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.

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“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.

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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.

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

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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.]