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May 28, 2009

Get a Deal on a Loft

If you’re a first-time home buyer looking for a nice space in San Francisco for up to $700,000, I’d like to suggest you consider a loft. Though not for everyone, lofts are great if you love open floor plans and nice light. Privacy can be an issue, as lofts usually don’t have walled-off rooms. But this property type is perfect for single professionals or couples who need good commute access to the Peninsula or downtown San Francisco.

Lofts are typically located in South of Market, the Mission, and the Central Waterfront (a.k.a., “Dogpatch”). South of Market and the Mission have been hit with higher short sale and foreclosure rates, so prices continue to decline in those neighborhoods.

Indeed, the average sale price for the 18 one-bedroom lofts that have sold since January 1st was $536,174, at an average of 1,073 square feet. With loft inventory not moving as quickly, buyers can expect to negotiate their way to the best deal possible. For example, there are presently 47 one-bedroom lofts on the market ranging in list price from $449,000 for a unit at Bluxome and 5th Street, all the way up to $995,000 for an 1896-square foot unit at the historic Hueblin building at 601 4th Street.

But a bulk of the 1BR lofts lies in the $500,000-$600,000 range, perfect for conforming loan amounts.

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