Looking for some advice to sell or not in SF


The realtor whom i bought the property with originally keeps telling me inventory is super low and it is a great time to sell.

Can someone please recommend a staging company which won’t charge you an arm and leg?


Your agent should have a staging company she usually works with. If she does not run for the hill. That means the agent doesn’t usually stage the house for top dollars.

Don’t just default to your old realtor. Find one who does a lot of business in your area.


If the current home in East Bay hasnt gone up much yet, isnt it a safer strategy to sell that and reduce the loan on SF home? You can then either live in SF (yay!), or positive cash flow can be used for renting in East bay since its much cheaper there. Then youre a mid 30 eng with a sfh in sf, temporarily staying put in East Bay. Much better situation than mortgage free house but in east bay…?


Shame on you people. Pushing a faint-hearted person to sell his treasured possession(s). Why don’t you sell your own properties/stock to pay off some of your own debt instead? Bunch of hyprocrites… :rofl:


lol wuqijun, if he is one of the regulars here, we would have :slight_smile: @tomato is a live example where one is struggling to find a property that they like. Never sell in bay area if you dont have to…God’s not making more land :slight_smile:


I know right. This guy doesn’t know how lucky he already is. You have people like @tomato dying to be in a situation as he is and yet he is thinking about giving half of it away… oh well, life is never fair… :rofl:


Thank you for your advice.
I spent 3 years of my life designing and building my dream custom home in the East Bay for my kids to go to a good school district. I don’t think i will be giving it up that easily.


Ahh…gotcha. That makes it different. :slight_smile:


Is it a good time to sell in SF or have the tables turned towards the buyers? Yes, this is good time to sell.

Ideally, with this kind of loans, if you can hold, you are really great after your 60s !

Think this way: If you have taken fixed 30 years, hold next 30 years, bank funds your home, tenants pays the mortgage, you hold the tile & Risk, getting it free at the age of 60.

You just retire with a net worth of $725000 * (1+3/100) ^ 30 - assuming 3% inflation and a cash rent appx $4000 equivalent at that time.

Few things are positive for you, which discourages selling

  1. Your age, very young at 30s.
  2. Your purchase price 725k (may be purchase time between 2008-2011)
  3. Prop 13
  4. Big loans at low cost. If it is fixed mortgage, this better to hold.

The negatives which encourages selling

  1. Extremely high DTI.
  2. 500k tax free gain.

Is it DTI = (Current Home PITI - SF home rent + SF home both loans PITI) * 100 / your income = 55% ?

Are these loans are fixed mortgage or ARM (other than HELOC)? If they are fixed 30 years less than 4% rate, it is attractive to hold. Otherwise, selling is encouraged.

If the above DTI is above 40%, sell it as you will find it hard to hold for 10 years. You have essentially taken loans on SF home and bought new home east bay.

If DTI is below 40%, I would suggest hold

If DTI is below 40% and it is fixed mortgage (other than HELOC) close your eyes and hold as Wuqijun said it is treasured possession, life term investment with possible return of 12% - 15% year over year !


That was the original intention when we bought this home. Nice to have in the portfolio for retirement. However things took a bad turn when we had to take a HELOC out on the SF home because the home we were building from scratch took a really bad turn when the contractor laundered money and then passed away. We had to go hire another one and it costed us a lot more money to fix things the previous contractor did wrong and pay off liens from the previous contractor. The HELOC is killing us right now, month to month.

Yes, Jil. It is around there. If we increase rent to a reasonable amount, it would come down to around 50% but still far off from 40%. The big problem is the DTI now. Unless my wife and I both switch jobs we cannot get the DTI down and we have no other source of income, other than the rent.

Well, the current mortgage is a 10/1 ARM. The HELOC is just the regular 3.5% i think with a 1 % minimum payment due every month.

Ideally i would like the tenants to pay off the mortgage and eventually the appreciated value over 30 years will hopefully make the 500k gain look like nothing.

Jil, can you please explain how the 12-15%, need some clarity there.


Your appreciation will be appx 6% to 7% YOY for SFO over next 20 - 30 years. The lowest appreciation is inflation, but real estate appreciation is double of inflation normally. You may have cap rate around 4% - 5% like a dividend. Your ROI may be between 10% and 12% easily, but can go 15% when you calculate your investment amount 725k.


With this ARM and high DTI=55%, you are forced to sell unless you have confidence (and means, i.e. earning potential) to hold.


Looks like a complete rebuild…what is the total cost and timeline breakdown. Most of us here havent taken up this adventure. Would you redo it again had the contractor Thing was smooth? It would be helpful to get your perspective


One option for you is to rent out a floor in your new house in east bay - either direct rent or via airbnb. if you have multiple bedrooms with attached baths, just create a separate entrance to it and rent them out.


I’m a conservative person and love simplicity.
I would sell the SF house, simplify my life and focus on career.
Whatever proceeds would look for opportunity to invest in a cashflow property near the East Bay primary or plough into FAANG or just any S&P index fund.


I would be happy to but that topic should be a completely different thread altogether.


Congratulations on your dream home for your family. You have a good problem to solve.

With today’s market, it would be easy to sell your rentals for top dollars. Just interview a few realtors first.

Do you have no mortgage on the primary home? If your primary home is more expensive, you could also get a cashout refinance from primary home and pay off the Heloc.


Yeah, overall sell is better with tax free, loan free life ! He can even pay off his primary with extra cash.


Thank you very much!
Of course i do have mortgage on my primary now .
The refi option is untenable right now because of the high DTI, like Jil and I have discussed.


Any tips on how to look for realtors, other than the regular commonplace Redfin/Zillow/Trulia?