ELEVATE your SF Real Estate IQ

ELEVATE your SF Real Estate IQ

TIC’s- What are they, really?

Aashiyana Shroff

Picture this…. a one-bedroom newly-renovated home in Pacific Heights with parking, listed at $750,000. No, not a dream, this gem has been on the market for nearly a year. 

What’s wrong with it then?

Well, absolutely nothing – this property, and many, many others in the city are TICs. 

Totally iContract?

Timing iContingency? 

Title iContest? 

No, no and no.

Tenancy iCommon – the 3 most special words in the SF real estate market, ignore everything you’ve heard prior to thisTruth iCandor.

First the facts, TICs are a form of home ownership. They were created in the ’80s as an affordable alternative to increasing housing prices. 

Why the hesitation? There are urban myths and hearsay around this, with a good measure of misinformation. TICs are sort of like Tom Cruise – very misunderstood and commonly talked down on. 

In a nutshell you generally get more bang for your buck with a TIC.One of the major differences between a regular condo and a TIC is the financing. TIC financing used to involve group loans where everyone shared one loan.

A helpful analogy is a chest of drawers vs wardrobe

In the old days, getting into a TIC was like getting into a wardrobe with a group of people – everyone was on the same loan, so if your neighbor missed a payment you were on the hook for it. Not a fun wardrobe to be in. 

Nowadays, we have Fractional Financing, this is like a chest of drawers – each unit has its own separate loan – a separate drawer if you will – close but apart. Aren’t those the best relationships? 

Currently there are five lenders in this space – Bank of San Francisco, Bank of Marin, Redwood Credit Union, NCB, Sterling bank and Trust. (Of course we have our favorites which we are happy to share privately).


Now for the clever bit.

In a recent sales comparison between TICs vs Condos, 1701 Grove Street was a top-floor, two-bedroom one bathroom unit in the heart of NOPA with laundry and parking which sold for $995,000.

The condo equivalent of this at 133 Ashbury Street sold for $1.325 M, also a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom with in unit laundry and one parking space!

That’s a significant difference in price for essentially the same physical product.  I know that sounds very practical – and yes, that organic avocado at Whole Foods tastes the same as the one from Trader Joe’s. So be a smart shopper – make your mother proud!

There are more than 50 active TICs on the market right now waiting to be loved and understood. 

The TIC vs Condo argument is like comparing vanilla extract with vanilla flavoring – they feel, smell and taste the same as the real deal – it’s ultimately the cost that’s different. 


Aashiyana Shroff is a buyer’s agent at Elevation Real Estate, San Francisco.  She’s lived in 3 continents, and has a restaurant list to prove it! Elevation Real Estate will not only find/sell your home, but make you laugh and enjoy it along the way !

For more information on buying or selling in the Bay area contact her on [email protected]

Recent Blog Posts

Stay up to date on the latest real estate trends.

Homeowners Name the Top Reasons Owning a Home is Important to Them

Countless people have set out on the exciting journey of homeownership. Ask around and you’ll find the vast majority are thankful they took the leap and bought a home.… Read more

San Francisco Market Update - November 2023

The median single-family home price rose 14% over the past three months. Condo prices have trended horizontally throughout 2023. Minor price changes are typical in the… Read more

East Bay Market Update - November 2023

The median single-family home and condo prices declined in the East Bay month over month. Year over year, prices in Alameda increased 2% for single-family homes and 1%… Read more

The Latest 2024 Housing Market Forecast

Looking forward, experts project home prices will continue to rise next year, but not quite as much as they did this year. Even though the expected rise in 2024 isn't … Read more

How VA Loans Can Help Make Homeownership Dreams Come True

For more than 79 years, Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans have helped millions of veterans buy their own homes. If you or someone you care about has served in the milit… Read more

Thinking About Using Your 401(k) To Buy a Home?

Are you dreaming of buying your own home and wondering about how you’ll save for a down payment? You're not alone. Some people think about tapping into their 401(k) sa… Read more

What Are Accessory Dwelling Units and How Can They Benefit You?

ADUs allow loved ones to live together while having separate spaces. That means you can enjoy each other’s company and help each other out with things like childcare, … Read more

San Francisco Market Update - October 2023

Overall, median prices have trended horizontally over the past 12 months. Considering the rapidly rising interest rates, homes have maintained their value well. Active… Read more

East Bay Market Update - October 2023

Year over year, single-family home and condo prices were up across the East Bay. Contra Costa condo prices rose most significantly, up 18% since last September. We exp… Read more

Let’s Talk

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.