It’s Time for Trusted & Successful Real Estate with Kevin Ho.

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We worked with Kevin as buying agent and he was superb. He invested considerable time and energy to help us understand how the market and process here works and is super-responsive, even late at night….

Importantly, he had great suggestions and advice on making our offer compelling.

—Ross & Sarah M., Googler & EBayer, Buyers (Noe Valley)

Seller’s Agent


If you want a realtor who lives and breathes your deal, keeps you constantly abreast of your property’s progress and does nice little things for you, you have to call Kevin Ho. We have ushered in the era of smart, technology literate, well educated, vibrant deal closers like Kevin Ho. 

—Peter G., Media & Advertising Director, Seller (SOMA)



Kevin reads contracts in detail and really protects your interests — he knows his stuff on this. He had a stronger understanding of the market than other realtors I spoke with. I felt a lot of confidence throughout the process knowing I was working with someone who knew their stuff inside out.

—Joanna S., Director Clinton Global Health Initiative, Buyer (Noe Valley)



If you have Kevin on your side, I think you will end up with a real advocate for your needs who can streamline the entire home-buying process for you. He’s also up-to-date with the latest tools to conduct the transaction….

—Hass L., User Interface Designer, Buyer & Seller (SOMA & Oakland)

It’s All About You… (and Me, but mainly You and Your Needs)

My name is Kevin Ho and I am Broker Associate and Top Producer at Vanguard Properties, one of the top San Francisco brokerages that is also locally owned and operated. I specialize in residential real estate in and around our fair city of San Francisco representing buyers, sellers, investors and builders.  My client base and business continues to grow — success begets success. I am from Iowa City, Iowa originally, I am also an active attorney in California and have lived in San Francisco for 10 year.  I do real estate differently than most: I genuinely love what I do, I’m hand’s on and I work hard, wisely and empathetically.

I’ve been an invited commentator/expert on Curbed SF, have been quoted and featured in the New York Times for innovative real estate marketing, and interviewed a number of times on local television news talking about real estate.

My clients benefit from having a lawyer, realtor, mediator and reporter working for them. Please learn about their successes and about me by exploring this site. 

In Contract: 25 San Pablo Avenue, St. Francis Wood

Charming Single-Family Home with Forest Feel, Views

Excellent location, fantastic 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, expansion potential, character and more.

List Price: $1.349M (PENDING)

St. Francis Wood charmer home to one family for 42 years, will my clients be there as long?

In Contract: 64 Waller Street, Hayes Valley

Large 2-level, Luxury & Remodeled Condo

Excellent location, fantastic 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, outdoor space, garage parking and more.

List Price: $1.299M (PENDING)

In contract, 64 Waller Street, my client steps up!

In contract, 64 Waller Street, my client steps up!

Congratulations to my client for doing what it took to get this great property in contract!



+35.7% Single-Family Homes 

$1,331,250 Annual Average Sales Price

+24.9% Condos/TICs

$983,502 Average Sales Price

 Change in Average Sales Price, 12-month average, Feb 2013-2014 (Source: SFAR MLS)

Our City is as diverse as it is dynamic., see how.

Our City is as diverse as it is dynamic., see how.

You’ve heard it before San Francisco is a truly international city. And while you may hear of growth in Houston, for example, would you really want to live there? Would the rest of the world’s people want to visit? No, they visit here and did so to the tune of a record $9B spent on local hospitality in 2013 and ranks as the 3rd most visited city in the U.S. and 25th in the world.

San Francisco stands out from most of the country (bar NYC) as being tops in real estate and the place to be for tourist and techie alike —18 of the top 25 tech companies in the world are headquartered here for example. Our universities (Berkeley, Stanford), proximity to emerging markets (Asia, Latin America), financial base and diversity attracts the best and the brightest (although Berkeley and Stanford may have something to do with it). Plus our climate, while foggy sometimes, still beats cold vortexes and heat waves. And don’t forget that it’s hard to build here too… well, you get the picture ,right? Read MORE.

SOLD: 4367 21st Street, Dolores Heights

Large Corner-Lot, Single-Family House

Fantastic, lushly landscaped, updated home on a quiet street with so much character.

List Price: $1.495M

SOLD: $1.578M (April 2014) +105%

Sold! A wonderful corner house with fragrant jasmine, a picket fence, charm and character.

Sold! A wonderful corner house with fragrant jasmine, a picket fence, charm and character.

Congratulations to my clients for doing what it took to get his wonderful, picket-fence, 3-story, 3 bed, 2.5 bath, garage, nearly 1600 sqft corner lot house in between Noe Valley and Eureka Valley (just a few minutes from where I live) listed at $1.495M and sold for a very good price of $1.578M. We learned that the house’s first set of buyers got cold feet and we took advantage of the situation— so we submitted an offer with every disclosure signed, spent time at the home, related to the agents and seller and moved swiftly and decisively. And the success is in the result! 

SOLD: 19-21 Rosemont, Mission Dolores Large 2-Unit Residence

Fantastic, extra-wide home on a quiet street with so much potential. 

List Price: $1.395M

SOLD: $1.6M (Mar. 28, 2014)


Congratulations to my clients for getting this great property on a little-known street off of 14th Street called Rosemont Street — in fact it’s a cul de sac right in the middle of Dolores and Guerrero Streets in the uber hot Mission Dolores. We moved quickly after I presented it to various clients of mine for whom the property could be a match. This property is extra wide at 35-feet wide and zoned for 3-4 units from its current 2. My clients are developers who have a track record of fantastic projects. I can wait to see what they’ll do with the property which is pretty unique, charming, quiet and yet central List price is $1.395M and we snapped it up 2 hours after its first open house for more than the list price.

An Example of Seller Success

Success! Satisfied Sellers

We asked Kevin Ho to help us and he did an amazing job of sealing the deal for us considering there were so many other people interested in the place. Kevin Ho is a sharp, smart, and savvy guy – we could not have been more pleased with Kevin. He clearly knows the legal end of real estate, but also brings a very personal, well-researched knowledge of the market to his clients.  We highly recommend Kevin Ho.  He is an amazing realtor and we are lucky we found him.

— Drs. Sarah & Greg T.

Formerly of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, currently: CHOP Sellers (Mission Dolores)


Why Vanguard? Why Kevin Ho? 

  • Vanguard Properties consistently ranks as the number 1 listing & selling brokerage in SF’s Sunbelt
  • Vanguard Properties is locally-owned and operated with years of experience in the area that attracts talent — we’ve added 5 new offices in 2013 alone!
  • Vanguard Properties is at the forefront of new real estate development
  • Kevin is social and always alert for opportunity & responsive. He’s also a Vanguard Top Producer.
  • Kevin’s tech-savviness gives his clients the edge
  • Kevin is involved & current with the MLS, RBA & AIA and appears in media and on TV
  • More Knowledge, More Service — With Kevin on your side you get the best agent+, lawyer, negotiator, reporter & mediator combination who advocates your goals and wins for you.

At Vanguard Properties we are committed to understanding your individual needs. We promise to provide you with the kind of quality service that will exceed your expectations. Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilled execution. Learn more HERE.

Spotting Kevin’s Client Successes All Around the Bay Area

View Kevin’s Clients: Where They’ve Bought and Sold in the Bay Area in a larger map

Kevin was a superb real estate agent, and did a great job helping us buy our first home! Kevin is funny and personable, and knows how to get the job done. 

—Dana & Drew, Med Student & Chip Engineer, First Time Buyers (Miraloma Park)

Buying Ahead of the Curve…

As first-time homebuyers, we were very new to the whole process of purchasing a home in San Francisco and felt extremely anxious. We wanted our agent to be available to answer our every question, reassure us about every concern and walk us through every step of a home buying process. Kevin did just that! Additionally, we were on a very tight deadline and had only two months to locate the property and close it, which also added a lot of pressure on Kevin and us. Kevin walked us through every step and he explained every detail of making a winning an offer in a multi-bid world of San Francisco’s real estate market. Kevin connected us to highly qualified team of lenders, real estate attorneys and appraisers. Kevin responded to all our emails, texts and phone calls in a timely manner. Furthermore, there is no question you cannot ask Kevin. Kevin can find a solution to the most difficult situation and resolve it smoothly and fast. Additionally, besides being a real estate broker, Kevin is an attorney at law, and his law expertise helped tremendously with navigating SF’s real estate market. We closed on the house within two months and we cannot be happier with our new home. We became good friends with Kevin and we still ask for his advice and expertise. When we are ready to purchase the next property, we will only work with Kevin — and so should you.

—Lana & Andrew E., Recording Artist & Independent Filmographer, Buyers (Mission Terrace)

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I love the style of your newsletter! It is so informative and fun! I love to see what is happening in my neighborhood too.

—Cynthia W., Home Owner, Noe Valley

A little About Me.

My background and personality lend themselves to real estate naturally.  I love what I do and I don’t think of it as work at all. It beats being a full-time lawyer hands down, but I value being a lawyer at the same time as it gives me an edge in that I can interpret documents for my clients allowing me to speak with confidence, knowledge and authority.

Here’s Kevin Ho in bullet-point form:


  • Lawyer, ’04 to present
  • Law degree, (JD) U.C. Berkeley (Boalt Hall) ’04
  • Master’s in Diplomacy & Int’l Studies (MA), University of London (SOAS) ’01
  • BA, East Asian Studies, WashU ’00 (Junior Year Abroad, New College, Oxford University)
  • Worked as a reporter, lawyer, mediator and legal clerk
  • Bay Area resident, 13 years, born & raised, Iowa City, Iowa
  • English, Cantonese, Mandarin, German, HTML
  • Cook, bike and play with Raffi (a former Guide Dogs for the Blind trainee) in my free time


  • In 2012,  I tripled my real estate business here in San Francisco — going from $2.8M worth of transactions to about $10M.
  • In 2013, I closed about $20M in business and 2014 is already starting off strongly. I’ve gotten to the point in my career where clients are firing their agents to work with me and I am starting to develop a more robust team to support.
  • On average, I have an active pool of 15-20 clients looking to buy or sell property from the $500,000 range to $4M price points with a ratio of 70% buyers and 30% sellers.
  • I have an average of 3-4 escrows open at a time which means my days are busy but only just so; my schedule also allows me to focus on my clients, handle last-minute issues, and to meet new clients.
  • I am backed by one the City’s most experienced and cooperative brokerages that expanded from 2 offices to more than 5 in 2013 alone.

Because I am curious, enterprising I am always listening and learning. This is how I can bring my clients exclusive opportunities that others cannot.

I use technology effectively in my practice using an iPhone, iPad, laptop, and mobile technology to streamline the entire process for my clients freeing me up to spend more time assisting my clients on what’s important. I work creatively and think broadly but also approach real estate under the premise this is important business — home buying is the most important decision people make and it’s something I love. Take the next step and contact me today to get started. 


In The Know With Kevin Ho, April 13, 2014, No. 15

It’s Official: 2014 > 2007

2007 was so seven years ago. Or was it? By all statistics and measurements, we are now officially at or above 2007 prices. These numbers, of course, are not just for inflation. But they’re important psychologically as the numbers today are exceeding the numbers then. (See the new data released by the SF Realtors below)

Why 2014 is not 2007

It’s natural to consider if this time will have a different outcome than last. All indications suggest so. How is it different? Well, this time we have low, low interest rates. So even if you’re paying a greater list price now you really should remember that interest rates back then were in the 6-7% range. Also, unlike then, most people are paying more than 20% down and, in many cases, all-cash. So there’s a robust amount of capital and genuine equity in these homes. Plus, our growth is being fueled by the tech sector, financial sector, construction sector, rental sector and, well, almost any kind of sector you can imagine. It’s not built on a house of cards. And even if it were, people still see real estate as a more useful hedge against risk because of its inherent utility but also because you’re likely to be able to get decent rents on property too. Can you rent out a bond? I think not. Plus, we also have a larger percentage of renters out and about these days from demographic growth and from the fact that there are a lof of displaced former homeowners who need places to live after all. And one more point on the tech industry. Unlike the mid-2000s when ‘being online’ or having an industry built upon technology was more novelty, today these technologies, services and content distributors are more utility than anything else that people view as necessary. Much like having phone service in the past was essential, today it’s high-speed internet.

Legalizing Your In-Laws and the $47,000 Payout are Almost Here

In other news: the increased Ellis Act payments for tenants in San Francisco is likely to skyrocket from an average of $5,600 per tenant with a unit maximum of about $16,000 to a unit maximum of $47,000 (with no pro rata tenant amounts most likely). And the legislation that would almost oblige owners of single-family homes with in-law units to legalize them (thus subjecting them to the Rent Ordinance) cleared another hurdle at the Board of Supervisors. Both pieces of legislation are nearly here with Mayor Lee being the final stop before enactment.


There are more than 129 new listings that hit the MLS from Thursday to Friday — this is the first time in weeks and one of the few handful of times this year in fact — where we’ve seen 100+ new listings in a week. There are 375 open houses scheduled this weekend and there are 283 scheduled open houses set for Sunday, April 13, 2014. Don’t forget that you can access a searchable database of all of the listings currently available as well as the complete listing of all open houses, by clicking above. Among this collection, I think the following are interesting:

Single-Family Homes

  • 278 Randall Street, a big house straddling Noe Valley and Glen Park for $1.495M; 264 Surrey, the big, elegant redo in Glen Park listed for $2.495M. There’s a clutch of Noe Valley homes at 619 29th Street, 895 Noe Street and 470 Alvarado that are in the $1.5M- $2.0M range.
  • The next big potential flipper at 354 28th Street, listed at $1.1M will be taking offers on Monday, so take a look at this 26′ x 114′ lot with direct views of downtown from the backyard. Another blatantly underpriced home at 27 Day Street, listed for $895,000, could be a nice one to explore if you like the Mission. Meanwhile there are a pair of newly updated large homes on Corbett at 498 Corbett for $2.95M and 812 Corbett for $2.995M.


  • The condominium selection this week is weaker than usual but confirms the new market realities that one-bedroom condos with parking or two-bedroom condos without parking are now priced from the $700,000 – $900,000 range easily; even for TICs. Anyway, here are some to look at:
  • The condo that could at 273 Chattanooga listed for $799K (which will go for much more than its list price I suspect) is worth a look. A clutch of one-bedroom condos at 442 Sanchez at $748,000, 222 Ashbury at $699,000 (not expected to be competitive + parking), a massive 1220+ sqft condo at 47 Guerrero, and a pair of TICs at 43 and 45 Guerrero (calm down, it’s a 3-unit building). The pretty Fi-Di building at 333 Grant has a 1-bed/1.5-bath condo at $775,000.
  • There is a pair of TICs available at 1443 & 1445 Alabama, and the two at 1034 Treat that have just been renovated and are both vacant (2-unit building), there are also two condos available at 199 Tiffany (#401 & #210) each for $829K and $849K respectively. There’s a spectacular-looking top-floor, 2-level unit at 279 San Carlos for $1.995M that looks great. And, as usual, there are large number of lofts in SOMA to suit your lofty goals.

San Francisco Market Trends from the San Francisco Association of REALTORS


DATA AS OF MARCH 2014: (SF ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS) Low inventory has been the headline grabber across the nation, but it’s especially evident here in San Francisco where properties continue to be snapped up at a furious pace. With a spring refresh on the horizon, many are hopeful that additional sellers will bring on much-needed properties to ready buyers. Increases in construction activity and still affordable borrowing costs  will also continue to influence local buying and selling trends into the spring and summer months.

  • New Listings were down 16.1 percent for single family homes and 28.9 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
  • Pending Sales increased 6.3 percent for single family homes but decreased 5.6 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
  • The Median Sales Price was up 8.5 percent to $998,000 for single family homes and 16.7 percent to $960,000 for Condo/TIC/Coop properties.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 31.6 percent for single family units and 39.1 percent for Condo/TIC/Coop units.

Consumers are in better shape for the current financial landscape, just in time for the primary home-buying season. Along with an uptick in consumer confidence, GDP growth was revised up to 2.6 percent by the Commerce Department. Consumer spending has risen and claims for unemployment benefits have decreased. Economic health fuels housing market growth. Employed, confident people with rising incomes tend to purchase real property. To read the entire report, click HERE

San Francisco is Worth the Price

You’ve heard it before San Francisco is a truly international city. And while you may hear of growth in Houston, for example, would you really want to live there? Would the rest of the world’s people want to visit? Instead, San Francisco stands out from most of the country (bar NYC) as being tops in real estate and the place to be for tourist and techie alike —18 of the top 25 tech companies are here for example. Our universities, proximity to emerging markets, financial base and diversity attracts the best and the brightest (although Berkeley and Stanford may have something to do with it). Plus our climate, while foggy sometimes, still beats cold vortexes and heat waves. And because land is scarce here … well, you get the picture. Did I mention there’s wine here too?

Sometimes you are lucky enough to connect with people who have the wherewithal and resources to make your dreams come true, and working with Kevin has been nothing but delightful destiny from the day we fatefully met at one of his open homes. With Kevin’s real estate and legal expertise combined with his infectious enthusiasm and strong client dedication, one couldn’t ask for better representation.

— Marie S.

Cloud Computing/Internet Startup QC/QA

Residential Buyer (Duboce Triangle/Lower Haight)

This is my second time buying a home, and the experience this time around with Kevin as my agent was *night and day* compared to my first agent. I wouldn’t have changed anything Kevin helped me accomplish in the process.

— Hass L.

San Francisco Real Estate Trends since 2012


Starting in February 2012, the market changed in SF. Instead of a shortage of serious buyers, the tables turned toward a shortage of good homes that lasted long enough for people to see without other buyers making preemptive offers. So, prices have gone up —and up but are expected to hold steady for 2014 as interest rates scoot up and as the number of REO and short sales continue to shrink. And while the strength in prices remains, agents are now generally pricing homes more accurately.

But many are still using an offer-date system whereby the listing price may have little to do with the ultimate selling price because competitive bidding is encouraged. They can do this is because there is so very little inventory in the City. Balanced against that is that home borrowing, while still strenuous, is affordable because interest rates remain at historic lows but for how much longer? In terms of pricing and how properties are presented, 2012 and 2013 has shown there’s no one right way to do things. Instead ascertaining pricing philosophy (some agents grossly under- or mis-price) comes down to a per agent, per property basis, which is leading too a lot of “wait and watch.”

Remember good things may not come to those who wait but do to the early birds.  There is a lot of cash on the market with people having to spend tax-deferred 1031 exchange monies from sales that would otherwise be subject to the 37% capital gains combined tax rate. And if you think prices will go down, think about all the other folks who lost out in competitive bidding — they’re not going anywhere too. And with interest rates going up (at some point), buyers will rush to lock rates in, even if it means making concessions like giving sellers longer rent-back periods. Prices have increased dramatically — so much so that $1000/sqft is the new norm as is the new normal in Noe Valley where 3 is the new 2 — as in $3M is the new $2M.

Another trend to watch is the city’s housing crunch, which started in 2013 and intensifying in 2014 has included more drama, more emotions, and now, promised tinkering with rent control and eviction control laws — which we have recently seen. The targets of popular discontent are the familiar landlords and now throw-in Airbnb types and/or the tech industry as a whole.   Remember, I’m here to help you, your family and friends succeed.

Finding Your Way Around The Site…

Here are some quick resources to get you on your way to using this site and reaching your goals.

  • Cal. BRE 01875957 (Broker)
  • Cal. SBN 233408 (Active Attorney)
Top Producer at Vanguard Properties, MLS & Technology Committee, AIA Allied Member, Residential Builders’ Association, State Bar Real Property Law Section, SF AIDS LifeCyle

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