I remember my first home in San Francisco: a two-unit building purchased with my husband (let’s call him Pablo) and our partners/my clients (let’s call them Curt and Sally).

Loma Prieta had shaken us silly that October of 1989, but it didn’t stop our real estate search. Curt, Sally, Pablo and I first viewed our future home – a spacious hunk of Victorian history on Divisadero near Golden Gate – that Halloween. By the time we closed in December the San Francisco market was looking rather spooky. Seems we’d bought at the peak.

But we made the best of it for the next five years, during which time the market continued falling yet began rising again. We remodeled, painted, added parking, started families, celebrated holidays and watched the neighborhood improve. We converted our flats to condominiums. Then we sold and purchased single family homes in the Richmond district.

In retrospect, we were smart to get in when we did because the market hasn’t turned downward in any significant way since that time.

Ask any agent – on any day during any month during any year – if it’s a good time to buy and they’ll say one of three things:

  1. Now is a perfect time to buy
  2. Five years ago was a better time buy
  3. In hindsight, tomorrow will prove to have been a great time to buy

The main thing is to get your foot in the proverbial door. But you’ll need an agent’s help:

  1. Ready? Interview three agents.
  2. Set? Choose the person who feels like your true ally.
  3. Go!

Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For info on SF real estate visit

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