Bob Muehlbauer
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SF Gate

Sound Off: Do you miss Sunday open houses as a way of promoting listings?

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13

Q: Do you miss Sunday open houses as a way of promoting listings?

A: The lack of open houses have not hurt sellers of single family dwellings one bit, with online photos and videos taking the place of open houses. In San Francisco the median sold single-family residence price increased $131,000 between 2019 and 2020, in Alameda county $178,500. But the poor buyers.

They have spent hours pouring over photos and videos, analyzing disclosure packages, and with no open houses have finally landed a 30-minute appointment to actually walk through the property. Only to be told by their realtor they will need to pay $200,000 to 300,000 above list if they want it. Ouch.

The condo market has not fared as well, particularly units in high-rises where waits for elevators due to social distancing can be annoying, many amenities are closed. But that too is starting to change as those out-priced from single-family residences are taking a second look.

Astrid Lacitis, Vanguard Properties, 415-860-0765,

A: This is such a “people” business that not being able to meet face-to-face with buyers and sellers is difficult.

Open houses have been a staple in our business for years and good agents are able to meet new clients at Sunday open houses.

I believe a lot of people just liked going out on a Sunday afternoon for pleasure, even if they were not in the market for a home. Through the years, the same people would come to all my open houses, I called them my “Sunday friends” because I wouldn’t see them, except for Sunday opens.

It is a way to really connect with your community in an easy, non-pressured way. Many times I would talk with guests at my open house about everything except real estate.

The virtual...

Regency Redux: Add a Dose of 'Bridgerton' Glam to Your Entryway

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
Bold florals, luxe materials, and more design details to make the most of your entryway? Lady Whistledown would definitely approve.

An Author's Modern Retreat in New York Is Impossible To Put Down

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
An author’s modern retreat in the woods received offers within a matter of days. Located in upstate New York, it comes with its own writer's studio.

Former Schoolhouse Turned Winning Wedding Venue Needs a Buyer To Say 'I Do'

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
A schoolhouse from the 1920s in Malabar, FL, was reimagined as a wedding venue a decade ago. The opportunity is now available for a buyer with big dreams.

Matt Paxton's Revelation About 4 Types of 'Clutter' Is Highly Valuable: Which Are in Your House?

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
Matt Paxton is surprised to find a Picasso and two Salvador Dali pieces during his latest home organization session on "Legacy List."

Finance, real estate bosses push NYC voters to mayoral primary

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13

New York's finance and real estate leaders, eager to elect a business-friendly mayor to guide the pandemic recovery, have a message for the heavily Democratic city: The vote that matters is in June.

Goldman Sachs, Neuberger Berman, RXR Realty and Related Cos. are among the scores of companies making a push to get voters registered for New York's typically low-turnout June primaries.

The effort is officially nonpartisan, couched in language about participating in democracy. But the subtext is clear: The next mayor is all but certain to come from the crowded Democratic primary field. And for Republicans or unaffiliated voters who want a say, that means switching parties to vote in the pivotal primary.

"Citywide elections are really decided in the Democratic primary," said Scott Rechler, chief executive officer of RXR. "To the extent that there are people who can register to vote in New York City, they should be in the Democratic party so that their vote counts."

Only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary. For the roughly 1.6 million active Republicans, third-party members and independents in New York City, the state deadline to switch parties is Feb. 14.

The stakes are high for New York's business community, with many feeling they were shunned by Bill de Blasio. In 2013, he won a contested Democratic primary in which just 3% of registered voters turned out, then went on to two terms as mayor.

The business community is concerned about support among some Democrats for raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting the police budget. That's after the pandemic battered the city, emptying out office buildings and restaurants and sending residents fleeing for the suburbs.

Last month, the Partnership for New York City, a civic organization whose members include...

Long Island Estate Once Owned by Robin Gibb on the Market for $12.9M

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
A harmonious waterfront estate located in Lloyd Harbor, NY, which was once owned by the Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb, has come on the market.

The Most Dreamy Bedrooms We've Ever Seen—in the Movies

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
In honor of Valentine's Day, we've decided to highlight the best bedrooms from the big screen—and glean some decor moves inspired by them.

Half-Converted Gothic Chapel From 1905 Is the Week's Most Popular Home

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
Fans of cool conversions flocked to a heavenly project for sale in Connecticut: a not-quite-finished chapel, ready to be reimagined as a three-bedroom home.

'House Party' Podcast: Is Real Estate Better Than Sex? Plus, Why The Weeknd Can't Sell His $22M Mansion

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
This week we discuss the not-so-secret fantasy of browsing online real estate listings, why The Weeknd can't pull in a buyer for his home, and more.

8 Last-Minute Items for a Stay-at-Home Valentine's Day You'll Love

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
To help get this year’s celebrations off the ground, we’ve rounded up eight sweet (and savory) must-haves for the ultimate at-home Valentine’s Day.

Fixer-Upper With a Premium Pedigree: Eleanor Roosevelt's Childhood Home for Sale

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
A historic home where Eleanor Roosevelt spent her childhood is available. Although the exterior emits plenty of historical vibes, it's a real fixer-upper.

'Nicest House on the Lake': This $12.5M Mansion Is Michigan's Most Expensive Home

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
A sweet lake house on the market for $12.5 million is the most expensive home in all of Michigan. The 16,000-square-foot mansion is in Charlevoix, MI.

Steve and Leanne Ford Are 'Back Home'—With a 'Magical' Makeover You Must See

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13
In "Home Again With the Fords," Leanne and Steve Ford help Leanne's old college friend redesign a space that is perfect for a family with young kids.

U.S. home prices post record gain, topping peak from 2005

Sun, 02/14/2021 - 13:13

U.S. home prices, fueled by the lowest mortgage rates in history, rose at the fastest pace on record, surpassing the peak from the last property boom in 2005.

The median price of a single-family home climbed 14.9% to $315,000 in the fourth quarter. That was the biggest surge in data going back to 1990, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Northeast led the way as buyers rushed to the suburbs. Fairfield County, Conn., home to Greenwich and other tony towns, rose 39% for the biggest increase in the U.S.

The pandemic property boom has been driven by low borrowing costs and flexible work policies that allow Americans to live where they want.

People are leaving expensive cities like New York and San Francisco relocating to more affordable areas. Even with high unemployment, prices are soaring across the U.S. because there's an increasingly short supply of existing homes to choose from.

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