Ask an Expert, New Development Condo or Pacific Heights (Alexander Clark)

“I’m thinking of buying either a condo in one of these new high-rise buildings like Infinity, One Rincon, or Soma Grand, but I love Pacific Heights.  Where do you think I would get the best appreciation?”-Jacki

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Answered by Alexander Clark, founder sfnewsletter, and editor of the sfnewsletter and sfnewsletter BLOG

That is a loaded question if I ever heard one, and not too long ago, maybe a year or so, I answered something similar from another couple.  My answer now is the same.  There is one factor you must consider…time.  How long do you plan on holding.  With the amazing amount of new development happening at all those new places, if you plan on selling within 3-5 years, you could get stung….badly.  But at the same time, you would be getting in on the ground floor down there, and it could be a good calculated risk.  The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. 

There is so much supply coming on the market down there, it is going to be hard to fill it all up (although they’re doing a pretty damn good job so far.)  But in Pacific Heights, they just aren’t building anything else.  Very seldom anyway.  Plus, Pacific Heights has that aura, or charm, and that “status” attached to it.  I’ve had several clients that wouldn’t even consider looking in Presidio Heights, because it wasn’t Pacific Heights.  Kind of like the 90210 thing.  Lame if you ask me, but real.  So…my answer is Pacific Heights is the safe gamble, but some risk in a new development could lead to larger rewards.  I’m still kicking myself for not picking up a one bedroom loft at 200 Townsend when they were selling for $465k.     Good luck.

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