Gabrielle Dahms

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San Francisco Community News - Tiny Pre-fab Homes Proposed on Cesar Chavez

Developer proposes 200 tiny prefab homes that fit together like LEGO

Unlike Legos, new homes will not cause unspeakably agony when stepped on

13 hours ago

San Francisco Community News - Want to Develop in San Francisco? Read this.

City short on housing study, new projects must wait

Housing pipeline just got incrementally longer

2 days ago

San Francisco Community News - Homelessness in San Francisco

Artist uses chain-link fence to send message about SF homeless

"I don't pretend this is going to solve anything," said the artist, "but I wanted it to get people, like me, to do a double take—to build awareness...

3 days ago

San Francisco Community News - Proposed Development near Caltrain

New 30-story condo complex pitched next to SOMA Caltrain

Someone wants to hitch a caboose to the South Beach condo train

3 days ago

Is Subprime Back?

August 18th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Is Subprime Back2

In spite of the meltdown that subprime was involved in In 2008, subprime appears to be back. Quietly. Essentially, those with credit scores below 680 will be in the subprime category. Those with credit scores between 680 and 739 for prime and those above that score qualify for super prime. Those classifications reflect the kind of risk that is involved with the individuals whose credit scores are reflected here.


A number of banks, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, offer what is essentially subprime under different names. These loans allow people who have poor or no credit to qualify – and with  3% or less of the purchase price. And the Federal Government is in on this, which in essence means that the taxpayer coughs up money when loans go bad. Interesting times!


©SFRE 2016


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Outer Sunset Development News

August 11th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Outer Sunset Development News

San Francisco’s Outer Sunset’s largely residential development is currently in the building phase. The five-story complex that will offer 56 residences at 2800 Sloat Boulevard is a short walk away from Ocean Beach. The complex has both Sloat Garden Center and the San Francisco Zoo as neighbors. It is easily accessible by public transit as well.

2800 Sloat will also include commercial space when complete. Get an idea here about what this new development will look like when done in mid-2017.  

This new addition to the Outer Sunset is the first large development in the neighborhood, which is primarily composed of single family homes and some apartment buildings.

©SFRE 2016


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SF Traffic & Mission Bay

August 4th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

SF Traffic and Mission Bay

It may come as no surprise that traffic in the Bay Area and in San Francisco has taken on somewhat nightmarish dimensions. In Mission Bay in San Francisco there are plenty of discussions about transit and of what it should look like. Some forces there say that the neighborhood should restrain growth but others claim that is not the answer. However one group has filed a lawsuit to block the development of the Golden State Warriors new arena in Mission Bay on the grounds that transit is not sufficient.

Mission Bay is of course one of the neighborhoods on the waterfront that has grown incredibly over the last 20 years. A lot of development has happened there after the clean up that cost billions of dollars – a toxic dump that the Navy left behind. Once cleaned up, this meant that now there was land available to build on in Mission Bay.

Development there started first around Townsend and the Caltrain station with luxury apartments and condos, the new AT&T Stadium, then some development of lofts along 3rd Street, followed by the UCSF building’s new campus which spreads through almost the entire neighborhood.  These developments have encouraged a huge building rush.

The Beacon and the Altera (Mission Bay condos), the Avalon apartments, the Edgewater, Channel Park, 1 Mission Bay, the Arden, the Madrid and the Radiance dot the landscape of Mission Bay.  UCSF continues to build more there. Several other developments (commercial and recreational) are in the works, including Mission Rock.

While Mission Bay is a biotech and medical hub, the Golden State Warriors plan to build a new sports arena and office complex on the waterfront which is slated to open in 2019. The San Francisco Giants are developing Mission Rock. There’s also a new hotel that is currently estimated to be completed in the summer of 2018.

This is a fast changing neighborhood and there will likely be additional items to address. The city has newly appointed parking meters on almost all streets in Mission Bay now, a sure sign that there is traffic and growth continues. Note that there is virtually no parking on 3rd Street, although 3rd Street serves as a commercial corridor.

Traffic here is likely to grow worse and the gridlock that happens in Mission Bay on game days could well become a more regular occurrence.

©SFRE 2016

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The Hot Issue of Housing in San Francisco

July 28th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

The Hot Issue of Housing in San Francisco

It is no secret that San Francisco sorely needs more housing. While there has been much new development and there is more in the development pipeline, most of what is being built fall into the luxury category. Even though every developer must provide a certain number of affordable units or pay the city in lieu of offering the prescribed number in their buildings, affordable housing is a hot button. There is simply not enough of it.

Affordable housing is likely a misnomer because it mainly affects the vanishing San Francisco middle class, which now needs to be subsidized to live here.  In order to have a vibrant city, more housing that is affordable to middle-income people is essential. Yet the city has no overall plan or vision for providing this, or at least not one that is working.

That, in turn, means that the issue of housing, whether affordable or not, is a political issue at this time. San Francisco supervisors debate about and propose solutions for affordable housing.

In order to build middle-class housing the city would likely have to make major changes because at this point developers are unmotivated to build middle-class housing (the numbers do not work out for them), market-rate housing costs too much for middle-income earners, and they do not qualify for subsidized housing.

That said, the Prop A housing bond passed in November 2015 and will provide $310 million in bonds for affordable housing. Additionally, Prop C (passed in June 2016) now requires developers to increase the number of below-market rate units from 12% to 25%. – However, these types of subsidies are bandaids versus an actual long-term solution to San Francisco’s affordable housing crisis.

©SFRE 2016


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Visitacion Valley Construction Project

July 21st, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Visitacion Valley Construction Project

Construction on the former Schlage Lock Company site has finally started after the site has sat empty for almost twenty years. This housing project in Visitacion Valley, a southerly San Francisco neighborhood, will add 1679 units to San Francisco housing stock. It is noteworthy that this is the first large­scale housing development in Visitacion Valley, formerly a sleepier neighborhood of San Francisco but one that has garnered home buyer interest in the last decade.

The Bayside Development LLC is completing the project in phases and the first 200 housing units will be built in 2018. Two other developers also had input into the project ­ Visitacion Investment LLC andUniversal Paragon. Universal Paragon, however, is no longer involved in the project. The site is being developed in an agreement with the city. A total of 15% of the units being built will be affordable housing.

This Visitacion Valley housing project will include retail space and a grocery store, and sits adjacent to Bayshore Caltrain. The project stalled on several previous occasions but appears to be on track now.

Visitacion Valley is one of San Francisco’s neighborhoods which are seeing large­scale housing projects. Other planned developments of a similar nature are planned for India Basin, Mission Rock, and the Bayview.

©SFRE 2016

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Writing a Contract As-ls

July 14th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Writing an Offer As-Is.


Writing a real estate purchase contract and including the As­Is clause means that at the seller will not make any repairs that provided inspection reports point out or that the buyers find during their due diligence period. Neither will the seller credit the buyer any funds for such repairs or other defects found.

Even though, the As­Is clause does not reduce or eliminate the duty of the seller or agents to fully disclose all property defects, and other material facts of which they are aware.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, many sellers opt to provide either a home inspection report or a pest inspection report, or both. This allows the buyers to get a good idea about the condition of the property and any repairs it may need. Although many sellers provide these reports, it is always a good idea for the buyers to do their own inspections, starting with a home inspection. That is particularly pertinent because many sellers and their agents in San Francisco request As­Is offers.

Although As­Is stays any negotiations about defects or repairs the buyers may find, they still can decide to take or leave the property if they find other repairs and defects that will incur costs they are not willing or able to deal with ­ as long as this happens within the inspection contingency period.

As with any contract, any and all contingencies should never frivolously considered a way out of the contract for the buyers. Remember, their earnest money deposit will be in escrow at that point and its release requires the signatures of both the sellers and the buyers. ©SFRE 2016

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San Francisco’s Soft Story Buildings

July 12th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

San Francisco s Soft Story BuildingsSan Francisco has a huge number of soft­story building, buildings which are more vulnerable in the event of an earthquake. Soft­story buildings have open parking or commercial space on the first floor and housing on the floors above. These structures are more apt to collapse in an earthquake. Clearly, this would have an immense impact on the city and its residents.

In order to address the problem, the San Francisco Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program has been in effect since April 2013. Buildings that fall under this program include buildings which have not yet been seismically upgraded, buildings with 5+ dwelling units built before 1978, and wood frame buildings with three or more stories.

Retrofits naturally are expensive and some owners cannot afford to complete them. San Francisco offers these owners a financing option through Alliance NRG/Deutsche Bank.

Find more information here. And read these interesting articles about soft­story buildings and the mandatory retrofitting on Hoodline and the LA Times. ©SFRE 2016

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San Francisco Neighborhood: Eureka Valley

July 9th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Eureka Valley and Dolores Heights (which includes the world-renowned Castro district) have a rich history as the epicenter of the gay rights movement. Today, the neighborhood is undergoing another transition as the long-standing gay community welcomes young families to the increasingly diverse neighborhood.

On the eastern end, coveted Liberty Hill offers tremendous views and one-of-a-kind residences. Located centrally with downtown access via Muni streetcar and freeway access just off of Market Street, the neighborhood is also graced with a wide variety of architectural styles and property types — including many pre-Quake Victorians.

Bustling Castro Street is home to some of the city’s most beloved landmarks, including Harvey Milk’s store front and the historic Castro Theatre, as well as restaurants and bars, clubs and pubs. A celebratory attitude often reigns, as each year the streets come alive during the Castro Street Fair and Pride Week.

Up the hills you’ll find quieter streets lined with charming, well-kept homes. Locals love to take advantage of many hidden mini-parks like Kite Hill, and the Seward Street slides.

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Construction Appraisal Anyone?

June 30th, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms

Construction Appraisal

In case you are considering a major renovation of your home or an addition to the home and you will be using a renovation loan, a construction appraisal will be required. It is a specialized valuation service. Here are a few items you will need to facilitate this type of appraisal, which determines a future value of your home. Remember that any of the items below can vary significantly, depending on the actual materials you use. The construction appraiser will request the following:

1. Blueprints with exterior dimensions

2. Your construction budget

3. Your materials list ­ the more detailed, the better

4. Landscaping plans.

There better the appraiser understands what the property will look like when the renovation and/or construction is complete, the better and easier the construction appraisal.

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Prop 60/90 ­ Buy Up Transfer Property Tax Basis

June 23rd, 2016 by Gabrielle Dahms


Prop. 60 is a constitutional amendment that was approved by the voters of California in 1986. It is codified in Section 69.5 of the Revenue & Taxation Code, and allows the transfer of an existing Proposition 13 base year value from a former residence to a replacement residence, if certain conditions are met.

Proposition 60 allows transfers of base year values within the same county, while proposition 90 allows transfers from one county to another county in California. It is the discretion of each county to authorize such transfers. As of November 20, 2014, only ten counties have passed an ordinance authorizing intercounty transfers. San Francisco county is not among them.

Note that Props 60/90 have eligibility requirements. Call your assessor’s office to find out whether and how these propositions apply to the county your are in. For more information, visit ©SFRE 2016

If you are considering selling property in San Francisco, click to get your free preliminary market analysis. Gabrielle Dahms

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