Category Archives: blog

man swimming in money

San Francisco is millionaire central

man swimming in moneySan Francisco is millionaire central according to Spear’s magazine, Europe’s leading wealth management authority, and WealthInsight, a company that provides invaluable data on the world’s High Net Worth Individuals.The two teamed up to create a city-by-city breakdown of the global top 20 cities for millionaires by population density. Only three cities in the US made the list and San Francisco is one of them.

“Favorable tax and outstanding location are important criteria for attracting clusters of millionaires, but so too is ready access to wealth managers and private banks,” says WealthInsight Analyst Oliver Williams. “Switzerland’s two financial hubs of Zurich and Geneva are traditional havens of private banking, but so too is London, the world’s third largest home of millionaires.”

This is not a list of cities with the absolute highest number of millionaires, but those with the highest population density of millionaires. San Francisco came in third in the United States at 2.07% millionaires and 19th on the global list. Experts say the proximity to Silicon Valley and tech millionaires made the difference.

WealthInsight proprietary database of more than 100,000 high net worth individuals with net assets of $1 million or more globally was used to create the list. In the U.S., New York City came in first place with 4.63% of its residents considered millionaires and Houston, Texas coming in second with 2.09% of the city’s population being millionaires.

The Wall Street Journal ran a report earlier this year using data from Phoenix Marketing International,a Marketing Consulting and Advanced Analytical Market Modeling firm specializing in assisting clients in the market management process, through a unique combination of industry expertise, methods and consulting services, combining primary and syndicated marketing research expertise with database analytics and modeling proficiency. That list showed a state-by-state ranking of millionaires. California came in 10th with 6.04% millionaires.

Since San Francisco is millionaire central, if this blog post interests or applies to you, I invite you to have a look at my website for property listings in its many affluent neighborhoods. On the other hand, if you want to sell your property in San Francisco, you might want to learn more about me before you choose a real estate agent. Please feel free to contact me via email at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or by direct line at 415.901.1727. Looking forward to helping you!

Shih-Tzu

The Best Dogs for Luxury High-rise Living in San Francisco

Recent statistics show that today, there are more dogs living in this city than there are children. Homeowners should be aware, however, that not all canines can be considered the best dogs for luxury high-rise living in San Francisco.

Size is not necessarily the defining factor. The ASPCA suggests homeowners consider the energy of a dog before they bring one home. Dogs with low energy levels don’t need extensive walks or workouts as long as they get sufficient exercise and are not overfed.

Here’s a list of the top 6 dogs that make natural city-dwellers:

Norfolk Terrier 1. Norfolk Terrier

Pug2. Pug

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

French Bulldog4. French Bulldog

Yorkshire Terrier5. Yorkshire Terrier

Shih-Tzu6. Shih-Tzu

If you are looking for a medium to large dog that can adjust well to luxury high-rise living in San Francisco, here’s a list:

  • Mastiff, Bullmastiff
  • Great Dane
  • Samoyed
  • St. Bernard
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Old English Sheepdog,
  • Shar Pei
  • Bouvier des Flandres
  • Briard
  • German Shepherd

Luxury high-rise owners need to keep in mind that an individual dog can have a higher or lower energy level, no matter what breed. If you are considering bringing home a puppy, be sure to socialize your pet and participate in obedience training, no matter what size or breed.

San Francisco can be a magical place for both humans and canines to live. However, homeowners that do a little research before bringing a dog home will save themselves the potential heartache of falling in love with an inappropriate breed.

If you are looking to buy or sell a new home in “the city” for your family and your dog, please email me at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or give me a call at (415) 200-7744. In the meantime, be sure to check my website to see what’s on the market today.

San Francisco

Wealthy Chinese nationals moving to San Francisco

San FranciscoWealthy Chinese nationals are leading the rise in international sales of U.S. real estate. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that international buyers spent $92 billion last year, with 24% of those sales coming from affluent Chinese. In second place, wealthy Canadians followed by the United Kingdom then India.

“We live in an international marketplace, so while all real estate is local, that does not mean that all property buyers are,” said NAR president Steve Brown. “Foreign buyers are being enticed to U.S. real estate because of what they recognize as attractive prices, economic stability and an incredible opportunity for investment in their future.”

Where do these affluent international buyers spend the most money? Right here in California, of course. These buyers are snatching up high-end condos and waterfront houses in record numbers to use as either vacation/rental homes or their primary residence. Other popular states for foreign investors include Florida, Texas, and Arizona.

Experts say many Chinese buyers see U.S. real estate as a better investment opportunity than is available in China, and in some cases as a safe haven for cash.Some of the main reasons foreigners are buying property in the U.S. include:

  • Relocating for a job
  • Relocating for children’s education
  • Buying properties for investment and portfolio diversification
  • Purchasing vacation homes

According to the latest statistics, 60% of these foreign buyers pay cash for their high-end real estate purchases.

This steady growth of US residential real estate sales by international buyers has been on the rise since 2012 and is expected to continue, as our economy grows even more global. Technology is one of the main factors helping drive sales overseas.

San Francisco is a prime destination for wealthy Chinese homebuyers. In California, we ranked #2 after Los Angeles for this affluent group. If you are thinking of moving here or contemplating selling your San Francisco home, please feel free to contact me via email at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or by direct line at 415.901.1727. In the meantime, be sure to check my website for San Francisco real estate listings.

 

San Francisco skyline at night

San Francisco: luxury home prices soar but still considered a bargain?

San Francisco skyline at nightSan Francisco’s luxury home prices may be soaring, but they are still considered a bargain compared to other global markets. In a new report published in Forbes Magazine listing the world’s most expensive cities, San Francisco ranked 74th on the global list, and third among U.S. cities, after New York and Los Angeles (62nd).However, even with vigorous price and sales volume gains, San Francisco remains a relative bargain when compared with other top international cities. The most expensive city on the planet today is Luanda, Angola (for the second year in a row); coming in second is N’Djamena, Chad, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, and Zurich. The only U.S. city to make the top-20 list was New York, which ranked 16, after London, Beijing, Seoul, and Copenhagen. Compiled for Forbes annually by employment-consulting firm Mercer, this information is supposed to help multinational companies determine salaries and other monetary compensation allowances for their employees. Mercer compared 211 cities across five continents in the report, comparing the price of more than 200 items in each location; from housing, transportation, food and clothing, to household goods and entertainment. “Rankings in many regions were affected by recent world events, including economic and political upheavals, which resulted in currency fluctuations, cost inflation for goods and services, and volatility in accommodation prices,” said Ed Hannibal, Partner and Global Leader for Mercer’s Mobility practice. “While Luanda and N’Djamena are relatively inexpensive cities, they are quite costly for expatriates since imported goods come at a premium. In addition, finding secure living accommodations that meet the standards of expatriates can be challenging and quite costly as well. This is generally why some African cities rank high in our survey.” Other U.S. cities on the list were White Plains, N.Y. (81); Chicago (85); Washington, D.C. (92); Honolulu (97); Miami (98); Boston (109); Dallas (125); Morristown, N.J. (132); Houston (143); Atlanta (147); Seattle (153); Minneapolis (156); Detroit (160); St. Louis (161); Pittsburgh (162); Portland, Ore. (166); Cleveland (167); and Winston-Salem, N.C. (182). As luxury home prices in San Francisco soar, it is important to remember that these listings are still considered a bargain when compared to other places, Plus, anyone who lives here will tell you the lifestyle is worth every penny. If you are thinking of moving here or contemplating selling your San Francisco home, please feel free to contact me via email at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or by direct line at 415.901.1727. In the meantime, be sure to check my website for San Francisco real estate listings.  

stunning view in San Francisco

San Francisco: a city with visually stunning views

stunning view in San FranciscoThe city of San Francisco offers residents and visitors alike some of the most visually stunning views in the world! Surprisingly, you can happen upon them just about anywhere in the city but I’ve put together a list of my 10 favorites below.

1) Rocky Outcrop Park: if it’s rugged wilderness you’re looking for, this is the place, right in the heart of San Francisco.

2) Grand View Park: incredible, panoramic views can be taken in while you hike this sprawling park. Don’t miss the magnificent Moraga tiled steps!

3) Twin Peaks: a favorite among tourists with spectacular views of the city and the bay. Don’t let the crowds derail your opportunity to take in the awe-inspiring views!

4) Broadway and Fillmore: offers a breathtaking view of the world-famous iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

5) Bernal Heights Park: the summit offers sight seekers a view of the Bay Bridge as well as Downtown.

6) Mount Davidson: is well known for being the highest peak in San Francisco. Just imagine what you’ll see from the highest peak and then multiply that by 100! It’s one of my favorite places to hike too.

7)Corona Heights Park: is known for its jagged boulders, which are a sight to see, but add the impressive skyline views and you’ll never want to leave!

8) Tank Hill Park: might be the best-kept secret in the city. You will feel like you are the only person in the world appreciating the stunning skyline.

9) Kite Hill: is not only a great place to take in the amazing views but also to fly a kite due to the constant wind! Hence the name….

10) Billy Goat Hill: if it’s a classic, private hilltop park that gives you goose bumps then this is for you! Not only will you enjoy the views, but for those thrill seekers, there a rope swing dangling from a tree.

These visually stunning views are just another reason why I love living in San Francisco. If you are thinking of moving here or contemplating selling your San Francisco home, please feel free to contact me via email at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or by direct line at 415.901.1727. In the meantime, be sure to check my website for San Francisco real estate listings.

 

balcony urban garden

San Francisco’s urban garden movement

balcony urban gardenThe urban garden movement is growing in San Francisco. City dwellers here are discovering new and innovative ways to bring the outside in by urban gardening. Even if you live in a high rise, lacking a backyard or spacious patio, you can still transform your balcony, window sill or just about any space into your own oasis featuring fresh flowers, herbs and even fruits and vegetables.

The first step is to set up your space. Start by considering how much room you have and pay close attention to the available lighting. From there, you can determine what kinds of plants to grow. If you are lucky enough to have some outside space or even a roof-top, then the sky’s the limit!

There are many articles on-line with amazing ideas on urban gardening like this one. I particularly like the idea of using mason jars as planters and shipping pallets for extra vertical storage. You will also find info on potential plants that will grow well in an urban setting. One thing I noticed when researching this blog was the importance of lighting in your urban garden.

Those city dwellers with absolutely no room for a garden of their own, can still get their hands dirty thanks to the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Community Gardens Program. Check here on the “Join an Existing Garden” page to locate a garden that’s growing on city-owned land, and apply for membership (the process often involves a waiting list). If there is no existing community garden near-by, you can start a new community garden. Or, contact other public agencies and private property owners who spearhead community garden sites throughout the city. Here’s a list of San Francisco community gardens.

If you are looking for a residence that is inspiringly beautiful and has space for your own urban garden, please contact me via email at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or give me a call at (415) 200-7744. In the meantime, be sure to check my website.

San Francisco house for sale

5 Reasons to Buy a Home Now

 

San Francisco house for saleIf you are thinking of purchasing property in San Francisco, for yourself or as an investment, read my 5 reasons to buy a home now. Many people call San Francisco one of the most romantic and sophisticated cities in the U.S. I concur! Those of us fortunate enough to call San Francisco home enjoy the beautiful weather, the strong economy, the highly educated population, our abundance of entertainment choices, and the remarkable architecture. Read my previous blog post about the perks of living here.

1. More jobs

The unemployment rate is 6.1%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest numbers show an increase in the health care industry as well as professional and business services, transportation and social assistance, among others. Simply put: when more people have jobs, they have the money to invest in real estate.

2. Houses are a smart investment

Even if inflation rises, a major asset like a home is an even more valuable when prices climb.

3. Slowing housing price increases

Experts are predicting the increases in home prices will slow, so now is the time to take advantage of these great conditions.

4. Low mortgage

Mortgage rates are close to where they were at the beginning of the recession when a benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate loan averaged 4.32%. Those numbers have nowhere to go but up.

5. Demand drives prices up

With 81 million Echo Boomers now over the age of 30, the number of homebuyers will rise to where they were in the ‘70s when 78 million Baby Boomers grew up.

As we have all witnessed, a housing recovery is not a linear experience. Smart investors know that surges come and go, conditions get better and worse, but I am here to tell you, buying a home right now is an excellent idea! Besides the five reasons I’ve explained above, owning property is a great financial asset to anyone’s portfolio, and offers long-term tax savings.

San Francisco continues to be one of the most robust real estate markets in the U.S. If your search to buy a new home now brings you to “the city,” please email me at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or give me a call at (415) 200-7744. In the meantime, be sure to check my website to see what’s on the market today.

 

 

 

A room for your Pez

What to do with an extra bedroom

A room for your PezAre you wondering what to do with an extra bedroom? I’ve seen thousands of homes in San Francisco, and what homeowners do with their extra bedrooms never ceases to amaze me. Of course, I’ve seen the expected choice such as home offices and gyms, but check out what real estate agents across the country have witnessed:

  1. A room dedicated to the homeowner’s Pez dispenser collection.
  2. A bedroom in a basement that was literally wall-to-wall carpet.
  3. An art room where the seller painted a larger-than-life sized portrait of Stevie Ray Vaughan on the wall. They also had Jimi Hendrix in another bedroom and Eric Clapton on the formal living room wall.
  4. A putting green in the attic with holes in the floor, green turf and a simulator.
  5. A space to store an art skull collection.
  6. A room dedicated to the family cat.
  7. A hammock room.
  8. A doll room; just a room full of dolls.
  9. A stamp collecting room filled with literally thousands of stamps.
  10. A puppy breeding room.
  11. A place to display the homeowner’s motorcycle.
  12. Personal dry cleaning room.
  13. A home for the resident’s sports figures collection.
  14. A gun and sword collection display room.

    Here are some of the more practical ideas:

    1. Ballet studio
    2. Billiards room
    3. Craft/art/sewing/hobby/gift wrapping room
    4. Extra bedroom
    5. Hair salon
    6. Homeschooling room
    7. Kids’ play room
    8. Man cave
    9. Massage room
    10. Metal shop
    11. Photography dark room
    12. Reading room/library
    13. Recording studio
    14. Storage
    15. Train set room
    16. TV/movie/game room
    17. Walk-in closet
    18. Wine room
    19. Yoga/meditation/prayer room

    Keep in mind; whatever you do with your extra bedroom, you must be prepared to change it when you decide to sell. To get the full market value, an extra bedroom should be staged as….a bedroom! I am happy to discuss ways to stage your house to get the full market value when it comes to selling your home in San Francisco. For potential buyers asking what to do with an extra bedroom, I can help them see the potential in the property they are considering. For more information on industry trends, please contact me via email at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or give me a call at (415) 200-7744. Whether you are planning to sell or buy, I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you. In the meantime, be sure to check my website.

Estate for sale in San Francisco

Real Estate: the top investment alternative for U.S. millionaires

Estate for sale in San FranciscoThe top alternative investment for U.S. millionaires today is real estate. That, according to a report from the New York based investment bank, Morgan Stanley. During the fourth quarter of last year, the company’s Wealth Management unit surveyed 1,004 U.S. investors ages 25 to 75, with at least $100,000 in assets. Here’s how the report breaks down their investment choices:

  • 77% with at least $1 million in assets own real estate.
  • Ownership of residential and commercial properties is the No. 1 alternative-investment pick for 2014.
  • 23% say they expect to invest in real estate investment trusts, the second-most popular choice.
  • 20% chose collectibles as the third-most-popular alternative-investment choice this year.
  • 19% selected private equity.
  • 16% selected precious metals.

“After a year where the Standard & Poor’s Index rose 30%, some millionaires are moving money out of traditional, long-only strategies to find outperformance, and turning toward alternatives such as real estate and private equity,” said Gary Kaminsky, a vice chairman at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in New York. “Sophisticated, high-net-worth investors are much more concerned about losses.”

There are many reasons wealthy investors are choosing real estate. First off, fixed-income yields remain historically low. Commercial-property values in the U.S. rose 8% by the end of January 2014, rising by 71% since 2009. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, home prices in 20 cities are up by 24%. This trend does not only pertain to U.S. millionaires. Wealthy foreign investors are also buying high-end U.S. properties.

The bottom line: owning real estate is attractive because of the expected appreciation of property value and consistent stream of income through rental properties. Real estate also offers investors better control and supervision over their investments.

These national numbers tell the story of our continued economic recovery. If you are a wealthy investor who sees real estate as a top alternative investment for your portfolio and are looking to invest in San Francisco, please take a look at my website. Whether you are planning to buy or sell, I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you. Just email me at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or give me a call at (415) 200-7744.

Jazz festival

The perks that come with living in San Francisco

Jazz festival

The Fillmore Jazz Festival blends art and soul and has become one of the largest free Jazz festivals on the West Coast.

There are so many perks that come with living in San Francisco. One of my favorites is the numerous, colorful street fairs and festivals. From family-friendly events such as the Union Street Econ-Urban Festival to the San Francisco Marathon, there’s something for all walks of life in San Francisco.

It is truly amazing how often there are festivals, concerts, and just randomly awesome cultural events going on here. From SantaCon to Fleet WeekYerba Buena to the Academy of Science, it’s impossible not to get drawn to something you didn’t expect. The city of San Francisco fosters these events by allowing street shut downs for impromptu performances and adjusting public transportation accordingly.

It’s just one of the many reasons I love to live here! Here’s a listing of some of the noted events that happen in July alone:

San Francisco Waterfront Festival An annual San Francisco waterfront Independence Day party that delivers brilliant fireworks over the Bay, live entertainment as well as food, arts and crafts. 12-9pm, fireworks begin around 9pm.

Fillmore Street Jazz Festival This free jazz festival features live music on three stages in addition to 200 arts and crafts booths.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival American and international filmmakers will screen over 40 of their work at this, the first and oldest Jewish film festival in the world.

North Beach Jazz Festival North Beach has always played a key role in the rich history of San Francisco’s jazz scene. Every year, organizers pick some of the hottest and most innovative bands in the country to play at the North Beach Jazz Festival. This five-day celebration of the Soul of San Francisco begins on Wednesday when over 40 bars and clubs along Grant Street host local and national jazz talent. Throughout the week, all forms of jazz flow freely from North Beach’s nightlife, including bossa nova, latin jazz, acid jazz and all the inventive amalgamations the form can muster. For the weekend, hip cats abandon their dark, lusty venues and syncopate openly among the curious and faithful with free concerts in Washington Square Park.

If you are considering buying a home in San Francisco, please contact me via email at Daniel.DerVartanian@sothebyshomes.com or give me a call at (415) 901-1727. I am familiar with all the communities and can guide you in the right direction to find the home of your dreams. In the meantime, be sure to check my website.