Would you buy a 1 BR condo in downtown SF?

Assuming you’re single, no children and no pets.

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I have a strong feeling that real estate values will slowly come down in the Bay Area. I personally wouldn’t invest in RE right now, and invest it somewhere else. Rent is relatively cheap here these days

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I don’t get the sense they’re elevated for condos in downtown SF.

People moved out from downtown, needed more space during the pandemic so I’m guessing single family homes are expensive.

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I did. But it was pre Covid, idk if I would now. Waiting to see if people really come back to the city or not. Rents are still depressed in the city.

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Yes it is. It’s literally one of the only markets not to recover. It has rebounded some but still off pre-pandemic levels.

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Yep. I did but it's an investment with risks like any other.

My perspective - (1) interest rates are at historic lows, (2) supply is extremely low, and (3) prices are also lower than usual because of the lingering uncertainty of COVID.

On (1) - Interest rates are definitely going up soon so this is the right time
On (2) - San Francisco's supply of housing will probably never increase significantly due to widespread political opposition
On (3) - I like Warren Buffett's advice on this - "be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful". If you wait for the city to fully rebound from COVID, prices will go up. If you believe the city will rebound eventually (and historically it always has - even through a fire that burned it to the ground, the Great Depression, 2008, etc), you should buy while things are on sale.

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What do you want to know? I have.

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I’ve been living here 3 years and will probably move out after marriage in a year or so. Will decide then whether to rent or sell. At 20% down, my average monthly payment for mortgage, HOA and property tax is slightly higher than what I would’ve paid to rent. I did the math before and think it breaks even if I hold it for 5+ year, assuming 3%/year appreciation (which might be aggressive 🤷🏻‍♀️). The money sucker is the HOA fees. Would strongly suggest finding a place with low HOA fees. All in all, I think it was a good investment. There’s also the unquantifiable like no landlord drama, being able to get nicer furniture, etc.

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COTD.

~400-500K for a condo seems like a lot to me, considering I come from Texas.
1. What do resale turnaround times look like?
2. Has anyone used it as an investment / rental?
3. What is the buy vs rent comparison? Seems like buying might actually be cheaper.

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No problem, I completely understand where you're coming from. I bought a condo (a studio) in SF last year for $505k and know how complicated the process can be. Buying in SF is tough but the returns are definitely worth it!

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Anecdotally based on friends who bought apartments or condos in sf and the peninsula, I would say no. The appreciation was relatively low compared to single family homes and hoa fees are high. The most attractive component of real estate here is the land value

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No. Downtown SF is a sunk ship.

You can pay less in rent—live in a better more residential neighborhood.

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Yes.

Has it been worth it from a money perspective? What does the break even look like? What does renting out a condo look like? (Easy / Hard)

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