Bettin’ Fools

[Update 6/18/07: $296,000 Price Reduction]


2340 Larkin #2 hit the market this week (asking $2,295,000). It is a 2 bed, 2 bath, 2100 square foot condo in Russian Hill, and we’re bettting it’s sold (or at least in contract) before the end of the month.

Yeah, we know, the market is horrible, prices have come down, buyers have split for the East Bay (See reason we live here #5), or even points further east, but we’re bettin’ it’s gone before we even remember to update you. Care to wager with us?

It was purchased three years ago for $1.4MM. We leave the math to you.

-Doom & Gloom [sfn BLOG]

-2340 Larkin #2 [property details, MLS, link expires in 30 days]

-Reasons we live here [sfn BLOG]

-Update 6/5, still on the market [theFrontSteps]

Reason we live here #5


“Huge leaping flames from an exploding gasoline tanker melted the steel underbelly of a highway overpass in the East Bay’s MacArthur Maze early this morning, causing it to collapse onto the roadway below and virtually ensuring major traffic problems for weeks to come.”
“It will put more traffic on the San Mateo Bridge, the Golden Gate and the Richmond-San Rafael bridge.”

We’re bettin’ a home in the city just got a lot more attractive to tens of thousands of commuters.

Tanker Fire Destroys Part of MacArthur Maze, 2 Freeways Closed Near Bay Bridge [sfgate]

Comparison Shopping On the sfnewsletter

Prime Bel-Air Estate, Offered at $16,500,000

Plus this:
Santa Ynez Valley Chateau,Offered at $19,750,000

Plus this:
9342 Sierra Mar, Offered at $11,500,000

And you might as well throw in this:
9038 Wonderland Park Ave, Offered at $2,500,000

Ahh…what the hell, this too:
1515 Bel-Air Road, Offered at $4,495,000

Equals this:
$55,000,000 (asking) San Francisco landmark (2901 Broadway), that is indeed now officially on the market, as we said it would be back in July of 2006.
And since you are here, you might as well do a drive by.

-2901 Broadway as Decorator Showcase [sfn BLOG]
-$55,000,000 (asking) San Francisco landmark (2901 Broadway) [SFAR MLS]

Ellis Act a la SB 464: cut/paste

Last week, we posted about the new Senate Bill designed to hose landlords and property owners, and we had quite a bit of traffic to it. There is a bit of buzz about it out in the blogosphere, so we thought we’d do yet another cut/paste of an email that showed up in our inbox just today (been outside for a while and no time to post) from the California Association of Realtors. Happy Reading!

“SB 464 (Kuehl) which forces landlords to stay in business for at least 5 YEARS and requires that landlords give ALL tenants a ONE YEAR notice of termination of tenancy, should ANY tenant be a senior (62 years of age or older) or disabled. C.A.R. opposes SB 464 because it is an outrageous attack on private property rights and because it will cause fewer rental units to be available to families who need them.
SB 464 will be considered by the entire Senate as early as Monday, April 29th.

Continue reading

Hurry up…and wait


2214 Clay…one day showing…one offer…rumored to be going over asking (go figure) from a $4,998,000 asking price…now we wait to see the outcome.
The vitals: 6 bed; 5 bath; 4989 square feet; built in 1890; $1001/ppsf; horrible colors in the living room, and definitely not my tastes for interior decorating (opinion!), but other than that it is a great house with all the amenities.
The selling points (again…opinion): “sits on a gated, double lot, with a separate carriage house & 6+ parking”; zoned RH-2, near Lafayette Park.


-Property Details [mls]
-2214 Clay [Coldwell Banker Previews]

Our Bay Area Waters Just Got Sharkier

“The days of buying property with little to no information are over.”

Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Napa, Marin, Solano, Santa Cruz, & Sonoma
San Francisco has already been blessed with their presence, and we’re continually asked to do what we do in other parts of the Bay Area, so we thought we’d put this up there for all you “out of towners”.
If you’d like to see a little sample of what they do for us, click here.
To look up a property in any county:
Contra Costa
San Mateo
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
To browse the Bay Area foreclosure listings, go to:

Have fun! Of course this guy might be a little more nervous than most.

T is for Transformation (T-Third Metro line service begins)

Information provided by Ron Wong and Mike Tekulsky, Hill & Co. Real Estate.

t-third-trilingualtn1.jpg“The T-THIRD Metro line will connect all of the Third Street neighborhoods to the full Muni Metro system, providing a vital link between the southeast sector of San Francisco and the rest of the City.”-SFMTA

What kind of effect could this have on properties that have otherwise been labeled as “too far out there”, or “not centrally located”?  What about the areas like Bayview, Hunters Point that have already seen an increase in “atypical” buyers for those areas? 

On a totally different note, we’ve also been told that Dago Mary’s will be closing at the end of April. So ride the new line and say goodbye to an old San Francisco restaurant, and cross your fingers the T-Third gets you there on time.

-Trial by the T-Third [sfgate]
-SFMTA Website
-Dago Mary’s [Yelp]

Unique is an Understatement (2901 Pine)

[Update: Sold June 2007 for $2,300,000]


2901 Pine St. is one of those properties you only wish you had the guts to do (assuming you’re remodeling). The place is sweet! (In our opinion) We literally just walked out of there and were so impressed, we came to post. You must check it out.

Formerly a commercial space (neighbors claim it was a liquor store, grocer, yoga studio, office), it is now a 3 bed, 2.5 bath 3,282 square foot Victorian Modern (that’s what we’re calling it) single family residence on the corner of Pine and Baker asking $2,350,000. 

What sold us is the towering Atrium entryway, the extensive use of glass, the catwalk, the master bedroom/bathroom suite, and since they went modern, what masterpiece would be complete without bamboo flooring.

It is yet another unique property that gives us yet another reason we live here. Remind us to let you know what it sells for (or if you’d like to go see it), because it will sell,  it’s just a matter of when.

-2901 Pine [Pacific Union]

-Unique Property [sfn BLOG]

-reason we live here [sfn BLOG]

Update on “Why’s this keep happening to me” and it’s Done Deal in Hayes Valley

On April 1st (now we see that someone was playing a joke on us), we posted, Why’s This Keep Happening to Me?!” and gave you our story of despair and anguish. Now we can tell you the final sales price: $1,015,000 from an asking of $899,000 on 256 Page St. in Hayes Valley. There you have it…the update.

-Why’s This Keep Happening to Me?!” [sfn BLOG]

It’s about Damn Time!

Finally, an article in the mainstream media confirming what we’ve been telling our readers of the sfnewsletter for the longest time (one example). “The Market is pretty damn good.” (Note: we acknowledge the article is a bit “sales office” cheerleaderish, but gets the point across.)

Doesn’t it make sense to get the most up to date market report from people creating the comps, rather than people analyzing the comps?  We try to do a good job of giving all sides of the story, Overbids, Stalefish ™, and of course Letters to Editor. So we think we’ve got you covered, and hope you check back frequently.  Remember, we’re new to the blogoscene.

[Update: We forgot to add a link to our Tour de San Francisco, which is only in the early stages and a great way for you to check out our micro-markets (a term we believe we coined a long, long, time ago...then of course a reader broke it down further...nano-markets. Yes, we're doing a little horn tooting.]

-Picking Up Steam [sfgate]
-Why’s This Keep Happening to Me? [sfn BLOG]
-More Overbids [sfn BLOG]
-charts, data, and graphs [sfn BLOG]
-Stalefish ™ [sfn BLOG]
-Letters to Editor [sfn BLOG]
(If you want to receive the sfnewsletter, please ask your Realtor to send it to you, or contact us and we’ll get you on the list.)

Frank Norris Place…an update

Provided by: Amanda Jones of Vanguard Properties


They have sold 10% of the units in 2 weeks. They have 3 other offer
packages out on the project [Editor's note: probably more now, we're slow to print], 15 of the 32 homes are under $500,000. The building was designed by the same architect of The Palms and 3208 Pierce Street. Many of the units have floor to ceiling windows and or views.

There is NO age restriction for purchasing these homes. However, the homes are designated by occupancy by at least one person 55 years or older. (Translation: Someone 55+ needs to live there, but the person on title can be 25… one could rent it out to a 55+ person…)

[Editor's note: As it seems many, many baby boomers are down-sizing and testing out the urban life (think One Rincon Hill, The Infinity), all you young professionals might consider paying your parents back for all that money they spent on your beer and college tuition by offering them free room and board in a world class city. Just a thought.

Frank Norris Place is located at 81 Frank Norris St. in the "Upperloin", (Van Ness/Civic Center/Downtown), units are either 1 bedroom, 1 bath, or 1 bedroom + study, 1 bath, pricing for some (we saw one) as low as $399,000 (came on 4/12 and is already pending), the others hovering around $500,000. Parking is an additional $50,000/space.]

-Frank Norris Place [website]
-IB+A [Architects]
-More New Development Articles [sfn BLOG]

“Little old Bernal Heights makes the Financial Times”


We’ve been telling you for eons how hot Bernal has been and continues to be, and a kind reader forwarded us the following article, from none other than the Financial Times (The City’s Last Secret).

Some money quotes:
-”Bernal isn’t the next neighbourhood in San Francisco; it’s the last neighbourhood in San Francisco,” [Editor's note: Apparently they've over-looked Glen Park, Potrero Hill, West Portal, Inner Sunset, Golden Gate Heights, Hayes Valley, oh we could go on forever.]
-”Bernal (which rhymes with “kernel”)” [Editor's note: A Beastie Boys lyric comes to mind here, "eating Colonel's chicken drinking Heineken Brew..."]
-”Bernal remains one of the few places in San Francisco where young families of less extravagant means can hope to find a two- or three-bedroom detached house with a yard for a growing family. “It’s as affordable as you can get in San Francisco,” [Editor's note: According to MLS the average sales price for a single family home in Bernal Heights is $883,649, and PPSF is $597...bargain basement prices!]
-”Young, stroller-pushing mums mingle freely with flannel-clad hipsters and grannies in Bernal Heights-emblazoned hoodies.”
-”once people land there it becomes cult-like”

That’s enough. It’s actually a great article and a great neighborhood, we were just poking a little fun. Necessary sometimes in this uptight world of real estate.

-The City’s Last Secret [Financial Times]
-Score Another One for Bernal[sfn BLOG]
-All Bernal Articles so far [sfn BLOG]
-[Image credit: Bernal Heights]

Cut/Paste: Ellis Act getting tougher or easier?

tenantsunion.jpgRegardless of whether you’re the fist, or the man in the top hat, we thought this worthy of a cut/paste from the SFAR Advantage newsletter:

“SB 464 (Kuhl) would amend the Ellis Act (the State law that allows rental property owners to go out of the rental business) by limiting its application to the owner of any residential real property who has owned the property for five years. In addition, SB 464 would allow a public entity to require that if any tenant is at least 62 years of age or disabled, and has lived in his or her accommodations for at least one year prior to the date of delivery to the public entity of the notice of intent to withdraw pursuant to the Act, the date of withdrawal of the accommodations to be extended to one year after the date of delivery of the notice. On Monday of last week, SB 464 was amended and the following language was inserted: “[The bill] shall apply only to owners who acquired ownership of property pursuant to a purchase agreement or contract for exchange entered into on or after March 27, 2007.” “

SB 464 is set for hearing before the Committee on Appropriations on April 23rd.

-Leland Yee [website]
-San Francisco Tenant’s Union [website]
-the legal part of evictions [Sirkin Paul Associates]
-the low down [Senate Judiciary Committe]
-Rent vs. Buy, the old debate…in an interactive graph [sfn BLOG]

The Potrero: Developer’s Specials


Our friends at The Potrero, Potrero Hill’s newest development with prices starting at $404,880 for a studio, and working their way up from there for one and two bedroom condos, and two and three bedroom townhomes, have decided to release a few “developer’s specials”, and you’re hearing it here first. [Update: they just hit MLS.]

If you are interested in these developer’s specials (we were), you simply need to go to the sales office and “tell them sfnewsletter sent you.” They’ll be happy to give you all the details and show you around. Here’s what we can tell:

#475- $569,800

1 bedroom/1 bathroom

661 SF

Located on North Courtyard

* Includes Fischer Paykel Refrigerator & GE Super Capacity Washer & Dryer

#382- $739,880

2 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms

932 SF

Located on Rhode Island St.

* Includes Fischer Paykel Refrigerator & GE Super Capacity Washer & Dryer

#442- $785,880

2 Bedrooms/ 2.5 Bathroom Townhome

1047 SF

Located on Mariposa St.

Gas Stove

* Includes Fischer Paykel Refrigerator & GE Super Capacity Washer & Dryer

#492- $769,880

2 Bedrooms/ 2.5 Bathrooms

964 SF

Top Floor Corner Home

* Includes Fischer Paykel Refrigerator & GE Super Capacity Washer & Dryer

So what’s the big deal? You save a minimum of $25,000, these units were not offered for sale previously, include appliances, and unit #442 is in the South Building and not yet available to the general public.

So head on down to 444 De Haro, tell them sfnewsletter sent you and make yourself at home.


The Potrero [website]

[images taken from The Potrero Website]

888 Seventh Street: an update


Back on November 17, 2006, 888 Seventh accepted applicants for their 170 BMR (Below Market Rate) units of a total 224 Units. They received around 3800 of them! Pricing for the studios was around $199,000, 1 bedrooms around $230,000, 2 bedrooms around $250,000, and 3 bedrooms $299,000-350,000. The building itself is quite nice, location is improving, but the story here is the amount of applicants for the BMR units, and the amount of income (one person $63,850, two persons $72,950, three persons $82,100, four persons $91,200) necessary to qualify for BMR.

For more information on BMR you can find a good bit on 888 Seventh’s website by clicking “About”, then “BMR Q&A”, or visiting the Mayor’s Office of Housing website.

The Market Rate units (28 studios, 18- 1 bedrooms) are expected to go up for sale in July-August, parking costs an additional $35,000 (BMR and Market Rate Price) construction has topped off the 6th floor (last), and they expect the closings to happen in January.  We’re guessing (the sales office wouldn’t tell) pricing for the studios and 1 bedrooms around $500,000. 

Things are moving along smoothly, and briskly in yet another Mission Bay Development.

-Mayor’s Office of Housing [website]

-What’s going down (or up) in Mission Bay [sfn BLOG]

-888 Seventh [website]

[pic taken from property website]

Follow up to Reason we live here #1

On March 29th, we posted our very first reason we live herewith 3335 Clay, a 2bed, 2 bath condo in Presidio Heights asking $1,125,000, and a reader kindly commented there is “no way this property sells for over a million”. We’re not out to prove anyone wrong, or discount our readers (we love all of you!), but there is something to be said about the importance of getting the story. So here it is.
The place received six offers, four of them more than 10% over asking (remember asking is already over one million), and the agent gets calls every other day from three of the thwarted buyers hoping it will fall out of escrow.
We loved it, and obviously quite a few others did as well. Not to fear, those type of properties come around all the time…or not.  ;-)

We’re guessing it goes 15-20% over, which would mean it will indeed sell over a million…knock on wood. 

-Reasons we live here [sfn BLOG]
-3335 Clay [Hill & Co.]
-More Maximum Overbids [sfn BLOG]

Tower of Power

onerincontowermeter.jpgAccording to the most recent One Rincon Hill newsletter as of April 9, construction on Phase I (tower 1) “zoomed past the 45th floor”, and is expected to top out in July. Initial move-ins are scheduled for late 2007.

We had a nice sit-down with some folks at One Rincon Hill about a week ago, and short from telling you exact numbers, sales are through the roof, as is their waiting list (over 3000) for first dibs on tower two homes. The Townhomes are moving pretty well, and the corner 2 bedroom unit with the large terrace (#506), is quite the pad. If only Dwell had a design competition pitting One Rincon Hill against The Infinity…now that’d be a real smack down.

-1 Part Dwell, 1 Part The Infinity… [sfn BLOG]

-One Rincon Hill newsletter

-Unique Property [sfn BLOG]

Ask an Expert (Mary Laughlin Fenton), Investment Property in Mission Bay?

“Can I ask what your opinion is about buying an investment property
down at the mission bay area now? You know, the ones like on King or
Berry street. Do you think those prices are coming down and do you
think they will come down? I saw on your last “sold” list, they were
all under asking. I would think of an investment property for 5-10
years down the line.”
D.C.-San Francisco

As answered by Mary Fenton, of Sotheby’s International Realty

If you want to buy and hold, I think that is a great area as it is going
to be the hub of great scientific activity. The area attracts young and
older buyers who are downsizing and moving into the city, and commuters
who want to be close to the freeways. Mission Bay should be a great
thriving area within the next 5-10 years.


1 Part Dwell, 1 Part The Infinity, 2 Parts YOU!


So you think you’ve got what it takes to design a la modern.  Here’s your chance:

“Dwell™ invites [their] readers to submit design proposals for one of three varied floor plans for homes in The Infinity. A panel of industry experts, including Dwell owner and founder Lara Hedberg Deam, will review designs. Winning designers will see their vision materialize in cooperation with the development’s designers.”

We were wondering which of the new developments was going to be the first to partner with Dwell. It’s a totally natural fit and we can’t wait to see the results.

More info and entry details []

The Infinity [website]

[picture and logos taken from]

Ask an Expert (Sally Rosenman), Investment Property in Mission Bay?

“Can I ask what your opinion is about buying an investment property
down at the mission bay area now? You know, the ones like on King or
Berry street. Do you think those prices are coming down and do you
think they will come down? I saw on your last “sold” list, they were
all under asking. I would think of an investment property for 5-10
years down the line.”
D.C.-San Francisco
As answered by Sally Rosenman of Hill & Co. Real Estate,
While the market there has slowed, properties priced right in certain buildings are still (seemingly) selling well. There is going to be a whole lot of growth there with the UC campus still being built and office buildings going up (or finally up) nearby. I strongly believe that the market will get better and people who have purchased now will be reaping the benefits in a few years.
There are some “deals” around in that some developers are offering rebates of some sort like credits for 1 or 2 years worth of HOA dues. I would suggest trying to bargain on prices as well.

Ask an Expert (Elaine Larkin), Comparing Condo to SFR in NOPA

“My wife and I live in NOPA and I look forward to hearing your take on the area in your Tour de SF. One question – when comps are listed for condos v. single family homes, do you think it’s fair to ascribe additional value to condos that are housed in a former single family home (e.g. ours, with just one other condo above us)? At 1300 sf, our $810,000 flat with parking is definitely above the average condo price per sf in the area…”
A.W.-San Francisco, North Panhandle

As answered by Elaine Larkin, Hill & Co. Real Estate
Smaller buildings have more appeal to some people because you have the extra amenity of your own private entrance versus a common entry hall. And flats tend to be larger square footage as well. I assume you are talking about a 2 unit building rather than a single family dwelling.
Elaine Larkin

Ask an Expert (Alexander Clark), Investment Property in Mission Bay?

“Can I ask what your opinion is about buying an investment property
down at the mission bay area now? You know, the ones like on King or
Berry street. Do you think those prices are coming down and do you
think they will come down? I saw on your last “sold” list, they were
all under asking. I would think of an investment property for 5-10
years down the line.”
D.C.-San Francisco


As answered by Alexander Clark, sfnewsletter
Are you asking specifically about the ones on King or Berry, or that area in general? If you’re buying 5-10 year holds, I’d buy. Prices have dipped and may do so a bit more with all the inventory available down there, but I still think for the time frame you are talking it is a very solid investment. One building I checked out and really like is 170 Off third (not necessarily Mission Bay). There are studio and 1br units under $500k there, that are a Giants lovers dream “pied a terre”. That place has the location nailed as well as the amenities. Wasn’t excited about the granite counters, but those can be switched out.
Thanks for writing in,
alex clark

Letters to the Editor: My take on our market/society

Hi sfnewsletter: First of all, your latest post “Good Bones” is insane! It is insane for what and where it is and by any manner with which we once looked at these things in the past. The Maximum overbid is also insane in this newsletter below (2155 9th Avenue that our friends bid on). As was that place on 15th that was in probate that we looked at. And much of what goes on in the hot neighborhoods is insane by past measures.
But by current and future measures, it is not insane. In fact it is completely sane. Continue reading