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Real Estate Investment: What’s Right for You?

SF Bay Area Realtor Deborah Lopez 299x300 Real Estate Investment: Whats Right for You?

Deborah Lopez

In a previous article, I talked about building wealth by investing in real estate.  Even in difficult market conditions, this strategy can provide you with a significant return. 

A key to success is to identify the type of investment property that best aligns with your goals and investment strategy!

by Deborah Lopez, San Francisco Realtor

What Kind of Property is a Good Real Estate Investment?

Investment property can be anything you purchase for the specific purpose of investment!  This includes everything from land, condominiums, houses, apartment buildings, office buildings or even commercial shopping centers.   

What you purchase is determined by the time and effort you want to dedicate to this part of your life.

Turn-key investments handle everything for you – all you do is sit back and cash the check. You can use your unit a few weeks a year, keep it furnished and then rent it on a weekly basis to vacationers.  Or, the property management team will find you a long-term tenant.   

Another option for hassle-free investing is putting your money into a tenancy-in-common commercial investment.  By doing that, you get a percentage interest in a big shopping center, office building and/or apartment complex.   You get a return, an income check and all the tax deductions; however, your exit strategy may be limited.

Or you can do it yourself – buy a property, handle the rentals, take care of the tenants and pay yourself the management costs.  Tenants and toilets can be a drudge for some, but for others, it’s an exciting part of creating wealth. 

Evaluating the level of involvement you want is part of the process I go through with you when setting up an investment strategy.

Where Can You Buy? 

The options are limitless and can provide you with some fun!  Of course, if you are managing your property yourself, you will want to buy something close to home. 

But the IRS allows you to deduct the costs of travel to inspect your investments twice a year, so why not consider something in a place you always visit or would like to always visit?  How about a condo in Paris, Buenos Aires or Tel Aviv?   What about a duplex in Portland or Arizona?  Or an apartment building in Manhattan?   

There are management and tax issues involved in owning real estate in far away places. But they can be offset by the pleasure of  travel when you simply have to go visit your property! 

Every market offers unique opportunities to build your wealth with real estate. There is no time like the present to get started on building your real estate portfolio.  If you would like to learn more about how to develop your real estate investment strategy, please call me!

Sharing is caring…so if you enjoyed this article be sure to share it!

Food for Thought – A Mission worth thinking about

I am very proud to be an ambassador for Food for Thought 2009 on November 11th and I would love for you to join me for some great food to benefit a great cause  at  Farina Focaccia and Cucina Italiana.  This promises to be a really fun night!

Food for Thought is an annual dine-out event that benefits the youth programs at Mission Graduates—a local nonprofit that works to increase the number of kids from San Francisco’s Mission District who are prepared for and complete a college education.  It serves 1100 children and youth each year!  Over 25 restaurants in San Francisco are participating and donating  at least  25% of sales to our organization. We hope to raise over $35,000 on this special night and we need your help!

As an ambassador, my job is to get all of my friends and colleagues to make reservations on November 11th at  Farina Focaccia. This is a simple way for you to support both youth from the community and local restaurants that have agreed to participate.  I want this to be a fun night out for everyone!  I will be there from  5:30 -10PM.   I hope you will join me!

Be sure to  make  your  reservations  today  for Wednesday, November 11th at  Farina.  Invite your friends and let’s make it a party! 

Here’s the phone number (415)  864-4033  or you can do it online!

Thank you! Hope you can make  it for a very fun night!  For more information about Mission Graduates and Food for Thought, please go to

Watch for Falling McMansions….

The Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2009:

Waiting for the Next McMansion to Drop


Despite some tentative signs of recovery, the U.S. housing market remains vulnerable to further price drops—especially in areas where large numbers of mortgages are headed toward foreclosure over the next few years.

The Wall Street Journal’s quarterly survey of housing-market data in 28 major metro areas shows sharp drops in the number of homes listed for sale across the country. But the potential supply of homes is far larger because banks are likely to acquire significant numbers of foreclosed homes in some areas, notably Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit, Phoenix, Miami and other parts of Florida, and Sacramento, Calif., over the next few years.

Sales of those homes may depress prices further. By contrast, metro areas with relatively low foreclosure and mortgage-delinquency rates include Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, Raleigh, N.C., and Portland, Ore., making them less vulnerable.

Read more…

It’s Coming! And maybe to a neighborhood near you…

Upcoming listings:
$1,049,000 //   Noe Valley // Jersey BR/BA:  3/1 PKG: 1 Brief Description:   Stunning Edwardian condo with remodeled kitchen and bath on a great block.
$949,000 // Eureka Valley // Castro St BR/BA: 2+/2 PKG:  2 Brief Description: Beautifully renovated  Edwardian flat,  half way between the Castro and Noe Valley. Newer electrical, plumbing and roof. Lower unit in two-unit building with 2 bedrooms, plus a small bedroom/ office and 2 bathrooms. Walk score 92.
$815,000 // Duboce Triangle // 15th Street BR/BA: 2/1 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Upper flat in 2 unit with Formal Dining, WB fireplace, hdwd, nice redo on split bath, original kit. 1400+ sq ft. on MLS 11/6.
$799,000 // Westwood Park // Plymouth BR/BA: 3/1 PKG: 2 Brief Description: fully detached, gracious Mediterranean style home with original gumwood formal dining/living rooms  Full basement for expansion or storage.
$795,000//Outer Richmond // 37th Ave BR/BA: 3/1 plus bonus room down, Brief Description: English entry, barrel front, beautiful details, great space, 1st time on the market in over 40 yrs, needs updating.
$725,000 // NOPA // Turk Street BR/BA: 3/1 PKG: NO   Brief Description: Upper floor condo in a lovely restored 4 unit Edwardian building Over 1400 square feet. Large rooms with period detail throughout.  Some downtown views from bedrooms. Big shared yard.
$669,000 // Bernal Heights // Murray Street BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Fantastic top floor unit in 3 unit bldg constructed in 2006. Great natural light + skylights, stainless steel kitchen with granite, luxurious baths. Views and easy access to shared common roof deck. Easy access to all commuter routes, Muni + BART.
$649,000//Inner Richmond// 3rd Avenue BR/BA: 2-3/1 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Remodeled top floor flat in 3 unit TIC building.  Eligible for 2nd year in condo lottery in Jan 2010.  Hardwood floors, good light, small deck off kitchen+ shared landscaped garden, W/D in unit. Leased parking ∏ block away on Cromwell.
$549,000 //South Beach // Harrison BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Amazing value- 2 bed, 2 bath, in unit laundry, patio.
$519,000 //Mission Terrace // Gorman  BR/BA: 2 /1 PKG: 2 Brief Description:  40’s home in original condition, but cleaned up well for showing. H/W flrs. FDR. Fireplace. Inexpensive because it needs updating.  Bonus room down and center Patio.

Pocket Listing:
$829,000 //Midtown Terrace // Dellbrook  BR/BA:3/2 baths PKG: 1 Brief Description: Beautifully maintained home, showing real pride of ownership. Panoramic view. Sellers leaving the outdoor hot tub-Easy to show! 
Price Reduction:
$1,279,000 Old Price: $1,349,000 // Anza Vista // 191 Anza Vista Ave  BR/BA: 3/3 PKG: 2 Brief Description: A great alternative location for buyers who can’t afford Noe Valley or North side locations but want a big view home. Convenient to everything and at a great price with beautiful views, light and air, and floor plan! 
$509,000 Old Price: 545,000 // Financial District// 201 Sansome St #305 BR/BA1/1 PKG: 0 Brief Description: The Royal Insurance Building nestled between The Mandarin Oriental and Equinox Gym. Malaysian hardwoods throughout.

What Style of Building Are you Living In?

San Francisco has a unique and varied architectural history, with many architectural styles and building forms represented. While this San Francisco Preservation Bulletin 18 discusses the foremost architectural periods, styles and building forms found in the City, it is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of architecture in San Francisco.

Period — Victorian (1860-1900). During this period, San Francisco’s architectural styles evolved from Mission-inspired and vernacular designs to styles of classicism and ornamentation. During the last decades of Britain’s Queen Victoria’s reign, a number of architectural styles were popularized in the United States. Loosely based on medieval prototypes, these styles are exemplified through multi-textured or multi-colored walls, asymmetrical facades and steeply pitched roofs. During this period, advances in technology resulted in the mass-production of housing materials such as doors, windows and siding, and the construction of complex shapes and elaborate detailing.

Period — Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Revivals (1890-1940). Commencing at the turn of the century and picking up steam in the 1920s, Period Revival architecture occurred amidst several great building booms. The longing for a foreign atmosphere, always a part of San Francisco culture, is exemplified during this period in which both traditional and exotic tastes found acceptance.

Period — Edwardian (1901-1910). Frequently, historic resources in San Francisco are referred to as “Edwardian,” in design and appearance. The term “Edwardian” was created to describe architecture produced in Great Britain and its colonies from 1901 to 1910, with the reign of Edward VII. Edwardian architecture encompasses a number of styles, with five main strands identified: Gothic Revival, Arts and Crafts, Neo-Georgian, Baroque Revival and the Beaux-Arts style. Interpreted in the United States and in San Francisco, the term “Edwardian” is often associated with multi-unit flats or apartment buildings constructed at the beginning of the 20th century.

Period — Modernistic (1925-1970). Beginning with the Art Deco style, the Modernistic period represented a radical departure in architectural expression. Art Deco was followed by Art Moderne, which, like its predecessor, was expressed through smooth surfaces, curved corners and the horizontality of structures. The period concludes with the International style, characterized by an absence of ornamentation and the use of rich materials, refined details and proportions.


How many tax reduction requests were granted by the Assessor’s Office?

Office of the Assesor-Recorder
San Francisco, CA
Monday, July 20, 2009

“Today Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting announced his office granted a temporary reduction in assessed value to 9,997 homes in San Francisco, which is allowed under state law (Proposition 8) if the current market value is lower than the assessed value. This is the first time since the mid-1990s the Assessor’s office has proactively issued widespread reductions. Despite the reductions, the total 2009 property assessment roll grew 6.98 percent from last year totaling $151.96 billion, which represents secured and unsecured real property and business personal property less exemptions.”

Read the entire report here: Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting Announces Reductions in Home Values (.pdf)

Staying Positive in a Challenging Economy – an event for Women

November 5th, 2009
5:30 to 7:30 pm
1160 Battery Street San Francisco, CA 94111

Come get valuable information from our trusted experts in a lively “speed dating format.”  Our team of experienced professionals is 100% committed to supporting women homeowners and buyers.

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New Listing! – 2615 Telegraph Avenue #301

Berkeley, close to campus.

Berkeley, close to campus.

2615 Telegraph Avenue #301
Berkeley, CA 94704

* 2 Bedrooms
* 1 Bath
* 1-Car Parking
* Close to UC Campus
* Secure Building
* HOA Dues: $325.00/month

Offered at: Read more

The Latest Market Listings…and Pre-Market Listings

Upcoming listings:
$1,199,000 // Marina // 1533 Beach Street., #3 BR/BA:  2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description:  Very large upper unit in Spanish style building with nice views of the bay.
$839,000 // Glen Park // Wilder BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description: Top Floor corner condo built in 2006. Walk-out deck great light and views. Above Canyon market in the heart of Glen Park.
$799,000 //SOMA // 6th Street BR/BA: 2/2 PKG: 1 Brief Description:  Gigantic top floor 3 level loft with views of Twin Peaks, over 2000sqft, beautiful loft!
$619,000 // Miraloma Park //  Coventry Court BR/BA: 2 /1 PKG: 2 Brief Description: Clean, vacant house on quiet cul-de-sac. Yard off kitchen. New paint in and out. Hardwood floors. Room to expand down. Excellent starter home Agent: 
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