Since starting to seriously look at real estate at the beginning of October, Stephanie and I made a habit of trying to check out at least one or two open houses every Sunday. We weren’t being lazy, it’s just that there wasn’t that much available which met our minimal criteria: a two bedroom flat for less than 700k (preferably much less) in a broad central swath of neighborhoods from NoPa to Dogpatch (and possibly parts of SoMa).
Once we’d gotten a good baseline of what was already on the market, and ruled most of it out, we realized that finding a place was going to depend wholly on something new being listed while we were looking. We also knew that the market was going to cool down around Thanksgiving and not pick up again until after the Superbowl. I pretty much expected we’d still be going to open houses in the Spring.
And then, just before the weekend of Halloween, our fourth week of serious looking, I got an email alert for a new listing with the following blurb:
Modern meets Historical in Hip Mission Dolores! This 3BR 1BA completely renovated home features soft & hardwood floors, new electrical, central heating, new windows, period details, wood burning stove in the living room, TONS of storage, chef’s kitchen w/Wolf range, stainless appliances & counters & Scavolini cabinets. A bright sunroom features built in shelves & an eating nook w/custom table for 8-10 people. Ship stairs lead to the attic bedroom which features roof windows, walnut floors & ample storage. On a quiet street with a Walkscore of 94, it’s close to Dolores Park, Bi-Rite, Delfina, MUNI, BART & more! Add to that the active street community with an active Google Group & annual block party and all that’s missing is YOU!!!
Real estate descriptions tend to be pretty formulaic, but something about this one caught my eye. And good thing too, because there were no photos. I pinged our agents for more details, and they said that the photos would be up on Saturday. When I finally saw them, they took my breath away. We went to the open house on Sunday, and it was even better in real life. The kitchen was to-die-for. There was a cute sunroom/dining nook. There were two bedrooms downstairs, a lovely single bath, and an attic-space upstairs that had been converted into a third bedroom. People were crawling all over the place to get a look at it. This was going to move fast.
The obvious appeal and popularity of the condo tempered our initial reaction. Nothing else we’d seen either in photos online or in person came even close to the level of finish and character of this place. We figured we didn’t stand a chance, so we figured, let’s give it a shot. I emailed our agents that afternoon to say we wanted to make an offer. They called back to tell us that someone had made a preemptive offer for more than 100k over list price, well above our price range.
Continue reading Adventures in real estate, part three…