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How To Buy A House in San Francisco

How to buy a house in San Francisco

If you are asking yourself how to buy a house in San Francisco, you may already know it is a rather competitive market with low inventory and many buyers competing.  So, let’s say you plan to buy a house in the next 6 months, what should you do to position yourself in the best way possible?

Here are several tips I would suggest after being a local San Francisco real estate broker for the past 14 years and after selling over $200,000,000 in SF real estate.

I meet clients often at open houses or through this blog who are just beginning their search.  Sometimes they are beginning their search by seeing what is available in a certain price range they think they can afford, in a neighborhood they are familiar with, or by looking for a home with at least a particular number of bedrooms.

Here are some tips to make the process easier and less of a headache.

Bay Bridge to San Francisco

How To Buy A House in San Francisco


Research Online

You already know this but there is a lot of information online through Zillow, Redfin etc.  This first step is all about understanding how houses are being priced.  This is when you begin to figure out if buying a house in San Francisco is something you actually want to do.  Before speaking with a realtor most people want to have some sense of the cost.


If you are planning on financing your house purchase it is a very important step to speak with a mortgage broker or to stop by your bank and discuss your income, your credit score, and the amount of debt you have.  In general you do not want to be paying more than one third of your monthly income on housing payments.  You may be able to qualify for a mortgage that is closer to 40% of your monthly income but you will want to think hard on what effect this will have on your lifestyle.  Once you understand the amount you can afford to pay each month you can work out what price you can pay for a home.  This will really help you figure out if buying a house is the right choice for you.

Find a Realtor

I often speak with clients for the first time when they are searching for more information about a specific house.  Often by the time they call me the house has already been sold or is accepting offers in the next day or two.  The first good reason for working with a local expert is to find out about homes as soon as they hit the market and sometimes even before they go live online.  Since the marketing period is often so short, a week or two sometimes, knowing about a house for sale as soon as possible is paramount.  This will give you the time to read through the disclosures properly and make sure you have your financing lined up.

Be The Best Home Buyer You Can Be

Buying a house in San Francisco is a competition.  Your realtor, hopefully me, will help you to be the best buyer you can be.  Your realtor not only works hard to make sure you are one of the first people to know about a home for sale, but also presents you to the seller in the best light possible.  Your realtor is truly your agent, meaning they will speak for you and explain to the seller why they should choose your offer.  And while presenting you properly they still create a space in which you can do your due diligence to make sure your new home will be a place you will be happy to live in.

I would love to hear your questions about How to Buy a House is San Francisco.  You can email me here:  Let’s Talk!

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