Real Estate, Sex, our Top Posts and Last Thoughts of 2007

No surprise here…sex sells…very well, and it even helps sell real estate, or at least Realtors. Our most popular post of 2007 was …and the Nominees for Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco are….

Second up was obviously the the results of said contest.

Third up was our Battle Royale: San Francisco or New York City…if you had to choose.

Fourth place was Nothing Special, just $421,000 Over Asking, That’s All.

Fifth were some of our Picture Medley posts.

This year (2007) was a very good year for theFrontSteps, and we thank you all for it. We’ve seen average monthly “unique readers” go from less than 200/month when we started (February 2007) to over 21,000/month currently. Not bad for a hobby. We hope to continue growing and bringing the real estate insight in 2008.

If you feel like passing the time until we ramp up again in 2008, feel free to join “James” and “Resort at Squaw Creek” in a totally off-topic discussion on whether Sugar Bowl is a better ski resort than Squaw Valley USA (we pick Squaw).  Since it’s so off topic, you might as well just discuss all things Lake Tahoe.

If you absolutely must see some real estate porn, check out this $3,000,000 House for sale in the Central Sunset. Yes, that is Central Sunset on Lincoln, and that is $3,000,000.

lincoln.jpg

“John” sent us his take along with the link:

I went to the open house. Well, I was expecting a completely remodeled mansion. Don’t be fooled by the new exterior paint job. Instead, it is a fixer. Yes, it is large (4000+ sqft on main and upper floors). However, the kitchen and bathrooms are from the 50′s, floors are crappy and have water damage (maybe the roof has problems too?), windows are original single pane, next to a busy street (Lincoln), The in-law apartment in the basement is useless. The agent said the in-law had the permit, but I really doubt it.

What do I want to say? Well, it will be interesting to see how much this one sells for at the end of the day. Personally, I wouldn’t pay 1.5M for it, but who knows.

I love its colorful roof tiles though. It has some nice wood panels inside too.

If that isn’t enough to pass the time until your NYE celebrations, you could always send us a tip or letter.

Pray for snow, go buy a Tahoe house (it’s a great time for that), save up for a San Francisco home (our market is balancing out), and have a Happy New Year!

-2645 Lincoln Way [Redfin Listing Detail page...not a Redfin listing]

-Send us a tip [theFrontSteps]

-We Live in a Bubble Here in San Francisco (This is where you’ll find the Tahoe discussion.) [theFrontSteps]

How to Make an Otherwise Boring Wall Extraordinary

You’ve seen this kind of art throughout the city, but rarely do you actually get to see the artist at work, and get them to take two seconds to talk to you. We were fortunate enough to have both unlikely events happen, and were able to convince Leon of Blue Jay Arts to send us an after shot of his hard work.

mrl_pesce92.jpg

In case you didn’t gather from the photo (that’s okay, we still love you) this is Pesce, a restaurant on Polk Street @ Bonita/Green.

We know art is totally subjective, and the city always likes to put a lock down on anything new, but wouldn’t it be nice to see more buildings do the same?

“We Live in a Bubble Here in San Francisco”

by Meagan Levitan:

We can always say we live in a bubble here in San Francisco as we trend so differently than most other jurisdictions in almost everything imaginable — lifestyle, politics, attitudes and, yes, real estate. I recently saw just how real our bubble is.

I took a sobering trip to Southern California last week (why yes, I was visiting my in laws but that’s not why it was sobering). The number of ‘for sale’ signs in your average So Cal city located in Riverside County was nothing short of disheartening — disheartening for the countless number of people who find themselves in need of selling (by choice or not). And disheartening to see, firsthand, what has contributed to the state of the mortgage and real estate markets nationally. Even more sobering were the number of “Bank Repos” and “Foreclosure” signs on these homes for sale. It truly brings the headlines of the imploding mortgage market to a tangible level.

My experience here in the City of late is this: while there aren’t the number of foreclosures here compared to other parts of the state and nation, the mortgage market doom nevertheless has contributed to a general state of unease and worry about the future of real estate. I point to an increasing number of price reductions and deals falling out of escrow, or those just narrowly getting into escrow, because of financing concerns. Lenders may be nervous and buyers worry they’re stretching. Overall lenders still seem to like doing business in San Francisco. However for sellers, a financing contingency on an offer is a real hurdle to get over. In the past few years it was almost a formality that a buyer had to go to any lengths to get assurances their loan would come through. Cash is king for sellers. The more cash they see over financing, the more they lean to that offer.

The number of buyers continues to be plentiful but so does the number of said buyers who insist on staying on the sidelines — rather than buy — because they believe the market is going to change drastically.

For now, though, it’s the end of the year. Even though there are people looking to buy 365 days a year, it’s safe to say the next three to four weeks will be slow. New inventory will trickle in (though it can also be a terrific time to bring a property to market if there’s nothing else like it on the market at the time) and sellers are likely to try their best to get those listings that have sat on the market a few months into escrow. Deals to be had? Most definitely.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. Have a great week…

Cheers,

Meagan

The Winners of San Francisco’s First Ever Sexiest Realtor Poll

What a battle it was, but in the end we have two winners.

For the women: Claire Chessen of Zephyr Real Estate.

claire.jpg

For the men: Mark Choey of Climb Real Estate Group (part of Vanguard Properties)

mark.jpg

In the end our male winner received more votes than both top women nominees combined. Impressive, and possibly a reason many of you live here.

So what do these sexy beings get for winning? Our coveted title of theFrontSteps Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco, and a nice link to their sites. Perhaps we should get them some “name riders” to hang on their signs too (might help with open house traffic.) Regardless, thanks for being good sports. It has been fun.

Runners up:

Women: Emily Dunn, Jennifer Martin, and Amy Blakeley.

Men: “Gorgeous” George Limperis, Rick Teed, and yes…Greg “Coach A” Angilly.

Now “AJB”, who’s question it was that started all this, can sleep at night. Thanks to all the readers that voted, it was tremendous. Make sure to check back for some choice comments that came through during vote tallying.

Suggestions on which contest you’d like to see next? Send them in, and don’t be surprised if we do this sexy thing again now that we’ve figured out the best way.

[Editor's note: Comments for this post are turned off for a reason. Send a letter to the editor instead, if you absolutely must speak your mind on this one. If you plan on telling us something like "how lame"...save it, we've heard them all and we'll just tell you to lighten up anyway.]

Tis the season of giving…from sfnewsletter

We stole the sfnewsletter code for their last “cocktail” issue, because they apparently kill old issues each week. Since we just linked to it and now learn it won’t be there, we pasted it here. Make sense? Happy Holidays.

MARKET UPDATE

Charts, Data, Trends

In a nutshell, our market has definitely been hit by all the doom and gloom. Not nearly to the extent you’re reading in the papers, but there is a lot of hesitation for a lot of people. On the other hand, there are some that have been on the sidelines for so long, they’ve found now the perfect time to get in the mix. A+ properties are still selling quickly, the south end of town (district 10) has been hit hardest by the foreclosures, and the gazillionaires really don’t care what the rest of the country thinks…they’re snatching up multi-million dollar trophy homes like they’re candy canes. The new developments are still selling very well, and general interest in San Francisco as a place to live and own property is still healthy. We’re anxious to see what 2008 will bring, more cold wind, or a sea of change? We’ll let you know.

MAXIMUM OVERBID OF THE WEEK

You thought these were dead? So did we…to an extent. But they still exist and this one quite frankly blew our mind.

4924 17th St, a beautifully remodeled 3 bed, 3.5 bath home was asking $3,600,000 and sold for $3,900,000 on 12/10/07. The marketing remarks say it all, and give us an indication of what may have happened, “Attention Pacific Heights Buyers this is the home you have been waiting for.” Don’t get us wrong, 17th Street is a great area, but the traffic is through the roof and this was a significant sale for Parnassus/Ashbury Heights. We’ll take a gin and tonic thanks, and on to the next discussion…365 Richland a nice 4 bed, 2 bath Craftsman in Bernal Heights…asking $899,000 and selling for $955,000.

STOP! Look closer. This property was originally listed at $999,000 and didn’t sell. They dropped the price to $899,000 and look where it ended up…$955,000. This is what you need to know about our market…it’s still ticking along, and once the price gets to that “competitive” range, you can expect multiple offers and often an above asking sales price. The most important thing in this market is pricing, and we used to say staging, but apparently pink is no bother to some. ;-) Whiskey sour will do just fine.

CALLING B.S. ON YOUR HOOD!

You’ve been there before, as have we, and it goes something like this, “You don’t live in SOMA, you’re in South Beach!” Or, “I live in Russian Hill.” “No you don’t, you live on Nob Hill.” Print this out, take it to the party, throw some darts at it, and bet some egg nog on your knowledge.

Available at ORK Posters, found via Curbed SF.

STALEFISH TANK

Readers love it, Realtors hate it…our monthly list of Stalefish. What’s a Stalefish you ask? It’s simply a property that has been on the market 100+ days. Deals, deals, deals!

But what’s a Stalefish Tank without pointing out some big fish? We’ve already told you about 300 Sea Cliff.

But there are so many more Stalefish to note…we’ll take four shots of tequila please, and move on…Are you fortunate enough to have your inlaws joining you for the holidays (ahem!)? Well, when you’re walking off all that holiday gluttony, you might take them on a nice walk up to Coit Tower. When they pause to catch their breath, and take in the breathtaking views from 115 Telegraph Hill Blvd, you’ll sound so in the know when you point out that this lot could be theirs for a mere $4,000,000.

Earn extra points when you inform them it’s quite stale at somewhere around 900 days on market, and has only seen one price reduction from $4.5M in the life of the listing. Something tells us there are either some skeletons hiding in that closet, or a seller that really doesn’t care to sell. We’ll need to chase those tequila shots with four Coronas, lime and salt please.

COMPARISON SHOPPING

There is a lot of talk these days about a jolly white bearded man who lives in the North Pole, and so we thought we’d try to find you a home next to him that you can discuss over a tasty mojito. Well… we couldn’t find anything that said, “Be neighbors with Santa”, but we did find a home that, once there, tells you where to go: 3563 Go Thatta Way, North Pole, AK. We kid you not. It exists and it’s for sale for $119,900.

Since we’re on the subject of the northernmost points, we thought we’d add that upon hours of searching for the perfect North Pole home to run in this week’s sfnewsletter, we also learned that Barrow, Alaska is about as desolate as they get, and way further north than North Pole, AK. However, we’ll still take an overpriced home in San Francisco over anything in either of those towns any day. But…it’s still fun to look, and it makes an Irish Coffee that much more appealing.

SKIP ACROSS THE POND

This one just came to us from Marin (Belvedere to be exact), so we’re hastily throwing it up, but stuck pondering the possibilities of back flips we could perform into that pool. Apparently, this home is now in contract for the asking price of $65M after three years on the market. Stocking stuffer perhaps?

-Mining Magnate sets $65M Sale [Wall Street Journal]

Why no new posts?

We know you got distracted by all the pretty faces, but hidden in all that text of our sexiest Realtor post, we did say, “We’re going to take a break from blogging about real estate until the New Year.” Don’t worry, here is a good read that will help pass the time if you absolutely must get your fix.

If you haven’t yet voted, go ahead, it’s fun, and it won’t kill you. We’ll announce the winner this Friday 12/21/2007 at 1pm, so check back. Voting stops 12/20 at 11:59 p.m.

-…and the Nominees for Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco are [theFrontSteps]

-sfnewsletter cocktail talk [sfnewsletter]

…and the Nominees for Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco are:

From a reader inquiry to a full blown contest, we’d like to say thanks to all the people who took the time to send in their choices of nominees for our Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco contest. We narrowed the field down to people that received at least two nominations, and are active Realtor members listed in the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

It was interesting to see the larger number of women nominees as opposed to men, but more shocking is the number of women that actually wrote in nominating other women (settle down boys)…and no, they were not nominating themselves.

Moving on…We’ll announce the winner this Friday 12/21/2007 at 1pm, so check back. Voting stops at 11:59 p.m. 12/20.

[Update: Voting closed. ...see the winners by clicking here, and come back soon for some choice comments that were sent via email.]

The nominees: Sexiest Female Realtor in San Francisco

sexiestfemale4

The nominees: Sexiest Male Realtor in San Francisco

malenom3

Voting closed, thanks! …see the winners by clicking here, and come back soon for some choice comments that were sent via email.]

We had over 500 clicks on the “submit entry” links from the previous posts, but realized too late it said name and email “required”, when in fact they weren’t, so total nominees are a lot less than should have been. Sorry, we’ll get it sorted for the next one.

Sorry also to Farrah Wilder, Katherine Walsh. You are all hot, received a few nominations, but as far as we can tell you’re not listed in the SF Association of Realtors.

We’re leaving the comments turned on for now, but any derogatory or tasteless comments will be immediately deleted and comments will be shut off. One bad apple will spoil the entire bunch. [So it took two...comments are now off.]

Enjoy, and please vote.

We’re going to take a break from blogging about real estate until the New Year. We’ll leave this post up for a couple days, so spread the word, and tell your friends to come vote. As stated above,we’ll announce the winner this Friday 12/21/2007.

-Ask Us: Who’s the Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco [the question that started it all, theFrontSteps]

-All the nominees listed above and in no particular order: Mark Choey, Chris Lim, Kevin Mcleod, Rick Avery, Rick Teed, Wendy Vandersteen, Kim Airey, Gena Clahan, Eve Grau, Lamisse Droubi, Jennifer Martin, Claire Chessen, Courtney Minisce, Alicia Drake, Sue Tsai, Emily Dunn, Greg Angilly, Eva Stoyanov, Arlene Klatte, George Limperis, Stasi Martin, Mary Lou Castellanos, Milana Ostroy, Amy Blakeley, Steve Gallagher, Rose Costello, Patricia Lawton, Christian Friese.

1 (One) South Park: a Walkthrough and Sales Update

We recently had the pleasure of checking out 1 (One) South Park with some clients, and are sad to say the pickins are slim (for us anyway).

onesouthpark3
onesouthpark
If you don’t know what One South Park is, fear not, we’ve gotcha covered. One South Park is a new warehouse conversion with 35 new homes, including 9 penthouses. They have one, two, and three bedroom homes, 14 of which have private outdoor terraces (the south facing ones will get the heat and light, the north facing get the views.) Square footage per unit varies, so we’re not quoting any. The owner has retained arguably one of the best penthouses with a huge wrap-around deck, which should come as no surprise.

Pricing, you can assume is around $900-$1000/ square foot, and sales Continue reading

Millennium Tower 51st Floor Picture

You know we have Millennium Tower wired (literally and figuratively). How else do you think we got this picture of the views from the 51st floor on such a nice day?

51stfloor.jpg

We’ve also been told construction is up to the 52nd floor. There are some fabulous units still available, and we have to say, the “City Residences” get our vote.

As for the picture above, we’re guessing the views from this “C” unit below (2 bed, 3.5 bath, 2819 sqft.) might look something like that, and the price will be upwards of $3M…if not more (try $4M), a lot more, but we’re just guessing, so don’t quote us on that.

millfp.jpg

And to answer the inevitable, no we are not on the sales staff. We just happen to get excited about sweet property like this and all the other places we talk about.

-Millennium Rising…and Selling Rather Quickly [theFrontSteps]

Mic Check, Testing, 1234 (Howard), and 5 left

We had the pleasure of getting in to see these homes quite a while ago, realized that the West Elm shag rug used for staging is hardly the best thing for a home with two small children, let alone a heavily trafficked listing (think shedding worse than any furry pet), and marveled at the creative flow and design of the units.

1234howard.jpg

Now, we get word from our friend, Mark Choey of sfnewdevelopments that of the 18 total units at 1234 Howard (think stunning, modern, sleek, clean lines), only five are remaining (no surprise). The five remaining:

-#2E: $399,000 studio

-#3C & #3D: $639,000 one bedroom

-#4D: $679,000 one bedroom

-#2A $799,000 two bedroom

1234howardfp.jpg

Mark is saying the price on the studio is negotiable, but we’d have to assume the price on all the others might have wiggle room too. Just a hunch.

Regardless, pretty good brisk sales you’d have to admit, and you know we’d love to sell you one, so don’t be shy. ;-)

-1234 Howard [website]

-Stanley Saitowitz [Architect website]

Who’s the Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco, Part Deux

underwear3.jpg[Nominees have been submitted, GO VOTE by following this link.] Since it’s Friday, we thought we’d leave you with what is turning out to be a very fun post. (Thanks to SFist for their link to the original post, we appreciate it. Who’s next?) We’d actually like to spend the weekend collecting nominees, and you know we hate to let our readers down, so we’re going the extra mile on this one.

We’ve received a lot of entries so far, but we could use a few more. So please spread the word, and help us get to the bottom of this, because you know you’ve always wondered who, exactly, is the sexiest Realtor in San Francisco?

[Editor's note: Yes, flattery usually gets you everywhere on theFrontSteps, but no, the editor (alex) will not be in the running.]

You can submit your nominees two ways:

1. Anonymously by clicking here

2. via email to thefrontsteps@gmail.com

We hope you can help us help our readers out.

-Ask Us: Who’s the Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco [theFrontSteps original post on the matter]

Update: Transbay Terminal

We’ll get a nice photo for you when we have time, but for now, we wanted to point you to RinconHillSF.org for the dirt on the Transbay Terminal.

ttt.jpg

Some quotes:

Construction set to begin in November 2008

Open for business in August 2009 for Phase 1, close the existing Transbay Terminal (note that Golden Gate Transit and SamTrans will still use the Mission Street semi-circle driveway off Mission)

Phase 2 completion in October 2009 will move Golden Gate Transit and SamTrans over to the temporary terminal area following the removal of the eastern Transbay Terminal ramp from the Beale/Howard corner of the site

New Transbay Transit Center building is scheduled for completion and the temporary terminal is scheduled to be closed in January 2014

The Redevelopment Agency will develop mixed use retail/housing (most likely affordable, BMR rentals from what I’ve heard) on the Temporary Transbay Terminal land along with a park (yeah!!! We must make sure the park comes to fruition by staying engaged in this process as a neighborhood!). The mixed use development will tentatively happen along Howard Street and along Folsom Street with the park in the middle of the two strips of buildings.

-Transbay Terminal [theFrontSteps]

-Temporary Transbay Terminal Meeting Notes [Rinconhillsf.org]

Ask Us: “considering joining the business” (of real estate)

[Nominees have been submitted, GO VOTE by following this link.]

Where readers ask, and we try to answer.

I was wondering what advice Alex [the editor] and the other experienced Realtors on this blog would give to someone considering joining the business. I have my broker’s license (I am a lawyer so I took and passed the test last year). I am employed full time but considering making the switch late next year (primarily due to my interest in real estate). One thought I had was to work with Ziprealty for a year or two. I realize that the commission split would not be very attractive but they have an extensive training program and they generate leads for their brokers so it might be a good way to get some transactions under my belt before heading to another brokerage. Thoughts?

Well “anon”, the answer to this is easy. Don’t do it! ;-) As we said in a previous comment that you may or may not have seen, there are currently 5200 Licensed agents in the city of San Francisco. How many are practicing is a different story. Regardless, there are a lot, and there aren’t that many deals to go around. Continue reading

Is it Okay to be a Renter for Life?

As much as we like to think we have a great wide audience, we pale in comparison to The Wall Street Journal, and one of our very frequent commentators, “James” has pointed us in the direction of the age old debate that just never seems to die, to rent or own. We thought we’d point you there too in order that more people might be able to confuse your thinking, or clear some things up.

-“If Homes Cost Too Much, Is It Okay To Rent Forever?” [The Wall Street Journal]

News from Marin of the $65M Kind

“The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the gorgeous Belvedere estate known as Locksley Hall has found a buyer. Why is that news? Because it sold for the full asking price of $65 million!

belv.jpg

When the sale closes in January, it will be the highest residential real estate sale in northern California, passing a 2000 record of $52.5 million in Woodside. The listing agent, Olivia Decker of Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty, was unable to give any other details of the sale to the Journal.” -Damion Matthews, SF Luxe

belv2.jpg

belv3.jpg

That’s definitely news, and look forward to the buyer lifting contingencies, but we still want to know who is the sexiest Realtor in San Francisco, so send us your pic(k)s.

-Mining Magnate sets $65M sale [The Wall Street Journal]

-Ask Us: “Who’s the Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco?” [theFrontSteps]

Ask Us: “Who’s the Sexiest Realtor in San Francisco?”

[Nominees have been submitted, GO VOTE by following this link.]

Where readers ask, and we try to answer (something tells us this could be the beginning of something fun).

underwear3

After seeing your latest post on the Nob Hill Gazette thing [The Art of the Deal or the Art of Photoshop?], I got to wondering. Since it appears so many Realtors are very concerned with looks, and there are some very good looking agents (I’m looking at the ladies, and my agent’s looks definitely made it easier to work with her), I have to wonder…who’s the sexiest Realtor in San Francisco?-AJB

Well that’s a damn good question and one we certainly hope to answer, but first, we must thank you for sending us your question, as well as nominee, which we removed to avoid a flood of votes for that one person (she is hot, that is for sure).

We can’t do this one alone. We’ll need a little help from our blogging brethren, readers, and colleagues. Word will have to travel. So…..start talking, and send us your nominees (strictly in confidence) for your pick as to who is the hottest/sexiest Realtor in San Francisco. Male, female, gay, straight, it doesn’t matter. This is San Francisco after all.

We’ll post the nominees to our site for you to vote. It will be kind of like high school all over again.

Don’t be shy, and let’s have a little fun!

-Submit your pick for hottest/sexiest Realtor in SF by clicking here

- or email: thefrontsteps@gmail.com

p.s. Yes, you can nominate yourself. It’s anonymous.

In His Own Words: Warren Buffett and the Mortgage Crisis

On the issue of the securitized mortgages, Buffett said one can make more money “selling toxic waste to customers,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

“Wall Street started believing its own PR on this – they started holding this stuff themselves, maybe because they couldn’t sell it. It worked wonderfully until it didn’t work at all.”

Now, “Wall Street is reaping what they’ve sown,” Buffett said. “It will sort itself out over time with a fair amount of pain. We have an economy that can take it.

-Mortgage crisis perplexes even shrewd investor Warren Buffett [San Francisco Chronicle]

Stats & Numbers: Single Family Homes (Nov ’06-Nov ’07)

From Garrett:

Single-Family Homes
District 1 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 13 22
Median Selling Price 899,000 1,260,000
Average DOM 30 35
District 2 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 39 23
Median Selling Price 775,000 839,300
Average DOM 33 28
District 3 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 23 15
Median Selling Price 690,000 680,000
Average DOM 51 43
District 4 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 38 18
Median Selling Price 1,002,500 858,000
Average DOM 36 41
District 5 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 31 33
Median Selling Price 1,335,000 1,390,000
Average DOM 37 30
District 6 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 2 7
Median Selling Price 1,113,750 1,825,000
Average DOM 43 32
District 7 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 9 10
Median Selling Price 2,100,000 2,762,500
Average DOM 48 33
District 8 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 1 0
Median Selling Price 12,000,000
Average DOM 178
District 9 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 20 23
Median Selling Price 845,000 850,000
Average DOM 36 35
District 10 Nov-06 Nov-07
Number of Sales 57 24
Median Selling Price 690,000 608,600
Average DOM 47 63

Data Provided San Francisco Association of Realtors

Reason We Live Here #11

Because guys like this can be your friends and clients. Ryan Seelbach, absolutely charging at Maverick’s, and bringing it home for San Francisco!

To gain some perspective on the magnitude of this photo and wave, Ryan is 6’6″…Break out your rulers and calculate that wave height for a second. Or go outside and find the nearest 5 story building, look up, and imagine it falling on you.

ryan
Photo Credit: Frank Quirarte (mavsurfer.com)

In case you missed it, Mav’s was again in the spotlight.

-Reasons We Live Here [theFrontSteps]

Nothing’s Changed but the Price, Oh, and the Type

The history of 465 Hoffman looks something like this:

Sold

03/08/2007—$1,150,000— 18.2%/yr (appreciation)

07/21/2006 —$1,035,000— 9.7%/yr

04/15/2004 —$840,000

…as a single family.

The plans look something like this:

465hoffman.jpg

…as an “Ultra-Modern designed legal 2 unit,also marketable as a magnificent 4 BR/3 bath,VIEW,single family home.”

The views still look like this:

465hoffmanview.jpg

…but now the price looks something like this:

$1,625,000.…as a vacant lot.

We ask, do you think a “status change” (“Single Family Residence” to “Lots & Acreage”) and demolition of this house (below) could add $475,000 in value in nine months?

465before.jpg

We’ll have to wait and see, and go check it out.

-Sales History [Redfin]

-listing detail [MLS]

Hip Hip Hooray!…and $300,000 over (4924 17th)

We know, we know…stop cheerleading, it doesn’t serve us well. It really doesn’t indicate any sort of bearing as to our real estate market. It’s just rubbish. It only happens on the high end, but it happens, and you need to know about it.

492417th.jpg

4924 17th St. asking $3,600,000, selling $3,900,000. Listed 10/19/2007, “pending” 10/31/2007, sold today 12/10/2007…cash. Apparently, these buyers don’t care about the memo.

-4924 17th St. [mls]

Walkabout: Remodeled Victorian in the Ave’s and only $849,900!

Yes…it’s true, but you have to go to one of the countries most under valued real estate markets to get it, Salt Lake City. (We’re referring to the recent Forbes.com article on the best and worst housing markets in the U.S.)

slc.jpg

This is the land of Mormons (nothing against them), deep light powder, sunshine, and stupid liquor laws, but check out what your money buys you there!

A big 1891 Victorian, with four bedrooms, five bathrooms, 4,850 square feet, two master suites, Duravit plumbing, Carrera marble counters, limestone floors, custom gourmet kitchen, new plumbing, electrical, paint, carpet, landscaping… and on and on. And it costs you less than some one bedrooms in SF.

Check it out, 957 E. 1st Ave, SLC.

-Go Walkabout [theFrontSteps]

[Disclaimer: The Realtor/Contractor/Owner is the Editor's brother. Regardless, the phone's been ringing on this place and wouldn't we all love to pick it up, move it here, and bolt it to a nice sturdy foundation on our 1st Ave...Arguello.]

The Wall Street Journal Front Page Story

US Mortgage Crisis Rivals S&L Meltdown

WSJ

Make sure you get to the very end of that scare the sh*t out of us article to read this:

In spite of the gloom, the economy may avoid recession. Housing comprises a much smaller share of the economy than business investment, which dragged the U.S. into recession in 2001. Also, the rest of the world is stronger than in 2001, boosting U.S. exports. For the entire U.S. economy to contract would probably require a broad decline in consumer spending, which hasn’t happened since 1991.

And, while financial problems are serious, they aren’t — at least yet — on a par with those of the 1980s, when many major banks would have been insolvent had they valued their Third World loans accurately. There is, indeed, a possibility that the opacity of today’s mortgage securities means markets may be factoring in far larger losses than will actually occur. Though the Fed is still worried about inflation, it has plenty of room to cushion the economy with additional interest-rate cuts.

-US Mortgage Crisis Rivals S&L Meltdown [The Wall Street Journal]