change isn't an upgrade in terms of bedrooms/baths. I also agree that, no matter what happens, SF will always be the most valuable market. Think we will stay put for now.
  • August 19 2014
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That's great since you are in a position to make money in this market.
Take the 300,000 profit and use it to buy a better property in a better area of Marin. With that much cash, you should get a good rate on your loan.
 Interest rates are still really low and the housing market has not risen so much that you would now be buying at the top of the market. We expect  home prices  to continue to rise....but slowly. Best of Luck to you!   
  • August 18 2014
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[Spam deleted by Zillow moderator.]
  • August 18 2014
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If you need to sell now then buying in Marin would be a better choice in terms of a larger/better home, location and schools. Marin market is lagging behind SF in appreciation and prices still have room to move up. 
  • August 18 2014
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Profile picture for Hannah Tai Homes
Depending on where you want to live in Marin, you will most likely be able to find more square footage and land than in the City. There is a noticeable change in the market from a few months back. More homes are sitting and not as many multiple offers. I would say right now is a great time to sell as inventory is still low in SF, and as mentioned, the market has slowed here in Marin. I deal with many SF buyers who want to buy here because of the excellent schools, weather, etc. that Marin has to offer.
  • August 17 2014
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Melissa, I think it depends on your opinion of the future values of real estate in the area.

Personally, I'd rather own property in a higher-demand area, but that may not be where you want to live, in which case - from a purely financial point of view, I'd say, keep the valuable real estate even if you'd have to rent, rather than sell to buy in a less valuable area.
  • August 17 2014
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Profile picture for Tony Ngai
I have a client that were planning on selling first, then renting before buying.  Unfortunately, because the rent is so high in the city, they have decided to buy first before selling;  Thus, bypassing renting.  However, with renting, will give you some time to look for another property.  One of my tenant did just that.  Sold their property in May, and is currently renting while looking for their next property.
  • August 17 2014
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Hi Melissa,
The answer really depends on your specific needs and why you are considering selling.  Does your house or neighborhood no longer suit your needs?  Although we are clearly in a seller's market in SF, there are opportunities out there for savvy buyers.
  • August 17 2014
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Hi Melissa,

Market is still on its way up in the Bay Area so I would ride that.  [self promotion deleted by Zillow moderator. Please see our Good Neighbor Policy for posting guidelines]

In addition when you go to purchase be sure to work with an agent that gives you cash back:   It amazes me at how many buyers think getting cash back is illegal.  It is completely legal in 38 States (including California).  Good luck!
  • August 17 2014
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
As you are well aware, the market in SF is crazy at the moment.     While $250,000 sounds like a good chunk of change for a down payment,  many homes are going way above asking price (e.g. more than $250k above asking price) so it is hard to get a loan.     If you don't mind paying way above appraised value and really want to move, do so.     If you want to pocket the money and rent, do so.   When's the next crash?   SF tends to have less than many areas.    Or, stay put. 
  • August 17 2014
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